At the tribal village of the Davao Crocodile Park sits a T’boli woman quietly weaving cloth from colorful threads. Boi Myrna Pula gently pulls on her loom to create a shawl. Her designs are basic and may look the same but the traditional way in which she weaves her works makes each piece unique and one-of-a-kind.
The shawls show the colors red, white and black which are the colors of the T’Boli tribe interspersed with other non-T’Boli color. If a client wants to have a custom-made shawl using his/her preferred colors, Boi Myrna just changes the color of the thread on her loom.
It is no wonder that Boi Myrna creates works of art through her shawls because she belongs to the T’Boli tribe from South Cotabato who are known for their woven fabric made from Abaca fiber—the T’Nalak. Their designs come to them in their dreams and are believed to be from the Gods.
Having come from a family of weavers and learning the art of loom weaving at her ancestors’ feet, Boi Myrna only continues her tribe’s tradition… maybe not on T’Nalak but on a different fiber. The Park is planning to provide her with the Abaca fiber so that she can weave using the T’Nalak fiber soon. That is something to look forward to.
Aside from her shawls, the traditional T’Boli dress and products made out of T’Nalak are on display at their “house” at the Davao Crocodile Park. You may also get to catch her weaving designs on cloth from dreams.