Friday, May 11, 2012

TINUBKAN: An Indigenous Fashion Show

handkerchief with colorful tubok patterns, photo by JV Vladimir Perez (PALI)

Tubok, the indigenous hand embroidery works of the Panay Bukidnon in Calinog is among beautiful art traditions of Iloilo. Patterned over historical and ethnic styles of embroider, a tubok is not like those done by computerized embroidery machines that can handle any stitch or pattern and design with ease and efficiency. This needlework craft with a variety of stitches is done by hand and mostly by the elderly women in the community.

coin purses with indigenous tubok patterns, photo by JV Vladimir Perez (PALI)

Traditional patterns used in Panay Bukidnon hand embroidery are designs of geometric shapes, but also include designs which were most familiar to them as impressions of their daily surroundings. These patterns attributes of positive beliefs which includes representations of nature.

Currently 25 women hand embroiderers are skilled in this municipal industry of making embroidery: 15 in Barangay Garangan; five in Barangay Masaroy and another five in Barangay Agcalaga. The embroiderer or “Manugtubok” can create many artworks that look very soft, and as lively as an ordinary painting.

To observe a manug-tubok attentively, her skillful hands carefully threading each line while she passionately beams watching the scene unfold to her liking before her eyes, we can understand this is much more than a village craft, but a way of life.

This traditional art continues to be handed down from generation to generation and many of those into the trade are said to belong to families of embroidery makers. It can be accurately stated that the soul of the artisans can be seen through their needle-work, creating fascinating products imbued with the inspiration of the people and their surroundings.

Despite the coming of machine-made embroidery, this handicraft has continued to attract considerable patronage. The original artworks were created by people of indigenous cultures hundreds of years ago. Many do not know who they were, how they lived and what they left behind. But with the art these people left behind, many will appreciate the beauty of tubok.

The traditional embroidery of the Panay Bukidnon of Barangay Garangan in Calinog, Iloilo will be presented through a fashion show entitled TINUBKAN 2 at the Activity Center of SM City Iloilo at 3 p.m. The show will also feature the Anting-Anting Accessories of the Ati Community of Sitio Kati-Kati, San Miguel in Guimaras. In line with this, a dinner for a cause will also be held in celebration of the Heritage Month at The Venue, the Avenue Complex, Smallville, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Tickets are available thru Jyh-Ming Gonzales at 09173128625 and Renel Sarmiento at 09154920554.


  1. we are, who we were.....we must attend our utmost of appreciation and pride in preserving our culture.


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