PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte — Twenty-four glamorous male and female candidates in this year’s Mr. and Miss Hannah’s Ecotourism Philippines shone before hundreds of guests and visitors Saturday evening in a star-studded grand coronation night, featuring the critically-acclaimed “Mindanao tapestry,” the traditional textile of Mindanao weavers that tells a lot of the rich history and culture of its people.
Top Filipino fashion designer Renee Salud said the neo-ethnic fashion extravaganza was sponsored by a former Philippine Air Force officer, Col Ricardo Nolasco Jr., owner of Pagudpud’s Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center, “to showcase to the Ilocano people how beautiful Mindanao’s woven clothes are.”
Held at the poolside area with a giant screen showcasing some of Ilocos Norte’s best tourism attractions, candidates stood out as they walked elegantly on the catwalk wearing masterpieces adorned in eye-catching accessories and glittering fragments.
Salud said Mindanao tapestry is a heritage showcase created to introduce the rich artistry of Philippine culture by featuring indigenous woven fabrics and intricate designs.
Presenting the same fashion during the 2016 Miss Universe beauty pageant season in the Philippines and a recent world tour in Berlin, Germany, Salud and his team arrived in Ilocos Norte to showcase also the fusion of traditionally woven cloth into contemporary wear.
In collaboration with Hannah’s Beach Resort, Salud said Nolasco is also toying with the idea to present Abel Iloko next year.
“Whenever I do shows abroad presenting the Philippines traditional textile, Abel Iloko is always included because it represents the northern part of Luzon along with the Cordillera fabrics and pinya,” said Salud.
Salud also lauded the works of other local fashion designers here for having their own style as he expressed confidence the Ilokano fabric will also go places.
“They have already improved the patterns, prints and I guess this would become acceptable in the international market very soon for as long as there is continuous promotion of the Abel fabric,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tourism Undersecretary Silvino Tejada, who served as guest of honor and speaker during the show, cited Hannah’s Beach Resort’s efforts to preserve and value the ecosystem, which he considers as one of the “best assets of the country.”
As the pioneering beach resort in the country to become a member of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization, Tejada hopes Hannah’s Beach Resort and the winners of the beauty pageant competition will continue to “become good stewards of nature by protecting and advancing the welfare of the people in harmony with Mother nature and a balance ecology.”
For Nolasco, he assured the DOT and the people of Ilocos Norte that he will continue on inspiring community-based livelihood projects as Hannah’s contribution to the tourism industry and the environment. LGA/PNA-northboundasia.com