Giving Back to the Matigsalug Community
The Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. Foundation (AOFF), together with its affiliate company, TADECO Livelihood and Training Center (TLTC), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Inc. (MTEFI), conducted their annual gift-giving activity to the Matigsalug weavers of Brgy. Buda, Marilog District last January 22, 2020.
It was a long travel to Brgy. Buda and the weather was a little gloomy. The team was welcomed by the Lumads with a performance of their tribal “warrior dance” that showcased their unique culture. Food packages and clothes were distributed to the 30 Matigsalug weavers and more than 50 children, including teenagers from the Gopaku and Kabalansian areas.
Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR), Alfredo D. Olantao was all praises for the support that TLTC and the Foundation has been giving them through the years. “Dili jud malabwan ang kalipay nga gibati sa mga Lumad tungod sa tabang nga inyong nahatag kanila.” (The Lumads cannot contain their happiness for all the help that you have given to them).
The new executive director of the AOF Foundation, Norman L. Clemente, was looking forward to have more projects in Buda, “My role as the new executive director of the foundation is to support all the programs of TLTC. We will coordinate with the Brgy. Captain so that we can schedule a medical mission and Operation Tuli here in Brgy. Buda.”
TLTC’s project with the Matigsalug weavers, has been ongoing for three years now. Together with DTI and MTEFI, the project aims to promote the rich culture and the weaving skills of the Matigsalug women by promoting income-generating projects. It also aims to promote the preservation and restoration of the cultural arts and traditions of Mindanao’s ethnic tribes. TLTC helped the weavers hone their skills by donating weaving materials and equipment. Juvenal Fernandez, TLTC’s Marketing Manager, saw an opportunity for the weavers to market their handicrafts, “Kay member man ko sa DTI na designers, nakita nako nga dako inyong kapasidad nga muhaom sa market.” (As a member of DTI’s designers, I can see that chances are high that your products can be suitable for the market).
The special occasion ended with Mr. Clemente and Ms. Fernandez handing over the monetary donation to the Matigsalug weavers for the enhancement of their livelihood program.