MINDANAO Tapestry, a fashion extravaganza featuring the Neo-Ethnic Fashion of Renee Salud and the Mindanao Weavers, opened with ten Miss Universe candidates wearing the artistic interpretation of ten local fashion designers who represent the Fashion Designers Guild of Davao (FDGD).

The local designers were Silverio Ang lacer, Emi Englis, Kenny Ladaga, Alfonso “Boy” Guino-o, Aztec Barba, BenjiePanizales, DodjieBatu, Edgar Buyan, Wilson Limon, and EgayAyag.

The designers, though diverse in styles and creativity, are bound together by one inspiration, the wealth and depth of our indigenous woven fabrics and intricate designs, carefully crafted by artisans and dream weavers of tradition, to finally bring our Mindanaoan pride on center stage.

Elegantly carried on the catwalk by the Miss Universe candidates, each masterpiece adorned in eye-catching accessories and glittering fragments did not disappoint, and in fact, stood out.

Mindanao Tapestry is a heritage showcase created to introduce the rich artistry of our Philippine culture by featuring indigenous woven fabrics and intricate designs. This fusion of traditionally woven cloth into contemporary wear is a collaboration between Salud and the weavers, who are the pride of Mindanao.

Starting with a mini-documentary on Mindanao as narrated by Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo (a Mindanaoan herself), and interspersed with varied cultural performances, the show is divided into six parts representing the six regions of Mindanao: T’boli Weaves, Indigenous Cross Stitches, Yakan Weaves, Tribal Weaves of Bukidnon, Royal Garb of Mandaya Tribe, and the Inuol Ball gowns. All twenty nine visiting candidates glittered down the runway in their ethnic-inspired creations by Salud.

Earlier in the foyer, a pre-show where local models sashayed down the ramp was staged by Mindanaoan designers Ronnie Nacua, Toffy Ledesma, Mark Yaranon, Gil Macaibay, Bamba Limon, Nicky De Asis, Richie Uy Delos Santos, Steffy Dacalus, Joey Hambala, Grand Crizzel Ravacio, Pepe Quitco, Che Aranjuez, Mark Sayad, Ivan Raborar, Wilfred Yee, Akmad Kari Jr, and Saidali Abdilla Jr.

An exhibit area is set up to feature weaving by Mindanao tribeswomen, producing the contemporary outfits worn by the models.

In another area, a photo exhibit presented beautiful destinations in Mindanao taken by veteran Filipino photographer George Tapan.

The night was capped with tokens presented to each candidate led by Debbie Uy-Rodolfo of Phoenix Petroleum.

Special awards were given to Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach (Miss Phoenix Petroleum), Miss Philippines Maxine Medina (Hiyas ng Petroleum) and Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw (Phoenix Best Smile).

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc., a leading independent and the fastest-growing oil company in the Philippines, is the lead presenter for the Miss Universe ancillary event in Davao.

Since the company’s first station opened in Davao in 2005, it has expanded to build a wide network of retail stations and commercial and industrial clients nationwide.

Other partners and supporters are the Department of Tourism, Eden Nature Park and Resort, Metro Shuttle, Park Inn by Radisson, SM Lanang Premier and the SMX Convention Center.