The Community

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The Art of Handloom

In our recent trip to Bukidnon, we were able to watch Salome of the Daraghuyan Tribe weave the Abaca Pinangabol. She was careful to explain to us the whole process of weaving that required an intricate and tedious process. From the harvesting and stripping of raw abaca fibers, to the combing and drying of abaca strands, the careful dyeing of the fibers in vibrant hues, the weaving of the fabrics strand by strand, and finally to polishing and storing. It takes weeks to finish a single meter and the process is back-breaking.
 
The time and groundwork that is imperative to create handwoven textiles is an undeniably remarkable process. The meticulous toil combined with a deep sense of history and culture behind every handwoven fabric creates a poignant consciousness that reaches anyone who has seen or anyone who understands its process. Handweaving is an artform that is woven through time and passed down for centuries to generations. It is a multitude of strands and fibers  of stories and technique interlaced by the skilled hands of artisans to create or bring to life  a sense of culture and identity.
 
Meeting Salome has deepened our understanding of the art of handloom. It gave us a new philosophy of the story of handweaving. A story of the people that represents a bright future, an uprising, in the soaring mountains of Kitanglad. We discovered an absolute truth that well-thought-of designs, process driven are like treasures and should be very much valued - the hours given in chaos and in solitude, the idea and hard work day in and day out but above all, the people behind it - their character, their spirit, their overflow. To represent and honor the fruits of an unmatched work, this is what we aim as a brand. This is what we aim as a consumer.
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The Crafter

 In our journey of product creation and development, we have been constantly working with craftsman and bag maker, Jess Rellama. We met Jess as college students, back then, we had no background or knowledge on bag making and design; just pure and concrete ideas.

We led a series of searches for the right manufacturer who was able to catch our vision, and found this person in Jess right after we saw his sample of our initial product, the Habi binder. We are fortunate to have met a talented crafter who could translate ideas to reality; sometimes even further than what we’ve imagined.

Through our story with Jess, we realized that he is just one of so many other undiscovered yet skilled craftspeople who reside at the very heart of our cities. This was when we learned that it is imperative for us to highlight the stories of the people behind our products - their story, their groundwork, their artistry, and their vision. 

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This is the story of Jess Rellama. May it cause you to always consider the hearts and hands behind your purchases; find value in asking the process behind the manufacturing of your belongings, and encourage you to rediscover local ingenuity and craftsmanship. 

 Jess learned the skill of making bags from his relatives, and since then has been making bags for over a decade now. He worked in a factory, but eventually decided to shift to independent bag making due to financial concerns and his desire to grow in his craft. 

His is a story of redemption and perseverance. During the peak of  the online businesses, he started gain more clients. It was also during this time when he decided to quit his vices as he saw that his work was being affected - “Kaya kinailangan ko talaga ang disiplina sa sarili” (I knew I needed self-discipline). Today he is living a better lifestyle. “Bag making,” as he said, “renewed his focus, skill, and craft." 

He draws inspiration from unique designs, concepts, shapes, and material qualities. He studies every design meticulously, combined with hard work and creative discipline - a fulfilling work for him is one that is both purposeful and excellent in quality. Through his work, he is able to provide for his family, finding purpose and fulfillment in bag making.