GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The municipal government of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato has declared the remaining days of the month as mourning period for the late T’boli “National Living Treasure” Be’ Lang Dulay.
Lake Sebu Mayor Antonio Fungan said Monday such declaration was based on a resolution unanimously passed by the municipal council following the passing of the 91 year-old T’boli clan princess last April 30.
“We’re observing the whole month (of May) as a period of prayer and mourning in the entire Lake Sebu,” he said.
The mayor said the municipal government is currently attending to the wake of Lang Dulay at her home in Sitio Tukolefa in Barangay Lamdalag in coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
He said they have assigned various offices of the municipal government to lead daily activities at the wake until the scheduled funeral on May 28.
The town’s barangay councils have also set separate activities in honor of Lang Dulay, who is considered as a cultural icon.
Lang Dulay passed away at her home last April 30 after being in coma since January due to a mild stroke.
She was known for her contributions in the preservation of the T’boli culture through the tribe’s famed T’nalak fabric.
In 1998, she was conferred with the National Living Treasure (Manlilikha ng Bayan) award by the NCCA for her efforts in promoting the T’boli culture and for her fine craftsmanship as a T’nalak “dreamweaver.”
Fungan said he will personally push by next month the passage of an ordinance that will a special day or period in the area every year in honor of Lang Dulay.
He said several members of the municipal council initially agreed to his proposal and vowed to support the passage of the required measure.
“She had done a lot for this town and the T’boli tribe so it’s only fitting to set aside even just a day every year to remember and honor her,” he said.
For Lang Dulay’s funeral, he said they are currently coordinating with the NCCA for the necessary arrangements.
He said they have initially set the transfer of her wake at the municipal gymnasium on May 27 for the necrological services.
NCCA officials earlier said they will give Lang Dulay a state funeral for being a Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan or National Living Treasure awardee, which is equivalent to the National Artist award bestowed by the national government.
The agency earlier allotted some Php500,000 for Lang Dulay’s wake and funeral arrangements.