Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I know traveling is impossible for most of my family, friends and colleagues. It was a huge blessing to have gone back home and spent the precious time I did with Apo Mendung Sabal. I am eternally grateful. I wish I had the video & digital recordings I had of her in June, 2008, so that I could again hear her wonderful voice and listen to her meaningful prayers about the spirit world and her connection to it.
You can read about her and hear her voice by ordering her CD by clicking on the title above or finding the link at:
I am posting photos of Apo Mendung Sabal taken by Katribu member and Photographer Tan Tan (Jonathan Cena of Davao, Mindanao). He's got great photos of the IPs (indigenous peoples) of Mindanao, including the ones he sent me upon the death of Apo Mendung Sabal. These photos show her dancing and chanting at the Kapwa Conference in Iloilo, Panay and also returning to Mindanao with Sheila (a Katribu member), Maria Todi (T'boli) and being welcomed by Tan Tan's fabulous family.
The post below is what I sent my family members upon hearing the death of this wonderful chanter. We are raising money for her family members and you can write me directly if you want to assist them in covering the expenses of her hospital bills.
I met Grandma Mendung Sabal, a T'boli chanter, in Iloilo, Panay, Philippines at the Kapwa Conference. We shared the vitality of life, a respect for our ancestors, the joy of the present and the dreams of our future--tribal elders, community leaders, cultural bearers, artists, educators and youth. My last memories of her were watching her teach Frances, a dancer from Manila, how to properly wrap the malong in T'boli fashion, and also giving her my Hawaiian sarong.
We joked that she could go back home and tell everyone she had been to Hawaii. She pulled two handmade T'boli bracelets (made for the ankles, but fitting on my wrist instead), and asked me to hang them on the wall to remember her. Two days before she passed I finally printed photos I had of her and with joy, remembered how we both embraced each other & argued over who was more beautiful --her or I... then I won the argument by telling her that she was the more beautiful, because of her wonderful chants that she kept alive...chants of prayers that the spirits use to guide us. Good memories and a wonderful woman to always remember!
As a supporter of tribal people preserving their cultural heritage, protecting ancestral lands and guiding the youth as cultural bearers, I salute her! Praises & thanks to Mendung Sabal.
To read more, check out my friend Leny's blog by going to:
...It's really cool that Mendung even wore my sarong all the way back to Davao, as I saw photos of her from Tan Tan, as they disembarked with the Katribu members.