27 March 2017, San Pablo, Laguna. Lyn Buti Lambago originates from the Tboli tribe of Sarangani Province. She calls herself a “cultural officer”, but to us at FEED, she is a “cultural chieftain”. She is the Founder of the Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe (2007), which promotes ethnic Tboli dance preservation amongst the youth.
We call her a chieftain because the word for “chief” in Tagalog is “Puno”, which also translates into “tree”,- and Lyn grasps the double meaning right away.
One of the first things she shared with us, was: “We cannot save our culture without you (FEED) and others like you saving our environment – our lyrics in music, our movements in dance and our patterns in weaving are all inspired by nature – lizards, mountains, trees and bees…”
Since meeting Lyn Buti Lambago last August 2016 during the Filipina Women’s Network’s 100 Most Influential Women awarding in Cebu, we connected instantly. Since then, Lyn went out of her way to visit FEED in Luzon and plant with us on March 25 and 26, in Siniloan, Laguna – to exchange on best practices on our agro-forestry “Ridge to Reef” approach, diversity in indigenous species being planted and high value crops for livelihood development opportunities; and to explore how to bring Tboli traditions to a wider audience.
On a whim, and with gut feelings leading a big part of the collaborative journey: “I’m not sure how I got here, but I felt the need to be here with you and share.”
FEED and Lyn are now exploring a cultural exchange, including the upgrading of skills and making contemporary designs in weaving styles and fashion, music, dance and planting in critical upland farms in Sarangani.
Lyn is passionate about protecting the integrity and authenticity of the Tboli dance and dancers she trains and works with to ensure their relevant representation in a public domain – where it will be both appreciated and understood. She is a staunch advocate for ensuring the tribal weaving traditions and story telling stay in tact, true to their roots; and she is strong enough to travel alone, with only the Tboli weaves in her bag, with not even enough clothes in her suitcase, to make sure the Tboli community’s handwoven materials and music, dance, song and other traditions are properly represented even if only through social media.
“During the March 25th Students & Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) planting, we ended the day dancing Tboli earth dances with our wonderful foresters and student /volunteer planters; and on March 26th, with the UP Association of Biology Majors – all of us more inspired to
About the Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe & Related Links
- From a Small Seed a Mighty Trunk May Grow: UP Association of Biology Majors Establish 500 Native Philippine Tree Seedling Bank (FEED, 26 March 2017)
- 29 SAVE Eco-Warriors & Forest Rangers Together Work to Restore the Sierra Madre Mountains (FEED, 25 March 2017)
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