Pintados ala Barong Tagalog


It was the year-end holidays 2017 when Ulysses King sent me sketches of his Barong Tagalogs with lots of hand painted Alibata inscriptions and I wondered, why not? The barong has been traditionally pristine like a blank canvas ready to be painted with symbols and images that best represent Filipino culture.  Imagine wearing one to an event which will not just draw attention but make an excellent piece of conversation.  Just be ready to bring your cheat note of Alibata alphabetization to be able to make quick names and words as to how you would want to personalize your national costume.

  • Alibata Barong Inspired by ancient Philippine script and first recorded in the 16th century. Alibata or baybayin is considered the oldest script of the Filipino language. A new take of modern barong using pina jusi fabric with handpainted ancient script in monochromatic colors of the Philippine flag available in red, yellow and blue.
  • Pintados barong Embroidery designs are inspired by ethnic pintados from southern part of the Philippines. Materials are pina jusi with embroidery on sleeves ,longer hem at the back.

This is not the first time Ulysses King broke fashion boundaries, in 2011, he pioneered digital printing on his Narcosis collection and airbrush painting on his 2012 Rock & Soil collection for suit and casual wear.  So this innovation is a continuation of Ulysses King’s vision to move men’s fashion forward.


Originally worn by Mister Republic of the Philippines candidates, these pieces are available at Cinderella, 2nd floor, Glorietta 3 Mall, Makati City.  Catch them before they get sold out.  The staff from Vatican Cinderella, can tailor make the barong in one week, or better yet, schedule an appointment with Ulysses King on weekends.  I had the pleasure of inspecting / admiring these pieces before eventually shooting them the week after.  As a visual artist, I am a fan of sketches, transformed into fashion pieces, and interpreted further into a photograph.  That is why collaboration with the designer has always been pure pleasure for me.


Presented by Rene Mouris Watch

Designer: Ulysses King

Photography: Sensei Miyaki Photography

Art Direction: Nomer Yuzon

Hair & Make up : La Provence Team

Earrings : Christopher Munar

Style coordination: Bernard Saligao

Production assistance: JC Flotildes

Models: Cindy Marriah Dumol, Thamara Alexandria Pacursa, Dennis Malones, Jay Lester Abrenica, Jedryk Costes, Jerome Vasquez, John Carlo Morales

Richard Gadiaza and Shido Roxas

Special thanks: Mister & Miss Republic of the Philippines

Dr. Rom Aromin & Lynette Padolina

Frank Ong & Kris Garcia Therese Heather Ong Mehdi Moussaoui

Location: Residence of Architect Dan Lichauco

The collection is now available at Vatican Cinderella, 2F Glorietta 3 .


Vatican Spring Summer 2018

This is probably the coolest summer for fashion with bouts of cool winds and occasional rising temperatures.  It is April and we still enjoy the best summer weather, a striking balance between comfort and enjoying the outdoors, such as Ulysses King’s Spring Summer 2018 collection.  The menswear is made of cool linen and easy breezy fabrics for ladies’ cocktail and maxi dresses.  These are now available at Cinderella, Glorietta 3 Mall, Makati City, Philippines.

I had the privilege of shooting Ulysses King’s S/S 2018 collection consisting primarily of resort wear for men and hand painted floral dresses for ladies.  Featuring the winners of Mister and Miss Republic of the Philippines, we shot the summer catalog at the residence of our good friend Dan Lichauco in New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines.

Sponsored by René Mouris watches, our first set features resort and casual wear on the winners and some candidates from Mister and Miss Republic of the Philippines 2018.    See gallery below.  The second set which I will share in my next blog post features formal  Filipiniana and wedding entourage

I missed the finals night but planned this photoshoot with art direction by Nomer Yuzon, styling coordination by Bernard Saligao, earrings by Christopher Munar, hair and makeup by La Provence and of course, with the help of the staff from Vatican Fashion Museum of Cinderella, Makati City.  After getting everyone on board, Dan Lichauco graciously agreed to have it at his residence.

A Haligi ng Dangal awardeee for his contributions on architecture, Dan Lichauco’s residence was the perfect venue for luscious gardens, modern resort living, and glass architecture.  Every corner and nook are designed with natural light in mind.  The result, numerous photography backgrounds and sets depending on the time of day.

Vatican Spring Summer 2018 Presented by Rene Mouris

Designer: Ulysses King

Photography: Sensei Miyaki

Photography Art Direction: Nomer Yuzon

Hair & Make up : La Provence Team

Earrings : Chris Munar

Watches by Rene Mouris

Style coordination: Bernard Saligao

Production assistance: JC Flotildes

Models: 2018 Mister Republic of the Philippines

Winners: Dennis Malones Jay Lester Abrenica Jedryk Costes Jerome Vasquez John Carlo Morales 2018 Miss Republic of the Philippines

Winners: Cindy Marriah Dumol Thamara Alexandria Pacursa

Models:  Dr. Richard Gadiaza and Shido Roxas


Mister & Miss Republic of the Philippines Dr. Rom Aromin & Lynette Padolina

Frank Ong & Kris Garcia Therese Heather Ong

Mehdi Moussaoui

Host location: Residence of Architect Dan Lichauco

Galerie de Prêt-à-Porter

Here it is the gallery of Vatican Fashion Museum’s Holiday 2017 collection – Prêt-à-Porter.  Fun, easy, festive looks from the Philippines’ topnotch designers Ulysses King and Arnold Galang.


Vatican Prêt-à-Porter
2017 Holiday Collection
Available at Cinderella , 2F Glorietta Mall, Makati City, Philippines

Fashion Designers: Arnold Galang & Ulysses King
Photography: Sensei Miyaki
HMUP: Chris Delfin & Bernard Saligao
Accessories: Toni & Berne
Style direction: Nio Manzano

Models : Shido Roxas, Jerome Vasquez and SMMA Models Alexis Sale, Camille Manalo, Diano Bugay, Jasmine Eaton, Patrick Rogando

Modern Business Barong

Simple Elegance.


Business Barong Tagalogs have evolved from the embroidered linen and crunchy white to jet black enabling versatility from office wear to formal evening look.

Ulysses King infused fun element of long back reminiscent of sporty polos to break the monotony of darkness.  A semi-three fourth sleeves provide for work functionality while the perfect fit shows gentlemanly character.

Check these out and have them custom made according to your body type.  Visit Vatican Fashion Museum’s outlet at Cinderella, 2/F Glorietta Mall for a closer look and feel of this versatile modern business getup.

*Prêt-à-Porter Holiday 2017 Collection

Photography by yours truly, designed by Ulysses King, styling by Nio Manzano, hair and makeup by Bernard Saligao on model Shido Roxas.

Vatican Prêt-à-Porter


Fun.  Easy.  Festive.  This is the 2017 Holiday Collection of Vatican Fashion Museum now available at Cinderella, 2F, Glorietta Mall, Makati City, Philippines.

Vatican fashion museum’s big boss Ulysses King reveals that this holiday should be “comfortable, functional and fashionably chic” with mix and match clothing previously thought of as a no, no!

Well now it is a yes, yes! with fun polka and easy checks.  In the photo, is Arnold Galang’s collection which I shot a few weeks back in Manila.

The VATICAN label is designed for people with sophisticated fashion sense in search for garments that complement their dynamic lifestyle and professional goals.

They appreciate creativity and quality and find styles for both work and pleasure.  They are confident and smart. They know the role of fashion and style They work hard, play hard. They are passionate and pro-active winners!

Hair & makeup by my creative tandem Chris Delfin and styling was done by Nio Manzano.  Accessories featured in the shoot are by Toni & Berne.  It was a pleasure working with SMMA Model Alexis Sale.

Isabelle Rouger

Isabelle Rouger is extremely photogenic.  She is so photogenic I could not make up my mind if I want her photos in black and white or preserve its real color. So I am sharing both.

In color, her golden hair shines with warm tungsten static light. In black and white, she exudes that classic beauty.

One of my strobes refused to cooperate in this shoot so I used just one diffused beauty dish from the top right, one diffused tungsten static light from the left and another tungsten static light from the back to paint that warm tone.

Technical notes: ISO100, f/5.6, 1/125s, 35mm

Portrait of Fern

fern01Fern Akari from Thailand was one of our featured models on APU Fashion Week 2016.  Her Thai name means Fern which translate to Akari in Japanese, hence the cyber name. She came to the audition looking so shy and timid.  I spoke to her to calm her nerves together with her fellow froshies (at least a freshman to my eyes coz I never saw her in any fashion show or multicultural performance which we have every week).

That was one big check!  a fresh face.  She had that side bangs she couldn’t get rid of so I thought, ah this girl needs some work.  AFW happened October 16 to 21, 2016 and she graced some of our preview shows.  As I was finalizing casting, in coordination with fashion designers, I found her body type to be conveniently slim that she can fit in any of the dresses, especially the long gowns.  In a separate post, I mentioned that dresses featured in the fashion show are not made for the models but for a certain body form by the designers.

Backstage, I inspected the makeup room and found her made up.  ‘Who’s that girl?!’  I usually kid around but of course I knew it was her.  What wowed me was her ability to transform.  After the show and the meet and greet, she transformed back to her usual self, a simple timid girl.  What I liked about Fern is her very simple and humble attitude.

I invited her to a photoshoot I art directed while on hibernating mode.  The concept was Blairwitch meets Conjuring, a post halloween shoot featuring the same lovely gowns she wore on the show.  Hair up or hair down, I can say she rocked it.  So I made a mental note, I want to shoot this girl a portrait so I can see if she is really photogenic as she has proven to be.  What I also want to see is if she can transform like a chameleon as she always does with changing expressions and mood.  So here are my portraits of Fern Akari.

Hairstyling by:  Phu Co

Makeup by:  Jeen Kraiwuttianant

Technical notes: ISO100, F/5.6, 1/200s, 35mm


Beppu at Night

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Today I excitedly tested my 24mm Nikon lens I scored from Amazon.  Over the past days, I have been obsessing about this new photography platform – the mirrorless cameras.

The big cons, however, is that the mirrorless cameras and the necessary lenses for portraiture and wide angles cost a fortune.  The only pros of a mirrorless is probably being lightweight, hip, and kinda retro with the old school camera look.  Still looking at that price tag after playing with it at Yodobashi Camera (my favorite hang out place), I could easily justify against purchasing a new platform.

So looking into my camera set, I have a Nikon D7000 (upgraded from my first D80), 55-200mm zoom, 18 to 105mm lens kit, 35mm for portraitures, I thought I need a 24mm for wide angles.  I mentioned that I have stopped taking landscapes but I didn’t say I hate it.  Occasionally and probably when the urge to be artistic or do something different calls, then a street photo or a travel photo would be nice.

Going back to mirrorless cameras that cost around USD1,000, I played with its features.  Okay, the Olympus E-PL8 looks cute, has a remote controlling app on a smartphone, excellent for taking selfies, and has built in artistic filters.  But I don’t like filters anyway.  Filters are for Instagram not for professional photos.  I also considered the Fujifilm X-T1 or X-T2 both of which can afford me a second hand car here in Japan.  The lens, likewise, will be another rent money.  So no to Fujifilm. I am loyal to Nikon so I did not even check Canon.  Finally, I checked Nikon mirrorless cameras, the J1 series and the AW1 series.  They seem affordable, lightweight, and compatible with my Nikon lenses.  However, I need an adapter to make my lenses fit the small body of the Nikon mirrorless cameras.  Which made me go back to basics.  I have a complete set and probably, a new piece of lens would be nice to complete the array – and that is wide angle for landscapes.

Today, my wide angle lens arrived, the 24mm and to my surprise, it is quite tiny and super lightweight.  It has some manual dials that make it compatible with old film cameras as well but for my D7000, it fits perfectly and the f22 is fixed.  Now my D7000 DSLR resembles a mirrorless.  I took it for a spin in my neighborhood and set the picture control to monochrome, ISO from 640 to 1000, f2.8 to 5.6, shutter speed from 1/30 to 1/200.  The above slideshow features Beppu, Oita, Japan‘s Ginza and the oldest hot spring in my lovely town, the Takegawara Hot Spring.  Those are test shots and if I develop a new love affair with street and travel photography then I might start posting some landscapes again.

Jeremiah Nicolas

I first saw Jeremiah as a young boy who visited his mom’s office where I used to hang out as a college student.  Their family moved to Melbourne, Australia in the late 1990s.  Fast forward to nearly decades, I was surprised to find out that mother and son were in town for a male pageant. And since he was ranking in the top predictions to win, a little help from Uncle M would do.

I called my glam team and made a portfolio for ‘Jer’, as his mom fondly calls him.  A fashion design major, I knew the boy has a thing for visual arts and I allowed him to do this thing in front of the camera.  I just had a few pointers to highlight that is very distinct with his face – cheek bone, puppy eyes, and defined jaw line.  He has perfect set of teeth too but I didn’t want him to smile too much for the camera and thought of leaving it for the live show instead of putting it on photo.  His body is ripped but not bulked muscular, the kind of leanness he gets from kickboxing.

Gray and black background for his body shot and fashion shoot was a natural choice.  Using the bathroom lighting technique for his body shot, I wanted the light to shower him from the top to highlight his cheekbone, jawline, shoulders, chest, and some ripples in the abs.  While shooting, we jokingly commented every imaginable actor he looked like with every change in posing or set.  We also did half body black and white and colored full body shots he now uses as a portfolio for modeling.

After getting the necessary shots I needed, I allowed him to do as he pleases and smile for the camera.  In another post, I will share it.

Jeremiah ranked first runner-up in the Misters of Filipinas 2016 male pageant.  With this portfolio, I am sure he will be seen in many more modeling gigs.  A neophyte in Philippine pageants and modeling, this boy will surely go places with his unique looks, his OZ accent, his free spirited personality, and contagious smile.

Hair & makeup by my creative tandem Chris Delfin.


For booking inquiries you may reach Chris Delfin through his Facebook account.

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