9 minutes ago
Road trip to Kalibo, Aklan in search of handwoven piña and abaca cloth for our accommodations. I was lucky to meet the weaver, Catalina who will be making our bedding accents from abaca and silk. She learned from her mother and still works a full time job, finding time in the evenings to weave. .
I was sad to find out from other shops that I visited that the number of weavers is declining. Many products have been discontinued because there's simply no one left that knows how to make it, or people that are part of the production process are no longer working. One shopkeeper had told me that many of his weavers choose not to work because they are entitled to 4Ps, a monthly government "cash transfer", and would rather wait for their monthly gift from the government than work to earn additional income. .
In any case, we choose to support these dying arts in hopes of building an awareness and appreciation for traditional crafts among visitors, guests, and curious onlookers. Of course these items may be slightly more expensive, but we are directly supporting the person who proudly made a product that is both beautiful and durable. These aspects of choosing quality and supporting tradition are important to us and we hope to demonstrate its importance to others
Abaca is known internationally as "manila hemp". Fibers come from the stalk of the abaca plant. Abaca belongs to the Muscacae family and strongly resembles the banana plant. .
Piña cloth comes from the 🍍plant, ananas comosus. It is traditionally used to make Philippine formal wear, barong tagalog. Piña weaving is the oldest industry of Aklan province.
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