Aklan opens "Hugod it Aklanon" showroom
by Venus G. Villanueva
Kalibo, Aklan (19 February) -- A permanent showroom to showcase the "Hugod It Akeanon" (Aklanon's Industry) formally opened today as part of Aklan's weeklong celebration of its arts and culture spearheaded by the Archbishop Garbriel M. Reyes Memorial Foundation (AGMRMF), a non-government organization here, and sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
Located at the Kalibo Pastrana Park, the Showroom and Information Center of Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc. will permanently exhibit traditional Aklan crafts using indigenous materials like pina, raffia, abaca, and nito and a demonstration of pina extraction processes and weaving.
Aklan's celebration of its arts and culture is anchored on the national celebration in the month of February of Philippine Arts Festival with the theme "Ani ng Sining: Arts in Public Spaces" and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, with the aim of making arts accessible to the public and providing them opportunity for broader participation, and apprpeciation of creative and cultural activities.
The festival's opening ceremony here held February 18 was dubbed "Ani it Akean" (Aklan's Harvest) and made up of Akeanon songs, performances and a fashion show by "real" people wearing pina in ternos and barong.
On the other hand, nearby Museo It Akean will house "Panan-aw" (Perceptions), an art exhibit that features prominent Aklanon visual artists' masterpieces. A lecture on Aklanon visual arts and a demonstration of water color painting will be held daily with participating students from various Aklan schools.
Highlighting the Literaturang Akeanon: Informance and Tribute will be poetry reading, poetry in motion and a forumtribute to noted Aklanon writers in literature, which will be held on the fifth day of the week-long celebration.
According to Marcela Tinagan, Chairperson of "Ani ng Sining sa Aklan" Project, exhibits will be going on until February 23 with an artists fellowship to end the week-long celebration.
Tinagan said Aklan's version of "Philippine Arts Festival 2008" is in line with Presidential Proclamation No. 683 issued in January 1991 declaring February as the National Arts Month.
The opening of the Showroom and Information Center of the Hugod Aklanon Producers Association is seen to make Aklan's notable and unique products more accessible and visible to the public especially to visitors and tourists going to Kalibo, Aklan's capital town, where they could buy or order directly.
The showroom was also the regular venue of the Kalibo Ati-atihan Product Showcase held every January during the Kalibo Sto. Nino Ati-atihan Festival, which displays and sells pina cloth, bags and slippers made from abaca, raffia and other indigenous fibers, gifts and housewares, processed foods and furnitures. After this week's opening, the showroom will operate daily except Sundays, according to organizers.
The recently-held Ati-atihan Product Showcase, according to the Department of Trade and Industry here, generated a total of P1,020,836.95 in sales, with the food sector getting the highest.
Six of the exhibitors, the DTI revealed, were also able to deal with five new buyers through subcontracting or new ventures. (PIA) [top]