Contemporary hand woven textiles from different regions in the Philippines received much-needed attention from the international community as SM Aura Premier launched the exhibit Habi: A journey through Philippine Woven Textile, which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps as well as government officials who celebrated the country’s most exquisite textiles.
Sen. Sonny Angara welcomed the foreign diplomats who attended the launch including Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber who was accompanied by his wife Madame Gracita; Ambassador of Nigeria to the Philippines Akinyemi Farounbi with Madame Evelyn; Madame Evelyn Rocigno of the Embassy of Italy; EU Head of Political and Press Information Lubomir Frebort with his wife Mei Frabort; Embassy of Japan Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Tetsuro Amano, and Honorary Consul of Portugal Antonio Rufino.
With diversified materials and patters that represented the country’s rich culture, the exhibit showcase the Inabel Iloko, the Cordillera weaves of abaca fabrics like sinamay, pineapple fabrics or Piña, and the Queen of Philippine textiles known as the woven in Hablon. The textiles of Maguindanao, as well as the patterns shown in different malongs commonly used by the Maranaos, Maguinadanaons, and the T’bolis, were also a highlighted, showing the south’s distinct culture. Intricate hand-plaited mats of Samar, Sulu and Palawan were also included in the exhibit.
The exhibit was based on a directory of the same title published by HABI Philippine Textile Council. Together with the help of SM Aura Premier, the HABI council was able to stage the exhibit to support and promote these hand-crafted textiles.
Besides the exhibit and the book, the event also celebrated the production of Commemorative Stamps on traditional textiles supported by the Philippine Postal Association. The special stamps, souvenir sheets, and first day covers feature photographs from the HABI manual. Works by Lilia Tasib featured the B’laan indigenous people weaving of the tabih ftarang while Ben Buyos focused on the t’nalak textile of the T’boli. The pisyabit of the Tausug and a T’boli maiden wearing the traditional malong, were also printed in the commemorative stamps.
Also present during the exhibit’s launch were Filipino Heritage president Armita Rufino, Chichi Salas, Philippine Textile Council chair Ma. Isable Ongpin, Ballet Philippines president Margie Moran, and PhilPost’s Eric Tagle.