ALAHAS narrates a timeless love story, exploring the evolution of jewelry, looking into its origins, and celebrating our Filipino heritage.

For decades now, Maria Angelica has navigated the waters of Philippine Heritage Jewelry, embarking into thrilling and often uncertain journeys. From collecting off the quaint streets in Iloilo to admiring her trove under the warm light of her living room, she has immersed herself in the vibrant communities of a world known by a few – ultimately venturing to evoke the inherent essence embedded within each precious jewel. What unfolds in ALAHAS: Philippine Heritage Jewelry, is a symphony of essays, as Maria Angelica reflects on her experience with closely-held adornments, compounded with meticulous historical research.

Organizing jewelry by design, technique, and era offers readers an exhilarating time-travel experience.

Three years of meticulous historical research, coupled with nearly four decades of actively collecting antique jewelry, underpin each chapter's essays, capturing the essence of eras that shape makers, wearers, and audiences.

In these pages, the book weaves stories of adventure, resilience, and deep connections to heritage, aiming to kindle pride and inspire readers to rediscover and celebrate their own roots. Through showcasing creations and remarkable heirlooms, it bridges the gap between past and present, illuminating the timeless allure of Philippine jewelry as a reference for those seeking to reconnect with their heritage.

As readers delve into the passages of time, guided by the remarkable Filipinas who embody the spirit of the nation, they witness the interplay between history and contemporary design. From the mystical strength of the Babaylan to the resilient contemporary Filipina in the diaspora, each piece of jewelry held within its gleaming surface a story of beauty, strength, and the transformative power of adornment.


    Indigenous Period
    (Before 1571)

    Revitalizing our Ancestral Past:
    Pre-colonial Heritage from Stone Tools to Gold Jewels

    Northern Luzon Collection

    Preserving the Past:
    Capturing the Culture of the Cordillereas through Heirloom Beads and Meaningful Jewels

    Spanish Colonial Period
    (1571 - 1890)

    Harkening Back to When Gold Meant God and Glory: From Ornate Reliquaries to Painted Pendants and Golden Combs

    Turn of the Century

    (1890 - 1940)

    As the Century Turns: Glimmers of Glamorous Empowerment from Designs of Art Nouveau to Art Deco

    Modern Collection

    Emerging from Darkness:
    Embracing Freedom, Empowering Dreams, and Illuminating Paths to Progress in Multi-Colored Gems

    Contemporary Period

    (2000 onwards)

    The Legacy of the Filipina Spirit at Present: The Contemporary Work of María