Tuesday, May 8, 2007


If there is a world class designer in the offing, who by destiny shall follow the foot steps of the likes of Inno Sotto or even Pitoy Moreno, its none other than ‘MON FAVILA’.

It was Wednesday (May 9, 2007) that I received a text message telling me that I am invited to a wedding fashion show on May 11 (Friday) at Palasyo de Maynila somewhere at Baywalk. Comes Friday after work, I took a cab and proceeded to Roxas Boulevard. I got off at Diamond Hotel not knowing where Palasyo de Maynila is. So, I sent a text message to this person asking for the specific location of the venue, who replied in split second telling me where to proceed. The person at the end of line is none other than “MON FAVILA”, the main designer and host of Wedding et. al. Fashion Show! This is the kind of person Mon is: a very simple, matured, soft spoken, down to earth, honest to goodness and a no non-sense guy. Seldom does he speaks. He prefers to remain at the sideline to promote his group of designers, but still rises above all when critiques talks of the design. If there’s something unique that can be spotted right away by experienced fashion critique, for sure, it’s MON FAVILA’s design!

Many may have heard of him while others may not, but Mon and his group of designers at the Fashion Artists Foundation (FAF) bonded together, poured out their talents, resources and came out with a project for the benefit the DEAF Philippines. Although a silent type of person, for Mon - the deaf deserves life at its fullest. Children who were born without auditory senses have the right to enjoy the sense of hearing, they have a right to hear and not only to be heard. This reserved person who prefers to do things rather than talking, poured out his passion. With his group of designers, Mon designed and made more than forty (40) wedding gowns for auction at the show, the proceeds of which shall benefit those who cannot afford clinical procedures to hear a note, tone or even just a whisper for them to realize that someone, somewhere many good hearted Filipinos driven by their nationalistic spirit cares - MON FAVILA together group of designers, fellow Rotarians, friends and supporters care.

MON, a product of San Beda where Atty. Phen Martinez (Tenth Placer in Bar) his wife Rowie Santillan-Martinez as well as the husband of my dear classmate way back in Silliman, Bernadette Austria, teaches Law for more than a decade, came from a well to do family of the Favila Clan whose elder brother is Peter, the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. Despite his well entrenched family background and connections, Mon decided to make it on his own by establishing the Ramon Favila Designs Incorporated and co-founding FAF which sponsors cause oriented projects for the needy to benefit from the God given talents these new breed of designers have. No wonder that the Rotarians from all over the country gave Mon all out support.

Behind the scene was Undersecretary Robert T. Rivera, the host of Pilipinas Ngayon Na! This down to earth, energetic, untiring and a very apolitical Undersecretary for Operations of the Office of the Press Secretary, Office of the President, partly sponsored the show. Usec. Rivera who has been very supportive of socialized, nationalistic and caused driven projects in the field good governance, arts and culture, gave his support to Mon by featuring Mon’s advocacies. A famous scout leader in his high school days awarded as the best alumnus among the millions that Baclaran High School ever produced, Usec. Robert Rivera who rose from a humble beginning and started his advocacies promoting songs produced by recording companies, hosting and dancing before disco clubs and T.V. shows and later on moved to promote Filipino films, known as the John Travolta of the Philippines, gave two thumbs up for Mon’s show. Secretary Peter Favila, the elder brother of Mon with his wife who was present at the show with Usec. Rivera, however, prefers to be left behind the limelight as they do not want to steal the show away from Mon, who with his friends organized the event - on their own.

As I entered Palasyo de Maynila I was greeted by Mon and was flattered by the gesture of this humble person who, despite of numerous guests to entertain sent me a text message just minutes ago to tell me in detail the venue. A gentlemanly gesture for a host - reflective of the kind of person RAMON FAVILA is, who dears friends and guests to every details. No wonder his show was so successful with an enormous display of support from the different sectors of the society.

The needy present at the show were wondering what kind of music were played, songs heard and what people say - not knowing that they are the very benefactors of the extraordinary efforts exerted by Mon and his group of talented artists. Rich and poor alike mingled waiting for the lights to mellow, retro music to play and models to ramp to display the much awaited gowns prepared and designed by Mon and his group of artists, all sold-out even before the show begins. Faces of multi-colored people white, black and asians alike, endless flashing of bulbs from photographer’s cameras and luminous lights of T.V. crews glitters while I took time off with Emmy Magdañgal, Usec. Rivera’s, Executive Assistant. Meanwhile, me and Emmy enjoyed the mouth watering food served by St. Nicolas Catering Services. The dropstick chicken wings with baked macaroni (which looks like ‘lasangña’) paired with sandwich over a glass of iced tea prepared by St. Nocolas Catering Services blends with our taste buds as the cheese slowly melts at the tip of our tongue. I was entertained by VANESSA MARQUINA of MEGA WORLD CORPORATION, one of the sponsor, who offered condominium units at the Fort without any down payment! She gave me her cell phone number 0921-8225483 and phone number 8163519 in case I or some friends decides to move into a condominium unit at the Fort without down payment! She was so friendly that I almost forgot to see the show.

As Tere Portugal-Arevalo, the Production Manager of Pilipinas Ngayon Na! came in, minutes later followed by Usec. Rivera with her glamorous Japanese Filipina co-host and the crew of the Pilipinas Ngayon Na! While “Inciong”, Usec. Rivera’s ever loyal seat mate who drives the vehicle with PNN’s moving Ad which I designed, followed. Subsequently, Secretary Peter Favila with wife came in followed by the officers of the Rotary Club of Makati and Manila and other guests of different nationalities.

As lights fade, retro music played and spotlights turned on, the person at the center stage gestured to let the show begin by welcoming the guests. Representatives from the DEAF Philippines explained their advocacy to help our needy countrymen to finance the medical expenses needed for those with impaired hearing capacities. Envelopes were distributed and outpouring support from the audience raised surmountable amount, though not enough, are significant to help the needy.

Again, lights went off, spotlights glowed, upbeat retro music played, when suddenly - beautiful ladies moved and walks through the ramp in catwalk manner as if walking over the clouds with their gowns well fitted smoothly following every contours of their well defined bodies. Gowns as white as feathers sways with the wind while models moved through the ramp to the delight of the crowd! The different designs made by the fantastic group of designers led by MON FAVILA was such a display of uniqueness and versatility never before seen in the history of bridal fashion show here and abroad. Well chosen garments carefully cut in such a detail blends with the shape, color, contour and beauty of each models. While not so tightly fitted, the garments simply flows with their body illuminating the beauty of a Filipina soft as silk like an angel walking through the clouds that every groom will imagine what her bride to be shall wear - an awesome display of boldness in design. No wonder the gowns were already sold out even before the show begins.

MON FAVILA was indeed a designer in his time worthy to be watched in the annals of Philippine fashion as he matures. With his passion for beauty, intricacies in details and excellence in design, driven by his nationalistic spirit motivated by perfection, Mon will surely mature to indulge into a deeper perspective of a Filipino by heart to shape the destiny of the Philippine fashion design and Philippine garment industry per se. In Mon and his group of nationalistic, young and talented designers hand, day will come that a great fashion show featuring garments produced as far as North in the Cordillera’s the “Ikat”, the Piñas of Aklan in the Visayas and “Tinalak” in South Cotabato, Mindanao, to benefit our country’s Abaca fiber industry which was greatly damaged by the Typhoon Reming in Bicol, is on the offing.

The advocacies being pushed by Cecile Soriano, the Administrator of the Fiber Development Authority, as well as of Iñez Magbual, the producer of Maunlad na Agrikultura, a program of the Department of Agriculture, who first floated the advocacy of a fashion show featuring our own garments might soon become a reality. DTI Secretary Favila, DA Secretary Yap and Usec. Robert Rivera’s dream to promote Philippine the garment industry and its sector which once placed the “Manila Hemp” in the forefront of fashion design here and abroad will soon emerge with these young, talented and nationalistic designers such as MON FAVILA and his group in the forefront. The looks of Inno Sotto and Pitoy Moreno, who featured and brought the Philippine garments in the forefront of international fashion will soon emerge.

It might have been God driven destiny that this person by the name of RAMON FAVILA and his group of young and talented artists/designers stood in the forefront in these challenging time where our nation are in chaos seeking for leaders to lead the future generation of this nation. A glitter of hope sparked, driven by thirst and passion for new designs, artistic creativity and excellence, free from political undertones or gimmickry shall soon rise to move advocacies towards realization and place our country, its talented designers and its garments industry once again into the limelight. Hope begins to flicker in these new breed of designers, who critiques predicts shall soon lead to produce a project to revive the fiber industry for benefit of those whose livelihood depends on the pride of the Philippine’s “Manila Hemps”, otherwise known as Abaca. If only the government, private entities and garment producers moves as one in unison towards attaining the need to revive the industry, MON FAVILA and his group of talented artists surely deserves the priority to be given due attention to lead this advocacy by producing a fashion show featuring garments made from our very own “Manila Hemps”.

I did not bring along with me my Canon during the show, but I always have a back-up. A miniture digital camera. I hope than Mon and his group of talented artists enjoys this short video clip we prepared, which was dated May 12, 2007 (the production date), but the show was actually held on May 11, 2007, as a gesture of appreciation of having been invited, we extended the show until today.

I was informed by Usec. Robert Rivera that Mon’s Fashion shall be having its remake at Pilipinas Ngayon Na! in celebration of PNN’s 2nd Anniversary at NBN-4 comes June 7, 2007, after a more than a decade of airing that started at Channel 13. This is just part of the clip we have documented. Watch the remake of Wedding et. al. by MON FAVILA at PNN! Aired every Sundays from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. at NBN Channel 4!

To Mon and Company. CONGRATULATIONS!

We would like to thank our friends at Yahoo 360! Fil-Am Group at Yahoo! OFW Group at yahoo! The Rodrigazo-Arrieta Group at Yahoo! Our Information Officers at the Philippine Embassy, Washington D.C., the Information Office, Fiber Industry Development Authority, the Information Office, Department of Agriculture, the Office of the Press Secretary, Office of the President and for all those who views our pages worldwide.