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Issue III

Charice Pempengco A Star Is Reborn





AURA Contents


Health & Beauty Entertainment


A Touch of Royalty

22 27

60 sec Interview


Celebrity Profile


Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana


FEATURE | Charice Pempengco Events




Arts & Culture



54 56




70 74


Food & Beverage Community


Luck & Prosperity




Editor - In - Chief Dee Chanelle


Deputy Editor Jessica Nock Head of Design: Miguel Livelo Sales & Marketing Richard Sanchez Rose Lyn Theodoulou Dayna Sanchez Joysel Livelo Audrey Horca

Executive Researcher Joanna Lanza

Designers Miguel Livelo Dayna Sanchez

Illustrators James McDonnell

Publications Assistants Natasha Laxa Beverley Magtibay

Administration Bless Villaseñor

Contributors UK Jodie Sayson Romlynn Ramos Gene Alcantara Malcolm Conlan Olive Ipsiocoo Dee Chanelle Crystal Dias Joysel D. Livelo Beverley Magtibay A4J Catering

Germany Mrs. Punk Rock Cielito



his month has been an amazingly busy month for me running around various community events, taking selfies and being papped. However this did not further prevent me from producing this special “Royal Issue”. The arrival of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, the crowning of Miss London NABA, Mr and Miss Teen Philippine Islands, That’s my pogi and many more. Keeping in line with this Regal theme do not miss “The Diamond Masquerade Ball “on the 31st May at The Clapham Grand featuring the golden voice of Motown’s Sonna Relé who recorded the end credit theme song to the latest Cinderella movie entitled “Strong”. What a coincidence! Give yourself a reason to wear that gown or tuxedo. Defy your wicked mother in law and two ugly neighbours and go to the Ball.. This is your chance to be royalty- even for just one night! Who knows your Prince Charming may be there? On an even more regal note- In order to meet our overheads such as printing costs including our new office in London, your enchanting AURA Magazine will be for sale from the next issue for less than a Latte or Cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop! Rest assured that the magazine will maintain its quality and substance. We will be introducing some exciting new sections that we know you will enjoy and talk about. We hope that you have enjoyed reading our first three complimentary issues of AURA Magazine and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and hope that you will continue to support our mission to share and embrace the Filipino culture away from home. Join us in our quest to be seen and heard! Mabuhay!

USA Edgar Santos Philippines Dr. Vicky Belo Marites Allen Jennifer Bichara Wanderer

Dee Chanelle Editor-in-Chief

Consultant Gloria Balbastro

In-house photography Our Vision Entertainment

AURA XII Publications ©2015 AURA XII LIMITED 22 Second Avenue London NW4 2RN Tel: +44 208 123 0559 | Email: Registered in England and Wales Company number: 9228192 CEO: Dayna Sanchez, Managing Directors: Miguel Livelo, Joysel Livelo & Richard Sanchez




Health & Beauty

Belo Medical Group celebrates its 25th Anniversary


elebrating 25 years of pioneering the latest innovations in dermatological and cosmetic surgery, Belo Medical Group (BMG) kick-started its year-long anniversary celebration with its first ever Belo Polo Cup. An influx of guests from government, business, entertainment and social circles graced the Philippine-Dubai polo showdown that was held at Manila Polo Club last March 29, 2015.

that adorned the outdoor lounge whilst the evening’s entertainment and set up was themed as a garden paradise. The whole event was under the creative leadership of BMG’s Managing Director Cristalle Belo- Henares with the help of her loving friends Javi Martinez, of Yaparazzi Events directing the evening show. Garlic Garcia was creative collaborator and Barbie Pardo was the event stylist.

The event was one for the books as one of the most well attended polo matches. Guests watched the match between Team Philippines led by Mikee Romero, of Global Ports and Team Dubai. It was a close and exciting bout with Team Philippines taking away the Cup with a 13-9 score. Anthony Garcia was awarded as Most Valuable Player.

Inspired by the vision to make every Filipino beautiful, one person at a time, BMG’s CEO and Medical Director Dr. Vicki Belo is the force behind the immeasurable success of the top beauty centre. Apart from the celebration and grandeur, the night was also of thanksgiving for 25 belo beautiful years and most importantly giving back. Part of the program that evening was a tribute to the valiant men of the Fallen 44. Belo Beautiful guests from all over the world watched and lounged under the protection of Belo Sunbrellas


A tribute performance from none other than Gary AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

Valenciano was dedicated to the fallen soldiers and their families. Among the World-class artist graciously performed and entertained the guests were Regine Velasquez and Billy Joe Crawford. The evening was capped with a generous donation to the families of the Fallen 44. This was received by Representatives from the PNP Special Action Force Police Superintendent Edwin Wagan of the PCRD- SAF and General Quinsay of the PNP Civil Relations Unit.

Reaching this glorious milestone of 25 Belo Beautiful years and more, Belo Medical Group guarantees to provide worldclass quality service that clients can find “Only in Belo”.




The Magic of Marula Oil for Wrinkles and Acne


by Olive Ipsioco

arula oil comes from the nut of the Marula tree mostly found in South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique. Women from these countries have been using the oil for years now to moisturise their skin and protect them from the harsh damage of overexposure to the sun. Marula Oil contains high levels of antioxidants, 60% more than Argan oil, and high levels of vitamin E. These strong antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals and help it look moisturised and youthful. It also helps build collagen in the skin and keeps it hydrated especially during hot and dry weather.

Marula protects the hair from harsh sun damage just like how it protects the skin. Marula oil is an all-in-one beauty potion. There is an endless list to the many benefits and uses of this magical oil. It has also been safely used as massage oil for babies and even a preservative for meats to make it last for up to one year. The inner bark of the tree is also used as a pain relief for scorpion stings and snake bites, the leaves, when chewed or made into a tincture can help abdominal pains and indigestion. For some African countries, Marula is sacred oil that is being used for spiritual purposes.


If you have any questions or need free advice, please email Olive at

The Marula fruit produces more vitamin C than oranges, it also contains natural fatty acids, minerals and nutrients that improve cellular activity and repair damaged skin cells. The natural fatty acid found in Marula oil locks the moisture in the skin and hair which makes it look and feel smooth. The magical benefits of Marula oil can also be used on acne prone skin. Yes, oil that can be used for oily skin! It has healing properties that fight bacteria, heal redness and soothe irritation. Because Marula oil contains high levels of omega fatty acids, the oil is easier to absorb and not clog into the pores or stay on top of the skin. This makes the skin feel smooth and not greasy. This is because 80% of the stone from the fruit contains oleic acid, it helps penetrates the oil into the skin quickly. In addition, the magical oil can help balance sebum in acne-prone skin by eliminating over production of sebum. It is pH balanced and is also ideal for sensitive skin. Marula Oil is not only facial oil but also a natural moisturiser for the body, hair and nails. Because it absorbs quickly, it keeps the nail beds hydrated without the greasy feeling. It gives the hair a smooth satin look and keeps the hair frizzy.



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AURA i edgarsantosofficial edgardsaints

A Fabulous Face at any Age

by Edgar Santos

To make people feel comfortable in their skin” is the positive message behind Edgar Santos’ ethos and from this vision he has managed to build an illustrious career working as an internationally recognised Hollywood A-List make-up artist. This coveted make-up extraordinaire has exclusively revealed his beauty tips to you, the readers of AURA Magazine. Dark eyeliner for defined eyes: To further exemplify the eyes, it is best to apply eyeliner with dark tones, such as jet black or dark brown pencil. Depending on the look you are trying to achieve particularly for smoky eyes and evening events, it is good to apply dark eyeliner on the upper and lower lids. During the day-time, I would advise to line the eyes with a lighter colour, to maintain a more natural look.

However it is best to apply the shimmer lightly on more mature skin, because in excess it can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. In the case of eye shadow, less is sometimes more and it should be applied evenly and thinly. Smooth clean eye- lids: To achieve the desired colour, this is noticeably easier if you use a primer. Eye shadow primer adds lasting prominence and prevents the eye shadow from smearing, giving you a sleeker look for longer. Once you select the right product for you, gently apply the primer to the lid of the eyes and wait for it to dry before applying your makeup.

*Use indelible, smudge proof or waterproof eyeliner to avoid eye smear.

Primers keep your eye makeup looking as fresh and perfect from the moment that you apply it – with a result that lasts all day.

Youthful eyes: Use soft shimmery eye shadow to avoid emphasized lines. The colour eye shadow you choose to use is based on your own personal preference.

Contour and highlight: To add radiance and glow to the face, use light shades with lighter and softer tone to bring out sunken eyes. To add more depth to droopy lids, use stronger tones.



AURAMAGAZINE • Issue 2 • April

Do you have what it takes? Are you an aspiring Actor/Singer? AURA management is searching for new talent. If you are aged between 16 - 22, male or female, (preferably a Tagalog speaker)

Send your headshot/bio and video/VT links to



No Matter your Age & Shape, You can still Improve your Lifestyle! By Jodie Sayson 2015 IS COMING AND WAITING FOR YOU! Want to get off the couch? New to fitness? Don't know how to start? ... Let me help you on your new journey A common question frequently

a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits.

Does age or shape matter for Zumba classes?

It can:

asked is:

The Answer is NO

It doesn’t matter how old you

are! You can be 13 or 31, 70 or even 101. Age is only a number. Just like someone’s body shape there is no excuse for being better if you choose to be. … We say, don’t worry about it at all. We want you to love yourself and your body, because our bodies are wonderful things that help us move, breathe, laugh and live. A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it's


Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system. Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better. Improve your heart failure symptoms. Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath. Increase endurance. Lower blood pressure. Improve muscle tone and strength. Improve balance and joint flexibility. Strengthen bones. Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight. Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression. Boost self confidence Improve sleep. Make you feel more relaxed and rested. Make you look fit and feel healthy.






There is no excuse to be the best version of yourself

'You will always be one step ahead, than everyone else still sat on the sofa.' At any age, with any body shape, movement is better than sitting still when it comes to improving your health. You'll soon feel the benefits when you become more active. Zumba® gets your blood pumping, your sweat pouringW and your feel good endorphins pulsing! So if your 13-150, Zumba® has different classes for everyone. From babies to kids to adults, it’s all there for you to have fun & fit in a workout around your lifestyle. Just check out website for the different types of classes available, in a range of Central and East London locations at affordable prices with #JodiesZumba.

So the questions you need to ask yourself should be: Do you want your heart to pump better? Do you want to help your health to be better? Then join me at #JodiesZumba today! Everyone is welcome to come shake, sweat & have fun!






GMA Network is the Philippines’ Biggest Winner in the 2015 New York Festivals


MA Network is the Philippines’ Biggest Winner at the 2015 New York Festivals, bringing home 4 World Medals and 4 Finalist Certificates for its News and Public Affairs programs.

GMA’s late-night documentary program Front Row, led the winners as it bagged the Gold World Medal in the Best Public Affairs Program category for its feature on the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The documentary took viewers beyond the viral Ice Bucket Challenge and showed the real story behind the disease in the eyes of ALS patients and their families. GMA afternoon program Reporter’s Notebook won a Bronze World Medal in the Community Portraits category for its “Burak at Pangarap” episode. The story centered on twelveyear-old Junjun whose family was left homeless when a fire razed their home and more than a hundred other houses in Malabon City. GMA News TV’s Motorcycle Diaries took home a Bronze


World Medal in the Human Concerns category for its “Karapatan ng Bata” episode. The episode showed how poverty denies countless Filipino children their basic rights. GMA News TV’s “May Pag-asa” Station ID, a collection of stories of hope which revealed the little known tragedies and challenges behind the success of the channel’s oncamera personalities, also won a Bronze World Medal in the Station/Image Promotion category. Four more Finalists recognitions were awarded to GMA Network. These included Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, Katipunan, Reel Time and “Walang Rape sa Bontok,” one of the winning entries in the first Cine Totoo Philippine Documentary Festival produced by GMA News TV. The New York Festivals awarded its 2015 winners at a ceremony held at the National Association of Broadcasters’ Conference in Las Vegas last April 14. Now on its 57th year, the Festivals honored the world’s best TV programs and films from among entries submitted by over 50 countries. AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

Kapuso Foundation conducts Operation Bayanihan in Maguindanao rush every now and then for our safety. It wasn’t easy but what pushed us to keep moving were the people waiting for us who needed our help,” says Nucum. When the team finally reached the evacuation center, all of the fear they experienced on the road banished. “The people greeted us with a smile and it was priceless. We could never imagine how they can still manage to smile knowing that a few kilometers from them, a war is going on,” recalls Nucum.


MA Kapuso Foundation, GMA Network’s socio-civic arm, recently rolled out its Operation Bayanihan program in Maguindanao, effectively serving 5,000 families affected by the ongoing armed conflict.

“While we continue praying for the stability of our country and the safety of its people, the Foundation is also working to create a concrete and positive impact in the lives of our fellowmen,” says GMA Kapuso Foundation EVP and COO Mel C. Tiangco. “They can rest assured knowing that, wherever there is a Filipino in need, the Foundation will also be there, because that’s what bayanihan and being a Kapuso is all about.”

In partnership with Solid Shipping Lines, ARMM Heart, Department of Health-ARMM, and Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM, the Kapuso Foundation team handed out relief goods consisting of rice, noodles and canned goods. GMAKF was among the first to provide relief operations in Maguindanao. In Mamasapano, relief goods were distributed to 3,320 families. Meanwhile, 621 families in Sharif Saydona and 1,059 families in Sharif Aguak also received support from the foundation. GMAKF’s team had to travel for seven hours from General Santos City to Cotabato just to reach the communities affected by the conflict in Maguindanao. Didith Nucum, GMAKF relief operations project staff, said they were stopped several times by armed men. “We talked to them and explained our intentions. We had to



Karelasyon debuts worldwide


MA News and Public Affairs proudly presents Karelasyon—the newest drama anthology set to reveal the real nature of relationships based on true-to-life experiences of people who have faced different ordeals in the hopes of keeping the love of their lives.

What sets Karelasyon apart from programs of the same genre is that it underscores the fact that with every relationship comes pain, sacrifice, and grief; and that loving someone does not always guarantee a ticket to a happy ending. The drama anthology premiered worldwide on GMA Network’s flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV on April 18th. For its pilot episode, Karelasyon features the story of “Minda,” portrayed by Mylene Dizon: a woman who, in her desperation to be with someone, easily falls for “Daniel,” played by Mark Herras. An account of heartache and betrayal, witness how the man Minda loves instantly turns into her worst nightmare once her gay son “Ryan” (Martin del Rosario) enters the picture. Written and directed by acclaimed independent film director Adolf Alix, Jr., Karelasyon is hosted by no less than Kapuso premier leading lady and TV host Carla Abellana. Take a closer look at love and relationships on GMA Pinoy TV.





GMA summer primetime treats


he GMA Network kicks off the summer season as it presents an exciting line-up of new programs – among which include the faith series Pari ‘Koy, the romantic drama Let The Love Begin and the intriguing soap opera The Rich Man’s Daughter.

First on the list is the family-friendly series Pari ‘Koy which stars Primetime King Dingdong Dantes in his first-time portrayal of an unconventional priest known for his nontraditional ways of bringing the people closer to God. Dingdong as Father Kokoy made his international debut in March on GMA Pinoy TV, the GMA Network’s flagship international channel. Also featuring in the impressive cast are Sunshine Dizon, Gabby Eigenmann, Chanda Romero, Jillian Ward, Luz Valdez, Dexter Doria, Rap Fernandez, JC Tiuseco, Carlo Gonzales, Jeric Gonzales, Hiro Peralta, Jojit Lorenzo, Lindsay de Vera, among others. Also, the GMA Network’s newest child prodigy David Remo stars as Pinggoy, the high-spirited “village’s son” of Barangay

Pinagpala who puts Fr. Kokoy to the ultimate test of faith. The Kapuso Network’s fast-rising love team Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia headline the romantic drama Let the Love Begin. The program will make audiences laugh, cry and fall in love as it presents the beautiful story of two individuals who will share a special friendship that withstands the test of time. Last but certainly not least, is the premiere of the compelling drama series The Rich Man’s Daughter with Primetime Queen Marian Rivera taking on the lead role. Marian portrays the challenging character of Jade Tanchingco, an heiress from a very wealthy family. In the story, Jade’s father is looking for a suitor for her and is willing to pay millions to any man who can make her fall in love with him. She will be joined by Glaiza de Castro, Katrina Halili and Luis Alandy. The series also stars Paolo Contis, Mike Tan, Pauleen Luna, TJ Trinidad, Sheena Halili, Charee Pineda together with Al Tantay, Glydel Mercado, Tony Mabesa and Ms. Gloria Romero.

GMA Network’s Official Statement on Marian Rivera Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera has withdrawn from her upcoming program “The Rich Man’s Daughter” and her GMA Pinoy TV guestings abroad due to her delicate condition. GMA Network fully supports Marian’s decision and strongly believes that Marian and her baby’s safety is first and foremost. We would like to assure her supporters that Marian will still be seen in various shows in the Kapuso Network. We pray for a healthy and happy pregnancy for our dear Marian.





Megan Young returns to the Kapuso Network


tarstruck II alumna and Miss World 2013 Megan Young returns to her home network, as she signed a oneyear exclusive contract with the GMA Network on March 31. Present during the contract signing were GMA Network’s Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon; President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr.; Entertainment TV’s Senior Vice President Lilybeth G. Rasonable; Vice President for Entertainment TV Marivin T. Arayata; Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Acuña-Magno; Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi SantiagoLara; Assistant Vice President for Drama Productions Cheryl Ching-Sy; and Ms. World Philippines Vice Chairman & agent Arnold Vegafria. The beauty queen revealed her delight as she will be active again in showbiz with hosting stints and soap opera roles. “Masaya akong nagbabalik dahil I’ve grown so much as a person, as an artist, and now nandito na ulit ako, I can offer the people a better version of myself,” claims Megan. [I’m happy to be back because I’ve grown so much as a person,



chose GMA. No matter where she goes, her heart is still with the Kapuso Network, and our hearts are with her as well. So we are lining up many things for Megan to do.”] Mr. Duavit, in turn, shared that he is both glad and excited now that Megan is back with the Kapuso Network, “Nakakatuwa kapag ang isang nagsimula bilang Kapuso ay nagbabalik bilang Kapuso. And in Megan’s case, sa mga dumaang panahon, bukod sa Miss World, she also embodies and personifies certain values that are consistent with ours. So we’re very excited. Megan is versatile, she’s very professional at meron ng mga nakahanay na mga proyekto para sa kanya. So, welcome back kapuso, we’re all very proud of you. And very happy you’re back home.” [It is heartwarming when one starts out as a Kapuso and returns as a Kapuso. And in Megan’s case, in the time that has passed, aside from Miss World, she also embodies and personifies certain values that are consistent with ours. So we’re very excited. Megan is versatile, she’s very professional and we’ve already lined up projects for her. So welcome back, Kapuso, we’re all very proud of you. And very happy you’re back home.”]

as an artist, and now that I’m back, I can offer the people a better version of myself.] Megan also talked about her relationship with fellow artists and staff, and how she misses most of those who have supported her from the start of her career. She also mentioned that she wants to go back to acting, “Namiss ko rin ang pag-act, kasi sa Miss World, hindi ka naman nag-aact doon. Isa’t kalahating taon din akong nag-stop, kasi kailangan siyempre yung concentration ko nasa Miss World. Pero ngayong nagbabalik, kailangan ko naman ulit magprepare for acting, kasi matagal din akong nawala.” [I missed this because in Miss World, you’re not “acting.” I stopped for a year and a half because my concentration was focused on Miss World. But now that I’ve returned, I have to prepare myself again for acting because I was gone for a long time.] During the contract signing held at the Boardroom of GMA Network, Atty. Gozon expressed his genuine support for Megan, “We are very glad and proud and honoured na tayo ang pinili ni Miss World. Kaya maski saan siya nakarating, ang puso niya nasa Kapuso pa rin. At ang puso natin, nasa kanya rin. So we are lining up many things for Megan to do.” [We are very glad, proud and honoured that Miss World

Rasonable revealed some of Megan’s upcoming projects this year, “She will be co-hosting StarStruck with Dingdong Dantes, so that’s the first big project. And then there’s another one coming up. It’s a big primetime soap, but we’ll announce it when the time comes.”

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A' touch of royalty’

Part I

AURA Magazine Exclusive

Rebecca Helena Grant AURA Magazine is proud to feature an exclusive series on the Grant sisters...










ebecca is currently starring on award-winning TV series BBC’s Doctors as semi-regular Heather Irvine. Her most renowned role up to date was in BAFTA award winning series HOLBY City where she played Filipino Nurse Daisha Anderson for two years.

During this time she won best actress for an independent film called ‘David’, a British movie shot in the luscious location of Batangas in the Philippines. She has had a long flourishing career from the age of 19 when she was cast in Andrew Llyods Webber’s Bombay Dreams in London’s West End. She then went onto playing opposite Christian Slater in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as well as landing lead roles in classic and Shakespearean plays across the country receiving rave reviews for her sought after acting talents. She also starred in BBC’s gripping drama Prisoners Wives playing lawyer Shaheen Wazir as well as cast as Dr Stokes in UK’s leading soap Emmerdale. Her most recent work treading the boards was playing Princess Aouda in Jules Verne’s Around the world in 80 days written by House of Cards writer Laura Eason again receiving five star reviews up and down the country. Rebecca then was cast by Olivier award winning director Terry Johnson in Seminar in London which was previously on Broadway and written by NBC’s ‘Smash’ writer Teresa Rebeck. Hopping between Hollywood, UK and the Philippines it doesn’t stop there for Rebecca. She also finds great solace and discovery of the world around her as an artist. Rebecca was not only inspired by her sisters and growing up in a family of dancers, actors and musicians but also by her grandfather Raymond De Longueuil a renowned and prolific artist in the South of France. She launched her exhibition of ten years worth of work in theatre, film and tv called ‘An Actors Art’ sponsored by Andrew Lloyd Webber and hosted by The Philippine Embassy London. She now has her art studio in Norfolk and is producing work for three independent London galleries. She has won several art competitions including ‘The Prince Of Wales Young Artist Award’ where she met HRH Prince Charles and had her work exhibited at Hampton Court Palace.







rebeccagrant.actress rebeccagrantpierson Creative Artists Management (CAM) (UK) Representative:Peter Brooks Abrams Artists (USA) Representative: Marni Rosenzweig



Rebecca. H. Grant


Favourite Filipino Food

Chicken adobo of course!

My cousin Teresa Herrera. She helped me choose my wardrobe once. My fashion guru since a kid!

2. Favourite place in the Philippines


Ticao island, swimming with whale sharks, walking through mangroves and capturing fireflies at night. Not to mention avoiding the odd snake!



Most memorable time in the Philippines

Christmas when my Lolo and Lola would open their doors to all the children on the street and they would perform a few numbers and we would shower them with gifts and money. Best feeling in the world! 4.

Favourite Filipino Celebrity

What you love most about being half Filipina That question - so what is your background? Your most Filipino facial feature

My neckline. Well that’s near my face *Winks 7.

When you’re in the Philippines what amenity do you miss the most in the UK? Marmite and butter on toast! 8.

What must go in that luggage when packing for the Philippines?

Space - for all the gifts, shopping and A class fake Gucci bags for when I come back. 9.

Jeepney, tricycle or taxi?

Jeepney all the way baby with chickens on top and a dodgy gear stick please *Winks 10.

First must-thing to do once out of NAIA (Manila Airport) Eat jolibeeeee!





Janine Guiterrez Celebrity Profile




ach generation has that beautiful, smart and sophisticated girl that the guys want to be around and the girls want to emulate. Her beauty, charm and undeniable talent makes her the darling of the press, the favourite of directors, the muse of photographers and the preferred subject of editors. She is the “It” girl- the girl you cannot stop talking about, the girl of the moment, the girl on everyone’s lips. If one were to put all those descriptions together one name would stand out from the rest- Kapuso actress, host, model and celebrity endorser Janine Gutierrez. Being the daughter of famed actors Lotlot De Leon and Ramon Christopher may have catapulted Janine Gutierrez into showbiz but what happened next was through her own effort.




Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana



A new Princess arrives by Dee Chanelle


rince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, celebrated the arrival of their daughter and sister to Prince George- Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana on Saturday 2nd May 2015 at St. Mary’s Hospital. The princess was named after Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, the longest reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II (as well as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) and of course Prince William’s mother Diana to ensure his mother’s memory lives on in the next generation of the Royal family, making the princess a living tribute to the mother he lost when he was just 15 years of age. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana is the fourth in line to the throne.



AURA Feature

Charice Pempengco

Aura Exclusive Interview

by Dee Chanelle & Jessica Nock


nternational songstress Charice rose to popularity through YouTube. She was dubbed by talk show queen Oprah Winfrey as “the most talented girl in the world”. Charice released her first international studio album entitled “Charice” back in 2010. The album hit the Billboard charts at number eight making her the first Asian solo singer in history to achieve a Top 10 album in the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her collaboration with singer Iyaz entitled “Pyramid” is her most successful track to date charting in the Top 40 of numerous countries after its debut on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also created a major buzz when she joined the cast of the TV series “Glee” as Sunshine Corazon. Charice also signed on to become one of the four judges of the Philippine version of The X Factor in 2012 aired on ABS-CBN. Her change of image created a stir in the media but Charice’s undeniable talent maintained her popularity. Her apt performance of the song “Let it go” from Disney’s animation “Frozen” left her viewers breathless. She recently reunited with her former mentor David Foster on “Asia’s Got Talent” by performing her version of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” AURA Magazine is privileged to have an exclusive interview with Charice ahead of her forthcoming European visit in the summer.





Who is the person you have to thank most for becoming the person you are today, and why? I will always owe everything to the Lord, people might not hear me say it often, but in my heart, I owe everything to him. I believe he gave me all the challenges to become stronger, and to have the strength to show the world who I really am. You made your major television breakthrough when you were featured in the second season of Glee, please can you tell us about your experiences as part of such a popular series? It was magical; I never thought it would happen. I thought I was just going to audition and that would be it, because I thought I wasn’t good enough for the show. I’m thankful that they gave me a chance to sing and be with the cast members, everyone was nice to me. You bravely “came out” in an interview with Boy Abunda in 2013, what made you decide to take this monumental step and what was the beginning of this journey like for you? It has been a dream of mine to finally come out and set myself free, it wasn’t easy. The passion in my singing was never fake; it was only the way I looked before and how I dealt with people trying to control me, to be someone I’m not. I didn’t know how to explain that the “girl” they were admiring, wasn’t real outside. It was a huge sacrifice for me, because I knew a lot of people wouldn’t agree, but I just felt it. I just felt that it was the right moment; it was “now or never.” I had it in my heart and it told me to step up and do it. What has the support been like from your fans and how has it changed since you began your career up until now? I lost many, but I have new fans, it’s been a roller coaster ride. But I’m still blessed. Slowly, everything is changing. People are starting to get used to how I look and my sound, etc. That makes me happy. You were recently trending on Twitter after your impromptu cover of the Frozen hit, “Let It Go.” What did it feel like to get such an overwhelming response? I was shocked. I didn’t think it would be like that. We were just having fun and then the next day I just saw it online. It’s nice to know that a lot of people still look at the talent and not just the looks. Inspirational figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres have helped to launch your international career, through featuring you on their show and Oprah labelling you as the “Most talented girl in the world,” what message do you have for them? They have been my mentors since the beginning. I love them both with all my heart. I’m really blessed that they still remember me and guide me in the right direction; the connection is still there. I was scared that I was going to lose them when I came out, but I was wrong. They’re always there for me and I couldn’t ask for more.



“I will always owe everything to the Lord, people might not hear

me say it often, but in my heart, I owe everything to him.”



“Everything taught me

something, everything was an

adventure. I cannot wait for more.”



You have performed with an array of famous singers, which artist and performance particularly stood out for you? It will always be the performance with the wonderful, Celine Dion. Aside from being a great artist, she’s a very genuine person. It was surreal. What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far? There are many, I can’t choose one. Everything is memorable, good or bad. Everything taught me something, everything was an adventure. I cannot wait for more. What do you hope to achieve in the future? I want a different future for my future family and me. I know everyone else thinks maybe I want to be a superstar. Singing is my passion but the more I get older, the more I realise that I want something else. I want to live my life in the right way, not with paparazzi in my face, not with people hating or judging me without knowing me. I enjoy what I do today because it makes people happy and it makes me happy. I do my job today because I want something great for the future. My goal is to have a simple life with my partner and future family, to give them a great life and to be with the person I love for the rest of my life. How did it feel for your self-titled debut album Charice to go platinum in the Philippines in 2009? Filipinos are hard to please. So when you reach platinum in the Philippines, it’s a big achievement. I’m thankful for all of my fellow Filipinos who have been supporting me then and now. What type of music do you want to make in your forthcoming hits/ albums? I’m still experimenting with what I want with my new music. It won’t be easy especially knowing that if I release new music that people will always compare me with others. Right now, I’m currently listening to artists such as Sam Smith, Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake, a little bit of Jessie J and Ariana Grande. What artists would you most like to collaborate with? I’d like to collaborate with Sam Smith and Frank Ocean, they are both geniuses. Frank Ocean is a great songwriter and I’d love to have his creativity/ ideas when it comes to writing songs, since I’ve just started writing.





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he Queen of the UK transgender scene is Miss saHHara, whom was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK to escape the inhumane treatment she received by her fellow countrymen whilst growing up.

Contrary to her birth country, the UK embraced her as a person allowing her basic human rights and freedom to become who she is today. Miss saHHara has achieved many things during her life here in the United Kingdom, from walking for top fashion designers at London Fashion Week and gracing covers of magazines. She uses her social networking websites daily, to advocate for LGBT Rights and promote Trans visibility in a positive light. Miss saHHara maintains a close affinity to the Philippines, because in Manila she had the ability to achieve certain parts of her womanhood and attributes. Miss saHHara considers the Philippines to be her home away from home.



A Journey to Royal-T by Dee Chanelle As a beauty pageant queen, Miss saHHara excelled to become the first runner-up in the world-renowned trans beauty pageant “Miss International Queen” held in Thailand, hosting an array of beautiful international transsexuals from around the world. She also proceeded to become Eat Bulaga’s first ever “Super Sireyna Worldwide 2014” winner in Quezon City, which was aired on the GMA network. “Super Siryena” is the most watched Transgender Beauty Pageant on Philippines’ television since 1995, allowing Filipinos to flaunt their exceptional beauty, talent and wit. Miss saHHara won the grand cash prize of US$10,000.

religious and traditional society. It was hard for me to express myself or exhibit my personality because it was frowned upon and seen as immoral. Moving away from Nigeria to the United Kingdom was my redemption.

Ahead of the forthcoming UK Trans pageant “MISS DIAMOND QUEEN 2015” at The Diamond Masquerade Ball, on the 31st of May at The Clapham Grand in London, Miss saHHara has kindly taken some time out for AURA Magazine to answer a few questions:

A transgender person is someone who is assigned the wrong gender at birth, usually the physical attributes do not match the brain of the person, resulting in gender dysphoria. Therefore, they take medical and psychological steps to correct it.

1. You were born in Nigeria, what was your childhood like in your native country?

Not all transgender women or men have gender dysphoria. Some are comfortable with certain parts of their bodies and decide to keep them. Some also partially transition into the gender they feel most comfortable in, many others do not

My childhood was not conventional, I come from a deeply

2. There are various views about being a transgender. How would you describe a transgender person?





other popular Islands, but when I go back this summer, I will surely be doing that. 6. What is your favourite Filipino food? My favourite Filipino food is Sisig on a bed of white rice, the taste and flavour reminds me of Nigerian cuisines. 7. How does it feel to be Eat Bulaga’s “Super Sireyna Worldwide,”the first ever winner in 2014? It was a shock and indeed a huge honour. I go some days where I cannot believe the blessing bestowed on me by the beloved Filipinos. Maraming salamat po!

i sahhara have to transition to pass in the gender they live in. In my opinion, the definition of self-identification is relative, and should be left to each person to state, when they are ready.


3. Why is it important for you to be an advocate for the LGBT community? The media and society in recent years have been more open to understanding transgendered issues. I think now more than ever, it is a perfect time for more vocal transgendered people to speak out for our community, since we are a minority/voiceless section of our various societies. I will encourage many older trans people to speak out more for justice, hope and human rights. We have young trans children growing up without positive voices to listen to, or positive images of fellow trans people to look up to.

EVERY Saturday in Tower Hill London’s Unique Transgender Club Respect & Friends

4. You have a few friends from the Philippines, how would you describe Filipinos? Hahaha not a few, I have many Filipino friends back in the Philippines and here in the United Kingdom. They remind me of my childhood friends. They are receptive, dedicated, loyal and affectionate. 5. What is your favourite place in the Philippines? I will have to say Manila in general, I am yet to explore the

Hosted by Vicky Lee since 1993 /TheWayOutClub/ /groups/thewayoutclublondon/ AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III



That’s my pogi

by Dee Chanelle


arrived at the venue earlier than usual only to find that the Mazenod Hall in Kilburn was already at full capacity with the FIL MO (Filipino Lesbian Movement) members and its ‘supporters primarily from other Filipino community leaders. It was indeed an honour to be invited by its’ leader Vannz Bio to be one of the judges for this year’s “That’s my Pogi” event. “Pogi” in English is translated as “handsome”. The primary reason for this event was to raise charity funds for the less fortunate children back in the Philippines. I had no idea what to expect as this was the first time I had attended an event of this nature as it is the direct opposite of what I am typically accustomed to. This event showcased handsome Transgender FTM (Female to Males) and lesbians strutting their stuff in their Summer wear and Formal attire. I was particularly drawn and left smiling by their selfintroduction opening with lines such as “Miss- Camera ka ba? Kasi each time I see you , you make me smile” and “Missdroga ka ba? Kasi I think I’m addicted to you”.


In between the sections were raffle draws sold by each candidate for their chosen charity giving their supporters multiple chances of winning an array of prizes. There was also a talent section ranging from live vocals to street dance as well as the Lambada. To assist in the decision making, my co-judges were Paul Brentsen, Rommel C. Abellar, Esther Limotlimot, Annette Bringas, Welah Dela Vega Wheeler and the adjudicators were Joseph Parinas and Ric Patriarch. It is safe to say that entertainment on the night was in abundance and pleasantly hosted by the lovely Lyan Bizzei. Congratulations to the FIL MO Organisation for a charitable and successful event. Congratulations to all the following winners: Dhel Delos Santos- Mr Nice Guy Nic Arifin- Mr Congeniality Milo Diasanta- Mr Suave Mar AntonioAURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

Mr Popularity Mr Friendship Sam Junio 3rd Runner Up Mr Charismatic Rej Manila 2nd Runner Up Mr Hunk Ahmir Dela Cruz 1st Runner Up Best in Suit Mr Romantic Kate Diffuntorum “That’s My Pogi WINNER 2015” Mr Charming Best in Summer Look Mr Photogenic Mr Articulate King of the Crowd Best in Talent




Arts & Culture

Meet the “Art Man” – Filipino Artist Jerome Choco by Jennifer Bichara


erome “Art Man” Choco is a young and highly talented natural-born Filipino artist who hails from Angono, Rizal—“The Art Capital of the Philippines.” Jerome uses all mediums but his specialty is on realism, hyperrealism, and 3D art. With 95K followers on Facebook, he is someone to watch out for in the years to come. Discovery Series Art Man’s paintings intermittently depict stories embedded from his childhood dreams. In his dreams, the Art Man aims to obtain supernatural powers. Through his clever manipulation of folk aesthetic and material, Art Man’s provides his illusory characters with emblematic significance that transcends common discernment, offering new insights about their origins and relevance. His self-discovery series in his art reveals the dream of his artistic impression on longing for his truest calling. It can be a vision that we all need to look for things that is wrong and destructive in nature but in the end one flies away from trouble and learns from the experience.





Sparkling Claudette by Mrs. Punk Rock Cielito


akatayo na nga ako’t may dalang bulaklak nagustuhan n’yo ba ang aking simpleng gayak wala na akong nerbiyos at sigurado akong tiyak pagkatapos ng prusisyon ay matunog na palakpak

1980’s at taun-taon dito sa aming barangay ako’y sumasali dagdag tela sa aking umiiksing bonggang damit at tinatahi mahabang oras din ang ginugugol sa aking kolorete makapal ang kilay mapula ang pisngi mabuti’t di atsuete si nanay sa akin ay matiyagang nagpapaypay ang tagal naman kasi at talagang nakakangalay sa aming prusisyon ay maraming umaantabay silang mga humahanga’t usisero pati na rin ang tambay hayun si Hermana Mayor at pabalik-balik siya’y abalang-abala kung minsan ay tumatapik nakapila na ang lahat sa puwesto’y wala ng aalis makakapaghintay din ang baon naming nilagang mais nag-umpisa na ngang tumugtog ang banda nakakabingi nakakatulig salamat na rin pala kami ay bahagyang umuusad lumalakad na sa paligid-ligid ang mga tao’y may kandilang dala ito ang aming Flores de Mayo o Santacruzan isang kapistahang iniaalay sa


Mahal na Birhen ang Mayo ay kapistahan din ng mga bulaklak kami ang mga sagala sa huli ng parada ay ang Reyna Elena hawak ang krus siya ay aking magandang pinsan apelyido ay Cruzbagay na bagay at mukha siyang manikang Haponesa puting-puti parang anghel sa langit at nakangiting masaya hayan na nga at nagpaputok na sila ng lusis parang bagong taon naku ingat kayo sa kuwitis ang mga bata’y nasasabik katulad nina Atissa’t Iris sila’y humahanga sa iba’t-ibang kulay na binubuga ng lusis iikutin nga namin sa parada ang buong bayan ng Pateros magmula sa Starter hanggang San Joaquin ako’y kinakapos pakaway-kaway pangiti-ngiti’t mayroon din nangungurot pagsasabihan ka pang ineng bawal ang nakasimangot tatlong beses lang yata ako’y sumagala di na ako umulit kahit taun-taon sa akin ang Hermana Mayor ay nagungulit noon ito’y parang laro lamang at ako’y isang aktib na bulilit sa kasalukuyan ay sagala na rin ang matatandang makulit naranasan nga rin ng aking ina at hindi rin siya nagpahuli naging Reyna Elena ng Seniors at hindi siya nag-atubili palibhasa siya’y likas kasing aktres kagaya ni Susan Roces siya ay kumikinang parang ginto wow!ang daming glitters


Poetry by Romlynn Ramos




ike many other social networks, Instagram is often a bottomless ocean of unfunny memes, photos of whatever people are eating, and cats going about their catty lives to the amusement of humans. Occasionally though, an innovative and often unexpected use of the social media platform comes about, and Instagram’s community of poets are an example of that – they have turned the tides of that ocean by producing quality content that’s perfectly suited to the medium in which it is delivered. One notable figure of the poetry community is Romlynn Anne Ramos, a Brit-


ish-born Filipina whose poetry explores human experience throughout its peaks and troughs. Her concise, vivid poetry is typewritten onto scraps of paper, crumpled and worn before being uploaded and shared on Instagram, underlining the notion that these feelings and experiences exist in the real world, that those highs and lows beat upon our life’s experience like the striking of those type bars onto the paper stuck upon the platen, in stark defiance to the intangible, digital nature in which the poems are shared. Romlynn Anne Ramos has quickly attained a large, active fanbase on Insta-


gram, which has not gone unnoticed: the Californian publishing house, Underwater Mountains, has recently signed her and will be publishing her first collection of poetry, entitled For Me, For You, For Us which is available right now online (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository etc.) and also in-stores worldwide. We at Aura magazine are huge fans of her work, and so it pleases us to be able to publish a few pieces from the poet.

romlynnramos romlynnramos romlynnanneramos



Dreaming of a better life in the UK? by Malcolm Conlan


am deeply troubled by the massive increase in visa scams, which target Filipino citizens, by encouraging them to fly to the UK in the search of a better life.

Every month I receive countless messages on Facebook, from Filipinos asking me how they should apply to come to the UK. These people continuously ask me about the possibilities available to come to the UK, to gain employment as a waiter, bar staff, porter and other similar jobs. Let’s start by making it very clear, according the latest figures released in March by the Office of National Statistics, there are 1.86 million people unemployed in the UK at this time.

The reason why I believe that I need to address this important issue is because I understand that life is already hard enough for Filipinos, who try to support their family back home. This admirable feat is even harder when hard-working Filipinos lose their precious savings, by falling into the traps of these online visa scams. So how does the scam usually work? The easiest way to summarise my advice is to draw on an old saying, “if it seems to good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

I am hoping that common sense dictates that if we already have 1.8 million people who are looking for work over here, why would any UK employer look overseas to employ people in unskilled jobs?

The scam that I often come across the most uses a 7-prong approach.

Personally I believe that they should, however reality tells me that this would not make any financial sense. Employers would then have to pay for visas, flights, and recruitment costs. This is not feasible for our country, when we have so many citizens seeking employment here already.

1. People in search of work abroad would usually look online, so the scam is quite easy. Firstly the scammer creates a fake email address, they often just make up a name or find the name of someone who has deceased on the Internet. They will commonly register this with a Hotmail or Gmail email provider, and then they will search online for a photo of a British man to take up this false identity.



2. To make this “identity” more believable they create a fake Facebook account, add some friends, and post some other photos and events etc. The key to avoiding being a victim here is to look carefully at a persons profile before you accept them on Facebook. What you usually find is that they have very recently opened their account. Maybe they would have just a few friends, mostly other Filipino victims. If they mention they are working, do a search on Google for the employer, add their name in the search and browse further online. Often, the scams originate in Africa, every time I have spotted fakers profile pages; they have common friends from Nigeria or West Africa. 3. They post jobs on the common sites like Gumtree and recruitment websites like Total Jobs etc, giving their fake email address and a UK mobile number. This is usually a fake number, so do your homework and call it. If it doesn’t connect, you know it’s not a genuine job advert. 4. Read the advert carefully. There may be spelling mistakes or they may have used American English. Most computers around the world are set to American English, if the person posting the job is British, they would check this. Also look at postings for jobs requiring common skills, no employer in the UK would look to the Philippines in search of waiters, drivers, cleaners, as people with those skills

could already be found here. Maybe if they were searching for nurses, doctors or engineers yes, but they would not be searching on a job site with a Hotmail email account. 5. When they think they have hooked you, then begins the relentless campaign to extract as much money from you as they possibly can. How? First they send you an email asking for your CV and telling you about the job. Again, check for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, unrealistic promises and salaries. If you are not sure of the general salary levels for that job type, check online. 6. The next step is that they attempt to put you in touch with their recommended solicitors. You can usually find that they have searched online and come up with a massive legal firm. They then create a fake website using that name. Study the website, a key indicator to checking any site or company is to call them. If someone answers with “hello, who is this?” it is definitely a fake. 7. Finally, they send you a visa processing form and a request for a ‘processing fee’ usually around £800 GBP or $1,000. This is how they make the money. Then they ask you to send it, not to the solicitor’s office but to an address overseas, paid by Western Union. The general rule is that if you apply for any job in the UK and its legitimate, the employer would not expect you to pay any costs, IF COSTS ARE REQUIRED THEN IT IS A SCAM! Please be warned and pass this advice along to all your friends and relatives in the Philippines. Thank you so much to Aura magazine once again for allowing me to contribute to this important publication, serving the Filipino community in the United Kingdom. Maraming Salamat Po, until next time!







NBI Clearance Information Note: All applications for NBI clearance should be made in person. Fingerprinting Card Forms are available at the Philippine Embassy, Consular Section. A. Completed Fingerprint Card Form (Civilian Form for Filipino nationals and Alien Form for foreign nationals) B. In case the applicant is a married woman, she should write her name as follows: maiden surname (family or surname of father) first name or given name maternal surname (maiden surname of mother) the applicant’s husband’s last or family name and first name (space for this purpose is provided in the card) C. 2″ x 2″ photo taken within the last six (6) months on white background D. notarial fee of GBP18.00 After the Philippine Embassy has authenticated the NBI clearance, the applicant should send it to the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines. NBI’s Tel.No. is (632) 523 8231 to 38. The applicant should also enclose in International Check/Money Order the sum of USD4.00 or Php200.00 payable to the Director, National Bureau of Investigation. The certificate will be sent back to the applicant after it was processed. Upon receipt of clearance, the applicant should examine it for presence of embossed NBI DRY SEAL at its lower left portion. Without it, the clearance is not valid. Useful Information for the Embassy & Consulate Opening Hours: 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm *Monday through Friday, except Philippine and UK holidays

Telephone: (44) 20 7451 1780 Address: 6-11 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG Email: Fax: (44) 20 7930 9787 Emergency mobile in case of death/detention of national: (44) 78 0279 0695


Passports: (44) 20 7451 1819 Visas: (44) 20 7451 1814 Legalization, Authentication and Notarization: (44) 20 7451 1815 ATN Services: (44) 20 7451 1826 Labour/OWWA/OEC: (44) 20 7451 1833 Fax: (44) 20 7839 7345 SSS: (44) 20 8432 9864 Pag-IBIG: (44) 7718 163 222


Filipinos making waves in British politics


llr Cynthia Barker’s double victory as a Borough Councillor for Hertsmere Borough Council (Potters Bar), and as a Town Councillor for Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council is a very encouraging wake-up call to the Filipino community in the UK. It signals the fact that as British-Filipinos we are truly now empowered, and we could say we have truly arrived. We can now live here and/or in Europe without any restriction, either in employment or self-employment. Importantly, if we participate fully in the political process and social life of the United Kingdom, we can not only vote for whichever candidate we choose, but much more than this we can now stand for elective positions ourselves and win elections. Being a British-Filipino Councillor means giving visibility to the Filipino community, which in the late 1980s was referred to as a “hidden community” since all we did then was to work and keep to ourselves. Cllr Barker therefore already represents British-Filipinos just by being herself. I can see more political involvement from Filipinos in the UK in future elections. I started this process back in 1998 when I first ran for Westminster City Council, and I have since been a Parliamentary Candidate twice in 2005 and 2010 for the House of Commons, and once for the European Parliament in 2009. In all cases I was unsuccessful. A mixed Chinese-Filipino, Steven Cheung, also ran unsuccessfully for the European Parliament the same time as I did in 2009, and he has just been defeated as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the last Parliamentary election. After I last ran for Parliament, there were other Filipinos who went for town councils in 4 places. Three of them, Eva Macadangdang, her daughter Michelle Macadangdang, and Tony de Chavez, were unsuccessful. But one of them, Cllr Danny Favor, was successful and he has just been re-elected Conservative Town Councillor for East Grinstead Town Council. Michelle ran again on 7 May unsuccessfully for the second time as Conservative Councillor in Thurrock Council in Essex. The vital point about it, for now at least, is not that they were unsuccessful or successful. It is that British-Filipinos are participating in the political process, and even if they fail to clinch an elective position for now, they have shown that we have the capabilities to compete and win at this level. One day I hope that there will be many more Filipinos running for office, and I hope that by starting it all back in 1998, I have actually inspired others to do so.

by Gene Alcantara

It also allows us to appreciate the problems and issues of getting Filipinos to register to vote in UK elections and then to turn out to vote come election day. There is as yet much apathy in the community where earning money perhaps has higher priority than spending a few minutes to vote. But I live in hope that we will be able to address this as time goes on and Filipinos get politicised. The learnings of course equally apply to overseas voting for the 2016 Presidential elections in the Philippines. Families and friends of the British-Filipino candidates were involved in the campaigns, and a number did it as part of their trade union jobs. The main opposition party (Labour Party) even organised a meeting for interested Filipinos in the House of Commons, although this did not save them from defeat. Ms Barker is clearly new at being an elected Councillor, but she has been active in community matters, as outgoing President of the Rotary Club in her town, and Chair of Trustees of the Borehamwood Museum. So she is not exactly new to public service and dealing with the local community. Talking with her during the counting, I know she was nervous at having two Council roles at the same time, but she is up for the challenge, knowing that she carries not just the family’s pride, but the pride of the Filipino people and ultimately the Philippines. Besides new Councillors like her are being given briefings and training on doing their roles effectively. The test for Filipino activists and politicians in the future is to get one of our number (or more) as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons, which will give us a voice in national politics. This is really our main goal, because by being Councillors we can only be involved in local politics, whereas national politics means being involved in all aspects of British life, and even European and international affairs. But I am hoping that the type of excitement elicited from Cllr Barker’s double-victory at Borough and Town levels, as well as Cllr Favor’s re-election as Town Councillor, will in turn lead to more Filipinos in the UK and in Europe to register for and participate in Philippine elections in 2016 as overseas voters. I am confident that they will see that their votes do matter when it comes to the country we all come from, particularly when our growing number is enough to sway who the President and other senior officials of the homeland would be.





Partner: Crystal Dias

Dias Solicitors


stablished in 2008, Dias Solicitors are a niche practice based in the heart of London’s West End, located between Covent Garden and Holborn tube stations. The firm offers services to the general public and to corporate clients.

Crystal Dias qualified in 2003 and has specialised in Immigration, Family and Property Law. She is adept at helping clients in Spouse applications, especially in relation to restrictive income requirements. She also specialises in Divorce Law where one spouse may not be in the UK.

Dias Solicitors specialise in high quality Immigration Law, Family Law and Corporate Law services. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience in these key areas and can offer solutions to complex cases.

She is fluent in Tagalog and has received Certificates and Awards from the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Centre for her work within the Filipino community in the UK.

The Partners are Christopher Dias and Crystal Dias who both attained Bachelor of Laws with Honours at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London and finished their Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Store Street London. Christopher Dias qualified in 2001 and has specialised in Immigration Law and Corporate Law. He concentrates on Sponsor Registration under Tier 2, all Points based system cases, European Migration, Administrative Reviews, Appeals against Removal and Curtailment of visa and Judicial Review.




Garden Studios 71-75 Shelton Street Covent Garden London WC2H 9JQ 0207 8668110

Services: • Divorce from UK to PH • Points Based System • Tier 1 - entrepreneur • Tier 2 - work permit • Appeals against refusal • Family Entry Clearance • Spouse visas • British Nationality • Article 8 / Human Rights • Corporate work


At Dias Solicitors your case will be handled by a fully qualified solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Partner, Crystal Dias is a Tagalog speaker and specialist in Family Migration and Divorce law. Crystal is a Sponsor of Aura Magazine and is joining as a family law Columnist.

Dias Solicitors, Garden Studios, 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London. WC2H 9JQ.

• telephone: 020 7866 8110 • email: • twitter: @diassolicitors • facebook:







in the


by: Beverley Magtibay

My volunteer experience...


The “VSO Cabiao” Tea


simply had to go —

That statement pretty much explains how I ended up spending 3 months of my post-graduation summer in the Philippines with a bunch of strangers – a mix of Filipino and British volunteers - working on a project that none of us were experts in. Thanks to an email I got from VSO-ICS, I was able to take part in this volunteer program that has, with no doubt, changed my life.

Left to Right:


Kirsty, Kim, Lizzie, Katie, Emma, Ollie, H., Jack C., Liam, ck Ja ]: row ck [ba e, Remar Me Steven, Sofia, Zo hael, Dan, Pauline, Gemma, Reeda, Mic [front row]: Nhecy,

Funded by the UK Department for International Development, VSO-ICS provides anyone aged 18-25


a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to volunteer abroad. Their mission is to eradicate poverty not through financial donations, but through youth volunteerism— allowing volunteers to have a physical contribution to many genuine development projects.

has only 2 employees assigned to such an important department, one of which has 6 other departments to run, they were in desperate need of manpower. They needed us to help create a plan which will help the town be more

Now I’d be lying if I told you that the free travel, which came with the job, didn’t excite me at all. Of course, it did. Places like South America, Africa, and different parts of Asia could finally be my next destination! So initially, I was hesitant to go to the Philippines. Plus if you’re a young British-Filipino, you’ll understand what I mean when I say Filipinos [who live in the Philippines] love foreigners. They get excited. I guess it’s in our nature to be hospitable, too. So I was scared. I felt like I wouldn’t be fully welcomed by the people (my co-volunteers, my host family, the community...) who were probably expecting a foreigner to come knocking on their door… then actually a little Filipino girl appears. This was all happening just after Typhoon Haiyan hit the country in early-November 2013. At that point, I had to stop thinking about all the “ifs” and “buts” and I said to myself— I have to go. Philippines is a country prone to natural disasters. This particular community, where I was assigned to, is located in a low-lying area. The place then acts as a catch basin for floodwater from its surroundings. As a town that

prepared and inform them of effective strategies should the worst case scenario of flooding happens. As September approached last year, I packed my bags and soldiered back to my homeland. It was strange at first as I felt this unfamiliar feeling in such a familiar place. It was weird that I was back ‘home’, but this time I was en route to a town I’ve never even heard of called Cabiao, which at first for several times I pronounced “ka-ba-yo” [meaning horse] until I was embarrassingly corrected by an aunt.

helped us find out the community’s existing strategies to typhoons and flooding. We also facilitated workshops, which allowed us to work together with the Kabyawenyos [residents of Cabiao] to develop a bottom-up approach that empowers and utilises their knowledge of the area.

With help from the local barangay [meaning village] officials, we squeezed into a tricycle in pairs every morning, which proved to be a popular entertainment for many, and embarked on a door-to-door quest conducting baseline surveys. This

When weren’t in the office, we were organising different community activities to raise awareness of our projects. Just a week in after arriving in the community, we hosted our first workshop about Climate Change in front of a screaming crowd of 300 very much excited high school stu-




reasons WHY You should volunteer, too!

1. Get out of your comfort zone: Experience a different culture with people you don’t know - half of which is of a different national - doing a project you are no expert in, in a place you’ve never been before. Challenge yourself and find out your own capacity.

2. Great experience: It’s a great big world out there. Explore and see things for yourself. And you would have a very long yet fulfilling story to keep for memories and share to others.

3. Good for CV: It’s definitely a conversation starter for future employers. It shows commitment, sincerity and passion.

dents. Through interactive games, a couple of charades and the natural charms of our male British volunteers, we were able to recruit local volunteers to help the team and our community projects went viral on social media. Our second community activity, the ‘Survival Challenge Event’, was an afternoon where the local youth participated in different sessions such as learning how to make their own DIY life jacket in the comfort of their own home with just a couple of plastic bottles and a rice sack. We also invited Kabyawenyos to run for Cabiao through our ‘Superhero Fun Run’. As a result, we raised funds for Cabiao’s future disaster-related projects and finished the event off with a great zumba session. Our finale event was the ‘Disaster Dance Off & Dance Party’ where local youth dance crews were able to show off their moves in a friendly competition inspired by the theme of ‘disaster’.

Amazingly through it all, we managed to produce a community-based 5year Disaster Risk Reduction & Management plan for the whole town of 72,000 people.

4. Help others: There’s no doubt that giving your time and energy for others will definitely help them.

5. Help yourself: But people overlook the fact that having this experience will help you realise things about yourself, others and the world. It will give you a new perspective in life. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true.

6. Meet new people: I’ve always believed that meeting different people from different backgrounds is always a plus to your personal development. It opens your mind to new things and opinions.

7. Inspire: your family, friends and even strangers by physically doing something

8. Well, why not? :)



made me feel nervous. I liked doing things myself and having complete control of things. But through this program, I realised that to be a great leader you need to trust your own crew, empower them and identify their key strengths to produce an effective output.

What we went through as a team and what I went through as a person are definitely worth more than this paper copy.

For the next 5 years, this plan will serve as a guide on how to achieve sustainable development. It outlines the activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of the local government unit, to build a disaster resilient Cabiao and to institutionalise arrangements and measures for reducing disaster risks, and enhancing disaster preparedness and response capabilities at all levels. But this plan simply could not represent our entire experience.

With VSO, I got to meet the kindest and most welcoming community on earth! However, what struck me the most was how the program exposed me to work with different kinds of people in different situations and asked me to independently make sense of it all. It was like being thrown into the deep end. I feel like those 3 months I spent with total strangers are the months where I have learnt the most about myself, about people and about life in general. So through this unforgettable voluntary work, I will truly cherish this lesson forever. I’ve always known that leadership wasn’t one of my key strengths. Not that I’d describe myself as a ‘sheep’ and not at all a ‘goat’, but leading a group of people always

After all, I can’t do everything. I learned that long-lasting changecan only be achieved through initiative and collaboration with people who have the same vision towards the same goal. I thought VSO would be easy. I thought that because I can speak Filipino, know the culture and already love the food, I wouldn’t be exposed to anything new. But I couldn’t have been any more wrong. Being both Filipino and British meant that I was able to understand and relate to both cultures. Although I remember when one of my teammates asked me “So are you more Filipino or British?”

Filipinos are known to be very family oriented whilst Brits are known to be independent workers. So at first, I didn’t know how to respond. It was challenging especially because we were thrown in a small town to work on a real life project. Working cross-culturally and adjusting to 20 different personalities definitely had its own dramas and complications. AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III


And we learnt this the hard way. There were a few times when we struggled to make decisions as a whole team, for example. Just imagine trying to accommodate everyone’s ideas and opinions whilst adapting to each other’s working styles to finish different projects within a tight deadline. But in the end, these differences opened our eyes to new perspectives and we learned new ways of doing things.

Again, none of us were experts. We were simply facilitating Kabyawenyos to work together. They were the experts. We listened then we acted. I remember when my program supervisor once told me “Always have an Exit plan”. In order to truly help someone, you have to think of an exit strategy; help them where they don’t depend on you. Because once you’re gone, you want to make sure that they are able to help themselves independently– “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”. The program ended 5 months ago and we are now all back to our ‘normal’ lives. There will soon be a time when we will all

have to pause to remember each other’s names. As of now, the second cycle of volunteers has just finished their project in Cabiao on the theme of Solid Waste Management and the third soon to come. The moments we shared as the ‘VSO Cabiao’ team are now just memories captured on Instagram photos and Facebook posts. But what VSO has imparted to me will last forever. It has helped me realise that my happiness and passion lie within development work. It has inspired me to live a life with purpose. As an Architecture graduate, VSO was my first step to discovering a possible career that will contribute physical change to the developing world one step at a time. Now I wasn’t trying to “save the world” nor was I “trying to be a hero”. I simply had to go and do my part…

Support future VSO projects in Cabiao by liking: “VSO Cabiao”


For more info about how you can be a volunteer, visit: & __mgtbae

DRRM Presenting the 5-year



plan to the Mayor of Ca

Beverley is a British-Filipina architecture graduate based in London. When she’s not busy on the drawing board, she enjoys travelling, keeping fit (who also enjoys cake decorating), and diving into new things from time to time. She is also a member of the publications team for Aura Magazine!


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The Most Stunning Tourist Attractions in the World by wanderer

Whitehaven beach, Australia


ust like any other splendid vacation havens, the Whitehaven Beach in Australia has crystal clear waters with pristine silica sand. Geographically, the . gyrating beach stretches about seven kilometres along the Whitsunday Island. Significantly, this is the biggest island of Whitsunday. Overall, this one-of-a-kind tourist getaway has perfectly embodied Mother Nature to its highest level. Therefore, it beautifully provides each and every tourist the most ideal place for relaxation and enjoyment.

Since its most remarkable discovery, it has been known as the “Most Photographed Beach” in the “Land Down Under”. Likewise, this charismatic aqua-pura was once named as “The Best Resort of the Pacific of 2015” by the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Awards. Captivatingly, there’s a majestic cove at the northern tip of this quintessential beach resort. This is where the tide gently shifts the snow-white sand; alongside its reverberating waters, which beautifully reveals a fascinating combination of different colours.



Fairy Pools Top Skye, Scotland At Fairy Pools, there are radiantly coloured pools, which is beautifully surrounded by another exhilarating waterfall. Meanwhile, it is worth exploring the tourist sanctuary after a mild rain shower on its dry land. This is simply because, its water levels will be at its finest; while it’s so called mean cover will not be able to reflect or absorb much light. This is such wonderful place to be when wanting to enjoy a serene and picturesque landscape during a much anticipated holiday break.


ackpackers the world over will surely have the time of their lives, once they have visited the Fairy Pools Top Skype, Scotland. This is conveniently located at the southeast portion of the famous Glenn Brittle. Mysteriously, nobody knows the reason behind as to why it is alluded to as “Fairy Pools”. At a glance, this invigorating place is just a part of a streaming body of water from the mightiness of the Cuillin Mountains.



Glass Igloo Village Hotel, Finland


his is popularly called the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, which is situated above the splendid magnificence of the Arctic Circle, in the Northeastern nook of the Finnish Lapland. This luxurious getaway provides the most unforgettable experience; the hotel is a truly unique residence, which can be described as a secretly concealed log cabin in its entirety. One of its best features is the snow-glazed igloo made of glass. Imagine just how special this hotel looks during the winter. Most of its expensive structures, which are just adjacent the log cabin village are innovatively crafted in snow. Some of these are as follows: the Ice Gallery, the immortal Ice Chapel and the biggest Snow Restaurant in the World to name a few. In addition, most of the world-renowned sculptors go to Finland each year to participate in a star-studded event known as the International Ice Sculpting Week. Among the best creations of each proud participant are proudly showcased at the Ice Gallery and Arctic Resort until wintertime is finally over. During your stay, you can freely indulge yourselves in an extraordinary winter safari by the


friendliest reindeer in town or a hi-tech snow mobile. Thus, if you are seeking for a more thrilling kind of adventure why don’t you try a snow or ice rally? Accommodation wise, the awesome snow and glass igloos both have adequate temperatures from -3 to-6 degrees Celsius. Consequently, each occupant will never shiver from cold at all. Most importantly, this will prevent the hotel’s windows from getting covered with ice. To date, sleeping in an ice igloo is really a must try. Why? It has a deafening silence and its calming lights that are ornamented with ice, can evenly illuminate the whole igloo. On the other hand, the dazzling glass igloo is especially made from an expensive thermo-glass. As a result, its temperature remains to be normal any time of the year. Inside each igloo contains a fully furnished toilet and a comfy bed respectively. The glass-made igloo can easily accommodate two persons whilst the snow igloo can occupy 3 to 5 persons. These tourist attractions truly exude the endless brilliance and artistry of those gifted artisans who always think beyond their wildest imaginations without reservations. AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

w w w. O U R V I S I O N E N T . c o m “Our Vision Entertainment provides competent and unobtrusive photography and video production for events. We cater our packages to meet your needs and offer the following services: Photo Studio Event Coverage Wedding Packages Debut Packages Photography Videography Our clients appreciate our vision, passion for photography and film making, dedication to our customers and attention to detail. Both cinematography and photography of Our Vision Entertainment share the same vision, style and approach. We would be thrilled to be part of your big day and make it even more memorable !”

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Crystal Travel part of the Moresand Group, one of the pioneer travel agent servicing the Pilipino community for travel and tour operating, specialising in flights and holidays to the Philippines for over 28 years Crystal Travel has been in operation since 1987 and has a proven track record, with a number of awards from all major airlines flying to the Philippines for sales performance. The company has built strong relationships with Philippine Airlines, Cathy Pacific, Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Oman Airlines, Gulf Air, Asiana, Royal Brunei, Air China, China Southern, Malaysia Airlines, Thai, Korean Air, Saudia, Turkish Airlines and all other major airlines, destination management companies and hotel groups as well as a loyal client base, with a particularly strong following in the Pilipino community in the UK. Crystal Travel has developed a reputation with its rystal and Travelpartners is part of the Group, oneservice, of the pioneer travel agents servicing the Filipino customers forMoresand its outstanding reliability, professionalism and community depth of for travel and tour operating, specialising in flights and holidays to the Philippines for over 28 years.Crystal Travel has expertise.

Award winning travel agency


been in operation since 1987 and has a proven track record, with a number of awards from all major airlines flying the Philippines forlaunched sales performance. company has built strong relationships with Philippine Airlines, Cathay CrystaltoTravel has now a newThe web site dedicated to the community Mabuhay Travel Pacific, Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, KLM, Oman Airlines, Gulf Air, Asiana, Royal Brunei, Air China, China Southern, Malaysia Aircalls are answered in the 3 UK offices London W1, SW5 & E12 and 2 call centres, one in Colomlines, Thai, Korean Air, Saudia, Turkish Airlines and all other major airlines as well as destination management companies and bo and thewith other in client Delhi, which over 300following staff dealing with flights andinhotels Philiphotel groups a loyal base and aboasts particularly strong in the Filipino community the UK.inCrystal Travel pines and all over the world. In addition, online bookings can now be made at www.mabuhas developed a reputation with its customers and partners for its outstanding service, reliability, professionalism and depth and with call centre support open 24/7, 365 days of expertise.

the year.

Crystal Travel has now launched a new website dedicated to the Filipino community, namely, Mabuhay Travel. Calls are answered 3 UK offices Ltd in London W1, SW5 E12London and 2 callStock centres,Exchange one in Colombo and of the1000 other Companies in Delhi which boasts In 2013inMoresand was listed in&the Group to over 300 staff dealing with flights and hotels in the Philippines and all over the world. In addition, online bookings can now inspire Britain and in 2014 it was ranked in Investec's Mid-Market 100 list of fastest growing be made at and with a call centre support open 24/7, 365 days of the year.

companies and are ‘Google Partner’ accolade. For over 28 years the Moresand Group has

value for travelStock and Exchange hotel accommodation acrosstothe globe. Inoffered 2013, Moresand Ltd money was listedairline in the London Group of 1000 Companies inspire Britain and in 2014 it was ranked in Investec’s Mid-Market 100 list of fastest growing companies and recently won the prestigious ‘Google Partner’ accolade. Moresand is also an Advantage Partner. over 28 yearsthe theMoresand Moresand Group has offered value for airline With over 350 experienced travel staffFor worldwide, Group continues to money provide travel and hotel accommodation across the globe. the very best in personal and corporate travel. All travel bookings are fully secure under the Moresand Group's CAA ATOL licence 3517. The Moresand Group is ranked number 43 of the

With over 350 experienced travel staff worldwide, the Moresand Group continues to provide the very best in personal and corlargest UKAllATOL holders, sales under of over 75,000 Group’s seats and a turnover in The 2014 of £129 porate travel. travel bookings arewith fully secured the Moresand CAA ATOL licence 3517. Moresand Group million. Moresand is also an Advantage Partner offering value for money services. is ranked number 43 of the largest UK ATOL holders, with sales of over 75,000 seats and a turnover of £129 million in 2014.



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Food & Beverage

Puto Pao Recipe by A4J Catering


uto Pao is a cross between 2 much loved snacks in the Philippines, Puto and Siopao. With the soft and fluffy outer of the Puto mixed with the sweet and tangy Asado filling this will surely be a favourite in your household as it is with mine. Don’t be fooled by the size as it is rather filling. PUTO PAO RECIPE For the Puto – 3 Cups All Purpose Flour 1 cup of White Sugar 3 large eggs 3 table spoon Baking Powder 3 cups of Fresh full fat Milk ½ cup of melted butter Asado Filling – 1/2 kg of Ground Lean Pork 1 piece Laurel leaf 1 piece Star Anise 1/2 cup of soy sauce 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup White sugar 1tsp Cornstarch (mixed with 1 tbsp of water) 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 1 medium Onion finely chopped 1 tbsp vegetable oil



Asado Preheat the pan or a skillet over low heat add the vegetable oil. Once the pan and oil is hot enough, add the finely chopped onion. Mix well. Continue mixing until the onion has turned sweated a bit, add the garlic. After a minute and the garlic has turned slightly golden add the minced pork and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients. So the meat won’t become crispy, don’t sauté or braise it. Cook it only in water and soy sauce. Let the meat absorb all the liquid until it dries out. Remove from heat and let aside to cool down.

PUTO Get all the dry ingredients and mix them in a bowl. Add the eggs and mix. Slowly add the milk until you have a smooth consistency. Then add the melted butter (you could also use cooking oil as an alternative). You will know when the mix is ready for steaming when there are no lumps left. Afterwards, get the ounce-size moulds. Pour in the mixture until each mould is three fourths full. Then put one teaspoon of the Asado on top. If you want to make it a filling, then fill the mould a quarter full and put one teaspoon of Asado. Then pour in the mixture until it’s almost full. Arrange the moulds in the steamer, which should contain enough water. Steam for 30 minutes in boiling temperature. Remove from the steamer and let it cool. Serve and enjoy.



Pinoy foods in E17


eep in the bustling London suburb of Walthamstow, Orientex Supermarket caters to the entire area’s Filipino and other East Asian cuisine cravings. Opened in late 2003 by Filipinos Romeo and Lourdelyn Ramos, the same entrepreneurial husband and wife duo behind Milagrosa Foods and Grains, Orientex Supermarket quickly became a regular stop in the itineraries of many locals during their weekly grocery shopping. Customers even travel from areas outside London in order to stock up on the vast range of food products that the store offers. Shelves are stacked full of goodies, from sweet treats such as Stik-O (in all its various flavours), ube cake, and hopia, essentials like pancit canton, instant noodles, and Milagrosa Jasmine rice. A comprehensive range of products from large brands such as Mama Sita, Mother’s Best, and Regent’s are also available. The sheer range and depth of produce available at Orientex Supermarket means that it attracts customers from all walks of life – from the homesick worker who finds comfort in familiar tastes, those who want to rekindle memories from a past holiday in the Philippines, or simply the culinary curious, the ones with those adventurous taste buds who want to take on the suggestions made by the many Western food journalists who are tipping Filipino food to be the next big cuisine trend to come out of the East. It is conveniently located on Walthamstow High Street with many transport links (the Victoria Line terminates at Walthamstow Central while also acting as a hub for bus lines all over London) and near other shops, restaurants, and a cinema. Orientext Supermarket is a store that should be on everyone’s list when they want to experience some authentic Eastern food produce.







Telling the Stories of the Filipino Diasporas in Europe photos by Joseph Rosales


uan EU Konek is TFC Europe’s first foray into longform magazine format. The program delves deeper into the lives of Europe-based Filipinos and explores their rich and varied stories in a 45-minute program, ........hosted by seasoned journalists Danny Buenafe, Rose Eclarinal and immigration consultant Gene Alcantara. This June, as the monthly TFC series celebrates its one year anniversary, its esteemed hosts talked to Aura Magazine. What inspired you to join the JEK team and do stories about the Filipinos in Europe? Danny: I was inspired to join JEK cos this is a trailblazer in terms of dissecting the lives of Filipinos in EU. It’s going beyond the news as we tell their story, their success and failures.


Rose: I actually mounted the show with two of the best people to back me up. I was with ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Department before I came here to study and I was already producing news magazine shows. I trained as a producer with some of the best people in the industry. When I finished my masters degree and rejoined ABS-CBN via TFC, I always had the longing to do lengthy features and narratives that will tell the stories of Filipinos in Europe. I approached Gene first and asked for his support. He agreed right away and I discussed the concept with DKB (Danny K. Buenafe), who heads the news bureau. Then we went to Manila and presented the project. That’s how JEK started. Gene: I wanted to tell the stories of Filipinos in Europe more comprehensively, and only Juan EU Konek allows us to do that. AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

What stories do you do for your segment on JEK?

with the housing crisis in London.

Danny: I handle the main story segment, which means the major issues that confront our OFWs in Europe.

Rose: When I did the interview with Doreen Mooney - the first Filipina to be given an MBE by the Queen. I did not expect that I will be talking to a woman brimming with positive energy despite being terminally ill. She was supposed to be the face of death because her days were numbered. But instead, I talked to an angel, who was full of life. Five days after our interview in February, she died of breast cancer.

Rose: I provide the balance between the more serious, introspective first segment - which Danny presents - and the informative immigration segment, which Gene presents. My segment focuses on proud Pinoy stories, successful achievement of Filipinos in various fields: the arts, business, fashion, music, academe. I present the inspiring and heart-warming stories of our kababayans. Gene: Immigration/migration related stories.

Gene: That any story we produce means not just looking at the positives but the negatives, and then producing a balanced documentary. That there are real people with real emotions and experiences behind every nuance of a story.

Celebrating one year as journalists and presenters of the show - what life lessons have you learned as part of this magazine program?

Where do you want to take on the show in the coming years?

Danny: As we celebrate our 1st anniversary, the learnings never stop. We learn how Filipinos can be so flexible in handling difficult situations from homesickness, to multi-tasking jobs to survive and support their relatives back home.

Danny: Our ultimate plan is to expand the program to also include Filipinos in the Middle East and hopefully other territories as well. Each of them have good stories to share as they adapt to various social issues and cultural diversities in the host country they work.

Rose: Everyone has a story to tell. We just have to listen and do our interviewees justice by telling their stories well. Early on, I already realized that we are in a privileged position of witnessing history. We are part of important national or global events, big or small, as documentarians. We witness events unfold before our eyes. We discover secrets, feel the raw emotions of our interviewees. We are welcomed in homes, we hear confidences and we get to hobnob with celebrities, the rich and the famous, which is a perk. With JEK, I am reminded again that I have to do my job to the best of my ability. I have the platform that I wanted so I have to use it well.

Rose: We are just starting. So there are so many more stories to be told, places to visit. Filipinos are scattered all over Europe. I want to go to those places where the voice of Filipinos are not yet heard and their inspiring stories are not yet heard. I want JEK to be the program of reference for Europe’s important events and stories for Filipinos.

Gene: That the stories of overseas Filipinos in this part of the world need to be told and seen/heard by Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world. We are all too busy with our daily lives, but above all that we are now a major force economically - through our remittances and investments and politically - through overseas voting - both in Europe and the home country.

JEK is the first magazine program of its kind about Filipinos in Europe - what did you achieve in a short period of time in terms of hitting the aim, vision of the program?

Gene: The show needs to be self-financing to sustain it and fund better and better documentaries. It needs to delve deeper into what European Filipinos are now and where they are headed, particularly in those countries without any diplomatic representation.

Any memorable account you want to share with us about any of the stories you made for JEK?

Danny: I think we have achieved a great measure of success. First, we got the MAM - Migration Advocacy Media Awards - a glaring manifestation that our work is appreciated by the very people we serve. People tell us our segments have inspired them to do better, elicited great knowledge on rules that govern Filipinos in EU.

Danny: For now, my story on Filipinos keeping their faith. I was struck by a comment from a Filipino pastor, who said that many OFWs turn to God and church as their inner strength. It’s divine guidance that will keep them on the righteous track. I also like my segment on Filipinos coping

Rose: We already won an award. Doesn’t that say a lot about what we have achieved in a short period of time? But the recognition does not belong to us. It belongs to all those who shared their stories with us. The vision of the program is to have a platform for the stories of the Filipino diasporas



in Europe. As long as we are airing, we are hitting our aim. Gene: There is no doubt that we are achieving the aims and objectives of JEK, as told to us by viewers, whether positive or not. Because we make them think, we entertain them, we give them information. Recognition of its success and importance comes in the form of the Migration and Media Awards 2014 for Best TV Show. What inspires you to do the stories that you do for the program? Danny: When we brainstorm for possible topics, I carefully evaluate the most relevant issue that has more impact on the OFW himself, and the viewers. Stories na may “kurot sa puso” and how one can overcome it, while others just cant seem to move on from it. I choose the story that is more


compelling - that will make your viewer sit down and listen to your story. Rose: I am happy that my segment delivers the ‘feel-good’ stories. I am inspired by the success stories of our kababayans, who excel in various fields. I’m also inspired by my daughter, Julia, whom I want to raise embracing the Filipino culture. I want her to become proud of her mother’s roots. I am hoping that when she is much older and gets to watch the show, she will see good role models. Gene: I have always been documenting the stories of our kababayans either through articles, essays and poetry. JEK gave me a different, more flavourful medium which allows me to show emotions or scenarios not as easy to do in print. Who are your professional role models? AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

Danny: I like news personalities who cover the war-torn countries like Christiane Amanpour and Nic Robertson. Despite the dangers and media restrictions, they are so effective in getting stories of those caught in the crossfire, their agony so moving!

research but also guesswork in terms of what might have happened to them.

Rose: I have a lot - some of them I have worked with already. Some were my former and current colleagues, mentors, and boss. In the UK: Kate Adie, Nick Robinson.

Danny: For those fledgling journalists who want to make a difference, I just keep it plain and simple. Be accurate and be fair. But if you are with ABS-CBN, always be the first to report it without compromising the other two components.

Gene: There are so many excellent role models around. Most of them are simply journalists who record what goes on in the world. Some of the best World War II documentaries are inspiring. I also like nature documentarists such as David Attenborough. What is your dream interview/ story for JEK?

What advice would you give those who may want to follow in your footsteps and do what you do on TV?

Rose: If TV reporting/ producing is what your heart desires, it will take you there. This job is not for the faint-hearted. You have to be innately curious. Always be ready to smell the atmosphere around you and feel the vibrations of emotion. Study. Train with the best people in the industry. Persevere and be ready to work long hours.

Rose: I cannot reveal too much because I might be outscooped.

Gene: If you have the urge, do not hesitate to get involved. Talk to the JEK producers if you have story ideas you want to pursue. Study the medium. Learn through practice where possible. You never know where the next big story and the next big storyteller might come from.

Gene: I still have a lot to do to dig through the history of Filipinos in the UK, particularly those from Liverpool of the1800s and to trace where they are now. After this I would like to do a piece on the Polish children of Pinoy seafarers from the 1970s. These are stories that require a lot of

Juan EU Konek airs every first SUNDAY of the month at: 8:35pm London, 9.35pm Rome, 11:35pm Saudi - replay the following day at 4:05am Rome, 3:05am UK and 6:30am Saudi. It also airs the following Saturday on ABS-CBN News Channel, 11pm (Manila).

Danny: No-one in particular. Probably I will just know when it’s there and done.




A Royal Pianist by Jessica Nock


ason Anderson is a highly skilled classical musician who was born in the Philippines and moved to the UK at age five. At the respectable age of only 17 Anderson won the ‘BBC Guardian Young Composer’ of the year in 2004, and he has had the honor of performing before the HRH Prince of Wales in Buckingham Palace and the Philippine President. Impressively after graduating with a Masters degree in Composition at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Anderson has since had his compositions performed by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of the BBC Total Emersion Weekend, which was recorded for BBC Radio 3. Since 2012 he has toured extensively on the Queen Mary II as a pianist alongside cellist Philip Handy. More recently Miss Saigon held a mesmerizing special concert with both the past and present cast, of which Anderson was one of the musical directors. An extremely talented and inspiring individual, Anderson has answered some of our questions here at AURA Magazine


1. What inspired you to become a classical musician and what is your specialty? Firstly and foremost I have been very fortunate and blessed to have the support from my family and friends, colleagues and teachers, and people I’ve met from all walks of life, that have inspired me to pursue music as a lifestyle and career choice. Although I’m a classically trained pianist and composer, I’ve always been involved in all sorts of genres of music, whether it be in pop, jazz, folk, theatre right through to avant-garde classical, hip hop, gospel… music is a universal language, which transcends cultural and emotional barriers, and it is wonderful to be able to share that with people. 2. How did you get involved in music and how have these experiences molded you into the pianist you have become? Right from an early age my family have been incredibly supportive in getting me involved with music; my father was a keen amateur musician, in fact he bought me my AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

first keyboard (actually it was originally a present for himself, but it quickly became apparent that I was practicing on it far more than he was!), when I was much younger I was encouraged to perform whenever and whenever possible (mainly at school assemblies, friends and family parties, music festivals, competitions, hotel lobbies, euro Disney… I was remarkably innocent and naive back then!) However the journey from where I started to where I am now has been a long windy road. I attended a specialist music boarding school from 11 – 18, which effectively ‘toughened me up’ as the competition there is incredibly fierce, and the level of ability is second to none. There I was immersed with music making on a daily basis, whether it was practicing, performing concerts, accompanying or recording. At this point I also started to write my own compositions, which opened me up to an entirely new perspective on music. Through the understanding and studying of composition, I was fascinated by the way it unraveled and decoded music, which in effect helped me to interpret piano pieces

in my own way. I continued this exploration and study of composition at music conservatoire for my undergraduate and postgraduate degree, but still maintaining an active pianist lifestyle through teaching piano, accompanying choirs and ballet classes, performing concerts as a soloist or chamber music ensembles, performing in a jazz trio and big band ensemble, recording keyboard tracks for film

scores… all these various experiences are essential for having a career as a pianist. 3. You have already had a fruitful career at the age of 29, what are your greatest accomplishments? I feel incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to perform for HRH The Prince of Wales at, and for President Ramos, and to do concerts in some of the most beautiful concert halls in England. When I was younger I was thrilled to have won BBC Proms Young Guardian composer, and have since had compositions performed at numerous London venues (the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank centre, Wigmore Hall). For the past 2 years I have had the opportunity to travel round the world and give exciting classical music concerts on the Cunard Queen Mary II ship, with duo partner Philip Daish Handy on cello. 4. What formal training have you had in music? I studied at the Purcell School of Music, Junior Department of the Royal College of Music before completing my formal training as an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music in composition and piano, and postgraduate and Junior Fellowship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 5. Do you compose your own music and what is the process for you create such works? It depends on the medium and resources available; if it’s



classical concert music, the compositional process involves jotting down new ideas (or revisiting old ones), drafting an overall shape to the piece I’m writing by visualizing the overall performance, drafting out the first of many drafts of the complete piece, before editing it until I feel relatively satisfied for it to have its first official run through. If I’m composing in a more commercial setting, the brief can either be very specific and clear, or if it’s a little vague I try to create something that has the same atmosphere and emotional quality that may be required. 6. What influence has your Filipino background had in your career and in the creation of your musical pieces? My mother is Filipino and loved taking the family out to the Barrio Fiesta when I was younger; it also meant that I would perform to thousands of Filipinos, which was great for developing stage presence and communicating to a massive audience. I have also had incredible support from the Filipino embassy, which has on numerous occasions invited me to perform at a variety of different functions and events. I’m not entirely sure if my Filipino background has filtered into my compositions, however I am fascinated by the Filipino traditional music and instruments, and remember the first time I heard the sounds from The Banda Kawaya group; I was completely mesmerized by the performance and the entrancing sounds. 7. Have you listened to many Filipino musicians/ composers? Unfortunately not an awful lot, I have heard some works from by the composers Jose Maceda, Arnold Zamora, Jonas Baes and Ryan Cayabab, as well as various traditional


music compositions from many different regions. 8. What else do you hope to achieve in your career? At the moment I am focusing on chamber music, with several duo and trio concerts and recording sessions. I would love to do concert tour of the Philippines and around the whole of Asia, and would love to be asked to compose the soundtrack to a film. I also have drafts for an opera and a musical, which I would love to realize sometime in the near future… 9. What musicians/ composers inspire you and what do you believe is your motivation to succeed within your musical career? I feel inspired and motivated by so many people it’s hard to know where to start! I have huge admiration for many pianists, conductors, musicians, composers, artists, writers but particularly people who are not only fantastic musicians but also have the personality to encourage music making to a wider audience... When it comes to a musical career, I think it’s important to see the bigger picture and not to get fixated on what’s happening in one’s own career, because the music community is so diverse and varied, and because its in a constant state of flux it’s impossible to predict what will happen next. I also think success, as a musician can often be hugely overrated and can sometimes be soul destroying, to me what’s important is the ability to communicate feelings of emotion through music making, and with this mind, one can achieve unlimited success through music. Finally being surrounded by a supportive network of friends, family and colleagues is essential to succeed through a music career. AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

CEO and President Ms. Rose Lyn Ceniza Theodoulou

Casa Ceniza InternationalExceptional multi-services under one roof


pearheaded by the Lady Boss herself Ms. Rose Lyn Ceniza Theodoulou, CEO and President of the company, Casa Ceniza International operates in the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Her expertise in Real Estate for over 5 years has stabilised her lead in both the UK and the European Market. Casa Ceniza International is partnered with Century 21 UK in Property buying, renting and selling. She is currently the Head of International Residential Management at Century 21 and connected with Damac Properties who market and sell luxury projects across the Middle East and England boasting an office is in Knightsbridge. Exercising entrepreneurship from a young age, Rose has various business departments at Casa Ceniza International such as Legal Services in the Philippines. Casa Ceniza International is also a marketing arm of Fil Global Healthcare Limited with offices in Canary Wharf. Casa Ceniza International is also in the line of interior design and furniture as well as Travel and Tours. Gastronomica derives from the family’s love of gourmet food and the mobilepreneurship is handled by her brother, Joseph, whose venture with Planet Mobile’s network is continuously growing all over the Philippines. Her sisters Vanessa and Kat share her passion for Fashion, Atelier and Haute Couture and added them to the family business. Rose is currently endorsing the Frigga line by the

renowned Feng Shui expert Marites Allen. Rose is also a business partner acting as Head of PR and Marketing for AURA XII Limited, the publishers of AURA Magazine. A visionary woman with will and wit and an inspiration to every Filipina, Rose is exemplary in driving Casa Ceniza International into providing an unrivalled service. Casa Ceniza International • Property Buying, Renting or Selling • PR and Marketing Management • Legal Services • Staffing and Recruitment • Fashion/Atelier/Haute Couture • Mobilepreneurship • Interior Design/Furniture • Gastronomica • Travel & Tours 24 Empress Avenue, Chingford London E4 8SR AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III



Miss London NABA 2015


ast April, eight beautiful young ladies graced the stage of The Camden Centre to win the coveted title of Miss London NABA, a successful pageant that has been running now for five consecutive years. Former title winners in previous years have flown across the Atlantic and went on to represent London in the Miss NABA finals, which are held in either North America or Canada. Previous alumni winners include 2014’s Diane Fronda who achieved the admirable Miss NABA 1st Runner Up title in 2014 and Jameelah Bowden who emerged victorious overseas winning Miss NABA 2013. During the Coronation Night the candidates showed of their style and edge in their casual wear, strutted their stuff in sports wear and finally demonstrated their poise and elegance in their captivating evening gowns. The Big Winners of the Night: Miss Charity/ Entrepreneur – Micah Lee Miss London NABA 4th Runner Up – Deana Manimtim Miss London NABA 3rd Runner Up – Caroline Ortoli Miss London NABA 2nd Runner Up – Danilyn Patiag Batac Miss London NABA 1st Runner Up – Jessie Beddows Miss London NABA Winner – Erika Federis

by Jessica Nock Graduate career as a Solicitor on completion of her Masters. Erika also formerly won the 1st Runner Up prize in Miss and Mr Philippines UK 2014. Erika will now go on to represent London and the UK to compete for the title of Miss NABA against other winners in Canada. Do you think the youth of today faces more pressure of performance than previous generations? “I would have to say that this is exactly the case, with issues such as rising university costs and diminishing job opportunities for our young generation today. Today’s youth are certainly more susceptible to soaring debts, which leads to overworking, which then leads to stress. Nonetheless I believe that today’s youth has grown from strength to strength, and in my opinion will continue to shape a better tomorrow.” - Erika Federis Speaking to AURA Magazine after the show Erika says, “I am very very excited, I’ve never been to Canada so this is a great opportunity. Again, I would just really like to influence the women of tomorrow and the future generations, so I feel that this is the right platform for me to do that.”

Erika Federis, 23, is a Law student completing her final year at the University of Exeter who has impressively secured a







MUSIKALOGY hits London!

by Dee Chanelle


pon entry, Bar FM appeared unconventional with chairs on the dancefloor and a video presentation projected beside the stage. It was rather different from its’ usual weekend social Live music bar/club set up. This was of course the beginning of a unique musical workshop aptly named “MUSIKALOGY- PART I : The Art of Instruments” presented by Side Projects Productions with its’ guest speaker and host- Peps Villanueva. Whilst this type of gathering is common in the Philippines, this exciting workshop has launched in the UK. The event assisted the process of discovery into the musical and creative minds welcoming beginners, those who wish to enhance their technique/ musical confidence and enjoy a high quality teaching from friendly and skilled facilitators under a celebratory, examination-free and sociable environment. Amongst the facilitators were Mon Espia (70’s Superband and OPM composer for Introduction to Blues, Stanley Orong Jr. (OctoArts, Vicor Music) for Musicians Development, Doddie Victorino (San Miguel Philharmonics Orchestra) for Practice Techniques, Johann Calabig (Banda Kawayan) for Drum Clinic and international guest performer Francesco Lucidi (The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance). At certain points of the evening the facilitators exhibited their musical skills to the highest level that Pinoy pride filled the venue. This served as a reminder in the Western world that Filipinos are not just renowned for amazing vocals but also truly talented musicians.






Mr & Miss Teen Philippine Islands 2015 by Joysel Dizon Livelo


pines. Their goal is to work closely with “Barkadang Pinoy Project” to promote the importance of flourishing the youth regardless of economic class -every child has a right to a better future. 

The ‘revival’ of the project provides the Filipino youth of the UK a platform to celebrate the Filipino dynamic and rich cultural heritage. The mission of this young pageant is to promote class, sophistication and most importantly charitable causes focusing on the youth, their aspirations, their dreams and their future.

For the contestants generous participation they all received ‘Appreciation Certificates’ and flower bouquets on the evening.

r and Miss Teen Philippine Islands (previously known as Mr and Miss Teen Philippines UK since 1996 and founded by Athena Alcantara) returned with a fresh new outlook for the new teen generation. Produced by Mr and Miss Teen Pageant Ltd, the awaited comeback took place on Saturday 25th April 2015 at the Baden Powell House, South Kensington.

The Mr and Miss Teen Pageantry organisation consists of a young and vibrant team whose mission is to promote the development of the youth by optimising the potentials of the contestants with the necessary skills needed, as they enter into responsible adulthood.

Six young ladies and three young gentlemen graced the stage from the ages of fourteen to sixteen. Categories included casual wear, creative wear, formal wear, photogenic and popularity.

Congratulations to this year’s winners Miss Teen Philippine Islands 2015 Miss Arrianne Michelle Arcilla and Mr Teen Philippine Islands 2015 Mr Reniel Lewis Bantolino.

This year they partnered with the charity “Barkadang Pinoy Project” with the aim to address and meet the needs of students in elementary schools in the rural areas of the




Leave your mark with “A Signatured event”


IGNATURE SOUNDS are a professional mobile DJ service based in London. We pride ourselves on offering a professional, positive & personal service to enhance your event experience.

the Filipino community. Collectively Signature Sounds have an experience like no other. With our varied age range it has allowed us to attain experience in all different genres and in the fundamental techniques of Djing.

We have a broad and extensive selection of music covering almost every genre from Pop, Rock, Dance, Country, Cha Cha to Old & New RnB, and Hip Hop. Our professional sound systems provide a clear and crisp sound, certain to pleasure any tastes, be it Weddings, corporate events, birthdays or school proms.

When it comes to music our DJ’s have their own preferences. Through our individual passions, Signature Sounds are fortunate to be involved in some of the largest and successful movements in the UK music scene , such as the Indoor UK Garage Fest, featuring our very own Elvin Cortes. Also one of our DJ’s Jeff Nang has performed alongside artists such as and Dj Drizz, entertaining thousands of ravers at Pacha London.

Formed just over a decade ago, Signature Sounds grouped together, built from a realization that there was an opportunity to provide an entertainment service amongst


Providing highly skilled and experienced DJ’s encompassing AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

in the Filipino community. Signature Sounds provide a range of packages that allows us to offer affordable prices for our services. Our packages include slick features that can change the atmosphere of any event. In February we recently hosted our own Valentines Day special, which was an opportunity to rekindle our connection with our loyal fans, the ones who love to party and share good times with Signature Sounds. Lined up in the near future we have our own ventures we want to unleash to you all. We want to create a more personal party experience and to capture those special unforgettable memories, so for our private hired events we are expanding our entertainment service by introducing Signature Photobooths. Furthermore we hope to put more focus on our own Signature events, to give our DJ’s even more opportunities to showcase their talent. One day we aspire to be recognised internationally as a brand that holds some of the best Filipino DJs under one roof but also as a company that breeds and nurtures new talent. Our customers can expect the full Signature Sounds experience from us. To understand who we are and our personality as a company, giving our guests an unforgettable and unmatched service that we uniquely provide to their events.

a multitude of genres, we provide a professional service specifically for private events. As a customer focused company, we aim to provide a tailored service built around the needs of our clients. Driven by client satisfaction, Signature Sounds revel in the pride that we can provide people with a great time! Now being the popular leading DJ’s in the Filipino community and beyond, we owe all of our successes to the people we serve. It always has and always will be about the client. It’s been the ability to connect with people through our shared love of music and creating an element of nostalgia to each individual. However most importantly it’s our DJ’s passion for music that has allowed us to achieve the service that we have always strived to give. Words cannot truly explain what it means to be recognised as leading DJ’s

Make sure to check out our website for more information and our Soundcloud to listen to our musical playlists.

i sigisoundsdj AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III



Luck & Prosperity

A charmed life by Marites Allen


n 2004, while vacationing with her husband in Hawaii, Marites Allen found out about a feng shui event in the same hotel they were staying.

Allen wasted no time and paid a small fortune to attend the convention. She also ended up buying a hoard of feng shui items for which she needed a new suitcase. Her husband Nick, a British-born international consultant, quipped that with her purchases, she could start her own shop back in Manila. What was spoken in jest turned out to be prophetic. Before that year ended, Marites attended a feng shui Master Practitioner Course in Malaysia and soon after opened the first World of Feng Shui franchise in Manila. Looking back at those start-up days, she muses that she was merely fulfilling a simple wish.

“I only wanted to have my own business that would complement my role as wife of a busy international executive and mother of four young children.” Eight years later, she has six more boutique franchises all over Metro Manila. She has written her own books, guested in many radio and television shows, written for various publications, and even hosted her own television program. She has been hosting her Annual Feng Shui Updates since then.

Allen’s client base now reads like a who’s who in Philippine business, politics, and entertainment. Allen disclosed, however, that one of the wishes she wrote during her wish-fulfilling balloon ceremony at the opening of her first boutique in 2004 was to have several more boutiques in the future… and yes, this has happened! Fame and fortune may have been incidental but Marites was ready and embraced them with open arms when they came. “You’re lucky if you are at the right time and the right place, but what you do when such an opportunity comes is what holds the key to success,” she says. But luck is not everything, clearly. Armed with a business education from a top Manila university, she enhanced her product knowledge through years of training and mentorship with noted masters from Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China. She is also an active member of the prestigious Feng Shui Societies of London, Singapore and the World of Feng Shui Malaysia. Lady Luck works long hours, which sometimes drives her staff crazy. Yet, when Marites puts on the charm, everyone knows it is her natural gift of persuasion and not any of her feng shui enhancers at work.

“I always remind my team that we are in a business where we make a difference in someone else’s life and it is always important that we treat each and every client with the utmost care and respect at all times.” 90


In over a decade of feng shui practice, Marites has provided advice to hundreds of enthusiasts from diverse economic and social backgrounds. Through the years, many of them have become not just clients but more like friends to Marites, as they continue to share mostly positive feedback on their feng shui experiences. Some of these testimonials may be viewed at A recent one is from a former government official who has been consulting with Marites since they met at a birthday party of a respected business icon. He had been trying to have a kidney transplant, but because of his health condition, the precise requirements of the treatment, plus the need to synchronize the schedules of the assigned team composed of medical practitioners from different countries, his impending surgery had dragged on for years. He would approve a date only if Marites said it was a good date for the procedure. Although he was considered the “most studied patient” in the hospital where the surgery was done, he was given a 50-50 chance of survival, which was considered optimistic. The surgery was finally done in September last year despite all odds. He remembers that he was lying flat and cold for the first three days after the procedure and had to be revived on the third day because of some complications. As far as the lead surgeon was concerned, the successful operation was a miracle. Things started humming shortly after that and today the patient walks with hardly any assistance. Former Human Settlements Deputy Minister Jose Conrado Benitez now feels like a man reborn. He gives due credit to the medical team for its superb medical care “over and above the statistical norm,” and for graciously accommodating the additional input from Marites Allen. “It was probably Marites’s day, because had it been any other day I think I would have been gone.” How does Marites take all the glowing tributes? “I won’t hide my satisfaction with whatever I have accomplished in almost 10 years of bringing in the wonders of feng shui into this country. I find all the positive feedback heart-warming. I have nothing more to ask for. I’ve been so blessed and I can say I’m okay to move on to another phase.”


For consultation inquiries, you may call Marites at +639209509390, +447425686875, e-mail: for inquiries.




June 2015 Lucky Fashion forecast

by Marites Allen

Animal Sign


Lucky Charm

Take a respite from last month’s low moments. Many opportunities will come your way. So go out and socialize and expand your network. You may find a mentor figure who will help you in your projects and in making critical decisions. It’s time to boost your relationship luck. Go on a holiday with your special someone.

Mystic knot coin necklace

Wear the lucky coins, mystic knot or wealth symbols. Romance and relationship luck rule! If you’re single, make the first move. It will be fun!If you’re married, do not be tempted. Lucrative business opportunities will come that will be too hard for you to resist. Be sharp enough to snap out the most profitable among them and be prepared for something big happening.

Sheep Shawl

Wear the double happiness, lucky horse, mystic knot or sheep symbols. You will shine even in the most challenging situations and will make good progress, which makes Horse Bangles you smile even wider. Play up your networking skills, but try to be firm and stick to your principles to keep your integrity. There’s a strong chance of reuniting with long lost friends who will make a difference in what you do. Starting a new relationship will be favourable. Wear the double happiness, lucky horse or mystic knot symbols. When lucky stars converge in your chart, you just have to go out there and make good things Scarf with allies happen. Socialize, renew ties, and implement long-delayed plans. Considering a partnership? Seal of boar prints the deal! Sitting for examinations? Don’t worry, you will do well. There are no obstacles blocking your way. Romance luck is tops! Some Rabbits may think of getting engaged or making the proposal. That will be good thinking as this is a most auspicious time for making commitments or settling down. On the other hand, while everything seems to be rosy, you may be tempted by a third party. Don’t let this person play with your emotions and leave you devastated. Wear the auspicious coins, floral coins, mystic knot or allies and friends symbols. This is one of your most productive months with plenty of opportunities falling on your lap nonstop. Even the smallest decisions you make bring amazing results. Your positive luck, however, may cause jealousy in some people around you. Be alert to possible backbiting and politicking. Be appreciative of your team and acknowledge each member’s contributions. This is a good chance for those wishing to start a new relationship to find someone. Those who have been in a relationship for some time may feel pressured by partners who expect to settle down soon. If you are not ready to do this, you just might give up.

Floral coin cardigan

Wear the wulou, antakharana, floral coin or mystic knot symbols. You shift to the fast lane as you meet with opportunities for the long term. The financial gains you’ve been working for are finally here. There will be invitations left and right, and some of them may give you a chance to pitch for a project. So much publicity pouring on you!All of a sudden you become the life of the party and seen as a high-profile personality. There’s also so much loving energy from your family and special someone. Married couples should try to create some new activities into their relationship so they’ll have something new to look forward to. No business talk; just your plans and dreams for your relationship.

Top in pagoda print

Wear the antakharana, wulou, sheep or auspicious wallet. All images & content © Marites Allen / FRIGGA Charmed Life



Animal Sign


Lucky Charm

The misfortune and robbery stars ma spoil whatever ground work you’ve done in the past. You may be at receiving end of politicking and gossiping at work. Personal matters should not be discussed at work. Stop, breathe, and step back from your heavy workload. A good break will do wonders. Reschedule important activities next month when things will get better. Clean up, consolidate plans, and re-evaluate your list of friends to know whom to keep and whom to let go. Personal relationship may be challenged and the risk of losing someone is quite likely due to third-party interference.

Peony bag holder

Wear the double happiness, rhino and elephant, mystic knot, auspicious flowers or sheep symbols. Last month’s excitement is replaced by the presence of the Robbery star. Don’t take the possibility of loss lightly. Review your surroundings, legal papers, and how your business is being run. There could be irregularities that may cause you to lose money. If someone continues to bug you, simply back off. You have better things to do than make enemies at this time. For now, give relationship matters a pass. Your busy calendar will not give you any time nor the drive to entertain someone.

Peacock earrings

Wear the rhino and elephant, 5 element pagoda, mystic knot, peacock or wealth symbols. A generally good month, but do not take for granted some possible losses and betrayal. In case of issues between you and your friends, be ready to forgive and let go. Be careful with your personal assets and properties, too. At work, you are better off working on your own to make sure that everything is covered. Avoid fights as you may be feeling some rivalry at work. Delay making important business decisions and going into risky ventures. Your love life may suffer some strains, as you will tend to prioritize business over your personal affairs. Be careful even of small arguments. The possibility of loss affects not only material things but also your loved one.

Apple cellphone charm

Wear the rhino and elephant, 5 element pagoda, mystic knot, peacock or apple symbols. If you feel more irritable than usual, you may blame it on this month’s argumentative star. Somehow you’ll lose your temper over trivial details. That will spell disaster in your team. Worse, problems with the law could happen. Stay out of the scene as you will be open to questioning or being misjudged. Do not expose yourself to too many functions. You don’t need this attention now as it can only bring trouble to yourself. In your relationship with your loved one, you may feel as if you need more space. If you’re having frequent fights, be more patient. If things cannot be sorted out sensibly, temporary separation may be a good idea. But remember that this is not the time to entertain a new relationship.

Affirmation scarf

Wear the rhino and elephant, 5 element pagoda, mystic knot or birds and swans symbols. There are wealth opportunities but your performance will depend on how you address possible Corporate shirt health issues. Do some sensible scheduling to avoid getting tired easily and stressing yourself. Team in auspicious up with the right people to achieve long-term results. Choose your partners well because not all of flower print them have the same level of commitment. Keep only those with good potential to help. You will find yourself relying on your romantic partner for support. Those who are single will have the energy for the dating game and just might meet someone special. Wear the double happiness, antakharana, wulou, longevity or auspicious flower symbols. Illness, accidents and physical woes are likely. You will be quick to pick up viruses and fall sick. Stay away from risky activities. Because of your skills, some people ask for your mentorship regarding competitive sports. Be very judicious. You can use this to your advantage, or realizing that your health is not up to par, you can put this on hold. If things can wait, next month will be more favourable, fengshui-wise. Instead, take some time to catch up with your loved ones and work on having a stronger relationship. Have enough rest and save your energy for next month’s excitement.

Wulou necklace

Wear the double happiness, antakharana, wulou, longevity or auspicious flower symbols



Shop online : for your Lucky Fashion!

FRIGGA London Team is proud to present to you your LUCKY Fashion Must Haves in 2015 - Year of the Wood Sheep Affirmation Shawl

Printed with all the positive affirmations of richness, great health, beauty, positive characteristics of a great person, this is something that one must have and to treasure forever. All over the print has the images of 8 auspicious symbols to help manifest good luck in your life coming from all 8 compass directions.

Also available in a 40 cm X 40 cm for ladies...

and a pocket square / hanky for men 30 cm X 30 cm

Year of the Sheep Shawl

Ride on the luck of the Year of the Wood Sheep! This beautifully designed colorful shawl has the 8 auspicious symbols for overall good luck to manifest in your life. Bringing in positive into your life, if you are lacking the good luck from business, friends, colleagues and family - then this is definitely the one for you!

Affirmation Shawl (110 cm X 110 cm)

Year of the Sheep size is 110 cm X 110 cm Also available in 40 cm X 40 cm for ladies and a pocket square / hanky for men 30 cm X 30 cm

Allies and Friends scarves

For Networking Business, Career and prosperity luck.

Wealth Bag Hanger

The prettiest handbag hook comes in pink – for fame, prosperity, and love. The hanger centerpiece is done in a variety of pink crystals for wealth luck.

Peony Bag Hanger

The peony, queen of flowers, blossoms beautifully in this ultra-feminine handbag hook. In pink, for fame, prosperity, and love.

Apple Cellphone Charm

Delightful cellphone accessory featuring a crystal-encrusted pink apple in resin –symbolizing peace and prosperity. Paired with another stone-encrusted blue resin sphere and Swarovski drop crystals.

Wulou Necklace

Wear this sophisticated wulou necklace in opaque white crystal to enhance health luck and longevity.

Wealth and Longevity Necklace

The wealth and longevity symbols form a powerful combination of luck in this elegant metallic necklace.


Frigga Tote

A stylish and practical tote specially designed to attract good fortune and abundance. Made of rich cowhide leather, it has two spacious compartments and three inner pockets, button closures on either side, and a removable shoulder strap, providing heavy-duty utility for the busy professional. The inner lining print features the eight lucky symbols. Comes in three auspicious colors: blue, green, and red, with matching lucky big/small wallet

Longevity Stud Earrings

Attract good health luck with this dainty stud earring featuring the longevity symbol.

Mystic Knot Earrings

Attract harmonious relationships and be protected from many forms of misfortune by wearing this beautifully designed drop earrings with the mystic knot as centerpiece, fringed by a clutch of moondrops.

3 Coins Earrings

Attract money luck with the auspicious three coins drop earrings.

Mystic Knot Necklace

A longer version, now in white, of the original Frigga mystic knot necklace. Accented by the heart, for love, and xxx for money. This highly versatile piece can be worn as a choker or belt.


AURA Magazine

We welcome submissions from contributors around the world! Share your personal stories, hobbies or worldly experiences.

WHAT DO WE NEED? 100% Original article Unique Unpublished Filipino Targeted High resolution images (minimum 300dpi) You can also invite us to your special day! Debut, Birthday, Wedding and who knows YOU may be in our magazine! If you are interested contact Jessica Nock, Deputy Editor at:





Kampi’s biggest basketball super league returns this summer


AMPI UK are preparing again for its annual basketball Super League, set to start on June 14 2015 at the London Thunder Dome bringing together .the Filipino British community from all corners of London and beyond. Every summer, KAMPI (Kapisanan ng Manlalarong Pilipino sa Inglatera), the organiser of the biggest and longest running basketball tournament in the UK attracts participants and teams of all skill level for its Men’s and Youth Divisions. A sport that all Filipinos love, basketball provides a place for families and friends to come together and cheer on their favourite teams and players in a safe and friendly yet competitive setting. For over 15 weeks, teams will battle it out in East & West venues culminating in a grand finale with various championship titles up for grabs. The U21, Conference, East & West Championships and the most coveted prize of all, to be crowned the Premiership Champion of Champions. RC Lickers Team, current holders of that title are hungry to repeat their success and make it back-to-back but many teams also have their eye on main prize. Controllers, current East Champions


are determined to overcome their loss at the final hurdle but are eager to come back stronger. While the Pinoy Sunics, 6-time KAMPI Champions are keen to bounce back and have another shot at the title they won in 2013 however fellow East teams such as Rivals and Silangan who have shown big improvements every year, are capable of causing an upset to any of the teams. Likewise in the West, a mixture of veterans and rising stars dominate that division, with the return of a rejuvenated UK Pioneers along with regulars Westside Kings, Sultan and Wildcards all want a piece of the glory. What excites everybody about this upcoming tournament is the sheer talent that exists amongst the Fil-Brit Community, the on-court rivalries and off-court friendship it creates in the spirit of sportsmanship, uniting these players and their supporters through the sport of basketball, in that sense everybody benefits. Then there is KAMPI’s Development U21 league which is also set for another action packed season and see champions Pinoy Young Bloods defend their title in a division full of talented young teams keen to make their mark within the AURAMAGAZINE • Issue III

community. The U21 division has become the fastest growing part of the KAMPI Super League as it has provided the youth with a platform to hone and develop their skills. Many people have witnessed exciting match ups with former champions, Sultan, up and coming Teen Flight, Pharaohs, Silangan and newly formed teams go to battle in what is usually very fast paced, full of energy featuring a wealth of talent that the community should be proud of. With the only league in London that has a separate tournament dedicated to the basketball youth and rising stars, the Development U21 league is a permanent fixture in KAMPI’s basketball programme and will also be piloting a grassroots U17 division to give opportunities for the youngest players of the league which from as young as 13 are already joining the league. So, after a long break from the #1 basketball league in the country, we are weeks away from what hopes to be another exciting, fun-filled and memorable tournament to add to it’s legacy. Come and join KAMPI for it’s Super League Opening Ceremony on Sunday 14th June 2015 at London Thunder Dome, Unit 2, Stockholm Road, SE16 3LP London, United Kingdom.

i KampiBasketballUK KampiFootballUK KampiLondon Kampifootball



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AURA Magazine Issue #3- Charice Pempengco  

AURA Magazine Issue #3

AURA Magazine Issue #3- Charice Pempengco  

AURA Magazine Issue #3