POLOMOLOK, SOUTH COTABATO – Yabing Masalon Dulo, South Cotabato’s second Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awardee as National Artist for Mabal Tabih Weaving was finally laid to rest today (February 10) in her hometown here located at Sitio Amgu-o, Barangay Landan. She was 106 years old.
Fu Yabing, as she is fondly called in the Blaan tribal community where she lived i, was born on August 8, 1914 and survived a sister and 5 children, and likewise a brood of apos or grandchildren that also attended the eulogy service before her final internment, complete with all the pomp and pageantry befitting a national artist, such as the military 21-gun salute and message from no less than President Rodrigo Roa Dutrete.
Family members revealed that Fu Yabing started tabih weaving in her early teens until she became an expert in the craft that led her to being named national artist in 2016.
Tabih is the term for the finished hand woven cloth and it also refers to the traditional Blaan tubular skirt. Natural dyes from endemic plant species in the community are the source of colors for different designs of this indigenous textile.
Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr. personally led the province in giving his tribute to the national artist and personally handed the province’s Plaque of Recognition to the family.
Other dignitaries present cinclude Polomolok Mayor Honey Lumayag, NCCA Commissioner Dr. Abubakar Datumanong and Provincial Tourism Officer Argie Ryan Asaria, barangay officials, among others.
A marker is being planned by the Provincial Tourism Office to be placed in her home which is also near her burial place in recognition as a cultural icon of South Cotabato.(photo credit-google.com)