Date: July 8, 2008 2:12:02 AM EDT
Subject: [kgma] PGMA promotes Philippine products at 8th ASEAN S&T Week
MANILA (PNA) -- Taking advantage of the occasion as an opportunity to
showcase to the world the various advances the Philippines has
achieved in the field of science and technology (S&T), President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday attended the 8th ASEAN (Association
of Southeast Asian Nations) Science and Technology Week and the 50th
anniversary celebration of the Department of Science and Technology
The President wore a tailor-made coat and dress ensemble made of piña
(pineapple) cloth dyed from young coconut husk that resulted in old
In her speech, the President said that "one sample of coconut
derivative is this dye that went into this particular dress I'm
wearing. This is one example of how an indigenous product like coconut
can make its mark in this modern day and age."
She said the event is a great opportunity to remind people and keep
them aware of the latest breakthroughs in the field and their
implications in our daily lives.
"It is also a good opportunity to highlight our milestones and
accomplishments as well as discuss the issues and challenges facing
the advancement of science and technology in the country," she added.
The President's knee-length coat had designs of Vanda, an orchid
flower that is endemic to Mindanao.
US-based designer Anthony Cruz Legarda designed the President's gown.
He said he collaborated with the Philippine Textile Research Institute
(PTRI), an attached agency of the DoST, to come up with the clothing
PTRI supports the local textile and allied industries to achieve
global competitiveness through utilization of indigenous resources,
and development of technical competence in textile production and
Legarda, who is known to use indigenous materials in his clothing,
said it took him two days to dye the President's dress.
"Right now, organic is very big. Piña is unique in the fashion world.
Definitely, with the help of the PTRI we will be able to develop more
designs," he said.
He, however, acknowledged that his clothes were on the high-end,
citing President Arroyo's knee-length coat that costs US$ 2,000 and
the dress underneath is US$ 1,000.
ASEAN ministers who attended the event and even officials of the DoST
wore Barong Tagalogs and dresses made of indigenous materials.
"It's part of our promotion to use natural dye. We have been using
this for a long time but this is a very good opportunity to promote it
in a big way," Alabastro told reporters in an interview.
She said the Barong Tagalog of the ASEAN ministers have been
personalized in such a way that there were embroideries and designs
that reflect the symbol of their respective countries.
Alabastro said they plan to promote the line of clothing especially to
the European market.
"Alam mo sa Europe, very environment conscious ang mga tao. They want
green products and this is certainly a green product, natural dye ang
ginamit," she said. (PNA)