This Mother’s Day, let’s recognize the role of weaving mothers through their works
Since its earliest days, weaving in the Philippines has been a tool for storytelling. It encapsulates our history, not with ink and paper, but with natural dyes and fibers. It anecdotes dreams through intricate techniques and designs that take years to be mastered. This weaving heritage is still celebrated today as among the things that make the Philippines unique. Though it had some sunset moments, we owe it to Filipinas, particularly the mothers, who have kept weaving alive and have passed it on to future generations.
That was the life lived by some of the National Living Treasures of the Philippines. The late master weavers such as Yabing Masalon Dulo, who championed the Blaan textile weaving, and Salinta Monon, known for her quality Bagobo tapestry works, both inherited the craft by watching their mother do it.
A mother’s role in indigenous communities, indeed, calls for beyond just nurturing young ones, but also includes being a vessel to pass on culture. And up to this day, weaving mothers still benefit from the craft. “One of the many goals of the weavers, especially as mothers, is to put their children through school, which is one of the reasons why they continue to weave,” according to a study conducted by the British Council.
That’s why this month, as we celebrate both Mother’s Day and Heritage Month, it is best to recognize not only the women who have helped us become who we are today, but also the ones that have helped our country’s identity to survive. Doing just that is Habi: The Philippine Textile Council, which is putting the spotlight on the artisanal works of indigenous mothers with “Habi Mama, a Habi Mother’s Day Fair,” happening until May 9, 2021, at www.shophabifair.com.
“Mothers are the ones who shepherd traditions such as weaving to their families. They are the ones who can pass on the love of weaving to kids,” says Habi vice president Ruby Roa, who is also co-chair for the Habi Mother’s Day fair. “We hope Filipinos can make this year’s Mother’s Day extra special for both the moms who cared for them and the weaver moms who take care of preserving our culture by supporting the Habi Mama campaign.”
Habi has been a strong advocate of supporting weaving communities and local artisans all over the Philippines, and its largest annual trade fair happens every October during National Indigenous Month. In its 12th year, the nonstock, nonprofit organization continues to find ways to help uplift these local artisan communities through pop-up fairs like Habi Mother’s Day under its Habi Mama project, especially since they have been strongly impacted by the pandemic.
The organizer of artisan fairs, have worked closely with its partner communities to come up with special “curated” gift baskets. Made by women-lead basket-weaving Tagbanua communities in Aborlan, Palawan, these baskets contain themed gift sets composed of sustainable and ethical fashion and lifestyle products from over 28 merchants representing various weaving and local artisan communities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The Stay Safe Mama
The Kikay Zoom Mama
The Relaxed Mama
The Cooking Mama
The Garden Plantita Mama
The Coffee-lover Mama
For more updates on Habi: The Philippine Textile Council, visit its Facebook page and follow on Instagram at @habifair.