Page 1











JOEL CRUZ “Lord of the Scents” Ms. Philippines USA 2016 PAL Coffee Table Book Launch WCOPA Winners

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 1

7/27/2016 3:25:57 AM

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 2

7/27/2016 3:26:02 AM


Editor’s Note Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor August…wow! A few more months and we will be celebrating our first year anniversary. Time does fly when you’re having fun. And we sure are having so much fun, making sure that we keep you, our audience entertained. Challenging but very rewarding. So many days being celebrated this month. Delicious days like National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, National Banana Split Day, or silly days like Work Like A Dog Day (how does one work like a dog?), and Wiggle Your Toes Day. Still, some are more loving like Sister’s Day and Friendship Day. Now, these I could use – Lazy Day and Relaxation Day. There’s one thing that stood out for me, though, “The Philippine Languages Month.” I wasn’t aware of this before. The Philippines having so many languages that it is incredible how people understand each other, even before Filipino became the National language, and before the English language was introduced. No matter what we want to celebrate this month, it being the National Back to School Month in the US, is the time when families are trying to enjoy the last days of summer, before the coldness

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 3

and gloom of the coming months kick in. A time to capture happy memories together before the kids are whisked off to school. Going to their last minute family trips, picnics, gatherings; creating happy memories under the sun before life goes back to normalcy - the hustle and bustle of juggling family life with school-aged children and holding jobs. Vacation is over! Parents rushing to get the school supplies needed, school orientations attended, whew! I feel for you moms and dads with small children out there. Yes, indeed, laze around for a little bit more, reflect on the wonders that nature delivers, enjoy the humidity for a while, the beach weather, the torrid season, which brings beauty – magnificent lightning display, rainbows after the rain, flowers in full bloom. Nature’s bounty at its best, colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market. Such a contradicting yet a very fascinating month. Before I forget, it is also the “Happiness Happens Month,” so enjoy! Be Happy!!! Correction: We apologize for the omission of the column “Walk My Way” by Mayenne Carmona from our Masthead, July 2016 issue.

7/27/2016 3:26:03 AM




Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor Associate Editor Antonette B. Ang

Island Living Randy Antonio

Contributing writers: MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia

Photographers: Benny Uy, Rudy Autor, Willie Cheng, Phillip Ner Jon Bermejo, Richard Dizon, Gerry Edra

Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga

Social Media Photographer: Celia Abuel “PaparrazzCel”

Walk my Way Mayenne Carmona

Events/Food/Travel Grace Aguilar Icee Cruz

Metro Scene Joy Fong LONDON, UK UK na UK Ela Hidalgo NEW YORK, USA On Call Romulo Aromin, Jr. MD LAS VEGAS, USA Vegas Vibes Esmeralda Padilla-Gould FLORIDA, USA Life’s Journey Melody Garcia WASHINGTON, DC Around D.C. Anette Bacani A. LOS ANGELES, USA Reflections of Hope Rev. R.D Quema Beautiful Life Monet Lu On the Beat Fe Koons Over a Cup of Tea Malou Mariano

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 4

HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton

Photo Editor Joe Cobilla Director of Advertising Andy Z. Edralin Associate Marketing and Advertising Gilda Pineda Dionela – London, UK Art Director Hydee Abrahan Creative Consultant Noli Yu Graphic Layout John Ernest Gregory Webmaster Isidric Panganiban MANILA UP! MAGAZINE 2720 W. Avenue 32, LA, CA 90065, USA Email: Website: http// Follow us: FB, Twitter, Instragram Tumblr, Issuu, Magcloud Articles published in this paper do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. ISBN 231-256-2-16

7/27/2016 3:26:03 AM

Gina F. Ronquillo


“God is myCompass” By Anette Bacani A.

Gina F. Ronquillo, the 3rd child of six children to Dolores Faustino Ronquillo and Sidro C. Ronquillo, grew up in Bulacan, in a typical simple Filipino childhood. She is the granddaughter of the great artist, Roman Faustino, who painted the “I shall return of Douglas McArthur,” which is displayed at the National Museum. Her father’s tutelage about business at a very young age helped paved a way for her good business acumen, and her great success in the business world. Due to family circumstances, and not having much on her plate, she decided to work at a young age and became an entrepreneur. Soon enough, she became the top Institutional Sales Manager of Eternal Plans from the year 2000 to the present. She managed to set up businesses of her own to support and help family members, and the people around her, while working for Eternal Plans. She is the President of WVS1 Trading, Inc., Vice Chairman of Manila Pianos, Inc., along with her fiance’ Willem Van Suijdam, and a consultant and partner to different power businesses, both in the Philippines and abroad. She loves the business world. “Business is a war, but as long as you know how to get along with people, success is not impossible.” A far cry from her dreams of becoming a doctor when she was a little girl. Having gone through so much in life, she draws her strength from God, her loving family, and friends, and they help motivate her to go on. Reading her answers to the interview questions that I sent her (here are a few), I can’t help but admire this woman. Her courage and faith in God are so inspiring. Life must’ve been tough on her, but she survived and overcame. MU: Any challenges encountered in life, which made you the strong person that you are today? GFR: Challenges are in life every day, it is just a temporary situation. They are saying that it will either break you or make you. Challenges made me the person that I am today. And I’m mastering the attitude of not consuming my energy on unnecessary things. If I cannot do something about any problem that I encounter, I just leave it all to God. With God, nothing is impossible. MU: I’m not sure if you want to discuss your being a cancer survivor with us, but just in case, how was it for you? Going thru’ that can be very tough. GFR: I am, and I claim a cancer survivor. I thank God every day. He’s continuously showing me. His mercy and love, giving me people who love me and helping me conquer the Big C. MU: Any life lessons you want to share with us,

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 5

anything you feel that will strengthen a person and be willing to face whatever obstacles they encounter? GFR: Life is a choice, Nobody can hurt you without your concern. In any situation, it’s better to stay positive, along with your actions, and most of all your faith in God. MU: Anything else that keeps you busy, aside from your career? GFR: As much as I can, I try to balance my career and my love for my family. I am thankful that I have three wonderful and loving children who are independent and are helping me in my every endeavor. I have my granddaughter, Julia, who adds a smile to my life. Mostly, I thank God for giving me a wonderful man by my side who always makes me feel beautiful even when I just woke up in the morning. Everybody needs somebody, and I choose to love him every day of my life. MU: How do you handle stress? Any interests, or hobbies that make life a lot lighter, that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life? GFR: Stress is a part of life, when it’s too much I just travel and meditate, then I usually regain my patience to face this tough life with a smile on my face. I do not dwell on problems. If my problem is the people around me, I just shy away from those who are draining my strength and patience. MU: Any beliefs that help make you who you are as a person that strengthens your outlook in life, which you think is worth sharing with us? GFR: Trust God in everything that you do. There’s a Rainbow, and the sun will keep on shining every day. Choose to be happy and do extraordinary things every day if you want to have an extraordinary change in your life. Everything is possible! Gina has gone through so much in life, yet still, aspires to do great things. She still wants to prove herself to the world and share her unrelenting faith in God. Her past challenges haven’t deterred her from moving forward, “As long as I’m alive, I’d like to do more great things whatever and where ever may God lead me to. God is my compass, and whatever happened in my life didn’t happen for nothing. I know that God is blessing me because He wanted me to be a blessing to others, and that’s my purpose in life.” Wise words from a very sagacious woman.

7/27/2016 3:26:09 AM


PAL book rich in legacy By Jonathan P. Gesmundo

The first-ever coffee table book produced by Corporate Communications Department of Philippine Airlines, in time of the flag carrier’s 75th anniversary, contains a “re-telling of the PAL history with a modern twist” and more. It features stories of PAL employees – pilot during the 1981 Papal visit, a family of PAL workers spanning three generations, a PAL volunteer at Tacloban in the aftermath of Yolanda, first international stewardess, first female pilot of PAL (and Southeast Asia), etc. It’s more than a PAL history reference book; it’s a chronicle of the last 75 years, how PAL helped build a nation, connect an archipelago, airlift Filipinos to distant lands and back home and eventually showcase the best of the Philippines to the world. During its recent book launch, PAL Chairman Dr. Lucio C. Tan got a good look at the book’s contents where a chapter describes him as ‘The Man who Saved PAL.’ PAL executives at the launch include President Jaime J. Bautista, Senior Vice President Nicky

Gozon, SVP Atty. Siegfred Mison, SVP Lito Alvarez, Special Assistant to the Chairman Emilio Yu, Vice President Ria Domingo and Vice President William Tan. Jimmy Bautista signed many books including those given to Manila Standard publisher and former PAL vice president Rollie Estabillo, another former PAL VP Joey de Guzman, media personalities Dax Lucas and Cito Beltran, among others. Also spotted was the ambassador of Papua New Guinea to the Philippines Christian Vhiruri. Two special guests were PAL’s first lady pilot (live in person) Aurora “Aime” CarandangGloria and Father (Catholic priest) Ceasar Santos who represented her mother, Rebecca Verzosa-Santos, PAL’s first international stewardess, who recently passed away in New York. A unique six-minute PAL history video was shown from the perspective of that first stewardess. The extensive PAL history chapter was written by Carlos Palanca-awardee Carmen Aquino-Sarmiento who used to head the PAL Foundation.

One interesting feature showed the current crop of 47 female pilots – in complete uniform in one picture and in pretty dresses in another. Four active PAL cabin attendants acted more than ushers as they donned era cabin crew uniforms – the 1st in 1946, another in 1975, in 1987 and the current uniform. Adding flavor to the event was a photo exhibit of rare historical photos from PAL’s archives, most of which are contained in the book. The book is a collaboration of PAL’s Corporate Communications Department and Eastgate Publishing, the same outfit that used to produce PAL’s inflight magazine, Mabuhay. The Corporate Communications staff at the launch include Ambassador Shirley Ho-Vicario, Cielo Villaluna, Pinky Balagtas, Joni Gesmundo, Paeng Evangelista, Marla Manundo, Roy Bonghanoy, Carlo Carongoy, Ella Hernandez, and Lito Hibo. The book is available at the PAL Boutique at the PAL executive offices at PNB Financial Center, Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City; soon via the PAL website.

PAL President Jaime J. Bautista shows PAL Chairman Dr. Lucio C. Tan (left) salient features of the coffee table book including stories of Tan’s role in the history of the flag carrier

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 6

7/27/2016 3:26:12 AM

PAL cabin attendants


(standing from left) Ambassador Shirley Ho-Vicario; PAL VP – Human Capital Meanne Llamzon; PAL Cabin Services AVP / Director Ana Alvarez; PAL Special Assistant to the Chairman Emilio Yu; PAL VP – Marketing Ria Domingo; PAL Manager – Activations Pinky Custodio; and Philippine Star Lifestyle Editor Millet Mananquil. Seated are Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Bong Bengzon; PAL Chairman Dr. Lucio C. Tan; and Papua New Guinea Ambassador Christian Vhiruri

Manila Standard Publisher and former PAL vice president Rolando G. Estabillo (left) receives a signed copy of the coffee table book from PAL Pres. Jaime J. Bautista

PAL President Jaime J. Bautista signs a copy of the coffee table book for the Philippines’ first female commercial pilot Aimee Carandang-Gloria (left)

PAL President Jaime J. Bautista signs a copy of the coffee table book for the Philippines’ first female commercial pilot Aimee Carandang-Gloria (left)

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 7

(standing from left) Lifestyle Asia Editor Anna Sobrepeña; Philippine Star Associate/Lifestyle Editor Carmelita Mananquil; PAL VP – Marketing Ma. Sylvia Elvira Domingo; and PAL Corporate Audit AVP Babyruth Chuaunsu. Seated are Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lucio C. Tan and Papua New Guinea Ambassador Christian Vhiruri

Round table (from left) SVP – Airline Operations Ismael Augusto Gozon; SVP – Legal, General Counsel & Corporate Communications Atty. Siegfred Mison; AVP – Corporate Planning Lito Alvarez; President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista; and Papua New Guinea Ambassador Christian Vhiruri

The PAL Corporate Communications staff with PAL President Jaime J. Bautista (center) and PAL cabin attendants wearing era uniforms (right) during the book signing ceremony

PAL cabin attendants, wearing uniforms from different era, present the first-ever PAL Coffee Table Book – “75 Years of Celebrating the Heart of the Filipino”

7/27/2016 3:26:34 AM


A farewell speech from a beauty queen

Vegas Vibes

by Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

Our lives can change with every breath we take, and mine dramatically changed when I won the coveted title of Mrs. Asian Las Vegas. Looking back, I remember being so shy and timid. I joined the pageant not to compete but with the desire to reinvent myself, and find my true purpose in life. Little did I know that my experience with Miss Asian Las Vegas will make me realize that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams, and you cannot love life until you live the life you love. It’s certainly not the crown and the sash that shaped me into who I am today, but the real meaning and inherent responsibility to uphold while I am in the public eye, furthering my ability to help others. I believe that the true meaning of success is not measured by material things in the world or how wealthy one can become, but by living the values that are important to one’s self. I wanted to to be remembered as someone who generously shared her time and effort to enhance other people’s lives. A beauty with a purpose. My heart is filled with so much joy and gratitude. I would like to dedicate my reign and acknowledge everyone who contributed to my success. Thank you, Gene Santos and McCoy Calantog Antiojo, who poured out their hearts and souls to create a masterpiece that allowed me to win the Best in Ethnic Costume. I am very grateful you were there for me every step of the way during the pageant. And to Jongz Bendebel Loquinario of Cebu City, Philippines for creating my gown. A million thanks to all my family and friends who have inspired me since the very beginning and have

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 8

expressed their love and support, especially to my mentor Tita Esterlina Lim (you’ve tremendously helped me in so many ways and for that, I will always be eternally grateful). My Mela - BFF Christine Small for always being ready to help without asking for anything in return. Dr. Michael Sta. Juana for encouraging me to join the pageant. Annie ChangEvans, the founder/CEO of Ms. Asian North America, for creating an organization to discover, promote, and empower Asian American women. To my beloved family, my parents and brothers. My husband Jeffrey Gould, who gives his 100% support in whatever I choose to do. For giving me wings to fly and allowing me to explore, dream and discover. To my eight-year-old son, Kenneth Jeffrey Gould, who is the best part of me, my incredible pride, and joy. To my sister queens, Ami Bayani, Shelby Kanani, Ashley Lui, Rianne Lu, Jamie Stephenson, and Tammy Tsai, I am very proud of all of you and everything you’ve accomplished. You are all the epitome of a woman with substance. To God Almighty for all the blessings showered upon my family and myself. To all the new delegates of Ms. Asian North America and to my successor: Identify what is important for you to accomplish in your life. Have a plan in finding time to work hard to reach your goals and dreams, envision your success, have faith in yourself, conquer your fears, face the challenges, have a positive attitude, and stay focused. Ultimately, if you truly have the passion, dream not only for yourself but for the benefit of others, it seems like it’s easier to reach your goals and dreams while having hope and love to guide you to success. If

you fail, don’t be discouraged, see and learn the value of experience. Allow nothing to stop you from pursuing your dreams. Surround yourself with people who will bring out the best in you. And lastly, enjoy the journey and be grateful. Thank you Miss Asian Las Vegas and staff, especially Duy Nguyen. I feel that I have grown tremendously during my two-year reign. I want to show the Asian-American community how Miss Asian Las Vegas can mold a beauty queen to become a great community leader. I feel humbled to have been elected as the new club president of Las Vegas Spring Valley Lions Club. I’ve always wanted to bring pride and prestige to my Padilla clan and winning the title of Mrs. Asian Las Vegas made that dream a reality. My name is Esmeralda PadillaGould. Your Mrs. Asian Las Vegas 2014-2015, and I am proud to be a Filipino.

Gown by: Jongz Bendebel Loquinario Photo credit: Gary Duffel

7/27/2016 3:26:36 AM

Ms Asian North America 2016 Delegates

Annie Chang-Evans, FounderCEO of Ms Asian North America


Due to the high demand from Miss Asian Las Vegas, we are now Ms Asian North America. Now in its 3rd year at the Venetian Las Vegas, recently held its 4th annual beauty pageant showcasing the beauty and culture of Asian American women on July 9th, 2016.Â

Siobe and Hailey, future beauty queens

Below: Hosts : Lisa Song and Bryan Chan with Ms. Asian North America 2016 Queens; Ms. Asian North America-Kaanchan Farkiya (INDIA), Miss Asian North America- Lan Do (VIETNAM), Miss Teen Asian Las Vegas-Angela Zhang (CHINA)

Miss Asian Las Vegas 2015 Queens and Royal Court; Esmeralda, Ashley, Tammy, Jamie, Ami, Rianne, and Shelby

Photos: Rongrace Photography Ms Asian North America Ethnic Costume

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 9

7/27/2016 3:26:41 AM



With 7,107 islands, and 81 provinces, how can one country have 120 to 187 languages (4 of which are extinct, and a number on the verge of extinction)? How do people understand each other? The Philippines’ location, in Southeast Asia, an area closest to the center of early civilization, played a big part in drawing migrants, traders, and colonizers to our country. It was believed that the early settlers were the Negritos, then the Indonesians came, and the Malays (dominant colonizer before Spain), and of course they brought their languages with them. The discovery of the Laguna Copperplate Inscription (a mixture of Sanskrit, old Malay, old Javanese, and old Tagalog) dated 900 is the earliest proof of the Philippine language. The people lived in clusters then, called ‘Barangay’ (small political unit) led by a ‘Datu’ (chief) who reports to a ‘Rajah’ (king). They melded their languages with each other, and with foreign languages, but still kept their own. Chinese traders came in 982 and brought the Chinese language, then the Japanese in the 11th century, and in waves thereafter. Islamic missionaries in 1380 brought the Arabic language; Maynila was established in 1500 during the attack of the Brunei Empire in Tondo. The Spaniards came in 1521, colonized the country for 300 years, and made Spanish (Castilian) the official and national language. English was first introduced during the British invasion in 1762, but didn’t stick until the Americans came, first in 1898, when they fought with Spain and took control, and then in 1946, when they helped the Philippines fight the Japanese, who invaded the country for three years.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 10

English became the medium of instruction in 1901. Spanish and English the national languages in 1935. It was in 1937 that Tagalog became the base language, was renamed “Wikang Pambansa’ in 1939, then again renamed ‘Pilipino’ in 1959. In 1973, Filipino was named the National language, and English and Filipino as the official languages. The first known script was Kawi-Java (proof of which is the Laguna Copperplate ca. 900), then the Baybayin (ca. 1200, where Tagalog was based from), then was replaced by Latin script (Spanish and English influences). This article was written for entertainment purposes only, an overview, not an authority on the Philippine languages. I was amazed when I found out that there is a month when Philippine Languages are celebrated (or was I the only one who didn’t know about it?). No matter what they are, where they came from, how we got them, we should be a bit prouder of our heritage. Because of it, we’re identified as polyglots. Different nations were drawn to our country; the traders proved that it was a rich country, the colonizers, that we were worthy of their attention, the settlers, that our resources were abundant. We had endured so much, but we should be thankful because these different cultures helped mold the one that we have now, so colorful and interesting.

7/27/2016 3:26:49 AM


Fists of the Future July 9, 2016, San Mateo, California, Fists of the Future ~ Pagara Bros. Philippines’ WBO#1ranked light welterweight Jason Pagara won over Mexico’s super lightweight champion Abraham Alvarez* Unfortunately for the brother, Albert Pagara was defeated by his opponent.

*Two Professional Badminton Players Paula Lynn Obañana & Eva Lee representing USA for Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil* Photos taken during workout Photos: Celia Abuel Video: Grace Aguilar

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 11

7/27/2016 3:27:19 AM


Four Seasons Tented Camp: An Escape to Adventure


All tents have wide balcony for massage or cocktails

Walk My Way by Mayenne Carmona


Elephant petting

Being on top of the elephant gave me the jitters

It was a most exhilarating and edgy experience which I didn’t stop talking about to my friends for weeks on end. I am talking about my adventurous stay at the Four Seasons, Tented Camp at Chang Rai, Thailand.  It is at the jungle border of three countries- Thailand, Laos and Burma, called the Golden Triangle. Mysterious stories of the Golden Triangle’s drug trade make this resort so interesting! I did not expect to see luxurious tents so it was indeed a great surprise to be escorted to the Silver Tent, so

Interior of the tented camp

called because all the decors including the spout of the bathtub are in silver. Other tents are named differently according to their decor. Each tent features a private balcony, air conditioning, a mini bar, an open window cascading shower with a view of Burma, and a tub on one side of the room.  In

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 12

7/27/2016 3:27:27 AM


Four Seasons properties, one should expect nothing less, but class and luxury to the highest level. Our daily activities included


elephant trekking, river boat trips, spa treatments, traversing the hanging bridge from my

Massage outdoor Romantic dinner

tent to the main dining room, swimming and tour of Chang Rai. The elephant treks were new to me- being on top of a huge animal made me nervous, but my mahout (my guide who stayed behind me on the

Inside the tented camp

elephant) assured me he will keep me safe. One has to be physically fit to enjoy this resort. The Nong Yao Restaurant serves Thai, Laotian, Burmese and Western delights. Burma Bar was our happy hour place.  They also have a wine cellar where guests could feast on cheese and their choice of wine. The resort can fix a picnic within the property or a romantic dinner for two or four somewhere in the steamy rainforest.  The property is equipped with free wifi, a riverside free- form pool and a spa. Four Seasons Tented Camp is located 4 miles from Chang Rai International Airport and is a four hours car drive from Chang Mai.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 13

View of the luxurious tent

7/27/2016 3:27:33 AM


Earnest Snoops by Ernest L. Gonzaga

accessibility to parts of the mind that are inaccessible through conscious thought. According to his psychoanalytic theory, dreams—like most psychological experiences—can be understood through two distinct levels: manifest and latent. Modern research continuously proves that

Anna Sia, Agile Zamora and Michelle Lee

Jacinto’s Freudian Dream International portrait photographer cum painter Rupert Jacinto continues to showcase his talent through his art exhibits. Once again, Jacinto displayed his hand stroke in brush via his “Freudian Dream by Rupert Jacinto.”

In Freudian dream analysis, content is both the manifest and latent content in a dream, that is, the dream itself as it is remembered, and the hidden meaning of the dream. Dreams embody the involuntary occurrences within the mind throughout various stages of sleep. Throughout the early part of the twentieth century, psychologist Sigmund Freud made incredible advances in the study and analysis of dreams. Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) used an evolutionary biological perspective to infer that these nightly visions are a product of one’s individual psyche. As the “royal road to the unconscious,” dreams allow for

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 14

dreams contain fundamentally meaningful information. Therefore, appropriate interpretations of these two layers can facilitate assistance in understanding, “whether, when, and how unconscious processes are truly relevant to daily life.” Jacinto used this method in fashioning his mixed media art exhibit held recently at the Diplomatic Hall, Marriot Grand Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel Manila.The exhibition’s aim was to support Love-a- Parish Program of Sto. Nino de Pio Chapel. The exhibit was attended by a horde of well-known personalities headed by some of the guests of honor who stood as ‘Ninongs and Ninangs’ headed by Hon. Senator Cynthia Villar, former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, Hon. Consul Betty Lao Ang Chua, Marriot GM Bruce Winton, Joseph Calata, Teody Buenaflor, Eimee Cragun, Sheree Chua, Joel Cruz, Aya Daly, Julie Evangelista, Jemellie Gonzales, Riza Hansen, Sally Maliuanag, Jack Noh, Dr. Elsie Pascua, Serla Russel, Jennifer Weigel, Marife Zamora, Wopsy, and Agile Zamora.

Duday Tuason, Linda Ley, Dan Decker, Agile Zamora and Connie Haw

Ernest Gonzaga, Lilibeth Campos, Agile Zamora and Connie Haw

Rene and Anne Puno

Elsie Pascua, Rupert Jacinto, and Consul Helen Ong

7/27/2016 3:27:35 AM

Dyan Ceastillejo, Agile Zamora and Serla Russel

In another Metro Manille’s upscale event, the artistry and the passion of three different empowered women came together in homegrown leather ware brand Fino’s latest collection.

MANILA UP! 15 that suit her on-the-go lifestyle. If piano keys inspired the lovely tote bag of Russell, the timeless beauty of Moran is the face of Fino’s classic overnight bag.

Fino had an exclusive sneak peak of Fino now as inspired by

But more than releasing new styles dedicated to modern Filipinas who dare to pursue their passion,

Filipino brand advocates Margie Moran Floreindo, Dyan Castillejo and Serla Russel.

Fino’s “Now” collection aims to aid financially challenged athletes, students and ballet dancers.

and Fino’s Sneak Peak

Victoria Castaneda, Gile Zamora, Manolyne Taylor and Pixie Lolarga.

For its “Now” collection, Fino tapped multi-faceted athlete and sports commentator Dyan Castillejo, multi-awarded pianist Serla Russell and advocate of the arts Margie Moran to be the living symbols of the bags. Each advocate has one bag designed to exemplify Jemellie Gonzales, Rose Ann Bautista and Tessa Valdes their life and the passions they pursue. Castillejo’s fast-paced, active life deserves a utilitarian “dump-all” bag that features built and functions Left: Angela Pia Santos, Jemellie Gonzales and Lilibeth Campos

Dyan Castillejo, Tessa Prieto Valdes, Serla Russel

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 15

Part of the sales of the collection, depending on which advocate’s design is purchased, will be dedicated to the advocate’s chosen beneficiaries. “The advocates—Dyan, Serla and Margie—are testimonies that the collection has a purpose” says Fino Leatherware owner Rose Ann Bautista, adding that “the campaign is more geared towards people than really our bag.”

Below: The advocates Margie Moran Floreindo, DyanCastillejo, and Serla Russel and testimonies that the collection has a “purpose”

7/27/2016 3:27:38 AM




“Lord of the Scents” Interviewed by Sonia D. Bermejo

Joel Cruz describes himself ‘a businessman turned entrepreneur.’ A child of parents who were both business owners, he was exposed to business conversations at an early age. He attended the University of Santo Tomas and took up BS in Psychology as his pre-med course, but soon enough realized that what he really wanted to be was to become a businessman like his parents, thus shattering the dreams of his mom - for him to become a doctor. Joel, blessed with two sets of twins; Prince Sean and Princess Synne, (3 ½ years old), and Prince Harry and Prince Harvey, (7 months old), started his own advocacy 12 years ago, on his birthday, February 5, 2004. He gives back to the community by visiting and helping the less fortunate children, and the elderly. He supports charitable organizations such as Hospicio de San Jose, Asilo de San Vicente de Paul, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, and the PGH Pediatric Wards, to name a few. His generosity doesn’t stop there. He shares his blessings with his dedicated and very loyal employees. Their support doesn’t go unnoticed to him. He treats them as a member of his own family. He rewards them with a house and lot, or monetary compensation worth 6.5M or 4.5M pesos, and vehicles, on top of benefits. He gives them the opportunity to travel abroad as well, 12 employees along with their families were given the experience of staying with him in his residence in Chino Hills, California last March to April of this year. They were also afforded the privilege of the use of his several rest houses. Each year, Every Christmas and company anniversaries, the company hold their annual employees’ “Summer Palaro” sports competition like basketball and volleyball.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 16

7/27/2016 3:28:23 AM

In the past 16 years that he’s been in business, the amount of trophies and awards that he has received, both in the Philippines and abroad are too many to count, which can attest to his success in the path that he chose to venture on. The latest of which was an award from the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2015 (APEA) as the Best Entrepreneur. It was given by the Enterprise Asia Magazine based in Malaysia last November 2015. APEA stands out because it is not just a local recognition, he was recognized internationally as well. His awards add to the fulfillment that he feels now, and he willingly shares them with his employees. He is not afraid to admit that the support of his employees, the people who stand behind him 100%, plays a major part in his success. So far, he has 300+ employees working at their main office, and 200+ employed in their manufacturing plants and warehouses. Their manpower was reduced when they applied the use of automation, used in bottling and packaging the products, which helps them produce roughly 500,000 bottles a month, whereas before that application, everything was done manually.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 17

MANILA UP! 17 His brand had saturated the Philippine market, with 3,565 outlets in the country, 500 in shopping malls, out of that 500, 100 are company owned, and 400 were franchised. He is currently focusing on acquiring more sales in the international market. They receive orders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Guam, Kiribati (an island in Hawaii), Taiwan, Singapore, and in the Middle East. He thinks that now is the perfect time to expand in the ASEAN nation since “we have the Aseanharmonization, ASEAN integration or the Asian Free Trade Association, which we plan on taking advantage of, to expand our market in any Asian neighboring countries without the need for permits.” The company is under negotiations with a distributor in Nigeria to cover MENA (Middle East and North Africa), and a distributor based in Jamaica to cover the US and South American markets. “Our International Sales has done Outbound Mission trip with support from the DTI (Department of Trade) EMB (Export Marketing Bureau) to Jakarta and Manada which paved the way for Indonesia; to Myanmar to cover the CLMV area (Cambodia,

7/27/2016 3:28:28 AM

18 MANILA UP! Lao, Myanmar and Vietnam). Our manufacturing plant is ISO 9001:2008 Certified and this will allow us to export internationally. The manufacturing plant is likewise CGMP (Certified Good Manufacturing Practice) by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration Philippines).”

Princess Synne

Their products are under Halal, OMA (Office of the Muslim Affairs), specially packed to cater to the Muslim brotherhood, specially concocted perfume that is good for our Muslim brothers. OMA checked, scrutinized and packed according to their guidelines, and then approved and sold in Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries. “I believe we are the only perfume manufacturer being recognized by OMA. Our product is also certified by GMP and ISO, an international organization in Germany. We will use the trademark Aficionado Perfume to make it internationally neutral.” The company continues to create new products, new sets of perfumes, especially for their Eau de Toilette collection. They had to discontinue production of the items that doesn’t sit well in the market, to make room for more creations. Joel’s creativity and sense of originality is very useful in the line of business that he’s in. He has to continually create new concepts and ideas for his new products. “I am very creative, and I want originality. A style or concept of my own, one I can call original.” They just signed an agreement with the Filipino Flash boxer Nonito Donaire to be their brand ambassador, last April during the international fight in Cebu where he won against Zsolt Bedak. “A range of fragrance products is in the offing.”

Prince Sean

“I am not getting tired of being creative. I wonder where it comes from? My creativity. I myself am surprised, where do I get such ideas, it is a mystery to me, and I guess it is a gift from God! And sometimes wise words come out of my mouth, and I didn’t know how I said those wise words. I am blessed!” He enjoys giving lavish parties, and giving gifts to his guests. The tiniest details showcase his own creativity, resourcefulness and thoughtfulness. His regular guests consist of

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 18

7/27/2016 3:28:31 AM

the former First Lady Imelda Marcos, former Governor Chavit Singson, former VP Jejomar Binay, the High Society, Fortune Ledesma, Helen Ong,to name a few. His parties are thematic, out of this world, first of its kind, absolute original!


When questioned who his favorite designers are, he answered, “Like the one who designed for Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Albert Andrada, Eric Pineda, JC Buendia, and the late Goullee Gorospe. I wear designer clothes everyday like CK, Armani, and for my favorite local design, I wear most of Randy Ortiz’ creation.” When asked why he’s called the “Liberace of the Philippines”? His answer was, “What is class and beauty?” He then cited the Former First Lady Imelda Marcos as his example. “She likes to see beautiful things, she doesn’t want to see depressing surroundings, she wants beauty around her, same with me. In terms of class in the house, I want perfection, to look elegant, classy, neat and clean, that gives me good feeling and contentment. I prefer people associated with me to have dreams, and to make it come true.”

Price Harry

Prince Harvey

When it comes to gift giving, Joel likes to give so much thought to it. What’s the recipient’s interest is, and executes it carefully and meticulously. Again, a good example is the gift he gave to Madam Imelda Marcos, which is now in the Museum of Amsterdam (thanks to Becky Garcia, who knows the curator of the Museum), the item is now on display in a very special glass encasing. The perfume bottle is shaped in a human form and dressed in “Terno” sleeve style (the national costume of the Philippines), that Madam Marcos is known for wearing. “I am so proud of that collection being displayed.” For a self-made man, who has everything, he wishes for a happy and longer life, and to be able to watch his children grow up to be God-fearing adults. He also wishes them to continue on with his charitable work, and to support his country. His favorite movies are Pretty Woman and The Sound of Music (that is an interesting side of him that we didn’t know of). He enjoys watching the “Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous,” (for which he can relate to because he loves mansions and luxury cars), and travelling all over the world, to witness beautiful and elegant things that this world has to offer. Aficionado celebrates its 16th year on Sept. 5 this year.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 19

7/27/2016 3:28:33 AM



Tagaytay & Baguio Mansions


of Joel Cruz


Tagaytay view

Tagaytay lights

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 20

7/27/2016 3:28:49 AM


Who is Martin Nievera? by Antonette B. Ang Baloy

Unsure what to ask when formulating these questions for the aforementioned personality, I decided to go a different route, a more personal approach. This is Martin Nievera, the quintessential performer! All the characteristics a showbiz personality should have, he possesses, and then some. Everyone knows everything there is to know about him already, or do we? But, before that, a little overview of his famous life, a refresher, so to speak. Born in Manila on February 5, 1962, with a twin sister, to parents Bert Nievera, a Filipino balladeer of the famed Society of Seven, and Conchita Razon, Martin grew up in Hawaii. They lived in the Bay Area in California for a while where he graduated from High School. Encouraged by his father’s success, and challenged by his mother’s uncertainty, he went back to Manila in 1982 to pursue a career in music, which took off in no time at all, releasing his debut album, “Martin…Take One,” and co-hosting a TV variety show, “Penthouse Live,” with Pops Fernandez, whom he had gotten married to. Blessed with two sons, Ram and Robin, the marriage didn’t last, but the two, dubbed as the “Concert King and Queen of the Philippines,” managed to remain good friends, to a point where Pops expressed a desire to meet his son, Santino. The meeting was a success, he was deeply touched, and elated at the same time when he saw the attachment that the siblings have towards each other. A beginning of a tradition that he’s looking forward to establishing.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 21

7/27/2016 3:28:50 AM


MANILA UP! His style of singing, very sentimental and unrushed and his quick-wit on the stage, are what draws the vast majority, indicative of the packed concerts, sold out performances, not just in the Philippines but in other parts of the world, making him an international superstar, an ambassador for the Filipino music industry. One of the few Filipino artists who was able to perform at the Hollywood Bowl; and he was personally requested by Manny Pacquiao to sing the Philippine National Anthem in the PacquiaoHatton boxing match, which gave him great honor. MU: Who is Martin Nievera? How do you describe yourself? MN: Me? I am a simple, low-tech fun-loving dreamer... Who likes to sing. MU: If people close to you will be asked the same question, what do you think their answer will be? MN: Those who know me would say, “what you see is what you get.” They would say probably the same thing I said earlier too. I am really not that complicated. I am? Now I am not! Not really....Well sometimes. All the time? No sometimes ... Yeah , not complicated... MU: Can you tell me a little something about your childhood? MN: I was a shy kid, almost a nerd or a square. I was often bullied too, so my lunch time and recess were mostly spent in the bathroom with the fat and special kids who were equally picked on. I always loved singing and would win the “class clown” award almost every year. I am proud of that last one. MU: We all know that you are one of the best musicians in the industry, was it more of an innate talent, or an acquired ability, say did you take up music in school, or both? Which weighs in the most? MN: My grandmother on mom’s side was a professional opera singer and dad, of course, is a great singer himself. I took a few voice lessons, but I think my desire to follow my father’s footsteps led me down this path.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 22

MU: What about your personal life? Anyone taken your fancy lately? MN: Relationships are hard to keep in this business. But even harder to keep secret or sacred. I have broken hearts, lost a wife and family, and I have been paying for it ever since. Now I try very hard not to talk too much about my private life to protect most especially the girl. Especially if she is not from my world. I want to spare her and her family from any public scrutiny. But yes, I have someone special. A very pretty woman with a beautiful soul and spirit. MU: How do you describe your relationship with your children? MN: I’d like to think I am a cool dad. I try to speak their language and interest myself in their every interest. Robin is 29, ram 26 and Santino is 9. I am more of an absentee father, so fatherhood for me is over compensating everything. Sad but true. MU: I love the Martin/Pops tandem, and the chemistry that you have on stage, how is your relationship with her now? MN: We have remained good friends. Pops is more into productions now, so we haven’t invested too many shows together, but the offers are still out there. I just don’t like fooling the audience to believe that there is a chance every time we perform together because we both have kinda moved on with our separate lives. But we can’t control the mystery of it all. MU: Do you think of starting a family again? Or will just take things slow and wait where life leads you? MN: I have a family already. A big one. So I don’t see it happening again, but hey, never say never. MU: What are you involved in, industry-wise? MN: I am not a businessman, unfortunately. I am more of a handson concert performer, director, writer, and TV host. All of that takes up a lot of my time. I know I should be more business minded, but it was never about the money for me. My mission has always been to bring my country pride and the pride of my country to

those who have migrated all over the world. Making my family proud and living long enough to see my children realize their dreams is another. MU: Any business ventures aside from music? MN: One day my sons and I will open a burger joint and hopefully have many all over. Well, that’s a stretch, but like I tell my kids, “if you are gonna dream, dream big.” MU: Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten years from now? MN: I see myself singing, performing, and entertaining forever. MU: If given another chance to change some things that happened in your life, what would they be? MN: Probably nothing cause I think I am what I am who I am because of the mistakes and bad choices. Even more than the accolades, it’s all the failures in my life that define me. MU: Can you tell me two things about yourself that no one else knows, that you’ll want to share with us? (For instance, what peeves you the most, or what makes you feel like a child again, happiest) MN: I am OC and a neat freak. I love watching movies I have seen a million times already. My happy place is singing in front of strangers. MU: What inspires you the most? Motivates you to move forward? To work harder? MN: Time, dreams and my children. MU: What do you think of the Philippine music industry right now, being in the business for such a long time? MN: I just celebrated my 34th year in the business, and all I can say is the competition is stiff out there. For as long as we listen instead of talk, we will have a place in the industry. MU: What are your beliefs, what shaped your character the most, guides you to become a better person that you are today? MN: My mistakes. My bad choices. My dreams and my faith in

7/27/2016 3:28:51 AM

the Filipino people and most especially in God. MU: Any interests, hobbies that you want to share with us? MN: Frustrated golfer, basketball freak, and songwriter. Oh, is texting and answering fans and bashers on social media a hobby? If so, yes, that too. MU: Can you share a few interesting and funny anecdote which happened in your life that will surely put a smile on our faces, knowing that you are comically talented as well? MN: There are too many to mention. Let’s wait for the next... And the next... And the next. MU: What words of wisdom can you give aspiring musicians, or any young person in general, that will help mold their character and help open up the path to success for them? MN: Stay in school. Always have something to fall back on if in case the music doesn’t take you far. It’s really a tough business. If you are in it for the money, quit now. If you are in it to be famous, that won’t last. But If you are in it to change lives and to inspire people, then you have found your place in the sky. Sing out loud. If you can dream it, you can do it. I did... There you have it, folks, our Martin Nievera. BIG VOICE, BIG HEART! Owning up to his mistakes and showing love and happiness wherever stage life takes him. Truly, a gem, our nation’s pride and joy.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 23


7/27/2016 3:29:06 AM

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 24

7/27/2016 3:29:15 AM

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 25

7/27/2016 3:29:22 AM


Lilia Lao Interviewed by Grace Aguilar

MU: Who is Lilia Lao? LL: Hi, I am Lilia Lao, aunt of Manny Pacquiao. I have eight children. I came to the US in 2007, under my daughter Zorayda’s sponsorship. Zorayda resides in Virginia. My other daughter, Vivian Mercado, lives in NY. MU: What prompted you to move to Los Angeles, California? LL: Jinky and Manny encouraged me to leave Virginia, and move here in Los Angeles to oversee their house. Since moving here, I get invited to different functions where I got to join the Queen of Lola and won 3rd Runnerup. I got the Most Popular award as well. Back in the Philippines, I won the Ms. Mermaid, Queen of Hearts, Queen of Asia, Ms. Sampaguita, Ms. DSRA, a network company in General Santos. I was the President “sa aming Purok.” I worked for Dole for 37 years until I retired. MU: How’s your love life? LL: (Smiling) My husband left me when all my kids were still small. I raised all of them by myself and sent them to school. “Nag pursige ako, kailangan maging masipag.” I sold anything. Unfortunately, in 2001 my son died. But I am blessed with 16 grandchildren. Unity and love are what prevails in our family. MU: How do you stay young and healthy? LL: I am using this GLAM SPRAY from ALKA VIDA. It is good for your face; it makes your face glow once you spray it on. I love ALKA VIDA. When I first attended the soft launching last January 23, 2016, I was invited by Rebecca Burman; I was really impressed!

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 26

The company has their own plant, they manufacture their own product, and they supply the other ingredients of well-known brand alkaline water that are popularly sold in the market. MU: How can we take advantage of the product? LL: I used to sell Kangen water, and ALKA VIDA is a way far better product. It is very affordable, a much cleaner, crispier water. Just sign in with one product to buy, and you’ll get an automatic 20% discount towards that product. And, you will be a member for life, just revisit it every 3 months. No auto ship! I think this is what I want to do for life. This product can help us lead a beautiful and healthy lifestyle. This also helps for an additional income. So, for those who are interested in joining, call me, or give them my name as a referral. ALKA VIDA is in the manufacturing business for 24 years, they make different parts of water filter. They didn’t know about networking, they only started to launch their own alkaline water products last January of this year. The owners really want to help people, especially those that are in the third world countries. MU: Was it introduced in Manila? LL: Oh, this coming October, it will on be my birthday, everyone is invited. It will be held in General Santos, Philippines. You pay for your own fare, and I will take care of the party (laughing). ALKA VIDA will be launched at the same time. MU: What inspires you? LL: My inspirations are my kids, my family, nieces, nephews, to share the love with all of them and with my friends. “You don’t get tired because what gives you energy are these people around you that love you and supports you.”

MU: For those who are interested, is there a meeting anytime soon? LL: We are inviting you to join us on our launching in the Philippines. The owners, Freddie Vidal and Hernan Shaldo are very supportive. They are putting up a plant in Gen-San with the help of Jinky’s sister, along with another partner. They saw how good the product is, and how good it is for your health. The water is clean compared to other alkaline water out there. Health is wealth! MU: What is your message to our fellowmen? LL: Hello fellowmen, the whole Philippines and hello to President Duterte. We are thankful that you’ve won, and we know that you have good plans for our kababayans that will bring unity to everyone. You are my inspiration, and to Almighty God, that gives me strength. I thank my friends, Susan, Ryn, Rebecca Burman, and our upline, Lito, and June. Thank you to ALKA VIDA owners who help us and support us, and to all the staff at the office. And for other friends like you, Grace and Celia Abuel, thank you! To all my kids, Lani, Ismael, Vivian, Carolyn, Zorayda, Tessie, and to my family, you are my inspiration, my strength, because of the love you shower me. Till the end, I love you!

7/27/2016 3:29:23 AM


August Issue-Manila UP.indd 27

7/27/2016 3:29:27 AM


Inby Other Worlds Becky Garcia

George Sison Entertains having a conversation with Lady Minda Feliciano Lonsdale, here for a short vacation and Virginia Lane who just arrived from Australia the evening before; also, designer Lulu Tan-Gan from a European sojourn; Megaworld’s Kevin and Michelle Tan; painter Phyllis Zaballero; columnists Chit Roces and Vergel Santos; former DBP executive Leila Pañares; Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma; the Jacintos: RJ, Frannie, Rupert, Tina and Patrick with amore SSI and Rustan’s chair Nedy Tantoco; the beauteous DJ Lopez; self-

Probably the most elegant party given recently was George Sison’s birthday celebration at the Makati Garden Club. Leave it to George to light up the whole garden and make sure that it wouldn’t rain so that guests would enjoy the Eden-like atmosphere that even the first so-called couple on earth, Adam and Eve, would have been in awe, with no snake to worry about. This garden paradise is located in the corner of Edsa and Ayala Avenue, the most crowded avenues in Makati , Linda Ley, Tess Schoefer & Lulu, Tann — it is probably the only so Si ge or Ge n Ga green portion left in the whole city. When guests arrived, they got a chance to walk the red carpet (as shown in the photo) and strolled through a candle lighted path over a little bridge towards the covered terrace where champagne and the most delicious pass-arounds were being served. made billionaire Joseph Calata with When we arrived, several infanticipating wife Nel (their third); dozen guests were already mingling, exchanging tête-à-têtes. Naturally, one’s and other gorgeous ladies like Tess Schoefer, Linda Ley and Jojo Zabarte; attention is taken by the presence of PR par-excellence for all MVP’s group three international beauties: our first of companies, the debonair Mike Miss International Gemma CruzToledo; Café Juanita’s Efren “Boy” Araneta; first Miss Universe Gloria Diaz with her devoted partner Michael Vazquez; international musical theater actor Leo Valdez; Bulgari and Hermes’ de Jesus, EVP of the currently very busy RCBC; and of course, our second Mario Katigbak who George says, Miss Universe, Ballet Philippines Chair “helped conceptualize the evening’s ambiance”; lending support to George Margie Moran-Floirendo. The three were his siblings, Louie and Margarita. last posed together in the year 2000 in After the cocktails, guests were another one of George’s past birthday given a second chance to cross the celebrations which underscores garden paradise once more as they “deepening friendships” as mentioned moved to Maria Luisa’s Garden Room in his invitation. Amongst his other guests, we spied where a sumptuous dinner awaited us — truly an understatement. Our former governor Chavit Singson with compliments to the chef! Violin his lovely girlfriend Jazz Carreon,

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 28

music of the most romantic kind accompanied us throughout dinner. George does know how to entertain which is so reminiscent of his “Stars of Giorgio” evenings. As dessert and coffee were being served, George picks up the microphone and introduces the entertainment for the evening featuring soprano Jade Riccio and tenor Miguel Castro. In between songs, George called good friend Mon Tulfo to come up front to share his views on the Duterte administration, having been the one who “pushed” the incoming president to run. By the way, Mon has turned down a cabinet position, but President Digong turned around and appointed his sister Wanda Corazon Teo as Tourism secretary. To avoid turning the evening into something political, George immediately interjected jokes to everyone’s delight making Michael de Jesus comment, “I didn’t realize George had a true knack for being funny.” Michael probably has forgotten that his wife Gloria and George hosted a talk-show over GMA7 entitled, “Manila After Dark.” Then, a cake was rolled-in and George asked all Geminis to please come forward and light their respective candles and all acquiesced albeit with a big smile: Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto, RJ and Frannie Jacinto, Lady Minda Feliciano Lonsdale, Chavit Singson, tenor Miguel Castro and Mike de Jesus. After lighting the candles, they were instructed to pull favors from the cake and other guests were requested to do the same and received messages like, “You are successful because you know how to relax, play and have fun” and “Smile and laugh your way to greater health and prosperity.”

7/27/2016 3:29:33 AM


Ramon & Frannie Jacinto, Michelle & Kevin Tan Leila Nicasio & Criselda Lontok


George Sison, Glenda Barretto, Frannie Jacinto, Ramon Jacinto, Minda Feliciano-Lonsdale, Chavit Singson

Gloria Diaz, Michael de Jesus, Margie Moran-Floirendo, Gemma Cruz-Araneta, George Sison, Margarita Sison DJ Lopez, Nedy Tantoco & Peter Jentes

Mike Toledo, Jazz Carreon, Chavit Singson, Nel & Joseph Calata

Efren Vazquez, Mario Katigbak, Marivic Vazquez & Glenda Barretto

Nedy Tantoco & Patrick Jacinto

Luigi, Monique, Triccie & Louie Sison

Thelma San Juan, Joey Antonio, George Sison, Hilda Antonio, Fortune Ledesma

Rupert Jacinto, Tina Jacinto & Mario Matigbak

Photo 2 - Gina Mendez, Virginia Lane, Leo Valdez & Jesi Mendez

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 29

Ramon Tulfo & Jojo Zabarte

Phyllis Zaballero, Vergel Santos & Chit Roces

Miguel Castro & Jade Riccio

7/27/2016 3:30:00 AM


Miss Philippines USA 2016, A Huge Success on Its 5th Year Glendale, CA - Kalea Pitel is crowned Miss Philippines USA and Taylor Sullivan is Miss Young Philippines USA 2016 on July 17th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale , Ca. Special guest was the first Filipina Miss Universe, Gloria Diaz. Runners-up are as follows: Louise An - Miss Philippines USA AmbassadorFirst Runner up - Danica CamachoSecond Runner up Clarissa Ylagan Third Runner up - Allana AlonzoMiss Young Philippines USA - Taylor Sullivan Miss Young Philippines USA Ambassador Taylor Sullivan First Runner up - Young Alyssa Lange Second Runner up - Young Dru Mendez Miss Philippines USA celebrates its 5th year with a reunion of all past winners and the coronation of the 2016 queens.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 30

7/27/2016 3:30:06 AM




Cher Calvin

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 31


7/27/2016 3:30:25 AM


August Issue-Manila UP.indd 32

7/27/2016 3:30:39 AM


On Call


by Dr. Romulo Aromin, Jr

How do you make the diagnosis? This is through a medical evaluation by history taking made through a series of questions (clinical interview), meeting the diagnostic criteria. Ratings scale to determine severity of the Symptoms and oppositionality (like ADHD Rating Scale, SNAP, Achenbach) are given to parents as well as teachers. Currently, there are no laboratory tests to establish the diagnosis, unlike high sugar for diabetes or a high level for high blood pressure. Other conditions need to be first ruled out: medical problems like seizure, lead exposure, thyroid problems, drug use, etc. A child psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician are the specialists for this condition. A majority is treated by their primary care physicians and pediatricians, and a few by neurologists. While it is helpful to talk about symptoms, it is important to gauge how much function is impaired: not only in learning but in managing anger and emotions, socializing, keeping and making friends and in improving their self-esteem. Left untreated, it increases likelihood (risk) for defiant and more serious conduct problems, drug use and anxiety and mood problems. The summer break can provide some time to prepare for evaluation and readiness for treatment. Having to work with the school can be more challenging than parents can anticipate. Besides, if your child would need an evaluation to receive additional help, this can prove to be a stumbling block. Parents/ legal guardians are the only ones who can request for this Child Study Team (CST) evaluation AND the school is mandated to respond in a timely manner. If the school agrees that the child needs additional help, the school

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 33

can opt to defer the evaluation by providing accommodation (504 plan). How is ADHD treated? The good news is that it is a very treatable condition! Following normal physical examination, no further labs are necessary. The first line is stimulants as described. They come in regular short-acting form, where the action is within thirty minutes lasting for 4-6 hours. The long acting form (Concerta, Ritalin LA, Adderall XR), can be given once daily as it is released slowly. Kids like the latter as they can escape being teased for taking medication at school. Doses are started low and increased slowly to avoid side effects. There is a concern of sudden death from a heart attack on stimulants. It is only when there is a heart defect in the child, high blood pressure, a family history of heart defects, irregular heartbeat (on pacemaker), and heart attack around 40s, that a heart tracing, electrocardiogram (ECG) is requested. When abnormal, a clearance from a pediatric cardiologist is recommended. Other medications include alpha agonist (Clonidine [used for high blood pressure], Guanfacine). This is also helpful if the child is unable to sleep or has anger problems. They can also be used if involuntary movements (tics) occur with stimulants. A nonstimulant medication, Atomoxetine {Strattera), is preferred if there are concerns about misuse, abuse or diversion (given to others). A promedication, lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) is also considered as abuse by snorting will not give a “high.” Medications for pre-schoolers have been a practice even before an extensive study. Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) in 2006 established that they are safe, effective and tolerable in this group.

Side effects These are usually limited and tolerable. For stimulants, loss of appetite and stomach ache (given with food), insomnia (last dose given before 4 pm), dry mouth. Alpha agonists need to be weaned off slowly to avoid high or low blood pressure when stopped abruptly. When there is significant weight loss (determined as percentile for age, and gender in the growth curve), weekend holidays can be done. A recent study did not show particular concerns about effects on eventual height when kids are followed in adulthood. While medications are important, it is necessary for kids to learn ways (skills) to manage their moods and anger, problem-solve, communicate and socialize. These can be done through therapy. I recommend to parents and child to make use of combined treatment as medications allow them. Helpful resource While parents are leery about medications, I always ask them to look at how impairing ADHD can be with their kids and that help is needed to move them along so that they can meet their developmental needs. The earlier they have the tools, the better they are able to make it out there! Information is key. Obtain them from your physicians and reputable sources.

Good resources : ParentsMedGuide on ADHD; National Institute of Mental health: attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorderadhd/index.shtml; Center for Disease Control: (The above information is informational. A medical evaluation is best suited to meet your child’s needs and is recommended as indicated). Dr. Aromin is a child psychiatrist in Manhattan and is board certified.

7/27/2016 3:30:40 AM


70th Republic Day of Italy (“Festa della Repubblica”) Metro Scene by Joy Fong

His Excellency, Ambassador Massimo Roscigno and Madame Agnes Roscigno hosted the celebration of the 70th Republic Day of Italy (“Festa della Repubblica”) recently at Sofitel Philippine Plaza. The Republic Day is the most important celebration in Italy, marking the abolishment of monarchial rule in 1946 via referendum and the establishment of a full-pledged democracy. In his speech, the Ambassador highlighted the milestones of ItalyPhilippines relations since July 9, 1947 spanning from different areas of cooperation: political, defense, commercial, development cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges. Italy has been one of the major partners of the Philippines especially in development cooperation notably the €42 Million Italian Assistance to the Agrarian Reform Community Development Support Program (IARCDSP) and €3 Million Debt for Development Swap Program. On behalf of the Philippine

Government, Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Rafael Seguis thanked the Ambassador and the Italian Government for his efforts to expand and enhance the already strong ItalyPhilippines bilateral relations which was reinforced by the Official Visit of President Benigno Aquino III in Rome last December 2015 where he held official meetings with President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The celebration was attended by guests from the Philippine Government, the diplomatic community, the business and artistic sectors, the Italian community. Email Photo Lorna Llanes

Glena Guidicelli, Maricel Gallo, Celeste Coronel

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 34

Rachelle Gerodias- Park, Byeong In Park

Dominico Pusole, Roberto Cucchiara

7/27/2016 3:30:47 AM

MANILA UP! 35 Dr, George Sarakinis, Cory Quirino, Becky Garcia, First Secretary Fabio Shina

Amb. Bievenido, Jr. & Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr.

Parker Ong, Mayen Carmona, Joseph Calata, Frank Evaristo, Francis de Leon

Elena Monti, Maestro Ruggero Barbierri, Emilio Mina, Becky Garcia

H.E. Archbishop Giuseppi Pinto, H.E. Massimo Roscigno, Usec. Rafael Seguis

Marivic Rufino, Roselle Rebano, Eki Cardenas

Madam Agnes & Massimo Roscigno, Helen Ong, Mellie Ablaza

Riccardo Aguila, Matilde Di Nichilo, Gerard Mantovani

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 35

7/27/2016 3:31:08 AM



MARC ANTHONY NICOLAS The 43rd Daytime Emmy Awards took place at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles, California 2016. Filipino-American, Marc Anthony Nicolas was the producer of “The Tyra Banks Show” in New York.  Now, he is the producer of “The Talk” on CBS, which tapes in Studio City, California.  He received his very first Emmy Award this year.    “The Talk” won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Talk Show” in entertainment.  The show competed with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “The Real,” and “The View” in the same category.   Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler host the talk show which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. EST and 1 p.m. PST. The hosts discuss current events, pop culture, celebrity, and trending topics.  “The Talk” was picked up for another year; Season 7 will air this fall.    In addition to working at “The Talk,” Marc Anthony Nicolas is the host and executive producer of “The On Your Marc Show” (www. which airs on Lifestyle Network that is owned by ABS-CBN International.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 36

7/27/2016 3:31:11 AM


MANILA UP! 37 - by Icee Cruz

Team Philippines garnered a total of 175 medals and awards! 39 gold, 65 silver, and 43 bronze! A total of 147 medals! 21 Over all division plaques, and 10 industry awards! Plus 1 scholarship from indasoul entertainment, 3 scholarships from the New York Film Academy, and 1 scholarship from the Millenium Dance Complex!

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 37

7/27/2016 3:31:14 AM


Bohol’s Sandugo Festival by Ernest L. Gonzaga

Sandugo Festival is an expression of communal love. A love of history, love of culture, and love of Bohol. Its people were able to peel off the skin and flesh and see the core of what drives other people into its islands… If a group of people has an understanding of where they came from, a clear perception of which they are, then the whole world will try its best to catch, even just a simple glimpse of the Boholanos’ sense of identity. And if this is replicated on a grander scale, say the whole of the Philippines, and then I’m sure the world would line up to see us for what we really are a culture of history, of unique identity, and of love.

Two years after a devastating earthquake, the province of Bohol rises from the rubble as it celebrated its Sandugo festival.

The Sandugo Festival is an annual historical celebration that takes place every year in Tagbilaran City on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. This festival commemorates the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a chieftain in Bohol, and Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. This 16th-century peace treaty occurred on March 16, 1565 through a blood compact or “sandugo”. Sandugo, most likely the condensed term of “isang dugo,” or “one blood” in English, commemorates the blood compact. This is considered to be the first international treaty in the Philippines. The Sandugo Festival is held every July. The Tagbilaran City Charter Day kicked-off the month-long festival with a holy mass, motorcade and program sponsored by the City Government of Tagbilaran. Among the major activities during the month are the Miss Bohol Sandugo Beauty Pageant, and the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition, organized by the Bohol Sandugo Foundation, Inc. The Street Dancing Competition was participated in by schools, the city and municipal governments, boholano organizations abroad, and even contingents from other provinces. The competition started at noon at the City Pier, passes through the city’s major

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 38

streets, and culminated at the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex where a Sandugo Reenactment was held. The final judging of the competition was held at the Complex where the participants performed again for the audience. The winners received thousands of pesos in prizes. One of the main events during the festival was the International Fusion Nights, a food hub that sold dishes served in Bohol’s upscale resorts and restaurants at a more affordable price.

Another highlight of the festival is the TBTK welcome night. TBTK stands for Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibook Kalibutan, or gathering of Boholanos from around the world. There was also an agricultural product fair, art exhibit, motorcade, music festival, pageants, reunions, talent competitions, commemorative programs and street parties, among other events, to mark the provincial celebration. (Photos from Images Asia)

7/27/2016 3:31:17 AM


August Issue-Manila UP.indd 39

7/27/2016 3:31:20 AM


MARK BAGYO Hailing from Pasay City, Philippines, BagYo has been taking the world by storm. Now residing in Los Angeles County, he is primed to be one of the most prominent American Filipino Hip Hop artists to emerge in Southern California. Through the years, he’s performed at a myriad of events ranging from publicized venues, TV interviews, and charity functions; the majority of them in or around his stomping grounds right here in SoCal. Dubbed the “Golden State”, Cali has deep roots in Rap, an expressive art that fuses poetry with music, BagYo’s chosen genre. With its rich and storied history, associated with glamour, success, and often coupled with civil progression and controversy, Los Angeles County offers itself as a source code for great inspiration. Which is no wonder why talented artist BagYo calls this place home. Having both supported and been supported by local Fil-Am businesses, this past year has seen him branching out up and down the coasts as far south as San Diego, with future prospects taking him all the way back up north to San Francisco. Sources say plans are already in motion for his third return visit across the ocean to his country of birth. Recent buzz has hopes high for a concert by mid 2017. A recent show in Chula Vista had him wowing the audience while opening for fellow Pinoy’s and RNB heavy weights JAY R and Kris Lawrence. The artists got to meet and perform together during the wrap up of the latter’s “Original Music Only World Tour 2016” this July. As BagYo’s musical aspirations continue reaching new plateaus, there is a more disciplined side of this artist that has also been getting a lot of recognition. Before the bright lights and center stage, artist BagYo performed

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 40

his duties in a very different type of theatre. In January 2002, a young man by the name Mark Stewart Villamac Ho, proudly swore into the historic and venerable ranks of the United States Marine Corps. During his service in the month of Feb 2003, he was deployed to the Middle East for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon return from deployment, he fulfilled one of his life long dreams by making it onto the All-Marine Boxing Team. He faithfully remained active until July 2007. Sergeant Ho still finds ways to serve through his official job; working with veterans and civilians alike as a Readjustment Counseling Technician with the VA’s Vet Center in Corona. Using the organizations state of the art Mobile Vet Center, they assist veterans, raise awareness, and educate people of the needs and struggles of our active and retired military combat heroes. Having found a new voice through music in the name of BagYo, the veteran/boxer has the opportunity to access a platform that many others are unable to. And by all accounts he appears to do so with confidence. You might have even seen some of that confidence if you caught a few of

the different Filipino and American Independence Day parades happening around the county this year. Many of which he had the privilege of riding in with his lovely mother, Ambassador of goodwill, Ludivina Gilkison. He credits a big part of his inspiration for music to faith, his loved ones, his life growing up as a young man in California, and his time serving in the Marine Corps. BagYo remarks, “While I was in the Marines, making music was always a strong interest and passion for me. It’s something that’s been embedded into me since high school, back when writing music and poetry was just a hobby for me”. Now it’s more of a driving force, representing and endearing humanity’s constant struggle of life and progression. An everchanging movement tempered in fires of dedication, sacrifice, and faith; deftly cooled in the waters of compassion, love, and understanding. Ultimately culminating into a perfect musical storm. -For more 411 on BagYo visit:

7/27/2016 3:31:40 AM

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 41

7/27/2016 3:31:45 AM


Carla Regin Lopez & Junior Munoz By Annette A.Bacani

Different Backgrounds Carla, who studied Interior Design at Raffles Design Institute Manila, is a very creative person. She loves taking photos, making DIY projects and painting. Her childhood experiences had taught her a lot. Although she wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, she knew that it would have something to do with designing or running a business of her own. Junior, on the other hand, grew up in Holland. His childhood was kind of a bit hard for him and his siblings, living in a household with strong Filipino culture, being raised in a Filipino manner while living a Dutch lifestyle. He majored in Business Economics but always wanted to be a professional football player. He started playing football at a tender age of six and played professionally in Holland. He then decided to go to the Philippines, where his adventures began - a professional athlete, husband, father, and businessman. He moved to the Philippines in 2012 and signed a contract with a professional football club, KayaFC. A Pinoy by heart with a Dutch and Filipino mentality, his father always taught him to combine the good habits of his two different backgrounds and meld them together. Same Interests Though both are busy with their careers, they try to support each other and balance everything. Family takes priority, and they try to spend as much time with each other and with their daughter, Julia. They want to expand their family eventually, but right now, their focus is on their jobs and businesses, working to be financially stable, and of course, enjoying raising their two-year old daughter. Carla is currently handling her family’s business, and working with a friend’s business while helping out in her husband’s business. She plans on starting a business of her own soon. Junior, on the other hand, started his clothing line, LongLineApparel, in January of 2015. It’s all about oversized/elongated t-shirts, sweaters, polo shirts, etc., in

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 42

different styles. He saw that there was a high demand for such style and thought that it’s the perfect timing to start the business. The product is sold throughout the Philippines and is being recognized abroad as well. Fashion is his passion. Thelittledutchess, a high fashioned clothing line, especially for kids, is also among their business ventures. Interesting Insights (Here is a portion of the interview that I thought is best left in a question and answer format) MU: Where do you see yourself five years from now? (personally, and business-wise, you may share as you see fit) Carla: In 5 years from now, I think I’ll be a better mother, wife and business woman than what I am right now. Junior: We see ourselves in 5 years to be an inspiration to others, business wise, but also as a husband and wife / father and mother. We want to be an example of how life can be lived in a different way, instead of the vast majority, which is working for a company or not having a healthy family. I believe that God created us with special intentions and not to be working for someone else until you retire. (While Carla answered the following questions separately, Junior chose to combine his answers)  MU: Do you feel like you are where you want to be right now, or are there still something lacking? Being still young, have you reached your goal in life? Carla: Not really. We are in a good place, but we do really need some improvements. MU: Any inspirations and, or motivations that keep you going strong and focused? Beliefs that define your character? Carla: Don’t work for money, let money work for you. I love reading the books of Robert Kiyosaki over and over again. It makes me think positive and focused. Junior: I believe in God’s timing. Everyone is

7/27/2016 3:31:46 AM

experiencing happy moments in life, but also difficulties at the same time. Life is filled with joy and excitement , but only because of the existence of sadness and darkness. I am happy where I am right now, happy to have found my love of my life, and daughter and everything that has been happening since then. MU: Any shared interests or hobbies that makes your marriage stronger, or just anything you want to share on how to make it work, being busy and all? Carla: I believe that without love, nothing works. It works coz Love is our center. We have the same business interests and the same dreams. Any words of wisdom that you want to impart to young couples who are striving to juggle family life and handling a business? Carla: Always show your support to your partner. Lift their spirits up, forget their mistakes, but focus on their strengths.

Looking forward

MANILA UP! 43 43

The couple hopes to open a joint business venture in the near future. Their goal is to open businesses that will create jobs and will be of help to the country. Although they can’t divulge it yet, the plans are there. Junior knows how challenging opening a business can be. He states that “When you own a business, it’s always challenging because you always have to be innovative no matter what product you sell. Time is money, and that’s why you always have to find a way to push yourself, which sometimes can be very hard. Timing is key in everything, especially in business because you depend on your customers. I’m very open, direct and friendly to my employees and customers. It’s not only the product you sell but also your service.” You may find more information about LongLineApparel and thelittledutchess on Instagram @longlineapparel / @ thelittledutchess.

Fights and little arguments are not worth it. It’s a waste of time. Show love instead. Junior: When you start your own business with your partner it is important to separate your personal and business lifestyle. It is obvious you and your partner will be excited about your business plans and you will be thinking about it every day, which can be a good energy but also bad. Most of the couples that have their own business will fail because their marriage life has been placed aside. That is why it’s very important that you and your partner live a balanced life. Doing things together like you always did in the beginning. Keeping the excitement going is the only way that makes a marriage and business successful.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 43

7/27/2016 3:31:48 AM


Come to Marinduque On the beat by Fe Koons If you love to see Boracay or Palawan, then you will see more unexplored virgin beaches in Marinduque Philippines. A heart shaped island in Southern Luzon, you can tour the entire province in a day. Most tourists go to Marinduque during Lent because of the Moriones pageant where penitents wear dapdap masks as Roman soldiers who chase the legendary Longinus in the streets of the province. I was not born in Marinduque where my mother Lila still lives. But every summer, I would visit this lovely island. I stayed there for a year in the early 80s and taught English at the Immaculate Concepcion College. It was the best time of my life. Marinduque is divided into six municipalities – Boac the capital, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Santa Cruz and Torrijos. The people are very religious and friendly. In fact one of its customs is to welcome the first time visitors by doing “putong”. The old ladies would sing the welcome song, put a crown of flowers on the heads of the visitors and then coins are thrown up in the air. Everyone scamper to get the lucky coins. This tradition is also practiced during birthday celebrations. You can get to the province by Zest Air or take the RO-RO ferry boat from the Lucena Port to Mogpog for 500 pesos round trip. It takes at the most four hours. You can ride tricycles or jeepneys around the province. You can stay at Boac hotel across the Boac Cathedral which is a magnificent church itself.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 44

It is a sin to miss the Tres Reyes Islands in Gasan (Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar). You can reach them by hiring a bangka for about 700 pesos that includes the snorkeling gear. I remember swimming in Gaspar. The waters are so clear. Diving is awesome. You must not fail to see white sand Poctoy beach in Torrijos, with the Mt. Malindig for your background. You only pay 25 pesos for entrance and 200 pesos to rent a cottage. The best part is that you can buy fresh fish that they just caught – galunggong, yellow fin, sardines and much more. In Santa Cruz, there is the Maniwaya island. This island is a peaceful, quiet place. There is a sand bar in the mid ocean. Some parts of the beach are rocky but it is very virgin. You can stay by yourself and just rest. In Malbog, Buenavista, Marinduque is the Molbog Sulfur Spring. It is a hot spring at the base of the inactive volcano Mt. Malindig, with natural healing water that remedies skin diseases. Famous is the Bella Rocca spa and resort in Buenavista used to be called Elephant island. You can stay in the cliff villa, have a massage or opt to go water skiing. The last time I went to Marinduque was in April 2012. My daughter, Hazel got sunburnt from swimming in crystal waters and my son Jesse rode the banca enjoying the heat of the sun on the way to an islet. I was always proud to go back

to Marinduque especially during Easter despite the heat of the sun and sometimes lack of water or sudden brownouts. But the beaches beckon. There are more places that I have not even begin to see --- the Padjao falls, the enchanting caves and revisit Gaspar whose young kids would tease me because I did not want to dive into the deep waters without any gear. I remember being with my Peace Corps friends Rodney Bean, Celeste Phil brick in the early 80s who promised to come back. But as they say, once you visit this heart shaped island, you will always be back. The waves will tell you . It is like Hawaii. Most of all, the people of Marinduque will entice you with their food of adobo with coconut milk. Legend has it that the island grew out of a coral reef when two lovers – Marin and Duke – escaped because they were forbidden to love each other. That is probably why it is heart shaped. Come and visit my home --- Marinduque. Your heart will love it!

7/27/2016 3:31:49 AM


MAYFLOWER Seafood Restaurant

LA CHINATOWN WE DO CATERING 679 N. Spring Street FOR ALL PARTIES & Los Angeles, CA 90012 LUNCH SPECIAL DAILY Open 7 days 11AM-3AM Tel: (213) 628-0116 Fax: (213) 628-0129

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 45

7/27/2016 3:31:52 AM


Ivy Violan, Giji, Maricar Cabasag, Bambi Lopez

Bambi Lopez, Celia and George Dy

Giji Kocher, well known in the Philippine movie industry as Djhoanna Garcia, celebrated her 60th birthday at Oddsville Studio in DTLA. It was a wonderful, jubilant well-attended celebration. 4700 Band headed by Maricar Balague Cabasag with Alvin Reyes, Charmie Morales, - we’re the leading entertainers. Jamming sessions were performed by Malou Toler, Ivy Violan, Bambi Lopez, Jo Awayan to name a few. Melanie Marquez – Miss International 1979 graced the party, as well as the Royal Flush Music Society, Becca Godinez, Louie Reyes of the New Minstrels, Ivy Violan of Sangkatutak Band, not to forget the Hollywood writers Janet Nepales and Ruben Nepales. And, of course, let’s not forget her loving friends and family. The "Shindig’s" attendees were attired in retro outfit. Food and drinks were overflowing. It was indeed a night to remember. Photos by : Andy Edralin

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 46

Benito Moras Miranda, Becca Godinez, Cesar dela Fuente, Louie Reyes

Giji with husband Vincent Kocher, Iris Leonardo and guests

Vincent Kocher, Henry Chin

Giji, Edith Leonardo, Melanie Marquez and friends

Giji, Janet Nepales, Heidi Tann, Ruben Nepales and friend

Giji, Andy Edralin, Bambi Lopez, Eugene Supnet

Louie Reyes, Meriel Castro, Grace Figues, Ivy Violan

Ruben and Janet Nepales of Hollywood Press and Sonia Bermejo

7/27/2016 3:32:00 AM


Romeo Morales’ interest in cars started when he was just a teenager. At a young age of 18, he opened his car repair shop, which he called ZEVLAG, his mom’s last name spelled backwards (Galvez).

CARSPECS USA Located in Valenzuela, Bulacan, his shop, which specialized in automotive detailing, minor car repairs and automotive car replacements prospered, owing to his hard work and perseverance.

Anaheim. That experience enriched his grasp on business management and his customer service skills expanded. His knowledge in marketing and business development burgeoned as well.

The personalized service that he rendered his clients drew people to his business despite stiff competitions from shops located in nearby Quezon City and Manila. The knowledge that he acquired when attending college at Letran, helped him tremendously and he didn’t stop there, he attended numerous seminars to further his mastery regarding automotive.

Romeo eventually joined CARSPECS USA as a partner in 2008. His primary goal was to give exceptional service, not only to his fellow Filipinos but to other clients who are in the market for efficient cars that also meets their budget and needs.

When he migrated to the US along with his wife Sheryn and their two kids, he worked as a car salesman for Toyota of Cerritos, and for Miller Toyota of

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 47

To find out more about the makes and models that they carry, and the kind of service that they provide, please visit them at their location: 1678 Broadway, Anaheim, CA 92802. You may give them a call at 626-244-4262 or visit them on the web at

7/27/2016 3:32:05 AM


Raising Millennials in a Christian Home

Reflections of Hope by Rev. R.D. Quema I don’t know if you’ve noticed (I say this with tongue in cheek) that our kids have all grown up into teenagers! It means two things. One, that we are no longer teenagers ourselves (we’re not cool, hip, young or “in”) Well, that’s what we told our parents when we were teenagers. So it’s all the same right? No. Because something is very different about our society. You’ve heard me say it for more than a year. The Christian Worldview is no longer the predominant worldview. We are no longer the home team. Our kids are growing up in a world that is completely different from the world we grew up in. It means that when we use the same mindset as our parents to reach them, we are guaranteed to fail. The fact that we’re in the United States may cause us to raise our kids “the American Way”, which means, “go with the flow”. Very dangerous.   I’m here to sound the alarm that we are losing our teens and we need to do something to win them back. Let’s start by looking at the issues confronting our teens today. Issues vs. Needs The impact of Technology on our social behavior and our family.

purpose or significance without any real encounter with a living God. Our stagnant faith Let’s face it, for a long time we hold on to a set of beliefs and simply set it aside and move on. Majority of church attenders are not even sure of what they believe in and why much less defend it. We force our kids to believe what we believe but while many may obey because they have no choice, they do so only on the surface. They have a different world you are not privy to. Our values are all over the map and our kids know it. So they have moved on and simply began to explore the world in order to form their own ideas and values. They care about issues we don’t understand; we are negative about or even care for. Getting to Know our Millennial They are very Self-Aware - They believe they are special, unique and they can make a difference; they want to make a difference in the world. They share a Corporate Identity - They are civic-minded and teamoriented. They believe that together is better. They work for harmony.

Their worldview is being molded by social media not us, not the church

They are very passionate about Social Justice and Equality - Gender Identity, Marriage Equality, Helping the Poor and the Marginalized, they believe that justice is about respecting differences and not calling anything bad as long as it doesn’t hurt another.

They are dealing with issues of evil, gender identity, relationships,

They are Global Citizens - They believe they are a part of a global

Our kids are more in touch with more people and less in touch with those at home.

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 48

community and they need to be responsible and accountable to each other in perpetuating a harmonious way of life. They are NOT RELIGIOUS They don’t believe in Jesus or the existence of God They don’t believe in the authority of the Bible and if they do, they do so in a very literary way. Their view about morality is either selfish for relativistic The Obstacle of Denial They have been molded by a post Christian media that has embedded its message in our teens psyche and they do not know why they believe what they think they believe. We have mostly ignored this thinking that this is just a “phase” they are going through.   Parents have lived in denial and the false hope that “all things work together” but they only do WHEN WE LOVE GOD! We say we just pray, but the Bible says, “faith without works is dead.” Which means we need to be active in our faith by growing to influence our family.

7/27/2016 3:32:06 AM

MANILA UP! 49 Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV ““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Our approach is not to deal with their issues but to deal with their needs. Matthew 6:33 ESV “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” They need Jesus! You and I need Jesus! We need to go back to the truth that a relationship with God through the redemption of Christ is our greatest need!  Colossians 1:13–14 (ESV) 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.   Is it too late? In some ways yes. But it is not too late for God to move. Is it too late?  In a sense yes.  We can’t go back to the time they were just babies.  But we can do something now!  It is not too late for God to do His work in their lives and ours. The price we pay is prayer and transformation.

We cannot do it alone. We need to stand together as ONE!   2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” LISTEN AND LEARN Listen to our teens and learn to build a trust relationship with them so you can share your journey with Jesus to them. We can’t bully them into the faith. They need to know that we are interested in them and not simply trying to get out of the misery of having to deal with a problem teen.   Colossians 3:21 MSG “Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.”  Proverbs 22:6 ESV “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

BE AUTHENTIC We need to get past our ego and our fears. We need to get real with God and with our teens. You cannot give what you do not have. But if you give whatever you have, God will bless it and use it to win your teen. Our goal is to share our living and loving experience with Christ with them. The urgency is not as much as to relate to the culture of our teens but rather we must be intimately oriented to the truth about Jesus Christ and why all people need him. While our culture changes our needs don’t.   In a way, our current challenge with our teens is serving as a much needed catalyst to our own spiritual awakening.   What are you willing to do to save your teens? Unite in prayer Unite by participation Become a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

Winning our Millennials CORPORATE PRAYER Pray to God together - we pray together as parents but the church also needs to pray as One! Yes, we pray for them at home (hopefully), but we need to come together as a church to pray for our children specifically and engage the enemy in spiritual warfare!

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 49

7/27/2016 3:32:06 AM


Life’s Journey by Melody Garcia Janet Susan R. Nepales, Hollywood Writer/Columnist/Author, is without question, one of the most successful Journalist’s that the Philippines has produced, with a long list of accomplishments, accolades, honors, awards and international exposure we can only dream about, ranging from Hollywood A-listers, celebrities and so much more. Having the personal privilege of spending time with her and getting to know Ms. Janet up close and personal, I solidly believe that her best qualities are summed up in her authenticity and humility, to put simply, what you see is exactly what you get. Her passion for life, for living it to the fullest, for the simple joys and love of laughter consistently in all things, staying humble and Godcentered are the very essence of what has set her apart and what I attribute to her “staying power.” Combining these traits and her laser focus journalistic instinct has paved the way to an international platform that continues to open gates of adventures, storytelling and connectivity. She shares with all readers some key points about her life journey. Purpose: Her purpose is to inform, to educate, to make peace, to inspire, to enjoy God’s blessings, to help others achieve happiness and to help make this world a better place to live in. Motto: To be at peace with God, man, and nature. Have a positive attitude and strong faith in God. Balancing Career and Family life: Her biggest struggle is her super hectic schedule as a journalist. She always finds time for her two daughters. Being

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 50

Life Talks with “Lady Jane”

busy is not an excuse as she firmly believes that the children and your family should always be your number one priority. About her Life Journey: The desire was ignited when she was selected as editor-in-chief for a school paper in Quezon City High School, where she graduated as a valedictorian. Paving the way to also attain titles such as Managing Editor and once again, editor-in-chief of the College of Arts & Letters’ school magazine, The Flame, and graduated Suma Cum Laude. Ms. Janet had the foresight of putting Journalism groups together and contributed articles to all the top newspapers and magazines in the Philippines and incorporated successful methods through networking. It was no surprise that by the time she graduated, she was hired by The Times Journal publication and wrote for Parade magazine which gave her the exposure to celebrity coverage. She went on to marry the love of her life, the equally dynamic, writer Ruben Nepales and moved to Los Angeles, California. This power couple went on to become part of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. To date, both husband and wife are the only Filipino reporters in the 72year history of HFPA. Recently, she won second place in the Los Angeles Press Club’s 58th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards in the Personality Profile – Foreign Correspondents/Reporters category for her article entitled, “Leo On His Parents”. Ms. Janet attributes her success through hard work, determination, and passion doing what she loves and gleefully look forward to each new day filled with memorable moments. She urges everyone to follow their

heart, reach out for their dreams and don’t stop growing. Every big success is achieved by little daily successes. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake because that is the only way to be perfect. She further adds a special note to all working mothers, “Always find time, for your family. Quality time with your children is not based on how long you spend time with them, but what gems of knowledge and inspiration you share with them every time you are together.“ Last but not the least, when asked about choosing a mentor from any era, Ms. Janet named Mother Teresa for her patience, and her open, generous heart. The one question she would ask her, given the chance, was to see why she felt she did not do enough. I guess the lesson from this is with a heart as pure and generous as Mother Teresa’s, there is infinite abundance of love to share to the world.

7/27/2016 3:32:10 AM


August Issue-Manila UP.indd 51

7/27/2016 3:32:13 AM

August Issue-Manila UP.indd 52

7/27/2016 3:32:16 AM

2016 Manila Up! August issue  
2016 Manila Up! August issue