Panubok Embroidery

 Rowena Rafil, Julie Casipe, and Regina Villanueva demonstrate Panay Bukidnon embroidery during a two-day weaving demonstration on October 18-19, 2014 at the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino at the Museum of the Filipino People in Manila.

Rowena Rafil, Julie Casipe, and Regina Villanueva demonstrate Panay Bukidnon embroidery during a two-day weaving demonstration on October 18-19, 2014 at the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino at the Museum of the Filipino People in Manila.

Panubok is the traditional embroidery of Panay Bukidnon women. It is a word in the Kinaray-a language that comes from the archaic word tubok which means "to embroider" while the Kinaray-a manugtubok refers to the "embroiderer." The panubok motifs represent nature and characters and events from the Sugidanon epic. Tinubkan means embroidered. Many consider the barangay of Tabon in Tapaz, Capiz, as the birthplace of panubok. Lore has it that the Tabon folks of old preferred to stay home and preen themselves rather than work in the fields and eventually conceptualized the panubok. The village became famous for the craft that women from other mountains traveled for days just to have their clothes embroidered by the Tabon women. Eventually, the craft was learned by other communities and became widespread in Central Panay. Binukot (kept maidens) are known to be especially adept at embroidery, as they are not allowed to leave the house during the daytime before they are married, and master the arts of dance, embroidery, and epic chanting.

Sudlikama

A design taken from the skin of the Magkal (python snake). The diamond is both a symbol of money and also seen as a protection/camoflage against python bites if you wear the sudlikama pattern into the forest. In the epic story Amburukay, "sudlikama" referred to a blanket decorated with sudlikama design.

Sikag-Sikag

From sikag-sikag grass or a fishbone.

 Sudlikama in between two rows of Sikag-Sikag design on our Pako-Pako Cropped Bomber

Sudlikama in between two rows of Sikag-Sikag design on our Pako-Pako Cropped Bomber

Matang Punay

From the eye of the Punay bird, "a very gentle and loving bird" and a pet of Humadapnon in epic Alayaw. The Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus occipitalis), locally called Punay, is one of the five endemic fruit-doves endemic to the Philippines. This colorful dove is widespread over the country except the Palawan region. This species inhabit lowland and mid elevation forests and are seen singly or in pairs.

According to F. Landa Jocano in Sulod Society, Punay (literally, dove) is also a powerful female deity of the mountains who is involved in the rituals for the dead: "as part of the hamwat (part of the after-death rites which takes place after the patibara, the ritual questioning of the dead during which the corpse is asked what or who caused its death). A platform is built in one of the corners of the house. The platform, which is used as an altar, consists of two parts - a higher portion on which the food offering for dagit, the high spirit of the space and his followers, is put; and the lower portion on which the offering for punay, a powerful female deity of the mountains and her companions, is placed. Dagit and punay normally give each soul a talisman with which to protect itself against troubles along the way and from "melting" while waiting for the final decision and assignment in Madyaas (final resting place)"

 Lane Wilcken, has been researching the indigenous past of the Philippines and the Pacific Islands for nearly two decades, writes that Matang Punay  "represents eyes. It implies that the person wearing this is watched over by not only the many eyes of their village, but also the many eyes of their ancestors."

 Matang Punay design along the neckline and down the front of our Sinumbrahan Mesh Tee

Matang Punay design along the neckline and down the front of our Sinumbrahan Mesh Tee

Bulak ng Labog/Linabog

Bulak ng Labog or Linabog is a rounded flower design which comes from the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), a species of Hibiscus.  In Panay and mainly Ilonggo-speaking parts of Mindanao, it is known as "Labug or Labog" and in Rizal province, it is known as "Guragod." This plant blossoms in the month of January and its leaves and flowers serve in a staple ingredient to add sourness to various local foods such as chicken tinola.

 

 Roselle/Labog flower

Roselle/Labog flower

 Bulak ng Labog designs on our Sinumbrahan Mesh Tee

Bulak ng Labog designs on our Sinumbrahan Mesh Tee

Bulak Putik

A triangular flower design.

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Pako-Pako

The Pako-Pako design comes from the wild edible Fiddlehead fern (Athyrium Esculentum), locally called pako in the Philippines. According to AsianJournal.com: "Tough stalks are separated from the young, bright green, curled, fronds. These can be eaten cooked or raw. However, it is recommended that pako should be fully cooked or at least soaked for a few seconds in boiling water before eating. Afterwards, throw away the water used for simmering since pako may contain mild amounts of toxin. According to studies, young fronds are fine source of calcium, phosphorous, iron, and vitamin B. These are ideally mixed in salads, cooked for stews and some are pickled too. Among the deliciously prepared dishes with pako is the much-loved ensalada. This side dish is a mixture of sliced tomato and shallots, salted egg or locally called itlog na pula, with squeezed calamansi juice, fish sauce and vinegar. For some, they prefer bagoong (fermented fish or shrimp with salt) over salted egg. Pako is also a good ingredient for ginataan, a coconut milk-based stew with sautéed pork chunks and chili. Others simply love putting in the blanched fern together with smoked fish or tinapa."

 Pako fern / Photo:  Market Manila

Pako fern / Photo: Market Manila

 Pako-Pako design on the back of our Pako-Pako Cropped Bomber

Pako-Pako design on the back of our Pako-Pako Cropped Bomber

Tuko-Tuko

The Tuko-Tuko design comes from the tuko, a type of big gecko that lives in the house and that shouts out its own name. The name tuko comes from the sound of its hoarse cry, often as loud as the bark of a dog. According to Philippine folklore, whenever a tuko swallows anything, it calls its own name five times. Tukos are often seen as a symbol of good luck and fertility throughout Southeast Asia.

 Tuko-Tuko design / Photo courtesy of Regina Villanueva

Tuko-Tuko design / Photo courtesy of Regina Villanueva

Pakpak Aguring

From the wing of araguring insect with linantay pattern

 Pakpak Araguring designs on our Sikag-Sikag Denim Jacket

Pakpak Araguring designs on our Sikag-Sikag Denim Jacket

Tugi-Tugi

A zigzag design

 Tugi-Tugi design on our Bali-og choker

Tugi-Tugi design on our Bali-og choker

Binunghay

A design used in weaving bamboo strips

 Binunghay design on our Embroidered Velvet Choker

Binunghay design on our Embroidered Velvet Choker

Girigiti

Vine design that decorates the edges of the saypang or sinumbrahan (traditional Panay Bukidnon women's blouse).

 Red border in Girigiti vines pattern / Photo by  PJ Arañador

Red border in Girigiti vines pattern / Photo by PJ Arañador

Stephanie Gancayco