As it is known that the Filipino Muslims are subdivided into 13Ethnoliguistic tribes that prided itself of a rich cultural heritage and norms, Yakan tribe is one of them. I am a witness of how an 83 year old grandmother weaves her craft and, promotes not only a legacy but shared what is in her heart: her own cultural heritage passed on from one generation to the next and of course, a refined understand of how rich the Mindanao culture is in the milieu of the national cultural heritage.
I visited the Yakan Village in Upper Calarian in Zamboanga City and I am impressed of how they have created the niche among traders in the city. Although a bit far from the city-center, the trip to the village is rewarding and impeccably unbelievable. It was my first time to see a hand-woven textile with intricate designs and bright royal colors that evoke pride and also cultured tribe.
The Yakans pride themselves as one of the best weavers of textiles and along each of those that they weave, carries with it the legacy and grandeur that was and has been in their community. The greatness of an 83 year old grandmother who weaves without an eyeglasses reminds me that neither age nor gender limits one from pursuing what is great and best: sharing what life has been for them and intimating to the visitors that the Yakan culture is one that has been passed on from all generations.
When showing the photos to my great friend Illac Angelo Diaz at the hotel, he was excitedly impressed. As I was impressed, I bought a hand-woven scarf that will protect me from the harsh winds and coldness of time yet enable me to touchbase with my own cultural heritage, one that is shared and acquired rather than one that is born with. I am proud to have been to the Yakan Village and I truly believe you should too.