If most people have a “bucket” for their list of everything they wanted to achieve, then fashion icon Don Cristobal (DC) thinks differently with his “DC Bayongs.”

During the Love Gala last May 11: Courage Amplified, DC Bayong designer Don Cristobal handed out a Love Bayong to LoveYourself Ambassador and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who willingly modeled the bags in support of the advocacy.

As a subsidiary of the DC brand, the DC Bayong is a chic reinvention of the Philippine go-to market bags. Instead of fish and bahay-kubo vegetables, it entails various causes that the modern society would find worthwhile to support, including the Love Gala – Asia’s premier charity and awards event for the HIV/AIDS advocacy.

For this particular event, the DC Bayong releases its collection of the “Love Bayong,” which is embellished with uniquely curated “rose” patches that perfectly represent this year’s Love Gala theme, Courage Amplified. 
Cristobal explained that he wanted to give back to the community through the Love Bayong collection to help raise funds for the LoveYourself, Inc.’s HIV awareness activities and projects. The LoveYourself, together with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), hosts the Love Gala 2019.

According to Cristobal, the Love Bayong on Love Gala is just the beginning of a bigger partnership with the DC Bayong, since he is already planning to donate a certain amount for each bayong sold in the country and even abroad to the HIV advocacy through LoveYourself.

Aside from the HIV cause, the DC Bayong was produced primarily to promote and empower local artisans by commissioning their work of art. This top quality bayongs would also bring a higher level of pride to the local artisans. The DC Bayong is 100% handcrafted.

Another cause one could bring in donning these bayongs is sustainability. The bayongs are not just artistically crafted, but also very durable that will last for longer period of time as compared to regular bags and bayongs – mamas might be able to hand it down to the next generation.

Cristobal said, “DC Bayong focuses its attention in developing items that are sustainable and will stand the test of time,” which will address the problem of unsustainable consumerism and spendthrift fashion lifestyle. The bayongs are versatile and come in different shapes and colors, which can be an alternative to eco bags, but multiply by the hundreds in creativity, craftsmanship and care for environmental conservation efforts. In this sense, Ms. Earth Philippines 2013 Angelee Delos Reyes is one of DC Bayong’s notable ambassador.

Furthermore, Cristobal launched the DC Bayong Travel Series last April at the Helipad Show in Holiday Inn Manila Galleria to encourage more people to patronize locally made products that are sustainable and travel worthy.

Cristobal is currently the chairman of marketing & events for the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines (FDAP). In March, Cristobal officially became a LoveYourself volunteer under Batch Kauna Kai after supporting and participating in various events of the organization. He will dress the candidates of Miss LoveYourself during the organization’s founding anniversary celebration this year, which is the highly anticipated gathering of volunteers, celebrating as one family in diversity, and the triumphs in the advocacy.

He will dress the candidates of Miss LoveYourself during the organization’s founding anniversary celebration this year, which is the highly anticipated gathering of volunteers, celebrating as one family in diversity and the triumphs in the advocacy.

To support DC Bayong’s Love Bayong, interested individuals should contact Andee Ortega at 09981980091.

LoveYourself is the leading community-led HIV advocacy group in the country, which now operates six community centers — (1) LoveYourself Anglo in Mandaluyong City, (2) LoveYourself Uni and (3) Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay City, (4) LoveYourself Welcome in Manila, (5) Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Paranaque City, and (6) LoveYourself White House in Cebu City. These centers provide differentiated services and care approach to address the country’s HIV situation, which include HIV education, testing and counseling, and treatment and life coaching.

Text by Bet Domingo
Photo by Robin Marero