Helping the Filipino Flourish Global Vision,Native Soul Publisher & Editor Lalaine Chu-Benitez Associate Editor Ina Elle Crisostomo Creative Consultant Mon Benitez Art Director Paula Lorenzo Contributing Writers Philippines Carlito Viriña David Llorito Cesar Viriña Mike Martin Jan La’O David Poarch Czar Viriña
International Filipino has Arrived...
United Arab Emirates Maripaz Febrero Giselle Estrada Dawn Almario Sonny de Guzman Antonella Andrada United Kingdom Cecile Samson-Aquino Contributing Photographers Philippines Ben Chan United Arab Emirates Pot Ph Mac Antonio Joel Guerrero Contributing Stylists Zekundo Chu Advertising & Retail Sales Michael Maguigad PUBLISHER Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2 P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Dubai Media City, U.A.E. Tel: +9714 365 4543 Fax: +9714 360 4771 Email: email@example.com Website: illustrado.net DISTRIBUTORS Emirates Printing Publishing & Distribution Co. Dubai Media City, U.A.E.
PRINTER Rashid Printing Press Ajman, U.A.E. Annual Subscriptions: UAE, Gulf and International Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Illustrado Communications 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC.
Thank You for Welcoming Illustrado!
EDITORS’ NOTE It takes only one earnest aspiration to find the voice of a reticent community... only one unselfish deed to shift our gears from ‘crab mentality’ to kabayanihan... and it takes only one brave act, albeit a small one, to start the wheels of positive change moving.
It takes only ‘One’… Dear Illustrados, thank you for the outpouring of support on the first issue of Illustrado – The Magazine for the International Filipino. That many of you have expressed that Illustrado captured your feelings and verbalized the aspirations of so many of us – the need for uplifment and recognition of the Filipinos, is truly an amazing honor, and a great responsibility that we are committed to. Illustrado is all about ‘enlightenment’. It is about embracing global values learned as International Filipinos. It is about looking at our kababayans and our community in a more positive, supportive and generous light – ‘tayo’ versus ‘ako’, ‘sila’ or ‘kami’. And most importantly, it is about going the distance, taking a courageous leap, while breaking the shackles of timidity, small thinking, and socio-economic labels, to better our lives – in essence, contributing our own individual acts of bravery and selflessness to set the wheels of positive change in motion. Beyond that, Illustrado is about celebrating our achievements and what makes us uniquely ‘Pinoy’ – qualities that have bonded us to our homeland, and endeared us to the other appreciative non-Filipino members of this ‘global village’ we live in, as well as building our confidence and reveling in our national pride. This month’s issue pays tribute to the women of the Philippines - our fair kababayans whose beauty, spirit and love for family are known the world over. You will also read in these pages that hope is ‘alive and kicking’ in our country, inspite of the bad news that surround us. Issue two also welcomes new columns which make for interesting reading – one chronicles the return of a young Filipino-American to his birthplace in the Philippine countryside, another delves into Pinoy hobbies and obsessions, and a very timely one is devoted to spreading the concept of ‘kabayanihan’ within our community. On leisurely pursuits, we take you from shopping, to food and entertainment, to ‘gimmicking’ here and in Manila, to the backstreets of Cairo, and to the throbbing nightlife of Bora, down to a haunted holiday one of our writers unfortunately found himself in - just in time for your Todos Los Santos ‘Pinoy fright night’ mood. Read at your own risk! During Illustrado’s inaugural event, our esteemed Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Libran Cabactulan, in his speech stated, “I’m proud of the young people behind this magazine…and even more proud of all the Filipino expats around the world whose contributions, economic and otherwise, have helped spur a positive image for the Philippines.” To which, we ask you - what is your own contribution today, be it big or small, material, spiritual or aspirational, that will help enrich the Filipino experience? My kababayans, it only takes one….
Taas Noo Filipino! Lalaine Chu-Benitez Publisher/ Editor
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR I got hold of your magazine here at the Dubai International Airport. I am currently working at DHL and am assigned at the Duty Free Shop floor, which is the best place to hear stories from fellow Filipinos who were fooled into coming to Dubai by non-other than our kababayans. Life back home has hit the roof with all the struggles of being jobless, trying to make ends meet. But does that give our kababayans here in Dubai the right to take advantage of these poor fellows? I was relieved to find your feature DUBAI: THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE. It is best that as Filipinos working here in Dubai, we should shed some light on the misconception our kababayans have that Dubai is a haven, as portrayed in the movie. Since that movie was shown, we have seen a lot of Filipinos here in the airport who were held due to fake visas, illegally recruited poor kababayans.
A SMALL LEAP CREATES GREAT MILESTONES! What an ingenious move to put pride where pride is due. There are successful Filipinos in the U.A.E. who deserve to be recognized. Not only will readers be enlighted by this medium, but it can also be a significant tool for encouraging Filipinos in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates. I only wish for the success of this adventure! Bravo! Loubert Claudio, New Jersey, U.S.A. Good day to the brains and bones of Illustrado. I'm currently unemployed in Dubai. In my deep thinking, I happen to notice your issue in one of my friend's drawer. An avid reader that I was, I found myself flipping the good pages until I lost track of time. For an instant, I felt I was back in my room back in Pinas.
T make the story short, since you have the means to reach people, I suggest that To you come up with more real-life stories, not to discourage Filipinos to come here, but, at least, to encourage them to be careful in dealing with people who are pretending to help them, especially when there's a huge sum involved. Maybe you can come up with a feature that highlights the dos and don’ts of coming to Dubai especially the financial aspect, to end all this panloloko. I tell you, one kababayan's plight should be more than enough, but imagine I heard three of the worst stories! I told myself, it shouldn't end at listening. I should do something...and this is my first step. Let us help one another. And isn’t that the best high ever? Regards, Donna Maria, DHL - Dubai Airport I got a copy of your Inaugural Issue. What a lovely presentation! It is an issue which is eye catching and will keep you reading and turning pages. What can I say? After almost 20 years in Dubai, this is the only time I can honestly vouch for my kababayans who made this magazine with class. It’s mind-reaching, down-to-earth, considerate, informative, intelligent and enlightening! Congratulations! Mabruk! Saludo ako sa inyo! Bravo! Agouri! To all of you who made this whole thing possible.
You give justice to the line "TAAS NOO FILIPINO".
You have shown some of our assets back home - things I can always be proud of the CPP, the modern ternos, famous Filipinos, the elegant Manila Hotel. Pinoy Trivia - Know your Country, Filipinisms - it's really fun to hear once again “You know you're a Filipino if... ” My half-Filipino daughter, who is 9 yrs old, was laughing when she was reading it because those were what she noticed. Oh yes, and she would love to send her photograph to be part of the International Filipino.
Thank you for the time, Hero Hernandez, Dubai
Again, best wishes and all the best! I am proud of you! Elizabeth Peleo-Barakat, Dubai
Congratulations on the launch of this new magazine! I like the cover of your initial issue. I am sure this will help all Filipinos to be proud that they are Pinoys. Hazel, Abu Dhabi
FOR A CHANGE, A MAGAZINE THAT DOESN’T UNDERESTIMATE OUR INTELLIGENCE!
That was a damn good read. I'm wondering how I can be a part of it.
Hi Lalaine! I’m so happy to know about this. Dito sa Canada yung mga Pinoy newspapers sometimes are not so good, because naka-headline puro masasamang balita about our country. It's great na meron kayong ganito. MABUHAY ANG PINOY! Good luck sa inyong magazine. Jon Barros, Toronto, Canada Bagay na bagay ang title na ILLUSTRADO! It says it all....ang ganda talaga and so uplifting!! Thank you very much. Regards, Aurora Aguilar-Cruz -Dubai It is about time we Pinoys assert our ‘ka-Pinoy-an’ and embark on putting an end to the crippling heritage of smallness!!! Iyen Carasig-Katipunan,Vallejo, California, USA
Thank you for giving us something to read with substance and soul. Who says that Filipinos only like to read gossip and scandals? Nakaka-uplift talaga ang Illustrado! It feels good to finally have a magazine that we can be proud of. Josie Perez, Ajman I was given a copy of your Inaugural Issue and read the column of Maripaz Febrero featuring Famous Filipinos. Let us make a concerted effort to introduce Patricia Evangelista’s prize-winning speech. I was inspired by the content of her message. My tears fell when I read her speech. Thanks and more power! Artemio Baldesancho,Dubai Hi Illustrados, Your magazine was a pleasant surprise! Very relevant and world class. It features the best of the Filipinos and real issues we face in this part of the world... I’m proud to show it to my foreign colleagues. I love your Vision Statement; “HELPING THE FILIPINO FLOURISH” very promising! Keep bringing better images and uplifting news, we need more positivity in our community. One of my Arab colleagues said, “We should be doing the same for our community…” Positively Proud Pinoy, Mark Nakpil, Dubai Media City
Sonny de Guzman
U.P. Literature graduate and Marcomm professional, Ina is a non-militant activist of sorts, a relentless advocate of the ‘pay it forward’ mantra and Filipino national-pride. Through her involvement with Illustrado, Ina hopes to promote the indomitable spirit and potential of an ‘enlightened’ Filipino. And dreams that one day, “every Filipino will have no cause to be ashamed of who they are”.
“I am a scavenger for beauty and art in mundane everyday things.” That’s how cryptic photographer extraordinaire Pot Ph describes himself in a very modest way. Freelancer Pot’s impressive works have been featured in prestigious Philippine and international titles. He has to his credit a wide-ranging portfolio, which span commercial, fashion, industrial and food photography. “It’s how you see the beauty in the ordinary which makes the greatest difference.”
Ina Elle Crisostomo
Former AdPhoto Philippines hotshot, Mac Antonio is a seasoned photographer with an excellent command of varying subjects ranging from commercial, to fashion, to food photography. Mac, a consummate artist, works as a Junior Art Director for the Gulf’s leading multinational advertising agency, and has to his credit, no less than four Digital Artist of the Year Awards from the International Design Network (IDN) Club, Philippines.
Illustrado’s first non-Filipino contributor Japanese Hiro Arai is a photographer and movie actor who starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed film Empire of the Sun. Hiro is currently based in Cairo and travels around the Middle East and North Africa, capturing images of Arab Culture. He has to his credit exhibitions in Cairo and Tokyo, the book Portraits of the Arab World, as well as the new film Fairy Tale Story of Sand which was filmed in Egypt by Japanese director Yukinari Hanawa.
Young Filipino-American David Poarch was raised in the US and has impeccable educational credentials, which include a full Ivy League college scholarship, Mensa international qualifications, top high school graduate honors from the State of Texas, and a two-year NASA Johnson Space Center apprenticeship. David has recently left behind the ‘American Dream’ to find his roots, and eventually, himself in the Philippines. “I am trying to find what it is I am meant to do in life. My heart tells me that my purpose lies within the Philippines.”
Beach babe ‘Budeng,’ as her family and friends fondly call her, was a La Salle Benilde sports hero – a highly awarded swimmer (WNCAA and NCR region) and Benilde’s 2003 Outstanding Athlete of the Year. These days, Joanna spends her energy and creativity working as a Junior Art Director for a leading ad agency in the Gulf, and has enthusiastically contributed distinct design elements to enliven Illustrado’s second issue.
According to Sonny de Guzman, one major highlight in his trigger-happy life is when he held the world’s top phlogger position for two weeks in March 2004. This quirky Senior Art Director, who created famous ad campaigns for San Mig Beer, Globe Telecoms, Coke and Sprite in the Philippines, is a certified Pinoy pop culture junkie who loves Sampaguita and LVN movies. Sonny shares his penchant for Pinoy kitsch and trivia in his humorous features in Illustrado.
Pinoy Planet contributor Jun Tacio is an IT Project Manager for a leading multinational healthcare pharmaceutical company, who dreams of involvement in projects to help prepare our future generation of leaders, scientists, and entrepreneurs who would take the Philippines out of poverty. Currently based in Cairo, Jun, was a former resident of Saudi Arabia and originally hails from Mayantoc, Tarlac. Second only to his meticulous professional obsession for fending-off worms and viruses lurking in the recesses of his company's local IT network, Jun has an unmistakable fixation for pinakbet, sorbetes and Jessica Zafra’s brand of humor.
Giselle Estrada is an experienced ad copywriter and freelance writer, with a distinct curiosity for Filipino-oriented issues. For Illustrado, Giselle looks into Filipiniana and articles relevant to Pinoy expat life. Whenever possible, Giselle loves to travel and see different places, immersing herself in the local culture. She professes, “It’s great to see other parts of the world but South East Asia is still the most happening and happy place in the planet!”
Features To Whiten or not to Whiten, That is the Question The Movement of Hope
Of Pinay Wives and Mixed Marriages From Coco Chips to Microchips Blonde & Blue Eyes
Columns Famous Filipinos
19 Coconuter: The Journey Begins 43 Wish You Were Here 44 Usapang Kanto: Bakit Pinay pa rin? 49 Love, Pinoy-Style: PDA – Cool or Yuck? 54 The Annie B. (Batobalani) Chronicles 57 Kabayanihan: Ipasa Mo, Kaibigan.
Bb. Pilipinas 2004 First Runner-Up Tracy Javelona shines kayu manggi charm to the Filipino community as Illustrado’s secon issue cover girl. Tracy, a full-blooded Bacoleña, says that the b thing about being a Filipina is being beautiful inside and out.
Fashion & BeautyPeople & Places 20 Kayumanggi Beauty Tips 27 Gandang Kayumanggi
Illustrado Profile: Pinoy Biker Brothers Buhay Pinoy
40 Bakasyon Grande: Boracay After Dark 46 Bakasyon Grande: Haunted Holiday 48 In Praise of ‘Filipina’: A Tribute to the Manila Tripping: Bed 50 Pinoy About Town: Hips Don’t Lie 51 Filipino Woman 32 Pinoy Trivia: Know Your People 42 Pinoy Planet: At Home in Cairo 52 The Etymology of the Illustrado Launch 58 Pinoy Language 56 Illustrado Face of the Month: Jan La’ O 61
Filipiniana Arts & Culture
Food, Shopping & Entertainment Food: Where’s the Beef? Hilig Pinoy: RCs
63 Sitti Navarro: OPM’s Bossa Babe 66 Another Eigenmann 67 Manila’s Hot Releases 68 Shopping: Accessories – Bags 101
Almost Filipino: Louis Paul Heussaff
To whiten or not to whiten? That is the question. By Lalaine Chu-Benitez
Photography When a by lotJoelofGuerrero Caucasians are spending money and effort to achieve, what to them is the elusive golden tan, why are we Filipinos, who are naturally blessed with this color, trying to be fair instead?
Not so long ago, on holiday in the Philippines, I remember how people used to remark at how fair and beautiful our balikbayan skin was. They would say, “Wow, galing abroad, mukhang PX”, referring to your skin made paler by round-the-clock air-conditioning. A complete turnaround has happened in the last couple of years, however. Now, it is the people back home who have become amazingly fairer than the balikbayans. Now they are the ones saying “Bakit ang itim mo? Gumamit ka nga ng Magic Cream!” What’s going on? Has the Philippines stepped into a Twilight Zone where almost everybody is mestiza, or have we changed nationalities overnight? Brown People Gone White Being a noveau mestiza is so current culture
that you see the ‘now fair ones’ everywhere and anywhere – on TV and magazines, celebrities like Claudine Barreto, Kristine Hermosa, Regine Velasquez et. al., once kayumangging kaligatan now whiter, some of them ‘ghostlier’. You see ‘white Pinays’ posing side-by-side Natalie Portman or Alicia Silverstone on the billboards in EDSA. The ‘coño kids’ and yuppies strolling around Greenbelt, and the unassuming college girls, once archetypal ‘brown barrio lasses’, who throng the plazas in the probinsya, are now mostly fair. Whether they look ‘mestiza-white’ or ‘Korean-white’, light, radiant or fair, one thing is clear, we are brown people trying to look like somebody else. Not that there is a problem with the aspiration to improve one’s God-given looks. However, the problem is the skin color obsession that we seem to have built up
FEATURE over the years, and that this obsession is creating a bias towards our own. In a conversation with a little girl in the Philippines, I was stunned to realize that the obsession has crept into our value system. When asked what she would want to be when she grows up, the girl confidently remarked, “Pag laki ko, gusto kong maging maputi, kamukha ni Heart Evangelista (starlet du jour who is of partly Chinese descent).” Ask a guy what his dream girl would be like and a very common answer would be, “Ang gusto ko lang na girlfriend ay yung maputi.” Invariably, we have come to favor, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the ones with fair skin. Have we become some sort of racist to our own kind? As a consequence of this bias, we are also aggravating our own native insecurities. The argument goes that if all the beautiful people on TV and on the streets are white, and if media is extolling the virtues of whiteness, then our native color kayumanggi is not good enough. Indeed, powered by big advertising bucks, the media is feeding the obsession. More than Just Skin Deep If we were to believe what media tells us, the girl who is maputi is the one who is classy or rich – kutis mayaman. It is the ‘fair-skinned’ one who gets the guy and the privilege to marry into money. The one who is ‘shining fair’ is the most beautiful, and that whiteness is perfection. In something so surreal it could only happen in the Philippines, Kris Aquino is featured in a cosmetic ad saying “Ang tunay niyang mga kulay,” while on the other hand, she promotes a papaya soap brand so “women in the country can now have white skin like hers”, not their own. When Filipina women like Gloria Diaz, Melanie Marquez, Chat Silayan, Miriam Quiambao, and Precious Lara Quigaman to name a few, are internationally known and admired for their natural exotic kayumanggi beauty, why is the majority of our people so fixated on whiteness? Perhaps the answer lies at the heart our inferiority complex, a bi-product of our colonial mentality. From being labelled in deragotary terms by our ‘white’ colonizers (as Indios during the Spanish era, and ‘natives’ under the Americans), it has somehow been ingrained in our psyche that being white means having power, preference and privilege. The head of planning and strategy at Splash Cosmetics, Noel Manucom, confirms this conclusion, “ The quest for beauty may also be perceived as a quest for social equality. Filipinos, especially those in the C and D
(classes), are still influenced by their colonial mentality that white skin and a tall nose are what those in high society have. They may not be able to afford to have their nose done, but the desire to have fairer skin can be met by buying skinwhitening products." According to the company, they mainly cater to the C and D income classes, who are the biggest consumers of skin care products, not the matrons of Forbes Park, Dasma and Alabang. Another theory, as seen in the US recession, would have it that when consumers feel less than confident about the future, they stay away from major purchases and tend to buy small, comforting indulgences such as lipstick, or in our kababayans case, the ultimate feel-good buy – whiteners. Could it be that our national depression is fuelling the fastest growing segment of the Personal Consumption Expenditure of the Philippine GDP? Or perhaps it is just plain and simple human nature - that we are never happy with what we have? Look at all these Caucasians who are grilling themselves under the hot sun just to achieve the tanned look, which we seem to abhor so much. Mestiza, Kayumanggi or Café Au Lait? Certainly, there is virtue in improving our physical assets. However, we should not allow improvement to turn into consuming vanity and obsession, and then discrimination. We cry foul when we are subjected to any racial slur and say “Bakit porke’t Pinoy ako?”, we should therefore not cause our kababayans to say to us “Bakit porke’t maitim ako?”. At this day and age when media wields its omnipresent influence, we should not allow it to confuse us with stereotypes – defining class and clout by color and sabotaging our self-esteem if we are less than fair. Beauty is all about attitude, confidence and loving oneself. It has nothing to do with skin color, the shape of one’s nose, and certainly, whether one’s armpits are dark or white. Tracy Javelona, our cover girl, states “I grew up in the Philippines with an inferiority complex because I am kayumanggi. Things changed when I started traveling to Europe. In Europe, you feel like you’ve got a spotlight following you on the streets. I get a lot of attention because they love our color. And I’m going to stay that way.” So the question remains, should we ‘whiten’ or not? Perhaps, Michael Jackson can answer us on that.
White is Big Business According to industry experts, the Philippine skincare industry, fuelled largely by the skin-whitening category, is expected to be worth PHP22 billion in 2007, growing aggressively every year. This is indeed an interesting but peculiar phenomena, considering that this is happening in a country suffering from a widespread deterioration of living standards, and where, according to a 2005 survey of the Social Weather Stations, 49% of the population rated themselves impoverished and 17% as hungry. Manila Inquirer’s Tony Lopez wrote, “Plain housewives and domestic helpers will complain about the high cost of electricity and jeepney fare, but not of skin whiteners, especially the ones derived from green papaya.”
The Movement By Ina Elle Crisostomo Photography by Lisa Cruz
Is there hope for the Philippines? We all know that a lot of our fellow Filipinos can give an answer to this question faster than the speed of a one-letter text message. T
he interesting thing is if one is to answer in the negative, like “wala na”, it is likely that the conversation will just end there; but try answering in the affirmative (“meron pa”), and you will find yourself embroiled in a sticky debate, either with yourself, or with someone else. Many studies confirm that much of this argument stems from an instinctive lack of trust in the government to provide tangible and sustainable solutions. But can a country lying in the marsh of corrupt politics, weak economy, widespread poverty, relentless skilled workers’ migration, and deteriorating global image, rise above it all? From where we stand now, it’s easy to see that we will never see radical changes. But there’s a drift… something of a ‘slow burn’ towards sustained empowerment…borne out of a seething and desperate will to put our fate into our own hands.
Beacons of hope During the martial law years, there were just over a thousand NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) operating in the country, mostly perceived as left-leaning and communist-oriented by a repressive rule. The advent of the ‘People Power’ Revolution of EDSA in 1986 opened a gush of freedom and catapulted NGOs to a legitimate place in the socio-political life of the country. By 1995, these non-profit groups have ballooned to a staggering 60,000 in number and became popularly known as ‘civil society organisations’ (CSOs)
due to its growing diversity and involvement in broad fields such as community-based organisations, social movements, faith-based institutions, disabled persons organizations, charitable organizations, media, research centers, foundations, student organizations, professional organizations, and many others. Recent estimates place the total of local CSOs to about 80,000 and growing, probably the highest in South East Asia. Behind this is a mammoth labor resource, consisting of some of the best, the brightest, and most enlightened, within the Philippine CSO community. Civil society was described by one expert as “the arena wherein which people come together to pursue interests they hold in common – not for profit or for the exercise of political power, but because they care enough about something to take collective action in the public arena.” Civil society raises awareness of key issues in order to influence policy and decision-making. International surveys demonstrate a trend toward greater public trust in CSOs than governments or for-profit organizations. The annual Edelman Trust Barometer and the World Bank’s Voices of the Poor study have found that CSOs outpace governments, businesses and the media in public confidence, and are perceived as credible sources of information, trusted by the poor more than political leadership to address their needs. Civil society organizations have become important channels for delivery of social services, especially in areas where government capacity is weak or non-existent.
Heroes among us The last two decades have seen the emergence of many distinguished and successful CSOs in the Philippines, most of which address key areas like poverty, education and socio-cultural issues. Organisations like Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity are not only building homes for the poor, but are creating livelihood opportunities to sustain the right of every Filipino to decent housing; Ang Bagong Pinoy Movement, an on-line community inspired by Alexander Lacson’s best-selling book 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country, is amongst the many dynamic portals that promote good citizenship “one Filipino at a time”; Rock Ed Philippines, an association of artists and educators dedicated to raising socio-cultural awareness in the youth sector through school tours and ‘pop ed’- i.e music, media and art; there’s Children’s Hour, Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation and Synergia, firm advocates of every Filipino child’s right to better education; and ACHIEVE (Actions for Health Initiative), a leading action group actively involved in protecting migrant workers from risk of AIDS. The list is endless…the opportunities created are boundless.
so-called intellegentia - “The greatest tragedy that we are experiencing now is that our people have lost their capacity to dream. This is at the root of our poverty. This is not about the poor being hopeless, because they have long learned to cope with hopelessness. What is alarming is the hopelessness that has seeped into the psyche and into the spirit of the rich, the educated and the working middle class. Many of them are leaving and their children are also thinking of leaving. We are losing the critical sector that has the aspirations, the drive and the expertise to lead the majority who do not have the confidence or the resources to initiate change.”
Lighting your own candle
As International Filipinos who live in an increasingly globalised and challenging workplace, hope for our country is the one thing that can genuinely reconnect us with who we really are as Filipinos. It is also the vital thing, that when lacking, can alienate us even more from each other.
In one of his lectures, Antonio Meloto, Executive Director of Gawad Kalinga and 2006 Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership, lamented the departure of a large number of the
For many of us who share this sentiment, but still made the difficult choice of leaving our country for better opportunities, the ability to initiate change or sustain hope is not limited to geography…like the illustrados of old, we can spur new ways of thinking and doing things for the betterment of our beleaguered nation, from wherever we may be.
Taas Noo Filipino!
Ashok and Mila Thomas
OF PINAY WIVES
&MIXED MARRIAGES By Giselle Estrada Photography by Joel Guerrero
Statistics say that the Philippines’ top export is migrant labor. What the statistics do not say, however, is that the country’s finest contribution to the world, is none other than its womenfolk. According to the POEA, about 70 percent of all migrant workers deployed out of the Philippines are women. From humble nurses and service workers, to gifted artistes, to high-powered Pinay professionals – Filipinas from all walks of life fly to foreign shores looking for greener pastures and better career opportunities. They care for the sick, manage companies and wow the world with their inborn creativity, infusing their adoptive countries with unmistakable Filipino cultural values. Statistics say that the Philippines’ top export is migrant labor. What the statistics do not say, however, is that the country’s finest contribution to the world, is none other than its womenfolk.
As expatriates, a lot of our women kababayans somehow end up marrying foreigners. Whether by virtue of their numbers, the ease with which they integrate with different cultures, the simple law of physics dictating opposites to attract, or simply the innate Filipina charm, are by itself fodder for an interesting debate. One thing is certain, however, Filipina wives occupy a position of great importance. They are de facto ambassadors of goodwill, who enrich and propagate our culture and value system, like nobody else can. And they do so in a nurturing way, within the intimate domain of a mixed-race family. Illustrado spoke to five non-Filipinos with Pinay wives, to find out how it feels to be married to our kababayans, and to delve into the challenges of interracial marriages. From food, to families and Filipina eccentricities, our panel of couples proved that mixed marriages are anything but dull.
Joseph and Kris Faddoul
FEATURE Of families and the barangay Franz Josef Peters declares, “Being married to a Filipina is like being married to the barangay. I was surprised when the balikbayan box came out, the first time we were going to the Philippines. There was a lot of soap, garlic, chocolates, corned beef and tuna. I thought somebody was going to open a grocery store!” Rica laughs, “It’s not easy for him to understand because of the difference in our culture.” Mila Thomas interjects, “It’s because Filipinos are very giving, and that’s deeply ingrained in us.” Ashok adds, “I think being both Asians with strong family ties makes it a bit easier for us because we have very similar values.” Keith agrees, “If you marry a Filipina, you must take on the family.” “As you know, helping the family is integral to our culture,” says Richie. “I am very lucky because Keith has taken to my family very well and he supports whatever I need to do. I am proud to say that I have also helped to bring his family closer to us.” Joseph joins in, “It’s good to keep close with families, accept habits and traditions, and go and enjoy with your loved ones.”
On Filipino food “Everything is sweet,” Franz Josef laments. He recounts, “One time, Uy Pinoy cooked bagoong in our yacht and you could just imagine what happened after that.” Rica laughs, “I tried to clean the place with Chlorox, but to no avail!”
Keith and Richie Burley
Eastern allure and the attraction of opposites Joseph, a Canadian of Lebanese descent, and Kris Faddoul met through friends. Kris, a collegiala-type Pinay made a very good impression on Joseph. “Filipinas are very well-educated and outgoing”, Joseph says. “I was just surprised that Kris had a chaperone when we started dating. And Kris was already 28 years old!” For Mila and Ashok Thompson, it was love at first sight. Ashok, who hails from India, reminisces, “She was just gorgeous when I first met her. Filipinas are very feminine and caring.” He then adds, “But I was scared when Mila’s dad showed me his gun collection.” His boss introduced Stuart White, a British national, to future wife Sonia, during one of his visits to the Philippines. “I was there in Manila on business. She wrote me letters. The rest is history”, he smiles enigmatically. Franz Josef and Rica Peters also met through work. “I hired Rica to work for me. Now I call her ‘Uy Pinoy’ !” Rica adds, “I took care of him and his work,” she laughs. Regulars in the Dubai social scene, Keith, another British national, and Richie Burley kept bumping into each other at The Lodge and in friends’ parties in the 90’s. “I never knew we’d end up marrying each other,” Richie remembers. “I guess it’s fate. Then again, I always liked blue-eyed blondes,” she smiles. Keith answers, “What I really liked about Richie was her kindness. She was always concerned and caring.”
Richie Burley adds “Keith feels like throwing up every time he smells sinigang cooking at home.” Keith confirms, “It just smells too much in the house.” Joseph and Stuart agree, though, that they love the mix of different cuisines in their home. Stuart remarks, “I introduced Sonia to more food varieties.” Sonia adds, “These days, we enjoy so many different types of foods from Asian to European dishes, and I enjoy cooking fusion.” Franz recounts, “My wife just had an adobo pregnancy”, he chuckles, “Then of course, there’s the floating fish head!”
On strange Filipino quirks and Lorena Bobbit Joseph recalls, “We went to these parties and I was surprised when the hosts packed food for us to take home!” The husbands wholeheartedly agree when Stuart mentions, “I actually find ‘Filipino time’ quite annoying.” Ashok ventures, “Here’s one very important advice – never mess with a Filipina. Do you know about the Lorena Bobbit story?” he chuckles and proceeds to tell the group about how Mila caught him deleting a woman’s message from their answering machine. It turned out that the ‘woman’ was an Etisalat recorded message. Joseph joins, “They throw away all the old (ex-relationships) pictures!” “This is what I love – they’re not jealous at all!”, Franz Josef quips sarcastically. “Do not upset a Filipina because it takes too long for them to get over it”, Keith advises. “They’re very sensitive.”
FEATURE Bringing Up Global Children Mila enthuses, “Our children grow up a bit differently compared to other kids, because they acquire two different nationalities, two different cultures. I think that makes them special.” Sonia agrees, “This is definitely an advantage for our kids.” Husband Stuart ads, “Yes they are very lucky. They have a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.” To which Joseph concludes, “The world has become very ‘global’. Children are now identified as global citizens.”
On Bridging Gaps and San Miguel Beers “You know, the magic is all about looking beyond the arguments”, says Joseph. “You need an open mind, regardless of your differences. People get divorced because of lack of patience. Not because they are different.” Kris quickly adds, “You transcend the barriers when you’re in love. When
Joseph married me, his family and friends did not know about Filipinos. But they soon realized that we are just like them anyway. Our marriage became a positive influence. Two of Joseph’s friends also eventually married Filipinas.” Franz Josef jokes, “I am now very comfortable about being with my wife’s family. A couple of San Miguel’s shared with family members have made it a lot easier!” “We are very different. He’s very tough and disciplined, and I’m ….” Rica laughs. “As they say, marriage is like a two-way street. We had to make a great effort to adjust and understand each other’s culture.” Stuart agrees, “What could be a challenge at first, is that it is more difficult to understand a different culture and set of traditions. But once you get over that, it’s okay, because when you are married to somebody, you don’t think about their nationality. Our marriage is normal, we don’t see it as a mixed marriage.” Sonia proudly adds, “It’s also great that I have the best-in-laws, who are very kind and considerate.”
Stuart and Sonia White with son Josh
Franz Josef and Rica Peters
“Family is very important of course. Especially since Ashok and I are from different countries, I have made an effort to reassure my in-laws that we will stay close. The kids and I always go to visit them in India, ” Mila added. “You have to accept each other’s cultural differences, that’s for sure,” Keith mentions, to which Richie concludes, “The best thing you can do is to marry a sweet Filipina.” Despite differences in culture, mixed marriages it seems, are not that much different. It is still, after all, a union whose success depends on the effort invested by husband and wife, regardless whether the two are from the same, or from different cultures. As our couples have highlighted, interracial marriages require a considerable amount of adjustment and patience, perhaps a greater leap compared to ordinary relationships where there are less gaps to bridge. But on the flipside of this challenge lies the opportunity for a far richer experience in a family where cultures converge. As for the Filipina wife, inspite of her quirks and unexplained fixation for bagoong, the countless balikbayan boxes, not to mention, the looming specter of Lorena Bobbitt, she remains an image of eastern charm and family values, with just the right dash of possessiveness to keep the flames of marriage alive.
To all our lovely kababayans - brave women migrant workers, dutiful daughters and mothers, and the Philippines de facto ambassadors of goodwill – Mabuhay!
Ingwa Melero Exclusively at Ginger & Lace India Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel: +971 4 368 5109
FROM COCOCHIPS TO MICROCHIPS
A Look at the Philippines’ Rising Export Giant By David L. Llorito Photography by Ben Chan
Arthur Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Microelectronics (IMI) belonging to the Ayala Group of companies sees a bright future. In the first half of this year, IMI’s revenues rose 16 percent and he expects business to grow even more. “For the full year 2006, our Philippine operations will likely record an 18% increase in revenues from 2005,” he said. Established in 1980 during the most tumultuous period of the Marcos dictatorship, IMI has grown into a global company in 26 years, producing a wide range of products like optical drives, liquid crystal displays, hard-disk drive sub-assemblies, and power electronics for printers for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) worldwide. All these products are produced in its facilities in the Philippines (Laguna and Cavite), China (Shenzhen, Jiaxing, and Chongqing), Singapore, and the US (a low-volume prototyping facility in Tustin, California). He said IMI’s products could be found in many electronic devices that form part of people’s daily routine, from personal computers to mobile phones, DVD players, power supplies, automotive sensor devices, bar code readers, and even electronic toothbrushes. IMI’s experience seems to reflect the continuing growth of a Philippine industry which years ago was dismissed by analysts as a potential loser because of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Analysts then thought that because of China’s low labor costs, electronics companies operating in the Philippines would all close shop and flock to China. “While it is true that the electronics industry in China has grown tremendously over the past five years, China is not the answer to all the electronics manufacturing needs of the original equipment manufacturers worldwide,” explained Tan. “The Philippines maintains competitive advantage in complex electronics assembly like the assembly of optical disk drives (including DVD, CD, and combination CD/DVD drives) and hard disk drives.” “We are competitive in design and product development,” Tan added, “Intel and Texas Instruments tap Filipino engineers for IC packaging design. Rohm uses Filipino engineers to
Image from Wikimedia.org
“In 1975, close to half of the country’s exports are agriculture-based; now 66 perper cent are electronics,” said Santiago. “We have come a long way from an economy of coconut chips to an economy of microchips.” design ICs. Lexmark employs Filipino printer software designers. IMI develops short-range wireless connectivity devices. Big multinational companies including Philips, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Fujitsu continue to do business in the country.” “Whenever we ask them why they continue to do business here and why some of them even expand their operations, they all point to the quality of Filipino workers as their main reason for their continued presence in the country,” he said. Ernie Santiago, executive director of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries
in the Philippines (Seipi) said the electronics industry has transformed the Philippine economy in just a few decades. Currently, the industry directly employs more than 400,000 and each year, it sends out US$27 billion dollars worth of exports, equivalent to 66 per cent of the Philippines’ merchandize exports. These are mostly components and devices, electronic data processing products, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, communications and radar, office equipment, telecommunications, control and instrumentation, and medical and industrial instrumentation products. “In 1975, close to half of the country’s
FEATURE exports are agriculture-based; now 66 percent are electronics,” said Santiago. “We have come a long way from an economy of coconut chips to an economy of microchips.” When reckoned globally, the Philippines electronics export value is equivalent to about 2 percent of global production, and about 5.5 percent of the total value of the Asia Pacific Region. In terms of volume of production, the Philippines, industry leaders admit, lags behind China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Nevertheless, the Philippines seems to have carved significant niches in certain electronic products. “We supply 10 percent of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing business,” said Santiago. “We supply 50 percent of the world’s production of 2 ½ inch hard disk drive, and 10 percent of the world’s production of 3 ½ inch hard disk drive. And most leading [electronics] companies are here with us. Intel is here in the country producing Pentium microprocessor, Texas Instruments producing the DSP or the Digital Signal Processor. One hundred percent of the brain of cellular phones, of Nokia phones, is done here in the Philippines by Texas Instruments.” Having attracted the world’s biggest global electronics companies early in the game played to the overall strength of the Philippines’ electronics industry. For instance, eight of the world’s 30 top chipmakers are in the Philippines. These are Texas Instruments, Intel, Philips, Fairchild, Analog Devices, Sanyo, On Semi, and Rohm Semiconductors. Many of these big chipmakers came in the wake of Intel that established its assembly and testing facility in Makati in 1974. Four of the largest producers of hard disk drives (HDDs) are in the Philippines, such as Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and NEC. In a study, Gwendolyn Tecson, Economics professor of the University of the Philippines, said these HDD producers came in the mid-1990s in response to endaka or the sharp appreciation of the yen that rendered Japanese manufacturing firms uncompetitive, forcing them to scramble for low-cost locations in Southeast Asia. “The entry of the four Japanese HDD majors was accompanied by the relocation of a number of Japanese supplier firms between 1994 and 1996: Nidec Philippines Corporation (entered in 1995, although HDD-related spindle motors started production only in 1997), Luzon Electronics Technology Inc. (a 100%-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Metals, Inc. engaged in slider assembly and HGA), Tsukuba Philippine Die-casting Corporation (aluminum base plates for 2.5" HDDs), San Technology (voice-coil motor, HGA, and HSA), Mette (base plates and covers), Sunpino (FPCs), and Precision Technology or Pretech (spacer rings),”
Tecson explained. Tecson added that Singaporean-owned CAM Mechatronics also began producing HDD components in 1995. She said that Laguna Electronics, a company belonging to the Tsukiden Group and established in 1993, set up a second plant dedicated to assembly of IBM-licensed high-capacity HDDs, for NEC HK, with commercial operation starting late 1998. “[The major HDD manufacturers] have cited three factors, namely the strategic location of the country, the relative abundance of workers, particularly of engineers and technicians, and worker trainability especially in terms of their English language proficiency,” she said. “On the other hand, the supplier firms chose the Philippines to be near the majors.” Major players in other segments followed. Cebu Mitsumi for instance now has 17,000 emplo-yees in Cebu City, the biggest single employer in the Philippines, producing computer peripherals like CD-R, CD-RW and optical pick up. Amkor Annam, employing 8,000 workers, is producing integrated circuits. Epson and Lexmark, producers of terminal printers and printheads are also operating are also present. According to Santiago (executive director of SEIPI) what is encouraging is that the presence of these major players also encouraged the growth of domestic and Filipino-owned companies including IMI, Ionics, PSI Technologies, Fastech, and Team Electronics. These companies are produc-
ing a variety of electronic products including time recorders, power supplies, automatic voltage regulators, alarm systems, GPS tracking devices, and testers. Currently, the entire electronics industry—Santiago said—has 883 firms, 28 per cent of which are Filipino-owned. The Japanese continues to dominate with 30 percent share, followed by South Korea (10 percent), United States (nine per cent), Europe (seven per cent), Taiwan (four per cent), Singapore (two per cent) and other nationalities (eight per cent). In 2005, many in the industry were concerned by the decision of Toshiba to transfer its lap top manufacturing facility in China. There were speculations that other big players might follow. By early 2006, it was clear among industry players that said fears were unfounded. “They moved their manufacturing plant to China to be closer to the market, not because of the Philippines,” said Santiago. “It’s a company consolidation strategy thing. They have to be closer to the market [China] for laptops. At the same time, they consolidated their disk drives manufacturing capability here in the Philippines.” Santiago said that despite Toshiba’s pullout of its laptop computer production, investments in electronics continue to come in. He hopes the industry could get another 1 billion dollar investment this year and achieve a ten per cent growth rate in exports for the whole year of 2006.
“We do not have good roads, we do not have a better peace and order situation,” he said. “Other countries have better governance. But, the point is they are still here. Why? Because we have good people.”
Famous Filipinos By Maripaz Febrero
Our quest around the globe continues, in search of Pinoys and Pinays who have done our country proud – not only in terms of fame and fortune, but mostly in excelling in whatever field they are in. As usual, Google was very helpful, ang dami palang websites celebrating outstanding Filipinos! So read on Illustrados, konting pampataas ng noo without botox!
Beauty & Brains
Pinay na Miss America
Angela Perez Baraquio was crowned Miss America 2001 on October 14, 2000 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first Filipino American to win the title. Angela has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and was a faculty member at Holy Family Catholic Academy in Honolulu. She taught Physical Education, was Athletic Director for the academy and coached basketball, volleyball and track. Baraquio was also Choir Director of the historic St. Augustine Church in Waikiki. She is now working on her master's degree in Educational Administration, a pre-requisite to becoming a public school administrator in Hawaii.
ASTIG! Pinoy sa WWE! Where else can any Pinoy be prouder of his ancestry than watching a fellow Pinoy flex his muscles in the world-famous World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)? David Michael Bautista, aka Batista, is one of the top bananas of Vince McMahon’s popular (and oftentimes controversial) wrestling outfit. He even added to his multi-tattooed body unique color markings of the Philippine and Greek flags (Batista is half-Greek, from his mom’s side). The tattoo was marked on his upper left arm, just right below his colossal left shoulder. It was an obvious homage to his Philippine-Greek ancestry. Since Batista's WWE debut in 2002, his prowess left no doubt to the remarkable influence of his unique Filipino-Greek ancestry a powerful alliance of Bathalà and Zeus indeed.
Pinoy Godfather of the hotel industry Al Rivera, Food and Beverage Director of JW Marriot Hotel in Washington D.C., has made the dreams of hundreds of HRM graduates from the Philippines come true in the past 10 years. Al established the Association for International Practical Training (AIPT) to help his young kababayans get a foothold in the international hotel industry. He has been visiting the Philippines every year to screen as many as 500 qualified applicants, where after two and half weeks of rigorous screening, only the best of the best survive. These successful applicants are then trained extensively in various JW Marriot hotels in the United States. AIPT provides Filipino trainees with internship pay, and when needed, financial assistance as they begin their careers in the US. Trainees credit Al for his intense hands-on assistance and fierce support at all times. Also among those who are truly grateful to Al are five woodcarvers from Paete. They have carved out a formidable reputation in the kitchens of JW Marriot Hotels – as creators of grand displays for VIP events! Thanks to generous Pinoys like Al Rivera, Filipino talent will always be showcased in the global hotel industry arena.
In the Limelight
Who invented the lunar buggy? Eduardo San Juan aka The Space Junkman a Filipino inventor and mechanical engineer who worked on the team that invented the Lunar Rover or Moon Buggy, is considered its primary designer. In 1971, the Moon Buggy was first used during the Apollo 12 landing on the Moon.
Multi-awarded Pinay Concert Queen Down Under Kate Ceberano was born in Melbourne, Australia to a Filipino-Hawaiian father and an English mother. She retains close family ties, working closely with her mother Cherie Ceberano, brother Phil (guitarist) and husband Lee Rogers (film-maker).
Who introduced the yo-yo in the US? Immigrant Pedro Flores, was the first person to manufacture yo-yo in the United States. In the 1920s, he manufactured a toy labeled with the yo-yo name and became the first person to mass-produce yo-yos, at his small toy factory located in California.
Singer, songwriter, actor, multiple ARIA award-winner, Kate is renowned for her soulful and powerful vocal style, and has won almost every entertainment award in Australia. She has released five Platinum albums and four Gold albums selling in excess of 1 million albums in Australia alone. Kate also performed in countless sell-out tours; starred in acclaimed feature films; and hosted her own television show Kate & Friends. Kate first came to prominence as lead vocalist at 15 years of age, for the funk band
I’m Talking. The group’s album produced three top 10 singles, went Platinum and won Best New Talent (1984) at the Countdown Awards. Kate won Best Female Vocalist (1985) at the Countdown Awards as well as Best Female Singer (1985) at the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Awards, where she was nominated seven times - a record equalled only by Kylie Minogue. In November 2005, Kate Ceberano performed two concerts at The Perth Concert Hall with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, where she sang eternal pop classics like Unchained Melody and contemporary modern gems like The Drugs Don't Work. These live performances are featured in her new album KATE CEBERANO LIVE with The West Australian Symphony Orchestra. This is a ’totally live’ album, with no overdubs or re-recording; a true rarity in these days of digitally-manipulated 'live' albums.
Nokia rings up Filipina in Finland! Finland is not only famous for its 'midnight sun' and the leading mobile phone brand Nokia, it’s also home to a number of Filipinos, majority of them married to Finns.
Who has an asteroid named after her? ’13241 Biyo‘ is an asteroid named after Josette Biyo, a high school teacher cited for winning the 2002 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Louisville, Kentucky.
Among the successful Filipinas here, Carol Soriano easily tops the list. She is an International Relations graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and has the distinction of being the only Filipina at Nokia-Finland. Far from being an ordinary employee, Carol is the Global Marketing Manager of Nokia, heading a team of mixed nationalities. In a span of only three years, Carol has been responsible for formulating Nokia’s global marketing strategy. No wonder Nokia is the most popular brand of mobile phones among Filipinos. Tipong kabisado ni Carol ang gusto ng mga Pinoy!
Once more, with feelings…applause! applause! to our talented, exceptional kababayans making their mark all over the world. Whether they’re full-blooded Pinoys or with only a few per cent of Pinoy blood running in their
veins, they all have the same Pinoy penchant for unique talent, perseverance and lakas ng loob. We hope you are as proud as we are of our famous Pinoys a fitting contribution to Illustrado's tribute to our glorious kayumanggi heritage. More Pinoy panache on our next issue! Illustrado 17
Blonde & Blue Eyes By Patricia Evangelista
In a few years, I may take advantage of whatever opportunities come my way. But I will come home. A borderless world doesn't preclude the idea of a home. I'm a Filipino, and I'll always be one. It isn't about just geography; it isn't about boundaries. It's about giving back to the country that shaped me.
When I was little, I wanted what many Filipino children all over the country wanted. I wanted to be blonde, blue-eyed, and white. I thought -- if I just wished hard enough and was good enough, I'd wake upon Christmas morning with snow outside my window and freckles across my nose!
made up of people of different ethnicities, with national identities and individual personalities. because of this, each square mile is already a microcosm of the world. In as much as this blessed spot that is England is the world, so is my neighborhood back home.
More than four centuries under western domination does that to you. I have sixteen cousins. In a couple of years, there will just be five of us left in the Philippines, the rest will have gone abroad in search of 'greener pastures.' It's not just an anomaly; it's a trend; the Filipino diaspora. Today, about eight million Filipinos are scattered around the world.
Seen this way, the Filipino Diaspora, or any sort of dispersal of populations, is not as ominous as so many claim. It must be understood. I come from a Third World country, one that is still trying mightily to get back on its feet after many years of dictatorship. But we shall make it, given more time. Especially now, when we have thousands of eager young minds who graduate from college every year. They have skills. They need jobs. We cannot absorb them all.
There are those who disapprove of Filipinos who choose to leave. I used to. Maybe this is a natural reaction of someone who was left behind, smiling for family pictures that get emptier with each succeeding year. Desertion, I called it. My country is a land that has perpetually fought for the freedom to be itself. Our heroes offered their lives in the struggle against the Spanish, the Japanese, the Americans. To pack up and deny that identity is tantamount to spitting on that sacrifice. Or is it? I don't think so, not anymore. True, there is no denying this phenomenon, aided by the fact that what was once the other side of the world is now a twelve-hour plane ride away. But this is a borderless world, where no individual can claim to be purely from where he is now. My mother is of Chinese descent, my father is a quarter Spanish, and I call myself a pure Filipino - a hybrid of sorts resulting from a combination of cultures. Each square mile anywhere in the world is
A borderless world presents a bigger opportunity, yet one that is not so much abandonment but an extension of identity. Even as we take, we give back. We are the 40,000 skilled nurses who support the UK's National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world's commercial ships. We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and, your musical artists in London's West End. Nationalism isn't bound by time or place. People from other nations migrate to create new nations, yet still remain essentially who they are. British society is itself an example of a multi-cultural nation, a melting pot of races, religions, arts and cultures. We are, indeed, in a borderless world! Leaving sometimes isn't a matter of choice. It's coming back that is. The Hobbits of the
shire traveled all over Middle-Earth, but they chose to come home, richer in every sense of the word. We call people like these balikbayans or the 'returnees' -- those who followed their dream, yet choose to return and share their mature talents and good fortune. In a few years, I may take advantage of whatever opportunities come my way. But I will come home. A borderless world doesn't preclude the idea of a home. I'm a Filipino, and I'll always be one. It isn't about just geography; it isn't about boundaries. It's about giving back to the country that shaped me. And that's going to be more important to me than seeing snow outside my windows on a bright Christmas morning.
Patricia Evangelista, Mass Communications student of the University of the Philippines (UP) - Diliman, did the country proud in 2004 by besting 59 other student contestants from 37 countries in the International Public Speaking competition conducted by the English Speaking Union (ESU) in London. According to contest chairman Brian Hanharan of the BBC, her speech â€˜Blonde and Blue Eyesâ€™ garnered a unanimous approval from the board of judges.
Tributes to the Filipino Spirit
Ipasa Mo, Kaibigan
By Ina Elle Crisostomo Photography by Mac Antonio
Pay it Forward The Pay it Forward movement took off six years ago, following the release of a film based on a Catherine Ryan Hyde novel of the same title. The story revolves around a young boy named Trevor. When asked by a social studies teacher to come up with an idea that could change the world, Trevor decides he’ll do favors for three people. The twist is that instead of repaying him, each of the people he helps is required to ‘pay it forward’- to help out three other people. Each of those people, in turn, is obliged to do favors for three more people, and so on - so that, if everyone follows through with their good deeds, pretty soon everyone in the world is helping out other people without expecting anything in return. A perfect scenario…but back in the real world, the notion of doing good without any expectation of reciprocation or reward is a hard sell to a lot of people. The modest success of the film and the Pay It Forward Movement on the internet is an indication that the idea is yet to gain legitimate momentum, at least not in the viral pace that Trevor’s school project aspired for. For one thing, throughout history, cultural dynamics seemed to have made human nature more predispose to paying back a favor rather than paying it forward. But does it make such a compelling idea less than potent?
belief that good deeds (when done willingly and selflessly) tend to generate goodwill, and lead to more good deeds. So in our own Pinoy world, if one were to ask you again how he can repay a good deed or utang na loob, how about saying “Ipasa mo na lang, kaibigan.”
One good deed at a time I remember meeting a kababayan one day, who by no conscious effort on my part, I managed to arrange a job interview with an engineering firm many years ago. He thanked me profusely for getting the job (which I honestly take no credit for by the way, as I thought he was more than qualified for the job), adding that because of the opportunity I’ve arranged for him, his family was able to join him in Dubai. And as a result, he and his wife were able to help at least six of their hometown kapitbahays to find jobs in their respective companies; who in turn also managed to help their own respective families and friends find better job opportunities in the UAE. And without even knowing the impact it would have on our conversation, he sheepishly closed his long story with “Mam ‘yung bayad ko sa ‘yo mukhang napasa ko na sa iba.” Long after that meeting, I thought of the many people, who with no selfish intent, have also made it possible for me to get the opportunities I have received through the years.
Pay it Forward – Pinoy style Now here’s a daunting challenge. The influence of the utang na loob culture is so ingrained in our consciousness and value system as Filipinos, that applying the essence of the Pay it Forward principle seems an indomitable task. But this is not true. At the heart of it all, this is not to imply that no one ever owes anyone anything, nor does it impose one‘s morality over another. It simply provides another generous option of returning a favor, by promoting the faithful
I’m sure many of you have similar, and far greater humbling and ‘life altering’ stories to tell. So let’s continue on living it. They say we can change the world one favor at a time. And maybe we can. Starting with the ‘expat world’ we live in. Let’s share the same kindness and opportunities given to us, with no thought of kabayaran. Let’s start with saying “Ipasa mo na lang, kaibigan”.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Basking in the glow of golden honeyed skin, reminiscent of warm tropical nights, the smell of lush foliage after the rain, and the vivid colors of exotic flowers, lies Filipina ethnic mystique – gandang kayumanggi. While the mercury drops, and hues tone down this fall season, Filipina beauty continues to radiate the bright shades of gold and honey, echoing the warmth of an endless summer…..
BY LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ ART DIRECTION: MON BENITEZ PHOTOGRAPHY: POT PH MODELS: TRACY JAVELONA & REMILIE BENJAMIN STYLING: ZEKUNDO CHU MAKE-UP BY ELIZABETH ARDEN FASHION COURTESY OF GINGER & LACE, IBN BATTUTA MALL, DUBAI
FASHION & BEAUTY
Palmetto layered dress by Tibi, New York; Ginger & Lace. Make-up by Elizabeth Arden, Bohemian Bronze Collection. Skin: Sheer Lights Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, Sun Goddess Bronzing Powder, Sheer Body Shimmer. Eyes: Color Intrigue™ Eye Shadow in Clove, Petal and Sand, Color Intrigue™ Gel Eyeliner in Bohemian Beauty, Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara in Black. Lips: Defining Lip Pencil Java, Double Intrigue Lip color in Bohemian Bronze with coordinating gloss.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Boysenberry bustier by La Petite Salope; Ginger & Lace.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Beige halter dress with crochet front by Ingwa Melero; Ginger & Lace. Make-up by Elizabeth Arden, Bohemian Bronze Collection. Skin: Sheer Lights Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, Sun Goddess Bronzing Powder, Sheer Body Shimmer. Eyes: Color Intrigue™ Eye Shadow in Petal, Shell, and Sand, Smokey Eye Pencil Expresso, Color Intrigue™ Gel Eyeliner in Bohemian Beauty, Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara in Black. Lips: Double Intrigue Lip color in Desert Sun with coordinating gloss.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Charmeuse Alhambra dress with leather detailing by Ingwa Melero; Ginger & Lace.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Charmeuse Alhambra top with leather detailing by Ingwa Melero; Ginger & Lace.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Brown cotton jersey dress by Betsey Johnson; Ginger & Lace. Make-up by Elizabeth Arden, Bohemian Bronze collection. Skin: Sheer Lights Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, Sun Goddess Bronzing Powder. Eyes: Color Intrigue™ Eye shadow in Clove, Petal, Shell and Sand, Smoky Eye Pencil Expresso, Color Intrigue™ Gel Eyeliner in Bohemian Beauty, Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara in Black. Lips: Defining Lip Liner Neutral, Double Intrigue Lip color in Pink Sun.
FASHION & BEAUTY
Gilbert Oñate, Elizabeth Arden Beauty Consultant based in Dubai, highlights some kayumanggi beauty secrets: The right foundation is key. The foundation is the base of your make-up; even if your make-up is great, if you’ve got the wrong base color, it destroys the whole look. In general, kayumanggi women, like most Asians, need to look for foundation that has yellow undertones to enhance their warm color. Go for a flawless natural look. Choose the shade that’s closest to your natural skin color, by testing it on your jaw line. Do not attempt to lighten or darken your skin with foundation, as this will give you dull make-up that looks like a mask. Remember, an unnatural look is not flattering. Keep eyelids rich. Kayumanggi women have a lot of good options in eye colors. Choose from this season’s versatile neutral shades such as Elizabeth Arden’s Color Intrigue™ Eye Shadow in Clove, Petal, Sand and Shell. For a more dramatic glamorous look, accentuate you’re your eyes with Arden’s Color Intrigue™ Gel Eyeliner in Bohemian Beauty and Smokey Eye Pencil Expresso. Frame your eyes with drama. Well-defined eyebrows and lashes are a must to achieve expressive eyes. Make sure that your eyebrows are shaped well with a slight arch and defined with a brow pencil. Remember, don’t overdo the plucking. For great lashes, use Elizabeth Arden’s rich Double Density Maximum Volume Mascara in Black, which goes well with kayumanggi brown or black eyes. Blush with warmth. Warm shades like apricot, peach, coral or terra rose highlight your cheekbones appealingly, while enhancing your natural glowing beauty. Stay away from anything with a strong orange base or cold pink, as this will not flatter your skin.
with lip colors and choose shades according to your moods or the effect you want – neutral shades for the innocent but sensuous look, corals for a healthy active look and reds for instant glamour. Slick some gloss over your lipstick for a perfect finish. Release the sun-kissed goddess in you. Take a cue from Hollywood brown beauties - dust bronzing powder over your forehead, nose and cheeks. This style is versatile and looks fabulous whether you are having fun in the great outdoors or partying the night away. But remember, less is more – so, do not overdo it. Try out Elizabeth Arden’s Bohemian Bronze Collection with Sheer Lights Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, Sun Goddess Bronzing Powder and Sheer Body Shimmer, for the ultimate sun-kissed glow. TOP KAYUMANGGI TIP: Celebrate your naturally beautiful kayumanggi sun-kissed color! If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Go lippy! Kayumanggi lips are usually full and fearless. Capitalize on this asset for that sensuous look. Anything in reds, corals or neutrals such as Elizabeth Arden’s Double Intrigue Lip color in Bohemian Bronze, Desert Sun or Pink Sun, will compliment your skin. Experiment
ILLUSTRADO PROFILE Inspirations from the Pinoy extraordinaire Rolls Royce of bikes) in the Philippines, and has transferred to their Dubai branch recently. But these guys are no ordinary bike lovers. They are experts in the field and their knowledge and experience encompass bike hardware, maintenance and repair, cycling and competitions. Julio and Samuel’s professional level of technical know-how is quite impressive. Ask them on the subject of different types of bikes, and they will be eager to discuss various options, pointing out the difference between ultra-lightweight carbon fiber bikes (one costs a whopping DHS 51,000, the likes of which are used by pros in the Tour de France) from a basic professional alloy bike, which could set you back by DHS 3,000. Talk about toys for big boys!
P inoy BikerBrothers By Lalaine Chu-Benitez Photography by Mac Antonio and Ben Chan
“Kahit saan kami magpunta, lalo na sa weekly race club namin, hindi namin binabago yung pananamit namin na Pinoy-style”enthuses Julio, referring to his Dagupan cycling jersey and igorot backpack. “Gusto naming i-promote ang Pilipinas.” Eight a.m., Sheikh Zayed Road. I was amazed to see two agile cyclists in full gear whizzing their way through the busy windy highway, heading towards Al Quoz. What was even more amazing was that the bikers were carrying igorot backpacks which were unmistakably Filipino. No Pinoy motorist would have missed the sight. I was intrigued. The same thing on day two. By day three, I just had to do it. I stepped hard on the engine pedal to catch up with the two cyclists and parked quickly on the rough shoulder. I put my arm out the window and hailed – much to Julio and Samuel’s surprise. Julio and Samuel Meneses, brothers who
hail from Binaloy, Pangasinan, live and breathe cycling. Originally members of the Dagupan Cycling Club in the Philippines, the brothers have been spinning wheels, since their childhood. Julio, the older of the two, has been into cycling for the last 23 years, starting out on his third year in high school. Their father was a cycling tour fan and he used to take his boys around the country with him, to watch competitions. Starting out in Dubai working as an electrician, Julio soon transferred to work as a bike mechanic, following his passion. “Mas masaya ako sa trabaho na ‘to. Gusto ko na ‘to mula pa noong kabataan namin.” Samuel on the other hand, has worked in Trek (the
The brothers are also seasoned competitors. In February 2005, Julio, along with his Iranian cycling partner, won the Arabian Quest UAE, the first ever mountain bike and trekking race series in the region, besting 50 pairs mainly from the UAE and the U.K. The brothers are also members of the Wolfis Cycling Group, where local enthusiasts network at Nad Al Sheba, every Friday. This group of 50 cyclists has seven Pinoy members. According to Julio and Samuel, just to join the bike racing group, for the sake of sportsmanship, is the ultimate. So what’s with the igorot backpack and biking on Sheikh Zayed Road everyday? “Kahit saan kami magpunta, lalo na sa weekly race club namin, hindi namin binabago yung pananamit namin na Pinoy-style,” referring to his Dagupan cycling jersey and igorot backpack. “Gusto naming i-promote ang Pilipinas.” Apparently, biking daily is something they do to stay fit, and has the added benefit of a cost-free commute to work. The brothers also say that apart from giving them a distinct Pinoy identity, the native backpack is a very practical option – “Maganda, dahil hindi kami pinapawisan.” According to their own account, they are just humble mechanics working for a living and doing what they love the most. But as Pinoys promoting the Philippines on that ultra-busy stretch of a highway among multi-cultural motorists and passengers, no one stands out better than Julio and Samuel Meneses - the Pinoy Biker Brothers.
Friday, 7:00 am, Dubai Marina, Dubai biker brothers
At home and abroad, the Pinoy life in parallel Sunday, 5:30 pm, Rizal Park, Manila - Family of cyclists
ARTS & CULTURE
IN PRAISE OF
Filipina By Lalaine Chu-Benitez
Perhaps no other piece of modern day written work pays well-deserved homage to our womenfolk than Filipina: A Tribute to the Filipino Woman. Brainchild and labor of love of French national Louis Paul Heussaff, Chairman of Supply Oilfield Services (SOS) Inc., an integrated logistics company servicing the energy industry in the Philippines, Filipina has been awarded by the Manila Critics Circle the 2004 National Book Award for Photography, and is highly regarded as one of the best coffee table books ever published in the Philippines.
The book highlights the different facets of the Filipina character – elegance, determination, devotion, sensibility, and individuality and lovingly portrays the diversity, the rich colorful tapestry of personalities and roles, legacies and culture. Filipina features stunning and poignant photographs taken by both professionals and amateurs, painstakingly screened from the 1,600 entries received from a nationwide photo contest.
Adding to the richness of the tome and further capturing the essence of the Filipina are pieces from seasoned writers lead by National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil Jose, who wrote the book’s introduction.
But beyond the well-earned accolades, the book’s gloss and exceptional aesthetics, what is most significant is that the genuine respect, affection and admiration for the subject inevitably shines through. Filipina is a piece dedicated by the publisher in gratitude to the country who welcomed him for 27 years. And as Louis Paul Heussaff has put it so clearly “My gift to the women whose mere presence makes my life more interesting, colorful and bearable than usual.” Illustrado proudly features excerpts from Filipina:
A Tribute to the Filipino Woman.
How easy it is to exalt a Filipina, first as a man nurtured in my mother’s womb and as a Filipino beholden to her grace. She comes to us as a myth, a beauty that emerged from a length of bamboo that Bathala split open after he had created earth and high heaven. But soon enough, the myth became jeweled reality, the noble warrior in Princes Urduja, Gabriela Silang and Tandang Sora – women of stern courage who defended their birthright, as all Filipinos should. She stands tall as a beauty queen, as polished mannequin, and taller yet as a concert diva, such as Jovita Fuentes who awed Europe in the 20s and Lea Salonga as a Broadway star. But the inner shine and glory are in her professionalism as a teacher, scientist, doctor and nurse – who was it who said that the American medical system would falter if all those Filipina nurses left? Rizal creates an eternal heroine in Sisa, the long-suffering mother in the novel Noli Me Tangere. Sisa is now reality too in the thousands of Filipinas working abroad as domestics in the Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong, and as entertainers in Japan. They are no less heroic than the warrior women who fought the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese. It is they, who, with great sacrifice, keep the home fires burning. In the factories and in the farms, it is they who produce the goods that the capitalists sell, the food all of us eat and after doing these, they go home to mind the children and bind the family together. Look closely at the faces of our women on these pages, young and old, peasant and aristocrat. Inspite of the truculence of the times, the banality of our politics, the intransigence of our leaders, despair does not limit their eyes. Hope and joy reside in them, for these are Filipinas who will prevail, whose unhappy country will yet be redeemed by them.
F. Sionil Jose Novelist, National Artist for Literature
ARTS & CULTURE
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
From one generation to another of Tâ€™Bolis women
The soulfulness of the Filipina shines through, reflecting in her confidence the best of both worlds, East and West. Her eloquence of spirit spells sheer elegance.
Alfred A. Yuson Illustrado 34
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
Work and play
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
In a country where natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcano eruptions are common occurrences, and which has experienced the vagaries of colonialism three times in its short history, the figure of the loving and devoted Filipina is akin to a ray of sunshine, the amihan (wind from the east) or the land itself. An inherent part of her character that cannot be overlooked is her exceptional capacity for love and devotion.
Cesar Ruiz Aquino
A loving mother in smokey mountain
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
Look into her eyes, you will feel her submission to your whim and desire. Look into her eyes and you will discern the deep color of loyalty. Look into her eyes, she will feed you as a wife and mother, bear your children, and care for you whenever illness visits; she will organize your wardrobe, room and home. And after she has done everything to comfort and keep you warm, look into her eyes. You will then most quietly know that she is the boss.
Mestizas in Forbes Park
ARTS & CULTURE A TRIBUTE TO THE FILIPINO WOMAN
There is something in the way the Filipina makes a meal, or makes a point, or makes love, the way she finally decides on matters of her home or her country, or her heart, and firmly goes the distance â€“ with or without you.
Elma Muros Edwin Tuyay 35 gold medals in 21 yrs. of athletic competition
“Anywhere in the world I go, I know Filipinos are around because of the laughing. You are always laughing all the time and I think that’s what makes up your philosophy inside. This is a nice asset - the Filipino heart.” “And what is above everything else is the smile. You Filipinos, you have the smile. Here you get the warm smile everywhere you go – from the remote provinces, to the towns and so on. You look at a girl passing-by and that girl will smile. The guys will smile too. Everybody smiles. That’s why I call the Philippines, the archipelago of smiles.” His entrepreneurship in oilfield logistics saw him traveling to remote areas in the Philippines, where his contact with Filipinos who still held age-old values made a profound impact on him. “The best thing about the Philippines is the people in remote places. They have a genuine sense of hospitality and kindness. It is the people who have nothing who will always invite you. The people with the least, who will give you the most.” But perhaps, more than the warm smiles and the genuine hospitality, one thing that captivated Louis’ imagination was his fascination for Filipina women.
Louis Paul Heussaff The Man Behind
By Lalaine Chu-Benitez
“Filipinas are very feminine. They always have a certain sweetness,” he declares. “I find Filipino women extremely faithful and whatever the circumstances, if you love someone that one belongs to you, and you belong to them too.” It is with this deep admiration for Filipinos that Louis embarked on two successful publishing projects. In 1998, coinciding with his company’s 20th anniversary, he released Archipelago of Smiles, the only coffee table book that was published for the Philippines' centennial celebration. On his company’s 25th year, Louis then published Filipina: A Tribute to the Filipino Woman, a book designed by his daughter Vanessa to honor the women whom he believes play a pivotal role in shaping and putting color to Philippine society. “I think without its women, the country would have collapsed long time ago,” he says. “You Filipinas are the savior of the nation. You are the one holding the family together.”
In 1976, a young Frenchman was drawn by the gay banter of an Asian group in the south of Egypt – his first Filipino acquaintances. Little did he know that he would meet his future wife then, and that the incident would lead him to what was to be his adopted home for almost three decades …
Both books received rave reviews and are seen as exemplary works promoting the beauty and strength of the Filipino spirit. The fact that such high regard and endeavor to uplift the Philippines and its people, would come from a non-Filipino, is astoundingly exceptional, to say the least.
Louis Paul Heusaff was only 16 years old when he joined the French Navy, affording him an intimate view of countries all over the world. His subsequent employment with Compagnie Gerard de Geophysics, an oil exploration endeavor, saw him roaming the world’s jungles - from Brazil to Africa to Indonesia. “I was a long-haired, barefoot wildman,” Heusaff remembers with a smile.
“The Philippines has given me a bit of its soul. This is my way of saying thank you to the country, which welcomed me 29 years ago. And though I maybe frustrated as most Filipinos, looking at its little progress compared to the other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam, what I can say most is that the Philippines is a country with a great future and will remain as such. Our love for the Philippines remains!"
A chance meeting in Egypt with the Bayanihan Dance Troupe, where he met future wife Cynthia, sealed Louis’ Asian-bound fate. After years of engagement to his muse, Louis arrived at the Manila National Airport on the 19th February 1977. “I went to the Philippines to get married. I was alone, completely lost among Filipinos. I wasn’t sure if Cynthia would marry me. She did not schedule a wedding because she was not sure if I would come for her.” Twenty-nine years later, with a happy marriage to a doting wife, two lovely daughters, and a robust integrated logistics company servicing the energy industry in the Philippines, (Supply Oilfield Services Inc.), Louis Paul Heussaff has made a home in a country where the people’s laidback attitude and warm smile, has grown on him.
Louis Paul Heussaff with the women in his life(from left to right) wife Cynthia, daughters Vanessa and Solenn.
PINOY TRIVIA A collage of Philippine facts bringing you closer to home
Around 89 million people live in the Philippines as of 2006. Most people in the Philippines are of Austronesian stock. The ethnic Chinese, who have helped run businesses since the 9th century, also live in the country. The Negritos live in the mountains of Luzon and Visayas. The rest of the groups are the Spanish, Mexicans and North Americans and others. They live throughout the country's major cities. The people of the Philippines are known as Filipinos. Filipinos are divided into many groups, the three largest are the Tagalogs, Cebuanos, and the Ilocanos. When the Philippines was a colony, the term Filipino used to mean the Spanish and Spanish-mestizo minority. But now everyone living in the Philippines is called 'Filipino'. Even then, it is still has the most diverse ethnic groups in Asia. Languages Filipino and English are the official languages. Filipino is based largely on Tagalog, the language spoken in Manila and neighboring provinces. Other local languages are Cebuano and Ilocano and many others. English is used in government, schools and business. Filipino is used more in speaking and in the media.
By Maripaz Febrero
Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not Americans. The Philippines is the world's 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK.
population of the Philippines. The Filipino diaspora is the third largest in terms of population. The overseas Chinese is the largest, with about 35 million followed by the oversease Indians at 22 million.
Culture Filipino culture is strongly influenced by both Western and Eastern traditions. It is a strong mix of native (Austronesian), Spanish, Mexican, American, Negrito and Chinese cultures.
• Maria Teresa Calderon – “World Champion Speed Reader” is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records
Before the Spanish arrived, the Filipinos did not think of themselves as one people. The Spaniards came in 1565 and brought with them Spanish culture. They soon spread to the islands making forts and schools, preaching Christianity and converting the native peoples to the Catholic religion. When the United States colonized the islands in 1898, the Americans brought with them their culture, which has the strongest influence up to now. This has made the Philippines the most westernized country in eastern Asia. It’s good to know • There are more than 8 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, about 10% of the total
• Gemma Cruz was the first Filipina to win an international beauty title - Miss International 1964. • The Philippine Basketball Association is Asia's premier and the world's second oldest professional league. • Fernando Amorsolo, a painter, was the first National Artist declared by the Philippine government. The award was conferred on Amorsolo in April 1972, several days after his death. • The symbolic name for the Philippines, Juan dela Cruz, is not a Filipino invention. It was coined by R. McCulloch-Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.
A young Pinoy rediscovers his roots COCONUTER Thirteen years ago this was not a mere daydream. I was there; I was in the Philippines. Growing up there gave me many of my fondest memories.
The Jouney Begins By David Poarch
It's a gloomy winter morning in downtown Houston. I turn in my multivariable calculus homework that I spent all of last night working on after getting off work, as I sit down for class. That is basically the routine: college, work, homework, eat, and sleep if there's time left. There is only a year and a half left before I graduate, but I'm just so tired. I'm after an Electrical and Computer Engineering/Business Management/Economics triple degree, but sometimes I wonder why I'm doing it and whether it's really what I want to do in life. Students are busy scribbling notes around me as a monotonous voice speaks from the front of the class. Soon the professor's lecture becomes just a faint mutter as I drifted into a scene so vividly painted in my mind. The Pacific is magically crossed in an instant as I find myself sitting on the doorstep of a bahay kubo overlooking a rice field surrounded by lush green mountains. The students were replaced by chickens busy searching for food, and the professor by a rooster tiktilaok-ing, bringing in a beautiful morning. A bright and warm sun is now shining upon a Philippine valley cooled by an ocean breeze. Thirteen years ago this was not a mere daydream. I was there; I was in the Philippines. Growing up in the Philippines gave me many of my fondest memories. I remember running through the rice fields, chasing tutubis and paro-paros. During tag-araw, I used to go to the beach to dive for shells and chase kurokoys. I recall how I used to take baths in the rain during tag-ulan. Whenever it stormed, it felt as if I was completely immersed in a blanket of droplets, and somehow it almost seems as if the raindrops are bigger in the Philippines. Roaming around was always a favorite pastime of mine. "Tara, gala tayo," was what my cousins and I used to say to each other on boring afternoons. We would eventually end up playing sipa, jackstone, patentero, sarangolas, jolens, goma, pogs, or teks. I always enjoyed kwentuhans with my lola whom I call nanay. She was always the one beside me on jeepney rides to school, and oftentimes we would listen to Gabi ng Lagim on the radio before going to sleep at night.
I miss the energetic and busy atmosphere when going with my mother to the palengke and I loved seeing my parents happy and enjoying themselves when going dancing or eating dinner at Subic Naval Base. Holidays and occasions always had an exciting air about them - Pasko, Bagong Taon, birthday parties and social gatherings with the characteristic ingay, gulo, at saya ng mga Pinoy get-togethers. What made these moments become just memories was my family's move to the United States when my father, an American in the U.S. Navy, was transferred to Florida. It was 1993; I was seven years old. Living in the U.S. was quite unlike life in the Philippines. Just about all that I enjoyed there and what made the country unique, was left behind but was not forgotten. Growing up, I was often asked, "What are you?" "I am Filipino-American," I would answer. This was an identity I held on to, and I was proud of it. It was what made me unique. Because my father was transferred almost every year, we lived in Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. There was not enough time to really settle down. Acquaintances never had the chance to become friends. I met other Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, who were born in the U.S., but somehow couldn’t connect with them. I always longed for ugaling Pinoy – the friendly, masayahin at madaling makisama laid-back attitude that I love and miss so much. In the US, I obtained academic success – a high school valedictorian award, a full scholarship to the ‘Ivy-League’ Rice University, as well as two apprenticeships with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Johnson Space Center in Houston. While in college I also took up two part-time jobs to be financially independent while compacting my semesters, giving me just a year and a half left to go before graduation. Inspite of this success in my young life, I somehow felt restless. I've been
wondering more and more about what is it I am meant to do in life? What is my purpose in this world? Is the 'American Dream' the only key to happiness? On top of this soul searching is a pervasive sense of longing I am feeling for my childhood home. I want to go back to the Philippines. I want to go to the provinces, roam the lush countryside. I want to see and experience how Filipinos are living now. Can I go back home? Can I go back there with nothing and live to become something, while everybody else is trying to leave the country? I wake up from my daydream. The bell rings. Class is over. I rush off to work. In the car, I reach for a Filipino CD I had not played in a while. As I near the exit to my workplace, a particular line strikes a chord in my mind. A series of emotions run through me as I hear the words, "Kay tagal mo nang nawala, babalik ka rin, babalik ka rin..." And just as unexpected as Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in 1991, I quit my two jobs and withdrew from college. I used the money I had saved for a plane ticket to the Philippines, and was left with $200 to survive on. I never did get my parents' blessing and support regarding my trip, but I did get their permission. It's hard for them, and they still haven't accepted it. But I do understand them. I just hope that they will understand me, someday. There is an Illocano saying, “No sáan nga makaammó nga nangtaliáw ti naggapuánna, saán a makadánon ti papanánna”, which means "He who does not look back to his origins will not reach his destination." Kaya ako babalik sa lupa ng aking kapanganakan.
I’m going to the Philippines. I'm going home.
LETTERS FROM THE EDGE of the teeming Metropolis
By Carlito Viriña Photography by Ben Chan
Many majestic trees, some as old as Eddie Garcia and Dolphy, were either violently uprooted from their moorings, or clobbered and whacked out of shape and left in ugly heaps blocking roads like grotesque, gnarled figures that looked like tree versions of Emily Rose.
Hey, bud! I saw the funniest thing on my way to work this morning. You know those small China-made scooters (Taiwan?) that are the latest craze here now. I saw one sputter by me, black with red and white racing stripes. The sticker on its side had a loud obscenity printed on it. What made it funny was because I saw it at that exact moment I looked up from the newspaper in front of me. I was reading the news report that GMA allies in Congress are supporting Presidential appointed Ombudsman Merceditas Guttierez – or Ombudsgirl, as she is fondly called by some senators - for absolving all the COMELEC officials involved in the PHP1.2 billion automated counting machine deal, after the Supreme Court voided the deal and ordered the Ombudsman to file a case against all those responsible. Oh yeah? Eto sa 'yo! At kiningining, pa!!! There, the news are, almost always, all good. Here, except for some Sports news like Efren Bata Reyes winning the 9-ball world championship, again, or the UST Tigers beating Ateneo to win the UAAP title, the news are almost always not so good. From the murmurings of Malacañang, the Senate and Congress, down to the daily horoscope and weather. And I hate it when I get so involved. Like why I even wonder about Kris Aquino’s pregnancy, which, according to her is “100 percent go”. Hah! Also, I guess it’s tough to just ‘fence-sit’ over here on some issues. Things have been pretty weird lately. What else is new, right? Like the Cha-cha initiative of GMA’s allies. Hearings are being held at the Supreme Court and on its first day, someone defended the
so-called ‘people’s initiative’ calling it the 'voice of God'. To this, one of the Supreme Court justices replied, “I do not hear the voice of God here.”
adobo to save our remaining stock in the fridge. A lot were spoiled, of course. But the worst part about having no electricity is having no water.
Around the same time this was happening, retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan was grilled by the Melo Commission tasked to probe the extra judicial killings and disappearances of left-leaning activists and community leaders. Asked if any of his men might be involved in the killings, Palparan said “I do not encourage them to take the law into their own hands. I could have inspired them, but I do not encourage them.” Quite a chilling quote there.
Many majestic trees, some as old as Eddie Garcia and Dolphy, were either violently uprooted from their moorings, or clobbered and whacked out of shape and left in ugly heaps blocking roads like grotesque, gnarled figures that looked like tree versions of Emily Rose.
Call me superstitious, but two days later typhoon Melenyo hit Metro Manila. You must have read about that. The storm may have come six years too late to deserve such a name, but it sure packed an old fashioned wallop not seen or felt since Dading and Yoling (Oops, gave away my age there). Melenyo came in too late, but also just in time to show how strong (or weak), depending on which part of the fence you’re sitting on, GMA’s republic is. Those humongous billboards that I’ve been complaining about in past dispatches. Those I said seem to give birth to even bigger billboard babies every month for the past couple of years. Well, quite a number of them came crashing down during the storm. On houses, on buildings, on parked vehicles, on people. They even came down on electric power lines causing blackouts of biblical proportions in most part of Luzon. Hardest hit were Bicol and Laguna areas. Phone lines were down, too. In Las Piñas, we were without electricity for five days. Tina had to cook different kinds of
Metro Manila, after Melenyo, must have felt like New Orleans after Katrina. Now with the storm gone, the politicians are back in the news hogging the spotlight and making speeches about the hazards of billboards. Some were blaming Pagasa for saying that Melenyo was packing 135 kph winds when on CNN it was measured at 230 kph. And quite a number just faced the cameras to give their I-told-you-so spiels to get exposure. Election’s coming soon, you know. Enough about what’s happening here. How’re you doing out there in cosmopolitan Dubai? I sincerely hope you are well. Long time no hear. And as often the case with you, no news is usually bad news so you better write soon to prove you’re okay. That crisis in Lebanon got us all worried about you guys. Thank God, that’s over. Tough to show where our heart lies in this conflict when we have friends on both sides. Believe me, the best tack to take is to refrain from voicing any opinion on the matter. May serve you well if you just ‘fence-sit’ on this one. Later, bro.
The first thing you notice when you arrive in Boracay is the feeling of isolation. No, it is not a deserted island. Far from it. Caticlan Airport is only a half-hour boat ride away. But as you stand on the beach of this little tropical island, just off the coast of the bigger island of Panay in the Philippines, you might as well be light years away from home. Whether that’s Manila or New York or Berlin. Because Boracay feels like a world of its own. Cut off from the usual and conventional. The expected and the mundane. While you can easily reach anyone on Earth by cell phone, being in Boracay feels like you’re on a different planet, away from everything you’ve ever been or thought you wanted to become. In Boracay, you can just be. Far away from the rest of your life. Boracay is not your typical beach resort. Certainly, it boasts of the whitest white sand your toes will just love to sink into. There are plenty to do during the day with your time, from beachcombing to diving and snorkeling. You can watch the sunset from the comfort of your bamboo lounge chair as you sip a margarita. And you can retire for the night in peaceful slumber, content to be relieved of all the stresses of your life in the big city. Or you can step out to discover the real Boracay that tour brochures only hint at. Boracay after dark... An all-night island party that goes on every night, 365 nights a year. Yes, Boracay after dark serves up the best buffet for the eat, drink and be merry crowd. First, the geography. Boracay is divided into three main sections: Boat Station 1, Boat Station 2 and Boat Station 3. It is at Boat Station 3 where most of the original Boracayans live. The natives say that before the world discovered Boracay, the whole island looked like Boat Station 3, with humble wood and thatch dwellings surrounded by dense forest. But that was more than twenty years ago. Before the European backpackers came and finally the moneyed jet set. For those wanting some nightlife, Boat Stations 1 and 2 are the places to let your hair down and your body glide. Boat Station 1 is where all the plush resort hotels have been built. There’s even a championship golf course for those who just can’t leave their game behind. But at night, Boat Station 1 gives you Cocomangas. Easily accessible on foot from the beach or by tricycle along Boracay’s narrow main street, Cocomangas pulsates with an interesting mix of house, rock and Latin music blasting your eardrums. Frequently by ten p.m., it’s already elbow-to-elbow around the wrap-around bar. This is a place for serious drinking and swinging. The crowd is mixed, like everywhere else on the island. Filipinos partying with Koreans, Germans and Brits, Austrians and Aussies. No politics here. Just good, clean fun. Just down the road and fronting the beach is Pier One, a pool bar. It is a huge place with billiard tables, a small dance floor, and dining tables overlooking the ocean. The mood is easy and mellow, the crowd not nearly as boisterous as Cocomangas. Pier One is perfect for
By Czar Viriña Photography by Phot Ph
You can watch the sunset from the comfort of your bamboo lounge chair as you sip a margarita. And you can retire for the night in peaceful slumber, content to be relieved of all the stresses of your life in the big city. Or you can step out to discover the real Boracay that tour brochures only hint at. Boracay after dark...
couples who just want to ogle the ocean or each other over cocktails. In recent years, Station 2 became the acknowledged center of activity in Boracay with the construction of D’Mall D’ Boracay. The open-air shopping mall, where most of the fashion and craft stores stay open late at night, also offers a good selection of restaurants and bars. There are familiar names from Manila, like Andok’s Lechon, Bamboo, and Hobbit House which was among the first bars to open in Boracay. Hobbit House, with its main attraction of amiable dwarf waiters, has been an institution in the Manila club scene for decades and remains so in Boracay. For drinks and dining with a little more touch of class, D’Mall also features Olé, with its Castilian-inspired cuisine, and Aria, essentially a tapas bar with some hearty dishes and a cosmo attitude. A good place to meet up with friends or to make new friends at Station 2 is The Sand Castles. At the beginning of the day, Boracay natives begin their construction of giant, elaborate sand castles, complete with towers and turrets, which they illuminate at night with torches. As if to remind tourists not to
take life too seriously, the natives destroy their beautiful sand sculptures at the end of the night and simply start over again the next day, day after day.
your way to Charlie’s Bar at Station 3. Here you can relax to vintage music: The Beatles, Beach Boys, and other baby boomer favorites.
Conveniently located right behind the Sand Castles is Hey Jude, the yuppie bar of choice in Boracay. The bar is named after the owner Christopher Jude Lee, a young Filipino beach lover who grew up in Miami. The food menu features popular Filipino and American dishes; the crowd is always lively, pumped up by blasting jazz fusion and rock music.
The thing about Boracay after dark is that you may well enjoy yourself too much that by the time you’re ready to sleep, it’s almost dawn. Many bars don’t close their doors until four in the morning.
As you walk down Station 2 towards Station 3, you discover how international Boracay truly is. Imagine the United Nations on a year-round holiday. Restaurants run the gamut from Filipino to Japanese to Portuguese. There is even a popular destination called English Bakery and Tea Room with excellent fish and chips, burger and chips, and for the health-minded, an assortment of fruit and yoghurt sundaes. It is owned by a Filipino and American couple who like many other entrepreneurs on the island first came to Boracay as tourists and never left. You can hop from one restaurant to another, and from one bar to the next, till you make
Then, all you can do is go back to your hotel, place a Do Not Disturb sign at the door, sleep through most of the morning, have a delicious brunch, a swim in the clearest, cleanest ocean you could ever find, and lie down on the beach for a nap or an invigorating massage by native women with magic hands. By sunset, you are all set to party once again. Because by this time, you already know that Boracay really comes to life at night.
“So that’s why you took a nap. I counted five roaming around. And they’re really not like, white ladies, right? They seem to be, well, I’m not sure if they know they’re dead. They’re the talkative kind too. And they are aware as well, like they’re alive.”
Apparently, there was a whole village of them.. Of all the places to go to,, I had to pick a haunted resort for a vacation spot!! The chilling fact that the ghosts weren’’t just drifting phantoms was beginning to frighten me.. The gang went swimming soon after, and I went back to the bunk. There she was again, huddled on the lower bed in the far side of the room. Her eyes! She was looking at me directly. She knew I could see her! Mike was right, they were aware! Just then I felt the hairs on my nape rise, and my heart began to race. Sweet mother, there was someone behind me! I forced myself to move to where my bag was, my limbs feeling like they were made of lead. I finally reached my bed and opened my bag with trembling fingers, trying desperately to ignore them. My curiosity got the best of me despite my fear and I glanced at the door. Yes there she was right beside the door, and until now I swear I saw her smile; a smile that chilled me to the bones. Ghosts don’t do that! They float around, oblivious to the living world! I grab my things and ran, surprised that I didn’t even scream. The truth? I was so scared to scream, because they might laugh at me. I always dreamt of being a ladies man, but not this way. Hell no!
Haunted Holiday Raven Resort, Abucay, Bataan By Mike Martin
I had been haggling with my boss for a sanity break. Boy, did I need a vacation! I got my green light, and was prepared to fly off in an instant. The catch was that I do team building as well, which means ‘baby sitting’ my cronies while I recharge. So I whisk everyone off to a secluded, yet highly recommended resort in Bataan, which is just two hours away from Manila - Raven Resort. Why not? Bataan is such a beautiful province, urban and rural in the same breath. Rolling green hills and mountains, breathtaking beaches, and scenic highways abound. Plus the clincher - mild mannered and friendly locals. For those who need refreshers in the country’s history, Bataan was the last bastion of freedom during World War II, site of the Death March, and the Shrine at Mt. Samat. Yes it is a poignant place, beautiful and tragic all at the same time. It was off peak season, so we had the entire resort to ourselves; five pools with slides, a basketball and tennis court, fully furnished rooms and two function halls. Whoopee! We arrive 10:30 in the morning and revel in the crisp and fresh provincial air. The place was every bit as the recommendation had said, which made me a very happy camper. They even had a mini zoo! While everyone went to their bunks, I ran off to my room with the ‘hot tub’, eager to start my much-needed respite. I opened the door and she was in the bed an overstaying guest. Yes you guessed it right, a ghost! Now I am not the kind who minds female company, but I prefer them not to be so transparent. I had two options – I can either ignore her, or I can go to the next room and crash with my team. I chose option two. Feeling refreshed after a short nap, I herded my hungry colleagues to a sumptuous lunch. The food was to die for, and for average people, a bit off the normal mix. We had palabok, spaghetti, regadillo (tastes like lechon paksiw), grilled milkfish and tilapia, grilled pork and rice. Everyone was in high spirits, laughing as we ate. Maybe I’d be able to forget the little incident in my room. Then I saw Mike, one of my agents, who also happens to have his third eye open. We exchanged meaningful looks. Oh brother, he saw her too! As we were cleaning up, he approached me with a weird smile on his face. “I knew it would be bad if we were both at the same place, a secluded place at that. So you saw them too?” My alarm bells went off. “Them? You saw more than one? Wait, did you bump into the beautiful one with Chinese features?”
The afternoon passed by without further incident. I tried to compose myself before rejoining the group and eventually fooled myself into being comfortable. We had dinner at around seven, and proceeded to start the booze and karaoke binge near one of the pools. The gang was having a blast enjoying their vacation. People were diving in the pool, drinking, and singing. The night went on perfectly. Then chinky was there, on the far left end of the pool. The guys were with me and were trying to see who could stay underwater the longest. Mike was on the opposite side of the pool and caught my eye. He knew. His eyes veered to my left and I knew there was one more - the plain looking woman in the bunk. I look at the women singing their hearts out on the Karaoke – there was the door lady. I swing my eyes, number four and number five! Four females and a male! Then it struck me as my hairs stood on end – they were all so young! They looked like they were on vacation too! Dear me, what have we gotten into! Time froze as Mike and I stood there watching. Ace decided to shower and change, and I went with him. I was still in the shower when I heard screams and everyone came barging into the room. Mike was shouting expletives and cursing. “They touched me, they freaking touched me!” he kept saying over and over, and everyone else was wide eyed. Saldy took a peek outside, and announced, “They’re there all right!” I took a peek and there they were, spread across the lawn in front of our door. There was no mistaking the malevolence this time, they reeked of it, the way you smell an open manhole from one hundred yards away. I closed the door and faced my troops with dread. Some sobbing hysterically and some were panicking. We were calming everyone down when Mike fell into a seizure and things went crazy. His fingers and arms were twisted in angles and his head was twisted so far I was waiting for it to snap. We decide to make a break for it to try and get Mike to a hospital, but as we carried him, the seizures stopped and he breathed normally. We look outside and they’re not there anymore. We stayed indoor for the rest of the night and left early the next morning. It’s been months, but to this day Mike would not tell me what happened to him, or if he knew why they stopped haunting us. I’m just glad we got out in one piece. I did find out who they were. Some of the locals relented when I gave accurate descriptions of the ghosts. They confirmed that these ghosts were restless spirits of a group of friends whose car was hit by a tanker truck just outside the resort, while chinky was a suicide case. As I was about to leave, one of them said: “You didn’t ask about the kids.” I whirled around, “Excuse me?” “I thought you saw all of them, including the two kids always seen dragging a coffin. Some even say there’s a spirit haunting the pools, drowning guests who are swimming at night.” As I walked away, I could almost imagine the last fainting breath of drowning guests...as their limp bodies settled at the bottom of the shallow pool...with eyes wide shut.
The view from your regular Juan dela Cruz on the street
Usapang Kanto By Joel Guerrero
I’m probably biased, because I grew up with them. Being in Dubai has made me appreciate our Pinays even more. You understand each other. You know what she wants more than anything else, a good husband, a good family and a good home. I think it is a personal choice. It’s practical for Filipinos to marry Filipinas, as we are familiar with their ways. However, we are also capable of forming relationships with other nationalities. We are romantic, appealing and adaptable. - Gel Quintana
And they will take care of you. Bakit, yung iba ba ipagluluto ka ng kare-kare na may bagoong, tsaka dinuguan? And what’s that Florante song? “Pagka’t magaganda ang mga Pinay...” They’re very caring and loyal. When I grow old, I know that she will take care of me, and I will take care of her. - Boogie Santos
I grew up surrounded by the beauty of Filipinas. They are loving, caring, and charming. I cannot imagine myself not getting married to a Filipina. Although, I believe that Filipinos have the ability and qualities to meet and marry other nationalities. - Randy Ayson
It is not easy to adjust to a foreign way of life. This makes it difficult for Filipinos to form relationships with other nationalities. However, there are a few Filipinos who are able to break the boundaries of culture and to marry other nationalities.
Filipinas are loving, caring and always fresh. If other nationalities favor Filipinas, why shouldn’t Filipinos patronize their own? - Edwin Desor
- Edwin Nieto
It is in our nature to seek our own. Filipinas are affectionate and dutiful. By the time I wake up in the morning, my wife has prepared everything I need for the day already. Filipinos do not know what to expect from other nationalities. Filipinos are timid with what they are not familiar with. - Rizaldy de Guzman
We grew up admiring Filipina beauty. This is the beauty we long for. Being Filipinos, we have an advantage because we already know their way of thinking. - Recto Tayo
It is easier to court Filipinas because they can understand us better. However, Filipinos are capable of marrying other nationalities also. It’s just a matter of adapting to another culture. - Romer James Cuachon
Bed Bar & Club
BED is the closest you can get to, how do I say it, ah… the kind of clubs you see in American movies (and not B-movies) if you are in the Philippines, which Amiel fondly refers to as ‘New York clubbing’.
By Mike Martin Photography by Ben Chan
Against my better judgment, mostly since I want a fair shot at most of the metro's hippest night spots, I let myself get talked into going to BED. Yes, you read correctly, BED. It is the heart of the upwardly mobile alternative lifestyle (I am not on the owners’ payroll - just in case you are wondering) located in Malate, Manila. We were sent a text message by a friend and colleague, Amiel Hipolito, who happens to do PR chores for the bar as well (hint…hint) that we would need to show to the receptionist, to confirm that we are on the V.I.P. guest list and would not need to pay the PHP200 entrance fee. You do not go to BED on a limping wallet, as I was to find out.
We finally get to the VIP room on the second floor after a great deal of ‘sidesteps and excuse me’s’ and boy did I let out a sigh of relief. Hmmm, the VIP room’s curtains were chain link, interesting. We had a fishbowl sort of view of everything and everyone; thanks to the huge circular window (you are welcome to pop your head out) yet I was a bit disconcerted about the couches that were more like, well, beds (!). Veiled passion, anyone? Going to the restroom was an adventure in itself, the urinals facing one another and walled by clear glass plates from the waist up. I kept my eyes on the tool to avoid looking over at the person in front of me!
out, BED is a place you could go to and let everything hang loose and not worry about anything else.
As soon as the doors were opened, dance music assailed my ears and oh holy mother of party animals, was the place packed! I wade in after my friends into the sea of humanity inside. BED is one huge dance floor, and people carried their drinks as they danced or conversed (just the way I like my bars), and the stairs was not exempt from the ruckus! BED is the closest you can get to, how do I say it, ah… the kind of clubs you see in American movies (and not B-movies) if you are in the Philippines, which Amiel fondly refers to as ‘New York clubbing’. Flashing strobes, laser lights, and irrelevant chairs and tables. You come to BED to party! Yes, I said ‘come’ not go. The place had an air of muted elegance to it, which enhances the place’s party atmosphere.
A waiter came in to take our orders, and came back promptly with our drinks in tow. Yippee! The S.O.P. was pay-as-you-order though, since everyone was moving around. Imagine that kind of service, with the place packed to the rafters and rocking like mad! Who cares about pricing, considering all of that? BED has all of your favorite poisons and then some. I was introduced to the regulars, who were a warm and friendly bunch of yuppies, entrepreneurs, call center officers Manila’s newest elite consumer, and I was partying with them in no time. Everyone was friendly and polite. No bar room brawls here pardner. There were even couples around, some definitely non-alternative guys and gals and the usual sprinkling of the clubbing celebrities, and as my lady friend pointed
Never got to sample the food that they serve, since I was too busy partying and tanking up, and forgot the time. Forgot my reservations as well and had a grand time! For the ladies - if you want to drool over great looking guys but aren’t really looking to get hit on, visit BED. And for the guys you won’t lose anything by hauling yourself there. Open your mind, bring your dancing shoes, dress to impress, and get ready to rock the night away!
Feeling comfy and getting my groove back, I try to go for a much deeper exploration of the place. Couples were doing the bump and grind, undulating to the steady backbeat with their partners. The place was vibrating (no pun intended!) with the pure unadulterated energy given off by a crowd having a great time. These people were right out of a fashion magazine: chic, hip and loaded with moolah (BED is pricey baby). Imagine the hook-ups? The real competition is partying here fellas!
Four stars until I try out their food!
Rating: Courtyard at the corner of Maria Orosa and Julio Nakpil Streets, Malate, Manila www..bed.com.ph
PINOY ABOUT TOWN
don't Lie By Dawn Almario
The hot and humid Arabian night found us hovering around the underground district of glamorous Dubai in search of raks sharqi - the moving, powerful dance rich in meaning and history...the enchanting dance of the East - Belly Dancing.
divas and the air was heavy with the intoxicatingly sweet smoke from sheeshas, the popular Middle Eastern smoking water pipe also known as hookah. Everything was very foreign, but very interesting. We felt so out of place, yet so into it.
It's surprising to discover that not all Arabic
And you can never go wrong with Shish Tawook, marinated grilled chicken, served in pita halves with lettuce, tomato and garlic sauce. All these, served with an intriguing backdrop of an Arabic band and Moroccan dancers in colorfully embroidered caftans, prancing in a Khaleeji dance - where movements are centered on the shoulders, and are followed by a distinctive hair toss. And that’s just the appetizer.
clubs offer danse du ventre but perhaps the mere rarity of it, heightens the experience. With luck on our side, we didn't have to search far. We were led to Al Khan Shisha Club in Ramada Continental Hotel in the Abu Hail area in Deira. We found ourselves inside an authentic Arabic club, our first, and we were the club’s first Asian guests. As soon as we entered, all eyes turned to us, as if we were the much-awaited performers – Asian version. We must have looked like tourists and we felt like it too, not knowing where to go, what to order, what to appreciate with everything so distinctively Arabic. The club manager was friendly and attentive, happy to see different faces. We were given front row seats at the VIP section! The music sounded like a chorus of screaming, high-pitched mermaids turned Arabic
But it’s easy to blend in when you have an apple-flavored sheesha by your side – the tobacco making you feel sinfully giddy. If apple is not to your taste, you can try cinnamon, mint, cherry or even strawberry flavor. Perhaps they should add fruit salad flavor too!
At exactly 1 am, the room ruptured with drum roll, to which the eager audience feverishly clapped and cheered. In anticipation, I tried to take my camera out of my bag to steal a quick shot, but the bouncer was quicker. A heaving excitement filled the air. The Belly Dancer has arrived. On stage entered a goddess of exotic dance, in flesh - full and voluptuous. Intriguingly different, the dance of the East drove the crowd to frenzy. Starting the
dance in slow, hypnotic beats, the dancer gracefully moved her arms, her finger cymbals enticing and flirting to the beat. Her belly moved in an astounding rhythm and pace, creating tremors as the music got faster. As the tempo further rose, the dancer’s body shook, jiggled and trembled. She was rising, falling and gliding, her skirt flew in the air as her feet rapidly spun. Back bends, pelvic rocking, violent hip sways - the house rocked! Our jaws dropped in awe. We were mesmerized. This is a dance that is best seen than explained. Words cannot describe the physical prowess, power and passion. You have to see it to believe it. One thing is for sure though; belly dancing is not for everyone. Not for the shy and certainly not for the ‘gyrationally-challenged’. After seeing the riveting performance, we tried our hand at the fine art of hip twisting – a sway to the left, one to the right and a couple of ‘hoola-hoop eights’ and some violent jiggling on the side. Whew! No matter how we swayed our hips, they can't lie! It’s not the same. We’re just hapless wannabee’s in the stage of the sensuous danse de ventre mistresses. Even though our passion is there, the bellies just won’t roll! Well, you can't be a belly dancer overnight but Al Khan Shisha Club just might make your night. With an adventurous spirit and as little as AED100 per person for a meal, drinks, sheesha and the show, experience and be intrigued by authentic Arabic nightlife. The enthralling raks sharqi is more than enough reason to venture out of your usual haunts.
PINOY PLANET Life in the Middle East is quite tough especially for a Filipino, like myself, who has always enjoyed a certain amount of freedom in all aspects of life, back home. But after experiencing the ‘Middle East’ lifestyle, I can somehow say that I’m enjoying it, having been able to adjust to the norms of a highly conservative community. Maybe that’s one good thing about being a Filipino. We are flexible enough to adapt to the best or worst-case scenarios, and then live through it no matter what. That too, with a big smile on our face!
Besides the patchy road works, traffic is also a problem, due to the presence of too many cars. But guess what, even though most downtown streets are congested during rush hour, the traffic still moves! Unlike in EDSA where at a specific time in the morning, the traffic almost always stands still for some time, giving you a chance to take a nap inside your car, here in Cairo, you’d better be wide awake because no matter how heavy the traffic is, it will move. So stay alert!
Although my ‘expat’ experience is so far limited to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, living in Cairo is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had since I got bitten by the ‘expat bug’. This is because Cairo has so many similarities to Manila, making me feel at home, away from home.
I remember my last vacation in Manila, when my nephew Louie picked me up from the airport. I was quite apprehensive and somehow not so confident about the way he was driving, until I realized that all the other drivers were doing the same thing - being aggressive to get their share of limited space on the road. Yes, it immediately dawned on me, that I was in Manila and not somewhere else.
Lubaks and Traffic The condition of the roads and streets of Cairo is quite similar to Manila. Side streets and residential lanes are quite narrow just like back home. Every now and then, while driving, you encounter a lubak or some excavation left unfinished, which I thought, were only found in Manila. But hey, you also see them here.
Driving Like Mad
Driving in Cairo is even more! More because driving in this city is more thrilling and nerve-wracking than a roller-coaster ride! No need to go to Disneyland or any theme park for that matter. It’s like driving your own roller coaster seat, braving the throng of adrenalin injected angry cars, not knowing if you are going to crash to the one in front of you! Believe me,
At home in Cairo
By Jun Tacio Photography by Hiro Arai
Places and faces, through the eyes of a Pinoy viajero. It’s a small planet, a PINOY PLANET
the first time I drove a car here, I felt like I was learning to drive for the first time! Worst, it was scary! But after sometime, I got used to it. Now I’m one of those crazed drivers on the road – well, I have to be!
would run after the moving bus, grab the door railing, and hang on for dear life! It’s just like grabbing a ride on the red JD bus from Monumento to Ayala, via Edsa. Sabit na sa bus, bilis!
Sari-Sari and Tambays
When walking around the residential areas of the city, you will not miss the small stores selling assorted goods, such as soft drinks and canned goods, which closely resemble our sari-sari stores in the Philippines. The similarity is so uncanny. These small stores called baqallas, are mostly located within the premises of private residential buildings, usually along the streets and alleyways. They are also the hangouts for Cairo youngsters who just want to chill, not having much to do during the early evening hours. It was déjà vu when I first noticed. Tambay sa sari-sari sa Cairo? Must be my imagination. Of course not. The similarity is very striking.
Grabbing a Bus Ride Oh yes! Who will ever forget the buses in Manila, where passengers are packed to the roof during busy hours? Well, the buses here in Cairo are the same. They also stop anywhere just like in Manila. Any passenger can demand to be let-off the bus even in the middle of the street! I thought this was distinctively a ‘Manila-only’ phenomenon, but it definitely is not. Sometimes, when a passenger is desperate to get a ride, he
Sidewalk vendors are also all over the busy streets of Cairo. Well, sidewalk street vendors are always present anywhere in the world especially in travel destinations. What is not available just everywhere is this snack food called poprice. If you are a Filipino, you will definitely know what this is. Poprice is that rectangular flat shaped sweet snack made of rice that you can buy at any sari-sari store back home. But it’s no longer a distinctively Filipino delicacy - poprice has also invaded Cairo! And with a twist! They come in different flavors, spiced with different aromas like cinnamon and nutmeg; the definitive poprice innovation! Egyptians call it a variation of hariza and bazbouza. Whoever thought in the Philippines that poprice can be made in different flavors? Nobody, unfortunately.
Tinapa, Daing, atbp. Can you imagine that I would find tinapa and daing in Cairo? Somehow, these Filipino favorites found their way into Egyptian homes. Out of curiosity, I asked one of my officemates why these are available in Cairo when they don’t even have a good number of Asian residents
here. He answered, “Jun, this type of food is only for the poor.” I just smiled and answered, “Really? What else can I say? I’m just a poor guy earning my money in Egypt!” But believe me, the tinapa in Cairo is better than any fancy food worth my Egyptian pounds. And it tastes great too! So there you have it - a number of things that remind me of home while living here in Cairo. Add to that the vibrant nightlife and the lovely resilient people, I couldn’t ask for more. It’s really like being at home and more!
LOVE PINOY STYLE
Cool or Yuck?
By Antonella Andrada Photography by Mac Antonio and Ben Chan
Oh the amorous Pinoy! One characteristic that a lot of Pinoys can’t hide is their being muy amoroso. Whether it’s guys or gals, a lot of us can’t help being romantic with their mate, anywhere and everywhere. Public Display of Affection a.k.a. PDA, seems genetic to a lot of us. You see romantic Pinoys everywhere, in the streets of Karama or Al Riqqa, holding hands while crossing the streets, making subo to halu-halo at Pinoy restaurants during Friday lunch, or lying side by side at the park, or sitting intimately close in the backseat of taxis. In a conservative environment, however, where respect of cultural sensitivities is de riguer, when does PDA cross the boundaries from being sweet or cute to utterly blatant and in poor taste? Or from something acceptable versus a gesture that will make your friends gag, or at worst, get you an overnighter in jail? In the Pinoy boy-girl connection,when is PDA cool or yuck?
LOVE PINOY STYLE Our Illustrado panel rates some popular Pinoy PDAs:
your mate. That’s why it’s so kapal. Skin underneath clothes is
(Boy’s hand in girl’s trouser back pocket)
Cool –Sweet and acceptable Yuck Factor * Not sure, pero ka-taas ng kilay. ** Euwww. *** Big EUWWW! **** Kapal! ***** Get outta here, please lang!!!
Holding Hands Cool!
Together with akbay, holding hands is sweet and old-fashioned - just enough to say, “we’re in love”, without overdoing it. It’s a charming gesture displaying reasonable closeness. Sometimes, holding a girl’s hand can even make the guy look quite gentlemanly and supportive. And in true inventive Pinoy fashion, you can hold hands as usual, or do a variation - HHPSSP - holding hands pa-swing-swing pa!
Ankla (Boy holding the girl by the waist or vice-versa) Yuck * Not sure, pero ka-taas ng kilay!
It seems harmless enough to most, but some digress. Holding the girl or boy by the waist smacks of possessiveness and hints of intimacy that some might not want to see. With our acute Pinoy sense of personal space, we normally feel uncomfortable when someone gets too physically close. So when somebody holds you by the waist, it says a lot. Well, at least, enough to make people wonder, especially if you’re a young couple.
Ankla Variation 1
(Boy holding the girl by the waist, hand inside her blouse)
Yuck **** Kapal!
T ust the merest suggestion of ‘skin’ to turn, what might seem Tr harmless, into a nauseating move. If you want your friends to respect you, DO NOT do this in public. It’s an arrogant display
meant to be private, so please keep your hands to yourself!
Ankla Variation 2 Yuck *** Big EUWW!
Anything and everything that has to do with intimate body parts, in this case, the girl’s gluteus maximus, should be left behind closed doors. It’s considered just plain rude to be in such a position and it looks nothing like innocent affection. The only time this would be appropriate is if you are models shooting a jeans commercial, that too if you’ve got your behind toned to perfection.
Kiss sa Cheeks Cool! Beso-beso, as long as it’s the ‘dry type’, is a perfectly acceptable way of showing you care. Especially in a society where kissing on the cheeks is seen as a genial way of greeting family and friends, you can’t go wrong – except if your tongue is hanging out when you’re about to plant the kiss. Then cool
Hugging Cool! Just like the all-time favorite smack, there’s a thin line between a decent hug and an absolutely salacious one. When done without malice, a frontal hug, or hug from the back are all okay gestures of affection. What makes it inappropriate is if you linger too long, or worse, if it involves questionable body parts touching. So keep it cool, short and sweet.
Kandungan Yuck*** Big EUWWW! Unless there are no more chairs to sit on, kandungan is just in very bad taste. It conjures images of dark cheap bars and DOM’s (dirty old men) trying to get a feel. Try to stay away from your mate’s lap if there are spare chairs around – that is, unless you are drooling, wearing Pampers and in need of a burp.
Feeding Each Other Yuck*** Big EUWWW!
becomes kadiri and ugly!
is where most folks are polarized. Some Pinoys find this cool, while others find it revolting. If a couple does this in a natural Kiss sa Lips ‘non-OA’ (over-acting) way, it’s fine. However, if Yuck * Not sure, the couple is ‘sickeningly’ sweet, spooning every pero ka-taas ng kilay! morsel of food into each other’s mouths, A smack is a tricky one to rate. There’s a thin line swooning like honeymooners, it can be a real between what is acceptable and what is not, and turn-off. it normally depends on timing and how it’s done. Of course, there are also other factors to consider A perfunctory one-second kiss for long time like food. If one is feeding her mate dessert or couples will be deemed normal, acceptably affectionate. However, a lingering kiss that goes sweets, it’s okay. But if you’re lovey-dovey sharing isaw or tokneneng, it’s just yuck to the beyond the one-second mark is not a smack max! anymore. And it can be aggravated. If your mouth is open when you swoop in for a lingering Whichever way you look at it, there are ways and wet kiss, don’t be surprised if people around you means to show your loved one you care, without walk away. That’s when you upgrade your one assaulting other people’s sensibilities, or in star ‘yuck rating’ to ***** Yuck! Get outta here, simple terms, making them vommit. Especially in please lang! a country where respect of cultural differences is
Gitgitan Yuck * Not sure, pero ka-taas ng kilay!
a must, the romantic Pinoys need to take it down a notch and be thoughtful of their actions. There is a big difference when people look at the two of you in appreciation, to when people stare at you as if they want to spear you with pitchforks.
Whether it’s walking on the streets or riding at the back seat of a car, amorous couples will seize any opportunity to get close. That’s why you see a lot of folks who look like they’ve run out
So here’s a simple rule: stay what seems to miff people off is the fact that gitgitan is just so sweet, but stay cool, and ‘OA’ (over-acting), at the very least, and looks like ka-cheapan at the most. Come on, why stick to each other like glue when most importantly, stay out there’s enough room for a battalion? of trouble! of space. Nothing wrong with the physical contact here, but
that shows disrespect to the people around you, especially to
The Etymology of the
(or how Mike Hanopol, Dina Bonnevie, Kris Aquino, John Lapuz and Nokia replaced our Language teachers after school hours) By Sonny Guzman
Jeprox, Burgis, Coño Talk, Swardspeak, Text Lingo - which one sounds like you? Mga Repa-pips, naalala nyo pa ba nung panay ang stroll nyo sa Cubao – naka-isputnik habang HHWW (Holding Hands While Walking) with your steady, then tsibog kayo sa Good Earth, tapos - pag alaws na ang bread tambay na lang sa Skatetown o nood ng drag racing sa Greenhills sabay mabubuking ka ng Erpat mo tinakas mo lang yung wheels nya habang dehins pa sya nakakauwi sa haybols? Badtriiiiip!!! Eh what about those times when you used to make tusok-tusok the fishballs outside the campus while the driver makes potpot na the car…or when I make pa-cute to the boys from La Salle when I spot them while eating in Chew Chew Junction in Greenhills…..baduuuuyyyy!!! But then these other boys from other schools keep making porma to us even if we don’t make them pansin – Kadiri to death!!!! Hay naku, I’d rather watch na lang “Zapped” to see Scott Baio - Kilig to the Bones pa!!!! But Dude, mas awesome naman to hang out sa Giraffe before coz lotsa movie stars can be seen there, too – sobrang dami – as in! It’s like being in Bora in the middle of Holy Week – ugh! Cool!!! I remember seeing my friend Iñaki with my ex – gosh, I so almost freaked out, pare! I swear, that girl is so kaka. So I pretended to be clueless na lang and said, “Wassup, pa-rree?” Whew, I thought I’d be totally busted for that – I was like sweating like a pig na kaya, Grabeh, it’s sooo init talaga that summer. I almost barfed when I felt that my batok is turning sunog na. Eeeuwww!!! I gotta chill…. Kami ng mga friends ko, mas feel naming rumampa sa Malate kapag weekends – dami kasing bonggang utaw doon – panay pa mga papable at mga diyosa at kung anik anik pang ibang chuva choo choo. For sure, makikita mo din dun ang mga dating mong jowa - pero dedma ka na lang – kung ma-Julie Vega ka na naka-sight sa kanya, ikaw din ang malu-Luz Valdez. Then pagkatapos mag-bar hopping, attack naman kami sa Aristocrat kasi Tom Jones na kami. Lafang kami ng lafang hanggang dumating na si Korina Sanchez – so pagsakay naming sa sukab, orlog na kami hanggang makarating ng balay. Ang chaka di ba?!!! HellO….pEePz! wAt TyMe tAu MgKKta L8er? WRu bA? C u nA lAnG sA gLoR8tA mGa 6pM…4 zUrE L8 K N NmAn. LeTz wAtCh a mUvi @ G4 tHen MiT Wid mY OFiSM8 @ gBeLT…sA *BuCKs hA? mAy iPaPa-d8 dAw Cla sA akin – HiYa nGa mE eh – bKa sObRaNg sChUsHaL nUng GiRL mAtOrPe LaNg mE. TEkA, K K lAnG B? SBHiN M kUnG nAHiHiLO K N sA CnAsABi kO hA? sORi, gNiTo TlgA mE mAgSaLiTa eH…….
Etymology : the study of the origins of words or parts of words and how they have arrived at their current form and meaning
PINOY TRIVIA A collage of Philippine facts bringing you closer to home
“Welcome to Dubai, Annie B!” Dizzizit! The moment I been waiting for – to see the city of the promised land – where taxis are not named “Bulaklak”, “Rocalex” or “New Rocalex” anymore, where all places are air-conditioned and people live in condominiums – okay, flats – and opportunities are everywhere, where sky’s the langit!
The Annie B.(Batobalani) Chronicles The adventures and misadventures of a 'not so average' Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.
“Mabuhay, I am Athena Daffodil Batobalani from Orion, Bataan, Philippineeeeessss!!!” Dressed in my Marilyn Monroe outfit, me and my cousin Froricel arrived at Deira City Center, which reminded me of SM Megamall. Lots of shops like Mango, Blueberry, Mosimmo Duty, Zara, Nine West – I can’t wait to shop! But of course, I need to get a job first. So window-shopping muna... I’m amazed with all the handsome men around me – locals who look like Richard Gomez and Ian Veneracion, Europeans that looksalike of Brad Pitt, and Indians and Pakistanis mala-Christopher de Leon and of course, other Arabs that remind me of Carlos Agassi….Come to Mama, my dear Papas!!! Later on, my cousin’s suitor, Prakash, who is from Kerala, joined us for dinner in Chili. Prakash is weird. He kept shaking his head all the time. He can’t seem to get satisfied, “Are you ok?” He swings his head…”Do you want some fries?” Swings his head but goes on to finish the fries on my plate…”You’re really hungry, noh?” swings his head again. “Are you joking my leg?!!!” swings his head again….”Hay, whatever you say so!”
volcano, which 7,107 Islands After dinner, we went for a joy ride in Prakash’s Nissanused to be larger, collapsed.
Towering at a height of 2,954 meters (9,692 The ridges around At the heart of South East dropped Asia, at the Sunny. My jaws as I saw the high-techness of Tagaytay City, feet), Mount Apo is the highest peak in the overlooking the lake, are believed to be part Dubai! Well, well, well…look do we have here. The crossroads of the Orient and the developed skycapers along Sheek Zayed Road are amazing – like country. Located 25 kilometers south of of the crater of the old volcano. These ridges western world is the Philippines. Stretching Makati times ten…parang New York! I felt like I amasinthe a border of the Davao City, the mountain which forms part now serve more than 1,840 kilometers and composed movie. “Wooooowww!!! Haneeep!!! Shockiiiing!!!” I of the Mount Apo National Park is blessed 18-mile-diameter Taal Lake and stretch 32 of 7,107 islands, the Philippines can’t find the words is to readily describe Dubai. I was also with hot springs, sulfur pillars, geysers, kilometers. accessible to the different capitals of the lakes, rivers and waterfalls. It is home to a world. Its three main islands are Luzon, World’s Richest Marine Park number of endemic animals such as the Visayas and Mindanao. The Philippines has The Tubbataha Reefs in Sulu Sea is Philippine eagle, falconet and mynah. Its 79 provinces and 116 chartered cities. considered as the world's richest peak can be reached on a four-day hiking bio-geographic area, covering 33,200 Eighth Wonder of the World trip. The Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao province hectares and containing what is believed to be the of marine only.grouping My cousin ordered Bullfrog – a popular Dubai drink. I liked it but I miss Gin witness as thethe fantastic place all –world's the Burjlargest has been dubbed "Eighthluxury Wonder ofof them World Heritage Sites They don’t The place was very full of fun – everyone was Al Arab!!! My cousin that it islife, 7-stars hotel. I –Pomelo. per unit area with more than 300 have it there. the World". The Ifugaos carvedtold the me terraces TheofWorld Heritage Committee of UNESCO having a good time. the band is like the singers in Malate’s “The can’t believe it because I only know 5-stars hotels and in at coral species, least 40 families andThe singer from the rocky mountain of Banaue, about has designated 754 cultural and natural along. They gave Makati. And the shape – its looks like a space ship Library” – they played jokes in Tagalog and the foreigners laughed 379 species of fish.them Among species 4,000 feetfrom above theWars!!! sea level, hundreds of a bigthe hand of applause. They down house sitesbrought worldwide to the make suredown! that future Star identified were manta rays, sea turtles, years ago. The total outline of this generations can inherit the treasures of the After and we jackfish. finished our free drinks, moved to another barin–the this time a Pinoy kind. Then we drived around Jumeirah, which is liketuna, Forbes sharks, dolphins architectural wonder, otherwise known as past.weFour of these sites are We arrived in Ratsky’s – also a favorite hangout of mine back home. I’m so glad they Park. So full of big mansions! Unlike in Manila, they the "stairways to the sky" is about 13,500 Philippines – the get historic town ofThe Vigan in was also have a branch here. This way I won’t homesick. place light up their houses very brightly – maybe to scare the also World’s Second Deepest miles long, or about half the globe's Ilocos Sur province, which is known for its – this time mostly Pinoys. I noticed there is no dress code. Most of our Akyat Bahay Gang here. On the road,The I also saw second the jampacked world's deepest spot circumference ten times the length and sportsandcars speeding very offast – Perari, Porsh, kabayans were dressed in basketball Spanishjerseys, colonialshorts houses; thetsinelas Puerto – how comfy! It’s Thebarangay kabaret or the perya. I felt overdressed of course – as the Great Lamborgenie Wall of China.– they have it all here!!!underwater likePhilippines. going to the I can’t takeis in it the Princesa Subterranean River National Park Philippine Deep, otherwise known always. The bar’sasband sang more Tagalogprovince, songs. Most of theirasrepertua were from anymore of this - next time I have to bring my camera, in Palawan considered the Bon Jovi, feet Celine Dion and Aegis. I get sentimental whenever I hear ….…”Heto ako, Mindanao 34,440 (10,497 I can have non-stop Kodakan with all the cars,trench the is World'ssoSmallest Volcano basa ulaaaannn!!!!” world's longest underground river; the buildings and houses around meters) below the basang sea level. ThesaPhilippine Taal Volcano, a 406-meter-high crater, Dubai. is Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park also Deep is in the floor of the Philippine Sea. said to beThen the world's smallest volcano. It is Who cares? is all species spilled milk under we went to Jules Bar – sossy place with lots of Ahh, painful memories from theinpast. Palawan, home toEverything over 300 coral The German ship Emden firstI plumbed describedkabayans as "a crater within island the bridge. am now the in Dubaiand – and myofdreams willtheabout to be true. I am, and otheranlahi. I was so surprised because 400soon, species fish; and rice terraces in 1927. Theafter world's within a lake" becauseareit stands all, adeepest woman part of theofworld nowadays – ready to conquer the world under the tips the bands Pinoy as – an butisland then it’s trench understandable in Ifugao province, which cover about of my finger in my hands, because Pinoys bands are abroad, to Marianas the oceannext is the Trench, which is where I can have my cake and bake it too.. Dubai, here I at Taal Lake. The lake was formed afterpopular the 20,000 hectares of the Cordillera mountain Japayukis. The place was so crowded, standing room over 11,000 metersam…..are below theyou sealready level.for Annie B?!! range.
The Annie B.(Batobalani) Chronicles The adventures and misadventures of a 'not so average' Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai.
YOU THE NEXT
FACE OF ILLUSTRADO
Illustrado is looking for models, both males and females of all ages. Are you a photogenic Pinoy with a sparkling personality that shines through? Do you love being in front of the camera? Send your close-up and full body picture, as well as your contact details to email@example.com You just might have what it takes to be part of our next issue.
ILLUSTRADO FACE OF THE MONTH CELEBRATING PINOY CHARM
JAN LA’O BOHEMIAN BEACH BOY Photography by Ronnie Salvacion “Life – live it, love it!” Illustrado’s entertainment writer Jan La’O’s mantra in life truly captures his eclectic and bohemian lifestyle. Jaime Antonio Nicolas La’O, embraces life with arms wide open through his varied exploits in the arts, sports and travel. This young man is a freelance writer, multimedia artist, photographer, interior designer, an award-winning athlete, community projects volunteer, actor and commercial model, who dreams of being featured in ‘Lonely Planet’ someday, on top of being a regular ‘crush ng bayan’ to a lot of swooning girls back home.“There's just so much I want to do that I don't think I'll be able to do it all in one lifetime.” In his free time, Jan craves adventure and enjoys doing what he calls ‘outdoor tripping’. “I love getting lost and being on an adventure…as long as I get enough sleep. I love to sleep,” he chuckles. When asked what he wants to accomplish with his involvement with Illustrado, Jan enthuses, “I want to share the colorful culture of the Philippines to others. I also want Filipinos to realize how much beauty we have in us and in our country.”
HILIG PINOY Pinoys’ toys, hobbies and obsessions
By Joel Guerrero
Radio-controlled (RC) scaled-down car models are commonly passed on as kids' toys. They are given as gifts and kids get hooked to them until their batteries run flat-out. RC however, is for people of all ages, boys and girls alike. And for a growing number of Pinoy hobbyists around the world, like Joel Mangilit, these 'playthings' feed their need for speed – with less risks and expenses. RC vehicles are classified into two levels: toy and hobby. Both RC classes have their own good and bad qualities – neither one is necessarily better.
Images from www.rctips.com
The simpler of the two, toy-level RCs are recommended for children and beginners. Purely intended for fun in the house or around the neighborhood, they are cheap and easily available at toy stores. All units are ‘ready to run’ from the box with an electric motor. These vehicles made by top brands like Tyco, Nikko, and Mattel, come with rechargeable batteries and their chargers, and run for 15 to 30 minutes when fully charged. Off-road toy RC cars, which include trucks and buggies, have springy suspensions, which can handle dirt or rocky surfaces and are big on torque versus speed. Streetcars like the F1, muscle cars, import tuners, hot rods and low-riders prefer the grip of the pavement and have a higher running speed than its off-road
counterparts. Most toy cars will go anywhere from 8 Kph to 25 Kph, with the fastest few doing to 30-40 Kph. Though their speed is limited, they are tough and can handle most crashes, and bumps. Upgrades for toy RCs are available from the
original manufacturer, particularly the smaller 'micro' cars and trucks. These upgrades are easy to install and include faster electric engines, stylish wheels, stickier tires, and flashy body kits, which improve the vehicle’s appearance and performance.
Hobby- Level RC
Fun and Beyond
The more sophisticated hobby-level RCs, on the other hand, are recommended for serious enthusiasts with the need for speed. Available in either ‘ready-to-run’ from the box, or in assembly kits, they offer maximum realism with parts such as chassis, engine, clutch, drivetrain, suspension, and steering servo among others. ‘Ready-to-run’ vehicles provide immediate satisfaction while car and truck kits require mechanical know-how and could take 4 hours to assemble. Be aware though, that kits are not complete. Some kits may require that you purchase a radio system, engine, and possibly more.
Aside from neighborhood enthusiasts, there are local clubs and online groups all over the world, which promote RCs, providing technical support and assistance. And for the more serious enthusiasts, there are local and international racing – a chance to compete with the world’s fastest and most furious.
Available in nitro-powered engine and electric motor, they can achieve running speeds from 30 to 65 Kph. By and large, nitro-powered engines are faster than electric motors with some vehicles pushing beyond 95 Kph. The start-up price of the speedier nitro RC is much lesser than that of electrics, however, they cannot automatically outdo all electric engines. Best to run outdoors, nitro vehicles draw a lot of attention and have greater appeal for enthusiasts and audience alike. Like full-sized engines, they rev-up loudly as they go faster, and this adds to the thrill of either running or watching them. On the down side, the high-level of noise can be a bit distracting for neighbors and passers-by. Electric hobby automobiles are, in contrast, easier to handle and quieter to run. They are
Joel Mangilit (front row second from right), IT fairly safe to run inside the house. But unlike their toy RC counterparts, electric hobby RCs have a running time of 10-15 minutes, depending on engine and vehicle configuration. Hobby RC vehicles are available in different genres namely: Monster Truck, 1/8th Scale Buggy, Truggy, Stadium Truck, 1/10th Scale 2WD Buggy, 1/10th Scale 4WD Buggy, Touring Car, Motorcycle, Pan Cars, 1/8th Scale Onroad, Dirt Oval, Drag Racing, and Micros. There are over a hundred upgrades available for hobby RCs to achieve extensive performance and sleeker looks. These include conversion kits, scale realistic wheels, and more powerful engines/motors. From a mere 30 Kph, a fully upgraded electric RC, complete with premium power parts, can exceed over 95 Kph!
Head of the Deutsche Bank in the Philippines, is an avid RC enthusiast. His passion for Radio-controlled cars started when he was eight years old. Joel has competed in races in the Philippines and abroad, and was the 1999 Champion in the Neo 1/10 Touring Gas and in the Futuba Cup 1/10 Gas; and also finished among the Top 10 racers in the Mini-Chassis Division of the Tamiya Asia Cup 2004 held in Hong Kong. His website - www.rccartips.com, is dedicated to RC tips, reviews and articles.
By Randi de Guzman Photography by Joel Guerrero
“I’ve never been to a country where the entire population has such a tremendous sense of personal style....”, Kyan Douglas of the Fab 5 of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy fame exclaimed, on his first trip to the Philippines. Blessed with a real love for style and an innate sense of aesthetics, looking good comes naturally to Filipinos. Classic simplicity has always been our best attribute. That said, we might be very fashionable when it comes to clothes, but most of us are still ‘in the dark’ when it comes to embellishing outfits to complete a look. Illustrado dedicates this shopping feature to accessorizing for style and function – it’s time to finally get that bold, beautiful bag out of the closet! Leather is one of nature’s most versatile and sensual materials, and good quality leather accessories, such as bags, are still one of the best style statements anyone can make. Consider this – a stylish bag can make even a plain white t-shirt and a pair of jeans look tres chic. A boring or inappropriate bag, however, can drag down your entire look even if you’re dressed in designer togs from head to toe. And just like any other element of style, a bag can be an extension of your personality or mood for the day. Feeling casual in a black bag with metal rivets? Or kikay with a dainty red kili-kili bag? When choosing bags, just as you would any accessory, one should remember, that accessories are meant to enhance. Therefore, choose according to your personal style,
lifestyle, and how the bag would look with your particular outfit in mind. As a basic, you should have one bag for work and another for everyday wear. The design or style of the bag will define how useful it is to you. Handbags or purses need to be functional and should be easy to coordinate with multiple outfits. They should be comfortable to carry, and have enough room to pack your essentials, without looking too bulky. An extra detail to consider are conveniently usable compartments for personal effects, as well as a good inner lining, ideally in silk or rayon. Here are some popular handbags that have become important in style and fashion: The Pochette aka ‘kili-kili’ bag is a small purse that is shaped like an envelope and has a short, usually detachable strap. Depending on the design, it is a day or evening shoulder/hand or clutch bag especially when all you need to keep is a lipstick, your mobile phone and some money. For more casual occasions, the Hobo bag is tops. It is crescent shaped with a long strap, and is designed to be worn over the shoulder. If you favor the more casual bohemian or ‘boho-chic’ style then this one’s for you. The tote is actually just like an updated and glammed-up version of the bayong. It has become very fashionable, since the design is in line with the current clothing trends. En vogue totes are embellished with magnetic snaps, hooks and loop fasteners (velcro), or zip openings. The tote can be used as a multi-purpose bag or a carry-all when you’re shopping.
Originally used in the transportation of mail and goods, the ‘messenger’ or ‘courier bag’ is increasingly used as a fashion accessory, which has become a ‘must have’ for stylish commuters. There’s no better way of jostling into a crowded bus than with a cool ‘messenger’ conveniently slung over your shoulders! When going on a short holiday, the Duffel or ‘weekender’ is THE bag of choice. There is enough room for essentials as long as you travel light as you travel in style. The quintessential in versatility, the current craze in fashionable Tokyo, is the unique designer 'diaper bag' – that looks like a handbag and comes in leather. It doubles as a 'mommy bag' and ‘triples’ as a 'weekender bag'. Teenage fashionista daughters (or sons for that matter – there are diaper-dude bags, too!) wouldn’t frown on it as a hand-me-down. Now, that is parenthood done in style! “Domo Arigato Gozaimashite!'’ Although expensive designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Gaultier, et al. are sought-after for their style, luxury and durability, a good bag doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are local accessory stores that carry a wide range of reasonably-priced styles like Nine West, Charles & Keith, Aldo, as well as fashion stores like Mango and Zara, to name a few. If your budget can accommodate, leather, is the best material for both style and longevity. If you have even ‘mucho dinero’, and you simply must buy ‘designer’, choose bags with subtle logos, because they endure fickle fashion trends. Remember, you are paying for their merchandise and not their advertisement. Fine leather, good stitching and the over-all construction are attractive style features enough to make others covet their neighbor’s bag – and you can be the one carrying that object of envy, if you are smart enough! Illustrado 63
Where’s the Beef ?
By Cecile Samson-Aquino Photography by Mac Antonio
Beef is well loved almost everywhere, and revered in India, where the Hindus regard cows as sacred. The word itself is derived from the French word boeuf boeuf,, which is pronounced almost in the same way. There are numerous names for the different meat parts of cows. A popular one, ‘brisket’, is from the upper front legs area. It is very sinewy and has a lot of marbling which makes it very well suited for stewing and long cooking. The cut that we know as bulalo is in fact bone-in beef shank – yes, that part of the leg. If it were pork, we would call it pata pata.. Both of these cuts are so flavorful in soups and stews that it’s no wonder they’re quite popular among Pinoys, especially considering that they are cheaper than premium steak cuts. Bulalo is one of my favorite comfort foods. Together with tinola, sinigang, and lugaw lugaw,, it’s one of my choice repast whenever I’m feeling down and ‘flu-ey’. It never fails to give me relief from whatever ails me. This recipe is
just like any other nilaga formula and my favorite stock recipe is with greens and potatoes. I recommend serving it with a dipping sauce of patis mixed with calamansi juice, since it is quite bland by itself. Slurrrrpp! Sarap …
1. Place the bulalo bulalo,, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, celery, and onions in a big pot. 2. Add enough water to cover the bulalo (about 8 cups). 3. Bring to boil then lower the heat. 4. Skim-off surface scum. Cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the meat is tender. 5. Add the potatoes and carrots. 6. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are cooked. 7. Add in the cabbage and cook for another 3 minutes. 8. Serve hot with a dip of patis and calamansi or lemon juice.
1 kg bulalo (bone-in shanks) – cut into 2-inch pieces About 8 cups water 1 tbsp salt 2 bay leaves 2 tsp peppercorns 2 celery stalks –cut into 1-inch pieces 1 big onion peeled and quartered 2 medium carrots – peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch pieces 3 medium potatoes – peeled and quartered I usually reserve my special braised beef 300 gm cabbage – cut into serving pieces recipe for our family’s occasional beef mami
Braised Brisket of Beef with Green Beans feast. It’s the type you regularly get from Chinese restaurants on top of noodle soups. For this recipe, I made a little tweaking, a little simplification, plus some greens and voila! Braised beef for your steamed rice or as a topping for noodles. The green beans actually balance out the meatiness of the dish. And the sauce is still the same salty-savoury-anise flavored concoction we’re all familiar with. Braised Brisket of Beef with Green Beans 500 gm brisket of beef sliced to serving pieces 1 tsp minced garlic 1 green onion cut into 1-inch pieces 3 slices ginger – julienned 2 tbsp bean sauce or hoisin sauce 1 1/2 tbsp cooking wine (optional) 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp five spice powder, or 2 to 3 pcs. of star anise 1 1/2 tbsp oil
5 cups water (approx.) 250 gm green beans - sliced Sauce thickener: 2 tsp corn flour (cornstarch) 1 tbsp water 1 tsp sesame oil 1. In a pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and green onions for 1 minute. 2. Add the bean sauce and sauté until aromatic. 3. Stir in the cooking wine. 4. Add the beef and stir-fry for a few minutes. 5. Add all the other ingredients except the green beans and enough water to cover (about 5 cups). 6. Bring to boil and then lower heat. 7. Simmer for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. 8. Stir in the sliced green beans and turn the heat up to medium. 9. Cook for 2 minutes.
10. Mix the sauce thickener in a bowl. 11. Stir in this mixture to the pot and simmer for another minute.
Cecile Samson-Aquino is a Filipina living in the U.K., who dreams of cooking for a living. Good-natured Cecile, is an avid Pinoy cuisine lover and shares her passion for cooking with other foodies, through the www, blogging as Celia Kusinera @ English Patis http://desarapen.blogspot.com
ENTERTAINMENT Timothy Mark 'Timmy' Eigenmann aka Sid Lucero entered showbiz only three years ago, and he’s already deep into his craft. Fame and fortune aside, he joined the industry simply because he loves to act and he wouldn't know what career he would be into otherwise. He believes that as an artist, one should give more than what they are paid for. He also wants to star in a movie that college students will watch in their schools as part of their curriculum. Sid Lucero is Mark Gil's son. To use ‘Lucero’ instead of the Gil or Eigenmann name was his father’s idea, reminiscent of the latter’s memorable role as Sid Lucero in the Mike de Leon classic, Batch '81.
Why are you a movie actor, not a host, a musician, a model? I guess being a host, musician or model never really appealed to me. I remember when I was a kid, I'd always imagine myself as the kid character on TV. I always liked to be one of those people on screen. But then, I only really pursued acting recently. It has always been something I was interested in, but I got to like it even more during my first ever workshop. That's when I found out it's for me.
What type of roles are you looking for? Do you prefer any specific genre? No specific role at all... I'd like to try everything.
How much of your own personality do you bring into your characters? I guess I could say, all of me...because it is my interpretation, even when I'm playing someone else, trying to move like someone else I can go as far as my imagination can take me. Therefore, I move the way I think I should
move, and I react the way I think I should react. So even if I'm being someone else, I'm still me.
Who is Timmy Eigenmann and who is Sid Lucero? Timmy Eigenmann is just a guy who likes to stay at home, watch movies, hang out with his friends, and play with his cats. Sid Lucero is anyone they ask him to be. Like one time, I woke up and I was a doctor! Only my friends and family call me Timmy. If I'm called Sid, usually it's someone from work or someone who recognizes me.
What excites you artistically? Do you have film idols? Music. I appreciate all kinds of music, but I only really like a few artists. Books. I like reading young adult novels like Knights and Dragons. When it comes to films, I try to watch as many as possible - whether it's Hollywood or a Bollywood film. I'll watch them all! I have to be in the mood for certain genres though. Idols, I have a lot! But most of them are the underrated and underpaid actors...but good! Some are even ‘no namers’. I'm not that impressed by the superstars... haha! Well, their earlier works...yeah.
You're 23. Do you feel you're right on track, or are there things you think you should have done already? I'm not sure I like where I'm headed. I feel it could go a bit faster, but I'm not in a rush or anything. I just have to make minor adjustments here and
EIGENMANN Illustrado 66
By Jan La’O
there, push things back a bit. We all have to make compromises. Right now, I wouldn't say I'm contented, but I'm comfortable. I want to be able to make just as much movies as I'm able to watch! And in the end, maybe direct.
How do you rate yourself as an actor?
If 10 is the highest, I'll always be a 1. I'm never contented with my work.
Do you watch your films?
If I'm not happy, I can't help but make fun of that guy I'm watching on screen. But if I lose myself and I'm able to watch the movie as if I was watching any other movie, then I feel I did a good job. Because I lose track of the fact that I'm watching myself. This has only happened once.
What is your motto in life?
Steady lang in everything...steady lang.It's lang.It's how everything should be done...
By Jan La’O
Listen to Sitti's delectable version of Girl from Ipanema, and you'd think the beautiful lounge singer is Portuguese, the way she wraps her voice around the Carlos Jobim classic. But in fact, Sitti Navarro is a local Pinay in her tender twenties, with over ten years of singing expertise. Sitti, whose name means ‘princess’ in the Muslim dialect, is truly worthy of her Bossa Babe title. Lithe, smart and pretty, Sitti was weaned into singing in the usual Pinoy manner goaded by relatives, she'd sing a couple of Whitney Houston ‘torchers’ at family gatherings. She would also join singing contests and was very active in the school choir. "But I wasn't really serious about it, I was more into my studies," the 22-year old demurred. After graduating from high school in 2001, her neighbor, pianist and accompanist Robbie San Mateo, invited the young business economics major to sing at the Stonehouse Jazz Bar. "It was summer so I gave it a try, I thought it would just be for a month," said Sitti. That month turned into four years. To this day, Sitti remains one of Stonehouse's big crowd drawers. She also landed gigs at other lounge spots, such as Kalesa Bar, the Richmond and Makati Shangri-la Hotels, besides hosting events and touring the Philippines in Studio 23's The Travel Show. "I wasn't exposed to jazz before Stonehouse," admits the former pageant runner-up. "I was more into mainstream pop and R&B. I got exposed to jazz standards when I started singing at lounge bars, because that's what the crowd wants. Then my manager asked me, 'Why not try focusing on bossa nova? Mas bagay sa boses mo.' So I did, and that's how I fell in love with bossa nova."
Sitti was born to sing bossa nova. Her relaxed singing style and soothing voice lingers above the complex harmonies of the jazz and samba influenced Brazilian genre, effortlessly gelling lyrics and music together. In 2004, Sitti got another big break, this time as a recording artist for Warner Music Philippines. In 2005, she recorded her debut album, Café Bossa – a collection of 18 contemporary pop-jazz standards sung and rendered in her cool, bossa style. The lead single, a sweet cover of D'Sound's Tattooed on My Mind, is receiving massive airplay on radio stations, while her bittersweet rendition of Everything But the Girl's I Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love and Michael Franks' Lady Wants to Know are just two of many more favorites on Café Bossa.
album will have more originals. "I want people in my age bracket to be aware of jazz and bossa nova, and that there's more to music besides pop and R&B.” New converts and long time bossa fans alike will not be disappointed by Sitti's debut offering. Café Bossa is indeed a cup of chill in 18 choice tracks. It's a ‘must-hear’ album of laid-back tunes done in the warm stylings of OPM's bossa babe. Sitti performs every Friday night at Stonehouse on E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City. Her debut album, Café Bossa, is distributed by Warner Music Philippines and is now available at leading music stores and record bars in Metro Manila.
Sitti also does impressive and bouncy takes on OPM Bossa legend, Bong Pinera's Samba Song, Jobim's One Note Samba, Frank Sinatra's Fly Me to the Moon, and Mas Que Nada, made famous by Sergio Mendez. You'd be surprised and thrilled by her jazzy, upbeat melding of Close to You/Half a Minute, and will be smiling along to Para Sa Akin, the melodic Emil Pama original which is reportedly Sitti's second single. Sitti, who's a big fan of legendary female jazz artists like Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald, Lisa Ono and Stacey Kent, says Café Bossa is an introduction to bossa nova, and that her next
HOT RELEASES By Jan La’O
Catch Me A Firefly And Other Stories by Freda Jayme
Freda Jayme's stories are reflective of her world in the 1980's, when it seemed life was easier, more romantic and civilized. These are tales of women for women, and for men who admire this other half of the population. These women are products of their time - in Joy comes with Aurora, the heroine is 15 years old and "sufficiently versed in the management of a household and the bringing up of children, after all this was the year 1877 in the Royal City of Manila!"
The Last Full Moon: Lessons On My Life by Gilda Cordero Fernando
In this colorful memoir marking her 75th birthday, storyteller par excellence Gilda Cordero-Fernando gathers the stories of her life in writing while, she says, she "can still remember." Then she playfully promises "not to tell all." Her galactic journey filled with gifts and synchronicities, misadventures and paradoxes, takes us from her ancestral roots in provincial gentry to behind-the-scenes of Manila's elite literary circles. From political protest to intimations of past lives, communication with the other side, and from art-filled family rituals to Gilda's Living Will.
The Island Agot Isidro After a long hiatus from the spotlight, Agot is back and does bossa! Listen to tracks that are wonderful, sensual and relaxing. Her voice seems to be perfectly suited for the genre and this is an album worth listening to over and over again. A special feature of the CD is a duet by Agot and the country's premier male jazz vocalist Mon David as they create perfect harmony and rhythm with the song Waters of March.
Kami nAPO Muna APO
A much-awaited, must-have tribute compilation for every Pinoy! A classic double CD – one with original APO songs twisted by today's best Filipino musicians that include Parokya ni Edgar, Orange and Lemons, The Dawn, Kitchie Nadal, Barbie Almalbis, Kamikazee, Boldstar, Shamrock, and Imago. The second is an all-original CD of the trio Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Boboy Garrovillo – the guys who helped shape the unique sound of Original Pilipino Music in the '70s.
Smaller And Smaller Circles Communities and Discourse by F. H. Batacan
A unique Philippine literary piece. A fast-paced and intelligent Pinoy detective novel, with a Jesuit priest who happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the 1999 Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for an English Novel, it proved that fiction can be both 'popular' and 'literary'. A sleek suspense novel with interesting characters, delivered in a vivid and compelling manner, Smaller and Smaller Circles is part of the UP Jubilee Student Edition designed to bring the best of Philippine Literature within reach of students and the general public. Journeys With Light: The Vision Of Jaime Zobel by Jose Dalisay
"...After years of working with light, I am less inclined now to believe that a photograph rescues what memory cannot save. However, I am also equally suspicious of the claim that beyond the camera's apparatus lies the purity of seeing, the integrity of memory. I am more confident to say that photography, rather than preserving the moment as it is, records only the photographer's disposition towards that instant…Photography teaches me not only to see and remember, but also to reconcile myself with my finitude, and let go. Photography teaches me gratitude..." - Jaime Zobel
Feel Good Music
This half-Pinay, half-American OPM talent has never made coming back to Manila sound so enticing. Hip top-charting single, Manila, sensually rhymes the extraordinary chaotic wonder our amazingly eclectic and beautiful capital city boasts of. The 12-track ode to her vibrant roots combines fun, upbeat and mid-tempo love ballads, with alternative pop, soul, R&B and inspirational songs about love and appreciation. Kasaysayan Ni Ka Freddie Aguilar Freddie Aguilar Freddie Aguilar is generally known for his international hit song, Anak. His 1978 debut recording was the most commercially successful Filipino recording in history, with Anak gaining popularity throughout Asia and Europe. This is a compilation of his 70s, 80s and 90s OPM world music. A whopping 3-CD set with a total of 52 tracks resonating his signature vocals and amazing guitar skills.
Acclamation The Philippine Madrigal Singers Madz’ fifth album, Acclamation, is brilliantly done. Mostly in a capella with poignant guitar accompaniment, it manages to be thematic yet accessible to every type of listener. Recorded live for three hours in the empty Philamlife Auditorium, this is the group's first ever conceptual inspirational album containing 14 tracks mostly arranged by members and alumni of the Madz themselves. A musical journey that's warm, intimate, blissful, emotional and uplifting.
Books available at Powerbooks, Phils. www.powerbooks.com.ph CDs available at Tower Records Phils. www.tower-records.ph
Afternoon classes start on the 15th November 2006
Illustrado Publisher & Editor Lalaine Chu-Benitez
Lalaine Chu-Benitez with the Voices Choir
Fil. PressClub’s Ramon Rodriguez with Roulette Esmilla of Yara Couture and Chris Barrientos of Figaro Café
Dubai Duty Free’s Richie Burley with Jenny Miranda Keith Burley and Remilie Benjamin
LAUNCH The much-awaited launch of Illustrado, the first premium Filipino magazine in the Middle East was held at the Al Bader Ballroom of Shangri-La Hotel on the 20th September 2006. The glitzy ceremony celebrating the International Filipino was attended
by over 200 of Dubai’s leading advertising and media figures, as well as Filipino community leaders. Lalaine Chu-Benitez, Publisher and Editor, said that the magazine’s inception couldn’t have come at a better time. “The magazine was borne out of a critical need to inspire our fellow Filipinos… to show them the brighter side of things, because life away from home as we all know is not easy. We’re here to celebrate… capture in vivid accounts and images, the life and times of Filipino expats around the world, in true Pinoy style and humor,” she said.
Starcom team led by Philip Jabbour
Mohammed Chehimi of Café Havana
IMPZ’s Yahia Mokhlati and companion
Mon Benitez with Venture Communications’ Maripaz Febrero & Sandra Bingco
Phil. Business Council’s Ishwar Chugani and Lucille Ong with Dr. Mullova
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE, Libran Cabactulan, who spoke at the prestigious inaugural said, “I’m proud of the young people behind this magazine…and even more proud of all the Filipino expats around the world whose contributions, economic and otherwise, have helped spur a positive image for the Philippines. This publication is a fine example of Filipino creativity and resilience, and I’m grateful for the freedom of the press in the UAE, wherein such values are free to flourish.”
Soloist Michelle Mabel Cruz and Elena Cruz
Maha Al Nakkash and Owen Lewis
Lalaine Chu-Benitez & Dubai designers- Joseph Curioso, Rod Balingit, Joey Baluyot Butch Fuentes, Michael Cinco and Johnny Medina
Jazz singer Frankie of Carter’s, Wafi Pyramids
H.E. Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, Lalaine Chu-Benitez and Phil. Business Council’s Jovy Tuaño
Leo Burnett’s Valery Starr and OMD’s Elda Choucair
du’s Mike Or tega and Mrs. Fe Cabactulan
Helping the Filipino Flourish Global Vision, Native Soul
Novartis’ Les Wood and wife Marie
Leo Burnett team led by Ghasan Khlat
Alan Desiderio and Dawn Almario
Zekundo Chu with wife Shafie and Joselito Chu I with Ian Chu-Guerrero
Sonny Guzman, Alpe Perdido, Mac Serrano, Vince Subeldia and Louie Khan
Elcy Buenavides, Loudes Devier te and Joana Paula Benitez
TBWA Raad’s Boogie Santos with wife Susan and Annie and Archie Espera
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KaG yumanadnagnggi To Wh iten or not to Whiten ? Tha t is the Question. THE MOVEMENT OF HOPE Of Pinay Wives and Mixed Marriages IPA SA MO KAIBIGAN In Pra ise of ‘Filipina’ COCONUTER: A Young Pino y Redisco THE ANNIE B.(BATOBALANI vers His Roots ) CHRONICLES Haunted SITTI NAVARRO-OPM’s Bos Holiday sa Babe
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