I was visiting Manila for a weekend with my friends, Shane and Nina. Always curious what the local parkour and freerunning community looks like we went to Intramuros, a historic site that I would describe as a fort that once protected the city walls and now serves as a great space to meet up and jump around on. However, my attention was quickly taken away.
Beside a group of young males testing their speed, agility, and precision was another group of young men, expressing their feminine side, poise, and style.
It was their first fashion show conceptualized and planned the day before. The construction of these old walls has left a slightly elevated walkway that worked perfectly as a runway. Behind one wall was their dressing room complete with the chaos of hustle you would find in an actual high fashion show. Above the runway was an elevated space for the audience to cheer on the talent.
The show made its way through various attire from casual, swimwear to gowns. Makeup, accessories and a single pair of platform shoes were shared.
They smiled from ear to ear as they walked confidently with their applause. Others already knew how to mimic the poses and moves straight out of a music video.
They gathered old dresses, blankets, fabric and created “fashionable long gowns.” Most of them expressed that they want to be models or designers someday, even famous if they are given a chance. My friend Rory Rebustest, and fellow photographer translated for me.
Their age range was from about 8 to 12 years old. “Fortunately for these kids, they have their parents consent, and they’re free to express themselves, be whoever they are and whatever they wish to become,” says Rory.
It was also very clear that they had their friends support as well. They cheered on as each model walked down the runway. There was also someone assigned to collect money that was occasionally thrown out.
After the show I met them all and took some portraits. I may have not been able to communicate with words but it was very clear they wanted their photos taken.
I loved taking photos from the audience and sitting next to a casual preteen with purple lipstick.
They were having so much fun it made me want to embrace my feminine side more. I hope creativity, enthusiasm, and confidence follows everyone throughout life. - edi
- Zu Ka Fu
- Vanessa Joy Bersuela
- Quen Trisha
- Rayven Santos
- Kelvin Nierras
- Queen Jerald S. Flaviano