By Jerico Villamonte
Expect a more immersive experience at the fair this year as Habi: The Philippine Textile Council mounts the ninth Likhang Habi Market Fair.
A pioneer in artisan market fairs and textile advocacy, this year’s Likhang Habi will feature 52 participating merchants from all over the Philippines in a showcase of how sustainable and ethical fashion can be through the use of traditional textiles such as habol negrense from Negros Occidental, yakan from Basilan, inaul from Maguindanao, binubudan from Ifugao, binakol and abel from Ilocos, tepina from Palawan, and many more.
We want to show that these fabrics from different corners of the Philippines can be a part of our modern lifestyle.
Beyond putting the spotlight on local and indigenous artisans, this year’s Likhang Habi will also have visitors trying their hand at basic weaving using pure Philippine cotton and other natural local fibers at the Habi Craft Corner, and modern weaving using different materials, textures, colors, and techniques the Community Craft Loom. Workshops on the art of macramé, the art of knotting, will also be held, all in the service of enhancing the attendees’ appreciation of these crafts.
“We encourage Likhang Habi fairgoers to immerse themselves in the beautiful weaving communities and traditional textiles of our country,” said Habi chair Maribel Ongpin in a statement. “We will have participating weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao so the opportunity to learn at the fair is endless.”
“There is an abundance of beautiful fabrics in the Philippines and we want to show that these fabrics from different corners of the Philippines can be a part of our modern lifestyle,” added Habi president Adelaida Lim.
Filipino culture and heritage also get highlighted with the fair’s Baybayin workshop that offers lessons on writing and understanding the pre-colonial ancient writing script of the Philippines. Cultural dance performances, traditional Filipino music from different regions of the country, and Filipino art installations will also be part of the fair, as well as a talk on sustainable shoemaking and why it is important to support the local shoemaking industry.
Another highlight of the fair will be the awarding of the second Lourdes Montinola Piña Prize, which recognizes exceptional craftsmanship and mastery of the delicate process of turning pineapple threads into works of art.
Since 2009, Habi has been providing traditional weavers and local weaving communities a platform to further enhance their skills in creative design and modern marketing by exchanging ideas with consumers, designers, and traders. The Likhang Habi Market Fair allows them to innovate and to level up to modern trends.
The ninth Likhang Habi Market Fair will run from Oct. 11 to 13 at the Glorietta 3 Activity Center in Makati.