Ramon Valera,  Pitoy Moreno,  Ben Farrales, Aureo Alonzo pieces headline ‘terno’ exhibit

FAshion, Power, Modernity: The Ternos of the Benilde Collection,” a limited exhibit on the traditional national dress by four of the most prominent names in the history of Philippine fashion, opens to the public on 13 October.

The gallery walks the guests into the rich heritage of the iconic garb, from the 19th-century Traje de Mestiza – a combination of the classic baro, saya and panuelo – to the many reinventions crafted by the nation’s multi-awarded designers.

The show was mounted in celebration of the 35th year of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde through the Center for Campus Art.

Pitoy Moreno terno donated by Vicky Rodriguez


It contains 31 quintessential ternos, preceded by four traje de mestizas, headlined by a set of 1950s ternos from the personal wardrobe of former First Lady Luz Banzon Magsaysay by National Artist of the Philippines for Fashion Design Ramon Valera. These were donated by her daughter Mila Magsaysay Valenzuela.

Also included is an elegant Valera wedding gown from Vicky Rodriguez, now a resident of Bacolod City.

It likewise showcases the oeuvre of the renowned Pitoy Moreno, considered one of the earliest advocates of the Maria Clara gown, as gifted by his good friend and favorite model Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo, who is an editor, writer, painter and wife of former Philippine Ambassador to Spain Joseph “Lani” Bernardo.



The works of Aureo Alonzo, the Prince of Philippine Haute Couture, are likewise on view. A wedding gown from fashion designer Eric Pineda joins a couple of ternos from Magsaysay.

Completing the show are the creations of the Dean of Philippine Fashion Ben Farrales, entrusted by his family to the college.

The showroom likewise presents the ternos of his muse, the late Bambi Harper.

“Through the years the terno has become a distinctive Filipino national dress, worn with pride as a symbol of the country,” stated Architect Gerry Torres, Benilde CCA director and curator. “It is a popular choice for important occasions like state visits, weddings, gala fundraisers and the like.”

“A constant feature in Philippine fashion, it challenges designers for reinvention,” he added.

To demonstrate the continuing evolution of the ensemble into the contemporary milieu, Benildean student-artists and cosplayers Brian Razon and Luisa Giliana Quiling from Architecture, Vienne Maniago from Multimedia Arts, Ann Nicole Hernandez from Fashion Design and Merchandising and Tricia Ella Sze from Dance have also formulated their own modern takes on the iconic attire.

“Fashion, Power, Modernity: The Ternos of the Benilde Collection” will be open to the public at the 12F Gallery of Benilde Design + Arts Campus beginning 13 October until 15 December.