March 14, 2012
Legarda Previews Showcase of Philippine Textiles
The new Textile Galleries at the National Museum were opened on March 13 for preview and made the setting of the Inaugural Lecture on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge, Senator Loren Legarda announced.
The creation of the Textile Galleries was a brainchild of Senator Legarda and emanated from her initial fondness of tropical fabrics, which later on became part of her advocacy to preserve indigenous culture.
"I have long dreamed of seeing a textile museum in my own country. With more than a hundred indigenous cultural communities in our country, we should showcase our rich culture and the distinctiveness of our own habi," she explained.
The Queen Sofia Hall and Hall 318 in the Old Legislative Building of the National Museum were converted into the Textile Galleries, which will be formally opened in May 2012.
The galleries house the National Museum's extensive textile collection, such as the Abel Iloko from Vigan, Tinguian blanket from Abra, Gaddang garments from Ifugao, Textiles from Polomok, South Cotabato and Maranao garments from Southern Mindanao, to name a few.
Weaving looms, including those from Senator Legarda's personal collection are displayed in the galleries; while Wyg Tysmans' photos of indigenous people wearing their traditional garments decorate the walls of the museum.
The UP Asian Center, the Fiber Industry Development Authority, Congressman Victor Ortega of the First District of La Union, Ilocos Sur Vice Governor Deogracias Victor Savellano and Councilor Edmund Gavina of Bangar, La Union also contributed items to the museum.
Even before the construction of the galleries started, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, already showcased the various native fabrics and costumes of the Philippines through several exhibits in the Senate.
Meanwhile, to enrich the citizens' knowledge on tropical fabrics and the culture of weaving, the Senator Loren Legarda Lecture Series on Philippine Traditional Textiles and Indigenous Knowledge was organized. After the inaugural lecture last March 13, succeeding talks will be held every third Friday of every other month at the new Textile Galleries.
"Our pride in being Filipinos fundamentally begins with the awareness of the beauty of the Philippines--the land and its people--our heritage, and this textile museum will be a testament to the greatness and richness of the Filipino culture," Legarda concluded.
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