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Bears that care

MISS Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach got one last year. Now, it’s the Divine Diva Miss Zsa Zsa Padilla who has a creation by celebrated Cebuano designer Cary Santiago for this year’s “Say It with a Teddy Bear” campaign.

“We launched the project three years ago because in accordance with history, a teddy bear provides comfort. Proceeds of this activity will go mostly to children living with HIV. I am so happy because all designers I approached kay wala gyuy nibalibad. For one, I communicated with Francis Libiran
only through Facebook Messenger and he said yes,” says Adrian Diongzon, event director.

The campaign is one of the highlights of the World AIDS Day celebration. Not only does it raise awareness about HIV, but it also aims to raise funds for HIV-infected pregnant women and children.

Now on its third year and participated mostly by noted Cebuano designers as they share their expertise and artistry with teddy bears bearing their signature designs. Prices range from P3,000 to P6,000 each.

“What’s new for this year is we collaborated with Fashion Association of Cebu’s Elite Talents (FACET), so aside from senior designers we also have the young designers. Looking back we have sold bears to Daniel Matsunaga and Bituin Escalante bought a bear created by Cary Santiago. I am just so grateful with friends who supported and shelled out their money because they believed that this activity will go a long way,” Diongzon added.

Recently crowned Binibining Cebu 2018 Steffi Aberasturi graced the exhibit’s opening over the weekend along with some local designers. Designer Dexter Alazas, whose aim is to revive the Hablon industry in the town of Argao, dolled up his bears in Filipiniana with intricate floral details using handwoven fabric.

“Well, it’s my second year to be part of this and I am so happy because part of my advocacy is in supporting the Hablon industry here in Cebu. And the event is really for a good cause because it’s not just about fashion, behind this is the real advocacy of AIDS awareness and we are here to support it because being part of the industry, we have to put ourselves out there in raising awareness,” Alazas said.

Designers who have shared their talents for the exhibit are Edwin Alba, Dexter Alazas, Cary Santiago, Edwin Ao, Francis Libiran, Yves Camingue, Dino Lloren, Protacio, and Philip Rodriguez. FACET designers Paco Serafica, Celine Borromeo, Shayne Remoreras, John Avellano, JP Cabigon, Clieza Mayol, Peewee Senining, John Tiong, Eyla Erais, Stef Ticado, Diane Ty, Hannah Noel, and Nino Benito also shared their artistry.

The “Say It With a Teddy Bear” exhibit is open to the public until Dec. 10, 2018, at The Gallery of
Ayala Center Cebu.

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