MANILA, Philippines — Darna holds a special place in the heart of international fashion designer Rocky Gathercole. The Pinay folk superheroine is a beloved defender of the abused, especially helpless children, which Gathercole once was, as he bared his heart-rending story in a recent special episode of the drama anthology, “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”
His admiration of Darna would get him through the bad times, his flights of fantasy easing the pain of a troubled childhood. So when ABS-CBN announced that it was doing a TV series on Darna with the dazzling Liza Soberano as the heroine, Gathercole grabbed at the chance to design her costume.
His rendering of the costume will be inspired by Wonder Woman. The ensemble will be made of red leather, with the stars made of metal. The corset will be made of a stretchable material to allow for aerodynamic movement. The kick-ass, thigh-high boots will be made by shoe designer Jojo Bragais.
“First of all, I dunno yet if [ABS-CBN] likes my idea of Darna, fingers crossed. I sketched it in five hours, and most of the material that I will use I buy in the US, like the red leather, metal, etc.,” Gathercole explained. “Those who know me alam nila how crazy I am about superheroes. Kahit Voltes V pa ‘yan, I’m sobrang fan. So, if ever I will do Darna, it’s another dream come true.”
Gathercole will hold his first major gala in the country on August 12 at the Philippine International Convention Center. Fittingly, the fundraising affair will benefit the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.’s Bantay Bata 163.
“Now on its 20th year, the Filipinos’ go-to hotline to report child abuse is taking a step forward in the fight against rampant online sexual exploitation of children through upgrading the 163 hotline and increasing its online presence to ensure the safety of children amidst the cases of cyber bullying and child pornography in the country. Moreover, it will also conduct rehabilitation of the Children’s Village and initiate workshops and trainings to reinforce skills and introduce new techniques towards becoming better parents,” the show’s press statement reads.
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The acclaimed designer is understandably excited about this milestone in his career. In his Facebook page he wrote:
“Sa loob ng 8 buwan, mula disyembre, halos matatapos ko na ang kabuuan ng aking koleksyon…at ito yung masasabi kong sobrang pinag isipan at sobrang ginastusan ko talaga…may isang damit na ginawa ko ng 3 buwan…may ilang ginawa ako na kailangan ko pang magpabalik balik ng america para mabili yung mga kailangan ko…may isang damit na matapos ang 20 taon sa isipan ko, binigyan ko sya ng kaganapan…at may mga damit na magpapakita ng buhay ko sa kalye… kung bakit ako bading… damit na magpapakita ng aking pananampalataya… mga ginawa ko sa pagmamahal… at mga damit na hahayaang kung mahusgahan ang aking pagkatao.
Ngayon pa lang nagpapasalamat na ako para sa mga sasama sa inyo sa darating na aug 12,para matunghayan ang istorya ng BUHAY ko at kung paano ko hinubog ang aking mga PANGARAP. GLORY TO GOD ALMIGHTY!”
Bantay Bata 163 is one of the three flagship programs of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. that caters to the Filipino children.