philippine arts: freeway’s avant-garde designs

it has been three years since i last bought a top from freeway, one of my frequently visited boutiques at southmall. 

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it was in may 2010 when i purchased a white tunic blouse here as my birthday present to my sister-in-law, sheila. she loved it at once! with she gone, entering again this fashion shop earlier this afternoon reminded me of her beaming smile when i handed her that gift. 
i shook myself from this rush of melancholy as i went through the array of dresses and tops which were on-sale. it’s not often that this fashion trendsetter would have discounted sales up to 50%. 

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nothing from the items which were displayed at the side caught my fancy until i saw the set marked 30%.
i was surprised to see that their apparels which bear selected works of philippine national artists such as vicente manansala (visual arts), botong francisco (visual arts), and lucio san pedro (music) were given the second to the biggest marked down price. 

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i celebrated especially when i saw a beige v-neck tee with a manansala painting on it and it fitted me well. 

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from php 995.00, i got the shirt for only php 696.50. very much affordable than buying the original painting by manansala.  yes, i was happy for my discounted shirt, but a realization dawned upon me.
these freeway collectors’ series did not really click among the filipinos who were expected to be the very first one to patronize these avante-garde fashion designs. i think freeway had thought of this unique selling proposition not only because of profit but its desire in promoting the philippine arts. this innovation was the best way to bring the arts closer to us and make us appreciate the rich heritage that we have as filipinos. sadly, the admirable objective of this shop had not been put across to many of us.
when i asked the two sales clerks, riza and tine, who the usual buyers were, they both mentioned foreigners. imagine that! the aliens were prouder than us to flaunt the masterpieces of these filipino maestros
it’s a little disappointing, but i know we will trace this again to our history as a nation and unearth one of the strong influences of our colonizers – colonial mentality. 
i lingered in the shop for awhile and found out that their accessories were also cut-rate. one of the sales ladies quickly informed me that they also pay tribute to these artists. 

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her pulling the glass case made me see a unique ramon valera (national artist for fashion) creation, a bracelet, being sold now for php 250.00. the last unsold piece, i did not have a second thought not to have it. 

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the other ethnic bracelets and necklaces were also a beauty, but i have to exercise self-control already especially when i saw this bag. 🙂 

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the impulsive buyer in me, i had to remind myself to distinguish my need and want despite my intense love and swelling pride of philippine arts. 

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2 thoughts on “philippine arts: freeway’s avant-garde designs

Add yours

  1. That’s a sad truth but in all honesty I never knew that Freeway carried these works of art! Could it be a lack in marketing strategy? Imported products gets usually better branding thus it lures the buying public.

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  2. it’s about time to pay freeway a visit, missus v. 🙂

    when this shop started in 1997, it seemed to cater only to the AB crowd. perhaps it is one of the reasons why it resorted to this collectors’ series. this can be a form of marketing strategy but i partly say “yes” to the modifier “lack”. we can’t blame the consumers if they are brand-conscious if they’ll be assured of their quality.

    being a freeway user (not endorser…hehehe) though, i can vouch for the very satisfactory quality of its apparel.

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