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Iloilo's Hablon: A Colorful Product in the Textile Capital of the Philippines

Iloilo

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Nov 11, 2015

The handloom weaving began when Ilonggos thought of using the materials they bartered from the Chinese. 

Hablon, a Hiligaynon word for habol, refers to both the weaving process and its finished product.

In the late 18th century, textiles were Iloilo’s main export until 1870s. Miagao is one of the towns in Iloilo that capitalized on its hablon industry. Other nearby towns such as Arevalo, Janiuay, Jaro, Mandurriao, Molo, Sta. Barbara, and Tigbauan  . Iloilo was then known as the “textile capital of the Philippines” because it raked in money by exporting the hand-woven fabric to other countries. 

READ: Age Old Art of Patadyong Weaving

The traditional production of loom weaving is a skill that was passed on through generations. Up to the present time, the hablon-making industry of Miagao, Iloilo still continues to thrive as some women in town try to revive it. In the production center, the older weavers teach interested young girls to do loom weaving. And, as soon as they’re ready, they may already substitute their mothers in weaving. Traditionally, the girls are then expected to replace their mothers and become the breadwinners of the family.

The weaving industry in Miagao has also given women an opportunity, most especially for those who can’t find any work, to provide a better future for their families. Miagao already has many hablon weavers supported by private organizations and the LGUs. Hablon textile is also being used in the fashion industry in making barongs and gowns.

READ: Fashion Designer, Filipina Pride: Jaki Peñalosa


How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour).

(All photos courtesy of MagTV na Amiga! Watch MagTV na Amiga every Sunday or at www.iwantv.ph)

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