Inabel is the Ilocano term for handwoven or “hinabi” in Tagalog. Inabel is a dying tradition, with weavers getting older, and fewer young people willing to learn. Raw materials, like hand-spun cotton thread and natural vegetable dyes, are also getting more and more scarce.
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Miss Philippines Catriona Gray wearing her green Inabel top by Edgar Madamba for her first official trip as a Miss Universe delegate is very symbolic.
It seema to breathe life to the dying Inabel culture of weaving.
The government has given a lot of effort to encourage the youth to continue the tradition.
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In 2012, after the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) gave one of the last remaining non-agenarian weaver, Magdalena Gamayo the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (Gamaba) or National Living Treasure award.
Since then,the weaving culture in her barangay was revived. From three elderly weavers, the community has grown, with 15 senior and apprentice weavers practicing and learning the craft.
Last 2017, in an interview, Gamayo admitted it is hard to teach younger people now to make Inabel as they seem obsessed with their cellphones and computers.
But she hopes that through this renewed interest in her work, she will be able to convince the young to take up the craft.