The “Calling”

By: James Roa

I can’t help but smile when I reminisce my childhood days, during those times I considered pen and paper as my best buddies. Thought bubbles would always fill my head with ideas on what to sketch next. At an early age I was already enamored with sketching and drawing.

Things seem so different now from when I was in elementary and high school, I was just a simple lad then. I even took up Education in college. I then started working for a BPO company as a CSR, Quality Assurance Analyst and Team Leader for 6 years. I was able to buy the things I wanted and travel to different places. But still a question burned inside me, I felt incomplete, unsatisfied.

As I pondered my future, I wasn’t expecting something would change my life in such a big way. In 2015, a friend of mine recommended me to a client and asked if I can design a dress for her prom night. I was hesitant at first, I didn’t know where to begin. I can draw gowns and dresses but I didn’t have the slightest idea what fabric to use or how to make my design a reality. And what about the cost? I was flustered, but a voice inside me gave me the confidence to take the leap.

I dared myself, accepted the challenge, and in the process found my passion. From then on, designing turned into a part time job. I really enjoyed my daytime job while pursuing my passion on the side. But as the proverb says “you can’t serve two masters”, time came when I had to choose. I would have loved to do both but there were sacrifices to be made. I resigned from my day job last year, focused on my passion, and entered the fashion industry.

As a rookie in the industry, time flew fast, I gained trust from clients locally and abroad. Though it seemed easy, there were definitely some hardships. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and I am grateful for the support that my friends and family have given me.

One of the first things I learned when I entered the fashion industry was to be flexible. One must be innovative in fashion. Every day is a learning process, so you need to be resilient and open-minded to criticism (good or bad).

It is truly a blessing when you really love what you are doing. I was able to work with different stylists in the Philippines dressing up local actresses, singers, and beauty queens. Just recently, I dressed up Doors open and opportunity is always just around the corner.

It’s fulfilling in a way that you are enjoying what you really love and earning at the same time. Doors open too many opportunities for I was able to work with different stylists in the Philippines dressing up local actresses, singers, and beauty queens. Just recently I I dressed up Miss Universe PH 2019 Gazini Ganados in one of her photoshoots wearing  a mandarin collar halter top made of embroidered piña jusi fabric with a skirt made from Miag-ao’s hablon, accentuated with a hand sewn belt with fresh water pearls from Palawan. A piece that’s 100% Pinoy!

From working in a BPO company, I now find myself in the fashion industry and I’m suire this is where I belong!

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