MODi | Tina

The Tina pouches

This is so difficult to post. Okay let me start. The cosmetic pouch in playful orange and calming blues and Ilocano binakol put together is named Tina. Tina is the writer of BlauEarth, this blog.

BlauEarth and the Tina cosmetic pouch                                               screenshot


It was a complete surprise to be tagged in a post by the owner of MODi, the line of fashion items inspired by the modern Ilocano. Humbled and grateful. Got two Tinas from MODi last night. Kept them in a safe place as of this writing.

Doubly happy to be part of something that helps sustain the fading tradition of inabel. Manang Cion Padayao would have been very kilig. Thank you MODi.

MODi is available at Red Dot, Cafe Bonita and the MODi stall in Robinsons Ilocos Norte.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Preserving the Fading Threads of the Abra Abel

Abra Abel

Abra, a former  Ilocos town, now among the provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR),  has a rich texture of social, political and cultural history.  Abreños are largely Tingguians and Ilocanos.

The centuries-old impaod (backstrap) weaving and its many forms, developed through rituals and dreams, are so much a piece of history of the people (Itnegs) of the Tineg River. Pinaing is the goddess of  the women weavers who were taught to weave at the age of ten.

Nana Norma

Norma Agaid with a hand-embroidered ritual tapis.

With pride and flame, nana Norma Gintengan Agaid, an Itneg native (internationally referred to as Tingguian) of Abra, speaks about the traditional craft she inherited from ancestors, “It’s the only thing I can pass down to my children and their children.”

The Tingguian colors are predominantly muted. Natural dyes such as malatayum plant (for indigo) were prominent in the designs of the olden days.

White sinugkitan  is worn to signify mourning.

Tingguian Tapis and Lace

A lace-edged slip underneath the tapis signifies wealth, according to nana Norma.

Piningitan edging such as tinulbek (tulbek ti biag) symbolizes life.


An Ilocano pagablan (loom).

The Abra abel of today are based on traditional pinilian (sampaga, python, river and horse patterns), dinapat (a special seamless weave), and binakol (op art weave like kosikos). The pastel and livelier  motifs are influenced by the times.

The ethnic handwoven fabric comes in the forms of traditional garments, blankets, scarves, table covers and many more. Special designs can be ordered from the remaining indigenous loom weavers in Abra.

Impaod FabricPinilian FabricAbra Binakol ScarfImpaod Weavers

Namarabar Ethnic Crafts and Antiques, Namarabar, Peñarrubia, Abra, Philippines
Maria Librada M. Donato
CP Nos.: 0905 2422069 / 0921 4359173
Zita M. Benabese
CP Nos.: 0905 5036515 / 0920 5437921

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Binakol fairytale swans and more at La Pomme

La Pomme for kids

screenshot via La Pomme for kids

I’m going gaga over this online shop for kiddie stuff. Too bad my four kids are all grown up and Alexa is starting to create things for herself as well. The shop is called La Pomme, created by Apol Lejano Massebieau. If her name rings a bell, it’s because she used to be editor of a popular magazine for housekeeping. She’s now married to a Frenchman and a mother of a cute girl named Lilou, and only recently the family moved from the south of France to live in Panglao, Bohol, according to the La Pomme blog. La Pomme was created in France and it’s been on Etsy (here) for a while now.

I am inspired by her efforts to promote indigenous fabrics, and actually handcraft them into unique soft toys. Since inabel, like the swan crafted with binakol fabric, is close to my heart, I can’t thank her enough. Also love her crumpled tote bags made of tree bark fabric, the throw pillows made from recycled plastic and basically everything that she does. Get updates on La Pomme’s pop-up shop every now and then at their Facebook page.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013