The Dunong: Nayong Pilipino Podcast invited Malot Ingel of the National Museum Ilocos Regional Museum Complex, to talk about interpreting Philippine textiles, particularly abel-Iloko, for museum visitors.

dunong woven heritage

On 26 February 2021, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) published its National Arts Month episode of Dunong: Nayong Pilipino Podcast on its Spotify channel titled “Woven Heritage”. This February episode of the podcast is co-created by the technical adviser of NPF’s Research Institute (RI) Program. The RI Program is a knowledge development center and a think-do-tank on Philippine natural and cultural heritage, sustainable heritage tourism and ecotourism, cultural and creative industries, tourism governance, and public policies concerning heritage. The research outputs are produced following professional academic standards and will be implemented in collaboration with partner institutions and professionals. Following the Weaving Summit launched by the RI Program in October 2020, this episode talks about the synergy among the creative industry’s indigenous communities, modern fashion, and sustainable initiatives that create the Woven Heritage of the Filipino Identity.

The Dunong: Nayong Pilipino Podcast invited Malot Ingel of the National Museum Ilocos Regional Museum Complex, to talk about interpreting Philippine textiles, particulary abel-Iloko, for museum visitors. This February episode of Dunong is also joined by co-host Ms. Rambie Lim, of Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, and a representative of HABI: the Philippine Textile Council, a partner of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation and co-producers of the 2020 Weaving Summit.

In this National Arts Month episode of Dunong, Ms. Ingel, an Ilokana who grew up using traditional fabrics in her day-to-day life, and a researcher in the National Museum of the Philippines, talked about her youth, professional career, and the role National Museum plays in promoting appreciation for Philippine Textiles. Growing up, Ms. Ingel shared that she has been using traditional textiles from blankets, as a young high school student, and until today. She also shared that most Ilokano families living in the region are also using traditional fabric. Their blankets are mostly “Abel Iloko” or handwoven fabric from the Ilocos region.

In the rural Ilocos communities, Ms. Ingel recalled that grandmothers in the 1970s – 1980s were using Abel Iloko for clothing, and not just for skirts, they used wrap-around cloth skirts that reached their ankles called “kain”, and long skirts called “pandiling”. Ms. Garilao then asked how to best describe “Abel Iloko”, according to Ms. Ingel, “Abel” means “Habi” in Tagalog which means “Weave”. She said, “In Ilocos, we call it ‘abel’ which is ‘habi’ in Tagalog, and when you go south in Visayas, we call it ‘habol’.”

As a child, Ms. Ingel told how she can identify which was an Abel Iloko fabric and which is not, as there are various fabrics available in Vigan from visitors and locals who have returned from their travels. She said that she could identify an Abel Iloko fabric by its texture (feel of the fabric), the method it was weaved by the weaving patterns, and by the distinct starch scent of the fabric. 

The culture of the local community is embedded in the weaving process of Abel Iloko fabric from the method of how the fabric is produced, whether it is hand-made by the use of a loom or the use of machines.

Learn more on our Spotify Channel: