When Ivana Alawi turned 24 last December 25, 2020, she bought an 8-karat gold diamond ring.
Nine months later, PEP.ph learned from Drake Dustin Ibay, the 29-year-old jeweler behind the brand LVNA (pronounced as Luna) by Drake Dustin, the cost of Ivana's gift to herself.
He revealed, "It cost around PHP12 something million."
In Ivana's YouTube video last January 6, 2021, Ivana flashed the diamond-studded ring to the camera.
"Ayan, so nakapalibot siya ng diamonds. And then, ayan, pina-gold ko siya kasi favorite ko yung color gold sa mga accessories. I bought this from LVNA [pronounced as Luna] by Drake Dustin, and eto ay regalo ko sa sarili ko... sa birthday ko talaga siya dapat. Bakit ako mag-aantay sa lalaki, e, di, bibilihan ko na lang ang sarili ko, di ba?"
The ring is called Ivana Moon, named after her. She said Ivana Moon symbolizes love for herself and is her most lavish purchase.
She then exclaimed in the video what the ring has meant for her, "I'm not engaged. I'm just loved. This is the gift to myself. So, proud kasi it's a reminder to work hard for your dreams. Kasi dati pangarap ko lang talaga ito. 'Tapos sa akin na siya. It's just a dream come true. I will treasure this."
How Ivana bought the diamond ring
According to Drake, he had wanted the actress-turned-YouTube sensation to be the endorser of his brand, and it happened as though his collaboration with Ivana was all meant to be.
He told PEP.ph via Zoom on Thursday, September 24, 2021, "Too weird. Parang tinadhana ni universe... yung tingin namin... Before namin siya kunin, hinahanap na namin siya. Biglang yung mom niya, si Tita Fatima, nag-message sa Facebook namin.
"Yung sales team namin, sinabi nag-message yung mom ni Ivana. Sabi ko, 'Oy, ako na. Ibigay mo sa akin, ako na kakausap.' And then in-introduce sa akin ni Tita Fatima si Ivana thru IG [Instagram]. Then we started collaborating sa IG muna. Yung parang pullouts-pullouts muna."
Not long afterwards, the deal was sealed and Ivana was commissioned to be the face of LVNA by Dustin Drake jewelry.
It proved to be a good decision as Drake would soon find for himself. He said, "Siya lang talaga from the artists na naka-collab namin. 'Tsaka nagdala talaga siya clients sa amin. Iba yung force niya."
With 14 million YouTube subscribers, Ivana, undoubtedly, is one of the most successful Filipino social-media influencers. But Drake said his admiration for Ivana is beyond skin deep, "She's a really good person, sobra."
He went on to relate how Ivana's offer to buy the multi-million-peso diamond ring had jolted him. "Sobrang nagulat ako noon. We had this campaign, we had this parang... I made parang a ring na 8-karat diamond ring. It was especially for the shoot. I named that ring Vana Moon talaga kasi when I designed it, I was thinking of Ivana kasi nga siya yung endorser namin.
"Then after a few months [after the shoot], biglang si Ivana pumunta sa store, 'tapos biglang naghanap ng ring. Hindi yun for sale, e. 'Tapos sabi niya parang gusto niya bilhin iyon. So, nung time na sinabi niya na gusto niyang bilhin, 'Sige, I think it's meant for you. I'm gonna sell it to you.'"
Although, at some point, the jeweler admitted he was not fully convinced that Ivana was seriously considering to buy the ring until of course the purchase was made.
Drake continued, "Binili niya! Akala ko nagloloko lang siya. The next day, bigla na lang siyang nag-send ng deposit." says Drake.
In December 2020, her birth month, Ivana was featured in a digital magazine that showed her wearing the expensive, dazzling ring.
The Ivana Moon is just one of the many jewelry pieces Ivana has bought from Drake, but it was her most expensive purchase so far.
Drake expressed being impressed by Ivana's investment savvy, "Magaling siya sa investments."
In her YouTube video last January 6, 2021, Ivana also said, "Lagi akong bumibili ng singsing, pero ito yung first na malaking-malaking...
So, it's also an investment, kaya ko siya binili. Hindi ko binili dahil, 'Ay, gusto ko iyan kasi malaki.' Investment siya kasi kahit tumatagal, nagiging mas mahal siya. And, of course, thank you kay Sir Drake kasi, di ba, siya nag-send nito. Itong mga bato-bato sa gilid and then talagang sabi niya, 'It's meant for you.'"
Ivana also recounted being nervous during the pictorial of her digital magazine feature.
She recalled, "Nung nagsu-shoot kami takot na takot akong hawakan. Naku, dyusko, baka mawala! Sabi ko, Naku ha, ayan na,' takot na takot talaga akong suotin, binabalik ko siya kaagad. Ang ganda."
She added, "Talagang yung mga diamonds ng LVNA by Drake Dustin, the best. I'm so proud."