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Editor’s Note

Lessons from the School Called Life

Ages ago, 20 year old me emerged from my very first job interview flustered and more than just a bit agitated. There I was, bright eyed and bushy tailed, a fresh graduate of the country’s premiere university – the Alma Mater of 14 Philippine presidents, countless national artists and scientists - a consistent honors student since I was four, who has earned more than my fair share of academic awards in all of my 16 years in school - and I’m being offered a behind-the-counter sales job? Hah! Could anything be more insulting? My pride bled. Years later, however, I’ve realized how foolish I have been. Not that that job was for me, but because my silly arrogance was a total and utter sign of ignorance. The more experienced I have become, the more I have realized how little I really knew back then, despite all those years of excellent academic performance. It’s a curious thing - most of us would spend anything from 16 to 20, or even more years in school and yet, it is not what we learn within the four walls of the classroom that make us whole or useful human beings. Because in reality, education - the academic kind, that is, can only make us aware and informed – but not wise. And as the years pass on, I have come to understand that the best lessons in life are the ones we learn ourselves in the school called ‘life’. Here are just a few of those lessons worth learning – Know how to present yourself in the best possible way – whether in the way you speak, the way you move, dress or present yourself. Even better, learn to be a decent person – someone who has manners and ‘delicadeza’, who knows how to act appropriately and has concern for other human beings and the world, and an appreciation for the common good. Learn how to connect with people. Master the art of small talk, even if it’s just about the weather, because that is the modest start of all good conversations. Learn to embrace diversity and get along with people from all walks of life. Acquire the skill and art of eloquence. Your ideas, opinions and impressive intellect are worth nothing if you cannot express yourself and share your thoughts with others. Understand how the universe works and how to spot greatness and the beauty in small things. Train yourself to cultivate thankfulness and happiness. Learn what it takes to weather storms, and how to keep getting up each time you fall down. Learn how to fly while keeping your feet planted on the ground. Most of all, discover who you are and what you are meant to do. Understand your true worth. Build the skill to ask for, demand and negotiate for what you deserve. Gain the confident stance to walk alone into a room full of people, and the confidence to stand for something you believe in. Find your purpose in life and what you can contribute to the world. It really is not Math, Science or even highfalutin Calculus that fulfills our natural need for wisdom. It is both these simple and profound lessons we learn ourselves, the ones that bring us self-realization, facilitates our bonds with others and move us towards fulfillment that make us the whole package. Poet Oscar Wilde said it so eloquently, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Taas Noo, Filipino! LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


Talking Loud

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only I could marry a musician! Haha! ~ Cielo Cruz My Math teacher, Ms. Gail Beltran, is inspiring to me. She made Math understandable and actually fun. Plus, she’s into anime! ~ Reese, 11 years old

I put up a post about Batibot on the Illustrado Facebook page and fond memories of singing along with the various characters of the show came back to me. As a child, I was learning and didn’t know it because I thought I was just having fun. There are teachers, professors and other major influencers in our lives who touch us in the same way; they leave with us a lesson that leaves its in our actions and in our character. This month, we’re giving thanks to those people who came into our lives for a lesson, for a reason. Cheers! ~Lalaine My mom will always be my first and most loved teacher. I think her motto must have been, teach not preach. Her lessons were not taught on blackboard, they were taught by the words she always knew were the right to say, at the right time. She taught by example, proving that the best way for a child to follow rules is to show that you are not above them. I can only hope that I can pass on the same lessons to my children now that I’m a mother myself. ~ Cherry Lou My Music teacher in grade school was my favorite voice. When I came home from school the first day of her class, I told my Mom that Ms. Cruz’s voice was heavenly. When I grew up and my vocabulary widened, I decided the word “ethereal” was more fitting. I will never have the voice of a singer, but Ms. Cruz’s class started my fascination with everything related to music of all kinds, of all genres. Now, if


I was doodling all the time in class and secretly drawing designs of gowns and dresses, afraid of being told that it was not proper for a boy to do so. I had one teacher in religion who accidentally saw my drawings and told me I had “promise and should pursue my talents”. I didn’t know what she meant then—I was probably around 7 or 8 years old—but I kept on drawing. Now, I’m studying fashion in a prestigious university in Europe on a scholarship. I thank my lucky stars everyday for Ms. Galang. I’m not sure I would be where I am today without her encouragement. ~ E.Z. Jayson My learning – turning point was not a teacher or a professor, but a place. I was sent to Palawan for a team building session and started taking pictures of colleagues for the session breaks. This was all before the age of Photoshop and Instagram – everyone marveled at how personal the candid pictures were. Somehow, I was able to capture an element of my subject’s personality with the way that I photographed their laugh, their smirk or what have you. Soon after, people started asking me to photograph their weddings and that led me to become a wedding photographer. ~ Orie Nunez My favorite subject in school was Math. I became a default teacher to most of the other kids in the class because I was able to make Math relatable to them. It was really fulfilling for me and inspired me to heed my calling to be a teacher. Now, when I see some of my students tutoring the other kids and sharing their time and

their knowledge, I see a little bit of myself all over again. They say you will never get rich from teaching, but in many ways, they’re wrong. I look back at my 20 plus years of teaching and cannot even to count my riches. ~Mrs. C.J. De Los Santos I had a crush on my Grade 2 English teacher, Miss Wency. She was so pretty and so smart. I’m not sure it was a learning moment, but I did notice that I’ve always looked for girls who are like Miss Wency: smart, pretty, makes sense and has excellent grammar skills! HAHA! ~ Joel Dy Dear Illustrado, Thank you for reminding us time and time again about how many reasons we we have to appreciate and be proud of our country and our own people. We may not be perfect and our situation could still use a lot of improvements – but let us not forget that we have what it takes to succeed and move ourselves further into the world. We are talented, hardworking, flexible, patient and God-fearing. We have a rich culture and a beautiful country full of God-given natural resources. Mabuhay ang mga Filipino! - Jose Cornejo Amazing cover and amazing June issue, Illustrado! I love the fact that the magazine is very much on trend, especially with the Great Gatsby inspired fashion editorial, while still retaining your proud Filipino core. It definitely speaks to the new breed of Filipinos who are world-class but never forget who they are. Thank you for always making us proud! #proudPinoy - Megz Tirona Belated happy Independence Day to the entire Illustrado Team! Keep on proudly flying the flag of the Philippines! Kudos! - ProudJuan

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lalaine Chu-Benitez CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mon Benitez ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ana Santos COLUMNISTS Aby Yap Alfred “Krip” Yuson Bernadette Reyes Bo Sanchez Carlito Viriña Francisco Colayco Jeremy Baer Dr. Margarita Holmes CONTRIBUTING WRITERS – UAE, PHILIPPINES, CANADA SWITZERLAND Mary Ann Angela Mapa Marchadesch Mary Anna Oposa Ann “Maps” Santos Barbara Marchadesch Nephele Kirong Candice Lopez Quimpo Nikka Sartgou Dante Gagelonia Nina Terol-Zialcita Did Paterno P.A. Escalante Excel Dyquianco Princes Nedamo Johanna Michelle Lim Quay Evano Kara Santos Rache Hernandez Liza Lacuesta Regina Layug-Lucero Manny Escosa Sherry Tenorio CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS – UAE & PHILIPPINES Glenn Peter-Perez Cristina Linaza Mariyah Gaspacho Donald Rosales Dr. Marlon Pecjo Filbert Kung Paelo Pedrajas Eros Goze CONTRIBUTING FASHION CREW - UAE Jessie Tabla Frankie Melendez Jojo Padua Ginno Alducente PUBLISHER – UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Tel: +971 4 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax: +971 4 360 4771 E-mail: Web:, Facebook: Illustrado Magazine Twitter: Illustrado Magazine PRINTERS Printwell Printing LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE STOCK IMAGES (Unless otherwise specified) Copyright Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2006 – 2013 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.


Aug 2013 Contents

Young Filipino-Italian beauty Michelle Sophie Pudda lends her innocently elegant persona to this issue’s “A Love Affair with Paper” fashion editorial.


Proud to be Pinoy Youth 6 State of the Nation in Education 16 The Magic of Science 20 Puppy Love 32 The Trial of Pol Medina 36 May-December Love Affairs 38

regular columns

Editor’s Note 1 Talking Loud 2 Contributors 4 Illuminati: Creativity and the Awesome Pinoy 10 It’s What I Do 22 Leadership: The Power of Leadership 24 Kabuhayan Entrepreneurship: Impress Printing 26 Kabuhayan Money: The First Rule in Investing 27 Spirituality: Back to Home 30 Illustrado Scrapbook: Robert Castro and Ozki Rialubin 40 Entertainment 42 10 Things to Do 58 Pinoy Planet: My Pinoy Life in Tanzania 62 News 68 Trippin’: What’s Your La Union Style? 70 On the Prowl, In the Know 74 Onli in Da Pilipins 78



Fashion: A Love Affair with Paper 44 Illustrado Runway: Esmod Fashion School 56




In this month’s issue, Illustrado contributors reminisce about teachers, travels and life’s learning moments in and outside of the classroom

Ana P. Santos

From banker to writer – it was not exactly an ideal career path, but for Ana, it was the natural transition to take when she realized it was time to be the writer she had always wanted to marry. Now, Illustrado’s Associate editor juggles being a writer who focuses on women’s sexual reproductive health rights with being a solo mom to a precocious 11year old daughter. Most of the time, she is amused -- wondering which one of them is the adult in the home. For Ana, her high school teacher Lia Pison discovered that she had “almost flawless grammar” and encouraged her to write. Another high school teacher, Mary Ann Tantoco opened her eyes to the world of Anne Frank and Jean Val Jean long before they became blockbuster movies. “But it will always be my History teacher, Ramona Casanova who told me that she didn’t care about dates and timelines and neither should we. We should care more how history reveals where we came from and why we are where we are today.”

Krip Yuson

Palanca Hall of Famer Krip Yuson certainly needs no introduction and this month, he is dedicating his piece of real estate in the Contributors’ Section to Mr. Othoniel Jimenez. “’Otto’ as he was called, influenced me most as our 3rd-year English class teacher in San Beda College. He recited a poem by Longfellow, from memory, on the first day of class, and kept us enthralled and amused with other effective antics, inclusive of “the knock” — or rapping on noggins with his knuckles. He inspired me to write my first poem at the age of 14, a silly limerick which I presented him, to his amusement. He became a friend much later in life, and several of us Bedistas in our 60s attended his wake when he passed away several years ago.”

Anna Oposa

Francisco and Mary Ann Colayco

Power couple and personal finance gurus Francisco J Colayco and his wife, Mary Ann, devote their monthly columns to discussing and discussing a sensitive and often untouchable topic to a lot of Filipino couples: love and money. In this issue, the personal finance duo make growing your personal wealth even easier by breaking down the basics of investing. Illustrado’s Kabuhayan columnists may be called educators themselves as they have several best-selling books to their credit, and an advocacy on teaching Filipinos how to prosper.

Anna Oposa is the co-founder and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas. When she’s not flipping her fins, she is a freelance writer, public speaker, and host of a podcast called Coffee Break on the New Media Factory. Anna graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in BA English Studies. Says Anna, “Dr. Judy Ick was my professor in Shakespeare, Renaissance Literature, and College English. She made literature from Europe written in the 15th-17th century relevant to the Philippines and to everyday life. But apart from that, Dr. Ick taught me how to think critically and have the courage to ask the right questions--lessons I carry with me everyday as a writer and marine conservationist.”

Nephele Krong

Nephele Kirong dreamed of becoming a doctor until she realized she needed to pass Math for it. Fortunately, she has a knack for gathering information, so she took up Journalism in college instead. In the future, she hopes to be a hard-hitting conflict and disaster reporter, but for now she’s content being a graduate student in a nice university near a magical mountain. “It sounds weird,” says Neph, but it was my high school Science teacher who led me into becoming a journalist. Her frequent emphasis on gaining street smarts made me more aware of what’s happening around me, leading to an unquenchable thirst for news and current events.”

Kara Santos

Kara Santos is a travel writer and photographer. When not on the road or motorcycling somewhere off for the weekend, she’s leveling up her experience points in the latest PlayStation RPG. Read her real-life and virtual adventures in her blog Travel Up (www. In this issue of Illustrado, Kara takes us to La Union. “As a travel writer, I’ve had the opportunity to visit La Union several times for assignments. On my last trip there, I got to stay in The Circle Hostel, an artsy space for backpackers, where I ended up sleeping in a hammock, playing around with paint, learning how to do yoga, and trading stories with a bunch of cool travelers.”

Excel Dyquiangco

Excel writes for various publications in the Philippines, on a range of different diverse topics like travel, men’s health, sports and hobbies, and enjoys the opportunity of being able to explore the country as a writer with appreciative eyes.

Eros Goze

Versatile fashion photographer Eros Goze captures beauty, whimsy and innocence in this month’s playful style editorial “Paper Love Affair”. Originally a fashion designer, this photographer with a distinct gift for visual flair has captured countless couture and pret-a-porter creations for fashion houses and magazines in the country.

In this month’s issue, Excel Dyquianco explores the meaning of happiness for the Filipino youth of today and discovers it to be a learning experience in gratitude and perspective. Looking back on his own school days, Excel says, “It was my English high school teacher, Mrs. Dolores Aum [who influenced me the most]. She was snappy and strict, at times, but her heart was set for the growth of her students and for learning. Later on, we found out she was also a “comedian!”


To be young, happy and Filipino By Excel V. Dyquiangco

Excel V. Dyquiangco looks into the hearts and minds of young Fil ipinos to see their aspirat ions and dreams of putt ing the Phil ippines right on the map.




adgets, social activities and social media, a need to make personalized fashion statements on a daily basis (isn’t that the rationale for the #ootd hashtag?) are part of Filipino youth’s every day life. However, alongside these, are the traditional Filipino values of family, tradition and the need as a national to carve out its national identity in a homogeneous world. What does this mean for the Filipino youth and their quest for happiness?

Proud to be Pinoy Gwen Legaspi is a 25-year old nurse based in Dubai. She says she’s proud to be of Filipino descent because she knows that

her culture is great. “I may have a nontraditional family, but still we are grounded in our religion and we are united as a family - two great values of a Filipino,” she says. “These things are not easy to find in any nation. Besides I represent Filipino culture in each travel abroad I make. I see to it that as much as possible I respect other cultures, too. Being family-oriented is an edge in my work as a nurse. I consider feelings as much as how a family member would feel in a crisis of illness. Those things make a unique difference in how Filipinos care in hospitals both abroad and locally.” Her co-worker Dubai hospital nurse Marion Pena Dela Cruz also agrees but with a different spin to it. “I am proud because our nation has people of efficient workers and with our natural resources being abundant, it couldn’t get any better than this.” Alexis Manansala, a 25-year old business process outsourcing (BPO) trainer who has been working in the Philippines definitely agrees with Marion. “Yes, I am happy!” she says. “Before, I would think twice if I get asked this question. But working for a BPO company and studying culture made me learn about our own more. If other countries flourish with their own culture and resources, we can, too! Besides the Philippines is full of potential. I feel that we have everything we need to be great, and our greatest asset is our people. We have a lot of very intelligent and talented people, It’s just sad that other countries have better use of them.” Twenty-year old Rachel Elido who grew up in the United States and is a student from the University of San Francisco says, “My culture is a part of me and this is one aspect that defines me. I am proud of myself and of my culture. In my opinion,

the Philippines is a beautiful place where the sun is always shining and where culture flourishes. From the food to the beaches to the people, this country is full of life and vitality. The Filipino youth need to embrace their culture instead of putting it aside. Since I am proud of myself and of my accomplishments, I embrace my culture and be proud of it.”

Being globally competitive “I am most proud of our global competitiveness,” says twenty-two year old Reden Costales, a farm manager who hails from Laguna. “No matter where in the world you put a Filipino, he will survive and succeed. No matter what field or industry, there is always a Filipino in their top lists with fashion, music, film, sports, agriculture, medicine, engineering, and others. No matter where we are, no matter what we do, we can compete and succeed internationally. Never count Filipinos out.” Inigo Miguel Dulay, a twenty-three year old Cross Fit Coach says that having close family ties and being hospitable is something he is most proud of as a Filipino. “As for the Philippines, I am most proud of the beaches, caves and waterfalls,” he says. “But honestly, the Philippines is really a beautiful country. We are rich in natural resources, there are many amazing places to go to and the history of our country is quite colorful.” “On the other hand, leaders of the Philippines must persevere to be morally upright,” says Nichole Bagwan, 22 who works in the BPO Industry. “Integrity has always been questioned; people who have been given authority must not abuse it. But just be yourself. Being who I am does not make me less of a Filipino, as long as Filipino values are still intact.”



Building up the hearts of the Filipino Youth Waxing poetic and singing high praises, notwithstanding, the youth are cognizant of the changes—both social and psychological--that need to be made. “I think the Philippines needs to improve more when it comes to building up its economy, by giving job opportunities to the people and improving education and eliminating corruption,” says Corinne Maria Espidol, a twenty-year old businesswoman from Isabela. Myrle Buenvenida, a twenty-six year old nurse from Dubai also has a different issue in mind. “We have to abolish crab mentality’s--the jealous driven attitude that brings our neighbors down!” she says. “I know it doesn’t only happen in the Philippines, but it is very rampant in any Filipino community. I think that for people to really grow in their respective fields, they have to strive harder because this attitude pulls them down. I think we should focus on reaching our individual goals despite the bad buzz going around.” But in spite all this, she still claims that loving the Philippines is of utmost importance. “Love the entire country, even the ugly parts,” she says. “Only then will you be able to appreciate the good stuff, then you can start advertising your country. Learn from the mistakes of the previous generations – this gives us more social responsibility to continue the good and to avoid making the same mistakes. We, the youth, should always look back to where you started from. Look back and give back.”


CREATIVITY & the awesome Pinoy By Krip Yuson

Los Angeles-based veteran graphic artist, painter, photographer, sculptor and LA Lakers fan Rodolfo Samonte with his latest work, “California Suite”


wake up daily to an education in art. Honest, that’s what happens from the first moment I open my eyes. While still in bed, I have a view of wall parts around me, where hang some works from artist-friends. On the corner to my right, framing a pendent lamp are two beloved collectibles, if a rather immodest acquiescence to vanity. One’s a sketch by Rock Drilon of the room’s resident. But done outdoors — as I recall vividly, when he sat me down on a curb on Malvar Street in Malate over three decades ago, right across what used to be poet Virginia R. Moreno’s Café Orfeo where there was a dinner party going on. Rock was then doing a series of charcoal portraits of artist and writer friends of his in our common culturati-cum-bohemian


circle. He eventually exhibited those at the PhilAm Building lobby. Then gave me his portrait of me slumped on that curb, smoking a cigarette. The gift still meets with much appreciation (albeit I hope you readers don’t assume that the first thing I do upon waking is to gaze lovingly at it). Having said that, if parenthetically, now I must blush to admit that it’s a ME corner, since the other invaluable artwork in that area is another portrait, also of a very much younger me as subject. It isn’t so much the subject that makes it important, but that the glass-encased and framed portrait was taken by the distinguished photographer Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Hah! Between Drilon and Zobel, I can only say with unmitigated pride that my ego is well served in that corner. Or is it because both priceless pieces are rendered in blackand-white? Guess. On the opposite corner, what I glimpse upon turning left while supine is more evidence of art and my continuing education. There arrayed are nude portraits of women, again awarded me by artistfriends — the portraits, that is, in charcoal, in pen-and-ink, in black-and white, by Gus Albor, Ramoncito de la Cruz, and Camille

Michelline Syjuco’s stunning horse sculpture

de la Rosa — plus an acrylic and gouache portrait in vivid color by the late terrific artist Carlos “Dennis” Filart. He passed away over a year ago, soon after I acquired this distinctive nude. That is why it now has pride of place closest to my bedside lamp, the only artwork in color. And so it’s a gallery of pubes on one side, and an ego wall on the other. Not that I intend to someday attempt to replicate what’s called the “Museum of Me” being established by the excessively wealthy Robbie Antonio in his knockout of a Rem


maker Heber Bartolome, painter and editorial cartoonist Benjo Laygo, poet Marne Kilates, and artists Ross Capili, Eric David, and Ilonggo semi-retiree Eduard Labadia. Across seas and an ocean are our friends, such sterling exponents of Pinoy creativity, with quite a roster of champions: Ding Roces and Edd Aragon in Sydney, Claro Cortes and Dengcoy Miel in Singapore, John Altomonte in Darwin, and in the USA, Mario Mercado, Glenn Bautista, Tante Tagamolila, Jun-Jun Sta. Ana, Rodolofo Samonte, Vics Magsaysay, Mimi Nolledo, Zen Lopez, Mel Vera Cruz, among others — world-class painters, photographers, editorial cartoonists, musicians, poets, tattoo artists, conceptual artists, what-have-you. Trix Syjuco’s video room and sculpture installation

Koolhaas-designed modern palace in Forbes Park.


Now, the controversy over this over-the-top enterprise, however private, is sure to serve further education, if not awareness of the power of art, to generations of Filipinos. Getting back to my own quotidian custom, when I stride down from my bedroom I am greeted by more works of art on the landing: by friends such as Bert Monterona who’s still based in Vancouver, Salvador “Dodong” Arellano of Los Angeles, and the literary goddess Gilda Cordero Fernando. It sure pays to have artists for buddies. But I will desist from cataloguing all the other friends’ artworks displayed on walls in our otherwise modest home. Or I might run out of space, both ways. Instead I must now cite my fortuitous membership in an e-group called Banggaan, since a few years ago. It’s a circle of visual artists, including photographers, mostly based abroad, with a few homegrown and/ or stay-homes like photographers Ben Razon and Joe Galvez, the iconic music

If anything, this group alone, among so many others that encompass the Philippine art scene, shares in the bragging rights over the cornucopia of awesome creative power among Filipinos. Again, daily is it a continuing education, like, say, seeing Rod Samonte’s latest art product: a 3-D installation or bas relief composed of found objects “carpenter”ed onto a wooden gate he picked up somewhere in Los Angeles. He has titled it “California Suite” and posted it on FB to both the Banggaan and Art Philippines FB group walls, eliciting quick comments and praise. And if I were to visit my Significant Other in Ayala Alabang, I am very aware that I also come close to another shrine of devotion and comfort zone: the Syjuco family’s ArtLab atelier cum gallery cum workshop venue. Here, my kumpare Cesare A.X. Syjuco and kumare Jean Marie Syjuco have established a wondrous exhibit space for their own impressive art pieces, from paintings to sculpture, installations, hypertext arrangements, why, even a bathroom reeking of superb minimalist design and art!

Here, too, their daughters Michelline, Trix and Maxine have their own respective studios for their creative output: sculpture, jewelry, striking fashion pieces such as one-of-a-kind wood-and-metal bags, video walls, conceptual effusions. Art education? Maxine runs her The Little Picasso weekend classes for kids from ages 2 to 16. She offers individualized programs for children’s arts and crafts, designs each module based on each child’s unique interests and skills. She doesn’t employ assistants or relies on other teachers. She teaches all of the classes herself. Entirely admirable, for someone who is often the toast of the town for her own visual produce and books of poetry, let alone her effervescent beauty. And her little wards in art come up with engrossing takes on Picasso, Dali, Edvard Munch’s “The Kiss” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (see photo with a three-year-old’s version on the wall). All is well and bright and dazzling in Philippine art. When it comes to creativity, Pinoys enjoy awesome blessings of continuing education and inspiration.

Poet, visual artist and children’s art mentor Maxine Syjuco with a three-year-old student in her The Little Picasso weekend workshops at ArtLab in Ayala Alabang Village



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in Education By: Anna Oposa

In the Phil ippines, out of 100 students who enter Grade 1, less than half will graduate high school. Anna Oposa features emerging organi zat ions that are working to change these bleak stat ist ics. Lack of financial resources for tuition and materials; shortage of teachers and classrooms; the need to work instead of study, and the list goes on. The future—and present—of the Philippine educational system is looking brighter. The private sector and NGOs are making sure that little by little, all 22 million Filipino children in the public school system will have equal access to excellent education.

Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) For the last 15 years, Ayala Foundation’s Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) has been providing gifted children from economically disadvantaged families with education


equal to that offered by the best private schools in the country. There are currently two CENTEX schools, one in Tondo, Manila, and the other in Bauan, Batangas. “We select [a maximum of ] 75 kindergarten students based on financial need and performance in entrance exams,” explains Mariecar Fernando, Program Manager of CENTEX.


“In 2005, we established the High School Dreamcatcher Program for selected elementary graduates; 100% of admitted scholars graduated from high school and were admitted to college,” shares Mariecar. Lester Lampano is one of those graduates. He belonged to the first batch of students that graduated from the CENTEX-Manila in 2005. In October 2012, he graduated from De La Salle University (DLSU) with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics through a full scholarship from DLSU, financial assistance from the Department of Science and Technology, and additional support from a private donor. In addition to high academic standards, CENTEX is also determined to provide a well-rounded education that exposes its students to art, sports, technology, ethics, or leadership. Through the After Hours Program, 24 students study the violin and cello under award-winning violinist Alfoso “Coke” Bolipata with help from Pundaquit Virtuosi, the Creative Alternatives for Social Action (Casa) San Miguel Foundation’s resident string ensemble.

founder Jay Jaboneta began to raise funds to build yellow boats for these children. “We always hear stories of kids who skip school to go swimming, but here were kids who swim just to get to school,” Jay often jokes. The first yellow boat was given to the community in March 27, 2011 and since then sweat equity has been integral in the implementation of the programs. “The community builds yellow boats with local boat makers. [This] gives [members of the community] a sense of ownership, because they take a role in building the boats, and it provides an avenue to develop cohesion in the community,” says Grace Agudelo, who refers to herself as a “resident Yellow Boat of Hope Paddler.” “‘Bankanihan’ is our

Yellow Boat Project The Yellow Boat Project started because children in Layag-Layag, Zamboanga, would swim or wade through bodies of water to get to school. Sharing what he learned through a Facebook status, co-

version of bayanihan, where people come together and help each other in building the boats until it is set to sail.”

Since the first boat was given in 2011, the objectives of the project, now formally known as the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, have expanded. The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation now also provides school supplies, holds medical and dental missions, and offers scholarships and livelihood programs. It has built over 300 yellow boats in 15 communities, a Yellow School of Hope in Dipolog, a makeshift school in Masbate, and a daycare center in Zamboanga. “A child can perform better in school if she gets the right nutrition and health services to keep her fit. Her parents will be able support her better if they have stable source of income for the family,” Grace tells Illustrado. “It can never really be just education over other needs, but a holistic approach to ensure the wellbeing of the community.”

JeepneED JeepneED has been touted as the Philippines’ very own magic school bus. Co-founders Shaina Tantuico and Erika



treat their teaching job with the same, if not more, commitment than other jobs in the market.

Pineda, both 24, are working to transform our cultural icon, the jeepney, into a biodiesel-fueled mobile science lab that brings Science, Technology, and Math to rural high schools in the Philippines. Only a dismal 51% of Philippine high schools have science labs, most of which are in private schools and government-owned schools. JeepneED, which can be interpreted as Jeepney-Ed or JeepNEED, has been pilot tested in Sarangani, General Santos, and just began orientations in Dumarao, Capiz with students, parents, and teachers. “In the incoming quarter, we’re doing our vertical garden module with our Capiz schools. This has classes on soil and water testing, composting and irrigation, biology, chemistry, and ecology and a bit of physics,” Shaina says. “The vertical garden, as an output, showcases what students have learned, and teaches children of farmers and fishermen relevant skills. Schools may have gardens, but they’re rarely used for student centered learning.” She continues: “Apart from having materials, an important role JeepneED plays is training teachers and modeling student-centered techniques. Teachers would watch their students in JeepneED classes and say, ‘oh, he talks!’ or ‘she’s actually smart!’” Shaina divulges. “Often, those labeled as ‘slow learners’ end up being better in JeepneED classes, because hands-on science lets students use that pent up energy exploring and participating,” Shaina observes. “Sometimes they’re just misunderstood creative (minds) hungry for some knowledge.”

As of August 2013, the fellows are two months into their commitment. “The reception from our public school communities has been overwhelming,” says Clarissa. “For their work ethic, commitment, and positivity - public school teachers, principals, and families continue to be our source of inspiration. They make us proud to be teachers and to be Filipinos.”

Teach for the Philippines Teach for the Philippines addresses the gaps of the educational system from the side of the teachers’ by identifying, developing, and supporting a community of leaders working to end educational inequity. For its first year, the lean team of 20 members recruited 53 promising young Filipinos from the Philippines and abroad to teach in ten public schools in Quezon City for two years. Teach for the Philippines’ standards are extremely high—after all, the future of the Philippines deserves only the best. “In our selection model, we put equal weight in assessing a person’s academic achievement; leadership experience and potential; and character values,” says Clarissa Delgado, co-founder and Chief Program Officer. The last stage of selection is graduating from the nine-week summer training institute. “This means that the process to become a Fellow can often take six months or more!” Clarissa shares. Being part of the program is not and should not be seen as volunteer work—the handpicked teachers are given  the  exact  same marketcompetitive  compensation  as a Filipino public school teacher and are expected to


Improving the quality of Philippine education: What you can do The Department of Education is working double time to meet the needs and fill in the gaps of the educational system. They started TEN (The Entire Nation) Moves, a public-private fundraising initiative to build 10,000 classrooms in public schools by inviting two million Filipinos to donate PhP10 a day for ten months or $10 a month for 10 months for overseasbased donors. In early 2013, the national government also passed Republic Act 10533, mandating the public school system to implement the K to 12 Basic Education Program. This covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, employment, and entrepreneurship.


The Magic of



xperimenting, blowing things up, and riding around on two wheels called ‘Segways’. For these two resident scientists of The Mind Museum, it’s just another day at the office. “We really do get to blow things up, says Pecier (pronounced “Pee-sher”) Decierdo, grinning. “Because that’s the way science works, we have to experiment, we have to test and sometimes things get blown up.” “We have to come up with creative ways to make science more interesting to the


By: Anna Santos

museum visitors and we’ll do all sorts of things to do it,” adds Carlie Dario. For Pecier and Carlie, who both work as resident scientists (also known as Mind Movers) at The Mind Museum, the country’s premiere interactive science museum, a typical day at the office may not be typical at all. Well, being resident scientists isn’t exactly a typical job for twentysomethings to begin with. But for these two whose love affair with science could be traced to childhood, touring visitors around the museum,

thinking of scientific theories that can be performed (yes, performed) through an experiment, drumming up events and just thinking of ways to make science come alive and become more interesting for the public makes for an ideal work week. Their job is the stuff dream scientific formulations and mind-blowing experiments are made of; and their “office” is a place where they can continue to study their childhood fascinations in greater detail, only this time share them with the rest of the world that come walking through the museum doors as visitors.


“I am reminded everyday of the magic and romance of science [with my job],” shares 25-year old Pecier, a graduate of Physics from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Currently pursuing a Masters of Science also in Physics, Pecier has always been fascinated with stars and the constellations. “I persuaded the Mind Museum to purchase telescopes and I put together a star gazing workshop for our guests to enjoy.” The stargazing workshop, which is held every Saturday at the Mind Museum, is one of the museum’s most popular events because it is interesting and because “It makes for a great date night,” Pecier adds mischievously, the twinkle in his eye matching that of the constellations he teaches museum visitors about.

Busting (non) scientific myths “I wanted to bring the outside world inside,” says 23-year old Carlie, tracing back her fascination with science. “I spent many weekends on the beach with my grandfather, picking shells. Later on, I learned that should not be done; we should leave things as they are and let the next generation enjoy them. I guess that’s what inspired me to take up Environmental Science in Ateneo.” It was far from being a popular course. When Carlie graduated, there were only 9 students in her batch. Even during her undergraduate years, Carlie would encounter the occasional stumped silence

when other students asked her what she was studying. “I know there a lot of stereotypes that are associated with anything ‘environmental’ nowadays like treehugger, activist, hippie,” she says, shrugging it off good-naturedly. “When people in school would ask what I would be after graduating with a degree in Environmental Science, I would tell them, ‘I’m going to be a researcher for NatGeo!’ I knew it was ambitious, but it didn’t matter—that’s what I hoped to be.” For now, her job which requires her to research on scientific concepts and turn them into mainstream pop events for the Mind Museum’s regular events called Mind Bursts comes in a close second to her NatGeo dream. “For Valentine’s Day, our theme [for the Mind Burst] was of course, love. So we linked the laws of physical and sexual attraction to the biological changes in our body take place when we are around our significant other.” For good measure, the Valentine’s Day also had featured a speed dating event, “perhaps to test those postulates and theories,” Carlie smiles.

Show and Tell “There’s a misconception that we’re in our labs and just writing things down, but science is more about how things work and relate,” says Pecier, which pretty much sums up the principle of The Mind Museum to bring science out of the labs to museum visitors via over 250 exhibits that offer tactical experiences where they can see, touch and feel the everyday applications of

science. “I sometimes think of myself as a showman,” says Pecier. “Performing experiments, explaining them to the visitors and making it interesting and exciting—it’s a performance for me.” Having worked as a teacher before being a resident scientist, Pecier says, “This is much more fun for me; I have more students.” As our interview wraps up, Pecier and Carlie get ready to go back to work. They hop on the two-wheeled Segways they use to roll—not stroll—around the museum to get inspiration and ideas or tour the museum owners. Pecier is already thinking aloud about scientific formulas that could be turned into an experiment. Carlie looks for her colleagues, the other Mind Movers, to brain jam on concepts of future Mind Bursts. Sometimes their collaborations are made more conducive when they sit on lab chairs in the shape of the human brain. For these two resident scientists, it’s just another regular day at the office.


It’s what I do

IT’S WHAT I DO It’s all about Filipino progress and diversity at the workplace

morning, the first thing I do is check all my emails from clients. Then I check which positions I will prioritize for that day, an average of 2 – 3 positions per day. Then, I reply to all the queries from clients and check if there will be meetings in between.

JERRY SELAYRO Recruitment, DagazHR Consulting-UAE I place the best people in best companies all over the GCC. That would best summarize the work I do in my company. We are the representatives of Magsaysay Global here in the GCC. When Magsaysay opened their office here in Dubai, they asked me to join them and manage it for them. For me, there is nothing more exciting than placing the right person in the right job, in the right company. When my clients get back to me and say “thank you” – it is really very fulfilling! My sense of fulfillment is doubled if the candidate placed in the job is our kabayan!

A routine day with twists When I boot my laptop early in the


Then, I check all the resumes. Yes, I read all the resumes and try to reply to each of them. Then I prioritize the resumes that I need to call for positions and send a gentle reply of thanks to those who don’t quite fit the job profile I am looking for. There are quite a number of amazing stories in my kind of work. One that comes to mind is the story of a Sheikh who went to London and ate at a popular shawarma place. The Sheikh told Human Resources that he wants to open the same concept and he wants to employ that chef from that shawarma place in London. So the HR asked me if I could locate and contact that chef and lo and behold, since I have been doing this work for a long time, I was able to get his contact information from my contacts. Now that chef is happily working with his family back here in GCC. I love challenges. I love to work in the most difficult positions because this is fulfilling. If my clients are happy, I am happy. I enjoy what I do and I love what I am doing and am contented. I have been in recruitment

for more than seven years now and I think I will continue doing this till I die.

For kabayans looking for work in the Gulf - start with your own CV (curriculum vitae or resume). This is the first thing that recruiters and human resource professionals will look at. Use the latest professional photo – not your graduation photo 10 years ago. List out all your “aces” in your CV including your achievements and what sort of company you worked in previously. For your interview, come in business attire, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview. Bring your confidence and your self. Do not be late! After the interview, thank the Interviewer. Send a note, send an email, send a message after you are interviewed and follow up after one week what happened. Honor the offer letter. If you are given an offer and are not happy with the terms, speak up and negotiate. Do not leave people hanging. If you do find a job, learn to love it. Stay with your company at least a year or two. If you hate your job, love your boss. Find something around you that will give you a positive feeling when you come to work everyday.

it’s what i do

VEN JUNAS MANAYAN Graphic Designer for a Fashion Retail Company - UAE I’m a graphic designer for a fashion retail company. I work in the Marketing Department and I design materials like magazine ads, newspaper ads, and the like. Occasionally, I also do photography.

A typical creative day My day starts with creative brief from my manager. From there, I start doing my research and creating ideas for the artwork I have to design. I create options and present it to my bosses. Usually, several revisions

will have to be made before an artwork is finalized. It’s all part of the design process. Working abroad is not as easy as working back home. First of all, everything is new and the working environment is different. Dealing with people who are not of the same nationality is sometimes difficult as there are language and cultural differences. But this all makes it more interesting because you will certainly learn a lot. You learn to become more independent and confident. I guess what I have learned is to always stay positive because there is no trial which you cannot handle. Always give time to thank God.

new a child may affect a client’s needs. I am the one responsible for giving them the best possible solution for each need.


I often travel within the seven Emirates and work non-traditional hours to meet my clients in their homes or offices. Oftentimes, I receive invitations for financial planning classes and seminars from different organizations and groups here in the UAE.

Financial Adviser -UAE

Every day is different

In my line of work, I meet people in various professions and help them assess their financial situations. Based on this, I present them with a financial plan to help them achieve both short and long-term financial goals.

There is no typical day at work for me as I treat each working day with a different approach. I have no regular hours, but most of the time I start working in the late hours of the morning doing paper work, meeting my prospect and existing clients after office hours. You really have to be flexible with this job as it demands a lot of your time, especially if working with clients outside the UAE.

I help my clients with financial planning, which covers planning for retirement, their children’s education, income protection— basically, everything to fulfill their life dreams and aspirations. Part of my job is to meet my clients regularly and assess how life changes like a marriage, a job promotion, or the birth of a

Personal and professional rewards It is rewarding to receive commissions and incentives for each of my sales but I have

to say that my job and my responsibility to my clients do not end in closing the sale. I try to maintain good, professional and personal relationships with each of my clients. Gaining their confidence and trust and becoming a significant person in their lives – that for me, is the bigger reward. A client of mine once asked, “Godfrey, who would ever want to be critically ill or to die? No one, right? But why do we seek and listen to your advice? Because we can never tell what will happen.” As a Financial Adviser our main goal is to help people realize that brings uncertainties. We may get critically ill, get into an unfortunate accident and will some day pass on. Though painful to hear, these are inevitable things in life. However, we can better prepare ourselves for these situations if we are financially secured. It is very fulfilling for me to see that my clients listen to my advice and I am able to help them achieve and maintain the security they need for life’s uncertainties.


The Power of

GOOD LEADERSHIP By: Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi

“Leadership is seeing the value in every person. Leadership is not about gett ing the task complete but, “mentoring a relat ional experience where one person improves another with God-given resources.� ~ John Maxwell I used to think that leaders were just born. The life struggles and the difficulties I have been through in my life have made me a better leader and helped others to appreciate their potentials. After winning the prestigious Emirates Businesswoman Award in 2008 and receiving a succession of accolades, I realized that leaders are the ones who are developed and shaped with life experiences. As we grow, our leadership potentials begin to unveil itself when we start influencing others by our values and seize every opportunity to lead others to greatness.


How many times have you influenced or even mentored others? Magnifying our everyday life and sharing these experiences with friends, colleagues, peers, networks and family members whom we interact with are immeasurable opportunities for each of us to make a difference. Provide direction and support to our family and co-workers during unstable times, set a positive example of what honesty and ethics means in work and daily life, find a way to balance our lives with career and family, provide a safe place

for our children to learn and grow. At the same time, encourage your children and relatives to go for their dreams or start a business that solves a problem in the society we live in - these are all occasions in which leadership is called for.

Trustworthy Leader When people hear the word leadership they think that it is all about being the one in-charge or the boss. In a more profound reality, leadership is mostly about influencing people to get up and go in a particular direction. Being an effective


leader entails knowing one’s true identity and purpose. Some individuals fail to lead because they don’t act in a manner that reflects their true self. When a leader goes off track and fails to act authentically, people who follow him/her lose their trust; this violates the principle of leadership. The bottom line of leadership is building relationships of trust. People who trust will follow regardless of where the leader will take them; in the absence of trust, the productivity and effectiveness of working as a team is hampered. An effective leader behaves in a trustworthy manner.

Basic Skills of a Leader Active listening is one of the basic skills that a leader must have. Hearing what people are really saying, concentrating on the message, absorbing it and reading body actions to obtain information, to understand, and most of all, to learn. According to the International Listening Association, only 2 percent of the population ever received formal listening instruction. In my workplace, I have created an open door policy in which I encourage others to have a dialogue with me concerning the difficulties they face in managing their operations. Active listening improves productivity, as well as an ability to influence, motivate, avoid conflict, resolve and negotiate.

potential of my team when I ask them wellpositioned questions. One of my leadership roles during meetings is to listen. If I listen well and ask them good questions, certainly, I will get a good response and we will meet at a common point of direction. Effective two-way communications will ultimately build trust between a leader and his/her team. The third basic skill is concluding and guiding people with well-defined action steps. We could keep on talking and not get anything done. Conversations will be meaningless if they are not concluded and directed to a clear course of action.

Taking the Lead Leadership is the ability to get results. Leaders emerge when people need other people to get results and leaders take action with no guarantee of success. Most of the leaders fall off the track because they try to be everything to everyone. They should focus on their areas of strengths and identify their weaknesses. Bring people who will complement one another with their strengths and fill in the gaps. The result of good leadership is not only a well-rounded individual but also an accomplished team. True leadership comes not from position but from participation and effectiveness.

Engineer Mary Jane Alvero- Al Mahdi has spent 22 years of her life working in the United Arab Emirates and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Geoscience Testing Laboratory. She is a Filipino icon to those in the corporate world who sees her as a multi-awarded engineer, inspirational and motivational speaker, community volunteer, professional trainer and devoted leader. She is a complete package of an individual, a woman of substance, and a proud Filipino. Starting this August, she will be sharing personal insights on how to get ahead in the corporate ladder in her new column on Leadership.

Asking your team powerful questions is another basic skill a leader should have. I believe that I unleash the power and



IMPRESS In Novemb er 2012, boyfr iend-girlfriend Gerard Ocampo and Emalanne Blanco decided to br ing their relat ionship to another level by ventur ing into business together and putt ing up a pr int ing business. By Bernadette Reyes

Both nurses by profession, neither thought they would end up in the printing business. At one point, Gerard was working as a call center agent while Emalanne was a medical representative. They did, however, have another point of convergence. Aside from their love for one another, both love the arts. Gerard has always been passionate about graphic design while Emalanne enjoyed making handicrafts. With PhP50,000 as initial capital, the couple purchased a 6-in-1 heat press machine that had the capability to print on wide selection of items such as t-shirts, umbrella, caps, mugs and tumblers. They spent long hours perfecting various printing techniques from simple silkscreen printing to more complex procedures such as sublimation. Their first client was Metrobank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines. “We got [Metrobank] through referral. Gerard’s cousin helped us touch base with them and they ordered 100 eco-bags and umbrellas,” said Emalanne. The client was very satisfied with their product and soon became a regular customer. “From the time [Metrobank] placed its first order in November [2012], they have already ordered five times. We are very happy because our first order was successful,” Emalanne shared.


Short-lived victory Their victory, however, was short-lived. Another client placed a bulk order of customized t-shirts and caps but the end products were rejected. Emalanne explained, “We had a problem with the machine so we decided to do the production manually. The client returned all the products and we were forced to redo everything.” The couple was disappointed but another big order came, which allowed them to recover. “We used the down payment to purchase new materials and deliver our commitment to our disappointed client. From then on, we made sure all our orders were of superior quality.” While many similar businesses compete in the market, Impress is able to capture clients with aggressive marketing. Aside from referrals, they used the Internet to reach out to customers. They post their service in social networking sites and buyand-sell websites.

Innovation and quality Today, Impress continues to impress it clients with its low-price yet quality products. “We decided to bring down our price so we can compete in the market,” said Emalanne. She added that their pricing is one of the lowest in the industry today. With their competitive pricing, Emalanne says inquiries have shop up and orders have more than doubled.

Gerard is now working full-time on their business, but Emalanne makes sure she does her share of duties. He does most of the production while she handles inquiries. “The division of work allowed us to run the business smoothly. Whenever I have time on weekends, I also help out in the production and whenever I’m unavailable to take inquiries, Gerard covers for me,” she explained. The couple said they would have recouped their investment by now, but they decided to rollover their income to purchase new equipment. Their most recent purchase is a brand new desktop computer, which allows them to answer inquiries faster, research new trends and develop new products. “We are currently working on the R&D (research and development) of new products to make sure we are not left out in the printing industry,” said Emalanne. Soon they will introduce an even wider product line to their customers. “We hope to have our own building one day,” say added. When they first started, Gerard and Emalanne didn’t know they would be able to pull off a start-up business. Neither do they know if they would be able to realize their dream of having a full-line printing business but as long as they have each other, as partners in every way, they know their dreams is never too far away from fruition.



For the greatest investors of all time, Warren Buffet, the first rule in successful investing is: Avoid losing. The second rule is: Do not lose. And the third rule is: Go back to rule number 1.

But how do you make sure you do not lose? Investments should not be taken lightly. There is the potential to win or lose in every investment. You need to study each opportunity carefully and craft a strategy on how to increase your chances of success and avoid losing. You worked hard to earn your money, you must work even harder to keep it. Do not be tempted by instant wealth. Some investments are obviously bound to lose and yet because of the promises of instant wealth, you are tempted to rush into it. Donald Trump quite appropriately cautions the investor when he said, “Sometimes, your best investments are the ones you do not make.” If you lose one peso, you will need to earn two pesos just to get back to where you started. This seems so basic and yet most of us fail to consider it when we get so excited about making money. It can hurt us a lot particularly when we put too much of our “investment eggs” in one basket.

Stay with the winners Investing is not like betting on a horse race. You do not have to pick the number one winner. What you need to do is to

simply know who the winners are and stay with them. Choose the “horses” that consistently finish the race among the Top 5 if there are fifteen or the Top 7 if there are twenty-one players in an investment sector. When choosing where to put you money, it is important that you get good information or advice about the track record of your investment options. Expect to lose at some time or another. This is a universal law. You cannot succeed without failing. Just make sure you are prepared with a set loss limit. If you plan well, that loss is only temporary and you can recover quickly or at worst, over a reasonable amount of time. Properly studied, mistakes can be turned into moneymaking lessons. Otherwise they will remain as mistakes that can only result in total losses.

Set time-bound personal goals Investing, first of all, is a long-term proposition. It is like taking a journey where you, as the traveler, know exactly where you want to go. Your destination is clear and you know where you are starting from. It is easy to get into an investment. It is not so easy to know when to get out, unless you have a specified money goal, a clear timetable and defined purpose for your targeted amount. Investing, by necessity, is a dynamic activity requiring regular review

and evaluation. Economic conditions, government policies and even political and social environments change—as will the strategic considerations on the viability of investments. When these changes so require, be objective and have the fortitude to be bold and even radical, if necessary, to ensure success as you take corrective action.

Preparing for your options Before making any investment, you must make your Personal Financial Plan. This plan starts with making your Personal Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL) and Personal Income and Expenses Statement (PIES). Your SAL tells you how much you are worth. This is your starting point for your journey towards wealth accumulation. Your PIES starts you with your projections of how much cash flow you need to live the lifestyle that you choose. But more importantly, it tells you how much money you can set aside for savings and regular investing. Making your Personal Financial Plan needs some careful study and analysis. Our Colayco Foundation Team can always help you through out websites, our publications and seminars/workshops. For more information about investment options or how to make your own personal financial plan, log onto or



OSN AND KAPATID TV5 ANNOUNCE MIDDLE EAST CHAMPION OF REALITY TV SHOW ‘TALENTADONG PINOY’ In an exciting finale that brought the most talented Filipinos in the GCC region to Dubai to vie for the top spot of Kapatid TV5’s ‘Talentadong Pinoy Middle East,’ Haina Uddin was djudged Middle East Grand Champion. Originally from Laguna, Philippines and a student of the Philippine School of Doha, 16-year old Haina will go on to represent the Middle East at the global Battle of the Champions in Kapatid TV5’s leading reality talent show. She also received a cash prize of US$10,000 for winning the Middle East contest. “I am totally surprised, I did not expect this!” said Haina. “I was just a wildcard

entry and I am thrilled to have had this fantastic opportunity.” When asked with what she will do with her prize money, she said: “I intend to donate part of the prize to charity and the rest will be used to open a small business for my family in the Philippines.” Mesmerizing judges with her powerful rendition of Jessie J’s song Mamma Knows Best, Haina had the audience on their feet, in a closely contested event that also saw Kesiah Ariteo, a student from Saudi Arabia, and the Dubai-based 5-member all-male dance group Watawat, emerging as first and second runners-up who received US$5,000 and US$3,000, respectively.

Talentadong Pinoy Middle East will be broadcast exclusively on OSN’s Kapatid TV5 channel every Sunday from June 23. OSN offers premium Filipino entertainment through its dedicated Pinoy packages offering over 40 TV channels including Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV. OSN recently added four premium and leading ABS-CBN channels including TFC (The Filipino Channel), Bro, Cinema One Global and ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) further strengthening its Pinoy offering for Middle East viewers. For more information, please visit

UAE EXCHANGE LAUNCHES MONEY MAJLIS 2013 Exciting prizes await UAE Exchange customers who send money from any of the UAE Exchange branches in the UAE. UAE Exchange has once launched one of its most awaited promotions, Money Majlis to reward their loyal customers. Those who send money from any of the branches of UAE Exchange in UAE between 1st July and 16th August, 2013 will qualify for the draw. There will be one mega prize of National Bonds worth 100,000 AED, 30 cash prizes worth 2,500 AED and 47 prizes of gold coins weighing 8 gms each. The draw will be held on 21st July and 5th August with the mega draw on 20th August, 2013. “Value addition to customers is what UAE Exchange aims for every time. We make use of every opportunity to come up


with exciting promotions that will make a difference in the lives of our customers. Money Majlis has been one of our most popular promotions among our customers, and we hope it continues to do so this year also.” said Mr. Varghese Mathew, Country Head - UAE Operations, UAE Exchange. UAE Exchange has over 700 branches in 30 countries across five continents and boasts of a strong correspondent relationship with over 140 global banks. With this widespread network, the remittance major serves over six million customers, worldwide. This desire to bring convenience and superior service to its customers has won UAE Exchange many awards and earned the trust of customers, partners and regulators alike, thus earning UAE Exchange the title World’s Trusted Money Transferrer.

For more information, visit and To participate in our exciting contests, join us on Facebook by logging on to



During the back-to-school season, my sons Bene and Franci s go back to our home. No, they are not out-ofschool kids. They are back to school--in our home. Right now, Bene, our eldest, who is 13 years old, is in Grade 8-- or what the regular schools may term as Grade 8. That’s because Bene had long learned what Grade 8 students may be learning now. He is learning much more from his mentors -- his mother and father.


When it was time for Bene to start schooling, we did something that then shocked some of our friends and relatives: we let him stay home. At a time when he was supposed to be in grade school, he never stepped inside a classroom.

• He never rode a school bus. • He never lined up for a flag ceremony. • He never had lunch in a school canteen. • He never had to raise his hand for recitation.


• He never had to do assignments at night. • He never had to go to the principal’s office. • He never played basketball with his classmates. • Because, technically, he never had a classmate. Poor kid. Some of the experiences above are really good stuff. But life is a choice.  We chose that he experience other things by homeschooling him. And my son loves homeschooling.  He would not exchange it for the world. Here’s why:

He has lots of other friends. He meets his playmates each Sunday at the Feast.  They play the whole day!  My wife Marowe and I meet with a care group--mostly Feast couples. Bene plays with their children.  And believe me, his friends are the coolest bunch of kids you can get on the planet. He plays the guitar and composes his own songs. He hosts a kids’ TV show each week and is having so much fun.  (Catch him on MustardTV, every 7 a.m., Saturdays, on TV5.) He also writes for a kids’ magazine, Mustard.

He’s able to spend more time with his Daddy and Mommy each day. His relationship with us is tight—and for this alone—I thank God for homeschooling.

Because he’s not tied down in school, he travels with me a lot on my mission trips. He’s been to ten countries so far. Again, it’s not so much the places we go to, but the fact that we’re together—that’s the incredible gift.

He loves his younger brother and cares for him a lot.

He’s great with computers and the Internet.

He can read any book he chooses; he reads five books a day. He speaks fantastic English. He’s able to follow his passions with more freedom. When he was 5 years old, he started a business selling  bangus  (milk fish) and earned enough money to buy his own toys. He attended a gym class.  He also joined a painting course—and has produced 12 lovely paintings so far. (So yes, he does have classmates after all.) Together with other homeschooled kids in the Catholic Filipino Academy,  he’s rappelled from a 30-foot hanging bridge and swam in an underground river!  With them, he’s also visited zoos, parks, and factories.

He’s writing his own book now. He has another project he’s busy with: creating his own “godly” videogame that will teach values to kids. I’m excited to see that one. He loves God. He wants to follow Jesus.  My wife Marowe has been Bene’s teacher since his kindergarten years. Now that he is entering his teen years, I am taking over as major mentor. I’m not putting down regular schoolsthere are great schools out there. But what I’m doing is making parents consider homeschooling as a valid alternative. That it can be a great option for your kids.

I’m not putting down regular schools-there are great schools out there. But what I’m doing is making parents consider homeschooling as a valid alternative. That it can be a great option for your kids. I repeat: There are great schools out there. So do your research. With your research, why not study this option: Teach your kids at home. I’m not going to kid you. It’s not easy. The sacrifices are huge. But I think it’s a wonderful option to consider. To find out more about homeschooling, check out www.CatholicFilipinoAcademy. com You’ll find articles that will help you decide if homeschooling is for you or not. Or call Rita at Tel. (632) 5336097 (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays).

Because for the longest time, homeschooling wasn’t even on the radar of most parents’ thinking. It was unthinkable.  “Leave the education of your kids to the experts,” we were told.


PUPPY LOVE W hen kids start talking about romantic relationships, it signals two things: One, they are about to cross into adulthood and two, their parents don’t know quite how to handle it. Neph Kirong takes a look at puppy love from the perspective of both parent and child.

Personal experiences on teenage love are probably one of the most exciting stories parents love to tell their children. Of course, for most, the story ends with “Pero anak, bata ka pa ha, di pa pwede (You’re not allowed yet, you’re still young)” or something that goes along that line. While it certainly sounds funny, it’s a different story altogether when children actually experience their own actual


teenage relationships. For most parents and children, it becomes a very serious and sensitive issue. In this issue of Illustrado magazine, we look at how Filipino parents and teenagers weigh on the issue, and actually suggest ways to avoid what most parents call the “rebellious phase”, and what teenagers call “they can’t understand me.”

Parent’s worst nightmare Perhaps even the most liberal of parents fear the day when their teenage children begin getting involved in non-platonic relationships, its effect on their education and future plans. This concern branches out to early marriage, or perhaps, even worse, teenage pregnancy. It is thus, a common thing to hear parents telling their children “kapag naka-graduate ka na, saka ka na

feature mag-boyfriend (After you graduate from school, you can now have a boyfriend).” This alludes to the Filipino mindset that education is key to success in the future and should be prioritized—over puppy love. But Fr. Alvin Gacos, a guidance counselor at the Manila Science High School notes that this concern is more common for females than in males. “So pag-lalaki ang anak mo, okay lang. Pero pag babae ang anak mo, gwardiyado mo iyan (If your child is boy, it’s okay; but if it’s a girl, you guard her strictly)” He said, aside from the existing “dalagang Pilipina” value, it is unfortunate, that it’s usually the females who end up getting the shorter end of the stick if they pursue a more intense relationship. Unlike males, most teenage females who get pregnant end up stopping school and are crucified by the pervading conservatism in our society.

All grown up But for teenagers, it is a transition from being children to adults. Most teenage interviewees said they wanted their parents to trust them in being able to make their own decisions and to handle their personal affairs. And Gacos says it is normal. He calls building relationships, including nonplatonic ones, a part of experiential learning. “Emotion is part of growth,” he says. The conflict, he emphasizes, comes from parents stopping this normal human learning process. One interviewee who asked not to be named even candidly noted that her parents act like they did not go through this phase. The 16-year old said instead of totally prohibiting, she would rather have her parents guide her through this. She even jokingly adds, “Kasi nga, masarap ang bawal (the forbidden is more tasty).” Stern parenting, not exactly helpful For parent Leticia Pinar, she admits that it is not really good to be strict with the children when it comes to relationships.

She shares that while she did not permit her youngest daughter to have a boyfriend, when she learned that she already had one, she did not scold her. “Yung experience ko sa una kong anak ako, pinigilan ko. Nabuntis siya (From my experience with my eldest daughter, when I stopped her, she ended up pregnant).” To her, it would be better not to appear strict, but not too lenient also. Her less strict approach allowed her daughter to more openly talk about her relationships. “Mas

okay yung nagsasabi (It’s better that they are talking about it).” With her youngest daughter open to discussing such things, she found it easier to give proper advice, or rather, more personalized one. Pinar adds that this is absolutely better, rather than having your children surprise you when they already did something irrevocable. In the end, she finds that her children like it when she also acts as their best friend, because she turns into their confidante.



Gacos also says that with children more emboldened with the concept of freedom and personal choice, it is also better to be less restrictive, so they will not be on the defensive end.

Engage in more talks And this is why parent-child communication is very important, Gacos says. He says, with technology making it easier for teenagers to delve into nonplatonic relationships, it should also be used to improve communication between parents and children. He says, with teenagers able to easily talk to their friends through texts or even online social media, the parental relationship suffers. Instead of going to the parent for advice, they end up asking their friends, who may just have the same limited perception as they. What parents can do, is to reach out and build a bond that is anchored on communicating regularly. Gacos also says monitoring of children is important. However, with most parents working or even abroad, their focus on their children has lessened and it poses a problem, especially during their formative years. He adds that the parenting style has changed. This is why, he says, guidance counselors and psychologists spend time now offering seminars and workshops on parenting as a need calls for it. They also try to fill the parents’ lapses through activities in school. One of which, Gacos shares, is a forum called “pure love” they did last year to show the teenagers, how to protect their selves when they engage in relationships. But of course, this cannot replace parental guidance, which is more intimate and personal in actually addressing the teenager’s concerns, including insecurity and maturity. In turn, this also allows the teenager to actually ease the parents’ concerns also, strengthening the trust between each other. In the end, Gacos shares that “Kapag ang magulang ay mapagmahal sa anak, aalagaan ng anak ang pagmamahal na iyon (If the parent is loving towards his/her child, the child will make sure he or she nurtures that love back).


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The Trial Of

POL MEDINA JR. By Excel V. Dyquiangco

Pol Me dina Jr. may be better known by hi s sideki ck, Polgas, but the art i st-illustrator certainly needs no introduct ion himself. Excel V. Dyquiangco gets to know the man and hi s best friend. It was a series of fortunate events. In the case of Pol Medina Jr, there was a dog, a guard’s misdirection, and a wedding. “My inspiration for Polgas started when I tried to look for greener pastures outside the country – in Iraq to be more specific,” he says. “My dog Dado would interestingly bring me anything I wanted such as Italian shoes (which he stole) and food. Apparently he seemed to understand me and that was how I began to imagine a talking dog. This was how Polgas started.” Aside from Polgas, he also came up with two other characters from his Pugad Baboy series, Dagul and Bab, based on himself and his older brother. The characters had bulging tummies, which make them so popular among the readers. “My immediate and extended family members were my templates,” Pol says jokingly. After the Marcos era, he came home to work on more cartoons and added more characters to his comic strips. Admittedly when he first started, he didn’t know anything about cartoons but imitated the likes of Jess Abrera and Larry Alcala. “At first my cartoons had proportioned bodies and then I studied the characters from the Peanuts comic strips which have huge heads


and smaller bodies. I wanted the bodies to have expressions so I made them fatter and fatter until the time when I realized that this could work.” After creating a story he was bent on having his comic strips published in Manila Bulletin in Intramuros. But because of a guard’s misdirection, he stumbled into the Philippine Daily Inquirer instead. There art director Jess Abrera saw him and reviewed his strip. At that time there was a strip they were thinking of removing and Inquirer decided to give Pugad Baboy some space. “I did not experience rejection even once,” he says. “My comic strip was accepted the day I submitted pilot strips. The establishments I took my books to be published accepted them for printing right away. It all boils down to good luck and right timing.” And so began a cult following led by the man and his best friend.

The Comic Strip Challenge The first Pugad Baboy compilations were published under New Day Publishing and then Anvil Publishing. Pol’s wife, whom he

met in 1993, helped with the distribution of his books as he had decided before to publish his books on his own. “The original print for Book 9 was 100,000 copies with at least 30,000 reprints per batch,” he says. In the long run Pol and his wife decided it was better to invest on a printing machine of their own. Pol first began to realize that he had a following when he started receiving fan mails and when students as well as reporters started to ask his for interviews. “It felt good and I can't be more specific than that,” he says. In his work as a cartoonist, though, not all of his strips received positive reviews. Though he may not have experienced rejection in his career, Pol was not spared from the criticism of readers. In 1991 the women’s group Gabriela wrote a derisive letter in his response to a rape joke comic strip. Earlier in his career as a cartoonist, he was fired after two cartoons for making parodies of a parish priest and the church choir, which he remembers he was a member of. Still, Pol says that the success of his comic strip lies in the fact that people can relate to his work. These are people that they know. These are issues that they encounter. These


the Rappler social news network website. Pol is embarking on a new medium and the newest technologies and is confident that the future of Polgas, Ambrosia and the whole Pugad Baboy clan will now be even more exciting. Readers are most certainly appreciative of the possibilities offered by digital technology. On the Rappler website, Pugad Baboy now offers three different endings and readers are invited to cast their vote for their favorite ending. “The possibilities are limitless when you cross the digital divide,” he says. A cult following that clamored for the return of the Pugad Baboy when it seemed like the beloved comic strip was no longer going to have a home in print, recognition as the cartoonist with the ability to capture the nuances and essences of Philippine culture and humor in a few strokes, what does Pol Medina Jr think his secret to his success is? are emotions that they recognize. “All of the situations are true even if they are satires,” he says. “But the truth hurts, which is why I get criticized.” Because he really can’t please everyone, he considers himself as an artist who tries to be original all the time. This is what makes

him different from all the others out in the world. “My fans' support and loyalty keeps me going,” he says.

The Online Chronicles

“I never drink and draw,” he laughs goodnaturedly. “And I can outdrink an Irish pub owner. I also do my best to please nobody else but myself.” In the background, on his side of the comic strip, we think even Polgas would agree.

Now, Polgas is settling into a new home on


Famous May-December couple Alec Baldwin and wife Ilaria

May-December Love Affairs:


Love may be in the air, but so is everyone’s judgment of an age-disproport ionate couple. While shopping at a department store, Gerry, 62, eyes the salesman in front of him. He is smiling sarcastically, like a cat let loose in an aviary. Gerry starts to get uncomfortable. He switches his weight from one foot to the other. His girlfriend Tara, 24, is oblivious to the matter. He starts to hurry her up but she continues to scan the racks, looking for the ideal cocktail dress. Unfortunately, she just happens to stop at the rack closest to the salesman. “Boss,” the salesman says. “Ang ganda ng anak niyo, ah.” [Boss, your daughter is beautiful.] He follows this up with a wink, a nail to his point. Gerry embarrassingly answers with a soft “Thanks.” and prods Tara as far away from the Cheshire cat smile as possible. She continues to be oblivious. But Gerry has been in one too many scenes like this. He had, in fact, admonished friends who were in similar in situations. That was until he met Tara.


When he met Tara, there didn’t seem to be any choice on his part. They met when he worked as a production designer, and she costume designer, for friend’s stage play. For him, it was never a question of age, but a question of talent. Those in the art world would understand. But boy, oh boy, was it a different situation when it came to the rest of society. He told her, more than once, to bring a friend or act like his daughter when they are together. People have a different image with girls who allowed such setups, he explains. But Tara only cringes at the thought of it. May-December love affairs are never what we think they are. Most of the time, we consider those in May as antagonists. “Ba’t naman pumatol sa bata? Taking advantage naman yun.”, [Why get on with a child? That’s like taking advantage.] we tell them. As for those in December, we brand or pity their soft-headedness, and ask in pacifying tones, “Wala na bang ibang lalake dyan?” [Aren’t there any other men out there?]

DOMs for in Demand Old Men “Meron naman.” [Of course there are.] Tara would probably answer. But given the fact that women intellectually mature more than men, those seeking real men rather than boys fish in the age pool where the catch is readily 6 or 7 years ahead of their own. For Tara, it just so happened to be a notch higher. Why? Less, issues of course. Those decades older seem to have passed adolescent or early adulthood complexities like commitment phobia, professional immaturity and of course, companionship needs. The term “emotionally ready” is written all over the charming wrinkles of an older man. It goes to say that it’s likely that a man half a century old will break up with you through text, stop you from going out with your friends, or egads, cheat on you with an even younger woman. It has happened, of


Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhartdated for 8 years before marrying in 2010

As with all relationships, some work, some don’t. For every agedisproportionate couple, there is probably a MayDecember pair that has survived the winter of other people’s judgment and disdain. course, but for men ages older, it is never just about the physical anymore, it is the connection behind it, a trait those decades younger than them still need a degree on. Most women, who like to kiss, cuddle and whisper sweet nothings and everything after find this emotionally appealing. Not to say of course that these new breed of in Demand Old Men lack the sex drive. There is less need for a ready supply of Viagra by the age 50, as these men keep themselves fit. They’re going to the gym, joining motorbike expeditions or even running marathons. At age 50, for instance, Gerry even went so far as to get himself his first tattoo. Midlife crisis, you say? Maybe. But those who are actually in a midlife call it something else. An awakening perhaps. In Demand Old Men, these days, seem to have the appeal of Boy Scouts no matter how severe the juxtaposition is. They are, unlike their younger selves, physically, emotionally, mentally ready to satisfy--and be satisfied.

Of Cougar Towns But women can be Dirty Old Men too, the website Uncyclopedia, says, almost like a complaint. While men seem to be called out more for making a move towards young, innocent hijas, the Filipino matrona seems to have taken the sideline. Find them though lurking in the wilderness, snagging unsuspecting men to their trap. This is no matron. This is a cougar and part of her appeal is that even in her mid-forties or early fifties, she can still hold her own when it comes to charming and disarming. She may have a few years on her, she also has a healthy load of independence and selfconfidence. Whereas women find In Demand Old Men more commitment-ready, younger men on the other hand find cougars less needy unlike their younger counterparts. A bonus is that she still oozes with sex appeal, unlike her contemporaries who are now rocking a 40-inch waistline. While the cougar likes to prey, she is also prey herself.

This is a difficult act to balance especially when the cougar has young ones to nurture. Kathy, 49, is often told by her two daughters to dress down while they themselves are raiding through her closet, looking for a denim miniskirt. The balance often sets in when the kids are independent themselves, or when the younger man perhaps also refuses to be treated like he is part of the pack and more of an equal. “Truth is, sometimes I really do mother him. But it’s also important to find common ground, wherever that common ground is,” Bing, 49, once shared. As with all relationships, some work, some don’t. For every age-disproportionate couple, there is probably a May-December pair that has survived the winter of other people’s judgment and disdain. While the rest of us continue to be skeptical unbelievers, those in successful MayDecember love affairs will just continue to be happy.



ROBERT CASTRO Robert Castro took up photography as a serious hobby back in 2010 and since then, it has become a passion for him. “Through the lens, I am able to express a creative side I never knew I had. It is a personal outlet. Whenever I capture a face or a scene, I become a part of it--not only as a spectator but also as a sort of storyteller. I guess that’s what every photographer becomes when we “click” the shutter. Our individuality comes out in how we convey that story.” Castro started shooting simple portraits during the weekends as the official family photographer and later discovered that his heart lies in landscape photography. “Here, I can creatively express my love for the beauty of nature and all of God’s creations,” he says.



OZKI RIALUBIN Ozki Rialubin describes himself as an artist and graphic designer who stumbled upon the infinite world of photography. That was way back in 2008. “Since then, it has been a journey of continuous discovery. I embraced photography, applied my passion as a digital artist and focused on my main interests on architecture, urban landscape and documentaries,” he shares. Rialubin’s degree in Architecture and previous work as an architectural renderer/designer helps in being a photographer. Currently, he is a 3D graphic designer for an international engineering firm.



JESSICA SANCHEZ DEBUTS IN “TONIGHT” WITH NE-YO American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez recently released her debut album, “Me, You and the Music” almost a almost a year of planning and recording. Debuting at No. 26 on The Billboard 200, the album sold about 14,000 copies in its first week. Her initial single “Tonight” sang with R&B superstar Ne-Yo showed the wide range of Jessica’s vocal prowess. The upbeat track was certainly an appropriate choice for the younger market that Jessica definitely caters to. Her guest appearance at this year’s season finale of hit television series “Glee” also showed that she’s catching up with her generation’s music choices.

NINA GARCIA IN MANILA No one can say what exactly is happening but Manila seems to be attracting the fashion mavens these days. Sarah Jessica Parker opened the new SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City signifying the stamp of approval from the world’s fashion community. Shortly after, Nina Garcia, the renowned judge on the reality TV competition Project Runway and creative director of Marie


Claire, was spotted headlining the JAG Origins Show during the 2013 Philippine Fashion Week at the SMX Convention Center. The fashion guru graced the event as the inaugural speaker of JAG Origins, an annual event promoting fashion, marketing and creative thinking among industry and art/fashion students.

“MY GRANDMA MADE IT TO THE NEWS” – JESSICA SANCHEZ That was the tweet from Jessica Sanchez after the news about her grandmother and President Barrack Obama went viral. Jessica performed at the AsianAmerican Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration in the East Room of the White House, but it was her grandmother who somewhat stole the show. President Barrack Obama candidly called out to her grandmother who apparently left a lipstick mark on the President’s collar. The moment was definitely jovial as the US President jokingly quipped, “So, I do not want to be in trouble with Michelle. That’s why I’m calling you out in front of everybody.” Either the grandmother of this FilipinaMexican singer was so petite that she had trouble reaching the tall Obama, or she’s just a natural tight hugger – no one seemed to mind – not even Michelle.


Photo Vanity Fair

REAL ESTATE SCION ROBBIE ANTONIO IN VANITY FAIR The art pages of US-based Vanity Fair featured Robbie Antonio in a spread entitled, “The Museum of Me”. Robbie, who is the son of former Ambassador Jose Antonio, and the Managing Director of Century Properties, is an aficionado of the arts.

According to Vanity Fair, the property magnate and friends to celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Robbie caught the attention of the art community when he got a yes from the world-famous Rem Koolhass to design his 25,000 square foot house in Manila.

Robbie’s sprawling residence will house an art gallery where he will showcase an estimated two dozen portraits of himself commissioned from top artists like Damien Hirst, Julian Schnabel, David LaChapelle, Julian Opie and Takashi Murakami. The portraits are said to be valued at an estimated USD$3 million.

FASHION RADAR: PINOY DESIGNERS IN LONDON FASHION WEEK We’ve recently heard from a reliable source that not one, but two Filipino Dubai-based fashion designers are going to open and close the upcoming edition of London Fashion Week. The opening show is said to be a display

of Spring/Summer 2014 collection of the designer extraordinaire who fancies sunnies and black in his wardrobe. On other hand, the closing show at London Fashion Week will feature a stunning collection by another designer extraordinaire whose first name sounds like an Asian currency.




A LOVE AFFAIR WITH PAPER Of textures and Anna Pavlova The hardness of card board combined with the softness of printed and plain tissue create an illusion of textural harmony and balance. This subtle and sweet creation inspired by the famous Russian ballerina is perfect for a young en pointe princess.

By Obet Antonio



Cake sweet confection Layers upon layers of cake paper lining and parchment fashioned into origami make for one light, airy and effortlessly playful micro-mini tutu.

By Carla Fuentes






Crowning whimsy White paper cutouts in various geometrical shapes mixed with paper flowers form one utterly whimsical accessory to frame one’s beautiful face

By Carla Fuentes



Red crush Crushed tracing paper accentuated with red monochromatic acrylic paint form the base of this sweet empire-cut bustier

By Jessie Sindyen




ON VIOLET and ANNA: Organza dresses by Albert Andrada organza; pearl cuffs by Jun Jun Ablaza; ON DAN: high collar shirt and bowtie by Bergamo



Divine Delicacy The subtle whispers of delicate tissue provide divine volume to this two piece dress creation.

By Obet Antonio



Pastel pouf A vintage-inspired piece that pays homage to vivid colors – a dress created with puffed up layers of crepe paper in pastel colors

By Carla Fuentes

DESIGNERS’ GUIDE Carla Fuentes Telephone: +971 56 6047460 Email: Jessie Sindyen For Ezra Fashion Design Villa No. 746 Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 3, P.O. Box 75990 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Telephone: +971 4 395 5385 Email: Obet Antonio For Ezra Fashion Design Villa No. 746 Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 3, P.O. Box 75990 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Telephone: +971 4 395 5385 Email address:




illustrado runway

ESMOD DUBAI 5TH ANNUAL GRADUATION FASHION SHOW 2013 “Very impressive!” said Ezra Fashion Designer “I was blown away by the standards!” said Anne Marie Romillie Director of Mode and Maison Galeries Lafayette Those were some of the glowing reviews the who’s who of fashion had to say about the Esmond Dubai 5th Annual Graduation Ceremony held last June at Wafi Mall. More than 1,000 attendees came to view the works of 81 Esmond Dubai students of the Fashion Design & Pattern Making Program. All of the future graduates had to explain to jury members the concept of their designs, which ranged from Middle Age, Mythology, the Glamorous Fifties and


the Art of Paper themes. “I was impressed by the variety of concept and the way they achieved the professionalism required to be a designer. The most difficult part was to combine marketable pieces while keeping their creativity alive!” said Olga Nurek, fashion designer and owner of Victoria Strange Couture. The garments presented showed a certain maturity and confidence. “At this particular stage, students need to discover themselves as a designer, develop their personal universe and finally concretize it through their creations,” said Tamara Hostal Esmod Dubai Founder.

Esmod was inaugurated in Dubai back in 2006 with the aim of tapping into the Middle East’s booming fashion industry and complementing the region’s growing demand for fashion education. A comprehensive range of creative, technical and marketing programs are offered at Esmod Dubai, delivered by specialized instructors who balance creative design, technical know-how and inspiration through intensive trainings. Registration is now open for the three year Fashion Design & Pattern Making Program” starting September 15, 2013.

illustrado runway

MSI UNLEASHES HIGH PERFORMANCE GAMING NOTEBOOKS IN THE UAE Micro-Star International Co. Ltd [MSI], in association with Grand Stores, unveiled their latest range of extreme gaming notebooks that boasts of excellent performance and unparalleled gaming features. Held last June 2013 at Le Meridian Hotel in Dubai Airport Road, the exclusive launch event attracted leaders and decision makers of the UAE’s Information Technology sector, electronics and retail industry, in addition to the press and media. The much anticipated product launch was comprised of MSI GT60 3K Edition,

MSI GT70 Dragon Edition, MSI GS70 Stealth, MSI GE60, MSI GE70 and MSI GE40 Dragon Eyes. The brand new series of gaming notebooks is equipped with the latest 4th Gen Intel® Core i7 Quad Core processors, upgraded version of the MSIexclusive gaming features tailored for gamers and are much lighter. Addressing the audience at the event, Dr. Omar Ghanayem – Technology Division Director of Grand Stores said, “MSI is known for their groundbreaking innovations and in this series. MSI has significantly enhanced the performance

of its flagship gaming models with the highest-standard technology, richer gaming functions and friendlier user experience. Grand Stores is committed to unleash this full potential and make MSI the ideal brand of gaming notebooks in the UAE. » The event showcased the latest gaming machines from MSI, unveiling a new world of endless possibilities in computer gaming. With mind-blowing gaming competitions, informative speeches and live demonstrations, the exclusive launch saw the advent of the next generation gaming machines in the UAE.


10 things to do When was the last time you did something for the first time? Here is your chance to do something new. Check out our list of must-try activities, and we’re sure you’ll have a memorable month this August


Photography is undoubtedly the most popular hobby among Pinoys in the Emirates. But before you join the bandwagon, try checking out other out-of-office activities that you might like. You can opt for baking brownies or cupcakes. Begin with easy-bake Betty Crocker packs, and let your flat mates and friends decide if you should push through with such a hobby. Or, look for a more physically intensive hobby such as diving or paddle boarding. If you want to try the latter, then we suggest that you call Riva Beach Club (043791998), and enroll in an express lesson. Or if you want DIY knowledge, rent a paddleboard from the beach club’s Surf Shop Arabia.


Good food will always win the hearts of Pinoys. That’s why this June, you have to try the first Japanese restaurant in Dubai – Bentoya. Trusted by tons of regulars and loved by the newbie, Bentoya offers mouthwatering sushi, sashimi and a host of Japanese dishes – they have the best salmon sashimi and beef teriyaki in town! Tucked inside Sheikh Zayed Road (behind Won-Ton restaurant and Axiom Cafe), Bentoya’s quaint and authentic feel is welcoming as well. We suggest that you check out the more private and cozy seats on the second floor.


Tired of the massive malls in the city? There’s a hangout place in the heart of Downtown Dubai where you can sit, chitchat, see photo exhibits, watch indie movies and even work the whole day. Yes, the classy and artsy face may intimidate Pinoys, but The Pavilion is a welcoming place where people can stay for as long as they like (well, as long as they order at least a cup of coffee). Filled with comfy couches, long tables and a huge bookshelf while equipped with fast WiFi, the place is conducive for people looking for a serene place to work outside office or flat. The ongoing photo exhibits and the regular film showings are big bonuses to this happening place. At the moment, Arabic artist Rhea Karam has on exhibit a series of photos taken in Egypt and other countries experiencing political unrest. ILLUSTRADO 60

10 things to do


If you want a bikini-worthy body then stop murmuring your excuse “it’s too hot outside to exercise”. This month, say yes to a healthy physical routine, and get yourself going to the gym or beach. There is no need to break your wallet if you can’t afford the monthly fees at Fitness First. Since it’s summer, wait till late afternoon or after office hours to go for a run in your neighborhood or join the crowd at the beach areas for a run or a swim. The open beach area in Jumeirah, Safa Park and even Zabeel and Mamzar areas buzz with lots of people hanging out for a bit of exercise regime.


There is a legendary place in Dubai that serves the freshest fish in the city. Thing is, it’s not really a mythical spot – it is just that the place is tucked away somewhere in Jumeirah, near the luxurious Burj Al Arab, without exact location address, telephone number or website to contact. The almost-secret getaway place of fish lovers is indeed an intriguing venue for most. This month, we suggest that Pinoys join the dining expedition to Bu Qtair, squeeze themselves into this Portakabin-style restaurant and enjoy an insanely messy, unpretentious and undoubtedly delicious Keralan dinner for about AED 10.


Yes, a tattoo is taboo in the Emirates but not the henna type. Here, women are beautiful especially during special occasions, weddings included, if they are adorned with henna tattoos. As Pinays in Dubai, you must have had tried getting one at least once in your life here in the UAE. If you have not tried it yet, check out the free henna tattoo stations at Modhesh World in its heritage area located at Hall 1 of Dubai World Trade Centre. There, you will witness how local Emirati women create and design henna tattoos on your arms, fingers and even back and shoulders. What’s more is that it’s free of charge. So, go ahead, try it.


A getaway venue to refill the much-needed booze, Umm Al Quwain hosts of beach resorts that are perfect for speed boating, water sports and famous crab hunting. For those looking for something different to do while lounging around by the beach, this activity is perfect. Suited for families, friends or group teambuilding, searching for crabs on Umm Al Quwain’s sandy resorts is fun for everyone.


10 things to do


Feeling the heat? Well, don’t fret. You can be at the coolest place in the world even when in Dubai. Come out to The Dubai Mall Ice Rink, and check out the huge snow-filled arena. It’s a fun activity for the whole family or group of friends looking for an alternative gimmick other than the movies and dinner. Never mind the number of times you slip and fall, what actually counts is the number of times you stand up and try.


Pinoys love bowling--no doubt about that. It’s an indoor activity, which means no sun exposure, plus it’s fun and exciting. Head off to Dubai’s bowling centers either in Century Mall in Mamzar, Dubai Festival City, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta or the one in Al Quoz. Ask your friends to join you and enjoy a thrilling game together.



Dubai is not known for its cable car attractions. But the cable cars overlooking the Dubai Creek Park and the skyline of Old Dubai offers not just a breathtaking view, but also an unforgettable experience. Taking in a 2.3kilometer route, the ride gives a stunning picture of Sheikh Zayed Road’s most recognizable skyscrapers in the distance as well as the towering Burj Khalifa. In this weather, it’s best to try it in late afternoon. To know more about entry fees, call Dubai Creek Park in Oud Metha at 04-3367633.

My Pinoy Life In


FERDINAND ACOSTA Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Since when have you been staying there? Can you recount briefly why you moved there? I moved to Dar Es Salaam in June, 2003. My father just died and suddenly I didn’t feel like staying in the Philippines anymore. Fortunately, a friend invited me to Africa, which I have already visited in the past, and the rest is history.


Tell us something about your host city/country. Tanzania, I can say, is the crown jewels of Africa, famous for the biggest safari game park called Serengeti, the beautiful Mt. Kilimajaro, not to mention amazing beaches with sparkling sands and blue water - heavenly to look at. It’s good to visit the island of Zanzibar (the land of spices).  Tanzania has two seasons - summer and

winter. Summer is hot but dry. Winter is cold but there is no snow. You can only find snow on top of Kilimajaro mountain only.

What do you do there for a living? I work in a private security company. I am in charge of the company’s business operations, mainly in petroleum depots, embassies, power plant and other private

pinoy planet

companies. It is challenging, and the work gives me constant pressure but I enjoy it and it’s a big help that my family is with me.

Is there a Filipino community there? Yes, there is a Filipino community around my area. I don’t have the exact number of the Filipinos in the whole country but I estimate we’re over a thousand here. The community is quite active. Filipinos here celebrate Independence Day, Halloween, Christmas Holidays. They also have outreach programs to help the poor and orphans of Tanzania. Filipinos are highly recommended here, they are professionals and skilled workers. I have been living here for more than 10 years and so far, I have not seen any serious maltreatment among the Filipino workers here.

Tell us about your life there. Other people call this place Tanzania but for me and my family we call it home. Two of my children were born here. We left and yet we came back. You hate it, you love it. That’s how I describe my relationship with this beautiful country. I think I am one of the lucky few who didn’t find it hard to adjust to living here because I got the privilege of bringing my family immediately. So, I have not known tremendous homesickness. As for hobbies, I have formed a band with some friends who also work


here and look for some activity that will relax our mind. We named our band “Traffic Jam.” I play the drums and I have two Filipino friends who play the bass and rhythm. A Dutch friend plays the lead and another good friend from Sweden plays the guitar as well. I like this country a lot, from its beaches to the food, to the friendly people. However, there are also things I don’t like here, like the


congested roads, garbage all over the place especially after the rain, and some other things best not to mention. But no matter what, I am still at home.

What cultural practices/ behaviors have youacquired from your host country? There are plenty of cultural practices among Tanzanians. A couple of good examples are

pinoy planet


pinoy planet

their traditional dancing style that varies from one tribe to another, as well as various dressing style that is quite attractive to visitors and foreigners like us. But even though we are in a foreign land, we still observe Filipino customs and traditions in terms of religion, we play an important role for our children so as not to forget our Catholic practices; family, the importance of keeping close family ties; and hospitality, we extend support or offer help whenever we can.

Your message to Filipinos across the globe Teach your children the culture of the Filipinos especially the language. Don’t let them forget their origin so that they will grow up with sense of Filipino identity. Visit the Philippines from time to time and promote our country to your foreign friends to help boost our tourism industry.

On another note, Tanzania is a good place to work for Overseas Filipinos, as as they respect Pinoys in this country. Most of the Filipinos here are in managerial positions, working in NGO’s, the United Nations, big companies, hotels, telecommunications and the country’s power plant system. Tanzania is a peaceful place to live in. So, KARIBU Tanzania! (Welcome to Tanzania!)

advertorial A COLLEGE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU Eric Pagdanganan is a Filipino who lived in three countries: Malaysia, Brunei, and the Sultanate of Oman. He felt that he wanted to go back to the Philippines to study but he had a lot to consider. Will he get the best education possible? Will that school provide him the training and exposure he needs for his career? “When I heard about Enderun and its rich portfolio of undergraduate and certificate programs, I was very impressed. Plus, their affiliation with Les Roches International School of Hospitality Management, regarded as one of the top three hospitality management schools in the world, is such an advantage.” Eric is now taking his internship in China and dreams of becoming a General Manager for a five-star hotel.

For Business Administration student Lyle Martinez, Enderun’s balance of theory and practice in their curriculum prepared them for their internship. “I had my internship at BrandSpeak Asia, a PR company. Aside from the training I got in school, having internship advisers were quite a relief because they give us pointers on how to do our jobs well.” Enderun Colleges is a management school in Taguig City that offers a full range of

bachelor’s degree and non-degree courses in the fields of international hospitality management, business administration, and information systems. Enderun is affiliated with the Ducasse Education, Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. Visit www.enderuncolleges. com for more information.


PBC ABU DHABI CELEBRATES 10 YEARS The Philippine Business Council of Abu Dhabi celebrated its 10th anniversary in a dynamic networking and social event at Chao Gao at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

EMIRATES’ SECOND PHILIPPINES GATEWAY HELPS LINK MILLIONS OF FILIPINOS GLOBALLY The count down to the launch of Emirates’ new destination in the Philippines is well underway with just 10 weeks to go until the first flight. Clark International, in Angeles, 80 kilometers north of Manila, will become the airline’s second destination in the Southeast Asian archipelago after Manila.


The event, which featured Bizz Talk a forum created by the PBC-Abu Dhabi meant to connect entrepreneurs and Filipino professionals was graced by Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Grace Reluccio and Philippine Commercial Attache Jose Dinsay, as well as a good cross sections of Filipino investors, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals from the energy, hospitality, banking, travel, real estate and healthcare


The Clark route, effective 1st October, will create a new channel to connect millions of Filipinos living around the world - the Middle East being one of the most popular overseas regions.

Mualla, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf Middle East & Iran. “

The 10 year celebration, also marked the turnover of the association’s chairmanship from Jovy Tuano to Agnes Pedrosa-Marelid. The evening was capped by an after party which featured elegant noveau-Filipino canapés created especially for the occasion by Chao Gao’s Crown Plaza’s chefs.

Nearly 680,000 Filipinos live in the UAE alone, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas; 342,000 Filipinos reside in Qatar and 186,000 are based in Kuwait.

The new Clark service will be operated by a two-class Boeing 777-300ER. EK 338 will depart Dubai at 0400hrs and arrive at Clark International Airport at 1640hrs. The return flight, EK339 will depart at 1835hrs and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2305hrs. Introductory fares from Dubai to Clark International start at AED 2,605.

But the biggest Filipino population in the Middle East, by far, is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with more than 1.5 million Filipinos living in the Kingdom.

Manila was one of Emirates’ early routes in South East Asia, starting a service there back in 1990 – just five years after Emirates was established.

“When you see these figures showing the full extent of the Filipino diaspora, it’s clear how important a new route to the Philippines becomes,” said Sheikh Majid Al

Demand has been such that Manila has become a triple daily service, boosting tourism and trade between the Philippines, Dubai and beyond.

What’s your

LA UNION STYLE? La Union, famed for being the surfing capital of Northern Luzon, has a host of other attractions that every traveller can enjoy. Vagabond girl and travel blogger Kara Santos puts together a handy guide where you can take your pick of where to stay, what activities to do with or without a surf board. Text and photos by Kara Santos


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La Union, in the province of Ilocos region, is known as the surfing capital of Northern Luzon. Local and international tourists often head to the beaches here for snorkelling, surfing and other water sports. Numerous surfing clinics and international surfing events are held here. Located roughly 4-5 hours by land from Manila, the province of La Union is an ideal getaway for a weekend trip. Aside from its great beaches, it has a host of other natural attractions and tourist spots worth visiting.

If you're a luxury traveller STAY: Mix business and pleasure at the upscale Thunderbird Resorts in Poro Point ( This Mediterranean-inspired haven from where you can view a stunning sunset view of the South China Sea is the only fivestar hotel-resort  in Northern Luzon. The luxury villas, which are nestled upon a 100-foot cliff at the highest point of  the Poro peninsula, will seemingly transport you to Santorini, with their clean white and blue exteriors and  seaside views. Guests can choose from a range of luxury rooms or private villas. All luxury rooms come equipped with cable TV, iPod dock, pantry with coffee and tea making facility, mini bar, in-room electronic safety box, IDD/NDD phone and free Wi-Fi access. With all its creature comforts, guests may not even want to leave their rooms.



Thunderbird has an active boardwalk leading to different areas in the resort where guests can enjoy a range of activities. There's a beach club built upon the scenic cliff/lakeview course standing upon a peninsula of 65 hectares of prime property. The swimming pool has its own pool bar, so guests can relax with drinks while taking a dip. Those into golf can enjoy a round at the Cliffs Golf & Beach Club. After a day of living the high life, you'll surely enjoy pampering massage treatments at Zaphira Spa. For a night of entertainment and gaming, head to the hotel's  Fiesta Casino, which features more than 20 table games and 260+ slot machines that high rollers, amateur and professional players, and slot players will surely enjoy. 


Feast on sumptuous buffet meals at Olives Restaurant, Thunderbird's in-house fine dining restaurant, which specializes in wood-burned oven pizzas, fresh Greek salads, and a variety of Mediterranean classics. The resto also serves succulent Japanese favorites like salmon sashimi, sushi and tempura during their Saturday  weekend buffet. After a filling meal, relax with a few drinks at the Patio Santorini Bar, the hotel's lobby  lounge and bar where one can relax and sample a wide array of wines, cocktails, and spirits. The Vegas Cafe, located in the hotel's casino, is a luxury restaurant that serves a wide variety of local and international cuisine, including American, Japanese, Italian, Filipino, and continental fare. 

If you're a backpacker / budget traveller STAY: Even if you’re traveling on a budget, you can still enjoy the laid-back beach life in La Union. Head to The Circle Hostel ( in Urbiztondo, San Juan for budget-friendly accommodations. Here, you can rent a hammock for as  little as PhP 300/night while bunk bed spaces in open-air dorm style rooms go for PhP400/ night. This eclectic, artsy eco-hostel caters to surfers and budget  backpackers looking for a friendly community atmosphere and affordable lodging. Colorful artwork breathes the surfing lifestyle from every space, while the communal spaces foster maximum interaction. The hostel’s location right across the street from the main surf spots in San Juan, Urbiztondo, makes it an ideal hub for those who want to spend most of their time outdoors. DO: Get stoked by hitting the waves. Even if you’re not


a surfing pro, you can easily give it a shot by taking surf lessons from the locals. A number of surfing schools can be found on the beachfront, including San Juan Surf Resort ( run by pro-surfer Luke Landrigan.  Surfing cost about PhP400 per hour/ lesson, which includes surfboard rentals. Aside from surfing, kayaks, paddleboards, skim boarding and other water activities

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are also offered in the area. Beach favorites like swimming, working on your tan, or playing Frisbee on the beach (bring your own Frisbee) won't cost you a dime. Relax with  some card games and a few drinks with fellow backpackers in your hostel and you're all set.


Chow down on budget combo meals at Urbiztondo GrillHouse, walking distance from The Circle Hostel. Hook up with fellow backpackers to dine family-style on native Filipino favorites like kare-kare, binagoongan  and grilled fish. This longrunning establishment is a local favorite restaurant and serves dishes that are filling for the stomach but easy on the pocket.

If you're traveling as a couple or with the whole clan STAY: There are a number of beachfront lodgings ideal for couples, families and large groups. For couples, a good option is the elegant Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa (, which has

rooms good for two with either an ocean or pool view or more secluded garden rooms with their own patio. The villa’s design is a fusion of Filipino and Balinese-style with white stucco walls and native grass roofing and old world charm, but with the latest hitech comforts. Couples will appreciate the relaxed vibe and facilities in the boutique resort and spa as well as its location right in front of the beach. Meanwhile, larger groups and families might want to check into Sebay Surf Central (www.sebaysurfcentral. com). Rooms can  accommodate 4 to 10 persons and the relaxed native-style common salas and verandas are ideal for hanging out with family or friends at night.


If your group is into sightseeing and historical tours, you can check out the churches like Namacapan Church or the majestic Ma-Cho Temple, a Taoist temple located in San Fernando. The ruins of a watchtower and the pebble beach in Luna, La Union are also worth a visit. If you just want a more relaxing time, spend it on the beach  with water activities or rent a boat and try snorkelling in a few sites not far from the shore. 

EAT: Treat

the whole family to grilled seafood specialties at the many beachfront restaurants and in-house restaurants of the resorts. Kahuna has its own cozy restaurant and a bar serving seafood platters, refreshing fruit shakes and a range of foreign beers. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to head to Halo-halo de Iloko, which serves a delectable dessert of sweet potato, boiled banana, yam, sago added with yema, corn flakes, coconut, ice and milk. On your way back to  Manila, stop by the artsy S.O.U.L. (Spice of the Urban Life) Café in Rosario. The resto has a great gourmet coffee selection and serves breakfast food, sandwiches, pastas and desserts, grilled dishes and steaks. Whatever your traveling style or budget may be, you’ll be sure to find a good fit in La Union. For more travel stories and tips, visit the author's blog at


on the prowl

© Ferdinand Bernales |

© Subbotina |


Comparison is inevitable By Ion Gonzaga - Dubai

Our guests had talked about how impressive Dubai is as soon we picked them up from the airport. It’s quite amusing to hear what they had to say in just their first 24 hours. The comparison to our homeland is just inevitable. On the road, they noticed that the lamp posts are very bright and the streets are widely spaced and well-lit. The observation earned a comment on the utilization of road funds back home; if only they were properly utilized, the Philippines could be as bright as Dubai.


Then, they saw a Ferrari and a Lamborghini parked on an ordinary street side. “They just park these luxury cars here?” they asked. “In the Philippines you can’t dare to do it.” We stopped to have lunch in a chicken fast food restaurant. They were not used to dining without rice and with the local bigger servings. “So that’s why you’ve grown bigger here,” they said. As we were strolling around, they noticed how people use their gadgets without worrying that someone might snatch them. They felt it was safe in the city that everyone had their gadgets out. Again, this is not the case in the Philippines.

But after the first 24 hours, they said, “Parang Pinas pa rin, ang daming Filipino.” Even if the Philippines doesn’t look as shiny as Dubai, we already miss home. We will never get tired of the sounds of trikes and jeepneys in the adventurous streets of Manila. Indeed, the heart can never love two at a time equally. We can be amazed and impressed by other nations, but eventually, there will always be one place that we truly love - though not as great as others, we’ve learned to accept what it is, and what it is not. The Philippines will always be our home. Follow Ion Gonzaga - http://www.boydubai. com/ or on Twitter @ionGonzaga

on the prowl, in the know

A Mid-year Inventory And just like that, it’s already August.

complicated. I’m not really sure why we do it. Maybe because we keep thinking of ways to make it better, but in the process we end up with the same old desires, fears and petty things we don’t really need.

Around this time, with Ramadan just over and Dubai still on quiet mode, I highly recommend doing a mid-year inventory of your life. Turn the noise down, take it slow and tune in to your own thoughts.

You might have heard of “Ockham’s razor” – the simplest solution is often the best one and if I remember my Geometry right, the quickest way to another point is a straight line.

As for me, I’ve been learning to de-clutter and simplify. Sometimes we get too caught up with things that we forget the basics, but when we stop to think about it, life is pretty simple. It’s just us who make it

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m learning to like the simple life. I’ve gotten pretty tired of Dubai’s Great Gatsby madness, not to mention its countless

By Kristine Abante - Dubai

shopping malls with the big S-A-L-E on their windows. For now, I have decided that I’m going try to walk that straight line. I’ll complain less, practice patience more, make the most of what I have and appreciate the good people around me; because we never really know how long it is all going to last. I realize it is better to live simply and live with less drama and regrets.  Carpe Diem! Follow Kristine on


Why Do We Gamble? By Rian Miranda – Riyadh

“Life is complicated. It starts before we’re ready, it continues while we’re still trying to figure out the point of it, and it ends long before we’ve worked out just what to do.” - Adrian Tan My mother used to tell me, “Always strive to reach for your dreams, but do it trouble-free.” This kind of stuck with me since grade school, wondering what she meant until I reached high school. Although her words seemed unimportant that time, I always found myself participating in every school activity, hoping to find my passion. I joined various organizations— except for Home Economics, because it seemed pointless when I was already learning household management under mom’s supervision. I also learned failure at an early age of 6 when I lost a singing contest. Since then, I was taught how to handle defeat with grace (i.e. don’t cry in front of everyone, don’t malign people even if they’ve hurt you, avoid sudden negative emotional outbursts in public), stand up and try again. I guess we gamble because most of the time we believe that half the chances are already in our favor. As I grew up, I learned that once you put yourself out there against the odds, it’s like jumping off the edge. Worst case scenario is when you have no choice but to do it. Then, once you’re mid-flight, there’s nothing you can do but let go and fly over beyond the winds of destiny. Recently, I experienced a test of faith in my personal relationship where all I did was let go and let God. After months of fighting for what I thought I deserved, I retreated. Instead, I prayed, kept calm and watched how it would all work out. I just stopped worrying and decided to stay positive despite the difficult situation. And that’s when the course of my fate immediately changed. I completely understood the reason for losing. Heartbreak, whether with a lover, co-worker, friend, or family member, is like the northern star that points our way to a better destination. We might be scared of taking a chance again after sailing through a sequence of storms, but sometimes it is what we fear most that may be the thing worth betting our luck on, even if the stakes are higher. I have concluded that to win a jackpot in the future, we might have to wager largely on where we are in the present and proceed with caution. We just have to stay focused and positive. Be a force of enthusiasm and strength. Spread love and share experience because we never know who we can inspire. Follow Rian - Instagram: msrianmiranda, Youtube: www.


on the prowl, in the know

What is ART? By Bruha Eve - Kuwait

that we are unique. You can always tell if the person is an artist, the overall aura just shows it.

A dot in a plain white wall is considered art to people that have big and complicated imaginations. Every creative mind can make-up a story, justify its medieval theory and create a new magical realm in a blink of an eye. It has a broad definition that is only shared by individuals who live and breathe the same artistic juice.

An artist is always reborn and with too many facets. Change is part of who we are. It’s like we are on a mission to an unknown satisfaction where our creative talents are explored and developed. We are ambitious and are considered as modern scientists for we keep recreating ourselves to better our craft.

It has been an amazing transition after I turned an artist a year ago. From my compulsive hair dyeing and interchanging fashion style, my “weirdness” has been finally justified. There could be a hundred people in a room and an artist will always stand out. It’s our nature to look different and act extraordinary from others. We establish our sense of identity, and for

This year, I’m cooking up two exhibitions in the menu. September is only few months away and art season is approaching. I am pumped with anticipation. I reinvented myself into creating multi-media paintings, thus, my glittery stroke remains. In between this mode of preparation, I created something that is totally off and considered insane to many. I started painting

customized portraits of my other artist friends like Kermit Tesoro and Niccolo Cosme using my expensive make-up, which I collected in variety. They might think it’s crazy but they would understand why. We all share the same genius and twisted mind. Lately, I have tried too many games and played Jack of all trades. From painting canvas to becoming an instant “designer,” I started my own clothing line and created “VIVID,” a collaboration between me and a famous Kuwait Fashionisto who has been featured in Harpers Bazaar - Arabia. I always keep myself busy, especially on this kind of weather. It keeps me cool and alive. I can’t stop learning. For an artist; the journey is always just beginning. Follow Bruha Eve -


All I Really Need to Know About

BEING PINOY I Relearn Every Election


very election, we give ourselves the task (and what a grueling task it is, whew!) of remembering the ghosts, er, lessons of past elections in the hopes of having better people to run the country. (Is that too much to ask for?) But then we forget, again and again. Now instead of blaming telenovelas for brainwashing us that every bida or everybody is very prone to amnesia, it would be wiser to document these random discoveries to remind us what it means to


be Pinoy and how tough it is to be one--not just during the crazy season of elections, but all throughout the 365 days of a year and more. So here goes! Colonial mentality is not at all being nega when “walang ganyan sa Isteyts” refers to how Americans do it better when it comes to elections. Because it’s a fact, sigh. Democracy is such a big word <nosebleed>. And with it, comes great power and responsibility, or we could ruin it and end up with “democrazy.”

Election aka e-lection doesn’t start and end with voting. You have to take a photo of your forefinger with indelible ink and share it on social media sites, like you do with everything else in this digital age. PCOS is different from PCSO. The former is a machine meant for serious voting while the latter is a means to playing Lotto. Either way, don’t lose your chance to win. Election, like Christmas, is a time of giving. Those who run for office suddenly become your shameless ninong and ninang, ready to

onli in the pilippins

sponsor baptisms, weddings, even funerals and basketball courts. In exchange for your vote, obviously.

about romantic affair with a pretty celebrity is another way to the masa’s heart. Say Chiz Escudero.

Election is the grandest fiesta of them all. Politician wannabes just bira nang bira, hala! Many wear masskaras and some even resort to mudslinging like it’s the most fun activity on Earth. Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, save us.

Family (read: surname) and friends (that is, rich friends) always matter. Especially if you want to run and win the race.

Intelligent voting, like paying your taxes on time, earns you a right to rant. Keywords are “intelligent” and “on time,” please take note. Challenging as it may sound, voting is a mental exercise and choosing candidates shouldn’t be settled through eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Isip-isip din pag may time. In Philippine elections, like your childhood games of patintero and tumbang preso, there are no winners; only cheaters and sore losers. We never grow up. The good thing about the elections is that anyone can run for public office: movie idols, priests, rebels, OJTs, lunatics, Anabelle Rama—you get the picture. The bad thing, though, is that they often win. Here are two easy steps to become a successful politician in the Philippines: (1) Act now, run later. (2) Run now, study later. Showbiz is the key to a lucrative business. A word of advice to those in showbiz aspiring to enter politics. Not everyone can be the Star for All Seasons including the election season—Ate Vi then, Gov. Vi now, soon-to-be Sen. Vi, Vice Vi, or Pres. Vi. Develop your skills, win acting awards, and build a fan base first before you think about serious stuff like governing a nation. It pays to be polite in Filipino society. Use the magic words po and opo, and you conquer the soul of the masa. Case in point: Grace Poe. Of course, it doesn’t hurt being the daughter of the great FPJ either. Being cheesy and having a much talked

The family that runs together and stays in office forever is a political dynasty. They might as well learn Roderick Paulate’s Together Forever dance moves for their variety shows, este, campaign sorties. Contrary to popular belief, platform and performance don’t necessarily mean that candidates should do the Gangnam Style on stage. Don’t insult Psy and the Filipino audience by behaving like a psychotic in public. There are times when we really don’t need to vote for a muse or an escort—like during an election. Let’s not get carried away by cute dimples and charming smiles; we’re no longer in kindergarten. The dark horse, i.e. Jejomar Binay and Nancy Binay (no pun intended, promise), can leave anyone in the dust and take you by surprise. Shock, actually. We’re a nation of glutathione worshippers. Sorry, Michael Jackson, it does matter to us if you’re black or white. So, we celebrate having the first black vice president and the first black senator. Never mind if, technically, they’re not even black but just darker than the rest of us kayumanggis. As in the movies and in real life, we just absolutely love the underdog with a passion. Hence, expect more Mara, Anna Liza, Flordeluna, and Anna Luna in future telenovelas. And since we go for the underdog, let this be a warning to everyone. Those who okray (criticize excessively) end up crying bitterly. Now who’s nganga, Vice Ganda? If there’s another show that’s more entertaining to watch than telenovelas, it

Being cheesy and having a much talked about romantic affair with a pretty celebrity is another way to the masa’s heart. has to be an election debate. There’s action, drama, horror, suspense, comedy, and lovehate conflict. For an even more exciting game than Heat vs. Spurs, tune in to the news on ballot counting. You never know if your bet will win. In a real perfect world, the likes of Gordon, Hontiveros, and Hagedorn would win. But this is a reel imperfect world, so you have the Panday’s first-born, Mrs. Hanepbuhay, an OJT, and Pinoy Rambo to join the ranks of action stars and comedians in the senate. “Anyare?” (in English, “What happened?”) in one word pretty sums up the Philippine elections in the past decade. It covers disbelief, contempt, and the resolve to never let something like this happen again. Hopefully. Laughter is still the best medicine to keep us sane in the most trying times. So, we resort to all sorts of jokes—black, green, tasteless, amusing —so long as the joke is not on us in the end.


Profile for Illustrado Magazine

Illustrado Magazine Aug 2013  

Global Vision, Native Soul. Taas Noo Filipino!

Illustrado Magazine Aug 2013  

Global Vision, Native Soul. Taas Noo Filipino!