Liz Dumdum sashays her way to world domination
By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
SHE flies from Cebu to Manila every other week, with the occasional overseas trip squeezed in between. A true-blue Cebuana pursuing her dreams in the capital, Liz Dumdum is eyeing to conquer the world next, backed with her promising career in international relations and a sense of style that’s got people talking, all these chronicled in her online journal called “The Style Diplomat.”
“Ever since I was little, my parents would bring me to different places whenever they could. They travelled for work a lot and they didn’t have any choice but to tag me along,” Liz said.
Bitten by the travel bug she’s never fully recovered from, Liz added it was her passion for public service that further inspired her to study international relations in the Ateneo de Manila University.
When she was 19, Liz joined the school’s exchange program that allowed her to travel around Europe for two months. In her senior year, she had her first feel of the real deal when she became an intern in the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York.
“Fun is an understatement,” she said, looking back at her experience that involved attending working sessions and formal dinners, meeting different ambassadors, and getting to explore the city in her free time. “It was work and play at its finest.”
Liz added she was fortunate to have assisted in the candidature of the Philippines’ Dr. Florentino Feliciano to the International Court of Justice that time and witness the actual election in the UN General Assembly.
Today, Liz is taking part in another momentous occasion in international diplomacy: as a participant of the national organizing council of the APEC 2015, which the country will be hosting.
In the field of fashion, Liz has been praised as a style icon. Even prior to The Style Diplomat’s launch last year, her offbeat and innovative take on fashion has been featured in a national broadsheet and also magazines including Candy, Mega and Chalk.
“In the past year, I’ve been interviewed for Circus, an online magazine based in Chicago, and my sort of online break was when I got included in the Top 26 Fabulous Examples of Filipino street style on Buzzfeed,” she said.
“I named my blog after my two passions: fashion and diplomacy,” Liz explained. “Fashion is the simplest form of diplomacy, and I believe that clothes tell a story and are always an individual’s reflection to the world. It’s an opportunity to represent oneself using this universal language. Everyone is a Style Diplomat in his or her own way.”
Content is key
Aside from being an outlet where Liz can practice her styling abilities, the online journal has become a venue for her to go back to her first love, which is writing.
“Frankly, I noticed there are a lot who don’t give importance to their content, just as long as they can put their outfits online. I want to do something different, and invest my time on the message I want to give to my readers,” Liz said.
A daring model who is not afraid to spice things up by posing in the most unusual of places, like a construction site or a gritty area downtown, Liz said it’s all for the love of her craft.
“I am divided into equal parts feminine, chill and rebellious. I think it’s also safe to say I’m in the casual side of the spectrum. I mix and match different kinds of vibes and as a result, I sometimes look grunge, feminine, street chic or slightly urban and hip-hop.”
Liz was only 14 when she and her family moved to Manila in 2006 due to her mom’s work, nevertheless she is constantly home for the holidays, family celebrations and random weekend getaways.
“It was an idyllic childhood spent with family, and cousins often gathered together to eat, tell stories and play,” she reminisced. “I spent a lot of time outside the house playing patintero and Chinese garter, or with my family in a road trip. There was absence of technology in my childhood, which made it very meaningful.”
When flying to Cebu nowadays, Liz said she looks forward to three things, namely family, friends and food.
Still, she never loses sight of what’s beyond her intimate space, the world to which she has much to offer.
With a sophistication that’s perfectly matched with an innate Filipina charm, Liz said she is proud to carry the country’s flag as she sails through in the realm of international relations in the coming years.
“There are many reasons why I am proud of being a Filipino, with our unwavering faith in God, our resiliency and how happy we are as a people — always exuding good vibes. We have so much to offer to the world.”
Photography: Banawe Corvera
Hair & Make-up Artist: Christyl Pelayo
Assistants: Chelzee Salera, UP Interns
Locale: Senior Citizen’s Park