Jo Ann Bitagcol Returns With A Fun Collection On Filipino Selfhood

The latest collection pays tribute to Filipino individuality while honoring the self, roots, ancestry, and family.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s August 2023 Issue.

It was in April when the ever-prolific Jo Ann Bitagcol saw Gino Gonzales’ collection of vintage accessories and thought it would be a good idea to do human forms. The model turned photographer turned designer was also inspired by Mauro Malang’s work lately, telling herself, “One day I will do my own version of women.”

“With Malang in my head, the collaboration with Gino began,” reveals Bitagcol to Lifestyle Asia. And thus, the birth of the artist’s Tao collection. “It was Gino Gonzales’s idea to call it Tao and I gave them names,” she adds.

Tao features the beloved vintage objects that gave rise to Bitagcol’s maiden collection in 2019 while bringing together heritage, art, photography, and doses of Philippine humor to every digital photo print that are applied on to versatile garments.

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Love As Foundation

Tao is a celebration of the Filipino’s unique characteristics, very much aligned with the Bitagcol brand’s higher purpose of honoring the self, roots, ancestors, and family. It is about creating with good intentions and doing so with love.

Jo Ann Bitagcol
Jo Ann Bitagcol/Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Bitagcol

The artist intimates about her creative process, “When creating new prints/ collections, I have three top questions in mind: ‘Is this Filipino?’ ‘Is it contemporary?’ ‘Are the pieces comfortable?’ It’s a go when the answers are yes.”

The Impact Of Intentional Living

She describes her evolution as a model to photographer and designer as “miraculous and magical.” She expresses gratitude for everyone’s love and support, “I don’t know how it all happened. I’ve been truly blessed. Thank you so much.” She emphasizes that people who are at peace and happy with themselves while living their life purpose are the luckiest and wealthiest. 

"Tita" scarf
“Tita” scarf/Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Bitagcol

Bitagcol shares that she is content and appreciates the blessings of the present moment, unfazed by the unknown and what the future holds, confidently saying, “I will just allow the source, the universe, to light the pathway to what’s next.”

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia August 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Banner photo courtesy of Jo Ann BItagcol.

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