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Cultural potpourri | Davao’s Fashion Institute of Design & Arts

FIDA’s Gerry Munda with his speech

Davao’s prominent fashionistas, artists, parents and relatives of the graduates, and fashion-loving citizens of all persuasions were all accounted for in “Gayak, The FIDA Grad Show 2019” held at the atrium of SM Lanang Premier last September 29, 2019. Naturally, on hand to welcome the excited guests were the artistic and entrepreneurial Gerry and Christine Munda, who opened the doors of Davao City’s Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (FIDA) in 2009.

“Asia is the global production hub for the fashion industry with China as the world’s top producer of garments and other fashion items. To compete in the fashion industry job market today, one must have strong technical skills and a thorough understanding of manufacturing and textile technology in the context of the global economy,” Gerry Munda told the guests 10 years ago as far as I remember. Of course, the Mundas of Davao have always been identified with the academe. Gerry, a fine product of Jesuit education, was into corporate finance and business development for over 25 years.

The Philippines is by no means a slowpoke in

(l-r) Susan Magno-Antepuesto, Michael E. Dakudao, Christine and Gerry Munda, Kenneth Ong

the fashion industry. In the annals of Philippine fashion are the likes of Ramon Valera, Pitoy Moreno, Ben Farrales, Patis Tesoro and Joe Salazar. The new generation is led by trendsetters Monique Lhuillier, Rafe Totengco, Josie Natori, Ino Sotto, Cesar Gaupo, Rajo Laurel, Cary Santiago, Michael Cinco, among others. These designers and the numerous wholesalers and retailers in the business including the department stores such as SM and Rustans continually hire talent and fashion education products from schools of fashion like the pioneering Slim’s. With the continuing economic growth and increasing affluence of the Filipino consumer, the fashion industry in the Philippines is thriving.

FIDA Grad Show 2019

In the country today, the primary producers of fashion education graduates are all located in Imperial Manila. These are the Slim’s School of Fashion, College of St. Benilde of the De La Salle University, the College of Home Economics of the University of the Philippines, St. Scholastica’s College, University of Sto Tomas, Philippine Women’s University, La Salle College International of Montreal-Canada, Fashion Institute of the Philippines, and the School of Fashion and the Arts-Manila, known by many as the home of the successful television show Project Runway Philippines.

Since FIDA started, it’s only the Philippine Womens College (PWC) of Davao which followed and now offers a comprehensive fashion education program. Students from the provinces traditionally take their specialized education in Metro Manila; and this costs a lot of money for parents to handle. Thanks to FIDA and PWC, Davao City has now become the center of fashion education in Mindanao.

Charlene Junio’s Manananggal

“This is the reason why my husband and I grabbed the opportunity to start the Fashion Institute of Design and Arts (FIDA) in the regional business and educational center of Davao City a decade ago,’ said Christine Munda. Christine is definitely well-armed to run FIDA. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, USA. She managed her own fashion concern called the Misha Boutique in Makati City.

Lorie Mintal’s Sitan

Christine taught at the University of the Philippines, St. Benilde-De La Salle Taft, and the De La Salle College International. Christine was also instrumental in the creation of SOFA-Manila where she developed the institute’s entire curriculum as its academic director.

Jauvee Canonoy’s Kaliskis

Davao City’s FIDA is “committed to mold each of its students into well-rounded fashion designers provided in the basics of design, fabric and illustration; skilled in the globally-accepted technical models of sewing, draping and pattern-making; and entrenched in the evolving concepts of corporate merchandising, trending and fashion entrepreneurship.”

Leah Villarosa’s Bakubo

The FIDA 2019 graduates include Samantha Daquipil, Madonna Gem Suarez, Jezzamine Apolonio, Sheila Mae Pedregosa, Destha Ignacio, Jihan Saliao, Loredana Sartirani, Danielle Lizan Zambrano, Angela Carim, Jedee Ormedo, Nileah Villarosa, Charlene Junio, Loren Rodriguez, Jayvee Canonoy and Lorie Mae Mintal.

Congratulations, FIDA 2019 graduates. Congratulations, FIDA.

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