Students of the Master of Arts (MA) in Cultural Heritage Studies (CHS) Program, headed by Assoc. Prof. Eric Zerrudo, was invited to interview weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao last February 20, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). This was held during the preparation for the “Likha Masterclass,” an initiative by the Philippines’ first lady, Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos.
Assoc. Prof. Zerrudo provided an opening message lauding the weavers who came and the significance of the environment to the viability of Philippine weaving. The students were introduced to the ingenuity of traditional weavers and the diversity of techniques such as the binakol of Ilocos region, the pina weaving of Aklan and the Inaul of Maguindanao Region.
The Likha program was a convergence of three weaving industry prime movers – Al Valenciano of Ilocos, Lesly Mobo of Visayas and Charisse Tugade (a Thomasian CHS Almuna) for Mindanao. Approximately 21 weavers were engaged in a conversation relative to their practice, its significance, threats to its viability, and what government assistance they needed for its viability. The results of the discussions were later on forwarded to Atty. Marcos after validation from the weavers.