Polomolok, South Cotabato – National Living Treasure (Manlilikha ng Bayan) Yabing Masalon Dulo was laid to rest on February 10, 2021, at Sitio Amgu-o, Brgy. Landan, in this municipality, fifteen (15) days after her death on January 26, 2021 at the age of 106.
A symbol of the indigenous people’s culture; a representation of the Province of South Cotabato – as described by Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo, Jr. – Fû Yabing had great and enormous contributions not just to the province, but also to the country, because of her superior talent and skills in weaving.
“Bawat kulay at bawat disenyo ng kanyang mga likha ay nanggaling sa kanyang mga panaginip, at ito’y dapat nating ingatan at ipagmalaki. Ang South Cotabato ay tinaguriang Land of the Dreamweavers dahil sa mga panaginip at pangarap ng ating mga manghahabi,” said the governor in his speech.
The governor and Pomolok Mayor Honey Lumayag-Matti personally came to condole with her family and to express their sincere sympathies and gratitude. Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) Executive Council Commissioner Abubacar M. Datumanong was also present, together with the representatives from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) who organized the interment.
A Plaque of Recognition was awarded by the Provincial Government of South Cotabato to Fû Yabing Masalon Dulo, which was received by her bereaved family.
“The Municipality of Polomolok, ever since, has always been popular and notable for its sweet pineapples, lovely sceneries, picturesque tourist attractions, the majestic Mt. Matutum, and for being economically booming and progressive. However, our beloved town was even more known in the Philippines and in the world because of its very rich and abundant culture, tradition, and the arts. And perhaps, no one else has introduced, promoted, and appreciated our culture and tradition, but Fu Yabing,” said Mayor Lumayag-Matti in the Filipino language.
She further noted that the gathering for Fû Yabing’s funeral might be disheartening, but it is also a moment to celebrate the life she lived – a meaningful, colorful, and victorious life.
“Fû, bong salamat sa lahat ng iyong nagawa para sa ating bayan. Siguro kahit sa panaginip, hindi inakala ni Fû na magiging manlilikha sya ng bayan. Ngunit dahil sa mahal at inalagaan nya ang sining ng paghahabi ng mabal tabih ay nakamtan nya ito. Si Fû din ang nagbigay ng inspirasyon sa mga kabataang B’laan upang mas aralin, mas pahalagahan, at mas pagyamanin pa ang sining na ito, na likas na sa inyo. Ngunit kung nag-iwan ng inspirasyon si Fû Yabing, nag-iwan din siya ng isang napakalaking hamon. Ang hamon kung paano natin maitataguyod at pag-iingatan ang sining para sa mga sumusunod na mga henerasyon.”
“Sana hindi dumating ang araw na makalimutan natin sa Fû Yabing at ang kanyang mga nagawa. Pero araw man, taon, o ilang dekada ang lumipas, ako ay naniniwala na si Fû Yabing at ang kanyang nagawa ay mananatili sa ating isipan at damdamin, sa pamamagitan ng pagturo ng napakagdang sining ng paghahabi ng mabal tabih sa susunod na henerasyon. Sapagkat ang tabih ay B’laan, ang tabih ay si Fû Yabing, ang tabih ang siyang parating magpapaalala sa atin kung saan tayo nanggaling, saan tayo patungo, at ang pagmamahal natin sa mga bagay na mabuti, likas, at maganda,” she eventually said.
The mayor, that day, conferred the highest salutation and commendation to Fu Yabing, on behalf of the Local Government Unit of Polomolok, South Cotabato.