Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Modern Filipiniana

"Growing up in our ancestral house meant getting well-acquainted with history and heritage - from capiz windows, to a traditional game of patintero under the summer sky, the scent of homemade gugo and coconut oil, Sampaguita garland in the altar, an afternoon of playing sungka complete with sigay, and a whole lot more.  I've always been fascinated by the beautiful terno, worn by the ladies during Santacruzan and Araw ng Kalayaan.   I've always wanted to own a terno, but the only chance I had was to wear a terno or patadyong during cultural presentations in grade school. 

Grandma always loved mornings.  She would always remind me that morning is the start of a beautiful day."

These thoughts inspired me to own a Filipiniana dress.  To me, the dress is both regal and patriotic; an intricately-made classic masterpiece which I wanted to wear on a very special day - my wedding.  I never thought it would happen until last summer. 

My wedding was set at 9:30 AM, when one could only expect the best of Tagaytay City's sunny sky and crisp summer breeze.  The church's aisle was lined with fresh white flowers. This was the picture I had in mind and I needed to find someone who could make a Filipiniana wedding gown for me. 

I could only think of one person to design my bridal gown - Ms. Carmen Papa-Reyes of 8 and a Half Trends. 

I got to know her through a blog.  She's been with the fashion industry for more than a decade.  Her company makes classic and chic ready-to-wear clothes for an upscale department store.  She has a boutique at The Podium that showcases her ready-to-fit collections. 

She first designed an elegant cocktail dress for me back in 2010.  We wanted it to fit not only my figure, but more importantly, my personality.  She is a master of fashion, both high and practical. When she delivered our first project dress, I told her that I wanted her to design my wedding dress, if ever I decide to marry.  That decision would only come two years later. 

Ms. Carmen and I started discussing about my gown, November 2012.  Since Day 1, I made it known to her the theme - modern Filipiniana.  Then, she presented three designs that fit my preference, plus sample fabrics. I love the classic appeal of lace and beaded fabrics, comfort of cotton fabric, all in different shades of blue.

With Ms. Carmen, I was at ease discussing about budget.  She is as respectful as I am of hard-earned money.  My very own Filipiniana was conceptualized - inspired by heritage with a modern twist, simple yet elegant...and I must say, practical or 'easy to wear.'   

Ms. Carmen + me + my very own Filipiniana.

My wedding gown by Ms. Carmen Papa-Reyes of 8 and a Half Trends.  Organdy - sheerest and most crisp cotton fabric. It created a silk-like effect for the detachable layer. That layer extends at the back as train. 

Close-up:  the very detailed beadworks in the panuelo.

Close-up: beadworks all over.

Made-to-order shoes, by 8 and a Half.
Hair piece: the classic payneta

A beaded pouch, made to match my dress.  Also featured in this photo is our antique Narra box that served as our Madrina de Aras. 

Ms. Carmen and her team assisted me and my entourage in preparing for the ceremony.  Everyone was awake and chirpy as early as 5 AM.

Her services did not stop when all the wedding pieces were delivered. Ms. Carmen, together with her team, drove up to Tagaytay the night before the wedding.  She assisted me and my entourage - steaming the gowns, and styling our dresses and accessories for the photo shoot that started at 5AM. She was always by my side from the time I dressed up until I walked down the aisle.  She and her team stayed on to witness my wedding. They're like family. 
BFD's Barong Tagalog, my gown, veil, and cord - by Ms. Carmen Papa-Reyes.
Our long-time, well-meaning friends as members of the entourage.  Gowns, fabric selection for the pants, over-all styling by Ms. Carmen Papa-Reyes.
Our Entourage
My modern Filipiniana - with and without the train.  I'm not a big fan of wedding gowns with long train.

"Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan pa din ang tuloy." - a Filipino proverb

For inquiries, you may contact Ms. Carmen Papa-Reyes thru:

8 and a Half Trends - The PODIUM
4th Level Markati Palazzo
ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

Contact numbers: +63 2 624 0114, 0917 579 8989


Photo credits:  Lito Perez and Team, Close-up Portraits and Photography

Hair and make-up:  Ms. Garla Cabuco and Team

Florist:  Flowers of May
Ms. Evelyn Legaspi
+63 918 936 6750, +63 918 936 9438

1 comment:

  1. Good day. My name is Excel V. Dyquiangco and I am a contributing writer for the Wedding Digest. I am looking to feature themed weddings for my next article. Can I feature your Filipiniana wedding?

    Thanks. You may contact me at

    My deadline is on Sept 15. So sorry for the short notice.

    Thanks and have a blessed day!

    Excel V. Dyquiangco
    The Wedding Digest