The bayanihan spirit was alive at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Consulate in New York City as people in the East Coast came together to support a fashion show dubbed as 'Walk for a Cause'.
The event was organized by Filipino American Cancer Care (FACC), a non-profit organization based in Virginia, in partnership with Filipino designer Carl Andrada.
Andrada was invited to present a collection for the New York Fashion Week in February and since he was already in New York, he presented the idea of staging a separate fashion show for the benefit of FACC.
Models strutted down the runway wearing Andrada's various creations, including his Musa Filipiniana collection using musa fabric, which is hand-woven banana fiber.
He also showcased his 'Woven with Love Collection'.
"I brought also the collection, which is a collaboration with DTI, ‘yung mga different fabric of the Philippines: pinya, aruga, inaul, yakan, musa. In a way, very Filipino, very Philippine-themed ang event," Andrada shared.
Andrada hopes to inspire designers with his partnership with the FACC.
"Maybe this is my role, to inspire people, to influence other designers to support causes like FACC or promote Philippine fabric," he said.
With over 40 models participating in the fashion show, Josie Moralidad Ziman, founder and president of FACC said many of them are actually nurses.
"We have the support of the Philippine Nurses Association in New York and New Jersey. We have so many models coming from that organization. And now even the Philippine Nurses Association in America is telling that they would like to participate in the FACC in October," Ziman said.
According to Ziman, this edition of FACC's 'Walk for a Cause' will benefit cancer patients, some coming from the Philippines, with the youngest being only one-year-old.
All of them will receive $1000 each. Ziman said their target amount of $10,000 intended for all the beneficiaries was exceeded by the generous guests.
"For some, $1000 doesn't mean anything but for someone who is fighting cancer, that is hope, that is courage," Ziman noted.
For Ziman, the 'Walk for Cause' is a testament to how the community can work together to help uplift the lives of those in need.