Tag Archives: Philippine handicrafts

#309 GAMABA Museum

The GAMABA Museum, located on the fourth floor of Tesoro’s Handicraft Shop on A. Mabini in Ermita, Manilla, is not a formal museum in the strict sense of the word but a one-room display that honors the life and achievements of the National Living Artists Awardees of the Philippines (Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or Gamaba). 

Visitors to the GAMABA information hall can learn the life and art  of traditional artists such as master blacksmith Eduardo Mutuc and Bagobo master weavers Lang Dulay, Salinta Monon and Haja Amina Appi. The display also provides information on the history of T’boli tinalak, or Hanunuo Mangyan script – including the ambahan poetry by apprentices of the late Ginaw Bilog while reading about authentic use of Maguindanaon kutyapi lutes and Yakan gongs by musical geniuses Samaon Sulaiman and Uwang Ahadas. 

The Tesoros shop sells tribal handicraft downstairs with the proceeds going directly to apprentice a new generation of traditional artists. The GAMABA Museum is open on Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tesoro Building is located at 1325 A. Mabini Street, Ermita, Manila (Excerpted from: CeldranTours Blogspots).

Long live native Philippine craftsmen!

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#62 Banig

Banig or handmade mats are made from the leaves of the screw pine palm (locally called in the Philippines as pandan or romblon).

The romblon banig are considered the most intricate and fine-grained mats in the country if not in Southeast Asia and mat makers in the Visayas and Mindanao, particularly those from the Yakan and Samal ethnic tribes, are among the best banig weavers.

Depending on the skills and time of the mat maker, it takes around two to five weeks to make a single mat. The women of the Samal tribe in Southern Mindanao are especially reputed to produce very fine weaves that are often used in handcrafted handbags, wallets and envelopes, among other fashion accessory items.

Banig is also an ideal bamboo bed cover due to its cool and smooth surface. Designs range from the abstract, flower patterns to novel (such as the Philippine map!) or made-to-order motifs.

Long live Philippine mat weaving!

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