Legarda Pushes for Better Promotion of Tropical Fabrics

In celebration of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Month, Senator Loren Legarda urged the government and concerned sectors to push for programs that would better promote the nation’s tropical fabrics.

Legarda, principal author of the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law of 2004 (R.A. No. 9242), commended the government’s directive to carry out extensive research on indigenous fabrics and pursue development of the local textile industry, as she encouraged the compliance of government agencies and the support of private sector.

“The tropical fabrics industry has great potential in the world market. We already have the raw materials—pineapple, banana, and abaca fibers—and the skill to start with. The Philippine Textile Research Institute has been developing technologies to improve the quality of our textiles and is working on the creation of fabrics from other sources such as water hyacinth, jute and maguey. We have to sustain these research and development efforts while we strengthen the promotion of our textiles,” she said.

In promoting the nation’s tropical fabrics, Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, is spearheading the creation of a textile gallery in the National Museum that would house the various Philippine fabrics skillfully woven, mostly by indigenous weavers, and gathered from different parts of the country.

The gallery, which is nearing its completion, will be launched by February. It will primarily showcase fabrics such as the Tinguian cloth from Northern Luzon, Ifugao cloth from Mountain Province, Bilaan textile from Southern Mindanao, Mandaya textile from Davao Oriental, Bagobo textile from Davao del Sur, and the Banton Burial Cloth from Romblon, to name a few; and weaving looms from Vigan, La Union, and Mountain Province, among many others.

The Senator herself loaned fabrics and weaving looms from her personal collection.

“The textile gallery that we are setting up in the National Museum is part of our initiative to celebrate the richness and distinctiveness of our indigenous textiles, to encourage Filipinos to patronize its use, and to strengthen the tropical fabrics industry, which is attuned to our advocacy of promoting sustainable development and preserving our nation’s rich heritage,” Legarda concluded.***