By Danilo E. Doguiles
KORONADAL, South Cotabato, Jan. 24 (PIA) – Here’s another reason to come toTboli town in South Cotabato: a tour to its small scale mining and jewelry-making industries.
In March, during its Seslong Festival, the local government unit of Tboli will launch #jewelrytour package that shall familiarize tourists how its upgraded One Town, One Product commodity – jewelry – goes through the process from ore extraction to design and creation.
“For a fee of only P1,700 two persons will enjoy a visit to Tboli’s small scale mining villages where they will witness how ores are mined and processed to extract gold and silver,” Hilado said.
“They will also visit the facility where locally produced silver is turned into fusion jewelry by our local artisans. Tourists themselves will experience making their own accessories such as earrings based on designs of our cultural masters.”
Also part of the package, he added, is a tour to the famed cultural village in Barangay Lemsnolon where visitors will “immerse in the ways of living of the Tboli people, enjoy cultural presentations, and taste their indigenous food.
The tour will culminate at a shop where the fusion jewelry made by the local miners, Tboli women, students, and artisans trained by the LGU in partnership with the International Labor Organization and other partners.
This year, the local government unit of Tboli revives and upgrades its jewelry-making industry by combining the traditional jewelry-making process with the indigenous designs of the Tboli people and giving birth to a new OTOP product described as “fusion jewelry.”
Earrings, for example, are crafted as such that the multi-colored beads are linked together by loops and hooks made from Tboli silver.
“This could also lead to such products as choker or bracelet made of Tboli cloth with pendant forged from locally produced silver,” Hilado said.
Tboli’s silver – and gold – are produced from the Minahang Bayan in Barangays Desawo and Kematu where mercury-free and child-labor-free mining are being advocated. Based on Executive Order No. 20 that Mayor Dibu Tuan issued in September last year, the ban on the use of mercury in gold production should fully be enforced in two to three years.
As a destination, Tboli is famous for its eco-adventure sites Lake Holon and Bakngeb River Cave and its homestay program at Lemsnolon Cultural Village.
It is also currently developing Hidak Falls located in a forested area in Barangay Kematu. (DED-PIA 12)