DAVAO CITY – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray shared snapshots of her visit to the weavers in Yakan Village, Zamboanga City on her Facebook page on Thursday.
“Such an honor to have the opportunity to meet Zalma Ballati, siya ang Master Weaver of Yakan Village, Zamboanga City,” she said.
Gray shared that Ballati has mastered the seven types of Yakan designs.
“At gumagawa rin siya ng sarili niyang disenyo,” she said.
She said Ballati was taught by her mother, and was also teaching the art of Yakan weaving to the younger generation.
Gray also encouraged the public to support the Yakan community in Zamboanga.
“You can directly support the Yakan community in Zamboanga that is made up of 40 families by purchasing their handmade and hand woven products,” Gray wrote.
“Nakakatuwa yung feeling kasi kapag magpurchase ka, alam mo na you’re supporting a community and a craft that is uniquely Filipino,” she added.
Gray is a “One Town One Product” ambassadress for the Department of Trade Industry (DTI).
OTOP is a stimulus program for Micro, Small & Medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) to develop and market the priority products of a locality.
OTOP Philippines said the Miss Universe also met with “otopreneurs” in Zamboanga Peninsula and was welcomed by Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco.
“Catriona Gray is constantly sharing her love and appreciation for our OTOP Products and she is an inspiration to all to support and buy local,” OTOP Philippines said in a statement.
“Here at this Yakan weaving community, the youngest weaver is only 11 years old. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, truly knows the importance of learning about our Filipino heritage, and passing it down from generation to generation,” it added.
OTOP Philippines said it made sure to follow all the guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety of the participants.