Hablon, Pride of Oton

Hablon, Pride of Oton

Oton’s hablon, handicrafts and delicacies were recently given promotional boost with the municipality’s recent participation in the Indigenous Fiber Fashion Fair  at SM City and The Tumandok Fair at Robinson’s Place.

In the local weaving industry, when one mentions the word ‘Hablon’, the Municipality of Oton rings a bell to the ears of those in the trade. There is the Salngan Livelihood Multi Purpose Cooperative and Oton Handwoven Products.. And what more can a town, which is not only known for its Katagman Festival but also for its noble and enduring Hablon production, do to promote itself and especially its exquisite fabric than parading them in a fashion show!

Hablon Weaving

From elegant Barongs and dresses to colorful and chic Sarongs and bags, Oton put into the spotlight its Hablon products at their best. The message was to make people more aware of the Hablon industry and appreciate its fashion potential, at the same time discourage the exclusive association of Hablon with the ‘oldies’ garments’. Moreover, the intention was to bring the local business into the wider market eventually for export in regional and international markets. The tagline, “Rural Livelihood Journey and Urban Fashion Business”, was indeed easily realistic.

As Provincial Tourism Officer Bombette Marin put it, “After all, fashion is not about glamour and entertainment. Fashion is about work.”

Apart from the fashion show, the Fair had exhibits of the variety of Hablon products.

Weaved Products of Municipality of Oton

Consequently, this would fuel the local Hablon industry as it would inspire future expansion and fashion opportunities, and generate more jobs not just in the town of Oton but also in other towns that produce Hablon products.

Meanwhile, other aims of the Fair were to assist identified communities in the development and marketing of their crafts in providing alternative seller-buyer market venues because Manila trade fairs are becoming too expensive with too many fairs that created buyers’ burnt out, and to link local agencies to intervene with the creation of livelihood training and technology exchange in order to generate jobs as means of reducing poverty and providing a viable source of income.