Backstage: Style Origins 2016

I SAID yes.

It wasn’t my first stint as a model (how else should I call it?) and for the fun of it I agreed to my second ramp appearance this year (I feel your eyes rolling).

I get to enter. Ama mow del! 

The first was in a fundraiser to save the Philippine Eagle at a Marco Polo Davao-initiated event. How do you say no to that?

The Ayala Mall Style Origin was my second stint this year and to those organizing a similar event, I’m open to the assignment (you can laugh away now) but it has to be for a good cause.

This year's stage design

Style Origin is an annual fashion event that tours Ayala Malls nationwide and this year’s theme—“MAS!” meant “more music, art, and style.” The show features the latest looks from the mall merchants covering men’s and women’s apparel, kids’ and teens’ wear, active lifestyle picks, footwear, bags, and accessories.

Rehearsal time.

Honestly, I didn’t know why I nodded to the invitation (to which my colleagues in media declined). Maybe because the office staff are so endearing or maybe I’d like to say that this middle-aged man can rock the runway (so I think) and walk alongside the current style influencers.

Men are style influencers, too.

Well, not alongside them, but share the same stage.

So what happened behind the scene?

It was a frenzy. Fitting, rehearsals, make-up, etc. But it felt nice to be on the opposite end of the production. To sit and wait for your turn and not zip from one end to another or to talk loudly and endlessly up to the point when the throat dries up.

It's good to be on the other end of the production this time. My turn at make-up.

I was hoping to wear the M&S brand. They’re my client. It would have been nice to take it on stage wearing the label and not take it to the dressing room for someone else to wear them. But like any dutiful “model”, I had to wear what was handed to me—even if it didn’t fit as well as it should.

A bit loose for my taste. But who am I to argue with the stylist?

Esprit was the brand I was sporting on stage. I was with three other locals who are referred to as “community models”- designer Emi Englis, banker Sol Tan and 911 medic Carla Castillo.

On the flow board. Emi where are you?

Say “Esprit” and out will flow everything 80’s (from the Gen X’ers, most especially)—Fiorucci, Jordache, Guess, Calvin Klein. Ralph Lauren, Gloria Vanderbilt. The labels will segue to music, hangouts, food, and so on.

The stage from a different point to view

It was a retro thing for me. Everyone wanted a piece of the label back. That white shirt with the huge letters in neon that wrap around the shirt was iconic. But we didn’t sport those.

Esprit team ready to go

Backstage, everyone was ready and way ahead of show time. The show director was there to do a last minute checking, cheering up and reminding everyone of the show’s over-all feel, “Energy, be happy, smile!.”

Express yourself.

The show director, Robby Carmona (right), with his backstage crew.

The young models know how to amuse themselves

Backstage chitchat

Davao models waiting for their turn


If the crowd didn’t scream, I wouldn’t have known the show started. Maybe the artista appeared. I honestly didn’t know which one he was from the men behind the curtain.

The culprit: the artista Jake Ejercito. Why the whole mall (or seemed like it) was screaming. 

Oh well, I was here to walk. My turn came and stepped out before a huge crowd with energy, happiness and a huge smile.

And we're up. That's me walking through my 30 seconds in the (lime)light (Thanks for this pic, Abreeza)

It was another 30 second in the (lime)light. It was fun.

Finale finally. See you on my next ramp gig, folks!

Thanks Abreeza. ‘Til the next assignment.