Aklan

Aklan’s piña handloom weaving gets UNESCO recognition as cultural heritage

Jun Aguirre

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Aklan’s piña handloom weaving gets UNESCO recognition as cultural heritage

AKLAN'S PRIDE. Aklan products made of red Spanish pineapple.

DTI-Aklan

The announcement comes during an ongoing international convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Botswana

AKLAN, Philippines – Aklan’s piña handloom weaving has received official recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The province’s unique craft has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The announcement was made during the ongoing convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kasane, Botswana, taking place from December 4 to 9.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in France has also announced the achievement on its official Facebook page.

Aklan’s piña handloom weaving, an old craft, intricately weaves fabrics from the fibers of the pineapple plant, specifically the revered piña variety. The artisanal process has deep cultural roots in the province’s communities, which are committed to producing textiles of beauty and craftsmanship.

The industry has been using the red Spanish pineapple variety as a key ingredient to its fiber industry because of its strong thread.

Rhea Rose Meren, Kalibo’s tourism officer, said the local government has been supporting the local piña handloom weaving industry, and even set aside P5 million for it this year. 

“With the declaration, we are lobbying for the local government to increase more funding next year,” Meren said.

Anna India Legaspi, the president of the Piña Mantra Association, an association of weavers, said the group had pushed for the UNESCO declaration for nearly a decade.

“In Kalibo, piña handloom weaving has long been a primary livelihood of women and we want to sustain it,” she said.

Legaspi said the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCAA) has been supportive.

In June, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual expressed support for the sustainability of the province’s piña handloom fiber industry.

“I encourage stakeholders to study the piña fibers products to make everyday wearables,” he said.

Blouse, Clothing, Adult
RECOGNITION. Several Aklan-made Barongs made of red Spanish pineapple. Aklan’s pina handloom weaving has received official recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. courtesy of DTI-Aklan

Delano Tefora, former provincial agriculture chief of Aklan, said the FIDA could initiate research on the red pineapple variety with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of the supply.

Arnulfo Magcope, the head of Aklan’s Provincial Fisheries and Agriculture Council (PAFC), called on the Fibers Industry Development Authority (FIDA) to transfer its office from Iloilo to Aklan.

“The FIDA could best ensure the sustainability of the Aklan piña fiber if they have their office here,” said Magcope. – Rappler.com

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