GIVING HOPE TO THE T’BOLI
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.
Bernadette “Nadeth” Ofong, who heads weavers in Lake Sebu, with tablecloth she embroidered