EVERY CHEF HAS his own recipe, every doctor his own specialization, every human being his own intelligence; and each district of Iloilo, with regards to handicrafts, has its own forte which in this case is also internationally popular.
Renowned for being the center of pottery-making and bolo-making during the Spanish regime in the Philippines, Iloilo was once referred to as the “Textile Capital of the Philippines”. This is because weaving has been the passion of the province.
Hablon comes from the Hiligaynon word “habol” which means to weave. It is made of jusi (banana fiber), pina (pineapple fiber) and other indigenous materials. What is so more exceptional with this textile is the time and hard work being invested to create this since it is woven by hand. History tells that the production of hablon in Iloilo was clearly well-established even before the Spaniards set foot in Panay during the 1560s. Thus Iloilo, particularly Miag-ao, is undeniably the sole source of hablon; exporting to other provinces and other countries at the early time. Even to this day, hablon is still hand-woven and is catering exclusive businessmen and fashion designers anywhere.
Apart from hablon, another thing that makes Ilonggos proud is the diverse products made of bamboo. In 2009, Iloilo town was identified as bamboo processing techno-demo area for its availability to produce thousands of bamboo poles and produce high-end products out of them. From tables, to chairs, to furniture, to lamps… just name it. Iloilo will have it just for you.