As a child, growing up in San Juan, Batangas, I had always been in awe by the rich and colorful pageantry of the Santacruzan parades of the Flores de Mayo, especially the elaborate yet traditional queenly gowns, ornately beaded and embroidered, and worn by these beautiful Reynas, a social status only given to the best and prettiest of our town. I’d always known that I was uniquely special and what I wanted in life at that early age. In high school, I would design and draw dresses for my female friends and asked our local dressmakers to execute my ideas.
Our family’s economic realities in that provincial town, however, told me then that I could not afford to pursue a fine arts course. Being the eldest of the eight children, I also carried the traditional expectation and responsibility to take care of the education of my siblings and help support the family after I finish my college degree in Manila and find a suitable job. So, I took up the next best thing – Architecture, a more practical art. It finetuned my drawing skills to a draftsman’s level. After two years, the expenses for buying architecture course tools and materials were eating up my food allowance. It was then that I saw a classified ad of a big fashion establishment in Cubao, looking for a fashion designer. And so, with my bubbly personality, I got hired and was paid two pesos a day. But instead of doing fashion design tasks straight away, I was given what to me then was a menial job of reorganizing the big textile storage room according to their type, texture, and color. I felt it was a bummer. But since I’m inherently hardworking, I did it patiently well. With the detailed guidance of the owners, that was, I realized, the first valuable fashion education that I would never learn in school. Soon after, I was assigned to work in the sewing area, near the reception counter. I was made to draw designs for, and later, promoted to deal with the different showbiz and political personalities who were patrons of that fashion establishment.
From then on, my career spiraled into learning how to sell my own fashion creations, operate my own fashion boutique, failed and learned from it, re-opened a new and better shop, and later, launch my first fashion show to high society and closely partner with the fashion press. And because it was my frustration to win in beauty contests, I channeled that passion to dress up beauty queen pageant contestants, some of whom became world-famous, along with my gowns. From my salad days in 1965 to my first proper design boutique in 1975, I can say that my fashion designing career has been blessed to succeed. At times, the Department of Tourism would bring me to different parts of the world, as a fashion ambassador in advocating the promotion of the Philippine culture and its indigenous materials to the world.
Through it all, coffee has been my good source of perking myself up, helping let out my creativity, and calms me after hard work. I thank MX3 coffee for this. When I saw my dressmakers enjoying MX3 and swore by its benefits, I got curious and tried it myself. It’s been years now since then. With my Bikram Yoga and my constant prayers, I can manage stress and still enjoy my bubbly and fabulous life at this age of 72 years old. I am also thankful by the fact that the makers of MX3 are devout Christians because I find that as good assurance that they will do their very best to make MX3 more beneficial and beautiful to their consuming public.
For me, MX3 is like my beautiful fashion creations – fit for a queen anywhere in the world.
“And the LORD God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them.” – Genesis 3:21
FASHION DESIGN ICON & ADVOCATE
QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES
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