How a community in Ifugao finds a place in the modern world for traditional textiles
Seven hours away from Cubao, nestled in the mountains of Ifugao, is the small town of Kiangan. It has one bank, no 7-Elevens, and no electricity at night. Or so I thought. It still only has one bank and no 7-Elevens, but when we arrived via sleeper bus at 5 a.m., it was pitch black and no sign of anyone around. It’s almost too obvious to say, but I was convinced it was the beginning of my horror movie. As it turns out, the lights were out for the day because of power line repairs in the region. Once the power was back on, I quickly discovered that this tiny town in the mountains is not as antiquated as I — blissfully ignorant, as most Manila born-and-bred folk go — initially thought.