Likha NZ: Weaving Filipino Heritage in New Zealand

Hi there! I'm Fritzi Udanga, and I'd like to take you on a journey into the heart of Likha NZ, a passion project that my husband Romy and I embarked on to celebrate our Filipino culture right here in New Zealand. It's a story of dreams, artistry, and bridging cultures, all from the perspective of someone who has poured her heart and soul into this venture.


Discovering the Need


Picture this – a vibrant multicultural event in New Zealand where communities from around the world come together to celebrate their cultural heritage. It was at one such event that I noticed something amiss. While other ethnic groups proudly adorned in their traditional attire, many Filipinos were not. Not because we lacked pride in our heritage, but because our beautiful barongs and Filipiniana dresses were scarce in New Zealand.


The Creative Force Behind Likha NZ


Let me introduce myself a bit more. I'm a watercolor artist and a fashion designer, and I decided to blend these talents to breathe life into Likha NZ. At Likha NZ, we create exquisite barong and Filipiniana wear for men, women, and even children of all ages, shapes, and sizes. What's more, many of our designs are exclusively crafted for the New Zealand market, infusing a touch of Filipino culture into the Kiwi landscape.


Catering to New Zealand's Multicultural Demographic


New Zealand's multicultural diversity presented an opportunity we couldn't ignore. With schools, churches, offices, and civic organizations frequently hosting multicultural events, I dreamed of seeing our “kababayans” (fellowmen) in New Zealand proudly wearing our traditional outfits during these gatherings and special occasions like weddings.


The Highs and Lows


Starting a business, especially a social enterprise, is never a walk in the park. But our passion for serving the Filipino community in New Zealand overshadowed the lows. The pure joy we feel when fellow Filipinos express their happiness at finally having access to barong and Filipiniana attire is what keeps us going.


Expanding Horizons


Recently, Romy and I embarked on an incredible journey back to the Philippines. We visited traditional weavers and manufacturers from different regions, forging partnerships and marketing agreements with them. This step added another layer to the social aspect of Likha NZ's enterprise, creating a positive impact not only in New Zealand but also in the Philippines, supporting local artisans and preserving our cultural heritage.


Preserving Heritage and Fostering Pride


For us, Likha NZ is more than just a business; it's a commitment to preserving our heritage, bridging cultures, and fostering a sense of pride among our “kababayans” in New Zealand. Our story is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and unwavering belief in the beauty of Filipino heritage.


Join Us on this Journey


So, here's the invitation: join us on this remarkable journey as we continue to weave Filipino heritage into the vibrant tapestry of New Zealand's multicultural landscape, one beautiful barong and Filipiniana dress at a time. Together, we celebrate our culture, our roots, and our shared identity. Likha NZ isn't just our story; it's a story that belongs to our community, our culture, and all who appreciate the beauty of diversity.