Bea Constantino on Choosing a Mascota de Zamboanga Gown for Her Prenup Shoot

Bea Constantino on Choosing a Mascota de Zamboanga Gown for Her Prenup Shoot


Stylist Bea Constantino entangles culture in her wedding preparations, firmly grounded in the rich soil of her Mindanaonan heritage, including a Mascota dress.

Matrimony can be linked to the growth of a sturdy tree. It finds its strength in shared values and intertwined lineages. Just as a tree draws sustenance from its roots, so too does a marriage flourish when nourished by traditions passed down through generations. And from this tree, leaves emerge, birthing an important element for the foundation of her event: a traditional dress, The Mascota de Zamboanga. For stylist Bea Constantino and her beau Miguel Vazquez, their union symbolizes this analogy as they derive solidity from their cultural heritage.

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MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
Stylist Bea Constantino and fiancé Miguel Vazquez

Constantino’s family lineage takes root in Zamboanga, where the community spirit thrives loudly. Vazquez, on the other hand, hails from a family firmly planted in the fertile soil of Cagayan de Oro, cultivating traditions steeped in warmth and hospitality. Together, they intertwine these backgrounds, unionizing a commitment that reproduces the strength and beauty of their love. 

Roots Unearthed

Constantino had envisioned her wedding taking place in Zamboanga. However, challenges prompted her to reconsider this plan. Undeterred, she found solace in the idea of integrating traditional Zamboanga wedding attire into their prenup shoot. While hosting the wedding in Zamboanga City proved challenging, their desire to pay homage to their familial origins remained resolute. 

MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
The prenup shoot was held in Zamboanga City Hall

Despite this change in plans, fate intervened when Constantino and Vazquez found themselves in Zamboanga for a family affair last February. “I saw it as an opportunity,” she explained, her excitement palpable. Thus, the idea of a prenup shoot with the backdrop of Zamboanga’s cultural body was unearthed.

 “I reached out to my designer friends in Zamboanga and asked if I could borrow a Mascota outfit for a quick photoshoot,” she recounts. To her delight, close friend and esteemed designer, Ben Jason Caranay graciously agreed to lend her a Mascota ensemble. It was this rather serendipitous moment where she felt a connection to her heritage.

MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
Her Mascota gown was lent by designer Ben Jason Caranay

As Constantino reminisced about her collaboration with Caranay, she glimmered with gratitude. “He, fortunately, said yes, and although I was planning to just use my camera for the shoot, he contacted a photographer and makeup artist, and next thing I knew, it was this whole official photoshoot,” she shares with a surprise. When you’re from Zamboanga, it’s a community that runs deep. “It turned out for the best because now we have these really beautiful and timeless images depicting family heritage.”

Constantino’s Choice

On the night before the shoot, Caranay instructed them to proceed to an atelier instead of picking up the single Mascota ensemble from his home. There, there was a surprise. Constantino’s emotions swelled as she described the moment she entered the atelier of renowned designer Federico Navarro. “I was teary-eyed walking into the atelier,” she confesses. “There before me were six beautiful Mascota de Zamboanga sets.” The memory of that moment still vivid in her mind, she continues, “They simply said ‘take your pick’, and I was just overwhelmed with the beauty and intricacy of the designs.”

A rather last-minute decision, the shoot became a spectacle

Her heart torn amongst stunning looks, she ultimately made her choice. “I chose Ben Jason’s for its soft but strong contrast with piña fabric beaded with black beads and florettes, paired with a black floral skirt,” she explains, a sense of admiration evident in her words. “And I selected Federico’s because it’s white with a hint of blush pink with beautiful dainty beading and appliques.” Bea’s decision to incorporate both dresses reflected her appreciation for their beauty. “Initially I was only going to wear one,” she says, “but they were too beautiful to not add one more set.”

MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
The Mascota de Zamboanga gown by Ben Jason Caranay

A Weight Honored to Carry

Recalling the experience of donning the Mascota ensemble for the shoot, Bea couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to her ancestors and the land they called home.  “It felt emotional for me,” she shares, her voice tinged with nostalgia. “As someone who considers heritage an integral part of my life, wearing traditional attire feels like a nod to my ancestors and the hometowns where our family started.” The weight of history and tradition rested on her shoulders, yet it was a burden she deemed not as unnecessary but rather as an honor to carry. 

“I’m not sure if our shots contribute anything,” Bea continues, her words filled with humility, “but I do hope they spark some curiosity about our hometown, a certain interest to maybe know more about Zamboangueño culture and fashion and perhaps even visit someday.” Her desire to share the beauty and richness of her heritage shone through like verdant limbs, reaching far and wide to touch the hearts of those who glimpse its majesty.

MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
The stylist carries the honor of the weight of her culture on her shoulders

Excitement Mounting on a Mountain of Love

What’s Constantino’s next move? “I have a few more shots in next traditional outfits, the next is Tausug which is interesting because it’s so different and vibrant.” Imagining the vibrant colors and intricate details of the Tausug attire, one could almost feel the energy pulsating through her words. “I have another Mascota outfit by Federico Navarro also,” she adds. The anticipation of showcasing more of her cultural heritage at the wedding was palpable. As she dug deeper into the details, Bea’s passion for preserving tradition towered. 

“For the wedding, we worked with Chef Margarita Fores and her amazing team in incorporating our Mindanaoan heritage into the menu,” she explains, her excitement evident. “And they really crafted such a special and unique spread for our guests to enjoy.” One could almost taste the flavors of Mindanao as Bea described the culinary delights that awaited their guests. “I’m excited for everyone to experience that!” she exclaims, her anticipation contagious. With each detail carefully curated to honor her heritage, Bea’s wedding promised to be a celebration of culture, tradition, and love.

MEGA Bea Constantino’s Mascota de Zambaonga Gown: Rooted in Love
Bea Constantino looks forward to her wedding day, enriched with the culture and heritage of her familial lineage

Heritage is the core of identity, and legacy is the branch of a tree that finds its strength rooted in culture: nurtured and watered proudly by Constantino. As her wedding planning unfolds with the vitality of a cultural festival and unfettered by the constraints of mainstream expectations, her reverence for her customs forms every aspect of the celebration. With each decision she makes, Bea Constantino’s legacy grows stronger, branching out like the boughs of a mighty tree, ingrained in the soil of her cultural heritage. The journey to her big day is not just about saying “I do”, but about proving that love knows no bounds—and neither does she.

Photos courtesy of BEA CONSTANTINO

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