Canada Philippine Fashion Week – Day 2

June 12, 2014 marks the 116th Philippine Independence Day! The night’s festivities circled around the theme “Independencia: Filipino Style + Pride”, with the celebration taking place at The Guvernment Night Club. Proud sponsors, delegates, and an array of Filipino talent were among those in attendance.

The night kicked off with a walk down the red carpet, followed by cocktails and mingling in the main room of the club. Many who attended wore traditional Filipino garments, some men in barongs, and some women in dresses with the terno or “butterfly” sleeves.

After many a camera flash, everyone took their seats as Founder and Executive Director, Jeff Rustia, took the stage as MC. After standing for the Philippine and Canadian national anthems, the crowd was entertained by several performers including traditional dancers and Toronto-based singer Victoria Marie.

As the crowd anxiously awaited the fashion shows to begin, the runway was first graced with the “Lechon Parade,” two succulent roasted pigs wheeled down the runway! This served as an invitation to enjoy a sample of traditional Filipino cuisine as servers passed small take out boxes of food to the crowd. The lechon and rice, pandesal (sweet bun), shaghai rolls and pansit (noodles, mixed with chicken and veggies) were generously provided by the Quiapo! Quiapo! Restaurant.


Finally, with bellies content and drinks in hand, the first of 3 runway shows began! First up was designer Shanon Pamaong, who’s latest collection showcased traditional Filipino fabrics shaped and tailored into wondrous modern pieces. Part garment, part sculpture, all fashion flare is the best way to describe Pamaong’s highly architectural collection.

Next were the creations designed by the finalists of the “Project Terno” contest. The idea was to show modern or contemporary interpretations of garments featuring the terno or “butterfly” dress sleeves. The results were both varied and stunning!

Lastly, the much anticipated collection of premier Fashion Designer, Renee Salud, was featured. Models strutted down the runway in her lavish creations against the LED screen backdrop featuring lush images of colourful flowers and bursting geometric graphics. Salud’s line of formal wear featured airy, yet tailored silhouettes for the gentleman, and bold glamourous shapes and embellishments for the ladies. A mixture of modern and traditional Filipino fabrications were used as well.

In between and after the shows, guests were invited to enjoy sweets and treats courtesy of Deehs Delights. I, however, took the opportunity to check out some of the action backstage. It was, of course, characteristically chaotic, what with the hustle and bustle of models, make up artists, hair stylists and designers carefully storing their beautiful creations. I was lucky enough to meet and greet Designer Shanon Pamaong and shake the hand of the host himself, Jeff Rustia! It was a proud night for me as well, as I applauded the efforts of my fellow Filipinos to take pride in and share the best that the culture has to offer.