Koronadal City—The local coordinating team of South Cotabato nominated 15 masters in indigenous or ethnic arts to the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or the National Living Treasurers Award, a search for the finest traditional artists in the Philippines.
Reden Ulo, a GAMABA coordinator, confirmed that the Municipality of Lake Sebu presented 13 masters in performing arts, music, oral traditions, and weaving. Meanwhile, one indigenous artist from each town of Tboli and Polomolok nominates for kulintang playing and faglong making, respectively.
Researchers from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts came to South Cotabato to document the local artists. The next step is the grand jury which will determine the next group of the National Living Treasures. Specific dates for the announcement of winners are still unavailable.
“Please support our nominees for the GAMABA. They are all deserving. Let us pray that there will be new Living Treasures in South Cotabato,” Ulo said.
South Cotabato produced two GAMABA. Lang Dulay (Lake Sebu) and Fu Yabing (Polomolok) are indigenous artists engaged in traditional art skills of weaving tnalak and tabih that have reached a high level of technical and artistic excellence. They passed it on to and widely practiced by the present generation in their community with the same degree of technical and artistic competence.