Page 1





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

I’ve always wondered why most of my friends are men. Or

I love them naughty and irreverently funny, embracing the

why it was always easier for me to make a connection with

joy of childish abandon whenever the opportunity strikes;

those of the male persuasion. Is it because women relating

even better, when they know where to draw the line of

to other women can be so catty and competitive? Or that

propriety, or employ tact and diplomacy with a deft tongue.

it doesn’t hurt to be treated like a princess by male friends? There might be some truth to what author Dr. John Gray postulated - that ‘Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.’ But, I believe that the even bigger truth (if that were possible), is the fact that this world is certainly richer and a better experience shared with our male counterparts. But let us separate the real men from the boys. Men, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I love them matured, aged gracefully like smooth single malt – honed by life and softened by quiet confidence, especially if they have a wit that’s as sharp as a knife, and a devilish glint in their eyes. I love men who don’t feel the need to demonstrate themselves, or show off their wares, knowing deep inside that greatness and confidence simply do not need to be sold - just because, it’s either there, or it isn’t. The handsome are kind to the eyes, but substance always

I love the gawky youngster, with just that spark - that promise of brilliance to come, the passionate self-made man with a distinct purpose in life, or even the moody and broody artsy types who ponder the mysteries of life, and art and sometimes, simply being. Beware of the man with the persuasive eyes. Moreso, the charismatic take charge type. Most of all, beware of the man who knows exactly how to treat a lady. He is usually the one who gets his way with ease. Our son, a young gentleman, astounded me once when he quoted, “A man who treats his woman like a princess is a proof that he has been born and raised in the arms of a queen.” To that I counter, “A queen can only be truly a queen, when nurtured in the embrace of a real king.”

trumps mere looks. I love them immaculately well-put

And so it goes, and quite rightly so - we dedicate this

together, but certainly not prettier, nor better coiffured than

month’s issue to our men, who make this life so much more

me. There is so much more to be said for a man who is fully

colorful and enjoyable. And if it weren’t for them, we would

clothed and does not feel the need to bare his chest (or his

be merely half of a whole.

all) just to display his masculine wiles. They are far more potent than the pretty vacuous boys you sometimes see on the billboards.

LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



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

just decided to end our relationship. I’ve been in other relationships since then, but I can’t help but measure the new guys in my life to Ronnie. I keep thinking, “What if”.

satisfy his “what if’s”. I was devastated, my family was crushed and we were both nanghihinayang with all the money that was already spent on wedding reservations and such.


It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I had to think of myself. I couldn’t live with the indiscretion. I told him, “Well, it’s clear that I’m not supposed to marry you.” I moved to another country shortly after to study and the last I heard he and the girl weren’t married, but are now parents.

My Rock

The Men in Our Lives Oh men. We love them, we hate them. But we can’t do without them. We rounded up the girls for Usapang Illustrado and asked them about the memorable men in their life. Any of these men sound familiar to you? The One That Got Away I have been working as a nurse in London for two years now. When I tell people that I live in London, I get all the requisite, “Oohs” and “Wow, buti ka pa.” And I guess they’re right, but I can’t help but think about the life and the love I left behind in the Philippines. I was with Ronnie for 5 years, we were high school sweethearts and my first boyfriend. In my heart and in my mind, he was The One. I needed to go to London to support my family back home. Call me naïve, but I thought our relationship would go the distance. With Viber, Skype and all, I thought it would be like I was just on holiday somewhere. But it didn’t turn out that way. Our plans of living together in London fizzled because Ronnie had to stay and take care of his sick mother. We were both under a lot of pressure and in the end, we both


My husband, Selyo, stands as both mother and father to our three children while I am the breadwinner of the family. It is difficult to see the people here in Canada on weekends enjoying time with their family, while I have to wait to see mine. But Selya makes things—easier. He is a doting father and finds ways to be a thoughtful husband to me. My kids tell me he tutors them with homework, he attends school functions, and takes time to be with my parents. When our daughter first had to buy a training bra, he discussed it with me, telling me that he Googled “training bras”. “Hon, magka-iba pala ang training bra sa isports bra,” he texted me. I could imagine him scratching his head as he typed that into his phone. The life of an OFW is difficult. I am lucky that I have a partner in life, in parenting and in love. ~Meldy The Best Thing I Never Had We’ve all heard stories like mine, I’m sure. I was engaged to, let’s just call him, Joel. We were introduced by mutual friends and after dating for three years decided to get married. Everything was fine. Then I found out that Joel cheated on me. He said it was a one-time thing, we were getting married and he had never played the field so he wanted to

The Tinder Guy I used to be skeptical about meeting people on-line. It was just a game to me. Then my friends and I got on Tinder on a bet. We wanted to see who got the most number of matches in three minutes. I lost. I think it was because my strategy to swipe right or “like” all the guys tipped the odds against me. But there was one guy I started a conversation with and that led to a date and then another date. We’ll be celebrating our 7th monthsary soon. I tell all my friends he’s the Tinder Guy and we all have a good laugh. I lost the bet, but I guess I won the game.




Who doesn’t want to be financially secure? Illustrado’s spirituality director, Bo Sanchez, gives us the intimate details of his journey to financial security and reveals his secret: finding mentors. “I knew nothing about investing,” writes Bro. Bo, but as it turns out, he just had to find the right people who did it right to show him the way. And he shows us that if he can do it, so can you.

Illustrado’s Associate Editor has made a reputation for herself writing about women’s issues and just about anything under the sun that catches her fancy (though she says she will never be able to write about technology). This month, her bite is as bad as her bite in her story, “I want a divorce!” said the Philippines. Ana can’t believe that the issue remains to be a contentious one and can’t believe that some people insist on maintaining the Philippines’ status as the last holdout. “What? You mean to say the rest of the world is wrong about divorce?” she asked herself many times while writing the article.

HERSON NEBAYA Adept at shooting some of the most beautiful females models, Herson Nebaya this time around photographs masculine sartorial elegance in our fashion editorial featuring John Spainhour. Apart from Illustrado, Herson’s work has graced Accent, Elegant and Blanc magazines, as well as Male Models Scene and Megastyle online. He has also photographed a commercial campaign for Sennheiser and Listening in Style, as well as FADAL Manila.

ATTY. BARNEY ALMAZAR Legal illumination is another of Atty Barney’s specialties. Every month, Atty. Barney takes a difficult and delicate issue and cuts it up into small bite-size pieces that are easy to digest and understand. For this month, Atty Barney writes about deportation and being black listed. In this case, knowledge of the law is like prevention, it’s way better that having to later on find a cure.


FRANCISCO COLAYCO At some point, buhay probinsya or life on the farm is an idea that we begin to tinker with. We just want to get away from it all and reward ourselves with tranquility and peacefulness. But is owning a small farm something that can be made into a business? Financial guru Francisco Colayco gives us a reality check with a list of factors to consider before deciding to move on over to the countryside.

Didi ended a long distance relationship by becoming an OFW, an Overseas Filipino’s Wife and moving to Dubai. Years after living in the Middle East, she and her husband moved again, this time to the United States. Didi writes about her US adventures sampling food and her newfound love for farm butter in her blog, D for Delicious. In this month’s issue, Didi writes about a Filipina caregiver working in the US who manages to amass a huge amount of money through the good old-fashioned way of saving. Ok, learning about different investment instruments also certainly helped.

NICAI DE GUZMAN Nicai is the creative goddess of Rising Tide Mobile Entertainment, as well as the Manila Bureau Manager of Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network. A graduate of Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman, she also writes for,, and In her spare time, when she isn’t volunteering for the Heritage Conservation Society-Youth, she likes to go boy hunting for friends, which made her the perfect candidate to search for young, hot Pinoy men of substance. It so happens that she is friends with Atom Araullo from her 5 and Up days, which made it both fun and awkward for her to write the article



PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lalaine Chu-Benitez CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mon Benitez ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ana Santos COLUMNISTS Aby Yap Alfred “Krip” Yuson Bernadette Reyes Bo Sanchez Francisco Colayco


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS – UAE, Mary Ann “Maps” PHILIPPINES, CANADA Santos SWITZERLAND Nephele Kirong Angela Mapa Nikka Sarthou Anna Oposa Nina Terol-Zialcita Barbara Marchadesch P.A. Escalante Candice Lopez Quimpo Princes Nedamo Dante Gagelonia Quay Evano Didi Paterno Rache Hernandez Excel Dyquianco Regina Layug-Lucero Kara Santos Mary Ann Marchadesch Sherry Tenorio Sonny Guzman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS –UAE, PHILIPPINES & USA Eros Goze Alex Calueng Glenn Peter-Perez Cristina Linaza Dr. Marlon Pecjo Donald Rosales Raen Badua Irvin Rivera

Filipino-American hunk John Spainhour dons gentlemen-wear in this issue’s manly fashion editorial.

CONTRIBUTING FASHION CREW - UAE Ginno Alducente Jessie Tabla Jojo Padua


PUBLISHER – UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, Dubai Media City United Arab Emirates P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Tel: +971 4 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax: +971 4 360 4771 E-mail: Web:, Facebook: Illustrado Magazine Twitter: Illustrado Magazine PRINTERS Printwell Printing LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE STOCK IMAGES (Unless otherwise specified) Copyright Illustrado Communications FZLLC 2006 – 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC.



Young Hot Trailblazers 12 Gwapo Problems 22 I Want a Divorce 50 The Frugal Way Home 60

Editor’s Note 1 Talking Loud 2 Contributors 4 Illuminati: Men of Imponderable Wealth 8 Bayanihan Corner: Filipino Men as Strong Leaders 46 It’s What I Do 54 Spirituality: Who are your mentors? 58 Money: Owning a Small Farm 62 Pinoy Entrepreneur 64 Law: Visa Rules 66 Illustrado Scrapbook 68 Onli in Da Pilipins: Boo, panes! 86 On the Prowl, In the Know 88


Sprezzatura 26 Real Style, Real People: Mad About the Boy 42


Bakasyon Grande: 10 Ways to Enjoy Honda Bay, Palawan 72 My Pinoy Life in: Santiago, Chile 76 Globetrotter’s Blog: Italy 82

76 72


Men of Imponderable Wealth by Krip Yuson

It’s been said that as a young man — well, from one’s teens to the 40s or 50s (which is to say, the new 30s, heh-heh) — one usually admires if not envies a fellow male based on the quality of pulchritude he is seen escorting around. Or better yet, living with. Okay, make that sleeping with. But that as one crosses threshholds into golden-boy-ship or senior status, the envy is reserved occasionally for those who have made and/or are still making a mint. We check out our bucket lists and sigh: Hmm, I can be ticking off Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires in no time if I were MVP or Manny Pacquiao or Henry Sy or Lucio Tan or the Zobel de Ayalas, right? Right, if they find the time off business and the demands of even more money-making. Would that list — the envy one and not


the bucket — include the three current examples of a thudding fall from grace, senators turned detainees JPE, Jinggoy Ejercito and Bong Revilla? Heh heh. I would think not. But then again, the really envious sort would say yes, maybe, still preferring to have at least lived the high life before paying a price for it, that freefall from so altitudinous a perch.

PNP Chief Alan Purisima, who has been close to the President since 1987 and was thus rewarded with his exalted office in 2012, faces plunder and graft complaints over a sprawling property in Nueva Ecija, the renovation of the PNP Chief’s “White House” in Camp Crame, and an allegedly anomalous deal with a courier service worth some PHP100 million.

In any case, of more current controversy has been the concurrent if somewhat contrapuntal twin examples of two other gentlemen in government who appear to have accumulated nest eggs most of us can only dream of or wish for.

The PMA graduate, Class of 1981, is also known to have purchased an SUV worth PHP3 million for only half the price. He is alleged to be engaged in a trucking business and poultry farm that are worth PHP90 million.

And there’s an even more striking insight, by way of Pinoy assessment, that highlights their ironically diametric situations, and maybe even future fates.

Gen. Purisima owns a five-hectare estate in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija that features a two-story house with separate guesthouse and separate gazebo, plus a swimming pool as a highlight of landscaped gardens.


What most find laughable over all of these charges is that in his defense, the General insists on downplaying the worth of these assets, just like his SUV purchase. His Nueva Ecija resthouse is said to be “an ordinary house.” The gazebo that can easily accommodate a score of guests is said to have cost him only PHP17,000, while the entire premises cost “only” PHP3.75 million. Understandably, offers have been made by sarcastic parties to purchase any of all of these assets for much more than their declared value. Meanwhile, also under the gun, or this time it may be said to be a large cannon, is Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family for alleged overpricing in the construction of Makati City Hall Building II — a parking building described by his daughter Senator Nancy Binay to be “world-class,” thus worth its declared cost of PHP2.3 billion. Of course, a national chorus of snorts and

jeers has greeted these assertions, with comparisons easily made with construction costs of other taller, better-apppinted, more luxe buildings in the same city. The scandal has turned into feasting fodder in social media. And that’s where the classic meme of counterpointing appeared: the observation that while the Vice President has overpriced his possible folly, the PNP Chief in turn insists on devaluing his personal assets. This then may be the conundrum that faces us when we regard well-funded men, wealthy men, men reeking with cash in their pockets, drawers, cabinets, banks or offshore accounts. We’ve had three presidents accused of plunder, that is, raiding the national coffers, two of them experiencing detention, the third shamed for all time by being tagged as the worst kleptocrat in the annals of privileged governance.

Now we witness two sides of the same coin, but for their separate purposes, these wealthy men modify the real worth of their acquisitions, on the one hand, and government projects on the other. Maybe we can content ourselves with twirling that imaginary, metaphorical coin, and see if it comes up heads or tails for our own holiday destinies. “If I were a rich man…” went a signature song in a Broadway musicale. It’s a nice prospect to ponder, if only that state of accomplishment isn’t tainted by the merest whisper of hanky-panky. And if we’re the sort who can’t dare and turn venturesome via government employment, well, I suppose we can just blow on, or weep in, our non-signature-brand hankies.



Nikon launches its first ever Film & Video Festival in the Middle East

in innovation, but at the core of our identity as a company is the timeless dedication towards nurturing talent, and giving artists new and better ways of expressing their vision to the world.”

Stand for something, but do not stand still.

For the film and video competition, Nikon gathered 10 of the Middle East’s most promising film makers and videographers and gave them each the task of creating a three-minute entry with the theme of “I Am Life In A Frame.” The final film lineup was a diverse and dynamic mix of time lapse videos, mini-documentaries, motivational pieces, and short films. Out of the 10 finalists Kamil Roxas was named 1st place winner, and the recipient of a new D810 and USD8000 gift voucher. Of his victory, Kamil said, “Being one of the finalists was an honor in itself, but winning the contest is completely overwhelming for me. I want to express my appreciation to Nikon for giving us artists the platform to introduce our work to the greater public”. Amir G’nia and Patrick Fronda placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

In line with its relentless commitment to nurturing the thriving community of visual artists in the Middle East, Nikon Middle East and Africa launched Nikon Film & Video Festival – the first event of its kind for the famed camera company in the region. Armed with the theme of “I Am A Movement,” the red carpet event hosted an immense gathering of some of the Middle East’s most passionate and skilled photographers, videographers, and filmmakers. At the heart of the festival is the launch of the newest member of Nikon’s stunning DSLR range: the Nikon D810. The camera’s revolutionary capabilities in both photography and videography were perfectly reflected in the event’s activities and showcases: a screening of the entries for a film and video competition, a motion-themed photography exhibit and competition, plus Hollywood-inspired movie sets where the guests were able to experience the features of the new Nikon D810 firsthand. “Nikon has always been about celebrating artistry and creativity,” said Takashi Yoshida, Managing Director of Nikon Middle East and Africa FZE. “Our passion is


Emerging triumphant out of 100 qualifying entrants, Mohamed Mekhamer from Egypt was named 1st place winner of the motion themed photo competition. Capturing action is one of the most complex aspects in photography, so Mohamed takes great pride in his victory. He said, “They gave us such a challenging theme and my fellow competitors are really some of the best in

the field, so I didn’t know what to expect in the contest. But I am very pleasantly surprised that my entry came on top! Thanks to Nikon for this great honor”. Andy Ramos and Anthony Tario Austria placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The Nikon Film & Video Festival punctuated what had been an energetic week of events and activities for the company. Kicking off with an official D810 media launch on the 27th of August, Nikon held a free photography and videography seminar on the 28th and a videography summit on the 29th, attended by the who’s who of Dubai’s multimedia scene. “In the past few years, the growth of the photography and videography community in the Middle East has been nothing short of staggering, and we are proud to say that Nikon has been able to stay in tune with the pulse of this upsurge”, professed Narendra Menon, Regional Head Sales & Marketing for Nikon MEA FZE. He added, “As much as we are committed to remaining at the head of the pack in terms of technology and innovation, we are also committed to staying engaged with our customers and fans – be it through activities like the Nikon Film & Video Festival, proactive customer service, free trainings, or social media. On behalf of the Nikon family, I’d like to thank everyone who continue to support and celebrate our presence here in the Middle East”.


Young, Hot Trailblazers By Nicai de Guzman ADDITIONAL REPORT BY NICHOLO JALLORES

They’re young, they’re good-looking, they’re intelligent, they’re talented. These young Filipino men seem to have it all. And with all their God-given gifts, they find purpose in giving pride to their country and serving their fellow Filipinos. Meet these young men of good looks and substance who have made it to local and international news – out to save the world or make it just a tad better by simply existing for womenkind.



Kobe Paras: MVP At six foot and six inches, Kobe Paras can reach for both the moon and stars. Son of basketball legend Benjie Paras and actress Jackie Forster, young Kobe was named after the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. At seventeen, Kobe is not showing any pressure of living up to his namesake.

KOBE PARAS Photo from the Varsity Times-LA.jpg

The teen dream was playing center for La Salle Greenhills when his father, who saw his potential, sent him to Cathedral High School in Los Angeles for training under Coach William Middlebrooks.

“They’re calling me the kid who dunked on LeBron,” Kobe said during an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

When he played guard for Cathedral, he drew the attention of no less than 20 college scouts, including those from Arizona State, Texas Arlington, UC Irvine, Fresno State, Portland State, Boston College. Then a scholarship offer came from the prestigious University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) to play for the US NCCA. The team’s head coach Steve Alford personally paid a visit to Middlebrooks, who later discussed the offer with Benjie and Kobe. Then it was Kobe himself who revealed their decision, tweeting, “I’m really happy to say that I have committed to UCLA!”

Another claim to fame of this basketball prodigy was winning the Slam Dunk contest for the FIBA 3x3 Under-18 Tournament. For his stunt, Kobe literally flew over a teammate who was riding a motorcycle.

In his interview posted in Middbrooks’ Facebook page, Kobe said, “I could touch the moon and the stars... It’s an unbelievable feeling, especially for a kid coming from the Philippines.”

He first shot into fame when he outmaneuvered LeBron James for a slam dunk during the King’s Nike exhibition in Manila. This moment was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube, where it now has over 1.5 million views.



Barney Almazar: Lawyer When Filipinos in the UAE find themselves in dire need of legal counsel, they turn to Barney Almazar: the Director of the Commercial Department of Gulf Law in the Middle East, the UK and the Philippines. As legal adviser and an authority in UAE laws, Barney’s expertise has been sought out by many kababayans with scruples that range from credit card debts, to labor issues, to protecting investments and properties. Since joining Gulf Law a few years ago, Atty. Barney’s practice has been characterized by a highly spirited focus on helping the Filipino community thrive and flourish within the context of UAE laws and customs. He works closely with the Philippine Consulate to

Neil Perez:

Mr. International

Neil Perez - Photo Philstar


extend free legal support to Filipino expats that are caught up in financial woes. He also leads in conducting free seminars to help kababayans understand the intricacies of the UAE’s legal framework. He is also a regular contributor to many of the UAE’s largest and most respected publications. Recently, we published a highly informative article written by Atty. Barney about the responsible use of Social Media. His approach to avoiding legal troubles is that of constant vigilance, cultural sensitivity and keeping an ear on the ground for any changes or updates in the legal system. His passion for helping out his countrymen elevates him from lawyer to a true trailblazer and an indispensable guiding light in the Filipino expatriate community in the Gulf.

Neil Perez, also known as Police Officer 2 Mariano Perez Flormata Jr., does not fit the stereotype of a cop. A graduate of Criminology at the Manuel L. Quezon University, this 29-year-old law enforcer had ladies begging to be cuffed after his photos went viral in social media.

When he isn’t walking runways or smizing at photo shoots, this 5’11” young officer is actually working as part of the Aviation Security Group at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In his spare time, he also plays the guitar and does some sketching.

Most photos or videos about cops going viral usually involve these public servants doing something illegal like the infamous “hulidap.” But Flormata’s “crime” was simply being too good-looking. In fact, he landed as one of the candidates for 2014’s Mr. Philippines where he took the stage name Neil Perez.

He officially joined the police force in 2008 where he specializes in bombs and explosives. Since joining the team, he has received 13 medals when he responded to civil disobedience and occasionally, even disasters.

The viral photos, which include half-naked shots of his well-sculpted body, were actually part of his campaign as he was running to become Mr. Philippines. He was eventually declared as Mr. Philippines International after a much-publicized competition. When he walked the ramp in national costume, swimwear, and formal wear, reporters have noted that crowds of women went wild.

His lives in Tondo, Manila, and was said to have followed in the footsteps of his father, who is a retired police sergeant of the Manila Police District. He is expected to go to Seoul as the Philippines’ bet for the Mr. International competition, the male version of Miss International, which Megan Young won for the country only a year ago.


Atom Araullo: Journalist As a graduate of Applied Physics from the University of the Philippines Diliman, you would expect 32-year-old Atom Araullo to be cooped up in a laboratory. Yet his passion to be a journalist started young. He was a reporter and host for Probe’s 5 and Up in the 1990s and a host for Kabataan News Network, a show made by the youth and for the youth.

chairperson of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights – UP and served a term as a councilor for the student government. Having a background in media, he was also the editor-in-chief for Scientia, the publication of the UP College of Science. Atom isn’t shy about his political activism and in fact, he was arrested and detained at the Pasay City Police District during a mobilization against a senate bill that was going to change the UP charter.

His charm and talent in front of the camera did not go unnoticed. He started to do more hosting jobs, including Studio 23’s morning show Breakfast and another youth-oriented show, Y Speak.

Known as a triathlete, Atom was later asked to be a sports reporter for 24 Oras. He then transferred networks, also to become a sports journalist for ABS-CBN’s Basta Sports. When he gained a huge following, especially among teens and young women, the network decided to make him a regular in more shows, including Umagang Kay Ganda, TV Patrol, Hiwaga, and Red Alert. In 2013, when Yolanda hit Tacloban, Atom was the one assigned to cover the super typhoon. His reportage made rounds on international news and he trended on Twitter as #GuyInTheRain. He gained more female followers, this time from different parts of the globe. Online news magazine also named him as the “cutest newsman” in the Philippines for four years in a row. His contributions to Philippine media were also recognized by award-giving bodies. He has won various awards, including Outstanding News Magazine Program Host for the 5th Golden Screen Awards and 2014 Male Broadcast Journalist of the Year by Rotary Club of Manila.

During his stay in the university, he was also active in student groups as a member of the League of Filipino Students, UP Mountaineers, and founder of the UP Laya Football Club. He was also the Atom Araulo - Manila Bulletin

Ronald Molit: Triathlete

As a champion triathlete, Ronald Molit is a trailblazer in an almost literal sense. In April 2014, Ronald emerged victorious in the open men section in the sprint category of the Pearl-Qatar Triathlon – a truly breathtaking achievement that involved a 750 meters swim, 20km biking and a five kilometer run. Recently, Ronald placed 2nd in the 2014 Flying Start Triathlon in Kuwait, further cementing his reputation as a worldclass champion and a global Filipino to be proud of. A prime proponent of Spartan-like training discipline, this Bicolano iron man attributes his success to dedication and self-control, armed with the mantra of “ There is no finish line, so we swim, we ride and we run some more!” He has participated in several prestigious competitions in the Philippines and abroad and is now training to join the crown jewel of all triathlons the KONA Ironman, and its double the Ironman 70.3. When we asked him about what he eats

to fuel himself for his training, he said, “There is no diet that will do what healthy eating does. I suggest that you all skip the diet, and instead, choose to eat healthy. With the volume of activities I indulge in, I just choose the kind of food that fuels me best: lean meat of beef and chicken, with generous servings of fruits and vegetables, plus seafood from time to time.” Ronald is also an active member and a leading voice in the Filipino Runners UAE and the Filipino International Triathletes Club.

Ronald Molit - Photo Filipino Intl Triathletes Club



Paolo Ballesteros: Makeup TV actor and noontime show host Paolo Ballesteros surprised everyone this year by mastering the art of makeup transformation. Makeup transformation started as an Instagram meme, which allows users to “transform” themselves to celebrities using only makeup in a fourpanel photo collage. The actor, who paints as a hobby and works as a makeup artist occasionally, took on the challenge with amazing results.

Soon, his photos garnered international media attention. Websites like BuzzFeed, Mashable, Elite Daily, Cosmopolitan US, Cosmopolitan UK, Bored Panda, Entertain This! and MTV reposted his photos and did write-ups about the actor. US Morning show USA Today also featured him. Even gossip

Paolo started his career in show business in 2001 as a host of noontime variety show Eat Bulaga. Paolo has also starred in different comedy shows and movies, including the indie action flick Xenoa. He was also an Image Youth Model for the Philippine Red Cross.

Filipino-American Bryan McLelland came to the Philippines with a cause: to make bikes out of bamboo and help impoverished communities sustain themselves.

of Pennsylvania. He heard about bamboo bikes being built in Africa as a community development project and he thought that the same can be applied to Gawad Kalinga.

Bryan’s socio-ecological enterprise is called BamBike. They are handcrafted bamboo bikes created by well-trained and highly skilled Gawad Kalinga villagers called “Bambuilders.” Bamboos are natural shock absorbers and riding a bambike reduces vibrations or chatters. Soon, this green product became a convenient choice for bikers.

For his undergraduate degree, Bryan studied Environmental Science with a track on Anthropology. During interviews, he always says that he was interested about how people and the environment interact. In an interview with OpenBrief.Co, he said that he wanted to “befriend a community, figure out what they needed, what resources were available to optimize, both human capital and natural,” so that he can utilize his knowledge and create a solution.

Aside from being sold, bambikes are also used for “Bambike tours” around the historic compound of Intramuros, where Bryan is one of the tour guides. Part of the proceeds they obtain from their tours and sales are reinvested into the community for development, such as their feeding program, scholarship program, maintenance of the bamboo playground and others.

Bryan-Benitez-McClelland by Nicholo Cosme for Nat Geo


Supermodel Tyra Banks reposted the photo of the actor as herself, with the caption, “I think he did a great job looking like me.” A graduate of AB Comminication from St. Louis University in Baguio, Paolo is actually the great grandson of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo. Many fans say that Paolo’s talent with a brush, whether it be on a canvas or a face, was probably inherited from his great grandfather.

He was able to “transform” into celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Audrey Hepburn, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, and many more.

Bryan McClelland: SocioEcological

show TMZ requested for an interview with Paolo. His fans also started a campaign for the Paolo to guest on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

He returned to the Philippines in 2007 after he completed his Masters in Environmental Resource Management in the University

Before coming to the Philippines, Bryan was a whitewater kayak instructor in Keewaydin Camp, one of the oldest summer camps in North America. This inspired him to create his first business endeavor, Rapid Stream Ecotours. He also has certifications as a Wilderness First Aid from the SOLO Wilderness Medical School, an Open Water Diver from PADI, and a Paragliding Student Pilot Course from the Malaysia Gliding Association.


Wesley So: Chess Grandmaster Sapiosexuals have a field day every time Wesley So is in the news. And these days, he is featured in both TV and blogs a lot. Wesley learned to play chess at the tender age of six. When he was nine, he started to compete in the junior division of tournaments. In 2003, he won the Philippines U-10s Championship and later competed in the World Youth Chess Championship, where he emerged victorious for three years in a row. In 2003 he finished 19th, in 2004, he moved up to 13th place and finally, in 2005, he won 4th place.

the same categories. In 2005, he joined the same competition and won individual gold medals in the standard, rapid, and blitz sections. He soon drew the attention of professional chess players like Rodolfo Tan Cardoso. The chess grandmaster praised Wesley’s playing style, which entails him sacrificing a queen or other important pieces so that he can get a winning attack.

The child prodigy also competed in the 2003 Philippine National Chess Championships U-10s and took first place. He later tried his luck at the ASEAN Open U-10s in 2004 and won gold medals in the standard and rapid sections and team silver medals in

From 2006 onwards, he competed in various chess tournaments around the globe, placing high and giving the Philippines much pride. This includes being the victor of the Philippine Chess Championship for three times. He also gave the country its first gold medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Russia. His ratings increased and he was invited to more high-level events. In 2012, he entered the Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri under the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence program. This made Wesley sought a transfer to the United States Chess Federation in accordance to the rules of the World Chess Federation. It caused quite a stir in the local chess scene but the controversy was overshadowed by his glorious win in the 2014 Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas. He bagged the first prize of $100,000, the biggest in the history of open tournaments. His exceptional performance in Las Vegas earned him a spot in the Top 10 on the rating list of chess players.

Wesley So - DWDD

Kevin Espinosa Murphy: Singer & Dancer Kevin perfectly typifies the world’s strong fascination towards Filipino singers: onstage he is electrifying, so driven to please the crowd to the point that one cannot help but be affected and infected by his boundless energy. He considers himself a “travelling” performer, having gigged in various countries in Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East. Of all the cities he has resided in, he considers Dubai as the most comfortable and receptive, and indeed it has been. In just a few short years, Kevin has performed in the city’s most prestigious venues, and has even collaborated with

the internationally acclaimed dance and electronic group Hollaphonic, producing the hit single “Fabric” which peaked at no. 4 in iTunes. He even snagged a small endorsement opportunity with a wellknown shoe brand, and has performed in Creamfields and Sandance: two of the biggest party events in the Middle East. To top it all off, he is now nominated for an award in the Best Local Act category of an awards show organized by a popular UAEbased entertainment publication.

other Filipino performers. One look at him onstage and you will see how committed he is to this craft – a fine example of how much a performer can achieve by putting his heart and soul to the music.

It sounds like a lifetime’s worth of achievements already, and yet Kevin is showing no signs of slowing down. He says, “Because I grew up with music, it has become a passion for me. Music is a neverending learning process. Even though I perform and count myself as a professional, I still look for songs that could give me more inspiration in performing because I believe that there is always room for improvement.” Through his hard work and passion, Kevin Espinosa’s career has become a blueprint for



Froilan Malit: Director of Labour Research Froilan is barely in his 20’s, yet his job and position in his company befits a man twice his age. No stranger to hard work, Froilan’s humble beginnings can be traced back to his early career as a Sampaguita flower picker in Lubao, Pampanga. Since then his life took amazing twists and turns and led him to where is now, working as the Director of Labor Research at International Gulf Organization: a Dubai-based international civil society group. Froilan describes his immensely challenging role as “leading

Ramon Bautista: Internet Superstar

His knack for research also led to him being assigned as the Special Research Officer to the Philippine Ambassador of the UAE, focusing on low-skilled migrant labor. His work has culminated in several well-received proposals on how to improve labor policies in the region to maximize the welfare and benefits of Filipino workers. Froilan’s rapid rise to success is a testament to the power of sheer determination and hard work. In a previous feature for Illustrado, he mentioned how he believes that “productivity is significantly influenced by one’s ability to rise early in the morning.” The early bird catches the worm they say – or in Froilan Malit’s case, he blazes the trail. various field-based labor policy studies in the UAE and broader Middle East/Asia region, focusing on low-skilled temporary labor migrant workers under the Kafala Sponsorship System. “ He started appearing as a guest in the “anything goes” show Strangebrew with Angel Rivero and the late Tado Jimenez in UNTV during the early 2000s. It later became a radio show Brewrats in which Ramon was also a host. In 2007, MTV Philippines gave him the chance to star in his own program, The Ramon Bautista Show. He also made short episodes called Dan Michael: Master Magician for the music channel. He was slowly being recognized for his appeal and he was invited to be part of the Ako Mismo campaign.

In the advent of social media, Ramon became a superstar among young people with his witty one-liners, pick-up lines and love advice which he broadcast in his Twitter and Facebook accounts. He gained thousands of followers more after hosting his web series Tales from the Friend Zone. In this web series, Ramon gives his ligaw tips or getting over to letter writers. His interesting pieces of advice and fresh approach to love problems were eventually compiled and made into a book, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush Ng Crush Mo? This was later turned to a movie by Star Cinema, starring Xian Lim and Kim Chiu. And due to popular Ramon Bautista - Interaksyon demand, his second book, Help!!! Ayoko Na Ramon Bautista may not your typical gwapo Sa Syota Ko! was released this year. and he isn’t your typical film professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, either. Traditional media joined the bandwagon


of Ramon Bautista mania. He soon became an endorser to big brands like Nescafe, McDonalds, Petron, Nissan, Smart, and Head and Shoulders. He appeared in commercials with network stars like John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin. He became a recurring guest DJ in the popular radio show Boys Nights Out. At some point, there were rumors that he was involved with fellow DJ and Korean model Jinri Park. He became the main host of GMA News’ May Tamang Balita. He also appeared for a supporting role in Dingdong Dantes’ action flick, TikTik: The Aswang Chronicles. Its sequel, which will appear later this year, will also have Ramon reclaim his role. Ramon was put in hot water August this year when he referred to Davao residents as “hipon” during a festival. He meant it as a joke but Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took offense and declared him as a “persona non grata.” Instead of calling the mayor and his constituents as “OA” like some of his followers did, Ramon dealt with the situation as a gentleman and issued a public apology. The mayor accepted the apology and even sent a handwritten note with the words “Mabuhay Ka!” which Ramon posted in his Instagram account. Outstanding News Magazine Program Host for the 5th Golden Screen Awards and 2014 Male Broadcast Journalist of the Year by


Erwan Heussaff: Restaurateur

seemed natural to him, given that his father is the president of an oil and gas exploration services provider. He never let go of his love for food especially when he accepted the post of Operations Manager at a hotel in Russia. He stayed there for two years and produced around 1,000 meals per day.

One could say that French-Filipino Erwan Heussaff deserves a spot on this list on the sole basis of being Anne Curtis’ boyfriend and Solenn Huessaff’s brother… but that isn’t the case. The self-confessed “fat kid” earned his well-deserved recognition with his crusade to promote healthy living.

When he came back to the Philippines, he worked with his father to set up industrial catering in the oil rigs but soon left it to pursue his passion that is food. This was around the time he founded and became the Food and Drinks editor for Esquire Magazine Philippines.

Erwan learned how to cook when he was eight and he soon fell in love with food. This love, however, became destructive when he overindulged and settled on a sedentary lifestyle. He gained 240 pounds and in his late teens to early 20s, he verged on obesity. It was his determination and discipline that got him through those days. He modified his eating habits and started to exercise. He successfully emerged fit and healthy, with a mission to transform those who are going through the same ordeal. He started a blog,,

Chino Roque: Astronaut

Erwan Heusaff - Nuffnang

filled with lifestyle tips, easy recipes, and cooking demos, to change people’s perspective about food. With his blog, Erwan encourages people to make fresh food in their homes and maybe even start experimenting. His mantra: healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or boring. Erwan studied in Paris and earned a business degree from the European Management Center. He pursued this track, which

The AXE Apollo Space Academy changed Chino Roque’s life. The Crossfit instructor and Psychology graduate from the De La Salle University became the Philippines’ representative and among the 23 newlycertified space travelers who will be aboard a suborbital Lynx plane next year. In the Philippines, Chino had to beat over 28,000 applicants to the program. The 23-year-old and two others represented the Philippines in the international arena where Chino bested over a hundred candidates from 60 countries. All the candidates went through a series of physical and mental challenges in the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the launch site for NASA human space flights since the late 60s. This includes an assault course, which is similar to an obstacle course, an air combat training in a fighter jet and zero gravity flights, and an aptitude test. His training as a Crossfit instructor may have contributed a lot so that he could endure those tests!

As his blog following grew, so did his enthusiasm to put up his own food hubs. He started with Manila Pop Up which specialized in pop up events. This experience led him to more restaurant ventures. Currently, he is the managing partner of Hatch22 and Pink Panda in Makati. He is also a partner of Hungry Hound / Niner Ichi Nana in Bonifacio Global City. His latest restaurant, Crisp on 28th, is also located in Bonifacio Global City and serves all-day breakfast with Filipino ingredients.

The free space travel was made possible by the Space Expedition Corporation of AXE. The trip will be onboard the XCOR Aerospace Lynx Spacecraft, which will be available for commercial travel by 2015. Each space travel ticket will cost around $95,000 which is why Chino considers himself lucky to be flying for free and be the first Filipino in space. Asked by the media what items he will bring to space, Chino said that he will bring a rosary and the Philippine flag. If he will be allowed to bring a third item, it will be a family photo, he said. A fourth item may be a green t-shirt memorabilia from the 20th anniversary of the La Salle Alumni Association. Before leaving for space, Chino has been invited to several award and recognition events. This is where fans would ask an autograph on their copies of the photo of the future astronaut with legendary Buzz Aldrin.



The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team: Soldiers and Athletes One of the most underrated and most overlooked sports in the country is dragon boat racing. Despite having many teams and enthusiasts who practice the sport, the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team occasionally has funding problems which hinders their participation in international sporting events. In fact, the team almost didn’t make it to the 9th International Dragon Boat Federation


Club Crews World Championships in Italy. They received their tickets just two days before their scheduled departure, thanks to a last-minute sponsor. This didn’t discourage the team, however, as they bagged two gold medals in the said tournament. Not only that, but they also set new world records in the 200m and 500m Premier Open events with the time 47.85 and 2:06.763 respectively. By the end of the competition, they were proclaimed as the “Fastest boat crew in the planet.” These soldiers-athletes dedicated their win to their colleagues in the Armed Forced of the Philippines who were serving in the United Nations as peacekeepers in Golan Heights, Syria. The 18-man team, composed of strong and buff public servants, received a hero’s welcome and a plaque of recognition from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team is no stranger to gold medals. In fact, they have already won numerous competitions. In 2011, they bagged five gold medals and two silver medals during the World Nations Championships. These triumphs were products of hard work and countless competitions, having faced off with the equally competent Philippine Coast Guard Team and Team Air Force. Team leader Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc joked during an interview with Rappler that they may not be getting sponsorships because of the pogi factor. “If sponsors look at the pogi factor, and not superb accomplishment, we might not get enough sponsors,” he said. But isn’t setting a world record and giving your country pride the biggest pogi factor of all?


Mark Bustos: Altruistic Hair Stylist Mark Bustos captured the heart of the world when news of his amazing good deeds broke out in online publications and social media channels. He is one of the most talented and in-demand stylists in New York, with non-stop bookings from his high profile clientele. But despite his dizzying schedule, Mark goes out once a week to various neighborhoods and offer free haircuts to the needy and the homeless, his selfless approach perfectly encapsulated in his opening phrase, “I want to do something nice for you today.” A haircut may seem trivial and innocuous to some, but to the people that benefit from Mark’s simple act

of kindness, it is a rare opportunity to be nurtured and looked after in a way that they might not have experienced in a long time. Mark started his #BeAwesomeToSomebody campaign in May of 2012, during a vacation in the Philippines. He rented a chair in a barbershop and offered free services to neighborhood kids who cannot afford to pay for a trim. Since then, his mission has taken him to various locations such as Jamaica and Costa Rica, in addition to his work in NYC. It doesn’t take a grand and elaborate gesture to give back to the society. Sometimes, all it takes is to go out into the streets and offer what talents and skills you have to make a positive difference in the community. Mark has shown us all how something as simple as a haircut can bring about profound changes in the lives of others. So go ahead and follow his trail. #BeAwesomeToSomebody today.

Photos: Mark Bustos-Facebook




Musings on the Existential Anguish of the Absurdly Handsome by NICHOLO JALLORES There’s The Cute guy. There’s The Handsome Guy. There’s The Hot Guy. And then there’s the Absurdly Good-looking: men who are aesthetically pleasing beyond all discernable reason and genetic feasibility. Girls fawn over them, while guys… well, they fawn over them too, albeit in a different and more confounded kind of way. You see them walking towards your general direction and suddenly you go into tunnel vision – the world whizzes by you while are stuck looking at this magnificent being moving in seeming slow motion. Your mind races at a million miles per minute,


wondering how it is possible for one guy to possess a world’s worth of beauty. Such is the discrepancy between your looks and theirs that they actually look like they are made of an entirely different organic material. If you were molded from clay, they were sculpted from diamonds. If you are the salt of the earth, they are sugar and spice, oak bark and cigars. They even smell differently - they can never be “stinky,” only “musky.” They glow as if their skin cells are microscopic prisms that bend and improve the light. Mind you, the Absurdly Good-looking Men are of a rare breed, as is the nature of all

absurdities. In a place like Dubai, you can’t stop to take off your backpack without hitting A Cute Guy or two, and all you need to do to feast your eyes on handsomeness is to hang out in the Mall of the Emirates for a few hours. But you can’t go hunting for Absurdly Good-looking Men, as they tend to be elusive like unicorns. The Absurdly Good-looking Men come to you, most often in times when you are the least mentally prepared, so your daze is at an optimum. So seldom is a sighting that when it comes, it almost feels divinely ordained – as if God knew you needed a bit of magnificence in your life, and sent it in the form of a 6-foot model with a jawline that could cut stone


and shoulders that horizontally extend towards infinity. Blessed with physical perfection, the Absurdly Good-looking Man seems to embody mankind’s next step in the evolutionary ladder – the homo sapien superior. It’s not at all difficult to surmise that such a beautiful creature could not possibly have the same problems as the rest of us biological rough drafts, or could they? An inconvenient social dictum: the more handsome you are, the easier it is to have things your way. In as much as we admire the Absurdly Good-looking Men, we also cannot help but resent them because they have advantages that the Average-Looking Populace does not. We have to work and struggle and toil to impress others; all they have to do is, well, exist.

2.) It’s hard for them to be taken seriously Imagine you have the prodigious mind of a young Mark Zuckerberg in the body of Tyson Beckford, and you go for your first job interview. You have a boatload of brilliant ideas and a stunning educational background, but all the hiring manager could focus on is how your rock-hard chest is bursting out of your Oxford shirt. People tend to undermine your intelligence because, someone that handsome could not possibly be brainy, right? Like the famous

expression goes, “Hindi binibigay ng Diyos ang lahat,” hence you can only be Absurdly Good-looking or smart; never both.

3.) They are magnets for excessive and unwanted attention Sometimes, you just want to get your business done without having to cause too much of a stir and ruckus – a functional impossibility if you were born with a face

This begs the question: what sort of problems does one face when one’s face is practically perfect? If your good looks borders on the ridiculous, do you also have bad hair days, bad skin days, days when you could not stand to look in the mirror? Is it at all possible for you to feel physically insecure? What sort of existential anguish besieges the Absurdly Good-looking man? We can only imagine.

1.) People expect them to always be perfect and polished The sight of great beauty tends to leave a lasting impression in the mind - obviously, because rare is the sadist who only likes to remember ugliness. Once people have marked you for your absurd good looks, they will want you to stay that way forever, or even worse, they will want you to falter, as it has become a bit of a spectator sport to watch gods crash and scorch the earth. Imagine the type of internal pressure this creates. You can never have a zit, gain a pound, nor leave the house with a bedhead. People will audit you for consistency. In their minds, your only role in the world is to look perfect and polished – deviate from this, and your value plummets.



that stops traffic. Yours is a countenance that is meant for spectacles, not stealth, so even something as innocuous as rushing to the grocery for eggs can turn into a riot of creepy stares and hushed giggles. You walk the streets wearing hoodies and dark sunnies to avoid scrutiny. Sometimes you just want to be left alone, but that becomes almost improbable as the people around you crowd you telepathically. You become a prisoner of your own handsomeness.

4.) They always have to worry about ulterior motives Making a genuinely meaningful connection with another human being tends to be a challenge, because it’s difficult to tell if a person is truly into what you have to offer to the world, or if the person just wants to get freaky. Instead of establishing deep, likeminded bonds with individuals who truly respect your worth and worldview, all you have is a web sticky entanglements that are awkward at best, sinister at worst. You can never take people at face value, because


that would make you naïve and stupid – which would be playing into stereotype. You must always assume that people always look at you with dark and even slightly bestial motives.

5.) People automatically assume that they are douche-y Handsome and chivalrous alpha males live only in fairy tales. The world has grown to be cynical and pessimistic that it has become a hostile environment for Prince Charming. Here, an Absurdly Good-looking Guy is a conceited SOB until proven otherwise. One who is endowed with disarming good looks cannot possibly be humble and levelheaded. You’re not Prince Charming; you’re Justin Bieber, and your arrogance must be called out at the soonest possible opportunity. This often escalates into unsavory situations that range from casual snobbery to physical altercation. Imagine that. People hate you because you are beautiful.

6.) One can only go by handsomeness for so long Your stunning good looks may get your foot through the door, but your character, talents, and capabilities will give you the right to stay in the room. Even industries that rely primarily on physical beauty also demand their own specialized set of professional skills. Contrary to popular sentiments, the absurdly good-looking also struggle with the usual daily human gripes such as stresses in the work place, unpaid bills, laundry, and yes – even the occasional bad hair day. Handsomeness can only take them so far. They would have to depend on their wits and ingenuity the rest of the way.

The next time you see an Absurdly Good-looking Man, look at him with a bit more compassion and empathy. He is just like you, only better looking. And you are just like him, only with a different set of problems - to be exact, #GwapoProblems.

FASHION Belted Peacot by Bossini High Cowl Knitwear by H&M Pants with Quilted pocktes by Edrick Paz Bag by Zara High cut shoes by H&M

SPREZZ A study in elegant nonchalance

photographer EROS GOZE models: INEZ CISLAK and BENEDICKTE NAMIA GAMELGAARD hair and makeup JOJO DANTESPADUA hair and makeup assistant DARWIN PEREZ shot at the Light House Studio- Al Qouz, Dubai






Double breasted Camel suit by Levenson Rodriguez Suit and pants by Chuck and Leon Black Brocade Button down by Edmir Lagui High cut leather shoes by H&M


FASHION Double Breasted Suit with Center Zipper Detail, Topcoat and pants by Don Sevilla III





Belted Peacoat by Bossini High Cowl Knitwear by H&M Pants with Quilted pocktes by Edrick Paz Bag by Zara; High cut shoes by H&M


FASHION White On Inez: Button DressDown with Shirt by Ulysses King circular center Pinstriped Vestsheer and Pants by Levenson Rodriguez piece, Two button with dyed Suit by cutVin Orias out plastic juice bottle embroidery covered with left over pearls. Couture by YEN



Sleeveless Button Down Shirt by Don Sevilla III Fur Lapel Overcoat by Oleg Cassini


FASHION Checkered Suit and Plaid Pants by Melchor Guinto Necktie by Chuck and Leon Gray button down shirt by Edmir Lagui



Double Breasted Suit with Center Zipper Detail, Topcoat and pants by Don Sevilla III High Cut Leather shoes by H&M




FASHION Tri-button vest and pants by Melchor Guinto Turtle neck by Ulysses King Trench Coat and high Cut Leather shoes by H&M


FASHION Gray suit and Pants by Chuck and Leon Black Knitted top and High Cut Leather shoes by H&M Scarf stylist’s own


FASHION Checkered Suit and Plaid Pants by Melchor Guinto Necktie by Chuck and Leon Gray button down shirt by Edmir Lagui



Splash launches EXIT 21 Studio Collection Twenty-one is an age symbolic of change, coming of age, transitions and the beginning of a new chapter. Splash, the high street maven in celebration of its 21 years of being in love with fashion revealed its Fall Winter’14 collection to an audience of style-conscious aficionados from across the region. “We always make a statement when we showcase our seasonal collection and this season is no different. To make Exit 21 even more memorable, we had our gorgeous brand ambassador Nicole Saba join us to celebrate the essence of being in love with fashion,” said Raza Beig, CEO of Splash & ICONIC. “Exit 21 reflects our coming of age as we launched the Splash “Studio Collection”, an exclusive line of the fashion show featuring dramatic yet commercial pieces. The collection we have shown is a reflection of the season’s hottest trends interpreted the Splash way and will be sold across all Splash stores and online,” Beig continued. Drawing inspiration from the future while staying true to simple wearable silhouettes, the collection plays on two key themes: namely Tomorrow Land and Neutral Ground. The shows were live streamed on all the brand’s social media platforms along with other leading online platforms across the region, reaching Splash’s more than a million fans. The Splash Studio collection presented on the runway will be available in store starting October 20. Other looks from the catwalk may be viewed on www.splashfashions. com and In case you missed the fashion show, catch it on



Mad About the Boy Dapper, sporty, preppy or simply cute – whatever it is, we just love good old boyish style. Check out these effortlessly cool Pinoy lads from around the world – our fashion picks for the month!


MARC BUENO – Hamilton, Canada




DAVID GUISON – Manila, Philippines



KUTIK T – Manila, Philippines

JEHAN R – Manila, Philippines

GERARD PEREZ – Manila, Philippines



ANDREW BALER – Manila, Philippines




Filipino Men as Strong Leaders By Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa


ur Filipino mythology depicts a Malakas and Maganda - ancestors who were revealed when the bamboo split at the beginning of the world.

Malakas is a Filipino word that means strong. Maganda means beautiful. In our culture, though, especially in pre – Hispanic times, our Babaylan, the Filipina warrior, the poetess and priestess, could take over the role of the strong datu, political leader, in case he passes on. An example is Diego Silang whose role as rebel leader, was taken over by his wife, Gabriela Silang. Having said that, I now wish to focus more on our beloved Filipino men who seems now to have shed the malakas image and are content to follow another Filipino myth, that of Juan Tamad - the man who is depicted to be lying down under a tree waiting for a ripe guava to fall into his mouth instead of exerting the minimum effort of picking it. Nowadays, in my study of the Philippine migration phenomenon, there has been a noticeable trend towards feminized migration. Meaning more Nanays (ives/ mothers) are going out to work to fend for the family’s needs - to educate the children, build a house and have a little business or source of steady income. It is true though, that in a globalized world, women in developed countries like the Philippines leave the home to add to the family income. A need therefore arises to step into the vacuum left. Known for our TLC (tender loving care) and soft hearts,


Filipinas are in demand for home nurturing professions. Thus, out of the estimated 10 million OFWS (Overseas Filipino Worldwide Wonders), half are immigrants, and the other half are labor migrants. Of the latter half, again, half or more are women, over 50 percent are women. More than one million are doing household work that exposes some 10 % to distress - doing work sometimes under difficult and dangerous situations - i.e. possible sexual and physical abuse. Again, according to my migration studies data, the Filipino men left behind with their children and the conjugal home are not strong enough to be a ‘tanay’ (fathermother). Unlike the ‘natay’ (mother-father) who can manage when father leaves for work abroad. Family experts opine that both parents are needed by the children when they are 12 years and below. But in the instance that one needs to go, it is suggested that the strong father leaves because when mother leaves there is more social cost. If and when mother has to leave, father has to learn to be stronger by going beyond the stereotypes that they become less masculine if they take on motherly or perceived ‘softer’ roles. One of the traditional roles associated with wives and mothers is budgeting the family purse. Thus, when the Filipina leaves, father is expected to take over financial management. Since I took the post of Ambassador in October 2009, the Philippine Embassy has championed Pinoy WISE (Worldwide Initiative for Investment Savings and

Entrepreneurship) Movement in the United Arab Emirates. This is an initiative of the NGO Atikha (meaning ‘unti-unting makapagpundar’ or save little by little) which aims to maximize the gains and benefits of migration and minimize the pains and costs for OFWS and the families they have left behind. There is a level one Pinoy WISE seminar and workshop every third Friday of the month at the Embassy and other days in Dubai, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. To date more than 2,000 OFWS and their families here in UAE have been trained. There is an estimated 600-700,000 thousand Filipinos here. More needs to be done. Please note the Pinoy WISE is also done in large OFW communities of origin like Cavite, Batangas , Laguna, Cebu, Bohol, Tarlac, Camarines Sur, Agsuan del Sur, etc. On 7-8 November 2014 a Pinoy WISE International Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi will be hosted by the Pinoy WISE Movers - UAE, the Bayanihan Council (the umbrella organization of all Abu Dhabi and Al Ain associations registered with the Philippine Embassy) and Atikha. It will bring together PInoy WISE advocates and champions from Italy, where it was first launched, UAE, Qatar ,Germany and the Philippines to discuss the ways forward for migration to lead to development not just of the migrants and their families but their communities of origin and that of their host countries. Filipino strong men, Malakas, and also Magandas, let us all work together to be taas noo Filipinos. Mabuhay!


Filipino Culture to be showcased at prestigious Terno Ball Illustrado, under the patronage of the Diplomatic Ladies of the Philippine Consulate General together with the Ladies of the Filipino Community in the UAE will be hosting a unique and prestigious showcase of Filipino culture in the United Arab Emirates for a select group of VIPs. The Terno Ball is slated to be attended by some 300 diplomatic dignitaries, as well as leading community

figures. A highlight of the event is the “Rigodon de Honor” – a traditional Filipino-Spanish quadrille folk dance, performed by select Philippine Consulate General staff and some members of the Filipino community. Filipino fashion designers, including Michael Cinco, Ezra Santos, Jimi Buenconsejo, Bandoix Flores, Carla Fuentes, Alberr Fontanilla and Nelson Buhain, will also showcase one-of-a-kind Filipinianainspired couture gowns. Set to be held at the Atlantis at The Palm Jumeirah on 7th November 2014, the event is set to make an indelible mark in Dubai’s social calendar. According to Mrs. Lucila Cimafranca, wife of Philippine Consul General Frank Cimafranca and main patron of the event, “It is our hope that through this event, we will able to share and champion the magnificent beauty of the Filipino culture on the world stage. Many Filipinos have experienced great triumph in the UAE. This momentous gathering is an opportunity to pay tribute to these trailblazing kabayans, and also a chance for us to show our gratitude to the country and community that has been a truly gracious and generous host to the Filipino people.” The event is sponsored by BMW, Ghena Tourism, Ayala Land International, The Farm at San Benito and Rotana Hotel.



It’s what I do


GEOFFREY SALATAN Business Travel Consultant Airlink International U.A.E.

I have been working with Airlink International as a business travel consultant since 2006. As a business travel consultant, my typical day at work starts and ends with assisting passengers with their travel needs and booking queries. I’m often overwhelmed with calls till late midnight, but somehow at the end of the day, I know that I was able to genuinely assist others. I just don’t sell, I build. My job requires me to be an ear to people and that means I listen to not only their travel plans but their sentiments and OFW stories, working so hard to uplift the welfare of their loved ones back home. Over time, the Filipino community in UAE grew and this led me to make a business decision and do a 360-degree business shift, from corporate to retail, targeting the Filipino market. My valued cash clients greatly multiplied and kept growing through continuous referrals as a result of excellent service. I have gone to the extent of openly sharing my personal mobile number with anyone I came across to widen my network.


Every single penny really counts! This motivated me to use my profession to help our kababayans to access the cheapest and most reasonable rate available. During emergency cases, I prioritize and ensure that my passengers are attended to. I created awareness about my business by utilizing the most powerful tool in our generation now: social media. I also keep on interacting and associating myself with different Filipino organizations to tap potential clients and to increase my contacts. My best endorsers are my satisfied passengers who know they can trust me with their travel plans. My dedication to the job paid off. In June 2013, Airlink International supported my vision to put up a Philippine Support Desk, which I have been entrusted to lead.


DR. ROMMEL SERGIO Associate Professor Canadian University of Dubai (CUD)

I am an Associate Professor at the Canadian University of Dubai (CUD), the Chair of the Human Resource Management Program under the auspices of the School of Business Administration. I directly report to the Dean. My teaching experience covers the areas of human resource management (going seven years here in Dubai, UAE) and organizational psychology (eight years in the Philippines). Currently, I teach organizational behavior, organizational development and change, and business research; among other human resource management courses at the graduate (MBA) and undergraduate levels. Not all people get the chance to travel. I am blessed! I get the chance to travel outside UAE because most of my research presentations are funded by my current university. Recently, I visited top-brass schools such as Harvard University, Oxford University, among other places in the US and UK as virtual part of my research endeavor. Prior to university teaching, I served in various multinational companies as HR Manager then later on as Organizational Development Consultant in the Philippines and in the UAE.

It’s what I do


My schedule is as a faculty and administrator always tedious! Crazy as it may seem, I always find reason to love what I do so that work does not become a toxic routine. Essentially, I see to it that my research agenda in the year-long schedule is met. So I do my research work almost on a weekly basis. We need to have a minimum of one refereed publication and at least an international conference per year to present our research findings. A few months ago, my dream came true upon presenting a research paper in international business conferences at Harvard University in Boston, USA and at Sydney, Australia. I, together with some Filipino- and Puerto Rican co-authors were chosen as the recipient of the Best Research Paper Award. Most recently, I was named the Most Outstanding Asian Faculty in Human Resource Management during the 2014 Asian Education Leadership Awards. I am more than happy to know that I qualified for the screening criteria based on research publication, teaching effectiveness, awards received in the past, and media coverage obtained. With these accolades, I only have these things in mind: I shall continue to teach minds and inspire hearts of my students.



“I want a divorce!” said The Philippines by Ana P. Santos

The last hold out. The last man standing. The last frontier. While the rest of the world has already moved on to having divorce parties complete with gift registries (their logic: getting divorced is just like getting married, you start a new life and it can get very expensive) and most recently, flashing their pearly whites for divorce selfies, the Philippines is sorely left out. The Philippines is now the only country in the world where divorce is not legal. Add the Vatican, but whoever gets married there, anyway.


So it comes as a great surprise that people are still opposed to the idea of legalizing divorce in the Philippines. Let’s take off our rose-colored glasses and take a long hard look at ourselves, shall we? Reason 1. Divorce will destroy the Filipino family They say that divorce will ruin the Filipino family and rob of its values. Are we talking about the same Filipino family where it is already the norm to have one or both parents working abroad? The same Filipino family where spouses do not share the same bed and children do not see their parents for years? The same Filipino family torn apart by a government facilitated labor migration

that started forty years ago? The Philippines has earned its place as one of the top sources of labor migrants in the world and we, as a country and as a people, have paid the price in the form of estranged spouses and kids who are raised by their mothers through Skype or Facebook. It is not divorce that separates Filipino families, it is economics. It is not divorce that breaks up families, it is labor migration. Reason 2. Divorce is not for us Catholics. Sure, divorce is illegal and stigmatized, but it is like corruption and contraception, people still do it—there’s just a work around. There is legal separation which is in a way


similar to divorce, but does not allow you to get married again. For those who can afford it, there is the preposterously torturous annulment. And for everyone else, there is tiis-na-lang martyr stance. Oh, wait, there is also migration. The New York Times described migration as “the Filipino divorce” or a polite and acceptable way of breaking free from a bad marriage. If you think about it, “going abroad” has a very Filipino ring to it in terms of dealing with issues: it is non-confrontational, address other issues while skillfully ignoring the most blatant one and is packaged as a higher purpose. Reason 3. We already have the annulment option. The current system of getting an annulment is an absolute mockery of the already much maligned justice system.

An annulment is an option only to the rich who won’t bat an eyelash over shelling out about PHP500,000 – PHP750,000 for their lawyer to find a court in the province where the judge will be given a “professional fee” -- otherwise known as a bribe every where else in the world. If you don’t pay, you run the risk of the case being dragged in court for years and maybe even not be granted an annulment. So two consenting adults can independently make the decision to get a married but the same two consenting adults cannot make an independent decision to separate. No, we as a people do not have the annulment option. Annulment is only for the rich, which is only a smidgen of our population. No wonder some people don’t bother with getting married and just live together.

Reason 4. Divorce is a desecration of marriage. There are many kinds of marriages. The happy ones are the ones are usually the object of higher aspirations, but there are other kinds, too. The cheating kind, the emotionally or physically abusive kind, the kind that are only on paper. It is not divorce that defiles the sanctity of marriage. It is the mockery people make of their everyday married life that does. Reason 5. It is against God’s will. What God has put together, let no man put asunder. Sure, but infidelity, abuse and poverty—common reasons for divorce - are probably against God’s will either, but hey, what can you do? But really, all these reasons could be summed up in one sentence: those against divorce should not get one. And,we might add, they should not get in the way of those who want a divorce or need one.



USAPANG ILLUSTRADO: Yes or No to Divorce? Anna Mcbride This law is overdue - it is has been, all this time, our fundamental right to have a choice! If the marriage is not working for various reasons e.g. a spouse is battered (that covers men too!), cheating, with children out of wedlock, who have gambling problems, lazy, do not support the family financially, absconding - especially when it’s affecting the lives of their children - as a parent, as a Catholic, I do not want to teach my children that these type of behavior, environment, or way of life is acceptable in a marriage. I will opt for divorce to honor the sanctity of a marriage. So,yes definitely for the Bill to be passed as soon as possible in our country. To all the religious cynics out there, remember God put us on earth to have the freedom to make a choice, di ba? The teachings taught us to respect the institution of marriage. However if there is no respect, no love in it, I believe God will understand why you made the choice. If not, at least heaven muna bago hell. Remember you only have one life to live. Mas mabuti na ang maging legal ang kasiyahan.

Jody Tapalla I believe in the sacredness of marriage and the importance of keeping it. We all are not perfect but divorce should be the last option. Why marry and then later divorce just because it’s not working? It takes two to tango, so why not fix the problem and make it work. Also think of the children who suffer along the way. They don’t deserve it. Divorce should only be granted if there is abuse between the couple. But for those


whose marriages are not working, divorce is never the answer to it. I still believe that as long as there is love, any couple can work it out and find ways to forgive and start all over again. Remember the promise you made to each other before God, family and friends.

hope that the next time I go to Church in the Philippines (as in the case of the last time I was there which made me feel like walking out) I will not hear the priest preaching in the sermon of how ‘evil’ divorce is, how advocates of divorce should be condemned, while how those opposed to divorce shall be ‘rewarded’! We are a democratic country and should not be governed by the Church.

Vivi Sant Yes, it’s high time that the divorce bill is approved. Yet, proper implementation is needed so that the children will be protected. I believe in sanctity of marriage but how many couples suffer because of moral hypocrisy.

Kerei Sarillana No to divorce. If there will be divorce in PH, people will not give importance to the real essence of marriage. Marriage is sacred. If they really love each other, then whatever will happen good or bad, they will always find a way to solve that certain problem. In sickness and in health, remember that right? Divorce is not an answer for the problems that married couples are having today.

Victoria Ferraris I sometimes find it hard to believe that up to this day the Philippines still does not have divorce due to the influence of the Catholic Church! It’s about time. Actually it is quite late already, so I really hope that this bill will be approved at the soonest. And I also

Asle Zevahce Why not if the couple doesn’t get along anymore and they just cause each other injury and the children? Rather than seeing another woman na patago or even if, nahuli na ayaw pa rin aminin, or even if he has kids already with his mistress but is still denying to death.

Carlos Salazar Yes, kung sa ikabubuti ng magkabilang panig. May qualifications ang applicants. Sa mga matagal ng hiwalay, for example 10 years nang separated at pareho ng may bagong asawa. Dapat divorce na. Pagka kasi annulment, malaking gastos.

Green Apple Noon pa dapat! Marami ng hiwalay sa Pilipinas! Artista, doctor, politician, businessman, and ordinary people, at pumapasok pa sila sa illegal relationships dahil sa no divorce issue na yan. Dumadami lang ang nagiging sinners. Pag may divorce, lahat pwedeng itama - walang kabit, division ng property, etc. Di pa kawawa babae and


kids. Uso sa atin kasi yong hiwalayan, tapos di su-support ang lalaki sa family na hindi nakikita ng Simbahan. Ang alam lang bawal.

Maria Lusa Torres Oo naman. Kasi sa dami ng Pilipinang nagtitiis sa asawa, na dapat lang na lumigaya rin sila hindi laging bugbog na lang at hirap ng loob ang dinadanas. Nasasabi lang nila na ayaw nila ng divorce maybe because nakatapat sila na mabait na asawa. Oo, sabi ang pinagisa ng Diyos, wag paghiwalayin ng tao, pero kung bugbog sarado ka naman or mental torture ang ginagawa sa iyo, saan ka lulugar?

Esmeraldo Balosa No. Don’t get married if you’re not sure. Think of the children. We have options such as legal separation and annulment, although it’s hard and expensive. But think of the rationale, families would still be given the opportunity to reconcile and work out their problems. Even without divorce, people are already separating even without a court order. How much more if we have divorce? More families would be devastated and destroyed just for the sake of personal intentions. Please say no and save our families from being broken.

Dionell Aballa Yes, it is about time. The present time is asking for this change. Marriage should not be a hindrance to an individual’s happiness. People make wrong choices. They should be allowed to re-marry instead of pretending everything is alright when the institution of the family deteriorates from within due to the couple’s hatred for each other.

Lourdes Feliciano Carrillo Divorce is better. Annulment makes the children of the first marriage illegitimate and unfair for the kids. Annulment should

be for exceptional legitimate cases only and must not be used as a tool when love fades, a new found love, or for other flimsy reasons. We can fool people but God knows the truth.

Kathreen Lee Jayme Sevilla Yes it’s time to enact the law on divorce. If the parameters are well crafted by the framers and enforcement is within the bounds of the law, then marriage will remain to be a solemn vow and binding commitment between husband and wife. Otherwise, if it fails, then there should be a law in place to tackle the after effects - especially towards taking care of the well-being of their children and aggrieved spouse.

Alfie Neri Halibas No. I think people should rethink marriage! Not divorce! We already have so many children out of wedlock, people marrying each other for money/passport/other wrong reasons instead of love. I wish all those wishing for divorce will be divorced by their foreign husbands so you actually experience what it is. Now divorce will only cause more craziness in the Philippines. There is annulment, there is legal separation and there is another option. Now you add divorce, what else is there that we can consider sacred? Don’t think divorce. Rethink marriage and teach your children the right way. We always want the easy way out and the easy way in.



Pure Gold launches Diwali jewelry collection

Award winning jewelry retailer Pure Gold Jewellers has launched an enticing collection of glittering diamond jewelry that add a sparkle to Diwali celebrations. Inspired by floral patterns and shining lamps that are symbolic of the grandeur of the Festival of Lights, the diamond collection features a regal necklace set, pendant and earrings. The exquisite designs

Giordano’s Ishwar Chugani receives Retail Professional of the Year award Ishwar Chugani, Managing Director of Giordano Middle East FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International, received the 2014 Retail Professional of the Year Award from the Middle East and North Africa Shopping Centre and Retailer Awards organized by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Chugani was selected from fellow nominees for his outstanding work in steering Giordano to expand and penetrate markets beyond the Middle East. He was also honoured for his exemplary leadership in managing 1,000 people from 22 different nationalities. Chugani has been at the helm of Giordano for the past 21 years and has over 35 years of retail experience in the region.


reflect superb craftsmanship and traditional splendor with a modern touch. Pure Gold Jewellers is also offering “no making” charges on its dedicated designs of 22 karat gold jewelry from around the world. Customers who purchase a halfcarat piece will receive a free quarter carat solitaire.

for AED 2,499. Also in the collection is a brilliant diamond pendant for AED 1,999 and matching earrings for AED 2,999. All diamond jewelry from Pure Gold Jewellers has a third party certification of guarantee and the lowest price assurance.

“We have launched exceptional offers for Diwali this year. Our special diamond collection reflects prosperity and happiness. The elegant designs are perfect for a glamorous festive look. For those who prefer gold for Dhanteras, we have a dedicated 22-karat gold jewelry range with no making charges. It’s our way of wishing all our customers a memorable and prosperous Diwali,” said Karim Merchant, CEO and Managing Director of Pure Gold Jewellers. The special Diwali collection features a luxurious diamond necklace set with floral motifs for AED 7,499 and matching earrings

Chugani has received numerous recognitions recently, among them: a Special Recognition award in the 2013 Arabian Business Indian CEO Awards in Dubai; 2013 Top 20 Indian CEOs in the Arab World by Forbes magazine in 2013 and 2014; and, special recognition award from Entrepreneurs Organization, UAE Chapter in 2014. Giordano is one of the world’s leading international retailers for fashion and accessories. Giordano International currently operates 2,500 stores in 40 countries. In recognition of its success, Giordano was also recently listed as one of the Top 100 Companies Making a Difference in the Arab World by the prestigious Forbes magazine. The company also received the 2013 Global Emerging Market Retailer of the Year award in London, UK from Retail and Leisure International (RLI).

Ishwar Chugani (right), Managing Director of Giordano Middle East FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International receiving award from Michael Kercheval, President and CEO at International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)


The Missing Link of Success: Who Are Your Mentors? By BO SANCHEZ

When I got married at 32, my life changed. From a single missionary wandering around the country (and the world) without a centavo in my pocket, I then needed to make serious money fast. The Bible doesn’t say, “Man doesn’t live on bread but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” One word is missing. The Bible says, “Man doesn’t live on bread alone but on every Word…” That means I still need to eat bread even if I have the Word of God! But I knew next to nothing about money. And boy, did I need to change my psychology of money in my brain. Because deep inside, I knew I was programmed to be poor. I had to unlock my brain from a distorted theology of wealth—that money was bad, that rich people were crooks, and that God wanted me to be poor.


Once my psychological wallet grew --and did this take a long time!-- I was ready to earn money. But how?

my niche. As my little businesses did well, it was time to conquer another financial mountain.

Immediately, I knew my missing link to success: I had no financial mentors.

Can I Buy Real Estate If I Have No Money?

You see, I had mentors for my spiritual life. I had mentors for my family life. I even had a mentor for my ministry life. And much of my success came from the fact that I had these wonderful people who taught me, inspired me, and showed me the way. But I had no financial mentors in my life! So I prayed to God for mentors to lead me in my journey to financial abundance. First, I searched for successful entrepreneurs among my friends. I made a bee-line towards a few multi-millionaires I knew and invited them for lunch. I picked their brains and took down copious notes. I then put up my small businesses, lost money, tried something else, failed again, until I found

Second, I read that almost all wealthy people have real estate investments. I had none. So I prayed that God give me a mentor in real estate. I had a preference: I wanted a specific type of mentor—someone who was doing Robert Kiyosaki’s kind of real estate as outlined in his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, here in the Philippines. Kiyosaki bought foreclosed properties from banks and turned them around for a profit. Reason: I had no money to invest in real estate. But Kiyosaki said that with his system, you don’t need money. You could get the property from the bank for a tiny amount and start earning from day one— not when it appreciates in value. Was there a guy already in the Philippines doing this thing?


After one year of praying and waiting, all the while reading books on real estate and attending seminars on real estate—boom—I bumped into Larry Gamboa in Powerbooks, a book store in Manila. Today, we are partners in Think Rich Pinoy Millionaire Network where people can simply get a franchise of the system he uses to earn through real estate. He provides everything—his personal coaching, the entire system, the legal documents, the bank procedures, from A to Z. Collect Specific Pieces of Paper—and You’ll Be Rich! When I already had businesses and real estate under my belt, I knew I had to conquer a third asset that all wealthy people have: Paper Assets. That usually meant mutual funds and stocks-- and I had zero knowledge about them. Again, as the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Because soon, I began to bump into experts in mutual funds and insurance. Through my mentors, I ended up becoming a broker for mutual funds and other paper assets—not for one, but for many mutual fund companies.

So I asked questions. I asked for training. I latched onto my mentors like a leech and sucked them dry. As my financial mentors grew, so did my money grow as well.

I can’t divulge his name because he doesn’t want to be name but he’s a multi-multimillionaire who made his money through stocks.

I began to invest tiny amounts each month into various mutual funds—balanced fund, equity funds, peso funds, dollar funds, euro funds… It was incredible. This guy who, only a few years ago, kept his entire life savings hidden inside his bedroom (third drawer, beneath my briefs and socks), began to run small businesses, sold rent-to-own apartments and “paper assets” in various currencies and companies. It was a wild journey.

He called me. Which brings me to another core belief that I have: What I need comes to me. He said he read my book, 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich, loved it, and wanted to have lunch with me.

Stock Market—Isn’t That Like Gambling? Finally, there was this one area that I wasn’t touching with a ten-foot pole: Stocks. I knew it required financial wisdom that I didn’t have. Again, I attended seminars on stocks, read books on stocks, and kept asking around. I met countless of investors and brokers, but none of them were real masters in the field. I needed a master. So for three years, I prayed for a mentor, but none was coming. It wasn’t yet time. Then, I met him. Finally. After three long years of praying.

And as he spoke of his 30 years of investing in stocks (globally), all I could do was listen in rapt awe. He talked about the science of investing in the stock market. It’s not just an art, he said, or he won’t be able to teach it to me. It’s not gambling. It’s a science. He created a method that gets results. He said I could do it too. And you know what? You can too. All you need are mentors.People who’ve done it before and can teach you how. Mentors. They are the missing link to your success. Pray you’ll find a couple of them. To know more about what I’m talking about, read my book 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich. To get your copy, go to http://www. now.



The Frugal Way Home By Didi Paterno-Magpali

It’s a story that has been heard once too often. The story of the OFWs stuck in their host countries, up to their necks in debt, unable to come home or forced to come home without a penny to their names. It is refreshing to stumble upon a young OFW about to realize her dream to come home to the Philippines for good.

stopped herself from creating further financial damage. She focused on working on a bigger goal -- a different one from her OFW financial responsibilities of supporting her family’s day-to-day needs, helping send her brother and his two daughters to school and putting her brother through a drug rehabilitation program.

Maria Abellanosa (not her real name), a 28year old caregiver based in the US, now has a current net worth of PHP 5 million. She owns real estate and invests heavily in the stock market and mutual funds. Recently, she achieved her goal to save PHP 1Million in cash. All this, she achieved in a span of less than 5 years.

This one big goal was all for herself: a home.

How did she do it? It wasn’t easy. “Like most OFWs, I (fell) into a spending trap. My first year working here was a year of mindless spending,” Maria shares. With willpower and determination, Maria


RAGS TO RICHES THEN BACK TO RAGS It was easier for her to shift from a “spender to saver” mindset because of her past. Maria grew up poor, living in a small bahay kubo in Mindanao. “I remember having 20 pages of a leftover notebook from my cousin as my only notebook for school. My special shoes would either be too tight or too loose. I still remember going to the mangrove area to collect driftwood for firewood.”

At the same time, she also experienced the “rich life” when her father passed away. Her family moved to Cebu to live with their grandmother, studied in private school, got picked up and dropped off by a driver and ate bacon every morning. But when her grandmother died, all the riches died with her as well. Maria and the rest of her family returned to Mindanao to live with other relatives, where she lived the Cinderella life – sleeping with the house help and washing mountains of laundry while her cousins slept.

REALIZING THE OFW DREAM After four years of living on “an instant noodle diet” coupled with kayod kalabaw OFW work, she now owns a modest townhouse in Cebu with a title in her name. But that’s not all the real estate she owns.


With willpower and determination, Maria stopped herself from creating further financial damage. She focused on working on a bigger goal -- a different one from her OFW financial responsibilities of supporting her family’s day-to-day needs, helping send her brother and his two daughters to school and putting her brother through a drug rehabilitation program. Maria also owns a lot near a supermall that she plans to build rental property on. Maria expressed that realizing the dream all seemed impossible at first. Then, she met her mentor, one of the residents in the home she worked at, who introduced her to the world of investing in the stock market. “For someone, who can’t even memorize the multiplication table, I was confused. I told him that the stock market is for rich people, who love math!” He recommended the book, “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clanson. Maria read the book, then became so engrossed with anything related to personal finance and investing. She continued to borrow more books to expand her knowledge and help deal with occasional boredom and homesickness. “Personal finance and investing books became my friends,” she says. So much so, that she is overflowing with thoughts and tips on personal finance based on her real life experiences. Maria documents her journey home on her blog, Pinas for Good (http://pinasforgood. in unimaginable detail, including taboo money matters, even revealing how much, or rather how modest, she earns as an OFW. This is in the hope that her story would inspire and teach fellow OFWs how to save up and finally come home.

Ask yourself the question: “Why did you go abroad in the first place?” If it is for money, quantify it. How much money do you need? Write the number down, post it on your wall as a constant reminder and work towards it. 2) Educate yourself Knowledge is power, especially that there are people, who can take advantage of your hard earned money. Maria stressed the value of learning and reading more about how to make money work for you. Some recommended books include: • “My Maid Invests in the Stock Market and Why You Should, Too!” by Bo Sanchez • “Kaya Mo Pinoy! 12 Steps to Build Wealth on Any Income” by Alvin Tabañag. If you have no access to these books, you can also gain insight from free resources on the Internet like podcasts. Some of Maria’s favorite podcasts include: • “The Dave Ramsey Show: Take Control of your Money” (http://www.daveramsey. com/show/radio/) • “Stacking Benjamins” (http://www. • “The Suze Orman show” (http://www. • “Listen Money Matters” (http://

The basics on how to save a million in a year

3) Just say “NO”

1) Begin with the end in mind.

Maria stresses that you can be a breadwinner, but that does not mean that

you have to say “yes” to everything your loved ones want. She believes that it is your right to know where your family spends your hard earned money. One strategy Maria employs is sending her family just money enough to take care of their day-to-day needs. Every month, the bills are sent to her and also returned to her when paid to closely monitor expenses. Anything that is in excess and not needed gets a firm “NO.” 4) Unfollow anything that will tempt you to spend Maria used to be obsessed with YouTube beauty channels, but she dodged the temptation to buy more beauty products by unsubscribing. Free yourself from things that will veer you away from your goal. Beef up your frugal mindset and skills first by diverting your time and attention to things on frugal living and personal finance instead. “Once your frugality muscle is well-developed, you would just plainly enjoy those (things)…and not (even) drool over the products mentioned or used,” reassures Maria. 5) “Save as much as you can; save until it hurts.” A lot of times, people around you will not understand you and your financial goal. You will be called names: “madamot” or “kuripot” or “KJ” (i.e. killjoy) for not able to join in the revelry of spending. And it will hurt. But keep your eyes on your goal and it will all be worth it.



Buying a Small Farm by francisco J. colayco


any OFWs want to retire and live off the earnings of a small farm in their province. They say that they want to eventually plant some crop or raise some animals and earn passive income from the sale of those crops and animals. They want to know if it is advisable to invest in a small farm. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to give general advice on whether to invest in a small farm or not as there are too many factors to consider such as: location, type of crop/animal, manpower costs, investment required and that’s just the start. Each OFW would have a completely different case.


Perhaps, I can help by at least providing some guidance on the thinking process. Before even considering the option of buying a farm, ask yourself the following: 1) How interested and knowledgeable are you in small-scale farming? Many OFWs have gotten used to living in the cities abroad. We hear so many stories of OFWs who end up entrusting the farm they bought to a relative or friend instead of operating it themselves. 2) Will you actually get involved in setting up and running the farm yourself? Some start their farms by having their relative or friend buy the property for them without actually seeing the property. Some also allow a relative or friend to start operations

on the farm. This is taking too much risk. It is best to postpone this kind of decision until and unless you have actually visited the property and found it to be suitable for you purpose. 3) There are so many farming options and technologies available now that it is mandatory to seek an expert’s technical advice. From this technical advice, you can estimate how much you need to initially to invest, and how much more you will need to provide as working capital in order to sustain operations. You will also be advised on the specific technical risks that you may encounter. I recommend that your seek professional technical advice. Check out which offers a lot practical start up advice.


4) Do you understand the economic aspects of the crops you intend to produce? You should understand the market forces related to the product you want to produce and who will buy you product. You should fully evaluate the barrio/area where you intend to farm. Is there something you can produce that could be immediately sold within the barrio itself? This would reduce the need and the cost to bring the product anywhere else. 5) Does the proposed location have ready access to buyers? You should have a thorough understanding as to how your product can reach the market. You can have the best product but if there are no roads and/or distribution systems, you will not be able to sell.

2) Include the costs of purchasing the property. a. I cannot over-emphasize the need to investigate with the Registrar of Deeds that the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) is clean and that it really corresponds to the property that was shown to you. Generally, for agricultural lands, TCTs still need to be secured as most these types of properties are covered by just tax declarations issued by the local government units. This process could take years with no guarantee. You may end up shelling out money for nothing. b. Understand the cost of maintaining the property itself. Do not only think of growing the crops/animals. There are real estate taxes, municipal taxes, just to name a few.

When you know the answers to the foregoing, you can then prepare your simple financial study.

c. If there is need to borrow just to buy the property, this must be considered and included in the cost of the property.

There are some items that you must pay more attention to when you make their financial study:

d. If they want to consider what you will receive if you are able to sell the property, you must remember that there are fees and taxes to be paid, such as: fees for the transfer of the TCT (about 2% of selling price) and capital gains tax of 6%, as well as any new taxes that be imposed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

1) Cash flows are most important. You should know how much money you have to invest initially and how much they must add every month to maintain the farm until the crops or animals are ready to be sold for cash. Note that selling on “utang� is not considered cash.

3) If you already own the property but there is need to borrow for the operations of the

farm, you must be very careful that you are not over-extending yourself. Usually, the property will be mortgaged to acquire the loan. There are so many sad experiences of properties being foreclosed because of inability to pay amortization. 4) Compute the returns on their investment. There are exercises to learn to do this in the Pera Palaguin Workbook. My advice is that the returns on your investment should, at the very least, be higher than the average inflation rate per annum, which is 5% over a long-term period. This is only to make sure that your money does not deteriorate over time. While owning your own small farm is a beautiful dream, you have to be realistic. If you are still working abroad and have little control over the operations of your farm, my advice is to focus first on growing your savings until such time as you are ready to invest and manage your farming dream. If you still intend to work overseas for another two to three years, your should instead consider investing their savings in high-return pooled investment funds that can easily be redeemed or sold. Longdistance management of a farm is too much of a high risk unless you are sure that the management, technical and financial aspects are resolved.



JANICE FRIAS NEFF SYMMETRY PHYSICAL THERAPY 13890 Palmdale Rd Victorville CA 92392 • Please describe your business. Symmetry Physical Therapy is an outpatient rehabilitation center which focuses on industrial injuries, pediatric rehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation, sports medicine and orthopedic injuries. • Why did you establish your own business? Can you tell us when and why you started? Symmetry was established in 2009 as a collaborative effort between my husband and myself. Up until that year, I had worked for many different out-patient facilities and had expressed a deep desire to one day open my own. A business venture in 2005 with a would-be partner turned out unproductive, which was an eye-opener for me. I was also not very pleased with my position as director at a local hospital. Being female and a minority and governing 5 male therapists, I felt that my position was subject to discrimination on both a sexual and racial nature. It was a turning point in 2009 when I finally decided that I needed to take rein of my professional future.


• What was your start-up capital and your basic operations set-up? My husband I drained our bank accounts and retirement funds to open a clinic in 2009. We had $100,000 under our belt, which actually disappeared in 2 months. With the cost of the set-up and equipment, the full time employee, plus the negative revenue for 6 months, we were headed for a disaster. Luckily, a Home Health company who was also owned by a couple of Filipino doctors offered us an exclusive contract. We started generating income from the 9th month onward. They were instrumental to our success. I employed three Physical Therapy Assistants earning $50 per patient and another staff member to assist me with paperwork. It was really busy. Home Health was great because it allowed me to have the funds to generate the business while we were waiting for our contracts for the outpatient clinic. We worked with Home Health for two and a half years until the outpatient schedule was regularly filled. Since May of 2012, we have consistently had more than 50 patients a day.

• What obstacle did you encounter? As a start-up company, I was really hoping that a bank institution would assist us financially. I received so many rejections, which is why my husband and I relied just entirely on our own finances. We stared the company at the worst time. Banks had closed, many houses had foreclosed and multiple loans had defaulted. Meanwhile, a very small start-up was trying to make a mark in an otherwise saturated market here. I was also nervous because Physical Therapy locations started closing its doors for good while I was just paving my way. Looking back on the road blocks of the last five years of my business career, this is what I learned: 1. I had to have strong convictions and belief in myself to make it work. 2. Having and maintaining employees starts with nurturing a diamond in the works. 3. A ready smile before I enter my consultation room makes a difference to my ailing patients.


4. Loving what I do means positively encouraging the staff around me. • Where are you now? How far have you gone? What are the landmarks in your business so far? (Did you expand? Did you increase staff/operations? What is the current revenue of your business? The clinic made $600,000 last year. and projected a million in a year and a half. We opened a 4,000 sq ft facility last June 30, after relocating from an office half the size. Our existing location is a building that we purchased last year and remodeled. We are hoping to add a new big location in March or April of 2015 where we will offer aquatic therapy added. It is currently under negotiation. As for my professional growth, I am starting a Doctorate in 2015 to acquire my transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy. • What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an entrepreneur? The kids were only 6 and 11 when I decided to strike it on my own. They saw me cry,

get frustrated and almost have a complete breakdown. I was always questioning myself. I was gainfully employed for decades and not getting a steady income was draining. But in a way, I thought it made all of us more mature. It is true that what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. Our whole family banded together and decided we were in too deep to quit.

Incidentally, our accountant is a Filipino named Pete Cruz, a UP graduate and an amazing entrepreneur himself. He has been doing my taxes for 14 years now.

We would paint, re-upholster and refurbish ourselves to save money. My husband would put up all equipment whenever he can. Lorenzo, my oldest son, helped me every weekend to clean the office because we had no money to pay for cleaners. One day he asked, “Mama, when you were working at the hospital, we went to Europe every year. Now, look at us, we are like the cleaning crew, are we bankrupt?”

• Would you recommend going into business to other Pinoys? What is your advice to budding Pinoy entrepreneurs?

“We are dirt poor,” I affirmed but I would always assure them it was only temporary. Of course it felt like forever but looking back now, the struggle only went on for three years. On our fourth year, our accountant advised us that our gross was so high that we needed to have deductibles or we would pay out to the US Government. “Spend and stimulate the economy,” he told us.

At that point, I forgot the tribulations of starting a business from scratch and just wallowed in the financial return of my rebellious nature.

The doctors who refer to me are Filipinos (special shout out to Dr. Ruby Jane Sia, a graduate of UERM College of Medicine). Our billing company, ACD Billing in Victorville, is owned by a Filipino. Our website developer is a company called PROWEAVER, based in Cebu. The people who created our prescription pads and business cards are under Senir Designs, also Filipino. And who can forget the Home Health Company named GreenValley who gave us exclusive contracts? It was our first big account and they were wonderful to us. I love working with my fellow Filipino professional service companies.



UAE Immigration: Visa, Deportation, Blacklist & Appeals ATTY. BARNEY ALMAZAR

In this issue, Atty. Barney Almazar will simplify immigration rules and regulations so we can maintain our residency in the UAE without any complications. Filipinos in the UAE, like any other foreigners are subject to the provisions of Federal Law No 6 of 1973 on Entry and Residence of Foreigners as amended. The General Directorate of Naturalization and Residency (GDNR) is the authority responsible for the issuance, renewal and cancellation of entry permissions and visas pursuant to the rules and instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior. Residence Permits There are 2 major types of residence permits: a. For employment – under the (1) government, federal, public sector, international bodies and corporations, (2) private sector as a worker, employer


or employee and (3) individuals as professionals, domestic servants and the like; and b. For residence without employment – granted to those who will (1) join his family, (2) enroll in a university, college or institute, and (3) join a training or specialty course in one of the public corporations or entities.

Visit visa holders are not allowed to work anywhere in the UAE with or without payment or for his own as employer. If the visa is issued for employment, the holder cannot work for another without the written consent of the GDNR. Deportation

The holder of residence permit shall be authorized to reside in the UAE during the granted period, and shall, upon the expiry of or earlier cancellation of the permit, leave UAE within a maximum period of thirty days.

A foreigner who has no expired or cancelled residence visa shall be deported at his own expense by an order of the GDNR. However, the Ministry of Interior may issue an administrative order for deportation of any foreigner, even if the foreigner has a residence visa, in the following cases:

The residence permit shall be deemed cancelled if the holder stays outside the UAE for more than six months.

a. if he has been convicted and the court has issued an order for his deportation; b. if he has no apparent means of living; and


c. if the security authorities see that deportation is dictated by public interest, security or morals.

3. Those whose activities were reported by the International Criminal Cooperation Administration;

The order of deportation issued to a foreigner may include the members of his family who are under his sponsorship. If the foreigner against whom a deportation order has been issued has interests in the UAE which require to be settled, he can be granted respite to settle such interests after providing an acceptable sponsorship provided that such respite will not exceed three months.

4. Those who were proved to be have HIV or AIDS or other diseases that the Ministry of Health deems to be threat to public health; and

Blacklist The Blacklist contains the names of individuals prohibited from entering or leaving the UAE for committing a crime, for claims of civil rights against them or for posing a threat to public security. According to Article 94 of the Executive Regulations of Federal Law No 6 of 1973 as amended by Ministerial Decree No 83 of 2002, the following are prohibited from entering the UAE: 1. Those who have previously committed crimes and a deportation order from the UAE has been issued against them by the competent court; 2. Those who were deported according to administrative orders issued by the Ministry of Interior;

5. Those who were deported from GCC countries on criminal grounds. The same article provides the list of individuals who are prohibited from leaving the UAE: 1. A person against whom an order has been issued by the Public Prosecutor or a representative thereof in a case under investigation; 2. A person against whom a written order has been issued in a case by a competent court; and 3. A person who is indebted to the government and a prohibition order has been issued by the Minister of Interior or his representative. In addition to the blacklist, there is also an Administrative List which contains the names of individuals prohibited to enter UAE due to cancellation of their residence permits and those who cannot leave the country and are to be apprehended due to an absconding case filed by their sponsors.

Penalties and Fines A foreigner against whom a deportation order has been issued may be held in custody for a period not exceeding two weeks wherever such custody is essential for the execution of the deportation order. In Dubai, holders of expired or cancelled residence visa is subject to AED100 fine (after the 30-day grace period) plus AED25/ day of overstay. Holders of expired tourist visa is subject to AED100 fine plus AED100/ day of overstay. Failure to pay the fine will mean jail term for a maximum of three months and the courts may likewise order deportation after serving jail term. Overturning Deportation Orders A person who has been deported may not return to UAE unless a special permission is secured from the Ministry of Interior. The mechanism to overturn an order of deportation varies as to the cause of such deportation: • An amnesty law issued for the crime committed by the deportee or a pardon decree issued for the crime will allow the deportee to return to the country • Legal rehabilitation • A court decision passed for the deportee



Melchor Quintos Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Chong currently works for the Saudi Electricity Company in Riyadh. His interest in photography started sometime in 2010, but back then, it was just a hobby for him. “Every year I focused on learning something new. I diligently made notes on each photo that I took and from there, gained a deeper understanding on how to take good pictures. I learned a lot about my camera, outdoor photography and spent many hours practicing what I was learning,” shares Chong. As his confidence as a photographer grew, he joined Shutters Guild, which opened his eyes to a new way of doing photography. Later, he became a proud member of Riyadh Creative Arts (RCA). “I continue to learn through the generous teaching of others, from many hours of hands-on experience and by attending seminars and workshops. As my life changes, so does my photography. The one thing that does not change is the satisfaction I get from the craft,” concludes Chong.



Paul Aggarao Dubai, UAE I saw Dubai and the Emirates grow as I grew up with it. The year was 1991 and I was 6 years old. I have always used Nikon for my photos, even back in my college days. Now with video capabilities, vacations and expeditions are never the same.



Mark Ignacio Carreon Saudi Arabia At a very young age, Mark already knew how to appreciate photographs. It all started when his mother gave him a set of encyclopedias. One volume about transportation vehicles immediately caught his fancy. “There was a picture, a night shot of the cityscape with streaking lights along the highway,” recalls Mark. His analytical mind wondered if it was a smudge of light coming from speeding cars. Since then had looked forward to making photography his profession. His parents were supportive of his every endeavor except for photography. “Being a photographer will not bring food on the table and it is very expensive in terms of equipment,” his parents would always say. The words stuck and for awhile, Mark did not pursue his passion. As an architectural student, he was reunited with photography as it was part of the required curriculum. Now he is the design manager for a Saudi restaurant and a serious hobbyist when it comes to photography. Mark has also ventured into scuba diving and underwater photography.



10Honda Bay Ways to Enjoy

Palawan By Niña Terol-Zialcita and Toni Alvarez

It was the late great French explorer and author Jacques Cousteau who labeled Palawan “the last refuge.” Indeed, this group of islands in the southwestern part of the Philippines presents Mother Nature in her purest and most unbridled: deep-blue waters teeming with rich biodiversity; virginal islands with lush green forests and powderfine sand sans the bars and drunken crowds; fresh, succulent seafood worthy of a Michelin restaurant; and gentle people with a deep love for their culture and environment.


© Mtkang | Dreamstime.


It would take weeks — even months — of intrepid exploring to fully suck the marrow out of Palawan. For those with limited time and just the right amount of resources, the best place to start is Honda Bay. Located 45 minutes away by boat from Palawan’s capital city of Puerto Princesa, Honda Bay is a modest body of water surrounded by several islands and islets. Some of these islands are named matter-of-factly: Snake Island (for the shape of its sandbar), Starfish Island (for the abundance of starfishes on its shore), or Isla ng Puting Buhangin (for a sample of the whitest sand you will see on the planet). Others have names of foreign origin: Cowrie/ Cannon Island, Señorita Island, and Arreceffi Island. One, in particular, is named for its unique feature — “Lu-li”, or “lulubog-lilitaw” — denoting how the island seems to sink and float, or appear and disappear, with the tides. Its names notwithstanding, the islands along Honda Bay offer traveler a unique combination of leisure, adventure, and indulgence. Here, we present our 10 favorite ideas to make the most of a Honda Bay holiday. Enjoy the luxurious beachside lifestyle at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa

Toni Alvarez

The sole property in Arreceffi Island and in all of Honda Bay, Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa offers spacious, tropical-style bay cottage or beach villa accommodations enveloped by lush greenery, powder-white sand, and azure waters. Here, you can lounge around your own beachfront space, enjoy a sunset walk to a nearby mangrove, take a cool dip in the resort’s pool, chill out in the Jacuzzi, arrange for quiet beachfront picnics, and be soothed by a traditional hilot massage. At Dos Palmas, the operative word for everything is “holiday.” Go island-hopping and make the most of fun in the sun With its chain of unpolluted, white-sand islands, Honda Bay is one the best locations in Palawan for island-hopping. A typical island-hopping tour would cost anywhere from PHP1,100 (US$25) around PHP2,000 (US$46) per person and would usually include the following: air-conditioned van transfer from Puerto Princesa to Honda Bay (unless you’re staying at Dos Palmas), motorized boat transfer to the islands, life vest and water safety equipment, entrance fees to the islands, buffet lunch, and a licensed tour guide. For maximum enjoyment, wear swimwear, bring snorkeling equipment, and take your sweet, sun-



kissed time. For group rates, ask your hotel concierge. “Own an island” for the day at Isla ng Puting Buhangin Do you know what it feels like to be lounging on a practically deserted virginal island? To see nothing but a carpet of white around your feet and nothing but a sea of blue wherever else you look? That’s exactly what it’s like at Isla ng Puting Buhangin. Part of the small island is actually used to house buffet lunches for small groups of 30 or 40, but if you wander just a few feet away from the activity and closer to the shore, you can feel — even just for a brief moment — that there is nothing else around you but sun, sea, and soft sand. (Just be wary of sea urchins and starfish!) For best results, book your island-hopping tour and buffet lunch with a large group of friends to truly have the island all to yourselves. Snorkel, dive, and have awesome underwater adventures Ask anyone who’s been to Honda Bay, and it’s likely that their top two activities in the area would be snorkeling and diving. The bay is teeming with vibrantly rich marine


life, and some islands have colorful coral beds that would make anyone wish they had an underwater camera. For snorkeling and swimming, head over to Pandan Island, Starfish Island, Isla ng Puting Buhangin, or Arreceffi Island. For diving, take your dive buddies to Pandan Island or Pambato Reef, just a 15-minute boat ride away from the Sta. Lourdes Wharf. Work up a sweat with action-packed water sports Honda Bay isn’t just all laid-back and cool. For those who want hot, sweaty action atop the bay’s blue waters, some tours and islands offer the use of kayaks, banana boats, or even jet skis. Rates vary according to the type of tour you’re getting, but if you’re billeted at Dos Palmas, your room rates come with complimentary use of ocean kayaks, snorkeling equipment, resort bicycles, or facilities for “land sports” such as tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, beach badminton, or table tennis. Go lobster-shopping at Pandan Island Pandan Island is known for the ladies who sell fresh, succulent lobsters for only PHP600 (US$14) a kilo. (Yes, you read it

right!) If you’d like to have some of the best lobsters in the Philippines for rock-bottom prices, make sure you have enough luggage allowance (you’re sure to want to take some home) — and zero seafood allergies. Indulge in a wide variety of local and international flavors When you’re done with island-hopping and with savoring the best of Palawan’s fresh seaside fare, head back to Dos Palmas for a wide variety of indulgent options for every meal. Room rates come with fullboard meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and options include sugba-style (grilled) seafood, global cuisine favorites, and oddlydelectable dessert combinations. One of our favorites were the sweet and savory baconwrapped banana fritters, which pretty much disappeared within minutes of being served on the dessert buffet table! Have a jamming good time with indigenous instruments One of the first things you will notice upon landing at the jetty at Arreceffi Island is the exuberant sounds of indigenous drums, kulintang, and other traditional southern Filipino instruments. After all, music is


very much a part of Philippine culture, and no Philippine holiday will be complete without some form of live entertainment. Try your hand at playing some of these instruments and take part in a live jam that will leave you feeling reinvigorated, inspired, and wanting to play more. In the evenings, enjoy some good ‘ol island entertainment in the form of fire dancers and live acoustic bands. Take a slow and romantic sunset stroll on the beach The main beach on Arreceffi Island’s coastline faces the west, so while it isn’t the best place to catch a truly glorious sunrise, it is the best place to enjoy a romantic and leisurely sunset stroll. Remember, no two sunsets are truly alike, so make the most of nature’s marvels — and make sure your camera is on hand to catch the fiery and vibrant display of colors in the sky.

Create your own itinerary to have a memorable time that’s truly “you” Many of Honda Bay’s tours and amenities are already packaged — some even coming with flights and accommodations, and most catering to the usual “touristy” preferences. While this option is often convenient for many tourists, it also means that those in search of more personalized experiences (or more time on a particular island during a day of island-hopping) will have to give way to the preferences of a larger group. To have a truly memorable vacation that speaks about your own interests and objectives, try to create your own itinerary and put together your own islandhopping schedule. This may mean more research and more preparation in the beginning, but the pleasure of enjoying a truly bespoke vacation — in Palawan, no less — will be priceless.



Santiago, Chile



My Pinoy Life

Chile CLARISSE GORREZ VILLALOBOS I arrived in Chile last December 2012. I have been to a lot of countries, but never in my entire life did it ever cross my mind to live in Chile because of the language barrier and well, because it is in the other side of the world! Why did I end up here? Well, I am happily married to a Chilean and after one year of living in New Zealand, he decided to move to Chile. Currently, I work as a teacher, teaching in a Bilingual school. Our city, Santiago, reminds me a lot of Manila. It is a very busy city, filled with busy bodies working all throughout the day. It also has traffic during the peak hours, and air pollution.

The Chilean version of color coding is used for air pollution levels. Chile as a country is very beautiful. Since Chile is a long country, it is comprised of different terrains. In the north, are deserts, in the center, the mountains and valleys, and down in the south is the breathtaking place called Patagonia. There is also a famous island here known as Easter Island, or Rapa Nui or the “belly button of the world�. It is known to be filled with mystery and wonder. The Andes Mountain Range runs across practically the whole country separating it from Argentina. Chile is also home to Nobel prize winner poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. Walking


PINOY PLANET Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de Armas (Main Square), Santiago de Chile

through the city center feels like walking through Europe, as there are many buildings and churches that are more than 100 years old. There is a wonderful Filipino community here of about 250 Pinoys. I am thankful to the very friendly Philippine Embassy who keeps us up to date about regular reunions or special gatherings. We are comprised of engineers (mostly working in mines), business owners, IT consultants, household helpers, and a lone teacher. Aside from the obvious fact that Chileans speak Spanish, their kind of Spanish


is different in a sense that they speak extremely fast and have the tendency to shorten their words! That was the first thing I had to get accustomed to and learn very quickly. As I mentioned earlier, life here is very similar to Manila. People here work hard, but party harder. Generally, a Chilean work day is long: 9 hours a day with a 30 minute lunch break in between.

dinner at around 8pm or 9pm. So initially, I would get really hungry throughout the day, but eventually, I got used to it.

People here don’t really have the heavy breakfast that we Filipinos have. Lunch here is at 2 or 3pm, then we have cena (like merienda) at around 5pm or 6pm then

Chile is very famous for its wines, especially from the Los Boldos winery, delicious food and celebrations--which can last for days. Their empanadas are about as


Chilean vineyards in late summer in vina del mar, close to the capital santiago de chile

View of seven Ahu Akivi Moai, which are the only Moai to face the sea


PINOY PLANET Perito Moreno glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

big as a person’s hand, and their traditional sandwiches like churrascos have some kind of meat, with mashed avocados and mayonnaise. Avocados are served salty, usually with salads or sandwiches. This was something I found strange at the beginning because I was used to eating avocados as a dessert. And lastly, I love Chile’s cocktail drink called Pisco Sour. Every person who comes to Chile should taste this drink--and of course, the wine! Chile is a very interesting country. Although it’s on the other side of the world from the Philippines, I think this is a place worth visiting… and while you’re at it, it would be a blast to visit the other Latin American countries, to make your flight and crossing the globe worthwhile. Lastly, I would like to say I am proud to be a Filipino. I have heard only positive feedback from Chileans about Filipino workers here. We are known to be hardworking, optimistic and cheerful. Let’s all keep up the great work in being excellent representatives of our country to the world.


San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, Hot spring at El Tatio Geyser, Atacama Desert, Chile



GLOBETROTTER’S BLOG What is the city known for? Genoa/Genova is the Capital of Liguria, Italy. It is known for its beaches, cuisine and towns. I think pesto and Focaccia (fügassa) alla genovese is also adored. How to get there? I took a 12-hour fast night train to Genoa after my 4-day visit in Paris. I had quick stopover in Milan before reaching the city. There is an option to fly but this could be on the expensive side. I love meeting new travelers on the way so being in a train was quite enjoyable for me. Where do you stay? I am almost like a free bird when I travel. When I travel, I don’t do hotels so much. If I do, I don’t go for some 5-starish places, as I am mostly out anyway. I have a friend in Genoa and


had a wonderful one-week stay with an Italian family. There is nothing lovelier than being in the presence of a local family. Must do/must see? I visited Portofino, Camogli, Genoa Nervi, San Frutuosso, and other neighboring coastal strips. As an enthusiast of travel photography, I also did a lot of walking in the Centro Storico. I love the vicolo (alleys), Piazza De Ferrari, parks, the port, the street musicians, the flower shops and churches. I missed the museums because I always wanted to go out and take photographs. The city’s best kept secret? I love Genoa’s simplicity with glamour! The Scala or stairs and Scalinatas (flight of stairs) overwhelmed me in a crazily


beautiful way! At the Michelangelo Bar Pasticceria in Genoa, I had my first amaretti cookie. Even writing about it now makes me want to fly there and hoard tons of it. The mercatino usato and second hand shops were fun and had great finds! Do it like the natives The Italian language is so admirable that you as a tourist can easily pick up and learn a few words. How to dress? I visited Italy in July, which is still summer. Italians always look fashionable even when going to the shop. I packed few sundresses with me and shorts and light fabric tops.





What to bring? Italy is colorful, fun, busy and happy. It is a must to bring a camera and definitely fashionable yet comfortable shoes. Sunglasses will definitely be your best friend. What to avoid? I felt truly safe in Genoa. However, when I was in Paris and in Rome, I was very conscious of pickpockets. Avoid bringing your important IDs or other important documents like your passport. Also, avoid buying water bottles. Instead, keep the empty ones and refill it. Italy’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink and it is free. How much money do I need for this trip? I think when traveling, it is important to know exactly what

you are going to any place for. For example, I know I am going to take a lot of photographs, do a lot food tasting but never really a lot of shopping. Your daily expenses during the day to an evening concluded with late salad perhaps should be a little over 20 euros a day. I did a lot of walking and took a few bus rides. Depending on your plan, some days maybe a little more. Any other tips? Genoa is around 4.5 hours to Rome by fast train (all pre-booked from ) That trip was also superb. The trip to Rome concluded my Italian wanderlust. Follow me on instagram: jewel_a_ rovera



Boo, Panes! By ABY YAP

Dear guys, we’ve long accepted it: men come in all shapes and sizes and sorts. You might carry beer bellies that would put a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy to shame. Or, your closets probably have a larger collection of fashionista scarves, hats, and bling-blings than ours. But we don’t mind, really. It could even explain why we find you cute. (Weird, but that’s how we are women.)


What we vehemently object to, though, is when you fall into any of these categories or if you start behaving like these losers. Believe us, you don’t stand a chance of getting a matamis na oo ever. There are only two words we can say to you — loud and clear with matching papadyak-padyak pa — “Boo, panes!”


Dugyut Dude

Vice Di-Ganda

Slooow Mo

You could be more pogi than Piolo Pascual, but how would we ever know when you look like you haven’t taken a bath since baptismal day? Greasy long hair, facial hair everywhere, and uncut dirty nails—wait, are you sure you’re not auditioning for a taong grasa role? And you even have the nerve to spit and pee on the streets! Grossness galore.

Occasional drinking, smoking, gambling, or DOTA is acceptable (as much as moderate shopping is, to be fair). However, being addicted to any of this is not. Think of what you might get out of it: rotten teeth, bad breath, liver cancer, damaged reputation, and a zeroed out bank account. Think also of the time wasted you could have spent with us. Sayang na sayang.

Just as you hate slow connection, we also dislike men who are forever on loading and buffering mode when it’s joke time. Don’t ask us to repeat the joke or to explain in one paragraph why the punch line is funny. And don’t you dare leave us laughing by our lonesome lest someone mistakes us for a loony case and drags us to the asylum.

Papa Pa-macho

House Speaker

Let’s finally settle this. Contrary to what you were taught, it doesn’t make you a tunay na lalaki if you go chasing everyone, even lampposts, in a skirt. Your cheesy pick-up lines aka boladas might work for a few KSPs (Kulang sa Pansin), but no self-respecting girl would take a guy who fools around seriously. So, stop building a harem and start caring for real.

You might be living the most eventful life on Earth, congratulations! But we never wished for a male Kris Aquino or a straight Boy Abunda to be our romantic partner. Talking too much is noise pollution. Talking about private activities is being tsismoso. Talking nonsense especially if you’re a certified Jejemon is a crime. Kindly spare us the headache and let us live in peace. Mr. Feelingero To everyone who assumes they’re: (1) so hot they need to post selfies and makeup transformation photos on Facebook 24/7, (2) the center of the solar system as they indulge in Me-Myself-and-I talk, (3) Mexican telenovela dramatic superstars with their emo school of acting—this song is dedicated to you. Feeling, you’re nothing more than feeling. (Wake up to reality, p’re. And never dream again.) Juan Tamad If truth be told, we never found stories about him amusing. Why would a grownup guy lie under a guava tree and wait for the fruit to fall into his wide open mouth? Isn’t he afraid of accidentally swallowing caterpillars or incurring a lockjaw? We demand a man with diskarte and drive, not one who’s a professional tambay without hardworking brain cells.

Man Yuck Simply because women are wearing a sexy #OOTD doesn’t mean that we want you to catcall us anytime, anywhere. Leave it to the parrot. Ogling our totally covered boobs or butts—no matter how deliciously shapely they are—isn’t a compliment either. Don’t be such creeps. If you have to check us out, can’t you do it discreetly? Warning: no secret video/photo-taking allowed. Plastic Man Even if somebody you idolize said that all girls are equal but some girls are more equal than others, that’s still no excuse for you to be a “selective gentleman.” Don’t offer your MRT seat at all if you’re only doing it because the girl is pretty (and you’re planning to hit on her). We’ll see through your phoney façade eventually. It’s the power of women’s instinct. Mighty Mouse Believe it or not, these fellows still subscribe to that it’s-a-man’s-world foolishness that they don’t give a damn if they break every lady’s bones, heart, or spirit. So, we can’t help but think why they turned out this way. Could it be because they (a) had such a miserable childhood, (b) used to be Mama’s boys, or (c) are scaredy-cat to find out that some chick is better than them? Your guess is as good as ours.



The Walking Dead

my earlier statement.

good things coming.

By Kristin Abante – Dubai

Today a new cultural movement is emerging from the underground, and with that a new breed of talented Pinoys are again at the forefront. We caught up with one of them one night, Filipino artist Darwin Gueverra, while he was working on this huge graffiti art the parking lot of 5-star hotel along with other international artists who flew in for the occasion. We went further inside, a world-famous DJ was playing, the cool crowd was trickling in and as we took a seat in the gutter with our drinks, we thought to ourselves, “Well, look at that, Dubai is not what it used to be. Ironically, despite its array of swanky places, it was here in that parking lot that night that we stumbled upon the city’s real pulse--faint but alive and definitely a sign of

Follow Kristine on com

-Take “before” and “after” selfies

Like protein, fiber is also a key to losing weight in a healthy way. Cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, avocado, raspberries, lentils, chia and flax seeds, brussel sprouts are among the top sources of fiber that you can start adding to your meals.

Back in the 80s, when you say “Middle East” it immediately conjured up images of the desert, oil rigs, construction, 24carat gold, strict Arab masters and of course, our lonely OFs. The Gulf War in the 90s and 9-11 terrorist attacks didn’t improve that image much, but that didn’t stop the diaspora of Pinoys flowing into the Middle East, especially into the “open” city of Dubai. I’ve already been warned about Dubai: fake, pretentious, boring and removed of any of real soul. But lately I’ve been finding myself checking-in at more and more good art and music venues and I’m beginning to reconsider

DIY: WEIGHT LOSS AT HOME By Rian Miranda – Riyadh

Post it in your room where you can see it everyday. I know you may not be up for this, but this helps. A lot. Your before selfie will be your daily reminder for you to see what you need to work on. Believe me, you will find this motivating once you start seeing progress. -Do all the household chores

Yes, you read that right. It is absolutely possible to lose weight without doing anything drastic. So chill and celebrate because you won’t need to go out and splurge just to shed off some of that unwanted body bulge. Let’s do this and burn those pounds! *LOVE AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF* -Imagine yourself in your ideal weight. The law of attraction states that your thoughts shape your reality. You have to believe in the power of your mind, as it is truly metamorphic. Imagine how you would look once you achieve your ideal weight, did you will feel wonderful? Now, start to think how you would share about your experience, as you show off your new figure in the clothes you once wished would fit you.


In the morning, jumpstart your day by doing laundry as you listen to upbeat songs or start sweeping the living room, dining room, and kitchen area. You will be burning fat as you do this for 30 minutes before making and eating breakfast. *WATCH YOUR FOOD* -Make your own meal This is a very challenging task especially if cooking is not your forte. But don’t be scared. Salads, sandwiches, fruit and veggie shakes does not require you to have a diploma in culinary arts. Just browse through hundreds of recipes online and you will find the ones that best suit your palate. Do not skip on protein. A lot of people I know used to skip on meat, fish, and eggs when they go on a diet. You need protein for your energy to lose the extra weight during the day. If you’re a vegetarian, you can substitute meat with quinoa, tofu, beans, spirulina, and nuts.

*BE YOUR OWN TRAINER* Buy exercise videos available at your local mall, and choose the ones that would be convenient for you. Get an instant leg workout by taking stairs instead of the elevator if your destination is no more than 4 floors up. Use a bike instead of taking a car in going to the park. *BECOME YOUR OWN LIFE COACH* It’s your body, your weight, your feelings. You’re the only one who knows deep within what’s best for your body to stay and feel fit. By being realistic about our goals, we become aware that we didn’t put on this extra weight in a day, so we certainly won’t lose it in a day either. Make a brutally honest list of reasons why you want to lose weight and read it on days when you feel unmotivated. Most of all, avoid negativity and surround yourself with a positive crowd who can motivate you, which will make your goal more achievable and the journey worthwhile. Follow Rian - Instagram: msrianmiranda, Youtube:

ILLUSTRADO Magazine Oct 2014  

Championing The World Class Filipino. Fashion, Lifestyle, People and Filipino Expat Life.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you