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Inauguration of “Habol Panay: The Woven Artistry of Western Visayas” Textile Gallery

December 15, 2018

Message of Senator Loren Legarda*

Inauguration of “Habol Panay: The Woven Artistry of Western Visayas” Textile Gallery

15 December 2018 |National Museum Western Visayas Regional Museum

*Delivered by Ms. Tala Maralit, Chief of Staff, Office of Sen. Legarda

Today, I am filled with pride in welcoming you to our own textile gallery in the Panay Island, the“Habol Panay: The Woven Artistry of Western Visayas” permanent textile gallery.

It has been my lifelong passion to explore the indigenous artistry of Filipinos told through traditional textiles. We have so much to show the world and I have proven this with the numerous visits I had to various weaving communities around the country. I even go to the remotest barangays if only to see the most skilled weaver of a town or province. No weaver has ever failed to amaze me yet. Their diligence, creativity and passion are truly remarkable.

That is why I thought of establishing the country’s first permanent textile gallery, Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles, at the National Museum of Anthropology in 2012.

The gallery features the raw materials and looms used in weaving, the relevance of textiles in various communities, the different fabrics and styles of weaving, and various traditional textiles from ethno-linguistic communities, including the oldest existing textile in the Philippines, the Banton cloth.

To further explore our weaving traditions, we also launched the Senator Loren Legarda Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge, which explores the aesthetics, material culture and processes of ethnic identity along with skills and information-generation through fabric. It later evolved into interactive lectures and demonstrations featuring weavers and embroiderers from different parts of the country including the sinamay weavers from Arevalo, Iloiloweavers ofpatadyong and its innovations from Indag-an Cooperative in Miag-ao, Iloilo; patadyong weavers from the Bagtason Loom Weavers Association in Bugasong, Antique; and the Panay Bukidnon who showed their panubok.

Also part of my vision is to have regional textile galleries so that each region can showcase its unique weaving heritage. The first Hibla regional gallery, called Hibla Iloko, was launched in 2017 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Now that we have our own permanent textile gallery, our aim is not only to showcase the Panay traditions of weaving and embroidery but also to share this rich heritage to our kasimanwas and to ensure its preservation.

I will make sure that we will also have weaving demonstrations in this gallery and maybe even invite other provinces so we can share weaving traditions and exchange knowledge on weaving processes.

As we open the Habol Panay gallery, I invite you to take yourself in a journey, explore the similarity and diversity of our weaves, and be fascinated with the traditional skills that gave fruit to such artistic creations.

Thank you.