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Editor at large MIKKO MAHINAY


Editor in Chief




Fashion Editor

Music Editor



Lifestyle Editor

Contributing Beauty Editor ZOE BOTWIN

Editorial Director JACQUELINE UY


Head Writer

Associate Writer



Contributing Writer

Contributing Photographer

4th Floor, Mahinay Building, 9 N Capistrano-Abellanosa Sts., Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.


CONTENTS 5 – A Big Shift by MELANIE JOY SERRANO 7 – Do You Know Why Your Dreams Are Your Dreams? By STEPHANIE MAE SOL 9 – M for MEGAN CONCEPCION

21 – A Colorful Life of EMMANUEL MULAWAN

37 – Fancy A Cuppa? With SWEET LEAF 53 – Run to Lose. Run to Gain: THEA GERONA On The Cover: Chingkee in August 2012. Jewelry, Chingkee’s own. Mullet Shorts, Mag’s. Hair and make-up by Dandy Mar Roa. Photography by Bon Bleu.

67 – Vanitea: CHINGKEE TE 87 – Rock Jewel by BON BLEU 99 – BEAUTY: A Midsummer Night’s Dream 105 – TRIBALE’ 123 – BELLE DU JOUR: CDO’s 7 best models

147 – Drop The Beat: RB BANAAG


183 – Make Your Own Havaianas CDO VIP Night 2012

185 – Hinikawan : Goldswagger


A BIG SHIFT by MELANIE JOY SERRANO Fashion Editor We were overwhelmed with impressive colors from pastels, to neon, to color-blocked trend and astounded with bold prints from floral, to animal prints, to different innovative patterns which everyone warmly embraced, adored, and indulged in. Yet, a big shift is entering the scene of trends, a total classic which will bring out our love for simplicity and elegance. Black and White – these colors may be basic, but as seen from the collection of Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Rachel Zoe, to name a few, for Spring 2013 Collection we are stunned how innovative black and white can be without giving up its exciting beauty of simplicity and femininity. An all white or all black ensemble outfit may seem boring or dull, but we appreciate how these colors may exude a lot of character and style. The key ingredient to this big shift is to incorporate different shapes, patterns, fabric, and even an accessory that will definitely spruce up its totality. In Ralph Lauren’s case, a wise way to tantalize people’s attention in his black and white look is to surprise them with a pop of color. With this, we can be guided how we can, for example, embellish a simple black dress with a red slim belt wrapped around your waist. This will make your getup more interesting for sure..

On the other hand, looking into Michael Kors’ technique to enhance his black and white look, the recipe is to go for stripes Vertical or horizontal stripes – you have the choice to stick a pattern that pleases you, or challenge yourself to mix both. With this trick, you can never go wrong with a black and white ensemble and it adds an exquisite sense of style. Rachel Zoe exhibits how to achieve a young vibe with the big shift. Simply grab your fedora hats and go for bell-bottom pants paired with a loose top, or get into a fusion of juvenile-mature feel with a sheer piece and your fedora hat to go with it, then there you have created an easy outfit that need not be expensive. Do not be afraid to let loose with colors and prints, take risks and seize a big shift with the classics. Pump it with rousing details to capture an essence of elegance and simplicity emerging fresh and youthful vibe. We all have black and white pieces in our closets, play mix and match with it and make it interesting with those little details that will make that big shift innovative and remarkable.


o you know why your dreams are your dreams? by Stephanie Sol

The second issue of CGY seems to be a booklet of dreams that have been played in reality. Certainly, these pages are packed with inspiration. The achievement of one’s dream is the common denominator of the featured stories and I do not want to veer away from that. Let me try and indulge you with a prologue of my most recent dream. When I was younger I dreamed of becoming a slasher, no not a horror movie killer, I wanted to be a doctor slash a lawyer slash a prima ballerina – a slasher. But as life unfolded these dreams have slowly blurred out. I now cannot imagine being a doctor – the sight of blood weakens me. On second thought, maybe I can handle being a doctor – a love doctor. I could be a doctor with a PhD in being corny. My compulsion of becoming a lawyer has not died but for now it takes a back seat. I am a fan of

formal arguments; and maybe, just maybe, I would be able to fulfill my father’s dream of attaching “ATTY” to his name – but not now, perhaps in 15 years. And on being a prima ballerina, I have lost hope. I know by heart that it is not my calling so I immediately gave it up. So now, what is left for me to dream? Surrendering to the goodness instilled in our human nature, I want to be a philanthropist. One of the main reasons why I took up economics is because I thought if I become an

expert economist I could find a way to help bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. I know, how very idealistic but I can’t give up my idealism. It has been one of the reasons why I live with hope, why I continue to dream. But my dream of being an economist has also turned into dust, what’s next? Truthfully, after college, most of us just want to be successful with out knowing where exactly we want to succeed. I was one of those people. I have never thought about my dream with a grain of salt, not until recently. I have questioned myself what is it really that I want to be? What’s that one thing I am willing to do everyday without complains? *insert a lighted bulb here* Acting! I love to act. Eureka moment! It dawns to me acting is my passion. I mean I won’t be labeled “Stephanie Sol Major in

Theater, Economics”

Minor for



right? It’s crazy thinking about it. I like to see how I laugh, scream and cry in front of the mirror- yes I enjoy talking to myself portraying different characters. Oh my gosh. I want to be an artista. As much as my brain cells deny that I do, my actions and the events [the TVCs, being Lana Hiya among others] in my life are leading me into a path inside the complicated world of showbiz. Being an actress is an accidental dream. It feels like life’s surprise. But like they say, there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. I have yet to figure out what these reasons are, but I trust God to reveal it to me in time. How about you, do you know why your dreams are your dreams?


Photographer, singer, songwriter and lover of life – these are just  some of the things that describe the talented photographer 


suit XERXES  MAGHANOY,  dress  WAG,  boots   STYLIST’S  OWN,  accessories  SHABBY  CHIC  

She walks into the coffee shop and gives me a warm greeting. We strike up a conversation almost immediately. Over raspberry iced tea, she vivaciously talks about her craft and her love for many things other than photography.

From Humble Beginnings Megan purchased her first point and shoot camera back in 2007, initially because she wanted to take pictures when she travelled. That purchase was a turning point in her life and spawned her love for photography. From then, she started taking photos of structures, objects and people as well. Subjects were from anywhere and everywhere – buildings, street structures, small items at home and her close friends.  She found herself addicted to the camera and remembers reading the whole manual from front to back. Doing that helped her optimize her camera to its full potential. “Nobody reads the manual! Most people disregard camera manuals, but you can learn so many things from it,” she explained. Without any formal training in photography, she took the time to tinker and experiment with camera settings, exhausting its limits and its features.   During that time, the social network Multiply became a helpful platform for this budding photographer, as she posted her photographs and received numerous feedback from hobbyists alike. From there, she eventually landed her first wedding gig just four months after starting. She started landing shoots after that, either using her point and shoot device or using DSLR cameras borrowed from her friends.   Eventually, she was finally able to buy her trusty Nikon D80. Bookings for weddings and other events started coming in, and this is where we eventually say – the rest is history.

Megan and Music Aside from photography, she also dabbles in music, which is admittedly her first love. Music has been part of her childhood and she shares the same passion with her siblings. She is the vocalist of the band PAID and also writes songs and plays rhythm guitar. The band has released its first self-titled album last December 2010 and continue playing their music until now.  Loving What She Does  Megan expresses that her love for photography goes beyond merely taking pictures. She is drawn to the fact that she can take ordinary things and make them extraordinary, and the fact that she can make people happy by capturing beautiful memories that can last forever.   Her typical workday – when there is a shoot can start pretty early and end pretty late. Wedding shoots can last for more than eight hours, starting with the preparations down to the reception. But she is far from complaining. Shoots aside, her time is pretty much flexibile, and she can do what she wants on her own time, provided that she finishes editing photos on her set deadline. She is thankful that photography allows her to work on her own pace and time – further explaining her aversion for the typical 8 to 5 desk work. “I cannot imagine waking up early every single morning, going to the same workplace or doing the same routine over and over,” she tells me – and as a freelance writer, I completely agree with the thought. But still, even with the relaxed atmosphere, she approaches her craft with stealth professionalism, because she believes in delivering high quality work. She is thankful that her job allows her to take time to do what

â?? I believe that you do not have to be rich to have wonderful pictures.


polka dots  skirt  and  black  turtle   neck  top  KIKO  DOMO,  shoes   STYLIST’S  OWN  

she loves – play music with her band travel on short notice or simply hang out with her different circles of friends. It also allows her to dabble in other things that she loves, like planning and putting together concept events. Dubbed as Let’s Make Memories which she runs with a friend, they specialize in weddings and events that are beyond the ordinary. 

While wedding and engagement shoots are mostly the bulk her work, she has a special place in her heart for babies and young children. She is very patient with them and takes her time, carrying them around or making goofy faces to make them smile for the camera. “Babies are naturally beautiful,” she explains “It takes very little work to capture beautiful photos of them.”   The Photographer In Front Of The Camera As a photographer, she is used to being behind the camera all the time – and this CGY shoot was something extremely new to her. She explained being nervous the whole time and constantly cracking jokes to ease the anxiety. “So this is how it feels like to be in front of the camera!” Megan explains.  

But nervousness aside, she loved the experience as it was something different, for a change. This will not be the last time, though. She plans to have photos of her taken regularly – yearly in fact just to see how much has changed as time goes by. Everyone Can Have Wonderful Pictures Lastly, before we end the conversation, I ask Megan about her rates, which are relatively affordable for a talented and sought after photographer. 

She has often entertained the thought of increasing her current rates to match many other similar services in the market, but have decided against it. Somehow, it seems as if it is her affordable rates serve as her way of giving back to others for the blessing of being able to do what she loves and make a living from it at the same time.   “I believe that you do not have to be rich to have wonderful pictures. I believe anyone can have them” she explains. I’m sure everyone would agree with that.               

stylist KEVIN ABDALA  hair and make up ADE BULLET shoot location FLAMENCO CAFÉ & BAR To get in touch with Megan, you can visit her website at or call 63917-725-0728.



MULAWAN Today’s highly advanced world has (somewhat) made the world a bit more convenient. However, all this progress has left two industries to almost disappear into oblivion: Movie houses and paintings. CGY introduces you to a man whose talent and skill developed within the two industries and how he still remains passionate about classical art amidst the digital age.


A series of paintings are placed in front of us; each painting

with a different story yet polished. One painting showed a tranquil beach scene with an eloquent white horse that gave me goose bumps and a hint of nostalgia. Then, on the upper left showed a more political perspective: a collage of series of events and icons involved during the legendary EDSA I revolution of 1986. Each character portrayed was almost looking at a photograph; stark, realistic and full of emotion. It was like being in the revolution and empathizing what they all went through then. Another painting was more religious and this one gave me a sense of vulnerability. There were several more paintings showcased and in a way it was intoxicating to have such several strong but different emotions portrayed pierce through your spine all at once. It was an ironic amalgam of satisfaction and eeriness.  


The painter responsible for these fine works of art greets us with a big bright smile. We then meet Mr. Emmanuel Mulawan. He then asks us to take a seat in his living room at his humble abode; located at a secluded area within the Carmen part of the city although beautifully adorned by Romanesque pillars and cherubim statuettes in luscious gold pop out of the small cuts of leaves that hang on the windows. He offers us some delectable pastries and soda for brunch but we left no moment to spare on getting to know more about this man responsible for such masterpieces. “I actually came to Cagayan de Oro all the way from Butuan for college” quips Emmanuel or “Manny” for short. “I originally started doing pencil sketches and then when college came and I needed some financial assistance, I got a job as a movie preview painter at a local movie house

named Nation.” He then takes no time to quickly bring out a series of printed out copies of his older works (which were then either sold or given to) and each painting made me even more amazed at such talent. The flawless blending of colors down to the articulate details which made it even hard to distinguish it from a painting to a photo. “At work (then), we’re only given 5 colors of paint (yellow, blue, red, black and white) and we only had a 2 day allowance to produce these since the movie would change the following week.” That statement made me adorn Manny’s talent even more.  

POLITICAL ART Manny then proudly shows us two photographs: one, his painting of (then) President Corazon Aquino and two, a photograph of President Corazon Aquino holding and accepting his portrait of her. “She loved it!” exclaims a very proud painter. “Here’s another painting I’m also proud of” and Manny shows us a photograph of his painting of Sir Aquilino Pimentel (who was then an Assemblyman for the Batasang Pambansa) and of course, Mr. Pimentel hanging the painting inside his office. Another famous local political figure Manny has painted for was (then) Mayor of Cagayan de Oro city Pablo Magtajas. As mentioned earlier, some, if not most of Manny’s works have a theme in politics or religion. So when I asked him why tackle such fragile topics on canvas, he replies “because I want future generations to know what happened in history. A photograph may document a certain moment but it’s really different if it’s thru paint: you can feel the emotion thru the painter’s strokes and choice of color palette” and this is justified as he hands me a photograph of a painting he did of a rally in Cagayan de Oro city during the Martial Law period of Ferdinand Marcos by which I never knew happened if he had not showed me the photograph. “You see? The painting just

gave you some new information about local history”, Manny gushes.  


He shows us another painting, but this time, in the form of a canvas. It portrays some less fortunate children with some wounds and the other one holds a sign that reads a statement both political and religious in meaning. “Kids are the most unlucky casualties during political strife. The world is like a cannonball, it can go ballistic any moment without any forewarning and the children cannot simply understand what’s happening. They then get deprived of the future which was originally destined for them and that’s just a heartbreaking idea” shares Manny, who takes off his eyeglasses every now and then and with every time, looks like a different person. “Politics and religion go hand in hand. When the people become wicked and ill from such greed and power, those who are affected only have religion to cling on for strength.” He shows us another painting, this time of Jesus Christ. A normal depiction of one of the most powerful icons in religion. “You simply have to be grateful. God has given me this talent and I used it to its full potential to the point that I was able to finish College from utilizing my skill. Now, I’ve been a painter for almost 26 years, been employed by the COWD (Cagayan de Oro Water District) since 1990 so I just had to thank God thru a simple but meaningful painting.”  

NEAR EXTINCTION There’s no lie that both the movie house and the painting industries have been slipping away with every second because of technology. But what does Manny feel about the industries he grew up with fading away? “That’s art for you. It’s always

changing. I do love to paint but I really appreciate and value all these new forms of art we have today. It’s still art. It’s the offspring of what we, the older generation, have established.” We then cut off his response as one of the double-sided tapes comes off one of the canvas paintings we placed on the concrete walls for a shoot. Manny giggles it off and doesn’t mind his work to get a bit dirty. The canvas was a bit heavy so it took some time for us to tape it back. “All I can say is, if there’s one thing I love about paintings is that they just don’t immortalize a specific period or capture your emotion. Paintings also immortalize the artist. I don’t exactly intend to become famous however I do intend to be remembered as someone who treated painting as a ‘hobby that pays’ and worked very hard and most importantly, was passionate about it” says Manny as we resume the interview and shoot. 

Emmanuel “Manny” Mulawan definitely has the talent and the tenacity of a true artist. How he used his talent as a survival skill instead of getting a job which wasn’t inclined to his passion is definitely remarkable. It is definitely sad to see that paintings are not as prominent as they were before but each and every single artist who gave it their all, will be surely remembered.      

 *quotations translated to English for reading convenience


by JACQUELINE  UY   photography  NIKKO  CORDERO  

There is no denying of the fact that the Kagayanons have grown a penchant over all things tea. In fact, freshly brewing just around the city is the Sweet Leaf Bubble Tea Café. Join CGY as we take a tour on Sweet Leaf’s fresh start and get to know its owners over what else, but a cup of milk tea. 

The infamous phrase “Coffee or Tea?” does not quite cut it out anymore. A new offer has been made: Milk Tea or Fruit Tea? Raise your cups if like me, you have also been bitten by the tea bug. I now comically refer to CdeO as Cagayan de Oro Citea, judging from how everyone is going gaga over the tea craze. Luckily, tea places have been sprouting practically everywhere. The latest one, known for its artsy decors, floral couches and sweet couple ownersAldrian Villegas and Angelica Parasis no less than the Sweet Leaf Bubble Tea Café.

If you want something, go for it.

Behind the counter “Wala man mi love storyui!” quips Angelica or fondly known as Geli, as I cajoled her to share how she and partner of five years, Adrian, met. Classmates since high school, Aldrian and Geli have been friends for the longest time. In between fits of laughter and sips of tea, the couple, who has a habit of finishing each other’s sentences, proves that they are just as sweet as their baby, Sweet Leaf Bubble Tea Café. While studying college in Manila, both Aldrian and Geli who never had a crush on each other way back in high school, or so they say, crossed paths once. “Ana ko: pwede, pwede…” humors Aldrian as he recounts their story. “Gi-ask langkoniyaon a date… basta three dates ragyud, three dates ra, dayon nag kami na.” shares Geli. Fast forward to a few years, Aldrian, who was then a fresh graduate decided to stay in Manila and worked as a Marketing Executive in the famous club, 7th high. Meanwhile, Geli was on her last term in the university and was finishing up her thesis. This is where their professed love for milk tea began. “Uso kaayo na siya didto sa Manila. As in

grabe ka adik gyud kaayo mi, gahimuon gyud namo siya ug

reward at the end of the day”, shares Geli. As then budding entrepreneurs, Geli and Aldrian thought of opening up a tea place in Cagayan de Oro. “Mag open ka ha ta?” Dugay na gyud namo siya na hunahuna-an, so nag think nami ug concept, dayon nangita nami ug supplier, unya wala man mi makita nga location bitaw nga okay, it’s either kanang sa Divisoria dako ra kaayo siya then mahal ra kaayo. So “sige ayaw nalang sa…” This was the ending to the story of the couple’s first attempt to come up with a tea café.

Fate, however, decided to give their tea story a little twist. Geli’s sister, who owns Vanity Works, decided to renovate her space. “Gi offer dayon niya sa amo. Ana siya, “dinhi na lang kaha mo mag open?” Aldrian shares. The couple talked it over and thought that the prime location was an excellent factor. “Pag “go” [signal] niya (referring to Geli’s sister), balik dayon mi duha ug conceptualize… [and] research.” Months after, Sweet Leaf Bubble Tea Café was born.  “OMG… pwede next question nalang sa?” pleads Geli while giggling when I toss them this fill-in-the-blank question: “If I were a milk tea, I would be a _______ “We go on with the interview but I won’t let them escape this one. They are, after all, what we would consider as the “faces” of Sweet Leaf. After a few laughs, some serious prodding and deep thinking, Geli answers it for Aldrian and vice versa. “Jasmine tea akong ma-describe sa iyaha” says Aldrian of Geli. He says that jasmine tea is fruitbased; it’s colorful and vibrant. Aldrian shares that Geli is quite like it. She loves to experiment, explore and she is oozing with creativity. At this point, the CGY team teases the couple and they blush like the star-crossed lovers that they are. Aldrian’s answer causes Geli to blurt out “Di ko kabalo… (Referring to the question) Lisod kaayo kay tsada kaayo imong answer!!” A few deep stares and laughs after, Geli finally musters up the confidence to say that Aldrian would be either a wintermelon or dark chocolate rock salt and cheese milk tea. Considering that these are Sweet Leaf’s best-sellers, Aldrian is very much like that: a crowd pleaser. “Likeable man gud kay siya nga person… kung foot nako siya, siya akong i-present; murag “best foot forward” Geli adds. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the sweet in Sweet Leaf definitely stems from these two. 

Now Brewing 

“Lingaw!!” “Ga sige mi ug away!” laughingly recounts the couple of the time when the café was still in process. “Kay dlii man ga meet among ideas usahay ba.. gusto ko inani, gusto siya inani. Too girly, murag lalake ra kaayo, so among gi buhat, nag meet mi [halfway]... nag compromise mi tanan.” explains Aldrian. Geli handled the details, which included the Pinterest-inspired artsy frames that now serve as the photo backdrop of frequent Sweet Leaf customers while Aldrian took care of the concepts like the faux grass and wooden stage, which he says was inspired from the different places he regularly visited in Manila.  

The then unnamed tea place also had to undergo several naming tests to see which one suited it best. “At first, “Tea Tree” gyud, murag “Tea Tree House” [but] murag tambal!” Aldrian and Geli laughingly shares. “Tapos sauna naa pud “One Leaf” mura siya’g hotel - “One Leaf Suites” Finally, they came up with “Sweet Leaf” and thought it suited the place excellently. “I guess nibagay siya saamo kay diba couple man mi.” Sweet Leaf Café run by a sweet couple, why not?   “Karon, from opening to closing, naa man gyud mi diri pirmi.” says Aldrian when asked what their average workday is like. He points out that they are still studying the trends of their market. “tanawon pa namo ang trend sa store; kay for example, naa’y days nga peak kaayo, naa pud lean days…” From day one of Sweet Leaf, the couple has been very handson with the operation, making sure that they are present from opening to closing.  

 I throw the couple a serious question: What has been their most effective marketing strategy so far? “OMG!” “Ikaw ana kay ikaw man ang advertising [graduate]!” comically squabbles the couple, seemingly unprepared of the question. Social media and word-of-mouth advertising, they finally say, is Sweet Leaf’s marketing secret. Although Aldrian is quick to admit that they also have business woes, one of which is the slow expansion of their market. “70% of the customers na ga anhi kay regulars… [Only] 30% ang newcomers.” Reaching out to a wider market is definitely on their to-do list as of this writing.  The rock salt and cheese variety is undeniably Sweet Leaf’s best-seller; the dark chocolate is a crowd pleaser while the wintermelon, the couple says, is their “make or break” product. “Ang wintermelon, depende ra sa taste sa person… Not for everyone siya.” This is the one drink that the couple is constantly improving since it is also their favorite. They are also on the looks for the perfect snack to complement the product. As of the moment, they are offering red velvet cupcakes but they don’t plan on making it a staple snack. “Nag try lang mi and dili pa mi sure if cupcakes jud kay it’s sweet unya tea is also sweet. Cute lang siya in pictures pero in reality, sweet ra kaayo.” Geli reasons. Here’s a tip for all you tea lovers: if you can think of a perfect snack to go with your milk tea fix, make a beeline for Sweet Leaf’s counter. Who knows, it might be the snack they’re looking for.

As the brains behind the success of Sweet Leaf, Geli and Aldrian became an inspiration to young and budding entrepreneurs overnight. They are privileged at this thought and gives a word of advice to the latter: “Have a lot of faith; in yourself, in God, kung naa ka’y partner, in each other. Never let anything stop you… [and] don’t settle. If you want something, go for it. Make it happen.” As young as they are, they made it happen. They made Sweet Leaf turn from an idea into a reality. The “friendly, happy and quirky tea café”, in Geli’s own words, is now brewing and I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.  

Sweet Leaf Bubble Tea Café is located at Vanityworks, Rosario Arcade, Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

She stands strong, showing no inhibitions confidence yet marked with humility, Thea G pounds last year. Her journey is no mystery. A determination to prove to the w

Run to

Lose. Run to Gain.


or whatsoever because she is floating with Gerona doesn’t look like she used to weigh 194 All she needed was steadfast perseverance and world that nothing is impossible.

It’s nice to surround yourself with people who challenge you to push yourself to do better.

I marvelled at her, looking so poised during the shoot having no regard with what we wanted her to do. She definitely knew what she’s doing which was remarkable, it was something she was not able to do before which was having the ability to be confident with herself. She didn’t mind the fact she was donned only with a sports bra and jersey shorts for the shoot, in fact she looked so glamorous, something you can’t believe yourself if you have seen her last year, an unhealthy and sedentary overweight which was something she was determined to change. Her journey to weight loss started January 2012 when she decided to hop on the weighing scale. “I was shocked! I couldn’t believe it, I was 194 pounds and I’m only 5 feet and 3 inches tall” Thea recalls. She just recently took the board exam last December 2011 and food was inevitable, it was something she needed a lot along with all the studying and the stress the review was carrying. Food became her best friend and worst enemy at that time. “We were required to wear a gala uniform for the board exams. I had my measurements taken for my pants, I was 38 inches then. When it was time for the fitting, it was still too tight for me, so it meant I was still getting fatter by the minute.”

She started on crash dieting on the first few weeks of her challenge to weight loss eating only fruits, biscuits and water which she admits wasn’t a healthy combination since our body is in need of all the essential vitamins and minerals so she deprived herself from almost everything. “I also used the jumping rope a lot. Everybody laughed when I told them I did jumping ropes as a form of exercise when in fact it is one of the most effective cardio exercises. It helps you burn more or less 600 calories every hour.” she shares.

Her goal was only to lose weight but when she saw the changes, she admitted it wasn’t about weight loss anymore, it was a lifestyle change. Having witnessed the advantages of what she did after a few months, she found it was better to live healthy, getting rid of the bad habit of eating more than her body’s capacity like finishing 3 cups of rice in every meal or half of the whole lechon manok, well, it wouldn’t be bad if she did some sports back then but she had a sedentary lifestyle so there was no output for all the food she consumed. She stayed motivated, limiting her food intake to the point of counting the calories she takes in a day, she had to do it, her perseverance grew stronger because a lot of people were amazed by the change they saw in her especially her family and friends. “I don’t want to let the people who inspired me to be disappointed in me that one day all my efforts will be put to waste and gain all the weight again. It’s nice to surround yourself with friends who will keep you up and tell you not to back down. In moments when I tell myself di na kaya [I can’t do this anymore], they remind me kaya pa lagi [you can still do it]. So it’s nice to surround yourself with people who challenge you to push yourself to do better.” She warmly shares with a smile when I asked her what keeps her motivated to keep everything going. It all boils down to one thing, she equips herself with inspiration. Thea fell in love with the exercise, the diet she sticks to and remarks that weight loss is not just about the diet but mostly it’s about the lifestyle change. She challenged herself to eliminate the bad like eating too much and not having to do any form any exercise. “The best thing is that after you’ve done so much, when you stop, your body craves for more, like I couldn’t let the day pass by without doing any exercise.” says Thea. She also makes it to a point where everything won’t just

be a boring routine. She changes from one routine to another such as jogging to Muay Thai to boxing to kick-boxing then to the gym. Now she’s also venturing to biking and considering doing triathlon soon. She doesn’t want everything to die down because of boredom because for Thea it’s important to love what you do and have fun doing it. It’s not so hard to believe that for a girl who now wears confidence as an accessory and who flashes a smile as an easy accessory was a girl who’d sit in silence and feel insecure about herself so much. She mentions that she used to envy her friends who were so at ease with themselves, who can do so much like jogging and be athletes for the school’s annual intramurals which was difficult for her to do. Most of all she worried so much about her clothes because given her diet and her sedentary lifestyle, her clothes weren’t there for her for too long. She shares with pride her stories about her past, not that she regrets any of it but it really did good to her because it unleashed her inner beast, freeing her potentials to be where she is now, comfortable and at ease with herself. Not only did her weight loss do wonders for her physically, there have also been some emotional changes as well. “This lifestyle change made me happier, more confident and I’m proud of myself, not just because I lost weight but because I can now do so much that I never thought I could do before” she exclaims with a grin on her face. What Thea went through wasn’t easy because it was an everyday battle within her of whether to pursue everything especially to the point when everything gets tiring. At the beginning, her weight was dropping down so fast, all her fat

mass stripping down was the easy part but it’s when maintaining everything that tested her patience and her determination. She still goes through the point where everything suddenly puts into a halt, challenging her faith in herself. “I went back to eating heavy meals and even stopped exercising because I simply got tired and lost the drive I used to have. But then I looked in front of the mirror and I asked myself do I really want to lose everything I worked hard for?” Thea points out clearly. So every time she feels like stopping, she always reminds herself of all the hard work she has been through from sweat and tears. Eyeing on the prize and aiming higher, she reminds herself of not getting back all the things she didn’t want and that was to be an overweight, let alone be an obese. “You’ll get going because it’s all in the mind. Your body will be sore but when you get used to it you’ll crave for more.” Presently, she continues with her physical activities doing jogging, going to the gym and just recently biking. She still plans to do more and she had no plans of stopping and most of all not settling for less. Now, she doesn’t eat less but she eats right, sticking the foods that her body needs and indulging to her favourites such as pizza, pasta, fast food from McDonald’s but only to feed her cravings on her cheat days. “My diet consists mostly of red rice, sweet potatoes, fish, chicken, egg whites, watermelons and more fruits” Thea says. I’m in awe of her, this woman who sits before me used to weigh 194 pounds now weighs 132 pounds. Through her inspiring journey to her lifestyle change, she now walks with

Thea in 2011 at 194 lbs.

more confidence and stylish more than she was before and doing things she never thought was possible for her. From flabs now with flat abs, it’s a rewarding feeling for her that she can wear any type of clothing she wants unlike before when her waistline used to be 38-40 inches which all stripped down and now proud with 29 inches. It’s not just about losing weight and having that sexy bod, but for Thea it’s a change of heart, embracing the better and getting so much from her lifestyle change. With all that she went through, she then developed a motto that always keeps her going, and that is “never again.” “My advice to everyone who wishes to go through the same battle I did, there is no better time to start than now. With discipline, commitment and perseverance, nothing is impossible”.


dress SHABBY  CHIC   shoes  DAS  


opposite page   dress  SHABBY  CHIC   shoes  DAS   this  page   all  STYLIST’S  OWN  

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Chingkee walks into the room all gamine features on top of a coltishly curvy frame. Hers is a delicate chinita beauty of peaches-and-cream skin and layers of bright red hair that just pierces through although compliments her eclectic persona. I expected her to speak in soft angelic tones to match. Instead, I am greeted by a high-pitch although cheerful voice, a thrilled manner, and an articulate, grounded intelligence. She speaks in a mix of Bisaya and Tagalog, with her mother hailing from Cotabato and her father from Ilo-Ilo. 

We start with the easy stuff and talk about the shoot’s styling and primping. It is decidedly less girly-girl today, an image usually associated with the brand Chingkeetea. “Ang ganda talaga ng clothes! Gustong gusto ko nga kasi talagang maiba kung paano ako usually nakikita ng tao!” she starts. “I usually love clothes you see inside your mom’s or lola’s closet. And anything pastel!”  While the conversation continues, make-up artist Dandy Mar Roa has transformed Chingkee’s soft features into a sharp, sophisticated and regal face of pronounced eyelids and a dramatic wine-red mouth flecked with gold. The sleek beauty who steps ip on set looks expensive and exotic- almost Oriental Royalty in allure. She stands up easily to the whimsy, matte fabrics and the glint of fine beadwork.  PLAYFUL GRACE 

At 21, Chingkee still moves like a child, as loose and free as a filly that has yet to learn the poise of a thoroughbred. She tells her stories vivaciously, punctuated by hearty guffaws and chuckles. And yet she also seems possessed of a maturity beyond her tears, Already, she has endured flagrant struggles and her quick rise deemed rewarding for her passion.

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Ma r c h

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In spite of her current success, she remains pragmatic about her stay in the industry. “Right now I’m enjoying this. Di talaga ako magsasawa sa Chingkee Tea kasi nga everyday I get to meet new people who eventually become good friends of mine” she says. We talk about her other plans, and it’s clear this is one business who wouldn’t die without the spotlight. “I plan to continue on improving my products. Gusto ko kasi ma cater lahat ng klase ng customers eh. Tapos, I really plan on having more branches so that more people would have the chance to taste what my passion is about.” 


We tell her that apart from the excellent customer experience at Chingkee Tea, the interior and artwork showcased at her shop was one of the first few establishments in the city of Cagayan de Oro that set the standards for focusing on articulate details and interior design. A striking item inside Chingkee Tea would be the samples of Chingkee’s sketches and paintings. “I really love drawing women’s faces especially the eyes. Maybe because there’s no doubt on the ironic amalgam of vulnerability and strength that’s vividly present in the eyes of women” Chingkee explains, “Although I do have a hard time on making the rest of the body (laughs).” Despite the store being an icon for several femme youngsters, Chingkee has a very diverse personality. “You don’t see me go out on parties or events. Yung CGY launching lang!(laughs) I’m really content with dinner with friends lang” and to add it up, she says about her music preferences,”I love indie music. Like Shadow on Stars!” Chingkee was also quick to share that she would associate herself with a cup of Jasmine Milk Tea. “Kasi yun, you can really smell the scent of fresh Jasmine flowers. It’s relaxing. But when you take a sip, it’s different. It’s good but unique. Kind of like myself. And CGY (laughs)” 

We couldn’t bare to miss out on asking the refined, although very cheerful and in a way, unpredictable young lady regarding her romantic inclinations. She simply kept mum and said “I can sound so jologs but sabi nga ng friend ko, everyone of us has an inner jejemon. Remember the Koreanovela City Hunter? I liked that kasi yung bida na girl, reminded me of myself eh” 

She seems to be very focused and determined on her business without losing her senses. “Minsan, nakaka stress talaga pag may negosyo. Pero that’s it. Stress lang. Maybe because if you love what you’re doing, kahit nga di ganun ka laki yung sahod mo, you’ll find fulfillment and inner tranquility” she shares. “The youth of Cagayan de Oro city today, grabe! Like in 2 years time, talagang nag boom! So many talented and hardworking people have surfaced and it’s really overwhelming to see such progress. Feeling ko talaga, humahabol na nga sila sa mga youth ng Manila or even, overseas.”


I’m really focused on the customers’ experience…



top SHABBY  CHIC,  skirt   DOC  MAVY  DE  LEON  

Take a splash as the earth’s most precious stones get a modern make-over with neon hues and geometric shapes.

photography BON BLEU hair and make-up by MARA JAYNE TISMO model PEACHY MIEL ESTOQUE wardrobe provided by JUSTINE RAAGAS special thanks to FLORENCE VELASCO

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Inspired by the creatures that feed on dreams and romance, Ryan C. Sy’s shadowy textures and vibrant hues reinvent the smoky eye for a visual treat.

photography PHILIP VALLESPIN hair and make-up RYAN C. SY illustrations by KARL ADRIAN AGURO post-processing by BON BLEU model EIRA CABERTE

EMBELISHED EDGINESS scarf used as top, harem pants, bangles and necklace used as head piece ALL STYLIST’S OWN



SENSUAL SHARPNESS turbine and swimsuit BENJIE MANUEL scarf and necklace STYLIST’S OWN


It took God 7 days to create a world where various beau beautiful cultures, beautiful uniqueness to anything, actua latter crowds the earth but only a few are chosen t Zoom in on the local city and you will find an analogical m 7 whose deservedly put in the pages of CGY. Meet top mo they talk about their blooming careers and the bo



utiful life forms could inhabit—the beautiful landscapes, ally, and of course, beautiful people. An abundance of the to grace, quite deservedly, the pages of magazines. multitude of beautiful women, but only 7 stand out. Only odels Nicole, Charis, Julee, Cese, Kimi, Alana and Maris as ooming Cagayan de Oro fashion model industry. 



It’s like a fashion montage with glittering diva lights ala Mariah Carey music videos when visualizing Julee Bourgoin’s favorite things about modeling: “the runway, the heels, the outfits, the designer items, the limelight, the makeup…” Pak! Pak! Pak! Is this girl living in a Victoria Secret Fashion Show?  Duly embodying the supermodel she describes as “a woman who is confident in her own skin and she's strong despite all the negative things that’s said about her,” this pretty lady shares the same childhood story as French Vogue favorite Natasha Poly. Bullied by the shorter kids in elementary for her lankiness, Julee always felt insecure because she didn’t fit in—height-wise. This made her wish she would stop growing because it made her feel awkward and queer. But a fateful introduction to Zoe Botwin turned the odds to her favor when she started modeling. “I felt like I belonged,” she says “I like modeling.” This ‘belongingness’ the modeling world showered her, made her the confident woman that she is and opens to new opportunities like modeling outside the local scene. It also makes her feel secure to hear from industry bigwigs that the Cagayan de Oro modeling circuit has improved sporadically over the years, ”this means that we are in good hands.” But she doesn’t stop just there; she hopes that the industry will reach the international standard as well.  Her parents are her biggest fans and Julee claims, “if I’m happy, they’re happy. They trust the decisions I make as long as keep my priorities in order. ” Their also her inspiration when she does her killer poses because “they make me strong.” Modeling is not the only thing she spends her free time with; she likes reading a book (“I’m a bookworm!”), listening to her iPod, and strumming her guitar. In fact, she’s so musically inclined she never leaves home without her guitar pick because “I’m always listening to music. I can [also] sing but I’m not really good at it.” When asked what advice she could give aspiring models, she shares an inspiring message: “How many times you fall is not important. What matters is how many times you get back up and continue fighting.” It couldn’t hold more spot-on to what she dealt with in elementary. But look at her now; the bullying was definitely worth the phase to go through, like a Mariah Carey song, this girl was ‘triumphant’!



A Cagayan de Oro local would have probably lived on a cave in the deep boondocks if it doesn’t recognize Nicole Floriendo. A sinewy belle of the local modeling industry that has slowly reached an ‘It’ girl status walking for various local designers, gracing the ads of Spruce and frequently liked song covers on her Facebook. Before she would rise to fame she would serve as filler for the SM CdeO ‘Just 14’s’ fashion show with an incomplete model set. Normally she would ignore the request but because her sister and cousin’s were there it gave her the confidence to walk the runway at a ripe age of 12. Several years more of strutting in the local scene will eventually take her to the prestigious catwalks of the Philippine Fashion Week. Although there was a ‘naturally-selective’ height requirement, it didn’t hinder her to confidently sashay the outfit she wore. She candidly ruminates the international scene to be a miraculous feat but if God-willing, “why not!” However, the support from her parents keeps her going, “They would [even] guide me on what shows I should join to make sure I’m joining the right ones and to protect me din.” Having started at a young age, Nicole is proud of the progress of the CdeO’s modeling industry that now has modeling agencies that help models acquire work outside the city, “to explore their potentials and expanding their froniters.” But this doesn’t mean that she’s shunning freelancing because “I started as a freelance model but it helps to have an agent. “ Besides modeling, Nicole also shares that her favorite pastime is learning the French language, “whenever I’m not sure about the pronunciation of a word, I would go to Google translate and click the “hear audio” button.”  Her affinity towards the language has influenced her taste in fashion favoring Alexander McQueen and Elie Saab. “They have this eerie yet unique kind of style/designs and they have their own identities as designers.”   With her impressive pedigree of modeling gigs, local or national, Nicole will undoubtedly stretch to the glinting shores of Paris Fashion Week, or maybe—just maybe—find herself filling yet another incomplete set of a McQueen show. Fingers crossed.



Someone is reading too much fairy tales and her name is Cece Dosdos. Two of her favorite things are her books and e-reader because “I like being taken to another reality, imagining that I’m part of the story, being the heroine, or the villain to make it interesting…” She’s also become a teacher, an actress and pretty much anything she can think of by playing dress up using her mother’s clothes and some random cloth on her magical surroundings.  Her brother became the Prince Charming to her modeling fantasy when he helped her enter a business launch modeling clothes from the sponsor establishments of a mall. After that stint she joined a modeling contest, Rampage 2, and lived happily ever after as a beautiful model… not. “I find it quite peculiar for some people to think that most models are just pretty faces,” she explains “ I know and worked with models who have excelled in their respective fields like medicine, finance and literature. There are also those who advocate causes for sensitive issues like gender equality and global warming. These [people] even use modeling to be catalysts for positive change in the society. Models are truly more that pretty faces and bone breaking poses.” This speaks true to top model, Harvard graduate, philanthropist and businesswoman Tyra Banks, whom she learned a lot from and made her the model she is now by watching her show America’s Next Top Model. Cece candidly defines what a supermodel really is, probably modeled from Banks herself, as someone who “knows the basics and makes the most of it. That person knows how to respect the people he/she works with and therefore makes it even in the international arena.” Speaking of the modeling arena, Cece is very happy to see diverse faces in the local modeling industry compared before when models were few and recycled every time in different fashion shows and shoots. “I like seeing people helping others develop their talents in the industry because it’s such a rich experience to become a model.” The boost of good-looking individuals in the circuit riding along this enchanting adventure with her only furthers her dream for the city to become Mindanao’s fashion capital. Modeling has generously embraced Cece with abundant clients, photographers, make-up artists and stylists that she’s very happy to pose for and she actually has a real job too. Now isn’t that a fairy tale?



Charis Wills would be typically described as gorgeous, or in the German language: schön.  “I never tried to be a model because I never had the feeling that I’m gwapa” says the German transient who started modeling in the city during her short lived stint to continue her tertiary education. “People in the Philippines don’t approach me in personal because they are shy so they added me up in Facebook and sent me messages.” Blessed with bright eyes and an inviting mouth, Wills has booked shoots from LaChica to Vago Nozze to Peacock Garden Resort at Bohol. The latter, she recounts, being her favorite modeling experience: “I really liked the staff because the photographer [was] German and they served German food ‘coz also the owner of the resort is German. Also the expansive view of the sea and the infinity pool really relaxed me during the 3-day shoot. I had an amazing time there.” While being a model certainly has its perks, she tells CGY that her favorite part about it is meeting new people and visiting new places in the Philippines. The icing on the cake above her career is the support she gets from her family. “They are really supportive, especially my dad. He is always asking me: Do you have any new projects now? When? Where? What is it about? Okay, go!”  Even though it is a glamorous job, she playfully shares that one of her peeves is the process before the shooting begins, “When they put on the make up I’m usually really patient, but when it comes into that part, all my patience is gone! [But] after I see the result I’m super happy!” Recently, the leggy German has left the city to pursue other life plans which doesn’t necessarily mean she’s bringing her modeling with it, “only if I’m in CdeO lang,” she says candidly “coz in Germany they will just laugh at me if I’m modeling!”  But no bawling please, as Charis plans to come back in the city to continue her modeling career. The industry will no doubt be waiting in bated breath.



“Miranda Kerr!” Alanna excitedly shares her favorite supermodel. “She’s like a goddess for me!” The typical beginning for any model’s career is getting approached on the street by an agent and then dragged to a studio for test shots, just like Kerr. But the process isn’t really necessary for Alanna’s fate in the local modeling industry.  Suddenly, she found herself strutting the catwalk at LimKetKai wearing the prom gown she made Mimi Parrel-Pimentel design for her circa 2009. “She was looking for models from among her clientele to grace the occasion of Jessie Mendez opening.” The rest, as they say, was history.  Now she finds herself fulfilling her mother’s dream for her to become a model. The female progenitor being the most excited than her daughter and at one point being branded a stage mother. Alanna laughs at this and even says that sometimes her father has had disapprovals about some aspects in the industry but can’t do anything when her mother takes the despot.  Unlike Kerr who catwalks her way in an established international industry where French designers, conglomerates and a gaggle of supermodels contribute to a chunky percentage in the economy, Alanna has high hopes for the growing local industry, I think it needs a unifying leader so that factions maybe minimized thus improving further the budding modeling industry in the city.” Alanna plans to pursue modeling in the future but only after she finishes her education, because of this, she ‘chickened out’ on representing Cagayan de Oro for the Miss World 2012 pageant. She believes that both these glamorous paths can wait and that if she still has it, will have no qualms in falutnting it. Certainly, Alanna has gone far in the glitzy industry, starting as a customer moving on to fashion shoots and then, who knows, in the near future she might walk the runway for her favorite designer Betsey Johnson.   



When Maristela smashes the volleyball to the other court, you know she’s determined, driven and hungry for the gold. Most athletes are. But not most athletes are born with a beautiful face, long legs and personality that attract not only the boys (sutiors, designers, what have you…) but also the piling modeling workload.  “It has been my dream to become a model,” she enthusiastically shares with sparkle on her eyes, “when [on] opportunity came gi grab na nako siya dayun.” A fashion shoot and runway favorite, Maristela posed for Wella when she was 10 but unfortunately quit, come college when her teammate introduced her to a designer which then waked her enduring love for modeling. “If pwede lang gyud [I’ll stay in this industry forever],” she blushes, “if naa nako’y family, that’s the only time I will stop or dili na active sa modeling.”  Maristela’s intense enthusiasm in modeling probably stems in the genes as her mother also used to model when she was still young, that’s why her parents are very supportive of her. She’s in the verge of plotting to pursue her career after college to venture the cruel sea of modeling, anticipating numerous amounts of rejection, outside the city. Sense her passion yet? Despite disliking the rehearsal part of the job (like most of the models here do), it’s the dress up part that she loves, “my favorite part of modeling is when we can wear gowns, branded clothes and very couture gowns. My memorable experience was when we got to wear clothes form Penshoppe, ForMe, Tyler, Memo, Regatta and Oxygen.” Because of ample amounts of gigs here and there, she’s not only enjoying the perks and attention of being a model but hopes that the horde of fashion shows being presented each month will make the local modeling industry equal to Manila circuit and the boom of the fashion industry in terms of retail. Clearly, this athlete-slash-student leader-slash-model not only aims for her own gold but for the industry as well. An unstoppable force of influential fierce, who’s to say this tall glass of a hyper-lass won’t make it to her fave show America’s Next Top Model? Everyone will be rooting for Maristela, we’ve got a winner here folks. 



It was as if God created Kimi with the color red in mind. With looks as spicy as the color of seduction and the way she stands out with her lips painted scarlet, it was fitting and perhaps, perfectly serendipitous, that she would gush on the rosy hue when CGY asked what her favorite color was. In her own words, “it makes me feel warm and it's also attractive to look at.” The testament continues on her preference for food liking beef tenderloin steak (classified as red meat) with fries and… you guessed it, ketchup. Literally, you will not run out of red puns for this rising young model.  Before her break in the local modeling industry she claims to have reservations being one as she was shy and never thought of herself to be qualified for the job. In fact, before her dad passed away he didn’t want his daughter to enter modeling, as she was too young for it.   Lucky for us, last year, a friend convinced her to join the Benjie S. Manuel Workshop which she quickly changed her mind to model and started to gain confidence and worked on adjusting her attitude. Apparently, she loves every minute of it, as she wants to pursue the career whenever she has time. “I would love to go beyond the CdeO circuit,” she says “I find modeling interesting and fun. It would also make me even more challenged and capable to grab new opportunities in the modeling industry.” Being the congenial sass that she is it would be no surprise that Kimi has had wonderful relationships with her co-models, photographers, make-up artists and the rest of the local fashion world. “My favorite experience about modeling would be the bonding. As long as everyone’s having fun and happy, memorable na yan para sa akin.” Like the red planet that garnered much publicity this year, this young ‘un, with looks and posing skills to boot, will be on everyone’s radar in no time. 



On the topmost floor of the building, inside the room right next to the staircase, we find RB sitting at the back of the class. An onlooker can only wonder what goes on in his mind for the rest of the period. He could either be listening well to the teacher or chasing a hundred thoughts in his head but none will ever know because he stays silent. The bell rings, and he jumps out of his seat, goes out of the classroom faster than everyone else. A few months later, we see him marching alongside the rest of the school’s batch 2012 graduates; he wasn’t just spacing out after all. 



n a typical encounter, RB comes off as a straightforward, fuss-free guy who always has a single-word answer to every question thrown at him. Once in a while though, he would surprise you with blithe remarks just when the conversation takes on a more serious tone. On the surface, he appears as a serious person complete with a deadpan expression; but underneath that exterior, he seems to be a traditional wisecracker. There is an unthreaded dimension to his personality, not everyone would guess that come night time, he would effortlessly hold the helm of the city’s liveliest parties and gigs. As a DJ, he steers the crowd into a temporary wonderland of finely synced beats and mixes; a sharp contrast to his daytime persona.  He started tinkering with turntables when he was just a young boy. He started learning the basics from his dad, who was also a disc jockey in his prime. “It started with my dad, he’s a DJ. He started working in a radio station when he was 17. So I learned from him. Everything he knows about spinning and DJ-ing were passed down to me and my brother. Then, we became a trio, me my dad and brother.” RB shares.   RB finds himself lucky since he got to learn the art of mixing from his dad. He admits that starting out and learning everything from scratch is difficult. He was one of the lucky ones to get a first-hand experience in this field at such an early age.    His mom, on the other hand, is also very supportive. “She tags along with us and takes pictures. Sometimes, she even helps prepare our clothes.” Given that, there is practically no reason for RB not to pursue his passion.

Influenced by 80s music, RB’s main goal when it comes to mixing is to help people enjoy music. He wants to help them get the most out of the experience. Like a necromancer, he takes over the CDO party scene, using seamless yet textured beats as a subliminal weapon to enthrall the audience. In his own words however he says “I just want to make people dance”, then he breaks into a song and spews out lyrics of “Like a Virgin” into our faces.   While he has been exposed to the scene since his early childhood days, RB only started receiving paychecks a few years back. Among his favorite things about the job is the opportunity to meet new people and play for them. Sometime last year, RB recalls spinning for a crowd and Apl de ap was part of the audience. He was approached by the man himself and was asked regarding the equipment he used. Turns out, both of them used similar types of turntables and equipment.    Moreover, RB talks about how much he values the experience he gets whenever he’s out there playing for people. So far, one of the best times he can associate with his job was when he was brought to play in Xavier University’s soccer field. “It was a huge crowd.” He says. For him, the experience was ecstatic; it was in a way a great accomplishment to have that much people gathered in a single place to fall into his spell for a few hours.    RB has gone to several places all over Mindanao to play for clients. He has been to Butuan, Illigan and Davao. Like all other DJs, his biggest dream is to widen his scope and travel the world just to play for various crowds. When asked about his dream client, he says “I don’t know, I don’t have one particular personality in mind, I just want to play for people.” 

While he doesn’t see himself quitting from his job anytime in the future, RB is also thinking about signing up for law school. However, he chooses to weigh this option first because he doesn’t want to compromise his growth as a DJ. After all, law school does have a reputation of being such a “jealous girlfriend”. He wouldn’t want to gamble his passion for that.   When he’s not inside clubs spinning and mixing, RB claims that he does normal guy stuff like play ball and listen to jazz and relaxing music at home. When he’s not playing music for other people, he chills out and play music for himself.    His normal lifestyle exposes him to all sorts of party elements and paraphernalia, i.e. free-flowing booze and all that. Quite surprisingly though, RB starts and ends each night sober; “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke because I don’t want to.” he says. And with that statement, the case has been concluded, RB Banaag is definitely not one of your orthodox male species. He parades a distinctive personality of his own all while having the uncanny skill to attach and detach himself from the crowd whenever he sees fit. He could be all that and more, but then again, who could ever tell. 


Sidewalk surfing, as it was known initially, came out as an alternative ho On some days when the waves were either too dull or rough, they would surfing, this pastime eventually evolved into an extreme sport in its ow longboarding was embraced by numerous riders and enthusiasts worldw skaters alike, the sport also became subject to the disapproval of many. 70s. Things took a turn come early 90s when professional longboarders a that drowned one of the world’s most exhilarating sport. No longer lin winning back the hearts of a larger and more diverse group of riders. 



obby among surfers in Hawaii and California way back in the late 1950s. d go out and cruise on concrete instead. Founded on similar dynamics as wn right. Further developing into a prominent style of skateboarding, wide. However, as much as it gained popularity among skaters and nonLongboarding was highly associated to a rebellious lifestyle during the and various extreme sport devotees worked to break the awful stereotype nked to a culture of ruffians, the longboarding trend slowly re-emerges,

wardrobe provided by TRES MARIAS ONLINE SHOP

Here we take seven girls, cramped in a speeding SUV

en route towards their newly discovered skate spot, a few miles west of the city. As the car pulled over, the diverse bunch hopped out wasting not a single minute to grab onto their boards and race downhill. Clad in neon tank tops, floral bralets, and skimpy cut-offs, the girls glided downwards a rocky and steep slope as if it was one of the easiest things to do on earth. In an instant, the dry atmosphere of the area was filled with the promise of adrenaline and white hot energy as the girls cruised in circles, seemingly determined to leave a permanent arc on the ground.    Meeting up at random points all over the city to skate, despite the differences in their schedules, has been a regular thing for these girls. An accomplishment considering we are talking about extreme differences in lifestyles. Within the circle, we have a mother, a junior law student, a business student, a cheerleader and a worker in the broadcasting field. What draws them together is the camaraderie and chemistry they have developed over time owing to their enthusiasm and love for the same sport – longboarding.   

It started way back in 2009. Cayoy was one of the girls who frequented the Rotunda. It was where she met a group of longboarders who eventually got her hooked into the sport. Forging her way in to the scene was quite easy as she was also into skimming. Nonetheless, she started out by learning the basic techniques just like all the others. Going beyond carving, She explored more complicated techniques as she met more longboarders including those coming from nearby provinces such as Bukidnon. As she puts it, “Reaching out and meeting other longboarders is necessary if you want to diversify the stunts and techniques you wish to master. What we do is create a circle of longboarders, doesn’t matter if you are new to this game or not, all we want is to skate together and have fun while constantly learning more stuff from each other.” A few years after, she finds herself easily surviving long distances on her board. So far, the longest distance she has travelled went as far as 3 KM. Eventually, the sport lead her to meet other female longboarders in CDO including Gamay, Monique, Xheng, Apple, Khenzel as well as Maria, who recently emerged as a national winner of a 10KM race in Lanao.  According to her, gaining friends as well as the prospect of meeting new people is part of what makes it fun. “I think another awesome thing about longboard is the camaraderie among fellow longboarders.” Apple says in agreement to Cayoy.   “When I first tried longboarding, I did not expect myself to get hooked. It was a bit intimidating at first because everyone was already so good and I was just starting out and it didn’t also help that I was a girl. Thankfully, they were all so supportive. Instead of poking fun at me they encouraged me to try harder and learn. The best thing was whenever I reached a milestone or whenever I mastered or learned a new technique they would all be so happy and they’d cheer at me for having

accomplished such feat.” Gamay Says. In this circle, every accomplishment, regardless of how big or small, is worth celebrating. “I think in a way we were sort of lucky because, we had supportive guy friends who taught us how to master all these techniques. Way back, all they had were youtube videos to watch and learn from. These guys were awesome mentors!” Monique adds.  

As expected, longboarding can be quite an expensive sport. “You need to spend because the more you progress as a rider, the more you need to buy new equipment and stuff.” Maria said. However, given that their passion lies here they consider it a worthwhile investment. Besides, there are always ways for every rider to minimize costs if they feel the need to upgrade or customize their equipment. “We trade some of our stuff with other skaters whenever we find ourselves strapped for cash.” Maria adds.  More importantly, the girls also invest a big chunk of their time to practice. Every rider needs all the practice he can get in order to improve; there is practically no short cut for that. When asked how often they go on skate dates, the girls almost chirped out in unison “Anytime possible!”  Apparently, a lot of people also skate as a form of relief from their demanding daily routines. “Long board is also one way of relieving stress. I know nurses, attorneys, photographers, videographers etc who find longboarding as a stress reliever. Come sundown, I’d get text messages inviting me to skate. It’s refreshing since you tend to forget all the stressful ordeals you went through during the day while you’re on the road gliding.” Cayoy shares. It seems that longboarding has become an alluring sport that draws people together from all ages and all

walks of life. “It’s so funny because at day time, I see them around in their uniforms, and at nighttime they just seem to blend in with everyone else as they skate.” Says Apple. Apart from comradeship, longboarding also grants them a certain brand of exhilaration that they can’t seem to find elsewhere. When asked about the reason why she still sees herself skating in the future, Gamay has only this to say, “There was a time when I stopped riding for a while for certain reasons. It was mostly because of school. For me it was hard to do both things at the same time. Choosing to focus more on my studies, I took a break from riding. Last month, I went back on my board and I started meeting all the others back somewhere near the Bell Church area. I remember this one particular slope in that area, way back I used to just glide through that slope without so much effort. Sometimes, I even race through that course with my purse strapped to my shoulder. Way back it used to be so easy! After taking a break from riding, things changed. My next encounter with that slope after a long time of not riding turned out to be different. It seems after a long break, the road appeared less friendly. Looking at it for the first time after a long time, I said to myself grabe! Pawira man diay kayo ani oiy! Then I tried going downhill again, what I felt was exhilaration beyond words. Nothing else can give me this feeling.”  Fear, of course, will always be part of the skater’s equation. However, they handle this obscure faceless monster quite differently. They play with it. Everyone goes through it. Everyone experiences their knees shaking every once in a while. Everyone is scared of pain. Fear is universal, after all. But instead of letting it get in their way, these girls use whatever fear they might have as an impetus that moves them

forward and helps them conquer that viciously intimidating slope. The first step is to conquer the initial fear. And how exactly does one do that? “You practice at your own pace. You level with your fear. You work it out with yourself.” Says Cayoy. “Once you’ve manage to conquer your initial fear there are times when you no longer care how steep a road is or how tricky the slope may appear to be, all you want is to just go through it and see how it goes.” She adds.  

There are also several instances where they get wiped out. “It’s okay, it’s normal, that is part of the learning curve” they say. The most important thing is for all skaters to build confidence on the road. To gain that particular level of confidence, one must go through a few scratches and bruises. It’s inevitably all part of the game. “Kaya lagi na nimo, instill that in your mind. You know you have this kind of skill. Use it.” Cayoy says. However, it’s necessary to approach that certain level of mastery in a friendly pace. There are two essential rules to get there: always remember not to panic and always skate safe. “Of course, we’re girls, we skate safe, we still care about our skin and our body and we encourage all skaters to do the same.” Says Monique.   Despite the lingering possibility of getting wiped out in the most painful or embarrassing way possible, these girls remain loyal to their passion. It could be due to several pulling factors that adheres them to this sport. However, there is one simple reason that holds true for all of them. They brave the concrete and unforgiving pavement all for the sake of chasing a few moments worth of euphoria, an insatiable high that’s incongruously tied to the prospect of pain. Associate it with the same level of thrill you get after you’ve managed to overcome something you haven’t done before or something

you were scared to do. You own the fear that’s been holding you back and you surprise yourself by doing so, then you catch yourself in a state of rapture. It is perhaps that one fleeting moment that makes it all worth it. It can be a thousand things summed up in one word – STOKED.  

“Once you’ve tried it you’re never going to stop” - Maria


What’s a fiesta if not celebrated with food, right? Last August 15-17, 2012 the annual culinary show with this year’s theme “Eats More Fun in Kumbira”, KUMBIRA has once again left the Kagayanons not only in awe but also wanting for more of those mouth-watering dishes! That’s right! The Kumbira Culinary show also showcased a food bazaar with different booths offering their best products from Bukidnon down to Cagayan de Oro City! Creativity was at its best when participants boast their talents through food carvings! Exotic foods like crocodiles, snakes, lizards, insects and the like were also presented at its best form of edibility. Fun and exciting surprises were in store for everyone inside the Limketkai Atrium. Monster Kitchen garnered the over-all champion title followed by VIP Hotel as 1 st runner up and Thai Me Up as 2nd runner-up. Lourdes College also defended their title as champion for the student division.

CGY Issue No. 2 September-October 2012  

CGY: Collective Group for the Youth's second issue with one of Cagayan de Oro's most successful young entepreneurs, Chingkee Te

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