At least three generations of live performing artists were present at the recent 6oth birthday of Angelino “Boyet” Fajardo, aka “King of Fashionable RTWs.”
This was held at his spacious rococo styled depot cum office & residential at St. Ignatius Subd., Quezon City whose next-door neighbor is the controversial, albeit friendly Cong. Jorge, “Bolet” Banal.
Boyet has three other mansions elsewhere, one of which is a breathaking stylish resthouse at Taal, Batangas featured in the elite Stargate People Asia in 2017.
But the celebration had a social advocacy twist in it. Boyet requested his guests to omit imported flowers, exquisite cakes and wines from his number of limited guests due to the pandemic.
Instead, he requested for cash or practical useful donations for his PWDs beneficiaries, the Ephpheta Foundation for the blind to help them restore their eyesights so they can find jobs and become sustainable.
“I’ve come a long way from an almost insurmountable trials like them – the blind- when I practically lost my eyesights and became hopeless until God’s miracle healed me. Now I praise God by giving back His blessings to those who need them most, thereby putting to practice all His teachings,” Boyet recalled almost in tears.
This made Boyet’s celebration like hybrid. Some donors were seen online wishing him much more to initiate projects to reach out to more PWDS with impaired visions.
Mario Dumaual of the former ABS-CBN TV station and a consistent supporter of the surviving designer of his generation covered and showed on TV Patrol the three artists of said event via a new socmed platform.
The three performing artists included Eva Eugenio, considered one of the jukebox sensations of the 7os who sang her immortal “Tukso,” “Pag-ibig Na Walang Dangal,” including one cover “Gulong Ng Palad,” a popular song birthday celebrator Boyet thinks best encapsulates the ups and downs through much of his career as fashion designer even up to the volatile pandemic time.
The 90s was represented by the still youthful-looking Richard Reynoso who enthralled the guests and the party host to no end with a couple of haunting medleys like “Memories” and and another OPM medley of “You,” “Don’t Know What To Do,” “To Love Again” and “When I Met You.”
Fresh from his coveted role as Thuy in the “Miss Saigon” UK/International Tour 2017–19 by Cameron Mackintosh, Gerald Santos dished out a repertoire of ballads of the 90s era that sent most of the elderly guests swooning at the youthful “Prince of Ballad” for an encore to which the finale performer gamely acquisced. Our eternal gratitude to Dr. Rommel Ramillo, his mentor-manager who came with him.
A surprise guest & You Tube sensation Lola Fe aka “Lola Biritera” spiked-up the party with her repertoire of shrilling rock songs. This prompted the friendly housemaid of next-door neighbor Bolet Banal who requested to tone down the blaring music at hand.
The impassioned artists were short of gathered together in a special concert for Boyet’s milestone birthday who could not thank enough his guests who all came wearing the “de rigueur” health protocols observing social distancing across each other while savoring the exquisite food, drinks, and spirits served at the table fit for kings.
A cornocupia of tributes & toastings to the celebrator came in handy from society, business, fashion, and entertainment world.
Not known to many Boyet is more than a dyed-in-the wool showbiz aficionado. He grew up as a child watching films of Directors Celso Ad Castillo, Lino Brocka, and Ishmael Bernal. As a fashion novice, he had apprenticed with star designers Goulee Gorospe, Jun-Jun Cambe, including Pitoy Moreno.
Boyet’s strings of actor- friends to this time include the feminist sexy actress of her time Merle Fernandez now extant at 83 years old, Jessica Pica, Sarsi Emmanuelle who appeared in many acclaimed films megged by serious directors. And so is Azenith Briones who was a head turning delight at the celebration. Other well-wishers included the perpetual beauties of the fashion world like Renee Salud, Nardie Presa, Albert Minguez, and much-sought after fashion runway director Bobbit Patag.
TV-film Director Louie Ignacio (also a renowned “drip painter” and the country’s answer to the world’s painting titan Jackson Pollock) made mention in his toast to the celebrator as a collector of high-valued works of art including his own which he disclosed almost in a half-whisper.
Surprisingly, a video presentation showing Fajardo’s odyssey swept the guests off their feet as a birthday gift to the celebrator crafted by another serious film director and supporter of the Phil. Movie Press Club (PMPC) Neal “Buboy” Tan, also a co-alum of Boyet at the College of Fine Arts, Univ. of Sto. Tomas where both have graduated.
At age 60, it is said one has reached the dramatic arch of a full and richier life that there is so much reason to celebrate and so many people to celebrate it with to cherish valuable time together and even beyond.
In hindsight, when the devastating shift in the fashion industry struck down from couture
clothes to RTWs in the late 90s, like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes Fajardo rose to unequaled fame and fortune. It appeared he was the right person to grab the bull by the horns brought about by the unprecedented downside in the fashion industry.
Boyet Fajardo’s nametags crackled through his distinct creations of fashionable extra, plus-size and ready-made clothes displayed in the leading and most sought-after malls throughout the country. He lorded it over among his peers for his novel and revolutionary ways to adapt his
progressive fashion sense to a global order and new world of RTWs, hence his moniker “King of Fashionable RTWs.”
This he owed to his past ample background in fashion merchandising he acquired from several years of experience and apprenticeship in Singapore. Taking said expertise back home, Boyet eventually translated the high demand for the
“underserved” market for his unique creations and labels named after him. He became the first Filipino to be of service to the particular clientele at hand. He wanted to prove to the world that
the descriminated plus -size women could wear fashionable and fetching apparel as well straight from his branded designs commercially displayed at the dress racks.
To the present time barring the prevailing pandemic , Boyet continues to corner the large demand for plus-size RTWs in the local market nationwide, including the demands of the plucky regular-
size customers who were influenced by the trend in practical and
stylish way of dressing through RTWs.
It’s an understatement to say he hit it big and still counting, while Boyet’s contemporaries are feebly surviving the unforeseen disappearances of customers for couture and ideal body size apparel.
Arguably, he owed his
success to a new found niche in the ready-to-wear fashion industry
that he raised up to a higher level more than he could have imagined. He went on to dress up some of the country’s top broadcasters like Aljo Bendijo, Martin Andanar, Mel Tiangco, Winnie Monsod, Ali Sotto and movie actors like Daniel Fernando, Dan Fernandez, Cesar Montano, Jestoni Alarcon, Juan Rodrigo, etc.
Even to the present time of the Covid-19 pandemic, B0yet Fajardo continues to spread awareness among aspiring designers to go out of the box in their respective metier and fashion sense and be of service especially to the marginalized sector of society.
Indeed, Boyet Fajardo has come a long way from an almost insurmountable trials that came in the way of his past checkered and almost depraved life. His father who was an NPA disappeared from the long list of the desaparecidos.
At the height of his immense success that went into his head, he virtually lost both his eyes for years that put him on the brink of bankruptcy. Through hard prayers to atone for his arrogance and laminated heart so to speak, he regained them including his almost ruined currency value and career through answered prayers and God’s miracle.
And lessons learned, designing for him now is more than being hawk-eyed for the ROIs, rather as a way to put much more premium in helping and touching the lives of the socially-disadvantaged others as a way to glorify, praise and put to practice all of God’s words. Humility and faith in Him will always be in fashion as well.For comments email: firstname.lastname@example.org