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HABI Pop-Up of Culture fair: Keeping Filipino weaving traditions alive

We, at Manila Millennialtake pride in Filipino creations not just within Manila, but all over the Philippines as well. This is why we’re stoked to see local weaving traditions be brought to life at Shangri-La Plaza, where most people opt to shop for foreign-branded outfits.

In case you missed it, The Shang hosed its first-ever HABI Pop-Up of Culture fair last June 28-30 at their Grand Atrium. They featured live weaving sessions and talks to promote preservation of Filipino heritage, in partnership with non-profit organization HABI: The Philippine Textile Council. They work to preserve, promote, and enhance Philippine textiles education, communication, and research to sustain weaving communities all over the country.

During the 3-day fair, mall guests witnessed a live mat banig weaving by Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association, back strap loom by Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts, and floor weaving by Evelinda Yakan.

Another highlight is a special talk about the HABI book RaRa: The Art and Tradition of Mat Weaving in the Philippines last June 28, created in collaboration with author Elmer Nocheseda. RaRa is the most updated book about the weaving industry. Nocheseda traveled to at least 30 communities to document each mat weaving technique.

Experimental designer Twinkle Ferraren also took the stage last June 29 for the Style Isle Weaving Interactive Workshop for those who want to further their local textile know-how. Ferraren creates ethically sourced and sustainably made fashion wearables, textiles and accessories. On the same day, mall guests have the opportunity to learn how to read and write the ancient script Baybayin with Nate Legaspi.

Fashion designer Ditta Sandico spoke about embracing sustainable designs to help sustain the fashion industry using local natural fibers in design aesthetics to close the 3-day fair.

HABI also rounded up brands that worked with weaving communities such as Ylocos Heritage that promotes inabel Iloko and Lokal Home + Art + Fashion that advocates contemporary products using Sagada and Abra fabrics.

The fair also featured Abre Linea that works with Haiyan-ravaged weaving communities in Leyte and Samar as well as Woven Crafts that collaborates with paraglara or banig weavers working inside the Saob Cave in Basey, Samar.

HABI also presented woven products from Mindanao-based brands like Tagolwanen Handwoven from the Tagolwanen tribe women of Malaybalay, Bukidnon and Style Isle that produces patches and charms from upcycled abaca-fabrics as well as brass jewelry from the T’boli tribe.

Other brands to look out for are Milvidas known for its hand-crocheted items from local yarn, Pnay that transforms hand-woven indigenous fabrics into everyday contemporary wear, and Melgrano for its handwoven shoes.

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