PHL beauty queens vow to promote Maguindanao's Inaul
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Medina, who made it to top six during the recent Miss Universe pageant night in Manila, expressed her support to the efforts of empowering women with knowledge and skills like Inaul weaving.
“I am happy to hear this, women should always have the avenue for empowerment, every woman is capable of doing anything, then if you can handle it do it, go for it”, Medina said who is also an interior designer and volleyball athlete.
Medina said she regretted Ms. Universe pageant has only presented one national dress presented in the fashion show.
If given the second change to display another national dress she would have picked “Inaul” cloth to show Maguindanaon women’s elegance.
She promised she will wear the fantastic and colorful Inaul design in future fashion show.
“Hopefully in the coming days, masusuot ko siya sa mga fashion shows,” she assured in a press briefing during her courtesy call with Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu.
the opening ceremonies of Inaul Festival, Mangudadatu displayed the cloth that Miss Universe bets used, including Medina. Mangudadatu said they have brought dozen of women scholars to the Women Peace Center for training on Inaul weaving.
“It will help our industry, it will help our women especially those wives and widowers of the rebels,” Mangudadatu said, adding the provincial government had partnered with Technical Schools Development Authority (TESDA) to train Moro women.
He said the demand is high now and to cope with it, more women have to be trained. Bai Nomina Odin Culi, an overseas worker and Inaul expert, called off her plan to return abroad to help increase declining weavers.
“I’m so concerned with the diminishing numbers of weavers, it bothers me to know the young generations no longer recognize our identity,” Culi said, now the head trainer at the Inaul weaving center.
For a widower with seven children, Hadiguia Omar, 46 of Buluan town, said her age is a non-issue to cope up the weaving lessons. She is one of the students at the weaving center.
“I can see hope from this, it means additional income for my family, and we are proud and inspired to do more because our crafts, our designs are shown or sold in international market or displayed in fashion shows,” Omar said in the vernacular.
The beauty queens were here today to join the “Palamata Nu Maguindanao,” a beauty and brain pageant equivalent to “Mutya ng Maguindanao,” minus swimsuit presentation.
Medina served as chair of the board of judges while Versoza hosted the pageant, according to Ralph Hambala, the area manager and coordinator of the local beauty queens.
“In the very near future, it will happen I can wear Inaul more,” Versoza said. Versoza said the hand-woven fabric has huge potential in global market.
“Inaul has a big changes for export, knowing Filipinos are very skilled in hand work, it’s a beautiful fabric, the structure and design something other countries would love,” she stressed.
Inaul is a fabric for making a Malong and its design, local apparel commonly used by Maguindanaons. The long practice of weaving is considered as the highest form of artistic expression in Maguindanao.
The unique art is passed from one generation to generation retaining its original form.
Inhaul weaving was inspired from Malay’s traditional “Sarong,” usually woven in four to five yards in length and width, using cotton and silk-rayon fabrics.
The price ranges from P1,500 to P4,000 depending on the design and each fabric needs two days to complete.
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