GIV­ING HOPE TO THE T’BOLI

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LIFESTYLE -

AT’boli agung en­sem­ble all the way from Lake Sebu, South Cota­bato, pro­vided mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment at the Oct. 25 store open­ing of Gifts & Graces Trade Fair Foun­da­tion at LRI Plaza, Makati City.

The group’s cul­tural leader, Ber­nadette “Nadeth” Ofong, 48, ex­pressed her tribe’s gratitude to the foun­da­tion, not only for pro­vid­ing them with a sustainable liveli­hood, but also for bring­ing their her­itage crafts to the fore.

Ofong, a mother of four, said their work with G&G is giv­ing hope to the young T’boli for a chance at higher ed­u­ca­tion.

She her­self only com­pleted a year of col­lege due to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties. Her two older chil­dren are both col­lege grad­u­ates; the younger ones are in school.

Ofong is the pres­i­dent of Klowil Kem Li­bun, a co­op­er­a­tive of wom­en­weavers.

As a “cul­tural master,” she has mas­tery of all T’boli cul­tural arts: t’nalak weav­ing, ma­l­ong weav­ing, brass die-cast­ing, bead­work, em­broi­dery, tra­di­tional dances and lan­guage.

Klowil is one of 21 com­mu­ni­ties G&G works with. It pro­vides the foun­da­tion with diecast brass fash­ion and home ac­ces­sories, and t’nalak prod­ucts.

—@THELMASANJUAN

Ber­nadette “Nadeth” Ofong, who heads weavers in Lake Sebu, with table­cloth she em­broi­dered

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