Inauguration of Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles

May 18, 2012

Key Messages of Senator Loren Legarda
Inauguration of Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
National Museum
May 18, 2012

It has been my lifelong passion to explore the indigenous artistry of Filipinos told through traditional textiles.
I have visited numerous weaving communities all over the country. Beyond the intricate weaving technique and fine embellishments we find in these garments, we discover cultural expressions and visions of our history that have endured the test of time.
For our vibrant traditional textiles are revelations of Filipino’s indigenous life, reflections of our cultural rootedness and symbols of our identity.
We are fortunate that at least over a hundred weaving centers and communities are still in existence, keeping weaving traditions alive. But against a backdrop of a fast-changing globalized world, how do we promote, preserve, and sustain the many weaving methods deeply rooted in the Filipino culture? How do we support talented weavers, our culture-bearers, encourage them to continue weaving and pass on their expertise to the next generation?
In 2004, Republic Act 9242, or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law, which I authored, mandated the use of indigenous fibers for the official uniforms of government officials and employees, with the end in view of strengthening the local fiber industry.
I am helping the National Museum has organize the Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge, which started last March. It aims to enrich the citizens’ knowledge on tropical fabrics and the culture of weaving, and explore the local technology, adaptation and innovations to perform and renew weaving customs. This will bring together indigenous peoples, professionals, educators, students and decision -makers who can contribute to the enrichment of the weaving tradition.
The Hibla ng Lahing Filipino is not only an effort to celebrate indigenous artistry through textiles and provide more Filipinos the opportunity to discover priceless information about our heritage, but an attempt to bring the challenge of nurturing our weaving traditions into the national stage, to a wider audience.
I wish to thank all of you for joining me and the National Museum as we unveil a significant stride in our shared desire of bringing our culture into full bloom again.
I invite you to take yourself in a journey, explore the similarity and diversity of our traditional textiles, and be fascinated with the traditional skills that gave fruit to such artistic creations.
The task before us is to help our people value and continue our heritage. We must open doors of opportunities for weaving communities. We must promote greater support for cultural enterprises and creative industries of our indigenous peoples.
Let us make our people’s cultural identity a fundamental source of their socio-economic development. And let our common vision and values weave us together as we seek to empower those who have given meaning to our being Filipino.