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Habi goes online

Pauline Songco



OVERSIZED beach hat by Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association.

The Philippine Textile Council continues to preserve, promote and enhance the local weaving industry by going online for the first time. With its new platform, the Likhang HABI Online Market Fair will showcase 30 sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle products from 30 merchants representing weaving communities from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

HABI chairperson Maribel Ongpin said, “There are many beautiful fabrics from the different areas in our country. One of our main goals at HABI is to make sure that traditional textiles will still be a part of our modern lifestyle as we transition to the new normal.”

Aside from the online trade fair happening from 21 to 27 October, a series of webinars and a four-day online summit (titled “Mga Hibla ng Pamana: A Summit on Weaving as Intangible Cultural Heritage”) in partnership with Nayong Pilipino will be conducted. HABI is also collaborating with CulturAid, Kularts, House of Gongs and Museo ng Muntinlupa for a series of webinars to discuss Filipino Identity and Contemporary Cultural Practice in the Philippines and the Diaspora.


Engaging the young
Likhang HABI also aims to involve more of the youth in promoting the local weaving industry. During the media launch last week, HABI council president Adelaida Lim suggested that educational institutions should include weaving in its curriculum, citing Aklan State University as a perfect example.

“The problem is people are not interested anymore in these crafts. Working with the hands is something that develops the intellect. This should be the focus of education. Rather than developing intellectual skills, develop your hand skills, too,” Lim said.

The Philippines currently has 5,000 weavers, 45 percent of whom are from Luzon while 30 percent are from the Visayas and 25 percent from Mindanao. These weavers, who belong from 450+ weaving groups, are able to earn roughly P3,000 a month each.

Lourdes Montinola Piña Prize
Now on its third edition, the Lourdes Montinola Piña Prize recognizes the best Filipino artisans who are able to either weave, dye, embroider or embellish piña into a fine piece of art.

Lim added, “The competition has encouraged us over the years. It brings out new talent and revives old techniques. So, we always look forward to the surprises that this competition will bring.”

Filipino fashion designers Leslie Mobo, Len Cabili and piña textile expert and food historian Felice Sta. Maria will serve as judges.

For more information on Likhang HABI Online Market Fair, the series of webinars and other HABI advocacies, visit or follow and

@habifair on Instagram.