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13th Likhang HABI Market Fair: Weaving a future one product at a time

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Oct 04, 2023 9:48 pm

The Philippines' rich weaving tradition is more than just fashion and an art form, it is a way for Filipinos to celebrate their culture and heritage. Each strand and fabric tells a story, making weaving a vital part of Filipino identity.

To tell its wonders to a wider audience, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council will hold the 13th edition of its annual Likhang HABI Market Fair on October 13-15 at the Glorietta and Palm Drive Activity Center. 

Anchoring to the theme "Web of Woven Wonders," the market fair builds on and pays homage to the deepening and ever-expanding digital world we now live in while fostering the growing interconnectedness of people, places, and things just like how "textiles tie and bind us to each other." 

Ruyag PH Handmade Bag

“The country’s traditional textiles and the innovative weaves various groups of Filipinos have come up with are truly wonderful,” said Adelaida Lim, former president of HABI. “The diversity and beauty of finished products, and the consummate skill it took to make them are something we can all be proud of," she added. 

Milvidas Christmas Ball

This year, a total of 72 vendors from various regional and ethnic groups will join LHMF, selling handwoven and hand-crafted textiles, ready-to-wear clothes, bags and shoes, home accessories, and furniture pieces made of materials such as piña, abaca, and cotton, among others.

Expect to see brands like Lakat, Beatriz Accessories, Ditta Sandico, Twinkle * Ferraren, MCV Designs, and more, as well as exhibitors from Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

"Apart from giving, say, our designers a range of possibilities which they could incorporate with our local textiles, inviting our friends from abroad also helps us to learn from their industries, experiences, and best practices, including the support they’re getting from their respective governments," said Mia Villanueva, the current president of HABI.

Two competitions

The council is also holding several events during the three-day fair including the two competitions: the 6th annual Lourdes Montinola Piña Weaving Competition and the 2nd Eloisa Hizon Gomez Abaca Weaving Competition. 

Both competitions aim to promote and bolster the art of hand-weaving, which, based on HABI’s previous experiences, especially with piña, has resulted not only in innovation but also in the re-emergence of what was previously thought of as lost styles and weaving techniques.

Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association, Inc. (TWWA) Master Weaver Grecil Guirra demonstrates to students how Bukidnon-Tagoloanen traditional weaving is done.

Paul Jatayna's Textile Exhibit

The fair will also feature works of Paul Jatayna, a young multi-disciplinary artist and production designer whose signature creations fuse seemingly disparate and unyielding elements such as metal and concrete with fluid once-like textiles. This is to reach more and appeal to a younger market. 

Jatayna will display his pieces as fixtures crafted from patchworks of different fabrics incorporating six regional textiles he hand-picked himself, as well as a short video about his textile exhibit’s theme, which he produced.

Documentaries about the country's weaving tradition

HABI’s efforts have extended to the production of documentaries and the publication of books to promote and put into context the country’s long and rich hand-weaving tradition, including its history, and the important role it plays as part of the country’s culture. 

Dubbed “The Threaded Traditions Series,” the three HABI-produced documentaries focus on the textiles of Panay Island, the ikat of the Cordillera, and the inabal of the Bagobo Tagabawa. 

“At the onset of the pandemic, we ventured into the production of these documentaries. They have been shown in museum exhibits and cultural conferences abroad. They are also available for classroom screenings upon request through our website,” said Lim.

The 13th Likhang Habi Market Fair will be from Friday, October 13 to Sunday, October 15, located at the Glorietta Activity Center all the way up to the area fronting Palm Drive in Makati City.