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November 8, 2014

The Many Things I Learned at the Dayaw Festival in Luzon (Part II of II)

Artists from the Tam-Awan Village gave free portrait sketch to both participants and guests of the Dayaw Festival. I’ve never been to Tam-Awan but after seeing how they sketched these, it will surely be one of the places I will visit the next time I go up to Baguio.





While everyone was busy, this cute baby caught my eye. She’s only a year old but she rocks the Kalinga attire! The Kalingas are called the peacocks of the North because of their colorful attire and lots of body accessories.


I learned later on from her mom that it’s not the baby’s first time to wear an attire of a cultural community. Prior to that, her baby wore a Bagobo attire and was always all smiles while wearing it.


When kids are exposed to our own culture, they grow up having a sense of identity and pride. That gave me an idea to do the same to my nieces and nephews.

Meanwhile, the traditional crafts were on display and sold to the delight of many guests. The Jama Mapun’s banigs were a hit because of their fine craftsmanship.




This large banig was made for 6 months.


I was a bit disturbed that some haggled too much. These handmade creations are hard to make and it can be seen in the fine details and materials that they use.

Nur Aina Ibrahim and Nurisda Abubakar Jamili told me how tedious it is to make each banig, from the cutting, stripping, drying, softening, dyeing, etc. “We even get cuts from the thorns of the pandan,” reveals Ms. Nur Aina. Despite that, they shared that still prefer to use pandan over the buri since the latter tends to stick to clothes.

Ms. Nurisda points at the banig and shares, “Bilang ang bawat square at pagkulay nito. Kapag nagkamali, tatastasin uli.”

Ms. Nurisda points at the banig and shares, “Bilang ang bawat square at pagkulay nito. Kapag nagkamali, tatastasin uli.”

These banigs can also be made into placemats, throw pillows, dividers, and other wonderful creations. Their coordinator, Ms. Dolores, shared that their products have been exported to Malaysia and Israel. For those who want to order, call or text Ms. Dolores at 0920-3498695.

Ms. Nur Aina showed me how to make a banig. As a master of the craft, she teaches the young ones in their community to create it so that the tradition will be preserved for the next generations.

Ms. Nur Aina showed me how to make a banig. As a master of the craft, she teaches the young ones in their community to create it so that the tradition will be preserved for the next generations.

Other interesting products that I saw were the carving of bamboo and buho at the Bulacan table. These were made into parol, flowers, and headband.


The buhong bakawe is a centerpiece. It can also be made into arcs and other decorative posts.


If you’re wondering how the big ones look like, these are some of their sketches.





These are made in Sta. Monica, Hagonoy. These can be delivered and assembled at the client’s venue of choice. For orders, call Susan Eligio at 0926-9314608.

There were also demonstrations like the Ifugao weaving…


…and the embroidery and bead work of the Bugkalot.




Some were eager to learn how to make the products they saw, like this man who was interested in puni or the art of coconut leaf folding in Bulacan. They kept saying “over, under, over, under” until the man got it right.


The lady was happy that he is a fast learner and teased his family that she can now bring him to Bulacan to learn more puni―only to find out that he’s also from Bulacan!


Inside the Baguio Convention Center, there were forums on kalikasan and kapayapaan. Each cultural community was given an opportunity to share how they are able to uphold these.


Across the Baguio Convention Center is UP Baguio, the venue for the performances. Cultural communities showed their traditional dance for various reasons like praise, thanksgiving, and even to ward off evil spirits.

First to show their traditional dance were the Tagbanua,


followed by the Iraya Mangyan.


The Apayao Isnag followed suit



Next were the children from Bolinao, Pangasinan


The Malaweg of Cagayan Valley sang while dancing.


The Gaddang was the last to perform with their gangsa.



I got curious about the other musical instruments so I asked the other groups what they use.

Bamboo Flute and Snare Drum of the Iloco. The snare drum is made of cow’s skin.

Bamboo Flute and Snare Drum of the Iloco. The snare drum is made of cow’s skin.

These are the kalutang of the Iraya Mangyan. The ones here are made of lanite and balagayan. I was told that any wood will do as long as it creates a striking sound.


Musical instruments of the Tagbanua: babandel and agong. I was told that these musical instruments have been passed from generation to generation.



On the field, I saw some teenagers playing with a walking stick. Seeing them trying it, laughing while falling, and helping each other made was truly amazing.




Traditional games, performances, and other events were also showcased during the Dayaw Festival. Unfortunately, I was not able to see all of it since some were done in other venues like the photo gallery in SM Baguio.

The Dayaw Festival in Luzon was held for only two days but it made me experience the rich and unique culture of our indigenous peoples, some of whom are now my friends in Facebook. One even gave me necklace made of palyas seeds. She revealed that it is worn in their community, especially as a bracelet by babies, to ward off evil spirits.

The festival inspired me not just to visit Batanes, Bicol, Nueva Vizcaya, and the homes of the other katutubo, but also to explore their various traditions. There are more than a hundred cultural communities in our country so I can just imagine the wealth of information waiting for me to discover!




The next Dayaw Festival will be held in Bacolod on November 10-11, then in Zamboanga on November 21-22.

I encourage you to attend the Visayas and the Mindanao leg of the Dayaw Festival because you will surely learn a lot of things like I did. If there’s anyone who should support our indigenous peoples, it should be us, their fellow Filipinos. They are happy when they see that others also appreciate their art and culture. And believe me, they are the most genuine people you will ever meet! Visit the NCCA website for more info.


Back in Manila, I still had a hangover on the Dayaw Festival so I visited the NCCA to enjoy the Dayaw Gallery. There were products from the Schools of Living Tradition which showcased the attire, weaving, and basketry of various cultural communities from Luzon to Mindanao.


B’laan Traditional Attire


Traditional Attire of the Bagobo and Sangir



Traditional Attire of the Mandaya

My friend Kara and I were like little girls who admired each item for several minutes. The beadwork, colors, and materials were a sight to behold! Each piece made us wonder how long our fellow Filipinos worked on it, considering the exact measurement of the lines and colors that, whether seen up close or at a distance, creates an impact.


Look at the fine bead work. The colors and the arrangement are truly mesmerizing!

At the other side of the gallery were samples of products made by the Manlilikha ng Bayan. On the wall, it explains that: The Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan was instituted to highlight the importance of Philippine traditional arts and folk crafts by recognizing traditional artists dedicated to these art forms. The goal is to encourage the craft’s continued production and sustain the use of native methods and indigenous materials, as well as nurture unique skills.


This is the award given to the Manlilikha ng Bayan.


And on the wall are their photo, bio, and the craft which they helped to propagate in their community.


I gazed at these works of art and so much more that are displayed at the gallery. I blinked at each piece about a dozen times. Each of them made me proud that I am a Filipino.


T’nalak created by Lang Dulay of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato


Haja Amina Appi of Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi created these Dyed Pandan Strips


Burnay Jars made by Fidel Go of Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Looking at them also made me realize that if only I have another chance to meet other Manlilikha ng Bayan like Mr. Teofilo Garcia, I will stay and ask more. I would like to discover the materials they used and how they made it. I will explore how their students followed their instructions and if they developed other versions of their music or art. Most importantly, I will to listen to the interesting stories behind each craft.

Rasid Laidan's Maranao brass jar from Tugaya, Lanao Del Sur

Rasid Laidan’s Maranao brass jar from Tugaya, Lanao Del Sur

Laminusa Mats

One of the best mats in the country are the Laminusa Mats. These were made by Maluy Lasa Sambolani of Jolo, Sulu

Doilies made by Magdalena Marte of Kalibo, Aklan

Doilies made by Magdalena Marte of Kalibo, Aklan

The products reminded me of Ms. Chit Juan, in her article “Handmade Has a New Meaning”, where she shared that people now pay a premium for handmade, for natural colors, and how the product came to be. I also remembered Al Anwar Anzar when he mentioned in his speech that we can also help our economy by paying attention to our own culture.


Pis Syabit is a headdress of the Tausug men. This pis syabit was made by Darhata Sawabi of Parang, Sulu


Piña Cloth, the fabric choice of the Philippine elite.

Indeed, there are a lot of things that indigenous Filipinos has to offer. The price of using and promoting our own is priceless.

Dayaw taught me that. I am forever proud to be one with the indigenous Filipinos and I look forward to learning more.



To read the first part of this article, click here.

To discover establishments that use indigenous materials and promote indigenous skills, click here.

Baby’s photos by Marayzaya Sodbileg

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One Comment on “The Many Things I Learned at the Dayaw Festival in Luzon (Part II of II)”

  • Alma Dayag says November 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Very informative article. Thanks for sharing this, Gold…



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