BOYET FAJARDO IN A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT 60

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: georgekabristantesky@gmail.com

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