Legarda Promotes Culture-Based Livelihood in Antique

November 16, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda aims to empower local communities in her home province of Antique through livelihood programs that not only bring income to families but also preserve the cultural heritage of the province.

Legarda, who supports micro enterprises and is a staunch advocate of heritage preservation, said that communities need to be empowered and provided support to further develop culture-based livelihood.

“In providing families and communities sources of income, we need not reinvent the wheel. Our handicrafts, pottery, weaving and embroidery are part of our heritage as Antiqueños and these are what we should continue to develop so that we provide jobs and livelihood to more people,” she stressed.

In the recently held National Arts and Crafts Fair (NACF) in Manila, all 18 municipalities of Antique were represented, each town showcasing their products—muscovado, tablea, handwoven patadyong, hand-made pots, and handicrafts made of nito, bariw, buri, abaca, and bamboo.

Aside from their participation at the NACF, which was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership with Senator Legarda, they have also received assistance either through trainings and seminars or provision of equipment and raw materials.

The Pandan-based Sto. Rosario Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which makes handicrafts from bariw, buri and abaca, has received various assistance such as provision of raw materials, trainings by DTI, and the construction of a weaving center.

The rural women of Malabor, Tibiao have been known for their skills in weaving for many generations producing patadyong, shawls and piña-silk cloths, but they experienced a downtrend in the late 1990s. Through Senator Legarda’s support, the Malabor Abaca-Pina Weavers Association in Tibiao now has a Weaving and Fiber Processing Center supervised by the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA).

Meanwhile, the Bagtason Loom Weavers Association in Bugasong, which uses natural cotton and indigo dye in making handwoven patadyong with pinilian design, is also a recipient of various projects such as provision of cotton seeds, planting of Tayum, improvement of their weaving center, as well as trainings from the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI).

Legarda said that such efforts ensure that local livelihood is sustainable because it is culture-based and run by the community.

“Through culture-based livelihood, we provide our people sources of income and at the same time we contribute to preserving our cultural heritage. There is also a stronger sense of ownership by the community because they inherited these traditions from their ancestors. Through these programs, we also hope to develop among our youth interest in traditional skills and present the economic opportunities that can be derived from acquiring or improving on such skills,” Legarda concluded.***