“Manlilikha ng Bayan” Fu Yabing Masalon Dulo, the Blaan master weaver and ikat dyer known for promoting Philippine textiles, died January 26, 2021. She was 106.
According to her niece Josephine “Arjho” Cariño-Turner, Dulo died past midnight.
“Her only and younger sister found her no longer breathing and went on at peace while she was asleep,” she said.
Dulo is a Blaan Ikat weaver from Mt. Matutum, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), she served as a teacher and cultural elder among her kith and kin.
“Her exemplary oeuvre has brought pride to her community, animating the interest of many young Blaan in their remarkable cultural heritage,” the NCCA said in a Facebook post.
Dulo was conferred the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or National Living Treasure Award in 2016 recognizing her commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of the Blaan ‘mabal tabih’ (ikat weaving) tradition.
In April 1992, the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award was institutionalized through Republic Act No. 7355.
The NCCA, through the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Executive Council, conducts the search for the finest traditional artists of the land.
As envisioned under R.A. 7355, “Manlilikha ng Bayan” shall mean a citizen engaged in any traditional art uniquely Filipino whose distinctive skills have reached such a high level of technical and artistic excellence and have been passed on to and widely practiced by the present generation in his/her community with the same degree of technical and artistic competence.
Yabing Masalon Dulo, locally known as Fu Yabing, was proclaimed as “Manlilikha ng Bayan” or National Living Treasure by President Rodrigo R. Duterte through Proclamation No. 126 by Malacañang Palace on January 6, 2017.
The Proclamation declared Fu Yabing as a National Living Treasures or Manlilikha ng Bayan for her commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of the Blaan mabal tabih (ikat weaving) tradition.
Fu Yabing, who is a resident of Brgy. Landan, Polomolok, South Cotabato and is the oldest weaving master of the traditional Blaan fabric, Tabih, until her passing January 26, 2021.
The centenarian master weaver is now the second GAMABA (Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan) or National Living Awardee of South Cotabato after the late Tboli T’nalak Dreamweaver, Lang Dulay, who passed away in April 30, 2015.
SOURCE: Manila Bulletin