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Here's a Look at Today's Modern Baro't Saya

It's especially made for today's Filipina.
Here's a Look at Today's Modern Baro't Saya It's especially made for today's Filipina.

The local fashion scene is undeniably alive thanks to Filipino creativity. However, we can't discount the fact that our fashion aesthetic is also anchored on the ideas that have trickled down from global fashion capitals. Let's not forget that we have an iconic national costume that has been held in high regard by local and international designers alike. However, the modernization of our famous terno or baro't saya needs a bit more gleaning for it to remain relevant today.

This is the goal of the Balik Saya project, headed by the Intramuros Administration (IA) and Manila’s 5th District Representative Cristal Bagatsing. Headlined by a design competition, the project aims to shape Intramuros as a hub for emerging fashion designers and creatives who are driven by both heritage and creative ideas. The competition aims to create contemporary designs for the baro't saya using local materials.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Balik Saya

Representative Cristal Bagatsing with Fashion Designer and Project Mentor Jojie Lloren

“Balik Saya was initially only intended for the youth,” said Representative Cristal Bagatsing. “But there were a lot of queries from seamstresses and out of school youth who were interested to join. So we widened the scope from just the youth to everyone residing in Manila’s 5th district. We now champion an advocacy for everyone in the district to further develop their appreciation for cultural heritage.” 

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IMAGE Courtesy of Balik Saya

Inno Sotto, head judge

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Lucy Torres-Gomez

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Tobias Guggenheimer (the Dean of SoFA Design Institute), Jo-ann Bitagcol, Criselda LontokJo-ann BitagcolTweetie de Leon-Gonzalez, Lulu Tan Gan, and Rajo Laurel.

The 15 finalists were chosen to present their contemporary pieces to an esteemed panel of judges that included Inno Sotto, the head judge, Criselda Lontok, Jo-ann Bitagcol, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Lulu Tan Gan, Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, Tobias Guggenheimer, the Dean of SoFA Design Institute, and Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Balik Saya

Alaine Isabelle Leones from St. Scholastica’s College

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Allana Marie Ecalnea from St. Scholastica’s College

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Christian Bulasag from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

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Jackie Ombao

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Jacob Paiso from Technological University of the Philippines

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Jesus Mauricio Bea

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Maria Nina Luisa Doctor from St. Scholastica’s College

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Mariah Marella Parayray from St. Scholastica’s College

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Miguelito Cabrera

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Rana Vashti Sacramento from St. Scholastica’s College

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Sandra Lou Galang from St. Scholastica’s College

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Somera Rana from Colegio de San Juan de Letran

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Vianka Lorraine Castro from St. Scholastica’s College

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Zayre Capangyarihan

The creations were judged based on design, workmanship, wearability, and originality. The finished design should consist of at least 25% indigenous fabrics like piña, jusi, and inabel, among others. The project's mentor, renowned fashion designer Jojie Lloren, also showcased his own capsule collection.

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Five winning designers brought home cash prizes (up to P100,000 for the first prize), an apprenticeship at Rustan's, accommodation at The Bayleaf in Intramuros, and a workshop from SoFA Design Institute. Apart from the Top 5 winners, special prizes were also awarded and the recepients were given scholarships at F.A.B. Creatives worth P100,000.

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5th place, Margaux Gustilo from St. Scholastica’s College

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4th place, Lou Galang from St. Scholastica’s College, represented by dad Carmelito Galang, Jr.

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3rd place, Somera Rana from Colegio de San Juan de Letran

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2nd place, Alaine Isabelle Leones from St. Scholastica’s College, represented by mom Maria Victoria Leones

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Grand Winner, Mariah Marella Parayray from St. Scholastica’s College, awarded by Manila’s 5th District Representative Cristal Bagatsing, Intramuros Administrator Atty. Guiller Asido, and National Museum Director Jeremy Barns.

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Special awards include Rustan’s Iconic Award, and Fashion+Arts+Business Creatives gives the F.A.B. Award for the designer who has the most potential to become one of the most important Filipino designers in the future. The recipient of the award gets a scholarship at F.A.B. Creatives worth P100,000.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Balik Saya

F.A.B. Choice Christian Bulasag from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, awarded by Patricia Lagunda and Albert Avellana, Directors of Fashion+Arts+Business Creatives

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SoFA Choice or the Fashion Visionary Award was given to Vianka Lorraine Castro from St. Scholastica’s College, awarded by Tobias Guggenheimer, Dean of SoFA Design Institute

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Rustan’s Iconic Award went to Rana Vashti Sacramento from St. Scholastica’s College, awarded by Michael Huang, Rustan’s Vice President of Store Development and Expansion.

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