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Head-turners as much as they are inspiring teachers, they turn vibrant fabrics and threads into meaningful statements. There’s always more to what meets the eye and these professors are no exception. It’s not just bold prints or happy-hued textiles that catch your eye.

Style icons in their own right and sharing their pointers on fashion, wardrobe and college life, these professors prove that it’s passion, hard work, and compassion that never go out of style. 

Therese Rosbero

From silhouettes both subdued and bright to feminine prints done right, DLSU’s Chemistry professor knows the fashion equation that adds up into a stylish whole. Clad in classic-meets-trendy ensembles and striking the balance between classy and comfortable, she highlights simplicity that doesn’t compromise quality. Without disregarding her personal style, Therese also prefers wearing simple clothes when handling laboratory classes.

“Although sometimes it can be quite challenging because the class usually consists of people with different personalities, I enjoy observing my students during class activities,” she shares matter-of-factly.

“Witnessing how they struggle at first, trying their best, then eventually seeing them succeed is satisfying.  It’s a rewarding feeling to see that my students learned something from me.”

Dr. Shirley Dita

Photo by Hannah Lucena

Statuesque, elegant and even when walking amidst a crowded place–in person, the Linguistics professor  is difficult not to notice from the crowd. Without elaborate frills or any need for loud palettes, she stands out just the same whether she’s wearing a short dress, a school-girl inspired outfit or a pair of ripped jeans.

At first glance, it’s easy to presume that the professor belongs in the world of the fashion industry, but the Linguistic Society of the Philippines’ (LSP) president admits that she doesn’t see herself in any profession other than teaching.

Recounting moments when she receive comments about students wanting to be like her or remarks about how immensely she has inspired as a teacher, she remembers compliments made fondly by her students. Moments like getting an almost perfect score from the students’ evaluation and hearing someone say “I want to become like Dr. Dita” are moments that the professor hold close to her heart.

“I know there are some students who think] that professors are heartless, evil or boring but we are humans as well,” she corrects an all-too-common misconception. ”Professors rejoice at their success and weep at their failures, too.”

Dr. Maria Socorro Perez

The rule of thumb in Dr. Cori’s fashion book  is pretty much straightforward: maintain an air of uniqueness and a dash of unpredictability. Different, being the operative word of her personal style, her closet staples leap beyond the traditional items from shopping mall racks.  It could be a 70’s hand-me-down harlequin-green dress, a polka-dotted pair of socks or a high-rise, wide-legged pair of jeans, but whatever the outfit, Dr. Cori breaks the humdrum monotony.  “You make the clothes.  Not the other way around,” the ADMU Literature professor imparts. “It’s not so much what you see off the rack.  It can be what I have rummaged in the baul and when I get inspired, I make it work.”

Danilo Lorenzo Delos Santos

Photo by Hannah Lucena

Multi-hyphenate, check.  Stylish, yes. An interesting conversationalist, definitely.  A shared faculty of DLSU’s departments for Political Science, International Studies, and Decision Science– in teaching, writing, and style, Ren is definitely one to leave an impression.

A professor who regards boots as ‘tickets to adventure’, serendipitous elevator rides as ‘fated’, and the classic plain, white shirt as ‘the most versatile clothing’,  he is one to wear his heart on his sleeves.  Mingling style and function, when it comes to both his personality and his wardrobe, he puts emphasis on combining expression and functionality.  Flipping expectations–but at the same time, withdrawing from the norm in his own terms–though well-versed he already is about the dos and don’ts of style, he pays more attention in sharing the importance of finding one’s purpose.

“Live life with a purpose in mind.  Express it by being aware of who you are and its relation to your life’s calling,” he advises. Encouraging his students to the call of being ‘positive disruptors’, he envisions to create a societal impact, a contribution to the country in any way he’s needed.  Sticking to a straightforward ethos that does not only apply to fashion, but also to broader view of things, he reminds students the significance of never having to compromise the important things: happiness, purpose, comfort, and identity.

Stella Quimbo

“I’m not sure that I would have a signature look,” says the UP Professor. “The last thing I want is predictability.”

Fondly known as Professor Quimbo to the UP School of Economics and assuming the role of Commissioner Stella in the Philippine Competition Commission, when it comes to adding a touch of trendy and classic twists, she’s no stranger to landing on the list of best-dressed personalities.  Ranked among the familiar faces of SONA’s best dressed women, not only does she have a keen eye for fashion,  she’s also a celebrated academic.  As commissioner and professor, even when wearing a casual Mardi Gras shirt with a pantsuit or wearing a pristine terno to formal events, Stella transforms even simple prints into an effortless, fashionable spin.

Laurenzo Alba 

Photo by Mike Ajero

In art and in teaching, he hits the rare trifecta: striking, distinct, and eclectic.  “I normally take the role of the ‘crazy, mad scientist’ in class, but in my teaching career, I always try to make science an interdisciplinary subject that also comprises the arts,” says the Chemistry professor.  Thriving in both worlds of the arts and the sciences, Laurenzo aspires to impart that Science isn’t at all a scary subject.

Perhaps it’s his art that provides a hint about his personal style–also dabbling into cosplaying and drawing anime characters, he integrates his personality into what he creates, be it an original anime character or curating a cosplay-inspired wardrobe.  It takes an uncanny ability to pull off the clothes he choose, but whether it’s attending an official event in a butler outfit with a formal tailcoat, being casually comfortable in a Pikachu jacket or wearing an Emilia cloak, through different costume changes, he’s the same professor many students admire.  “I originally did not intend to be a teacher,” he admits.  “But then I realized being a scientist is most effective if you work as faculty in a university.  Something about teaching relaxes me.  Is it the noble profession of imparting knowledge to the next generation? Perhaps.”

Natividad Manauat

“I don’t dress for others and I certainly don’t dress to be noticed by students,” says one of DLSU’s beloved Philosophy professors.  “I dress for myself.”

It seems refreshing and also rather surprising that as someone so often recognized on campus for sporting her iconic beret, stockings, and boots, she would choose fashion as one of the thing she likes talking about the least.

“They’re really just clothes,” she says candidly.  Noticing how people are readily convinced by what they see, she remarks that a lot of people tend to be appearance-ists and look-ists, accepting what appears to be as what’s real.  In a time when numerous instructionals exist as guides on how to look better, it’s relatively easy to be preoccupied with less important matters like using fashion to impress or command attention.  But for Natty, she believes in one thing to be true: “Passion is better than fashion.”

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