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Friday, October 18, 2013
Blog Tour: GUARDIANS OF TRADITION by Mae Astrid Tobias
This is the first blog tour I've joined. And I'm so glad that this one is for the preservation of Philippine culture. In addition, this one hit a lot closer to home. My mother was born and raised in Bansalan, Davao del Sur. When I was growing up, stories about the Bagobo, B’laan, T’boli, and Manday were just, well, stories. But I especially love their folk tales, my siblings and I used to beg our mother to retell them. It was not until later when I was exposed to history and arts did I truly comprehend who they really are.
The Philippine archipelago is approximately 300,000 square kilometers, made up of 7, 107 islands. For such a small country, the diversity of people, language, and culture may be seen from more than 77 distinct cultural groups scattered throughout. There are 175 known dialects and subdialects, 4 of which are already extinct. And that's just language alone, people and culture were other stories to be concerned.
The Philippine culture is very rich. It’s quite a huge effort to preserve and promote the practices, representations, knowledge, and skills that groups or individuals recognized as part of their cultural heritage. These tasks fell under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) created by act of the Philippine Congress in 1992 (Republic Act No. 7356).
To carry that mandate, Republic Act No. 7355 (1992) was institutionalized, providing for the recognition of National Living Treasures or “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” (GAMABA) and the promotion and development of traditional folk arts. This honored recognition is given to indigenous folk artists for their outstanding work in creating, preserving, and promoting traditional art forms threatened with extinction. Awarded were artists who have manifested willingness to share their rare skill with others, especially younger members of their community.
The book, Guardians of Tradition, aims nothing less. It encourages the younger Philippine generations to recognize our National Living Treasures and value the traditions they teach. Within its folds are invaluable information that can save our cultural heritage.
It is interactive. Children will be delighted to follow Kiko and Banog through their journeys, meeting each Manlilikha ng Bayan in their native environment. Each one is well represented engaged with their crafts in great photos and illustrations, followed by very interesting do-it-yourself crafts or challenging activities. The way Kiko and Banog narrates each adventure, surely children will want to try them.
Another good character of the book is its vibe. The book does represent traditional folk arts, but the narration and illustrations were not traditional. Both Kiko and Banog are both hip and fit with the trend, which also implies that these traditions can definitely transcend time. Children will have no difficulty relating with them.
I highly recommend Guardians of Tradition. I strongly believe that parents should have a big part in educating their children; recognizing and learning the traditional folk arts among that. Let us strive to save these arts from extinction. Recommend GUARDIANS OF TRADITION to your family and friends too.
Title: Guardians of Tradition
Author: Mae Astrid Tobias
Illustrator: Rommel E. Joson
Photos by: Renato S. Rastrollo
Publisher: Adarna House
For the duration of the Guardians of Tradition Blog Tour, Guardians of Tradition is available at discounted price at the Adarna showroom in Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Streets, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines (Trunkline: (632) 352-6765, Fax: (632) 352-6765 local 125, Email Address: email@example.com)
For international readers and Filipinos abroad, an ebook version is coming soon. To order paperback copies online, details here.