2016 MANILA UP! July issue

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MAGAZINE July 2016 Edition

4th of July Philippine Independence Day PAL direct flight LAX-CEBU Manila Up! Launching in Manila

Danielle Viray Photo: Noli Yu Make Up: Michelle Molina Design: www.retokee.com

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Editor’s Note Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor

I am happy to say that we have reached a milestone when Manila Up! Magazine was finally launched in Manila last month. All the hard work and dedication had paid off. With our Lord’s good graces and blessings, I can proudly declare that ‘We’ve Made It!’ The support and encouragement of my family, the great team work shown by my Manila Up! family, and the patronage of my dear and loving friends are deeply appreciated.

A heartfelt thank you to all of you! As we continue on, we will strive to do our best in offering you, our readers, with interesting facts, articles, great pictures, encouraging stories that will surely inspire and entertain, and will take you to different awesome places, some of which we weren’t aware of before. We look forward to featuring more of our fellow Filipinos from around the world, and the communities that they live in.

Connectivity is our Goal, and we will deliver. ENJOY!!!

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Executive Editor Sonia D. Bermejo

Features/Lifestyle Angel Tahimik

Associate Editor/Writer Antonette B. Ang

HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton

Consultant Thelma Calabio Contributing writers: MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga 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 D.C. , USA Anette Bacani A. LOS ANGELES, USA Reflections of Hope Rev. R.D Quema

Photographers: Benny Uy, Rudy Autor, Willie Cheng Phillip Ner, Jon Bermejo, Richard Dizon Gerry Edra Social Media Photographer: Celia Abuel “PaparrazzCel” Events/Food Corner Blogger Grace Aguilar Icee Cruz Photo Editor Joe Cobilla Director of Advertising Andy Z. Edralin Associate Marketing and Advertising Gilda Pineda Dionela – London, UK Art Director Hydee Abrahan Graphic Layout John Ernest Gregory Webmaster Isidric Panganiban

Beautiful Life Monet Lu

MANILA UP! MAGAZINE 2720 W. Avenue 32, LA, CA 90065, USA

On the Beat Fe Koons

Email: manilaup@gmail.com Website: http//www.manilaupmagazine.com Follow us: FB, Twitter, Instragram Tumblr, Issuu, Magcloud

Over a Cup of Tea Malou Mariano Creative Consultant Noli Yu / www.Retokee.com

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Island Living Randy Antonio

Articles published in this paper do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. ISBN 231-256-2-16

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Blessing A

B e a u t i f u l

By Antonette B. Ang

It is quite refreshing to know that a person at such a young age can have so much charity, empathy, and passion in her heart. At a tender age of 15, DANIELLE VIRAY is all that and more. An upcoming junior in High School who attends San Fernando Valley Academy, Danielle is involved in sports, school clubs, community service groups, school choir, and is a band member as well. An excellent student, she definitely knows how to balance her time.


member of the National Honors

Society, she had the opportunity to help build a school for the less fortunate kids in Arizona. As a practicing 7th Day Adventist, she enjoys helping out at church activities, takes on the role of a counselor during the summer VBS program. Also partakes in other mission work such as helping feed the homeless, and the drive to clean the beaches. Aside from the NHS, Danielle is also a member of the Beta Club; 5th grade, May 2011 Southern California Conference Spelling Bee 2nd place champion, and 1st to 8th grade school’s 1st place champion. Being a sports enthusiast, she is the Varsity Volleyball Captain, chosen as one of the top eight players in Omega League Division, chosen for 1st selected star team for Omega League Division, chosen for MVP for the volleyball team, and plays basketball and softball as well. Amid the things mentioned above, she is also a band member, plays 1st clarinet, and was a member of the Select Choir during her freshman year.

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Photos: Noli Yu Make Up: Michelle Molina Layout: www.retokee.com

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Dabbling as a model for Dahl Aesthetic Skin Care is a testament that aside from brains, she possesses a beautiful appearance worthy of being a participant of “Beautiful Life.” Cited as One of 8 Most Beautiful Filipina Americans, she has indeed accomplished so much at a very young age. Writing being one of her hobbies, she wrote her mother’s touching article in Manila Up! Magazine’s May issue about mothers. She also enjoys playing the piano. Having all those things going for her, how does one find time to do other things? Like teenager stuff? When asked about her social life outside of school and church, her response was, ‘Yes,’ as long as she can balance all her activities, and knows how to prioritize; she has time for friends. She does have a set number of friends, whom she had grown up with, having attended the same school since 1st grade. They go to amusement parks, hang out at the mall, and watch movies. Her being reserved is often misconstrued as having a very serious personality, but once people get close enough, they see this young lady with a bubbly and carefree attitude. Being at an age when learning how to drive is something that teens look forward to and are excited about, she states that she couldn’t wait to get her license so that she can drive her mom around, to lessen her mom’s stress level. Danielle is proud to say that her mom is her role model and that they have a very close mother/daughter relationship. She knows that mom is always there for her, loving her unconditionally, taking care of her, and will always be there if ever she needed help. Her love for her mom is evident in how she expressed those words. I was deeply touched by it, being a mother myself. What perfect gift a mother can ever receive, but to have a child who always thinks about your well-being, notices the sacrifices you make for her, looks up to you, thinks about ways she can help out, and isn’t ashamed to say that, “My mom is my best friend.” That kind of relationship is something that every mother longs for; the kind that every mother wishes to have with their daughters. What a wonderful blessing from God!!! Even at a very young age, she knows what she wants to achieve in life. First and foremost, she intends to attend a University/College, which shares the same belief that she has. That just shows how good her foundation is, how great her faith in God is; being mindful of her religious beliefs. She wants to Major in Psychology, continue to becoming a Medical Doctor in the field of Psychiatry, and once established in life, wants to open her own aesthetics business. She dreams of partnering with her mom in setting up a foundation to help children who were born with cleft palate. To give them the medical attention that they need, the reconstructive surgery required, so that they won’t suffer being left out in this biased society because of their deformity. What an inspiring goal for someone who should just be enjoying life to the fullest, enjoying being young and carefree. Instead, she has her future already mapped out in her mind. She loves to travel, having a brother who lives in the Philippines, Roawald, Danielle visits there with her mom every year. Traveling doesn’t bother her much because she says that as soon as she gets on the plane, she immediately falls asleep. She hopes to travel to Europe with her cousins someday and visit her grandparents who reside in Germany. She has a very close relationship with her cousins, aunts, and uncles. Having the right set of people around her, I perceive, have molded her into becoming a strong yet sensitive young lady that she is today. What more can her parents, Dahl Bravo and Dennis Viray ask for, having a wonderful, caring daughter like Danielle? Watch out, World; she will be someone to be reckoned with. Truly an inspiration for young people out there. Her example is quite amazing!

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Vegas Vibes

by Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

Magandang pagbati sa inyong lahat. Greetings to all our avid readers! It has already been a month, yet it seems like only yesterday that I was just writing my first article. In case you are not aware of it, Las Vegas is home to many charitable organizations such as our own Las Vegas Spring Valley Lions Club. Let me briefly explain what Lions Club International is all about. It is the largest humanitarian service organization in the world. It has 1.4 million members in over 150 countries. Our mission is to serve and provide charitable aid to those in need, which include youth projects, feeding the homeless, vision screening for visually impaired, disaster relief, medical missions, and many other services that benefit the local and international community. On June 18th, 2016, Las Vegas Spring Valley Lions Club held its annual installation of officers and induction of new members ceremony at the Hartland Mansion; an Antebellum themed 31,000 sq. ft. establishment located at 6th Street and E. Charleston Boulevard. It is where history remembers Ginger Rogers dancing, Elvis Presley taking up an overnight residence, a visit from Michael Jackson, including a long list of movies, television shows, and music videos, as well as scenes from the movie Casino. I felt honored to be the third President of this Club since its inception in 2013. Noni Rybka, past district governor and Josie Harrison, current district governor of Lions Club International District 46 graced this event. It is a humbling experience to be involved in a prestigious event where

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community leaders enjoy assembling to support each other’s organizations with the shared interest of helping others, and seeing ordinary citizens so passionate in doing extraordinary things to help the community. As the new King Lion of Las Vegas Spring Valley Lions Club starting July 2016, I am ready TO SERVE and achieve our Club’s goals. Thank you again, dear readers, for letting me into your minds and hearts. Until then.

Duy Nguyen-Master of Ceremony and Pam Phan-Lions Club Board of Director


Esterlina Lim-Lions Club Secretary, Anna Connot-Lions Club Director of Membership & Nicole Duffel-Ms. Elite Endeavor America 2016

Jane Alcantara, Maria Luisa Fukuzawa-Asst. PRO, Maynard Bagang-PRO, Lions Club Outgoing President Edna White, District Governor 46 Josie Harrison

L-R: Lions District Governor Josie Harrison; Architect Christine Small; Noni Rybka

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Assistant Clinical Professor, Drew University and UCLA School of Medicine Diplomate, Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) President, University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles (UPAAGLA) Presidential Adviser and Past President, Philippine Medical Association of Southern California (PMASC) Past President UP Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA), Southern California Chapter

Arnel M Joaquin, MD Dr. Arnel M. Joaquin has seen how poverty affects attitude towards healthcare. As a medical student at the Philippine General Hospital, a resident at the Detroit Medical Center, and an attending physician at Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in South Central Los Angeles, Dr. Joaquin has been exposed to the plight of the poor and underserved population for the vast majority of his medical career. Having spent the first half of his life in the Philippines, he has personally experienced and seen how our people make difficult choices everyday: go to the doctor and buy medicines for your blood pressure and diabetes, or buy food for your family. Having a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure is a future virtual threat that pales in comparison with the need to survive on a day-to-day basis. Year in and year out, during their annual medical missions with PMASC, Dr. Joaquin and his colleagues see the same problems. Some view medical missions as futile as patients typically get a free supply of chronic care medication for a few weeks and stop taking medications once they run out. Dr. Joaquin sees a potential partnership between PMASC and the local government, whose programs include providing education and free medications to the neediest residents. “It is our moral duty to help our indigent countrymen in every small way we can and at the same time bring forward their health issues on a national level,� he says. During his term as the president of PMASC, Dr. Joaquin spearheaded the establishment of a permanent endowment fund that shall support

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its mission activities both locally and in the Philippines. He hopes that the fund will continue to grow with the help of donations from members and the general public so that it can help support the chronic care needs of the indigent residents of underserved communities in the Philippines. PMASC partners with different Filipino medical alumni associations in conducting joint missions. Recently, the group participated in and supported the following: 1) FEU Medical Alumni Association of Southern California Medical and Surgical Mission in Danao, Cebu organized by Dr. Licerio Castro, MD; 2) the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center Medical Alumni Association of America Medical Mission led by Dr. Edgar Banez; and 3) the Archdiocese of San Bernardino Medical Mission through Dr. Juanito Garlitos, the current PMASC President and an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Joaquin invites the public, especially the Filipino community in the US, to help PMASC in achieving its goals of improving the health of the indigent population, especially in the Philippines. Donations payable to PMASC can be sent by mail to:

Dr. Arnel Joaquin is a board certified internist and geriatrician practicing in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He also specialized in geriatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. He spent most of his career in academic medicine. He has faculty appointments at Charles Drew University and UCLA School of Medicine. He loves to teach medical students, residents, and fellows and continues to volunteer his time for these activities. Dr. Joaquin has kept himself active in the community by serving as board member as well as officer of various community groups, including the Los Angeles Police Foundation, Filipino Veterans Foundation, Filipino American Service Group, Veterans Administration Advisory Council, The Philippine Medical Association of Southern California, and the UPMASA Southern California Chapter among others. He is currently the president of the UP Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles (UPAAGLA). Dr. Joaquin is married to Agnes PMASC Joaquin, MD who practices internal 12444 Washington Blvd medicine in Los Angeles. They are blessed Whittier, CA 90602 with four boys. Aside from being busy Donations can also be accepted online with his career and family, Dr. Joaquin at www.PMASC.org. PMASC is a 501(c) finds time for golf, basketball, and martial arts. He also loves music and plays the 3 nonprofit organization with TIN # 23guitar. 7264511.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016, was anything but an ordinary day in Orlando, FL. We made global news. It had nothing to do with what our city is typically known for; tourism, world-class theme parks, or beaches. Instead, on this fateful day, we made history. Orlando suffered the worst mass shooting in the country’s history: 50 have perished and over 53 injured from this senseless and heinous crime. Some have called it a “hate crime” while others have labeled this an act of terrorism. Right in my own city, my own backyard so to speak, and on the street I’ve often driven by heading to downtown.

Life’s Journey

by Melody Garcia

“From the Ashes,We Rose”

As fast as media had covered this painful and ghastly story, social media was flooded by sympathies, pleas from different people looking for their friends and loved ones, conspiracy theories, political party bashing, unbelievable bigotry, messages of hope, messages of despair…It became too much to process. Emotions were overwhelming in all aspects. Orlando was hurting, the country was hurting…the world watched. The Tony Awards was scheduled to go on, and the show did. It was an award filled with beautiful messages. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s emotional Tony acceptance sonnet-speech sent a clear message; “When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised, not one day. The show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall in light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love, is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”

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So where do we journey from here? Outside the tragedy that as I pen this article, continues to unfold, outside the pain that has touched the residents of my beautiful city, outside the noise of opinions, projections, narcissism, strategic business positions to capitalize on this tragic event, came a community that showed strength, that showed love and that showed unity. I was one of the active social media communicators blasting what was needed the moment information came to me. Blood donors, volunteers, communications to different groups, vigil gatherings, missing people reports, etc. The City of Orlando responded to the thousands who decided to use social media for the good. The limited amount of selfies, food posts, limited party posts (thank God for the sensitivity of others) was visible. Friends opened their homes for gatherings and support, and other businesses offered free counseling. What unfolded was the greatness of diversified people that

made our country and city great. What transpired from the depths of this dark moment was the light and beauty of hearts from responders and volunteers. What took place was a call to action by the residents of Orlando and businesses that donated products and services to the LGBT center. Miles and miles, lines formed to donate blood that was in much shortage. For the first time in a long time, messages stating that One Blood bank was at full capacity for the day but will continue to take donations throughout the week. Orlando, my “city beautiful” as we locals have named it, rose up. Orlando stood strong and at that moment, the barriers of race, gender, sexual preferences and age were eradicated by the residents and visitors who unified in the strength of hearts. For how long? One can only hope, for the rest of forever. As we celebrate the upcoming Independence Day this July, let us not forget the privilege we have in living in one of the Greatest Countries on earth. It’s people who destroy it, and it is people who can build it back. We need to face everything and rise. I dedicate this article to my city, to my neighbors, to my friends, to the victims and to everyone around the world affected by the tragic events that continue to plague your cities outside of mine. Hope, love and take action towards the positive eradication of barriers set by differences. Hug your children closer and let love live.

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Walk My Way

Kandaya Resort

Welcome to Kandaya! Or Mabuhay as spoken in the local dialect.

by Mayenne Carmona

Created from the union of land, sea and sky arises Kandaya Resort in the coastal heart of historic Daanbantayan. Kandaya is the first luxury, leisure, and wellness resort at the Northern tip of Cebu. Owned and operated by Agujo Land Corporation, a subsidiary of MSY Holdings, the resort is a true oasis for those seeking sanctum from everyday life. Opened in November 2014 and named after Datu Daya, Daanbantayan’s fierce and brave tribal chieftain from days of old, Kandaya (literally, “of Daya”) is every bit as regal and royal as its namesake. Kandaya’s 22 neo – Asian inspired villas and 18 contemporary-styled rooms and suites are spread out over

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7 hectares of gorgeous land, with a stunning seascape for a backdrop. The total property is actually 14 hectares including the horse stables and a coconut plantation. Wide-open spaces bring a sense of freedom, reflected even in the well-appointed villas and

rooms. A fully equipped top-of- the-line Mixed Martial Arts center known as “Kombate” provides a place to practice a mixture of physical fitness routines,

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along with tennis and basketball courts and a beach volleyball court. Enjoy Kandaya’s health and wellness center consisting of a Spa, Yoga studio and fully fitted gym. Whereas the sprawling outdoors also allows the resort to infuse adventure into your stay, through such activities as horseback riding, kayaking, sailing, diving and snorkeling. A visit to the Kandaya Kuwadra Horse Stables is a must with four noble horses and two adorable ponies, all beautifully groomed and ready to meet you. For children this is a place of fun with actual grooming of the friendliest ponies. The spacious riding arena is the perfect place for improving all levels of riding skills. While a trail ride through coconut trees and along the beach is a memorable experience for anyone. Rest and relaxation are in no short supply at Kandaya. There are many ways to slip into a moment of ease, unhurried and unhampered no hard and fast rules exist, only irresistible suggestions. Stretch out

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on the immaculate and incredible private strip of beach, lounge by the impressive main pool or at your private villa pool, and be lulled to sleep in one of several swings hanging from sturdy tree branches.


A visit to the resort’s Daya spa is most assuredly a rest and rejuvenation indulgence. Dedicated to the balance of body, mind, and spirit through the healing human touch, Daya spa offers treatments and massages designed to contribute to overall wellness. The moment you step into the Spa, experience a blissful journey to relaxation.

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Manila’s June Upscale Events

Earnest Snoops by Ernest L. Gonzaga

Congresswoman Imelda Marcos and Karin Van Suijdam-ter Wisscha

Agile Zamora, Carol Ocampo Mercado, Serla Russell and Thelma Sioson San Juan.

Agile Zamora, Irene Martel Francisco and Connie Haw.

Anne Puno, Michelle Rivera Lee, Agille Zamora, Jemellie Gonzales and Elsie Pascua

Birthday celebrants Becky Garcia, Atty. Rene Puno and Consul Helen Ong with host and guests

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Metro Manila’s chic crowd geared up for several swanky events this past month starting off with Urban Man event at Rustan’s; Bvlgari, Philippine Tatler Weddings and Inquirer Lifestyle LOOK Book launch at the Manila Peninsula; SSAP Fiesta Celebration at the Forbes Park Social Hall; the Philippines’ Best Dressed afternoon tea at the Shangrila Makati; the 60th birthday bash of Manila Piano’s, Inc. main man Willem Van Sujidam; The Bollywoodthemed joint birthday celebrations of Angola Consul Helen Ong, Manila Standard and Manila Up society columnist Becky Garcia and lawyer Rene Puno, to mention a few with some more linedup as of this writing like Rupert Jacinto’s painting exhibit at the Peninsula Manila, Fino leatherware’s exclusive sneak peek OF FINO NOW, as inspired by

Gina Ronquillo with birthday boy Willem Van Suijdam

Filipino brand advocates Dyan Castillejo, Margie Moran Floreindo and Serla Russel at the Makati Shangri-la, and many more.

Weddings at the Peninsula. The Peninsula Manila, with Bvlgari, Philippine Tatler Weddings and Inquirer Lifestyle LOOK Book presented the “Weddings atThe Peninsula 2016: Happily Ever After, a 40-year- old Tradition” recently. The whole-day wedding fair showcased select bridal jewelry from Bulgari, lifestyle settings curated by society style arbiters Stephanie ZubiriCrespi, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez and Irene Martel Francisco, and a bespoke DIY flower- arranging session with The Peninsula Manila creative director Anna Fay. Inquirer Lifestyle and Hinge Inquirer’s LOOK beauty and bridal book/magazine l also staged an exhibit of the wedding ensembles of nine designers and the wedding gown of Happy Skin founder and fashion icon Rissa Mananquil when she married Paolo Trillo at the Peninsula.

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Agile Zamora, Johnny Litton, Serla Russel and Ernest Gonzaga

The designers were Lesley Mobo, Randy Ortiz, Mike de la Rosa, Rhett Eala, Joey Samson, Jun Escario, Maureen Disini, Michael Leyva, and Pablo Cabahug. For the past four decades, a wedding at The Peninsula Manila has meant simplicity in planning, but with strict attention to detail and elegance. Willem’s 60th birthday bash. In another event, Manila Pianos Inc., the largest piano selection and piano rebuilding center in Southeast Asia owner Willem Van Sujidam celebrated his 60th birthday in an intimate and elegant bash held at their huge showroom gallery in Makati City. The party set amidst Steinway, Yamaha, Grotrian, Bosendorfer, Pearl River, Kawai, Mason Hamlin, Young Chang, Samick pianos and Content digital organs, Harpsichord became a musical haven later after a buffet of sumptuous dinner and an overflow of pricey wine was

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served. Willem’s lady love, Gina Ronquillo welcomed his guests headed by former first lady Imelda Marcos, retired Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño, Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Marion Derclx , Manila Up publisher Sonia Bermejo with Vina Nacionales to name a few. The surprise of the night was the appearance of Willem’s brother Karl and sister Karin who flew in all the way from the Netherlands just to surprise Willem on his birthday. Bollywood-themed party. Manila’s famous designer Ito Curata and partner Bob Miller hosted a Bollywood-inspired birthday party in honor of Angola Consul Helen Ong, society columnist Becky Garcia and Atty. Rene Puno at their posh Ayala Alabang home. The guests gamely came in full Indian costumes, in sari and belly dancer costumes. Lavish buffet of Indian and continental gastronomies, swarming and costly wines were enjoyed by the guests. Bollywood music filled the air as well as the performances of lovely belly dancers. The guests likewise danced with them. Just like in the previous parties held at Ito’s, Pacqui Campos bagged the best costume award together with Serla Russel. Among the guests who came in full Indian gears were Anne Puno, Agile Zamora, Connie Haw, Len Olbes, Michelle Lee, Nympha Valencia, Gabrielle Wegfahrt, Gina Mohnani, Jemelie Gonzales, and Elsie Pascua among others.


Willem Van Suijdam and his family with Imelda Marcos and Becky Garcia

Jeffrey Candido, Agile Zamora, Jemellie Gonzales and Serla Russel

Manolyn Taylor, Tessa Valdes, Serla Russel, Agile Zamora and Connie Haw

Michelle Lee, Willem Van Suijdam, Sonia Bermejo, Vina Nacionales and George Sarakinis

Tess Schoefer, Nympha Javier Valencia and Mellie Ablaza

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PAL now flies direct to central Philippines Travelers to the Philippines, especially those aiming for famous beaches in the Visayas and Mindanao, can now fly direct without passing through Manila via Philippine Airlines’ non-stop flights to Cebu City from Los Angeles, PAL’s first long-haul service to Central Philippines. These thrice weekly PAL flights using the 254-seater Airbus A340 jets brings holiday seekers and homebound Filipinos closer to their destinations. The Airbus A340-300 is capable of flying up to 7,400 nautical miles. Cebu and Los Angeles are 6,382 nautical miles apart.

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The cabin of PAL’s A340s are configured into Business Class, Premium Economy, and Regular Economy. “Our customers in the Visayas and Mindanao have long clamored for direct flights between Cebu and the US due to the travel convenience this will bring,” said PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista. He added, “One can simply take a short hop from Cebu to any point in the Visayas and Mindanao after arriving from Los Angeles, instead of flying all the way to Manila.” The new route is PAL’s 38th weekly flight to the United States and its territories, and the 5th international flight originating from the MactanCebu International Airport. From Cebu, PAL also flies to Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, and Tokyo’s Narita airport. Since the country emerged out of Category 2 in 2014, PAL has made good on its promise to increase and improve its offerings to the US. It deploys the Boeing 777-300ER on flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles. On March 15, 2015, it reopened flights to New York’s JFK airport after an absence of nearly two decades. With the LAX-Cebu flights, Los Angeles gets up to 14 weekly services from Philippine flag carrier. This also brings the total number of weekly flights of PAL to the US to 38.

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Balayan, Batangas: Parada ng Lechon by Ernest L. Gonzaga

The world-famous Parada ng Lechon originated in the old thanksgiving custom of the working class in what-used-to-be the poor and depressed area of the Kanluran district (western Poblacion) of Balayan, Batangas. During the Spanish and American regimes, families who were fortunate enough to receive some significant blessings during the past year would parade a lechon in the town plaza during the Feast of St. John the Baptist. To the poor people of Balayan, the parading of lechon in the plaza, where the Roman Catholic Church is at the center, is the best show of thanksgiving and veneration to

their patron saint. Even during those early times, the sight of people parading lechons – coupled with centuries-old practice of water dousing in places where St. John the Baptist is the patron saint – was quite a spectacle to behold. As the years passed, as more and more people from the Kanluran district received blessings or became successful, more and more lechons were paraded every June. In 1959, the elders of the Kanluran district organized the Hermandad San Juan Bautista (Brotherhood of St. John the Baptist) to oversee the celebration of what has come to be known as the Parada ng Lechon sa Balayan, Batangas. The Hermandad revolutionized the way an old thanksgiving custom was observed. A one-day celebration became a two-week event, with various activities (from sports tournaments, sing and dance contests, magic and acrobatic shows, bicycle race, battle of the bands, ballroom dancing, beauty pageant, free concerts, fireworks show, etc.) being held to serve as prelude to Parada ng Lechon. Aside from the prolonged celebration, the Hermandad and the dozens of clubs in the Kanluran district introduced the added ingredients of beer-drinking and live bands/ combos in the streets, giant streamers/ tarpaulins, festive banners and buntings, colorful uniforms, and souvenir t-shirts. These ingredients all contribute to a more intensely festive and electrified atmosphere during the whole fiesta celebration. Today, local and foreign tourists, small and big businesses, as well as the national and international media, all flock to Balayan, Batangas to witness and participate in the most hospitable, lavish and unique fiesta celebration in the country. (Photos: Images Asia)

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July 4th, 1776, the birth of our nation or Independence Day was established when representatives of the 13 colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) decided to declare their independence from Great Britain.

4 of JULY th

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted, and on July 4th the historic document which was drafted mainly by Thomas Jefferson was adopted as the Declaration of Independence. Even though the vote happened on July 2nd, July 4th became the day when Americans celebrate the birth of American Independence. The celebration started with some colonists holding mock funerals for King George III (a symbol of the end of the monarchy’s hold on America). Then festivities will follow including parades, speeches, concerts, bonfires and the firing of cannons, accompanied by the public readings of the Declaration of Independence. The first annual commemoration happened in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777. Massachusetts became the 1st state to make the 4th an official state holiday. The United States again faced a war against Great Britain, the War of 1812, which made the patriotic celebration even more widespread. The US Congress declared July 4th a federal holiday in 1870. In 1941, it was expanded as a paid holiday to all federal employees. To this day, the holiday remains an important national holiday and a symbol of patriotism. Nowadays, the festivity is being celebrated by families, by holding gatherings such as picnics or barbecue, and is an opportunity to get together with relatives whenever it lands on a long weekend. Decorations colored red, white, and blue

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By Antonette B. Ang

are the norm (the American flag’s colors). Though the use of cannons lasted only until the 1890s when they went out of use; fireworks, which was first authorized in July 4th, 1777 remained. There will be parades in the morning, concerts and firework displays at night. New York City is known to hold the largest display of fireworks in the United States. More interesting facts: 1) 3 Presidents died on the 4th of July, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom were among the first five signatories of the declaration, died hours from each other in 1826 (50 years from the first declaration), and James Monroe, who died in 1831. 2) The 4th of July holiday is one of only 4

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federal holidays observed on the same calendar date each year, the other three of which are New Year’s Day (January 1st), Veteran’s Day (November 11), and Christmas Day (December 25). Albeit a great time of celebration, most of us aren’t aware of how high the price for this independence really is. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. The men who signed the declaration, men of means and education, who values liberty more than their own lives, were hounded by the British, made to suffer and died with nothing. They sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and honor. Their families torn apart, gave it all, for the firework displays and barbecues, beers, and baseball games that we now can enjoy. They were intelligent men who pledged without reservation, “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” On this day, the 4th of July, why don’t we take a moment, bow our heads, and whisper a silent ‘thank you’ to these patriots, who defied their government, the British government so that we can enjoy a free and independent AMERICA!!!

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6/30/2016 10:43:55 AM



FESTIVAL By Anette Bacani A.

Katipunan officers and members Toni Grandea, Lilia Mamaril-Ku, Maria Bing Slodzinski, Emma M. A. Real, Helen Sadorra & Linda C. Jacobo

The Philippine Festival, held at Maryland State Fairgrounds, in Timonium, Maryland is one tradition that is still growing strong over the years since it was established by the Katipunan (a Filipino-American Philippine Association in Maryland). It started small way back in 1970, and now has grown into a big community affair, attracting thousands of spectators drawn to, and are curious of what the Filipino culture is all about. It became a celebration of the Philippine Independence Day as well.

It starts with a mass, and consists of a day-long presentation of native dances, native costumes were paraded, Filipino artists performed, Filipino cuisine and delicacies were presented, Filipino arts and crafts displayed. It was a vibrant affair; taking us back to the happy celebrations that we had experienced while still living in the Philippines, like fiestas. The food was well worth the drive. It was indeed a wonderful and joyous experience! Photo credits: Ed and Liza Myers

Left photo: Filipino Cultural Association, University of Maryland College Park

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On the beat by Fe P. Koons

On American Independence July 4 is always a fun holiday for many American families. There are parades, picnics, and fireworks. This 2016, we should remember the significance of this decisive moment in our history. The United States as written in the Declaration of Independence is a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” This is the symbol of July 4 -- fighting for freedom. Thirteen colonies declared themselves independent from the British Empire. For many immigrants as well as the undocumented, the path to citizenship is a dream. Even refugees from the Middle East and Central America look to our nation as the sanctuary from various forms of monstrous tyranny. The Statue of Liberty has that vision. Emma Lazarus wrote, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” It is this belief in freedom and justice that infuse the American spirit of being the pillar for independence. Although patriotism has been questioned because of the involvement of the U.S. government in wars against terrorism to the point of intervention and imperialism, this country still stands and protects individual liberty and fights against slavery and dictatorship. The tempests of hate crimes, racism genocides and economic materialism divide many Americans. Patriotism becomes irrelevant. In July, the Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia where the Constitution was signed. Many of the youth and students have questioned the system of election in this country. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders continued to demand for the need for political revolution. Historically, a woman president Hillary Clinton may even get elected. On the other hand, a pseudo-conservative presidential nominee Donald Trump is in the thick of a fight to lead this nation. It is this choice for the U.S. president that policies on freedom may be formulated. Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that, “Nothing then is unchangeable but inherent and inalienable right of man.” Let us then reflect upon the importance of freedom and that liberty cannot be taken for granted. As Americans, it is imperative that we exercise our essential right to vote for our president because the consequence might result in the loss of our freedom. If we want to sustain human liberty; we should work to achieve it -- amidst diversity and conflicts. Independence is vital to our lives because without freedom, there is slavery and oppression. A life that is not free means death!

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La Nuit by Sofitel Manila, May 2016 | Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila launched its latest signature party concept in a glamorous sunset soiree that echoes the best of the Parisian nightlife. The expansive Harbor Garden Tent was transformed into a day to night party venue featuring Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s General Manager Adam Laker and Belinda Laker

featured event would not be complete without a feast for the senses through a rich selection from ateliers serving French canapés, crepes, pasta and carving stations, charcuterie and the decadent live chocolate station. Freestyle led the musical entertainment with live numbers showcasing the finest in Philippine musical talent followed by DJ Callum David taking the helm as guests stayed glued on the dance floor moving to the vibrant beat of the night. **** Sofitel, authentic luxury hotels with a French soul

a setting with an immaculate Fashion Director Robbie runway unveiling Carmona and Celebrity Hair elegance in fashion Stylist Lourd Ramos as Ryan Madamba Andrea presented his latest collection – Crépuscule David and (Dusk). A rich interplay of design and Celebrity color echoing the dramatic transformation Rovilson Fernandez of nightfall, Crépuscule showcased a resort collection with dramatic hues of the Sofitel is the elegant answer to a luxury Manila Bay sunset easing to the pitch-black traveler’s quest for the good things in life. shade of the night. Each hotel illustrates an artful blend of Following the runway show, General local culture and French soul. With an Manager Adam Laker introduced the innate sense of new French art de vivre, new benchmark in magnifique events Sofitel hold themselves to a heightened and ushered the guests towards an edgy level of excellence and refinement. 120 dance hall that would set the stage of addresses in 40 countries across the five La Nuit by Sofitel. Featuring a modern continents appeals to modern status light showcase, a treasure trove of seekers, who have something special and gastronomic delights and signature unique that makes them stand out from cocktails by Sofitel’s artisans and live the crowd. Each hotel is differentiated by entertainment by special musical guests, its “cousu-main” service, graceful design, the multi-experience concept presented creative and inspired gastronomy in major the quintessential Sofitel experience cities like Paris, London, New York, Rio enhanced by culture, gastronomy and design. The evening’s highlights include an de Janeiro, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai… or nestled away in a country landscape LED tunnel installation for that animated in Morocco, Egypt, Thailand, French selfie backdrop, a sophisticated mixology Polynesia… experience featuring special La Nuit Sofitel Legend, where heritage meets cocktails inspired by popular Parisian modernity. The network is composed of nightlife venues Champs Elysees, Bastille, 5 timeless and iconic addresses that are Pigalle and Saint Germain plus Spanish generously infused with French luxury for cava care of Anna Codorniu. A Sofitel

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ultimate indulgence. SO Sofitel, rebellious lifestyle hotels bursting with local energy. In Bangkok, Singapore and Mauritius, SO Sofitel is an experience apart from the rest, recognizable for its avant-garde design, state-of-the-art technology, surprising happenings and social experience. MGallery by Sofitel, charming boutique hotels, inspiring and singular. The intimate collection of 75 hotels stands for adventurous explorers who are clued in to travel and seek out the unbeaten path. Discover Sofitel on www.sofitel.com Discover Le Club at Sofitel, the new

Actress Maricar Reyes, Celebrity Publicist Lana Johnson, Fashion Director Robbie Carmona, and Fashion Designer Pia Gladys Perey

worldwide Accor loyalty program on www. accor.com *** Press Relations Sofitel Philippine Plaza Yasmine Hidalgo Tel + 63 2 551 5555 loc. 1935 Mob + 63 917 3092111 H6308-SM2@sofitel.com www.sofitelmanila.com

Celebrity Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Fashion Designer Ryan Madamba

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Maui Mania

by Edith Y. Pendleton


Independence Day is associated with the liberation of the country. Volumes have been written over the years and July 4th is D-Day for this historical event. That being said, I flipped the coin, on the other side it’s called dependence. I shall allow myself license to digress, therefore, away from the usual discourse on independence. Dependence has long been shut aside as the lesser of the two. It has had undesirable connotations as in, drug dependent, like it is an enabler of a term. When someone is dependent upon some other person or object, there is a semblance of need. Neediness approximates to a demand which presumptively needs a supply. Supply and demand are the crux of dependence. Independent living comes to mind as a midway point for the elderly from total independence to assisted living or further, hospice care. The phenomenal increase in the world’s aging population borne out of the “baby boomer” generation and post war veterans with lifelong disabilities coupled with a whole slew of dependents in the pie of dependence including the epidemic of homelessness has reached crisis proportions. Independence, is liberating. Whether it is freedom from the control of foreign domination or hegemony to live a democratic lifestyle or simply be able to make choices in our daily lives, only those who have experienced dependency of any type can truly appreciate real independence. While we scramble to address the issues of dependency, it is crucial to prioritize within our realms of reality. How parochial is the demand for elderly care and housing for the homeless? Does it affect us on a personal level? Do we address these according to our individual priorities or are they sidelined for the more “important” tasks that keep

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us occupied? And what about those dependent on substances, or economic slavery, which are pervading and prevalent in practically every corner of the world? The never ending saga of war veterans and families who suffer the consequences during and post conflicts creates another void in the idealized picture of independent living, freedom at all costs it seems to say. Vacillating from independence to dependence and struggling to get back on track is a trial by fire. Holding one’s dignity intact in the face of deprivation is heroic to say the least. How to survive dependency and extricate oneself intact is beyond most of us. We have entered into a paradoxical paradigm shift of Malthusian magnitude. Awareness is said to be the key to understanding. Education and immersion are seeds of understanding. The next step is to take action. However, an action plan is necessary prior to springing into a morass of unfathomable challenges, whichever dependency we choose to liberate. Who, what, when, where, how and why ought to be homogenous in any effort no matter how micro or macro. From a personal, to a communal and global level “independence day” is only a dream or a vision for a vast majority. Happy Independence day America, let’s begin with you, now that the promise of change is upon the country. Will there be resolve to become independent from relentless corruption and greed of those mighty and powerful entities who believe in the misconception of the golden rule that: “he who has the gold rules?”

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On Call

by Dr. Romulo Aromin, Jr


Vignette 1: An 8-year-old boy was accompanied by his mother who is now determined to get him help. Since kindergarten, teachers had noticed him as “more bouncy” and needed redirection to get seated. Mother thought that he would outgrow it. However, problems became more prominent. He would cut people off during a conversation. He would misplace his things. He is disorganized in his room. He still needs more time to complete assignments. He is now more defiant, and his peers dislike him because he gets frustrated often. Vignette 2: Elle, a 10-year-old girl, came in for a wellness follow-up. Her mother curbed side one of the nurses expressing she barely passes her grade. Teachers reported that she would “daydream” and needed redirection when spoken to. She has never been a behavior problem. She has to attend summer class again as she did the second grade. She does well with Math but not in Reading. Epilepsy is under control after she was started on Tegretol (carbamazepine). Inattention nevertheless persisted. Vignette 3: A 27-year old female came in for a consult due to persistent problems failing to meet deadlines. With added work, design projects are stalled and would pile up. She had similar problems from her previous job resulting in her termination. Historically, she endorsed core attentional and hyperactive problems as a child but were ignored and left untreated. She struggled even when finishing her architecture degree. She had episodic cannabis use to deal with her anxiety.

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What is it? You hear these stories of kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) where boys are usually both inattentive and hyperactive (combined), in contrast to girls who are more inattentive. As girls do not cause problems, this also delays diagnosis. The other subtype is predominant hyperactivity. While parents report that their kids can concentrate and play videos all night, the feature is actually the lack of sustained attention when tasks are least likely enjoyed. ADHD is the most studied of childhood psychiatric conditions. It is a brain disorder. The prefrontal part of the brain is controlled by a neurotransmitter (norepinephrine) that allows for behaviors to be modulated or inhibited. We are then able to think before we act. It is when this chemical messenger is diminished that behaviors become impulsive, reckless, and with limited forethought of consequences. Hence, while a stimulant (methylphenidate [Ritalin], amphetamine [Adderall], is the treatment, the resulting goal is inhibition and control.

While parents usually would wait out, about up to 7 kids will continue to have these problems by adolescence. As they become adults, hyperactivity has significantly diminished, but they still report “internal” restlessness. They continue having problems with concentration, planning, and organization, in keeping jobs and maintaining interpersonal relationships. (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.

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Asia Aragon Asia Aragon is 14-years old and lives in Pasadena, California, with her Dad Jovi, Mom Angeli, and brothers Adam and Jered. She will be a high school Sophomore in the Fall at La Salle High School. Asia is an actress, singer, dancer and model. Currently, she is SAG-AFTRA Eligible. She is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, and by DBA Talent Management. Asia has been studying dance, and has also been taking acting and singing lessons, since she was 8 years old. She dances ballet (pointe), hip hop, tap, jazz and ballroom. She has appeared in national commercials, music videos, films and theatre productions, and has recorded voiceovers. Asia played the lead role of Kim in Stealth, a multi-award-winning short film from the American Film Institute. Stealth is the recipient of 2 student Emmy awards, of a student Academy Award, of over 20 film festival awards, and has played in over 50 film festivals. Asia’s musical theater and stage drama credits include: Willy Wonka: The Musical (as the gum-chewing lead Violet Beauregarde); Aladdin Jr. (as the lead Princess Jasmine); Annie (once as the lead Annie and twice as the lead Pepper); White Christmas (as the young lead Susan Waverly); South Pacific (as the young lead Ngana); The Big Bad Musical (as the young lead Sidney Grimm); and The Doll (as the lead Monica). Asia also modeled as the American Girl doll Ivy Ling for the American Girl/ Flintridge Guild Fashion shows for five years. Asia is an alumni of the Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City, and appears on the cover and in a small snippet on the video of BAA’s website “Meet Broadway Artists Alliance of New York City.” Asia was nominated for the 20152016 National Youth Arts (Junior Division) Lead Actress Award for her portrayal of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin Jr. She also won the 2013-2014 National Youth Arts Outstanding Group Vocal

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Performance (Junior Division) Award for her vocal performance in LePetit Cirque’s “The Journey of You”. In the past year and a half, Asia has been working on an EP of three original songs, in the hopes of someday finding music management and representation. Her first song, set to be released at her Launch Party on July 16, 2016, along with her music dance video for the song, is called GIRLS PARADISE. It is an upbeat dance song about just having a good time “hanging” with girlfriends, and about girl power as the lyrics state: “We dream, we believe, we can achieve. Heaven, right here on earth, cuz’ we know just what we’re worth.” Her second song, set to be released sometime in August 2016, along with a music video, is called JUST FLY AWAY. It is a fun summer/travel song about traveling all over the world, and spreading love and laughter around the world. Asia is heading to the studio to record her third song called LUCKY FOR ME. The third song has more of an R&B dance beat, and will have some rap lyrics. The focus of the song is asking questions about what she’s feeling for a boy and whether what she’s feeling is love. Asia plans for the third song to be released in the Fall, along with a music video. Asia feels happy and excited about what the future will bring for her in music, and also in acting, dance and modeling. She feels blessed and is extremely grateful for all of the love and support she has received, and continues to receive, from her friends and family, and from her Music Producer Christian, her Creative Director and Choreographer Aukai, her Music Video Director Steven, her BTS Video Director and Photographer Adam, and her dance crew: Stephanie, Erin, Hiromi, Paloma, Meleah, Natalia and Caleigh. She knows that without them, none of this would be possible, and that she is lucky to have them in her life. Asia would love for you to check out her website at asiaaragon.com, and to follow her on Instagram and friend her on Facebook. She is looking forward to connecting with all of you, all over the world, through Manila Up!

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UK na UK by Ella Hidalgo

4th Impact the Dreamers “The world needs dreamers, and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.“

The group called 4th Impact composed of Almira, Mylene, Irene and Celina Cercados, are indeed dreamers who have worked so hard, to achieve the fame they have today. The group was formerly known as The Cercados, Gollayan Sisters, MICA and 4th Power. The sisters were born in Santiago, Isabela, which makes them “Ilocanos,” and made me even prouder to be an Ilocana. Almira Cercado, the eldest of the 4th Impact, began competing in singing contests at an early age. She received a scholarship in voice lessons as one of the finalists of a local TV singing contest. Before they became 4th Impact, Almira had singles released, and she also shared what she had learned in her voice lessons to

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her younger siblings. She competed in different singing contests in fiestas and festivals while the rest of her sisters competed in dance contests. One of their aunts suggested for them to form a singing group in 2001. They named it “The Cercados” and they began performing together in different events, and joined in several singing competitions. They are known for participating in Philippine and South Korean Talent Shows, including the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), which they won twice. WCOPA is the first and only international competition to search and crown the best aspiring performing artists worldwide. This competitive contest which is held yearly in Hollywood, California, is

often referred to as the “Olympics of the Performing Arts.” In 2015, they traveled to the United Kingdom, tried their luck in the 12th Series of X­Factor and landed in 5th Place under the mentorship of Cheryl Fernandez Versini ( formerly known as Cheryl Cole). The sisters are now performing in different parts of the world, and they will be seen in several barrio fiestas here in the UK. The TEKKIT EVENTS of Robin Gaudiel produced the amazing and very successful 4th Impact concert in Slough last June 12, as part of the celebration of the Philippines Independence Day. The day was filled with non­stop entertainment and laughter. From Sunshine Garcia, a former Sexbomb Dancer and Banana

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SSundae Mainstay, along with the UK based artists: Neneth Lyons of X­Factor 2015, Arixandra Libantino of BGT 2013, Gelo Bernal and his duet, Jahna Pauleen Lucero (Open Mic Finalist), AL Pa Bet, Sealvia Paulin, Alyssa Gonzales, Chloe and Clarissa Ragrag and the D’ Intruders (SPMA Best Live Band of the Year 2016), hosted by 2016 London NABA Winner Hannah Harrison. After the show, I had the chance to meet with the 4th Impact for the 2nd time around. This time, I had the chance to chat with them especially with the eldest, the very friendly and lovely, Almira. I managed to ask few a questions as they were also getting ready for the meet and greet. I have recorded the conversation, and I will transcribe it exactly the way the questions had been answered. Q: The fans are waiting to know if the group is going to sign a record album under Simon Cowell. Is this happening? A: Ah.. nasa process po kami ng .... ( Clearing her throat).. pag... may mga inquiries po pero yung management po namin ay pinipili yung the best na timing and yung mga songs and yung record deal nga po, may kinakausap na po yung management namin. Pero siyempre po ayaw naming mawala yung nasimulan naming international stage, so, as much as possible, yun po yung pinapriority ng management. Q: What are the challenges you encountered when you joined X­ Factor?

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A: Challenges po ay, yung malayo kami sa family namin. Kami­kami lang apat po ang nandito nong lumalaban kami sa X­Factor and financially po, hindi po namin alam kung paano kami mag start o sasali sa X­Factor, but there’s a good person na nag­financed sa amin sa contest. Q: So, it’s just your mom who goes around with you all throughout? A: Yes, si mama lang po. Q: What can you say when people compare you with each other? A: Ahh.. Hindi po maiiwasan yan na nacocompare po kami sa isa’t isa. Pero ang sabi po namin as magkakapatid, kung ano po yung

makakaganda sa grupo, yun po yung tinitignan namin most especially. Yung..yung...wala po kaming tinitignan kung sinong mas magaling.. sino mas ano..yung sino po mas magandang effect ...( In this question, Mylene butted in and said “Tulungan”


which has been seconded by Almira). Q: If Mylene is the arranger, who is the choreographer? A: Mylene is the arranger, Irene is the choreographer. My last question was if Almira and Irene are now both in a relationship, how about Mylene and Celina? The

answer I got was, “Career Muna.” I truly admire these young ladies. They are the epitome of true dreamers. They are an inspiration to all siblings, in supporting and helping each other, in the realization of their dreams. Their mother, Mommy Erlinda whom I chatted with in Ilocano, reminded me of my mother. Like her, my late mother was always with my siblings and me, in all competitions and occasions we have joined, and have attended to all our needs. I saw how supportive and caring Mommy Erlinda is to her lovely daughters from the time I entered the dressing room. The sisters even announced at the show, that their attires were made by their mother, and they are so grateful for her unconditional love and support. More power to the 4th Impact and continue to be humble and inspire all dreamers out there.

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by Sonia Dionela-Bermejo

It’s summertime folks! In this month’s issue, we will take you to some famous, and some unknown summer spots. I was in Manila last month for the launching of our magazine, Manila Up!, which gave me an opportunity to experience what Veranda by Bella Rosa Farm has to offer. Gabby and Belle Ongpin, owners of the farm, whom I had known for 14 years, invited me to see their newest project, an exclusive wedding venue; an enchanted place to be, not far from the city of Manila, located in Tagaytay. It is a farm which the couple had bought for the sole purpose of planting more flowers to supply the overwhelming demands of their several flower shops in Manila, and eventually transformed into a fantastic venue for wedding parties and ceremonies. The pure beauty of the place is quite charming. It is private and secluded; very serene, that the tranquility and fresh air it offers is a significant change from the hustle and bustle of this chaotic and stressful life that we live in. A much welcome R & R for my mind and body. Gabby, a businessman, golfer, singer, and a dancer along with his wife Belle, a floral designer, whose passion had turned into a thriving business, supplying flower arrangements to several

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5-star hotels in Manila, longed for a simple place where they can enjoy their semi-retirement years away from the city life. A home away from home, purchased the farm, planted flowers, and later on expanded the construction and developed it into a beautiful wedding venue that it is today. The place is not a B & B. The four additional bedrooms are there to house their wedding clients and their friends and families for the wedding ceremony. The turnout is such a pride for the couple that you can detect the happiness and joy in their smile. It is a fulfilling and rewarding project for both of them. I had the pleasure to stay for a night on this beautiful farm. The bedroom was equipped with the latest, expensive fixtures, imported from the USA. The bathroom was designed in a very updated fashion. The decorations/furnishings are all well-thought of, both functional and convenient for their guests to enjoy. The rooms also offer a scenic view of the trees, and greeneries, the landscape so lovely, I had a very restful sleep. Traveling to their farm is quite easy. It is close enough to the local shopping mall, the garden restaurants, and not so far away from the city. The hour and a half to two-hour drive are not bad at all!

Elizabeth del Rosario, Sonia D. Bermejo, Belle and Gabby Ongpin

I would love to go back and breathe in the fresh air once again. Soon! I’m hoping.

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Gabby and Belle Ongpin

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by Randy Antonio

France has the Cannes Film Fest, and Utah has Sundance, but on the island of Maui, we have one of Hollywood’s bestkept secrets around, the Wailea Film Festival. Now, in its 17th season, this once little-known film fest is now ranking as a

MUST attend event by A-lister celebrities and film industry execs from all over the world! But ditch the red carpet, designer gowns, and tuxedos, folks...this film fest welcomes you in your flip-flops, leis, and your aloha spirit! This world class film festival honors Hollywood actors/actresses,

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both up-and-coming stars as well as the headliner names in the industry. This year honorees were veterans screen stars Viola Davis and Brian Cranston, and newcomers Michael Jordan, Kelly Rohrbach, and Wyatt Russell.

What I love most about this festival is the Celestial Cinema event, which showcase some of the very best of foreign films, documentary, and unreleased indie films in an indescribable picturesque setting. This setting is normally the grassy natural bowl at the foot of Haleakalā volcano and is the driving range for Wailea’s world famous Gold and Emerald golf courses. But for one week in June, this driving range transforms into an amazing outdoor theater enhanced by crystalline Dolby Sound and a 50-foot screen becomes the centerpiece of a sublime outdoor projection room. Astronomer Harriet Witt leads a tour of the heavens each night before the awards and the screenings. Sometimes there’s hula dancing. Audiences numbering in the thousands spread

out comfortably across the natural amphitheater on blankets and beach or low-back chairs. There’s golf-cart seating for VIP guests. It’s the place Hollywood comes to get Mauied. Past award recipients include legends such as Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, and Pierce Brosnan. Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe veterans like Geena Davis, Wil - liam Hurt, Clare Danes, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Quaid and last year’s Rainmaker recipient, Laura Dern, have been honorees. The list goes on and on. As event director Barry Rivers says, “Maui Film Festival: It’s where Maui meets Maui … and Maui meets the World!” So if you’re ever on the islands, try to hit the Wailea Film Festival as part of your island adventure!

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MU: When did you start your business? RSD: I started the business last 2008 when I left the dealership which I worked with for 17 years since 1991. I worked my way up. I started as floor manager, became assistant manager, finance manager, and finally senior manager.

MU: What are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of business? RSD; People doesn’t like to go to dealerships because of the time they have to spend there, and most of the people who bought from the dealership had bad experiences, and they sometimes end up paying much more. I don’t want to bad mouth the dealership since I worked for them for 17 years, and I had a great experience while there. Nowadays, people come in here, get here and leave in less time, stress-free. It is quick and easy. Prices guaranteed, best price. We sell 4-5 cars a day. We don’t advertise much; it is more word of mouth and through referrals that we sell. Our office is located at 1549 E. Amar Rd., West Covina, CA 91792. We moved here a year ago and our business had tripled. The traffic is good, with Jollibee beside our office, and we have more parking spaces. Our office is open six days a week, Sundays are by appointment only, our hours are from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and sometimes until 10:00 pm. We have plans of opening a couple of branches; one up North in San Francisco and one in San Diego county. With God’s will, it will go through.

RONNIE SAN DIEGO RSD AUTO BROKERS Interviewed by Grace Aguilar

a week here at RSD. Kathleen will be graduating with a BSN degree as well in January next year. She is looking forward to taking over her mom’s business in home health care. Kathleen was the 2014 1st runner-up in the Bb. Pilipinas USA beauty pageant. She is very smart, humble, very loving and can’t wait till she graduates. Tyra, seven years old is the youngest. Everyone knows, I am a single dad, and I love my children very much, they are my life, my treasures, my everything, I am breathing for them. MU: How was it for you to have a daughter who joined the pageant? RSD: We were supportive of her when she joined the pageant. We traveled back and forth to different places. It was more difficult for her when she joined because she was a full-time student then, and she had to be in different places and different events. We were happy when she garnered the 1st runner-up title, along with the Best in Talent and Ms. Popularity awards. She had been engaged in many activities: singing, dancing, and modeling. She is very matured, and sometimes she acts like my mother, (laughter) “mataray.” MU: What is your secret to being successful? RSD: I am a hardworking person, it took long years to be where I am right now. Being friendly, being loving to everyone. I go to church, and I like to pray a lot and have a strong faith in God, that’s the secret.

MU: What about your family life? Who is Ronnie San Diego? How many children do you have? What is it like being a single father? RSD: I have three children, Terence is the eldest, he just graduated with a BSN degree last month. He is the vice president of our business. He works three days a week at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, and three days July Issue-Manila UP.indd 35

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The Price of True Freedom

John 8:31–32 (ESV) 
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Reflections of Hope by Rev. R.D. Quema On June 23, Great Britain held a referendum to decide whether they will continue to be a part of the European Union. The choice to leave won 51% to 48%. There has been an overall sentiment there that they were tired of the burden of sharing responsibilities with all the other member countries because they felt they were carrying most of that burden. Many say it was a cry for freedom. But this freedom is a double-edged sword. It also means not having the same privileges that they used to enjoy. On July 4th, the United States will once again mark their Independence Day from Great Britain. Today, for over two hundred years our country has been enjoying and exploring this freedom albeit in a misguided way. For a society that claims freedom we have found ourselves ensnared by consumerism, greed, political correctness and a liberalism that has resulted in the breakdown of morality and justice. There is such a thing as too much freedom. Filipinos, it seems understand this. With the election of Rodrigo Duterte, they are saying, we want laws, we want limits. We need discipline. That may be so. But we all know what happened when that too, was misapplied during the era of Martial Law. “Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.” John Dalberg-Acton. If we can learn anything about these events, it is this: that man is in need of moral absolutes that give them permission and mark safe boundaries that will allow them to express their true nature. True Freedom. That’s what God had in mind when He created us. Genesis 2:15–17 (ESV) 
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God created man and put him in a Garden that God had planted. He provided man with resources and the freedom to work, to manage, to innovate and make much of all that He created.

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Celebrating 20 years @ NewHopeNaz On June 12, the day of Philippine Independence, our church celebrated twenty years of existence as a church that “Shares God’s Love and Grows God’s People”. The occasion was marked by special song numbers rendered by Andrew Fernando, former soloist at New York City Opera, Opera San Jose, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, CCP and Lito Villareal, He named the animals, he nurtured creation. Man had true freedom. But He also provided a needed boundary. The first man was instructed not to eat of the tree of good and evil. For God, that limitation was an instrument to build a trust relationship. If there was no law, then there would not be an occasion or need to develop trust and love between God and man. He created man for relationship. A relationship that involved trusting the Creator. When we violate that trust, we suffer. Of course, the person who demands that trust must be worthy of it. And God has proven time and time again that He is more than worthy to be trusted for He is our Creator. No one knows us better than the One who created us. Ultimately, God proved His trustworthiness by sending His Son Jesus to become man and purchase our freedom from sin by His sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus, in living a perfect life and in dying a sacrificial death, paved a clear path back to God. A pathway that requires us to believe in Him and to trust in Him. Let me ask you a question, “Are you free?” Or are you enslaved by destructive habits, by a hurtful past, or financial crisis? Before you celebrate Independence Day, I invite you to seek true independence by depending on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. If you trust in Him as the Son of God, He promises you true freedom. Freedom to fulfill God’s purposes for your life. And God promises to provide you with all the resources you will need to exercise that freedom in Christ. That will be your true “Independence Day!” For comments and questions regarding this article please send me an email at feedback@newhopenaz.com

composer and vocal artist. The message was given by Pastor Dave Polus, lead pastor of Every Nation City Church. At the conclusion I shared the vision of our church for the next twenty years based on Isaiah 54:2-3 Isaiah 54:2–3 (ESV) 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. We believe that our church has been given a mandate from God to focus on three very key areas of ministry for the next twenty years namely, the home, the next generation and the community. The home is where the heart is and it is the center of attack in our society today. Our goal is to make every home a church by Discipling parents to lead the spiritual nurture of their respective families. The home will be the point of ministry for the next generation. Our young people need to be heard and understood in order to be ministered to. We can’t just jam the Bible up their throats and force them to abide by rules without relationships that are loving and nurturing. The home is also the center for reaching the neighborhood. No matter what ethnic background, we need to share God’s love to our neighbors in very meaningful ways. Ways that are quite unique to our Filipino culture. Hospitality, courtesy and helps. We’re excited about our next twenty years! We hope you come to visit with us in the next months when you find yourself in Los Angeles. Our service is held every Sunday from 2:00pm – 4:00pm at the Envision Center, 15055 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys, CA 91411. Learn more about us by visiting our website at www.newhopenaz.com Enjoy more photos on the next page!

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38 MANILA UP! “MANILA UP! MAGAZINE and V ENTERTAINMENT hosted last May 18, 2016”


Lou Razon and her candidates of MS. PHILIPPINES USA 2016

The hosts VIC PEREZ OF V ENTERTAINMENT & SONIA D. BERMEJO OF MANILA UP! And others are Regine and some guests The invitation Presscon Photographers: CELIA “Paparazzcel” ABUEL, BENNY UY; Concert Photographers: CELIA “Paparazzcel” ABUEL, RUDY AUTOR

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We’ve made it! Italian Ambassador, Massimo Rossi, Gov. Chavit Singson, Elena Monti, Emilio Mina

Gina Ronquillo, Denise Carreon, and friends

I would like to thank everyone who graced the launching of Manila Up! Magazine, held in Manila last June 3rd, 2016. In behalf of my staff, I sincerely appreciate the warm welcome that you’ve given us; the support and the much needed continued patronage, without which, all of these wouldn’t have been possible, and Manila Up! wouldn’t be in circulation today. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a big THANK YOU to Governor Chavit Singson for his generosity and great hospitality, for opening his home to us. This meant so much to me. And of course, to my dear friend, Becky Garcia, who organized and made it all possible. Her encouragement had resulted in the launching of Manila Up! Magazine here in Manila. She was the one who introduced me to Gov. Singson as well. I felt humbled, honored, and privileged for all the support, encouragement, and patronage that you’ve shown us. To my family, friends, my Manila Up! family, Governor Chavit Singson and Ms. Becky Garcia, and all of you who have shown us your kindness, a heartfelt thank you. TO


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Dibs Trofeo, Gov. Chavit Singson, Madam Imelda Marcos, Vice Mayor of Calatagan, Batangas, Andrea del Rosario

Len Olbes, mayeen Carmona, Minda Felisciano-Lonsdale The Ambassadors


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Ms. Imelda Marcos and Gov. Chavit Singson

Imelda Marcos with Sonia Dionela-Bermejo

Andrea del Rosario -Vice Mayor, Calatagan

MANILA UP! magazine based in Los Angeles California , launched last June 3, 2016, for the first time in Manila, by the generosity of Gov. Chavit Singson and orchestrated by Ms. Becky Garcia, gathered a huge success! Madam Imelda Marcos were some of the known guests, politicians, ambassadors, socialites, businessmen and women, and famous personalites attended the grand and glamorous event. MJ Racadio duet with Madam Marcos

Ms. Becky Garcia, organizer, Publisher Sonia D Bermejo, Gov. Chavit Singson, Dr. George Sarakinis

Publisher Sonia D Bermejo, Gov Chavit Singson, Dr. George Sarakinis

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Vina Nacionales, Ernest Gonzaga, Mayenne Carmona, Becky Garcia, Sonia D Bermejo, Gov Chavit Singson

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Ms. Becky Garcia, Rep. Imelda Marcos, Gov. Chavit Singson

Massimo Rossi, Elena Monti, Evelyn & Emilio Mina Mayenne Carmona, Becky Garcia, Gov. Singson, Joel Cruz, Gina Ronquillo, Len Olbes

Mayeen Carmona, Ernest Gonzaga, Manette Agbayani, Anna Sia, Kathlyn Manuntag, Len Olbes

Ronald Cordero, Ana Graherr, Gov Singson, Elizabeth del Rosario, Thea Cordero, Sonia

Vina Nacionales, Ernest Gonzaga, Mayenne Carmona, Becky Garcia, Sonia D Bermejo, Gov Chavit Singson

Willeim Van Suijdam, Sonia Bermejo, Becky Garcia, Ms. Imelda Marcos, Gov. Chavit Singson

Tam Aquino, Sharon Tan, Gov. Singson, Becky Garcia

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Celebration Filled with Memories

Inby Other Worlds Becky Garcia

Year after year, London-based international Jetsetter Minda Feliciano Lonsdale would visit Manila for one or two months to visit relatives and renew acquaintances with long time friends. This year was different and memorable because she spent her birthday for the first time since her childhood days in the Philippines. Minda has been a Hollywood celebrity since she got married to a Hollywood Producer in her younger days, and became very popular when she became the live-in partner of British actor Michael Caine for several years. Her circle of friends were James Bond actor Roger Moore, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Kaye, Andy Williams, Jack Palance, and a lot of other celebrities. One of her best friends is Joan Collins. She was also linked for 3 years with with Tony Bennett songs, actor Ricky Davao, singer Tony Bennett. Muebles Italiano’s Noel Gonzales, Good-looking Finally married British Lord Victor Silverio, and exotic Gela Cornilessen. Norman Lonsdale, once a fiancé of Princess Even Minda’s nephew Noel Tanada rendered a Margaret and who gifted Minda with a beautiful song for her. yacht, M/Y MINDA and they were cruising Minda’s long time friend Conrad Calalang around France, Italy and the Mediterranean was present. Also, there were the Oreta sisters, and Baltic seas. Minda’s birthday celebration in Atty. Rissa and Carmela. Governor Chavit Manila was a gift from one of her good friends Singson made a surprise appearance that made Goldie Hawn look alike German Manuela Minda very happy. Mueller, former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Caruso owner Emilio Mina sang several Germany who flew all the way from Miami Italian songs. Ditto Dr. George Sarakinis who where she now resides to be at her birthday. acted as the emcee of the party. It was truly She invited about 50 of her longtime friends an unforgettable evening for Minda that she and friends she has met in her frequent visits to promised to celebrate her next birthday in Manila. Held at the Caruso Ristorante Italiano, Manila again. Cheers!!! guests enjoyed the best Italian specialties and overflowing Champagne. She made sure guests did not run out of drinks. Aside from good food and wines, entertainment was endless hat with the presence of top entertainers Arthur Arthur Manuntag, Ito Curata, Vina Nacionales, seated -Yolly Ayson & Manuntag who Glenn Gale, Gov. Chavit Singson, Denise Carreon Sonia Dionela-Bermejo serenaded Minda

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MANILA UP! Gela Cornilessen sere-43 nade the birthday girl Minda Lonsdale

Becky Garcia, Carmela Oreta, Minda Feliciano- Londsdale & Mona Serevilla

Mixy Dy, Mark & Tracey Suarteo, Bob Shead, Michelle Bautista & Noel Tanada

Len Olbes, Nancy Bismonte & Dinggay Espiritu

Dr. George Sarakinis, Gina Roquillo, Tina Jacinto & Arthur Manuntag

Joseph Calata, Noel Gonzales, Gina Ronquillo & Victor Silverio George Sison with Fortune Ledesma

Gina Ronquillo, Ann Ong, Manette Agbayani, Becky Garcia & Len Olbes

Emilio & Evelyn Mina

Arthur Manuntag, Michelle Lee, Yolli Ayson, Gina Ronquillo, Ann Ong & Ito Curata

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