‘Celebrating Women’s Spaces’: Lokalakalan 2024 trade fair showcases women artisan’s works

March 15, 2024 - 7:38 PM
Women weavers of Lokalakalan 2024. (Released)

Work of women artisans from communities across Bangsamoro region are on spotlight in this year’s trade fair, Lokalalakan 2024.

The Asia Foundation is celebrating Women’s Month with the trade fair called “Lokalakalan 2024: Kultura, Kababaihan, Kabuhayan.”

The fair, jointly organized by the Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship for Peace and Prosperity in Mindanao initiative (Accelerate PH) and Community Crafts Association of the Philippines, is happening at at the Rockwell and Alabang Town Center this weekend until March 17.

Lokalakalan 2024 champions the traditional weaves and handcrafted products from the Accelerate program, including the works of 11 women artisans.

Accelerate PH is an organization that supports over 2,500 women in Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, and Basilan, including both current and aspiring entrepreneurs and women in the workforce across 13 project locations. It also provides them with skills and business development training as well as connect women entrepreneurs to markets and other business opportunities.

Among the women they support include former women combatants, spouses and family members of combatants, survivors, those at risk of gender-based violence, indigenous women, technical-vocational and college graduates, and overseas female workers who returned home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perlita Laguan, a participating women entrepreneur and president of South Upi Monom Organization (SUMO), an organization of women weavers from the Teduray-Lambangian indigenous tribe in South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur is grateful for the opportunity to showcase their craft.

“We became visible – within our families, our community, and the outside world. Our products offered a distinct identity drawn from generations of experience working with what nature gave us,” Laguan said.

“The increasing demand for our products proves that SUMO is doing good, and we can offer more. Now we have a growing number of supporters because they see we can deliver – we are trying,” she added.

Women weavers of Meh Tubuan Megtetennun Dem Parangbasak in Lamitan, Basilan, known for their expertise in weaving intricate designs of the Tennun, or woven cloth in Yakan, also look forward to expanding their customer base beyond the province and Zamboanga City.

They will be showcasing their Yakan weaving tradition along with featured products from both MBCC and Parangbasak women weavers. — Rosette Adel