Weaving Our Dreams
The Tboli People of the Philippines
Sandie Oreta Gillis
When artist Francis Herradura takes an immersive cultural journey to Lake Sebu on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, it not only inspires her to create art, it motivates her to share her experience with the world. Weaving Our Dreams: The Tboli People of the Philippines celebrates the Tboli culture and traditions that have been passed down through the generations: making the sacred tnalak cloth, chanting the legend of Tudbulul, and performing music, songs and dances. It introduces dreamweaver Barbara Ofong and musician/performer Maria Todi, and provides a glimpse of the Tboli way of life through their eyes. These women are passionate about preserving their culture, traditions, lands and connection with nature. They are not alone; many people are working hard to raise awareness, fund initiatives and pass on the ancestral knowledge. As if knotting strands in an intricate tnalak design, Weaving Our Dreams ties the Tboli past to the present—like a song of inspiration, it offers a vision and hope for future generations.
Sandie Oreta Gillis holds a degree in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines (1981). She co-hosted a radio morning talk show at Radio Veritas in Manila before migrating to Canada in 1983. Gillis co-authored and collaborated with Alfredo Roces on the biography of legendary artist Sofronio Y. Mendoza in SYM: The Power of Struggle. This freelance writer supports Philippine arts and culture and finds joy in writing about the country’s heritage, history and traditions. She contributes articles to Positively Filipino, Dahong Pilipino and various media outlets. A cultural arts advocate, Gillis co-founded the Narragila Culture and Arts Foundation and also serves as voluntary Board Director of the Dimasalang III International Artists Group. She lives with her husband in Vancouver, Canada.
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