The Elegant Filipina

Honoring 10 best-dressed women for 2015
By Key Kaluh

Ten women of substance will be honored on Sept. 22nd for bequeathing a legacy of beauty and sophistication while creating a string of personal achievements for the betterment of womankind. The honorees will be lauded not only for their pulchritude and character but more for their individual commitments in addressing the plight of underprivileged women across the Philippine archipelago.
The weekday event, simply dubbed “The Elegant Filipina,” is a unique social outreach initiative that's a first of its kind and which will become an annual undertaking henceforth; raising funds for identified beneficiaries year after year. This noteworthy project is expected to gain immediate traction as it also promises to be an ideal marketing and consumer engagement vehicle.
'The Elegant Filipina' celebrates a Pinay's unique womanhood of refinement, style and substance. She may not necessarily be the center of attention but her defining persona effortlessly hugs the

kleiglights in moments that calls for it. And because she's cultured, accomplished and well-mannered, she understands the foibles of fashion and the idiom of grace as well as command respect in her chosen endeavor by reason of her mettle and acumen that's tempered by compassion and commitment.
At the helm of this undertaking is outstanding UST alumna Margarita 'Tingting' Cojuangco: wife, mother, scholar, a luminary in history & criminology and hailed by Harper's Bazaar as one of 1967's 100 Most Beautiful Women in the World. As the original face behind Pond's beauty campaign, she was consistently in all the Best Dressed lists from the '70s throughout the '80s, eventually becoming a Hall of Fame recipient.
Her political calling and writing duties as columnist for the Philippine Star aside, Tingting was a St. Antonius of Florence awardee and was included in Philippine Tatler's “Who's Who” of 2009. All of the aforementioned are just a few of the many hats she has to wear; none too small nor less important than the others but all showing her focus and self-confidence in realizing her full potential.
All considered doyenne of impeccable taste, fashion sense and social graces, the roster of honorees for 2015 are Tootsy Angara, Ching Cruz, Gwendolyn Garcia, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Zelda Kienle, Fortune Ledesma, Amparito Llamas-Lhuiller, Mandy de la Rama, Vicky Zubiri, and Cindy Yang.
The honorees have been handpicked by Tingting Cojuangco together with an elite panel comprised of Philippine Tatler editor-in-chief Anton San Diego and managing editor Chit Lijauco, fashion entrepreneur Tina Maristela-Ocampo, Slim's Fashion and Arts School co-director Mark Higgins, and highly-esteemed fashion designer Christian Espiritu.
The chosen beneficiaries of this year's worthy fundraiser include livelihood program sites in Benguet Province and Leyte. The Kabayan Weaving Arts and Crafts in the Mountain Province is a continuous community-based livelihood employment of women through weaving and sewing. To sustain the Kabayan weaving practices for the sustenance of the Ibaloi culture, a continuing training program for the younger generation of Ibalois will be subsidized. On the other hand, a dressmakong scholarship program in Tanauan, Leyte under the Special Training for Employment (STEP) project is also a community-based specialty skills program. Trained by TESDA at the Asian Development Foundation College in Tacloban City, these women scholars will be provided with sewing machines upon completion of their courses.

The evening's program will be hosted by Edu Manzano, and the event will likewise present the design collections of Albert Andrada, Ronaald Arnaldo, JC Buendia, and Rajo Laurel. The Elegant Filipina event will unveil Tingting's best-dressed list at the ballroom of the Diamond Hotel in Manila.


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