UST GS CCCPET Uswag project highlights rich basketry tradition of Leyte

The University of Santo Tomas Graduate School (UST GS) Center for Conservation of Cultural Property in the Tropics (CCCPET) in collaboration with the 3rd District of Leyte, supported by the British Council Philippines, launched the scoping project titled “Uswag Artesano: Advancing the Creativity and Adaptability of Weaving Artisans in the Third District of Leyte,” held on April 20, 2022 in Villaba, Leyte.

The launch served as an introduction and orientation activity that gathered 10 selected public school teachers and 10 liaison officers, who were tasked to document more than 30 artisans of the district from April 21 to May 22, 2022. This was followed by lectures and workshops held from May 23 to 24, 2022, that discussed basketry tradition and best practices in the Philippines.

UST GS CCCPET Director Assoc. Prof. Eric B. Zerrudo, Ph.D., conducted the plenary orientation on intangible cultural heritage and safeguarding mechanism, together with CCCPET staff Ms. Beverly Bautista, who discussed HOME Craft, the customized online template in the Centers’ website.

Leyte 3rd District Board Member Anna Veloso-Tuazon delivered the Welcome Message to the participants from the municipalities of Villaba, Tabango, San Isidro, and Calubihan.

The project aims to: 1) to define the weaving traditions of the artisans of the third district of Leyte through the customized heritage online mapping experience (HOME) template; 2)to add value to the tradition and creativity of artisans through design, skill, knowledge and collaborative lectures from the academe and the industry both from national and international levels; 3) to evolve climate change protocols to safeguard the tradition and encourage the adaptability of the artisans through case study discussions with representatives from resilient artisanal communities; 4) to propose support mechanism and reinforcement towards sustainability through integration in the formal basic education system, particularly in the livelihood education subject/course.

Using cultural mapping data, the project translates cultural values into tangible products and solutions that inspire good design and innovation.

In November and December of 2021, CCCPET and the third district of Leyte had an Uswag Leyte project in collaboration with the UST College of Fine Arts and Design and the Design Center of the Philippines. ‘Uswag’ is a Visayan term that means ‘development.’ By the end of 2021, the program was able to assist 38 artists to create 80 designs, which were sold at three trade events.

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