Legarda Celebrates Greatness of Philippine Weaving Culture in Hibla

September 23, 2013

A row of weaving looms, a line of photographs of indigenous peoples in traditional garments, and a display of tropical fabrics from Senator Loren Legarda’s collection are among the highlights of the expanded exhibition, Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles, the country’s first permanent textile gallery.


Legarda, patron of the gallery, led the inauguration of the expanded exhibition last September 20 at the Museum of the Filipino People in Manila.


“I am happy to launch the expanded textile gallery, which is now bigger, better, and with more items in display. It includes more traditional garments made from indigenous fiber and weaving looms from several weaving communities, revealing more about our rich weaving culture,” she said.


“But one museum cannot hold a nation’s overflowing cultural richness. This is only a portion of a vast collection made by our ancestors, scattered all over the nation and seen even in other countries. In fact, when I visited the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, I discovered that Dr. Jose Rizal and I have something in common—the love for Philippine tropical fabrics,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities.


Coinciding with the launch, Legarda turned over to the National Museum photographs of Rizal’s textile collection, which is in the care of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin.


“As other nations undertake efforts to preserve cultural items from our country, like the Rizal textile collection, I hope that Filipinos will also see the significance of this heritage,” Legarda stressed.


“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,” she added.


Legarda is the author of Republic Act 9242, the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law of 2004, which mandates the use of indigenous fibers for the official uniforms of government officials and employees, with the objective of strengthening the local fiber industry.