The Philippines has lost one of its most coveted living national treasures, Lang Dulay.
Mrs Dulay passed away last Thursday after lingering from a stroke which she suffered almost two months ago at her home in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on the island of Mindanao.
Known to many as “The Dreamweaver,” Dulay was given the 1998 “Gawad Manlilikha Award ng Bayan” by President Fidel V. Ramos for her part in preserving the Philippine culture and master T’nalak weaving famous to the T’boli Tribe of Lake Sebu.
Lake Sebu Mayor Antonio Fungan said in a statement on Friday that Delay has passed away in her ancestral home – naming her one of the most important master Dreamweaver of the T’nalak cloth.
A simple woman, never leaving her heritage, preserving the past for future generations – teaching her children and grandchildren the art of the desirable material – Maricris Jan Tobias wrote in an article posted to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts website that she remembered fondly when Dulay shed tears of joy when she was told she was one of the recipients of the “Gawad ng Manlilikha ng Bayan” awardees.
Lang Dulay took with her the knowledge of over 100 designs in the perfection of T’nalak making. Her legacy will live on in South Cotabato not just through her family but also her neighbours and those who live their lives within the T’boli tribe.
The country’s lone “Dreamweaver,” Lang Dulay first made her cloth at the age of 12 after dreaming about it, hence her name “The Dreamweaver.”
Many here and afar are mourning the death of a national artist, one who made superior contributions to a society and craft which have adorned tourists, designers and social societies of the Philippines.
Through the gracious assistance of the NCCA, Dulay received financial assistance after her stroke – the National Commission for Culture and the Arts will also assist in her funeral expenses which are still be mapped out by her family.