The Ayala Foundation
We first met with the Ayala Foundation in February 2010 when we were undertaking a field investigation in the Philippines. While we were in Manila, we visited the Ayala Foundation's headquarters, and in turn attended the Ayala Young Leader´s Congress and their CENTEX programme.
Impressed by what we saw, we returned to the UK determined to support them. In addition to recommending their work to one of the Foundation´s we were advising at the time, Prospero World wanted to help the Foundation in other ways too.
Although they had a presence in the USA, the Ayala Foundation did not have the ability to receive charitable donations in the UK in a tax efficient manner. Given the large Philippine diaspora community in the UK, this seemed a pity. We responded by agreeing to receive donations from UK tax payers on their behalf. Prospero World was then able to claim gift aid, and in turn, make a grant to the Ayala Foundation in the Philippines.
However, we had an idea of how we could go beyond this…
During out trip to the Philippines, a local friend of ours had recommended that we visit Greenbelt, a shopping centre in the heart of Manila´s Makati district, which showcased, amongst other things, the work of local fashion designers including Lulu Tangan and Jun Escario. Sita and I popped into Greenbelt (between project visits!), and were smitten by the designs we saw.
Back in London, thinking about the creative talent we had seen, we came up with the idea of showcasing the work of Filipino fashion designers and using their work to shine a light on the Philippines. We wanted to champion Filipino creative talent and use it as a tool to challenge the stereotypical images of the Philippines. We were inspired us to put on a fashion show in London, in aid of Ayala Foundation´s CENTEX programme, to champion education in the Philippines, and to showcase the Philippines in a new way.
On 8th March 2012, we held the London Philipine Fashion Show in London’s Victoria House Basement which was transformed into a Filippino wonderland for the night. VIP Islands and tickets to the event sold out within days of going on sale!
The fashion show had two elements. “Models for a night”—bankers, financiers and other professionals who braved the catwalk to raise funds through sponsored pledges—and top models from the Philippines, who flew to London to showcase the couture collections. The enthusiastic and generous response from Filipino designers was heartwarming. Bergamo, Cary Santiago, Jasper Garvida, Josie Natori, Jun Escario, Lesley Mobo, Lulu Tan Gan, Mich Dulce, Michael Cinco, Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, Silk Cocoon and Wynn Wynn Ong all generously donated their time, talent and collections for the event.
Philip Mould of the Antiques Roadshow and the BBC’s Fake Or Fortune did a fantastic job of mobilizing guests for the evening’s auction, and in total, the evening raised £160,000 for the Ayala Foundation’s CENTEX programme.
We were also delighted to secure the full £150,000 cost of putting on the event from our generous sponsors Amdocs, Credit Suisse, Etihad Airways, Huawei and Nokia.
Guests flew in from Asia and Europe especially for the evening.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Trustees of the Ayala Foundation who himself flew in especially, said of the evening, “We are so happy with the way the evening turned out. It was a pleasure to work with such a talented, fun and dedicated team”.
Almost ten years after we first visited the Ayala Foundation’s project’s in the Philippines, we are delighted that our relationship with them continues and we look forward to continuing our support of their impressive and inspiring work.
We are also delighted that a decade on, we have been able to continue to refine our Charity Adoption Model, to support other inspirational organisations around the world.