by Christian Nagaynay*

There is no record as to when exactly was weaving introduced here in Miagao. Historians nevertheless state that weaving was already well-established in the province of Iloilo long before the Spanish conquistadors came. So this is one of those crafts that we could consider as product of Filipino ingenuity.

Knowing this, I became impulsive to know someone who could share something about this skill and there came Consolacion Natinga or Lola Oling. Well she lives in Brgy. Bugtong situated some kilometers away from the Miagao proper.

I asked Lola Oling if weaving is just a simple thing to learn. She replied that it can be learned but those who really have the gift of weaving come up with very good weaves.

Indeed, Lola Oling has been blessed with this wonderful weaving skill. At 76, she still continues her craft, although not as active as compared to the times when she was still young.

The family of Lola Oling has been known here in Miagao for their hand woven patadyong. Aside from the actual weaving, Lola Oling manages a weaving business at Bgy. Bugtong. It’s too amazing for her age to do both things, weaving and at the same time spearheading the whole weaving center. Well, this maybe the result of her long years of experience in this line of work.

This artistic craft of weaving different colored threads really started from her grandparents. Lola Oling even shared the love story of her grandparents (which I was really eager to know) which was not only bound by love but also by their inclination in weaving. So here’s the story, Lola Oling’s grandmother and grandfather were both weavers. With the marriage, they were able to consolidated their small weaving business which now is in the hands of their granddaughter— Lola Oling herself. Imagine how magical those threads are that even human hearts are tied together as one.

I did have a chance asking her about how she did those colorful patadyong. She casually answered that before and until today there were no patterns to follow; instead they just weave the threads that they have and only after the work could they judge the craft.

Truly, I was struck with the reality that indeed this skill is truly God-given. For my 17 years of stay here in Miagao, I never thought that somehow there are stories like that of Lola Oling’s.

Well at home I could see the patadyongs used by my Lola when she still alive and I never thought that behind these beautiful colored cloths lie the story of Lola Oling and the other weavers out there.

Today the patadyong industry continuously grows with the help of the local government. Lola Oling is happy with this action taken by the municipality of Miagao. She could feel that the craft she loved for a long time has been given importance and somehow a way for the younger generations like me to appreciate the art that we could consider as our own.

Patadyong is now introduced in the market. They are best souvenir items, perhaps. These colorful patadyongs are available at the Souvenir Center at Miagao’s Cultural Center as well as in its public market. There you could find Lola Oling every Tuesday and Saturday. Well you could have your chance to have a deep chat with her.

As for the prices? Patadyong come in three classes: the ordinary (the ones with coarse texture) which cost P130-150, the factory class (those which are semi-smooth) with starting price of P160 up to P180, and the genuine class (the smoothest & tightly woven of all) that costs P230-250.

About the author

Christian Nagaynay is a second year BA Broadcast Communication student at the University of the Philippines Visayas. He is a certified Miagawanon from Barangay San Rafel.