CEBU CITY – Spaces and Stories (SAS) consultancy company is producing a one of a kind fashion show dubbed as “Voile” (The Veil) on July 12 at the Atlantic Ballroom, Waterfront Cebu, whose theme revolves around the concept of appropriate church dressing and at the same time raising funds not only for the benefit the Church but also for the projects and activities of FLTF for the local communities in Cebu.
“This is the first of its kind. Church attire should reflect our respect for God. We are grateful to God that a person is in church, regardless of how he or she is dressed. The church is a sacred place – truly holy ground. It is a consecrated place where we meet God in a unique way through the Scriptures, through the assembly and through the Eucharist,” HE Most Reverend Jose Palma Archbishop of Cebu said.
Ben Chua, FLTF founder and the driving force behind Voile fashion show, bared that this is a benefit show that recognizes the need to emphasize the significance of proper attire within the sacred space of a church and during the celebration of various sacraments.
The event is also a fund-raising campaign for the benefit of the programs and projects of Five Loaves & Two Fish, Inc., an organization whose aim is to permanently assist the Archdiocese of Cebu in all its events and activities when needed and to provide immediate food response to fire victims within Cebu City.
Chua added that “Voile” serves as a powerful reminder to all lay faithful that the liturgy represents mankind’s highest form of worship to God, and the physical body itself was designed for the purpose of worship.
“Dressing appropriately, therefore, becomes a tangible way of expressing devotion and reverence to God. This is an avenue and an opportunity for the faithful to appreciate the important aspect of this religious practice. Despite being a fashion-focused event, it is crucial to emphasize that this gathering is far from being elitist or exclusive,” Chua said.
On the contrary, the organizers wholeheartedly encourage the general public to actively participate and support this event. Proceeds of this event go the activities of the FLTF organization Chua said.
“Voile” the fashion show
On July 12, the “Voile” fashion show showcases the designs of eight famous Cebu designers, namely; Edwin Ao for Men’s Line for Worship; Jun Escario for Christening; Marichu Tan for Reflection; Philip Rodriguez for Weddings; Philipp Tampus for Fiesta; Protacio for Mourning and Ren Manabat for Sunday’s Best.
“Proper dress code for the mass and receiving the sacrament although the Catholic church doesn’t have a formal dress code, there is an unwritten rule to dress for respect and for God. There are two reasons to dress for church–out of respect and reverence to God and not a distraction to others during the mass/receiving the sacrament,” Fr. Glenn Guanzon revealed.
At some level, the attire speaks to the importance or unique nature of what people are doing in that sacred space, worshiping God in the Sunday assembly. When people go to social events such as parties, anniversaries or graduations, they most often dress with care, Guanzon added.
“That’s not to say they are in formal attire, but they are dressed appropriately. Shouldn’t we also take the same care as we go to church to experience God’s presence in a unique way through the Mass?” Fr. Guanzon said.
Valeriano “Chicoy” Tomol lll, member of the organizing team said that there are dress codes during various church events/milestones from baptism, confirmation, others. The view on church-appropriate dressing are summed up in three key words—respect to God, decency and guidance, this is the aim of Voile Fashion Show. he added.
Chua said that in essence, the fashion show for a cause represents a fusion of aesthetics, spirituality, and altruism. It stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, where individuals from diverse backgrounds unite in a common goal of making a difference.
By donning their finest attire, attendees symbolically offer their best to God, understanding that the act of dressing well is an act of worship in itself. This event serves as a poignant reminder that true worship extends beyond words and encompasses every aspect of the being, including outward appearance, the organizers noted.
According to Chua, the fashion show for a cause transcends its aesthetic allure to serve as a catalyst for personal and spiritual growth. As attendees marvel at the exquisite ensembles parading down the runway, they are invited to contemplate the deeper meaning behind appropriate church dressing.
“It becomes an opportunity for self-reflection, inspiring individuals to assess their own attitudes towards worship and explore ways to deepen their connection with the divine,” Chua said, the event becomes a beacon of hope and solidarity, offering practical assistance to those in need and fostering positive change within the local community.
5-Loaves 2-Fish, the beneficiary organization
According to FLTF founder and president Ben Chua, the organization was borne out of the successful 51st International Eucharistic Congress in January 2016 where the IEC Committee on Food members made the decision to continue the collaboration. This time however, the goal was to extend the benefits of service and kindness not only for the Church but for the local community as well.
Building on the members’ experience in food distribution during the IEC congress, the group conceived the idea of forming an organization with the primary objective to provide permanent assistance to the Archdiocese of Cebu during events and activities, and to provide immediate food relief to fire victims within Cebu City, Chua bared.
The FLTF organization is currently comprised of thirteen dedicated members from diverse professions and backgrounds, all united under the leadership of Ernesto Ben Chua, the organization’s founder and president.
Each individual is deeply committed to serving both the church and the wider community through a wide range of impactful activities and initiatives. The organization got its name from one of the miracles of Jesus performed during his public ministry: The Feeding of the Multitude.
“According to Gospel accounts, Jesus used five barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy to feed a multitude. Inspired by Jesus’ compassion to human beings and their needs, the members decided to name the organization after that miracle as a constant reminder to offer care and hospitality to those in need,” Chua said.
The organization strives to have a life-long partnership with the Archdiocese of Cebu by volunteering in all archdiocesan events and functions in any way possible. It also aims to be of service to the Cebuano community most especially in times of catastrophe, Chua added.
According to Chua, by attending and supporting this event, participants not only engage in a captivating fashion experience but also become ambassadors of change and advocates for the importance of appropriate church dressing and create a lasting impact, weaving threads of compassion, reverence, and devotion into the fabric of the community.
This event is not solely about fashion or religious customs. It is a demonstration of collective goodwill and philanthropy by channeling the proceeds from the fashion show towards the activities of FLTF Cebu, SAS and its supporters to actively contribute to the advancement of charitable initiatives and community-focused projects, Chua said.
“Our prayer would be that people truly would understand what it means not to be a distraction to others in such a sacred moment. VOILE wants to encourage more people to live up to the adage of wearing their “Sunday best” – not to show off but as a concrete way of thanking God and caring for our neighbors in the next pew,” the organizers concluded.