Hablon: The Tradition of Weaving in Argao

The Hablon industry in Argao, Cebu has been intricately woven in history, making it a part of its people’s culture and identity. The Town’s history will tell that almost all women in the colonial period were described as being tejedoras (weavers) or hiladoras (spinners) as reflected in many houses with the hablonan as a familiar object for women to make clothes, blankets, towels and the like. As accounted by many Spanish missionaries, the weaving industry is as old as the town itself describing the women as busy with weaving and dyeing (Sales, 2008).

Although it was used to be a big source of income for the town during the Spanish regime with many of the products of the weavers finding their way to the homes of the elites in the city, it has become a very small, almost dying industry today, this is because the farther north one goes away from Argao the smaller the chances that one can see a weaver. Simply, the threads of this industry that wove with the people’s culture and identity somehow seemed to be no longer strong enough to hold, as the town of goes by.

To revive the weaving industry along with the goal of re-introducing panghablon (weaving) to the locals, as a part of their culture and identity, the Graduate School of Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus conducted a research which has become the basis for the need for CTU-Argao Campus to act in the name of service to the community.

The Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus, in partnership with the Sangguniang Bayan of the Local Government Unit of Argao and the Provincial Government headed by Hon. Hilario P. Davide III & Vice Governor Agnes A. Magpale, Hablon was launched in the form of pageantry called “Dalagang Argaoanon” last September 26, 2014 highlighting the products from Hablon showcasing locally designed gowns and shawls.

According to Sales (2008) the loom is usually tied to the floor beam and fastened to the post of the house, with a few pieces of bamboo poles, two wooden rollers, a number of beams, and other additional items making up the rest of the machine, hablon is carefully handwoven with passion, a natural characteristic of the women of Argao.

By patronizing hablon you are taking a piece of Argao and her rich history with you. The old and meaningful tradition of weaving intertwined into the veins of every Argaoanon through time weaved into every hablon product you wear. Thank you for being a part of Argao’s history.

If you would like more information on Argao and how to get there, contact the Tourism and Information Center: argaosdoc@gmail.com / +6332 932 333 3167

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