Festival de las Bellas y Flores 2017: Los Elementos

Zamboanga city celebrates Festival of Flowers in May, also known as Flores de Mayo, with the Festival de las Bellas y Flores. This competition is one of the highlights of the Summer Festival. It has three components: the gown, the Señorita and the floral arco. This year, the theme is "Los Elementos" or the elements. Designers can get inspiration from any element: fire, water, air, earth, metal, ice or wood. A total of 9 entries competed in this year's showdown of beauty and creativity.

The parade started at the City Fire Station and passed through Mayor Climaco avenue and NS Valderrosa Street, all the way to Paseo del Mar. A fashion showdown was followed at Centro Latino. In the end, five judges determined the winners for each category, and the winners are as follows:

Gown Competition:
1st Place - #7 "Marejada" by Geronie Labora
2nd Place - #9 "Floriao" by Federico Navarro
3rd Place - #8 "Aurora" by Joseph Feliciano

Arco Competition:
1st Place - #6 "Cielo" by Jonard Bazan
2nd Place - #1 "Requieza" by Vanessa Asuncion
3rd Place - #8 by Gerry Carpio

Prettiest Señorita:
1st Place - #9. Victoria Anne Guingona
2nd Place - #4. Belarrix Tan
3rd Place - #8. Jeromei Thea Fabrigas

Here are the all the entries and their descriptions. Photos by Ced Zabala and Joseph Lou.

Entry 1. “Fuego” by Archie Palco

Fire has had a very significant role in humanity’s development. Its varied uses show the importance of fire to humankind. It symbolizes power and passion. The concept of the terno is a contemporary silhouette of serpentine pieces cut in Mikado fire red material. The upper bodice sweet-heart cut neckline with a see-through American soft tulle is delicately applique with glittered lace and ruby stones that makes it more appealing and glamorous. The butterfly sleeves complements with the design of the upper bodice.

The layered hip extender emphasizes the shape of the body complemented with a long cathedral trail which is contemporary and modern in style. It reflects the strong character of women of today’s generation. Appliques of glittered lace and ruby stones are carefully adorned making the entire ensemble look feminine and fashionable.

The arco "Requiza" by Dennis Asuncion won 2nd place in the Arco Competition.

2. “El Plata” by Pio Hilario

This terno embodies today’s conservative yet confident and independent Filipina. The terno features the metal element twisted in swirls. The metal represents energy; it gives us a s sense of quality and value just like the empowered women of our country. As a strong element, metal perfectly matches the Filipina character.

With the idea of modernizing the beauty of the traditional terno, the designer worked his magic on this masterpiece. Its empire-cut waist complemented by hand-crafted metal swirl designs highlights the figure, while its intricately embellished top adds a touch of elegance to the piece. The one-tone piece gives a twist to the traditional terno that fits the modern age.

Arco designed by Nathan Aquino and Earwin Rodriguez

3. “Bella Coralles” by Raustin A Siocon III

Bella Coralles a majestic masterpiece that has a correlation to nature’s harmony. The designer is fascinated with the stunning underwater scenery of the sea and the one of a kind coral pink sand of the Great Sta. Cruz Island.

The whole creation is made of layered coral pink hue clothes and laces embellished with turquoise blue bead details and violet cascading laces with fully embellished crystals and rhinestone. The whole creation is accentuated with sea inspired details and mermaid coral headrests.

This masterpiece promotes awareness for us to take care and love our nature for the future generation to see and enjoy the blessings of our mother earth.

Arco designed by Kelvin Fortin


4. “Santo Rosario (The Crown of Roses)” by Usni Sali

“The Rosary” means the crown of roses which reveals the sorrowful, glorious, joyous and the luminous mysteries; with these components, the rosary seeks to change us. The Rosary of Santo Rosario of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to pray primarily for the eye of the soul.

The Filipiniana gown is an inspiration of the holy rosary or santo Rosario. It is associated with the red fabric and other important materials that can be seen in the creation; with these shade of red represents love, fire, passion, romance, desire, joy and strength. The red colored hanging crystals expresses the crowning beauty of the creation itself. It symbolizes the mysteries: sorrowful, glorious, joyful, and the mystery of light. The Filipiniana gown, the Santo Rosario, speaks the true meaning of the everlasting love of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Arco designed by Inshira Mundoc

5. “Belleza de Isla” by Vicky Go Tonggal

Belleza de Isla: beautiful, independent, strong, graceful, calm just like the element she represents. She is truly the one worthy to embody the water element.

Arco designed by Raji Go Tonggal


6. “Agua es Vida” by Bryan Cabaddu

“Ague es Vida” un element importante y necesita mentene el vida. Este el inspiracion y concepto del diseño. El arriba parte na su cuerpo o el corpiño lleno de cristal brilliante como un agua cristal del claro. Igualmente na mangas del terno y dedicadamente hacido de mano.

El azul falda bouffant hecho de crefon decorao de cordon, flores y piedras brilliants como un cascadas entero parte del falda. El terno es en diseño modern, glamoroso y para los jovenes de este generacion.

The Arco "Cielo" designed by Jonard Bazan won 1st place in the Arco Competition


7. “Marejada” by Geronie Labora

Water is life. About 70 percent of earth’s surface is covered in water. Of all the water on earth, 97 percent is in the ocean. Furthermore, 70% of earth’s oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by marine plants. This is how important water is to our planet earth. This extraordinary “water element” masterpiece is called “Marejada”, a stylistic interpretation of the beauty and biodiversity of the marine ecosystems in our oceans.

The resplendent coral reefs play very essential roles in nature. Marejada is an innovative execution of high fashion using extensive beadworks and different handmade techniques. Fishes made of sequins, spangles and rhinestones complemented with fins made of frosted organz. Corals are made of round beads, diamond pearls, appliques, ostrich feathers, and heavily beaded red and green laces that resemble and underwater plants. Orange starfishes accentuated with white ceramic pearls are strategically distributed throughout this creation.

Clearly an abundance of various techniques and embellishments that replicate the colorful coral reefs, are cleverly crafted to create this pioneering work of art. Each detail is handmade from basic materials to produce this sophisticated masterwork that is bursting with so much intricate details. The ball gown skirt is made of layers of blue metallic tulle to achieve the ombré or monochromatic effect of the ocean waves. This is a fabric manipulation technique that the designer originally discovered and perfected. The hemline of the skirt is made of ruched white frosted organza overlayed with white silver glitter silenka tulle to imitate the seawaves as it approaches the shore.

Marejada is a masterpiece that needs no introduction. Its beauty speaks for itself. A fine work of art that took months to create. An artistic representation that pays tribute to the importance of the ocean’s waters in the sustainability of life on earth.

Arco designed by Elvin Sagun


8. “Aurora” by Joseph Feliciano

The element of Air is the representation of all that we cannot see: our souls, our spirits, our minds, and our hearts – of that what lies beneath or beyond as some scholars say. Purity of the spirit and the heart, clarity of thought within the mind, focus of intent, unhindered sight, are all under the control of the clear soaring unfettered Element of Air. Yet the Air is not always calm – unpredictable and changing. The Element of Wind can easily be like a roaring hurricane but it can also be a playful breeze.

Aurora is a beautiful masterpiece that speaks of harmony, tranquility and ubiquity. This stunning modern mascota in ivory white lace is remarkably embellished with heavily embroidered Lesage lace that bears patterns that resembles the flow of the wind. Pearls, ceramic stones, rhinestones and holographic crytals are strategically scattered throughout this beautiful piece of art. The skirt is a very voluminous serpentina cut with cleverly folded panels and cascading lace effect.

A mascota that is undeniably classy and elegant, this masterpiece is a sophisticated exhibition of delicate taste in high fashion and advance designing techniques that perfectly fits a beautiful, modern and meticulous Zamboangueña.

Arco designed by Gerry Carpio which won 3rd Place.


9. “Floriao” by Federico Navarro

Floriao means “flowers in bloom” especially during the month of May. As a tradition, the Philippines is celebrating “May Flower Festival” or better known to everyone as “Flores de Mayo”. The design is inspired from metallic rose-gold, an element that symbolizes women empowerment, resilient yet with a strong sense of femininity.

The serpentina skirt cut into pieces and the butterfly sleeves are made of Peau de Soie is embedded with intricate beadworks intertwined with strands made of satin forming branches of stalks delicately applique with beaded flowerets and tiny foliage thus complementing to the concept from the word “Floriao”.

Underneath the over skirt, is an embossed embroidered Plaids Tulle giving a silhouette effect and illusion forming a strong foundation to the entire ensemble. This exemplifies the strong characteristics of Filipino Women of today’s generation.

Arco by Ronaldo Enriquez


Jambangan Cultural Dance Company of WMSU opens the fashion showdown in Centro Latino with a neo-ethnic dance performance featuring the different cultures of Zamboanga.


Prettiest Señorita 1st Runner Up Bellatrix Tan in "Bellas Corrales" by Rustin Siocon III.


The first three entries starts the show.


Señorita Gracielle Pilar T. Yap Aizon wearing Bryan Cabaddu's "Fuego"


Touise Thennes wearing the metallic silver gown "El Plata" by Pio Hilario


Second group featuring water and fire inspired gowns.


Last group of Señoritas who turned out to be the Top 3 winners in the gown competition.


Prettiest Señorita 1st Place Victoria Anne Guingona in a Federico Navarro gown "Floriao"




Confident in coral pink


Senorita Jenia Belarga in "Santa Rosario" by Usni Sali


Señorita Elham Go in Vicky Tonggal's "Belleza de Isla"


Winner of the gown competition "Marejada" by Geronie Labora worn by Señorita Myrizza Aijeleth Borja


Señorita Jeromei Thea Fabrigas in "Aurora" by Joseph Feliciano. She won 2nd Runner Up in Prettiest Señorita Competition and the gown and arco won 2nd Runner-Up in their respective categories as well.


Youthful, elegant, innocent, beautiful..



Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all participating designers, sylists and señoritas. Special thanks to all organizers, judges offices, volunteers, suppliers and supporters for making this year's Festival de las Bellas y Flores a success! Till next year!

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