Veteran fashion designer Aureo Alonzo died at the Makati Medical Center due to complications of his stomach cancer. He was 85 years old. Cory Unas, Alonzo’s niece, said in a phone interview, that her uncle has been diagnosed with stomach cancer last year. His condition was improving in the last couple of months until he was admitted to the Makati Medical Center on June 23 due to pneumonia.
Unas said that Alonzo died peacefully. Unas, her mother and her father were beside the fashion designer when he died in his hospital bed. The family announced that his wake will Monday night at the Manila Memorial Chapel. Alonzo’s interment will be on Thursday at the Manila Memorial Park.
Alonzo was called Tatang by his colleagues and friends. He was known for his haute couture gown designs that featured intricate laces and beadworks. He also designed gowns for some of the Philippines’ Virgin Mary statues, such as the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of the Manila Cathedral, Our Lady of La Naval of the Sto. Domingo Church, the Virgin of Manaoag in Pangasinan, Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo, and Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga.
In 1975, Alonzo won the Camel Award of International High Fashion in Italy. He won over nine other finalists. He is the only Filipino designer who has won the award. He showed the judges that he could cut, make and sew before them. Like the rest of the designers during his time, he didn’t draw designs but made clothes.
Even though he came from a prominent family, Alonzo didn’t finish school. He made his career through talent and hard work. In 2013, his colleagues and friends in the fashion industry gave him a tribute fashion show, A Toast to the Prince of Philippine Haute Couture.