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11 May 2016 - The Philippine Embassy in Madrid, in collaboration with Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, through the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA), successfully hosted the inauguration of the exhibit “Ang Pagbabalik: tejidos de piña filipinos entre tradición y vanguardía” on May 05 at the MNA.

The exhibit showcases piña masterpieces by the Grand Dame of Philippine Fashion, Ms. Patis Tesoro, which include: piña tapestries, self-explanatory photos of the evolution of the piña fabric from the planting of piña to its desired finished product, and nine mannequins wearing a selection of her masterpieces. On the other hand, MNA has included its own collection of piña related artifacts and a video featuring the history of piña fabric in the exhibit.

The guests, which numbered approximately 180, from the government and private sectors, diplomatic corps, and fashion industry, also had the privilege of seeing some of the magnificent creations of Ms. Tesoro through a salon show that highlighted the inaugural ceremony of the exhibit. The salon show displayed 17 excellently designed piña gowns, barong tagalong, including informal clothing such as minis, short shifts, jackets and palazzo pants.

MNA Director Fernando Saéz Lara lauded the efforts of the Embassy in promoting the unique piña fabric to Spain through this exhibit which, according to the museum, symbolizes the artistic and cultural fusion between the East and the West. Director Saéz also noted that this exhibit marks the return to Spain of the first exhibit of piña fabric held in 1887.

Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos C. Salinas referred to the piña fabric as “a beloved and an enduring symbol of Philippine culture that has withstood the test of time, impeccably evolving, and now returning to the global stage with much dignity and pride.” He recognized the importance of the labors of Ms. Patis as one of the vanguards of the piña fabric revival in the fashion industry in the Philippines and abroad. Ambassador Salinas also took the opportunity to present a gift to the museum, “Ang Binyag”, a masterpiece created by Ms. Tesoro in 2008. The mother and the child wear piña-made dresses.  In the Philippines as in Spain, the baptism of a child is both a religious and a social event.  It strengthens the relationship between the family of the baptized and the members of the community that have been invited to participate in it.  The gift, therefore, symbolizes a religious and social element shared by Filipinos and Spaniards, and seeks to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two. “Ang Binyag” now forms part of the vast collection of Philippine antiquities and indigenous art pieces of the museum.

For her part, Ms. Tesoro expressed appreciation for another opportunity to stage not just her collections of piña fabric, but also the culture that best links the Philippines and Spain. For this exhibit, she is joined by Mr. Raffy Tesoro, the director of the exhibit and Mr. Roy Thomas Alberto, a Filipino artist. 

A piña-made coaster was given to the guests as a token of the exhibit. The exhibit will be open to the public from May 06 to June 12. END

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