By Alithea De Jesus
For many foreigners, there is one thing that enchants them about the Filipino culture which is not so much appreciated and patronized by the locals, and that is the Philippine weaving tradition dubbed as rich and colorful ways of how Pinoys showcase our culture and dates back almost a thousand years ago. What makes a lot of foreigners amazed about our weaving industry is how our old folks passed the tradition and skills to the next generation and make use of locally available materials such as cotton, fibers, abaca, and pineapple as raw materials. Interestingly, the weaving groups can be found across the three major islands of the Philippines Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and contribute to the local industry.
Due to pandemic, there is an inevitable slowdown in the growth of the weaving industry for various reasons such as sourcing of raw materials and production thereby resulted in contributing about 0.3 percent in the country’s GDP.
Driven by its long-standing commitment to preserve and promote the local textile industry, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council continues to highlight Filipino artisans and craftsmanship and inspire more people to welcome these into their styles, homes, and daily lives through the Likhang HABI Kalayaan Online Fair, which runs from June 12 to 20, 2021.
To be held over at shophabifair.com, HABI’s virtual mall, just in time for Independence Day, the online fair offers a wonderful selection of hand-woven and handcrafted products from over 30 merchants representing various local weaving communities in the Philippines. These sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle goods are carefully curated with the intention to breathe new life into your spaces and fit right into your new normal routines.
Featured items in the fair include those designed to refresh your Home—from laptop pillows for your home office to decor and accents for your living and dining areas, kitchen, and bedroom. For the first time ever, Pop Culture collectibles like ethnic instruments, komiks, toys, iconic figurines, tattoos, and contemporary art will also be available.
The HABI Kalayaan Fair also has a Nature and Wellness selection for all those plantitos and plantitas, pet parents, home fitness enthusiasts, and cyclists who had the chance to discover their new passion while on lockdown. As the fair begins just ahead of Father’s Day, it’s also curating unique and meaningful Gift Ideas for Dad, where you’re sure to find him the perfect present.
Always a highly anticipated part of any HABI fair, this one will of course include must-have Fashion & Accessories that showcase the Filipino weavers’ most stylish works from clothes, face masks, scarves, to malong, as well as accessories like bags, earrings, and hair accents. HABI Exclusives like its published books, the Philippine Cotton Yarn, and weaves woven by different communities with HABI Philippine Cotton Yarns also take the spotlight at the online fair.
Likhang HABI Kalayaan OnlineFairis also joining the national Dama Ko, Lahi Ko campaign, strongly supporting its invitation for Filipinos to express their Filipino-ness through the five senses. Through this online fair, Filipinos will be able to learn more about their culture, feel the “Pinoy pride” as they get to see more of what weaving communities can offer, wear more local by looking into everyday wear with weaves, and love local by buying Filipino-made products first and foremost.
Since 2009, HABI has been providing traditional weavers and local weaving communities platforms like the Likhang HABI Market Fair to enhance their skills, innovate to keep up with trends, and ultimately, give the wider market access to their works. But with the ongoing pandemic, organizing trade fairs has been unlikely. This is why HABI had quickly pivoted by going online in October 2020, helping sustain the local weaving economy, and enabling more people to see how these local weaves and products can fit easily into their lives and spaces as we transition into what we hope to be a better normal.
The Likhang HABI Kalayaan Online Fair runs from June 12 to 20, 2021 at www.shophabifair.com.