MANILA -- Former television news reporter Nina Corpuz-Rodriguez has a new role.
Aside from being a wife and mother to three beautiful kids and a DZMM radio show host, she now also spends her time as a fashion designer.
The “Good Vibes” host recently showcased her new designs at the Inabel 2018 benefit fashion show at Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City. She opened the show with her latest children's wear collection.
She showcased her work alongside two other designers -- Ottomondi's Otto Sacramento (street wear) and Edgar Madamba (formal wear).
Little girls strutted down the runway in cute dresses with classic silhouettes and contemporary ones with loose shapes, all made with traditional Ilocano fabric, inabel.
Corpuz-Rodriguez founded Nina Inabel when she joined the benefit fashion show last year. The show is aimed at promoting the local fabric for the benefit of weavers and cotton farmers in Ilocos.
For the former news reporter, designing is something new to her but she has always been interested in fashion and style. She is also passionate about parenting that is why designing for kids also comes naturally.
“It's a totally new experience for me because as some of you know, I was a journalist, I was a reporter. I covered things that's not like this, at all. So, it's not as glamorous,” she said.
But somehow, she was able to use her journalism skills when it comes to the advocacy. She's not designing just for the heck of it; it's also because she is helping push the use of inabel fabric in everyday wear. And hopefully to bring it to the global stage.
“The fabric that we're showcasing today has a long story behind it. Last year I started to research and I was also able to interview the weavers. So, it was a great experience. Not only do I appreciate the look of fabric but also the story behind it,” explained Corpuz-Rodriguez, who was born and raised in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Her new collection is actually inspired by her growing kids.
“If you notice my design for the kids, they're very classic. It's something even adults can wear and make it into an adult line. That's my inspiration actually because my kids are growing up—from wearing something pink, fluffy and cute to more darker colors,” she said.
“This year I chose darker colors to represent my kids growing up and to show them that you can make it look classy and aside from that something you could wear every day and not just special occasions,” the "How to Raise a Superstar" author added.
The benefit fashion show is an initiative of Ilocano native and neurologist Dr. Joven Cuanang. He wanted to bring back the art of inabel after learning a few years ago that only three women inabel weavers are left. This includes the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan living national treasure awardee Magdalena Gamayo from Pinili, Ilocos Norte.
Cuanang donated a pump to start a bigger production of cotton. It started with two hectares three years ago and now, 22 hectares of land are being used as cotton plantation in Pinili.
“I've chosen very important cultural tradition of the Ilocanos, which is inabel. You probably don't know but inabel has a centuries-old history. It was used as the sails of the galleons, coming from the Philippines, coming from the Philippines on the way to Acapulco and the rest of the western world. But we lost it, it went into a slumber, so to speak,” Cuanang shared.
Through the efforts of Cuanang and the designer, they are slowly reviving the art of inabel. Today, there are now 18 inabel weavers.
“We have to uplift the condition of our countrymen. We got react to the socio-economic conditions. And we've got to able to select what is highlighted in a particular community. Because my motto is, think globally but act locally,” he said.