Malaysia Craft Festival Features Phl Indigeneous Music and Mat Weaving

12 September 2015 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said that Filipino indigenous music and mat weaving were among the highlights of the first-ever Kuala Lumpur International Craft Festival (KLICF 2015).

Mindanao kulintang and Cordillera's gong and bamboo instruments at the festival's opening ceremonies were played by musical group University of the Philippines' Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (UP TUGMA), while mat weaver Sarifa Dakula showcased the indigenous mat-weaving culture of the southern Philippines.

Their participation was made possible with the cooperation of the Philippine National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Tres Marias, composed of Malaysia-based Filipina entrepreneurs Gretchen Ong, Peaches Aberin and Vida Sockanathan, also featured Filipino capiz products at the international crafts tent.

UP TUGMA is the premiere organization of Asian music student-performers in the country, affiliated with the UP College of Music's Department of Musicology. The organization was established to build and develop a more conscious audience base for Asian music and culture that has deep awareness of these traditions, and to raise the banner of Philippine indigenous music to the global community.

Meanwhile, Ms. Dakula comes from a family of mat weavers, taking up the craft since she was 12 years old. She shares that weaving comes naturally to her, and has been teaching and sharing her knowledge to younger mat-weavers.

She and her family are advocating the continued sharing and education of the young on mat weaving among her people at Kumaralang, Zamboanga del Sur.

One of the activities organized by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture in line with the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015, the KLICF brings together artists from 32 countries in a platform for exchange and knowledge sharing for entrepreneurs, local craftsmen and international artists. At the same time, the festival aims to expand business linkages among craft producers and exhibitors, and offer a new attraction for visitors.

With the theme "Unite Crafts Society", the festival highlights 430 entrepreneurs through activities such as bazaars, demonstrations and cultural performances.

The KLICF 2015 is being held at Kuala Lumpur's Kompleks Kraf (Craft Complex) and will run until September 13. END