Members of the Matigsalug Council of Elders Marilog District, Davao City, Inc. (MACOEMADDACI) launched their own line of culturally-inspired products during the opening ceremonies of the Mindanao Trade Expo (MTE) on August 11, 2017 in Abreeza Mall, Davao City.
Dubbed “Nasabeka,” the brand logo was unveiled by MACOEMADDACI president Datu Juanito Mandahay, Therma South, Inc. (TSI) president and chief operating officer Sebastian R. Lacson, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary Ameenah Abcede-Fajardo, and MTE president Rosevic Del Rosario-Cembrano.
Nasabeka, which is the Matigsalug term for unity, was a brand born out of the Matigsalug Indigenous Crafts Project, a 12-month multi-stakeholder initiative spearheaded by TSI and the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry-XI (DTI-XI) and the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, Incorporated.
Products developed are in the areas of basketry, fashion accessories and wearables.
The project started out with the simple goal of providing an alternative livelihood for the members of MACOEMADDACI to support TSI’s ongoing implementation of its Carbon Sink Management Program (CSMP).
The CSMP aims to plant one million trees in 10 years in order to help offset the carbon emission of AboitizPower’s 300-megawatt Davao Baseload Power Plant in Toril, Davao City. Out of this target number, 750,000 trees of both indigenous and agro-forest species are to be grown in partnership of the Matigsalug tribe of Davao City.
“The Matigsalug Indigenous Crafts Project and the CSMP have been very helpful to the preservation of our tribe as we believe that the moment our culture and environment is lost, the tribe’s reason for existence is also lost,” said MACOEMADDACI President Datu Juanito Mandahay.
The products, which were developed with technical assistance from the Davao Designers Pool, will be showcased until August 17, 2017 at Abreeza Ayala Mall. Nasabeka will also be showcased in Manila during MTE’s Manila leg in Glorietta Makati in October.