Weaving in Panay, particularly in Iloilo, dates back to the pre-Spanish times. By the half of the 18th century, Iloilo already experienced the advent of large-scale weaving. It was already referred to as "the textile capital of the Philippines" by the 19th century.
The most popular and still existing finished item of Iloilo's weaving industry is the patadyong or wrap-around because of its encompassing bearing and meaning in the life of the people. The patadyong is more than just a garment as a skirt or wrap around for women. It serves as an umbrella to protect one from the heat of the sun and the onslaught of the rain. It also serves as a towel and apron combined. It functions also as a one-piece bathing suit when bathing outdoors and is worn when washing clothes in the river. It can be used as a private nook by which one can change her attire. It also functions as a crib for the baby when hooked to a beam in the wall or the ceiling and can be used as a sling to carry the baby while walking or moving around.
As with many Filipino traditional crafts, textile weaving has become marginal in Panay. At present, it worn only in the rural areas and, at times, in cultural presentations and generally only by mature women yet it has not lost its utilitarian value. With the growing market in Manila and abroad, weaving has made a limited but successful comeback, particularly in Kalibo, Miag-ao, Bugasong, Sibalom, Arevalo, and Oton. Most Panayanon weavers do not seem to fear that it will disappear someday. To them, the patadyong will always be needed and use of it cannot be filled by anything else. With this, I support my fellow Panayanons. I utilized patadyong as boxer shorts since I love wearing boxers. So it's not only useful to women now.
Afterall, the patadyong is not just a fabric but is part and parcel of the Panayanon history and culture.
Thanks to NewsToday for the information.