HONOLULU 27 September 2018 – The “Piña-Seda: Hibla ng Lahing Filipino” Traveling Exhibition opened at the Hamilton Library of the University of Hawaii (UH) on 17 September 2018.
The exhibit, which features the piña-seda cloth from which the Barong Tagalog and other Filipino attire are fashioned, is a joint project of Senator Loren Legarda, the National Museum of the Philippines, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, and the UH.
In his opening message, Consul General to Honolulu Joselito A. Jimeno thanked Senator Legarda and the National Museum for bringing a “living exhibit” with weavers from Kalibo, Aklan and embroiderers from Lumban, Laguna to demonstrate their craft and conduct workshops.
Consul General Jimeno noted that the pineapple, the source of the piña cloth, is a plant ubiquitous to the Philippines and Hawaii, and is tied to the history and economy of both lands.
During the opening reception, UH Vice Chancellor Michael Bruno said that the Center for Philippine Studies at UH Manoa was established through an Act of the Hawaii State Legislature in 1975 to recognize the contributions of Filipinos in Hawaii.
The Vice Chancellor added that Philippine studies and languages are among the most popular courses at the university, with around 4,000 enrolled students. UH is the largest university in the Pacific islands.
UH Philippine Studies Librarian Elena Clariza, who oversees one of the largest Philippine collections in the United States, requested Senator Legarda to bring this exhibition to Hawaii during an official visit to the Philippines. Plans were subsequently made for a Honolulu leg of the piña-seda traveling exhibition.
National Museum Assistant Director Dr. Ana Maria Theresa P. Labrador explained that the piña-seda is unique to the Philippines and is a cultural symbol Filipinos can be proud of.
Dr. Labrador said that the travelling exhibit, which aims to introduce and promote the piña-seda, has toured several cities in Europe and the United States including London, Madrid, Lisbon, Washington, D.C., and New York since its launch in 2017.
Known as an advocate of nationalism and culture, Senator Legarda expressed in her message pride that the Hibla ng Filipino Textile Gallery, which was born in 2012 in two rooms at the National Museum, has gone international.
The Senator noted that traditional textiles provide Filipinos an opportunity to discover their heritage and show the world the indigenous artistry of Filipinos.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Madame Araceli C. Jimeno, Dr. Labrador, UH Center for Philippine Studies Director Dr. Pia C. Arboleda, and UH Interim Associate Librarian Vickery Lebbin, more than a hundred guests from the consular corps, academe, business, media and Filipino community in Hawaii were given a guided tour of the exhibit.
The Piña-Seda: Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Traveling Exhibition at the UH Hamilton Library is open to the public until 17 November 2018. Lectures and weaving and embroidery workshops were held at UH from 18 to 21 September 2018.