Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So THE great photographer Mark Nicdao branded this little one the title #fashionclubbaby. In case you haven’t followed any of the Instagram posts of celebrity stylist Pam Quiñones, then let me be the first to tell you that pretty baby Mia made her debut in the fashion league at only 3 weeks old, and with no less than the who’s who in Philippine fashion gushing about her utter cuteness and long limbs.

Margarita Isabel “Mia” Chua Quiñones is the first born of power couple Apple and Mark. Her mom is part of the stylish elite who have made a name herself because of her unwavering career, colorful personality, passion for fashion, and love of life. Her dad, Mark, is a scene stealer himself with his good looks and manly physique. Both make a good combination and it all comes out in the form of this newly baptized baby.

The glowing mom recalls the day she gave birth to Mia. “While my friends were busy adorning the walls of my hospital room with buntings, garlands pinwheels, pink balloons and fresh flowers to welcome me and Mia, I was already experiencing a 2-hour dry labor (as result of induced labor). With me inside the Lamaze room were my mom, mother-in-law, and Mark. They became the source of my strength. Mia didn’t give me much of a hard time and came out after just one push. I remember I was welcomed by my husband with a glass of champagne and a gift for a job well done. Since I opted for a natural childbirth (meaning without the aid of pain killers), I had the energy to entertain guests after. It was heartwarming to see friends when we were finally transferred to our own room.”

Now, close to 3 months old, Mia finally made her public debut.
Her christening at Sta. Ana Church gathered few of the influential personalities in fashion. Aside from Davao’s own stylish crowd, there was no less than Pam Quiñones, who is Mark’s younger sister, who stood as one of the godmothers. Then there was designer Mark Bautista, who is best known for his out of the box fashion ideas and exceptional talent. Jing Monis, hairstylist to the stars, is also one of the godfathers, but wasn’t able to make it to the eventful day because of prior commitments. Other godparents present in the scene were Edward Duy, Jono Quioc, Allee Lee, Jansen Quiñones, Reagan Carr, Redmond Carr, Bryan Mendoza, Carlvon Kiel, Vanessa and Sharon Ong, Chiche and Florence Alejandre, Ayen Infante,  Elaine Carr, Sandy San Pedro-Dicdiquin, Jen Rosales, Mary Ann Romero, and Maricel Banal.

The reception, which was held in a popular Chinese restaurant, was styled and transformed into a European-Asian café by event specialist, Ninang Florence Alejandre. The cake, made by Joel Rodriguez of Osvaldo’s, looked too pretty to eat. Ninang April and Sandy also shared their talent by making customized invites and cupcakes. Little Mia, being the star of the event, was dressed in a beautiful baptismal gown by Rajo Laurel, given to her as a gift by her loving Ninang Pam.

A baby definitely brings a couple closer. News of Apple’s pregnancy broke shortly after Mark’s very romantic proposal. He proposed marriage to Apple on their 7th year in an exclusive beach resort. Forty of their closest friends stood as witness as the teary-eyed Mark knelt and held out a sparkly engagement ring to Apple. They tied the knot a few months after, a quiet / intimate wedding ceremony in a fine dining restaurant, which most only heard of through a couple of Instagram posts.

When I first heard about her baby news, the first question that came into my head was how Apple will marry fashion with pregnancy. I chanced on seeing her with the baby bump for only a few times, and it was during the early months of her pregnancy. Apple discloses the rest to me. “I never took my baby bump into new style heights. I’m glad I was able to retain my personal edgy style, wearing mostly menswear, black loose ensemble with less or no accessories at all. The only time I wore a figure skimming dress was when my friend, designer Martin Bautista, gave me one on my 5th month of pregnancy.”

“I’m lucky that I didn’t feel any dramatic and terrifying ordeals during pregnancy. I ate well. I spent holidays with friends. I continued working. I had no out of this world cravings. No mood swings. The weight gain didn’t bother me at all. With my husband, family, and friends by my side, I remained a happy and optimistic pregnant woman.”

I’ve known Apple to be a social butterfly, seeing her in countless of events since the time we met. Now I ask, how much and what has changed since Mia came into your life?

 “Mia’s presence didn’t create a major change in my life mainly because I had her at the time I was ready and prepared to settle down. What is more noticeable now is how our family has become closer. Mark’s sister, Pam, comes home more often than before. My brother Erik, after working abroad for 3 years, decided to come home and is now considering staying here for good to take over our family business. Mia’s arrival reminded everyone that family should always come first.”

My two month maternity break gave me the best chance to be hands on with Mia. Now that I’m back at work, I make sure that every little time I have with her every day is well spent. I make sure that I bathe and feed her, play and sing to her. I even hold her hand in prayer before I head out. Every night, when I come home from work to a sleeping Mia, I would ask the midwife to give me a moment alone with my daughter. I would lock the door and just stare at her, whispering to her how grateful I am that she came into our life.”
Story published on my newspaper column, Metro Mom.


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