Magdalena Gamayo: Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan

Magdalena Gamayo: Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan

Congratulations on the 98th birthday of Manlilikha ng Bayan Magdalena Gamayo! (August 13, 1924)

Magdalena Gamayo
Textile Weaver
Pinili, Ilocos Norte

Magdalena Gamayo has taught herself the traditional patterns of binakol, inuritan (geometric designs), kusikos (spiral forms similar to whirlwind), and the most challenging pattern – the Inubon a Sabong (a string of flowers). She has also taught herself to recreate designs, which is a valuable skill particularly when she can only see the design but does not have a sample of how it is done.

Even though Magdalena is 98 years old, her eyesight still holds true and still takes care of arranging the threads on the loom. Weavers agree that in weaving, it is the hardest task of all. The slightest miscalculation can result in a misaligned design that does not reveal itself until it is too late.

Magdalena’s works are finer than most Inabel – her blankets have a very high thread count and her designs are the most intricate and sometimes can take up to five colors. Making sure the right colored threads are spaced evenly and keeping an accurate count is a challenge that Magdalena has always unerringly met. The beauty of her designs lies in how delicate the patterns are, and yet how uniform the weave is. Magdalena’s calloused hands breathe life into her work and her unique products are a testament to how machines can never hope to equal human art.

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Magdalena Gamayo, Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan, was born on August 13,1924.

Magdalena Gamayo of Pinili, Ilocos Norte, for more than seven (7) decades, her eyes have dimmed, but she is still considered the most distinguished weaver today.

magdalena gamayo
Magdalena Gamayo | Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan | Image Credit | NCCA

As a result, she was awarded the 2012 Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA).

Madalena was sixteen (16) when she started studying how to knit with the help of his aunt. She did not formally study the subject of this traditional art. Instead, she just observed her aunts and even mimicked the patterns made. Her father bought her an abel on her 19th birthday and she used this for 30 years.

The abel is the traditional woven product of Vigan and the Ilocos region. The abel cloth is known for being a strong, colorful material. The fabric is so strong and beautiful that some families have them as heirlooms that last as long as their antique furnishings.

The abel is made from yarns of cotton or sagut that are sourced from the many lands in northern Luzon that are dedicated to the growth of this plant. After the cotton is harvested, it is prepared into yarns and dyed. The different colored threads are then arranged in a wooden handloom to create varied and unique designs. The process is intricate and labor-intensive. Weavers must master synchronizing the movements of their hands and feet to properly use the wooden handloom.

Magdalena became a master in her craft.

Maligayang Kaarawan, Manlilikha ng Bayan Magdalena “Nana Daleng” Gamayo!

Mahigit pitóng dekada nang naghahabi ng tela si Magdaléna Gamáyo ng Pinili, Ilocos Norte, nanlalabo na ang kaniyang paningin, ngunit itinuturing pa rin siyáng pinakanatatanging manghahabi sa abel ngayon. Dahil dito, ibinigay sa kaniya nitóng 2012 ang Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA). Labing-anim na taóng gulang si Madalena nang magsimulang mag-aral maghabi sa tulong ng kaniyang tiya. Hindi siyá pormal na nag-aral ng naturang tradisyonal na sining. Sa halip, nagmasid-masid lámang siyá sa paggawa ng tiya at sakâ paggaya sa mga padron ng hábi nitó. Ibinili siyá ng kaniyang ama ng abel na gawa sa matigas na sággat noong 19 taóng gulang siyá, at ito ang kaniyang naging habihan sa loob ng 30 taón. Naging dalubhasa si Magdalena sa mga tradisyonal na padron ng binakól, inuritan, at kusikos. Ngunit higit siyáng kahanga-hanga sa padron ng inuban nga sabong. Hinangaan ang kaniyang mga inabel dahil sa maselang mga padron at makinis na hábi. (Mula sa Sagisag Kultura ng Filipinas) Original Article here: