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PH Embassy Features T’nalak in London Fashion Week

Madame Linda F. Lagdameo, spouse of Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo officially welcomes the guests to T’nalak: Unravelling the Secrets of the Dream Weavers.  Photo by Eric Ricafort

22 February 2019 LONDON--“Weaving is not only a treasured skill handed down from generation to generation in the family; it is also a community endeavour whose end product is a visual and tactile representation of the collective experience of a particular society,” said Madame Linda F. Lagdameo, spouse of Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, in a speech she delivered to an audience of ASEAN diplomats and diplomatic spouses, and representatives of UK-based cultural and fashion institutions during T’nalak: Unravelling the Secrets of the Dream Weavers at Romulo Café on 22 February.  The talk was hosted by Madame Lagdameo under the Philippine chairmanship of the ASEAN London Committee and is the Embassy’s official London Fashion Week event.

The talk is the first in a series aimed at raising awareness on Philippine design and on the heritage, cultural significance, and the traditional and contemporary uses of Philippine textiles.

According to Madame Lagdameo, the woven cloth is both practical and spiritual, ordinary and symbolic, and it contains markers of a community’s identity, culture, history, and dreams.

The Embassy’s Cultural Officer, Vice Consul Stacy Danika Alcantara-Garcia led the discussion about T’boli culture and the t’nalak.  Alcantara-Garcia highlighted the significance of the t’nalak in T’boli culture and shared with the guests the common threads that bind t’nalak and the process of weaving it with other similar Southeast Asian weaving traditions.

“If there is one take-away from today’s conversation that I would want everyone to have, it is the realization that the Philippines’ textile and weaving heritage is not an isolated design tradition, but one that is interwoven in the greater tapestry of Southeast Asian design,” she said.

Apart from the talk, the Philippine Embassy in London through its Cultural Diplomacy Unit mounted a capsule exhibit juxtaposing the traditional and contemporary interpretations of the t’nalak and the traditional attire of the T’boli.  Featured brands included T’nalak Home and VESTI, both Mindanao-based brands which continue to work closely with the T’boli community in incorporating t’nalak and T’boli cultural elements in contemporary designs.

Madame Linda F. Lagdameo (centre) explains complex process of weaving the t’nalak to Madame Thipayasuda Suvanajata (left), spouse of the Thai Ambassador; and Madame Hana Afija Satrijo (right), spouse of the Indonesian Ambassador.  Photo by Eric Ricafort
Vice Consul Stacy Danika Alcantara-Garcia, the Embassy’s Cultural Officer, leads the discussion on the common threads shared by the T’boli weaving heritage and the greater Southeast Asian weaving heritage. Photo by Eric Ricafort

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