Given the abundance of regional festivals in the Philippines every year, we should not run out of fresh concepts and designs for the National Costume of our beauty queens, specifically for Miss Universe. There is Sinulog in Cebu, Dinagyang in Iloilo, Panagbenga in Baguio, Kadayawan in Davao and the all-in Aliwan Fiesta in Manila. And those are just the majors. There’s more to it than what we can humanly participate in and appreciate, such as Pahiyas in Quezon and Dinengdeng in La Union just to name two more.
So with the wealth of inspiration, why are we always stuck with the same old styles and patterns? Could it be due to the constant association with the Filipina terno and Maria Clara? Or maybe because whoever is in-charge just doesn’t look hard enough for several other options that can be fed to the designer, be it here or in Colombia? Or is it also possible that the Madame’s contacts in Bogota are no longer willing to venture beyond their comfort zones to sketch and sew the costume of a candidate living halfway around the world?
I’ve always said time and again that it is easier (and more convenient) to commission a local designer to come up with the National Costume (even the Evening Gowns) of Miss Philippines. Aside from the physical proximity to the wearer (for fitting purposes), it unleashes the pride of everyone involved and at a tag price that doesn’t even need too much bargaining.
So if the long gowns are non-negotiable for BPCI, then why not give the honor of patriotically designing the traditional attire for the Binibinis to one of our homegrown experts? I’m sure they’d be more than willing to do the job for free – if not a deep cut in what they usually charge.
Back to the festivals, I can pull in several options to make a costume that doesn’t only stand out visually, but also carries the true colors of the Filipinos. Mix-and-match, possibly. But I’d rather that we concentrate on one region at a time and move from there. 🙂
P.S. I’m making this post sticky for a few days for quicker (or instant) access of our regulars.