lyn lambago

Lyn Lambago: Sarangani’s Dream Dancer

The T’boli tribe must have a fixation for dreams.

In Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, the T’boli women who weave the famous t’nalak cloth are able to create the colorful designs after a trip to neverland, earning them the moniker, dreamweavers. Not very far from home, in Barangay Badtasan, Kiamba, Sarangani Province, there is a woman whose dance routines were born out of a dream, where she had a conversation with one of the tribe’s ancestors who taught her a dance — a dance she gladly performs for visitors.

lyn lambago
Lyn Lambago tells the story of Lemuhan Cultural Dance Troupe.

Lyn Lambago, 35, has a vision for her fellow T’bolis in Badtasan. In 2007, she gathered the young children in her community, taught them traditional T’boli dances, and formed what is now known as the Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe. Seven years after, with the help of the local government and foreign donors, the School of Living Traditions, the first for T’bolis in Sarangani, was established.

I was lucky to have visited Badtasan and experienced being with the local community. Badtasan is about an hour and a half away from General Santos City.

We were welcomed by a traditional meal upon our arrival in the community. The meal was composed of boiled rice wrapped in gabi leaves, boiled ube (purple yam) and sweet potato, cassava suman, and the star of the banquet, nelut onuk, spiced chicken meat stuffed inside a bamboo stalk and cooked over fire for two hours.

t'boli indigenous food
Lyn explains how the food was prepared as Region XII Tourism President Michelle Solon and Pinay Travel Junkie listen
t'boli rice
With the gabi leaves, there would be no need for plates. This is convenient for farmers when they go the field.
t'boli nelut onuk
The chicken was cooked with spices inside a bamboo stalk. The broth was incredibly flavorful.
t'boli
Nelut onuk, anyone? Can’t wait to have a taste of it again.

After the sumptuous breakfast, the Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe started the feast for the eyes, ears, and soul. They showcased various dances such as the T’boli courtship dance, war dance, witch dance, and the comic monkey dance.

t'boli monkey dance
T’boli monkey dance

 

Young T'boli Dancer
Young T’boli Dancer

 

The finale was Lyn Lambago’s dance, which came from a dream. As I watched, I felt a different kind of emotion. I was overwhelmed by the sound of the gong, kulintang, t’boli drums, and bamboo, and the quick mincing steps and hand movements of Lyn’s dance.

Here is a video I took of her dance:

 

We also went up the T’boli house that was built as a learning center for the T’boli culture. Inside the house that was built on stilts were pieces of memorabilia of the Lemuhen Dance Troupe including their costumes and musical instruments.

While we were looking around, Lyn Lambago recounted the very reason why she founded Lemuhen — preservation. She took it as a mission to work for the preservation of the T’boli cultural heritage in Badtasan.

The Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe has its own website, thanks to concerned individuals and organizations. There is also a foreign organization that is raising funds for Lemuhen and T’boli Education.

Here’s a touching video about the efforts of Lyn Lambago in saving the traditions of her tribe:

What is good about the T’boli’s fondness for dreams is that theirs do not remain only as dreams, they turn them into colorful fabric, and in the case of Lyn Lambago in Badtasan, she turned hers into a dance and she looks forward to seeing her whole community dancing with her.

 

If you wish to visit the Lemuhen Cultural Dance Troupe in Badtasan, you may contact Go Sarangani Travel and they can arrange a trip for you.

5 thoughts on “Lyn Lambago: Sarangani’s Dream Dancer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *