(RASHID RH. BAJO/Photo credit to Maylene Bascon)
KORONADAL CITY, Philippines –– During her visit to an Indigenous People (IP) community in the remote part of this city, City Councilor Maylene Bascon–De Guzman wore a B’laan dress, decorated with embroidery, buttons, beads and brass belts with numerous tiny bells, to show her solidarity with the tribe’s culture and traditions.
The Blaan are neighbors of the Tboli, and live in Lake Sebu and Tboli municipalities of South Cotabato, Sarangani, General Santos City, the southeastern part of Davao and around Lake Buluan in North Cotabato. They are famous for their brassworks, beadwork, and tabih weave. The people of these tribes wear colorful embroidered native costumes and beadwork accessories. The women of these tribes, particularly, wear heavy brass belts with brass “tassels” ending in tiny brass bells that herald their approach even when they are a long way off. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaan_people)
Their language is said to be the source of the name for Koronadal City, from two Blaan words – kalon meaning cogon grass and nadal or datal meaning plain, which aptly described the place for the natives. On the other hand, Marbel, which is another name for the poblacion, is a Blaan term malb-el which means “murky waters” referring to a river, now called Marbel River. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaan_people)
“Wearing this kind of couture feels like a queen,” Councilor Bascon–De Guzman, a former “Lakambini ng Koronadal” winner, told The DIYARYO MILENYO in a messenger interview.
For Councilor Bascon–De Guzman, popularly known as “Konsehal Inday Maylene” in the city, she is “a queen that has the big heart to serve and to help the Indigenous People.”
Councilor Bascon–De Guzman said she is “very grateful and thankful” to the IP community in the city for their “overwhelming support” to her.
“Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat,” said Bascon–De Guzman, who gained a wider popularity among the city’s populace because of her “humility” and “approachability.” #DM