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Celebration of Montreal Filipino fashion, culture at SHOWPAO: Gala Fundraiser 2024

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It’s a celebration of Filipino fashion at SHOWPAO: The Gala Fundraiser 2024. Each year this event focuses on the Filipinx community’s diversity in Montreal by highlighting an aspect of their culture and creative talents. For this edition, it’s fashion. 

“It’s kind of like a huge celebration for Filipinos as we watch our representative be on stage and showcase our culture through fashion,” said Rudyard Pejo, the co-event head of the Filipino Organization of Concordia University Students, which organized the event.

“In the showcase, you will see the reimagined looks of people in the Philippines from the three main islands, so Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.”

Rudyard Pejo SHOWPAO Co-event head. (Photo Credit: Gareth Madoc-Jones, CityNews)

The SHOWPAO event will showcase garments that represent different regions of the Philippines in a fashion show called ‘Where we wear’ that also tells the migrant stories of many Filipinx-Montrealers. 

One of those stories is about Marcelo Reyes who immigrated to Montreal in 1998 from the Philippines. 

“Because our fashion show is focused on reimagining looks and also recreating them, adding a modern twist, most of the outfits that were from the past were, I guess, outdated in today’s era,” said Roselle Villanueva, a showcase co-director.

Roselle Villanueva SHOWPAO Showcase co-director. (Photo Credit: Gareth Madoc-Jones, CityNews)

Prospero Rey, the owner of Spare Jeans in Côte-des-Neiges, designed the jeans chosen to represent the fashion worn by Reyes.

“I design my jeans for any community. It’s not only for Filipinos, but in general, it’s like whoever likes my design, they’re free to wear it,” said Rey. 

Prospero Rey Owner, Spare Jeans. (Photo Credit: Gareth Madoc-Jones, CityNews)

SHOWPAO: The Gala Fundraiser 2024 will also feature local Filipino fashion-related businesses as well as delicious Filipino food provided by a local restaurant.

The event is a fundraiser to support Filipinos of Montreal, an organization dedicated to celebrating and uplifting the Montreal Filipino community through community events, collaborations, and supporting local initiatives. 

“At SHOWPAO, we embrace all aspects of being Filipino because we acknowledge that each person has their own unique identity and experiences,” said Pejo.

This year’s SHOWPAO celebration takes place in downtown Montreal this Saturday, May 25th, it starts at 6 p.m., in Le Grand Hall at 1000 de la Gauchetière.

“It’s not only an event for the Concordia community, but it’s also for the greater Montreal community. We’re reeling in current undergraduate students, alumni, people who don’t even go to school, or people who are the older generations,” said Pejo.

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