Tboli Library, Culture Hub – Arts & Culture experience in South Cotabato

A Tboli Library and Culture Hub has been recently established and inaugurated in South Cotabato, and  will soon become a promising  Arts and Culture “experience” destination for tourists in the province.

The Library/Culture Hub founded by cultural worker Michael Angelo Yambook, who is a native Tboli and also a Public School Teacher, sits at a donated private lot (owned by Yambok’s mother) located at Barangay Poblacion, Lake Sebu.

During inauguration day, the 2-storey concrete, wood and bamboo structure now houses the 3,000 different kinds of books donated by gracious donors from abroad, particularly the Hofer family from USA.

ambok, who is teary-eyed most of the time, when he delivered his message during inaugural rites stressed that he envisioned his project not only to become an ordinary library or reading center, but will also transform into a haven where Tboli as well as Ubo culture (including their respective dialect) will be featured, studied, taught and appreciated for generations to come. Yambok is the Tboli and Ubo Cluster Head of the National Commission for Culture and The Arts (NCCA) in South Cotabato.

Present during the inauguration were Lake Sebu Mayor Floro Gandam, BM Antonio Fungan (former Lake Sebu Mayor), Lake Sebu Councilor Antonio Fungan Jr.  and BM Hilario de Pedro VI, who all extended their appreciation and suppor to the project.

Other well-wishers include representatives from the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Education (DepEd), Lake Sebu Youth Network, IP representatives, tourism officers, fellow cultural workers, and retired school teachers, among others. Yambok’s sisters from Thailand, Germany and Japan, including the Hofer family, likewise gave their respective message of support via zoom.  Fr. Rex Macsmann, Sta. Cruz Mission Schools, Inc.  founder and Director, received tons of praises for being instrumental in bringing education to Lake Sebu from 1961 until the present, which not only educate the Tbolis, but also produced past and present leaders of the town.

Yambok further revealed that he wanted the culture of the Tbolis of the past to be studied by the present generation of Tbolis so they will know their true identity, culture and language, rituals, customs and traditions, and even how their food or delicacy is prepared, cooked and served.

With the advent of information technology running at a very fast pace, so too the IPs, Yambok said, who have somewhat forgotten a part of their culture.

“But by studying the past and present, it will help mold the future of the Tbolis in South Cotabato,” he further added.

This is truly an additional attraction for travelers visiting South Cotabato, because aside from adventure and nature; they can expience first-hand the rich and unique culture of the Tbolis.

Yes, in South Cotabato, we CAN! (Culture and the Arts, Adventure and Nature).