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Editor’s Note


Let’s get to it, shall we? As with anything in life, the first step is always the hardest. You keep on plotting, orchestrating and sometimes over-thinking those plans and resolutions and yet, the idea of taking that very first step is enough to get you paralyzed, or at the very least – reduced to having jelly legs. Whether it’s making that critical move to change your career path, starting that fitness program, opening an investment account, improving your skills, putting in more family time, or simply disciplining yourself not to eat cake whenever you feel like it (just like me), it’s that first move you need to make isn’t it – that you just keep postponing for tomorrow. What is it with first steps? But as I’ve learned, sometimes it just takes that one moment of single mindedness, or even false bravado, just like pulling a band aid fast just so you don’t have to feel it, that will get you through that initial critical hurdle. So let’s get on with it, shall we? Take a deep breath and just before the doubts/laziness/hesitation/excuses creep in, just go for it. And before you know it, you’re taking the next step and the next, and shortly after, you are moving towards achieving your plans full on. Even we are taking our very first step, towards a transformed Illustrado. We open 2013 with a new format - lighter, friendlier, more switched on, more inclusive – ergo more with you, while keeping true to our core value of continuing to uplift our community. Included in our first offering of the year are new columns which further reflect the interesting Filipino expat life in our corner of the world and beyond – our stuff, our happenings, our style, and our pre-occupations, sometimes obsessions, coupled with the good old informative and enriching material you have come to love Illustrado for. They say, the first step is always the hardest, but this one has just given us so much pleasure. We wish you all an amazing 2013! Taas Noo, Filipino! LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



Contributors KRIP YUSON

A Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall-of-Famer, Krip Yuson’s byline has been attached to a range of public work that runs the gamut from poetry, short stories, children’s stories, biographies, and translation. Krip has also received the SEAWrite (SouthEast Asia Writer’s) Award from Thai royalty and the UMPIL or Writers’ Union of the Philippines’ Gawad Balagtas for lifetime achievement. In this month’s Illuminati column, Krip offers some advice on starting anew.


Writing stories like this month’s “Having It All” and “Re-branding the Filipino Image” has opened doors and eyes for Didi PaternoMagpali, a relatively young Filipino Dubaian, who has been living in this glamorous city for a little over a year. “It is refreshing to meet like-minded people here in this city, where it is a struggle everyday to re-learn your identity as yourself and as a Filipino.”


Distinctively dramatic is one phrase that certainly describes the body of work of Dubai-based freelance photographer Eros Goze. Leaning towards the stylized and edgy, Eros’ works have graced countless Illustrado covers, Middle Eastern magazines, as well as campaigns for regional homegrown brand Splash, and reputed regional and local haute couture houses. In this issue, the photographer moves over to urban fusion style with the Dubai skyline as the backdrop.


Whether you’ve read his bestselling books, attended one of his seminars, or watched him on TV or online, Bo Sanchez – or Bro. Bo is a familiar face to many. This Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee, best-selling author and respected speaker shares worthwhile words of wisdom with Illustrado readers every month in his column on Spirituality. This month, Bro. Bo sagaciously advises us to make a joy list, to live deliberately, rather than passively.


Resident personal finance guru Francisco J. Colayco discusses a sensitive and often untouchable topic to a lot of Filipino couples - love and money. In this issue, he shows us the spiritual side of financial planning and how we can actually use money to better share our gifts and talents with others. Illustrado’s Kabuhayan columnist has several best-selling books to his credit, and an advocacy on teaching Filipinos how to prosper.



A communicator, connector, idea – curator and changemaker, Nina has been a fan of since its inception, and believes that social media has the power to turn ordinary citizens into influencers and changemakers. Writing “Social Media. News and You” convinced Nina that the world needs more stories to incite them to positive, game-changing action.


Princes Nedamo is a newly sprung mushroom in the world of work. A fresh graduate, and a new student of life, she aspires to stake her own place in the world. A lover of books, pens and sheets of parchment, join her as she shares her thoughts about the Filipino soul. In her debut contribution to Illustrado, Princes writes the entertainment section and how Filipino stars continue to shine.

Teaching Filipinos about style is foremost in Agnes Aquino-Briggs’ bucket list. This month, she shares about how style extends even to one’s home. Agnes is a top executive for one of the foremost energy corporations in the capital, the Director for Trade and Tourism of the Philippine Business Council – Abu Dhabi and is also a Certified Image and Personal Consultant, armed with training from the Philippines’ prestigious Cora Doloroso Finishing School, and the Sterling Style Academy USA – one of the world’s leading Image and Style institutes.


Doing the 9 to 5 Millionaire story was an eye-opener for Excel. It made him realize that in this age of economic instability, we need not just save, but also about managing funds. “The story is a lesson on money healing,” he says.

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lalaine Chu-Benitez CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mon Benitez ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ana Santos COLUMNISTS Aby Yap Alfred “Krip” Yuson Bernadette Reyes Bo Sanchez Carlito Viriña Francisco Colayco Jeremy Baer Dr. Margarita Holmes CONTRIBUTING WRITERS – UAE, PHILIPPINES, CANADA Angela Mapa Mary Ann Marchadesch Anna Oposa Mary Ann “Maps” Santos Barbara Marchadesch Nephele Kirong Candice Lopez Quimpo Nikka Sartgou Dante Gagelonia Nina Terol-Zialcita Did Paterno Princes Nedamo Excel Dyquianco Quay Evano Johanna Michelle Lim Rache Hernandez Kara Santos Regina Layug-Lucero Liza Lacuesta Sherry Tenorio Manny Escosa Sonny Guzman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS – UAE & PHILIPPINES Glenn Peter-Perez Cristina Linaza Mariyah Gaspacho Donald Rosales Dr. Marlon Pecjo Filbert Kung Paelo Pedrajas Eros Goze CONTRIBUTING FASHION CREW - UAE Jessie Tabla Frankie Melendez Jojo Padua Ginno Alducente PUBLISHER – UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Tel: +971 4 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax: +971 4 360 4771 E-mail: Web:, Facebook: Illustrado Magazine Twitter: Illustrado Magazine PRINTERS Printwell Printing LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE STOCK IMAGES (Unless otherwise specified) Copyright Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2006 – 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC.

44 Jan. 2013 Contents Filipino style is fused with mainstream high street in this month’s fashion editorial Dare featuring Manette Mercado, Joe Dark and Delver Mangaoile.


Re-Branding the Filipino Image Making Those Resolutions Stick The 9 to 5 Millionaire Work. Life. Balance. Having it All Cyberbullying: Expression or Oppression? Rappler: News, Social Media and You

12 16 20 22 72 75


Editor’s Note 1 Contributors 2 Letters 4 Illuminati: Starting Up Anew 8 It’s What I Do 18 Talk Back: The New Pinoy Sexy Illustrado Scrapbook 28 10 Things to Do 30 On the Prowl and In the Know 68 Kabuhayan – Money 76 Kabuhayan – Entrepreneurship: Weddings by Revianne 78 Spirituality: Make Your Joy List 80 Entertainment: Realizing the Dream 82 Community 85 Onli in Da Pilipins: 01-03 86


fashion & design

Style Sense: Home is where your heart and style are. 34 Fashion: Dare 44 Real People. Real Style. 66


Global Barrio: My Pinoy Life in Brisbane 36 Bakasyon Grande: Corregidor 40 Illustrado Faces 88


Talking Loud

Christmas & New Year We asked our readers, fans and followers on Facebook what made their Christmas special and what they’ve resolved to accomplish in the New Year. This month, we’re sharing their heartwarming recollections of Christmas and their optimistic resolves for 2013. We hope you’re as moved and inspired as we were.

What made Christmas special this year? This year, it was more special because I spent it with my real friends. It wasn’t about material things but warm get-togethers on Christmas Eve. Jovee Baroma When my daughter (Nathalie Mae Misa Duhaylungsod) was featured in your magazine! Thank you! Paulynne Lolla Misa Duhaylungsod My town was hit by typhoon Pablo and 90% of infrastructure, agricultural crops and residential buildings were declared damaged. Somehow, this Christmas was special because I was able to help my town mates by co-organizing a “Shoot for A Cause in Abu Dhabi.” As a result, 230 families received food packs on Christmas day.


Don Xiaoli Go

Josh Sabandal Mangila

Celebrating Christmas with former colleagues and friends in Doha and giving me VVIP treatments in their hotels. I hired them previously with the lowest position and now so happy to see them in managerial positions at the best 5-star hotels in Doha. And they (remembered) to share all their achievements with me. So proud and happy!!! Vagelyn Tumbaga- Federico

Do more random acts of kindness. Make sure God’s love is sent to others through me. Catherine Cadayona- Tulagan Make more friends, bring a smile to people I come in contact with and spread the love for humanity. Leeroy Mathias

Our family celebrated Christmas differently this time. We sang carols to our fellow OF neighbors in our building here in Dubai. We did it not for aguinaldo or gifts but we just wanted them (kids and neighbors) to feel the ‘Pinas Christmas. Thanks, Illustrado Magazine! We also made it a special Christmas for our four girls. Aside from the toys that they wanted, we fulfilled their long-time dream of a having a dollhouse-luckily, it was 50% off. Their screams and shrieks of joy were priceless! Victoria Icogo Domingo

Set the plan, ditch the deadweight, develop a persona, mind my health, focus on the prize and proceed with extreme caution. Then, dominate the world. Mehdi Mountabih Subscribe to the yearly 2013 issues of Illustrado Magazine to bring additional joy to my life!! Milner Fernandes

Last Month…

I went to catch the Christmas mass for the first time in my grown years! LOL! I really appreciated the essence of that! It was truly special because of the fact that I’m away from home. Guess my Dad is happy to know that!!! Hahaha! Garvy Molinos Terrado After years of spending Christmas alone in Dubai, now my two kids are finally with me here. It was such a wonderful gift this year. I just hope I can afford to stay with them for long here...but it’s priceless! Vangie Avorque What’s your main New Year’s resolution? What’s your grand plan for 2013? I will live each day as if it’s the end of the world!!

Illustrado Faces Causes a Commotion on FB We’ve revived our Faces column last December and invited photographers and models to join us in this collaborative project devoted to promote the Pinoy’s natural charm. Batch 1 saw a shortlist of 16 of some of the most refreshing Filipino faces from all over the Gulf. The top spot together with Illustrado’s Choice - People’s Choice (the image with the most likes) was vigorously contested with the eventual winning entry - Anchell Antonio as

Talking Loud like a winner. I am a beginner who wants to learn and explore more in the world of photography. Comments are appreciated and this will help me to learn more. This is sharing of talents and knowledge and Filipino beauty will surely end in friendship for all of us. Thank you to Illustrado Magazine great experience! Rolly Picadizo

photographed by Royce Aldrich Centeno – generating over 5,000 likes, followed closely by 2nd the most popular entry Jhayde Figueroa as photographed by Heidi Juson garnering over 4,000. Now that’s a lot of likes coming from our little spot in crowded Facebook out here! There were a lot of intrigues and rumormongering online, but all’s well that ends well in this well-meaning competition. Check out the winners and finalist in our Illustrado Faces column this month. Thank you to Baby G watches for providing the fab prizes for Batch 1! Here’s what some of the participants had to say Dear Illustrado Group, Thank you very much! To be a part of this for a beginner like me feels great! To see my photo as one of the finalists makes me feel


Due to this contest, we have brought a lot of our family and friends together. The bottom line of the contest is to celebrate the Filipiniana beauty of the contestant and the talent of the photographer to capture it. Well done to Illustrado Magazine! Anyway, enough of that. Please announce the winner so we could see the next batch of beauts. I am hoping to see more boys and men in the contest. Please also confirm at the bottom of the photo if they are underage, single, married, divorced or with baggage! Lol! Anna McBride

Fun with Skoda We also had a bit of fun online with Skoda cars last month. We’ve asked people to send us why they want to get the chance to drive the cool Skoda Monte Carlo free for an entire week and answers ranged from crazy - “I want my Skoda or I’ll will do Vodka” from Yusuf Stapic to Des Devierte’s even wackier - “I want my Skoda! I am simple,

Skoda is clever! A perfect match! Simplicity is beauty, Skoda is cleverly - likeeee!!!” Eventually, Dubai mom Shyrel Tamayo took home the prize. Well, what can we do? The poor gal crashed her car just before Christmas and had to do all her holiday chores, we just had to give it to her. Besides, we’re sure Santa would have approved. To join the conversation and our activities on line – check out Illustrado Mag


Starting up

ANEW by Krip Yuson


oon after Christmas Day, I had a coffee meet-up with an astrologer, a young fellow who reminded me that we had first met over a decade earlier at a literary activity. I couldn’t recall that anymore, but it must’ve been in the stars that’s we’d catch up with one another before 2012 ended. Resti Santiago had communicated with me months earlier on Facebook, asking for my recollections of Serafin Lanot, a writereditor who had been a pioneer among Pinoy astrologers. He was one of Nick Joaquin’s best friends. And in the ’70s, young writers like me would troop to Mr.


Lanot’s house in Quezon City on certain social occasions. It also helped that he was father to our friend and fellow poet Marra PL Lanot who had married yet another colleague, Jose “Pete” Lacaba. I recalled Mr. Lanot as having once done my astrological chart, as well as that of my partner at the time. That was pretty much what I told Resti, who had become an FB friend. Months later, he announced that the astrology book he had authored would be off the press soon, just in time for the last week of 2012. In it, he had cited how it would be Serafin Lanot’s centenary in 2013. In fact he recounts in the book’s

introduction how “The core members of the Facebook group Astrology Friends Manila visited his (Lanot’s) library last year and we were glad to catch a glimpse of his colorful life.” Medieval Astro-Clock 2013 by Resti H. Santiago, self-published, is a slim, handy book with a print run of only a thousand copies. I must say that it’s a good buy, as invaluable reading for anyone who regards astrological reckoning as valid science — that is, far from the generalized mumbojumbo of daily astrological forecasts.


The book is billed as “An astrological ‘auspicious date-selection’ guide, and much more.” Once you get the hang of it, making sense of the advisory text and monthly charts that make use of coded icons, you’ll find yourself in good stead with regards communications, business and career matters, why, even be alerted to the most auspicious dates to pursue a “date” — that is, having to do with romance. You may program important activities while referencing this book in terms of the entire year’s calendar of propitious or inadvisable dates. Political forecast is also touched upon, as well as the financial trend for the Philippines for the year just begun. What intrigued me during our conversation was Resti’s reckoning that our country would continue to benefit economically in 2013, and that our President as well as the Liberal Party (LP) he heads would enjoy favorable standing. And while our big-bully of a neighbor, China, would pursue its saber-rattling over disputed waters and islands, Resti sees a major international accord being forged towards the end of the year. Alarming however was his studied forecast that 2014 would be a different matter altogether, what with Mars, the planet of aggression, coming into the fore. This means violence. If it’s not the type that sporadically breaks out in Muslim Mindanao, why, then, it might involve a show of force from that posturing neighbor. And this could even lead to, or be related with, a major development by 2020, which Resti says could be interpreted this early as “a new world order.” Hmm. While I still personally believe hat the USA can be second to none as long as Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley continue to manifest strong cultural influence all over


“ the world, I join others who shudder at the possibility of a century dominated by an overly aggressive and petulant China. Oh well. It’s our kids and grandkids who will have to face up to that sort of future. For now, all of us oldies will just have to concern ourselves mainly with how we begin and survive and maybe even enjoy yet another year. For me, that’s inclusive of tending to my garden. On the last days of the old year, I made sure to devote a few hours to cleaning up and regrouping certain species, repotting, replanting, weeding … Weeding out the undesirables, that is, and welcoming the fresh additions that came as personal gifts over the holiday season. On the first day of January, I pick up all the stray vestiges of the cornucopia of pyrotechnics celebrated hours earlier in our neighborhood. They cannot stay in my front lawn or backyard. They have had their time. We go on through another start in our cycle of seasons. Soon as I wash my hands after that task, propitious is the SMS I receive from poet Marjorie Evasco. She quotes the sad German boy Rainer Marie Rilke, from his book, Early Journals. “I love all beginnings, despite their anxiousness and their uncertainty, which belong to every commencement. If I have earned a pleasure or a reward, or if I wish that something had not happened; if I doubt the worth of an experience and remain in my past — then I choose to begin at this very second. Begin what? I begin. I have already thus begun a thousand lives.” I take the “text” — in more ways than one — as another sign from the universe. And so we begin anew, anxiously so, yet with good strong hopes, as always.

I love all beginnings, despite their anxiousness and their uncertainty, which belong to every commencement”

Feature Paisley accent by Vito Selma at Interior 360

The irony of it all is that “filipinos are (indeed) qualified, but are not visually credible.” Most every Filipino can remember the uproar that ensued when the Oxford English Dictionary included in its definition of Filipina “a nanny or maid”. The nation went up in arms to complain and fight for their honor. An editorial by the Philippine Center for Journalism said that the definition, tantamount to being called a ‘nation of nannies was so psychologically devastating, the only way to salvage our dignity was to put up a fight to defend not so much the honor of nannies, but that of a psychologically battered nation’. It turns out the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary was just the beginning. Teri Hatcher in the show, Desperate Housewives, demanded that her doctor show her medical diplomas “to make sure they are not from some med school in the Philippines.” Alec Baldwin referred to a Filipina married to a US national as a mail order bride. And most recently, Lucy Liu said that she if she got any darker, she would


look like a “little Filipino.” It was clear. The Filipino has an image problem.

Ellen Samano:

Filipinos have to look the part “You cannot really blame other nationalities for looking at (Filipinos) this way. Because this is what they see everyday in the malls, restaurants, hotels, parks and other public places. Even in their work places.” says

Elen Samano, Photo by Dawn Almario

Ellen Samano, branding and marketing communications virtuoso. Formerly the head of account management of global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi X in Dubai, Ellen founded Sparks of the World, a company specializing in motivational, inspirational and educational seminars customized for Filipinos in the Middle East, specifically the UAE. “Many skilled Filipino professionals such as engineers, nurses, CPAs [certified public accountants], interior designers, architects are literally unseen because they stay inside their offices and their work does not require them to dress up well. It may seem pretty basic, but what we see with our eyes automatically creates a perception, especially in this market.” Ellen puts further perspective into the oddity of Filipinos in this region. “Geographically, the Philippines is quite far from the Middle East, so we are mutually unfamiliar with each other. We are somehow out of place in this territory. Imagine an Emirati living in the



Tini Meyer with HH Shk Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan at the opening of Interior 360

Philippines.” Adding the context of historical relations, Ellen relates, “Limited interaction with the region was through the laborers and skilled workers who first came here as contract workers. Hence, Filipinos are probably one of the least credible nationalities in this respect. And this somehow affects our overall marketability.” By way of analogy, Ellen says the UAE is like a huge and busy supermarket with different products and brands, where the employers are consumers looking for a bottle of mineral water. “Think of all the 220 nationalities living here (in the UAE) as different brands of bottled water. If you were the consumer, which brands would you choose and buy? Which brands, or rather nationalities, LOOK the most credible?” The irony of it all is that “Filipinos are (indeed) qualified, but are not visually credible.” Ellen then stresses the need for Filipinos to be packaged in a professional way. It is not enough to be hard working, responsible and reliable, because those traits only come after the “actual product taste test”, where Filipinos have to prove themselves worthy.

“We need to break away from being seen as a nationality that is happy-go-lucky, subservient, and easy to take advantage of,” Ellen stresses.

Tini Meyer:

Stop feeling “kawawa” “The Middle East is the only place that Filipinos are looked down upon.” Says Tini Meyer, artist and founder of Interior360, a Dubai-based art gallery. “In Europe and in North America, people don’t really care because (how people perceive you) is more merit based.” she elaborates. Tini, halfFilipino and half-German, has travelled and lived in various parts of Europe as well as Canada. Whenever she gets visitors at the gallery, which showcases Filipino design and art talents, Tini gets two distinct reactions: “Either they think prices should be cheap just because (the pieces) are from the Philippines or they are pleasantly surprised at the level of quality.” Though there still is the negative stigma attached to Filipinos and the Philippines, there is hope “Actually, (seeing these pieces), foreigners are now starting to believe in the

power of Filipino talent, which is highly influenced by Filipino fashion designers based in Dubai such as Michael Cinco, Ezra and Furne One.” Tini believes that art is one of the good avenues to help change the perceptions of our people “With art, there are no boundaries. People care more about the art. Yes, the life of the artist matters, but it is more about the art.” But she still encourages all Filipinos, not just the artists, to help create the change in perceptions of other nationalities. Her advise is very simple “Filipinos should start believing in themselves and stop feeling kawawa. Be very good at what you do. Do your job well with happiness. Even if you are just a waiter, serve people with a smile.”


Feature Nanay Amba shares her own tips, to help change ourselves in order to transform and better the perception of our people and our country in the UAE.

The investment is on the acquisition of the right knowledge on how to style, package and carry yourself

Tip #1: Begin with the end in mind. Nanay Amba believes that for the UAEbased Filipinos, this set-up of being away from family is simply temporary and, in the end, they would and should come back home to the Philippines. Nanay Amba encourages her constituents to be more contemplative of the purpose and end goals in order to be clear, focused and, more importantly, avoid the many “shadows”, such as intoxication with credit cards, loans and immorality when it comes to matters of the heart.

The change from within

Tip #2: Know thy self.

“It is (simple, but) not easy and it will take time, one Filipino at a time, because the change has to come from within. We have to believe that we are NOT second rate.” stresses Ellen, who has begun to lead this change through her Filipino branding and imaging seminars. “I want to change a mindset. We have to market ourselves better. The investment is on the acquisition of the right knowledge on how to style, package and carry yourself. If you have the right personality skills, confidence is a natural aftermath. Overall, it requires a bit of extra time and effort to be conscious and to actually apply the principles.” There have been a handful of Filipinos who have been successful at helping shape a better image of our people such as Ellen, Tini and the Filipino artists. Each of us has an individual role to better ourselves and project a positive image. Just as we rose up as a nation to counter insults and prejudices, we must also make a collective effort to change perception.

The lyrics of the song “Sino Ako?” resonate strongly with Nanay Amba. She often uses the song in her public appearances to help remind her constituents to reflect and clear their identity as themselves and as Filipinos. “Knowing one’s self and what you stand for keeps you grounded.” she says.



Practical Tips from Nanay Amba Grace Relucio Princesa Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa walks with a swagger. Her petite frame was dressed in a delicately embroidered, apple green abaca blouse and a modest pencil cut skirt with her head held up high and her firm handshake indicated that she was not short on Filipino pride. She has a clear vision and big plans for the Filipino community, whom she considers an extension of her very own family. A mother of five children, who are living thousands of miles away from her, she shares the plight of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos living in the UAE, whom she now considers children of her own. Hence, the popular pet name bestowed upon her “Nanay Amba” (Mother Ambassador). Nanay Amba understands that her vision for her constituents would not come into fruition if she would not put these into more practical strategies, which could be incorporated into day-to-day living. Integrating her own strong spiritual values and her observations of the Filipino migration phenomenon through her various assignments around the world,

Tip #3: Be Pinoy wise, not Pinoy waldas. “You cannot give what you do not have.” Nanay Amba stresses the importance of OFs becoming and being financially able and stable. This is why she advocates the Pinoy W.I.S.E (Worldwide Initiative for Savings Investment and Entrepreneurship) movement, “an information and education program to encourage (OFs) to save, invest and engage in enterprises that would provide sustainable income for them”, which formally launched in the UAE last November 2012. Nanay Amba passionately promotes the movement, which offers free seminars on practical financial know-how and discipline. “Hindi por que sale eh kailangang bumili. Kung hindi naman kailangan, huwag bumili...Wag tayo maging hoarders.” she lovingly reminds her children in the UAE like the mother that she truly is.


and stick to it! By Ana P. Santos

New year is synonymous to making resolut ions. A new year ushers in a beginning and a signal to start things anew and resolve to change or do things better.


Maybe the part about resolve that makes New Year resolutions hard to keep? For those who have made attempts at it (hasn’t everyone at some point or another?) and have seen their resolutions not last longer than the month that they were made, here are four easy tips that just might see your resolve to keep those resolutions past January.


Resolve 1: Think about how what you do now will affect your future self-My 11-year-old daughter told me about one of her guy friends who – now on the brink of puberty -- has to remind himself to add putting on deodorant to his daily hygiene routine. The slathering is much a part of the daily routine for an adult, but a wasted maximum 20 seconds (10 seconds per armpit) for an adolescent boy. To make him remember, he put a note on his bathroom mirror, “Don’t forget to put deodorant. Your future self will thank you.” We both laughed at the story, but I realized how it changed a chore that may not pay off now, into something that will surely pay off in the future. Resolutions are thought of in terms of deprivation: I will cut down on desserts so I can lose weight, I’ll skip the sales to save money, and I’ll stop smoking. But when you think of how your future self will look in those skinny jeans, how much money you’ll save from buying cigarettes or how your (far off into the) future self will feel with a nice healthy retirement fund, then it becomes less of a chore but a goal with clear benefit. And something your future self will surely thank you for.

Resolve 2: Keep track of the numbers Numbers don’t lie and studies show that whether it’s losing weight or saving money, keeping track is key and while you may hate the idea of weighing yourself regularly there is a way to make your eyeball with the scale less of a daunting exercise (pardon the pun).

Love handles don’t form overnight and if you check your scale and monitor your weight, the pounds are less likely to pile on while you weren’t looking. If you do the math, it’s easier to ditch 3 pounds rather than 30. Apply the numbers principle to saving money, but with a slightly different opposite outlook. In this case, a little goes a long way. Even if you manage to save only a little money by following the simple golden rules of paying yourself first and saving at least 20 percent of your income, what started out looking like a petty cash fund will sooner or later resemble a nest egg. Illustrado columnist, Francisco Colayco says that time is actually the best asset that we have because as the formula says: Principal x Rate x Time = Interest From the principal (or the much money you staved away), you will get interest. And the best thing about interest is that the bigger the principal, the higher the interest – which you can also think of as passive income to entice yourself more to put away a little something every month.

Resolve 3: Say it with pictures If your resolution include intangible things like being less stressed out, more work life balance, or spending more quality time with your family, then don’t just write them down, picture them. Cut out pictures from magazines and make a dream board or a collage of pictures. Think of this as your visual goal / scorecard.

Hang it in a place you can see every day to remind you of what you want to achieve. Like the cliché that says a picture painting a thousand words, when you can clearly visualize the fun times you’ll have bonding with your family or the serenity of having more time for yourself, that’s another one step closer to achieving that goal.

Resolve 4: Be attached to your goal Mark Murphy, author of Hard Goals: The Secret of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be says that we’re so used to thinking of setting goals that are along the lines of SMART. S-specific M-measurable A-attainable R-relevant T-timebound Murphy says that SMART goals miss out on one crucial thing – an emotional attachment to our goals. He suggests that instead of SMART goals, we have HARD goals: H-heartfelt A-animated R-required D-difficult Citing the common resolution to quit smoking, Murphy says, develop an emotional attachment to the end result of your goal, like how quitting smoking will add years to your life so you can enjoy being with your family more.


It’s what I do


New Business Adviser (Banking) Dubai, UAE I work as a new business adviser in an international financial institution. I assist customers with setting up their account both locally and offshore and provide them with appropriate advice about different banking products based on their needs. The job may sound simple but it entails a lot of responsibilities in terms of managing customer expectations and ensuring their satisfaction, winning customer’s loyalty. At the same time, everything is in line with regulatory policies set forth by UAE Central Bank and other international bodies. I’ve had this job for over four years and it has given me the chance to showcase both to customers and colleagues that Filipinos are trustworthy and very reliable. By doing my job properly in an organized manner and by being polite and professional, I have somehow contributed to my employer by growing their network of customers. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you should never underestimate the fruit of hard work. There was a time when my job was in peril due to a new company strategy to minimize our international presence. This was been made known publicly and most of the customers asked how it would affect the existing staff members. I was humbled and truly overwhelmed with the support I received not just from my colleagues but also from very kindhearted, concerned and sincere customers. I received recommendations from them to get interviews at different companies. Although I was still able to keep my job, the support, assistance and just the mere offer of their help assured me that I was doing something right. Their support really touched my heart and made me gain more friends who I know are truly respectful of what I do and of who I am. All of us can be successful in any little given way. Success has many definitions based on what an individual aims for. Always aim for something within reach and once achieved, aim for something higher. With all our inherent politeness, professionalism, resourcefulness and love for everything we do, there’s no denying that Filipinos can always shine bright, if not the brightest, in whatever they choose to do. It’s just always a matter of pouring our heart out and doing the best that we can. All the best to all the Filipinos in UAE and may God bless us all always.


IAN BORROMEO PR & Marketing Executive Aviareps, Dubai, UAE

I work for one of the most illustrious tourism agencies, not only here in the Middle East but across the globe. I’m the youngest member of this humongous conglomerate in the Middle East; in many ways, this job is like a dream come true and a badge of honor for me. Indisputably, being a PR Practitioner is not an easy job. It requires a lot of patience, determination and passion for you to succeed, which I am proud to have. Nevertheless, it is also a very rewarding job as it gives me a lot of travel opportunities and the chance to meet high-profile people and media personalities. The clients I handle on my own as their exclusive publicist in the Middle East include the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Onyx Hospitality Group. I also coordinate with media to discuss tie-ups and features and coordinate press trips. Last year, Dubai won the Office of the Year Award from 38 international offices from different countries. I was awarded the “Employee of the Year” and as the only Filipino in our company at that time, I was proud to embody the hard work, commitment and zeal of every Filipino worker all over the world. Our General Manager who is Australian even commended me for my dedication, saying that Filipinos are the best employees he has ever had in his company. I think my philosophy is based on something my grandmother once said. “If you are not willing to risk for the usual, you have to settle for the ordinary”, she would say and I somehow never forgot that. Being a Filipino, who are known to many as domestic aids, I am one of the “kabayans” who wants to strive hard to change what others have stereotyped us to be. There is actually nothing wrong about being a household helper, but I believe that everyone can rise up from the sands because even skyscrapers came from gravel and dust. In this life wherein change is the only constant thing, I believe that there is a thin line between dreams and success and the only message that I hope I can send to all our “kabayans” is you can break that line, cross it.

The 9 to 5 MILLIONAIRE By Excel V. Dyquiangco

From being employed to being financially free



eila Hernandez knows what it’s like to have big dreams. She dreamed of getting a nice job, working hard, being on the fast track for promotions, getting rich and retiring very comfortably. But reality had set in. Years into her job working for consumer goods multi-national Procter & Gamble, she had difficulty saving money. She also had a hard time paying off household expenses, her car loan and credit card bills. After six years in the corporate world, she found that it wasn’t working out as well as she had imagined. And then, the economy hit a major speed bump, and so did Leila. The economy went into a slump, and the savings that she accumulated through the years were lost in the stock market. Leila found that working hard at a job wasn’t enough. There was no job security, and no guarantees to a comfortable retirement. For Leila, it was a turning point. “I’ve been with co-professionals who

otherwise looked successful career-wise, had all the gadgets, “branded” stuff, right address, fancy cars and yet are many years from financial independence,” she says. “I wanted more out of life. It was not as much about money as it was about the lifestyle that I wanted. I wanted to provide well for my family, develop my talents and skills, have a lasting legacy to the community, and yes, retire young enough to enjoy it all. I wanted to become the 9 to 5 Millionaire.”

The 9 to 5 Millionaire To become a millionaire, Leila realized that she had to invest in on one major thing: learning about investments. “I spent a lot of time learning, looking at financial information, researching locations, building relationships with banks, brokers, and searching out mentors,” she says. “I had to forego the “branded stuff” until I could afford it. I had to keep going as I learn lessons, sometimes painful. Some people


I realized that how much what we believe and what we fear plays into who we are and what we can do,” she says. “If you don’t believe you can be financially free, you are right – it won’t happen.”

look for the easy win and the instant wealth, but if that happens, are they able to handle it? One does not become wealthy in one day. A person becomes the embodiment of his values and aspirations. Wealth is a by-product, not the goal.” A memorable moment was when she reached her (first) million mark. It wasn’t about the numbers; it was about reaching the ability to live life without having to work again. It was about being able to spend more time on other priorities or causes, like her family and advocacies. “I realized that how much what we believe and what we fear plays into who we are and what we can do,” she says. “If you don’t believe you can be financially free, you are right – it won’t happen. I had fears about failure, but the bigger motivator was not about failure, but about not giving it my best shot. If I had let fear drive me, I would not have done half the things I did like taking risks in my career, working across different industries, creating new business models, getting into different investments, and basically going on this journey.”

The OF Story Having worked overseas, and being an OFW herself, Leila fully understands how hard it is to save despite earning in a

currency of a higher value. “There was this one letter from an OF who had saved up a lot then went home to Manila,” she says. “But within a year, what he had estimated as enough wasn’t, and he worried about what to do next. That is a typical situation for most OFs, so what usually happens is they just go back to being OFs. This is why it’s important to make a plan that involves actual calculations, a time period and specific changes or actions to take.” “Have an open discussion with your family and how their strengths can be utilized,” advises Leila. “If you send money home, know what it is for and how it is handled. If you expect your family to be masters of investing all of a sudden, the results are not going to be good and it will be unfair to everyone. You may choose to send money for budgeted expenses and then learn to invest for yourself. You can utilize online facilities to have transparency of money investments and funds. It’s best to involve your family because money is just part of your overall life.” It is not an easy path, but reaching your goal of being a 9 to 5 millionaire will definitely be worth it. To get started on your journey, check out The 9 to 5 Millionaire Book, available nationwide in National Bookstore, Fully Booked and online at

The first steps you need to take to start on your journey of being financially free: Know where you are in terms of how much you earn, spend and save. If you are in credit card debt or in debt for buying things that don’t produce money, stop getting into it and get out of it. No matter how small, start to save while you start investing in yourself and your financial education. Read the newspaper; understand what the business news means, read books on investing. You need to learn from many sources, not just one person, book or course. Instead of a New Year’s resolution, list what you want to become, to do and to have. Then make plans accordingly.


WORK. LIFE. BALANCE. And having it all at the same time. By Didi Paterno-Magpali




Engr. Mary Jane AlveroAl Mahdi: Grounded by contentment

As chief executive officer (CEO) of Geoscience Testing Laboratory, Engineer Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi has certainly come a long way from the day she first started working as a factory supervisor in Dubai in 1992. It took twenty years of hard work, building her good name and reputation in a male dominated corporate world, and Mary Jane certainly has a lot to show for it. “My being a female never stopped me from going out of the box. (With) dedication and passion for my profession and the commitment to the business, I never stopped developing myself.” Apart from managing one of the biggest independent laboratory testing centers operating in the Middle East, which has four offices across the United Arab Emirates, Mary Jane is also a wife and a mother of two children. One of her key rules in maintaining balance between her career and personal life is the “(clear line drawn) between family commitment and work responsibility. The key client is my family. I am a devoted wife to my husband and do not let my work (interfere) with my responsibilities and attitudes towards him.” Her husband clearly articulates this rule, “My wife starts her CEO role the moment she starts her car to go to the office.” On top of being a CEO and family woman, Mary Jane is also a perpetual student, a teacher and sometimes a

surrogate mother / mentor to the UAE community of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. She recently completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) program from Philippine Christian University and is in the process of completing her Doctorate in Business Administration from the Lyceum of the Philippines. She is a proponent in many charitable activities for the Muslim community including geo-technical and soil analysis testing for mosques under construction, Iftar meals for workers who pray at the mosques during Ramadan and free microbial contamination check-up on the mosque carpets. “Madame”, as she is fondly called, is one of the founders and volunteer trainers of the Filipino Digerati Association, a non-profit organization, which provides free training courses and workshops on Microsoft Office applications and personal development for the less unfortunate Filipino workers in the Middle East. Mary Jane can be considered one of those successful superwomen who seems to have it all and while it is an endowment she will not shy away from, Mary Jane stresses that this is different from striving for perfection. “Yes, I am a woman who has it all because I am contented, satisfied and grateful for what I have.” “The word ‘perfection’ does not fit in my strategy as a simple woman much as I don’t focus on imperfection. In this life, I believe that focusing on imperfection will pull us away from our objective of being kind, humble and gentle.”

To Mary Jane having it all is different from striving for perfection. “Yes, I am a woman who has it all because I am contented, satisfied and grateful for what I have.”



You can have most of what you want if you establish your priorities and don’t insist that everything be perfect.”

Vagelyn TumbagaFederico:

Don’t insist everything will be perfect “You can have most of what you want if you establish your priorities and don’t insist that everything be perfect.” Vagelyn TumbagaFederico advises ambitious women chasing after the ideals of having it all. For the 32-year-old deputy director of Ice Land Water Park in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), UAE, getting to where she is today was not easy. Six years ago, Vagelyn came to the UAE as a tourist spending her limited time in the country to seek out employment. Her days as a tourist were not filled with days of sightseeing, but of nights living in shared accommodations, waking up at 4AM to take a 15-minute shower, walking and taking public transportation in the hot and humid desert weather, knocking doorto-door and submitting her resume to all potential employers. After finally landing a job as a secretary, she


began the slow but deliberate climb up the corporate ladder with patience and a lot of hard work. Today, Vagelyn is also known as “Sheikah” within the Filipino community given her influence in the emirate of RAK in executing work for the Sheikh. Even with the triumphs in her career, Vagelyn works extra hard to fulfill her role as a wife and as a mother. Her husband and children, ages 8 and 12, live in the Philippines, thousands of miles away from her. This is what she considers “the biggest challenge I have ever had”, even more than any of those in her career life in the Middle East. It is already part of her daily routine to wake up at 3AM, which is 7AM in the Philippines, to chat with her family. Apart from that, she also guides her children as they do their homework and bonds with them by sharing their day-today experiences. The regular Skype sessions allow her family to feel her strong presence and support, that they can count on her, even if she is far, far away. “Family time is the most (special) time for me and my priority for my everyday life. I am very busy at work, but I make it a point not to neglect a single moment with them.” she says.

Speaking from her own experience, Vagelyn says she wishes that more women like her would come out from the shadows. “The more high profile career women step forward, the more realistic the picture will be for the women beginning their careers. Then armed with all the information, the good, the bad and the ugly of parenting while pursuing your career goals and ambitions, women can make the best informed decisions for themselves, their families and their lives. And more importantly, not feel that they have any shortcomings when they do find it hard or if they honestly choose from the bottom of their hearts to be there, really be there for their children.” Vagelyn explained. For the past 6 years, Vagelyn has been preparing to be reunited with her family. “I have always wanted them to be here and experience the best life that I can give to them.” For Vangelyn, and many other women like her, it is what drives her everyday to do even more than she already has.

Talk Back

sexy the new pinoy

THE WORD ‘SEXY’ HAS EVOLVED IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS THROUGH THE YEARS AND HAS GONE BEYOND A GORGEOUS FACE AND A BUFFED BODY. TO BE INVOLVED AND TO CARE – THAT IS SEXY; SOCIO-ENTREPRENEURS HAVE BECOME SEXY; INTELLIGENCE AND FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE – DEFINITELY SEXY; CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TRUE SHAPE OR COLOR IS SEXY, SEXY, SEXY. WE ASKED ILLUSTRADO FANS TO DEFINE THE NEW PINOY SEXY AND HERE’S WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY Sexy is to be comfortable with oneself, to be able to laugh at oneself, to be able to let one’s guard down. Power and success are sexy too. And when someone voices out one’s thoughts, without concern for how one will be perceived, as long as it’s done respectfully and tactfully, that is one moment of sexiness!

Saudin Dungog-Noddings Dubai

Sexy is a state of mind that can affect other people around you. It could be your confidence, charisma and leadership abilities. It can also refer to your exceptional skills, talents and achievements. Sexy is all this and more. Thus, sexy can either be a physical or metaphysical manifestation. You don’t need a sexy body to feel sexy. But


it does help to have one.

Jabs Adiong Doha

The new Pinoy sexy has a voice and never waits for things to happen. He makes things happen! He articulates matters unconventionally but peppers his rhetoric with wit and serious humor. His confidence is orgasmic but quite conscious not to cross the bridge to arrogance! Sensual is the voice of a man saying “I love you” to every member of his family - in front of everyone. He knows that Filipinos deserve a better life in their own land than what they have. However simple and small, he is doing something to make a difference.

Albert Gonzales Fontanilla Manila

Anybody who cares about his/her appearance by way of walking, sitting, smiling, talking and dressing without overly ‘flaunting’ but with a twist of flirting, is sexy!!

Ayah Maria Bemon

Sexy is someone who has great sophistication and surpasses the clichés surrounding physical beauty. Being forward thinker, open-minded and having tolerance are big sexy factors for me.

Salem Zahiri Manila

The new Pinoy Sexy is: a God fearing person. Someone who loves her/his country and her/his people. Someone who knows herself/himself and does not buy into gossip. Someone who improves herself/ himself by reading and learning. Someone that touches the heart, not the pocket book of others. Someone that is a giver and not a taker.

Anyone that has those qualities is extremely sexy... To sum it up, a very low maintenance person, who doesn’t care about blings and things. A spiritual and learned person is the new sexy.

Anna Liza Julao Jacksonville, Florida

Ang hirap naman nyan, parang “theory of relativity” undefinable… Fortunately, Filipinos are already born sexy and not everyone knows. Combine all common good and bad traits and these make us Filipinos so exciting and make us sexy.

Chef Mico Galligues Toronto

Sexy is someone who has reached the point of success, but then, can come back to where he started and blend-in like he’s never been to the top. It is someone who shares his accomplishments in the hopes of encouraging someone to be at his level... now, that’s sexy! A good heart and good character is sexy!

Chit Ferris Seattle, Washington

Sexiness is an attractive energy. The new Pinoy Sexy is someone who is able to project equality, and is an icon not only for Filipino people, but to all. He/she is a perfect way-shower (leader), who holds inspiration and passes it down to everyone he/she encounters. Without really projecting, it is natural for him/her to attract influence, unknowingly or knowingly. The New Pinoy Sexy is well balanced with his/her charisma, not taking any labels, including the word Pinoy-Filipino itself. I believe Filipinos are universal, so is every nation, and race is designed to build bridges not gaps.

Glenn Peter Perez Manila

A bad boy image on a good Samaritan is sexy!

Wayne De Guzman Venancio Dubai

Sexy is someone who has the desire for his own self - a person who has his confidence tucked out of his shell, a person who believes in what he does; one who works with passion with the objective to learn rather than to earn. Someone who knows what he wants and stands his ground no matter what. That’s the strong kind of sexy.

Alvin Arzadon Abu Dhabi



MARVIN JALIL Jalil Marvin is a fashion and conceptual photographer of Filipino-Iranian descent based in Kuwait. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from St. Dominic College of Asia in the Philippines, he continued to pursue his desire to be involved in the creative industry. Jalil has done fashion editorial and covers for The Avenues magazine, as well as a few spreads for Khaleejesque magazine. At the core of his work is expressing a compelling narrative that evokes strong elements of mood and emotion. He was an assistant to one of the most prestigious fashion photographers in the Philippines, Niccolo Cosme, who taught him how to translate visions into images. Jalil breathes photography and art, day and night, but is also a die hard music lover, gamer and extreme sports enthusiast.



FLARIDEN DELA TORRE Flariden Martinez dela Torre is a part time freelance photographer based in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. He started photography as a passion in 2004 and has expanded to do advertising, event, fashion, wedding, landscape and macro photography. These projects now give him a source of income to support this expensive hobby. His shutter knowledge came from attending formal training from different photography workshops facilitated by international experts. Currently, he is also teaching basic photography and photo editing for newbies who want to learn.


We’re not just welcoming in the New Year, we’re celebrating it the whole month with singing, dancing and with the DSF just around the corner, lots and lots of shopping.

SEEING AND SHOPPING RED In the UAE, there is no better time to shop than during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival. Red tags offering as much as 75% discounts are scattered across the biggest malls to the quaint shopping centers, from high-street to high-fashion brands. With the daily raffle draws and exciting competitions, the DSF is the one time where shopping can truly be rewarding. Dubai Shopping Festival From January 3 to February 3, 2013.




The legendary lead guitarist of former rock heavyweights Guns N’ Roses, will perform with lead singer Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators at the Dubai Tennis Stadium. Since coming into prominence as the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, Slash has also become inseparable from his iconic top hat and the character of the Guitar Hero music video game. Slash will be out to give all rock fans a memorable and mesmerizing performance in Dubai. The concert shall commence at 10pm. January 31, 2013, 10pm at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

The Big Boys Toys show delivers what its name promises. The Middle East’s most anticipated premier luxury lifestyle show has been wowing gadget-mad Dubai and its visitors for a few years now. Big Boys Toys will provide visitors with the best of products from a wide spectrum of adventure, aviation, digital, drive, fashion, lifestyle, marine, Off Road, sports cars, bikes and wellness sectors. This exhibition is also being held as one of the main events in conjunction with DSF.

10 things to do

ROAM THE WORLD AT GLOBAL VILLAGE There can be no better setting to experience the world’s premier shopping festival than at the Global Village, where the world comes together in Dubai. This unique venue is a melting pot of cultures from across the world, and has been delighting visitors every year since its inception in 1996. With handicrafts, artifacts and curios from every continent, as well as food that reflect the amazing diversity of our planet, Global Village will live up to its name of building bridges between nations and cultures, proving that all the world is truly one family and one big village. This year’s Global Village runs until March 30, 2013.

TAKE A STROLL AT JBR-THE WALK Jumeirah Beach Residence, known popularly as JBR, offers a charming marina-like ambience and features unique entertainment options. It is also the largest, single phase residential development in the world costing AED 6 billion, with 40 towers, 36 of which are residential and four are hotels. Take a leisurely stroll on its 1.7 km strip. It is one of the most popular venues not only for entertainment and shopping but for cultural and leisure activities. With its growing number of restaurants and cafes, JBR has now become a foodies destination too. It is home to exclusive retail outlets like Boutique 1, Virgin Megastore and Covent Garden Market, open every Wednesday and Thursday followed by Weekend Market on Friday and Saturday.

Photo: Global Village on facebook

WATCH FIREWORKS EVERY NIGHT The city’s night sky comes alive with some of the best pyrotechnics from world-renowned experts this month. Dubai’s unparalleled skyline will be lit up by sparks and showers from fireworks shows every evening during the DSF. Things start to sparkle at the Dubai Creek area and also at the Festival Promenade during the weekends.


10 things to do

GET SOME TEA TIME Aficionados of the brew that refreshes will get a chance to tickle their taste buds with the best teas from the world at the Tea Oasis on Al Seef Road this month. The event will feature a tea market where visitors can buy the best from an eclectic collection of teas from all the major tea growing countries of the world: Morocco, Egypt, United Kingdom, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. Expert tea tasters will be on hand to show people how to brew the best tea and educate them about its varieties, as well as its history.

JOIN THE BIGGEST BREAKFAST The Biggest Breakfast will serve nutritional breakfast to more than 5,000 people, encouraging them to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyles. There will also be edutainment, fun, games, competitions and group fitness sessions – enough to involve entire families in a morning packed with healthy eating and fitness. The event will feature cookery sessions in English and Arabic conducted by the best chefs in Dubai. The Biggest Breakfast, to be held at the Creek Park on February 2 from 8am to 1pm.

COME AND LAUGH AT DUBAI INTERNATIONAL COMEDY CARNIVAL Laughter is the spice of life, no doubt. This month, the best comedy talents from the UAE, the region and beyond will meet at Dubai Festival City to present stand-up shows and even workshops, along with dancing and singing competitions at the first ever Dubai International Comedy Carnival happening from January 22-26, 2013. With two types of shows, one ticketed from Dh175 to Dh250 and the other for free, and a star cast of comedians that will include Maz Jobrani, Badr Saleh, Michael Winslow (from the famous show, Police Academy), Amr Katamish (from Arabs Got Talet Show), Lebanese comedian, Omid Djalili and many more, the English and Arabic sessions are sure to enliven DSF and put a lingering smile on the faces of the audience.

CHECK OUT THE CITY’S NEWEST DESTINATION With merry-go-rounds, bucking horses, Ferris wheels, Dodgem cars and other such rides and activities, accompanied by kiosks of mouthwatering snacks and enticing souvenirs, the Festival Promenade, is the must-visit destination in Dubai Festival City this season. With its perfectly manicured backdrop of Business Bay, the promenade comes to live with nightly shows of Italian Circus, roaming street performers and competitions. A part of the Festival Promenade will be transformed into a traditional Bedouin encampment for a month until February 3. The Camp will be open from 4.00 pm to 10pm on week days and from 4pm till midnight on weekends



The interiors of your home say a lot about you.

Home is where

YOUR HEART and style are. by Agnes Stott Briggs


Just as they work on clothes, appropriate color tones enhance the overall look of your home, making it appear more vibrant, content and happy. ” A home is place for relaxation – a reliable refuge from the pressures of the world. But more than that, it is an extension of one’s individuality. It is the essence of all things about you. The manner you style its interiors is a very clear-cut statement of your personality. As a reflection of your personality, how will you then start styling your home? The basic rule is going for themes you really love. Since you will be the one spending most of the time in your home, don’t trouble yourself with what others may think. Be your own critic. The design of your home should make you feel comfortable and want to stay indoors–not push you out of the house.

of yellow, however, will be probably picked by people who prefer autumn. For those who like summer, a cool blue or pink maybe desirable as it is pretty much transparent in emotion. A calmer but dazzling shade might be the choice of those who love winter. So when you hear someone say, “I am an autumn”, this statement indicates that they would most likely go for warm and neutral colors to give their homes a cozy and friendly feel. Just as they work on clothes, appropriate color tones enhance the overall look of your home, making it appear more vibrant, content and happy. Wrong coloring, on the other hand, will bore and dull the appearance of your home.

Colors and hues

Another option in personalizing your abode is taking inspiration from different places. Displaying knick-knacks collected from all over the world can be reflective of a well-travelled individual. Styling themes based on a splendid holiday vacation in Italy or Greece can easily bring back memories of awesome experiences (and can give your guests a flavor of those places). With these simple and effective ideas for home designing, you can easily project your personality and at the same time, be happy in your own dwelling. Because your home, as a reflection of your personal style and character, should be your comfort zone.

Colors are also important factors in designing the house. One option to personalize your home is to choose paint choices that complement habits and lifestyles of the primary occupants of the house. For example, an outgoing vibrant woman may wish to choose pink or bright yellow for her walls to match her distinctive personality. Aside from complementing habits and lifestyles, you can also determine the hues you are most attracted to. Like if you love spring, you are perhaps more attuned to a soothing yellow for an easy and invigorating feeling. A more intense shade

Destination inspiration


Pinoy Planet


Pinoy Planet

My Pinoy Life in

Brisbane Australia M

y family decided to move here in Brisbane in 2004. I came here first to get a certificate course in Commercial Cookery, which took two years. My whole family which included my three kids and my husband followed me after three months. I gave up my 15 year career in banking to relocate to Australian and it was such a major decision for us. Our kids and their future was the major consideration for our move. Ali Aquino-Caampued and family


Pinoy Planet


Our suburb, Marsden, is in Logan City which is in the middle of Brisbane and Gold Coast here in Queensland. It is a very friendly and peaceful community and is accessible to everything, be it shopping centers or the nearest servo (our term for gas stations). I work as a service consultant for ANZ, which is one of the top four banks in Australia. In 2010, I decided to join them and go back to my banking career. There are various Filipino communities here in Brisbane. We have a barrio fiesta here that is celebrated every year during the month of June. Our life here is certainly different from how we were living in the Philippines. In the Philippines, we have helpers everywhere whilst here in Australia, we had to learn how to do everything by ourselves. It’s different, but we love it. As a family, we have learnt how to be independent and embrace the Australian culture. Having no relatives here, we have gained so many mates (friends) who helped us settle in and how to acquire their customs and traditions. However, it wasn’t that difficult for us to adjust because Australia is a multicultural country. My greeting to other Filipinos reading this: G’day to my Filipino mates! No matter where we are and how long we’ve been away from home, we will always be Filipinos by heart.


Bakasyon Grande


“The Rock” 10 exciting adventures that await you in Corregidor Text and photos by Kara Santos


he island fortress of Corregidor is best known as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II. But if you think Corregidor is just for history buffs and war veterans, think again. In recent years, the island also known as “the Rock” is fast becoming a favorite adventure destination for nature-trippers, families and friends. For those in Manila for just a short time, Corregidor is ideal for a day trip or overnight trip. Strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay, about 48 kilometers west of Manila, Corregidor is accessible by 1.5 hour ferry ride aboard Sun Cruises.


If you’ve already done the historical tour of the island or just want to experience it in a different light, try these adventure-packed activities on the island.

Learn history on the run

If you’re a fan of the reality show The Amazing Race, you’ll be glad to know that you can race through Corregidor’s nature trails, explore the ruins, navigate the fortress’ hidden tunnels and decipher clues just like your favorite teams. The Corregidor Adventure Challenge allows visitors to experience and see the historical hotspots in a different way. It also tests participants’ ingenuity, powers of observation, planning skills and time and resource management skills. The race can take 2.5 to 3.5 hours to complete, depending on the difficulty level set and age group of the participants. This tour is perfect for team-building activities and family reunions.

Explore the island on wheels

The sport of mountain biking has enjoyed some popularity in recent years, and Corregidor Island is a great place to bike around. Visitors can bring their own bicycles and pedal their way around the island. Corregidor has a lot of well-paved roads and bike trails that offer a good challenge for mountain biking enthusiasts. Those doing day tours will have roughly 4 hours to bike around the island if they want to catch the daily ferry that departs at 2:00 pm. All-terrain vehicles (ATV) are also available for rent.

Run a good race

Because of its terrain, serene surroundings, and lack of vehicles on the road, Corregidor is also an ideal venue for marathons and fun runs. The Corregidor International half-marathon for seasoned and amateur

If you think Corregidor is just for history buffs and war veterans, think again. In recent years, the island also known as “the Rock” is fast becoming a favorite adventure destination for nature-trippers, families and friends.”

runners has been held on the island since 2010. The 21-kilometer route brings racers through a demanding combination of paved uphill and downhill slopes and intermittent segments of dirt trails while passing through key historical hotspots.

Take a hike

If you’re not up for a marathon, try exploring the island on foot instead. Take a hike around the woodland trails or walk from one historical destination to the next following a map of the island. First time hikers can enjoy an easy walk through rediscovered trails to forests and hillsides and explore ruins at a more leisurely pace than the tours aboard tranvias. Head to the

island’s tail for the best view of Manila Bay. Historical walking tours are also offered for those who prefer to walk around with a guide.

Zip it good

Speed by on the 200-meter long Rocket Zipline that takes guests from the back of Corregidor Inn to the South Beach area of the island in no time. The cable suspended about 20 feet above the ground is a thrilling and safe ride, even for kids.

Get a bird’s eye view

Corregidor is a sanctuary for wild birds and is a great place to go bird watching.

Commune with nature and be the one to spot what could be migratory or resident birds of the island. Birds spotted here include the White-collared Kingfishers, Asian Glossy Starlings, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Blue Rock, and Philippine Cockatoos, to name a few.

Paddle away

Circle the island aboard outrigger boats, view the neighboring isles like Fort Drum and the scenic coast of Mariveles, and stop by nearby fishing spots by taking the island runabout tour. Kayaking races have also been organized in the past by the Philippine Kayaking Association that takes experienced kayakers from Caylabne Bay in Cavite all the way to Corregidor. Other race legs allow novice and experienced kayakers to explore the beaches and coves of the island itself.


Bakasyon Grande

Camp out

Level up your outdoor skills by camping out on the island and taking a specialized camp training program. Jungle survival and exploration instructors can teach you all you need to know about how to survive outdoors amidst nature and man-made underground caverns.

Explore the tunnels at night

If you’re staying overnight in Corregidor, one of the optional tours you can take is sunset viewing and the walking tour through the unexplored side of Malinta Tunnel. With just the aid of flashlights, guests can do a night lateral tunnel visit, and traverse the tunnels 1,000bed hospital area during World War II.


At times, guides will ask guests turn off flashlights and walk through the tunnels in complete darkness. This tour is not for the faint-hearted!

Get snapping

The scenic ruins and dramatic landscapes of Corregidor are a good playground for shutterbugs to practice landscape photography. In recent years, the island has also become popular for pre-nuptial, wedding photography, fashion and editorial shoots as well. If you want to take better photos, you might want to join specialized photo tours and workshops that are regularly organized by different groups on the island. For more details and package routes and tours, visit



Dare to be different. Dare to stand-out. Dare to do what others won’t. Dare to wear what others don’t.

Just dare.


On Manette: Metal studded piña barong by Francis Libiran with an olive green wrap by Dita Sandico-Ong used as an obi belt; purple faux fur shrug by Splash; chandelier earrings by Iconic On Delver: barong by Jeffrey Rogador; vest from Iconic; jacket and pants by Splash; necklace by Iconic; boots (stylist’s own) On Joe: Piña barong with metal studs by Francis Libiran; deconstructed leather jacket (stylist own); pants – Lee Cooper from Splash; metal collar by Iconic




On Delver: Long sleeved pleated polo with denim collar by Ulysses King; cardigan by Iconic; jeans (model’s own); shoes – Adidas from Iconic; muffler by Lee Cooper from Splash

Now’s not the time for fence-sitting.




On Manette: Pink Dita Sandico-Ong wrap; chunky necklace by Iconic; purple faux fur shrug by Splash On Delver: barong by Jeffrey Rogador; vest from Iconic; jacket and pants by Splash; necklace by Iconic; boots (stylist’s own)



Simplicity is just two clicks away from boring.


On Manette: Sculpted Dita Sandico Ong wrap in violet matched with a gold corset by Iconic and bronze jacket with brocade details; Splash studded bag in green; silver neckpiece and green and gold shoes by Iconic




On Delver: Peter Pan collar sleeveless shirt by Ulysses King; jacket by Splash; bowtie (stylist’s own); yellow pants by Iconic; green shoes by Adidas from Splash On Joe: Jusi shirt by Ulysses King; cardigan by Iconic and muffler by Splash; jeans and belt (model’s own); shoes (stylist’s own)



On Joe: Degradé barong by Jeffrey Rogador, topped by neon jacket by Splash; white pants by Lee Cooper; turquoise socks and muffler by Splash; necklace and brogues from Iconic


U-turns to where I’m going.



You can’t chase your dream without taking a


On Delver: Peter Pan collar sleeveless shirt by Ulysses King; jacket by Splash; bowtie (stylist’s own); yellow pants by Iconic; green shoes by Adidas from Splash




On Joe: Metal studded barong by Francis Libiran matched with harem pants by Splash; silver Cuffs by Iconic; statement neckpiece (stylist’s own); shoes (model’s own)




Bite me.


Fashion On Joe: Piña barong with metal studs by Francis Libiran; deconstructed leather jacket (stylist own); pants – Lee Cooper from Splash; metal collar by Iconic


• On Manetter: Wrap by Dita Sandico-Ong topped with a corset by Iconic; jeans (model’s own), neckpiece by Iconic




Thursd is a

On Manette: Black maxi-dress by Iconic; Dita Sandico-Ong wrap in gold and black; gold purse and spiky shoes by Iconic

day 65


On Delver: Metal studded barong by Francis Libiran; white polo neckpiece and brocade-look pants by Iconic


Today’s the day. Not tomorrow. Not even the next.


Real Style, Real People

MAJEIGH VARTZBED, lifestyle blogger and mom-in-heels cuts 2 trendy looks – one for Dubai and another one for the south of France.

OMAR DELA FUENTE, fashion blogger at www. onstreetabudhabi. com makes his own spin on winter smart casual with a button down burgundy cardigan matched with a jeans shirt on jeans and brogues.


Just your average day look. Insurance industry top exec, RYAN RUIDERA prefers contemporary street style and enjoys mixing and matching of old and new clothes.

Stepping out with the girls. MAYNE VALEÑA TAMONDONG (extreme left), Oil and Gas industry exec. is ready for a night out in the sleek city in an eye catching orange body con dress.

Clotheshorse ARMAND SKY ZARRIS MANAPAT, Design Director of SANTINI Fashion embraces the style opportunities posed by winter in the emirates.

Perfect for a Friday brunch, freelance photog HYKU DESESTO, is fresh and relaxed in a playful dress that’s all about whimsy.

HYDEntertainment Independent Film Producear/Actress, sunglasses and shoe addict FE GING GING HYDE sports weekend chic for an afternoon date with hubby.

Leopard print pants punctuate Abu Dhabi-based freelance stylist, BUTCH MENOR’s quirky relaxed colorlovin’style.

It’s business chic as usual for the finest duty free in the world’s Display Department Head SECOND CHU, as he steps out with a preppy chequered suit and bowtie ensemble.


On the Prowl and In the Know

ON BLOGGINGS’ PAINS AND PERKS by Mariyah Gaspacho – Dubai I’ve been blogging for the past 7 years and it’s great to know that I am one of the pioneers of fashion blogging in Dubai. It may not be as huge as it is internationally, but the Middle East is getting there and apparently everyone wants to be a blogger out here right now. Blogging has its perks – you experience so many things, meet interesting people from designers, to editors and celebrities, and get treated like a VIP. Plus, let’s not forget the gifts that come with it from time to time. But what people don’t know is that it isn’t easy and is actually a full time job. Building great relationships and a good reputation is not always sunshine and butterflies. It takes hours to write up an entry. It’s not easy to have gorgeous photographs

to showcase and it takes a lot of money to travel to events and meetings and a whole lot of energy to mingle with so many people to keep you updated. Oh and did I mention the amount of work involved to keep Twitter, Facebook and Instagram updated? And let’s not forget that you need to maintain originality and interesting content for your readers – which do not come easy if you don’t have passion for something like this. Blogging can open so many doors but do it for the right reasons. If you think you have what it takes, put in the time, effort and passion because you might just be next “Bryanboy”. Follow Mariyah at:

VISION BOARDING & DUBAI RAINS by Ion Gonzaga – Dubai Say goodbye to New Year’s resolutions. Admit it. They don’t work and mostly appear to be just our “wish lists” - without defining realistic goals on how to achieve them. Create a vision board instead. It’s like a poster with a collage of cut-outs from magazines about the things you want to achieve - dream job, good health, nice car, huge house, a person you want to meet, places you want to go to, things you basically want to do, etc. Open your mind. Don’t restrict yourself on your capability to achieve things. Just keep the ideas flowing and slowly it will all come together. Put this up on your wall where you can always see it to always remind you of what you want to achieve. Those thoughts will help you change your life,


your actions and your mindset. Now while we’re talking about January this would definitely be a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook – rains in the UAE. Yes indeed, because according to tourist guide books, it only rains an average of 5 times a year. Whoa! And by the way, a drizzle is considered rain here. But at times, unfortunately, rains bring chaos and traffic as some roads easily get flooded. Probably because of the rare chances of rain, the country doesn’t have a better flood drain system yet? Follow Ion Gonzaga -

DESERT INK AND THE DILEMMA OF MY YOUTH by Kristine Abante – Dubai It was that auspicious time after Christmas and before New Year, when I got invited to “Desert Ink.” Apparently a group of local-based tattoo artists have organized a one-night only show at the so-called Malate Bar in Deira to show off their skin-art creations. It came as no surprise that the artists were mostly Filipinos, though different nationalities were there too. And as I stood there watching these friendly people showing off the ink on their bodies like old warriors sharing stories of their battle scars, I thought about getting a tattoo for the nth time. Maybe getting a tattoo marks a kind of growth, a remembrance of how one has changed? Then again, maybe it’s just to look cool. Whatever the motivation, getting a tattoo in Dubai, where the practice remains relatively underground, is strangely very appealing. My friends asked me what would I like to put, and once again I was faced with the dilemma of my youth – what symbol am I ready to suffer for and live with? A nice guy with a tattoo on his face passed by our table, and all I could think of saying was - “Inshallah.” PS. If you’re in Dubai and run into a guy with a tattoo on his face don’t be scared. Tattoo enthusiast and motivational speaker Loy Machedo (center) is a actually very nice. Check him out at


Follow Kristine

by Tracy Ley – Dubai Happy New Year to all! I know all of us are making New Year’s resolutions, goals and planning things for the future. I strongly believe that as a woman, we constantly think and look for ways to improve and beautify ourselves. One of my main concerns since I lived in Dubai is the strong and hot water. It has made my hair so dry and dull. I am not kidding when I say, that I have about 3 hair mask and 5 different conditioners in my vanity tray. Recently, during my research online, I came across an article on how to achieve smooth, healthy and shiny hair. And with the help of coconut products, you can. As soon as I read this, I went to my favorite beauty products place - Boots Pharmacy. I could literally spend an

hour in there looking for different kinds of hair, skin and beauty products. Then, I found a selection of coconut shampoo, hair repair treatment conditioner, leave in conditioner and glossing spray. I have been using Inecto products for 4 months now, and it has work wonders for my hair. I just made it smoother, healthier and shinier. It also smells good and is very inexpensive. I think you should give it a go. Just follow the instructions properly. Hair tip: condition your hair only from the ends till half way of your hair. Do not condition your scalp as this can build up dandruff and make it oily. Follow Tracy – www.misstracyley12.


On the Prowl and In the Know

REUNION IN TURKEY by Leslie Fiestan – Riyadh After 18 long years I got reunited with my classmates from the International Philippine School in Riyadh (or Philippine Embassy school in Riyadh as it was called back in the 80s and 90s) and at a place we never expected - Turkey. For 6 nights and 7 days we toured Istanbul, Ephesus and Cappadocia. The foggy weather in Cappadocia was a bit disappointing but we didn’t care, the experience was worth it all. The underground cave village, the stay at the creepy cave hotel, and the balloon ride which was not as scary as we expected! Ephesus is amazing if you are into ancient architecture - the Library of Celsus and the Grand Theater was jaw-dropping. There in Ephesus as well, lies the House of the Virgin Mary and below it is The Prayer Wall. In Istanbul, we visited popular tourist destinations

such as Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, took a Bosphorus cruise, shopped at Taksim Square and Grand Bazaar and we saved the best for last - the majestic Aya Sofia (Hagia Sophia) which took my breath away. I admit I got emotional when I saw how beautiful it is from the inside, seriously! Oh and did I mention the food? From deserts drizzled in honey and chocolates, giant shawarmas or doners as they call it, tasty eggplant and vegetarian dishes to simple yet delectable seafood. Trust me, when you travel, forget the diet and indulge! Follow Les -,

BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013 by Anna de Leon – Dubai Hello everyone! Let me start that the year with some of my beauty resolutions for 2013: 1) Love your skin and it will love you back.It is never too early or too late to start investing in good skin care products and incorporating a skin care routine in your life. 2) Don’t be afraid to be vavavoom! Master the art of sexy, tousled, touchable hair! I have always loved the vavavoom hair ever since I discovered Cindy Crawford! And me and my velcro rollers have been inseparable! I have been avoiding heated tools to style my hair so it is basically just a bodifying mousse for me and a hair dryer with a diffuser and my ever reliable set of velcro rollers. 3) Be your own make-up artist and invest on a good set of brushes. One to try is Woman by Anna brushes. 4) Curl your lashes. This is a common mistake that women make. They apply mascara but totally forget about curling their lashes. This, instead of opening up your eyes closes them further. Curl your lashes, separate them with a lash comb and then apply one more coat. This trick should make your eyes the centre of attention. 5) Smile more often. It is good for you. Follow Anna –


BRUHA EVE ART WORLD IN KUWAIT by Bruha Eve – Kuwait It has been almost been a year since that December “accident” happened. I screamed “What? Noooooo way, hahahaha!! I will?? Me? OMG!” I sounded so insane the first time my friend Maxxy Santiago, TFC Balitang Middle East correspondent suggested that I bring Filipino pride through my art to Kuwait. Looking back at what was done and what I have accomplished makes me proud. It was a success. “Bursts and Kaleidoscope,” my one-woman show held at the Marina Hotel was the first of its kind in Kuwait. The experience was unforgettable. The 6 months preparation was crazy and pulling it off was a different story. Often times, I cursed myself wondering what I had put myself through, then tell myself that I better make it through. My mind was untamed; imagination ran wild. I finally found my niche. I made everyone proud.

My first solo art exhibition inspired a lot of Filipinos especially a woman in my genre who supported my philanthropic projects. Rewarding indeed, I cannot stop now. On my second year as a self-taught artist, another development by way of another accident came along. I have launched my first Bruhaeve Artworld Collection. The canvass just became smaller while my artistic ideas grew bigger. Now I’m also painting and am into customizing clothes. Art created Bruhaeve so now I recreate! Life is full of surprises and the beautiful accidents are the best! I am caught up in a dilemma of the amazingly unexpected. Bruhaeve Artworld has just started and the best is yet to come! Follow Bruha Eve -

RIYADH RIAN GOES TO BORACAY by Rian Miranda – Riyadh I love adventure and I was always privileged to visit some parts of the world with my parents at an early age. However, I did not really appreciate it at that time since I was a kid who would rather fly direct to the Philippines and play with my cousins. It’s really very mainstream but Boracay has always been on my dream destinations list since college. I was always curious about what the fuss was all about. I wanted to experience the powdery white sands, the cool crystal-clear waters, the amazing sunset, great food and legendary party scene. And finally, my years of anticipation ended when my best friend called a month ago saying she got a good vacation deal! Yay! The big throwback though is that I am

not a water person in general. Because I’m afraid of sharks! Haha! If you’re a parent and you’re reading this, please don’t let your children watch Jaws 1-4 or anything about sea creatures that would scare them off the sea. In fact, I was terrified at the prospect of having to ride a boat from Kalibo to Caticlan to reach my dream island. Suffice it to say, I survived — and enjoyed! The food and the beach scene were great, and sunrise was amazing, helping you to free your mind and calm your soul. I also enjoyed diving and was so relieved not to see any suspicious looking sharp fins and fangs looming around as we took pleasure feeling the corals and watching a kaleidoscope of fishes.



Where do we draw the line?

The Philippines has been touted as the social media capital of the world, with some 9.5 million Filipino users registered on Twitter and a reported 93.9% of our 40-million Internet population signed up on Facebook.

By Anna Oposa


e have found ways to use social media for social good, such as coordinating rescue and relief operations during typhoons and providing virtual spaces for netizens to discuss current events. The emergence of online lynch mobs as a reaction to a video, tweet, or Facebook status update show that our medium of expression can also be our medium of oppression This month, Illustrado explores three cases of cyber harassment that show how powerful social media can be—for the worse.

The “misinformed” Chris Lao

Christopher Lao became the target of cyber harassment after GMA7 aired a clip of him


driving his car into a flooded street last

August 2011. According to GMA7, the intention was to show the severity of the storm. Chris was shown blaming traffic enforcers and bystanders after his car floated, saying that nobody stopped him and that he was “not informed.” His name and sound bite became trending topics on Twitter. Hate pages were put up for the summa cum laude graduate of the

University of the Philippines, including one that called Chris the “Pambansang Bobo ng Pilipinas.” The news clip did not include that he was only rushing home to check on his then three-year-old daughter.

Robert Blair Carabuena vs. MMDA In August 2012, Robert Blair Carabuena gained infamy when he was caught on video by a TV5 crew hitting traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The motorist was apprehended for making a wrong turn. The Filipino online community exploded


with disgust for the Robert. Screenshots of the Philip Morris executive slapping “Mang Sonny” were edited to replace

and YouTube to “show an example.” The female security guard allegedly grabbed Paula’s arm and was rude to her for failing to put her purse on the x-ray machine conveyor. The hashtag #Amalayer trended worldwide. Hate pages again were put up. Paula’s photo was turned into a meme. She was asked by her college not to go to classes to spare her from further humiliation.

Cyberbullying in the

Robert’s head with Barney, the purple dinosaur, in reference to his plump figure Philippines and purple shirt. It did not end there. Robert’s contact Sonnie Santos of Cyberbullying Philippines information and address made their rounds stresses the difference between cyber in social media networks. There was even harassment and freedom of expression: an online petition asking Philip Morris to “Stating your opinion is a protected right, fire him. The Ateneo de Manila University but when the expression is meant to graduate was suspended from work. embarrass, strip of dignity, [and] incite Weeks later, Robert delivered a public violence, and the act was repeated, then apology in the MMDA head office. it’s harassment,” he explained. “[Not] all Afterwards, he was doused with bottled who expressed their disgust on the three mineral water and cursed on the way to personalities are bullies, though they the prosecutor’s office to face direct assault appear to be part of the mob.” charges filed by MMDA. Robert was In an interview with Illustrado, Chris rushed to the hospital due to stress. shared, “With the advances in technology His driver’s license has been revoked for and interconnection, bullying is a brewing life, along with his license to own and carry culture in the Philippines and across the firearms. globe. Technology has made it easier On the other hand, and more effective, with little or no Mang Sonny was accountability, to inflict emotional and hailed a “hero,” mental harm on other people.” was promoted, It didn’t help that Chris, Paula, and and attended self- Robert are all educated and appeared to defense classes. be in higher social ranks. “[Given] the disparity of economic classes [in the #Amalayer Philippines], Filipinos have a bias for Paula Jaime the perceived underdog and against the Salvosa, a student arrogant,” Sonnie observed. at La Consolacion College, became synonymous to the term “Amalayer,” The Effects of cyberbullying referring to her pronunciation of “I’m a liar?” A certain Gregory Paulo Llamoso In a social media forum held a year after, secretly recorded Paula shouting at security Chris shared what the ordeal was like. He guard Sharon Mae Casinas at the Light Rail remembered reading a comment stating Transit (LRT) and uploaded it on Facebook he should be insulted until he committed

suicide. He revealed that he abused alcohol and sought professional help. His blood vessels erupted and his body rejected food and water due to stress. Now, Chris gets the last laugh by turning crisis into opportunity. He starred in a car insurance policy advertisement by BPI Auto Loans. “I can now pay for the tuition of my daughter,” he said. His name again became a trending topic on Twitter minutes after the Supreme Court released the 2011 Bar Exam results that included his name. He is also the face of the Freedom of Information Bill, a proposed law that requires government agencies to fulfill requests for detailed data on their operations, enabling transparency and making corruption more difficult.

Preventing and managing cyber harassment At the end of it, our strengths as a people can be our weaknesses. Sonnie cites our innate outspokenness and democratic culture as some of them. “The present generation grew up in a society that thinks they can do anything and in most cases, get away with it,” he shared. “The best way to reduce cyber bullying incidences is the collective approach of everyone in our society,” Sonnie said. He urges the media not to sensationalize incidents or insinuate biases and participate in information campaigns. Schools should include responsible use of social media in the curriculum as part of the values program. For Chris, “Legal safeguards are always welcome. No doubt they would hasten the change in culture, as is the case whenever the State steps in, using its vast resources.” There are Anti-Cyberbullying Bills pending in the Congress. “On our end, we can say goodbye to being bystanders to bullying. We can also go the extra mile and reach out to victims,” concluded Chris.




SOCIAL MEDIA, THE NEWS, AND YOU Today’s news now has one more ingredient to make i t even more powerful:


By Niña Terol-Zialcita

There used to be a time when news anchors and reporters were revered as the demigods of journalism; they were authoritative, untouchable, and practically infallible. As a news viewer, there was no way you could get in touch with anchors or reporters— you watched or read the news, and that was it.


Today, however, you could tweet a reporter and possibly get a response. If you’re really lucky, your tweet or Facebook post might even land in the news. Now, if you’re really passionate about helping tell the news, you could send information or, better yet, write a story yourself. In the Philippines, is helping to

drive this kind of change. is a “social news network” that uses the power of the Internet and social media to help tell stories that matter to people. Through its citizen journalism arm,, Rappler gives everyday people the tools and the know-how to share stories from their communities.

Maria Ressa Photo:

Why is this important? “Technology and social media can significantly alter real world outcomes,” writes Maria Ressa, a veteran broadcast journalist who is now Rappler’s CEO and Executive Editor. “Rappler wants to harness new technology, analyze how it’s changing us as people and attempt to use it for social good. In the process, we redefine journalism, build communities, and crowdsource actions for specific purposes.”

The wisdom of crowds

Through, Rappler was able to gain public support for Football for Peace, a program that helps inspire Tausug kids through football and send them to school. It also paved the way for Romnick Blanco, a 14-year-old farmer’s son, to give his dreams a chance and go for a scholarship to the International School of Manila. also raised awareness for HIV and for the importance of getting tested. Such news made an impact on Rappler’s readers in 2012, but they otherwise would not have made it to mainstream news. Rappler’s expertise in “crowdsourcing”—that is, getting information from the public—has also been crucial during times of disaster or disease outbreaks. When

nameless monsoon rains (known by many simply as “hagupit ng habagat”) battered Metro Manila in August 2012, netizens helped Rappler’s Special Projects Director, Josh Villanueva, report the effects of the torrential rains. Villanueva kept a live blog that monitored flooding and other urgent developments from 2:40AM to 9AM on August 8, 2012; he was kept company by a stream of photos and information sent in by the public. Meanwhile, through its project called #HealthAlert, which maps out incidences of dengue and other infectious diseases, Rappler provides the public with crucial, location-based information that can help save lives. Once again, integral to the success of #HealthAlert is timely, relevant information from anyone who can access the Internet. The Rappler model is showing that the real power of the newsroom now belongs not to the journalists and the icons of old, but to the everyday people who consume the news and use it for social good. As Maria had said, “We’ve moved from the age of authority to the age of authenticity… In the areas where breaking news happens, [the community will] know more than the [professional journalists]. So what can we add to this changing landscape?” The answer is simple: YOU, and your passion to make this world a better place.

Why Your Mood Matters What’s the big deal about Rappler’s “Mood Meter”? Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa explains. While you’re reading an article on, a colorful sidebar on the right side will ask you, “How did this story make you feel?” Your options will range from “happy” to “angry” to “annoyed”, and your answer will soon be merged with others’ to show the public’s overall reaction to a piece of news. “The idea behind the Mood Meter is actually getting people to crowdsource the mood for the day,” explained Maria Ressa in an interview with Neiman Journalism Lab’s Adrienne LaFrance. “If you actually go through the exercise of identifying how you feel, you’re more prone to be rational. If you can identify how you feel, will you be more receptive to the debate that’s in front of you? I hope. That’s really the rationale, aside from the fact that it’s cool.” The Mood Meter shows, for example, that news of early campaigning leaves most people “annoyed”, while news about private companies lobbying for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the sin tax law makes people “angry.” “It’s about trying to understand our world today,” Maria said. “I think everyone is trying to understand our world today and we’re doing it together. Too few media companies are actually in the space where most Filipinos are going.” “You take the idea that emotions are important in decision making,” Maria explained to LaFrance while talking about her book From Bin Laden to Facebook. “And on social media, what spreads fastest, it’s actually emotions more than ideas.”



The spirit of



e are often asked questions on investment options. There’s nothing really wrong with the question. But with many options available, it’s hard to choose the right one. So what is it that really determines choosing the best one? The answer is simply to know your financial objective. Your financial objectives revolve around three things: Purpose, Target, and Time. Purpose is the reason for investing. Target is the desired amount to reach. And time is the period you have to achieve your target. Knowing your financial objective helps choose the best financial instrument. However, at the heart of proper financial planning lies a spiritual essence that many ought to discover. Religious or not, one must realize that money is also a spiritual matter to be dealt with. Knowing the spiritual aspects of financial planning will help you realize its importance more profoundly.

Separation from money When we do financial planning, we are actually separating ourselves from money. Most people will find this absurd. But to separate means not desiring money for its own sake. When planning financially, you are telling yourself not to seek money for itself. Seeking money for its sake can corrupt the human soul. Money is a powerful ally to wealth but it can distort you when not handled properly.


Purpose-driven money The second spiritual aspect of financial planning is making your money purposedriven. Once you have self-mastery over your need of money, it should be clear why you need it. Any financial endeavor without a clear purpose can be likened to blind spending. Money with a clear and noble purpose can help achieve the ultimate end of human life. Humanity only has one particular calling: to live an authentic life in accordance with the divine will. To “be fertile and multiply” not only implies an increase in physical number. Being created in the image and likeness of God, you are expected to live up to it. You must continuously develop yourself to live up to your first true calling. When you do financial planning, you make your money help you become a wellrounded person. The same expectation applies when you use your money to help people around you.

The impermanence and giftedness of money Lastly, financial planning reminds you of money’s impermanence and giftedness. Like everything else, money is temporary. It will eventually decay regardless of the physical protection it offers. Nevertheless, money is also a gift. It may be a man-made invention to purchase goods, but it is essential in daily living. In addition, many people have difficulty earning money. The fact that you are able to obtain it legitimately makes you realize its importance in life. You are given opportunities to earn and grow it so that

you can utilize it better. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, gives a wonderful insight regarding the giftedness of all created things: All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily. As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal. Financial planning helps you value your money in a proper way. Because money is not permanent, it’s important to know how it should be used. It must never be treated as your god! At the same time, you become obligated to grow it. You are responsible to grow your God-given gifts and to live authentically. Money, at its innermost essence, is God-given. You are given legitimate opportunities to earn and grow it.

To see with new eyes Planning is a vital aspect in any endeavor that you take. It’s not just about making everything clear and specific; it also involves continuous reminders to the important aspects of life. This is what financial planning does. It may look like a dull and boring process, but the challenge is to look at it with new eyes. There’s much more to financial planning than what meets the eye. In knowing its spiritual aspects, you empower yourself further to reach your true wealth.


PENSHOPPE IS HERE TO STAY! That definitive statement was the launch campaign for the brand Penshoppe, a flagship unisex fashion brand of Golden ABC Inc., franchised by KN Retail LLC (a branch of a budding conglomerate - KN Group of companies). “The quality and freshness of the brand was appealing”, said Kannan Narayan, managing director of KN Group, the UAE franchisee. According to Narayan, their corporate ethos is based on the philosophy of making “quality fashion affordable to many.” And Penshoppe delivers on that promise with the launch of its collections of jeans, trousers, shirts that run from trendy and casual work wear to informal wear, which also include footwear and accessories. “Our pricing is highly appreciated by our customer” says Sreenath, Penshoppe operations manager. But it is the fashion experience that keeps customers coming back from more. Hip interiors mirror the brand’s character “One Direction”, the official endorsers of Penshoppe.

LIALI Jewellery, leading retailer of diamond jewelry in the UAE, welcomes the year 2013 with a stunning collection simply called “Twenty Thirteen”. The collection includes a large selection of bedazzling diamonds, elegant pearls and gorgeous colored stone jewelry pieces, each priced at AED2013/, making it an affordable buy and a perfect gift to start the New Year. Royal and radiant, celebratory and festive, LIALI’s Twenty-Thirteen collection beams with elegance and style, with romantic pieces will boost anyone’s passion for jewelry. The Twenty-Thirteen collection includes a selection of necklaces, 2-piece sets, earrings, bracelets, pendants and rings, perfect for day and evening wear. Making The Twenty-Thirteen even more irresistible is LIALI’s “Wear Now, Pay Later” offer through ADCB, Barclaycard,

Her Highness Sheikha Sheikha Bint Saif, wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President, Honorary Chairman and Lifetime Patron of The Make-AWish Foundation ® United Arab Emirates has confirmed she will inaugurate BRIDE and Beyond Beauty Arabia 2013 as part of her patronage of the Middle East’s largest and most prestigious wedding and beauty events. As Royal Patron for BRIDE, Her Highness will cut the ribbon to officially open the 12th edition of BRIDE Abu Dhabi, which runs from 30th January – 2nd February 2013. As part of her BRIDE

Citibank, Dubai First, Emirates NBD, First Gulf Bank, HSBC, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, RBS, Standard Chartered and Union National Bank. Cardholders can enjoy 0% interest (on 6 monthly installments) through its Easy Installment Plan on gold and diamond jewelry. Discover the stunning beauty of LIALI’s Twenty Thirteen collection. Select the jewelry that matches you and your loved one’s style, now available at all its outlets across the UAE.

tour, Her Highness will also visit the inaugural Beyond Beauty Arabia event, which takes place alongside BRIDE Abu Dhabi at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Under Her Highness Sheikha Sheikha Bint Saif patronage, BRIDE is proud to be extending its support to The Make-A-Wish Foundation ® United Arab Emirates, which is run by Her Highness’ Office. “We are honored that Her Highness Sheikha Sheikha will be continuing her long-standing patronage of BRIDE in 2013 and we look forward to welcoming her to open the show,” said Daphne Cota, Exhibition Director for BRIDE. BRIDE 2013 is proud to be supported by a number of high-profile sponsors, including silver sponsors Mauzan the unique Abaya and evening wear designer, couture specialist La Maison De Reve, who will be offering brides-to-be top-of-the line haute couture sleepwear as part of their bridal display, and Dnata, one of the world’s largest air travel service providers.


WEDDINGS by Revianne By Bernadette Reyes

Wedding coordinator and entrepreneur Revianne Sesante, fantasi zes about not just on one, but several weddings. They say every woman fantasizes about her wedding as a child. Wedding coordinator and entrepreneur Revianne Sesante, fantasizes about not just on one, but several weddings. Her preoccupation with weddings is natural since she works as a wedding coordinator. In 2008, Revianne was still in school when she began working part-time as a coordinator for an events company. Her nominal experience was enough to convince friends that she could go solo. She would coordinate weddings for families of friends from time to time until she landed a


full-time job as a marketing manager. Even then, she would still moonlight as an events coordinator whenever possible. When she was asked by a friend to coordinate a family’s golden wedding, she knew, “That was the time I felt I wanted to do weddings. I love to see couples so in love with each other.”

Attention to details: big and small In January 2011, Weddings by Revianne was established, offering complete planning and coordination and on-the-day

coordination. Her obsession with weddings also manifests in her obsession with details, which delights her clients. “There are lots of things you need to attend to, but I want to make sure everything will go right on the wedding day so I pay attention even the smallest details,” she said. “Organizing people coming from various places could be very difficult,” Revianne said. In the past, members of the entourage take on big roles in staging the wedding, from preparations to the ceremony. Today however, most of their roles are limited to the wedding day itself. “That’s why wedding

KABUHAYAN - Entrepreneurship

Revianne Sesante (2nd from left) with her staff

coordination is becoming more and more of a necessity,” Revianne explained.

Knowing limits and expertise It is a continuous learning experience for Revianne and one valuable lesson that she has learned is not to take on too much. She recalls one instance when she agreed to host the wedding, on top of coordinating it. “When you are hosting you should focus on the flow of the program. But when I did the hosting and coordinating at the same time, no one was left to give cues. For example, the caterer didn’t know when to bring out the cake to be cut for the ceremony,” Revianne explained. Today when clients ask her about hosting services, she hires another person to take on the role. Instead of spreading herself too thin, she focuses on expertise which she can capitalize on to differentiate her from other wedding coordinators. Revianne’s education as a computer science graduate and her knowledge of Photoshop and graphic design allows her to extend special services to clients like setting up a couple’s website.

Wedding season and in-between dry spells While wedding coordination is gaining popularity in Filipino culture, it also has


its peak season and lean months. “Before many couples choose to wed in June. These days, peak season starts from October to May. June to September are considered non-peak because of the rainy season,” Revianne explained. During lean months, Revianne takes on corporate events which bring in additional income to compensate for the low weddingrelated bookings. Tie-ups with other wedding suppliers allows Revianne to expand her network. “Whenever I have new clients, I would recommend other reputable suppliers and they usually return the favor by recommending their clients to me as well,” she said. As a start-up wedding coordinator, Weddings by Revianne offers very affordable rates. While Revianne’s prices are less costly than more established wedding coordinators in the industry, she says her services are not necessarily subpar. “Sometimes it’s not wise to go for a supplier who has an overbooking of clients because, while they may be popular, the quality of the service they offer could suffer especially if they book two to three events in a day,” Revianne said. Weddings by Revianne accepts no more than three weddings in a month to ensure quality of service to clients. “Two weeks prior to

wedding date, is usually the most crucial time so I make sure I’m available. When you attend to several weddings in a day, your focus is divided then the quality of service may not be as good.”

Destination Weddings

Revianne is determined to make her brand known in the industry and currently, she is working on establishing herself as a destination wedding planner. “I want to be known as someone who specializes in out-of-town weddings,” Revianne said. She plans to partner with the Department of Tourism to promote wedding destinations in the Philippines with expatriates as her target market. “No matter how tiring and stressful my job is, I don’t feel tired nor stressed. When the bride starts walking down the aisle, my whole world stops and my heart beats fast. After the event is over, my clients are filled with gratitude for the help I have extended but I am just as thankful to them for sharing the joy of their wedding with me,” Revianne said. For more information, check out Weddings by Revianne on Facebook WeddingsByRevianne


make your



HAPPY NEW YEAR! As we start 2013, I greet you Happy New Year! That’s the usual way we greet each other every new year. By Bo Sanchez

I also want to greet you Joyful New Year! Yes, there’s a difference between happy and joyful. Happy is being delighted over a particular thing. Joyful is that feeling of well-being and success.         

Here’s an example:


My traveling companion was an 83-year-old woman. I just preached in Jakarta and Singapore and brought my Mom with me. Sure, she had salt and pepper hair. And a few more wrinkles on her face. Sure, she had her metal cane.  And walked slower than I did. But Mom followed my crazy schedule. We arrived midnight in Jakarta.  Slept a bit.  By morning, I gave my seminar while my Jakarta friends toured Mom around the city.  In the evening, she watched my concert.  We slept after midnight again, like she was a teenager from a late night party.

KABUHAYAN - Spirituality

“ The next day, we woke up early for my morning talk. After that, while I attended more meetings, my friends whisked Mom away to shop. This included a cable car ride at the amusement park! That night, she slept at around midnight. Again! The next morning, we flew to Singapore.  There, Mom attended my seminars. But in between, she went around Singapore.  And would you believe?  This 83-year-old woman even rode a gigantic Ferris wheel! Now tell me: How many of you know of women her age still riding Ferris wheels? Mom is teaching me how to  really  be alive. Now don’t misunderstand me. Mom has her moments of deep sorrow.  Mom lost Dad in 2007. So every now and then, she cries a lot. But she’s made a decision that while she’s alive, she’ll live life to the fullest. While she’s alive, she’ll enjoy life the way she wants to.  I believe Mom has a “Joy List”—things that she really enjoys doing.  I don’t know if she ever wrote it down on paper, but I’m absolutely sure she has it written down in her heart. Here is her “Joy List”: · Go to Mass every day.  · Pray daily before the Blessed Sacrament. · Have happy meals with her children and grandchildren, especially with her favorite son. (Ahem.)  · Watch EWTN on TV every day—after my TV shows of course. · Chat with her friends on the phone. Most of her old friends are now in Heaven.  So she had to make new friends—20 and 30 years younger than her. · Listen to my talks and laugh at my jokes— even if she has heard them a hundred times already.

· Ride cable cars in Indonesia and the giant Ferris wheel in Singapore! Her philosophy: “If you’re alive, why not be really alive?” Mom is now 87 years old. She’d been in hospital a couple of times in 2012. But when she feels well, she still comes to the Feast, our Sunday prayer gathering, sitting on a wheel chair at the back row of the hall. Yes, still doing what gives her joy.

My Joy List

Like Mom, I love life. I really do! I’m not into Ferris wheels though. But I wrote down my own “Joy List”.  Here it is… · I want to laugh more often. · I want to date my wife more often than my minimum of once a week.  I just love being with her. · I want to spend at least two hours each day to read books! To drink knowledge and inspiration from the best of the best. · I want to feel my sweat more. I was not very athletic growing up, but that’s been changing these past years. I want to exercise more.  I want to learn tennis, badminton, and swimming. · I want to take more “5-day writing breaks” in a beach or mountaintop at least once a month. · I want to play with my kids more often! I’ve got the greatest boys in the world. · I want to take long vacations with family and friends three times a year. · I want to have more lunches with my mentors. · I want to earn ten times what I’m earning now. · I want to share more practical wisdom with others—so people will know how to live with more love, happiness, and abundance.

Don’t live passively. Don’t live your days on autopilot, forever stuck in your routine. Live life deliberately.”

· I want to share my wealth through my businesses and ministries. · I want to pray more under the warmth of the sun each morning, surrounded by a lovely garden. Friend, it’s your turn. Ask yourself this simple question: What gives you joy? Write it down. Big joys. Small joys. Write them all down. Don’t live passively. Don’t live your days on autopilot, forever stuck in your routine. Fill your life with as much happiness as you can. Live your life deliberately. Here’s my belief: People cannot give what they don’t have.  If you don’t respect yourself, love yourself, and meet your needs for joy, how can you do the same for others? The holy saint is a happy saint. Make your own Joy List today. What makes you joyful? May your dreams come true,



REALIZING the Dream By Eunice Nedamo

The year 2012 was a year to remember and not just because of ‘the world will end soon’ craze. Actually, for Filipino talent, it was just another year of beginnings for newly discovered talent and another year to shine for Pinoys who were already considered stars. To celebrate the end of a wonderful year and to welcome the new one, here are 10 notable Filipinos who rose up to the challenge, and succeeded.

The Kitchen Musical, Karylle has evolved from being an appetizer to the main dish. Her portrayal of sous chef Maddie in the said series gave her the opportunity to be nominated as Best Actress in the 52nd Monte Carlo Film Festival in Monaco last June 14. Karylle was also included in the shortlist of actors to possibly play Kim in Miss Saigon. While she’s waiting to see if she’ll have her own curtain call, Karylle is hosting a noontime show back in the country; while juggling a career overseas, starring in Singapore’s highest rating action-drama series, ‘Point of Entry.’


Theater ‘household name’ ‘Miss Saigon’ is synonymous to Miss Lea Salonga. But even if she outgrew Kim years ago, Lea is still making waves in the


From appetizer to main dish As one of the stars of the Asian hit series


international theater scene, actively joining internationally acclaimed plays, like the ‘God of Carnage,’ which was shown in Manila last July. When she’s not on stage, Miss Lea is helping promote those performing on it. According to an article in broadwayworld. com, she ‘highly recommends’ the movie adaptation of Les Miserables, a play in which she played the character of Eponine.

BRILLANTE MENDOZA: A diamond that’s not in the rough

Entertainment Brillante Mendoza first won international acclaim of movie buffs and critics alike at the Cannes Film Festival for his movie Kinatay (2009). He basked in the spotlight as he won Best Director in Cannes, and his winning streak continues. Brillante went on to win several awards for his films, one of them from Dubai International Film Festival. He, along with the stars of his film, ‘Thy Womb’: Nora Aunor, Lovi Poe and Mercedes Cabral, got a five-minute standing ovation at the 69th Venice Film Festival last September.

Phillips, this young girl managed to capture the attention of many. From a number of


major endorsements and engagements (such as Jollibee and Bench), she has also sung the national anthem at one of Manny Pacquiao’s boxing matches. Something her fans will look forward to this 2013 is her role in the hit musical series, Glee.

BRUNO MARS: The Filipino Crooner

Not just anybody A year before she joined Americal Idol, she had lots of YouTube videos, just like many other teenage girl nowadays. But once she belted out her powerful voice, everyone stopped and listened to what she had to offer. Jessica Sanchez made you applaud the Filipinos’ passionate affair with singing. Despite placing second next to Phillip

APL DE AP: Man of honor If you think Apl de Ap is just another rapper, then think again. This rapper and music producer is also one of the country’s peace ambassadors, who help uplift the lives of the children of Bangsamoro by leading school-feeding programs and book donations, according to the Official Gazette website ( He also launched a new song entitled ‘Jump In,’ a song about empowering Filipinos, in partnership with American Idol finalist, Jessica Sanchez.

With popular songs like ‘The Lazy Song’, ‘Marry You’, ‘Grenade’ and ‘Just the Way You Are’, and the latest ‘Locked Out of Heaven,’ there is no denying that Bruno Mars is a certified hitmaker. With his great voice, one cannot help but admire him, especially when he admitted he has a Filipino mother and Puerto Rican father in a Saturday Night Live interview. The show reportedly secured the NBC variety show its second-best ratings of the season. Bruno has also paid homage to his roots, flying down to the Philippines for a twoday concert in Manila and Cebu last April.



The first thing that will come to mind when you hear the word boxing is Filipino, and the Filipinos who excel in this field are many. Aside from poster boy Manny Pacquiao, another Filipino boxer is making waves in the international boxing scene. Hailed as ESPN’s Fighter of the Year, Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire defeated four opponents, making his 2012 very busy. He also claimed the long-time vacant 122-pound bantamweight title. As a promising start for his 2013, Donaire


(who has always played second fiddle to Pacquiao in Filipino boxing), ‘may have leaped [over] ‘the Sarangani congressman inside the ring rankings’, according to an article.

JANINE TUGONON: A universal Filipino beauty

Pageants have always been a part of our culture. No matter what pageant, candidates make it a point to represent the Filipino way of life. This is what Janine Tugonon graciously did when she won first runner up in the 2012 Miss Universe. Joining the ranks of Venus Raj (4th runner up 2010), and Shamcey Supsup (3rd runner up

2011), she became the third in the streak of Philippines’ Top Five record. The Filipino community came out in droves to support Tugonon during the pageant, prompting her to say in an interview with asianjournal. com, how the support of the FilipinoAmerican community in Las Vegas made her feel like she never left home. Tugonon said she might be considering a showbiz career, although her priority now is to take a well-deserved rest, according to a rappler. com report.

Realizing the 2012 dream Filipinos excelling in the international scene is always a source of national pride. These shining examples, coming from varied backgrounds, show that nothing should get in your way if you really want to excel. Just as Janine Tugonon said during the Miss Universe question and answer portion, “it’s not about just about being able to speak a particular language; it’s about being able to influence and inspire other people”. Likewise, it’s not about the circumstances, it’s what you do with the situation that makes everyone takes notice.


PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING FOR FILIPINOS IN THE UAE Dubai-based Overseas Pinoy Professional Photographers Society (OPPPS) will be launching its 27th batch of advanced photography modules at The Philippine School, Rashidiya from January 18 to March 22. “The training program is in support to the Philippine government’s continuing efforts to educate our countrymen to enhance their skills which they can use personally as

FILIPINO DIGERATI ASSOCIATION 2012 PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS Filipino Digerati Association (FDA) is known for implementing causes and advocacies for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the UAE. FDA encourages, develops and motivates members to be productive during offdays, learn new digital technologies, and get training in personal and professional advancement. The organization has an exchange programme where trainers conduct special sessions with other organizations and vice versa, as a show of support for each other’s goals.

well as at work,” OPPPS said. Open to all Filipinos in UAE aged 18 and above, participants will be provided training on photography applications like digital photography, digital darkroom, graphics design, studio photography, natural lights photography and photojournalism. The training will include comprehensive lectures and hands-on activities to help participants practice what they learn.

The two-hour classes will be taught by professional trainers every Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interested applicants may register online at Enrollment will be on January 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Philippine School, Rashidiya. Classes will start on January 18.

from its various courses. An Extended Programme on livelihood is now offered due to the global economic crises that hit many OFWs. Last December 2012, FDA was bestowed the Banaag Award, one of the categories of 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas awarded by President Benigno Aquino III at the Malacanang Palace. The award was received by co-founders Engr. Lilian S. Bautista, Wilfredo Aguilar and Arnel Ramos. FDA volunteers also attended the event. Also within the same occasion, Engr. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, another coFounder of FDA, received the Pamana ng Pilipino Award for bringing honor to the country and as recognition of her excellence and distinction in the pursuit of her work and profession. Since it began five years ago, the FDA has churned out an estimated 16,500 graduates


“01·13” by Aby Yap

If you’re reading this, chances are you and I (and possibly the whole wide world) survived the doomsday that was supposed to be 12·21·12. Isn’t that a whopping big surprise? Now, don’t blame the Mayans. We’re alive! We’re alive! That’s what matters. And we’ll kick ass this 2013 as we begin the New Year hopefully with a new perspective. (With the RH [Reproductive Health] Bill finally coming to life despite the apparent brain shortage, er, superfluous drama on various occasions, there’s indeed hope. It’s a sign! It’s a sign!)

Out with the Old and Ugly

For starters, we can absolutely do away with these nasty scenarios. Not only are they so 2012 (a few even from way back) and therefore passé already, but they’re also painfully pointless. So, let’s leave them where they belong—behind us!


(noun) Overacting captured on phone camera and shared in cyberspace. Sure, the subject did wrong, but so did the uzi or your classic usisero (only high-tech this time) and the hardcore haters online and offline. Sending out death threats, duh. Truth is, if the majority was guilty of overreacting and should be awfully ashamed of Tita Annabelle Rama.


(verb) To prettify e.g. fixing the nose bridge, whitening the skin, going for size zero with

the help of Vicky Belo. No big deal if you’ve got the cash to spare, of course. Everyone has the right to be gorgeous. The problem is when you think that “beautiful” fits only the slim tisay. We’re all born superstars, says Lady Gaga, including the curvaceous “kayumanggi.”


(noun) Friends who are also enemies of Orocan (read: plastic) made. This unique kind of relationship can usually be witnessed on Facebook where razor-sharp statements addressed to nobody in particular, but are really targeted at each other are posted. Why they won’t simply block/delete each other, even Mark Zuckerberg can’t explain.


(verb) To act hysterically like you’re in a typical telenovela as in pumi-PBB since the reality show Pinoy Big Brother is tagged as “the drama of real life.” So, you laugh, cry, get angry/afraid/what not, flirt, fight, and fall in love with the intensity of a thousand times over. No wonder we were hailed as the world’s most emo nation, thank you. <weeps tears of joy>


(verb) To steal someone else’s blog post or speech (translating without giving credit where credit is due is not allowed either) and be mighty arrogant about it once caught. Kids—better yet, everyone—don’t try this at home, in the office, or anywhere else. We have a lot of fresh things to say. Why would we want to be gaya-gaya puto maya?

In with the New and Nifty

While these ideas aren’t exactly revolutionary, it’s about time that we carry them out with more insight and depth. Walk the talk and we’ll soon be incorporating this set of values into our lifestyle. For this year and the years to come.

Ikaw na!

(interjection) Badly translated, it’s “You already!” Better put, it’s like saying “You’re the man/woman/child of God!” because you’ve done something great that mortals like us can never replicate in this lifetime. Exaggerated? Yes. But recognizing others’ skills is definitely a much more worthwhile way to spend time than grabbing at the other crabs climbing out of the bucket.


(noun) Boxer extraordinaire, politician, actor, singer, host, endorser, preacher, entrepreneur, hero, crime stopper, and 35-million dollar man whom everyone wants to be and/or envies up to the nth power. A winner through and through— despite being KO’d by opponents and his own kababayans’ hurtful remarks. With or without a rosary in the ring, this guy’s got grace. Something that we can all try to develop, at the very least, or at least once in our lifetime.

Onli in da Pilipins

Pinoy Pride

(interjection) Joyfully exclaimed when seeing a kababayan (or someone with even the slightest bit of Filipino blood) become an international celebrity or guest on Ellen/ Oprah/Glee. (noun) Instantly wounded when the likes of Justin Bieber and Claire Danes make “mean” comments about us that we’d proclaim them persona non grata. Whose validation do we seek for this so-called national pride? That is the question.


(adjective) We’ve discovered just the perfect word to describe our “unbeatable” spirit, thanks to Vice Ganda. Ondoys, Sendongs, and Pablos might come and go, leaving us homeless and devastated. Several public officials might put our IQ and EQ to the test, and all we can do is a double face palm. Yet here we are, ever smiling and optimistic about the days ahead, even hopeful that Kris Aquino will find love soon.

Wish Ko Lang

(verb) To dream big and actively go after it. This excludes joining any noontime show contest, writing Vicky Morales a tearjerker, or betting on lotto numbers that appeared in your dreams. Though you might miss the chance to meet Bossing in person plus you’d most likely have to work doubly hard to reach your goal, there’s nothing to worry about. After all, you’re a Pinoy Henyo. We’re sending you good vibes too (in case you find that number 13 unlucky/scary). You can do it. Happy New Year!

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Illustrado Magazine January 2013  

Global Vision, Native Soul. Taas Noo Filipino!

Illustrado Magazine January 2013  

Global Vision, Native Soul. Taas Noo Filipino!