DAVAO CITY – From the mountain to the runway.
That’s what the Miss Universe candidates did in their short visit here Thursday.
Less than an hour after they arrived, the 29 candidates were herded into a waiting bus for a very late lunch at the Eden Nature Park and Resort, a mountain haven in Toril District, more than an hour ride from the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.
There, they were welcomed by schoolchildren who waited for more than three hours. The candidates had a brief dance showdown with the Bagobo children, but the resort was off limits to media.
BACKSTORY: Miss Universe bets in low-key arrival in Davao City
The 29 candidates did not have the time to try the mountain resort’s adrenaline-pumping rides like the Skyswing, Skycycle and the zipline as they had to rush back to the SMX Convention Center for the Mindanao Tapestry fashion show.
With the event already delayed for more than an hour, the paying audience were made to wait outside the venue because the girls still had to do some runway rehearsals.
A pre-show at the mall’s foyer featured local models dressed by Mindanao designers Ronnie Nacua, Toffy Ledesma, John Bonnie Adaza, Bamba Limon, Nicky de Asis, Richie Uy delos Santos, Steffy Dacalus, Joey Hambala, Windel Mira, Grand Crizzel Ravacio, Pepe Quitco, Che Aranjuez, Mark Sayad, Ivan Raborar, Wilfred Yee, Akmad Kari Jr., and Saidali Abdilla Jr..
The main show opened with Miss USA Deshauna Barber wearing homegrown designer Aztec Barba’s gown.
Barba’s creation was followed by nine other Davao designers, including Mindanao fashion czar Alfonso “Boy” Giuno-o’s which was modeled by Miss Philippines Maxine Madina.
The local designers included Silverio Anglacer and Kenny Lagada, and Davao Fashion and Design Council members Emi Englis, Kenny Ladaga, Benjie Panizales, Dodjie Batu, Edgar Buyan, Wilson Limon and Egay Ayag.
Short video presentations on how the Mindanao fabrics are woven and tribal dances served as “in-betweeners” for the show.
The candidates also wore collections made by Manila-based designer Renee Salud who used Maguindanao’s “inaul” for ball gowns, South Cotabato’s Tinalak for long gowns, Basilan’s hand-woven fabric “tennun” for casual wear and Maranao malong for trapeze dresses.
The show was capped with minor prizes given away by sponsor Pheonix Oil– Miss Philippines won Hiyas ng Pheonix, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw was Miss Smile, and Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach was named Miss Phoenix. IDL