Heyasmin Aida Fernandez Awardee 2006
Heyasmin Aida Fernandez grew up in a house with four pedal looms that she, her parents, and grandmother used.
At age 8 she learned how to weave, and as a teenager, how to set the warp.
After graduating with a degree in History from the Northwestern University in Ilocos Norte, she took a teaching post at the School of Craftsmen in Paoay where she taught weaving. It was there that she developed a method of encoding designs, which students could use as a reference. Before that, weavers worked by rote-weaving designs according to how they learned them. Because of the encoded reference, even young weavers can now recreate traditional patterns and motifs, which would have otherwise been lost forever. Now 53, Manang Aida tutors practicing weavers on traditional and new designs, which she herself developed from her home in Barangay Nalasin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.