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ASIST/UA, in collaboration with DOST-CAR, DOST-PTRI, and the Asia Livelihood Network - Japan, recently organized a remarkable event titled 'Abel Ti Abra: Tradition Meets Innovation'. This program, held in Gov. Adres Bernos Memorial Gymnasium, ASIST/UA Bangued, brought together a fusion of tradition and innovation, spotlighting the rich heritage of handwoven textiles alongside the allure of fabric from Japan.

The event featured an impressive exhibition where products from Abra, DOST-CAR, and Japan's fabric industries were showcased. DOST's exhibit particularly highlighted the use of natural dyes and innovative bamboo fabrics made from Yellow Bamboo, Bayug, Puser, and Buho varieties, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

However, the main highlight of the event was the captivating fashion show. Models elegantly showcased garments made from 'Abel' and fabrics from Japan, each design a testament to the seamless integration of tradition and modernity. Notably, the loom weave fabric wear of the models was meticulously designed and sewed by ASIST faculty and students, showcasing their talent and creativity. ASIST, known for its commitment to innovation and education, offers a Fashion and Design Course under Bachelor in Industrial Technology, highlighting the institution's dedication to nurturing talent and creativity in the region.

The fashion show was not only a display of artistry but also a celebration of culture and heritage where in the models are students of ASIST/UA. It served as a platform to honor the skilled artisans of Abra, especially the talented loom weavers from Licuan-Baay, Bucloc, Peñarrubia, Dolores and La Paz Abra, whose intricate craftsmanship has preserved the ancient tradition of 'Abel' textiles through generations. During the event, these artisans were formally recognized and honored with certificates of appreciation for their invaluable contributions to the cultural heritage of the region.

Additionally, the event marked a significant milestone in partnership building, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DOST-CAR, DOST-PTRI, the Asia Livelihood Network, and ASIST. This MoU aimed to further strengthen the collaboration and synergy among the signatories, fostering mutual support and cooperation in advancing research, development, and innovation initiatives in the region.

Among the esteemed guests were Dr. Nancy Bantog, the Regional Director of DOST-CAR, Ma'am Aileen Malangen, officials and employees of DOST-Abra and other officials from various Government Agencies and LGUs of Abra. Also in attendance were Dr. Mami Kagawa, Director of the Asia Livelihood Network, along with other officials from Japan. Officials and employees of DOST-PTRI, headed by Dr. Julius Leaño, added to the distinguished gathering. ASIST faculty, staff, and students, alongside Dr. Gregorio Turqueza Jr., President of ASIST, the soon-to-be University of Abra, contributed to the event's success with their enthusiastic participation and support.

The 'Abel Ti Abra' event served as a powerful reminder of the resilience of culture in the face of change. By bridging the gap between tradition and innovation, initiatives like this empower communities to preserve their heritage while embracing the opportunities of the future. Source: UA Bangued Online\