New Crown for Miss Dinagyang 2018: In preparation for the upcoming 50th anniversary of world class and homegrown cultural event, the Dinagyang Festival, Iloilo’s Alta Moda designer Mr. Alex Soncio, Executive Director for of the Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2018 of the Dinagyang Foundation, Inc., and third generation metalsmith and lead designer of Sarabia Jewelry Ms. Regine Sarabia-Espinosa signed a memorandum of agreement making Sarabia Jewelry the Official Jeweler of Miss Dinagyang 2018.
“It is fitting that we have just launched logo for Miss Dinagyang 2017 and now, we launch a new crown for the Miss Dinagyang on the Dinagyang Festival’s 50th anniversary. It is something we can call our very own as our own local artist and brand has designed it especially for this occasion. Months of preparation and design will result to a crown fit for a queen.” – Mr. Alex Soncio, Executive Director for of the Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2018 of the Dinagyang Foundation, Inc.,
Ms. Regine Sarabia-Espinosa will be designing the new crown for Miss Dinagyang 2018 which will be set with multi-faceted gems and crystals on shiny buffed silver and gold metals. But the special stone that the crown will feature is Iloilo’s very own Lin-Ay (Lady of Iloilo), the lady found on top of the dome of the City Hall.
The Sarabia Jewelry group has started to collaborate with the Miss DInagyang last year by giving the top winner an heirloom piece from their Amparo Collection. However, this year, it was discussed with Alex, that maybe aside from the usual jewelry prize for the winner, it may be time to design something more, given the Dinagyang festival will be turning 50 years.
“Sarabia Jewelry opened its first jewelry store in 1945 at the heart of the city, in Guanco Street. Seven decades later, Sarabia Jewelry still stands in downtown Iloilo boasting of a massive collection of fine jewelry and most of all, an atelier with skilled artisans and craftsmen on its upper floors.” – Ms. Regine Sarabia-Espinosa, third generation metalsmith and lead designer of Sarabia Jewelry
What is a crown: The crown is a traditional symbolic form of headwear representing royalty. It symbolized power, legitimacy, honor, triumph, victory and glory during the old times. And often, they are adorned with jewels, the best that one can find. Today, they are still worn by royalty. The crowns worn in beauty pageants however, symbolize the winner, the beauty Queen. International beauty pageants have had several jewelry sponsors for their crowns. This time for Miss Dinagyang 2018, it will be the first time the crown will be changed and will be specially created with real gems and metals. The Miss Dinagyang title is the most coveted title in the province and most prestigious beauty contest in the region. Under Alex, the girls go through stringent screening before they can even qualify. The title holder automatically becomes a role model, spokesperson and pillar of Iloilo. And given, the lofty ideals, the Miss Dinagyang crown should represent all that is Iloilo.
“Today this partnership will make us the official jeweler of the Miss Dinagyang 2018 event. We’ve decided to provide more than just the winning jewelry prize. We have offered to design our very own Ilonggo crown for Miss Dinagyang 2018. I am excited to design a crown. It was a great task to find something uniquely Ilonggo and with the help of Tito Alex (Soncio) and major tips from our brand Ambassador and former Miss Dinagyang 2016 Vanessa Caro on how they wore their crown, I was much encouraged and very challenged to produce the best crown for the Miss Dinagyang.”, Ms. Regine adds.
Regine has designed the crown herself. Regine is the third generation of the Sarabia women and the master designer and metalsmith for Sarabia Jewelry. She has studied and trained as Metalsmith in The Alchemia School of Contemporary Jewelry at Florence, Italy and has brought back the idea and operations of a jewelry guild, promoting artisanal unique and handcrafted products that are closely linked to the culture and history of Iloilo. She will be having her own exhibit come October at Museo Iloilo presenting her own unique designs.
Ms. Regine Sarabia-Espinosa and Mr. Alex Soncio with Ms. Vanessa Caro, Brand ambassador and former Miss Dinagyang 2016
Design inspiration and special feature of the crown: Regine and Alex wanted a design which will be very Ilonggo. The task was simple: show a feature of the crown which can emphasize this crown is especially made only for Ilonggos.
Inspired by the Wallace Chan one of the top designers in the world, whose cut and style are unique and famous in the business, and using elements of the Intaglio printmaking and Cameo carving of Europe, the special gemstone in the middle of the crown design for the Miss Dinagyang 2018 will feature the carving of the famous Lin-Ay sang Iloilo (The Lady of Iloilo). Specially ordered for Iloilo, the middle gemstone undergoes a unique creation process. The carving is achieved by drilling a hole in the back of the multi faceted stone and then carving and etching the image in reverse so that when viewed from the front, the image then reflects multiple times. The technique requires very fast drilling, then cooling in water because of the friction caused by the head of the drilling. This is done multiple times, drilling then cooling. It’s a very expensive and tedious hand crafted process. Aside from that special stone, several multifaceted gemstones and crystals will be included in the design on shiny buffed silver and gold metals.
It is but fitting to crown it on one of our beauties on January. The actual crown will be done and launched in October and exhibited to the public.
Public to Choose the Crown from Two Designs: Regine and Alex have chosen two designs which the public can choose from for the event. The voting aims to include all Ilonggos in the event by choosing which design they prefer for the Miss Dinagyang 2018. This way the Ilonggo public can engage in event and it will be the people’s choice.
Bulalakaw Crown, inspired by the stars which the participants of the Dinagyang Festival become
Baybay Crown, inspired by the seas and waters surrounding Iloilo
All of Iloilo is invited to go to Sarabia Jewelry page in facebook to vote which crown is fitting for Miss Dinagyang. They can choose one from the two designs: “Baybay” inspired by the seas and waters surrounding Iloilo, or “Bulalakaw” inspired by the stars which the participants of the Dinagyang Festival become. Voting will start August 21 to August 31, 2017. The winning crown design will be announced on September 1, 2017 which Regine will start working on in time for the October launch. The special stone with the Lin-Ay will be placed on the winning crown design.
About Sarabia Jewelry: Sarabia Jewelry has proudly adorned the Ilonggos, from all ages and all walks of life, with fine jewelry for more than 70 years. Sarabia Jewelry opened its first jewelry store in 1945 at the heart of the city, in Guanco Street. Seven decades later, Sarabia Jewelry still stands in downtown Iloilo boasting of a massive collection of fine jewelry and most of all, an atelier with skilled artisans and craftsmen on its upper floors.