UST Graduate School students under the Master of Arts (MA) in Cultural Heritage Studies (CHS) Program, led by Assoc. Prof. Eric Zerrudo, Ph.D., had an artistic encounter with weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao during the “Likha Masterclass” held on February 20, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Zerrudo provided an opening message where he underscored 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 Alumna) for Mindanao. Approximately 21 weavers engaged in a conversation relative to their practice, its significance, threats to its viability, and its survival in relation to the government assistance they need . After validation from the weavers, the results of the discussions were later forwarded to Philippine First Lady Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos, who spearheaded the initiative.