A day with the T’boli Tribe

Braving the roughest and rockiest mountain path up the steep highways on the way to Pulang Lupa in Lake Sebu via the habal-habal, my fearless soul (or trying to be one, at least) definitely went up high!
amazing mountain views on the way
I was ecstatic when my dear Aunt Malen invited me to come with her to visit her T’boli friend last summer. She then animatedly pointed out a particular mountain just in front of Balben Family Cove, candidly telling me, “Sa kabila ng bundok nyan tayo aakyat”. I just smiled, thinking she was practically joking around. Next thing I know, I was going through the most exhilarating road trip experience of my lifetime!

Meet up with a T’boli Family
Arriving at the site, I was finally introduced to my aunt’s friend and her children - the Weaver Family. The lunch served were all fresh and tasty. I had the chance to chat with Anne Weaver, who at a young age owned that incredible mountaintop house along with her Swiss-German husband. I also got to meet with Ms. Rosie Sola, a T’boli community affairs officer of National Commission on Indigenous People and Weaver family’s close friend. A well known tourist guide, she openly shares with us the many facts and trivia about the T’boli Tribe as well as Lake Sebu.

After lunch, I had the rare chance to conduct a video and photo shoot with 3 T’boli women (including ate Rosie) for a personal promotion video project for Lake Sebu. We did the shoot at their humble 'T’boli house' nestled just below the main building. It was indeed a fun shoot, nothing really formal, all the while we were chitchatting about the tribe’s culture and tradition. They also told me about their Helobung Dance Troupe and the many performances they did outside the country. Ms. Rosie has actually been interviewed many times both by local and international press. 

Right after the shoot, we readied ourselves for our next trip, off to the House of Lang Dulay.

T’boli Artists
It was at Lang Dulay’s house where I’ve seen more T’boli women, mostly students of Lang Dulay. They warmly welcomed us with smiles and colourful Tinalak costume. I asked if they could show me how to weave the Tinalak and they wholeheartedly presented to us how. Communication with these T’boli women was made easier with the help from ate Rosie who speaks English, Tagalog and T’boli. The particular building has been covered many times by many media companies but it was only during our visit where they graciously performed 3 sets of native dances along with the Tinalak fabrics.


  1. I can't believe that the culture of Tiboli tribe has been preserved until now. I hope that they could keep their lands and the wonderful tinalak.


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