MANILA, Philippines – Real passion is when after getting a degree in a certain field of discipline you still pursue another because it is where your heart truly belongs. Though some never find the courage to take that brave step, Chic Francisco, a 1972 graduate of AB Communication Arts from Maryknoll College (now called Miriam College) took every step she could towards her real passion: dressmaking and fashion design.

Coming from a family of art critics and enthusiasts, Chic (whose real name is Eloisa) recalls that it was her cousins’ constant encouraging and positive assessment on her sense of fashion and style that drove her to putting up her first fashion-related business: a made-to-order dress shop.

“Why don’t you put up a dress shop?” Chic remembers her cousins asking, and so she did.

Through it, she acquired invaluable knowledge on how to operate within the industry, and then later on she decided to take on greater heights by closing her dress shop and by starting her own fashion school, the Golden Hands Fashion and Arts School.

Chic said she’s always been a hands-on dressmaking teacher. However, her deeper objective in teaching pattern-making and fashion design was to equip her able and talented students with ample expertise in the field so they would later on be able to utilize their skills for their own livelihood.

Though she decided to close her school in 2009, her objective remains the same.

Chic is now a mother of three equally successful individuals.


During the 20-year run of her fashion school, Chic also ventured the field of book writing. Over the years, she authored four dressmaking tutorial books: “Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Pattern-Making and Sewing of Various Skirt Styles;” “Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies’ Pants;” “Simplified Pattern-Making of Basic Men’s Wear” and “Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Fashion Designing”.

Now in the age where digital is king, Chic made it a point that her efforts to share dressmaking knowledge will reach more and more talented individuals. And so, she decided to go digital.

Through her official website and a YouTube Channel: Chic Francisco, Chic publishes her pattern and dressmaking lessons online which, for now, are free.

Pride in method

For Chic, before kicking off a full-blown dressmaking lesson, it is important to teach students first how to properly take body measurements. And this was what she did with the first lesson she uploaded online:

And when the students are ready for the actual pattern-making and sewing, they can choose to try creating:

Basic dress with waistline

Straight Blouse with a notched collar and basic short sleeves

And the Ladies’ Pants lesson which can be viewed via paid subscription.

Online crowd reception

After two years of going digital, the fruit of Chic’s sweet labor, you can say, are the messages of gratitude sent to her by aspiring dressmakers from around the globe:

When she was still running her school, a man visited her school and asked if Chic has an advanced book on fashion design. Unfortunately, Chic answered she had not produced another book. Then out of curiosity, Chic asked why he wanted an advanced book on fashion design. He answered, “Actually, I am a fashion designer in Dubai and I am on vacation now. You just don’t know, Madame, but I learned fashion design from your book alone.” This really made Chic very happy that day.

More from Chic

Asked if she plans to continue releasing video tutorials and e-books online, Chic shared with that her next e-book on “Simplified Pattern-Making of Ladies’ Wear” will definitely be out within the last quarter of the year. But whether she sees herself doing online tutorials for long, the teacher/pattern-maker/entrepreneur with the golden hands answered, “Yes, definitely! That is if I still enjoy what I am doing!”

Chic Francisco’s online tutorials are available via and ChicFrancisco.


The forum entitled “Development Opportunities and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” was held last September 23 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Makati City.

This event was organized by the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies and one of its co-organizers was the Women’s Peace Table, which is a part of WAGI’s two-year women, peace, and security project entitled: “Increasing Women’s Participation in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao”. This is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Undersecretary Jose Lorena was the keynote speaker for the said event, representing the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita “Ging” Deles. Among the speakers during the forum were: Abhoud Syed Lingga of the Institute for Bangsamoro Studies, Sam Chittik of Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities (FASTRAC), Dr. Fermin Adriano of the International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov), Dr. Ma. Lourdes D. Lim of the National Economic Development Authority Region XI, Larry Santos of the Regional Board of Investments in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Irene Santiago of the Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW), and Mr. Benedikt Seeman of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Miriam College-Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) Executive Director Aurora De Dios was the emcee and facilitator of the forum.

Gracing the event were representatives from the government, business organizations, academe, media, and diplomatic corps. One of the key attendees was Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) ad hoc committee chair Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Ambassador Delia Albert.

A total of 148 guests attended the forum.

The Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) hosted a study visit for the Bunkyu Gakuin University of Japan last September 4 at Miriam College. The students were accompanied by their Graduate School of Foreign Studies professor, Mitsuko Horiuchi. They were warmly welcomed by International Studies (IS) students.

WAGI presented its current programs and activities while the IS students shared general information about their course and other extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. This was reciprocated by the students from Bunkyo Gakuin University through an audio-visual presentation of their culture and traditions in Japan.

A highlight of the visit was a final activity where Miriam College and Bungkyo Gakuin University students taught each other about their respective local languages.

The Women and Gender Institute (WAGI), in partnership with the College of International, Humanitarian and Development Studies, held a forum about women’s experiences during the Martial Law years The forum was entitled: Women in the Anti-Dictatorship Struggle: Remembering Martial Law.” It was held last September 3 at the Environmental Studies Institute (ESI).

The objective of the forum was to raise students’ awareness about the said period in history and to constantly remind them of the struggle and heroism the Filipino people from all sectors of society.

The forum was graced by speakers who were very candid in imparting their stories to the young members of the audience. They were Maryknoll sister Helen Graham; Indai Sajor, international expert on Gender, Peace and Security and an activist during the Martial Law years; Dr. Anna Marcelita Shakil and Omuhani Mabandes of Noorus Salam; June Caridad Pagaduan-Lopez M.D. of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine; and Susan Macabuag, of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation.

The forum was well-attended by students, representatives from the government, as well as by CSO groups. It ended with the singing of “Bayan Ko”, one of the most popular songs among anti-dictatorship activists, which was led by the International Studies Music, a choir group consisting of students from the IS Department of Miriam College.

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Music Center, Nuclear Abolition Day (NAD) and the International Day of Peace, the Center for Peace Education (CPE) joined hands with the Music Center and the Integrated Lifestyle and Wellness Center (ILAW) in the staging of a Peace Concert titled “For All the World”, featuring CPE’s very own talent Mirma Tica.

It was an evening of exhilarating and meaningful peace music with a line-up of songs that have captivated the hearts of many generations. Tica serenaded nearly 200 people in the audience at the fully-packed of La Porte Hall with songs such as “Imagine”, “The Greatest Love of All” and “For All the World”.

Accompanying Tica on stage were pianist Francis Etorma, bassist Lester Herco, drummer Gleen Velarde. She also performed several songs with guest vocalist and High School faculty, Jairus Quitco.

A booth was set up just outside the concert hall where NAD flyers were given out and “Ban Nuclear Weapons Now” T-shirts were raffled to attendees of the concert. They were also encouraged to sign the Global Petition to Ban Nuclear Weapons.

The group of Second Year Child Development Education (CDE) student Nell Saclot which included participants from other universities and colleges, won First Place in the Quiz Bee competition of the First Interschool Interaction of Future Educators last September 10. The event carried the theme "Future Educators...Rising to Wider Horizon".

The same event included a sharing of best practices which Saclot and CDE students Marianne Santos and Dianne Recomono also participated in.

Other schools participating school include St. Scholastica's College, Assumption College, Pasig Catholic College, Olivares College, Philippine Normal University and Arellano University. The event was held at Assumption College in Makati City.

The students were accompanied by their coach, Prof. Clarissa Mariano-Ligon.

The MC Culinary Team came home winners at the National Food Showdown held last September 23 -24 at the World Trade Center. They joined 10 out of 25 competition categories and bagged diplomas, a silver medal, and a bronze medal. The MC Culinary Team worked under pressure and with limited equipment but their spirits kept them going until the final second.

The National Food Showdown provides those who have the passion for the culinary arts the opportunity to hone and share their skills. The event was also a chance for the culinary students to meet professional and aspiring chefs alike. Kaitlyn Ojeda

The following are the winners:

Mimi Togonon, Silver, Ensaimada 
Alexandra Santos and Vielka Tusing, Bronze, Plated Desserts 

Diploma Awardees:
Kathleen Hubalde, Cupcakes
Beli Betonio, Amuse Bouche  
Joyce Maravilla, Main Course
Christine Viola, Wedding Cake  
Jasmin Mendoza, Baby Cakes 
Mary Colmo and Catherine Reboton, Klassika Kulinarya

Three members of the HEU Taekwondo team won two gold medals and a bronze at the Smart National Inter-School Taekwondo Championships staged last September 20-21 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Kiannah B. Dionglay and Lea Anzhelka P. Geronimo (left and center, respectively) both earned Gold Medals in the Seniors Novice Division–Middleweight Category and Featherweight Category, respectively. Yancy B. Alejandro (right) earned Bronze Medal in the Juniors Advance Division–Heavyweight Category.

Participating schools came from Metro Manila, Baguio City, and Pangasinan, as well as from members of the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (WNCAA).

The HEU jins gave it their best fight to win against athletes from other schools. The winner was decided by a sudden death round.

The Miriam College Middle School Robotics Team made it to the finals of the 13th Philippine Robotics Olympiad held last September 10 and 12 at the SM North Edsa Annex.

They are (in photo, second from the left) Erika V. Juliano, Sophia Nicole T. Dumlao, Andrea Isabel F. Medina, Katrina Isabel B. Tiongson, Ava Daniella P. Zablan and Alessandra Kristen P. Gutierrez.

The students were accompanied by lead coaches Isabelo Miguel R. Castro III and Ryan B. de Pedro with their assistant coach Abigail Mae C. Jayin.

La Porte Hall presents… is a series of concerts to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Center for Applied Music. Last August 29, Triple Fret opened the concert season with the same program they performed in their recent European concert tour. Composed of Marga Abejo, Iqui Vinculado, and our very own Center for Applied Music guitar faculty Jenny de Vera. These classically trained all female guitar trio rendered a repertoire of mostly Filipino folk and traditional songs given a fresh makeover with modern arrangements. La Porte Hall presents…. is co-sponsored by the Integrated Lifestyle and Wellness Center (ILAW).

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