SPECULATIONS on who would be the lucky designer who will dress incoming President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. on his inauguration on Thursday would be answered soon as the ongoing 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 this moment, 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.
The contest also included the barongs that will be worn by his three sons. For LAM (Marcos’ wife Liza), a designer has been picked already.
Herrera said that Marcos had been wearing Jusi or shirt-jack barongs mostly 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 as 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,” the designer added.
“Kaya ‘yung mga ganun ang babantayan ko para ma-maintain ang dignified appearance niya. Kailangan maayos siya tingnan lagi. I will also assist him in dressing,” he also disclosed.
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, wavy,” he narrated.
“Nung nakita niya, sabi niya, ‘What did you do to my hair?’ Kaya akala ko 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 the style that Herrera did.
“Ginawa kong sleek ‘yung buhok niya. Though at first, hindi pa siya sanay kaya pilit niyang binababa until sa naging comfortable na din siya with the style at naging trade mark na niya,” he added.
“When I started working for him, noong una pag nakikita niya ako, nagre-react pa siya, until na-realize niya, after getting advices from his Mom and sisters, na kailangan presentable siya, lalo na sa mga TV interviews,” the image specialist also said.
“Ngayon, comfortable na siya sa ‘kin at kabisado ko na rin pano ayusin ang buhok at mukha niya. Metikuloso din siya when it comes to the time spent on his appearance kaya we have developed a good timeline. Alam ko nang basahin ang expression nang mukha niya pag medyo tumatagal ako sa pag-aayos ng buhok niya,” he added.