It was worth the wait! When Miss Philippines Catriona Gray stepped on stage with her intricate predominantly orange Adarna gown, the crowd at the Impact Arena in Thailand drew a collective breath until finally the adoring crowd were on their feet cheering for the elegant delegate.
Just when you thought the Binibining Pilipinas gown was his best, Mak Tumang found a way to outdo himself once more into an arguably the best gown ever worn by a delegate thus far. Emphasis on thus far as we will likely be spellbound come Monday with another jaw-dropping performance from Catriona Gray.
Two nights before, Mak Tumang purposely dropped hints to clue in onlookers and spectators on the inspirations behind Catriona’s then yet-to-be-revealed evening gown.
He hinted that the inspiration is from Filipino literature penned by a certain Jose. While lot of netizens positively identified the Ibong Adarna as a likely solution to the designer’s quiz, there is little that we know about its execution.
Tumang’s Adarna: The Blazing Siren is a love letter to Filipino literature. Allaying fears that the gown may appear much like a costume than an actual wearable gown, Adarna turned out to be a design that will surely go down to the history of Philippine pageants.
Tumang wrote on his Instagram that for him, the “Ibong Adarna” is a symbolism of Catriona Gray herself – someone who rose up from the ashes to regain her full splendor.
“The Ibong Adarna is a pulchritudinous bird that could change in several fascinating guises,” writes Tumang. “Its enchanting voice can enable complete healing to the anyone who hears it.”
Tumang admits that some artists compare the Ibong Adarna to the mythical phoenix – a creature that regenerates by lifting itself up through a bright spectacle of flame and candescence.
“This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth.”
Comparing Catriona to the legendary bird, Tumang says this of the Filipina delegate: “Catriona has a resilient, tenacious and unwavering spirit.”
“Her voice is truly captivating literally and figuratively.” adds Tumang. “She uses it to influence, advance her timely causes and both melt and heal hearts.”
Tumang regards Catriona’s will power and passion as one that can inspire Filipinos to support her as she makes the Philippines proud.
“She is the blazing Adarna!” exclaims Tumang.
Tumang asks fellow Filipinos to watch Catriona rise in glory. With her, is the hopes and dreams for the Philippines.
The designer also reveals that the gown is inspired from the Mikimoto crown.