Page 1

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Copyright 2001 ID Dom Martin H. de Jesus Gomez, OSB

The following organizations and ind iv idua ls have made the

Monastery of Transfiguration and Ayala Foundation , Inc.

publIcation of this book pOSS ible. We wis h to thank them for their generosity

All rights reserved. No part of this book, text or visual, may be reproduced for any purpose and by any means without the written Transfiguration Foundat ion , In c.

permission of the publishers and the author.

Honda Cars , Pampanga Published by Ayala Foun datio n, In c. and


Monastery of the Transfi gu ra tion

I\\iramar Development Company and Ms . Edna del Rosario


Development Foundation

Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corpo ratio n Ayala Foundation , Inc. FiUpinas Heritage Library

I\lr and Mrs . Pabl,to L Calma

Makati Avenue. Ayala Triangle , Makati City

t-.\r. and Mrs. jose Ma . Caniio

Philippines 1224

Mrs . Imelda O. Cojua ngco

Tel no. (632) 892·180 I

Mr. and Mrs . Herminia Estanie l

Fax no. (632) 892·1810

Ms . Prescilla Florentino


Mr. and Mrs . Domingo M. Go mez

Website' ph

tvlr and Mrs . Eriberto H. Go mez Monastery of the Transfiguration San Jose. Malaybalay, Bukidnon Philippines 8700 -el no. (08B) 221-2373 Fax no. (08BI 221·2899 EmaIl '


Ms Slta H. Gomez tvls Peachy King Mr and Mrs . Renata Magadia I\\s Erlie Gomez Manaloto Ms . Consue lo McHugh Mr. Lawrence Ong

Project Direction Sonia P. Ner

The Pinto Fam ily

Protect Coordination Mabi P. Davi d

t-.k Marica r Yulo

Editorial/Project Assistance

Mr. and Mrs . jaime Zobel de Aya la

Ma. Elena Panganiban John Labella Paolo Tirol Editor Randolf M. Bustamante Photography George Ta pan Book Design Felix Mago Miguel Editorial Assistance Amel ia F. Zubiri· Miguel Design Assistance Te ss Leong Illustration Ric hard Leong Color Separation and Printing Solutions HK ISBN 971·8551 21 .1

Mr Helmuth josef Zotter

I am pleased to write the foreword for this book

such new approaches might be disrespectful or sacrilegious

concerning the collection of liturgical vestments woven out

to the customs handed down from th ei r ancestors . The

of native Philippine materials and fabrics and designed by

challenge was to make the work of t hese di ff erent tribal

Dom Martin de Jesus Gomez, OSB , a monk of the Monastery

Filipinos conform i n col or and desi gn pa tterns to the

of the Transfiguration , Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines.

meanings and symboli sm of the li turgy.

In December, 1997, during my visit to Malaybalay,

It is important for us to go beyo nd the cultural and

Dom Martin showed me the native fabrics he was using and

artistic dimension of th is proj ect. A ce rtain spi ri tu ality

gave me the background for the nature and scope of this

has to be th e underlyi ng dimension and found ation of

project, which was to coincide with the celebration of

such an indigenous vestm ent project , because the project

the Centennial of Philippine Independence. This project

has someth i ng i mpo rt ant to do with wor shi p, wi t h our

on "Filipino Liturgical Vestments" is intended to be the

relat ionship t o God. Ves tm ents are an imp ortant aspect

Malaybalay monastery's contribution to the national

of an y liturgi ca l cel ebrat i on . Since the y are wo r ks of


art, they can become vehicles that brmg us mto contact

This book on "Filipino Liturgical Vestments , " therefore,

wi th the Transc end ent , windows t o th e Infinite. Every

celebrates Philippine indigenous heritage and artistry

culture , in cluding Phil i ppine culture , has par t icular ways

through the 50路 piece collection of liturgical vestments

of expressin g th e divi ne. The beauty of artistic creations

made from Philippine materials and woven by 路ndigenous

with in a culture is a very special man ifestation of this truth .

cultural communities of the country. The colleatlon of

It is our hope , there fo re, that the beauty of this collectIOn

vestments includes weaves by tribes from Northern


designed by Dom Martin will bring t hose who see it into

to Southern Mindanao, as well as embroideries and te tile

close r contact with the Designer of t he universe and Author

materials produced in the Philippine pre路colonial times .

of all beauty, the Creator Himsel f.

The Second Vatican Council (1962 - 1965) encouraged this kind of activity for the liturgy. But, as Dom Martin has said ,

t Marcel Rooney , OSB

"We in the Philippines have taken as our own the ways of

Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confe deration

the Western Church , but we also use satin cloth, tassels , and

(1 996 -2000)

embroidery for vestments; other alternatives would seem strange to us." And so this is a pioneering work in the use of native materials for the sacred liturgy. Therefore, more than mere artistry or creativity, the concept of inculturation had to be seriously considered by Dom Martin. And so he made use of indigenous weaves and embroidery from some 20 regions in the Philippines, illustrating a weaving tradition that in some places spanned even centuries. This also meant finding the right blend of culture and theology. Dom Martin had to convince the indigenous weavers to consider other designs, materials , and techniques that fit the proper celebration of the liturgy. Some of the workers from various parts of the Philippines thought at first that

A ( k 11


w I e d-1L1l1 e 1LL5

When the Ayala Museum and the Monastery of the Transfiguration put up the Filipino Liturgical Vestment Exhibit on the occasion of the Centennial of Philippine Independence i n 1998 , i t successfully presented a contemporary overview of weaving in the Philippines and showed how these woven materials could be used in Church celebrations. Recognizing the need to disseminate and share the wealth of information about this unique and pioneering liturgical collection , the Ayala Foundation decided to publish Worship and Weave : Towards Filipino Liturgical Vestments. In the making of this book, I had to turn repeatedly to family, friends , and benefactors for help and support. Without their kindness and generosity, Worship and Weave would not have been completed. I am deeply grateful to Imelda O. Cojuangco, Jaime and Bea Zobel de Ayala , Vicente and Baby Paterno, Marvi Cojuangco Yulo , Ramon and Marissa Cojuangco , Howard Dee , Fortune Ledesma, Peter and Cecile


Garrucho , Alice Reyes , Norma Chan , Dr. Minerva Hizon , Dedette Gamboa , Teresita Macasaet, Nelly Manzano , Alice Macasaet, Fr. Anton Pascual, Guia Bautista, Angeles Guanzon Henson , Vicente Henson , Mel Chionglo, Angelina San Jose , Marita Dizon , Sylvia Trinidad , Michelle Severino, Virginia Merino, Teresita Dizon , Ma. Milagros Llorin , Lucila Reyes, Marcia Balderes , Jesus Lazatin , and Sr. Ma . Cecille Tajanlangit , OSC. I would also like to thank the following institutions for their generous sponsorship: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), PILTEL, Ayala Corporation, Honda Cars Pampanga , Honda Motor Central, Dizon Silver and Copper Mines, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR ), Legend Hotel , Shangri路la Hotel Manila, Power Construction, Assisi Development Foundation, Inc. , Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. , Inc., Catholic Women's Club , Mother Butler Mission Guild of Tagum, San Agustin Mall, Gifts Exchange, Pit-Chie Arts Trading and Heritage Arts and Crafts. For the help and assistance given to me during my research work , I am most grateful to Patis Tesoro , Margie Macasaet Baro , US Ambassador Thomas Hubbard and

Mrs. Joan Hubbard , Margie Moran Floirendo , Joaquin Teotico ,

Teray Laus, Suzette Villan, and Sr. Madelaine Dieryck, ICM,

Dr. Helmar E. Aguilar, Ma . Lourdes Ronquillo , Iso and Bobby

An i ta Santos , Lourdes Laguna and Lourma Ledesma in Iloilo;

Montalban , Maricris Brias, Javier Legaspi , Edna Fernandez ,

Jorge Mi ssi on and Vincent Troy Laguna in Bacolod ; Enriquita

Jovita Hayin , Ellen Dimayuga , Petronilo Jabay, Dom Gabriel

Alcaide in Dum aguet e; Javier and India Legaspi and Candida

Asejo , OSB , Sr. Aida Mariano , RVM , and Sr. Mary Claire

Tanon in Aklan ; Terry Hermoso in Iligan Ci ty ; Ote and Lira Sam porn a and Sr. Delia Coronel, ICM in Marawi ; Jesus Toledo

Espiritu , PDDM. My sincerest thanks also go to the followi ng i nstitutions

and Ed i th a Melody in Davao del Sur ; Luchie sueno, Fr. Ronald

for the help extended to me i n connection wi th my research

Plomillo, and Jim Ofonda in T'boli ; Mawab Edlay, Saturnino

on vestments and fabrics : Katutubong Filipino Foundation

Di gay non, an d Angelina San Jose in Davao del Norte; Lael

(KFF), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), Philippine

Louh , Tetel Tionko , and Olan Usman in Davao City; Sr.

Textile Research Institute (PTRI ), Department of Trade and

Mel an ie Mangas, OsB , Marivic Matondo, Rosanna Bilbao, Mary

Industry (DTI), Aklan State College of Agriculture (ASCA),

Ann Wee , and Roger Buada in Zamboanga; sr. Gladys

Growth with Equ i ty in Mindanao (GEM), Demolan Foundation ,

Laurente , OSB , Sr. Benedict Falcatan , OsB , Sr. Virginia Roy,

Inc. (DFI), Mindanao State University (MSU) Research Center,

and Hadj a Lydia Harayin in Basilan Island ; Datu Makapukaw

Office of Southern Cultural Minorities (OSCM), Bukidnon

Kinuli ntan g (Adolino saway) , Bae Magagaw (Leonarda saway),

State College (BSC), Design Center Philippines (DCP ), The

Bae Tinangkil (Herminia saway), Dr. Lydia Salazar, Teogenes

Holy Rood Guild of St. Joseph's Abbey (Spencer, Massa,chusetts),

Unabi a" an d Carmen Ching -Unabia in Bukidnon .

Antonio Ratti Textile Center of the Metropoli tan Museum (New York) , Louvre Museum and the Musee de la Mode


For ta kin g me into their homes, convents, and monasteries whil e I

as doing my research , I would like to thank

Vi ctoria and Albert Museum (London ), Fowler Museum

Fr. Abbo Damian Carr, OCSO and Fr. Prior Joseph Chukong

(California ), San Agustin Museum (Manila) , Museo de Iloilo,

of st. Jose ph's Abbey at Spencer, Massachusetts; Mother

Museo ng Kalinangang Filipino , Cultural Center of the

Ehren t r ud is Fernandez , OsB and the community of the

Philippines (CCP), Philippine Museum of Ethnology, Philippine

Imm ac ul ate Heart of Mary Abbey in Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Mother

National Museum, Aga Khan Museum (Marawi), Querexeta

Remedios Noche , OsB and the Benedictine community at

Formation Center (Basilan) , Basilan Integrated Livelihood

st. sch ol astica's Convent in Baguio City; Sr. Cecile Espenilla,

Project , Handicraft of Aklan Multi -Purpose Cooperati ve

OP and th e Dominican community at Notre Dame de

(HAMPCO), Indag -an Multi -Purpose Cooperative (Iloilo ),

Polomolok; Sr. Cecilia Turno , CM , Sr. Berna Basal , CM, and

Tadeco Livel ihood and Tra ining Center, Asilo de Molo , and

the Carm eli t e Missionaries at the Mater Carmeli Home In

the Talaandig School of Living Traditi ons (Bukidnon) .

Iloilo Ci t y; Fr. Abbot Odo Haas, OsB and the community of

Visiting 20 ethnolinguistic communities and weaving and

st. Bened ic t 's Monastery in Digos, Da vao del Sur;

craft centers all over the country required the cooperation

Sr. Socorro Marcos, OsB, Sr. So phie Aseo , OsB , and the

of a lot of people who helped make my fi eldwork not only

commun i ty of the Cella of th e Mystical Rose in Nalseb,

fruitful but also memorable and exciting. My profound thanks

Benguet; Moth er Mauree n sansaet, OsB and the community

go to Gov. Ma. Zita Claustro Valera and Congressman Vicente

of st. Be nedict 's Pr iory i n Ulas; Me ding Tolentino i n

Valera , Diosdado Carino and Luis Agaid in Abra ; Gabriella

Zamboanga ; Wally and Ti ne t Tapia in Davao City ; Pit and

Lucio and Talby Santos in Paracelis ; Belly Quitevis in Vigan ;

Luchie Sue no in Koronadal; Javier and India Legaspi in Aklan ;

Sr. Cecile Lanas , OSB in Naguilian , Dr. Elizabeth Bretana , Zafiro

Teodoro and Puri f ic aci on Tan Guzm an; Mother Ma . Lucy

Ledesma II , Sr. Victoria Leonor, DC , Cecilia Jison -Villanueva ,

Villarosa , Sr. M. John Paul Almaj ar, Sr. Ma. Carmel Cabanos ,

and the Carmelite Nuns of Carmel of th e Hearts of Jes us

most grate f ul to the participants of the two special se mi nars

and Mary in Malaybalay, Buki dnon.

on Litu rgic al Vestments , Vessels , and Images held at the

The Transfiguration Vestment Collec t ion fea t ure d in

Paul VI Inst itute of Liturgy in 1997 and 1998. Their i nterest

this book is very much the work not only of this autho r

i n t he t opiC of i nculturation of liturgical vestments inspired

and designer but also most specially of the weavers who

me eve n more to pursue this line of research .

created the fabrics. I sincerely thank Mary Pi ndug , Teresita

I would also like to express my deepest thanks to the

Obugayan , Felisa Tejero, Leslie and Margie Roldan , Din g dela

Transfig ur ation Foundati on , Inc . and the members of

Cruz, Susima dela Cruz , Lunita Victoriano , Ye Deng, Ce nd en

my own monasti c community at the Monastery of the

Tinoy, Juliana Dalumatan , Dayu Amurayon , Ombawera Lawi,

Tran sf igurat ion for thei r kindness , patience , understanding,

Hadja Omisalam Guro Cotawato , Napsia Abdul Carim , Maika

and support. I specially thank Fr. Abbot Eduardo P. Africa ,

Muzarin, Iya Ilul, and all the dedicated weavers who worked

Fr. Columbano Adag , Fr. Savi o Siccuan , Dom Andre Lao ,

with me on this project.

Dom Symeon Gomez, Dom Matthew Rios , Dom Athanasius

For the beautiful embroidery work, I would like to thank

Tadla s, Dom Stephen Bautista , and Dom Aelred Somogba.

linda Belardo, Evelyn Mejos, Alida Tagorda , Bella Bacsafra ,

I wo uld l ike to t hank most sincerely the Ayala Foundation

Rosalinda Gorayeb, Bae Mamumulam, and the bordadoras

and Sonia P. Ner, the Director of the Ayala Museum during

of Parafiaque (Cavite), Lumba

(Lagllna), Sta . Barbara

(Iloilo), Sungko, Lantapan, and Ma ila.

th e ce ntenn ial exhi bit, for their great trust and faith in me. Worship and Weave is the brainchild of Mrs . Sonia P. Ner

I am most grateful for the help and caring suppor t

and I will always be thankful to her for having given me the

extended to this project by other ar ists , most specially

chance to wor k on something so close to my heart. It is due

fashion deSigners Barge Ramos, Nolie Hans, Jeanne Margare t

t o her vis ion and t enacity that this volume devoted to the

Goulbourn, and Tess Salvador; master goldsmith Ricardo de

Fili pino Li t urgi cal Vestment Collect ion is be i ng published .

Jesus, textile deslgn artist Elisa Reyes, vestment designer

And f ina lly, I would like to thank my family for their

Tito Santos, master weaver India dela Cruz Legas pi , an d

generosi ty and continuous support. I specially thank my

fashion show director Ogee Atos . I am also deeply grate ful

pare nt s, Dom i ng o and El oisa Gomez , for all that they

to award-winning lensman George Tapan for t he magnificen t

have don e for me . Instilli ng i n me the love of God and

photography of Worshi p and Weave , and to the ve ry

Churc h and th i ngs of th e Church has also led me to develop

talented Felix Mago Miguel for the book design . For their invaluable advice and the dee p insigh t s

t hi s gre at lo ve for liturgical vestments . I also offer my si nce r es t thanks to my sisters Sita and Er lie and my

which they shared with me, I would like to tha nk t he

broth er Erie , my in 路 laws , nieces, and nephews who all

Most Rev. Onesimo Gordoncillo , Archbisho p of Ca piz and

lo vi ngly ga ve th ei r support and acti vely participated in

Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of t he Philippines

every stage of thi s wonderful undertaking to help bring

(CBCP) Commission on Liturgy; the Most Rev. Honesto Paca na,

it success fully to fruition .

SJ, Bishop of Malaybalay and Chair man of the CB CP Commission on Indigenous Peoples; Rev. Fr. Tim Ofras io, SJ , Rector of st. John Vianney Theologica l Semin ary ; Rev. Fr. Anscar Chupungco, OSB, Director of t he Paul VI In sti tu te of Liturgy; and Professor Norma Respicio for her comm ents and suggestions on the ethnogra phic part of t he book. I am also

Dom Mart i n de Jesus H. Gomez , OSB

The culmination of an exhibit can offer a sense

concept and , therefore , has always been expressed in

of achievement and relief. There is, however, some

western forms. Silk , brocade , and other western textiles

apprehension generated by endings, particularly of

have, thus , always been used even in Filipino Catholic ritual.

shows formed with the aim of spreading a certain awareness

This former designer and scholar of the liturgy found the

or challenge. What happens to the objects on display

practice impractical , specially in a country whose textile

afterward? Has the exhibit made its intended impact? How

crafts are rich and diverse . The Church , moreover, urges

can i t further spread the message, so to speak?

Filipino Liturgical Vestments was such an exhibition. It

the use of our own materials . As this project was guided by Dom Martin's vision, partly to correct and partly to urge a

ran for six months in 1998 as a way of commemorating the

new development in Filipino textiles, we have decided to

Philippine Centennial and received very favorable reviews.

include a personal account on the making of the vestments

The organizers , Ayala Museum and the Monastery of the

His account reminds us of how we always see within a frame

Transfiguration in Bukidnon , saw it as a way of honoring

Recognizing this does not diminish the value of the othe r

our pre路 colonial origins and acknowledging the great

texts contained in the book.

contribution of the cultures that have survived assimilation.

Dom Martin traveled to more than 20 ethnic communities

We also viewed it as an acknowledgment of the Filipino's

to research on textiles and to guide the production of the

uncanny knack fo r appropriating the colonial elements to

desired motifs that they were willing to accommodate .

ensure our own culture's survival.

These trips allowed him to witness the lives of its members .

On a more pragmatic level, the exhibit was formed to

In featuring his chronicle, we hope to dispel certain notions

stimulate interest in our native textiles . By showing

that many of us have formed in the past after reading

the diversity and depth of craftsmanship of our native

ethnography glossed with nativism and nostalgia. His

textiles, it endeavored to promote the creation of textile

narrative not only allows the readers a glimpse of our

for non路 traditional materials so as to preserve the weaving

indigenous cultures but also, and more significantly, provides

crafts of indigenous communities. Then , the terrifying

a co ntemporary overview of their situation.

question arises: what happens after the exhibition? Six months

The proj ect may be seen as a way of reconciling the two

is hardly enough to effect changes in the public's regard

primary strains of contemporary Filipino culture , one that

for native fabrics and t he preservation of indigenous culture.

is often regarded as " native " and another that is delineated

Worship and Weave gestated from such questions.

as " foreign ." These are distinctions that seem inevitable

We hope that this book will dispel our own anxieties and

but - and it must be emphasized-are difficult to support

those of the people who have worked for the realization of

because of how our national life has evolved into one with

the project: the textile centers and indigenous weaving

such complexity and layering .

communities . The book offers scholars and art historians a

Liturgical vestments are just one way of foregrounding

scientific documentation of Philippine weaving as practised

indigenous culture in the Filipinos' awareness. Our insistence

today. It also serves as a reference for the correct use of

on documentation is done out of the desire not to perpetuate

vestments for Catholic ritual for the religious community.

ideas generated by a so路called majority culture but to

Dam Martin de Jesus Gomez , OSB thought of incorporating local indigenous materials and designs as a way of making

inspire other projects or gestures that strengthen the indigenous ways of seeing, living, and creating.

the liturgy more familiar to Filipinos and, since Catholicism is widespread in the country, popularizing native fabrics.

Sonia P. Ner

Vestment culture, as part of Christian liturgy, is a European

Ayala Museum DIrector March , 1999

"That in all things God may be glo rified."


+ P _A_ R_ T _









It has been more than 30 years since the pro mu lgation of

era . The min isters during those times wore the domestic

Sacrosanctum Concili um (The Constitution on the Sacred

dress of th e mid -to -late Roman empire in celebrating the

liturgy), yet much of the liturgical reform mandated by

Eucharist- t he lon g tunic (now the alb , alba , linea) and the

the Second Vatican Council has not been fully implemented.

cloak or ove rc oat, the paenu/a (now the chasuble) . Because

The current situation leaves much to be desired due mostly

of the di gni ty of th e holy sacrifice , priests wore a white

to the lack of catechism specially in the Third World

tunic an d a pa enu/a more beauti ful than those used at

countries. It is not surprising, then, that in a country such

ordi nary occasio ns. It was t hese garments that had to be

as the Philippines, the rich history and great importance of

wo rn at litu rgical fun ct io ns whi ch soon became the " sacred

liturgical vestments are all but forgotten in the face of more

vestments" or ves t es sacratae , as Pope Stephen called them

immediate concerns and pressing matters. In spite of the

in the middle of the t hi rd cen t ury.

publication of new liturgical books , not much has been

It was f rom Jerusale m th at th e earli est mention of a

done to make our liturgical vestments more appropriate for

special lit urgica l garment fo r Christian worship came.

the celebrations and more deeply appreciated not only

Acco rd in g to Th eodoret, Constanti ne gave a " sacred robe "

by the clergy wearing them but also by the congregation

of gol d tex ture t o hi s new cathedral i n Jerusalem about


330 A. D. It was to be worn by the bishop only at solemn

liturgical celebrations.

Understandin g the rites and

II the component parts

0' 1 liturgical celebration will enabl


to participate

e fully in the liturgy, a thing which has been greatly

Isido r e of Pel usium not ed th e f i rst i ndication of a

t hings we notice

dis t i nctive liturgi cal vestment around the year 400 A. D. The

rnmedlately when we attend Mass, for example, is the

vestme nt , cal led t he omorphorion , was worn by bishops as

Ipt>asized by Vatican II. One of th

'lent of the presider. Ye t , despite our daily encounter

a symbol of t heir being shepherds. The bishops of the Western

these special garments, many of us do not understand

church began to adopt th is som et i me later under the name

el' or;gin, purpose, and nature. To address this

of palliu m. Th is was, however, more the exception rather

fortunate situation, then, what follows is a systema t ic

than th e rule i n 425 A.D., si nce no less than Pope Celestine

E •


presentation of the liturgical vestments most commonly used

I re bu ked t he bis hop s of Southern France for using the

Eucharistic celebrations-their history and the original

palli um and cin cture in liturgical services. Pope Celestine I


theological symbols they signify. The ministers of the Church did not wear anyt hi ng


baptisms of th e pasc hal vigil and was no di fferent from the sha pe or f orm of ordinary cloth i ng .

had fel t th at th e introduction of these two items was a viola tio n of th e Church's custom. He exhorted his colleagues ,

distinctly liturgical and symbolic as they performed the

t hu s: "We bi shops mu st be disti nguished from the people by

liturgical services during the early centuries of the Ch ris t ian

our lea rning and not by our dress, by our life and not by our robes, by purity of heart and not by elegance ... " Pope


Gregory began a series of letters delineating

t he vestments which at that time remained as a gift from t he Roman pontiff in 590 A.D. These vestments were the pallium , the dalmatic (da/matica), and the maniple. The dalmatic became the symbol of the diaconate in the sixth century and was widely recognized as such by the eighth ce ntury. On the other hand , the maniple entered the domain o

of the vestments of the general clergy in the 12th century and has since been abolished. Only the pallium continues to be a vestment reserved as a gift from the Roman pontiff. The first mention of vestments in the Church in a journal was made at the Council of Toledo in 633 A.D., although the pope had already begun to delineate the importance and significance of sacred vestments in the liturgy in the sixth century. In time , sacred vestments developed further, with customs , practices , and styles of the era showing their influence on those ceremonial vestments .


10' A I J \1


J [r I

ALB The alb is the white vestment donned by all clerics and is reserved for all at the altar during liturgical ce ebrations . It is a loose white garment traditionally made of linen , covering the whole body from the neck to the ankle and with long sleeves. The only one of the liturgical vestments which , almost from the beginning, appears to have had a particularly Christian meaning attached to it, 1 the alb or tunica alba is of classical Greek and Roman origin but received its name at the time of Charles the Great. In Latin, the word refers to its white color. Sometime in the fourth century B.C., the kolobus of the Greeks (a cylindrical garment sewn together on the shoulder with an opening in the middle for the head and with openings on the sides for the arms) was also adopted by the Romans who called it the colobium . This new garment differed from the tunica only very slightly; while the latter had no sleeves , the co labium had the shoulder part cut long enough for the material to fall in folds over the upper arms. The alb was originally known by many other names, such as

tunica talaris (tight-fitting tunic which reached to the feet), talaris and toli (ankle garb) , and camisa (long white shirt). And when more than one tunic , long or short, was worn, the undertunic , usually of wool , was of the same shape

In the early 1970s , a new liturgical vestment was

the Ho ly Eucharist at the main altar of a cathedral wearing

introduced : the chasuble-alb_ Also known locally in the

only the chasuble-alb and a stole. This is clearly in violation

Philip pines as the tunic , it is a loose-fit ting vestment that

of the Guidelines of the Eucharist approved by the Catholic

reaches almost down to the floor and envelops the body of

Bishops Conference of the Philippines and published in

the celebrant. It serves as both chasuble and alb at the

January 1990. Behavior that outwardly shows disrespect

same time, and a stole is worn over it. Only the colo r of the

for Church law should never be tolerated.

stole , not the whole vestment itself , has to fit the occasion of the day; it is, therefore , best in a neutral color. Some liturg ists wh o are aga inst the use of the chasuble-alb claim tha t this vest ment does not respect the in teg rity of the alb ga rment; neither does it respect the symbolism of all

The amice was a rectangular or oblong linen cloth worn

ministers , including the presider, wearing the same kind of

by most people in Rome since the third century B.C.

alb These argu ments seem to be valid and could not,

Originally called the 5uperhumerale , it had two cords

therefore , be com pletely ignored_

fastened to the ends of one of its longer sides . It was worn

Since the General Ins truction of the Roman Missal (1I3 04)

around the neck and over the shoulder in the manner of a

allows adaptations in the form of v stments with the consent

small shawl, and fixed with the cords that were wrapped



Holy See , th e Catholic BishOfs Conference of the

around the back and tied in front. This piece of cloth was

I Ippi nes (CBC P) re que sted the u e of this so-called

worn for comfort, and to fill in the space above the wide

aSL':lle alb already approved for some countries< via the

neck opening of the outer garment. lO


d Congregation for Divine Worship SCOW) Concession

According to the Ordo Romanus , this neck cloth had

Sacree Cong regation of May 1, 1971. On April 3, 1973,

been adopted by the clergy by the year 755 A.D., and so

COW inc luded the Philippines in the permission to

became a vestment of ritual known as the amice. " The word comes from the Latin amicire that means "to cover." In

e the chasuble-alb but under the following restrictions: y 'o r concelebrations, celebrations for special groups ,

England , the first reference to the use of this vestment is

eb atio ns outside a place of worshi p, and some other

in an Anglo -Saxon pontifical of the tenth century, wherein

" lar occasions where this usage seems to be suggested

it was called a 5uperhumerale. The modern amice is a much

by reason of the place or the people involved.9

smaller garment when compared to its original measurement

It IS, therefore, very clear that permission to use the

of 42 inches by 24 inches of the first century.

chasu ble-alb is with ve ry specific limitations. It is indeed

Sewn to the amice is a cross that the priest should always

very unfortunate t ha t we sometimes see priests cele brating

reverence prior to placing the vestment upon his head before letting it finally fall upon his shoulders . A most ancient vesting prayer for the am ice is: "Place upon my head , 0 Lord , the helmet of salvation for repelling the attacks of the evil one, " a prayer strongly suggesting the priest's role as a soldier of Christ. 12 Since the purpose of the amice is to cover the cassock or street dress of the celebrant completely so that they are not visible while the priest is in sacred vestments, the amice


is now optional if the chasuble is already so made as to cover

Furthermore, since most albs are now made to size, the

the minister's inner garments.

cincture has become optional. The General Instruction of t he Ro man Missal (1/298) states: "The vestment common to


all ministers is the alb , tied at the waist with a cincture, unless it is made to fit without a cincture ."

The cincture or girdle is a cord or belt used to hold the

Looking at the vesting prayer of the cincture in the

alb by the priest celebrating Mass. The word derives its

past , we easily notice a certain reference to the priest's

meaning from the Latin cingere , to gird. This article of dress

marriage to Christ. The most ancient formula is: "Gird (or

is essentially utilitarian and sometimes ornamental. Dating

bind) me , 0 Lord , with the cincture of purity and extinguish

back to very early times , it has always been used by the

in my loins the heat of concupiscence that the virtue of

Greeks and later by the Romans to confine garments round

continence and chastity may abide in me. "1\

the waist. Ordinary girdles of cord were used by the peasants while the upper class used girdles of gold ornament and precious stones .



f 11


P lap crt 0

t I)

t ( ) I", 11 d

In the sixth century Rule of St . Bened ict , the father of monks ordered his congregation not to set aside their girdles


even when they had to retire for the night. Here we have the first reference to a girdle in a very authoritative sense ,

The stole is the liturgical vestment consisting of a long ,

although it was St. Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople

narrow bard of material several inches wide . Coming to us


(died in exile in 733 A.D.), who gave the earliest allusion

from a fupctional background like so many of the sacred

to the girdle in an ecclesiastical sense when he said that

vestment of the Church , the word stole is derived from the

the napkin should be attached to the girdle of a deacon. It

early Greek word for towels , stolas. The stole was first known

could, therefore , be safely said that by the eighth century,

as orarium (or orarion) a term derived from the Latin oro,

the cingulum or cincture had become recognized as part

meaning "to pray." More widely used in the Ea st, the word

of Christian vestments.ll The cincture is also sometimes called the subcingulum since when it is used to raise up the alb that is too long for

orarium refers to a larger napkin than those in earlier use, and is also thought to have been derived from an Egyptian word meaning "a linen cloth for wiping the face."

a priest, it becomes partly hidden by the alb that was

By the fourth century, the orarium was adopted as a sign

pulled out over it. The cincture has been made in the past

of dignity similar to that of public honors. Two centuries

in all liturgical colors to match the chasuble . Presently,

later, the orarium was already used universally through out

however, it is preferred that the cincture be made of white cord , symbolizing chastity, and as simple in design as possible, avoiding unnecessary ornamentation such as too many tassels or colorful embellishments. '4 It must be remembered that it is the alb that is important and, thus , the cincture, which is only an ornamental accessory of the alb, should not detract from it. A total length of four to five yards should be sufficient for a cincture .


the Latin rite. The early church mosaics of the mid路sixth century at Ravenna show the earliest use of the stole by the episcopacy. By the Council of Mayence (813 A.D.), all clerics were required to wear the stole at all times. This was , however, clarified by Rome some 30 years later, requiring the use of the stole by clerics only when they were vested or performing the sacraments. 16 An interesting development in the 12th century saw the ends of the orarium or stole terminating in a rectangular compartment, giving the appearance of a Tau cross . It was not until after the 12th century that the new name "stole" became generally used although the change in name from

ararion to stoia

started to take place in the ninth century, a Franco路Germanic i nnovation . The tapering stole was a later innovation. The end of the stole terminated in a fringe and in earlier times was sometimes finished with little bells. 17 It was Pope Innocent III who gave a religious significance to the stole , which was originally a secular garment , by calling i t t he "easy yoke of Christ." The stole is, therefore , a sign of the yoke of obedience assumed by the priest ; a sign of innocence and of immortality that was lost through sin and won by Christ. The stole has changed remarkably little throughout its long history. Its shape is still very much the same. And just l i ke all the other liturgical vestments , it tended to be overdecorated in the period between Trent and Vatican II. Of the stoles with shovel 路shaped ends which became popular during his time , Augustus Welby Pugin wrote in the 1840s: "The large , unmeaning, shovel路shaped ends , generally used in France and thence brought into England , have not been introduced much above a century ago; they have never been used in Rome , and are not only extravagantly large, but most ugly in form. "18 This long , scarf-like vestment known as the stole is the mark of ordination. Deacons wear it over the left shoulder, drawn across the chest and back toward the lower right side. Other ordained ministers like the priests and bishops wear

it around their neck, hanging down equally in front. As the

insignia proper to the ordained , the stole is often worn as


to be visible, over the chasuble or the alb . However, one is not supposed to make a great display of it, as was sometimes

The chasuble is the tent路like liturgical outer garment

the case with the overdecorated stoles in the period

used primarily by the priest for the celebration of the

between Trent and Vatican Council II. It must always be

Holy Eucharist. It is to the Roman Empi re , too, that the

remembered that the stole connotes the sacramental role

chasuble traces its origins. While the alb was adopted

of the cleric and, therefore, should be of a design that exudes

from the dress of the governing class, the chasuble had

dignity, the same requirement that applies to all liturgical

more humble origins- the casu/a, a poncho路like cloak

vestments. In the making of stoles , simple designs rather

of the working class that was used for protection from

than overdecorated ones should be chosen , avoiding what

the elements. As an article of clothing, the casu/a appears to have been a popular and provincial name for the paenu/a

is known as the "billboard look ." In the Eastern Orthodox tradition , the stole has various

of classical Latin. The paenu/a , also known as amphibulus

forms. The orarion is a long band worn by the deacon and

in ancient times , was a garment consisting of a circular

sub路deacon, sometimes over the left shoulder and sometimes

piece of cloth with an opening in the center for the head. 19

crossed upon the breast and back. The priest's stole, the

We find the paenula worn by Christians as depicted

epitrachi/ion, is wider than the orarion , worn around the

catacombs and engraved on a fourth century cup. We find

neck and joined to its full length in front. It is stiffened

it also in the mosaic representations of bishops of



with an interlining, and is held in place by a lone, or girdle ,

Ra ve nna . Th e mosaic of St. Ambrosius

around the waist.

St. Sati ro in Milan datin g from the fifth century is another


The modern stole is long , usually reaching to j Jst a


the chapel of

early pictorial representation.

few inches from the ankle. The stole traditionally makes

The casula of the farm er, which ultimately became the

use of tassels or fringe of matching or coordinating color.

chasuble of the early church, was a form of poncho that

Although these finishing touches at the hem are not always

allowed the farmer to work his fields even when it was

necessary, stoles look rather meager and skimped without

raining. Thi s was because he could see down inside the front

them. Only one cross is essential to a stole , the one at the

of his cloak to see what he was doing. It had one seam in

top that falls over the neck of the priest. When the stole is

front and a hood for working in bad weather.2掳 The term

used with chasuble or the cope , it usually matches them in

casu/a means "hut" or " tent ," which immediately suggests

color, material , and design .

its nature. Referred to as the most ordinary garment , the

A priest should never wear the stole alone over street clothes when participating in a liturgical celebration like laying on

casula began to be known also by another name, the planeta .21 The casula was also worn by monks. o

the hands at ordination, administering other sacraments, etc. The preaching stole , which is shorter and with a widening at the base of each side and which was usually heavy with embroidery during the period before Vatican II, has not been abolished. As its name suggests, this stole is reserved for preaching and , therefore, is worn over the cassock and surplice. A priest should not use it when he is vested as a concelebrant, in alb and stole.

f f

Alth ough some scholars insist t hat t he cha su ble was

Th e full conical shape of the chasuble was retained

originally a flat circle of material with an opening for the head,

through t he 13th century whereupon i t shrank more

overwhelming evidence indicates that the pri mi t ive chasu ble

dramatic ally. Th i s was due in part to the changes within

was conic al or bell 路 shaped . This sha pe was produ ced by

the i ncreasi ngly elaborate li turgy. The elevation of the host ,

sewing together the rad ii of a semicircle of cloth , the seam

a ceremonial innovation of the 13th century, led to furt her

be i ng concea led beneath a decorative stri p. 22

mu t ila t ion of the shape of the chasuble . 26

It was not until 350 A.D. that all classes of Roman society

Material wa s f i rst cut from the sides of the garment -

began to adopt the casula. Th is acceptance was a direct result

a ve ry basic and pract ic al requ i rement that freed the

of the influence of the Church that had adopted t he casula for

celebrant 's han ds and arms, giving us the so路called "Gothic"

its own use after Christ's ascen sion . The casula and paenula

ch asub le. Some historians bel ieve that , thus freed from the

were identified as sacred vestments , and within sacred

bulk and heaviness of t he old shape , the chasuble became

places the laity were no lon ger permi tted to wear t he casula .

"a n even more elegant and fluid garment , incorporating

The chasuble, whose earlies t version s had a hood , a direct

wi th i n its pleats the principles of the Goth ic arch . " 27 This

vintage of its origins as a pro tective garb,1l was decreed as a

" Goth ic" styl e has remained one of the two styles accepted

resi dent ial garb for all bishops and priests, deacons, and minor

in t he Chu rc h for the past hundreds of years .

clerics at the Council of Toledo in 633 A.D. A later restriction In the eighth century limited th e

c asuble

During th e Rena issance, the second most familiar style ,

to bishops and

the so路c alled " Roman " st yle, developed . The chasuble was

pnests while th e dalmatlC was dele ated as the official

cut down eve n f urth er duri ng th is period - at times to as

vestment for deacons . It was the Counc I of Ratisbon


narrow as shou lder width- and was cut from heavy, stiffened

A. D that decreed that the chasuble be wo rn only by the clergy.

fabric tha t hung down front and back to the knees. During


Colored ba nds and minor em broidery began to appear

the 16th ce ntury, modi fi cation and alteration had finally

by the seven th century an d em broi dered cloth by the tent h

pro duced what t he great Bened icti ne monk, Dom Eugene

century. A noticeable cha nge in the shape of the chasuble

Roul i n, called " two stiff sandwich boards attached at the

appeared in the 11 th cen tu ry. Chasubles, short and poi nted

should er." Th is style had many other names and gradations .

In front and very long an d full at the back , became

It is also known as th e Tridentine chasuble and the "fiddle路

characteristi c in the West. It is said that th is style seems to

back " becau se it resembles the shape of a large bass f iddle .

rave been i n use in the Eas t ern Church since the sixt h

It should be noted at th is point that this way of

century.24 In the Byzantine Rite , the chasuble , know n as

catego rizi ng chasuble style s into two , the Gothic and the

the phelonion , was not cu t away at the si des but in front ,

Roman, has been quest ioned often in the past. A better way

thus allowi ng freedom of movement. 25

of desc rib i ng chasubles would be to distinguish between the full and ample cut chasubles and the small or narrow chasubles . Thi s solves the problem of having to distinguish between what is truly Gothic and what is authentically Roman . It would also be interesting to note that aside from the pra cti cal con siderati ons required by the new and more elaborate liturgy, another reason has also been put forward the human factor. Herbert Norris , in his book Church Vestments : Thei r Ori gi n and Development , said :


! 2

The alteration which took place in the shape of the chasuble must have been caused without doubt by the impatience and awkwardness of certain ungainly clerics who could not be bothered to control their vestments carefully. In the exercise of their official duties - duties performed by their predecessors for centuries past, their arms became impeded by the ampleness of their chasubles. Therefore, the sides were cut away, thus converting the semicircular form into the unlovely shape-"the fiddle路 back. " 18 Eugene Roulin, writing about the diminution of the chasuble during the Renaissance , said : All that excessive culture which is known as the Renaissance brought with it a general lack of interest in the Divine Mysteries and in the vestments necessary for their celebration ... Real simplicity departed and with it, both beauty and dignity; such was the effect of the pursuit of comfort , of merely human aims, of e quisite and sometimes very dubious pleasures. 19 Simultaneous with the clipping away of fabric from the sides of the chasuble was an increase in the heaviness of ornamentation. Soon , in place of the full garment hanging in graceful folds, there was only a flat panel , stiff with embroidery and jewels. Chasubles were also decorated with orphreys , bands of brocade or embroidered cloth that covered the seam in front. From this practice, two principal forms developed: the cruciform -shaped orphreys and the pallium -shaped orphreys. The development of the chasuble into the fiddle-shaped style did not proceed unopposed, however. In fact , St. Charles Borromeo (1538- 1584) and the Council of Trent (1545 -1563) attempted repeatedly to return to the full medieval shape or at least attempted to stem the process of diminution by a compromise between the old full chasuble and the new forms but with little success . St. Charles Borromeo was known as the promoter of the revision of the liturgical books and the defender of the dignity of the sacred vestments .

He laid down 51 inches as the width of the chasuble but

taken around by the nuns during their wanderings on the

after his death , the chasuble shrank further!

continent. This had to be done since during the Reformation ,

From the 16th to the 18th centuries, there were four

great quantities of vestments were destroyed . Some we re

essentially dis tinguishable types of chasubles: the Roman ,

burnt and the gold reclaimed. Many vestments were also

the Spanish, the German, and the French . The Roman or

cut up and used as wearing apparel.

Italian chasuble's dimensions were generally 75 cm wide and

During the post· Renaissance period , the Gothic style fell

120 cm long. The orphrey on the back was a simple column

i nto abeyance except within the monastery tradition which

or pillar while on the front it was in the shape of a cross.

continued its use up to the present. This is the reason why

The Spanish chasuble varied from 45 cm to 60 cm i n the back

the chasuble style with ample folds and generous proportions

and the length was usually 100 cm. The term "fiddle· back

is also sometimes referred to as a monastic style.

shape" was generally associated with this chasuble, referring

In the post· Reformation period, there was the fullest

to the shape of its front panel. Both the front and the back

freedom in matters of church vestments and all the churches

had a column or pillar orphrey band. The German chasuble

and cathedrals of the Latin rite were permitted to keep,

had a width of 68 cm. to 70 cm and a length of 11,5 cm. An

use , and restore the vest ments that they had . Therefore ,

orphrey cross adorned the back while a pillar or column was

in some countries, the full chasuble maintained itself

its front's decoration. The French chasuble was Very similar

without any interruption. These full chasubles were in use

to the German chasuble in dimensio s except that the front

at Notre Dame de Paris and at Saint Denis , among others,

part appeared further cut.)O

even in the 18th century.

The original Roman style is what we

w call

the Flemish

By the end of the 18th century, the liturgical vestment

style tapered or sculptured in front somewhat in a fiddle

known as the chasuble had ceased to be a vestment and

'orfT', but cut broadly and entirely square at the back. This

had become an ornament , and an ornament "in a style either

lyle used a lot of gold and silk enhanced by brocade,

of pompous affectation or of stilted ugliness." There was

brOIdery, and rich embellishments, inclu ding images of

just too much excess style in the use of gilt and lace, making

rhr st, the Blessed Virgin, and the saints, as well as other

the vestments groan under the weight of unsightly

sacred symbols. This latter type of embellishment known as

ornamentation. In Vestments of the Roman Rite, Dr. Adrian

"~eedle painting" produced marvels, as demonstrated by a

Fortescue, refusing to label these small and overdecorated

considerable number of vest ments that have survived to this

chasuble as Roman , said: "skimped chasubles, gold braid ,

day.l' It is a well·known fact that these vestments which

and lace are not Roman. They are 18th century bad taste. ,,)2

survived did so because they were either hidden or sent out

During the 19th century and the Gothic revival , attempts

of the country, as happened to the Syon Cope , which was

were made to return to the full vestments of the medieval ages. Viollet·le·Duc and Pugin in their respective dictionaries and glossaries directed their efforts toward the fuller version. The so·called Pu gin chasubles began to be used in England in 1838. These were not the true ample forms but were only of medium amplitude . Therefore , these Pugin chasubles could not really be regarded as truly typical of the Gothic era but rather as the reintroduction of the already modified medieval form.



Nevertheless , because of all these efforts towards revival ,


the "gothic" chasuble became so popular on ce aga i n that serious doubt arose as to whether it was acceptable . Ini tially,

The dalmatic is the outer garment worn by the deacon

the Congregation of Rites of the Roman Curia declared under

th at is open on each side and has wide sleeves. It came

bind ing decree that the Gothic chasuble was " improper and

original ly from Dalmatia, a historic region of Croatia , along

mu st be discontinued ." However, the bishops of England ,

th e Adria t ic Sea. Its first appearance dates back to the

Ireland , and the German states demanded a furth er re view

year 190 A.D. when it became the custom among decadent

until finally, the Gothic chasuble was permitted . 33

young patricians of Imperial Rome to introduce into the

With the emphasis on the return to the original form s

world of fashion garments of foreign origin , in spi te of

of liturgical vestments after Vatican II , the " Roman " style

t he outrage against national sentiments . During the early

or small chasuble in its many forms wa s laid asid e i n fa vor

Ch ristian period, it was the garb of rank and presti ge In

of the Gothic chasuble and its man y ampl e version s. It

civil society. Only the privileged members of the comm uni ty

should be noted , however, that the Rom an style has not

were entitled to the dalmatic, in much the same way as

been placed in abeyance . No edict or decree wa s iss ued to

only persons of rank in Ancient Rome were permitted to

effect this change.

wear t he purple cloak. 34

A return to the basic

paenula has occurred, only durin g

Not to be confused with the ancient Roman

tunica which

the 20th century, within the last 70 years , largely t rough the

was an un dergarment worn with the toga as an upper garment ,

work of Sr. M. Agustina Flueler, a Capuch i n nun of St. Klara,

th e datmatic was worn with the

tunica as undergarment in

Stans , Switzerland. Her vestments can be found thro ghou t

Roman ti es, and with a mantle or toga over it. Like the

the world , from the Benedicti ne Monastery of Montserrat

other ancient garments, representations of the traditional

to the Arch -abbey of St. Meinrad in Indiana . Sr. Agusti na's

forms of dalmatics that remained in use for many centuries

books, Paramente (1955) and Da s Sa krale Gewand (1964)

ca n be found in the early mosaics of Ravenna and Milan ,

have been of great help to those interested in the essential

and in frescoes of the second and early third centuries in

and specific principles of vestment making .

t he ca t acombs outside Rome. When laid out flat and before

Looking at the development of the chasuble from the

th e sid e seams were sewn together, the matenal of a

earliest times to the present , it is easy to see that the early

dalm atic fo rmed a Greek cross, as Rabanus Maurus wrote

Christian centuries offer an ideal. This does not mean ,

and explained in his work De Institutione Clericorum (e. 850),

however, that there should be a sort of slavish imi tat ion

" In Mod um Crucis Facta. "35 A similarly shaped vestment in

of the past ; neither should there be a mere copying of the

th e Ea st ern Ch urch is the sakkos, of Byzantine origin and

vestments of antiquity. Rather, we should always learn to

worn by th e bishop, sym bolic of Christ's coat without a seam .

seize the essential character of liturgical vestments and that we should be inspired by the best , regardless of style , epoch , or country. Regarding this most visible liturgical vestment , the General Instru ct ion of the Roman Mi ssal (#299) states : "The cha suble , worn over the alb and stole , is the vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other rites immediately connected with the Mass ."

1 .1

Almost identical in design to the dalmatic was the tunicle which developed in the same way as the dalmatic in ancient Rome and differed from it only in weight (it was lighter) and later on , in the degree of ornamentation. The tunicle was less rich in ornamentation and was worn only within the villa , never to be seen outdoors. Both the dalmatic and th e tunicle had entered the Church by the fourth century. Pope Sylvester granted the dalmatic to the Order of Deacons in 332 A.D . While most vestments suffered greatly duri ng the period of bad decoration before and after Trent , the dalmatic preserved its basic form , although it also became more of an ornamentation than a garment. This was probably because true diaconal ministry was such a rare thing before the 1970s, reserved mostly for transitional months in seminaries. By the 13th century, it was already customary to have sets of vestments of the same color and material, consisting of the chasuble , dalmatic, tunicle, stole, and maniple. And from the 13th to the 20th centuries , bishops made use of the dalmati c and tunicle as part of their requ i red vesture beneath the chasuble . It was only after Vatican II that the dalmatic became optional for bishops when celebrating the Holy Eucharist or when donning the sacred vestments . But it must be understood that the dalmatic was neither laid aside nor abolished for bishops . Therefore , on the few solemn occasions when the bishop decides to add the dalmatic to his vestments at Mass, i t is the only time that he wears different liturgical vestments compared to the priest. J6 As a vestment rich in design and ornamentation, the dalmatic has been decorated in so many ways through the centuries . Samples of ornamentation for the dalmatic include : the simple clavi , the clavi ending in lozenges, the

clavi and an orphrey at the bottom or hemline, and an orphrey near the top between the clavi. An interesting type of ornamentation in the ninth century in the case of bishops was when the edges of both slits on the sides and of both sleeves as well as the lower hem were fringed - an innovation obviously introduced from the East. A deacon's dalmatic ,

however, was decorated differently- fringed only at the left

version of the sudarium that was a plain linen napkin used

sleeve and on both sides of the left slit. The ornamentation

by the Greeks and Romans at meals for wiping the mouth

of the dalmatic underwent curious changes from the ninth

and hands. Such piece of white linen has been used by the

to the 12th centuries. "Small strips of colored material were

priest to wipe communion vessels and hands at celebrations

knotted and sewn on , as tassels either along the left side

since the earliest t imes of the Church . It was usually

of the clavi (except on the right sleeves where they were

attached to the left wrist or forearm .

on the right) or, later still, tassels were sometimes arranged

In the first century A.D ., the mappa was also an official

near the hem , between the clavi in pyramid form , in front

badge of the Roman Empire and a magi sterial decoration

and at the back. "37

of importance. It is in the first and third Ordo Romano of

Dalmatics come in all liturgical colors. Though white can

the second century that the term mappu la, the diminutive

always be worn whenever the proper color is not available,

version of mappa, first appeared , carrying the concept of

deacons should always wear the designated liturgical colors

maniple. By the fourth century, the rectangular piece of cloth

whenever possible . The tunicle which was always light in

was converted in to just a strip called the contabulatum ,

color and limited in ornamentation ceased to be used starting

about three to four inches wide and two to four feet long

in 1972 when the order of subdeacon and minor orders were

and which started to take in some embellishments. It was,

su pp ressed and replaced by two "ministries" - lector and

however, in a deed of 781 A.D. that we find the first definite

acolyte- conferred not by ordination but by "institution. "38

occurrence in writing of the maniple as a sacred vestment ,

The General Instructi on of the Roman Missa l (#300)

and the distinctive badge with which the subdeacon was

states: "The dalmatic, worn over the alb and stole, s the

invested at ordination. 39

vestment proper to the deacon." In these modern times

As the other sacred vestments developed , so did the

specially after Vatican II, the dalmatic is not seen too often

maniple. What was originally just a plain vestment of white

in liturgical celebrations anymore except maybe at very

linen cloth was soon made of more expensive materials

solemn Masses with the cardinal or bishop presiding , and in

like silk and cloths of gold. As the Church became more

monastic communities. Th is is indeed very unfortunate

powerful and wealthy, so did the maniple become more

because the dalmatic as a liturgical vestment not only helps

elaborately decorated. By the tenth century the maniple

distinguish the ministry of the deacon but also adds greatly

had become highly embellished with embroidery, silk fringes ,

to the beauty of the celebration. To make the excuse that

beads of gold , and even precious stones. There were even

it is not worth the trouble having a dalmatic made since

some maniples which had "sonorous metallic appendages "

the diaconate is but a transitory period of a few months at

or bells . One such maniple was the one that belonged

most completely ignores the importance that the Genera l

to Bishop Riculfus of Helena which he left to his successor

Instruct ion of the Roman Missal has so clearly proclaimed.


I MANIPLE The maniple is the ornamental vestment once worn over the left forearm or wrist by the celebrant at Mass. Much like the stole and the amice, the maniple was also originally a handkerchief. Mappa was the name given to the smaller

I i

as specified in his will in 915 A.D.4o Soon the maniple lost

the ground. When slit completely up in the front and left

its usefulness as a cloth used to clean vessels and became

open, with the edges joined at the neck with a clasp or

purely an ornament , with purely ceremonial significance .41

with ties, it became a great cloak or cape. On the other

At the Cathedral Museum of Durham , we can still find the

hand , when the straight edges were sewn together, the

oldest existing maniple made of a strip. It belonged to St.

con ical chasuble was formed .

Cuthbert, dating back to the early tenth century.

This ves tm ent was in ceremonial use as early as the sixth

The maniple is not used in the Eastern Church though

century, represented in a mosaic at St. Apollinare , Ravenna,

deacons used to wear someth ing attached to their girdle ,

and also at St. Apollinare in Classe . The cope is first mentioned

representing the napkin wi th which the Lord girded himself

as a liturgical vestment in the sixth Ordo Romanu s. 44 This

when washing the apostles' feet. The epiman ikio n of t he

ancient cloak was originally used over the chasuble by clerics

Eastern Church does not correspond to the mani ple . It is

in procession, until the procession reached the inside of the

quite different , a bishop 's embroidered over路sleeves . 41

Church so that they may be protected from the rain and chilly

The maniple was laid aside by Pope Paul VI on May 4 ,

weather. From this custom came the cope's Latin name,

1967 in the Instruction Tres Abh i nc Ann os. It may neve r be

pluvial e, which means "rain cloth." When the pluviale had a

used, therefore , by anyone who still makes use of on e of

hood attached, as worn by the Gallic monks, it was called a

the Roman ' style chasubles. The Pontifical COUllcil Ecclesia

cucul/us . In Italy, however, like at Monte Cassino, it was called

Dei has, however, granted the use of the manip e to the

a cappa. 45 The late Latin cappa which originally meant a cap

members of the Fraternity of St. Peter, which still r~t ai ned

(from caput , head) is also the root of "cape," a head covering

the liturgical vestments before 1969. 43

which ext~nded to cover the shoulders too, and finally "cope,"

Before the reforms of Vatican II , the man i ple 's

which extended almost to the ground.

ornamentation was expected to match that of the stole used

In the Western Church, the cope had come into common

in the same celebration. They were also supposed to agree

use by the tenth century, and its form was standardized

in shape . Therefore , if the stole was widened out at the

uni versally a century later. The cope's use became

ends , the maniple also was supposed to widen out somewhat

formal ized only in the early 13th century. Its transition from

at the bottom. The maniple was , of course, made to match

common apparel to liturgical vesture in the Middle Ages

the stole and chasuble in material and color.

may be traced to two developments. First of these is the fact that monks and friars, and also parish priests , started to wear these cloaks even indoors , specially in Northern

\' r t 111 r 11 t <

0 (


IF, ,t



Euro pe during winter. This led to the cappa becoming part of the religious habit, and specially a choir garb. Second,



The cope is a long semicircular cloak with an open front reaching down to the heels and fastened at the breast with a clasp. It traces its origins to the same roots as the chasuble: the ancient Roman outer garments known as the

paenula and the casula . The Roman paenula , which later became the chasuble , was a ci rcular garment extending to


when the people of the upper classes started to wear the

that had grown into a sizeable c/ipeus . And even the pretense

cappa, they started to use luxurious silks and added to the

of a hood was lost when the shield路 shaped flap of a collar

straight edges such ornamentation as embroidery and

was mounted below the orphrey rather than at the top of

applique work. As materials and ornamentation of the

the garment. The revival of the 19th century tried to correct

chasuble developed, so did those of the cope. As early as

the dimensions and to return to a smaller hood but was

the eighth century. a Spanish inventory already listed silk

not entirely successful.

cappae. showing that the cope had come to be made of

Within our own century and mainly due to the efforts of

richer materials. Borders and orphreys along the straight

Sr. M. Agustina Flueler and others, the movement towards a

edges were intricately embroidered and often . even the

return of the hood hanging in natural folds down the back of

whole surface of the garment was lavishly embroidered with

the cope is slowly becoming noticeable . This style of hood

images and laden wi th gems in the centuries that followed. 46

appears more graceful , yet still allowing it to be enriched

The morse. from the Latin morsus. meaning "that which

with embroidery. Or we also see the extreme opposite-

takes hold. that which bites. or that which catches," was

the hood completely disappearing .

the two路 part fastening device used to hold the large copes

In returning the actual capuce or hood to the cope, modern

place over the priest's shoulders. All too soon it started

designers should be reminded that a simple cope with

to be elaborately embroidered and, in addition, heavily

capuce , void of all ornamentation, is not historical as a

s' dded and embellished with preci us stones and pearls.

liturgical vestment. To be faithful to the historicity of the


t ~t

cope, modern designers in designing a cope with capuce must

was originally only a piece of

ape of material became a maste

iece of jewelry.

use rich materials and ornament the cope, for after all, this

lrately decorated coppae were often given as diplomatic

was the manner in which the cope was accepted within the

the early Middle Ages. Gradually. the cope became l t ur g


liturgies of the Church.

cal vestme nt at ceremonies other than the Mass-

Being long and richly ornamented, the cope becomes

use by presiders at the liturgical hours , in processions ,

one of the most recognizable and the most magnificent of


celebrations of the other sacraments .

the liturgical vestments, calling attention to the celebrant

T e large capuce or hood that was originally utilitarian,

who makes use of it. The cope should never be used over

covering the head until the 11 th century, later fell into

the chasuble. It must always be worn by a priest, deacon , or

disuse and soon became purely decorative. It became simply

bishop either over the alb, a cassock, and surplice, or over

an accessory in the form of the caputium or capulum, which

the rochet. It should always be worn by these ministers

was triangular in shape . This triangular shape later

over the stole as well.

developed In the 14th century into a rounded appendage

The use of the cope is not limited to the ordained. Therefore, the cantor singing the Exsultet may wear the cope. Monastic communities, like the Transfiguration Monastery where this writer comes from , have traditionally used such ceremonial cloaks to vest monks except the Presider, who wore a chasuble, for the Mass; and for the celebrations of major offices of the Liturgy of the Hours. At Transfiguration, for example, monks in simple vows use the simple monastic cope for matins, lauds, solemn vespers and, of course, at Mass .



It is unfortunate that , with the decline of such devotions as the celebration of the benedict ion of the Blessed Sacra路 ment and processions, and the growing neominimalism of today, we see less and less of this graceful vestment that can lend dignity to many celebrations: for deacons an d priests at liturgies other than the Mass (for example , bene路 diction , baptism , order of blesSings) ; for as many priests as are assisting in solemn liturgies other than the Mass (for example , celebration of the liturgy of the Hours , Eucharistic exposition , public processions) ; for the deacon or cantor at the solemn proclamation of the year's feasts on Epiphany (Ceremonial of Bishops #240 ); by the presiding prelate at the transfer of jurisdiction of a See (usually the retiring prelate, cardinal, or nuncio); at the final commendation of a bishop or cardinal; at the transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the altar of re pose on Holy Thursday, and at the Easter Vigil from the lighting of the fire through the liturgy of baptism. It would also be important for modern designers of liturgical vestments to remember that the cope shou d be fastened at the chest only by a device that is simple in de ign (Secret ariat of State Di rective #135705). The morse as an elaborate metallic ornament of large design used by persons of episcopal rank in the past has been laid aside by Papal Decree. In his directives on the pontificals in 1969, Pope Paul VI prescribed a simple metallic or silk device to hold the cope in place .47 And finally, in designing copes , one should remember that , like the chasuble , this magnificent liturgical vestment should not be a billboard for unnecessary images and symbols.


-t The humeral or humeral veil comes from the Latin word

humerus , meaning shoulder, around which this large, scarf路 like veil is worn. About three yards long by about a half of a yard wide , the humeral veil is a vestment of high festivity and is usually equipped with a chain clasp . :1

The origin of the humeral veil comes from the traditional practice in various places in the past not to handle the sacred vessels in public with bare hands. To show profound respect in a nonverbal manner to such things as the sacred vessels, lectionaries and other liturgical books, the mitre and staff , and other sacred objects, the humeral veil was developed. Since it is used primarily to handle objects during the liturgical celebration, the fabric to be used for the humeral veil should be light and flexible and should fall quite naturally over the shoulders of the priest or deacon using it. Ornamentation that will make it difficult for the humeral veil to handle the sacred vessels should be avoided, no matter how beautiful the desired embroidery may be. Even the two pockets of the same material as the lining, which have been placed in some instances in the past for the priest's hands, are not really necessary and only compromise the simplicity of this liturgical vestment. Ribbons should also be avoided as the means of fastening the vestment since they have always been proven to be impractical and tend to make the priest feel awkward in manipulating them. 48 All humeral veils can be white although traditionally, red can be worn on Good Friday. In the past, humeral veils were once used at all solemn high Masses except funerals ; that is why we could find in many places humeral veils in all the liturgical colors except black. At present, humeral veils are worn by the following: a deacon or priest at Eucharistic exposition, benediction , or in Eucharistic processions , while holding the monstrance at the blessing and while carrying the Eucharist from and back to the chapel of reservation ; a priest or deacon bearing the Eucharistic vessel for transfer at the end of the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday and at the Holy Communion of the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday. More than one minister may use a humeral veil if there are multiple vessels; ministers bearing relics in solemn processions; and ministers assisting with episcopal insignia may also use a humeral veil. 49


to reach only up to th e hi ps, a style now consi dered lacking i n proportion , to say t he least. 52 At t imes during the past

The surplice is an outer liturgical garment worn without

centuries, it wa s ornam ented with lace or embrOldery at

a cincture over the alb or the cassock . Its name is derived

the hem and sleeves; i t had bell· shaped sleeves or long,

superpel/icum , meaning "a cloak worn over

full sleeves, eve n stret chi ng to t he hem of the garment,

the ski ns or fur" - from the fact that the garment was worn

thu s produc i ng grac eful f ol ds al ong the arms, as in the

over furs which were most necessary to keep the celebrant

case of the surpli ce in England . 53 The surplice may have

warm in the cold and damp churches of earlier times .

either a square·cut neck or a rounded one.

from the Latin

Considered a late modification of the alb and generally made

The di versity of temperament and mental outlook that

of li nen , the surplice , unlike the rochet which also had its

different ia tes the nations so profoundly is recogmzed by

roots in the alb and which retained its similarity to i t , soon

the Church. Thus, no one cut or style of surplice has been

began to develop on its own.

i mposed , any more than she imposes anyone style of

The original purpose of the surplice was to afford some

arch i tecture or ch urch furniture. 54

degree of cleanliness and dignity when worn over the long

At prese nt , t he most popular style of surplice is known

pre· cassock that was used at that time by everyone , induding

as t he Vatican sty le, so-called because it is the style used

lay people. While some historians claim that the su rplice

by th e Vati can's Master of Ceremonies. It is also known as

can be traced with certa i nty no further back than the 11 th

th e Gammarelli or the Sorgenti, after the names of the two

century, some authorities affirm that it made its appearance

f i rms t ha specialize in them in Rome. Reaching just below

earlier. 5o The surplice is first mentioned in a canon of

the knees, t he Vatican style is most commonly made of light

Coyaca , Spain in 1050 , and in an ordinance of Edward the

wool or wool blend. Because of this, it is often ecru in color,

Confessor (1042 -66) .5' Used as a choir garb worn over the

nol whi t e. It has full or bell·shaped sleeves. Some subdued

black habit of canons and monks in the 11 th century, the

embro idery as well as other emblems such as the cross are

surplice had reached to the ground like the alb but with

usually wo rked into each of the bottom regions and the

longer and wider sleeves , even about ten inches beyond the

sleeves. Well ·defined pleats are also usually characteristic

fingertips a century later. The gradual shortening did not

of this simple, elegant, and dignified style.

begi n until some two or three centuries later. The surplice

Unli ke some other liturgical vestments that have their

was soon recommended as an appropriate garment to be

counte rpart s in Eastern sacred vesture, the surplice is not

worn by priests in the administration of the sacraments

used in th e Eastern rites but is entirely Latin and Western.

and other sacerdotal functions and by lower ranks of clergy

The surplice is required of all priests and seminarians who

since the 13th century.

are veste d i n a cassock during liturgical functions, except

Since the surplice was required for all liturgical functions if one was not vested in the alb as celebrant , it soon became one of the Church's oldest items of vesture. In fact , the surplice has been in continual use for more than a thousand years . It has , however, taken on various appearances , depending upon the locality and custom of the local Church . It has remained almost floor · length i n some places and yet , in other times and places , it has been shortened so as

1 J

in the case of a priest who is vested as concelebra nt and dons

ornamentation of the mitre originated from this wreath

an alb. It is also worn during processions, wh ile administering

an d was later copied by others , including the priests of

the sacra ment s, in choir, and basically at any fun ct ion when

ancie nt Greece , for civic dress.

the alb is not prescri bed . At Mass , i t is also used by t he

The mitre is the only liturgical wear of purely papal origin.

acolytes. A master of ceremonies always wears the surplice

Pope Leo VII is mentioned as the first to wear the mitre , in

over the cassock , unless he is vested in an alb. It should be

the ni nt h century. And within three generations , the mitre

noted, however, th at although the alb is a more common

was reserve d f or the exclu si ve use of the popes and

vestment in some regions , i t should not be donned by a

cardin als, even prior to its " official" adoption by Leo VIII

master of ceremonies unless he serves also as concelebrant. 55

f or t he papacy. In 1049 A. D., Pope Leo IX (1049 -1054) bestowed t he right to wear a mitre on Eberhart of Treves , an archb is hop and primate . From then on i t became a rec ognized episcopal i nsignia conferred only by the pope upon ca rd i nal s and bi shop s. Although many bishops did not


receive t heir mitres from the pope, records in the Vatican Secret Arc hives show that some bishops did indeed receive

The mi t re is the traditional headgear of bIshop s made of two pieces fo rming a circle at t e bottom and rising to

mitres as gi fts of subsequent popes . S6 The old mi tre used to be called

cameloucem , a word

two peaks, wi t h t wo lappets or fan non extending down off

directly descend ed from the ancient Greek mitros, and this

the back. Co nsidered a mark of li turg al pres idency, the

is evid en t by t he ch oice of the word

'!lItre is ofte n used at the same li turgi es where the staff is

this hea dg ea r as soon as it offi ci ally entered the Church 's

carned, an d is based on similar determ i nations.

ves t ure as a sy mbol of rank and a mark of liturgical

Church histo rtans hypo t hesize that the mitre 's origin .~

be traced to Ancient Greece of the pre路 Chr istian era,

anc' most like ly derived from the cap worn by athle t es of ancIent Greece. The

infuloe or ribbons of this ca p we re

mitros in identifying

presidency. Th e shap e of the modern mitre as we would recog nize i t today developed in the 12th century. Until then , t he pea ks of t he mitre were soft and more cap -like. On t he matter of ornamentat ion , it is i nteresting to

mitros, it has

worn arou nd the forehea d, t ied i n the rear and left to dangle

no te th at from the earlie st existence of the

down the back . A so f t clo th cap was placed un der th e

always had an ornamented base , reminding us of the laurel-

bands to protect the athletes fr om the outdoor heat. And


at the en d of the games, t he winners were presen t ed wi t h

embroid ery resembling a diadem or crown was the charac-

a l aurel wreath that encircl ed the hea d. The ea r liest

ter is tic orn ament of the mitros when its use entered the

mitros of acclaimed athletes of the time. Rich

Church of Rome in the tenth century. Such ornamentation was deemed reflective of the important status of the bishop , i n this ca se, the Bishop of Rome . The papal tiara known as the

triregno developed from

th e earliest papal mitre . Soon , in place of the original diadem , a richly embroidered band surrounding the entire base was introduced. Called the

circulus , this band

completely encircled the brow. By the tenth century, the


embroidered design of the circulus was repeated from the base to the peak . This band was called the titulus and was used both in front and at the back. For centuries , these two bands became the characteristic ornamentation of the mitre. It was only in the late Renaissance that the precious mitre was introduced . The circulus and the titulus , however, rema i ned on the so路called orph reyed mitre. James Charles Noonan , Jr. in his superlative guidebook , The Church Visible: The Ceremon ial Life and Protoco l of the Roman Catho lic Church , has given us the most complete and authori tative presentation on the mitre, its different styles and types or forms of design Y Looking at the mitre 's historical development, Noonan states that through the centuries , there have been three distinctive styles of mitre that were used at specific liturgies . In fact, before 1967, there were even instances when different mitres were used at different points during a single liturgy. The Ceremon i ale Episcopor um (The Ceremonial of Bishops) would c arify in the rubrics when each of these three mitres would be required. These three styles were the only ones permItted in the Roman Church: (1) mitra pretiosa or precious mitre ,

(2) mitra auriphrygiata or golden or orphreyed mitre , and (3) mitra simplex or simple mitre. The Precious Mitre - considered the most important of the three styles because it is worn by the Pope and all bishops on the most festive occasions - received its name from the fact that it has always been richly embroidered and decorated with jewels , gold , and silver plate ornaments . White or silver cloth , elaborately embroidered in silk and gold in filigree style or designs, is always used for th is mitre. No other color is perm i tted except red for the lining of the precious mitre and its infulae that are embroidered in the same style . The tassels must be gold and at the base of the

infulae may be embroidered , in gold or in full color, the prelate's coat of arms . Duri ng the time when different mitres were still used in the Mass , it was at the beginning of the ceremony until the Introit or Opening Prayer, during the incensation , the post路Communion lavabo , and during the

mitra pretiosa was

always 16 inches in height is always white silk. Cardinals ,

used. It was also worn on Gaudete and Laetare Sundays ,

when vested i n mitre, are required to use the damasked

processiona l and recessional th at th e

also kn own as Pink or Rose Sundays. On ly one precious or

mi t re in t he presence of the pope . Patriarchs, archbishops ,

ornate mi t re is worn at a time . The refore, all other bishops

and bi shops may also use the damasked mitre at anytime

present make use of a simple mi t re whe n t he orna t e or

th at th e rubrics call for the simple mitre. 59

precious mi t re is worn by the presi der. Contrary to popular

It is i mportant to remember that even before the Pauline

belief. th e prec ious mi tre was never abolished. In fact,

Motu Propio of 1967- 1969, the mitre had already ceased to be the sol e prerogat ive of bishops in the gift of the Pope.

it is still encouraged as the most festive of mitres . The Golden or Orphreyed Mitre is also known as


auriphrygiata. ThIS mi tre of gold cloth has gold silk embroidered bands (the

circulus and titulus) and tassels of

gold silk or real spun gold. Li ke the precious mitre , its lining

Ce rtai n privileged canons and the protonotaries sup ra numerary and ad

de numero ,

ins tar participantium have been

i ncl ud ed i n th e list of i ndividuals entitled to its use through th e ce ntur ies . Howe ver, only the

simplex mitre was de numero

is always red silk. When gold cl oth was not available , whi t e

perm i tted to them , except for the protonotaries

silk sewn with gold threa ds in a pattern alluding to gold

who we re also entitled to the orphreyed mitre Y

mitra pretiosa ,

Noonan de scribes four bas ic types or forms of designs for

the orphreyed mitre does no t inc~ de t he prelate's coat of

mitres t hat are i n common use today: the Roman , the Gothic ,


the Norman , and the Anglican. 6o The Roman Mitre is the

was sometimes substituted. But unlike- the

and is not decorated with Jewe s, al t hough som et imes

tmy pearls have been used for orna men t ation .58 This mitre was worn in Advent and Lent, excep t

01\ t he

larges t an d heaviest of all the mitre styles and is also known

Rose Sundays ,

as t he Ponti ff de si gn . Be cause it was adopted by the

pemtential days, ember days, as well as at the ordination

hierarchy of the Roma n Curia i n the early 17th century, i t

of b shops and priests and the blessi ng of abbots. The

mitra simplex or mitra simplex alba is always pu re

was called t he Roman style . Popularized by Pope Pius XII and his im medi ate successors , John XX III and Paul VI , the

whIte. Until the time of Va t ican II , it was always made of silk

Roman mit re is octagonal in shape with its base fitting tightly

damask or linen with ei th er red or white silk lini ng. In t he

around th e brow. It is tall and very wide at the top and

presence of the pope, only th e simple mitre with white lini ng

narrow at the bottom. Our present Pope John Paul II makes

IS permitted, a custom whi ch has been followed for the pas t

exc lu sive use of this type although his mitre is slightly

mitra damasco or damasked mitre is ma de

shor ter and more rounded . It got to be called Pontiff Mitre

of white silk on white silk so that Just li ke in t he man ner of

beca use following the close of the Second Vatican Council ,

all damask material, a des ign is formed withou t th e use of

Pop e Paul VI retained the large Roman路style mitre while

color. The lining an d frin ge of the damasked mitre t ha t is

almost everybody laid it aside for a smaller, more ancient

400 years. The

design . The Gothic Mitre is most commonly seen today all over th e Christian world. This style is not so tall, usually only eight to ten inches in height , having peaks that are either sharply pointed or slightly rounded. This style, which developed from an earlier form , the original medieval Norman style , seems to suit both tall and shorter prelates , thus resulting in its popularity. The Norman Mitre is so called because it developed during the era when the Normans had o

2 tJ

their greatest worldwide influence. This style, which did

It is important to note that the acceptance and use of

not develop in Normandy per se, is very low i n design and

the mitre by abbots did not come unopposed . It was in fact

dominates the forehead . It was never more than six inches

tempered by the will and diligence of St. Bernard, Abbot of

in height. Undoubtedly, this style originated from the design

Cla irvaux, who wrote diligently against the practice until

of the Greek mitros and the Roman came/aucum , which

his death on August 20, 115 3. After his death , however, the

capped the head and was bound tightly at the forehead. By

mitre as prescribed by Rom e became de rigueur for abbots.

the late 15th century, it grew into what we now know as

The orphreyed mitre and the simp/ex mitre are the two

the mitre . The Anglican Mitre is a hybrid design that harkens

mitres assign ed to abbots. They may use the precious mitre

ba ck to the Norman roots of the ecclesiastical mitre . It is

only if there is a special rescript or papal indult for them

shorter than the Gothic form yet much larger than the

to do so. Noonan states that "nearly all abbots have

Norman as a result of its unique and very sharp peaks and

traditionally made use of the Norman style , as well as the

point. It got i ts name because of the affinity of the hierarchy

circulus and titu/us ornamentation, as a means of retaining

of the Anglican Church for i t when i t first came back into

their simple state and historical traditions, despite theIr

vogue in the early 1950s .

individual jurisdictional authority as abbots. "63 Since abbots

In the Eastern Church , an ordinary head covering known

generally made use only of the simp/ex mitre , they seldom

as the kamilauka was developed. The Eastern Church did

made use of a heraldic device on their mitre's in/u/ae as

not adopt the mitre but instead retained the soft cap that

th is wou ld have been incorrect. It should be noted that

ironically later developed into a crown for ceremonial

unlike t he pope, cardinals, and bishops who are entitled to

liturgical celebrations.

be buried

Looking at the historical development of liturgical vestments , one will observe that the evolution of the mitre and of the chasuble have followed opposite directions . When


the mitre , abbots are not granted this privilege .

Th e pope is buried in an orphreyed or simp/ex mitre , a cardinal In a damasked mitre, and a bishop in a white linen or silk mitre. Like the abbots, protonota ries prior to 1969 and rescripted canons are also not given the privilege of

the chasuble was of ample form , as in the 12th century, the being buried in the mitre . mitre was low in height and formed a delicate ornament for A popul ar custom that has developed in the last two the head. However, when the time came that the chasuble decades is the practice of matching the mitre with the was cut up to a small and diminished shape , as in the 17th and 18th centuries, the mitre suffered great exaggerations.61

ves tments of the day. These matching mitres have almost become an expression of style in place of the precious mitre. The most important things to remember, specially for those


concerned with historical accuracy, are dignity, beauty, and

The Secret Vatican Archives Collection shows that aside from popes , cardinals , archbishops , and bishops , abbots of monasteries have also been given the honor of wearing the mitre. The earliest recorded presentation of the mitre to an abbot was on August 10, 1061 when Pope Alexander conferred it upon Abbot Elegius of the Monastery of St. Augustine in Canterbury. 62


decorum. It is a disgrace when some modern designers of

teachers . The himation , which later came to be known

liturgical vestments give way to personal extreme taste , no

as the pallium , thus became invested with much sanctity

matter how well'meaning, at the expense of the regulations

and recognized amongst Christians as a garment of great

of the Church . We always have to remember that the mitre

honor and dignity.65 Early Christians adopted the pallium

belongs not to the individual who is privileged to wear it,

as a sign of their fidelity to Christ. Originally unorna-

but rather to the episcopacy.64

mented , the pallium was soon adorned by Christians with symbols like the fish , and in later centuries, the cross.


St. Justin the Martyr was said to have worn a pallium at his death in 165 A. D.

The pallium is a narrow band of white wool worn around

Adopted by the bishops of Rome by the fourth century,

the shoulders, over the chasuble, by the pope, patriarchs, and

the pallium was already used as an ecclesiastical garment

archbishops. This circular strip, about two-and-a-half inches

in the East long before this. The omophorion of the Eastern

ide in its present dimensions, has two sho rt bands hanging

Orthodox Rite is a counterpart of the western pallium and

down over the chest and the back , ending with blac k silk

is not restricted to metropolitans who receive it from the

pe'dants It is decorated with six black crosses of taffeta,

pope . 66 The pallium became a badge of distinction for

ur placed in the circle and two

hers in th e hanging band_

imperial dignitaries and its use was soon extended to

he pallium was originally a non-ec lesiastical garment but

archbishops after the Edict of Toleration (313 A.D.). The

hN a simple garment of warmth in ancient Greece, called

first figured representation of the pallium as a pontifical


h motion, which covered the torso

It was a garment

insignia dates from the year 547 A.D. or thereabouts. It is

r al y associated with philosophers an d soon came to be

the mosaic showing Archbishop Maximian wearing the

ded as the special monopoly of learned men. Resembling

transformed pallium now already a folded cloak , in S. Vitale

hawl, the himation was an oblong piece of material in its

at Ravenna. In the Church of Saint Apollinare in Classe, also

al coloring of wool and linen, woven with a border and

at Ravenna , is another sixth century representation of the

1mensions approximately 18 feet by 6 feet. Worn draped

same pallium on Saint Apollinare.

the left shoulder and arm, it had one end hanging in

This ecclesiastical garment became exclusively a gift of

fr?: t, the rest of the material being drawn across the back,

the popes reserved for metropolitans, archbishops , and

round the body on the right side , and over the left shoulder

bishops by the ninth century. And until the 11 th century,


again, the end left hanging down the back.

the pallium resembled its ancestor, the large ancient Greek

It is believed that Christ and his apostles wore the

himation though it might have appeared smaller and narrower

himation over the (%bium or tunic because they were

in some representations because of the different way it was folded. It was only after 1050 A.D. that it started to become narrow like its modern version and thus became symbolic and ornamental rather than functional. 67 Two styles of pallia prevailed down to the 15th century, the circular and the Y form , existing simultaneously. The movement in favor of the circular form prevailed in the West while the Greek pallium or omophorion continued to be faithful to the Y form. 68


The pallium is a symbol of papal authority and may be

when vested in sacred vestments . Only one prel ate may

given by the pope to archbishops to indicate superior

make use of the pallium at any given liturgical celebration .

episcopal authority and dignity. It indicates also their

All prelates , regardless of rank or jurisdiction , forego th e

participation in the pope's authority69 and is a symbol of

pallium when the Holy Father is presen t. The on ly occasion

communion with the Church. Placed on the shoulders of the

when more than one pallium could be seen in a li turgical

prelate, the pallium symbolizes the profound humility

celebration is during the investiture of new me t ropolitans

of the Savior and the erring sheep that the Good Sheperd

with their pallium in Rome .1 3

places on His shoulder to bring back to the flock. The four

In the past , the pall i um was donned only on certain

cardinal virtues of justice , fortitude , temperance , and

solemnities or feasts like Christmas , Epiphany, feast of St.

prudence are symbolized by the four crosses on the circle

John the Baptist or the Twelve Apostles, the feast of the

while the two hanging bands symbolize the active life of

Immaculate Conception , and the pastoral feasts of the diocese.

Martha and the contemplative life of Mary. 70

Presently, however, the pa llium may be worn when celebrating

At present, with the considerable ease of modern travel ,

pontifically at a Mass wi th in t he metropolitan 's jurisdict1on .

all new metropolitans are expected to be present in Rome

Because of the Pallium 's an cien t and esteemed origins,

for their investiture of the pallium on the next Feast of

those invested wi th it are given t he privilege of being buried

Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) that follows thei promotion

wi th it. Should the metropoli tan have more than one pallium,

in rank and position . It is interesting to note that t e pallium

it is most pro per to place th ese additional pallia under the

is not , in fact , manufactured by any known firm

nd the

traditional way of manufacturing the pallium has even

pillow of the deceased metrop olita n and interred with him .


Since the urisdiction of t his prelate ceased at death , the

thi s sign more cogent and powerful. The pallium is made in

pallium bound to his person cannot be t ransferred to another,

Rome from the wool of lambs, blessed each year on the

th e pall ium being of person al juri sdic tional dignity.74

feast of St. Agnes, an early Roman martyr, in the Basilica Nomentana.1' The

pallia are blessed solemnly by the pope


and then placed on the Confessio of St. Peter on the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul where they are kept until

The crozier is the pastoral staff used by t he bishops as

the next morning, to be carried in procession at Mass for

the insignia of their dignity and jurisdiction. This pastoral

the investiture ceremony.

staff, officially called

baculus pa storalis , is the senior

It is claimed by some Church historians that this ceremony

ecclesiastical insignia that symbolizes th e pastoral authority

of blessing began during the Pontificate of John XIII (965 -

of bishops. Its history is tradit ionall y t race d t o the Twelve

972 A.D.). From some medieval writings we also find that if

Apostles who were supposed to have ca r ried long staffs a

the Supreme Pontiff gave the pallium , he also reserved the right to take it back. Should the bishop or an archbishop prove unworthy of such an honor, he would be compelled to return the pallium to the pope. 72 All metropolitans wear their pallium only within their jurisdiction or within their ecclesiastical provinces while the pope, since his jurisdiction alone is universal, is the only one who wears his pallium at all times , in all places ,



used by travelers of their ti me. Also symbolizing Chris t 's

A t enth路century writer explained the curved top or

love and protection for His people, He being the Good Sheperd

cracea of the staff as indicating "that the bishop should

who watches over his sheep , the crozier is also believed by

collect t he sheep which had wandered from the fold ; the

some historians to have originated much earlier. In fact,

middl e part or staff ,

there is good reason for the belief that t he pastoral st aff

t he weak, obst i nate , and disobedient; and the lower end

developed from the lituus of pagan times, like the one used

has a sharp pointed iron

by Romulus to mark out the different districts of the new

the slothful of hi s flock . "76

city he founded in the eighth century 8.C .7 5 The crozier was originally made of wood with a crook

ferula , is straight, that he may rule ferrule , to enable hi m to spur on

It is interest i ng to note that at least in certain dioceses duri ng the 11th centu ry, it became a practice to knot a piece

sudarium77 to the staff or to attach it

which was a natural part of the branch that was selec t ed.

of cloth called the

It was in the third century that the bishops started to use a

wi t h fi ne cord s. Th is wa s done apparently to absorb the

smooth wooden staff with a rounded or curved crook, fin ally

moistu re from th e hand and thus help prevent damaging

becoming a part of the insi gnia for all bishops. In the fifth

t he preciou s metal. The center of this scarf路like cloth of

cen tury. we have the earliest reference to the pastoral staff,

silk, li nen, or cambric was usually t ied round the base of

bemg carried m front of an archbishop by his chaplain, as an mblem of his ministerial office. During /lis same century, PIpe Celestine I in particular str

the crook with the two lengths of fabric twisted below the socke t , and t he remaining fabric hanging freely.

sed such magisterial

It was also i n the 11th century that the theology of the

utho ty that the staff represented. It was also during the

Ro man po ntiff's uni versal jurisdiction was finally firmly

p'gr of Celestine that the crozier made entirely of wood

estab lished and unquestioned . Thus , the pope laid aside the

s lai d aside for persons with episcqpal dignity, with

crozier as a papal insignia . There was no more need for him

r'lZlers being made of gilded or silver路 plated materials.

to carry th e staff which symbolized jurisdiction of the

wever t hese metal or gilt croziers were forbidden to bbots abbesses , prelates nullius and prelates apostolic. r


the wooden staff was allowed for their use .

prelat e bea ri ng it since his authority was recognized over t he un ive rsa l Church .78 And as expected , during the Renaissance the ornamentation

F'om one of the canons of the Council of Toledo (633) we are

of the crozier became so elaborate, oftentimes using the most

1formed that the pastoral staff was positively the recognized

expensive of metals and precious stones to embellish specially

uacea . Man y examples of croziers may be found in

dlst'nc t lVe mark of a bishop. During this cent ury, relia bl e

t he

sources claim that abbots have been granted the privilege of

sculptures, monumental brasses, illuminations, and paintings

baculum even earlier but abbesses we re not

showi ng the great variety and elaboration of design of croziers

carrying the

granted the privilege of carrying the same until much la ter.

from th e end of the 13th century to the present. In the 17th century, regulations governing the privileges of prelates to the materials and designs of the crozier were set forth . Prior to the Second Vatican Council , the crozier as strictly stipulated was traditionally made of three segments: the crook , the staff, and the pediment or bottom shaft , which was always pointed . With the liturgical reforms of Vatican II , the use of the

""o JO

pastoral staff by the Supreme Pontiff was restored . Wishing

to stress his rule as supreme pastor and to illustrate his

own diocese . It is the obligation of the sacristan or the

role as Bishop in unison wi th the entire episcopacy, Pope

min is ter who will hold the staff during the liturgy to

Paul VI commissioned the design of the present modern -

assemble the crozier if it is brought to the sacristy unassem -

style Pauline staff with a crucifix. Made of silver, the staff has

bled , and to place it near the place where the bishop

a hammered silver wooden crucifix with corpus instead of a

is supposed to vest.

crook . Strictly speaking , therefore , the pope did not assume a crozier per se but what could be best described as a

~ NG

pastoral staff. This style was the same basically used also by Pope Paul VI's successors : John Paul I and John Paul II.

The bishop 's ring , also called the pastoral or episcopal

In the present use of the crozier, prelates of all ran ks

ring , is rece ived by the bishop at his episcopal ordination.

with episcopal dignity may make use of the crozier style

Th e tradition of wearing rings goes back to ancient times.

of the i r choice for as long as this is within the accepted

Rings were worn by most ancients as ornaments , as seals,

norms . Because of this relaxed regulation , some bishops are

and to denote rank. Made of precious metals , ancient rings

now returning to the use of the simple wooden crozier or

were se t with jewels or semiprecious stones, and were often

pastoral staff that seemed to have disappeared for 1,400

engraved with initials, monograms, and symbols.

years. With the strong emphasis on inculturation after


The ring as an episcopal symbol of authority first appeared

ethnic touches and reg ion al

in the third century. It was St. Caius of Rome (283296) who

artistic i nterpretation plus some very modern i nterpre -

is said to have been the first bishop known to have worn a

tat ions . Even on the use of materials , we notice that a tists

ring. When his tomb was opened in 1622, a ring was found on

Vatican II , we now also

are given more freehand. For example, gold is no longer

his finger. The ring became officially a part of the episcopal

reserved for nor li mited to cardinals and patriarchs . Now -

insignia and by the seventh century, bishops began to receive

adays , we


both the traditional crozier styles and the

pastoral staff of the early Christian period made of wood. The rule regarding the use of the crozier is simple. Only

the episcopal ring as a symbol of their marriage to the Church at thei r consecration . This is clear from the statement of St. Isidore of Seville at the Fourth Council of Toledo (633).80

the chief celebrant with episcopal rank in a liturgical

According to the Ordo Romanus , it is supposed to be worn

celebration carries the crozier. And in the presence of the

on the third finger of the right hand. 81 As a symbol also of

pope, no other person is permitted to use the crozier.

the bishop's spiritual parentage over the faithful of his

In carrying the crozier, the prelate always has to make

diocese, the episcopal ring is worn always by the bishop .

sure that the crook of the crozier is carried "open ," meaning

In the past , there were three distinct types of bishop's

the crook is facing forward . And it should be carried

rings : the pontifical , the gemmed ring, and the ordinary o

"closed ," meaning facing backward in procession by a bearer. This is to show that one recognizes the bishop 's jurisdiction. The master of ceremonies should also


to it

that when he hands over the crozier to the bishops , it must be always received opened J9 It is the bishop himself who decides whether to use the crozier or not at any given celebration , depending on the level of solemnity of the occasion and whether he is in his


rin g. The pontifical ri ng is the greatest of all and is worn


y 1111> 0


as a pontific al insign ia for most so lemn occasi on s. It is also the most elaborate, usually made of a precio us sto ne

Fro m th e most primitive to the most sophisticated

surrounded by other precious sto nes. Th e gem med ri ng is

rel igions , the language of symbolism has always been a

actually a sim pli f ied version of th e pontifical ri ng and

ric h and natural sense of expression. Also , it is an accepted

contains only one si ngle stone . Th is ri ng i s also use d

fac t th at symbolism has some part in all genuine art. It may

nowadays by man y bishops as their pontific al or ceremon ial

be said that Chris tian art must of necessity be symbolic

ri ng due to t he desire for simplicity and concern for cost.

si nce in art, there is always the element of the supernatural

However, this prac tice is historically incorrect . The ordi nary

and th e di vine - an element that cannot be represented

ri ng is of gold or silve r and usually con t ains t he arms of th e

di rectly. It was only duri ng the Renaissance , after all, with

bishop , giving i t an appearance very simila r to t he si gn et

it s flattering of the sensual in man , that symbolism lost

rin g f or laymen. It is for da ily, non -ceremonial use , mea ning

much of its important role in Christian art. The artists of

that it should no t be used for liturgical functions . Other

th e earlier centuries had displayed too great a respect

designs for bishops' ri ngs i nclude religious sym bols an d

for t he di vine and the supernatural to represent our divine

the cameo , usually of the Madonna .

Lord or the sa i nts by merely human and natural figures.

The t r aditional stone for patriarchs , archbishops , and bishops is the amethyst. For th e ponti ical ring, the am ethyst

Th e word symbol is derived from two Greek words , mean i ng " together," "with ," and

syn ,

ballein , "to throw." Thus ,

IS surroun ded by addition al semipreci us stones while for

a sy mbol , as the word implies , is a throwing together or

tre gemme d ring , the amet hy st stanGs alone in a gold

coordination of an abstract idea and a visible sign - the latter

ttmg. It should be noted that the sapphire is forbidden to

re prese nti ng the former. 83 The word is actually derived from

symbolon , wherein a coin or contract was broken

It'1archs, archbishops , and bishops since this is reserved

t he Greek

â&#x20AC;˘ the mem bers of the Sacred College . 82

i nto two pieces by the contracting parties, each preserving

It has also been a tradition i n the Church to presen t abbots

on e part as a sign or token of the agreement.


the ri ng of abbatial office. Thi s is done duri ng the

In pr i mi ti ve Christian i t y, we find many symbols of

ceromony known as the Blessi ng of the Abbot. Th e abbo t 's

antiquity that have recurred from one religion to another.

ring in the past was an ornate one, specially for the mitred

Th e f ac t that the y adapt so easily to diverse religions

abbots. At present , however, a si mple gol d ring is pre f erred.

att es t s to the i r uni versal character and provides an intim at ion of their lasting value as symbols. Thus , we see elements of nature , such as fire , flowers , blood ; heavenly bod ies like the sun , moon , and stars ; creatures like birds , fi sh, animals ; and numerous other devices like crowns, geom etric figures , etc . benefiting from symbolic interpretation throughout history. 84 It is said that the most uni ver sal and important religious symbols are those conn ec ted with rituals and sacraments , having to do with th e sanctification of life . We shall now, therefore, look into the symbolism found in the ritual garments of the Church used for liturgical celebrations.



An intelligent use of the visual language of symbolism demands, first of all, an understanding of the historical process of adapting certain basic symbols to meet the spiritual needs of every age . In ancient times, disciples honored their masters by venerating small images of them - the origin of the cult of icons. Sometimes , these images were worn on clothing. The early Christians followed the custom , too , using one of the monograms of Christ, the Chi-Rho, or an image or portrait on the vesture. But looking at the early years of Christianity, we also find that existing pagan symbols and decorations were adapted to the new belief. By investing some of these outward pagan signs with a new added significance, the early Christians were , thus , able to avoid persecution . The conversion of some temples i nto churches also had a parallel effect on the gradual adaptation and the absorption of the pagan into the early Christian symbols. Thus , the pagan symbol of life, the fish , was adopted as a symbol for Christ by the early Christians . By employing such symbols whose meaning was known only to those of like faith , or incorporating them with other ornaments t o escape notice, early Christians were able to make use of pagan symbols to serve their own purposes. as The most important sources of our knowledge concerning early Christian symbolism are, of course , the catacombs , Byzantine sculpture and mosaics , and also pottery found in the tombs. It is important to note that during that period of our history, pictorial art combined with symbolism was used for a definite purpose- to instruct. Mosaics and all their representations all served this practical purpose .8S During the Middle Ages , the Church lost sight of the origins of liturgical vestments, and so an ecclesiastical rationale was found for them in a complicated system of symbolismsome of it simple and reasonably obvious, some of it abstruse and artificial. In the West , three basic strands of this symbolism may be traced. First , there was a tendency to try to find a biblical rationale for almost all the externals of Christian worship. Second , there was the tendency, specially marked in the later Middle Ages , to interpret

almost everything connected with the liturgy, and specially the Eucharist, in terms of details of the passion of Christ. Third, there was the tendency to moralize that led to the interpretation that survived until 1969, in the vesting prayers of the Roman rite. The symbols attached to liturgical vestments before Vatican II show traces of these strands. The alb alluded to the robes of mockery with which Herod caused Christ to be clothed, and symbolized chastity, purity, and eternal joy of those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Savior. The amice was an allusion to the cloth that covered the face of Christ during the mocking by the soldiers in the Praetorium. The chasuble alluded to the purple dress that Pilate ordered to be placed on Christ as "King of the Jews." It also recalled Christ's seamless garment for which the soldiers on Calvary cast lots. Because the chasuble covers the other garments, its symbolic meaning was Christian charity and perfection , charity being the virtue that should supersede all others. The richest and most magnificent of liturgical vestments, the cope had for its symbolic meaning innocence, purity, and dignity. The cord or cincture was an allusion to the rope with which Christ was bound to the pillar during the flagellat ion. Its symbolic meaning was chastity, temperance, and self-restraint. The dalmatic's shape, which is the form of a cross , referred to the passion of Christ. It symbolized joy, salvation , and justice. The two horns of the mitre were considered an allusion to the two rays of light that issued from the head of Moses when he received the Ten Commandments. They were also con sidered symbolic of the old and the new testaments. The mitre's two flaps or fannons were symbolic of the spirit and letter of the testaments. The surplice was a symbol of man renewed in justice and in the holiness of truth, while the tunicle was considered a symbol of joy and contentment of heart. And finally, the stole symbolized the yoke of Christ and the Christian duty of working loyally for his kingdom , as well as the hope of immortality.

The symbolism of vestments today is no longer allegorical but functional. Vestments are supposed to indicate the

composed of the Greek letters X (CH I) and


(RHO )- the

first characters of the Greek spelling of the nam e of Christ. 86

diversity of ministries in the Church. Vestments symbolize

Soon , the alpha and the om ega , th e symbol s of eternity

the function proper to each ministry, for they help the

or infinity, were added to th e Ch i- Rh o as a protest against

faithful to distinguish the various roles and enhance the

the Arian controversy that denie d Christ's divinity. The

expressive quality of a common faith. Since liturgical vestments themselves are symbols , it is really not necessary to have any additional symbols to complete a vestment. However, there are occasions at which

use of the al pha and th e omega ta kes its origin from the Apocalypse (1 : 8) : "I am the Alph a and the Omega , th e beginning and the end , sai th th e Lord God ... " It should be noted, howeve r, tha t the alpha and omega

the use of additional symbols may quite rightly be desired.

symbols should always be joined with some other symbol to

But even on these occasions , only subjects susceptible to

have meaning. Otherwise , by th emselves they are ju st two

the simplest expression and the most decorative treatment

letters, the f i rst and the last le tters of the Greek alp habet.

should be chosen . Their use , too , must have been

It should be point ed out also th at to write the al ph a and

consecrated by tradition , jf not officially by the Church .

om ega as AO (instead of AD) is i nco r rect sinc e t he 0

Common sense leads the clergy to restrict themselves to

(omicron ), al though equi va len t t o th e English 0 as is t he D ,

the symbols used in the scriptures, with a possible addition

is not the la st letter of the Greek alph abet.

of a few emblems that express , in some striking manner, ideas that are worth expressing .

Fish - Th e fish is one of the earliest symbols associated with Christ and has multiple si gni f ica nce . Christ called his

The following are some of the more widely used symbols .

disciples (Andrew, Peter, James , and John) "fishers of men "

While others might claim that some have little pracfcal

and fed the fi ve thousand wi th ju st two fishes . The initial

value today, they are included here because they may bring

let t ers of the Greek word s for "Jesus Christ , Son of God ,

to the reader a sense of the depth and beauty of the older

Savior" (lesous Christos, Th eou Huios , Soter) are used as an

symbols . They also have the value of showing the tradition

acrostic to spell out th e Greek word for fish , ichthus . The

of the first centuries after Christ , during which the foun 路

fish also symbol izes bapt ism with water, life , and spiri tual

dation of all Christian art was laid.

nourishment, asi de from si gni fying unity with Christ. Pisculi (fish) was also th e way the early Christian fathers called


the faithful , who must become like thei r Redeemer. It should be remembered that the fish was ori ginally a pagan symbo l ,

Ch i路 Rho - This is the earliest monogram of Christ in both

and curiou sly enough , the fi sh i s also used t o represen t

the Eastern and Western Churches . Also known as Constan路

Buddha, showing a striking parallel wi th Jes us in Christianity.



tine's cross , Labarum, and the Christogram , this symbol dates back to 312 A.D . , when on the eve of the battle of Milvean Bridge , it is said that the Roman emperor Constan tine I had a vision of a cross and the words IN HOC SIGNa

VINCES (with this sign comes victory). He obeyed the command to have the cross and motto placed on his army's shields . The enemy Maxentius was duly vanquished and Constantine converted to Christianity. The Chi-Rho is a monogram


Cross - The cross is a symbol of our faith in the salvific death of our Savior, which is the basis of all Christian belief.

decussata was shaped like an X and is commonly known as St. Andrew's cross .

But it is interesting to note that the cross was used in many

It is, however, the sign of the cross, traced on the forehead

civilizations before the Christian period. With many shapes

of the catechumen at the time of baptism and confirmation ,

an d forms , oftentimes equal路stemmed and appearing in

that was the ea rl ies t Christian use . This tradit ion dates back

coins, th is symbol is believed to have originated in

to the time of Tertullian (c.1 60- c.220). when it was employed

con nection with sun worship. Its form grew from very early

also as a means of sanctifying every activity of daily life, for

origin , the vertical line representing light striking from

encouragement in times of tria l, and for mutual recognition

heaven, and water symbolized by the horizontal line, crossing

in times of persecution. 87 It is also important to remember

the upri ght to form the representation of creation.

that "the sign of the cross is seen to have its origin , not in an

In anci e nt Rome , the cross was commonly used for

allusion to Christ's passion, but as a signification of His

executions. There were three kinds of crosses used for this

divine glory. Even when it comes to be referred to as the cross

pu rpose. The crux commissa or tau cross had an upright post

on which Christ died, the cross is regarded as the expression

~n own

as stripes and a traverse beam , the patibulum . It

of the divine power which operates through His death. "88

was this latter pa rt which the criminal ca rried to the place

If the cross was not known as a symbol in earlier times, it

tau cross was

was because it was often shown in a veiled way. This is the

'If execution and not the whole



s d later as one of the emblems of st. Anthony. The crux

reason why archeologists call it the crux dissimulata or

'ssa, or Latin cross , had the uprigh post extended . And

disguised or hidden cross. There was the necessity of

the case of im porta nt criminals , a se ond shorter piece

avoiding betrayal to enemies of the faith who might be those


fast ened above the beam to take the inscription.

of one's household. The cross then could not be too openly

t was Constantine who abolished crucifixion as a capital

displayed lest it repulse even well 路 meaning friends.

r shment From his time , the monogram of Christ and then

Therefore , the Christians used the crux dissimulata , a device

e cross began to be he ld in reverence publicly. Also known

that had a number of forms , the anchor being the most

the Calvary or Pass ion cross , the Latin cross was not

commo n. The anchor has since ancient times been a symbol

gert'ally used in Christianity as a symbol of Christ. And

of hope . With the Christian basing their hope in the saving

either was the cross depicted real istically as the instrume nt

merits of Christ, the anchor soon also came to symbolize

of Ch ri st's sufferi ng . The equal 路 armed cross was most

the Savior. And from the natural desire on the part of the

commonly use d in both the East and the West in the

Christians to honor the sign of the world 's redemption came

early centuries, but the term "Greek" cross for this shape

the crux gemmata , which is not a special form but simply a

was not use d unt il the Middle Ages. Finally, the crux

Latin cross ornamented with precious metals and gems. Also called the lona or Ring Cross , the Celtic cross was prevalent in Ireland even before the eighth century. It is typically depicted as a cross, signifying Christian faith , with arms enclosed by a circle, signifying solar power and eternity. Together, they symbolize the unity of heaven and earth . Not primarily identified with Christianity, the Celtic cross dates from pagan times, when it was a symbol of fertility and lifethe cross signifying male potency and the circle, female power.



Lamb - Dating back to as early as the Christogram or the fish , the use of the lamb as a symbol of Christ is one of the favorite and most frequently used symbols in all periods of Christian art. Many scriptural passages give authority for the symbolism . A typical reference is John 1 :29: "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith , Behold

the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." The lamb symbol i zes innocence, gentleness, and purity. The lamb holding the pennant, the Agnus Dei , signifies the Risen Lord and victory. At one point in history, however, it was forbidden to depict Christ as a lamb . At the Council of Trullo (692) the East condemned this western custom , stating that persons and events of sacred history should be portrayed directly and not by symbols . 89 Aside from these four classical symbols of Christ , there are others: Phoen ix - The phoenix has been taken as a type of the Risen Lord or of the resurrection of the dead because he is supposed to be consumed by fire and to rise alive fro


ashes . That is another legend , and a very pagan one. Pelic an - The "pious pelican" as a symbol of Christ i s well established in Christian tradition though probably not earlier than the 13th century. At the same time , we may recognize in the st ory that it opens its breast to feed its young , a symbolic meaning derived from the third century work Phys i ologus , a pure fable and another invention of the Middle Ages . Griffi n - This mythical creature , half路animal and half路 bird , was used to represent the two natures of Christ. Peacock - This ancient pagan symbol of eternity and divinity was adopted by the Christians and was used in connection with symbols of the Savior to show his divine nature.

SYMBOLS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Dove - The most important use of the dove in Christian art is as the symbol of the Holy Spirit. This symbolism first appears in the Bible in the story of the baptism of Christ.

Since the sixth century when it first appeared , it has undergone no changes. At the Council of Trullo, it is interesting to note that it was forbidden to represent the Holy Spirit symbolically as a dove, except in a painting of the baptism of Christ. And although during the time of the humanistic movement the custom of representing the Holy Spirit in human form became fairly common , this was finally proh i bited by Urban VIII in 1623. Tongues or flames of fire - Symbolizing the consuming fire of the Holy Spi rit , this very popular symbol is used on the feast of Pentecost , recalling how the followers of Christ , filled with the Holy Spirit and strengthened by His grace, were fired up to spread the Gospel to the whole world. Water - The symbolism of water, in addition to i ts baptismal content, is interpreted in a biblical sense, denoting God as the fountainhead or source of life, and in a Christian sense , denoting the Holy Spirit. 9o Seven li ghted lamps - These represent the Holy Spirit through the symbols of the seven gifts of wisdom , understanding, coun sel , fortitude , knowledge , piety, and the fear of God .

SYMBOLS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN Lily - A symbol of purity, the lily has become the flower of the Virgin. The fleur-de-lis, a variety of lily, is the emblem of the Virgin and has also been adopted by royalty. The fleurde 路 lis was chosen by King Clovis as an emblem of his purification through baptism and has since become the emblem also of the kings of France. White rose - This is another symbol of the Blessed Virgin who is also called "The Mystical Rose. " In general, flowers have always been associated with the Blessed Virgin . In the Philippines, for example , the month of May which is also known as the month of flowers is a month traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Her title, Virgen de las

Flares (Virgin of the Flowers) , and the Filipino tradition of offering flowers to the Virgin during the whole month of May, Flares de Mayo (Flowers of May), clearly attest to this .

Burning bush - Sometimes found in medieval art, the

Fish with its head above the water, carrying a basket

sign of the burning bush, from which Yahweh spoke to Moses,

with bread and wine - An outstanding ancient symbol of

is another good symbol of the Blessed Virgin. The symbol

the Holy Eucharist , this represents Christ himself bringing

refers to her perpetual virginity because as the bush

to the faithful His body and blood. This symbol was taken from

burned and yet was not consumed by the fire, so the Blessed

the crypt of St. Licina , in the catacomb of st. Calixtus. 91

Virgin brought forth a Son without her virginity being impaired in any way. The litany of Loreto (about 1500 A.D.) has often been a

Pelican - This is another symbol of the Bl essed Sacrament in which Christ feeds the faithful on His Most Precious Blood . The other popularly known symbols are the following :

good source of inspiration in the past. The modern artist, with

Triqueta - Geometrical shapes, such as three interlocked

some creativity and liturgical feeling, can come up with

circles, triangles , or an equilateral triangle, are often used

symbols of the Blessed Virgin inspired from this litany, which

in Christian iconography to express the Trinity, the three 路

could be beautiful and worthy from both the decorative

in路one God , the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The

standpoint and the theological perspective.

triqueta signifies eternity, while its central , triangle' like shape represents the Trinity. Along with the trefoil and


y路shaped fork, the triqueta denotes the intangibility of th e Trinity. A t rio of fish is also another symbol of the Trinity.

The vine and the wheat - These are considered the most

Dove with olive branch - In the Judaic and Christian

practical and the most logical symbols of the Eucharist, for

cultures, the dove holding an olive branch symbolizes

after all, these are the very sources of the wine and bread

peace. Af er the biblical flood, Noah sent out a raven and a

to be consecrated during Mass.

dove frorT) the ark to search for dry land . It is written that

Sheaf of wheat - This is also a best known symbol of

only the dove returned , grasping in its beak an olive

the Blessed Sacrament today. The grain is heavy, reminding

branch , thus signifying God's forgiveness of man and the

us of the rich blessings that flow from the sacrament. Being

deliverance of humanity.92

the source of the staff of life, the wheat rightfull y symbolizes the Eucharist.

Crown - The crown is a symbol of eternal life for both Jews and Christians . There were indications that the crowns

Host and chalice - These were a favorite symbol of the

referred to in both Jewish and early Christian writings were

Eucharist during the past centuries. However, this practice

of foliage , relating to the leafy arbors (skenai) of the feast

is now discouraged and in fact is considered derogatory to

of Tabernacles , the nosegay (I u/ab) of willow, myrtle , and

the Holy Host and the most sacred of vessels. Since both

palm , and the citron (ethrog) symbolizing the fruit of the

are present on the altar of sacrifice, it would show proper

tree of life . Other references, however, also point to

respect not to depict them on the vestments so that the focus will be on the consecrated bread and wine. Designers and embroiderers are instead encouraged to confine themselves to the true Eucharist ic symbols - the vine and the wheat. Fish eating the bread - An ancient symbol of the Eucharist, the fish motif portrays the faithful (fish) eating the bread of life.


a golden crown set with jewels. In the Book of Exodus 28 : 36 -37 for example, we read: The plate of pure gold engraved with the signet, "Holy to the Lord," for Aaron. And in Samuel 12 : 30, we find: The kingly crown , "the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious sto ne ; and it was placed on David's head. " 93 Three fishes arranged in the form of a triangle Although this symbol might be taken today as almost exclusively a sign of the Trinity, in earlier Christian times this symbolized baptism because baptism is administered in the name of the Holy Trinity. This symbol appeared first on a copper vessel from the island of Seeland , in the Baltic Sea , which was possibly used in the administration of baptism during medieval times. Pomegranate - An ancient symbol of fertility in classic Jewish and Christian tradition, the pomegranate first appeared in textiles as a popular motif in the 12th century. It was also of great importance in the design of Renaissance velvets. Two rings with the Christogram on top - This symbol of the sacrament of matrimony is of recent origin. It symbolizes the joining of man and woman in an unending union , under the protection of Christ, who is symbolized by the monogram. Butterfly escaping from its cocoon - This symbol represents death , the passing from a circumscribed life to the more complete and beautiful life in heaven. This most beautiful idea lends itself well to decorative purposes. In making vestments for Masses for the dead , it is important for the artist to grasp the true Christian philosophy of death and suffering . He cannot limit himself to the common secular symbols of the skull and the crossbones, or the hourglass with the sand run out si nce these represent death negatively as just the end of life. Christian philosophy looks at death as the beginning of li fe , as the liberation of the soul from the earthly prison of the body. Thus , the representation of the bird escaping from the cage into the brightness of the skies, an idea drawn from the Psalms (67:19) is a more apt symbolism and more reflective of Christian teachings.


approach. Modern artists and designers , on the othe r hand, insist that to limit themselves to the traditional symbols

Nonrepresentational or abstract designs are not as easily

would mean lack of originality and boring predictability.

accepted in liturgical vestments that serve a liturgical

There would be complete stagnation in the liturgical arts,

.. funct ion as they are in stained glass and mosaic. After all ,

they say, unless each age made its own contribution. One

~ symbolism that can be recognized and understood is more

only has to rem em ber, then , that the primary aim in the


effective in its didactic capacity than in nonrepresentational

design ing and making of a vestment should be the production

~ designs . In fact, a valid serious criticism of abstract art

of a thing of beauty in the service of the liturgy, and this

..J for liturgical use is that the meaning is so obscure that it is

can be done without any use of symbols_


reserved for or limited to the elite . This is , of course ,

Serious study and good taste, coupled with religious sense ,


contrary to the communal concept of Christian worship. It

will dictate the proper symbols to be used, if and when the

should be remembered that the total participation of th e

artist has decided to make use of symbols in a vestment. The

liturgical renewal.

symbols and the chasuble, or cope, or stole are designed as

1:: I.JJ whole worshiping community is a major principle of the

1: ~

What probably needs to be rediscovered today i~ the

a single entity, starting with the weaving of the fabric , with



inherent symbolism of cloth itself. In the ancient world,

consideration for the different effects which result from


cloth was always used and apprehended as "drapery," in

the litu rgical motions when the vestment is worn.


the sense that large, whole, free -falling pieces were used

~ --:...

ideal situation indeed is when the ornamentation or use of

, â&#x20AC;˘ both for clothing and for curtains, tablecloths, etc. The free-

From al these observations , it is understandable, then, why not

few liturgists have cautioned us always to

draping , flowing, falling , and enveloping character of the

remem ber that the use of symbols on vestments is not as

cloth determined the aesthetic properties of these items.

easy and simple as it may seem to be. Environment and

A tailored appearance was absolutely excluded from the

Art in Catholic Worship (#94) therefore states:

"massive" effect of large , enveloping garments . However,

The more these vestments fulfill their function by their

the modern tailored aesthetic has led to the idea of vest-

color, design and enveloping form , the less they will need

ments as mere background for symbols that could be stiff

the sig ns , slogans, and symbols which an unkind history

stuff and "un-cloth like" most of the time . The movement

has fasten ed on them. The tendency to place symbols upon

specially after Vatican 11 to return to the ancient flowing

symbols seems to accompany symbolic deterioration and

and ample vestments is definitely in the right direction .

diminution .94

The rediscovery of the inherent symbolism of cloth will help control the urge in some to turn vestments into bulletin boards for slogans and backdrops for pictures. The student of liturgy who pays attention to the history of symbols will quickly notice that symbols were recognized and their meaning understood at a time when the laity were mostly unlettered . This , however, is not the case today. There is now a contemporary approach but unfortunately, critics keep lamenting the loss of some traditional symbolism since they fail to recognize and appreciate this contemporary



Furthermore, representa tion on vestments should consist only of symbols, images, and pictures portraying the sacred.

seasons. Also, the finest and best vestments, regardless of their color, were always reserved for the feasts.

Anything out of keeping with the sacred is to be avoided ,

Thus, there was the introduction of a liturgical color

as clearly stated in the General Instruction of the Roman

sequence, a firmly established use of specific colors assigned

Missal (11306). In general, therefore , i t would be safe to say

to the various seasons and days of the liturgical year. Marion

that the use of symbols should aim to impart a liturgical

Ireland, in her magnificent book Textile Art in the Church ,

spirit to the ornamentation of vestments while helping call

presents a most comprehensive illustration of the

to mind what IS already known but at a new and deeper

development of the color sequences of the Church that could

level of understanding. Thus , only those symbols and

be of great help to anyone with an interest in liturgical

combination of symbols that best contrib ute to this end

vestments. She starts her presentation with the so路called

should be chosen.

Jerusalem Sequence, the earliest known sequence covering the festivals of the entire year. Served by the Augustinian or Black Canons , this was compiled during the Latin domination of Jerusalem that lasted from 1100 to 1187. One

In the early Christian period , not much attention was paid to creating fixed cycles of

of the most striking points in this sequence for us today is

olors for the liturgical

the fact that black was assigned to the feasts of the Blessed

vestments that were related to p rticular seasons and

Virgin . 95 But looking back at samples of Byzantine and

feasts White, though, was always cen tral since it was the

medieval western art, one would easily notice that the Virgin

color suggested by biblical symbolism. The color of Christ's

was usually depicted in black or deep blue, which symbolized

clothing in his Transfiguration was white. White was also

"the night sky from which rose the Sun of Justice."

the color of the clothing of the angels in their appearances, Mid of the redeemed in the Apocalypse.

Then there was the Innocentian Sequence , which was originally just an account of the practice that existed in

Dioceses and local communities of weste rn and central

Rome, before Innocent III became pope in 1198. This

Europe gradually started through the Middle Ages to deve lop

sequence was later incorporated into the Roman Missal as

and share customs that associated ce rta in colors with

the color canon for the Roman Catholic Church by Pope

specifiC feasts and church celebratio ns. It is said that this

Gregory V. The Innocentian Sequence listed four chief colors:

was most often the only means for a largely illiterate people

white , red , black, and green. 96

to know of an important change or event in the Church 's

The Sarum Use is the most prominent and earliest

life The general principle seemed to be for the use of white

sequence of color developed in England , set forth in St.

for feasts and darker colors for mourning and for penitential

Osmund's rite for the Cathedral of Salisbury. Only red and white were used at Sarum for particular festivals although the inventory of 1222 recorded the existence of other colors but without giving any clue as to when they were used. The common practice of the best and most elaborate for festivities regardless of color appeared to be followed also in the Sarum. This color sequence represented the general trend of liturgical practice in Northern Europe during the Middle Ages Y



Lothar of Segni (1160- 1216) , who later became Pope

Pietism and Rationalism. With the liturgical renewal of the

see again the creation of magnificent

Innocent III in 1198, in his work De Sac ra Altaris Mysteri o

20th century, we

designated four liturgical colors and their appropriate use

liturgical vestments in all their varied hues.

throughout the year: white, red , green , and black. His scheme

Looking at the great richness and variety of litu rgical

of colors for the year, which probably indicated the usage of

colors in medieval times , one is tempted to feel that ours

the Roman Curia, is essentially what we know today, except

today is such a very limited range . Old inventories from

that he suggested purple only as a substitute for black, for

England , Sweden , and countries in Western Europe give us

mourning and times of abstinence. 98

the following colors: black , red , and white for Advent ; red,

It should be remembered , however, that medieval color

gold , and brown for Christmas; yellow, green , and the best

symbolism was not universal. White is not universally a color

for Epiphany; red , indigo, and black for Septuagesima to Lent ;

of joy and celebration , and neither is black universally a

red, blue , and white for Lent; ash color for Good Friday; red ,

color of mourning. In spite of the great interest in colors and a

green , black, and violet for Easter; saffron, black, purple ,

zeal in explaining their symbolism, there was no general

brown , and the best for Pentecost; red , green , violet, gold,

agreement as to what these different colors signified. A good

and the best for Trinity Sunday; and violet , saffron , blue, old

example of this is the color blue that in the Middle Ages was

or shabby for Trinity to Advent. Looking at all these varied

used as a substitute for violet. It was therefore worn

hues and the way in which they were used , it is easy to

sometimes during Advent and Lent. In some dioceses i n

conclude that even in the context of European cultures then ,

Europe, it was also used for feasts of confessors and saints .

a color ca

It might come as a surprise for most of us that not even a

have more than one meaning.

It was only in 1570 when Roman authorities issued universal

papal ban on the liturgical use of blue by Pius V in 1570 was

rules on l~turgical colors. This system has been generally

able to prevent it from becoming more and more associated

accepted for the last 400 years. It was also repeated in the

with the Blessed Virgin.99 This custom of using blue for feasts

recent reforms. This part of Tridentine heritage has endured

of the Blessed Virgin can be traced to the festival of the

because Western Christians

Immaculate Conception in Spain. This , however, does not go

through th e liturgical year, as lending a seasonal unity, and

much further than the 16th century. In England , the ancient

as expressing the sh i fting moods of the assembly. These,

color for the Virgin was either white or red - for the Mystical

after all , are the very reasons for the liturgical colors. And if

see it as assisting their progress

Rose. And as seen in the medieval stained glasses, the Virgin's

they are able to fulfill such purpose, this becomes the very

colors were yellow gold, for the Queen of Heaven, and red and

guarantee that their use will naturally endure.

green, the most aristocratic colors for dress in the Middle Ages. It was in the 17th and 18th centuries that color sequences reached their period of greatest elaboration with many instances of general agreement. Soon after, this golden age

It is important to remember that the real value of colors is in providing this seasonal contrast and mood , and not




of color sequences followed the liturgical decline. Understandably, the Reformation dealt the first great blow to the use of vestments in their colors , along with the abolition of the liturgical year by the radical reformers. Also contributing to the gradual decline in the use of vestments in color sequences were such movements as


carrying allegorical or mystical meaning. 100 It is, however, also beneficial to know the symbolical meanings that have

Green is used for ordinary time , that is , between Epiphany and Lent, and between Pentecost and Advent.

become attached to each color in the western tradition.

Violet is used for Advent and Lent. It may also be used in

These attributes of characteristics to color vary, of course,

Masses for the dead. Rose is used for the third Sunday of

from time to time , country to country, and East to West.

Advent (Gaudete Sunday) and the fourth Sunday of Lent

White is the purest of all colors, being pure light. It

(Laetare Sunday) . Where there are limited resources, this

represents purity, holiness, innocence, perfection , joy,

old tradition need not be kept , and violet may be worn. At

glory, resurrection , and celebration. Gold or yellow

no other time is rose worn.

symbolizes sovereignty, dignity, wisdom , and the sun. Gold

Gold and silver may replace white like in Masses for the

and silver may replace white anytime and , therefore , carry

feasts of the Lord , Christmas , and Easter. Gold and more

also the same symbolism. Red symbolizes the color of blood ,

precious colors and materials may also be used for solemn

making it appropriate for the passion of Christ and for

occasions even if they are not of the color of the day.

martyrs; and the color of fire, making it appropriate for

Black may be used in Masses for the dead and All Souls

Pentecost, representing the Holy Spirit, divine fire , and

Day. This is, however, optional and may be replaced by violet

love. Green is the color of nature and growth. It represents

or even white.

the earth and gives promise of future fruitfulness and birth

The very dramatic color of black was, of course, the

and, therefore , symbolizes hope. Purple, a dark somber

Tridentine rule for Masses for the dead. However, in the

color, suggests repentance, royal mourning, sorrow, and

1960s more and more reformers felt that greater emphasis

penance. Black symbolizes mourning and death . Rose pink

was neede on the idea of life after death. Black , they said,

signifies subdued joy and Divine Love . And blue signifies

was limited to sorrow and pain. White was therefore suggested

faith, truth , and the feminine principle.

to better express eternal life. Others countered that this

The Roman Rite finally settled upon six colors for liturgical

was too festive and joyous , and certainly very insensitive

vestments: white, red, green, violet, black, and rose. The use

to the human condition of real mourning , a condition which

of these colors continued in the General In stru ct ion of

one has to accept fully and express authentically following

th e Rom an MissaPOl as follows:

the death of a loved one. Still others suggested a middle

White is used for the festive seasons of Christmas and

ground - the darker color of violet, a color traditiona lly

Easter, feasts and commemorations of the Lord, except days

suggestive also of repentance and sorrow in the seasons of

related to His passion , feasts and memorials of the Blessed

preparation for the Lord's birth and crucifixion .

Virgin Mary, the angels, saints who were not martyrs ,

In choosing the color of vestments to be used in Masses

conversion of St. Paul (January 25), feast of the Dedication

for the dead, the basic guideline should be to consider colors

of the Chair of St. Peter (February 22), feast of st. John the Baptist (June 24), and All Saints Day (November 1). White may also be used in Masses for the dead. Red is used for Passion or Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Pentecost, days of the Lord related to His Passion , anniversary of the death of the Apostles except that of St. John, and feasts of martyrs.

which are "sui ted to the sensibilities of the people , not out

measured . The use of color in liturgical vesture should ,

of keeping with human grief , and expressive of Christian

therefore, follow general color theories , in addition to being

hope as enlightened by the paschal mystery. "101

mindful of Church tradition and being appropriate for the

Probably, a very practical approach offered by Thomas Ryan in his book, The Sacristy Manual , would be to res pect the

intended celebration . When properly used , color is a very effective aid for both

seasons and colors already in the church complex. He suggested

the celebrant and the whole congregation, to get into the

that "Violet could be used at funerals through Advent and Lent;

mood and true spirit of each liturgical feast or season. Some

white during the weeks of Christmas and Ea ster; black during

people argue that the liturgical colors specified by the

Ordinary time. If a community has a truly worthy chasuble

General Instruction of the Roman Missal are very

in anyone of these colors, then this might be the best one. "10)

restricting . In this connection , it would be good to look at

In Gui delines for the Eucharist that the CBCP approved

the events connected to the preparation of the General

i n January 1990, it was noted that for Masses for the dead,

Instruction of the Roman Missal. In his monumental work,

violet is now the preferred color. However, it hastened to

The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 , considered by many

add that other suitable colors may also be used follo wing

liturgists as the most complete book on what was done in

the Instructions of 1967 of the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

composing and then i mplementing the Constitution on the

Wh i te for a "resurrection mass" was also sugges fe d by

Sacred Liturgy, Annibale Bugnini wrote of how Pope Paul VI

severa l of the Philippine bishops at a CBCP meeting.

on April 10, 1967 insisted "that the various colors of the

It i s but natural to be concerned with colors and to use

liturgical vestments should be retained and their use throughout

them in worship , the innermost concern of our be in g. Color,

the church should be regulated by detailed norms, while

after all, is a language and as such , we will always use it as we

allowing that when special circumstances make it advisable

do all other forms of language. It is to be expected, therefore ,

to change the traditional practice , the Holy See may grant

that through the centuries, colors have been " developed into

privil eges or allow exceptions to the universal norm. " 104

a grammar through which the pageantry of the events of the

The bishops' conferences may, therefore, petition the Holy

C â&#x20AC;˘ stlan year move in orderly procession." Undoubtedly, color

See for adaptations to the needs and mentalities of their

e hances the message conveyed by the spoken word .

respective peoples.

Emotion al and psychological factors are indeed in the

Whether the requirements imposed by the General

experi ence of color, as have been shown from studies done

Instruction are accepted as a stimulus or as a limitation

on th e effects of the various colors on people in various

will , therefore , depend also on the skill and expertise of

Situ ations . During the last century and more , color has

the vestment designer. We have to admit that the skillful

achieved the status of a SCience, which can be classified and

use of color is partly intuitive and partly acquired knowledge. Some practical considerations will be very helpful in tackling the question of color. First , we seem to have so limited ourselves to the very basic shades of the liturgical colors that a lot of other beautiful variations have practically been neglected. The liturgical colors are not any specia l tints or shades and there are limitless variations available. Second , in choosing a particular color for a liturgical vestment, we have always to be aware of the light source.

Color specialists have always warned us about this crucial

with its crumpling, creasing, and rubbing , but also give us

matter because oftentimes, we know that a vestment might

a feel of the coming liturgical climate.

look great in the sewing room but look completely drab when

In the Philippines, where the weather is generally hot and

finally used at the altar. This is because the quality of

oftentimes humid, lined vestments are not too common.

artificial light will always affect the color of the cloth and

However, there are also some places where the climate is

its ornamentation. Most professional designers and

nice and cool , like Baguio City in the Mountain Province,

craftsmen use a white light of daylight quality to ensure as

Tagaytay south of Manila , and of course, Bukidnon in the

little color distortion as possible. Even the light that comes

southern Philippine island of Mindanao where this writer's

from stained glass windows could affect the effectiveness

very own Monastery of the Transfiguration is situated. In

of the color of the vestment. When the stained glass windows

these places and in other places of high altitude, lined

are very clear, and the church is full of light, vestments will

vestments could certainly be used _ By choosing a good

look better if they were made of soft, subdued shades. On

quality silk lining or a very fine pure cotton material , it would

the other hand , when the church is relatively dark, vestments

still be possible to create beautiful vestments with same color

of greens, reds, and purples will generally look better if

or well-considered contrasting-colored linings. After all , good

they were on the brighter side. Third , the use of the color white could be very tricky. This is so because not all whites are exactly the same . There are

quality linings would always be advantageous for they give some substance to soft materials while falling into folds and drapi ng beautifully with them .

subtle yet really very distinct differences. Eugene Roulin calls our attention, for example, to the difference between i ory white and the more brilliant snow white . To get a warmer effect, white is lightly tinged with golden yellow. A white

Cloth has always been a constant in the human

vestment of a softer hue and subdued decoration will look

environment in all eras and latitudes, yet only a few of us,

better in a well-lighted church while a vestment of brilliant

in spite of our daily encounter with it, really understand

white with bold designs will harmonize well with dark

and appreciate the process of weaving . Throughout the

interiors . It is also in dark churches that white silk satins and

history of man, cloth has always been a guarantee of physical

rich materials like velvets and brocades would look best. 10S

comfort and protection from the environment, a symbol of

The underlying unity of events in the liturgical calendar

power and authority or a mark of honor, depending on the

can also be served by the creative use of color. This can be

circumstances. It is, therefore , most practical to look at

done by the creative way of carrying over the colors of one

the origins and influences contributing to the development

season into the next, coupled with the repetition of deco-

of textile art in general before considering its role within


rative motifs. The lining of a liturgical vestment does not , after all, have to be the same as that of the exterior of the garment. 106 For example , the lining of the vestments of Advent and Christmas could be of the same color. Or the lining of the violet vestments for Lent could be in red, signifying the theme of the Passion that slowly builds during Lent. 107 In this way, the lining of the vestment does not only serve to help bear the whole stress of the vestment's existence



Christian churches, and specifically, the i mporta nce of materials in the making of liturgical vestme nts .

Cotton was first cultivated and woven in ancient India. In the ruins of Mohenjo -Daro, a great city in the Indus River Valley, so me cotton yarn from 3000 B.C. has been found. Unfortunately, because of the hot , humid monsoon climate of the Indian peninsula, no woven cotton samples from that

The Egyptians are known to have been the first to

era have survived. However, much has been written about

introduce linen. In fact, the earliest depiction of a loom

it. Herodotus , the Greek historian , for example wrote in

known to us today is on an Egyptian dish crafted around

445 B.C.: " The Indians possess a kind of wild plant which

4400 B.C. The Egyptians' ancient belief in life after death

produces, instead of fruit, a wool of a finer better quality than

helped to preserve some of these early woven fabrics which

that of sheep, and of this, the Ind ia ns made their clothes ."

have been found wrapped around mummified bodies. Linen,

The weavi ng industry in ancient and medieval India was

not wool, was always used for Egyptian burial materials since

controlled by political power. State workshops exclusively

they believed that flax, from which the linen fibre came,

made cloth for royalty, the wealthy, and those for export,

was the cleanest plant, while wool, because it came from

an d only the best weavers were permitted to work on ritual

an animal, was profane. lOS

hangings for the temples . It is interesting to note that although

The birthplace of wool was M sopotamia, the ancient

women were not allowed to hold jobs in this period ,

region that lay in the triangle of land" etween the Tigris and

exceptions were made and weaving was permitted to widows

Euphrates rivers in southwestern Asia. I was also here where

and retired prostitutes, most of whom worked at home .

s~eep were first domest1Cated. Record

of huge flocks of

Chinese legend tells us that in about 2700 B.C. , the

with hundreds shorn in a single day as well as of slave

empress Si -Ling路Chi, wife of the great prince Huang-Ti ,

girls , women and children weaving have been found in tablets

happened to observe some caterpillars as they wrapped


'rom the city of Ur, dating back to 2000 B.C. And even before

themselves in cocoons. And when one of the cocoons fell

tre Jews went to Egypt, where they had been in contact

into her cup , she found out that as she tried to take it out,

with lmen-making skills, and Babylon , where they learned to

she cou ld unravel the cocoon into a long strand that was

make fabulous textiles such as those which decorated the

stron g and lustrous. 109 From Chinese tradition we also know

great palace of Nebuchadnezzar, they already wove the hair

that their first draw loom was built around 1298 B.C. So

of goats and camels into tent materials and the fleece of

important was silk that it was hoarded and used as a medium

sheep into wool for clothing. Hebrews generally wore inner

of exchange. It was even used to pay tribute and taxes. Silk

garments of linen covered with woolen robes.

was an internationally prized commodity in ancient times; it is said that until the modern era , a country's wealth could almost be measured in rolls of silk, whether produced or purchased. 110 The secret of silk production was kept by t he Chinese to themselves for a very long time. What they exported all over the ancient world we re raw and woven silks. It was already in the sixth century that the truth about sericul t ure reached the west. Until then , even if silk weaving was known to have been established centuries earlier in places like




Alexandria, Antioch , and Jerusalem, the weavers there had to use the raw silk threads imported from China .

textiles by the Persians who were opposed to Islam. The production of all kinds of art objects for the Roman

We know from the Old Testament that elaborate woven

Catholic Church was a great preoccupation throughout Europe

materials, embroidery, and gold work were used for religious

from the Middle Ages to the Reformation . Som e of the most

and royal garments . In the Book of Exodus, we are told of how

splendid textile art was done duri ng th is period and a major

the Lord filled Bezalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of

part of this were sacred vestments for use during ecclesiastical

Judah, and Oholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan ,

celebrations . Much of th i s Church textile art has been

with the divine spirit of skill and understanding and knowledge

preserved in church treasuries, givin g us the chance to study

in every craft: weaving, embroidery, the making of variegated

these samples today. In fact , most of the samples of silk

cloth of violet, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen thread ,

and needlework of the medieval pe riod that have survived

engraving, and all other arts and crafts. II I

are mostly ecclesiastical rath er th an secular pleces. 1I2

Traditionally, linen was the material used almost entirely

The most magnificent samples of materials for liturgical

for albs from the earliest times although there have been albs

vestments are undoubtedly f rom the 13th century when

made of silk once in a while . The reason for using linen was

English needlework becam e so internationally renowned.

based on the belief that it was clean , being the direct product

Opus Anglicanum (English work) was th e most important single

of the ground. There was also the symbolic co notation:

movement involving Christian text ile art. It was also the name

linen was supposed to have been used to wrap the body of

used to describe these splendid vestments done in England.

Christ before he was buried. Thus, the connection with the

Also during the 13th century, t he f lourishing manufacture

Mass celebrant dressed in linen alb was a natural outcome .

of brocade was carried ou t in Lucca . It was a fabric generally

The first great turning point in the development of

of silk and metallic threads with a pattern woven in it often

Christian art, including textile art in the church, came about

of a different color from the background an d frequently

in 313 A.D. through the Edict of Milan . This brought about

raised . The technique of brocading had an i mportant place

toleration and soon, adoption of Christianity as the official

in Church vestments . It allowed the loom to com pete with

religion by the emperor Constantine. The Eastern emperor

the needle, which , i n the past , was t he equi pm en t needed

wanted to surpass the glory of Rome and Greece in

to put an embroidered design on a wove n fabric. Brocading

establishing the new capital, Constantinople , upon the old

actually was like doing embroide ry on t he loom, though

city of Byzantium. Thus he employed the finest artists to

limited only to go with the weft threads i n horizontal row. III

decorate the churches with sculptures of precious metals,

Camacas brocade was manufactured chiefly in Cyprus and had

mosaics, and their mos t important art- their textiles.

a raised design i n gold. It was used by poten tate s of the

Islam or Mohammedanism originated at the end of the sixth century and spread through the whole Near Eastern world. It forbade the representation of living things, so this led to another development in textile arts : quotations from the Koran were woven into the textiles , instead of representation of living things. However, we are aware, of course, of non路religious stylized deSigns called "arabesque" which concealed animal and plant deSigns . Animals, plants , and personages, though , continued to be portrayed in


Church in the 14th and 15th cen turies and usually had a design

i t sel f in spectacular splendor and overstatement , with

of birds. Another very special fabric used for the making of

artists bei ng commi ssioned by the Church to conform to

some of the best vestments was baudekyn , a rich fabric of

canonical law i n representing dogmas and increasing the

Byzantine origi n which had a silk weft and a gold woof.

pie ty of th e people in the veneration of images. " 114

A rich silken fabric initially called


was invented by

A grea t change in th e whole weaving industry happened

the silk weavers of Italy and was first mentioned in 1277. Now

with t he onset of the i ndustrial revolution in England . The

popularly known as velvet, i ts surface was covered with very

introduc t ion of th e flyi ng shuttle (1733) enabled the weavers

fine short hairs which formed a thic k, close ·set pile . Made

to make cloth wi der and faste r. Some inventions aimed at

chiefly in Lucca and Genoa, th is material was also soon used

speedi ng up th e spi nning of yarn changed the textile industry

to make some of the mos t dramatic vestments of the Church.

irrevocably: t he spin ning Jenny, invented by James Hargreaves

Starting in Italy in t he 15th century, the Renaissance's

in 1767 , spun multipl e st rands of yarn at once ; Richard

influence was felt t hr o ughout the western world .

Arkwrigh t 's Water Frame, inve nted (or copied ) around 1768;

Consequently, changes in the arts were brought about by the

and Samuel Crompton 's Spi nning Mule, a yarn -making machine

spirit of humanism an d t he rediscovery of ant iqui ty, wh ich

with up t o one th ousand or more spi ndles, invented in 1799.

were modified to serve the new spirit. Sensuous beaut y,

Th is was th e golde n age of weaving. Unfortunately, th is was

aesthetic charm, and religio us em tion s blended together.

short· li ved. In 1787 Edmund Cartwright in vented the power

Venice became the center of tex til

produc;tion and drew

loom whi ch could be operated by horsepower, waterpower,

'lists from all over Europe for its rep(,J ta t ion i n the use of

an d la t er, th e stea m engine . By the 1820s, the power loom

010' 't is interesting to note how at th is t"me there was such

was already in common use.ll5 As a result, less and less

lose collaboration between t he great Italian and Flemish

hand wove n material s were produced.

pa' t'ers, who did the designs and set the color schemes ,

In t he 19th century, the f reedom of the Age of Enlightenment

nd the weavers of textiles, resu l ti ng i n the most fabulous

and i t s sec ul arism encountered critical examination by such

Venetian fabrics that served as in sp i ration for others .

men as Dom Pros per Gueranger i n France and Augustus Welby

Ilc me became the art center of the Christian world by the

Pu gin in England . The liturgical renewal movement in France

• 6tr century. Under the patron age of the popes , Rome ha d

be ga n in 1840 with Gu e rang er ' s restoration of pure

an art style that was classic, formal , and majestic. During the

Benedic t i ne practice and the Gregorian chant , at Solesmes.

Reformation. artists found li t tle patronage . Religious art

In England , Pug i n led the reform early in the reign of Queen

declined; it was either sim ply tolerated or violently opposed.

Vic toria . Con vi nced of the

On the other hand, in the Roman Counter· Refo rmation, th ere

ex ternals of worship , he devoted himself to the restoration

was a turning to the Baroqu e (1550- 1750) that "asserted

"need for drastic changes in the

of that which he regarded as the perfect expression: true Gothi c." Hi s monumental encyclopedia A Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (1844) helped immensely in this direction. The return to medieval concepts, ideas , and artistic interpretation found full expression with the Gothic Revival Period . Pugin 's directives even contained specific instructions of re-introducing the fully cut chasuble of medieval times which also necessitated a change in the kind of materials required to achieve this full , flowing effect. 116



Unfortunately, with the new mechanical skills and

to the return of proper and correct interpretation s of

emphasis on speedy mass· production of the 19th century,

liturgical vestments. Thus , little by little, we see the cycle

the merchandise produced suffered, the vestment industry

completing itself, as the chasuble , now made only of the

included. Gothic revival chasubles of this period were

best materials which do not need much ornamenta ti on , on ce

produced from poor·quality materials in sweatsho ps that

again returns to the Roman paenu/a .

proliferated all over. "The Gothic revival was really just a selective borrowing of bits and pieces, of orname nts and

T he

/111 h 0 r


l C


\1, I

, I ' I,

motifs , which in the end, speak more of their own date than those they evoke."

The failure of some of the most i magi na tive and ingenious

As the need for reforms were stressed during the Liturgical

ideas drawn out on paper to materiali ze in t o truly beautiful

Renewal, three trends became evident. There were those

and dignified liturgical vestments has often been blamed

who did not want any change. These included some Vatican

to a great extent on the limitation of the medium . liS

officials, who didn't want to expand the present forms of

The kind of material to be used would defi ni tely affect the

vestments. On the other hand, t here were the leaders of the

total outcome . It is therefore good to look at the many

liturgical movement, inspired by the likes of Eugene Roulin

different kinds of materials available tod ay and at their

and his followers, who have stressed the need for reforms in

characteris tics so as to make the right choice of fabric to

the 1930s and insisted on the return of the fuller vestments

be used for liturgical vestments. An app reciation of the

with less ornamentat ion. And lastly, a third trend was the

nature and characteristics of a cloth wi ll surely lead to "a

introduction of new technology which provided mass·prod ced

feel i ng of affinity, from which an i nspiration can grow that

vestments mostly of poor materials and cheap designs. l17

is both creative and pract ical. "

From the changes that followed Vatican II, we can see that the prophetic reformers together with some competent

~ OL

vestment makers succeeded. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (#306) clarified the Ch urch's position regarding

Materials are often classified according to t heir sources:

materials and designs: "The beauty of the vestment should

animal, vegetable , or mineral. From animals com es wool, the

derive from its material and design rather than from lavish

fleece of sheep obta i ned by shearing once or twice a year,

ornamentation. Ornamentation should include only symbols,

or, as in some nomadic cultures , collected from branches

images, or pictures suitable for liturgical use, and anything

against which the animals have rUbbed . 119 Woo l is the

unbecoming should be avoided."

warmest of all fabrics , has great variety of text ure, and is

The liturgical movement was brought to the United States

naturally fire· resistant and dye· absorbent. It is com fortable

in 1925, specifically at st. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, by the Benedictines. There they published the


liturgical magazine Orate Frates (later changed to Worsh i p), to make the aims and methods of the liturgical movement widely known. In our modern times, the concern with handcrafted materials, proper colors and dyes, and proper deSigns provides new and exciting challenges. Many have contributed


to wea r, absorbs moisture well , and is elastic. The finest


wools are made of short fibers , with the larger fibers producmg a coarser fabric. There are also some types of

Silk is obtained by boiling and unwind ing the silkworm

specialty wools spun from the hair of particular breeds of

casings of the Bombyx mori , then reeling out the filaments.

goats. like mohair, angora , and cashmere , plus alpaca , a

But processing the cocoons is only one of the many steps

woolen fa bri c produced from the hairs of the alpaca , a close

in seric ul t ure . First , there are the mulberry orchards to be

relative of the llama . These specialty wools are very soft and

tended , since the Bombyx mori eats nothing but the leaves

tend to be expensive since they are produced in relatively

of this tree. Lustrous silk thread, which may measure up to

small quanti ties. To add luster and to improve the drape of

one-and -a-half kilometer, is easily woven.

the fabric, they are oft en mixed with sheep 's wool.

Among the different kinds of silks, some of the most

Some of the better known woo l fabrics are the following :

commonly used ones are the following: taffeta, a fine-ribbed ,

worsted. a hard-weari ng, high-quality fabric made from tightly

smooth , crisp plain weave silk fabric with a lustrous finish

woven yarns; flannel, a strong fabric with a plain or twill

but which creases easily; crepe-de-chine, a medium -weight ,

weave, with a napped fi nish on one or both sides; cashmere ,

smoo th silk fabric which drapes well; shantung, a medium -

a very fine soft fabric that is warm and Gomfortable to wear

weig ht plain weave silk fabric with a rough texture and

and is obtained from the Kashm ir goat ; crepe, a fine soft

woven from irregular yarns; silk satin, a silk fabric with a

wool with a slack weave an d texture surface , soft types of

smooth lustrous surface and available in different weights;

which drape very well; gabard ine, a water-repellant , close ,

washed silk, a silk fabric that has been washed in fabric

tWill weave fabric made from a variety f fibers and wool

softeners to make it soft , is slightly faded in appearance,

'llends' traditional tweed, a ro ugh fab ri c woven in mixed

and drapes well; dupion, a sil k fabr ic with uneven surface

hades to give a mottled eff ec t; challis , a pla in weave wool

and made from double strands of silk; devore velvet, a

at is lightweigh t. soft, easy to handle , and often printed

luxurious, textured fabr ic treated with an acid which burns

'n floral or paisley designs; and Venetian , a woolen fabric

away the nap to reveal a pattern; nail , a raw silk made

w th a shiny, twill finish made originally from silk in Venice

from the waste created during spinning and with small flecks

but's now made from wo rsted yarns . no

of cocoon woven in with other fibers . Noil looks heavy but it flows and drapes beautifully, is cool and resistant to wri nkles. Some silks come in blends like silk and wool blend , which has the softness and body of wool and the luster of silk; silk and linen blend , with the linen crispness softened by the silk, forming a shiny, dense fabric ; and silk and cotton blend , a soft lightweight fabric with the lustre and drape of silk but with a cotton weave. Marine silk, also called sea wool, is neither silk nor wool. It is , in fact , the byssus or "beard" of the squamous bivalve mollusk. Its yard-long strands have been used by Arab weavers to make "marvelous, iridescent cloth that shifted hues according to the light. "121


CO TT ON From the vegetable kingdom comes cotton , often referred to as the king of fibers. Cotton comes from the boll , a downy white casing for the seeds, which must be removed by ginning. Cotton fabric is produced by twisting together the long, fibrous hairs that cover the seed pods of the cotton plant. Varying in length and thickness, these fibers have an absorbent quality, making cotton both soft and comfortable to wear. The most common cotton fabrics include the follo wing: chambray, a light to medium -weight plain weave cotton fabric ; poplin, a fine and cross-rib medium -weight cotton fabric with a plain weave; voile, a fine and sheer cotton fabric with a plain weave; cheese cloth , a soft, loosely woven cotton fabric which has a plain weave, rough finish , and a crinkled appearance; broderie Anglaise, a plain weave cotton or sometimes cotton-synthetic blend, with shaped , embroidered eyelets punched in it ; lace , a decorative cotton fabri c- made from knotted, looped , or twisted thread used as trimming; Chintz, from the Hindu word (hint , mean ing variegated , also called glazed cotton, a closely woven plain weave fabric with a glazed finish ; damask, a double-sided cotton fabric with a satin weave against a plain background ; denim, a strong and washable, densely woven , twill -weave cotton fabric ; Madras cotton , a lightweight plain weave cotton woven in different colors to form checks or patterns; Jersey, a cotton fabric with fine , knit stitches which drapes well and is crease-resistant ; seersucker, a lightweight cotton fabric with alternating stripes of puckered fabric and flat fabric ; towelling, a cotton fabric with uncut loops of cotton on the surface ; corduroy, a hardwearing cotton fabric with lengthway ribs of pile that brush smoothly one way; cotton velvet, a woven cotton fabric with a silky pile or nap on the right side which brushes smoothly one way; drill, a strong twill-weave cotton also called khaki when dyed an olive color; gingham, a lightweight, plain weave, strong fabric with even checks; and mUSlin , a cotton or cotton blend fabric with a plain open weave usually used as an interlining in tailoring and when sewing test garments. 'll

LIN E N Flax , the source of the linen fabric, is considered the "most highly priced of the bast (inner bark) fibers, as well as one of the most labor-intensive. It must be retted , broken, scotched, hackled, and bleached before being spun to produce linen. "123 Although linen creases more easily than other commonly used fabrics , it is very elegant and ages very well. To increase crease -resistance , linen is usually mixed with other fibers like cotton. It takes color well and has the unique capacity to resist both soil and pests . Linen is cool and highly absorbent and is particularly comfortable to wear in hot climates. Linen fabrics are ordinarily classified into two basic categories: the suiting linen and the handkerchief linen . Suiting linen is a strong, absorbent linen fabric with a crisp finish while handkerchief linen is a fine , sheer lightweight fabric with a pla in weave and beautiful drape . Like the other traditional materials, linen is also mixed with other fibers. We , therefore, have linen and silk blends, linen and cotton blends , and even linen and synthetic blends.

MIN ERAL FIBERS Fabrics made from mineral fibers have been known in all times and latitudes. They have often been marked as symbols of power and royal prestige because of their special properties , great beauty, and extremely high cost. "Silver and gold threads are common to all eras and cultures, from Lapland , where craftsmen flatten the strands by drawing them through their teeth , to China , where metal is hammered onto rice paper, then cut into thin trips .114 It was only in the 13th century that a revolutionary way of gold and silver thread preparation was introduced. This was the gimp , a more flexible silver thread obtained by wrapping the metal strands around a silken core.


Art'/I.r.1 ,111.1 Ihl <iy"thrtIL

polyester, or blends. Crepe·backed satin is a reversible fabric with a satin face and a crepe back that drapes well.

Aside from these traditional materials , there have been

Lame is a smooth and shiny, knitted or woven fabric that

some modern fabric discoveries. These fall into two categories:

uses metall ic yarn , the knitted type draping better than

the artificial and the synthetic . In the 1880s, artificial fibers

the woven lame. Jacquard fabric has a patterned finish that

deri ved from organic substances such as wood cellulose,

is reversed on the wrong side. Liquid gold is a synthetic,

casein or peanut, and soy protein were discovered . In this

metallic fabric with a very shiny decorative surface . It is

process, the peanut cellulose is regenerated to form fibers .

admired for its softness and capacity to drape well. 125

Some of the best known and widely used materials in this

Some of the more recent "special fabrics " introduced into

category are fibranne, rayon and viscose, and acetate . Most

the market are the following: vinyl , a heavy, synthetic,

rayons are absorbent and comfortable to wear but they

non·woven fabric that looks similar to leather but does not

crease easily and tend to shrink and ravel. On the other

breathe ; PVC, a woven or knitted lightweig ht fabric that is

hand , synthetic materials have been derived more recently

coated with polyvinyl chloride and is tough and nonporous;

from petro ·chemical products. These include acrylics (orIon

fur fabric, made from synthetic fibers , usually modacrylic

and dralon), polyamides (nylon), and polyesters (tergal,

attached to a fi rm , woven backing and giving th e effect of

Dacron , and trevira). The good thing about these artificial

fur; an d leather, the tanned and finished outside of an

and synthetic materials is that they require very little

animal skin , most commonly sheepskin or cowhide. 126

maintenance , do not crease easily, and can be combined with natural yarns for remarkable strength or novel text es. On the negative side, these materials do not "breathe," therefore , they tend to be warmer to wear. Concerned

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (/1306)

environmentalists will also be quick to add that materials

clearly states that the beauty of a liturgical vestment

made of synthetic fibers are virtually indestructible and are,

depends on its material and design . This only goes to show

therefore, not environment·friendly.

the great importance of the correct choice of fab ric in the ma king of vestments. The most basic consideration is, of


Pt (


I F,r /t r r l


course, that the material should be in keeping with the dignity of the social action and the person wearing them

There are also what we call special fabrics , recent discoveries that include unusual and experimental textiles .

(/1305). What , then , are the basic considerations for a material to be considered appropriate?

Some of the most popularly used materials include the following: grosgrain , a heavy, closely woven , stiff fabric that has a pronounced crossways rib; faille , a fine , cross· rib fabric similar to grosgrain ; polyester crepe, a soft , synthetic fabric that is crease-resistant, hard ,wearing, and drapes very well; poly· linen , a polyester fabric made to look and handle like linen but with the crease resistance and ease of care of polyester; Charmeuse, a delicate, satin·weave fabric with a shiny face and a matte back usually made of rayon , viscose,


In ancien t times, all garments were draped , and the

ideal for warm climates. However, their relatively cheaper

garments used by t he mini ste rs of the early Church were

prices, when compared to silk and linen and wool , make

drape d, toO .127 Pliancy of the mat eri al to be used is,

them an attracti ve choice for people on a budget.

therefo re , of utmost importance to achieve such dra ped

Wi th the modern treatment of traditional natural fibers ,

effect, characterized by the wealt h of its fo lds. Up to t he

th ere seems to be no excuse to use fabrics which crease

eighth century, the taste for si mplici ty i n vestm ents an imated

easily, unless we agree with those who say that a little crease

the liturgy, leading the early Christians t o choose so ft ,

i n a garm ent could also give it a natural charm and appeal.

unfigured fabrics of one pla in color. With the great ad vances

As has al ready been shown in the list of modern materials ,

in textile technology in recent years , there is really so much

t here are plenty of beautifully dignified materials which

choice of soft fabrics , as shown in the precedi ng pages.

do not crumple or easily develop creases , which give an

Fro m t he trad itional fabrics to the latest in ar ti f icial and

i mpres sion of neglect or old age to otherwise beautiful

synthetlC materi als , so many new variations can be used to

church ves tments. Even watered silks, which in the past

achieve a draped look . linen was the traditio nal ma teri al

have been con sidered as first i n the list of fabrics which

for albs. Today, linen comes i n different weights , f rom ligh t

crea se, now come in styles which seem to have solved

to medium to heavy. linen is now also blen ded wi t h co t t on

thei r previous defect.

for less creasing, and wi th silk, to get a softer fall. Pure

The wei ght and thickness of a material is another

cotton materials are also easily available and are idea l fot

con si de ration. When the material used is too thick ,

albs t o be used in warm cl i mates . For the other vestm ents

bul ky corners and turnings are likely to be encountered .

•Ike t he chasuble, dal matic , and the cop , sil and fabri cs

This is particularly important specially when the

'flated to it were prefe rred i n the past. Again t oday, grea t

vestment to be made is one of the smaller items , like

drlatlons of crepe· de -chine, shantung, silk satin , dupion, and dsrE'd silk are abunda nt. The silk blends , like silk and woo l I

d, silk and linen blend , and specially t he silk-cotton

an amic e or a stole. The question of whether the material has to be unfigured is often asked. It is a basic requirement in choosing a

ble,d all drape well and are therefore ideal for cha subles,

material for a vestment to avoid such types of fabrics which

dalmatlCs, and copes. Even among the artificial and synthetic

have been conceived , designed , and woven to serve the


we now have t hese materials in different wei ghts

world of fashion .11B Therefore , something that is undeniably

ard a good number of them drape well, like vi scose ,

associated with domestic furnishing or dress would not be

po lyester crepe , sa t in-bac ked crepe , and acetate. Of course,

ideal. It is best to choose unfigured fabrics or at least ,

the se fabriCS ten d to be warmer to wear tha n the natural

fabrics which are figured in "sober and restful designs."

fabrics since they ha rdl y "breathe ." This makes th em not

Oftentimes , the choice of material will also have to depend on the particular design of the vestment. If the design includes some applied ornamentation like orphreys and embroideries, the material should not be so complete in itself as to dominate any such ornamentation. Intricately designed brocades or damasks will therefore not seem to be proper materials to be used as background for embroidery. Their intricately woven patterns render them unsuitable for superimposed ornament. Perhaps, the only exception would


be if the ornament to be added is of a similar style as the background material.

should deri ve from its material and design rather than from its ornamentation , a good background on this area will be

Cloths of gold and cloths of silver have often been consi -

of great help to the understanding of liturgical vestments .

dered in the past as unsuitable for vestments mainly because

There are basically two kinds of ornamentation :

of their lack of simplicity and pliancy_129 Again , modern

ornamentation woven as part of the fabric , and ornamentation

technology seems to have solved these problems since

applied to a ground fabric . Th e first one would be th e more

presently there are already gilt fabrics with more silk

anc ien t style , of course , and the more prop er use of

content , allow i ng them to drape better. Furthermore ,

ornamentat ion , as some would i ns i st. When the

modern gilt fabrics also have a more subdued brilliance and

ornamentat ion of the fabric is made t oge ther with the

glossi ness which could not at all be described as displeasing.

material during the process of weavi ng , t he fabric and

The great Eugene Roul i n would have been pleased to see

pattern are inseparable. The great Bened ictine monk of

these modern textile discoveries. Not to be forgotten also

Ampleforth , Eu gene Roulin , even went as far as saying that

is the possibility of using cloths of gold or silver just for accents

"t he ornamentation of textiles should only be effected by

or for applique, instead of using such for the whole vestment.

the actual weaving of the pattern into the ma tenal, if a

Although bot h traditional and artificial fabrics may be

durable and dignified material is aimed at , such as IS worthy

used fo r vestments , as stated in General Instruct i on of t he

of our

vestes sacra tae . "131

Roman Mi ssal (#306), there seems to be greater reasons to

In recent years , there has been a re vival of the art of

favor the traditional textiles , if only because of the

weavin g, leading it to new heights of popula ri ty. In fact ,

technical considerations. For example , trad itional materials

recent art exhibitions have included an increasing number

change little in general. And because they have withstood

of handwoven textiles and works of art. Lately there has

the test of time , their reaction to the technical processes

been a trend away from what has always been regarded as

involved in vestment making can be easily anticipated . The

the traditional design for chasubles , encoura ging th e use

so -called "novelty fabrics " of modern discovery develop and

of handwoven fabrics that are so designed as to be complete

become very much in vogue only for a few seasons , to be

and meaningful in their own right. Since these vestm ents

replaced again by others in a very short time. Even before

would have the ir ornamentation already incorporated in t he

the techniques for their fullest and best use are perfected ,

weave , no applied decoration or embellishment on t he

they would have already faded away. 110

ground fabric of the vestment is necessary_ Th is would , indeed, be an ideal situation.






The second true type of ornamentation and the more common one, too , is applied to a ground fabric after the

Man has always been inclined to enrich his garments with all kinds of ornamentation, and liturgical vestments have not been spared fro m this ten dency. Looking at the history and development of church vesture from the earliest centuries to the present, one notices that the ornamentation developed in the textile arts has also found expression in liturgical vestments . Although the General Instruction of t he Roman Missal (#306) clearly states that the beauty of a vestment

weaving process. This would include embroidery, applique ,

through a foundation fabric, falls under this category. For

textile paints and dyes, an d lace.

eccles iastical vestments , couching has been widely used specially for outlines and fill 路ins for spaces of wider designs. It is also best for attaching appliques and separately embroidered pieces to the background fabric. Tent stitch, which

The art of embellishing a fo undat i on fa br ic wi th decorative stitches by using needle and thread 1l2 has always been an integral part of the applied sacred arts . As such , when embroidery is used to ornament liturgical vestmen ts, it should always be the best of its type availa ble. Th e techniques of embroidery are infinitely vari ou s. From the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt came ou r oldest existi ng embroideries in stitched threads of about t he 14th cent ury B.C.

a tunic embroidered with animals an d plant s. Rich

embroideries were produced in the Byzantine worl d mai nly for the court and the Orthodox Church. The earliest surviving samples of embroidery depicting scenes from t he Gospel s are silk embroideries of about the eight century from Egypt but in Byzantine style. Many example

of ecclesias t ica l

frrbroidery from the 12th to the 15th cen t uries t hat have been preserved show that this textile art has been wi dely used in liturgical vestments for a long, lon g t i me. Embroidery stitches are classifie d broa dly into thre e groups' the flat, the looped, and the knotted stitches. In flat stItch embroidery, the threads are placed fl at on the surface of the ground fabric. Satin stitch, long and short st itch , and stem stitch are variations of the flat stitch. Even couch i ng, a needlework technique in which thre ad s are laid over a pattern line or area and held in place by short stitches made

is usually executed on an open, plain weave ground known as canvas , and worked in rows moving diagonally over one warp and weft intersection on the face and behind two warps and one weft on the reverse , is also a sample of flat stitch.1ll In loop stitch embro idery, the thread is brought to the front of the fabric , loosely looped , and returned to the back . Coming to the front a second time , the needle catches the end of the loop , and secures it in place. There are two kinds of loop stitches : the closed loop stitch, as in a chain stitch, or the open loop stitch, as in a buttonhole stitch. 134 In knotted stitches , when the needle is brought to the front of the fabric , the thread is wrapped around it several times , then carried to the back again to secure the knot . An example of the knotted stitch is the French or Pekin knot. Can vas embroidery is one of the most durable forms of embro idery. This particular form of embroidery involves the counting of threads. Either the stitches cover the entire ground including the pattern or parts of the background are left exposed . Necessary in this technique is the use of a background material that has an even weave , like linen or canvas.1l5 Another type of embroidery also done on a linen or canvas ground is the "crewel" (or "crule" or "cruell"), associated with the techniques , motifs, and traditions of 16th and 17th century England. It is done in colored wools and worked generally on white cloth - but it may also apply to any technique where a two路ply yarn is used. The Bayeux stitch used in crewel embroidery covers the ground quickly and is very economical because the wool threads are laid on the face of the fabric and not worked as satin stitch, where an equal amount of thread lies underneath .1l6 White work, which produces an admirable quality of purity and restraint , is also called Opus Teutonicum, or German work. It is a needlework technique in which all embroidered


elements and the foundation fabric , often in cotton or linen, are both white . This kind of work dispels the common notion that embroidery is always associated with colored embroidery threads . The openwork technique of cutwork gives a similar effect , in which holes are cut in the cloth. On the other hand , some embroidery techniques give strong contrasts of color, as in blackwork , which is black thread embroidered on white cloth. The technique commonly called pulled -and-drawn -thread work, or sometimes the "thread-pulling technique ," is an interesting kind of embroidery. Here , the embroidered elements divert threads of the foundation fabric out of their woven alignment by wrapping and tightly pulling sets of warps or wefts together and forming open areas in the foundation fabric. The remaining structural elements then serve as a framework for the insertion of a variety of stitches . Locally called


calado or fila tiro to, draw -thread

work is the most prevalent stitch now characteristic of Philippine embroidery.

Calado embroidery in the Philippines

is believed to have been introduced by Spain unlike the satin, long and short , and Peking or seed stitches that were learned from Asian neighbors, the Chinese. III Embroidery may be flat , raised , or in relief. All over the world , we see interesting embroideries which include padded details, coral and glass beads, shell disks , coins , mirrors , platelets , pearls , semiprecious stones and many other materials, all used to come up with three dimensional effects . Samples of gold embroidery through the centuries show the use of padding to have a raised effect, special to the very ornate liturgical vestments of the past. With the introduction of the embroidery machine , hand embroidery and its centuries of tradition have been challenged . Invented by Josue Heilmann of Mulhouse in 1828, the embroidery machine was developed in Germany, Switzerland, and England , and by the 1860s, these embroidery machines were able to reproduce most of the effects of hand embroidery. ll8 Some quarters have previously looked at machine embroidery as an inferior shortcut to


handwork. And some even i nsist that nothing less than hand

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embroi dery is proper for the ornamentation of sacred vestments . Such prejudice is, of cou rse , quite unreasonable .


Machine embroidery has i ts own merits . It is versatile and spontaneous . And most importantly, it is quite practical.

Beautiful fine embroidery is ideal for sacred vestments ,

Indeed , there is probably a special virtue in painstaking toil

specially when admired at close range. But how is it when

required for church embroidery done by hand. Some pious

the vestmen t has to be seen from a distance , as in a big

women who have taken it as their mission to provide for

cathedral where the presider at the altar is 40 to 50 meters

the liturgical vestment needs of parishes believe so. But

away from the people at the back? Here is where applique

we should never close the doors to the contributions that

becomes the practical choice . Applique is one of the most

machine embroidery can offer. In the olden days of

effective methods where pieces of another

embroidery guilds , we know that apprentices had to train

into certain shapes or of embroidered motifs, are attached

for long periods to be able to learn the techniques of the

to a foundation fabric to form a design.

material , cut

bes t emb roidery masters . Well , so it is, too, with operators

There are so many ways of doing applique. It can be done

of suc h spec i alized embroidery machines like the

with or without additional surface embroidery. It can be done

Meiste rgram and the Li ntz and' ECkhardt types. These

either by hand or machine embroidery. Probably because it

operato rs have trained for months , ight hours a day. It is

has never been as highly esteemed as stitchery, few samples

only after t hey have finished doing embroidery exercises,

of applique remain today, even if much of this technique

first on pa per t owels for months and mo ths, t hat t hey are

was produced in the Middle Ages .

allowed to do emb roidery on unbleached linen fabrics - and

In place of embroidery stitches, fabrics of various patterns

much, much later on the real embroidery foundation cloth.

may be applied to add interesting details of design . And

One of the most popular types of machine embroidery

specially because of the great advancement in textile

which has been used extensively for church ves tments is

technology today, producing such great variety of colors,

'he Bonnaz, basi cally a chain stitch , which is so useful for

textures , and designs, the technique called applique has

outlines, filli ng , cording , and a lot of other uses . A creative

become even more exciting and challenging. The juxtaposing

embroi dere r will find these modern sewi ng machines full of

of opaque, matte , shiny, transparent, and rough路surfaced

challenges . Exploring all the possibilities that machine

fabrics achieved in applique gives it a quality peculiar to

embroi dery can offer can surely lead us to new creative

the craft. In applique , however, not only fabrics are used.

hei ghts in the ornamentation of liturgical vestments.

Embroidery can be worked on another fabric and then laid on the main embroidery, for either a raised effect or an overlapping of figures. It is also good for large, solid embroideries that would pucker the fabric if done directly on the background material. 139 Perhaps, in the past , applique has more often been associated with the embroidery of heraldry because of the criteria of flatness and precision which has always been required here in large areas. However, the technique may well be used for vestments , too.



Applique was a popular way of decorating both church and secular furnishings , specially in Spain and Italy in the latter part of the 16th and 17th centuries. From Iran , where embroidery was also an ancient craft, there is a sample of a mid -16th century applique panel of leather and silk on cotton. Formerly owned by the Hungarian Esterhilzy family, it contained numerous Chinese motifs and winged figures called

peris , spirits who accompanied Mohammed on his

flight to heaven. In North Africa , fabulous examples of applique are found on the hangings and tents made in Morocco. 140 The 19thcentury embroidery artists of Galilee were well known for their beautiful applique patchwork and silk stitching that embellished their indigo-blue cotton coats , sometimes almost completely covering the ground material. In the same century, too , in the Philippines, a most laborious technique called sombrado became very popular. Exhibiting extreme expertise in the pina handicraft, this was "a kind of applique in which pieces of fabric , pina or very fine cotton , ar cut into designs and attached to a background of pina with either a sewing or an embroidery stitch .141 What may be considered the most basic type of applique for vestments would be the application and use of bands or ribbons as orphreys. They stand out against the background material even without the need of borders and additional embroidery. This is, in fact , the first step in the degrees of ornamentation. Looking at the history and development of chasubles , we realize that, in fact , the first decorative details added to the chasuble were the appliqued decorative embroidery and bands of cloth used to cover the center front seam of the vestment. Beryl Dean, awarded the MBE in 1975 for her unrelenting efforts to raise the standards of ecclesiastical embroidery and ornamentation, has given us some basic considerations in the use of applique: that the applique is large enough in scale for the method; that the background and the pattern are treated as parts of a whole ; and that care must be taken

so that the scale of the materials used is right for the shapes Into which they will be CUt. 141

PAINTS AND DYES Cloth may be ornamented in ways other than embroidery, like with textile paints and dyes. It is also possible , of course, to have both painting and embroidery used together to decorate a single vestment. We have seen that in the past, there were times when the design was first done as a painting and then later executed in embroidery. It is also possible to have the design applied to the cloth by silkscreen, stenciling, or free brush painting, then accented with embroidery. A relatively modern development , silkscreen printing is the process of creating a design or image by rubbing paint on a surface through openings in a stencil路 like film applied to a mesh screen. Unlike relief or intaglio methods , it is a kind of surface pri nting . Mat layers of pa i nt are deposited only on the surface. Serigraphy is the name given to the process as used by artists , generally requiring silkscreen and hand techn iques. When different kinds of screens are used, even photography sometimes , the proce ss, as commercially used , is called screen-printing. Innumerable layers of color, opaque or transparent , may be produced using a new stencil for each color. Some authorities, the great Roulin included, never favored the use of paint to ornament liturgical vestments. Roulin wrote: " The coloring of patches of a good material by the odious device of stenciling is a purely artificial process and quite uncalled for. "143 This is because Roulin had always insisted that the materials to be used for ornamentation should be closely allied to the fabric of the vestment. Thus , for him , the best ornamentation would be , of course , the weaving of patterns into the fabric , thus forming one whole, and making fabric and pattern inseparable. However, we know that with the latest developments in paints and in the technology of silkscreening, it is now

possible to come up with simple and dignified designs worthy

the quotations f rom t he Ko ra n foun d on the borders of

of our sacred vestments .

ancient te xt iles. Our ve ry ow n Sacred Scripture could

A basic consideration would be to make sure that the

be the source of such qu ot ations .

painted ornamentation does not change the beautiful flow

Through th e cen turies, we have also seen that lettering

and drape of the fabric . One of the best designers of Sweden ,

has often been used, co mbined with figures and symbols

Sofia Widen , has shown as early as 1949 that paint can be

as decorative detai l. Th e crea tive use of color and, perhaps,

used effectively i n a vestment when she created a

an interesting t reatm ent of texture will always help prevent

magnificent chasuble using block painting on linen. The

such compo sitions from becoming just embroidered

chasuble was printed by the same method as the books

or pai nted wo rds.

before Gutenburg, by rolls of wood , carved with th e design , dipped in color, and rolled over the linen .144

Th e most im portant thing to remember in this technique is fi rst to see t he beauty of form in the lettering Itself.

At the Monastery of the Transf i guration , one of the

Unless t his is done, and for as long as we are Just engrossed

simplest yet very dignified chasubles is an ecru linen

i n what th e messa ge is, without concern for aesthetics. this

silkscreened in white ethnic patterns . Created by top Manila

t ech nique wil l no t be too effective. Furthermore . the use

designer Barge Ramos, the chasuble has kept its beautiful

of le t tering on litu rgical vestme nts should be very limited

drape because the silkscreen design was done very finely

to short wo rd s so as to avoid ending up with a "billboard

and evenly distri buted throughout the whole surface .

loo k." It wou ld be wise to remember that in using letters of

Batik , an ancient process widely used in the Orient, Ind ia, and the Near East, comes from the anc ient Malay word batik ,

the alphabet to compose monograms or to make up a word or t wo,

e have to choose examples of script that are clean.

~re s i st

well路sha ped, elegant, or forceful and easy to decipher. 146

dyeing" because the design is made with molten wax t hat

Therefore, i t is bes t to use letters that are of a familiar

resists the dyes. After dyeing, the wax is remo ved and other

form , possi bly base d on a contemporary typeface . 147

meaning "to trace or paint. " The process is termed

areas are waxed before dyeing in a second color. Wi th restraint and great expertise, it is possible to come up wi th


ornamentation in the chasuble , stole , dalmatic , cope , and humeral veil using the batik method . Another form of resist dyeing, widely used by the ethnic

Lace, the deco rative fabric with designs created by knotted. looped, or t wis ted thread, has been widely used as tnmmlng

groups specially in southern Philippines , is the ikat

for liturgical vestmen ts, if not for the whole garment, specially

technique . In this case , resist dyeing is done by tying warp

in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Some critics have. of

or weft , or both warp and weft threads to resist the dye

course, frowned upon what they called the effeminate aspects

when the threads are submerged in the dye, prior to weaving.

Ikat materials , specially those of simple linear designs , can be used to make handsome stoles and orphreys for chasubles. Fabrics may be ornamented through the use of letters . Some of the oldest samples of this technique are definitely religious in character, as in the Kufic inscriptions on Islamic textiles found in the Persian tombs of the 11 th century. 145 We have so much to learn from the intricate designs of


of lace. However, it is important to note that all along , the

~ PUS AN G L I C_A_N_U_M _ _ __

existence of lace was within the context of male fashions of those centuries. 148 Men during those times wore lace not

No st udy of church embroidery and sacred vest ments

only as ruffs around their wrists, necks , or shirts but also

wo uld be complete without mentioning Opus Anglicanum ,

even around their boots.

the greatest single movement involving Christian textile art

It is true that vestments are to be free of fashion and

that lasted from the 11th to the end of the 15th centuries.

should never have, therefore, ve ntured nor included the

The term referred to the ecclesiastical embroidery done in

accomplishments of lace manufacture. But, on the other

England in a refined , courtly style and favored by wealthy

hand , if the psychology of only the very best and the most

patrons in many parts of Europe for its beauty and richness .

precious still holds true , it did make sense to include

Records show that because of the reputation for perfection

something as costly and valuable as lace in liturgical

attained by this Engl ish embroidery, successive popes

vestments. Furthermore, lace was almost always made of

specifically commissioned and were given copes and

linen during those times , which made it a liturgically correct

ves tments of English origin during this period. 149

ma terial. By attaching the lace to the linen alb , it replaced the heavy apparels that once decorated the albs. Today, lace trimmings are u d mostly to ornament the

Opu s Anglicanum vestments have certain essential

characteristics. First is the noticeable similarity between the design of the embroidery and that of the illuminated

hem an d sleeves of surplices. The t mg to remember in using

manuscripts and missals, as in figures shown enclosed by

lace is that it should not be so elaborate as to attract too

foliated scrolls. At the Victoria and Albert Museum in

much attentio n to itself.

London , known to ha ve the world's most magnificent

Common ornamentation used today include cording and

collection of dress , including ecclesiastical vestments, one

braids, often used as edging to applied bands or as all路aroun d

ca n find the most fabulous collection of Opus Anglicanum

edging for stoles; fringes, used to edge the hoods of copes

vestme nts . The so-called Jesse Cope and the Blue Chasuble

and stoles; an d tassels , used on the hem of stoles . Pearls

are very good examples of this characteristic . While the

and ge ms, real or imitation , were used much on ves tments

former is mainly gold work on red twill weave fabric , the

'n the Middle Ages , and if used with discretion today, can

latter, known as the Clare Chasuble, is of blue silk, satin

still produce effects that are dignified and not lacking in

weave, and embroidered with silver-gilt and silver thread

char m. All of this ornamentation, whe n used properly, give

and colored silks in underside couching , split stitch and laid

a more elegant and finished effect to liturgical vest ments .

and couched work. Lions and griffins enclosed in delicate foliate scrollwo rk decorate the main ground of the vestment. Personally taking a closer look at the vestment during a research trip to London , this author immediately noticed the way it has been mutilated . As was usually done during those days, the vest ment , which must have been originally a more ample and voluminous one , was reduced to a smaller and narrower style . As a result, the embroidery on the sides was cut and utterly damaged. Some stiffening has also been added to su pport the now frail vestment that caused it to


b 1

lose its softness and beautiful drape. 1lO Nevertheless, it

the Virgin , Crucifixion , scenes from the li ves of Chris t and

remains a magnificent example of English embroidery that

the Virgin , six路winged seraphim , and priest s. Gold is used

exemplifies restraint and spiritual sincerity.

extensively as background of th e qu at re f oils while the

Another characteristic of the Opus Anglicanum vestments

background between the quatrefoils is li ght green.

specially at the end of the 13th century was either for the

Standing in awe i n front of th is magni ficent vestment,

background to be covered with large circles containing

this author could only imagine that th is must have been a

groups of figures or for the ground to be divided into

stronger shade of green 670 years ago and that the whole

quatrefoils containing the figures of saints with six路winged

vestment must have been more colorful when it was made.

angels filling the intervening spaces. 11 1 Arcading , radiating

The Syon Cope ser ves as a very interesting source of

from the center, was a popular style during the first half of

information on the vestm en t s worn at that time as seen from

the 14th century. This echoed the peculiarly English

the var i ous figure s re pr es ent ed. The arcading style is

perpendicular style of architecture of the time. The cope

followed , too , so that looking at the figures within the

of Pius II at Pienza is typical of the arcading type of spacing,

quatrefoils, one notices that they all stand upright when

which in the intersections bears scenes from the Bible vividly

the cope is worn . The iconography of this vestment reminds

depicted in stitchery that covers the ground entirely.

us of the cope of 1280-1310 in the Vatican Museum, in which

Another Victoria and Albert Museum possession , the

the figures are enc l osed in t ouching star路 shaped

Butler路Bowdon Cope , of crimson velvet with seed pearl

compa rtments, and anoth er co pe of 1300 1320 in Madrid

ornamentation, is also an example of this arcading effect. The

which t he barbed quatrefoils t ouch but do not overlap.

Opus Ang/icanum embroidery had a characteristic method

However, unl i ke i n th ese t wo sam ples where the layer

of treating the figures , with the "heads worked in split

intersp,\ces allow enough room fo r th e angels to spread wide


stitch , with spirals forming the checks , with large protruding

one pair of their wi ngs, the Syon Cope has seraphs with more

eyes, high foreheads , and unrealistically colored hair. " 112

closely folded wi ngs , re mi niscent of those found in

Underside couching is considered one of the main

illuminated manuscri pts . Its linen ground is covered with

technical achievements of Opus Anglicanum. It is a kind of

red (now faded to brown) and green silk, underside couched

embroidery where gold threads (some'times silver and silk

in a chevron pattern . 113

threads also) were utilized to their fullest by catching and

As a result of the quatrefoil patte rn through the repetition

holding them in place only at intervals. This type of

not only of flesh tones on the man y figures bu t also of the

embroidery was used to a great extent in the Pienza Cope

winged seraphim , continuit y throu gho ut the surface is

of Pope Pius II , the Syon Cope , the Clare Chasuble , the Steeple Aston Cope , and the Marnhull Orphrey. The Syon Cope (1300 -1320) is probably the most well known vestment of Opus Anglicanum now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is embroidered throughout in colored silk, silver gilt and silver thread in underside couching, split stitches , and laid and couched work on a double layer of linen. Embroidered figures in quatrefoils cover the whole surface completely. The subjects include the Coronation of


achieved. The generous use of sai ntly figures as seen in the

however, is that the Opus Anglicanum was the work of

Syon Cope is particularly i dentifi able with the Opus

professionals , paid male and female embroiderers working

Anglicanum period.

I n establ i shments which were almost always operated

The Syon Cope takes its name from th e Bridgetti ne Convent

by men . These workers had to undergo a period of

of Syon in Middlesex, foun ded by Henry V in 1414 - 15 .

apprenticeship of seven years before being accepted finally

It is claimed that this great co pe was saved from destruction

as regular embroiderers in these workshops . ls4 The Syon

because the nuns took it wi t h th em when they went i nto

Cope and the Clare Chasuble would have been executed

exile early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was brought

In such establishments .

back to England only when the Or der was re路establ ished In

We should not , however, forget that during those times ,

about 1810.

most abbeys also contained within themselves craftsmen

The question has often been asked: who actually di d thi s

and artisans for every ki nd of manufacture . Most abbeys

superb needlework of the Opus Anglicanum? Wh o were th e

had their own weavers , tailors , tanners , cobblers, smiths ,

craftsmen responsible for the deSign and creation of th ese

and embroiderers . Thus , these abbeys with great artistic

marvellous ecclesiastical embroi de r ies of Engl is h

talents must have also produced their own contributions

workmanship known as Opus Anglicanum (n eedl ewo rk in silk

to this superb kind of embroidery for vestments and other

and wool thread) and Opus Phrygiu m (go l d wo r k )?

ecclesiastical arts. IS S

Needlework has always been look d upon as forem ost a femin ine pastime and , therefore , most peo ple wou l d th in k

It should also be noted

that although


acknowledged , the Opus Anglicanum was not alone. French

Immed iate ly of cloistered nuns and embroid eri ng so ciet y

embroiderers , for example, also produced masterpieces of

ladies as the craftsmen of thiS great emb roi dery. The trut h,

Gothic art, working with silks and metal threads in split and underside couching. A stronger and more vigorous style of pictorial embroidery was also developed in Florence in the 14th century. This style rendered the volumes of the figures as in the paintings of Giotto . This influence was seen in French , Bohemian , German, and Spanish embroidery before and after 1400. The art of embroidery reached an unexpected height by this time , with silk and needle painting following very closely the models of the painters of the times. The Burgundian路Netherlandish vestments made by the Order of the Golden Fleece in the 15th century represent the achievement of highest perfection of this movement. The best examples of this would be the so路called Mantle of Christ and the altar antependium of Christ found at the



Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Magnificent vestments

given way to pract icalities but we always have to remember

from the Order of the Golden Fleece have embroidery

that if we are devote d to sharing the faith of God, then we

worked on a linen ground using gold and silk threads in a

should never f ail t o exhibit His greater glory in all aspects

great variety of shades that are further ornamented with

of life and its cele brations . Th ese sa cred vestm ents greatly contribute to the dignity

pearls, topazes , and sapph i res. A kind of couched work called

or nue

(shaded gold) was

and solemnity of our holy cele brations specially through

developed by these Flemish embroiderers , in which gold

the use of proper mat erials and designs. There is, therefore ,

threads laid i n parallel lines are oversewn with layers of

a very grea t res ponsibility on the part of the liturgical

colored silk thread in varying densities . In this way, the

art ist. To be able to do his work well, one should be a

varying intensities of the light reflected from the gold and

person with a deep love and an abiding faith in the Church,

the shading of the colors define the forms of the embroidery,

not to me ntion a solid foundation in the norms and

creating naturalistic shaded effects. This Flem ish techn ique

pri nci ples of liturgy.

of or


was later used by Florentine embroi derers , " in

An artist's li t urgical vestment creation will always reveal

conjunction with sharp perspective i n embroideries designed

a gen uine desire to lead othe rs to God and to give Him glory.

by such artists as Sandro Botticelli. " 156

I'lis purpose shou ld always be to come up only with the best

If one notices a strong similarity between the vestments

for t he li tu rgy- to culminate in a work that could lead others

and the paintings of the same period i n showi ng

to th e experience of the Divine. When an artist's work and

the Flem ish inclination towards figures draped in fabrics , with each one contained in i ts own archite

legant onic

framework, this was because in many i nstances, the desi gn

prayer of

raise become one, then we can say that our art

is t ruly re igious and the li t urgical vestments we create are raim ents ruly for t he Lord's service.

was first rendered by a painter and later translated into embroidery or tapestry, such as the works of Botticelli and Raphael. 157 However, we should not look at needlework influenced by the painters as copies of painting or sculpture but rather as " the result of a vital interaction between painters , deSigners , and embroiderers . "158

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Indeed , liturgical vestments play an important role in o

Church celebrations , for they give effective expression to the specific character of the mysteries of faith being celebrated , aside from the fact that they show the diversity of Christian ministries. In so many ways , aesthetics have


The Transf


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V estm ent COLLE CTION




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Ongi" "lIIlallll Kalibo, Aklan

Tyl'" 0/1\'(111'" Plain weave \\ t'a\'(rS/I\'(II\'ln~l (wlt'r

India Legaspi and the Heritage Arts and Crafts weavers , Kalibo , Aklan ;\((mOnNtlt'lll l ls

Hand embroidery in cotton , in two shades of rose thread, was done by Bella Bacsafra of Segunda Pula, Lumban , Laguna. Three styles of

colada (thread 路pulling technique) embroidery used are plain, banig (mat design ). and sampaguita (floral design) . Cross design on the embroidery are on the top center of the mi tre and on both ends of the lappets. This mi tre matches the rose chasuble used on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), This type of mitre , usually 10 inches high. is known as the Gothic style.



25 cm (height) 120

Namcs of I'cs/mal/s Chasuble and stole

Flbers/ rna/crials Chasuble: cotton-abaca (rose pink cotton for the warp , rose abaca for the weft) Stole and orphrey: cotton for the primary weft and warp, silk for the supplementary weft.

Ongills of IIIl1/mals Stole and orphrey : Basilan Island Chasuble : Meycauayan , Bulacan

Typcs of W({II'( Chasuble: plain weave Stole: tapestry weave \ V((II'm/ wcaI'illg WI/as Stole and orphrey: Maika Muzarin , Integrated Yakan Weavers Association , Basilan Island Chasuble : Elisa Reyes Textile Workshop , Meycauayan, Bulacan

Accessories/de/ads The stole and orphrey of this chasuble are made of a Yakan material called seputangan, a Yakan scarf usually considered a translation of the Tausug pis _ Others, though , believe that this type of woven material could even be a direct Yakan translation of cloths like the Telia Rumal from the Indian state of Audhra Pradesh. This particular seputangan material was woven of a coarse cotton ground , with silk threads in the tapestryexecuted sections. LllurglCIII dr/ads This rose chasuble is used on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) and the fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday). 123 cm x 186 cm 282 cm x 15 cm (stole)


'mall croms are 1I'0l'en III the sinuksok 0/\ dl,continuous supplemrntory lI'eft pallerning h11qur and are 50 arranged as to form blgge\ l a .r all om thr surfocr of thr mtmmt

z -<


f 40


of vestments

Chasuble and stole Fiblr/ matmal Piiia路seda (silk fiber on the warp and piiia on the weft) Or/gill

of matmal

Old Buswang, Kalibo , Aklan Typl of !VIOII( 5inuksak or discontinuous supplementary weft patterning in cross designs. Small crosses are arranged to create a pattern of bigger crosses.



WlOvas/!VlOving antlr Margie and Leslie Roldan , Handicraft of Aklan Multi路Purpose Cooperative, Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan Litu rgIca l details

This chasuble with matching stole may be used on feasts and commemorations of the Lord, and on the feasts and memorials of Mary, the angels, and the saints who were not martyrs. o

1 42

129.5 cm x 134.5 cm

Detail ofsilluksok pallems in pelal designs on a piiia






of embroidery 111 ((ru coilon and II"" "wallie threads on a pure sdk chasuble. n 'I III/the l'ndl~k dcsign of III( Tboli apr(ut/ In hand cmbroldcry






Nann of I'cs/mm/ Surplice

OngHl of nI /mal Kalibo, Aklan

Typr of 1I'(aI'r Plain weave I VWl'Cr/II'CdI'1I1g ern/a India Legaspi, Heritage Arts and Crafts , Kalibo, Aklan

Arrrssones, tic/ails Hand embroidery in ecru color matches the natural color of abaca. Bands of embroidery in geometric patterns adorn the front and sleeves of the surplice.

LI/urglCllI tir/arb The surplice has taken on various appearances through the centuries, depending upon the locality and custom of the local church. This particular sample has a stand-up collar and long and loose sleeves , having a strong resemblance to the Filipino loose shirt called camisa de chino.

109 cm x 170 cm

,. <


Drlall of ((ru WI/Oil ,,,,brolilov III 1'"1>/(V IInel f/ffl/-ck lis eleSlY'" 011 dll ahllCd dw,fll,I,'



/lelail of gold ,hadoll' embroldary Oil abaca chasuble 1151119 a Idngk~ pallan (gold 10lil1



/7 .,

Delail of off-II'lIIIr chasuble of p"ia blSdl'd lI'OI'en in Dumaguc/( sholring wllfr palld IIl1d slole mali, a purr silk II'IIh Ik,1t pallrrns In Yfllo\l' gold \l'ol'en IJ Ihc Ifl/gao of Norl/urn Luzon T/I( gold "nhroidcry dOllc 11\ \l'WI'f Sille/lIl1g girrs Ih, ImprrsslOlI Ihal Ihe gold i/mad has bWI II'OI'CIt logrlhrr II'lih 1/" silk fibm



, 'nmc of I'(slnunl Cope fll>a,nwlmal

Cotton Jr'qlll

of malmal

Basilan Island

Tupc If "'WI'C Supplementary weft patterning \ \cal'(fill'col'lng

cen ltr

Maika Muzarin Amssoricsldclails

This conical cope with a gold -plated morse has both sides shorter than the front and back and , instead of a collar, has the hood ,








1.1Iurgicai dclOIIs

This cope may be used in benedictions and processions of the Easter and Christmas seasons, 142 ,5 cm x 243 cm


of \,(,/111(/1/,

Cope and alb ~rr> I11I1Urillis Cope: abaca Alb: piiia

)"'/111 ,,/ I11I1/wab Kalibo. Aklan

Tvl'( of I\'W\'( Plain weave ,'., 11.'(f5 '\rim

mg anllr

India Legaspi and the Heritage Arts and Crafts weavers, Kalibo. Aklan

>sorit d(/tllb Cope: Hand embroidery was done by Evelyn Mejos and the bordadaras (embroiderers) of Lumban. Laguna , in gold metallic thread , shadow or reverse stitching. The embroidery design has a diagonal orientation and was inspIred by a langkit pattern (the oven JOInenes of the ma(ong or tubular gar(l1ent) . Embroidery design "floats" on gold calado (thread路puillng technique). The cope was lined in abaca. Alb: Hand embroidery In ecru cotton thread produced sampagUlta floral deSIgns. Gold'plated morse was created by master goldsmith Ricardo de Jesus . ,



This cope and alb set may be used in benedictions and processions during the feast of Christ the King and other feasts of the Lord.

153.5 em x 310 em






Soon , the latter we re sayi ng that they see more of me now that I am a monk than when I was a fashion designer!

of help to those who were search i ng in life . And whenever I was assigned to handle classes for the {ormandi , I also

I have often been asked if I did not miss designi ng when I

enjoyed it because I personally love to study, and I always

entered th e monastery. After all , I had spent the last 17

looked at the assignment as a growing and learning experience

years of my li fe as a fashion designer in Manila before I

with the aspirants, postulants, and novices.

joi ned the Ben edic t ine Order. And always, my answer was : "No, I don't. How can I miss designing when I have always so th i n~

It has been eight and a half years since I entered the monastery, and come to th i nk of it , I have always loved and

to attend to! "

found great joy in everything I ha ve done and in everything

life in the monastery is so structured . As cenobites (monks

I have been asked to do! No matter how small or how big

much to do, so many more meaningful

who live in community), we have community prayers seven

and important the work was , I know that if I tried to do it

times a day. Waking up at th ree in the morning, we start with

well , the Lord would be smiling kindly on me .

matins at 3:40 a.m. We have our meals together as community

Then came this dream proj ect - The Fili pino Liturgical

too ! And in between the Liturgy of t he Hours (our prayers

Vestments Exhibit- a joint project of the Ayala Museum and

that are spread throughou t t he day ), there are my labors :

the Monastery of the Transfiguration on the occasion of the

full路time t reasurer of the Tra nsfi guration Foundation , Inc.

Centennial of Phili ppine Independence. The exhibit was

(the mon astery arm that handles all our apostolates for the

actually an offshoot of a lecture I gave in the summer of

poor) an d sp eci al projects coordi na tor. Some monks are

1997 at the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy (PIL) in Malaybalay,

assigned in the office , some in the ch urch , some in the coffee

Bukidnon. Fr. Anscar Chupungco , OSB , director of PIL, wrote

factory, anoth er in the kitchen, two othe s in t he farm , some

to my superior, the Rt. Rev. Eduardo P. Africa , OSB , and me

in the boys' cho i r- to keep everyon e busy with somet hing

on October 11 , 1996 , formally inviting me to form a team

worthwhile, as St. Benedict tells us i n his Holy Ru le.

with him and Sr. Claire Espiritu, PDDM, to handle a special

As a postulant , I was ass1gned to clean the church and

seminar on Liturgical Vesse ls, Vestments , and Images, at

the corridors. Another year I was as si gned to the kitchen .

PIL in the co ming summer. The idea was for him to explain

Bemg a Capampaiigan, I have always loved to cook. The mere

the theological, historical , and liturgical principles while

challen ge of trying to co me up wi th a well-balanced menu ,

Sr. Claire was to discuss the criteria and models of images,

taking into con sideration the scarci ty of cooking ingredients

vestme nt s, and vessels. Having attended modules on

and the l imi ted budget , plus the si ncere desire to feed my

liturgical studies at the PIL since 1993 , I was no stranger to

brothers well -made the daily exercise even more exciting.

the Institute. And knowing my 17-yea r background as a fashion

Many years later, I felt great fulfillment when I was assigned

designer specializing in Filipi niana couture and championing

to assi st the vocation direc tor, for I wanted so much to be

Philippine indigenous materials , Fr. Anscar assigned me to di scuss "Material s and Designs for Liturgical Vestments ." Speci fically, my assignment was to develop the question of native textiles and possible local designs for vestments. It is, therefore, to Fr. Anscar that lowe the inspiration to crea t e liturgical vestments using indigenous materia ls. The encyclical letter of Pius XII, Summ i Pontifica t us , declared that the Church should strive for unity and not mere external uniformity, and that the Church " approved


2f 2

of and fostered with maternal concern the gifts that arose

aestheti c fabrics. But the problem was that I had been

from the deepest resources of every race. "

completely away from the fashion scene for more than seven

Articles 37- 40 of Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution

years . I felt that if I were going to encourage others to use

on the Sacred Liturgy) have often been considered as the

our locally woven fabrics for vestment making, I first had

Magna Carta of liturgical indigenization for they offer

to be sure of the state of the local textile industry today.

enough guidelines and insights on the matter of liturgical

Are these materi als really available? Are their prices

indigenization . The conciliar text actually paraphrased

competit ive? Is the supply constant? And most specially,

what the encyclical of Pius XII had said and declared that

what are the problems of the local and indigenous weavers?

the Church respects the genius and talents of various races

What is being done to help them? What is our government

and peoples . Elements from the people's traditions and

doing to help improve in digenous weaves? Is there any

cultures that are not indissolubly bound up with superstition

nongovernment organization (NGO) involved in helping

and error, and that harmonize with the liturgy 's true and

preserve and promote the indigenous weaving traditions

authentic spirit may be admitted into the liturgy. 1

of the Philippin es?

Indeed , it is very unfortunate that after all these years , much

In the process of my research work for the lecture, I asked

of what the Second Vatican Council had promulgated, especially

my superior for permission to go to Manila for a week to

with regard to liturgy, has not been fully i mplemented.

interview people who could help answer all these questions.

Article #305 of the General Instruction of the Roman

I went to the Ph ilippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), the Design

Missal (GIRM) states : In addition to traditional materials , vestments may be

Center Philippines (DCP), and the Katutubong Filipino

made from natural fibers of the region or artificial fabrics

Fou ndation (K FF ). I talked to several experts: fashion

in keeping with the dignity of the sacred action and the

desi gner Jeanne Margaret Goulbou rn and Korean textile

person wearing them . The Conference of Bishops will be

designer Eun Lee on Philippine silk; textile artist Eliza Reyes

the judge in this matter.

on her banana -linen weaves; master weaver India de la Cruz

Why, then , do we still use mostly i mported fabrics that

Legaspi ; and barong taga/og expert Barge Ramos. After ten

are oftentimes very expensive every time we have to

interviews in less than a week, I found myself just about

make liturgical vestments? Why don't we use our local and

ready to lose my voice! But what was interesting was the

indigenous materials? Are they not beautiful enough ? Are

fact that , aside, of course, from getting the answers to my

see them as inferior

questions, they all , in turn , asked me more or less the same

to the imported satins and brocades that we have been used

questions : Was I going to create some samples to

to? Or perhaps , the important question should be: Are we

demonstrate th e use of indigenous materials for liturgical

they not available in the market? Do we


aware , in the very first place, that we may use "natural fabrics of the region ," as stated in Article 305 of the GIRM? I have always admired our indigenous materials and have always tried in the past to promote them not only locally but also abroad every time I had to do a fashion show in other countries . I have always felt that piiia , jusi , and all other handwoven fabrics produced by our cultural communities in Northern Luzon and in Southern Philippines are genuinely


vestments? Was I going to put up an exhibit of liturgical

"Yes, you may! I have always told you that you'll have to

vestments to back up my thesis that such vestments could

put to good use again your gift that the Lord has given , "

indeed be properly done using in digenous materials?

I kept thanking the Lord for this meaningful project.

It was at the Katutubong Filipino Foundation (KFF) where

The ve ry next day, I made an appointment with Sonia Ner,

the idea of a Filipino Liturgical Vestments Exhibit , in time for

the director of the Ayala Museum , and Cherry Puruganan ,

the celebra tion of the Centennial of Philippine Independence

the museum curator. I presented my plan: an exhibit of

the following year (1998) was born. In the course of my

liturgical vestme nts using indigenous and locally handwoven

interview with Ma. Beatriz Tesoro (or Patis as we all fondly

materials from the weaving centers all over the country-

call her), KFF president, and Margie Macasaet, executive

from the Itneg of Abra , the Ifugao of the Mountain Province ,

director, both echoed what the others had said - that the

and the Ga ' dang of Paracelis in the north , to the abaca and

lecture, to be more effective, should be followed by an

pina weaving centers of Aklan , Iloilo, and Dumaguete, to the

exhibit where actual samples could be seen , demonstrating

T'boli of South Cotabato , the Yakan of Basilan , the B'laan

the use of particular indigenous materials for vestments.

of Da vao del Sur, the Maranao of Lake Lanao , and the

After all, they said, not everyone who would listen to my

Mandaya of New Bataan in Davao del Norte. Weavers , dyers,

lecture would be an artist. So , it would be quite hard for

embroiderers, pa i nters , carvers, gold and silversmiths, all

most to imagine how each kind of local and indigenous

kin ds of craftsmen, i ncluding those working on shells and

matenal could be used to its fullest advantage . Furthermore,

carabao horns , wo uld be tapped. This was going to be a

they said, the time to do the exhibit would ideally be in

collaboration of artists, all working together on a master

1998, in time for the Centennial. Let the Church in the

plan. That same afternoon, Sonia Ner decided that the

PhilippInes celebrate with the whole n tion , in vest ments

Filipino Liturgical Vestments Exhibit was going to be the

truly our very own!

Ayala Museum's major centennial offering.

It was still more than a year before June 12, 1998. Convinced

Coming back to the monastery the next day, I immediately

of the rationale behmd the exhibit and further strengthened

went to work and prepared the project study. Thanks to

by the timeliness of the endeavor, I eagerly waited for my

Fr. Abbot's vision and his concern that his monks continue

abbot路superior's arrival in Manila for some official business

to develop their gifts , the project proposal , including the

that weekend. I can still remember how awkward I must

budget , was approved.

have sounded when I asked Fr. Abbot if he would be open to

There was only one person I had in mind to be the

the idea of lettl ng me design and execute a collection of

chairperson of the monastery executive committee -

liturgical vestments for the Centennial. And whe n he sa id ,

Imelda O. Cojuangco , papal awardee, patroness of the arts, and friend of the monastery. A year ago , she had just finished raising the funds for our magnificent Monastery Church de sig ned by the late National Artist for Architecture , Lea ndro Locsin. And I knew that she was again helping another bi shop in the south to build a new cathedral , aside from the so many other charities she was constantly supporting. Would she help me with my dream project? "Yes," she said, "I will help . Just give me enough time to finish the construction of the church I have already started."



Thanks to her, the Philippine Long Di stance Telephone Co . (PLOT) gave a generous donation as our main sponsor. Ayala

pretty, colorful or unique - but because these materials are truly works of art and they have genuine aesthetic value.

Museum also invited the Makati Shangri -la Hotel as sponsor,

Un fortun ately, there has been only little interest in the

as I continued to write to friends , relatives, and benefactors

study of in digenous textiles in the Ph ilippines. More often

who have always helped in the past , knowing that a project

than not, most of the information we have on this subject

as big as this would certainly need a lot of funding . Bea Zobel

has been derived from general ethnographic accounts written

saw the importance and meaning that the monks of the

by anthropologists, traders, and missionaries - people who

Transfiguration Monastery have attached to th is project , and

have had direct contacts with our cultural minorities. But

immediately promised to help . So did the Philippine Gam ing

little has really been done to study these traditional textiles

and Amusement Corporation's (PAGCOR) gracious chair, Alice

as works of aesthetic significance. I was truly convinced

Reyes , PILTEL, Norma Chan of Power Construction , Peachy King

that it would not be enough for me to just read about these

and Legend Hotel , and the Dizon Silver and Copper Mines.

materials and buy whatever samples were available. I felt

But how does one get to visit 20 weaving and crafts centers all over the country within a year, study their textiles and

th at it would not be possible to really get to know these materials without the benefit of field work.

crafts, convince them to weave something with a specific

For my method of research, therefore , I decided to

purpose in mind (for use in the liturgy). poss ibly do some

undertake a partly art-historical approach. I wanted to meet

product development, have the materials ready wIth enough

the people who made these materials, to see and touch the

time to sew them into liturgical vestments , set up the exhibit

plant fibers used, to observe their techniques of weaving

in time for the opening- and still not lose one's mon,astic

and t he w ole process of manufacture. I wanted to observe

vocation? I knew that it was not going to be easy. But I felt

thei r indigenous clothing and how they ornamented these.

a very strong sense of purpose in what I was going to do.

It was necessary to have an idea of the religious, socio-political ,

Since the research work was going to be part of my

and artistic significance of these materials .

continuing studies on liturgy, I was permitted to visi t a

As art historian Lynda Angelica N. Reyes said: "No single

cultural community and / or a weaving center once a month ,

viewpoint affords a complete picture of traditional art or

from one week to ten days. This was a very special consideration

bring s into focus all the questions that primitive art poses. "2

and arrangement. Honestly, during the duration of the

Therefore, I prepared myself for each trip , knowing that each

one-year preparation for the exhibit , there were t i mes I

time I went , I would partly be an anthropologist, a philosopher,

was so embarrassed every time someone in the monastery

tourist , missionary or indigenous people (IP) worker, oftentimes

would ask me , though very innocently, when I would be

a psychologis t too! But always, I reminded myself that over

leaving again and where to , this time .

\ rI






1 I


I realized soon that now that I was to seri ously champion the use of indigenous materials, I would have to really know them . If I were to recommend their use for liturgical vestments, it should be not just because they 're nice and

.1 J j

and above all these , I was firs t of all a monk who loves the

projec t s, like the Itneg in Abra , the Ga'dang ethnic cultural

Church's liturgy and our traditional textile forms. Hopefully,

communi ty i n Paracelis, the Ifugao in Banaue , plus all their

I said to myself, all this work could be seen someday as one

con t acts in Aklan , Dumaguete, and Iloilo for piiia , abaca,

little step towards Filipino liturgical vestments.

and jus i we aving.

Networking was most important and necessary. I would not have been able to complete my research and fieldwork had

L ;: C II

I not linked with the right people and institutions. One of the very first people I contacted was Patis Tesoro of the Katutubong




Filipino Foundation (KFF) . I have known her from way back, during my designing days , and have always admired her

My ve ry fi rst field wo rk was wi th the Ti ngguian of Abra ,

dedication to the preservation and promotion of everything

one of t he Central Cordillera ethnolinguistic groups. Since my

Filipino. Her love for piiia has kept her in the forefront

monastery is in Mi ndanao, I decided to start my research with

specially in organizing the Patrones de Casa Manila , and

t he weavi ng cen t ers farth es t from home- the ethnolinguistic

soon, in the revival of the piiia industry in Akla(l. It was no

grou ps up in northern Luzon .

surprise for me, therefore, that in August 1992, the KFF was

It is said that the word tingguian , probably coined during

born through the Joint efforts of Patis 1\nd former First Lady

t he ea r ly Spani sh period , ma y have been deri ve d from the

Amelita M. Ramos. It was their common desire to inculcate

Malay word tinggi , meanin g " mountai n" or " highland s. "3

in today's generation a greater awa

Althou gh orig i nally used by th e Span is h colon izers to refer

ness and understanding

of our country's rich cultural herita e. The KFF is a non

to all mount ain peoples or hill tribes all ove r the country,

profit development organization devoted to the strategic

the nam e Ti nggu ia n ha s re ce ntl y be en pegged to the

revival and promotion of indigenous Fili pino culture, arts ,

indigenous peo ple of Abra, who now prefer to be called

and crafts in ways that are , as Patis herself loves to pu t it ,

It neg. One cl ai m is th at th e word i tneg is deri ved from iti

"environmentally sound and economically productive." What made me admire the KFF even more is the fact t hat

un eg , whic h l i t erall y mea ns " the interior." Another in t er pre tation i s th at t he word is deri ved from the

It continuously implements programs and projects designed

co mbi nation of th e prefi x " i , " whi ch i ndic ates a place of

to provide livelihood opportunities , enhance Filipino

origi n, and th e name of a major ri ver and geographical area,

craftsmanshi p, and enable indigenous artisans to effec t ive ly

"Ti neg." Today, peopl e i n the ce ntral and western areas of

compete in the world market. Upon learni ng abou t our

Abra and th e communities at th e border of Abra and Ilocos

centenni al project, Patis and Margie linked me im media tely

Norte/ Sur call th emselves Itneg while those in the eastern

with the weaving centers with which t hey ha d ongoi ng

areas of Abra and communitie s at the border of Abra and Kalin ga prefer the designation Tingguian. It is believed that Ti ngguian settlements were already in pl ace along the coastal region of Ilocos Sur long before 1521 , and move d only lat er to what is now the province of Abra where they intermarried with the older population. Although t en of th e 27 towns of Abra province today are considered Tin gguian towns , a greater concentration is found in the town s of Tubo , San Quintin , Luba, and Buliney. 4


2! 6

It is generally accepted that there is a close affinity between the Itneg or Tingguian and the neighboring Ilokano, and that whatever little differences there are between them are a result of acculturation , mainly through Christianization. The occupation of the people is basically farming. The Tingguian practise dry agriculture in the highlands and wet agriculture in the lowlands , with rice , corn , and tobacco since the 1960s, as major crops. Those living near the tributaries of the Abra River are fishermen . All Tingguian villagers customarily recognized an elderly patriarchal figure they called the /akay , who was considered the wisest and most perceptive person in the community and who was assisted by a council of eld ers called the /al/akay . As noted by the French writer Gironiere who

traveled to several parts of Luzon in the 19th century, early Tingguian society was animistic in belief.5 Th.,e presence of spirits called sasai/o in their midst was a basic belief. Patriarchal in its organization, the family is the basic unit of social organization in the village . Social status is measured by wealth , especially in the ownership of heirloom treasures as well as in the possession of work an imals and ricefields. Noted for their creative designs in weaving , they also excelled in bead making , basketry, and pottery. They used to weave their cloth from locally produced materi als . And although the old handheld loom is still found in a few places, most of the local weavers now use the modern spinning wheel. The weavers produce beautiful textiles for their multicolored tapis (wraparound skirt), the ba/wasi (the basically white

women 's blouse with polychrome stripes at the center, the men's suit called the ba-a/ which was worn together with the ba/ibas (woven shirt) and the all -important owes (blanket) with reptilian , amphibian , botanical , and celestial motifs in geometric and nonrepresentational forms . Zoomorphic motifs like horses and deers and anthropomorphic motifs in Tingguian textiles tended slightly towards representation , that is, showing anatomically accurate images of nature . Trade has been made convenient by the fact that in the past , their products , like blankets , ropes , baskets , nets ,

plus bamboo and rattan , could be floated down the Abra Ri ver to the neighboring markets. On May 13 , 1997 I took the Partas bus in Quezon City wh ich left at 10 p.m. for Bangued, the capital town of Abra. After tra vel i ng for eight hours, we arrived in Abra. Having deposi ted my bag at the Diocesan Pastoral Center where I wa s supposed to stay during my visit there , I went straight to the cathedral to catch the 7 a.m. Mass, followed by a quick breakfast in a nearby cafeteria and a short courtesy ca ll to the bishop . The KFF coordinated my visit to Abra and made sure that I would be able to see as many places as I could in just a few days. Diosdado Carino, a senior executive assistant from the office of Governor Vicente Valera , was to be my official guide for the next few days. He arrived punctually at 8: 30 a.m. to take me to our first destination, the Tingguian village of Namarabar, in the town of Penarrubia , a place known for it s diamond twill weave called minatmata. 6 Also found in Langiden and Langangilang, this diamond twill provides the li nk between Central Cordillera weaving and Itneg or Tingguian textil es. It was often used in the all · white piningitan wraparound skirt, the four·panelled kind055an blanket and the denim · like indigo blue (nangisit) kinamayan wraparound . After a 30 · minute jeep ride , another 15·minute ride on a t ri cycle , and a few minutes of walking up to Sinalang River, my ex· seminarian guide said: " Brother, we'll have to cross a bridge. " "That's okay," I replied . Then I saw it: a 100·meter hanging bridge made of old cables , suspended 70 meters above a rampaging river! Rusty and narrow, it looked endless from where I stood . After overcoming my initial shock and promising myself never to take along a heavy bag again (with three cameras , a tape recorder, assorted weaving yarns , a folding umbrella, a jacket, a small bottle of mineral water, some chocolates , and my breviary) , we were finally able to cross the bridge and arrived safely in Namarabar. It was a small community of about 500 people and I noticed immediately that some houses had looms. Unfortunately, no one was weaving that day since they had just finished

work in the fields. However, the long trip was still worth it

ramay, he joined us for a souvenir photo and asked us to sign

because I soon found out that the place is known not only

his project guest book, inviting us to return another day to

for its weaving tradition but also for its natural dye industry.

see the weaving and the embroidery.

No records of the exact orig i n of natural dyeing in Abra

The next day, we boarded our jeep which was then ferried

exists, but it has always been believed that " from the

across the great Abra Ri ver on a barge . Our destination was

stains inevitably acquired as they tilled the fields with

the upland Tin gguian town of Manabo , where the main

their hands , the ancient Itneg must have observed that

livelihood is agriculture . In fact , Manabo is today considered

certain plants yielded color. "7 In time , they learned to

the rice granary town of Abra. They have an irrigation canal

extract color and consequently developed this process

that cuts through the mountai n. Diosd ado said that the

through experimentation as well as by chance.

kilo meter-long irrigation canal was constructed with the

Namarabar, I soon found out , is the site of the Katutubong

help of the SVD missionaries and the Germ an funding agency,

Kulay Project (KKP), a joint undertaking of Coca -Cola

Mi sereor. Stopping by the municipal hall before proceeding

Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFPI), the Katutubong Filipino

to Ba ra ngay San Ramon , we even had the chance to meet

Foundat i on (KFF), and the Philippine Textile Research

bri efly with Mayo r Masayo Dom asing, a native Tingguian.

Institute (PTRI). The project aims to revive , standardize,

There are very few weavers left in San Ramo n, only three

commercialize , and promote the indigenous art of natural

families , in fact. But they still do the intricate design of a

dyeing. Luis Agaid , a true Itneg who has been pract isi ng

horse, my guide said proudly. We found Teresita Obugayan

the traditional art of natural dyeing as far back as he co uld

with her mother, an elderly Tingguian woman in her 70s, at

remember and is considered a master in this art, we comed

work on the loom . True enough , she was weaving an owes

us to his house and gladly shared his experience$ and

or blanket in threads dyed in red and black, plus white. She

concerns with us. He has loaned out 8, 350 square meters of

said that they call the weaving process pinilian (from pili ,

land to the KKP for a nursery and some production facil i ties

to "choose" or "select "), a supplementary weft weaving that

to start the propagation of natural dye-yielding plants .

requ i res pre-programming a pattern or texture by means of

With a hint of pride and accomplishment , he enumerated

an act of se lection. 8 Pin ilian, therefore , refers to materials

the ten dye -yielding plants in his nursery : bagbagotot

with design. And since what she was doing had designs all

(for violet/purple), narra (for red), sapang (for dark red /

over, it is specifically called dinapat . The motif of the design ,

maroon), tayum (for indigo / blue), unig or kunig , yellow ginger

a star, is called sinan bag-gak , meaning "made starlike. "

(for yellow / orange), atsuete (for red), apatot (for brown),

They also weave different motifs like sinan sabong (flower

ramas (for grey / black), kapasang/ay (for brown ), and

desig n), sinan tao (man design), and the very popular sinan

damortis (for red) . With the KKP 's promise to help modernize

kabaya (horse design) .

and simplify the extraction of natural dyes , and to assist in the development , expansion , and diversification of markets both local and foreign for the natural dyes and for products using such dyes, Luis Agaid was very optimistic that it would only be a matter of time before Abra is finally acknowledged as the Natural Dye Capital of the Philippines . Quickly changing into a handwoven tayum-dyed blue shirt, with finger-like embroideries on the joi neries called rinam-

] j


For the Tin gguians , woven materials are often connected

co mmented on how patient I was in trying to convince the

with ritu als. In th e past , for example , to announce the

native weaver. And I remember saying to myself: Yes , and

death of a warrior, a blanket with the design of a lying

patience is always rewarded , as St. Benedict tells his monks

human form and an upright horse was shrouded on the

at t he en d of t he Prologue of his Holy Rule .

warrior's horse whic h was made to run around the town .9

Later t hat afternoon , we proceeded to Deet in the town

Every weave and pattern was believed to have a mea ning .

of Tayu m. There we visi ted Feli sa Tejero , another Abreiio

Colors , too, are a means of communication. For them , the

who also ex t rac t s an d appli es natural dyes . A Christian

color blue stands for peace wh ile white conveys a festive

lowlander i n her 70s, she was al so a very good weaver

mood. And perha ps, because the river holds a very important

according t o Dios dado. Base d on the sample materials that

place in their lives, i t appears even i n their weaves in the

she gladly showed us , I co mplet ely agreed t hat she, too ,

overall pattern they call kinark arayan or kinalkalayan ,

was a master. Becau se I inform ed her t hat th e materials I

conveying a sense of rivers. 10

needed we re t o be use d f or mak ing vestments for the

It took me more than an hour to co nvince Teres i ta to

Church , sh e willin gly accepted my orders .

weave for me a pinilian material with just two colors , red

I was fasci nat ed wi th a woven material that she called

and black , In kapas (cotton), wit h silver metallic threads

tiniri, meaning " twi st ed thread ." This was a Tayum style of

I had brou ght along to be ad'(jed as supp lement ary weft

weaving , usi ng t wo or three thread s, oftenti mes of different

after every row of the motif. I soqn realized t hat for most

colors or of one color but of different shades, twisted together

traditional weavers, doi ng someth'tng new and different

and giving t he fi nishe d ma t eri al a little thickness and

would, more of te n t han not , be recei

d with a measure 0

texture. She also ag ree d to make fo r me a very fine binaki!l ,

res stance. This was understandable, 0 course. That is why

a material that gives th e illusion effect of throbb i ng

after sens'ng t he ini tia l hesitancy to accept my order, I spent

spheres but is ac t ually made of an i nfin ity of squares. The

tht next hour talking to her more about her craft and how ~ÂŁ

timely arrival of her yo un gest dau ghter who promised to

learned it f rom her mother. Having assured her that it

help her do t he weavi ng made our t ransaction even faster,

ould really come out beautif ully - and that I wo uld no t

an d even wi th t he du e dat e advan ce d. In two months , they

blame her even if , heaven fo rbid, i t did not come ou t right-

pro mised, I could have my 15 yards of plain weave indigo

sre finally agreed to do my reque st , and with her elderly

bl ue co tto n, 15 yards of purple and black binaki!l , ten yards

rrother even promising to help her!

of green tiniri , and anoth er ten yard s of green tiniri with

I was also able to order from her a red cotton stole wi t h

black st ri pe s. If not f or som e previous orders she had

black supplementary weft in geometr i c des i gns on t he

acce pted the wee k before, sh e would have been able to

bo rders and on the cross deSign. On our way home, Diosdado

f i nish mi ne in less than a month . It is interest ing to note that the word awi!s or ules , binaki!l , and pinilian are used both by the Itneg or Tingguian tribes and their neighboring Ilokano . It is, therefore , understandable why some authorities in sist that the big blankets known as th e Itn eg pinilian or the binaki!l awi!s might be forms which originated from the coastailiokano. It is likely, indeed, that


Abra mu st have been a recent dispersal point of textiles f rom the Ilokanos i nto the Cordilleras .



On my last day in Abra , we went early in the morning to Bulbulala , considered the weaving community in Abra. We had to cross the Abra River twice before we reached our destination. During that long drive, I learned about the Timpuyog Daguiti Inna Ti Abra (literally meaning "Mothers of Abra"), a provincewide NGO formed in 1986 to help the women of Abra through livelihood assistance. It was spearheaded by Governor Vicente Valera, now congressman , and his wife Ma. Zita Claustro Valera, today the governor of Abra. What started as a small group of concerned wives of government officials has now grown into a 20,OOO'member organization penetrating the barangay level , and has been a very active partner of the Abra women in preserving and promoting their local textile industry through livelihood weaving projects. Bulbulala is a village where almost every household has a

tilor or loom. Going from house to house , I observed women in all stages of cloth manufacture using their upright looms . We even visited a cooperative called the Bulbulala loomweavers Association (BlA). I discovered , though , that they ha piles and piles of handwoven blankets stacked inside one room. And when I asked why they were not sent to the town center where native crafts were sold , one of the weavers admitted that these blankets had been sent back from the town center since they had remained unsold for months and were beginning to gather dust. Then and there I decided to talk to the weavers. I felt so sorry for all the hours of weaving spent, for such expertise gone to waste. The problem was partly the colors and designs . These were basically the striped and checkered blankets identified more with the Ilokano tradition but which are also very popular in Abra. As I learned from one of the women , these colors and designs have been repeated over and over through the years . If I were a tourist coming to Abra for the first time , I told them , I would, of course, buy a blanket or two . But if I return to Abra six months or a year later and still see the same woven products, I will find no reason to buy. Now, if new color combinations and new patterns are available , all done in

very good workmanship, anyone would be tempted to buy. There should always be product development, I insisted, if you want your textile industry to grow. Younger women will only be encouraged to weave if they see their mothers' efforts paying off very well. If weaving is perceived as simply being tedious and unprofitable , less and less women would be attracted to it. Therefore, I encouraged them to do two things: first , to continue doing some of their traditional weaving , for these are truly beautiful and meaningful and are part of their heritage ; second , and at the same time , they should also experiment with new colors and styles from time to time for commercial purposes. I also reminded them that the Itneg

minot路moto pattern of the all路white piningiton wraparound skirt is beautiful as it was all in one color. There is no need to use a contrasting color to show off the texture as some weavers claim. Of course , this can be done- but it should not be to the exclusion of the tradit ion al style. The same is true with the binokel pattern. Let the beauty of the texture speak for itself. But please, I said , use new colors from time to time. Abra is so rich with natural dyes so use them. Also , use pure cotton threads as your grandmothers did. Enough of these cheap polyester threads. Synthetic materials do not breathe. Who would want a warm blanket that is so hot in this humid climate? The women knew that I was making sense. And more importantly, they felt and recognized my sincerity to help. They got very interested and had a lot of questions to ask, but I had to catch a bus to Manila at 4 p.m. so I could not stay longer. I 路


promised them, though , that I would try to see what government institutions or NGOs could do to help them in this regard. On the long eight路hour trip back to Manila , I looked back and tried to evaluate my Abra experience. Aside from the wealth of information on Itneg or Tingguian indigenous weaves which I was able to gather, I was going home with some rich insights on dealing with indigenous people. These were going to be most valuable in the coming year of research and preparation for the exhibit. One sure thing , though, was what

was at the top of my priority for the next day in Manila: to get

passed around. After being told that the pills were anti路

an insurance policy, just in case I have to cross another old ,

malarial , that we were not supposed to drink the water in

rusty, and endless hanging bridge in the mountains again!

the area, and that we were to take extra precautIOns against mosquitoes , everybody became more acutely aware of the


condition of the place we were about to visit.

The Ga'dang are one of the ethnolinguistic groups in the

in at Carig Hotel for the night. As I had expected, my

We arrived in Santiago , Isabela at 4:30 p.m. and checked

Central Cordilleras. They were among the first to be

presence in the group surprised some of them, including

acculturated and "reduced" in Cagayan Valley rancherias. The

Pennie Azarcon de la Cruz , assistant editor of the Sunday

term ga'dang means "carabao hide" or "pelt." It is said that

Inquirer Magazine, and Lally Herrera of Business World. As I

the Ga'dang had already been using carabao hide for making

began to talk about the work I was dOing in preparation for

rope long before abaca was discovered for this purpose .

the exhibit, they all agreed that this was really something

For the Ga'dang, the household was the minimal social

novel and that the right time to do it had come.

unit. Economically, the household stood alone and probably

Early the next day, we set out for Bananao , a barangay of

reflected the way in which the Ga'dang had traditionally

Barrio San Raphael in Paracelis. The municipality of Paracelis

adapted to their environment. Swidden agriculture was the

i s situated in the easternmost part of the Mountain Province.

traditional pattern of economic activity in we(l路forested

A Ga'dang traditional路culture outpost has been maintajned

areas. This was supplemented by the raising of cash crops

in Paracel is, wedged in by neighboring Ifugao , Kalinga, and

such as corn and tobacco.

Bontok. Composed of nine barangays , Paracelis has a total

It is said that among the Cordillera indigenous tribe, the

land area of 55,160 hectares. Since access to transportatjon,

Ga'dang , together with the Kalinga, are known for the most

communication , and basic services were hjghly inadequate,

arresting garments , specially because of their preference

Paracelis was among the more depressed communities. After

for the color red which was traditionally associated with

a bumpy ride through rolling hills and mountajns for more

bravery in battle and great honor. It was on the early morning of June 5, 1997 that I joined Margie Macasaet of the KFF and a small group of guests on a trip

than three hours , we finally arrived in Bananao, where the rituals of panagyaman (blessing) and paranos (thanksgiving) formally opened the program of actjvities.

to Paracelis where a community and livelihood center was being

It was , indeed , quite an experience to see most of the

inaugurated under the KFF's Social Entrepreneurship and

members of th is small community in their best tradltjonal

Enterprise Development Support System (SEEDS) Program. I was

finery: women jn red aken (wraparound skirt with black and

told that the construction of the center was under

fine yellow stripes) and a baruwasi (short blouse with front

the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Embassy while the communitY'organizing component was raised largely through funding from the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) . This, I felt, was the perfect example of how government, NGOs, and other institutions could help indigenous peoples. So I immediately decided to accept the invitation to go with this group. As our van turned towards the North Expressway, a small tray with glasses of mineral water and a bottle of pills was


openin g and sleeves) and t he men i n the i r be aded


(short upper garment) and abag (loin clo th ). On e thi ng t hat

So did all the other women who were supposed to perform a tra dit ional Ga'dang dance for the program .

was im mediately noticeable was t hei r te nd ency towards

This was a very speci al day that the Ga'dang cultural

intricate orn amentation . Aside from their arrest i ng colors ,

co mmunity had been anticipating. As Patis Tesoro said in

all their clo t hes were profuse with beadwork, mostly in

her opening remar ks before an audience that included

fine varicolored glass beads (mainly in white , with red ,

Paracelis Mayor Cesar Rafael , representatives from the Royal

yellow, an d blac k). The joineries and edges of their clothes

Netherland s Emba ssy, and community elders and villagers ,

tended to ge t t he most concentration of bead work . But

the mai n pro ble m confront i ng the local weavers and

even some parts of th e ski rt and upper garments had so me

craftsmen in t he Parac el is area was the absence of a ready

beading , too , specially along the la ' iad (stripes). For more

supply of raw mat erials such as threads , beads, etc . All these

recently made ga rme nts , however, plastic beads , instead

were very much needed on site in order for the Ga ' dang and

of glass, decor ated t he bor der s and joineries in

t he nei ghbori ng Bal angao to revive their dying culture and

sy mmetrical tufts and rows.

craft s, aside f ro m i nitiating and sustaining the commercial

It is said that Ga'dang and Kalin ga fab rics , specially t hose

prod uctio n of t heir ind igenou s products.

made before the introduction of co mmercial thread s, were

As I bus ied myself interviewi ng as many of the people as

Indistinguishable because of th sam e general visual i mpac t

I co uld wi th the help of Gabri ella and an i nterpreter, I found

of all str iped and banded textile), Their prope nsi ty toward

out t hat only a fe w wom en were left engaged in weaving

Intricate beadwork was actually wha IdentIfied their woven

an d bea ding , augmenting the farming acti vities of their

mater'als as t rul y Ga ' dang. ll


fa rm er -husban ds. Thi s was so because they still had to

T~e Ga'dan g's love for beads is fo u d no t only in thei 1

so urce th eir raw mat erials f rom Santiago , Isabela. This

()r amented clo thes but also in all t heir accessories, like the

meant travel in g a t ota l of at least four hours on rough roads .

I)arangal (red hea dkerchief for men wi th i ntricate bea dwork

But given th e high cost of tran sportation , coupled with the

dangl ng from t he corners), the sayay (a long pouch also of

lack of credi t fac ilities for the purchase of these necessary

red co' ton wi th brass rings stru ng on th e shoulder strap ),

materi als , th e na tives were often discouraged from engaging

tufut (a small bag fo r wo men) . Long strings of glass ,

i n t hei r tradition al crafts . As Gabriella further explained ,

bone, cera mIC , and agate beads made up the wo men's

the ce nter wa s going to function as a sari-sari store where

necklaces. Some of the women wo re a beaded choker ca lled

t he co mmunity could source affordable raw materials for

and the

singat. Gabriella Lucio, a Ga' dang woman in her early 20 s,

th ei r arts and crafts as well as basic provisions. It was also

who was the community organi zer for th is KFF projec t wo re

goi ng to serve as a marketing outlet and display center for

an interesting forehea d piece of beads ca ll ed attifulan .

th ei r fini shed products. On display at the community livelihood center was a fantastic array of Ga'dang and Balangao arts and crafts. A genuine feast for the eyes , the display included a rich assortment of handwoven wraparound skirts, blankets, blouses , and headkerchiefs , plus accessories like etched bamboo lime containers , women's comb -like headpieces, and salakot-like hats made of dried hollowed-out shells of gourds. Given that everything was studded with multicolored beadwork, the



display was more than enough to convince everyone that th is rich heritage had to be preserved and promoted . Lunch was an exotic combination of upland rice cooled

In Parace lis, I was also able to watch the natives make hats and rain'cap es of pandan leaves , rattan and bamboo weaving and broom路 making, too . And when I heard their ethnic

in bamboo containers , pinikpikan and tapuy, plus one of their

music and saw thei r indigenous dances, I cou ld not help but

native delicacies, ant 's eggs . For the less adventurous guests,

recall my stud ent days in the early 70s when as a young

they also served "regular " fare such as adobo (pork and chicken

design student away from home, I spent most of my weekends

sauteed in garlic and vinegar). and pancit (Chinese noodles) .

learni ng indigenous and folk dances and performing them

Observing a Ga ' dang weaver as she demonstrated the

wi th th e Phili ppi ne Dance Company of New York.

process of manufacturing the handwoven batwat (sash ). I could not help but notice the very tight compactness of the


threads on her warp which led me to believe what I had previously read before- that fabrics woven by the Ga'd ang

Instead of going back to Manila afte r my visit to Paracelis,

have the highest thread count per centimeter in Northern

dec id ed to procee d to Ifugao Province from Santiago,

Luzon . And just like their neighbors , the Kalinga and Itneg,

havin g met my traveling compan ion and guide in the person

they place a high premium on tiny lozenge路 like designs wh ich

of Mary Pindug. Mary is a nati ve of Amganad in Ifugao

they call eyes . This Ga'dang sinakong is very f11uch li ke the

Provi nce and a very good weave r herself. She has been

inata路ata woven by the Kalinga of the village of Nan eng

in volved with KFF projects for some tim e. Since she was on

and to some extent , Kalakkad , and the Itneg mina mata. !2

her way home , I decided to t ravel with her. This was , of

The eyelike design was so fine and the weave so co pact

cou rse , a other surprise blessin g, for how could I have Just

that only one with extremely dexterous hands , great expertise

gone to Ifugao Province without knowing anyone there?

and skill , and infinite patience and dedication could possibly

Traveling by night, she said , would be easier. 50 we were

accomplish such work. I did not lose time in convincing the

dropped off at t he Santiago junction at 10 p.m. to get a bus

Ga ' dang weaver to make for me two handwoven stoles, one

there for Banaue. After unsuccessfully flagging down a few

in traditional red with fine black and white sinakong between

buses and waiting for more than two hours in a dilapidated

stripes of black, and another in yellow with fine stripes of

shed , we we re on ly too glad to board a bus that finally

black and white . Both stoles were to be ornamented with

stopped , even t hough i t was too fu ll of pa ssengers who were

intricate beadwork in glass and shell beads at the borders .

all fast asleep . It was still better than wai ting in that dark

From this Ga'dang community, I decided to adopt a very

corner, since I was beginning to realize the danger of remaining

indigenous way of ornamentation for festive garments : fine

there . 50 we decided not to get off, even if it meant having

beadwork. I therefore retained this indigenous ornamentation

to stand for anoth er th ree hours all t he way to Banaue.

on the hem of the stole , in place of the usual tassels and fringes that we ordinarily see on contemporary stoles. I also found the Ga'dang tapet , a distinctive cape 路 like garment piece used by the men , very interesting and full of possibilities for inspirations on cope designs. Copes in the li turgy were originally used as covering for protection against the cold and inclement weather. The tapet was the same , obviously an elaboration of the use of blankets as covering.


It was 3: 30 a.m . when we arrived at the bus station i n

revolutionary General Emilio Aguinaldo whom the Ifugao

Banaue. The whole town was still asleep . The ho st el where

called mil iyu . Although they initially resisted the Americans,

Mary brough t me was also still closed. Waiting in front of

the nat ives soon welcomed them when they realized how

the hos t el door, I sat quietly and praye d ma tins , knowing

the foreigners had been spending much time and effort in

my brother monks at the monastery were doing the same .

learni ng If ugao culture ; bes ides , the Americans also paid

Ifugao re f ers to the group of peop le living in Ifugao

well fo r t he goods they bought from the Ifugao. The presence

Province, l ocated i n the cen t ral Cordillera mountains of

of th e Americ ans in Ifugao province initiated some gradual

Northern Luz on.13 The wo rd ifugao comes from pug aw,

cha nge s and adaptat ion to new real it ies , foremost of which

meaning the "cosmic earth " and the prefi x " I" meaning

we re th e eli mi nat ion of the Ifugao practice of headhunting

"people of." Ifugao the refore means people of the earth .

and th e i ntroduction of formal American education .

Another theory holds t hat t he word ifugao could have been derived from the word ipugo, meaning " from the hill. " Considered by many as the most rugged and mountai nous

Wet and dry agricul ture is the mai n source of livelihood among the Ifugao, with rice as the chief staple , grown mainly i n what has often been called the eighth wander of the

part of the country, t he Ifugao territory high in the central

worl d- th e Ifugao ric e terraces . The pinugo or muyong was

Cordilleras has peaks rising fr om 1,000 t o 1, 500 meters ,

a centuries路 old fore st management system practiced by

and is drained by the waters of the Magat River. Subd ivided

th e Ifugao that ensured protection of the forest for fuel ,

Into seven major subgroups, 14 t e Ifugao have the Ga ' dang

hou si ng, and i rrigation for the terraces . It consisted of small

as their neighbors to the eas t , the Bontok to the nort h,

patches of forest tended by each family, usually adult males,

the Ikalahan and Iwak to the sou th , nd th e Kankanay an d

and was part of a strict tri bal law that showed the Ifugao's

Ibaloy to the west.

great eco logical concern .

DUring the first centuries of Spanish colonization , t he

Like their Bontok and Kankanay neighbors , the Ifugao

fugao remained undisturbed. Spanish presence began t o be

evolved a stratified society based on wealth , as seen in the

felt l'ttle by little starting only wi th the setti ng up of t he

posse ss ion of ancient porcela i n, sacrificial animals like

towns of Bayombong and Bagaba y in 1741 as base for Spanish

carabaos, pigs, and chicken , gold , and a considerable amount

operations. Many Ifugaos, however, refused to sub mi t to th e

of mon ey. At the top was the aristocracy or kadangyan who

foreigners and by the end of t he la st century, the Span ish

we re pr.i vileged to wear huge blankets whose stripes

never really established effective control of t he nat ive

indicated the i r position in society. The hagabi , a lounge chair

population even though i nroads to If ugao te rri t ory had been

made from solid log and kept under their house was the

made. American troo ps co ntinued to explore the Cord i ll era

status symbol of the kadangyan. The natumok were the

mountains after the 1901 capture of t he Ph il ippine

middle class , who owned pieces of land that were not sufficient to give them a year 路 round harvest. The nawotwot were the lower class , composed of those captured during headhunting activities , and those who did not own any land and who served the kadangyan as either servants or tenants. All aspects of Ifugao human relations used to be governed by a political system that was provided fo r by custom law. The mombaki , usually a person who has acquired wealth and distinction , headed the Ifugao village. Various rituals


performed by the people for a great number of occasions clearly expressed their religious beliefs . Those related to their daily subsistence formed the most important of Ifugao rituals , a good number of which are still practiced today. To mark the end of the harvest for the rice year, the ritual called takdag was held with the whole community in attendance. The butut , being one of the most important ritual figures i n Ifugao life , was the focus of a long and elaborate ceremony. From the initial stage of its production to the time it was placed i n the house or granary, long and meticulous ceremonies were observed. For this , the

mombaki had to abstain from any kind of sexual activity for about three months to be able to preside properly over the ceremonies. Rice cakes were offered before the butut to mark the end of the consecration cycle. Woven textiles figure importantly in Ifugap rituals and are related to religious beliefs . It is often said that the Ifugao have "deified" their weaving proces

by the

invocation of deities whose names describe the very process of Ifugao weaving. During my stay in Banaue, I got to visit Mary 's house in Amganad , where she has some weavers and a small di splay of indigenous products . She and the other wea vers were all wearing their traditional twill weave , wraparound skirt called ompuyo that was used with a girdle路 like belt to keep it in place. Though their white cotton blouses with extended shoulders seemed to be of very recent style, it was obviously inspired by the (amma of olden days. Seeing how interested I was in the whole process of weaving , they even let me try some weaving on their backstrap loom. I was convinced that this type of weaving was harder than the upright loom of the lowlands because in the back-tension loom , the weaver has to sit on the floor with the a(abig (a belt路 like piece of dried animal skin) strapped across the back and attached to the ipitan which held the warp threads close to the body of the weaver. The warp threads were held at the other end by the u(uan that was , in turn , tied to a wall of the house. To stay in th is posi tion for hours would indeed demand great patience and discipl ine .

Si nce they are now usi ng most ly co mmercial th read s, th e

Mary Pindug is one who is truly dedicated to her craft

process of weaving has been shorten ed , unli ke before when

an d to Ifugao heritage . Realizing the importance of natural

much t i me was consumed in the preparati on of th e raw

dyes i n connection with her tradit ional weaving , she has

materi als alone . The Ifugao generally classify their woven

loa ned her terraced property in Amganad , which is 3.7 km

products into two: t hose with dyed desi gn s an d t hose witho ut.

away from the center of the town , to the Katutubong Kulay

It was interestin g t o discover that ikat -dyei ng or munbobod

Proje ct. When I vi sited Amganad , she already had three

is still done in so me pa rts of Ifugao , espec ially in Amganad

ty pes of dye-yi elding plants being propagated. These were

and the Kababuyan area. 15 In this dyei ng process , a pattern

hawili for green, bolo -bolo for brown , and unig or kunig for

is resist-dyed on to t he warp , weft , or both warp an d weft

yellow / orange . I al so learned that in Ifugao , the natives

threads prior to wea ving . 16 Thi s is interesting because t his

t rad i t ionally use pu ' yyok , a t ype of mud or earth , to dye

ki nd of dyeing is also fou nd in the ethno linguistic grou ps of

fa br ics bla ck through i ts pigmentation agents. At present ,

southern Phili ppines, wi th the same referent.

howeve r, commerc ial dyes are already also being used.

Some of the traditio nal wove n products that Mary an d her

Si nce I wanted to vi sit a traditional Ifugao village and

weavers produced inclu ded many variations of u' /o (blanket)

obse rve ordinary daily li fe , Mary's husband accompanied me

in Amganad , and the wanna (G-stri ng ), the t raditiohall fugao

on e day. As we descended from the highway where we left

wear fo r men . Blankets were q ltegorized into the hape, a

his j eep , I could not help but marvel at how the Ifugao were

very speci al blanket for the ric h, he oban that was used t o

able to ca rve those pond fields in these rugged Cordillera

carry ba bies, 17 and the all- importan t gamong that was used

mountain ranges centuries ago . Majestic rice terraces that

for the dea d. Bayaong re ferred to t he

some peo pl e love to call the Ifugao stairway to heaven

ore common blanke t

of dark blue color wi th narrow red strips. Ifugao motifs on

surro unded the whole panorama . And this little village we

their woven products i ncl ud ed bittuon (stars) , hino/got

were about to visi t was down there , right at the foot of the

(spea rs), t i natagu (men), inulog (snakes), and li nuhhong

mountain , where the ricefield s looked like a thick green

(mortars) For the Ifugao , th e use of the color red referre d

ca rpet of ve lvet.

to t he sun deity, the god of war.

Ifugao hou ses called bale have a curious shape. From afar

Pro bably because t hey we re all relati vely young , non e of

on e can only see high cogon roofs with four posts , making

the women at Mary's house used the atake , a st ring of white

t hem appear like " giant mushrooms on four legs. " 18 The

bea ds, or the inipul , a stri ng of large bea ds of ligh t co lored

hou ses were not surrounded by fences and only a few who

agate, that the ol der women i n the village st il l win d seve ral

owned pigs put rune fences or simple sticks and branches

t i mes around the hea d to keep their hair in place .

of trees planted in the ground. Betel nut trees were planted at the edges of terraces for shelter against the sun . The onl y thing that "ruined" the rustic ambiance was, sad to say, a galvanized iron -roofed chapel . If only an effort was made toward indigenized architecture , then the chapel would have blended well with the scenery. Some woodcarvers were doing their work under their houses. Some women were also doing some weaving on their


backstrap looms. Since this village has often been visited by touri st s, some villagers have taken advantage of the



situation with some of them having their products on

I felt so sorry for myself when Mary 's hu sband said tha t it

permanent display. One can buy woodcarvings , blankets,

came from the place that I refused to visi t t he ot her day-

baskets , wallets and bags made of handwoven materials. I

just because I wasn ' t read y for more mounta in-cli mbing.

saw some interesting hip bags, called butong. The girl

I knew immediatel y that I wou l d be able to use this

watching the display said that these were , however, already

handrolled fiber for th e collec t ion so I decided to buy a

modern versions of the traditional butong which men of

few rolls , promising myse l f that t he next time I visit Ifugao

Ifugao used to put their betel nut leaves and lime containers

Province, I would surely visit th at place.

in . Very interesting too was a crescent-shaped knife called

My most valuable acqu isition from Ifugao, however, was

kottiwong, which I ultimately decided was going to be my

the pure silk materi al which Ma ry agreed to weave for

souvenir from this village.

me with ikat desi gn . If ugao materials have always been

Climbing back to where we had left our vehicle was an

made of ka'po (cotton ) and, more recently, synthetic

exhausting exercise. It took almost twice the amount of time

yarns . But when I vi sit ed Mary one day, I saw her trying

to finally reach the highway at the top . Mary's husband

on her loom some silk thread . Even if she was hesitant to

suggested that we could still go to another village, only

aGcept the order at fi rst be cause she said that she was

this time, it was going to be another hour-and-a-half climb

still " experim en t i ng " on the new material, she finally

uphill. Still huffing and puffing, I politely declined, knowing

agreed to it , sen si ng perh aps t hat I would not take no for

that it would have meant a three-hour climb or someone

an answer. Th i s wa s someth ing new-combining old

like me who is not used to mountain-climbing. 'A sudden

technology (Ifugao ikat wea ving ) with something new (the

rainfall finally made me decide to go back to town.

silk threads) for a non -t radi t ional use (church vestments).

Although the market really came to life only on c rtain

This ilT)pressed me a lot b ecause it showed how

days, there were a few stores that were always open. And

assim il ation plays an i mport ant role in native culture.

it was simply impossible to leave these stores without buying

Culture , after all , i s a dy nam ic reality, not something

anything . The Pindugs owned a relatively big store there ,

static. Through assi mil at io n, i t is ab le to open itself to

with so many beautiful handicrafts . There were all kinds of

other influences . Su ch ass im ila t ion does not destroy the

baskets for all kinds of purposes: baskets of rattan , bamboo ,

native culture's ve ry core. Rat her, it even rejuvenates

and a kind of vine which was used for twining and decorative

and enriches it. 19 After two an d a half months, I received

twill construction; baskets for winnowing; baskets for storing

the first deli very from Banaue . It was great-but I could

grains called ulbong; baskets for keeping household utensils ;

not use it. Something went w ro ng with the dyeing

and carrying baskets. They even had a square-covered

process and the fabr i c 's color was more orange than

bamboo basket with a tight-fitting cover. And when I asked what it was for, I was told that it was for storing cooked rice. This was placed over the fire to help preserve the freshness of rice. What caught my attention was a roll of handwoven materials in natural beige and brown color, about 14 inches wide and about five to six feet per roll. "Some use it to make bags , " one of the weavers volunteered to explain , "and it is made of hand rolled fiber from the bark of a tree."


yellow. I wanted more of a yello w ochre which , in l itu rgy,

t he establishment of tissue culture laboratories , the

could subst i tute for gold or white . I wa s not ready to gi ve

rehabili t at ion of old and typhoon路damaged abaca areas,

up. I placed a second order and waited another t wo and a

an d th e establishment of abaca nurseries as well as of

half months . Before Chris tmas , I finally got what I needed -

provincial and municipal trading centers for abaca . Through

a fabulou s handwoven silk material wi th Ifugao ikat design

FIDA's tissue culture technique , farmers are now assured

i n a perfect shade of golden yellow. I decided to us e thi s

of a stea dy supply of not only high'yielding but also

for a stole with golden yellow silk tassels, t o match a pure

disease路free abaca plating materials needed for the

silk , off路white chasuble wi th a center panel design of th e

reha bilitation of affected areas.

same Ifugao i kat material .

We found out in that meeting that in the Philippines, there are over a hundred abaca varieties in existence. Thus, the


production of homogeneous fiber with consistent quality is


an arduous task . But with this tissue culture project , things are looking more realizable . A successful weaving industry,

From the start of th is project, one of th e th i ngs I knew

aft er all , has to start with good quality fiber. Suddenly

that I had to do was to check on the governm ent off ices

interested in all these technical developments I was learning

involved wi th the textile industry. I had to find out wha t

for t he first time , I decided to accept Petronilo Jabay's

the status of the indigenous textile industry w a~ and what

invita t ion to visit their fiber technology laboratories at the

they were doing to help .

BAI Compound in Diliman , Quezon City the next morning.

I was fortunate that my good friend , Barge Ramos, Manila's

Fu rt he more , to help the pina industry, FIDA has set up a

foremost barong tagalag designer and him sel f a chaf1lpi on

Pina Weaving and Training Center (PWTC) in Balete, Aklan.

of indigenous materials, personally knew Joaquin M. Teotico,

When this was started , FIDA, the Agriculture and Fisheries

the national adm inistrator of the Fiber Industry Deve lopm ent

Co uncils of the Department of Agriculture, Aklan State

Authority (FIDA) . Accompanied by Barge on a Tue sda y

College of Agriculture (ASCA), and the Patrones de Casa

afternoon , I visited the FIDA office in Makat i whe re Mr.

Manila joined forces to help construct the building. A series

Teotico warmly welcomed us . He even asked Ellen Dimayuga,

of t rai ning programs on pina fi ber extraction and knotting ,

the supervi sing textile officer, and Petronilo B. Jabay, th e

basic weaving , and advanced weaving was conducted and

officer in charge of the fiber technology and utili zat ion

made possible through the KFF chaired by the First Lady

division , to join us in the meeting. It was very heartwarming ,

Am eli t a Ramos. FIDA maintains the building and pina farm

indeed , to know that here was one government office that

and sets up t he training schedules. The center also

was obviously concerned and deeply determined to help

co nt ri bu tes technology transfer to i nterested parties,

the weavi ng industry.

THE ABACA WEAVING INDUSTRY According to Joaqui n Teotico , ABAKAUNLARAN 2000 was FIDA's flag shi p project launched four year s ago whi ch aimed at increas i ng aba ca farm ers' i ncome and f arm productivi t y. FIDA's strategies of implementation included

2J f

Information dissemination, and creating awareness that piiia

pronounced distinguishing line mark on the right路hand side

weaving is a good means of livelihood. Complementing these

of the undersurface of the leaf blade; and (3) the fruits of

efforts of FIDA, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

the abaca are inedible and contain many seeds.

has also been conducting trainings on fiber extraction and knotting in different barangays and towns.

Due to continuous research work, FIDA is now able to recommend high路yielding varieties (HYVs) to farmers in

I was shown samples of abaca and pina materials done

order to promote quality fiber production and increase yield.

by different weavers and cooperatives who have been

Their recommendations include , for example, the Musa Tex

supporting FIDA's projects . There were all kinds of samples,

50 and 51 for Bicol , Lono and Musa Tex 40 for Mindoro, Musa

but one set stood out above the rest. Not only were they

Tex 80, 81 , and 82 , plus the minenonga and inosa varieties

different in the kind of weave, color combinations , and

for the Visayas , and the tangongon , bongo/anon, and

designs, but they were also of sImply superior quality.

maguindanao varieties for Mindanao.

"These are the work of a true artist," I said. "They 're the

Abaca is most productive in areas where soil is volcanic

work of India de la Cruz Legaspi," Mr. Teotico replied. " Her

in origin , rich in organic matter, loose, pliable , and well

shop is in Kalibo , Aklan. Just let us know if you would like

drained. It shows obvious preference to areas where rainfall

to VISIt her and the Piiia Weaving and Tra ining Center, and

is uniformly distributed throughout the year and the dry

we will gladly set the appoil1.tments for you," t he \dnd

season is not prolonged . Although the use of suckers or

administrator added as we thanke

im and said our goodbyes.

whole plants about a year old has been observed to give a

Early the next day, I went to t e FIDA laboratories In

hundred percent germination, this is rarely used due to the

Dil man to gather more technical in(ormatlOn on the loca

difficulties of handling and transporting them caused by

fIber Industries. Mr. Jabay started by asking me if I had ever

their bulk. The more popular way is the use of corn or

seen an abaca plant before. And when I said no, he showed

rootstock because they are easy to handle, can withstand a

me a live display of plants and trees that are sources of

long period of transit , and are cheaper than suckers.

fIber for weaving. Abaca (Musa textilis nee) is indigenous

Although the onset of the rainy season is considered best

to the PhilIppines and IS commonly known as Manila Hemp,

for planting , it may also be done at any time of the year in

he said It belongs to the Musaceae family that includes the

places where the dry period is short and indistinct or where

banana. I would have easily mistaken the abaca plant he

rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. Abaca is a

was pointing to for a banana because the resemblance was

shade路 loving plant; exposure to intense sunlight in new open

too strong. Then Mr. Jabay pointed out the basic differences:

areas could result in slow growth or even death.

(1) the stalks of the abaca plant are narrower and more

I have often said that the Lord kept providing me with

pOinted than those of the banana; (2) there was a very

everything I needed for this undertaking- sometimes even before I asked for it! This was proven again that same day. From the FIDA laboratories, I proceeded to the KFF office to network with Margie Macasaet and Patis Tesoro on the ethnic groups they had been working with. Right after our meeting, Margie told me that there was someone outside who wanted to meet me. To my surprise, it was India Legaspi ,


the artist路weaver from Kalibo whose samples so impressed me and who, less than 24 hours ago, I said I would like to



meet. India was there to di scuss some business with

paintings when the old woman decided to give her the last

Patis and when she found out I was there , she asked to be

piece of piiia cloth she had woven and which she had kept

introduced . She said that she knew me as a fashion designer

in her baul (wooden chest) all through the 28 years that

in Manila always championing the use of indigenous

their family stayed in Manila.

materials, and was so touched by my decision to enter the

It was also th e time when the group of Palls Tesoro, the

monastery in 1990 and had secretly wished to meet me

Patron es de Casa Manila, was working for the revival of

someday. I answered that I was just admiring her samples

piiia. "My initial production of piiia bastos (material woven

at FIOA the day before and was really wanting to meet her,

from course pineapple fibers) and fine abaca cloth was all

too . "You are obviously heaven 路sent!" I said. When I told

bought by Pat is, the whole loom load," India recalled. "The

her about the project and how I wanted to see what piiia

rest is now history. Remember how we met at her shop?

and abaca materials I could order i n Kalibo to be made into

I don't think it was by chance. We were destined to work

liturgical vestments, she even invited me to stay at their

on something together for the Lord," the piiia artist added.

home as their guest. Indeed , how the Lord provi des for those

India de Legaspi 's shop, the Heritage Arts and Crafts (HAC) on Bankaya Avenue, was established in Kalibo in 1988 in

who trust in Him! In just a few weeks , I was given permission to visit Kalibo ,

response to the need for sourcing high路quality piiia cloth,

Aklan. India , together with her amiable husband Javier,

basi cally for India's painting medium. However, as her works

fetched me at the airport and brought me to their modest

began to be displayed in trade fa irs upon the invitation of

ere her

the OTI , Manila 's most prestig ious department store with a

home filled with artworks by India. On one wall signature oriental paintings done on piiia cloth. In


Filipin i ana section, Rustan's , saw the potential of the

corner was a fitting form draped with a very fine abaca

product and ordered a series of items like handpainted

material with sinuksok designs . Art books and objets d'art

placemats , napkins, and doilies for the high路end market.

were neatly placed on her coffee table . This was obviously

Succeeding orders gave way to the development of their

an artist's home.

abaca product line.

A fine arts graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in

A working relationship with government agencies like the

Manila , India was already in Canada working as a promotion

Phil i ppine Te xtile Research Institute (PTRI) and Design

and product design artist when she decided to come back

Center Ph ilippines (OCP) developed as the need for further

to the Philippines. Concentrating on her oriental painting

research and the development of new products from

that she did on a very fine piiia cloth , she found herself

i ndigenous fibers grew. Heritage Arts and Crafts' workforce

one day without any more piiia material since the weaver

of one weaver in 1988 has now grown to about 260, including

who used to do this had stopped weaving . Not being able to

fiber extractors, knotters, warpers , and weavers . It has set

find the same quality she needed from other sources , she decided to weave herself. She felt very concerned about the possibility that piiia and abaca weaving might just one day fade away since there were less and less women working on their looms. She felt that she had to do her share in trying to revive the industry. After all , she comes from a family of weavers . It was her grandmother, Presca Menez路Aguirre , who inspired her to use piiia and abaca pinukpok for her oriental

11 J

up an internet web page for its electronic commerce which

which I made into a chasuble. But what was really most

makes the company accessible all over the world.

special was the silk-cotton and abaca weave blend which I made

Javier's past work experience i n a textile manufacturing

i nto a chasuble. It had red silk plus some red cotton stripes

company involved in systems and procedures , work

on the warp, and very fine natural ecru abaca on the weft.

si mplification procedures, sales, engineering, and

On the border were band designs with alternating black and

construction management have certainly been most

white crosses done in the sinuksok technique.

beneficial for their family business. While India concentrates

During one of my visits, I saw her working on a new product

on product design and the artistic side of the ven ture , Javier

that she said a Japanese buyer had asked her to try. Pineapple

handles the business side, from material procurement and

fiber was first hand-made into very thin paper. This was

production to marketing and management: a perfect

then cut diagonally into very thin strips and hand-rolled to

husband and wife team, indeed!

produce a continuous fiber. This was then woven into the

If there is anything that makes India's work different from

weft, with more body than the plainly woven pina cloth. I

t he rest , it is the fact that she does product development

did not waste any time in convincing her to weave some for

conti nuously. There is always something new, something

me, even only as a sample . It is a new material, I said, so

differen t every time I come to visit Kalibo. In her workshop

use it first for sacred vestments . Then I asked her to dye

I sawall kinds of abaca weaves , 50me so fine that they almost

the finished material in red so I could use it for a chasuble

looked like pina weaves . She al 0 had blends like abaca

for the feast of martyrs. The chasuble of handrolled pina

and cotton (co t to n for the warp arid abaca for the weft),

plna路seda (silk for the warp and pina


the weft), Clbaca-

seda (silk for th e warp and abaca for t e weft)_

weave had a center column of red-black and white Ifugao woven material that matched its stole. It is no wonder, then , that India de la Cruz Legaspi was

路or me she wove yards and yards of abaca-seda in all the

given the Outstanding Aklanon Artist Award in the field of

hturgical colo rs. The light blue abaca weave I made into a

Visual Arts, in 1985 by the Gabriel Reyes Memorial

Marian chasu ble embroidered all over, with a medallion

Foundation , and the Outstanding Aklanon Award in the

containing an Ave Maria symbol at the center. I saw a beautiful

field of Fine Arts in 1994 by the Provincial Government of

geome t ric sinuksok deSIgn on a barong tagalog material that

Aklan. Her dedication to the revival of the pino and abaca

I asked her to use for the one-sided border of a natural

weaving industry is so great that when one talks of pina

colo red abaca -seda, which I used for a chasuble and stole

in Aklan, the name that automatically comes to mind is

set. She also made for me a very special si nuksok material -

India de la Cruz Legaspi.

bla ck silk on the warp, deep purple fine abaca for the weft , and a sinuksok pattern of an old flower design all over-

\'. s , "

~ KLAN STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE ( ASCA ) One of the first places I visited in Ak lan with India Legaspi was the Aklan State College of Agriculture (AS CAl located on the outskirts of the town of Banga, about nine km away from Kalibo , the provincial capital. Occupying a tota l land area of o

2J I

99.92 hectares, of which three hectares are utilized for the main campus and the rest for its different directed projects on crops and animal production, floriculture, botanical garden, and research sites , ASCA has had an important role in the revival of the pifla industry for more than ten years. We met the president of the college, Dr. Helmar E. Aguilar, whose efficient and effective management and dynamic leadership qualities are well known. A man of wit and a strong sense of humor, Dr. Aguilar initiated the college project of organizing model pifla farmers where a whole family could work together and become self路 reliant. ASCA has been giving the farmers technical assistance in pifla planting , and the women as well as their daughters who would do the pifla weaving have been receiving training in fiber extraction and knotting.

THE PINA WEAVING INDUSTR Dr. Aguilar had emphatically said that the pineappl

plan t

used for its fibers was the Red Spanish Variety (Bromelia prgma). It was also sometimes referred to as the native wild for it was grown in a semi路wild state at the beginning. It is the preferred choice because it produces long and slender leaves and is adapted to local conditions . Most scrapers agree that this variety produces more fibers of better quality than other varieties. Dr. Aguilar insisted that there is no such thing as a different native or Philippine green variety or pifla bisaya- these are all the same Red Spanish Variety. The difference in appearance, he said , could be due to the fact that the plant grew in a shaded area. The amount of exposure to the sun could cause leaves to become greener or redder, have longer or shorter leaves , etc. Furthermore, he added, the nitrate content of the soil could also cause some differences in appearance . The main method of propagating the pifla plant is by using the vegetative parts. The three kinds of planting materials are: (1) the crown , the leafy green tops of the pineapple fruits ; (2) the suckers , which originate in the leaf axis of the stem , where the leaf meets the stem ; and (3) the slip ,

which develops on the flower stalk, just below the fruit. Of these three types of planting materials, crowns are the preferred materials for planting. Fruits and leaves from crowns are ready for harvesting after 16 to 18 months. These are planted close together to ensure that the leaves grow erect, long, and narrow, as required for fiber production. Leaves to be harvested should be at least one meter in length. Leaves which are shorter than this, like the ones at the bottom which are too old and too short, and leaves at the top of the plant , which are too young, should not be harvested for fiber production. Within three to four days after harvesting , the leaves ' fiber has to be extracted. After this period , the leaves become dehydrated , making it difficult to extract the fibers. 2o The

pina fiber can be extracted by hand scraping,

decortication, or retting. To get good quality fibers needed for handweaving, scraping by hand is the only effective procedure since only by this is it possible to separate the fine

liniuan fibers from the coarse bastos fibers , the raw

materials for the elegant handwoven

pina cloth. For uses

other than hand weaving , like fiber for handmade paper,

pina fiber may be extracted either by decortication, which makes use of a motorized machine with blades that scrape off the pulp to separate the fiber, or by retting, which involves the immersion of the pineapple leaves in water for some time to soften the plant gums , after which the leaves are beaten to soften the pUlp. 21 Eager to see how the

pina fiber was extracted, I was

brought to the FIDA Pina Weaving and Training Center in Barangay Feliciano, Balete, Aklan - some 14 km from Kalibo. There , Candida Tanon gave me a demonstration of pina fiber extraction. After harvesting a few pieces of pineapple leaves from the farm , she proceeded to remove the spines of the leaves by hand. She then scraped the leaves with a broken porcelain plate to obtain the coarse fiber called


Further scraping using a coconut shell yielded the fine fibers called

liniuan. After extraction, she washed the fibers in

water and removed the adhering pulp using a clam shell.

Then she let them dry under the sun as she momentarily showed

trade ferried the goods of t he Ea st -silk, porcelain , spices-

us around the training center. When the fiber bundles were

to Span i sh America for over two centuries (1565 -1815). And

almost dried, she beat them with a smooth and clean bamboo

from th e New World, silver and many plants and produce

stick to soften and loosen the fibers. Using a bowline knot,

were brought to t he Philippines, including the pineapple

she then demonstrated the knotti ng process to connect the

which quickly spread all over the islands because of the

fibers at their ends to form the yarn. Placing a black piece of

country's fertile soil and suitable climate. Lourdes Montinola,

cloth on her lap helped Candida in making the ends of the

in her superb book, Pina , said that the introduction of the

pina fiber more visible . After knotting, she cut off the loose

pineapp le to ot her countries might in fact have been by

ends . She then laid down the knotted fibers in a circular fashion

acci den t. Pinea pp les were carried on board ships for food

inside a pa/ayok or clay pot. Any dry and clean container may

duri ng l on g voyages, and their crowns, slips, and suckers

be used , she explained , for as long as entanglement of the

attached to the frui t s, which were thrown away after reaching

fibers is prevented. This process of knotting is called tagak

port s, may have grown into plants. 14

and the fin i shed product is called tinagak. Th e tinaga k

It is not cl ear where and how the processing of pina cloth

intended for the warp is then passed back and forth in a device

f rom th e f iber of t he leaves of the pineapple plant started.

called a sabonganan until the desired length is attained . Only

But Filipinos have ha d a long tradition of weaving various

then can the weaving begin. It would take a s~illed weaver

plant fi bers and the introduction of the pineapple plant

two days to weave a meter of pina cloth . Seeing how tedious

presented ano t her source of fiber from the environment.

indeed the process is and that great skill is indeed required , I

A quai nt ru ral tale in Aklan, however, attributes the discovery

realized that the current price of pina cloth at six h ndred

of th e in er fi bers of the pineapple plant to the heavenly

pesos (P600.) per meter, a very high price by local stan ards,

guidance of the Virgin Mary. On the front fa~ade of India

could not really be considered expensive at all. Paying anything

Legaspi 's shop is a mounted picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe,

less than that should make anyone feel gUilty.

and she believes that it was not by chance that that particular

As the name suggests , pina is associated with the coming of the Spaniards, for the pineapple plant was not indigenous

religious photo ended up where it is today, in a shop dedicated to th e art of pina weaving.

to the Philippines . It is generally believed that the pineapple

The weavi ng of the pina cloth has always been associated

was brought to our shores by the Span i sh colonizers ,

with the Philippines, particularly the island of Panay. The source

although the Portuguese also introduced th i s plant to

materia ls, however, have been found to give exact evidence

tropical countri es from South America . It was in the west

of where and when the indus t ry originated. Pina weaving

Indian island of Santa Maria de Guadalupe where Columbus

wa s then considered to be " of lowland Christian" provenance

first came across this flavorful and fragrant plant in 1493.

since fi bers and clot h are prod uced mostly along seacoasts

And it was in Sta. Cruz in the first settled parts of Brazil where the Portuguese took the nana or "excellent fruit. "22 The Spaniards , on the other hand , called it pinas because its tesselated fruit resembled the pine cone .ll Most historical accounts suggest that the pineapple plant was introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish by the latter part of the 16th century, when the cultivation of the plant had spread over most of the tropical areas of the world . The galleon


and plains. Unlike fabrics of minority ethnic groups , piiia is not related to ritual , although it is an indicator of prestige and wealth, being a fabric of elegance, rarity, and beauty. There were two old weaving processes that introduced design to piiia cloth which for some time were discontinued because of the difficulty of the techniques. Thanks to the rev ival efforts of people like India Legaspi , Patis Tesoro, the Patrones de Casa Manila , and the KFF, we see these techniques again. One technique is called pili by the old weavers. It is also referred to as suksok, meaning "to insert" - the finished product being called sinuksok. It refers to the insertion of supplementary pattern wefts with colored cotton or silk thread during the weaving process. Another technique is described as rengue , another method of incorporating design in weaving by a process of skipping threads in both warp and weft using three peddles to produce a sort of openwork, or to create patterns similar to calado, the famous drawn work associated with piiia embroidery.

Pinukpok is an ancestral fabric from abaca with a characteris t ic softness , luster, and sheen produced by repeated hammering of the woven fabric with a wooden mallet - a very long and tedious process. Based on interviews done in 1987- 88, Montinola stated that "this process is no longer done, and piiia nowadays has a matte finish. "25 Because of the revival efforts , we now have the beautiful luster and sheen on piiia bastos once more. India Legaspi's Heritage Arts and Crafts is one place where one can find this beautiful shiny piiia cloth and the more common

pinukpok of abaca. The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) has also developed a mechanical production technology for pinukpok fabric which brings back the softness, luster, and sheen of the traditional pinukpok fabric. It involves the weaving of fin e abaca fibers to a pre-determined fabric construction , followed by chemical treatment and repeated softening and pressing treatments imparting to the fabric the desired flattened, supple, and compact appearance , plus a little sheen on the surface. The use of a PTRI-designed, motorized

rotary press for the purpose assures faster and more

cross design in the middle at given intervals, plus another

efficient control of the quality of the finished material.

design, a more simple one, no more than three-fourths inch

It is interesting to note that some confusion sometimes

in width. As expected, the women working on the table could

arises from the use of some words related to weaving . For

not answer immediately. Then the group started prodding a

example, sinamay is generally used to refer to textiles made

senior member, apparently the expert among them, to

from abaca fibers . It comes from the Visayan word samay ,

accept what probably appeared as a challenge.

meaning " to weave." However, in some areas in the Visayas ,

I knew that it was going to be worth the wait. One has to

the term is used to refer to any fine Vi sayan weaves , such

be patient when one is doing some product development. It

as piiia , banana fiber, or even cotton. In the Bicol region ,

is only natural to wait long when developing a new product.

on the other hand , the fabrics are distinguished dependin g

Giving birth to something new will always involve waiting

on what part of the abaca plant the fiber used came from.

for the right time. After a couple of months, I received my

The very fine weave made from the fiber coming from the

orders and they were just what I needed. I decided to have

inner sheaths is called lupis. Sinamay in Bicol usually refers

some yards dyed in assorted liturgical colors as I kept some

to weaves using medium to coarse fibers coming from the

in the original natural ecru color. I decided to use the ecru-

outer sheath of the abaca plant. Guimaras is another term

colored macrame, no more than three-fourths inch wide,

used to refer to coarser fabrics. Presently, sinamay is used

to edge an applied band of ecru and pearl grey Ilocano

mainly for fibercraft making such as placemats , bags ,

weave, of a chasuble and stole set.

ribbons , gift wrapper, etc. It is the very fine lupis that is used for clothing material.

Before I left Manila for Kalibo, KFF executive director Margie Macasaet told me to make sure to go to the Handicraft

Twelve kilometers west of Kalibo is Barangay San Ramon

of Aklan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (HAMPCO)' apparently

in Malinao , considered the center of the abaca slipper

one of the cooperatives KFF has been supporting. Located

industry in Aklan . Since I told India that I was interested in

in Old Buswang, Kalibo, HAMPCO was established in 1989 by

seeing anything that uses abaca , she brought me to this

a group of loom weavers, farmers, and fishermen from

place where macrame weaving and abaca braiding are done ,

Barangay Old Buswang . Twenty-two-year old Margie Roldan,

the former for the upper part of the slippers and the latter

manager at the production workshop cum display room, told

for the bottom or sole of the local slippers . Actually, this

us that presently, the coop had 375 members and that their

abaca slipper industry covers ten barangays in the towns of

operation was already provincewide. As Margie showed us

Lezo and Malinao. I was amazed at the fineness and delicate

around , we noticed young anG old women working on their

appearance of their work and I was told that to soften the

looms, one weaving plain piiia, another a piiia weave with

fiber, they use the pa/igiran , a circular stone or round log,

suksak designs , and others weaving abaca. They also weave

rolling it back and forth over the fibers. The finished product, looking like a coarse lace made as of fine cords knotted i n designs reminded me of the silk and sometimes gold and silver braids often used as edging to applied bands. With the help of India , I explained the purpose of my visit as I congratulated them for their truly fine work. I asked them if they could make for me the same macrame work but no more than three -fourths of an inch in width , with a


raffi a, a kin d of palm t ree wi t h large leaves f ro m wh ich

Na t ional Fo l k Art ist Awardee for her contribution to the

fiber for weavi ng is obtained , aside f ro m abaca and piiia .

preservation and promotion of traditional piiia weaving with

The woven product was later used for making bags, placemats ,

sinuksok design. The old woman considers weaving therapeutic , making her physically and mentally alert. Indeed , as Di ng

and curtain blinds . What attrac ted me among the i r products were the piiia

sai d, she did not seem to grow old . Ding 's mother, Susima

and silk blends ca lled piiia路seda (silk on the warp and piiia

de la Cruz , st i ll wea ves at 73 . In fact , Ding said , her mother

on the weft), wi th very f i ne sinuksok designs. From these

had bee n invite d to demonstrate piiia weaving at the

weavers of Old Buswang, I was able to order a piiio路seda

Smit hson ia n Insti tute in Washington i n July 1998 . " The

material in nat ura l color with small sinuksok cross designs

expert on t he tech nica l as pec t of production and the heart

grouped to form bigger cross designs all ove r the su rface .

and so ul of our bu si ness" was how Ding described her mother.

Th is material I used for a very simple chasuble and stole

It was, i n f act, th ese t wo old women whom India had gone

set. The only orname nta t ion I added were the silken tassels

to when she deci ded to learn the sinuksok style of weaVing.

on the hem of the stole.

An aunt of Ding 's, Lunita Victoriano, went back to weaving

They also made for me an ecru pure piiio weave with Greek

afte r she ret ired from t eachi ng in a public school. After all,

cross sinuksok designs made of f i ne gold th read I had sent

she had bee n weaving since she was in grade school and had

to the m f rom Manila. This part icular piece really took so

al ways loved it . She was the one who wove the piiia material

long to produce-i n fact only two

eters, just enough for a

I ordered with sinuksok petal designs arranged in a continuous

stole, were actually finished of the


meters I would have

line alo ng the borders of the material , although it was

wanted. The weaver begged off afte r

mon t h, explai nin g

Susima de la Cruz who set up the design for her on the loom .

that it was really so hard to do , to th e embarras sment of

Th is, too , was a very hard design to finish , in spite of its

the coop manag er. This was unders t andable , as I had asked

i nit ia lly si mpl e appearance . Since one is dealing with the

them to han dle a very f i ne gold t hread that they had never

piiio fi be r that is finer than one 's hair, sinuksok weaving

used before. I would just have to find so meone who wo uld

bec om es very hard to do specially when counting the f i bers

have more pat ience and dedica t ion and I promise to give

in th e desi gn process and reconnecting broken threads .

them more t ime to finish the work.

A bla ck cloth had to be used as a background material to

I was ve ry happy that India also brought me to meet Ding

ma ke the indi vidual fibers more visible . Since the petal

de la Cruz who comes from a family of weavers related to India.

desi gn I wanted was to run continuously an inch away from

They owned the De La Cruz House of Piiia , another well -known

th e selvage ends on both sides, it entailed many heddles.

pl ace for high quality pi ii a product s. An 80 -yea r -o ld

In a sinuksok weave , each line has a different fiber pick

grandaunt of Ding's , Mag dal ena Marte , became a 1989

up on the warp. Each line of the graphed design has a different heddle set. So if the design takes about 30 lines, then there will be 30 heddles to undertake. Sinuksok piiio weavers are truly a gifted lot!


I _L_O_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Trying to make the most out of every trip and to save on airfare , I always tried to proceed to anot her destination o


that was close by. My first visit to Iloilo was , therefore , done right after one of my trips to Aklan , both being in Panay Island in the Visayas . From Kal ibo , Aklan , I boarded a minibus for a three 路and路a-half-hour trip to Iloilo. I remember how surprised the bus conductor was when I refused to give him the big bundle I was carrying , which he wanted to place in the back baggage compartment. These were my first acquisitions from Kalibo , after all - just a little less than PSO,OOO worth of handwoven materials . So I decided to hold on to them on my lap throughout the trip. When I had arrived in Kalibo the very first time, it was the master weaver India de la Cruz Legaspi who had met me at the airport. In Iloilo, our monastery friend Dr. Elizabeth Bretaiia was waiting for me at her Toxicology Clinic. She had declared a one-week vacation from her clinic work and had already prepared a very full itinerary. One of our postulants then , Brother Vincent , also a native of Iloilo , had also made some contacts so I knew that this t ip was really going to be very fruitful. Dr. Bretaiia first gave


quick city tour to orient me wi th the " Queen Ci ty of the South" and treated me to a steaming hot bowl of La Paz botchoy, a delicious concoction of broth , noodles, bits of pork

chichoron (cracklings) and innards, and lots of spices . " No visit to Iloilo would be complete without it, " she said . Then she brought me to the Mater Carmeli Home, located beside the University of San Agustin and run by the Carmelite Missionary Sisters, where I was to stay for the next few days . Sr. Verna , the superior of the house , allowed me to occupy the visiting priest's room right next to the chapel. The first thing on the schedule the next day was early Mass at the Cathedral in Jaro (or S%g, to the Chinese), one of the oldest churches in the country and the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jaro where His Holiness Pope John Paul II had made a historic visit in 1981. Northward from Iloilo City proper, across the Iloilo River, this district was traditionally the enclave of the old rich with their magnificent mansi ons and villas: the i mposing Lizares mansion sprawled over vast acres and now reconstructed


,,,,</1 p,IIIcmillq Of >lnuksok

and converted into the Angelicum School; the Lopez mansion ;

In Iloilo , I got to meet Tess Salvador, a young fashion

Nelly's Garden; and the Montinola, Javellana, Jalandoni , and

designer who has been slowly building a reputation as an

Ledesma ancestral houses.

innovative des igner using handwoven materials for her

To start my research work, we first visited the Museo

designs . We visi ted her busy boutique and saw the beautiful

Iloilo, considered by some as "the best museum outside

creations she has been doing with pina and abaca. There

Manila ." A repository of Iloilo's cultural heritage, the museum

was a cocktail dress with a bustier top made of a blend of

is known for its important collection of carbon 14·dated

handwoven abaca and buntal. A bridesmaid 's gown was made

fossils , Stone Age tools, native pottery, sculpture, and silver

of pina and silk in a beautiful and fresh shade of vermillion

crafts showing Iloilo's bustling trade with other Asian cultures

with touches of dainty embroidery. But the one that caught

before the arrival of the Spaniards. Zafiro Ledesma II , a very

my attention was a material made of very fine abaca with

pleasant and true Ilonggo gentleman, is the head of the

stripes of pan dan leaves woven into the fabric.

museum's public relations office. When Dr. Bretana , who

It was no wonder that Patis Tesoro and Margie Macasaet

happens to be a good friend of his, told him about my research

had been speaking very highly of her. It was very inspiring

work on weaving and embroidery traditions, he gladly led us

to know that here was a relat ively new designer who has

to th eir dIsplay of Philippine costumes mostly done in pina

placed a very high premium on traditional and indigenous

and abaca with delicate hand embroideries and even brought

weaving materials and has put up her own weaving workshop

out a chu rch vestment in silk WIth gold embroidery, an

just so she could continuously do her own product

example of 19th century Philippine sa (ed art showing strong

development on traditional and indigenous textiles. I asked

Spanish infl uences. The weaving traditio of Iloilo d1\tes back

her if she would be willing to be a "partner" in my mission

to pre· Spanish tI mes , Zafiro said. When th Spaniards arrived,

of creating Filipino liturgical vestments and she gladly

he Ilonggos were already weaving textiles from abaca,

agreed. I would not be able to do this work all by myself , I

otton and silk, the latter obtained from Chinese traders.

said. I needed the collaboration of other artists who could

W"av'ng in the mid· or late 18th century Iloilo was developed

appreciate my visio n of a Filipino Church celebrating in

and large·scale and this prospered even further in the 19th

Filipino ves tments . She gladly wove for me yards and yards

century in the province, so much so that Iloilo was referred

of pina blended with commercial thread in all the liturgical

to as "the textile center of the Philippines." However, with

colors that turned out to be just the right weight and fall

the opening of the port of Iloilo to world trade in 1855,

for full chasubles and dalmatics .

chea per Eng lish cottons started to flood the market. Together

Together with Dr. Bretana and Tess, I went to Miag ·ao,

WIth this, the rise of sugar as a more lucrative industry soon

about 40 km from Iloilo City and approximate ly an hour by

caused the steady decline of local textile production.


car. Miag ·ao is, of course, well known for its Church of Sto . Tomas de Villanueva built in 1768- 1797. Considered as the best extant example of what historians call "fortress· baroque" (churches du ring those times were built as fortresses to serve as refuge during Moro raids) the church was undergoing repairs when we visited. What struck me was not so much the massive look of the church but its attempt at indigenization , which is also at the very heart of my vestment project. As early as that time, Fili pinos al ready



tried to use western motifs but tried to make them into

and napki ns . Patadyong is woven using traditional hand

something truly Filipino. Decorative motifs like fruit·bearing

looms called tiral or tidal , using the thread bought from

trees (guava and papaya) surrounded the image of San

Ch inese traders in Iloilo , like the Iloilo Shanghai Bazaar, by

Cristobal on the church fa ~ ade , and prominently carved on

capitalist entrepreneurs who supply the weavers with the

the stone f a~ade was a coconut tree .

thread and who in turn sell them their finished products.

Here is the great difference between something as solid

We went to the Indag·an Multi· Purpose Cooperative (IMPC)

as architecture and something as fragile as textile art. An

about 4 km away from the town proper where we observed

attempt at indigenization on stone remains almost the

women working on their tirol, doing mostly patadyong

same as when it was done more than two hundred years ago

materials . Talking to the women , I found out that some of

while samples of indigenized Fil ipino liturgical vestments

them learned weaving in school-at the Miag·ao Vocational

that some authors claim were done during the same time or

School , now known as the Miag·ao Polytechnic School , where

even earlier, could not be located . It is said that although

weaving was offered as an elective course. However, most of

embro idery designs i n the Philippines were His pan ic i n

them learned to weave from their mothers and elder sisters.

pattern and spirit, attempts at indigenization , at least in

Still others learned to weave through training programs

the materials used , were made. Liturgical vestments, altar

facilitated by the DTI , in coordination with the PTRI.

cloths , and chalice covers , for example , were lT1.ade of palm fibers, locally handwoven cotton , and

piiia . 26

Aside from the full·time weavers at the cooperative , they also have subcontractors, ten single proprietorships with a

It is also interesting to note that samples of lay clothing

total workforce of 100 weavers. It is said that almost every

done in piiia and jusi over a hundred years ago coultl still

house in t e village has a tiral or hand loom which occupies

be found in museums and some private collections but hardly

most of the space in the small houses' living room. The older

any indigenized liturgical vestments done during the same

women complained , though, that the younger ones now

time are extant. In a way, th is is the very oppos i te of what

pref er to work in more lucrative and less physically

has happened in Europe. There , most of the best preserved

exhausting jobs in nearby Iloilo City. The older ones ,

samples of woven materials and embroidery are found i n

however, continue to weave because it has become so much

church ceremonial garments and liturgical vestments. This ,

a part of their lives and would not want to see this beautiful

I thought , would be a good subject matter which future

tradition come to an end.

researchers of Philippine textile arts could work on.

At Indag·an , I saw a weaver doing a beautiful supplementary

As ide from its magnificent fortress church , Miag · ao 's

weft design on cotton, looking very much like the suksok

weaving tradition is also its pride . Miag·ao and Igbaras were ,

style of Kalibo that is done on piiia and fine abaca. I did

in fact , the only towns growing substantial cotton by the

not lose any time in convincing her to weave for me a purple

early part of the American period , after the ather towns had already stopped their centuries ·old weaving traditions due to the entry of cheap English cottons . Even when weaving as an industry had become practically dead , Miag ·ao continued its weaving as a folk craft producing mainly the so ·called

patadyang - a fabric made from bunang, a cheap kind of cotton thread, mostly in plaids , checkered and striped in colorful combinations , and used mostly for skirts, uniforms,


violet cotton material with ecru rayon supplementary weft design . My only request was for her to limit herself to a geometric suksok design . I used this material as an orphrey on a purple路 violet Advent chasuble of abaca 路cotton blend material woven by India Legaspi in Kalibo. I also used the same material from Miag路ao for the marching stole which I gave a po i nted hem and big solo tassels at both ends to match the ecru geometric design. It is amazing, indeed , how the tiral and other weaving devices of the Miag路ao women looked so simple and to some extent , "primitive , " yet they produced such impressive results . Another district we visited was Molo , also called "the Athens of the Philippines " because of the good number of Moleiios it has produced who helped shape the future not only of Iloilo but of the whole country- senators , supreme court justices , etc. Molo , or Parian , as some Ilonggos still prefer to call it , is , of course , the home of pan cit Molo, a native dumpling and soup delicacy that , together with La Paz batchoy, is almost synonymous to Iloilo . For me, however, this western district of Iloilo was i mportant because of the Asilo de Molo on Avanceiia Street. Asilo de Molo was founded in 1912 by a bishop and was envisioned to keep safe the orphaned , abandoned, and neglected children loitering in th e streets of Iloilo , at the same time providing these children with opportunities to learn and develop skills and to love a truly Christian life . Managed by the Daughters of Charity of st. Vincent de Paul and now accredited as a Child Caring Institution , the Asilo de Molo continues to teach orphans the art of embroidery as it has done from the very beginning . When Dr. Bretaiia and I visited the place, we were welcomed by Sr. Victoria J. Leonor, DC who was in charge of the embro idery and sewing departments . From her we learned that the teaching of embroidery was started as soon as the orphanage was founded . The young orphaned girls gathered each day and skillfully sewed on small designs, first onto katcha (unbleached cotton cloth used for sewing exercises) and later onto handkerchiefs and pillowcases . The idea, as Sr. Victoria explained, was for them to develop a

skill which they could use as a source of income when they

tirato) or drawn-thread work , especially in the center front

were old enough to leave the orphanage . In fact, when

portion of the barong tagalog material surrounded by

Sr. Victoria brought us to the embroidery department, we

embroidery. Compared to some other embrOiderers, the

found out that some of the embroiderers employed by the

former orphans at Asilo de Molo produced a superior quality

Sisters in making embroideries on barong tagalog materials

of work. It is no wonder that their products have always

and vestments were former Asilo de Molo orphans who

been much sought after. Proceeds from th is embroidery

learned the craft during their stay there.

department have helped the orphanage much in continumg

The sewing department at the Asilo is a big, airy, and

their apostolate work.

well-lit room occupying almost one路 half of the right wing

Sr. Victoria showed me samples of liturgical vestments

of the orphanage. As we entered the room , I noticed the

they had made. There was a row of big cabmets with glass

rows of big wooden frames holding pieces of piiia and jusi

doors all full of colorful vestments. Obviously, this part of

materials with stencilled embroidery designs. About 16

the business was doing very well. I noticed that most of the

women , aged 18 to 50 years old , were busy embroidering.

chasubles were made of polyester materials and the

Looking at the embroidery designs, I noticed that most of

embroidery was done by machine. Sr. Victoria explained that

them were floral (roses and sampaguita) and petal designs.

this was so basically because these materials were cheaper

There were a few geometric designs, too. And when I saw a

than the beautiful piiia and jusi. Most customers would have

beautiful fan motif being embroidered by a m1ddle-aged

a budget th at would not permit the use of more expensive

Ilongga , I could not help but remember the jusi

handwoven materials.

erno I L~dy

I have a ways believed t hat one really good and d1gnified

Imelda Marcos when I was still an assistant at the haute

vestment is better than two or three vestments of lesser

designed about 25 years earlier for the former First

couture shop of Christian Espiritu. That terno had embroidered

quality. Liturgy is the highest form of worship-I never tire

fan motifs all over the skirt in the most exotic color

of repeating - and it requires only the best and the most

combinations. At that time , most embroideries on jusi were

dignified vestments for its celebration. I also encouraged avail~ble

still mostly ecru on ecru or sometimes with a little touch of

Sr. Victoria to always have

color. Christian Espiritu , one of the most innovative and

simple white albs made of pure cotton that are cool to the

on their display some

creative designers in Manila , comes from Paraiiaque , a town

body. It would be easier to convince a priest, especially m a

south of Manila that is known as a center of embroidery.

warm country like the Philipp in es , to wear an alb under his

And he used much of this in his creations . I come from

chasuble , as he should , if he finds the alb cool and comfortable.

Pampanga, a province north of Manila known for its giant

That visit to Asilo de Molo made me realize how great,

Christmas lanterns in myriad colors . Inspired by the colors

indeed , the contribution of the religious orders of nuns o

of my native Pampanga lanterns, I proceeded to color the fan motifs in the First Lady's terno in bright exotic colors with Christian's approval. That terno became one of the most photographed ternos of Mrs. Marcos because she liked it so much, she wore it repeatedly on very important occasions. The most widely used stitches by the embroiderers of Asilo de Molo were the satin stitch and the reverse or shadow stitch. They also used a lot of calado (los deshilados or fila

from the Spanish times has been towards the rapid progress

It was named " La Villa de Arevalo" in 1581 by Gonzalo

of the art of embroidery. The Asilo de Molo is not the only

Ranquillo de Penaloza , then the governor of the Philippines.

one of its kin d. All over the country, the Spanish nuns In

The political, religious, and military capital of Panay and most

Asilos and Hospici os dedicated themselves not only to the

of Negros during the Span ish period , Arevalo was the supply

care of orphan s but also to teaching orphans the skills of

base of Spanish ex peditions to Moro land and to the Moluccas.

embroidery. It is no wonder that Spain was able to succeed

Visiting Arevalo today, one immediately discovers that this

in developin g in te rnational admiration for the beautiful art

is a flower village with almost every house boast i ng of a

of embroidery, es pe ci ally i n pina , to her own economic

garden abloom with all kinds of ornamental flowers . But aside

benefit. During th e Spanish co lonial times and up to the

from this thriving flower business, Iloilo's best sinamay is

American regIme, you ng Fili pino women were educated in

also a product of Arevalo .

convent schools or beat erios run by nuns who taught them

We visited Mrs. Cecilia Gison路Villanueva, a fourth

embroidery not only f or secul ar cloth i ng but also for

generation member of the leading sinamay trading family

liturgical vestments.27 It is, the re fore, understandable why

in Arevalo in her well-main tained bahay na bata ancestral

much of the embroidery we know today has a strong European

house. On the ground floor, all port ions of the house were

influence. I do not think tha t it was because of t he desire

made of stone and just near the grand staircase was an antique

of the colonial Spanish nuns t o i gnore or belittle our

carriage and a nati ve tiral. The Arevalo matron welcomed

IndIgenous manner and design of E!01 roidery ; rather, that

us in her fron t sala at the center of which was a huge mal ave

what they taught in the beaterios an d aSiias was what they

table . After I told her of the research work I was doi ng , she

kllew the styles and deSigns that were popular In Europe ,

gladly showed and laid on the mol ave table some woven

espeCIally from their own monastenes. An d si nce colOnizers

materials kept in an antique aparador (cabinet), while

wou d always naturally try to exploit their conquered territories

explaining that in Arevalo , they use the word sinamay as a


generic term for all handwoven fabrics made in Arevalo

d theIr people for their own economic benefi t,28 i t was

mderstandable that the type of embroidery that would be

and Oton , regardless of material or fiber used. Therefore ,

taught by the Spanish nuns wo uld be what was adapted to

sinamay in Arevalo would include pino , jusi, ramie, and even

the needs of the European marke t. This type of embroi dery,

hablon. The only thing not included is potadyong which ,

together with that associated wi th the Ch i nese or sanley

although also handwoven, is not generally made in Arevalo

craftsmen who were also present in the Philippines, therefore

and Oton . However, in most other parts of the country, sinamay

had a strong Influence on ou r embroidery.

refers to t he very fine and transparent fabric handwoven

The district of Arevalo, about 7 km from Iloilo City proper, was the first town es t ablished by the Spaniards in Pa nay.

from the finest abaca fibers .

Sinamay Dealer, an institution in Iloilo 's weaving industry, is owned by the Gison-Vilanueva family. For four generations now, Mrs . Villanueva explained , they have been in the weaving business and have a loyal group of weavers who have been dealing with them for generations. Most of these weavers live in nearby barrios of Arevalo and aton. The Gi son-Villanuevas provide these weavers with the thread which they use in weaving in their homes. These weavers bring back the finished materials and are paid by the piece,



depending on the intricacy of the design , the kind of fibers

easily available in Divisoria and other garment districts in

and threads used , the quality of work, etc.

Manila . This fabric that most Filipinos love to call "banana

Mrs. Villanueva had a wonderful selection of jusi, piiia ,

fiber" does not come from the banana plant at all. In fact,

ramie, and also hab/on. She told us that in weaving piiia, most

this kind of " commercially available jusi," imported from

of the fiber used is brought from Aklan. The few pieces of

China through Hong Kong, is pure silk that has not been

handwoven ramie napkins that she had were about the last

degummed , giving it a starched and crisp look. In fact, when

pieces available. Since ramie materials became commercially

we Filipinos use the word jusi to refer to this kind of

available, not much ramie is made in Iloilo anymore. She

material and insist that it comes from the banana fiber, we

also had some beautiful hab/on materials for dresses , shawls,

only add to the confusion . The word jusi comes from the

tablecloth , etc. This material, made up of 70%cotton and 30%

Spanish rendering of the Chinese hu shih or silk, one of the

rayon, became very popular in the late 1960s largely due to

earliest commodities brought to the country by Chinese

a trend set by fashion designers in Manila. I remember that

traders. 19 Fil ipino weavers wove this silk filament into a

my mother had a few dresses made of hablon when I was in

very fine , almost ethereal fabric, which they also called

college. Because of its rayon content , the fabric had a little

jus i. However, jusi could also refer to a handwoven material

sheen that made it more appropriate for semiformal occasions.

made of silk and piiia , or silk and abaca . These materials

I remember, too, that the main complaint then was that it

were , of course , the traditional jusi materials used in the

had to be dry-cleaned because it somehow loses its nice

olden days for camisas , panue/os , Maria Clara tops for

fall when washed repeatedly. It was , therefore , considered

women and barong taga/og for men , before the entry of the

"impractical" during those times , since dry路cleaning sops

imported and commercially produced jusi from Hong Kong.

were not yet established in the provinces; one had to send

Mrs. Villanueva said that the raw silk fibers she used for

clothes for dry路cleaning all the way to Manila.

her weaves came from Bacolod , Capiz , Iloilo, and Manila.

In those days, our Arevalo sinamay dealer continued , there

Mrs . Villanueva explained that the pure piiia is still more

was a sudden boom in hab/on weaving but it did not last

expensive since it is harder to make, specially the /iniuan

long. Since many weavers just took up the craft without much

or ve ry fine type , and is stronger and more durable than

weaving skill and without any interest except to cash in on

the blended jusi (silk with piiia or silk with abaca). All the

the trend , the quality of hab/on soon deteriorated because

jusi barong materials that her weavers made were so beautifully

of inferior weaving techniques and materials. Nowadays ,

woven. Some had interesting stripes and checkered patterns .

however, there seems to be a deliberate revival of hab/on.

Some were with intricate suksok or supplementary weft

Fashion innovators like Tess Salvador in Iloilo City and some

patterning. The hand路embroidered ones, she explained,

designers in Manila and Cebu have been using much of hab/an

were taken to Lumban , Laguna to be embroidered even if

in their latest collections- and this time avoiding the pitfalls that caused the decline of the fabric some decades ago. I particularly liked the fall of the fabric , with its subtle sheen, for chasubles and dalmatics. But her most beautiful items are still the jusi materials. For those not well acquainted with Philippine handwoven materials, jusi would ordinarily refer to the commercially produced material commonly used for barong taga/og and


all the materials were woven in Arevalo. This struck me, too . I have often wondered why places like Kalibo, Aklan and Arevalo , Iloilo which make the best pina and abaca weaves never developed an embroidery tradition that could compete with the embroidery centers in Laguna, Taal , Paraiiaque, Las Piiias, and Cavite . How much more practical and cost efficient it would be if woven materials could also be embroidered in the same places! I knew that that was not going to be my first and last visit to Mrs . Villanueva's house . I would be ordering more materials from her as the designs of the vestments for the exhi bit became finalized . Visiting the old Villanueva house was a beautiful experience because here was a family that treasured our traditions and culture. Even her daughter, Maria Corona , was into preserving old Filipino traditions. For her, though, it was in the field of culinary arts. On our way out, Maria Corona gave me boxes of cookies she personally baked - cookies using nothing but native ingredients and flavors like mango, chocolate with cashew, and chocolate with pinipig (pounded rice). My brothers at the monastery loved all these pasalubong. The town of Santa Barbara is situated in the south central part of Iloilo province in the heart of Panay plain, about 16 km from Iloilo City. I have heard about handmade lace production in this place and I insisted to Dr. Bretaiia that we visit this place, too. The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM) introduced the delicate art of handmade lace in this country in 1911 , first to the women of Tagudin, Ilocos, and much later to the women of Sta. Barbara. Today, the ICM Sisters care for the Hansenites at the Sta. Barbara Leprosarium and have taught the female members of the patients' families the art of embroidery and lace making. There we met Teray Laus and Suzette Villan who were in charge of the small display room where one can

see samples

of the beautiful hand embroidery and handmade lace produced by the women. We found out that Suzette was the first one to learn the craft of bobbin lace making under the

guidance of Sr. Madeleine and the Flemish book she had

whole image of the Holy Child, no more than five inches

brought with her. We were even brought to their lace·making

tall , was so intricately embroidered to the smallest detail,

workshop where more than 20 women were busy working on

from the pearls and precious stones adorning the golden

wooden bobb ins on which threads are wound for making the

crown to the different pieces of jewelry (ring, brooches,

lace , the pattern of which was drawn on a piece of paper

pi ns , pendants , necklaces) that completely covered the

underneath. Pins were tucked in the areas where there were

body of the Bamb ino . One brooch design was so minutely

supposed to be holes in the design. Therefore , the more

and deli ca tely embroidered that even the initial on its

holes there were in a design , the more pins were needed.

surface was clearly discernible . The way the face was

Four bobbins were assigned to each pin so that the number

embroidered , with the eyes somewhat protruding and the

of threads to be used depended on the design one chose .

hair in red· orange curls , reminded me of the needle·painting

One woman was working on an intricate design that had

embroidery style of the Opus Anglicanum.

about a hundred bobbins in it. It was so amazing how she

I was so happy with the outcome of this piece of

could do her work so quickly and not be confused as to which

Sta. Barbara embroidery that I decided to use It for the

bobbin to move next. Some were working on doilies, others

center medallion of the Sto. Nino Gospel Book Cover the

on collars. They also made handmade lace by the yard and

single piece from the liturgical collection that embodied

any width one needed. They were even willing to make a

the weaving and embroidery traditions of the whole

lace according to a requested design. Teray was very ki nd

Ph ili pp ines: Luzon , Visayas , and Mindanao. The base fabric

and agreed to make for me yards of two · inch wide la e with

is of abaca woven by the B'laan tribe in Mindanao using

cross motifs incorporated into the design which can be used

guava leaves as natural dye to achieve a caramel· beige color.

for the hem of surplices .

The braided border of the medallion at the center encasing

Teray also learned to embroider there. Today, they ha ve

th e needle· pa inting embroidered portrait of the Bambmo

about 30 embroiderers doing all kinds of embroideries for

and the thread for the sunburst design were made by the

table linen , blouses , handkerchiefs, and liturgical vestments ,

Ifugao of Northern Luzon , of hand rolled fiber from the

too . I saw a lot of long and short stitch technique usually

bark of a tree. The cover is framed all around the edges

used in Chinese embroideries made in Hong Kong . What

by gold embroidery, a craft learned from the Spanish and

impressed me a lot was their remarkable use of color in

done by bordadoras in Manila, while the rice pearls used

their silk and / or rayon embroidery. Embro ideries of exotic

for ornamentation came from Zamboanga .

bird and butterfly motifs were so realistic one could almost expect them to suddenly fly! This inspired me to come up with a vestment/vesture that would incorporate the needle· painting technique. I quickly

During my stay in Iloilo, we also had the chance to visit the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary in Jaro, the fifth oldest and the last seminary founded during the Spanish regime in o

brought out a stampita (religious picture) of the Bambino di Aracoeli , the widely venerated image of the Holy Child in Rome, and asked if they could do an embroidery portrait of the Bambino on a piece of banana ·seda (abaca and silk blend) cloth . They were exci ted with the order and promised to have it ready in a month 's time . When I came back a month later, I was so happy with the finished product. The

:1 1 0

the Philippines . Founded in December 1869 by Bishop Mariano


Cuartero, OP, the old seminary completely burned down in 1906 and again in 1945. The present seminary, we were told ,

Aside f rom Ka li bo, Aklan, an d Iloilo province, another

was completed in 1954- a more solid and more prestigious

place that is a good source of pifia materials is Dumaguete.

building than the one destroyed by the bombs in 1945.

The people th ere pride themselves on the so-called pifia

Dr. Bretana and I were given perm ission to see their

bisaya that som e cl aim is not t he same as the pifia produced

liturgical vestments kept in large antique aparadars. Aware

in Kal i bo and Iloilo f rom the Spanish red variety pineapple

that the present building was reconstructed in 1954, I was

plant. Wi th out in any way disregarding what Dr. Aguilar

not expecting to see any old vestments of great importance,

sa id earl ier (th at all the pineapple plants producing fiber

since the bombing during the war practically left th e

for wea vi ng in the country belong to the Spanish red

seminary completely ruined . To my great surprise , in one

variety), I deci ded to see for myself if this so -called pifia

drawer holding old vestments that were not be i ng used

bisaya was any different.

anymore was a treasurel Here was a Tridentine chasuble in

Aga in, t hrough the help of Margie Macasaet and Patis

powder blue silk that had its ornamentation of fol iate and

Tes oro of Ka t utubong Filipino Foundation, I was able to

tendril motifs woven in t o the fabric. This fiddle back

l ink wi t h Enriquita Alcaide of the Hikaban Community

chasuble was obviously made abroad , most probably i n

Development Cooperative located in Bantayan, Dumaguete .

Europe, and it was just there with some old and worn -out

Hikaban, I found out, is an acronym for Hini-usang Katawhan

vestments , not even properly folded!

sa Ban tayan (United People of Bantayan). Enriquita Alcalde ,

So excited over the discovery we had just made ,

a 51- year- old grandmother and the manager/supervisor of weavi n~

Dr. Bretana and I immediately told the priests and


seminarians who were there how i mportant and valuab le

was origin ally organized by the late Dr. Elena Maquiso, an

that piece was , and asked permiss ion to photograph i t.

unma rr ied and retired professor of Silliman University

cen ter of Hikaban , explained that the cooperative

I was also perm i tted to trace its pattern of beautiful designs

Divinity School, in 1991 as an association of women . Aware of

so we had to rush to a school and office supplies store to

the poor living co nditions of about 200 families

buy some tracing paper. Since this was not available , I had

Bantayan , sh e t hought of helping the housewives to earn

to make do with some yards of transparent plastic cover

extra i ncom e by first forming Hikaban with an initial project

material and used a pentel pen marker to trace the original !

of hand ic r aft-making using abaca and bamboo as raw



It was already my last day in Iloilo and even the last few

materials . They produced bags, wallets, placemats , folders,

hours there were still fruitful.

and wall decor. Th is was followed by putting up a small

The loyal and noble city of Iloilo was one place where

sari -sari store to cater to the basic needs of the workers. o

I was truly overwhelmed not only with the rich weaving and embroidery traditions but also with the beauty of the place and the kindness and hospitality of its people . I went home to the monastery assured by newfound friends of their prayers for the success of the undertaking which they felt proud being a part of.



In early 1993, the group thought of pursuing a bigger project that could generate more employment and provide livelihood to more people. Thus was born the Integrated Native Pineapple Development Project, which involved over a hundred people to do the whole process of piiia production from planting to harvesting the pineapple leaves , to scraping and knotting of fibers, and finally to the weaving of piiia cloth. The project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of different agencies, from both the government and the private sector. With the help of FIDA , technology was transferred from Kalibo to Dumaguete. The government and some NGOs of Luxembourg provided the establishment costs of the project, including skills training , the construction of the weaving center that houses 12 weavers , the fabrication of 12 looms with accessories, the development of a three-fourth -hectare farm of piiia bisaya , some office equipment, and even the administrative costs for the first year of operation. Enriquita recalled that after seven months of simul taneous skills training and the preparation of the looms, piiia cloth weaving was finally started in October 1993. Since it takes more than a year before native piiia leaves could be harves ted from their new farm , the Hikaban coo perati ve initially had to buy the needed raw weaving materials from different towns allover Negros Oriental. Mrs. Alcaide was very proud to say that the total membership of their cooperative has reached 180'plus, most of them from Bantayan and the rest from neighboring barangays and towns. Built like a salakot (native hat made of palm leaves), the Hikaban office and display store is made of bamboo and

nipa and has a concrete floor, with the weaving center located at the back of the office. It is interesting to note that of the 12 weavers there , two are men , both of them married. Although the ages of the weavers range from 26 to 35 years, they also have one senior citizen weaver who up to now could weave so beautifully without the aid of eyeglasses. Like most other weavers of indigenous materials , Mrs. Alcaide explained that their problem is a very basic one - they have no regular buyer of the finished piiia cloth.

If they continue producing a great volume even without



d II " a 0

prior orders, so much capital will be needed. This might not sound like a big problem for some , but for a small business

Anyone who has seriously tried to study southern Ph ilippine

in a Third World country, like the Hikaban's piiia cloth

ethnography would agree that the sub ject remain s a complex

weaving , it could spell the failure of such a beautiful

and confusing one. First among the prob lems has been t he

endeavor. I promised to help link them with some people

inconsistent and overlapping naming of the di ff erent

in Manila, specially my designer friends who always are in

ethnolinguistic groups. Most of our information on these

need of this elegant native material.

ethnic groups is based on t he work of early 20th century

There was, indeed , some difference - at least in

ethnographers who described th e peo ples they encountered

appearance- between the piiia cloth produced in Aklan and

in very concrete term s. Th is was very misleading because

the one done by the Hikaban coop in Dumaguete. The most

it gave the impress i on that t he people they studied

noticeable difference was that the Dumaguete piiia bisaya

acknowledged themselves and were acknowledged by others

seemed lighter in color than the ecru·beige color of the

as belonging to very defi ni t e groups with very definite

Kalibo weave . The piiia cloth I ordered from Mrs . Alcaide

terri t ories. The problem with th is was the fact that it

also seemed more thickly and tightly woven , giving it a

ignored the very strong chances th at such communities of

slightly heavier texture. What I also found very interesting

diverse peopl es could often be i ntermixed.

was their blend of pina with spun silk , and the pina with

Furthe rmore , the cultural dominan ce of Immigrants from

spun piiia, which I did not see in Kalibo , giving me the

Luzon and the Visayas representing t he lowland Catholic

impression that this coop was very aggressive in product

culture compounded these di fficulties. It is said that by

development. These pina blends were heavier in weight and

1960, one·fourth of the entire populati on of Mi nd anao were

had an almost "linen appeal."

migrants from the other parts of th e country.lO In fact, in

One of my favorite chasubles in the collection I designed

some places , the indigenous peop les are now a minority in

for the centennial exhibit is a conical chasuble made of

their own territory. The effect of t his is very easily manifested

pina bisaya and natural·dyed in yellow ginger to achieve a

in language and dress . Th e

lingua franca in some places is

golden yellow color. It was embroidered all over the surface

not the indigenous dialec t but ei th er of the two most popular

with geometric designs, with a cross column in the middle

Visayan languages : Cebuano or Ilonggo. One also notices

done in red embroidery, also of geometric patterns. I also

that there are less peop le wea ri ng indigenous clothing

used pina bisaya in its natural color for the body of a

today than, say, three decades ago.

chasuble with a woven Ifugao center column of ikat designs

Because of the limited publication s ba sed on curren t

in pure silk . This particular chasuble, therefore, combined

research , it is very hard , indeed, to present a com pre hensive o

materials from two regions- handwoven silk (also a first for the Ifugao) from northern Luzon and handwoven pina from Dumaguete in the Visayas. A very subtle way of ornamentation I used was weave·stitch embroidery in gold thread along the ikat · patterned silk column and stole , giving the appearance that the gold thread was woven with the silk .


classification of Mindanao's textile t raditions. The purpose

the T' boli and the B' laan. This reg ion remain s important

of this part of the book is only to present a sam pling of some

because of th e followi ng general features : a) the use of

of the south's textiles and weaving an d clothing traditions

warp -ikat tech ni qu e on abaca f i ber ; b) the intricate

which could be adapted for use in church vestments. Thus ,

ornamen t atio n on garments using embroidery, appl ique, and

I tried to work on one or two groups from each of the four

bead or shell-sequin wor k; and c) the use of two additional

style sectionslregions of Mindanao whose overall patterns

resist -dye tec hniques, pe/angi , a specialty of the Bagobo ,

of dress and appearance differ from each other in spite of

and tritik, trad itionally used by the Kulaman , both of which

some shared techniques and motifs . Based on previous

are not too co mmonl y fou nd i n Mindanao and are much less

studies , I would surely be able to use not only some of their

widespread in So utheas t Asia as a whole than is warp 路i kat. l1

materials for liturgical ves tments but also some aspects of their ornamentation techniques.


Rich abaca estates are found i n MIndanao, supplying the largest and strongest cordage fiber in the world. Mindanao

The visit of the Americ an Amba ssador to the Philippines ,

also boasts of the most exquisite samples of weaving

Tho mas Hubb ard , and hi s gr ac i ous wife Joan to our

technology among the animist groups in the Philippine s.

monastery in Octobe r 1997 proved to be another blessing

Foreign colonizers have always encouraged the cultivation

fo r me and for the vestment proj ec t. We had invited the

of hemp for export purposes. But the different groups i n

Amb assador to be our guest spea ker at the Transfiguration

MIndan ao have always cultivated hemp, which is considered

Lecture Se ries of our monastery. Si nce I was assigned to

Indigenous i n the Philippines and pro ably used first for

welco me t hem at the airport in Cagayan de Oro City and

weav'ng since it grew wild , primarily fo t he manufacture

coordinate t hei r stay at the monastery, I had much time to

of their in digenous textiles that will be discussed in this

talk to the m abo ut our mon as t ic li fe and the monastery 's

part of the book. ~tle

projects. Admi ri ng the T'bol i necklace t hat the ambassador's

firs t regIOn I visited was South Central Mindanao ,

wife was wea ri ng, I mentioned to her that I was supposed

the regIon to the west of Davao Gulf. In this region could

to visi t t he ethn olingui stic group in connection with the

be foun d the T'boli , the B'laan, the Bagobo, the Tagakaolo,

researc h work fo r the vestments ex hibit. Joan Hubbard found

and th e Kulaman. This region is also called the bebe d

the project ve ry i nteres t i ng and immediately offered to help

heartland ,)1 bebed being one variant of the common ter m

through net wo r king . Sh e i ntrodu ced me to some of the

used throughout the region to refer to resist-dye t echniq ues .

officials of the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program

Sou t h Central Mindanao is considered a meaningf ul st yle

who atte nd ed t he lecture.

region by scholars, so I decided to visit at least two grou ps,

Suj Ronquil lo , the deputy enterprise team leader and area hea d of GEM 's Davao Gulf Clu ster, explained to me that GEM , a joint program of the United States Agency for Inter national Development (USAID) and the Office of the President-Mindanao (OP-Min .), has for its goal the acceleration of the economic tran sformation of Mindanao while ensuring th at th e benefits of growth are widely distributed among the people of Mindanao, specially the disadvantaged groups, includi ng Muslim s and the indigenous groups . Funded by the


25 I

USAID, the GEM program has, since its launching in 1995, helped improve the income路earning opportunities of the Mindanao people by involving them in various agricultural , aquaculture, agro路forestry, and handicraft enterprise. Explaining that our monastery's centennial project at the Ayala Museum would try to highlight the use of indigenous materials , Suj Ronquillo agreed that this would definitely benefit the indigenous weavers. With GEM offices in all the major cities of Mindanao and their established contacts with the indigenous groups , they were really in the best position to help with the vestment project. "Just let us know your schedule of field trips to the ethnic communities , " she said , "and we will be very glad to assist you." And so in November, when I finally had the chance to go on my first field trip to T'boli territory, I was met at the airport in General Santos City by a GEM representative, Jim Ofonda. Sr. Cecile Espenilla, OP of the Notre Dame of Polomolok , 10 whose convent I was supposed to stay, was there , too. I was very much impressed to see a new and beautiful airport , b t t er than any other in Mindanao. As we left the airport and drove towards Polomolok, which was less than an hour's drive , I also noticed the very wide and modern roads. I found out that this was all part of the development under the USAID funding . In order to further integrate the growing market centers of Mindanao into the global economy, GEM has really been promoting and supporting public and private infrastructure investments in roads, air and sea transport services , and telecommunications facilities , too. After depositing my bags at the Dominican Sisters' convent , we immediately planned my schedule for the next few days . My first afternoon there was spent mostly touring the town proper with Sr. Cecile. She was so kind to help me buy some footwear in a downtown department store since I had forgotten to bring with me my rugged shoes for mountain climbing. We also visited Fr. Ronald Plomillo of our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He had spent a few days of retreat at our monastery a couple of months earlier and had offered to accompany me, too, when I go to visit the T'boli.

The T'boli , also known as Tiboli and Tagabili , are an old

T'boli social organization is centered around the household,

indigenous people living scattered among the rugged peaks

with the father as its head . According to tradition, the

and ridges of the lake-studded Tiruray Highlands in the

fath er's power should not be exercised arbitrarily and that

province of Cotabato, in an area circumscribed by a triangle

his word is absolute only in major decisions . T'bol i society's

formed by the towns of Suralla , Polomolok, and Kiamba .

strong male orientation is shown clearly in succession, which

Anthropologists say that the T'bol i could have been initially

is excl usively reserved for men. The eldest son, or the eldest

used to roaming the coasts up to the mountains and were

brother if there is no son, inherits the responsibilities and

gradually pushed to the uplands wi th the arrival of later

rights of a father who dies. T'boli kesiyahan or marriage

groups . It is also said that they, together with the other

is a long process that may be conducted in three major

upland groups , used to inhabit parts of the fertile Cotabato

stages : childhood , puberty and adolescenc e, and the final

Valley, until the advent of Islam in the region , starting in

celebration called the moninum , a series of six feasts,

the 14th century. As stated in the Muslim oral accounts

hosted alternately by the families of the bride and groom.

called the Tarsila , those who accepted the new faith

Polygamy is allowed among the T'boli, a practice resorted

remained in the Cotabato Valley while the others , the T'boli

to especially by chieftains and the wealthy, with the consent

included , retreated to the relative safety and is olation

of the first wife . Di vorce is permitted, too, on the grounds

of the mountains.

of incompa tibility, sterility, or infidelity.

This indigenous group also practices the kaingin or taniba

The T'boli bel ieve in the supreme couple deities kadaw

(slash and burn) method of clearing land for farming . They

10 sambad, the sun god, and bulan 10 mogoaw, the moon

are hunters , farmers , fishermen , and weavers . The

' boli

goddess. Da ta, the third son, breathed life into clay figurines,

usually establish their homesteads on hilltops after they ave

thus crea t ing th e first people _ Muhen , the bird considered

cleared the fields . For them , the possess ion of houses is an

th e god of fate , is one of the most influential gods whose

indication of financial and social prestige. Barter, which used

song when heard is thought to give a warning of misfortune.

to be their manner of doing trade , has little by little given

Like all animists , they believe that all objects have a spirit

way to a money economy with a lot of household items

whose good graces have to be gained always through gift

already bought from the lowland stores rather than made

offerings, desu , of cooked food , the agong, and the kafi/an,

by them or bartered from other groups .

sword . Death for the T'boli is the result of a trick played by

The datu or T'boli chieftain , known for his wisdom and

the busao or evil spiri ts , or punishment inflicted by the gods.

proficiency in the knowledge of T'boli traditions , was the

Their folk literature reflects the typical beliefs, customs,

interpreter of customs and traditions , and presided over

and traditions of their society. Practically every aspect of

the settlements of inter-tribal disputes . His posi tion was

T'boli life is governed by folk beliefs and sayings. The epic

not hereditary and did not exercise specific jurisdictional


control over specific areas or groups. In the past , the T'boli were governed through a rich layer of custom law and tradition which were usually inculcated from childhood through numerous folktales and folk beliefs which were transmitted orally. Offenses were penalized by

tamok (fines) which , if not paid , could be exchanged with rendering of services to the aggrieved party.


Tudbulul is the core of T'bol1 folk literature and the foundation on which T'boli identity rests.

and the hegalong (a long , slender, and spindle路shaped two路string guitar, with strings made of abaca) . Some of these

Most T'bol1 houses are built on hilltops primarily for

instruments are used to accompany ritual dances. The kadal

security. Their houses are not permanent because of certain

slung be tonok is a ritual dance performed to exorcise evil

practices: the taniba, which exhausts the land after a

spirits that harbor illness and bad luck . The kadal tahu is

number of years; the kimo, the transfer of property on the

considered the true dance of the T'boli , accompanied by a

occasion of a marriage; and the pract ice of burning or

drum which is believed to hold a spirit . To release the spirit,

abandoning houses and moving whenever some member

the female dancer touches the drum with her ankle as she

of the household dies.

sways to its rhythm.

The T'boli gunu bong (liter ally, "big house") appears

GEM arranged my trip to Koronadal , also called Marbel ,

all roof (of cogon or dried grasses) on bamboo stilts , with

which is 70 km from the airport in General Santos . There

walls of lasak, split and flattened bamboo , and a space

I met with Luchie Sueno who, together with her very

underneath, the laan gunu, reserved for the valuable horses.

supportive husband , established a T'boli weaving "village"

The lowo, the main feature of the house, is the central space

in 1996 . She i nvited us to go to their farm in Barangay

around which all household activities take place. Aside from the gunu bong, other structures that the T'boli

Edward s, in the municipality of T'boli, South Cotabato, about 40 km from Koronadal. Along the way, she told us the

bUIld are the lowig tnak (a shed co nst ructed in the middle

story of their weaving village . Actually, she said , they

of the farm as shelter from the sun and, the rain, with a roof

started planting G' melina trees in their 70路hectare property

but without a flooring) and the halo (a all, skeletal tower

in 1987. Then in 1994 , when the G' melina trees had already

bu It in the middle of the rice fields ma e of bamboo and

grown and it was t ime to grow the alternate crop in between ,

thatch, where the farmer or his children stand watch when

they thought of planting abaca . Although their original

the grain is ripe). Its purpose is to serve as control tower of

plan was simply to sell the abaca as raw material for export,

the bamboo clapper network devised to scare birds away

the T'boli natives from the place whom they have started

when they descend on the ripe grain .

to befriend by then, suggested that the couple start a

The musically inclined T'boli have a variety of musical

weaving center. One of the major problems of people who

nstruments which include the agong (gongs played exclusively

go into abaca weaving is the constant supply of the abaca

by men), the k'lintang (a set of eight gongs played by men

fiber. With their 70 hectares planted to abaca at different

and women on festive occasions), the s/udoy (a bamboo zither

intervals, they were assured of a constant supply. Luchie

that consists of a sectIOn of bamboo with slivers excised

co uld only smile when she recalled that their decision to

lengthwise from around ItS exteriors at regular intervals ),

plant abaca between the rows of G'melina was based purely on gut feeling . By God's grace, she said , the abaca and the G'melina turned out to be compatible with each other! As we entered the farm in T'boli , our first stop was at the stripping areas where abaca trunks are stripped to reveal the delicate fibers used in weaving. These fibers are then dried under the sun. Then we went to another section where young T'boli maidens were joining the ends of the fiber to create the continuous abaca yarn used for weaving. And

finally, still further into the plantation, we arrived at the

an ample-length tube skirt worn like a ma/ong . Anothe r

"weaving village," where three huge bamboo and nipa

elderly weaver was wearing a kga/ taha soung, a long路sleeved ,

structures housed the T'boli weavers. Weaving was done on

tight路 fitting , plain black blouse that was collarless and

the second floor of the building that had high ceilings and

waist-length . Th is was a traditional dress for wo rking in t he

very low walls all around so enough sunlight could enter.

fields . The middle -aged and younger women we re more

The first floors of the buildings were the residential

colorful. Most of them wore the kga/ nisi[, a more elaborately

apartments of the natives.

decorated blouse embroidered with cross-stitched animal

Luchie told me that when they had started , only the

and human designs and geometric patterns. Most ornamentation

women came to work at the weaving center. But since their

was in red , white , and yellow aga in st a dark blue or black

families were away, up in the mountains, the women always

background. Cenden , a young T' boli housewife whose

found all kinds of excuses to go home. So little by little,

husband Tinoy was also employed there, was wearing a

Luchie and her husband started to employ the men , too , as

blouse decorated with applique ca lled kga/ kenibang. Marian

strippers and as farmworkers. Some also knew how to weave

Pastor-Roces , in her very informative book Sina unang Habi ,

so that sometimes , husband and wife could help each other

explains that the T'boli adjective ken ibang is from the root

specially in the initial preparation of the loom. By the time

kibang which is used to descri be plant s and animals that

I visited the farm for the first time, there were already a

are mottled , varicolored , or speckled . Th e T'boli use the

lot of T'boli children at the weaving center- a total of about

word to describe what is appl ique in th e western weaving

25 families was already living and working there .

vocabulary but do not exactly use it as a technical category.)]

The very first thing that one notices in viSiting a 'boli

Almost all of the women we re wearing brightly colored tube

village is their marked penchant for personal adornment.

skirts , mostly i n pla ids and stri pes, nowadays bought from

One immediately realizes that unlike the other ethnic groups,

the lowland stores and the Muslim t rad ers.

T'boli women have a well-developed and well-preserved

When I commented th at thei r clo t hes were so beautiful,

world of indigenous fashion. We see this in their clothes ,

the women said that the mos t bea ut iful blouse was in fact

their body ornaments and accessories, and even in their

reserved for formal wear. Thi s is the kga/ binsiwit (kega/

distinctive hairstyles and cosmetic and beauty practices.

bensewitj an embroidered blou se orna tely decorated with

It is their belief, I am told , that the gods created man and

triangular shell spangles. Th is was matched by t he most valued

woman to look attractive so that they would be drawn to

type of women 's skirts called the teduyu ng (tredyung). a

each other and procreate. Looking at the children who

blue or black pinstripe tube ski rt used only by women of

were playing at the weaving center, I noticed that the

high social standing . Fr. Gabriel Casal , an anthropologIst

young girls were already conscious of beauty skills even

who has lived wi th the T'bolis and who ha s provi de d us

from an early age. To my surprise, all the weavers were


in their beautiful, colorful garments! This , I was told , was their everyday wear! Ye Deng who, at 75, was the oldest weaver at the village , was wearing a kga/ bengkas, a long-sleeved blouse of dark blue cotton with a front opening and bands of red and white decorating the neckline , hemline , around the cuffs , and the front opening. With this blouse, she wore a /uwek ,

J 50

wit h a detailed picture of this group f rom the 1960 s, 34

occasion s. In fact , I did not see a single T'boli man wearing

repor ted th at these were rare heirl oo ms mad e of black

a tra di t ional attire during my visits there . Except for the

importe d Ch i nese " linen ." Some , however, believe t hat i t

simple olew or turban that the men wear on their heads ,

may have bee n made of ramie , since linen was never a

usually of colorful plaid material , the men wore shirts and

Chinese expo rt commodIty of any i mporta nce . 3s It is , of

pa nts like any rural Filipino . In the olden days, T'boli men

course, beli eved that this tedu yu ng must have been an

wore t he traditional clothes that consisted of the kgal saro ,

imported luxu ry cloth sold by the Maguindanao traders

a long路 sleeved, tight -fitting collarless jacket , and the sawal

to the T' boli natives si nce it had a different name , thus

taho, a pair of pants either knee -length or ankle -length

differentiat ed from the lewek hnitem , an indigenous black

wit h a waist section that extended up to the shoulders . It

abaca skirt, an d also different from the lewek hnulo , an

was sec ured with an abaca band along the waist and made to fall, coverin g the hi ps and upper thighs li ke a small skirt.

Indigenous red aba ca skir t. Another fancy路looki ng T' bol i blouse is the kgal bentil as,

It i s usually for the ma king of T'boli men's suits (consisting

a blouse decorate d wi t h commerci al sequins . Since the

of a jacket , kgal saro and long pants, kgal taho) that the

women there were all worki ng , no one was wearing t his f ancy

T'bol i employ abaca -ikat cloth . It is interesting to note

blouse. ThIs blouse IS also matched wi th the more colo rful

t hat i n th e Southeast As ian context , this is quite unusual,

fandi nedol, predominantly red with a variety of dec orative

sin ce ordinarily, warp -ikat cloth is rarely cut to make

styles typical of Maguindanao wea ing. What I also noticed

tailored items of clothing .

umu benetek,

It is clai med by many scholars that the loincloth of abaca ,

Made of commercial printed fabric to m ke into tube skirts.

dowin, is more likely the indigenous garment of the T'boli

was that the T'boli women also use

t he

t was practical, they said, when I asked w y no one was using

men si nce the use of ikat cloth for tailored men's suits is

t e abaca skirts anymore. The co mmercial fabric was more

considered anomalous . The abaca ikat cloth suit is, therefore ,

olT'fortable, they said, and could be washed very easily.

believed to be a more recent innovation. Even today, the

The T'boli women may have started to use substit ute or

hilot or girdle is a pa rt of the accoutrements of the T'boli

a ternate materials for t hei r t raditional abaca skirts but

male because of its use- to hold the kafilan in place . Most

'lave as a whole, maintain ed the i r clot hing styles. Not so

of the men working as strippers had their kafilan suspended

wIth the men. In theIr case, tradition has definitely given

from the hilot . To disti nguish a datu , the angkul , a sash of

way to modern convenience. Retaining much of t heir

th ick cloth , is worn as a mark of authority. And to indicate

traditIOnal garments, their women's fash ion sense con t inues

th ei r wealth , prominent T' boli like the datu and his wife

to adhere to what IS authentic and traditio nal. Th e men,

adorn their teeth with gold , a Muslim influence.

however, wear theIr t ra ditional garmen t s only on spe ci al

T'boli weaving is a skill which has been raised to the level of art . The traditional T'boli ikat -dyed cloth made of krugon or abaca fiber is called t'nalak. This now popular T'boli word somehow conveys the idea of "centering . " Coming from the root word talak , meaning "middle, " t ' nalak often has a central panel which is quite broad and ornamented with stylized renditions of the kleng (crab), the gmayaw (bird in flight pattern), the tofi (frog) , the klung (shield), the sawo (snakeskin), and the bangala



(person within the home pattern) . The framework for t'nolok designs are normally interlocking zigzags , triangles , rhombuses , hexagrams, chevrons, and other geometric patterns . The kdungon or abaca fiber to be used is extracted from the mature, fruit-bearing wild abaca. Luchie Sueno explained to me that according to the FIDA, it takes about 18 months for the abaca tree to mature. However, in the case of the Sueno farm where the abaca trees were planted fully shaded by the taller G' melina , it took 24 months for the trees to mature. Each fiber of abaca is carefully dried under the sun. It is then stretched on the

gana smai , a comb 路 like wooden frame

with teeth pOinting up , to preserve the length and silkiness of each fiber. It was good to see the young T'boli couple , Cenden and Tinoy, as they tried to neatly smooth out all the fibers, then transferring them to the bed, a 50 to 400 cm bamboo frame , onto which the abaca fiber was evenly and closely spread as in a loom. These are held in place by the tlodoi or wooden bar laid across and directly over the fiber which will be set in this exact position after the dyeing process , this being the warp of the cloth to be woven _ I noted that it was while the fiber was evenly stretched out on the bed that the traditional T'boli designs were knotted into them according to the tie-dye technique . Little individual knots called ledek are tied with separate pieces of thread treated with wax which cover the areas of the warp fibers that must remain free from dye . Thus , only the exposed parts are dyed. This process alone, Ye Deng explained , could take two weeks to do. After all, T'boli women do not sketch or draw the design on the warp before them but merely follow a mental picture of a traditional design . It is all in the mind of the weaver, Ye Deng added. The three traditional colors of the T'boli t'noloks are deep reddish brown , black , and white. When the fibers are boiled for the first time in earthen jars with black dye, all the reddish brown and white sections of the design are protected within the individual knots . Then the knots for the reddish brown sections are removed and the fibers are dyed all over

again in red dye. The black portion dyed earlier is not affected by this second dye. The last step is the removal of the remaining knots that have protected the section from the black and red dyes, to expose the creamy路white design that will remain as is . The material is then washed in the river. The leaves of the knalum tree are used to get the black color. The material to be dyed red is similarly boiled in water with pieces of roots from the loka tree. These dyes, the only two that the T'boli know and use, are permanent. When the washed and dried fibers are ready, they are set as the warp on the gana mawal (backstrap loom) in the same position that each fiber had occupied while stretched on the bed . One end of the loom is hitched to a post or a wall i n the house and kept taut by the weaver's own weight as she reclines against a waist strap called a dlogong. Slung onto the small of her back , it is then attached to her end of the warp . The width of the t 'nalak material depends on the reach of the individual weaver's arm , as she sends the

lungon or shuttle from one side to the other and back again. According to Luch ie, there seems to be a general rule or tradition that the weft thread fed by the lungon as it shuttles back and forth can only be black. This is as far as trad it ional designs are concerned . At the Pit 路 Chie Arts Trading , as Luchie calls their weaving center, though , they have not limited themselves to traditional designs and colors . They have done some product development , producing beautiful plaids, stripes, and checkered designs . For these items however, they have started to use commercial dyes , like the Procion and Choranyle Dyes , since as Luchie explained , they will end up usi ng too much loko and knalum that they might kill all of the trees! Furthermore, since they had started to accept big orders , it was very hard to get a constant shade using the natural dyes . Even the time or season when the dyesources were harvested could affect the shade and quality of the color. Upon hearing this , I quickly hastened to remind her not to forget that the center should try to preserve the weaving and dyeing traditions of the T'boli. Progress does

not have to kill tradition ; progress can work hand in hand

to find out from further research readings that indeed, the

and side by side with tradition.

T'boli used to have hine/, a sheer, flimsy cloth of abaca.

As I was moving around looking at the weavers do their work, I noticed that the old T'boli weaver, Ye Deng , was doi ng something very different. While almost all were

The word referred to nipis·like fabrics , specimens of which seem to be unknown today. During my visit to South Cotabato, we were also able to go

working on traditional designs of rhombuses and zigzags in

to Sta . Cruz Mission , established 37 years ago by the Passionist

an overall pattern , what she was making was mostly plain

Fathers . It seems that no other group has worked harder in

with intricate fine linear patterns limited to the borders

he lping the T'boli than the Sta. Cruz Mission. The Passionist

close to the selvage . They call this style tutu.

Fathers established a school system as a means of reaching

I also observed that the t 'na/ak is finished by polishing

out to the young. Reforestation projects have also been

its surface to give it a good sheen. This is done with the use

sponsored by them to raise the environmental consciousness

of the smaki or cuttlefish bone , a piece of sea shell or any

of both th e young and the old T'boli-reinforcing their

other hard material held under tension by a bent rod (bamboo

tradit ional bel ief in the sacredness of all natural things.

in this case) that presses the shell against the surface of the

But more importantly, the mission has encouraged the

cloth. To provide a glossy luster, beeswax is applied to the

natives to be involved in the political process, especially in

surface of the cloth during the polishing proceS5. I observed

issues concerning land ownership and control of natural

that a roll of ten meters of t'na/ak could be polish,ed within

resources. Thi s is so because the last few decades have seen

two and a half to three hours if the worker is an experienced

the increase of illegal logging, ranching, and mining in the

one. I also noticed a process that was very similar t


area. Eve simple population pressure due to the increased

pinukpok technique of the Visayas. An adolescent boy was

pre sence of migrants from the Visayas and elsewhere have

pounding on the t'na/ak cloth inch by inch to give it a so ter

pu shed tHe T' boli to retreat deeper into the hills.

finish. At one point , the sound being produced by the pounding started to sound almost musical to the ears. In the past, I was told that the T'boli usage of ikat cloth

Aside from their wide display of t'na/ok materials at the showroom·cum·gift shop of the Sta. Cruz Mission center, a wide va riety of decorative body accessories included earrings

has focused primarily on the making of the kumo , a large

such as the kowot (simple brass rings). the bketot (round mirror

flat cloth made of three panels sewn together. Although

surrounded by small, colored glass beads). and the nomong

the term itself has often been translated as "blanket,"

(a chandelier·type earring consisting of lengths of brass

it can best be described as a ceremonial cloth with a

interspersed with horse hair links having little clusters of

traditionally important role in the moninum or marriage

colored beads at the end). But the characteristic ornament

festival. Its side·striped section frames the rich figuration

that stands out is the kowo/ or bek/ow, a combination of

of T'boli designs at the center. Other groups like the


Mandaya have as the main focus of their ikat work , the production of women's tube skirt, which the T'boli do not seem to have , or at least not anymore. When I asked Luchie to try to experiment with weaving using only the very fine and single fibers for the warp and weft but using the traditional ikat· dye patterns, I thought that I was doing some product development for them- only


earring and necklace, consis t i ng of several st rands of tiny,

happeni ng around them , the T'boli have refused to be drowned

multicolored glass beads suspended gracefully un der the

in the waves of outsi de influences . In fact , the i r refusal to

chin, from one earlobe to the other, with lengths of black

be overwhel med seems to be intrinsically a part of their

horse hair links and clusters of multicolore d beads dangling

iden t i ty as T'bol i. One only has to visit a T'boli village ,

from the bottom strand. Another interesting accessory is

admire th e magnificent view of Lake Sebu blanketed by

the hilot or girdle. The ordinary hilot is a chain-mail belt

hun dreds of pi nk water lilies and shimmering under the sun ,

with lengths of chain dangling side by side along the entire

and realize that the T'boli culture is alive and well.

lower part of the belt. It usually has two square buckles


covered with T'boli designs , and tnoyong or howk bells may be attached at the end of each dangling chain. T'boli women wear an assortment of brass bracelets called

The word B'laan cou l d have been deri ved from

bila ,

blonso as well as anklets worn tightly on the calves called

meaning "house," and th e suffix an , meaning " people ." The

tugul and those worn loosely called singkil. Crowning a T'bol i

wo rd may, th erefo re, be ta ke n to mean " people living in

suwat blokong (made of

house s." Th e B'l aan are spread out in the mountains on the

suwat tembuku (co mbs decorated with pieces of

west sid e of Da vao Gulf , along pla i ns and watersheds

woman's head are combs like the bamboo), mirror),

suwat Imimot (comb decorated with glass beads),

betwee n th e di strict of Da vao and Cotabato. Some B' laan

and the

suwat hanofok (made of brass).

also live on Sarangani Island off th e coa st of Davao del Sur.

But the

piece de resistance as far as T'boli women's

These people have been known by many names . Fay Cooper

kenibang, a wide

Cole has att ri bu t ed t he foll ow i ng name s to th is group :

accessories are concerned is the sloo

salakat (wide-brimm ed hat) woven with bamboo strips and

tagalakad, a name genera lly app lied to this grouup by the

('ntlrely covered with a geometric patchwork of red, white,

natives of t he coastal areas, mea ni ng " dwellers i n the bac k

a,d black cloth, each hat always unique and original. To

country"; tagkagon , meani ng " dwellers in the cogon ," refers

protect the weaver from the sun's glare, a red lining clo t h

to the group li vin g in the grass plain s west of Malalag ; buluan

hangs along the sides and back. And this is used for farmwork


or plain travelin g! For special occasions , long ba nd s of

so meti mes identifi ed with th e

beadwork on both sides of the face are added , these

live in th at reg ion ;

with tassels of horsehair at the ends.

the word used by the neighboring Bagobo to refer to the

Indeed, fashion among the T'boli is an aural as well as a

bul uones , referring to those dwelli ng near Lake Buluan ,

group ;

tagobili or tagobulu who also

biro-on or bora-on , a synonym for B' laan ,

bolud or tumanao , a name used by early writers to

visual sensation. And beauty is a cherished value in t hese

re fer to the B' laan who li ved on Sarangan i Island . J6 B'laan

mountain s. It is most fortunate that in spite of all the t hi ngs

who l ive on Sarangani Island are now more commonly referred to as Sarangani Manobo. Th e B' laan li ve in villages consisting of hamlets of several hou ses built usually on top of hills within sight of one another. The B' laan house as described by Cole in 1913 was built on stilts as high as seven meters with the flooring lai d along 2 to 5 planes or levels , with the cooking area in one corn er of the main room and occasionally, a side room provi ded for the looms of girls engaged i n weaving .


2 tJ J

Originally inhabiting the hilly region behind the west coast of Davao Gulf , the B'laan were pushed deeper back into the interior as settlers from the Visayan Islands started to come and occupy the foothills. Swidden farming is the main agricultural method used by the B'laan , growing rice , corn, sweet potatoes , vegetables, tobacco , and abaca. Produced as barter items , tobacco and abaca are used to get the other food articles, utensils and tools they need . Like other groups who have come in contact with lowland cultures , the B'laan's traditional ways and values have been affected by the introduction of foreign articles and goods . B'laan society was stratified into the following: datu or village chief known as fu/ang , meaning "the wise , "37 was the local ruler, judge , and defender of his followers ;

/ebe , renowned warriors who were privileged to wear plain red suits which were richly embroidered , and were under the protection of a warrior deity called /amat to

mangayo or manda/angan; the commoners , and the slaves who were obtained from neighboring groups or from other hostile settlements. Even if the single , nuclear family was common , the B'laan also permitted polygamy for as long as the man can afford to raise the kasfa/a , the dowry or bride price for another wife . Ordinarily, the newlyweds stayed with the woman 's parents and build their own house only after the birth of the first child . B'laan culture strongly show mutual assistance among them specially in building a house or clearing a swidden . For fear of retaliation , the B'laan were constrained to observe customs. National laws and policies which have been imposed on the B'laan have slowly replaced the age 路old tribal political structure with the barangay council , like in most other tribal communities . The culture of Christian settlers have strongly influenced the B'laan , specially those on the western side of the mountain range in South Cotabato. But some have also managed to preserve and observe many of their traditions , like their marriage ritual of koswo libon , side by side with the newly introduced Christian customs.

Two very im portant rituals, connected with death and buria l , were the narong, the death ritual which included the preparation of the corpse, activities for the wake , and the final disposal of the body which was traditionally done after 24 hours; and the asfuk tu falame el post -burial ritual usually done a week after interment. This was done on the river bank with all the relatives in attendance. This involved the alamaas , a religious practitioner usually a middle-aged woman, who functioned as a shaman or medium, imploring the gods to return the strength of the body and mind of all those present who have undergone the ordeal of losing and burying a loved one. The ritual was followed by a meal at the bereaved family's house . The people of Cotabato have often called the B'laan who lived in the forested areas of Davao as kapil or pagan. This was not, however, accurate since even in their pre-Spanish folk religious beliefs , they acknowledged one supreme being ruling the cosmos , and the existence of the soul which , upon leaving the body, causes illness and death. In a way, these beliefs may have helped in the missionaries' work of conversion to Christianity, not to mention the effect of i ntermarriage with the new Christian settlers. At present , about 40 percent of the B'laan have been converted to Christianity, although the extent to which Christian doctrines are properly followed and practiced is undetermined . The B' laan's religious beliefs included benevolent spirits as well as malevolent ones . Aside from Mele, the supreme being who was the creator and ancestor of man, and to whom the B' laan prayed and gave offerings, the B'laan also believed in Diwata , whom Cole identified as the wife of Mele, but whom Lorenzo Genotiva identified as the younger brother of Mele. JS Maria Lourdes Avanceiia Arcenas , on the other hand, identified Diwata as God , the supreme being . The B'laan also believed in muguhul , a class of spirits considered friendly with people and harmless . There were, however, malevolent spirits like blugul, who caused earthquakes; siting , blanga, and magut -ayem , feared because they fed on human flesh ;

loas klagan , who caused embarrassment and harm ; malulugud

who frightened people , and busau , malicious spirits who

perfectly well to t he B'laan because they are restrained by

caus ed si ckness . J9 Nature sp i ri ts were also bel ieved to

the natural limitations im posed by their methods and the

in habi t certa in rocks , mountains, caves , streams, and trees .

availability of natu ral dye sources. Moreover, black or very deep

My vi sits to B' laan territo ry were made possible through

indigo and red are largely used because of the availab ility

the help of the Demolan Foundation , Inc . (DFI) , a nonstock,

of dye sources. White is easiest to obtain . The natural colo r

nonprofit service organ ization. It derives its name from the

of lutay before it is dyed is beige , which is categorized as

B' laan words dumo which means " partner " and lan, meani ng

wh i te. Th ey use the leaves and portions of the bark of the

"way." Therefor e, Demolan means " partners i n the way

roots of the kinalurn, a dark hardwood in the ebony family

(to development )." Formally organized in 1994, Demolan

(Oiospyros sp.) to produce black. To produce the different

Foundation 's development approach is based on the princi ples

shades of red , maroon, and redd ish brown, the B'laan use the

of participati ve and community路 based development through

inner portions of the roots of the lagu (Morinda citri[olia)."

education and training , technica l assitance , produ ct

To obtain less important colors , other t raditional botanicals

development, and market li nkages .

also use d i nclude kunil , turmeric for yellow color, and

On the occasions that I was able to visi t thei r office i n

k' luga, th e seed pods of Bixa orellana for orange or ochre_

Digos , Davao del Sur, the foundation 's executive director,

The B' laa n have also been known in the past for an unusual

Je sus Toledo , was always glad to help . Bei ng in charge of

way of dyeing used in t he spec ial ski rt tab i nihok. ThiS

the overall operations and project implementatIOn , he was

process, called zone dyeing , involved the secure binding of

always updated with the foundation 's work and proud to

the woven fabriC 's central section, made of fi ne strips of ikat

talk about their three project si tes in Barangays Pula Bato

and wa rp-float patterning. The rest of th e material, made

and Danlag in Tampakan , South Cotabato, Sitios Salnaong

of plain-weave abaca was dyed red wi th lagu. The central

and Datal Biao in Col umbio, Sultan Kudarat , and Balasi ao in

section was , thus, kept out of the dye. At most , the red color

Kiblawan , Davao del Sur. Because of the relat ively closer

of th e si de sections only bled off slightly in t o th e patterned

location to the Benedictine Monastery of St. Ben edict i n

central portion. What makes it unique is the fac t that the dyeing

Digos, where Fr. Columbano Adag and I came hom e to sleep

was mad e after the weaving and not vic e-versa (dyei ng of

at night , I chose Balasiao for my fieldwork on the B'laan . A two-hour drive from the center of Digos , through banana

t he yarn before wea ving), which is the comm on proce dure. We saw a ma terial which seemed to fi t th e descri ption of

and coconut plantations, Balasiao has a B'laan commun i ty of

th e tab i nihok but on closer investigation, we found ou t

441 households . Being a project site of Demolan Foundation ,

tha t the plain outer sect ions had been dyed before weaving;

i t was a very well -organ ized setting . The women weave rs

i t was , t herefore , not a sample of zone dyei ng .

(20 of them when they are all present) do thei r work in on e big bamboo and nipa building . Ord inarily, though , a weaver


would do her work on the ground floor of her house. Another build ing has the preparation of the lutay , abaca fi ber to be used for weaving . From what Fr. Columba no and I saw i n Ba lasiao , textile weaving is obviously the bes t developed Industry of the B' laan there . Among the primitive peoples , it is said that red , white , and black are the most common colors.'o This seems to apply


Edith a Melod y, the presi dent of the abaca project

uni que cut - the two sleeves and the top portion of the

benefici aries in Balamo , said that it takes at least two days

bodice were of one continuous piece , while the mai n bodice

to pre pare the abaca thread for the loom , and at least a

was a tubular piece wi th the seams joined in front. The

ikat design before weavin g could start.

ansif wa s concentrated on all the seams , both vertical and

After the wea vin g I S f i nished , the woven material is

horizonta l , on the shoulders , wrist , and waist area . The

week to prepare t he

b'lalo agai nst t he whole

sea ms on t he armpit areas were left open , making movement

surface of th e fi nished material. We observed a you ng man

easier and also allowing ai r to ventilate i t. In the olden

"polishing" a piece of woven material and were amazed at

days, tassels of bead s were even added on the front bodice

how the fabric began to shIne as th is process was re peated,

for fes t ive occasi on s.

"polished" by pressing a shell called

his work comple t ed at roughl y half an hour per meter.

The embroidery desi gn on the saol and the

salwal included

But what th e B'laan are rea lly very proud of, and which

anthropomorphic (man), zoomorphic (crocodile), and geometric

they seemed to look at as t he most precious characteristic

(triangles, diamonds ) motifs . The embroidery of the crocodile

of their textile, IS its sup erl ative cross路stitch embroi dery called

ansif, in abaca and cotton threads on abaca cloth.

Otley Beyer once stated t hat " they make excellent hem p

was so repres entati onal that one can easily discern the anatomy, unli ke in the

ikat fabrics where the crocodile form

was not so cl earl y defined. Wri ting on the embroidered

cloth, beautifully emb roi dered wi th intricate de signs

representation of the human form in B' laan men 's garments,

excelling all others foun d In the Philippines. " <12 Th is was

Lynd a Angelica Reyes said : " At times , the warrior's shirt

eaSIly proven by the emb roi dery work we saw being done

was profuse wi th human forms that one was led to believe

by the women there. Juliana Da lumata

tha t t he se shi rts may ha ve served as a score board for the

a B'laan housewi fe

who is considered one of the bes t embro derers i n Balasiao ,

number of lives t ake n by the wearer. "43

salwal , cut wIth

Highly im pressed by her wor k, I excla i med that Juliana

gussets in three pieces from abaca cloth that was pla in, with

Dal um at an must be the bes t embroiderer in Balasiao. But

showed us her work, male trousers called

the warp running lengthwi se along the knee -length trouser

no, she said , the best embroiderer in the i r place was a

legs. Because i t was heavily embroidered , it was called

middl e- aged B' laan male named Kalaye . They all considered

salwal ansi!, as differentiated from the salwal t' najung

him t he supreme artist - his work was so special that one

the or

salwal tabi which had minimal decoration . Its hem , called

tutuf, had no app li qu e work , a style associated with t he

saroar of the nei ghboring Bagobo people .

embro idered

sao I by Kalaye was worth one adult horse! So

i ntric ate i s th e

ansi! that he makes that it takes three

months to f i nish just one upper garment. His designs are

We also saw t he ma tc hi ng male upper garment calle d

supposedly the more traditional and older styles , including

sao I which was als o Intricately embroidered. It had a very

t he embroidery motif of elongated triangles arranged side by si de at the end of the patterns . It is said that this design is reminiscent of "one of the oldest geometric figures ... ca lled

tumpal motif, shaped like an elongated triangle with

the tip pointing outwards. " 44 It is said that the embroidered garments of the B' laan ha ve been so renowned that their nei ghboring Bagobo have always obtained such garments. In the past , it was not unusual for the women of one tribe to embroider o

and decorate with shell platelets the garments made by another group , making it difficult sometimes to ascertain the origin of some pieces. Another manner of ornamentation for B'laan garments mentioned by earlier writings on the B'laan was called

tritik , wherein the designs were secured by oversewing the cloth before dyeing . When the waxed embroidery threads are pulled back out again after dyeing, the design remains in light colored or undyed portions of the cloth . However, I did not see any sample of this during my visit to Balasiao. Even i f the older women said that they were aware of th is style, perhaps since this curious dye -resist process has often been attributed before to the B' laan's neighbors , the

kulaman , it is not really as popular anymore as it wa s i n the early part of the 20th century. I was also shown an albon , the woman 's upper garment which was made of two colors , a black bodice with red sleeves. It was intricately adorned with white glass beads _ Jesus Toledo also showed me a woman's black cotton blouse called

albong takmun intricately embroidered with mother-of -pearl discs or platelets called abnolon takmun (abnolon means "moon -like" while takmun means "shell") , and used for very festive or special occasions. Nowadays , this kind of embellishment is usually attributed to the B'laan but records suggest that this type of ornamentation was more widely spread in the past. 45 One look at this beautiful albon takmun and I was immediately convinced that I wanted to adopt this kind of ornamentation , using mother-of-pearl discs , for embell ishing special festive vestments fo r liturgy. In inculturation , there has to be a balance . Mother -of -pearl discs were used for B' laan men's and women's garments for special festive occasions. To use the same ornamentation for special festive liturgical vestments for the great feasts and solemnities would, therefore , be proper. The albon or blouse was used with the tabi , the tubular hemp ski rts which were decorated with patterns through

ikat. Some of the materials on the loom still being worked on by the weavers we visi ted were , in fact , for tinadyon ,

the traditional S'laan hemp cloth used for either trousers

undertaken by the almo-as , these religious practitioners

or skirts , some woven with black stripes and dyed red. Aside

were privileged to wear red garments during religious

from these simple striped materials, some weavers were

ceremonies, since this was believed to be most pleasing

also doing "all路over" designs which they called malesa . The

to the gods.

people at the foundation are well aware, of course, that a

Looking at the different clothing forms of the B'laan,

lot of these materials nowadays are also used to make non-

noticed that the seam joints are always integral to their

traditional items like wallets, shoulder bags , and even hats

overall ornamentation. All their decorative designs seem

for souvenir-hungry tourists. In fact, when I asked Juliana

to emanate from the seams. Ornamental design application

for whom the suit (saal and salwal) was, I found out that it

and placement seem to be indicated by the seam joints of

was not for a B'laan customer but for a foreigner who had

traditional clothing. This immediately brings to my mind

visited the place some months ago and wanted to have these

the origin of orphreys in liturgical vestments as discussed

beautiful garments for his collection.

in the first part of the book. Embroidery was initially

The B' laan's love for ornamentation is found in their use

introduced to cover the seam joint at the front of the

of tassels of seeds , animal hair, "pom-poms," and fish law

ancient chasuble, which brings me to the conclusion that

bones in ci rcular shapes , to embellish the woman 's upper

the decoration of clothing probably emanated partly

garments. Aside from being plangi-dyed, the man's

from the technical pursuit to conceal both functional and

headkerch lef called the tangkulu, was adorned with animCll

nonfunctional seams with decorative stitches. In so doing ,

haIr and "pom路poms . "

the rough edges of the coarse hemp cloth of the B'laan

What I also easily noticed was t e popula r use of

have also become smooth on the skin.

commercially available cotton threads and abaca yarn

B'laan textiles playa dominant role in their religious

colored wit h anilene dyes as alternative threads. It is,

life . Starting with their belief of the sacred origin of the

tfjerefore, not unusual at present to see a few lines of

ikat technique and on to the different motifs that adorn

purple and green (colors otherwise not used because of

their traditional textiles and clothing, one immediately

the absen ce or difficulties of securing natural dyes

observes this religious character. The B'laan produced their

providing these colors) joining the traditional earthy tones

intricately adorned textiles for use in rituals that were meant

of th e B'laan textiles.

to invoke the deities for the assurance of the well-being

Among the B'laan, red is a potent and sacred color. It is

not only of the weaver herself but also of the wearer

the color reserved for the gods. Red is the cognate of

and the entire community. B'laan textiles also serve as

blood , signifying the blood of slain victims offered to the

protective charms because they are believed to possess

gods . Because direct contact with the gods was supposedly

magical powers. For example, the crocodile motif is used to ornament B'laan clothing so that the motif remains closest to the body, warding off evil. They said that they believe that textiles can enhance the wearer's character. Thus, new and specially woven textiles that are beautifully embellished with beads or embroidery are intended for a virtuous person . Textiles and intricately ornamented clothing are testimonies of wealth, too. This becomes even more understandable today since B'laan


traditional clothing, which takes months to weave and

have often been looked upon by their neighbors in the past

adorn , definitely cost so much more than commercially

as be ing "a superior and more ancient race, and considered

available contemporary clothing .

by the Bisayas of the Agusan Valley as a people of much more

Highly impressed by the excellent beauty and superior

[sic] intelligence and fair dealing than any other tribe. "47

quality of the B'laan weaves and embroideries, I decided to

The name Mandaya derives from man meaning "first," and

order a set of saat and satwa/ ansi! from Juliana Dalumatan.

daya meaning "upstream" or "upper portion of a river."

I was not at all surprised when she said that it was going to

Therefore , Mandaya means "the first people upstream ." Eric

cost four thousand pesos and would take four months to

Cas ino notes that the word Mandaya also generally means

make. What I found surprising and curious was when she said

"highland , " upland , or hinterland. The word daya is a

that it was not necessary to take any measurements. Then I

cognate to the Dayak ethnonym in Borneo. 46 Mandaya refers

realized what was meant by what I have read before- that

to a number of groups found along the ranges of Davao

the B'laan style of clothing reflected a respect for the

Oriental (in Banay路banay, Manay, Lupon, Tarragona , Carraga,

selvage . Clothes were considered communal properties.

Boston , Catee l, and Bangaga). They are also found in the

They could be worn by several people with different

mun ici palitie s of Compostela , Bataan, AsunCIOn, Mablni,

measurements. The selvage of the material more or less

Monkayo , Monte Vista , and New Corella in Davao del Norte.

dictated the size of the clothing to be made. For the B' la,an ,

According to scholars, the five principal groups of Mandaya

the use and ownership of clothing should not be limited to just

are the mansaka (those who live in the mountain clearings).

one individual , for this discourages social exchange which

the managusan or managasa (who live near the water and

is essential in unifying members of the community. 46 When we returned to Digos, we found Fr. Abbot Odo Haas,

emplo y

nique fishing methods). the manwanga or

mandrangan (who live in the forested mountain areas).

OSB, waiting for us at the parlor. It was just about time for

the pagsupan (those who make a living

vespers. After dinner, during recreation , we eagerly narrated

of the Tagum and Hijo Rivers), and the divavaogan or


the swampy banks

our experience in Balasiao to the monks there . They were

divavaoan or dibabaoan (who are found in the southern and

all one in saying how lucky we were for having had the

western parts of Compostela). 49It should be noted, however,

chance to interact with the B'laan. That night , I kept

that some sources have classified the Mansaka and the

thinking about the B'laan's respect for the selvage . How

Manwangan out side the Mandaya Group.

very monastic, I said to myself! At Transfiguration , the

The dialects of the Davaoeno of Davao City, the Mansaka

monks wear loose oversized smocks during the day, and they

or Mandaya of Davao del Norte, the Tagacaolo of Davao del Sur

are so cut not only because that makes them cooler to wear

(which is similar to Visayan). and the Isamal of Samallsland

but also because one size would fit all. And when one was

are classified under the Mandaya路Mansaka linguistic group. o

in sudden need of a smock , one can always borrow from any of the brothers . Indeed , it is a simple way of unifying members of the community!

MANDAYA The predominant group living in the mountain ranges that separate Davao Gulf from the Pacific Ocean , the Mandaya


The Spani sh conquest brough t about Chris tian i t y and

In t he past , Mandaya social and economic stratification

the Induc ement for the Mandaya to se t tle in villages , late r

consis t ed of the following major positions: the bagani ; the

intermarryi ng wi th Visayan and othe r immi grant s. And when

sapianon, who owned the biggest clearing and produced

the Americans came , they encouraged t he Man da ya to

the riches t harvest; the suguanon who chose to reside as a

work in the coastal plantations an d adopt t he li festyle of

vol un teer worker with his relatives; and the al/ang , or one

Christiani zed nati ves , resulting in furt her develo pm ents in

who became a slave as an exchange for a bride , as a captive ,

the lifestyle of many Mandaya districts. 50 It is sai d that as

or as an orphan . 52 Both the bagani and the al/ang are no

early as three deca des ago , only 25 percen t of the Man daya

longer fo und in contemporary Mandaya society. However,

populatIOn main ta ined a

traditlonallifestyle. 51

The Mandaya's sub sis t ence was generally centered on

kaingin . Main cro ps inclu ded rice , sweet potato, sugarcane ,

the vi ta l role of t he tigu/ang (old one) has remained , as see n by th e f act th at even the mayor usually consults his opinion on important matters affecting the community.

tobacco , abaca, and co ff ee . Housi ng cons isted of a clearing

The Ma ndaya believed i n an elaborate hierarchy of spirits

conta i ning a single roofed struct ure occupied by one or two

that formed the core of the Mandaya religious structure.

famil ies . The earliest houses call ed ile were buil t high on

Thei r attach ment to animism was the problem of the Spanish

butt resses of felled forest trees or above bamboo ma rshes.

missi onarie s for, even if man y Mandaya were Christianized ,

In t he past , the notion of politica l authority was found

th e Chri stian i ty they professed was a combination of their

the bagan i, who was conslde ed the brave st In the

own i ndigenous beliefs and practices and the new western


community and was noted for the number of persons he had

religio n. To be protected aga i nst the evil beings , the

kll ed In bat tle The bagani consulted

Man daya evoke d the di wata or good spiri ts . Their idols ,

e mankatadon, an

old, experien ced wise man whose role ex ended to religIOU S

called manauag (manaog or manaug) were made of wood

and social affairs, and a council of elders .

fro m th e bayog t ree and were set in canopied altars in the

The pandi ta (priest) was an in f l uential religious

Mand aya house. All this re verence for these wooden effigies

furctlOnary who officiated pri maril y in rel i gious ritua l s

was base d on th eir bel ief that the manaua!! represented

W'"llle the bai/ana (bal/yan) was often a woman who, like

th e diwata on earth .

the pandi ta , enjoyed an estee med place in the Ma nda ya

It is said that the Mandaya of Caraga used bark cloth

community. She performed ri t es associated with t he cure

(tapa ) long before the widespread use of hemp and they

of the si ck, like the ba/ilig or ba li lie, one of the highest forms

also used breeches prior to the use of trousers. 5) Before

of Mandaya worship performed to cure illness believe d to

th e introduction of weaving , bark must have been pounded

have been caused by the busaw or bloodthirsty spi ri t s.

in to fibrous cloth. A. L. Kroeber has noted that the Philippine ba rk cloth was made from ba/ete and other trees of the

Genera Ficus and Artoearpus. The stripped inner bark layers were soaked and beaten but were rather hastily made . Perhaps this is the reason why Philippine bark cloth never attained the fine quality of texture or degree of ornamentation which distinguished Polynesian tapa. 54 Bark wa s ultimately supplanted by abaca and cotton with the introduction of weaving in the Philippines , an event which is difficult to determi ne exactly. o


The Mandaya 's artistic skills are seen in their use of silver

Mandaya chewing of tobacco pellets moistened with the

to make ornaments , like the payatina, or large silver disks

juice of the ama-mong vine. With her hair brushed back in

made from silver coins brought into the island and worn by

the typical Mandaya style with short bangs framing her face,

both men and women . S5 Jewelry measured the social and

Dayu showed us some of her woven work. As she tried to

economic status of the Mandaya women , with silver being

explain through the interpreter the designs of her weaving,

used often for jewelry, and brass casting being copied from

I could not help but notice the assortment of bracelets she

the Muslims. Other industries include carving and basketry

was wearing : pamulang , bracelets made of petrified shells;

which was done during leisure hours. It is in the creation of

timusug , bracelets made of a rare vine; pamuwang , bracelet

their beautifully ornamented handwoven textiles of abaca ,

"spacers " of black wood ; and sagay-sagay, heIrloom black

called dagmay , that their artistic skill truly shines.

coral bracelets. This reminded me of the saying that a true

My trip to Mandaya territory in New Bataan was made

Mandaya woman would never leave the house without her

possible through the help of the wife of the vice-governor

jewelry. Since her unadorned earlobes showed large holes,

of Davao del Norte, Angelina San Jose . Being the president

she must have used the balikog, heavy earrings made of

of the Mother Butler Mission Guild of Tagum , she was one

balatinaw wood which was roundly carved . Dayu narrated

of the participants at the PIL seminar where I gave my first

that she learned to weave when she was 12 years old and it

lecture on liturgical vestments. From Tagum, which is 64 km

was the first wi fe of her husband who taught her the craft.

from Davao City, we travelled through another 60 km of

She added that the people of Taytayan get their lanot

good roads to Compostela Valley, through ricefields and

(abaca) f rom Manorigao, about 30 km from their village.

coconut plantations, then through 15 km of very rough roads.

The fi rs t step in the making of dagmay is the preparation

We had to pass by the Town Hall first to get some "clearance"

of the warp. Separate fibers of abaca have to be Joined

before we could proceed . For security reasons , and through

first into a continuous yarn sufficient for the entire warp,

Mrs. San Jose's connections, we were accompanied by Mawab

with the weft yarn always dyed with a single color, usually

Edlay, a native of Sitio Taytayan who works at the town hall,

brown . For the warp , bunches of abaca yarn, called hinamay,

and the barangay captain of Andap himself , Saturnino

for the warp are bound with fiber at intervals of several

Digaynon . At one point, I was afraid that we would never

inches along the entire length, depending on the design.

make it to Taytayan , a Mandaya community of dagmay

The bunches of yarn are then ready for dyeing . After the

weavers, since our four路wheel drive vehicle was climbing

tie -dying or ikat process , the bindings are removed and the

practically on no road at all into forested areas.

yarn dried. The warp is then stretched upon the loom and

Sitio Taytayan is a small sleepy village with less than 70

the pattern laid by selecting and placing the colored sections

families . What struck my attention immediately were the small houses with walls made of tambullang (flattened bamboo slides) and others with flattened tree barks and



some with inak-ak (wooden strips). When our Mandaya guide and interpreter Mawab announced to the crowd that had gathered around our vehicle that we were there to

see some

lanat (abaca) weaving , we were immediately introduced to Dayu Amurayun , a Mandaya woman in her forties . She had dark skin and her teeth were blackened through the habitual


so as to form the desired motifs of the design , bentok. Weaving may then start with a backs trap body tension loom typical among the ethnic groups. This preparation alone could take about two weeks, Dayu added. They use natural vegetable dyes. Sikalig is the general Mandaya term for the shrub from whose roots the red color is extracted. Black color dye, on the other hand, comes from the root and bark of a mangrove known to the natives as kinaiyum or kanaum. They also use muddying to get a black color. This process is based on the reaction between tannins, often applied to the yarn in a pre-treatment, and iron found in the mud. This process involves the pounding of the tannin-containing bark of a tree called kalamuging,56 to a pulp and then boiling it with the abaca yarn. The mud is then added to the mixture and the yarn soaked for several hours until the desired result is produced. The du au plant on the other hand, is the source of the yellow dye. The yarn IS boiled with the root or bark until a fast color is obtained, with the fastness of the dyes depending upon the duration of the boiling. I noticed that the dagmay she was showing us was partly made of cotton in different colors, while the ikat sections were all in abaca. Apparently, this was not anything unusual for the Mandaya. In fact, one of the features that sets the Mandaya weavers apart from the weavers of the west side of Davao Gulf is that some of them are familiar with the processing and spinning of cotton during earlier times. Gapas , as the Mandaya women call cotton, grew on tall , long-lived shrubs rather than on a low -growing annual. What made it confusing was the fact that the Mandaya weavers called their handwoven cloth of cotton sinamay, a word of Vi sayan origin used in most parts of the country to refer to fine abaca fabricY Unfortunately though, the Mandaya at present use mostly the commercially available cotton threads. One sample we saw even made use of an acrylic yarn that matched the letterings of a dagmay banner for a basketball tournament. What Dayu was not open to was the use of metallic threads. When we showed her a commercial

dagmay piece with some metallic threads that was given to

skirt from a single pan el of cl oth with out needing to join

us in Tagum as a gi ft , she was firm in saying that the pasinaw

panels together, as was co mmonly done by th eir neighbors.

(glittery thread) was not original to the Mandaya . For her

The Mandaya loo m, I also found out, has a true reed instead

and for the other women around , the glittery dagmay was

of the simple notched bar used on the west side of Davao

not madiaw pagtanaun (pleasing to the eyes) .

Gulf . This reed was, of course, very helpful in making

When asked how she starts to make an ikat design on her

balanced -weave fabri cs. The T' boli and the B'laan tribes

weave , Dayu said that all Mandaya women do their own designs,

we visi ted earli er placed the notched bar behind the weaving

each one different from the other, and always ask the help

area , helping keep the warp in place and the width of the

of Tagamali ng, the guardian spirit of the budbud (balete) tree .

dagmay consta nt without the use of the reed like the

In the early 1900s, W. Ernest Crowe recorded in a legend

Mandaya did. It is claimed that the Mandaya's use of the

that the origin of weaving was closely associated with the

reed was adopted most likely from the Visayas . So was the

Mandaya belief in the benevolent attributes of Tagamaling :

maki ng of other fabrics like the gauzy sinamay which t hey

Tagamaling had compassion on the Mandaya and brought

used for blouses in the past. I tend to agree , therefore ,

a Mandaya woman into the budbud and taught her the art

th at a greater influence from the Christian north (Luzon

of weaving for three months . When she had mastered the

and Vi sayas) can be seen in the Mandaya garments.

art, she was permitted to return to her people and taught

Considered by many as being among the most beautiful in

the women how to adorn the ir cloth with beauti ful figures

Min danao, the traditional clothes of the Mandaya , like those

representing men , women , animals and plants. So to th is

of ot her tribes, seem to be worn less these days. Unless a

day, when a weaver begins to work , she reverently utters

special occasion calls for It, we hardly see these anymore .

the name of Tagamaling . 58

Th e kabo, a man's shirt/jacket of sinamay or cotton dyed

Mandaya plain weave ikat-dyeing or poyopok (also bad-bad)

blac k or red and embroidered in red, white, blue , and yellow

can be distinguished from those of their neighboring tri bes

cotton th reads obtained by trade from the coastal Muslims

because of large buwaya (crocodile) and utaw (human) figures,

and Bisayas; the dagum nang usog , a man's collarless blue

with large fields of dark brown background , separated by

sh i rt wi th long or three-fourths sleeves and embroidered

u-wang (spaces) and magunlaypan (geometric fields) . Dayu

wi th lenama , t hreads of various colors; the pantot , men's

also showed us a dagmay material they called binagk is that

trousers cut above the knees with embrOideries on both

had design panels which were narrow and of the same

sides; th e ginggon, men's loose pajama-like blue trousers

pattern . In the past , the linaog or women 's tube skirts made

embroid ered on the hemlines and interspersed with colored

of dagmay had very complex ikat pattern s. From what we

bead s; and the sawa, trousers generally of white or blue

saw in Taytayan , the present linaog are simpler and nearly

cotton wi th emb roideries on the sides of the calves and cut o

always use the utaw and buwaya motifs as their primary decorative elements . When I went to another house surreptitiously (a thing which upset the barangay captain since I was " missing " from the group for a few minutes ), a Mandaya man gladly showed me his wife 's old backstrap weaving equ ipment. I noticed that the ablon (loom) was much wider than those of the B'laan. This allowed the Mandaya to make a mid-calf length

J 75

square and baggy. Since the gauze-like wo men 's blouses of

This brings me to another observation . Ordinarily, Mandaya

see today

weavers do not polish their dogmoy thus giving it a somewhat

instead are the blouses which are more si mila r to those of

rough fi nish, unli ke the T'boli and the B' laan who used shells

the olden days are no longer made, wha t we

their neighbors who live on the ot her side of the Gulf. The

or bon es pressed aga i nst the surface of the fabric to polish

women's dogom (dogum) blouse was generally of two colors.

it. Wanting to ex perim ent on the Mandaya material which I

If the sleeves were red , the body was black, and vice versa.

had ordered, I late r decided to have two separate pieces or

Presently they are made of commercial cotton cloth which

rolls of dogmay se nt to t wo di fferent places for further

are heavily embroidered in cross stitches and decorated

produ ct develo pm ent . I sent one piece , i n brown and purple

with beads and coins.

(com mercially dyed) to Ind ia de la Cruz Legaspi in Aklan ,

Undoubtedly, the decorative aspect on the hemp cloth

an d begged her to apply th e pinukpok technology on the

skirts, and most specially the i r embroideries on cotton

Man daya fa bric. The finis hed product acquired a nice sheen

garments, reveal the epitome of Mandaya artistry. Mandaya

and beca me softer, too , making me decide to use it for a

women prefer embroidery on counted threads , done on coarse

Lenten stole and as ce nter pane l for a purple chasuble . The

cotton or hemp cloth where warp and weft were visible.

other piece I sent to t he Philippi ne Textile Research Institute

Inspecting closely a richly embroidered dogum , we found

for t he Ch emo路Mechanico Softening Procedure treatment.

three basic kinds of embroidery used: the running stitch , the

Th is gave my otherwi se rough 路 looking dogmoy the required

hOrIZontal cross stitch, and couch ng . The way the running

flatte ned, su pple, an d compact appearance.

stitch (also called weave stitch) was used attracte d my

On our way back to Tagum , halfway down the mountain,

attention because the way the series 0 parallel lines were

we stop ped by a ni cel y shaded area beside a stream wi th a

stitched gave the effect of being woven ra,ther than stitched.

stro ng , ste ad y current. To my surprise, the people there

was sure that this was going to be something I could adopt

call it a " beac h," which brings me to two observations so


when I start putting together the vestment collection. In fac t ,

fa r regardin g th e study of our indigenous materials . Words

three months later, I was able to make use of the running or

from a wi dely used lingua f ranca ha ve been so adopted that

weave stitch, when the t'n%k material I ordered from T'boli

so met i me s t hey obsc ure the origi nal language terms. And

did not turn out to be of the exact shade of red that I woul d

more importa ntly, textiles are sometimes identified according

have wanted. I decided to have weave stitches in bright

to t heir appearance ra t her than the type of fiber from which

red embroidered over the brownish red portion to "i mprove"

t hey are made. Textiles wh ich ha ve a shiny or glossy surface

the color. The effect was perfect- the weave stitches looked

are ca ll ed sil k, eve n if they were made of cotton , just

as if they were woven! I used this red and black t' n%k

because of th ei r shiny quality. Gauzy materials are called

material for a stole to be used for the feast of ma rtyrs.

sinomoy , a term orig i nall y used to refer to abaca cloth that is ve ry, very fine and transparent, even if the material is cotton or wo rse still , in Manila stores , even if the fabric is 100 perce nt pol yester! This has indeed added to much confu sion and ha s often made the study of Philippine textile tra di t ions so mehow problematic .



780- 2,300 meters above sea level. Some Maranao can also be found in Lanao del Norte and parts of North Cotabato.

After almost a year since the first postponement of

The Maranao were organized into kinship-based political

my visit to Marawi , the center of culture of the Maranao

units called barangay in the olden days. Found in many

people, (the first two postponements were due to news

different parts of the lake areas , these barangays were

of kidnappings, the third was due to bad weather that

organized into four pengampong or states administered by

caused the cancellation of flights), I was finally able to go ,

a local datu or chieftain. When the Arab-Malay preacher from

accompanied by Fr. Columbano and Sr. John Paul , a Carmelite

the royal house of Malacca, Sharif Muhammad Kabungsuan,

"outsister" from Malaybalay Carmel. Leaving at 5:00 a.m. ,

arrived in the early 16th century, he officially introduced

we went straight to lligan City, a Christian-majority

the Islamic faith and customs. He later formed a new political

industrial city situated on the northern coast of Mindanao ,

order after marrying a local princess. It is interestmg to

some 200 km from Malaybalay.

note , though, that under the newly introduced sultanate

Fr. Abbot's amiable cousin , Tita Terry Hermoso, had arranged

system , the indigenous administrative structures remained.

that we be accompanied by a Maranao couple, Ote and Lira

The Maranao are basically agriculturists and fishermen. Their

Samporna, on our trip to Marawi. When we arrived at Cafe

main crop, rice , is supplemented by sweet potato, corn, onions ,

Hermoso, Tita Terry's famous retaurant in lligan, we already

and other vegetables. They do not, however, engage in big


commercial agriculture in general. As fishermen, their most

later in Marawi in their stages of manufacture. The interiors

important source of livelihood is Lake Lanao , which is also the

got a "preview" of the textiles and crafts we we e to

of the place had a Maranao motif- from the table



source of t e Maria Cristina Falls which provides the Maranao's

napkins, and runners, to throw pillows and wall hangings and

electric power. They live in agoma or hamlets, politically

everything was done in handwoven Maranao materials in

defined by the presence of at least one torogan or great house.

vibrant colors. Maranao brassware and carvings were also

Basically Sunni Muslims, with traces of minor Shiite and

used abundantly. Even her service platters were made of

Sufi influences , the Maranao practice a folk Islam which

gold plated brass with the typical okir motifs. And since

has accommodated some indigenous beliefs and customs.

the main dining hall was booked for an important, the buffet

The survival and spread of Islam in the area have often been

table was also richly decorated with colorful handwoven

attributed to this capacity for assi milation. It is said that

materials and exotic brassware. The ceiling was adorned with

the kind of Islam that arrived in the Phil ippines had, in fact,

a fabulous momodiyang, a Maranao cloth about 20 meters

already assimilated various other influences. Further

long, intricately embroidered with sequins in okir patterns

indigenization was also effected when the local pre-Islamic

formerly used to decorate a torogan (sultan's ancestral house)

barangay structure persisted in the sultanate system.

during a kalilang or festivity. The term "Maranao" comes from ronao which means "lake." Therefore, Maranao means "people of the lake." They have been called such because their traditional home is the area surrounding Lake Lanao , the second largest lake in the Philippines, after Laguna de Bay in Luzon . This place is located in Lanao del Sur and has a far more pleasant temperature than the surrounding areas because it is approximately


Bapa (meaning "uncle"). as Ti ta Terry fondly calls our

" a place where things are inclined or centered . "59 The Agus

guide. and his wife have been friends of the Hermosos for

River bisects the city and serves as the only outlet of the

years. The man. who owns a store in Iligan selling Maranao

lake to the sea to the north , feeding the Maria Cristina Falls.

products. has been providing Cafe Hemoso with most of its

We proceeded to barangay Dayawan . known for its weavers

indigenous decorations. Bapa was wearing ordinary pants

of ma(ong and the presence of a beautiful torogan. The

and a shirt. the only Muslim accessory being his totob . a

ma(ong is a tube or pillowcase -formed lower garment with

round white cap to signify that the wearer has gone on the

equal circumfere ntial open i ng on both ends , used by both

religious pilgrimage or hajj to Mecca .

male and female Maranao. The term ma/ong comes from

And so we left for Marawi. located about 1.000 meters above sea level and overlooking Lake Lanao. After just a few

the Luzon -Visayan patajong .60

minutes of travel. the road began to climb. And in less than

Ombawera Lawi . a 46 -year -old Maranao housewife , was

an hour. the scenery began to change as I saw more and

tending her little store of handicrafts. When I asked her

more men and women in ma(ong on the streets and in front

who wove the beautiful ma(ongs on display. she said that

of their houses. the former sometimes with round , brimless

she did. She even offered to demonsrate for us how Maranao

caps similar to those used by Muslims in Malaysia and

weavi ng was done , provided . she said jokingly. that we

I,donesia. while the latter mostly wearing a veil or a turban.

would buy something from her store. Her house was just

Soon, I began to notice. too. the prolifera t IOn of

behind the store . so she quickly set up her backstrap loom

bold-lettered cloth banners strung ac oss the streets and in

and showed us how to weave the beaut i ful table runner.

front of houses. These were announceme ts of family events.

the same style that was also on display at her store. She

mostly the graduation of a new professional like an accountant

also showed us some stoles she had made specifically for

or a doctor or teacher. or the passing of a member of the family

a pr iest -customer. With beautiful designs and good

'n a board examination. demonstrating how Maranao families

workmanship. the i tems ' only " defects" were the acid colors

bask in the achievements of their clan members. I remember

and the use of synthetic and acrylic yarns .

askmg Bapa about the presence of so many small white flags

A few houses away li ve d master weaver Hadja Omisalam

in front of a house and all along the street in front . and he

Guro Cotawato . whom we found working on her backstrap

told me that this was a sign of a death in a household.

loom doing a wo(o e sukot design of a star. She had tied her

Just before reaching the city proper. we saw an impressive


the same linguistic matrix as the Tausug-Samal tajong . and

green printed ma/ong over her long sleeved blouse high

arch with a sign "Welcome to the Islamic City of Marawi"

above her breast . making it conve nient for her to weave

announcing that we had reached our destination . Marawi ,

without having to hold her ma(ong. When I asked her when

in Basa Iranon. the Maranao language . literally means

she learned to weave. she answered: "When I was ten years old- that was when the Japanese soldiers left. " It was her grandmother who had taught her to weave and in no time at all , she had mastered the craft and started to make her own designs . She proudly added that she had also taught her two daughters this indigenous craft. Looking at the framed photographs on the wall of her living room. I realized that she must really be an authority on weaving, what with the vario us researchers appearing with her on the photos.


She also showed me some weaving books which , she said , the noted author on Mindanao and textile expert David Baradas had given to her. Sensing my deep interest in what she was doing and noticing me looking at the white thread arranged on a standing frame which had knots at various spots, she explained that she was preparing that thread for some ikat patterns. She even asked me to try tying a knot myself , as Fr. Columbano quickly tried to photograph us. Hadja Omisalam showed me all kinds of ma/ongs that she had woven . The most highly valued type she said , is the ma/ang a andon . Usually of alizarene crimson red , maroon or magenta sutra (silk) threads , it is decorated with intricate geometric and curvilinear designs in weft 路 ikat patterns. This type of weave is made by applying the ikat (tie路dye) process on the thread, with the undyed portion resulting in the motif. Although the andon is generally considered a feminine style specially used by young unmarried women , this material is also used to make the man's tobaw (head dress) which is wound artistically around the head , or mosa/a , a kerchief which is hung from the shoulder. In David Bara as' Th e Maranao Ma long , he included three subtypes of the an dang ma/ong : katiambang , an antique style with complete tie 路dye design ; sina/apa or enclosed design , and pata/a or vertical and geometric designs. A second type of ma/ong is called ma/ong a /andap , meaning "pure." This tube skirt is made of broad bands of silk, joined together by tapestry bands called /angkit.

Lakban is the name given to the wide vertical/angkit band , usually alizarene red base woven with multicolored motifs which could be of geometric , curvilinear, leaf , or vine designs . Three separate pieces of cloth are joined together into a large assemblage by narrow horizontal/angkit bands of a simpler design called tobiran. This large assemblage is joined into a cylinder or tube by the /akban, th us creating the ma/ong a /andap. Alternating bands of yellow and magenta usually comprise the most common scheme for this type of ma/ong. Yellow was once reserved for royalty in Maranao society but has become so popular that it is not

too uncommon nowadays to see a woman wearing a yellow

malong even if she does not belong to the 42 or so royal houses. We have also seen some rna long a landap in solid red called landap a mariga, or yellow color called landap a

benaning , with the tapestry-woven joinery bands providing the additional colors. As Ombawera Lawi explained to me earlier, the rna long a

landap which I wanted to buy from her was extra expensive because the adjacent colors of wide silk bands were woven together with the tobiran , and not just stitched together. This was considered a must for a good-quality landap. Even when one orders just the langkit by the yard, like the one I wanted to use as orphreys for a chasuble , the cost of the narrow tapestry weave fabric could still be quite high because the making of the langkit is considered a very advanced skill among the Maranao. Then , there is the third highly valued type , the rna long a

bagadat , which is an old style preferred by elderly datus for its dignified look. It consists of similar broad bands in contrasting colors separated by narrow bands of balud or warp ikat . Bagadat means "wave" and it refers to the banded structure of the design. An assortment of patterns is sometimes combined with ikat or tie-dye patterns. These include plaids , stripes, and checks . When mixed with tie-dye type patterns , they are called babalodan (from the root word balud) . It is interesting to note here that the use of the word balud for "ikat-dyeing" distinguishes the Maranao from their neighbors who use be-bed. Pastor-Roces who notes that the word bebed is also used as far north as the Ifugao area where binudbudan is "tie -dyed," states that be路 bed is the older word. 62

Pandi is a malang in stripes distinguished by narrow lines of usually black and white balud and is a style prefe rred by men . I was personally a bit surprised to see rna longs they call ampik which has harmonious multicolored narrow stripes and checks resembling the color scheme of the Scottish kilt. On our way back to where the car was parked, I noticed a group of men , some yo ung and two elder ly, sitti ng at leisure

in a kiosk not too far away from a masjid or mosque . All of

that I was in some Middle Eastern country. For a moment , I

them were wearing ma/ongs , mostly of the common imported

thought how different indeed my Maranao brothers are from

batik type from Indonesia. Most of them were wearing

the rest of the country. Their affinity with the Muslim world

contemporary T-shi rts for their upper garment , a couple of

is easily conveyed by their very manner of dress. A complex

them were bare -chested, and one of them was wearing a

visual language has indeed been created by the Maranao with

cap . This made me wonder why some authors say that the use

the many interesting ways of tying , knotting , and exhibiting

of the tubular ma/ong as the Maranao's lower body garment

th is most ve rsatile unisex garment called the ma/ong .

is rarely seen today. In typical Maranao villages like Dayawan, the ma/ong is still visible, even among the men.

Before returning to !ligan , we dropped by the Carmelite Monastery beautifully located on top of a hill overlooking Lake

Bapa had requested that we pass by the city market si nce

Lanao . To my surprise , the nuns also wore colorful ma/ongs

his wife had to buy something . This gave me a chance to do

over their brown Carmelite habits. "Our little way of being

some "people watching" as we waited patiently inside the

one with the people around us ," said one sister. Sr. John

parked car. The city scenario was very much different from

Paul , who had traveled with us all the way from Malay-balay,

Dayawan's , of course. So were the clothes the people wore.

was very happy to see all her sisters safe and healthy In

Here, there were more men wearing regular western pants ,

their little convent in the midd le of an Islamic city.

particularly denims , than ma/ong. But still

we. knew


On another visi t to Marawi, this time wIth Dom Andre and

we were in a Muslim city because a good number of men

Bapa , Tita Terry made sure that we would be able to meet

wore their round-shaped caps , specially those wearing l oose

her good friend , the poet-scho lar Sr. Delia Coronel, ICM,

cotton tunics over pajama-like pants. It was not uncommon

the head of the Folklore Department of the Mindanao

to see some men walking with the upper end of their ma/ong

State Uni versity (MSU) Research Center. We were welcomed

tied around the waist with a belt or kerchief instead of

to the Aga Khan Museum of MSU by Sr. Delia , looking very

simply being knotted, so it would not fall. They called this

smart in a tailored cream dress with red accents and wIth

manner of wearing the ma/ong the katampi style. We also

matching red pumps .

saw men wearing the white shoulder cloths of the Pakistanis ,

Since I earlier had the chance of explaming to her over

and the black and white or red and white patterned cloths

the phone the kind of research work I was doing, she

of the Palestinians . Bapa explained that many of these

immediately brought us around the museum to show us

Maranaos had probably been to the Middle East.

their display of Maranao visual arts. This included a fantastic

For women, aside from the cotton printed ma/ong , the

array of ancient casting in brass and iron, silver and gold, and

other common outfit consisted of a pair of pants under a

of course , weaving in mats , baskets, and finally, textiles .

loose -fitting long blouse or tunic, plus a head covering or o

veil which sometimes had very fine beads or lace trimmings all around the edges. The city market was, indeed, the place to see both extremes- some women wearing very modern Western styles and yet others preferring visibly Middle Eastern influences, like the all-black gown and veil outfit called chador , which covered the whole woman except for her eyes. If not for the fact that the black-gowned woman was trying to board a colorful jeepney, I would have thought

There was al so a good amount of kapang okir or carving , in wood, stone, bamboo, horn , and ivory.

toget her with brass , silver, and gold accessories adorn ed with semipreci ous stones , they gave a glimpse of the rich

The one underlYing feature of Maranao art is akir. Literally

cultural herit age of the Maranao which ord i nary peo ple ,

meaning "carving" or "to carve, " okir refers to the typical

specially from the north like us , do not ordinarily encounter.

style of curvilin ea r or fo li ate decorative elements found in

Still in awe of t he superlative exhibit at the museum , we

Maranao wood carvin g. These elements and other related

were brought to Sr. Delia 's office at the researc h center. Then

motIfs also appear in the other art forms , like brasswork

she aske d me : " Have you read the Darangen ?" An d when I

and textiles . Okir can re fe r to all of these si nce the term

answered no, she proceeded to explain what turned out to

generally means " decora t ive moti f. "6J

be the subject of her work si nc e she first arri ved in Marawi.

Some of the basic okir motifs include the birda (a motif

"I am as old here as the prel atu re of Marawi," she began ,

of growing vines and crawling plan t s), paku rabong (the fern

having started at the researc h cen t er immediately after the

motif usually emanating from a ce nt ra l point where all the

inaugurati on of t he prelature on December 8, 1976. Having

other designs begin, too), saragonting (a cros s· li ke motif),

always been i nte res t ed in Philippine literature, she accepted

bi nitoan (a star·like motif), pina tola (t he adjacent square

the challe nge of t he hea d of th e research center at that

motif), katiambang (the diamond pattern ), and the obid·obid

ti me, Dr. Mami tua Saber, a Maranao prince and the first

or tali· tali (the rope·l ike motif uSUJIlly coiled around borders) .

Muslim gra du at e of th e University of Sto . Toma s: to work on

Because of the Islamic dislike

the noble epic of the Maranao , the Da rangen .

or r ea lis tic e)( pres sion

of human or ani ma l forms, Marana

arts general ly show

abstfactlons into sophisticated symbol) for ms.

Compose d of seve ral na rra t ives, t he Darangen 's verses have always been ch an ted for generations by the onor (singer).

The sarimanak, li terally meaning "art f1c ial bird," IS the

Handed down by word of mou t h, t he epic has about 25 known

myth'ca bird with outspread wings which epi tomizes the

episodes of which the re are many va ri ati ons . Sr. Delia and

t aditlOnal Maranao art. Traditio na l ly pa inted i n bright

her folklore staff, mostly Marana o, undertook the amb i t ious

primary col ors , the sarim anok r ev eal s the " volcanic"

task of ga th ering, tran sla t ing, and studying th e entire epic

'€'mperam ent of the Maranao while its elaborate designs

fro m ol d res pec ted si ngers and narrators as well as from

show t hei r tendency toward s os tentatious display. This

the origi nal and antiqu e Maranao hand written song books

elusive bi rd of art has been regarded as a symbol of power,

called kiri m, wri tten in Arabi c scri pt. She and her staff had

weal th , and prestige .

patiently collec t ed t hese from various villages for years .

Wh at was most im pressive t o me , of course , was the

With the help of their main resource person, Hadji Lawa Cali,

displ ay of various kin ds of ma long , some of them fo rmerly

t he tea m fi nally came up in 1986 with a series of publications

owned by very important Musli m personalities . Displaye d

of th e Darangen i n the original version with an Engli sh t ran slation , after about a decade of work and dedica t ion. 64 Antedating t he ad vent of Islam in the Phili pp i nes, t he Darangen , basica lly a genealogical acco unt highlighting th e adventu re of Prince Bant ugen and ot her prom i nent fi gu res who were bel ieved to be th e ancestors of t he present· day Maranao, showcases the Maranao moral values and t raditions.


In Darangen : The Epic of the Maranaos, Dr. Saber compared the Darangen to t he Ramayana , t he grea t epic of Indi a,



and to Homer's lIiad. 6s As an ancient document, the

hall. It is here where the datu calls fo r meetings , and i t

Darangen includes evidence regarding the history of the

functions also as a social hall during commu nity fes t ivities,

Moros and other people of Mindanao. It also brings out the

like weddings and family gatheri ngs or the deat h of a

ideals and ideology that guide Maranao behavior.

member of the royal clan .66

More importantly for me, the Darangen gives us a good

On the fa~ade of the torogan are the pan~ /~ng or wing路 like

account of Maranao attitudes toward textiles. Considered

house beams with a pako rabong (fern ) or naga (serpent) motif,

the ultimate female arts, sewing and embroidery are often

projecting from the ends of the floor joints. Textiles play

mentioned in the epic. It talks of these as being done by

an important role in the to rog an partition less interior's

women of royal blood and the elite. And while they did

visual impact . Embroi dered cano pies called 0/ ' 0/ with

their sewing and embroidery in the /amin , the towerlike

attached curtains called ku/ ambo hung over each sleeping

structure of the sultan's house where his unmarried daughters

space . During fe st ivi ti es, a colorful mamadiyang adorns

stayed , their tonong or spirit helper aided them in their

the ceiling, and /a/an say (wall curtains) cover the walls.

craft. Details about women's clothing, specially the ma/ong ,

Beautiful libot (Maranao app li que) is used to decorate the

are often mentioned and so are men's garments , like the

pil lows. By tradition , the sultan 's wives participate in the

trousers , shirts, and the mansa/a, a square embroidered

weaving and embroideri ng to be used for the torogan,

cloth draped over the man's shoulder.

assisted by the mango raga , or assisting ladies. Colorful ,

I was so engrossed with Sr. Delia's account of her work

unusually shaped and fla gs such as the octopus 路 like

on the Darangen that I hardly noticed that Dom Andre had

samb%yang and the long, na rrow pasanda/an help make

gone to visit the Carmelite nuns on the other side

the torogon's yard look even more fes t ive.



city and was able to return already. Here was a religious

It is indeed a pity th at when some datus began using theIr

sister with such a great passion for her work that not even

private residences for commun i ty meetings, the importance

her experience of being kidnapped a few years ago with

of the torogon as the ce nter of co mmuni ty activities began

two Franciscans, could make her lose interest in what she

to decline . We tried looking fo r a secon d torogan which

was doing for the Maranao. Talking and listening to her

Sr. Delia claimed was eve n more beau t i fu l an d more ancient ,

inspired me even more in my dedication to develop liturgical

just to be told by the ma/ong路clad men sitting near the

vestments with a truly Filipino influence.

masjid that it had collapsed enti re ly during a typhoon about

The first example of Maranao architecture is the torogan ,

a year ago. In the old en days, when such a t hing happened ,

the residence of the sultan , which showcases the best of

the people , all working together, wou ld have restored the

Maranao okir. It was also in the torogan that the most lavish

damaged torogan i mmediately am idst great ri tual. Feeling

display of textiles could be seen, specially during the

rather disappointed , Sr. Delia and I as ked i f we could see o

kali/ong or festivity. To better appreciate this, Sr. Delia bought us back to Dayawan where a restored torogan could be found. The Maranao are known for their strong family solidarity, and the way a community helps in the construction of a torogan shows an attitude of commitment to support the datu or sultan, who holds the highest rank in the community. The torogon is not only the residence of the dotu and his extended family but is also a multipurpose

H l

the interiors of the masjid instead. We found out that

work, obviously a recent innovation. But what I was not

like all Islamic mosques, the direction of Mecca which the

able to resist was the malong with very special detailing

congregation faces during prayer was marked by a mihrah

as fine borda (embroidery) in okir motifs decorated the

or niche in the wall. Our guide Bapa explained that a rich

joinery panels of balud or tapestry weave.

person who had the capaci ty may build a mosque if he wished, but it would have to be open to all.

It is said that sometimes, various inscriptions, either in Roman script or sometimes even in Maranao script, are added

Right behind the masjid, just a few meters away, was the

to the designs. Most commonly, the inscription may be the

shore . Women were doing their laundry on cryst al路clear

name of the weaver, or sometimes a verse from Maranao

water as naked children played nearby. The lake was so

literature. This way, the weaver's literacy, and therefore ,

calm, and from a distance the silhouette of mountains partly

her desirability in marriage is made known,61 The novelty

covered with fog was simply a breathtaking sight.

of the technique was almost hard to resist but then I

Before leaving Dayawan , we decided to visit Hadja Omisalam

reminded myself that liturgical vestments are not meant to

once more . She was wearing the same green printed malong

be billboards or spaces for slogans , so I refrained from

but t hi s time , she wore a short路sleeved blouse in ma tchi ng

ordering something with some inscriptions.

green and a black kombong or veil. She rushed to show me the

As I tried to recall my conversations with the different

thread she hel ped me tie during ollr first visit. It was alrea dy

Maranao weavers on our way back to Malaybalay, one thing

t'e路dyed into a beautiful shade of blue and she was ready

stood out among their many complaints - that sutra or

to start weaving it. Finding out later th t no one had reserved

imported silk thread from China has become so rare, it

It yet, I volunteered to buy it when it was finisl1ed, to make

becomes even harder to come up with truly high路quality

t ltO a stole to be used for the feasts of the Virgin Mary.

malongs. Or if ever they are able to buy silk thread, the price

As ,t 'lad started to rain, we prepared to leave. Just then ,

is usually very high. Perhaps it is really high time to cultivate

Naps a Abdul Cari m, the weaver next door, called us to show

our own mulberry farms in preparation for producing our

he' 'tems She was not only a good weaver, but also a fine

silk in this part of the country. In fact, I recalled that the

saleslady. She made sure that Dom Andre bought something

government, together with some NGOs, has already started

(rom her. Lake Lanao weaving IS relatively thicker because

projects in this direction . During my trip to General Santos

Of the cool weather. Thus, her heavy cotton blankets with

City, on my way to Lake Sebu , my guide pointed at a big

rarrow bands of balud or warp ikat seemed just perfect for

construction going on, supposedly a project to develop

us to wrap ourselves In on cool early mornings at the

Philippine silk. Soon, I hope, it would be possible for our

mon ast ery. Napsla was also proud to show me a malong with

native weavers to easily buy the much needed quality

panels Joi ned together with narrow bands of ecru crochet

materials like silk for their art and weaving industry.

To visit the Yakan, I first took the early morning flight of Philippine Airlines from Manila to Zamboanga City, located in the southernmost part of the Zamboanga Pen insula. Situated some 365 nautical miles northeast of Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) and 345 nautical miles northeast of Manado a


(Indonesia), Zamboanga City is bounded to the west by the Sulu Sea, to the east by the Moro Gulf, and to the south by the Basilan Strait and the Celebes Sea. Zamboanga City, together with three other cities- Dapitan, Dipolog, and Pagadian - and three provinces- Basilan, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur - comprise Region IX, better known as Western Mindanao. Prior to the enactment of Republi c Act No. 6724, which created the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the provinces of Sulu and Tawi路Tawi were part of this region. Founded by the Spaniards with the purpose of gaining control of the sea routes linking Maguindanao and Sulu with the rest of the country, the city of Zamboanga has developed into a leading city in Mindanao , next only perhaps to Davao City. Because of its strategic location , it has also become a regional center for Muslim groups . Aside from the GEM representative , Sr. Benedict and Sr. Gladys of the Benedict i ne Sisters of the Eucharistic King were there to meet me at the airport. With the elp of Benedictine associate Marivic Motondo , whom Sr. Melanie at PIL had called up earlier, giving her enough time to take a short break from her work at the bank , my itinerary was efficiently arranged to make it possible for me to visit as many places as I can during my short stay - to get to know more about the Yakan . Yakan refers to the majority Muslim group inhabiting the largest island in the Sulu Archipelago , Basilan Island. Called Sameacas by the early Span ish colonizers , and Taquima by 16th century writers ,68 the Yakan have characteristic Malay features similar to the Dyak of North Borneo: brown skin , slanting eyes , black hai r, and a petite frame . This has led to the belief that the Yakan could have originated from this race. The Yakan language , Bahasa Yakan , is a variation of the Samal Sinama or Siama and the Tausug languages,69 and is written in Malayan Arabic script. Not much is known about the pre -colonial history of the Yakan because of their very little contact with other ethnic groups. Because they lived in the interiors of Basilan Island , the Yakan were hardly influenced by the Sultanate

of Sulu even if it ruled over the island, even only nominally, for centuriesJo Since the Yakan's belief system is basically a combination of Islamic principles and traditional beliefs , it is best described as folk Islam. This resulted from the fact that initial Islamic conversions of the Yakan were undertaken mostly by the Arab Muslim traders who traversed the Malacca路Borneo -Sulu -Luzon-Taiwan route - and not by full -time religious teachers. Catholic missionaries were also able to penetrate Basilan and conversions to Christianity resulted , with about one thousand Christian families living in the island by 1654. As Muslims, the Yakan believe in the five basic principles of Islam . First of these is that there is no other God but Allah and that Muhammad is God's prophet, as contained in the Sahada . Then there are the

sa{at or prayer; puasse or

fast i ng during the month of Ramadan ; the poor ; and

pitta or charity to

zacat or giving tithes to Muslim religious

leaders. They also look forward to the

maghadji or pilgrimage

to the holy city of Mecca. There are

madrasa schools where Islamic doctrines are

learned under the guidance of the

u{ama or religious scholar

and teacher. Male members of the community have the obligation to listen to the

khutba or sermon during Friday

pra yer, another way of learning their religious doctrines.

Side by side with these religious doctrines , however, the Yakan have kept their traditional beliefs, like the belief in bad spirits or

say tan which inhabit the natural environment

and cause some illnesses. Death for the Yakan means a return to God. Asking for forgiveness is a must for a dying Yakan , since they believe that God will not forgive him for his offenses unless he has asked for forgiveness from those he may have offended. Religious leaders ,

pakil or pakir, are categorized as imam ,

khatib , and bila!. Exceptional knowledge of Islam and exemplary qualities such as piety are the basis for gaining such positions. The

imam leads the people in prayer and in

religious ceremonies. The dates of fasting are set by the

imam . Aside from his religious duties, he is also a political

they use mostly mercer ized co tton whi ch they buy from

leader whose foremost function is to hear cases of common

Manila . However, since t hey had ru n out of stock, they also

grievances . The khatib or bilal represents the imam at the

use the commerci al Flag and Dand y cotton thread brands

village level. The khatib's position is actually a training to

that they buy from t he loca l Chinese stores. Most of the

become an imam , while supervising the practice of praying

materials for sal e at the Yaka n Village are woven there.

five times a day is the duty of the bila/.

However, Maika expla ined t hat when they get to receive

As Musl i ms , the Yakan believe that sovereignty in a community emanates from Allah. Traditional Yakan

bi_g orders , they also ask thei r relatives and friends in Basilan Island to help out in ord er to meet the delivery deadline.

communities are ruled by law that people made, as well as

Th e day we visite d, Maika was wearing traditional Yakan

by the Sharia or God's law. Thus, it is important for them

garments, and so we re the other women in the village . I

that the consensus of the people is ach ieved and at the

found out that beca use of the use of locally woven cloth for

same t ime, that Islamic tenets are consistently followed .

commerc ial use among the Yakan, the tradition of weaving

The supreme chief for the Yakan is the sultan who is both

has been preserved up to the present. The same could not be

a political and a religious leader. He appoints the datu and

said of some Su lu groups who have been influenced greatly

other important officers . The Agama court is the Yakan's

by th e use of i mpo rted and commercially available garment

judicial court. Conflicts involving land , marriage, and petty

materi als. Maika's sawal or pants, cut wide at the top and

crimes are resolved here through the application of Islamic

narrow at th e legs, were made of a woven fabric called

and Yakan custom laws .

siniluan , a colorfu l striped cotton material with warp -float

In Zamboanga City, foremost in my schedule was a isit

patternin g. Du e to t he sheen of the standard gold -green

to Yakan Village in Upper Calarian . This small village ,

colo r of this Ya ka n cloth done in diamond twill patterns with

orig inally composed of 20 Yakan families from Basilan who

fine lin es of purple and magenta threads, the sawal material

decided to settle in Upper Calarian , was formally organized

appeared iridescen t. Interesting details of the sawal that

in 1974, under the leadership of Ruben Muzarin . Since most

caught my attention were the braided tassels , jambu, and

Yakan families have weavers among their women , the Yakan

the decorat ive joi nery called bakiya, where the lower

Village soon became a center for weaving and other Yakan

portion of the legs are attached, below the knee area. Even

handicrafts . Each family has its own display of i ndigenous

the way the sawal is cut is very unique and is able to use

products and even provides weaving demonstrations for

the narrow loom length of cloth quite efficiently. The two

those curious enough to observe the intricate techniques

upper leg pieces run toge t her into the crotch at right angles,

of th is cultura l community. I met 20 -year -old Maika Muzarin , whose family was originally from Bohebessey, Basilan. She was only nine years

unlike those of some Mindanao indigenous people who attach a separate pi ece of ma terial for the crotch of their pants. o

old when her mother had taught her to weave . Today, she does all the weaving while her mother does the sewing of the handwoven materials into bags , wallets , throw -pillows, etc . while her father takes care of the business side . Her finished work is sold in their own store at the center of the village , where there are other stores displaying all these fabulously colorful woven materials. Maika said that today

2 -;

With her called

sawal, Maika wore a black tight·fitting blouse

badju. It had long sleeves and a row of brass buttons

from the neck to the waist. The white collar of a modern blouse inside was visible at the neckline , apparently a common concession in wearing the traditional

badju. When

weft patterning which is also a head cloth , has rich and intricate geometric patterns similar to the

pis head cloth

of the Tausug although they were more textured and had rounded lumps resulting in a knobby finish . The


warp and primary weft are of handspun cotton while

I commented on how beautiful and formal· looking Maika's

the disc ontinuous supplementary weft is silk. Being a

badju with her brass buttons was, I was told that

discontinuous weft work , the various colors are actually

mintwilasan, was the really

inserte d in the proper place by hand , making it a quite


another type of blouse, the

beautiful one, usually made of silk with silver platele t s with either the triangle shape called shape called

jaja or the "co mma "

barong·barong. The mintwilasan is reserved

for very special occasions. Over the upper part of her tube skirt of

tedious process. Some authorities claim that this beautiful Yakan cloth is a translation of the

pis of the Tausug while

others go even further by saying that the

seputangan could

even be a direct translation of cloths coming from the same

sawol Maika wore a short

pinantupan, a woven material with Gontinuous

Indian sources - the India . 7!

telia rumal from Andhra Pradesh in

Maika considered the

seputangan as the hardest to

supplementary weft from selvage to selvage. B ck commercial

weave , not only because everything is done by memory,

cotton yarns were used for the primary warp and weft of

without the help of any patterns as guide , but also because

pinantupan while the supplel)1en tar y weft of green ,

it usually used seven colors. Men , on the other hand , use a

ellow, as well as the

kandit, a belt or sash of red cotton cloth called gilim that


purple, red, maroon, and orange colored borders, were made of silk.

bviously one of the

more expensive Yakan materials, this fa rlc with a width of "10

more than 25 inches, cost P2,000 per yard or a total of

is wrapped around the waist several times. For headgear, it was also a red head cloth or

pis for the men , sometimes

with a dome · shaped plaited hat called

saruk over it.

P5,000 for a standard two·and·a·half yard cut. Another type

Previous scholars have noted that up until the time of

inalaman . Like the

World War II , Yakan men have worn short pants made of abaca.

seputangan, it has the same supplementary weft technique

Pa stor· Roces has mentioned Diego de Artieda's Relation of

of women's tubular overskirt is the

which gives it an almost mosaic·like effect.

the Western Islands Called Filipinas, which documented

badju and

the use on Basilan Island of a "kind of cloth made of wild

sawal. It was actually the accessories they wore that

banana leaves which is stiff as parchment ... "72 From what

I found out that both men and women wear the the

distinguished clearly the clothing worn by men and that of

I saw at the Yakan Village in Upper Calarian , and much later


in Lamitan , Yakan cloth i ng has obviously already undergone

tied around her waist. This square cloth with supplementary

some reviSions , with no sight at all of the abaca pants

women. Maika wore a pink, yellow, and aqua·green

reported by earl ier writers . I enthusiastically observed Maika as she went about with her weaving in her backstrap loom. She was doing the bunga

sarna , the very popular Yakan type of material with colorful geometric designs . It is a supplementary weft weave, so metimes made with up to 70 pattern sticks or supplementary heddles in the loom to produce the intricate pattern. This material used to be reserved for the most elaborate suits ,

with the sawal and the badju being made of the same material.

formerly rarag ), and wh i te (put iq), th e pis siyabit was

But presently, the bunga sama is the most widely used of the

tapestry woven and mad e of silk. "I t is ex pe ns ive because

Yakan materials not for clothing but for so many commercial

it is antique, " Iya said . Th en she showed me a new version

items like table runners , bags, throw· pillows , purses, etc.

which cost only hal f the pr ice of t he antique one , saying

I found the stripes and geometric patterns of the Yakan

she had more de sign s fro m which to choose.

weave very adaptable for liturgical use. From Maika's loom

As I explained th e na t ure of my project to her (searching

came the pink seputangan which I decided to make into a

for indigenous materials I could use for liturgical vestments ),

stole for Gaudete Sunday. She was also most cooperative in

she offered to have t he materials I needed woven in whatever

weaving for me something really di fferent , like the bunga

color was necessary. I would just be glad to do something

sarna material with white warp and weft , and gold metallic

for my Christian fai th , she whispered . She patiently helped

threads I supplied for the supplementary weft , later made

me to explain to the weavers that I need ed so many meters

into a cope . The finished product had a brocade· like effect ,

of bunga sarna i n a green· black·white combination, with

and she herself was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it

green as the predom inant color and with cross deSigns at

turned out to be . And to think that she was rather hesi tant

t he center of the geomet ric patterns she called ampat kaban

at first when I told her of the idea , saying she hadn't done

buddi (four compon ents joined toget her with a resulting

anything like it before and was not sure if it would come

cro ss desig n at the ce nter) . I thought of using this as a center

out fine . I was so sure of what I wanted , though , and she

column for a dark green Got hic chasub le of handwoven cloth

must have felt the determination in me .

I ordered in Arevallo, Iloilo. Iya also made for me a pinantupan

Another woman I met at the village was Iya Ilul who later

material n purple wi th touch es of red , green, and yellow (to

confided to me that she was not reall y a genuine Yakap but

be used for side border of a Lenten chasub le), and some panels

a Christian from Bicol until she married her Yakan husb1\nd

of purp le seputangan which I insisted should be made of silk.

and converted to Islam. Now wi th two children , the older

Working and collaborati ng with Maika and Iya on the "new"

one already almost 11 years old , she has adapted herself so

materi als , I real ized how differently we see things. For

completely to her Yakan setting that one would never

example, I thought th at asking them to weave the bunga

suspect that she was not born Yakan. Weavi ng and other

sarna in just two or three colors instead of seven would

handicrafts having been the business of her husband , she

make it easier for thel11 . To my surprise, they said that it

has familiarized herself with all the different types of Yakan

was harder since they had been used to maki ng this design

woven materials. And being very enterprising, she has not

ordinarily in seven colors! This made me rea lize that we

limited her store to Yakan items but has also carried some

should never presume thi ngs when dealing wi t h i ndigenous

items from other indigenous groups like the Tausug of Sulu ,

people. We always have to try to see things from the i r point o

the southernmost tip of the Philippines . I was admiring a beautiful green square cloth similar to the headcloth format of Maika's seputangan when Iya volunteered that the material was not Yakan but Tausug . It was a pis siyabit , the piece·de ·resistance head cloth of the male Tausug atti re . A square with an internal fram ing structure full of crosses , angular hooks and lozenges in green

(gaddung)' black (quitim), red (pula ), yellow (bianning ,


of view. Only by learning to appreciate and understand the way they see things will our work with them bear much fruit and lasting relationships. Zamboanga City is also known for shell crafts, just like Cebu City that I visited some months earlier and where I got some beautiful shell beads and platelets for ornamentation. In Zamboanga City, I visited Shell World , a store that sells all kinds of Philippine shells and shell crafts. Established by the Wee family as a cottage industry 20 years ago, the shell business gets it supply of shells from Sulu, Tawi路 Tawi, Basilan , Cagayan de Sulu , and Jolo. Aside from its wide and impressive collection of Philippine shells, what I really found interesting were the creatively done tiny figures and gift items of all kinds and shapes and motifs. There were pins and brooches, earrings and necklaces with mother路of路pearl shaped like butterflies, fishes , stars , moon , flowers, etc. I quickly asked Mary Ann Wee if I could design some tiny crosses and other decorative motifs which could also be done in mother-of-pearl. When I told her that I would be using them for liturgical vestments and vesture for the centennial exhibit at Ayala Museum , she was easily persuaded to accept my orders. Having visited indigenous peoples up north in the Cordilleras and down south in Mindanao, I have noticed that the use of shell ornamentation, specially mother-of-pearl, has been an established manner of embellishing garments for special occasions. I was going to make as a centerpiece for the exhibit a processional canopy made of handwoven abaca. Instead of using the usual silk tassels to decorate the hem of the sides of the canopy, I decided to use tassels made of tiny canarion shell beads and mother -of-pearl carved into petal shapes. I also used tiny nacre crosses to embellish the center designs of the canopy's embroidery.

1BASI LAN I SLAND Because of the peace and order situation in the island of Basilan , this home of the Yakan people has not had a good image for the past few decades. I suppose that that was the

reason the Benedictine Sisters in Zamboanga City did not

We took the bus for Lamitan at the Isabela bus station

seem too eager to take me there, but how could one get to

not far from the market. It was quite an experience ridmg

really know a people unless one visits their original home?

one of those old, dilapidated buses with wooden sides and

Sr. Melanie of the Paul IV Institute of Liturgy in Malaybalay

windows from the 1950s. And since we had to rush to catch

made sure that Benedictine associate Marivic Matondo would

the bus , it was only later that I noticed that the rows

be with us when we finally decided to go to Basilan. Having

of seats faced each other, instead of the usual seats all

been involved in Church apostolates for quite some time as

facing forward . It was a long one路hour drive on bumpy and

far back as when Sr. Melanie was still assigned in Zamboanga

dusty roads and as the bus climbed further into the

City, Marivic was the perfect link to our Basilan connection.

mountainous terrain , I realized that I was really in a

We took the early morning trip of the Everflyte Express,

"different" world as I looked at all the people around me.

a big, modern, high路 speed boat , at the Zamboanga Pier for

Most of them were in Muslim attires with turbans and veils

Isabela , Basilan. The early morning picture of a calm sea

on their heads. Neither could I understand a single word of

vintas, the outrigger canoe of the

their conversations. I just kept on looking at my companions

Sarna, was a memorable sight as our express

who were seated rows away, to make sure that I would be

dotted with colorful Zamboanga

boat left the pier. It took us only 30 minutes to arrive at

able to get off from the bus when they did.

our destination; the ordinary slow boat that makes four trips

It was easy to see that Basilan 's thick forests had greatly

daily between Zamboanga and Basilan would have ~aken one

suffered from environmenta l abu se . In some places we

hour and a half. The presence of so many uniformed military

passed by, I noticed that illegal logging has destroyed much

men all over the pier gave me an ambivalent feeling not

of the island's natural riches. I could only pray that this

knowing whether I should feel safe that the place is


would soon stop. Basilan 's ferti le land yields cash crops like

guarded or if I should worry all the more because of the

coconut and rubber which are cultivated in plantations

bad peace and order situation.

owned or mostly controlled by the rich Christians of Basilan.

We proceeded to the Lay Formation Center in Isabela

Cattle raiSing, sea fishing , and fish ponds also provide a

where we met Sr. Virginia Roy who has been doing apostolate

good source of income for the people, aside from cassava

work for the Yakan for more than two decades. She gladly

and abaca. The Yakan's economic orientation is obviously

agreed to accompany us to Lamitan where she has been

toward land and agriculture, wh ich makes them different

working with Yakan weavers ever since she was assigned to

from their Sarna neighbors in the Sulu Archipelago whose

the island. All these years she has been providing them with

orientation is towards the sea with its fishing and trade .

the materials needed for their weaving , basically cotton

The most valued among the Yakan's agricultural crops is

yarn. She explained that many women know how to weave

rice, with the planting and the harvesting always associated a

but oftentimes, what prevents them from doing so is their incapacity to buy the yarns. She has been going around from house to house providing weaving materials. She guaranteed to buy all their finished products. These woven materials she would send to their many religious houses who helped in selling them. In her own little way, she has not only been able to do livelihood projects for the Yakan but has also helped in preserving and promoting the Yakan weaving tradition.


with rituals and prayers led by the imam. Like the other Mindanao peoples, the Yakan practice a system of labor exchange, with friends and relatives sharing the work, thus shortening the time for plowing and harvesting. This is easily understandable since Yakan kinfolk are very close emotionally and physically. Relatives are often brought together by different social and religious activities. Subsequently, their houses were built very close to each other. Except for the slave class that existed from the earliest times until its abolition by the American colonizers, the traditional classes of Yakan society still exist today - the

datu, the pakir , and the common tao . The 1995 census by the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that Catholics were the most dominant in Basilan, but there were also the Tausug, Sama , Chavacano , Badjao , and the Visayan settlers in the island. The town of Lamitan, I found out later, is quite important historically. It was founded by Datu Mursalun, the nephew of the pro-American Datu Kalun who succeeded him upon his death in 1904. It is said that Datu Kalun was originally Pedro Cuevas , a fugitive from Cavite who came to the island of Basilan in 1842. He was accepted by the Yakan as their leader because he embraced the Yakan religion and way of life, married one of their women , and instituted meaningful socio-political reforms. It was only during the reign of Pedro Cuevas or Datu Kalun that Basilan was freed from the centuries-old domination of the Sultanate of Sulu. It was in Lamitan that the Sultanate of Basilan had its headquarters. Visiting this historic town was therefore very significant. In Lamitan, we went to visit some of Sr. Virginia's Yakan weavers. Although their houses were not mostly the traditional Yakan luma that stood on high posts with only one tandiwan or window, most of them stil l had the main doors of their houses facing the east and the walls made of plaited bamboo called sawali. I remember one particular Yakan weaver whom Sr. Virginia teased because of the loose fitting cotton pants she was wearing. "Yo u look more like a

Soma , " Sr. Virginia chided. The woman retorted , still

weaving, "The Yakan pants are too hot for this warm

add was some satin hand embroidery to emphasize the cross

climate- I'm just being practical. After all , tight pants don't

design inside the geometric patterns.

make a Yakan!" The weather was indeed very hot , for the

It was late in the afternoon, just before sunset, when we

woman was doing her weaving outdoors , just outside her

returned to the Isabela Pier to catch the Everflyte Express

kitchen. She had attached the other end of her loom to a

for Zamboanga City. That night, as I rested my tired body

tree and spread out a small woven mat on which she sat,

bed at the house of my host, Meding Tolentino, who is mother


shaded by the foliage. She was just about to finish her work,

to a lot of religious sisters and priests looking for a place to

an intricate bunga sarna weave basically in green with

stay in Zamboanga City, I felt glad I decided to visit Basilan.

accents of yellow, orange , red路orange, white , aqua , and

If I did not , I would always be one of the many people who

royal blue on the supplementary weft. This was going to be

think of Bas ilan as nothing but a dangerous no路man's island.

made into table runners. She complained that hardly anyone

I remem bered the people I met there telling me to come

had made a traditional Yakan suit with the embroidered cuffs

back in June, when a Yakan festival called iamilamihan

from the beautiful bunga sarna cloths that she has been

takes place. It was three days of fun and celebration to

weaving . Then laughing at herself, she admitted that she

revive the Yakan cultural heritage with Yakans and Christians

has not made one for herself either.

together. How I wished they did this more often. so that

Hadja Lydia Harayin , head of the Basilan Integrated

when we read about Basilan, it would not always be about

Livelihood Project in Isabela , was busy meeting with

violen t ambushes and kidnappings. The Yakans have so much

barangay leaders of Aguada when we dropped by her house.

to offer. And I made sure that their woven matenals would

In the Yakan community, the sultan is represented by the hadji

play a m~or part in my liturgical collection.

(male) or hadja (female) and the pakil or pakir, the religious leader, at the village level. As a hadja, she was busy attend ing


to the community concerns , specially of Mabarakat village where she lived . She was highly regarded by the people of her

The last ethnic group I visited was the Bukidnon, the term

village , having had the means to go on a hadz or pilgrimage

first used by the Visayan coastal settlers to refer to the

to the holy city of Mecca. Aside from her many concerns for

people of the mountains of the province in north路central

the barangay, she has also been very active in helping the

Mindanao which later came to be known also by the same

weaving industry in her locality. At her home, she gladly

name . Since our monastery is


Bukldnon, I thought that it

showed us some products of woven materials. The livelihood

would be easier to run to this group because of its proximity;

project that she heads has given a lot of women the chance

as the opening of the exhibit was just a few months away,

to earn additional income for their families . They have also

I would still be able to return to it more often if needed.

gone into producing commercial items like vests, shoulder


bags, pencil cases , belts, and caps made of indigenous Yakan woven materials . The bags made of bunga sarna weave were very attractive and were the most saleable, too. She even had

bunga sama weaves in seven 路 inch width - perfect for stoles . I was immediately attracted to a purple piece which perfectly fitted a design I had in mind for an Advent chasuble of abaca with an orphrey column at the center. All I had to


There were three reasons why I decided to include the

Furthermore , their ethn ic unity is also shown by the

Bukidnon . Fi rst , their garments are truly unique and distinct,

existence of the giling, a black scepter in the possession

having almost no resemblance to those of other ethnic

of the datu of Bugabut , symbolizing the position of "the

groups foun d in Mindanao . Second , they have some beliefs

highest datu of the Buki dnon ."

which are si milar to the Christian faith . And lastly, it has

The Spanish Jesui t priest, Fr. Jose Ma. Clotet , SJ, in a

often been sai d t hat the Bukidnon region is one of the areas

letter to the Rev. Fr. Rector of the Ateneo Municipal on May

of Mindanao th at is most in need of further research as far

11 , 1889 described the dress of the Bukidnon with whom he

as textile arts and indigenous cloth ing are concerned. The word Buki dnon comes from bukid , which means

had contact, specially those who used to go down to the coastal towns to sell their products. He described the women

" mountain , " an d non which means " people. " Bukidnon ,

as wearing full ankle-length skirts and blouses colorfully

therefore , means "mountain people . " Their native name is

decorated with patchwork desi gn s. They wore copper, brass ,

Ta laandig, a name whic h they prefer to use to refer to

or silver rings and anklets which produced sound when they

themselves . But as they were driven into the interior by

walked. Other accessories included bracelets which were

the Visayan immigrants, they were called Bukidnon . Monteses

worn from wrist to elbow, and necklaces of beads , wild

was the name used by t he Spaniards to refer to them . The

boars' bristles, bits of shells, and silver coins. Men , on the

nor t hern Buki dnon also call the mse lves Higaonon , meaning

other hand, wore long breeches, jackets , hats , and for

"removed from the water, " refe rri ng to their displacement

special occasions , expensive shirts.74

from th ei r origi nal coastal settlemen s to the hinterlands .

In 1910, the American anthropologist Fay Cooper Cole and

Other nam es used to refer to t hem II e Ta goloanon and

his wife Ma bel did exte nsive fieldwork in the Bukidnon

Pulanglen are derived from the names of the river valleys

hinterland , studying the indigenous people and their culture.

'hey inha bit the Tagoloan and Pu langi Rivers , respectively.

Cole noted that the varied physical features of the Bukidnon

All these actually belong to the same ethnic group of Bukidnon.

could be attributed to various culture contacts that they

Altho ugh t hey are today dIspersed into smaller groups in

have evidently made at different points in time . It is to

the hin terlands and nea r t he mountains and rivers, their

Cole that we owe most of our knowledge of Bukidnon clothes

oral t rad i tions show that th ere was once a hom ogeneous

because of his impressive collection of indigenous clothing

Talaandig society, which evidently changed through the years.

which gives us a detailed record of the manner of dress of

ThIs became apparent , according to Carmen Ching路 Unabia ,

these people which fitted Clotet 's descriptions more than

whe n she studied their batbatonan (prose narratives) and

two decades earlier. Cole noted that "seen in a group , these

pamuhat (ri tuals) during a year of intensive research work

people appear quite different from all other pagan groups

the mid -1980s among t he di fferent Bukidnon groups .')

of the island, for the women resemble animated bed quilts ,


while the men are only slightly less colorful. "75 During his fieldwork , Cole noted that just a few women were still weaving abaca (hemp) and cotton cloth i n their backstrap looms. Abaca (Musa textiles nee) was then raised in considerable quantity and considered the chief article of export. Most of the product was brought to the coast where it was sold or bartered for cotton cloth and other desired items like scissors. As early as this time , Cole already noted o

2 Cj


that only a few women still made skirts and blankets by

Another Jesuit priest , Fr. Ralph Lynch , SJ who stayed in

the tie- dye process so typical of the Davao Gulf region ,

Malaybalay and Cagayan de Oro from 1946 to 1953, noted

and pre di cted that it would soon be a lost art in this

the changes in the physical attributes of the Bukidnon,

ethnolinguistic group . The entry of trade cloth from the

particularly in their clothes. According to him , the colorful

coast has de fini tely led to the sharp decline of this once

garments and ornaments that the Bukidnon proudly wore

important wea ving accomplishment. He observed , though ,

before , and wh ich Clotet and Cole noted significantly in

the grea t emphasi s that time already laid on applique and

1889 and 1910 respectively, had virtually disappeared. He

embroidery of ga rments _ Th is has led to the development

observed that aside from the nati ve s in Calabugao , the

of the wi del y patterned appl i que decorat i on that is

Bukidnon wore these co lorful clothings only during ceremonial

uniquely Buki dnon , even i f the form of the garments is

occasions and stage presentationsJ8

basically Euro-Visayan. 76

In 1986, Carmen Ching-Unabia noted that "except for their

The Buki dnon wo men 's full ski rts were often strips of red ,

tangkulo (men's head gear or embroidered turbans) and red

dark blue , and white cloth sew n together, wi th sections of

mouth (from chewing betel chew preparations ), the

applique or embroidery ad ornin g the lower portion . Their

Bukidnon generally look now quite like the Bisayans ." Only

bell- sleeved blouses were eve n more fully embelli shed with

those fou nd in the mountain fastness between Bukidnon

patchwo rk or embroidery. As Roy Hamilt on noted i n hI S book ,

and Agusan provinces with apparently the least contacts

Fr om the Rainb ow's Varied Hue , th e floweri ng of this

with the Dumagats (the non-Buki dnon settlers) fit the

unique Buki dnon sense of decoratio

descri ption of Fray Luis de Jesu s and Fr. Clotet. 49

could be accounted

by some events t hat Cole discern ed du~in g his visi t. As the

Half a century after Lynch and more than a decade after

Span sh mIssi onar ies started to convert the Bukidnon to

Ching-Unabia , I had the chance of making several visits to

C rls'tlanity by the late 19th ce ntury, tlhey also required

a Talaandig community in Lantapan and was happy to find

them to give up their colorful manner of dress when receiving

Bukidnon in digenou s culture alive and cared for, in spite

baptIsm. Instead. they were given the pla in wh ite baptismal

of its exposure to modernization and contacts with non -

t10thmg that symbolizes purity. Those who resisted conversion

Bukidnon people_ My fieldwork with the Talaandig group in

to Chr'stianity thus wore the ir distinctive Bukidnon dress

Lantapan was facilitated by Dr. Lydia Salazar, head of the

proudly and defiantly as much as possible . Dress became

cultural affairs department of Bukidnon State College and

tre sym bo l of resistance and the mark of the true Bukidnon

herself a descendant of a native datu. She even accompanied

'n a society that was ex periencing continuous village

me and Fr. Columbano on my first visit there so that she

resettl ement due to th e entry of new coastal settlers and

could properly introduce me to the people.

the i ntroduction of th e Bisayan and Christian cuitures J 7


Lantapan is home to the various tribal indigenous groups of Bukidnon, dominated by the Talaandig . In fact , the Talaandig consider it their cultural heartland. There , in Barangay Sungko is a small community of Talaandig who are proud of their unique cultural heritage and aware of its great potentials . It is located 40 km west of the provincial capital of Malaybalay, where our monastery is situated in Barangay San Jose , and 140 km southeast of Cagayan de Oro, the


closes t trading center and port. Sungko is considered the

most sacred place by the Talaandig , a rich heritage from

at the center. Th e pamuhat sta rted with t he panawagtawag

their forefathers whom they believe to be the aboriginal

(call) and the panda lawi t (invitation) during which Bae

settlers, the lumad (native) of the place . It is also intricately

Magaga w reque sted the spi ri ts who were invoked to attend

i nterwoven in their cultural identity. After just a little over an hour's drive from the monastery

th e ri tual and listen to her peti tions . It was am azing t hat, in sp i te of the fac t that the whole ritual was done i n their

on partly paved and mostly rough and dusty roads , we

nati ve Binukid lan guage , I seemed to und erstand what Bae

arrived in Sungko in our red Mitsubishi wagon . We were

Magagaw was praying! From time to tim e, she would mention

welcomed by Leonarda Saway who is also called Bae Magagaw,

my name and Fr. Columbano 's and som ehow I knew she was

meaning "caring woman ." Knowing that my purpose was to

requesting th e spiri ts to accept th e offerings, praying that

do research work on their cultural community and specially

the ri tual woul d be satisfactorily don e and therefore will

on their garments and textile arts , she explained that a

meri t th eir fav or and assistance . Th e ritual went on for

pamuhat (r i tual) had to be performed first , to ask the

al mos t half an hour and occasionally, the women would give

blessings of the sp irits , for no effort of man will ever be

some kind of response to the prayers. Finally we came to

fruitful i f it does not have the blessings from above. When

the ponampulo t , the sort of commu nion portion of the ritual

I heard this , I was immediately reminded of Psalm 126,

where Bae Magagaw distributed the betelnut pieces for all

"Apart from God , all our labors are worthless! " How ve ry

of us to partake of. Then she said , " Now you can start your

much like our monastic spi rituality, I said to myself.

research work , the spi rits have welcomed you."

Pamuhat comes from the word buhat which me ns "to

Th e type of pamuhat which is pe rformed when one is

do." As a religious practice , pamuhat means ritua a,.nd

seekin g permi ssion to entertain researchers on Bukidnon

ceremony performed according to tradit ionally prescribed

bel ief s and lifes tyle is call ed the Buha t on Ha Maayad Ha

rules and formula . The talamuhat is the central figure i n a

Etaw. This is on e of t he more simple rituals of the Talaandig.

pamuhat , acting as the mediator between the people and

Oth er pamu hat would usual ly include the slaughtering

the supernatural and prescribing the ri tual object s needed

of sac rificial animals such as pigs or chickens. And while

or required in a ritual. The Talaandig believe that the world is made up of gods,

these are being cooked , the ta lamuhat or ritualist or any

pa l agugud or pa labatbat at tend ing the ritual would recite

demi路gods, and spirits who influence and direct their lives and

the gugud (ancient Talaand ig stories about the origin and

govern the envi ronment on which the livelihood and survival

hi story of man and the universe) or Batbat (stories other

of the tribe depend . To maintain a harmonious relationship

than the gugud , revealing sign i ficant moral concepts and

with the spirits and their dwelling places, the Talaandig

deep religi ous implications conce r ning the Bukidnon's

always consult them through their pamuhat and prayer.

contemporary st ate of be ing ). o

Bae Magagaw left us for a while to prepare the ri tual. In no time at all , she was back with a white porcela in plate which contained the tina lad , the quid made of tiny pieces of betel nut and lime wrapped in betel nut lea ves in small cone shapes to be used for the offeri ng. Then she asked us for eight coins which were to serve as our offering . We sat on a mat on the floor together with Bae Magagaw and other elderly women , with the offerings placed on a piece of white cloth

In la ter conversations wi t h Carmen Ch i ng- Una bia who,

"first live exhibi t " of weavers from Pulangi demonstrating

together with her husband Teogenes, is now a Malaybalay

their craft, and flute arti st s from Kabanglasan playing their

resident and attends mass at our monastery, I learned that the

native i nstruments . A younger brother, Waway, is the artist

gugud are considered very important because they recount

of t he co mmunity and ha s been helping young artists in the

the primordial events which the Bukidnon view as their

village to deve lop the i r talent s in i nd i genous music ,

sacred origin , their evolution into a distinct ethnocultural

painting, and pottery, among others.

group and their bitter struggle to uphold and protect their

Ever conc ern ed about the pre servation and promotion of

group identity, solidarity, and mtegrity. It is also in the gugud

the Talaa nd ig's rich cultural heritage , Datu Migketay was

where they recall the exploits of the supreme being

the one who edited all th e tran scriptions and translations

Magbabaya and the Diwata (custodian spirits) whom he

of t he tex ts of the ba tbatonon and pamuhat collected by

assigned since man's creation to guard the whole of creation

Carmen Ching- Unabia, t hus fin ally putting into black and white

and to guide man in his day -to-day dealings with life.

t he Buki dnon 's rich ora l trad it ions, folktales , and rituals .

Bae Magagaw (Leonarda Saway) is the daughter of the late

As I bega n to ob se rve the clothing of th e women and

Datu Kinulintang (Anastacio Saway) of Sungko, whose area

chil dren , I rea lized t hat here wa s one ethnic group that has

of operation during his lifetime included the western side

not complet ely ab andon ed th ei r traditional dress. Although

of north -central Bukidnon , cove.ri ng the communities which

I did no t see any more abaca ski rts with ikat designs (they

were found between Guinoyoran

nd Talakag . Her brother

were prac t ic ally gone even duri ng Cole 's vis i t i n 1910), a

Adolin o, now 51 years old, beca,me Datu Makapukaw

good number of w omen still wore their colorful and

Kinuli ntan g when their father died in 1 92. Another brother,

volu minous pat chwork ski rts of cotton trade cloth called

Vlctoriano Saway is known as Datu Mlgke ay. HIghly educated

the saya, and t hei r even more full y decorated ginilangan

and more we ll-known outside Talaandig territory than any

(blo use), cove red wi th patchwork and / or emb roidery which

other member of the family, Datu Migketay was largely

Clotet and Co le descri bed during their visi t s. The clothes '

responsi ble for the establishment of the Talaandig School

color sche me was always red, dark blu e or bla ck, and white ,

of Living Traditions m Sungko. And together with Dr. Lydia

with embroidery of t he sam e color plu s a little touch of

Salaza r, he initiated the idea of holding the annual kaamu(an

yellow. All th e wo men 's blouses we re short enough to leave

(gathering) festival in Malaybalay, where the different eth nic

t he mi driff bare, if not for their white inner chem ise . In

group s of Bukidnon come down to the provincial ca pita l to

old en t i mes it was customary to tattoo the women's midriff

ce lebrate with the whole population their songs, dances ,

with th e sa me geometric designs now used on their blouses '

and games, display and sell their native crafts, an d per form

hem. Th ese t attoos were pra ctically part of the costume ,

their rituals. The Kaamulan festival i n 1994 featu red th e

j ust li ke in the Cordilleras in Northern Luzon , where in the old en days the natives said they would feel naked if they removed their tattoos . Th is researcher is inclined to believe that the Talaandig could be another example, like the Bulgarians, the Tunisians , and the Kuba of Zaire , of what Sheila Pane said in her study of embroidered textiles : that tattooed patterns of peoples


were tran sferred from the body to garments in the form of embroidery and that because tattooing and embroidery were


so closely related, both employing symbolism expressed in

or raised motif decoration , that pro vided additional

pattern , Marco Polo called tattooing "flesh embroidery. "so

protection for the warrior. Hamilton has noted that the

If a blouse is embroidered , it is called sinu/aman , from the

pa/awan had colors and patterns reminiscent of the weaving

root word su/am , meaning "embroidery." And if the blouse

of the Cordillera region in northern Luzon .s1

is made up of strips of red , black, and white cotton sewn

From what I saw on my first visit to Sungko, I must say

together as applique, it is called ginuntingan, from the word

that Lynch 's report of the demise of the Bukidnon's unique

gunting , meaning "scissors." When geometric shapes

and colorful costumes was rather premature-at least, as far

characterize the patchwork of a blouse, it is called tinudtudan .

as this Talaand ig community is concerned. And as far as Cole's

Some skirts were held up by a bagkus , a sash that was

prediction in 1910 that abaca weaving will soon be a lost

similarly decorated . Some women, like Bae Magagaw, wore

art among this people, one only has to go to the numerous

plain head cloths while others had the panika , a headpiece

souvenir stores in Malaybalay and Cagayan de Oro to see the

made of two tassseis of yarn , falling on either side of the

beautiful handwoven abaca materials made by the Higaonon

head just behind the ears . Some other accessories included

called kamuyot. Although this material is not woven to be

the salay (necklaces of beads and seeds), the sinakit (a

used for clothing but rather for commercial purposes like

bead work necklace with numerous coins attached to it), the

placemats, ba gs and throw 路 pillow cases, still it shows that

ba/aring (silver or brass earrings with multiple strings of

abaca weaving has not completely died out in Bukidnon .

beads worn from ear to ear passing under the cQin), and the buka/a (bracelets of brass or shells). No one was wearing the bangko/ , a large comb with intricate

On our way home, it also dawned on me that the Talaandig tradition of first of all praying together and performing the

pamuhat when a guest comes to the community, is very much

designs incised or inlaid in brass or mother路of路pearl ,

like our own Benedictine tradition. On Chapter 53 of the

fastened to the woman 's hair, or the pinanggahanan , a more

Rule of St. Benedict, entitled "The Reception of Guests , "

elaborate headpiece which fans out high from a comb fastened

st. Benedict ad vices the superior and the brothers " to meet

to the bun and resembling a male peacock 's spread out tail ,

a guest who comes to the monastery with all the courtesy

since both are worn only on ceremonial occasions. Bae

of love and first of all , to pray together and thus be united

Tinangkil (Herminia Saway), the datu's younger wife , who

in peace . "Sl Ponde ring on these thoughts inside my cell that

spoke English fluently and was wearing regular contemporary

night , something deep inside was telling me that this was

clothing as she had just arrived from the town proper,

not going to be my last visit to this ethnic group. I knew

promised to show us her pinanggahanan the next time we

that I was beginning to feel drawn to this people. And I

visit. Some women and young girls were wearing simpler

knew that this was just the beginning of a most fruitful

versions of the ka/u 路kap/u and sab/ayan, as the more elaborate

relationship , an enriching experience. o

and embroidered types of this headpiece which were worn attached to a large decorative comb and falling at the back of the head, are reserved for important occasions. What I did not see also was any sample of the gear worn by the Bukidnon warriors which was considered a most spectacular garb, a sample of which Cole was able to acquire in 1910. Aside from the /imbotan (padded vest) made of abaca cloth, this protective suit had a long pa/awan sash with warp float

29 9

Some months later, I went back to Sungko , this time with top photographer George Tapan and Mayel Panganiban of Ayala Museum, to photograph the life and work of the Talaandig tribe. The Lord really blessed this trip for it turned out to be their panagtagbo , a grand community meeting attended by a good number of people, both elders and young people alike . We found Datu Makapukaw Kinulintang presiding over the meeting as both chieftain and capitan of the barangay (barangay captain) . A Filipino flag hung prominently inside the meeting hall while a native assistant was busy taking the minutes of the meeting. Although the political system of the national and provincial government now prevails, the traditional concept of the datu is still strong, specially since the traditional datu is also the elected barangay captain. To Datu Makapukaw Kinulintang (Adolino Saway) is given the duty and responsibility to arbitrate in matters of dispute, and together with the babaylan (shaman) "officiate" in the

pamuhat. The batasan/ balaud, the customary law of the Bukidnon people, is based on Bungkatol Ha Bulawan, literally "The Golden Rule," a sacred stick on which are inscribed Bukidnon laws and code of ethics. Datu Makapukaw Kinulintang was wearing a traditional long -s leeved cotton shirt in the usual red , black , and white patchwork style with embroideries in yellow and white around the neckline and the hem . As datu , he wore the three -pointed , crown-like red applique headpiece which distinguished him from the rest of the men who were mostly wearing the simple head-dresses which were worn like turbans wrapped in various manners. Instead of the traditional salual, the full-length, tight -fitting trousers with vertical pattern on the upper part to the knees and the lower part filled with horizontal patterns used by some of the older men , Datu Makapukaw wore blue denim pants and over his patchwork suit. He also wore a contemporary blue leatherette jacket to protect him from the December cold weather. A practical compromise, I said to myself. When the community meeting was over, we were introduced to Datu Makapukaw who in turn introduced us

to some of the people present , like Bae Maguila , the

During another visit t o Su ngko, we were very privileged

61-year-old dugso expert; Bae Manunulam, the leader of the

to listen to Raul Bendit who rendered for us a hauntingly

women embroiderers , and Bae Mauyon-uyon , their foremost

beautiful mu sic al numbe r on hi s hulagteb , the native

weaver. Datu Makapukaw himself and his babaylan sister Bae

bamboo flute . He na med his composition "Tribute to

Magagaw led the ritual for us before we could start with our

Nature . " Twenty-five-ye ar-old Ro mm el , Bae Magagaw's son ,

research work and interviews, just like during our first visit.

also played a number on his fl ute an d said that he just played

The establishment of the Talaandig School of living

as his dee p fe eli ngs prompted him. He also showe d us

Traditions is indeed one of the best things that happened

necklaces mad e of shells and clay beads that he said Waway

to this community. The elders have long been noticing that

also taught th em to make .

the modernization going on around them has started to

On the ground floor was a display of em broidered and

result in the younger members ' becom ing less and less in

appliqued blouses , headpieces, bags , and baskets of assorted

touch with their indigenous heritage, specially for those who

shapes. Beauti fu l mats made of tikug , also called sudsud,

have started to attend school in the towns and cit ies. A few

were also on display. One even had th e name Sungko woven

years ago , Victoria no Sa way or Datu Migketay wanted to

into the desi gn- an ideal item . I noticed that there were

bring back the nearly diminished traditions of the Talaandig .

two upright Bisaya n- ty pe looms. On another visit, Bae

The idea of putting up a Talaandig school was brought to

Mau yon -uyon eve n showed us how she weaves the tikug

the attention of the National Commission on Culture and

fi bers for th e we ft on this type of loom to create beautiful

the Arts (NCCA) by Dr. Lydia Salazar, graduate school

table runners and placemats. The weavers explained that

professor at Bukidnon State College. It was a conscious effort

there were three kinds of weaves : firs t , the weave using

on the part of the Talaandig elders to inculcate in young

ti kug t o make mats ; second , t he weave called hinobol

minds that they belong to a unique and distinct culture , to

usi ng abaca fi bers , the f i nished product being kamuyot,

harness their members to appreciate their roots , and to

and third , th e weave called panaptun using a commercial

learn always to struggle to be free from local and foreign

thread called tanud.

influences and dominance. With the help of the NCCA and a grant from Oxfam

Bae Maguila lea rned to dance the dugso, t he ritual dance of the Talaand ig wh en she was only ten years old and has

Australia , a two -storey building of bamboo with nipa roof

been doing and teac hing this dance for t he last few decades.

was built just across the house of the datu . Daily classes for

Dugso is performed solemnly and reverent ly because i t is

the children are held on the second floor. On assigned days ,

part of the highest ritual ka/igo that is related to thanksgiving,

they are taught their traditional songs , dances , and games .

appeasement , supp lication , and consultation of nat ure

On other days, they learn their folk tales . And on yet another

sp i rits. The dance rou t ine includes t he stomping of t he fee t

day, they are taught to play their indigenous musical


instruments . Crafts like mat weav i ng , basket making , pottery, and weaving are also taught here, as are sewing and embroidery. Around the walls on the second floor are paintings done by thei r local artists using different kinds of mud to get an interesting effect of monochromatic shades of brown . In this area, the artist Waway is largely responsible for the tra ining of local artists.

30 I

which is meant to awaken the spirits so they can witness this act of worship. During one of my visits , Bae Maguila demonstrated a

embroidery on their blouses , skirts, shirts , and trousers can be done even after the garment is already sewn together. Thu s, the embroidery and also the applique in diamond

nu mber of nati ve dances , including the dugso and the

shapes, squares, chevrons done in the usual color scheme

pinintuk , a wedding dance accompanied by the clapping of

of red·white and dark blue or black would usually fall in

hands , as Dom Andre and I took turns in taking photographs

the spaces within the horizontal or vertical patchwork

of the exotic dancers in their colorfu l attire. With the

bands . This style, as Pastor· Roces has noted , is reminiscent

estab li shment of the Talaandig School of Living Traditions,

of shaman garb in the Toba and Simalungun Batak regions

Bae Maguila 's dance lessons are now a major part of the

of Sumatra . 83 An interesting thing about this embroidery

sc hool 's curriculum. When I told her that I would like to

procedure of the Talaand ig is that more embroidery can be

learn their dances , having been a dancer myself when I was

added even i f the owner has already started to wear the

st ill a young student in New York , her face brightened up

garment, so that a prolific embroiderer can actually

an d I knew that I had just won a new friend!

continue to add more and more embroidery until all

Some of their dances were performed to the accornpafliment

possible spaces are filled.

of native Ins truments like the bantula, made of a section of

Most of the Talaandig 's embroidery, usually done in satin

bamboo wi t h a sli t on the side a~d rhythmically beaten with

stitch , is in linear and geometric patterns, although there were

a stick called basal as the dance s stomped their feet on

also a few designs of leaves , flowers , and leeches. Lugo is

the floor, and the tambal , a two · faced drum made of small,

the general term for geometric designs . Some of the basic

hollowed· out tree t runks covered with igskin at each end.

lines include matul·id (straight), a word used in this author's

What I found am using was the fact that as the elder women

native dialect Pampango to mean exactly the same straight

led by Bae Maguila performed the dances , a group of young

line, binoligyas (diagonal), tagtiyarog (vertical), taghiruga

girls probably aged three to seven years old also danced

(horizontal), kinayog (curved), and sinurigaw (zigzag).

at the back, as i f to let us know that they too , know the

Asked whether some designs meant anything to them , they

dances. And in deed , they did! Bae Maguila's efforts have

said the sinurigaw embroidered vertically symbolized the

been bearin g f ru i t . Even Malaki , Datu Migketay 's youngest

rivers found in Bukidnon while the sinurigaw embroidered

son who was so small he could hardly carry his wooden

horizontally represents the trials of life , usually showing

kalasag (shi el d), danced the saut , a warrior dance , to

the ups and downs of life. Three triangular shapes embroidered

the deli ght of everyone .

one next to the other represent the three mountains

Ba e Manunulam (Narita Romero) co nsi dered the leading

of Bukidnon : Mt. Kitanglad , Mt. Kalatungan , and Mt.

embro i derer i n the community, explained that the

Tangkulang . This design, in fact , has a striki ng resemblance to the logo of our Transfiguration Monastery, represent ing the three tents which the apostles offered to build on Mt. Tabor when Jesus was transfigured . I decided to use this type of embroidery in red·black and white on a red cotton material appliqued on the hem of a red cotton stole. I also used the same to create an appliqued


cross design on the center of both sides of the stole . I remember saying to myself as I was viewing this red vestment



on the fitting form one night, how wonderful it would be if

Province t own of Sagada when she stumbled upon the

someday we could come up with a "Bukidnon Mass " using

neglected art of ikat. Her vision to keep alive a traditional

vestments of Bukidnon materials , music with Bukidnon

art as a way of uplifting the lives of her native indigenous

influences, and even perhaps , some liturgical dance inspired

community in the mountains gave impetus to a weaving

by this culturally rich commun i ty!

enterprise that now employs hundreds of people. Nowadays,

If there is any important observation I made regarding

the name Narda Capuyan is almost synonymous to modern

weaving among the Talaandig , it is this- that unlike Cole's

ikat weaving. Her contemporary ikat materials made into

observation that the Bukidnon women did weaving on their

scarves, sashes, dresses , linen, and bags have found their

backstrap looms in 1910, the weavers in Sungko now use

way into such chic stores abroad as Neiman-Marcus,

the Bisayan -type floor loom. Even the Higaonon weavers also

Nordstrom's, and Bloomingdale's . She has also gone into

use this type of loom today, one of the more visi ble

interiors, her biggest achievement in this area probably

influences of the Bisayan settlers into Bukidnon territory. After making a number of visits to Sungko and making new friends in this Talaandig territory, I can only agree with Cole when he concluded that "the Bukidnon were always pacific and perpetual victims of more agressive tribesmen . "84

being her distinctive touch in Guam's Pacific Star Hotel where she used modern handwoven ikat materials for all its interior decora tion needs. Anyone who goes to Baguio City in the north will easily noti ce the wide variety of handwoven materials available

In a way, it can be said that there was also a good effect

in th e public market and in the countless souvenir shops.

of the gradual pushing of the early Bukidnon \nto the

These fabrics from the ethnolinguistic groups of the Cordilleras

hinterlands with the coming of the Bisayan settlers. This inward

find thel way into this summer capital. These Include the

push has made possible the preservation of the Bukidnon

ampu 'yo or talge, the female wraparound skirt of the Ifugao

indigenous culture from the clutches of outside influences.

made of cotton; the Ifugao bayaong or blanket in stripes

If only all the other indigenous groups allover the country

that end up being used as novelty bedcovers ; the Kalinga

could also have their own schools of living traditions like the

kain or female wraparound skirt of plain weave With

Talaandig, then their rich indigenous heritage could properly

continuous supplementary weft patterned edges adorned

be safeguarded and promoted for generations to come .

with pawekan , mother-o f -pearl fragments; and the Itneg

anigtan or sash with continuous weft patterning . The most (olllfIllPO'd')'


noticeable feature of these items in the market , though , is the use of cotton -polyester blend threads , unlike their

Aside from its numerous indigenous weavers , the

original versions that usually used pure cotton. It is not

Philippines is also blessed with modern day artists who have

uncommon , too , to see samples of these items with acryUc

made handweaving not only a perfect venue for artistic


expression but also a good source of income , not only for themselves but also for a lot of people now working for them. One name inevitably comes up when one talks of modern -day weaving in the Mountain Province: Narda Capuyan. The daughter of a blanket peddler and an Episcopal missionary, she learned the art of weaving from her mother but was already working as a full -time nurse in the Mountain


threads used for the embroidery, like in the embroidered lozenges along the panel selvages of the wraparound skirts or on the embroidered joinery of the panels of blankets. Another institution that has been responsible for giving us beautiful handwoven materials with the distinctive Mountain Province style is the Easter Weaving Room in Baguio City. Formerly known as the Easter Weaving School, it was founded by the Episcopal Missionaries some decades ago , first offering weaving as a home economics subject and later developing it as a permanent source of income for the women of the area . Through the years , the Easter Weaving School has trained some of the best weavers and has continued to produce both traditional handwoven materials and contemporary fabrics with influences from the rich heritage of the northern Luzon ethnolinguistic communities. I made a number of trips to Baguio City to follow up my orders at Easter Weaving Room and each time , the very attentive manager, Anastacia Collantes, was always there to


to it that everything was done according to my

specifications. The 35 or so weavers at the ground floor used mostly the upright loom associated with lowland weaving , but there were a couple of backs trap looms as well . It was at the Easter Weaving Room where I ordered the red cotton material with the typical Mountain Province weave on the selvage in black, yellow, and green supplementary weft patterning. I used this for the paenula style chasuble and matching stole. I was very much satisfied with the material because it was just the right weight, giving the vestment that flowing effect. They also wove for me matching bands that I was able to use as orphreys for the chasuble 's center front and back. Most of the plain cotton materials in the different liturgical colors were in fact made at Easter Weaving Room. And since the place is well known to a lot of religious who order their handwoven stoles there, I gladly shared with them some pointers on the proper designs for liturgical vestments. On the occasions that I had to follow up on my orders in the Mountain Province, I always stayed at St. Scholastica's

Convent. Mother Remedios Noche and her community of

I dec i ded t o make a Gothic chasuble of the wh i te

mostly German retired sisters were always most hospitable .

binetwagan mate ri al , com ple t e with a matching stole with

I always looked forward to visiting them because there , I had

no embell ishm en t at all except for the silken wh i te tas sel s

the chance to chant the Liturgy of the Hours with a Benedictine

at i ts hem _ In i ts st ark simplicity and cleanness of line, i t

community and at the same time visit Sr. Miriam , now

turned ou t to be one of my favorites . On the other han d, I

retired , who was my religion teacher at St. Scholastica's

used ecru habing ilako for a cope and add ed an ecru abaca

Academy in San Fernando when I was in Grade 1!

collar that mat ched i t perfectly in color and gave it an

To get my habing iloko materials (fabrics woven i n the

interes t in g tex t ure combinat ion. But I still also used the

Ilocos region) , I made a few trips to Vigan in Ilocos Sur. On two

t raditional bi netwagan in two co lors, white and green, for

occasions , my mother even went with me because it was a

a chasuble for ord inary days . This on e had a center column

good chance for her to visit her longtime friend , Sr. Aurora

and stol e mad e of pinilian fabric f rom Abra. Early on in the

Amatorio, at the Benedictine nuns ' Immaculate Heart of

pl ann ing of t his liturgical collect ion , I had already deCided

Mary Abbey in Fat i ma, where I always stayed . We often

not to limi t myself to one kind of fabric per vestment but

teased Sr. Aurora , now in her 80s , that my Benedictine

to be open to the idea of combinin g different materials and

vocation must have been enkindled when she carried me

textures from various sources .

as a year-old boy during a visit to our home!

Du ring my visits to Ilocos Sur, I kep t on encountering words

It was Sr. Cecille Lanas of the Benedicti ne Missionary

tha t I've come across be fore in Ab ra while doing fieldwork

Sisters of the Eucharistic King who helped me in networking

with t he Itneg. Words like bi nak et and pinilian were used

with the weavers in Vi gan and Caoayan . Togethe'r with

by the Ilocan os to desc ri be t heir weaving with the same

Isabelita Quitevis, a habing iloko dealer, we went to Caoayan

mean i ng attached to th em by the Itneg. The terms for

where a lot of Ilocano women are still wea ving both

blan ket , owes or utes, are also shared by both groups. After

traditional and contemporary fabrics. Obviously, the most

a number of visits to Vigan , Caoayan, and Candon, I can

popular is still the owes or utes (blanket) in a multi -heddle

only agree with Marian Pastor Roces who believes that the

weave called by the generic name binetwagan in the whole

hi storical record and the present st ate of textile trading in

Ilocos region. What I noticed , though , was that they love to

the area amp ly demonstrate th e role of Ilocos Sur as origin

weave this in contrasting colors or at least a comb i nation

point of man y textiles used in Bontoc and southwards.

of white and a solid color like red , green , or yellow. They

On my last visit to Ilocos Sur j us t t wo months before

have this in different design motifs like flowers , stars , and

the opening of the exhibit , I shared with Mother Abbess

even geometric designs. I asked them to make for me a

Ehrentrudi s Fernand ez how frustrated I was si nce so me of

binetwagan weave in one solid color and , as I expected ,

the t ex t iles I have ordered from the weave rs we re no t

there was an initial resistance . Their reason was that the


design would not show. But I explained to them that what I wanted was a very subtle effect. The pure white binetwagan weave and the solid ecru one that they wove for me turned out to be just how I wanted them , the patterns showing but not screaming at you. Because of the good cotton thread used and the very good quality of the weaving , they even had a seemingly " damask " appearance .


yet ready. I was in fact beginning to feel so pressured, worrying that I might not be able to finish everything on time . And I could not forget what she told me. "Don't be too anxious," she said , "you will finish what the Lord wants you to finish." How true , indeed! How often we begin to think as i f everything depended on us! The truth is, everything depends on the Lord! Bulacan has not been known particularly for much weaving, but it is in the town of Meycauayan where the textile artist, El isa Reyes , has a booming handweaving enterprise that now employs about 70 people at the workshop and with over 200 more in Aklan and Quezon. This was not the first time I was working with Ely, as everybody fondly calls her. In the early 1990s, when I was assigned by my monastery to promote our monastic product Monks' Blend Premium Coffee as a corporate giveaway for Christmas , I approached Ely to weave the jute sacks with maroon and slate green stripes to be used for the packaging. That promo turned out to be very successful and launched our product finally into the market. Elisa started her weaving in 1978 basically as a hobby. Soon, however, her work began to be noticed and in no time at all, she was granted a UNDP free trip to Europe as an incentive for people like her whose business has great export potentials. Imee Marcos , President Marcos' eldes t daughter, noticed her work too and got her involved in some projects . At the Asean Design Show at the Manila Hotel a few years ago , no less than CNN's Elsa Klensch was so impressed with her products using handwoven indigenous materials and asked for the artist responsible for them. Because she continuously experiments on new ideas and uses Filipino materials like pina , abaca , linen, cotton, rattan, and buntal in the most innovative ways , she now counts Kenzo of Japan , Donna Karan of the United States of America, and Giorgo Armani of Italy among her clients. In spite of her great success, Elisa is still the same humble Filipino homemaker who loves what she is doing and looks at what others would call problems as opportunities and challenges. Once, I remember asking her what fibers she

loves to weave and her answer struck me. She said: "Kahit

garments created by Jeanne Goulbo urn and marketed

anong may hibla, basta't galing sa kalikasan." (Anything

through its fashion boutique Silk Cocoon , but also through the

with fiber, so long as it comes from nature.) Her love affair

fashion collections of top fashion designers in the Philippines

with natural fibers has not only given her personal satisfaction

and abroad. In fact , Neilino Silk, Inc. already has in its clientele

but has also given the country great prestige. For this project,

list such prestigious names as the fashion houses of Christian

she wove for me a beautiful abaca-cotton blend in red, red

Lacroix, Lanvin , and Donna Karan . It is not surprising,

cotton for the warp, and fine red abaca for the weft. I used

therefore, that when people talk of Ph ili pp ine silk, it is

this for a chasuble ornamented with mother-of-pearl and

Jeanne Goulbourn who automatically comes to mind.

red carabao horn platelets along the edges using a B'laan

During one of my trips to Davao , the GEM coordinator

pattern of ornamentation. She also wove the material for

Lael Louh fetched me one morning at St. Benedict 's Priory

the lent and advent chasuble with a Yakan woven center

where Mother Maureen Sansaet had graciously welcomed me

column . It was of deep violet cotton on the warp and violet

to stay for a couple of days. Our destination was Astorga,

abaca on the weft, its sheen so beautiful people wondered

in the municipality of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, where a

if it was made of silk.

young Davaoeria was quickly making a name for herself in

One of the first persons I thought of when this project was

the field of weaving.

conceptualized was Jeanne Margaret Goulbourn, a fashion

In 1995, Tetel C. Tionko put up Astorga Handloom Crafts

designer I have always admired. I had read about her new

in her parents' big coconut plantation when she got tired of

partnership with the Korean textile designer Eun II Lee, "a

living in Manila. Highly influenced by her artist-mother, the

partnership woven with silken threads." And so, on on of my

Davao painter Josefina Carriedo -Tionko , Tetel wanted to

"stopovers" in Manila, in between trips to the north and

start a livelihood project for the women in their farm and

visits to the bordadoras in the south of Manila , I visited Jeanne

still have an outlet for her creati ve inclinations . Two huge

Goulbourn at her Makati showroom called Silk Cocoon.

airy buildings under the shade of tall coconut trees housed

She and Eun II Lee established Neilino Silk, Inc. in 1993

her weavers, some of whom were of Bagobo descent although

after they worked together on an airline project. And since

all were Christians . I was so enthralled with the variety of

then, a whole new world of Philippine silk has come to evolve.

native materials from the Davao provinces and the Caraga

She even brought me to their Mandaluyong City factory

region that they were using: abaca, cotton, romblon, am long

where I saw silk weaving in all stages of manufacture. They

vines, and even coco midribs all found their way into the

had hand loom units, warping machines, yarn rewinders, dyeing

upright looms to produce exciting materials for all kinds of

facilities and even a roller press. I saw pina silk, abaca silk

products including clothing materials , bags, picture frames ,

and 100 percent local silk in all kinds of weaves, colors, and

gift boxes, throw-pillows , placemats , and runners , the last

textures. They even had silk textiles with metallic threads ,


like their silk-copper blends. An interesting ecru silk fabric hanging on the wall had tiny delicate feathers woven at intervals, reminding me of an antique textile I once saw in a museum in Lima, Peru. As Jeanne's partner said, "You can compose designs on the fabric as your creativity dictates ." Neilino handwoven silk has definitely made inroads into the fashion industry, not only through exclusively designed


two being her most saleable items. Like El isa Reyes and India

embroidery patterns. As was the procedure in my haute

Legaspi, her participation i n annual trade shows and

couture business before, I first prepared the patterns of each

expositions, like the Manila F.A.M.E. organized by CITEM, and

vestment. My embroidery designs had to be made according

the Philippine International Furniture Show every February,

to the exact pattern of each vestment. The embroidery

plus trade expositions in Europe and the US, continuously

design of a conical shape chasuble, for example, could not

challenge her "to constantly evolve and develop new and

be used as it was , for a full Gothic chasuble or a paenula

exciting products that are acceptable to the world market."

type of chasuble . Otherwise , the embroidery design might

Being In Mindanao, she is also able to make use of the

be mutilated, destroying the beauty of the whole composition .

technical support from the USAID·funded Growth with Equity

Because I believe that even the Spanish · influenced designs have already been accepted as our own through the centuries ,

In Mindanao (GEM). From this fine young lady came the black with ecru cotton

I did not hesitate to use some of them. And because a liturgical

material that I used for a chasuble for masses for the dead .

vestment collection completely devoid of any of the

It had a stylized border design inspired by the sambit, a

traditional liturgical symbols would have been too shocking

discontinuous weft tapestry method whose pattern is foun d

for an audience who have been so used to seeing these

in some malongs of the Ibutigan area between North Cotobato

sym bols as the focus or central attraction of vestments , I

and Lanao del Sur provinces. Its very dramatic effect is that

still deci ded to include a few of these symbols in my designs.

of staggered ray· like lateral ends from black to grey to ecru,

However, I was also very much concerned with doing

whICh I thought could symbolize th movemen t from sorrow

embroidery design s which drew inspirations from the many

(death of a loved one) to acceptance a d finally to joy (birt h

ethnolinguis tic groups I had visited and worked with .

to eternal life and resurrection).

Geometric designs like triangles and squares inspired by the

Looking at all these weavers and specially those in the

tr ibes found their way into my embroidery designs . My

forefront of artistic expression, Narda Capuyan, Elisa Reyes,

favorite, though , was the embroidery design I made inspired

and Jeanne Goulbourn

Luzon, India dela Cruz Legaspi in the

by the t'nalak design of the T'boli tribe in South Cotabato.

Visayas, and Tetel Tionko in Mindanao, one is convinced that there

One glance at i t and one would know that it certainly is not

is indeed a bright future for Philippine handwoven textiles .

a foreign design but one that belongs to our own T'boli people.


Preparing the embroidery designs of the whole collection was really time·consuming since I did the original designs on paper all by myself. The hardest one to finish , due to sheer As the plain·woven materials from the different places I

size, was the full·length benediction cope showing the many

had visited started to come, I went into finalizing my

different flowers of the country. For a whole week , I was working on this embroidery pattern on paper and by the time I finished it, my thumb and forefinger were numb for days. Fr. Savio, our novice master, was kind enough to allow the novices and postulants to help transfer the embroidery designs onto pina and abaca materials. As they traced these de sig ns on the fabrics , tapes of Gregorian chants were played , giving this newfound {abora of the novices a very contemplative atmosphere.


Aside from the members of my community, my own family too was very supportive and helpful in this regard . I sent some embroidery patterns to my parents' house in Villa Eloisa, and my sisters Erlie and Sita, my brother·in· law Jason , and even my nephews and nieces helped in tracing the designs on pina and abaca. For the actual embroidery work, I contacted my former

bordadoras (embroiderers) who used to work for me during my fashion designing days. On a trip to Manila , I visited Linda Belardo in Paraiiaque, a city in the south of Metro Manila famous for its embroiderers and Lenten presentations. Linda was still in her teens when the two of us worked together at the shop of Christian Espiritu in the early 70s. She was our best and fastest coladista (one who specializes in colada or drawn · thread embroidery technique). After marrying Tirso, our purchaser, she soon opened her own embroidery business. In fact, she supervised most of the embroidery jobs for my fashion business for 17 years. Linda

as very

happy and excited about the project and her first assignment was the embroidery work for the benediction cope in abaca , the single biggest embroidery work in the whole collection. For this , she mobilized eight bordadoras in Cavite to work continuously for three months, even on some weekends . I made a number of visits to Cavite and Paraiiaque to check on the progress of the work each time I was in Manila , and I even sent additional fluorescent lamps to their workplace so they could work at night just to finish the embroidery on time . As was my practice during my designer days , I also made it a point to bring some snacks for them every time I visited-cookies or boiled eggs , or siopao (Chinese pork dumplings) . I wanted an embossed effect in some of the floral designs , so plenty of stuffing thread had to be sewn first before the actual satin·stitch embroidery could be done . When the embroidery was finished after a little over three months , it was time to bring the cope to Lumban , Laguna for another month of calado embroidery work . Linda also helped a lot in the small details . I wanted some gold thread added to the silk ikat·design Ifugao fabric which

Mary Pindug wove in Banaue . Using weave-stitch embroidery, the gold thread was added giving an effect that it had been woven with the rest of the fabric . The same weave stitch was also used on the green t'nalak material to give it a more vibrant shade of emerald green . The Katutubong Filipino Foundation (KFF) was again most helpful in l i nking me with more embroiderers for my embroidery needs . On one occasion , I was invited by Patis Tesoro and Marie Macasaet to Malacanan Palace where the First Lady, Mrs . Amelita Ramos , chair of the Foundation , was to receive a donation for KFF from a multinational company. For that affair, Margie organized a mini -demonstration of Philipp i ne embroidery and had invited bordadoras from Lumban , Laguna , with whom KFF had done projects before . It was there that I met Evelyn Mejos and Alida Tagorda who both expressed their desire to embroider for the liturgical project. I made many trips to Lumban for almost a year to have most of the embroidery done there , mostly by the embroiderers of Evelyn Mejos. Evelyn , a 40 -year-old homemaker of Ba rangay Sto_ Nino , learned to embroider when she was barely ten years old . After the death of the father, her mother supported the ten children through her embroidery work. Married to Elias , a hardworking and supportive husband , she now has about 30 embroiderers working for her. They come from Barangays Primero Pulo, Sto. Nino , Concepcion and as far as Wawa and Caliraya . Of these 30 , ten regularly report to her house to do the embroidery work there while the 20 or so do their embroidery in their own houses. Evelyn would go to their houses once a week to check on their work and bring the needed embroidery threads. ero ,flud Jlmll( ",otiJs h7id,~ oJ pltlk collo"


Evelyn's first embroidery job for the collection was a piiia

fu" abaca (1II/"oi.l",.1 11"'"

chasuble with a celtic cross as the focal point. I was very

11"'" (a/ado or dlilwlI-'''rMlI ',c/miq",

much impressed by her work , and so this first job was followed by so many more. Her cheerful and pleasant disposition plus her caring personality made my visits to Lumban always something to look forward to. Knowing that I had to travel at least two路and-a路half hours from Manila

(or four -and-a-half hours if I was coming from my parents'

ch asu ble in the monastery. It had an Eastern appeal that

house in Pampanga), she would always have some native

reminded me of woven carpets of old. I used this basic

delicacies ready, like puto (rice cake) and espasol (cassava

inspiration to come up with a composition of two columns

rolls) for snacks , or fried tilapia (native St. Peter's fish)

spreading out to both sides at the top. When completely

and panci( (Chinese noodles) for lunch and dinner_

spread out, the chasuble reveals a stylized tau cross in

The Lumban type of embroidery is done mostly in fine

intricate embroidery.

satin stitches and shadow or reverse stitches on tiny designs . But Evelyn was also open to doing other types which



I requested for certain chasubles , like the abaca chasuble with a separate center panel which had thick and heavy

Th is project brought me into contact once again with

embroidery, a style generally assoc i ated with the

artists whom I have always admired and with whom I had

Paraliaque -Cavite type of embroidery. She was also open to

collabo rated in the past. I went back to no less than top

experimentation and product development. I asked her to

silversmith Ricardo De Jesus to make for me some Interestmg

so some calado on the black t'nalak fabric from South

morses for the copes I had designed. I was particularly excited

Cotabato for a Mass for the dead. This was probably the very

and ext remely satisfied with one design that incorporated

first t 'nalak material ornamented with calado embroidery.

a typical Tirura y pattern which I borrowed from a native

She also did the additional embroidery on the ba d material

belt. This was gold-plated and used for a hand-embroidered

from the Maranao and on the Yakan fabric from Basila Island .

co pe with southern Phillppin e motifs.

Alida Tagorda of Barangay Balimbingan in Lumban did some

And since I did not have my own atelier anymore, the sewing

of the embroideries , too. A cousin of Evelyn , she also had a

of the vestments started with our local tailors in Malaybalay

number of bordadoras working for her at her house . Her

doing the simpler albs. But for the more delicate stitch-up

first job order from me was the abaca humeral veil with a

jobs , like the embroidered piiia and jusi chasubles and

beautiful Ave Maria medallion in the center. She also did

copes, my designer friends Barge Ramos and Nolie Hans very

the embroidery of the Pentecost chasuble- red satin and

kindly lent more than willing hands and were just as excited

shadow stitch embroidery on red abaca . Her bordadoras

and devoted to make this project a success. Baby Esguerra,

had complained at the start that it was hard to see the

a former seamstress of mine who used to work in the Gang

embroidery design on pencil but nevertheless came up with

Gomez atelier 20 years ago, suddenly appeared one day at

a very impressive work- a red on red original with the flame

our door and offered to help sew the vestments. Truly, how

symbol of the Holy Spirit incorporated into the mainly

the Lord provides for those who trust in Him!

geometric composition. o

After not seeing her for almost 25 years , I was able to trace Bella Bacsafra also in Lumban , in Barangay Segunda Pulo. She was one of Christian's bordadoras then and had also been on her own for so many years. In spite of her very busy schedule, she also agreed to embroider for the liturgical exhibit. It was her group that made the rose chasuble of abaca in two shades of pink cotton embroidery. The embroidery designs I used was inspired by an antique orphrey in an old

) 11

This project also brought me once more to the famous

our monks to study theology. Fr. Tim, a very engaging

handcarvers of my own province , Pampanga. For the handcarved

lecturer and well ·trained liturgist, was one of my professors

posts used to carry the hand ·embroidered abaca procession

at the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in the early 90s. He said

canopy, my Papa brought me to his friends in Betis who gladly

that at the seminary, the subject on liturgical vestments is

worked on the posts I designed and also on the gold·leaf

offered only as part of the general in t roduction to liturgy

finishing of the Christogram symbols.

during the seminarian 's first year of stu di es. He agreed that

It has really been a truly humbling experience for me,

there seemed to be a lack of emphasis on the artistic sense;

too . In embarking on a big project like this , one realizes

emphasis had always been more on the academic and the

how in so many ways we always need other people. Aside

technical. He noted that the artistic side should be

from the generous financial support that our sponsors had

developed , too , " buttressed by common experience."

given, the help and moral support of my own monastic

In other words , even if the subject of liturgical vestments

community at Transfiguration was what I needed . Aside from

is discussed very minimally in first year, it IS hoped that by

the novices and postulates , some monastery scholars also

directly exposing the seminarian to the proper celebration

helped in tracing and making tassels . Dom Matthew took

of the liturgy everyday throughout his theological studies,

over my assignments at the Transfiguration Foundation

the seminarian would learn t o appreciate and practice

Office to allow me to concentrate on the proje,ct while Dom

everything the proper way. This probably works for St. John

Symeon , the cellarer, always made sure that someone was

Vianney Theologica l Seminary because , indeed, their rector

there to meet me at the airport and bring me back to the

is a dedicated liturgist who always sees to it that everything

monastery. Fr. Columbano went with me to Marawi , Balasiao ,

is properly prepared for each celebration . He even goes as

and Taytayan to make sure I was safe. Even a short long·distance

far as helping design the vestments of the young seminarians

call to me in Manila from Dom Andre , our acting supervisor,

preparing for ordination . But what happens in a seminary when

asking how I was , perked me up when I was feeling so

the one in charge is not himself a well· trained and dedicated

exhausted from my work away from the monastery.

liturgist? This is when special seminars on the topic of liturgical vestments become most necessary and very helpful.

f" I e r I' I e II'



LIlli r ,II \ I,

Fr. Tim said that it is "minimalist convenience" that oftentimes leads some priests to ignore the guidelines, a fact

I have often wondered why some priests seem to ignore

which , as we earlier said in Pa rt I, Dom Eugene Roulin bewailed

the guidelines on the proper use of vestments in my country.

so much . But if we learn to use the proper materials for warm

It is not uncommon, for example, to see a priest celebrating

climates like the Ph ilippines (pure cotton albs for example)

Mass using a thin white chasuble without any alb underneath.

then we would not have any reason not to use them. o

Because of this, his undershirt with fancy designs, sometimes with advertisement prints, could be seen through . This could be very distracting and lacking in respect for the dignity of the celebration , to say the least. To find out how seminarians are prepared in this aspect of proper vesture during their studies , I visited Fr. Tim Ofrasio , SJ , rector of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City. It is to this seminary that we send


In our case, Fr. Tim continued , radically changing the form

who we re i mmed iatel y able to prepare Fili pino liturgical

or shap e of t he vestments would someh ow look pilit or

music for our celebrations. But we did not seem to have any

forced because we have had these for cen t uries and we had

experts in the textile arts and design 30 years ago. Information

also accepted t hem as ou r own. For i ndeed , we can use our

dissemi nation , specially through lectures and exhibi ts , is

indIgenous materi als, of wh ich we have a lot. Furthermore,

very i mport ant in this connection , and can greatly hasten

he said, the "etherea l quali ty " of pina and jusi adds so much

the development toward s Filipino liturgical vestments.

dignity to the liturg ical celebration . His personal choices

Fr. Anscar Chupungco , 05B , di rector of the Paul VI

would therefore, inclu de chasubles of the fi nest pina and

Instit ute of Li turgy, summed i t all up when he said that we

jusi which are cool to wear.

have to rea lize tha t Chris t iani ty in the Philippines is very

The Most Reverend Honesto Pacana, 5J , Bishop of Malaybalay

European . The hun dreds of years under Spain simply had

and former rector of the sam e seminary, expla i ned when I

such a great i nfl uence on eve ry as pect of our life , religion

visited him that it IS un derstan dable why, to some extent ,

inclu ded , an d speci ally in th e way we celebrate our liturgy.

Rome is wary of mculturation. They have always been afraid

It is un ders t and able i f it ta kes more years befo re truly

that "some attempts at incul t ura t ion might water down the

indigenized vestments are widely accepted and appreciated .

doctrine." This is specially so beca use , as experience showed

He also not ed that pol i t ic al and economic considerat ions

right after Vatican II, much experi mentati on was done

do affec t incul turation and that , at the same time , culture

without proper evaluation. As he d of the Catholi c Bish ops

is beco ming more and more universal. " We can only move

Conference of the Philippines' ( BCP ) Comm i ssIOn for

towards t he future," he said. And th is connected well with

Indigenous Peoples, he stressed t he need to understand

what I have always bel ieved i n- t hat culture is dynamiC ,

and appreciate the New Catechism for Fili pino Catholics

that i t is co nti nuou sl y gro wi ng and mo vi ng towards

which gIves much emphasis on the i mp ortance of cul t ure

something . It will i nd eed pro bably ta ke some t i me before

In the field of religion.

our vest men t s beco me trul y " Filipi nized" but i t is fulfilling

On the matter of the incultura tion of our liturgical vestments , the Most Rev. Onesimo Gordoncillo , DO , Archb ishop of Capiz

enoug h t o real ize th at we have alread y started movi ng in t hat di rec t ion .

and head of the CBCP 's Comm issi on on Liturgy noted that

It is interest i ng to not e that Fili pinos li ving abroad seem

we are "stillllmpmg in t hat as pec t. " He said that the delay

to be more eager to pat ronize liturgical vestments usi ng

in adapting our vestmen t s, such as i n the use of indigenous

Filipino materia ls than Filipino s living in their own country.

materials from the differen t ethnol i nguistic groups , is

But I su ppose th at th is is true for every person li ving in

largely due to the lack of experti se. We have mu sic experts

another co untry. When on e is proud of his own culture , one wa nts t o always show i t in every aspect of his life- in the way he decorates his house , in his clothes , in the food he eats, and in the way he worships . Th ere is, however, some danger here specially when some people are too eag er to do some inculturation without knowing the basi c guideli nes in doing so . There have been i nst ances , for example, when beautiful indigenous fabrics


were used for liturgy without botheri ng to study the


bac kground of these materials . Not every beautiful fabric


may be used for liturgy just because i t is beautiful , in the

Trapp ist Mona ste ry is well known for i ts Holy Rood Guild

same way that not every beautiful indigenous container

whi ch has been produ cin g litu rgical vessels and vestments

may be used for the wine and bread to be used for the

and all ki nds of religious art for so many years now. Fr. James,

Holy Eucharist. Aesthet ic considerations should not be the

the chief designer, we lcom ed me to thei r workshops where

only gauge . Otherwise , the possibility of the liturgy being

I ob served eve ry single pha se of vest ment making, from the

submerged or even sup pressed becomes too great, as what

designing and cutting of patterns to the final putting together

happened in the Baroque Mass . 8s One has to have first a

of the garm ents i n a mans ion just outside t he mon astery

deep understanding of the nature of these materials , their

ground s wh ere 25 sea mstresses worked fu ll time to finish

use in the particular ethnolinguistic group from which they

the orders com in g in from all over th e world.

came . A good background on the symbolism found in the

From Spence r, I proceeded to New York where I continued

woven fabric is very important. The meaning of the

my research work at the Anton io Ra tti Textile Center of the

particular color, if any, should be understood before one

Metropol i tan Museu m of Art. Be in g able to have a private

can proceed to use these materials . One has to be sure ,

viewi ng of 18th and 19th century ves tmen ts the very next

first of all , that there is nothing in the material that is

day after I had requ ested for it was in Itse l f one of the

incompatible with the liturgical celebration . Elements of

many mi racles t ha t I experienced during this project. I found

culture that cannot be made to harmonize with the rule of

out th at i t wou ld ordin arily take a fe w days before the

the Christian faith , morality, and worship have QO place i n

sign atures required for approving such requests could be

liturgical celebrations . As Fr. Anscar Chupungco so succintly

gathered . The magic of prayer, indeed!

puts it: " Inculturation obviously has its risks. The bottom line

The priVate viewing granted to me was quite an experience.

is to take the necessary risk with prudence . And prudence

It wa s like entering an operating room where everything

is a virtue that grows on sound tradition and pastoral

was sterili zed. The attendants wore wh i te aprons and gloves

circumspection , while it ensures the legitimacy of progress. "86

and ea ch vestm ent was wrapped in non -acidic white paper. As I vi ewed t he vest ments one by one , I carefully noted


,I "'/

I h,

AI""" "' s

ev ery si ngle det ail and could not help but marvel at the experti se of the weave rs and embro iderers who did these

Aside from following the guidelines for vestment s found

vestments cen t uri es ago .

in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and visiting

Instead of going home straight from New York, I asked

20 weaving centers and ethnic groups all over the country

perm iSSion to go home via Europe to make the most out of

to observe their weaving traditions , studying the vestment collections in the great museums of the world was something that I felt was necessary. I was able to do this right after


my visit to St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer in November of 1997 for my monastic exposure, a chance given to solemnly professed monks to observe and be nourished by the experience of living in another monastic community. At St . Joseph's Abbey, I was welcomed by Fr. Prior Joseph Chukong , OCSD, who was formerly the abbot of the Trappist Monastery of Our Lady of the Philippines i n Guimaras . Thi s


my trip. In Pa ris I visited the Louv re and t he Musee de la

We sc heduled a press preview a few days before the

Mode where I had a visual feast of the various garment s of

ope ning t o make sure that fresh photos of the collection

many centuries. But i t was at t he Victoria and Albert Museum

woul d be out i n the newspapers on the day of the opening

London where I t ruly experienced the greatest sati sfac tion

itself an d th e weekend after i t. The gracious Marvi Yulo

of studying the magnifi cent collection of vestments , mostly

hosted t he press luncheon at the penthouse of the Ramon

from the Opus Ang l icanum period , at close range. It was

Cojuangco Building j ust a block away from the Ayala Museum ,

certaInly the highli gh t of my trip - just stand i ng there for

in lieu of her mo t her, Imelda O. Cojuangco , who was unable

hours in front of these centuries-o ld vestments I have only read

to fly back fro m t he United States. My good friend , fashion

about in books before . Every single stitch, color, and techn ique

show di rector and choreographer Ogee Atos took charge of


I tried to savor. How awesome the ir experience of the

the sh ort preview and gathered a dozen professional male

liturgical celebrations must have been ! After these visits

models to wea r som e of the vestments while I did a live

to the great museums of the world, I cou ld only pray that

annotatio n of the vest ments as each model came out. I was

one day, the liturgical vestments collec tions in our Philippine

asked la t er how I was able t o do that when I did not have

mu seums would also be preserved In the same manne r.

any prepared scri pt. Th e answer was simple, of course. I person all y knew th ese vestments- from the designing, to the gat heri ng of the materials , t o the sewing, and to the final stage of acc essorizing- for I was present at every stage.

The two wee ks before the openin~ of th e exhIbit (June 9, 1998) just passed by so quickly. I knew

at there was so much

There was a part of me i n every si ngle piece of the whole collection , and t his I wanted to share.

work to be don e in Manila , so I reques ed fo r Dom sy meo n

Th e whol e day before th e ex hibit , Dom symeon , Dom

and Dom Ma tt hew to be with me i n Man ila. Jus t attendi ng

Matthew and I we re there to oversee the setting up of the

the sched uled i ntervIews wIth t he different li festyle editors

exhi bit . We had to make sure that every single piece was

already took so much tIme . But It was also someth ing I looked

properly pressed and placed on the dress forms in the best

forwa rd to . I must admIt. A lot of them were dear frien ds

possi bl e way. We stayed at the museum until midnight and

fro m wa y back and I was j ust so happy to see t hem again .

had to cont i nue th e nex t day. We went home to change into our f res h wh i te habi ts and were back just in t i me for the opening ceremonies. Leading the list of special guests that night was Imelda O. Cojuangco, and with her at the ribbon 路cutting ceremonies we re Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala , National Commission on Culture and the Arts Chairman Jaime Laya , Calbayog Archbi shop Ma ximiano de la Cruz , Mrs . Joan Hubbard , Shangri-la Hotel Makati general manager Markland Blaiklock and our very own Fr. Prior Columbano Adag , OsB . After a very short program and a ribbon 路cutting ceremony, the exhibit was opened . I tried to give the special guests


som e information on the vestments as we went around . Gu ests marveled at the beautiful fabrics and could not


believe that all were handwoven in the Philippines. Others

finally reached a spiritual and art istic uni on. And deep in

kept guessing at how big the budget was for us to be able

my heart , I knew that all I did was for the glory of God

to put together such a collection. Designer friends were

and nothing less .

amazed at how I was able to have all of the embroideries

Looking back at the work of th e last t wo years, I knew

finished in just a little over a year's time. The one constant

that if, as some friends have observed, I worked with such

question that night was: How were you able to do all this?

great paSSion and dedic ation i n creating this liturgical

And to that I had just a very simple answer: With God's

vestment collection , i t wa s because I was not just deSIgning for one person . I was creatin g a collection for a celebration

grace , nothing is impossible! One of the best things I heard that night , though , was

of the highest form. Liturgy is th e heart of the Christian life.

when Ayala Museum Director Sonia Ner told me that this

And in the Eucharist , we meet God Himself, the Creator of

pioneering work should be properly documented in a book.

all. What greater event could t here be to wear the very best?

I did not take it seriously at the time for it had never

Indeed , worki ng on thi s l i tu rgical vestment collecti on

occurred to me when I was still working on the collection .

has revealed to me a way to weave the two patterns of my

But what really gave me the greatest joy that night was

li fe - my exc i ting pre 路 monasti c years as an artist and my life

when every time I heard people say "Ito taloga oy otin (this

today as a Be nedictine monk- into one fabric of faith.

is really ours)." or something to that effect. For after all ,

I thanked th e Lord fo r this t ruly wonderful chance to be

as Fr. Anscar Chupungco has always said , it i only when

of service to Hi m. A more meaningful learning experience

people start to identify something as their own can We say

for me has really resu l ted f rom my f irst路hand cultural

that our attempt at inculturaiton has been succe"Ssful .B1

investig<ltion of the ethnol i ng uiS):ic communities I visited .

Ultimately, the integration of worship with our rich culture is what this whole project is all about.

My fi eldwork has led me to a higher level of understanding and appreciating the nature of culture. It has enabled me to accept people from all kind s of lifestyles and cultural




1/' r






traditions . But most important ly, it has also given me a new awareness of my own va lues, as an artist , as a monk ,

Two days after the opening of the exhibit, I was back at

and as a Filipino .

the monastery in the hills of Bukidnon. After two very hectic weeks in Manila, I was so happy to be home once again . That night as I was lying in bed in my little cell, I looked back on the past two years devoted to this liturgical vestments project. Indeed, after eight years in the monastery, I was o

"back" as a deSigner, working once again with the indigenous fabrics I have always championed. Then it dawned on me that what I have always loved doing but had given up when I entered the monastery, the Lord has given back to me! But this time it was different. I used to design for the most beautiful and the most powerful women in Manila society. But this time , I was using my art in the service of the Church. My life outside and inside the monastic community has



0 S S {/


Abbot. The religious superior of an abbey. The title derives from the earliest years of Oriental monasticism. In those times, the aspirant to holiness chose a well路 respected and exemplary monk, whom he called abba (father), to teach and to guide him . Later, monastic rules, especially those of St. Benedict , Introduced the term into western canon law and liturgy. Acolytes. Persons assigned by the Church to serve in minor capacities in liturgical worship. One of the two ministries open to lay people (the other being the Reader), the acolyte, aside from preparing the altar and the sacred vessels, also assists the celebrant and the deacon at Mass and other liturgical functIOns. Ad instar participantium . Literally, Latin for "sudden or spontaneous (instant) outburst. " Prothonotaries apostolic ad Instar participantium is one of three types of honorary prelates (i.e. prelates without jurisdiction), who hold positions of honor and rank but without involving them In ecclesiastical administratIOn . Prothonotanes apostolic ad instar partiCipantium receive their title directly from the Pope by apostolic brief. The title belongs also to former members of the college of prothonotaries de numero participantium in Rome. The title and most privileges of the seven-member college are given honoris causa to prothonotaries ad instar. They are created for life and, if not already domestic prelates, are counted as such upon nomination. Archbishops. Bishops with the title of an archdiocese (an ecclesiastical Jurisdiction). It is the title for the bishop who has the highest authority over an ecclesiastical province.



Artificial light (as against light, i.e. , sunlight). In early Christian churches, artificial light was used for utilitarian or prudential reasons during the night vigil services and evening liturgies. ThiS was needed , for example, during worship services held In catacombs (underground cemeteries). This light was used for symbolism (e.g. Christ as light of the world) and for practical reasons (for reading or as watch light against thieves). Artificial light in primitive Christian house churches came from candles, lamps, chandeliers, and candelabras . Today's artificial light comes mostly from electric bulbs. Byzantine Rite . The rite proper to the Church of Constantinople which was based on the Rite of St. James of Jerusalem and the churches of Antioch , and reformed by st. Basil and St. John Chrysostom. It IS now used by the majority of eastern Catholics and by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Canon. A cleric who belongs to a cathedral chapter or staff appointed by a bishop and has a place in the sanctuary for the performance of the more solemn liturgical functions in the cathedral in common with the other canon. Canons eXISt primarily in Europe and are not found in the United States. Cardinals. The principal assistants and advisers of the pope , appointed by him, in the central administration of Church affairs. Cassock. Aclose-fitting ankle-length garment, usually black (white in warm climates) worn especially in the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches by the clergy. Diocesan priests wear black cassocks (white in tropical countries); biShops , purple; cardinals, red; the pope, white. Constantine I. One of the greatest Roman emperors, he reigned from 306 to 337. He promulgated the Edict of Milan in 313, which ended three centuries of persecution of Christians and granted permanent freedom to the Church . Although he was baptized only at his deathbed, his life marked so much progress for Christianity. He built churches , fought against heresies and schisms, and restored rights and properties to Christians. Council of Trent. The 19th ecumenical council (1545-1563) of the Roman Catholic Church which ranks with Vatican II as the most significant council in the West. Held in Trent (Trento), Italy, it had a two-fold aim: to state Catholic doctrine in view of the Protestant positions; and to institute the needed reforms within the Church of Rome itself. The Council of Trent issued 16 doctrinal decrees; the Catholic doctrine is stated positively in the Chapters, as a rule , while rejected teachings are set forth in the corresponding Canons_ Some of the most important reforms were: the establishment of seminaries for the education of priests; the insistence

that a bIShop or cler ic hold no more than one diocese or benefICe , and that he reside in that diocese or parISh and give doctrinal lnstructlon to the faithful at regular lntervals; and the requirement of a prior approval of a bishop before the prlntlng of the Bible or commentar ies on Scripture. Diadem . An ornamental headband or crown worn as a sign of royalty. Eastern Churches. The Churches that developed in the eastern half of the Roman Empire together with those that were founded in dependence upon them , even If these dependent Churches were actually found outside the boundaries of the empire. Ecclesiastical. Belonglng or related to, or suitable for use in, a church building or service of worship . Liturgical calendar. Liturgical Year In the Roman Rite conSISts of the senes of feasts and seasons celebrated by the Church. It IS the span of time, one solar year long, comprised by fifty路two weeks whICh beglns at Vespers of the first Sunday of Advent and ends at None of the Saturday of the 34th week in Ordinary Time. It is lnserted lnto the civil solar year Without dependlng on It , for ItS pnnClpal date-that of Easter- is calculated accordlng to the lunar calendar. Liturgy of the Hours. The offiCIal form of Church prayer known before the Second Vatican Council as the Divine Office . Vatican II rev ised the office In such a way as to restore it to its original position- as the prayer of the whole people of God, after it had , outside the monasteries, become the private prayer of the clergy during the medieval times. It consists of Scripture readings , psalms , prayers , songs, sermons from the Fathers of the Church (leadlng theologians of the early centuries) and petitions . It com prises the followlng "offices" of prayer and readings : " 1) Vigils (before dawn); 2) Lauds (at daybreak) ; 3) Terce (before work , in the morning) ; 4) Sext (about noon); 5) None (afternoon); 6) Vespers (at dusJ<, the end of the workday) ; and 7) Compline (before bedtime). Master of Ceremoni es. The person In charge of the direction of a liturgICal function who lnstructs the ministers before liturgICal functIOns and directs them during the functions. Metropolitan . An archbishop of the Roman CatholIC Church who ~r~s ides' over at least one suffragan (diocesan bishop's) see and who h s been deSignated or approved by the pope as head of a prOVlnce. In some cases, the province IS purely fictional. Monk. (As differentiated from clergy). A member of a monastic order- e.g. BenedICtines, Cistercians, CarthUSians , and Trappists- whose religious vows usually include poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability of life In a monastery. As stated by Vatican II , ''The maln task of monks IS to render to the DI VIne Majesty a service at once Simple and noble, withln monastIC confines. This they do either by devoting themselves entirely to Divine Worship In a life that is hidden , or by lawfully taking up some apostolate or works of Christian chanty. " (Perfectae Caritatls, 9) In the life of monks, therefore, the celebration of the liturgy holds top priority. Clergy, on the other hand, are men commissioned to perform mlnistries or duties for the people of the Church. They may be 1) diocesan or secular, working In parishes under a bishop, or 2) regular, belonging to religious institutes (orders, congregations , societies, etc.), who follow the rule (regula, in Latin), of their respective lnstitutes. Motu Propio. (Literally, His- e.g., the Pope 's-own motto or pronouncement) One of the modern papal documents that origlnated dUring the pontifICate of Innocent III (14 8292). Originally, It was Issued In all cases concerning the Roman Curia and the temporal affairs of the Holy See . Signed by the pope personally, without seal , a motu propio , from the legal POlnt of View, IS a papal ordinance orlglnatlng directly from the sovereign pontiff. Ordo Romanus. The Ordines Romani , literally " Roman Orders," referred to books cont aining directives for liturgical functions dUring the Middle Ages- in other words, a type of rituals. They origina ted in the needs of the clergy of France to know how the ceremonies whose texts were In the Roman Sacramentary and Lectionary were carried out in Rome. Generally considered as the most Important Ordlnes are: the first, which deals WIth the Papal mass In the 7th century ; the 11 th , which describes the rites of the catechumenate; and the 50th, also known as the Ancient Roman Ordo, whICh became the nucleus for the Roman路Germanic PontifICal of the 10th century. Primates . They are metropolitan archbishops whose sees were the first of a particular region or nation . They are, therefore , the oldest sees In a

given territory. The title of primate IS either conferred by the apostolic see or confirmed by It when from time Immemorial the see has been considered and called prima t"l. Ra venna . A CIty in Emllia路Romagna, northeast Italy, 7 miles from the Adriatic Sea, which is consi dered a historical and cultural center, boasting of many churches and monasteries and Episcopal and state archives. Reform ation. The great religiOUS movement for the reformation of both doctrines and institutions of the Christian Church whICh started In Germany at the beginning of the 16th century (With Marlin Luther specially). It spread rapidly over a large section of Europe, and brought about a secession from the Roman Catholic Church and the establishment of a new form of

Christianity, i.e., Protestantism. Rachel. A very noble Episcopal vestment closely related to the alb (Slnce It is but a shortened alb), cut like a tunic With long sleeves. When the newly elected bishop is in Rome , he receives It from the hands of the pope in a semiprivate ceremony after the consistory In which hiS name IS published. Rubrics. From the Latin adjective ruber, "red," the word refers to the directives In liturgICal books that are printed In red so that they can be distlnguished from the text (or prayers) printed In black. The rubncs gUide the bishops, priests, or deacons In the celebration of any liturgy. Some rubrics deScri be the essential rites of the liturgical service, while others merely regulate the actions. Sacred College. A term applied to the college of cardlnals. It is the exclUSIVe right of the sacred college In conclave to elect the pope. By decree of Vat ican II all the cardinals, as bIShops, partiCIpate In the central government of the Church. There are three orders in the Sacred College: la) Cardinal BIShop, the office of this highest mark is held by the cardlnals who are the titular bi shops of the neighbOring dioceses of Rome; (b) Cardinal Priest, the second rank today consists of the largest number of cardlnals who also are reSIden tial bIShops In most of the dioceses of the world; (c) Cardlnal Deacon , t e lowest rank was the offICe originally held by the seven admlnistra ive offices wlthln the Vatican. Sr. Augustipa FlUeler. One of the 20th century designer sof liturgICal vestments that blend the best elements of the contemporary and the traditional. Her works at the Paramenten (Werkstatte Sancta Klara in Stans, SWl12erland) include dalmatics and chasubles of handwoven silks, as well as mitres. Tres Abhi nc Annas . The Latin title (from the first three words ''Three years ago") of the Second Instruction on the proper implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy ISsued by the Congregation of Rites on Ma y 4, 1967 and publIShed by the Congregation to help make the way of liturgical reform smooth until the new liturgICal books could be completed and publish ed according to the stipulations of the Second Vatican Council. ASIde from setting forth options, establlshlng only one Opening Prayer for each Mass , authorizlng changes In the Ordlnary, and giving variations In the dIVlne office , It also discontinued the use of the mample and permitted the use of purple lnstead of black vestments In Masses for the dead Furthermore, It also declared that the "competent territorial authority" may authorize the use of the vernacular In the liturgies celebrated With a congregation for (a) the Canon , (b) all the ntes of Holy Orders, and (c) the Readlngs of the Divlne OffICe, even In choral reCItatIOn. Vatican II. Th e Second Vatican Council, the twenty路 first Ecumenical Council announced by John XXIII on January 25 , 1959, and convoked by him on December 21 ,196 1 and begun on October 11, 1962. Held In four sessions (1962,1965) at SI. Peter's BasilICa . After the death of Pope John XXIII on June 3, 1963 , Paul VI ordered It s contlnuance and brought It to a close on December 8, 1965. The Council formulated and promulgated 16 documents all reflectlng its basic aims of renewal and reform In the Church. Sacrosanctum Concilium (ConstitutIOn on the Sacred Liturgy) was the very first document promulgated by the council Slnce ItS lntent was to be a renewal In the life of the Church - whose summit and font (culmen et fans) is the liturgy. Weft and Warp , Weft or woof is the hOrIZontal or crosswISe alignment of thread In a woven fabric. Warp refers to parallel threads running lengthwise In a loom , crossed by and lnterlaced With the weft and forming the vertICal threads In a woven fabric.


) I


T ALB W. Jardine Grisbrook, "Vestments," The Study of the Liturgy , ed. Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold , SJ, and Paul Bradshaw (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) , 544 . 1 Marion Ireland . Textile Art in the Church (Nashville and New York: Addington Press, 1971), 51. 3 Thomas G. Ryan, The Sacristy Manual (Chicago: liturgy Training Publica lions , 1993), 127. , Anything In the nature of long or closed arm coverings were In fact repulSIVe to the Romans because these, like trousers, were formerly characteristIC of barbarian dress. I Grisbrook, 544. Herbert Norm, Church Vestments: Their Origin and Development (London: J.M. Tent and Sons, 1949). 18. 7 In thIS modern age where efficiency seems to be the top priority for a lot of people , It is Important to take note of thIS partICular Church view and be reminded that for church celebrations, propriety is more illlPortan t than "effiCIency." 8 florencio Testera, OP, The Canon Law Digest of the Philippi nes (Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press, 1989), 132. 9 Catholic 8ishops Conference of the./'hillpplnes (CBCP) "GUIdelines for the EucharISt," CBCP Monicor (Manila: C~P, 1990) AMICE 10 Norns, 84. " It IS also claImed that the amice entered the hurch as a sacred vestment only In 821 A.D. WIth St. Theodolph of Orleaus. 11 James Charles Noonan, Jr., The Church Visible (New York: Viking Penguin, 1996), 346. CINCTURE \l Norris, 14. 14 Dam Eugene RoullO, OSB, Ve stments and Vesture (Westminster, Maryland: The Neumann Press , 1950), 28 . Eugene Roulin had consistently critICized the use of ornamentation such as tassels, arranged like those of a bishop's or cardinal's hat, metal trimmings and spangles which, asi de from being so pretentIOUS, add unnecessary cost to the ci ncture. II Noonan, 401. STOLE 16 Noonan, 345. 17 Ireland , 52. 18 Augustus Welby Pugin, Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume, Complie d from Ancient Authorities and Exa mples , third ed . Rev. Bernard SmIth (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1868),218.




CHASUBLE 19 Christa C. Mayer Thurman , Ra iments for the Lord's Service: A Thousand Years of Western Vestments (Chicago: The Art Insti tute of ChICago, 1975), 28. 10 Edward N. West, Outward Signs (New York: Walter and Co., 1989). 145. 11 John Walsh , The Mass and Vestments of the Catholic Church (New York: Benzinger Brothers , 1916), 41. 11 Ireland , 54. . 13 Noonan , 340. 14 NorriS, 73 . 11 Ireland, 54. 16 Cyril E. Pocknee, Liturgical Vesture: Its Origin and Developm ent (London: A.R . Mowbray and Co ., 1960), 30.

17 18 19 3D 31 31

Mayer Thurman , Raiments for the Lord 's Service , 28 . Norris , 81. Roulin , 68 . Mayer Thurman , Raiments for the Lord ' s Servi ce , 29. Roulin , 96. Dr. Adrian Fortescue, The Vestments of the Roman Rite (London: 1925), 22. JJ Noonan , 341.

DALMATIC 3. Noonan , 334 . 31 Norris , 43 . 36 Ryan , 130. 37 Norris, 47 . 38 Paul F. Bradshaw, "Recent Developments," The Study of Liturgy, 398. MANIPLE 39 It was also from a missal of the eighth century that we find the vesting prayer which clearly shows its symbolical meaning: "Encircle me, 0 Lord, with goodness and ordain my life spotless (Norris , 92) . " '0 This same style of decorating the edges of the maniple with tiny bells was also used for decorating the stole (Ireland , 52). 41 The subdeacon's maniple however remained functional , that is, it continued to be a napkin for practical use (Norris, 93). .1 Norris, 93. 43 Noonan, 334 . COPE 44 Mayer Thurman , Ra i ments for the Lord 's Service, 30. ' 1 Norris , 158. .6 Beryl Dean , Ecclesiastical Embroidery (London: B. T. Bratsford, Ltd. , 1958). 51. '7 Noonan , 343 . HUMERAL VEIL Roulin, 154 . â&#x20AC;˘ 9 Ryan, 133.


SURPLICE 10 Noonan believes that the surplice came into general use in the church by the eighth century (322). II Norris, 168. 11 Adrian Fortescue, defending the long surplice, wrote in The Vestments of the Roman Rite: "I need hardly point out that artistically, the beauty and dignity of the surplice are entirely a matter of long, full folds. A long surplice, falling in folds, with wide sleeves ... is an exceedingly handsome garment." 13 Noonan, 323 . I' Catholic Bishops Conference, Environment and Art in Catholic Worship 23 (Washi ngton D.C.: Catholic Conference Publications, 1978). 15 Noonan, 523 . MITRE 16 Noonan , 365. 17 Noonan, 366. 18 Mayer Thurm an, Raiments for the Lord 's Service, 33 . 19 Noonan , 371 . 60 Noonan, 368 . 61 Roulin , 193. 61 Noonan , 365 . 63 Noonan , 371 . 64 Noonan , 370. PALLIUM 65 Norris , 22 . 66 It is worn as a pall , hanging down in fron t and behind . The Omophorion

IS worn before the reading of the Epistle, and is then replaced by the short, broad stole (Ireland, 53). 67 Noonan, 359. 68 Roulln, 209. 69 George Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (New York: Oxford UniverSity Press), 285. 70 Rev. Jovian P. Lang, OFM, Dictionary of the Liturgy (New York: Carholic Book Publishing Co., 1989), 476. 71 Note that the name of SI. Agnes sounds like Agnus, the Latin word for lamb. 72 Norris, 26. 13 Noonan, 361. 74 Noonan, 362. CROZIER 7S On the other hand, others also say that the crozier could have developed from the staff used by the Etruscans of the third century B.C., the hook of which IS like a sheperd's crook (Norris , 116). 76 NorriS, 117. 77 It has somehow become confUSing for the student that works of reference sometimes use many words to refer to the same thing, depending on the

period or country; and on other occasions, the same word is used to refer to different garments. Thus, "the sudarium may be a napkin for WiPing the vessels, a stole or maniple, or an ornamen t for a crozier (Norris, 94)." 78 Noonan, 356. 79 Noonan, 357 358. RING 80 Henry McCloud, Cleri cal Dress and InSignia of the Roman Catholic Church (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co. , 1948), 131. In 637 SI. Isidore of Seville wrote: ''To the bishop at his consecration is given a staff; a nng IS likeWise given him to signify pontifical honor or as a seal for se ets." 81 In the olden days, fingers were numbered separately from the humb. 1 referred to the forefinger, 2 to the middle finger, 3 to the third finger and 4 to the little finger. What the Ordo Romanus was therefore referring to was what we would refer to now as the fourth finger. 82 Noonan, 34B. SYMBOLISM 83 Symbols in the Church , 15. 84 Ireland, B7 . 85 Dean, Ecclesi astical Emroidery , 57. 86 Clare Gibson, Sign s and Symbols (New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1996), 40. 87 Ireland, 86. 88 Jean Danlelou, SJ , Primitive Christian Symbol s, trans. Donald Attwater (Baltimore: Helicon Press, 1963), 145. 89 Ireland, 114. 90 Danielou, 42 57. 91 Symbol s in the Church , 83. 91 Gibson, 37.

93 94

Danielou, Primit ive Christian Symbols . Envi ronment and Art i n Catholic Worship , 42.

LITURGICAL COLORS 95 Ireland, 76. 96 Ireland, 76. 97 Ireland , 77. 98 Ronald John Zarvilla, "Vesting the Ordained," Clothed i n Glory, Vestin g the Church, ed . David Phllippart (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1997), 25. 99 Peter Anson, "Blue Vestments," Liturgical Art s 38 (New York: Liturgical Arts Society, Inc., May 1961), 65. 100 Ryan, 123. 101 General Instr uction of the Ro man Missal.

102 Sacred CongregatIOn of Rites, Instr. Tres Abhinc Annos , May 4, 1967, #23 [DOL , 139) 103 Ryan, 124. 104 Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975 (Collegeville. Minnesota : The liturgICal Press, 1990), 384. 105 Roulin . Ve stm ents and Vesture .

106 Rev. Lawrence O'Connel, The Book of Ceremonies (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co . , 1944), 24. 107 Zarvilla, 29.

MATERIALS 108 Irene M. Franck and David M. Brownstone , Clothiers (New York. Oxford, Facts on File Publications) . 109 Franck and Brownstone, Clothiers. 110 Caroline Lebeau . Fabrics: The Decorative Art of Textiles (New York. Clarkson Potter Publishers , 1994),67. 111 Book of Exodus 35:30 -36 and 37: 1-9. New American Bible (Washington D.c.: Confraternity of Chnstian Doctrine. 1970). 112 It IS understandable why mostly only samples of splendid Churc" vestments used in great feasts and solemnities from the Middle Ages to thp ReformatIOn survived. It was because the owners took very good rare ~f these sacred vestments. Ordinary garments and vestments haVing been used more often were more prone to the destructive effects of wear and tear (Mayer Thurman. Raiments for the Lord's Service , 42). III Damask IS differentiated from brocades In the sense that the pattern of the damask IS not usually raised . a requirement of brocades. 114 The artists of thiS period were restricted by the Decrees of the Council of Trent (1545 63). m Franck and Brownstone . Clothiers. 116 It shou d be noted that the attempts of returning to quasi路medleval vestments as not approved by the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Rome. neither In 1863 nor In 1925. Matters and decisions of this kind were determined by the local ordinary only since 1957 (Mayer Thurman. 51). 117 Ryan . 125. 118 Dean. 32. 119 Lebeau , 7. 120 Penelope Cream. The Complete Book of Sewing (London: Darling Kindersley. 1996), 50. 111 In a sense, thIS marine silk could be conSIdered a remote precursor of today's thermosensltlve synthetics. III Cream, 42-47. 1ll Lebeau, 10. 124 Lebeau , 10. 125 Cream, 56 59. 126 Cream, 6061. 127 Roulin, 40. 128 Dean , 71. 129 Roulln quoted Msgr. P Battlfol's "Le~ons sur la Messe" (l920} where Battifol called these matenals " the sworn enemies of SlmpilClty and of draped vestments." 110 Beryl Dean laments this fact speClally In connectIOn With the process of ornamenting the vestments WIth embroidery.


ORNAMENTATI ON III In another part of hIS book, Roulin however went to describe other forms of ornamentation for liturgICal vestments which he considered acceptable. III Christa C. Mayer Thurman, Textiles in the Art Institute of ChICago (ChICago: Art InstItute of ChICago, 1992), 150. m Mayer Thurman, Textiles in the Art Institute of Chicago , 152. 114 Jennifer Harris, ed. 5000 Vears of Textiles (London: Bntish Museum Press, 1993), 32. 135 Ireland , 212 136 Jacqueline Enthoven , The Stitches of Creative Embroidery (New York:


Reinhold Publishing Corp .. 19641. 171. 117 Lourdes Montinola . Pina (Manila : Amon Foundation, 1991 ), 109. 118 Santina M. Levey, "Embroidery," 5000 Years of Textiles , 213. APPLIQUE ')9 Ireland . 229 . 140 This type of ornamentation IS similar to those of Cairo (HarriS, 2911. 1. 1 Montinola. 112. 1<1 Fine and Intricate details would therefore require closely woven fine fabrics SInce a loosely woven material of rough fibers will not only result In unnecessary bulk but would also have the tendency to unravel (Dean , Ecclesiastical Embroidery , 1241. PAINTS, DYES , AND OTHER ORNAMENTATION .: Roul ln . 215. ". Ireland . 242 . 141 Ireland , 233 . Rouhn , 258 . 1' 7 Pat Russell , " Lettenng for Church Textiles , " Designing Ecclesiastical Stitched Textiles (Great Bntaln: Search Press, 1993), B5. .. Mayer Thurman , Raiments for the Lord 's Service, 48.


OPUS ANGLICANUM 14 Dean , Ecclesiastical Embroidery , 18. IlL Paul Williamson, ed ., The Medieval Treasury: The Art of the Middle Ages in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London: Victona and Alpert Museum, 19861, 186. 'I' Th e M co ll PlCeno cope IS a perfect e~mple of the use large meles containing groups of figures while the splendid cope at the Vatican Museum IS tYPICal of the style which uses the quatrefbJls. ',1 Dean, Ecclesiastical Embroidery , 20. 11 Williamson. 190. .", Opus Anglicanum ILondon: Victoria and Alber Museum, 1963), 5. 'I Herbert Norris however quotes Matthew Pans who related that In 1246, when Pope Innocent IV 11243 54) asked the CISterCIan abbots in England for some chOice gold fnnge which he greatly admired on the vestments of viSiting English eceleSlastlcs, the abbots had to buy the fnnge from the London merchants at their own pnce (70). 1& Norris, 204 . m In fact, Pope Leo X ordered from the Brussels weavers the reproductIOn ,n ta pest ry of the Raphael cartoons Intended for the Sistine Chapel In the Vatic an (Ireland , 1221. 118 Mayer Thurman , 46




Katayan, "river," was already recorded. GA'DANG \I Pastor· Races , 44. 11 It IS claimed however that of the three, the minat·mata of the Itneg (TlnggUlan) IS even more i nvisi ble than the Ga'dang sino kong or the ina to· ata of the Kalinga. Il Teodoro A. Uamzon, Handbook of Phili ppine Language Groups (Quezon CIty: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1978), 55 . " Banaue, Mayaoyao , Klangan, Hungduan, Lagaue, Potia, and Lamut were the 7 subgroups mentioned by Uamzon (55) . II The word munbabad with the same referent was often encountered much later by this author dunng my fieldwork in Mindanao. 1& Christa C. Mayer Thurman , Te xti les i n the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1992), 150. 17 It IS said that the aban blanket was formerly known as the kintog and was used to exchange for pigs. 18 Julian E. Dacanay Jr. , Ethnic Houses and Philippine Artistic Expression (Manila: One·Man Show Studio, 1988), 39 . Here he distinguished the bale from the abong , another kind of Ifugao dwelling which is essentially of a temporary nature , as in huts in the ricefields where people can rest when dOing farmwork; or where old people who have transferred their own houses to their children can stay; or as dormitories for boys and girls. 19 Chupungco, Towards a Filipino Liturgy , 56 . FIBER INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (FIDA) 20 Pina Fiber Production (Aklan: Aklan State College of Agriculture Extension and Rural Development Services Center, 1998), 2·13. 21 The Philippine Pina Fi ber Industry (Manila: Fiber Industry Developm ent Authority, 1996) , 1. 11 Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea : A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston : Little, Brown & Co., 1942 [reprinted 195411, 407. 11 Lourdes Montinola , Pina (Manila: Amon Foundation, 1991), 27 . 1, Montlnola , 32. 11 Montlnola, 67 .

STRATEGY OF WORK Lynda Angelica N. Reyes, The Textiles of Southern Phili ppines (Quezon City' University of the Philippines Press, 19921, 2.

ILOILO 1& Patricia Justiniani McReynolds, " The Embroidery of Luzon and the Vlsayas," Arts of Asia 10 (Jan. -Feb . 19BO): 128. 17 Montinola, 95. 18 John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1959), 157· 158. 29 John Bowring , A Visit to the Philippine Islands (Manila: Filipiniana Book Guild, 1963) , 250.

LUZON AND TlNGGUIAN 1 Wilham Henry Scott, Discovery of t he Igorots (Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1974 [reprinted 198411, 172. • Jesus T. Peralta, "Bnefs on the Major Ethnic Categones," Workshop Paper on Philippine Ethno Linguistic Groups (MaOlla: International Festival and Conference on Indigenous and TraditIOnal Cultures, Nov. 22 27 , 1988). I Paul P. de la GlrOOlere, Adventures of a Frenchman i n the Philippines , 9th ed. rev. (MaOlla: Burke·Mlailhe Publication, 19721. & Norma Resplcio \0 her unpublished masteral thesi s, " Abra Textile

MINDANAO AND T'BOLI 10 Frederick L. Wernstedt an d Paul D. Simkins , "Migration and the Settlement of Mindanao," Journal of Asian Studies 25, no. 1(1 965) : 95 . 11 Pastor· Races, 84 . 11 Roy W. Hamilton , ed . , From the Rainbow 's Varied Hue: Textiles of Southern Philippines (Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1998). JJ Pastor.Roces, 101. 1. Gabriel Casal, T'boli Art in its Socia· Cultural Context (Makati: Filipinas

INTRODUCTION Anscar Chupungco , OSB , Towards a Filipino Liturgy (MaOlla: Bede 's Publishing House , 19761. 4·6.


Weaving: Society, Religion, and Art" (U.P. Quezon City, 1989), differentiates thIS "eye· like" pattern (minot'moto) from another which she described as a "double·hned rhombus . " 7 Christian Velasco, Katutubong Kulay, the Revival of Phili ppine Natural Dye , ed. Chit l1Jauco (Manila: Coca· Cola Foundation Phils., Inc. , 19981. 8 Marian Pastor·Roces , Sinaunang Habi: Philippi ne Ancestral Weaves (Manila: Nikki Coseteng Filipiniana Series, 1991), 63. 9 Velasco , 32 . 10 Fay Cooper Cole, The Tingguian : Social , Religi ous and Economic Life of a Philippine Tri be (Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History), 436. In this first monograph on the Itneg, the type of weave which referred to

Foundation , 1978). 35 Di eter Kuhn , " Textile Technology : Splnnlng and Reeling , " Science and Civilization in China 5, ed . Joseph Needham (Cambridge University Press, 1988), 56. B' LAAN 36 Fay Cooper Cole , " Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao, " Field Museum of Natural History 12, no. 2 (September 1913): 129. 37 Maria Lourdes L. Avancena ·Arcenas , The Vanishing Nomads: The B'laan 's Past, Present, and Future (Manila : Philippine Exchange Assistance Center Foundation , 1993) , 11 . 3a Lorenzo C. Genotiva, " B' laan ReligIOus Beliefs and Practices ," Silliman Journal 13, no. 1 (first quarter 1966): 57·60. 39 Reyes , 106. 40 Alfred Buhler, " Earliest Ways of Coloring," ClBA Review , no. 68 (June 1948): 2478·2483.

41 Cherubim A. Quizon , "Men . Women , War and Peace: Perspectives on Contemporary Bagobo and B'laan Textiles, " From the Ra i nbow's Vari ed Hue: Textiles of Southern Phi lippines , 111. '2 H. Otley Beyer, "The People of the Phiilpplnes," a senes of lectures prepared for the offICes of the Military Police (Manila: January-April 1943), 154. 43 Reyes , 118. 44 A. Steinmann , "The Patterning of Ikot ," ClBA Review, no. 44 (August 1942): 1614. • 5 Pastor· Races has offered more explanation on terminology. The word " bong" IS used today to mean "shell buttons" and blouses decorated With such . But the word "bong" itself is used more widely in the reg ion to mean somethi ng " large, grand , and important (104) . " 46 Reyes , 153. MANDAYA .7 Jose M. Garvan , "The Manobo of Mindanao," Memoirs of the N ti onal Academy of Sciences 2l (1941) : 6·7. 4a Eric S. Casino, "Arts and Peoples of the Southern Phlilppines," The People and Art of the Phili ppines (Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History, University of California, 1981), 126 . • 9 Baganl : Man of Dignity (Metro Manila : The Presidential Commission for the Rehabilitation and Development of Southern Phlhppines, 1980). 50 Pedro Gagelonia, The Filipinos of Yesteryears (Manila: The Star Book Store, 1967). 51 Frank Lebar, ed ., " Ethn i c Groups 01 Insular Southeast Asia ," Philippines and Formosa 2 (New Haven: Human Relations Area Files Press) . 52 Vilma May A. Fuentes and Edito T. de la Cruz, eds. , A Treasury of Mandaya and Mansaka Folk Literature (Quezon City: New Day Pubilshers, 1980) . 53 Fr. Luis de Jesus , " General History of the Discalced ReilglOus of St. Augustine , " The Phili ppine Islands : 1493 - 1898 , vol. 21 , ed . Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson (Cleveland: A.H. Clark , Co. , 1903 1909), 200. S< A.L. Kroeber, Peoples of the Philippines , handbook series no. 8 (New York: American Museum of Natural History) , 129. Philippine tapa was rarely pounded into a pulp , but has its fibers remaining distinct. Whatever saltness andl or fineness the finished material possessed , was due to Its natural qualities rather than to the effectiveness of its preparatIOn . II Reyes, 66. 16 Hamilton , 50. 57 Campbell Dauncey, An Englishman in the Philippines (London : John Murray, 1906). 54 . l a W. Ernest Crowe, "Weaving Among the Mandayas of Davao Provi nce," Industrial Notes , Philippine Craftsmen 3, no. 2 (August 1914): 75B. MARANAO 19 Mamitua Saber, "Marawi City: From Kota to a Metropoils ," The Maranao , eds. Mamitua Saber and Abdullah T. Madale (Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1975).

60 Mlndamera S. Macara mbon, "Arteraft and Uses of the Malong," The Maranao Woman , Mindanao Art and Culture (Marawi City: Mindanao State Univers ity Research Cen te r, 1979), 31-32. 61 Davi d B. Baradas , "The Maranao Malong: Tubular Skirt, Umbrella, Hammock, Mosquito Net , and Work of Art," (The Age of Trade and Contacts: Visitors from Aeross Many Seas), Filipino Heritage 4, ed. Alfredo Races (Manila: Lahing Pili plno Publishing Inc., 1977),671-672. 62 Pastor·Roces , 117. 63 Abdullah T. Madale, " Textiles In the Maranao Torogan," From t he Rainbow 's Varied Hue, Textiles of the Southern Philippines, 163. 64 Darangen , vol. 1 (Mara wl CIty: MSU Research Center Folklore Division, 1986). 65 Dr. Mamitua Saber, " Darangen: The Epic of the Maranao," Philippine Sociolog ical Review (Jan Ap ril 1961). 66 Had]a Mo' fl da Bi nolawan M. Tawano, "The Torogan," The Maranao Woman, Mindanao Art and Culture IMarawl City: MSU Research Center, 1979), 56 . 67 Hamilton, 68 . YAKAN 6a Gabriel de Ribera, "Accounts of the ExpeditIOns (1576 15821, The Phili ppine Islands: 1493-1898 , vol. 4,299. 69 Mashi r Bin ·Ghailb Jundam, Yakan , Asian Center EthniC Research Field Report series 2, no . 1 (Quezon City: Universit y of the PhilipPines, 19831: 7

8. 70 Andrew D.Sherfan, The Yakan of Basilan: Another Unknown and Exotic Trib e of the Philippines (Cebu City: Fotomatlc Phils., Inc., 19761. 11 71 Alfred Buhler, Ederha rd Fischer, and Marie·Louise Nabholz, Indian Tie· Dyed Fabrics (Ahmedabad : Calico Museum, 1980). 69. 12 Diego de Artleda , " Relation of the Western Islands Called Flhplnas," The Phil ippi ne Islands: 1493- 1898 , vol. 3, 203. BU KIDNONITALAANDIG

13 Carmen Chlng· Unabla, Bukidnon Batbatonon and Pamuhat: A SocioLiterary Study , unpubilshed doctoral them, IQuezon City University of the Philippines, 1986). 74 Frank Lyn ch, SJ , "Th e Bukldnon of North·Central Mindanao In 18B9," Philippine Studi es 15, no. 3 (July 1967): 469. 71 Fay Cooper Cole, The Bu kidnon of Mindanao, Fieldiana: Anthropology vol. 46 (Chicago Natu ral History Museum, 1956), 24. 76 Hamilton , 55 . )) Cole, 56. 7a Ralph Lynch , SJ, "Some Changes in Bukidnon between 19101950," Anthropolog ical Quarterly 26 (April 1955): 98. 79 Chlng-Unabia , 33. ao Sheila Pain e, Embroidered Materials : Traditi onal Patterns from Five Continent s (Lond on: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1990), 7. al Hamilton, 56 . a2 Timothy Fry, OSB , ed., The Rule of SI. Benedict in English IColiegevilie Minnesota: Th e Li turgical Press, 1982), 73. a3 Pastor· Roces, 1030. a4 Cole.


INTERVIEW WITH LITURGISTS al Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ , The Mass of the Roman Rite INew York: Benzinger Brothers, Inc .. 1959), 112. a6 Anscar Chupun gco, OSB , Liturgies of the Future: The Process and Methods of Inculturation (New York: Paulist Press, 1989), 33. THE OPENING a7 Chupungco, Towards a Filipino Liturgy , 112.

1~ 1



'"o 121


Abbot. Walter M. SJ. ed. The Documents of Vatican II. USA; The American Press. 1966. Adam. A. Foundations of Liturgy; An Introduction to Its History and Practice. The Uturgical Press. 1992. Anson. Peter. "Blue Vestments." Liturgical Arts. XXXVIII. New York; Liturgical Arts Society. Inc.. May 1961. Brook. J. The School of Prayer; An Introduction to the Divine Office. Harper Collins Religious. 1992. Bugmni Annibale. The Reform of the Liturgy. 1948-1975. Collegeville. Minnesota: The Liturgical Press . 1990. Catholic BIShops Conference of the Philippines. Guidelines for the Eucharist. cacp Monitor. Manila. 1990. Chevalier. Jean and Alain Gheerbrant •. Dictionary of Symbols . London : Penguin Books. Ltd .• 1996. Cream. Penelope The Complete Book of Sewing. London: Darling Klndersley. 1996. Crichton. J. D. Christian Celebration: The Prayer of the Church . Chapman Publishers. 1976. Damelou. Jean. SJ. Primitive Christian Symbols. Trans. Donald Attwater. Baltimore: Helicon Press. 1963. Dean. Beryl. Designing Ecclesiastical Sftched Textiles. Great Bntaln: Search Print Umited. 1993. Dean Beryl. Ecclesiastical Embroidery . Londll,n : T. Batsford Limited, 1958. Enthoven. Jacqueline. The Stitches of Creati~e Embroidery . New York: Reinhold PublIShing. 1964. Environment and Art in Catholic Worship. Washl tan . 0 c.: United States CatholiC Conference PublicatIOn Office. 1978. Ferguson. George. Signs and Symbols in Christia Art New York: Oxford UmverSlty Press. n.d. Fitzgerald. George C.S.P. Handbook of the Mass. New York: Paullst Press . 1982. Fortescue. Adrian. The Vestments of the Roman Rite. London . 1925. Fran. Irene and David Bronwstone. Clothiers. New York Oxford: Facts on File PublicatIOn. n.d. Gibson. Claire Signs and Symbols. New York: Barnes and Noble. 1996. Huck. Gabe. ed A Sourcebook About Liturgy. Chicago: Uturgy Training Publications. 1994. HarriS. Jenmfer. 5000 Years of Textiles. London: British Museum Press , 1993. International CommISsion on English in the Uturgy, trans. The Sacramentary. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1974. Ireland, Marion. Textile Arts in the Church . Nashville and New Yo rk : Addington Press, 1971. Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainswright, Edward Yarnold, SJ, and Paul Bradshaw. eds. The Study of Liturgy. New York: Oxford UmverSlty Press , 1992. Kucharek, Casimir. The Byzantine-Slav Liturgy of st. Joh n Chrysostom . Ontano: The Newman Press, 1950. Lang, Rev. Jovian OFM. Dictionary of the Li tu rgy. New York: Catholic Publishing Co., 1989. Lebeau, Caroline. Fabrics : The Decorative Art of Textiles. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1994. Martimort, Aime Georges. The Church at Prayer. Minnesota: The Uturgical Press, 1987 Mayer Thurman, ChrISta. Raiments for the Lord 's Service : A Thousa nd Years of Western Vestments. ChICago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1975. Mayer Thurman, Christa. Textiles in the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago:

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Alina, Potenciano. Decisions on the Uplands. Makati City: Society of St. Paul , 1993. Arcenas, Ma. Lourdes L. Avancena . The Vanishing Nomads: The B' laan 's Past, Present, and Future. Manila: Philippine Exchange Assistance Center Foundation , 1993. Artieda, Diego de. "Relations of the Western Islands called Filipinas." The Philippine Islands: 1493· 1898 . Eds. Emma Helen Blair and Ja mes Alexander Robertson . Vol. III. Cleveland: A. H. Clark Co., 1903· 1909. Bagani. Man of Dign ity . Manila: The Resi dential Committee for the Rehabilitation and Development of Southern Phili ppines , 1980. 8aradas , David . "The Maranao Malong: Tubular Skirt, Umbrella, Hammock, Mosquito Net, and Work of Art." Filipino Heritage: The Age of Trade and Contacts. Ed. Alfredo Races. Vol. III. Manila: Lahing Pilipino Publishi ng Inc. , 1977. Beyer H. Otley. "The Peoples of the Philippines." A series of lectures prepared for the officers of the Military Police. Manila: January·Ap rii 1943. Biernatzki , William, Francisco Claver and Vincent Cullen. Bukidnon Politics and Religion . Ed. Alfonso de Guzman II . Manila, 1973. Blumentritt, Ferdinand. An Attempt at Writing a Philippine Ethnography . Trans . Marcellini N. Maceda. Marawi City: Mindanao State University Research Center, 1980. Bowring, John. AVisit to the Philippine Islands . Manila: Filipina Book Guild , 1963 .

Buhler, Alfred . "Earliest Ways of Coloring." c/BA Review, no.68. June 1948. Buhler, Alfred, Ederhard fISher, and Marie·Louise Nabholz. Indian Tie-Dyed fabr ics . Ahmedabad: Calico Museum , 1980. Camagay, Ma . Luisa. Working Women of Manila in the 19th Centu ry . Manila: UniverSIty of the Philippines Press, 1995. Casal, Gabriel. T' boli Arts in its Socia-Cu ltural Context. Manila: filipinas foundation ,1978. Casino , Erick S. "Arts and Peoples of Southern Philippines." The People and Art of the Philippines. Los Angeles: Museum of Cultural History, UniverSIty of California , 1981. Chupungco, Anscar OSB, ed. Liturgical Renewal in the Philippines. Taytay, Rlzal : Maryhill ConsultatIOns , Maryhill Studies 3, Maryhill School of Theology, 1980. Chupungco, Anscar OSB. Liturgies of the future: The Process and Methods of Incultura tion . New York: Paulist Press, 1989. Chupungco, Anscar. OSB . Towards a f ili pino Liturgy. Manila : Bede's Pubhshing House, 1976. Cole, fay Cooper. The Tingguian : Social, Religious, and Economic Life of a Philippine Tribe. Chicago: field Museum of Natural History, n.d. Cole, fay Cooper. "The Bukidnon of Mindanao. " f ieldiana: Anthropology 46. Chicago Natural History Museum , 1956. Cole, fay Cooper. "Wild Tribes of Oavao DIStrict , Mindanao." Field Museum 0/ Naturol History 12, no . 2 (September 1913). Crowe, W. Ernest." Weaving Among the Mandayas of Davao Provi nce." Industrial Notes, Philippine (ra/tsmen 3, no . 2 (August 1914). Dacanay, Julian E. Ethnic Houses and Philippine Artistic Expression . Manila : One·Man Show Studio , 1988. Darangen (in original Maranao verse, with English t ra nslatIOn), vol. 1. Marawi City: Mindanao State UniverSIty Research Center, folklore Division , 1986. Dauncey, Campbell. An Englishman in the Philippines . London: JohQ Murray, 1906. Dumagat , fay L. Itneg (Tingguian ) Justice and Conflict Resolution . Quezon CIty: New Day Publishers, 1980. Estilo, Editha S. "UtilizatIOn of Pineapple Leaf f ibers for fabrics ." Philippine Textile Research Institute, 1980. flannery, Austin OP, ed. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conci liar Documents . New York: Costello Publishing Co., 1975. fry, Timothy OSB, ed. The Rule of St. Benedict in English . Collegeville , Minnesota : The Liturgical Press, 1982. fuentes , Vilma May and Edito dela Cruz, eds. A Treasury of Mandaya and Mansaka folk Literature . Quezon City : New Day Publishers, 1980. Gagelonia , Pedro. The filipinos of Yesteryears . Manila: The Star Book Store, 1967. Garvan Jose M. "The Manobo of Mindanao . " Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences 23, 1941 . Genotiva , Lorenzo C. "B'laan's Religious Beliefs and Practices. " Silliman Journal 13 , no. 1 (first quarter, 1966). Gironiere, Paul P. de la. Adventures of a frenchman in the Philippines . 9th rev. ed. Manila: Burke·Miailhe Publication , 1972. Gowing, Peter G. and Robert McAmIS , eds. The Muslim filipinos . Manila: Solidarldad Publishing House, 1974. Hamilton, Ray W. from the Rainbow's Varied Hue : Textiles of Southern Philippines. Los Angeles. UCLA fowler Museum of Cultural HIStOry, 1998. Infante, Teresita R. The Woman in Early Philippines and Among the Cultural Minorities. Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press , 1969 . Jagor, feodor. Travels in the Philippines . London : Chapman and Hall, 1875. Jesus , fro LUIS de . "General History of the DIScalced Religious of SI. Augustine ," The Philippine Islands 1493-1898. Eds. Blalf and Robertson. Vol. XXI. Jundam , Mashir Bin·Ghalib. "Yakan ." Asian Center Research f ield Report , serfes 2, no. 1. Quezon City: UniverSIty of the Philippines, 1983. Kroeber, A. L. Peoples of the Philippines. Handbook series no. 8. New York: American Museum of Natural HIStOry, n.d.

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Tawano. Had)a Mo'tida Binolawan M. "The Torogan ." The Maranao Woman, Mindanao Art and Culture . The Philippine Plna Fiber Industry . Manila: Fiber Industry Development Authonty (FIDA), 1996. Unabia, Carmen Ching. "Bukidnon Batbatonon and Pamuhat: ASocio路lIterary Study." Ph. D. dISS., UniverSIty of the Phili ppines , 1986. Velasco. ChristIan. Katutubong Kulay: The Revival of Philippine Natural Dye . Ed. Chit lI)uaco. Manila: Coca 路Cola Foundation Inc, 1998. Wernstedt, Frederick and Paul D. Simkins. "Migration and the Settlement of Mindanao." Journal of Asian Studies 25 (1 ), 1965 .

\ PP




Some of the appendix documents appear in excerpted form. Only the text whIch is relevant to this study IS reproduced here.

VESTMENTS General Instruction of the Roman Missal , Section IV, Articles 297路310 Chapter VI: Requisites for Celebrating Mass

References for the Glossary of Terms Abbot, Watter M" SJ gen. ed. The Documents of Vatican II . U.S.A.: The Amencan Press, 1966. Colher's EncyclopedIa. Crowell Collier and MacmIllan , Inc., 1966. FItzgerald. George, CSP. Handbook of the Mass . New York: Paullst Press, 1982. Foy. Felician A., OFM. ed. 1981 Catholic Almanac. Huntington Indiana: Our Sunday, Inc., 1988. New Catholic Encyclopedia . Washington, D.C. : The Catholic UniverSIty of Amenca. 1967 O'Connell, Laurence J., and Walter J. SchmItz, 55, STD. The Book of Ceremonies. Rev. ed. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing COlllpa ny, 1956. Plslo, Paulo 0 .. SHMI. My First History of the Church : An Illustrated History of the Chu rch fo r Young Catholics . Manila: QualIty Catholic PublicatIons (Sons of Holy Mary Immaculate), 1997. The Sacramentary English trans. by the In ernational CommIssion on Eng\1sh In the liturgy. New York: Catholic Book ubUshing Company, 1974. Vest. Norvene. No Moment Too Small: Rhyt ms of Silence, Prayer, and Holy Reading. CIstercian Publications, Inc., 1994. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Massachusetts: G. & c. Mernam Company, 1981.


IV. Vestments 297 . In the Body of Christ not all members have the same function , and thIS diversity of ministries is shown externally in worship by the diversity of vestments. At the same time , the vestments should contribute to the appearance of the rite itself. 298. The vestment common to all ministers is the alb, tied at the waist with a cincture, unless it is made to fit without a cincture. If the alb does not completely cover the ordinary clothing at the neck, an amice should be worn under It. A surplice may replace the alb , except when a chasuble or dalmatic is worn , or when a stole is used alone instead of a chasuble or dalmatic with stole. 299. The chasuble , worn over the alb and stole , is the proper vestment of the pnest who celebrates Mass or other services connected with Mass, unless otherwise Indicated . 300. The dalmatic, worn over the alb and stole , is the vestment proper to the deacon. 301. M,nisters below the order of deacon may wear the alb or other vestments lawfully approved In the respective region. 302. The pnest wears the stole around his neck and hanging down in front. The deacon wears it over his left shoulder, crossed and fastened at the right side. 303 . The pnest wears a cope in processions and other services, as indicated In the rubrics of each rite. 304. The conference of bishops may determine adaptations in the form of vestments which correspond to the needs and usages of their regions and propose these to the Apostolic See. 305. In additIon to tradItional materials, vestments may be made from natural fabrics of the regIon or artificial fabrics In keeping with the dignity of the sacred action and the person wearing them. The conference of bishops will be the judge in this matter. 306 . The beauty of a vestment should derive from its material and form rather than from its ornamentatIon . Ornamentation should include only symbols , Images, or pictures suitable for liturgical use, and anything unbecoming should be avoided . 307. Colors In vestments give an effective expression to the celebration of the mysteries of the faith and , in the course of the year, a sense of progress in the Christian life. 308. The traditional colors should be retained , namely: a) White is used in the offices and Masses of the Easter and Christmas seasons; on feasts and commemorations of the Lord , other than those of His passion ; on feasts and memorials of Mary, the angels, saints who were not martyrs; all Saints (November 1), John the Baptist (June 24) , John the Evangelist (December 27) , the Chair of Peter (February 22), and the Conversion of Paul (January 25). b) Red is used on Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) and Good Friday, Pentecost , celebrations of the passion, birthday feasts of the apostles and evangelists, and feasts of martyrs. c) Green is used in the offices and Masses of ordinary time. d) Violet is used in Lent and Advent. It may also be used in offices and Masses for the dead. e) Black may be used in Masses for the dead . /) Rose may be used on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).

The conference of bIshops may determine adaptations sUIted to the needs and customs of the people and propose these to the Apostolic See. 309. On special occasIons more noble vestments may be used, even If not the color of the day. 310. Votive masses are celebrated In the color sUIted to the Mass itself or In the color of the day or season. Masses for various occasIOns are celebrated in the color of the day or season .

5. The Stole: He then took the stole in both hands and kissed the cross whIch is found In the mIddle. Then he placed the stole over hIS nape. so that it fell evenly on eIther side In front. He crossed the two halves of the stole so that they formed a cross In front (right over left) and secured the ends of the stole by looping the ends of the cincture over them. The prayer he saId while putting on the stole was: Rede mlhi , Domine, stolam immortalltatis, quam perdldl In praevancatlOne

V. Other RequISites for Church Use 311. Besides vessels and vestments for whICh some special matenal IS prescribed , any other furnishing whIch has a liturgICal use or is in any other way used In the church should be worthy and sUIted to ItS purpose. 312. Even In matters of small Importance, every effort should be made to preserve an artlSt.c appearance and to combine cleanliness , sImplicity, and quality.

merear tamen gaudium semplternum.

priml parentis ; el, quamvis indlgnus accedo ad luum sacrum mysterium . Grant me , Oh Lord, the stole of Immortality whIch was lost by the perfIdy of our first parents; and that although unworthy to approach your sacred mystery, I may nevertheless ment eternal JOY. 6. The Chasuble: The last vestment to be put on by the Mass celebrant was the chasuble . While he put this on , he reCIted the follOWing prayer:

Domine, qui dlxisti: Jugum meum suave est el onus meum leve; fae, ut



IStud portare SIC valeam, quod consequar tuam gratlam. Amen. Lord , you saId: My yoke IS easy and my burden IS light. Grant that I may seek your grace and so be worthy to carry it to attain your glory. Amen.

THE VESTING PRAYERS In the years before Vatican II , the Mass celebrant reCIted the LaUn prayers found in the Roman MISsal and entitled Praeparatlo ad Mlssam pro opportunitate SacerdotlS facienda , In preparation for Mass. This Included the vesting prayers, the contemporary EnglISh translations of whICh have been provided for this book by the Rev. Fr. Columbano Adag, OSB.

7. The Dalmatlc: The deacon first placed the dalmatIC over hIS head, then he put in hIS right arm, and then his left. HIS prayer was: Indue me , Domine, Indumento salutlS et vestimento laeUtiae; et dalmatICa JustItiae circumda me semper. Invest me, Oh Lord , with the cloth of salvation and the vestment of JOY; and defend me with the dalmatlc of justice.

1. The Amice : The celebrant took the amice at the two upper corners and kIssed the cross. He then brought the amICe around hIS bac , letting ItS upper edge rest upon hIS head momentarily. After placing the a Ice on his shoulders, he crossed the strings In front (right over left) and brought them around his body under his arms and tIed them in front. To make s re that no other garment IS seen under the amice, he tucked the upper edge or'the amICe neatly insIde hIS collar. The prayer he recited was: Impone, Domine, capltl mea galeam salutls, ad expugnandos diabollcos

8. The Tumcle: In the days before VaUcan II, the sub路 deacon wore the tunlcle dunng liturgIcal celebratIons. He first placed the tumcle over hIS head, then he put In hIS nght arm, and then hIS left. HIS vesting prayer

was: TU01ca jucunditatis et mdumento laetlliae mduat me DominUS . Cloth me, Oh Lord, the tunic of happiness and the garment of JOY.


9. The Surplice: After the SIgn of the cross IS made and the surpilce is kISsed , the following prayer was recited:

Place , Oh Lord, on my head, the helmet of salvation to fight diabolical incursions (incursions of the devil) .

Indue me, DomlOe, novum hominem, qui secundum Deum creatus est iustltla et sanctltate ventatis. Amen.

2. The Alb: Taking the alb with both hands , the Mass celebrant first put hIS head through, then his right arm, and then his left. The prayer he said while donmng the alb was: Dealba me , Domine, et munda meum; ut in Sanguine Agm dealbatus gaudlis perfruar sempiterms. Clothe me, Oh Lord, wIth your purity and cleanse my heart , that made pure by the Blood of the Lamb, I may enJoy the fruit of eternal happiness . 3. The Cincture: He then took the cincture whICh has been folded double, with the tasseled ends at the nght. After passing It around his waist , he tIed It in front, adjusting it so that the tasseled ends almost touched the floor. He then neatly arranged the alb to make it hang evenly all around. While dOing this, the prayer he said was: Praeclnge me, Domine, cingula purltatlS, et exstingue In lumblS melS humorem

hbldinis ; ul maneat in me vlrlus (ontinentiae et caStitalls . Fasten me, Oh Lord , WIth the belt of purity and extinguish In my loins Impure Inclinat.ons , that the virtues of continence and chastity may remain In


4. The Maniple: The Mass celebrant took the mample In hIS nght hand, kissed the cross In It, and placed It in his arm , pushing it rather far back so It wouldn't interfere with his movements. The prayer recited was:

Merear, Domine, portare manipulum fletus et dolons; ut cum exsultat;one reclplam mercedem laboris. May I merit, Oh Lord, to carry the handkerch.ef of tears and sorrow, that with JOY, I may receive the fruit of my sacrifice (labor) .


Clothe (enflesh) me, Oh Lord, WIth the new man created according to God in Justice and hoilness of truth. Amen. 10. The Cope: There was no particular prayer connected WIth vesting In cope.


e 11



INSTRUCTION Pontlflcalis ntus, on the SImplification of pontifical rites and insignia. 21 June 1968: AAS 60 (1968) 406路412 ; Not 4 (1968) 246路252 Esteem for the pontifical ntes and care over them are matters of centunes路old standing. These ntes provide a symbol of honor by whICh the bishop's dignity IS to be acknowledged in the Church and they place clearly before the fa.thful the mystery of the Church Itself. The Caeremonlale Episcoporum , a collection of the norms reqUIred for pont.flCal celebrations made by papal authonty, IS eVIdence of the Church's continuing attentiveness regarding mes to be celebrated by a bIShop. The Caeremonlale preserves venerable tradItions belonging to the anCIent celebratIons In whICh priests, deacons, and minISters perform their m.nistry when a bishop preSIdes and the congregation of the faIthfu l is present. In many places , however, it contains matters that are obsolete and not in

keeping with our own times.


Reform of the liturgy was meant to bring the mes once agam to a noble sImpliCIty and to authentIcIty as signs. Once begun , many bishops insistently requested that pontIfical celebrations and mSigma also be sImplified. Not everythmg m the Caeremoniale Episcoporum can be reVISed before completion of the defimtlve reform of the Order of Mass, the divme office, and the liturgICal year. But careful reflectIon on the matter led to the conclUSIon that It IS now tImely to establIsh certain measures that, while preservmg the dIgnity of pontIfICal mes, will also mark them with SImpliCIty. Therefore, the followmg matters are ordered to be changed or mtroduced at once.

34. When, in keeping with the proviSions of law, a bishop bestows it, the papal blessing vvth its formulanes replaces the usual blessing at the end of Mass. 35. The cross IS not to be brought to an archbishop when he gives the bleSSing. 36. A bIshop is to take the staff before he begms the blessing formulary, so that thIS is not interrupted. Thus in this instance the raIsing and extension of the hands prescribed in the Rltus servandus no. 87 are omitted. An archbIshop IS to put the mitre on before the blessing. 37. After the blessing, the bIShop , with mitre and staff, reverences the altar, as he is leaving. If he has the right to wear the pallium, he does not take It off at the altar but m the sacristy.

Ill. SImplification of some of the Pon tifical Vesture and Inslgma V. Prelates of Less than Episcopal Rank: Other Clerics ; Other liturgICal Rites

\4 A bishop who wears an alb as reqUIred by the rubrics need not wear the rochet under the alb. 15 Use of the following is left to bishop's choice: a. buskms and sandals; b. gloves, whIch may be white on all occasIOns If he prefers; c. the morse lformale) worn over the cope. 16. The followmg are to be dropped a, the epIscopal tunic Ie prevIously worn under the dalmatic; b. the SIlk lap路cloth (gremlal); another gremial IS retamed, If It serves a purpose, e.g .. for the performance of anomtmgs; c. the candle rbugla) presented to the bIshop for readings, unless It IS needed; d. the cushIon for kneeling during the rites. 17. In keeping Wlth anCIent tradItIon, the bishop IS to retain th e dalmatlc when he celebrates solemnly. In addltlOfl he IS to wear It 1'1 a reelted Mass at the consecratIon of a bishop, the conf ra~of orders, the blessing of an 1bbot or an abbess, the blessmg and consecra Ion of virgIns, th consecration ~f a church and an altar. But for a reasonabl cause he may omIt wearing the dalmatlc under the chasuble. 18 In each liturgIcal servIce a bishop IS to us only one mItre, plain or ornate, depend 109 on the character of the celeb tlon. 19 Any bIshop who, with the consent of the ocal bIShop, celebrates .olemnly may use the epIscopal staff 20 Only a smgle cross is to be carned m a proceSSIon, to mcrease the d gmty of the cross and ItS veneration. If an archbIshop IS present, the ross WIll be the archIepIscopal cross, to be carried at the head of the proceSSIon, WIth the Image of ChrISt crUCIfIed forward. The recommended pract:ce IS to stand the processIonal cross near the altar so that it serves as the altar cross. If thIS IS not done, the processIOnal cross IS put away. IV. ThIngs to be changed or elimmated m EpIscopal RItes A. PuttIng on and Takmg off Vestments

21. In any liturgical ceremony, a bIshop vests and unvests m a SIde cha pel or, If there is none, In the sacristy, at the chalf, or, If more convement, m front of the altar. Vestments and InSIgnia, however, are not to be laid on the altar,


22. When a bIshop preSIdes In a SIde chapel at an hour of the office SUIted to the lime of day, he wears the chasuble nght from the start of the offIce. D. Thmgs to be eUminated

31. The bIshop may omIt use of the mitre and staff as he goes from one place to another when there is only a short space between them . 32. A bishop does not use the mItre , unless he already has it on, for the washIng of the hands and the receIving of mcensation. E. Blessings by a BIshop 33. The bleSSIng after th e homily mentIoned In the Caeremomale IS abolished.




38. All the pomts in thIS Instruction on SImplifying pontIfical vesture, Insignia, and rites and on matters to be elimmated or modified apply m due measure to prelates or clerics of less than episcopal rank who by law or by privilege are entItled to certaIn pontifical mSlgma. 39. The suppressions and changes that have been decreed here apply also to all liturgIcal services celebrated by other clerics. Pope Paul IV on 10 June 1968 approved this instruction drawn up by the Congregation of Rites and the Consilium, confirmed it by his authority, and ordered ItS publicatIon .




d x

554 . PAUL VI , MOTU PROPIO Inter eximla eplscopalls, on the PallIum

11 MAY 1978: AAS 70 (1978) 441-442; NOT 14(1978) 319路320 The pallium , received from the revered tomb of St. Peter, is deservedly lOcluded among the special insignia of the bishop's office. It is one of those marks of honor that the Apostolic See has from earliest times accorded to Churches and thelf heads, first throughout Europe, then throughout the world. The pallIum , "a symbol of archIepiscopal power," belongs de lure only to an archbIshop, "smce, through ItS bestowal the fullness of the pontifical office is conferred along with the tItle of archbishop." As histoncal records show, however, the popes have contlOued the early practice of honoring episcopal sees with the dlgmty of the archiepiscopal pallium as a grant in perpetuity in order to enhance the standIng of such Churches because of the renown of the place, the antiquity of the Churches , and their unfaiUng reverence toward the See of Peter. Furthermore, the popes have also followed the practICe of conferring the pallium as a personal pnvilege to reward the exceptional merits of illustrious bishops. VatICan Council II , however, has decreed that new and effectIve forms are to specify the rights and privileges of metropolitans. We have accordingly decided to revise the privileges and practices related to the granting of the pallium in order that It might serve as a distinctive symbol of the power of the metropolitan. We have decided and taken mto consideration the opinions of the Roman curial congregations involved and of the commissions for the revision of the code of canon law and of the Eastern code of canon law. Of set purpose and by our own supreme apostolic authonty, we now decree that for the entire Latin Church the pallium hereafter belongs exclusively to metropolitans and the Latin 路ri te patriarch of Jerusalem . We abolish all privileges and customs now applying either to particular Churches or to certain bishops as a personal prerogative. As to the Eastern Churches, we repeal canon 322 of the Motu Propio Cieri sanctitatl. We permIt Archbishops and bishops who already have received the pallium, however, to use it as long as they continue as pastors of the Churches now entrusted to them. In the case of the episcopal ordination of a pope路 elect who is not yet a bishop, wearing of the pallium is granted by law to the cardinal dean of the

college of cardinals or else to that cardinal to whom the rite of ordination is assigned according to the Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifici eligendo. The effective date for these norms is the date of their publication in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. We command that whatever has been decreed by this Motu Propio is ratified and established, all things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those deserving explicit mention

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S53 . SACRED CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP CONCESSION La Sacree Congregation, allowing the use of the chasuble· alb 1 MAY 1971: NOT 9 (1973) 96·98, French A petition conforming to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal no . 304 has been addressed to the Congregation for Divine Worship to authorize wearing of the chasuble-alb with the stole over it in liturgical celebrations. This is a loose· fitting priestly vestment that entirely envelops the celebrant's body and thus replaces the alb . 1, This proposal seems to be consistent with the general principles on liturgical vestments, as determined by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal no. 297. In particular: a. The prominence given to the stole by reason of it~ being worn over the chasuble· alb puts due emphasis on the ierarch i~ ministry of the priest , namely, his role as presiding over the assembly in persona Christi. b. Since it is so ample that it covers the celebrant 's entire body, the chasuble-alb maintains the sacredness of things used I the liturgy and adds an element of beauty, if it is of graceful design and good material. 2. Taking into account the diversity of pastoral situations , the Congregation for Divine Worship therefore authorizes use of this vestment under the following conditions: a. For the usual celebration of Mass, particularly in places of worship, the traditional liturgical vestments are to continue in use: the amice Iwhen needed to cover the neck completely) , the alb, the stole, and the chasuble, as required by the General Instruction nos. 81 (a) , 298 , and 299. It is preferable to ensure the observance of this prescription , but at the same time not to refuse to meet legitimate needs of the present day. b. For concelebration, the General Instruction Ina. 161) has confirmed the faculty granted to concelebrants , except for the principal concelebrant, to wear just the alb with the stole over it. This makes for a certain simplicity but at the same time respects the dignity and sacredness of liturgical service. It is proper in concelebration that the principal concelebrant wear the vestments listed here in no. 2 la). c. The chasuble·alb may be worn in concelebrations for masses with special groups, for celebrations outside a place of worship, and other similar occasions where this usage seems to be suggested by reason of the place or people involved. d. As to color, the only requirement for use of the chasuble· alb is that the stole be of the color assigned to the Mass. 3. We should add that the approval of a new type of vestment must not put an end to the creativity of artisans and vestment makers regarding the design or the material and color of vestments. But all their efforts must respect the two· fold requirement formulated by the General Instruction no . 297 and repeated here in nO.l (a) and Ib): to give proper emphasis to the celebrant 's mimstry and to ensure the sacredness and beauty of the vestments.

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551 . SECRETARIA T OF STATE INSTRUC TION Ut sive sollicite , on the ves ture, titles, and insignia of cardinals, bishops, and lesser prelates 31 March 1969: AAS 61 (1969) 334·340 In conscientious fulfillment of his obligation to watch over the universal Church and in his efforts to carry out the directives and teachings of Vatican Council II , Pope Paul VI has devoted his attention even to the outward symbols of ecclesiastical life . His intention has been to adapt such externals to the altered conditions of the present time and to relate them more closely to the spiritual values they are meant to sigmfy and to enhance. The issue at hand is disquietIng to our contemporaries. It involves harmonizing , without giving in to conflicting, extreme demands. propriety and dignity with simpliCity, practicality, and the spirit of humility and poverty. These qualities must above all characterize those who, by their adm ittance to ecclesiastical office, have received a clear duty of service to t~e people of God. Prompted by such considerations, the Pope in the last two years has seen to the issuance of norms on the dress and other prerogatives of cardinals (see SC Ceremonies, Decree, 6 June 1967, Prot. N. 3711), the Motu Propio Pontificalis Domus, 28 March 1968, on the composition of the papal household, the Motu Propio Pontificalia insignia, 21 July (June) 1968, on pon ificals , la) and the related Decree of the Congregation of Rites, Prot N.R.3U 968 , on the same date, (b) Pope Paul , however wished to change even more extensIvely the regulations on the vesture, titles, and coat·of-arms of cardinals, bIShops, and prelates of lesser rank. He therefore ordered a special commission of cardinals and the papal Secretary of State to study the issue thoroughly. taking Into account botllestablished custom, contemporary usage, and the spiritual values connected with various symbols of ecclesiastical life, even though they are external nonessentials. The consultation of this commission is the basis of the present InstructIon. In an audience gran ted to me, the Cardinal Secretary of State, 28 March 1969, Pope Paul VI approved this Instruction and set 13 April 1969, Low Sunday, as its effective da te. All things to the contrary notwithstanding, even those deserving explicit mention .

PART ONE : DRE SS (a) See DOL, 549 ; AAS has mistakenly given 21 July 1968 as the date. Ib) See DOL, (the document is not a decree but an instruction.) A. Ca r dInal s 1. The following continue in use : the cassock of red wool or SImilar material, wi th sash, pIping, buttons, and stitching of red silk, the mozzetta of the same material and color as the cassock but without the small hood. The mantelletta is abolished. 2. The black cassock with piping and red silk stitching, buttonholes, and buttons , but without the oversleeves, also continues in use. The elbowlength capel tri mmed in th e sam e manner as this cassock, may be worn


over it.

3. The sash of red wa te red-silk, with silk fri nges at the two ends. is to be worn with both the red cassock and the red- trimmed black cassock. The sash with tassels is abolished. 4. When the red cassock is worn, red stockings are also worn, but are optiona l with the red-trimmed black cassock. 5. The dress for ordinary or everyday use may be the plain black cassock.


The stockings worn with it are to be black. The red collare (rabat or rabbi) and the skullcap of red watered-silk may be worn even with the plain black cassock. 6. The red watered· silk biretta is to be used only with choral dress . not for everyday wear. 7. Use of the red watered-silk cloak (ferralUolo) IS no longer obligatory for papal audiences and ceremonies held with the pope present. its use IS also optional in other cases. but should always be restricted to particular solemn occasions.

8. The great cloak of red wool (tabarro) IS abolished. in ItS place a decent black cloak, even with cape, may be used. 9. The red cardinalatial hat 19a1ero) and the red plush hat are abolished. But the black plush hat remains in use. to WhlCh, when warranted, red and gold cord and tassels may be added. 10. Use of red shoes and buckles , even silver buckles on black shoes, is abolished. 11 The rochet of llnen or similar material is retained. The surplice or cotta is never to be worn over the rochet. 12. The cappa magna, without ermine, is no longer obligatory; it can be used only outside Rome on very solemn occasions. 13. The cord and chain for the pectoral cross are retained. But the cord is to be worn only With the red cassock or sacred vestments. BI shops 14. By analogy with what has been laid down For cardlnals, bishops keep the purple cassock, the mozzetla Without the small hood, ~nd the black cassock With red piplng and buttons. The mozzetta may be worn anywhe e, even by tltular bishops. The purple mantelleta or cloak is abo ·shed. The red-trimmed black cassock with ItS ther red ornaments is no Ion er obligatory as ordinary dress. The small cap may be worn over it. 15. With regard to the sash, stocklngs, a lnary dress, collare (rab I) , skullcap, biretta, ferraiuolo, cloak (tabarro), b ckles, rochet, ca ppa magna, cord and chain for the pectoral cross, the rules laid down in nos. 3-8 and 10·13 are to be followed. 16. The black plush hat With the green cord and tassels, which IS to be the same for all biShops, both residential and titular, is retained. 17. l1ke all other bishops, those appointed from religlOus orders and congregatlons will use the purple cassock and the black cassock, with or Without red trimmlngs C. Lesser Prelates 18. The higher·ranklng prelates of the offlces of the Roman Curia who do not have episcopal rank, the auditors of the Rota , the promoter general of Justice, and the defender of the bond of the Apostol1c Signatura, apostolic protonotaries de numero, papal chamberlains, and domestlc prelates retain the purple cassock, the purple mantelleta, the rochet, the red-tnmmed black cassock Without cape, the purple sash With fringes of silk at the two ends, the purple ferraluolo (nonobligatory), and the red tuft on the biretta . The silk sash With tassels, purple stockings, and shoe-buckles are all abolished. 19. For supernumerary apostolic protonotaries and for honorary prelates of His Holiness, the purple mantelletta, the silk sash with tassels, purple stockings, shoe-buckles, and the red tuft on the biretta are all abolished. The purple cassock, the red-tnmmed black cassock Without cape, and the silk sash with fringes are retained. If necessary, the unpleated surplice (Calla) may be worn over the purple cassock, in place of the rochet. The purple ferraiuolo, although not obligatory, IS retalned for supernumerary apostoliC protonotaries, but not for honorary prelates of His Holiness. 20. Chaplains of His Holiness keep the purple-trimmed black cassock with purple sash and other ornaments. It is to be worn also in sacred ceremonies.

The purple cassock, the purple mantellone, the sash with tassels, and the buckles are abolished.




21 . The tltles called" titles of kinship ," which the Pope uses in reference to cardinals, bishops, and other ecclesiastics, will be limited to the following: for a cardinal, "Our Esteemed Brother"; for a bishop, "Esteemed Brother"; for others, "Beloved Son." 22 . For cardinals, the title "Eminence" and for bishops, "Excellency," may still be used and the adjectival phrase "Most Re.verend" added . 23 . The simple titles "Lord Cardinal" and the Italian "Monsignore" may be used to address a cardinal and a bishop either orally or in writing. 24. "Most Reverend " may be added to the title Monsignore in addressing bIShops. 25. For the prelates listed in no. 18, "Most Reverend" may also be added to the title Monsignore . For the dean of the Roman Rota and the Secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, the title "Excellency" may be used but without "Most Reverend." The same appl1es to the vice-chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church . 26. For supernumerary apostollC protonotaries, honorary prelates , and chaplains of His Holiness , the title "Monsignore ," preceded where applicable by "Reverend ," may be used . 27. In formal letters, the expressions "kissing the sacred purple," "kissing the sacred ring" may be omitted . 28 . Cardlnals and bishops are granted the right to have a coat-oF-arms. The use of coat·of·arms must conform to the rules of heraldry and must be Simple and clear. The episcopal staff and the mitre in coats-of-arms is suppressed . 29 . Cardinals are allowed to have their coat-of-arms affixed to the outside of their titular or diaconal church . The portrait of the titular cardinal is to be removed from such churches. Inside, near the main door, a plaque is permitted with the name of the titular cardinallnscnbed in a manner suited to the style of the building. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS 30. With regard to the dress and titles of cardinals and patriarchs of the Eastern rites , the traditional usages of their individual rite are to be followed. 31. Patriarchs of the Latin rite who are not cardinals are to dress like other bIShops. 32. Papal legates, whether bishops or not, are to conform to the rules already given for bishops. But within their own jurisdiction, they may use the sash, skullcap, biretta , and ferraiuolo of watered silk. They will be accorded the title "Esteemed Brother" referred to in no. 21 , only if they are bIShops . 33. Prelates nullius, abbots nullius , apostolic administrators, vicars, and prefects apostollC who are not bishops may dress like bishops. 34. In the matter of forms of address , conferences of bishops may lay down suitable rules conforming to local usages , but they are to take into account the norms and rules contained in the present Instruction. 35. Concerning the dress and titles of canons, holders of benefices, and pastors , the Congregation for the clergy will issue pertinent rules for the future that are In keeping with the reason for this Instruction , namely, to reduce everything in this matter to a simpler form.






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Worship and weave : towards Filipino liturgical vestments