Millan, T’boli brass casters perform labor of love for Alveo IRONMAN

posted March 24, 2018 at 08:20 pm
by Reuel Vidal

DAVAO CITY—Local sculptor and performance artist Kublai Millan pressed a whole community of T’boli brass casters to help present Mindanao’s culture before the world through the medal which will be given to all participants who complete the Alveo IRONMAN 70.3 in Davao.

The medal is called “Duyan ng Magiting” or Cradle of the Brave and stands for Mindanao which is home to brave heroes.

He said the medal symbolizes the island’s heritage as well as its constant struggle to find peace and he hoped that by swimming, biking and running, participants from all over the world will help others better understand what is happening in this part of the country.

Kublai says he is not just an artist and sculptor but also a culture bearer of Mindanao.  It’s a wonderful opportunity and he is honored to share that commitment of culture bearer with the island’s indigenous population.

The medal itself is like a smaller version of the agung which is a wide-rimmed gong used by the Maguindanao, Maranao, Sama-Bajau and Tausug people of the Philippines as a supportive instrument in kulintang ensembles.

Kublai said brass casting is tedious work. It’s not mass production with molds reused again and again. Each mold is broken after one use and Kublai had to work with an entire community of brass casters to make 1,800 unique medals.

“At the start I thought it was an easy process. So we hired a few families to help us. But because we were pressed for time, we actually invited the whole community to be able to finish the job,” Kublai said.

While the medal is his own design the Mindanao artist said he also wanted to involve the artisans of Mindanao in the project which affords a chance to show the world the traditions and customs of the island.

“The project was so big we had to work day and night just to finish all of the 1,800 medals. I was amazed with the professionalism of this community that they came up with uniform craftsmanship for all the medals. It was just a few days ago when all the medals were finished. It was really a labor of love,” said Kublai.  

Kublai is known primarily for his giant sculptures. His most famous sculptures in Mindanao include the “Kampilan” in the city of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao; the “Risen Christ” in the church of Tagum City; the giant durian monument in Davao International Airport; and the giant eagle and Bagobo children in People’s Park, Davao City. 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *