A Winning Costume Made From Balikbayan Boxes
Overseas Filipino workers send stuff to their families in the Philippines through balikbayan boxes. The Filipino word “balik” means return and “bayan” means country. It is usually a big box of souvenirs for the whole family and the extended family members. These boxes are usually thrown away after being unloaded.
But Anthony Gonzales, a Filipino fine arts graduate, found another use for the boxes. From the empty boxes he created a costume for his daughter Agatha. His handcrafted costume helped her win in the Best in Recycled Costume Category at her school’s annual beauty pageant.
“The idea to create a costume inspired by different birds came to mind when he remembered a feature of a Philippine eagle he saw on a magazine he used to design. “We thought of something unique, at the same time still in line with the theme of protecting the environment,” he recalls.
Agatha’s bird costume has the body of the Philippine eagle, the arm of a maya, and the tail of a peacock. In lieu of a headdress, AG created a fascinator inspired by the sarimanok, an iconic symbol of Maranao art.”