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Hi, Kuya! The Boy Issue


It’s A Man’s World!

Or is it, really?

Kuya Meets World Enjoying Life As A Single Guy

Staying Faithful

Uso pa rin yan!

Girl Power Needs Boy Power

Why Men Need To be Feminists



13th • Nov • 2016


We all like to celebrate the women in our lives – but what about the Kuya’s? Boys are wonderfully complex beings, no less compelling nor interesting than girls, and yet we like to equate manhood with rigidity, and order, and compliance to social templates. Ergo: boring. Oh but this is non-sense! Men are the opposite of a one-note samba. If anything, they are a slow-burning tango, revealing more of their texture the longer you pay attention. This issue is us paying attention. So to all the men in this beautiful universe, we say… “Hi mga Kuya!”














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LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Editor-in-Chief “almost superwoman” Lalaine has been driving Illustrado’s mission to uplift Filipinos in the region for almost a decade now. A former corporate dynamo living in Dubai for over 20 years, her natural knack for marketing and mass communications makes her a formidable authority in any dialogue regarding the rebranding of the Filipino image on a global scale.

NICHOLO JALLORES Associate Editor. He knows boys. *tongue pop*

KRIP YUSON Esteemed writer Krip Yuson has earned distinctions as a literary author of over 20 books – from poetry, short stories, children’s stories, biographies, and translation. A Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall-of-Famer, Krip regales us with his musings on the Filipino condition via his column, “Illuminati.”

CONSUL GENERAL PAUL RAYMUND CORTES When not performing his duties as the head of the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, or the obligations of a dutiful dad, passionate patriot Paul Raymund Cortes mulls over how to further enrich the local Filipino community by promoting a more progressive mindset.





Danabelle is the author of I Long To Be The River and & Until The Dreams Come. She is a vagabond, born in the Philippines and raised everywhere. She has been moving from country to country and taking photographs along the way since she was 8 years old. Her three-decade long life journey seems to have taken a longer pit stop in Dubai where she now lives, loves, and writes.

Louise Monique is an allaround female version of a hustler. She is a make-up artist by profession, brand ambassador for the make-up brand, Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics and a beauty & make-up content creator. Coming from an Advertising & Communications background, she is working towards developing her brand The Louise Monique. She has a certain je ne sais quoi that gives a personal touch to her chef d’œuvre. Get in touch with her via her website:

Francisco Colayco is an entrepreneur, venture developer and financial adviser who has written many books that advocate Filipinos to financially prosper. He is Illustrado’s resident money columnist and personal finance guru.

Spiritual advisor. Life Coach. Rockstar. Roman Guevara, better known as “Kuya Roman,” has made an indelible mark in the Filipino community in the GCC with his unique brand of empowerment. In this issue, he talks about how what people should do when they feel empty. Get in touch with him on Facebook: romanguevaraRU


Ion Gonzaga started this blog in 2011 to share his experiences about living in Dubai - what to eat, where to go, what events to attend, how to’s, and some guidelines on surviving the challenges of working in the emirates. His growing following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram makes him one of the most soughtafter digital influencer that brands collaborate with in the UAE. Keep up with Ion through his blog, www. illustrado go>4


A marketer by profession and a blogger by passion, Joseph found his niche in inspiring others using his personal travel, fitness, career, and lifestyle stories. He believes that the world is one’s oyster and breathes the essence of ‘carpe diem.’ Follow his adventures through his blog, or his Facebook page flywithjoseph.

From The Publishers of Illustrado Magazine


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Deconstructing the Filipino zeitgeist. In short, dibdibang pagmumuni-muni.


PI N OY MALE B y > K r i p Yu s o n

You’ll have to understand us, forgive our frailties and faults.


e were raised by all-toocaring mothers, some so nervous that we couldn’t wander off into the dirt as toddlers, let alone try to taste mud or any refuse. Any early attempt to scale a table or stairs, and they came rushing to snatch us off from peril, cradle us close to their bosoms. It was the opposite of tough love, all that TLC or Tender Loving Care, inclusive of incalculable zeal in protecting boys who will be boys. Consequently, at some point we had to shed off the wimpiness and stand up against bullyboys in school or out on the mean streets, then try to turn macho ourselves. We joined in on the posturing as cocks-of-the-walk. It was a fawning matriarchal society that raised us. We had to cut ourselves loose. We had to play basketball and learn the dirty tricks. We faced up to those who dared us to fisticuffs in some secluded spot in school, or outside the gates. As we strengthened bonds of camaraderie, we got into group brawls as a way of earning badges of loyalty and courage. We were simpletons in many ways, simply making sure that we honored a code of nobility when it came to barkada, as a illustrado go>8

micro version of the responsibility to the barangay, earlier the balanghai, that our forebears had to abide by. Oh, we still made a show of allegiance to parental authority and guidance. But we knew when it was time to seek our spot in the sun. Much as we loved our mothers, grandmothers and aunts, and for the most part respected our fathers, grandfathers and uncles, the rest of the world attracted our interest and fascination. First off, we fell for the girls, then the women. We became fathers and raised families, joined the work force of lawyers and businessmen, policemen and politicians, learned to play along in games of accommodation and, in not a few instances, corruption. Instinctively, we accepted the demands of power, how to kowtow to men of stronger influence, and how to wield power ourselves. Oh, some of us accepted the fate that chromosomes dictated, and went out of the closet early or late. Some became masterful gays, while others found themselves on the receiving end of homoerotic relations. While a few chose to go transgender or transvestite, many continued to suffer the early affliction of homophobia. Thankfully,

there are just as many Filipino males who are models of acceptance and appreciation, more than tolerance, when it comes to LGBT rights and gender divides. Many still think they’re God’s gifts to women, exercise narcissism and abuse, think nothing of cheating or racking up mistresses. The blowhard, the powertripper, liar, thief, scammer and murderer walk among us; they are legion. And many are the moral cowards who will bend over in the face of misrule. But there will still be stalwart heroes among us. The Pinoy will sail the world for family and economic advancement. And he will sing My Way in a false key, drive neighbors batty with blaring karaoke, pay fixers for expedited bureaucratic papers. But there are enough of us who will fight for our islands and our patrimony, just as generally we will raise our children with the best of intentions. That is how we honor the mothers who comforted us, right or wrong, but ever close to their loving hearts and minds. And the good fathers, too, with all their jokes and lessons. Simple or complicated, that is how the timeline goes for the enduring, perennial Pinoy.



Towards empowering Filipinos.

Men: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.


’ve always wondered why most of my friends are men. Or why it was always easier for me to make a connection with those of the male persuasion. Is it because women relating to other women can be so catty and competitive? Or that it doesn’t hurt to be treated like a princess by male friends? There might be some truth to what author Dr. John Gray postulated that ‘Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.’ But, I believe that the even bigger truth (if that were possible), is the fact that this world is certainly richer and a better experience shared with our male counterparts.

wares, knowing deep inside that greatness and confidence simply do not need to be sold - just because, it’s either there, or it isn’t.

But let us separate the real men from the boys. Men, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I love them naughty and irreverently funny, embracing the joy of childish abandon whenever the opportunity strikes; even better, when they know where to draw the line of propriety, or employ tact and diplomacy with a deft tongue.

I love them matured, aged gracefully like smooth single malt – honed by life and softened by quiet confidence, especially if they have a wit that’s as sharp as a knife, and a devilish glint in their eyes. I love men who don’t feel the need to demonstrate themselves, or show off their illustrado go>10

The handsome are kind to the eyes, but substance always trumps mere looks. I love them immaculately well-put together, but certainly not prettier, nor better coiffured than me. There is so much more to be said for a man who is fully clothed and does not feel the need to bare his chest (or his all) just to display his masculine wiles. They are far more potent than the pretty vacuous boys you sometimes see on the billboards.

I love the gawky youngster, with just that spark - that promise of brilliance to come, the passionate self-made man with a distinct purpose in life, or even the moody

and broody artsy types who ponder the mysteries of life, and art and sometimes, simply being. Beware of the man with the persuasive eyes. Moreso, the charismatic take charge type. Most of all, beware of the man who knows exactly how to treat a lady. He is usually the one who gets his way with ease. Our son, a young gentleman, astounded me once when he quoted, “A man who treats his woman like a princess is proof that he has been born and raised in the arms of a queen.” To that I counter, “A queen can only be truly a queen, when nurtured in the embrace of a real king.” And so it goes, and quite rightly so - we dedicate this issue to our men, who make this life so much more colorful and enjoyable. And if it weren’t for them, we would be merely half of a whole.

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KEEPING UP WITH THE CONGEN > Tales from your friendly neighbourhood Philippine Consul-General.

Is man -rule absolute ? By > Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes


ews across the globe around the deadline time for this edition circled on political and economic developments back home, in the US, in India, and here in the UAE. In the Philippines, the Supreme Court ruled against a petition to block the proposal to bury the remains of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos at our Libingan ng mga Bayani or our Heroes Cemetery. The US saw the closure of one of their most contested Presidential elections with the victory of an unlikely politician, Donald Trump. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped its highest denomination notes in an effort to curb money laundering and arrest a culture of corruption and tax evasion. The UAE, on the other hand, churned jaw dropping news with the launch of the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Hyperloop One, a project that would cut the 2-hour travel time between UAE largest city and socioeconomic center, Dubai, and its capital, Abu Dhabi to a mere 12 minutes. Truly it was quite a week, and in the midst of these divisive, perplexing, and inspiring news, a few souls came up to me and asked me what I thought of all these. It made me wonder whether or not it really mattered to people in the community what I thought or at the very least what my office could offer as viewpoints on current issues. In addition, day in, day out, I receive tons of messages from either my personal FB account or the official page: inquiries, requests for assistance, some legitimate,

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KEEPING UP WITH THE CONGEN > Tales from your friendly neighbourhood Philippine Consul-General.

Leadership was never about machismo. It was about who took the on the mission to thread the path for everyone else to follow. on why I was even promoted to Chief of Mission, on why the stars aligned for me to take on the path of diplomacy 20 years ago. Somehow, answers hit us when we least expect them to. And in this case, purpose had never been so much clearer and transparent to me as it is now – for each and every step I take, much more is asked of me, all in the manner of stepping up to be a leader to others. Spiderman, in the movie, said “with great power comes great responsibility” and in the course of my life as a son, husband, father, and stepfather to the rest of the Filipinos in Dubai, I embrace this expectation with confident and open arms albeit with a little trepidation and worry that I may fall short.

others ludicrous and preposterous. My WhatsApp threads are deluged with pleas. The monthly town hall meetings we hold at the Consulate are packed with leaders and members of the community eager to understand and internalize the goings on in Philippine and international politics, the machinations of global economics and how these bewildering puzzles make their way to the plight of overseas Filipinos, and the social dynamics that rattle Pinoy’s back home and abroad. Clearly, as far as I’m concerned, my role as stepfather to the community here demands much on my part and obliges me to ensure that our constituency in this part of the world is aware not only what is due them but is likewise armed with ammunitions that make them more informed and thus, empowered citizens of the world. Earlier on, arriving in Dubai some 17 months ago, I mapped out for myself what

I believed was expected of me as Consul General in Dubai. Woven into all intricacies of this map was the underlying role to act as father to the community, looking after their welfare and offering that seemingly elusive ray of hope to Pinoy’s. Perhaps I put too much weight on my shoulders, and that acting out such a role wasn’t really necessary. However, I felt that to deny the urgency and necessity of this role would be tantamount to cowardice and pusillanimity. And with the newfound swagger our leadership possess, a parallel vigor in the manner I conducted this office would not be as misplaced as I would have thought before. Maybe what happened in those four parts of the world weren’t as serendipitous or as independent as I deemed it were. Those four news events dovetailed into a moment of clarity of purpose that defined my view on this office, on my posting in Dubai,

Society had always been about who led everyone else and under what circumstance have made that society move forward, stagnate, or retrogress. And traditionally, it was the men who led their respective homes, their communities, their states, and even other states. Today’s era has seen women take on the leadership roles once reserved for men – the Philippines has had two, Britain has the Queen, India, the world’s largest democracy, had one, Israel, Sri Lanka, and many others. Part of this week’s denouement included the epiphany that beyond me, it is the office of the Consul General that is laced with the obligation to lead, the task to be the father or mother of the community in Dubai. Leadership was never about machismo. It was about who took the on the mission to thread the path for everyone else to follow. Being that person who everyone seeks their opinion of, who serves as the hope for all, and who is the answer to their supplications, is defined not by gender but by strength of heart and steely resolve. And in these times, men seemingly do not have that monopoly anymore.

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of ILLUSTRADO There are cute boys, and handsome boys. Sporty boys, and bookish boys. There are boys who enjoy playing the Knights In Shining Armor, and then there are boys who don’t mind playing the role of Steve Trevor to their Wonder Women. And then there are the Boys of the Illustrado sort. Global. Switched on. Intelligent without being condescending. Handsome but not frivolous. Can’t say there are plenty of them out there, but if there were, they wouldn’t be worth the feature, now would they? We, #TeamIllustrado, together with some of our regular contributors who like to fancy themselves as somewhat of Boy Experts, sat down to discuss the types of guys who best represent the Illustrado zeitgeist. Maybe in another issue we can talk about #BoysWeDontLike. But for now, let’s keep it sweet, not salty.

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THE IRRESISTIBLE R E P R O B AT E } D I M I T R I T O L E NA A R S He is an outsider and he knows it. He doesn’t try to be “in,” but instead, enjoys his life and times on the fringe. He’s the boy you want to be with when you want to discuss ideas, and concepts, and the meta’s and alpha’s of things, and art and meaning. He’s not just from the 90’s – He IS the 90’s. Calm and collected angst. Intelligence with a vengeance. Transcendence in black leather DM’s. Photo by >

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THE U NA P O L O G E T I C A L LY FA S H I O NA B L E G U Y } J O H N S PA I N H O U R This guy owns up to his vanity, and commits to it 100%. He doesn’t just fuss about his clothes – he approaches his style with the precision and attention to detail of an architect. He is always well put together. You will find no thread out of place. Some will say that his lifestyle is exhausting, but that’s what makes the Unapologetically Fashionable Guy so great. He understands that image is everything. P h o t o b y > H E R S O N N E B AYA

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T H E AT H L E T E } DEVONE SPENCE He’s no Olympian but he certainly works out and eats like one. This boy is dedicated to health and fitness, and it shows. And it’s not just for the aesthetics, either. He’s about feeling strong and looking strong. He’s about eating well for the long term, and not going for silly “shred” diets that will rob his life of all joy. He’s after balance, and not just form. Photo by > IRVIN RIVERA

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No muss, no fuss. Clean as a whistle, sharp as a razor. Some boys like to have more – this one likes to have less. Minimum frivolity for maximum impact. He is attuned to his environment, hence he veers away from a life of excess. He overstates by understating. Photo by > ENZO MONDEJAR

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G L O B A L V I S I O N, NAT I V E S O U L } CARLO ADORADOR The ultimate Illustrado guy – one who is proud of his Filipino roots, and is able to use his heritage to bravely propel himself forward into a vibrant world of diverse mindsets and cultures. The voice of our ancestors ring through his bones. His is the blood of heroes and champions. Galing ng Pinoy. Taas noo, Filipino. #Boyllustrado. Photo by > FILBERT KUNG & GLENN PETER PEREZ illustrado go>19



Say no to usapang barbero. Dapat, Illustrado!

What’s so great about being a boy? Ika nga ni James Brown, “It’s a man’s world!” Or is it really? Decades of intellectual and cultural evolution have lessened the proverbial divide between the male and the female of our species, pero hindi mapagkakaila that boys sometimes still get a pass just for being boys. The recent US elections, case in point. We asked some of the boyest boys we know: “Ok so you’re a boy. Weno ngayon?”

Ginno Gene Alducente - Hong Kong> The best thing about being a boy/ man is the “ wash and wear” attitude. It doesn’t really take a lot of effort to make ourselves look acceptable - no fuzz and frills, unlike women who need 3 different mascara’s for volume, lengthening and curling, a highlight/contour kit and at least 3 outfit options that comes with 3 lipstick changes. As for the men, a nicely pressed, crisp, white shirt and a trousers and slick haircut - good to go! Ladies, it’s still a man’s world. But don’t worry. If that is the case, they will always need to pay for dinner! illustrado go>20

Romel Caguiat – Philippines> Being a boy is about being playful and having a lot of imagination in which. Being a man is the most difficult thing to accomplish. Being a man comes in stages, where we determine if we are to allow ourselves to be part of this world or against it. Others will be in seclusion and never be involved in the world. It’s up to the man, and it’s his choice.

Melover Medenilla - Al Nahda, Dubai, Emirates Cabin Crew> Boys don’t need much stuff like lipsticks, make up, hair blower, sanitary napkins every month, or even a high heels. We don’t need those because God created us to work for the land. He created us for adventure, to protect, to provide for our families. Men are like the valiant knights in the movies, and this is the culture we should have in our society: men who fight for what is right and speak up when there is injustice. Men are courageous. Men are the image of God.



Say no to usapang barbero. Dapat, Illustrado!

Kristoffer Mariano, Al Quoz Dubai, Business Development Manager, Overseas Group> A man should be the provider for his family. A man who has the correct priorities in life is set for a stable future. Being male gives us the opportunity to be great, God-fearing and God-loving fathers. There is nothing nobler than a man that loves his wife more than himself; a man who would sacrifice his life for his family; a man who uses his to protect and empower others.

Patrick De Leon – Dubai, UAE Multimedia ARTIST > What’s great about being a man is that we have the DNA of a Warrior and a Leader. Our bodies are designed with natural strength and agility to protect, provide, serve and lead our families to God. It’s not about how many girls you’ve dated, or how many reps of deadlifts you can finish in the gym. It’s about setting a good example for the younger generation and teaching our children to build relationship with God.

Bethoven Filomeno, Al Nahda, Dubai, Photographer/ Research Center Administrator>

Albert Baratang, Barsha Heights, Dubai, Systems Analyst DU

Being a Man is great, and what makes it greater is that as man we are the symbol of determination and leadership - leadership that dwells not only leading yourself but most importantly making an impact to the lives of other people and to your family. Determination to achieve one’s goal without compromising what is right and stands firm in the right. A great and true man is a godly man. He loves the Lord, he loves life, and he loves and protects those whom have been entrusted to his care.

BOY means Based On Youthfulness. MAN means Mature As Nature. Boyhood is about enjoying every moment, without much regard for the consequences. Manhood is about wisdom – choosing the righteous path, even if it is inconvenient. “A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might”.

Andrew Paderes – Dubai, UAE> As a man, I get to keep my name/surname. Legacy is in the offing if you prefer to leave one. What’s also great is that I get to be perceived as “Gentle.” It is quite hard to maintain nowadays but very endearing once you are addressed as such. Being a man also gives me the opportunity to be a boss at fatherhood. But more importantly, MEN are just the better CHEFS in this world, PERIOD!!!

Francis Atcheco Pega – Riyadh, KSA > Man reserves the right to be convenient; our physical anatomy defies any claim that man was created anatomically equal to women when it comes to functionality. It is always easier to be a man when nature calls in a very untimely and unlikely place. Man does not bear the woe of pesky monthly visitor of women. But seriously, I am just happy that I can pee anywhere! On a more important note, however, we have been given the task of supporting and creating a safe haven for those we love.

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PINOY PLANET > Tales from Filipinos going places and leaving trails

Visisting the battlefield of


s I stood at the top of the hill and surveyed the beautiful, undulating, verdant landscape, it was hard to visualize that 201 years ago, one of the greatest battles in the annals of history was fought right there. On June 18, 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Army was routed by the combined Anglo-Prussian forceled by the Duke of Wellington which led to the former’s downfall and changed the course of European history. It was a 4-hour drive from Paris to this place located some 15 kms. south of Brussels. We arrived late in the afternoon before the underground museum closed and bought tickets to the impressive round theater which had a 360-degree panoramic mural standing 12 meters tall. It depicted the battle complete with the sound of thundering horses on a cavalry charge, cannons firing alongside withering rifle shots and anguished cries of wounded and dying men. Standing in the middle of a raised platform, you

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PINOY PLANET > Tales from Filipinos going places and leaving trails

Waterloo B y > A l P. M a n l a n g i t

The hard climb to the top of the Mound.

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MY PINOY LIFE IN > Tales from Filipinos going places and leaving trails

Part of the mural painting depicting views of the fighting that took place.

felt as though you were in the midst of it all! What did Napoleon in was his fatal blunder to delay the battle to mid-day to let the ground dry for his cannons to roll (it had rained the previous day and night making the battlefield wet and soggy). This gave Wellington time to hold the line while waiting for his Prussian comrades to arrive with reinforcements late in the day. This turned the whole thing around in favor of the Allies and led to the rout of the French with Napoleon scurrying back to Paris with what remained of his motley crew. After four days, he abdicated and surrendered to the British almost a month later and was sent packing in exile to St Helena, a remote island off the coast of Africa, where he lived for 6 years. He died in May 1821 at the age of 51. The name Waterloo is etched in memory as something which we all know so well: a downfall. Check out Al’s blog at

Panoramic view of the wide open fields where the battle took place taken from the top of the Lion’s Mound with the round theater in the foreground.

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The parking lot was just a short walk from the entrance.

MY PINOY LIFE IN > Tales from Filipinos going places and leaving trails

Entrance to the panoramic theater with images of Napoleon on the left and

Gen. Von Blucher who commanded the Prussian Army

Hall and restaurant where you can dine alfresco after a tiring day of walking around exploring the place if you’re really up to it

This incline will lead you to the museum and souvenir

shop underground built just a year ago and designed to be

unobtrusive to the surroundings

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The Rise of the Male Feminist: A call to arms By> Nicholo Jallores


oy, where would you be without yo’ wimmin’?

You have a mother who nurtures you; girl friends who enrich your character and add value to your understanding of the world; probably a sister, or a wife who teaches you what it means to be a part of a family. In the work place you are surrounded by tigresses and lionesses: women who make things happen whilst boys like you sit back and argue who gets what credit for a job that he did not do. Without ‘dem wimmin’ your days in the world would most likely be flat, crippled, and boring. Without ‘dem wimmin you simply would not get by. Now here comes the harder question: what have you done for ‘dem wimmin’ lately? Sure, you know the whole lollipops and roses drill. You are well versed in the art of Making A Woman Feel Valuable By Placating Her With Stuff and Compliments. Your mom has no cause for complaint

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– why, you treat her like the queen that she is! It’s like she wins the lottery every Mother’s Day! But barring the usual tricks and theatrics – most of which are rooted in a predominantly masculine culture anyway, funnily enough – what part have you played in making sure that the world is a safe, fair, and balanced environment for women? What have you done to empower them? See, women have gotten so used to empowering themselves, that most of them have forgotten or are simply unwilling to admit that they need YOU to empower them too. They need your support. Newsflash, boy: you don’t need to have a vagina to be a feminist. You just need to be a decent human being. You can “respect” them all you want; open doors and jars for them, let them through the door first, carry their bags and never fail to give them your seat in the train, but the inconvenient truth of the matter is that until you assert an active voice in the fight for gender equality, your

efforts to make women feel valuable are just drops in the ocean. If anything, your textbook heroics could only be reinforcing the “damsel in distress” and “knight in shining armour” stereotype. Chivalry does very little to empower women – all it actually accomplishes is make men feel, well, chivalrous. Ok so you “respect” women – how do you feel about your female colleague getting less pay than you, even though you both have the same job designation? Yeah so you think Serena Williams is the greatest female athlete in the world – what does it mean to you that she gets paid less than Roger Federer when she wins a grandslam? If you truly value the women in your life, then it is your duty to aid them in reinforcing their worth in the society; not as gentle, delicate, hapless beings to be rescued, patronized and appeased with earthly trappings, but as intelligent, efficient, formidable equals who deserve the same opportunities, rights, and rewards



Boy, where would you be without yo’ wimmin’?

as you do. You will acknowledge that gender-based biases are one of the ills that hold humanity back from realizing its true potential. You will begin to internalize the simple truth that women are not the great “other” – that essentially, men and women are really one and the same in all the ways that matter. Think you can do this boy? Think you can be a man? Ok. Empower your woman. When asked why his 30-person cabinet was comprised of equal parts men and women, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau simply said last year, “Because it’s 2015.” Oh if only the rest of world is as abreast of the times as Mr. Trudeau. Sadly, it is mostly not. Even in this day and age, women in many parts of the world are still relegated to the status of second-class citizens. As of 2013, there are almost as many women in the planet as there are men, with a percentage difference that is close to insignificant. In terms of population distribution, the gender gap is practically non-existent, but this is not reflected in the way society works as a whole. This is what happens: we applaud women and recognize their achievements out loud – and then we marginalize them in secret. Here are some hard and cold facts on how prevalent gender inequality and violence against women still are in this so-called modern world. If you call yourself somewhat of a supporter of women’s rights, this information should infuriate you. And if it does not… well, why on earth are you still reading this article? Go oil your chainsaw or something. Women who are employed full time are generally paid 23% less than their male counterparts. It doesn’t matter if you have the same education and depth of experience as the men – if you’re a chick, you get less

pay. It doesn’t matter how you phrase the question – the “why?” of this will always lead to some form of corporate misogyny. An estimated 15 million girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriages worldwide. Is she a daughter, a sister, or a goat? Imagine if you, as a young boy, were obligated by your family to marry an adult woman that you barely knew. Imagine your rage. Why then should you be okay with certain cultures forcing young girls into marrying strange adult men? What part of that set-up is acceptable to you? 30% of women in relationships experience some type of physical or sexual violence from their partners. Among the 5 women you know who are in a relationship, at least one of them is getting beat up or sexually assaulted by her boyfriend or husband. That is how real that statistic is. So… bro’s before hoes, still? In some parts of South Asia, an average of 1000 women are murdered yearly for their family’s honor. “Honor killings” is probably one of the most diabolical ideas ever conceived by the human mind, cultural context be damned. An entire clan colluding and acting in concert to kill a female family member who went against their orders – terrible! And yet it is still a common practice in some parts of the world. If you are a woman aged between 15 and 44, you would sooner

get raped or beaten up by your partner than die of a car accident, cancer, war, or malaria. That is how high the probability is of a woman experiencing some form of abuse from a man in her lifetime. Scientists are close to finding a cure for cancer. How close are we to finding a cure wanton violence against women? The world’s governments invest billions on infrastructure and road safety. How much do they invest on protecting women from domestic harm? Only 30% of the world’s researchers are women Our world is evolving at a breakneck speed, and the female of our species have very little say in it. Societal expectations play a crucial role in the way women are educated and employed. The current scenario, as it seems, is that men get to be the visionaries, and the women have to do the clean-up – and this is despite the widely accepted scientific dictum that men and women have equal capacity for intelligence. No one gender is smarter or dumber than the other. Why then must women settle for playing second fiddle to men? Why do they have to dumb themselves down to fit into social standards that they had no part in creating?

Some people will tell you that at this point, the notion of gender inequality is passé; that the fight for women’s rights has already been won, and that any further talk of it is just flogging the dead horse. That is untrue. As long as there is a group of women in any part of the planet that experiences some form of social inequity – be it in the workplace, in the streets, or in the home – the fight for women’s rights has NOT been won. Women still need the support. Women still need YOU. Be a man, boy. Be a feminist.

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Read you, Wrote you 8 Things I Learned from Rupaul’s Drag Race By> Danabelle Gutierrez


have bought everything RuPaul has sold me since I was eleven years old, when I saw her duet with Elton John on MTV and thought, “Wow.” She is so fierce and fabulous. I was later informed that “she” was in fact a “he.” And although RuPaul’s Drag Race has been around for 8 years, I only got heavily into it two years ago. RuPaul once said in an interview that he thinks drag will never be mainstream, and I think that’s why I got into it so late, because it wasn’t readily available to me, and I didn’t actively seek out drag entertainment, mainly because I was naive and oblivious to the fact that it actually existed. However, I’ve always been fascinated with things that didn’t fit the norm, so after binge watching six seasons, an All-Stars season, and watching seasons 7, 8, and All Stars 2 unfold with the rest of the world, I was hooked. And I mean hooked. I mean, keep all the receipts, and take all my credit card details, hunty, because I am buying it! All of it!

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So, in honor of all 8 fabulous seasons, here are the 8 things that RuPaul’s Drag Race has taught me. These are not pretty women, these are men in wigs. I am in the belief that we do not owe prettiness to anyone. Kindness, yes. Prettiness, no. But on occasion, I do want to juj it up a bit, and after watching the show, and seeing the transformations, I saw all aesthetic possibilities. And realized that – “ANUSTHING is possible!” Stop relying on that body and stop resting on pretty. But okay, so now that I’ve learned how to paint my face and dress myself, I also learned that body and pretty can only get you so far. At some point, you need to deliver some personality or talent. Better yet, why not both? Or if you really want to reach for that crown, why not deliver the total package?

Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent. These are the 4 qualities required to be America’s Next Drag Superstar. But okay, so maybe I’m not aspiring to either be an American, a drag queen, or a superstar, I mean, hunty, some days I don’t even think I’m aspiring to be next… But there ain’t nothing wrong with being pleasant, being my true self, being brave, and of course having a little flair… That being said, You betta werk! I’ve learned that whoever it is that I choose to be or whatever it is that I choose to be doing with my one life, I gotta work! And hard! See, a strong work ethic covers many flaws. And even if I may have worked myself up to pretty, charming, and talented, (all debatable), but if I’m not working and turning it out, then it isn’t worth anything.



You betta werk! If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? But it all starts with some self-lovin’. I learned that I have to love myself enough to know what I am worth, and to realize that I do deserve all that I am working for. I do! Hunty, I am a unicorn mermaid fairy! What’s not to love? Reading is Fundamental But okay, all-tea-all-shade, let’s face it, nobody’s perfect. In drag speak, “reading” means to wittily criticize a queen’s flaws to her face - the key word being wittily and the key phrase being “to her face”. I learned to read my own self. To see where I was lacking, and to poke fun at it, not just for the sake of self-deprecation, but to see how I can make myself better. But of course, whether you’re reading yourself, or being read by other people you need to let it roll off like… Water off a duck’s back Season 5’s queen Jinx Monsoon said that “when you’re dealing with people judging what you do, you just have to let it roll off like water off a duck’s back”. Some critiques may be helpful and some can just be disregarded. I have learned and am continually learning to distinguish which is which. We’re all born naked and the rest is drag. “Who do you think you are?” as Mama Ru’s song goes. Everything else is drag. Everything. We put on what we put on. And while it may be beautiful or grotesque, interesting or boring, it all can be taken off. I have come to accept that everything is temporary. So I’m just going to have fun with it and turn it out! Halleloo!

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d n e k e e W Tank top by Bench PH

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Leather jacekt by Benji WZW Harness by Patrick Salonga Pants by Bench PH

r o i r r a W On weekdays, The Provider. The Savior. But on the weekends, The Fighter. The Adventurer. The Discoverer. On his will, the world unfurls its secrets. Photographer: Iko Maramo Stylist: Danyl Geneciran Model: Paolo Roldan @ Elmer Olsen

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Nylon Bronze Bomber Jacket by Patrick Salonga; Pants and underwear by Bench PH

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Silk jacket and shorts by Benji WZW

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Silk kimono by Dolce & Gabbana Pants by Bench PH

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Snake skin leather vest by Benji WZW Black Chinos by Bench PH

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Neoprene printed pants by KENZO

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Money can’t buy happiness, but admit it - sometimes you just gotta have your stuff! Get a load of these interesting, very Illustrado sundry. Can’t live without ‘em!

Ettinger Sterling Billfold Wallet in Turquoise

There is no more compelling guy than the guy who knows how to understate before he overstates. This wallet is THAT guy. Business outside, party inside! Clean and sleek on the approach, and then wins you over with just the right dollop of madness and of irreverence. Get it at, or at Bloomingdales and and Harvey Nichols in Dubai. Maison Francis Kurkdjian: Oud Satin Mood

Oud is a lost concept amongst most Filipinos – which is a tragedy, because it’s actually one of the most enthralling and memorable scents around. Not a lot of Pinoy guys can carry it, because not a lot of them know how to. Firstly, you can’t just splash it on like you would your normal colognes. A little bit of it goes a long way. And if you really must try this scent, look for the best quality for your money. Case in point: Maison Francis Kurkdjian: Oud Satin Mood. Sophisticated and entoxicating, but approachable enough even for those who did not grow up in the Middle East. Get it at Tweezerman Essential Grooming Kit

Because honestly, can you really trust a guy to put together a grooming kit from scratch? #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat. Take the guess work out of grooming with this all-inone grooming kit from Tweezerman. It comes with a pair of tweezers, facial hair scissors, nail clippers, and a multi-use nail tool combining cuticle pusher, nail cleaner and built-in nickel abrader for filing nails. Best of all, it comes in a smart little leather package. Available at Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales, Debenhams and Areej stores across the UAE.

Black Mirror

The universe’s best content all whirl around and gather towards the singularity that is Netflix, and at the centre of that maelstrom of awesomeness is Black Mirror – a series of self-contained satires, exploring humanity’s relationship with technology. It’s an odd, eerie, disturbing hybrid of The Twilight Zone and The Matrix. And what makes the show so enthralling is that the themes are never whimsical nor fantastic. It takes the gadgets and gizmos that we already have, pairs it with what we all know about human nature, and paints over the lot with a big “What If?” Catch it on Netflix, ASAP. Friday Brunch Buffet at JW Marriot Hotel, Deira

A #TeamIllustrado Friday can only mean one of two things: either a.) we’re in a photoshoot, or b.) we’re stuffing our faces over brunch. 98% of the time, it’s the brunch. So trust our authority when we say that the Friday Brunch Buffet at JW Marriot Hotel in Deira, Dubai is one of the best gastronomic experiences you can ever have on a lazy weekend afternoon. The selection is huge, the dishes are cooked masterfully, and at AED295 per head with soft beverages, it represents great value, especially for families. For enquiries and reservation, please call +971 (0) 4 607 7977, send an email to jwdubai., or illustrado go>38

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BEAUTY > Kagandahan 101

The No Shame Beauty Game Girlie b eauty tricks that even boys can do By> Louise Monique


f women can, why can’t men do it too without being judged? Why is it that when men put an effort to enhance their beauty, they are automatically labeled as metrosexual or effeminate? Come on people, it’s 2016! Let’s be progressive. Stop shaming people who takes care of themselves. Here are some BASIC beauty hacks that men could definitely do whenever they please! HYDRATE! From inside out, I can’t give more emphasis on how much you should prioritize this. It should be second to breathing! Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, then reinforce it by hydrating your skin with moisturizer- morning & night. Apply sunscreen religiouslyYou have to take this seriously, I mean it! Not only when you’re about to hop in the pool or beach but EVERYDAY: every single day. Thank yourself later for saving your skin from cancer! Facial Treatments Since when has skin issues been gender exclusive? Men could get serious acne and other skin issues too. Taking care of your skin should be one of the basics like taking a bath and brushing your teeth, and shouldn’t be considered vanity.

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Facial Masks Using facemasks helps maintain the work you’ve done to your skin with facial treatment. Just buy/DIY face mask according to your skin type and needs. It doesn’t need a lot of fuss, just a little effort.

Condition If you haven’t started using shampoo yet, start there. If you already have, let me introduce conditioner to you. Conditioner, nourishes the hair thoroughly and makes it softer. You can use it on your beard too!

Nose Pack First aid remedy for stubborn white & black heads.

Shampoo Yep, I have to include this. Some men (I know one who’s only been using shampoo for 2 years of his life because we’ve been together for 2 years now!) just use shower gel for everything, even for their hair. What’s the difference? Shower gel is intended for the skin and not for your hair. Using shower gel as a shampoo could dry your hair and it doesn’t give the nourishment your hair needs. Try and pick a shampoo that suits your needs, there different types such as: anti dandruff, volumizing, nourishing etc.

Eye Masks To reduce puffy and dark under eyes. EXFOLIATE! Once a week, scrub gently and shed off the dead skin to unleash your healthy glow. Brow Threading/ Waxing/ Plucking, but don’t shave! Yes, when it comes to your brows, don’t shave even if you have a unibrow or thick brows. There’s no shame in getting it fixed. It was never and will never be on trend! But fix it the right way, as you don’t want any weird brow stubble or worse, an ingrown! So try threading or waxing if you need your brows shaped and just pluck if you just have a couple of hair to remove. You don’t need to have the perfect arch or have your brows on fleek but tweaking the shape and size a little bit so it looks decent and presentable won’t hurt.

Lip Balm Who likes dry and flaky lips anyway? Grab that Vaseline! SLEEP! Beauty products don’t matter if you don’t get the basics right. Having enough rest and sleep does 99.9% of the job. So put that phone down and get some sleep!



Live your life…style!

TGIS – Thank God I’m Single How to enjoy life as a single guy By > Joseph Alcantara


hether you’re unmarried, in the process of moving on from a relationship, searching for The One, or have embraced the status by choice, it’s the fact of your current life – you are single’ In today’s world, being single means ‘power’ not ‘incomplete’ – you have more time, freedom and resources with zero accountability and expectations from a partner. Therefore, you deserve to make the most of this phase. And trust me, you can do lots that you may end up not wanting to give up the status (true story from a legit single here, who’s alone and happy for 4 years now).

LIVE HEALTHY. BE FIT. Rather than considering another’s food preferences and finding ways to spend time together, you’d only choose and prepare food for yourself and would have enough time for daily exercise. Learn to cook healthy, go to the gym, run, do sports, be active regularly. (My picks: Semi-Paleo diet and CrossFit for 5-6 days, indulge on food and active rest for 1-2 days) LEARN AND DO SOMETHING NEW. For sure you have an ‘I-would-do-if-I-weresingle’ list. Now’s the time to get it out and tick the items off. Learn a new language, enhance your photography skills, pursue

graduate studies, play musical instruments and explore a new hobby or sports to name a few. (My picks: Teach in a university and write a blog) TRAVEL THE WORLD. You need to travel alone at least once in your life. It’s the chance to know other people, see new places, enjoy new experiences and appreciate yourself more. Doing it solo style is also cheaper. (My picks: See Central & Eastern Europe and stay in hostels) VOLUNTEER. MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Give back and surround yourself with people who espouse the spirit of civicmindedness and volunteerism. Not only will you feel complete, but you’ll do things with real substance. Programs range from building houses, planting, teaching, working in orphanages and more. (My picks: Sponsor needy children through Wold Vision and raise funds for ‘homeless kids of war’ through marathons) INVEST. START A BUSINESS. For practical gains, you need to be entrepreneurial. Gone are the days of relying solely on your 9 to 5 job as it will never be enough. Start by creating your portfolio of stocks online, do freelance work or be a part-owner of a business. (My picks: Invest on a property back home, rent it out

now and sell it in the future.) SOCIALIZE AND MINGLE. DATE. Let’s be realistic: part of you will always want that ‘special someone’. So be open and go out on dates without expecting too much. If it doesn’t work, it’s fine – you might end up having a new friend. (My picks: Introductions made by friends and dating apps – yep, apps are nothing to be embarrassed about!) REST, WATCH, READ, MEDITATE, SLEEP. With our daily work and chores, real rest is now a luxury. Take time to recuperate on weekends by having your much needed 8-hour sleep. Or catch up on TV series, watch movies, read that stack of books on your bedside table, be still and meditate, detoxify after brunching. (My picks: Sleepin and have couch potato Saturdays.) REACH OUT TO FAMILY & OLD FRIENDS. To a certain extent, you’ve unconsciously neglected them when your world revolved around your ex. It’s now high time to make up for it – contact them (no excuse now with the prevalence of social media), meet and enjoy their company. They’ve missed you as much as you’ve missed them too! (My picks: Spontaneous invites to hangout and surprise travels) illustrado go>41




Jonathan Benitez

Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

My Art My art is about portraits of people and figures - oftentimes taken out of context, from ordinary to unknown entities, deconstructed and appropriated and juxtaposed on fragments of collage surfaces. My aim is to connect the relative essence of man and his relationship with other living organisms, their common traits, fragility and impermanence. For me, art is not an occupation - it’s an advocacy. It’s a role given to me to help open the eyes of my audience or community about realities that may not be obvious to them; to orient them with the fact that there is more to life than just trying to get what you can get. We all have our roles in the society, and mine just happens to be that of a culture bearer. I live in a place where environmental advocacy is strong; I help reflect this in my art.

My Process I have a strong fascination with figures and how they are affected in a given environment. I am inspired by my hometown’s lush vegetation. My world is populated with plants, wildlife, entities from folklores immersed in contentment while living in harmony with man. I believe man’s behavior is influenced by his surroundings, and in turn, the surroundings are influenced by man’s presence. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

My temperament rests well with water based mediums and paints. I like to see fast results so I could manipulate my composition whilst my excitement is at a high. Most times, I do not make a study – I just work with a reference, be it an image from the net, from a magazine, or a photo I snapped with my phone. It’s exciting for me to see how ideas manifest themselves through a mix of intuition and accident. My collage is a commentary on commercial advertising, which is a form of art with the purpose of capturing the minds of the viewer by showing a variation of truth. I utilized printed images, the glossy fashion magazines and books and all available sources. Ready-made images are codes, which are very potent in illustrating an idea. Their meaning, however, is the product of corporate manipulation. Our society is bombarded with it commercial mages every day, dictating how we should behave. This is where I engage the conversation with my art - my point of departure. My Journey, so far… I am one of the pioneers of contemporary art in my island of Palawan in the Philippines. I curate and organize art shows and events there, while showing my art regularly in Manila galleries. I represented the Philippines in the Peace and Art

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For me, art is not an occupation it’s an advocacy. It’s a role given to me to help open the eyes of my audience or community about realities that may not be obvious to them; to orient them with the fact that there is more to life than just trying to get what you can get.

Festival in Uba, Brazil in 2014. My artwork was exhibited in Germany and Portugal. My art is featured in the prestigious Manila Art, an annual art fair in the country. I hope to expand t the reach of my art as wide as possible to reach to a larger audience that and represent Filipino art on a global scale. Message to aspiring artists For those who wish to pursue art: be honest with yourself and follow your own voice. Nothing beats a well-articulated vision fueled by passion and personal experience.

Follow Jonathan on his social media platforms! Photo credit: Katherine Jack



Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

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Filipino Progress & Diversity

at the work place >

financial planning solutions to expatriates in the UAE. I do travel on and offshore, depending on investors’ locations and their investment requirements. I also conduct seminars that focus on providing financial literacy to our Filipino expats in the UAE.

Associate Wealth ManagerGlobaleye, Dubai, UAE

My Typical Working Day I am normally out and about, running around the city like a headless chicken. Well, it’s part of my job and my extremely outgoing personality makes me love what I do even more. I’m normally not in the office unless I have no meetings on my diary (which rarely happens).

My Job I’m an Associate Wealth Manager at Globaleye. Although my main field of expertise is UK Pension transfer and analysis, I also provide comprehensive

Message for my fellow expats An expatriate’s life shouldn’t be about ‘living your life for today’ but should rather be about ‘living today for tomorrow!’ We can always enjoy everything that comes along being residents of one of the


designers and got promoted in 2013. I oversee the design process between our sales and design team. As designers, we interpret the client’s requirement in providing full office furniture solution from space planning, furniture selection, finishes boards and even 3D visuals in order to aid our sales team in closing orders with clients. We have a wide range of foreign brands from USA, Europe and Asia, this allows me to coordinate with the suppliers technical team in order to get the details of their products and at the same time transferring the information with my Design Team.


Chief Designer – H2O Concepts LLC Abu Dhabi, UAE My Job I am currently on my 6th year with H2O Concepts, one of the leading furniture dealers in the UAE. I am the Chief Designer of the Abu Dhabi branch. I started my career back in 2010 as one of the junior

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My Typical Working Day Just like any other typical expat, I start my office day with a hot cup of coffee. As inquiries are come in from our sales team, I usually get brief details and later on distribute the workload to the design team. I involve myself mostly with complex tenders from which I decide together with the Sales Manager the proper solution we can offer from our product ranges and advice the proper space planning. A typical

world’s fastest emerging nation whilst keeping savings and protection planning our top priority! Read articles regarding financial planning. Speak to people who have existing protection and savings provisions in place and learn from them. Seek for professional advise. Share these information to those who lacks knowledge on such matters. Spread the words. Care. Share. Communicate.

project would probably go on for months before we finally close the deal – just imagine all the revisions and clarifications that would go back & forth. Message for my fellow expats Being away from our home country makes us vulnerable to despair and pessimism, but we should not let our trials pull our self-esteem down. Instead they should motivate us into reaching for our full potential. As the legendary Bruce Lee quoted : “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”


LAYAL UNVEILS NEW SHOWROOM IN BURJUMAN LAYAL – The exclusive beauty retail concept store by Grand Stores has opened its 4th showroom in the UAE at the newly renovated Burjuman Centre in Dubai. Mr. Mohammed Abu Issa, Managing Director of Grand Stores did the ribbon cutting and officially unveiled the brand new showroom to the public at an inaugural ceremony, held on eve of Saturday 22nd October 2016. The exquisite showroom opening was actively attended by several loyal customers of LAYAL, renowned fashion and beauty bloggers, leading socialites, media representatives, industry experts and senior management officials from Grand Stores. All the guests enjoyed the red carpet treatment as there were plenty of activities that kept the scene warm, vibrant and vivacious. With the grand opening of its splendid showroom in Burjuman Centre, LAYAL has now become the first luxury retailer in the UAE to introduce a dedicated shopping section for top, trendy and unique brands that falls under specific categories within a ‘fragrance family’. The showroom currently showcases an exclusive range of woody, floral, aromatic, oud and citrus fragrances. Yet another highlight of LAYAL showroom

is the magnificent make up bar with a plethora of selection in skincare and a specially dedicated nail bar equipped with the latest tools in nail painting & grooming. The showroom also boasts an exclusive area for oriental and niche luxury brands, enabling the customers to easily identify, select and purchase the right choice of products suitable to their skin texture, personal preferences and lifestyle. Speaking on the occasion about the new and latest showroom opening of LAYAL, Mr. Samer Abu Issa, Commercial Director of Grand Stores said “With over three decades of expertise in handling luxury brands & an outstanding track-record in customer service excellence, today we stand totally capable of addressing and delivering a whole new level of experience in top-end fragrances, beauty & skin care to our valuable shoppers via LAYAL – our sole retail concept that caters specifically to this

business segment. Strategically located at the heart of Dubai’s thriving residential area in Bur Dubai, our new showroom here in the recently renovated Burjuman Centre is yet another window of opportunity to reach out to our valued customers in this locality.” “LAYAL is strikingly synonymous to today’s trendy and modern youth with a strong positive outlook that simply opts for the best. Here at LAYAL, we are proud to provide the finest labels from the world of beauty and have a brilliant team of makeup & skincare experts who are readily available to service our customers. The launch of this new showroom is indeed a reinforcement of LAYAL’s strategic expansion plan, fuelled by our passion of bringing the best luxury brands in to the UAE” added Mr. Qais Sabri, Operations Manager for LAYAL Showrooms in the UAE.

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Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.


My Art My heart & soul is a fine artist, while my body & brain is a creative director, art director, designer and visualizer. My hands, eyes and other senses respond to both masters with the same fire and passion. As a fine artist, I am able to do and express whatever I desire. I love painting. I love the smell of oil and paint and turpentine. They give me such orgasmic high better than any drug or woman can. Touching the texture of the canvas makes me feel like I’m touching heaven. Every brush stroke, every layer of paint gives me that feeling of an amazing new discovery. Like a child with a new magical toy. It’s like breathing life to the canvas. Knowing that once it’s brought to life, this one will live forever. My (non)Process I have no particular process in my creations. Although the human figure seems to always titillate my imagination. Nude is something I do most of the time. I like doing the human figure in its most natural form. The skeleton, the muscles, the form… the nooks and crannies of the human figure… those are the things that inspire me. The human figure is an art by itself.

My oil portraits are done to look like oil paintings. Although I can easily do portraits that will look as real as photograph, I

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make sure I do my paintings the way an oil painting should be done. Lots of visible brush strokes. Nothing I do comes close as what a camera does. My Journey I remember that the first thing I learned to do with a pencil and paper was to draw. That was before I even stepped into school. In school, my teachers used to ask me to do their classroom visual aids or draw on the blackboard for them. Word spread around and it wasn’t long before the top artists in our small town took notice and that’s how my art journey began. I further honed my skills by taking up Fine Arts major in Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas enjoying full scholarship PLUS a regular recipient of half scholarships by making it to the Dean’s List. My art has taken me this far. It has given me so much. I have passed through glass ceilings. And in the process, I have changed the lives of so many budding artists. From Bahrain to Jeddah to Dubai. My journey has always been colorful. My paintings and drawings have found their spot in loving homes across the globe. Back in the early days in Dubai, I founded an art group called LIPAD (League of Pilipino Artists in Dubai) with some friends for which I was voted the president. The

group had been very successful. We gave free art lessons, free art materials and free snacks to kids every Friday. A few months ago, I met with a mix of seasoned and budding Filipino artists based in Dubai to form a new art group we called 2PM (the name was taken from the call time we set for the meeting) and it is open to all artists in visual and performing arts. Plans are aplenty. Enthusiasm is high and we have great expectations on the future of this new group to showcase every aspect of the Filipino talent. Aside from this, I spend most of my Fridays as a volunteer trainer for Kabayan NonProfit Organization, teaching Graphic Design, Figure Drawing, Portrait Oil Painting and assistant trainer in Photography and Adobe Illustrator. My advice to aspiring artist Keep creating, keep exploring and keep believing. The world is your stage.

Follow Edipolo on his social media platforms!



Keep creating, keep exploring and keep believing. The world is your stage.

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BRIAN CARL CAMPOS ABU DHABI, UAE briancarlcamposphotography

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Authentic, street-level suave and swankiness.


CHEYSER PEDREGOSA > Berlin, Germany JOY CAASI Dubai - UAE > illustrado go>50



Authentic, street-level suave and swankiness.

KARL PHILIP LEUTERIO > Mackay, Australia


MICHAEL MACALOS > Manila - Philippines

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How to work it when you wear it coz you’re worth it.


What role does fashion play in your daily life? Fashion is the backbone of my professional life as a visual merchandising manager. It is important in that sense and with regards to the daily grind of my existence, yes very much! Fashion may not really define me as a person but it definitely helps me gain confidence and reason to look great and feel good about myself. What do you typically wear? For work, it’s usually smart chic, as I wear mostly shirts with bowties and fitted jackets, slim and distressed denim with brogues. I love a plain white T or crisp white shirt and distressed or over-washed denim. I also love accessorizing with big rings, cuffs or a mix different bracelets and of course scarfs!

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What can’t you live without? Besides my family and my faith? Definitely water and a good book! What is your fashion philosophy? Being fashionable is not about knowing or following the trends blindly. It is about being comfortably stylish in your own skin and being unique and having your own personal style without trying too hard.



Smart and masustansyang content from some of our favorite bloggers

How and why I did a social media fasting By>


he secret’s out... I went to rehab. Sort of.

Weeks ago, I did a social media fasting - no Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for 7 days. It wasn’t too easy for someone who breathes social media. I used to be an impulsive Facebook user, sharing almost anything, checking about everything. Like most of you, I had a FoMO apprehension at some point - Fear of Missing Out. The first 2 attempts failed as I itched back too quickly in it again. Determined to do it, I uninstalled Facebook app and the messenger. For 7 days they don’t exist. Discipline. WHY FASTING The time spent lurking on the feeds don’t help my ever growing to-do list. It has taken its toll on things I really want to do on and offline.

A research found that users between 18 and 34 years old spend an average of 3.8 hours a day on social media. That’s almost HALF A DAY’s work! News feeds are filled with filtered moments of our lives; Temporary happiness - what everyone had for dinner, where they are traveling, OOTDs, their awe about the number of likes for their #IWokeUpLikeThis photos, new gadgets, striking quotations, rants about the government, their delayed salaries, #IfYouTypeAmen chain letters, how they seem to miss Kris Aquino or Mrs. West, etc.

these not-so-important updates from everybody. Unconsciously, time flies too quickly. The 7-day fasting is a kind of “cleansing” process to refocus a significant amount of time from social media into more important matters, and to rekindle real relationships. SO, WHAT DID I MISS? In 7 days, I missed a number of event invites, a couple of writing gigs, one group announcement and a bunch of sweet hi’s and hello’s. They are important. I don’t delight missing them but I don’t feel really bad. The hiatus didn’t really stop the world. It won’t.

I also had news blackout from trolls and self-proclaimed (and irrational) political analysts. WHAT I REALIZED There are too much drama and too many divas not worth the attention. Relevance lost. I don’t need the noise. A lot more things are more worthy of my time.

I was able to refocus on many valuable things - spiritual growth among them. The world has become busier than ever that we don’t find a genuine time to talk to Him and listen to what He says. How’s your faith today?

Everything vanity.

Before, when I was idle, like waiting at the parking lot or waiting for my wife to finish shopping or just standing on queue, I hold my phone and browse Facebook - to pass time.

By the time I wake up, or even before I tap that snooze alarm, I’m already consuming

THE REPLACEMENTS Those little scrolling, photo viewing, and

Ion Gonzaga

watching funny videos totals to quite significant amount of time. During the fasting, I committed to selfstudy. I aimed to increase my knowledge, understanding and wisdom on many areas I feel I was lacking of. I started using other apps - one daily devotional to read, a journal to document my progress, and a fitness challenge app that only requires 5-8 minutes of my time daily. THE RESULTS In my time off, I was able to do the following among others:

Reorganize and de-clutter my inbox - from 5,000+ unread messages to 0. Develop a 5-10 minute morning workout. Read 2 books and write a journal. Finish work more efficiently. Wash the dishes one day a week. Ponder on bigger and wiser plans ahead. Best of all, these things are now habits. Now I’m using social media with a regulated approach. I have my defined time off, and “no-phone” zones. I did it little by little, slow and steady. I don’t get sore thumbs for “SCROLLiosis” anymore. Fasting helps. I was surprised to discover there’s a lot more things I love to do in lieu of glancing at what everyone is doing. Today, I committed to lessen the tweet a bit, reduce more kilogram than Instagram, and yes, read a book before Facebook. And instead of WhatsApp, let’s meet up. Shall we?

Check out Ion’s blog at www.!



Finding your true self as you make sense of the world

How to stay faithful By>


t’s so sad sometimes to hear of couples breaking up, especially if there is a third party. But how can a third party ruin a very good relationship? This happens when someone in a relationship becomes unfaithful. And in the age of the Internet, the opportunities to pursue interests that are outside of relationship have become perilously more abundant. How to stay faithful in these modern, cyber-centric times? Allow me to offer some tips. Accept the possibility that anyone can be unfaithful. Even yourself. Not everyone will agree to this. You may have even said this yourself: that you will always be faithful to your partner. but human nature can always kick in. We are but human. We have weaknesses. We have our low moments. We get tempted, lonely, unhappy, or maybe even plainly just curious. And then, it hits us – that e are just like everyone else. Our relationship is just like everyone else. It can succeed. It can also fail.

Accepting that we too can be unfaithful can actually help us.This can change how we behave, handle the people who come to our lives, and protect our relationship, especially if we have invested so much into it. Make your relationship known on social media. Let everyone know you are taken. Change your status to “In A Relationship.” Post pictures of you and your partner, together. If you are married and with children, make

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it a habit to post your family pictures. Now, it’s true – someone who is hellbent on pursuing you will pursue you no matter how often you declare that you are no longer single, but constantly providing evidence of your relationship status may be a good deterrent. We tend to brag about the things we are happy about. Indulge yourself on the occasional relationship bragging. Give your partner full access to all your social media accounts and devices. I understand how this idea can be polarizing, but if you think about it, it is simply the logical endpoint of the trust and openness that must be present in any relationship. Others would argue that they need some kind of privacy, even from their partners, lovers, or even husbands and wives – but the plain truth is that if you are indeed faithful, then you have nothing to hide. Trust thrives where it is nurtured and encouraged. This holds water even in the cyberspace. Don’t add your ex and people you are attracted to on social media. Not unless your ex and your current are now best buddies, which is obviously a very rare phenomenon, you should avoid all forms of communication with them, and with anyone you may be attracted to. Just. Don’t. Do. It. If you truly value your relationship, then it should be easy to imagine how something like this could be plain common sense. If you keep a door open, sooner or later, someone will come in. So close that door.

Roman Guevara

Tell your partner everything. Don’t keep secrets. Never lie. If you love someone, you will be honest with that person - even to the point of telling your partner if you are attracted to another. This may be hard for others to do, and may altogether dismiss this as unnecessary. But, if you truly love one another, you will talk often, you will share ideas, you will be open to one another about anything and everything, even things that are difficult, awkward, embarrassing, and painful.

Avoid situations where you will be tempted. A lot of people make this mistake that faithfulness is a given – that it is present in the relationship by default. This is incorrect. Faithfulness is a constant habit. It is defined by the choices you make. If you find yourself in a situation where your integrity is compromised, get out of it as soon as you can – and don’t go seeking it out If you feel that what you’re doing is wrong, it’s wrong. Stop it. Okay. You are not unfaithful - at least not yet. But there is someone else right now on your mind. Nothing has happened yet, but this person is triggering reckless impulses in you. You are just “friends,” sure – but not really. There is something… something… Ok, STOP. Just tell yourself, STOP. Faithfulness is a choice – a decision. Decide to do the right thing, and instead, remember whom you really love. Remember who really loves you.



Th e a d v e n tur e s a n d mi s ad ve n tu re s o f a ‘ n o t s o a ve ra g e ’ P in a y tr y i n g to make i t i n th e c o s m o po lita n c ity o f Du b a i

! d o o w Bali


ravel opportunities come only once in a full moon. To be able to see new places, learn new cultures and meet different people - especially cute boys - are the things I’ve always dream on. So when my boss ask me if I can accompany him to our company’s Global Conference in the world-class resort island of Bali. – without battling my eyelash I quickly said Yes! Libre na, may bayad pa! I get to work while being on a holiday trip – it’s like hitting two beards with one’s tone. Dizzizit, Annie B. goes globe-strutting! I felt something was wrong the moment I entered the Business Lounge (Yes! Naka-jackpot!), everybody was wearing shorts and t-shirts and snickers. I was in full-Working Girl outfit – pin-striped suit with matching stockings and four-inch steeletoes outfit – hitsura ni Dianne Keaton sa outfit ko. I notice that, except for this group of Koreans, everybody inside the Business Class Lounge were in casual clothes – hindi naman Safa Park ito ah? These people should learn how to dress up properly. Business class kaya dapat naka-

business outfit di ba? An hour after we boarded the plan, I began to feel ankshoes. My boss was already in deep’s number and my seatmates looked snobbish. So I sneaked to Economy class and looked for other Pinays to chat with. Lucky for me, Manay Puring, the lady who sells pirated Tagalog VCDs in our neighborhood was in the same flight on her way to her annual vacation to the Philippines. Maricar, my cousin’s gay manicurist all of a suddenly came of the labratory. Chismisan Session na itu! It felt good to be in the company of my kabayans as we exchanged stories and laughed at jokes while killing time abored the airplane. At last we arrived in Bali, and went straight to Legian Resort. I was thrilled again because I got to stay in a 5-star hotel. After unpacking my stuff and preparing my boss’ presentation materials, I quickly slipped out and took a tour of the island resort. Well, well, well, what can I say? Bali is a wanderful place – it is clean and the hotels and resorts are all world-class. The locals are very friendly – too friendly

in fact. I thought I could buy a pair of Bali shoes – it turns out I had the wrong brand name in mind. But the beach – can I just tell you – the beach is not that fabulous. It’s not even white sand - with lots of rocks and gigantic waves, I wasn’t able to emote and do my Rachel Lobangco Shhboom projection. I was wondering why Bali is so popular in the world because walang sinabi ang beach ng Bali if you compare it to our very own Boracay. Sayang, we only had a few days to stay in Bali – and then back to the sandpit again! As I waited for my passport to be stamped at the Dubai Airport, I look back at the things that I saw and people that I met during my trip. I have seen very high-class places and sophistication people, but I’m more happy that I met other kabayans. Can you image if there were no Pinoy OFWs around? Kahit baduy pa sila or super ingay, or kamukha ni April Boy Regino we’re all kabayans and we should be happy and proud of our own. We should all have that great Pinoy spirit. Kasi whatever anyone will tell you – iba talaga ang Pinoy!

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Stuffed Crabs

A recipe by Executive Chef of Bamboo Lagoon, Debrup Mitra

10 minutes into a lovely brunch at the Bamboo Lagoon in JW Marriot Hotel in Deira and we were convinced that we had found one of the best buffet spreads in Dubai. And trust us: we’ve been around! We fancy ourselves as somewhat of Buffet Inspectors, and for us, Bamboo Lagoon ticks all the boxes: diverse variety of masterfully prepared food at a reasonable price point. Their seafood offerings are especially fabulous, which is why it gives us great joy to present to you a seafood recipe straight out of their kitchens. Serves 4 INGREDIENTS • 4 pcs Fresh Blue Crabs • Crab Meat – 100 grams • 2 tbsp Lime Juice • 1 tsp Minced Garlic • 1 tsp Fresh Chili Chopped • 400 gms Chicken - Minced • 30 gms Water Chest Nuts Fine Crushed • 30 gms Black Mushroom Fine Diced • ¼ Cup Green Onion Finely Chopped • 1 tbsp Coriander Leaves Chopped • 1 tsp Fish Sauce • 1 tsp Soy Sauce • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper • Salt to Taste • 1 pc. Whole Egg • Oil for Deep Frying METHOD: Steam the fresh crabs for about 30 minutes. Remove crab meat from the shell without breaking the head shell.

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In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well until texture becomes sticky. Stuff the filling into the empty crab shells using a spoon and smooth out the surface. Steam the stuffed crab for 5 minutes then cool it down. Heat up fryer with oil. When the oil is heated up, dip each stuffed crab shell into beaten eggs until coated well. Fry the stuffed crabs till surface turned light golden brown, drain excess oil on paper towels. Serve immediately. Serve with sweet chili and coriander sauce, soy-chili or spiced vinegar. Friday Brunch for the fam-bam at JW Marriot Hotel Deira! With so much fun at our indoor brunch, the whole family will be spoilt for choice with activities and culinary experiences.

Kids can play on the bouncy castle and join interactive games with their friends, while the grown-ups are listening to exotic tunes or doing the Haka with the Polynesian live band from New Zealand. Indulge in international cuisine at The Market Place, traditional Bavarian feasts at Hofbräuhaus and an Asian extravaganza at Bamboo Lagoon. Timings : Friday, 12:30pm - 4pm
Price : AED 295 including soft beverages AED 395 including house beverages AED 60 for children aged 6 - 12 years Free for children under 6 For enquiries and reservation, please call +971 (0) 4 607 7977, send an email to, or


Of tongue-hugger Robatas, afternoon calmness and non-existent food comas

A review of the Red Sun Brunch at Katana, Dubai by Rosan Katlea-Reodica


he night before, I had to choose between three sets of OOTD’s before settling for a thrifted off-shoulder lace top and black stretch gauchos with normcore kitten heels. It’s brunch, isn’t it? Rampahan bago busugan? The Friday’s that makes the whole of Dubai go a-frenzy, destroying weekend body clocks to look Instagramready while devouring a buffet spread and alcohol selection na parang pabilisan eating challenge. I was dressed to impress, fill my tummy up with 395dhs worth of food and dance the afternoon away. In short, handa akong mapagod. Katana’s #RedSunBrunch isn’t the brunch that tires you out with food coma of edibles you will vaguely remember. Natuwa ang proper lace top ko – the place is highceilinged, beautiful afternoon light filled the space, seating soft yet sturdy; spacing between tables not narrow enough to eavesdrop but close enough to make friends; well-curated music gave off a relaxed happy vibe; and attentive but unhovering waiters make the place laidback yet upscale. It’s a Japanese resto that doesn’t need to go all-out Asian on you,

making the food speak for itself. Thank heavens it’s not another buffet! We were served a seamless 5-course experience. Starting off with lightness of green salad, lotus root chips, edamame, tempura whose breading won’t hurt the roof of your mouth, and an added Italian flair of Salmon Carpaccio with feta cheese (fave!!!). The star dishes came next – robata or juicy skewers slow-grilled over hot coal of angus(!!!) beef, chicken, salmon, prawn and corn. We were served sauces to pair, but we barely touched them. On their own, the skewers just melt in your mouth and coat your tongue with their full flavor perfect with both the red and white wine we were having. Then comes the sushi platter after we quickly strolled out for fresh air and fountain views. Did the selection convince me though? Yes, if only for how it was styled. Nothing fancy when it comes to the flavor profiles, but the dishes were fresh, filling, and well-prepared, all without trying to be too trendy. No Cheetos maki’s here! The fourth course alone would keep me coming back to Katana. Imagine thick-sauced yakiniku,

crispy-skinned tangy Jidori chicken with scallion relish, buttery grilled salmon, rice with heapings of prawns and chicken, and green beans with oyster garlic sauce that was meant to be a basic side dish but failed immensely as it was superb even as a main course. The lychee daiquiri, sorbet, macarons, and the matcha cheesecake bid us goodbye with the lasting impression that Katana will surely see us again even if it wasn’t brunch. This is the perfect place to take time with the food and converse with the person you’re with without having to shout at each other over the table. We went home clearly remembering what we ate, my make-up intact and tummy all full without that nagging bloating feeling of brunch we are all used to. I guess I found my new Friday tradition!

RED SUN BRUNCH PACKAGES: Min 2 sharing. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs 395 (house beverages), Dhs 495 (bubbly). Friday 1-4pm. Brunch guests min age 10yrs. For enquiries and reservations, visit

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Bayanihan Festival 2016 in Dubai is here! The most awaited Pinoy event is here, the BAYANIHAN FESTIVAL 2016, as the organizers are all in full force once again in the preparation of the most anticipated Filipino community event of the year. The most prominent attractions of the festival are THE VOICE KIDS SINGING contest, the first ever OFW DAKILANG BAYANI AWARDS 2016, the search for FESTIVAL QUEEN, ON-THE-SPOT PAINTING contest, CHRISTMAS LANTERN and CHRISTMAS CHOIR contest, EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING, dance performances from various groups & the mini bazaar which is in part participated by prominent Filipino schools in Dubai & northern emirates. Celebrity artists will entertain the affair headed by the glamorous Miss Francine Prieto & hosts of other celebrities coming to grace the event. These are just few of the many events that will take place on December 16, 2016 as the Filipino Community celebrates an annual festival in Dubai. “This year’s Bayanihan Festival promises to be interesting, fun-filled and educational for all ages,” said Dr. Marilyn “Wafa” Qasimieh, PhD, the Chairman of Bayanihan Festival 2016 It will also feature the first ever OFW Dakilang Bayani Awardee which will focus on migrant workers in the community. It will be a great way to acknowledge the contributions of our migrant workers in different fields of work. The event is being organized by the Filipino Community Club, which is comprised of volunteers from various groups in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, accredited by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai. This year’s Bayanihan kicked off with an inaugural meeting at the Philippine Consulate General initiated by Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes who

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reminded everyone that the goal is to give the 690,000 Filipinos in Dubai a Bayanihan that they will remember and make them feel that they are part of a community. Let us come together on December 16, 2016 for Bayanihan and feel the Spirit of Christmas.

United Architects of the Philippines3rd MENA Council Summit 2016 The United Architects of the Philippines – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Cooperating Council is an assembly of Leaders from the UAP Chapters in the MENA Region that is created to promote stronger regional professional development and relationship amongst the chapters and since its founding in year 2012 with 6 chapters to start with, the council grew into what it is today with the addition of Qatar Chapter, Kuwait Chapter and now Oman Chapter. On October 21, 2016 at The Address Dubai Mall on its 3rd Year, UAP – UAE Dubai

chapter hosted the biggest gathering of Filipino Architects in the Middle East, the 3RD MENA Council Summit with a three (3) part program: Induction Ceremony, Chapter Chartering and Seminar Series. The event started with series of Seminars for the Filipino Architects brought by the distinct guests of honors. UAP National Executive Vice President Ar. Maria Nina Bailon Arce with her lecture entitled “Empowering Architects: MENA and Beyond” discussed about the current status of Filipino Architects in the MENA Region. UAP National President Ar. Guillermo Hisancha talked about “Preparing Architects for ASEAN Architect Registry: The Portfolio” and PRC Commissioner Ar. Angeline ChuaChiaco tackles about “Making CPD Accessible to Architects in MENA Region”. The second part of the event is the formal Chartering Ceremony of the Oman Chapter with fellow Architects from the Region. It started with the reading of the history of the Charter Chapter and ended with the inaugural address of the Charter Chapter President – truly a remarkable event for our brothers and sisters in Oman Chapter. Lastly, the induction ceremony of UAP –Dubai Chapter Officers headed by Ar. Jaime Tasarra Jr. was held. It is followed by the Induction Ceremony of the MENA Cooperating Council Officers headed by the Immediate Past Chapter President of UAP – UAE Dubai Chapter Ar. Ronald Salcedo who is now appointed as the new Chairman of the MENA Cooperating Council which culminated the two (2) day Summit.

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