Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guardians Of Tradition by Mae Astrid Tobias 
Book Review
It's not everyday that you get to hold in your hands a special book. Why special? Because Guardians of Tradition is rare in its kind. It not only is a cultural teacher as it is a children's book. It is special because in it are raw telling of real people who live their lives preserving the age-old Filipino tradition and making it their mission to continue culture that might just be long forgotten.

The author made it her mission as well to help these Guardians spread, introduce and make known to people the Philippines before the Spaniards. And who better to tell these stories to and introduce these characters to than our dear children. As early on in their lives they get to really know the history and through that know the root of themselves and form thereon the selves that they would be.

Mae foretold the stories of the traditions and of the guardians in such a way that the kids (the big children as well aka the grown-ups) would appreciate and form interest in and gave sample easy activities to allow for better understanding. Of course, we give credit to the Rommel the great Illustrator who filled the book with colors and spirit- making the book more interactive. And lastly, we give props to the photographer who made us feel the texture and sound of the instruments and patterns and made us see the faces of these heroes. Who and what am I talking about I would not dare spill.

Grab a copy (or join the giveaway!) to find out about this magical book!

When you see and read a book like this one you wish for more for the generations to come. You wish that more of it was made and that more others will make this kind of book. More than anything else, we need this to inspire us and enliven the Filipino spirit in us!

Excerpt Reveal
                    What is the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan? (p. 4)

Filipinos are very artistic people. All over the county, you find people who love to sing, dance, paint, write, play musical instruments, and create the most beautiful things the way their forebears have taught them. There are also special people who spend their entire lives making sure that these traditional arts are not forgotten.

The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan was created in 1992 through Republic Act No. 7355 in order to let the whole Philippines know about these people and their art. (p. 4)

                   Lang Dulay, Blanket of Dreams (pp. 12-13)

Lang Dulay of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato has been weaving t’nalak since she was twelve years old. T’nalak is what the T’boli call the three-colored cloth made from fine abaca fiber. The three colors of the t’nalak represent the three places where the T’boli believe the soul goes when one dies. Hitem (black) is for people who died because of natural causes. Hulo (red) for those who died violently like by a bullet or a blade. Bukay (white) is for those who take taken their lives and those whose deaths were untimely.

The T’boli weavers, like Lang Dulay, get the designs for their t’nalak from their dreams. They believe that when Fu Dalu, the spirit of the abaca, shows them the design in their dreams, they must immediately weave it into cloth or else they might fall ill and soon forget the pattern. Sometimes, the designs are passed on from generation to generation, from grandmother to grandchild. Lang Dulay knows a hundred designs like the bulinglangit (clouds), the bangkiring (hair bangs), and the kabangi (butterfly).

When Lang Dulay became a Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan awardee, she was able to build a traditional long house where she teaches younger women how to weave.

Suggested activity:

The T’boli get their ideas for t’nalak designs from their dreams. Dreams are good sources of ideas for stories, poems, and drawings. Why don’t you try to keep a dream journal? Get a small notebook and a pen. Keep it near your bed. Every morning when you wake up, write down or sketch what you remember from your dream the previous night.


Don't forget to check out Guardians of Tradition on

Goodreads | Adarna Order Form | NCCA
Visit the the publishing house's site (Adarna) to learn more about Guardians of tradition and other wonderful books it carries
 Also, you can still join the....

One $25 Amazon Gift Card + signed copy of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 1 CD of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA 
3 $10 Amazon Gift Card + signed copy of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 1 CD of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA
6 signed copies of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 6 CDs of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA


Read my previous post to get more details on the book, the author, the illustrator, the photographer and others.

Pin It