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Editor’s Note



Behind every happy, healthy and successful woman is a man who was loving and supportive. That statement might raise some eyebrows, especially with ultra-independent women who belong to the ‘I don’t need a man brigade.’ But let me just put it out there because I truly believe that somewhere somehow, there was always a certain man in each of our lives, who has helped us be what we are right now - whether that be a supportive husband/partner, a doting father or grandfather, or even protective brothers/cousins/mentors. Sure, as a modern empowered woman, I believe in independence, self-determination and gender equality. But I also believe in the interconnectedness of our lives. Hence, while we promote the empowerment of women, and there are many occasions throughout the year when we are especially encouraged to do that, let us not forget that our men need validation too. So here it is, our ode to the male species - our proverbial pat on the back – or better yet, the kiss on both cheek. Illustrado’s October issue is dedicated to the men in our lives who have inspired us, captured our interest and excited us. Whether as rock solid foundations in our community, movers and shakers who make things happen, quirky males who have done unusual feats, off-the-wall-rock stars, tortured beautiful artists, even heart breakers we can’t keep our eyes off, or the bad boys our moms have warned us about – these boys have made our lives richer, and certainly more exciting. And while we’re at it, International Men’s Day is just around the corner. Observed on the 19th of November each year, it’s not as popular as its female counterpart, so let’s participate and celebrate it so it becomes just as important. So from me to you and from all the women who love men –

Hello, boys! Taas Noo, Filipino Global vision, native soul. LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Talking Loud

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

So bad that they’re so good. “Why do some women love to love bad boys?” For this month’s issue of Illustrado, we conducted a fun survey and asked our readers why you think some girls fall for the “infamous yet good looking and muscular beast.” We asked for your ideas, theories and “friend of a friend” experiences and here’s what we got. Girls like the idea of being able to tame a bad boy. ~Tryumph Academyof Martialarts Oh yeah, Tryumph! That’s right! But can they be tamed? ~ Illustrado Magazine Because it’s their practical choice rather than a logical or intelligent choice; the bad boys play nice cards till you fall for them. ~Namita V Suri Interesting stuff indeed, Namita! The bad boys know how to pull off the tricks that make the girls fall. ~Illustrado Magazine The Bad Boy is exciting. His supposed bad traits make him heart-stoppingly attractive


and irresistible; he’s dangerous, rebellious and answers to no one else’s rules but his own. I think in many ways, he is what some women secretly wish they could be. At some point in her life, a woman wants to throw caution to the wind, but cannot or will not. Her next best option? Going on a tempestuous wild ride that only a bad, bad boy can promise. She just has to be careful and make sure that even if her ego may be bruised after the experience, her heart and sense of self-worth will not be broken. ~ Ana P. Santos Look at how the bad boy archetypes are lauded in our country. They have all the fun and get all the women in the process. Robin Padilla, Erap, even the funny guys like Dolphy and Vic Sotto are kind of bad boys in funny boys’ clothing. But as many a story goes, many hearts are broken and the bad boys just go on to the next girl…or enter politics. HAHA? Or sob sob? I guess it all depends on who is telling the story. ~ Marie I’d like to think that good guys don’t always finish last. My current girlfriend just ended a five year relationship who just wasn’t treating her the way she should be treated. Sure, he bought her lavish gifts, but it was mostly to make up for his womanizing and drinking with friends. I can’t afford to give her half of what he was able to, but I have given her my commitment and my loyalty. And she has given me her trust. Isn’t that what relationships are essentially built on anyway? ~Dave

There are bad boys and there are badass boys. What do I mean? There are guys who are stereotyped as being bad boys. Like musicians and artists, for example. But maybe it is just their image that is badass. I know many musicians who are loyal, dependable and responsible men and partners. But then, there are the bad boys, the ones who don’t want to get a job, think they’re entitled to certain privileges without really working for it and are just plain mean and cruel. They can be just about any one including the guy who goes to Church every Sunday and loves his Mama. I guess we can never really stereotype is what I’m saying. ~Arlynee If I’m a bad girl, should I be with a bad boy? Just asking, ~Babingski Just like the Taming of the Shrew, the bad boy can be tamed. But it’ll probably take more than a shrew to do it. LOL. ~TinTin I’ve had my share of bad boys in my time and I thank each and every one of them for the lesson they taught me. Like, every bad boy will have a soft spot. Half the fun is finding it. Cheers! Sam

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

Oct 2013 Contents Filipino-German Adonis Paul Kiefer in perfect Michael Cinco Homme “matador” elegance graces the cover of Illustrado’s October 2013 issue dedicated to men.

features 12 Awesome Men 12 Bad Boys: Kissing the Beast, Dissing the Prince 42 Where have all the Men Gone 46 The Gentleman’s Club 48 Must Do List for Entrepreneurs 54 Hans Sicat: The Billion Dollar Man 58


columns Editor’s Note 1 Talking Loud 2 Contributors 6 News: Phils in Japan & Italian Trade Shows 10 Illuminati: MVP Manny Pangilinan 38 It’s What I Do 50 Kabuhayan: Employee to Entrepreneur Kabuhayan: Vintage Restoration 56 Illustrado Scrapbook 60 10 Things to Do 78 On the Prowl, In the Know 82 Onli in Da Pilipins: Boys will be Boys 100

fashion The Men of Michael Cinco 62

places Pinoy Planet: Georgia – Lush & Full Promise 84 Trippin’: The Need for Speed – Ferrari World 92 Trippin’: Boracay Discovery Shores 98


Michael Cinco DUBAI

P.O. Box 74689, Dubai, UAE Tel. + 971 4 332 7282 Website:



Didi Paterno-Magpali seems to be destined to bathe in sunshine. After two years in sunny Dubai, Didi is still enjoying copious amounts of Vitamin D in the Lone Star state of Texas, USA together with her most awesome Pinoy guy, her husband: Duane. His humor, intelligence, wit, honesty and mutual love for all things delicious continue to make her swoon every single day. Didi believes that food: eating and cooking, is as awesome as her husband that they both deserve a special place in her heart…and her blog. Read more about her expat and food adventures on D for Delicious (


Having flexibility is what Nikka Sarthou enjoys as a full-time freelance writer and editor. Being her own boss, she gets to indulge in her passions--writing and traveling--whenever she wants. She is currently a Contributing Editor for Smile magazine and one of the Co-Founders of Writer’s Block Philippines. For Nikka, the ideal Awesome Pinoy Man is someone who is very maginoo because being a gentleman means having respect for others.





Anna Oposa is a writer by profession and marine conservationist by passion. She has two ideal Awesome Pinoy Men in her life: her dad and her boyfriend. Her dad, Atty. Tony Oposa, is the ultimate eco warrior who pioneered environmental law in the Philippines, while her boyfriend, Ike, makes her laugh and feel secure. In other words, a clown ninja.

Versatile fashion photographer Eros Goze famous in the local fashion circuit for his distinctive dramatic style and visual flair has captured many a fashion spreads for the region’s haute couture and pret-a-porter houses, as well as glossy publications. This month, he photographs rugged masculinity and the beauty of couture for men in the fashion editorial – The Men of Michael Cinco.


Excel writes for various publications in the Philippines, on a range of different diverse topics like travel, men’s health, sports and hobbies, and enjoys the opportunity of being able to explore the country as a writer with appreciative eyes. For Excel, his ideal Pinoy Man is his mentor at church, Ikoy Ricio. “Not only is his life a complete obedience to Our Lord but his life is a life of integrity, humility, dependence and submission. He works hard for his wife and daughter and loves them to the core.”

“Have cash will travel” has long been the motto of perennial wanderer Al Manlangit. Al is an architect who has been working in Kuwait for the past 25 years, who also has a penchant for writing. He loves to travel whether on business or on vacation and his ultimate goal is to visit every country on earth- if he can! For his October article, Al didn’t go too far and instead visited Ferrari World in our very own backyard. There he got just the adrenaline hit he was looking for.

“The” personal finance authority of the Philippines, Francisco J Colayco, author of several best-selling books, devotes his advocacy work, including his monthly Illustrado columns to teaching Filipinos how to manage their hard earned money wisely. In this issue, he shares insights on how one can cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset

Alex Callueng, better known for strutting his stuff on the runway in previous years refers to himself as an accidental artist. A Dubaibased photographer, Alex is determined to move his skills in fashion, beauty and portrait photography into the next level. Apart from his commercial work and his recent campaign shoot for Canadian fashion brand Madame Mojeh, Alex’s photography has also been published in local magazines WKND and Physique.





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


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


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


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

Oman and Kuwait.

news PHL COMPANIES SHOWCASE PRODUCTS IN ASIAN FOOD SHOW IN OSAKA, JAPAN Ten Philippine companies participated in Integrated Farming Enterprise Inc., Monde countries, including the Philippines, in no photos their products to the Japanese the second Asian Food Show held at INTEX Nissin Corporation, and Pasciolco Agri showcasing Osaka from September 11 to 13. The Asian Food Show is organized by the Osaka International Business Promotion Center (IBPC) which provides participating food companies from Asian countries a platform to showcase their specialty food products to the Japanese market. The Philippine exhibitors included Amley Food Corporation and Cocoplus Aquarian Development Corporation, Aslaxphils Corp., Cordillera Products Trading and Holding Co. Inc., Flora Integrated Farms Inc., Gerabuenas Trading, Greenchoice Selections, Inc., Lubi

Ventures. The exhibitors brought samples of their respective food products including fresh and processed fruits, organic and conventional coconut products, coffee, pineapple textile, and processed poultry and seafood products. The exhibitors are aiming at expanding their market in western Japan through partnerships with local Japanese distributors. In her opening remarks, Consul General in Osaka Maria Teresa L. Taguiang conveyed her appreciation to IBPC President Yoshihide Kuzumoto for the support extended to food companies from Asian

Pinoy Indigenous Fibers, top designers go to Rome, targets Italian market Renowned Filipino designers will showcase their masterpieces made from indigenous fibers in a fashion show and trade exhibit organized by Filipino community in Rome. In a bid to promote Filipino artists’ talent in the use and design of local fiber to the Italian society, “Fibre Filippine” will include a fashion show on October 17 featuring the works of topnotch Filipino designers Renee Salud, Patis Tesoro, Ditas Sandico Ong and Anthony Legarda using local fabrics made of piña, abaca, and banana fibers. The venue will be at the Circolo Ufficiale della Marina – Lungotevere Flaminio, 45, Rome, Italy. A trade exhibit featuring Filipino exhibitors engaged in the production and design of local fabrics and handicrafts will follow on October 18-20 at the Aranciera di San Sisto Roma, Via di Valle delle Camene. Featured in this exhibit are Cacharel Apparel, ELM’s Accesoria de Casa, Gida’s Tnalak International, Herb’s International Best, Janlen International Export Inc., Kath’s Handicraft, Klowil Multi-Purpose


Cooperative, Twinkle Ferraren, A&S Handcrafted Arts Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry-Iloilo, Ai-She Footwear of Liliw Laguna, and Narda’s Handwoven Arts and Crafts.

market. Negotiations and booking deals made by the participating Philippine companies with Japanese counterparts during the three-day exhibit are expected to yield sales in the amount of US$12.7 million (around Php 550.8 million). The Japanese companies expressed plans to visit the Philippines to see the manufacturing facilities of the participating Philippine companies with a view towards establishing business partnerships with them.

encouraging the use of “green” farming methods. Fibre Filippine is hosted by the Philippine Embassy-Rome, co-sponsored by the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), Philippine Postal Corp (PhilPost) and assisted by Gruppo Aggiunto of Roma Capitale.

According to Marie Luarca Reyes, organizer of Fibre Filippine, the purpose of organizing trade exhibit is to introduce to the Italian society the abilities and talents of the Filipinos in the use of their natural fabric. Reyes, wife of Philippine Ambassador to Italy Virgilio Reyes and Executive Director of European Network of Filipino in Diaspora (ENFiD) also hopes that the event will open investment opportunities for FilItalians. She added that Fibre Filippine also aims to challenge second generation FilItalians fashion and industrial designers to apply piña and abaca in western modalities and to inspire Italian textile and fashion establishments in using Filipino natural fibers for local use. In the long term, Reyes hopes this will be a way to assist Filipino farmers increase their production of pina-abaca-banana while

A model wears a Dita Sandico-Ong abaca wrap – part of the Fibre Filippine showcase.


Men. How do we love thee? Let us count 12 awesome ways these men make us proud to be women who love and admire them. by Anna Oposa and Ana P. Santos Chances are, your mother warned you about them, how they could steal your heart and sweep you off your feet. These 12 Awesome Men rounded up by Illustrado do just that but probably not in the way your mother may have expected. These men, all successful and admirable are making their mark in the fields of dance, architectural design, film, music and business. As diverse as this set may be, there is one thing that binds them together: their ambition, drive and heart. Any man who possesses those traits and in equal measure, will always come out as a winner in our book – and even your mother would approve.


12 AWEsoMe MEN




Photography: Alex Calueng


Kamil Roxas has always adored films. When he was growing up, he was drawn to watching music videos and would watch them for hours. Later, he took an interest in films like Pulp Fiction as a source of inspiration for a different kind of storytelling. “I always knew I would like to go into making films at some point,” he says. Luckily for him, Kamil received a scholarship to a prestigious film school after one of his short films was recognized at the first Middle East International Film Festival. Opportunities came knocking after that. Just recently, he directed a 30-episode TV series documenting the work of Make-AWish Foundation. It showcased what the foundation is doing to make a difference in the lives of terminally ill children in the UAE. The filming took place over a period a period of three months between May and July this year.


“Every episode had to capture the emotion of the child as their most cherished wish was being granted to really let the audience feel what the child is feeling at the moment.” Aside from that, Kamil also founded Visual Arabia, a creative conference that gathers content creators and celebrates everything creative in the region. Kamil says the whole concept for Visual Arabia was to invite local influencers from different fields and have them on the same stage with other global influencers to talk about their work. He hopes that this will “build this dialogue about inspiration and creativity”. Right now, Kamil just wants to keep on doing what loves and keep progressing in film or design or experiment with a completely new medium. “It’s about taking that opportunity to create something new, to tell a good story, live a creative life, stay naive and do some good along the way,” he says.

“It’s about taking that opportunity to create something new, to tell a good story, live a creative life, stay naive and do some good along the way,” KAMIL ROXAS





The man behind Bur Juman Center, award winning Al Hamra Mall and Old Town District in Ras Al Khaimah, among so many other structures and master developed communities around the world, architect Medardo Cadiz prides himself as being not just an architect but as a “place maker.” He believes that a single standalone building design does not contribute much to the community unless the project is looked at in a holistic fashion. Medardo [what is his nickname?] says development on a macro level, taking account of the given surroundings and studying the market should be considered among other things. This information enables him and other architects to create what he calls a “blue sky vision” that will be good for development and the greater community. To Medardo, this is the whole concept behind a “community-market-driven design.”

development,” he wants their projects to sensitively respond well to the given climate and environment as well as contribute to the local building industry of the place. Moreover, Medardo says they strive to create a design that is “contextual” to the place in such a way that it speaks of the land, the history and the story of the people.

As CEO of Cadiz International Architects, those considerations especially ring true. With buzz words in architecture today like “green architecture” and “sustainable

This is probably why his greatest source of joy in the business is the ability to create partnership-like relationships and


“Architecture has to have a heart and soul-always,” he says. Medardo doesn’t really have a project that is closest to his heart, but he does admit that doing family residences gives him more personal satisfaction than commercial design. He reasons that this is because they really work closely with the clients to meet their functional requirements and he and his firm are tasked with incorporating their own intentions and expectations in the design.

friendships with clients. Medardo shares that with every project, his firm has made it a priority to first learn how to connect with their clients on different levels with respect to their culture and social practices. “This paves the way for a more personal relationship and thus, delivers a sustainable and lasting business relationship.” With designs that can be seen and admired in over 15 countries and managing a firm that has grown and expanded since it first started in 1980, Merdado certainly has a lot to proud of. But Merdado says he has many more to be grateful to; he gives credit to his partners and architects in Manila, Seattle and Dubai. But moreover, he thanks his father, Architect Mariano Cadiz, for having the foresight to give him the opportunity for global exposure and international education. He hopes that the legacy he will leave his children and his family is a love for life, a reverence for the limitless of one’s own imagination and an intense passion for the discipline of architecture design.

“Architecture has to have a heart and soulalways”




3 Sandwash


Michael Filon grew up in a music loving home and recalls a childhood filled with song. His mom always played Abba and The Beatles and his dad collected records by The Eagles, Eric Clapton and Black Sabbath.

rock scene. He says, unlike other bands that started copying their favorite international acts, Sandwash started by trying to compose music for obscure video games. “We’ve always had a thing for experimentation and (for) looking beyond the obvious.”

His parents may have set up the stage, but what really got him started into rock and roll was Nirvana’s In Utero album in 1993.

“When bands come to us and ask for advice on songwriting and performance, we tell them to throw away their Guns N Roses DVDs and start listening to music in any other language than English. This lets you discover new sounds that you may have overlooked in the past, which you can then make your own in a fresh way.”

“My parents have had to answer to a lot of disgruntled neighbors since then,” he confides, laughing. In UAE, he says the music scene is suffering from its transient nature; bands have to constantly re-introduce themselves every three years. “But support for local music is gaining momentum and there are more gigs and platforms for original artists,” he adds, optimistically. Michael’s band, Sandwash, is considered a pioneer in the country’s indie/underground

This must have really worked out for the band. Their song “Alabaster” has a music video made by a famed New York director, who did it for free. The song went on to be used in a Mountain Dew commercial and got them the opening gig with Thirty Seconds to Mars.

The future looks bright with Sandwash playing in the Gulf Bike Week at the end of October and recording their second album soon. Michael and his brother Jay, who is also Sandwash’s drummer, are also about to work on the album for their new wave band, Walter. He also formed a new band called Defender Of The Universe, which plays Tagalog music themed around being an expat in Dubai. In addition to this already full music sheet, Michael is also in the middle of pre-production for two fullfeature films that he and his brother wrote. As an artist, he hopes his mark on pop culture will reflect the simple joys and frustrations of being alive at a time when science and technology have progressed to a level the human mind cannot fully comprehend. And like a rock star that he is well on his way to being, Michael wants to make the perfect roast beef sandwich.

Photography: Alex Calueng


“We’ve always had a thing for experimentation and (for) looking beyond the obvious.” MICHAEL FILLON





If Ishwar Chugani were not the businessman that he is, he would be off networking, meeting people, playing darts, travelling and whatever he can to spread a smile and make the world a better place to live in. Not withstanding the fact that he doesn’t really have time to indulge in a game of darts, Ishwar is also doing pretty well for someone who started as franchisee of Giordano Middle East and is now the executive director to the board of Giordano International. The expansion of responsibilities has given him the dual benefit of honing his business skills and giving him the confidence and the belief that nothing is impossible when one uses his 3Hs: heart to love what you are doing, hands to work hard and head for common sense and best judgment at all times. Ishwar admits he could have taken advantage of the evolving retail environment. Instead of focusing only on Giordano, they could have also expanded its sister brands since


they have the infrastructure and experience to become a multi-brand business. “However, in retrospect, I have no real regrets as it has been a very exhilarating and challenging experience,” he shares. It is a learning experience that he often shares with those aspiring to be businessmen. “You have to learn, develop a lot of skills, be patient and persevering, and not to only look for immediate monetary gain.” Ishwar is a believer people must find where they are good and work to develop their career in that direction. “Remember, good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient and the best things come to those who don’t give up.” Aside from being known as a businessman, Ishwar is also commonly known to the local Filipino community as his self-proclaimed title, “Dugong Bumbay, Pusong Pinoy.” An Indian by birth and nationality and a Filipino by default, having grown up in the Philippines, Ishwar says he has the best of the two worlds in him. Like a typical fun-

loving Pinoy, Ishwar says he likes to enjoy life and meet people. He prides himself in getting along well with other people. Ishwar, who is a founding member of the Philippine Business Council of Dubai, says this trait helped him build a very strong network of friends and business associates globally. Ishwar hopes to spread another Filipino trait to the UAE by way of food. In partnership with Happy Ongpauco, whose family owns the chain Barrio Fiesta, Ishwar opened a branch in one of the most prestigious shopping malls in Dubai. He says it’s just another way for him to do something for the Filipino community. “My upbringing in the Philippines has kept me the way that I am. I am still myself.” And being his self is what he wants to be known for. He emphasizes that we are all special and unique and that we should strive to be ourselves, but do what we can to make the world a better place. Photography: Alex Calueng

“You have to learn, develop a lot of skills, be patient and persevering, and not to only look for immediate monetary gain.” ISHWAR CHUGANI



Photography: Alex Calueng



Christopher Trasmano can certainly introduce himself in a way no one else can. Christopher is a Guinness Book of World Record titleholder for the longest hours of dancing for a dance/rhythm videogame using Xbox 360 Kinect Dance Central 2. How many other pro dancers can say that? Christopher has appeared in several commercials, music videos and concerts and handles three different dance studios in the Philippines. He has danced and grooved with Gary Valenciano, Lani Misalucha and has been the front act for Pussycat Dolls for their Manila tour. Once, he was featured in a music video of Philippine All-Stars. He has certainly come from when he first started to dance while he was attending the Victory Christian Fellowship church in Alabang. There, he got to meet future dancers of Philippine All-Stars and was


mentored by old school bboy pioneer Jay Cambay aka j-mastah. As a successful pro-dancer who is very active in Dubai’s event circuit, Christopher advises aspiring dancers to be to take classes and learn from the best. “It is also necessary to research and innovate existing dance moves, because copying is against the rules,” he says. In fact, he says, the Pinoy dance style is diverse and is often based on the which country the Pinoy dancer is from. “Karl Dyzee Alba of Supernaturals from Toronto popularized the threading footwork moves on bboying and breakdance. The Pinoy Flava in Philippines also made its mark in the Las Vegas World Hiphop Competitions,” he says, recounting how Filipinos are influencing mainstream dance with their own signature panache.

As for his world record, Christopher says he is even considering breaking that record. His motivation is to simply give back the glory. “I am looking forward to the day when I can say to my kids that their dad is a Guinness record holder!” But more than being a world titleholder, Christopher wants to be known for being the humble CLfrostyle and the champion of masses and underprivileged bboys and hiphop dances who have huge dreams of making it big. He dreams of owning a dance company soon that sponsors Pinoy talents and sends them overseas for competitions. “I hope the government will support all Pinoy talents because we’re really skilled and competitive.”

“I am looking forward to the day when I can say to my kids that their dad is a Guinness record holder!”




Japs Sergio Rock Star Reborn

Japs Sergio, former bassist, vocalist and guitarist of Rivermaya, is rocking to and creating new tunes. As part of the new band Peso Movement, his most recent obra maestra is the song Aling Pag-Ibig Pa?, based on Andres Bonifacio’s poem Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa. It was especially written for [ROCK] Supremo, a multimedia rock ballet based on the life of Andres Bonifacio. “When Gang Badoy of Rock Ed Philippines asked if Peso Movement would be interested in joining [ROCK] Supremo, I was immediately stoked about it! I knew it was going to be very challenging and I loved the idea,” Japs shares. And challenging it was. In addition to attending history classes organized by the producers of [ROCK] Supremo, he did his own research, “courtesy of Google”, he laughs and listened to a lot of the work of Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He enumerates three reasons why Aling Pag-ibig Pa? is by far “the most


challenging” song he has written: “First, it was going to be a tribute one of the country’s most beloved national heroes. Second, I ended up using his very deep words, and [had to] interpret it in a decent way that would not make historians go nuts,” he points out. And finally, “I’ve never arranged music that was going to be used for a ballet musical.” His new band, The Peso Movement is composed of veteran musicians who are somewhat back to square one: Japs (guitars/ vocals); Francis “Brew” Reyes (guitars) and Macky Macaventa (bass), both formerly with The Dawn; and Kurt Floreska (drums), who was in Soapdish. “As much as we’ve all been in the music industry for more than a decade, we treat ourselves as a new band who’s grinding it out, but at the same time being realistic and open about the uncertainty that this new era provides,” admits Japs.

“Since we’ve seen and enjoyed the view from ‘the top,’ this time around, we’ll casually walk the stairs to wherever it takes us. We love getting that feeling again of enjoying every little thing that we accomplish. A feeling that we, admittedly, kind of neglected when we were already doing it non-stop for years!” Japs exclaims. “Heck, we all got giddy when we first saw ‘Peso Movement’ on the marquee of a small bar gig. We took photos of ourselves when we actually got money for doing a gig—money that, even if, combined would still be nowhere near what we used to get individually in one gig before.” Japs continues: “Things like that bring us back to the feeling of why we wanted to be in a band in the first place. But this time around, we have the power of experience to guide us through.”

“As much as we’ve all been in the music industry for more than a decade, we treat ourselves as a new band who’s grinding it out, but at the same time being realistic and open about the uncertainty that this new era provides,”





Mark Meily The Hit maker

“When a filmmaker invites an audience to watch his film, he somehow promises his audience something,” declares award-winning director Mark Meily. “It could be entertainment, an insight, or new information. The audience should somehow feel busog [satisfied] once they leave the cinema.” Mark is one filmmaker who knows how to do just that. His name is no stranger to award-giving bodies and film festivals in the Philippines and abroad. His first feature film, Crying Ladies, bagged six awards in the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), including Best Film and Best Director. It was shown at the Montreal World Film Festival, Brussels Festival of Independent Cinema, and Hamburg Film Festival, to name a few. In 2008, Mark’s second MMFF effort Baler won 10 awards and was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His most recent hit was the biopic film based


on the life of General Emilio Aguinaldo, El Presidente. It once again garnered the most awards at the 2012 MMFF. It’s not only Mark’s box office films that garnered recognition. His independent film Donor won 5 awards at the 6th Cinemalaya Film Festival, including Best Film in Manila. It also won the grand prize at the 30th Brussels Independent Film Festival. Mark, who started his career directing commercials in the early ‘90s, has seen major changes in the film industry that allowed it to flourish. For him, “the advent of digital video” democratized filmmaking. “There are more independent filmmakers who can make the films that they want to create easily or at least easier than before. When I started, there was a big resistance to independent filmmakers and filmmakers who learned their craft in school here and abroad. I remember moves instigated by some guilds to block filmmakers or films made by non-guild members from being produced,” Mark recalls.

He shares ideas on how the local film industry can be better appreciated by the Filipinos and not just international film festivals. “There should be more film appreciation activities and classes,” Mark shares. “There should [also] be film writing classes in school. Unlike our Asian neighbors, our foundation in storytelling is too western. We were taught that Western Dramaturgy is the proper way of telling a story: [have a] beginning, middle, and end with one protagonist. We should also learn from how other Asians tell their stories.” Mark sees a bright future for Philippine cinema. “I think that Philippine cinema is in another renaissance because our stories are unique in choice of subject, but still can be appreciated universally,” observes the two-time Palanca award winner. “I have been to so many international film festivals where there is a following for Philippine films. I think we are the next Korea. Fingers crossed.”

“I think that Philippine cinema is in another renaissance because our stories are unique in choice of subject, but still can be appreciated universally,� MARK MEIL





Before becoming a renowned artist, Darwin “Japat” Guevarra had to sacrifice a lot of things for his art. He had struggled a lot to gain recognition.

Discrimination and style limitations due to cultural considerations were just some of the obstacles Japat had to overcome. Taking inspiration from his wife, who is also an artist, and his two sons, he acquainted himself with the local art scene. He started by helping create the ice dragon sculpture in Ski Dubai and he co-designed one of the horses in Sheikh Zayed Road. Then, in 2010, his work “System of Humanity” won first prize at the Dubai Ladies Club Shaikha Manal New Signatures Young Artists Award. That opened many doors for Japat.

His participation in that contest caught the attention of Sheikha Lateefa bint

Maktoum, daughter of the ruler of Dubai and owner of the gallery Tashkeel. And that award also led him to a prestigious one-man art show called “Time Of Humanity”. The exhibit showed 40 of his art works in mixed media, emphasizing its uniqueness and his ability to form pieces from materials he finds scavenging. All these have opened doors for Japat who has since been actively involved in projects and exhibitions around the emirates, and has also given the artist a consistent following of collectors of his art which also include other royals.

Japat says that while he likes being recognized for his work, his primary motivation is and always will be to give a good life to his family. He says the important thing is for his family to be complete. “Besides, they were the first to recognize me as a good artist,” he says in Filipino, chuckling.

As for being an artist, he says it’s like being an eye opener, a brain and dream and catcher, and doing the impossible all at the same time. It may sound overwhelmingly complex, but for Japat, he paints because of one simple reason: he knows it will make him and others who will see it happy. Photography: Alex Calueng


“it’s like being an eye opener, a brain and dream and catcher, and doing the impossible all at the same time,”





FRANK CIMAFRANCA public service

“Being open is a part of my nature. My life is an open book,” says Frank Cimafranca, who was posted as Consul General at the PCG Dubai and Northern Emirates just last year. “I believe that I owe it to the people I serve – to be transparent and let them know what I’m doing.” A diplomat who has spent the last 30 years in Foreign Service, Frank represents a breath of fresh air, not only because he brings in a new era of transparency in serving the Filipino community, but also due to his approach in running the PCG, pushing forth to make operations more efficient but also service-oriented. The latter not an easy task considering the increasing demands for services have to be balanced with resources that remain the same. “Public service is not just about doing what you have to do, but doing it nicely. I encourage my people to be more efficient and people friendly service oriented,” he says.


A very mild-mannered gentlemanly persona, Frank is, in fact, a silent activist at heart. He remains to be very idealistic and counts the early 80s, an era marked by political turbulence in the Philippines leading up to EDSA 1, as part of a challenging period in his career. He says that back then he was “marked” because he always expressed his strong opinion against the Marcos regime. Frank’s idealistic nature was honed at home. As the son of a labor union leader, Frank was exposed to the hardships and issues of the poor from a very young age. He says of his work, “[As public servants] We have to help,” he says. “Especially since we are here specifically to attend to our distressed nationals,” he says. And helping often requires going beyond the call of duty. When he was serving in Malaysia and Indonesia, Frank and his wife used to house (Filipina) runaways, as well as trafficked women, as there was no migrants act to protect them and no center where they can run to for help.

To this day, at the the core of his work ethic is the desire to protect the disadvantaged and stand against injustice. Here in the UAE, a big part of the Consul General’s objective is to endeavor for the better protection of household staff, apart from other projects to help OFWs reintegrate back home. Described by his wife as a compassionate simple man, Frank Cimafrance reminds other kababayans about the kind and naturally sympathetic trait of Filipinos. He says in the mother tongue, “We should not forget that we are Filipino.” “Hold on to that identity. Being Filipino means having strong faith in God and having a strong sense of community. Filipinos are compassionate; that’s just how we are – the better side of us. We are communal by nature and we have to realize that we cannot thrive without each other. We should retain that Filipino character.”

“We should not forget that we are Filipino, Hold on to that identity. Being Filipino means having strong faith in God and having a strong sense of community.”





Pepe Diokno The Emerging Filmmaker

Pepe Diokno is now working on his second film, Above the Clouds. His first film, Engkwentro, seems like a tough act to follow. With a budget of only USD 20,000, it premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and bagged the Lion of the Future (Luigi de Laurentiis) Award for Best Debut Film and the Orizzonti Prize for new trends in cinema. The script of Above the Clouds, which 26-year-old Pepe wrote, took two years and eight drafts to finish. But Pepe doesn’t appear to be suffering from the sophomore slump—the script received the Arte Prize at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival and a grant from the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. “The film tells the story of a 15-year-old boy who loses both of his parents in a flood and is sent to live with his estranged lolo (Joey ‘Pepe’ Smith) up in the mountains. We shot for one month up in Baguio, Sagada, and Mount Pulag — really beautiful places,”


Pepe reveals. Maybe the only thing equal to Pepe’s passion for making films is his wish to share it with as many people as possible and elevating the status of Philippine cinema in the Philippines. “I’ve toured schools and shown independent films. The way [the students] reacted to the films would be more visceral than the way they’d react to Hollywood movies,” he shares. “The problem is access. It costs millions to market, advertise, and distribute films — money indie films don’t have. It’s a business problem that needs a business solution. He continues: “On the upside, the big studios are beginning to pick up independent films. Star Cinema, for example, distributed On the Job, Captive and Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank. Finally, we have independent and mainstream working together, complimenting each other.” Pepe is encouraged by the belief that films

have the capacity to make Filipinos love the Philippines. “Perhaps the biggest cultural influence in the Philippines today isn’t the Americans. It’s Korea. Go anywhere in the country, and people are watching Korean films and TV shows, and listening to Korean music,” he points out. “People are learning how to speak Korean, eating Korean food, and dreaming of visiting Korea. And the Koreans never colonized us. All they had to do was send us their DVDs. That is the power of film.” “So if the Koreans can do that, why can’t we? We should be using film to spread our culture,” he remarks. “See, our films are a record of what it is to be Filipino. When I watch a film from the 1940s, from the first golden age of Philippine cinema, I can learn about how we dressed, how we danced, how we talked, how we loved. I wish that more people watched Filipino movies, especially us Filipinos. We really need to be more in touch with our culture.”

“See, our films are a record of what it is to be Filipino. We really need to be more in touch with our culture.”






Photography has provided Mario with a lot of high points in his life. “I used to just admire and marvel at the amazing works of these international and world class artists, I even thought of their images as “unachievable”. Now I am competing with them in the same arena, and winning,” he says. One of the most awarded photographers, Mario has, in his short photography career, already racked up 70 awards - 25 of which are from major international bodies. Just this year, Mario counts among his awards the Fujairah Photography Award “where I won a brand new H5D40 Hasselbrad Camera, a camera that I never thought I could have even in my dreams!”, second and third place in the Shots from Al Gharbia – I won 2nd and 3rd place, with total prize of AED50,000 and overall winner in the Better Magazine Photography of the Year 2013, Australia. “It’s surreal,” he says about the winning and


the other perks like receiving comments and messages from people saying that they truly love his work. “I also strive to innovate and take risks. For me, it does not matter if the image I’m trying to create is beyond the norm. I try to do something different (always). I want to be expressive and artistic. Sometimes, some of my peers find my works unusual, even weird. But somehow, the images capture the imagination of certain people, who share the same desire to witness something out of the ordinary.”

Like any artist who needs inspiration, he counts his wife as his muse and “best buddy and partner” and his son, Cedi as the one who gives him reason to be the best in everything he does. “Each one of us has the desire to contribute something in the world we live in,” says Mario who dreams of having his own photography studio or gallery and hopefully attend and participate in international exhibitions, and of course win more prestigious competitions.

To him, photography is a craft and is not just about capturing a certain moment or subject. It involves discipline and an understanding of both the subject and the context it is set against.

Citing his very modest upbringing in Muntinlupa, Mario hopes to inspire a lot of Filipinos and show them that “no matter where we come from, with utmost passion, dedication and faith, we can be at par with the rest of the world.”

“A photographer must feel a sense of connection and empathy with the subjects in order to present and capture them with clarity and accuracy.”

“I would always like to be known as Mario Cardenas from the Philippines as I offer my achievements to my country and countrymen.” Photography: Alex Calueng

“Each one of us has the desire to contribute something to the world we live in,” MARIO CARDENAS




Paolo Roldan MODEL

Paolo Roldan’s choice probably came up to two: corporate fashion career or strutting the runway. With his face and chiseled body now somewhat a staple in fashion magazines and the catwalk, it’s easy to guess which career path he chose. Paolo is a fashion buyer turned international model. On a business trip in 2010, the half-Canadian, half-Filipino met David Bossman of Boss Models who asked him to do some test shots. On that same day he went to a go-see (a casting call for models) with Givenchy’s main man Riccardo Tisci who decided to cast him up and sign him exclusively for the French fashion house. It was one day that changed the rest of Paolo’s life. In various press interviews, Paolo has always mentioned how proud he is of his Filipino roots. He even mentioned that his


dancing moves may best be attributed to his Pinoy heritage as we’re a nation that just loves to groove and sing. Long before, it was touted as the new in-thing in cuisine, Paolo professed to be a fan of sinigang, kare-kare, and especially ‘isaw’. (Imagine this hottie munching isaw at Manila side streets?) Manila has just gotten a glimpse of Paolo’s smoldering looks in his recent modeling stints for the local fashion brand, Bench. Paolo has conquered Manila as well as French Vogue where he was featured in a nude editorial, and China for GQ Style and others like Homme Style and Numero Homme, just to name a few. The fame and attention certainly come with its own tradeoffs which he has learned to laugh off. The stereotyping is easier to shrug off than the travelling and exhaustion which he says can just be so much that there could be lapses.

With his bad boy, rugged looks, it may be extremely difficult to believe that this guy is a softie. Yet, he admits in his interviews that he is indeed a mama’s boy and a romantic at heart. Being a fashion junkie is a vice he will gladly confess to as he admits that he not only dresses for his shows and photo shoots, but for his every day life in between. Ultimately, the affection he has for the industry that favored him is serving his goal to have his own clothing line in the future. By then, it will not have to be a choice between two different aspects of the fashion industry for Paolo, but a culmination and celebration of his modeling career.



for All Seasons

On that momentous afternoon of the last Ateneo-La Salle UAAP basketball match-up in September, I made the happy mistake of taking a wrong pedestrian turn from the basement of a parking building to get into Araneta Coliseum. I wound up at a special parking area that led right into the courtside seats, with no one stopping me


despite my lack of a VIP or Media pass.

As I strode on, a large vehicle came to a stop and someone whom I presumed to be important disembarked, quickly drawing a consort of burly bodyguards from another SUV. I recognized Manuel V. Pangilinan, often billed as “MVP” in business and sporting circles.

by Krip Yuson

I was tempted to stop in my tracks to wait for him to pass by, and say hello, feeling confident that he’d remember me and acknowledge my greeting, maybe even smile back, and if I were lucky, why, he might even consent to a quick photo-op selfie courtesy of my iPhone cam with reverse lens.


But I decided against the fanboy maneuver and walked on ahead, thinking that any MVP should be allowed to move on unimpeded by an amateur paparazzi. In brief, medyo dyahe. I had first met Manny Pangilinan in 1996 or was it early 1997, when he had just started to spend more time in Manila while still repping the Salim Group from his base in Hong Kong. It was at a small board meeting where I had to articulate my creative plans for The Evening Paper, a special broadsheet released in Manila in the afternoon, with the perceived advantage of scooping the usual morning dailies. The modest publication had nearly sunk after barely a year under an initial team that my new team and I were supposed to replace in the hope of revitalization. The financiers were led by Tonyboy Cojuangco, who drew Manny P. in. I didn’t know much about corporate board meetings. I simply detailed what our new creative team would try to do to enhance the look and content of the paper. Everyone nodded amiably around the table, and I was officially designated as Publisher and Editor-in Chief. Oh, it became a fun time for nearly two years, with THE Nonoy Marcelo (bless his antic soul) as Art Director and editorial cartoonist, and a spirited bunch of excellent writers serving as staff and contributing columnists. Our paper looked good and had sterling content. But it was said to be too cerebral for the general reading public. The primary reason for its eventual demise, however, was the problem of circulation in the afternoons, when newsboys had already called it a day after their morning rounds. In any case, the next time I encountered MVP was at a Red and White Gala Ball one February over a decade later, when our San Beda College batch from elementary school 1956 and high school 1960 was

prepping for our golden jubilee in 2010. It turned out that Manny P. was also a Bedan high school graduate, two years behind us. In fact a couple of older cousins of his were our classmates. We had photos taken with him at the NBC Tent in BGC. By that time. Mr. Pangilinan had already made very significant inroads into the financial scene in Manila. Having broken off from the Salim Group and started his own companies, he had invested in Bonifacio Global City besides having struck a gold mine in telecommunications, first with PLDT, then with Smart and various other blue-chip industries and new ventures.

Far be it for me to serve as his PR promoter in terms of lauds in this here space, but let it be said that in the past decade and a half at least, the perception chiseled in the public imagination was that finally, a Filipino who was not of Chinese or Spanish heritage was slugging it out with the traditional biggies in the highest echelons of finance. In a way, he was being seen as the “indio” champion, someone who by dint of hard work and determination, business smarts and capitalist efficiency, had carved out an enviable trail as a true-brown Pinoy taipan. His passion for sports led to much engagement with basketball, so that at present he actually has a hand in two or three teams in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). His now legendary support for the Ateneo Blue Eagles (as an AdMU alumnus) led to a historic five-peat in UAAP basketball. He has also backed the San Beda College Red Lions, resulting in a three-peat and additional titles. He continues to bankroll the national basketball team, Smart Gilas Pilipinas, in a seeming quixotic quest for regaining Pinoy pride in the international arena. Well, Gilas

Pilipinas only recently did just that by claiming a slot in the next world basketball championship in Spain, by virtue of a strong second-place finish in FIBA’s Asia tourney. In effect, he made the entire country jubilant. Recent news says that FIBA has also been unstinting in its praise for the entire handling of the tourney in Manila, thanks to Manuel V. Pangilinan. Indeed, this man has been Mr. MVP. Again, at the risk of being seen as currying favor or perhaps ingratiating myself with someone who could so easily have me sent the latest iPhone under the decidedly more dependable aegis of Smart, I will have to express my admiration for this very smart man of finance. While continuing to expand his business empire, MVP also persists in sharing the wealth in many ways, not only involving sports but also culture and the arts (as in having his media companies recently initiate a Filipino indie filmfest), as well as upholding Corporate Social Responsibility by way of quick response to disaster situations. Maybe I should’ve greeted MVP that day in the Big Dome’s bowels before we made our way to our seats, he at courtside and me in the lower box section. I could have shaken his hand and told him, “Hey, fellow Bedan, fellow Atenean, you know, if they had offered the course then in UP Diliman during my college years, I would have taken up A.B. Philanthropy instead of Philosophy. And if I had gained that degree thence succeeded in founding my own empire, why, I would be doing exactly as you’re doing now. You’re a great guy, Manny. More power to you! And may more indio financiers follow in your footsteps. Maybe I will, too, someday.” Smiley.



The newly renovated store marks the celebration of the brand’s 20th Anniversary in the Middle East Giordano, the global apparel brand known for its everyday wardrobe essentials, inaugurated its new concept flagship store in The Dubai Mall with a bang.

beat of Dubai’s favorite DJ, David Craig. “Today we celebrate two significant milestones in the history of Giordano: the opening of the newly renovated first concept store in the region and 20 years of operations in the Middle East. If Giordano has achieved so much in the past 20 years, it is principally because of our loyal customers. This event is our way to mark this double achievement while expressing gratitude to them,” said Ishwar Chugani, Managing Director of Giordano Middle East FZE and Executive Director of Giordano International. The store, located on Level 2 of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, redefines simplicity and embraces classic, polished and refined design. Space is maximised for product displays and customer interaction; including wider entrances and larger, more comfortable fitting rooms. Products are also presented in three different ways for customers’ easy visualisation of style. Wood accents have been added to increase the feeling of warmth and natural space. Energy-efficient lights enhance the customer experience while minimizing the store’s carbon footprint.

Over 300 hundred of Giordano’s most active members of the World Without Strangers (WWS) Loyalty Program, suppliers and associates attended the joint celebration for the brand’s 20th anniversary in the Middle East and the flagship store’s re-opening. The festivities kicked off with the performance of a group of stomp dancers who transformed the area around the shop into a dance floor. Models walked down the catwalk to showcase the latest Giordano men’s and women’s collections while grooving to the

LIALI’S MIRAGE RINGS SET TO WOW WOMEN THIS SEASON Stunning jewels crafted in 18k white gold and extravagantly set with diamonds LIALI’s stunning Mirage Touch Band and Mirage Taper band ring collections are set to wow women this season. These two exciting lines are part of its highly popular Mirage collection of truly affordable luxury for women who dare to dream. Superbly crafted in 18k white gold and set extravagantly with sparkling diamonds of the finest variety, the Mirage Touch Band and Mirage Taper Band rings make the perfect choice for a bridal or wedding rings. The Mirage Touch Band ring presents a set of two rings designed to be worn together with one of the rings highlighting the magic of a single solitaire diamond and the other being a decorative band. (Retail price: AED7500)


The Mirage Taper Band ring flaunts three dazzling rows of select diamond brilliants with a floral motif at its center. Starting at just AED 5500, these rings are also available in 3 and 5-carat settings to make that moment even more special. Utterly feminine and full of sparkle and promise, these exciting jewels brilliantly capture the romance of love. Discover the magic of true romance, with LIALI’s Mirage Touch Band and Mirage Tapered Band rings now available now at all LIALI stores in UAE.

Kissing the Beast, Dissing the Prince

Why women love to love bad boys

It’s a tale as old as t ime, but the story where the princess falls for the bad boy never gets old at all. By Didi Paterno-Magpali

Once upon a time, in a far away land, a beautiful Princess was tired of the single life and dreamt of a romantic relationship with a man, with someone who will woo, love, and cherish her for the rest of her life. Her Queen Mother reminded her to look for a good man, maybe someone like her King Father.


Her ladies-in-waiting and her Queen Mother prodded her to entertain a certain Prince Charming, who was attractive, kind, educated, financially able…BORING! “Why not take a chance with the infamous yet good looking and muscular Beast?” the Princess asked.

Despite the fact that she knew this Beast bummed around, fooled around with other women and exploded in anger, the Princess pursued her heart’s desire and not her mind’s dictate. What is it about bad boys? Why are they so wrong, but oh, so right?


Now what is to blame for Aside from raging hormones, women have other motivations this badness? Women are known to experience irrational roller coaster mood swings, intense food cravings and appetites—nothing new, as any women’s magazine will tell you. Even if you didn’t read about it, you would only have to listen to your body and how it cues in the hoisting of the red flag every month. These pesky hormones are also responsible for another thing…your choice of mate. A study done by marketing professor Kristine Durante of the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), these hormonal changes that come during ovulation affects a woman’s moods and appetites and also influences her perceptions of a man as a potential father. "Under the hormonal influence of ovulation, women delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dad. When looking at the sexy cad through ovulation goggles, Mr. Wrong looks exactly like Mr. Right." Durante explains. But since ovulation only occurs approximately 10 days every month, can a woman point blame to her hormones for choosing to love a bad boy?

to control. So can a woman, smitten beyond reason, point blame to her brain that is predisposed to pursue rewards and to revel in the unpredictability of outcome, perhaps when this man acts incongruent to his bad boy nature?

for pursuing the bad boy. Some are turned on by the tall order of conquering him and matching his level of notoriety by engaging him. If the shrew Maybe fairy tales do could be tamed, surely, the bad come true. Don’t they? boy could, too? These women Romance, though grounded on seem to be drawn to these bad uncontrollable hormones and neurons, is boys by a mission to fix what still a well-contemplated choice. Perhaps for women who cannot seem to pry away they deem is broken. Anthropologist Helen Fisher of the Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey and author of Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love studied the brain activity and circuitry of people in love. One of her studies revealed that intense romantic love is “primarily a (neural) motivation system, which leads to various emotions.” The desire for romantic love is a basic, natural need for humans to reproduce and survive, which associated with the activity of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Though it is a highly mental activity, romantic love is still “exceedingly difficult to control.” This drive for romantic reward, unlike sexual drive, is difficult, almost impossible,

from the bad boys, it is the conscious choice to hold on to the belief that there is an inherent goodness in humanity. No matter how disgustingly mangled the Beast might be, there is that seed of hope that someday true love’s kiss will magically transform him into the dashing Prince Charming. She still hopes that he will carry her off into the beautiful sunset and start her dream of happily ever after. But, what if that happily ever after never seems to get there and reality—like a beast-bites? Then the Princess must shake herself off and wake up from her this fairy tale sleep and smell the manure that was used to fertilize the roses. When that happens, maybe Prince Charming, the inherent good guy, will win the Princess’ heart.



SPLASH ‘FOREVER MORE’ AW’13 fashion show celebrates 20 years in Love with Fashion

Love was Splash’s vision at the recently concluded AW’13 fashion show. Titled ‘Forever More’, the show was an elegant reflection of Splash’s 20-year love affair with fashion. More than 3,000 guests were in attendance at the Madinat Arena to witness trends like sweet romance, folklore come alive in varsity and winter sportswear for men and women. A total of 45 models sashayed down the runway in strong silhouettes and sleek tailoring highlighting the looks in bold shades of black, red, gold, royal blue, purple and emerald symbolizing the much needed warmth for the season. Speaking on the unique design and concept of the show, Raza Beig, CEO of Splash & ICONIC said, “The year 2013 is very special for us and we want to celebrate turning 20 with every activity that we do. At Splash, we have always strived to work on unique concepts and sets. This season, we tie-in the season’s trends with the theme of love, love for fashion. Presenting a collection of high street must haves from the brand, the show was one big display of our commitment to fashion.” “With an aim to maximize the reach of our shows and celebrate


fashion on a larger scale, we live streamed our three shows on all our social media platforms along with other leading online platforms across the Region. We wanted to pay tribute to our more than half a million fans and consumers and made a way for them to watch the show,” Raza added. A combination of the best high-street trends, the Splash AW’13 wardrobe presented on the runway will be available from now until December 2013 in stores. All the looks from the catwalk may also be viewed on and Splash fashions. Log onto Fashion to catch the highlights of the fashion show.



It’s a question girls have asked their girlfriends more than once. Where have all the single men gone? And where can we meet them? In this month’s Illustrado, which is dedicated to men, we’re posing this question to a man for a change. Illustrado contributor Excel V. Dyquiangco is put to the task and answers, with tongue in cheek.

hook up, especially when you are sweating all over after that grueling race, but it’s a place where you can freely exchange ideas about life and running. I hope.

The Social Rendezvous The Physical Set Ups We men are generally hikers. We are generally always on the go, up and about, waking up in the wee hours of the morning just to conquer the world. One of the obvious places us guys hang out is at your neighborhood gym. Forget about the stereotypes about men and the infamous gym – there are indeed real and straight guys hanging out there, however you look it. All you have to do is to keep your eyes opened and peeled. Don’t limit yourself to the gym, though. Check out other places of high physical activity like the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City, for instance. Here, you will find hordes of men running and exercising at least every Sunday. Some, judging from their uniforms, even come from the military so if a chance encounter becomes a success, you can be sure that you always have a fit and brawny guy every time you are in distress. Lastly, why don’t you also test yourself and join marathons? Sign up for an early morning run and check out the male runners. This is not one glamorous place to


We love to hang around with our buddies. Men love to swap stories of love and life during the night and sometimes, wee hours of the morning. We wouldn’t mind meeting a lovely lady on a Friday night going up until the weekend. Check out the bars, have a drink and get to meet some guys. To make your search a little bit easier, you can have one of your guy friends act as your wingman and just hang out at the bar, until you spot someone more interesting. The mall is also one venue where you can find us guys hanging out. Forget the toy shop or the department store, head straight for the coffee shops and tinker with your computer. Make eye contact with the guy nearest you and order a drink of coffee. Men love to drink coffee and just strike up a conversation. You can also go online. “I tried mobile chatting out of boredom and that's when Chris and I met online,” says a Rita [not her real name] successful online dater. “We hit it off instantly. He would constantly send short messages. However, our supposed first meeting was called off and I was so frustrated that I stopped replying. Two years later, we reconnected and he pursued me consistently until we finally met in person.”

The Intellectual Minds If you are the type who loves to study and to read, you can meet your ideal guy in school. This is what happened to 33-year old Hazel whose husband used to be her teacher. “Semestral break came and my classmates wanted to treat him for being a good instructor,” she says. “I was asked to call and invite him about the treat and ended up talking on the phone until dawn. Before I knew it, we fell for each other. That group date was followed by several exclusive dates.’ The story did not end there for Hazel; it just began. “We eventually got married,” she says happily. The library or the museum is also a great place to meet men. However, their noses are mostly buried in their books or in the art works displayed so you really need to get their attention. Hmm…another good reason to read up and brush up on art, maybe? You can also try volunteering in a charity organization or being a member of a church group or and when everything else fails, apply as a reality show contestant. Have the men come to you instead!


GENTLEMAN’S CLUB They are stately, sophist icated and steeped in tradit ion. By Excel V. Dyquiangco

The gentleman’s club – or more popularly known as a little male bonding – represents a break from the stresses and hassles of every day work. It is an environment that epitomizes common interests such as sports, politics and arts. This time though, it’s all about whiskey and cigars and how these showcase what it really means to be a gentleman. With a little whiff and a little sip, this is male tradition at its finest.

The Genting Club


The Genting Club at Resorts World Manila provides members a luxurious getaway, free from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Described as a lifestyle club, it is where members can make their very own private world. Members can opt to simply lounge in the Paqman sports bar, sample fine dining at Happy 9, smoke the best cigars and drink the finest whiskies at Rat Pack, host a private party at the VIP KTV Salon, or attend special events at Taps. It also boasts first-class dining options and other recreational alternatives suited to the

taste of its discerning members. The club also serves its Premium High Tea (rare tea varieties from China that exude exquisite aromas and offer numerous health benefits, free from chemical infusions) for members every afternoon. The Genting Club is positioned as the absolute place for people who know that perfection is the key to unimaginable luxury. Whatever suits its members, the Genting Club is definitely the place to be for those with discerning tastes. Indeed, not many establishments in Manila offer


the same variety that the Genting Club does, not to mention its unparalleled ambiance and priceless camaraderie that its members have fostered within its plush confines.

Kipling’s Cigar Bar When it comes to variety of cigar bar and cigar packs and whiskey connoisseurs, nothing beats Kipling’s Cigar Bar at Mandarin Oriental. Guests and members can indulge in generous assortment of cigars, whiskeys and on champagne choices. The menu, in fact, is filled with whiskeys and cigars of different kinds that you’ll love - some definitely new to the buds. But particularly interesting and inviting and what makes the whole place a gentleman’s club is the structure and style of Kipling’s Cigar Bar. Thanks to its wooden and hard floors, black leather chairs and walls that seep with Scotch and whiskey and Sherries, guests can relaxingly spend the time away. Aside from relaxing with a bottle of single-malty whiskey on the left hand and a stick of a cigar on the right hand, guests and visitors can also indulge in an assortment of food from the MO Lounge. Whatever product and service that one chooses, this is the perfect and ideal place to sit back, relax and enjoy their whiskey and their cigar. Certainly, whenever guests drop by, Kipling’s Cigar Bar shows that this is really a man’s world.

Bar M Low key and private, Bar M at Salcedo Village in Makati City encourages hushed tones and soft whispers to avoid attention. A good thing too, since this cigar bar has people wanting some alone time for themselves. This place offers a wide variety and assortment of Japanese Whiskeys and Single Malts from Scotland, which are especially selected for the guests and their palates before and after dinner. Aside from these, visitors and guests can also satisfy their hunger with delicious bar food such as the Bar M Pizza, a thin crust pizza topped with cheese, finished with anchovies and caramelized with onions. Guests can also choose from Duck Ham with Grapes, Crispy Fish which they can partner with cocktails that are served at the bar. There is also a live jazz music for the patron’s extreme pleasure. The interiors of the place, meanwhile, are comfortable, elegant and riddled with lights and brown colors, truly and definitely a man’s world. Whatever the reason people choose to come here, it’s all a matter of taste and grace. Not too many bars offer so exquisite and quality surroundings but Bar M really signifies a special place for wines and cigars should one want to unwind and get free from all the hassles of the day’s work.

In the early 1990s former President Fidel V. Ramos earned the nickname “Tobacco” by having a unit of cigar lodged in his mouth every now and then. In fact, you won’t recognize his caricature and cartoon drawings if not for that famed product that has been part of a colorful history that spans hundreds of years. The first tobacco plants were planted in 1592, after the Spanish galleon San Clemente dropped off 50 grams of tobacco seeds to Spanish missionaries. By the 17th century, China was also introduced to tobacco and then as traders were crossing the Luzon Island, Philippine cigars were also gaining popularity. From then on, the force that has started this whole journey came up with different entities and varieties of tobaccos. Bars and restaurants soon caught on and supported the frenzy. It all starts with one good seed, as one patron sees it. And truly when it comes to cigars (and other such products), there is really no denying it that it is indeed a man’s world out here. No pun intended.


It’s What I do WILLIAM PENAREDONDO F&B Sales and Marketing ManagerAsiana Hotel - Dubai

But it wasn’t an easy journey to the top. Despite being a restaurant manager for a fast food chain in the Philippines, the agency who hired him told me that he needed to start from scratch because he didn’t have experience working in a foreign country. “I’ve had my share of culture shock—from the environment change, food and lifestyle adjustments. But overall, I’m happy because this paved the way to build my character and knowledge. I learned things which cannot be taught just by sitting in a four-corner classroom.” According to William, Filipinos should realize that “we are simply blessed by being creative and strong-willed – that we are essential movers and shakers of this world.”

PATRICK JOEY FRONDA Multimedia Engineer / Educator Murdoch University International Study Centre -Dubai

Hotelier William Penaredondo has been working outside the Philippines for more the 15 years. Currently based in Dubai, William has worked for prominent hotel chains like Hilton International, Starwood and Sofitel. Now, he is the food & beverage sales & marketing manager for Asiana Hotel. William loves meeting people and says this makes him perfect for the hospitality business. In his role as manager, he does lots of sales calls and attends loads of meetings with clients who are interested in booking their functions and events. He also trains the new generation of hoteliers who come to the UAE for the first time.


Patrick Joey Fronda came to Dubai in 2008 as a graphic designer. It wasn’t long before he realized that it was not enough to raise his growing family as a graphic designer in Dubai. His survival mode kicked in and he started doing wedding films using his experience as a filmmaker back home as a jump off point. Later, he was offered to teach and facilitate the media department in Murdoch University. Now a successful and sought after videographer, Patrick is a multimedia engineer for the university where he also teaches broadcast production, cinematography, photography and video editing. “I am honored that students from around the world studying here will be trained by a Filipino,” he says. And he’s pleased that Filipino students in the university are standing out in his class. In one instance, while checking the short films the students created, he told them that he didn’t want to be biased, but the works coming from some Filipino students really stood out. And in a photography competition, the two grand winners were also from the Philippines. But Patrick cautions that success will not come easy. He says Filipinos need to work for it, improve your selves and make the first step. Further, he says that his fellowmen should be positive, stop complaining about life and contribute something to another person’s life. “Life has an expiration. Go out and find a reason to live it,” he says.


An employee should be an

entrepreneur Francisco J. Colayco

Sure, any employee can be a passive entrepreneur by earning income from his invested savings. He can also be an active entrepreneur by having a sideline after office hours and during weekends. But when I say that an employee should be an entrepreneur, I am talking about mind set. What makes an entrepreneur different from an employee? An entrepreneur owns his business and has “placed his money where his mouth is”. He believes he is good in a specific business and he will run it as the owner. His success is completely dependent on his creativity, strategy, hard work and determination. The latest learning craze is entrepreneurship. Employment jobs are hard to find and most would like to find a way to set up their own business, no matter how small. So many are taking courses or joining seminars to learn entrepreneurship. This is great but generally, the biggest hurdles for them is knowledge of accounting (i.e., financial record keeping) and the capital needed for the business.


Those who do not have capital probably have to be employees first unless they can get the capital from “angel investors” such as rich relatives or friends. Jobs are hard to find, you say? Why is it that when I talk to companies, it is ironic that there are so many jobs that cannot be filled up. They cannot find the right kind of person for the jobs available. I submit that those who have an entrepreneurial mind-set will always be able to find a good job, succeed and eventually be the entrepreneurs they want to be.

An entrepreneurial employee, to my mind: Knows how to discern the activity that to him would be fun even if it is work. He will find a way to structure his work so that it will be fun, no matter how mundane it may be. Treats his company like his own. He will look for ways within his sphere of influence to ensure that the company sustains the profitability of its products and services. Understands what is fair for both himself and the company. He will work beyond the call of duty but at the same time, will realize that he and his family come first.

This is an issue that he would discuss and keep open with his boss. Makes education a priority. What I mean by education is not just have a degree or a diploma, but actually taking up courses and/or being an apprentice in an activity that will further his entrepreneurial dreams. Sometimes, having a degree even hinders a person from taking on an entrepreneurial opportunity because he feels the activity is too “low” for him. But, whether a person wants to be an employee or an entrepreneur, the reality is that, to survive economically in this world, he has no choice but to have both the active entrepreneurship and the passive entrepreneurship strategies. Reality also dictates that it is an obligation to learn to be a knowledgeable investor, to become a passive entrepreneur. We can be an active entrepreneur only for a part of our lives, but we can be a passive entrepreneur our entire life. This is the fundamental principle behind the need for financial planning at all stages of our financial and physical lives. Check out and and for more information.


The Must-Do List for



eing your own boss, controlling your time, and owning a business-it’s easy to see why many people want to go into entrepreneurship rather than being employed. Nikka Sarthou collects nuggets of advice and makes a list of must-do’s for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Love what you do “You need to love what you do, or sell, or offer,” according to Chit Juan, Co-Owner of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle. Early in her childhood, she showed signs of


entrepreneurship but only formally started a company after college. She founded a small café outside campus and went into other businesses involving things she liked such as coffee, music, and health, among others. She has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years already. She shares the secret to her success, “Do not get into business for money alone. Yes, you must be financially profitable to be sustainable. But you must also think of your environmental and social impact.”

Have a positive mindset

For RJ Ledesma, Co-Founder of Mercato Centrale Philippines, television/events host and book author, it is important to, “Always have a positive mindset into things. Never see failure as failure but an opportunity to learn. Learn the best practices—what works for you and what doesn’t.” Along with other partners, he operates the Mercato Centrale group of weekend markets seen all over the metro. Although they have closed down some market locations, he doesn’t view it as a disappointment but as a learning experience. They have since opened other market concepts and have expanded to outof-town locations.

“Business is all about relationships.” Create a novel concept When considering a start-up business, it is important to think of a new idea. Anton Diaz, Founder of, one of the top blogs in the Philippines, believes that, “The concept should be innovative, unique, and/or an improvement of an existing idea. It needs to be exciting to entice people to try and to convert people to become regular customers.” His blog posts about his food and travel adventures have become popular through of word-ofmouth and have gained him an impressive following in the industry. This foodieentrepreneur also believes, “You should be able to execute and try the concept as fast as you can, and fail as fast so that you can refine into a winning concept. It is important to learn from failures fast and execute the improved ideas faster.”

Be accountable for your actions Aside from business basics, entrepreneurs should understand the meaning of accountability. “Learn to embrace the responsibility of and appreciate the effects of your decisions; it is, after all, your company

and not any one else's,” shares Danella Yujuico Yaptinchay, a businesswoman who wears a lot of hats. She is currently the Managing Director of Full Suite, Inc. and Maestro (Publisher) of Homegrown Media ( Full Suite, Inc. is actually a business that services startups and entrepreneurs. Danella joined the company in 2009 and saw the potential of its business model when she met a lot of entrepreneurs from various industries and realized that everyone needs help in one form or another.

Maintain good relationships Vince Golangco, Founder of, a popular online magazine with a community of over 200 contributors, knows that, “Business is all about relationships.” He actually got into the business by accident. He simply loved to write so he started a blog and things happened one step at a time from there. He slowly incorporated the things he learned from business books and turned his blog into an award-winning one. “I can't stress enough how important it is to have good,

trusting relationships with people. You will never succeed on your own.”

Have the heart to persevere As a young girl, Cris Barancik would sell stickers and stationeries to her friends. In high school, she would supply cakes to her uncle’s coffee shop, and would even organize bazaars during the holidays. Although it didn’t attract a lot of shoppers, she continued to be an on and off entrepreneur for 25 years. “You must have that goal in mind in spite of difficulties and obstacles—there will be many—and not get easily discouraged,” Cris swears by this. “One must welcome challenges and see it as opportunities to learn and improve. If things don’t pan out the way you had hoped, there is always a way around it.” She is currently the Managing Partner of Strategic Vantage Advertising, a belowthe-line marketing company that has been around since 2004. For her, “Failure does not define you. It just gives you an opportunity to learn and be better the next time around.”


Queen of

Restoration By Bernadette Reyes

Your vintage bags can now stand the test of t ime, albeit with a l ittle help from the “Restorat ion Queen”. Do you have a faded Balenciaga City Bag hiding in your closet? Did the sling of your Louis Vuitton Neverfull handbag break off because you always kept it full? Are you always trying to hide the part of your Chanel Quilted Bowler Bag that is peeling off? Take a trip down Jupiter St. in Makati or visit White Plains in Quezon City and look for a signage that reads Vintage Restore. The shop promises to bring your beaten up bag back to life. A family business, Vintage Restore came about after their Edna Buenviaje-Cruz, who has over 30 years of experience and technical know- how of the bag


manufacture industry began to see a decline in the bag manufacturing business. “Back in 2004, more and more brands began looking at China to manufacture their bags. I thought of diversifying our family business,” says Trisha Cruz-Cuazon, Edna’s daughter and co-owner of Vintage Restore.

Restoring the value of vintage Vintage Restore is a pioneer in the repair and restoration of luxury designer bags in the Philippines. “We clean, retouch, re-dye, electroplate or replace missing hardware, change handles, linings or zippers, or even

take entire bags apart to change all the worn-out parts,” explains Trisha. Its fix-create-shop concept makes it a unique one-stop shop for bag lovers. They accept made-to-order bags and belts, repair and restore bags specializing in designer labels. Vintage Restore also retails a collection of bags and belts designed by sought-after Filipina bag designer Lally Dizon and Trisha’s vintage jewelry collection called Treasure Trove. However, their first attempt in the business was a flop. In 2005, the family opened its first shop in Market! Market! in Taguig under the brand Bag Specialist. The mall sought to cater to the high-end clientele of Makati, but was later repositioned to serve the middle class market of Taguig. “Nobody was doing repairs for luxury items so we opened our business there. Turns out the location wasn’t the right fit


for our business so we closed shop a year after,” reveals Trisha. In 2007, the family rebranded the business to what is now known as Vintage Restore, this time with a store in Jupiter, Makati. “We were able to capture our market from the villages and offices around Makati.” It later opened another store in White Plain, Quezon City this time allowing them to cater to bag lovers in the northern part of Manila.

Copied, but not equaled Many stores have tried to imitate their concept but turned out to be laggards in terms of quality and extent of service. “Our advantage is that we have the technical know-how which we learned from my mom who has been in the manufacture of bags for over 30 years,” Trisha shares. Clients bring in items that were either damaged by other restoration attempts or assessed to be beyond repair and Vintage Restore does its magic of restoration and rebuilding. A Chanel 3.55 arrived in a “hopeless” state when it arrived at the store. The leather was brittle and the hardware was faded, but after the full makeover, the Chanel 3.55 was as good as new. “We have a selection of fine leathers to match the original. If we sew back the parts, we follow the original stitches,” says Trisha, letting us in on a bit of their process. Vintage Restore has expanded its service to include repair, cleaning and re-dyeing of shoes, jackets, wallets and luggage.

For bags, they command a minimum fee of Php1,100 for repair and Php1,900 for cleaning, but price may vary depending on the condition of the item. “The more wornout the item is, the higher clients have to pay. We price on a per bag basis,” Trisha explains. Clients are willing to pay the price as long as they bring some of their most prized purses back to mint condition.

The vast market for leather restoration Vintage Restore has serviced some of the most prominent socialites, celebrities and politicians in the country. Even high-end boutiques in country refer them to clients for their repair and restoration needs. As the business caters to high-end clientele, they make sure their service is also firstclass. Trisha describes herself as “very hands-on with the service”, making daily trips to both stores and the factory. They personally attend to clients; check the repair and restoration process and family members take turn in transporting goods from the shop to the factory and back. “We want to be as involved a possible. We meet with clients personally to assess their item and explain to them the process.” Trisha personally answers email and Facebook queries as well. Vintage Restore also began accepting overseas clients, the most recent of which is a customer based in Singapore. As long as clients are willing to spend for the freight,

Do you have a faded Balenciaga City Bag hiding in your closet? Did the sling of your Louis Vuitton Neverfull handbag break off because you always kept it full? Vintage Restore can help. Vintage Restore is more than willing to accept their orders. Their craftsmanship has gone as far as Qatar where an interested franchisee persisted in bringing their business to the Middle East. Locally, interested franchisees from the provinces have likewise knocked on their doors. “We want to keep our service personalized so we would like to first make sure we have enough people to help us live up to our quality service before we consider franchising,” Trisha explains. For now, Vintage Restore is focused on the launching of its third store in a posh shopping mall in Metro Manila poised to open in the last quarter of 2013. It will be another place where a run-down, worn-out luxury leather item lying around in your closet can pay this Queen of Restoration a visit.



The Billion-Dollar Man

Hans Sicat by Kristine Fonacier

All roads lead to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The high ceilings and woodpaneled halls of Ayala Tower One are certainly impressive to any first-time visitor, and what goes on inside is truly serious work. Billions of pesos move through the PSE on any given day, and as the nerve center of Philippine business and finance, what happens there eventually reverberates in each of our lives, no matter who we are.

As the president and CEO of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Sicat is the man who most understands what it’s like to hold office at the country’s most important business address. “It’s a great honor to be associated with the PSE, and to be walking through Ayala Tower One,” he says quietly. “It’s a nice feeling to have—and an awesome feeling, because there is that great responsibility of running an exchange.”

In one sense, the trading floor at Ayala Tower One is a “vestige of the past,” muses Hans Brinker Sicat, “because one doesn’t need to physically be on the trading floor to be part of the exchange.” But, he continues, it will always be there, partly because of the continuing need to have real-time communication among traders, but also as a symbol, as the nerve center of the country’s capital markets. “Ayala One is clearly the center of business, and I’ll argue the financial nerve center of the country. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to take out the physical presence of a stock exchange. So Ayala One signifies really the nerve center of activity in the capital market.”

Tall and dapper, the energetic Sicat, 53, fits our ideal picture of a financier. He is a serious man who exudes confidence and competence, reason and purpose. But in other ways, too, he bucks the stereotype: He trained in classical guitar and belonged to a band (“a loud one,” he winks) back in the day, and didn’t really picture himself heading the bourse. “I didn’t really think I was going to end up at the PSE. My entire background has been that of an investment banker, mathematician, economist. My involvement with PSE came at the tailend of my investment banking career, when I was invited to join the board of the exchange [as independent director in 2009].” He calls his subsequent election to the chair “accidental,” though that hasn’t stopped him from assuming the role with both grace and gravitas.


“It’s a very challenging post, being the chairman of the PSE. One has a lot of responsibilities, and needs to rise up to the challenges,” Sicat says. But he does acknowledge the luck of his timing. “I think I’m lucky to be with the PSE at a time when the country is also experiencing...let’s call it a renaissance. Although the goalposts tend to be a little higher, too.” As one might imagine, a level mind and a steady hand are needed to deal with the daily responsibilities of running the exchange. “I tell myself, it’s just another day, and I do have a lot of tasks to go through…[and] at the end of the day, I can say that I have gotten through most of what I needed to go through,” he says. Sicat’s forecasts that the Philippine economy—and the stock exchange inextricably bound with it—will continue to perform well over the next year, and he hopes that, from his office at Ayala One, he can continue to guide the PSE on this road. “What I want to be my legacy is quite simple: that the exchange would be a much better place than when I came in.”


Donell Cablas Gumiran Donell is an artist based in Dubai. From a very young age, his love for visual arts has led him into the world of photography and graphic design. His strongest photographic skill is in capturing the emotions of people in everyday life situations. His passion for preserving memories of the human life has led him to win various international photography competitions. His work has also been published in both local and international publications. “I love taking pictures of people, places, and cultures - mostly capturing images of love, pain, poverty, and wealth with human drama. I always want a normal object to turn into a masterpiece through my eyes,� says the avid photographer.



Danilo Quiambao Laguna-native Danilo Quiambao started as a casual photography hobbyist in 2010, borrowing a camera from his cousin. Move to 2012 and apart from accumulating his own gear, Danilo has won the Best Photographer Award at OPPPS’ Back to Basic Course, and also had a couple of his photos published in Illustrado Magazine. The emerging freelance photographer says, after he got the hang of doing photography, he was so motivated to learn he enrolled in several courses with OPPPS. Now, still on his upward learning curve, Danilo continues to explore the beauty of the art by learning whatever he can independently and by experimenting with the help of his family and friends. He has also taken his hobby into the next level with his freelance group “Rule of 7th” which offers photography and video services.



The Men of Michael Cinco By Lalaine Chu-Benitez

Much has been said about Michael Cinco’s women who live in a decadently elegant world all to their own, but not much about his men. We take a look at the designers’ growing line of men’s fashion – his latest foray, inspired by the romantic Castilian style icon – the matador. His affair with men’s fashion started a few years ago when the designer began tinkering with men’s couture styling during his collaboration with Bench Body in Manila. Season after season, we would see a smattering of a few key pieces made for daring males when Michael Cinco would hit the runway. He might be known for dressing up Hollywood sirens Sofia Vergara, Britnes Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Dita Von Teese, among others, but he has also garnered attention for some of his amazing pieces worn by Chris Brown and Will.I.Am. This fashion season around, however, the designer unveils a more substantial, albeit mini-collection, that’s set to whet the appetite of his growing clientele of male fashionistas from Dubai-to-SingaporeManila and beyond. Inspired by the romanticism of the handsome matador, Michael Cinco Homme features an interesting assortment of tailored jackets, capes, hooded tops, and shirts matched with sleek trousers. A


focal point of the mini-collection is the richly embellished jacket which combines immaculate tailoring, classic detailing florid forms and arabesque motifs, done in contemporary execution in the form of laser cut acrylics and rich embroidery. Another good example of the old and the new intersecting is his industrial feel neoprene hooded cape punctuated by intricate arabesque embroidery – its veritable piece de resistance. “Young, fresh, adventurous and is still in touch with his feminine side,” is how the designer describes the Michael Cinco man. Certainly, his designs are not for the onedimensional rugged male, but the multifaceted man who is beyond raw masculinity - those who are brave enough to embrace the dramatically beautiful. MAKING A MARK FOR THE PHILIPPINES IN ASIAN FASHION Just before going to print, Michael Cinco has just given a landmark moment for the Philippines by being the first Filipino

inaugurated as a member of the Asian Couture Federation, together with highly acclaimed Asian designers including Japan’s legendary Kenzo, Yumi Katsura, Junko Koshino, China’s Guo Pei, Singapore’s Frederick Lee, Indonesia’s Sebastian Kuniyawan, Korea’s Lie Sang Bong and etc. The Asian Couture Federation or ACF is a newly formed organization based on the long-established Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The ACF aims to provide a “platform for recognizing, promoting and nurturing the most exceptional design talent in the region”. Missing this season’s fashion event in Dubai, where he is a regular, the designer also debuted at the Singapore Fashion Week on the 16th of October, where he showcased his own brand of couture alongside international greats like Alexis Mabille, Julien Fournié, Stephane Rolland, Pierre Balmain, among others.































10 things to do “Time flies when you’re having fun,” the adage says. But, we say, time flies no matter what you do. So better use your time to seize the day and make every second of your life count. In this issue, we give you a number of choices for entertaining and exciting ways to spend the month of October to November.

Buy tickets for Alicia Keys’ concert

Who doesn’t want to belt the words “In New York...” with the Grammy-award winner Alicia Keys? Now is your chance to see her talent onstage. Back in Dubai after nine years, Alicia Keys’ Set The World on Fire Tour is set for November 15 at the newly expanded Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. The one-night only show is expected to draw thousand of fans of the RnB singer so better book your tickets now. The tickets are priced at AED 1295 for VIP, AED 595 for Front Pit, and AED 295 for Regular Standing. Phone 04-4390900 for more information.

Join the Gulf Bike Week

Gulf Bike Week is a three-day festivity featuring the latest in sport bikes, cruisers, off-road and all/urban-terrain vehicles, apparel, accessories, custom-designed bikes and motorcycle-related products. Gulf Bike Week is a gathering that is much anticipated by enthusiasts because it is the only one of its kind in the whole of Middle East. The event promises to have something for everyone. Gulf Bike Week will also host a number of concerts featuring local artists such as The Maplejacks, The Boxtones, Julianna Down, Sandwash, Salha & The Million Dollar Band, Riff Raff, Screemin Egulz, and DJ Kinky D. From October 24-26, you can come down at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre and join the bike craze. Entrance for adults is AED 60 and AED 20 for children. For more information, call 04-4356101.

Watch Cinderella in Madinat Theatre

Fall in love again with the magic of fairy tales in this beautiful depiction of the classic story of Cinderella. The Moscow City Ballet is back in Dubai after its highly applauded performance of Sleeping Beauty last year. Founded by the former Bolshoi Ballet soloist and choreographer Victor Smirnov-Golovanov, the Moscow City Ballet is considered as one of Russia’s most successful touring companies, if not the world. Its show, Cinderella, promises a night to remember with flamboyant costumes and set designs with accompanying music composed by Serge Prokofiev. Running from November 14-16 at Madinat Theatre in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the show is priced at AED 350 for VIP, AED 300 for Stalls, and AED 250 for Balcony. To get more information, call 050-8805074.


10 things to do

Witness the Swan Lake in Emirates Palace

While Dubai will have Cinderella onstage, the capital will host the Moscow City Ballet for its wonderful performance of another classic, Swan Lake. The elegant and graceful dancers swirling and twirling around amazing set designs will surely entertain the audience all throughout the show. Happening at Emirates Palace Auditorium in Abu Dhabi, the shows will run from November 11-12. Tickets are priced at AED 600 for VIP, AED 450 for Middle Stalls, and AED 300 for Side Stalls.

Book your seats for the Sharon Cuneta Christmas in Dubai concert Yes, it might be too early for Christmas shows, but better save your space at the most-awaited Filipino concert this season. The Philippine’s Megastar is coming to the City of Gold to spread Christmas cheer in her first-ever concert in the Middle East. Joined by her daughter KC Concepcion, both singers will serenade the Pinoys with classic carols and pop ballads. Book your tickets as early as possible to get into the show at Wonderland in Bur Dubai on December 6. Show starts at 9:30pm. Tickets are priced at AED 250 for VIP, AED 175 for Category 1 (free seating), and AED 100 for Standing.

Explore the world of Global Village

The annual biggest outdoor souk in the Middle East has opened its doors this season. Running from October 5, 2013 to March 1, 2014, Global Village is set to offer a cultural extravaganza in the region. With an array of shows, shopping and entertaining activities, this is a must-visit place for tourists and residents alike. Among the new shows this season is the iconic 3D mapping show, Chinese circus, trapeze artists, and tightrope performances. Street shows will feature Emirati performers, a Lion Dance, Drumming Cricle and Fire Show. Open from 4pm till midnight, tickets are priced at AED 10 per person. For more information, call 04-3624114.

Support Dubai’s Big Pink Ball

The month of October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here in Dubai, there is a charity event that aims to raise funds and at the same time raise the bar for fun. A day of food, drinks, fashion shows, and a charity auction await guests at Dubai’s Big Pink Ball. The Moulin Rogue-themed evening is happening on October 24 at the Sky Bubble bar at The Meydan Racecourse. For more information, call 050-1236547. ILLUSTRADO 79

10 things to do

Race at Dubai Women’s Run

Want to stay fit while being able to network and meet new friends? Join the fourth installment of Dubai Women’s Run, which will start from The Meydan Hotel. Mark your calendars for November 8, the date when you can run and achieve a healthy lifestyle and meet fellow competitive and active female runners. Registration is priced at AED 100 per person. To register or ask for more details, call 0505512991.

Witness the Dubai International Motor Show

Considered as one of the most-awaited events of the year, the Dubai International Motor Show is back with exciting new product launches for motoring enthusiasts. Global manufacturers are said to be unveiling new car models during the exhibition, whereas the organizers will set up a motorsport district where visitors can experience the latest innovative equipment and technology taking the motoring world. The exhibition is set from November 5-9 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Admission is priced at AED 55 per person. For more information, call 04-3086014.


Do something adventurous: Skydive.

Want to try a heart-stopping activity? Well, Dubai has tons of extreme sports to offer but skydiving is said to provide the best adrenalin rush. From the intense wait to the strong gusts of wind and finally, the jump that takes you down at 210 km/hr—you heart may stop beating for a millisecond, but you will definitely have the experience of a lifetime. Skydive Dubai operates the drop zone with the highest safety standards, leaving you feeling safe, secure and breathless. For more information about Skydive Dubai, call 04-3778888.

On the Prowl and In the Know

A Close Encounter with Kobe Bryant, and the advocacy he supports By Ion Gonzaga - Dubai Kobe Bryant is in the country for the first time to support an advocacy campaign promoting awareness about diabetes, as presented by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. In his initial dialog with the media and bloggers, the five-time NBA champ highlighted the importance of awareness on diabetes and its prevention. He shared how difficult it was for his family when both his grandfathers suffered from the condition. Kobe stressed the importance of choosing what we eat, citing his personal experiences and sharing insights on how to stay fit and healthy. Being in the court every single playing day is one of his ways to encourage people to stay fit. He also shared how his Achilles tendon injury is recovering and his eagerness to play active ball at the early stages of the season 2013-14, which begins in November. But he is not discounting the slim possibility that he “might” show up some moves at the exhibition games on Friday. A safer “Kobe intensity” perhaps will do.


As a surprise announcement, Kobe was awarded with a trade license to operate business in Dubai. Asked what could be the possible business ventures the Black Mamba plans to start up, Kobe, still reserved, and says it would help to figure it out as he discovers Dubai.

Filipinos fill courts in outdoor parks after work or during the weekends. During invitational tournaments, a Philippine team is always invited to play Middleeastern clubs and the stadiums are jampacked. In fact, the local basketball league here is composed of 90% Filipinos.

He is ecstatic to explore what the UAE has in store for him. It will definitely be a busy three-day trip.

On a personal note, I was just 12 years old when Kobe rose to fame because of his basketball genius. I try to follow his moves when I’m playing on the streets. I’m an avid fan of his game and of the Lakers. He is an idol. His frequent visits to the Philippines are heartening and his maturity in the game becomes more inspiring. I dreamed, but I never have thought that at least I will be in the same room with Kobe, much more ask him directly a question in person.

So at least for this weekend, basketball will be in the pages and in sports headlines. Hopefully Kobe’s remarkable visit will raise the popularity of basketball in the Emirates. And hopefully too, diabetes awareness and prevention will be widespread. As we know, the UAE is a nation where sports for the tall guys has a small share of the viewers’ pie. Here is where football is staple and cricket is predominant among the huge population of expats. Basketball does not make for frequently featured content for sports news here in the UAE. It is not even among the main categories in the sports section of any major publication. Rather, it is often tagged as “Other Sports” or “Miscellaneous.” In UAE, Filipino expats are the most popular fans and players of basketball.

My question? Since he has coached many exhibition games and he will again coach a celebrity team in Dubai, plus his father is a coach in the ASEAN Basketball League, I asked, “Are we going to see a coach Kobe Bryant in the NBA in the future?” He answered with a crisp “no” and with a grin added, “There are just too many divas.” Follow Ion Gonzaga - http://www.boydubai. com/ or on Twitter @ionGonzaga

On the Prowl and In the Know

Top 5 things I learned from Living in Dubai By Kristine Abante - Dubai They say there is no better teacher than experience and I found this to be true in all aspects. Living in Dubai for four years and counting, I’ve learned some of the most important life lessons. 1. To be a woman, realize what it really means, and learn what it takes to be one. It is tough to be a woman in a country where people have a different view of women, in particular, Asians and Filipinas. But I have met so many strong, fascinating, inspiring, independent, talented and beautiful Pinays here that it has made me a better person. I have just met a woman, who at 37, has been jailed in Saudi, had almost died in a drunken car accident in Dubai, and has been left by her sea sailing husband with two kids and no kind of support. Yet she surfaced strong and vibrant, complete with

a cute flower tattoo on her knee to show for her resilience.

4. To believe in music more so than I ever did before.

2. To be a Filipino and learn to appreciate my country and my countrymen.

It’s true; music is the language that connects us all. It’s my lifeblood. It keeps me going. It defines me. It has helped me relate to others better. Truth be told, I would not have survived Dubai if not for my iPod. When there’s nothing else, find your song and play it loud.

Living away from home made me realize what I love most about the Philippines and what I admire most of about Filipinos –resiliency, resourcefulness and positivity. Essentially, these are also the best traits of a fighter to have. 3. To love more and judge less. Love is the simple solution to most things. Unfortunately, we are vain and blinded by self-love that we do not see that we are all connected, different but still the same. I’ve met so many different nationalities with differing, annoying quirks. The trick is just to find the thing that makes them tick and from there build your understanding of them. I am hardly ever the best at this, I am still judgmental in a lot of ways (I blame it on being Pinoy), but the thing is now, I try harder.

5. Lastly, I learned to appreciate and respect myself more. I learned my worth as a person and that I don’t need to settle for other people’s loose change. You teach people how to treat you. At the end of the day, whatever happens you have got to hold your head up and say, “Whatever, Dubai. I am fabulous and I am on my way.” Follow Kristine on


Tblisi at night


Public Service Building

Lush & Full of Promise By Lalaine Chu-Benitez

The air was thick with that distinctive scent hinting of dried flowers, a certain aromatic-sweet “something”, anchored to the musty smell of old marble. I’ve always thought that places have their own unique scent – that distinctive whiff implanted in one’s memory bank. And if places indeed had a scent, on that crisp early morning, as we stepped out of the international airport, I could only describe Georgia’s as ancient and utterly intriguing.


pinoy planet

Presidential Palace

It was summer and a sweet 18 degrees centigrade welcomed us as we disembarked from our flight - quite a change from the Gulf ’s stifling heat. The 2:45 AM FlyDubai “red eye” out of Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 2 wasn’t as bad as we’ve expected, especially since it was such a joy to land at an airport where Filipinos could avail of visa upon arrival – no muss, no fuss. So there we were, in the quaint intersection between east and west, in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia – a small country of 4.5 million people in the Caucasus region. The little known former soviet republic sits at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, and is bordered by Russia in the north, Turkey and Armenia in the south; Azerbaijan in the southeast, while at the west sits

the Black Sea. Georgia’s location, largely protected by the Caucasus mountain range from harsh winters, has blessed the country with a temperate Mediterranean climate, making it suitable both as a cool summer getaway wherein one can enjoy culture and café life, or a kinder winter destination perfect for skiing and other outdoor pursuits.

Trinity Church

Just a mere three hours away by plane from Dubai, Tbilisi provides not only a great alternative from the madding crowd of western Europe’s usual tourist haunts, but also a fresh holiday experience especially with the country’s rich history dating back to medieval times, its beautiful countryside and charming old streets, not to mention the warm and easy going nature of the Georgian people.


The Bridge of Peace

Treasures of Tbilisi and Beyond Tbilisi is a sprawling city filled with a hodgepodge of ancient structures – forts, buildings and churches, intermingled with Soviet architecture, as well as Georgian monuments. Interestingly enough, this city founded in the 5th century, is also home to some curiously contemporary buildings, like the Philharmonic Building, the Bridge of Peace and the Tbilisi Public Service Hall, which provide stark contrast to the place’s antique appeal.


There’s a lot to see while you make your way around Tbilisi’s busy thoroughfares. In fact, the best way to explore the city is on foot so that you can appreciate not only destinations like the Old Town, Narikala Fortress, Orbeliani Baths, the Open Air Museum of Ethnography, among others, but even the quiet side streets

where both restored and dilapidated buildings sit side by side, some with balconies replete with grape vines and fruit, with the smell of fresh baked leavened bread wafting through the air, giving off that distinctive vibe that is the spirit of Georgia. Just make sure you wear sensible shoes for going up and down the hilly city’s cobbled side streets. We stayed at Makashvilli Street, in homey Betsy’s hotel which probably has one of the best views overlooking city. There, breakfast is an al fresco affair - with gentle sunlight, cool wind blowing on your face, while the charming city lies before you. From here, just a hop and a skip away is Tbilisi’s main thoroughfare Rustavelli Avenue – a lively stretch full of restaurants, cafés, fashion shops, souvenir markets, as well as hostels, guest houses and five star hotels catering to every type of traveler.

pinoy planet

Zhinvali Reservoir

Mother Georgia

A walk along buzzing Rustavelli will take you through interesting landmarks which include the Parliament Building, Freedom Square, the old opera house, as well as MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) Tbilisi where you can easily lose half a day or more, just viewing the works of national artist Zurab Tsereteli. In our case, most of our time there was spent on leisurely afternoons eating and drinking al fresco, watching both locals and tourists go by, soaking in the laid back atmosphere and breathing in that old-aromatic-sweet scent that we will always remember Georgia by. As you go around and outside the city, a ubiquitous part of Georgian life you can’t miss are the Orthodox Christian churches that dot the country. These churches are not only significant for their architectural and artistic value, but also their importance to Georgian history and way of life. Tourists are allowed to go in and observe religious proceedings as long as they observe proper decorum. It is must for men to wear trousers (instead of shorts) and women to wear long skirts and cover their head with a scarf. For ladies who are wearing trousers and have no head covering, wrap-around skirts, as well as scarves are often kept at the entrance for visitors. We have visited quite a number of churches and monasteries during our trip. One of the most impressive was Trinity Church (Sameba) which overlooks the city with its impressive copper roofs, and looks like a fairytale castle at night. Thirty minutes away from Tbilisi, sits a revered pilgrimage site in the country, 6th century Jvari Monastery (Monastery of the Cross). The monastery sits atop a mountain and has an amazing view of World Heritage Site Mtskheta – the former capital of the medieval Iberian Kingdom and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. My personal favorite though is the


pinoy planet

St. Nicholas Church located in Narikala Fortress, Tbilisi’s most dominant historical landmark built in the 4th century. The church, which dates back to 1701, was destroyed in 1827 and was rebuilt in the 90’s. Here, under the paintings of saints, amidst the solemn polyphonic singing of hymns and the smell of burning candlewax, one is transported to a different time, a different world altogether.

Grapes, Sunflowers and the Mighty Caucasus Another plus in visiting Tbilisi is the fact that the wide open big country and the mountains are just a few hours away. Once


we’ve had our fill of Georgian city life, we headed out for some unforgettable day trips – the first was through wine country in the Kakheti region, and then off to the imposing Caucasus range to commune with nature at a higher altitude in the town of Stepanstminda (Kazbegi) at 5,710 feet above sea level. It is very difficult to talk about Georgia without touching on the subject of wine. Viticulture is closely tied to the country’s history and is part of Georgian national identity. The country, touted as the birthplace of wine with Neolithic wine production dating from 6000 BC, has its own unique aging process where wine is

kept in large round earthen vessels called qvevri, which are buried in the ground. On the road to Kakheti, we drove past meadows teeming with vineyards and sunflower plantations, with a view of green mountains in the distant horizon. It was such a pleasant ride through quiet roads, with a section of it covered by forests. We visited a couple of monasteries along the way known for wines produced by monks, and then took a break at the Chavchavadze House Museum at Tsinandali. The house of the Father of Georgian romanticism writer, inventor and military leader - Prince Alexandre Chavchavadze (1786 to 1846), who also had a penchant wine growing, is

pinoy planet

known for housing notable works of arts and for hosting significant cultural events. It was here in Tsinandali, in front of the charming museum standing in the middle of an elegant garden lined with towering cypress, exotic and endemic plants serenaded by the sound of classical music, that I have come to realize that Georgia’s scent was - in fact – rooted on the grape vines that abound almost everywhere. Post Chavchavadze, we moved to the romantic mountain top locale of Signaghi – a small picturesque village straight out of a fairy tale book. There, we visited Pheasant’s Tears, a wine cellar co-owned by

American painter John H Wurdeman who was so enamored with Georgian music, culture and the passion for wines that he moved there over 16 years ago. We were met by Chef Gia Rokashvili, who took us through an interesting afternoon of artisanal wines, local bites savored to the sounds of polyphonic singing playing in the background. Away from Kakheti’s warm weather, we travelled further north the next day to Stepantsminda, also known as Kazbegi, famous with skiers, trekkers and mountain climbers for its majestic land features and Mount Kazbek - the 3rd highest peak in Georgia. Three hours away from the

capital towards the Russian border, the ride provided breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountain peaks and the idyllic countryside dotted with isolated monasteries and forts, quiet villages, bridges, tunnels, and the odd herd or two of grazing cattle and sheep. The route was sometimes broken by dusty roads and backed up tunnels undergoing construction. However, the sights more than made up for the slight inconvenience. We made a few stops along the way – first at Ananuri Fortress which overlooked the stunning Zhinvali Reservoir whose turquoise waters sparkled in the sun, bringing even more life to the verdant mountains and trees that fed on its banks.


pinoy planet Jvari Monastery

Georgia, the Irresistible There are a couple of reasons why travelers won’t be able to resist Georgia as the next must-visit destination in their bucket list. Here’s why –

Further taking in the sights, we got down at several viewing decks, among them a fascinating but nameless circular structure adorned with Georgian art, jutting off a cliff. We arrived in Stepantsminda by noon – slightly shivering in its chilly summer air despite the vigorous sunlight. The small town center, which had a handful of restaurants and cafés, was full of trekkers in full climbing gear. Inasmuch as we wanted to dare ourselves to climb, we didn’t follow suit. Instead, we were content to enjoy


a Georgian lunch in the exhilarating open air while the imposing Mount Kazbek stood witness like a gentle giant. It seemed like a fitting end to a week in this scenic spot on the crossroads between east and west - soaking up the quaint and the place’s age old spirit, amidst the majesty of nature. This beautiful country and its scent will both stay in our memory, just like Georgia’s favorite wine Saperavi - as distinctively lush and full of promise.

Visa upon Arrival. There are a few places outside of the ASEAN nations where Filipinos enjoy this privilege and this country is one of them. You can travel anytime because there’s no need for appointments or visa processing time. Europe on a shoe-string budget. Travel, stay, eat and enjoy in Georgia even with a small budget. Airfares are affordable, different types of accommodations abound to suit different pockets; while food and transportation are relatively cheaper than the Gulf and other European destinations.

Tour guide Kaha and Lika Yugosawa

Beautiful weather just three hours away from the emirates. Whether you are looking for a long vacation or a weekend break, Georgia provides a quick getaway. Just hop on a plane and presto - you are in cooler clime. Acknowledgements: Special thanks to our tour guides, father and daughter team Kaha and Lika Yugosawa for their exceptional service and kindness – a great example of legendary Georgian hospitality. For tour bookings – contact them at +995 599 144 654 or +995 574 072 401


THE NEED FOR SPEED Al P. Manlangi t makes a pit stop in Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi for a quick jolt of adrenal ine.

From the air, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi looks like a futuristic space outpost sprawled out a triangular shape on an alien landscape. It is modeled after the side profile of a Ferrari GT with the prancing horse logo sitting right smack in the middle of a seemingly endless red field. The whole structure stands 50-meters tall and covers 86,000 sqm2 of space, making it the largest


theme park in the world.

The G-Force

Beneath this gigantic marvel are packed all sorts of adrenaline-pumping activities ranging from multi-sensory 3-D exhibits to tower to rides that guarantee to ignite the passion for your need for speed. And this is what I specifically came for: to experience the acceleration rush of being an F1 racecar driver!

Formula Rossa is the main draw in this place - a rollercoaster hurtling at 240kph, making it the fastest of its kind in the planet. It begins in the station under the main structure and the track shoots out into the open, looping, turning and twisting over before returning back once again where it started. To get on this ride took almost 40


back right up over a sheer vertical hill and I could see nothing but blue sky! My eyes seemed just about ready to pop out of their sockets before the brakes took over, slowing down the coaster. The adrenaline rush washed over me, making me thankful I was still alive.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

minutes since the queue on that day was quite long and it meandered through the observation balcony till I got to the starting point where the 16-man car awaited to be boarded. Luckily, it turned out that I’d be riding shotgun right in the very front and strapped myself to the seat before the lap bar locked everyone in. So there we all sat, heartbeat pumping like crazy, waiting for the last seconds to wind down.

For about 10 seconds we glided out into the open then suddenly the acceleration picked up and you felt your body being pushed back as the G-force inexorably took over. My face began to feel taut and it felt more difficult to breath as the wind whipped past me. Without warning, the first dip came and my belly seemed to drop down along with it. It felt like my insides were desperately trying to distend itself from my body before the coaster slammed

We picked up speed once again, twisting this time over a simulated chicane as it made a rush for the second hill and dived down another steep incline before tackling the third ascent which was quite scary since one of the supporting structures seemed to come at me real close. I was just about to shout out in terror of an impending crash when suddenly, it harmlessly whizzed past me in a blur and I’m hurtling down like mad once again. After a tight bend, I rolled back and my seat slowly leveled up as the coaster ceased to accelerate and glided imperceptibly back into the station.


The ride was over. The whole thing took about 2 minutes 20 seconds from the get go and I decided to make another stab at it. This time, I was sitting at the back this time and it felt like I was being pulled along but the same sensation of having survived a catastrophic disaster remained the same. That’s what the adrenaline rush does for you and you’re on a high for some time.

The GT Challenge I went along for the other coaster ride called “Fiorano GT Challenge” which featured a dueling pair of three Ferrari Spiders attached together and ran on parallel tracks, crossing over each other about a dozen times. Although not as fast as the other ride and the hills not as steep, it was still a lot of fun specially seeing the other riders on the opposite side mirroring what I must’ve looked like.


Having had my fill of fun in the crackling noonday sun, I called it a day and headed for home with my flight due in less than two hours. Good thing that Abu Dhabi airport was just close by. As the plane banked over Yas Island, I looked down and saw that more cars were streaming into Ferrari World, no doubt crowds of

adrenaline junkies, Formula 1 aficionados and the like. It’s not a big wonder because the speed is pretty addictive. May be it is this need for speed that makes Formula One racecar drivers go at it, circuit after circuit, after circuit.



Ana P. Santos finds a l i ttle piece of paradise in an island she has known for so long, but st ill cont inues to discover. it. At times, my journey was necessitated by work, other times by a necessity to get away from the city and the tireless mundane of living in it. But this sojourn was going to be different; that was evident when we were picked up at the airport and whisked by speedboat from the pier. Items to refresh and relieve were passed around to all the passengers: there were mints, cold towels and water. Before long, our final destination appeared before us. I could not say that it stood on the powder white sand or appeared from behind swaying coconut trees. Its pleasures were meant to be slowly unveiled starting with the feeling of awe and wonder that involuntarily escaped my lips as I unlocked the door to your two-story, two-bedroom villa that overlooks white sand beach. This is what paradise looks like at Discovery Shores, Boracay.

What paradise feels like What does paradise look like? It is a blue sky that is gently smudged with whispery white clouds. It is a curious shade of ocean waters that goes from a pale and gentle blue to a deep dramatic turquoise. It is a quiet sanctuary that is neither isolating nor


lonely--it is peacefulness and contentment brought together by tranquility. This is My Paradise, my Boracay. I am not new to this paradise. Like many others from around the world, I have made my way to this island with a reputation that precedes

It is a mistake to equate paradise with lavish pampering and a quick answer to your every whim and call. What many do not know is that in paradise, your needs are addressed even before you voice them out and in a manner that is so discreet that it will thrill you with its thoughtfulness and attention to detail. In Discovery Shores, I

trippin’ Out by the beach, I marveled at the simple beauty and serenity of being one and among the elements of water, sand, wind and sun. It was not long before the gentle breeze and the rhythmic sound of the waves lulled me to sleep. delighted in the welcome chocolates and truffles while reading the personalized letter telling me about the many things that can be enjoyed in the resort. I twirled around in my spacious villa, but before long the view beckoned to me. The villa, perched from a high ground on the third floor of Discovery Shores is a place between the heavens. I felt as if I was floating above a turquoise waters that are brighter and more opulent against the white sand that is so fine, it would be more fitting to call it powder rather than sand. In this paradise, time was at a standstill marked only by the passing of the sail that also seems to be crossing the waters at its own pace.


When the sun got too hot, I found respite by taking a dip in my own personal Jacuzzi on the balcony. Bubbly waters enveloped and soothed me, but the waves will call out to you in the middle of the afternoon. I felt a tinge of regret over leaving my villa, but it was futile to resist the sun, the waves and the swaying coconut trees.

Water, sand, wind, and sun Out by the beach, I marveled at the simple beauty and serenity of being one and among the elements of water, sand, wind and sun. It was not long before the gentle breeze and the rhythmic sound of the waves lulled me to sleep.

I awoke to some rustling around me. A line of waiters came bringing treats and wonders. They offered the guests in the lounge chairs their choice of skewered fruits dipped in chocolate, a mist of water sprayed lightly on your face, or just a way of brushing away the fine sand from your sunglasses. In the pool behind me, I could hear the children giggling and enjoying the day’s surprise treat of popcorn and snow cones. It was merienda time and every one at Discovery Shores had a delightful treat to choose from. When the day began to cool and the sun began to rest back into the horizon, I

made my way back to the villa and found a surprise waiting for me. Towels had been carefully folded into an elephant shape on the coach. I laughed at the whimsy of the gesture and enjoyed a few moments of looking down on the beauty of the island from my balcony. In all my years of visiting Boracay, it was only now that I saw it from a different angle, perched from the mountain my villa rested on. Once again, I marveled at the indescribable beauty of Boracay. I may have been here many times, but each time, it has given me a different kind of paradise that just keeps me coming back to this island.



hey’re tall, dark, and handsome. Or of average height, tisoy, and cute. Or small, chinito, and um… nice (Read: Is he guapo? He’s muy mabait.). Whatever works for you. They worship the ground you walk on, promise you the moon and stars, and even take you on a JLC movie date. That you start believing that nothing will ever tear you apart—not your The Buzz obsession, weekend shopping marathons, or PMS mood swings. Until you come face to face with the truth: your lover has other interests aside from you, sister. His world doesn’t revolve around you. Yes, you’ve got some serious competition for his attention.


Prepare for battle against the Pinoy male’s top five deadly distractions (in no particular order). Arrggh!

Basketball and Boxing Dating season is definitely not during the NBA, PBA, or UAAP season (now you know why he won’t answer your call lest he misses the last two minutes of his life)— unless you want to spend it in front of the TV together watching James Yap do free throws. Sure, you know him but in the context of Kris Aquino and Baby James, which you feel is more exciting. Seeing him all sweaty though he’s good-looking doesn’t help. The same goes for those Pacquiao fights. He can stop crimes, clear traffic jams, and make Mommy D say the darndest things.

But sitting through all three hours of the show anxiously waiting for who will be knocked out is painful. Plus eww, the blood on his and his opponent’s face is a little gross. People should make love, not war, you insist. Really, there’s way better stuff to do than to count all the ads on Channel 7 every time there’s a match.

Video Games You wonder, is your man a psycho in the closet or an action star in the making? Or, does he secretly hate you so much for dragging him to your regular skin peeling and whitening sessions that he’s venting his anger on imaginary adversaries, e.g. Diablo? (Wait, does he think you’re the devil? He hasn’t even bought you a Prada anything yet.)

onli in the philippines

Why, he’d rather play for hours on his computer than have a telebabad with you when you have a lot of showbiz and office chika to share! Maybe it’s about time that you let him choose. (Make sure, though, that he recognizes it’s just a joke or the joke will be on you.) Girls, all together sing: DOTA o ako?

Big Boys’ Toys He keeps her pretty, buys her pricey accessories, goes out with her anytime he wants, and even has a pet name for her. You have every right to be jealous of that car. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make you sound crazy. She’s an attention hog that pumps money out of his wallet and with the steep fuel rates nowadays, that’s just totally inconsiderate. How else then can he save up to buy you a diamond engagement ring, huh?! But if he lets you drive her to your outof-town trips with friends, there’s maybe a chance that you may change your mind about Christine. Admit it, the probability is actually greater than what you declare.

Now when it comes to his Star Wars action figure or Kobe Bryant rubber shoes collection, that’s another negotiation, er, story.

Beerkada Beer plus Barkada equals Bad Combination. First, your guy won’t probably be home until after the ungodly hours--should the gang ever decide to go home at all. Boy bonding could take days and nights in a number of places from bars in Manila to some hideout in Baguio—without informing you—especially if they haven’t seen each other in a long time, i.e. one month. Second, it’s a proven fact that boys talk/ gossip more than girls do. Given this, we arrive at the conclusion that more beer means more boys talk/gossip (Or, is it the other way around?), and more beer means bigger beer belly. The problem is getting rid of the beer belly, which then becomes yours. And you know how much of a problem it could be especially if your dude’s idea of an exercise is walking from the couch to the

fridge in his studio apartment.

Beautiful Girls One word: FHM. Why they even release a list of 100 Sexiest Women every time is pure blah. Why can’t they just make it 1,000 so those hot-blooded Pinoy men(iacs) can just die right away? What does FHM stand for anyway? As if it’s not enough that your guy steals glances at some random girl’s legs even when you’re together. Well, you’d love to gouge out his eyes, but you wouldn’t want to ruin your HHWWPSSP (Holding Hands While Walking, May Pa-Sway-Sway Pa) moment. So, you kindly let him go unpunished. Besides, he’s always giving you roses and chocolates, treating you to buffet dinners, and whispering sweet nothings that you can’t help but melt away. But if you catch him gawk at Megan Young one of these days, it will be the end of the world for him. Promise.


ILLUSTRADO Magazine Oct 2013  

Illustrado Magazine 78th Issue

ILLUSTRADO Magazine Oct 2013  

Illustrado Magazine 78th Issue