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Laban, Bayan!


Divided We Fall

Kita-kita sa Finals

#ATM Revolution. Surprised?

Has the youth become indifferent?

Navigating a split society

Why you should love your kabayans, no matter what



1st • Mar • 2017


The “Politics of Petiks.” The kind of ideological strongmanship that relies on noise and buffoonery to make up for its lack of factualness and prudence. Nowadays, it’s easy to be an expert at anything and everything. Need to comment on a post about the Death Penalty Bill? Wait, isang Google lang yan! In this environment of fast information exchange, may space pa ba para sa taimtiman at makabuluhang usapan? Meron naman. Kapit lang, bes. May kalalagyan ang paninindigan mo.














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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.


Associate Editor Nicholo Jallores believes that the kind of government that the Philippines has right now is exactly the kind of government that it deserves. Whether that should be construed as a reward or a punishment is entirely up to the Filipino.

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.”



Backed with over 10 years of entertainment industry know-how, Kristine Abante heads the Sales and Marketing Department of Rhythm Records, a major distributor of music in the Middle East. And when she’s not busy marketing records, she works as a Freelance PR and contributing writer to various publications, including Illustrado and Illustrado Go.

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Louise Monique is an all-around 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: www.

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.


Who doesn’t want to be financially secure? In this issue, Illustrado’s resident spirituality guru bridges that proverbial divide between money and contentment. It turns out, money really can’t buy happiness. But it can afford you something else that is truly worth your while…

AJ Marasigan’s a social activist with political opinions that are so usually peppered with profanity that it’s often unprintable. She also writes about love, feminism, and gender equality through poems and articles you can sometimes find at Though Catalog, Berlin Art Parasite, and Elephant Journal. She’s also a social entrepreneur by profession and runs an events management company. She will have her own death star someday.

From The Publishers of Illustrado Magazine


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Enjoy a holiday of endless possibilities!

Georgia has something to offer to every kind of traveler. Whether you’re into the great outdoors or extreme sports, street art or history and culture, lush mountain views or vibrant cityscapes, unforgettable memories await you at every turn. Visit to learn more.



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

A nation severely divided B y > K r i p Yu s o n

Any objective reckoning can only lead to the bottomline of criticism against President Duterte: that he has polarized the country since he took office. And that he continues to exacerbate the situation.


h, on occasion he takes pause from provocative statements, and actually softens a bit on a previous hardline stance. He has pulled off the PNP from a ruinous campaign that has cost over 7,000 lives, if temporarily, and owing only to the gruesome murder of a foreign national inside a police camp. Only recently, he signed the Paris pact on climate change, which he had resisted at the outset.

these became open to supporting the new president for the sake of our democratic nation.

and privileged, as well as most OFWs tired of their home country’s image of perceived stagnancy. Duterte’s campaign was also successfully premised on the efficacy of online engagement, which introduced false news to a generally undiscerning audience. Trolls and bot magic did their part to champion him as a fresh messiah, despite his age and controversial reputation.

Well and good. These show that he is not beyond being convinced of the error of initial stances. How it’s wished that this becomes default mode.

We realized why he won. Parallel to populist movements around the world, Filipino voters had once again felt disenchanted with the last president. No matter if history will say that Noynoy Aquino’s unassailable exemption from any whiff of corruption had turned things around for the national economy. Towards the end of his rule, he was seen as apathetic. And his elitist nature had shown its true colors when he refused to fire friends who were dragging him down.

Whatever our political preferences had been during the 2016 presidential elections, and no matter that more of us decried the victory of the dark horse from Davao, a substantial number of

Duterte was the diametric opposite: a foul-mouthed, street smart mayor of gruff conduct but with the promise of strongman leadership. He attracted not only the lower classes, but many of the better educated

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It was but natural for him to adhere to the myth of his own making. Thus was introduced the great bogey that he would fight and eliminate by any means: a reputed drug menace built up on bloated figures. The conduct of his signature war on drugs could then be rationalized as the end result justifying the means. The second bogey was the so-called



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

“yellow cult” still revolving around his predecessor’s Liberal Party, which clearly had been decimated by political realities. It was made out to be the continuing enemy, and even invested with the unlikely capability of mounting a plot to unseat Duterte. He could have reached out to everyone when he became President. But he chose to enhance his tough-guy image by insulting foreign officials, cursing the Pope, castigating the Church, calling anyone who called him out as an idiot, and abiding by his dim regard for human rights, while promoting a culture of senseless death that has taken a grisly toll. His choices for Justice officials are seen as buffoons. True, he has placed a few good men and women in proper office, but for the most part his selections have betrayed his small circle of familiars. And the use of trolls and self-serving blog writers continues to alienate mainstream media and right-thinking individuals for whom false news is false news.

little real accomplishments on the ground despite what fanatical supporters claim but can’t factually cite much of — have also led to gradual erosion of public trust. His idolatry of Marcos, perceived vindictiveness against a lady senator, legislative initiatives that prioritize the reimposition of the death penalty and holding nine-year-olds as criminally liable — plus increasing vulnerability to exposure of his murderous links with a death squad — are all of a piece, spelling the culture of impunity and bloodlust that he evidently champions. Instead of expanding his support base, Duterte succeeds only in alienating more and more rational-minded Filipinos. They may still be fewer than his blind minions, but the current raging state of a virtual civil war may be said to be a conflict between quality and quantity. The divisiveness has taken root. The extreme polarization of Filipinos can only end when a tipping point is reached.

Stalled peace talks, ineffectivity against terror groups, the falling peso, frozen foreign investments — as against too

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Towards empowering Filipinos.



By> Lalaine Chu- Benitez


n the harsh glare of rampant barrio politics, crab mentality and unnervingly presumptuous behavior within the Filipino expat community, do we still have enough reason to love our kabayan? There is nothing like being abroad to strengthen one’s “Filipino-ness.” It is out here, where we exist in contrast with other cultures, that we really get to see, appreciate and sometimes even hate, the nuances that make us uniquely Pinoy. According to a study conducted by research firm Synovate Philippines for international money transfer company Western Union, “Overseas Filipinos (OFs) bring to life global attitudes. As they juggle between adapting to a foreign land and keeping ties with the families they left behind, they have also become conduits of practices, beliefs and values between their host and home countries. Regardless of their role as agents of cultural change, they remain Filipino in heart and mind, and in some instances become even more fiercely Pinoy in spirit than before they left.”

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While all that is good, and speaks well of how Filipinos hold on to their values – love for family, loyalty, kindness, spirituality and a willingness to help the needy — there are certain negative cultural traits that we also carry with us wherever we go, and which continue to overshadow our best facets. Crabs and village folks It’s very easy for us Pinoys to identify our tendencies – the habits of mañana (leaving things for tomorrow), bahala na (come what may), ningas cogon (leaving things unfinished), pabaya (unmindfulness), puwede na (that’s good enough), as well as pagsasamantala (taking advantage) and pagpapalusot (trying to get away with things) are our native quirks which we have come to loathe ourselves.

These behaviors, however, seem to taper when OFs adjust to life in their adopted countries. According the same Synovate study, 49 percent of those surveyed acquired good traits such as increased independence, punctuality, better observance of laws, as well as improved moral consciousness.

Still, there are certain unsavory characteristics that stay on and, in fact, evolve into Pinoy expat specific bad behavior. Here, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘crab mentality.’ Described by the phrase: “If I can’t have it, neither can you.”, it is a metaphor which refers to how crabs in a bucket pull each other down in an attempt to get to the top; an attitude mostly experienced in community organizations where there is constant competition to be the best and most popular. Jun Samiley, an active member of a desert driving association in the UAE reveals, “I hate politics, but that is the norm in our community. In fact, other nationalities ask us: ‘what is wrong with you Filipinos?’ In our own small group of around 40 active members, hindi nawawala na may mga back-stabbers. But, sad to say, we have to live with it at hindi na mababago sa ating mga Pinoy ang ugaling crab mentality.” This attitude is further complicated when one considers that Filipino culture, just like other Asian cultures, is very much a culture of face,; where status and image are of utmost importance, and where one-upmanship is very common. A fact



Towards empowering Filipinos.

There is nothing like being abroad to strengthen one’s “Filipino-ness.” It is out here, where we exist in contrast with other cultures, that we really get to see, appreciate and sometimes even hate, the nuances that make us uniquely Pinoy. that many people hate to admit. Chona Perez (not her real name) a senior member of the umbrella Filipino organization in the Emirates, observes, “Hindi na yata matatanggal ang inggit sa ating mga Pilipino. Ang mahirap, kapag may isang sikat o naging successful, sisiraan ng iba dahil gusto nila, sila ang mas sikat o mas maging matagumpay. Hindi ba pwedeng matuwa na lang tayo para sa mga kabayan natin?” Vicious crab mentality aside, nobody can fault the open and welcoming persona of most Pinoys – a characteristic highly praised by other nationalities. If you have had the chance to travel extensively, you know that there exists this strong camaraderie, which makes it easy for one to approach a kabayan you meet anywhere in the world you go. However, there is also a thin line between being friendly and being offensively curious or overly familiar. Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that there are kabayans who will reveal their life story, ask you private questions and even act unnervingly comfortable — though you’ve just met them for the first time. Grace de Leon, of Dubai laments,“Sometimes sobrang nosey ang ibang mga kabayan natin at insensitive din. Yun bang magtatanong ng mga personal na tanong sa taong di naman nila kakilala.” Abu Dhabi based Agnes Aquino–Briggs adds, “It looks like the common problem is familiarity – too soon and too much. I always get mistaken for a Malaysian, Chinese or Singaporean. Then when I start talking in Tagalog – they start calling me ‘ate’ which I don’t mind. But during the rest of the conversation, the service they are providing goes down into a very low standard and they do not even expect you to complain about it because if you did – ‘sobrang arte mo naman, kabayan.’” She then adds, “But, of course, there are those kabayans from the service industry who give you preferential treatment simply because you are a kabayan.” Renuel Sanchez who is a fitness professional in the City of Gold recounts

bad kabayan experiences while shopping, “We are generally jolly and helpful. But yung ibang kabayan, suplado sa sarili nilang kabayan. It’s very evident when you are shopping; the Filipino staff looks after European customers more than their own kabayans. Kahit nauna ka na sa shop and you are asking for something, they will leave you behind and entertain other nationalities.” Though Renuel is quick to point out that his opinion is based on his and his friends’ experiences, and that not everyone is like that, Glenn Diaz Cruz from Bahrain, on the other hand, makes a more impassioned complaint: “Sa Bahrain Duty Free, ang Pinay na cashier nakasimangot. Tapos, all smiles sa mga ibang lahi.” He continues, “Parang may pinagkaiba ba yung pera ng ibang lahi sa pera ng kabayan nya?” Living in the Barrio of the World “Society for the Filipino is a small rowboat: the barangay. Geography for the Filipino is a small locality: the barrio,” wrote Philippine National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin in his essay ‘A Heritage of Smallness.”

There is a larger truth to that simple statement when one considers how the Filipino expats’ behavior is somehow indicative of deeply ingrained ‘barrio mentality’ – that no matter how far we’ve gone far from the motherland and into the world, we will always have a distinct sense of belonging to the same small village that is our virtual home. That inevitable feeling of kinship brings with it both perks and disadvantages. So while we benefit from the warm, easy, welcoming and quick-to-help attitude of our kabayans, we also can’t avoid the negatives that come when our lives are so closely woven with one another, giving truth to the idiom – “familiarity breeds contempt.” Presumptuousness, meddling, neglect, competitiveness and carelessness are issues which can only manifest from close relationships – just as partners, siblings and close friends can only be the best and worst of enemies.

Furthermore, although some would argue that certain negative traits are closely linked, if not, identified with our culture, bad behaviors, by and large, are not exclusive to the Filipino. Certainly, there is still an enormous amount of kindness and ‘good Samaritanism’ among Filipinos around the world. We belong to a community where it is common to welcome and help complete strangers; one that comes to the rescue when our own people are in need. Natural Filipino warmth and camaraderie seem banal when you compare them with how OFs take it upon themselves to raise millions to aid disaster victims back home, or how the community throws fund raisers for the poor and destitute, for the ill who cannot afford treatment, and for distressed kabayans who have fallen into bad situations outside the country. We lend a hand, we give an ear. We provide cash, goods and our protection, sometimes, even to our own detriment. Surely, such magnanimity and generosity of spirit more than redeem all the bad nuances and grievances kabayans might have with each other. There is always room for us to improve – most certainly. So while we sustain the best things about being of the “barrio” – our warmth, our kindness and camaraderie – we should couple our sense of kinship with all the positive facets and big ideas which we have acquired as citizens of the world. It’s time to hold a mirror up to ourselves, call-out our mistakes and use the opportunity to rid ourselves of our ugly pettiness and useless negativity. Positive change, not unconditional tolerance, is what we need. But while we are far from perfection, it pays to know and understand that all these flaws, no matter how inconvenient, unpleasant and irritating, are still a small price to pay for being part of the same devoted family. Love thy kabayan. Period.

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

THE PINOY’S TV By > Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes


ince my younger years, I followed many TV series that tacked the legal profession - Matlock, LA Law, Law and Order, Suits, The Good Wife, and many others. I also was a fan of political dramas like House of Cards and Scandal. The seeming underlying foundation of the characters in those shows is the quest for power and how those in law and politics skirt or tow the moral dimensions in the course of their search. Almost all of them often present the dilemma of choosing between the ends (higher political office, more influence) and means (gaining the upper hand at the expense of values —adherence to truth, equality, respect for others’ lives, and the like.) What made me look forward to episodes of these shows was that their writers took the greatest efforts to make their characters believable and praiseworthy and if they had qualities deemed contemptuous or despicable, at least the denouement provided some sort of redeeming value. The lines, scenarios, storyline, and depiction and development of the characters were well thought of and intricate. I always wondered why our home-grown TV shows did not exhibit as much depth in storyline and characterization as those shows. More often, the attempts to rationalize the characters and the plots

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that revolved around them were shabby and, frankly, quite hollow. It was as if the stories of these shows were not really meant to provide a deeper understanding of the complexities of man’s political and social milieu. Their value lay in that its mission was seemingly to entertain and take the viewers to a rollercoaster journey of emotions — from the joy of two people in love to the introduction of a third character opposed to their relation and then revenge, most of you are aware of this predictable trajectory. I am usually wary of generalizations so take my aforementioned conclusions as those derived only from the sampling of shows I followed or from the subset of Filipino TV shows I watched hitherto. From this set, my subsequent premise that TV shows and the art we churn out mirror the values of society and governs the bedrock of the relations among Filipinos. It seems that our tendency to simplify plots so that the jump from one character to another does not need to be meticulously exhausted and analyzed reflects our national predisposition to shortcuts and quick fix band aid solutions as opposed to elaborately and fastidiously documenting all possible recourse to make things actually work. Such has never been more evident as we Filipinos parade our love affair with social media and our use of it as our primary

source of news and information, often our lone source of our political beliefs and sole basis of our preferred policies on governance. The recent Presidential elections served as a microcosm — many made up their minds on the basis of which pages reached their walls or which memes appeared to have the most likes. Rarely is there talk among Pinoys on going through detail and microscopic scrutiny to analyze an issue and reach for a better understanding of these policies or events that necessitate a national discussion. For many, it has become simply a binary issue of whether you are with us or not, and that would be categorical, valid for all instances. And just as in our TV programs, that there appears to be no need for us, as a nation, to swim through the depths of analysis and dissect and fully comprehend all aspects of political and economic events in our society is most certainly a dire prognosis of what our society has been and possibly will be. This, unless we deem it more meritorious to painstakingly bifurcate the stream that carries our ails and cures so that we are led to as many tributaries as possibly, that aim of reaching these is to definitively identify how best to resolve our national issues. I suppose we cannot just simply pigeon-hole issues into things we believe in and things we do not. At some point, we must learn to re-categorize these dichotomies to allow

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

And just as in our TV programs, that there appears to be no need for us, as a nation, to swim through the depths of analysis and dissect and fully comprehend all aspects of political and economic events in our society is most certainly a dire prognosis of what our society has been and possibly will be.

us to look into a greater number of avenues to effect a more thorough understanding of things. Is it really a chore for most Pinoys to perform this exercise? Most certainly it cannot be lack of discernment or the inability to use socio-anthropoligical realities to explain our political under and overtones. Sadly, perhaps it is the lack of political will to do so, maybe thinking that however much introspection we undergo, our political and social institutions remain, mired in the quicksand as we have been in the past century. I don’t believe our society has suffered more divisiveness as other states — America, Thailand, the UK, France, and some others are possibly more divided than we are but they have the political will to pause, study, analyze,

amend and correct, and move towards finding solutions to their issues and once they have, they embark, with fervor, on the business of rebuilding, keeping in mind the lessons of the events they had just gone through. Lamentably, our solutions are feeble because those affected by the fixes take it personally — as if their dignity were robbed from them, shamed and disgraced, an obvious affront to their personas. And because it has become personal to them, anything construed as support for the “fix” is likewise an affront to them, no gray area — as it was said: either you are with us or not. I suppose that the more introspective one becomes, one thinks less of his ego and more of the value and wisdom of ideas, societal conundrums, and issues that we

face as a community. There tends to be more thought given to whether or not individuals contribute to an amalgamated communal goal rather than their worth as individuals, the realization that the vastness of the universe compared to our selves is too gargantuan to ignore. Perhaps we should give ourselves the chance to speak less on how counterarguments to our societal views are a slight to our personas. They never are and our discussions to resolve these can never dilute our egos. Maybe in this manner, our conversations in politics offer more on how we absorb ourselves to a greater whole, less about us. We’ll get there!

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MY PINOY LIFE IN > Living the dream, loving the world, learning new things everyday


I've been travelling repeatedly here for short term business trips since 2006. But since May 2010, my employer (Fujitsu Ten) sent me to our head office as an intra-company transferee. Being able to stay here in Kobe for quite a long time, I have learned to embrace the Japanese way of living.

My City Kobe, Japan is a beautiful city. I think it is the perfect combination of city and nature. I can be in the middle of the city and then hiking in the mountain trails in no time. Living here, I feel like I’m on a tour every day. Having photography as my hobby, I never run out of subjects.

By> Ernieson Ganadores

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If anyone is looking for a different level of experience, this place is a “must” visit with its diverse culture, superb food, endless beauty and its great people.

Here is some trivia about Kobe city: • Kobe City was completely destroyed in 1995 after an earthquake that shook the whole area. But now, the city has been completely transformed into a beautiful tourist destination. • The longest suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge can be found here. • One of the world’s most expensive and amazingly delicious meat, Kobe beef, is from here.

MY PINOY LIFE IN > Living the dream, loving the world, learning new things everyday

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kobe, Japan Shinrin Park, Kobe, Japan

• This year, Kobe has been listed as No. 9 in the world’s most expensive cities to live in. Even though I have been here for years, this city still surprises me in many different ways. Its rich culture, great food, polite people, clean surroundings - the good things are endless. But at the end of the day, of course I still miss the Philippines. My home.

My Work I’m a car audio electronics Hardware Design Engineer. My job is to design and develop car infotainment systems for most Japanese and American car manufacturers.

I work with a team of Filipino and Japanese Engineers. Our designs are being manufactured and sold worldwide, so to all Filipinos out there, you can proudly say... that car’s audio system is designed by Filipinos!

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The famed Himeji Castle, Japan.

My Life in Kobe Life here is simple, peaceful and enjoyable. The Japanese people work really hard during the weekdays, but they definitely know how to get a dose of fun during the weekends and holidays. I have learned to embrace that kind of living. I work hard and play hard.

One thing that amazes me the most is the discipline of the Japanese people. They do little things that make a big difference. Like not crossing the street when the “don’t walk” signal is still up, or whenever they set foot on an escalator, they all stay only on one side so that people in a hurry can have enough space to run if they need to. If there is one thing that I would really want to acquire, it’s that level of discipline. Sometimes I wish I can see that kind of discipline in Philippines too. I wish.

Concerto Mosaic - Kobe, Japan

My Message to My Fellow Filipinos To all my fellow Filipino around the world, I hope you all continue to put your heart in everything that you do. That’s what makes

Japanese relax under cherry blossom trees during the Japanese spring festival ohanami.

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MY PINOY LIFE IN > Living the dream, loving the world, learning new things everyday

a Filipino shine anywhere. When we do something, we do it well with utmost sincerity. Also, whenever we bump into another Filipino anywhere, let’s not forget to greet each other and atleast smile. Whatever kind of job we have, whatever status in life. Kudos to all the Filipinos out there!

Shinkansen bullet train at a train station in Japan.

A shy Geisha (Maiko).

Maiko is young / apprentice geisha.

Kobe Port Tower at Meriken Park in Kobe, Japan.

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Viva La Revolucion By> Kristine Abante


he last time I went home was June last year, I think a few days after Independence day and just before our new president was sworn in. Prior to the elections, I never really thought there was any way out for the Philippines. I’m one of those who have given up, who have accepted our fate that we will always and forever be owned by the elite who controls the real power in our government and therefore the elections are just a mockery of our so-called democracy let alone our “independence”. But June 2016 was different. It was in the air, the dawn of a new revolution, a renewed fight for independence. I recognize it then, as I know it now. It will be bloody, but, this time, it will be ours. *** As a true blue “batangmaynila” and upon finding out that the entrance was FREE at the National Museum, I have decided it was the perfect time for me to pay a visit to the great Spoliarium and the museum’s many other national treasures. A walk inside the National Museum at that particular time in history has led to me to a greater, deeper understanding of the Filipino struggle.

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Every artwork seemed achingly familiar, because it felt REAL. I was standing there in present-day 2016, staring at these paintings thinking all of it is still relevant and actually happening to date.

they reach out and say they are fighting for our rights, that they want our lives to be better so we should pray, work hard, obey and don’t make a fuzz. Stay docile and drugged, stay DECENT.

The costumes have changed, the players have changed but I still see us, the same Filipino people struggling, fighting each other. The religious, the pretentious, the altasociedad, the oppressed, the many invisible Filipinos who toil daily for minimum wage their blood, sweat and tears shed for the pleasure of the few, they are the men beaten and dragged on Luna’s spoliarium.

I walked further down the halls and couldn’t help but stare at all the women that the master,Amorsolo painted. The ladies of the field, radiant after harvest, native beauty, the mothers with their children, the sunsets of manila. I noticed the stuff he paints out of his own interest and the stuff he paints for money, portraits of ladies all decked out, wives of politicians and businessmen. I thought it was sad that the last painting he did was an unfinished portrait of another seemingly affluent lady.

I kept seeing us on the dark, bloody, larger than life painting - OFWs risking their lives abroad, farmers begging for rice, children molested and trafficked, poor men taking the easy money from the drug dealers, while the educated illustrados carry on with their debates sitting comfortably in their safe houses and universities, sipping fine wine in their lovely ternos and suits. The scholars who turn up their noses, convinced that they know everything, calling us all who disagree with them and their friends who run the azucareras, as “trolls”, the new term for “indios”, stupid people who don’t know what they are talking about, who have no business talking about politics, the ignorant mob who should just go back to their telenovelas. Oh but how they pretend to understand, how

I stood there in the old cold room of our collective memories and felt the ghosts of the past peering at me from the different faces of all these Filipinas from a bygone century, nameless wives and daughters, famous widows enjoying the fruits of their husband’s labors, the housemaids, the salesladies at the counter, the woman with five kids in Tondo, same women dealing with the same old struggles. On another day, I found myself wandering around Makati CBD. I had a couple of hours to spare so I decided to check out the Ayala Museum.


The thing that struck me the most were the Dioramas, a walk through time. From the very first Malays, to the Chinese traders, to the Spanish invasion, the first republic, to Marcos and the Martial law, and finally EDSA people power. Browsing through our entire history was like being on Groundhogday. History repeats itself over and over and over, and every time we try to change its course to favor us, every attempt at reform, to topple the ivorytowers of the controlling elite, was foiled and futile - from Rizal, to Bonifacio, Heneral Luna, to the real heroes of EDSA, every one failed. Maybe the only successful ones were the Datus of the South, who refused to bow down and instead managed to negotiate the terms with their white captors. The Philippines was this whore slave, sold from one master to another, with the last one giving us the illusion that we are free, but we are merely given a long leash, because it was expensive to maintain a colony too far away. Americans have long been playing the game of the benevolent bully who handed us our independence at a price. They are the Negan to our Rick and we are all the walking dead. Those who have seen the film Heneral Luna will remember the traitor Pedro Paterno. As I stare at the carefully miniatures outlining the struggle of our people, I realize there are so many Pedro Paternos amongst us today, those who have embraced the Americans to foster their own selfish interests, who sit in their fat asses and let

their foreign compadres mine and rape our paradise while they turn our people into slaves. Reaching the end of the exhibit, the thing that bothered me the most was that the presentation ended after martial law and EDSA. As if history was only relevant after the dictator was removed from office. As if we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel when so-called “Democracy� was restored. As if the struggles of POST-EDSA was no longer relevant to our history, as if there was no art available to portray the daily modern cross we bore. It did not matter that we did not progress a zilch, that there was still wide spread corruption, that Cory Aquino and all the other presidents that followed her including her son, did very little to take the rest of us forward, but did everything to make sure that their status quo was protected.

in the revolution, the kind that National artist for literature F.Sionil Jose speaks about, Duterte is our sacrificial lamb, and his presidency incendiary. He is far from perfect, but right now we will take what we can, as those who of us who are sick and tired of the same old sorry shit cannot wait another thirty years, we need to act now before their poison takes over. The beast is awake, rabid and ready to fight for its freedom, do not expect it to be eloquent or pretty. The revolution has started. It will be bloody, but it will be ours.

I left the museums thinking how could this all end in EDSA 1986? When we are still here, stuck in the MRT, in five hours of traffic daily, trapped in unfair temporary job contracts, made to wait at government offices, in hospitals, made to wait for disaster aid, made to wait and wait for the promiseof change. So when change finally showed up in the form of an unlikely candidate we just had to take it. Here, now, in 2017 we are getting another chance at this, through democratising social media, through collective thought and action. For those of us who believe

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Has the youth become politically indifferent? B y > D r. R e x B a c a r r a

“Youth is wasted in the young,” one author observed. I had been young once – had gone through the heartaches and passion, and the utter folly of individualistic and erratic subjectification of values. I saw the world as a slave subservient to my wants and had my share of disappointments when these wants were hampered, nay, even severely shredded to upsetting perfection. Therefore, the youth of today cannot accuse me of not being able to comprehend and understand their standards and the actions that go with their brand of ideals. So, I ask, “Has the Filipino youth become politically apathetic?

Yes. And it is a stark contrast to the youth of the First Quarter Storm, those series of protests that led to the EDSA revolution. Undeniably, the youth played a crucial role in the ouster of a dictator. That. Was. Then.

apathetic to political life. Some researchers, like Seongyi & Woo-Young, have found that there is a decrease in youth political participation, others, like Chun in 2012 and Potgieter in 2013, reported that there is a steady rise in youth’s participation in politics through social media.” That same year of 2013, a Philippine paper entitled, “ICTs in political engagement among youth in the Philippines”, stressed that, “Political engagement among young activists in the Philippines has changed since new media technologies have gained critical mass and how information and communication technologies have contributed to the amplification of their voices in political life.”

Let me trace briefly through the research findings from some scholars about the participation of the young.

And in an abstract of a 2015 research paper entitled, “Social Media and Youth Online Political Participation: Perspectives on Cognitive Engagement”, the findings revealed- “The role of social media in political participation cannot be overstated as sites like Facebook and Twitter have provided new avenues for political engagement. Yet, concerns for declining participation among youths has led to increased research in this area.”

In a 2013 paper entitled, “Predictors of Political Participation in New Democracies: A Comparative Study”, author Elnari Potgieter stated that, “surveys have shown (that) this group (youth) is particularly

Yet, in late 2016, McCann Truth Central, an online, global research unit, released their 2016 updated study entitled, “The Truth About The Youth-Philippines” about the general preoccupation of the young,

Why did I say so?

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stating, among others, that… • 22% of Filipino youth have written a negative comment about somebody they know, higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 16% • 61% of Filipino youth feel pressured to portray themselves in the best way possible on social media, higher than the global average of 53%. • 1 in 2 Filipino youth say that seeing their friends post on social media can make them feel inadequate These findings are very telling. It is not just that there is a decline in political participation, but there is a shift in values and attitude. Instead of active involvement, you have youths who are disengaged from the affairs the government. Instead of being passionate guardians of the values and lessons of history, you have selfabsorbed and selfie-obsessed individuals. Instead of being learned arbiters of truth, you have young ones developing inferiority complex in a world of filters. Instead of being in the streets in the form of the collective, you have the laptops and phones in the form of absorbed individuals. Thus, generally, the young people of today are wanting of political soul. Soul being the intellectualization and wise objectification of the principles of good governance. They are ruled by misdirected passion, by an urge to strike, by the blatant display of



It is not just that there is a decline in political participation, but there is a shift in values and attitude. Instead of active involvement, you have youths who are disengaged from the affairs the government. Instead of being passionate guardians of the values and lessons of history, you have selfabsorbed and selfie-obsessed individuals. Instead of being learned arbiters of truth, you have young ones developing inferiority complex in a world of filters.

digital strength. Instead of operating with patient understanding, they shout in caps lock; instead of the desire to clarify, they desire, most of all, to be right; instead of the willingness to accept, they provoke. This mindless travesty is empty, devoid of substance, wanting of deliverance. The youth of today boasts of freedom and equality, wanting them like adults wanting financial security. A former student in my Philosophy class proudly told me that she’s 25 and that she knows what she is doing. Cliché. More often, a statement of this kind reflects a level of self-absorption muddled by a certain lack. That is, the lack to justify what she is doing in a reasonable, wisenedby-experience, way. And what is it exactly that you are doing? This question is not just for my former student, but also for the youth in general. You want freedom. But even your definition of freedom is confused and inexplicable. Arguably, it is neither the freedom of EDSA nor the freedom of the spirit. And how much freedom? Freedom is not defined as doing anything you want, in whichever way you want, and whenever you want it. Forgive my redundancy but it is necessary to highlight my point. Freedom for you becomes an excuse for your unguarded passion like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Mindless. Unthinking. Detrimental. Ruled by mindless passion, your decisions more often bring unnecessary regret. Ruled by your unthinking, your parents are subjected to indefatigable hurt. Ruled by your detrimental negativism, society becomes a breeding ground for worldly yet useless

angst. What is appalling in your brand of freedom is your inability to accept the consequences. You want it but you refuse to recognize the truth that goes with it- that indeed, it has a cost. Freedom is synonymous with responsibility. Only when you are able to accept the consequences of your actions should you ask for freedom. That self-absorption among Filipino youth, the 22% of you who love to write negative comments (6% higher than the Asia-Pacific average), is representative of that developing unthinking and cowardly attitude behind the computer screens. You cannot just strike someone because you “feel” like doing it. You cannot just shout at someone because you “feel” that you are being subjugated. You cannot just spew written words hysterically because you “feel” that you need to answer fast, because thinking first before typing means defeat in an era of data. Feeling negates reason, and when this happens, mistakes become unswerving. Right reason is not an extension of your feelings but that your feelings should be subjected to right reason.

I admire your strength and your passion. If only we, adults, have your vibrancy and enthusiasm coupled with a viewpoint molded by experience, then we would be leaving you with a world unadulterated by greed and malice. If only your passion is redirected towards something more constructive, then I will be one with you in your journey. If only you will learn how to temper your superfluous anger, then we can talk more clearly and argue fruitfully. If only you will learn how to accept the responsibility that goes with your choices, then freedom can be truly liberating. And if only you will learn from OUR mistakes.

When some of you become active politically through the social media, you have a seeming disdain of and against the system, be it political, religious, or cultural. Your easy mockery of well-founded rules and laws is almost second nature. Going against becomes the norm and not the exception. Have you ever examined yourself and asked why this display of this type of radicalism? Why the antagonism? And even as simple as following a specific instruction is felt as a burden and not as something liberating?

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Say no to usapa ng barbero. Dapat, Illustrado!

Duterte’s governance could very well go down in history as one of the Philippines’ most polarizing, ever. A quick scroll through your FB feed will reveal a populace that is cut in half, politically and ideologically. The people who like Duterte are evangelical about him, and those who don’t are only too willing to paint him as Beelzebub incarnate. Para sa iyo, kabayan, ano na ng aba ang estado ng ating gobyerno ngayon? Tanong:

"HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DUTERTE'S ADMINISTRATION?" Rommel Caguiat, Philippines Self Employed

Angelique De Leon, Philippines Account Manager

I’m not pro or anti-duterte. I am pro change for the better. If there are better ways to improve our country without killing other people, that’s what I would prefer. I believe that given ample time for planning and resources, under this or any administration, change is yet to come. Given the time that the President has rendered, change has already been done but I know and believe that he can do things in a better way. I think he feels the pressure and urgency to do as much as possible in his given term but I would love to see him explore other approaches on his plan of actions.

Illustration by: Ginny Guanco

Cau Cena, Philippines TV Producer

Duterte’s presidential campaign fed on the frustration of the Filipino people for genuine reform. In the process, it used fake news, destabilized legitimate news sources and created propaganda that ignited the id of Filipinos, to win the elections and moreover, deceive many, who munch on these info to justify everything the admin has been doing wrong. Now, macho mentality is abundant, cat calling women on the street is ok, joking about rape is fine, killing anybody without due process is fine. As long as he’s not your relative or anyone you know it’s ok. Kids these days say its ok to kill anyone as long as they’ve done wrong. Because it’s all over the news the president himself justifies killing. Cabinet members notorious for being inferior in their careers have made it to the top posts. Aguirre, who ridiculed THE MDS. Andanar, the news reader, who cannot himself make a decent argument. Yasay, Gloria’s left over, a lying coward, giving away philippines to china. And all of these are overshadowed by propaganda. More people refuse to look at these flaws and focus on issues de lima, Lenileaks, saf44. But then we have some of the best decisions ever. MANNY PINOL for DA. GINA LOPEZ For DENR. Thats it. illustrado go>22

I feel amazed and satisfied about the accomplishment of PDu30. Because if you going to compare the insignificance of the recent and the previous administration, the present administration has done so much and thus we clearly way to define it that the Duterte Government is for the people, by the people and of the people. Duterte showed the passion that he truly love the Philippines and even love Filipino people, by giving them the benefits like free hospitalization, free education for all levels, endo, reducing crime by means of Operation Tokhang and fighting corruption like ending the Tanim Bala Scum. This administration’s accomplishment is just only 7 months and we saw the results, it is promising and we can say that Change is definitely here. The 7 month accomplishment of PDu30 is equivalent of 10 years which highly significant for the President as compared to past administrations in which you will say nothing or just can be counted by your fingers as far as their accomplishment is concern. The Filipinos finally have leader who will definitely guide the Philippines to be a great nation again.

Donnie Manaloto, Philippines Sr. Key Accounts Executive

20 minutes into making this and I still dont know how to put in words my feelings about the current run of politics in the country. Similar to how i was trying to compose my last breakup text. Kidding aside, its just generally uncomfortable to talk about. I would want to believe that what we are now is not who we are as a nation. It’s really important that we stress on learning from our mistakes in the past to properly construct where we want to be in the future. Citizens should also always rise above adversities and differences so we can build a more accepting yet free thinking society for the next generation.



Say no to usap ang barbero. Dapat, Illustrado!

Ferns Marscarinas, Philippines Writer

Theo Resedilla, Philippines Economist

Honestly, I don’t know how to answer this question. First and foremost, his name did not cross my mind during the 2016 Presidential Elections. Second, and now, I feel that this administration (or his cabinet) is having a difficult time interpreting the President’s words because there are a lot of secretaries speaking for him. Third, I feel that this administration has to focus on certain, overall goals, and not into different fragmented ones. One example is addressing the traffic and transportation problems in Metro Manila. I feel that they are already burning a year assessing and trying tentative than consistent, long-term solutions.

Duterte’s admin made me feel more unsafe. I feel like every single right we have are ripped off like it will never matter at all once you oppose him, you’re not under his side or even if you’re on the other side of the fence who knows what will happen next. But one thing is sure, your security is always in question. There’s too much showoff than work. Too much spending, loans, budget for unnecessary projects but no clear return on investments or any economic light. People gets divided more each day. The Philippines itself is at war thanks to Mr. President... and I call this the age of the dumb, dummies and puppets. I would’nt elaborate on that coz the world can see how this circus is running in my country. It’s gonna be the annoyingly saddest 6 years of Philippines. And we all hope it will never get extended.

Andy Batangantang, Philippines Lecturer

I have always been critical of Rodrigo Roa Duterte ever since I found out about the Davao Death Squad and the controversies that link to the group in Mindanao. Before the elections, I have campaigned actively against his bid for power and as regards to my view on Duterte, I concur with the views of Walden Bello, who submitted an article to the Philippine Sociological Review and who called Duterte “a Fascist original”. His government/administration is now run by mostly his appointees/friends. And we, as a country, are in such a pitiful state. I just wish that God will have mercy on us all.

Glenn Arden, Singapore Airport Ground Staff

Dr. Rommel Pilapil Sergio, UAE

I honestly feel that the Duterte Administration is doing its best for the country. Filipinos tend to focus too much on the dirty side of the politics, we forget to see the good things the other branches of the government is doing. I believe that a nation’s leaders are anointed by God, so let’s continue praying for them, and for us, let’s work hard to be a responsible and disciplined Filipino citizens.

Chair, Faculty of Management-Canadian University i

Denis Del Callar, Philippines Managing Partner

The Duterte Administration rose to power by preying on the hopelessness of the people. They created a drug-monster, and promised to “Kill the Beast!” within 6 months. The mob then did not know that he was going to target them. After 7,000 of them had fallen under dubious circumstances, it was the death of a foreigner that drew a pause to the killings. A pre-school teacher recently asked her students: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The child wrote “I want to be President Duterte so I can kill bad pepoel.” Bad spelling aside, this is quickly becoming the disturbing norm – a norm where life (particularly the life of the poor) is cheap and justice (regardless of actual guilt or circumstance) is something that can be meted out only from the barrel of a gun. Duterte created a country where research and reason are belittled and attacked; where ethics and religion are manipulated in support of murder; where the government persecutes those who oppose it; where “Nothing changes” so no one acts; where children dream of becoming killers.

There is more likely a hodgepodge of feelings whenever I hear the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s name being both admired and despised. I personally think we need a radical change knowing that Filipinos are confounded heavily on issues related to social, economic, political – and mostly, moral turpitude that hounds most of us. President Duterte’s “rally on drugs” remains to be a focal theme of his advocacy. With our avowed socialist President at the helm of everything, the downside is always on the way things are being done. For instance, dismantling those involved in drugs in anyway to the point of not undergoing the due process is universally unacceptable. Moreover, being an OFW, one immediate, positive change worth noting is the one-stop shop for OFWs in the POEA. The downside is always there –we need to be ready in paying additional form of tax in the process; other than the economic worry brought about by inflated value of peso in the world market. With the smoking ban just approved for implementation, I aspire a healthier atmosphere at work; but the forthcoming death penalty in its ‘selective form’ makes me wary. I am affirmative that with thegenuine concern for the Filipino community, as the President pushes for mechanisms that will propel economic growth, I hope he can balance success with the undivided nation that exercises democracy at its peak. illustrado go>23






uterte won the world of Social Media without being as Twitter savvy as Donald Trump. He didn’t need to be. He was backed up by the savviest generation of Social Media users. The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has announced recently that a Social Media Corps will be set in place allowing Bloggers and Social Media personalities to attend and participate in Malacanang official press briefings. Social Media publishers are now encouraged to apply and evidently adhere to certain policies. A need to include the Social Media community was imperative. Traditional Media will have to scoot on over to make room for the YOLO (not Yellow) team. And so here we can see how Duterte is still winning. The National election has long been concluded but the man is still winning. The way it seems, if you want to win the people, connect them to a WiFi. But if you want people to fight for you, give them heroes and idols that they can relate to-- while they’re connected to a WiFi. Which now leads us to Duterte’s Social Media Triumvirate – the trio who, whether he admits it or not, has frontlined his brigade on and off line. illustrado go>24

opinions up and hail them as facts. It doesn’t matter if she has very small regard for what’s factual and what’s not, Mocha has made a mockery out of other media outfits solely but discrediting them in her blogs and calling them “presstitutes.” The masses latched on to her because she spoke to them without the highfalutin words or alienating them with complicated details (however necessary those details can be). Mocha spoke to her people like they’re friends. She called them “ka-DDS” and she would constantly ask their opinion about controversial issues.

The People’s Champ, Mocha Uson

Mocha Uson is a perfect example of how Social Media can turn you into anything you want to be if you write enough controversially chewable content as often as possible. And it doesn’t matter how well you write. You just have to create content. Imagine a sari-sari store owner who spends days on end just spewing commentaries to all her random “suki.” So much so that people eventually started to actually treat her blog as a news site. They picked her

Mocha has a way of making her followers think that their opinion actually matters. That’s the magic. That earned her the cape and the Social Media Super Power. But despite the fame and the millions of followers who banks on every single word she says, the fact remains that to her most ardent detractors, she will still be just the starlet who found fame when she decided to the President’s number one fan last election. She needed a little more credibility to be taken seriously. And that’s probably the reason why they named her MTRCB member. Mocha Uson wants to eradicate “soft porn” on television. She wants to revise the SGP



about hence the false humility and the constant inquisitive remarks addressed to the public.

comprehensive when it comes to citing sources, he does not give out firsthand information.

She’s also dipped her toes on a lot of issues including that of Senator Leila De Lima and even the administration’s take on foreign policies. She was criticized for not being a journalist despite having a weekly column.

Thinking Pinoy is a blogger. He passes on opinions formed from Internet research. He did, however, criticize the late Senator Defensor Santiago (at one point during the election) about her state of health while vaguely claiming that Miriam (as a cancer patient) may not even make it to the 5th year mark. Defensor Santiago’s FB page gave a lengthy response to TP’s claims. Not long after the election, Miriam Defensor Santiago passed away.

She now wears a lot of turtle neck shirts. The Conspiracy Cracker

For 2 years, Thinking Pinoy was an anonymous blogger who took the internet world by storm with his inquisitive thoughts and political analysis peppered with intriguing conspiracy theories.

ratings too. Half the time she sounds like she’s severely unsure of that she’s talking

The Wild Flower, Sass Rogando Sasot Sass Rogando Sasot started off as a feisty and intelligent woman who, just like TP, created content that was backed up with in-depth research. She recently went back to the Philippines to meet up with Duterte and the rest of the other Social Media Bloggers and personalities (TP & Uson among the few).

Sass once posted on Facebook how punishing “fake news” is just like punishing people for writing fiction. She also once challenged other blogs such as Superficial Gazette,The Marharlikan and Juan Nationalist to a “Live Video Debate” on her conspiracy theory about International Media “destabilizing” the Philippines. She then also mentioned Gretchen Malalad, Raissa Robles, Carlos Celdran, Ian Casocot, and human rights advocate Atty. Jesus Falcis, challenging them all to be part of the Sass vs Everyone Debate. When champion debater Atty. Falcis called her bluff, Sasot retreated her sass. Sasot is heavily biased towards Duterte’s administration and this is something we cannot hold against blogs and social media in general.

Earlier this year, TP finally traded the life of anonymity for the limelight. Having been part of the instrumental Social Media campaigners that got Duterte elected, TP is now owning the stage. He used to write about issues not a lot of media would dare to write about but just like Mocha Uson. Although TP’s blog is a bit more

Now TP can be often tagged as a propagandist or agitator with the way he backs Duterte up incessantly. TP’s statements are more meticulously formed and debate-ready. This also means that his content requires more read time and critical thinking, which probably explains why among the 3, TP has the lowest number of followers.

Sasot enjoys the limelight as much as Mocha does. In a way, she satisfies the rest of the audience who couldn’t be arced by Mocha’s ranting and finds TP a bit too wordy. Sass provides the intellectual discourse and drama. All 3 together, Duterte has created a powerhouse team that can launch a Twitter tirades that can go viral for days, or report any Facebook account to immediate doom. But if having a Social Media Corps means giving access to the YOLO generation, the government must try to consider bringing in people who are not entirely biased towards them. It brings in a healthy amount of discourse that can show real stories with facts and not just a bunch of complementing opinions. Propaganda is an integral part of any election. But it seems like in the recent presidential campaign, people enjoyed the flexing of ideological muscles on social media so much that it was more like digital buffoonery than actual intellectual discourse. Truth be told, more often than not, opinions online overlooks facts. So now that the social media champs were given access to the kingdom of Duterte,

how well can the Triumvirate run the show? How much airtime will the government give them? Shall we call them “The Triple Threat of Democracy,” or “The Power of 3 That Will Set Us Free?”

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Graphic Pilipinisms!

Ang buhay ay isang mahabang paglalakbay. So the next time you’re on the metro, take off your earphones and listen to the sounds of the world and its stories coming at you from every direction. In short, makichismis! Libre naman. Wala namang masasaktan. Nag-enjoy ka pa. Sakay na!


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For enquiries and further information please contact Gulf Law on Dubai 04 444 9404 FB+ IG: finoleatherware



There’s no business like Pinoy business!

Lorena “NENA” Mondonedo-Perez CEO of Nena Cosmetics by Nena Brands, Inc.

My Enterprise Nena Cosmetics retails a full line of make up cosmetics made with Skin caring formulations. With presence in USA, Asia, and Africa. High quality Makeup for every age, skin type and skin color. Products made in the USA.

I come from an entrepreneur family background so I always knew since I was little that I’m going to own my own business just didn’t know then what business. My Passion is in cosmetics anything to do with beauty. I’ve been in the beauty industry for 26 yrs, 5 yrs of that as an accountant for an upscale distributor for Hair and Beauty products, 2yrs as a make up artist and 13 years in salon and spa management and 6 yrs today with NENA Cosmetics.

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My start up capital was $100,000.00, The set-up was retail via online store, workshops and events. I conducted monthly makeup workshops teaching women how to do everyday makeup to evening make up and have the products available for sale at the premises. Reorders are done online. We also have distributors in different areas. We always collaborate with different, events, fashion shows, concerts etc. Our headquarters is in Highland Park, Illinois, we have a make up studio in south of Chicago and will be opening a retail store in June in the north side of Chicago. It ain’t always pretty… While being an entrepreneur does have its benefits, it also has its obstacles and challenges. When I first started out, I was a one-man show, responsible for doing everything, working really long hours, juggling numerous projects and having to constantly come up with new ideas.

However, once you learn to overcome the challenges, you’ll be able to reap the rewards directly. One definite advantage of having my own business is that I get to be my own boss. I have a lot of flexibility with my time, and even my earnings. But this is offset by long, unpredictable working hours, loads of stress, and the uncertainty of success. Our Journey, Thus Far Nena Cosmetics now have a presence in 10 states in the US, all over Philippines and Africa. Current revenue of a little bit over one million and growing by 5% every year. My advice to aspiring Pinoy entrepreneurs Pick the right business and know everything about it. Do something you’re passionate about and love it, so you will just naturally succeed.

Filipino Progress & Diversity

at the work place >


My Job I arrived in Dubai on the day after my 26th birthday. It was my first trip outside the Philippines and so far the longest 9 hours inside an airplane. I am a registered and licensed Architect and a very young one, then. I left with both excitement and anxiety. I was turning my back on a developing career in Architecture and Project Management. I was already an Associate at 24 in a small design firm. I shifted to Project Management at 25 and worked with a team in a multi-millionrenovation project of a 5-star hotel in Cebu. But the prospect of earning five times my salary should I decide to work in Dubai then, made the decision much less complicated. My Company I work in a Design Studio with a team of architects and designers. Our company is an international multi-disciplinary design consultancy for Architecture and Engineering. I have been in the same company for the last ten years. Our projects range from residential, commercial, hospitality and mixed-use developments located in and outside the UAE. I was involved in some note-worthy projects such as The City Walk Residential Blocks and Saadiyat Beach Club and Centro Hotel by Rotana to name a few. Some projects

would last for a year or more while others take less. So even if I have been with the same company for a long time, I always find new adventures when new projects are assigned to us. A typical day in a life of a Technical Architect is consumed mostly in front of a computer. As such, my main goal at work is to communicate and document architectural design thru drawings of a specific building for client presentation, design coordination, statutory approvals, tender documentation and construction. My hands are always busy “drawing”, computing areas for design programs and helping-out in visual presentations, reports and coordinating project matters with other players within and outside our office. In a collaborative work environment, leadership and teamwork is quite important and I can be the leader when needed or a team member. My Journey, Thus Far Looking back, the invitation to work in my current company was an answered prayer. It was basically my ticket to Dubai. My college friend gave the lead and passed my CV to her boss. The job opportunity was for a technical team of draftsmen and detailers using computer applications. I was more inclined to do design and project management before. At first, I was a bit reluctant of my role

in the office. But this job abroad trained my eye for details and exposed me to the more technical side of Architecture. After a year, I was promoted to become a Senior Architectural Technician. Fast forward to date, my business card bears the word “Architect” under my name. Indeed, the field of Architecture has many niches. And no work behind the scene is trivial. It took me a while to prove that I can work handin-hand with nationalities that have more sophisticated knowledge in this field. The trend of Filipinos being forced to work abroad for economic reasons seems to go on a steady rise. But many are disillusioned to find out that being an OFW is not as easy as what it seems. It is not for the faint-ofheart to begin with. So it is important to weigh your options well and assess yourself before deciding to leave. On the contrary, living abroad on your own can also sharpen you as a person. And there are many OFWs, who actually succeeded in their own field and found recognition abroad. Most of our fellow Filipinos are dreaming to find greener pastures outside the Philippines. Many of us have our own reasons for leaving. OFWs like me, on the other hand, are dreaming to finally go home to our beloved country some day. And no matter how long and how far we’ve come to, the sentiment is still the same. There’s no place like home.

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PASSIONATA A throwback to the unrivaled beauty of Old Manila.

ii ll ll u us s tt rr a ad do o g go o> >3 30 0



White dress- with off shoulder cut and a full balon skirt, encrusted with silver crystal shacks

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Chino collared black suit with shack crystallized by Swarovski elements

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Nude velvet serpentina dress with cut-outs, micro sequined appliques and gold and nudes crystal shack on the neckline

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Black sweetheart tubeline dress with velvet bodice and stretch stulle skirt, encrusted with beads and black crystals

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Tailored white tuxedo with silver and platinum Swarovski crystal shacks

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Pinoy Pride. Kabayan Yabang. Ganyan tayo eh!



he has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. Betty Ann Quirino who grew up in Tarlac, an agricultural province in Central Luzon, remembers how her culinary journey started when she witnessed her mother cooking from the produce harvested in their backyard. “Cooking was a way of life for the women in our family,” she says. “We learned recipes passed on from my mother, grandmother and generations before them.” After migrating to the United States over twenty years ago, she wanted to share her passion – and her recipes - to as many people as she can. Thus her blog Asian In, came to fruition, designed by her two sons, Tim and Constante, as a way for her to record her recipes. She cooks, photograph and writes about the food that they are having for dinner. “The blog took off and now I don’t just cook and write recipes for my sons, I reach a large audience from all over the USA and the world,” she says. “I also have a YouTube channel where I cook some of my blog recipes. Anyone who wants to learn easy, everyday Filipino and Asian recipes transformed from traditional ones can come take a look at my blog.”

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An Award-Winning Journalist Betty Ann says that her inspirations for the meals she creates are the recipes she has learned from her late mother, her aunts, cousins and friends. “I use their recipes as a guide and put my own spin and personal touch to the recipe,” she says. “Mostly I cook everyday meals and occasionally a dessert or two. The dishes are inspired by the four seasons we have here on the east coast and what is available in the markets.”

Because of her many visitors and the inspirations she put in place, she has also reaped various accolades. Among them include being a two-time winner of the Plaridel Writing Awards for best in journalism given by the PhilippineAmerican Press Club in San Francisco, CA; a Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award for her food essay “A Hundred Mangoes In a Bottle”, an essay about making mango jam and the summer memories she cherished as a child, and a FWN Filipina Women’s Network 100 Most Influential Women of the World Awardee in 2013. “As a journalist, this is probably one of my memorable experiences,” she says. “Winning my awards and getting recognized for my writing and for my blog, especially when it gained the attention of The New York Times, is just the icing on the cake. One of the most memorable times was when my essay won a Plaridel Award, which meant it had the approval of

the Philippine-American Press Club in San Francisco, CA. It was an honor to be cited by the best journalists in America.” In Search of Recipes Presently, Betty Ann has recently launched her newest cookbook “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” and has co-authored the history book “Statesman and Survivor Elpidio Quirino, 6th President of the Philippines” in which the proceeds of this book went to the Quirino Foundation which funds scholarships for teachers in the Philippines. She has also illustrated, created and published “Color and Cook Food Coloring Book” on Filipino food art. A member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Culinary Historians of the Philippines, Betty Ann travels often to the Philippines and throughout Asia in search for traditional and modern recipes and stories about history, culture and personalities. “I am always drawn to projects which help other people,” she says.

Her advice to those who want to follow her path someday and become a successful media personality: “Be yourself,” she says. “Every person is unique. Nobody else has your story, your family or even your interpretation of the recipes you have. Be as real and authentic as possible, because readers can tell if you are who you really are.”

BEAUTY > Kagandahan 101

Finding Your Bride Sty le By> Louise Monique


You don’t have to compromise your personality to fit into a ‘bride’. Besides, there is not one definition of the word bride, yes, there are traditions and cultural factors to take note of but the most important thing is to still be yourself on your big day. Are you Romantic? Sultry? Vintage lover? Classic? Or simply a queen waiting for her throne? Well, all I’m saying is…don’t compromise your personality just to fit into what a bride should be.

1. Classic Beauty If you are naturally sophisticated and you want everything elegant and classic, then this look is for you. For this hair & make-up look, I opted for a clean up do and simple make-up that focuses on the natural beauty of the bride.

2. Soulful Siren Soulful & Sexy, if you embody these two words, this look is for you. I didn’t go for a classic red that instantly adds the oomph to the look, instead, I used a nude-ish brown with a pop of gold for the lip color. But hey, there are different ways to show someone’s sexy side, isn’t there? And of course, every bride should have that glow that says ‘ Yes, I’m getting married today!’

For this look, I kept the model’s hair down with volume and curls. Paired with a crown fit for a Soulful Siren.

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3. The Vintage Lover Are you an old soul who feels like she is born in the wrong era? Then you are definitely a vintage bride. For this look, I kept everything natural – almost a ‘no make-up’ makeup look. This look focused on the eyes, I did use eyeliner on her but I didn’t do any flick and just followed the shape of her eyes. I kept the natural shape of her brows, I also used some natural looking lashes to add a little bit of volume. For her lips, I just used a natural colored gloss.

To complete the vintage look, we used a lace band and did a messy fishtail braid that falls loosely at the back.

5. The Romantic Romance is not dead, your love and this marriage that you’re about to start is the living proof of it. So if you are a natural born romantic, this is the best time to be one. For this look, I played with different hues of pink to emphasize the sweetness and innocence of the bride.

For her hair, I did a crown braid that finishes that sweet and romantic look that we are going for. Even simple tweaks on the make-up could change your look drastically. For this bridal look I mainly played with the lip color and tweaked the blush and eyeliner a little bit to change the overall look.

4. The Queen Every queen deserves a regal wedding and oh of course…a king. For this look, I used a deep red on her lips and kept everything light and neutral. I contoured her cheeks and added a very light blush, highlighted her cheekbones and blended it altogether. For her eyes, I contoured and used a darker eye shadow color on her outer lids, using a lighter color on the center lids. I did a little flick on the eyeliner to balance the eyes and the lips.

I parted her hair in the middle paired with a crown that personifies royalty. At the back of her hair is a French braid that starts at the lower part of her hair.

Don’t feel pressured to compromise your look and personality just because you’re getting married. You have to remember that it is your wedding and the memories of it will last for a lifetime so you might as well be your dream come true.

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Ginny Guanco

Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

My Art I believe that each person has a mission in life. Each individual has a calling to do something productive in life and spread that message to the world and even be an agent of change in her own little way. As human beings, many of us tend to just look at the big picture immediately without seeing value in the small things. I value small things a lot. It is through a small seed that a big tree is produced. Nothing happens overnight. It takes time, it takes dedication, it takes commitment for goals to be achieved.

I have always been drawing since childhood. This passion continued throughout my growing up years, and on thru high school, and eventually to college where I took up Fine Arts. After college, I still pursued advanced studies in Watercolor, Drawing and Painting in Washington D.C. This was in the 70’s.

My Process First of all, I think of what subject I want to create. Will it be a still life composition of inanimate objects? Will it be a woman’s face? Will it be an abstract piece? Then I research – especially if it’s intended for a show or if it’s a commissioned work. But if these are just studies to further hone my craft, then I just go directly to my sketchpad. Aside from personal research, I do a lot of observation: people’s expressions, tiny rays of colors that form on a piece of rock, a chunk of driftwood in our backyard, etc. Inspiration is a natural thing for me. I do not have to wait to be inspired. I do not have to wait if I’m in the mood. I just let it flow out of my heart. Love should always be the motivating factor. My Journey Thus Far After all the education I received in Art, I did get to use it in two teaching jobs, and in our church ministry as a Visual Artist and also in a multi-media outfit. But somewhere along the journey, I got segued into two different careers, one after the after. One was in media, the 2nd one in PR. So for a hiatus of 15 long years from 1997 – 2012, I totally stopped drawing! In fact I was already beginning to lose confidence in myself and was scared to even hold a brush. It took the passing of one of my pet cats, Simba, to stir up that dormant spirit in me, to wake me up to my artistic senses once more, to allow this sad situation be turned into a fresh, new opportunity. I grabbed the nearest sketchpad and some coloring pencils and started drawing again. I took a shot of it and posted the image in my Facebook timeline. It garnered so many likes that my morale was boosted. Then I did a 2nd artwork, and a 3rd one, and I never stopped since. My love for art was restored, refueled by a passion I can’t explain.

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As human beings, many of us tend to just look at the big picture immediately without seeing value in the small things. I value small things a lot. It is through a small seed that a big tree is produced.

I just concluded my first One Woman Show in September of 2016. The theme was, “Boho Chic,” because of my love for bohemian and hippie fashion. With my knowledge and background in both the Fine Arts and Fashion Illustration, I mixed these two entirely different disciplines together and came up with the concept of an all-women collection, with 26 females clad in bohemian fashion, and a style that is a fusion of art and fashion. These 26 females were each named after the elements. Names synonymous to earth, the environment or nature. The titles of the paintings were named after the 26 letters of the alphabet. I had Aura, Blaze, Storm, Tulip, Willow and others.



Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

Moving forward… In my mind, I have many different plans but have not really sat down to study the market yet. In a world where commercialism thrives, art can pose a lot of challenges. But I really want people to be educated. To see the art industry as a vital part of life. That it is not just some person’s “hobby.” That it should be given the recognition it deserves and not just be a poor cousin of some other profession.

My advice to my fellow artists There is no end to learning. There is no limit to fulfilling one’s dreams. No matter how young or old a person is, if he sets his mind and heart in achieving his goals and never give up hoping, he will see his dream come true. So I really want to encourage people who are on the verge of giving up in pursuing their dreams… DON’T!!!

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Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

My Art I’m into visual arts – Sketching, Drawing & Painting as well as sharing the skill to the younger generation and even to the adults as a hobby or a preparation for their career path in arts or design related course. Since childhood, I was actively involved in the arts as it was part of the subjects and activities in school. At home, I grew up with an environment of architects through my uncles. I have started sketching diagrams and also going with them if they have site visits. But I have decided to divert on Fine Arts rather than in Architecture for a change.

Art can be a therapeutic activity. It makes me more focused. Creating something gives me a sense of immediate accomplishment that people may like or not, I love what I have done. It may be good or bad as it’s part of the creative learning process.

I engaged into it seriously when I went away from home for about a month at the age of 12 wherein I have met professional artists who have their art shops for portraiture drawing, painting, signboards and streamers for ads. Eventually, I also started my own home based art shop. Work on visual aids for schools, signage, sketches, portraits for gifts and other material.

Art has played a major part on my personal development. It gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Doing art is self-satisfactory but teaching art goes beyond a social concern. For me, I consider teaching or mentoring as a social service.

My Process From personal portrait commission that I do is based on their preferred photos but I do it with an unfinished effect and catch the emotion and likeness of the person.

With other works, I based them on my ideas, feelings and comments on such daily events which seems ordinary but contributes to the meaning and purpose of life. I do sketch studies and take photos of places and people they go through the photos and find something interesting to design and compose an artwork. On commissioned works it’s a balance between the artist’s and client’s preference. But mostly, client’s just let me do what I think would be best. My Journey Thus Far Art has played a major part on my personal development. It gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Doing art is self-satisfactory but teaching art goes beyond a social concern. For me, I consider teaching or mentoring as a social service. It may be a career preparation for others, the youth or just a fulfillment of a childhood dream to become an artist.

I have participated in various competitions in the Philippines but as I work here abroad in the Middle East just keeps my radar on competitions and events that I can participate in. After further studies and international art exposure, I wish to start up my own Classical Atelier in the Philippines to

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advocate on the revival of Classical Art Movement and equip the younger generations with skills and methods that can be applied on their art related pursuits. Moving Forward After further studies and international art exposure, I wish to start up my own Classical Atelier in the Philippines to advocate on the revival of Classical Art Movement and equip the younger generations with skills and methods that can be applied on their art related pursuits.

My advice to my fellow artists Have a long term plan on what one desires to achieve and break it down into action steps. Plan ahead and have a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Start with the end in mind and evaluate one’s action if is it moving towards the end in mind or not. Team-up, build a team. Success can never be achieved alone. Train oneself not just as a skillful artist but also as a resourceful and innovative entrepreneur.



Celebrating Filipino artistry, passion, and cleverness.

Manuel Mascardo


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A roundup of the Instagrammers we love

When you check your Instagram feed now, we bet you’ll see a food photo, someone’s recent travel, or a photo of your friend’s #ootd with a questionable angle or maybe even a badly filtered selfie! So what does it take to score that Insta-like? Take it from our folks from Instagram who have been killing it as if they were born to do this. Their feed will make you double-tap those photos in a heartbeat. It’s time to level up our Instagram posts dear friends!

LA Aguinaldo @la He is the “boy wonder” and an ultimate head turner and you’ll understand why when you check his Instagram account. He will give you a dose of “model off duty” pegs, travel shots and even casual #selfie (s). Believe us when we say this, he will not disappoint!

Gela Munoz @thegelabeef Stylish but relatable. That’s the kind of self-branding this girl embraced. Be warned, she might make “pun” of you. And if you are looking for ideas on how to be Instagram-ready 24/7 (Well not 24/7 but you get what we mean, right?) , she is your friend.

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A roundup of the Instagrammers we love

Kevin Redder @mistersenpai How do we make not-so-cool things cool? Scroll and learn guys, scroll and learn. This guy’s feed looks like a feed of a normal person. And by normal, we mean it’s the usual things we all post but cooler. Just check him out, will you?

Pilar Cruz @pilarcruz We saw, we liked and we followed! With her sun-kissed skin, island girl shots, it seems like she’s been living in Cape Town for a long time but honestly, she makes it anything but basic and to that, we say.. You go girl!

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Tips and tricks from the Internet’s best Pinoy style savants!


Trends come and go and shopping every now and then can hurt your wallet; so investing money on the right type of clothing to have you set for any occasions that may arise is the best decision you will make.


This one needs no intro because by now, you should know that you have to have an LBD in your closet. But okay, this one is still included here for emphasis. AGAIN: you need an LBD. All girls need an LBD. A girl’s best friend and a fail-proof choice, the little black dress is your go-to item when you’re in doubt of the dress code. “I’ve always been into black dresses because it’s so easy to wear. You can never go wrong with this one. Even when I was younger, I would always get one; and as I grew older, I went for a more sophisticated cut and fabric. I’ve come to discover which part of my body I want to highlight and which part I shouldn’t flaunt. Dressing up is really about knowing your body and finding the right fit for you.”

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Tips and tricks from the Internet’s best Pinoy style savants!


Put your jeans to rest! Go for an easy feminine dress that you could use for not so formal gatherings. Additionally, feminine dresses are a no-brainer because you don’t have to bother matching up a nice top with a nice bottom. There are a lot of options that you can go for like pastels and florals. Now all you have to do is focus on what you have to do and not worry about what you should wear. Plus you can totally wear them in garden weddings! “I’m basically a jeans/denim shorts type of girl especially when I need to run a lot of errands for the day but I also do like wearing dresses and feel so girly! In that case, I would opt for a pastel, flowy type of dress and match it with a lighter shade of makeup to achieve the soft feminine look.”


Since when did corporate dressing become synonymous with bland, uninspired workwear? Every office has a resident fashion girl, and they often earn equal parts awe and ire for dressing a tad too fashionable for the daily grind. Working on Excel sheets and reports does not mean you have to limit your style to boring. Dress for the job you want to have. That will get you the #girlboss status one day. “I think this is not just for #ootd purposes. Girls can also wear this to work day in and day out. Just add a classic watch and a well-fitted blazer and you are good to go! Just make sure you have a pair of flats to reward your feet after a long day of work.” illustrado go>49



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!

Far be it for us to talk about anything that involves filmmaking – heck, we still refer to Final Cut editing as “non-linear editing.” But for those very special instances when we feel like only the video medium will do, we look to our trusty Joby Gorilla Pod to help us make our footage look professional and polished. Just looking at it and twisting it around is a joy, what with its bendy, octopus-like tendrils. It’s great for stress-relief. But where it really proves its utility is in steadying shots and capturing angles that would be unfeasible with a normal tripod. It’s an essential tool for vloggers! Find one at any Grandstores outlet in the UAE.


Iconic. Unchanging. At tunay na walang katulad. Saan ka man mapunta, Goldilocks Brazo De Mercedes pa rin talaga. As OFW’s, two prospect give us comfort: that the Philippines will always welcome us back, and that this amazing cake will taste the same no matter what. Wala daw forever, pero sa Brazo De Mercedes, meron.


Another bar and resto in Dubai is hardly anything to write home about - but an upscale lounge with a stunning view of Sheikh Zayed road that is dedicated especially to a Filipino audience? Well it’s about darn time! We kabayans know how to party, and when we want to live it up and spend the night swooning over swanky drinks and great music, it has got to be Fort Andres. Visit this fantastic venue at the Warwick Hotel, SZR.


To our shame, we didn’t know who Nicole Guerriero was until we found this amazing glow kit from Anastasia. Now, we are totally hooked on her, as much as we are hooked on this highlighter palette. Thing about highlighters is that they tend to look unnatural and forced. Not this one. With its warm pink and peachy shades, it gives you that WOWZA bling without making you look like you stuck a strip of aluminium foil on your cheekbones. Get it at Sephora, stat!


Sure, fashion is about experimentation – but for scents, it’s always wise to stick to what works. After all, it’s all about chemistry. Can’t argue with chemistry! So for us, Le Male is an olfactory staple. Fresh but complex, challenging but charming. The perfect summer scent!

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Outstanding Philippine Healthcare Highlighted at Kuwait Medical Travel Congress

Delegates from The Medical City- Clark with Ambassador Renato Villa (R-L) Evelyn Yumul - Sales & Mktg Director, Dr. Cenon Alfonso - CEO, and Karen Dizon - Area Sales Manager


op notch medical expertise accredited by the only international patient safety and quality healthcare accreditors Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA), at The Medical City Clark Philippines, was highlighted at the recently concluded Medical Travel Congress at Kuwait Health. The Medical City Clark, a private tertiary hospital known for its cutting-edge health services with centers of excellence in the field of cardiovascular, cancer, neuroscience and regenerative medicine as well as wellness services, is composed of 1,500-strong medical staff complimented by a 2,700-member workforce. It is a part of The Medical City network, one of Asia’s most trusted healthcare organizations, which has been at the forefront of advancing the standards of hospital operation and administration in the region for 50 years, serving some 50,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients per year. The Medical City Clark is strategically located in Kuwait-owned Sabah AlAhmad Global Gateway Logistics City, a 177-hectare development named after H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait. The commercial hub

provides easy access for patients flying in from Clark International Airport serviced by Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways. Speaking at the conference, President and CEO of The Medical City Clark, Dr. Cenon Alfonso underlined the factors that medical patients should consider in choosing a destination to acquire healthcare services and treatment. In his presentation Mabuhay! It’s more fun and healthy in the Philippines, Dr. Alfonso expounds: “The Philippines has a lot to offer, more than some of the best islands in the world, pristine beaches and magnificent landscapes. If you are practical about your medical needs, you will go to the Philippines because, even with technology and expertise at par with other medical destinations, the costs are still significantly lower without compromising the quality of patient care. Patients can also recover faster because the facilities are world-class and highly-maintained. Not to mention the warmth of the Filipino people which certainly helps.” The Philippines is currently ranked 8th in the world as the preferred destination for people seeking treatment, consultation and diagnostics. The country receives about 250,000 patients from around the world

every year. At The Medical City Clark, about 50% of the patients are non-Filipinos coming from USA, Korea, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom and Germany. According to Dr. Alfonso, “Foreign medical tourists choose the Philippines for their aesthetic and un-complicated procedures while thousands of Filipino expats return home for medical care and combine it with their family visit.” Asked about the relationship of Philippines and Kuwait, Ambassador Renato Villa says, “I am optimistic that our harmonious and friendly relations with Kuwait and its people and the opportunities and amenities that we offer to Kuwaiti people will further develop and strengthen their belief that the Philippines is the place, where they will be safe and secure to undergo medical procedures and treatment. The place where they may unwind and enjoy the diverse tourist destinations our country can offer.” Kuwait has been very resolute in its efforts to support the healthcare needs of its nationals. Last year, the government earmarked US$1 billion budget to pay the hospital bills of Kuwaitis that are medically treated abroad as part of the overseas treatment program.

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Finding your true self as you make sense of the world



NCE upon a time, I was poor. And proud of it.

I was a happy single missionary who didn’t think about money, didn’t touch money, didn’t save money, and didn’t want to have anything to do with money. At the time, I believed that saving money was a lack of trust in God. And businessmen? Man, I pitied them. I figured their souls were loitering on the brink of Hell. Imagine, all they thought about the whole day was money —the very instrument of the devil. I was so poor that before entering Jollibee, I had to first pull out my wallet and count how much money I had. There were days when I had to turn around because my cash (or coins!) wasn’t enough. I was proud that I was poor, deprived, and suffering. It somehow made me feel holy.

Love the Lord with All Your Heart, Mind, Strength and Money Too! Today, my beliefs have totally changed; and that’s why I’m being criticized. By religious people no less. They say I teach

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too much about money. “Bo, why have you changed?” they ask me. “You now keep talking about savings and investments and business. Where’s the sweet and simple guy who used to talk only about God and prayer and holiness and heaven? We want that guy back…” Sorry, but you won’t get that guy back. Because God has changed me. Let me tell you why I changed: I decided to love more. Don’t get me wrong. I still preach about God and prayer and holiness and heaven. (After all, money is only one of my many topics.) But these past few years, I’ve been very burdened by the practical, down-toearth, very REAL needs of God’s people. Here are the facts: • Many good families are buried in debt. They can’t sleep at night. • Many good husbands and wives fight a lot because of money problems. (According to surveys, 50% of marital conflicts are money problems. One survey even says it’s 80%!) • Many people will be retiring without any savings or investments — and will grow older and poorer as the years go by. • Many people are living in poverty, and their children are suffering from poor

health and poor education. And that’s the reason why I changed: I want to help people get out of debt, solve their financial problems, and gain more financial blessings to help more people. This is my commitment. This is my mission. This is my passion and I don’t care how many persons criticize me for it. I’ve devoted my entire life to help anyone who’s suffering by giving practical wisdom through my preaching and writing – whether spiritually, emotionally, or financially. For Many, Unless There’s Financial Freedom,There Can Be No Real Freedom in Their Life Because my beliefs have changed, my financial life has changed as well. Not to brag, but to emphasize a point – I’m no longer poor.

I now run small businesses, earn through real estate, mutual funds, and the stock market. I’m now able to help the poor in a way I couldn’t before. And I’m able to give more to the ministry of the Lord because of the financial blessings He has given me. I’ve learned that when I give, I receive so much more. I also believe that holiness doesn’t have



Finding your true self as you make sense of the world

Gratitude is a special magnet. It attracts whatever you’re grateful for.

anything to do with being poor or being rich. Holiness has everything to do with love — and one can do that whether one is poor or rich. Money doesn’t buy happiness; Money buys freedom. Bad people will use that freedom in a bad way — and be as miserable as hell. Good people will use that freedom in a good way — and be as happy as heaven. To be more precise, good people will use that freedom to do good. I’s that simple. Let me give you a small example of what I mean. Today, I no longer stop in front of Jollibee to count my money. Before, my prayer was, “Lord, I need something to eat. Please give me money.” Today, my prayer is, “Lord, send me people who have nothing to eat today and let me be a blessing to them.” I’m using my freedom to love. And after all these years of helping so many people in their spiritual life, I’ve come to a striking realization: especially for those children or parents depending on them, there can be no real freedom in life without financial freedom. Wealth Is a Feeling Wealth is measured by how grateful you are. Wealth is not primarily your cash or your houses or your cars. I believe wealth is first of all an emotion. Wealth is a feeling. The true measure of wealth is not your money, your real estate, or your jewels. The true measure of wealth is how grateful you are. The more grateful you are, the wealthier you are. The less grateful you are, the less wealthy you are. It’s that simple. Some 20 years ago, I was earning PHP30 a day; yet I felt so rich. Because I was so grateful for God’s blessings. Today, I feel even richer. Not just because I earn more, but because I’ve become even more grateful.

There are three levels of gratitude:

Superficial, Simple, and Sacred. Superficial Gratitude is being thankful for big-ticket items like a house, a marriage, a baby, a big business deal. Superficial gratitude is very good, but it doesn’t last very long. Recently, I read a story of a man who finally passed the bar exam after nine attempts. For those nine years, passing the bar exam was like a full time job for him. Finally, he passed it! Imagine if you were that guy, you would be very grateful, too. But soon, you’d have new problems as a lawyer. I remember my friend who finally got married at the age of 51. Imagine her joy. But eventually, new problems will come up; like marital problems. Superficial gratitude is good, but it doesn’t last because big problems come with big blessings. You need to move to the second level of gratitude. Simple Gratitude – I believe there’s no difference between big and small gifts from God. I once gave my mother, Pilar, a trip to the United States. Obviously, at 84 years old, she couldn’t go alone. So I had to pay for my sister to go with her, too. So it was a big, expensive gift. But I give Mom small gifts, too. Like every two weeks, I take her out on a date. I don’t really spend much on those dates — just a simple restaurant meal and that’s it. But if you ask my mother, “Tita Pilar, what gift do you most appreciate from Bo — your US trip or your dates with him?” — I’m sure she’ll say, “Both. I love them both. They’re equal in my eyes.”

Here’s what I learned: When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a small gift. How about daily food? Is that a small gift or a big gift? I was very touched when my friend Dave Quintana shared this with me. He’s an American missionary who worked

among the poorest of the poor in Payatas, Quezon City. One day, he met a little boy there, working in the garbage dump. He befriended him and asked him, “What’s your favorite food?” For a few seconds, the boy didn’t answer. The question was totally foreign to him. He finally said, “Yung pagkain na hindi bulok.” Food that isn’t spoiled. That was his favorite food. Now tell me: Is your daily food a small gift or big gift? But even Simple Gratitude is not the deepest form of gratitude. Sacred Gratitude – The deepest gratitude is Sacred Gratitude. The Bible says: be thankful in all circumstances. This gratitude is no longer tied to circumstances. You’re no longer attached to circumstances or outcomes or results. Because no matter what happens, you believe that God will work for your good. If you have Sacred Gratitude, you’re always thankful. You’re thankful for life, for love, for God, for happiness.You’re thankful because you exist. At this point, gratitude is no longer something that you do. Gratitude is who you are. If you have Sacred Gratitude, you become one of the wealthiest persons in the world. So, is Money Not Wealth? Money without gratitude isn’t wealth. It’s poverty. But gratitude with money is true wealth. Here’s why gratitude is the true measure of wealth: Gratitude is a special magnet. It attracts whatever you’re grateful for. When I’m grateful for the love in my life, I attract more of it. My relationships get deeper. My friendships become stronger. When I’m grateful for money, I attract more money. The right people come into my life. Doors open before me. Opportunities fall at my feet.

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La Dolce Vita in Dubai A Review of Pax Ristorante & Lounge By > AJ Choleng Marasigan


here’s a piece of Italy hidden in between the iconic tower of Dusit Thani.

PAX is unassuming and quite subtle in its presence. Most of its tables were strategically placed right next to the windows regaling you with the beautiful top view of the majestic Sheikh Zayed Road. The lights are dim and the ambiance cozy. If you ever feel like sweeping someone off his/her feet while feasting on scrumptious Italian food, PAX is the way to do it. Antipasto The Rucola came in a deconstructed plating, probably influenced by the Millennial invasion. The Mushroom soup drizzled with truffle oil was a delightful surprise - hearthy and simple but with a kick thanks to the sexy truffle flavor. My all-time favorite was the Campagnola. The tomato based tiny towers of sliced marrows and eggplants baked with mozzarella, capers and artichokes was just so decadent and tasty, enough to introduce your taste buds to a burst of flavor gearing you up for the next level. Primo Tortelloni Al Granchio or Crab Tortelloni in white wine and lobster sauce brought our taste buds straight to a sunny tropical holiday. With every bite I could hear the waves crashing through the shore.

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I can still taste the subtle yet creamy sauce that cradled the Tortellini. And then there was the pizza. I go gaga over pizzas – so much so I often wonder if I’m part Ninja (Turtle). So since this is an Italian Restaurant, a pizza has to be ordered. And because I’m severely carnivorous, we ordered for a Diavola which is basically a saucy and cheesy piece of heaven topped with spicy beef salami, olives and chili oil.


and it was like a Chocolate Lava, but even more amazing because it’s genuine Belgian Chocolate flan with dark chocolate center. Paired with black coffee, it was the perfect ending to an amazing Italian treat! We capped the night off with some Limoncello as Digestivo and we crawled our way out of PAX with a happy tummy! Rating: 5

Secondo We wanted seconds for the Secondo we ordered. Now here’s a mouthful: Millefoglie Di Filleto Con Salsa Tarftufata, Funghi Porcini e Pure Di Patate. In other words, the best plate of steak I have had in a long time. It’s 3 medium rare Fillet medallions topped with creamy truffle sauce that just melts in your mouth. Or maybe it doesn’t really melt in the mouth; I just savored it so well, I liquefied it in my mouth before it had the chance to travel to my stomach.The Contornos (side dishes) were also a treat with that sauteed mushroom and the fluffy mashed potatoes that taste oh so light and simple and yet you’d pledge allegiance to it soon as it reaches your palate. Dolce & Caffe We ordered 2. One was chocolate based and the other’s a Dolce staple. The first one was a Panna cotta Alla Crema Di Cafe which was a bit confusing because it didn’t have the coffee glaze the menu promised. But then Flan Cioccolato Caldo came around

Yey! - All in all, Pax was delightful. It was a piece of Italy hidden in between the iconic tower of Dusit Thani.

- The staff were all very warm and accommodating. - The view is phenomenal. Ngwekngwek: - A little bit of Italian music to set the vibe would have been great.

- The cute chef who came around to say hi could have stayed a little longer Pax Ristorante & Lounge | Dusit Thani Dubai, 133 Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai, UAE | 04 343 3333 | dubai



For the Young, Single, and Hungry

Rest for the wicked By> Nicholo Jallores


n the tricky discipline of turning food from simple to sublime, no one can outdo the Italians. They have a very straightforward approach to cooking: best ingredients, simple prep, mouth. Take this recipe as an example. Clams are in no way, shape, or form an extravagance, but with just a few elementary steps, you can turn it into a thing of great beauty. You can have the most rudimentary skills in the kitchen and still pull this off. It’s easy, it’s budget-friendly, and it’s a real joy to eat. Cook this. Cook this now. This recipe serves one right proper eater. YOU’LL NEED: 250 grams spaghetti, cooked slightly less than al dente (the pasta will get some quality time in the bit of clam juices, so it’s


better to underdo it here) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 big clove of garlic, sliced thinly (if you’re not in a slicing mood, by all means, pulverize rhe garlic into little bits. I just happen to enjoy biting into little slices of garlic) 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (omit if you can’t handle the heat) 1/2 kilo clams (I got the tiny, super flavorful ones. Weight may vary depending on the size of the clams, but this is entirely up to you. Just bear in mind that the smaller ones tend to be brinier.)

3/4 cup dry white wine (No wine? No worries. Just use the same quantity of the liquid that the pasta has cooked in.) A bit of the pasta cooking liquid Few fronds of dill HOW TO: Saute the garlic and dried chili flakes in the olive oil until fragrant. Bung in the clams and white wine. Put the lid on and allow the lot to steam for 2 minutes. Uncover and reduce the wine to about half. Add the bit of pasta cooking liquid and dill. Simmer for about a minute to allow the flavors to come together. Now whack in the pasta. Swirl around to make sure the clams are evenly distributed. Plate. Eat. Feel smug.

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A GIFT THAT WILL BE CHERISHED FOREVER Memorable moments, ardent feelings, simple joys of life; say it all with a personal engraved message on exquisite pieces from Liali. Capture important events in life, name of your beloved or a special message with the complimentary engraving service from Liali. Engraved jewellery makes the ultimate gift for any celebration or occasion by adding a special touch that lets a person know you took the time to make something especially for them. Write a sweet message like “best mom” or “I love you,” inscribe a special date, add initials or a name. There are moments in life that you want to celebrate and nothing comes closer to eternity than freezing sentiments onto precious jewellery. Be it pendants, bracelets, love bands or rings, with Lialiyou will find options in plenty to celebrate your special occasions, be it Valentine’s, weddings, milestone birthdays or anniversaries. So if you have that special something for your loved one, express it all with Liali and give a gift that will be cherished forever.

PINOY NIGHT AT SPEAKEASY Kabayans are in for an exceptional treat as the award winning Americanthemed bar, Speakeasy at Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach, unveils its first ever Pinoy Night to cater to every Filipino’s favourite; Pork and Rice!

disappoint the Pinoy’s sweet tooth!

Elevate your dining experience with a selection of unlimited homegrown Pinoy dishes that change on a weekly basis, so there’s always something new to try, with popular favourites frequenting the menu such as Binagoongan na Baboy, Pork Afritada, Kare-Kare, Bicol Express or Lumpiang Shanghai, served right at your table while chilling with the groovy beats of DJ Keith Dobbs. Pair this wondrous spread with the well-loved tangy side dish, Achara (pickled green papaya) to break the heaviness of the meaty feast.

Priced at 99 AED per person – food only

Leave room for desserts though as the delectable Leche Flan, Fruit Salad or Cassava Cake will surely not

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Celebrate midweek, crunch the Pinoy craving and enjoy a classy night out with your “Dabarkads” at Speakeasy’s trendy bar.

120 AED per person - inclusive of unlimited special house blend iced tea Timing: Every Tuesday from 7pm – 10pm Entertainment: DJ Keith Dobbs from 8:30pm For bookings, please call 04 439 8888 or email For additional information, please visit Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach on


SFA YASAY MEETS HH SHEIKH MOHAMMAD BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM IN DUBAI 03 March 2017, Dubai, UAE. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr. paid a courtesy call on H.H. Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Vice President and Ruler of Dubai on 3 March 2017 at the Zaabeel Sports Club. Accompanying the Secretary were: Ambassador Constantino Vingno, Special Envoy Amable R Aguiluz, Undersecretary Ariel Abadilla of Office of Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns (OUCSCC), Executive Director Reynaldo Catapang of Office of Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA), Office of Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) Assistant Secretary Joy Quintana and Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes.


H.H. Sheik Maktoum welcomed the Secretary and his delegation to the UAE and gladly noted that this visit would invigorate the bridges between our two countries. He also conveyed his personal congratulations as the Philippines assumed the chairship of ASEAN this year. H.H. Sheik Maktoum personally thanked the Secretary for the valuable contribution of the Filipino community to the growth and development of the UAE. The Secretary cited the UAE policies on moderation, tolerance, and understanding and expressed that the international community is grateful for the UAE’s leadership role on these virtues. He also recalled the visits of former VP Binay and former President Arroyo and reiterated his mission to pave the way for the President’s forthcoming visit. He added that the Philippines and the UAE share the goals of connectivity and that all states could benefit from friendly relations with all, highlighting the Philippines’ intent to foster stronger relations with countries from this region.

APE AND COMPANY WINS BIG AT THE 4TH EMIRATES SHORT FILM FESTIVAL A horror film about a mischievous caregiver by an all-Filipino movie production has won two prestigious awards in the fourth edition of Emirates Short Film Festival (ESFF) held on 17th February at the Emirates Headquarters in Dubai. Titled “Kaarawan” (Birthday), the film directed by Archie Enriquez, beat other entries to win the Best Film and Best Director. Founded in January 2008, the event brings together an exciting wealth of filmmakers, directors, actors, writers and cinema enthusiasts to participate and enrich the talent of the Emirates. On accepting the awards, the self-taught filmmaker, Archie Enriquezsaid, “I am pleased and humbled to be recognized as a promising Filipino Director in the UAE and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected. I hope this will serve as an inspiration for my fellow Filipino overseas workers to showcase their talents and skills and eventually open doors in the film industry bothhere and abroad.” “And of course, thank you to my extended family and friends from APE and Company for always supporting and believing in me,” added Enriquez. The film follows a story of Terrence (Dexter Dalisay), a caregiver who, on his birthday, is required to look after an old man (Emil Barcenilla) in a coma and in near death. As the night goes on and while on duty starts to become dull, Terrence decides to throw a birthday party, and due to such carelessness, the patient passes away and with their malevolent act, they find themselves in a peculiar dilemma. The film is composed of an all-Filipino cast and crew led by its Director and includes Honey Cocson, Roland Arceo, Brad Aquino, Elisa Yana, Engelbert Chua and Cristina Ferraris. Other members are Maria Dalma, YajMesina, Jake Javier, BimbimDalma, ZoeyDalmaand Zack Dalma.

The main character which is portrayed by Dubai-based industrial engineer and commercial model, Dexter Dalisay said, “I am much honored to be part of this team led by the award winning Director Archie Enriquez. This film is different from all the projects I’ve done in Dubai given the fact that it received major awards and recognitions from ESFF and compliments from fellow filmmakers, but above all, the cast and crew of this project are all Filipino and that’s something new! It gives me a sense of home and great pride.” Enriquez’s works are no strangers to awards. In 2015, his entry to Dubai International Film Festival 48 Hours Film Project entitled “Agent Who?” had won three awards, “Audience Choice”, “Best Use of Character” and second runner-up beating 43 other entries. While his 2016 entry to Emirates Short Film Festival entitled “Anibersaryo” (Anniversary) nabbed the Best Actress award for Honey Cocson.The same film was selected for screening at this year’sIndieWise Convention taking place on 25th – 27th August in Miami Florida, USA with over 1,500 filmmakers, artists, and creative geniuses from over 75 countries are expected to be in attendance.

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12 February 2017, Dubai, UAE. The Embassy of the Philippines and the Consulate General of the Philippines in Dubai and the Northern Emirates participated in the Philippine Investment Conference organized by Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Philippine Trade Investment Center (PTIC) held on 12 February 2017 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. The event was attended by some 68 investors from companies around the United Arab Emirates. Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno, Jr. welcomed the guests and investors in the conference. He highlighted in his remarks that the Philippines has a high performing economic growth at present and it is the right time to invest in the Philippines.

PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza shared a short presentation on the “Opportunities for Emirati investors in Philippine Economic Zones” and encouraged all the investors present at the event to try investing in the Philippines and enjoy the benefits and incentives provided by PEZA. At present, there are three (3) existing Emirati companies in PEZA Economic Zones. Also present in the event was the Philippine Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, one of the organizing committees. END Picture: Center: Ambassador Constancio R. Vingno, Jr., PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza (to his right) and Consul General Paul Raymund P. Cortes (to his left) with the Philippine Investment Conference organizers and prospective investors.

CONSUL GENERAL LEADS PBC’S INDUCTION OF OFFICERS 5 March 2017, Dubai, UAE. Consul General Paul Raymund CortAs led the induction of the new set of officers of the Philippine Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates. PBC Marian Celeste Carella holds on the position of Chair with Lalaine Benitez as Vice Chair. In his interview with The Filipino Times and Gulf Today, Consul General Cortes expressed hope that the PBC would continue playing an important role in helping the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates build a stronger and more financially astute community through their various programs and projects. He noted the PBC and PCG partnership in the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program or LSE which they collaborate with the Ateneo School of Government. The PBC, he added, is crucial in molding a Filipino community that is financially stable and literate, entrepreneurial, and innovative. He urged all Filipinos to use their famed creativity and innovation in making more useful and productive contributions to the UAE society they call home and to their mother country and their fellow citizens back home. illustrado go>58

Among PBC’s forthcoming projects include: Business Breakfast Meeting starting 11 March 2017. Every month until December 2017; Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program; Interface Business networking – September 2017; and 1st Philippine Food Festival – November 2017

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