'Project Runway Philippines 4': Joy Chicano's emotional journey to victory

MANILA, Philippines – The 4th season of Project Runway Philippines drew to a close on September 20, and Samar native Joy Chicano emerged the season's winner.

Before the top 3 designers' last collections for the season were shown on air, we got to know Joy at the designers' first meeting with the press.

TOP 3 DESIGNERS. 'Project Runway Philippines' season 4 winner Joy Chicano with the other Top 3 finalists, Celine Borromeo and Jared Servano, judge Rajo Laurel, mentor Jojie Lloren, and host Tweetie de Leon. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.com

TOP 3 DESIGNERS. 'Project Runway Philippines' season 4 winner Joy Chicano with the other Top 3 finalists, Celine Borromeo and Jared Servano, judge Rajo Laurel, mentor Jojie Lloren, and host Tweetie de Leon. Photo by Vernise L. Tantuco/Rappler.

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"Kinakabahan ako. 'Di ako sanay sa press, chos (I'm nervous. I'm not used to the press)," said Joy Chicano as soon as he sat down. If the Eastern Samar native was nervous though, it didn't show in his honest and candid answers.

Joy Chicano, 21 is all about channeling emotions in his work, and it shows in the resulting garments.

AVANT-GARDE. Joy's design in the 11th episode of the season sent him to the finals. Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

AVANT-GARDE. Joy's design in the 11th episode of the season sent him to the finals.

Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

SKY HIGH. Joy showed his designing chops early in the season, with this high-fashion outfit for a jet-setter inspired by Japan. Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

SKY HIGH. Joy showed his designing chops early in the season, with this high-fashion outfit for a jet-setter inspired by Japan.

Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

Joy went through a bout of depression before he entered Project Runway and he said that this is why he feels so strongly about the garments he creates. "When I make a collection kailangan nafe-feel eh, parang 'pag gumagawa ako ng damit, ayokong forced, kasi it's something na special siya sa 'kin, special yung garment ko (When I make a collection, I have to feel it, when I make clothes, I don't want it to be forced, because it's something special to me, that garment)," he said.

It's hard to imagine Joy as anything other than his name suggests as he joked around with indigenous groups advocate Jared Servano and teased prim and proper Celine Borromeo, the other two designers in the Top 3. 

But at present, Joy said he's fine, because Project Runway got him to focus on the competition, and not on his depression. He said he keenly felt the pressure of being in top 3 though, especially because a lot people want to get to where he is now.

Take a look at his collection here:

Thoughts on @JoyPRP4 's final collection? #prponetc pic.twitter.com/KWMlvXKpJi — etc (@etc_channel) September 20, 2015

 

So very #JoyChicano! Congratulations!!! #veryveryfashion #sewlegit #prponetc pic.twitter.com/wwpx2Cj1ha — etc (@etc_channel) September 20, 2015

 

"Hindi rin makapaniwala yung parents ko, yung mother ko kasi baduy ako that time (My parents, my mother couldn't believe it, because I was uncool at that time)," he said about mentor Jojie Lloren visiting his home.

"Hindi ako mahilig magsalita, or never ako nakikipagusap sa tao then I came here lang para sa fashion design tinatagan ko yung loob ko (I'm not fond of speaking, I never talk to people then I came here just for fashion design, I just found the courage)."

RUSH HOUR. The designers were split into two teams to come up with a ready-to-wear collection for this challenge. Even though this was a group challenge, Joy's design shone and the judges named him the winner. Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

RUSH HOUR. The designers were split into two teams to come up with a ready-to-wear collection for this challenge. Even though this was a group challenge, Joy's design shone and the judges named him the winner.

Photo courtesy of Project Runway Philippines

As for the future? "Inisip ko it's time, ayaw ko nang ulit dumaan pa doon. So start ako from scratch ulit. So start ako ng business, then itututuloy ko na, kasi ito na yung life ko, wala na akong ibang talent aside from fashion, so there. I'll make my own brand... I think it's – chance ko na para i-build yung 'Joy Chicano.' 

(I think it's time, I don't want to go through that again. So I'm starting from scratch again. I'll start a business, the go from there, because this is my life now, I have no other talent aside from fashion, so there. I'll make my own brand... I think it's – it's my chance to build 'Joy Chicano')."

Joy retweeted and thanked a lot of his supporters on the night that the final episode aired. Among them were comedian John "Sweet" Lapus. Joy is a fan. 

@KorekKaJohn @joyprp @deleontweets Omg thank you jhon lapus.. — Joy Chicano (@JoyPRP4) September 20, 2015

 

@KorekKaJohn @joyprp @deleontweets nakakaloka nanunuod lang ako sayu dati.. thank you so much. Omg subra akong fan mo. — Joy Chicano (@JoyPRP4) September 20, 2015

 

 – Rappler.com

Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.

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