I excitedly hung my camera around my neck as I hopped out of the vehicle and trod towards the main work hall of the Sagada Weaving complex only to be greeted by a “No Taking of Pictures” posted on the door. Just when I was about to take my cam off and put it back to the bag, one of the ladies working there said that it was okay. We asked if we could take photos of them while they worked and she obliged and encouraged us to explore the other parts of the workplace. From that moment on, I knew I would have fun inside the building. Warm hospitality always makes traveling a lot more enjoyable!
Sagada Weaving has been weaving quality products such as bags, slippers, souvenirs, and apparel since 1968, making them a pioneer of the industry in the area. Many residents work here and it is said to be one of the largest employers in the town. They built a souvenir shop along the road that visitors can check out if they are looking for real and traditional made-in-Sagada items.
But the highlight of our visit was our brief moment inside the work hall, where we witnessed the workers create colorful fabrics using wooden weaving looms. It was quite fantastic how complicated, painstaking and patience-testing the whole thing seemed to me. I even asked one of the women manipulating the threads manually if it was difficult what they were doing. She answered, “Hindi naman.”
Watching the threads run and merge with others to create a sea of colors and a distinct pattern was astonishing to me as I had never seen anything like it before. While the weaving looms somewhat scared me a little bit when they moved, I couldn’t help imagining my finger getting cut as it gets caught between the twining threads like in the movie Wanted (starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, I just have to say that ‘coz I love them). That’s what I get for watching too much gory films.
I tried to understand the whole weaving process, throwing questions to the women every now and then, but I felt like I was bothering them because they looked really focused. By the end of our visit, I still could not grasp how the whole thing works, to be honest. I guess weaving is not for me. Still, the visit was a great part of our trip. It’s always great to learn something (or at least, try to learn something) especially when you’re in the company of warm, welcoming people.
Sagada Weaving and Souvenir Shop
Nangonogan, Poblacion, Sagada