Monday, 27 May 2013

The Unfolding of iFASHION Academy

Patience is a good virtue…and building a school requires tons of it. Today, I was overjoyed to see the developments of the fashion and design school I have been dreaming of all these years.  To restore old buildings are much more difficult than to build new ones. One step at a time,  the school infrastructure is unfolding right before my eyes. Slowly but surely.  It is just now a question of time.

  I am sure it will be aesthetically pleasing as the building itself is architecturally outstanding and historically important in the city—being the first hotel in Iloilo City. Iloilo itself  has a  glorious architectural history dating as far back as 1898. 

We are running late with our target to open the school but I am sure it will be a milestone once we  open. I thank my staff assistant  for over 15 years Johann Kwong for helping me out with the school plan from design to its curriculum. Our SEC papers are ready and that is re-assuring. 

This  industrial design and fashion school will be a history written in our aspiration to make a difference in our society. As practitioning industrial designers ourselves, we know that our graduates from our school in the future,  through design,  will make our lives better,  easier, nicer, more convenient, more affordable and more enjoyable. 


 The first hotel in Iloilo City way back in the 1920's will become Iloilo's first international fashion and design school

The outstanding architectural wonders of the 1920's American era in Iloilo City ( also named the Eagle City  by the Americans because many buildings were decorated with the American Eagles) meld gracefully with the old Spanish buildings was far back as  1898 when the Spaniards made Iloilo City their Queen's City in Asia.
 One of our worksheet plans---showing our color scheme in white, black, red, grey and natural, my personal favorite colors.
Johann Kwong, doing the works along the school hallway which will also become part of our mock runway.

 Myself climbing up and down the grand stairway of the edifice....I love old ancestral abodes becuase they anchor us who we are as a race. Am always proud as Ilonggo because our  exquisite heritage from the antiquated past can always be shared with others outside of our race today. I can visualize once our foreign students will enroll and we all share with them our culture through what they will experience with our living spaces.

 the side entrance
 the stairs going up the school
the old verandah has to be torn down to be replaced with a stronger one--but I still need to design it. This will be converted into a green open space student lounge and heritage restaurant.

part of our school laboratory still in construction

Itemized details of my architectural plans as I worked with carpenters and masons... we will toil daily until our dream will sparkle in our heart.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Chair is not a Chair

I posted a few weeks back for some good hearts to help with the much needed children's chairs for very poor kids in Sooc Arevalo Illoilo City. It yielded help from a very far away land from Paris, France much as I thought help will come from around the local neighborhood only.Paris is special to me though as I used to work there in a lifestyle showroom and doing shows and exhibitions--but I never thought at this time, Paris will remember me through a helpful someone after all these years.

Sooc is where I have poured my time for the past year after moving from Manila to Iloilo City--after following my conviction that as a designer I want my substance in the social design category and go back to serve my hometown--away from the maddening glamour of Manila after 30 years. The community is near the Iloilo dumpsite where life was so distraught until we introduced Project Zero, a livelihood program I authored, where we trained women to stitch used tarps and made them into fashion bags.

My eyes were opened up to help beyond the women as I see so many children who were desperate. I own a heritage restaurant in the city which raises some money from our sales to feed the kids through a program called Food For Sure ( Food for Responsibility and Sustainability.)  But it did not stop there, they needed comfortable chairs when they go to school this June. I was determined to find some means I could be of help.

God is good. My prayers were answered. From Paris with love, indeed. Thank you.

( Project Zero is a partnership program of Smart Telecommunications, Philippine Business for Social Progress, GK Sooc, GKonomics, Sooc Social Ventures, Nautilus PJ Aranador and Business Fair Trade Consulting. (