The Philippine Embassy in Madrid hosted a webinar on Philippine textiles entitled, “Reflecting Traditions, Preserving Identities: Philippine Textiles as a Medium to Promote Filipino Culture” on Sunday, 21 June 2020 streamed live on the official Embassy Facebook page. The event was produced in collaboration with Cornerstone Entertainment, who also streamed the event on their official Facebook page.
The event was part of the Embassy’s El Mes Filipino or Philippine Month program held in the month of June to celebrate 122 years of Philippine Independence through a month-long series of virtual events that highlight different aspects of Filipino culture and the Filipino Community in Spain through interviews with Filipino entrepreneurs in Spain, artists and cultural practitioners.
“In this time of lockdowns and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have shifted our Philippine Independence activities online to ensure the Filipino and Spanish communities in Spain, the Philippines and beyond, still witness our celebrations of culture and heritage that we usually do this time every year,” according to Philippine Ambassador to Spain H.E. Philippe Lhuillier.
The webinar featured Filipino women who are advocates for the use and promotion of Philippine textiles—Ms. Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Ambassador for the Arts, and advocate for the Philippine textile industry, talked about the process of discovering Philippine culture that she went through when she promoted indigenous textiles during the Miss Universe 2018 competition; Ms. Ditta Sandico, pioneering designer and wrap artiste who uses “banaca” fabrics, discussed the challenges and the future of the use of indigenous fabrics in fashion, both in the Philippines and beyond; Ms. Kylie Misa, co-founder of WVN Textiles, a women-owned enterprise anchored on the continuation of local craftsmanship, dwelled on the relationship and collaboration her company has with the local weaving communities and Dr. Marilyn Canta, Professor of Art Studies from the College of Arts and Letters in UP Diliman gave an overview of the importance of Philippine textiles to Filipino heritage.
The webinar was hosted by Ms. Raisa Mabayo, from the Cultural Unit of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid. In her introduction, she made reference to next year’s quincentennial commemorations, and called it an opportunity to contribute to discussions on Filipino identity and heritage. As a tradition that predates Spanish arrival in the Philippines in 1521 and endures to this day, and is thus an integral part of Filipino identity, it is important to ensure that preservation and responsible of promotion of Philippine textiles is part of these discussions.
The webinar on Philippine textiles has attracted the most views from among the series of webinars of the Philippine Embassy. All are invited to view the Embassy´s month-long El Mes Filipino at the Embassy’s Facebook and Instagram account.