AUG 15- SEPT 15 2010
ArtEd LEARNING FROM JEJEMONISM THE PHIL. SEX EDUCATION DEBATE A COLLEGE DILEMMA THE LOCAL PINOY ART SCENE FASHION: ECO ART CHIC MY PINOY LIFE IN PROVENCE THE ANNIE B CHRONICLES
In the classroom called life When was the last time you considered yourself a student? Most of us have gone through the usual route of getting ourselves an education. You go through primary, high school and then endeavor to complete higher studies to specialize in your favored field. Some of us pursue post graduate degrees or professional courses mainly to further reinforce skills to widen career opportunities. But as we go through the motions of acquiring an education, do we realize that we spend the greater part of our lives mostly focused on merely cultivating technical capacity? There is nothing wrong about striving to get ourselves a seat at the workplace, but what a pity if we don’t see the bigger point of learning, because truth be known, in the classroom called life, sometimes, we do tend to miss the larger scheme of things. Education has a deeper and more profound purpose than just to earn a living. It is that which will help you towards realizing yourself and your dreams – hopefully guiding you to your place in the world. For some of us who are more spiritual, education itself is a means to freedom – a liberation of the psyche and spirit. You educate yourself, because you want to succeed, grow and truly live. And so we should transform our education to a deeper kind of learning, a learning which does not stop when schooling ends. We should continue our life’s education by learning new things, new skills, and keeping abreast with the fast changing world, not to be left behind by progress. We need to carry on pursuing our aspirations – may they be simple or lofty, because that is what makes the difference between merely living, and a driven purposeful life. We have to learn to be a student of life, for life, and continue to evolve because as long as we live, so should we grow. Last year, two 90 year olds made it in the US headlines for going back to college and earning their degrees. Apart from their university requirements, the two ‘nonagenarians’ had to learn computer skills and get to grips with modern technology to cope with their studies. Helen Small who got a graduate degree in psychological sciences from the University of Texas, Dallas, became a role model encouraging the elderly to continue pursuing their lifelong aspirations. On the other hand, Clyde Wagnon from Idaho Falls, went back to school after losing his wife of 65 years and demonstrated that one can keep on moving forward and find renewed purpose in life. He said, “I do believe I can live 30, 40, 50 more years, if I keep on keeping on. So I need something to do that’s worthwhile. Whatever it takes to keep going, I’m going to keep going as long as I have the strength and will to do so,” he says. It just goes to show that education has so much more to offer than just the probability of a regular paycheck, and that, indeed, it is never too late to continue learning, AND living. My dear Illustrados, here’s wishing you a bright and enlightening August. Taas Noo, Filipino! LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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there and see the original structures of the old building , the UST church and of course the Arch. I also love taking walks in Intramuros and its walls steeped in history, the San Agustin Church and of course the Post Office and City Hall buildings. These landmarks and all the others that had stood the test of time and are a great reminder of the grandeur that was Manila. Dong N. Dimal
Are we truly free? In Theology we are taught that free will is exercised only if we choose to live virtuously because sin deprives us of our freedom. Similarly, Pinoys will only be truly free if we and our leaders will do things that will bring progress to our country economically, justly and morally. Marlon Halili Exmundo I think to some extent we are free. Compare that to the people where I am – where the people accept whatever their government tells them. No ability to think outside the box because they have been programmed to think one way. Here, there are a lot of restrictions in the media, no assembly, and right to truly voice out your thoughts. I have learned to appreciate what we have in the Philippines and I am thankful I am the way I am because of the hardships I had there. I truly believe the Filipino can overcome anything and resilience has built us stronger. For that I believe we can do it. Good luck to us all! Bambi Samonte
Revisiting the Beauty of Old Manila Thank you for your feature on old Manilareading it and looking at old photos of our beloved capital city evokes nostalgia and brings back pleasant memories, when times were good and everything seemed almost perfect. I can still remember when I was in grade school and Manila was voted the cleanest city in the world! Browsing through Youtube and seeing videos of old Manila when it was being hailed as the Paris of the Orient, one cannot help but feel a little bit sad of what it has become. One of the reasons why I wanted to study at the University of Santo Tomas was because it is the oldest university in Asia. These days, I still feel the excitement and pride whenever I go back
Filled with gratitude, for the amazing issue of Illustrado… I would like to thank the whole Illustrado team. It is truly humbling, and an honor to be featured with the bonafide designers of the UAE. But the highest of accolades ever is to be featured alongside newly-elected President Benigno Aquino III. Mabuhay! Jlo Aldwin Ornopia
Filipino Designers in The Dream Weavers
Bravo, it’s very nice issue. Iba talaga ang Pinoy lalo na sa teamwork. Reynaldo Gonzaga
I have always enjoyed all you covers! Talagang talented and magaling ang mga Pinoy! Thank you! Emerson Reyes
Galing ng cover!!! Thank you so much to the whole team of Illustrado for always making me a part of your magazine Ruben Santos
Beautiful cover... Amazing make up and styling... Whenever I open your Facebook account, I feel more proud about being a Filipino! Those designers Congrats Ezra and Illustrado! featured in your recent issue give me even more Michael Cinco inspiration in my work. Kudos guys! Thanks again to the whole team of ILLUSTRADO! Daveygurl Aguirre Reyes Thanks so much for always supporting us, and for your efforts. You guys are great!!! Albert Andrada On the Empowered Filipina Beautiful works of art by the pride of the Philippines *A letter from PSSP-UAE courtesy of President in the UAE!!! Mabrook!!! Joel Nedamo – in reaction to the screening Josel Hidalgo of The Empowered Filipina mini-documentary on the occasion of the PSSP-UAE’s 3rd Year To be lined up with these incredible talents, feels Anniversary. great! Ito talaga ang ultimate collectors’ item! Kudos to everyone behind this ultimate edition, and The video shown during our 3rd year anniversary more power to Illustrado. celebration really caught my attention. It showed Mabuhay ang Pinoy! God bless! how inspiring Filipinas can be and how strong our Rocky Gathercole sisterhood is. Whatever condition we have in their working environment, at the end of it all, we are Thanks a lot to all who appreciate my hard work. still standing strong with our dignity and innate You’re all my inspiration, next to my mom of power - that makes us Filipinas untouchable. course! Special thanks to the Illustrado team who are truly the force behind all this. And to all I am proud being a Filipina holding dear true Filipino my colleagues who made the shoot so special, values. In my stressful work environment where I mabrook to all! have to multi-task, I still give importance and time to learning on-the-job to make sure I improve my So proud to be part of an endeavor that actually work. And I’m proud to say all my bosses are very brings together the best of what is really Filipino. proud of me. My aim is to see myself years from I salute you all ILLUSTRADOS! now as part of the “cream of the crop,” with regards Ralph Ramirez to my field of. To the Illustrado team, thank you for supporting us, UAE-based Filipino designers. I truly appreciate it! And to all my friends, thanks so much for your comments. I love it! Jimi Buenconsejo
More Power to all the Filipinas around the World! Mae Leah Santiago Montes
Great works from the real inspiration to all young and upcoming designers! Keep it up! You uplift Filipino designers, Illustrado! God bless! Joel R. Mallo
I stumbled upon Illustrado through a friend’s FB and I love it! So proud to be a Filipino! Keep it up! Love your work!!!! How can I subscribe to the magazine here in Sweden? Alexa Bullets Baquiano Larsson
I’m so blessed to be a part of this Illustrado project. My heartfelt thanks to the whole Illustrado team. Iba ang galing ng Filipino! Mabuhay ang Pinoy! Mel Maria
Greetings from Sweden
Hi Alexa! Thank you for your kind words. Watch out for our online subscription coming your way soon. Best regards, Ed
CONTRIBUTORS Francisco Colayco
Illustrado contributor, Philippine financial guru, Francisco Colyaco, takes a practical look at higher studies today, and shares with us that the best education doesn’t have to be the most expensive one.
Alfred ‘Krip’ Yuson
Palanca Hall of Famer for Literature, multi-awarded writer and author, the irreverent Krip Yuson goes down to the “street level” to find some depth and meaning in the current youth movement of Jejemonism in the Philippines.
Architect by day, global nomad and Illustrado travel writer at any other given time, Al Manlangit takes us with him on a trip to the amazing Shanghai Fair in Pinoy Planet.
Eros Goze Sherry Tenorio
Photographer, fashion designer Eros Goze captures this month’s edgy fashion editorial featuring astounding eco-friendly couture creations from up and coming Filipino designers in the emirates.
College dilemma, the local art scene, as well as other bits and pieces are all part and parcel of writer, editor, girl-about-town Sherry Tenorio’s Illustrado offerings this month. Sherry also shares with us some ideas on enjoying the month of August in this side of the world.
Only gunny girl, writer and storyteller, Aby Yap, can take us through the intricacies of the Pinoy texting culture, like a kid in a candy store, through her column devoted to the weird, wild and wacky Pinoy nuances – Onli in Da Pilipins.
If there’s anybody who know how best to enjoy and appreciate popular Philippine and Asian destinations, it’s definitely Vic Lactaoen. Illustrado’s Associate Editor, Vic is not only a seasoned travel writer for over a decade but also the former head of Public Information for the ASEAN Secretariat. This month, Vic takes us on a trip to Bukidnon.
Ambassador Grace RelucioPrincesa The Filipino community’s head in the United Arab Emirates, Philippine Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa graces Illustrado in her monthly column Bayanihan Corner. In this issue, the good Ambassador talks about the value of a good education and how it is a key to success.
Publisher & Editor-in Chief Lalaine Chu-Benitez Associate Editor Vic Lactaoen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS UAE, Philippines, USA Aby Yap JR Bustamante Anna Lorraine Balita Jude Cartalaba Bernadette Reyes Karen Galarpe Bo Sanchez KC Abalos Carlito Viriña Krip Yuson Chayie Maligalig Lawrence Diche David Poarch Shar Matingka Excel Dyquiangco Sherry Tenorio Flordeliz Samonte Sonny Guzman Francisco Colayco Vic Lactaoen Isabel Warren Victor Sollorano Isabelo Samonte Ivan Henares Jack Catarata Jesse Edep ART DIRECTORS Tom Bolivar Paula Lorenzo Ron Perez CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS UAE Illuminado Ong Pot Ph Ik Lumberio Melandro Sanggalang Mac Antonio Jit Sanggalang Eros Goze CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS PHILIPPINES Dr. Marlon Pecjo Glenn Peter-Perez Filbert Kung CONTRIBUTING STYLISTS & FASHION TEAM UAE Zekundo Chu Basil Yunting Jessie Tabla Gene Aldente PUBLISHER - UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Dubai Media City, UAE Tel: +9714 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax:+9714 360 4771 E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.illustrado.net, www.illustrado.agilaglobal.net PRINTERS PRINTWELL PRINTING LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE Copyright Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2006-2010. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC.
Dubai-based Fara Manalo poses with “green couture” creations from up and coming Filipino designers in the UAE, in this month’s fashion feature
FEATURES The Philippine Sex-Education Debate 12 A College Dilemma 16 Filipino Art Movement in the Gulf 32 Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra: Filipino Talent at its Best 38
Editor’s Note 1 Letters 2 Contributors 4 Contents 5 Illuminati – Learning from Jejemonism 8 Kabuhayan: Food Cart Business 22 Pinoy Pro 27 Spirituality: How to Become a Superstar 28 Global Barrio News 30 Illustrado Scrapbook 36 Bayanihan Corner 68 Community 68 Onli in da Pilipins: Let’s Talk About Text! 70 Annie B Chronicles: Oh Tukso… Diligan Mo Ako! 72 Classifieds Listing: Filipino & Filipino-Oriented Establishments 78
PLACES Trippin’: Five Things to Do this Month 60 Pinoy Planet: Shanghai Expo 57 Bakasyon Grande: Bukidnon 62 My Pinoy Life In: Provence 64
FASHION Eco Art Chic 40 Illustrado Runway 53
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Jejemonism What does our outgoing Department of Education Secretary do upon hearing of the Jejemon phenomenon among our youth, but to announce a ban on such predilections?
By Krip Yuson
For those who’ve been living between a rock and a hard place, Jejemonism fundamentally involves sending out cellphone text messages with unconventional spelling and typographical features. Oh, include Internet communication as well. As my ongoing conduct of cultural research allows me to perorate, it started with GRO’s (Guest Relations Officers) — a Pinoyese euphemism for bar girls and other ladies of the night — who whiled away the time between clients by spicing up their textese with novel features, creating messages such as “TenKyU p0hwshz!
Simple alterations by way of playful use of the keypad, right? Terms of endearment typically delivered in pragmatic, short-cut fashion to economize on time and characters began to leap towards the other extreme. Superfluous consonants were added, attempts to approximate pronunciation conducted. “Lab u po” became “Lab U pohw,” then “...pohws” and “... pOhwSz” — with random, arbitrary caps and lowercase getting into the visual picture. Anything to while away the time and thumb, right? Where it used to be the old card game panguinge thence pusoy-dos that beat
ILLUMINATI 9 the boredom of a low turnout of nocturnal DOMs, now the texting generation found a new way to obviate drudgery. (At least that’s what my imminent academic paper on girlie-bar rituals might posit. Jeje.) Oh, yes, “Hehe” or “heh-heh” became “Jeje.” Even our doves of lowaltitude flight must acknowledge Castilian heritage. Shades of Padre Damaso, ryt? Then the youth picked up on those features and started replacing keypad characters with any others that resembled them, such as the numerical zero for the letter “o” or the number 1 for “i” — as well as symbols like the dollar sign for “S” or the euro sign to stand for “e,” which can also be represented by the number 3. Why? Because it looks like a reversed “E.” Such logic may only be described as wildly creative, something born out of the streets and the spirited hegemony of desire to be branded different and fresh. Read: unconventional. Now contrast this spark with the kneejerk mindset of Education officials, who rush to condemn and apply a ban: that typical sanction applied to anything that the narrow-minded fail to understand. When the more liberally-oriented Human Rights Commissioner questioned the DepEd pronouncement, the clarification came easily: Oh, the ban would just apply on school-related activities. But of course! How does one “ban” the use of jejespeak outside the campus? Or should Big Brother look over every student’s shoulder, say, during recess, and check out how they spell their text messages? In the first place, the use of cellphones is understandably prohibited in the classroom; even my college students in Ateneo ask at the start of the sem if I’m of the professorial type to impose total prohibition. Well, I reply, there will be days when even I will be dying to know the score in an Ateneo basketball game we’re missing because we have to hold class. Not only will I allow it during such momentous minutes, but actually encourage you guys to text the lucky ones enjoying live TV coverage in the caf. Apart from so many other primary deficiencies in our educational system — lack of funding that leads to lack of classrooms and teachers every June, poor teaching methods, incorrect textbooks, abbreviated or condensed curricula — one that I’ve always believed lies at the heart of our understanding is the tight-ass mentality that if anything is out of your pale or your ken, you should scowl and knit your brows and declare it a nuisance or a crime. Education officials say Jejemonism is wrong because it will do further damage to students’ spelling skills. But those skills are already stretched, or condensed, when one has to be practical with SMS use, and type in “l8” for “late” or d8” for “date” because not only does it appear cute, but also economizes on two characters and two milliseconds of thumb action. Necessity is the mom-and-pop operation of streetcorner invention; that’s a truism that every education and Church official should know by now. Why bring in the Church? Because it has become, in the last few decades in our country, the quintessential example of how dangerous knowledge can stunt our growth towards a more civilized comfort zone.
These days the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines or CBCP, in its frequent hubris of regard for its dubious clout, has zeroed in on the Reproductive Health bill that seeks to takes responsible parenthood onto a new plane. It is of course also in line with the necessity of population control. But certain bishops and prelates won’t have any of this, simply because they adhere to Vatican teachings on the so-called sanctity of life as well as the purely (oops, make that inherently) procreative purpose of mating. The Church has been wrong countless times throughout history because it likes to poke its nose into everything, while failing to acknowledge that Faith is Faith and Reason is Reason (or Science is Science) and hardly shall the twain ever meet. Galileo was proven right. Our Earth revolves around the Sun. Many other scientists and voices of reason have been proven right, and the Church wrong, for which it takes this institution decades or centuries to acknowledge, let alone apologize. And yet they keep at it, partnering with misguided or manipulated NGOs in militantly advocating a total ban on mining, or GMOs, or aerial spraying of banana plantations. Ban, ban, ban! It’s the lazy man’s way of putting up humps to delay what is inevitable. Because they are too lazy to think, because they are too arrogant to even consider any other rationale or explanation, because they are too set in their medieval ways to ever welcome the verity that civilization moves on — that we all evolve and our mores evolve, even mutate — they will never acknowledge the possibility that given another century, even a benighted environment such as presently ours may lift outdated sanctions and all the murky veils clouding such matters as teen-age sex, marijuana smoking, divorce, abortion, prostitution... Hail the jejemons of today! Hail the evolutionary monsters of tomorrow! We lighten up as we learn, and we learn as we accept all possibilities of enlightenment.
Sex Ed Debate in the Philippines By Lalaine Chu-Benitez
An announcement in June by DepEd’s then Secretary Mona Valisno started a media firestorm that involved the Department, the church and concerned advocacy groups. The DepEd has started, beginning this school year, a United Nations (UN) backed sex education project for public schools, for children and teenagers, which will be integrated in subjects like science, social studies and heath. The program is being piloted in select schools around the country and is slated to be expanded nationwide. The government hopes that the program would help reduce the country’s tremendous population growth rate, prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies and curb the spread of diseases such as HIV and AIDS. Supporting the endeavor, the UN highlighted the Philippines’ duty as a signatory to an international treaty on the rights of children, to provide proper information to the youth about their bodies. According to a UN statement, “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that all adolescent girls and boys are provided with accurate information on how to protect their health and practice healthy behaviors. The UN will continue to work with the government to respect, fulfill, and protect the rights of girls and boys to comprehensive information regarding their health and their bodies. Global evidence shows that giving clear, appropriate, information to adolescents does not increase promiscuity, but helps them make responsible decisions.” Despite the worthy objectives of the program, especially considering that the Philippines is burdened by a 2% population growth, one of the highest in Asia, which is largely blamed for the high poverty level, as well as the high incidence of teenage pregnancies, the plan was met with open condemnation from the clergy and conservative groups particularly from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). According to the CBCP, the program will encourage promiscuity among teenagers. The group also stated that sex education is a task better left to parents and discussed in the home. Advocacy group Akap Bata, joined by Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez formed a protest at the DepEd office in Pasig City in June. The bishop, who said “Sex is now perceived as pleasure for today’s generation,” led the protestors in prayer for education officials to come to their senses and stop pilot-testing the program. Akap Bata said that the government should focus more on addressing other more pressing issues such as construction of school buildings damaged by Ondoy, instead of putting efforts on such issues. Meanwhile conservative party Ang Kapatiran (The Brotherhood) filed a court petition requesting
FEATURE 13 court petition requesting an injunction to stop the program. According to Eric Manalang, the party’s head, “Sex education in schools is not the answer to our population problem and poverty. It promotes promiscuity in children. It does not promote proper values that we want our children to receive in schools. We believe sex education should strictly remain a family affair. Ang Kapatiran’s legal bid claims that the DepEd’s project impinges on parents’ constitutional right to educate their children based on their religious beliefs. In another development, the former legal officer of CBCP, lawyer Jo Aurea Imbong, filed a lawsuit to stop the DepEd’s program implementation, on behalf of 30 concerned parents. Imbong referred to the projects as “contraceptive imperialism” which assaults moral sensibilities and the values of young people. She also said that it will fast track moral decay among young people by exposing them to sex at an early age. Despite the conflict, the DepEd has remained firm on its stand, especially with then Secretary Mona Valisno’s outspoken leadership. The department stated that the program is slated to curb the population growth rate, and does not promote out-of-marriage sex. The DepEd further explained that the program covers topics like reproductive system and cycles, hygiene, pre-marital sex, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, in teaching modules designed by professionals including psychologists. Valisno said, “Sex education will be integrated in other subjects such as science, and they are designed to be scientific and informative.” She added, “They are not designed to titillate prurient interests.” In a bid to balance views on the controversial project, the DepEd also has undertaken dialogues with various sectors about the program, including the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas, parent groups, the CBCP and the Presidential Council for Values Formation (PCVF). Valisno said that they will also include lesson guides in spiritual development as recommended by Bishops Reuben Abante and Efraim Tendero of the Presidential Council for Values Formation. She reiterated, “Our role here is to educate our young people on issues that directly affect them and empower them to make informed choices and decisions. We are here to build the child’s social, cultural and spiritual foundation and we need everyone’s support to make it effective.” Despite the change of leadership at the Department under the new Aquino administration, and amidst concerns that the sex education program will be summarily shot down, in lieu of the church ties of newly instated DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, a La Sallian Brother, the pilot program has been allowed to continue but will be put under keen scrutiny and review. On another note, Imbong’s group of concerned parents has dropped their lawsuit to give the new Secretary space to review the program modules. Whilst the reaction of the Philippine clergy and conservative groups is more or less expected, especially since they have always opposed population control programs from the government, could it be that such staunch condemnation is wrongly targeted to the education department, instead of Philippine media which has always promoted the flagrant display of sexuality in the country?
Sexual cues are rife in the Philippines and are seen, perhaps even accepted, as part of current Pinoy pop culture. Barely clothed dancers and celebrities ply their wares on Philippine TV, side by side religious programs in various channels. Teenage pregnancy, premarital sex, and sex itself, is a topic often played out in movies, telenovelas and are hardly ever deemed as taboo subjects in the public limelight. Sex as a platform for advertising has often been used to sell many a brands and products – from fashion to food, to telecommunications, beverages, tourism, and practicality anything under the sun, and it is hard to escape it especially if one is in the bustling metropolis which is overcrowded with looming billboards featuring larger-thanlife nakedness at different levels. And of course, the internet is in a totally different level – littered with all the Pinoy sex scandals of recent years, some of which have made it as major headlines and have even uncharacteristically become issues of national interest. It appears that while Philippine moral standards may be averse to promiscuity, teenage sex and casual intercourse, the current milieu points to the fact that Philippine media seems to promote it. In essence, TV, as well as other media somehow serves as a barometer for appropriate behavior. Whether we like it or not, media sets and even drives the standard for what is deemed as “normal” in popular culture. So what is media doing to the young people in our country? There are no specific research data available in the Philippines, but we could learn from the body of knowledge available in the west. A study
14 FEATURE published in The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in April 2006, from Prof. Jane Brown of the University of North Carolina, found out that sex in the media promotes promiscuity among teens. According to the study teenagers between the ages of 12 and 14 who use media with high sexual content are up to 2.2 times more likely to have sex by the time they are 16 than those who use less of such media. According to Brown, a professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, teens have a tendency to look towards media for sexual information because they are not getting it from anywhere, treating it as a “sexual super peer.” She called on parents, schools and pediatricians to provide relevant and timely information to the young; otherwise, teens will always look towards media, which doesn’t necessarily have their best interest at heart. Considering the media landscape in the Philippines, shouldn’t the church and advocacy groups clamor for a change in the state of media, especially where morality is concerned, instead of just launching complete retaliation on a project which could be badly needed in the country? Granted that sex education has to be treated with caution, especially highlighting the important role of parents, as well as the teaching of good virtues, self-respect, self-control, responsibility, commitment, love, and marriage, the relevance, perhaps even the need for sex education in a country plagued by negative statistics, set on a background of sex-filled media, cannot be further underlined. As President Noynoy Aquino remarked when asked about his position on the sex education debacle, the newly conferred president withheld his position but confirmed his belief that “Zero education means ignorance and ignorance might lead to wrong decisions,” he said.
OPINION Should the youth receive sex education in the Philippines? When the public starts treating a subject as taboo, the more reasons it is treated in a malicious manner. The educators, the media, the parents and the elders have the responsibility to teach and educate the young ones what those humanly desires, hormones and functions are about and how to deal with it. There is nothing to be ashamed of; it is not an act of sin but an act of love. It will allow them to accept it with respect and responsibility. The more we are deprived of the knowledge, the more chances of exploitation. Anna McBride - Dubai Sex education is not just about the act of having sex itself, but the development of human beings - physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. It should also be about building the character and individuality of a person while he/she develops physically. So, I think if the schools would teach sex education in a scientific manner, together with health ethics, it would be more helpful. Ross Santos, Dubai UAE
Sex is everywhere - on TV, magazines, on the internet. Education about it, however, is not as popular. Sex education will not corrupt the children; the irresponsibility of the act will. Well, as the word “education” connotes, it is something that is needed to be taught to children in school. The reality is, there is a degree of awkwardness between parents and kids when it comes to this subject. Therefore, it will never be as effective as studying math or science at home. This is my honest opinion and I am not generalizing parents’ approach towards this matter. Lucille Hyde - Dubai Sex is sacred. It’s only for husband and wife. Hindi puwedeng imulat mo ang mga batang wala pang ka muwang-muwang sa mga ganitong bagay. Kaya tuloy maraming naliligaw ng landas, kasi masyadong nang na co-corrupt ang minds ng mga bata. Kaya tuloy marami ang nagiging curious sa kanila. Parents should know how to educate their children through teachings, and prayer with the whole family. Nothing is impossible if you rely on God. Marivic Benitez Turla – Queensland, Australia
FEATURE 15 I have a 12 yr old boy and we’re living in Sweden. Sex Education in school is taught at 10 yrs old. It’s not just the act of “sex” but how the human body is built, etc. With or without Sex Ed these kids are aware of what’s going on (although perhaps not 100%) that’s why it would be good that we as parents provide them guidance, and give them the opportunity to discuss such things with us parents at home without any malice. It’s a good way of teaching them what they should avoid and be especially careful about before it’s too late. Sexually transmitted diseases among the youth are so rampant even in this “open” society like Sweden. Alexa Bullets Baquiano Larsson – Vasteras, Sweden I am more on the dissemination of information and proper sex education. I am so blessed to have a teacher at the Dominican College who taught us sex education when we needed it the most - I was 14 by then and our teacher paved the way to responsible adolescence. There are a lot of questions out there that need to be addressed. Why deprive our youth of information? Agnes Pedrosa Mårelid - Abu Dhabi It is a delicate topic and should be discussed with care and sensitivity. My thoughts here - parents and school authorities should meet and resolve first where to begin. I still feel that it’s the parents’ responsibility to have a comfortable and private time with their children. It has to be at an appropriate time, for children develop differently. It’s as per need basis (when this topic should be tackled). The school can provide the more scientific side of things. But the moral issues with the pros and cons, that’s between the kids and their parents. Jinggay Dinsay - Abu Dhabi Yes, I think learning about sex in school is the best setting for this very sensitive topic, since it will be discussed with their peers. But we should instill in their young minds that abstinence is still the best prevention from diseases and teen pregnancy. Jaypee Tanhueco - Angeles City, Pampanga Cons: In general, sex education can lead to earlier or increase in sexual activity among young people. Pros: It would protect them from early pregnancy, aids, sexual exploitation and abuse. Overall, the pros outweigh the cons and therefore, the youth should be equipped with the right information to face the above challenges. However, sex education should incorporate moral and religious teachings in relation to sexual relationships. Grace Moran - Dubai
Some children may not be as close to their parents compared to others so you can’t leave this topic to just the parents. Children also need proper education about it. Hopefully, it will help lessen teen pregnancy rates and prevent diseases from spreading. Children need to know the consequences of their actions and other things related that may not be “common sense.” Definitely pro. Tanya Hyde - Dubai Yes they should be well informed for their own protection, but not at the primary level. The first year of high school probably. At this age, they would be very much interested on the topic and there’s a better chance for learnings to be highly retained. Awareness about sex will happen anyway whether it’s officially taught or not. At a very young age such as at elementary level, it will just sound gross. Alma Cuevas - Dubai Mas mabuti yun kesa matutunan nila sa iba. Mas madalas mali yung mga natututunan nila sa ibang tao. Sabi ng mga religious na tao, makakasama daw yun sa pagiging conservative ng mga Pinoy. Hindi totoo yun. Halos wala na nga akong kilalang conservative ngayon, kaya dapat ituro na ang sex ed. Sex ed in schools na lang, kaysa matutunan nila ang sex ed nila kay Hayden Kho. Dennis DC - Manama Bahrain Yes they should be taught definitely!!! Before they go out and experiment on their own and ruin their lives because of one mistake. Agnes Aquino-Briggs, Abu Dhabi
More than just sex education, pupils must learn more about self respect... Shiela Salazar - Dubai
Sex education is the best orientation any pupil can have in this lifetime, in order to have a better and healthier view of sex. How I wish I had that for a subject when we were growing up. Because, it turned out that some of my views about sex were really distorted. And I didn’t love the fact. Rina Reyes Dionisio - Bulacan, Philippines
A College Dilemma By Sherry Tenorio
Each year, thousands of Filipino expat youths go back home to the Philippines to pursue their college degree. With the good standards of higher education, and the presence of trusted universities in the country, not to mention the affordability of tuition fees, it is widely accepted as a practical choice for most parents working abroad. However, entering into college is a huge and very critical decision for graduating high school students and their parents. It is a question which not only takes into account the cost of education, future opportunities in the workplace, but also practical issues such as living arrangements, even social and emotional adjustment.
At this point when the recession keeps family finances tight, Filipino expats are having a tough time deciding on their childrenâ€™s college education. Will it be better for them to send their kids back home, and save lots of dirhams? Or, will they brave the financial crisis in order to stay close with their children, as well as, provide them with more recognized educational credentials from internationally-accredited universities in the emirates? For those with money to spare, will they send their kids to the US, Europe or Australia where they could get â€œWestern educationâ€? that is totally in demand for employment, especially here in the Middle East? These are just a few of the questions that parents should face together with their children. Preparing them for adulthood by giving them the proper college education is such a difficult and tricky phase. And, Filipino expats parents know it better, as they have experienced the harsh truth behind the essence of quality college education and how it can make or break their future professional life. Studying in the Philippines There are many advantages to studying in the Philippines. The range of choices for higher education is huge and acclaimed universities like the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle and a host of others, are known to deliver
consistent standards of learning. The Philippines is also home to institutions offering vocational and technical courses for those who prefer to take up short-term programs. Tuition fees in the country are significantly lower than that of UAE schools, as well as colleges in western countries, not to mention the cost of living, making it a practical and solid option for parents looking for trusted education at a reasonable cost. Studying in the Philippines, has its perks for the youngsters too, as the country offers a lot of choices in terms of leisure and social activities, as well as the obvious benefit of proximity to other members of the family. However, one thing to consider, especially for children who have grown up as expatriates or third culture kids (TCKs) is the fair amount of social, emotional and even physical adjustment they would have to manage when they move back home for college, as it could be a real challenge. Furthermore, although educational standards in the prestigious universities in the country are solid, credentials are not necessarily recognized elsewhere. Fashion blogger, Paolo Joquico had been in and out of Dubai since he was 14 years old. With his parents working in the city, he would occasionally spend his summer vacations here. But, the Dubai lifestyle did not encourage him to stay and study here. Unlike his sister who attended college in the emirate, Paolo chose to finish his education back home, and decided to join his family here afterwards.
FEATURE 17 “I was enjoying living my life independently in the Philippines,” Paolo quipped. “And, I got in to UP Diliman.” Back in the Philippines, a degree from top-rated universities was what every youngster needed to ensure employment after college, as they would say. Despite the quality education however, Paolo said he was well aware of the reality once he stepped into Dubai’s work force. He shared, “In the Philippines, you have to start your resume with ‘Educational Background’ and if it says UP then that would be totally impressive. Here, that does not mean anything.” Although not entirely regretful, Paolo is adamant to get a Western degree. He is now saving up for a course on fashion journalism in Milan or London. Studying in the UAE With the growth in the number of higher learning institutions and courses offered, particularly through Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai Academic City, there are definitely more options for college education in the emirates these days.
Getting a Western Degree
Studying in the emirates definitely is easier for the young as they continue to stay with their parents and friends, and there is very little adjustment to university, with the multicultural environment providing them even further opportunities to improve their people skills. Furthermore, a local education definitely adds points to somebody’s employment opportunities, as it denotes familiarity and understanding of the prevailing systems and culture in the country and the region. The main drawback to attending university in the country is cost, which a lot of parents find extremely high.
Western education is one of the most sought after credentials in the job market, not only in the emirates, but in the region. Due to the high quality of education, degrees from the US, UK, Canada and Australia are like recognized currencies that can be taken and used to one’s advantage anywhere in the world. Studying in such schools also offers international exposure and a highly competitive environment which pushes students to be more independent, hardworking and develop self-confidence. However, the cost is simply not for everybody.
Richard Gian Valencia who grew up in the emirates, earned his degree in the UAE. Richard admitted that the major and probably only reason why he chose to stay was simply “he did not want to leave.” He was so accustomed to having his family and friends around, so he did not see any point of going elsewhere to study. Besides, he was confident that he would get quality education, as Dubai is increasingly becoming a popular hub for European and American accredited universities.
Born in the Philippines, raised in Dubai, Rafael Valencia, sibling of Richard Gian Valencia, is the Australia-educated Art Director to Alias Publishing (publishers of UNI Magazine, Lifestyle Middle East, LIVE Magazine, etc.). With his educational credentials and innate talent and interest in art and design, Rafael holds such a key position at the young age of 23. Always mistaken for a Filipino-American, due to his distinctive American accent, Rafael shares, “I had to study abroad because the course that I wanted to take up in college was not available here in the UAE at that time. My first choice was actually Canada, but we have relatives in Australia, so I just decided to go there.”
“My parents understand my situation, what it meant for me to stay close, so I didn’t have to persuade them to allow me to study here in Dubai,” Richard explains. He furthered, “Studying in the Philippines did not actually come to discussion. I knew I would have a hard time going to college there – my Tagalog is really bad, plus, I did not have any friends there.” Richard’s college life may not appear as exciting as his brother’s who opted to study in Australia, since his basic routine was home-schoolhome. There was no dorm life or freedom of that sort, but he does not regret his decision. He said, “It was not as fun as it was for people who experienced dorm life in the US or the Philippines. But, it was important for me to be with my family and my longtime friends to go through college.” He added, “Although universities here are not as good as their original counterparts or those in the Philippines, it was easy picking up a Western degree from respected colleges.” Richard’s decision to take a Western degree in Dubai will certainly take him places. No wonder, he got that internship with Ernst and Young just a couple of months from his graduation.
Did he consider studying in the Philippines? Rafael answered, “It was a personal choice not to go to the Philippines. I knew that my lack of knowledge of the Filipino language would make it hard for me to survive college there.” Luckily for Rafael, his parents were supportive of his decision. Rafael said, “You know the college life that you see in American movies, those depict my whole college experience. It was so fun; I felt like I was on a three-year vacation.” Telling tales of freedom of a young man was what Rafael took out of his college experience abroad, aside from the graphic design education that paved the way for enhancing his skills. Without a doubt, his university life in Brisbane made him more confident, independent, and culturally-sensitive. Indeed, if there is a way for Filipino parents to set their children free and mold them into open-minded, pleasing, Western-educated, highly employable professionals, then, as per Rafael’s experience, all the dirhams would be worth it.
Youth Extra Curriculars By Sherry Tenorio
In a city that is surrounded by shopping malls, it is difficult to divert youngsters’ attention to non-academic activities like arts and sports. But, these days, schools offer a number of extra-curricular activities that will ensure children’s well-rounded development. What’s more, we found a variety of unconventional options wherein you can enlist your children, and allow them to learn beyond the books in fun and exciting ways. Cooking Every child has dreamt of baking cake and cookies. Admit it, you had that dream too. So, for your child to fulfill that Martha Stewart fantasy, take a look at the offerings in The Little Pastry Chef where they teach seven to twelve year olds how to make scrumptious pastries. Log on to www.atelierdeschefsubai.com for more information. Or, if your child prefers to be the next Jamie Oliver then we suggest that you consult Cooking Sense about their Mini Chefs program. The center helps children discover the fun in healthy cooking and eating by teaching them how to cook easy to prepare homemade recipes. Tailor-made classes for children of different age groups can be organized by appointment where all classes include ingredients, recipes and a small meal or a tasting session at the end of the class. For know more, you may contact info@cooking-sense. com.
Pempengco? Well, we have found a one-stop shop where your kid’s talents will be harnessed to perfection. Take a look at the courses offered at The Music Institute in Knowledge Village and Jumeirah Beach Residences, and we’re sure you will agree with us. From teaching the theories to handson coaching in voice, piano, violin, drums, guitar and keyboards, The Music Institute provides your child the best possible means in enhancing their passion and musical capabilities. In addition, The Music Institute students claim that music classes help them learn about social and cultural issues, develop creativity and thinking skills, enrich their expressive skills, increase their self confidence, and aid them in their personal and social development. To know more, first their website www.themusic-uae.com.
Finishing School Here in Dubai, you do not need to send your children to boarding school to learn about proper etiquette and good manners. With the simple click at www.finishingtouch.ae you may find various courses wherein your children can learn table manners, party manners, telephone etiquette and more. These courses are simplified to help young people make the best impressions. For boys and girls from ages eight to thirteen, teenagers between 13-17, and young adults from 17 and 23, the Youth Etiquette program is very well recommended. Without doubt, after these courses, the children will be more confident in conducting themselves in social environments.
Gymnastics If you see that your child has great potentials in sports, then we suggest that you start practicing them in gymnastics. As we know, gymnastics is the bedrock of all sporting activities. With this sport, it is recognized that all the necessary body coordination skills and physical components are incorporated. Moreover, gymnastic activities at an early age promote good, sound fitness fundamentals leading to a healthier lifestyle. In both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the Olympics Gymnastics Club caters to all ages in their Recreational Gymnastics Classes, where they endeavor to give children the basic building blocks of gymnastics i.e., rotation, locomotion, swinging, supporting and weight bearing skills needed to go further in their gymnastics adventure. For more details, please follow the link www. uae-gymnastics.com.
Music Want your kid to be the next Lea Salonga or Oprah’s favorite Charice
Martial Arts Teaching the art of self defense is what embodies the popular activities such
as karate, judo or aikido. These Asian martial arts are served to this Middle Eastern city in different centers including the Dubai Karate Center where they admit children as young as five years old. Just phone them at 0508557996 for the details. Other karate classes are also offered at Golden Falcon Karate Center and Seibukan Karate Center. You may visit their websites for more information as well. Or, drop by Shangri-la Hotel Dubai n Sheikh Zayed Road to ask about their private defense classes for children. Fencing and Horse Riding Might sound archaic but fencing and equestrian sports are still regarded as the finest sports in the world. Now in Dubai, these after-school activities can keep your kids minds off from shopping the malls and surfing the internet. Quay Health Club in Madinat Jumeirah hosts the Dubai Fencing Club which offers lessons for junior from seven years onwards. On the other hand, numerous centers provide horse-riding lessons to children. The Desert Palm Dubai on Al Awir Road is not only a luxury retreat but is located at the heart of the Desert Palm Polo Club and runs a horse riding school too. While Dubai Polo Club has lessons for beginners and improver riders, and kids are taught not only to ride but also to do stable management. The Emirates Equestrian Center has a little league for pony riders whereas the Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club has horse riding and showjumping for all levels. Ballet, Tap and Other Dances Exposing your children to the world of dance is a wonderful step towards developing their talents and improving their social and coordination skills, not to mention their fitness levels. Ask your children what kind of dance they want to explore – ballet, tap, street jazz, and ballroom, contemporary or freestyle –
and take time to check out the most appropriate dance school. There is ballet at the Ballet Center in Jumeirah Plaza for kids from age five. Find some of the best professional dance experts at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Center (Ductac) at the Mall of the Emirates. Core Dance Academy in Dubai Marina is great option as well. Drama and Comedy In this day and age, theatre art is not all about Shakespeare. Comedy and Tap Dance Institute at Ductac has a tenweek course Clownin’ Around Youth Comedy 101 that teaches essentials of improvization, theater games, clowning, character development, basic circus skills and prop work. Students will gain confidence as well as develop their own unique comedic voice. The institute also has Speak Out Teen Comedy 101 that encourages youngsters to have fun, meet new people, overcome stage fright and build up confidence through laughter. Kid Theatre certainly works – it channels kids’ inner thespian and teaches them onstage creativity and confidence. Art and Design To indulge your children’s creativity, you may take a look at the classes for drawing, painting and pottery in Bastakiya Art School. Children over 10 can enroll and participate in several workshops that will surely bring out the Picasso in them. Kids who have an eye for design and details are also encouraged by Bead Palace and Accessories. This Do-it-Yourself jewelry shop has a training center and sells tons of different beads for use of novice jewelry and accessory designers. This is a good opportunity for your children to get more involved in their passion, and help them learn about doing it as a business, too.
Student Gadgets By Sherry Tenorio
The youth of today require a great deal of help from technology in order to survive school. There is no denying the fact in this day and age. When a student asks for a laptop, a music player or a flash drive, that does not mean he wants to play the role of a school geek. It only means that he needs these gadgets to study with ease and to increase his efficiency at school. However, since technology is fast-paced and could, at times, be confusing to parents, Illustrado compiles information on some of the essential gadgets students need to have these days.
Personal and Notebook Computers If you think that college students these days use paper notebooks to jot down notes, think again. Visit a college classroom and you will be surprised that most of the students are copying lectures and taking important notes on their laptop computers. Aside from saving time and looking cool, it would be easier for them to research information when they have wireless internet access (wifi). Use of personal computers, on the other hand, is being taught to kids as early as their first levels in grade schools. That is why it is no surprise that the students can type faster and create graphic designs better than their parents. Young people are now well-trained, and well-versed in computer language and usage. So, if they asked you to buy them the latest laptop or the fastest personal computer, try to squeeze it in your budget because they mean it when they say they really need it.
Music Players Whether it’s the iPod, MP3 player or pen drive, students require something to accompany them during late night or early morning cramming over homework, exams or overdue papers. It is a known fact that music is a calming element that helps enhance a person’s concentration. What’s more, these music players can also help students kill time when bored out of waiting in school halls. Though preferred and not that essential, still we say that students need these music players to survive school.
Pen Drive This piece of technology goes by different names – pen drive, flash drive, USB drive, USB stick, etc. However you may call it, small yet terrific is this gadget that is used in saving information from the computer for future use, in transferring files from one computer to another, or in listening to music in some cases. Convenient and practical for any student to carry around, better buy them because you may even borrow one from your kid once you realize the usefulness of having one.
Book Scanner If you’re imagining a bulky scanner that flashes light and emits unnecessary noise then think again. The book scanners available these days are as light and small as a ball pen. Students just point on the text and images from books, magazines and important documents that they want to copy, and ultimately these will be stored and be accessed once they plug in the device to their computers. Indeed, book scanners are very easy to use and carry, plus it helps save costs of buying or photocopying books.
Dictaphone Although most lectures are now emailed and shared through podcasts, there are instances wherein students need to hear the whole discussion immediately. Well, technology,
of course, has a solution – the dictaphone is a gadget similar to voice recorder, although it only records when it hears something to record, thus saving battery life and memory space. It is important in recording class discussions from start to end which ultimately allows students to go through class lectures word-for-word, helping them out for projects or exams.
Noise Cancelling Headphone In a student’s life, there come many times when they would want to shut off from the world in order to focus on reviewing for an exam or to finish an overdue project, or just to be free of the disturbing noises around them. Music players may be of great help but if students prefer serenity over pop and rock, noise cancelling headphone is certainly the answer. This gadget allows students to immerse into a quiet zone where they can just simply pay attention to what they are studying. If you’re kid is this type of student, better save him from the trouble and buy him one of these cool but essential gadgets. Kindle Remember the times when you had to borrow from the library and carry home five hardbound 1,000-page books at the same time? Well, kids these days need not suffer from such torment. Technology says that books are best stored in a functional gadget called Kindle. Aside from the ability to save thousands of books in one handy piece of technology, this lightweight e-book reader is the best possible way to eradicate that nerdy look, and instead display a chic-geek form.
Franchise By Bernadette Reyes
With only PHP21,888 you could have your own food cart business with the equipment and inventory delivered right at your doorstep. You don’t even have to go to Manila to seal the deal which makes this an ideal business for Filipinos whether at home or overseas.
Formerly known as Red Crikett Concept Inc., Filtrepreneur Franchise started with several food carts of My Pao in 2000, then later opened the business for franchise in a bid to promote and develop entrepreneurship in the Philippines. Many signified interested but didn’t have the necessary capital to bankroll a franchise business. “During the early days of business, we had lots of inquiries. Some
didn’t have money but they sought ways to finance the business because our offer was good,” said Frederick Tan General Manager of Filtrepreneur Franchise. Today, countless businesses have opened doors to franchisees to expand their reach but Hernandez said theirs is the best bargain. With just PHP21,888 anyone can own and manage a food cart business through Filtrepreneur Franchise. A franchisee may choose from a wide selection of food cart businesses including Pinoy Pao (siopao and siomai food cart), Jack’s Eatbols (squidballs, kikiam and fishballs), Emperor’s Siomai, Red Bowl Rice Toppings, Pizza Pinoy, O’Noodle, Burgeroo and Happy Waffle. The package consists of a one-time payment which already includes use of trade name and logo, collapsible stainless cart, equipment, uniform for staff and PHP500 worth of initial inventory.
Two-in-one and 3-in-1 food cart packages are also available at PHP38,888 and PHP50,000 respectively which could be a combination of any two or three of the abovementioned businesses. “You can save anywhere between PHP4,000 to PHP15,000 if you avail of combined concepts which could also mean greater income,” Tan explained. New business concepts have likewise been added on the list including The Sisig Shop, Joshmai, PutPot and Rainbow Juicer which cost PHP38,888 for each package. Investors who have greater capacity may opt for a kiosk package designed for malls and other locations with high foot-traffic. While this may cost more at PHP100,000 a franchisee will likely make more money too with the faster business turnover. “The more inventories you have and the more customers to buy those inventories, the more income you will get at the end of the day,” said Mark Angelo Hernandez, an agent of Filtrepreneur. Also included in the package on top of the cart, cooking equipment, uniforms, operation wares and inventory are franchise seminars and training for crew. Distributor package on the other hand are also available for interested franchisees who are willing to earmark PHP250,000. This package is inclusive of two single cart with equipment, one unit of 2-in-1, one unit 3-in-1 cart with equipment, a chest freezer, banners, PHP10,000 worth of products and entitlement to a special distributor’s price. Unlike other franchisors, Filtrepreneur is able to expedite the process of launching a franchise food cart business by simplifying the application procedure. An interested franchisee will have to fill up an application form, pay for the package, sign the contract and attend scheduled trainings and seminars. The franchise package is released two to three weeks after payment and business can start rolling at once. The company charges no royalty, termination and renewal fee and do not impose quotas on products. The food cart business is also made available to interested franchisees in distant provinces such as Ilocos, Cebu and Davao among others without having to fly to Manila. Payment can be made through a bank and the franchise package will be couriered right at the doorstep of the franchisee. The most popular food cart business among existing franchisees is the Pinoy Pao because two products, siomai and siopao, are sold in one cart. Hernandez claimed the siopao is one of the most saleable products because aside from traditional flavors such as bola-bola and asado, this food cart business also sells new and exciting flavors including chocolate, ube, ham and cheese and adobo lending a Filipino taste to this otherwise traditional Chinese food. However, 3-in-1 food carts are the most sustainable said Hernandez. He explained the diversity of products gives franchisees the opportunity to earn more from a wider customer base. “Our client’s fastest ROI is two months. One of our franchisees earns PHP50,000 weekly because he is a distributor in Nueva Ecija,” Tan said. The food cart business is suitable for Overseas Filipinos (OFs) said Tan. Their relatively higher income compared with local employees allows them to raise the necessary capital faster and acquire more food carts. Even if they choose to continue working overseas, OFs can still engage in the food cart business by allowing their relatives and friends to manage the business for them. Once the business
becomes profitable, the OF might no longer need to work abroad. Instead they could go back to the Philippines to become full-fledged entrepreneurs and open more franchised food carts to remain profitable. “This kind of business is perfect especially for OFs because they can give extra income to their family here in Philippines. Many Filipinos are aiming to have good income by working abroad. This business is an opportunity for OFs to earn as much as they earn abroad and possibly even more without having to leave the comforts of their own home,” Hernandez explained. Filtrepreneur is also encouraging local employees, parents and students who want to become entrepreneurs to give the food cart business a try. “Most Filipinos are not open-minded about putting up their own business that’s why we teach Filipinos to be entrepreneurial so they can apply the law of leverage. In society, entrepreneurs are the one who get rich faster (than employees),” Hernandez said. While there is no guarantee of success, studies show franchise businesses are likely to last longer than a new business concept. According to the Philippine Franchise Association, franchising is “a proven business model with 90 percent success rate. “Franchising works because it duplicates an already successful business. There is already a successful system in place and all a franchisee has to do is follow that system,” Tan explained. Careful study on their franchisees revealed that choosing the appropriate business location could make or break the business. “One of the most important factors in any business is the location. Some franchisees put up their business in locations which are not good that’s why we at Filtrepreneur offer very good locations to our clients if they want our assistance,” Hernandez said. The company offers site assistance for a fee. They have identified feasible locations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. For those interested but do not have the necessary working capital yet to purchase a food cart package, they may choose to become an agent like Hernandez who earns substantial income simply by looking for franchisees to invest in the business. “Agents are entitled to certain benefits and have high compensation because of the multilevel marketing component of the business. The more franchisee we recruit the more income we get from commissions,” he said. Today there are lots of other bigger names in the world of franchising whether local or international but Filtrepreneur, albeit smaller in operation, claims the company is just as compassionate to their franchisees and would want nothing more for them but to succeed at the end of the day. “We want Filipinos to become entrepreneurs and to be wise with their money. We help our franchisees to succeed by helping them in any way we can. We can’t let our franchisees fail on their business because they are using our company’s name,” Tan said.
24 KABUHAYAN MONEY
By Francisco J. Colayco
Another Look at Education
Most parents assume that the best education is the most expensive one. Going to the higher tuition schools is almost always equated to high quality education. Graduating from such expensive institutions is taken as a guarantee for a good career and personal financial success. Indeed, education is an investment for oneâ€™s own future.
KABUHAYAN MONEY 25
ut what if we were to look at education as strictly a financial investment decision? Though clearly, it is not all about money, determining the most appropriate type of education for our children boils down to affordability. Here is where the pitfall lies. Most of us will kill ourselves to give our children the most expensive education (at the expense of other just as pressing needs) we can afford. Why? This is because we have been conditioned to believe that the higher the investment in education, the higher the return. Worse, some of us may even believe society will judge our stature by where and what category of school our children go to. NOTHING COULD BE MORE IRRELEVANT TO OUR LIVES THAN THIS! Purely on a return on investment perspective, we must evaluate the cost of formal schooling versus the lifetime cash return to the graduate. Presently, even graduates of the so-called high-end schools are having a hard time finding jobs. This was happening even before the present global economic crisis. Today, life is more complicated, much more competitive and expensive. Few can have the luxury of wasting time, effort and money in an education that was not really fit to the personality of a child/ person. Thus, we should encourage “dreams” in the minds of our children much earlier in life on what they want to be when they grow up. As parents and teachers, we must observe them more and guide them towards the field/s in which they seem to have the most capability to enjoy and succeed. They have to be preparing for their “personal career” as soon as they step into high school. There is now clearly a large-scale mis-match between what our economy needs and what schools are turning out. We continue to send our children to take courses with no long term economic potential other than perhaps getting employed with a reasonable salary. Getting college degrees are no longer as imperative in securing gainful economic activity after graduation. Being creative and logical with a facility for communication seems to be the order of the day. Learning (to speak and write) another foreign language like Mandarin or some other European language should now be considered very seriously. With the global economic focus on Asia, knowing a major Asian language can give our children the best head start in availing of a broad range of entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. Being multilingual is an enormous asset in such industries as tourism, business process outsourcing (BPOs), consulting and advisory services and many others where international businesses are involved. Entrepreneurial education founded on liberal arts is, today, the key to personal economic success. Liberal arts teach us to how to think and assess, to define problems and arrive at solutions, to create and add value. More importantly, it develops a mindset that forms the seed of our intellectual capital, which for most of us, is our only true capital in this life. If we accept this premise, securing “profitable” education need not be concentrated on expensive formal schooling. We can then even have the option of combining formal and non-formal schooling at very low cost. Two-year communication arts courses augmented by languages and/ or practical vocational and small business training can reduce your educational investment by as much as 50%. Though your children may not initially have impressive degrees, they can nonetheless plan to secure formal degrees and/or certificates of a recognized educational attainment at their chosen time in the future. We should open our minds to the practical norm of taking more time in formal learning but getting more practical experience “on-the-job”. Such combination of formal and non-formal schooling would actually impart more real learning and develop a more serious entrepreneurial aptitude. The big advantage in this approach is that our children will be able to use their time with “hands-on” education. Learning could then really be not only profitable but also enjoyable and fun! For your family and friends in Manila or if you happen to be vacationing in Manila, we have seminars/workshops that will provide you with non-formal schooling and a wealth of experience in management of your personal finances.
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PINOY PRO 27 Glenn G. Cuevo Senior Vice President & Head - Cash Management Division Wholesale Banking Group Al Hilal Bank Abu Dhabi Glenn G. Cuevo works for Al Hilal Bank, a 100% government owned, Islamic bank in the UAE, based in Abu Dhabi. He is responsible for the establishment, administration and direction of the Cash Management Division, covering the core functions of: Product Development, Sales and Solution Delivery. He has started his banking career in Citibank as a Management Trainee and worked his way up the corporate ladder to becoming a dedicated and dynamic senior bank executive in six years. He pioneered cash management in Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank, both in the Philippines, and in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. He brings into this institution almost twenty years of extensive banking experience in corporate account management, transaction banking, regional audit, service quality and wholesale banking operations. Glenn has participated in the Euromoney and Marcus Evans regional Cash Management Conferences in the Asia Pacific as a guest speaker for the master class and corporate case studies. Glenn holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of the Philippines and Bachelor Degree in Business Management from the Ateneo de Manila University. He has a strong interest in traveling and a passion for Filipino paintings, sculptures and photography. William Damot Commercial Manager John Buck International Properties LLC Abu Dhabi William ‘Boyet’ Damot holds a Civil Engineering degree from UP Diliman, and also earned an MBA degree from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. He started as a Management Trainee with a foundation engineering firm in the Philippines and was promoted, within a year, to Project-in-Charge on a multi-million peso slope stabilization project for Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club. He moved on to Shimizu Corporation where he was involved with the Glorietta Mall redevelopment and a Greenfield industrial plant (California Manufacturing Corporation) project. Shortly after completing his MBA, he focused on a project management and worked under the Commercial Section of Jardine Schindler (Philippines) and later on, with the Corporate Services Finance department of Intel Corporation (Philippines). Boyet was the CS Construction Finance/Project Controls Manager for Intel Corporation when he decided to accept a job offer from the Al Futtaim Group and moved to Dubai in 2007. Boyet now works for John Buck International, a development management firm majority owned by MUBADALA, as the Commercial Manager on the proposed Rosewood Hotel-Abu Dhabi. Boyet is an active member of the UP Alumni Association-UAE (UPAA-UAE), a group which he considers as his extended family, where he is currently a board director/vice-president. He takes pride in the group’s various fund-raising activities to support deserving but financially-challenged students back home. An avid photo-hobbyist, he is also founding member of LENTE, the photographic society of the UPAA-UAE.
Cesar V. Parroco Jr. Manager - Web and Publishing Department Marketing Communications Division Sony Gulf FZE Dubai Cesar oversees web and publishing communications for Sony Middle East and Africa. Cesar, who has 17 years of professional experience started as a programmer at SSS Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. Before moving to Dubai, he worked as a Technical Assistant for a Project Management Consultancy firm in Brunei Darussalam. He later joined his wife in Dubai in December of 1999. Rocky, as known to his friends, has a Computer Science degree from the University of Negros Occidental - Recoletos. His degree served as a significant foundation in his chosen career, but being inquisitive in nature, he kept himself abreast with the evolving developments and trends in the world of IT mostly by self study and research. With his passion for photography, Rocky takes part in the Overseas Pinoy Professional Photography Society as an officer and instructor. He has not only won awards in various photography contests, but also conducted a series of photography workshops to raise funds for charity. He and his wife also actively serve in the CFC community organization in the U.A.E. Rocky is married to Lou Olvido-Parroco with whom he shares common interest in travelling, painting, music, food and books. Together they have two lovely children, Patrick Josh and Pia Bianca. Ma. Lindsay Silloriquez Reyes Director of Project Sales Thuraya Turnkey Projects LLC Dubai Lindsay Reyes started her career in the Sharjah, UAE 11 years ago as a Sales Coordinator for Intermetal Ltd. – a leading furniture manufacturing company catering to the banquet and conference furniture needs of local and international five star hotels. After three years of service, she was promoted to Marketing Assistant. Thereafter, Lindsay’s passion for sales has emerged and she was given the opportunity to work as a Sales Executive. In a year’s time she was given the responsibility of looking after the entire UAE market, managing a multicultural team of sales executive as Area Sales Manager. With hard work and passion for sales and customer service, Lindsay was able to establish her name and reputation within the hospitality industry. This has opened another door of opportunity with a much wider scope and challenge. She was appointed as the Director of Project Sales for Thuraya Turnkey Projects LLC, a fast emerging solutions provider in the hospitality industry. Lindsay has a degree in Mass Communications major in Broadcasting from the West Visayas State University, as well as specialization in Sales and Marketing from the American University of Sharjah.
28 SUCCESSFUL PINOY SPIRITUALITY
By Bo Sanchez
How to Become a
SuperStar This month, Illustrado focuses on Art and Education. Art and Education remind me of two words: core gift. I believe art and education challenge us to make the best of our core gift. Yes, everyone has this gift and if you want to succeed in life, you must discover, awaken, explore and use this core gift.
In the entire two hours, I groaned aray, aray, aray (ouch) the whole time. My wife came up to me and with a sly smile asked, “Do you like it, Bo?” I whispered to her, “I feel I’m being run over by a train again and again.” Ate Guy was rich. After two hours of excruciating agony, it dawned on me that I had to pay Ate Guy for almost killing me. We live in a crazy world, I tell you. My wife asked her how much we owed her. Ate Guy said, “P250 an hour.” Two hours for Marowe and two hours for me. So we paid a thousand bucks for four hours of torment.
ere, I share with you the story of Ate Guy. I once got a body massage that I’ll never forget. I was massaged by “Ate Guy” I wondered. How much does this little woman earn a month? I asked her, (Not her real name). I call her “Ate Guy” because though she “Ate Guy, how many prisoners, I mean, customers do you massage every looks like a woman, I have a suspicion she’s really a guy. In day?” She answered, “An average of four to five a day.” I learned that she fact, she has the strength of 10 guys in her little female body. But I’m getmassages every single day. No day-offs. ting ahead of my story.
“Isn’t that tiring?” I asked her. “That’s 10 hours a day.” “I like it that way,” One of my friends recommended Ate Guy to me, praising her skill to the she said, “If I don’t massage anyone, my body looks for it.” Aha! I knew highest heavens. My friend said, “Ate Guy’s singular mission in life is to it. She was a closet masochist. remove your lamig (cold). She’s obsessed. She goes berserk when she finds lamig in your body. She’ll not stop massaging you until the lamig is pulver“Do you advertise your services?” “No. My customers just recommend me ized under her fingers.” to others.” “I’ll recommend you to others too,” I said. I started thinking of all the people who owed me money. “But you mean to tell me every single With that glowing description, my wife Marowe and I contracted her serday of your week is full?” vices. On the agreed time, Ate Guy came to our house. The torment begins. I studied Ate Guy. She was 4’11. Mid-thirties. Bordering on thin. Girlish “Yes,” she said. “Because I’ve got mga suki (regular customers). Some even ponytail. Pretty harmless, I thought to myself. want me to massage them three times a week.” “Three times a week?” I almost fell off my chair. These people need to see a psychiatrist. My wife placed a mattress on the floor of our living room and lay down. She wanted to go first. As Ate Guy started massaging her, I sat a few feet away, That was when it all hit me: Ate Guy told me she was a former house writing on my computer. I looked at Marowe’s face: She was so relaxed. She helper earning PHP3,000 a month. Today, she takes home PHP50,000 to appeared half-asleep. I got excited. I wanted to relax and sleep too. After PHP60,000 a month. Much more than many managers I know. two hours, my wife stood up and said, “That was great! Bo, it’s your turn.” Oh goody. I lay down and got ready to relax too. Ate Guy knelt beside me and held my face. Ahhhh. Pure bliss. At least, for the first two seconds. After that, it was pure torture. Pure, unadulterated, CIA, KGB, Mafia, Yakuza torture. During her massage, I reached levels of pain I thought never existed in human experience. Her little thumbs were like Jack Hammers. Like a Sumo Wrestler was massaging me. As I lay on the mattress being massacred, I mean, being massaged by Ate Guy, I wondered if I offended my friend who recommended her to me—that this was his way of revenge.
No doubt about it. Ate Guy is a Superstar. Be a Niche Superstar How much do other masseuses earn? More or less PHP10,000 a month. Why does Ate Guy earn five times more? Because she stands out. She’s dominated her niche: The niche of torture camouflaging as massage. Other massagers try to please everybody. They’re average. They’re typical. They’re all alike. They’re forgettable. Not Ate Guy. You either like her or hate her.
Fortunately, there are enough insane people in this world who like her to make her a Superstar. My wife is one of them. She invited her back. I’ve already noted the date of her return—and I’ve arranged to be as far as possible from my house on that day.
a technical school. Not satisfied with that, she enrolled again in another school for two months on specialized massage. But her most important education is the years of massaging almost 60 hours a week — year after year after year.
You too need to find a way to become a Superstar. But first, let me describe how problems create the phenomenon called Superstars.
But what made her develop her skill? Spirit. When you really think about it, Superstars are a little bit crazy. Superstars are obsessed!
Why Problems Create Scarcity, And Scarcity Create Superstars
At the end of the day, it’s Spirit. Passion. Fire. Love. In Japanese, they call this Otaku. For example, Ate Guy hates lamig with an almost neurotic obsession. Once, Ate Guy had a patient whose lamig was stubborn. She ended up massaging this man for four hours straight—free of charge— until she got rid of his lamig. I pity the man. Probably became a paraplegic. But no wonder Ate Guy is a Superstar. Only people with spirit do those crazy things.
When I taught this message in one of my preaching engagements, I placed a number of ladders on stage. I told the audience that life offers many ladders to climb, and that ladders represent opportunities for growth. A Superstar is a person who’s able to climb to the top of a ladder. Do you have problems in your work or business? Each problem is like a step on the ladder. Each problem is an invitation to become a Superstar. Superstars are Superstars because they can solve problems. That’s why I say problems are wonderful. Without problems, there will be no Superstars. (I wish to thank the brilliant Seth Godin for these insights.)
Let me give you an example from my life. Once, I had 14 meetings in one week. But despite that hectic schedule, I was still able to write eight long articles. How did I do it? There’s only one answer: I’m crazy. I love writing. I love crafting words. How much do I love writing? Others get high on drugs. I get a high choosing the right adjective for a sentence. I’m nuts! Why Do People Not Become Superstars?
Example? Imagine that you and I can pick diamonds in our backyards. Would you and I be wealthy? Of course not. In fact, women will stop wearing diamonds, period. Why? Diamonds are Superstars precisely because they’re scarce. If they’re no longer scarce, why bother? Diamonds are scarce because of the problem of getting them. You have to build underground tunnels and excavate them from beneath the earth. Think now of the many problems of becoming a great singer, a great artist, a great chef, a great businessman, a great priest, a great father, and a great mother. Problems create scarcity. And scarcity creates Superstars. Here are the reasons why you need to be a Superstar… The Rewards of Superstars People go to Superstars. People watch Superstar movies. People read Superstar books. People eat in Superstar restaurants. Let me ask you: When you see an empty restaurant, with two waiters sleeping on the tables, would you go there? Not likely. Something in your brain says, “The food there must be awful.” But when you see a restaurant filled with people, with a long waiting line outside, you’ll say, “My gosh, I better try that restaurant.” Before you think that this article is just about money, let me also say that Superstars are more emotionally fulfilled. They feel they’ve found their place in the world. They feel they’ve found their mission in life. And Superstars can serve God with more impact. Skill and Spirit make a Superstar Do you want to become a Superstar? Read on. To become a Superstar, you need skill and spirit. For example, Ate Guy studied for six months in
I’ve met people who aren’t Superstars even when they could have been. They could have been Superstars in their businesses. They could have been Superstars in their careers. They could have been Superstars in their service for God. But they’re not. Why? I see three reasons. 1. Wrong Theology - Some people think that God wants them to remain small, insignificant or humble (a distorted definition). Please, throw that rubbish way. Stand out! Create waves. Be the best that you can be! Use the core gifts that God gave you and develop them to the hilt. Because you owe it to your Maker to become a Superstar. Here’s the second reason… 2. Wrong Psychology - Some people believe they deserve to be small, to be failures, perhaps because they were treated poorly or suffered some trauma. Friend, be aware of this inner programming and reboot! You deserve to be a Superstar because you already are one - you’re made in His image. God created Superstars. Get used to it! Finally, the third reason. 3. Wrong Strategy - People fail to become Superstars because they climb the wrong ladder. Let me shock you: If a ladder will not make you a Superstar, quit. If you have no hope of reaching the top of that ladder, get off that ladder. Why? Because you’ll always be mediocre - average. And in business, average is death. In jobs, average means you’ll be the first one to be retrenched. Even in relationships, average is risky. To be good enough, is not enough. You’ve got to be remarkable. You’ve got to be phenomenal. Choose a ladder where you have Spirit and Skill to make you a Superstar. Friends, the world needs Superstars. You owe it to the universe to become one. No one benefits if you play small. You only live once. So go full throttle. Live to the max!
30 GLOBAL BARRIO NEWS
GLEE confirms Charice’s joining After the great commotion on whether or not Charice will join the worldwide television hit series GLEE, it has finally been confirmed that the Filipina singer will definitely be joining the cast in the upcoming second season. Fans of the show are now expecting to witness her singing prowess – Charice’s character in GLEE is an international exchange student who will give Lea Michele, the lead actress, some serious competition. Known as the star born out of Youtube, Charice has gone far in her singing career especially now that she had recently released her first international album. With her great talent that wowed Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey, Charice will surely continue to soar in Hollywood and international entertainment.
World Wide Fund for Nature Honors a Mindoro Fisherman Randy Cayteles, a fisherman of Barangay San Antonio, Calapan City in Mindoro (Southern part of the Philippines) recently discovered a wounded 2.2-meter Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) beached 10 meters away from the shore. For this act, the international conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) awarded him for saving the life of the dolphin off the shores of Oriental Mindoro last month. The dolphin was later released in Mindoro waters. Cayteles was cited for his heroic deed at the Silonay Elementary School in Calapan City and presented with a plaque and modest cash reward by Oriental Mindoro Gov. Arnan Panaligan and Johnjoe Cantos of the WWF-Philippines. Cayteles is the third recipient of the WWF Heroes of the Environment Award, created to honor ordinary individuals who show decisive environmental action. The first two awardees were recognized in January 2009 for saving a Dugong in Palawan.
US First Lady Obama reads aloud a young Pinay’s essay An eight year-old Filipina writer enjoyed a unique honor, having her work read aloud by US First Lady Michelle Obama. Kiana Tuzon, the daughter of Filipino American US Marine Norman Tuzon, won an essay contest of the Armed Services YMCA. This winning essay was read by Mrs. Obama when she visited Camp Pendleton to meet the military families. In the essay titled ‘My Military Hero’, Kiana talks about how proud she is of her Afghanistan-based father and her mother. The essay is now on display with 25 other winners at the US Senate.
GLOBAL BARRIO NEWS 31
Lea Salonga Plays Fantine in Les Miz 25th Anniversary London Concert International Broadway and West End star Lea Salonga will play Fantine in the 25th-anniversary concert-presentation of the hit musical Les Miserables, to be staged this October at the 02 Arena in London. The Tony-award winning stage actress continues to make the country proud with her accolades and international performances played the same role on Broadway. Members of the original 1985 London production will also be in the concert presentation. The new 25th anniversary production and the O2 Concert are directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell and designed by Matt Kinley. The production has original costumes by Andreane Neofitou, additional costumes by Christine Rowland, lighting by Patrick Woodroffe and Paule Constable and sound by Mick Potter.
Filipino journalist wins International Journalism Award Jose Aranas, editor-in-chief of New City Magazine of the Focolare Movement, has been chosen to receive the prestigious International Award for Excellence in Journalism sponsored by International Union of Catholic Press (UCIP) in Geneva, Switzerland. Aranas was among the 43 journalists in religious and secular media who will receive an award for their exemplary contributions in the world of journalism. He was cited for his efforts to promote interreligious dialogue through his writings. He, together with Paul Mati, a journalist in Indonesia was chosen by the jury as recipients of ‘Honorable Mention of International Award for Inter-religious Dialogue 2010’. Aranas and the other awardees will receive their citation at the UCIP World Congress to be held on African continent, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 12 to 19 September 2010. The International Journalism and Media Awards are given every three years to outstanding media professionals, publications and institutions worldwide both in secular and religious media by the International Union of Catholic Press in Geneva, Switzerland.
Furne One goes back to Germany’s Next Top Model Dubai-based Filipino fashion designer Furne One has joined again the hit television reality show Germany’s Next Top Model (GNTM) 2010. Furne has been personally chosen by supermodel and show presenter Heidi Klum to dress the finalists of GNTM last year. This July, Furne returned to the show with his latest collection that was used as the wardrobe for the finale episode. The Germany’s version of this reality show is an off-shoot of Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model. After this upcoming stint in Germany, Furne is said to debut at this year’s London Fashion Week. The top rate haute couturier is also preparing for the Dubai Fashion Fiesta, Bench Fashion Show and a solo show in Manila.
Society in Art, Art in Society By Sherry Tenorio
For many visual artists, art is personal expression – a means of individual gratification and an outlet for one’s thoughts, ideas and life’s experiences – whether it be about love, struggle, joy, socio political views, or simply a distinct appreciation for life. Here in the Middle East, Filipino artists continue to voice out their take on our society creating social awareness through the magnificent use of various art forms - not only with paintings and sculptures, but also with mixed media, photography and even graphic design. Despite the infancy of the regional local art scene, Filipino artists have participated actively in the discourse gaining respect from their contemporaries. With sound and strong messages through their art, these creative Pinoys continue to provide remarkable influences, putting forth outstanding contributions, not only to the Filipino community, but also to the art movement in the Gulf.
Although not an artist by profession, playing an influential role in her daughter Tini Meyer’s career as an artist, Marilyn discovered her own artistic sensibilities. Traveling and having lived in many cities has also had a major impact on Marilyn. Her upcoming exhibition has been largely inspired by seeing the work of fellow countrymen held in high regard all over the world. Marilyn observes that Filipinos always seem to be smiling and happy, regardless of the situation they are in. Hence the title of her exhibition, “Bugtong Kalibugtong” - because the positive energy of the Filipino spirit is as mysterious as a riddle. Guhit Pinoy (UAE)
Bugtong Kalibugtong (UAE) Marilyn Meyer is slated to rise with her upcoming exhibition titled “Bugtong Kalibugtong” in the UAE capital. The exhibition is aimed at creating awareness among Overseas Filipinos (OFs) that there is, indeed, “home sweet home” in one’s own country. The project is slated to remind Filipinos that there is a possibility to live well in the Philippines, and maintain healthy family relationships. Set to take place at the end of 2010, the exhibition will also showcase what the Philippines has to offer in terms of possible livelihood programs. Bugtong Kalibugtong will include art pieces that serve as social commentaries on the situations many of us face by working overseas and the journey back home. There will be five main installations which will depict different familiar situations that arise from traveling abroad. The art installations will reflect a series of dialogues, for example, the impact created by a missing figure in the family system, and the effects of loneliness for someone far away from home.
A group of Filipino artists registered under the auspices of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, Guhit Pinoy UAE is the local chapter of Guhit Pinoy Global, the founding organization established by a group of Filipino comics illustrators from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With hundreds of thousands of Filipinos working overseas, it was no wonder that the organization swiftly grew legs and gained momentum. Guhit Pinoy has now truly gone regional and even global, with chapters all over Asia and the United States. Born of a passion for creativity, Guhit Pinoy UAE is an organization whose main purpose is to promote Philippine arts. Its initial project was a group exhibit “Unang Guhit” held at the Global Village in Dubai inside the Philippine Pavilion during the 2007 Dubai Shopping Festival, which was met with enthusiasm by the international community. Guhit Pinoy also joined the national art competition, Red Bull Art of Can 2008 edition, through a group entry entitled “Unified Chaos”. The collage/mixed media piece was a product of true collaboration — springing from each member’s abundance of artistic gifts and generosity of spirit. The output reflected Guhit Pinoy’s guiding credo of teamwork and unity. Guhit Pinoy UAE regularly hosts some of the most exciting and stimulating art activities and sessions for Filipinos in the country which include painting, photography, graphic design, sculpture, illustration, fashion design, filmmaking and even modeling. The group also actively participates in various art competitions sponsored by public and private institutions all year round and also holds social and charity-oriented activities.
MICHAEL TURDA -GUHIT PINOY
BERNARD GERMINIANO-GUHIT PINOY
JEFFREY QUINONES-GUHIT PINOY
EDUARDO YAP-GUHIT PINOY
MELISSA P GUEVARRA-GUHIT PINOY
DARWIN GUEVARRA-GUHIT PINOY
WAVE SERIES ROLLY PATILLA_KUWAIT
Adhika (Kuwait) With their name ‘Adhika’ (Tagalog for ‘aspiration’), five brilliantly gifted Filipino artists in Kuwait converged to celebrate freedom and beauty through various mediums. The group’s modern art style is a broad genre that includes an extensive list of subgenres and categories that make up what is typically considered as modern art. As they have written in their blog, “We feel a deep need for release of creativity. We have been blessed with God given talents that need to be used to the fullest. We do not use our art to speak to the public. Our approach is not to tell a story or make a statement; rather to use our art as a spontaneous outlet. We like to let it flow from the subconscious and let the viewer decide what it means personally.” Adhika’s members all work under the Warba Group of advertising and design companies. They started to form the group when art director Jojo Cabrera was made in charge of presenting art pieces for the company’s head office. Art directors Dave Constantino and Ding Bautista, plus interior designer Ever Villacruz, and production site engineer Rolly Patilla were called to be worthy allies for the commission. As a team, they worked on the nitty-gritty of the over-all exhibition. And because they have accomplished their first mission with the praises of their guests and top executives, Dave finally came up with a name to call the fiery ensemble. Since then, plans of their exhibits in Kuwait and in Dubai had been on the way. Adhika believes that it is in their hands to show the talents and skills of the Pinoy artists here in the Middle East. Aside from creating marvelous artworks for the pleasure of spectators, the group served as a venue for them to do away with homesickness that could sometimes be detrimental to their creativity.
ALPHA&OMEGA SCULPTURE DAVE CONSTANTINO _KUWAIT
Ispektrum (Bahrain) Ispektrum is a group of established and emerging artists from different fields of endeavors. It is composed of dedicated Filipinos who work together to achieve a remarkable statement in the face of difficulties to draw on and express the concerns of humanity. Ispektrum has evolved in fostering and nurturing the talents and skills of all ages, and opening doors to all possibilities in terms of arts exploration. The group holds activities such as; art exhibition (annual and group), art workshops (Kulayan-summer coaching activity for children), Overseas Filipinos (OFs) Christmas Card Design, sketch sessions and seminars on Photography, Information and Communications Technology. Proceeds of these events go to different charitable institutions.
Brownmonkeys (UAE) The all-Filipino low brow movement known for their edgy street-style art, Brownmonkeys continues to amaze art fans in the emirates with their alternative approach to contemporary art and design, keeping the whole work process fun and without inhibition. Although there are many foreign contemporaries who want to get into the group, they remain constant in sharing their philosophies and passion with fellow Filipinos. The only reason for such exclusivity is the fact that their humor, personalities and the messages they want to convey through their artworks will only be clearly understood by the artists who share their culture and heritage. Since the group’s birth in 2007, these monkey men have attended major art exhibitions and gatherings, proving the ingenuity of Filipino talents. They have joined the Dubai-based project ‘My Name is Robot’ at The Jam Jar, and participated in Sharjah Biennial, one of the most celebrated cultural events in the Arab world and by far the region’s largest exhibition of contemporary art, and most recently the Project Mega held at the Dubai International Financial Centre. With their aim of promoting originality and reinvention, the Brownmonkeys happen to be united in their passion in creating art that stimulates playfulness, something that is quite innate to Filipinos. And, to quote them, “The Brownmonkeys do not mind being understated yet must be heard loudly.” No doubt, they are being effectively heard, because, apparently a lot of exciting projects abound in the pipeline for this art group.
Ispektrum believes that it is no longer just a society trying to promote their art, but has now reached out into community and humanitarian services as shown in its previous projects. Pinoy Sining (Riyadh, KSA) In a nutshell, Pinoy Sining (PS) was formed to gather various professional artists and art enthusiasts, who are presently working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the purpose of promoting ‘Filipinism’ (i.e. our culture, tradition, etc), and ‘internationalism’. Although the word ‘internationalism’ is quite huge, PS primarily focuses on how its members and supporters can achieve the individual state of becoming ‘nation neutral’, bi-cultural, bilingual by initiating various stage and cultural programs with the theme, ‘Reaching Across the Divide via Culture and Arts’. The group was formed in 2007 and has since launched worthwhile community outreach cultural programs in Riyadh such as, ‘Kilala Mo nga Ba travel writing project, ‘Rated P! (Pinoy)’ which showcased original independent song compositions and musical arrangements, ‘Mukha ng Pinoy Para sa Kalendaryong Pilipino’, which aimed to promote Filipino culture and arts to the multicultural community in the kingdom, as well as a very timely and relevant “AIDS Awareness Campaign.” PS serves as a consolidating basket of talents and expertise to promote Philippine arts and culture, providing the perfect social stimulus and encouragement for the acceptance of regional ethnicity, as well as each member’s unique identity. The group is a unique arena where everyone can uphold the rewards of art and be immersed in cultural depth and acceptance, a means with which to foster peace and international comradeship.
36 ILLUSTRADO SCRAPBOOK A platform for budding Filipino creative talent
Alexander Yee Alexander Yee found his niche beyond his university double-degree and professional expertise. His chosen medium for his works, appeals to even the most scrutinizing eye. His camera has flashed on numerous personalities and events in the Kingdom of Bahrain, but even most importantly, he has contributed significantly to the recognition of Filipino artists in the country. Alexander, who photographs events, portfolios, fashion, glamour, and landscape, is a pioneering member of Fashionaires Middle East â€“ a UK based group that provides stimulating events focused around fashion and lifestyle. He has also had several successful photo exhibits, the most recent of which is a solo event Art Uncorked at Vintage, Gulf Hotel.
Filipino Talent at Its Best
The PhiliPPine Philharmonic orchesTra By Loraine BaLita
The conductor raised both his hands, swayed them slowly to the right with the tip of his forefinger touching the tip of his thumb as if sprinkling imaginary salt over some invisible dish, and then the music started flowing. Melody that seemed right out of the gates of heaven filled the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo – the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater. It was The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s (PPO) season-ender concert, a once a year event that marks the end of a series of performances. This one capped its 27th season and was graced by audiences of all ages, who all flocked to the CCP to watch one of the country’s cultural treasures.
FEATURE 39 As the conductor continued to flail his hands maneuvering every rhythm, guiding every stroke of violin, cello, harp and all the other instruments sitting proudly atop the stage, the divine symphony kept the audiences in awe. There were around 80 musicians, each of them clutching their instruments giving the performance of their lives. Some looked as if they’re right out of their teens, others seemed as if they have been doing this for decades although all I saw when I closed my eyes were cherubs playing the instruments sitting on soft, delicate white clouds, with rays of bright light touching golden strands of their hair. Needless to say, the music was almost like cool soothing air that entered every pore uplifting every part of my being. And then there was a brief almost painful pause as it left the audiences craving for more. The crowd gasped in excitement as the orchestra started playing the ballet suite from Jules Massenet’s Le Cid. The latter is one of the most famous concert pieces and regarded as one of Massenet’s best known and most highly regarded works for the orchestra. The group also played Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, a well known universal anthem for mourning as a result of its inclusion in the soundtrack of the 1986 Film Platoon. But the night’s highlight was most definitely the PPO’s rendition of great Filipino compositions. The group played well-loved Pinoy classics such as “Dahil Sayo”, “Matudnila” and “Sitsiritsit Alibangbang” among others. The show ended with a standing ovation and the crowd cheering in delight - all seemingly elated with smiles plastered across their faces. For Ricci Sindac, an avid concert-goer, watching these performances is “enchanting and uplifting”. “Watching them perform live gives me a different kind of high,” she said. “It’s also my way of giving support to Filipino talent and showing my admiration for their music which I truly love,” she declared. Like Ricci, Precious Taliwaga often goes off to CCP to watch the PPO perform after work. “I like watching the PPO perform because it’s not everyday that I enjoy music played live by an orchestra,” she explained. “Though the theater is big, the ambiance is intimate,” she added. Fans of the PPO might have to wait a few months to see them perform again at the CCP for their 28th season which should start on the 10th of Septemeber 2010. The next season will feature a few internationally renowned guest artists and a superb collaboration with some of the Philippines’ top-notch choral groups. The Philippines’ National Orchestra: How it All Started On May 15, 1975 the PPO was first assembled to form the CCP Philharmonic Orchestra. Originally brought together to accompany artists performing at the CCP theater, the group’s first music director was Prof. Luis Valencia, with Julian Quirit acting as concertmaster. In 1979 the group was reorganized by Prof. Oscar Yatco, following the request from then First Lady Imelda Marcos. After three years, the country’s leading orchestra was born.
The group continued to perform for local and eventually international audiences. In 2001 the PPO toured around Europe. The following year they accepted an invitation from the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras and took part in the Asia Orchestra Week held in September 2002. Then in 2004 the PPO accepted yet another noteworthy invitation from Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vandhana of Thailand and performed in Bangkok’s National Theater. In 2006 the group performed in cities around the United States to celebrate the centennial of the first Filipino migrants to Hawaii and California. Among the many world famous conductors that the PPO has performed with are Mendi Rodan, Piero Gamba, Enrique Batis, Sebastian Bereau and Nicholas Koch. The PPO has also played with world renowned artists such as Van Cliburn, Renata Tebaldi, Judith Engel, Anthony Camden, David Benoit, Cecile Licad, Raul Sunico and our very own Lea Salong. Today, the PPO continues to be one of the country’s premiere cultural institutions that promote the love of classical tunes and world class Filipino talent. It has premiered a number of Filipino compositions and continues to develop a generation of Filipinos that appreciate music through outreach concerts in schools, parishes, government agencies and underserved districts in Metro Manila and all over the archipelago. The group has also been exerting extra effort to bring classical music to the Filipino people by offering affordable and reasonable ticket prices and establishing an online presence through their website and social networking pages. The latter has proven successful in promoting appreciation and awareness among the youth as performances continue to draw more and more young audiences with different backgrounds from all walks of life.
ECO ART CHIC 40 FASHION
Waste not, want not.
Join the wave of the new age green movement by finding style in ordinary everyday bits and pieces, recycled materials and found hardware that celebrate diversity in expression, textures and artistic interpretation. Challenge the establishment with out-of-the box thinking and intelligently crafted pieces, which toe the line between art and fashion thatâ€™s stylishly sustainable.
Photography : Eros Goze Post Processing : Tom Bolivar Hair & Make-Up : Gene Model : Farah Manalo
Egg and Paper IngĂŠnue
Turn of the century, white dress made out of recycled kitchen towels and a bodice embellished with eggshell mosaic in graduating sizes - by Shelfred Surdilla
Plastic Venus versus Mars
Two-piece PVC sheet dress with futuristic detailing, with 3-D swirls and cut PVC pipes embellishment. High-heels made of plaster cement, metal heels and cut PVC pipes - by Ushi Sato
Out of this world ballerina with a harlequin feel â€“ Illustrado Magazine tear sheets stitched like a puzzle with PVC sheets; bustier top matched with 3-D volume skirt; Accessorized with wire strainers neck and arm wear, curtain ring bangles, and stitched PVC boots- by Jessie Sindayen
Bridal White Trash
Three-piece ensemble made of a sculpted bolero, bubble wrap corset, and skirt, all appliquĂŠd with embroidered foil and plastic grocery bags, further embellished with beads made out of foil and softdrink can lids â€“ by Dan De Lima
Chambermaid in Lino
Halter dress made of folded, woven shredded vinyl linoleum, embellished with ruffles and lace cut outs made out of plastic lace table cloth and doilies, studded with inverted crystal clips and held together by cable straps, with no sewing â€“ by Ramil Garrote Noveda
Victorian Bag Lady
Victorian ball gown made of plastic garbage bags, held in by safety pins, accessorized with necklace made out of laundry clips matched with a steel wool bib, steel wool arm “warmers” and braided garbage bag headpiece with net – by Eros Goze
52 FASHION Designers Guide *In alphabetical order
LA DIVA MODA HAUTE COUTURE –
Abu Dhabi UAE – Tel: (971) 2 634 8494
FARFALLA COUTURE Dubai, UAE – Tel: (971) 4 283 1010
Ramil Garrote Noveda AMATO HAUTE COUTURE Dubai UAE – Tel: (971) 4 398 8586
Ushi Sato WARDA HAUTE COUTURE Dubai, UAE – Tel: (971) 4 349 5200
Jesus Sindayen EZRA FASHION DESIGN Dubai, UAE– Tel: (971) 4 395 5385
SCALINI HAUTE COUTURE Dubai, UAE – Tel: (971) 4 348 6151
ILLUSTRADO RUNWAY 53
PhiliPPine fashion week holiday
Michael cinco 30th May 2010
54 ILLUSRADO RUNWAY
ALDWIN “JLO” ORNOPIA
Art Fashion-Abu Dhabi 24th July 2010 Photos by Richard Martinez
DUBAI FASHION FIESTA
Illustra Fashion-Abu Dhabi 23rd July 2010 Photos by Dennis Castro
ILLUSTRADO RUNWAY 55
JOEL VILLANUEVA Laswa Fashion- Abu Dhabi 24th July 2010 Photos by Richard Martinez
JULES QUIRANTE Germen Fashion-Dubai 23rd July 2010 Photos by Carnel Concio-Mallari
56 ILLUSTRADO RUNWAY
DUBAI FASHION FIESTA
FUrNE ONE AmATO COUTUrE - DUBAI 22ND JUly 2010
Photos by Christina “tinayums” linaza
PINOY PLANET 57
Expo 2010: Better City, Better Life Text and Photos by Al Manlangit
Illustrado travel buff Al Manlangit visits the “showpiece of the world’s fastest .growing economy,” as China welcomes the world to this year’s Shanghai Expo Sprawled on both banks of the Huangpu River, the Shanghai Expo covers an area of some five square kilometers divided into five zones. With the theme “Better City, Better Life”, it focuses on the issues of the City and offers a vision for a better future by promoting cooperation and understanding between nations and cultures hinged on a shared agenda of sustainable development. There are 185 nations participating with their own pavilions as well as 60 corporate exhibitions staging their various interpretations to the theme. Daily shows and performances
ranging from concerts to art shows and parades provide an interesting mix of entertainment for the visitor. With a three-day admission tickets on hand, we queued for a long time just to get in through one of the eight gates after a short walk from our hotel nearby. Though quite hot, the cool breeze from the river made the long wait tolerable. Once inside the grounds of Zone E in the Puxi Area we went through a couple of corporate pavilions showcasing
58 PINOY PLANET
aviation, shipbuilding, land transportation and communications that were premised on a utopian future where people lived a healthy lifestyle powered by clean and renewable sources of energy. These were shown via interactive multimedia presentations delivered by 3-D state-of-the-art wide screens which made you feel as though you were in a real-world situation. On another part of the zone, themed pavilions showed new technology being used for living and manufacturing purposes albeit with much smaller carbon footprints compared to what is presently being used. It made you realize that better ways are actually available for use now – the only hurdle to overcome is the lack of political will by most countries to implement these technologies. As the day wore on, it became more sweltering hot but that didn’t stop the crowds from getting thicker as more and more visitors arrived. It was estimated that an average of half a million people come to the Expo and more than 80% were Chinese which was understandable since this was a chance to see a big slice of the world without leaving home. Thank goodness for the volunteer guides (mostly students) who spoke good English and clear signposted directions, we were able to find our way quite easily to the numerous restaurants and water-filling stations whenever we got hungry or thirsty. We crossed the river by taking a ferry instead of riding the bus via an underwater tunnel and found ourselves in Zones A, B and C of the Pudong Area where the numerous nation pavilions were located. They were divided into geographical areas group-
ing countries from Europe, Asia/Australia, Africa, the Middle East and the various provinces of China. The queues were longer here such that to enter one pavilion, you had to wait for about an hour to get in. The German pavilion alone had a line that snaked around the building a couple of times for almost two kilometers! We therefore ended up visiting just a couple of countries and spent most of the time roaming around and watching the parades and street performances which were both lively and entertaining. The architecture was visually arresting and there were many standout examples like the China pavilion called “The Crown of the East” which has a distinctive roof, made of traditional dougong or brackets, which date back more than 2,000 years and the Expo Culture Center that looks like a UFO perched on the edge of the riverbank - it functions as a multi-seated hall for concerts, conventions and sporting events. Then there was the kilometer-long, two-level Expo Axis that links the main entrance to the Expo grounds and funnels the visitors to the various zones. With cone-shaped steel structures that allow fresh air and sunlight to be filtered down to the space below and the world’s largest stretched membrane structure acting as a continuous shade, it is quite a spectacle to see.
PINOY PLANET 59
The Philippine Pavilion was a simple box-like structure covered with diamond-shaped panels covered with collages of various hands that light up at night. Proclaiming itself as a Performing City, it conveys a message that music and dance make people creative and the city dynamic. Inside some dances were performed by some groups and a singer belted out OPM material from an elevated stage. There were separate areas for musical instrument displays, souvenir items and a room where visitors were given a sample of our “hilot” – a great way to soothe tired muscles from all the walking that you do. The best part though was the Café where we had pork adobo, pinakbet and San Mig for dinner!
And so our meandering and exploration went on for three days. It was like a theme park where the attraction was two ways: one, inside the sculpted structures where you were transported to another place and time and the other, outside on the grounds and gardens where you could enjoy the scenery and the people. Now if you want to see what the future holds, there is still time to do so - the Expo runs until October 31, 2010.
5 Month 60 TRIPPIN’
things To Do This By Sherry Tenorio
Lazy days are not yet over as summer continues and the Holy Month of Ramadan kicks in. We are sure that you would prefer to stay indoors, maximizing the moments of being couch potatoes. That wouldn’t be ideal, of course, so we in Illustrado suggest that you get up, go out, and celebrate with our Muslim friends their observance of religious traditions. So, read on then stay away from your remote controls, change from your pyjamas, and get ready to enjoy this month of August. Relish in festive iftar As we know, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from food and drinks from sunrise to sunset. Then, they break the fasting with an evening meal that is commonly known as iftar. This particular time for eating is quite a community activity wherein delightful arrays of foods are served near the mosques or in the houses of Muslim families. However, in the UAE nowadays, iftar is also offered in hotels and restaurants that’s why anyone – Muslim or not – can take part in this religious custom. You can find sumptuous buffets of Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine from AED200 per person in renowned hotels such as Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the One and Only Royal Mirage, Shangri-la Hotel Dubai, Al Bustan Rotana, among many other venues. Other than the delightful dishes, partaking in iftar is a must-do to understand the community spirit of Ramadan.
Visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi Another way of enhancing your knowledge of Islam is by learning more about the religion and the culture behind it. And, what better way than visiting a mosque and discover first-hand? The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, more popularly coined as Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Grand Mosque, is open to visitors for educational tours. Aside from providing its guests detailed information about Islam as a religion, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque also offers a magnificent vision of an architectural landmark. The Mediterranean-inspired, 22,412 square meter mosque is around the size of five football fields where almost 40,000 worshippers could fit. The mosque’s panoramic view of 82 domes with white marble adds a definitive point of interest to the Abu Dhabi skyline. Moreso, it is surrounded by pools that reflect the mosque’s resplendent imagery on the waters at night. If you want to see it for your self, better call toll line 800-555 or log on to www.visitabudhabi.ae for more information. Make sure that you observe the religious protocols especially the need for modest and conservative clothing.
Share your blessings in charity During Ramadan, Muslims strive to become better persons – they stay away from vices and give more to the less fortunate. This is the month when giving back and sharing blessings with the needy are highlighted. In the UAE, there are a number of organizations that offer charity campaigns wherein the public can participate. You may find boxes for donations of books, clothing, shoes and toys in the leading malls in Dubai. You may drop off to the Red Crescent booths situated in the shopping malls for your cash donations. Or, you can help out in serving iftar in orphanages and hospitals. You may visit the web for more information on the various organizations or stay tuned for news releases in daily papers. Nonetheless, in everything that you do it must be insightful of the generosity that is an inherent character of Islam.
Learn your Arabic Ahlan wahsalan. Inshallah. Shuhada. These are some of the most common Arabic words that Pinoys hear on daily basis. Other than these famous words, most of the Filipinos that are based in the UAE are not conversant in the Arabic language. But, in living in this Middle Eastern land, it must be essential to get a better grip of the language, right? Studying the language is not only important for social purposes but equally relevant in landing better work opportunities. Arabic is going to be handy requirement for a lot of professions and in most occasions here in the UAE. Crash courses are available in several schools and institutes including Berlitz UAE, Alliance Francaise, Gulf Arabic Programme, Eton Educational Institute, The Mother Tongue Center, to name a few. For a period of three weeks of study, you may communicate with your basic Arabic in reading, conversing and writing. For those who do not have spare time to learn from in school, try accessing online courses – they are also quite effective.
Discover the Heritage Village Aside from getting to know Islam, it is also recommended to take a look at the customs that bind this Emirati nation. To get a glimpse of the old Dubai, you can take a ride to the Heritage Village. Located near the Al Shindagha tunnel, the Dubai Heritage Village has been created where potters and weavers display their crafts. Here the visitor can look back in time and experience some of Dubai’s heritage. The village, that is located at the mouth of Dubai Creek, features a reconstruction of Dubai’s maritime past. Displays include a tented bedouin village with traditional weapons, chests and household utensils. Shops sell handicrafts and camel and donkey rides are sometimes available. Folk dance and music performances are staged from time to time. The village boasts a number of cafeterias and a seafood restaurant. The Heritage Village recreates a Bedouin settlement, complete with homes made from barasti (dried palm leaves tied together) and mud. You can also enjoy pottery and weaving workshops as well as visiting a traditional coffee house. There is a small souk that sells a mixture of traditional Bedouin handcrafts and imported items. In here, you can truly appreciate the Emirati tradition at the most celebrated time of the year, Ramadan.
62 BAKASYON GRANDE
Text by Vic Lactaoen • Photos by Robert Altamirano
“Hindi ba delikado dun kuya?(Isn’t it safe there sir?) my trusted and loyal housemate asked when he learned I would be traveling to Malaybalay in Mindanao. I guess the situation is similar to foreigners who have never been to the Philippines and have nothing to base their impression on but what they see on CNN. I wasn’t too worried though. Anything can happen anywhere if it is meant. I have to admit that I knew very little about the province. Save for its mountainous terrain and endless trees, the guidebooks and the internet travel websites didn’t say much about this only landlocked 8.294 square meter province in the heartland of Mindanao. Together with my photographer, Robert we flew in to Cagayan de Oro for Bukidnon for a three - day tour of wandering, sightseeing and unguided bliss. Cagayan De Oro City is your entry point by air to reach Malaybalay City, Bukidnon’s capital and one of two cities that the province has. There are no direct flights to Bukidnon, but the province has several private airstrips used by agricultural and corporate planes. It is about two hours’ drive from Cagayan de Oro Airport. Upon arrival to Malaybalay, we were met by our guide and host representative, Ruth and Juliet, two “motherly” women who saw to it that the visit wouldn’t have any glitches along the way. Seeing Bukidnon for the fifth time still strikes me as a pleasant surprise to say the least. The place is still quiet, peaceful - a definite break from stressful Manila. People looking for activity and action may be a bit disappointed but it was the perfect place for me for a few days. Seeing green mountains (with more of Benguet pine trees, actually!) was relaxing enough. And there are quite a few monasteries there which we noticed as we drove along the many municipalities we visited. But
what took my attention as we were brought all over the province was the abundance of natural springs and waterfalls. Visiting Bukidnon, which translated literally is “people of the mountain,” is a lot like being in Baguio, but a little bit warmer or in Tagaytay, but with more trees and less dining or entertainment establishments. There were no signs of mass transport, except for the red Rural Bus Line, that runs all over the province and connects to Cagayan De Oro or Davao to the south. They also had their “easyrider” – a three wheeled, local version of the local tricycle. In the heart of Malaybay, our first stop was at the Kaamulan Park, where the annual Kaamulan festival is celebrated. If you think Bukidnon is only about pineapples on a plateau, you got it wrong. The province boasts of seven ethnic tribes, each one bearing its own unique culture and history.
BAKASYON GRANDE 63 It has become a tourist destination because of its “sweet-singing” Monastery Boys Choir, which unfortunately has now disbanded. A visit at the abbey’s chapel, designed by national artist Leandro Locsin is still a treat though, as one can have a “monastic” view of the countryside and a place for quiet solitude. Don’t forget to pass by their commissary for the Monastery’s latest best selling product – Monk’s Blend. The Monastery has produced one of the best coffee blends in the country, which has been commercialized and is now available at any Figarro coffee shops carrying the same brand. South of Malaybalay is Valencia, home to the 25 hectare Apo Lake, ideal for boating and fishing. At nearby Maramag municipality, there are three popular resorts to chill out in, if you’re missing out on the beach. There’s Edlimar Spring Resort with its well spread natural spring pools. Then there is MGM Spring Resort and its Olympic size pools. Check out the tree house. And the latest addition to the brood – Wahig Spring Resort which features a Cable car to ferry guests from the top to the pools below.
You get to see them all in their costumed finery every first week of March, in honor of their ancestors. During this period, expect the Bukidnons to go tribal when the streets of Malaybalay take on that familiar fiesta theme. Banners, banderitas and beer will be the norm, as well as the sweet, haunting sound of native music. All this revolves around the Kaamulan Park, just behind the Provincial capitol, where most of the activities are performed. Bukidnon’s tribes are known for their graceful dances and dignified bearing – a perfect compliment to the quiet provincial character of the capital city. Kaamulan Park is also a good place for camping, jogging and rodeo activities. Bukidnon is one of the few provinces in the country were they can boast of huge tracks of land containing virgin forests. We were fortunate to see some of the provincial government’s ongoing reforestation projects including those at the Bukidnon Forest Inc. with their seedling and nursery farms and their exotic collection of flowers in bloom. There was the Impalutao Reforestation Project were we ascended to some of the highest points of the Impasugong, and saw two of Bukidnon’s majestic waterfalls – Dila and Gantungan. Much as we wanted to go to Kitanglad National Park and see Mount Kitanglad from its base, the weather was not cooperating due to a looming tropical depression. Mount Kitanglad is the second highest mountain in the country. It offers a challenge to mountain climbers to reach the summit. Ruth, our guide mentioned that Mount Kitanglad contains an extensive flora and fauna as you go through its genuine virgin forest. At the base of the mountain one can spot some of the wild Philippine eagles. The cool weather of the province, maybe also be one reason why religious orders have chosen this province for their monasteries. One such example is the Monastery of the Transfiguration, ran by the Benedictine monks whose lives are stories of transformation.
Going around Bukidnon, one sees the province’s vast, fertile plains and realizes that it is predominantly an agricultural province, the most popular export being the world-famous Bukidnon pineapples. Bukidnon’s biggest attraction, in fact, is the huge 34,000 hectares Del Monte pineapple plantation owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc. It straddles five municipalities from Manolo Fortich to Impasugong, employing 3,000 people from planters to packers. The plantation is considered to be the biggest pineapple plantation in the Far East. After having spent several days in the province, I thought, who needs to come back to reality if you’ve discovered this mountainous paradise while communing with nature every single day. Think of the bragging rights. Who needs to come back to stress when you can stay with the monks or build yourself your own little nipa hut ala Robinson Crusoe? If you ever had a deserted mountain view fantasy, now is the time to experience and try it out. Hello - look at the expansive view! How to get there: Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer daily flights from Manila to Cagayan De Oro City. A two to three hour bus or car ride will get you to Malaybalay, the provincial capital of Bukidnon. Where to stay: Haus Malibu, Bonifacio Drive, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Tel./Fax No.: 841 2714
64 GLOBAL BARRIO
Malou Delamare A peek at the lives of Filipinos around the world
Since when have you been staying there? Can you recount briefly why you moved there? We moved to Provence just this year, in April, after two years in Cairo. My husband got a phone call one day from the President of Toque Blanche Lyonnaise (a renowned chef â€™s association based in Lyon, the French gastronomic capital, whose famous members include Michelin starred Chefs Paul Bocuse, Mattheu Vianay and Nicolas Le Bec among others) for an interview for a Chef de Cuisine position in a four star luxury hotel in this region. It seemed like quite a challenge. Moreso, we wanted a different lifestyle for our children, so we came to Provence and the rest is history. Tell us something about your place. The region of Alpes de Haute Provence is famous for the valley of Ubaye, the Route de Grande Alpes which a lot of cyclist, rallyist and motorist pass by to go to Nice, Cannes and Monaco. We are on the border of Italy and our place is a famous route for the Tour de France. Provence has museums, shops that sell artisanale and regional products. Our village is known to be of Neo-Mexican history and a lot of the houses are quaint chateau style. Hence, the place is also famous as a tourist destination. The valley has year round activities; during the winter, there as skiing, luge, hiking and mountain climbing, and snowboarding around the ski resorts of Pra Loup and Sauze. Cycling, white water rafting, and park activities are famous during the summer season.
GLOBAL BARRIO 65
What do you there do for a living? I was offered the position of Marketing Manager in Villa Morelia Chateau Hotel and Spa, the same hotel where my husband is employed. At the beginning I was doing freelance work with them, but since the hotel opened their new extension with spa and an additional 14 rooms, the marketing activities became bigger and wider. So I came on board full time.
Is there a Filipino community there? As the Consulate is based in Paris, most Filipino community groups are based there. However, in the last two years the city of Lyon opened a satellite Consulate Office and they have a Pinoy organization which is very active in all kinds of social activities, such as the Fete Consulaire, Phil Independence Day celebrations, as well as Christmas and other notable occasions. In Lyon, you also have the Interpol where a Pinoy Attache is based and they have formed strong ties with the agency. There quite a number of Filipino professionals living and working there in different sectors like hotel, banking, I.T., government posts and even the pharmaceutical industry.
Tell us about your life there. My husband and I settled here because of his job as a chef. You could say that, in a sense, it is difficult here if you don’t live in the big city or the capital Paris, because your social life is very limited. I lived here in 2007 and learned the language easily to fully integrate myself into the French way of life. As I have just started my job as a Marketing Manager, my time is limited, juggling home, motherhood and career
altogether. On Sundays, when the hotel is closed, the whole family goes around discovering the rich region of the valley with its lakes, museums, parks and wildlife. There are a lot of things to do during winter and summer; it’s just a matter of finding the right time. Provence is famous for its olive oil, lavender oils and many others. The only disadvantage since I moved here is that I haven’t seen any Filipino compatriots around.
What cultural practices/behaviors have you acquired from your host country? France is famous for its cuisine. As they say “do what the French do.”So it is important to appreciate that when they eat it’s mostly three course meals and they take about an hour just with the aperitif and wine. I should say that I love the classic French baguette, but my favourite is the “campaillete.” I also try to cook “chicken adobo” often as it is my husband’s favorite Filipino dish. I love going to my nearby boulangerie every morning. Across our street we have a Catholic Church. I pass by once in a while, but I don’t attend the mass as it’s too early for me.
Your greeting to Filipinos across the globe Kamusta po kayong lahat! Although I’m living and working here, I always say “I’m from the Philippines” whenever someone asks me. I’m proud to be Pinoy and I think no matter where you go, there’s always that distinct mark.
Commemorating the 112th Philippine Independence Day in Dubai and the Northern Emirates During the 112th Philippine Independence Day (PID) and Migrant Workers’ Day celebrations last June 18 at the Al Nasr Leisureland attendees not only got a glimpse of the Philippine culture through traditional and modern Filipino songs and dances but also had the chance to dialogue with the Philippine Consulate General as well as with Philippine Overseas Labor Office regarding employment concerns and issues through Migrante International-UAE’s Migrant Workers’ Forum. Highlights of the said the PID celebration included the On-The-Spot Painting Contest among the Filipino youth wherein Kathleen Bernal from St. Mary’s Catholic School garnered the top prize with her anime interpretation of Overseas Filipinos throughout the UAE, as well as the film showing of “The Empowered Filipina,” Illustrado Magazine’s documentary film directed by Kamil Roxas. To cap the event, organizations comprising the estimated 200,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates threw a Thanksgiving Party at the Al Safa Sports Complex in Bur Dubai last July 15. At the said party, Robert Ramos, Chairman of the Filipino Community (FilCom), representing the National Association of Mapua Alumni in the UAE, acknowledged all of the Filipino organizations which lent a hand in ensuring the success of the annual Philippine Independence Day celebration held at the Al Nasr Leisureland. Ares Gutierrez, Gulf News Copy Editor, is the new President, taking over from Gulf Today Senior Reporter Mariecar Jara-Puyod. Before stepping down, Jara-Puyod reported that the club was able to reach out to the different sectors of the Filipino community in the UAE through the monthly radio forum on Dubai Eye 103.8 FM from late 2008 to early 2009, the Youth Summer Media Workshop in 2008, Iftar gathering with various Filipino Muslim tribes in the UAE in September 2008, as well as the essay writing and painting competition among Filipino high school students in March 2009, among others activities.
Filipino Press Club-UAE Elects New Officers
The FPC was conceptualized as early as 2004 when seasoned as well as greenhorn newspapermen and photojournalists from Metro Manila The new officers of the Filipino Press Club (FPC) in the UAE were have made their way into Dubai and the other emirates. elected last June 25 during a General Assembly held at the newly opened Cassells Al Barsha Hotel.
Lasallians Form Middle East Group
Jose Maria Soriano, a 1978 DLSU-Manila alumnus and is now connected with Emirates Airline, is the DLSPAA-ME President while A group of Lasallians is spearheading the establishment of a formal the Vice-President is Vicente Carlos Serrano, Assistant Manager of association in Dubai. This group will serve as the regional organization Correspondent Banking and Head of Philippine Remittance at the of all Middle East-based alumni of Lasallian institutions in the Al Rostamani International Exchange. Philippines. The group’s secretary is Jose Franco Jr, a Magazine Editor at CPI Named as De La Salle Philippines Alumni Association-Middle East Industry and an alumnus of the University of St. La Salle (USLS) (DLSPAA-ME), the group is preparing its registration with the in the Central Philippine city of Bacolod. His fellow USLS alumna, Philippine Consulate-General, in Dubai, said Riyadh-based Gil Maritoni Portugal, is the treasurer while the group’s public relations officer is Martina Plumley, an Accounting graduate of DLSU-Manila Herico. and now a residential leasing consultant at Better Homes. Herico, Philippine Agriculture Attaché to the Middle East, and the executive director of Giordano Middle East, Ishwar Chugani, For more information in the DLSPAA-ME, contact Jose Maria are the group’s advisers. The two, both graduates of the De La Salle Soriano at +971 55 865-9871. University-Manila (DLSU-Manila), joined other Lasallians at a June 18 meeting in Dubai where they elected the DLSPAA-ME officials at an ad hoc capacity.
Education and Livelihood: The Keys to Success By Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa
“Education and livelihood are the keys to success.” So says Carlos Slim, a Mexican of Lebanese descent, who according to Forbes, is currently the richest man in the world. There is a need to highlight that message, and provide encouragement to school children, parents and everyone related to the educational system, to put even more effort on learning as schools start once again, come September. In June, when I was asked to be the guest speaker in a number of graduations, I began my speeches by asking the students and their parents who Mr. Slim is. Very rarely did I get the correct answer. I used to quip with a smile, “It’s because you don’t read enough,” and warned them about too much internet and the danger of getting addicted to electronic toys and computer games which do not require in-depth thinking. I enjoined them, especially the parents, to guide their children to try and develop the habit of reading, and cultivate love for wholesome reading materials during vacation time. In these past months, whenever I attended functions that inculcate continued learning I also start by repeating the same question I asked the school graduates. Here once again, seldom do I get the correct answer. After I quiz the guests, I usually congratulate the Filipinos and some foreigners who learned something new on their graduation. I predict that their additional knowledge will lead them to better and improved livelihood and cite concrete stories of promotions after studying. But with a smile, I also challenge them to read in order to lead more.
“Readers are leaders and leaders are readers,” I shared with them the aforementioned wise reminder which I learned during my tenure in Chicago. It is continuing education when one reads. Not to mention that continued learning, according to a recent study, prevents dementia and that unused brain cells lead to stagnation. So, young ones and ‘young once,’ please remember. At this juncture, I wish to point out that one of the challenges of the present Philippine secondary system is a perceived lack of two more school years. Some of the model educational systems around the world have 12 years preparation before entering university. It is the reason children of OF’s who study in Philippine schools have to leave and be separated from their parents once they finish high school in the UAE .They are not allowed to continue further studies with this limitation. Also, I have heard that even those wishing to take up masteral courses in UAE universities are faced with the same prohibition. I am glad that during the recent SONA ( State of the Nation Address ) of President Noynoy (P’Noy) Aquino, he mentioned that he will try to correct this predicament faced by our students. If successfully implemented, this will lessen the social cost of children–parent separation and make us more globally competitive. We are already good given what we have learned. With the additional learning years, I am positive that we will excel even more as global Pinoys.
68 COMMUNITY Elected founding president was Alan S. Bacason, assistant manager for compensation and benefits at Dubai Maritime City. The association aims to adhere to HR global practices across the UAE and commits to address the needs and requirements of Filipino HR practitioners through knowledge-sharing, services, support and ultimately network and integrate industry representation all over the country.
Filipino HR Practitioners’ Association in the UAE Declares Pioneer Batch
Bacason appealed to the founding members to act as ambassadors by spreading the news about the organization through word-of-mouth and other means in order to cover many industries and sectors across the UAE.
A total of 44 HR practitioners as well as professionals dealing with For those interested to join the group, please email fhrpa_uae@yahoo. HR issues have officially formed the Filipino Human Resources com or call 050-8768220 (Jasmin Castro), 050-9340016 (Ziny Practitioners’ Association in the UAE (FHRPA-UAE) during a Dayo), or 050-8463285 (Alan Bacason). general assembly held last June 25 wherein the founding members ratified the Constitution and By-Laws and elected the pioneering batch of officers.
DP World, UAE Region marks Philippines National Day
Fostering a sense of unity within its multinational workforce, DP World, UAE Region welcomed Filipino staff and their families to a day-long event held at the terminal in Jebel Ali to commemorate the 112th Philippine Independence Day. This special affair was attended by the Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, Grace Relucio Princesa as its guest of honor. The day started off with the screening of a five minute documentary on the history of the Philippines Independence Day followed by a parade of flags and the playing of the Philippines’ and UAE’s national anthems. “We have around 44 different nationalities as part of our team at DP World, UAE region and we appreciate the contribution that all make to our achievement. We are pleased to celebrate National Day with our Filipino colleagues to underline the strong sense of unity and diversity within our vast organisation. It also provides a great opportunity to our staff members to learn more about each other’s cultures,” Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director DP World, UAE Region, commented. With around 6,000 team members from across five continents, DP World, UAE Region is a microcosm of the UAE’s multi-cultural demography. DP World’s global team of 30,000 is made of more than 90 different nationalities, reflecting the scope and scale of its operations with 49 terminals in 27 countries. It marks the national days of a number of countries in recognition of the contribution made by its employees to the company’s growth.
Philippine Diplomatic Reception Abu Dhabi
The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi hosted a Diplomatic Reception on the occasion of the Philippineâ€™s 112th Independence Day, led by Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa, on the 13th June 2010 at the InterContinental Hotel Abu Dhabi. Consul General Adelio Cruz and wife Mrs. Catherine Cruz and Commercial AttachĂŠ Jojie Dinsay and wife Mrs. Jinggay Dinsay were also there to welcome guests from the international diplomatic corps as well as key members of the local Filipino community.
Onli In Da Pilipins - 1. n. a phrase used to define anything or anyone that only exists anywhere in the 7,107 islands of the Philippines || 2. adj. a phrase used to describe a Pinas episode or a Pinoy persona so rare one would never find anywhere else in the WWW (whole, wide world). It merits a documentation of some sort.
Txt Act 14344 Let it be known that text messaging in the Philippines, recognized as the Text Capital of the World, is governed by the following terms and conditions:
With all that “hot” talk about Sex Education these days (meaning: some people get hotheaded at the mere mention of, shhh, S-E-X), why don’t we discuss something else — one that’s more GP but controversial just the same? Something the jejemons I’m sure would approve of and even be elated about. (They need every bit of understanding they could get from us, especially since Gibo once threatened to send them back to school. Now you now know why he lost.) Jejemons? Is this the new generation of Pokémon?! Forget Pikachu, people, let’s proceed to Text Education.
Cell phone load is never used for calling people; its sole purpose is for texting. Otherwise, it’d defy the very title we’re famous for. To maximize the function of texting, it’s best to avail of the unlitext offer. You save more money, at the same time, pester more people more often. In such special cases that you need to ring others as a reminder that (1) they have to text you or (2) you miss them—uy!, it shall be only be by dialing once, twice, thrice to ensure that they won’t answer it. Thus, a missed call. The professional texter should be able to compose a message without looking at his/her keypad. Whether you’re in an elbow-toelbow situation in the jam-packed MRT, or nonchalantly windowshopping at a mall shouldn’t matter. If you’re looking for a textmate, send “asl, pls” to random numbers. If you’re looking at keeping a textmate, do the pasaload. A PHP20 cell phone load per day is as essential as a rice-and-ulam serving per meal. As food provides the necessary nourishment for physical growth, text messages supply the latest tsika for social development.
As much as eating together serves as bonding time, texting each other also creates intimate and intense relationships. So don’t forget to greet everyone in your contacts list “Good morning/afternoon/eve/ night!” or Happy Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/ Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday!” Know the difference between a “Good eve!” and a “Good night!” greeting. While the former is sent the moment it turns dark, the latter is dispatched just before closing your eyes to go to sleep. Be the texter for all seasons and all occasions. Send an appropriate greeting to mark non-working holidays, er, significant events all year round: New Year, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, People Power Day, Graduation Day, Holy Week, Easter Sunday, Day of Valor, Labor Day, Independence Day, Rizal Day, Cory Day, Ninoy Day, National Heroes’ Day, Eid ul Fitr, Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, Bonifacio Day, and Christmas. It’s not enough to be the texter for all seasons and all occasions. Be extra sweet during birthdays, monthsaries, and anniversaries; add graphics or smileys, e.g. c“,> (“,) =* (-o-). Forward philosophical/religious/friendship/love quotes if your goal is to sound profound. Limit sending brain twisters if you don’t want to trigger a nose-bleed outbreak. Never send words of emo to prevent your number from being deleted from anyone’s phone book. Forward jokes, especially those about Ederlyn, Inday, Pacman, Aling Dionesia, and Erap, right away. The best jokes, though, are colored green. If you want to stage a party at EDSA, find a corrupt politician and call on everyone to a mass protest by sending fiery text invites. If you receive a message saying you won cash/a car/a partner, you certainly didn’t. If it says you’ll die if you don’t forward the message, you’ll live to be a hundred. Good luck naman! Txt Spk 101 In the tradition of the infamous “wer u n? hir n me. jeje…” —the jejemon’s signature text lingo — here’s a crash course to help you decipher the Worse code your Pinoy textmate has just relayed. Warning: While some practices are well intended to help one get the most out of the 160-character text (plus the piso, of course) and thus the shortcut, others are aimed at being as pa-cute as possible
that they stop being readable. And the texter starts being annoying, especially if he/she performs a deadly combination of all these. Just Litter – Painful as it may seem, but unnecessary letters are better struck out. That means mostly your vowels, and consonants in words having double letters. e.g. dbl = double, letr = letter Sounds Like – If you’re the Charades Champ, it should be easy for you to listen to the sound of letters and numbers. Simply put: write as you say it - e.g. c u l8r = see you later, 2 4mal = too formal nth Power – Just like exponentiation in Math (an)—naks!—the “n” indicates how many times the “a” is to be repeated - e.g. wahe5 = wahehehehehe, halo2 = halo-halo u & me – This one’s a sweet pair, so they say. It’s also irritating to read and listen to, especially when it’s used in Taglish - e.g. musta u? = How are you?, bute me. = I’m good. Pathetic po – Po, like Opo, is a unique word in Filipino that connotes respect. Sadly, it’s being butchered over and over by inglorious basterds, what a pity - e.g. hi poe/poh/pow/pfu! = Hi po! Exchanging Letters – When done in Scrabble, it gives you a better chance at forming words. In texting, however, you merely lose the chance of being respected - e.g. k à c/q (di2 n q/co = I’m here already), o à u (uu = yes), b à v (vasket = basket), sy à x (xa = he/she), s à z (miz u = miss you), r à w (sowi = sorry) Switching Characters – Letters magically transform into crazy characters! Aw, some people are just so lucky they’ve got too much time on their hands, tsk - e.g. o à 0, g à 9, i à !, S à $ (!’m 90r9e0u$ = I’m gorgeous) Idiotic Inserts – They’re found next to vowels for a reason only the texter knows (which isn’t even valid at the very least). Don’t bother to discover - e.g. h = mustah?, w = opow Baby Talk – The less articulate, the better. Now, let’s do our FB (Feeling Baby) texters a favor and cram a Tabasco-soaked pacifier in their mouths - e.g. eowh = hello, puhleazzz = please uPpEr/LoWeR cAsE – u 9eTn9 dZ n0w? QuN9rA2L8!0nZ pH0w! @_@ So, could you be one of them jejemons? jejejejeje. ;P
The Annie B (Batobalani) Chronicles
The adventures and misadventures of a ‘not so average’ Pinay trying to make it in the cosmpolitan city of Dubai.
Oh Tukso….. Diligan Mo Ako
Ang init-init talaga. Nang over!
Nakakapaso… nakakapawis… nakaka-dry…nakaka-tuyooooot. Ang hapdi sa balat… ang tigas sa buhok… ang gaspang sa anit… ang kati-kateeee. Umaapoy… lumalagablab… kumukulo… uhaw na uhaaaaaw. Nakakainis… nakakayamot… nakakabato… nakakabaliiiiw. Panahon na naman ng pagkabagot. The hot, nasty, blazing weather outside let’s you do nothing - unless pangarap mong magkaskin cancer at matigok from dehydration. Ang panget! Eh miski magpahid ng lotion ngayon eh nakakatamad din. Ilang hagod pa lang sa balat mo eh papawisan ka na, so hindi kakapit ang lagkit nito. Tapos since mahirap syang i-blend, magmumukha ka namang espasol dahil sa patchi-patche ang mga puti na mababakas. Pati ang magpabango badtrip din. Pagtinapangan mo ang pagbuga kakaspray eh masangsang panigurado ang amoy mo. Tapos ilang minuto lang amoy lamay ka na, kasi hahalo na sa pawis at body chemical mo ang inispray mo. Kapag pa-wisik wisik lang naman ang nilagay mo, bago mo pa maisara ang takip ng bote eh nag-evaporate na sa tindi ng humidity ang bango mo. Kaka-ungas! Pasensha na po sa mga talak ko. Ganyan talaga siguro kapag wala kang magawa. Ika nga, an idle mind is the devil’s idol di ba? Kung anu-anong kademonyohan tuloy ang pumapasok sa kukote ko. Kakabato kasi. Alone again naturally ang drama ko dito sa flat. Parehas kasing nasa Pilipinas nakabakasyon ngayon ang mga flatmates kong sina Angel at Alexa. Mga bruhang yon lumarga nang hindi binabayaran ang TFC bill namin kaya wala din akong mapanood. Hindi ko na alam kung nagkita na ba ulit si Agua at si Bendita o kung tinalbugan na ni Victoria si Vera. Yun naman aming Kapitbahay Libreng Wifi eh nabuking na yata na nakiki-apid lang kami sa kanya kaya naglagay bigla ng password – kaya hindi rin ako maka-Fezbook, YM Chat
o internet man lang. At siempre pa, may sumpong na naman ang Blackberry kong made-in-China…di tuloy ako maka-BBM. Haaay…to think ilang buwan na lang wala ka na talagang silbi. Ang saya di ba? Nade-depress tuloy ako. Halos isang buwan na rin kasi kaming hindi nagkikita ni Adam my love, my hero, my knight, my shining amor, my cupcake, mi amore, papable-jowa. Busy-bisihan kasi sya sa bagong business ventures nya sa Try State area ba yun? Ewan ko ba nung gi-noogle ko wala namang ganung pangalan ng State sa Amerika. Well, ewan ko, baka sa bandang Hawaii o Saipan yon. Whatevs Kebs! Bahala sya kung niloloko niya ako o hindi. Basta ako fateful. I’m a one-woman-oneman woman. Dalagang Pilipina. Busilak at walang bahid ng putik o mantsa o dumi ang puri.
Pero pano kung may ibang ma-meet si Adam doon sa US? Yung mas may asim pa sa akin? Mas low maintenance kesa sa ‘ken? Yung tipong aristocrata, hairess, royalting ang dating? Naku naman… maprapraning na ako nito. Eh sino lang ba naman ako? Isang successful, independent, self-sufficient, self-conscious woman of the world lang naman di ba? Plus, pala-simba pa ako. Ma-horoscope at marunong pang umintindi ng Feng Shui. Magaling pa sa crossword puzzle at manghula ng showbiz blind items. Kaya ko ding mag-weather forecast at mag-type ng 100 words per minute. Kaya ba ng iba yun? Bago pa man din akong tuluyang ma-possess sa kakaselos kay Adam at sa tindi ng init na bumabalot sa laman ko ay pumayag ako sa imbitasyon ng BFF kong si Sheila na gumimick at magsabog ng kagandahan at lagim sa buong sambayanan. For a change, sa Outlet Mall ang lamyerda namin ni BFF Sheila. Naku, nakuba lang ako at namaga ang mga binti ko sa tagal naming naglibot doon pero zirowena naman ang efforts naming maka-score
ng mga bonggang outfits on sale. On our way home, jackpot naman kaming may kabayang nag-offer ng carlift. Dobol jackpot din kasi may hitsu ang driver. Matangkad, moreno, baby-face at mala-Zuma ang pangangatawan – macho gwapito! Panay ang sulyap nya sa akin sa rear view mirror – patunay na effective pa rin ang freshness ko matapos mag-walkathon maghapon sa Outlet Mall. Si BFF Sheila nag-A for effort din pero sorry, ako ang kinindatan bago kami bumaba ng carlift. Pero bago pa tuluyang matalbugan, walang kakurap-kurap na hiningi ni BFF ang phone number ni macho gwapito sabay abot din ng calling card nya. Jhonard ang pangalan nya at pwede daw syang tawagan anytime. Presko huh? Pero yummy naman kaya infairness na rin. Pag-uwi ko, nadama ko na naman ang aloneliness na nagbabadyang umatake any moment. Pagoda cold wave lotion na nga kami, la ocean deep pa ang lakad namin. Maya-maya pa, may I-ring ang Blackberry ko. Aba, new number. Sinitch kaya itich? Sasagutin ko na sana nang biglang tumigil ang ringing tone matapos ang tatlong kililing lang. Aayyy….Miss Kol????!!!!! Kacheapan huh? Kapal naman nito – ni hindi ko kakilala, wala sa directory ko – pero ang lakas ng loob magpa-return call??? Kape!!! Hay naku, kung sino ka man ka mang jologz ka eh manigas ka. Dedma. After 3 minutes nag-ring ulit. Sabi ko kapag lumampas ng 3 kililing tsaka ko lang sasagutin. Aha! Miss Kol ulit. Kapaaaaaal ng fez! Akala mo tatawagan kita? Hindi ko aaksayahin ang hard earned dirhams ko kung kani-kanino lang noh? Dedma ulit. Maya-maya may nag-text naman – it’s the same number. Sabi sa text, “Hellow po. Jhonard po i2. Driver ng carlift kanina. Sorry wala me load eh. Muzta po? ;-)” Ahhh…so sya pala yun. Ang bilis ha? Naihatid na nya si BFF Sheila sa flat sa lagay na yun? Kinilig ako bigla. Naalala ko yung kamachohan nya. Papable Kabayan. Kaya lang ang cheap, walang load. Jumejejemon pa. Sayang naman… yummy pa man din. Nagring ulit ang phone ko. Si BFF Sheila. “Uuyyy friend, anu naaaa??? Nakausap mo na si Papa Jhonard? Sabi ko tawagan ka eh. Magdate daw kayo. Aaayyyy… ahihihihihi!!!,” sabi ng kaibigan kong kerengkeng. Hay naku, sabi ko ayoko nga. Ano na lang iisipin ni Adam – kung kani-kanino akong lalake nakiki-pagdate kapag wala sya? Pero sabi ni BFF wala namang makakaalam, besides I need some distraction right now kasi nangungulila ako. A friendly date won’t hurt naman daw. I’m just expanding my horizons by meeting new people. Oo nga, sabi ko. Panahon na rin siguro para lumabas ako sa kahong nagkukulong sa akin. Besides, Pinoy naman ito, I can be my natural self for a change. Kasi kapag nagde-date kami ni Adam medyo nakaka-imtimidate yung mga kakilala nya – mga elitista at edukada. Bawal mag-chewing gum, baka mapagkamalan kasi akong kambing. Bawal mangulangot, dumura, dumahak. Kunsabay kadiri naman talaga yon, pero paminsan-minsan ang sarap maging pasaway di ba?
Anu kaya ang feeling nang may boyfriend ka pero makipag-date ka rin sa iba? Curious lang po ako. Pero parang mali. Pano kung malaman ni Adam? Ano na lang ang mapi-feel nya? Baka isipin nya na slot ako. Bigla ko naisip si BFF – may sungay at may buntot this time. Sabi nya, “Frieeeeend… walang makakaalam kung walang magsasabi kay Adam. Isipin mo na lang lamang tiyan din si Jhonard. Huwag aksayahin ang pagkakataon. Makipag-date ka naaaaaaaa. Bwahahahahaha!!!” Ay, ganun pala ang hitsura ng demonyo. Naalala ko nga bigla kung gaano kalaki ang bukol… nung muscle sa braso ni Jhonard. Kanin na lang ulam na. Sige na nga. Sabi nga nila, “What happens when Adam is away, stays in Dubai.” Tama ba yun? So masakit man sa kalooban ko eh tinawagan ko si Jhonard. Inaya nya ako makipag-dinner. Sa Barrio Fiesta daw. Aba, in fairnest, may taste naman. So kinagabihan, dumating ako sa Burjuman ng 30 minutes late sa usapan namin. Hay naku, kung talagang interestado sya sa akin magaantay sya di ba? Pagpasok ko sa Barrio Fiesta, nandun na nga sya – at hindi na nga sya nakapaghintay – umorder na sya at kumakain na. Naman! Romantic na sana eh nasira pa. Di bale, tuloy pa rin ang dinner. Dahil sa laki ng pangangatawan nya, hindi nakakapagtakang maganang kumain si Jhonard. Medyo naparami ang inorder namin. Kare-kare, crispy tadyang ng baka, bulalo, chicken inasal, sugpo sa aligue (my favorite!), lechong manok, ginataang sitaw at kalabasa, sarsiyadong hammour (another favorite!), laing tapos, akala ko nakuntento na sya pero may pahabol pang kalderetang kambing. Wow, Pista sa Nayon ba itu? Just like Adam, he seems to be generous, too. Naka-limang order din sya ng gulaman at sago at nag-dessert pa ng turon, puto bumbong at maja blanca na shinare din nya sa akin. Sweet noh? So far, so good naman ang dinner date namin. Pinagtitinginan kami ng mga kabayan doon, malamang na-iintriga sa aming dalawa. Eh headturner naman talaga si Jhonard eh. Tapos tatlong mesa pa ang pinagdugtong ng mga waiter para magkasya lang ang mga inorder namin. Ang funny! Ok na sa lahat kaya lang naramdaman ko na halos magti-thirty minutes na since naubos ni Jhonard ang huling pirasong turon na pinanghimagas nya eh hindi pa rin nya hinihingi yung bill sa waiter. Kinabahan ako. Pakiramdam ko eh wala syang balak magbayad. Well, baka naman kailangang signalan ko ang waiter tapos iaabot ko na lang sa kanya yung bill. So sinenyasan ko yung waiter for the bill, at nag-CR muna ako. Pagbalik ko after 10 minutes, aba ni hindi man lang dinampot ng mokong ang bill! Dedma? Nagbabasa kuning ng dyaryo. Naisip ko, sayang naman kung masira ang gabing iyon kung mabwibwisit ako. So ano pa nga ba, eh di ako rin ang nagbayad ng nilafang naming. Di ko na tinignan ang total. Basta inilabas ko ang credit card ko sabay ipit dun sa bill. Habang pinipirmahan ko ang resibo ay inisip ko na lang na pwede ring ipapalit n raffle coupons itong resibo ngayong DSS – malay mo manalo pa ako ng BMW di
ba? Positive thinking, Annie… Since nabundat kami sa dami ng kinain namin ay napagkasunduan na lang naming mag-stroll along the Jumeirah open beach. Romantic nga sya. Kilig na kilig naman ako. Hindi ko naramdaman kung gaano kalagkit ang feeling sa labas noon. Habang nag-HHWW kami, nakinig lang ako sa mga kwento nya. More than a year na palang naka-visit visa si Jhonard pero wala pa rin syang nakukuhang matinong trabaho. Kotse ng kumpare nya yung sasakyang kina-carlift nya at wala syang valid UAE driver’s license. Lakas ng loob huh? Maingat naman daw sya kaya’t hindi pa sya napapa-trobol sa awa ng Diyos. Palipat lipat sya ng tinitirahan sa kung kani-kanuno nyang kaibigan para makatipid sa renta. Binata naman daw sya. Mas matanda ako sa kanya, pero ang dami na nyang na-experience sa buhay. Dati raw syang artista sa atin – bakit kaya hindi ko sya napapanood noon? Twice na daw syang naging body dobol ni Ronnie Ricketts sa pelikula – kaya naman pala, hindi kasi ako mahilig sa action movies eh. Ang pangarap nya ay maging Fitness First instructor dito sa Dubai kaya lang since wala syang experience at training certificate eh hindi sya matanggap. Dubai ang first travel nya outside the Philippines. Matagal na daw syang naghahanap ng mapapangasawa kasi feeling daw nya handa na sya mag-settle down. Sa mga kwento ni Jhonard, obvious na wala syang ambisyon sa buhay. Biruin mo sa edad nyang yun eh nakikipagsapalaran pa rin sya – at wala pang pinatutunguhan ang buhay nya. Pero atleast maalaga sya sa katawan nya. Masipag syang mag-gym kaya naman saksakan ng kisig ng pangangatawan nya. Atleast masasabi mo na may disiplina naman sya di ba? Fifty pogi points na rin! Atsaka kapag kasama ko sya, feeling ko girl na girl ako. Sa tindi ng pagka-macho nya feeling ko 21 ang waistline ko. Grabe, hindi namin namalayan na pawis na pawis na pala kami sa sobrang humid. Nag-aya nang bumalik sa parking si Jhonard para makapagpalit daw sya ng t-shirt. I thought of calling it the nights na sana pero halos malaglag sa buhangin ang mga mata ko nang maghubad ng shirt sa harap ko si Jhonard. Naka-slow motion ang buong pangyayari. Dahan dahan nyang hinubad ang suot nya habang patuloy na tumutulo ang pawis mula sa dibdib at braso nya na halos pumutok sa laki ng muscle. Naka-nganga lang ako habang nagpapalit sya ng t-shirt… Miski 45 degrees eh nangatog ang mga tuhod ko at nanlamig ako. Iba talaga ang kisig Pinoooooyyyy!!! Biglang kong naisip ang imahen ni BFF Sheila na may sungay at buntot – nandedemonyo ang bruha! Kaya miski nagdalawang isip pa man din ako noong una, minadali ko nang inaya si Jhonard na paandarin na ang kotse nya para makauwi na kami sa flat ko for a nightcup. Hindi ko noon naisip na magiging advantage pa pala ang pagiging mag-isa ko sa flat habang nakabakasyon ang mga flatmates ko. Sa wakas, solong solo ko ang buong flat at walang mga asungot! Pagdating namin sa flat ay dumiretso agad ako sa banyo upang magshower at magpalit ng something sexy. Bilin ko kay Jhonard na to help yourself around and feel like at home.
Paglabas ko ng banyo ay muntik na akong mapa-tumbling sa nakita ko. Naka-sando na lang si Jhonard habang biglang tumugtog ang “Careless Whisper” mula sa component ko. Nagsimulang magpagiling giling na parang kitikiti si Jhonard habang nakatitig sa akin… Parang bulate ang katawan nya na nagma-macho dancing at may pa-pikit-pikit pa ng mga matang nalalaman. Hindi ako makagalaw sa kinatatayuan ko, pakiramdam ko ay nalumpo na yata ako sa mga nakita ko. Kinuha ni Jhonard ang mga kamay kong nanginginig at ipinatong nya ito sa mga balikat nya. Inilagay naman nya sa baywang ko ang mga kamay nya habang patuloy pa rin sya sa pag-giling. Bigla akong nilagnat at sabay pinagpawisan ng pagkalamig-lamig. Juskooooooo!!!! Patawarin nyo po ako… ayoko po sanang magkasala pero … Biglang tumunog ang Blackberry! malapit na eh…may nag-text pa!
Anak ng! Istorbo, naman…
Inabot ko ang celfone ko upang basahin ang message. Oh may gas, it’s Adam! “Hi honey! How are you? Hope you’re doing fine. Missing you and see you soon. Love, Adam” Parang biglang may matinding sumampal sa akin. Napatigil ako. Bumitaw ako kay Jhonard at biglang nagising. Teka, teka… ano ba itong ginagawa ko? Naturingang may boyfriend ako tapos kung kani-kanino ako nakikipag-dirty dancing? Nabitawan ko ang hawak kong celfone at noon ko naramdaman na mali pala ang pinag-gagagawa ko. Natauhan ako bigla. Sabi ko sa sarili ko kung anu ano ang hinihinala ko kay Adam pero heto akong nakikipaglaro ng apoy? Dali-dali akong naghilamos at nagbihis ng pajama. Kinakatok ako ni Jhonard sa banyo pero hindi ko sya pinagbuksan. I had to text back Adam. Pero ano ang isasagot ko? I am lost for words. Type ako ng type pero walang sense lahat ng spelling ko. Huminga ako ng malalim… Napaluha ako at naawa sa sarili ko. Siguro ito ang palatandaan na hindi talaga ako bad girl. Na senyales ito mula sa langit at kinailanagan kong gawin ang lahat para maisalba ang sarili ko from committing a mortal sin. Nang mahimasmasan na ako ay tinext ko na si Adam na okey naman ako at nami-miss ko na din sya. It felt good. Para bang nakawala ako mula sa kumunoy na pilit na humihigop sa akin para malunod sa putik. Paglabas ko ng banyo ay nag-apologize ako kay Jhonard. Cool naman sya at nagpaalam na rin agad agad. Tinawagan ko si BFF Sheila and told her what happened – gaga daw ako – ginto na naging bato pa. Hindi ako nanghinayang sa totoo lang. I’m glad I was able to see the light and resist temptation. What I have with Adam is long term and more meaningful compared to a few minutes of guilty pleasure. I’m so glad I made the right choice! Dizzizit! Kaya magmula noon, kapag nangungulila ako kay Adam at naiinitan sa tindi ng humidity ng panahon, tinotodo ko na lang ang AC sabay takbo sa banyo upang mag-cold shower. It’s so effective – guity free and cost free! Try it to believe it!
BEAUTY SALONS BUR DUBAI, DUBAI Beauty Secret Concord Building 2, Mankhool, Bur Dubai Tel. 04 358 1477 Mars & Venus Beauty Salon Office 202, 2nd Floor, Bin Hamad Building, Opposite Emirates Bank International Tel. 04 344 9219 KARAMA, DUBAI Bernadita Ladies Salon Al Wasl Bldg., Karama Tel 04 335 3049 Fingers & Toes Salon M4 Karama Gold Bldg., Beside Jumbo Electronics, Karama Tel. 04 336 6495 Fingers & Toes Salon Shop 70 Al-Attar Center, Karama Tel. 04 335 7656 Lilac Beauty Salon Behind Day-to-Day Shop Al Kuwait Road, Karama Tel. 04 397 3369 Reflection Beauty Centre Shops 7-8 Al-Attar Mall, Karama Tel. 04 334 1033 Sensei Salon Behind Day to Day Shop Al Kuwait Road 12 d street Al Karama Tel 043976652 SATWA, DUBAI Mars & Venus Beauty Salon Office # 202, 2nd Floor, bin Hamad Bldg., Dubai Landmark: Opposite Emirates Bank International Tel 04 344 9219
Mayumy Salon Al Bada Oasis Tower, Satwa (at the back of Chowking) Tel. 04 345 6799
DEIRA, DUBAI Grand Mart General Trading Al- Murraqabat, Deira Tel. 04 297 5888
KARAMA, DUBAI Red Ribbon Bakery Karama Tel. 04 396 8675
Silky Touch Ladies Salon Al Badaa Oasis Tower, Satwa (at the back of Chow King) Tel. No: 04 345 0092
Moonlight Supermarket Near Clock Tower Tel. 04 2942422
Salt & Pepper Karama Tel. 04 396 3770
KARAMA, DUBAI Queen Saba Trading Karama Branch, Fish Market Tel. 04 337 1416
SATWA, DUBAI Big John Restaurant Satwa Tel. 04 344 5677
Sunflower Supermarket Karama, Dubai UAE Tel : 04-3964611 Fax : 04-3964573
Deli Bite Restaurant Al Bada Oasis Tower, Satwa Tel. 04 345 3845
SUPERMARKETS ABU DHABI Saba International Trading Near Dana Hotel, Tourist Club, Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 645 7800
SATWA, DUBAI Well Goal Supermarket Satwa Tel. 04 344 9851
Majestic Restaurant Satwa Tel. 04 332 9860
Queen Saba Supermarket Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 666 6280
RESTAURANTS ABU DHABI Hundred Island Foodstuff Madinat Sayed Tel. 02 634 4084
Queen Saba Supermarket Behind Al Salama Hospital, Hamdan St., Tourist Club, Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 677 7626
Kainan Filipino Restaurant Beside Wonder Gift Island, Salam St. Tel. 02 671 5580
RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE Silky Touch Ladies Salon 1st Flr, Room # 4, Sheikh Umar Bldg., Al Nakheel Road, Ras Al Kaimah, UAE Tel 050 798 5139
Thai Importing & Trading Tourist Club Area Tel. 02 676 8663 BUR DUBAI, DUBAI Maxim’s Supermarket Mankhool Road Tel. 04 598 5302 SMA Supermarket Bank Street Tel. 04 357 2802
Kainan Filipino Restaurant Fortune Hotel Bldg, Tourist Club Tel. 02 645 5565 Kainan Filipino Restaurant Back of Alaska Fashion, Hamdan St. Tel. 02 671 5850 DEIRA, DUBAI Salt & Pepper Warba Branch Deira Tel. 04 262 8203
Salt & Pepper Satwa Tel .04 345 3459 MISCELLANEOUS DUBAI Spring Glitters Souq Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Dubai Tel. 04 271 3375 or 06 533 5668 United International Private School (UIPS) Muhaisnah 4, Al Ghusais Tel. 04 254 3889 SHARJAH Philippine Tailoring Yarmook, Sharjah Tel. 050 352 7934
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