National Historical Commission prepares to exhibit Catriona Gray’s national costume
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Catriona Gray’s national costume, which she wore when she represented the Philippines for Miss Universe earlier this month, is now with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) for assessment in preparation for its inclusion in a series of exhibits.
Rommel Recuerdo Aquino, NHCP officer-in-charge for Materials Research and Conservation Division, said the head gear, brass belt, bangles, beaded body suit, and shoes arrived on the evening of December 19.
The parol or lantern, which was also part of Gray’s national costume, is set to arrive tonight (December 20).
Aquino said the national costume, excluding the parol, has a combined weight of 10.9 kilos.
The specific weights are as follows: head gear , 1.5 kilos; bass belt , 3.2 kilos; bangles , 1.5 kilos; beaded body suit, 1 kilo; and shoes, 3.7 kilos.
“The combined weight of her body accessories alone makes us marvel at the sheer determination of our Miss Universe to really showcase the wealth of the Filipino culture despite the many inconveniences her national costume entailed,” said Aquino.
Aquino said they were told that Gray has scoliosis and so carrying the weight of the entire national costume to rightfully represent the Philippines entailed a huge sacrifice and dedication for her.
Aquino said they are now “documenting and assessing the materials and the damages on the costume in preparation for its display.”
Gray called her national costume, “Celebrate,” which she wore during the Miss Universe National Costume Competition on December 10 in Pattaya, Thailand.
It featured a huge parol (lantern) representing Luzon, Pintado patterns on the body suit representing Visayas, and T’boli headdress and brass accessories representing Mindanao.
The costume was primarily designed by Jearson Demavivas.
He worked with Gray, Carlos Buendia and Jojo Baragais, who composed Gray’s team that helped her win the Miss Universe crown on December 17 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In his Instagram account, Demavivas explained that “the back of the Parol is a painting with inscription of the lyrics from ‘Lupang Hinirang.’
The painting also showed “highlighted victories, festivals, events, heroes, and national icons.”
It featured different materials, artworks and indigenous fabrics of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In a letter dated December 11, 2018, Rene Escalante, NHCP chairman and officer-in-charge of the National Quincentennial Committee (NOC), invited Gray to attend the opening of NOC Secretariat Office, the unveiling of the Philippine Quincentennial Commemoration logo, and the launching of its website.
Escalante also wrote Gray that the Commission is “interested to exhibit your Miss Universe national costume.”
In the letter, Escalante said Gray’s national costume bears the tattoos of the 16th century Visayan warriors, which makes it apt for the quincentennial’s theme of “500 Years of Valor and Victory.”
Escalante said the Commission will also exhibit the costume in the museums of NHCP including the Museum of Philippine Social History in Angeles City, Pampanga; Museum of Philippine Political History in Malolos, Bulacan; Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit Cavite; and Museo ni Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago.
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