On Market Day

Saturday is market day for the T’bolis and a smattering of them still turn up in a semblance of a traditional ensemble.  Take out these lingering few; market day in Lake Sebu was quite a let down.  Without them, the market looked like an ordinary tiangge (bazaar) with merchandise perhaps coming from Manila or even China.  Despite this however, it was still an enjoyable endeavor, especially for me.

How likely is it that among the population of more than 95,000 Tbolis, I find (and more amazingly – I remembered) the same one a decade later?

Perhaps it was her earrings or a combination of the earrings and her striking beauty that rendered a high recall.

One of the indigenous peoples of Southern Mindanao, the T’bolis primarily live in the South Cotobato province of Mindanao (the southernmost part of the Philippines).

As with many indigenous groups, many have adapted the migrant’s way of life owing to the many settlers hailing mostly from Iloilo (a province in the Western Visayas region, still south of the Philippines).

The colorful traditional outfits (I think) are mostly worn these days on special occasions and on market day.

Some snaps taken that morning.

Dried baby shrimps or what we call hebi (great for flavoring)

The T’bolis are famous for their intricate beadworks and brass ornaments

Negotiating for a picture with her

I just totally adore her!

T’bolis today — with an umbrella, a plastic bag of goodies and the red handbag!   😀


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15 thoughts on “On Market Day

  1. You are a very well traveled lady! I have never been to that part of the Islands, and it is very interesting to see them through your photos.

    Beautiful batik and beads!

    Like

  2. I loved this sequence of shots. You did such a great job capturing the character and charm of the people you photographed. Interesting post and excellent portraits.

    Like

  3. these are delightful photos! i’ve never been to that part of Mindanao and I’d love to go one day. The T’bolis are colorful–those earrings are funky! i hope their culture would be preserved.

    Like

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