By Tina Hidalgo Jacinto
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You’ve heard the saying “What’s good for the planet makes for good design and good business.” Not only are natural fabrics more beautiful and get better with age, they also outperform most synthetic materials. The fashion collection entitled “Balik-Saya” featured innovative inspirations from young designers who created designs using local materials. This encourages creativity and ingenuity, implementing designs based on eco-friendly materials.
A collaborative effort of the Intramuros Administration and the beauteous Manila’s 5th District representative, Cristal Bagatsing, the event was held at the newly opened National Museum of Natural History. The venue provided a dramatic background to the fashion collection, which now serves as a cultural platform for exhibitions and presentations.
In her welcome speech, Cristal said, “Now you see the beauty of the Fifth District, which is rich in history, culture, and art: Intramuros, the National Museum, Rizal Park, National Library. But behind these and outside of this beauty, there is a beast of burden, which is poverty.”
The event was attended by prominent locals from government, business, fashion, and society. This year’s panel of judges included Inno Sotto, National Museum director Jeremy Barns, Rep. Lucy Torres Gomez, Criselda Lontok, Lulu Tan Gan, Jo-Ann Bitagcol, Randy Ortiz, dean of SoFA Design Institute Tobias Guggenheimer, Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez, and Rajo Laurel. Cristal believes that by promoting her district via tourism, it would mean more job opportunities, and one need not look far to help and touch people’s lives.
The fashion show commenced with the capsule collection of Jojie Lloren, fashion designer and project mentor. Special award winners were Christian Bulasag from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila for the Fashion+Arts+Business Creatives (F.A.B) award. He received R100,000 scholarship for having the most potential to be one of the best future Filipino designers. Vianka Lorraine Castro from St. Scholastica’s College was the SoFA choice, and she received the Fashion Visionary Award. Lastly, Rana Vashti Sacramento, also from St. Scholastica’s College, received the Rustan’s Iconic award for the most promising in retail design.
The winners for the “Balik-Saya” design competition were the following: 5th place, Margaux Gustilo from St. Scholatica’s College, with R20,000 cash prize; 4th place, Lou Galang from St. Scholastica’s College, with P25,000 cash; 3rd place, Somera Rana from Colegio de San Juan de Letran, with R40,000; 2nd place, Alaine Isabelle Leones, from St. Scholastica’s College, with P60,000; and grand winner, Mariah Parayray from St. Scholastica’s College, who received R100,000 cash and an apprenticeship at Rustan’s SoFA Design Institute extensive workshop. “Balik-Saya” was presented in partnership with the National Museum of the Philippines, TESDA, Rustan’s, Destileria Limtuaco, Illustrado, The Bayleaf Hotels, and the SoFA Design Institute.