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Legarda, National Museum Launch “Habol Panay” Textile Gallery in Region 6

December 15, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda invites citizens and tourists of Panay Island to visit the “Habol Panay” permanent textile gallery at the National Museum Western Visayas Regional Museum (Old Iloilo Provincial Jail), Capitol Grounds, in Iloilo City starting December 16, 2018.

“Habol Panay: The Woven Artistry of Western Visayas” is an offshoot of “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles” at the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila. Hibla is the first permanent textile gallery in the country that is the project of Senator Legarda.

“Habol Panay presents the Panay traditions of weaving and embroidery, highlighting the works of masters of the different communities of Panay Island, particularly in Aklan, Iloilo and my home province of Antique, as tangible representations of craftsmanship passed on by our ancestors and continuously being embraced by our communities,” said Legarda.

The Habol Panay gallery illustrates how the weaving heritage of the Panay Island has evolved to what it is today, based on successive historical developments that connects and reconnects them to their neighboring islands within and outside Western Visayas by means of trade, partnerships, and use of indigenous and adopted materials, designs, patterns, and technology.

The exhibition consists of three sections. The first section provides an overview of the exhibition through maps of fiber sources and weaving, embroidery and lace-making centers in Western Visayas, as well as abaca, cotton, pineapple, and mulberry herbaria collection and raw materials used for textile production.

The second section focuses on historical and cultural contexts of habol. The term “habol” has been used by the early Visayans to refer to weaving, woven cloth, blanket or skirt, and loom for textile production.

The last section features how weaving, embroidery, and lace-making heritage traditions have been consciously revived and sustained through the initiatives of local communities, concerned manufacturers, designers and government agencies.

“The Hibla Gallery started with my vision to have our own permanent textile gallery that would showcase the rich weaving heritage of our country. Part of my vision is to have regional textile galleries that would highlight the weaving traditions of each region. I am happy that we now have our permanent textile gallery for the Western Visayas Region, where my home province of Antique is part,” said Legarda.

Background of Hibla Textile Gallery

The Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles at the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila is the country’s first permanent textile gallery. It is a project spearheaded by Senator Loren Legarda.

During the soft opening of the gallery in March 2012, the National Museum 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.

In July 2017, the first Hibla regional gallery, the Hibla Iloko, was launched at the National Museum Ilocos Regional Museum Complex in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

In October 2017, the first Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibition was held at the Philippine Embassy in London. The Hibla Travelling Exhibition has also been to Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Hawai’i; and Frankfurt, Germany.

“We will have more Hibla travelling exhibitions and many more Hibla regional galleries will soon rise in our country, and we hope that someday we will have not only galleries, but one whole Hibla Museum. Through these we hope to promote greater support for cultural enterprises and creative industries of our indigenous peoples and deeper appreciation of our heritage,” said Legarda.