Likhang Habi Fair: Empowered By The Philippines’ Creative And Cultural Women

Expect colorful and multiple kinds of fabrics and creative fashion put together by young designers [at Likhang Habi Fair 2018],” says founder Maria Isabel Ongpin. The three-day trade event will start from October 12 to October 14, 2018 at Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City.

The Philippine Textile

Local indigenous fabrics like the Blaan, Kalinga, Meranao, Tausug, T’boli, and Yakan are making a comeback this October.

Each of these traditional fabrics’ patterns has an inspiring story to tell. We looked into some of these stories to give more meaning to the fabrics that not only showcase Philippine craftsmanship, but a little bit of personal history as well.

For example, Kalinga designs tell the story of a young girl, Irene, who has to climb mountains with her husband Ruel. There are also pieces of Kalinga furniture made from upcycled bags. Summing it up, Habi board member Ruby Diaz Roa says, “[The fair] is all about the enlightenment of each other [—our culture and Filipino talents].”

It’s not just the pieces that have history; business owners have their own story to tell.

“[Founder of Filip + Inna] Len Cabili [does] her own bead work. She’s supporting a community [of weavers and] taking care of them. Anne Marie Saquil [of Amarie] [helps and] supports [weavers and embroiderers as well],” Ruby adds.

Ongpin says that indigenous fabrics are part of the country’s heritage.

“We feel that we should keep [and] modernize them enough [so] they will be part of our contemporary life”, she says, and that’s the main goal of the fair.

Promoting the Advocacy

Organized by non-profit organization Habi, which is owned by The Philippine Textile Council, the bazaar will showcase up to 80 exhibitors from weaving communities in the country and ASEAN regions: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

“I’m part of the Habi club because I’m interested in hand weaving [and Habi’s bringing] cotton in. [Cotton] is one of the few things I really feel [will lead] our weaving to [the] international [scene]. That’s why I joined the club, [because] I believe in the idea of us weaving in cotton, [which] Habi’s really pushing,” Anne Marie Saquil explains.

The Three-Day Fair

With the theme Woven Voyages, Likhang Habi Fair 2018 celebrates its 8th year by including this community of weavers from the country and other ASEAN regions. The trade event will premiere on October 12, 2018 from 10 AM to 9 PM at Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City.

“Our success is [thanks to the] people [who] are interested, [eager], and curious to know about Philippine indigenous textiles,” founder Isabel Ongpin proudly states.

For aspiring designers, Ruby encourages them to,  “Approach us. We can help, guide, lend, and show [you] designs. Join us. Come with us. Show us what you have.”


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