Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Guardians of Tradition

Guardians of Tradition: The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (2012)
By Mae Astrid Tobias
Illustrations by Rommel E. Joson
Photos by Renato S. Rastrollo / National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)


I.                What is the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan? (p. 4)

Filipinos are very artistic people. All over the county, you find people who love to sing, dance, paint, write, play musical instruments, and create the most beautiful things the way their forebears have taught them. There are also special people who spend their entire lives making sure that these traditional arts are not forgotten.

The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan was created in 1992 through Republic Act No. 7355 in order to let the whole Philippines know about these people and their art. (p. 4)

•    Uwang Ahadas, Maestro of Yakan Music (pp. 16-17)

Uwang Ahadas always wears a pair of dark glasses. He lost his eyesight when he was only five. But he does not let his disability keep him from becoming a master of Yakan music.

Together with his siblings, he learned to play different instruments like the gabbang and the agung. The instrument called the kwintangan kayu is supposed to be played by women only, but Ahadas broke this tradition and learned how to play this.

Ahadas wants children to learn to play instruments while they are young because their hands and wrists are still flexible. He teaches them by showing them his techniques.

Even when working in the fields, the Yakans play their musical instruments. One of these instruments is the gabbang. Small children play it to shoo away animals from planted crops. It looks like a xylophone, but it is made of five bamboo slats.

Another instrument is the kwintangan kayu which is made of five wooden logs hung horizontally under a tree near a ricefield. It is played to make the rice plants grow faster.

Suggested activity:

Blind people have keener senses of touch, sound, taste, and scent. Try to find out how it feels to be blind by getting a handkerchief and covering your eyes. Notice the sounds, smells, textures, and taste of the things around you.

About the Book:
Who are the indigenous and folk artists of the Philippines? Guardians of Tradition is full of facts about 11 of Philippine master weavers, folk musicians, performing artists, mat weavers and metal smiths whose talents and skills have earned them the title Manlilikhang Bayan. Designed to help children recognize native Filipino ingenuity and creativity, the book includes fun activities to promote appreciation for culture and arts. Guardians of Tradition has a fun and colorful design that appeals to young readers.

For the duration of the Guardians of Tradition Blog Tour, Guardians of Tradition is available at discounted prize at the Adarna showroom in Scout Torillo corner Scout Fernandez Streets, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines(Trunkline: (632) 352-6765, Fax: (632) 352-6765 local 125, Email Address:

For international readers and Filipinos abroad, an ebook version is coming soon.To order paperback copies online, visit

Author Bio:
MAE ASTRID TOBIAS (1979-2009) was a Palanca-award winning author of children's books. In addition to Guardians of Tradition, her books include Blue Bananas (Crucible), BayongngKuting (Lampara Books), My Forest Friends (Haribon), Bakawan (Adarna Books) and two books retelling the Ifugao traditional chant, hudhud. These are Halikpon: A Retelling of an Ancient Ifugao Chant and Pumbakhayon: An Origin Myth of the IfugaoHudhud. Both are finalists for children’s literature and best design in the 2006 National Book Awards of the Manila Critics Circle.

She also spent several years in the field of children’s television. She served as the Manila Bureau Manager of Kabataan News Network, a project of UNICEF and Probe Media Foundation that trains young people nationwide how to produce their own broadcast quality documentaries. She also also wrote episodes for children shows like Sirit!, and ABS-CBN and Eskuwelang Bayan, as well as worked for Philippine Junior Inquirer and Shell Foundation. She was a member of KuwentistangmgaTsikiting  (KUTING), an organization of Filipino writers for children.

Illustrator Bio:
ROMMEL JOSON is a painter and an illustrator. He graduated magna cum laude and College Valedictorian from the University of Philippines College of Fine Arts. He was also a Merit Scholar and a recipient of the Dean's Awards for Visual Awards from the Ateneo de Manila University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He worked in the advertising industry for several years before devoting his time fully to painting and illustration. He has received awards and citations for painting, illustration, comics, and design from various organizations such as the Philippine Board of Books for Young People (Honorable Mention), the Shell National Art Competition (3rd Place Oil/Acrylic Category), the Neil Gaiman/Fully Booked Graphic Fiction Competition (3rd Place in the Graphic Fiction category), the Adobo Design Awards (Silver) and the Philippine Araw Awards (Silver in Art Direction) and the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition (Semifinalist in Oil). He is currently an active member of AngIlustradorngKabataan (Ang INK).

Photographer Bio:

RENATO S. RASTROLLO, is a photographer, graphic artist, book and exhibit designer. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising from the Philippine Women’s University. With over 25 years of experience in the field of documentary photography, his works have appeared in national and international publications. Presently, he is a culture and arts officer  at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. 

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Prizes –
One $25 Amazon Gift Card + signed copy of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 1 CD of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA 3 $10 Amazon Gift Card + signed copy of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 1 CD of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA6 signed copies of Guardians of Tradition from Adarna + 6 CDs of National Living Treasure Bayan Sumaon Sulaiman from NCCA

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