I remember a few months back when, during an event honoring National Artist for Visual Arts Vicente Manansala at the Ayala Museum, I bumped into Elite Garments CEO Sheree Roxas Chua-Gotuaco and VP Katty Roxas Chua-Qua. Sheree excitedly shared with me that the next Philippine National Artist that Freeway would honor would be Ramon Valera.
At the time, however, I didn't know who Ramon Valera was. The only Valera I knew was Rey Valera and in my head, I was asking myself, "the guy who wrote 'Maging Sino Ka Man' and 'Mr. DJ' is a National Artist?"
Shame on me, I know. But this is what's so great about the Freeway Loves Art National Artist Series. The three previous artists--Nick Joaquin, Ang Kiukok, and Jose Garcia-Villa--I'm familiar with but after attending the launch of the Ramon Valera collection a few hours ago at the Row in Glorietta 5, I got to know another. Valera, among other things, modernized the terno and made Filipinas all the more beautiful. And now, his designs have inspired the Freeway Loves Art holiday collection.
Guest of honor was Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Congresswoman, who was very sharp when she was being interviewed by host Tessa Prieto-Valdez.
Resource speakers included Valera's niece Peching Zulueta-Gomez, fashion designer Aureo Alonzo, and National Museum of the Philippines curator Nick Legazpi Jr.
There was also a display of original Valera gowns at the ground floor of Glorietta 5, which I believe was a one-night only thing. Will post pictures later. I just wish I brought the right lens. Working with a zoom lens proved challenging but I had to make do with what I had.
More on the event soon. For now, however, I need to sleep. I think I might be coming down with a cold. Haha. But before I do, let me post my four favorites from the collection.