Spotlighting Edgar San Diego’s art and fashion


Edgar San Diego recently showcased his amazing talents in art and fashion in Baro’t Saya Tuwa at Ligaya, his first solo art exhibit, at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.

With the theme “Tribute of Joy to the Filipina and her Traditional Dress Amidst the Pandemic,” San Diego highlights his love for the beautiful Filipina, traditions, costumes and production design, keeping in mind that the colors are bright and the subjects are happy in creating positive vibes the public needs most in this pandemic.

From left: SM senior vice president for marketing communications
Millie Dizon with fashion designer
and artist Edgar San Diego and Abby San Diego

Edgar San Diego crossed over from fashion design to visual arts during the start of the pandemic lockdown last year. When he ran out of things to fix at home, he decided to pick up his brushes again and called his canvas supplier.

He asked his daughter Abby to pose for his desired angle and lighting and from there, he based his first obra maestra, titled Portrait of an Old Soul 1. Consequently, he created one to two paintings weekly, all of which he showcases in his first solo exhibit.

The designer-artist says that his works are his personal statements on nationalism. “My paintings are unchanging in their presentation of Filipiniana themes, evident in the costumes, the furniture, the settings, and the scenarios that find their way onto my canvas,” he says. “These are the expressions of my love for country and its history.”

Hopefully, “through my visual creations, I could encourage and inspire others, especially the younger generations of Filipinos, to develop an interest in our country’s fascinating history and our rich cultural heritage,” he adds.

The exhibit also highlights Edgar San Diego’s exquisite hand-painted Filipiniana gowns including a Maria Clara top over a green de cola skirt; a blush pink Maria Clara gown with black accent on the baro, pañuelo and tapis; and a modern Maria Clara wedding ensemble, among others.

San Diego graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Fine Arts major in Advertising. He went on to work as a hand painter on formal wear for a number of Filipino designers. This gave him early exposure in the fashion industry, particularly in fashion design. He also worked as a window display artist which further opened his knowledge of fashion marketing.

Working passionately to improve his craft, he was invited and became the youngest pioneer of the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines, in which he eventually served as president for 8 years.

Edgar San Diego’s citations and awards includes Haute Couture Designer of the Year in the Manila Fashion Designers Awards in 1989; Grand Prix Best Costume Award in Carnival in Rio in Manila, which brought him to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1990; Outstanding Alumni of UST College of Fine Arts and Don Bosco Technical Institute; and five-time winner in the Annual Flores de Mayo at The Manila Hotel.

As a costume designer, Edgar San Diego’s credits include Repertory Philippines’s The Wizard of Oz, The Man of La Mancha, M Butterfly, Aladdin, The Sound of Music; Trumpets’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Little Mermaid; and Newport Theater’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Edgar San Diego has also successfully promoted fashion and culture through fashion shows with Filipino communities in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Atlanta, Missouri, Chicago, Guam, Honolulu, and London. He was also the Philippine representative to the 1989 Asean Fashion Connections in Singapore.

Baro’t Saya Tuwa at Ligaya Art Exhibit is copresented by SM Appliance Center, TCL, Amelia’s Garden, Artistshop, Beringer Wines, Doltz Pilar, Flyace Corp., and Gari P. Palmani.

A percentage of the sales will be donated to Special Services of Jose Reyes Medical Center.

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