Architect Leandro V. Locsin Auditorium , NCCA Building , Intramuros , Manila – Philippines
poster of Mr. Ramon Valera posted in front of NCCA building
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), through its Chairman, Prof. Felipe Mendoza de Leon, Jr., Philippine Postal Corporation , National Historical Commission of the Philippines launched the commemorative stamps in honor of Don Ramon Valera y Oswalds ( August 31, 1912 to 1972 ) , National Artist for Architecture, Design and Allied Arts in celebration of his 100th Birth Centennial on August 31, 2012, through Proclamation No. 291, which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III declaring the period from August 31, 2012 to August 30, 2013 as the Centennial Year of National Artist for Architecture, Design, and Allied Arts (Fashion Design).
3rd and 4th generation nieces of Mr. Ramon Valera from his brothers and sisters pose for a souvenir shot at the lobby of NCCA building
Likewise, the House of Representatives has issued House Joint Resolution No. 22, introduced by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Congressman Neptali M. Gonzalez II, Congressman Edcel C. Lagman, Congressman Salvador H. Escudero III, and Congresswoman Ma. Jocelyn V. Bernos.
Mr. Francisco Valera-Zulueta descendant of Mr. Ramon Valera , Mr. Carlos Luis OMPG – Philpost and Professor Felipe M. De Leon- NCCA chairperson
The commemorative stamps in his honor was launched on Monday, September 3, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the NCCA Leandro Locsin Auditorium, with NCCA chairperson Felipe M. De Leon, Jr., Exec. Director Emelita V. Almosara, Philpost executives and National Artist’s Valera’s nephews and nieces.
Mr. Ramon Valera was celebrated for his ingenuity and craftsmanship, for revolutionizing the national costume, for his masterly embroidery and bead work and for translating Philippine motifs into contemporary terms. His signature creative cut, silhouette, colorization, and opulent but tasteful bead-work with embroidery.
ceremonial autograph signing of the first day cover
According to Mr. Francisco Valera -Zulueta , Mr. Ramon Valera is considered a genius , which knew how to speak 5 languages , and way ahead of his contemporaries, He never enriched himself and whenever his house helpers and tailors had their birthdays , he would cook for them and their families. Mr. Ramon Valera was the only male couturier among his contemporaries – Pacita Longos, Marina Antonio, Purita Escurdia and Mina Roa – who could design, cut, paste and sew all by himself. He finished high school in De La Salle University , but dropped out of the Far Eastern University where he had been studying commerce, but Valera never really had any formal training in dress making or design.
presentation of the signed autograph to the parties
In late 1939, He revolutionized the old- Philippine national costume much to the shock of Manila’s high society, He introduced the one-piece terno fastened at the back with a zipper. In his later collections, Valera transformed the colonial- style Maria Clara into a bridal gown with bell sleeves, which was then considered by many as a disgrace to the Filipina dress . None of the criticism have deterred Valera and he continued to challenge traditions with his creativity and trailblazing design concepts.
Mr. Ramon Valera designing dress ( photo from NCCA archives)
His early innovation was modernizing the terno at the start of the forties. He revived the traje de boda (what we know as the Maria Clara), traditionally a four-piece ensembles consisting of a blouse, skirt, over-skirt and scarf. He exaggerated the bell sleeves . Then the terno became a one-piece silhouette, fastened with a zipper instead of hoods. He shocked the public when he removed the pañuelo or scarf which covered the woman’s bosom.
Some of the important clientele of includes Mrs. Imelda Romualdez- Marcos almost all the Philippine first ladies , Mrs. Elvira Manahan, Mrs. Margarita Romualdez, Mrs. Susie Bayot Ortigas, Mrs. Adelaida Mendoza, Mrs. Maritess Pineda, Mrs. Evelyn Teehankee, Mrs. Fe Leyson Qua Mrs. Caridad Velez Leyson , Chito Madrigal, Mrs. Imelda Cojuangco, Mrs. Vicky Quirino, Ms. Chona Kasten, Ms. Susan Magalona, Ms. Priscilla Sison, Ms.Rome Osmena, Ms. Baby Araneta-Fores, Mrs. Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas. actress Ms. Gloria -Romero , European royalties and Queen Sirikit of Thailand.
Even today, Filipino fashion designers study Valera’s ternos: Its construction, bead works, applique, etc. Valera helped mold generations of artists, and helped fashion to become no less than a nation’s sense of aesthetics. But more important than these, he helped form a sense of the Filipino nation by his pursuit of excellence.
National Commission for Culture and the Arts: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/
Philippine Postal Corporation: http://philpost.gov.ph/web/category/stamp-releases/