Sponsorship Speech of Senator Loren Legarda Senate Bill No. 2583 or The Aklan Piña Museum and Cultural Center Act

May 22, 2024

Mr. President,
On December 5th of last year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, known as UNESCO, inscribed the Piña Handloom Weaving of Aklan into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, a testament to the tireless efforts of many, particularly of our weaving communities, my office, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, to preserving the country’s cultural heritage.

Locally known as Piña, this exquisite fabric is woven from the fibers of the Red Spanish Pineapple variety, renowned for its durability, and transformed into garments of elegance by the skilled hands of Akeanon weavers. Piña is a living tradition, a craft passed down through generations within families and nurtured in Schools of Living Traditions, established through the collaboration of local communities and the government.

This UNESCO inscription is not only a recognition of the craftsmanship behind piña; it marks the first-ever intangible cultural heritage element from our nation in traditional craftsmanship and the first from the Visayas region. This honor joins the ranks of our other celebrated cultural treasures that showcase our nation’s traditional expressions and culture, such as the Ifugao hudhud chants, the punnuk ritual, the Meranaw Darangen epic, and the Subanen buklog ritual.

Mr. President,
We have to further develop and promote the piña tradition. The establishment of the Aklan Piña Museum and Cultural Center, through Senate Bill 2583 represents a significant step in this direction. This museum and cultural center will be multifunctional and interdisciplinary, offering education, leisure, arts and culture promotion, fostering social integration among community members and drawing in volunteers from the local community, all working together to safeguard our intangible cultural heritage. Focusing on the local community as its primary audience, the center will be a hub for creative discourse.

Through this museum and cultural center, we will ensure that the stories and skills embedded in the delicate fibers of piña will continue to inspire and enrich lives. This center will be a testament to the resilience and creativity of our people, a place where tradition and innovation coexist and where every visitor, whether a local resident or a curious traveler, can find a piece of Aklan’s soul.

Maraming salamat po! Isang makasining na araw at isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!