Mandaya and Mindanao-Inspired Clothes Donned with Pride

A fashion show being organized by Davao Oriental’s First lady Ms. Nanette Dayanghirang features the esteemed Davao Designers Society (DDS) United Philippine Group, Inc. showcasing the diversity and richness of the Davao’s fabrics and designs.

City of Mati, Davao Oriental — A fashion show organized by Davao Oriental’s First Lady, Nanette Dayanghirang, held at the Capitol’s newly constructed gymnasium on June 27 has featured Davao Oriental’s Dagmay and other Mindanao-inspired traditional textiles. The fashion show which is the first of its kind in the province, is called “Bahanding Pasundayag” featuring the creations of Davao’s top designers, the Davao Designers Society or DDS.

Infusing new life to traditional textiles, the fashion show is ensouling modern fashion with indigenous artistry, according to the province’s First Lady who was a gorgeous standout in her black dress during the show.

“Before the group (Davao Designers Society or DDS) flies to the other countries, we took the opportunity to invite the DDS to take part in making our 50th Founding Anniversary more dazzling so to speak. We believe that this fashion show will be interesting to our people to watch since kitang mga taga kanami or kanato are known to be smart and fashionable,” says the First Lady.

Davao Oriental’s First Lady, Nanette Dayanghirang

The Mandaya people of Davao Oriental, who are the dominant tribal group in the province, had been producing textiles since pre-colonial times. Like the rest of the ethnic groups in the country, the Mandayas have their own traditions of textile weaving using different kinds of looms, employing various techniques, and showing an impressive range of designs.

“Tonight’s fashion show is the first provincial exposure of the Davao Designers Society before they leave abroad. The group will showcase the best of their collections to be worn by our local models. I would like to thank the Davao Designers Society for sharing with us tonight their creative designs, haute culture dresses. We are looking forward for a more fruitful collaboration with the designers’ group in the nearest future, in relation to our Dagmay and Daggum Mandaya clothing,” says the province’s First Lady, Nanette Dayanghirang.

Aside from scarcity of materials used in the weaving process, two factors that contribute to the waning of traditional textile weaving are their inability to compete against the mass-produced and less expensive textiles and the dearth of interest among the younger generations in taking up traditional weaving. One way of sustaining the viability of native textiles is to encourage more people to patronize and use them by incorporating them in contemporary daily wear. The fashion show aims to promote and popularize as well as renew interest on the different textiles from the different cultural communities in Mindanao.

“The DDS is headed by Silverio Anglacer who hails from Lupon. Although he has based his shop in Davao City, Silver never forgotten his land of birth and childhood. He had long wanted to help in the promotion of our own Mandaya woven cloth, the Dagmay, and our embroidered blouse called Daggum. However, there are still some manufacturing adjustments we need to do to make the Dagmay and our Daggum blouses wearable and acceptable not only to the local market but to the world market as well. We also have to come up with an agreement with our Mandaya people for them to allow the DDS members to do some tweaking and adjustments to their ancient old traditional garb. Even as we speak tonight, there are already orders coming in from abroad. Definitely, there is a market for ethnic-inspired and modified traditional cloth and dresses of our Mandaya tribe,” says Nanette Dayanghirang. Aside from Anglacer, the show also features the creations of designers Christopher Ledesma, Kenny Ladaga, Ronnie Nacua, Richie Delos Santos, Stephanie Dacalus and Runolfo Plenos.

The First Lady adds that the fashion show hopes to nurture creativity and a natural aptitude for fashion design while providing opportunities of exposure for the designers and their work, especially young and emerging designers. Designers were encouraged to create contemporary designs that feature indigenous textiles, encouraging a modern way of seeing these cultural treasures. The designs are practical enough for everyday use in such settings as work, school, shopping and leisure.

“Filipinos in the foreign countries are thirsting to show off their Filipino dresses to their friends, colleagues and relatives abroad. There is much preference by our Kababayans to own traditional garments especially those coming from Mindanao,” says the First Lady. Stressing that cultural identity is the basis of empowerment, the First Lady says relying on our indigenous heritage can produce superior and creative results.

Provincial Tourism Consultant, Cynthia Rodriguez, says the models of the fashion show “were all fantastic! Many were first-timers, yet each one of them walked down the ramp parang mga professional ang dating nilang lahat!” By Ferdinand Zuasola



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