Acadeo’s Choice Awards Fashion Designer of the Year: Gil Macaibay III Cagayan de Oro’s “Prince of Haute Couture”

Acadeo’s Choice Awards Fashion Designer of the Year: Gil Macaibay III Cagayan de Oro’s “Prince of Haute Couture”

Gil Macaibay III is a pure Kagay-anon and one of the most well-known fashion designers of the city. Gil was mentored and trained no less than by the Manila fashion designers; Fredrick Peralta and Dong Omaga-Diaz. In time, Gil set up his own shop, the Gil Macaibay Fashion Studio located in Caman-an. He also went International briefly through a European brand that had their fashion campaign in Thailand in 2013. He is an official member of the Oro Fashion Designer’s Guild (OFDG). Many local media writers have even given him the moniker, “CDO’s Prince of Haute Couture.”

According to Macaibay himself in analyzing his own creations, they actually come out as lightweight and functional, cost-effective and yet never giving up quality for cheapness. He calls them “torch dresses.” They may look classic but they still retain touches of modernity and contemporary concepts. Some of Macaibay’s designs seem to dabble into silhouette fabrics. In his collection of many years, his designs range from elegant wedding clothes to simple but casual trendy wear. According to the designer, a true fashion icon should know how to tell a story from the clothes in a fashion show. The story should flow from the clothes, and this means designing isn’t just getting fashion ideas from the top of your head.

Of course, there will always be daring and risky designs, like leather collections that are made for the rainy season. Generally, not many Filipinos like wearing leather, so perhaps this was one way for Macaibay to introduce or educate the fashion into the market and get Kagay-anons interested. He understands that Filipino men don’t like wearing stuffy clothes that will make them sweat profusely.

Macaibay actually started designing clothes way back in his high school days in Xavier University by cutting out and redesigning old clothes to make them more colorful as since this was the fashion get-go during the new wave fashions of the 1980’s and 90’s. He also shared that when he was still starting out his fashion business after being mentored in Manila, he faced some rejections from customers and some top designers of that time. He attributes this to the challenges of the industry and as much as possible listen to others because they may know more than he does.

Macaibay admits that the Kagay-anon is a “hard-sell” because they are very picky when it comes to clothes. As much as possible the fashion conscious Kagay-anon does not like meeting another person wearing the same clothes that he or she is wearing. However, the paradigm to this is that the Kagay-anon is price-conscious and will often prefer buying international “off-the-rack” clothes that are less pricey. He admits though that Kagay-anons with money to spend will still prefer made-to-order clothes and couture, especially for special occasions. He does not see this as a sort of “direct competition.”

In line with this, Macaibay spends a lot of his vacant time doing research through reading or watching TV fashion shows, preferring these over watching videos. He still sees his former mentors as his inspiration for his work, but derives a lot of his strength and stress release from his two dogs, Logan and Snow. The Kagay-anon designer is also well known for his “Gil Macaibay’s Strike a Pose Fashion Show” that just ran on its third year last 2016. As in the last two fashion shows before it, the show is the culminating activity for the Strike a Pose Summer Modeling Workshops that starts earlier. It is but natural that the models who graduated from the workshops would strut Macaibay’s selected collections.

Cagayan de Oro’s Prince of Fashion, together with two other Filipino fashion designers, also recently made waves at the joint endeavor of Malaysia Fashion Week (MFW) and the Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week held last November 2 – 5, 2016 at the MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is touted as one of the Southeast Asian region’s biggest fashion events and lifestyle trade platform. Cagayan de Oro’s Gil Macaibay III along with fellow Filipino designers Len Nepomuceno-Mortel and Reynier Abello of Armada were handpicked for the said fashion event. Macaibay’s mentor was also present at the fashion event, none other than Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Board Member, Dong Omaga-Diaz. Due to this event, Macaibay’s designs and clothes became more commercially viable and available to outside buyers and clothing companies.

Macaibay also does regular fashion show tours for clients in the U.S.A. and Canada almost every year. One of his life’s wishes is to do vestments for priests or nuns because making clothes for the Catholic Church can be a challenge. Two of Macaibay’s most prestigious local awards are for Fashion Designer of the Year from ACADEO’s Choice Awards 2017 and Urban Life Awards 2014 for Mindanao Gold Star Daily.

 Gil Macaibay Fast Talk:

(Note – Words or phrases in bold letters denote Gil’s answer)

Black or red

Wet or wild

Beach or theater

Coffee shop or bar

Cake or ice cream

Flowers or chocolates

Wine or whiskey

Funny or mysterious

Hot or handsome – Can I have both?

Swimwear or evening gown

True love or world peace

 Advocacy if you were a pageant contestant.

“Street Children or just children, and education”

If you were stuck on an island, who would you want to keep you company?

“Logan, my Chihuahua”

What makes you blush?

“When I smell something difficult”

What makes you quiet?

“If I don’t know anything about the topic”

 What makes you sexy?

“Lipstick or lip gloss”

 Person you look forward to after a long and tiring day.

“My little patooties, Logan and Snow”

What have you given up for love?


What won’t you do for love?

“Climb the Empire State Building”

 What is your ultimate dream?

“To dress up priests or nuns and design vestments for the church”

 Last person you cried to?

“My dad on his 70th birthday party”

About the Interview Venue – Limketkai Luxe Hotel

Our interview and photo shoot with Gil Macaibay III was conducted at Limketkai Luxe Hotel. The hotel’s name is now synonymous with providing 5-star accommodations, convenience, comfort, and lifestyle for all types of travelers.

Image Source | Facebook: Limketkai Luxe Hotel

Luxe Hotel has been conceptualized to provide world-class service because it is a world-class hotel that has given Cagayan de Oro its first in the 5-star class category as accredited by the Department of Tourism.

Image Source | Facebook: Limketkai Luxe Hotel

Luxe is a name and a testament that proves now and always that Cagayan de Oro is able to produce world-class concepts and lifestyle providers, being the city and gateway for Northern Mindanao and its tourism industry.

For reservations and Inquiries contact them at:

Contact Number: 0935 414 0930

Facebook Page: Limketkai Luxe Hotel



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