July 25, 2022

Senator Loren Legarda once again proudly showed the exquisiteness of Filipino artistry as she wore a traditional outfit during the opening session of the 19th Congress on Monday.

Legarda, a known supporter of Philippine fiber, and local textiles,  donned a more than two-decade old Patis Tesoro kimona made of piña, which she had even before becoming a senator. She paired it with an elegant handwoven pinya seda with traditional hand-embroidered full callado with alsado multipurpose tapis.

The fine piece is made of piña cloth from Aklan and was created for more than a year by local embroiderers of Lumban, Laguna.

“It has always been my passion to promote our natural fabrics by wearing them as it reflects our cultural rootedness and our identity as Filipinos. I am proud to put on dresses like this as it represents our traditions, culture and talents,” said Legarda.

As a long-time advocate of traditional Philippine fashion and for her fervor to promote the indigenous artistry of Filipinos through wearing of traditional fabrics, Legarda has authored Republic Act 9242 or the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law that promotes the Philippine fabrics by prescribing the use of local tropical cloths for official uniforms of government officials and employees.

She has organized various programs to create awareness on the country’s cultural heritage such as the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Gallery at the National Museum in Manila, the country’s first ever permanent textile gallery, that showcases the traditional textiles produced by different indigenous and cultural communities in the country.

Legarda has also spearheaded a lecture series on the 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.

Moreover, her support for local weavers and embroiderers has allowed their livelihood to grow, flourish and remain vibrant.

“We will continue to promote our national identity and culture through our indigenous artistry so that we could also help our local weavers and embroiderers gain more opportunities to discover more about our heritage, and help boost our agricultural and industrial sectors, as well,” she said.