Keeping the Traditional Philippine Wedding Gown Alive
One of the Philippines’ most famous products is the piña fiber. Born during the Spanish occupation, the piña fabric was a symbol of a defiant race against the rule of Spaniards that Filipinos were forbidden to have any imported fabric next to their skin. Now, it has become part of the identity of Filipinos worldwide.
This ivory-white colored fiber is made from pineapple leave fibers and manually loomed by expert weavers. Being labor intensive, it has become one of the most luxurious indigenous fibers in the country. This indigenous material is commonly used to make traditional Filipino wedding dress and formal attires. But before a designer is able to create a masterpiece using this fabric, it takes about one whole week to weave piña fabric enough for a bridal gown. After that, it takes approximately two months to complete a fully hand-embroidered piña wedding gown. With the introduction of Western fabric and other alternatives like silk and cotton, Filipino wedding fashion designers have slowly shun away from using the piña fiber.
Sadly, this once celebrated fabric is slowly disappearing from Philippine wedding fashion scene. Seemingly, more designers prefer to use more modern materials. Even brides and grooms would not have pina fiber in mind. But in the province of Laguna, one Filipino wedding fashion designer has managed to keep the tradition alive and continues to offer traditional Filipino wedding dress made from this native fiber. She is Dra. Rhodora Peñaflor Anonuevo of Piñaflor (Simply Rockflower).
Preserving the Tradition
Such style and technique has made her wedding gowns and Barong Tagalos stand out from the rest. Each wedding gown and Barong Tagalog showcases pure Filipino ingenuity and creativity. It possesses very intricate designs that exhibit Filipino heritage and history. And most of all, brides who have decided to wear this traditional wedding dress walks down the aisle carrying a statement of elegance and symbol of true Filipina beauty.
Flourishing and Surviving