LOCANO is about love for things beautifully made by hand, love for discovery and grounding, and love in relationships, especially that of mothers and daughters.
My mom is from Vigan, Ilocos Sur, but I grew up in Manila. When we were kids, we would only visit Vigan during holidays of obligation, like Holy Week, family reunions and funerals. As I grew older, I visited Vigan less and less. I became a stranger to the city.
During a visit in January of 2015, we met with my mom’s friend. She owned a weaving house in town, where they made all kinds of abel (Ilocano for “weave”): rugs, kitchen towels, table runners and blankets. Curious, I tried out the loom and ran my hands through every piece of fabric in that place. It felt magical. I was lost in stacks of abel. I wondered why I never noticed this before. It was right under my nose!
I left with some blankets and a couple of rugs. At first, I didn’t know what to do with them, but I felt an excitement to start something – to tell others about it. The frustration and burnout from working a full-time job at a bank kept me motivated. I knew I had to start with a name, and in August, while talking to a friend, “Locano” presented itself. I am Ilocana and also a bit of a loca-loca.
Blankets are art you can sleep with and can bring with you anywhere.
You can tell a lot about the origin and story of a weave by looking at the patterns.
Holding Hands (Agkibkibin): we stand together
Fishing (Agkalkalap): we’ll meet you by the sea
Flowers (Sabong): we’ll meet by the mountains
Stars (Bituen): we’ll guide you through
Blankets have a way of making you feel the comfort of being cared for.
It’s like a sign and symbol of showing that you care. It’s like the kind of love you see and receive from loved ones, that you also want to give back.