(SPOT.ph) After the successful run of K’Na, The Dreamweaver in Cinemalaya X, we wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing T’nalak in style guides more often. The women of the T’boli tribe have been producing intricate pieces for a very, very long time and The Philippine Textile Council wants to make sure that the craft survives and thrives through Likhang Habi.
Habi runs from October 24 to 26 at the Glorietta Activity Center and in this three-day fair, handwoven crafts from all over the country (South Cotabato, Ilocos, Bukidon, Palawan, among others) are all laid out for perusal and purchasing. It doubles as a fundraiser for the local cotton industry and it’s also an avenue for the Buy-One-Give-One blanket campaign, where a blanket is donated to calamity-stricken areas to match each sale.
These fairs continue to support the local textile industry, and in particular, the women who spend months creating what can only be described as masterpieces. The intricacy of weaving is mesmerizing and Habi aims to promote the versatility of what they produce.
Vibrant red from Southern Philippines
The nito (seagrass) handicrafts of the Iraya from Mindoro deserve room in your home but now, Pallidong can be worn on your arm. Similarly, you may opt to accentuate a black ensemble with T’boli’s T’nalak through a belt-complete with an ornate brass buckle.
Wearable pieces from Kalinga and Bacnotan
In Habi, Inabel, Hinabol, Sinamay, Pinukpok, and Hablon are spun in fresh new ways, because you can only own so many table runners and scarves. Shoes and bags that go with bandeau skirts and tops from Kalinga plus other wearable pieces have been the stars of the show for the past three runs, largely due to the organizers' vision of bridging tradition with the demands of today's market.
Banig from the Tagolwanen of Bukidnon were prominently displayed at the press preview
Colorful mats from South Cotabato
This year though, heritage is once again at the helm through the promotion of the banig. The theme is "Gawang Kamay, Banig ng Buhay" and the latter is a straightforward description of the banig's function as a mat for giving birth.
Cristina Feraren, Balay ni Atong, Dindin Araneta, Casa Amarilla, Ritual by Bea Misa, Ruby Roa Shoes, and Miag-Ao Hablon Center are just some of the few who have already shared their taste for textiles in the previous fairs and this year is bigger than ever. More than 50 groups are participating in the 4th Likhang Habi and perhaps instead of borrowing from other cultures, we can explore the many ways of wearing patadyong and malong.
The booths will be overflowing with local fabrics, and entwined in them, stories of our ancestry and the history of our nation-something most of us are sadly unfamiliar with, but hey, it’s never too late to acquire some trivia. Habi is providing an incredibly fashionable way of doing it.
Likhang Habi runs from October 24 to 26 at the Glorietta Activity Center.