Fashion and Beauty

Woven wonders at Likhang Habi Market Fair

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star

Handmade fabrics such as pineapple, abaca, cotton, silk, banana, buri and pandan from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will be showcased in the “Likhang Habi Market Fair,” which is slated from Oct. 24 to 26 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.

These woven wonders include Inabel from the Ilocos region and La Union, Cordillera weaves from Banaue and Padcal in Benguet, T’nalak (an abaca weave) from Lake Sebu in Mindanao, piña from Aklan and Palawan, hablon and patadyong from Iloilo, Mangyan textiles and baskets from Mindoro, Yakan weave from Basilan and mats from Samar and Bukidnon.

It was only at the press launch hosted by the Habi group, headed by Maribel Ongpin with Ruby Roa, Monsie David, Louie Locsin, Rambie Lim, Rene Guatlo, Laida Lim and Joy Adarme, I realized that a cohesive group was formed in 2009 not only to develop and promote Philippine textiles but also to preserve, develop and popularize Philippine indigenous fabrics.

After visiting weaving communities in rural areas and marginalized communities all over the country, the Philippine Textile Council came to understand the obstacles facing the struggling weaving industry — lack of materials, the need for contemporary designs along with the traditional, marketability and the loss of interest in weaving among the younger members of the community.

The first Likhang Habi Fair was designed as an initial step to bring together weavers, suppliers, designers, market experts as well as the buying public. As the years progressed, they were able to gain insight and experience of what attracts and sells, as well as how to present the merchandise. Every year thereafter, the exposure to fellow weavers and the buying public visibly raised the quality of the products and designs.

This year’s habi fair will have a wide range of home and clothing accessories to give interested buyers and fashion students a glimpse of our Philippine heritage and culture. The special highlight will feature the craft of mat making as a textile art with beautifully crafted mats gathered from all over the Visayas, Mindanao, Bicol and Ilocos regions. One will definitely be tempted to use them as wall hangings instead of floor mats because of their artistry and colors.

Ongpin explained that Habi has also become a founding member of the Asean Traditional Textile Community and is in touch with the other textile societies and textile traditions in Southeast Asia where they meet bi-annually to exchange views and show current trends. The current membership in the Philippines has increased from an original handful to over 60 members nationwide. 

“The Philippine Textile Society believes that the beauty, craftsmanship and tradition of our varied and unique textiles from indigenous fabrics are part and parcel of our Filipino identity, a factor that unites us as a nation and challenges us to bring our textile art to higher levels of artistry and workmanship,” Ongpin enthused.

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For inquiries, call Eleanor Moldez at 478-2765, SMS 0908-8810414 or email [email protected]

For your comments and ideas, please email the author at: [email protected].









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