Words by Oriana Cuenca
Baybayin has hit the mainstream as young Filipinos show a renewed interest in traditional Filipino culture. The indigenous script of the ethnic Tagalogs can be seen all over social media and even t-shirts and jewelry.
For those looking for a classier way to wear their Filipino pride while also learning more about the culture, Likhang HABI is hosting their 9th Market Fair with a focus on a new more immersive cultural experience.
Photo by Blew David
In line with its mission of promoting local culture, Likhang HABI offers visitors a chance to experience the indigenous weaving process themselves. Visitors will be taught the basics of weaving with natural local fibers and will get to create their own woven products to take home. There will also be a workshop on modern weaving featuring different textiles, colors, and techniques in the Community Craft Loom. HABI goers will also have the chance to learn macramé, a textile technique that uses knots instead of weaving.
“We encourage Likhang HABI fairgoers to immerse themselves in the beautiful weaving communities and traditional textiles of our country,” says HABI Chair Maribel Ongpin. “We will have participating weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao so the opportunity to learn at the fair is endless.”
Going beyond weaving, Likhang HABI will be hosting Baybayin workshops for those who want to understand and write the precolonial script. Art installations, cultural dances, and traditional Filipino music will also be a part of the market fair.
T’nalak and Abaca Ikat from South Cotabato and Habol Negrense from Negros Occidental
Local, sustainable, and ethical
Traditional textiles are the highlight of the 9th Likhang HABI Market Fair with 52 merchants from all over the Philippines. Habol negrense from Negros Occidental, yakan from Basilan, inaul from Maguindanao, binubudan from Ifugao, binakol and abel from Ilocos, and tepina from Palawan are just some of the many local fabrics used in various lifestyle and fashion goods that will be sold in the fair.
Among the fashion items available will be bags, accessories, and shoes from local craftsmen. Likhang HABI Market Fair 2019 will also feature a talk on the importance of the local shoe-making industry.
Lakat sustainable shoes
Coco and Tres
Promoting pure Philippine cotton is one of the long term goals of Likhang HABI. Several merchants will be showcasing how Philippine cotton can be combined with indigenous fabrics to create contemporary Filipino fabrics such as cotton ikat and cotton abaca.
“There is an abundance of beautiful fabrics in the Philippines and we want to show that these fabrics from different corners of the Philippines can be a part of our modern lifestyle,” says HABI President Adelaida Lim.
Mission and recognition
Adelaida Lim and Kelly Mortensen of HABI showing the i Bb kain fabric, handwoven and embroidered by Kalinga weavers
Likhang HABI has had a long commitment to providing local weaving communities a platform to enhance their skills and integrate modern trends with their traditional styles.
The awarding of the 2nd Lourdes Montinola Piña Prize will also take place during the fair to recognize exceptional skill in pineapple threads artistry.
Baybayin is only the beginning. Filipinos are out to reclaim a heritage that they have nearly lost. Events like the Likhang HABI Market Fair are here to reconnect the Philippines with its roots using the threads we love, threads that bind us.
HABI: The Philippine Textile Council is excited to take you through the #HABIJourney at the 9th Likhang HABI Market Fair on October 11 to 13 at the Glorietta 3 Activity Center in Makati City.
For more information, visit www.habitextilecouncil.ph and Instagram @habifair.