Dayaw Badu Fashion Show: A Proud Statement of Davao Oriental’s Worn Identities

City of Mati, Davao Oriental — In the words of the First Lady of Davao Oriental, Nanette Dayanghirang, Davao Oriental “speaks so much about beauty. Indeed, there is nothing quite like the lovely beauty of Davao Oriental.”

Davao Oriental First Lady Madame Nanette Dayanghirang

As the province marked its 51st Founding Anniversary on July 1, the First Lady has successfully organized Davao Oriental’s most awaited fashion show dubbed Dayaw Badu which fabulously showcased a contemporary take on traditional attire of Davao Oriental and the whole of Mindanao. The fashion show held at the Capitol’s covered court featured eighty exquisite creations from eight top designers of the country who turned traditional attire into contemporary street wear, cocktail outfits and long, formal gowns while retaining the original essence of the designs.

28th IB, Philippine Army Commander Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon is among the models sporting Mindanao-inspired textiles during the Dayaw Badu Fashion Show.

All the clothes featured in the fashion show were exclusively made by the Davao Fashion and Design Council. Dayaw Badu showed the flexibility of Davao Oriental and Mindanao’s traditional attire not only for formal occasions by blending the laid-back designs and modern style into one, and making it perfect for today’s fashion trends.

DILG Provincial Director Yvette Tolentino-Sunga looks spectacular in a Dagmay-inspired gown.

“Attire is an extension of the self and the society, reflecting culture, aesthetics and tastes, and thus in one way also an extension of the soul. Attire is one of the ways to express identity and to show identification with a group. Dayaw Badu showcases our finest attire and it is the grandest means of artistic expressions among ethnic groups not only in Davao Oriental but also in the whole of Mindanao. Aside from indicating social status, gender and religion in a community, attire also makes manifest the native aesthetics, reflecting sensibility to colors and patterns, penchant for certain designs, and interpretations of everyday life as well as spiritual beliefs. With so many indigenous groups, there are as much traditional attires, resplendent in their colors, determined by the groups’ preference or their environments, and rich with embellishments, signifying the innate desire to make things beautiful as well as meaningful. Traditional attire, like the cultures they belong to, is constantly evolving, adopting from other cultures as well as adapting to the times, but often these adopted elements are altered according to the native sense of beauty. With traditional attire, one declares his or her oneness with his or her own people, taking pride in the artistry and heritage that the attire so much holds,” says the lovely First Lady of Davao Oriental, Nanette Dayanghirang, who was a gorgeous standout in her glittering Mandaya-inspired evening gown. She later joined the young female and male fashion models on the stage in showcasing the colourful dresses of the Mandaya tribe.

Manay town Administrator Mae Dayanghirang-Llavore

2015 Miss Davao Oriental Elyanna Nenita Dayanghirang

“Through the Dayaw Badu Fashion Show, we will get a glimpse of different traditional attires in Davao Oriental and the whole of Mindanao. So let us take a new look at the worn identities of Davao Oriental and the whole of Mindanao. Let’s enjoy the show!” says the First Lady before she officially opened the fashion show. At the lobby of the sprawling provincial Capitol, the audience were also regaled by a photo exhibit of Mandaya garbs.

The FIRST FAMILY: Governor Nelson Dayanghirang with First Lady Madame Nanette flanked by their daughters Miss Therese Nicole (far left) and Miss Camille Dayanghirang-Chiu (far right)

The Mandayas are natives of Davao Oriental, an area known of old as Provincia de Caraga. They are the people of the east coast of Davao Oriental who are proud of their culture and heritage. The renowned historian, Spanish Jesuit priest, Father Pablo Pastells, described the Mandayas in his journal as the “honourable people, peace-loving, respectful, obsequious, docile, submissive and patient.” Historical accounts describe the Mandaya ethnic group as “a hill tribe in barefoot, identified through the colourful attire, artistic embroidery, black-sawed teeth and native jewelry.” As they lived “Sa Daya” or described as “Taga Daya,” the name Mandaya is derived from the local dialect “Daya” which means a place not far from the sea but higher than the shore, the upland. Of the groups of indigenous peoples in Easter Mindanao, they are the most numerous and made early contacts with Western Civilization because of their proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Surprise celebrity models.

However, the chief executive of Davao Oriental, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, says he was “bursting with joy and pride over our exceptionally rich cultural identities. This Dayaw Badu Fashion Show being organized by my wife, Nanette Dayanghirang, is infusing new life to traditional textiles. This fashion show is ensouling modern fashion with indigenous artistry. As you all know, we have been producing textiles since pre-colonial times. Different ethnic groups have their own traditions of textile weaving using different kinds of looms, employing various techniques and showing an impressive range of designs. This is a proud statement to the rest of the world that our cultural groups in the province and the whole of Mindanao, known for its generosity, are growing and will continue to embrace our peaceful co-existence. The primary source of soft power, whether of an individual, group or nation is a strong, distinct cultural identity. This is our way of harnessing the strengths of our traditional cultures. Let us be regaled by the colourful dresses of our people.”

Joining the fashion models on stage during the Dayaw Badu Fashion Show are local celebrities. Among them are the provincial director of the DILG, Yvette Tolentino-Sunga; the wife of the mayor of the City of Mati, Maria Emperatriz Garcia Rabat; Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon of the Philippine Army; Tanya Rabat Tan; Provincial Board Member Anna Louise Tambilawan; Mayor Katrina Joy Orencia; Mae Dayanghirang-Llavore; Elyanna Nenita Dayanghirang. Also gracing the fashion show are the gorgeous daughters of the governor, Camille Joyce Dayanghirang Chiu and Therese Nicole Dayanghirang.  By Ferdinand Zuasola/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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