MEXICO, Pampanga -- The Kapampangan designer who created the iconic gowns worn by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray during the preliminary and pageant coronation night held in Bangkok, Thailand is finally back in his hometown here.
Mak Tumang, whom Gray credited for his brilliant ideas and execution of her Miss Universe gowns, was back in his home office and workshop in Barangay San Antonio Thursday morning, December 20.
Tumang, in his first appearance to local media, described how “painstaking but worth it” the creations are of the iconic Ibong Adarna-inspired, and the fiery red “Mayon” gowns which Gray worn when she was crowned Miss Universe 2018.
“Since March 2018, we have been conducting research on how to perfectly execute the designs of the dress, and the hand-placing of hundreds of multi-colored stones to complete patterns was very much painstaking but all worth it because our ‘sese’ took home the crown,” Tumang said.
Asked about his relationship with the newly-crowned beauty queen, Tumang recalled that their friendship goes back during the Miss World journey of Gray in 2016 where he was also part of her glam team.
He added that he also dressed Gray during her latest Binibining Pilipinas stint where she was eventually crowned Miss Philippines-Universe to represent the country in the prestigious beauty competition.
Meanwhile, Tumang expressed his gratitude to his fellow Kapampangans for recognizing his role in Gray’s journey, and for sharing their proud moments as “kabalens” through him.
He also encouraged other designers, especially budding ones, who aspire to be in his place to just put their passion on what they do, and always do their best.