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March 20, 2012

Forum on the Plight of Traditional Weavers in ASEAN and China

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the country’s prime agency for arts and culture led by its chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr. and executive director Emelita V. Almosara, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN-COCI) will hold the Forum on the Plight of Traditional Weavers in ASEAN and China from March 20 to 23, 2012, at the Plaza del Norte, Balacad, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Traditional weavers, traditional weaving scholars, and delegates from the ASEAN member states, China and the ASEAN Secretariat are expected to attend the four-day event, which is supported by the ASEAN-China Joint Cooperation Committee.

The forum will focus on the difficulties and problems experienced by traditional weavers from dealing with existing government policy, to sourcing materials, to production and marketing.

For hundreds of years, numerous traditions of hand-weaving throughout ASEAN has provided women with a channel to express their creativity and artistic skills that accorded them a status within the community, and in recent past a source of livelihood.

The Forum on the Plight of Traditional Weavers in ASEAN and China aims to provide a venue for the traditional weavers of ASEAN and China to share their experiences, including the challenges that they face in the practice of their craft; to enhance mutual understanding among the traditional weavers of and related cultural workers/officials from the concerned states; to explore possibilities on how the weavers could make their products competitive, thus making their craft profitable and sustainable; and to come up with possible policy recommendations that would address the plight of the traditional weavers of ASEAN and China.

The forum includes lectures, workshops, a traditional textile exhibit, site visits, among others. NCCA chairman Felipe de Leon, Jr. serves as the keynote speaker. Lectures include “Organizing Weaving Communities,” “Training Program for Traditional Weavers,” “Evolution of Chinese Silk Brocades,” “Product Development and Marketing” and “Intellectual Property Rights: Copyright of Community Designs in Weaving Communities.” Groups of weavers, marketing and design experts, and people from the government and the NGOs will participate in the workshops. Participants will visit the local weaving communities in the towns of Sarrat and Paoay.

For more details on the activities and schedules, contact NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057, or Maricel Diaz, head of NCCA International Affairs Office (IAO) at 527-2192 local 605.  Log on to or email us at
For details, please contact RENE NAPEÑAS, Head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at cellphone number 0927-5582656 / 09285081057 or at tel. nos. 527-5529. You can also call us at 527-2192 (loc. 612-615) or email us at

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