In an effort to do good and to provide some levity amidst the pandemic, two women (Miki and Chiara) decided to “go out of [themselves]” and give back to the community, to help out however they could. Likhabi, their new social enterprise, focuses on the creation of textiles and garments with the help of loomweavers in Abra, their partner community.
“First, we would like to empower the community and to allow them to grow and develop. Second, it is to weave together the Filipino Spirit through the creation and sharing of art,” Miki and Chiara said about starting up their enterprise. “While the country was on lockdown and quarantined, we thought this could somehow still bring people, communities, and cultures closer together despite being miles apart.”
Ate Jennifer from their partner community
Miki and Chiara began Likhabi during the quarantine. “Starting a social enterprise in the middle of a pandemic is definitely not the easiest thing to do. However, at the end of every day, it is always where both of us are most fulfilled,” they told us. Despite the difficulties and challenges of creating during a pandemic, they look forward to taking them head-on together, overcoming obstacles in order to create new things and to establish rapport with their partner community. They said they definitely wanted to go there and meet their community in person, but will wait until they can do so safely. “Although we do our best to build rapport with them through messages and calls to relay everything that we’re doing with Likhabi, it’s still not the same as being physically there in Abra and the community.”
Ultimately, they want to weave communities together despite the distance and uncertainty that’s been hanging over all of us. “While everyone is stuck at home, our enterprise makes it possible to connect Filipinos from different regions. Moreover, it would showcase the beauty of Abra and the culture that is kept alive by our partner community.”
Being able to appreciate the craft and the artistic talents of their partner community in Abra draw people in. The textiles and products are beautiful, and they’ve given people livelihoods during the pandemic. Surely, it’s one way to unite the different peoples in this country right now, in a time where we feel fractured and afraid. More power to you and your beautiful initiative, Likhabi!