By Nikka Garriga
BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO— The Hanunuos of Oriental Mindoro are known for their ramit fabric weaved from the wild cotton of the burak tree called bunang.
This indigenous textile is represented by stripe patterns and distinct blue color acquired by immersing the bunang in a bath filled with leaves from the tagum tree.
The ramit is then turned into blankets and skirts worn among the tribal communities of Bulalacao, Roxas and Mansalay.
The advent of rye and polyester in the market, however, has consequently led to neutrality or a seeming disinterest on a decade-long culture and heritage.
Reliving and creating awareness to traditions such as the pagbubunang is among the objectives of this year’s Manila Fame.
The Hibla Pavillion of Textiles and Weaves of the Philippines is an exhibit of various indigenous products that seeks to preserve and propagate the wealth of Filipino indigenous knowledge through the School of Living Traditions (SLTs)
SLTs are where master artists or craftsmen teach the skills and techniques of traditional arts to a select group of students belonging in the same ethno-lingustic community.
Among the exhibitors include the traditional weaving of the Ivatans, Hanunuos, Mangyans and Gaddangs; traditional nito vines basketry of the Iraya Mangyans; panubok embroidery of the Panay Bukidnons; and tinalak and mewel weaving of the T’bolis and B’laans.
Each section of the pavilion is a glimpse into the different traditions that symbolize the lives and distinct craftsmanship of our indigenous communities.
“It [Hibla] is the fiber of being, the vein that pulses energy, the sinew that strengthens and bind.” the inscription reads.
“These traditions, as told by the master artists and their students, help in shaping the ongoing saga of the Filipino people.”
The exhibit is an initiative of Senate Committee on Cultural Communities Chairman Loren Legarda in line with “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles” showcased at the National Museum.
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