The Kadayawan Festival is now in high gear, with the streets full of seasonal fruits and the city’s streets now beating with the heart of the tribal people of the region. Being that the Marco Polo is the hotel that is the “Heart of the City”, it held an evening of fashion, culture and culinary delights last August 4 called Fashion and Fusion.
This year’s iteration of Fashion and Fusion featured Davao-grown ready-to-wear fashion brand, NIñOFRANCO by Wilson Limon and local products of the Food Processors Association of Davao City (FOODPAD).
“We are partnering with NIñOFRANCO because we support his advocacy of promoting Mindanaon culture as well as the livelihood program they give to these Mindanaoan tribes. On the other hand, supporting local products means supporting local enterprises. This is an opportunity for Davao-made products to be highlighted and noticed by potential buyers” said MPD General Manager Dottie Wurgler Cronin.
NIñOFRANCO’s collection showcases contemporary ethnocentric and one-of-a kind pieces made collaboratively from Mindanaoan tribes – Bagobo Tagawa, Blaan, Tagakaolo and Tboli.
In his speech, Wilson shared how he started his brand four years ago while working on his graduation show thesis where his class was tasked to interpret the traditional attire of the 11 ethno-linguistic groups in Davao into contemporary fashion.
“The experience of visiting the home of the Bagobo Tagabawa weaver, Vivencia Mamites in Bitaug Bansalan, Davao del Sur and interviewing her was an utmost eye-opener and a stunning visual with the craft she makes Another traditional Bagobo Tagabawa artisan I met was Bae Arlyne Salazar who was truly spectacular. It was at that moment I realize the rich culture of Mindanao and the possibilities it gave me with the direction of Philippine fashion.” said Wilson.
“This year, I am lucky to have been embraced by the Tagakaolo community headed by SLT Leader Biya Narcisa Galgo Celestino at Kityan Daku Saranggani. They performed a partnership ritual which symbolize their acceptance on collaborating with NIñOFRANCO. We also get to experience the Gaginaway Festival in Malita Davao Occidental and we met the Tagakaolo Artisans Maam Lita Labis and Imelda Licardo special thanks to Councilor Eshma Bautista Dumama.” he added.
Also featured in the evening of fashion were the works of Davao artists – accessories of Maan Chua, photography and visual arts of Jowe Posadas, floral arrangements from Happy Succulents; fixtures from T’nalak Homes; and antique collection of Architect Jose Racho which are now showcased in the hotel’s lobby.
Aside from celebrating Davao fashion, the Marco Polo Davao’s love and support for the Philippine Eagle overflows as it overtakes the runway where Philippine Eagle stuffed toys are dressed in limited NIñOFRANCO Tangkulo-inspired scarfs.
As part of the sustaining efforts for the Philippine Eagle Foundation, all proceeds of the auction during the event in Marco Polo Davao will be given to the Philippine Eagle Foundation.
Wharf Hotels together with Marco Polo Hotels and Niccolo Hotels expressed its continued support to the endangered Philippine Eagle through its Corporate Social Responsibility fund-raising projects and various initiatives. Last September 2017, Wharf Hotels handed over approximately PhP 1.2 million the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and last January 2016, Marco Polo Hotels was able to raised PhP 1 million.