Fundraising Power Circle Fashion Show

Power Circle Fashion Show 
By Walter Ang
August 16, 2000
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Some thirty of the youngest and most accomplished local business achievers took a break from work last Wednesday to volunteer their time and efforts to model in a fashion show dubbed Power Circle Fashion Show.

Organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (PCCI) Youth Affairs Committee, the event was to create awareness and raise funds for PCCI's Adopt a Business Project. This will be a nationwide contest to be held next year to encourage the youth, especially business students, to cook up business plans.

Sherwin Hing, one of the night's models and chairman of PCCI's Youth Committee shared how they were able to come up with the idea, "There are a lot of good business ideas out there, but the problem is that they don't have a lot of capital, so we'll provide the seed capital for those who can win the competition."

Guests were treated to a no-frills set design at the Grand Ballroom of Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel. The ramp was swathed in red carpeting that extended to the backdrop to become a stark red column against black scrim. As the lights dimmed, these young professionals, mostly members of the PCCI Youth Committee, sashayed down the runway in Cerruti 1881, Josie Natori, Claiborne for Men, Escada, Liz Claiborne, and Hugo Boss.

The show was helmed by director Joey Espino who imparted how, "Everybody was so fearful at fist. But these guys are winners, and once they understood the point of it all, it was smooth sailing." Asked what made him decide to participate in the event, he offered, "I myself am trying to set up a business and I know what it's like. This was for a good cause and I wanted to share myself to it."

First time
Most of the business executitves had their baptism of fire in the modeling arena that night. One of the oranizers of the event, Anna Marie Periquet relates, "At first we were all very nervous. Everyone was given a shot of cognac. It didn't work." Though that obviously didn't stop them, "I was the first to come out on the ramp. I was testing the waters for everyone. It wasn't too deep, so we went for it." She continues that it wasn't just for fun or the chance to walk down the ramp, "It was for a good cause. We know that by walking down the ramp, we would be able to support a lot of new businesses."

Ma. Christine Ledesma joked, "In the first set, they showed videos of us, we were hoping the audience would watch the videos instead of us." The sole dreadlocked lady of the night and co-founder of The Big Chill got involved because of her work with Pangarap.com, a website that has linked up with the Adopt A Business Project.

Organizing chairperson Michelle Varela-Lim points out, "I believe the youth can change our society and really make a difference. So even though you're young you can make a difference." Many young executives seems to agree with her and showed their support that night. Among the ladies who graced the catwalk were Cris Roque, Executive VP for Kamiseta and Morgan de Toi, and Sari Yap, Editor-in- Chief of Mega Fashion Magazine.

Menardo "Butch" Jimenez, Presidnet of GMA Films, Jean Henri Lhuillier, Chairman of Strike Zone Bowlnig Lanes, and Vicente Padilla, President of Padi's Point Restaurant and Bar, were but a few of the many guys who strutted their stuff.

One would think young professionals doing a fashion show would be somewhat of a contradiction, but Summit Point Realty Marketing Manager Jose Leviste II confesses, "It was a childhood fantasy of mine to be a model," and gamely signed up.

Throw away your stereotypes of businessmen as straight laced and boring, Gregory Banzon, Sales Director of Johnson and Johnson Phils., admitted to playing hooky from practice sessions. And when we asked Manila Councilor Kim Atienza what he would never be caught dead wearing in public, he revealed, "My birthday suit," and quickly added with a devlish smile, "On second thought."