NQC exhibits Catriona Gray’s national costume

Posted on 04 February 2019
By NQC Admin

Detail of 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s National Costume. NHCP/JOVAN SORIANO

Newly-crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s national costume, donned at the Miss Universe pre-pageant ceremonies in Thailand, was the toast of the town on 10 December 2018.  The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) the following day enthusiastically contacted Catriona and her team for the possibility of exhibiting the multi-colored attire in the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Central Office at Ermita, Manila.  Six days later, Catriona was crowned the new Ms. Universe 2018 and ten days hence, on 21 December 2018, the Philippine Government officially launched the Philippine Quincentennial Commemoration in 2021 of the Victory at Mactan and related events.

The ensemble of national costume was conceived both by Catriona and her trainor, Arch. Carlos Buendia, Jr.  The main body suit, designed by Jearson Demavivas of Koronodal City, South Cotabato, was inspired by the batik (tattoo) motifs of 16th century Visayan warriors illustrated in the Boxer Codex (ca. 1590).  To represent the innate bravery and resiliency of Filipinos, the symbolism of the batik was dedicated by Catriona to the victims and survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas.

Vital features of the body suit are the T’boli accessories such as the brass belt called hilet lemimet designed as well by Demavivas, and the knee-high boots featuring the Mindanaoan textile patterns designed by Jojo Bragais with the assistance of Ardel Presentacion.  For Catriona, these items symbolize the indigenous heritage of Lumad communities in Mindanao.

The parul sampernandu (Pampanga lantern), reflecting the colors of the Philippine National Flag, was also designed by Demavivas and executed by the lantern maker Eric B. Quiwa from the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.  Catriona’s team is grateful as well to Rhyann Andrade for the LED features of the Pampanga lantern.  This colorful item represents Luzon.

Celebrating further the diversity of Philippine cultural and natural heritage are the floret border made of pukpok (brass metal craft) by folk artist Tomas Ramirez of Betis, Guagua, Pampanga, inspired by details of Philippine Baroque churches, introduced to Catriona’s team by Mak Tumang, also a noted fashion designer; the Botong Francisco-style mural of select vignettes from Philippine History is a collaboration of artists Kim Christine Fababair, Marina Ceriola, and Renee Avila; baybayin text from an excerpt of the National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang,” was consulted from baybayin expert Dante Enage.

Justine Aliman curated the overall style of Catriona’s national costume.

Entiled “LuzViMinda: Magdiwang. Lumaban. Pagyamanin.,” the national costume will remain at the NHCP Building Lobby in Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila until Catriona and the NQC agree on the future exhibition plans.

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