What She Wants

8 Best Times Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat Championed Filipino Fashion

When it comes to putting together an ensemble, the DOT secretary proudly shows off her roots.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/@BERNSRP, @RHETTEALA
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As secretary of the Department of Tourism, one may expect Berna Romulo Puyat to naturally promote all things proudly Filipino, from provincial delicacies to off-beat destinations. Having once been appointed undersecretary for special concerns at the Department of Agriculture, Puyat has long shared an affinity with local produce, food, and its sources. But apart from this, the tourism secretary is also an avid fan of locally made fashion. She’s occasionally seen in public sporting garbs by homegrown brands or intricately designed clothing by local weavers.

By consciously wearing local, Puyat seems to be following in the footsteps of some of history’s most fashionable women. If there’s anything devoted followers of fashion take away from stylish women in politics—Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth, and Carla Bruni Sarkozy among them—it’s that fashion is a promotional tool that puts local designers, brands, and various producers in the spotlight. In that way, they’re using their influence for the sartorial good.

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See some of her most iconic looks below: 

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A post shared by Berna Romulo Puyat???????????????????????? (@bernsrp) on

During her media rounds promoting the DOT commercial released earlier this year, Puyat wore a barong-inspired sleeveless blouse by Amarie Resortwear by Anne Marie Saguil and paired it with a skirt made with handwoven indigenous fabric from EverydayPNay. She gives monochromatic dressing a whole new take in this ensemble.

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A post shared by Berna Romulo Puyat???????????????????????? (@bernsrp) on

The proud mother of two chose to re-wear a Filip+Inna creation to her son’s graduation in the United Kingdom last year. The beige dress was adorned with mother of pearl beads from Cebu embroidered to form a pattern inspired by the Maranao inlay commonly found on pottery or furniture.

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Even on days out of the office, Puyat puts a local twist on casual dressing. Here she is in a red skirt made from indigenous fabric paired with a white top. The highlight of the outfit is her handwoven backpack complete with an animal keychain.

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A post shared by Berna Romulo Puyat???????????????????????? (@bernsrp) on

Puyat shows off a modern iteration of the traditional terno as she poses with fast food mascot Jollibee. The sleek white blouse was designed by Joey Samson.

Posted by Berna Romulo Puyat on Sunday, February 24, 2019

Here, she dons a classic black terno top by JC Buendia and has partnered it with an A-line skirt featuring a graphic print.

Posted by Berna Romulo Puyat on Sunday, November 11, 2018

Puyat professes her love for the terno during the first Terno Con in 2018. “While I was growing up, my perception of the terno was that it was expensive and that it could only be worn in formal events where we were all required to wear Filipiniana,” she writes in a Facebook post. “The first @ternocon_2018 changed this perception.” Here she is in a red terno lined with a gold ribbon for contrast and toting around a matching gold handbag by Bea Valdes.

With the BEST date in the world♥????? #sona2018

Posted by Berna Romulo Puyat on Monday, July 23, 2018

She looked polished and sleek in a navy blue terno embroidered with pink and blue details when she attended the 2018 State of the Nation Address with her father, Alberto Romulo.

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A post shared by Rhett Eala (@rhetteala) on

Most recently, Puyat took a Rhett Eala terno for a night out at a charity gala. The terno was cinched at the waist by a striking teal ribbon and was embedded with a brocade pattern.

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