To foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open a book that tells of her past.
So said Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal.
This 2017, however, Jul B. Dizon Jewellery, founded in 1978 by one of Asia’s most prominent jewelers, not only looks back but also breathes new life to the past with contemporary jewelry pieces designed to be worn every day.
There is no mistaking what the inspiration is behind the new collection, Simbolo.
The name notwithstanding, it speaks not of mere concepts, ideas, or abstractions, but of past, present, and future, of heart and heritage in tangibles finely crafted with diamonds, with sapphires and rubies, with pearls and peridots, and with many other exquisite gemstones, nestled in solid 18K gold.
Inspired by the Filipino culture, Simbolo is neither new nor trendy to the Dizon family. A rekindling of nationalism among siblings Cedric, Candice, Lucille, CJ, and Ginny fueled the passion to translate identity and culture into gems of heritage in this 2017 collection. What Simbolo stands for has been a recurring theme in their collaborative work and life with their mother, after whom Jul B. Dizon Jewellery has been named, from whom its core values of patriotism, family, and good work ethic have been drawn.
“My mom was a patriot,” recalls Candice. “She was very vocal about her love of country. She devoted much of her time as an active member of the People’s Patriotic Movement, a foundation focused on educating the people on how to make the country prosper.”
Love of country has thus found expression in resplendent stones and metals, including fresh water pearls, that celebrate the three main islands of the Philippines—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The line of pendants, aptly called Luzviminda is represented by eight ladies dressed in costumes both tribal and colonial, from the mestiza to the camisa de chino, as well as with ethnological touches of the B’laan, the Bagobo, and the T’boli, each woven in gemstones such as sapphires and tsavorites, gleaming in gold or diamonds.
Symbolic of the ebullient nature of Filipinos, a line of pins and pendants, Mananayaw, pays tribute to the folk dances, each featuring the grace of a pair of Filipino dancers outlined and cut out from 18K gold and mimicking the sagayan, the sword dance from Maranaw and Maguindanao, or Dalagang Filipina, the fan dance, or ragragsakan from the Cordilleras.
Nothing is more emblematic of pre-modern life in the Philippines than the nipa hut and Simbolo features a line of pins and pendants called Kubo that, in gemstones and pearls in 18K gold, also extols the virtues of bucolic life in the Philippine countryside—the bayanihan, or daydreaming under tsavorite trees, or Badjao stilt houses that float on sapphire waves.
The collection also rhapsodizes over the rich heritage of weaponry in the Philippines through its line called Sandata. Carved out of tourmalines and set with diamonds, rubies, and spinels, these charms in the shape of swords and daggers are a romantic salute to the warriors of our tribal past, as well as its valor, its chivalry, and its glory.
The line Icono is a veritable study of the signs and symbols of Philippine culture. As rings, pins, pendants, cufflinks, and bracelet clips of black or white diamonds or black agate and lapis lazuli atop mother-of-pearl, carabao horn, and wood, they give precious new meaning to our culture’s most familiar icons—the vinta, the agila, the sampaguita, and araw, the sun central to the design of the Philippine flag.
Speak of the Philippine flag and wear it proud with the Perdible line of extra large decorative safety pins, whose sun and three stars shine bright with white or yellow diamonds. Each of the safety pins can be worn alone or further personalized with pendants, pearls, beads, monograms, or other danglers.
No symbol is more patriotic than the flag, and Simbolo pays homage to it in its line Bandila, a line available in six colors of stainless steel stretch bracelets, woven and anodized, with clips of a reinterpreted Philippine flag set with diamonds, blue sapphires, and rubies in gold or silver.
In honor of the Dizon matriarch, Jul B. Dizon, who wore her jewelry every day, who wore her coral stud earrings or turquoise necklace and always her diamond ring even to the wet market, Simbolo and its many lines are designed for everyday use and for all ages.
After all, the story of a nation is a gem like no other, passed on to future generations; and at no other time is it more prized than today.