'Such an honor': Catriona Gray visits master weaver in Zamboanga


Posted at Oct 09 2020 01:11 PM

MANILA -- Catriona Gray continues to use her platform to promote Filipino textiles as an ambassador of the One Town, One Product (OTOP) project of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The former Miss Universe visited a Yakan weaving community in Zamboanga, and had the opportunity to meet its master weaver, Zalma Ballati.

"Such an honor to have the opportunity to meet Zalma Ballati, siya ang master weaver of Yakan Village, Zamboanga City," she said in an Instagram post.

"Bilang isang master weaver, alam niya ang pitong klaseng disenyo ng Yakan," she added. "At gumagawa rin siya ng sarili niyang disenyo."

"She was taught by her mother, and she in turn is passing down the art of Yakan weaving to this generation."


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Gray went on to encourage her 10.5 million Instagram followers to support the Yakan community in Zamboanga by buying their handmade and handwoven products.

"Nakakatuwa 'yung feeling kasi kapag mag-purchase ka, alam mo na you're supporting a community and a craft that is uniquely Filipino," she said. 

OTOP shared more photos of Gray's visit to Zamboanga on its social media pages as it praised the former Miss Universe for knowing "the importance of learning about our Filipino heritage, and passing it down from generation to generation."

It also assured the public that they followed all health and safety guidelines during their visit amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 


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Zamboanga is Gray's second stop as OTOP ambassador after Laguna, where she showcased Lumban embroidery and abaca sandals, among others.

Gray was named OTOP ambassador last July as part of the DTI's efforts to promote local weaving. 

She was also introduced as an arts ambassador of he National Commission for Culture and the Arts early this year. 

Gray drew wide praise during her Miss Universe campaign in 2018 for her patriotic wardrobe, from the Mayon-inspired details of her dress to jewelry that symbolized the national flag.