AFTER successfully pivoting online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Likhang Habi Fair, which focuses on local weaving traditions, will go back onsite at Glorietta after a two-year hiatus.
“It’s exciting,” said HABI president Adelaida Lim about going live again. The fair will be held from Oct. 14 to 16 Glorietta Activity Center in Makati, and will feature more than 60 vendors from around the Philippines.
HABI: The Philippine Textile Council has been setting up the fair since 2009. During the pandemic, it had set up shop online, and is now currently selling some items and showing textile-related content on its website, www.habiphilippinetextilecouncil.com.
“That was a learning curve for us. A big one. But we thought it would be a good thing, to go into having a website. There’s so many things we had to learn,” Ms. Lim told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the press preview for the fair on Sept. 22 in Makati.
While she could not give us exact sales figures, she did say that the website had constant activity. “That really helped the organization grow. Our reach was much wider — we became international overnight.”
Through sales, they not only help traditional textile weavers to earn money, but to help preserve important cultural heritage in the country. “It’s a big, big help, and that’s really the way to start preservation, to get people aware.”
Ms. Lim said that at the last Habi fair before the pandemic, they made P6 million in gross sales. “Just that experience, where you see interest in your product, the more you’ll create,” she said about the participating weavers.
Aside from the commercial aspect, the fair will also feature two competitions: the annual Lourdes Montinola Piña Weaving Competition and, starting this year, the Eloisa Hizon Gomez Abaca Competition.
Among the vendors in this year’s fair are Abek Home & Culture, Abre Linea, Accelerate Sulu, Adante Leyesa, Aishe Fashion, Angie’s Yakan Handloom Weaving, Anihan sa Ibaan, Aruga Handwovens, Balud Craft, Bicol Sweetgrass Handicrafts, Camisa Amana, Cariñosa, Casa Garcia, Coco & Tress, Crafted Pilipinas, Creative Definitions, Ditta Sandico, En Barong Filipino, Gifts and Graces, Habi, Helena Alegre Sculptural Jewelry, Idyllic Summers, Ifugao Nation, Iraya Mangyan Art, Jor-El Espina, Kalinga Weaving, Kaya Mana PH, Knitting Expedition, La Bonne Vie, La Herminia, Lakat Sustainables, Local Home + Art + Fashion, Mabaysay, MCV Designs, Milvidas, Monica Madrigal, Narda’s Nina Abel, Pidayit, Piesa, Pina Seda Primera, PNay, Provenciana, Raquel’s Piña Cloth Products, Ruby Roa with Lila Lifestyle, Rurungan Collective, Siegrid Bangyay Pottery, Silahis Arts and Artifacts, Style Isle, Tadeco Home, The Manila Collectible Co., Tinampuso, Tuwas Yakan Weavers, WeaveManila Inc., Woven, WVN Living, and WYC Wear Your Culture.
On a more personal note, we asked Ms. Lim about the advantages of wearing handwoven textiles. “When I wear something handwoven, I always feel more secure. It’s very assuring.”
For more information about HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, call 0921-849-6974 or e-mail email@example.com. — Joseph L. Garcia