Wear Your Feelings: Catch Happiness in Habiness and Art of the Loom at Yuchengco Museum until January 18
Wrap yourself in culture with local textiles from Ilocos, Palawan, and Basilan
(SPOT.ph) The art of the loom is dying. Jeannie Javelosa, one of the orgnanizers of the Habiness Bazaar at Yuchengco Museum, didn’t beat around the bush. Her bluntness might offend a few, but it’s a truth that she’s not afraid to face and a reality that she wants to change.
Javelosa is known for her work at the ECHOstore but her pride doesn’t come from creating a globally competitive brand. The delight in her voice when talking about their product comes from building local communities and in that spirit, she invites the curious to check out the second Habiness bazaar, running from January 15 to January 18.
Expect beautiful fabric. A lot of it.
Fresh fabric from Ilocos!
To fertility and beyond!
The handwoven blankets, shawls, and scarves tell stories that you can wrap around your body. There’s an added warmth that comes with each purchase, as each peso serves to resuscitate a dying industry. The art itself doesn’t need to be revived. The women weave these intricate pieces with enthusiasm, and the products have become a source of pride for them. All they ever needed was the right audience.
Bazaars like Habiness aim to develop a market for our culture to be appreciated. Old pieces are appropriated to suit modern tastes but the contemporary twists are done carefully. What was sacred then remains sacred now. The designers use fertility patterns for blankets, the frog symbol for fortune in scarves, and they never use patterns on shoes that aren’t meant to be associated with the ground. It’s this conscientious manner of sale that makes the handicrafts quite irresistible.
Shoes, belts, and bags. You’re all set!
Small accessories like purses, neckties, and braclets are also on sale. Handwoven bags by the Yakan from Basilan sell for as low as P500, which balances the hefty P12,000 tag on some of the more intriciate pieces, like the six-foot-long Binakul blankets. The price is indeed steep but a quick look at the Art of the Loom: Weaving the Story that is Binakul exhibit to the left of the bazaar will enlighten you and help you overcome your initial shock.
There’s a reason why the bazaar is held in a museum. Habi is an artform and it deserves better than a shelf in a mall gift shop. The weavers should be treated like the artists that they are.
Habiness bazaar runs from January 15 to 18. Art of the Loom: Weaving the Story that is Binakul runs until January 25. Both the bazaar and the exhibit are at Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. Museum admission is P100 for adults, P50 for students, and P25 for children and senior citizens.