Shooting Colors in the Philippines

February 2015 @ MoC

February 4, 2015 @ PhilippineTextileResearchInstitute

We spent few weeks in Manila this winter, immersing in the Filipino culture, shooting colors and hunting words for our ColorCorpus research. It was good fun and we’ll be back to visit the countryside at some point later. Enjoy!


The Philippine Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (PTRI-DOST) has recently released its new publication, Bahaghari: Colors of the Philippines. The 140-page book contains general information on natural dyes and their plant sources and clear, crisp photos of PTRI-developed naturally dyed tropical fabrics in formal ensemble with a twist of elegance worn by participants and delegates to the 8th ASEAN Science and Technology Week (ASTW) in July 2008, Miss Earth 2007 candidates, and some ramp models. Besides the ASTW, the naturally dyed barongs and dresses jazzed up the Bahaghari Fashion Show at the ASTW dinner held at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila and gave zest to the pictorial for the book.

Bahaghari: Colors of the Philippines attaches social connotations with each featured color from natural dyes and illustrates the facets of the Filipino culture. PTRI researchers Julius L. Leaño Jr. and Jenice P. Malabanan co-wrote the book.


Date : April 25
Venue : Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro
According to an old story, the early settlers of Pinamalayan came from Marinduque. While on their way to Mindoro using their boats, they encountered turbulent weather and lost their direction. They prayed to God Almighty for deliverance and guidance so the weather cleared and a rainbow appeared on the horizon. The crew shouted ipinamalay meaning “it was made known”. They followed the direction of the rainbow and landed at what is now Barangay Lumangbayan and established the first settlement which they named Pinamalayan. The rainbow became the historical landmark of the town. The yearly Bahaghari Festival is a colorful commemoration of the importance of the rainbow in the history of the town of Pinamalayan. The celebration includes a street dancing competition, cultural presentations, religious and cultural activities, products and trade fair. Like the rainbow which rises to give color in the sky after the torrent of rain, the Bahaghari Festival is a reflection of the continuing effort of the people of Pinalamayan that there is truly paradise at the end of the rainbow.

Contact : Office of the Mayor, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro
Telephone No. (043) 284-3146 / 443-1486

Bluer than blue: the revival of Philippine indigo @ Fibre2Fashionindigo dyed pina-seda barong

Philippine indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) is one of the oldest dyes in civilization and one of the most widely used natural dyes in the whole world due to its excellent colorfastness properties. In the Philippines, indigo was once extensively used in the weaving industry including the abel of llocos and the Abrenian fabrics.

The Philippine indigo has been part of the Galleon and Chinese trade in northern Philippines, centuries ago; however, the successful production of cheaper synthetic indigo eased it out of the market and caused its rapid decline not only in the Philippines but also all over the world.

In the Philippines, the former First Lady Amelia “Ming” Ramos initiated the effort to revive indigo dyeing. She became the Patroness of natural dyes and spearheaded the Katutubong Kulay Project of the Katutubong Filipino Foundation in the early 1990’s. The transfer and commercialization of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) developed technology on indigo in Abra revived and upgraded the age long tradition of using tayum, the local name of indigo in Abra. In fact, a town in Abra was aptly named Tayum, reportedly because of the abundance of naturally growing indigo in the place. Tayum is where Abra’s Natural Dye Center is located.

Read more at Fibre2Fashion

Ang Alamat ng Bahaghari (The Legend of the Rainbow) @ Behance



March 1, 2015 @ Moc

Just few notes for these interesting connections …

In Armenian: կարմիր (karmir) = red. This is an Iranian borrowing. krmʾyr, “red”, Sanskrit किर्मीर (kirmīra, “a variegated color”) and Hebrew כרמיל (karmīl, “crimson, carmine”). Ultimately from the word for “worm”: compare Persian کرم (kerm), Sanskrit कृमि (kṛ́mi).
In Greek: (ο) καρμίρης [karmíris] (masculine); (η) καρμίρα [karmíra] & καρμίρισσα [karmírisa] (feminine):colloquial for a poor, stingy, miserable and mean person (ie. always feeling “in the red” ! lol )

Darah Putih

January 2, 2015 @ MoC

“Darah putih” (lit. “white blood”). A Malay of noble ancestry, his/her blood is white, not blue. This idiom may be linked to the tragic legendary Princess Mahsuri of Langkawi Island. Accused of adultery by her jealous mother-in-law, Mahsuri was executed by a dagger. It is said that white blood flowed out as a proof of her innocence. Sultan Alaudin Riayat Shah 1 who ruled Malacca was said to be related to Mahsuri. After his death, he came to be known as Marhum Berdarah Putih.

[MALAY LANGUAGE @ MoC ColorCorpus]

Shooting Colors in Malaysia

December 25, 2014 @ MoC

Hi ! We are here in Kuala Lumpur for few weeks (Dec 2014-January 2015), shooting colors and hunting Malay words for our ColorCorpus project. The Textile Museum in Merdeka square is awesome, must visit, the art galleries and the museums are great, must visit as well. KL is pretty colorful and definitely worth exploring; an easy-going and friendly city it is. We had good fun all our days here.

Colorful Victorian Slang

September 8, 2014 @ MoC

Victorian Slang 1:
“Mistresses (known as one’s ‘Convenient’) were not uncommon – a mistress being a lover you had alongside your wife, who you bought with presents and money and even housing. While a man’s legal wife was called a LAWFUL BLANKET, a WIFE IN WATER COLOURS was a mistress, or concubine; water colours being, like their engagements, easily effaced, or dissolved.”

Victorian Slang No2:
“There was also a medical condition known as GREEN SICKNESS, which was the disease of maids occasioned by celibacy. Green sickness was also called “the disease of virgins” or “lover’s fever” and was seen as a common disorder affecting young unmarried girls. Its symptoms included weakness, dietary disturbance, lack of menstruation and most significantly, a change in skin colour. Understanding of the condition turned puberty and virginity into medical problems, and proposed to cure the girls suffering from it by bloodletting, diet, exercise, and marriage. Another name for green sickness was Chlorosis, a form of chronic anemia, primarily of young women, characterized by a greenish-yellow discoloration of the skin and usually associated with deficiency in iron and protein.”

Victorian Slang No3:
“It is assumed that the Victorians were quite a prudish lot. Frank discussions about anything, least of all sex, were strictly taboo. Many euphemisms were products of the Victorian Era. For instance, a leg of poultry became a “drumstick”, thighs became “dark meat”, and breasts became “white meat”***.

*** White Meat: A Victorian term still often used in America for the breast meat of a chicken or turkey, which the British call breast. “May I have some breast?” Winston Churchill once asked his American hostess at a buffet luncheon. “In this country, Mr. Churchill, we say white meat or dark meat”, his hostess replied, a little prissily. Churchill apologized and the next day sent her an orchid along with a card reading, “I would be most obliged if you would pin this on your white meat”. White meat and dark meat are also derogatory slang terms applied to white or black men and women, usually in a sexual sense.