Text by JOHN ROLAND LEGASPI
Photos by LOUCEL HEMONGALA
Folks in florals, tie-dyes, and psychedelic colors flooded the shores of White Beach in Puerto Princesa to kick off the summer season. Like other music festivals, Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival was not short of style inspirations. Apart from the best in local music, art, and gastronomy, it also showcased style gems drawn from Philippine indigenous traditions and culture.
An ethical brand that produces traditional accessories such as beaded bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, Yakang Yaka aims to raise the flag on indigenous pieces and bring them closer to the local market. Made of leftover cotton threads from weavers, the accessories have zero waste by-products as part of their sustainability goals. Among the cutest things in the booth were the stuffed animals produced from collaborations with Filipino designers and weavers. There is also an arts and crafts area filled with blocks of wood as canvases for vistors to paint on. Weaved merchandise such as mats, hats, and colorful backpacks were on display, made from abaniko and rattan materials.
DREAMLAND BOOTH BY INDIE GREEN CULTURE
Since 2010, Dreamland has been producing sweet dreams, visually captivating arts and merchandise. The set-up is a psychedelic view of fluttering feathers, from the smallest dream catchers to the hugely beaded ones. Hanging on the walls were oddly beautiful neckpieces ranging from artfully beaded strings to rare stones in majestic earth tones.
email@example.com | Instagram: @indiegreenculture
Devoted to products made by the Negrense, Creative Definitions strives to innovate local weaves, making them a sustainable venture for the Negrense people. From the mountains of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, the brand has partnered with nine Negrense weavers in producing eco-friendly towels in a waffle weave pattern, hablon patadyong, and brightly colored shawls and scarves naturally tinted with Talisay leaves, to name a few.
weavephilippines.com | Instagram: @creativedefinitions
Among Malasimbo 2019’s special exhibitors was the friendly tribe from Mindoro, the Mangyans. They brought with them some of their indigenous products such as their wrap skirt, also known as ramit, jackets and blouses with pakudos design, and weaved bags made from buri and nito in a broad range of sizes. Also presented were vibrantly colored bags, stringed accessories,and a display of their weaving apparatus.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE BUY LOCAL?
Malasimbo 2019 was a great platform in introducing the best of the local talents in the music industry. Apart from the epic performances, it also shed some light on the local brands aiming to penetrate fashion retail. These brands aim to inspire weavers in Negros and Panay to hone their product development skills, build longterm trades, and achieve sustainability through ethical marketing. This music platform also encourages local talents and entrepreneurs to grow more resources such as cotton and rattan to increase their revenue potential. Supporting the brands will not only raise awareness about locally made products but also help support feeding programs for the students of Kabankalan.