Ilocos Norte town passes ‘Inabel’ tradition to younger generation

PINILI, Ilocos Norte – To preserve the traditional skills of “Inabel” weaving, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in partnership with the Katutubo Exchange Philippines (KXPH) and Local Government Unit of Pinili organized a weaving class in Ilocos Norte.

A total of 40 graduates marched up on the stage as they received their ‘Sablay’ made of local hand-woven cloth in a recent graduation rites conducted at Pinili National High School, with the presence of some local officials and ‘Inabel’ folk tale Magdalena Gamayo.

Gamayo, also a Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or the National Living Treasure Awardee who personally taught the students from the different parts of Ilocos Norte of the traditional skills and techniques of local weaving happily shares her excitement in the program.

“Maragsakan nak la unay ta agtultuloy daytoy a programa a pannakaisuro nu kasanu ti panagabel (I am very happy that this program continues to preserve the skills of ‘Inabel’ weaving),” said Gamayo.

Dr. Edwin Antonio, program director and founder of KXPH said that the program started under the tutelage of Gamayo as she welcomes younger generation to learn the tradition for its preservation.

“We started this program in 2018 with only ten graduates then. After that, the LGU of Pinili expressed their willingness to create another batch of learners, now we have 40 from the different parts of Ilocos Norte and one from the Visayas region,” Antonio said.

According to Antonio, the students underwent lectures on weaving and course orientation then tour orientation in Lumbaan-Bicbica in Pinili town here as part the course program.

Then they were taught to weave using the ‘Pagablan’, the local instrument used in ‘Inabel’ weaving from the legendary Gamayo and the rest of her family, who were also taught to keep the traditional weaving alive.

As the graduates finished the course, Antonio proudly announced that they were able to produce 64 yards of Abel cloth during the duration of the program. (Cherry Joy D. Garma)