What makes the loom weaving culture so alive among the Abrenians is the way it has become a lifestyle for every loom weaver.
For the past decades, the elders thought that this tradition would pass away. However, with efforts from the different sectors and government agencies providing interventions for the development and sustainability of the weaving sector, loom weaving culture is alive.
In celebration of Cordillera Month in July that spotlights Cordilleran culture, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) hosted a Cordillera Loom weaving Summit. This initiative aims to highlight the importance of the loom weaving culture and industry as well as the continuation of the loom weaving culture and lifestyle for the younger generations.
Ten young people from La Paz, Abra have chosen to follow the course of next generation of loom-weavers in the province. Most of them are high school students with a 13 year old as the youngest.
With resource speakers from the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), they were taught the basics and starting processes of loom-weaving such us the calculations of yarn requirement and series of exercises which involve the application of such principles.
the training on basic loom weaving facilitated by the DOST
Allohna Jane Buemio Alcartado, 19, explained her experience in practicing loomweaving at a young age. She showed her familiarization of the steps of setting up the loom. From the process of warping, beaming, drawing-in, denting and loom weaving, Allohna shared her insights as if she has mastered the process already.
“I can help my mother in loomweaving now who is a member of our association. Before I used to watch her only doing these things,” she said referring to the Bulbulala Farmers and Loomweavers Association (BFLA) which helped facilitate the training.
Allohna also appreciated this practice as a decent source of her own income.
“Especially to a student like me, this will be a great help for me financially once I get used to it, she added.
For now, the BFLA has a total of 35 active loom weavers. And their haven for decades is Leila’s Loom weaving Center. This is managed by Ms. Natividad Quiday, one of the elders who has been practicing loom weaving for a long time.
“Our loom weavers here are paid according to their accomplishments. Php 1,800 per 82 yards of the ordinary design while Php 2,500 per 82 yards for the Binnakol design,” Duiday explained.
She believes that this loom weaving practice in their village is being treasured well since most of their looomweavers really do not consider it as a livelihood practice but as a way of life.
“Loom weaving has become a part of our lives here in our barangay,” Quiday said. (JDP/CAGT–PIA CAR, Abra)