Maria Todi “Oyog”

  • Oct
  • 20


Let’s celebrate National Indigenous People’s Month, and the figures who breathe life this celebration of culture all year round.

Maria Todi, or “Oyog” as she’s called, is a tribal leader, and the founder of the School of Living Traditions.

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), a School of Living Tradition is a “communal site where a living master, cultural bearer or culture specialist teaches skills and techniques of doing a traditional art or craft.” The living master is Oyog, and the traditions are from the indigenous people of the T’bolic tribe of South Cotabato. While her students are mainly T’boli, she also welcomes visitors who want to immerse themselves in their unique experience of life.

Trivia: She also has her face on a stamp. In June 2014, the Philippine Postal Service chose to print her image to commemorate National Heritage Month.

Check out Lake Sebu School of Living Traditions for more information on Oyog, and how to visit.

Photo by Francisco Guerrero