Members of the diplomatic corps, government officials and lovers of Filipino culture recently celebrated Philippine woven wonders during the recent launches of the “Habi: A Journey Through Philippine Woven Textile” exhibit at SM Aura Premier.
The SM Aura Premier launch coincided with the launch of the commemorative stamps on traditional textiles in partnership with the Philippine Postal Association. The special stamps, souvenir sheet and first-day cover feature photographs from the Habi manual: Lilia Tasib of the B'laan indigenous people weaving a tabih ftarang; a Ben Buyos t'nalak textile of the T'boli; a pis syabit of the Tausug; and a T'boli maiden wearing the traditional malong.
The exhibit, on the other hand, were a collection of the Philippines' most exquisite textiles found in the book Habi: A Journey Through Philippine Handwoven Textiles. Published by Habi: the Philippine Textile Council, the book was launched in Manila in January 2014. It is the first directory of weavers and shops selling textiles.
The exhibits also juxtaposed contemporary handwoven textiles with traditional weaving, presenting a picture of diversity across the country. They include inabel Iloko, the Cordillera weaves abaca fabrics like sinamay, pineapple fabrics or piña, the Queen of Philippine Textiles, woven in hablon, textiles using a wide array of fibers woven in Miagao and, of course, the textiles of Maguindanao; and the malongs commonly used by the Maranaos, Maguinadanaons and the T'bolis. Intricate hand-plaited mats of Samar, Sulu and Palawan were also included in the exhibit.
Senator Sonny Angara was the guest of honor during the SM Aura Premier launch, which was attended by members of the diplomatic corps: Swiss ambassador to the Philippines Ivo Sieber with Madame Gracita, ambassador of Nigeria to the Philippines Akinyemi Farounbi and Madame Evelyn, Madame Evelyn Rocigno of the Embassy of Italy, EU head of Political and Press Information Lubomir Frebort and Mei Frabort, Embassy of Japan chargé d'affaires ad interim Tetsuro Amano and honorary consul of Portugal Antonio Rufino.
Also present were Filipino Heritage Festival president Armita Rufino and Chichi Salas, Philippine Textile Council chair Ma. Isable Ongpin, Ballet Philippines president Margie Moran and PhilPost's Eric Tagle. They were warmly welcomed by SM SVP for Marketing Communications Group Millie Dizon and SM Aura Premier mall manager Tyrone Chua.
“A Journey Through Philippine Handwoven Textiles” exhibit is one of many exciting events at SM Aura Premier.