Cultural Preservation

Atelier de Hablon
By weaving clothes and simple stories together, Atelier de Hablon has created a common fabric of change and cultural preservation. The word “hablon” is Hiligaynon for “to weave” which refers to both the finished product and making the fabric. Hablon weaving is a cultural heritage worth revisiting and preserving due to its great significance to Iloilo and other communities in the Philippines. Thus, Atelier de Hablon was created, inspired by the threads of culture, fashion, and social innovation by weaving and selling Hablon wearable art.

Based in Iloilo City, where the Hablon weaving culture is thriving locally and where there are communities seeking creative means to tell their stories, Atelier de Hablon weaves the opportunity by collaborating to create hand-woven pieces or wearable art. Atelier de Hablon’s pieces have been worn by a number of local fashion enthusiasts and individuals who are deeply concerned with keeping the tradition of Hablon weaving alive. This fashion-forward social innovation has also given women in Sooc, Oton, and other communities in Iloilo the platform to preserve weaving culture, empower individuals, and produce beautiful wearable art.  

Tao Tao Souvenirs
Tao Tao Souvenirs is an indigeous groups-driven social enterprise that promotes the preservation and beauty of Philippine culture through providing creative livelihood projects and employment to indigenous group mothers in Mindanao. Through Tao Tao Souvenirs, indigeous communities can thrive and continue to enjoy their life while being sustained by active livelihood. This dignified treatment towards indigenous people inspires social change and cultural relevance to the Philippines.

Tao Tao Souvenirs’ development projects are also driven to empower more indigenous Filipinas in mind. They host peg doll painting workshops for more IP mothers to consider creative livelihood efforts that also promote their local culture. Being a rich indigenous cultural region, Mindanao’s many iconic indigenous garments are represented on peg dolls. Most of them are gifts and children also use these peg dolls as toys. Tao Tao Souvenirs brings true change and style to indigenous culture preservation and uplifting IP communities. 

Anthill Fabric Gallery
Handicrafts and fashion often find themselves as partners in preserving relevant Philippine culture, especially among our Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who stay committed to weaving unique and vibrant fabric. However, in the world of modern fashion and business, it is often difficult to penetrate both the local and international markets with such indigenous woven fabrics. It truly takes passion, dedication, and empathy to breathe life into Philippine Indigenous fabrics and feature them for more people to enjoy and treasure.

Luckily, there are social enterprises like Anthill Fabric Gallery that bring this fashion-forward fabric to the forefront of Philippine fashion. Anthill stands for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood Seekers which works with key IP communities such as the Daraghuyan-Bukidnon Tribe and Mang Abel Ti Abra. Anthill also works with urban hardworking mothers of the Gawad Kalinga Minglanilla and Tisa found in Cebu. Anthill and their partners are able to produce woven fabric, wearable art or jewelry, and other sorts of creatively woven items.

Anthill’s innovative model for working with these groups further engages and impacts Filipino weaving groups and also enhances their other skills. An innovative feature that defines Anthill’s advocacy in empowering Philippine weaving communities is in the way they educate and inspire these communities. Anthill has business training, financial literacy, and other relevant skills workshops that these communities may use to better improve the ongoing livelihood. Anthill’s impact on enhancing the Philippine fabric scene is also weaving common advocacy for better supporting the true artisans and the rich tradition of Philippine weaving.


Balay Balay
One of the most impressive and important forms of culture is seen in architecture. From the tallest buildings to the smallest of houses, architecture pays homage to local culture and systems that have built communities and traditions that serve as the country’s culture and identity. In the Philippines, there is a key social enterprise that showcases unique Mindanao architecture but through the intriguing use of 3D toy puzzles.

Balay Balay provides a fresh take on toys and preserving the style and beauty of Mindanao architecture by making them impressive, small-scale replicas that depict ironic Mindanao buildings like the Ata Manobo Panuluanan and the Torogan. Balay Balay’s unique attention to detail, dedication, and knowledge in anthropological and architectural research combines their skillful craftsmanship that brings these puzzle toys to life. The deeper appreciation and intrigue surrounding these toys has then become the creative fuel for Balay Balay to continue impacting the lives of more Filipinos through their community design workshops and exhibits.

Through the unique take of Balay Balay regarding Philippine architecture and toy design, more communities are able to better appreciate their own architecture. In a world saturated by modern buildings and structures that take away from the authenticity and beauty of Philippine architecture, Balay Balay reminds Filipinos about the intricacies and depth our own architecture has. Balay Balay’s model from cultural preservation through play and puzzle is an impressive platform for celebrating Philippine architecture.