Uh-oh! Maxine Medina Claims Iconic Terno Was Invented by Imelda!


During the preliminary round of the 2017 Miss Universe competition last Thursday, a short clip of Philippine candidate Maxine Medina during their earlier visit to Vigan in Ilocos was aired.

The Miss Universe candidates visited the world heritage site in Vigan, Ilocos earlier this month. They modeled modern ternos designed by local Ilocano designers, and which were made from hand-woven abel Iloko fabrics.

In the said clip shown during the preliminary round, the Philippine beauty queen made the mistaken assertion that it was former first lady Imelda Marcos who invented the terno!

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“The terno was actually invented by our former first lady, Imelda Marcos. She invented these butterfly sleeves and they use it to cover their face.” – Maxine Medina

However, according to the website of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), it is National Artist for Fashion Design Ramon Valera who is credited for creating the terno as a Philippine visual icon.

According to the NCCA website, “In the early 40s, Valera produced a single piece of clothing from a four-piece ensemble consisting of a blouse, skirt, overskirt, and long scarf. He unified the components of the baro’t saya into a single dress with exaggerated bell sleeves, cinched at the waist, grazing the ankle, and zipped up at the back.”


Furthermore, in a book written by Gino Gonzales and Mark Lewis Higgins called Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs, the terno has been visible in old photographs as an acceptable dress for women for as early as 1910. This is even years before Imelda Marcos was born and became THE Imelda Marcos we all know today.

While Imelda Marcos can be credited for her contribution in making the terno a trend as it is her dress of choice for her various public appearances, the former first lady is definitely not the one who invented such iconic look.

What do you think about Maxine Medina’s faux pas? Do you think it’ll affect her standing the 2017 Miss Universe competition? Tell us in the comments!


Charlie Pelaez

A one-woman show. Peace. Love. Bacon. And all things geeky.

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