SENATOR Sonny Angara yesterday encouraged more schools to adopt the use of the “sablay” as the standard garb for graduation rites to promote Filipino heritage and for practical purposes.
Angara said local government units could take their cue from the Pasig City government for using the “sablay” in graduation ceremonies of its public elementary and high schools.
“This is one idea that was well thought of, long overdue, and ought to be supported. The ‘sablay’not only represents the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines, but is also more suitable for our climate. It also gives Filipino graduates an identity and as a plus, it’s also fashionable,” Angara said.
Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain del Pascua, in an aide memoire, pushed for the use of the “sablay” in place of the toga for graduation ceremonies.
Pascua said the toga, with its deep Western roots, “is not Filipino” and “does not inspire loyalty to the nation.”
Pascua added that the use of the “sablay “ could also boost local textile production and spur a resurgence of weaving traditions.
“We should encourage and support efforts to promote the strengthening and propagation of Filipino heritage, culture and traditions. In many areas of the country, including indigenous communities, weaving is their source of livelihood and has been around for generations,” Angara pointed out.
Angara said there could be different designs for the sablay in the various regions, provinces, cities, municipalities or even towns.
“The designs could be based on the heritage of the local indigenous peoples for instance or the ancient writing script baybayin. The sablay will be their canvas. It will bear the signature of a particular area or culture. It will be easily identified around the world as being uniquely Filipino,” he said.
Angara has been spearheading a “Tatak Pinoy” or made in the Philippines initiative that seeks to encourage innovation among the different industries in order to add value to the products being offered and to improve competitiveness, among others.
Part of the “Tatak Pinoy” initiative is the identification of specific industries or products that have the potential to grow and make a niche in the marketplace and to provide the necessary interventions to make this happen.