Culture meets style
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - June 14, 2018 - 12:00am

June 12, our country’s Independence celebration, passing by the North Wing of SM Cebu, a sight has captured my attention. An immense flag being displayed drew the crowd’s attention for picture-taking. And what’s even made me amazed is how it is being done — not the usual made of cloth — but hundreds of strings. The artists, Cham F. Lopez and Philip Anthony Labuga put the Philippine flag to life in an intricate string art. The sculpture threads 31,500 meters of crochet fiber across 300 vertical hooks painted with high-spirited hues of 15 varying colors. Such work of art that embeds the sense of pride of our identity is an initiative of ANTHILL (Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Ingenious/Indigenous Little Livelihood seekers).

ANTHILL is a “social and cultural enterprise in the Philippines that works to preserve local weaves through contemporary and zero waste design to sustain livelihood.” What is even more noteworthy is that as an organization, it celebrates the Filipino identity through heart-woven fabrics. The prime movers believe in Filipino craftsmanship and make it a mission to keep it alive. It transforms tradition into contemporary design for the everyday, so it stays relevant and contemporary.

It is in taking pride of the past and making a connection to the present that keeps the undertakings relevant and meaningful. A new outlook that brings out novel approaches yet its origins can still be traced to or anchored on to our unique identity as a people.

The mother-daughter tandem, Annie Tan Lim and Anya, the owners of Anthill Fabric Gallery opened their shop last February 6, 2010, with the goal of setting up a business that will cater to the high-end market while also helping communities, specifically those who rely on our rich cultural surroundings.

Anthill allows young entrepreneurs to display their artistic products, such as accessories made of rolled papers and clothes designed by student designers, in order to encourage them to start their own businesses. This supports the very concept of cultural preservation in our young. They would form part of our future prime movers by continuing the legacy that their predecessors have left.

More than anything else is the important role of enlightening others with new perspectives on how traditional fabrics can be integrated into the everyday Filipino’s modern fashion and lifestyle. Culture does not only deal on a particular past and identity but also brings out its beauty and style. As it weaves a colorful past, it celebrates our valued identify, connecting our identity to the current context means making it relevant today.

Our culture has influenced the way we think, communicate, and act. It is just proper and important that the culture we want to instill and nurture in our young is the culture that we take pride, and the continuing effort to make it more relevant today and in the future.

CULTURE
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