My mother told me not to step on anthills, but she never told me not to step into one. I didn't have to knock on ANTHILL's door, it was opened before I had the chance to do so. It was none other than the Princess Ant, Anya Lim, who held the door open for my friends and I, enthusiastically welcoming us into her kingdom. Her royal highness led us into the gallery with a short Store Story tour.
The Princess Ant, Anya, sharing the story of ANTHILL
Why "anthill"? Do ants weave? ANTHILL stands for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood (seekers). The Princess Ant proudly told us that their fabrics are woven by the women of Vigan, Ilocos Sur; of Bangued, Abra; and by the Daraghuyan Tribe of Dalwangan, Bukidnon.
There were so many eye–catching colorful patterns in the gallery, my eyeballs were tugged every which way. There were neckties, bow ties, accessories, bags, passport holders, luggage tags, scarves, clothes, and rolls and rolls of fabrics for those who want customized anything–you–can–create–with–fabric.
A weaver spending the whole day at the loom can produce six yards (no, they're not in ANTHILL, but, as mentioned, in Ilocos Sur, Abra, and Bukidnon). Most of the weavers are mothers and not many of them can spend the entire time at the loom, so I expect these woven fabrics can be quite expensive.
Another partner community is HOME (Handcrafters of Mary Enterprise), which is based in Cebu. HOME is composed of mothers making ragdolls from scrap fabrics. There are ready–made ragdolls available in ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, some very cute ones wearing their tribe with pride, others as doctors or some other profession, and others as things, like an injection(!). One can also request for a customized ragdoll (customized dolls start at Php 600).
I walked out of ANTHILL's door feeling proud of this enterprise (kudos to the Queen Ant and Princess Ant!) and wearing my tribe with pride!
Wearing a Kantarines (pattern from Abra) bow tie!
Pedro Calomarde St. corner Acacia St. Gorordo, Cebu City
(032) 505 4175
Mondays to Saturdays 10AM–730PM
* To request for a Store Story tour, please schedule in advance. A minimum of five persons is recommended.