DESIGNER PROFILE

“Our culture really stems from the indigenous people that’s where we find what is really Filipino, through their arts and crafts” Maricris Floirendo-Brias, Creative Director, is a woman with a deep personal concern for the welfare of ethnic tribes. The urge to dig deeper into the Filipino cultural heritage, led her to study the various ethnic tribes of the country. Her findings inspired h...
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“Our culture really stems from the indigenous people that’s where we find what is really Filipino, through their arts and crafts” Maricris Floirendo-Brias, Creative Director, is a woman with a deep personal concern for the welfare of ethnic tribes. The urge to dig deeper into the Filipino cultural heritage, led her to study the various ethnic tribes of the country. Her findings inspired her to establish the weaving centre as a way of helping prevent the extinction of one of these ethnic groups. This very hardworking, community-oriented, and family centered individual has not only devoted her time to learn more about the Tíbolis, but she has made known to the world the tinalakís very elaborate and unique craft through the various designs in their pillows, placemats and other home accessories . “The Concept of our design is to harmoniously bring together the past and the present.”

T’nalak

T'nalak is a traditional cloth found in Mindanao island made by a group of people in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato called T'bolis, Tboli people. This traditional cloth is hand-woven made of Abaca fibers which traditionally has three primary colors, red, black and the original color of the Abaca leaves. The colorant of the materials are naturally dyed boiled in with bark, roots and leaves of plants. It...
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T'nalak is a traditional cloth found in Mindanao island made by a group of people in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato called T'bolis, Tboli people. This traditional cloth is hand-woven made of Abaca fibers which traditionally has three primary colors, red, black and the original color of the Abaca leaves. The colorant of the materials are naturally dyed boiled in with bark, roots and leaves of plants. It is an heritage and believed that the intricate and creative patterns of the Tinalak was seen on their dreams and made it on to work. They can't create a design of the Tinalak if they haven't dreamed of it. They are fsometimes called the "Dream Weavers". The T’nalak fabric holds a special and prominent place in [T’boli] culture. It is ever present in significant turning points in a [Tboli] life, such as birth, marriage, and death. It is the medium which sanctifies these rites, enveloping them in the length of its fabric like a benediction. It has also often been referred to as “woven dreams”. It is exactly that, and more. In a culture which didn’t have a form of writing, the T’nalak served as both Literature and Art. The [T’bolis] expressed everything they are in the T’nalak: their dreams, beliefs, myths and even their religion. Making use of the various geometrical patterns and the trademark red, black and white colors, the [T’bolis] weave the natural and the supernatural in the abaca strands of the T’nalak. Furthermore, the weaving process integrates the personal, the social and the cultural. After a weaver reaches a certain degree of expertise, she becomes a “master weaver” – someone who can interpret and take inspiration from dreams, hence the term “dreamweavers”. By all accounts, this seems to be an intense personal experience for the weaver, and the moment she succeeds in doing this is the moment she becomes an artist. And then it is also social because the T’nalak binds together all that the [T’boli]people believe in. The skill of
the weaver gathers in the T’nalak all the elements that make the [T’boli] social life. Finally, it is cultural in that it is the means through which other tribes identify the [T’bolis] since the T’nalak is uniquely and distinctly [T’boli]. from Gida Ofong (T'boli tribeswoman and dreamweaver) Tinalak are also their prized possession at marriage, even the covering for childbirth for ensuring safe delivery and for trading. Whenever they sell their work, they put a brass ring around it as for the spirits to allow them or to please. They're not even allowed to cut the Tinalak 'cause of what they believe it would deliver them sickness.

T’Boli Weavers

Our program is strongly committed in providing sustainable livelihood for women and youth in some parts of Mindanao. We have taken the initiative to mobilize communities and help establish alternative means of livelihood for women without work by providing them income generating programs through manufacturing high-grade local and export products that utilizes indigenous materials. It is also a co...
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Our program is strongly committed in providing sustainable livelihood for women and youth in some parts of Mindanao. We have taken the initiative to mobilize communities and help establish alternative means of livelihood for women without work by providing them income generating programs through manufacturing high-grade local and export products that utilizes indigenous materials. It is also a constant undertaking for us to provide opportunities for out-of-school youth to develop their skills by getting hands-on training that they can use for their day-to-day enterprise. Our livelihood program has adopted the communities of Astorga in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, a few communities in Davao City such as Catitipan, Toril, Maa, Bajada, Cabantian, Sisoy Lanang and Panabo City at large – providing these communities betterment of life and living. Our aim to promote and preserve the dying art of dream weaving. We have assisted and encouraged 600 Tboli weavers in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato to continue their craft and make available their t’nalak cloth for local and global distribution. As a manifestation of our commitment for community development, our livelihood programs have brought substantial results in promoting livelihood options and in providing daily income since 1989 up until the present time; and the families and communities that we’ve been supporting have been intensively benefitted from the programs. It is also expressed how we managed to renew and make a creative innovation of Mindanao’s indigenous products. The same time that we promote the wellness and the rich and colorful heritage of the minorities – particularly the T’bolis of Mindanao. TLTC and our mission to extend our assistance are truly fueled by our advocacy to economic and livelihood sustainability in Mindanao. And with its shared sense of purpose, our beneficiaries are able to provide better future for themselves.

TADECO

Our Story TADECO Home creates using only all-natural fibers. Their abaca* fiber intricately handwoven by the region's ethnic indigenous people into rolls of fine t'nalak fabric, using traditional techniques passed on from many generations. This distinctive fabric is then converted into contemporary home accents and lighting pieces by seasoned artisans of Mindanao. TADECO Hom...
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Our Story TADECO Home creates using only all-natural fibers. Their abaca* fiber intricately handwoven by the region's ethnic indigenous people into rolls of fine t'nalak fabric, using traditional techniques passed on from many generations. This distinctive fabric is then converted into contemporary home accents and lighting pieces by seasoned artisans of Mindanao. TADECO Home has evolved from a community development program of Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (TADECO), a major banana exporter in Asia, into a globally acknowledged handicraft manufacturing business in the Philippines. It also produces handmade paper and other products made of banana fiber sourced exclusively from TADECO's plantations. Weaving Dreams TADECO (Tagum Agricultural Development Corp) is a plantation exporting bananas worldwide. Since the company was started, TADECO Livelihood and Training program was established to benefit and develop the community of workers. In the 1990’s the world was introduced to handmade paper and cushion covers proudly carrying the TADECO Home brand. This business move inadvertently expanded the worker’s skills from dressmaking and metalworking to include processing the plantation’s by-products such as banana, abaca and pineapple fibers. Several decades hence, TADECO Home has seen the weaver and fiber inextricably linked as it continues to provide support for the wives and dependents of the plantation’s workforce. TADECO HOME TADECO Home’s thrust in community development extends to their neighboring communities as well as the T’bolis, an indigenous tribe. It is through the t’boli weaver’s handiwork that these strong and versatile fibers are woven using traditional techniques passed on from generations. The seasoned artisans of Mindanao work their magic to produce a distinctive fabric called t’nalak, transforming it into contemporary home accents and lighting piec
es. This interdependence among weavers and artisans makes TADECO Home truly people-oriented. Of equal importance and urgency is the preservation of the dying art of back-strap weaving. Creative Director, Maricris Floirendo-Brias asserts that TADECO Home’s past, present and future will always be about the people they support and the industry and culture they continue to promote.

TADECO Livelihood Training Center

Tadeco Livelihood Training Center (TLTC) was created to provide additional livelihood for the wives and dependents of the plantation workers employed by TADECO. Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (TADECO) is a corporation that operates a large banana and pineapple plantations in the country. Starting with discards and cut-outs from banana box production and making them into gift boxes, l...
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Tadeco Livelihood Training Center (TLTC) was created to provide additional livelihood for the wives and dependents of the plantation workers employed by TADECO. Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (TADECO) is a corporation that operates a large banana and pineapple plantations in the country. Starting with discards and cut-outs from banana box production and making them into gift boxes, loot bags, photo frames and crafted albums, the TLTC then ventured into producing natural paper from banana, pineapple and abaca fibers which they made into stationery, gift boxes, gift wrappers, hanging lanterns and many more novelty items - all of export quality. TLTC’s paper products caught the fancy of the buying public, making it one of their most sought after lines. As most banana farmers come from the hinterlands of Davao, upon Maricris’ creative direction, the TLTC soon started to revitalize the dying art of ethnic weaving such as T’nalak weaving of the Tibolis and the Dagmay weaving of the Mandayas.