Sen. Loren Legarda has hailed the talent and contribution to heritage preservation of Teofilo Garcia, Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awardee, who is celebrating his birthday today, March 27.
“I send my warmest birthday greetings to our National Living Treasure, Teofilo Garcia, and salute him for his exceptional talent in making tabungaw or gourd casque and his dedication to preserve heritage.
“He makes tabungaw with excellent quality yet he never stops innovating. He continues to explore ways on how to improve his craft and I am honored to be a recipient of his masterpiece,” said Legarda, a staunch advocate of heritage preservation.
Garcia, who is from Sabulod, San Quintin, Abra, was hailed as a National Living Treasure or GAMABA in 2012 for his efforts in keeping the traditional tabungaw-making alive.
He learned how to make gourd casques when he was 15 years old and did not stop innovating and exploring materials and techniques that would make the tabungaw more sturdy and last longer.
It is said that a well-made tabungaw can last up to three to four generations, especially with proper care. The ones made by Garcia are among the best so that farmers need to own only one at a time.