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Members of the ASEAN Women’s Circle — Washington, D.C. (AWC-DC) learn about the rich weaving and embroidering tradition of the Philippines at the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino lecture and weaving demonstration featuring Piña-Seda: Pineapple and Silk Cloths from the Tropics at the Philippine Embassy in Washington on June 11, 2018.


WASHINGTON — “Born out of the passion and dedicated efforts of Sen. Loren Legarda and the National Museum of the Philippines, Hibla ng Lahing Filipino is the country’s first permanent textile gallery that highlights the indigenous artistry of Filipinos through traditional textiles,” Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said in his opening remarks during the inauguration of Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Traveling exhibition at the Philippine Chancery Annex on June 10, 2018.

As part of the Kalayaan 2018 celebration that aims to re-introduce Philippine culture to kababayans in the United States, the Philippine Embassy arranged a week-long line-up of “Hibla” activities, led by a delegation from the National Museum of the Philippines, for the Washington community.

At a lecture held at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building on June 11, 2018, the members of the ASEAN Women’s Circle — Washington, D.C. (AWC-DC) were introduced to traditions that have been passed on from one generation to the next within the families of the expert weavers and embroiderers of Kalibo, Aklan and Lumban, Laguna, Philippines, respectively.

After the lecture, the ASEAN ladies and spouses also participated in a workshop where they had the chance to do their own embroidery based on available designs provided by the National Museum team.

Some ladies, including Madame Soumaly Sayavongs, spouse of Lao PDR Ambassador Mai Sayavongs, also tried her hand at weaving using the loom displayed at the exhibit.


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Madame Soumaly Sayavongs of the Embassy of Lao PDR tries out the weaving loom at the Hibla exhibit.


The Philippine Embassy also arranged for the 6th graders of Lasalle Backus Elementary school to learn from the country’s rich weaving and embroidering heritage on June 15, 2018, as part of their final activity under the Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) held in partnership among DC Public Schools, Washington Performing Arts, and the Embassy.

The 6th graders learned about the pineapple and silk fibers, and how these fibers are being transformed into cloths through the process of weaving and embroidery.

The weavers and embroiderers also assisted the students in doing embroidery designs and trying out the weaving loom.

“We are privileged and honored to be the first venue of the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino traveling exhibition here in the United States. It presents us a unique opportunity to highlight and share our indigenous Filipino artistry through our traditional textiles not only with our Washington stakeholders but also with Filipino and Filipino-American communities in the Metro DC area,” Romualdez said in a statement.

On two separate occasions, the National Museum team also conducted embroidery workshops at the George Washington University The Textile Museum, and at the Smithsonian Museum’s Freer-Sackler Gallery of Art on June 13 and 14, 2018, respectively.

The Embassy’s economic stakeholders likewise had their lecture session and embroidery workshop in the afternoon of June 15, 2018.


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Embroidery workshop held at the George Washington University The Textile Museum on June 13, 2018.


The delegation from the National Museum of the Philippines was composed by Mr. Jeremy Barns, Director; Dr. Ana Maria Theresa Labrador, Assistant Director; Marites Tauro, researcher; Jessica Marquinez, researcher; Joan Monedo, expert embroiderer; Lilian Theresita Del Valle, expert embroiderer; Rhodora Dela Cruz Sulangi, expert weaver; and Usulita Marte Dela Cruz, expert weaver.

The Hibla ng Lahing Filipino traveling exhibition will be open for viewing at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex until July 16, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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Embroidery workshop held at the Smithsonian Museum’s Freer-Sackler Gallery of Art on June 14, 2018.


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Sixth graders of Lasalle Backus Elementary school learn about pineapple and silk fibers from the Philippines at their final Embassy Adoption Program activity held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on June 15, 2018.

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