Issue of September 29, 2019
     
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Trad’l weaving featured in Manila
by Press release

LEPANTO WEAVERS -- Local women weavers of Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet had a chance to feature their products such as bags, clothing, and ethnic garb, among others made of handwoven fabrics during the Mining Philippines 2019 International Conference at Sofitel, Manila with the assistance of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company headed by its President and Chief Operations Officer Bryan Yap (center) and Communications Head Butch Mendizabal. -- Contributed photo

Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company’s (LCMC) exhibition booth featuring Benguet weaving stood out at the three-day Mining Philippines 2019 International Conference at Sofitel, Manila on Sept. 10 to 12.

The company brought to the exhibit one of its vintage looms and its local weavers from Mankayan, Benguet to showcase not just the traditional Benguet textiles, but also the intricacy behind it.

Products displayed at the booth were handwoven bags and purses in various sizes, table runners, shawls, and their sought-after blankets made of imported boucle yarns that come in different colors.

Crowds flocked to the booth not just to buy the products and take pictures, but also got their hands on the loom and experienced how to weave.

Before Narda’s, Sagada Weaving, and Easter Weaving, there was the Lepanto Crafts, which weavers in the region consider as one of the forerunners of the Cordillera weaving industry.

Lepanto weaving started in the early 1950s, when Mrs. Lucille Foster, the wife of Lepanto’s general superintendent then, organized the Lepanto Women’s Club and introduced weaving as one of the organization’s livelihood projects.

Their woven products became in demand, reaching as far as Baguio Country Club and Manila Hotel. It even found its way abroad, like London and U.S.A.

Its heyday lasted for almost two decades, ending when the Fosters left Lepanto.

In 2015, through the initiative of LCMC’s President and COO Bryan U. Yap, Lepanto decided to revive weaving as a livelihood program.

LCMC’s Communications Head Butch Mendizabal said that Lepanto’s booth this year highlighted the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and weaving is just one of the many CSR programs that the company has been nurturing over the years.

“More than just being an extractive business, mining has the heart that fosters a strong and vibrant community. We want the world to see that the mining industry is a social enterprise, helping our surrounding communities grow with us,” said LCMC’s Vice President for Human Resources and CSR Head Knestor Jose Y. Godino.

Besides weaving, LCMC has also been supporting the Lepanto National High School Gambang Theater Guild, a local school-based theater arts group that has been gaining nationwide recognition.


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