MANILA – Speculations on who would be the lucky designer to dress incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. at his inauguration on Thursday (June 30) will be answered soon as the barong-design contest will be decided within the next few hours.
Jay Herrera, Marcos’ official image specialist for the past eight years, announced this amid excitement and suspense on what the President-elect would wear for the momentous event.
“As of now, there is no official design yet for BBM. His sister, Irene (Marcos-Araneta), is holding a contest among designers to get the best design. But it will be decided in two to three days,” he said in a news release on Monday.
Herrera said Marcos had been wearing Jusi or shirt-jack barongs mainly designed by Avel Bacudio for his engagements in the past weeks preceding the May 9 elections.
Meanwhile, to maintain Marcos’ presentable appearance, the image specialist said he would be around to ensure this. The incoming President, who has no vain bone in his body, tends to take his appearance for granted.
“Hindi siya vanidoso, hindi siya ganun ka-conscious sa kanyang appearance. Si Sir, kung ano ang itsura niya pagkaligo niya, ok na sa kanya ‘yun. As is, where is. Kaya minsan may mga pictures siya na may part ng buhok niya na nakatikwas (He’s not vanity, he’s not that conscious of his appearance. What does he look after he takes a bath, that’s okay with him. As is, where is. So sometimes, he has pictures with part of his hair upside down),” Herrera said.
“Kaya ‘yung mga ganun ang babantayan ko para ma-maintain ang dignified appearance niya. Kailangan maayos siya tingnan lagi (So I will watch out to maintain his dignified appearance. He must always be well looked after). I will also assist him in dressing,” he added.
While for the past eight years, Herrera had also been the incoming First Lady’s image specialist, he had been given marching orders to concentrate on the incoming President for now.
“I suggested for LAM to get her glam team, but it would still be up to her,” he added.
Herrera recalled how he started working for the Marcos family when BBM was still a senator.
“When he was still a senator, he had an interview with GMA, so they searched for an artist, and I was recommended. His staff suggested na gawin kong mukhang bagets si BBM so ginawa kong parang Korean ‘yung buhok niya (that I make BBM look like a teenager so I made his hair look Korean), wavy,” he said.
“Nung nakita niya, sabi niya(When he saw it, he asked), ‘What did you do to my hair?’ Kaya akala ko (I thought) that would be my first and last time to work for him,” he recounted.
Much to the image specialist’s surprise, he was called again after a few weeks for another interview.
This time, he said, he asked Marcos first for his suggestion and was satisfied with Herrera’s style. (PR)