For three days, Oct. 12-14, the HABI Fair held at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City showcased Philippine-made textile products, traditional woven native materials, and cotton.
More than 80 exhibitors participated in the trade fair, the most number since the HABI Fair started several years ago. Also, for the first time, textile exhibitors from the ASEAN region (Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Vietnam) took part.
Co-founded by Maribel Ongpin and HABI The Philippine Textile Council, the fair is designed to show the craftsmanship of the country’s indigenous weavers from Kalinga, Ifugao, Mindoro, Ilocos Region, Samar, and Basilan’s Yakans.
Metro Manila consumer market, long conditioned to the use of synthetic fabrics, got updated on the many ideas and possibilities locally woven textiles could turn into.
But the fair wasn’t all about selling the displayed products, it was also a way to impress upon the public’s awareness the utilization of earth-friendly resources and their sustainability, as well as the primacy of preserving the traditions of many generations past.
A fashion show featuring clothes made of natural materials proved the unlimited extent to which style and elegance could feel and look.
A highlight of the fair, aside from the workshops and lectures on sustainability, was the first Lourdes Montinola Prize for piña weaving. Montinola wrote “Piña,” a book that aims to substantiate the pineapple cloth as a national treasure.
The contest was open to all artisans who weave, dye, embroider, or embellish the fabric in the most innovative way. The winners—Arlene Tumbokon of Heritage Arts and Crafts, Ursulita de la Cruz of the De La Cruz House of Piña, and Ana Legaspi of La Hermania Atelier—and their winning pieces would make any Filipino proud.