During a conversation with a friend a little while ago, he mentioned an artistic and intricate form of embroidery called Burdang Taal. Once I started reading further on it, I became very excited and pursued all contacts - these eventually led me to the lovely, quaint historic town of Taal, at the edge of the Taal Lake, in the province of Batangas, about an hour and a half south of Manila.
Burdang Taal has a special corner in my heart. I had grown up watching my parents wear Burdang Taal - my papa in Taal-embroidered barongs and my mom in a terno. My favorite part of the Burdang Taal embroidery traditions is the callado, where the thread of the cloth is pulled apart, resulting in a fine, filigreed lattice, which beautifully complements and enhances the three dimensional, embossed forms of Burdang Taal embroidery.
Filip + Inna has started working with a group of women in Taal. The workmanship is excellent - in fact, two artisans, Beth and her sister Marie, are recent winners of a local embroidery competition. Holding Burdang Taal embroidery in one's hands, it is hardly possible to distinguish the wrong side from the right. After years of slipping into obscurity, I believe that Burdang Taal should again resume its place in Filipino history.