Introducing my three style icons

This photo of my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother was taken at my mother’s high school graduation. They all went to the same school (St. Scholastica’s College in Manila) so when my mom graduated, my great-grandmother received a loyalty award (the plaque she’s holding in the photo).

My great-grandmother Anita was remarkable in many ways. The grand-niece of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, she grew up to be a university professor and the matriarch of her family. Fashion-wise, according to family lore, she had a different dress for every day of the year. As I start getting more and more interested in vintage clothing, how I wish I could get my hands on those dresses now!

By the time she entered my memories, Lola Anita was an old lady, largely homebound, but she still loved receiving visitors. In her eighties, she was sharp as a tack, still able to remember all our birthdays, and full of stories. When I was born I was given her name, but I hope that as I grow older, I might find I’ve also inherited some of her resilience, grace , and heart.


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