Monday, 5 June 2017

Philippine Terno at Escuela de Artesanias de las Filipinas Iloilo City


In our country, our women in their national costume are as lovely as the butterflies, aristocratic they may look.
The “baro’t saya” ( blouse and skirt) which were made from stiff and sheer materials on loose top with well-pronounced bell sleeves made from handloom textiles, mostly starched, to make them stylishly stiff. The kind of material used was dependent on what the status a woman was in society. The finest pineapple fiber called piña was for the affluent and high society ( called the insulares) while the rough banana fiber called “abaca” with fabric called “sinamay” was for the peasants ( called the peninsulares). This was apparent in Iloilo, the textile capital of the Philippines during the Spanish period.
The dress came with a triangular “pañuelo” (handkerchief ) or huge tusseled “Manton de Manila” scarf worn over the shoulder, and a “tapis “ ( a rectangular fabric) wrapped around the waist. The sweeping mermaid shaped skirts called “serpentina ” were made of cotton in handwoven patterns of stripes or checks.
For 300 years, the Filipiniana barely evolved until the Americans came for 50 years. The bell sleeves were flattened to become the signature butterfly sleeves of the “terno” so they could be detached and kept in wooden chests called “baul.” I remember my grandmother ( or "abuela" in Spanish for grandmother and her "primas" ( cousins) when the "muchacha" ( Ilonggo for house helpers) delicatelty pinned the butterfly sleeves on their "kimona"( saddle shaped) "baro" top. So to conclude, the bell sleeves when removed from the "baul" became flat, and when worn looked like butterfly wings! The "baro" were never washed because of the undergarment called "camisola" made them clean anyway. So they just went back to the "baul" flattened as thin as paper.
The influence of America transformed the national costume into body hugging silhouettes with stylish almost like Hollywood style draping and the use of modern textiles like chiffon and synthetics as well as three-dimensional decorations like flower appliqués.
They were embellished with exquisite needleworks such as “callado” ( fret work embroideries), intricate beadworks until recently handpaintings or mix media decorations. Accessories came in the forms of “abanicos”( fans), “payong” ( umbrellas), “sombreros ( hats), “panyo”( hankies) , “baston” ( cane) and “filigrana” ( gold antique jewelry).
The distinct Filipino style is known to be the “ fondness for anything sheer” with the top garment so revealing to show the undergarment “camisola.” This sheerness is also found in the Filipino Spanish houses in “ventanillas” ( cut-outs), “barandillas” ( balusters) , “senefas “ ( fretworks) and capiz shell windows all transparent or punctured for see throughs.
It is said that one of the most elegant national costumes in the world is that of the Philippines with its unique and distinct BUTTERFLY SLEEVES.
Aristocratic they look. As flambouyant as the butterflies could be.

Escuela teaches the classical way to construct a terno. 


Shibori is an ancient Japanese tie-dye technique developed during the Edo period in Japan. Unlike the more common tie-dye style which became popular in the west in the late 1960s, shibori is a process of painstakingly placed folds, clamps, stitches and knots done prior to the dying process. Western style tie-dye is done mainly by knotting or twisting the fabric and never reaches the level of intricacy, diversity or three-dimensionality seen in shibori. You have several options to prepare the cloth before the dye processp

SCHOOL OF THE LIVING ARTS & CRAFTS while teaching is living and not boring because it teaches EXPERIENTIAL METHOD. Our school does not have HOMEWORK. We study only with CREATIVITY in mind.
Today we end our summer classes at Escuela I-fashion Iloilo as we will start our regular June 2017 classes soon.
Escuela is a design led-school for arts and crafts for entrepreneurship, a first in the Philippines. It is a vocational short courses certificate school with very minimal tuition fee as it is socialized. It is a school that has no textbooks, no long tedious lecture classes, no rigid formalities in enrollment and best of all no homework.
The teaching method is the teacher, a practitioner or trained and talented in his own field, mostly volunteer individuals, sharing his/her experience and skills by only 20% while the rest is 80% discovered by the students through their exercises and questions, mostly shared. The method called experiential instructions or teaching is designed by international lifestyle designer and mentor, PJ Aranador. It is simple. Teaching from experiences and translates them into individual initiatives.
The school uniquess its that a class can be of any age, child , youth, adult and seniors thereby creating bonding and collaborations at all levels. Same for any social class in society.
It also offers scholarships from donors to those who can not afford to go to crafts and art school.
The school mission is for its trained graduates, informal and vocational courses, can make a living our of them through entrepreneurship, than becoming a laborer and work abroad. Rather, we work in our country as we become part of nation building.
Our school is beautiful set in a rennovated 1920 building in the heart of Iloilo because we believe to give an professional learning, we need a professional and beautiful environment.
We charge minimally for materials which the school provides. Call 09189097362 or visit our website

SHIBORI. We do believe the future of humanity is doing something with our hands. There are so many ugly things and situations in our life, in our society, in many events in our life today. If only people will keep our hands busy, our world will be a better pace to be. We do advocate the shift of humanity away from wars and disconnections, we instead build peace with our hands and hearts to create what could mean livelihood so the world will not be hungry.
REQUIREMENTS: One white cotton T Shirt ( or you can bring more), rubber bands, empty round cylindrical vine bottle, any strings including straw ropes, any color thread and big sewing needles, plastic cloth clips/pins, rock salt, some old newspapers and apron if you have. For scholarships, please sent letter of request to our email at ifashionacademy@

REQUIREMENTS: One white cotton T Shirt ( or you can bring more), rubber bands, empty round cylindrical vine bottle, any strings including straw ropes, thread and big sewing needles, plastic cloth clips/pins, rock salt, some old newspapers and apron if you have.
Subject Name: Shibori
Subject Code: 018A-SS17 Subject Competency: Craft Skills
• Subject Description: An artisanal skill course on practical arts for textile manipulations using the Japanese traditional technique in manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric. Basic skills in pleat and bind technique to produce creative patterns on textiles. The students will bring home their creations as a piece of souvenir and reminder of their explorations with the living arts and crafts.
• Age group: 15 years old and above including senior citizens.
• Requirements: Latex gloves, white t-shirt, rags, scissors, blade cutter, old news paper. Hair dryer if you have. School will provide the indigo colors, binders and muslin fabrics.
 • Fees: Php 850 per student. A 15% discount will be given to the first three enrollees and for enrollment for a group of five (5) students.
ALL FEES are subject to change without prior notice.
• Duration: 4 hours workshop.
• Number of workshop sessions: One session only
• Workshop Certificate: The students will be issued a certificate of completion for the workshop
• Schedule: Any one of the following dates May 11 or 12, 1-5 pm. A minimum of 12 students will commence the start of the workshop class. Below the minimum number, the school has the discretion to reschedule or continue the classes with few students. For workshop classes with more than one sessions, the schedule may be subject to change to the convenience of the students on the first day of its meeting.

ALL CLASSES and SCHEDULES are subject to change and shall be advised to the students ahead of time. Weekdays, weekend, night school for working professionals ( 5:30 pm -8:30 pm ) are available.
• Enrollment On-line: For minors below 18 years old, a parent or guardian must fill up the enrollment form. See enrollment form in this post. Accomplish the form and return back to us on-line through email, facebook messenger.
• Enrollment at the school: Forms will be available at the school.
• Payment by bank:
Bank : Bank of Philippine Islands
Account Number : 009143 - 0021 – 68
Email your deposit slip for the school to confirm your enrollment.
• Payment at the school: Cash payment is acceptable before the classes at the school. Pay at the school admin office.
 • Fee cancellation: The school will only refund 50% of the fee 3 days before any attendance is cancelled. The school will not refund cancellations on the day of the class. Change of schedule when needed by students can be moved to other timings is instead encouraged.
• Email address:
• Alternate email address: Email directly to Mr. PJ Aranador
• Contact Numbers: 09189097362 PJ Aranador Landline PJ Aranador office ( 033) 321-0370 School (033)-336-3146
• On-line messengers: FACEBOOK I-fashion Iloilo
On-line Information:
Escuela Website (Wordpress)
Domain: escuela6633
Name: Escuela de Artesanias
YOUTUBE: Escuela Iloilo City
• School Address: Second Floor, Ybiernas Building, Esquina Calle Zamora and Gen. Hughes, downtown Iloilo City. The school is facing Plaza Independencia across the Iloilo City Hall. At the ground floor is Land Bank. See map with this information sheet.
 • Scholarship Program: Students may avail of the scholarship through our individual or corporate sponsors. Fill up the enrollment form and the school will call the applicant for an interview. The school launches design competitions for which the prizes are in the form of scholarships.
• Working Student, On-the-job Training, Internship. Applicants will submit a letter of intent to the school address to Mr. PJ Aranador. Application will be approved on the basis of qualifications and available matching programs at the school. The applicant can attend classes by working at the school.
• Extension Program. The school accepts extension class program outside of the school premises such as those in communities, other campuses or livelihood centers.
NO TWO PIECES ARE ALIKE. Shibori is always a class act on its own. Our students created these collection of shirts and garments, some are used clothing or clothing with stains, so we upcyled them into beautiful creations. We will post each shirt soon in our facebook to sell on-line to raise funds for our school to pay our electricity and rental. We know one day we will be able to make both ends meet running our school (sob!).
Thank you to all our students and volunteer youth mentors who sacrificed the hard work in setting our firewood to boil our dye as their eyes got tears from the smoke! But no big deal, we are so happy with the results. It took one day to make all these no matter how tedious.
Escuela teaches Shibori among other crafts for living. Watch for our courses from June 2017 onwards.

UNFOLDING. SHIBoRi class at Escuela de Artesanias I-fashion Iloilo. Artists do work so hard, we forget how we look but our hearts are full of happiness. The most awaited part of shibori, Japanese art of tie dye, is unfolding our works after the knotting, wrapping and whatever crazy manipulations we did. It was worth the wait and the excitement will always remain in our craftsmen's heart forever. I was so elated my friend Reenee Alvarez from Bacolod City really took time to do the course. Look what lovely shirt and shorts you did you can wear for the beach!