Philippine autistic artists’ creations showcased in NY fashion show

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 6, 2015

NEW YORK CITY – When you combine New York City’s love for fashion with the spirit of giving — what happens is a fashion show of wearable works of art, inspired by the masterpieces of Filipino national artists, benefiting the Autism Hearts Foundation.

Filipino children diagnosed with autism hand-painted these works of art onto fabrics made of pineapple fibers.

Lynda Borromeo, founder and president of Autism Hearts Foundation said, “From Joya, from Amorsolo, Baldemor, Zalameda – I’m wearing a Baldemor, the Houses, and I’m wearing Oscar Zalameda on ‘Women on the Rice fields’. But they don’t copy.  They’re just inspired by these artworks.”

Filipino American designer Anthony Cruz Legarda fashioned these fabrics into shawls, wraps, skirts and evening wear recently showcased at the Philippine Center in New York.

“The challenge really is, it’s a new medium. They’re used to painting on canvass but now they’re painting on pina. It’s very challenging but the artistry is there. They’re really very artistic people,” said Legarda.

Filipinos in New York were impressed with these wearable works of art.  Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon stated, “It’s a very concrete way of trying to draw these special children into the mainstream by their works of arts they are of value to society. They can contribute positively.”

Organizers said these small fashion shows will lead to a bigger show, where the gowns will be auctioned off during the World Autism Day celebration in April and the proceeds will help autistic artists save up for their future.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • Catherine Cham
    11 November 2015 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    On behalf of the parents of the FILIPINO Artists with Autism , we Thank you for this video and coverage . It would have been more appreciated by the families to mention their names , they are NICK HUANG, NINNA BANTOTO, DANIEL SANCHEZ , JOREL ALEGRE AND VICO CHAM . We hope to give credits to them because this is what Fashion Arts Autism Benefit project is all about ! Inclusion and acceptance of our children in the society !