Ambassador Linglingay F. Lacanlale (center), together with Maritess Tauro, National Museum Curator and President Mariano Roca of Fondo Nacional de las Artes, cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of the exhibit. (Buenos Aires PE photo)

Buenos Aires — Piña-seda, the queen of Philippine fabrics, took center stage in Buenos Aires on 08 November as the Philippine Embassy in Buenos Aires, in collaboration with the National Museum of the Philippines, the Fondo Nacional de las Artes, and the Office of Deputy House Speaker Loren Legarda launched the “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino” traveling exhibition at the iconic Casa Victoria Ocampo.

Philippine Ambassador to Argentina Linglingay F. Lacanlale welcomed more than 100 guests composed of diplomats, artists, designers, and journalists, who marvelled at the elegance of the fabric, which has never seen before in Buenos Aires.

Ambassador Linglingay F. Lacanlale (rightmost) gives her opening remarks. While Juan Ignacio Balza (leftmost), and Fondo Nacional de las Artes President Mariano Roca (center) look on. (Buenos Aires PE photo)

Expert weavers from the provinces of Aklan and Laguna—Alan Tumbokon, Edgar Cornito, Alida Tagorda, and Ma. Victoria Badulis Gordovez—were present to give demonstrations and conduct workshops on traditional Philippine weaving and embroidery techniques, and on the extracting of the piña-seda threads from pineapple stalks.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Lacanlale underscored that piña-seda has become a truly unmistakable symbol of Filipino culture and identity. She emphasized how the fabric is unlike any other in the world. “More than a mere material for garments, piña-seda is Filipino identity, culture, tradition, and creativity given form,” she said.

Ambassador Lacanlale also read the speech of Deputy House Speaker Legarda, who recounted the genesis of Hibla.

For her part, National Museum Curator, Dr. Maritess Tauro, read the remarks of Assistant Director Ana Maria Theresa Labrador, which recounted the history of the exhibitions.

Fondo Nacional President Mariano Roca, remarked that Hibla was “the best exhibit” that they had the honor of hosting throughout the whole year.

Weaver Alan Tumbokon (rightmost) demonstrates traditional Filipino weaving to the visitors crowd during the launch of the “Hibla ng Lahing Filipino” traveling exhibition. (Buenos Aires PE photo)

The opening of Hibla in Buenos Aires followed the conclusion of the annual conference of Latin American weavers, and provided a useful space between Filipino and Latin American weavers for the sharing and exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas regarding traditional weaving.

Buenos Aires is the 13th and final destination of Hibla, and its only stop in Latin America. The exhibit ran until 24 November 2019.

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