M&S Davao Style File: Pat Montemayor, Hija de Davao

A true hija of Davao. At 88 Patria Montemayor has seen Davao grow through the years & she can still remember everything clearly.
On her: M&S Collection ivory ruffle satin top & front zip formal trousers.

To sit before this woman and hear her stories about Davao in the past was mesmerizing. Not many get the chance to hear a first hand account of local history from one of the most respected figures in the city, who is an epitome of class, grace and style. Her accounts also unveiled how the character of this strong-willed and kind-hearted woman was shaped to what it is today.

Nothing about Pat Montemayor reveals she’s 88, her looks, her movement nor her sharp mind as she painted a very clear picture of Davao’s history through her eyes with her words.

It was the public school during her elementary years before heading to Manila for higher education.

Her younger years has exposed her to the family life of business and politics, and the different social strata, which may have molded her to the well-rounded person she is now.

Looking back. Hijos de Davao, even before it became a foundation, was already helping people in need, mostly for education.
On her: M&S Collection black mix Ditsy scarf tunic top with black core leggings.

Personally she believes education is key. This was why extending education also became the essence of Hijos de Davao, the organization established in 1964 and renamed from the 1948-formed Club Dabawenyo, where she is a founding member of both clubs.

“It was a social group until we felt there was a need to help. We tried to do what we can. Hijos de Davao became a foundation when my husband became president, but even before that, the club raised funds to support people in need, mostly for education. I remember the first scholar, he went to the Mindanao Agricultural School in Eden.”

“We also want to let people know that San Pedro, our Patron Saint, has really protected Davao. Back then the people were losing interest in celebrating the June 29 feast. We made Hijos de Davao the annual gathering to honor him.”

She related how the church was spared during the great fire, and when the Japanese, during the war, planned to use the Church as a stable but for some unknown reasons the horses refused to enter.

This is our city and we should instill pride for place. I believe the only way for any city to develop is to help.
On her: M&S Collection blush satin ruffle top & black mix formal trousers; beige envelope tote bag & Lhoutter print scarf.

Many of the locals still perceive Hijos de Davao as an exclusive group with an annual formal soiree. Not all know of its purpose, but the club still does the civic duty it was formed for.

The list of Hijos scholars is long and a handful stayed in touch—a successful career woman who sends a her letter of gratitude years after, one who steadily rises in the corporate ranks, an engineer, and father who has seen his kids become professionals, and those who insist they want to help in any way they can. Montemayor only wishes the rest of the scholars are on the same path.

“This is our city and we should instill pride for place. I believe the only way for any city to develop is to help, and we help not because we are with Hijos, but because we are from Davao.”

We help not because we are with Hijos, but because we are from Davao. On her: M&S Collection striped top & Riva-riva drops necklace, Porop black pants.

Then Hijos de Davao turned 50 in 2014.

“I never thought it’s going to last this long,” she confessed. “It was the aim, of course. Then now I realized what is important— that you must never leave your club until you’re sure someone will take over, somebody who is really interested.”

This is why she and her peers attend yearly. “Somebody has to be there all the time to inspire. Rose (Cabaguio) and the rest are always present to encourage everybody to participate. We don’t want it to die a natural death.”

I go to Hijos every year because someone has to be there to inspire, to encourage everybody to participate.
On her: M&S Collection Lace slash black top & front zip formal trousers; beige envelope tote bag.

And it looks like the club has found the next generation who will see the foundation to next 50 years. Even with this assurance, do expect to see Hija de Davao Pat Montemayor at the annual ball, in her usual elegant demeanor, perhaps applauding the Rigodon de Honor participated by the once scholars of Hijos de Davao.

Fashion: Marks & Spencer’s 2016 Autumn Collection available at the M&S stores in Abreeza Mall & SM Lanang Premier

Photography: Mima Tan

Make-up & styling: Otoy Mercado

Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com. For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://ofapplesandlemons.com and http://www.jeepneyjinggoy.com