Something old, something glamorous

The Vintage Terno exhibit’s piece de resistance: a 1954 couture piece by Casimiro Abad for Naty Iñigo Oboza.

It’s also something to celebrate—Davao’s glamorous past. It’s a custom that can— and should—be passed to the generations next.

The Kadayawan, Hijos de Davao Foundation chose a good time to showcase the propriety in dressing during the annual gathering of the Hijos de Davao, a tradition born 50 years ago by the descendants of the original settlers of the city to honor the city’s patron saint, San Pedro. The biggest festival in Mindanao draws a big number of revelers, both locals and visitors, to take part in a weeklong of merrymaking in the streets, malls and parks of Davao.

Naty Iñigo Oboza's peach lace number with silk train by Casimiro Abad

For the foundation’s latest project dubbed as “Through the years, a Display of Vintage Ternos,” the Abreeza Mall is the chosen venue, a heavy traffic zone on this festival season, which will be highly beneficial for the exhibition in terms of exposure.

Aureo Alonzo's organdy silk Terno for Estela Marfori-Posadas

Unlike the former endeavors with the same theme the group has hosted, the specially chosen vintage Ternos for viewing at the Fashion Hall of the mall (ground floor, fronting Debenhams) are “new” ensembles and have never have been put on exhibition.

Carmen Tionko-Gahol’s Terno with the distinctively Patis Tesoro heavily embroidered fabric.

Barong Pilipino has been the traditional garb for the yearly formal event, the Barong Tagalog for the men and the Terno for the women. No other celebration in the city has been as well attended and as glamorous, even after half a century since its conception.

Salome Quindoy-Garcia's two-toned crepe silk Terno in white and purple panels with rhinestone detailing by R.T. Paras

The exquisitely-designed Ternos put on display were worn by the elegant women and members of Club Dabawenyo and the social-turned-civic club Hijos de Davao. Among those who shared a piece of their personal history are Carmen Tionko-Gahol and her heavily embroidered floral gown by Patis Tesoro; Salome Quindoy-Garcia and her two-toned crepe silk Terno in white and purple panels with rhinestone detailing by R.T. Paras; an Aureo Alonzo organdy silk Terno with cream and gold embroidery from the closet of Estela Marfori-Posadas; and, Perla Rañon Palma Gil’s Alfonso Guino-o designed Baro’t Saya gala coordinates.

Perla Rañon Palma Gil’s Alfonso Guino-o designed Baro’t Saya gala coordinates.

Personally, the three of the most striking pieces of the presentation surprisingly belong to one person, Naty Iñigo Oboza, and created by one designer, Casimiro Abad, perhaps her favorite couturier. The alluring Filipiniana gowns will surely solicit admiring stares from the audience—a lace number in peach with silk train insert on the rear, a panel cut on the bias; a heavily-beaded royal white Terno with royal blue floral details; and the piece de resistance, a celadon green Terno with printed cascading roses in delicate hues of pastel, fully hand-sewn in 1954, truly a haute couture piece.

Fit for Filipina royalty. Casimiro Abad’s white & royal blue flora Terno for Naty Iñigo Oboza.

Maybe the term “investment dressing” hasn’t been coined then. Little did the women know that their superbly- crafted Ternos that made the women look radiant in the past could still exude the same magic when worn today, pretty much like jewelry that can be passed on to heirs.

An investment & heirloom piece- Nena Pineda's vintage Casimiro Abad Terno

If there is anyone who can say that what she owns is truly an investment, that person would be Nena Pineda. On two past gatherings of Hijos de Davao, her daughter-in-law and grandchild were pictures of grace and elegance. The periwinkle blue Terno with a fitted inner bodice and overlay of bias cut silk chiffon with embroidered paisley detail proved to be a head-turner on both occasions. It is a tastefully designed piece that transcends time and fashion trends.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever…

Pinky Pineda at the 46th Hijos de Davao
Mia Pineda at the 50th Hijos de Davao

The Vintage Terno exhibit will run until August 20. If you love clothes and admire couture, then this show is worth a visit. It will give you a glimpse of the glamorous past of Davao and how this “tradition” is still alive today.

Thank you Kenneth Ong for the additional photos.

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Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 17, 2014.

Seen on opening day:

 Hijos de Davao board members Atty. Rose Cabaguio & designer Alfonso Guino-o

Baby Garcia & Hijos de Davao current President, Jackie Dizon

Emi Englis & Baby Montemayor with Abreeza Mall’s Ruby Ochoa & Luigi Escaño

Dikdik Rodriguez & Nena Daluz

Marissa Tionko, Josie Tionko, Emil Sitjar & Chris Pasumbal

Malouchi Gahol with daughter Ann Marie