Gary Sintin: Born for Fashion


Photos by Al Destacamento
It’s human nature to sometimes treat with nonchalance things that we encounter on a daily manner.
This was the case with Gary Surmion Sintin when he was growing up.
He’s the son of Heidi Arguelles Surmion–Sintin, a dressmaker in Brgy. Baclayan, Lucena, Iloilo but it was in dancing and singing that he had passion for.
He was champion during the Super Ferry Kampeon sa Kantahan Zone 5 competition, a Blue Pass finalist in Philippine Idol, a performer in GMA Iloilo’s ‘Bongga’, recording artist of the album ‘The Soul of Magapa-Suage’ by the Panay Rural Development Center, Inc., a conductor and teacher in music in Oton National High School, a voice coach and a dance choreographer.
“Before, I never paid attention to designing because I considered it as a common thing that I encounter everyday at home,” he said.
But if you were born to a certain kind of trade, you naturally imbibe the skills because you were exposed to that your whole life.
“I helped my mother by giving a critique on what design looks better. There were also times when my sister and I helped her in finishing jobs that needed to be done in a short period of time. Roger, my brother who is now a seaman, stitched the buttons and buttonholes. My sister Sheila Marie, now a teacher and Maria Ria did the beadworks. My other sister Samantha Katrina, now a registered nurse, worked hand-in-hand with me doing the designs,” Sintin narrated.
They made dresses, gowns, suits, barongs and children’s costumes.
He added that his sisters were his first models when he started to design clothes.
It was designing that opened an opportunity for Sintin to go abroad. He had worked as a design and production supervisor at The Shakespeare and Company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Sintin credits his and his siblings success to the unending sacrifices made by their mother and with the help of their aunt Azucena Surmion-Tumaghap. “Their support paved the way for us to finish our studies and helped us become professionals. They were my inspirations in pursuing my passion in the different fields that I endeavour,” he said.
He also credits everything to “the Best Designer of all times, our Almighty God” for giving him the courage, knowledge, talents, and skills which he consider as gifts that he should share to everyone.
“I used to make a newspaper gown for my sister when I was seven years old,” he reminisces. “Now, I make real gowns for people from different walks of life. Fate has its own way, in the right time,” he said.
Recently, Sintin created a hablon collection that he presented before the Ilonggo crowd at the Iloilo Fiber Week. He hopes that through his collection, he was able to inspire people to appreciate ‘hablon’.
“Now I could say that designing is my passion as it is through this that I can express my ideas and thoughts,” he concluded.

FASHION WITH A PURPOSE
Recently, Purr came across a news item wherein a senator urged fashion groups to design uniforms that can protect students from dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Don Protasio, pioneering member of the Designers Guild of Iloilo has this to say about the proposal: “The first thought that comes to my mind is really about keeping our environment clean to make sure that there are no breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The uniform becomes secondary and I suggest slim pants paired with a loose buttondown shirt in khaki colors using light cotton twill fabric. The light color will prevent the mosquito from blending with the shade.”
So, there.* (Marie Katherine Villalon, The News Today, Sept. 22, 2011)

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