The Best Dressed List : 49th Hijos de Davao

The Hijos de Davao is an annual formal fete celebrated on the feast of the city’s patron saint, St. Peter. It’s an affair to look forward to when the descendants of Davao’s settlers gather to socialize with the growing “family”, and until recently, share the accomplishments and plans of the organization’s CSR.

At this time of the year, the butterfly sleeves come out fluttering. As much as we would love to see everyone decked in the official garb of the gathering, the Terno, times have changed. These days only a handful of guests don the Filipiniana—the participants of the Rigodon de Honor and more often, the guests of honor.

This year, there was an increase of impressive Ternos seen on the hall. The Davao matriarchs like Josie Tionko (in Oj Hofer) and Baby Garcia (in Rajo Laurel) were, as usual, looked exquisite in their butterfly sleeves and showed the younger generation how to wear it well.

But the new blood had something to say that evening. With the younger batch more into dressing with propriety, the exhibited the formal wear with youthful exuberance, wearing the Terno with pride. Commendable were Katrina Diano, who looked fabulous in a pink Rajo Laurel Terno she inherited from her mother, and Camille Dakudao who was radiant in an embellished Terno by Erwin Tan.

Is it because this generation is more open to dressing up to the occasion or is it because the Terno has bounced back with oomph into the mainstream fashion? Whatever the reason is, I must admit that nothing can be more dignified than wearing a Terno to a Philippine formal gala. And, here’s a fashion tip: why not raid your elders’ closets? It’s a treasure trove of vintage garb! Who knows you might chance upon the creations of Philippine master couturiers of the yesteryears.

From the 49th Hijos de Davao, here are my personal picks as the best Ternos:

Kay Gempesaw in Edgar Buyan. A-line bias cut Japan silk gown in ecru with gold Peacock embroidery and crystal, faux citrine and Jasper beading. It gave me a very vintage feel of how the masters treat and embellish their creations before.

Bebot Estanislao in Jan Vega. The Indian Sari material in Prusian Blue with matte gold embroidery takes a Filipiniana form.

Michelle Escandor in Francis Libiran. Tiffany Blue long torso silk chiffon Terno embellished with glass and crystal bead on the bodice with side draping on the skirt. 

Vice-Governor Aileen Almendras-Uy in Debbie Co. Terno in a soft pink, long torso with fully-texturized skirting in organdy. 

Dr. Karen Alabado in Erwin Tan. Empire cut royal blue Terno with bow accent on bodice, serpentina silhouette done in crisp Mikado Silk. 

Dawn Lagdameo in Pepito Albert. Silk Chamois in taupe cut on the empire with pleated accents on the sleeve, bodice and knee area. 

All photos by Roland Jumawan.

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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on July 14, 2013.