Press Release
May 23, 2012

Legarda: Phl's First Permanent Textile Galleries Open to the Public

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, today announced that the Philippines' first permanent textile galleries in the National Museum are now open to the public following the formal inauguration.

On May 18, the exhibition Hibla ng Lahing Filipino: The Artistry of Philippine Textiles was formally inaugurated and guests took pride in the rich Filipino heritage embedded in every item displayed in the galleries.

Legarda was joined by National Museum Executive Director Jeremy Barns, National Museum Board of Directors Chairman Ramon Del Rosario, Jr., National Archives Director Victorino Manalo, Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, and Commission on Higher Education Secretary Patricia Licuanan during the special event, and they all thanked the Senator for her vision and determination in launching the galleries.

"This was made possible by virtue of the vision, determination and generosity of the exhibition's patron, Senator Loren Legarda. The inauguration of this exhibit is our contribution here at the National Museum towards reaffirming our commitment to promoting and preserving our national patrimony and cultural heritage," said Director Barns.

Chairman Del Rosario stressed that "the effort has been not only most worthwhile, but also extremely successful."

Del Rosario also thanked Senator Legarda "for making this very special exhibition possible not only through her financial support, and the lending of parts of her collection, but through what is perhaps the most valuable contribution a person of her stature can make--her personal time, effort and determination to see a vision, which she deeply shares with the National Museum, come to fruition."

For his part, Director Manalo said that the galleries form part of the initiatives to preserve and promote art, which narrate stories of Filipino origin, culture and pride. "As we examine each strand and weave, we discover our heritage in every intertwining of textile."

Meanwhile, Sec. Licuanan and Sec. Luistro both expressed their commitment to support the Senator's efforts in preserving weaving communities and strengthening the textile industry.

"I am led to contemplate on the intangible treasures, the stories, the dreams, and the memories of the weavers that these pieces of fabric hold. I am challenged to ask what universities and colleges can do to preserve and develop this aspect of our culture and I promise Senator Legarda we can work together in this regard," Licuanan said.

Luistro stressed that Legarda is an "indefatigable leader in preserving our national treasures" and explained that the youth must be exposed to these exhibitions to allow them to "learn beyond just art, music and culture, but also the higher principles of Science and Math as deeply embedded in our own Filipino culture."

The Senator likewise expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported the creation of the textile galleries. She also stressed that the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino exhibition is just the beginning of more projects with the National Museum as she announced that within the year, the Baybayin gallery, which will showcase the ancient and traditional scripts of the Philippines, will be launched.

Legarda invited everyone, especially the youth, to take time to visit the galleries and even other museums in the country.

"Beyond the intricate weaving technique and fine embellishments we find in our traditional textiles, we discover cultural expressions and visions of our history that have endured the test of time. Our vibrant textiles are revelations of Filipinos' indigenous life, reflections of our cultural rootedness and symbols of our identity," she pointed out.

"I invite everyone to share in the efforts in making our cultural identity a fundamental source of our socio-economic development, and let our common vision and values weave us together as we seek to empower those who have given meaning to our being Filipino," Legarda concluded.

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