Call it a beautiful opportunity in the middle of the confrontation with the COVID-19, the indigenous women of the town of Lake Sebu, a top tourist destination in South Cotabato, are still busy as a bee. For 200 Tboli women, staying at home at this time because of community quarantine is not a problem. They are attending to a handful of cloth ready to be embroidered for the uniforms of at least three thousand employees of the Provincial Capitol of South Cotabato.
For Amalia, one of the tboli women who does k’gal nesif or a Tboli embroidered blouse, she frankly accepts the challenge of decorating the fabric for the Monday uniform of the Capitol employees for added income.
“Madamo gid nga salamat kay abi namon wala na kami income bangod sang COVID virus,” Amalia says as she worries that the threat of COVID virus slows down their income.
Here, the local government introduces the tnalak design of the National Treasure Lang Dulay. Also, meet the proud South Cotabateno fashion designer Jared Servano who puts a cultural touch as he designs the uniform.
“What is important, they earn despite we are experiencing the COVID threat,” he said.
Servano, who was the second-best designer during the Project Runway Philippines, used the bed slunge tnalak design.
It is a Dreamweaver design that was passed on to National Treasure Lang Dulay. A family story told that Lang Dulay relinquished the details from her grandmother Slunge.
Owning something that’s been made by hand is beautiful especially when it uses a technique that is passed on through generations like the k’gal nisif or the embroidered blouse of the Tboli women.
Servano made sure that this inspiration intricately appears in the uniform.
Last week he made the first delivery of 292 pieces of cloth. This week his team readies another batch of cloth to be delivered just in time to get the first batch of finished embroidered cloth from the Tboli women.
Tourism Operations Officer I Argie Ryan Asaria said the provincial government paid P73, 000 for the first delivery last week.
Each piece of an embroidered design is worth P470.00, Asaria stressed out.
“This is a cultural badge,” Asaria pointed to the tnalak design. “It reminds us of our pride.”
Designer Jared Servano, however, stressed out that, “This is more than a tourism brand. This is a livelihood.”