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JAN 15 - FEB 15, 2014








Ranting to ring in the New Year “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” We’ve heard that one so many times before and how it’s not healthy to dwell in the past. And yet, as I look at the blow-by-blow account of 2013 in the Philippines as chronicled in Wikipedia – I can’t help but be dumbfounded by the enormous list of “events of note” dominated by corruption in the government and political strife, earthquakes and typhoon upon typhoon. Of course not to forget, international beauty contest wins, concerts and telenovela premieres. Yes, in the Philippines, the year that was, could be summed up in a few words - corruption, calamities, beauty and telenovelas. What’s even more astounding is that 2012 and 2011 are not much different.

How can we not look back? Filipinos are often praised for their capacity to cope – how we can smile through it all. But it appears that far from serving us well, those supposedly exemplary traits seem to hold us back. We manage, we settle. We get on with it. We are also kind and are always ready to come to the rescue of our kababayans. In fact, we are so geared to doing the latter that most of us have lost count of how many charity drives our community out here has initiated in aid of folks back home. Still, the situation hasn’t changed. We always seem to be willing victims to the elements and would rather do something, when the worst has happened. Last year, in the aftermath of Yolanda, I wrote to a few influential Filipinos who have moved mountains with their advocacies. I asked if there was anything we can do to prevent or mitigate the effects of such disasters;

anything we can do to proactively help ourselves. My question seems to have landed on deaf ears. There was no answer. Just silence. Is it because we don’t know the answers? Or have we become resigned to our fate of just having to cope? And yes, the Filipino vulnerability to amnesia has also been documented for so long. While getting desensitized by our tranquilizer pills of beauty contests wins, music and telenovelas, we easily forget not only the calamities that slay our brothers, but also the corruption that has totally eaten up our government, and our very own way of life. This year, if there was anything we Filipinos should be doing, is that we should painfully remember. Remember all of these that continue to make victims out of all of us. We should look back and get sick to our stomachs at the unending list of blows that batter our nation year after year. And we should get angry – angry, not only to stop accepting how things are handed to us by nature or how we are milked and victimized by plunderers and opportunists, but angry enough to be motivated to do something about it ourselves. Let somebody else do the “just coping” or the “forgiving and forgetting.” We need not run for divinity, what we need is a better nation. Illustrados, 2014 the year that will be, is still waiting to be written. Taas Noo, Filipino. LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



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

that I saved up for. I diligently added

iba’t-ibang Filipino sa iba’t – ibang bahagi

to whenever I could and just let it earn

ng mundo. Naway sana mapunta na tayo

interest in a mutual fund. Now, just three

sa punta na hindi na lang puro “bahala na”.

years later, I have started proactively

Kaya natin, ‘to. Pinoy pa. Taas noo, hindi

saving for my retirement, I have diversified


my investments and am now working on paying down my debts, little by little. The Dear Editor, I have a confession. I love your fashion spreads, but my most favorite part of the magazine is the Colayco financial literacy column. I’ve never been a numbers whiz and was one of those typical kids who took

most recent column broke down the saving formula into even small bite-size chunks:

Nagmamahal, Atishya

saving P30 a day to reach P1M in five -


seven years. I’ve started that, too, on top of

Sent via Facebook

my regular savings scheme. There is simply no excuse to not put away P30 a day.

I’m a foreigner who was on holiday in the Philippines when typhoon Haiyan struck.

up a course in college that did not have a

The power of the Colayco column is it goes

lot of Math subjects. The fear of numbers

It was not my first time in the Philippines

beyond trumpeting the mantra to save, it

extended to my adult years where I always

so I guess you can say that the country

tells you how, and gives you options to do

thought I wasn’t “making enough” to save

and the people have a special place in my


heart. It was impossible for me not to do

I know I have taken up a lot of your time

anything to help. So I spent the last week

money. There are many magazines that will tell you to save 20% of your salary, but seriously, if you start out making P20,000 (without tax), the last thing you want to do is save. What good is it to be gainfully

(and space!) already with this letter, but I hope that people reading this will be as inspired as I was to start putting away for

of my holiday volunteering at the Soup Kitchen in Villamor Airbase. Once again, I was amazed at the genuine kindness of the Filipinos. They were brought in on

employed when you still live like a pauper.

their future – or for that stormy day. Once

My view changed when I read the Colayco

it’s one of those habits that you will not

column about time being the asset because

have to break.

have in store for them. But they never

Thank you to the Colaycos, thank you to

to all of us volunteers, and of course, in

Seemed simple enough, but the clincher

Illustrado. Mabuhay!

true Filipino fashion, always asking us to

was the article that listed how much was

*Name withheld upon request.

it is when you multiply your principle (investment) with time, you earn interest.

you get into it, saving is a habit. And luckily,

needed to invest – a mere P5,000. My reactions were –


Why didn’t anyone tell me that?!

Hello po llustrado,

Even I could do that!

Nakakataba ng puso ang mga estorya nyo dito, lalo nay un mga success stories ng

And so I did. I started with around P7,000


the C130s, with only the clothes on their backs and not knowing what Manila would – not once – forgot to say “thank you”

partake of their food rations.

I learned

another Filipino phrase on this trip: Kain tayo? and its kin “Kain ka na?”. Thank you, Philippines, for yet another memorable holiday experience. Hanz


BO SANCHEZ Preacher in Blue Jeans Bo Sanchez starts us all on the right footing this year by teaching us how to “Jump for Joy”. Each month, best-selling author, Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee and respected speaker Bro Bo shares enlightening insights on living a fulfilling spiritual life he 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.


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

NICHOLO JALLORES ABY YAP Pinoy culture—its quirks and twists— never fails to amuse Aby Yap and give her something to write about. She aspires to deliver material that’s both entertaining and demanding, one that celebrates our exciting uniqueness and sheer humor. One of her ultimate goals is to visit every one of the 81 provinces of the Philippines. Unfortunately, she still has a long way to go. In the meantime, in 2014, she’ll try to manage her time better and make more time for important stuff.

BARNEY ALMAZAR, ESQ. Atty. Barney is a director at the Commercial Department of Gulf Law in the Middle East, Philippines and United Kingdom. He holds Juris Doctor and MBA dual degrees with concentration on International Business and European Union Law (University of London). Atty. Barney’s 2014 resolutions include encouraging more Filipinos to be entrepreneurs in the UAE and to leave office at 6PM on Thursdays.


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

NIKKA SARTHOU-LAINEZ Nikka Sarthou-Lainez likes living a flexible life as a full-time freelance writer and editor where she gets to indulge her wanderlust spirit and put on her traveling shoes. Every year, she visits a new destination, and in 2014 she plans to pursue her travel dreams and visit another place she hasn’t set foot on before. Since she recently ticked off Asian cruise from her bucket list, she is setting her eyes on a Caribbean cruise next time.

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

DIDI PATERNO-MAGPALI Writer, blogger and OFW -- Overseas Filipino’s Wife -- Didi Paterno-Magpali believes she is a superwoman. Though she may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, her ability to scarf down a bowl of steamed white jasmine rice is faster than a speeding bullet and her resilient spirit is indeed more powerful than a locomotive. This 2014 she resolves to create: a bikini worthy body (despite her insatiable love of food), hand embroidered & quilted home knick knacks, inspired home cooking and authentic personal expat stories. Check out bites of her expat life on D for Delicious (

EXCEL V. DYQUIANGCO An Education graduate from UP Diliman, Excel V. Dyquiangco writes for various magazines and websites. He specializes on stories about health, people and places. In his article for this issue on planning your future, he has learned that it is best to consult with financial experts on ways how to save - both in life and in death.


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 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS – UAE, PHILIPPINES, CANADA Mary Ann “Maps” SWITZERLAND Santos Angela Mapa Nephele Kirong Anna Oposa Nikka Sartgou Barbara Marchadesch Nina Terol-Zialcita Candice Lopez Quimpo P.A. Escalante Dante Gagelonia Princes Nedamo Didi Paterno Quay Evano Excel Dyquianco Rache Hernandez Johanna Michelle Lim Regina Layug-Lucero Kara Santos Sherry Tenorio Liza Lacuesta Sonny Guzman Manny Escosa Mary Ann Marchadesch CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS –UAE & PHILIPPINES Eros Goze Alex Calueng Glenn Peter-Perez Cristina Linaza Jef Anog Donald Rosales Dr. Marlon Pecjo Filbert Kung Will Dy CONTRIBUTING FASHION CREW - UAE Frankie Melendez Jessie Tabla Ginno Alducente Jojo Padua PUBLISHER – UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Tel: +971 4 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax: +971 4 360 4771 E-mail: Web:, Facebook: Illustrado Magazine Twitter: Illustrado Magazine PRINTERS Printwell Printing LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE STOCK IMAGES (Unless otherwise specified) Copyright Illustrado Communications FZLLC 2006 – 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC.



Pinoy+ African American beauty Jennifer Gaines graces Illustrado’s first fashion editorial of the year, shot on location at Encino, California.

features Pinoy+ 10 Planning Well and Smart 16 The 5 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make Instead 20 The Superwoman Syndrome: Is the Stress for Perfection Your Kryptonite 22 Defiant, Not Resilient 24

regular columns Talking Loud 2 Contributors 4 Illuminati: An “A” For Resilience 8 Bayanihan: Becoming Agents of Change 26 Spirituality: Jump for Joy this 2014 28 It’s What I Do 30 Money: When Will You Decide You Made the Wrong Investment? 32 Law: Put it In Writing 34 Scrapbook: Reginn Palacio & Leogel Lagaras 38 Community 84 On the Prowl, In the Know 86 Onli in Da Pilipins: Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita 88

fashion 2014 Fashion Forecast 40 Fashion Editorial 42 Real Style, Real People 70

places Pinoy Planet: The Natural Wonders of Utah 74 Bakasyon Grande: Cruisin’ 80

80 74





Abela Al Ain, Abu Dhabi Airport Lobby and Airport Transit areas, Abu Dhabi Coop Society – Khalifa, Hamdan, Meena and Buteen branches, Al Ain Palace Hotel, Albert Abela Superstore, Al Atial Novelty Store – INTCO and Rotana branches, All Prints, Bookplus Store - Al Ain, Books Gallery, Carrefour – Abu Dhabi Airport Road, Marina Mall and Al Ain branches, Hilton Abu Dhabi, Limar Bookshop, Milan Gifts, Raouat Al Reef - Al Ain, Sana Modern Trading, Spinney’s Khalidiya, United Bookstores and Westzone Trading * Distributed FREE to Meritus Club Members


Asia Pacific Cargo – Karama, Books Gallery – Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates and Sahara Center branches, Carrefour – Ajman, Century Mall, Deira City Center, Mall of the Emirates, Sharjah, Shindagha, Ras Al Khaimah, Choitrams - Emirates Hills, Green Community, the Greens, Rashidiya, Safa Park, Springs and Umm Suqueim, CM Supermarket, Karama, Dubai Airport Duty Free Shops, Geant Hypermarket - Ibn Battuta Mall, Hyper Panda - Dubai Festival City, Jashanmal - Caribou Uptown Mirdiff and Wafi City, Magrudy Bookshop - Deira City Center and Ibn Battuta Mall branches, News Centre - Deira City Center, DIFC, Mall of the Emirates and Sahara Center branches, Philippine Supermarket – Satwa, Spinneys - Al Ghurair Center, Bin Souqat, Meadows Town Centre, Mercato, Mirdiff, Prime Rose, Ramada Bur Dubai and Trade Center Rd. Bur Dubai branches


24 Hours – Al Hamala, Al Zahra Avenue, Busaiteen Muharra and Hoora branches, Al Batra Supermarket, Al Fahad Cold Store – Zallaq, Al Ghadeer Foodstuff – Al A’ali, Al Hilal Administration – Sheraton Complex, Al Jazira Supermarket – Zinj, Adliya and Juffair branches, Al Mena Supermarket – Adliya, Al Shahd Market – Hamad Town, Buheji Center – Budaiya, City Pharmacy – Sitra Mall, Dairaty Market – Duraz, Evershine Supermarket – Rifa’a, Geant Hypermarket – Manama, Hamad Town Supermarket, Hassan Mahmood Cold Store – Opp. Awal Cinema, Hidd Co-Op Society, Jassim Markets – Busaiteen Muharra, Jawad Convenience Stores – Budaiya, Jawad Express Bapco Station – Seef, Jawad Supermarket – Nuwaidarat Sitra, Kaifan Cold Stores – Hamad Town, Little Kingdom Cold Stores – Manama, Manayer Supermarket – Awali, Midway Supermarket – Hamala, Muharraq, West Rifa’a and Gudaibiya branches, Muntaza Supermarket – Muharraq, Muntaza Supermarket – Sitr Muharraqa, The News Stationery – Manama, Universal Food Center – Rifa’a


Ahlan Wassahlan Bookshop, Alam Al Agziya – Landmark, Al Aaela Shopping Centre- Al Nasr, Airport and Al Rayan branches, Al Madina Supermarket, Al Mustaqbal Bookshop, Al Qalam Bookshop, Al Usra Bookshop, Al Waha Marketing Centre, Daheel Food Centre, Dar Al Oroouba Bookshop, Dar Al Thaqafa Al Kitab and Al Nasr, Dasman Hypermarket, Dasman Shopping Centre, Jarir Bookshop, Jehaz Bookshop Al Mansoora, Khayat Fitwell, Lamcy Supermarket, Lulu Al Sharq, Megamart Centre, Newsstand Landmark, Rawabi Food Centre, Strand Bakery, Supermarket Al Taif Al Nasr and Supermarket Sak Illustrado magazine is sold in over 150 outlets around the Gulf, including

Oman and Kuwait.



FOR RESILIENCE? In the wake of national chest-thumping after Typhoon Haiyan a.k.a. Yolanda, when both Pinoys and friends worldwide assessed the apparent bounce-back, New York-based writer Ninotchka Rosca took issue with the oft-repeated declaration that “The Filipino people are resilient.” by KRIP YUSON She wrote that it was at best “A characterization which should raise anyone’s hackles, with its image of a jelly blob, quivering when punched, then quieting back to what it was before the rain of blows: sans sharpness, inert and passive, non-evaluating of what happens to its self.” More of her metaphors deserve to be shared: “We break, when the world is just too much, and in the process of breaking, are transformed into something difficult to understand. Or we take full measure of misfortune, wrestle with it and emerge



which come up with nothing but the label ‘resilient.’”

“This is in sync with our indigenous worldview, expressed by our riddles, the talinhaga, on which every Filipino child used to be raised: an understanding of reality, including ourselves, as metamorphic (or, capable of transformation).

In brief, her own assessment is that “We don’t spring back, we transform.”

transformed terrifying.



“A leaf by night; a bamboo by day — is how we look at our buri mat. It is both what it is and isn’t. “And because this is a worldview which has to be lived in situ, it is unfathomable to the outsider, despite scholarship and analyses,

She argues that “we carry the tales of our old heroes and muses, our elementals…” cites Mariang Makiling’s weakness and Bernardo Carpio’s strength. “We may not remember their old names — names being the first to be erased under colonialism — but we remember how they were and how we are supposed to be: metamorphic.

ILLUMINATI AP Photo/Bullit Maerquez AP Photo/Vincent Yu

“Who can measure the rage of the peaceable man breaking through the walls of groceries, warehouses, shopping malls? And having pierced both law and walls of authority, what is he now?

Yes, Filipinos are flexible, and we glory in being “pliant as the bamboo.” Fulfilling yet another definition for resilience, we are “able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.”

“To say that Filipinos are resilient is an assurance for those who have imposed upon them — much and repeatedly.

And that is exactly what happened after Yolanda, after the 7.2 earthquake that toppled Bohol’s vintage churches, after the ugly fracas in Zamboanga caused by that repeat offender Nur Misuari, after all the natural and man-made catastrophes (including the abjectly political and those that spelled outright corruption and plunder) that befell our country in what may be called the annus horribilis that was 2013.

“It is to say to themselves that we shake off tragedy much like ducks shaking off water. “It is to ignore the monuments to what has been suffered: matchstick debris of houses, muck and mud of vanished cities, stench of the dead and — oh! — the absence, thousands of absence, of those who used to be in our midst. Who could be so resilient as not to be transformed by that?” One may disagree with the philosophical cum lyrical stance, but may not dismiss it is an unforgiving rant. For it is excellent writing, and proceeds from a heart honed at home. Its entirety may be accessed at on the Yahoo! News website in the article, “Calling Filipinos resilient is an insult”. To take a “lighter” view, to “go easy” on national stereotyping, we can simply accept the consolation prize after any supposed feat of survival. We can say yes, we do seem to be “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions,” as one definition of “resilience” has it.

We do bounce back. But we must then ask: who doesn’t? Who but the disastrously drunk will not stand up after going horizontal? Who will not eventually wipe away the tears over great loss and resolve to spring back to life?

The point is that there is no need to keep trumpeting to ourselves, let alone the rest of the world, how resilient we are, almost to the point of claiming a monopoly on this natural facet of human character. The Germans didn’t claim to be resilient after being kayoed in the last world war. They just picked themselves up and quietly, even grimly, worked their way back up with characteristic efficiency until they healed and reunited a divided nation.

The Brits didn’t claim resilience during and after that same war. Neither did the Japanese after suffering nuclear tragedies and terrible tsunamis. They all just went ahead in picking up the pieces and reinstalling the infrastructure of their lives, from physical to emotional and moral. Of course this is what old, mature cultures do. Our own constant harpings about every little success or merit we gain — from our beauty titlists to the honest Fil-Am cab driver in Vegas — can only point to how juvenile we still are in the continuing parade of nations. We are noisy that way, as toddlers. Not only do we bounce back. We must proclaim it with the help of a karaoke loudspeaker. “Look at me! Look at me! I’m so… musical, friendly, hospitable, adaptable, ingenious, witty, and humorous even in the face of terror! That’s me! That’s the unsinkable Pinoy!” All true, but wouldn’t it be preferable to just go about it without fanfare, with nary any loud claim to bragging rights? No exclusivity when it comes to positive character, from individuals to countries. What we should hope for is that we soon realize that we must not keep excluding ourselves from the maturation process that is the eventual birthright of each and every nation.



Pinoy+ By Nicholo Jallores

The Global Pinoy. The New Mestizo. The Half Filipino, Half something-something. Illustrado examines the new generation of mixed-race Filipinos and finds that the colonial rules no longer apply. Ode to the New Yorker in Tondo, this is not. Perish the thought of adding to the tiresome and laborious Purebloods vs. HalfBreeds debate. Far be it from a media entity named Illustrado to dig a deeper divide between the indio and the mestizo– it is our stand that the worth of a Filipino cannot be compartmentalized to brown and white. Fact: the Philippines has been a melting pot of cultures since time beyond memorial, and this is readily evident in the Filipino gene pool. We are a tapestry of colors, mindsets and perspectives. The mestizo’s and mestiza’s are so 1800’s – revenants from a time when colonial mentality haunted our cultural zeitgeist. It’s time to transcend the stereotype.

What Purity? The Spaniards landed on the Philippine shores in 1521 and proceeded to systematically reengineer the Filipino identity on a cellular level. Religion played a pivotal role in Spain’s campaign to define Juan and Maria, but the cultural transference was made even more absolute by the Spanish Government’s progressive policy on interracial coupling. Unlike the British and the Dutch who implemented strict anti-miscegenation policies in their


colonies, the Spanish government actually encouraged the mixing of the races. However, a close examination of our history reveals that the diverse nature of the Filipino identity predates the Spanish occupation. Trade relations with neighboring nations such as Malaysia, China, and India — which flourished as early as the 1300’s — also resulted in cultural transference. Fastforward to the 20th century and you have the Americans and the Japanese adding their heritage to the mix. The 100% pure Filipino is not as common as most people think. Purity is a rarity. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who could directly trace his lineage to the Callao man of Cagayan, or the Tabon man of Palawan. Saying that a FilipinoAmerican is 50% Filipino and 50% American is inaccurate and misleading. In the same vein, one cannot also simplistically quantify mindsets as X amount local and Y amount foreign – not without dipping his foot into xenocentrism. It would be easier to just accept impurity. As they say, the more the merrier.

The New Breed of MixedBreed Gone are the days of the lionized tisoy’s and tisay’s, and the Kikay’s of Tondo who allow Western perspectives to override their local sensibilities. In the matter of adopting cultures, globalization has taken the place of colonization. We are in a time where ideas are shared rather than enforced, and differing belief systems are synergized without one having to cannibalize the other. This is evident in the new generation of mixed-race Filipinos, who manage to find the balance between celebrating their ethnicity and embracing foreign ideologies. In an interview for the book Blended Nation: Portraits and Interviews of Mixed Race America, Luzviminda Carpenter, an American citizen of Filipino and African American descent professed, “I identify as Filipina and black. I do this to give honor to the struggles both my Filipina mother and my black father have had to endure. I give respect by learning both heritages and never denying one or the other.” She goes on to state that her identity is heavily influenced by both the society and her parents, and that the two factors intersect to make her the woman that she is today.

When asked about how he got to be so funny, Rob Schneider, world famous comedian and star of blockbuster hits such as Deuce Bigalow and The Hot Chick, revealed that his sense of humor is deeply rooted in his multicultural upbringing. “My mom being Filipino and my dad being Jewish, it was a good mix. So, we had good laughing people,” claimed Schneider, in an interview with The Filipino Reporter. “When you’re Filipino, as soon as you’re done eating, you’re laughing. Usually, they’re laughing while they’re eating. It was a great place to practice.” Touted by American film critics as Hollywood’s Next Big Thing, Hailee Steinfeld dazzled the world with her topnotch, Oscar-nominated performance as Mattie Ross in the 2010 Coen Brother’s film True Grit. In an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Steinfeld talked about her close relationship with her mother Cheri Domasin, a former interior designer from Bohol. “My mom and I are so close. She travels the world with me and I could not do what I am doing without her by my side.” She also revealed her pride in identifying with the Filipino community. “I found that the best thing when I am in a group of people, I would have one or two people come up to me and say, ‘You are Filipino! I


@ Darren Criss Facebook Page


1. Hollywood’s Next Big Thing, Hailee Steinfeld 2. Daren Criss is a Filipino– American actor, best known for his role as Blaine Anderson in Glee. His mother, a native of Cebu, Philippines, is of Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino descent. 3. Cassie Ventura is an American recording artist, dancer, actress and model. She is the daughter of a Filipino father and a mother of African-American, Mexican and West Indian descent.



@ Hailee Steinfeld - Facebook Page



@ Sharon Leal Facebook Page


am Filipino, too.’ And I am like ‘Yes, this is awesome!’ So it is sort of this one thing that connected me with many people that I find is really interesting.”

Pinoy+ Mixed-race Filipinos and even OF’s often struggle to find the sweet spot between adopting the prevalent mindsets of their host countries and holding on to their Filipino heritage. To a disorganized mind, one thing will have to give. But the truly global Pinoy, the world-class Filipino, the Illustrado, doesn’t have to make such a choice. He understands the value in diversity in viewpoints and opinions, and thereby veers away from any archaic notions that risk marginalizing his identity. He will

4. American actress and singer Sharon Leal is best known for her role in the blockbuster hit Dreamgirls. Her mother, Angelita, is Filipino, while her father was an African-American military policeman.


5. Maryjun Takahashi is a fashion model and actress of Filipino and Japanese descent. She has graced the cover of Japan’s top glossies, and is considered one of the most in demand models in the runway scene. 6. Hollywood’s FUNNY GUY, ROB SChneider 7. Top Sumo Wrestler Takayasu Akira was born and raised in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother.


forever be a child of the Philippines, but he is a man of the world.

@ Rob Schneider Facebook page

7 @ Takayasu Akira by FourTildes


@ Maryjun-Takahashi-as-Yumi-Komogata-Photo-from-theWarner-Bros.-Japan-official-webpage-for-Rorouni-Kenshin



Say goodbye to Tisoy, Tisay, and Kikay. PAUL KIEFER

Even with Slovak, German, French, Polish, Lithuanian blood in my system, it seems my Filipino side is the most dominant. I think the Filipino thing that stands out in me the most is that I love rice! It’s actually quite funny but I can’t live without it. I think after the year 2013 I have never felt so close to my Filipino nationality than I do now. I spent 4 months in the Philippines last year after 20 years abroad and I really got the sense of who I really am and where I come from. Filipinos really treasure their families and stick together through the hard times. The country has been through so many calamities. After the super typhoon and earthquake you could really see how resilient and strong the Filipino spirit is. It’s amazing and I can only hope I have also been blessed with these great characteristics of a Filipino. I love the Filipino people and I’m proud to be a Filipino too!

Photo by Eros Goze

Pinoy + Slovak, German, French, Polish, and Lithuanian

P.S. The one Filipino trait that is not in me, I must add, is that I would never eat balut!

Photo by Qash Abbas

SHAIMA HASSOUN Pinoy + American and Iraqi Being an American of mixed Iraqi-Filipino ethnicity, I consider myself a global citizen with an international outlook. I have great pride and love for my roots, cultures, traditions, and fellow compatriots; this is what makes up who I am as an individual. I am half yet also a wholehearted Filipina!



KATRINA ILMING Pinoy + Austrian I’m definitely more Filipino now than I was a year ago because I’ve been living here ( in the Philippines) for that long. I’ve adapted to the Metro Manila traffic (which still drives me nuts, but not as much as before) and eat rice a LOT. I’m closer to my family now (which is really important in Filipino culture) and I’ve learned how to commute and speak Tagalog (semi-fluently)!

LAURENS TOLENAARS Although I was born and raised in Europe, my mom always made sure that I didn’t forget my Filipino roots. She used to bring me and my brothers to Manila every year for a to see our family and experience a different lifestyle and culture. I consider myself European because of the environment where I grew up but I always felt that my heart belonged to the Philippines and I knew from a very young age that I wanted to live there. My mom and I have always been told that we are very similar, not only physically but especially in terms of personality and because of that I could adapt myself to the culture and lifestyle of the Philippines very quickly. I’ve been living in the Philippines for about 2 years now and I have been really satisfied about my life here. I honestly think that the education I had from my mom helped me reach my expectations and blend into the Filipino culture.


Photo by Filbert Kung

Pinoy + Dutch


Many people consider the New Year as a time for change. It signals a fresh start and a time to resolve to lose (or gain) weight, make ammends with family members or friends. The New Year also heralds in a time for decision-making and planning—most especially for the future. One of the best ways to do that is to invest (yes, invest, not buy) in a plan that covers and secures your health, your children’s education plan, your death and for life’s unpredictable in between, an insurance Plan. But what are these and how should you pick the right one for you? “It is important to research first before making any financial decisions, especially when you are looking for the perfect plans for you,” says independent financial planner and expert Bernard Sy. “Look for the ideal agents and make sure that you are not dealing with sharks. Keep in mind that observance is the key.” Here is a lowdown of these plans and what you need to know.



Planning well AND SMART

Excel V. Dyquiangco breaks down different plans you can invest in to protect your future and the future of those you love.

Health Plans What is it? Commonly known as health insurance, health card, HMO, the health company pays for medical expenses incurred by the insured in-patient. These include hospital confinement, surgery, medicines, and laboratory. A health plan may also cover outpatient services like medical consultations and dental visits.

Who should buy it? Ideally, everyone should be covered. If you are employed, you company will usually provice a health plan. However, if you are self-employed, you will need to purchase your own health plan. “However, cost of a health prohibitive,” admits Bernard. In the Philippines depending on where yiu are “A plan that would cover a semi-private room with a P60,000 hospital benefit for a 30-yr old patient will cost around P14,000 a year. For those who are 50 yrs old, the cost is around P30,000.”

When should you buy it? “If you can afford, go for it,” says Bernard. This is especially true for those people who are self-employed and may suffer financial losses and opportunity costs due to disruption in productivity.

Why should you buy it? Hospital bills are costly. Medicine is expensive. That’s not even counting the time when you need to take time off work while you are sick or recovering.

Without a proper health plan, you could be depriving yourself of quality health care.

How do you know which plan to buy / best for you? Usually, this is provided by employers as part of employment benefits, some also cover employee dependents. If bought individually, usually a family account is a cheaper way to go. Check out the options and make sure to check for things like what illnesses are covered and which hospitals are accredited.

Education Plans What is it? It’s putting money away now so you have money to pay for education in the future.

Who should buy it? Gone are those days in which education plans would cover the full college education. “Open ended plans” led to the downfall of CAP, Pacific plans, and other pre-need education plans because it is almost financially unviable for most investments to catch up with tuition fee increase. “Because of these, I advocate do-it-yourself education plans, consisting of diversified investments such as mutual funds,” says Bernard.

When should you buy it? As soon as you have child you should consider investing in an education plan or as advised by Bernard, look at building



a do-it-yourself educational plan. The good thing about buying early is educational plans are usually cheaper when the children is age 0 -11 months old.

Why should you buy it? An education expense is one of biggest household expenses. If you have more than one child, it is also a cost that has a direct multiplier. If you dont have money set aside for education, tuition fees could burn a hole in your future finances. Even if an education plan won’t be able to cover the entire tuition, it will surely help offset costs.

How do you know which plan to buy / best for you? According to Bernard, a proper education plan is designed and calculated. It should have the following characteristics: future tuition fee estimates, investment return estimates, how much target future amount you should have by the time your child reaches college amd how much you should invest every year to achieve that amount. Choose a company that has a long-standing reputation and can be trusted.

Memorial Plans What is it? Memorial plans are pre-need plans that provide for future memorial services at the time of actual need.


Who should buy it? Every Filipino should have a memorial plan.

if the family bread winner passes away or becomes ill, his dependents will still enjoy a certain quality of life.

When should you buy it?

Who should buy it?

Now is the best time to buy a memorial plan especially if one has the means. Death is inevitable and it is always best to be prepared.

“Anyone can invest on life insurance,” says Sy. “Those who want to leave behind some amount of money for someone or those who have substantial assets that want to be protected from estate tax. As a rule, buy if you need or want something to protect.”

Why should you buy it? You should buy memorial plans because it is best to be prepared than to leave your family and loved ones helpless at the time of actual need.

How do you know which plan to buy / best for you? It really depends on your preferences and capacity to pay. There are some memorial plans which offer variety and which suit the needs of the Filipino people. “It is an optional plan, not as important as health plan and life insurance plan but having a memorial plan without life insurance defies logic. It is better to plan how your dependents will continue their life than just planning for your funeral.”

Insurance Plans What is it? A life insurance provides financial protection for the dependents or beneficiaries if the insured dies, he gets into an accident or he falls ill. Essentially, it is to ensure that even

When should you buy it? You should buy it as soon as you have dependents, or if you have something (someone) to protect. Keep in mind that the younger you are, the less amount of insurance you need to pay.

Why should you buy it? Death and disability are a burden to dependents left behind. How can they continue to live if the breadwinner suddenly dies or has become disabled?

How do you know which plan to buy / best for you? An ideal insurance coverage is something that will support your dependents’ financial needs for a reasonable time. A good rule of thumb is that the amount of coverage should cover at least five years of household expenses. “Therefore consult a financial planner,” says Bernard. “They will make a detailed analysis on how much coverage you should really need.


The 5 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make Instead by Anna Oposa


Ah, it’s January 2014! ‘Tis the time we make promises to ourselves to leave the “old me” in 2013 and usher in the “new and improved me” at midnight. We list a number of things we will do differently. We will stop hitting the snooze button. We will exercise more. We will stop smoking and will drink less. The list goes on. But after all the fireworks have been lit, the parties attended, and the fruitcake and ham eaten, we go back to the daily grind. And, more often than not, we slip back into our old habits—those we swore we would never do again. This is not to say that keeping New Year’s resolutions is impossible. The end of December and beginning of January always bring clarity, optimism, and a contemplative mood that we should take advantage of. Instead of making broad, general resolutions, let’s make 2014 really count by making sustainable, realistic, and attainable resolutions.

Here are some ways: 1. Instead of saying “I will lose 10 pounds,” commit to being healthy. To jumpstart this resolution, keep a food diary for at least a week to observe your eating habits. Do you eat fast food when you’re on the go, or binge on junk food when stressed? By discovering these patterns, you will be able to change them. Bring food from home instead of ordering take-out (saving you money and calories!), or snack on a fruit instead of potato chips. Part of being healthy means having some kind of physical activity. To make this less painful (literally and figuratively), choose an exercise you actually enjoy. The gym isn’t the only answer. Explore your options: Zumba, kickboxing, yoga, and swimming are just some of the many workouts available.



Give yourself a rational timeline based on your lifestyle, body type, genes, and current weight. It’s also a good idea to observe your body’s “loss” in inches instead of pounds, too. Weight loss doesn’t always equate to fitness, especially because muscle weighs more than fat.

no position to move into at the moment, or you don’t meet the position’s required skills set. By being a step (or five) ahead, you will be able to gain your boss’s trust and get more responsibilities. When there’s finally an opening for a position that suits you, you just might be first in line.

2. Instead of saying “I will save money”, be specific about what you’re saving for and by when you want it. The amount you’ll

4. Instead of saying, “I will travel”, note down where you want to go, when, and with whom. These three factors influence

need for an iPad by mid-2014 will be exponentially different for an apartment in 2016. By laying these out, you can figure out the most appropriate financing schemes for each. For instance, there are credit cards that offer 6-24 months to pay without interest for certain gadgets. For real estate, you can learn about which banks have the most reasonable loans and which developers have the best terms for what you are capable of.

how you will get there and how much you need to save. It will also be easier to plan the itinerary and pack based on the seasons.

A mistake that people often make is to save whatever is left from expenses and income. Financial experts advise a reversal: income – savings = expenses. With this strategy, it’s easier to set milestones and budget accordingly.

3. Instead of saying, “I will get promoted”, be outstanding in your work. Go to meetings prepared and armed with your own ideas, submit all requirements on time or earlier, and maintain good working relationships with your colleagues. Pakikisama is something valuable that they didn’t teach in college. Promotions and increased pay grades are not always in our control. There may be

A solo trip to Brazil for the upcoming World Cup will cost much more than going there on any other month with a group of friends to split expenses with. In such cases, you’ll just have to be more resourceful, like renting a room on Air BnB instead of staying at a swanky hotel, or taking the bus more often than a cab. The plus side is you get to make a schedule that’s completely yours.

5. Instead of saying, “I will be in a relationship”, focus on the first four resolutions. Making this a goal puts you at the risk of settling for someone who doesn’t necessarily meet your standards. It’s much better to stay single and work on your health, finances, career, and travel bucket list than commit to a mediocre relationship. Who knows, you might even meet your future partner while working on those— in the gym, at your dream destination, or at the workplace!



The Superwoman Syndrome: Is the stress for perfection your kryptonite? By Didi Paterno-Magpali



Whenever I see some of my lady friends’ social media updates: an announcement of their big work promotion, photos of their outfit of the day looking svelte and tres chic, photos with their better halves overflowing with love or videos of their families being silly and having all out fun, I am awestruck at their superpowers that allow them to juggle three or more roles with excellence. How do they do it? Their motivations are surprisingly simple. Cebu-based Yoga teacher, baker, businesswoman, OF wife and hands-on mother of two, Arlien Alcoseba-Buhain says, “[It’s] the determination to be better; I believe routine and perseverance are helpful in becoming better in what I do.” Twentyeight year old, single and driven, Patricia Mendoza concurs “You owe it to yourself, to the people you love and love you and the world at large to wake up every single morning and try to achieve something,” says the senior marketing manager of SM Supermalls. Others say that they were born into it— they were simply wired to live a super life. Orphaned early in life, Christine Delfin, business category head of Citibank Philippines’ Paylite installment program and hands-on mother of two, affirms this. “I believe I was born to be industrious...I (prefer) an upbeat lifestyle versus quiet and slow.” These women prefer to have their schedules packed with activity. Grace Fujimaki, one of Dubai’s popular bloggers, multi-lingual marketing specialist and mother of two, says “I do not like having nothing to do because that’s the time I overthink and worry about the little, unnecessary things.”

Superwoman A jampacked calendar, giving your 100% best to all things all the time, isn’t that just what it’s like to be a woman these days? And stress is just par for this course that superwomen are expected to fly.

FEATURE Some are lucky to have learned to thwart stress by working on the balance and focus in their lives with themselves at the center. Christine dedicates one day of the week for “me” time like getting a massage or just writing down her to-do list as a status check for all her life’s projects. While Clarissa de la Paz, Singapore-based emplpyee and financial literacy author, simplifies her life and adapts the mantra, “Live to please only yourself because when you start thinking about it, you only need a few things in life to fulfill and reach your maximum (potential).”

to the rest of the world, but perfect in your eyes.

Others admit that the quest for unattainable perfection, their drive to work hard, to be consistently excellent and to be appreciated crouches in on their health. Roxane NegrilloMagbanua, media director has to balance the demands of being a working mom to her need to also be a supportive daughter and sister. It is a role that is daunting when compounded with the demands of her position, which require managing a team of twelve, traveling and meeting people from all over the globe in different time zones.

1. Pay attention to your body’s signals

Patricia DiBartolo, a psychology professor at Smith College, in Massachusetts, affirms, “In essence, in this paradox of perfectionism, certain people have extraordinarily high standards, but objectively can often look very dysfunctional in terms of their daily functioning, their physical health, their achievement.”

2. Seek support from people around you.

Patricia has wise words for superwomen or aspiring superwomen, “The image of the superwoman is simply a projection to other people: what people see of you. It’s a form of judgment that other women would love to be called. But it’s also somewhat unhealthy for any one woman to make that as a goal.” This is perhaps why there are some who have wised up how it is key to create their personal definition of what a superwoman is. Now, I understand how some women can be super at the same time be genuinely happy about their lives. They’ve learned to settle into fulfilling expectations that are more important to only to them. They don’t choose to be perfect to everyone, but rather perfect to the few who matter. Being a superwoman is within reach, as long as it is on your own terms, which may be imperfect

Superwoman power pills: Yup, even Superwoman needs to take care of their health A study led by Prem Fry, psychology professor at Trinity Western University in Canada, shows that perfectionism can negatively impact health. Here are tips we’ve picked up from real life superwomen, who have successfully managed their super life without compromising their well-being:

• With so many things going on, it is easy to neglect the body, one that works on overdrive to achieve set goals. So it is important to pay attention and listen closely to what one’s body is saying through signals like little aches here and there. If you feel anything odd, do not ignore, nip it in the bud before it snowballs into something worse.

• Cliché as it is, but no man, or woman, is an island. The great pyramids weren’t built by a single person, but by a team of thousands. Identify your team: whether it be your husband / partner, your parents, your siblings, your colleagues or your friends; and enlist their support. And if you don’t trust them enough to handle important tasks, your team can instead act as your stress alarm signal.

3. Live and let go of things beyond your control. Patricia Mendoza learned to accept the hard fact of life that there are things beyond her control. “When the going gets tough and when things are not happening the way I want it, I say to myself: Steady lang and keep rolling. When you’re up now, it’s a matter of time you’ll go down for a while and then up again. It’s just a cycle, ebb and flow of life, like waves you have to ride.” Life isn’t made out of peaks upon peaks of success. It is a journey made of ups and downs to enjoy and learn from.



Defiant, not resilient Text and Pictures BY Ana P. Santos


In the wreckage of steel roofing, broken wood, and fallen coconut trees that looked more like matchsticks than trees, the house stood out simply because it was one of the few structures still standing. All the other houses or structures around it had crumpled with the wind. On the house was a sign: Salot ka, Yolanda! In another building in Tacloban, another


sign was scrawled on what remained of a wall, “F*ck you, Yolanda”. Finally. Someone said it. Yolanda was an unforgiving, relentless b*tch who didn’t stop until she destroyed everything in her path. In her wake, was destruction across a land area as large as Portugal and massive loss, inconsolable grief and uncertainty. Experiencing the strongest storm the world has ever known did not make us feel like a “privileged, resilient” people.

And those signs proved it.

Resilient or resigned to our fate? Yolanda was the third major natural disaster that I covered. I covered Sendong which barreled through Cagayan de Oro in 2011 (labeled as the world’s strongest storm of that year), Pablo which pummeled Davao Oriental in 2012 (also a category 5 storm), and and then came Yolanda in 2013 – the strongest storm ever recorded. In all three cases, I have always found


that survivors are morose in a quiet and dignified way, patiently waiting in line for their allocation of relief goods – an exercise which could take hours; sharing their extra rations those who don’t have any; and just always mindful of their manners. When I was covering Pablo, one lady I was interviewing asked if she could please be excused from the rest of my questions because a truck with food items was speeding by and she might be able to get some for her family. Her family was scrunched up living under a strip of tarpaulin, she desperately needed food for her family and she remembered to excuse herself before running off from my questions. And yes, she actually waited for me to agree before she chased after the bus. That’s my beef with the word “resilience”. Like we spring back into our original form back like rubber, are able to bend without breaking like bamboo or as written by Ninotchka Rosca , shake off water from our feathers like ducks. It has been used so often that it became a word that connoted being resigned, of simply accepting the things that come our way. It connoted a que sera sera attitude of being unaffected and shaking off the disasters that we have become so used to so quickly. It connoted a deathly sense of fatalism. But Yolanda did affect us. It rocked us to the core as a nation and as a global community with citizens all over the world. We were brought to our knees by the sheer magnitude of the devastation and reduced to tears of grief and anguish.

Yolanda did affect us. So did Pablo. So did the earthquake in Bohol, the Zamboanga siege and every other disaster, man-made or otherwise, that gripped the Philippines.

unspoken message of that statement was: we must move on and damn straight, we will.

The way the word “resilient” was being waved around ignored the kind and dignified temerity of the Filipino to rise up while broken and grieving to move on, no matter how hard or how unfathomable making it to the next day might be.

That is the defiance of the Filipino, the tough-as-nails will to survive and kindhearted fighting spirit that pushes us as individuals and as a nation to move on and move forward not just because we have to but because we deserve another day --one that is better than the last.

Defiant: Buo ang loob ko, may agimat ang dugo ko

More than being resilient, our country, our people are defiant.

In northern Panay, another area devastated by Yolanda, Jose Allan Narciso, a 47-yearold fisherman and father of four was quietly rebuilding his nets and fish traps. He still had his boat, luckily, but the traps he left in the water before the storm hit were gone. So he was making new ones. He was ready to set sail again to catch fish, feed his family and survive. In other homes, men were making fishing nets by hand.

Torn apart but still whole

“We can make may be 2-3 nets per today like this,” they told me, looking away from their weaving to smile briefly at the camera. Other fishermen were not so lucky. Some lost their boats – a fisherman’s lifeline -- and had no materials to build new ones. So they recycled old refrigerators and made them into makeshift boats. “If help comes, good. If not, then that’s fine, too.” They told me in many different ways. That statement would have been resignation if left at that. But that statement was followed it up with “we cannot wait” or “we have to do what we have to do”. The

After visiting Guiuan, Eastern Samar where Yolanda made first of her six landfalls, I posted pictures of life after Yolanda on Facebook with the caption: Everywhere, there are sounds of building -- the pounding of nails, the hammering of wood and the whirr of chainsaws. In some streets, there are skids of flip-flops and the abbreviated whoosh of a ball going through a hoop without a net. Many houses have Philippine flags hoisted on makeshift poles; if you ask the locals, they don’t remember seeing those flags before the typhoon. It was a scene that was similarly played out in other parts of Yolanda – affected areas, from Tacloban, to northern Panay and Samar. This is our country, the Philippines: torn apart by Yolanda, but still whole. Battered beyond recognition, but certainly not defeated.



BECOMING AGENTS OF CHANGE By Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa


It‘s 2014, a new year; a time to review the past and see where the future will lead us – towards being better Filipinos, towards a better Philippines and a better world.

I am counting one year and nine months before I finish my term as Ambassador for God and country in the United Arab Emirates. I came here in October 2009 and InshaALLAH, I am slated to leave in October 2015. We, Philippine diplomats usually get a six–year tour of duty outside of the Philippines. As of Christmas Eve last year, the UAE has been the longest post I have ever served in my almost 27 years in the Department of Foreign Affairs. When I was blessed to be assigned here as the career representative of the Philippine President, our Chief Diplomat, then Gloria Arroyo, I was excited. I have observed Overseas Filipinos and their families since my one and a half year assignment here in the emirates from 1995 to 1996 as the first lady Philippine Consul in our Embassy. That was during the time of the celebrated Sarah Balabagan case, and the similarly, the period when there was international furor over the Flor Contemplacion case in Singapore. As a student of Master of Arts in Migration


Studies in Miriam College then and still now, with a simultaneous MBA – PhD on Development Administration of the Philippine Christian University ( PCU), I hoped to introduce some change in the large Filipino community here - estimated to be half a million strong with around 60% as professionals, 20 % semi-skilled and 20 % unskilled. As soon as I arrived, I studied the major challenges facing us while abroad, especially in this country of destination. Family and financial problems are quite common, so are difficulties in re-integration once OFs go back to the motherland.

flagship project of the Council, the Pinoy WISE (Worldwide Initiative for Investment, Savings and Entrepreneurship) Movement has been launched in the whole UAE to engender financial literacy and understand the social costs of migration. As I write, almost 1,500 have attended the workshop which is held every third Friday of the month at the Philippine Embassy. The ‘graduates’ have now formed a multi-purpose cooperative which, last Friday, launched its first business - a cargo forwarder for balikbayan boxes. From “Pinoy waldas”, these Filipinos have become Pinoy WISE.

Together with the help of the local Filipino community, we have endeavored to address these problems. Following the Three R’s on change as popularized by Bro. Bo Sanchez, I am looking back now over the last four years and have seen it happening on the financial life of our kababayans. The first R is “Relate” which manifests itself in relationships of hope and friendship. We have introduced this through the ‘bayanihan’ (collective heroism for a common cause) spirit fostered by the Bayanihan Council in Abu Dhabi. It is the umbrella association of organizations in Abu Dhabi including Al Ain.

The last R is Repeat. The Bayanihan Council, especially the Pinoy WISE Movers in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with other groups, hopes to cascade and keep repeating the re-framing of the financial mindset of the Filipinos to better prepare them while here and help them prepare for going back home.

Within this sustaining positive atmosphere, came in the second R of “Reframe”. As the

In my last months here, I hope to see even more change - not just in financial literacy but also in disaster preparedness and in time management. Let’s all be agents of change - global “Taas Noo Filipinos”. Mabuhay!



For my first talk in The Feast, the prayer gathering I lead at the Philippine International Convention Center every Sunday, I made this declaration: This year will be your year of favor. This year will be the best year you’ve ever had. This year will be the year of fulfillment. This year will be the year of making your dreams come true. This year will be the year of achieving God’s ambitions for your life. This year will be the year of freedom from the shackles that bind you. This year will be the year of selfless contribution. This year will be the year of impacting others, blessing the world, and inspiring the people around you.

Jump and Hope In the Philippines, there’s a New Year superstitious belief that if you jump as the clock strikes 12, you will grow taller. Something happens when you jump. Jumping is like hoping. Just like jumping, there are days when hope seems useless. In the same way that jumping changes the jumper, hope changes the hope-er. Deep inside, if you don’t give up amidst your disappointments, but keep trusting God that greater things will happen to your life. You will grow better, brighter, bolder, and bigger.

Main Message: Ignore the Noise! Without hope, you weaken and die. Hope isn’t just knowing what to focus on but also knowing what NOT to focus on. In other words, hope is about ignoring the noise.

And this year will be the year of profound joy.

My best analogy is something that happened to me as a kid…

You might ask: what made me so sure about my declarations?

Walking with Barking Dogs

It’s no secret. I base my super optimism on an age-old promise: We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

I used to live in a subdivision where every house had a dog. Except our house. Because I had 5 sisters who were deathly afraid of dogs.

Hope is the main topic of the talk series for The Feast which I titled Jump!

I never knew what it was like to have a dog.


But one day, I was with my father walking down the road. Whenever there was a barking dog, he’d hold my hand and say, “Just keep walking.” He taught me to ignore the noise. Today, I’m saying the same thing to you. In the road of life, there will be many barking dogs on your right and on your left. But your Father is holding your hand and saying to you, “Just keep walking.” Don’t stop for every dog that barks. Because if you do, you’ll get stuck. You’ll never reach your destination. You need to learn how to ignore the noise, and listen to God’s voice.

Barking Dog #1: People’s Opinions I’ve met many people whose entire life is based on noise. Their self-concept is built on other people’s fickle opinions. They’ve become approval junkies. Before you listen to other people’s opinion, you need to listen to God’s opinion. He says, “You’re amazing. You’re beautiful. You’re phenomenal.” Many years ago, we invited a priest to celebrate Mass at one of our prayer meetings. After the Mass, I gave my usual talk. Right after, the priest came up to me and said, “Brother Bo, can I give you some fatherly advice?”


My son Francis demonstrating urban jumping at the Feast PICC on January 12, 2014 - Photo: Mia Catan

He said, “You preached in an entertaining way, but you didn’t give any solid teaching. No doctrine. No doctrine. No doctrine! (Yes, he mentioned it thrice.) No substance. When will you give people real spiritual meat?” His words were like a lance that stabbed my heart. But when I prayed, I heard a small inner voice: “Bo, don’t listen to that guy. I didn’t call you to preach like a priest. I called you to preach as a layperson preaching to laypersons. Use the unique preaching gift I have given you.” Everyone has the right to their own opinion. And you have the right to reject it too. Never try to be someone you’re not; the only way you can inspire others is by being yourself.

Barking Dog #2: Uncontrollable Frustrations If the frustration is under your control, by all means, take charge. But if the frustration is something you can’t control, ignore the noise. For example, traffic frustrates a lot of people—and it’s uncontrollable. So ignore it. Make traffic irrelevant to your existence.

Let me give you a secret: I’ve now come to enjoy traffic. I know it’s crazy, but I just realized it’s a gift from God to pause.

Every time you think of your failures, you’re filled with fear. And you think that you’re bound to repeat them endlessly.

Your life is not defined by what happens to you but what you do to what happens to you.

Eight years ago, I experienced business failures. During those dark days, I wondered if I should just give up my dream of becoming a businessman.

Let it go. Just keep walking.

Barking Dog #3: Negative People There are many negative people around you. Ignore the Desperate Bullies. These people intimidate you with the force of their words, their personality, and their anger. Never be pulled down to their level. Ignore the Dream Snatchers. There are people who will throw a wet blanket on any fire in your heart. Ignore the noise, just keep walking. There are many other Negative People: the complainers, the know-it-alls, the gossipers, the liars. Ignore the noise!

Today, I run an army of successful businesses. Sometimes, when things are falling apart, that means things are falling into place. Looking back, I thank God I failed in those businesses. God wasn’t rejecting me, God was redirecting me. Because of those failures, I’m now doing the businesses that were meant for me. Do you have a broken heart today because a relationship didn’t work out? It seems like things are falling apart, but believe me, things are falling into place. Because God is just removing people that shouldn’t be in your life.

Barking Dog #4: Past Failures

Just keep walking!

Perhaps you fell into sin last year. Perhaps you failed in your job last year.

When you ignore the noise, you can listen to God’s voice.

Friend, past failures are like a barking dog.

Go ahead, jump! Jump for joy and hope!



It’s what I do


ANTHONY DE LEON English Editor - CommuniGate Middle East

A: I currently work as an English Editor for a company called CommuniGate Middle East, a full-service integrated Public Relations (PR) agency based in Dubai, UAE with a wide network of offices and affiliates located across the GCC, Arabian Gulf, Levant, Egypt and North Africa. I am in charge of developing and creating editorial content such as press releases, feature articles, brochures, ad copy and speeches—for a diverse list of clients. Aside from this primary task, I am also part of a team that helps develop social media-based activities for clients like doing Twitter messages, managing Facebook group pages and even writing specialized blogs. It’s an exciting job that allows me to be up-to-date with what’s new, what’s hot and what’s trending in the Middle East region, in particular and the UAE in general.

Making the day write My day usually starts at eight in the morning, where I peruse various print and online news publications; taking note of latest


technology trends, reports from various industry verticals and timely forecasts from business research and intelligence firms. I then line up client editorial requirements and meet with a team of editors to distribute work assignments for the day. It’s all writing, editing and proofreading written content from that point on. Fortunately, having worked previously as a correspondent for, the former News Web Portal of the Inquirer and GMA 7, helped in honing my skills as a writer and an editor. My strong attention to detail and presentation of a well-constructed editorial piece can also be attributed to my stint as one of the executive assistants for then Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Richard Gordon. After a hard day’s work, I try to relax with a good book or a movie—spending a quiet evening with my wife and son. Weekends mean hitting the local bowling alley and also meeting up with my frat brothers from the Order of Demolay. I have been in the UAE for almost eight years now and have since then, enjoyed working with different nationalities. Filipinos, however, are admired and usually singled out for their efficiency, industriousness and ability to adapt to any working environment. With the UAE winning the bid to host Expo 2020, I am upbeat with the notion that Filipinos will play a large part in the preparations for this truly global event—something that we can all be proud of.


Singer and Songwriter

Most people would think that singing is a cool job – most people would be right. Working as a professional singer and songwriter is every bit as awesome as it sounds, and I wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world! I consider myself very blessed to have found a way to make a good livelihood out of my passion for music. As the saying goes, find a job that you love and you wouldn’t have to work a day in your life. I can honestly say that this is the perfect job for me. Currently I perform six days a week as lead singer for a band called the Smooth Criminals, at one of the most popular nightspots here in Dubai. I am also the band leader, which means that I’m responsible for preparing the set lists, updating the repertoire, facilitating rehearsals, and coordinating directly with the bar management. Performing every night can be very tiring, but once I hit the stage, I automatically forget every ache in my body. Even after years of singing professionally, I still get excited about being in the spotlight, meeting people and making sure that they are having the best night of their lives. My typical day begins with a few laps in the pool or a dip in the beach. I am fortunate enough to live near the sea so I normally kick-off my day with a swim to help me wake up after a long night. At sundown, I begin to prepare for the night’s work. Choosing my outfit and putting on make-up doesn’t take me very long, as I am the type of person who knows what she wants. Plus, I’ve been a singer for such a long time, I already have the pre-performance ritual down to a tee! I travel to work at around 7:30 pm to prepare the set lists and brief the band about any additional requirements for the night as specified by the management. At 8:30 pm the show begins, and we play four highly entertaining sets, finishing at around 1:00 am.

Photo by Royce Aldrich Centeno


It’s what I do


Part of my job is to look polished and composed at all times, but I’ve had more than a few embarrassing moments onstage. For some reason, I have a funny tendency to break the heel of my shoes mid-performance. One time, I tried to do the moonwalk and my heel snapped. I tripped backward, right smack into my poor unsuspecting guitarist and we both fell down, much to the amusement of the audience. It’s an occupational hazard, but I will never, ever give up wearing stilettos. A girl’s gotta have her shoes! I take great pride in representing the Filipinos in the highly diverse entertainment industry of the UAE. In my time here in Dubai, I’ve had the opportunity to work with other nationalities, and I can honestly say that the Filipino artists are truly at par with the world’s best and brightest talents. My advice to my fellow kabayans who are trying to make a mark here in the city: enjoy the experience, and persevere! Don’t give up on your dreams, no matter the challenges that come your way. Any good singer will tell you that no performance is perfect. Sometimes, it’s all about holding your head up high and putting on a brave face. Find your voice! I did.



When will you decide you made a wrong investment? by francisco J. colayco

what do you do when your investment doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? You need to recover and be positive that there is always something better for the future. If you made the right decisions and your investment is good, you should not rest on your success either. You need to plan forward.




Believe it or not, most investors invest without clearly defining what they expect to gain, what they need it for and when it should happen. Many people believe “hope springs eternal” because their focus is just in earning the gains. Having clear targets with a specific timetable is the best guide in tracking investments. In the first place, before you make an investment, you have to study how your money will be used to generate income and grow in value over time. In the process, you must also study and understand the attendant risks that could cause losses. It could be a bank deposit, a bond or a mutual fund, real estate, a car or anything that will require you to put out money. You have to look at all documents and study them carefully. Ask advice if necessary but please do not ask advice without doing your own homework first. It is so sad and frustrating that many people want to be “spoon-fed.” This means that they don’t even want to study and analyze. They just want to be told what to do. Unfortunately, when you do this for your money, you could be in trouble. You cannot depend on anyone except yourself for money issues. If you insist on depending on someone else, you are taking a very serious risk. No human being knows everything and the person you depend on, even myself who you probably think already knows a lot about money issues, is certainly limited. So, my advice is that you really

have to educate yourself. Read books, article, take seminars, listen to talks--do everything you can to learn.

Divesting -- When to get out of your investment As in any investment, you should know when you should sell or divest, meaning get out of the investment. You do not get whatever profits you are expecting until you sell or divest. You could have what is called “paper” profits or losses because the value of your investment could go up or down. Only when you sell or divest will you know whether you have gained or lost money. Now, assuming you have studied your investments well and you have made the right decisions, there will still be many factors beyond your control. It is a happy problem if you are having “paper” profits but the problem comes when your “paper” loss is considerable and has stayed a loss for a long period of time. This is when you want to be really optimistic but it is also possible that optimism might just cause you more losses. Sometimes, you need to accept your losses and sell at a loss. This happens when you have analyzed the future of your investment objectively. It could be that it is difficult to find a buyer and when you already have a buyer, it is best to take the opportunity. Have a clear goal after your complete study. Be careful about changing your mind just because there is a buyer. Some suddenly

wonder if their price is right just because there is a buyer! When you sell your investment, it is best that you have another option to invest your money in, preferably something that has a good chance of making some profits for you. This is especially true when you have to take a loss in your present investment. This way, you can recover from the losses you had to take and make money on the new investment. Again, this takes a lot of analysis and study but don’t take too long. The opportunity could pass just as fast. Take our seminars that can start you into the practice of studying and analyzing your personal finances and you personal investments. Check out and www. As you read this article, we have already formally launched our One Wealthy Nation (OWN) Community. It is a very exciting opportunity for every Filipino anywhere in the world. SMILE with us in the OWN Community. Check out www. Watch Pisobilities: Light TV 33 every Tuesday, 8:30 pm-9:00 pm, GMA News TV every Saturday, 6:00 am, and GNN every Tuesday and Saturday, 11 am. Watch also RHTV Pera Pera Lang Iyan every Wednesday, 12:30 am- 2:00 pm and Seminar School Plus every Saturday, 1:00 pm -2:00 pm.



Put it in Writing: WHY MAKING A WILL IN THE UAE SHOULD BE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION In this issue, Atty. Barney Almazar advises us to write one of the most important documents every OF should have—- a last will and testament. Writing your post-mortem demands should not be intimidating. And you will discover in the process, what matters most in your life.


f you’ve been putting it off simply because it seems daunting, you are definitely making a big mistake. Life is not certain, especially in a foreign land. You leave your home country and work hard to provide for your family. You plan for your children’s future. By making a will, you can distribute your assets according to the needs of your loved ones. If a person dies without a will, his assets will be distributed as per the default provisions of the law. Persons who are not considered by law to be heirs will be excluded from the distribution of assets. The will allows a person to favor a certain individual or the


flexibility to control the distribution of his assets after his death.

Reason #1: Keep the family together When you die without a will, it may create tension among your heirs in deciding who gets what. A lot of siblings end up in costly legal battles when they cannot agree on the estate distribution. When drafting your will, consider appointing an impartial executor of your estate. Do not name someone who is a major beneficiary of your will. A good will makes your intentions clear,

avoiding rivalry as each heir exactly knows what goes to whom according to your wishes.

Reason # 2: Peace of mind UAE laws may not favor Philippine succession rules. Article 17 (1) of the UAE Civil Transactions Code states: “Inheritance shall be governed by the law of the deceased at the time of his death” which implies that if a non-Muslim Filipino dies in the UAE, his assets will be distributed following the provisions of Philippine law. However, Article 17 (5) of the same code is quite contradictory: “The law of the United Arab Emirates shall apply to


wills made by aliens disposing of their real property located in the State.” To harmonize the apparent contradiction, only movable assets (jewelry, cash, personal effects) of the deceased can be distributed as per his national law while the distribution of his real or immovable assets (such as land, house or condominium unit) will be governed by UAE laws.

Reason # 3: Custody of your kids

on hand to support their daily needs.

Although the next of kin is the default guardian of your minor children, your relatives may not be present in the UAE. You will need to appoint an interim guardian while arrangements are being made for your relatives to collect your children (as they cannot stay in the UAE without visa sponsors).

Since survivorship rules do not apply in the UAE, conjugal assets will be frozen until the issue of inheritance has been decided by the local courts. This process may take time as documents will be required to be authenticated from his home country.

When the heirs go to the UAE court, even if the testamentary dispositions are valid as per the national laws of the deceased (such as disinheriting a family member or favoring a non-heir over “forced heirs”), the UAE court shall have the discretion to strike down the same as it is contradictory to Sharia (as courts are bound to uphold principles of Sharia).

If you want a specific family member or a non-relative to look after your children, you will have to specifically designate such person in your will. Otherwise, the court might step in and commit your children to social welfare or hand custody over to a relative you may not approve of.

By having a valid will drafted to conform to both UAE and Philippine inheritance laws, you will be able to take advantage of the rules favoring the manner in which you would like your assets distributed.

A widow asked for our firm’s assistance regarding the transfer of her husband’s assets under her name. She was still grieving when she came to the office with her 2 young children as her husband had died just several days ago. Her husband was only 42 and left no will. Their two apartments were under his name. His bank accounts were frozen and she does not have enough cash

If you do not have a will, you are giving the courts unbridled discretion in distributing your hard earned assets.

Case in point

To make matters worse, the in-laws contested her inheritance, accusing her of causing their son’s sudden death. And another hurdle: her and her kids’ visas were cancelled since they were all under the deceased’s visa. Unless she can get a new sponsor, she and her kids will need to leave the country in less than a month. This unfortunate situation could have been prevented if a valid will had been executed. The start of the year is always a good time to write your will because as you undergo the process, you will find yourself thinking ahead and planning for your and your family’s future. It’s truly a selfless act.



GOLD’S GYM UAE OPENS ITS DOORS TO AL NAHDA1 RESIDENTS Health and fitness enthusiasts will be pumped up to know that Gold’s Gym UAE has opened a fitness center in Al Nahda 1, inside the Al Nasmah Tower on Al Ittihad Road, Dubai “Gold’s Gym UAE strives to live up to our reputation as a global brand. We work to give our best facilities, trainers, programs and equipment to our people. Our fans can look forward to more clubs over the months as we are expanding extensively in the UAE,” Ali Al Samahi said.

Exercise, which includes Body Jam, Zumba, Body Combat and Body Pump. Special ladies-only classes are also available. Gold’s Gym UAE caters to provide some of the finest exercises and workout regimes complimented with the best functional training equipment, cardio and strength equipment from Technogym, the top fitness equipment manufacturer for 2012. With their recent expansions across the region, Gold’s Gym is stronger than ever in the UAE and helping more residents realize their strengths.

Suno 102.4FM supported the inaugural launch with a Radio Road Show led by the popular jockey Abhijeet, who entertained the crowd with music, fun, games, exercises and fitness challenges. As part of the celebration, Gold’s Gym UAE gave special membership rates of as low as 6 dirhams per day for new members who joined the club during their presales events. Members can join the popular Gold’s Group

UAE EXCHANGE PARTNERS JOLLIBEE FOR CASH COLLECTION Filipinos can walk in to an UAE Exchange branch and book a Jollibee Padala Package for their loved ones in Philippines The leading global remittance and foreign exchange brand has recently partnered with Jollibee, offering Langhap-Sarap products to Filipinos in the UAE and their loved ones back home. “We are delighted at this tie-up, because we have a special bond with the enterprising Filipino community. To serve them, we found a perfect and equally popular partner in Jollibee. This cash collection facility will enable the Filipino customers to easily


walk in to any of our 129 branches across the UAE and send a memorable gift to their dear ones, back home. Jollibee shares our penchant for enhancing customer experience and this new relationship will further strengthen it,” said Promoth Manghat, UAE Exchange Vice President – Global Operations. UAE Exchange has always brought value and convenience to its customers. This new tie-up is another step towards its vision to enhance the individual customer experience. This commitment has earned the trusted company over six million customers, whom it serves through 700 branches in 31 countries. This is the largest global network in its class. A correspondent relationship with 150 banks further adds to the company’s might and accessibility. For more information, and

visit www. http://blog. To participate in our exciting contests, join us on Facebook by logging on to www.


THE OWN COMMUNITY READY TO OPEN DOORS ON JANUARY 23, 2014 OWN (ONE WEALTHY NATION) envisions a Nation, a Philippines and Filipinos Wealthy in Spirit, Money, Intellect, Life (Health) and the Environment (SMILE). Each OWN member will acquire his/ her needed personal SMILE education in the simplest, bite-size, and most entertaining way and in addition, will receive options to convert his/her wealth information into actual wealth! You can read about the meaning of SMILE on www. On January 23, OWN members will have first option to join a free webinar marathon of three hours (6:30-9:30 pm Philippine time) online exchange of ideas, featuring various experts on SMILE. The many hours will allow more OWN members to tune it at the time most convenient for them. The complete OWN Website will also be formally available to members. OWN Members will enjoy the following benefits: 1. A copy of “Wealth WithinYour Reach” Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo, authored by Francisco J. Colayco, (P395 in leading bookstores)

Edutainment Website, Pisobilities.TV featuring educational entertainment that you can play and replay as often as you want. Features to be scheduled through the year will include: Pisobilities by FJC, Seminar School Plus, Nang Magising Si Juan, coming edutainment (educational entertainment) series on GMA News TV. Movies: Bak por Gud, Breadwinner, Roman: Gusto Kong Yumaman. Other videos - Best of Pisobilities @ GNN, Best of Pera Pera Lang Yan, etc. 3. Free Pisobilities Wealth Within Your Reach with your choice of Live or Online Seminar, when available. (Php2000) [nontransferrable] 4. 90% off Vouchers for Colayco Foundation for Education (CFE) Standard Seminars [transferrable] Pisobilities: Financial Planning Workshop (Regular Learning Fee: Php5000 / OWN members Fee: Php1000). InvestAbility: Life Long Investing Workshop (Regular Learning Fee: Php7500 /OWN members Fee: Php1000); InvestAbility: Mutual Funds Seminar (Regular Learning Fee: Php4000 / OWN members Fee: Php400); InvestAbility: Stock Market Seminar (Regular Learning Fee: Php4000 / OWN members Fee: Php400); InvestAbility: Fixed Income Investments Seminar (Regular Learning Fee: Php4000 / OWN members Fee: Php400) Various Seminars to be offered covering SMILE

5. Access to OWN Special Events and Webinars 6. Information about legitimate investment opportunities All of the above for a Membership Fee of only Php1,000/year for an Actual Value of more than P17,895 throughout the year. You will want to renew yearly for a fee of Php1,000/year as we will have great new values to offer every year. Be the first to sign-up in advance for this great opportunity! All those signed-up before January 23 will be included in a special raffle of exciting prizes. Visit www.

2. Year-long premium access to our latest


February 2. All Giordano stores will roll out the “Gift On Purchase” promo: a free trolley bag for purchases of AED 750 and above. Even after the DSF, shoppers can still enjoy Giordano’s special offers until 17 February 2014.

Shopping Season Shines at Giordano

“We are delighted to provide our loyal customers with affordable offers especially during this festive season. At Giordano, our customers will find quality merchandise at affordable prices,” said Ishwar Chugani, Managing Director of Giordano Middle East

Giordano celebrates the shopping season with exciting discounts and offers. The bonanza is on full swing in the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) from January 2 to

FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International. Members of the “World Without Strangers” loyalty programme can avail of Giordano’s 10% discount or birthday discounts on purchase of the DSF bundle offers and will receive loyalty points. Giordano’s regular merchandise can also be purchased online at www.giordano-me. com and will be delivered within 48 hours (UAE only). A Cash-on-Delivery (COD) option is also available for this service.



REGINN PALACIO Reginn is a prolific photography hobbyist who continuously improves his skills through constant research and practice. Armed with a mind that thrives on constant learning, he maintains a healthy sense of curiosity and makes sure that he learns something new about the world every day. He believes that small, incremental improvements can lead to big positive changes. Reginn specializes in film and street photography and is a duly recognized photographer of FIA, having shot at Lemans and Formula 1 Grand Prix. His photography work has been published by numerous publications in Bahrain. One of his photos was even used as cover of a well-known magazine. He has won several photography competitions, the latest of which was the “Flick-a-Trip� photography contest where he bagged the grand prize: an all-expensepaid trip to India for a week-long photo expedition. Reginn, together with his small group, the Bulb Media Group, was also featured in one of the most prestigious magazines in Bahrain for their efforts in reviving film photography in the Kingdom.



LEOGEL LAGARAS Leogel Lagaras is a Kuwait-based architect, photographer, and father of three lovely children. He used to spend all of his free time bonding with his family and playing basketball – until he discovered photography. Leogel realized his interest in photography after his wedding prenuptials. His guests had shown him the event photos that they had taken with their DSLR’s, and he was amazed at the professional-looking results. Shortly thereafter, his wife gave him his very first Nikon camera as a birthday gift. His first shots were of his wife and children, but it did not take him long to muster the confidence to ask friends and acquaintances to be his test subjects. Leogel has a natural knack for portraiture, but his true passion is in landscape photography. He is on a constant quest to use the camera to encapsulate themajesty of nature in one singularly powerful image. He is particularly fond of photographing sunrises and sunsets. As a member and an officer of the Light Benders Photography Group in Kuwait, Leogel is able to further hone his skills by partaking in a shared learning experience with the other members of his community. He looks forward to improving his skills and discovering more opportunities to showcase his passion and talent.



Fashion Favors the Brave: Fearless Forecast for a Bold 2014 Bold logos and quirky typography. Eye-catching embellishments. Tribal prints and textures. Savvy sportswear. Fabulous florals. Mind-bending metallics. 2014 is all about being bold, fearless and transcendent. by NICHOLO JALORES

Trend reports depict a global aesthetic zeitgeist that’s all about taking trusted, well-loved styles and reimagining them in ways that are clever, surprising, and –to some extent— even satirical. This is not the time to be meek and unassuming. In an era when culture is transferred and adopted in the speed of light and opinions are lobbied back and forth at a dizzying rate, even your understatement must be overstated. Illustrado dares you to transform yourself into the scintillating style savant that you deserve to be. We’ve consulted some of the most celebrated Filipino fashion luminaries to chart the way forward to your most stylish year ever. Transcend!

Yen Red AB As always I don’t pay attention to the recurring/prominent trend flow, 2014 for me is about focusing on texture and stretch and I’ll be introducing a pieces-tapered-flared-cut. Moreover, I’m venturing into colors this season in tones of earth, olive, a bit of pink, cocoa-laced over by cream, egg shell and black. Plus, I will also do some solid blocking of either blue or orchid purple to set the whole tone of the look. In a nutshell that’s how I see fashion moving forward – and that’s my whole collection, too!

Digital prints and animal prints are big this year; different versions of lace are au courant for 2014. However, cuts are very important as well. The metal gilded embroidery or metallic treatment is also back this season. Sporty look but cut in couture way will be seen this year and of course, get your shine on with creative crystal embroidery that’s definitely in. Of course we live in Dubai and we all love the glitters.


Photo by Jef Anog

Ezra Santos


Bandoix Flores Nebria

Photo by Jef Anog

For me, it’s all about fine and pure fabric like viscose and Irish lino, flower power in black and white and roses in bold prints this year. Minimalist is the in thing. My forecast is very similar to what Nicolas Ghesquiere would show this February for Louis Vuitton. As usual, my collection always focuses on “classista” values - fluid simplicity in high tailoring is the new black. For the fashionistas in Dubai – my advice is to go simple and classic. Bling should be worn carefully and ever tastefully. Wear real investment pieces not fakes. It’s always more elegant – and you can even take that to the pawnshop – haha!

Paul Herrera Two piece dresses are definitely back. The tops recropped once again and bomber jackets are making their way back in the racks of retail brands. On the other hand, couturiers are doing heavy, sometimes almost ‘gaudy’ beadwork – but in a good way, of course, seeing that the bolder the beads, the better. workable for most complexions. We’ll be setting aside the full blown-feminine-romantic look and make way for opposing trends like menswear touches (tailoring, reworked details from the men’s department, etc) and sporty influences (parkas, sweaters, cropped tops, caps, etc) in unexpected materials in either techno fabrics, lace, metallics or lightweight leathers in either a high fashion execution or as an athlete-off-duty look. Artsy touches will also be felt from unique tribal/global elements (print, fabric, texture or accessory) to street art influences (street graffiti, prints from up-coming artists, etc.) which can be included in your wardrobe as accents or if you’re brazen enough - as a dominant statement shocking look. Choose wisely and don’t be afraid to try intriguing new looks. It should blend with some of your existing wardrobe and most of all, it should make you feel good and comfortable.

Chris Diaz There are a lot of diverse fashion trends out there that’s truly workable for each and every fashionista. Pantone just declared “radiant orchid” as the color of the year; so we’ll be expecting a lot of hues ranging from dusky purples to the softest lilac - quite Photo: StyleBible.PH

As a designer, I don’t believe in trends. So I hesitate to make fashion forecasts. For me, elegance is timeless. To be elegant is to be in, no matter when.

Photo by Herson Nebaya

Cherry Samuya Veric




























FASHION Gold spine suspender RAFAEL BRUNO / 214 DESIGNS










FASHION Leather Neckpiece RAFAEL BRUNO / 214 DESIGNS Black bandeau FOREVER 21












FASHION Leather Neckpiece RAFAEL BRUNO / 214 DESIGNS Silver Bracelets HAATI CHAI Black bandeau FOREVER 21 Black laced panties VICTORIA’S SECRET Skirt CALVIN KLEIN







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

Sweet Cecilia Petersen, is half-Filipina half-Swedish and 100% quirky. You can check her blog online at -

Pretty cool! Janine Elia Khouri shows us how to do effortless, young and fresh style in this ensemble.



For Manila-based accessory designer and “Pokemon trainer” PAUL JATAYNA it’s rock n’ roll with an evil twist. See his other looks at



Lovey-dovey young couple Paul and Criz Aggarao certainly make layering for the cold look fun.

This is how you shop for toys - period. Indie actor and film producer Fe Ging Ging Hyde shows us how’s it’s done Dubai glam style.


Dubai designer SKY ZARRIS MANAPAT always wears funky, one-of-a-kind jackets he’s designed himself. Here he is attending one of Dubai’s many fashion events with a brave yellow number.


We revisit “Avantgardien” ANDRE JUDD’s curious style this month. Check his fashion blog at http://avantgardien.

Khel Recuenco does print-on-print on top of neon kicks in the desert.


ADVERTORIAL Ever tried to keep count of how many times you’ve complained about lack of movement in tight jeans? No matter the price point, the pairs were made to be sturdy, not ultra-comfy. That’s a fact of life, the price we all have to pay to be fashionable. Well, it was.

YOGA JEANS: A NO-ORDINARY GIFT TO THE NEW YOU THIS NEW YEAR Ladies, it’s time to wear the pants! Second Denim, available exclusively at ZINZIN, offers comfy chic jeans to modern, working women.


Second Denim’s ultra comfortable Second Yoga jeans, launching at ZINZIN at Mercato Mall, redefines the perceived limitations of wearing denim. Offering the same flexibility of yoga pants with the sturdiness of conventional denim, Second Yoga jeans are as comfortable as they sound. They able to combine these two essential elements by using top quality denim fibre made of 97% brushed cotton and 3% elasthane, allowing them to hug every curve of the body in any position. Yoga jeans also use denim with 92% shape memory, as opposed to the industry standard of 64%.

with our positioning as a functional boot for city terrain,” said Barney Waters, chief marketing officer of Palladium.

Heritage boot brand Palladium teams up with Major Lazer to debut a music video for the track “Sweat,” featuring Laidback Luke and Miss Dynamite, from the group’s album Free the Universe. The black-lit dance video features Los Angeles-based dance crew The Underground Street Chronicles adorned with neon paints, dancing against a black backdrop. It debuted on November 25, 2013 on

The Underground Street Chronicles wore boots from Palladium’s Fall-Winter 2013 collection. The Pallabrouse Baggy features a stonewashed canvas upper and burnished outsoles to create a vintage aesthetic. The Pampa Sport Cuff WP2 features a waterproof ballistic nylon and leather upper. Additional waterproof details include: waterproof insole boards, waterproof thread for stitching and sealed seams. Both silhouettes maintain traditional Palladium design details, including a rubber toe cap and a durable rubber outsole. Hugging heel cups and padded EVA sockliners provide further durability and comfort.

“When we saw the video treatment with paint flying around in an abandoned building, we knew the concept fit perfectly

Produced in partnership with Palladium, “Sweat” was directed by Ryan Staake of production company Pomp and Clout.


Coming in regular, low and extra low cuts with flared, straight and skinny styles, Second Yoga jeans are perfect for everyday wear, transitioning effortlessly from a busy work day to a relaxed ladies’ night out. Their comfy chic style also makes them a much better wardrobe choice for air travel than velour tracksuits. The Fall Winter 2013 collection of Second Yoga jeans is available at ZINZIN, Mercato Mall in Dubai.




The natural wonders of Utah TEXT & PHOTOS By AL P. MANLANGIT

“So what else shall we see in Utah aside from the Mormons?” asked the son as I spread the road atlas on the hood of the Durango in front of the Caesar’s Palace parking lot in Vegas. “A lot”, I said as I plotted our route on the map. “The parks there will knock your socks off!” But somehow, he seemed unconvinced.

And so we drove straight to Zion National Park 280 kms away through undulating landscapes of bare Nevada desert that skirted a corner of Arizona as well. But what was supposed to be an easy 3-hour drive turned into a 6-hour

ordeal for it started to rain hard as we ascended the mountain passes. The heavy shower turned into sleet which then became heavy snowfall that slowed us down to a crawl. Nonetheless, the stark beauty of the mountainous landscape blanketed in white became a great subject for

photography even if we arrived at our hotel dead tired and shivering from the unexpected wintry conditions!

entire experience quite heavenly. No wonder when the Mormons discovered this place, they called it Zion - meaning “place of refuge”.

Early next morning, the sky was clear and sunlight filtered through the towering mountains in plain view of our bedroom. We loaded up and headed for the park entrance 25 kilometers away paying the requisite $10 entry fee for the car. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking drive I’ve ever had where every curve seemed to open up into new vista that was better than the last. The scenic route which had many tight switchbacks was surrounded by skyhigh cliffs, multicolored sandstone rock formations and 3,000-foot high canyon walls. Contrasting against these were deep-green pine trees, cottonwood groves and moss-filled crevices. Every now and then we had to stop to take pictures and breathe in the fresh air that made the

We parked at the Visitor’s Center and took the shuttle bus that traverses the park’s many geological wonders with names like the Grotto, Weeping Rock, The Great White Throne, the Sentinel and the Temple of Sinawava. You can get down at any of these places and take a hike among numerous trails that branch out into several directions with varying lengths and degrees of difficulty. Hiking through the 2 km long Lower Emerald Pool trail was a moderate exercise which started from the Virgin River and meandered upwards for several meters before leveling off through a dirt path with medium drop-offs. It closely followed the twists and turns of the river before veering off to a higher


PINOY PLANET Stopping at a switchback to admire the view in Mt. Carmel scenic route

Ready to hit the trail

elevation where the towering cliffs of the rock formations enveloped the landscape. There were several lookout points that enabled you to stop, rest and admire the stunning scenery. Then it opened up to a wide vista that had a waterfall cascading down to a pool below which you passed via an overhang that was naturally carved from rock. Then the trail looped back to where we started and we saw a lot of deer feeding on the thick foliage. Another easy walk was the Narrows which had a paved trail. What made it interesting was the sheer rock face of the canyon that rose on both sides squeezing you in till there was nothing much to see but the river below and the sky above. It is supposed to be a long hike which requires you to wade through water but we turned back at the point where we had to remove our shoes since there was no longer any dry land! Heading back to the parking area, we had

Unusual formation in the landscape


the wind whistling in front of us through the narrow space which made the squirrels scamper for what looked like acorns that were rolling and tumbling along the way blown by the sudden gusts. Having spent a whole tiring day outdoors, it was a great relief to be back in the cozy hotel for a hearty dinner of local buffalo ribs and huge loaves of bread. Topped with beer at the balcony while watching the pale moon rising from the top of the mountain peaks, it was a superb repast. Bryce Canyon was our next destination. It was a 137 km drive where, once more, the freakish weather dumped a lot of snow on the road and had us shivering and running straight to the lobby fireplace at the Best Western where we stopped for the night. Miraculously in the morning, we had fine weather as we headed for the park.

There is no place quite like Bryce where the landscape looks otherworldly. You could say it is a natural amphitheater that nature carved from the edge of a plateau whose colorful erosions called “hoodoos” look like sentinels standing in another planetary landscape. Millions of years ago, this part of what is now southern Utah was an inland sea. The sediments deposited at the bottom were exposed when the sea dried up leaving them to be sculpted by ancient rivers and freeze-and-dry weather that cracked the rocks leaving behind these strange and grotesque but also picturesque formations. The process is still going on right now and one day, these formations will all disappear. In the meantime, it is for us to enjoy this world wonder – a 32 km plateau containing several of these amphitheaters of which Bryce is the largest at 19kms long by 5 kms wide. Compared to Zion where you have to look up, here in Bryce you have to look

PINOY PLANET The Virgin River meanders below the Emerald Pool trail

The path of the ancient rivers can still be seen in this deep ravine


PINOY PLANET down to marvel at the view. There are many trails that will take you down to the floor of the hoodoos which is about 250 meters deep but we chose to just walk along the rim for several kilometers. The color and hue of these rocks varies from red to white to vermilion and their shapes vary from castles and cathedrals as well as monks in robes, steeples, spires and even prison walls.

formations, giving rise to delicate arches with colossal sandstone fins, massive balanced rocks and spires all hanging on sheer rock cliffs in a setting that looks primeval with its yellowish/reddish color.

Our imagination ran wild as we sat to rest along the lookout points. It was easy to understand how the ancient Indians have woven stories and legends about this location. The place is also a photographer’s delight. As the day progresses, the light changes and the play of light and shadow gives depth in varying degrees to the different areas of this wonderful landscape.

There are many things one can do there besides admiring the landscape. Aside from hitting various trailheads and the usual rock climbing, you can also do ziplining, horseback riding and canyoneering then go on Hummer safaris, hot air balloon rides and biking. Not content with that, you can also go paddleboarding and river rafting in the waterways that meander around the 76,000 acres. But for lack of time, we just drove around the park, stopping at designated spots where one can drink in the astounding views.

We went to Salt Lake City for a couple of days and enjoyed Mormon hospitality, culture and history before heading south to Arches National Park. Set in the high desert, it is a geological wonderland with the highest concentration of sandstone arches in the world. Erosion once more played a major role sculpting thousands of

Our last stop near the border of Arizona was the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, a sprawling 27,000 square kilometers of semi-autonomous Indian-governed territory. Here, one can visit authentic Indian villages as well as ancient ruins and understand different cultures that are native American before the coming of the

White Man. Aside from that, you can also visit Monument Valley located in the middle of the reservation and easily accessible from Highway 163. A rough, though highly-scenic 17-mile dirt road loops around the major sights starting from the Visitor Center and takes you past eroded buttes and rock spires with descriptive names like Totem Pole, the Mittens and Elephant Butte. They are some of nature’s awe-inspiring monuments standing in the middle of a flat-bottomed valley that have transfixed artists and visitors as well as Hollywood film-makers. John Wayne and director John Ford put this place on the map with classic Western movies like “Stagecoach” and “Fort Apache” - all shot on location here. As we drove south heading for the Arizona border late in the afternoon, I turned to the son who was doing the navigation for me and asked, “So how did you find Utah?” He smiled and replied, “Superb!” Well, I couldn’t agree more.

Double O Arch in Arches National Park

The sign says it all


They call this the Needle

PINOY PLANET The path of the ancient rivers can still be seen in this deep ravine

Nature sculpts its masterpiece on the plains of Navajo Land



Cruisin’ TEXT AND photos by Nikka Sarthou-Lainez

Global wanderer Nikka Sarthou-Lainez sets sail and takes us on a maritime adventure




Traveling could be an indulgence, but it becomes worth it when you spend it with your loved ones. In my recent travel adventure, I boarded a ship with my husband and my whole family, which took us on a four-night cruise along the Asian region. Going on a trip with a large group is totally different from traveling alone or with your special someone, as it entails a lot of planning and coordinating. The entire crew included my mother, my five sisters, brothers-in-law, and my nephews and niece—a couple of which were kids. Finding a common schedule was a challenge itself, and it was the first time that we all traveled together—all 14 of us. The good thing about a cruise is the convenience that it offers. We only have to check-in once and get to visit various destinations in one trip. Our point of embarkation was in Singapore, where the Costa Victoria ship sailed from the Marina Bay Terminal through the Singapore Strait, along the southwest coast of the country. As we set sail, I became excited about this particular travel experience where I would get to visit destinations I haven’t been to before, and at the same time, bond with the rest of my family.

A leisurely day at sea After a good night’s sleep, I woke up to the bright rays of the sun and started

my day with an al fresco breakfast at the top deck. The buffet served a bevy of Asian and Continental dishes, and even vegetarian options. It was convenient that full board and lodging were included in the cruise package because we did not have to bother with paying after every meal, except when we order soda, juice or alcoholic drinks. Other facilities and activities were complimentary as well. We explored the entire ship, as we spent the whole day at sea. My husband and I even did some weight training at the gym and did some rounds at the jogging track. After working out and freshening up, we met up with the rest of the family during dinner, where we enjoyed a three-course meal that left us with satisfied smiles on our faces and full bellies. Who wouldn’t have a full belly after a meal of roast beef, sea bass, and lobsters. Our night did not end after dinner though, as we went straight to the theater to watch the evening show. During our first night, we were treated to a magic show that also entertained the kids. For the adults, there was a simple casino that had some table games and slot machines. Though we were in the ship all day, we were kept occupied by all the activities and events on board. Guests could also choose to use the ship’s basketball court, badminton court, spa, and library. Even the small kids could join a club, which offered child-friendly activities.



A peek at picturesque Phuket What thrilled me most about this trip was the chance to tour the famed island of Phuket, which is Thailand’s largest island. The popularity of the place can be attributed to its world-class beaches that have been featured in foreign films like Phi Phi Island that was featured in the movie called “The Beach”? The ship line offered a tour there but we decided to go on our own adventure and simply walk around Patong Beach, a popular tourist destination that has a lot of resort and restaurant offerings, as well as a vibrant nightlife—or so we heard. Since we had limited time there, we maximized our day trip by indulging in a Thai feast for lunch, getting an authentic Thai massage, and then swimming and sunbathing along Patong Beach; while


the rest of our group checked out the elephant safari and local shopping areas.

A look at languid Langkawi At the next port, the duty-free island of Langkawi in Malaysia, we also opted to do a tour of our own. It was easy to hire a taxi to drive us around the town. We stopped by the Langkawi Geopark but we didn’t have enough time to go on a nature tour and appreciate the beauty of Malaysia’s first established geopark. Instead, we stopped by a few duty-free stores and bought affordable imported goods. A couple of my sisters were able to check out the local beaches where the kids enjoyed frolicking at the shore. It was convenient that we had the choice to either join the ship’s official excursions or go on a tour of our own; we opted for the latter, with no regrets. I learned a lot from this family vacation—from the


pre-planning stage to trying to get along with everyone. Cruising is definitely an experience that I would like to repeat in the near future, and I’m setting my sights on a longer one next time.

Things to bring on a cruise To make your life in the ship more convenient and fun, better pack these items in your luggage: • Sportswear – for when you want to spend your day at the gym while at sea • Swimwear – a must if you want to take a dip in the pool or Jacuzzi • Formal attire – sometimes you need to dress up during formal dinners • First-aid kit – although the ship has an on-board doctor, it’s still best to bring your own medicine for emergencies (e.g. motion sickness, diarrhea, headaches, etc.) • Books, gadgets and games – bring stuff to entertain you and the little ones, especially during days at sea

Cruising dos and don’ts DOs • Read your copy of the daily itinerary to see what’s in store and other news • Chat with crew members to get tips and maybe freebies • Join the fun activities and meet new people

DON’Ts • Bring food or drinks (especially any kind of alcohol) onboard • Be shy to ask about promos on board (e.g. bar promos) • Forget your muster station and other important reminders during any safety briefing or drills conducted by the crew.


COMMUNITY Responding to the call of kababayans back home, this united front sprang into action to organize and set in motion an event where Filipinos in the UAE could give their donations in cash or in the form of relief goods. The one-day event on the 15th of November, was attended by almost 5,000 people – both Filipinos and other nationalities.

FILIPINOS UNITE FOR THE SURVIVORS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA Filipinos in the UAE, coming from various clubs, groups, and communities, recently concluded a charity drive for the benefit of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan). Typhoon Yolanda, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the country struck the Visayas Region of the Philippines on the 8th of November and left massive devastation in its wake.


On November 22, 2013, Filipinos around Dubai flocked to the Dubai Wonderland and Theme Park to raise funds for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda and the recent earthquake in Bohol.


Other activities conducted by volunteers on the day included: a Walk-for-a-Cause, exercise sessions (Zumba, Body Combat, Yoga), an exhibit of artworks, sketches, and printed photos of Filipino artist from around the emirates, photography and videography; games for kids and the whole family, as well as the collection and packing of relief goods. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these events went to relief efforts for Typhoon Yolanda survivors. A total of AED93,195 (equivalent of to about PHP 1.1 Million) was collected through the project and handed over to the United

The charity event was organized by Light Bender Project together with the Pinoy 4X4 Club and was attended by Filipinos and other nationalities who donated both in cash and in kind. The heavy rains that flooded Dubai that morning did not hinder the outpouring of support. A total of AED16,030 (roughly Php176,000) was raised and seven jumbo boxes of assorted goods coming from the generous sponsors like ProLife, GJ Entertainment, Antonoil International and other individual donors. All the donations were channeled to the Philippine Red Cross through the UAE Red Crescent Society. All of the Filipinos that attended are hopeful that all donations in kind and in cash will reach the victims and help them rebuild their lives.

Arab Emirates (UAE) Red Crescent which is working in side-by-side with the Philippine Red Cross. The UAE Red Crescent also managed the USD 10 million donation of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Relief goods collected on the day comprised of new clothes, blankets, slippers, shoes, bags, tents, canned goods, ready-toeat food items, medicines, rice, meal packs, water and juices, toiletries, soap, toothpaste, etc. The donated items were meticulously sorted, segregated and packed. A total of 308 boxes filled with relief items were turned over to the LBC Foundation Dubai for shipment to the Philippine Red Cross.


ABA OPENS 1ST INTER-COMPANY FRIENDLY GAMES The Architects Basketball Association (ABA) recently launched its 1st ever Intercompany friendly games held last Friday at Zayed Bin Sultan Boys School in Dubai. ABA is an organization established in Dubai in 2011, and was recently notarized by the Dubai Court as a Legal Social Club in the UAE. ABA, a non-profit, organization exclusive for Architects, recently opened its doors to fellow professionals and colleagues through the launching of this mini-tournament that saw the participation of major Architectural, Engineering and Construction firms around the emirates.

After the program, 6 teams were drawn to play. The 1st game was won by 3D over BONDS, 2nd game saw AMANA defeat AECOM Abu Dhabi while HOPKINS pounded on AECOM Dubai to wrap up the night.

The opening ceremony was hosted by the ABA Founding Chairman- Arch. Josh Claveria, and saw the eager participation of eight companies - AECOM Dubai, AMANA, 3D Design, ATKINS, AECOM Abu Dhabi, BONDS Interiors, HOPKINS and U+A and EO.

The month long games are being held every Thursday night, 7pm onwards at Zayed Bin Sultan gym in Satwa. For more information, email abauae@yahoo. com or contact Arch. Josh Claveria 0567294582.

As explained by Claveria, “ABA acts as a venue for continued interaction among Architects and fellow professionals through the sport whilst maintaining its heartfelt commitment to the society through charity works, social drives and community awareness programs.”

COUTURE CHRISTENS CAFE’S OPENING The very much-awaited opening of the chic and fashionable cafe, FTV Fashion Cafe in Boulevard Dubai Downtown took place last 06 December. The event drew a myriad of fashionable individuals with local and international VIPs. The city’s most noteworthy fashionistas were all in full attendance.

The glamorous opening ceremonies included a fashion show which featured couture clothing with a fine art spin. Sculpted pieces adorned with painted prints and beautiful bold brushstrokes marched down the cafe runway showing off the latest trend for Spring 2014, designed, and styled by world-class Filipino designer Benj Uy, of the Donaco House of Couture.




“...Ine-expect nyo ba pag Jamie Rivera puro worship worship?” she quipped and smiled when I told her that she has exceeded expectations on her super performance last night.She brought the house down at Al Nasr Leisureland! It seems like we’re on for a great treat when she opened the show with Somewhere followed by a hearty medley of her timeless


Time flies when you are having fun. I can’t believe that 2013 is over. Why don’t we all start 2014 fashionably and more gorgeous than ever with these resolutions? 1. Invest in good skincare products. Good doesn’t mean expensive. There are numerous drugstore skincare products that give awesome results. Make sure that you read about the products before purchasing them.


romantics, Hey It’s Me, I’ve Fallen For You and Pangarap Ka Na Lang Ba. It was beyond great, apparently. She belted a Miss Saigon song I’d Give My Life For You, and later was joined on stage by her special guest Jeffrey Hidalgo for the duet Sun and Moon from the Broadway musical. Jamie also gracefully grooved to folk songs like Manang Biday, Atin Cu Pung Singsing, Dahil Sa ‘Yo, and Waray-Waray. That part of the show was very refreshing. It was pandemonium when she rocked a 10-minute Pinoy 80’s medley which included Manila, Panahon Na Para Magsaya, Annie Batumbakal, Beh Buti Nga, Bongga Ka Day, Rock Baby Rock and Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko. Despite security measures, she was able to come closer to the audience and the ice rink became a dance floor.

The mood turned solemn when Jamie sang The Jubilee Song and Only Selfless Love, followed by an emotional Heal Our Land. Graphics of the earthquake and wrath of typhoon Yolanda on screen left many in the audience teary-eyed. Before her last piece, she announced that a significant part of the proceeds will go to relief efforts for the victims and survivors of the calamities. Indeed, content is king. It wasn’t the stage, not the venue, not the props. It’s what the performers gave the audience! Follow Ion Gonzaga - http://www.boydubai. com/ or on Twitter @ionGonzaga

In addition to her remarkable hits, her surprising sense of humor gave colorful life to the show. She also shared how overjoyed she was to perform for her kababayans. Her charming and ageless personality on stage gave warmth to the audience who mostly are (literally) seated above a carpeted ice rink.

2. Don’t limit yourself to high street brands when shopping for clothes. Check out discount stores for amazing finds and mix and match with your designer items. Remember that dressing up in designer from head to toe doesn’t mean you are a good dresser. Sometimes it just means that you have money. 3. Want natural looking make-up? Buy foundation during daytime and apply your make up facing natural light. 4. Try to achieve balance when dressing up. When you show a bit of cleavage, try to have a conservative hemline and vice versa. 5. Want to look fresh but don’t have time to do your make up? Apply concealer on your dark circles. Curl your lashes, apply pink or

red lipstick on your cheeks and blend! Follow Anna – www.annadeleonmuastylist.


LIFE AS A FASHION BLOGGER By Christina Linaza – Dubai, UAE

Hello world! My name is Cristina and I am a fashion blogger based in Dubai. My blog is called Yes, currently living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, gives me a huge advantage to document everything that I love to do! Shooting outfits is one of them, which is fun to do while I get to enjoy fantastic views and iconic places. And since I am a converted photographer, it’s a routine for me to showcase my photography skills, all the time! Being inspired with beauty and magazine fashion editorials drove me to practice and master that field, and eventually, led to my other career as a fashion blogger.

AND FAITH INTERVENED By Rian Miranda – Riyadh

“Lord, do you want me to leave?” I anxiously prayed 10 days before my intended brief vacation. I have applied on the 1st of December 2013 for a Commonwealth Country tourist visa to join my better half at his company’s annual convention and I was informed that it will take six weeks, plus 13 non-working days in lieu of the Christmas and New Year holidays. My heart sunk. That was three days before my tentative departure – January 15. If I get my visa that day, I still need to apply for my exit-reentry pass in KSA, pay my ticket that’s been long overdue (and I’m worried about a penalty) and shop a little. How can all that happen on such short notice, Father?” Then I felt a sense of calmness came over me and

Aside from my camera, mobile and my

HP Spectre XT Touchsmart notebook are very important gears of my job and as a blogger. With all this, I can blog anytime and anywhere.

I enjoy doing what I do. My working relationship with fellow bloggers is also important. It gives me such a pleasure collaborating with them on projects.

Part of my job, being a fashion photographer and a fashion blogger at the same time, is to visit fashion events where I meet interesting people such as the best local fashion designers. Getting to interview them and hear them talk about their inspirations and new collections are some of the best perks

And so, this is my life, from concepts and planning to execution and finally blogging!

decided to leave all my worries to God’s will. January 9, 2013, it’s been seven weeks and still no clear update. The embassy must have been sick and tired of my follow-ups after their holiday break. I was panicking and ready to give up. But my man asked me to be more optimistic and keep on praying. Three days later, I received a confirmation from the centre – my visa’s done and ready for pick up! I said a prayer of gratitude and apologized for my lack of faith. I bought my ticket the next day with a 15 % discount, and my exit-reentry pass was issued. Guess when? January 15. Everything was done at just the right date.

Follow Cristina at

end of your predicament. That is faith, and that is very powerful. Pray for the wisdom to see the purpose of your discomfort and the blessings behind your difficulty. May your 2014 be your year filled with sensational blessings!

Another one of life’s lessons for me. When we are struggling with challenges, it is up to us to decide whether it is a punishment or a blessing. Whatever negative situation you are in right now, pause for a while and think of the prize that is waiting for you at the



Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita By ABY YAP

A lot has been said lately about the strength of the Filipino spirit, the resilience of our race. Thanks to the international media who came to the Philippines for a first-hand coverage of the Yolanda aftermath, we’re not only popular now as a nation of beauty (Miss Universe/ World/International/Supranational/Tourism) and brawn (One word: Pacman.) but also a birthplace of Superhumans. That one day, Stan Lee will predictably turn up here to see for himself how anyone who has just lost their home and almost died in the storm could still manage to smile in front of a camera. If dealing with tragedy that remarkably well isn’t an extraordinary skill, we don’t know what is.



So, what’s the secret? Well, we aren’t Pinoy Henyo for nothing. With everything that has been thrown our way— Spanish/Japanese/American takeovers, People Power 1/2/3, Martial Law, coup d‘etats, wars in Mindanao, typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, elections and thereafter, pollution, corruption, poverty, traffic, the jologs, Janet Napoles— we’ve come to master the art of coping with headaches and heartaches (following Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief). Not surprisingly. HERE’s HOW WE DO IT: Denial Bonnevie As in showbiz’s “we’re just friends,” we cannot—must not—acknowledge reality yet. That would be anti-climactic. Besides, it’s quite hard to digest that someone would have the stomach to steal ten billion pesos from you and me, and stash some of that cash in a bathtub. Which leads to an even more mind-boggling question: how enormous is that bathtub? It’s such a shocking tale we can’t believe this is happening in real life. Is it a side-effect of eating too much pork? Fortunately, we have Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to drag us out of this denial stage to get to the bottom of the truth: who Sexy, Pogi, and Tanda are.

Kairita Avila to Angerson Cooper The sleeping guy seated next to you has his head on your shoulder and it’s not exactly dandruff-free. The driver is playing his Metallica collection so loudly you can’t even hear your own thoughts. And the jeepney is moving at a snail’s pace through rush hour. Now, these people are absolutely irritating. But to go through this nearly every single day of our lives as a working class citizen because we have to pay the bills deserves our anger. Especially when we know deep inside that we can’t do anything about the traffic. Well, we can always choose to take the MRT and experience what it’s like to be canned sardines.

Tiyangge Mode Feeling helpless? We might as well make use of our Videoke talent and belt out “Kung maibabalik ko lang…” a la Regine Velasquez, so we could undo the present—even if only in our minds. If only we had skipped watching Wowowee, there would be fewer jologs. If only we hadn’t forwarded Erap jokes, there would be no People Power 3. Or, we could try our luck with the Universe and do a little bargaining since we’re known experts at it anyway. Please, Universe, don’t send another earthquake to Bohol -- we haven’t booked a piso fare for a photo-op with the remaining Chocolate Hills. We badly want it for our cover photo.

Anabelle Drama It’s the entire gamut of negative vibes: Haggardo Versoza, Stress Drilon, Bitter Ocampo, Imbyernadette Sembrano, etc. We keep reminding everyone to vote wisely during elections, but it’s the same trapo surnames that come up in the winning roster each time. Father then, mother now, children soon. The cycle has been too exhausting and stressful that we’ve become cynical, resentful, and depressed about our government officials. And, dong, we have every valid reason to be. Let us wallow in our misery and we’ll pull ourselves together in due time. If you want to help us out, just be serious about never electing clowns, action stars, plagiarists, and publicity hoggers ever again. That’s a pinkie promise.

Acceptance with a Smiley Cyrus Okay, natural and manmade disasters might have wrecked us. So, be it. Amen. There’s nothing for us to do but move on, and nowhere for us to go but forward— despite being Afraidy Aguilar or scared of what’s going to happen next. We’ll just take it all with a smile, have a selfie shot, and post it on Facebook along with an emo, er, inspirational quote. We can even share jokes or a funny meme about it, and laugh at this predicament together. If megastar Sharon Cuneta hasn’t given up on her battle against the bulge for who knows how long now, why would we stop enjoying life including its ups and downs? Especially when we have it in us to do a Winnie Cordero (i.e. to win) and never a Luz Valdez (i.e. to lose). After all, Pinoys are Superhumans. We’ll rise no matter what and crush any adversity to bits.


ILLUSTRADO Magazine Jan 2014  

Championing the World Class Filipino - Lifestyle, fashion, people and places Filipino expat lifestyle from around the world