Established in 2009 after the hosting of the Second ASEAN Traditional Textile Symposium, Habi The Philippines Textile Council, sees as its mission the preservation, promotion, and enhancement “of Philippine textiles through education, communication and research using public and private sources”
Chairwoman and Founder Maria Isabel Ongpin emphasizes the importance of preserving know how about indigenous textiles but at the same time modernizing the textile industry. In the course of working towards this objective, Habi discovered the need to reinvigorate the Philippine cotton industry. The council started working with farmers and the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority to increase Philippine cotton farms starting in Ilocos Norte and Iloilo 12 October 2018).
HABI being the pioneer in Textile market fairs holds the annual Likhang Habi Market Fair each year at Glorietta Activity center which provides the venue for weavers to showcase and sell their handwoven textiles and new product designs and connect them with the international market. During the market fair, different lectures on topics such as the importance of reviving the Philippine textile industry, fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, the issue of cultural appropriation are also conducted as a way of educating both the local and international public
Through their advocacy, Habi has seen resurgence in interest in Philippines textiles. Some women and men have been encouraged to weave back using our Natural fibers. However, Habi also cautions about the need for cultural sensitivity as we promote our indigenous textiles. While recognizing the ownership of knowledge and skills of weavers, there is need to appreciate that textiles may hold special meanings for the communities producing such, thus care in the usage of such textiles must be emphasized. Lastly, supporting directly to weaving communities to help uplift their work and its makers.
HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, will preserve, promote, and enhance Philippine textiles through education, communication, and research using public and private resources.
We envision a strong Philippine Textile Culture that is vibrant, diverse and very much a part of our modern present.