It has been our lifelong dream to put our Philippine weaves in the map and grow a global community of Proud Weaver Wearers. So in 2019, we came back to the US for the second time to celebrate Filipino American History month with our growing community. We communed with our tribe while sharing stories of tradition, family culture, and our love for the motherland. We connected our roots through shared values, drinks, food, and the love for our Filipino fabric. We took our weaves around the US carrying the theme UGAT: Honouring our roots through heart woven cloth. It was a celebration of our “Where and What”, what we have accomplished, and what we are yet to accomplish.

A lot has happened since then, truly, heavy themes for 2020. This year Ugat holds the root of our “Why”. Why we are fighting, why we are pushing, why we are braving these uncertain times. These are reminders of what has been, the fight we have to give, and the win we are yet to conquer. A celebration, nonetheless, but this time it doesn't only apply to our tribe, the community that has grown out of genuine love for the country. Now, it applies to humanity and the need for us to come together and rise. Believe that we will meet again, hugging each other in light and love, and hopefully, very soon.

Our deepest intention for trailing in the US is to have a chance to meet our growing tribe of Proud Weave Wearers in person and have a face behind these names who have been championing us and continue to grow a community through trust, vulnerability, and shared stories.

Our first stop in L.A. was an intimate weave party at @genever_la Bar co-hosted by @entrepinayship followed by a warm reception at @cafe_86. We shared our stories of collaboration, how entrepreneurship has become a catalyst for sustainability, how we work to elevate culture and support women’s economic empowerment. The community in LA showed us what women supporting women look like. Our collaborators, co-hosts, the weave wearers, everyone was coming through left and right, and we were so warmed by everyone’s genuine engagement.

Our second stop was San Francisco, and its turnout touched us! We are full of gratitude for the abundance of genuine Proud Weave Wearers in San Francisco and the new weave wearers we’ve gained. @wework was the perfect space to hostan intimate gathering and exchang of stories about how important it is for us to honor our roots through living, celebrating, and elevating our culture.

The US POP UP series marked its finale in NY at @lululemonlabnyc. It was a gathering among fellow kindred spirits and culture champions with @sarisarinyc, as co-host. We shared about the significance of our work in honoring our roots, and how we keep our culture alive especially among the younger generations. We had a diverse crowd from young immigrants, parents, children, generations of Filipinx - everyone shared the space that night with stories of wanting to connect to the motherland, always wanting to be connected and finding the courage to do so. It carried the underlying desire to make sure our kids today and the kids of the future do not lose sight of who they are. This expression of sustainability gives me goosebumps to this day.

We braved traveling a thousand miles with our maxed out luggage allowance because we know it’s worth honoring our roots and connecting to our tribe and boy, was it worth every unpacking, repacking, setups, and lots of power walking as we were filled with stories of love at first sight- those who randomly saw a Filipino weave for the first time in an ANTHILL piece and those whose love grew deep and deeper because of genuine connections to what these weaves represent. Engaging with our community of Proud Weave Wearers in the intimacy of each other's presence whether face to face or online strengthens why we wear our weaves, why we wear and grow our tribe with pride. It is a form of resistance, a fight for representation, cloth that strengthens our identity. For most, our heart- woven cloth says, “This is us, this is my tribe and I belong.”

We appreciate and love how the powerful Heartwoven Conversations led to a place of healing, and personal reflections. This was truly the essence of Ugat: Honouring our roots through heart woven cloth. The journey has been nothing but all-embracing. We went home with a stronger community and so many stories to share.

The whole trip was the epitome of the Filipino Bayanihan spirit and abundance flows through our humble hill only because of our Design Collaborator @maaari_co, Co-hosts @entrepinayship and @sarisarinyc, and food treats from @cheeri_cheeri and @eatwellvegan. To the lady bosses @gingaroo, @litz_bitz, @eyevfaye, @jeanettesawyer, and @samantharoxas for being the source of magic.

It was a surreal and wonderful experience to be able to represent ANTHILL. To everyone who shared their time, space and talents, you have been a blessing. To everyone we crossed paths with, what an honor to be able to share stories with you. I was so worried about the trip at first but I quickly realized that wherever there are Filipinos, there will always be home.

Thank you and may our paths cross again.

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