Catriona Gray, NHCP sign agreement

Posted on 23 April 2019
By NQC Admin

From left: Justine Aleman, Catriona Gray, Jolo Luarca, and Jojo Bragais, all are signatories to the loan agreement with the NHCP. JOJO BRAGAIS

The reigning 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray wishes to exhibit, for the benefit of the Filipino people, the national costume she donned during the 2018 Miss Universe pre-pageant activity on 10 December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. To formalize this, Ms. Gray and her team signed the loan agreement with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines during the former’s homecoming visit to the Philippines last February 2019.

The NHCP appreciates Ms. Gray’s unique way of informing the public of the importance of the batek (tattoo) motifs in Philippine History, details of which are featured in the national costume’s body suit designed by Jearson Demavivas. It was derived from the earliest known illustration of tattooed hangaway (Visayan warriors) found in the 16th century Boxer Codex of the Lilly Library at the Indiana University.

Ms. Gray’s choice of elements for her national costume and its subsequent broadcast on social media platforms caught the interest of the nation, which coincided with the Philippine government’s scheduled launch of the Philippine Quincentennial Commemorations of the Victory of Mactan and other related events on 21 December 2018. The public’s interest prompted Dr. Rene Escalante, Chairperson of the NHCP and concurrently Vice-Chairperson of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), to contact Ms. Gray and ask to loan not only the Boxer Codex-inspired body suit but the whole ensemble of national costume: the Demavivas-designed Tboli accessories such as the brass belt called hilet lemimet; knee-high boots featuring Mindanaoan textile patterns designed by Jojo Bragais with the assistance of Ardel Presentacion; parul sampernandu (Pampanga lantern), reflecting the colors of the Philippine National Flag, designed as well by Demavivas and executed by the lantern maker Eric B. Quiwa from the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, with Rhyann Andrade incorporating the LED technology; floret border, inspired by details of Philippine Baroque churches, made of pukpok (brass metal craft) by folk artist Tomas Ramirez of Betis, Guagua, Pampanga; and the Botong Francisco-style mural of select vignettes from Philippine History, a collaboration of artists Kim Christine Fababair, Marina Ceriola, and Renee Avila, with an excerpt of the National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang” in baybayin text in consultation with Dante Enage.

Conservation of the ensemble national costume will be subsidized by the NHCP.

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