So as you know, gold is a very well known commodity in the Philippines—especially during the prehistoric times. But other than gold, there was another valuable commodity; which is ivory.
It is said that in the prehistoric times, Ivory was considered to be one of the most valuable commodities among wealthy buyers because of its clean white color and other unique characteristics. A single piece of ivory could be carved into a multitude of shapes and sizes and retain its shape for hundreds of years. Ivory soon became the material of choice for a wide range of items such as implements, miniature figurines, ornaments, buttons, decorative components of furniture, musical instruments, and religious images.
Other than the examples stated above, there is also the Butuan ivory seal, which is obviously carved from ivory.
The Butuan ivory seal, along with other artifacts recovered from archaeological sites in Ambangan, suggest that Butuan was an important trading center in early Philippine history. The seal was likely used to stamp commodities that were produced and exported from Butuan. In a similar practice, locals of peninsular Southeast Asia harvested ivory from domesticated elephants in order to carve elaborate, customized seals that officials used on documents and decrees.
So yeah, the more you know. On the side note; I've made it a headcanon that N. Mindanao has a cross necklace hidden underneath his uniform. It's carved out of ivory, and the reason as to why ivory could be the two pieces of information that has been stated above. Besides that, the design is based off the Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin. The design of the cross is very simplistic, but it holds a rich history. Plus, it's quite beautiful too; well to me that is, haha.
Also, by N. Minda, I literally mean the representation of the northern part of Mindanao—and not the region. I've separated them to N. Minda and S. Minda for two main reasons, which is religion and for this certain tradition. Of course, I'll explain more when I finally gather enough information and so.