Walong Filipina: Alay sa Manghahabi

March 28, 2015

Walong Filipina: Alay sa Manghahabi
28 March 2015 | Liongoren Gallery

Allow me first to congratulate the Liongoren Gallery and HABI Philippine Textile Council. They have aptly placed the spotlight on our talented Filipino women in time for the National Women’s Month.

Today, we celebrate the strength of women and the enduring weaving culture in our country. We celebrate the talent of Filipina artists who have willingly shared their artistic gifts to honor our weavers.

We have a wealth of tropical fabrics and weaving traditions in the Philippines. At the National Museum, we have showcased weaving traditions from the Cordillera Region, Panay Region and Mindanao. Each group of weavers has varying techniques and designs that reflect the culture of their respective indigenous communities. Our weavers have never failed to leave people in awe, whether while they are weaving or once they have finished their masterpiece.

We see in every fabric the synergy of a weaver’s mind, heart and soul. This rhythm of energies gives life to the strands of thread lifelessly laying on the loom. Behind every cloth spun from threads of various origin and colors is a story of a weaver’s craft, passion, and life.

Beyond the intricate weaving technique and fine embellishments we find in these fabrics, we discover cultural expressions and visions of our history that have endured the test of time.

We are fortunate that at least over a hundred weaving centers and communities are still in existence, keeping weaving traditions alive. But against a backdrop of a fast-changing globalized world, how do we promote, preserve, and sustain the many weaving methods deeply rooted in the Filipino culture? How do we support talented weavers, our culture-bearers, encourage them to continue weaving and pass on their expertise to the next generation?

The task before us is to help our people value and continue our heritage. We must open doors of opportunities for weaving communities. We must promote greater support for cultural enterprises and creative industries of our indigenous peoples. As we do this, we also empower our weavers, many of whom are indigenous women.

I salute our Filipina visual artists who shared their time and talent to give a fitting tribute to our culture-bearers and to help revive interest and patronage in our weaving traditions.

This project of the Liongoren Gallery and the HABI Philippine Textile Council provides more Filipinos the opportunity to discover priceless information about our heritage.

Let us continue to initiate and support efforts that put premium on Filipino artisanship, uphold the traditions that give meaning to our history and identity, and ensure that our future generations would still be able to witness these cultural treasures unfold before their very eyes.

Thank you.