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FEB 15 - MAR 15, 2014












The Business of Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” You probably grew up knowing those Corinthians verses by heart. The same dreamy lines hopeless romantics swear by as their VDay mantra exemplifying unconditional and utterly selfless love. Those verses apply beautifully to love and its many forms. However, when it comes to relationships – the romantic sort, that is, with all its complexities, it is worth taking those well-intentioned lines with a grain of salt. (Yes, ‘jaded’ is my middle name.) In the cold light of day, where unconditional kindness, oftentimes begets abuse, or generosity is rewarded with indifference, one is best advised to take caution when planning to hand out one’s endless supply of selflessness – especially when the heart is concerned. Instead, it might prove worthwhile to learn a few practical concepts that not only work in business, but surprisingly, in shaping romantic relationships.

The Law of Scarcity My late uncle, an Economics professor, once told a totally smitten teen me, “to be valued, you should be scarce.” I didn’t understand the concept back then. For me, love was about being there all the time for that special person. But, growing up, it all started to make sense. In love, following the law of scarcity is not just about being “unavailable” or “pa-hard-to-get.” It is making sure you don’t set yourself up to be treated like a well-loved doormat. Ultimately, it’s about knowing your value and setting your standards. Now whether that means, “Huwag basta, isuko ang Bataan,” like my lola used to say, or merely putting your foot down on what you require in love, the message should be clear - you are important, and your mate should make an effort to win you. After all, isn’t it the things we’ve worked hard for that we truly cherish?

Profit or Market Share? Which do you prefer? Being everybody’s sweetheart or somebody’s special someone? Some people thrive on having many non-relationships with a number of adoring non-partners. Safety in numbers? Perhaps. Preventing yourself from falling hard for just the one you’ll invest all your feelings into, but could also break your heart? Then, there was that sigurista girl I once knew who didn’t want to let go of two guys in the fear of ending up all alone. Guess what? She ended up solo. In the business of love, the adage “quality over quantity” should always be a rule of thumb.

Merger, not Acquisition. True. The idea of being ‘consumed’ by another human being seems terribly passionate and exciting. But once the butterflies have blown over and you start feeling like you’re in a hostile corporate takeover when he/she starts meddling with your simple choices – what kind of clothes you should wear, who your friends should be, and how your hair color cannot be more than just the exact shade of golden he likes - it’s time to sell your stocks. Love is a partnership. It is not about one person having the upper hand or deciding for the both of you. It is a collaborative co-branded venture where each person has a voice, and equal independence that allows you both to grow. So, should love be truly unselfish and all giving? Not really. Because to truly love well, you would have to commit a selfish act primarily – and that is, to love yourself first. Happy Month of Hearts! Taas Noo, Filipino. LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



Write to us at: or join the discussion at IIlustrado Magazine’s

Am I willing to be and do what I’m asking my beloved to be and do? Tension-relieving question to ask yourself. @Bad Dalai Lama Trust your heart, unless it has fallen in love. In which case, don’t trust it. Assume that all flaws in your partner are not their fault and can be healed with the application of kindness.

Love is in the air And on social media and the Internet. We’ve compiled some of the best pieces of love advice we got over letters, Facebook and Tweets. You just might come up with a revelation or two. We know we at Illustrado did! Happy Hearts Day, everyone! via Twitter @Sunita Smith You will realize that you have the power to create your own power and your own success. @VincentdeBlaseII Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first. @GunitCour Relationships never die a natural death. They are murdered with ego, attitude and ignorance.

Please observe the proper mating procedures of your culture, your community. @1GuysAdvice To be successful in a relationship, you have to have at least some activities that you like to do together. @MargaDeona Never give your all. As the wise ones say, “magtira ka para sa sarili mo.” Time and attention, especially. Guys like porn and action movies. Girls like chick flicks and romantic comedies. Both set up unrealistic expectations. No wonder Stanley Chi says: Men are from QC, Women are from Alabang. ~ Anonymous Men like drive and ambition in a girl. Girls shouldn’t feel they have to dumb themselves down for a guy. The guy should step up to the plate. ~ Slick Rick, Boys Night Out Trio

It’s not a mistake to love someone at a young age. Just remember to take love as an inspiration, not a destruction.

No matter how long you’ve been together, never make a crack about her weight – not if you value your life. Tell her instead that there’s more of her to love…and okay, maybe show that it’s harder to wrap your arms around her.

@Susie and Otto Collins

~ BoyZone213



Any one who says that guys just want to have sex has not never been friend-zoned. Any one who says there is no such thing as a platonic relationship has never been friend-zoned. That being said, being in the girl friend (with space) zone isn’t so bad… once you get over initial hopes. ~ Bev Can I just contribute something else to be different? The worst piece of relationship advice I got was love will conquer all and that love is all you need. You also need trust, acceptance and a whole lot of patience. Not having to worry about finances and other matters is a good thing, too. ~ Tristin Staying married, staying committed to someone is a decision you make everyday. It’s a great piece of love advice because it’s realistic and it breaks the daunting task of “forever and a day” into one day at a time. ~ Lovely Anne Love never means having to say you’re sorry—about loving someone in the first place. No matter how bad a relationship, there are lessons to learn and pieces of you to discover. As they say: What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. ~ Clara Mae Isipan There will always be a favorite ex in your ex-files. The one who got away and The One that Never Was. We sometimes make up our own notions of what love is and who was involved in it. ~ Donitah Be with someone who makes you happy. Be with someone who makes you a better version of yourself. Very hard to find, but you can’t go wrong with that. ~Marie




Much sought after public speaker and charismatic leader Bo Sanchez writes about true love in this month’s issue of Illustrado. Bo says when it comes to love, don’t look for the right person. Be the right person. His relationship advice for Illustrado readers is not have an exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend relationship early in your life. “This will constrict your world to become very small; you get trapped in a very tiny schedule and itinerary. Instead, broaden your horizons, have lots of friends, serve God, travel the world, learn new skills, earn money, do something brand new every year, and never stop growing. When you do this, you’ll have more to give to your wife and children,” says Bo.

Alfred A. Yuson a.k.a. Krip will add at least three or four titles to his bibiliography this year, thus making it 30 authored books. These would include the biographies of Dr. Jorge Garcia, the internationally acclaimed heart surgeon who also established the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, and Dr. Thelma Navarrete Clemente, whose outstanding medical career is intertwined with Capitol Medical Center, which she established with her husband. Krip also hopes to finally put out his third novel this year. Among the best love advice Krip has received is from a female friend on Facebook who commented: “The only way to get a woman is to do the opposite of everything that she expects. That’s science. You handle her the way she doesn’t expect to be handled and she’ll fall for you.”

ABY YAP Onli in the Philippines columnist Aby Yap gives us a lesson on love this month with rollicking references to FLAMES (c’mon, we’re sure you remember this) and slumbooks. To this day, Aby believes that this is the best love advice she ever got was: “Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time.” from Dream for an Insomniac. Having followed it somehow, she’d tell her early 20s self that great love entails taking chances bravely—without losing your common sense. Go for a wild rollercoaster ride, but know when to slow down or stop altogether.

MATT LAPID Matt Lapid is a freelance writer who specializes in stories on entrepreneurs and the Filipino Diaspora. He moved to the Philippines after graduating from the University of California in Irvine with a B.A. in English Literature and an abnormal curiosity about the Philippines. Matt has worked with various startups and NGOs such as, the Filipino Startup Movement known as Juan Great Leap, Ashoka Philippines, Human Nature USA and Gawad-Kalinga Center for Social Innovation. Thinking back to realizing that love is something you fall into and when you do, you better honor and cherish it, he says that the best piece of love advice he’s ever gotten is: Don’t hesitate.

IRVIN RIVERA NICHOLO JALLORES Nicholo Jallores is an advertising account executive, writer, singer, dancer, cardio junkie and a wannabe theoretical physicist. When he was young, his grandmother convinced him that anything is possible, and gullible child that he was he believed her. He engraved that mindset so deeply on the core of his being that now he walks around the city thinking that he can be anything and everything — a dangerous man. He eats his steak rare and mooing, because he believes that if one wants to have the best things in life, he must not be afraid of tasting a bit of blood in his mouth.

Irvin used to draw Dragon Ball Z characters until he got his first 3.2 MP Digital Camera. His love for films, art and literature inspired him to take photographs of people. Creating fashion stories and editorials evolved from his continuous learning and development of the craft. The whole production process of fashion photography challenges him to create more compelling and striking imagery through his art. Being a self-taught artist, Irvin tries his best to absorb and learn from the Masters and his contemporaries in the field of fashion photography. He loves to write, laugh and sing.

EXCEL V. DYQUIANGCO AMBASSADOR GRACE RELUCIO-PRINCESA Career diplomat, doting mother of five and servant leader, Ambassador Grace Princesa is the first female Philippine Ambassador to the UAE. Having spent over two decades in Philippine Foreign Services, she had previous postings in Chicago, Cairo, Geneva and Baghdad. Each month, Ambassador Princesa shares about her community advocacies with Illustrado readers.


Writing this month’s story on how to tell if your Significant Other is really single made Excel wonder about the feeling that some have listed as responsible for making the world go round.“Love is more than an emotion. It’s an action - something that you do,” begins Excel.“So whether someone loves you back or doesn’t, love him still. The emotion follows. This is, in fact, what I would tell to my younger self and when it comes to sex and relationships, I’d also tell him to wait until you get married for sex should be done within the confines of a loving and lasting relationship: marriage.”


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 Francisco Colayco CONTRIBUTING WRITERS – UAE, Mary Ann “Maps” PHILIPPINES, CANADA Santos SWITZERLAND Nephele Kirong Angela Mapa Nikka Sarthou Anna Oposa Nina Terol-Zialcita Barbara Marchadesch P.A. Escalante Candice Lopez Quimpo Princes Nedamo Dante Gagelonia Quay Evano Didi Paterno Rache Hernandez Excel Dyquianco Regina Layug-Lucero Kara Santos Mary Ann Marchadesch Sherry Tenorio Sonny Guzman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS –UAE, PHILIPPINES & USA Eros Goze Alex Calueng Glenn Peter-Perez Cristina Linaza Dr. Marlon Pecjo Donald Rosales Raen Badua Filbert Kung Irvin Rivera CONTRIBUTING FASHION CREW - UAE Ginno Alducente Jessie Tabla Jojo Padua 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 FZLLC 2006 – 2014 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.



Fil-Am models Kendall Galan and Jesse Somera spell quiet passion in this month’s cinematic fashion editorial inspired by Wong Kar Wai’s critically acclaimed film “In the Mood for Love.”

features True Love – Just Like the Movies 12 Fil-Ams: The Dating Cultural Divide 14 Death by ‘Inarte’: How Your Vanity Could be Killing You 18 More of You to Love 20 Single or Not 22 Controlling or Caring? 30

regular columns Editor’s Note 1 Talking Loud 2 Contributors 4 Illuminati: Love Among the Old 10 It’s What I Do 25 Spirituality: Is Your Love Real or Fake? 28 Law: Breaking Up is Hard to Do 32 Bayanihan Corner: Love for Country 34 Kabuhayan: Success is in the Bag 36 Kabuhayan: Teaching Kids About Money 40 10 Things to Do 44 Scrapbook 46 On the Prowl, In the Know 96 Onli in Da Pilipins: Lessons in Love 100 Illustrado Faces 102

fashion Fashion: In the Mood for Love 48 Real Style, Real People 76 Global Filipino Fashion 82

places Bakasyon Grande: Nature Trip to Laguna 88 My Pinoy Life in Olympia 92

92 88





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Love among the old by KRIP YUSON

In 1984 the outstanding poet in Filipino Mike Bigornia wrote the following poem, titled “Ang Pag-ibig ng Matanda”:

“May rayuma ng paggiliw sa kanluran ng bintana,/ Maging puso’y may artritis sa duluhan ng panahon;/ Walang tanglaw ang kariktan sa salamin at kulaba,/ Bumukad man ang bulaklak, magsiawit man ang ibon.//

“Ang pag-iirog ng hukluban kahit hindi lumilikas,/ Mga uban at pustiso’y di maskara’t sinungaling;/ Nabibingi ang dalangin sa naparami nang kalatas,/ Sa kulubot na umaga at nakubang takipsilim.// “At sakaling mapukaw man kapusukang pinintuho,/ Higit lamang na titindi ang ulyaning pagtitiis;/ Ibabaling sa paghimas at paghitit ng tabako/ O pagdikdik ng patani sa bukana ng almires.”

Mike Bigornia went on to author three poetry collections: Puntablangko (1985), Prosang Itim (1996), and Salida (1996), in the process winning several Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle.

Bestiyaryo: Mga Piling Tula came out, edited by Roberto T. Añonuevo, a fellow poet in Filipino who had taken my place as Vice Chair. That same year, the NCCA or National Commission for Culture & the Arts announced the first competition for Writers’ Prize grants for several literary genres.

He was Chair of UMPIL or Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (Writers’ Union of the Philippines) when he passed away in 2001, at the early age of 51. As UMPIL Vice Chair at the time, I had to serve out the rest of his third term as Chair, thence take over.

I submitted a concept-proposal to translate Mike’s love poems in Filipino to English, advancing several examples as the contest dictated. Fortune smiled on both languages, as well as my desire to honor my friend with a book of translation.


In 2004 the NCCA published Bisyo ang Pag-






ibig / Love’s a Vice, my translated selection of love poems by Mike Bigornia. Here’s my take on the poem quoted above in its original form: “Love Among the Old”: “By sunset’s window, rheumatism rules romance./ Even the heart turns arthritic toward close of time,/ Through mirror of filmy eyes no beauty shines,/ Though birds may sing and flowers open wide.// “Love among the old: though it may not depart/ White hair and dentures are not masks that lie,/ Deafened are prayers by the faded message/ In the wrinkled morning, the stooping dusk.//


worked, so that I don’t wince anymore whenever I descend or ascend stairs, and can do it the regular way, not with one foot then the other on every step. So I’ll be turning yet a year older this love month, entering the last year of being a sexy sexagenarian. Should all this mark a foreboding? Well, I can always restart my daily constitutional towards sundown, a brisk walk of 30-40 minutes covering three kilometers, just around our village. That should strengthen my knees anew, for further genuflection. As for the rest of the indications and counter-indications cited in my buddy Mike’s poem, well, the white hair has been propagating beyond dapper saltand-pepper, and I welcome it. No masks. No stooping at dusk. Just yet. Tobacco smoke remains a birthright; to heck with do-gooder busybodies. As for mortarmashing, no beans, remember? “And should bold intent admirably awake,/ O what senile sufferance it can only take;/ Divert it then to gentle caress and tobacco smoke/ Or string beans mashed against mortar’s mouth.” Oh, well. Ten years later, indeed on occasion my knees turn arthritic, so that my Significant Other has to gift me further with glucosamine tablets, taken twice a day to relieve a bit of swelling and discomfort. Still glad it ain’t gout, though.

I’m told to stay off beans, everything, including coffee! No way! Bad enough to abstain from my fave monggo with hibi, and sometimes chorizo de bilbao, as well as from Mexican fare. But certainly not my 3-4 cups of java daily. Meanwhile, my two fave physical therapists (read: deep-tissue masseuses) also had to stay clear of those joints. A girl friend also sent special Chinese tea that’s supposed to be good for the knees. After several weeks, all of these ministrations appear to have

Maybe the “senile sufferance” can still be pushed back. Or maybe it’ll just affect the lust part of love. Yes, it’s a part, an important one, and coupled (pun intended) with affection, synergy’s the result. But I suppose they can’t also be said to be inseparable. The distinction will be more pronounced as the flesh goes weak, weaker, weakest. Never the desire, I hope. Well, at the very least, however, for oxytocin’s sake, there can be hugs forever.




Movies are the stuff of romance and love, but as the stories of these couples will show you, love is not found on the big screen.

Obet & Jonah Enriquez Obet and Jonah Mae Enriquez met, got engaged and married in less than a month. And no, it was not love at first sight. It started out with a marriage proposal made in jest. But as they say, all jokes are halfmeant. Obet was at one of the lowest points of his life. He was laid off from his job and with his stay tied in with his working visa, his days in the US were numbered. Obet was contemplating the priesthood with the Dallas Diocese. Jonah was also at a crossroads in her life. She had just started a new life in the DallasFort Worth metroplex and about to pursue further education to advance her nursing career.


Jonah was so moved by Obet’s baring of his broken spirit to her the first time they met at a Singles for Christ retreat on March 2003. “Bakit hindi na lang tayo magpakasal?” she asked Obet jokingly, suggesting a way out of his dilemma. Obet, though desperate, didn’t take the proposal seriously. But he did begin to see Jonah in a different light: God sent - a pure heart, willing to put herself on a limb, for a total stranger. It was then that he realized that the priesthood was not for him. Less than two weeks after they met, Obet and Jonah decided to get married. “Di ka naman siguro mahirap mahalin.” were Jonah’s words, sealing the deal of a lifetime commitment with Obet and so, on April 5, 2003, they made it official in the eyes of the US government. Obet and Jonah wed.

In as easy the two joined lives, the entire world -- at least, those in their immediate circle--seemed to be against their union, namely the US immigration and Jonah’s sisters. Obet was forced to leave the country despite their efforts to find a legally sound workaround to allow him to stay. Jonah’s sisters, protective of their bunso, her nursing career which they’ve worked so hard to build and her ability to continue her financial obligations to the family, were livid over her decision to wed a total stranger, an unemployed one at that. Despite those obstacles, Obet and Jonah kept the promise they made to each other. They talked, twice a day, each day they were apart. They didn’t quit. “Nagkalayo kami, pero hindi kami nagkahiwalay. (We were apart, but we never separated.)” Obet said, his voice breaking, recalling the hardships they went through.


“Di ka naman siguro mahirap mahalin.” Jonah’s words

After three and a half years, Obet moved back to the US, with papers in order. He and Jonah have been happily married for 10 years now and have a 6-year old daughter, Phoebe Ann.

Laurie Jaggart & Shylla Sandoval Interior designer Shylla Sandoval was on her way to Germany from Singapore for a month long backpacking trip. It was 12 midnight and she was determined to get through the 14-hour flight with some sleep. It was not going to be easy, mainly because she had trouble reclining her seat. Laurie, a travelling British businessman based in Dubai, stood right behind her in the aisle since his seat was beside hers. He was drawn to the mystery of Shylla’s nationality, which he couldn’t identify. Laurie attempted to strike a conversation by pointing out how to recline her seat – which only served to annoy Shylla. Come mealtime, they started chatting, learning more things about each other - like how she was Filipina. The flight’s stopover in Dubai meant the end of a conversation between Laurie, who had to resume life in the desert, and, Shylla, who had to move on to her connecting flight to Germany. On the way out of the plane, Shylla spotted an abandoned plush toy on one of the first class seats. She handed it to Laurie. “You could keep it should we meet again or give it to whoever.” As they parted ways, Laurie handed Shylla his business card and asked her to contact him when she visits Dubai. Wary of trusting co-travellers, she simply shrugged the invitation off. Travelling through Germany, Shylla met a Filipina who worked in Dubai, and she

confirmed that Laurie’s business card was not bogus. So she decided to give him a call as her flight back to Singapore stopped over Dubai. Laurie met her for dinner to return the plush toy she picked up the day they met. They talked and talked some more, spending Shylla’s last two days in Dubai together. It felt like they had known each other for years, not a few days. Shylla thought her flight out of Dubai was the end, but Laurie kept in touch. They talked almost every day. Their paths once crossed again on a trip to Australia, where Laurie introduced Shylla to his dad and stepmom and finally professed his love for her. Laurie and Shylla have been together for three years now and are set to be wed this June 2014 in an intimate ceremony in the south of France.

Francisco “King” Rodrigo, Jr. & Boots Anson-Roa Are second chances with true love even possible? Francisco “King” Rodrigo and Boots Anson-Roa have found love in each other’s arms after recovering from grieving over the loss of their respective partners. The two have known each other for years. Boots was friends with King’s younger brothers, while her late husband, Pete Roa, was a classmate of King’s at Ateneo de Manila high school. They even exchanged advice during trying times when both of their loved ones: King’s late wife, Olga, and Boots’ son, underwent kidney transplants. Though many friends have tried to set them up without their knowledge, their stars never aligned. It was not time; King had to

focus on his then dying daughter. But after his daughter’s passing, King approached Boots expressing his intentions to pursue her “Ang nagugustuhan ko sa kanya ay ang kabuoang pagkatao niya, lahat lahat... kasama ang kulugo (I adore her as her, her entire being, everything about her...even her warts.)” And pursue he did...the old fashioned way. King wrote love poems for her and went out of his comfort zone, joining her in activities she enjoyed like watching movies, ballets, concerts and even a fashion show. This trouser-loving lawyer even considered wearing maong after easy-going Boots asked him to give it a try. Friends have teased that, at their age, they should elope instead of going through the formalities of marriage. But King and Boots wanted to do things right. In January 2014, the Rodrigo family met with the Anson-Roa family for the pamamanhikan to formally ask Boots’ hand in marriage. King was accompanied by his 99-year old mother and four of his five children. Led by Joey Roa, one of Boots’ four children, the Anson-Roa family graciously accepted their future stepdad into the family “(On) behalf of my siblings...we are releasing our mom to our new father.” It was Boots’ first time to enjoy a formal wedding engagement blessed by family, including their late partners. King and Boots are to wed on June 14, 2014, the same day as King’s 75th birthday. It will be a double celebration of life and true love. In Boots’ own words: “There are always second chances in love. Huwag nating pigilin (Don’t resist it). Just let it flow...(dahil) ang puso ay hindi tumatanda. (Because the heart does not grow old.)”




The Dating Cultural Divide by Matt Lapid

A Filipino guy dating a Filipino girl wouldn’t cause eyebrows to be furrowed, but throw in a cultural difference, where one is raised in the US and the other in the Philippines and what have you got? Noel and Kate

Noel Masinsin, a 28-year-old FilipinoAmerican, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, just tied the knot with long-term girlfriend, Kate Obrero, last January. Noel shares that he was friends with Kate for years, before even dating. The two officially met on Valentine’s Day, but didn’t go on their first date till two years later. After dating for some time, Noel finally made the initiative to properly ask Kate to be his girlfriend in front of a church on Valentine’s Day, reminiscent of the first day Noel ever set eyes on his wife. Fellow Fil-Am and college basketball player, Rob Roa, also saw the value in a courtship process before making it official with his girlfriend, Nica Go. He recalls his awkward official first date with Nica, in which his dress shirt was the same pattern of the restaurant’s tablecloth. “I [he] was like man, ‘my first date with this girl and I’m wearing a tablecloth.’”

Whether some call it making ligaw, a courtship, or extensive dating, there is a dating process that couples in the Philippines go through, before making it official.


Rob adds that after several dates, he made it a point to still ask Nica to officially be his girlfriend. He explains, “For me [him] I want to make sure that it’s going to work 100%. I’m not going to make you my girlfriend, unless I’m talking about forever.” A commitment that’s worth waiting for is something that Fil-Am entrepreneur and

former radio personality, Jerome B Smooth, knows a thing or two about. He has been married to his wife and business partner, Ria Reyes, for two years. Jerome met his wife through a mutual friend, who was actually Ria’s ex-boyfriend and is still one of Jerome’s good friends till this day. Jerome highlights the importance of “relationships and trust” in the Philippine context and explains how adamant he was about courting Ria in the proper way and time, taking into account his friend’s feelings about the situation. He further explains that the importance of common friends in relationships is crucial to one’s well-being in the Philippines because it’s a sign that a person can be trusted, and Jerome had no intention of breaking that prized trust.

Cultural Differences From honoring signs of trust to understanding family dynamics in relationships and the art of lambing (affection), these Fil-Ams learned about the nuances of Philippine culture from their patient Filipina partners. Noel introduced Kate to his family soon after they officially got together, which

FEATURE Jerome and Ria

Jerome acknowledges that his understanding of Filipino culture is much deeper now because of his wife’s openness and sharing of insights. “She’s that person who I can directly communicate with and learn from. Her being born and raised here [in the Philippines] gives me a whole different perspective,” Jerome says.

Settling Down

in hindsight, Noel realizes came as a big surprise to Kate because introductions to family were sacred; it meant marriage when at the time Noel and Kate were just boyfriend and girlfriend. Fortunately, when the time came for Noel to meet Kate’s dad, he knew the expectation for Kate’s family was that the relationship would lead into marriage, and Noel was prepared to make that commitment. Rob’s challenge was trying to understand the concept of lambing. Rob admits that he’s not an affectionate person. When situations in his relationship called for him to be malambing (affectionate), he froze. Rob recognizes that he has grown in his personal understanding of relationships since he started dating Nica. He describes, “In the States, I knew how to help people get through tough times by getting them to talk through their feelings, but I never knew how to help people by being with them. I’ve learned how to just really be there for someone.”

Rooted in the value of family, Noel knew that he always wanted to settle down and raise his kids in the Philippines, the country where his wife was born and raised. After living in the country for a year and volunteering his time and expertise for an NGO, Noel was sure that the Philippines was home for him. Though Noel is currently based in San Francisco, CA, he has future plans to join his wife back in Manila for the long-term.

Respect for Her Shows Character For these Fil-Ams, growing up in a different country from their partners presented a world of difference, but it didn’t stunt their relationships. In fact, the openness to learn and understand the culture strengthened the foundation of their relationships. There is a common characteristic that these Fil-Ams share and it is a genuine respect for their partners, which has inspired them to rise to challenges with humility, void of ego. While Americans may get a bad wrap for being cocky or sometimes obnoxious, these Filipino-Americans show character in being man enough to recognize the gaps in their cultural understanding, as humble listeners of the wisdom their partners bestowed upon them. In other words, for us guys these stories show that it pays to shut up and listen well. I know that I’m definitely capable of at least one of the two; the latter will take a bit more practice. How about you?

On the other hand, though Rob has enjoyed his college experience in Manila, he is set on settling down and raising a family in the States. Growing up attending public schools, Rob saw how the experience of being with students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds has shaped him, and he wants to give that formative experience to the family that he plans to have someday. Jerome has lived in the Philippines for eight years. He does everything from business, events, music, and advocating for progressive education. Born and raised in LA, Jerome cherishes and enjoys the life that him and his wife have built for themselves in the Philippines. He never lives a day in regret. Rob and Nica




How Your Vanity Could Kill You BY Nicholo Jallores


t has been said that the devil’s favorite sin is vanity. After all, Lucifer’s fall from grace was not precipitated by bloody murder. His descent into the nether realms came about shortly after he looked at God and said, “Hmmm… I could do better.” Following this line of narrative, it can even be argued that vanity is the original sin. Vanity is a sophisticated, malleable evil, able to take many forms or augment the gravitas of other trespasses. It latches unto our deep-seated insecurities akin to a voracious moral barnacle and makes us think and do stupid, senseless things – like getting cheap cosmetic enhancement. The issue is not as trivial and banal as it


sounds at the onset. On one end there’s the complex need to be appreciated and validated. On the other end, there’s the stupid and senseless need to be appreciated and validated as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is not about the grandiose kind of ambition that is realized through incremental improvements. This is about the fast fixes – the quick emotional bandaids that come in the form of a botox injection, a collagen filler, or a shot of glutathione to the system. That you have to sometimes suffer for beauty is menacing enough; that you also have to suffer cheap cosmetic procedures is just plain absurd. Consider this: you must not think so highly of yourself if you’re willing to have a loaded syringe plunged unto your forehead at the

mere cost of a few loose change. You’re not getting a bargain. You’re compromising your health and sense of self-worth. You’re not making your life any better. Chances are, you could be mutilating yourself.

TUROK PARTIES In the streets of your childhood, you used to make tusok-tusok (the fishballs). Now, in the lavish parties of your noveau riche friends, you make turok-turok (the face). To define the term for the blessedly uninitiated, Turok Parties are soirees that include getting “minor” cosmetic enhancements such as botox injections and glutathione shots as part of the event repertoire. In lieu of a


magician or clown, the intermezzo is led by a medical practitioner, usually unlicensed to perform such procedures. What kind of overzealous demon socialite birthed rituals of this ghastly nature, we may never know. But one thing is for sure: Turok Parties are fast becoming a trend amongst the affluent and their hangers-on – and a potentially lethal one at that. A correspondent who refused to be named (no surprises there!) told of his experience in a recently held gathering in Downtown Dubai for a friend’s birthday. The invite said “Spa Party,” so he came in expecting facials, massages and foot scrubs. He didn’t expect free glutathione injections. “I knew I was going to a birthday party, so I was prepared to take shots. But not that kind of shot!” exclaimed Correspondent-Who-Must-NotBe-Named. “I refused at first because I’m afraid of syringes, but everybody was really into it, so I had to do it. They said it was free, and I was already accounted for. If I refused it, I’d be wasting the host’s money. So I did it.” Another correspondent who refused to be named spoke of an even greater horror: getting an invite to a Botox party. However, unlike our Correspondent No. 1, she was fully aware of the nature of the gathering, and was informed of the rates for the procedure. “I found it really strange to receive an invitation that had a price tag. It was a bit like getting invited for a wedding reception, and being told that you had to pay for your own dinner,” said Another-CorrespondentWho-Must-Not-Be-Named. Furthermore, she could not fathom why she, a spritely, healthy woman in her early 30’s, would ever be thought of as in need of Botox injections. She thought of the invitation as an insult. “I may not have the most flawless skin in the world, but I don’t have any wrinkles yet! The nerve!” She politely declined the invitation, and spent the rest of the week ignoring the inviter’s calls and text messages. They have not talked, to this day. She received the invitation over a year ago. Botox treatments are considered relatively

safe when administered by an experienced doctor, but even under professional conditions, they are not without side effects and complications. It is not unheard of for patients to experience pain and bruising at the point of injection, as well as temporary muscle weakness. In the hands of an unlicensed medical practitioner or – God forbid – some stranger who had just drunkenly said ‘Hi’ to you in a Botox party, the risks are exponentially higher. People often misconstrue Botox as an innocent guilt-free wonder elixir that is as harmless as vitamin C tablets, when in truth it is a lethal toxin. The treatment was designed to be administered by a duly licensed doctor, in a well-equipped medical facility – not by a nurse, in your living room in between hors d’oeuvres and champagne toasts.

No Turok, No Cry Doctor Florencio Lucero, one of the Philippines’ longest-practicing plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons warns of the dangers of Turok Parties. “Even injections need to be done under clean sterile conditions in the clinic or operating room,” Dr. Lucero advocates. “In the Philippines only physicians are allowed to inject Botox or fillers, but this is violated in many instances where even non-doctors and non-nurses do the injections in homes and beauty parlors.”

be safe and sure, ask other patients and check the credentials of the doctor. Read the certificates hanging in their offices very carefully. Attendance in conferences is not sufficient. Look for certificates of training. A plastic surgeon’s training takes at least 5 to 6 years and often requires additional years of what we call Fellowship in aesthetic or cosmetic surgery. A few months of training or guided observation in cosmetic surgery is not enough to make one a plastic surgeon.”

THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL… …is learning to love yourself. For belting out that powerful line alone, Whitney Houston deserves to be canonized in Vatican. If you are unable to appreciate yourself fully enough to bypass the need for cosmetic enhancement, then at least get the procedure done correctly in the hands of a respected physician, and at a standard that is nothing short of superlative. Flawed human beings that we are, we may never be able to completely outgrow our vanity, but we can temper it with selfrespect and a healthy sense of dignity. If you must make inarte, then by all means make inarte. Just don’t die for it, darling.

He goes on to state that no cosmetic enhancement or plastic surgery procedure is 100% risk free. Even something as minimally invasive as a glutathione shot has its own range of potential side effects and complications. The good doctor says, “All procedures are risky, so the patient must be duly informed of the possible risks. Remember: the difference between the beauty and the beast is one millimeter.” When asked about his advice to people who are considering any form of cosmetic enhancement, Dr. Lucero professes that a thorough background check of the prospective practitioner is key. He says, “To



More of You to Love: Why People Gain Weight When They’re in a Relationship Text by Anna Oposa

Being in a relationship can make you feel soft and mushy inside. Various studies show that it can also have the same effect on your body. A survey commissioned by the Diet Chef reveals that 66% of couples gain weight when they are in a comfortable relationships. The study shows that falling in love is the number one cause for weight gain, even over holiday binge eating. So what makes a relationship that’s good for the heart bad for the hips?

Nights out, calories in The most obvious culprits are the frequent dates and nights out. “I gained 18 pounds in a span of a year and a half,” Rosanna, 26, confesses. “Before I met [my boyfriend] Mike, I had a regular exercise routine. After work, I would go to yoga classes, run, or swim. I even finished a 16k race and an aquathlon (a race that consists of swimming and running).


“When we started dating, those workout sessions were replaced by dates,” she says. A study from Newcastle University’s Human Nutrition Research Centre shows that women were more likely to adopt their partner’s eating habits than the other way around. Since men generally eat more than females, this results in what Lauren Conrad, former star of The Hills, called the “boyfriend layer.” Jake, 28, ballooned from 225 lbs. to 240 lbs. during his first 6 months with his girlfriend of 3 years. “I got an injury when we started dating. I had a cast on my arm for 3 months. That jumpstarted the weight gain,” he recalls. “Going out meant eating rich food and drinking alcohol, which was really fun at first,” he shares. The nights out usually came with beer and pulutan like sisig, crispy kangkong, or wine and cheese. “Then I made the mistake of not getting the equivalent amount of activity to counter the additional ‘fun’ calories.”

FEATURE Nesting season Couples also have a tendency to nest, which means choosing a night in to watch DVDs or TV shows instead of being out and about. Snuggling under the sheets usually involves a bag of chips (or two) and alcohol. Rosanna points out that her thoughtful boyfriend did not always do well for her body. “I really liked this certain kind of white cheddar popcorn, so Mike would buy it for me all the time. The problem is, I can finish a whole bag by myself!” Rosanna exclaims. “I’d finish the bag, or split with him. To make things worse, we’re eating while watching movies or TV shows, so I don’t even notice how much I’d eaten.”

Slipping into complacency Jake admits that one of the major reasons for weight gain was “complacency.” “My girlfriend was out of town a lot for work during the first half of our relationship, so I can’t use ‘I have no time to exercise’ as an excuse,” he muses. He thinks that the long-distance relationship contributed to slacking off on his shape because his girlfriend wasn’t around to observe and comment on his weight gain and eating habits. When Rosanna noticed that her clothes started getting tighter, she would tell Mike, “I think I’m getting fat.” Mike would respond by recounting how they first met: on the beach, when she was wearing a bikini and a tight dress that showed off her curves. “I love your body,” he would remind her. When you have a special someone complimenting you regularly, there’s less incentive to stay fit and look your best. “I knew I was gaining weight but I didn’t feel the urgency to lose it,” Rosanna tells Illustrado. “I always told myself I would never be complacent, then I ate my words. And a whole lot of food,” she adds, laughing.

Getting back on track If your relationship is the cause for weight gain, it can also be the cause for weight

loss. When Rosanna hit the dreaded 15-pound mark, she knew she had to do something. She and her boyfriend committed to a 21-day challenge, inspired by the belief that it takes 21 days to break a habit. For three weeks, Mike stayed away from carbs, while Rosanna stopped eating junk food, fast food, and dessert. This helped her find her way back to fitness. Jake is doing his best to get back into shape, after an intervention from his girlfriend. “I’m back to a regular exercise schedule, signed up for a diet plan, and order less food during dates. A year ago, we’d order an appetizer, soup, and pizza. Now we get a salad and pizza.” It helps to incorporate exercise into dates. He shares that he and his girlfriend now run and swim together. “I’m taking baby steps,” says Jake. “It’s tough but hey, we have to start somewhere.” Love is a many splendored thing, but if you don’t want love to translate to a many splendored pounds, it will take effort and commitment to keep the weight off – the same effort and commitment a relationship takes.

People in relationships tend to gain weight, while newly single guys and girls seem to shed pounds quickly—sometimes on purpose (“the best revenge is to look your best,” they say), and sometimes without even trying. The heart is much more connected to the body than we think. A few of them shared their weight loss experience: “I ate a pint of green tea ice cream every other day while watching DVDs of Sex and the City for about a month. So unhealthy, I know, but it’s all I felt like eating.” –Bianca, 28, assistant brand manager “After my ex and I broke up, I didn’t know how to deal with my feelings. I didn’t want to cry all the time, so I got into running. In a way, I was running from my heartbreak and hoping to run into answers.” –Bea, 26, writer



SINGLE OR NOT That is the question! Excel V. Dyquiangco

When Lorna (not her real name) met a somewhat decent guy at a party, sparks flew. At the end of the night, he asked for her number. She, in turn, asked for his mobile phone so she could plug it in but he wouldn’t give it to her. “Instead he said he’d ‘memorize’ my number,” she says. “I knew at that point he was taken, but I decided to see how it played out.” And play out it didn’t. The “relationship” lasted only that night because right from the start, Lorna knew something was


already amiss. Eventually she found out he was a man who claimed to be single but really wasn’t. So in this day and age of infidelity, how do you know if your partner has a spouse or live-in partner back home? “Request for a Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR) from the National Statistics Office,” says Carmelita Ericta, Interim National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, Philippine Statistics

Authority (PSA). You will need to provide the following information: complete name of the person, complete name of the father, complete maiden name of the mother, date of birth, place of birth, complete name and address of the requesting party, number of copies needed and purpose of the certification to get your CENOMAR. It is a lot of details, but in exchange, you will get something more valuable: your peace of mind. “We need all of this information so we’re


sure we’re talking about the same person. In this country, there are many people with the same names,” explains Carmelita. She adds that the process also involves comparing the requested name with the marriage index or known as the Certificate of Advisory on Marriage (CEMAR). “All marriage contracts have indices, which are composed of the bride and the groom’s names,” she says. “If positive, he or she is married. If not, then we issue a CENOMAR.” Aside from asking for a CENOMAR, relationship expert Rem Tanauan suggests other ways to handle this issue. “Any relationship that intends to grow must grow in the sunlight of transparency, of genuine and authentic presence. If, by feeling and common sense, he has felt something is wrong, then he must stand up and reveal his loob to the girl. To be honest is not to be blunt and frank.” “If he is not willing, and there is hostility and negative reaction on his part, then it’s time to do the actions of verifying and investigating the truth,” says Tanuan. As told by ordinary people here and in the Philippines, here are several ways you can find out if someone back home is really single – or not. • Single people have more time to pursue their passion. Because they are not bogged down by all the duties and responsibilities that come with married life, they can travel at a moment’s notice, get caught up in a hobby, or be consumed by a cause. Relationship-wise, it follows that single people have far more time to devote to their partners. (Jing Lejano, editor and writer, Metro Manila)

• A single person has all the time in the world for you. A married man, for instance, calls you while he’s at work or when he’s in transit. Ever met a guy who is only reachable during the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday? The same goes for men who only call you when they’re driving to and from work but never when they’re actually at home. (Lizah Zabat, sales and marketing manager, Dubai) • There really is no sure sign to tell if a person is single or not because anybody can pretend to be single if they really want to, especially when they are abroad! Looks could be deceiving sometimes but one sure sign that she’s still single is she is not wearing a wedding ring! (Manny Durmiendo, Fitness Coach, Metro Manila) • Casually say, “baka magalit ang girlfriend (o boyfriend) mo!” or something like that and see how he or she reacts. (Karla Stefan Singson, Events and PR Manager, Metro Manila) • Today’s social media has opened a variety of avenues to let someone do a simple background check. A Facebook profile alone tells so much about the person’s social status. Tagged friends get scrutinized; tweets can tell you so much about the rants and raves; Instagram photos let you in on the “other” activities; hashtags shout a lot. It’s also good to know that there are apps out there that actually help people cheat. Yes, you read that right. The TigerText

(possibly named after Tiger Woods) has a deletion timer that automatically deletes incriminating messages, while Mobile Vault hides pictures and contacts and backs them up on a private cloud space. If your lover has apps like this, be very very suspicious. Another tip: check out his or her computer. Look at the history tab of his browser to see sites he or she has been visiting. Check instant messaging (IM) apps that may allow you to automatically log on and see if they’ve been chatting up with someone. • If having suspicions, you can always ask the guy or the girl directly. It always works. (Ancore Evangelista, homemaker, Metro Manila) • Ask people related to the girl, but don’t make it look like it’s an investigation. The one doing the sleuthing needs strong courage and conviction to know the truth. In other words, the party involved is collecting stories through the people that surround his girlfriend. That’s also a good and effective step, motivated by truth and not by distrust. (Rem Tanuan, Metro Manila) There are many ways to find out if you’re lover is really single. You can snoop through his or her mobile phone and laptop and add on some sleuthing techniques, but finding out an absolute truth is challenging. This is one area where you will really have to trust your instinct. Chances are, it already knows the answer and you’re just looking for a way to prove it.

• You would know if a person is single or not if you know his or her background. You know his parents, siblings, friends and other important people in his life. In short you should build a relationship with the people around him or her because they’d be the ones to confirm if he or she is really single or not. Plus you trust each other – one way is by introducing you to his or her family. (Thina Mallo, Digital Support Executive, Metro Manila)



Write to us at: or join the discussion at IIlustrado Magazine’s Facebook page


OR SINGLE IN THE UAE? Ten Ways to Find Out If Your Mate Is Truly Single To come up with these handy tips, we enlisted the help of our Illustrado friends in Facebook. See what we have come up with!

1.) Demand a CENOMAR Before you promote a “date” to a “mate,” demand a Certificate of Non-Marriage Record to completely obliterate any gnawing suspicion that the person is already married back home. Tip courtesy of Chef Mico Galligues

2.) Ask to be introduced to the parents If the suspect’s parents are back home, ask for their email addresses, or link up with them on Facebook. Very few parents will tolerate their children’s deviant social behavior. If the suspect is unwilling to establish the link between you and his or her parents, start thinking. Tip courtesy of Cecille Smago

3.) Keep an eye out for that mobile phone Tell-tale signs: a.) being way too possessive with the mobile phone b.) unwilling to disclose password or pin number c.) has to go to an isolated corner to pick up a call. Tip courtesy of Wilzen Wobby Tiang

4.) Entrapment (Ooooh this is low!)


Don’t cast a net if you want to catch a liar. Set up a trap, and lead the creature straight into it. The possibilities for this are endless, and you probably already know someone who has masterminded some form of entrapment operation. Be creative.

5.) Enhanced interrogation techniques What is the one thing that your mate desires of you the most? With hold it. What was once up for grabs and freely given, embargo! Reserve it until you get to the truth.

6.) Enlist the help of your friends in the Philippines You need agents on ground to help you get to the truth. Ask friends to do reconnaissance. Explore the suspect’s networks back home. If your friends are true to you, they will be able to empathize with your plight.

7.) Hire a private detective If your friends are being uncooperative (bless them!), it might be time to seek professional help. Invest in a private eye to monitor the suspect’s movements, and extricate any skeletons in his or her closet. Outsource your paranoia!

8.) Listen to your instincts Author Michael Burke once said, ““Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.”

Learn to listen to your gut. You really don’t need a SWOT analysis to figure out if the relationship is worth the time and trouble.

9.) Snoop around in Facebook It used to be “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who are.” Now it’s “Add me on Facebook and I’ll write a philosophical deconstruction of the meaning of your existence using your timeline.” Everything you need to know about a person is on his or her Facebook account. Tip courtesy of Aris Ray

10.) Just ask This sounds like a non-advice, but it is actually the best advice we can give you. It harkens back to tip No.8: listen to your instincts. Simply ask. Make sure that the lines of understanding are open and welllubricated with good sense. Tip courtesy of Rhenz Adams Join in on the conversation! Stay tuned for the next #usapangillustrado on the Illustrado Facebook page! h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / p a g e s / Illustrado-Magazine


It’s what I do


IAN PAULE SABITSANA Skydive Dubai ground crew-licensed skydiver

I work for Skydive Dubai as a ground control crew, licensed skydiver and now I’m working on getting my coach and instructor rating. This is my first year doing ground control, so basically my job is to communicate with Air Traffic Control and communicate with the pilots. Being ground control means that I am in control of the operation which means that all responsibilities would be mine with regard to ensuring the skydivers’ safety. I’ve been working for Skydive for 4 years now; my first 3 years were spent doing admin works. I also worked as a manifest which is one of the hardest jobs on a drop zone. Manifest is the one who organizes the whole operation. I can say that this job is one of the most unique jobs in the whole world because skydiving is the most extreme and one of the craziest things that people want to do.

There’s no such thing as a typical day Every day is a different day especially if you’re maintaining the safety of all the skydivers. First of all, before we start the day, we need to make sure that the weather is good for jumping. Once the operation starts, our focus is to maintain communication with our pilots and manifest. Before we clear the pilot for dropping skydivers in the sky, we need to make sure that winds are good, clouds are not lower than the drop altitude and we need to make sure that the sky is clear for any traffic. We always make sure that every minute is used to making the right decision every minute because safety is our priority. Another thing is, I skydive almost every day—almost one jump a day. On our days off, we can do as many as 10 jumps a day or more.

On bad weather days when skydiving is not possible, we go for indoor skydiving, scuba diving, skiing, or other extreme sports here in Dubai as part of team building.

One of the perks of the job Is meeting celebrities. In my four years with the company, I’ve had to the chance to meet Usher, Neyo, Ja Rule, Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Sophia Bush and many more Hollywood stars. I’ve also met local stars like Luis Manzano and JC Intal who did a tandem skydive. One of the best thing that has happened to me on the job was getting to be on the same airplane with His Highness SheikhHamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai and owner of Skydive Dubai) and Michael Schumacher. For my kabayans out there. Well, you guys should try skydiving even just once. Let me tell you something about my sport. Skydiving is the single most exciting sport there is. Nothing even comes close to the exhilaration you feel when floating on a cushion of air, and flying your canopy safely to the ground. It’s also very misunderstood, and filled with many common fallacies and misconceptions that keep most people from trying out this sport. It’s heavily regulated by national organizations and I can say, it is a relatively safe sport! To participate in it regularly, you’re required to obtain sufficient training and a license. It can be a long, expensive process to get your license, but once you do, the feeling of accomplishment is like no other. I highly recommend you try it at least once in your life.



It’s what I do


MIMI AGBAY-DUHAMEL Manager, Amihan Travel Tours, France

I help manage a Filipino-owned travel agency, Amihan Travel Tours, as a day job. Outside that, I spend much of my time in different activities of the following organizations: Gawad Kalinga Europe - France as secretary, Pinoy Jam, a group of Paris-based Filipino artists; amateur and professional alike, as a core group member; and LSE Paris (Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Government’s Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program for OFWs) as Coordinator. I am at the travel agency in the afternoons most of the time. My mornings are spent quietly at home checking and answering personal/non-work-related mails, catching up with family and friends or outside for meetings. Before moving to France I had already heard about the plight of our dear OFs and how much sacrifice it entails being away from their families and making their presence felt through the money or balikbayan boxes they send. Although I have encountered a handful who still do not have


any idea when they will come back home for good, the younger ones who have already saved up enough and have decided go back home to be with their families. They plan to put up a small business as soon as they are home or to assume management of an already existing one. I always remember to congratulate them and wish them “bonne continuation!” (all the best!) upon handing them their one-way tickets. My message to fellow Filipinos would be: remember that whether you like it or not, you are carrying the Filipino flag wherever you go. Make sure that your words and actions uplift the Philippines’ image. Being away from our homeland can be sad, but don’t let the sadness stop you from getting to know (and in the process, loving) your adoptive country. Do not be afraid to dream big and differently just because majority of the people around tell you that you cannot achieve it. More importantly, stick with people who support you and who want you to do better in life.


Is Your Love Genuine Or Fake? By BO SANCHEZ

How do you spot genuine love from the fake? I say real love is about dirty hands, not beating hearts.

Spot the Difference Here are five clear-as-daylight differences between infatuation and real love: 1. Infatuation doesn’t require a decision. It just happens. You see a girl and boom—your hormones kick in and you want her. But real love doesn’t just happen. Real love requires a decision. That’s why Scott Peck says real love can only start after one has “fallen out of love.” 2.


Infatuation, no matter what

you do, lasts only for a season. You have these feelings of love swirling within you until something happens that breaks the spell. Infatuation can last for a few days or for a couple of years. But real love can last forever precisely because it’s a decision. 3. Infatuation is directed towards a figment of your imagination. You’re not attracted to a real person. You’re attracted to a projection of that person from your own imagination. But real love is directed towards a real


person. You now know her strengths and weaknesses, and have accepted it all. 4 Infatuation is a spontaneous collapse of your boundaries. You get lost and you merge with the other. But real love requires strengthening of both your boundaries. You actually don’t need each other, but you choose each other because you want to serve. 5. Infatuation is all about feelings. Dubdub. Dubdub. Dubdub. Cold palms, giddy spells, dazed looks, and feet on the clouds. But real love is about dirty hands. To make this practical, let me share seven simple ways of dirtying your hands. They are (1) Help, (2) Prayer, (3) Presence, (4) Touch, (5) Words, (6) Gifts, and (7) Boundaries.

1. Help Love means giving practical help. If you’re a mother, I’m sure there are days when you wake up feeling blue and you don’t want to enter the kitchen. But fifteen minutes later, where are you? Cooking in the kitchen, because some little people will get hungry. You don’t feel like doing it. But you do it anyway. That’s love. If you’re a husband, I’m sure there are days when you go home tired from work. But you see your kids. And even if all you want to do is lie down on the couch, you decide to play with them. You don’t feel like doing it. But you do it anyway. That’s love.

2. Prayer Love means praying for your loved ones. Perhaps your father was a horrible man. And you hate him. But you decide to pray for him. Sooner or later, God will answer your prayer. God will change him, but He’ll change you first. Your father gets blessed, but you get blessed too. Ultimately, you become a more loving person. You pray whether you feel like it or not. That’s love.

3. Presence

7. Boundaries

Love means spending time together.

Love means respecting the boundaries of the other.

Not just being physically together, but also being emotionally together. That could mean a couple taking a walk. There’ll be times when you won’t feel like bonding together. But you do it anyway. That’s love.

4. Touch Love means physical affection. People aren’t machines. They need to be touched. Holding hands, pats on the back, shoulder rubs, hugs, and kisses nourish and heal people more than you can possibly imagine. Again, there’ll be days when you don’t want to kiss or hold hands or hug. But you do it anyway. That’s love.

5. Words Love means verbal or written expressions. When was the last time you told your husband, “Thank you for working so hard for our family”? When was the last time you told your wife, “Thank you for being a great mother to our kids”? You might argue with me and say, “Bo, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. When I say it, I must feel it.” Here’s my question: Are you just your emotions? Or are you much more than your emotions? Are you also your spirit, your soul, your mind, your imagination, your will?

6. Gifts Love means giving tokens—or symbols of love. To you, your gift may mean nothing. But to another person, a small, inexpensive gift from you could mean the world.

Love means giving space to the other and letting the other person grow on her own. Love also means letting the other face her own responsibilities. I like it when my wife goes out with her girlfriends each week. I like it when she takes up other interests. I like it when she grows and flourishes as an individual.

Love Is Service I dedicate my last story to all those living away from their loved ones today— Overseas Filipino and migrants. Many years ago, I met Alice, a Filipina teacher in Brunei. She was my host and took care of me while I was there. When I woke up early one morning, I noticed that she was on the phone. But she wasn’t speaking. She explained that it was her beautiful ritual of love to her husband. Years ago, her husband suffered a stroke and he became paralyzed. So she went to Brunei to work for the family. And what was this ritual of love? Alice would wake up at 4 in the morning to call her husband. (This was before the days of cell phones and text messages.) But because they could not afford long distance calls, they agreed that the husband was not to answer the phone. Instead, the husband would allow the phone to ring. And ring. And ring. He would allow the love of Alice, symbolized by the ringing, to fill their house and to fill his heart. For eight years straight, Alice did this beautiful ritual without fail. Until he finally passed away. That’s what love is.



Caring or controlling? By Nephele Kirong


Black pumps. Little black dress. Brightcolored lips. It’s a Friday night and you’re dressed to the nines for a much needed girl’s night out. Before stepping out of the house to meet your old high school barkada, the boyfriend drops by. He looks at you from head toe, and then, his brows furrow. “Where are you going?” “Out. I’m meeting my friends! I haven’t seen them for a long-time,” you reply enthusiastically. “And you need to wear that when meeting with friends? Change into something longer, and wear a jacket too. There are a lot of perverts out there, and I won’t be there to protect you.” You swoon at his show of concern. By the time you’re with friends, he is all you can talk about. And then, that one simple comment comes up, “He has a say on what you’re going to wear?” Defending the boyfriend is expected, but then the thought will haunt you. “Is he caring or controlling?” The question isn’t rare. A lot of women are asking themselves this same question and it doesn’t really just involve dictates


on clothing. Just googling the question will result to lots of forum threads and quizzes to check if he really is caring or just controlling.

Clothing to control? Based on a quick scan of what is trending online, clothing appears to be one the most frequent, if not the first issue, to be related to care and control. Desktop publisher Shirley Gil, 30, witnessed her friend suffer through a toxic sevenyear relationship. Calling the ex-boyfriend “OA,” she shares that the guy went to the extremes dictating what her friend should wear, expecting her to dress like a “manang.” “Maraming lalaki gusto looking good ang girlfriend. [Yung] shorts at sleeveless okay lang sana iyon, maarte lang talaga siya,” [There are guys who want their girlfriends to look good. Shorts and sleeveless shirts are okay, but he was just too much.”] she quips. Shirley even adds that the guy went beyond the clothes to the point that he was monitoring her friend. In an article in Psych Central, University of Massachusetts Amherst psychology professor and marriage therapist Marie Hartwell-Walker says one of her seven

warning signs of a controlling guy is that he limits a woman’s ability to do things independently. Being a guy’s everything may sound great, but she says, “When a guy



Why does he do that?

When it comes to her girl’s clothes, 23-year-old cook Kelvin Padaca has a rule of thumb. “If her mom is comfortable on what she’s wearing, it’s fine with me.”

Macey admits that her boyfriend does not want her to be friendly with other guys, especially sharing her problems with them. Her boyfriend explained to her that men have the tendency to think that when a girl shares a problem with another guy, she’s interested in him and flirting with him.

[You and] him against the world Like most women, former newspaper editor Macey Salabit, 23, has an opinion about this. For her, caring means her boyfriend suggests opinions but in the end, will still her support her decision. It evolves to control when he starts telling her what she can and cannot to do. Macey shares that her boyfriend brings and picks her up from work. She calls that caring. “Pero kung halimbawa na meron akong lakad with my officemates and he won’t let me just because he thinks they are a bad company, that is controlling.” Shirley shares the same sentiment on the bit about friends. She jokingly refers to the ex-boyfriend as “sagabal” as her friend had to resort to lying so her boyfriend could allow her to go out with her friends. It’s even worse when the truth is revealed, she says, “They would fight and it would be like the end of the world lagi pero magbabati rin.” Next to clothing, this is the second most common issue cited by women when they ask for advice regarding care and control. For Marie, the moment a girl finds herself losing contact with her loved ones and activities she used to enjoy, is definitely a warning sign. THE GUY TAKE: Kelvin shares that he had a friend, who although didn’t stop his girlfriend from going out, was always “conveniently around the area.” needs to be attached to you at the hip and you can’t do anything without his say-so, it’s a big red flag.”

Kelvin admits that the male ego comes into in play and some guys really just have a controlling nature, which may be brought about by their upbringing. They want everything, including relationships, to be under control. His advice as a guy is it’s better for girls to just end the relationship as guys who are naturally controlling are harder to understand and reason with. Moreover, psychologist Marie notes that controlling guys never believe they are at fault. Instead, they turn around the situation and make it look like the girl is at fault.

From good to bad to worst Among other things in Marie’s list, warning signs include a guy who has a different set of rules for himself, one who isn’t interested in getting to know your life and money that is always spent on life together. But more than that, she says such relationships can become abusive. Whether you call it insecurity or trust issues, controlling guys may end up hurting girls not just emotionally but physically. “If the guy is controlling because he doesn’t trust you, he may lose it when he is suspicious,” she says. Marie says if a relationship is more about control than mutual respect, support and care, do something about it by either working it out or leaving him. “Do what you need to do to extricate yourself safely. Hold out for the kind of love you deserve,” she advises.



When love fades, breaking up should not make you break down. In this issue, Atty. BarneY ALMAZAR will give us available legal options to have a healthy split up and learn the right things about love.


LAW The rest of the world, except the Philippines and the Vatican City, has divorce laws. Article 1 of the Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman. It is an unbreakable contract. Article 68 of the same code obliges the husband and wife to love each other. The law imposes the duty to love your spouse. But can you really dictate your heart? When you have tried your best to save the marriage but can’t, should you live a miserable life because you made the mistake of entering into an irreconcilable marriage? Should you stay together and show your children the wrong things about love? Family laws in the Philippines and in the United Arab Emirates provide for remedies so that breaking up should not make couples break down. For non-Muslim OFW in the UAE, what are your options if you want to remarry? This article will discuss the available remedies and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Annulment The Family Code of the Philippines provides limited grounds for filing a petition for annulment. The most common ground to render a marriage void is Article 36— psychological incapacity. Thus, if either party cannot comply with the essential marital obligations (to live together, observe mutual love, respect, fidelity, and render mutual help and support), the marriage can be declared void ab initio. • Annulment is recognized in the Philippines and anywhere in the world. When you remarry, it will be valid anywhere. • The effect of annulment is as if your marriage never existed. Declaring it void ab initio means the marriage is null and void from the very beginning. • Annulment is suggested if you have properties in the Philippines or planning to go back to the Philippines and marry a Filipino. • Annulment can only be filed in the Philippines even if you were married abroad.

• The annulment process takes a longer time to conclude. • The parties cannot mutually consent to an annulment. If the court is convinced that collusion exists, it shall dismiss the petition. • Annulment costs more as you will need to pay for the psychological evaluation and other incidentals (air fare going to the Philippines, among others.) The annulment process starts with the filing of the petition with the Family Court of the province or city where the either spouse has been residing for the last 6 months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a nonresident, where he or she may be found in the Philippines. The court will notify the other party to give his or her side. If the public prosecutor determines that there is no collusion between the parties, the case will be set for pre-trial so parties can agree on the facts surrounding the case. During this process, the parties will submit evidence for the evaluation of the court. If the court finds the petition meritorious, it will issue the decree of annulment after certain formalities with the Civil Registry and Register of Deeds (if there are properties involved) have been complied by the parties.

Divorce Filipinos are governed by Philippine laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity, even though living abroad. A divorce decree secured by a Filipino from a foreign court will not be recognized in the Philippines but will have legal and binding effect in jurisdictions where divorce is recognized. • Divorce is filed before the courts having jurisdiction over your residence. Thus, if you are a Dubai resident, the case will be filed before the Dubai courts. You need not go to the Philippines. • You and your partner can agree to request the court for a divorce. This will in fact make the process a lot easier. This is applicable even if your partner is outside UAE. • The decree of divorce can be issued by the court in about 3 months.

foreign national, have no properties in the Philippines, retiring abroad or acquiring another citizenship. • Divorce is not recognized in the Philippines; you will still be considered married to your previous partner as far as the Philippines is concerned. • Divorce is not advisable if you plan to live with your new partner in the Philippines. The process of divorce in Dubai starts with the registration with the court’s Moral & Family Guidance section. A marriage counselor will mediate between the husband and wife for a possible reconciliation. If saving the marriage is unlikely, the case will be endorsed to the courts. If the other party is outside the UAE, the court will order that a notice be sent to him or her by courier. If the judge is convinced that sufficient reasons exist to grant the divorce, a divorce decree will be issued. Note: The legal process covering Article 36 above is called “declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages.” The legal term annulment refers to the annulment of voidable marriages provided for in Article 45 of the Family Code of the Philippines. In general context, both are loosely referred to as annulment. The Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines grants divorce to marriages between Filipino Muslims solemnized in accordance with Muslim laws.

Other considerations Ending your marriage does not only involve you and your partner. You also need to consider your children’s custody and support as well as the settlement of your conjugal assets and joint financial obligations. You need to be physically, financially and emotionally prepared. Socially, especially for Filipinos, ending a relationship is associated with failure. The reality is that ending a relationship is simply moving on to the next chapter of your life. Relationships are meant for us to experience its joyful moments and learn from its challenges. We only have limited time in our lives and we should live it with those who matter the most.

• Divorce is suggested if you are marrying outside the Philippines, marrying a



Pag– Ibig sa TinubuangBayan (Love for Country) By Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa


omeone once said: “ repititio mater studiurom“ which means repetition is the mother of learning.

What I will write about is a topic that I keep repeating to us Filipinos, to myself, my loved ones and anyone that I met along the way of my life as a proud ‘Taas Noo Filipino’. It is the month of love. I will share a bit about subject that does not concern just human love but a passion that is near the divine. Let me start with a poem by Gat Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan. He says: “ Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya Sa pagka-dalisay at pagkadakila Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa? Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala. For him, there is no greater or purer love than that of love of one’s country. In my early writings here in Illustrado, I shared words of wisdom by the late Vice President and Foreign Secretary Doy Laurel: nationalism is one of the keys to a nation’s success. At the time, he was talking


to us in Chicago where I was assigned as a young Vice Consul starting my diplomatic career. As the end of assignment here as the first lady Philippine Ambassador draws near (I leave on or before 24 October 2015) I wish to reiterate his message to us. Love our country, the Philippines, with passion and pride. Let us remember things to be proud of even before the Spaniards re-discovered us. As mentioned by Tita Mila Aguilar in her “Birthing Lupang Hinirang “ presentation, we always had a sense of God (Bathala). Secondly, we were always rich- in natural, human and cultural wealth. Thirdly, we were always a democracy of three in the barangays: a matapang (courageous), matalino (intelligent) and matino (with integrity) datu (political leader); a panday (or environmental engineer) and a babaylan (the oral historian or priestess). Fourthly, we always had gender balance. Last year, we jumped from eighth place to fifth in closing the gender gap as determined by the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2013 . Lastly, we never had to conquer anyone because we are so blessed with natural resources. Supposedly, of the 300 volcanoes

in the world, we have 100, which means we have a third of the world’s supply of gold and other rich natural resources. The volcanic soil produces the world-class abaca or Manila hemp of which we are the world’s main source- 85 % to 90 %. Another natural blessing from the volcanic soil is the yummy and nutritious pilinut, again, only commercially available in the Philippines. Our marine resources are also a source of pride and livelihood. All the 95 coral species in the world can be found in our beloved and beautiful country. According to Senator and environmental advocate Loren Legarda, the green corridor near Batangas is the richest bio-diversity spot in the world. All the wealth that I have mentioned has been featured one way or the other by Illustrado. It will be continued, I know. The dreamers and lovers of the Philippines that comprise the management of this trendsetting magazine know that love of country stems from an in-depth knowledge of it. Just like human love, knowledge of each other strengthens it. Knowledge of country, likewise, deepens our affection and pride for our beloved Lupang Hinirang. A passionate Valentine’s greetings to all of us.


Started in 1982, the Cruz Family’s bag manufacturing business made an early success after it “bagged” contracts one after another to supply leather bags to some of the country’s leading shopping malls. A few years later, it was able to capture international buyers; this paved the way for the business to diversify to export business. The business soared for the next two decades until it was hit by two unfortunate incidents that spelled the demise of the family business. In 2006, an unidentified man in the parking lot of a supermarket shot Ding Cruz, the family’s patriarch. That same year, their export business took a plunge as orders dwindled with the exodus of buyers to other markets outside the Philippines. “These left a big trauma in our family, as well as the company. My Mom contemplated closing down the company,” says daughter, Lally Dizon.



“Success is in the Bag” BY BERNADETtE REYES

On her own Being on her own was not easy. She encountered conflicts with her family during the transition and the trauma left by the demise of her father lingered. “There were actually times when I would get disheartened when our family business was having all these problems. But we kept afloat, we tried our very best not to give up. I’m glad that in spite of the many conflicts I encountered with my family due to this change, they are still able to accept and support me in my endeavors.” Using exotic materials such as crocodile skin, python and other exotic snake, Lally made her own line of bags and accessories. “I was a bit worried at first that the local market might not be that open to high-priced items that are not made by foreign luxury brands. But still, I made that leap.”

Getting known She brought her first batch of crocodile skin bags to a trade fair by Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The trade show featured the best of Filipino design and artisanship. Lally was handpicked by famous designer Josie Natori to be part of the show. “I had my own booth together with some of the best designers of the Philippines where I launched my first line of crocodile bags and accessories. From then on, I have been focusing on this product line of exotic skin. I also began designing belts and fashion accessories as well to complement the bags.”

Some of her clients include Concert Queen Pops Fernandez, socialite Salome Uy and Linda Ley and Jewelry Designer Malou Romero. “I think they like my products because they are unique, vibrant and well-designed. My bags are also adorned with my signature accent piece, created to give more distinction to my products,” says Lally. She created her own Lally Dizon website, upgraded her packaging and created her own logo and led the marketing direction of the business. Changes that she says made her business soar.

Bagging It Getting to where she is was not an easy but the tough times allowed her to learn valuable lessons that motivated her to move up. “All businesses have its ups and downs. Do not give up easily. A well-organized plan is definitely a good start. Be creative and innovative with your ideas, just keep on being dynamic. Follow your dreams. Make a business out of something you love and success will follow you.” However successful she may be now, Lally retains the same passion she had when she first started and is still excited at the prospect of creating more fresh designs for her line. Lally is just as excited to expand her market offshore, but should she make it big overseas, she said she will always carry with her a proudly Pinoy brand. “I am proud to say that the design and craftsmanship of my products are very Filipino, proudly Philippine-made and with a vision that speaks of Pinoy pride.”



My Leadership Career, Years Look Back and Fro


ENGR. Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi

t has been 22 years since I started working in the United Arab Emirates. My career and life story are intertwined with my goals, principles, values, failures and success.

My Quest With the leadership and management skills I have acquired over the last 22 years in the quality control and analytical laboratory services industry, I am confident enough to run every aspect of the business. Having the right attitude, making emotional connections, solid management practices and employing logical thinking made me an effective female leader, breaking through the glass ceiling. As CEO, I must exhibit two important qualities over everything else: management and leadership. I create core processes, plan strategies, develop a performance management system, organize and plan. I consider this “management.” As a leader, I create a compelling purpose: tell a story about the aspirations and vision of the company, and articulate clear values and behaviors for the organization. Essential to my role is motivating and engaging employees, giving them direction and managing change.

My Journey A chemical engineering graduate from Manila, I left my country for greener pastures to help my family. My first job was as a quality control inspector in a textile factory in Dubai in 1992. I joined Geoscience Testing Laboratory in 1998 as a quality assurance officer, and that same year I was promoted to the general manager position, before becoming CEO in 2003.


The chairman noticed my management and leadership skills when I started growing the organization. Accredited tests increased from nine to over a hundred today, the manpower from 8 to 450, one branch to four, and from a congested laboratory size of 1200 sq. feet in Rashidiya to a sprawling 140,000 sq. feet in Dubai Industrial City. Just like passing through a labyrinth, I have surpassed a lot of challenges in my climb up the corporate ladder. Advancing my career through learning and investing on my education has helped me create opportunities for my employees, and instill confidence to lead the business. Every person who knows of my success is amazed at how I got through with it. It is my passion, and that passion powers my purpose; it has given me direction to reach the stage where I am now.

My Values I am a creative and visionary leader who understands what is working and missing in the organization. My vision is founded on my strong leadership qualities. Achievement and value creation in the organization will not sustain if one is without the other. It is my duty to build a culture. Work gets done through people, and people are profoundly affected by culture. A lousy place to work can drive away high performers and a great place to work can attract and retain the very best. Culture is built in dozens of ways, and I set the tone. My every action sets cultural messages. From the clothes I wear, whom I talk to, whom I fire, whom I reward profoundly shape the culture of our organization. The passion to lead and believing in the growth of the people are vital in my leadership. Sustaining passion takes not

only skill, but courage, inner strength and spirit. Moreover, I motivate and engage people in the thrill of discovering themselves. At the core of my leadership is the core of my persona. I develop my leadership skills as I develop emerging leaders. It involves motivation, introspection, reflection, integrity and courage paired with selfawareness and the ongoing desire to learn. Purpose plays a critical role in maintaining my passion. Understanding the purpose of my passion will ultimately lead to success.

BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT The Dubai Quality Group in 2008, under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, awarded me runner-up for the Emirates Businesswoman Award. The award aims to recognize the role of women in the growth of UAE’s economy. It honors the contribution of those who have excelled in their field and inspire women to achieve their potential. One of my employees nominated me, and when I was preparing documents for submission, I realized, “Wow! I have gotten this far.” This award has opened a lot of opportunities for me to help, to lead and create new leaders, to empower, to grow and do better than before. I am the only Filipina executive who has received the award here in UAE and became known by it. There is no happiness compared to contributions being recognized. Many women especially Filipinos are inspired by my success story. I believe that I brought honor and pride to my country. With this achievement is my advocacy to continue inspiring women to go out from their box and explore opportunities and stretch themeslves and their careers.


TEACHING KIDS ABOUT MONEY by francisco J. colayco


On the side of the kids, we have to teach them early so that they will be aware of money management. We hope they will help their parents on their budgeting of expenses. We hope that their basic personal financial education will help them be better prepared as parents to provide education for their future children.

Our love as parents for our kids is most important. We continuously remind them of that love and one strong indication is that parents go through a lot of sacrifice to give them a good education.


We have “Money for Kids” available in our website and leading bookstores. There are so many things we want to teach our child first like reading, writing, counting, sports, but as Evonne Lack and Sam Renick, authors of “Top 7 Ways to Raise a MoneySmart Kid” share, “Kids are constantly being bombarded with messages to spend money, and we need to counteract that. The earlier kids start developing good money habits, the better.”


She provides us “seven tricks to turn money lessons from a fight into a delight.” Her tricks are really for the American environment but I’d like to translate them to the local Filipino environment.

1. Hand your preschooler a buck. In peso terms, a buck is about P45. For our Filipino preschool kid 3-4year old, I would start with a P20 bill and P10, P5, P1 and 25-centavo coins. Even if your child cannot yet understand the value of each bill or coin, it is making him familiar in the same way that you show letters or numbers to him even if he doesn’t understand it as a start to learning how to read. For parents who use credit cards, it would be a good idea to use cash sometimes to buy things when you have your child with you. Let your kid give the P20 bill or some coins to pay for a purchase or drop some coins into the piggy bank or a charity box. You can also play “pretend store” or “pretend bank.” Be patient and don’t be upset if he does not use the “cash” as you want him to. Remember that it starts that way too when you are teaching the alphabet.

2. Dispose of “disposable thinking. I agree completely with what Evonne Lack says: “From broken toys to outdated TVs, almost everything gets tossed in our culture. By teaching your child the value of things, you set a cornerstone of financial literacy.” Kids can learn that possessions deserve our care. If something does break and your child cavalierly says, “It’s okay, we can just get another one,” take advantage of the teachable moment. Gently explain that replacing it would cost money, and that you’ll need to decide whether spending that money is a good idea. This may lead into an

interesting discussion of all the other things that cost money, such as food, rent, and gas.

Shifting from a “break it, chuck it, replace it” attitude to a “waste not” attitude can help even young children build a foundation for sound money habits.” 3. Encourage delayed gratification. Instant gratification is one of the culprits that I specified in my book Wealth Within Your Reach on why people are not able to save. Don’t immediately give your child what he asks for. Teach him to wait and for special “wants”, suggest that he put it in his birthday or Christmas “wish list. As they grow older and have learned to delay their gratification, you can start teaching them to save for things they want. You can teach them to put aside part of their allowance or do extra chores to have more money and then match or double their savings.

4. Table the taboo. Children are smarter than you think and many experts say that kids benefit when they are part of family discussion on money. With the use of ATM and credit cards, kids could easily assume that money will never run out because you can get it from machines and signatures. When out shopping, explain your thought process: “If I buy this beautiful tablecloth, I won’t be able to pay for gas for the week. Gas is more important than the tablecloth, so I guess I’ll have to skip the tablecloth.” These kinds of comments show that there are times when the best spending decision is not spending.

But keep things cool and casual, and don’t push the point.

5. Be a role model. We all see how many children follow their parent’s footsteps. The same happens with money. As Lack says, “What you do will have a much greater effect on your kids than what you say. If you want your child to learn to save, make sure you’re saving some money yourself – and that your child knows you do it. If you want her to learn the value of generosity, consider: Are you donating to charity or volunteering your time for a cause? Involve your kids in these activities, too.”

6. Let them practice. Learning good money management takes practice. So invest in a little play money (or make some!) for your preschooler so that she can play “store” with you, and consider giving your big kid an allowance. Piggy banks are a good idea, even for kids who don’t have an allowance yet. Even if she doesn’t understand the concept of saving for a goal, she’s practicing saving – and that’s a great start.

7. Skip the lecture – tell a story instead. Give a lecture on responsible spending, and you’ll get a glassy-eyed stare. But tell a story about a boy who must decide between buying lunch and buying a new action figure, and you’ll likely get rapt attention. For parents who take our seminars, they can start the practice of studying and analyzing their personal finances and you personal investments. Check out www.


10 THINGS TO DO Whether you’re into food, cars, music or sports, this month will take you through a number of activities that will make you fall in love further with your obsessions. The city of gold is filled with several options, and all you need to do is read our list, and make sure you’re set for an exciting journey beyond regular home-work-home routine. Enjoy!

JOIN THE DUBAI FOOD CARNIVAL Who doesn’t love eating? Well, we can say we’re not the ones to say no. That’s why this year’s offerings at the Dubai Food Carnival entice us to come and have fun in exploring the culinary delights from various sides of the world. An adventure indeed, this food exhibition will feature a host of entertainment activities such as cook-offs, BBQ challenges, headline music acts, local bands and DJ’s, chef master classes and workshops, street entertainers, sporting challenges, children’s activities and much more. Happening from February 21-22, the Dubai Food Carnival is set to a feast at the Dubai Festival City. Admission fees are AED 50 for individual, and AED 100 for family. For more information, ring 043086324 or 050-9280389.



We’ve seen its previous edition, and boy, we’re impressed. The Emirates Classic Car Festival is a must-see show for the car enthusiasts, mainly, but it is also an awesome break for everyone. With the likes of Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Porsche (to name a few), this car festival is a treat showing off stunning line-up of over 140 classic cars and motorcycles. Not to miss an Instagram moment with these eye candies, guests will have 5 days to visit. From February 27 to March 3, the Emirates Classic Car Festival will definitely be causing traffic along the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai. The admission is free. For more information, phone 043673588.

1 SING ALONG WITH FREESTYLE It’s been a while since they made an album but who wouldn’t remember the beautiful music they made? The six-member Filipino band, Freestyle, has made hits among their covers, and yes, we still sing-along with them each time they play on the radio. Coming to Dubai, the band has two nights to serenade the Filipinos in the emirates from February 28 to March 1. Quite a postValentine’s treat, it’s still worth saving the date for. The concert will be at the Al Nasr Leisureland with tickets ranging from AED 50 (Regular) to AED 75 (VIP) and AED 150 (VVIP). For inquiries, call 056-7841910.



PREP UP FOR DUBAI WORLD CUP Ladies find this event a reason to dress up, but more than the fancy dresses and quirky hats, the Dubai World Cup is a world-class event joined by the best jockeys and horses from around the world. A battle that is awaited from season after season, the Dubai World Cup Carnival features a series of 11 highly competitive race meetings from March 1 to March 29. Happening at the Meydan Grandstand and Racecourse in Nad Al Sheba, this event is a must-do at least once in your lifetime.




Perfect family bonding awaits you at the magical staging of the story on the boy who does not want to grow up. Set to amaze with its state-of-the-art special effects, the show will blend magic and wonder with incredible storytelling, musical and dance performances. Combining the skills of 50 dancers, stuntmen, acrobats, magicians and actors from over 10 countries, this is a show that you cannot afford to miss. Running for nine days, Peter Pan is hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 5-13. For tickets and other information, ring 044534445.


Camera enthusiasts, this is your chance to excel further in your craft! The annual Gulf Photography Plus (GPP) is the region’s biggest and only photography festival bringing the world’s best photographers and instructors to Dubai to share their knowledge and experience with the world’s professional and amateur photography community. Alongside the workshops, there will be many other special events and activities, mostly free of charge. Students of photography fly in from around the world to take part in this event. Happening from March 7-14, GPP 2014 is happening at Conference Centre, Block 1, Dubai Knowledge Village. For more information, call 04-3808545.


CELEBRATE LITERATURE The largest event aimed to passionate aficionados of the written and spoken word is set to bring people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds together. With authors from around the world to promote education, debate and, above all, a love of reading and writing, this muchawaited annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is a celebratory and enjoyable way of tackling literature. The five-day festivity is a wonderful opportunity to attend literary discussions, listen to readings, participate in workshops, and experience the exciting Fringe and children’s events. Happening from March 4-8, the LitFest is free of charge, and is hosted at the Dubai Festival City.



STEP OUT FOR TENNIS FUN The long-running Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is back this year with amazing line-up of tennis players eagerly waiting to hit the balls. On in its 22nd edition, the competition has been iconic, thereby attracting tons to book seats early. With tennis stars like Roger Federer and Venus Williams headlining the players competing, it’s no doubt that you must really buy tickets and see them battle. The tennis championships will run from February 17 to March 1 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. For ticket prices and other information, ring 04-6019222.



Yes, it’s another food festival, but we can’t say we’ve had enough. You will certainly find more time enjoying culinary wonders that satisfy any taste bud however unique, eclectic or selective. The festival involves events such as Gulfood, Taste of Dubai and the Dubai Food Carnival while introducing new events such as the Big Grill and much more. Along-side these amazing culinary events, the Dubai Food Festival will be holding citywide activities that are sure to bring out the foodie in everyone including appearances by world-renowned chefs, industry conferences and delectable offers from restaurants around Dubai. Running from February 21 to March 15, the 23day festival is surely must-attend. For more information, call 04-2821111.



Music lovers will have a wonderful time going for a concert by a legend this month. The Eric Clapton is set to take the center stage, and share his beautiful music to Dubai for the very first time. Renowned for his hits Tears in Heaven and his version of I Shot the Sheriff, the man’s guitar skills are also something to look forward to. Rocking the city for one-night only, the concert is on March 6 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Tickets range at AED 350 (Regular), AED 600 (Front Pit) and AED 1,450 (VIP Lounge). Doors are open from 7pm. For more information, call 04-4390900.



MICHAEL G. VELASCO Michael G. Velasco came to Dubai twenty years ago as a professional photographer with a background in advertising and commercial photography. He is a self-taught photographer whose love affair with photography started when he was a teenager. Now working in photography sales with Grand Stores, Michael is no longer doing photography professionally. But as photography has always been his love, he says he is still “passionately shooting�. He focuses more now on shooting nature and loves exploring with photos taken in black and white. Photography for him is a way of life, an expression, a way of seeing and celebrating life by capturing its reflection onto an image. He believes that beauty is all around us and we just have to open our eyes to see it.



ARNOLD BASAYA Arnold is working at Rashid Hospital/ Physiotherapy Department. He studied at the Far Eastern University and was once a disk jockey at one of the popular bars in Makati. His interest and foray into photography started when he saw some photos of his friends who took photography lessons. He remembers being so amazed that he ended up enrolling too and took basic photography in OPPPS last September 2012. At first, he only took photos as a hobby but when his friends learned and saw his photos they invited him to do their pre-nuptial photos, weddings, birthdays, baptismals, and so on. Now, Arnold has also ventured into photo competitions and exhibits.
















Long Sleeved button-up: BENCH Ring: SILVERWORKS





Suit and Jacket :ANTHONY FRANCO Pants :EZRA Bracelet :IBAY’S








Long Sleeved button-up: BENCH



Suit Jacket: ANTHONY FRANCO Shirt with Leather Collar: ASHTON MICHAEL Bowtie: DIOR VINTAGE Cummerbund: DIOR




FASHION Shirt: BENCH Pants: Comme De Garรงon



Beaded Bodysuit: NICOLAS JEBRAN





Long Sleeved button-up: BENCH





Suit and Jacket: ANTHONY FRANCO Pants: EZRA Bracelet: IBAY’S


FASHION Shirt: BENCH Pants: Comme De Garรงon


FASHION Black Bow Hat: ARTURO RIOS Body Suit (worn under dress): JEBRAN NICOLAS Green Satin Skirt: VINTAGE Shoes: KATHRYN AMBERLEIGH














Splash unveils Spring/ Summer’14 Collection Fashion is all about shifting ideas and changing moods. Each season brings with it the desire to add the most covetable trends to our closets. This SS’14, Splash interprets the fashion world’s hottest trends and launches them with a high street perspective. From aqua inspired

florals to bold geometric patterns and bespoke sports, the Splash collection is an interesting mix of dramatic atmosphere and varied styles. Highlighting the very pulse of high-street fashion, the Splash SS’14 collection picks on key trends and themes like Eden, nostalgia and rational, creed for women. For men, the prevailing moods were nautical play, earthy paradise, sports goth and California surf are

Western Union announces the Grand Winner of Win & Celebrate Promo

OSN and ABSCBN strengthen partnership with more channels

Grand Winner Awarded with 1 Million Dirhams, 961 prizes won throughout the 31day campaign

TFC subscribers to join the OSN family; OSN records 40% growth in Pinoy sales since April 2013

The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, announced the Mega Grand Winner of its Win & Celebrate promotion held in the month of December. The winner, Shafiq Uddin Ahmed Saleh Ahmed from Bangladesh, was announced at a well-attended prize distribution ceremony held at The Address, Down Town. As part of this initiative, 31 Front Line Agents who supported the campaign, were also rewarded with return tickets to their respective home country.

OSN, the region’s leading pay-TV network, is kicking off the New Year with the launch of two new ABS-CBN channels, bringing the world’s best Filipino entertainment and news content to viewers across the region.

The campaign which ran for 31 days in December with 31 daily winners, had a total of 961 winners. Anybody who used Western Union during the month qualified and automatically entered the draw. Daily prizes ranged from AED 250 to AED 10,000 with a grand prize of 1 million dirhams.

The strengthened partnership with ABSCBN, which marks its 60th anniversary in 2014, also formalizes OSN as the new TFC hub for subscribers in the region. The growing partnership highlights the efforts of both OSN and ABS-CBN to provide Filipino viewers with the ultimate television experience backed by OSN’s award-winning customer service, state-ofthe-art technology and the widest choice of premium Filipino and Western content. David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, said: “Since the launch of the four ABS-CBN channels on the OSN platform

key for men. Rush to your nearest Splash store to shop for an array of options along with some loved pieces from the SS’14 collection. To stay connected with Splash visit, www., www.facebook. com/splashfashions, splashfashions, splashfashion.

in April last year, we have recorded nearly 40 per cent growth in our Pinoy sales demonstrating the immense popularity of these channels. Now, as the new home of TFC in the region and the network with the largest Filipino entertainment offering, OSN offers subscribers even more value through this partnership.” ABS-CBN’s Managing Director for Middle East and Europe, Edgardo Garcia added: “With this new exclusive partnership, we appreciate OSN’s acknowledgement of ABS-CBN TFC as the leader in Filipino programming. We will continue to expand on the extraordinary growth in sales since April 2013 that generated encouraging sales and enthusiastic customer response. ABSCBN has found a committed partner in OSN to assist in our aim to pursuing our serve the Filipino community better, so expect us to be even more actively present in Filipino events and activities next year.” OSN currently offers a choice of three Pinoy packages with more than 50 channels to choose from including six ABS-CBN channels. To subscribe to the latest and largest selection of Filipino entertainment, please visit



We’ve scoured the internet for some of the most stylish Filipinos near and far and here’s what we’ve found!

Visual artist Aya N. based in the Philippines knows how to make the most of her svelte figure with body con pieces and killer platforms.

Jay Carpio and Paul Aggarao take advantage of the cool Dubai winter to show off their hot leather jackets.



The pretty Pe単alosa sisters of Dubai - Criz and Nina shows us their individual take on the classic LBD, as well as leather 2-ways. Follow them at



Gunma, Japanbased Filipino fashion blogger Kiko Cagayat’s style is bravely whimsical and experimental. Mickey Mouse and BritMilitary never looked so good on one guy!



Did anybody say ‘kewlness’? Here’s UAE-based musician Kevin Espinosa Murphy doing both preppy and edgy effortlessly.

Abaya fab? A woman of substance and style, Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi shows us how to don this classic piece of clothing with panache. Photo courtesy by: Walli Trinidad Bautista


Obet Antonio is all about the Palladium boots in this look.


Never a ‘boring suit day’ for the dapper Paul Ramos. This chic fashionista knows exactly how to ‘oomph up’ his basics taking it to the next level. Follow him at

Young stylist, entrepreneur and occasional model, Lou Yao from Manila is quite the fashion chameleon with two totally different looks – edgy in a contemporary “macopa” dress from designer Aan Pineda, and absolutely sweet and relaxed in a print on print ensemble.



Fountain of the Crimson ILLUSTRADO 84


Hand-sewn serpentina gown with cut-out details by James Langi



See thru full skirt gown by Vince Sityar



Beaded gown with black waistband by Eric De los Santos



Textured gown by Vince Sityar



Red ensemble (coat, top, skirt, tulle overlay) by Jian Lasala



Nature Road If you’re in Manila and looking for a place to go to just to get away for a day or a few hours, look no farther than the town of Laguna. Travel blogger Kara Santos takes on a food and adventure trip just 1.5 hours away from the city.



Trip to Laguna TEXT AND photos by Nikka Sarthou-Lainez


While living in an urban jungle like Metro Manila can be stressful, it’s good to know that relaxation is just a road trip away. The areas of Laguna, Quezon and Batangas are relatively near Manila, making them ideal for quick day or weekend getaways. These provinces heading South of Luzon are well-known for having unique establishments that blend art, culture and nature. One good option is to pick any spot along the Viaje del Sol route. Viaje del Sol (or “the way of the sun”) is a map that lists down various establishments that aim to promote the beauty and nature of the Philippines. Included in the route are quirky bed & breakfast places, charming restaurants, resorts, museums, farms, art galleries and delightful cafes. All of these places, which are run by a collegial alliance of entrepreneurs, highlight excellent Filipino hospitality, cuisine, crafts, visual and performing arts, traditions and rituals that celebrate Filipino culture.

One place on the route is Cafe Lago, a garden restaurant situated beside a scenic lake in the city of San Pablo. Roughly 1.5-2 hours drive away from Manila, this restaurant is a good destination for heavy brunch or lunch for weekend road trips. The restaurant is open on weekends from 7am-10pm and weekdays from 10am-9pm. Cafe Lago is owned by environmentalist and San Pablo local Mandy Marino, who transformed his childhood home into the charming garden restaurant. The restaurant is located along the shores of Sampaloc Lake, the largest of San Pablo’s Seven Lakes, with a view of Mt. Cristobal on the horizon. Guests can enjoy meals under a shroud of vines and lovely hanging lanterns in the courtyard surrounded by trees and lush foliage. A few wooden lounge chairs with colorful pillows and hammocks make you want to take a nap on the premises. For a more scenic view, the staff can even bring the tables out for a lakeside lunch or snack.



Cafe Lago serves a variety of homecooked Filipino favorites. Dishes are reasonably priced at P150-200 per dish and the servings are generous. Expect to spend about P500 or more for 2 people depending on the number of dishes you order. Start your meal with the refreshing Ensaladang Pako, a fiddlehead fern salad topped with fresh tomatoes, onions and salted eggs drizzled with vinegar. Another specialty is the Binagoongan dish simmered in shrimp paste. Other bestsellers include Buttered Chicken (a crispy fried chicken covered with sweet and savory sauce), Cream Dory in Oyster Sauce, and Kalderetang Baka. Cafe Lago also serves fresh drinks and desserts like hot chocolate, Suman sa Lihia with Coco Jam and they sell sampaloc products as souvenirs.


River rafting If you want to spend a quiet, serene afternoon, head to Lake Pandin for some river rafting. From Cafe Lago, the lake is another 1520 minute drive to the jump-off point where you start your hike. The hike is an easy 10-15 minute walk along a winding footpath to get to the lake. At the shore of Lake Pandin are rows of floating huts aboard makeshift bamboo rafts, managed by local women and fishermen’s wives living in the area. True to his environmentalist nature, Mandy organized the Lake Pandin tour as part of preservation efforts for the locals to earn extra income. Each raft can accommodate up to 20 people. The locals offer rides on the bamboo raft (P180/pax) for guests, who

TRIPPIN’ can also opt to have their lunch aboard the raft. The women prepare simple yet heartwarming and tummy-filling meals like shrimps cooked in coconut milk, grilled tilapia, fern salad and bananas for guests to enjoy (raft tour + lunch costs P360). If you’ve already eaten, you can just enjoy a drink of fresh buko juice during the ride. Lake Pandin is said to be the most pristine of San Pablo City’s seven lakes. The water here is 70-150 feet deep but you can really see how clean it is. The locals make sure to keep it that way since the rafting tours have given them a source of additional income from tourism. Life vests are provided and some guests opt to swim in the lake. Even if you don’t come prepared with swimming gear, you can still enjoy a leisurely and relaxing ride around the lake. Binagoongan

The raft is managed by two oarswomen, who do the paddling and another guide who serves as a lifeguard. When it’s too windy, the women navigate the raft by pulling on a system of ropes that criss-cross the lake. The rafts dock at the far end of the lake, where guests are allowed to swim. There’s a large tree where some visitors like to hang from and jump into the water for a refreshing splash.

Twin crater lakes Pandin and Yambo are twin crater lakes separated by a narrow strip of land. Legend has it that these two lakes are named after two lovers, a beautiful woman named Pandin, who was cursed not to step on the earth, and her lover Yambo, who was not aware of the curse. When he made her step on the earth, a heavy downpour converted the area into twin lakes separated from each other.

Ensaladang Pako

Visitors can take a quick hike up through a steep foot patch to get a glimpse of Yambo Lake, where rafting tours are also offered. However, the hike going to the rafting area takes much longer, which makes Pandin Lake more popular with visitors. Another point of interest on Lake Pandin is a small grotto that stands above a mountain spring, which is the source of drinking water of the village. There are actually seven crater lakes scattered around the city of San Pablo. Guests who have more time to spare can even do a tour of all seven crater lakes including Lake Bunot, Lake Calibato, Lake Palakpakin and Lake Mohicap aside from Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo. Laguna’s Historic Churches are worth a visit as well.

Café Lago. Dagatan Boulevard, San Pablo City 4000.

All in all, a visit to Cafe Lago and rafting in Lake Pandin is a pretty relaxing road trip that will let you commune with nature and enjoy the slow-paced provincial life. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly place to take the family or if you want to tour balikbayan guests looking for something simple relatively near Manila, this is a good option.



Olympia, Washington Collage. Photo by :Patrick @ Wikipedia.



My Pinoy Planet In:

Olympia, Washington USA LEAH UY-WONG

I moved to Washington in 2011 after I finished my medical residency from JFK Medical Center in New Jersey. I was offered a position to be a part of Providence Medical Group, an established reputable medical practice in Southwest Washington. During that time, my husband (who is also a physician) was still finishing his residency so I came here first with my then 2-year old daughter

Leah Uy-Wong and family

Olympia is the capital of the state of Washington. It has a wide array of public parks and nature conservation areas. It is also a regional center for fine arts.

I moved to Washington in 2011 after I finished my medical residency from JFK Medical Center in New Jersey. I was offered a position to be a part of Providence Medical Group, an established reputable medical practice in Southwest Washington. During that time, my husband (who is also a physician) was still finishing his residency so I came here first with my then 2-year old daughter.

There are various Filipino Communities in Washington state, but I am not primarily sure about Olympia. They are usually based in the Seattle area, which is an hour away from the state capital. We have a small group of Filipino physicians here that meet once in awhile. We spend major holidays together, host dinner or just simply make it a point to see each other periodically. I can definitely say that in the medical field, people here have high regard for Filipinos. We are known for our dedication, commitment and compassion in medical care.



Capitol Theater, headquarters of the Olympia Film Society. Downtown Olympia, Washington. Photo by Joe Mabel @Wikipedia.

Olympia, WA from Tumwater Hill. Photo by: Sundodger at en.wikipedia

A Different Life and Lifestyle My life here is a far cry from the lifestyle that I was used to in the Philippines. Here, there is no household help and that alone is a huge difference, especially as a full time physician and a mother of two. Our daughter is now 4-years old and we have an 11-month old). I have to admit that it’s very difficult since my husband is equally busy. At the same time, it’s very fulfilling to manage everything all on our own. For us, a “no call” weekend is a luxury. Just spending quality time with our kids by going to a museum, park or enjoying


a festive dinner is a big deal. We learn to appreciate the simple joys that truly matter. I like it here because we have the best of nature and enjoy the laid back lifestyle. If we want to feel the city rush again, we are just an hour away from Seattle. For most part, it’s cold, rainy and somewhat gloomy here, so I am not exactly thrilled about that but somehow learned to embrace it.

Let our light shine If there’s one thing I really learned, it’s the value of time. Especially in my job, every

second counts. We still definitely observe Filipino customs like high regard for the elders, close family ties. My husband and I grew up with a relatively conservative upbringing and I will try to pass on similar values to our kids though I know it will be very challenging. Greetings to all the Filipinos around the world! Our upbringing in the Philippines made us the person that we are and no matter where we are we will always be Filipino by heart. Let our light shine!

PINOY PLANET Photo by: AMP / Sundodger at en.wikipedia

Above: Leah enjoying the weather with her baby. Right: With her friends at the Providence Medical Group



LOVE BEYOND BORDERS By Rian Miranda – Riyadh

“Will you join me in Bahamas?” David asked me two months prior to his scheduled company convention in the Commonwealth country. I knew I was due for an annual vacation but I could not leave work on such short notice. But I missed my love and I wanted an actual date with him. With land and sea between us, being in a long distance relationship is not the most convenient for any couple who mean the world to each other, especially since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So with slight hesitation, I applied for the Bahamian visa and prayed for the best.

First Things First You can apply online through the UK Border Agency’s site and follow their clear instructions. Airline ticket costs between S1,600 - 2,000. Passing through London via air transit is easy for Filipino passport holders since Philippines is among the countries that can benefit from the transit without a visa (TWOV) concession.

Define Love

Arriving in the Islands Twenty minutes before landing, I excitedly looked out the window to see the rumored beautiful city but I didn’t see anything but bodies of water. I was delighted to be greeted by some locals performing a reggae song. After seeing my loving partner at the customs area, we were safely dropped off at The Atlantis hotel, in Paradise Island. I felt an overwhelming bliss as I took in all that was before me.

Bahamian Experience David indulged me in a two-hour complete body pampering at the resort’s spa before we explored the exquisite island. We walked through man-made caves and waterfalls and saw medium-sized sharks and sting rays swimming freely across the artificial pools and beaches inside the resort. However, we were unable to enjoy the beach much because of the cold winter breeze. All in all, it was a very wonderful experience despite the cold season. Everything else came in second since being together is our primary goal. I believe our deep commitment and individual respect to each other are what keeps the fire between us burning despite the lack of proximity. These may be easy guidelines, but they lay the foundation for a healthy and longstanding relationship; and of course, prayers…lots of it.

finally getting a good grasp of this thing, of what this so-called madness is all about.

By Kristine Abante-Dubai, UAE

So it’s February again, the month of Love, the month couples anticipate and singles usually hate. Normally, I would let this day go by like any other day, except that this time I feel the urge to discuss it. Love. I have spent most of my younger days pining for it, and most of my adult life trying to understand it. Being single and in my 30s, things do seem a lot clearer now, and I am


After millions of pop songs, chapters and volumes of books, short stories, poems, movies, TV series, and countless hours spent with friends gushing over, getting over guy after guy, I think I am finally getting it. It’s not about chocolates, Shakespeare sonnets, or silly love songs. I don’t believe that Cupid or his arrow has much to do with it. It’s not about movie dates, or liking the same bands, or obsessing over the same

Credits: OTG – the official sponsor of the OTG Management Annual Convention. Visit their website at: to know more about how they’ve transformed the airport dining experience for travellers.

hobbies. It’s not about wedding gowns, or romantic getaways. It’s not even about marriage proposals or destiny, although a lot of people will probably disagree with me for this. What I believe is this: love is a choice. A choice you make everyday, a choice that keeps defining your relationship with another person who is important to you. And by important, I mean the one you’ve chosen to give that VIP backstage pass to your life to. The person you can be yourself with, no matter how difficult you or he/she

ON THE PROWL, IN THE KNOW can become. The one you would not think twice about growing old with. After a certain age, you realize that it’s not just a matter of being there for someone anymore, but being there when it matters. Being there when it is difficult. Being there despite of or inspite of. And being there, even when you can’t actually “be there”. After a certain age, you realize that love is not stupid or blind, that it is in fact the smartest thing, the missing piece, the answer to the big riddle. It is not complicated or mysterious, because if it is, then it isn’t love just yet. Love is simple. Love is clearcut. It tells you where you should be and where you want to be in the next 10, 20, 30 years or even the next 3minutes.

It is believing that someone waits with open arms at the end of the road, the airport at 3am, or at the dinner table at home. It is the embrace of forgiveness. It is the Lighthouse. Life is tough, relationships are hard but love, when it’s real, it comes easy and it saves. So if you ever find yourself struggling, choking, drowning in it with no one to save you, then maybe its time to reconsider your options. It doesn’t matter how brief or how long the affair is, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve got invested in, if it isn’t saving you, or at least making an effort to, then maybe its not worth saving, and maybe its time to move on and Love yourself a little a bit more. Remember that the choice is always yours to make. Follow Kristine @ http://band-aid-blues.

Love is hope. Love is faith. Love is kindness. It is having something or someone to hold on to when the road gets dark and slippery.

about my top 3 hair masks that I have tried and work wonders. It’s inexpensive, too.

By Tracy Ley – Dubai, UAE

Avocado, egg and lemon hair mask You will need one avocado, one egg and half a lemon (squeezed). You will have to mix all three together until it creates a paste texture. Apply the mixture on your damp hair (and use wide tooth comb or your fingers), put on a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes. You will need to rinse it with cold water and then shampoo and condition after.

Hair that turns heads? Yes please! Having gorgeous and shiny locks that are to die for, who doesn’t want that? As a woman, I know we constantly search for a hair product that can give nourishment and the extra care that our hair needs. I know that there are hundreds of hair products out in the market and most of the time, they are ridiculously expensive. I know DIY beauty treatment are taking over the world and I want to tell you

Honey, Olive Oil and Apple cider vinegar hair mask Mix two tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. You may want to heat the honey for 15 seconds so that it’ll be easier to apply. Apply it to your dry hair and leave it on for 25 minutes. You can use a wide tooth comb or just your fingers to apply the mixture to your hair, whatever works for

DIY hair treatment!

you, would be the best. After 25 minutes, rinse it off and follow with shampoo and conditioner. Banana, Honey and Yogurt hair mask Mix one mashed banana, 1/4 cup honey and about half a cup of plain yogurt. Mix it all together and apply it to your slightly damp hair for an hour. Rinse it off, shampoo and condition. I know we all have different lengths of hair. So, if you have a longer hair (past your shoulders), I suggest you double the measure of the ingredients for your hair. Don’t expect to have amazing result after one treatment. I experimented with these treatments for about two months before seeing the massive change in my hair. My hair before was so brittle and very damaged, and now it’s so much healthier. / Instagram: mstracyleydxb



Retro Beauty this Valentines

Follow Anna – www.annadeleonmuastylist.; www.annadeleonmakeup. com; IG account: annadeleon1977

By Anna de Leon – Dubai, UAE

My Summer Essentials Kit

Hair care with frizz control helps me put my crowning glory into place. I currently use the latest from Wella, which is very light and doesn’t give me headaches. Plus it is very affordable and you can find it in many supermarkets.

Dubai is currently enjoying the peak of winter weather where residents can flaunt furs, boots, trench coats and leather.

After running around all day long, I make it a routine to wash my face with lukewarm water to remove all excess dirt, including makeup. I am a believer of InstitutEsthederm and I use most of the brand’s skin care products.

Winter is also the best time to prepare for looking your sizzling best in the summer.


By Christina Linaza – Dubai, UAE

It is the fab month of February, my birthday month and the love month! :-) Last year I gave you guys tips and tricks on how you can mimic J Lo’s Glow, Kim K’s brows and Angelina’s smokey eyes. For this year’s Great Date Looks, we look to beauty icons of the past like Bridget Bardot, the original Bombshell and Bianca Jagger, the Queen of Studio 54. The original bombshell, Bridget Bardot’s look is all about that feline flick! To achieve this, you need the sharpest black eye Liner to line all the way to your tearducts and of course for “the flick” at the end. Bridget’s nude pout is legendary! Recreate this by lining just a little over your natural lipline with a nude lip pencil and fill it in with your favorite nude gloss. When you think of Bianca Jagger, you think of cheekbones. Full Stop. To achieve chiseled cheekbones, use a matte, close to a gray-toned contour Powder. Why gray? Shadows are gray and never warm toned like most bronzers. Make sure to blend. Apply your blush from the apples of your cheeks to your hairline and follow it up with your highlighter. To finish off this look, wear the brightest lip color possible!


While everybody is getting busy with their own agenda, here are some of my personal choices in greeting the sunny humid weather: my summer essentials kit. I use sunblock everyday especially when I go outdoors, but we tend to forget to protect the eyes and the lips. The multi-protection for eyes and lips from Lancaster is very handy, you can easily slip it in your purse or handbag. As for the makeup, I don’t wear much but I carry with me lipstick, lip gloss and mascara all the time for touchups. Of course, it is a must to smell fresh in hot or cold weather. I usually prefer eau de toilette or eau de cologne. It is delightfully refreshing in hot weather. It doesn’t last long though so remember to constantly spray on at various times to smell fresh all day long. The next crucial thing that I need to pay attention is the hair. I don’t like my natural-wavy hair so I fix it with re-bonding which I insist on doing once-a-year. My last treatment was last March, so right now I am on the verge of insanity as I struggle with curls and frizz.

Cristina at



Lessons in Love 101 By ABY YAP

In grade school, we learned that love, aside from being blind, was also like a rosary full of mysteries courtesy of our classmates’ “highly classified” slum books. It was a rollercoaster ride through moments of joy (super-duper kilig stage), sorrow (L.Q. aka Lovers’ Quarrels), glory (We’re the king and queen of the world, er, hearts!) and enlightenment (I knew all along that that #@*%! is a @%#! cheater!) that we had always wondered if this many splendored thing was even worth the trip to the asylum.



But now that we’re older, (hopefully) we’ve grown wiser in the ways of love, too. Thanks to our life gurus—local films, radio programs, OPM, parents and grandparents, friends and neighbors, John Lloyd Cruz, our very own experiences— we’ve realized that: • F.L.A.M.E.S. isn’t logic- or earthfriendly. Doing a calculation of your name and your crush’s to find out if you’ll end up as Friends, Lovers, Attracted to each other, Married, Engaged, or Sweethearts isn’t only downright silly; it’s also a waste of paper. Think of all the trees that have been cut down causing massive flooding every time it rains, just because of F.L.A.M.E.S.

garden and be sent to the principal’s office for it. Well, you can argue that you’re just trying to taste the santan’s nectar in the name of science. But whether they’d believe you or not is another matter.

• A is for effort. You claim you’re torpe, so you’d rather make pahaging by texting corny jokes and cheesy quotes with odd emoticons. Okay, we get it: you have unli (unlimited) SMS and unli pick-up lines. Sorry, but we’re not looking for a textmate. Show some effort, dude, if you wish to be somebody’s boyfriend. Otherwise, get ready to be basted aka sawi for life.

• You better watch out for signs. Open up your eyes real wide or you might not be able to catch your destiny. It could be your best friend since kindergarten or the one you hate from the hell and back. Look out for that slow-mo moment with bells ringing softly in the background. If it could happen in reel life, why wouldn’t it happen in real life?

• H.O.P.E. isn’t either. Please see explanation above. If you really want to know if there’s any chance at all of having a romantic relationship with your crushie— Hindi, Oo, Pwede, or Ewan—it might be better to ask him/her subtly by playing Pinoy Henyo. There’s at least hope that both of you would have fun, which could lead to something more. Like more than friends? Pwedeng-pwede!

• Ewan is Yes! Look, guys, we’re not dense. We can see right through your sweet nothings and superlatives, bola in short. (Remember the woman’s instinct.) But as dalagang Pilipina in memory of Maria Clara, we’ve been trained to play hard to get. So, we act annoyed when you’re near and say Ewan when you pressure us into giving our matamis na OO. Because we like you, too. Happy?

• Santan should be spared. Even if you’ve been dying to discover whether he/she loves you or not, this isn’t reason enough to pluck all santan in the school

• M.U. is Mag-Un. We meet up after work and go out on weekends. Just you

and me. We take photos of us together, and even wear couple shirts and shorts. But there’s no “Us” or “Tayo.” Then what are we? Cut the drama. Mutual Understanding, however way you look at it, equals to MagUn or Mag-On. All that’s needed to make it official is an “In a relationship with..” status on Facebook.

• Theme songs are crucial. No couple can survive without a signature theme song. It pretty sums up your fairy tale. It’s your duet song during videoke time and the wedding march music for when you tie the knot someday. Who knows, it could even be the title of your based-on-a-true-love-story movie one day, to be sung by Sarah G. or the Aegis. So, pick a cool one.

• For love problems, you got to hand it to Papa Jack. The Helen Vela or Joe D’ Mango of our times, he plays not only those heartwarming pieces to dedicate to the love of your life; he can also play psychologist to you. But not as lovingly as you’d want him to. His advice stings, the kind that love fools most probably need anyway. Wake up!

• The three-month rule exists. If there’s a seven-month slouch and a sevenyear itch, there must be a three-month rule, too. That is, thou shalt not plunge into a new relationship with someone else until three months after the big, bad break-up. Or else, all hell will break loose. Look what happened to Popoy and Basha. Luckily, they still had one more chance, awww.



Sponsored by:

PEOPLE’S CHOICE Subject: Quarla Quion Photographer: Ik Lumberio



Sponsored by:

ILLUSTRADO’S CHOICE Subject: Juby Charyze Merca Photographer: Lester Jonson



Subject: Joy Silverio Photographer: Leogel Lagaras

Subject: Al Oliver Domingo Photographer: Analia Dasalla

Subject: Aris Ray Banaag Photographer: Jenny del Rio

Subject: Amelia Martinez Du Photographer: Jhet Tan

Shaiy Daquiz

Subject: Shereen Ahmed Photographer: Glenn Wesley Dulay.

Subject: Ellise Angel Reyes Photographer: Carlo Lancin Ramirez


Subject: Aisa Del Valle Estrada Photographer: Ann Llagas

Subject: Glyzee Rn Photographer: Adelle Delos Santos

Subject: Jocelyn Andrea Diestro Photographer: Serge Borja Jr.


Subject: Arveen Evangelista Photographer: Mylene Canlas Villar

Subject: Kat Gabionza Photographer: Laurence Sta. Rosa

Subject: Nicola Guevarra Photographer: Rolly Picadizo

Subject: Elika Mae Louise Genteroy

Subject: Pauline Castro Photographer: Johnbert Dacanay

Subject: Krishel Talavera Photographer: Denn誰s B Ong

Subject: Maris Padilla Photographer: Norman Cunanan

Subject: Sheena Photographer: Ronnie De Vera


ILLUSTRADO Magazine Feb 2014  

Championing the World Class Filipino. Fashion, Lifestyle, People, Places and Filipino Expat Life.