Carving a name in international fashion scene

Joselito John P. Cabungcal
Joselito John P. CabungcalContributed photo

FROM just sketching and creating designs for barangay competitions, this young fashion designer is starting to carve his name both in the national and international scene while promoting his hometown’s Musa fabric.

Joselito John P. Cabungcal, 23, who just completed his Diploma in Fashion Technology at the Philippine Women’s College in Davao City, has been featured in numerous fashion shows abroad under the House of Musa – a fashion enterprise championing Davao del Norte’s cultural fabric Musa.

He has been known for his creations focused on men's wear. 

To date, his creations have been showcased in New York; Paris; Dubai; Canada; San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California; London; New Zealand; Las Vegas; Virginia; and Singapore. This is on top of the shows that featured him in the Philippines.

“I'll forever be grateful to the House of Musa for all the opportunities they gave me. It is such an honor for my works to be recognized not only in the Philippines but internationally," he said. 

Cabungcal was invited to be one of the in-house designers of Musa in 2021. 

Before he became part of House of Musa, his first collection was on facemasks in response to the global pandemic. He also shared his journey to being a fashion designer by posting his sketches and designs online. This has helped him get noticed by House of Musa founder Gleizl Joy Soo. 

"My first collection was featured in Tagum City. The next was on the international stage already, it was that fast, thanks to the House of Musa," he shared. 

But his path to be where he is today was never easy. He also had a fair share of challenges and doubts from some people around him. 

Someone told him that he must not force things that are not meant for him.

But he persevered and proved to them that he can make his dream a reality. Despite financial constraints, he looked for ways to get himself enrolled at PWC, Davao's leading school in fashion design.

"But for all the setbacks, I take all of it as a challenge to thrive. I use these circumstances as a force for motivation," the young designer emphasized. 

When being compared to both budding and renowned designers, Cabungcal underscored that he did not allow it to distract him. 

"I'm still new and I still have a lot of things to learn. I would just like to focus on building my name and improving my creations, one collection at a time. There is no point in comparing yourself to others, we take inspiration, yes, but I do not necessarily compete with anyone but myself," he said. 

Earlier this year, Cabungcal proved again his talent in fashion design by winning the 2023 Philippine National Skills Competition by TESDA. 

He said that one of his ultimate goals is to find his identity in fashion, strengthen his brand, and create his own audience. 

"I'm young and there are still a lot of things that I'm about to encounter and discover. But I'd like to believe that I'm on the right path because this is what I have really wanted to do since I was seven," he shared.

To fellow young and aspiring creatives, Cabungcal has one message: Don't limit yourself but don't be too hard on yourself. Keep creating your designs and always strive to be your best version each day. 

Focus on improving your craft, do what you love and everything will come up into something that you've been dreaming of. 

After completing his Diploma in Fashion Technology, Cabungcal is planning to pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. 

"I really would like to pursue fashion for men's wear. As I have observed, most designers are focusing on women and ladies' fashion but for men's wear, it is something that is not thoroughly explored yet," he said. ASP


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