The 50th Hijos de Davao : The glamour of the golden year

June 29th was an evening that defined Davao glamour and sophistication. Quite fitting for a 50th year anniversary celebration, I should say, of a social club turned civic organization. It was, perhaps, reliving the soirees of yesteryears when dressing up to the occasion was second nature to the Dabawenyos.

On this grand festivity, an annual fete honoring Davao’s Patron saint, San Pedro, the citizens are back in top form—the men were dashing in their Barong Tagalogs and the women were alluring in their Ternos and evening dresses. Even the emerging generation of hijos and hijas had something so say. Heads turned towards the new seeds looking smart and polished in Filipiniana, their attendance (and style) was an assurance that the Hijos de Davao heritage will live on.

From a ballroom filled with Davao’s beautiful people, dressed to the nines complete with their best accessories—their beaming smiles (and why not, it was truly a joyous gathering of family and friends), there were those who rose above the rest, style-wise. Here are my personal top picks of the butterfly-sleeved maidens who fluttered in elegance.

Tisha Ang-Dominguez, 2001 muse, takes my top spot. She was a picture of stylish simplicity in a two-piece silk gazaar ensemble by Vania Romoff. Void of any embellishments, the top in stylized butterfly sleeves, peplum hemline and a narrow chocolate-tinted strap along the waist to match the color of the hip hugging serpentine skirt, spells of class.

Tisha Ang-Dominguez in Vania Romoff

Amy Soriano-Diano, 1979 muse, makes it on the list once more. With an understated look that has become her trademark, Amy donned Jann Vega’s dyed piña in a very surprising yet refreshing pigment of tangerine. Details came in a sprinkling of floral chiffon appliques over hand-painted stems in contrasting color of ebony and grey on the sleeves and hip area of the skirt, and the beaded trim along the midsection cinches the waist giving form to the dress.

Amy Soriano-Diano in Jan Vega

Mara Pineda, 2004 muse, is on the same page as Amy’s restrained elegance. Mara’s all-teal green Terno by Francis Libiran fitted her perfectly. Adding a subtle glimmer of the same shade as the jewel toned silk fabric is the beading over embroidered swirls around the bodice and sleeves. This piece is a classic.

Mara Pineda in Francis Libiran

Another single tone get-up that photographed beautifully was Tonette Tionko’s Terno. Designer Oj Hofer constructed the dress for the 1985 muse with technic, a seamless pink lace gown with tiny paillets. I find this piece sophisticated.

 Tonette Tionko in Oj Hofer

Marga Montemayor-Nograles, 1997 muse, was striking in her emerald green and antique gold silk sari Terno designed by her favorite designer, Bobby Castillo. With the medley of woven patterns highlighting the ensemble, very little addition was needed to complete the look— a few specks of glass beading on the bodice & sleeves for a twinkling detail did the trick.

Marga Montemayor-Nograles in Bobby Castillo

Margarita Nograles’, 2009 muse, Terno by Larry Espinosa was playful. The pink undertone of the lavender sheer lace made its embroidered flowers pop out, and a sprinkling of garden blooms in pastel hues and beads for added shimmer gave the dress a young look. Extending the youthful exuberance, the traditional Filipiniana was modernized with trellis-like butterfly sleeves with the bodice’s blooms trailing the latticework, its light colors softening the form’s stiffness.

Margarita Nograles in Larry Espinosa

I love this year’s ball, it was elegant. Taking part in the Rigodon de Honor or not, the women came in their Ternos and men in their Barongs. Looking chic and regal were Samantha Angala in Emy Englis, Sylvia Lorenzana in Paul Cabral and Chichi Martinez. And showing investment dressing is all about, that a good piece of Terno can be a classic that will transcend time and fashion, are Malouchi Gahol in Boy Guino-o, Baby Montemayor in Bobby Castillo and Mia Pineda in her grandmother’s Casimiro Abad.

Samantha Angala in Emy Englis

Chichi Martinez in Tet Ko

Sylvia Lorenzana in Paul Cabral

Baby Montemayor in Bobby Castillo

Mia Pineda in Casimiro Abad

Malouchi Gahol in Alfonso Guino-o

Applause to all who came to this year’s Hijos de Davao. I wish it will always be this way in the coming years.