Fashion

This Much-Anticipated Fashion Showcase Is Inspired by Traditional Filipino Street Games

Rajo Laurel, Rhett Eala, Len Cabili, Anne Marie Saguil, Zarah Juan, Marga Nograles, Paloma Zobel, and Ito Curata come together for culture and for charity.
IMAGE COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS
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The Filipino fashion scene is ever-expanding, ever-evolving. We’ve seen local designers shine within the confines of our country, designers who have flown abroad to represent the Philippines, and young designers who have crafted a niche of fresh and tasteful fashion. Such talents have usually advocated traditional weaving or partnering with communities, and these initiatives have truly elevated the playing field to more than just that of sartorial concern.

As valuable as those things are, rarely do we come across fashion with the purpose of recovering a lost piece of our culture, such as the games we grew up enjoying outdoors. (For our young readers, you may or may not have played games like piko, tumbang preso, patintero, etc. If you have, then props to you.)

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Standing: Marga Nograles, overall fashion consultant for Baro at Sayá Rajo Laurel, Paloma Zobel, co-creator of Awit at Laro Gary Valenciano, Anne Marie Saguil, and Zarah Juan; [Kneeling] co-creator of Awit at Laro and creative head of Baro at Sayá Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco, chairman of the board of Museo Pambata Nina Yuson and project head of Baro at Sayá Kat Mañosa.
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

The collaboration

Baro at Sayá is a collaborative effort among designers and various organizations that aims to embrace and recover the lost activity of simply spending afternoons with friends outdoors. Collaborators include Rajo Laurel, Rhett Eala, Len Cabili, Anne Marie Saguil, Zarah Juan, Marga Nograles, Paloma Zobel, and Ito Curata. Each of them will be showcasing a collection inspired by one Filipino street game. This project is led by Gary Valenciano and Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco.

Childhood nostalgia meets designer clothing? Sounds like a lot of fun—but more than that, this is a philanthropic effort. Baro at Sayá is the second installment of Valenciano and Mañosa-Tanjutco’s ongoing project. Last year, the two launched a music album which reimagined Filipino children’s songs which then served as the inspiration for this year’s fashion event. The recorded album, Awit at Laro, has a star-filled lineup, including Ogie Alcasid, Lea Salonga, and Yeng Constantino. The accompanying children’s book is just as beautiful. It’s not only a nod to childhood songs from a distant past but a reminder of the future. 

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Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco, Creator of Awit at Laro and Creative head of Baro at Sayá
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

Gary Valenciano, Co-Creator of Awit at Laro
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

“The big vision for Awit at Laro is that it is our contribution to the preservation of Filipino culture,” Mañosa-Tanjutco says.

Valenciano thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with different artists on the album, but the value of it all is in what it imparts to children: “So many of the songs you hear on the album are songs that you already know but there is a verse or two that we add messages—I mean just good messages that we can tell to the young,” he says. 

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The fashion

Town&Country was able to catch up with designers Zarah Juan and Anne Marie Saguil. We got to candidly discuss how they felt about the entire process as well as what we can expect from their respective collections.

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A preview of Len Cabili’s collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.
A preview of Rajo Laurel’s collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

A preview of Anne Marie Saguil’s collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

Bag and shoe designer Juan was assigned with the game piko. To get her team into the spirit of the project, she had them play the game itself! She shares that this project is “logistically challenging” because instead of her typical collaboration with two communities, she worked with five for this collection: “Abra weavers, Cavite wicker weavers, Benguet strap weavers, charms by [people from] Paete...put together by bag artisans of Bulacan.”

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Meanwhile, Saguil, known for her revival of Barong Tagalog embroidery on everyday pieces, shares that this casual resort wear collection simply has a fun and easy spirit, very much like the game tumbang preso. “I feel like now, we make more thoughtful designs,” she says.

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A preview of Paloma Zobel’s collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

A preview of Rhett Eala’s collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

The philanthropy

Ultimately, the event is a fundraiser for UNICEF (Valenciano is an ambassador), Tukod Foundation, and Museo Pambata.

Tukod Foundation’s Pamato sa Pagtuturo is a series of teacher training workshops inspired by Awit at Laro. Museo Pambata, on the other hand, is renovating their spaces to make it an interactive, engaging experience for children. Tukod Foundation was able to donate a playground to the museum from their previous fundraisers.

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“It is going to be a fun and playful sort of fashion show, not the regular one. Something that everyone gets to participate [in] somehow. What we really wanted here was to promote traditional [aspects of our culture from] Filipino games and songs, to the arts, to music, and now, fashion,” Bambi notes with excitement.

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A preview of Marga Nograles collection for Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show
Photo by COURTESY OF VISIONS AND EXPRESSIONS.

It’s safe to say that Baro at Sayá (yes, sayá as in ‘happiness’ in Filipino), will not only stir excitement within the fashion scene but will cause a positive ripple effect in our culture and within the communities involved.

Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show will be held on September 22, 2019, at the Grand Hyatt Manila, BGC, Taguig City.

For ticket bookings and reservation and other details please contact Ann Loren Yu - Executive Director of Tukod Foundation Inc. at +63 917 123 2724. The Baro at Sayá by Awit at Laro fashion show is co-presented by Grand Hyatt Manila. 

 

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