The ‘universal’ terno

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Filipino designers winningly dress 20 Miss U candidates in the national costume
Twenty candidates of the 65th Miss Universe had the unique experience of donning the traditional Filipino terno during pre-pageant activities in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on January 15.

With the well-preserved Spanish town of Calle Crisologo and Plaza Burgos for a backdrop, it was as if this beautiful bevy of ladies—including the Philippines’ own representative Maxine Medina—travelled back in time during the Terno Fashion Show, where Vigan’s policemen themselves dressed up in the barong Tagalog to keep the crowded event secured.

Miss Universe Philippines- Maxine Medina radiant in white

The show featured spectacular creations from members of the Fashion Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP), among them noted names as Albert Andrada, Barge Ramos, Mike Dela Rosa, Edgar Madamba, Mimi Pimentel, Amir Sali, Vince Sityar, Cathy Capistrano, Russ Cuevas, Frederick Berches, Jearson Dimavivas, Joel Acebuche, Rian Fernandez and Cherry Veric. Several local designers also got their ternos into the show, namely Eroll Reminates, Darwin Ramirez, Raffy Sy, Gyan Claude Ben, and Jan Van Paquing of the Ilocos Sur Designers Guild (ISDG).

Together with Medina, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach, Miss Uruguay Magdalena Cohendet, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang, Miss Slovak Republic Zuzana Kollarova, Miss Singapore Cheryl Chou Zhi Hiu, Miss Sierra Leone Hawa Kamara, Miss Nicaragua Marina Jacoby Santos, Miss Netherlands Zoey Ivory, Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal, Miss Guatemala Virginia Argueta, Miss Great Britain Jaime-Lee Faulkner, Miss Czech Republic Andrea Beldekova, Miss Cayman Islands Monyque Brooks, Miss Bulgaria Violina Ancheva, Miss British Virgin Islands Erika Creque, Miss Brazil Raissa Santana, and Miss Belgium Stephanie Geldof beautifully wore the famed butterfly-sleeved long dress, many of which were made from indigenous fabrics like the Abel Iloco, with intricate beadworks.


For most if not all of the Filipino designers, it was a dream-come-true to see their handiwork on a Miss Universe candidate, what with fashion always playing a critical role in deciding the international pageant’s favorites and eventual winners.

Most of all, they felt honored and humbled to be able to show the world the beauty of Philippine fashion and its peoples’ artistry.

Miss Universe 2016 candidates don the Philippine national costume especially created by popular Manila-based and Ilocos Sur designers for the Terno Fashion Show at the UNESCO Heritage City of Vigan PHOTOS FROM MISSUNIVERSE.COM, 65THMISSUNIVERSE.COM AND DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

In her opening remarks, Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Katherine Chloe De Castro thanked everyone who helped bring the 65th Miss Universe pageant to the Philippines, first and foremost, former Ilocos Sur governor Singson and his LCS Group.

“To those who believed and who continue to believe that this endeavor will bring us enduring, intangible gains, thank you. More importantly, we wish to prove that our participation in this pageant, or in any beauty pageant for that matter, should be to forward our advocacies and woman empowerment goals,” she said.

The City Government of Vigan further expressed their gratitude to the candidates and designers for showing the world the beauty of the Philippine terno and the World Heritage Site that is Vigan with tokens of plaques of appreciation. The local government—represented by current Governor Ryan Luis Singson and Mayor Carlo Medina—and Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart likewise exchanged plaques of appreciation for this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration.

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