CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Mindanao Tapestry and Maranao Malong at the Yuchengco Museum

    THE YUCHENGCO Museum of Makati City recently opened a new exhibition in cooperation with the Davao Design Council Foundation, Inc. headed by its President, Aztec Barba.  Entitled Origins and Translations: Mindanao Tapestry, and Silken Courts: the Maranao Malong, Garments of Identity and Continuity, the exhibition highlights the weaving tradition and ornamentation of Mindanao’s Manobo, Bagobo, Maranao, Bilaan, Mandaya, Subanen and T’boli ethnolinguistic groups.

DFDC gowns worn my Ms. Universe 2017 candidates

DFDC gowns worn my Ms. Universe 2017 candidates

     Curated by the respected playwright, director, and favorite museum curator, Floy Quintos, who has devoted much of his life to the study of traditional Arts and Culture of Indigenous People of the Philippines, the exhibition also highlights the Davao Design Council Foundation’s members’ gowns who were inspired by their region’s tribal groups’ traditions.

     “The Davao Fashion and Design Council’s (DFDC) nine-member designers and its ‘three Stellar Mindanao Young Designers Competition winners’ appropriated cultural elements from the various tribal groups’ textile tradition using a variety of modern techniques such as digital sublimation, laser cutting, hand painting and beading, among others, to produce this assemblage of contemporary fashion inspired by the tribal groups’ artisanal flair,” explained Philippine Women’s College of Davao’s popular fashion design teacher, Emi Englis.

  The DFDC gowns on exhibit were worn by the Miss Universe 2017 candidates in the DOT sponsored fashion event held at the SMX Convention Center of SM Lanang Premier last January 2017.  Yes, that controversial fashion show which showed the “Crying Boy (Guino-o)” on television was nearly canceled but ended in a positive note.  Philippine candidate Maxine Medina wore Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o’s Bagobo inspired, two-piece gown during the show while the rest of the fabulous candidates looked amazing on stage as they did the catwalk dressed in DFDC gowns and the equally fantastic Mindanao inspired couture collection of Manila designer, Rene Salud.

(L-R) JEANNIE Javelosa, Floy Quintos, Dodgie Batu, Bamba Limon, Lulu Tan-Gan, Cesar Virata, Samira G. Tomawis, Benjie Panizales, Aztec Barba, Edgar Buyan, Emi Englis, Windell Mira, Egay Ayag

(L-R) JEANNIE Javelosa, Floy Quintos, Dodgie Batu, Bamba Limon, Lulu Tan-Gan, Cesar Virata, Samira G. Tomawis, Benjie Panizales, Aztec Barba, Edgar Buyan, Emi Englis, Windell Mira, Egay Ayag

   “I am still in awe that up to this time since January, the DFDC gowns are still eliciting interest from various groups involved in the fashion industry and the fashionistas of the Philippines.  We can never be prouder of our labor of love along with the talented weavers of the fabrics of life of Mindanao,” said Aztec Barba.  Indeed, the handwoven textiles of Mindanao comprise a vital element in the development of culture.  Those who came before the present hand-weavers and taught them the tradition of weaving have left behind a lasting legacy.  Through these handcrafted works of art and passion, we see rich and vibrant creations blessed with that singular beauty that transcends time.

   Congratulations to all the members of the DFDC for “exploring the old, and realizing the new.”  Thank you, Emi Englis, for the materials you provided for this page.

Posted in Lifestyle