What fashion taught me and how it lead me today!

From trying on heels and sticking to it since I was eight - to dying my hair blonde knowing it was a mask for something who I’ll never become. Here are a few highlights of my fashion love story.

2010 The year I truly fell in love with Fashion. I was a Corporate Education Liaison for a University based out in the United States and gotten laid off as the organization decided to pack up and be gone with their business in Canada. After months I landed a job. The job? Have lunch and pick out clothes for my sister. She had the means so wasn’t feeling too guilty charging my own blood.

One appointment became two and all of her friends’ calendars had me in it. Years later, I find myself flying east for Toronto Fashion Week, help pack jet setters, becoming the main guy for a local Geologist who called each time he needed an opinion about his shopping needs *literally - cars, couches - was happy to oblige.

2015 MasterChef Canada Season 3 Domingo Lumanog caught live Episode 2

2015 MasterChef Canada Season 3 Domingo Lumanog caught live Episode 2

2015 Five years passed, #foodnetwork called responding to a submission I sent for MasterChef Canada Season 3. After realizing it was all for show 2 episodes later, I decided to focus back to another fashion channel - Beauty Schools. I worked hard to achieve a sound relationship with an international cosmetics line. A success story, a Parisian cosmetics provide support to a local Academy in Calgary.It was a proud moment - managing, representing and help cultivate students and the Academy alike tapping its highest potential. A proud moment - I felt good enough.

 

2017 None of it seemed to matter, I felt a need to fill a full calendar and an exhausted body! In April that year, I took a flight to India. Weeks leading to the completion of my yoga teacher training, I shed and cried like how you cry when peeling an onion to its core. The difference was – I was the onion and yes I was peeling my own self! Including the 70 pounds I gained from constantly feeling the need to fill something – a void now I’ve come to realize.

Blondes get to party and brunets get to plan it. There’s no shame in that!

Blondes get to party and brunets get to plan it. There’s no shame in that!

TODAY Reminiscing the times when I dyed my hair blonde or the time, I took my love for Rihanna literal *dying my hair red and copying her pixie cut. I was a boy who wanted to be a man. A man whom I can be proud of. Developed from within - having the strength I say I nurtured. That I am good enough.After my travels, I re-entered the world of fashion, to taste glam again and to experience the luxury of beauty. Soon after, I was sent to indulge with dear clients to shop and enjoy the nine-story retail heaven in one of the world’s fashion capital - NYC! 

After years of ‘becoming’ - being called names - some names that were meant to be hurtful, to being featured in multiple publications. Life has a way to circle back!  Living the life of being different, the competitive nature leading to feeling not good enough and to strive more so I can be good enough, working twice as much to expect half as much, the need to fit in, the need to mimic others so I could call them friends and need to belong somewhere but my own.

NOW I set my self-inflicted handcuffed wrist - FREE. Embracing the fact, I am a work-in-progress. We all want to fit in somewhere. Realizing somewhere is right here, right this second - of this minute. THE NOW!

I will always personify FASHION, from the way I speak, dress myself to surrounding my material world with creative fashion. I express myself through fashion to promote my individuality. I am different and I am grateful. I am very grateful through out this journey as I am able to use this platform to convey my experiences, my struggles and my pride in who I am today and what I stand for. My only hope is to have others find easy access to individuals like me who grew up strong, independent and indifferent despite being called hurtful names, feeling not good enough and always questioning to no end.

As I find myself doing the same profession 10 years later, fashion made me discover layers of strength within myself. From the boy who was called hurtful names to using same names called to be inspired everyday. I am proud to present the once young Domingo who needed the adult version of myself to finally show up.

In the words of Albert Camus, “in the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Once again I have found purpose – to help champion others by living an inspired life and to continue to grow through yoga, food, fashion and education.

Thank you for all the things you taught me. Thank you for showing up to my world. Thank you for sharing.

What was your fashion defying moment? Do you know what your purpose is in life? I would love to hear all about it. Email me domingo@mydomingo.comor comment below and share to the world.

xoDomingo

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To read more back story why I chose Stranded Water Valley for Kids Up front this year - click here.

If you or know of anyone who may need retraining or wishing to switch in Healthcare, Business or Technology industry - click here.

Why @MyDomingo - Social Media Handles Explained.

Years ago I met the two most inspired women I know - circa 2008.

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A decade later, @mydomingo is not only the primary handle I have for social media but also a catch phrase I use when asked what my hand is. “Every body can use a little MyDomingo in their lives!” Now what exactly do I mean by this?

First we go back circa 2008 when I first ventured into becoming a personal stylist/shopper/dresser - at this time, I was naive and very new to Canada. As you may have heard, I was raised in the Philippines until the mature age of 21. So here is my 24 year old self giving advise to these two lovely women who got me drunk on my first intro session with them. I have gone a long way since then *disclaimer - I will get tipsy and not drunk (with the amount what we drank).

These two women made me feel safe, made me feel love and most importantly made me feel that two women at their age can live together and raise a family. I was fairly new in Canada and never have I seen not along experience a love like I saw the night.

Fast forward to a dinner they took me to celebrate a new gig they got *as they were self employed - they celebrated their success with me. It would not have been as seamless as it was if not for my help - as what she said. Ha! Shout out to dressing for success - my corny tagline back when.

A few drinks later, Lady A said to Lady B - how can we make make this happen for Domingo? The fact (self promoting myself here… based on what they said) he was none judgmental, took pride on his work, great work ethic *aside from the night they got me wasted - really I am blaming them for that incident.

Until today, I can still remember how I looked at both of them as we drank our last glass. It was in Teatro Restaurant - soft music was in the background, beautiful staff parading bringing in food from the kitchen, the low lights and high lights inside the building, the glare of street lights you glimpse from the inside, Lady B then said, you are like a gem who I could keep for life. A little my domingo in my purse. As I gulp my last libation, I responded, “I guess - everyone can have a little bit of my domingo in their lives!”

And so here we have it - a little quirky, super gay, super formal, the good, bad and ugly character though out the history of my being - shared into platforms to find connection via the www. But mainly touched two women who have a non fairy tale story - divorced with kids and found each other again after years of un pursued love connection.

I am every grateful to Lady A and B. To this day - I am grateful.

What about you? How did you come up with your social media handles?

I’m curious,

xoDomingo