The Power of Three Everything happens in three’s. The superstitious would tell you. Or haven’t you noticed that when it comes to lists or rankings, it’s always about the top three – not the top four or anything else? Without a doubt, much significance is associated with the number three – a number which represents the union of those prior to it – one and two; the union of two parts to create a unique whole. So it’s spirit, mind and body, or past, present and future, or power, intellect, and love... the list goes on. According to mystics, if one represents force, and two represents an opening, then three is the “birthing of true wisdom.” It is a culmination of sorts, after finding the right mix between the two founding pillars of our life. And so, as we gear to enter our very own “three,” and move to the next level in our endeavor devoted to uplift the Filipino community, we look back at valuable landmarks in our young life as a magazine whose hope is to hold a clear mirror to the Filipino’s greatness and most importantly - potential. We stand thankful for what we are and where we are today: to have gained wisdom, strength and confidence from the many challenges we have overcome; to have found our own unique voice with the capacity to move people though we go against the grain; to have survived one of the toughest seasons in business which has taken a toll on many like us; most of all, to have found resonance within the larger community strengthening our belief that our cause is worth it. As we turn three, we continue to hope that our work will never be in vain and that we are truly able to continue to contribute to a new way of thinking, feeling and perception – that validates the Filipino as a winner triumphant in his strengths, mindful of his worth, confident in his forward stride, while staying true to his values; enlightened, empowered and full of hope. This time around, while we stay reminded of the effects of the global economic slowdown, we look at all things bright and shiny. And why not? The key to getting through the slump is to get back up and just get on with it; to attract positive energy and revel at great possibilities. This issue is devoted to celebrating Philippine luxuries – from our most significant Philippine entrepreneurs, to the richness of our native architecture, through to fashion and our great designers, to travel and lifestyle, while keeping close to our pragmatic backbone that educates, informs and uplifts. As we celebrate our third year, we thank you for sharing the ride with us, and look forward to an even greater future ahead. Taas Noo, Filipino!
LALAINE CHU-BENITEZ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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Sincerely, Vina Ines-Alcala Hi there, Ines! Thank you for your kind e-mail. Such nice words make us feel like we’re doing something really good for the community – it’s great to receive validation from time-to-time. We appreciate as well, your offer to assist us. We will certainly keep you posted on our forthcoming events and projects. As for article contribution from our readers, we’re always open. Just send us your piece to see how we can accommodate it. Sincerely, Lalaine
Hello from Puerto Rico! I was surfing the Internet for Asian magazines when I found «Illustrado.» It brought back so many memories because, many years ago, the best and most read magazine in Puerto Rico was titled “PUERTO RICO ILUSTRADO,“ which means Puerto Rico illustrated, or Puerto Rico pictorial. You may know that P.R. and the Philippines have many things in common, dating back to the times when both of our countries were colonies or ‘possessions’ of Spain and were ceded to the United States as results of the SpanishAmerican war in 1898. Good work on your magazine! Best Regards, Abraham San Juan, Puerto Rico
Happy to help Illustrado’s cause I’ve been a great follower of your magazine because I love how you guys uplift us all Filipinos. Every page gives me a sense of empowerment and at the same time, certainness, that despite the distance from home, I have a refuge and I share this with my fellow kababayans. I know I want to be a part of your vision that is - spread the beauty, talent and goodness in nature that we Filipinos have. I would like to see how I can contribute in keeping the magazine to its standards through volunteering myself for any of your forthcoming events, or through writing as a contributor. Again please let me know of any forthcoming activities or events - I work for a global events marketing company and I might be able to help in some way. I would love to be part of an organization such as Illustrado so that my free
In praise of the Pinoy artist Dati napakadaling sabihin ang dahilan, kung ako o sino man, kung ano ang dahilan ng mga ginagawa natin sa anumang larangan. Napakadaling sabihin - dahil masaya tayo sa ginagawa natin; o dahil ito ang gusto ko o narito ang puso ko. Nadagdagan habang tumatagal… ang isa pala sa mga dahilan ay -
the Philippine Embassy. Congratulations! The name ”Illustrado”speaks for itself! It was stylishly presented and the contents were excellent. Bravo! Your magazine embodies modernity, eminence and class that makes it unique and beyond its competitors. I can’t wait to receive my copy this September. Mabuhay and God Bless to the Illustrado Editorial Team! Thanks and Regards, Joy Limbo Jhan Branch Supervisor Union National Bank, UAE University Branch Al Ain
Rising tall and proud Good day! I’m John Tañeza, a freelance graphic artist here in UAE. I saw the magazine Illustrado when my flatmate introduced me to it. I also checked over the internet. I browsed your past issues and it’s really awesome and great. I hope your magazine will continue to encourage our kabayans, giving us all hope that despite the recession here in the Gulf, the Filipino will rise tall and Proud.
Para ihulma o ipinta ang istorya ng buhay ko… ganun din marahil ang iba.
I hope I will also be able to contribute to your magazine. You can see my online portfolio on my multiply account.
Hindi yung ‘trend,’ o dahil para makipagsabayan. Kundi para imulat ang nakararami.
Thanks best wishes to all the staff and crew of this wonderful magz.
May nagtanong sa akin - bakit ko daw dala ang watawat ng Pilipinas noong show ko? Dahil daw ba sa pinagmamalaki ko ang bansa ko? Iyon lang daw ba ang dahilan?
Ang sabi ko, ‘as a visitor,’ sa ngalan ng aking lahi. O ikaw ang tumayo sa kinatatyuan ko. Sigurado ko dala rin mo ang sagisag mo. And you would want to say thank you for the opportunity and the path. Not only to me, para sa nasyonalidad ko, kundi na rin sa lahat ng kapwa kong artist na nangangarap. Mabuhay ang pinoy artists! Salamat Illustrado…
Dear John, Thank you for your very kind note. You may participate in our “Illustrado Scrapbook” column. Just send us high-resolution copies of your best photos at: email@example.com, including your profile and contact details. Warm regards, Lalaine
Darwin “Japat” Guevarra
On speaking your mind
Keep up the great work!
Empowerment and hope for Kabayans
I love the magazine. I think you have a great mix in it and I love the variety of the articles. Thanks for giving me a magazine worth the money I spend. I especially love the travel tripping articles. I really do enjoy the down home atmosphere of your magazine. I also enjoy most of all, that you really speak your mind. Most editors don’t, as they are more worried about circulation than about what is right. Keep it up, and thanks much.
Hi! I’m such a fan of your Illustrado magazine. You give such empowerment and hope to our “kabayans.”
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This Ramadan, Toyota brings you the range. Superior cars loaded with top-of-the-range specifications at amazing prices. Remember, these are Limited Editions. So, visit your nearest Al-Futtaim Motors showroom today to avoid disappointment.
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CONTRIBUTORS Jesse Edep
A look at the billionaire boys Hot on the heels of Augusts’ Forbes.com Richest Filipinos 2009 list release, Business Mirror Researcher and Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Jesse Edep takes a look at the lives of the Philippines’ mega-elite billionaire boys club.
Asking the tough question Author, international speaker, TOYM Awardee ‘Preacher-in-Blue Jeans’ Bro. Bo Sanchez confronts readers with a very telling question this month, and talks about unconditional mother’s love.
Living la dolce vita Legendary multi-awarded writer Krip Yuson regales us with tales of the good life in scenic Bellagio in Italy, on a residency grant from the Rockefeller foundation.
Hunting for fashion road kill The local fashion community’s official “enfant terrible,” brilliant designer to the royals Butz Fuentes hunts for fashion victims in Dubai’s notorious Pinoy enclaves and amuses us with his catty observations in the new column – Stylemonger.
Style and character captured Fashion designer slash photographer Eros Goze captures stunning designs from the UAE’s leading designers this month, as well as free spirited Filipino charm in Illustrado Faces
Lucky to have met Pinoy icon Cory Aquino in Malacañang, writer and labor expert Isabelo Samonte walks down through memory lane to recall Cory’s landmark words of freedom delivered at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva in 1988.
Glen Peter Perez & Filbert Kung
Dedicated to the Stylishly Spoiled Young photography duo Glen Peter Perez and Filbert Kung, responsible for many a smashing photography in quite a number of Manila’s hottest magazines, took a rainy day trip to Tagaytay to capture the decadent leisurely flair of the stylishly spoiled set.
Publisher & Editor-in Chief Lalaine Chu-Benitez CONTRIBUTING WRITERS UAE, Philippines, USA Aby Yap Anna Lorraine Balita JR Bustamante Jude Cartalaba Bernadette Reyes Karen Galarpe Bo Sanchez KC Abalos Chayie Maligalig Krip Yuson David Poarch Atty. May Flores Excel Dyquiangco Mike Martin Francisco Colayco Shar Matingka Isabel Warren Sherry Tenorio Isabelo Samonte Sonny Guzman Ivan Henares Jeffrey ‘Ximo’ Ramos Vic Lactaoen Victor Sollorano Jesse Edep
ART DIRECTORS Tom Bolivar Paula Lorenzo Ron Perez CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS UAE Illuminado Ong Pot Ph Eros Goze Melandro Sanggalang Mac Antonio Jit Sanggalang CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS PHILIPPINES Dr. Marlon Pecjo Glenn Peter-Perez Filbert Kung Parc Cruz CONTRIBUTING STYLISTS & FASHION TEAM UAE Zekundo Chu Basil Yunting Jessie Tabla PUBLISHER - UAE Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2nd Floor, Building 2, P.O. Box 72280 Office 20C Dubai Media City, UAE Tel: +9714 365 4543, 365 4547 Fax:+9714 360 4771 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Web: www.illustrado.net, www.illustrado.agilaglobal.net PRINTERS PRINTWELL PRINTING LLC P.O. Box 18828 Dubai, UAE Copyright Illustrado Communications FZ-LLC 2006-2009. 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.
Illustrado features a stylish leisure fashion editorial shot in lush Tagaytay Highlands.
The Philippines’ Billionaire Boys Club 10 Cory’s Words of Freedom 18 Expats Living in the Philippines 20 High Flyers: Living the Dream? 26 Francisco Mañosa: For the Love of the Bahay Kubo 36
Editor’s Note 1 Letters 2 Contributors 6 Illuminati: Fantasia – La Dolce Vita 32 Community 80 Illustrado Scrapbook 83 Kabuhayan: Proudly Brewing Pinoy 84 Kabuhayan: Lessons from the Global Financial Meltdown 88 Spirituality: Are you a giver or a taker? 90 Successful Pinoy: Develop Existing Relationships towards Success 92 Onli in Da Pilipins: Pinoy Power 96 Annie B. Chronicles: Confessions of a Social Butterfly 98 Illustrado Faces 102
Fashion Feature Stylishly Spoiled 40 Items of Envy 50 Stylemonger: Pinoy Fashion – Just another Victim? 54 Designers Gallery 56 The One and Only Furne One 60
TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Fine Homes 14 High Ticket Hobbies 22 Playgrounds of the Privileged 64 Bakasyon Grande: Paradise Re-Visited 66 Health & Wellness 70 Trippin’: Embassy Super Club 74 Pinoy Planet: Stockholm 76 Globetrotter’s Blog: Destination Paris 79
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Boys Club Sy, Tan and Ayala stay on top Forbes’ 09 Richest Filipinos List Words by Jesse Edep, Photos by Veejay Villafranca
The Forbes 2009 richest Filipinos list released on the 25th August once again confirms the staying power of the Philippines’ billionaire boys club.
he top crust of the country’s most affluent and influential continues to be lead by mall taipan Henry Sy, tobacco king Lucio Tan and Ayala Corporation’s head Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Besides being acknowledged for their notable net worth, the Philippines’ top 3 richest represent the country’s entrepreneurial energies which have contributed significantly to the economy and to building winning companies set to conquer the new century. These men, and others like them, have laid the critical building block for sustained growth and development in the Philippines.
The octogenarian tycoon behind 30 SM malls valued by Forbes with a net worth of US$3.8 billion hardly felt the global crisis, it seems, what with the reported increase in SM investment stock prices, as well as a rise in the SM group’s income from malls, retail and property during the first half of 2009. Despite his larger-than-life stature in the business arena, Henry Sy had the most humble of beginnings; coming to the Philippines at the age of 12, he worked in his father’s small sari-sari store. He was able to make multiple sales in order to make extra income, spending little time for ‘childhood’ in his neighborhood. When World War II came, the sari-sari store of Sy’s father was looted and burned. So the young man with an entrepreneurial mind resorted to buying and selling odd merchandise in order to make ends meet for his family. This could have been the training ground for his stamina in business.
Right after the war in 1945, Sy ventured into selling American shoes imported by American soldiers. He later saw the opportunity of opening a shoe store. By the 1950s, Sy had the pleasure of owning a growing the business while studying at the Far Eastern University. He studied the market and decided to be different. While other young men went to the US to pursue higher education, he went on a long business trip to the East Coast, bringing home a lot of merchandising ideas.
In 1972, two months after the Martial Law was declared, Sy opened the first SM department store and this was followed by more openings. The store had a slow start but progressed inch by inch. He then decided to invest in properties for malls that were patterned after suburban shopping centers. Because of social unrest at that time, Sy faced strikes. He almost gave up, but through the encouragement of his employees and customers, he continued. Sy expanded by slowly building malls to get his formula right. As early as 1997, he had already thought of the Mall of Asia, which was then envisioned to be the biggest mall in the region. The business taipan also ventured into the banking world. In 2000, Banco de Oro (BDO) began to develop growth strategies. Because of the consolidation program of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in making local banks more competitive relative to the region, BDO made few acquisitions.
Forbes’ Richest Filipinos List 2009
Jaime Zobel de Ayala
Sensing considerable opportunities, he decided to open SM, the very first air-conditioned shoe store that merchandised shoes in a very inviting and classy format. Because of the retail outlet’s success, he went on to open more branches. In the beginning, many shoe manufacturers couldn’t understand why they had to listen to this shoe retailer who had fixed ideas on what he wanted to sell. They did not cooperate in providing Sy the volume he needed, so he gradually shifted to apparel and to other merchandise.
RANK NAME NET WORTH 1 Henry Sy US$ 3.8B 2 Lucio Tan US$ 1.7B 3 Jaime Zobel de Ayala US$ 1.2B 4 Andrew Tan US$ 850M 5 John Gokongwei US$ 720M 6 Tony Tan Caktiong US$ 710M 7 Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. US$ 660M 8 Enrique Razon Jr. US$ 620M 9 Manuel Villar US$ 530M 10 George Ty US$ 515M 11 Emilio Yap US$ 510M 12 Inigo & Mercedes Zobel US$ 440M 13 Beatrice Campos US$ 410M 14 Vivian Que Azcona US$ 390M 15 Oscar Lopez US$ 350M 16 Andrew Gotianun US$ 310M 17 David Consunji US$ 300M 18 Robert Coyiuto Jr. US$ 290M 19 Alfonso Yuchengco US$ 230M 20 Mariano Tan US$ 180M 21 Menardo Jimenez US$ 160M 22 Gilberto M. Duavit US$ 159M 23 Felipe Gozon US$ 135M 24 Jon Ramon Aboitiz US$ 125M 25 Betty Ang US$ 120M 26 Alfredo Ramos US$ 115M 27 Manuel Zamora Jr. US$ 110M 28 Bienvenido R. Tantoco Sr. US$ 90M 29 Tomas Alcantara US$ 75M 30 Benjamin Romualdez US$ 70M 31 Wilfred Uytengsu Sr. US$ 65M 32 Lourdes Montinola US$ 60M 33 Luis Virata US$ 56M 34 Eugenio Lopez III US$ 55M 35 Enrique Aboitiz US$ 53M 36 Philip Ang US$ 50M 37 Jesus Tambunting US$ 45M 38 Frederick Dy US$ 40M 39 Rolando & Rosalinda Hortaleza US$ 39M 40 Marian Rosario Fong US$ 38M
In the 1950s, he worked his way through college but eventually quit before graduating to set up a business that deals with scrap. He later found a job in a tobacco factory, where he was made responsible for purchasing buying tobacco from the Ilocos province. Out of such an experience, he created his own cigarette company, Fortune Tobacco, in the 1960s. In the 80s the company grew to be the country’s largest cigarette manufacturer. Back in the 70s, during the Marcos regime, he purportedly had a ‘sweetheart deal’ to acquire General Bank and Trust Co., which was later renamed Allied Bank. He then put up Asia Brewery in the 80s and secured control of the country’s largest airline, Philippine Airlines in the 90s. At present, apart from Tan’s airline, bank and liquor businesses, the Lucio Tan Group of Companies also owns Eton Properties Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Tanduay Holdings and the University of the East. The Ayala touch
Sy’s business particularly that of shopping centers is a long-term business, especially with the Filipino’s love for shopping. His only challenge is the constant need to innovate. The retail business format, like that of supermarkets, hardware stores, appliance stores, home stores, toy stores, etc. is continuously evolving with the shopping habits of Filipinos, necessitating entrepreneur’s like Henry Sy to always be several steps ahead. Most controversial Lucio Tan, whose net worth is valued at US$ 1.7 billion, was once the longest running richest man in the Philippines until Sy overtook him recently. Tan is still another personification of success, despite his involvement with controversies, like tax evasion, and having close ties with two former presidents, Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada.
Ranked number three on the Forbes list with a net worth of US$ 1.2 billion is Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman Emeritus of the Ayala Corporation, the holding company of one of the largest and oldest conglomerates in the Philippines. Ayala Corp. has subsidiaries and affiliates in realestate development, telecommunications, banking and financial services, electronics manufacturing, water distribution, and automotive dealerships and is known for some of the strongest Philippine brands namely Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Globe Telecom among others. Apart from his responsibilities on the boards of various Ayala companies, Zobel de Ayala is a member of various international and local business and socio-civic organizations, including the JP Morgan International Advisory Council, the Mitsubishi Corp. International Advisory Committee, the Toshiba International Advisory Group, the Asia Society, and the Asia Business Council. Zobel de Ayala, who studied at Harvard University where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics with honors and master in business administration, is also a member of the Harvard University Asia Center Advisory Committee, Harvard Business School Asia Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Asian Institute of Management.
14 FINE HOMES Pico de loro cove
Pico de loro
Breathtaking Hamilo In picturesque Nasugbu, Batangas, Hamilo Coast sits on 5,800 hectares of land spread across 13 coves and 25 kilometers of coastline being developed as a network of exclusive leisure communities with a variety of living experiences, where Pico de Loro Cove is the first community to rise. Here, recreation means connecting with nature, right out of your own leisure condo. Designed to complement the natural surroundings, Pico de Loroâ€™s low-impact tropical contemporarystyled condominiums are set against a majestic mountain range and circle a man-made lagoon and promenade area. Choose from a variety of spacious and premium-finished unit types fronting either the lagoon or the mountains. Enjoy round-the-clock security, reliable utilities and grounds maintenance. At the heart of the Pico de Loro Community is the exclusive and members-only Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club where residents can enjoy a variety of social and dining venues, or engage in active indoor recreational and sports activities. For inquiries call +632 858 0320, +63 917 815 9973, email: global@smpropertysales. com or visit www.hamilocoast.com for more information.
Healthy Lifestyle at Cotswold Belle Corporation, developer of the landmark Tagaytay Highlands leisure complex, promotes wellness and a healthy family lifestyle with its residential development, Cotswold, within the exclusive gated complex. Cotswold, the fifth residential community of the Lakeside Fairways development in Talisay, Batangas is designed both for the laid back and active individual, showing off the loveliest landscapes, wide open spaces and abundant flora in over nine hectares of land. It has 156 lots with sizes ranging from 300 to 842 square meters. Each property
comes with a propriety share of the Tagaytay Midlands Golf Club, which also entitles residents to enjoy world-class amenities at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Clubs. Cotswold homes will have the spacious and welcoming appeal of a contemporary tropical abode, featuring relatively steep ventilated roofs, high floor elevations, ample natural light and ventilation, sliding windows with additional vents, and airy covered porches with a view of lush gardens. Cotswold is the best of both worlds - for those who love to simply contemplate their natural surroundings, and for individuals who would like to engage in an active lifestyle.
Ayala Westgrove Heights: Easy, Breezy Living Following on Ayala Alabangâ€™s thriving heritage, Ayala Westgrove Heights offers exceptional suburban living for growing families in an idyllic neighborhood, with panoramic views of Mt. Makiling, Tagaytay Ridge, and Laguna Bay, with the signature Ayala Land Premier touch. Located in Silang, Cavite with a 400 hectare expanse, Ayala Westgrove Heights offers a viable option to those who seek a break from city life. Quaint and private, yet accessible to schools such as St. Scholastica-Westgrove, De La Salle Canlubang and soon, Xavier School, nearby shopping areas and soon, the church of St. Benedict-Westgrove, add to the community, suburban charms and conveniences offered by the development.
FINE HOMES 15
The Crestwood Ayala Westgrove Heights
Avida Towers San Lorenzo
The Crestwood is the community’s first house-and-lot enclave, planned around an 8,000-square meter park, featuring limited edition designer homes by Conrad Onglao. Homebuyers have three styles to choose from - Cypress, Laurel, and Olive - then a range of lots to pair their choice with. For inquiries call Ayala’s International Property Specialist, Sherwin Lim at +97150-951-5361 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A World of Conveniences at SM Residences Rising tall above the cityscape, various SM Development Corporation condominium projects - SM Residences, are now towering over every city, street and village in the metropolis providing five-star luxury living with greater value for investment. Strategically located near SM Malls, transport hubs and major establishments, SM Residences are first-class developments that lie in the heart of everything you need. Mezza Residences at the juncture of Aurora Boulevard and Araneta avenue, is a this lavish four-tower high-rise condominium community connecting residents to SM City sta. Mesa, Save More supermarket and prime dining spots. Grass Residences next to SM City North Edsa treats its residents to the comforts of an active, smart and green city lifestyle. Berkeley Residences lies in the hippest and most happening address for students, right across Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila. Sea Residences is right at the hub of the SM Mall of Asia complex, with breathtaking views the Manila Bay or the stunning Makati skyline. Chateau Elysee is a tranquil and close-knit condominium built in a charming French mediterranean design. Field Residences behind SM City Sucat has ten mid-rise condominiums with vast landscaping where kids can safely run around and play. While Princeton Residences is located in upscale New Manila, featuring fully furnished units exuding an eclectic, urban feel similar to Soho in New York city. For inquiries call +632 858 0300, or +63 917 500 5151 or visit www.smresidences.com
Avida counts on resilience of mid-income market for growth Avida, the affordable housing arm of property giant Ayala Land, Inc., recently launched a new project in Makati banking on the resilience of the mid-income market and the continued response of Overseas Filipinos (OFs) to residential projects in strategic Metro Manila locations. Christopher Maglanoc, Avida VP and Head of the Project and Strategic Management Group, disclosed that Avida Towers San Lorenzo along Pasong Tamo Extension will be offering a total of 1,132 units in two towers, targeted to young urban professionals and executives as well as OFs with units ranging from P1.8 million to over P3 million in its second project in Makati. The company has been highly encouraged by market response to its projects to continue offering well-planned and airy units to young urban professionals and executives seeking to make the most of all that Makati has to offer. OFs also remain a significant market according to Ricky Celis, VP for Sales and Marketing - “They know that the location in one of the most dynamic areas of Makati makes it a good place to rent out to young urbanites,” he said. From a lessor’s point of view, income from an Avida Towers San Lorenzo unit could cover a good part, if not most, of the monthly amortization on the unit. Avida Towers San Lorenzo, is a joint venture with Makati Greenbelt Palms Land, Inc. Its two towers of 26 and 30 stories are connected by a podium where a swimming pool, clubhouse, jogging path and outdoor gym will be located. Tower 1 will be completed in 2013. For inquiries, contact Ayala Land International Property Specialist, Sherwin Lim at +97150-951-5361, or e-mail: email@example.com, or visit www.atAyala.com
Cory’s Words of Freedom Words by Isabelo A. Samonte, Photos courtesy of the ILO Office, Manila
We remember countless historic quotes by some of the world’s most iconic freedom fighters. In remembering our own champion of democracy, Cory Aquino, we call to mind her inspiring words that kept the spirit of liberty aflame in the hearts of independence loving people.
around the world. Her rights advocacies carried intensity abroad, reminiscent of former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s initiative to instigate the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (UDHR), the spirit behind the human rights movement around the world. On the 14th June 1988, the gentle but firm voice of Cory resonated in the halls of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva – in a gathering of over 150 member nations. Eyes were fixed at then President, beaming with a humble smile, as the first ever woman Head-of-State to address the ILO Conference dubbed as the ‘World’s Parliament of Labor,’ shared her advocacy with the rest of the world. Cory’s speech was like a sniper’s bullet that hit right to the very heart of the issues of human rights, labor relations and debts then the theme of the conference. She said, “The protection of human rights is the first duty of government.” As gleaned from her discourse, Cory considered human rights as indispensable both on the international and domestic front. She stood firmly in defense to any assault to democracy and reminded leaders of the obligation of the state to protect people’s rights. These rights, as viewed from UN conventions, include civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights. “Give me liberty or give me death.” “United we stand, divided we fall.” “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” We remembers these words and more – words spoken by heroic people like Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Rigoberta Menchu, and Kim Dae-Jung, among others, who devoted their lives for the pursuit of liberation The Philippines too has its own share of freedom advocates, and one in particular in the persona of ex-President Corazon Aquino, fondly called ‘Cory’, who rose to power as the beacon of hope for reforms in 1986s EDSA People Power Revolution, and whose passing on the 1st of August 2009 has left a painful void in the lives of Filipinos
Cory furthered, “The deliberate and systematic violation of human rights by government imposes in the people the sacred obligation to overthrow it.” Her wisdom could only come from such an inspiration as the success of the spontaneous assembly of millions of people at EDSA in 1986, where beyond the spheres of persuasion and/or coercion the people carried with them the responsibility of their country as ‘People Power’ leading to a takeover of the government and introducing a new order into society. Cory’s tenet of democracy is uncompromising. She declared firmly, “Liberty is non-negotiable; it cannot be traded for progress or social justice. Foregoing freedom for progress or social justice
merely added torture and indignation to worsening poverty and underdevelopment”. She also said, “The countries regarded as too poor to afford the luxury of democracy are precisely those that cannot do without it.” Adding, “Poverty increases in so far as freedom retreats throughout the world”. She cited Camus: “It has taught that economic development must be free, just as liberation must include economics.” In the wake of economic difficulties around the world, Cory’s words remind us that we should be on guard and empowered to ensure that we do not leave behind the socially marginalized in the process of development; that there should be no surrender to freedom and that we should safeguard each other’s rights especially in times of crisis. We have come to the point where lives of Filipinos, even Overseas Filipinos all over the world, may change in many generations, but the spirited lessons and doctrines we gained from EDSA and People Power under Cory’s leadership would always be a part of the mainstream of our history and culture as a nation. Cory was a leader of prayer, of faith, of courage, of hope and many more but
it is her nostalgic image, as a woman of substance, her simple smile of humility, and her sincerity to the cause of democracy, which has captured the world, which we should endeavor to keep alive within us. On a personal note, I remember Cory’s simple smile when the picture of her ILC speech was presented to her at Malacanang by the officials of the International Labour Organization (ILO). With the delegation, I was tasked to hold the large picture frame up high for the viewing of the President together with the ILO dignitaries. After a long time holding the large frame, and with further requests to raise it even higher, my arms started to tremble giving in to the weight. Nobody dared to instruct to put it down, until the President herself, beaming with her classic humble smile said, “Tama na kawawa naman” [enough, it’s too much for him] and signaled that it was time to put away the picture. Beyond protocol, that gesture of humility from the President herself touched me. It seems that no matter how trivial, Cory showed her unconditional sincerity and concern for individual liberty.
Expat Living in the Philippines Words by Vic Albornoz Lactaoen
With the thousands of expatriates who have made the Philippines their home, whether as a temporary residence or permanent retirement haven, it is interesting to note how many have managed to integrate swiftly and opted to stay in the country through thick and thin. Remarkable too is the fact that a significant number remain bullish and unfazed despite shaky market conditions driven by the global economic scare.
llustrado spoke to two interesting hotel expat executives, General Managers of some of the swankiest hotels in Metro Manila – Brian Connelly of Oakwood Premier Manila and Jonathan H. Crook of The Peninsula Manila, who are focused on making their hotels aggressive market players in the country, and gathered their impressions on working in the country and the Filipino people.
Located at the Ortigas district, Oakwood Premier Manila adds to the sophistication of the business district with its clean architecture and hip minimalist interiors. It’s GM, Brian Connelly is a levelheaded, confident and articulate man who grew up in a family that used to live in hotels around the US. When he formally joined the hotel industry working his way up the corporate ladder, he had to deal with a lot of nationalities including Filipinos, who were part of the huge workforce he encountered in the US and Asia, especially during his stints in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, before finally deciding to come over the Philippines. “I have a Japanese wife, currently based in Hong Kong who comes to the country every now and then for a visit. I guess, give it a couple of months before she finally settles down here with me. Hopefully, my wife can move with me to the country,” adds Connelly. Connelly leads the Oakwood property at a very crucial point since it is launching at a time of economic uncertainty; essentially, re-entering the market in a new location after being away for years from its Ayala Center location. He has been with the property since January this year, and is looking forward to the property’s formal opening sometime in September. He is managing close to 250 employees and takes
Brian Connelly Oakwood GM
FEATURE 21 the property since January this year, and is looking forward to the property’s formal opening sometime in September. He is managing close to 250 employees and takes pride in taking part in the lives of many of his co-workers, having special involvement in their training and development. For Jonathan Crook of The Peninsula Manila, it is his first time to be posted general manager of the famous hotel chain, having occupied other management position in the chain’s various properties abroad, including The Peninsula in Chicago, New York, Beijing and most recently in Hong Kong. Like Brian Connelly, he too has encountered a great number of Filipinos during the course of his work, before reaching Philippine shores. His Peninsula career background and Asian experience makes him the perfect choice to run the revered hotel property in the Philippines. Most significantly, Crook has also incorporated cross-cultural touches to the hotel, which will now be seen with the opening of the new Escolta restaurant at the former site of the Nielsen Towers. Crook is currently hands on with the hotel’s new outlet and promises an exciting new menu and concept beyond food and drinks. His move to the country has brought with him his young family a Turkish wife and two young baby boys. He added that he was a young nomad who lived in different parts of the world, including Asia, Africa and the US, and was based in Hong Kong before moving to the Philippines. Despite the unsavory reputation of living in the country often brandished in the press, both Connelly and Crook have no qualms about living and working in the Philippines. Both expats are wellexposed to different cultures, having lived and worked abroad for a considerable time. They might be different in color but just as familiar with the Asian, in this case, Filipino way of managing things in the country. They are happy with their choice to move to the country, and are also delighted to discover interesting things like Filipino dishes which they have tried and enjoyed since they moved to the country. Like many expats who have chosen to call the Philippines home, they have also developed respect and a certain fondness for the Filipinos. “They are one of the most cosmopolitan people I’ve come across in my career,” Crook recalls of working with Filipinos. He then praised the Filipino’s proficiency in the English language and exposure to western ways. They have also expressed appreciation for the Filipino’s zest for life, which many foreigners who live and work in the country discover upon their assimilation to the living conditions back home, validating a popular belief; according to the Lonely Planet Guide, “Filipinos face their often dim prospects in life with a laugh and a wink. Whatever happens – so be it!” With the usual Filipino warmth and openness, expats have somehow managed to blend easily with the way of life in the country and adopt the same attitude. Some say that it is the decidedly western culture of the Filipinos which makes it easy for expats to integrate. However, this “Americanized” way of life implied by the kind of English people speak, as well as the presence of shopping malls and US fast food chains all over the country, is but a giant façade, disguising the unique Asian culture. Ethnologically, the vast majority of Filipinos are related to Malaysians and Indonesians, with substantial Chinese, Spanish and American heritage, add to that the influence of substantial populations of Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Europeans and
Jonathan Crook - GM at The Peninsula Manila
Americans in the country, and you have what is today, a very eclectic culture that can only be described as ‘Filipino.’ Another significant factor for expats living here is the fact that women have held positions of power, including the presidency, since the country became independent in 1946, laying credence to an empowered female demographic. Many credit 18th century revolutionary leader Gabriela Silang for paving the way for the future success of women in the Philippines. Silang was the widow of an assassinated dissident who took over a resistance movement against the Spanish upon the death of her husband, just Like Cory Aquino, who helped topple the Marcos regime. With this rich mix of cultures and history behind, it is not surprising that Filipinos are ahead of their time and find it natural to welcome foreign influence and adopt its different facets. This has made a deep impact on our island culture, and has also worked the other way with foreigners who have experienced and imbibed life in this country, won over by our warmth and our enthusiasm for living. For Brian Connelly and Jonathan Crook who had positive experiences with Filipinos met around the world and welcomed openly by the local staff they work with on a day to day basis – it is perhaps that sort of friendliness and energy that makes the expat’s time and stay in the country extra special.
High Ticket Hobbies Whether you are the type who transacts business on the golf course, or who enjoys the thrill of sailing on the blue waters, or simply a big fan of both sports, the Philippines offers some of the most interesting and unique world class golfing and yachting enclaves, which have witnessed some of the most prestigious local and international championships from the Asian PGA Tour, the World Cup, and the Johnnie Walker Classic, to the renowned President’s Cup Regatta Sta. Elena Golf Course Built on a former century old sugar plantation, the Sta. Elena Golf Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. has won numerous accolades, the latest of which is the Asian Golf Periodical Best Course in the Philippines and 2nd Runner-Up Best Course in Asia award in 2007. It features three combinations called the Makiling, Banahaw and Sierra Madre courses of nine holes totaling 27. Located near the South Luzon Expressway, an hour away from Makati, it is the first golf course in the Philippines registered as member of the Audubon Society and the third to be a fully Certified Audubon Sanctuary. The Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club Designed by Jack Nicklaus for world-standard championship tournaments, the club has two 18 hole golf courses – The Masters which has a course design strategy punctuated by traps and water hazards, and The Legends which is accentuated by high mounds. Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club which is spread over 140 lush hectares in Carmona Cavite, is for the exclusive use of its members. It won the Green Golfer Challenge Private Golf Course Winner from Audubon International in 2007. Alta Vista Golf Club, Cebu It’s “golf with a view” at Cebu’s Alta Vista, a 6,100 yards par 72 course known for its sloping terrain, narrow fairways, strong winds and
water hazards. It is a short but very challenging mountainous course which gives players an incredible view of Mactan island, Bohol and the bay. The club has a driving range, putting green, tee houses, a pro gear sports shop, restaurants, bars and a lounge, and is located in Pardo Hills, Cebu about 30 minutes from Mactan Airport. Wack Wack Golf & Country Club The home of the Philippine Golf Open Championships, the traditional kick-off site for the Annual Asian Circuit and numerous international events like the World Cup, among others, Wack Wack was founded in 1930. Located at the heart of the metropolis in Madaluyong City, the golf club which has two 18-hole championship courses has been considered consistently as one of the best golf courses in the world. Camp John Hay Golf Club One of the most picturesque and best golf clubs in the country, the Camp John Hay Golf Club, lies 5,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills, crystal clear lakes and tall pine trees in the city of Baguio. Designed by Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear International the challenging par 69 – 18 hole championship course features undulating Bentgrass greens, is also a member of Audobon International. Camp John Hay is the annual site of the Men’s Fil-Am International Golf Tournament.
Apo Golf & Country Club With the view of the majestic Mount Apo, the Apo Golf & Country Club in Davao is a beautiful course that can be played anytime of the year. It is a par 72 course of 7,001 yards with huge flat greens and wellmaintained pristine sandtraps. The challenging course features plenty of water hazards, as well as a vast area of coconut and mahogany trees. Manila Yacht Club Considered as a social and sporting hub in Manila, the MYC remains the premiere yachting club of the Philippines, as well as Southeast Asia. An exclusive members only club, the MYC is the host of the renowned President’s Cup Regatta, an eagerly awaited sailing event in region, which started in 1993 when former Pres. Fidel Ramos requested the MYC to hold an international regatta during the APEC Summit. The MYC also encourages its members to join other major and local yacht racing events – including the China Sea Race hosted by the Royal Hongkong Yacht Club, King’s Cup of Thailand and Rajah Mudra of Singapore. Subic Bay Yacht Club The Subic Yacht Club, built by renowned Filipino and international consultants, is one of the most stunning sites in the Asia Pacific today featuring excellent sailing conditions with Subic Bay’s clean and calm waters. Built a decade ago, the PHP2billion establishment has become the playground of the country’s crème dela crème who enjoy the nautical lifestyle. The SBYC has recently hosted their Independence Day Regatta in June, where nineteen boats competed making it the largest sailing event in Subic for Philippine club boats in more than a decade. More sailing events are expected in the months ahead.
Words by Sherry Tenorio
For many, traveling the world is one great aspiration. For the chosen few, traveling the world is a mere perk, a freebie - all in a day’s work.
ecently, while having coffee with my friend Jainice at a Dubai café, we overheard a man telling his young female companion, “Try mo rin mag-apply sa Emirates.” Then the woman who was with them suggested, “Oo nga. Puede ka. Or kung hindi, kahit sa ground lang.” My friend and I instantly knew that the two were encouraging the pretty young Pinay to pursue a job as an air hostess – a career so coveted by many young people these days.
following night, and it is prohibited to drink alcohol 24 hours before working onboard.
A year ago, Jainice herself was heartbroken after failing the flight attendants recruitment process for Emirates Airlines. From some 200 aspirants of mixed nationalities, only 18 applicants survived the initial screening, out of which only four (one of which was a Filipino) landed the enviable job. That time, there were candidates from Korea, Manila, Russia and Syria who came to Dubai just for the chance to bag a slot in the airline’s cabin crew. Most fell short of the rigorous system.
On the other hand, Tita B is a prim-and-proper woman who managed to raise a family while working as flight attendant. Apparently, pregnant women in airline companies are quite pampered. She got six months of vacation while carrying her son. That night, she regaled us with her first-class cabin story about famous X-Men actor Hugh Jackman.
Such incidents make one wonder why people would ‘die’ for a job in the airline business. Is the globe-trotting lifestyle that comes with serving coffee and tea ten thousand feet above the ground, all worth it? Over the Top It was New Year’s Eve and our friend who had a scheduled flight back to Dubai after a grueling London trip, arrived minutes before midnight. Cookie looked tired yet her beautiful locks – thanks to many a Bangkok trips – made her glow. As soon as she settled, she handed out boxes of premiere chocolates taken from a designer’s paper bag. We dug in, loved the sweets but I personally preferred those that she brought from Japan. At the strike of 12, we had a champagne toast, except for Cookie; she is flying to New York the
Gabby, also an Emirates’ cabin crew, came to the party and was gushing about her schedule for the next three weeks. She showed us her new Chanel bag, and promptly started discussing the many facets of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Ferragamo, et al. Gabby is our ultimate buyer of cool stuff from abroad. She is also our clubbing girl who knows of all the gigs in town.
Cookie, Gabby and Tita B. are among the estimated 800 hundred Filipinos working for Emirates Airline. Counting others who work for other airlines in the country, we could approximate that thousands of Pinoys are working in the industry. And the growing number seems to encourage even more compatriots to chase after the life of paid jetsetters. Airline crew get the fabulous travels, the five star hotels, the chance to meet high profile people, the opportunity to save and buy designer bags and clothes, to name just a few. Apparently, with these perks plus the relatively high layover allowance rates, vacation benefits and other remuneration advantages, employee turnover rate for this particular position is low. According to Ailene Mendoza, “people mainly apply for the job because flight attendants see different places for free; they are known to be glamorous and it is a high paying job.” She declared that she
FEATURE 27 would not opt to change careers at all. “I don’t see my boss everyday. I don’t work with the same people everyday. I don’t bring my work at home and I’m not stuck in the same place every time.” For Ailene, who had been with the leading Dubai airline for over ten years, being a flight attendant is very gratifying. Jacqueline Anders, who works for a major carrier in Abu Dhabi, has a different sentiment. “I love this job because every time I do something different. I meet interesting people like celebrities, politicians and members of the royal family. Since Abu Dhabi and Etihad Airways host a lot of events, I had the chance to have the likes of Christina Aguilera, Shakira and the band of Bon Jovi onboard,” she revealed. The perks of the job are absolutely fabulous: the free travel around the world, the shopping, beautiful hotels and amazing layovers, among many others. But, she doesn’t see herself doing it for long. “It is perfect for single people,” she explained, “but I’m married, so I don’t think keeping this job Jacqueline Anders for a long time is a good idea.” Exploring Options Becoming a flight attendant is not the be all and end all of careers in the travel industry. The first Filipino instructor at Emirates Flying School, Michael Bautista also applied for cabin crew positions with no success. Subsequently, he found his niche in the aviation industry, and is now the school’s Chief Flight Instructor. Although he is Michael Bautista currently engaged with teaching and training, Michael recalled the very reason why being a flight attendant was his first choice. He said, “I think a lot of us wanted the job due to the good pay, good standing of the company, perks for the family and a chance to travel the world while being paid.” Nonetheless, the rejection he got was more of a blessing – he landed a role he simply excelled at. Galo Calizo, who is now working as a travel consultant to an oil and gas firm, was an ex-Senior Travel Consultant for a renowned international airline. Despite his current job satisfaction, Galo is consistently reminded of the benefits with his former company. He said, “What I liked most back then were the trainings that were conducted twice a year, one in Zurich, the other was in Brussels. Other than the glory of traveling, I gained a lot of knowledge from attending those trainings.” He also enjoyed travelling at discounted rates and got the options of 50% (confirmed seat) to 90% (based on availability) discount on travel fares anywhere in the world. He recalled, “What I actually miss from working in an airline company is the ability to use my long weekends to travel to anywhere. Imagine, I used to pack my bags to Italy or Germany to spend my weekend.” Travel benefits are a huge advantage to permanent employees and their immediate family members. In Galo’s case, his parents and siblings had discounts in flying. Married employees, on the other hand, have benefits for their spouse and children. Also, high ranking staff could request certain upgrades to business class, and to first class during special occasions like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and etc.
Moreso, as mundane as it may sound, airline employees could also bump into international personalities on-the-job. Galo remembers meeting the late King of Pop Michael Jackson on a flight from Muscat to Dubai. Although crew members are expected to be discreet while serving famous guests, sometimes the excitement is just too much to resist. Once, an Emirates Airline’s newsletter featured a photograph of three smiling Filipino ground attendants posing with ‘the’ Angelina Jolie. Getting a glimpse of the stars is certainly one of those episodes when someone could say, “I love my job, I love my job, I love my job!” Making It Real Just like any other job with its pros and cons, with the perks of airline crew life also come the usual difficulties, including moving through different time zones which ruins the body clock, absence at special occasions due to shifting schedules, and the mere danger every time one flies. There is much ado behind the glamour that according to Jacqueline, “People do not realize that when we are up there, we are just like normal employees. We work hard, and most of the times, we multi-task. We can be waitresses if the passengers want drinks, chef if they want meals, nurse when there’s injury onboard, and even a nanny to crying babies. It gets hectic at times; but that what makes it all worthwhile is knowing that I have done something special for someone that day.” Ailene furthered, “Our job may look glamorous and easy but there is also great responsibility in it. Part of our job description is to give care courtesy to our customers so they will elect to fly with our airline. There are days when we have early morning duty which lasts for more than 12 hours. We attend to sick customer. We have to check the aircraft for any suspicious items. We have to check and clean the toilets. We have to assist mothers with infants and elderly customers. We have to feed 300 customers in a one hour flight.” Galo recalls an incident which puts into sharp focus the irony of living the life of a high-flyer. He remembers the last time he travelled to the Philippines on business class and had to be served by someone he knew. “I was really happy that I could enjoy such a comfortable experience until I recognized the man who was serving our row. Frankly, it was no fun knowing that the man I asked for a cup of water is a friend of a friend. Good enough, Daniel was very professional and carried on as usual after greeting me.”
28 FEATURE Being a flight attendant may seem to be a dream-come-true but truth be known, it is a complex situation with contrasting realities. Onboard, airhostesses play the role of service staff patiently catering to the needs and whims of travelers. Once the plane touches ground, they are bunked in first class hotels and enjoy other perks that make them some of the most pampered employees. It is such an odd interweave of responsibilities that anyone who decides to chase that role should fully understand its ramifications before jumping on the bandwagon. On the other hand, despite indulgent weekends in Italy, Galo felt that it was time to let go of his to-die-for job. He explained, “The salary I used to get was not sufficient; I think it’s because the company compensates the low salary with the perks we’re given. But still, getting more cash at the end of the day helped me bear my family’s financial needs.” But doesn’t he not miss those flashy days? Galo answered, “Not really. Traveling makes me spend more than necessary. I’m more satisfied with the simpler lifestyle I have now.” The dream to travel the world is everyone’s dream. But just like any other dream, once we’re at it, the allure could slowly fade leaving us wondering if staying is worth it. With the thousands of Filipinos in the travel industry, some will end up like Galo who walked away with a sound and practical decision; some will stay like Ailene happy to stay living her dream; and some will be like Jacqueline who had put a deadline on when to move to the next phase in her life. Depending on what you want in your life, their stories serve as aspirations, reminders, or even cautionary tale. One common lesson among all this is certain: apparently, the easiest ticket to travel the world is not given for free at all.
Taking the Good with the Bad Meg Arreza Cabin crew for 6 years It might be a cliché but visiting other countries and being able to interact with different people has broadened my understanding of the world. I also like the idea of travelling. One day you are in Africa, the next day Beijing, then New York – it’s actually overwhelming. When you’ve never travelled, everything is so out of reach, but when you travel the world becomes so small and each experience is different. I don’t think I will ever be tired of it. I feel so blessed - not everyone has the opportunity to experience what we have, so I make it a point to absorb the experience wholly wherever I go. The stress is the downside. The flight itself is redundant and can very taxing, especially when you have passengers who are very demanding - they don’t understand that we’re also human. It can be frustrating but it’s part of the job, and it has taught me a lot about myself, how to cope with difficult people, how to manage my crew. It has also given me self-improvement because it has tested my boundaries. The experience has taught me a lot. Now that I’m married, it’s also a bit different because I miss my husband and I get to think about him a lot wherever I go.
Susan Santos Cabin crew for 10 years, now retired from the service You get to see different places for free. You get to understand people’s cultures and relate to them properly. The experience opened up my mind and I learned to be patient. I also got to see my parents as much as I can. On the shopping side, I also know where to go (country) to get different things at a good rate. And who doesn’t like discounted tickets? If I want to go to a certain place, I just have to make sure it’s not peak season, and I can go on low fare. These are the things that I miss. What I don’t miss is the physical work. You have to be fit, especially when you fly through different zones and push the cart on-board. Also, there’s no holiday. The flights go on whether it’s Christmas, Eid, or Thanksgiving. And you live in a suitcase – can you just imagine that you’re flying for 22 days in a month then you stay in a hotel? That’s sad. So you have to be strong. To be honest with you, on my first London flight, I got so tired I started writing my resignation letter as soon as I arrived. But even before I finished, the phone rang for my call time. It takes at least six months to adjust to the life of a cabin crew. On the other side, the most I would give a normal person is five years, then you get to a saturation point; you’ve done everything, you’ve seen so much, met so many people and accumulated so much stuff already. Only those who are willing to get themselves exposed, who want to see different places and who are adventurous should work as cabin crew. Most important of all, you need lots of patience because you still have to deal with passengers well even if you have your own personal problems. Maxx Cuevas Cabin crew for 2 years It’s very exciting and challenging. You get to deal with different people and you have different obligations/ positions, so it’s tough. I like getting challenged like that. The job is also stable compared to other jobs. There’s a good future and promotion could be fast as long as you are motivated. We’re also lucky because we get really good benefits. I enjoy the fact that I’m travelling for free and that I can travel with my family because it’s heavily discounted. The number one disadvantage is with sleep; operations is for 24 hours and you need to keep adjusting. It can get very tiring. Your health is always at risk, like these days with H1N1. Also your safety – you can only breathe easy once you’ve landed and say “I’m safe.” You also don’t have enough time for family. Sometimes there are occasions that you can’t attend. I once flew during New Year and that was sad. In which case, you just have to amuse yourself just to get through it. People think that our jobs are so easy – people think that we just have to serve food onboard, without really seeing everything that we have to do and go through.
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National Bonds Filipino Millionaire Flies High National Bonds, the National Saving Scheme of the UAE providing UAE nationals, UAE residents and non-residents over the age of 16 with a credible, safe and Sharia-compliant savings opportunity, has revamped their draw format from monthly to weekly, in May 2009, encouraging more people to save and rewarding lucky savers with a million dirhams windfall. Charela Bambilla Tigno, a 31 year old Filipino air hostess working with Emirates Airlines, who has been living in Dubai since a very young age, is the first weekly millionaire of National Bonds’ innovative, Sharia compliant national saving scheme. Winning the AED1 million will enable Tigno not only to realize her dream of setting up her own business but will also allow her to benefit the needy in Philippines, her country of birth. Tigno heard the news of her win while listening to a live draw broadcast on the radio. She says excitedly: “First on my agenda is the charity back home where I always donate anonymously – I want to share my prize money with them. And I’ve always dreamt of buying a food [retail] chain in the Philippines and of achieving my goals,” says Tigno. “Becoming a millionaire thanks to National Bonds was an incredible feeling. They have encouraged me to continue saving by incentivizing with their high rate of profits
every year and the opportunity to win 101 weekly prizes,” added Ms Tigno. National Bonds can be purchased from nearly 500 outlets nationwide, including exchange houses and banks, online at www. nationalbonds.ae or by calling toll free 800BONDS (26637). About National Bonds Corporation: A private joint stock shareholding company, National Bonds Corporation was launched in March 2006. The Government of Dubai holds a 50 per cent ownership in the company with each of its shareholders, comprising Dubai Bank, Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties, holding 16.6 per cent ownership respectively. National Bonds Corporation is Sharia compliant, with a dedicated Sharia Board to oversee all financial aspects, including product-related operations and investments. In December 2006, National Bonds Corporation launched property development projects - “Skycourts,” the elegant and affordable freehold residential community in the heart of Dubailand, and Flamingo Creek in the Lagoons. In 2007, National Bonds Corporation launched National Properties, a wholly-owned, fullservice real estate subsidiary that offers distinctive homes and lifestyle options to the multinational UAE community. National Bonds Corporation has invested in Taaleem PJSC, an initiative aimed at raising
quality standards in the region’s education sector. It is the new brand for Beacon Education that aims to inspire young minds, and help them identify and develop their passions and talents. National Bonds Corporation has also invested in BCS, a Strata Management company specializing in property management, Souk Extra the retail community shopping chain, and in M’sharie, the private equity arm of Dubai Investments. About National Bonds: National Bonds is the National Saving Scheme of the UAE that provides UAE nationals, UAE residents and non-residents over the age of 16 with a credible, safe and Sharia-compliant savings opportunity. Minors can also own National Bonds, provided the bonds are purchased by the parent/guardian. Each bond costs AED 10, with a minimum purchase of AED 100; National Bonds can be purchased from nearly 500 outlets across the UAE, including exchange houses and banks. These include Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Dubai Bank, Al Hilal bank and exchange houses: Al Ansari, Al Fardan, Al Ghurair, Redha Al Ansari, Al Rostamani International, UAE, Wall Street, Lari, Orient, Al Razouki International, Sharaf and Habib Exchange Company. National Bonds can also be purchased online at www.nationalbonds.ae or call Toll Free 800-BONDS (26637).
La Dolce Vita
Words by Alfred A. Yuson
or someone long in the tooth, we’ve certainly had a share of seasons of the good life, if intermittently. But nothing beats our memory of the fall of 2003 when we partook of la dolce vita in real style, in the most appropriate place, too. A dream destination for artists and scholars is Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy, which hosts what is more popularly known as the Bellagio Center that is, in turn, run by the New York-based Rockefeller.
Applicants to a highly competitive grant for residency can now avail themselves of on-line forms to fill up, and send with a click, a wing and a prayer. Questions remain on whether the substance and style of one’s project proposal are really what it takes to land a slot, or whether recommendatory letters from at least two suitably placed or highly esteemed friends, preferably alumni, carry the crucial weight for a tipping point.
In any case, in November 2003 I flew to Milan with writing project in hand, eager to taste what I had heard about - the good life in the villa that dominated the town of Bellagio on the lip of Lago di Como. I debarked at Malpensa airport late in the evening, and had no choice but to contract a cab driver for the two-hour drive that wound through small lakeside towns until we reached, close to midnight, the tall iron gates of what certainly looked like an impressive hillside estate.
The fare, which I wasn’t sure would be reimbursed, turned out to be the most expensive cab ride I had taken in my life — a fitting introduction to the next four weeks of the high life. A porter helped carry my bags and escorted me to my assigned room. Once again, fate had decreed that I’d be a “lucky feller,” as colleagues back home christened anyone who received this sort of Rockefeller grant. My room was right at the corner of the second floor of the main building, where only six or seven rooms, er, suites, were available for resident Fellows. The rest, since there’d be a dozen of us at a time — composed of writers, musicians, artists and scientists — lodged in another, smaller building lower on the hill. My quarters were capacious: a large bedroom with twin beds, sofas and table settings, a separate study room with an e-Mac on a large desk, an anteroom, and a bathroom with an old-fashioned ceramic tub by a bay window with a view. In fact, my villa suite’s best features were the commanding views, most of them panoramic. Soaking in the bathtub, I could see much of the town below. If I stepped out into the bedroom balcony, Bellagio also sprawled limitlessly under my gaze, along with the twin lakes of Como and Lecco, with the snow-capped Alps soaring to the north. From my study, the windows looked out into a forest. And when I went out the hallway and through another door, there was a large common terrace where I could sun and smoke.
ILLUMINATI 33 My wife joined me after a week, and together we laved in la dolce vita: all meals taken collegially, with the conversation as rarefied as the array of salads, soups, pasta, main courses and desserts served daily. Post-prandial drinks featured assorted bottles of grappa, for which we repaired to a large drawing room with a grand piano. In the daytime, one could take endless walks around the wooded grounds inclusive of olive groves and a fascinating herb garden, then higher up the hill where ruins of antiquity served as a vantage point for surveying the length of Lake Como. Then there was the charming town of Bellagio, which attracted tourists year-round to its cobblestoned, steep alleys and lakeside cafés. Somewhere close, was George Clooney’s private villa, at a level much lower than our vaunted hill. We’d feed the pigeons and seagulls by the pier, take the ferry to cross over to other lakeside towns, one of which had served as the setting for the romantic balcony scene in one of the Star Wars movies. And the cappuccino was great at any outdoor cafe we sat in to watch life pass us languorously, splendidly by. The moral of the season in belissima country was that it was too good to be true, too beautiful to be able to work on one’s poetry or novel. Each attempt at advancing our writing project was cut short by the call to go outdoors, walk over to the boathouse and contemplate the waters, meander about the gardens and orchard and pluck a lemon, or sit back at some terrace, deck or knoll to soak in the crisp sunlight and savor the wonderful views. Aieee! I hardly got anything done. These days, my scenario for the good life goes like this: I stroll to the supermarket one fine Sunday morning for groceries, pick up a Lotto ticket as an afterthought, wake up the next day to see in the papers that I had won about 150 million pesos. I’d call for a clan reunion in Boracay, practice my newfound version of largesse, then fly around the world with selected kin, perhaps revisit Bellagio and point out the deli where I had picked up the fabulous antipasti. Oh, we’d also do St. Petersburg, Prague, Budapest, the Isles of the Hebrides (where I’ll arrange for ownership of several casks of varied Island single malt whisky), Banff, Acapulco, Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, Bahamas, Bora Bora, Easter Island and all other places I haven’t been awarded a grant or a media fam trip to. Meanwhile, back home, the island I’ve acquired in Palawan sees the construction of a sprawling villa a la Serbelloni, with a river running through it towards the powdery white-sand beach, at the end of which nestles a modest marina with a yacht larger than Willie Revillame’s, speedboats, jet skis, kayaks, and a glass-bottomed submarine that will shame Chavit Singson’s. Here I’ll retire, with my books and the artworks from friends, establish a sculpture garden, raise Palawan cherry trees, Golden Showers and caballeros, and orchestrate a vast hillside of assorted bougainvillea, euphorbia, yellow bells, blue pea vine, and Millionaire’s Vines with their tendrils forming green, brown and pink curtains (and maybe some special sinsemilla stuff transplanted from Holland). Towards sunset I’d do laps in the infinity pool and settle in the outdoor jacuzzi with tulip glass in hand, to sip wee dram after wee dram, foie gras on the side, while watching an important NBA game on a Hi-Def 50-inch flatscreen. And LeBron James and the Cavaliers win and become the 2010 NBA champions — something they’ll repeat through decade or until all my remaining hair turns silver. Now all that’s my simple fantasy of attaining hog heaven.
Liali celebrates a decade with the 10-10 Collection Ten brilliant years, twenty precious boutiques and thousands of satisfied customers…. is the chip Liali Jewellery proudly wears on their shoulder today as they complete a decade of excellence. On the occasion of their 10th birthday, Liali is having a year-long celebration by giving back to their customers through the grand 10-10 offer running all across the city. Each piece in the 10-10 collection is for just AED 1,010 - that is just 10-10! There is a choice of jewelry in diamonds, pearls and colored stones. In addition, modern 18k gold jewelry in Italian designs is also part of the AED 1,010 collection. The 10-10 collection which portrays a unique expression of luxury is also available in US$1,010 i.e. AED3,700. There are a variety of 18K gold sets including pendants, earrings and rings for just US$1,010. The pieces are sleek, chic and elegant and are ideal to be given as gifts, especially during this period. And coming from a top end brand like Liali the offering is truly unbelievable! Anuraag Sinha, Managing Director of Liali Jewellery, said: “The 10-10 collection is a truly versatile addition to the range of jewelry we offer at our outlets. It is light in weight and will be a perfect companion for any occasion, be it travel, an afternoon coffee with friends to an elegant evening event. It can be given as a gift at an affordable price to someone special in our lives on any occasion”.
Splash’s Launches AW09 Collection Thirty international models, state-of-the-art lighting, dynamic catwalk with hydraulic stages and a larger than life 20 meter video projection wall. These made up Splash’s super-exclusive sneak-preview of top designs for season Autumn/Winter 2009held at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah on the 13th of August. The gigantic venue came alive with an inter-galactic theme and a dramatic show with models sporting warrior helmets, space swords, masks and the works, giving the event a futuristic infinity feel.The Media/VIP exclusive fashion show which began at 10 pm was preceded by 2 special previews held especially for Splash’s customers. Over 2000 customers were selected from a pool of 10000 plus participants who registered for a contest to win invites to the show. This is the first time in the UAE that a fashion brand has thrown open its doors to customers to experience a fashion show. Highlighted in the show were the themes ‘Warrior Supremacy’ and ‘Star Wars Space Mission’. The first segment showed a winter-essential theme: ‘Defensive Dressing’ where women wore a smart mixture of sleeved shirts and tulip shaped pencil skirts and men sported heavy military inspired duffle coats laced with military buttons, epaulettes and badges. The Star Wars Space Mission showed a display of atmospheric digital prints, architectural futuristic forms and oversized imagery on designer fabrics. The astronaut-look with puffed jackets was the key silhouette for both men and women, while shark fin shoulders reflected uniqueness in the women’s collection. In a fashion finale as spectacular as the show itself, Mrs. Renuka Jagtiani, founder of Splash and Mr. Raza Beig, CEO of Splash closed the show. The models were dressed in sharp suits and dresses which are sure to be a rage with party-goers throughout AW09. Thereafter, guests enjoyed the after-party at the exclusive theme-inspired lounge “The Black Hole” with music from DJ Mike. Dubai’s social elite rubbed shoulders with guests from across 11 countries, while professional dancers flown in exclusively from Barcelona entertained until the wee hours of the morning.
Francisco Manosa: For the love of the
Bahay Kubo Words by Bernadette Reyes
Amidst the modern backdrop of houses in Ayala Alabang where crystallized glass panels, corrugated steel roofs and wrought iron gates are considered uber stylish, Arch. Francisco ‘Bobby’ T. Mañosa’s proudly Filipino nipa hut-inspired mansion sits in the village unabashed despite the fact that it might be deemed as too rustic and lacklustre. “Filipinos marvel at the sight of almost any house that looks as if it’s from another country except a bahay-kubo. Yet I’m proud I design Filipino. Architecture must be true to itself, to its land and to its people,” says Mañosa. An architect with over 50 years of experience building one iconic structure after another, Mañosa is undoubtedly one of the best and most sought-after architects in the country today. A quick scan around his office, reveals the man’s exceptional talent with certificates and awards hung on walls and trophies displayed on shelves with pride. For instance, his design of the world-renowned Amanpulo Resort in Palawan has consistently garnered the ‘Best Beach Resort Worldwide’ title from the Gallivanters Guide of London from 1994 to 1998, and was awarded as the Best Resort in Asia Pacific in 2003. Then there are citations from various organizations - Architect of the Year Award from the Manila Commission on Culture and Arts in 1982; several awards from the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) including the First Recipient of the Golden Award in the field of Filipino Architecture and the 2009 Outstanding Artist for Golden Years of Service in the field of Architecture by the National Commission on Culture and Arts, to name but a few. This year, Mañosa also earned the distinction of National Artist for Architecture. Born as the seventh child in a brood of eight, Bobby Mañosa has demonstrated a knack for drawing even as a child. His father Don Manuel discovered his aptitude for freehand sketching and coloring and encouraged him to take up architecture in college. The making of an architect almost didn’t come to fruition when he tried to go against his father’s will. “My father asked what I would like to take up in college and I said I wanted to play the piano or violin and become a concertist,” he recalls. But Don Manuel insisted he pursue a degree in architecture and soon he was attending university at the College of Architecture in the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.
As a student, Mañosa recalls listening attentively to his teacher Arch. Carlos Arguelles whose works including the Philamlife Building and the Manila Hilton International Hotel fascinated him until now. He saw Arguelles’ dedication to the development of Philippine Architecture, a characteristic he rarely identified with other architects at that time. Inspired by the person he considers as his mentor, Mañosa began his practice by incorporating a touch of Pinoy in his works. After Mañosa finished school in 1953, he and his brother Manuel put up the architectural firm Mañosa & Mañosa and soon their younger brother Jose, also an architect, joined the team. Determined to incorporate Filipino sensibilities in their work, the trio designed the now-defunct Sulo Restaurant in Makati with a local flair. He described it as a Mindanao-inspired longhouse with steep wedge-like roof that resembled the abaniko, a traditional Philippine fan. The projects they designed following the Sulo Restaurant were all in sync with their vision of promoting Filipino design values. In 1976, Mañosa joined Henry Barloa and Ludwig Alvarez to put up Mañosa & Partners. They were joined by Chelo Hofilena, Stanley Fernandez and Dan Lichauco a few years after its inception. This may be a new alliance yet the old mantra of “designing structures that are identifiably Filipino in character” lives on. At present, Mañosa is the Chief Creative Officer and Chairman of the Board of Mañosa & Company Inc. One of Mañosa’s proudest moment as a private practitioner was the bequeathal of the Coconut Palace otherwise known as the Tahanang Pilipino to then first lady Imelda Marcos who commissioned him to design a guesthouse for visiting performers at the Cultural Center of
the Philippines. It was during this project that Mañosa’s architectural prowess was put to test as he maximized the use of the various parts of the coconut tree in his design. Upon completion, the Coconut Palace turned out to be an exquisite work of architecture by Mañosa with coconut shell inlays and coconut bark wallpapers all over. “It was a house she asked for but when she entered the place for the first time Imelda said, ‘This is a palace.’ As an architect, it gives me so much pride to hear that kind of commendation from a satisfied client,” says Mañosa. Even the toys Mañosa designed for toy company Fisher-Price have a Pinoy twist. Using wood primarily as material, he made a replica of the Pinoy jeepney, a traditional mode of transportation in the Philippines. While working with indigenous materials like wood, bamboo and coconut is Mañosa’s strength, he shows versatility as an architect in his design of the San Miguel Corporation head office in Ortigas. Through this project he was able to demonstrate how modern architecture can still represent local culture. Made of steel, glass and concrete the building is modern but the green plants surrounding the structure lend a Filipino flavor. Known as edible architecture, these are plants that you would hear in the song bahay-kubo. The building also resembles the Banaue Rice Terraces which was the inspiration for the project. Throughout his career, Mañosa has accomplished so much and continues to fascinate people with his ideas. In spite of this, Mañosa remains humble and self-effacing. “I can’t say I excel in architecture. There is no such thing. One day someone will come up with a great idea and his design may look much better than what I do. But what I can tell you is that whatever talent I have is a gift from God,” he says.
Today, Mañosa’s office in Paranaque continues to be inundated with projects and inquiries even after the slowdown in global economy has wrought havoc across industries. Mañosa is happy and willing to accommodate clients who believe not only in his work but in the beauty of Filipino design. “Perhaps in that spirit of continuing I have not lost work. There’s never a time I go to my office and tell everyone, ‘Sorry, there’s no more work’”. In the most crucial times I have people that come to our office and say ‘Bobby, I have work for you to do,” he says. While Mañosa is yet to show any signs of slowing down, his talent in architecture is sure to live for several generations even after he retires. He and wife Denise were blessed with three children, Dino, Bambi and Angelo who are all talented in drawing but it is his youngest son, Angelo who pursued a profession in architecture, something Mañosa already knew all along. “At age five he was already making drawings. At age seven he was making his own comics. By age ten he started selling his comics with his own characters. I said to myself ‘This son of mine is Michaelangelo, born an artist,’” says the proud father. Today Angelo practices architecture with his own take on Philippine architecture. Mañosa is just as proud of Dino who is the founder and CEO of real estate development firm Mañosa Properties. Their only daughter Bambi Mañosa-Tanjutco on the other hand runs Creative Kids, a successful arts school for children in Ayala Alabang. He believes one or several of his grandchildren will also follow his footsteps as architect as they have started to show interest in drawing at a very young age. To this day, Mañosa looks back with gratitude to the day his father convinced him to trade the violin and guitar for pencil and paper. The coffee table book Designing Filipino: The Architecture of Francisco T. Mañosa, a product of his five decades of unrelenting devotion to Philippine architecture, is to him, more than just a collection of photos. He considers this as a tribute to his father. “I can only thank my father for guiding me to become an architect. Kung pinabayaan ako ng Papa, kukuha ako ng violin o ng piano then I wouldn’t have done what I have accomplished so far,” say Mañosa.
Mañosa gives back to the country not only through his Pinoy designs but also by giving speeches to architecture students and practicing architects of today. He trusts that the young generation is instrumental in the promotion of the country’s architecture. “I always say in my lectures and speeches, the young is the future of Filipino architecture. That’s why my advice to Filipinos is to continue practicing what is Pinoy because this is your country. I personally design Filipino, nothing else,” says Mañosa. While the Mediterranean house, old Swiss house and French chateau will always have its appeal, the bahay-kubo is sure to outlast them all with its standout design and sturdy constitution. The same holds true for Francisco Mañosa’s Filipino architecture which has stood the test of time and emerged proudly despite the onslaught of foreign trends in design.
40 FASHION Photography: Filbert Kung and Glenn Peter Perez of Blackfox Photography Cover: Shoot Glenn Peter Perez Stylist and Creative Direction: Mike de Guzman and George Palmiano of MGPstyle Hair and Make-Up: Georgina Desuasido assisted by Cats del Rosario and Blue Fernandez Models: Mikee Carrion of PMAP, Daniel Benjamin of Ideal, Melissa Fry of PMAP, Maxine Medina of Monaco/ PMAP and Chrizenda Cecillio of Mercator Shot on location at Tagaytay Highlands
On Daniel: Black blazer and black wool shorts by Terranova Man; white belt with silver trim and white striped sneakers by Wade; black checkered cap and white and gray striped shawl by Folded & Hung On Crisenda: Red waist coat by Calliope; khaki cropped pants by Tango; brown belt by Ensembles; wooden earrings by George Palmiano; beige canvass platform slingbacks by Sapato Manila; red slim belt (used on hat) by Freeway; bangles by Cocco; straw hat - stylists’ own On Mikee: Charcoal black blazer with red top stitch, with charcoal gray tuxedo pants in herringbone, and checkered dress shirt all by Randy Ortiz; striped bowtie by Folded & Hung; black leather shoes by Wade On Maxine: Printed dress by Ilaya Couture; off-white cage shoes by Janylin; brown bowtie (used on hat) by by Folded & Hung; wooden earrings by George Palmiano; straw hat - stylists’ own On Melissa: Khaki hunchback dress by Mich Dulce at Myth; fuchsia pink opaque tights by Freeway; brown flat rider boots by Janylin; straw hat and wooden bangles - stylists’ own
STYLISHLY SPOILED Rich deep colors and textures of the coming season merge with generous and indulgent detailing that doesn’t make any excuses. It’s fashion that’s unashamedly and utterly stylishly spoiled.
On Melissa: Khaki hunchback dress by Mich Dulce at Myth; fuchsia pink opaque tights by Freeway; brown flat rider boots by Janylin; straw hat and wooden bangles - stylistsâ€™ own On Mikee: Charcoal black blazer with red top stitch, with charcoal gray tuxedo pants in herringbone, and checkered dress shirt all by Randy Ortiz; striped bowtie by Folded & Hung; black leather shoes by Wade
FASHION 43 On Mikee: Black double-breasted jacket with leather belt by Randy Ortiz; checkered slim trousers by Folded & Hung; black leather shoes - modelâ€™s own
FASHION 45 On Mikee: Brown blazer and choco brown cotton twill pants by Randy Ortiz with red knitted V-neck top by Folded & Hung; checkered newsboy hat by Terranova; white leather flats by Wade; brown shawl - stylistsâ€™ own On Melissa: Mocha jumpsuit by Tango topped by black double breasted coat by Ensembles; black leather gloves by Calliope; black patent wedges with wooden heels by Sapato Manila; wooden belt and wooden dangling earrings by George Palminiano; black fishermanâ€™s hat and blue slim belt by Folded & Hung
On Mikee: Black double-breasted jacket with leather belt by Randy Ortiz; checkered slim trousers by Folded & Hung; black leather shoes - model’s own; aviator shades - stylists’ own On Daniel: Black blazer by Terranova Man; black polka-dotted polo, red plaid necktie, white slim canvass belt, all by Folded & Hung; black trousers by Solo; gray sneakers by Wade On Crisenda: Blue short dress and black slim belt by Freeway; black double-breasted coat by Ensembles; silver earrings by George Palmiano; red printed espadrilles by Janylin; bangles and ring - stylists’ own
On Melissa: one-shoulder dress by Tango; black leather gloves by Calliope; black opaque stockings by Cocco; suede peeptoes by Janylin; black tassle earrings by George Palmiano On Maxine: bubble dress (used as top) by Tango; black tulle tutu skirt by George Palmiano; white platforms by People R People; bangles - stylists’ own
On Daniel: Black knitted V-neck top by Folded & Hung; black bubble vest by Terranova Man; black pants by Solo; white belt with silver trim and black patent shoes by Wade; aviator shades - stylists’ own On Crisenda: Black sequined dress by Ilaya Couture; black wide stretch belt by Ensembles; black lace-up boots by Janylin; black tassle earrings by George Palmiano; kneehigh socks by Cocco; ring and silver bangles - stylists’ own On Maxine: Black printed dress shirt and bowtie by Folded & Hung; black vest by Ilaya Couture; gray shorts by Freeway; purple knitted hat by Terranova; blue suede peeptoes by Janylin; black opaque stockings by Cocco; bangles - stylists’ own
On Daniel: Black blazer by Terranova Man; black polka-dotted polo, red plaid necktie, white slim canvass belt, all by Folded & Hung; black trousers by Solo; gray sneakers by Wade On Maxine: Yellow bubble dress (used as top) by Tango; black tulle tutu skirt by George Palmiano; white platforms by People R People; bangles - stylists’ own On Mikee: Black double-breasted jacket with leather belt by Randy Ortiz; checkered slim trousers by Folded & Hung; black leather shoes - model’s own; aviator shades - stylists’ own On Melissa: Orange one-shoulder dress by Tango; black leather gloves by Calliope; black opaque stockings by Cocco; blue suede peeptoes by Janylin; black tassle earrings by George Palmiano On Crisenda: Blue short dress and black slim belt by Freeway; black double-breasted coat by Ensembles; silver earrings by George Palmiano; red printed espadrilles by Janylin; bangles and ring - stylists’ own
SHOP GUIDE: Calliope - SM Mall of Asia • Cocco - SM City North EDS • Ensembles - The Row at Glorietta 5 • Folded & Hung - Glorietta 5 • Freeway - The Row at Glorietta 5 • George Palmiano - +63 918 451 2772 • Janylin - Glorietta 5 • Ilaya Couture - Archaeology at Rockwell Powerplant Mall • Mich Dulce at Myth - Greenbelt 5 • People R People - The Podium Randy Ortiz at Myth – Greenbelt 5 • Sapato Manila - Archaeology at Rockwell Powerplant Mall • Solo - The Row at Glorietta 5 • Tango - Glorietta 3 • Terranova - SM Mall of Asia Wade - Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Manila
The popular monogrammed luxury items of this world are not all that - not by a long shot. Here we present to you Filipino designer items that make a mark the world over - from Manila to Dubai, to Milan, New York, Beverly Hills, Tokyo, Singapore London, Oslo, Beijing, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, through to Moscow. The stuff that define luxury and distinction, enough to make anybody green with envy.
Celestina James Handbag Wooden handbag in ebony Macassar in Matte Finish
Natori Feather Gown Charmeuse gown with lace detail
Bea Valdes Fleurs del Mal mauve satin and pearl choker
Aranaz fully beaded bag Tenorio Manila Tilapia, The Manila Collection box-leather lace-ups with overlapping leather scales; sheepskin leather lining, hand-buffed leather sole.
EA VALDES • TENORIO MANILA • KENNETH COBONPUE • NATORI NATORI • CELESTINA • ARANAZ • RAFE NEW YORK • BEA VALDES
Rafe New York Bethany Hobo Italian glazed leather, with brushed brass hardware and Rafe logo lining
Celestina Bente Siete Shell Ring Pica shell ring in sterling silver
Bea Valdes Zambezi lemon jade turquoise necklace
Kenneth Cobonpue Pigalle Chair abaca rope strands tied down by translucent nylon wire over a hand-sculpted frame of light steel; outdoor version in polyethylene and steel.
BEA VALDES • TENORIO MANILA • KENNETH COBONPUE • NATOR NATORI • CELESTINA • ARANAZ • RAFE NEW YORK • BEA VALDES
Tenorio Manila Eight Leather Monster, The Dream Collection Fish scales, patent cow-hide, ostrich leather, sheepskin, metallic leather, belly of a lizard, kidskin and juvenile calf leather shoes with an upper stitched onto an arched stacked leather heel on a hand-buffed leather sole
Bea Valdes Dorado Necklace Multi-crystal statement neckpiece with silk sash
Natori Eau De Parfum Spray A floral oriental that opens with an effervescent bouquet of fresh Rose Petals enriched by deep, dark Plum notes. The heart is an exotic and alluring hybrid of Ylang Ylang, Purple Peony and Night Blooming Jasmine. Slipping languidly over pulse points, Black Patchouli, Amber and a hint of Satin Musk complete this mysterious and tantalizing fragrance.
Bea Valdes Tonio Clutch assymetrical beaded clutch
BEA VALDES • TENORIO MANILA • KENNETH COBONPUE • NATORI NATORI • CELESTINA • ARANAZ • RAFE NEW YORK • BEA VALDES
Bea Valdes Jules Bag burgundy and gold beaded bag with satin sash
Rafe New York Peeptoe Ankle Boots in Italian leather
Celestina Apat Cuff Grey shagreen cuff with 14K gold plated silver bug with semi-precious stones Rafe New York Megan Satchel Italian animal print nylon with patent leather trim, accentedby contrast stitch and brushed antique brass or shiny nickel hardware
A VALDES • TENORIO MANILA • KENNETH COBONPUE • NATORI ATORI • CELESTINA • ARANAZ • RAFE NEW YORK • BEA VALDES
Victim? Words by Butz Fuentes
“What we wear is what we are,” defining our sense and sensibility through style. But how far can we go to be fashionable? Do we dress to impress? Do trends dictate on us what to wear and what not to wear? And so how do we perceive fashion and avoid being tagged as victims? The fashion barometer rates our individuality based on our style choices and attitude. In the streets and the workplace, the clothes we wear and the status symbols we put on display embody the personality we like to project, the image we package ourselves with and the vanities that we all had fallen into. I find it a bit overwhelming to ‘fashion-critique’ Pinoys, just because in our national psyche, reality stings; unfavorable criticism annoys our sensitivity, and stereotyping is considered a sin. Deep in my inner style sanctum, I feel audacious about the topic, though, I swear on my Prada shoes to be less critical and adamant. So before anybody feels edgy or offended, let this be sizzling satire, a tongue-in-cheek parody of fashion mayhem; a reality check to our mundane world where Eve’s only sin was to be ashamed of being naked! (So who needs to dress anyway?) A bland and uninteresting wardrobe emanates from a clueless mind whose flimsy excuse of being too busy is unacceptable, regardless of economics and status. We don’t need to sacrifice style. We don’t need to walk around plain and boring. I began to spy for possible fashion victims in downtown Satwa, where streetwear was the order of the day. Coming from “all-seasonis-summer-for-no-reason,” the Pinoys’ “Bora feel” was present everywhere. A collection of t-shirts, jeans in all shapes, basketball shorts, cargo shorts a.k.a “purontongs” that covered the “two inch legs” of the “not-so-tall,” and the undesirable show of flesh with undershirts used outside, completed the pedestrian look which is so utterly “Pinoy.” And how about the Pinays? Well, seemingly oblivious to the cosmopolitan glow of Dubai, they sport their “everyday-is-a-marketday” code of dressing! It’s multiple choice where the answer is – “all of the above.” Just add the “chinelas factor” and plastic bags which might as well be accessories! Moreso, come rain or shine, they always carry umbrellas of different sizes and colors! It’s like “Pinoy ka” when you are spotted in Dubai with that - whatever!! Fashion verdict: Zero FVs (Absolutely no fashion. So, no victims, dahlin’!)
My unsuccessful tirade brought me to another Pinoy beehive, Dubai’s Soho district – Karama, where shopping bargains and knock-offs filled the shops. Here I spotted my next prey. Picture this - there she was unperturbed in the crowd, walking as if there will never be tomorrow; “seizing her moment” with an iridescent yellow body hugging blouse (or was it two sizes smaller?), her three-layered abs bouncing up and down like hula hoops, while her violet sweatinducing leggings made her cellulites look like they were screaming to be released. The over-the-top “Manny Paquiao boxing-inspired belt” squeezed her behind unpleasantly, while her over-the-counter mascara, which was dripping due to excessive perspiration, gave her a retro punk look. Fashion verdict: TFD (Total Fashion Disaster by her own doing!!) Please… wear clothes that camouflage those unshapely figures. Avoid body hugging tops and select dark colors to achieve a slim effect. Be tame, wear less accessories and cute belts. Do not overdo it. After that disdainful episode, I felt worn-out and decided to go somewhere quiet and more inspiring - the uptown Madinat Jumeirah. The moderne arabesque interiors exuded “joie de vivre,” which I could almost smell. Ordering a light meal of chicken alfredo pasta and soda, I began to feel relaxed, when three Filipinas walked towards my direction. One was in a dark blue trouser suit with a printed silk scarf wrapped around her neck. Her half open jacket revealed a jade green silk blouse with a strand of pearls dangling carelessly. The other one, a petite twenty something was in little black knee length dress. It had a scooped neckline that showed a little cleavage, with stilettos and stockings in black finishing the look. The last Pinay was voluptuous. She was wearing a V-neck top in beige linen. The light colored blouse did not over-emphasize her XL size, just because it had a fit which was not too tight and not too loose - this worked to her advantage. Fashion verdict: Three women in three different styles - fashionably simple and elegant. Well, all in a day’s work for your StyleMonger. Really, I’d rather be criticized and thrown into a pit of fashion brands than be apathetic, left alone and abandoned in my Prada shoes! Hit back and send me comments here at email@example.com
Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Oslob, Cebu, Philippines
73 DESIGNERS GALLERY DESIGNERS GALLERY
the brilliant Filipino designers behind lavish couture creations in the Gulf
Kamil Pilapil Tim Tejares For Illustra Fashion Tel: +9712-6665822 Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, UAE
For Farfalla Haute Couture Tel: +9714 283 1010 Mezzanine Floor, Bin Khedia Bldg., Garhoud St., Dubai, UAE
Albert Andrada Jimi Buenconsejo For La Donna Fashion House Tel: +9714 266 6596 Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, UAE
Fujairah Ruler’s Palace Tel: +971 50 6752789 P.O. Box 416, Fujairah Ruler’s Palace, Fujairah, UAE
Rene Santos Ezra Santos Fujairah Ruler’s Palace Tel: +971 50 6752789 P.O. Box 416, Fujairah Ruler’s Palace, Fujairah, UAE
Edgar Sulit For Sarabel Fashion House Tel: +9714 266 6086 Deira House, Shop # 2, Deira, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +9714 395 5385 Al Wasl Rd., Dubai, UAE
Za’abeel Palace Tel: + 971 55 753 8817 Za’abeel, Dubai, UAE
Albert Basmayor Albert Fontanilla
For Primera Moda Tel: +971 50 314 7377 Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, UAE
For Delfileâ€™ Fashion Tel: +9712 622 2616 Abu Dhabi
Ruben Santos Henry Mangahas
For La Reina Tel: +9714-344 4147 or 344 5101 Jumeirah Beach Rd., Dubai, UAE
For Queen Palace Fashion Tel: +9712-6669519 Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Bldg., Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi
Eros Goze Furne One Amato Haute Couture Tel: +9714 398 8586 Al Hana Ctr., Shop # 227, Dubai, UAE
For Farfalla Haute Couture Tel: +9714 283 1010 Mezzanine Floor, Bin Khedia Bldg, Garhoud St., Deira, Dubai, UAE
Michael Cinco Rocky Gathercole Tel: +971-50-959 8345 Dubai
Tel: +9714 332 8388 Suite 102 Holiday Center Crowne Plaza, Sheikh Zayed Rd., Dubai, UAE
The One and Only
Furne One Inside a plain building in Satwa filled with nondescript offices and shops is a surprisingly decadent atelier with dramatic décor serving as the backdrop for the grand couture creations of designer Furne One. It’s an irony that is repeated on the artist himself. Unlike his flamboyant designs worn by Middle Eastern royalty and international models, not to mention his various awards in the global fashion arena, Furne remains amazingly humble somebody who was merely “lucky” – by his own account.
Words by Sherry Tenorio
alking into the designer’s atelier was a pretty bizarre experience. It was like stepping into the backstage of a theatrical set where antique full-length mirrors, dress frames and hangers and grand chandeliers created the surreal feel. Surprisingly though, in such a dramatic venue the lead actor was devoid of the expected diva attitude. Furne balanced the grandeur that surrounded him with his modest demeanor, his soft words and casual flair. Once settled in his lovely office, Furne spoke about his life, fashion and his philosophies. Series of Serendipitous Events
Furne, was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines, where as a young child he gravitated towards sketching inspired by the beautiful clothes worn by his fashionista grandmother and mother. His youthful fondness gave him the desire to pursue formal studies in fashion design, but as the course was unavailable in the city at that time, he opted for a degree in fine arts instead.
Years after he graduated, he joined Mega Magazine’s First Philippine Collection’s Young Designer of the Year, and won the competition judged by internationally renowned Filipino designer ‘the’ Josie Natori and a number of celebrated editors from major magazines like Vogue Paris and Harper’s Bazaar. His win paved the way for trips to Paris where he joined the House of Lacroix and New York where went on an apprenticeship program under Josie Natori, whom Furne now considers as his mentor. “She was the one who trained me and showed me the ropes in the international fashion scene. From her, I learned the importance of hard work and of being focused in everything I do,” he shares. After the Natori stint, Furne participated in a government-sponsored competition where he won a trip to fashion-forward Japan. There, he amazed designers and took on the Japan’s Women’s Wear Award. Then, he came home with the gut feel that he wanted to start again in New York. Furne recalls, “But a friend suggested that I should check out Dubai first, so I did. I fell in love with the place and stayed.” Finding a job in Dubai almost eleven years ago was difficult for Furne who encountered rejections - lots of them. Lost in retrospection, he explained, “They told me – ‘no, no,no!’ which I understood as my portfolio did not satisfy them. Here, they want European-inspired elaborate gowns and dresses. In the Philippines, we were more into American-inspired simple spaghetti dresses, baby dolls with embellishments in one focal point.” But fate seemed to favor him when months after searching, he landed a job as a personal designer for one of the daughters in the royal family. This eventually gained him a name with the local and regional socialites and royalty. Three years after, Furne joined a company focused on designing for the affluent Arabic clientele. Dealing with different women with various needs and styles served as a learning opportunity for
Furne. The fact that his creations were adored by a long list of clients encouraged him to open his own shop. He, of course, wanted to have his very own fashion label but encountered limitations then. Furne stated, “Like anyone starting out, the main challenge I faced back then was on the financial side. Another difficulty was learning the ropes of the trade. And, of course, having a substantial network in the industry was definitely vital to the flow of opportunities. These things have proven to be temporary setbacks since they can be learned, gained, and overcome.”
eventually chose Amato to dress the finalists of the famous television show Germany’s Next Top Model. The television broadcast of the show across Europe earned Furne overnight recognition. Actresses started calling him for his designs and he was asked to create the entire wardrobe for a theatre play. Aside from that, Furne got another invitation from Heidi to dress one more season of the show – which happened early this year.
He certainly pulled off from the setbacks, and in 2002 launched his very own fashion house - Amato Haute Couture, unveiled in his very first fashion show titled ‘Journey to the Stars.’ The show was a rousing success and since then, the Middle Eastern followers of Amato grew, and the fashion house expanded from having a staff of 10 to now 70 employees of mixed nationalities.
Still in 2008, Furne joined the Dubai Fashion Fiesta where he was spotted by the organizers of the Miami Fashion Week. He was invited to participate and eventually joined 2009’s Miami Fashion Week in Florida where he displayed his summer collection and took back to Dubai the ‘Designer Choice Award’ by Miami Moda and Music Awards. He relayed that his Miami win opened doors for even more invitations, with New York and L.A. fashion week next in the pipeline.
Furne’s first foray to the global fashion stage began in 2008 when international supermodel Heidi Klum saw his catalogue and
Furne’s brand of high fashion is set to shine even more brightly in the coming months as he prepares for his next show for the Dubai
Fashion Week 2009. From haute couture, he is excited to try preta-porter this time. He shared, “I’d like to try a different approach. Since I’m already established with the Arabic couture market, I want to work more on cocktail dresses and short formals for expatriates this time.” Beyond the Catwalk Glamour Aside from his many achievements, Furne is also famous for staging lavish ‘ala-Galliano’ fashion shows set in the prestigious Emirates Towers’ Godolphin Ballroom – a much awaited event for Dubai’s’ fashion denizens. His most recent show in 2007 entitled ‘To Dream of Heaven’ presented an intoxicating mix of the immortal Victorian style, fused together with the elements from the majestic Elizabethan era, featuring a contemporary take on the medieval look. Asked where he usually gets his extraordinary creativity, Furne explains, “As a stylist, you have to follow your imagination. Music fires up my imagination. From operatic arias and bluesy songs to the synthesized allure of techno-pop and lounge, these rhythms bring out my creativity.” He continued, “Even movies and MTVs. I like those. And when I’m at coffee shops, I just like watching different people. Then the ideas just pop out.”
Despite years of success, not to mention considerable achievements in his field and a bright shining future ahead, the creator of the Amato brand still attributes his accomplishments on sheer luck. “If we’re going to talk about talent, there are many talented designers out there. As for hardwork, there are also a lot of hardworking designers. I’m just probably lucky – I was at the right place, at the right time,” he comments thoughtfully. Furne added that he does not compete with anyone but himself. He would always strive to outdo his previous work. He voices out a common fear among designers. “In the fashion world, each designer excels in his or her own way, and that makes the industry colorful and exciting. But sad to say, a designer can be fabulous this season, but can be out the next season. We are judged according to the last collection we had. So no matter how good you are, when critics do not like your new collection, they somehow forget that once upon a time, you were fabulous.” Somehow, a look a Furne’s shining fashion career and his amazing creations, one finds it hard to believe that this designer’s memorable fabulous works, will ever be but.
Deep in thought, Furne revealed a fashion secret. “My clients are mostly Arabic and it’s not easy to create gowns with mixed Middle Eastern and European touches. It should be very elaborate, with lots of embellishments – a real head-turner, so to speak. But, influenced by my Fine Arts studies – I know how important it is to keep designs balanced and well-proportioned. So I apply that principle in my work. The dress should be elaborate yet balanced, so it’s still beautiful even if it’s full of embellishments.” He also admitted that sharing his fashion philosophy with clients was not an easy task. He honestly disclosed, “When I was starting, they only saw me as somebody who stitched dresses. They didn’t see me as a stylist. But later on, they started recognizing my opinion. Now they listen to me. They trust my comments.”
Designer Furne One with International Super Model Heidi Klum
Playgrounds of the Privileged Uncompromising seasoned travelers who demand only the best will certainly be spoilt for choice with the Philippines’ offering in the luxury leisure market. Here are some of the most sumptuous retreats frequented by the privileged for simple quiet getaways or some dynamic recreation. Amanpulo Prestigious international travel guides Conde Nast Traveller, Zagat Survey, Harper and Queen and Gallivanter’s Guide, have consistently hailed Amanpulo as one of the top best leisure resorts in Southeast Asia and the world. The epitome of island luxury, this resort is located in a secluded island in Pamalican, Cuyo, Palawan where sea and sky meet, where velvet white sand is caressed by the lap of crystal waters and where lush tropical vegetation radiate in a profusion of colors. Accommodation is in the form of ‘casitas’ – a modern luxe version of the “bahay kubo,” while first class facilities, water sports and pamper treatments abound, allowing visitors the a choice between total rest and ultimate play. El Nido Resorts, Lagen Island, Philippines Another Palawan favorite among the jetset is El Nido Resorts in Lagen Island, a haven set in a lush forest with a magnificent view of the bay and sunset. An impeccable luxury facility and leader in ecotourism, El Nido has received various accolades including numerous Resort of the Year awards (AAA category) from the Philippine National Tourism Awards “Kalakbay,” and the ASEAN Green Hotels Award. It is the only Philippine property to have made Conde Nast Green List 2006. Here guests can sunbathe or have a picnic lunch in secluded beaches, kayak in secret lagoons, explore isolated islands, take a mangrove tour, snorkel with colorful tropical fishes, have a relaxing massage or spa treatment, rock climb or go scuba diving. The resort 18 water
cottages built on stilts, 9 beachfront cottages with a view of the entire cove and sunset, 20 forest rooms and 4 forest suites built on the fringes of a tropical forest, as well as a 2-floor clubhouse. Pansukian Pansukian resort in Siargao, nestled in isolated and pristine Siargao in Surigao, which features coral reef islets, white sandy beaches, tranquil emerald langoons, mangrove rivers and lush tropical vegetation, was established in 1989 by Frenchman Nicolas Rambeau in pursuit of his island life dream. Also the home of Rambeau, the resort has been created as an intimate retreat, unlike more commercial establishments, to make guests feel like they are just visiting the home of a friend. Pansukian features superior and tropical villas, as well as garden cottages with a distinctive tropical Asian feel. Apart from the hospitality of Pansukian staff, guests are provided meals and the use of leisure equipments like hobie cat, kayaks, snorkeling gear, volleyball, billiards and etc. Best reached through Cebu, Pansukian offers a real experience in authentic and unspoiled environment in one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippine archipelago. The Tides Boracay The Tides Hotel Boracay is a chic boutique hotel, located at the heart of D’ Mall, Boracay where you can get anything you’ll need and want in seconds. It opened its doors in 2007 and was conferred the prestigious 2009 Consumer Choice Awards for Most Outstanding Luxury Destination Hotel – a testament to the excellent service quality of Tides Hotel.
Boracay Grand Vista
Lagen El Nido
Picnic in Amanpulo
Landing in Amanpulo
Amanpulo Club Houde
The Tides Hotel continually serves both local and international clients. It was cited as New York Times’ 44 Places To Go for 2009 – an honor not many hotels can claim. The Tides Hotel Boracay conforms to the highest international luxury standards that will surely excite and impress clients no matter what nationality. The hotel does not only provide great accommodations, but also brings you one of the best restaurants in the Philippines with its newly opened restaurant, KA-ON. The menu takes a decidedly different yet familiar tone as the hotel’s Executive Chef and partner, Chef Fernando Aracama, presents Progressive Filipino Cuisine. Taste the most scrumptious Filipino dishes and relax afterwards in the sought after cabanas of the hotel’s Solstice roofdeck. Boracay Grand Vista Resort & Spa Tucked away at the upper tip of Hagdan Yapak of Station 1 in Boracay Island is an exclusive escape where relaxation and serenity can be experienced – Boracay Grand Vista Resort & Spa.
Boracay Grand Vista Resort & Spa’s Moroccan-inspired architecture surrounded by manicured greens capped by a spectacular seaview offers an air of exclusivity and an opportunity to commune with nature while enjoying modern comforts. It houses the biggest pool in Boracay and its bi-level lawn offers two more swimming pools and cabanas where tired guests are relived through relaxing massages. Adding to the experience are 41 well-appointed suites, each with a private pool and a hammock by the verandah. Though it treats its guests to a tranquil experience in this lavish hideaway, Grand Vista also allows guests to experience the bustling beach of Boracay. Private shuttles bring its guests to D’Mall and back every hour so they may bask in the sun and enjoy the activities on the powdery white sand of the beach. After a long day at the beach or an all night party, guests can climb up back to their blissful haven.
El Nido Lagen Forest Suite
66 BAKASYON GRANDE
Paradise Revisited Words by Vic A. Lactaoen
Traditionally, men woo women, with chocolates and flowers. But if I were a woman, I’d prefer more than a box of sweets and a bouquet of flowers. I would long for a man with a plan – one who goes to the trouble of preparing a perfect beach getaway with all the trappings: the beach, a lovely sunset, good food and a good massage, with the soothing sound of waves on the background.
found all these elements for a romantic beach holiday in Boracay. Having visited Boracay countless of times, I still consider this island a “must visit” destination not just for any romantic tryst, but for all sun seekers and even local tourists as well. After all, how many islands in the world offer four kilometers of pure powdery white sand, and on its north coast, the shore is strewn with shiny, white seashells called ‘puka,’ that are said to be the best in the world according to several international guidebooks and international travel magazines. It’s beautiful, turquoise waters deepen so gradually, that you may find your self 50 meters from the shore, but the water will only be up to your waist. And though it offers activities like scuba diving,
para-sailing, surf boarding, snorkeling or even kayaking, the action really is on the white sands of Boracay itself. Boracay is where the action begins and the fun never ends. It’s been called the “most cosmopolitan strip of sand in the world,” and it is easy to see why – there is no shortage of places to stay, eat, shop and have a good time. The most exclusive resorts like Discovery Shores, Shangrila Boracay Resort & Spa, Fridays and Waling-waling Beach Hotel and Zuzuni Botique Hotel and Restaurant are located along boat station 1 has held sway over the imagination of all who seek to be by sand, sea and sky. There is also Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Convention Center, Le Soleil de Boracay and The Tides along Boat Station 2. Just
across the narrow street of Boat Station 3 is Asya Boracay which has managed to carry its own private space in this busy area of the island. The moment you step through the entrance, you’ll be enamored by the studied Balinese, Asian minimalist interior with soft natural and artificial lighting all throughout the day. During my trip, I noticed the majority of visitor arrivals in Boracay are still from Korea, with Germans, Austrians and Dutch Nationals Russians and other European nationalities following suit. The Japanese are of course making a comeback of sorts “if only for the one and only golf course in the island,” according to local tourism officials. Of course, no place can ever live up to the hyped-up superlatives of this island paradise.
BAKASYON GRANDE 67
The convenient stop of tourists is D Mall, which has more than a hundred shops and restaurants, including Mongkok Chinese dimsum restaurant, Lemon Cafe, Bacolod Inasal, and now even local favorites like Andoks, Mang Inasal and Godah! So successful is the mall that they are thinking of expanding it. For new competition, there is also and the latest shopping destination, D Talipapa near Boracay Regency along station 3 which could eventually give D Mall along Station 2, new competition. Boracay Island is also getting popular not just for its white sands but also for its spa treatment offerings. From Discovery Shore’s Mandala Spa, to Waling-Waling’s inhouse private spa to Pearl of the Pacific’s Neo Spa to local favorite Boracay Spa near Boracay Tropics along Station 2 and Niginigi’s own outdoor spa along station 1. Mandala Spa continues to be the first choice for discerning spa enthusiasts in the island resulting in a tie up with a new branch at Discovery Shores. These new spa resorts have sprouted like the proverbial mushrooms. Although there are still the tourist favorites which can be found along the shorelines of the three stations, local masseurs provide a welcome respite to tired bodies after swimming, island hopping or scuba diving and snorkeling in nearby puka or carabao islands. For first timers, please note that freelance masseurs roam the length of the beach. For souvenirs don’t miss out on the sand bottled souvenirs between station 2 and station 3 which can make fabulous sand memories in a vial or bottle. Just a note of advice, don’t bring too much of the sands out of the island, as provincial, airport and navy officials along exit ports will not allow anyone to take these sandy souvenirs out of Boracay shores. You might be concerned that all these establishments and commercial activity are destroying the island. Fear not, because the resort owners themselves have banded together and formed two organizations including the Boracay Foundation and the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). What they have accomplished so far, is beginning to turn the island around not just to attract more tourists to the area, but to maintain or address the deteriorating ecological and environmental concerns of the area as well. So far, the foundation has managed to maintain the shoreline free of boats and other floating vessels. None of these vessels are allowed to moor along or in front of the beach. People have a free space to swim
and snorkel around the shore. Stray dogs cruising around the area are also regularly rounded up and taken cared of while only accredited vendors are allowed to ply their trade. The Philippine Tourism Authority has also constructed a sewage treatment plant to control the proliferation of chloroform along the shorelines of Boracay. The national government is trying to partner with the private sector in dealing with the contentious issues such as land titling and waste, which is threatening not only the
island’s ecological balance but its future as an economic cash cow for the tourism industry and locals alike. So when to go? Some say it’s from November to June, and especially in January when nearby Kalibo’s Ati-atihan festival, the International Funboard Cup and the Paraw Cup are simultaneously held. Longtime residents say they prefer the low season, roughly from July to October, when White beach endures onshore winds and soaking afternoon rains.
68 BAKASYON GRANDE
Carlo de los Santos
Island Luxury Wanderlust knows no boundaries – and sometimes no credit limit, either. The recent opening of Boracay Shangri-La means guests can enjoy a new experience – these are just few of the sights that make this new resort a world class wonder. Even before it opened, this piece of luxury paradise offers the ultimate beach vacation. Boasting a pristine beachfront that could put any postcard to shame, Shangri-La Boracay allows luxury travelers like me to experience unrivaled comfort in a perfect high end retreat. I had the privilege to savor three days on this beautiful island paradise and experience the latest attractions of the famed hotel chain. If by luxury, one means the taking of pleasure in something out of the ordinary, then, by all means, this is how the new Shangri-La property is regarded – the new gem of the island. Guests like me are pampered from the moment you arrive in Caticlan airport. Valets are on hand to
fetch you onto air-conditioned vans and take you to the resort’s private jetty. Upon arrival, I was immediately brought to my room with a terrace and an unobstructed view of the ocean. It is elegance without the arrogance as some would call it. From afar, its cluster of guest villas painted in white stand out like the famous cliff houses in Greece’s Santorini. The rooms here at Boracay Shangri-La Resort and Spa are furnished in relaxed style with no expenses spared. All I could hear were the trade winds rustling the coconut palms, birdsong and the murmuring sea. It was one of those moments of complete bliss. Moments later I was succumbing to the delights of a traditional hilot massage at the hotel’s tranquil Chi Spa. Softened by warm, aromatic oils, that reminded me of my life in Bandung and Bali in Indonesia, my body was at ease. The feeling was almost hypnotic, but every now and then, almost by instinct, Aling Yoly, my masseur would find pockets of what our grandmothers would call, hanging lamig- tight congested
spots that she would knead until they had miraculously softened. At the end of the therapeutic massage session, she asked me how I felt? “Surprisingly light,” I replied, for this seemed the best way to describe it. “Your upper back is still hard,” she remarked. “What exercise can I do to relieve it?” I asked. “Nothing,” Yoly answered back in Tagalog, “just relax.” It was the perfect reply. Leading stressful lives, rest and refreshment have always been the key to our well-being – and the beauty of being in such lush and luxurious environment, where everything is beautiful and your whims pampered by the affectionate Ilonggo staff, is that it just melts all your stress away. At a time when hotel chains like the ShangriLa are racing to build properties that befit their grand names, defining a luxury hotel by its rates these days simply won’t do anymore. It takes me, a detailed obsessed traveler to say with confidence that the luxury hotel lives up to its perfumed beautiful promises.
Grand Secret Boracay’s
Boracay Grand Vista Resort and Spa is one of the newest private luxurious resort and spa at the famous white beach of Boracay. It gives you an Ocean view from the realm of all its 41 suites. Boracay Grand Vista Resort & Spa’s 41 Asian Mediterranean inspired fully air conditioned rooms come with a private swimming pool, allowing you to bask under the sun in the comfort of your room. The rooms are fitted with a king-size bed, private toilet with hot and cold shower, and complete bathroom amenities. A balcony or viewing deck is also available, offering magnificent views of the sea. Added convenience is assured with your mini-bar, hair dryer, and coffee/ tea maker. Modern touches, such as flat screen cable TV, DVD/ CD player, Internet connectivity, telephone with DDD service, and room safe, are also provided that will make one’s stay truly relaxing. The Resort also boasts of having the biggest swimming outdoor pool in the Island of Boracay.
Please present this coupon to avail of a discount. Valid until December 31, 2009 For inquiries, contact: Telephone No.: 63 2 8895148 • 8894032 • 8872907 • 6660071 • +639178872907 Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.egrandvista.com
70 HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Farm Asia Spa Awards Best Spa Retreat of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2008, The Farm is the sole sanctuary of its kind in the Philippines and one of the best in the world. A center of excellence for holistic healing, The Farm is a serene eco-friendly haven where one can balance mind, body and spirit while transforming eating habits, mental and spiritual awareness. The Farm is a healing journey, a “must have” in every individual’s life at least once a year to recharge one’s mental, physical, and spiritual state. It is a life-changing retreat that provides well-managed and tailored wellness programs for restoration of balance and harmony by encouraging a commitment to a proactive healthy lifestyle. A 49-hectare sprawling idyllic paradise in Batangas, The Farm features world class accommodations with breathtaking views. The Farm offers a combination of medical, healing, wellness treatments, as well as fitness and spiritual development, as well as award winning vegan cuisine, providing the perfect environment, guidance and support to nurture health and well-being. For further information contact The Farm at Tel: +63 2 696 3795, e-mail email@example.com, or visit: www.thefarm.com.ph
at Maribago Blue Water Resort Maribago Bluewater in Cebu gives you the comforts of home and the best of pamper treats. Located in the intimate suite wing of Maribago Bluewater, Amuma Spa offers a relaxing environment with a wide selection of treatments to rejuvenate the body and spirit. Here, spa services incorporate ancient and modern therapies from VisayanFilipino, Asian and western cultures. Amuma looks into every detail to enhance your spa experience, from rituals that accompany each treatment to the products using the best local ingredients. Guests can experience the resort’s signature treatment Amuma Hilot - a traditional mystical massage based on Amuma’s unique touch technique where each manghihilot (therapist) uses their innate gift of healing hands, to pass on good energy from the Divine. Uniquely Filipino, this therapy induces relaxation and promotes healing. Apart from pamper treatments, guests can also enjoy different dining options at Maribago’s several restaurants, or engage in a host of different exploits like jet skiing, scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling and island hopping. Maribago Bluewater let’s the islanders easy going friendliness shine through and keep the pace low enough to let you feel pampered and relaxed to assure that you realize your dreamed family vacation. For more information, call +632 817 5751 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Maribago Bluewater website at: www.bluewater.com.ph
72 HEALTH & WELLNESS
Healthcare Future Thriving at
The Medical City In line with The Medical City’s (TMC) thrust to deliver pioneering and innovative healthcare services, a presentation on the hospital’s comprehensive Regenerative Medicine Program was held on 19 August 2009 at TMC’s Augusto M. Barcelon Auditorium, which included the formal launch of a joint Regenerative Medicine enterprise between TMC and the Ateneo School of Science and Engineering. TMC’s Regenerative Medicine Program employs advanced technologies in the engineering of stem cells and other biomaterials for the purpose of preserving, restoring, or enhancing organ function. The Program brings together clinicians from specialized medical fields and scientists from the basic sciences of biology, biochemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics, in developing and delivering interventions that respond to wellness and illness at the molecular level. The Program’s revolutionary therapies harness the body’s ability to heal itself. Since the inception of its program, TMC’s has treated patients from here and abroad with ailments ranging from breast cancer, throat cancer, multiple myeloma, cardiomyopathy, spinal cord injury and advance renal stage disease. In addition, as the Program also aims to prevent the onslaught of disease, applications have expanded into the areas of wellness and aesthetic medicine. “This event marks another major milestone in over four decades of leadership in shaping the Philippine health care system. This is cutting-edge medicine that is available right here, right now at The Medical City. This demonstrates clearly that the Philippines has what it takes to compete and succeed in the global arena,” said Dr. Alfredo R. A. Bengzon, TMC’s President and CEO. TMC’s Program is a pioneering effort in Asia, with its team of specialists under the helm of world-renowned physician and molecular scientist, Dr. Samuel D. Bernal. “TMC’s Program is indeed a leader in its field, serving the greatest number of patients, operating at the largest scale, and delivering the broadest range of services in the country by far,” said Dr. Bernal proudly.
Two beauty science advantages
at Dermclinic For 37 years in Philippine Dermatology, Dermclinic continues to improve its services by initiating new and exciting approaches in delivering professional skin care to its valued clients. Adding to its roster of dermatological services are two beauty science advantages: Stem Cell Therapy and Thermaviv, modern skincare which restore skin’s youthful beauty safely and effectively. Stem Cell Therapy uses an innovative and unique dermal stamping device with microneedles facilitating direct absorption of aesthetic medicines and stem cells into the skin. The procedure creates multiple pinpoint punctures to the dermis to infuse new stem cells, at the same time, stimulating elastin and collagen formation. Administered by Dermclinic’s professional dermatologists, the procedure takes an hour every session, has zero downtime and complements all skin types. A single session shows instant skin improvements. Multiple treatments, however, can create tremendous results providing full satisfaction notwithstanding age. Thermaviv uses radio frequency technology which delivers heat to the deeper layers of the skin to stimulate collagen formation, achieving immediate skin tightening. This non-invasive procedure can be safely administered around the areas of the face and body to improve fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, and define facial and body contours. It takes twenty minutes or more to complete the procedure, depending on the size of the treated area. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimum results. With these newest beauty science advantages, Dermclinic ensures the best skin procedures to achieve youthful beauty at its finest. For inquiries, call the Dermclinic hotline at +63 2 817-FACE (3223) or visit the website: www.dermclinic.com.ph.
Work Hard Party Harder
By Loraine Balita
Embassy, the club made famous not just by world renowned DJs but also by high profile brawls and controversies, some involving famous people in Manila’s social circle, continues to set the city’s party scene on fire. Even with a lot of new clubs mushrooming all over the city, this club still rests at the top of the list of places to go to for people who want a true taste of the country’s party life. If you want to be welcomed back to the clubbing circuit while immersing yourself in today’s hippest beats and the biggest accumulation of the city’s most beautiful people then Embassy is the place be, so to speak.
Words by Loraine Balita
ne of the first few establishments to open in Fort Bonifacio Global City in 2005, this club has ushered in the development of other hang-outs in the area. At the time when the global city was a vast hectare of vacant lots, there was already Embassy’s white structure thumping to the beats of the DJs music every night with long queues of scantily clad albeit most still classy and stunning party goers waiting to get in. Located only a few minutes from Makati, this place has also attracted a lot of yuppies who like to drink and dance stress off after work. Getting a parking space in the area is almost always easy except every Saturday night when the place is so packed you’d have to drive
around for a few minutes before getting a spot. The Club itself has three divisions: first there’s the main room, where anything from hiphop to trance to house is played; then there’s the smaller much more intimate Champagne room where house, chill out and 90s music is played on some nights; and finally the VVIP room, which is an exclusive invitation-only area behind the DJ’s booth. Getting inside the club is like attending a UN party summit, you’ll see different nationalities party and mingle all night. It’s a cornucopia of party cultures with Asians, Caucasian, Blacks and Hispanics all together jammed in one hip hub. Although the club is relatively pricey, the ambiance and the kind of crowd you can mingle with more than makes up for the price. PHP1,500 per person should be enough for your entrance plus a few extra drinks. Be sure to bring a few extra bucks if you’re planning
to gulp down more than two orders of booze because the entrance fee usually only includes two stubs for drinks. Your group’s DDs (designated drivers) can settle with a glass of mango juice or iced tea that they can also order using the stubs. Party starts a few minutes before midnight, when the club is already pulsating with lights and sounds and flowing with booze. There are also different events for different days of the week so you can choose which event you’d want to attend and which days of the week you’d want to set to hit the club. Wednesdays are reserved for SuperKlasse at the main room with rnb and hip hop Johnny Verse, Mars Miranda, and Dj Ace. Friday on the other hand is for Fever Fridays featuring deluxe electro pop music by DJs Anton Ramos and DJ Owens also at the main room and Saturdays are Sleepless: The Ultimate Clubbing Experience nights by Embassy’s head resident Martin Pulgar, Marc Naval and Chewy in the main room usually hosted by GP Reyes and Stephen Ku. There’s a semi-strict dress code so be sure to dress to impress. The club is also strict about minors getting in. You’d often see a few being asked for IDs and bouncers roaming around amidst the crowd. A separate part of the Embassy complex is reserved for the Embassy cafeteria right beside the super club which you can go to before or after partying. You can retreat to this café when the club gets too crowded for you as it is also conveniently open until the wee hours. Here you can have a snack or an early breakfast. But if you are looking for a more upscale dining experience, the section in the Embassy complex called Embassy Cuisine could be the right place for you. Partyphiles who want to savor Japanese or French cuisine while lounging in clean white interiors can stay in
this area. The high ceiling with sleek furniture makes for a truly posh restaurant cum bar. Embassy Cuisine also has different events for each day of the week. The Fort Strip, where embassy is located, also includes other must visit places for those looking to have a great time. There’s Prince of Jaipur right beside Embassy that serves authentic Indian cuisine and turns into a thriving bar at night; Le Soufflé bar and restaurant, L’Opera Ristorante Italiano, the famous Gourdo’s, Good Earth Oriental Cuisine and Bar, East of Saint Louis Bar and Restaurant, La Strega Bar, Porcelain Restaurant and Bar, Filo’s, Jill’s, Mingoy’s Ristorante, Trio, Zong, Café Puchini, Cold Rock Ice Creamery and the imposing wooden structure of Pier One where you can have buckets and barrels full of beer. Embassy along with the other establishments in the Fort Strip has also been a prime venue for events and big company parties since it is only a few minutes away by car or by the Fort Bus from Makati’s business district. The over-all scene stays good until it dies down at around 2 – 3 am when the crowd starts to thin out which is usually the time when these infamous fights within the club ignite. Brawls and controversies aside this place is still the premiere party venue in the country. Its reputation draws everyone from young professionals to celebrities, models, and Manila’s ‘it’ crowd together in this one stop-party place at night. In this time and age, you’ve never really been out clubbing if you’ve never been to Embassy. Some critics are giving this place two more years before it starts to die down much like others of its kind that came before it. But while the roads still lead to the Fort Strip every night, the music will continue to play, and people will continue to party at the Embassy.
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Culture and a Healthy Lifestyle in the Venice of the North Words by Loraine Balita
If you’re desperate to start living healthy go live up North. This I learned during my recent visit to the birthplace of Abba and Ikea - Stockholm, Sweden where I shed five pounds and felt the healthiest in my life, while reconnecting with mother nature and immersing myself in Scandinavian culture.
Forbes.com’s World’s 15 Healthiest Countries lists Sweden as one of the top three at second place, between Iceland on the top spot and Finland on the third. The special report written by Dusen and Ferrey explains how “beyond high marks for drinking water, sanitation and nourishment, which many countries achieved, Iceland and Sweden had some of the lowest levels of air pollution, infant mortality and rates of tuberculosis prevalence. They also both had the highest healthy life expectancies for men: 72 years.”
Stockholm card for around 375 Swedish Kronor (kr) which should amount to around US$53 or PHP2,600. The 375kr-24hour card will allow you to hop on any public transport run by SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik) which means the metro, buses, commuter trains and trams, the Emelie water ferry to Djurgården island and will give you free access to more than 75 museums scattered throughout the city for a whole day.
Even after spending a mere eight days in Stockholm, I found out why the country deserves the spot, why its 9.2 million inhabitants are among the healthiest in the world and why millions of visitors flock the capital each year.
Being the frugal Pinay that I am with the concept of sulit or sulitin (making the most out of something in this case the Stockholm card) I hopped on as many buses and trams and got in as many museums that I could given the limited time we spent there. And so my Stockholm City tour was mainly composed of endless museum hoping which was a great introduction to Scandinavian history and culture. One of the two most notable museums I got to see there was the Vasa.
Capital of Scandinavia: Venice of the North Sweden’s capital Stockholm attracts health and culture buffs whose main goal when traveling is to immerse themselves in rich traditions while recuperating from stress-induced burnout. Regarded as the Venice of the North, Sweden’s capital is built on fourteen islands connected by 57 bridges all surrounded by the omnipresent lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The city itself is characterized by the juxtaposition of medieval structures against modern architecture that clearly epitomizes one of the city’s appeals — a charming mixture of the old world with the new. The best way to enjoy this pulsating city tagged “Capital of Scandinavia” is by traversing its intricate network of streets and alleys on foot. But if you’re one of those leisure travelers who cannot stand walking for more than 10 minutes then you can always purchase the
Vasa: The World’s Oldest Ship Tourists say that if you’ll be given just one place to visit in Stockholm it has got to be the Vasa. The Vasa Museet (Museum) located in the Djugarden island houses the world’s oldest ship — the Vasa. This lone- surviving 17th century water vessel was built in 1625 through the orders of Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus during the time when Sweden was at war with Poland. Henrik Hybertsson, an experienced Dutch Shipbuilder, headed the team who worked on what was meant to be, at that time, the mightiest warship in the world, armed with 64 guns on two gundecks. The mammoth vessel that is the Vasa today sits at the center of the museum surrounded by tourist looking up at it with much awe.
PINOY PLANET 77
This enormous wooden masterpiece reminded me of pirate movies complete with gun decks, wood carvings ala Pirates of the Caribbean. Although its history marked by a 17th century disaster left little to be admired. The Vasa Museum tour guide let us in on the ship’s story. Sweden learned a vital lesson on ambitious endeavors on the 10th of August 1628 — the day of the Vasa’s maiden voyage. With 150 people on board, among them foreign diplomats, the supposedly mighty ship sank just after 20 minutes of sailing. 3050 people died on that day and when the ship was salvaged in 1961, archeologists found 25 unidentified skeletons that are now also on display in the museum. Learning from the disaster, the next ship Sweden built, according to the guide, was made with much more precision and was afloat for more than 30 years. After the quick lesson on Scandinavian seafaring history, I was off to another museum that introduced me to the world’s most brilliant minds.
The charging of the Royal guards at Sweden’s Royal Palace
Nobel famous for his inventions, left much of his wealth for the establishment of the Nobel prize. According to his will and testament the award giving body shall grant “prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”
Nobel Museum Just because I felt the need to feed the inner geek in me, I excitedly hopped on the bus and got off the station nearest the Nobel Museum. The museum located on Gamla Stan or old town, houses original artifacts and features short films about the 700 brilliant Nobel Laureates. The guide led us through rooms filled with inventions mostly by the awardees and some by Alfred Nobel himself. Stocklholm scenes
What’s most interesting about the visit though were the juicy stories shared by the guide. One of the famous awardees, Albert Einstein was not even able to touch his prize according to our museum guide. After striking a deal with his wife, Einstein agreed to give the prize right after winning it so the former would grant him a divorce. Another Nobel prize awardee went straight to Monte Carlo after getting the much coveted prize and blew all the money in a casino. Winners, according to the guide, basically can do anything they want with the price after winning it. Gamla Stan and Royal Palace Also located at the same compound as the Nobel Museum is the Swedish Royal Palace. The humble structure is made of bricks covered by sandstone with the roof sloping slightly inwards. Although it is considered one of the biggest palaces in the world with 609 rooms, the Rococco design is rather simple compared to most other palaces in Europe. The palace whose first structure was built in the 13th century, also houses the Royal treasury. Here Sweden’s stash of royal crowns, jewels, scepters, and swords are kept. The crowns on display in security protected transparent glasses are embellished with diamonds, rubies and studded with other precious stones. The items on display here belong to some of
78 PINOY PLANET
The Vasa- the world’s oldest ship
Sweden’s past and present members of the royal family. The main courtyard, just outside the main palace gate, is usually flooded by tourists waiting to witness the changing of the royal guards. This daily affair is reenacted at 12:15PM. The event starts with drum corps marching through the courtyards followed by guards carrying flags representing the royal family. A few steps away from the royal palace is the Storkyrkan or the Great Church were most monarchs were crowned. This gothic structure also houses the famous sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon. Around the corner of the church is the Stortorget or the main square, site of the famous Stockholm bloodbath or the Stockholm massacre. In 1520 right around the time when Sweden was conquered by Swedish forces a series of executions of mostly nobility and clergy of the opposing party were held in the main square. It is said that heavy rains caused rivers of blood from the bodies to pour down the small alleys of the city.
locals’ diet. Here I also noticed that they’re also big on breads, and when I say big I do mean big. Breakfast usually consists of a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice and a humongous piece of Swedish rye bread. Maybe it’s because of their lifestyle. Most hotels here would offer visitors maps with nice jogging tracks which you can follow. You would almost feel ashamed to sit lazily by or be content being dragged by a tourist guide. Here you’ll see joggers everywhere at almost anytime of the day. Maybe it’s because of their overall sense of wellness. Most establishments here bank on the wellness concept of R and R. It’s common to see hotels here with no space for bars but with ample room for saunas and steam baths. And who could ever forget their ever-famous massage. Does the phrase Swedish massage ring a bell?
World’s 2nd Healthiest City
Maybe it’s because of their cleanliness. Sweden, along with Switzerland, also ranks highest in Forbes.com’s 2009 list of Cleanest Countries scoring points in most environmental areas that directly affect human health. “The country has low levels of airborne pollution, pristine drinking water and low per-capita emissions of greenhouse gasses. Nine million Swedes also treat their forests with utmost care - the country earns a perfect score for forest management,” according to the Forbes website.
Maybe it’s because of the diet. A common Swedish meal consists of potatoes, fresh vegetables with fish as the main fare. With water all over the place there is an abundance of seafood which constitutes most of the
After my 8-day stay in Sweden’s capital, I found out that the answer could be all of the above along with an efficient health care system that has thus created this wholesome overall atmosphere. Sweden’s healthy
After learning more about Stockholm Sweden’s rich culture and heritage the question still remains. Why is this one of the healthiest countries in the world?
Jogging-a favorite pastime in stockholm
living vibe, even for tourists, is so hard to resist. Just four days into my vacation there, I found myself veering away from fast foods, appreciating fish and rye bread more and running a few more lapses which I did each morning right before my museum hopping sessions – some of the things I have forgotten to do in Manila. There must have been something in the water or the air that made me feel as if in Sweden there’s always a healthy option. Aside from all the opportunities to immerse oneself in the rich Scandinavian culture through all of the 75 museums, it’s this healthy feeling that permeates the entire place that attracts tourists and more importantly has made around 18,000 Overseas Filipinos call Sweden home. The eight days I spent there was like a weeklong trip to a rehabilitation center where tourists are made to eat healthy, detoxify and feed the mind. I came back feeling totally reborn. Let’s just hope I can keep those nasty five pounds at bay and continue eating rye breads and fish while the others are pigging on lechon kawali and halo-halo. As they say in Swedish - “lycka till” (good luck)!
GLOBETROTTER’s BLOG 79
Every month Illustrado features seasoned travel tips on destinations around the world from Filipino globetrotters based in the Gulf.
The Louvre Museum
What the city known for Paris is known as - the ‘City of Love,’ the ‘City of Fashion’ and the ‘City of Arts. Paris is also known as Ville-Lumiere or the City of Light, due to its reputation as center of education and ideas, and it’s early adoption of street lighting. How to get there There are lots of airlines that fly from Dubai to Paris, however, flying with Emirates is one of the best options as it has two direct flights daily. The easiest and fastest way to get to Paris is by metro. From Charles De Gaulle Airport, one has to take the Aeroport Charles De Gaulle/ MilitaryClaye-Saint-Remy Line and get off at Chatelet Les Halles. Then transfer to Vincennes-La Defense Line and alight at the George V station. The station is situated at Champs Elysees, the fashion and shopping area of the city Where to stay If you’re looking for a very prestigious hotel, the Hotel Lotti near the Concorde subway station is a good option, costing around 205 euros (about, AED 1100). However, if you’re looking for a less expensive accommodation without sacrificing comfort, Hotel Brittany is highly recommend where the rate is 69 euros (around AED 360).
At the famous Eiffel Tower with friends
Globetrotter: Ting Munoz Rates change depending on the season, so it’s best to check your accommodation options online before your trip. Must do and must see First on the list would definitely be the Eiffel tower. The best time to climb up the tower is in the evening when it becomes the highlight of the city with its dazzling and colorful light display. Be prepared for the long queue, however, especially during summertime. Another must see is the Musee De Louvre where you can view different art treasures and artifacts including Michelangelo’s famous Monalisa, as well as the Notre Dame Cathedral famous for its amazing architectural design. Also worth visiting is the Champs Elysees, Paris’ most famous street, as well as the Arc De Triomphe Etoile. While in Paris, eating a crepe is a ‘must do,’ whether in a fancy restaurant or just around the Eiffel tower vicinity. Do also sample fairy floss (cotton candy). If you are in Paris in July, you would see a lot of tourists and locals sitting outside restaurants and coffee shops watching out for the Tour de France cyclists. Do it like the natives Walking around the city is the most popular activity that both
the Parisians and tourists do. A perfect place to stroll is the stretch of the Champs Elysees, especially if you’re into fashion. Here, you would see famous names in the fashion industry - Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Bulgari, Fendi and more. You name it, the street has it! How to dress Check the weather before your trip so that you don’t fill your suitcase with unwanted clothes and you may also want to leave space for shopping. Also, bear in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed – especially in Paris. Though remember that comfort must also never taken for granted especially if you’re planning to just walk from one place to the other. What to bring Bring your camera with you. Time may pass but memories last! The best souvenir you can take away from each destination visited, is a picture of yourself taken from the very place. How much money do I need? It really depends on your interest and number of days in Paris. If just want to to see and experience tourist spots then around 500 euros (about AED 2,600) of pocket money, excluding airfare and accommodation, for a three days and 2 nights stay should
Crepes a French favorite
Monalisa at the Louvre
be okay. But if shopping is your main objective, then an ‘obscene’ amount will be required depending on your taste. Ultimate tip After my first visit to this lovely and romantic place, I would say that Paris is, indeed, in my list of favorite places to visit as the city can really open your mind, heart and eyes to different things - from art to fashion and to even finding one’s self. True to it’s nickname, Paris surely is the City of Lights!
FIGMEs Clash of the Titans: Asia v/s Europe In another exciting tournament conceptualized between The City Hospital (TCH) and the Filipino Golfers in the Middle East (FIGME) – golf enthusiasts from Asia (FIGME) and Europe (TCH) are going to clash on the greens at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club on the 26th September. The friendly match is an initiative to encourage camaraderie, and mix business with pleasure through golf. TCH will be sending a contingent of 20 - 24 golfers. Interested parties may e-mail navea_rjl@ yahoo.com or email@example.com or call 050 735 6411 or 050 459 0352. Cut-off date for entries is on the 22nd Sept. 2009.
FORAC Eid Event The Filipino Off-Road Auto Club (FORAC) is a Filipino community organization for off-roading enthusiasts in the UAE. They facilitate weekly off-roading trips, overnight camping or on-road trips, exploring beautiful places around the UAE only reachable by 4x4 cars. The group teaches members how to enjoy their 4x4 cars and the proper way of driving off-road. The group is also engaged in charity endeavors and organizes social events. To join FORAC, contact 050 903 1204, 050 929 8954 and 050 745 6452 or visit www.forac.ae for further information. This forthcoming local holiday season, FORAC is inviting everyone to a celebrate Eid with them at the Lahbab Desert in an overnight party. For inquiries, please contact the following – Ghusais - Roger at 050 9298954, Deira – Tess at 050 8702610, Bur Dubai – Jo at 055 2805318, Satwa/Jumeirah – Grace at 055 3712020, and for other locations - 055 2805318. The event is on the first day of Eid; meeting point and pick-up is at the Zabeel Park, gate number 1.
PSSP-UAE Team Building Event The Philippine Society of Safety Professionals (PSSP) UAE is an organization composed of safety professionals who are working as HSE Managers, Safety Engineers, Safety Inspectors, Safety Advisors, Safety Officers or Safety Assistants within the emirates. The group’s objective is to unite all Pinoy safety professionals, enhance their skills through seminars and trainings, while promoting goodwill and camaraderie within an established constructive forum where members can interact with each other. PSSP-UAE provides internal training and seminars, arranges for external workshops, and promotes job opportunities and safety awareness within the group through its publication and safety news flash. The organization held their Team Building Event on the 14th August 2009 – with the objective of uplifting the morale of members affected by the economic downturn. The main attraction of the program was a dramatic presentation from Abu Dhabi chapter members which entertained the group. PSSPians also enjoyed a Karaoke Challenge, as well as the “Genio” game portion on Health and Safety jargon, while July and August birthday celebrants were treated to a cake cutting ceremony. The event was capped by a presentation on Training and Education. For information on the group, visit their website at: www.pssp-uae. com/home, or contact PSSP-UAE President Joel Nedamo at +971 56 6910719 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nowhere to go but UP By Quay Evano The University of the Philippines Alumni Association in its five-year existence prides itself for making significant contributions to the Filipino community in the UAE. The group’s flagship project is aimed at providing financial support to one scholar each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; identifying the deserving students from those who successfully pass the competitive UP College Admission Test (UPCAT). At present, UPAA-UAE is supporting the education of Sheara Jamaluddin who is currently in her third year in UP Mindanao taking up B.S. Biology. UPAA-UAE has also been active particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, organizing several job fairs. It has also played a key role in the 2009 Philippine Independence Day celebrations, supported the first-ever Bayanihan Festival last December 2008, spearheaded an organization-wide participation in the recent Overseas Absentee Voter’s Registration, and hosted a seminar for the UP Open University (Distance Learning Program). UPAA-UAE members also constantly visit the less fortunate housed in the POLO-OWWA, providing moral support and other forms of assistance. With its diverse membership, the association has different subgroups to cater to the needs and interests of its members. These include - the UPAA-UAE Harana Band, LENTE photography club, the choral group UPAA-UAE Singers, and its basketball team, ‘The Fighting Maroons,’ named after the university’s varsity team back home. In its five-year existence, UPAA-UAE has grown from around 40 to approximately 300 members and looks forward to even more fruitful and productive years ahead for its members and the larger community. For UP alumni interested to join, please e-mail Emily Gonzales, Association Secretary, at email@example.com
1st Basketball Competition for Triskelions AUH Triskelion International-United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Chapter successfully launched their 1st annual Inter-Color Basketball Tournament in Abu Dhabi on the 24th and 31st July 2009 with four participating teams - Gold, White, Black and Gray. Headed by Grand Triskelion Joseph Baldomero and his Chapter Officers, the event was filled with fun and activities for organization members, their families and friends. The two-day event was capped off by the Championship game between Gold and White teams with the former being crowned as the Tournament’s first ever champions.
Triskelions InterChapter Basketball Tournament On the 14th August 2009 Triskelion International UAE successfully held their first Interchapter Basketball Tournament with competing teams from the Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah/Fujairah chapters, as well as the Executive Coordinating Council. The Abu Dhabi Chapter emerged as Champion in an exciting and heart pounding on-court battle with the Dubai Chapter. This event also marked the TI-UAE’s general assembly paving the way to strengthening the ties between Triskelions all over the emirates, and giving the group a chance to start planning for the forthcoming 41st National Anniversary of the Tau Gamma Phi - the Triskelions’ Grand Fraternity. The successful InterChapter Basketball Tournament marked by sky high spirits and pumped up energy from the entire organization, will now be an annual event for the Triskelions. For information on the group, visit their website www.triskelionuae.i8.com, or contact Jonathan De Guzman, UAE Council Chairman, Triskelion International - email: jdg_ firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCOM Absentee Voting Registration Around 100 members of the Maranao community in the UAE (MARCOM) headed to the Philippine Consulate General office in Al Qusais, Dubai to exercise their constitutional rights by registering in the Overseas Absentee Voting Drive for the 2010 Philippine General Elections, on the 20th of August 2009 This effort was organized by the officers of the group in coordination with the Philippine Consulate Dubai officials led by Acting Head of Post Vice Consul Edwin Gil Mendoza. The MARCOM, a leading group in the Filipino muslim community in the emirates has been active in numerous activities especially in ensuring its members’ welfare and preserving their cultural identity. One of the group’s objectives is also to foster unity and be a part of mainstream society in view to help bridge the sociopolitical gap between muslims and the entire Filipino populace.
ILLUSTRADO SCRAPBOOK 83
Lebanon Alexis Cunanan
ILLUSTRADO SCRAPBOOK A platform for budding Filipino creative talent
Photography and scuba hobbyist Alexis Cunanan is a Regional Senior Account Manager at Fortune Promoseven Advertising and has been a resident of Dubai for almost four years, after spending a decade in Jeddah. A member of photography club OPPPS, Alexis says, “Photography for me is a means of capturing a moment, an instant, a smile, an emotion or a point in time that will never be repeated, never recalled.”
Tagum, Davao Edwin Lasquite Avid Illustrado fan Edwin Lasquite is an Abu Dhabi-based proud Tagumeño, who is also very active in the Filipino community scene. Edwin leads one of the most active Filipino sports clubs in the country – WOW Pinoy Badminton UAE. When not on the court, Edwin loves to travel, snapping beautiful moments and sceneries on his beloved camera.
Illustrado welcomes entries to Illustrado scrapbook from all photography enthusiasts in the Gulf. Please send your highresolution images and mini-profile to email@example.com.
84 KABUHAYAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Proudly brewing Pinoy Words by Bernadette Reyes
Luis Gonzalez is an eclectic mix of Filipino-SpanishMexican blood; his wife Candace Schmidt is RussianCanadian but they love the Philippines so much so that they decided to live here and open a coffee shop in the country. People ask, “Why do business in the Philippines?” The couple answers back, “Why not?”
uch has been said about the Philippines as a lost world or a third world country. In spite of it, we believe anyone can succeed here if you really work hard and we want the world to know that,” says Luis. Thus, in November 2006, the couple opened the first-ever Bona Coffee at BF Homes in Paranaque brewing only Philippinegrown beans to perfection. “We have always been on the lookout for the perfect coffee shop that would meet our expectations. One shop offers excellent brew but the ambience was poor. Then there is another shop that had the perfect ambience but their coffee was either burnt or too sweet. Instead of complaining, we thought why not open our own?” Candace explains. Business has been thriving since. In a short span of
two years and six months, Bona Coffee has expanded to four branches namely BF Homes in Paranaque, Westgate in Alabang, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay and the recently opened Nuvali in Sta. Rosa Laguna. Before year end two more branches will open for business. Provincial expansion is also in the pipeline with its Cebu branch brewing coffee very soon. The low-fat, low-calorie menu is perhaps the perfect blend that led to the success of Bona Coffee. The owners said they had in mind the weightwatchers and the health conscious when they were setting up the business. Included in the menu are rare concoctions such as tofu banana honey smoothie and breakfast yogurt muesli, healthy sandwiches made of whole wheat bread and homemade-muffins that are rich in taste but low in calories such as the lemon poppy seed muffin which is also diabetic-friendly. The Bohemian look of the store and the “Always open” campaign the owners say have likewise contributed to its successful business model. Bona, says Luis, stands for Bohemian Nation which explains the mismatched furniture in the shop, its eclectic menu and diverse clientele. “The store is bohemian given the who eclectic feel and the free thinking that no matter who you are, how you look, what culture you are from, we welcome you in the store,” he says. Bona is also brewing coffee 24/7 to give customers a place to have their regular dose of caffeine anytime of the day and offers non-stop wi-fi access to everyone. “We had our share of trials like making the brand known in the beginning but we managed to grow because we were able to understand our customers. We have a place where people can work or read, have their coffee or talk to a friend,” says Candace.
86 KABUHAYAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Given the company’s unprecedented success, Luis and Candace have received serious offers to franchise its business. Bona Coffee is opening its doors to interested franchisees but is rather selective. “Yes, we are experiencing recession but there is a lot of faith involved in the brand. Besides, there will always be people who would want to drink coffee and look for that unique coffee experience. With regards to franchising, we are looking for the right people who would be able to maintain the overall look and feel of the store and find the right location and not open just about anywhere else,” the couple explain. While the company is focused on local growth, it is also seriously looking at the prospects of international expansion. Luis and Candace are aware of the strong presence of some of the biggest names in the coffee industry such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf here and abroad but they have so much faith in their own
products and services. “If others are proud of what they have, why shouldn’t we be? We’d like people to taste Filipino coffee done well,” says Candace. They also know for a fact that introducing Philippine coffee blends in other countries will post serious challenges at the outset but they believe it’s only a matter of time before they can capture the market.“You don’t have to be imported to be good. Philippine coffee has fallen behind only because we haven’t been getting the enough exposure. Not because ours is inferior. The only way to let people aware that we have excellent coffee is to keep on serving it. The challenge really is how to change the mindset of the people and we are confident we can do that,” says Luis. In fact, the most saleable coffee product of Bona is the signature house blend, its own version of black coffee, which is popular among local and surprisingly, foreign customers as well. From a two-man team, Bona Coffee has gone a long way but they refuse to embrace
commercialism. They continue to buy their beans directly from local farmers and pay them good price in return. “We are proud that our coffee is 100 percent Philippinegrown. All the ingredients we use that go to our coffee are from here and we’d like people to remember us for the Philippine blend,” says Candace. “And that’s what makes us purely Filipino,” Luis says. Luis Gonzalez and his wife Candace Schmidt
88 KABUHAYAN MONEY
Lessons from the global financial meltdown Words by Francisco Colayco
Filipino bankers have been saying that the Philippines and other developing countries are less affected by the worldwide crisis than first world countries like the USA and many in Europe. Why is this so? And will this continue to be the case the whole time the crisis is present?
We are still feeling the effects of the global downturn of financial markets. The situation is unprecedented and nobody really knows how soon or how long the recovery will take. More importantly, nobody knows how the financial markets will look like after the dust settles. The only fact we can be sure of is that investment banking will no longer wield the financial clout it used to have. Most players in the industry will have probably deleveraged and be more strongly capitalized. We will have more stable financial institutions. Unfortunately, this could also mean less velocity of money and less credit being made available even to qualified borrowers. The bottom line is we must all be more conservative and assume that our own economic prospects may not yet be as bright the coming year. These times call for belt tightening and aggressive pursuit of new income generating activities. These times also call for making sure that investments and loans are made only when the right fundamentals are there. When you invest, make sure you know what return
to expect, how much risk is involved in the investment and how long you must be prepared to keep your money invested. When you are borrowing, you must also make sure that your use of the funds will generate income sufficient to pay for the loan interest and principal. If your loan is of an ‘emergency’ nature, you must still make sure that you have enough cash flow from other sources that can pay for loan. Temporarily Spared The Philippines, at least, in the world of finance and investments infrastructure may be considered a conservative country. Because of this, we were ‘by-passed’ in most of the sub-prime and other creative investments that the big global investment bankers and other financial institutions like Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros., AIG, etc. concocted. We are a ‘borrower country’ and happily, we were spared the direct hit of the debacles caused by the sub-prime crisis. Sadly, this blessing could be temporary. If some institutions in the U.S. and Europe
were not hit directly, these will nevertheless suffer losses sooner or later because of the ‘domino effect.’ America represents almost 20% of the world’s consumption. The evaporation of this consumption spending has clearly led to massive global economic downturn. This has now reached our shores. We see today a great number of multinational companies go into major retrenching if not actually close shop all over the country. As we hear time and again, “When the United States catches a cold, the Philippines catches pneumonia.” Thus, we need to be prepared at all times. Less Credit Available To ensure their stability, banks are now extremely careful about the loans they give out. The pressure now is to make all assets productive in order to manage risks and be profitable. Clearly, in a situation where lending is somewhat restricted, banks cannot afford to have non-earning assets. Thus, while the collateral for loans continue to be a major requirement by banks, borrowers’ capacity to pay will be more important - as it should be.
KABUHAYAN MONEY There is much construction ongoing especially for housing units targeted to OFs and the retirement communities. The sale of these units was premised on the availability of loans based on sustained valuation of the real estate assets. Without those loans, it will be more difficult to dispose of the units. Fortunately, government provided loans from Pag-ibig remain available thus providing impressive growth to the low cost housing sector. With increased credit limits and longer terms, this remains as the one bright stars in our economy. Purpose Driven Investing In the midst of these difficulties, a main concern of most savers is where to invest what is being saved now? The answer is really quite obvious. First be clear on what your purpose is in investing. Your purpose will automatically define your financial goals in terms of the five basic parameters, namely: a) how much you want to accumulate and when; b) how much time you have to keep your funds invested c) for what purpose will you use this money; d) what average investment rate of return you need to achieve; and e) what level of risk you should be prepared to absorb. In all cases, given today’s uncertainties, capital preservation will most likely be the overriding consideration in most investments. This means that avoiding losses is the number one criterion in choosing the investment. Short Term vs Long Term Time is the greatest mitigator of risk. The longer the investment period, the lower the risk, the higher the potential return. As an investor generally is not able to control the actual returns of an investment, it is best to have time manage the risks. This is why for long term investors, it is very important that they leave their money alone once they
have invested it. Ideally, one must invest a fairly constant amount regularly. Then, the investment must be kept to compound over time, preferably a minimum of five (5) years. Investing regularly over a long period of time will allow the investment to weather the economic fluctuations and thus stabilize investment returns. Philippine Mutual Funds have yielded good returns over the last five years, including the year 2008 when capital markets practically crashed with more than 50% reduction in value. Over the period August 2005 through August 10, 2009, Equity Funds yielded a range of 13% to 18% annual compounded rate. Balanced Funds yielded an annual compounded return rate ranging from 10% to 14%, and Bond Funds, a range of 6% to 9% over the same period. For those whose need for funds is fairly short to medium term, the way to go is government securities and fundamentally sound corporate bond issues. Here the end game is regularity of income and safety of capital. One could also consider solid income earning real estate properties as a good hedge against inflation and volatility of the financial markets. And finally, when investing, spread the risks through diversification. As they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Strategic asset allocation is one other powerful tool that manages risks and stabilizes earnings. There Is Hope And Opportunity But inspite of all these, we should not lose hope. A most important principle, in the investment markets is - “What goes down will eventually go up again.” It is a matter of having the strength and courage to weather this storm. In purely financial terms, if you have investible funds, you must continue to invest regularly. This way you average your cost and stand to achieve much better returns in the future when markets will have stabilized. Market valuation today has begun to recover. Share prices of triple-A companies do not do justice to their real worth. This is bound to correct itself sooner or later. This is really the time to invest in these solid companies, especially those who have established dividends record. For your family and friends in the Philippines, we have FREE seminars on the following Saturdays at 4-6pm: 3rd October – SMCity Pampanga; SM Lucena 17th October; SM Baguio – 24th October. For those who need a deeper understanding of their financial situation and want legal retail investment options, we have special seminars. Contact Ms. Grace at +632-637-3741 or +6732-637-3731 for detailed information.
90 SUCCESSFUL PINOY SPIRITUALITY
Are You a Giver Or a Taker?
T’S SEPTEMBER already. The ber months have begun. In the Philippines, this is the beginning of the Holiday Season which peaks during the Christmas season in December. And the Holiday Season means shopping galore for Christmas gifts. Yes, it’s gift-giving time, and so I am reminded of an article I wrote about giving. It starts about this woman... She was nuts. When I was a teenager preaching in small prayer groups all over the country, I’d see this woman sneak into the room — trying hard to conceal her face —carrying a mammoth of a tape recorder inside a white plastic bag over her shoulder. And like clockwork, before I step down the pulpit, she’d sneak out and leave quietly, vanishing into thin air. This woman would be present in every single talk. I can only imagine the lunacy of this woman. If she wasn’t listening to me live, she was listening to me on tape. So naturally, when I go home, I knock on my mother’s door and say, “Mom, how many times do I have to tell you, stop doing that! You embarrass me!” My mother would open the door and with an innocent look that could win an Oscar ask, “Huh? What are you talking about?” But behind her, I could already hear my voice being played from her recorder. “Mom, you’re getting too proud,” I said, “and that’s pride just the same. Look at your room. It’s a national museum of my talks, my articles, my photos…” Mom said, “Bo, don’t you know that God has given mothers an exception to that rule? Mothers can be very proud of their children.” “Where did you read that? Vatican III?” “Go away now. I’m busy,” she said. No doubt about it. My Mother is the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Bo’s Fans Club International.
BY: BO SANCHEZ
Today, at 85 years old, she hasn’t changed. Every Sunday, I preach three times at the Feast, the Sunday Gathering - 8am, 10:30am, and 1pm.
Yes, she is the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Benedict and Francis Fans Club International — our two boys.
Would you believe? She attends all three sessions and listens to me preach every single time. Not content with that, before leaving the house on Sunday, she’ll first watch me preach at six in the morning on TV5.
When Bene was a toddler, he drew a line for the first time. She screamed, almost in tears, “Bo, look at your son! He was able to draw a line! A line!”
And from Monday to Saturday, she wakes up really early just to listen to me preach through Radio Veritas at five in the morning. And in the middle of the week, she’ll ask my sister to put on the internet so she can watch me at www. PreacherInBlueJeans.com Mom loves me. No doubt about it. I also remember one thing about her… Mothers Are Givers We were a big family. Six kids. And whenever there was a birthday or some other special event, we’d always have fried chicken. Like all kids, we would fight for the “drumstick.” Unfortunately, chickens — for some reason — only have two legs. All those years growing up, I always thought that Mom’s favorite part of the chicken was the neck. Because every time we had fried chicken, she chose it. Later on, I realized she chose that piece because no one wanted it. Why? Because my mother was a giver. I guess most mothers are givers. They’d rather starve as long as their kids are able to eat. I love my Mom. I really do. But I’ve resigned myself to this undeniable fact — that I’ll never love my mother more then she loves me. It’s impossible. She loves me so much. My heart is filled with love today because Mom and Dad loved me. I am who I am today because of that love. I repeat: I think most mothers are givers. My own wife is a giver too.
That’s the role of the mother and the father—to affirm, to inspire, to love. Today, my wife homeschools our kids. It’s not easy. I’m so proud of my wife. She gives 100% of herself when she teaches our boys at home. Each morning, she’d wake up early to prepare her lesson plans — for two little boys! She’d choose the activities, prepare test papers, and draw charts for them. She’d spread out the paraphernalia needed — crayons, scissors, clay, blocks, gizmos… Everyday, she’d teach our kids from 8am to 3pm. No doubt about it. My wife is a giver. I repeat: I believe most Mothers are givers. When they’re not, bad things happen. Why Many People Have Problems I thought all mothers and fathers are givers. Not true. How did I find out? In my 30 years of ministry, I’ve met people who have so much emotional baggage, so much hurt and violence in their heart, that they’ve made terrible choices in life. Consequently, they have monstrous problems. They have addictions. They have really bad relationships. And through the years, I’ve found out one common thing among most of them: Their parents weren’t givers. They were takers. Their mother or their father were selfish people — thinking only of themselves, shouting at their kids, beating them up, verbally abusing them, or abandoning them all together. When these children became adults, they made terrible choices in life, because they were so desperate for love — they had no anchor, no confidence, and no inner peace.
SPIRITUALITY SUCCESSFUL PINOY 91 Sometimes, the problem wasn’t selfishness. Just ignorance. “As a child,” my friend said, “my mother gave me away to her older sister - like I was a puppy.” Most of these people, now adults, still wonder why they were given away. They have a big hole in their hearts that they desperately want to fill. My friend, if your parents weren’t givers, go to God. God is the greatest giver. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. Yes, God is the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of your Fans Club International. He watches every step you make, listens to every word you say. He loves you so much. And He wants you to be a giver too. The Lifestyle of Giving Do you want to receive anything? More joy? More wisdom? More friends? More money? Here’s what you do: Give away that exact same thing that you want to receive. Because that’s how the universe works. Whatever you give, you receive. Take the case of wisdom. I give wisdom to people. I’ve written 14 books so far. (By the way, I recently launched my 15th book, titled, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.) But between the author and the reader, who gains more wisdom? The reader reads the book once. But the author rewrites his book ten times. Guess who remembers the truths more? Yes, I give wisdom. But I gain ten times the wisdom I give away. Or how about happiness? Who are the happiest people in the world? Those who are able to give happiness to others. That’s just how God made the world. We receive what we give away. Even money. When God Blesses Our Tithing Yesterday at our meeting, I asked Randy Borromeo to share his story with us. Randy is our Feast preacher in Makati and the guy in charge of our media ministry. Like me, Randy gave his life to God when he was 12 years old. He shared how as a young kid, he started tithing or giving 10% of his allowance to God. When he was a teenager, he recalled that life was hard. He had nine siblings. And one day, his helper Aling Esther said,
“Randy, there’s no food in the house.” Randy told her, “Pray to the Lord. God will provide. So Aling Esther prayed, “Lord, give us four viands!” Randy was shocked. “Aling Esther, why did you ask for four viands? One is enough!” He turned around and prayed, “Lord, you better answer her prayer. I don’t want us to lose face.” A few minutes later, someone rang the doorbell. Randy opened the gate and saw a woman carrying a tray of food. It was Mrs. Cabigao, their neighbor. “It’s my birthday today,” said. “I hope you can use some food…” Randy quickly counted the viands on the tray. There were four viands! As the family gathered around the table, still mesmerized by how God blessed them, the doorbell rang again. When they opened the gate, it was Mrs. Cabigao again, this time bringing ice cream for everyone. God gave more than what they asked for. Randy said, “Even if life was hard, I tithed. Because I saw that God cannot be out-given.” And almost 30 years later, he continues to tithe. Whatever he gave, God gave back to him many times over. Let me share with you one last story. Be a Giver Until the End One day, a woman was dying of cancer. In a few days, she would celebrate her birthday. And deep in her heart, she knew it was the last birthday she’ll ever have. But
there was no bitterness or sadness. So she called all her closest friends and invited them all to a party. She told them the truth: “You better come,” she said, “because I think this will be my last birthday party.” Her friends came and they had lots of laughter together. After the meal, she brought all of them to her living room. She faced them and said, “For years, I was in the gathering phase of my life. Today, I’m no longer in that phase. I’m in the surrendering phase. As I’m about to depart this earth, I no longer need material things. I have only one need in my life now. I need to love. I need to love you. So before you go home, please allow me to love you…” She then spread on the table all her most precious belongings—a favorite teacup, a lovely pitcher, a scarf, a warm jacket, a watch, a few pieces of jewelry… She said to her friends, “Please bring one gift that you need. I don’t need any of them anymore. So that every time you use it, hold it, or look at it, you’ll remember that I love you. It’ll be our connection.” Many tears were shed in that party. But much laughter as well. Six weeks later, this woman went to Heaven. She was a wise woman. She gave until the last breath of her life. She knew the language of Heaven.
92 SUCCESFUL PINOY SUCCESS PRINCIPLES
Develop Existing Relationships Towards Success Words by Jeffrey ‘Ximo’ Ramos
Successful Pinoys do not burn bridges but keep them as strong as possible. Alam kasi nila na ang maayos na pakikipagrelasyon ay daan tungo sa maayos na buhay, at sa isang maayos na buhay mahihirapang dumapo ang ‘corrupt’ na tagumpay. So sis and bro, start building existing man ito ng pabalik, mayroon na itong lamat. relationships towards success and find real Kaya ingatan ang klase ng bolang ito. Ito power in it. na nagbibigay sa iyo ng dagdag na lakas at hingahan ng iyong kahinaan. A relationship is a fragile glass ball As you taste the sweetness of your success, you will have to juggle different types of ‘balls’ in your life. You will be throwing and catching your career, your finances, your personal goals, and others. Minsan sa sobra mong tension at ‘di tamang pagbalanse, puwede mong maihulog ang isa sa mga bolang ito. The good thing about careers and finances or even ambitions is that when you drop them, they can still bounce back. Pahinga ka lang, compose yourself and rethink how you can be back on track again, because those ‘balls’ are made of rubber. Unfortunately not all ‘balls’ are like that. May mga bola na kapag iyong nabitawan ay nababasag – and relationship is one of them. It is made of glass – kagaya ng iyong relasyon sa iyong asawa, sa pamilya o sa matalik na kaibigan. Kung tsumamba ka at tumalbog
Be polite, always “There are many ways to run a country. But there is only one way to treat people – with decency and respect for their uniqueness as individuals”. - Corazon C. Aquino First Woman President of the Philippine Republic
Being polite is a quality that shows respect and consideration to other people – to new acquaintances and old friends. Naalala ko tuloy yung nabasa kong istorya na ikinuwento mismo ni Richard Branson na nangyari sa kanya. I want to share it with you in my own words. Papunta si Richard Branson sa isang appointment at nagmamadali siyang sumakay ng taxi. Nung nasa loob na siya at babasahin na sana niya ang kanyang dalang newspaper,
biglang nagsalita ang taxi driver. Tinanong siya nito kung siya nga si Richard Branson na mayari ng Virgin Records. Politely, umoo naman si Richard. Sa katuwaan ng taxi driver, panay na ang kuwento nito sa kanya at sinabing singer siya sa gabi at nag da-drive lang siya sa umaga. Pero kahit medyo naiirita na si Richard, pinakinggan pa rin niya ang driver. Sa pagpapatuloy, sinabi pa nito na mayruon siyang kanta na nasa tape na gusto niyang iparinig sa kanya. Sa isip-isip lang ni Richard, “he is just like the others who would want to be discovered”. Inaya nito si Richard na mag tsaa muna sa kanilang bahay na malapit lang naman at siguradong matutuwa raw ang kanyang nanay. Wala na ring magawa si Richard dahil sa maayos nitong pagkakaimbita, kaya pumayag na rin siya. Ilang minuto lang ay huminto na sila sa bahay ng driver, bumaba ito at pinagbuksan ng pinto si Richard Branson, sabay tanggal ng sumblero at ngiti sa kanya. Buti na lang maayos ang pakikitungo niya sa driver, ang sabi ni Richard because ‘you will never know who you will meet on the road’. Biro mo si Phil Collins pala ang driver ng taxi ng araw na iyon!
May tatakbuhan ka ba sa panahon ng matinding pangangailangan? Kabayan, sa panahon ng hindi inaasahang kagipitan tulad ng aksidente, malaking operasyon, pinsala dahil sa anu mang emergency gaya ng sunog at iba pang “acts of nature” – may mahihingan ka ba ng tulong? At sa tagal ng pinagtrabaho mo dito sa ibang bansa, ikaw ba ay may insurance coverage na nakalaan kung anu’t ano man ang mangyari?
SUMALI SA FILEX Ang foundation na binuo upang makapaglikom ng pondo para makatulong sa mga Filipino expats sa UAE sa panahon ng matinding pangangailangan.
MAGING MIEMBRO NGAYON Lahat ng mga Filipino dito sa UAE – 18 years old and above, ay maaring sumali sa Filex. Membership Fees: 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP - AED10 contribution plus AED15 para sa annual insurance, or LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP – AED 30 plus AED15 taon-taon para sa annual insurance coverage.
MGA BENEPISYO Ang mga miembro ng Filex na nakapagbayad ng katumbas ng 3 minimum contributions (o lifetime membership) ay maaring tumanggap ng tulong na financial mula sa foundation base sa pagsusuri at angkop na pasya ng Filex Board. Ang financial aid facility ay magsisimula sa June 2009. Lahat ng mga miembro ng Filex na may valid UAE residence visa at nagbayad ng karampatang insurance fee (AED 15 per year) ay magkakaroon ng annual insurance coverage na may kasamang accidental death, total disability, medical and repatriation of remains to the Philippines. Ang lahat ay makakatanggap ng angkop na insurance certificates.
Maging miyembro na ng FILEX ngayon. Mga kabayan,atin ito. MEMBERSHIP & INQUIRIES Upang sumali, tumawag sa Membership Committee headed by Isabel Warren ng Dubai (call Raffy at 04-3417964) and co-chaired by Fred Camba ng Abu Dhabi (call Myrna at 050 5610489). Para sa iba pang mga detalye, katanungan at verification, maari ring tumawag sa mga FILEX Executive Directors: Rene Mallo : 050 641 0718 Al Ruwais, Kent Amores : 0559954397 Abu Dhabi, Thesma Talinga : 0506935411 Al Ain, Gina T. Salazar : 0506527041 Dubai, Justino Arciga : 0506967001 Sharjah, Ronnie Bonifacio : 0501901343 Fujairah, Maria Luisa ‘ Mar’ Catu: 0506271599 Ras Al Khaimah, Augusto S. Marcia l: 0508618734 Umm Al Quwain Visit our website: www.filexpat.org or e-mail to:firstname.lastname@example.org Ang FILEX ay isang non-stock non-profit corporation na rehistrado sa Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
FILIPINO EXPATRIATES IN UAE FOUNDATION INC. S.E.C. Company Registration No. CN200809554 Under the Auspices of the Philippine Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Hotline No.: +971-50-181-5129
94 SUCCESFUL PINOY SUCCESS PRINCIPLES Make your existing ground a fruitful ground Kadalasang pinagmumulan ng corruption ay inggit at galit na nanggagaling sa mga taong nakapaligid sa iyo – sa mismong kapamilya mo. Kung susuriin mo, madalas nagkakaruon ng inggitan dahil kapag umangat na ang isang miyembro ay iniiwanan na niya ang mga taong kanyang nilakihan. Nagkakaruon tuloy ng masamang relasyon, na nagiging sanhi ng awayan at sumbatan. Sabihin mo ng hindi kasi sila nag pursige na kagaya mo, pero hindi ito dahilan upang hindi mo sila maisama tungo sa pagbabago. Sa ganitong paraan mailalagay sa kanilang isipan na ang tagumpay ay para sa lahat. Mag heart-to-heart talk Once, when I was at Jollibee, I overheard a loud conversation from a family. At their table, the three kids were discussing with their parents what they would want to take up in college. The girl who seemed the eldest, said she wants to be an architect as she likes to draw buildings and bridges. The younger one then interrupted with a loud voice, “I want to be an Engineer, so that you will be under me” and he laugh. The youngest said he wanted to a computer expert dahil “papindot-pindot lang” daw at magaling raw siya sa computer games. Nakaka-aliw sila pero hindi kaya nabibingi yung mga magulang nila sa grabeng sigawan ng mga bata? I stopped reading and observed more. Then, finally, as the restaurant staff brought their order the family turned silent. Ang maririnig lang ay yung bukasan ng mga burger wrappers, ngata ng fries at kagat ng manok at spaghetti. I was still observing them – what happened next was even more interesting. I saw that somehow the now silent happy family was still discussing - with their eyes, smiling at each other as if they are still talking while their mouths were busy munching away. Doon ko napagisipan that there can be success in a relationship if there is more talking of the hearts – there is a deeper understanding. It is when the mouth closes and hears instead, the ears open to listen for more, and the eyes look to speak. Successful contacts
Endless contacts are sourced through a successful network. And a successful network is created not because you are rich or good looking but because you have good interpersonal relationships with people. Sabi
nga, magaling sa pakikisama. Dito ko masasabing napaka-successful ng aking mother dear. You ask her something, and she will tell you kung sino ang puwede mong lapitan. She is like a walking network, a phone directory for general services. She is a woman of genuine relationships. Kapag may kailangan ang kahit sino, si ‘Auntie Lou’ or ‘Mommy Lou’ ang tatawagin. At vice versa kapag si mommy ang nangangailangan, marami siyang nalalapitan. Ang lagi niyang sinasabi sa amin is - “Be genuine when you help – dapat walang kapalit. Yuon ang tunay na pakikipag-kapwa. At kapag ganito ang iyong ginawa, lumipas man ang panahon, malayo ka pa, ikaw mismo ay sinasalubong.” She keeps a directory of names, and phone numbers sa isang notebook which is very useful as reference to all of us when she is not around. Kaya start making your own network. Magumpisa ka sa mga taong close at loyal sa iyo. Have your own book. And if you meet someone, try to see if they connect with anybody else to understand the person better. Magugulat ka na lang, madali mo lalong maiintindihan ang mga tanong mo tungkol sa kanya, tulad ng bakit, kailan at kung saan. Restore relationships that are falling apart “BROTHERS is spelled as OTHERS with a B and an R” - Remedios Maximos - -
Huwag mo nang hintayin pa na ikaw ang lapitan. You can do it by talking or writing a letter. Alam ko, it takes effort and pride to make the first move, but the sooner you do this, the sooner you feel better. Third, empathize not only sympathize. Feel what the other person is feeling. Think, what if you were in her shoes - how would you feel? The secret is to listen more and feel more. Fourth, admit your fault. It always takes two to tango. Kahit pa sabihin mong siya ang nag umpisa, at napa- sigaw ka lang dahil nainis ka. Shouting at her did not resolve the problem but caused another problem. If you are serious enough to restore the relationship, you have to admit your part. Fifth, attack the problem not each other! Halos lahat naman ng pinagtatalunan ay dahil sa issue na ‘di mapagkasunduan. Hindi dahil sa inyong dalawa. You might be seeing it in a different perspective and so does she - which makes both of you correct. So, attack the issue. Magagawa mo ito by talking soft and calm. Remember: once you raise your voice, you have to do the steps over again. Lastly, focus on reconciliation. Concentrate on restoring the relationship. You may not have solved the problem right away but when you have fixed your relationship, sometimes, the issue does not matter anymore. This does not mean you will not solve the problem anymore. You may still have to discuss, but this time in a very ‘civil’ way.
Bro, you can restore any of your relationships which are falling apart. I will tell you how:
Heaven has ordained you to restore your relationships on earth. You were even told to be ambassadors of reconciliation. Sinabi Niya sa atin na bago tayo maghain ng kahit ano sa Kanya, we shoud reconcile first with our brothers.
First, ask someone to listen to your situation. Tell your planned approach and see if they can give you sound advice. Second, initiate.
Kaya sis and bro di lang sa langit ka Niya gustong magtagumpay - maging dito sa lupa man!
Pinoy Believer of Peace
Onli In Da Pilipins - 1. n. a phrase used to define anything or anyone that only exists anywhere in the 7,107 islands of the Philippines || 2. adj. a phrase used to describe a Pinas episode or a Pinoy persona so rare one would never find anywhere else in the WWW (whole, wide world). It merits a documentation of some sort.
Pinoy Power Words by Aby Yap
We have smiling showbiz superstars whose magazine cutout photos are all over our bedroom walls. We have political notoriety, er, royalty, whose pocket calendar collections — from election campaigns to Christmas greetings — fatten our weary wallets. And we also have this special lot, a select few, that’s confined to neither walls nor wallets, nor are they just mere household names. We call them our Pinoy icons; whose greatness we embrace as our own. We know them too well — from their net worth to their favorite color. We can even recount their tales of triumphs and failures like we recite the rosary every night. And no, it’s not (just) because we’re afflicted with the FC (feeling close) syndrome; it’s perhaps because the sense of pride they give us as Filipinos rouses a deeper sense of national belonging.
So, we welcome them to our home, unwittingly transcending all kababayan ties, to become our kapamilya and kapuso. Power of the People The Philippines’ first female president, Asian Hero, world democracy champion, world history shaper, people power saint, messiah — Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino had been called a thousand grand titles, but she will always remain Tita Cory to many of us. Yes, Tita Cory to the post-1986 born as much as to those who are a century old. Her rank was alongside Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and even Mother Theresa, but we’d see her on The Buzz playing with Baby James and giving a video message to her always controversial daughter Kris. And we wouldn’t be the least surprised, just envious; Tita Cory seemed
FILIPINISMS 97 to be a loving mother and a doting lola. We might hate Kris’ old massacre movies, her tactlessness, or her high-pitched singsong voice, even Kris herself — but not Tita Cory. We must have thought her fashion taste baduy then, but the color yellow never held so much significance until she came out in public rallying against the murder of her husband Ninoy and the death of democracy. We must have decried her boring spectacles and ‘housewife’ simplicity, but she never used taxpayers’ money to buy thousands of shoes or splurged on a US$20,000 dinner. We must have labeled her Miss Goody Two Shoes because of how she seemed to confront issues, big or small, through prayers. But we have never witnessed a revolution that used flowers and rosaries versus battle guns and tanks win the war. We must have blamed her for those military coup attempts, the Mendiola massacre, the endless poverty, the Erap reconciliation among others, but she never wavered in her sincere wish to be a good leader. We honestly felt Tita Cory tried to do the best that she could. And though we ordinary people can never have a street, a road, or an orchid named after her, or have her proclaimed National Hero by PGMA or Saint Cory by the Pope, to pay her a tribute, there may be a couple of things we can do. One, wait patiently for the new PhP500 bills, which will have Tita Cory and Ninoy together again, and have a bill framed and hung in the sala. Two, which is a serious proposal only for the brave, continue the Laban she and Ninoy started. No, there’s no need to overexercise our vocal chords singing Magkaisa and Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo in a loop. The fight to defend the freedom that was once almost gone is hard, that’s for sure. But it’ll be easier this time; Tita Cory showed us already how to live the fight. We just have to believe that Filipinos are worth living for as much as we’re worth dying for. Power of the Pacman His fists can knock out anyone he set his eyes on — even as good-looking as Oscar De La Hoya. The numbers don’t lie: 37 knockouts out of 49 wins with only three losses. His fights can freeze warring groups, hardened criminals, and the traffic — for this alone, the Pacman deserves to be a National Hero (Or a Saint perhaps? After all, it’s a miracle!). His titles are overwhelming: WBC world flyweight, IBF world super bantamweight, WBC world super featherweight, WBC world lightweight, OPBF flyweight, WBC international super bantamweight, WBC international super featherweight, and IBO world light welterweight champion. The
list doesn’t yet include his Ring Magazine’s and lineal championship’s titles. And you haven’t even heard about his net worth! He’s been named the best boxer, the greatest fighter, the #1 pound for pound, the champion of the champions — all superlatives come together now — but this 40 million dollar baby’s worth to the Pinoys is priceless. And that was even before Manny Pacquiao, the world’s sixth highest paid athlete today, became a member of the Forbes mag’s elite group of 100 celebrities with the most staggering income. Well, sina Angelina Jolie, David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kimi Räikkönen, and Tiger Woods lang naman. Oh alright, Manny Pacquiao is the man of the moment — and Pinoys everywhere are all dying with envy. (Coach Freddie Roach, can we still learn how to punch exactly the way Pacman does it?) But wait until the next boxing bout and the green monster will die instantly. All of us will reschedule whatever gimik we have just to watch Manny astonish the whole world again with his ‘da moves.’ All Filipino mothers will join Aling Dionesia in praying the rosary for his son’s safety as if he were their son — without expecting for any balato. We’ll cheer for Jinkee’s husband every time he throws jabs to the opponent’s face. We’ll lament for the father of Michael, Jemmuel, Princess, and Queen Elizabeth if and when he receives blows — although this is rarely the case. We’ll rejoice and have a party if
Manny wins; we’ll cuss the referee and the other boxer if Manny loses. We might have forwarded a few Pacquiao jokes on the cell phone and laughed at his standard “you know, you know” script. We might have shaken our heads rather vigorously every time he’d say he’ll run for a government post. But the Pacman will always represent the Pinoy — win or lose. Because in every sign of the cross that he does before, during, and after a game, we’re reminded of our own hopes and sufferings. And every time he willfully stops himself in beating his foe black and blue, we see the strength and goodness of our character. So, we yell “Fight, Pacman, fight!” until our larynx gives up on us. Pacquiao can sing Para sa ‘yo ang laban na ‘to all he wants and we’ll just listen, gloating in the power of his performance while enjoying a saucer of roasted highland legumes.
The Annie B (Batobalani) Chronicles The adventures and misadventures of a ‘not so average’ Pinay trying to make it in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai. Photography by Jit Sangalang
Confessions of a
Social Butterfly Growing up as young barrio lass in our own little barangay Bagumbayan in the sleepy town of Orion located in the brave province of Bataan, I knew that someday my Prince Charming will come. Thanks to all the Sharon Cuneta movies and soap operas I repeatedly watched over and all over again, I dreamed of my own Gabby Concepcion, my Enteng Kabisote, my Fernando Jose, my David Garcia Jr. Up to this very same day, I know all along over the rainbow that true love awaits me – and together with it comes the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Yan may dagdag nang kakapanood ng E! Channel yan. Hihihihihi!
I belive in fairy tales. I know that all the pain, sacrifices and hard work that I’ve lived for will someday be rewarded with fame, fortune and glory – basta ba good girl ako – alam ko na balang-araw makaka-jackpot din ako. After all, every cloud has a silver lightning. So I raise my hand and pray. Ay, kanta pala ni Mandy Moore yun. Simple lang naman ang pangarap ko: to marry a rich, handsome, God-fearing man that’s also thoughtful, faithful,
honest, successful, fashionable, 6-foot tall, healthy, wealthy, fragrant, businessminded, sense of homourous, jetsetting and charitable. Simple lang di ba?
Yun bang someone who will treat me like a princess. That’s what we’re all long for, di ba? Somebody who will pamper me and shower me with all the luxuries in life. A life that I’ve never dreamed of in my wildest dreams: A penthouse in New York, a mansion in London, a villa in Spain, to become a globetracker, a jetcenter, a fashion icon wearing all the most expensive luxury brands – Bulgavi, Chanel, Escada, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci (ayoko na ng Louis Vuitton – marami na nyan sa Karama eh) – ahhhh, all that glitters in this world! To meet famous people – business tycoons and royalities, celebrities and high society. To dine and wine and dessert in the most fabulous restaurants in the key cities around the globe. Lahat yan – the sky’s the langit! Yung puro cash and compliments of - hindi credit card na nagma-max out at babayarang walang katapusan buwan buwan.
Nakakasawa na rin kasi tong buhay kong ito. Tuwing sweldo, hindi ko man lang matikman ang fruits of my labor of love. Sa dami ng bayarin na walang humpay: renta sa flat, water and electricity, groceries, toiletries, credit card, personal loan, remittance sa Pilipinas…..Araw-araw, gising ng alas sais ng umaga (if not I’ll loose my turn sa banyo), abang ng carlift, papa-alipin sa mga walang consuelong mga amo, malitson at malusaw sa init ng panahon, makipagsiksikan ng parang sardines sa loob ng isang kwarto, panay na lang window shopping, kailangan pang mag-abang ng susunod na SALE o kaya bumiyahe pa para pumunta sa far and away na Outlet Mall - makatikim lang ng fashion brands - haaaayyy, paulit-ulit na lang, walang katapusan – somebody save meeeeeehh!!! My Prince Charming – where art daaaawww???!!! Hanggang sa magtagpo ang aming landas… One day one of my boss - still recovering from his latest liposuction surgery - couldn’t make it to an art exhibit - a classy event featuring the Who’s Who and A-Least in Dubai. Not letting this
MyAdam! I’m in love... dizzizit opportunity go to waste, I used the invitation to get into the event. Sa wakas may naging silbi na rin ang mga outfits ko from the baul. So may-I sachet the red carpet ang beauty ko – feeling ‘Breakfast at Tipanan’…este ‘Tiffany’s’ ang drama ko. Complete ang bonggang event with media coverage ng Ahlan and What’s On magazine – Dubai’s high society! Somebody asked me, “So who are you wearing?” Without battling my eyelash, sabi ko “Audrey Hepburn!” Akala nila hindi ako upto date sa mga Hollywood classics ha? Dizzizit! Carpet Diem!!! Sees the date. After a couple of drinks – Cosmopolitan, of course – and robbing elbows with socialites and fashion executives (mga dabarkads ng mga boss ko at mga suppliers namin) – I got a drink from an aninomous person. Ganda ko di ba? Then this tall, black and white haired white guy approaches me. “Cheers!” sabi nya. “No, this is vodka. Not Cheers….” sey ko naman. Tumawa lang sya. Ang gwapooooooo!!! He’s a looks-alike of Richard Gere…na may halong Dick Israel. Basta. Sya si Adam. An American businessman from New York who’s into publishing. He’s in town daw for business. “Official business or monkey business???” tanong ko. Aba, natawa na naman. In fairness, aliw sya sa akin. At hindi sya snub unlike other sossy guys in that event. Basta kahit anong sabihin ko na-aaliw sya. Gosh…am I that funny and weetty? Akala ko nga may tinga ako sa
ngipin eh – kasi palagi lang sya naka-ngisi habang nakatingin sa akin. Haba ng hair ko no? So we exchanged numbers. Like that, you know? The next day he calls me and invites me for brunch. Dizzizit!!! Mayamaya pa may Bentley with matching chowffer nang sumusundo sa akin. Tulo-laway ang echoserang tambay at mga kapitbahay sa flat ko. Manigas kayo sa inggit! Sa hotel kami mag-brabrunch. I arrive at the Fairmont – OMG! Sa Penthouse sya nakatira!!! Jackpot ka, Annie B! Pero syempre hindi ako nagpahalata na jologs ako… baka ma-turn off kasi sya eh. I figured out, sa yaman at sosyal ni Adam for sure he has been with women of style and luxury – so I must act like one! From that day on, my life become to change. As in! From his hotel Penthouse suite he took me to the Atlantis at The Palm to have tea at Plato’s Lounge. Juice ko, mag-tsa-tsaa lang sa Atlantis pa – saan ka pa???!!! Tapos, for dinner, he introduced me to his friends – sa Splendido - a fantastic Italian restaurant at the Ritz. Syempre nag-spaghetti ako. Yun na yata ang pinaka-mahal na pasta na in-order ko ever… All of his friends puro mga bigtime – CEOs and Managing Directors – I really had to blend in. Ika nga nila, first impression is last. Kaya pakitang-gilas talaga ako. “Bon Apiteeth!” I greeted everyone as we started to eat our dinner. Aba, naloka sila. Sabi ko I speak Italian eh. Oui!
Da car... da haws... da datung... da pabulus! Don’t get me wrong. Call me pasosyal na or something – but in this situation I really had to improvise. Siguradong kapag nalaman nila na isang hamak na empleyado lang ako eh malamang hindi nila ako seryosohin. Besides, I had to be at far with Adam’s level – baka sabihin nila kung saan saan lang nya ako napulot. What do they think of me? Thinking of them? And I own it to Adam – I wanted to make sure he will be proud of me. Kasi I really can tell that he is so fun of me. Everytime he looks at me he is always smiling at me – well, can I help it? I can’t. Anyway, the feeling is actual. Dizzizit! I had to re-invent myself. I told them that I am Anniebee, a fashion buyer with a degree in Fashion Design from Harvard University; I grew up in our family owned-hacienda, that my parents are top government officials in my country; we own several houses in Forbes Park in Manila, in Central Park in New York and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Melrose Place; that I speak multi-languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, British, Australian, Singaporean and
Tagalog, of course. Hay naku, bilib na bilib sila! Malay mo, malay ko, Malaysia! As far as to whom it may concerned, I am a woman of the world! When Adam and I went clubbing, he took me to The 400 Night Club - Dubai’s most exclusive members only party place. Imagine, ka-join ako sa 400 list? Grabeeee, nakaka-overwell. Sa totoong buhay siguro pang 3,625,926 ako… aayyyy!!! Kakaiba ang projection dito – malayo sa tambayan kong Chikka Grill. Doon hataw sumayaw sa dancefloor ang mga kabayan pero dito nakatayo lang ang mga utaw – lahat may hawak na drinks at yosi pero hindi sumasayaw - kumekembot lang ng slight at nagtitinginan lang mula ulo hanggang paa hanggang mabali ang mga leeg nila – buti na lang pangperformance level ang outfit ko. Very Jackie-O meets Tessa Prieto Valdez! “You like my outfit? It’s by Jimmy Chew…” Mabuti na lang at hindi nila inusisa ang bag kong Secosana. Echoserang frog! But secrets are made to be broken. I knew all along that it’s only a matter in time. In one of our conversations, one of Adam’s friends asked me about my plans this summer. So I told them that I might go skiing at the Maldives soon. Aba, nagtawanan sila. I knew they were making fond of me. Na-feel ko talaga. “You just don’t get it, Annie….” sabi nung isa, sabay tawa ulit. “How there you!!!” sabay walk out ako. Mala-Rosalinda nang inapi sya ng mga high society friends ni Fernando Jose. Hmp! Napahiya ako, ‘day! Hinabol ako ni Adam. Masakit man sa loob ko, syempre tumigil
ako. Magmaganda ba ako? Heller???!!! “Stop it, Annie.” sabi nya. “Stop making a fool out of yourself. You don’t have to pretend…just be true to yourself.” Ibig sabihin alam nya na japeyks ako??? “I’m sorry Adam, I only did what I did because I wanted to belong to your class…and for you to like me. I’m only human nature.” “No need, Annie. I like you the way you are. You make me happy.” Ganooooon??? Sus, afterall what I’ve bring to??? Hirap na hirap pa man din ako all along. Akala ko pa naman sulit ang lahat ng E for effort ko. Mabubuking din pala ako. To cut the short story, Adam forgave me. I promised him no more lies and pretensions from that day on. It really felt good – to be myself – the real Annie B. – the same old provincial lass trying to make it big in this cosmopolitan city – the same girl that caught the fancy of his eye when they first met. I’ve also shown him my world – been to my flat and introduced him to my friends, took him to favorite spots in the city. Pinatikim ko na rin sa kanya ang homemade bagoong ko. He hates it! Ahihihihi. Pasok, Kuh Ledesma! “Is this love… Feeling restless inside...Wanting you to always be my side...I don’t even want you out of my sight…You are in my thoughts all day and night…can’ get you out of my mind…I think I’m in love……”
Don’t leave meeh! “Sabeeeeeel…this must be loooooove!!!” sabi ba naman ni Carmi Martin??? Pero biglang sabat ni Barbra Streisand, “Some good things never last”. Sabi rin nina Joey Albert, Martin Nievera at Lani Misalucha, “Sa bawat pag-ikot ng ating buhay…May oras na tayo’y kailangang maghiwalay…” This fairy tale is far from being a happy ending yet. My honeybunch Adam cannot stay in Dubai all the time. Being the successful businessman that he is, he always has to travel all the time. And Dubai is just a stopover for him, well…..for the mean time. Kaya pala hindi pa sya nag-a-I love you sa akin. Hanggang “I like you” at “You make me happy” pa lang. Kasi hindi pa nya kayang mag-commit. Pero ok lang sa akin. Basta ba masaya kami kapag magkasama kami eh. At the moment ang set up namin is he comes to town every two weekends in a month. The trouble with hello is goodbye ang drama naming – pero it’s all worth it. At least nakaka-focus pa rin ako sa aking career. Bahala na si Bro kung saan patutungo itong relasyon namin. We’ll just burn the bridge when we get there. Malay mo, you can never can tell. Basta mga sis, huwag kalimutan: upang makamit ang tunay na ligaya, uminom lang ng madaming Sprite. Magpakatotoo ka, sister!
102 ILLUSTRADO FACES Celebrating innate Pinoy charm
Photography by Eros Goze Fashion courtesy of Giordano
ILLUSTRADO FACES 103 Celebrating innate Pinoy charm
Sarita de Tagle
Photography by Eros Goze Fashion courtesy of Giordano
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