Nonagenarian weaver donates own lot to sustain heritage work

Human Rights

Ninety-seven-year-old Magdalena Gamayo, an Ilocano master weaver in a rural village of Lumbaan, Pinili town, is donating a portion of her family lot in her hometown just to make sure the “inabel” weaving tradition will stay through the years, even when she is gone.

Through a provincial resolution certified as urgent by Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Joseph Manotoc, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Board) unanimously approved on Monday the proposed conditional deed of donation of a 290-square meter lot of Gamayo in favor of the Ilocos Norte government.

As agreed by both parties, provincial legal counsel Erme Labayog said Monday the area will be developed as a permanent weaving center, dedicated to preserving and strengthening the Ilokano weaving tradition.

Senior tourism operations officer Xavier Ruiz said this will pave the way for the Department of Public Works and Highways to facilitate the construction of the weaving center worth PHP10 million.

The project aims to boost the inabel industry in the province that will benefit the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in the province.

“It will also serve as a learning site and exhibit center for Abel products,” he said.

In 2019, the Ilocos Norte government has initially allotted PHP4 million for the construction of a weaving center in Pinili town but for some reason, it did not push through. But in support of the local weavers of Pinili town and to sustain the industry in the coming years, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba initiated the approval of the budget.

Over the years, local residents in Pinili town take pride in its loom weaving industry and the existence of “Lola Magdalena” who continues to inspire and pass on her loom weaving skills to the younger generation.

To promote inabel products, the Ilocos Norte government through its Provincial Tourism Office continues to innovate new products out of inabel.

This is in partnership with local designers as they showcase their unique artistry in creating gowns, casual wear, and sportswear inspired by inabel textiles.

Source: Philippines News Agency