‘Iya’ Lagdameo: Style is a discipline | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“Regal” would best describe Cecilia Guingona-Lagdameo, what with her height, dusky beauty and graceful stance. Her signature long, thick black hair and wholesome features have landed her commercials with J&J, Smart and Del Monte, along with various modeling stints. If today, however, she finds herself most comfortable in workout clothes, it is because she was for some time a member of the International School of Manila Dance Company.

Whereas Cecilia registers on camera with an interesting mix of sensuality and aristocracy, she knows she looks best with the least amount of color and makeup possible.  “Natural works best for me,” she claims.  “Artists have tried dark, heavy looks on me, and it doesn’t work because it isn’t me!”

Being the daughter of Marilou Tuason-Guingona has afforded Cecilia a comfortable and privileged lifestyle.  It isn’t unusual for one to spot them in the malls, groceries, and sometimes on their overseas trips with their favorite dogs (they have close to 30—from Yorkshire Terriers to Pekingese, Chihuahuas to Maltese).

And yet it is also not unusual to see Cecilia manning her pastillas stand called Iya,   her brand of jumbo pastillas (sweet milk candies), on which she has built a fortune of her own. She gives her mom full credit for the idea, however. Even when Cecilia was still in grade school, it was her mom who would encourage her to join bazaars.  There, Cecilia would sell headbands, clothes and toys.  Later, she also developed her bag and slipper line, called Poppy.

Husband and business partner

Married in 2003 to JM (son of Ambassador Tonet Lagdameo and Linda Floirendo), Cecilia embarks on yet another business, this time with her husband, forming JMCML International Trading Corp. The Floirendos, who are from Davao, are into fruit exporting, but JM and Cecilia saw an opportunity to penetrate local fruit distribution.

They also distribute Espa-Fil products in Davao, such as Molinera and Capri.  Cecilia has definitely found in JM not only a good husband, but also a perfect business partner, because he has clearly inherited both his parents’ work ethic and business acumen.

They are hardly ever apart, which is a trait the Lagdameos are known for.  It is an admirable formula that keeps the couple’s eyes still sparkling when they see each other.  The teamwork they have together has made it easy for them to establish yet another business, PlanaForma, a fitness regimen using dancers to teach the technique that combines ballet, Pilates and yoga.

“The busiest people have more time than people who are idle. I say this because the more things you have to do, the more time you have in a day. Time is essential and deadlines have to be met. When one is idle, finishing tasks can get tedious,” she tells me.

Cecilia has not forgotten her greatest influence in her style discipline.  She gives credit to her mom, who was extremely strict in her formative years.  She is grateful for that discipline, which has shaped who she is today.

Iya’s style tips

Keep it simple: with everything, dressing, lifestyle, entertaining, etc.

Stock up on the classics: They will be of use much, much longer.

Don’t be a fashion victim.

Always sleep with a clean face and clean hair.

Drinking lots of water can do miracles to ones overall being.

Find time to exercise, there really is no excuse.

Find peace in yourself with God first and foremost and the rest will just flow.

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