culture, Philippine-related

My Hablon “Patadyong”: Himu sa Miag-ao (Made in Miag-ao)

The national costume of the Philippines are the barong tagalog for men and baro’t saya for women. I’ve always wanted to wear our Philippine dress the way Koreans proudly wear their Hanbok during every occasion they could possibly find a reason to wear it.

I’m more inclined to get the more wearable and casual kimona which originated from the Visayas. The kimona, like the Mestiza and the Maria Clara got its origin from our national costume, the baro’t saya. The kimona is paired with patadyong, a wrap-around used as a skirt. And patadyong comes from Western Visayas, where I come from.

I remember doing a research during my university days at UP (University of the Philippines) on the weaving industry of Miag-ao, Iloilo. It is called HablonHablon was coined from the local word “habol” which means hand weaving. The patadyong is one of the many products that can be made by Hablon. So, while I was in Iloilo last December, I got my patadyong from its historic source.

Patadyong from Miagao

Hablon, as a method of fabric production, can be traced back to Miag-ao since the late 18th century. To this day, it is still being practiced by local weavers.

I had been lucky to watch this process at Camiña Balay na Bato in Iloilo. I saw this lady take her seat and began weaving. I had to ask permission to video her:

The process of making Hablon is very meticulous: (source: Miag-ao LGU)

  1. Thread comes in selected colors will be arranged according to the desired pattern before warping.
  2. Warping. Threads will be set on a warping tool – then these threads will be grouped and rolled along the bamboo pegs of the warping frame. Threads are counted by hand based on the desired length, width and design.
  3. Beaming. Threads from the warp will be rolled along the weaver’s beam, a bamboo cylinder at the back of the loom.
  4. Hedding. Each thread of the warp passes through the openings of the heddle.
  5. Reeding. After hedding, each thread will be inserted on each of the opening of the metal reed using a bamboo hook.
  6. Tie-in. The end of the threads will be tied into the cloth roll, a wooden cane at the base of the loom.
  7. Spooling. Weft thread needed for the shuttle will be spooled using a traditional spooling wheel.
  8. Weaving. The weaver steps on the bamboo pedal to raise or lower the heddle then the weft will be propelled across the loom by a shuttle and then the weft will be pushed against the fell of the cloth by the reed.

This is how a kimona and patadyong looks like:

Stylized patadyong and kimono Image Source

On my next visit, I would love to get a bag made of Hablon. I also saw beautifully made shawls. And they can also be used as table covers, even lamp sheets. And elegant and dainty gowns. Hablon fabrics are that versatile! And I’ve made a promise to myself to only get those “Himu sa Miag-ao” (Made in Miag-ao).

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13 thoughts on “My Hablon “Patadyong”: Himu sa Miag-ao (Made in Miag-ao)

  1. Very interesting post with an informative video as well! I knew absolutely nothing about this traditional outfit, but it was fun to learn a bit about it. The process of making Hablon is highlighted well. Keep up the great work!

  2. The traditional dresses in Asia are so interesting and beautiful. We really don’t have anything similar in the states, unless you include Native American clothing, or the SUPER traditional cowboy hat and boots where I’m from haha. When we were in the Philippines we never got a chance to see their traditional clothes, so thanks for the fun write up and pictures!

  3. Thank you for featuring the national costume of the Philippines! I love learning more and more about Filipino culture and its great that you are sharing this little-known knowledge with the general public. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a baro’t saya but when my cousin got married, she had all the men (including the guests!) wear barongs. My little brother looked super pogi in his little barong. My dad always kept his barong in the closet and wore it to every special occasion even in the USA. I think the outfit is so becoming on men. What an excellent post 🙂 Makes me proud to be a Filipina!
    Izzy recently posted..Saigon Social: Meet-Up for Female Digital NomadsMy Profile

  4. I love seeing the traditional clothing from other countries. When were in Cambodia, Laos, and Bali I was obsessed with all the colorful sarongs and coverups. I ended up buying a few to keep and one I used in some of our walk with us videos. I also became obsessed with the Black Hmong’s traditional clothing in Sapa. I love this kind of stuff, thanks for sharing! When we finally go to the Philippines one day I will keep an eye out!
    Megan Indoe recently posted..Hanbok Hunting & Strolling through Gyeongbokgung Palace in The SnowMy Profile

  5. Super interesting post! I knew absolutely nothing about this traditional outfit, so it was fun to learn a bit about it. The process of making Hablon is highlighted well. Keep up the great work!

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