It is not art when an artist is playing himself. A great artist does not use the art, but instead he channels it.

The Robinson's Iloilo Design Lab 2012

Last month of June, the good people from Robinson's Place Iloilo invited me to be one of the judges for the annual Design Lab, which is a fashion and design competition set for young, up and coming individuals who would like to set foot in the glamorous world of Fashion and Design, by starting to dominate the Iloilo Fashion Scene.

Iloilo, apart from the natural beauty of its seas and landscape, is home of many talents in the local fashion and creative scene. The names in fashion and design by the likes of Frederick Peralta and Eric Delos Santos and local top model Ria Bolivar are just few of the names that Iloilo has produced and have contributed to the success of the Philippine Fashion scene in general.

Robinson's Design Lab, in its 6th run, presented us judges with 3 top contenders who have interpreted the theme 'Apocalypse to each of their collection. This came about after months of thorough screening and rigid training by the young aspiring designers:

Alfie Desamparado (with his collection):

 Russel Patina (with his collection):

 and Rommel Salarda (with his collection):

 The grand finals, hosted by Gail Nunez and Rofel John Parreno, started with a Kazaky-inspired performances, that segued to revealing each of the designers collections.

Prior to judging all the designs of each of the three contestants, we(the judges) were given a chance to talk to each of the designer, and check out their designs up-close so as we can better gauge and understand how the clothes came about based from each of their creative and design process.

After the 'question and answer' part of the competition, we(the judges) have sum up all our scores and tallied it all to reveal the winner. This is me(rightmost) with my fellow judges Fashion Stylist and your Avantgardien Andre Chang, Metro Magazine's Editor and Resident Stylist Mela de Luna and  respected and truly loved Fashion Designer Frederick Peralta.

and the winner is...

 To award the winning designer, we have called in Robinson's Iloilo's Ditas Taleon and Keim Lumampao representing one of the sponsors for the event to come up on stage and award Alfie with an honorary necklace/medal in a form of a large button(how cute and symbolic)

Here we. the judges, are joined by Fashion Designer Bo Parcon, who creatively directed the event with the 3 young contestants of the competition.

Winning a competition is never complete without a celebration, so, our hosts invited us for a dinner at the Iloilo nightlife cental 'Smallville' where fresh seafood were served for our enjoyment(this is where I found out that when eating oysters, one should only drink one kind of alcoholic drink, I had beer and red wine that night - that I can remember :) -) We are also joined by the owner of the bar that hosted us, organizers of the event from Robinson's Iloilo, Stylist Eric Poliquit(who I flew with from Manila) the winner and his models + lots more friends from the local Iloilo fashion circuit.

Hopefully, til the next run of the competition, I will be invited again, for I really love witnessing how young creatives break-free and enter the world full of challenges, fun and surprises... molding them to having a thriving creative profession in the business -and life- that is Fashion!



some local press release from the said event:

TRAVEL PHOTOS | Gigantes Hideaway, Island Tour, Carles Iloilo

Here are some more photos from my recent trip to the islands of Iloilo.

Check my original post here --->

Estancia Port is where it will all begin.
There are 2 ways to go to Estancia Port
Book a flight either to:
Iloilo-Estancia Port ( 120kms )
Roxas-Estancia Port ( 63kms )
Then take a van,bus or car and go to Estancia Port,Carles.

Some islands we visited. There are more. Refer to the pic on the album
Pulupandan island (TAKE PHOTOS)
Tanke island (SWIM IN THE LAGOON)
Gigantes island (MAIN ISLAND)
Antonia island/cave (GO TO THE CAVE)
Sand bar Beach (GO DURING LOWTIDE)

Plane ticket (manila-iloilo / manila-roxas)
Van or bus are available on each city going to Estancia Port (not sure though about the fare cost coz went there on a private car)
4,500 boat (estancia - gigantes - estancia + island hoppings)
200 per head for the accommodation at Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn
1,200 lunch-dinner-breakfast-lunch (super fiesta)
tip for the tour guide, bangkero, cook
I spent Php 1,500 for everything. Went with a group of 5 pax. Very good deal!

NOTE:Electricity available at 5pm-midnight / generator midnight-6am
No smart/globe signal.

Contact Joel B. Decano (tourism officer)
0918-4685006 / 0915-5796612
Facebook: Isla Gigantes
*request for Ian (pronounced as Ayan) as your tour guide*



Snapshots at SoFA Manila's Fashion Photography Class

Hi Everyone, 

Last Friday, my class did an outdoor activity with the aim to introduce themselves in working with natural light. The objective of the activity is to maximize their skills using available light and capture motion through their subject. I have given them an option to combine strobelighting(via speedlights) with available light when shooting, this will eventually help them discover a more diverse lighting technique in their craft. The activity also aims to help the students experience the challenges in shooting outdoors, and on the resolutions in overcoming these challenges.

Here are some photos I took from that activity.

Location: SoFA Manila
Model: Charmaine Gonzales at Yeoh Models
Styling and Grooming: Tippi Sy 

ARTIST FEATURE | Erwin Chiongson | Sculptural Alterscapes

Hi Everyone!

Last month, Robinson's Mall Iloilo invited me to be a judge for Design Lab, a fashion design competition for young and aspiring fashion designers from Iloilo(I will post photos from my experience from that wonderful experience soon, been caught up with a lot of client and school work lately). On that same day though, I was lucky enough to meet Erwin Chiongson, a local-based visual artist and a fitness enthusiast, who is having an on-going exhibit hosted by Robinson's Mall Iloilo at that same time.

Looking at his works, I find it interesting, with the soft flow of wire mesh used to portray fabric onto his -mostly- 'Mother and Child' subjects, and incorporating real flora with wires and metal cables, which resembles a futuristic specimen that only an artist can think of... makes a complete visual spectacle. I also like how he uses the wire mesh to form faces that somehow, flow through space, and the sensual lines used in his works to convey how delicate and fragile his subjects are.

Here are some of his works:

You can contact Erwin Chiongson via email at

Power to Filipino Creatives!