From the Old to the New: Kandama Empowers Ifugao Traditions

Local designers and social entrepreneurs were joined by celebrity guests, socialites, and dignitaries on August 19 at the Axon Hall, Green Sun Hotel to revive indigenous Ifugao weaving traditions through Kandama, a social enterprise that seeks to empower the struggling Ifugao weavers through the creation of modern pieces.

The group came together under one goal: to support the official launch event of Kandama and subsequently,  promote the Ifugaos traditions and way of life while nurturing the terraces that sustain them.

The various Kandama collaborators were also present, including celebrated designer John Rufo; furniture designer Joco Calimlim; footwear brand Ranroe; the creators of instant hijab, Azrul Izzam of Airaz; Filipino watchmaker, Ibarra; and Singaporean leather bags social enterprise, Nomad. Mark Escay and Engineer LA Sevilla of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila were also present for Kandama Man.

The event, an initiative to revive the elegance of cultural heritage of Ifugao weaving with the creation of clothes that showcase the woven products, was also attended by University of the Philippines-Diliman’s resident ethnic music & dance ensemble, Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino (UP Kontra-GaPi). The exotic music played by UP Kontra-GaPi inspired beauty and grandeur as Kandama presented its stunning collection.

Aside from the angel investors and high net-worth individuals who were attracted by its cause, Kandama also got the support of the Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty Manila for the event. As the first of its kind in the country, this beauty school equips their attendees with international qualifications in the intricacies, wonder, and brilliance of makeup artistry which they used to showcase the elegance of the woven Kandama fabric.

Kandama’s founder, Victor Mari Baguilat Jr., also shared the vision and mission of the social enterprise – to transfer the art of weaving with the age-old designs of the Ifugao ancestors to the younger generation of women while expanding the market, that the women of Julongan village in Kiangan may have the commercial incentive to keep weaving.

During the official launch event, Kandama’s founder emphasized the need to employ commercial strategies to address the weavers’ need for livelihood in between the agricultural cycle. He also called for support, that the women may have a formal training center with all the materials needed to learn about weaving.

To show your support to the indigenous Ifugao weavers, please call 0915 732 8685 or visit the Kandama website.

From flashy evening gowns to daily fashionable wearables, Kandama has a fantastic range of collections for both men and women. To find out more, please visit Kandama’s Facebook page ( or call 0915 732 8685.

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