78 comments on “Taking hints from Philippine Festivals for Ara Arida’s National Costume

  1. Hi allguys. Just want to ask where can I rent filipino tribal costumes just like yung sa mga ngpapageants pero yung dipo ganun karevealing. Puro po kc gown nkikita ko khit sa ig eh. Thank you 🙂

  2. Kuya Norman,I think you have any contact w/ organizers or past binibinis who can speak w/ SMA.Why dont you propose to them a NC making contest.I think you are quite known now,please email to them.

      • Thailand has a designer’s contest for their national costume, right?

      • BPCI should follow suit and reach out to art and design schools in the Philippines. Can you imagine the quality and volume of ideas coming from aspiring artists and designers this outreach would elicit on a national scale?!

    • Mas mabuti kapag gumamit ng Festival Costume si Ariella para sa National Costume nya sa Ms. Universe kagaya ng Sinulog Festival Queens..!! kasi standout kapag gumamit ng mga malalaking Nat.cos…!!! Especially pag may BAck and Head Dress…!!! 🙂

  3. I like the saimanok idea. I hope Ara won’t refuse it even if the sarimanok is a representation of a totem spirit based on Maranao legends.

    • Well, although the sarimanok is a representation of a pagan spirit, I’m sure Ara can still wear it because it is also a symbol of the country!

  4. During Ruffa Gutierrez’s time, BPCI allowed Manong Ben Ferrales to make the gorgeous Sarimanok national costume ( 1993 ), I was thinking, if BPCI allowed manong Ben F. before, then let BPCI have Michael Cinco design and make Ariella’s NC this year?
    Ruffa Gutierrez stood out that year in Miss World 93, with her towering height and strong presence, malayo pa lang nakikita mo na siya sa stage.
    SARIMANOK ang pinaka tumatatak sa mga naging NC, ng Pilipinas, kailangan pekeng balahibo ng ibon ang gamitin para respeto sa mga alaga natin. 

    • I’ll be really happy if Cinco will be given the privilege to design the NC + evening gown! 🙂 Taob lahat ng candidates for sure!

    • @PinayGem


      How about we merge the Filipiniana with the Sarimanok/haribon inspired costumes of the
      Bench fashion show by Cary Santiago?

      We could make it colorful sparkling and floor length with butterfly sleeves shaped like feathers/tiny wings.

      For the colors: Instead of plain yellow we’ll use shimmering gold along w/ red and green.

      We could create a headdress that artistically depicts our national symbols : the sun, the stars, waling-waling, anahaw, pearl, Sea lion etc.

      I hope our contestant will hold a sword but instead of the Hispanic escudo, she will be holding a Kalis/Kris.

      *note : Prior to Singapore, we had the sea lion as a symbol since the Spanish era but ours is holding a sword.

      • @Closer2Fame

        Napaka galing ng suhestiyon mo closer, kakaiba at merong temang mandirigma at Diosa…… Tama!!!
        Diosa ang peg!!!, 

  5. madalas nananalo mga heavy weight costumes mga malalaki, so i prefer sarimanok or philippine eagle inspired

  6. My suggestions:

    Select a national costume that would invoke a sense of nationalism by using our very own Festivals (Dinagyang, Sinulog, Ati-Atihan, etc) as an inspiration.

    We all know that Miss Universe is a great venue to showcase the Philippines to the world, she will not only standout by wearing unique festival costumes, but also promote our country’s tourism. Why not BPCI tap Dept. of Tourism?

    Filipiñana/Maria Clara days are over!

  7. @Closer2Fame

    Your a genius!

    With your explanation. I now love a Goddess costume. Maybe one of Michael Cinco’s creations could become one.
    I love your idea of his beige gown and pairing it with wings and a halo. 🙂
    It would be spectacular! 😀

      • @Closer

        I just saw the beige Finale gown you mentioned! It’s superb! I wish Michael Cinco would make a gold version with the gold rubber wings and a halo… Love it!!!

  8. Seriously… These costumes are all beautiful.

    It really makes me appreciate Philippines even more.

    I wish BB Pilipinas will make our girl wear something like this. The vision and the colors are truly captivating.

    And I also wish that the Philippine government would invest or at least help in promoting these kind of festivals.

    I remember when I was younger, when I was living in the Philippines… I always hear about these festivals all the freakin time, but people rarely get interested, because its always very low budget…. I think it’s time to change that!

    Philippines has so much to offer! It really is a tourist destination…. Just wish the government would realize that and capitalize on it.

  9. No matter how many times we suggest a National Costume for our delegates, it will still be a Barazza costume. *Sigh*

  10. @Closer2Fame
    Napaka husay ng mga suhestiyon mo, at partikular na ang Darna,ipagpatuloy mo ang malikhaing talino na ipinagkaluob sa iyo, at ako’y natutuwa dahil sa talino mong iyan, alam na alam mo Kung sino ang mga “Aswang” na nagbabalatkayo……. O di ba, dahil Kay “Darna” pupuksain mo ang mga aswang para sagipin ang sanlibutan!
    I’m very glad closer that you did open your eyes and so with Marcus that this blog is being played in their negative vibes and hiding in their questionable positive ( inputs),
    and you dearly know what I mean.

    • @PInayGem


      Ngayon ko lang napansin.. Andami pala nilang manloloko dito… dapat talaga me special screening kung sino ang pwede mag comment dito like you have to answer a question that only a hardcore Filipino could.. hahaha Alam ko lahat sila pinagtutulungan tayo ngayon because we’re the one to beat.. Ang duda ko, ilan sa mga kalaban nag hire ng PR or Digital marketing agency para lang gawan ng paraan to sabotage us…I guess, kailangan din natin mag commento ng makabuluhan para hindi tayo matabanunan ng negatibong commento/tags ang mga post tungkol sa ating candidata.. Hindi na natin kailangan magbayad ng ahensya dahil tayo mismong mga normal na mamamayan ang kaya gumawa ng kabutihan para sa ating bansa.. Kaya natin to!

      • @Closer2Fame
        May mga nilalang na ang kasiyahan eh maging negatibo at walang maidudulot na positibong suhestiyon, bagkus nagtatago na akala mo eh tumutulong kundi nilalait ang ating kandidata na walang pakundangan,
        hindi naman siguro kalabisan na magmalasakit sa ating kandidata, dahil ginagawa lahat lahat ng ating kandidata para paghandaan ang pandaigdigang patimpalak na kagandahan, ang sa akin lang, Kung wala ka rin lang sasabihing maganda eh manahimik ka na lang, at ang pinaka walang puso mong gawin ay magbalatkayo na lunurin sa papuri ang ating kandidata, ngunit puro insulto at lait ang nakatago sa mga mensaheng iyon.
        Ipagpatuloy ang mga positibong suhestiyon Closer, nakakalungkot na may mga nilalang na may mentalidad na talangka.
        Ikaw, si Marcus, at si Phillip Bobby Sr. ay aking hinahangaan sa pagsuporta at pagmamahal sa ating kandidata, ipagpatuloy natin ang pagsuporta sa ating mahal na kandidata at alam kong gagabayan tayo ng Poong Maykapal.

  11. Ang ganda ng mga custome, parang sa brazil , mexico, panama. Eh diba this is catholic celebration of santo nino? May hawak silang santo nino de cebu. Do u think ara will hold santo with those colorful costume everybody knows she is INC! Tama dapat we should show to the world this colorful costume bec this is part of being filipino.

    • I don’t think Ara is allowed by her church to carry a statue of the Santo Nino. 😦

      • Maybe the costume without the statue? Would that be acceptable by her church (or the rest of the country if she doesn’t carry a statue)? Don’t know if I’m treading on thin ice with the suggestion… sorry…

      • Ganun? Kaya nga nagkaroon ng sinulog festival because of santo nino de cebu! Pero ang ganda talaga ng sinulog custome kapag ganito sinuot ni ara sa national custome parade bongga siya!

  12. I want a costume inspired by the “Taong-Putik Festival” in Aliaga Nueva Ecija.
    Taong Putik originated from a unique practice of the devotees of Saint John the Baptist in Bibiclat, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. Their bodies are completely coated with mud and adorned with vines, banana leaves or dried coconut leaves to hide their identity and as an act of humility and penance.
    That will be a hit in Moscow, Ara coated with mud.

    • oh basil, you’re so creative! luv it! and no need to pack. mud is available anywhere. and it’s free!

      • @Bertha Venation

        Why don’t you say that in real Tagalog?…
        Nagpapangap ka na Pilipino para idamay mo kami sa kasamaan mo.

      • @Basil

        E anong tawag sayo?!
        Kung galit ka sa mundo.. wag ka mandamay!

      • @Basil

        Bitch please, am I talking to you? 😉

        Are you affected because I’m against one of your fans who’s goal is to degrade our people?

        Or are you guys the same person?

      • @Basil

        Bitch please, am I talking to you?

        Are you affected because I’m against one of your fans who’s goal is to degrade our people?

        Or are you guys the same person?

      • Ang mga ka-impyerno ni cloer2death at ang sanssinukob na diablo ay nagsama-sama.
        Pwes, hindi nyo ko mawiwindang,dahil I have the heart to serve and a strong mind to show to people.

      • @Basil

        Your mirroring yourself again… If you want to stay in hell, just leave us out of it..
        You have the heart to serve who?!..The devil?! Bitch, please! 🙂

      • @closer2death,
        I won’t leave you, because a hell without you is not a hell.
        You are the epitome of Satanism, and so do I, because you are my idol.
        I Thank You!

  13. For our potential national costume,
    Here is my list:

    1. If you want a more contemporary look..
    I choose a Darna super hero costume with a red and gold cape, giant sculptured shoulders and a bigger tiara.
    2. if you want a Muslim princess look, a gold singkil costume that’s heavily beaded and emproidered would do.
    3. For a Goddess look, I want to see gold, pearls, tambourines, a headress, silk, and so on…
    4. If you want the classic Maria Clara, I suggest the one with a fit and and tucked barong top to give it a modern twist.
    a black full a-line silk skirt with a golden sheen and painted with hibiscuss or waling-waling.
    5. If you want the Filipiniana, I choose the beige finale gown of Michael Cinco.
    Just add butterfly sleeves, giant gold wings, a crown, a halo and a gold santo nino.
    Its very high fashion avant garde Sinulog.

    • I think the Darna costume is tacky, especially since it’s clearly just a bootleg Wonder Woman.

      I think we should also stay away from the Muslim princess since that was already the costume last year.

      I cannot picture the goddess look… she might end up looking Greek.

      I also want to stay away from the Filipiniana and Maria Clara… it’s very predictable.

      I saw a sketch somewhere, it’s like barong tagalog but made to fit a woman’s body. Maybe tighter sleeves but big shoulders. Black harem pants (again it’s all about the fit) and black knee high boots. Accessorize with her hair braided and a conical hat just hanging on her back… plus an old fashioned rifle with a bayonet as a prop. I think that’s very Filipino and at the same time, very woman empowering. Only downside is, while everyone’s costumes would be popping with colors, Ara will be in black and white… but that could be an advantage 😉

      • Just so you know, guys, I’m loving all the exchange of ideas about Ara’s NC. My hunch is that someone up there at Gateway might have already taken a peek at the thread. Not the Madame, but hopefully someone who can relay suggestions to her. 😉

      • Darna is a local comic character that has been part of the Filipino culture for the past 63 years. She was a poor orphan girl who was given powers that she used it to help change other people’s lives while sacrificing her own. She gave hope to several generations of Filipinos who inherited the oppressed mentality of our colonial past. Aside from the extremely different story line, Darna was inspired by Superman not Wonder Woman. After a year of comic book appearance, She inspired 14 local movies for half a century where as Wonder Woman has none. She also inspired a tv series in the 70’s and 2 more successful highly rated shows during the past decade. In the Philippines, few people know Wonder Woman but everyone here knows Darna.

        Aside from the fact that our last Miss Universe, Margarita Roxas Moran wore a Muslim princess costume, I also have several reasons why I chose it. The Philippines may only have 9% Muslim population (15% if Sabah is included) but it was one of the major religions of the pre-colonial Filipinos. The Singkil dance of the Maranaos may portray a Muslim princess and a Datu but it is actually their tribes interpretation of the Ramayana when Sita was saved by the Hindu god Hanuman which is a tradition that is older than the arrival of Islam on our shores. As this year’s past issue, I see it as a support for our Sultanate of Sulu’s claim over Sabah which is rightfully and historically ours. It’s a statement how our own land is currently being invaded by our neighbors to utilize it’s natural resources and we need to rally our support against these invaders. (Spratley’s, Turtle Islands, Scarborough Shoal, etc.)

        The Goddesses, Mutyas (Muse) and Diwatas (Devata) of the Philippines are the guardian spirits of nature, casting blessings or curses upon those who bring benefits or harm to the forests and mountains. They have their origin in the Devata beings included in Hinduism and Buddhism. An example is the Apsara, a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology which is also known as Vidhya Dhari in sanskrit or Birradali in Tausug. Part of these Hindu supernaturals are assimilations of the Greek gods (Muses) when the Greeks arrived on India during the Alexandrian conquest and later on, their descendants reached our islands a few millenniums ago. It is from the Inang Bayan where the diwa (idea/spirit) or the original spirit of our race and land would emerge. So, for our forebears the Inang Bayan was not an abstract concept of nationalism but a spiritual experience of communion with the Mother Goddess of the Land. It is a devotional love given to her as the spirit of the place – the guardian of the place and the owner of the wealth it possesses. She is the Mutya, the spiritual force – the power, beauty and wonder of the land. It is the pristine spirit, the Mutya, which is the focus of many devotions. She is loved to the point of sacrifice. Her great lovers were our ancient bayani, magani, bagani, (warrior leaders and heroes, activist martyrs and revolutionary saints) who fought as brave warriors in defense of Inang Bayan and as dauntless protectors and devotees of her inherent freedom. Our interpretation of a goddess has already evolved far from the Greeks.

        I agree that the Filipiniana and Maria Clara look maybe too redundant to showcase but it is already established that it is what our country has been known for. It is a classic design that inspired the costumes of many of our various festivals and traditions. It is so diverse that we have not dressed all our candidates with all the possible designs that we could actually use on those festivities. My purpose of using it as inspiration is to showcase the Filipino talent if ever someone like Michael Cinco, an Internationally renowned Filipino fashion designer would be given such an honorable opportunity. His interpretation will give a modern perspective to what is very traditional. It will create recall that could open the eyes of the world and see what we Filipinos are good at.

        With regards to your design, I think a Filipina holding a bayonet or looking like a female “Guardia Civil” represents more of the people who oppressed and persecuted our people. It lacks the colorful traditional, historical and cultural representation of the real Filipinos. Nice try though. 🙂

      • Oh yeah, Wonder Woman had 1 Animated Movie… Just to be fair. 🙂

      • Wow Closer2Fame! Ur taking this very seriously! :p

        Thanks for the explanation… unfortunately though, Ara would only have a few minutes (if not seconds) of showcasing the costume and wouldn’t even be given a chance to talk about it’s inspiration. I do not think people from around the world would understand the costume ideas you have given and how it related to the Filipino culture. It was never about big head dresses, or combination of vibrant colors that wins best in national costume. Miss China’s costume last year wasn’t colorful and though she had a huge head piece, there were a lot bigger and fancier head pieces. She won because she basically wore “China”. Same thing with Kurara Chibana in 2006… her costume was screaming “JAPAN”. And you would think the Maria Clara or Filipiniana would do that trick, but it’s been tried and tested and it apparently does not.

        My costume suggestion was not my vision at all… it was something I came across that has not been tried before and I think it’s worth a shot. And while you think it represents more of those who oppressed the Filipinos, I actually think it represents those who fought the oppressors… “Guardia Civil” wouldn’t wear a Barong Tagalog, let alone a wooden conical hat ;p I think similar to Kurara Chibana’s costume… it’s a male costume with a female spin to it. My only issue about this costume is that it does not scream enough “Philippines”.

      • @Mokwet

        Ara doesn’t need to talk about the inspiration because there’s a commentator who would (ex. MU 2012 Nat. Cos. Presentation – http://youtu.be/OrIHgI91zUo ) The more unusual, elaborate, or intricate is the costume, the more likely that it would catch attention and spark interest in the people who would see it. The preliminaries of the national costume is like a media launch where the press(reporters, writers, photographers, bloggers, etc) would have field day. The most notable gowns would probably hit the headlines on TV, radio, newspaper, and the online social media which will catch the attention of the public and it would be a good reason for the press to interview her about it. The least possible scenario is that people would search it online and learn more about it’s inspiration which should not be plain disappointing.

        Without the machine embroidered patterns on it and the fan headdress, the Miss China’s gown is just any bizarre western couture runway look. It got more interesting when people discovered that all of the patterns of the embroidery are a tribute to the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. Under the Qing, traditional forms of art flourished and innovations were made at many levels and in many types. High levels of literacy, prosperous cities, successful publishing industry, and the Confucian emphasis on cultivation all fed a lively and creative set of cultural fields. It has been the major inspiration of almost any Chinese art circulating outside China specially the US. I don’t think anyone would know all these by just seeing her her national costume alone and she barely speaks English. That is where “GOOGLE” comes in. It also helps that the US borrowed trillions from China, trump has an investment in China and that award is a perfect consolation since a lot of other countries (we included) hated China that year.

        As for Miss Japan in 2006, her case is a bit different. It is a modern cos-play/anime interpretation of the Samurai. The Samurais are famous all over the world for being the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan. They were also known for being bound by a code of honor and were expected to set an example for those below them. People in the US already has a fad about it since there was a remake of the movie “The last Samurai” in 2003 which is 3 years prior to the pageant. Aside from Japanese TV and Movies always depicting a samurai character, their also very familiar with the Samurai in American cartoons- Samurai jack, marvel comics- Silver samurai and Anime – Ex. Samurai Champloo, Requiem from the Darkness, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and Afro Samurai. It was also a perfect consolation since Japan’s contestant that year was not that competitive but Trump needed to highlight them due to his investments on Japan’s fast rising economy during that time. Thus, Japan wins in 2007 when they became the highest economy in the world.

        As for your barong tagalog that’s not tucked, Wooden conical hat (Salakot), long black pants and a bayonete. I’m not sure if your talking about a Filipino rebel or Juan dela Cruz, the original cartoon character who was portrayed by activists as a victim of American imperialism, especially since many editorial cartoons of the American period often depicted him alongside Uncle Sam. He also refers to the collective Filipino psyche just like Juan Tamad. A legend persists that the Spaniards made Filipinos wear their barong untucked to distinguish them from the ruling class; its translucent fabric allegedly helped the Spaniards to see that the wearer was not bearing a weapon underneath which would make it ironic for her to hold a bayonet.(Unless,she stole the weapon from the colonizers) Supposedly, the native Filipinos were also prohibited by the Spaniards from tucking in their shirts, which served to designate their low rank as well as to distinguish them from the people of mixed descent, the mestizaje, and the islanders, or insulares. It would also be ironic if she was a member of the principalia who’s ideals is for us to become a province of Spain or a State of the US. It sounds like your female version of Juan dela Cruz portrays a victim turned radical. I still prefer the noble heroism of Darna, who’s also a cartoon character but yours does sound more Filipino though.

        Any of the 5 options that I chose is for the purpose of giving a good message to the whole world of what we Filipinos are all about. As you can see, the success of winning the National costume is very evident. Setting aside the beauty and politics as given factors, the winning formula also needs the viewers familliarity, the historical background behind it and the message that is projected to the people who see it. Before we deploy a national costume, it should be studied carefully and it should be able to promote tourism in our country. 🙂

  14. YES, YES, AND YES!!! I’M LOVING ALL THE COMMENTS AND SUPPORT FOR A NATIONAL COSTUME DONE BY A LOCAL DESIGNER! YES! We are sooooo much more than what Columbia and Madame Stella perceive us to be. I don’t care what the inspiration is just DON’T give us another Terno or Maria Clara or butterflies on steroids!!! Give us a national costume inspired by Ara’s hybiscus, any of the fiestas, any of the tribes, any of the flora/fauna, ANYTHING but a Columbian inspired concept of who we are. The pictures posted, the links given as suggestions, the national pride to promote the beauty of our country and its people, the united voices in this thread should rattle Madame Stella to her bones and make her realize that it is waaaaaay past time to change the way our National Costumes are conceived, perceived, created, and designed and all of that will easily come from a great local designer and not from someone who has never set foot in our beautiful country nor experienced the beauty and culture of Filipinos. The time for change is right AND THE TIME IS NOW!!!

    • Sorry. I was so gung ho that I actually misspelled Colombia. Hummmm… Guess I must really not want Columbia, uh, Colombia involved anymore. Cut that umbilical cord Madame Stella!

      • @Phillip Bobby Sr.
        Good to read your inputs, truly it empowers our MUP 2013 Ariella, I hope to read more of your inputs, cause it spells RELEVANCE!!!

  15. How about something sexy like Josephine Baker’s famous banana skirt? They do have plenty of bananas in the islands, right?

    • @Bertha Venation

      It seems that your an expert in digital marketing…

      I don’t know if you work for a digital marketing firm, a PR agency, or your just some ordinary blogger trolling around these posts. There is a reason why my people are the most active in the social medias and no amount of black propaganda can pull down 108 million Filipinos. You can comment as many negative tags on our posts but you will just make our candidate more famous.
      I am confident that Ariella Arida will do well at Miss Universe 2013! I can’t wait for November! 😀

      • so, does that mean you don’t like banana skirts? too bad cuz Ara would really, and I mean really, look sexy in a banana skirt…

  16. World class talents. I just hope to see one of these great creations be worn by our representatives in big pageants.

  17. This is again, another wishful thinking Kuya Norman. Pero are we using Colombian designer again you think?

    • I hope that using Pitoy Moreno’s creation last year signals a return to local designers for the National Costume at least.

  18. Most of these festivals are from religious or pagan traditions. If you go by how Ara bailed on the Sta. Cruzan then it stands to reason that she will not agree to wear anything like the costumes you are all suggesting.
    Her conviction which some of you applaud, should prevent her from wearing anything that is not sanctioned by her church.
    If that’s the case better wear something non religious… like something that evokes the natural beauty of the Philippines: flowers, mountains, beach, ocean, coconuts.

    • yung ibang regional costumes pwedeng pwede yang suutin ni ariella pero pagmay mga religious images na taliwas sa kanilang paniniwalang espiritwal,malamang hindi niya yan suutin.

  19. Nice pictures there, Kuya Norman. I just thought that since you’ve highlighted Philippine festivals, I could just put my suggestions here.

    For the Sinulog, here is Sinulog 2013 BEST COSTUME during the Festival Queen competition.

    *that’s just one of the many wonderful costumes Sinulog can offer.

    I’d also like to suggest a costume looking like this to highlight the Philippines as a top dive spot with its many coral reefs (with famous ones such as the Tubbataha Reef), and the Philippines as PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS (c/o the huge clam as backdress in picture 2 and 3):

    And since you’ve mentioned the flowery Panagbenga of Baguio, I’d suggest the more-creative costumes (still flowery) of Pintaflores Festival of San Carlos City, Negros.

    or this one who merges the PINTADOS with FLOWERS:
    pintaflores 2012 298

    Pardon me, Norman. I’m as excstatic in festivals, because of the costumes, as well as in pageants. My list could go on forever! Haha!

  20. I love the eagle from Sinulog.

    Seriously…….. I don’t understand why our national costume in Miss Universe ALWAYS look like shit… Very plain and simple Filipiniana / Mara Clara……. Who picks them?! Do they have no taste?

    Don’t get me wrong… I love the Filipiniana / Mara Clara look… But there are ALOT more to choose from….

    There’s so many tribes in the Philippines…. Aeta being one of them… And alot of Festivals …. Like Ati-Atihan, Sinulog, Santa Cruzan, etc…. It doesn’t just have to be the Filipiniana look!

  21. Norman, I love the colorful Sinulog costumes especially with the iconic statue of the Child Jesus. It also reflects in many ways Russia’s centuries-old tradition of iconography and their reverence for holy images, especially for the Christ Child.

  22. Excellent suggestions, Norman!

    Although many people think it might not be worth it to “invest” in a national costume since it really doesn’t do much in determining a candidate’s chances in winning the title, the national costumes play an important role in the pageant’s tradition and is an opportunity for each country to make a bold and memorable statement about their culture how matter brief that opportunity may be.

    Pre-pageant activities which involve the candidates’ national costumes will be viewed more extensively by the Russian press and the Russian people themselves. It is usually the most anticipated event by the locals. At the very least, a stunning Philippine costume could pique Russians’ interest about the Philippines and could potentially boost more tourism to the Philippines from Russia and Eastern Europe. The Philippine Dept. of Tourism should work closely with the BPCI to maximize their efforts and think of this as a joint tourism-driven effort. For its part the Dept. of Tourism can assist the BPCI by having the national costume delivered by diplomatic courier to the Philippine embassy in Moscow if necessary so Ara won’t have to lug it along if the costume is too elaborate or to heavy! That’s just one example among many as to how these two organizations can work together.

    Essentially, we should look at the national costume presentation as an opportunity to have a walking and talking billboard about what the Philippines has to offer, presented right there on the world’s most prestigious international beauty pageant in front of a billion viewers. Why let that opportunity go to waste? This investment of creativity, effort and money could go a long way into fostering a very positive cultural image of the Philppines in Russia, in Eastern Europe and to the rest of the world.

    • @Vendetta 711, Philip Advincula and Norman

      I’m so happy that there are other guys like you who get’s it and I’m not alone in this world.
      We really need to help each other out so that our voices would be heard!
      I hope Ara reads this beautiful blog and specially these informative comments.
      I hope she see’s how passionate we are in wanting to help our country and people.
      It doesn’t matter if she has regional accent or she’s not fluent in English.
      She will know what to say and be engaging in doing so if she speaks from her heart.

  23. Your article, comments, and pictures should be more than enough to convince Madame Stella to use local designers for, at the very least, the National Costume. No overseas “designer” is going to “get it” – the national pride, the fiestas, the pageantry, the vivid colors, the head pieces, the meaning behind our national symbols, and the willingness to “go all out” into designing something so out there and spectacular – for our national pride and to represent the best The Philippines has to offer to the world. I bet you that if Madame Stella has worries about paying for the national costume and it’s transport, those worries would be set aside if a call was put out into the community in The Philippines and worldwide for donations to pay for the making and transporting of the National Costume. I would bet that there would be more than enough money to do both and would have a lot left over. Just saying…. Come on! Look at the pictures and be inspired to BRING IT ON!!!

    • Exactly! How will a designer create our National Costume if he is foreign to our land?! I love how Norman pointed out the key symbols of our past: the golden Salakot, the flowers, the Sto. Nino, the Aetas, the hundreds of tribes, the religions, the cultural diversity and so on. There is so much of us that could be represented by our candidate and yet it’s very sad that her options are extremely limited. 😦

  24. After seeing the pictures, I’m just wondering Norman if Ph already had a sarimanok inspired national costume?

      • Kuya Norms. I think Ruffa wore a Sarimanok inspired NC at Miss World 1993.

      • @Johnny

        Yes, that was beautiful! And Ruffa really stood out!

        And don’t forget the almost naked Sarimanok costume of Jun Macasaet at last year’s Manhunt. hahaha

    • Thanks for the answer guys! Maybe that can also be a good peg for Ara’s NC. And I’m really crossing my fingers that a local designer will make her NC

  25. I think BPCI is not only thinking of how to have the best costume but more importantly how will the costume not exceed normal baggage limits to not add to the expenses. Another thing, the costume competition at MU is slowly fading and more importantly it wont affect a candidates chances to make it as a semifinalist so why bother.

    • @alvin: pre-pageant activities which involve the candidates’ national costumes will be viewed more extensively by the Russian press and the Russian people themselves. At the very least, a stunning Philippine costume could pique Russians’ interest about the Philippines and could potentially boost more tourism to the Philippines from Russia. The Dept. of Tourism should work with the BPCI to maximize their efforts. Essentially, the national costume is an opportunity to have a walking and talking billboard on the world’s most prestigious international beauty pageant. Why let that opportunity go to waste?

      • @Vendetta 711

        Yes! Instead of our government wasting millions of budget on those International advertisements, Why not spend it on our Candidate. Being in Miss Universe beats having an above and below the line marketing combined with billions of viewers and years of recall. If I was the secretary or Tourism, I would collaborate with BPCI for us to have the best representation for our country’s National Costume!

    • Well, that’s the thinking of a foreigner!
      The artistic inclinations of our ancestors defines the beauty of our race. Our current knowledge of our history and culture seems overflowing considering that it’s technically just the tip of the iceberg. A Filipino who was born and raised here would feel and understand the importance of expressing our culture and our past. And, it would bring great joy to our people once the beautiful soul of our nation is seen by the whole world.

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