Workshop method

Agusan Manobo is hosting a free embroidery workshop starting today

Visual artist Carlito Camahalan Amalla, a member of the Agusanon Manobo tribe, will share traditional and contemporary perspectives of his own embroidery art in a two-part free online workshop titled “Suyam: Sining ng Pagbuburda”.

Amalla, founder and leader of the Agusan Artists Association in Butuan City and the Balangay Artists Association in Manila, will discuss the remarkable textile heritage of suyam, an embroidery characterized by various geometric patterns.

He believes that the dress itself has become an extension of the body – a universal art form based on the rituals, unity and daily life of the tribe.

The artist will expose the creative process behind the craft, the important role of women weavers in maintaining this local cultural expression and indigenous knowledge, and its developments using modern methodologies and equipment.

“Textile art is a living canvas linked to the symbolic, the organic and the cosmic,” Amalla noted. “It has history and glory intertwined in the strands of abaca and synthetic fabric, highlighted by a widespread design pattern and pattern with corresponding meaning.”

Amalla is a performer, puppeteer, dancer, singer, musician, ceramicist and researcher who has participated in art exhibitions in Wales, Belgium, England and the United States.

He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Sculpture and a Masters in Art History, both from the University of the Philippines. His dissertation on the Art of Agusan Manobo Embroidery, Paintings and Puppets in Sinuyaman: Awit ni Baylan Was Part of Mindanao: Mapping History, Identity and Representation presented at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London in 2019.

He is the recipient of the 2021 Asia Pacific Luminare Award and the 2020 Outstanding Leadership in Culture and the Arts Award in New York.

He was also recognized by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in 2016 – Distinguished Alumnus in Community Empowerment, 2015 The Outstanding Butuanon Award, 2012 Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Gat Apolinario Mabini Award, 2009 United Nations Outstanding Youth Service Award and 2008 National Outstanding Volunteer. Award.

Suyam: Sining ng Pagbuburda is free and open to the public. It is organized by the Arts and Culture Pole of De La Salle College in Saint Benilde, where Amalla has shared her expertise as an assistant professor at the School of Design and Arts.

The discussion and workshop on traditional suyam will take place via Zoom today, February 23 at 2 p.m. The contemporary suyam session will take place on Wednesday March 2 at 2 p.m.

Interested participants can register via For more information visit Benilde Arts and Culture Cluster on