Rambie Lim is a traditional textile advocate and aggregator, a product developer of community crafts and products, a marketing consultant for social enterprises, market fair curator for Whitespace Sunday Pop Up, board member of Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, founding member of HABI: The Philippine Textile Council, and a community development worker for Tao Kalahi Foundation.
Among her many engagements and advocacies, it can be noticed that Rambie’s passion is in the traditional culture and community-based livelihood. The importance of these two aspects of the Filipino life is familiar to many, although actually very few devote their lives in.
According to Rambie, community involvement has always been very strong in her family. Growing up in Lipa, Batangas, she remembers her parents’ jam and business, called Biloy preserves, which made use of local fruits and employed people their neighbors. Their products were given as corporate giveaways and Christmas gifts.
Her involvement in traditional textiles was influenced by the work of her mother, Czarina Lim and aunt Adelaida Lim through Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation. Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation is “a non-profit organization that creates alternative livelihood for women in the more poverty stricken rural areas of Palawan by teaching piña weaving technology. The Foundation also provides the physical and financial infrastructure for these women to engage in this sustainable art form. This endeavor continues to lead to innovations based on the unique looms and weaving methods used on the Island of Palawan.” (http://rurungan.org/)
As for education, her involvement was greatly influenced by her grandmother Aurora H. Roldan, who pioneered speed reading in the Philippines. And creative problem solving, is something that she learned from her grandfather, Robert H. Lim.
Rambie notes, “I have been very fortunate to have many role models and mentors in the different projects I have worked on, each teaching me how to be more efficient and to find the joy in the work that I am doing.”
Aside from role models and mentors, she also recognizes that travel has greatly influenced and broadened her views in life. It was able to help her understand and appreciate people and their work. Rambie shares, “A particular trip that really cemented my traditional textile advocacy was when I accompanied my Aunt Adelaida, when she gave a talk at the World Eco Fiber and Textile Symposium in Kuching, Malaysia. It was there that I saw the diversity and similarities of textiles from all over the world, saw the potential of Philippine textile as a whole. I also met mentors who still influence and guides me to this day.” Further she adds, “Philippine traditional textile is my heart and soul. I will take it as far as I can. My current focus is in mentoring textile entrepreneurs develop and market products that are apt and relevant to the markets available to them. I have also shifted from just producing textiles to full blown (community) development because it is my dream that traditional textiles will be supported by all. In the Philippines that will always just be a dream unless the problems of poverty and the environment are addressed. With Tao Kalahi Foundation I am working towards a secure and transferable sustainable livelihood model.”
Rambie is now based in El Nido, Palawan, as the Director of Tao Kalahi Foundation (http://taophilippines.com/). Her work covers early learning education, skills training, product development for women’s association, and rainforestation.