By Vince Philip S. Bautista
MARAWI CITY, May 26–The Raheemah Peace Weavers Producer Cooperative in partnership with the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) spearheaded the “Walk of Peace: The Many Faces of Langkit Marawi Week of Peace 2021” fashion show and Economic Hub launching to bring awareness to the cultural heritage of the people of Lanao and commemorate its “peace champions” who are working towards long-lasting peace and economic development of the province.
“We did this to revitalize the cultural heritage of the people of Lanao not only because it is our identity but also because there is a need for it, it plays an important role in reviving our tourism economy, one of which is the weaving industry,” Raheemah Peace Weavers Producer Cooperative President Sittie Aishah Baicon Nuska shared.
Nuska said they aim to showcase the many ways in which ‘langkit’ can blend in the various generational differences of the past, present, and future to ensure its longevity as an industry by finding the right equilibrium of modernity and tradition.
Under the ‘Restoring Livelihoods and Learning Marawi Project’ funded by the government of Japan through the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and implemented by the Save the Children Philippines with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Works and Highways (DPWH), and National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), the initiative supports the native weavers of Tugaya, Tuka, Marantao, and other parts of the province in poverty alleviation through the provision of livelihood opportunities and trainings.
Featuring 17 “Langkit Champion” models from various sectors in society with advocacies that focus on peace and human empowerment, the models strut the catwalk with adorned stylish Meranao clothing while being acknowledged in their efforts and accomplishments.
“Primarily we selected the peace champions based on their advocacies even prior to knowing the efforts of Raheema, advocates of our cultural heritage not to mention that there are some of them that will be future partners of Raheema in terms of strategic engagement,” Nuska disclosed.
In addition to the Peace Walk, the event also launched its Economic Hub and Youth Development Center open house showcasing various products from local craftsmen and businesses ranging from malongs, baur, dresses, and more.
Aside from promoting local businesses and preserving traditions, Nuska said they have already trained and help more than a hundred youth beneficiaries in the Langkit and Mamandyang weaving.
“There is really a need to ensure that we participate in advocacies such as these because it will not only support the revival of the identity of our being Maranao but it will also address the economic needs of our people,” she said. Philippine Information Agency