Sunday, 25 August 2013

The pork goes to the dogs?

As a social design entrepreneur and volunteer in poor Filipino 
communities, I have this to say about pork barrel.

I have met so many rural Filipinos who do not understand it. What they only understand is they need work and 
they need the decency of having to live life. They thought 
Napoles is a place in Italy. Or PDAF is a rural cooperative. 

I shared a story with our less educated folks about pork
 barrel. There is this Biblical story saying the rich has a large number of sheeps to show his wealth. The poor had none but he toils  a  small land for some vegetables to eat.  

The rich man was hungry one day and could slaughter one of his sheeps for meat but he was so greedy he did not, 
he just grabbed the land of the poor instead so he could harvest the vegetables and eat them isntead of his sheep. I guess this is what is happening today. Greediness and un-sensitivity to those who have none. Men in power are

In another group of folks, I told them the story of the dogs. 
There were men who contested who among themselves can tell te biggest lie in their life wins the dog. So each man told the biggest lies he could ever tell each one. But there is 
this man, the last one to tell his greatest lie, told each one
 he never ever told a lie in his entire life! And all the men 
chorused, " Man, you can keep the dog!"
Add caption
The pork that loves the dog so much....

While here are those who meant well to spend the pork barrel for relevant social projects, the pork barrel circumstances today is for our politicians to
 cleanse their hearts. Their hearts are impure. Say, 
representative Lani Mercado, instead of showing humility, 
she blamed the public for her state of guilt. 

Perhaps, the toll against us voters is that we never have to 
vote for for public office those who do not have the heart to
 serve. We do not check their hearts to serve men.  We only vote for them because we can memorize their names. 

As public servants, true joy of service is food in the presence of our Creator who is always above the state and men. 
Many politicians forget their own brethren rather they tend to the pigs and dogs...and not about humans. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Iloilo Designers Week (IDW) in support of the local design and fashion business

There are three cities outside of Manila which are very prolific in the fashion design business based on the number of designers, fashion events and fashion industries. These are Cebu, Davao and Iloilo. 

Apart from Iloilo's pioneering great ideas in fashion events which ripple off for Ilonggo designers to go back to promote our very own handloom  textiles such as hablon or patadyong, which are the fabric focus for Ilonggo designers for its gala show, the city becomes a busy factory of making clothes and accessories. It also gives income to so many including production people and models.

 Of course, Ilonggo weavers in the rural areas are smiling that once more they will be on stage. IDW , on its second year,  is one of the many activities that are helping our local fashion industry to become a national pride.  Ilonggo designers Jaki Penalosa and Bo Parcon are the brains behind this event.

For designers to produce their collection is a test of visualization, putting pieces of inspirations into one line concept to bespeak the design philosophy of that designer. It is a challenge because a collection can make us or break us...specially to the pens of bloggers and media, some are merciless in spite how hard designers, specially the neophytes,  spend nights and days to work on their collection, even emptying their pockets to the last cent just to make their work outstanding. 

But the Iloilo designers are always fearless. There is always diversity in commonality like using our local fabrics. I think nowhere else in the Philippines that designers like the Ilonggos are so enamored with their own textiles. But it does not matter which fabric a designer use, runways are expressions of creativity. I love seeing fun things on the ramp. It tells us of how great minds can stimulate our creative economies forward.

A distinct point of view of a designer's body of works of who he is  a must  in the fashion business. In my case, I will always be in the resort fashion business. My line is more pret-a-porter than couture--although I make those as well. We are in the tropics and the Philippines is a major tourist destination, I feel, this is a huge market Filipino designers can fill in. Though there are  four global fashion selling seasons-- spring, summer, fall and winter---the new omni-present season is resort which is also called as holiday or cruise. So now there are five seasons.  Resort can mean by the beach, by the forest, by the Alps or frozen lake. 

Let me share with you how designers develop a line concept for a runway show  to build a point of view towards brand image building of a designer. 

Designers get inspirations from trends or tendencies they see in magazines, movies or streets. Some they just research on market preferences. Some go to libraries. Others are  based on consumers' needs. I love the re-surgence of the neon colors from the 1980's because I can relate to it and I think our world needs bright colors to counter some gloomy images of the now generation. This is my peg for my collection. Neon. Luminous. Shocking. Reflectors.

I love the the play of colors in accessories, they are spices to simple clothing these days. While nude color accessories have been a great look, I love the idea of mixing nude color with shocking color like the shoe here --second row from right. I thought I can make some like these accessories, too.

Colors, like fabrics, may dictate the collection of the designer. Black and grey are staple colors but somehow, I thought this can be tiring hues,too. I think Filipinos are not afraid of colors. We are in the tropics and culturally our day to day wear resembles our sorroundings--the gumamela flowers, emerald seas, the leaves in the rainforest. Details at;postID=2560764819041975309;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=33;src=postname

Prints and patterns make a designer's collection. They make the clothing line three-dimensional. They are like graphics to plain canvasses of colored fabrics. I am enamored with always anything artisanal--anything made by hand. They show character and spirit of who made them.  Patchwork is a trend and I thought, it is just in time I am doing so.

The latest from Chanel are simple square geometrics. I love them. So 60's. Designers have their signature pattern, my brand Nautilus PJ Aranador, has its signature patterns of stripes because it immediately suggests resort, beach and holiday lifestyle...and I love to drop something ethnic in patterns because I like a sense of place and origin in my creations. MORE ON PRINTS;postID=373202146820801583;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=26;src=postname 

Once we peg our inspirations, we do our sketches or studies. Designers start to visualize their collection with fashion illustrations where we add our specs and fabric swatches. 

It takes two to three weeks of non-stop work to build a small pret-a-porter ( ready to wear ) collection. Haute Couture takes six months, even one year. The rigors of work is hard but fulfilling. 
I am one of the only few swimwear and resort wear designers in the Philippines, I  will show the 2014 Spring and Summer  trends in color and print interpretations in my latest cruise collection. Many now realized that one of the best selling swimwear collections in Boracay sold to the world market are now manufactured in Iloilo City! 
Consistency is a good direction for brand establishment.  I continue with my signature stripes.
The neon colors in tropical fabrics such as cotton and chiffon.

In this collection, I will use the summer prints in my bags and jewelry while the outfits remain stark plain in blasting colors. My accessories this time will be patterned and textile-based! Last year, I showed handloom textiles in my resort wear with pineapple, pandan ( palm fan leaves) and upcycled tarpualin in bags and footwear. 

The patch work of scrap neon color fabrics will be made into textile-based bags mixed with local patadyong. The jewelry will be done with upcyled "tanzans" ( soft drink tin caps) with these fabric made into doilies. They will be done by students from Central Philippine University through its student livelihood program called Hearts to Hands--which I authored. ( More on

Patadyong espadrilles will be part of the mixed patterns to compliment the solid colors. Neon canvass espadrilles for men with jute will be in, too. 

Soft bags made from scrap hablon and discarded fabrics will be upcyled into beach accessories. And no non-biodgradable metal fittings. 
My green-social design called HABI which uses scrap fabrics from rags ( "trapo"/ "basahan") woven into the tinest texture made into resort espadrilles will compliment the look. HABI was formed by Ateneo University students to help under privileged women in dump site areas in Quezon City through the creation of the international-award winning project. We sell these fast-selling HABI footwear in Nautilus Boracay. 
There are these crafted wedges made from hablon and patadyong from my sketch pad transformed into great pieces by artisans. And I guess, with all the nitty gritty,  I am ready for the show. 

My resort 2014 collection will be shown  at the Iloilo Designers Week   21 September at 6pm SM City Iloilo Activity Center Ground Floor SM City Iloilo . Open to the Public. For gala night fashion show, my collegues at the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines Jojie Lloren, Ivarluski Aseron & Cary Santiago with Philipp Tampus  will be with among over 20 Ilonggo designers who will show their collection on the gala runway August 24, 2013 6:30pm Kalantiao Hall, Sarabia Manor Hotel, Iloilo City. Regular tickets at Php 1k with dinner. You can only get this grand show for so less. Contact me for tickets. I sell my tickets for Php 900 only--that is a huge discount when you buy from me. just message me here. DETAILS at DETAILS at IDW

Must have colors for Spring Summer 2013-14

Colors Spring summer 2013-2014

Friday, 9 August 2013

Miss Universe Gloria Diaz wears a PJ Aranador hablon terno at Central Philippine University High School Centennial Homecoming Reunion

TWO MISS UNIVERSE @ CENTRAL. PJ Arañador designs the hablon, Iloilo's queen of handloom textiles, for the Philippines' first Miss Universe and the 3rd Asian Miss Universe winner, Gloria Diaz, and Iloilo's first semi-finalist at the Miss Universe competition, Louise Vail Aurelio. Miss Aurelio became the first winner of Binibing Pilipinas Universe in the history of the organization to represent the Philippines in Florida for the Miss Universe pageant and the first Ilonggo to give honor to Iloilo in an international beauty competition. 

Miss Diaz will wear a 60's inspired pink hablon serpentina terno with indigenous "senepa/cenefa de boda" ( border) mixed with handbeaded chiffon from India where the designer and Miss Diaz met. The terno is the national long dress of the Philippines. It is characterized with stiff butterfly sleeves.Hablon is an exquisite pedal loom textile that dates back since 1898 at that time Iloilo was the textile capital of the Philippines. It changes its color like a chameleon.

Miss Aurelio will wear another 60's inspired slate blue serpentina terno in hablon with a local "cenefa" motif. All will be hand-loomed in Miagao, Iloilo home to the famous 16th century Miagao church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Through the use of hablon, CPU High School supports to sustain our heritage in the indigenous arts and crafts.

Both beauty queens will wear their hablon at the Central Philippine University (CPU or CENTRAL) High School Centennial King and Queen, Prince and Princess pageant. CPU is one of the only two pioneering American schools established in the Philippines by American missionaries through the Rockefeller Foundation led by William O. Valentine.

Both Miss Diaz and Miss Vail won their titles in the USA. Miss Aurelio is an alumna of CPU High School and was a football scholar. Miss Diaz first film after proclaimed Miss Universe was shot in Sicogon Island in Iloilo.

They will be joined by Miss Amelia de la Cruz, also from Iloilo, past Bibibining Pilipinas runner-up,  Mutya ng Pilipinas winner and the country's first Miss SouthEast Asia Queen, alumna of CPU HS.  Ms Gladys Baban Corder, also an alumna, a campus beauty queen such as Miss CPUR, Miss CPU High School, former Queen of JAro and Five Star  Miss Philippines Caltex runner-up. Younger set of CPU HS alumni beauty queens include Miss Emily Victoria, the current Queen of Iloilo's Dinagyang.

PAGEANT is on August 30, 2013 4-6 p.m.Rose Memorial Hall, CPU. 100 voice choirs and 100 casts of orchestra, bands, singers will be part of the show. PJ Arañador, also from CPU HS, directs. Tickets are now available at Php 150, 300, 500 CPU High School Office. Call at 320-36-85 Alumni Office, CPU HS Principal’s Office 329-1971-79 local 1064. Or text us at 09093315988. Or message us here in our fb account. Alumni batches are encouraged to reserved their tickets ahead of time like many batches have already done so. HURRY!
Details at

SUSTAINING OUR CRAFTS HERITAGE TO HELP RURAL LIVELIHOOD COME ALIVE.The Philippine national attire for women is called the TERNO. It evolved from an ensemble called “baro’t saya” ( blouse and skirt), transformed into the “Maria Clara” which in turn was metamorphosed into the “Traje de mestiza.” Terno in Spanish means to match. Traditionally, they use only handloomed textiles suchs as pineapple, banana and cotton fiber. 

Miss Amelia de la Cruz will wear a red orange hablon with classic stripe design.  Mrs. Gladys Baban Cordero, will wear a canary yellow also made of hablon with "bit-bit" inserts. The serpentina terno has a glass-hour silhouette. 

Iloilo Designers Week

Jojie Lloren, Ivarluski Aseron & Cary Santiago are great Filipino designers who are my co-members at the prestigious Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP). Jojie was a budding designer who joined our FDCP competition for Paris, France the same way Cary did which I helped organized at that time. Ivar was then a young designer as well when he joined FDCP. Oh, I feel so old beside them. With FDCP, we have done great shows together in the past. As a co-founder, incorporator and pioneer of FDCP 15 years back, I am so pleased to see these designers reach the summit of their careers today and became great achievers in the Philippine design and fashion community. ( FDCP was founded by Josie Natori, pioneers include Inno Sotto, Lulu Tan Gan, Cesar Guapo with honorary members Pitoy Moreno & Ben Farrales).

Jojie Lloren finished Clothing Technology in University of the Philippines Diliman and from Ecoles de Chambre Syndicale dela Couture Parisienne in Paris. He won the Grand Prize in the Philippine Young Designers Competition in 1998. Through FDCP, Jojie Lloren also brought the Grand Prize at the Concours de Jeunes Creaturs de Mode in Paris of the same year ( the second to win for the Philippines after Frederick Peralta). Christian Espiritu serves as his mentor. He was a mentor for Project Runway Philippines. He was the president of the Young Designers Guild and the Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines

Cary Santiago is Cebu based designer who trained couture in Beirut, Dubai and Paris. He has a signature look on fabric-wrapped like metalwork, fabrics woven in basket-weave patterns , fabric folding and draping. His couture houses caters to Arab royalty and elite. Cary won the 2004 grand prize of the Philippine Fashion Design Competition by FDCP. In November 2010, he was chosen as a contestant for the Outstanding International Fashion Designer Award category of the China Fashion Awards.

Ivarluski Aseron is a multi-awarded avant garde fashion designer whose collections have been featured abroad, including Malaysia and Indonesia. He jumpstarted his career in the fashion industry by participating in the MEGA Young Designers Competition in 2002. He went on to win the Revolutionary Designer plum at the MTV Style Awards and the Best Evening Wear Designer prize at the MEGA Fashion Awards. His cleints include Gretchen Barretto.

These designers with among over 20 Ilonggo designers will show their collection on the runway August 24, 2013 6:30pm Kalantiao Hall, Sarabia Manor Hotel, Iloilo City. Regular tickets at Php 1k with dinner. You can only get this grand show for so less. Contact me for tickets. I sell my tickets for Php 900 only--that is a huge discount when you buy from me. just message me here. DETAILS at

Philippine Airlines will always be Philippines' Pride

We will miss PAL in domestic flights. What a great honor though our national carrier will be flying again in Paris London Rome and Amsterdam. More European tourists can experience our Filipino heritage on board. My loyalty to PAL dates back 12 years ago when I was the only Filipino hired to join an elite team of foreign consultants for its re-branding for its first class and business class up-gradation that now still carries the resort look in the cabin-- soft patterns of palm trees, rippling waves , soothing colors of sand, alluring holiday colors of the emerald Philippine seas, exotic local cuisine, neat Maria Clara-like images of FA's with their "pearl of the Orient Seas" accessories, colorful gumamela prints and great Filipino smile! Let Asia's fist airline carry our flag PROUD AND HIGH!
 THE LARGEST IN SOUTHEAST ASIA IS IN OUR COUNTRY. Members of the Philippine Airlines cabin crew wave at the entrance of a new A321-200 plane owned by Philippine Airlines in Pasay city, Metro Manila August 8, 2013. A Philippine Airlines statement said the aircraft is the first of 45 single-aisle A321s and 20 wide-body A330-300 that are set to arrive until 2019 as part of the airline's refleeting programme worth nearly $10 billion, the largest aircraft purchase in the Southeast Asian country. REUTERS/Erik De Castro (PHILIPPINES - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)

We are old fashioned at Iloilo Youth Entrepreneurship Program

WE ARE OLD FASHIONED iPhone or iPad, no Apple or Android for young people. Only some flour and roller pins, fruits, vegetables and bamboo! And they will build our nation! They will be our future Filipino entrepreneurs. Certainly, they will become better Filipino citizens-- giving them directions to put up their businesses than work for others specially abroad. Family affluence, living in big cities, electronics and college degrees are not the sure tickets for the Filipino youths to help in making our country tick. We train them to be sustainable. We start them young. Their minds embrace the concept wholeheartedly.

Our rural and under privileged youths in Iloilo, many are not in formal school or not able to go to school, are already graduating on 18th August in Lambunao, Iloilo. What a joy! These young people were trained in Baking and Pastry Making, Wine and Beverage Making, Fruits and Vegetable Processing, Bamboo Weaving Crafts, Entrepreneurship, Business Planning and Financial Management. They will show their works for a competition on their graduation day. I can not wait to see who makes the best product!

We thank all the tireless trainors, whose dedication to endure in spite of all the odds, gave themselves beyond their call of duty, rain or shine, far and wide. We thank DTI-Iloilo and Congressman Arthur R. Defensor, Jr.
3rd Congressional District of Iloilo for the project management and funds we all need to make these young people able and steadfast.

With Iloilo Youth Entrepreneurship Program, there is hope in our Filipino hands. There is an awesome destiny for our Filipino youth.

Cocina de herencia en Iloilo, Filipinas

Cocina de herencia en Iloilo, Filipinas. Heritage Cuisine in Iloilo, Philippines.

Estos son alimentos Filipino típico de la provincia. Pangat es de hojas de taro con leche de coco. Se ha secado de pescado. 

Latik es el azafrán coloreado la calabaza. Hacen puré de ello a mano. La leche de coco, las judías verdes y los camarones jóvenes añaden el sabor. Mejor con ajo asado.

Kadios, baboy, langka (KBL) sólo se encuentra en nuestra ciudad debido a los frijoles negros nuevamente cosechados cocidos a fuego lento con la carne de cerdo y fruta del gato joven verde. Estos son en su mayoría sanos y platos vegetarianos. Algunos de los platos populares antes de la llegada de los Españoles a las Filipinas.

These are typical Filipino food from the province. Pangat is from taro leaves with coconut milk. It has dried fish. Latik is saffron colored pumpkin. It is pureed by hand. Coconut milk, string beans and baby shrimps add flavor. Best with roasted garlic.

Kadios, baboy, langka (KBL) is only found in our town because of the freshly harvested black beans simmered with pork and green baby jackfruit. These are mostly healthy and vegetarian dishes. Some dishes were popular before the Spaniards came to the Philipines.

Apan-apan es el ciprés acuático llamado Kang Kong que crece en tierras de arroz. Se cocina con la pasta de camarón.

Sisig tres veces se cocina carne de cerdo joven. En primer lugar, hervido en especias. En segundo lugar, asado en carbón de leña. En tercer lugar, freído y cortado con salsas del hígado y los huevos de la codorniz fresca. No sano pero delicioso.

Apan-apan is water cypress called Kang Kong which grows in rice lands. It is cooked with shrimp paste. Sisig is thrice cooked young pork. First, boiled in spices. Second, roasted in charcoal. Third, fried and chopped with liver sauces and fresh quail’s eggs. Not healthy but delicious.

Wawa PJ Arañador Heritage Restaurant is located at Montinola Mansion, E Lopez Street Jaro Iloilo City, near Graciano Lopez Jaena Jaro Plaza and beside Nissan Jaro Showroom.  Link:

Iloilo Festival of Colors

CHAMELEON ILOILO FESTIVAL OF COLORS  will be the first in Iloilo  this September 7th. Festivals bring in joy to people, create jobs and make a city interesting---bringing tourists in and inspire others to build happiness among ourselves.

I think the inspiration is from “Holi”  a spring festival celebrated as a festival of colours in India and Nepal. It is a Hindu religious festival which has also become popular with people of other communities. In  the Hindu calendar, Holi is celebrated on the Full Moon which comes in February or March. I have experienced Holi in India while I worked there for years in the past. So I can relate how fun this would be.

NATURAL TO SYNTHETIC. ( As reported by  (  "While the idea is great fun for other cultures,  in the past, natural colours were used  to celebrate Holi safely by applying turmeric, sandalwood paste, extracts of flowers and leaves. 

As the spring-blossoming trees that once supplied the colours used to celebrate Holi have become more rare, chemically produced industrial dyes have been used to take their place in almost all of urban India. 

Due to the commercial availability of attractive pigments, slowly the natural colours are replaced by synthetic colours. As a result it has caused mild to severe symptoms of skin irritation and inflammation. 

In 2001,  they found some toxic chemicals with some potentially severe health impacts. The black powders were found to contain lead oxide which can result in renal failure. 

The prussian blue used in the blue powder has been associated with contact dermatitis, while the copper sulphate in the green has been documented to cause eye allergies, puffiness of the eyes, or temporary blindness.

The colorant used in the dry colors, also called gulals, was found to be toxic, with heavy metals causing asthma, skin diseases and temporary blindness. Both of the commonly used bases—asbestos or silica—are associated with health issues.They reported that the wet colours might lead to skin discolouration and dermatitis due to their use of colour concentrate gentian violet. "

I suggest the colors to be used be skin tested first. Have them taken to a laboratory in Iloilo City to be examined. We can never be sure.  Public safety first. Cheers and enjoy!