Davao del Sur solon flaunts tribal garb in support of BBL
Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas wore a Bilaan (also spelled as B'laan) tribe-inspired outfit during President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address.
Office of Davao del Sur Rep. Mercedes Cagas/Alixandra Vila

Davao del Sur solon flaunts tribal garb in support of BBL

(Philstar.com) - July 23, 2018 - 3:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker from Davao del Sur dedicated her tribe-inspired outfit for President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address to commend the bicameral conference committee's passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Dava del Sur Rep. Mercedes "Didi" Cagas wore her Bilaan outfit, which was inspired by one of the major non-Islamic tribal groups in Mindanao known for their rich culture, arts and handcrafts.

The lawmaker said that it would be appropriate for her to wear the Bilaan (also spelled as B'laan) outfit to commend the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which guarantees two reserved seats for non-Moro indigenous peoples and settler communities.

"What I am wearing today is inspired by Bilaan women, who weave their clothing from the fibers of abaca plant then decorate it with embroidery, buttons, beads and heavy brassbelts and bells," Cagas said.

The traditional weaving of the Bilaan tribe, called mabal tabih (ikaw weaving), is one of the most intricate and distinct weaves amon the different tribes in Mindanao.

It is almost similar to the T'boli's t'nalaks, except that the tabihs are more colorful and more complexly designed.

"I hope that by wearing this, we could also be inspried to have genuine appreciation for diversity and in raising awareness on the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous tribes in Mindanao," she said.

She added that putting the Moro and the indigenous people in one picture creates an "image of inclusivity."

"This is definitely a beginning to lasting peace, as it will lead to the respect of identities instead of prejudice and to equality instead of discrimination," Cagas said.

The Senate ratified the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law on Monday morning but the House of Representatives deferred the ratification as its session was abruptly adjourned.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that it was unfortunate that the House failed to ratify the landmark piece of legislation.

"We consider this as a temporary setback in the administration’s goal of laying the foundation for a more genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao," Roque said in a statement. 

BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BANGSAMORO ORGANIC LAW DAVAO DEL SUR DIDI CAGAS DUTERTE SONA 2018 SONA 2018
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