Solon, designer collaborate to promote Sulu’s pis syabit
MANILA, Philippines — Kusug Tausug party-list Rep. Shernee Tan-Tambut is collaborating with Filipino international award-winning fashion accessory designer Ann Ong to promote a textile woven in the Sulu province in the international fashion scene.
Tan-Tambut said she recently met with Ong to come up with plans to promote Sulu’s pis syabit and other Filipino designs being promoted by Ong. She said they discussed how the pis syabit can be promoted first in New York and later in other fashion capitals in the world.
The pis syabit is a piece of cloth exclusively woven in Sulu. It is made of cotton or silk, sometimes with metallic gold threads. It used to be worn by Tausug men during special occasions as a headdress or a decor hung on the shoulder to indicate high social status. But nowadays, the pis syabit has been used as the material or accent for clothes and to make fashion accessories.
Woven by Muslims, it only has geometrical patterns because Islam forbids reproducing the likeness of living things.
In 2016, Tan-Tambut also wore a pis syabit-accented modern terno at President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address.
According to the lawmaker, popular acceptance of the clothing can also uplift the economy for the Tausugs.
Tan-Tambut has encouraged members of the Kusug Tausug party-list, which is seeking a House of Representatives seat in the May 9 elections, to help her start a campaign for the purchase of local products in order to help small and medium enterprises.
The solon noted the presence of cheap but low-quality imported clothes in the market. She said she wants to encourage Filipinos to patronize locally-made clothes and help small retailer stores and local designers recover from the pandemic.
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