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Katiana Borja

DUBAI, Living the Good Life Strong Filipina in the Olympics Robin & Vina Presscon in UK PAL 75th Anniversary


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


came creeping at us… Last days of summer, schools have already started, people getting ready for the fall season. Labor day weekend is the unofficial end of the summer season. No more white shoes, so to speak, (a practice that is not as popular anymore as it was before?). I say, if someone wants to wear white shoes after the labor day weekend, so be it. Whites always look nice. Autumnal equinox happens on the 22nd day of this month as well, when the length of day and night is nearly equal. An amazing work of nature. This marks the shift from the blazing heat of the summer season to a more tolerable fall season. It’s the go-signal for us to get ready, time to prepare for the most-awaited holiday season, the busiest time of the year. In the meantime, here at Manila Up! Magazine, the fun goes on. Writers scrambling to submit their articles in time for the deadline, photo shoots going on – photographers always busy, video shoots by our correspondents happening at all times, layout artist devising new ways to make the pages look aesthetically pleasing, editor and associate trying to work as calmly, and patiently as possible, whew!, what an exciting life we have. It all comes together with just one thing in mind – putting our readers’ interest first and foremost, in everything that we do. This is, anyway, the month when we celebrate those who labor, not in vain. Workers who do honest work, for honest paychecks. People deserving to be celebrated for their achievements, but also for the contributions rendered towards the welfare and prosperity of our country. On that note, we at Manila Up! would like to welcome some new faces to our family, Joanna de Guzman, a professor from Manila, and Gabriela Miloda. TV host from Dubai, both started contributing this month, and Joy Fong, started in our last month’s issue. Our staff is surely getting bigger, what a wonderful blessing!




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

LAS VEGAS, USA Vegas Vibes Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

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

Contributing writers:

FLORIDA, USA Life’s Journey Melody Garcia

DUBAI Living the Good Life Gabriela Miloda

WASHINGTON, DC Around D.C. Anette Bacani A.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia

LOS ANGELES, USA Reflections of Hope Rev. R.D Quema

Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga

Beautiful Life Monet Lu

Sales Director – Los Angeles, USA Joy Alegre

Walk my Way Mayenne Carmona

On the Beat Fe Koons

Advertising/Public Relations Andy Z. Edralin

Metro Scene Joy Fong

Over a Cup of Tea Malou Mariano

Associate Marketing Gilda Pineda Dionela – London, UK

Proverbs 31 Woman Jhoanna de Guzman

HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton

Art Director Hydee Abrahan

LONDON, UK UK na UK Ela Hidalgo NEW YORK, USA On Call Romulo Aromin, Jr. MD

Island Living Randy Antonio

Events/Food/Travel Grace Aguilar Icee Cruz Photo Editor Joe Cobilla

Layout and Creative Consultant Noli Yu

Social Media Photographer Celia Abuel PaparrazzCel”

Video/Technical Consultant Isidric Panganiban

MANILA UP! MAGAZINE 2720 W. Avenue 32, Los Angeles, CA 90065 USA Email: Website: http// Follow us: FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Issuu Articles published in this paper do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. ISBN 231-256-2-16



2016 World Tour Concert of the R&B Royalties Vegas Vibes

by Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

What a treat it was to have been invited to perform with so many talented Filipino artists. I was the opening act, along with Mike Bann and Supreme, for the 2016 World Tour Concert of the R&B Royalties. JayR Sillona and Kris Lawrence performed at the Veil Pavilion in Silverton Las Vegas on July 2nd, 2016. The concert theme was “Original Music Only� to showcase Filipino talents and their original songs, with special performances by Robin Nievera, Mica Javier, Ms. Jhing, Deejay Poblete, Julianne Sillona, and Q-York. Las Vegas was their last stop from a successful series of U.S. concerts that started in San Diego, then went on to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.



The Cordillera: The People of the Mountains By Ernest Gonzaga

The Cordillera is a massive mountain range situated in the northern central part of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. The mountain range encompasses several provinces, namely: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Kalinga and Mountain Province. The range also includes Baguio, a chartered city located within Benguet situated at over 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in elevation. Because of its elevation, it was established by the Americans in the early 20th century as a hill station to escape the heat of summer in the lowlands.


o the north, the mountain range terminates at the northern shores of Luzon along the Babuyan Channel in Ilocos Norte and Cagayan provinces. At its southeastern part, the Central Cordillera is linked to the Sierra Madre Mountains, the longest mountain range in the country, through the Caraballo Mountains in Nueva Vizcaya province. During Spanish colonial period, the whole range was called Nueva Provincia, (New Province). Its inhabitants are a loosely connected federation of highland tribes. Most tertiary educated Cordillerans speak English, which is the most common medium of instruction at the college level in the Philippines. English is also taught in high school, as is Filipino (Tagalog); neither are commonly spoken at home or work, while Ilocano is used as a lingua franca.

MANILA UP! 9 Culture and language Most of the Cordillera Central is the ancestral domain of the ‘people of the mountains.’ These ethnolinguistic groups include Abra (Tinggian), Apayao (Isneg), Benguet (Kankanaey and Ibaloi), Ifugao (Ifugao), Kalinga (Kalinga, Isneg), Mountain Province (Kankanaey). Each of these major ethnolinguistic groups has its own family of languages and cultures. An alternative listing for the Northern Philippine tribes is Apayao/Isnag, Abra/ Tinguian, Kalinga, Gaddang, Applai, Mountain Province/Bontoc, Bontok, Bago, I-lagod, Kankanaey, Kankanai, Balangao, Ibaloi, Ifugao, Ikalahan, Kalanguya, Karao, and Ilongot. Beside their own tribal cultures, there is a Cordilleran culture which is largely molded by the geography of the Cordilleras, and their common heritage of resisting the invading imperial powers (Spain, US, Japan in the past - and after 1946 the central government in Manila is also regarded as such), including the continuing adverse encroachments by lowlanders.

Photos: Jacob Maentz Images Asia

Notwithstanding their resistance to invasion from the lowlands, the economic language used throughout the Cordilleras is Ilocano, adopted from the lowlander traders of Ilocos. Cordillerans are a group of indigenous people, recognized as such by Republic law, with their own sets of customary laws. The Customary law takes precedence over Republic law. The Tribal criminal law takes precedence over the Criminal Code of the Philippines. Murder and manslaughter, for instance, is more usually dealt with under the tribal law which might include blood debt, only satisfied by the death of the perpetrator. Tribal land law applies in preference to lowland registration law. Spanish deeds were never issued for the land in the Cordilleras since the Spanish were continuously repelled for the whole of Spanish colonial period. Cordillerans view land as the source of life, an integral part of their cultural identity, which traces its origins from the land. The land is considered sacred and tribal land can neither be owned nor sold, but is nurtured to produce life for the communal benefit. For Cordillerans, the loss of their land, or their alienation from it, can be equivalent to taking their lives. It is because of this belief that Cordillerans now and in the past have willingly shed blood to defend their domain from colonizers, and have fought for the right to remain on their land.


Pulsong Gotham By Castellanes GKN

Haring, Prince, and Hirst, it is evocative of stage designs at the Metropolitan Opera. Befitting as the backdrop to meet Rogelio Penaverde Jr, our bel canto opera tenor, who started his career in Manhattan, in the year 2007. Though his parents are bankers, “Music has always been there because my parents are opera singers.” He continued his voice tutoring as he completed his Master of Arts Degree in Communication and went on to work in advertising for a number of years. His vocal teacher, Judy Mendoza, whom he hailed as the “Kundiman queen,” further encouraged him to apply for a scholarship at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music. He became a Merit Scholar and was trained by mentors Salvacion Dominguez, Gloria Coronel, and Dean Dr. Raul Sunico. It was with their encouragement that he pursued further training in the US. “If you think that the Philippines is tough, try competing with Americans and Europeans, you know, in a field that should be theirs. Historically, it’s their thing and for an Asian to come and say, I’m gonna sing opera now... “ He stood his ground and claimed it. He was a Merit Scholar and finished a Master in Music Degree, Major in Voice, from the Manhattan School of Music. He also received numerous scholarships to help refine his talent. Rogelio Peñaverde Jr

As I have lived and worked in Manhattan for almost

two decades now, my city continues to be a laboratory of a mélange of culture, of things tried and tested, those that have endured, on the cutting edge, and the full spectrum in between. In the order of ordinary events, local Pinoys go on with their usual schedules. But who are they? What do they do? How have they, in their own ways both knowingly and unknowingly, contributed to the Pinoy Culture in the greater New York, and elsewhere? My goal is to expose to a larger audience the finer pursuits and undertakings of our fellow kababayans, authentically Pinoy and yet putting their stamp on New York. 081016. Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Ian Schrager in design, in collaboration with Julian Schnabel’s custom-inspired furniture. Gothic with lush velvets of deep saturated and dark hues, and walls adorned by a rotating display of 20th century art by masters including Warhol,

As he further pursued his career, he was affronted by the palpable bias he encountered during auditions along ethnic grounds. He was also acknowledging of attempts made to remedy these problems within the arts community. Penaverde describes the world of opera that speaks of ways that are universal. The commonality of the human experience; that of love for truth, justice, and romance and overcoming barriers as being shared by all, is transcendent, regardless of race. This conviction reminds him to continue breaking each barrier as he moves on. With classical opera as an art niche in itself, he found his support through a circle of friends in the field with whom he has met professionally and has grown to be his support system both artistically and personally. He has appeared in about 24 works and had joined a number of companies including the New York City Opera, Caramoor International Music Festival, Bronx Opera Company, Taconic Opera, Liederkranz Opera Theater, Bel Cantanti Opera, DiCapo Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

His last project was !Figaro! (90210), a new modified adaptation of the Mozart opera, in an off-Broadway production at the Duke at 42nd St. He was part of the ensemble and was an understudy for the lead role. With a comedic slant, it timely addressed issues of diversity and immigration. He found this work challenging as new works pose for interpretations in somewhat unchartered waters with the public response as the acid test. It had an additional run as a result of an overwhelmingly positive public nod. In a short visit to the Philippines in April, he joined his mentor and internationally renowned pianist, Dr. Raul Sunico, in a “Melodies & Memories,” concert at the College of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in Manila. He is currently preparing for Mathis de Maler with the Garden State Opera. As for his performance with the Filipino opera Noli Me Tangere, with its final debut at the Kennedy Theater in

MANILA UP! 11 Washington DC, in 2014, he was proud and humbled to have been a part of a new production that was performed to accolades. He was quick to acknowledge that creating such a new opera for an audience demands much more as failings are so much more remembered. Penaverde realizes that Filipino singers offer a wealth of talents. Sadly, however, that such performances have still been below the radar that no distinct features define them, “What is his identity as a musician?” He shared a personal experience of not being able to answer when asked by a fellow musician (an American) on where to get copies of songs (kundiman) he had rendered. This is a loss that is bidirectional to both the Filipino artist and his audience. “We are missing, out and they’re missing out.” It is this motivation that propelled him, together with a group of friends, to produce a series on Great Filipino Composers.


he seminal offering centered on the classical and traditional music of Nicanor Abelardo. This year, the National Artist for Music for 1999 Ernani Cuenco, will be showcased. He was chosen for his prolific career in musical direction, composition, and education and more importantly, his successful bridging of the traditional and the modern. Of note was the composer’s stamp in film scoring, along with Levi Celerio, well captured the language of general sentimentality that continues to resonate until today. Who will forget “Diligin mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa,” Kalesa,” Bato sa Buhangin,” and “Gaano Kita Kamahal,” Filipino love songs imbued with the spirit of Kundiman. The concert will be on September 27th, Saturday, at the Loreto Theater at the Sheen Center, 18 Bleeker St., New York, NY. Tickets are available at www.sheencenter. org for $100 and $45. He looks forward to tackling the technical and artistic challenges of giving life to the arias of Nemorino (“Una furtiva lagrima,” Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amor opera) and unsurprisingly, in doing novel works like Rock of Ages. He is introspective when asked to provide guidance to early career artists. “Try to know yourself as a musician, try to identify yourself and your passions.” Essentially, the artist has to be free. You cannot sing being someone else.” He is now bent on exploring other areas of the musical genre, production, composition, arrangement, and direction. Bellissimo!



Walk My Way by Mayenne Carmona


etting sick while on a trip is my biggest pet peeve. I was in Shanghai a few years ago, and I woke up with a swollen right cheek. I knew it was my molar acting up again. I didn’t know any dentist in Shanghai, so I called a Chinese friend who brought me to her dentist. She was, fortunately, an excellent one and after her treatment, I was able to fly back to Manila next day. Here is a list of services one can avail of while in Manila. They are whom I patronize, and they are excellent in their chosen field. They will make you beautiful the way you have every right to be. In this day, and age, your pearly whites should stay white and well shaped. You should not be contented with crooked, small teeth that you were born with and which you stained with coffee and cigarettes. Go for that beautiful Close-Up smile and be confident of your pearly whites. Cosmetic  Dentist, Dr. Cecile Infantado makes sure my teeth are well shaped and white. Her clinic on the third floor of Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati - Smiles by Dr. Cecile - is where I go for bleaching, veneers, and bonding.  Look at the magic that she does with her clients’ teeth. Dr. Cecile’s skill and years of training indeed can

transform their smile to perfection. She also does basic dental services, like prophylaxis, check up, cavity filling, etc. Photos of Dr. Cecile and her before and after cases For Inquiries, call: Tel: 632 - 8404284; 632  2388888  loc 8930 Mobile: +63 905 2650889 Email:

The Beauty Influencers W

hen I feel that my jowls are sagging and need a laser treatment to lift them, or when I see pigmentation on my cheeks, I go to the Aivee Clinic where they have treatments for my concerns. For a non-invasive lift to tighten the face, the good Dr. Aivee Teo or her husband Dr. Z Teo, recommends a Sygma Lift or a Thermi-Smooth. Both are effective in reducing fine lines and tightening the face by regeneration of facial tissues. I come out of the session with a tighter face. I am advised to do both treatments for

MANILA UP! 13 a number of sessions for maximum results. They also offer Thermage or Ulthera, both RF treatments that can tighten the face and the results last for more than a year after just one treatment. For my pigmentation on the cheeks, Pico Sure is recommended. It is a breakthrough in laser technology, created to remove pigmentation and tattoo ink effectively by delivering pulsed bursts of energy every trillionth of a second. These short pulses break the pigment into tiny particles that the body can eliminate easily. Pico Sure accomplishes this with minimal impact to the skin surrounding the treatment area. The Aivee Clinic has many services, invasive and noninvasive for the face and body. They also have stem cell therapy of the face and joints. Go to their website for your beauty and anti-aging concerns. You will find the fountain of youth in their clinic. Aivee Clinic: 2nd Floor Burgos Park, Forbestown Road, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Tel: 02 573 1420-25 +63 917 6330740 Email: Website: www.


y long hair is high maintenance so even when I am in a foreign country, I look for a good beauty salon for hair styling. In Manila, I go to Regine’s on the 2nd floor of the Link Bldg in Ayala Center. (next door to Shangri-la Makati). The owner, Karina Mantolino is a young and lovely entrepreneur who is also a Master Colorist and Cutter, trained by L’Oreal in their training centers in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. They offer all kinds of services that a beauty salon offers: shampoo/blow-dry, hair cutting, makeup, hair dye, manicure, pedicure, Brazilian waxing, hair curling permanent, hot oil treatment, rebonding, and hair conditioning for both sexes. Their prices are very reasonable, especially for dollar earners like the Balikbayans. Regine’s  Link Bldg Makati Tel: 028561723/24 Regine’s Alabang Town Center, Ayala Alabang Tel: 028072217 Regine’s Eton Emeral Loft, Don F. Ortigas Ave, Pasig 026313291


Humanity in the eyes of Angelina Jolie Hollywood is home to the most famous stars; public figures whose lives are inevitably under a microscope lens, whether they like it or not. Though some struggle through such reality, others, like Angelica Jolie-Pitt gives these lenses such an inspiring specimen to look at. This woman needs no introduction as a humanitarian ambassador. She is admired and respected by several men and women alike. One could make the argument that she is the most famous woman in the world, if not the best woman to walk the earth unscathed of its corrupted views and tolerance to injustice. If you look at a homeless child with sorrow in your eyes and say to yourself, “I would give anything to keep that child off the streets.” Or if you look around and see a world filled with humans struggling to find solace in spite of the world’s hostility; you see humanity through the eyes of Angelina Jolie-Pitt.

Beautiful Life by Monet Lu

Jolie, a mother of six children, with a natural beauty that is both inside and out, is a woman of virtue. She is dedicated to seeing her vision come to fruition, and there’s no stopping her. Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia. She continued to find ways to help resolve refugee problems in other nations by turning to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

MANILA UP! 15 According to an article written about her, “Since 2001, Jolie has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced persons in more than 20 countries, including Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cambodia, Pakistan, Thailand, Ecuador, Kosovo, Kenya, Namibia, Sri Lanka, to name a few. And most recently visited earthquake victims in Haiti on her latest trip to help survivors of conflict and natural disaster.” It is beyond admirable that she did not let even threats to her life stop her from going to these places. In fact, it was reported that on Jolie’s recent trip to Afghanistan, she wrote a farewell letter to her husband after being warned that she was a target for an attack. Jolie also founded The JoliePitt Foundation that is dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife. The said organization donated a sizeable amount to an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. Over the years, Jolie was recognized for her humanitarian efforts. In 2001, she was named a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. In 2003, she was the first recipient of the newly created Citizen of the World. In 2005, Jolie was awarded the Global Humanitarian Award. Over time, she became more involved on a political level and is consistent in raising awareness of the situation of refugees in the world. I can fill my column about Jolie’s humanitarian efforts, and yet my words are insufficient to see through her heart. Hers is apparently wide open to the needy – a heart shared with

seven of the most important people in her life. Starting with her dashing husband, Brad Pitt who also exhibits the same amount of dedication and generosity as his wife. And the children in their famously multicultural brood: Maddox Chivan (15), Pax Thien (13), Zahara Marley (11), Shiloh Nouvel (8) and twins; Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon (6).

cancer, the same disease that killed her mother, Marchelline Bertrand, in 2007, she even wrote a moving oped piece for the New York Times so that other women would hopefully benefit from her decision. This act undoubtedly won the people’s admiration. I am awed and inspired that such a person still lives amongst us.

With a beautiful family bearing humanitarian legacy, could Angelina be any more selfless? The rhetoric answer to that was further emphasized when the Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy. Not only did she take the brave decision to have the dramatic surgery, after discovering that she had a high chance of developing

Angelina Jolie-Pitt looks at life much differently than others. But more importantly, she sees humanity in such an amazing way that inspires all of us. She does not want the meaning of her life to rest on the meaning of her life as an actress. Most of all, she does not see humanity as a failure when she can do something to help restore it.




Dubai Living The Good LIfe by Gabriela Miloda

As a TV presenter in Dubai, I am very lucky to meet a lot of interesting personalities. My show is called “The Good Life” which is a Dubai-based luxury lifestyle show that covers well-being trends in food, fitness, and beauty. Every week I feature guests and talk to them about topics that they are knowledgeable in. This week was special because I interviewed two guests and both of them had something major in common with me - they both shared the same heritage as me. I am of mixed heritage. My mother is Filipina, and my father is Swiss. The Good Life has been airing for three years now, and I’ve never had guests from both countries on the same day and for the same episode. It was so much fun chitchatting in Taglish (I do understand everything but struggle with speaking) and then switching over to Swiss German.

My first guest was Filipino, John Carasig, the former Masterchef Australia contestant who was making a stopover in Dubai. This Filipino celebrity chef who moved to Australia from the Philippines when he was ten years old, agreed to appear on our show as a guest chef with whom I cooked an amazing Adobo with a twist. It was that dish that got him into Masterchef Australia in the first place! I love how on the show this chef was not scared to stand out and be different by presenting local Filipino dishes when everyone else was cooking Western food. He is so proud of his Filipino heritage that he founded an artisan chocolate brand called Adobo Kitchen. He’s even expanded his business in that he literally makes his chocolate from cacao beans. His goal is to open up a patisserie that specializes in chocolate, ice cream, and pastries with a Pinoy influence. Queso de bola gelato anyone? My second interviewee was Sandrine Steiner, a lovely girl from Switzerland whom I had a chat with about the very popular vacation trend of staying in luxury vacation rentals as

opposed to hotels. Before we started the official interview, we found out that she’s from the same city as I am. We had such a good time chatting about our hometown, the amazing summers spent by the lake and all the fresh produce, which makes for great homemade dishes. But we both agreed that we love Dubai for its cosmopolitan vibe and open minded people! It was so enjoyable talking to her in Swiss German, my mother tongue! I think having a mixed heritage background is thrilling! When you meet your country people, you have so much in common and instantly connect. And that couldn’t have been more evident than on this epic shoot day having both a “kababayan” as well as a Swiss Miss on my show.


Gabriela Miloda G

abriela is a veritable citizen of the world having lived in six countries in less than three decades. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she has lived in Switzerland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and New York before settling in Dubai. Gabriela gets her exotic looks from her Filipina mother and Swiss father. At just 29, Gabriela has worked as a broadcaster in Switzerland, Germany, Monaco, and South-East Asia as well as attaining an MBA with honors from St. Gallen Business School, specializing in marketing, services, and communication. 

MANILA UP! 19 She has interviewed high-profile individuals from the world of film, music, business, and fashion. Highlights of her recent work include interviewing celebrities including John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Dani DeVito, Bob Geldof, Lionel Richie, Deep Purple and Adrian Grenier as well as personalities from more business-related fields like American economist and political thinker, Jeremy Rifkin, and the Swedish economist, writer and speaker, Kjell Anders Nordström. In those roles, due to her multilingual skills in German, French, and English, she also acted as the script-writer and producer. On a more corporate level, she’s presented at international events on behalf of some major corporations for example, Nissan at EVER in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, for Eurocopter’s EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter launch at Ebace, Geneva, and for Maurice Lacroix, presenting and interviewing the brand ambassador Henrik Fisker at Baselworld. Shortly after having settled in Dubai in 2012, she already started producing her own weekly show called City Pulse highlighting the best events happening in Dubai within a week, as well as “The Good Life,” a healthy living show on Physique TV. As the official partner of the Dubai Jazz Festival, she produced and presented a series of videos including an exclusive interview with Deep Purple and 3 Doors Down. She’s also hosted a variety of high profile and international corporate events for big names such as Schneider Electric’s launch

of Acti9 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) where she was a moderator at the TAITRA delegation summit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Award Night. To kick-off 2013, Gabriela has been chosen as one of Harper’s Bazaars Best Dressed 2013. Another project she produced and presented in 2015 is “Local Success,” highlighting successful entrepreneurs in the Middle East. She openly discusses the challenges, highlights, and lessons learned, with the founders of some of the most well known brands in the region. 


or the last three years, she has been hosting her own lifestyle show that covers luxury lifestyle destinations and well-being trends in food, fitness, and beauty. She has had the privilege to interview fashion designer Angela Missoni, actress Eva Mendes, and many other international personalities. The show inspires its viewers by showing that leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard or complicated but can be fun too. Gabriela is married to a Persian/ Englishman and has a 14-month-old daughter. She loves to cook, travel, dive, snowboard and most of all spend time with her family.  Her key attribute is versatility, as she is equally comfortable and capable of presenting in “lighter” subjects, such as celebrity news or fashion, as she is for more intellectual subjects, like business or high arts.




Life’s Journey by Melody Garcia

home,” RC stated. You are expected to be a dance choreographer, a pageant contestant and/or choreographer, a hairdresser, a make-up artist. He chuckles as he realized that for the most part, he did end up falling into the category as a choreographer and such. RC also shared that one of the deepest pains he had experienced was the separation of his parents. It

He also met the love of his life in an almost movie-themed setting, meeting at the bow of the ship right at midnight (Titanic movie anyone?). After carrying on a long distance relationship and eventually settling, he focused his time and energy into going back to doing what he had always loved… clothing designs.

Passion for Fashion

Meet the new “International Designer of the Year”! In 2014, RC had become an apprentice to some of the designers from different parts of the world. Two distinct Filipino designers he worked with were Puey Quinones, and Joseph Domingo, who is based out of San Francisco. It was then that he had a huge break.

Born in Iligan City, Mindanao, meet one of today’s FIL-AM designer on the rise, RC Caylan who just recently launched a grand opening of his couture design boutique in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a just– announced recipient of the 15th annual Gawad Amerika Award, as this year’s International Designer of the Year! RC has had quite the journey in getting to where he is today. As a young boy, he was always fascinated with patterns, colors, silhouettes, and designs and was known to be very creative in his sketches. He shared that he always had a vivid imagination and many times were filled with a youthful exuberance and carefree thinking of what he could become one day. The reality, however, had a different set of course he had to follow as he was growing up into adulthood. RC openly shared his own identity struggles. It took a while for him to be openly accepted in society as being gay. He felt the personal struggle and pressure to remain authentic in his identity specially having four other brothers. “The Philippines is open to people being gay, but it is different about truly accepting a specific lifestyle,” he adds. “You see, there is a stereotype that goes along being gay back when I was

In 2015, RC Caylan was given a huge opportunity to showcase his design during San Francisco Fashion Week. RC recalls having to turn his kitchen into a fully functioning design studio. He spent many late nights hunched over kitchen tables, sitting on the floor, burning the midnight oil to come up with signature designs that would represent his vision and passion. became the catalyst for him to find power in the pain through diversion, work and focus on his own growth and untapped potential. The end result, he learned to accept and move on. It also strengthened his faith in God.

At the same token, he was torn about submitting his application for the famous show “project runway,” but decided against it, instead, poured time and energy into getting a collection together and his business in place.

As many others have done, his quest for a better future and opportunity, led him to seek employment outside the country and eventually landed with the Carnival Cruise Lines company in 2010. He worked as a spa therapist and had the opportunity to train in London and in California.

Present day, when asked about his struggles in breaking through the fashion industry, RC says, “you have to have thick skin in the business.” It is a judgmental industry, but instead of looking at “competitors,” the person he competes with the most is himself. He analyzes everyday on how he can



NEW COLLECTION SS17 “ L ombré dela Nuit” ( Night Shadow) better the last design, how to have a better approach and convey the right source of inspiration and influences. Not having a lot of strong support system initially, paved the way for him to really grow in the areas of marketing, networking, and collaboration with other businesses, and pushed his comfort zone to a new level of self-accountability and originality, hence the classic silhouettes with modern flares. His inspiration? Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Dior, and Channel. Lastly, when asked to impart words of wisdom, he said, “Believe in the power of perseverance, dedication, and prayer.” Credits: Photographer: August Nyson Earrings: Vintage Jewelry collection by City Antiques GR Make-up : Amanda Shepard Hairstylist: Casey Didaskalou and Hannah Labardee by The Parlour GR Model: Holly Peiffer


Model: Annie Revilla



Real Estate in Real Time by Paul Mirador

It has been a seller’s market since early this year, and you still have yet to see a decent offer on your home. Most offers are coming in much lower than you anticipated, and you start wondering whether or not you should lower your asking price. You ask yourself: What’s going on? How can I sell my house without having to put too much money into it? What do I do now? If you are on a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) arrangement, you would have probably settled on the highest offer that came in a week. How would you know if you sold your home for what it’s really worth? But that’s another story, and you, the reader may get to see the answers in my next article. But for now, let me share with you some of the tricks of the trade experienced Realtors use to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Here’s to ensure you get that SOLD Sign in front of your yard. PRICE ADJUSTMENT:  If you are over the fair value, you may be discouraging buyers right from the start. Rethink your pricing strategy. You may want to consider going below the market value. Because going below market value will turn heads, and will create curiosity and before the buyers can submit an offer, other offers are already in. This is called multiple offers. Buyers are now in a bidding war. This will guarantee you will not only get your asking price, but will most likely get over the asking price. However, if you price it high in the beginning, there won’t be any room to outbid each other. 

REFRESH YOUR LISTING: Believe or not, photos can make a big difference. Change it up, take shots from a different angle, use a different lighting, and try a different photographer. A videographer may come up with attractive virtual tours. Revise the lead photo of the listing. Create a new font and or layout for your flyer. STAGE THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR: Remove or replace furniture. Remember, a minimalist approach is in. Get creative with the content description writing. Change the photos on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) used by Realtors as the listing ages. A professional real estate photographer who knows how to accentuate the positive features of your home could be your greatest asset! Your home needs to give the best first impression because it may not get a second look. Listen to your Realtor when they give you open house guest’s feedback. They are here to help. Some of the comments may be too dark, so add more dramatic lighting. If the carpet is old, and original wooden floor below is in good condition, rip off the carpet and treat the wooden floor. Then get new rugs and lay them down. Get new curtains. These have a way of framing your windows nicely. Clean up the exterior; don’t forget to tidy the garage and driveway. You’ve heard of the adage “curbside appeal.” Trash the old planters and get some new ones. The good news is you get to keep them when you move to your new place. If you need updated furniture and a fresh look, I highly recommend hiring a stager. TAKE YOUR HOME OFF THE MARKET TEMPORARILY:  Take a break for at least three months. This

can help alleviate the tension. The buyers who have seen your listing may already be in escrow with another property, now you are attracting a set of fresh eyes. Remember, location will get them looking, price will get them interested; great pictures will get them to a showing! REPLACE YOUR REALTOR? Only if your Realtor is not doing the following: Doesn’t pick-up when you call, your Realtor should answer your call every time you call and not when it’s convenient for them to call you back. You should be your Realtor’s priority. It doesn’t matter if your Realtor is watching a movie, he should at least respond with a text. Hold frequent a Broker’s open houses, and

have these at least 3 – 4 times, develop an exclusive property website for your home (not shared with other listings), is the Realtor you hired to do the open house or his/her assistant? Heck, we have even gone as far as hiring a caterer, valet, DJ to attract Realtors and Brokers. CONCLUSION: After all is said and done, know that a home that doesn’t sell WILL SELL with a little bit of help. It is always advisable to get a second opinion and keep an open mind.    About the author: Paul Mirador is a California licensed Realtor who services the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Bernardino Counties. PLG Estates Office in: Beverly Hills and Los Feliz. BRE# 01839177




On Call

by Dr. Romulo Aromin, JR The rising epidemic of this vectorborne viral disease, transmitted by infected and very aggressive female mosquito, primarily daytime biters, is now causing alarm in the US. A. aegypti, accounting for most of the infections, can thrive in a pool of water. In the US, it is typically localized in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, where stagnant bodies of water are found. It is not surprising, therefore, that the first local outbreak, occurring only in the last week of July, was from this state. Upon exposure, it usually takes about two weeks before one feels sick, with mild flu-like symptoms of fever and malaise, joint pains, red eyes, a headache. A weakness of the muscles resulting in paralysis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, can be triggered in small cases. A Zika infection usually confers long-term immunity such that reinfection is unlikely. Travelers who are already infected can transmit the disease through mosquito bites. To a lesser extent, an infection can be had through sexual intercourse, even though the infected individual does not feel anything during the sexual act. The epidemic that has overwhelmed Brazil in a most inopportune Summer Olympics event will add to the spread of this disease across the globe. Almost close to 2,000 cases of Zika related microcephaly in Brazil have been reported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).This infection is reminiscent of the avian virus, among viral illnesses, that had affected major countries and had

spread intercontinentally. The swath of spread was far and wide! Of significant public health issue is the transmission from mother to fetus, during pregnancy or at birth. Zika causes congenital birth defects to include diminution of the head (microcephaly) with resultant developmental and cognitive impairment. It is staggering to think the burden that it can pose from a public health viewpoint. We are going to see a cohort of affected individuals whose health problems start at birth and onwards. Imagine the resulting impairments in cognitive functioning, custodial care and need for long term rehabilitation. EXTENT OF PROBLEM As of this writing, there were only four reported cases in FL, but Puerto Rico is increasingly at its wits end in even containing the epidemic. According to CDC, about 41% of pregnant women with symptoms tested positive for the virus, whereas about 5% who do not feel sick tested positive. The spread is alarming that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in four people is likely to be infected by the year end. HOW TO PREVENT IT? There is no vaccine for treatment. From a preventive level, avoiding mosquito bites entails steering away from breeding places. Use of window screens, nettings, long sleeve shirts, permethrin-treated protective gears (jackets, pants, boots) and repellants, purported to be safe in breastfeeding, can be very helpful and so are

protected and safer sex practices, to include condoms. Women in their childbearing age are encouraged to discuss with their physicians and consider the most effective birth control for them should they wish to avoid or delay pregnancy. For those infected, the waiting period is about eight weeks for women and about 6 months for men, before considering pregnancy. If you are sick, consult with your doctor. Take acetaminophen and avoid aspirin before other febrile conditions, in particular, dengue, has been ruled out. This is so as aspirin can worsen any bleeding that may result from such infection. “Diad onsublay “ An advisory from the CDC is a helpful resource: zika/ Dr. Aromin is a physician based in Manhattan. (This is meant as a general information; medical opinion is best left to your physician).


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


Katiana Butalid Borja by: Raul Phillip Gatal (Bohol’s Roving Eye)

The chic cheekbones. The svelte and slender frame. The legs that go on for miles and miles. And a hint of that indefinable and elusive X factor that sets apart an “It Girl” from the wannabes. Meet Katiana Butalid Borja, the sixteenyear-old leggy and elegant heiress apparent to mom Louella “Weng” Yap Butalid, the Boholana fashion model who made waves in the Cebu modeling scene back in the late 80’s. It is the same genes that have Kiks waking up from being a tall, thin and somewhat awkward teener and blossoming into a lovely young lady who is all set to fulfill what the Muses has laid in store for her. Kiks has forayed into the modeling scene and beauty pageant circuit. She recently emerged as runner-up in the Miss Napa Valley Teen Pageant. Not bad for a newbie, turning her passion for fashion into a lucrative part-time modeling job while she focuses on her studies and hopefully enters University of California Irvine and become a nurse practitioner.


This early, with her promising height, lovely features, and great personality, Kiks have caught the eye of two of the Philippines’ biggest modeling agencies and pageant training camps that search, train, groom and polish virtual unknowns and lovely Filipinas with great potentials into stunning global head turners. Off the stage and sans the glare of the spotlight, who is Katiana Butalid Borja? Katiana is a bundle of beauty, brains, and breeding who is consistently on the honor roll at St. Genevieve High School where she is a junior. She balances her academics for she also dabbles in sports as captain ball of the SGHS basketball team that clinched for her the Heart of the Champion award as well as Junior Associate Student Body representative in the student council. Statuesque and athletic, no doubt she gets her basketball DNA from her dad Anthony Fabiosa Borja. Aside from school and sports, Kiks is musically inclined and can sing while strumming the guitar or playing the ukulele. Observing her from a distance while Kiks or Kat, as friends call her, was channeling her inner diva in a fashion shoot, one can see that this is one special girl who is out to make a splash in the near future not only in her chosen profession but also in the modeling scene and beauty pageants. But that can wait. For the meantime, Kiks is getting a lot of kick as she enjoys the summer of her life.

Wardrobe by: Carl Andrada Photos by: Hydee Abrahan Hair & Makeup by: Rod Alcover


Wardrobe by: Carl Andrada Photos by: Hydee Abrahan Hair & Makeup by: Rod Alcover


Wardrobe by: Carl Andrada Photos by: Hydee Abrahan Hair & Makeup by: Rod Alcover


CITY OF DREAMS, MANILA A glittery and sizzling night of haute couture and jewelry In Mr. & Ms. Chinatown 2016 Fashion Show & Swimwear competition

One of the much-awaited events of the Mr. & Ms. Chinatown Philippines 2016 was the recent by-invitation only fashion show and swimwear competition of its candidates held at Chaos Night Metro Scene Club, City of Dreams, Manila. by Joy Fong Manille’s high society gathered at Chaos for a glittery night celebrating the heritage and culture of the Filipino-Chinese community and the latest contemporary collection of DittaSandico, Ann Ong and HosekiJewelry. Chaos Manila sizzled as the candidates showed off their impressive figures in the swimwear show dubbed “1594”. The event was hosted by society columnist Johnny Litton and Miss Chinatown Foundation Executive Director Alexis Go. To kick off the night, City of Dreams Manila Vice President for Gaming Operations Kevin Benning and Chinoy TV President Alvin Tan gave their

respective opening messages. The 15 male and 15 female candidates then opened the show by modeling the ecofriendly and colorful Abaca wraps by DittaSandico and the lavish accessories of Ann Ong.


he nostalgic performance of the Filipino-Chinese Theatre Dance Company and the Chiang Kai Shek College Dance Troupe rendered a lively tableau for the fashion and swimwear show. The candidates strutted in pairs and solos wearing floral-printed yellow swimwear designed by Domz Ramos and Julius Jaguio of Pegarro swimwear with Hoseki Jewelries. The show was directed by Bernard Bituin of Lumina Events.

Below photos: competition: Pegarro swimwear designer Domz Ramos, West Avenue Suites’ Alexan From left: The Top 3 Best in Swimwear Male - Wryan Chua, Richmond Balila and John Louie Ngo; panel of judges for the Mr. & Ms. Chinatown swimwear der Martos, Oriental Group General Manager Kevin Wong , , Status Salons Owner RobinaKo and City of Dreams Manila’s VP for Gaming Operations Kevin Benning; and the Top 3 Best in Swimwear Female - Lin Zeng, Pichie Lim and Shirley Vy.


A fashion show with Ms. Chinatown candidates modeling the colorful Abaca wraps by DittaSandico

From left: Connie Haw, Linda Yu, Elsa Ang, Josie Go and Lynet Ng

Ann Ong at the finale of Mr. Chinatown 2016 fashion show featuring her contemporary accessories

From left: Serla Russel, Jennifer Weigel, Ann Puno, Atty. Rene Puno and Becky Garcia

Columnist and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Philippines Chairman BobzZozobrado and society columnist and event host Johnny Litton From left: Mikhail Escalante, DittaSandico, Hoseki Jewelries Creative Director KnoiEsmane and Rum Corvera

From Left: City of Dreams Manila’s VP for PR Charisse Chuidian, City of Dreams Manila’s F&B Director Anthony Hannan, socialite Grace Gobing, City of Dreams Manila’s Vice President for Gaming Operations Kevin Benning, City of Dreams Manila’s Manager for Li Ying Lounge Angel Fang, socialites Eni Alba and Natalie Lim Ang Top photo from left: Mr. Chinatown 2013 Randy See, Oriental Group Manager Ron Lim, Miss Chinatown Foundation Executive Director Alexis Go and City of Dreams Manila’s Director of Public Relations Romina Gervacio From left: Ambassador Victor Garcia and spouse Connie GuanzonGarcia, Angola Consul Helen Ong, Jeff Taylor and Marian Ong

Below photo: From left: City of Dreams Manila’s VP for Gaming Operations Kevin Benning, Chinoy TV COO Lorraine Tan, Miss Chinatown Foundation Chairman Wilson Agbayani and Chinoy TV President and CEO Alvin Tan. Bottom, from left: West Avenue Suites’ Alexander Martos, Miss Chinatown Foundation Executive Director Alexis Go, Oriental Group General Manager Kevin Wong, Status Salons Owner RobinaKo, and Pegarro swimwear designer Domz Ramos.




MANILA UP! Oahu scenery

1-Halona, Blowhole


Oahu, is a volcanic island in Hawaii. The third largest of the Hawaiian Islands where the Honolulu International Airport is located. Known as “The Gathering Place,� it is home to the well-known Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. Hanauma Bay beach is very popular to the tourists as well.

Photos by Celia Abuel Travel coverage by Grace Aguilar

Byodo Temple

Hanauma Bay





626.793.6704 1162 E. Colorado, Pasadena CA 91106 Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM


Getting Raw and Real with the Platinum Royalties Founder


Joshua Pagan By Melody Garcia


oshua Pagan is known around the Orlando, Florida scene. Having found multiple companies, two most distinct ones are JTP Investments and Platinum Royalties. People have associated him with his businesses, but only a few knows his story. When we met, Joshua conceptualizes this to be a typical interview…and it turned to be anything but that. In the end, Joshua said he experienced a “Good Will Hunting moment” and laughed about it, yet enabled him to deeply reflect on his journey. As a young boy, this successful entrepreneur once dreamed of becoming a baseball player. He had the athletic call and was involved in weight lifting and other sports. But life had a different destiny planned for him. Just like everyone, Joshua went through dark storms of his life and was on a spiral down a few years ago. He suffered personally, spiritually, financially and professionally all at the same time. But unknown to him at that given moment, was the opportunity to be redirected to something greater. It was what’s needed and eventually became the platform for starting Platinum Royalties. During these tumultuous times, at the very breaking point of it all, Joshua recalled with a vividness that he found himself in deep depression, and all he could utter was a prayer, as he fell to his knees and cried. He poured his heart out and said, “God, I can’t take anymore. Please help me, show me what my life purpose is supposed to be. Why am I here?”

MANILA UP! 39 The very next morning, he had an epiphany. At first, he started visiting shelters and other places and for the first time, truly realized and saw with renewed eyes how much people were in need and how many were suffering worse than he was. One incident led to another. “Guided,” as he called it. During a business convention, he came across an abused women’s shelter booth and instead of just dropping a donation, he asked the lady if there were any upcoming events their organization was hosting. He ended

up attending and purchasing a table sponsorship and learned about the ugliness and reality of what these women and children have gone through. Joshua even visited the shelter and became witness to something he will not soon forget… an abused woman, walking right in to drop her 3-month old infant to be taken in for safety. Joshua ended up having to hold the baby in the middle of all the chaos and in that moment, clarity was formed. Joshua started coming across opportunities, and his business mindset took over. How can he merge business and philanthropy

in a perfect sinew? The signs were everywhere, from girls scout cookie sales to fundraising events, which gave birth to the idea of what eventually revolutionized the fund-raising methodology and created Platinum Royalties. Overall mergers of Vendors, Consumers and Charities under one business concept became too good to be true but he made it happen. Vendors get the free marketing and advertising, Consumers received free deals, and Charities/Schools were recipients to most of the money raised. The business was simple. Instead of having bulky fundraiser books or coupon books that a lot of parents got tired of selling, one card that almost resembled a credit card housed it all. A consumer would show the card at specific vendor locations, they get free items or discounts as part of their purchase or orders and a huge portion of the profit is donated back to the school/ charity directly. It’s Joshua’s way of giving back to the community. Using his business mindset gift to give whole-heartedly to those in most need. The card sells for $30 each, and the school system gets $20 per card sold. That’s 67% being donated straight to charitable funding. No other business runs this way according to this founder. In just one year, Platinum royalties have made itself strongly present across the country with over 1500 locations and 10,000 relationships strong. He also launched an app dutifully named after the company. The algorithms and program have been designed to be extremely userfriendly.

When asked about his plans for expansion over the next 5 years, Joshua replied “5 years... I can’t wait to see where we are in 5 months. I originally started this company to fundraise for my local community, while also donating to charity. Never did I think I’d be merging with a Shark Tank company, doing NBC interviews, or even having a piece written about myself or my vision. Now I sit here as a true nationwide company and launching my global project in 2-3 weeks. In the next 5 years, my goal is to give people across the globe an opportunity to change their lives, and their family’s lives, financially by working for Platinum Royalties, while also helping their local communities and charities. I don’t know if Platinum Royalties can change the world, but I believe with all of my heart the company can put a pretty big dent in some of the world needs; whether that is Children with cancer, abused women shelters, Special Olympics, Toys for Tots, Breast Cancer, homelessness, and so much more. Platinum Royalties can help a lot of people and foundation in need, especially as our exposure and vision reach more and more people that can help grow the company.” In the end, Joshua Pagan wants to leave the legacy that he left the world around him a better place and give to his loved ones more than he ever had, not materialistically, but with ignited purpose and life journeys. He does hope he becomes blessed to be a loving husband and a father one day in addition to being a loving friend. When asked for any knowledge he can share, Joshua replied, “Don’t have a sense of entitlement! Never let success get in your head and never let failure get in your heart!” For more information on how you and your localities or organization can become part of this rapidly growing phenomenon, visit www.


A STAR-STUDDED PRESS CONFERENCE in LONDON In line with the 32nd Philippine Centre Barrio Fiesta Sa London 2016, in partnership with ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel, a press conference was held last July 15th at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Shepperton Surrey. The press conference was attended by the stars of TV Series Born For You; Vina Morales, Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona, the newest Filipino comedian Neggi, the Bad Boy of the Philippine Showbusiness, Action Star Robin Padilla, and the Amor Powers of Pangako Sa’yo, Jodi Sta. Maria, with

the London Media, Sonny Laragan, Rose Eclarinal, Malcolm Conlan, and yours truly. “Born For You” is the newest Filipino musical–drama TV series that tells a story about an ancient Japanese myth, “Red String of Faith;” two individuals connected with the red string are destined to meet and fall in love. Love team, Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona, who plays Sam and Sebastian in the said TV drama show, both believes in the red string of faith; that everyone is destined to meet someone and be with for the rest of their lives.

Singer/Actress Vina Morales plays Cathy, the mother of Sam. She is excited for the release of her album, which will be on her 20th anniversary in showbusiness celebration on October 15. While in London, the cast filmed some scenes showing some historical and beautiful places. On the other hand, Jodi Sta. Maria who recently had a movie, “Achy Brachy Hearts,” with Ian Veneracion and Richard Yap is on the process of mending her broken heart from breaking up with Jolo Revilla, son of Ramon Bong Revilla. Sta. Maria is juggling her time as a single mother, and as an actress. She said that she Robin Padilla and Vina Morales


considers every role she takes as her dream role. As a solid supporter of the newly elected Philippine President Duterte, Robin Padilla said when asked, if he will be occupying a position in the government, that he do not need a position to serve the Filipino people. He is willing to help the current government even if he does not have any government position. At the age of 47, Padilla is excited with the birth of his child to his wife Mariel Rodriguez who is due on November. Padilla was so happy that his visa to come to London has been granted after several times of being denied. Padilla also made a free appearance at a charity event for the victims of human trafficking which was held in Earl of Derby Kilburn. All of the said celebrities made the Filipinos in the United Kingdom happy by their performances during the 2-day Filipino festival in Apps Court Farm, Hampton Court, July 16-17. They were joined by concert king, Martin Nievera, 4th Impact, the singing Sensation Darrel Espanto, and Love Team Xian Lim and Kim Chiu who recently had a drama TV Series filmed in New York.


Robin Padilla, Jodi Sta. Maria, Vina Morales

Ela with the cast

Thousands of Filipinos around the UK attend the biggest Filipino festival in the UK yearly. These kinds of festivals bring back the feeling that we are back in our homeland, the Philippines.



TIGER RESORT ANNOUNCES ITS NEW PROPERTY NAME, OKADA MANILA Whitespace Manila was transformed into a magnificent venue filled with Japanese and Filipino accents and décor as Tiger Resort proudly announced its new property name to the public—OKADA MANILA.

From the entrance to the interiors, guests were given an opportunity to discover extraordinary Japanese and Philippine opulence which they can experience once Okada Manila opens at the end of this year. Guests were also treated to a sneak peek of entertaining dance performances from a world-class performer, Anna Stankus, together with dancers from Steps Dance Studio and Ballet Philippines. Okada Manila Chief Operating Officer Takahiro Usui welcomed the guests to the event while Okada Manila President Steve Wolstenholme described the kind of service that can be expected from the property– Filipino hospitality combined with Japanese concepts of service and attention to detail, Omotenashi and Magokoro.

Okada Manila At 44 hectares, Okada Manila is the most impressive, and the third integrated resort to open in the Entertainment City in Parañaque. Owned by the Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, it is on the foreshore of Manila Bay, so visitors can catch a great view of the world’s most beautiful sunset. According to Okada Manila president Steve Wolstenholme, Okada Manila’s future guests can expect a seamless integration of the Japanese people’s respectful demeanor, passion for creativity, and hunger for innovation and the Filipinos’ hard work, hospitality and cheerful spirit, in terms of quality service. “And with these guiding principles and values, the resort expects to bring people around the

world together through fun and entertainment by providing unique experiences that no one else can deliver,” Wolstenholme added. Extraordinary facilities and offerings Okada Manila’s structure complements its substance as well. The hotel will feature an iconic design that will house two hotel wings, a premium retail promenade with both exclusive and casual outlets, luxurious and spacious gaming floors, a spa and wellness center, dome nightclub and indoor beach club, casual and signature dining restaurants. The most iconic of all of its features will be the dancing water display and light show of The Fountain.

MANILA UP! 43 43

Chairman Okada with Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

President Steve Wolstenholme, Chief Operating Officer Takahiro Usui, Chairman Kazuo Okada and Board of Director Antonio Cojuangco

Designer Mia Arcenas, Jewelmer Group President and CEO Jacques Branellecand fashion designer RajoLaurel

BDO SEVP & Head Institutional Banking Group Head Walter Wassmer, Leopoldo Campos, PAGCOR President Alfredo Lim, Chairman Kazuo Okada, Tiger Resort Board of Director Antonio Cojuangco

Okada Manila Head of Hotel Operations Ivaylo Ivanov, Okada Manila VP for Legal and Compliance Atty. Joemar Perez, and Philippines Hotel Owners Association Inc Arthur Lopez

Lucerne’s Ivan Yao, Chairman Okada, PAGCOR President Alfredo Lim, Tiger Resort Board of Director Antonio Cojuangco, Atty. Mike Toledo

Joy Fong, Okada Manila President Steve Wolstenholme and Glen Gale

PGA Cars Director Roberto CoyiutoIII, Sta. Elena Construction President and CEO Alice Eduardo, Chairman Kazuo Okada, Tiger Resort Board of Director Manuel Lazaro, Okada Manila Chief Executive Security Officer Kenji Sugiyama


Guests will surely enjoy a pleasurable stay at Okada Manila. The hotel offers a total of 993 rooms ranging from spacious 60sqm to luxurious 1,400sqm villas. Okada Manila will also feature one of the country’s most impressive attractions, its grand fountain. It will be a one-of-a-kind venue for special events and concerts.

expansive stages and five distinct Shoppers will definitely have the bars offering unique artisanal best time of their lives, as the best cocktails for a more modern resort local and international brands will feel. It is the largest indoor beach club in Southeast Asia. have space at Okada Manila.

Also a haven for those who want to relax, Okada Manila has spa facilities that indulges all the senses. Expect a world-class spa that features luxury treatment suites, foot Discover life’s pleasures spa thrones, relaxation rooms, spa In Okada Manila, much luxury gardens, and aqua therapy facilities. abounds. For one, Okada Manila will also be the largest casino resort Not to forget the night life, in the Philippines, with up to 500 Okada Manila will be the most table games and approximately happening place for club-goers. Its 3,000 Electronic Gaming Machines. 9,000 sq.m. entertainment venue will be enclosed in a glass dome and Foodies’ cravings will also be will have 33 cabanas and bungalows satisfied with Okada Manila’s 21 equipped with amenities. The beach self-operated restaurants for casual, club also features a real white sand buffet, and international dining. beach, lily pads, daybeds, luxurious There will be K.O. Dining, which locker and shower room facilities for carries signature restaurants by all guests, a sunset deck overlooking Michelin-starred chefs as well as the bay, a 700sqm butterfly pool, two other dining outlets.

Lifestyle Asia’s Franco Laurel, Evelyn Forbes, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Jaguar Philippines Inc. Chair and President Wellington Soong and Town and Country’s Yvette Fernandez

Dr. Cecil Infantado, Frannie Jacinto, Okada Manila Public Relations Director Shariza Relova, Ces Drilon and Atty. Michael Toledo

Once Okada Manila is completed in November 2016, it will be committed to giving an elevated and complete experience in hospitality and entertainment, and will have all-inclusive products and services that will consistently delight, surprise, and exceed expectations of Filipinos and the rest of Asia and the world. “Okada Manila will redefine the concept of Philippine entertainment and gaming,” said Wolstenholme. “We envision it to become the country’s iconic landmark for world-class entertainment and limitless fun that will delight and charm visitors from within the Philippines and all over the world. Email

Dance performances from a world-class performer, Anna Stankus , and dancers from Steps Dance Studio and Ballet Philippines

Miss Universe Director Esther Swan, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbachand Narvacan Councilor Chavit Singson

Joy Fong, Okada Manila President Steve Wolstenholme and Glen Gale



Proverbs 31 Woman by Jhoanna de Guzman

A Woman of God is Not Exempt from Pain (But How She Deals with It is a Different Story)

This is for you… I want to tell you a few things, I want to unfold these to you. And I want you to believe that these are possible. A good woman is no exception. The world will be cruel to you, you will experience pain and your heart will be shattered. But what sets you apart among others? It’s the Jesus in you. The battles that you’ve managed to win inside of you. The anguish you have fought over yourself.It’s the strength God had deposited to you. You are neither worthless nor weak.

If people are lost along the way, there will still be people whom you will meet day after day.

You must not be afraid to set your standards high. Let your expectations rise up!

That feeling of God being distant is a lie from the devil.

Jesus gives instruction, it’s important to hear it. Then, take action.

There are people who will learn how to love you when you’re lonely. You are not behind your years. The best is yet to come. You are under no obligation to look at your past and stare at people who have damaged you beyond repair. Forgive and then move forward.

Carry on. Have confidence in Him. Believe that…

MANILA UP! is Hiring We need


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Know in your heart that He has a bright future for you. God can reassemble anything. You are designed to showcase God’s glory. Be exquisite. Stay kind and forgiving. You’re soft, gentle and tender heart will be rewarded. You may experience pain, it’ll ache, it’ll hurt, but it will heal. And you will be happier and stronger. I promise, when you trust Him. So much love and strength to you.



armelo Andrada Jr or Carl is known in the Filipino community in Los Angeles for his Philippine-inspired costumes made from natural and unconventional materials. He has a 9-year visual merchandising experience in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, handling high street fashion brands such as Topshop/Topman, River Island, Oasis, Dorothy Perkins to name a few. In 2009, he moved and decided to settle in the sunny California where he took dressmaking classes in an adult school and eventually fashion design classes at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. He started making Philippine-inspired costumes for his allFilipino Acapella choir Prime Note Ensemble wherein he is the resident costume designer and stylist. Eventually, friends have been approaching him to design costumes or dresses for beauty pageants and at times weddings.

the said pageant Carl designed evening gowns where it was well received by pageant fans.

In September 2015, he joined and won 3rd place in the Metropolitan Fashion Week Costume Design competition, held in the New Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles his winning in the said competition made way for him to participate in the finale of the Metropolitan Fashion Week held at the Warner Bros Studios.

He was invited by the Metropolitan Fashion Week to present a full collection on September 22 for the opening show. Also, he will be doing a show with the Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers of Los Angeles, the Filipino Heritage Foundation of Las Vegas, and also in Palm Springs all in October this year.

His participation caught the attention of Miss Giselle Reinberg, Miss Earth Suriname 2015 who was looking for a unique costume appropriate for the Miss Earth Pageant to be held later that year in Vienna, Austria. Carl has eventually designed the national costume and evening gown of Miss Reinberg, which caught the attention of some pageant bloggers for its uniqueness and intricate design.

Other notable fashion shows he designed are as follows:

In the recently concluded Binibining Pilipinas USA pageant, his Ati-atihan-inspired costume made from “banig” and tambo grasses won the Best National Costume award, also in

2016 Philippine Independence Day celebration of the Los Angeles Filipino American City Employees (LAFACE) held at the Los Angeles City Hall June 24, 2015


2015 Philippine Independence Day celebration of the Los Angeles Filipino American City Employees (LAFACE) held at the Los Angeles City Hall June 13, 2015 ASEAN Ladies Circle Fashion Show Sheraton Hotel Universal November 13, 2015


Strong Filipina in the Rio Olympics The performance of women in the past Rio Olympics is amazing. Filipina Hidilyn Diaz is one of them. She won the lone silver medal for the Philippines. The 25-year old Hidilyn F. Diaz, a Filipina weightlifter, and airwoman, hails from Zamboanga City. She carved her name in Philippine sports history. After all, it has been 20 years since the Philippines did not get any medal. “I am happy. I did not expect to win the silver medal,” she said. Diaz was only aiming for the bronze. “I am so proud. It is different when God helps you.” Then she smiled and bit her Olympics silver medal. Diaz revealed that she was still praying while she was competing. It was a spiritual journey for the strong Olympian. According to Inquirer sports writer Jeannette Andrade, the female weightlifter was still praying in a corner praising God for her victory. “I surrendered everything to God. I asked Him to send the Holy Spirit so that I can do what needs to be done. When God gave me a chance to compete in the 2016 Olympics, I thought that He gave me the chance, and I needed to give it my all.” Diaz was a bronze medalist in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand. Her coach is Alfonsito Aldanete who pointed out that she almost quit the sports when the Philippine government reduced her allowance. But Aldanete pushed her. Everything else is history. The Olympic silver medalist received 2.5 million pesos as an incentive from the government. Diaz stated that she would use the money to build a training facility for the children, encouraging them to achieve the Olympic dream.

The Olympian has garnered national firsts in her country. She was the first female weightlifter to compete at the Games in Beijing and the first weightlifter to participate in two consecutive Olympic Games. Last year, she also became the Filipina to win a world championship medal in weightlifting when she grabbed three bronze medals at the 2015 World Championship in Texas. Diaz was promoted to Airwoman first class last month. So proud of this Pinay!

On the beat by Fe Koons

MANILA UP! 49 Beech Model 18 first PAL airplane

Philippine Airlines stemmed from the Philippine Aerial Taxi Company co-founded by Andres Soriano, who shut it down in 1939 and replaced it with Philippine Airlines two years later. Despite the insurgence of war, PAL had its inaugural flight from Makati to Baguio on March 15, 1941, using a fiveseater Beech Model 18 aircraft, making PAL Asia’s first airline.

75Years of Celebrating the Heart of the Filipino Aimee Carandang 1st female PAL pilot

DC-6 PAL Int’l flight attendants Sept ‘53 graduation

Nielsen Airport tower

Since then, PAL etched numerous firsts in local commercial aviation first trans-Pacific flight by an Asian Airline in 1946; first flight to Europe by a Southeast Asian airline in 1947; first in Asia to operate a jet aircraft in 1962; first airline to be honored by Les Chaines de Rotisseurs for its inflight cuisine in 1979; first in the world to introduce Skybeds in 1980; first female pilot in the country in 1986; first to use ATMs for domestic ticket payments in 1994; first to adopt electronic ticketing by phone or through the internet in 2004; first to use browser-based internet for booking flights, ancillary shopping, and flight status monitoring in 2009; and many more. Philippine Airlines has shone through the past 75 years, completely spanning the Philippine Aviation history, pioneering in end-to-end airline operations to constitute an industry of its own. PAL changed hands from the private sector to the government after the war in 1942. PAL was appointed the national flag carrier on November 14, 1946.

50 MANILA UP! PAL returned to private hands in 1961. After 16 years, GSIS took over PAL. Another 16 years hence, PAL was back in private hands in 1993.

PAL flies 14 million passengers a year, dominates in key international routes it flies to, including the popular direct, non-stop flights to US.

Dr. Lucio C. Tan ended the historical change of hands in 1995 when he took over as Chairman and CEO.

On March this year, PAL Airlines celebrated its 75th anniversary behind a new vision and mission. PAL wants to be a five-star airline. PAL wants to be counted among the world’s best, in the same league as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates Airlines.

Over the course of its history, PAL has had its share of many challenges. Prices of fuel, which makes up 40% of the total cost, fluctuated, reaching its highest level at $181.60/bbl in July 2008. Airport infrastructure limited PAL’s expansion. Labor issues ensued. Competition from other legacy airlines and the dramatic birth and spread of Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) threatened PAL’s growth. Travel security became a concern. PAL’s market share dropped dramatically. The company experienced great financial losses for several years. Under the leadership of Chairman Lucio Tan, PAL bounced back every time it fell. This year, 2016 marks the third consecutive year of profitable growth for PAL, earning USD98 million during the first half of the year. 2015 saw the company posting an income of $134.42 million, a 6-fold leap over the modest $20.4 million profit in 2014. Today, PAL has a route network spanning 43 foreign cities to as far as New York and London, 30 domestic points including Batanes and Busuanga and operates hubs in Manila and Cebu, the latter covering interisland routes, as well as serving as the international gateway to Visayas and Mindanao. PAL has a young fleet of modern aircraft – Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A340, A330, A321, A320, Bombardier Q400 and Q300..

The PAL vision is to be the fivestar full service national carrier of the Philippines, the airline of choice in all markets it serves and become a source of pride for Filipinos everywhere. The mission is to deliver safe, reliable, efficient and pleasant travel experience, exceeding passenger expectations and to represent the Best of the Philippines and of the Filipino to the world. To sustain PAL’s profit streak, PAL is focusing on three important areas: Fleet Modernization, Route Expansion and Service Innovations. To modernize its fleet, PAL is taking delivery of new Airbus A321s and Boeing 777-300ERs. PAL ordered six A350-900, for delivery starting 2018, allowing PAL to fly non-stop from Manila to New York. The twin-engine Airbus 350-900 is an ultra modern, spacious aircraft with luxurious cabin features that will redefine passenger comfort. To expand its route, the airline added one domestic point (Tablas in Romblon) and seven international destinations (Doha, Saipan, Jeddah, Kuwait, Auckland, Cairns and Port Moresby). Two new routes were introduced: Cebu to Los Angeles direct and Manila-Taipei-Osaka. PAL’s trend-setting service on

ground and inflight continues to set the standard of excellence in airline service even after seven decades. The airline introduced a new level of wireless inflight entertainment called myPAL eSuite. It includes myPAL Player, myPAL Wifi and myPAL Mobile. These apps allow passengers to watch movies or listen to music using their own devices, or surf the internet or make phone calls while in the air. Other new products include myPAL Roam, myPAL Upgrade, myPAL Boutique, myPAL Travel Card and myTravel PAL Travelogues. PAL also introduced new signature inflight dishes designed by master chefs, a re-designed Mabuhay magazine and the first-ever PAL coffee table book. The PAL website is now mobile-responsive. Soon, PAL will open new destinations in the US and Europe. PAL will introduce enhancements in airplane seats, amenity kits, lounges, etc. PAL will launch Fast Travel -automatic check-ins, selfservice kiosks, bag drops, expedited immigration and customs clearing. PAL will reconfigure the A330s from mono class to tri-class, reduce the number of seats to increase passenger seat comfort, and install individual seat monitors for inflight entertainment. PAL is aware that what sets it apart from all other airlines, the most important factor that shapes customer experience is PAL’s unique brand of service. PAL recently launched its new brand equity campaign - the Heart of the Filipino - leveraging on the hospitality and generosity of Filipinos, the PAL kind of service that comes straight from the Heart, truly Filipino. Service with malasakit. Service with a smile. Service that warms the heart. Buong Pusong Alaga.

MANILA UP! 51 Dr. Lucio C. Tan PAL Chairman

Jaime J. Bautista PAL President

PAL 50s logo

passenger boarding at provincial station


A Fun Celebration of Life In Other Worlds by Becky Garcia

Guests who chose just to enjoy watching the dancing crowd were Beth Tagle and friends, Dra. Ellen Binay, Nini and Abe Licaros, Jun and Nene Leonor, Former Gov. Chavit Singson, lovely Jazz Carreon, Former Miss Universe Margie Moran Floirendo, lifestyle columnist Joy Fong, and Rita

Dy. Late arrival was international DJ John Robinson. The party lasted way past midnight and even when the band stopped playing, guests stayed and just continued the merrymaking. To Marissa, you really know how to party. Till the next birthday!!!

Civic Oriented Lady, exotic beauty Marissa Fenton celebrated her birthday last August 6, at the Makati garden club. In spite of the bad weather, eighty of her close friends braved the rains to celebrate this special day with her. With the turnout of guests, it was obvious that she is well-loved by her colleagues from the different civic organizations that she is involved with like the Inner Wheel Club where she was the former president, Rotary Club, Zonta Club, FCCP, SCEI and good friends from Manila’s High Society. Chef Robert Lilja prepared a 5-course menu, which the guests enjoyed. Music was provided by Nonoy Lopez and his band, where guests sang along with him like Atty. Rene Puno and lovely wife Ann, Nympha Valencia, International photographer to the rich and famous Rupert Jacinto and charming wife, Tina. Jazz singer Lillibeth Garcia sang several danceable tunes, where guests unashamedly gyrated to, like Jun Valenton and Mona Serevilla, Apple Mateo, Nancy Bismonte, Dan Legaspi, Nini Pinlac, Rosanna Pena, Emma Nieto, Glo Alcala, Kathy Park, Patty Jalbuena Johnson, Chuchi Villar, who at one time also sang with Nonoy and his band. John Gaddi, Sonny Tanchanco, Alice Villanueva, Rene Andrews and Mariliese Evaristo who brought her mom Dona Pinang Saldana and danced with gusto with Dr. George Sarakinis.

Len Olbes, Marissa Fenton, Apple Mateo

Pitang Saldana, George Sarakinis

Yoli Ayson, Amb. Hugh & Georgette Wilson

Marissa Fenton, Marivel Carandang


Fortune Ledesma, Nympha Valencia, Ruta Dee, Tine Jacinto

Rupert Jacinto, Joy Fong, John Gaddi

Paqui & Lilibeth Campos, Marissa Fenton, Emma Nieto

Gov. Baby Ortiz, Rennie Andrews, Emma Nieto, Glo Alcala

Gov. Baby Ortiz, Mona Serevilla, Jun Valenton, Nini Layug

Margie Floirendo, Marilese Evaristo, Gov. Chavit Singson

Riza Hansen, Marissa Fenton, Flemming Hansen

Ann Puno, Marissa Fenton, Chuchi Villar, Alice Villanueva, Atty. Rene Puno


Birthday girl

Johnny Litton and Mhel Pechera’s Birthday Revelries The month of August is dominated by the zodiac sign, Leo, with the last few days falling under Virgo. People born between July 23 and August 21 are considered Leos, whereas, those whose birthdays fall between August 19 and 23 are said to be born on the Leo-Virgo cusp. People born under these two astrological categories differ from each other to a certain degree. A Leo possesses a positive outlook towards life and is very enthusiastic and is full of life. He/she is proud and determined and is also a great achiever who sets examples for others. Leos are genuine friends and are extremely loyal in their relationships. However, their self-centered nature and the tendency to dominate others are among their major negative traits. They are attention-seekers and can be very demanding at times. However, Leos are born leaders and whether consciously or unconsciously, they like to rule. They are brave and fearless when it comes to confrontation and are natural leaders. They take pride in themselves and possess an extreme sense of supremacy, just like the Lion itself.

Earnest Snoops by Ernest L. Gonzaga

A few friends, including myself celebrated their birthdays this month of August. I opted for a simple yet meaningful celebration. I treated the abandoned and family-less oldies of the Kanlungan ni Maria, a Home for the Aged in Antipolo City for dinner with my family and some friends. Several friends who reveled their milestones in different styles and venues included PAL’s Fe Dixon, Miss World Philippines organizer Cory Quirino, former beauty queen actress Jean Saburit, socialite Marissa Fenton, lawyer Manette Agbayani, Katryn Manuntag, cosmetic surgeon Dr. Joni Dizon, Jazz Carreon among others.


Bob Miller, Johnny Litton and Ito Curata

Two other August born friends partied their special day sumptuously and spectacularly. Society columnist of the Philippine Star and sought after event host Johnny Litton turned 80 years old. The grandiose ballroom of the Marriot Hotel in Newport City was the site of the merrymaking. Over 600 guests from the business, social and diplomatic communities attended the cocktail party. The highlight of the night was a special program, a fashion show as well as a concert by Martin Nievera. Another celebrator’s revelry, the well-loved and gorgeous socialite Mhel Pechera was held at the posh Monochrome Event Center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. She requested her guests to come in either black or white motif. Mhel looked like every inch a radiant and gleaming debutante. She emerged from the top of the staircase three times in Oliver Tolentino gowns. In spite of the heavy rains, flooded streets and atrocious traffic, hundreds of her relatives and friends trooped in to rejoice with her. To Johnny Litton, Mhel Pechera and to all August born mob, a birthday wish of all the best. Happy birthday everyone.

Linda Ley and Chito Antonio

Connie Haw and Elsie Pascua

Karl, Luigi and Meray with Elsie Pechera


We Overcome, In Unity We Stand

Around DC

by Antonette Bacani Ang I was driving to work on September 11 of 2015 when I heard a radio personality talk about that fateful day in 2001. Listening as the moments were recounted, with tears streaming down my face, inspired me to write the poem, The Final Hour; in memory of the casualties, and those who were affected by that horrendous event. The announcer talked about what might’ve been going on in each victim’s mind as the realization that it will be their final moments here on earth started creeping in. Some were able to call their loved ones and utter their final goodbyes and ‘I Love Yous.’ That was a wonderful gift, to have that kind of closure. If we are not given that kind of opportunity, wouldn’t it be a comfort that our loved ones know how we feel about them at all times, and that we have done something good for other

people in this lifetime? Let us, therefore, strive to do good; even little things will mean so much to those who have so little. Always keeping in mind that no one knows what tomorrow brings will help us to live a much better and productive existence. Our life is a gift, let us use it to glorify the One Who gave it to us. No time for regrets. Just happy remembrances. September 11, 2001. The kids were just dropped off at school, and I was getting ready to go back to bed when I received a phone call. The Twin Towers were hit. Utter bewilderment and complete chaos ensued. I then rushed to the school to collect my children.

American Airlines Flight 77, carrying 53 passengers, and 6 crew member was hijacked by six terrorists, and crashed into The Pentagon in Washington DC, mere minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed on the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, respectively. A fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, meant to hit the Capitol crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania a few minutes after that. The attacks, which were considered the most deadliest foreign attack on American soil since the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941, resulted in 2,996 deaths (265 on board the planes, 2,606

MANILA UP! 57 in the WTC and its vicinity, and 125 at the Pentagon; the numbers include the 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, 55 military personnel, and the 19 terrorists). More than 6,000 injured. New Jersey lost the most state citizen – mostly from the city of Hoboken, trailing New York. Although the Pentagon attack hit so close to home, just a few miles from where I live, that gruesome act didn’t just affect the US of A. Commercial airplanes carry a multitude of people, 90 other countries lost citizens as well. FAA closed the American airspace to all international flights, stranding thousands of passengers. Orders were given to shoot down any commercial flights that could be positively identified as being hijacked, fighters took off in a hurry, without ammunitions knowing full well that they would have to use their fighter planes to deter further attacks, hopefully, able to eject themselves at the last minute.

Thousands of rescue workers traveled from different parts of the country, took days off from work to help recover human remains from the 9/11 sites. Thousands of children lost a parent. Blood donations surged. For something so incomprehensible, the enormity of the situation caused the American people to stand together and unite; sheer evidence of the greatness of this country. Resilience played at its best. Although the memorials have been erected, the damages repaired (life does go on after all), the memories and the pain lingers. As of yet, a number of the remains haven’t been identified. Let us continue to pray for peace, and that these families will soon get the closure that is denied them.

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2016 September  
2016 September