When she’s not in workout clothes, Marga Nograles lives in her mix-and-match pajamas these days, the same sets she used to wear out on errands before the pandemic.
The founder of the social enterprise Kaayo Modern Mindanao says she feels a sense of normalcy slipping into her familiar, comfortable clothes. Her pajamas come in happy colors that somehow lift her spirits. “I love the colors, the shimmer, and the feeling that I am dressed up but not,” Nograles says.
She also finds a welcome break from daily stresses in exercise. “I put on my workout clothes even when I am tired or not in the mood. Every time I do, I end up working out, and then my happy endorphins get me through the day.”
A “brief pause” was all Kaayo took when the pandemic hit, she says. The indigenous tribes Kaayo works with continued to work throughout the quarantine.
A couple of months into the lockdown, Nograles’ crew put together a collection of Mindanao hand-beaded water-repellent jumpsuits, T’boli beaded masks and hand-embroidered face shield visors.
Proceeds from sales went to their efforts to help new coronavirus disease front-liners, which began with donations of face masks and personal protective equipment and feeding programs in Davao.
At Katutubo pop-up market Oct. 9, Kaayo will roll out the Kalipay (Cebuano for “joy”) collection, consisting of a mix of denim, lace, T’boli hand beading and Maranao handwoven langkit.
“It’s the first time we are doing a more affordable collection, in the hopes of sparking joy during these trying times,” she says.
Here, Nograles lists the fashion pieces that give her a feeling of regularity and, yes, kalipay.
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