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Tonight, I happened to be browsing over my unfiled photos when I came across a set of pixes on the artistry of the Panay Bukidnon, an ethnic minority, proudly Ilonggo, residing in the highlands of Lambunao, Iloilo and Tapas, Capiz.

Upon the invitation of Dr. Alicia Magos, a cultural anthropologist recently retired from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, I was invited to judge at a contest on the amazing hand embroideries of the Panay Bukidnon. Entitled Panubok (to sew in the Bukidnon language), the contest was organized by musicology professor and an Ilongga, Christine Muyco. Introduced to the colorful culture of the Panay Bukidnon by Dr. Magos, Panubok was an offshoot of her research on their music and dances.

Ms. Christine invited several Bukidnon women (and a couple of men too!) to submit their best embroideries. The one I feature here is actually a close-up of a wide square cotton shawl (sorry ‘bout the blurred pix) done by the winner of the contest, Manang Egly. The Panay Bukidnon have their own color system and set of symbols used in their handmade embroideries. Very interesting, intricate and colorful. I’ll tell you more in my future blogs.