Professor Dr. Vincent Houben from Humboldt University in Berlin says "I'm very happy to have this happen, to put in place this program to advance Philippine studies. The PH and Germany are close and very intertwined. Rizal spent quite some time here and we have lots of information about that. We're thinking in some scales we can focus with the Philippines and see in a context where there is a weaving connection. The Philippine culture needs to be seen in a broader sense. Through the program over the past couple of years, we're grateful that we have a lot who have done their studies about the country, welcome from Europe."
Analyn Salvador Amores the project leader of Cordillera Textiles Project UP Baguio says "Weaving communities in the Cordillera region exist and empower communities. Cordillera region is in North Luzon from the ranges in Apayao to the more central Nueva Vizcaya, an Igorot domain. Through trade, inter-marriage, weaving patterns have similarities in this study. These communities have a long history of weaving, you can see this in the tribal photos from various photos archived in the US, Russia and other countries. Textile are produced through natural fibers, and cotton, manually weaved with sticks passed on from generation to generation. Lowland Ilocanos introduced new ways through export and trade. Fabric was traded for goods, food, poultry and farm products. There is a decline in weaving in the region because of an aging population, decrease in master weavers, lesser interest in generations thereafter. The government has taken steps like endorsing acts for the use of Philippine tropical fabrics for uniforms of public officials, employees and festivals. They also enacted resolutions for research, put up school for living traditions that promote indigenous weaving but met challenges as it has been not sustainable, and has lesser funding access. In the recent years, there is a resurgence in textile weaving including geographical sourced Cordillera textiles identified with certain communities. The CordiTex currently is doing multi disciplinary research and vigorously documenting textiles. Now local weavers get to access records, learn and re-learn weavings as we continue to do anthropological fieldwork in the Cordillera."
Honestly, it was like a breather to hear them be optimistic about Philippine fabrics and with a good amount of systems in place, plus continuous efforts in policies and funding, the future looks bright for the weaving industry. It's definitely a pillar for the fashion industry and without the raw materials, how can one create? I feel as the economy is slowly going back to normal, this deserves the attention it should get. It's part of culture, and without it, we would cease to exist as Filipinos because it makes us who we are as a nation.