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his month’s issue is all about beauty titleholders starting with cover girl JESSICA DUHAY who is not new in the pageant competition. Like a true thoroughbred she joined, competed and won several titles. Nowadays, although her focus is more on her education and her singing career she is not staying away from it completely. She plans to still compete in the future but not in immediate, upcoming competitions.

Sonia Dionela Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor


We also feature Miss Universe 2005 winner, Natalie Glebova who now resides in Thailand. She is originally from Canada and fell in love with the Thai people after she won the title and has been residing in Thailand for 12 years. Miss Philippines USA, the pageant, is on its 5th year and going strong. Among the panel of judges, we spied the famous Jonas Gaffud, from the modeling agency, Mercatur. It is where Pia Wurtzbach our own Miss Universe trained early in her career as a model. We welcome back two of our distinguished writers, Randy Antonio, with his Island Living who introduces us to the concept of “affordable” luxury in real estate. How it is possible can be derived from his remarkable career as an esteemed real estate expert in Hawaii and beyond. He was uber busy, what with the recent upswing in the industry keeping his calendar bursting full. As well, Angel Tahimik is back and she delves into topics of interest from within her own unique genre. What a great time it is to have ‘balik writers’ to enhance our reading experience with even much more to share following their hiatus. Lastly, but definitely a first, we introduce a much revered writer, Janice B. Lingad-Thabet (nee Barbasa) whose extensive background in the field of journalism is sterling. She introduces Part I of a two part series about her most amazing exploration of New York and New Jersey. It is a virtual trip beyond imagination as we embark with her to guide us on a truly fascinating tour of her environs. It is always rewarding when our subjects come alive in our pages and in this fresh issue you will find beauty in abundance as August fills the air with its excitement.





By Grace Aguilar


n this hot summer day, as we join Jessica Duhay on her photo shoot for the cover of the August 2017 issue of Manila Up International Magazine. Jessica takes a break from her photo shoot in Alta Dena to do a little interview with us. Turning almost 18 years old in early August, blossoming into a beautiful, talented young lady Jessica Duhay who stands 5’8” tall and a resident of Chula Vista, San Diego, has achieved so much at a very early age. She finished high school a semester early. Jessica Duhay’s love for the arts with singing and dancing as her talent have opened doors to a lot of opportunities. She took voice lessons at age 8. She participated in the school choir. She performed all over Southern California. She’s been active on charitable and fundraising events, social functions and other humanitarian projects. Jessica Duhay received a Filipino-American Youth Achiever’s Award for her achievement in academics in singing by the Filipino-American Humanitarian Foundation in 2012. Jessica has helped a non-profit organization raised funds for people in the Philippines. Jessica has received numerous certificates from dignitaries and politicians due to her community service.




2012 was also a year she became singing champ in her age category. This singing stint paved way to her recording an original composition as part of her prize. Jessica has a CD released with 4 original songs in English and Tagalog by composer SJ Candia. She’s performed with such stars or musical artists like Stephen Bishop, Poon, Aiza Seguerra, Regine Velazquez and among other great artists alike... Jessica Duhay is not only a singer, artist, but a former beauty title holder. She won the titles of Miss North Hollywood Teen USA 2014-2015, Miss West Coast Teen USA 2016 held last August 24, 2015 at MorganWixson Theatre in Santa Monica CA. She placed as finalist twice and 2nd runner up in Miss California Teen USA. Among other past titles and awards are 2nd Runner up of Little Miss Philippines-Universe 2011, Miss American Starlet Regional Queen of 2011, Miss Teen Fiesta Filipiniana 2012 and Miss Teen Philippines San Diego 2013.

Jessica has also done various modeling shows with well known designers like Kenneth Barlis, Jessica Faulkner, Andre Soriano and Alexis Monsanto. She has also done print modeling, which got her to be a “Bench USA” model for the first ever fashion show in October 2013. Jessica Duhay’s goal and passion is to influence and serve as an inspiration to young women and men. She hopes to one day perform as an artist, singing and modeling. She hopes to do the catwalk at the runways of New York. Whatever she does in general, she really wants to come across as someone who shows the meaning of life in general. Ever since, she was a little kid, she absolutely loves singjng. Music is her passion and is working on creating an album that will be released sometime in mid 2018. It will mostly be alternative, pop, genre kind of music. She’s planning on taking music therapy in college which she combines two passions with one career.





In all this past pageantry, what makes Jessica Duhay stand out from the rest of the candidates?... Jessica thinks that when it comes to pageantry what stands out the most is showing beauty beyond looks. We’re so caught up in looking a certain way, fitting a certain size. It’s so much more than that. We show beauty through our confidence, through our self esteem, interviews and our Q&A’s. I think that should come across young women. When asked if she’ll ever join a pageant again?... her answers always with a smile on her face. Jessica replied that she’s keeping her options open. Maybe if she’s still a Miss she will compete again. We just never know what offers or opportunities might come along. Whatever happens, happens. This has been such an amazing afternoon getting to know the real Jessica Duhay. A beauty and brains person all packaged in one. Stay tuned for her upcoming music album in 2018. Thank you Jessica Duhay for gracing the cover of Manila Up International Magazine. Photos by: Stephen Clint Photography




Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor EDITOR Edith Y. Pendleton Contributing writers:

NEW YORK, USA On Call Romulo Aromin, Jr. MD Special Section: New York & New Jersey Joy in Tiny Jaunts Janice Lingad-Thabet LAS VEGAS, USA Vegas Vibes Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

DUBAI Living the Good Life Gabriela Miloda MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga Walk my Way Mayenne Carmona Metro Scene Joy Fong Proverbs 31 Woman Jhoanna de Guzman

FLORIDA, USA Life’s Journey Melody Garcia LOS ANGELES, USA Reflections of Hope Rev. R.D Quema     Beautiful Life Monet Lu   On the Beat Fe Koons Immigration Professor’s Corner Robert Perkins, Esq

LONDON, UK Kingdom Adventures Gilda Pineda Dionela

Piece by Piece Angel Tahimik HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton Island Living Randy Antonio Photographers: Benny Uy Rudy Autor Willie Cheng Phillip Ner Jon Bermejo Richard Dizon Gerry Edra Jophel Huffman Auspicio Yan Tony Garcia Louie Garcia   Social Media Photographer/ Videographer Celia Abuel “PaparrazzCel” 

Hollywood Glam by “M” Simplicio Michael Herrera EZWay’s Corner Eric Zuley

UK na UK Ela Hidalgo BANGKOK, THAILAND Siam Living Maricel Diaz

Talk This Way Tim Park Dine and Travel in Style Grace Aguilar

Events Interviewer/ Correspondents Grace Aguilar Icee Cruz Layout Artist Juvelin Aripal Technical Consultant Isidric Panganiban 


3756 W. Avenue 40 #160 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


Edith Y. Pendleton |

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his month is an abbreviated one for the editor and an appreciation for those which make Manila Up! International what it is. There are, inside this edition topics which range from the Metro Scene, a birthday bash of Chavit for friends, the Bluewaters of Cebu in the Philippines, Kingdom Adventures and “UK na UK� from the United Kingdom and a walking adventure in my own island of Maui. As our publisher pursues her quest for the best of topics to cover, it has become a purpose with the passion of someone who has a vision and believes in it. We all concur, it is a big, wide world out there and there is so much to discover and uncover to share with our readers. Zeroing in on the most relevant and exciting yet not missing out on the historical and significant topics to keep our readers engaged is somewhat of an archeological dig. As it may sometimes develop, once a spot is determined, the mining begins. A little bit at a time, the treasures emerge. Some beyond immediate recognition and need some brushing off to reveal the real thing, others are immediately evident in form.

Events unfold, they are characterized and described as the participants and venues depict themselves to the writer. Whether it is a local or foreign affair, the basic elements have to be set in proper perspective so as to not merely show photographs on the pages, we immerse the reader as if they were present there as participants or vicarious audiences at least. The subjects of our interviews are sometimes assigned as names to the writers. No other means of contact is involved as when these are conducted over the phone and it is up to both to create a connection. Our interviewer has the responsibility of asking pertinent, relevant, objective questions and inversely, the interviewee needs to articulate and further expound upon these questions to reflect whatever it is they need to honestly express subjectively. Manila Up! International is not your average glossy, it prides itself with the highest standards of paper stock, professional lay out and printing. We salute our writers who energize the pages with their unwavering dedication to great journalism and the superb photographers who are unmatched in our circles. What a tandem!



PIECE BY PIECE By Angel Tahimik

ow that August is finally here (seems like yesterday, I know…), we still got several weeks before tucking away our swimsuits and saying, “wake me up when summer ends.” If you haven’t been to the beach yet because your #summerbod-goals are not going so well, cheer up! You still have time to get your workout gears pumping. Some tips to get you started: 1. MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE. We all know this is easier said than done, but you have to start if you want to have a bikini body this summer. My tip is to try working out in the morning to get your metabolism revved up for the rest of the day. Commit to a workout routine that you’re comfortable with and stick to it! Once you’ve built the habit, perform exercises that use more than one muscle group such as squats, pushups, rows, and lunges in a circuit to make your workouts more efficient.  2. OPT FOR MORE GREEN AND LEAFY FOOD OPTIONS. I know “rice is life” but girl, you’re going to have to make the compromise if you want to rock that tank top. Start by cutting back on processed, starchy carbohydrates such as bagels,

Photo Source:

cookies, breads, pastas, and crackers. Most of these foods are loaded with extra sodium and preservatives that can contribute to water retention and bloating. Instead, opt for more fresh fruits and veggies, as well as lean protein to keep you satisfied. 3. REDUCE YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE. It’s always a good idea to lay low on the alcohol especially during summer. Not only is it advisable (for a better-sober-you), you will also reduce your total calorie intake and set yourself up for a better night’s sleep to energize you for your workout the next day (note: read tip no. 1 repeatedly). If you’re used to having a glass of wine or a pint of beer every night, try cutting back to two or three nights a week. When you do indulge, always sandwich your drink with a glass of water before and after to avoid the alcohol’s dehydrating effects.

4. KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED – WITH H2O. Since we are on the subject of drinking, do remind yourself that while drinking too much alcohol is a no-no, drinking more water is a yes-yes-yes! The best way to rid yourself of excess water weight is to flush your body with water. Skimping on water can reduce the effectiveness of your workouts because even mild dehydration can affect your performance and fat-burning potential. You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day (e.g., a 150-pound woman should drink 75 oz. or the equivalent of about four and a half 16.9 oz. bottled waters a day).    There you have it. Foolproof ways to get your bodies summer-ready and in tip-top shape. So turn your beach mode on and remember: summers not over ‘til you say it’s over. See you at the beach!


Gov. Chavit Singson, Willem Van Suijdam, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Gina Ronquillo, Jess Bartolome and Patrick Jacinto

By Joy Fong


o less than restaurant owner, former Gov. Chavit Singson, hosted the celebration preparing a lavish menu for his buddies with a presentation of authentic Italian Cuisine from his Dario Ristorante Italiano in Serendra. The debonaire co-celebrants were Juanco Robles, Founder of Pinas. com (a website created by Filipinos

for Filipinos), Managing Partner and CEO Chan Robles with Founding Chairman of Fairways Cargo Movers Corp. and Countryside Freight Movers and Trading Corporation, Jess Bartolome. Gov. Chavit himself had also marked his birthday a few days earlier. The birthday bash was a casual dinner style, with plenty of guests in attendance. Manila Pianos owner, concert organist and conductor, dazzling

Willem Van Suijdam, also celebrated his birthday just a few nights earlier in the same venue with his friends and family. Not only was it a night to remember to proclaim this celebration with their loving friends and family, it was also a night filled with laughter and fun experiences. Email Photos: Lorna Llanes Artem Levy


Amb. John Gomes, Gov. Chavit Singson and Thailand Ambassador Thannatip Upatising

Joy Fong, Juancho Robles and Glenn Gale

Gov. Chavit Singson, Gen. Heremogenes Esperon Jr., Pinky Tobiano

Gina Ronquillo, Willem Van Suijdam, Joy fong, Dr. Joni Dizon & Beth Victoria

Gen. Ericsson Velaquez, Jess Bartolome and Gen. Jun Noble


Vice Mayor Dingdong Ponggos, Jess Bartolome, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. and Tony Lim

Francis Baraan, Gina Ronquillo and Dr. Amadeus Baraan

Willem Van Suijdam

Dario Gardini, Cory Quirino and Tess Munoz

Joy fong,Gina Ronquillo, Willem Van Suijdam, Tess Willockx, Tess Munoz, Clarisse and Brave Ronquillo


Tess Willockx, Jenny & Moamar Nardone, Arthur & Kat Manuntag

Willem Van Suijdam, Peter & Maylene Buijs

Juancho Robles, Jess Bartolome and Gov. Chavit Singson

Jimmy Munoz and Toon Willockx

Gen. Jun Noble Jess Bartolome, Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali



kada Manila sets the new gold standard for five-star luxury. The country’s largest integrated resort offers access to life’s extraordinary pleasures – from its lavish suites and villas, luxury

entertainment options, world-class dancing water fountain performance, to sumptuous cuisine from different parts of the world – all while being pampered with the thoughtful service and care every guest deserves. The 44-hectare property 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 located three kilometers away from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and is at the foreshore of Manila Bay,


so visitors can catch a great view of the world’s most beautiful sunset which is truly a captivating sight to behold.

and wellness center, dome nightclub and indoor beach club, casual and signature dining restaurants. Quite unique to Okada Manila is its exterior that gleams a bright gold color during sunset. The Y-Shaped hotel has two wings, Pearl and Coral, and some of the biggest room options in the industry. The lavishly furnished accommodations provide luxurious comforts to locals and travelers alike.

More importantly, Okada Manila guests can expect nothing but 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.

Okada Manila’s structure complements its substance as well.

The hotel features an iconic design that houses two hotel wings, a premium retail promenade with both exclusive and casual outlets, luxurious and spacious gaming floors, a spa

The hotel offers a total of 993 rooms ranging from spacious 55qm deluxe rooms to grand 1,000sqm villas. These rooms provide designer amenities, spectacular views of either Manila Bay or The Fountain

20 MANILA UP! and advanced in-room technologies such as the DigiValet Service – an iPad that controls amenities in the guestroom and even communicates to people outside including the hotel’s restaurants and concierge. And the most iconic of all of its features is the world’s largest multicolor dancing water spectacle –The Fountain. It is a one-of-a-kind venue for special events and concerts and is expected to join the ranks of Manila’s top tourism landmarks. This US$30-million investment measures 37,464sqm and is open 365 days a year.

In Okada Manila, much luxury abounds. For one, the property

houses the largest casino facility in the Philippines, with up to 500 table games and approximately 3,000 Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM). Okada Manila aims to satisfy guests’ gastronomic cravings with more than 40 options for casual, buffet, and fine dining. Signature restaurants and dining outlets offering multicultural cuisines will be introduced to guests in search of the world’s finest flavors. These include Japanese Kappou Imamura by Michelin-starred Chef Hirofumi Imamura, Ginza Nagaoka sushi bar, Red Spice Chinese restaurant, Medley Buffet, Kiapo offering Filipino and Asian rice bowls, Goryeo Korean Dining, La Piazza, Lobby Lounge, Pastry Shop, and more exciting choices.

Shoppers will definitely have the best time of their lives, as the best local and international brands will have space at Okada Manila, with a total floor area of 8,409 square meters, and over 50 premiere and luxury brands. Also a haven for those who want to achieve overall health and wellness, Okada Manila’s Beauty Salon, Barber Shop, Gym and spa areas, The Retreat and Sole Retreat, have facilities that indulge the different senses. They feature a number of amenities including casitas, luxury treatment suites, foot spa thrones, relaxation rooms and spa gardens. The Retreat and Sole Retreat also offer unique spa treatments that heal and rejuvenate both the body and mind.


First ever in Asia, the Retreat has the Wave Dream, an advanced technology that uses water, light and music to create a unique and relaxing experience. The spas also carry exclusive, luxurious and worldrenowned beauty and skincare products from Hungary, United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland and the Philippines. Meanwhile, children can also enjoy world-class amenities through the property’s 1,000 sqm Kids’ Club. Toddlers, teens and young adults can take advantage of the different engaging, educational and technology-integrated activities in this area which is handled and facilitated by capable child experts.

Not to forget the night life, Okada Manila’s Cove Manila is a 9,000-sqm entertainment venue designed as a party mecca which fuses the most sought-after and unexpected elements of music, style and dining for a sensory experience unlike any other.

can be reserved for private events.

The structure will include the country’s first indoor beach club, enclosed in a 30-meter-tall and 100-meter-wide glass dome, with fine white sand and natural lighting resembling every inch of the most desirable and unimaginable summer getaway. Guests will have access to 33 luxuriously appointed cabanas and bungalows, as well as intimate dining rooms and other areas that

Okada Manila is committed to delivering an elevated and extraordinary experience in hospitality and entertainment because of the excellence it demands from its own. For every standard set, Okada Manila is dedicated to surpassing it through all-inclusive offers and services that will consistently charm, delight and surprise Filipinos and the rest of the world.

Cove Manila is also home to world’s first entertainment complex that seamlessly incorporates some of the most advanced audio, video and ambient lighting technologies to put on an eye-popping show.



SIAM LIVING By Maricel Diaz


or this issue, I am very delighted to share with you the experience of meeting one of the most beautiful women in the world, (rather, the universe) who is happily settled and enjoying her “Siam Living” for almost 12 years — Miss Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova. Natalie not only won the Miss Universe 2005 title here in Bangkok, but also the hearts of the Thai people. Here, she shares with us what made her fall in love with Thailand too and life after her reign as Miss Universe. How did you end up here in Bangkok? My first trip to Thailand was for the Miss Universe 2005 contest, while representing Canada. The country and the people gave us such a warm welcome, it was hard not to fall in love with it. I found myself back here time and time again during my Miss Universe reign for jobs and visits with sponsors. As I was ready to turn over the title and deciding on where to go next, I got a job offer from Singha group to be their brand ambassador

for a year and I accepted right away. I felt so comfortable in Thailand and the Thais even gave me a local nickname - Fah - which means blue (for my eyes). Ten years later, and I’m still very happy with my decision to settle here. Because so many wonderful and amazing things have happened to me, this has a very special place in my heart. What do you love most about here in “The Land of Smiles”? There are a lot of things to love about Thailand, the food, culture, incredible destinations (beaches, mountains, temples, etc), and a hot climate, but what I love most is the pleasant atmosphere created by the people. I feel a general sense of well being and happiness coming from the people here, and there’s no tension in the air. They are happy and it rubs off on me, so I have become more loving, caring, patient and compassionate as a result of living here.

How has your life changed twelve years after your reign as Miss Universe 2005? Being a mother has definitely changed my life in a good way. Only a parent knows the kind of fulfillment and happiness in having someone to take care of and love with all your heart. I was never able to understand it before when I heard it from other parents until I became one. It is truly a blessing which brings with it a magical quality to life like nothing else does . My priorities have changed, and so has my daily routine, but I welcome all the challenges and difficulties that come along with raising a child, because it gives my life more meaning and passion. You are currently working with YSIS Entertainment. When did you start with the YSIS Entertainment Team? I met my agent, Natt Kawinrachataprida, founder of YSIS

24 MANILA UP! Entertainment, right after giving birth to baby Maya, and we hit it off immediately. We are on the same page and have the same drive and ambition to make things happen. Natt inspires me a lot with her discipline and determination, I believe we make a good team! Heard there is a campaign together with your lovely daughter and that you are now also doing DJ gigs. What are your upcoming projects? Maya ’ s first campaign as a brand ambassador (before her first birthday) was recently launched. It’s for a well - known children’s clothing brand - Enfant, which is part of the ICC International group of companies. They also have the BSC brand, for which I’ve been an ambassador for many years now. I’m excited to share this journey with baby Maya, and to have her early years captured in this ad campaign. I’m sure she will look back on this time when she’s older and smile. I’m also excited to help design for the baby collection, labeled Hello Marine by Enfant, and this will be my first time as a designer. Together with Maya we are looking to explore more commercial opportunities for both parenting and kids’ brands! My husband Dean and I started an online travel - sharing community - Travelbook, which is now in private beta but you can request an invite by emailing us This community is for anyone who loves to travel or even for those just discovering new and exciting places in their hometown and sharing their experiences with friends and fellow travelers. We hope to create a community of people who want to share their wanderlust and passion for travel with the world and exchange their most cherished experiences

amongst themselves. I am also excited that our baby Maya will have all her travels securely documented and easily accessed by us and by her when she grows up. She won’t run the risk of lost of photos, names of places where we went, hotels we stayed at, and fantastic restaurants we dined in. It’s perfect for families and parents who want to preserve their precious family travel moments. I’m still booking MC and DJ gigs around the South - East Asia region, specifically at beach clubs and at daytime events, which fits my style of music - happy, fresh and “summery”.

How was your recent visit to the Philippines for the Miss Universe 2016 pageant? Was it your first time to visit Manila? I loved visiting Manila with my family to watch the Miss Universe 2016 pageant live ! It was our second visit, after my hosting gig for the Miss Global 2016 pageant last August . We met so many fantastic and enthusiastic fans, and everyone was so hospitable and welcoming. I love the energy and passion of the Filipino people, and we are looking forward to returning once again to explore more this beautiful country, particularly the beaches of Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu.




he embassy of Italy in Manila recently celebrated Italy’s 71st Republic Day and the 70th year of Diplomatic Relations between Italy and Philippines with a cocktail reception at the Grand Plaza Ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. The celebration also marked the 30th year of the Italian Cooperation projects in the Philippines, which was

highlighted by photo a exhibit. The event was attended by a large number of guests from the government, politicians, Diplomatic Corps, business leaders, and members of the Italian community. Joining the Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno in the toast was Assistant Secretary Maria Cleofe Natividad who represented the Department of Foreign Affairs and Acting Vice Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Jovencio De Jesus Martins.

Connie Haw, Agile Zamora, Joe Marie Chan, Agnes Huibonhoa, Helen Ong and Johnny Litton

The event was very successful with the display of the Gondola on a backdrop from Venice Grand Canal of McKinley, top Italian brands Bulgari and Salvatore Ferragamo, and cars from Chrysler-Fiat distributors. There was the free flow of Italian “Vino Rosso”, “Vino Bianco” and “Prosecco” for the celebration, accompanied by tastes of Italian food, music and images of Italy. Email: Photos:


H.E. Massimo, Ursula and Madam Agnes Roscigno

Emilio Mina, Antonio Saba and Dario Gardini

H.E Massimo & Madam & Agnes Roscigno, First Sec. Fabio Shina, Matilde de Nichilo, Diuseppe Bellini and Roberto Cucchiara

Maria Cleofe Natividad, HE Massimo Roscigno and HE Juvencio de Jesus (Timor Lester)

Margie Moran Floirendo, Ann and Rene Puno


HE Massimo Roscigno, Former Sen Bongbong Marcos, Madam Agnes Roscigno and First Sec Fabio Shina

Atty. Sal Panelo

HE Singapore Amb. Kok Li Peng

Robert Miller, Evie Costa, Nini Licaros and Ito Curata

Jun Alejandro, Ed Fereire, HE Igor Anatolyevich Khovae (Russia) and H.E. Rolando Guevarra (Panama)

Consul Antonio and Maricel Gallo




njoy the most of summer in England. Let’s go farther than London and one destination you will truly enjoy is Cornwall. There are a lot of exciting places to visit in Cornwall that we might give space to write about in the future like Lands’ End, 200-foot-high granite cliffs that rise out of the Atlantic Ocean that you can gaze across to the Longships, Lighthouse, the Isles of Scilly and beyond that, North America; Eden Project the world’s largest indoor rainforest a forerunner in architecture; and Fistral Beach, the surfing capital of United Kingdom. Let us consider St. Michael’s Mount in Marazion Cornwall for

now. Come join me in exploring the marvelous, legendary and castle of antiquity, more than a thousand years old. Back when I was in the Philippines movies having a castle, palace, prince and princess enthralled me. Imagine the excitement of seeing one with my own almond shaped eyes. My heart is leaping out of my chest that only I can feel. First, what is the difference between a castle and a palace? A castle is a structure built for safety and protection. It is fortified against attacks with thick walls, battlements and towers. Palaces on the other hand are the official residences of a sovereign, royalty, archbishop, bishop, or presidents built for luxury, comfort, prestige and security. St. Michael’s

Mount in Marazion is a castle. A castle built on a rock. The mount is made of the uppermost part of a granite- the strongest, most durable and hardest natural stone. At low tide, from afar the castle looked like it is on top of a steep mountain rock. As we walked on the causeway, we found that it is surrounded with sea weeds and rocks. We spotted some oysters. After enjoying the breathtaking sight, we saw a few doors that looked like apartments. The Mount is home to about 25 residents in its village and has its own ancient harbour and subtropical garden. We passed through the heavy medieval doorway. Finally, we reached the entrance hall and what unfolded before our eyes was the history of the St. Aubyn family, who have lived there since the 17th century.


KINGDOM ADVENTURES By Gilda Pineda Dionela

Colonel St. Aubyn was appointed Governor of the island in 1647 to keep the surrounding neighbourhood peaceful after the Civil War. St. Aubyn’s coats of arms were hanging on the wall along with a collection of muskets, weapons and many more items on display. There are so many rooms to see but the most thrilling for me were the Priory Church and Blue Drawing Rooms. The Church has been standing confidently and placidly at the highest point since the 12th century. Despite the challenges and changes in different places in England where churches were converted into other types of establishment, it is still used for Sunday services to this day. There is a 15th century granite Lantern Cross in the priory walls. I liked the Blue Drawing Rooms because that was where Queen Victoria sat to sip tea with a housekeeper in 1846. How cool of Queen Victoria to do that. When you are on top of castle you can feel the ocean breeze. They say, there are days you can even see dolphins and seals in the waters below. As I looked at the blue waters it was like looking at an infinite measure of my favourite gem, blue sapphire. (Sapphire is a tough and durable gem yet subject to chipping and fracture when handled roughly). The blue ocean gives me the feeling of security that the ‘One’ who created this enchanting body of water is the ‘One’

who holds me in His palm. With any chipping and fracture experienced in life’s journey, He is the only One who can give me back a perfect lustre and kaleidoscopic exploit during a wearisome battle. Our trip was almost over but I was still looking for a part of a castle that would exhilarate me like when I was watching a castle movie, the secret passages. That is what I saw in the movie like “The Man in the Iron Mask” with Leonardo Di Carpio but I didn’t see any secret passages in this castle. I consoled myself thinking that is why it’s called a secret one is not allowed to see it. It was getting late and suddenly the causeway was starting to disappear. The water was rising rapidly. We hurried to go down and took a boat to go back where we started from. The castle that appeared to be standing on top of the rock now looked like a floating fiery castle in the middle of the night. The reflection of the castle in the water brought by intense light brings another mystique. How they lighted it in the 12th century and how gracious God is that He gave men brilliant minds to explore His creation, to build and light a magnificent castle on top of the rock, the jewel of Cornwall, St. Michael’s Mount. There are cafés, restaurants and gift shops to check in at the end of the day. Enjoy Cornish pastries or fuggan scones with clotted cream. HISTORY. Some of my friends who travelled to France were wondering why St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall England is very much like Mont SaintMichel in Normandy France. Only history can explain that. The island of Marazion in Cornwall was a busy port trading tin with Europe thousands of years ago. St. Michael Mount was modelled after the Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy France to support

William the Conqueror in his claim to the throne of England in 1067 (Norman conquest of England was the invasion and occupation of England by French soldiers led by William the Conqueror). Apparently, if not coincidentally, according to legend, the archangel Michael appeared in 708 to the bishop of Avranches, and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet and called it Mont Saint-Michel in France, whereas legend says that in 495, St Michael is said to have been seen by fishermen on top of the island Marazion where St. Michael’s Mount-England was to be built about 500 years later). Just imagine the period covered by the folklore of supposed apparitions of St. Michael. These were 500 to 1,000 years after the death of Jesus Christ. In a less complicated world though wars and invasions were prevalent within the Western Hemisphere or Europe came under Christendom, meaning, that at about this period Europe had a love and fear of God above all. Despite political conflicts these strong political powers agreed and submitted to the sovereign power of the unseen and supernatural. Michael is not a saint but an Archangel we read in the book of Daniel. Today, England and France are experiencing all kinds of challenges especially in England. It is my personal opinion, however, that they wait for Archangel Michael to realize their need of God. I don’t think St. Michael will appear. Because Daniel was praying and fasting when he appeared to Daniel to give him the message of God. We need to pray and fast to know the wisdom of God. There is one and only Rock we can depend on that the enemy could not prevail against. He is the Rock and foundation worth building our castle on. Photo Source: en/st-michael-s-mount-cornwallengland-721913/


any years of education yet nobody taught us to love ourselves. Sad. Loving oneself is a main thing. However, it is often neglected. No educator really, could ever teach this to us, it is one’s responsibility. Looking at the other angle: Receiving love – They say it brings such an amazing feeling. But the practice of getting affirmation from other people just to feel complete is merely not right. Loving others – In Mark 12: 31 God said, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” But how can you love others when you feel empty? … You have to belong to yourself first. - Don’t settle for less - Know that your value as far as God is concerned is far worth more than rubies - Find happiness in the simple things - Go out there and find out what God has created you for - Accept your flaws and imperfections - Travel alone, figure yourself out - Try out things for the first time - Respect and admire yourself - Ask yourself if that’s what you deserve - Ask yourself if that’s what you think you’re worth - Acknowledge your need for Jesus and do something about it. Continue feeding yourself with self-love till your heart overflows. Remember, self love is the best love. Photo Source:

PROVERBS 31 WOMEN By Jhoanna de Guzman



Perfect for those who want to enjoy the city’s white sandy beaches but also get exposed to some history and highlands, Cebu has it all as the Queen City of the South. The gateway to the Philippines’ erstwhile version of an idyllic place is just an hour plane from Manila to Mactan Cebu International Airport.

By Joy Fong


ust recently, I had the opportunity to visit and stay at the magnificent Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort and Spa in Mactan City with a group of media associates from Manila. Upon arriving at the resort, we were pleasantly surprised by the Filipino lifestyle experience. From

indulging in their themed buffet, down to the warmest greeting from their fully all-Filipino staff. Other than settling in on our first day at an air-conditioned bungalow, we relaxed a bit in a 1.1-hectare man-made island dubbed Alegrado Island. We love the resort because of its family-friendly vibe, multiple pools, white sand beachfront, and sumptuous themed dinner buffets.

We ended the day at the famous Amuma Spa where I tried the Hilot or deep tissue massage for 90 minutes. The hilot therapy is recommended for people with chronic pain as the slow strokes and hilot or firmer finger pressure are used to stimulate deeper muscle layer tissues to help ease tension, release toxins, and improve blood circulation. Email:





ON THE BEAT By Fe P. Koons



ilAm Creative has been in the community for eight years now. According to its executive director, Meriden Villanueva who is a full time actor, FilAm Creative is a grassroots movement of filmmakers, writers, producers, actors and creative artists that aims to involve and make

positive representations on television, film and other media platforms in Hollywood.

panels and networking opportunities for its artistic members,” Villanueva said.

She further states that one of the biggest goals of the organization is to push for more engagement and collaborations within the community. “It’s important to have a strong leadership foundation to provide a variety of resources, workshops,

The branch of FilAm Creative that focuses on entertainment is, FILAM CREATIONS. Al Domino who works in the industry reveals that it has inspired him to explore the creative venues of filmmaking in the light of his Filipino heritage. He


FilAm Creations members at the Pilipino Worker Center Photo by Ren Arrieta of REAL IMAGES.

considers FilAm Creations as family and part of his lifestyle.“Initially, I was just hoping to just hang out with a couple of people and maybe talk about films, while enjoying adobo and lumpia. In a short span of time, I have found genuine friendship, fellowship and closeness among the actors and members of the organization. Before I knew it, I was also involved in making six short films for the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival, with very talented actors, production crew, not to mention being a team leader for the subgroup scriptwriting program,” Al confessed. Once a month, FilAm Creations meets at the Pilipino Worker Center

at Filipino Historic Town, members bring food and refreshments in the typical Filipino potluck family atmosphere. This group is serious as it has to be. Craig Wilson who is in charge of submitting short films for the opening night of the Los Angeles Philippine International Film Festival, monitors those who are working on their projects. He strongly emphasized “The films will have to be 7 minutes short. We are going to examine the films to ensure that they live up to good, quality standards. It is does not mean that because these are submitted by members of FilAm Creations, that the films will be automatically accepted. It is at the opening night of the LAPIF that we want to begin the festival with a bang

and expose the works of the FilAm Creations in the film festival.” Last July 15, the FilAm Creations put up a scriptwriting program. Members were asked to write comedy sketches which, hopefully, could be aired at a later date. This program is headed by Kaitlyn Fae Fajilan, an awesome singer actress. In an effort to push for diversity in filmmaking in Hollywood, FilAm Creations is working to meet that dream. But more than that, this group of young energetic Filipino Americans will tell our stories and the real issues in our community, not from the point of view of others but our very own --reflecting the Filipino emotion in the heart of America!


MAUI MANIA By Edith Pendleton


ypical in in quotation marks? This is so because, in truth, “typical” does not describe how the day unfolds, but for lack of a better word, let’s use it here. And so starts my day, walking a mile towards the ocean before the sun peeks out from behind the majestic Haleakala. The stroll begins at a relaxed pace and speeds up as the beauty and the breadth of the breathtaking blue ocean comes closer to view. The West Maui mountains change hues as the sun slowly colors its slopes. I continue on along the beach, barefoot and all, sometimes spotting a heart shaped coral and then ‘float’ a plumeria I picked from the front yard at home. A silent ritual of sorts, as my gesture of gratitude for all this isle has given in its blessings.

My “Beacon” in Keawakapu


Love along the ocean trail hike path

As the beach ends, the ocean trail begins and I eagerly get on the winding path that meanders around the edge of the shore like a rim, offering the most magnificent views. Turn full circle in place and all the mountains are snugly embracing us. From Haleakala to the littler isles of Lanai and Kahoolawe (a reserve off limits to development) and the tiniest, world famous Molokini, just

Peace on the same ocean trail hike

by its edge. This islet is the tip of a dormant volcano and snorkelers from around the world flock to it like the sea birds hovering above. My panorama is a view with 360 degrees of unparalleled divinity rising from volcanic eruptions in the middle of the Pacific ocean eons ago. At about midpoint on the stone trail is a heart made of white rocks.

The word Peace was there one week and then Love was written in its place at another time. Surely a heavenly message lovingly arranged by some evolved soul or souls... Finally I come upon Keawakapu beach, renowned as one of the most beautiful not only on the island but in the whole of Hawaii and the world. There is a stump of an old tree which


The Koi pond at Marriott in Wailea

stands like a vanguard in the middle of the lava rock on the coast. I dubbed it with the title of “The Beacon”. Because it reminds me of a beacon reaching out to the heavens and of a truly once in a lifetime event one evening. Out of nowhere a huge flash of countless meteors “swooshed” loudly by in the dark night sky, catching me and another star gazer in total shock. Shaken somehow but totally awed

On an early morning beach walk

at that moment of momentary timelessness. I head to towards the Koi ponds in the grounds of the Marriott and though I am not a “feeder”, they converge towards me or anyone who may remind them of the groundskeeper who does the actual feeding. The colors and noncolors of this fish from the carp family which were brought in by

Japanese immigrants remind me of threads upon a palette of colors from which nature paints the tapestry of life. And so whenever it’s time, I head on back towards home, usually just as the sun is almost getting warmer to the point of me breaking into serious sweat. But the return walk is just as pleasant. There is this little ‘secret’ garden, and as such I will not share


A secret garden on walking my path home

Full grown Bromeliads from my ‘keiki’ plants

exactly where it is along the way. Its tiny yellow flowers mark the spot as I continue on to begin my work day. There under the portal between two fragrant flower bearing plumeria trees is where my final stop sits and where seats await me. As I enter the cottage, the family of bromeliads in a large pot reminds me of how this large collection started when a good friend whom I had worked with at the county of Maui kindly gave me

A Maui Wowie sunset

three little “keiki” (or baby) plants as a housewarming gift. Bromeliads are cousins of the pineapple and though not edible, they do provide for a neat explosion of leafy blooms. So life goes on in this ‘untypical’ paradise under the sun aptly called the “House of the Sun” by native Hawaiians. At the end of the day, there is the Maui Wowie sunset that draws folks out of their lairs and like lemmings

to sea, direct their steps towards the setting orb, eagerly hoping to catch a (don’t blink) moment of the phenomenal “green flash”. There is a beautiful language here, spoken in hushed tones as the winds and the rains, in harmony with the moon, the stars and the sun all converge upon this miracle of a place, my spiritual home of Maui. Aloha and Mahalo for reading.






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The Venue



he Ablaza family has been known to throw elegant, grand and sometimes out of this world theme

parties. Last July 2, Ablaza Patriarch Louie Ablaza, the honorary consul of Zambia had a spectacular African Safari party in celebration of his eightieth birthday. The festive occasion was held again at their sprawling countryside manor named after his beauteous wife, Amelia, better known as Mellie, the celebrated high society hostess of fabulous parties. The birthday celebrant, Consul Louie Ablaza, dressed as a Safari explorer, welcomed his guests along with Consul Mellie Ablaza garbed as a glamorous tribal empress in fabulous feathers, a creation of

their son, Jun Jun Ablaza. She also wore a gown by fashion designer Steve de Leon, who also did the outfits for the rest of the Ablaza family. Their daughter Czarina Ablaza-Syquia with her husband Dr. Jofe Syquia and their children gamely dressed up in matching tribal outfits with raffia details. Multi-talented designer Jun Jun Ablaza on the other hand was a chieftain in a colorful outfit, donning an over-the-top feather headdress, and his own collection of tribal accessories. All their jewelries made of antique ivory, and antique Philippine gold diggings were from Jun Jun as well.


Criselda Lontok, Czarina Syquia, Thelma Gana, Mars Lambino and Nelli Bengzon

The day started with a mass at the Ablaza family’s chapel officiated by Father Jefferson Agustin from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Guests arrived in sartorial safari and exuberant animal printed outfits. Most of the gentlemen were dressed in safari ensembles reminiscent of Allan Quatermain, or as rangers in camouflage. Grand dames wore African tribal inspired caftans, some had colorful fowl feathers and fur, while many others were decked in chunky ivories, multi-colored stones and gold jewelries. After the mass, the guests were ushered into a giant tent for cocktails where they had champagne, cabernet sauvignon, canapés and a roasted suckling pig. A safari jeep and a drum playing group completed the tribal/ safari vibe.

Dette Tan, Evie Costa and Karen Makasaet

Syquia Tribe - Alfonso, Agu, Amanu, Azi, Azia, Dr. Jofe and Czarina

Lunch was held at the estate’s grand pavilion where guests gaped at the lavish and festive African themed decór. The high ceiling was draped with animal printed fabrics where gigantic tribal masks were suspended. Two life-sized giraffes stood by a wall and arched a doorway. All the tables were bountiful - decked with fruits, flowers, palm leaves and ferns. Lunch was made extra special and sumptuous by Chef Jessie Sincioco, a favorite culinary expert of the Ablazas. The guests had an African degustation of Kachumbari black eyed peas with warm wild rice and vegetable salad, grilled tilapia fillet yassa with coriander, frozen black grapes, soya with yaji rice and mango chutney, kienji chicken with kelewele, oxtail curry with jollof rice, and dessert was a delectable plate of malva pudding, hertzoggie, milk tart and crunchies.

46 MANILA UP! Louie and Mellie were seated in a pair of ebony colored peacock chairs like the king and queen of a tribal feast. Together with them at the presidential table were Ambassadors Igor Khovaev, Mme. Lizia Lu, H.E. Rolando Guevara Alvarado, H.E. Ephraim Ben Matityau, H.E. Kok Li Peng, H.E. Roland Van Remoortele, Mme. Sylvia Van Remoortele, H.E. Ezra Cankorur, H.E. Ahmed Ezzat, Mme. Mervat Ezzat, H.E. Ly Guoc Tuan, and Mme. Dan Vu. The program started with drums rolling, and a powerful rendition of the song, Circle of Life by theater actress and story book writer Pam Imperial in a Jun Jun Ablaza feather cape and headdress. It was followed by an upbeat tribal street dance number by the Dance Royalties headed by Daniel Cabrera. The afternoon was finally highlighted with a well-applauded fashion show by no less than Manila’s famed ‘enfant terrible’ of wearable art, Jun Jun Ablaza. He presented a 17 piece Neo-Tribal collection in distressed, acid washed and patched denims with unique accessories in shells, corals, ivory and feathers. The party’s dramatic extravaganza was successfully staged and made possible by production manager Marvin Choa and Jett Carpio who directed the show. Consul Louie Ablaza’s African Safari affair was more than just another grand gathering of high society’s crème de la crème. His 80th birthday party is a celebration of life and his family’s thanksgiving for God’s blessings and bounty. Marc Ablaza, his eldest son revealed in his speech about how his father overcame a health ordeal in the past few months. It was a time that made them see more of the beauty

Santy, Marc Thomas, Rocio and Xavier Ablaza

Edwin Medalla, Tess Syquia and Marian Ong

MANILA UP! 47 and importance of living every second to the fullest, celebrating love, happiness and togetherness. The African Safari theme was chosen by Louie’s family since he currently serves as an Honorary Consul of Zambia in the Philippines. A safari is an overland journey, usually to the African continent which was once a trip to go on a hunt. Today, it is often referred to as a trip to observe wildlife, do sightseeing, take photographs and enjoy the glorious wonders of nature at its finest and along with the bounties of the Great Creator. The theme was also inspired by everyone’s love of travel, love of finding new adventure, discovering new places, and most importantly, enjoying it with loved ones. Because, in reality, life is an endless journey of discovery with family and the people who become a part of everyone’s lives. To Consul Louie, more happy celebrations to come. What will it be next year?

Consul Gen. Russel Brown (USA) John Hill and JunJun Ablaza

Terry Pa_acios, Patchit Foromda, Consul Louie Ablaza and Livie Ferry


Nympha Valencia

Chef Jessie Sincioco and hostess with the mostest Consul Mellie Ablaza

Best dressed Safari couple - Czarina and Dr. Syquia

Tina Jacinto is full of feather



WINNERS OF THE PAGEANT! 1. MISS PHILIPPINES USA 2017​​ Nicole Guerrero ​ Top Model of the World, Miss Foodtrients, Best in Evening gown ​2​. MISS PHILIPPINES USA-WORLD​​ AND BEST IN SWIMSUIT Kayla Marie Nadres ​3. SECOND RUNNER-UP Andrea Valera 4. THIRD RUNNER-UP Angelica Escandon 5. MISS PHILIPPINES USA-AMBASSADORS Valerie Bonoan Kristine Macalutas 6. MISS PHILIPPINES USA FILIPINOTOWN Gabby Pangan

1. 2. 3. 4.




Jonas Gaffud, Kalea Pitel 2016 MPUSA, Natalie Guerrero 2017 MPUSA and Megan Young

MISS YOUNG PHILIPPINES USA 2017 Jazlynn Dizon (Photo by Phillip Ner)

MISS YOUNG PHILIPPINES USA 2017 Jazlynn Dizon and MISS PHILIPPINES USA 2017 Nicole Guerrero (Photo by Celia Abuel)


The stage (Photo by Phillip Ner)




hen you live around your aunts and uncles hearing about how everybody gets to have high blood pressure, that high cholesterol runs in the family, or that diabetes is in every generation and that Uncle passed away suddenly following his morning tennis routine, it is no surprise that a doctor (not myself) will see you and get to finally say you have high blood pressure (BP) like folks in your family. That was what happened in my late 20’s. Contrary to people’s expectations,however, I have proven to be a compliant patient having been on maintenance medications since then. My physician who has taken care of me from the start has done the usual stress tests on a regular basis and also heart imaging (2D ECHO) to make sure I am fine.

What are Treatment options? To manage high blood pressure, combination medications with different actions are used. Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) that blocks this substance to decrease the blood vessels from tightening. It is combined with a water pill, hydrochlorothiazide, that increases urination and therefore also control the volume of the blood (higher volume can cause high BP). Baby aspirin further protects the heart by avoiding clot formation, which contributes to obstruction. When you get older, things run differently and it may well be that the body deals with age less resiliently. It was a scary thought! In retrospect, chest heaviness misconstrued as indigestion from hyperacidity may well be due to a heart pain, angina (as a result of reduced oxygen supply). And while it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle (eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and less of red meats; and yes, exercise), one takes a different stance when the heart is already shouting for help. A chest pain that radiates to my neck (or arms, usually on the left), lasting more than 30 minutes, with sweating, and shortness of breath makes it a real heart pain.


Let us know more about the heart and its blood supply: The heart, is roughly as big as one’s fist, and is divided into two: the right portion of the heart receives blood from the rest of the body which then goes to the lungs for oxygenation. This then goes to the left of the heart, which pumps oxygen rich blood back throughout the body. The heart also requires good supply of blood to work well. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart: 1. Left Main Coronary Artery (LMCA): supplying the left side of the heart branching into: 1.1 Left anterior descending artery, supplying the front left side of the heart; 1.2 Circumflex artery, encircling the heart, supplying the side and back of the heart 2. Right coronary artery( RCA), supplies the right side and the nodes (sinoatrial and sinoventricular), which regulate the beating of the heart. It is when the supply of blood (hence oxygen) to these areas is

diminished that one experiences chest pain. The most common cause of decreased blood supply is when these vessels get to be blocked due to increasing deposits of cholesterol (atherosclerosis) and other blood parts, called plaque which, over time, become harder (soft to solid plaques). In turn, normally elastic blood vessels now become rigid. When this obstruction becomes significant (about 50% blocked) chest pain, easily being fatigued or difficulty in breathing when lying down may be experienced. This condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD). Sometimes, these plaques erode and travel further to cause blockade (embolus). Who gets to be affected by CAD? It is the leading cause of death in the US. With 2 or more risk factors (I am adding here modifiable factors like obesity and smoking as well as alcohol intake), the risk is magnified more in men (at 37.5%) compared to women (at 18%). The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that one American is having a heart attack every 40 seconds.

It was because of a pressing type of pain that felt through my back, yes, that different type of pain, that I decided to be seen in our clinic. My BP was elevated but I did not have the characteristic sweats. They took an electrocardiogram, EKG (so see if there were rhythm abnormalities). These showed changes in leads II, III, AVF corresponding to the branch of the Left Ascending Artery. A CAT scan of the chest was taken to rule out any shearing of the aorta (aortic aneurysm,and luckily there was none). Serial blood draws were done to determine heart markers (protein) at baseline (Troponin) and after three hours they proved to be negative, suggesting reduced blood flow (ischemia) and not a heart stroke (myocardial infarction). Compared to creatine kinase (an enzyme), Troponin is more specific to the heart and is released early with heart damage. Because of family risks, a follow-up evaluation was done. Medical opinions matter and what better way to obtain them but from families and friends who are specialists themselves. Time to confer with my cousin in Long Beach. An internist in Queens. And yes a ‘Barkada 1990’ from the University of Santo Tomas, a leading and chief cardiologist at St. Luke’s (the only JACHO accredited center in the Philippines and the second in Asia). And, above all, with my senior colleague at work whose empathetic concern makes me feel well taken cared of and protected. What are the usual workups? I opted for a less invasive heart CAT scan. This images the heart and surrounding blood vessels in a 3 dimensional manner and can detect plaque build up in these areas. I answered questions from a nurse over the phone a day prior. Some concerns included allergy, a

56 MANILA UP! contraindication when breastfeeding, fear of being enclosed (usually premedicated with alprazolam, an anxiety medication taken 30 minutes before the procedure) and interactions with medications used during the procedure. The procedure was done in the morning and I was out within 6 hours. A beta-blocker, metoprolol, was given to slow down my heart rate to about 60 a minute so that better images can be captured. A contrast dye was used to further highlight the image. As forewarned, I tasted metal in my tongue and felt the urge to urinate (as a side effect, and no, I did not). The preparation takes time, about 1-2 hours, the actual test was only about 20 minutes. I was asked to follow instructions like holding my breath for about 5-10 seconds to take images. The results were somewhat surprising as disseminated blockade was detected in varying degrees. Of note was a soft plaque in the distal portion of the LAD. This was despite my diligence in taking medications and exercise. I am even within my ideal body weight! Certainly, there were (repeated) lapses in enjoying chicharon, adobo, and other fatty rich foods, of missing the gym for months on end. It’s time for a much more radical and responsible way of living! My doctor added a beta-blocker, metoprolol, to my regimen. As it blocks the effects of a hormone, epinephrine, it reduces the heart rate and each beat with a lesser force when it contracts (both can lower the blood pressure). And to help with the chest pain, isosorbide was given. It has been causing me headaches (due to a dilation of the blood vessels), which will resolve in a week or two. Being on the latter medication is a contraindication for other meds like Sildenafil.

Other options included a persantine (dipyridamole) thallium stress test where pictures are taken which can detect narrowing of heart blood vessels and those areas damaged by the lack of blood supply in the heart tissue. Concerns for this procedure include pregnancy, allergy to the medications used during the procedure, a recent heart attack, heart valve problems, a heart block or lung disease. You are instructed to not eat at least six hours prior to procedure and avoid food and medications with caffeine. Another usually considered test is the dobutamine stress, echocardiogram, especially if one is unable to exercise. Dobutamine, administered through a vein, causes the heart to beat faster mimicking an exercise. When an echo is used, a transducer sends ultrasonic waves and is bounced back off the heart structures, and then captured in a computer. This is then displayed as images of the heart and blood vessels. Possible side effects of the procedure include chest pain, high blood pressure, dizziness and nausea. How to relieve obstruction? When medical treatment fails, a stent to open up the block is considered. Coronary angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI) opens these clogged arteries. It is usually combined with placing a

small wire mesh of tube (2.1 to 3 mm) called a stent to decrease chances of narrowing again. These stents maybe covered with medication (drug eluting stents) or not (bare-metal stents). Angioplasty is often combined with the permanent placement of a small wire mesh tube called a stent to help prop the artery open and decrease its chance of narrowing again. Some stents are coated with medication to help keep the artery open (drug-eluting stents), while others are not (bare-metal stents). Risks include narrowing of the artery (restenosis) less with drug eluting agents to less than 10%, blood clots (avoided by using medications like aspirin), clopidogrel [Plavix]; and bleeding (usually causes bruising and less of serious bleeding requiring transfusion). With angioplasty, chest pain is relieved and can make the heart recover lost function with increased in ejection fraction. Some individuals can regain their prior function without physical limitations. Dr. Aromin is a Manhattan based physician in practice for over twenty years. This is informational and medical decisions regarding your care are best discussed with your doctor. Photo Sources: http://aarogyamheartandeyeclinic.



EARNEST SNOOPS By Ernest L. Gonzaga


rganist and pianist Willem Van Suijdam who owns Manila Piano in the Philippines, which specializes in the remanufacturing of Steinway, Bosendorfer, Bechstein and other prestigious brands held an intimate afternoon concert at his Ronac Lifestyle Center store in Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City. It was a well-organized piano concert attended by some of Willem and ladylove Gina Ronquillo s friends and business associates headed by Anthony Aj Violago, Korean businessman Jack Noh, Cory Quirino, Atty. Wille Martinez, Malou Martinez, Marice Martinez, renowned make-up artist Bambbi Fuentes, designer Petra Lim. Rosemarie Basa, Boy Lizaso, Lilybeth Garcia, Noel Gonzales, Arthur and Kat Manuntag, Pia Lesaca, Mila Herbert Vaget, Concepcion Oreta to name a few. Singers, Arthur Manuntag, Noel Gonzles and Lilibeth Garcia obliged the guests request for a few songs and so with Marice Martinez, a PTV4 news anchor who gamely

Cory Quirino, Willem Van Suijdam and Rosemarie Basa

Bambbi Fuentes, Boy Lizaso, Rose Basa, Cory Quirino, Malou Marinez, Gina Ronquillo, Ernest Gonzaga and Willie Martinez

did a duet with Arthur Manuntag. The afternoon soiree lasted till evening amidst continuous flow of wine and food.

It was indeed a pleasurable moment spending an afternoon piano concert by no less than Willem Van Suijdam in the company of some dear and nice friends which I rarely see.


Marice Martinez and Arthur Manuntag

Mila Herbert Vaget

Marice Marinez

Cory Quirino, Rosemarie Basa and Gina Ronquillo

Arthur Manuntag, Toon Willockx Melissa Chloelia Lim, Sean Paolo Manuntag and Willem Van Suijdam

60 MANILA UP! A towering cotton-candy pompadour, yesteryear candies and a bananas Foster “shake”. Vanilla panna cotta, gianduja brownie, caramelized banana cream, Chantilly. I was at awe at this dessert. It’s considered a fave treat for a Birthday celebrant or any occasion for that matter. Imagine seeing a big pink cotton candy for hair on a head with a lighted spark as a waiter sets it on a table makes it a focal point for everyone dining in the restaurant.

What a lovely creation!... To see a big colorful bird on a side of your dish. For all the chicken lovers, here’s a delicious feast for u. This can be found in the menu under the Entree section. Bird’s Eye View ~ Peking-Style Chicken, Nantes carrot juice, scallion, griddle cakes, pickled stone fruit, house hoisin

Amazing creations made in every dish. A big fork adds a flare to this dish making it more exciting in its presentation.

The Great American Steak (16 oz boneless ribeye, 8 oz Angus Fillet Mignon, charbroiled steak, truffled steak fries, butter blanched greens, roasted radish, bone marrow butter, black pepper bordelaise.)

Marie Antoinette’s Head ~ Let Them Eat Cake

For all the fish or seafood lovers out there... Here’s another dish that was created to fit the health conscious at heart. Delicious as good as it looks.

Samurai Swordfish ~ Chargrilled longline California Swordfish Steak with sake ginger glaze, sprouting broccoli, heirloom-squash purée, basil, country ham fizz


This is the main dining area of Barton G with a white and gray interior, floor to ceiling wall of fresh orchids in a glass vase, 15-foot pink onyx bar and a plethora of chandeliers.


You can find such innovative creations in their dishes. Even the names of each dish creation have a unique ring to it. Like the ones pictured here, for example, The Bird’s Eyeview, Samurai Swordfish, The Great American Steak and surprising dessert called Marie Antoinette’s Head - Let Them Eat Cake.

As you walk in Barton G you’ll come across a room facing the entrance an Interior private group or party section of the restaurant.


retty excited to be doing this next review of this restaurant. If you find The Pump as magical, The Barton G is whimsical. One of my fave hot spots in LA. I’ve always loved going to a restaurant which shows a uniqueness in style

bringing comfort and excitement in dining. Barton G is an American restaurant rated by The Huffington Post as a “whimsical eatery with over the top culinary theatrics.” It is described as a “luxurious ambiance for a quirky menu with decadent items such as lobster Pop-Tarts.”

Owned by Barton G Weiss, restauranteur and event designer, wanted to introduce a restaurant in LA with its mission to create great food with a great show. It raves excellent reviews from Forbes, Zagat, The Huffington Post, City Search, Frommer’s, Food Arts, Eater and the Wall Street Journal. Open Table highlights it on the list of 100 restaurants in America. Barton G. Weiss co-founded the foundation Kids Hear Now Foundation with Liz Viner, when he learned his daughter was born deaf and needed Cochlear implants. Barton G is dedicated to giving back, “Giving the Gift of Sound” to children and works hard to develop a foundation for kids that hearing impaired and their families. I would rate Barton G. 4 stars for great ambiance, quality food with a decorative accent to a dish and a bit pricey but worth the wait. Check it out ~ Let us know what you think. Photo Credits to Celia Abuel


loha Manila Up Real Estate Junkies! Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills or a palace in the English countryside, or maybe an 18th century Italian Villa along the Amalfi Coast? Well, you are not alone! If you’re like me, I’m a real estate junkie to the end, and a huge fan of HGTV. Shows like International House Hunters, Million Dollar Listing LA and NYC, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Hawaii Life, etc., to name a few are my weekly “fix” and “MUST SEE” TV addictions. And another reason why I became a realtor!

beach front estates to mountain-top equestrian estates. It truly is one of the most fascinating aspects of my job, to step into the world of the rich-andfamous (or not!) and see how they live behind closed doors. You might ask, “what drives the affluent buyer to invest (not merely purchase) in these ultra-expensive homes?”, whether they be their primary residence, secondary, or part of a collection of homes. The answer is, I’ve learned in working with high net-worth clients, is simply, because “they can”! Typically, luxury home purchases are not a necessity, rather an “impulse” buy and they view these investments as part of their overall “portfolio “.

Having been a professional realtor for over 18 years now on the beautiful islands of Hawaii, I’ve seen my fair share of luxury homes from

So, while you may think, that all luxury homes carry a price tag of $10 million or more, don’t be fooled, because there are bargains around the


​Restored countryside villa in Tuscany

world which may cost you less than you think. Especially if you live in a US city or overseas city, the median home prices can reach upward to $1million or more (areas like San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Vancouver BC, Sydney, etc.) then maybe it’s time to trade in your big city life for a more affordable “mansion” or “villa” across the globe! I researched some really HOT BUYS, across the globe, for “Living Large” for a budget of One Million US dollars, and here’s what you get: In Bali....a Modern Asian inspired Ocean View gets you this: In Italy....a villa in the hillside countryside of Tuscany ....would get you this: In Belize, another hot spot for International buyers…would get you this:


ISLAND LIVING By Randy Antonio

In France, a countryside French Chateau….Imagine Chardonnay, brie cheese and dining al fresco on your terrace.....

Belize home

So you see, while they say LOCATION is everything, so is the quality of life and making your dollar stretch in ways you thought were only possible for the Rich and Famous are available now, in many parts of the world! But, don’t wait too long because these undiscovered hot spots are being discovered by thousands of globetrotters looking for their next dream home at a bargain price! Are you next? Randolph “Randy” Antonio, is a Real Estate Consultant, with KW Island Living Maui. He’s been a longtime resident of Maui for over 20 years, truly loves the island life, and he’s been a featured realtor on House Hunters goes to Maui episode. You can reach him for all your real estate needs, at , or visit his website: www.RandyAntonio. com KW, the world’s largest real estate company in the world, (approximately 150,000 agents worldwide and in 33 countries, as of June 2017), has officially announced their opening of KW offices in the Philippines! If you, or anyone you know, is interested in a real estate career in the Philippines, or here in the US, please contact me for details. Mahalo! Salamat Po!

Bali house

French chateau


By Ed Rame

s titular Mrs. Philippines USA it is without bias that this is well deserved recognition for Cora Aragon Soriano. It has been a very long time coming for this woman I fondly call ‘Ms. Elegance’. She, of incredible substance whom I think every woman, lady, girl or child should emulate, learn and model from. A gutsy achiever with the elegance of a queen, gentleness of a woman and brilliance in her wisdom, she is above all a woman of faith. In our

community there are a lot of ladies who have wonderful stories to tell. Those who had triumphed against adversities, achieved great fame and power, wealth and glory, but very few were able to share the inspiration of having made it their way, their own way. Ms. Aragon has woven and fashioned her fairy tale of a story and like a few others I know, who are always selfless, volunteering, so giving and fearless in their causes to help the community she is seen in events that matter, especially those that bring social relevance and benefits for everybody.

Being a community leader, she is a woman who never denies her presence to lend support no matter how humble it may seem. But most importantly, she is a wonderful Mom. Fittingly, the ambassador of goodwill because she possesses the qualities that can endear everyone to her causes. Though it is no brainer to choose her, Lou Razon and the committee of Ms. Philippines USA, did themselves a great honor, great job and brought prestige to their cause. Take a bow Ms. Elegance. Congratulations Ms. Cora Aragon Soriano!




here is a popular dictum that the East Coast of the United States is one of the places that every American has to experience at least once; New York City is an ideal starting point. A mystery to many Americans who have never visited one of the world’s premier melting pots, New York City can lay claim to a unique character. It is a salmagundi (to borrow the word from a New York institution, the Salmagundi Club) or a stew. Its character is further enhanced by residents who are influencers, movers, and a defiant few. Although it is a facet of jaunts to choice destinations, conversations in at least five different languages can be overheard during a short subway ride here: Spanish; Russian; French; Chinese Polish; and, increasingly more frequent, Filipino dialects along with English. Culture, fashion, finance, and cuisine are topics that define New York City. It is virtually a country unto itself. Manhattan owns its very unique rhythm, like that of a symphony played at Carnegie Hall. While in a taxi seemingly in the midst of other vehicles with nowhere else to speed away, try and follow the beat. As the traffic light turns green, the cacophony of traffic and the wind accelerate to a rhythmic crescendo and blend

Hilary Knight (b. 1926). Unused cover sketch, 1955. Eloise. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955. Graphite, pen and ink, watercolor and gouache on paper. Collection of Hilary Knight. Copyright Š by Kay Thompson. Eloise images courtesy of New-York Historical Society Museum and Library


with the tempo of vehicles that zoom past Central Park’s verdant expanse. There, the cadence seems gentler as one gazes at summer’s verde arboreal canopies. From uptown Fifth Avenue, just parallel to the park and is the section called the Museum Mile, the atmosphere seems gentler despite the MTA blue buses, the chauffeured limousines, and Uber pick-ups competing for space. The tempo changes to a staccato as continuous progress is marred by merging traffic at the 59th Street intersection marked by a New York landmark, The Plaza.

‘’Eloise at the Museum’’ showcases the collaborative masterpiece of author Kay Thompson (1908-1998) and illustrator Hilary Knight (b.1926) at The New-York Historical Museum and Library. It is currently a featured exhibit which runs until October 9, 2017

After the greenery of Central Park, The Plaza Hotel and Condominiums seems to serve as a contrapuntal structure but its importance among New York’s urban haunts is not an insignificant one by any measure. Here starts Fifth Avenue’s rows of high-rise towers that line both sides of the street heading downtown; and, going west as well as uptown, the beginning of the city’s much-coveted real estate with the view of Central Park. Once owned by The Donald (a New York monicker for President Trump), The Plaza was run by his first wife Ivanna who was said to have received $1 a year plus perks to run the property, a common knowledge among locals due to the extensive press coverage that created The Donald. The Plaza Hotel is also associated with several films, “Crocodile Dundee,” among several other popular flicks. Likewise, it is known as the home of the Eloise, a six-year-old fictional character featured in a series of books by Kay Thompson (illustrated by Hilary Knight). Another movie “Eloise at the Plaza,” which featured Julie Andrews, is associated with the location. An Eloise enclave on Level A is a boutique with an all-pink and

Hilary Knight (b. 1926). Illustration for the Plaza Hotel children’s menu, 1957-8. Paper. Collection of Hilary Knight. Copyright © by Kay Thompson. Eloise images courtesy of New-York Historical Society Museum and Library


black-andwhite theme designed to make a little girl giddy with delight. We last toured this Eloise haven with a lovely young relative Amanda Bela who adored the design of Eloise’s school uniform. Aside from the Eloise boutique, a cornucopia for food enthusiasts and casual diners at the Food Court on the same floor offers a delightful selection of New York classics as well as inventive culinary surprises. The Todd English Food Hall offers a nice sitdown service. No less famous offered at the Palm Court on the ground floor is the a very New York favorite uptown ritual, the grand tea, details of which call for another article dedicated to this tradition. Nestled just outside this area known as Central Park South--within a five-block circumference, are: Tiffany & Co. (the flagship headquarters), Bergdorf Goodman; Trump Tower

(the pink-marbled lobby and banner property that made Trump a household real estate name); all the major designer brands to the east of 57th; and a line of hotels to the west of 59th. The Crown building, associated with the Marcoses in the 80’s and the Philippine government is also in this section of Manhattan. Should the art scene be on your mind, Manhattan is a stimulating environment for artists and enthusiasts. Art auctioneers Christie’s and Sotheby’s both have a prominent presence in the city. Aside from The Metropolitan Museum (The MET) and The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), there are privately-run museums and galleries. Along the museum mile is The Frick Collection, paintings and objets d’art amassed by turn-of-the century magnate Henry Clay Frick, showcased in his former New York home that is now a museum.

The Metropolitan Museum (Museum Mile) One of the most impressive in the MET collection is the Arms and Armor, a section that almost brings to life combats fought by knights and soldiers to either ward off invaders or win new territories. The metal vests, shin guards, helmets, and swords are worthy of the impressive battles for which they were made. The designs and workmanship applied in crafting the metal pieces conjure images of kings and barons as if one could actually see visions of courageous knights on horseback; and, hear the clanging of metals and swords at the battlefield. Gallery 820 on the second floor and its surrounding galleries that feature masters of Impressionism is one of the delightful areas to visit at the MET. This gallery is home to Camille Pissarro’s Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning (Montmartre, Matin d’Hiver), a masterful legacy of atmospheric Impressionism. (As part of the MET’s Copyist Program, I painted this Pissarro masterpiece and worked in front of this winter scene every Wednesday for several hours for eight weeks.) A fellow artist and friend, Patricia Noblet, a French Art Therapist in Paris was moved to tears when she saw the extensive body of works by French Impressionists at the MET. (The Louvre is said to have rejected a major donation of Impressionist works that later found a home at the MET).

Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum Teaser.jpg

The Medieval Arts, The sculptures in the Greek and Roman Art, among other worthy displays all deserve a visit. The collection of fine silver in the American Wing is exceptional. The MET rotates its collections to enable the display of its extensive holdings.


and, the columns that surround the old courtyard that is now an atrium.

The Frick Collection, New York, Fifth Avenue Garden and façade with magnolias in bloom Photo: Michael Bodycomb

The Atrium corridors displayed a Meissen porcelain The Great Bustard, 1732). This was made for King Augustus the II of Saxony, according to a Curatorial staff member at The Frick. The delicately crafted fowl stood out in my memory: it was displayed as a decorative art, unenclosed. (It may be on loan at the moment). The interior galleries have wall panels that feature decorative gilding and tapestries. The painting collection includes oeuvres by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir, along with other old masters and exquisitely crafted objects. A tour of this building allows a delightful insight into the privileged lifestyle in the early 1900s that includes a focused devotion to collecting art.

The Morgan Library and Museum (Madison Avenue and 37th Street) This former mansion home of the late Piermont Morgan is the repository of original manuscripts, documents, drawings, prints, and other beautiful objects. A collection of Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) documents are in the Morgan Library. Home of some of the most magnificent Illuminated manuscripts, The Morgan has a movie theatre, a lovely gift shop, and a restaurant. The Garden Court The Frick Collection, New York Photo: Michael Bodycomb

I have visited the MET on several occasions during a period of over two decades yet I cannot claim I have been to all the galleries.

The Frick Collection (Museum Mile) One of New York’s gems and an architectural landmark, the Frick

mansion, unlike structures that surround its gates, is not so much a testimony to the grandeur of space as it is a fine demonstration of balance and a dignified claim to logical yet graceful use of architectural elements, such as: the courtyard garden where lies a fountain that features two frog sculptures from whose mouth water gently spout into the pool;

Once one of my favorite hideouts in Manhattan, The Morgan’s architectural details include an exquisitely carved marble fireplace; and, gorgeously gilded panelling in what was once for the exclusive and private use of the late Morgan family. Precious original manuscripts in may be used by researchers. (All Rights Reserved. JBL Thabet 2017).


Janice B. Lingad-Thabet

(née Barbasa) considers herself a Jersey Girl who has lived in New York. She is a trained artist who studied at The Art Students League; The National Academy of Art; and, in Cher, France at the atelier of Richard Ahntholz, a former Academy professor. A Literature graduate of UST, she has since been awarded two scholarships by the Sister Rose Thering Fund at Seton Hall University Graduate School of Jewish-Christian Relations. As a former Editor-in-chief of “What’s On in Manila?” Magazine; publisher/editor of “Miscellaneous Magazine”; and, Managing Editor of Student Canteen Magazine edited by the late humorist Mr. Kitch Ortego, Ms. Thabet relishes the experience of having worked on projects with the ever-generous friend and social influencer Mr. Boy Abunda; The FDAP; Mutya ng Filipinas; The FAMAS Awards; and, The Manila Film Festival. Contributors such as Rosalinda Orosa, Isagani Cruz, Jr., the late Joe Quirino, Celso Carunungan, and Kitch Ortego were invaluable resources on whom she had learned to rely. She credits the late Murray Hertz, of What’s On? in Las Vegas as a mentor who generously shared his Travel and Tourism publishing experience. One regret she professes to is having been too shy to allow Mr. Bob Razon, The Photographer of presidents and first ladies, to take her portrait for one of his exhibits. She says she misses her friends in Manila but unlike the enviable location of L.A., the East Coast is comparably more remote from life in the Philippines.

Eloise at the Museum (New York Historical Museum) June 30, 2017 - October 09, 2017 Photo courtesy of: New-York Historical Society Museum & Library






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By Ging Buttercup

S YL M A R , C A L I F O R N I A

harles Torroba is the owner of CHEVAL POLO clothing company, a supplier of shirts to different Polo Clubs. He is a riding instructor and volunteers at California Polo Club. Charles is also the Vice President of Sales at Go 2 Transportation and owner of Direct Transport, a courier company that picks up and delivers documents, aircraft parts, etc. all over Southern California. He is married to Vanessa with whom he has three children. Mikaela, is 2 years old, her brothers are Miguel, 9 and Marcus, 5 who also plays Polo at California Polo Club in Sylmar, California.

Business Management degree at Cal State Northridge. His interest in Polo started at the California Polo Club. After 10 years of playing, he became a Polo Instructor at the California Polo Club in Sylmar, California.

A Fil-Am from humble beginnings, he is now breaking through the sport of Polo, once thought to be reserved only for the rich and elite. Carlos Sousa Torroba aka “Charles”, is the first FilipinoAmerican Polo player and instructor at California Polo Club. He plays the #2 and #3. Charles, 44 was born in the Philippines to Filipino parents Rodrigo and Lucy. His Dad, who is from Batangas, worked at a sugar plantation and his Mom, who is from Marinduque owned a dressmaking shop.

In 2006, he distinguished himself by receiving accolades for his accomplishments in the field of public service which include: 1. Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition 2. California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition 3. California State Senate Certificate of Recognition 4. County of Los Angeles Recognition 5. Office of City Attorney Certificate of Appreciation

He went to school at Colegio de San Agustin in Makati, and migrated to the US at age 10. He went to Daniel Murphy Catholic High School in Los Angeles and later graduated with a

He was also awarded the “Outstanding Young Man in Community Service “by Monet Lu. Additionally, Charles volunteered for the LA County Sheriff ’s

Department from 2010-2013. Charles and his wife Vanessa unofficially started their company CHEVAL POLO in 2007. This came about when they watched a Polo game and noticed that the ladies who played Polo were wearing men’s loose shirts. “If you’re gonna play Polo, you might as well play in style.” That quote started CHEVAL POLO. The Fil-Am owned company sells Equestrian apparel, shirts, boots & bags. They supply Equestrian apparel all throughout the U.S. from Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona, Washington, and to all Polo Clubs in California. And as far out as South Africa and London. Anyone who can play golf, tennis and other sports who can dedicate time into it can play Polo. And one need not have to own a horse. Lessons at the California Polo Club starts at $100 per hour. You may call for more information at (818)558-7656 or check out their Facebook and Instagram page, CHEVAL POLO.


Choice avings.


818.340.4678 Robert M. Alba LUTCF



Your Lo 22201 V WOOD RALBA

Your Local Agent | CA License #0819842



a surprise get together for Camille, he was not about to let this year go by in a whimper. So, he immediately goes about getting it organized, attending to details which she would have otherwise meticulously handled herself, to include her nearest and dearest in making it happen. And then it happened, Camille walks into a roomful of her beloved circle, astounded and overwhelmed, she was in tears, as was most everybody else in the room. Tears of blissful joy flowed incessantly.


amille Agbayani is a stand out in an outstanding way. Most everyone we know who have had the privilege of meeting, much more knowing her, can attest to the epitome of a respectable woman ~ she exudes beauty from within and a flawless exterior which would be the envy of many less endowed. Whenever we reach a milestone birthday, it is only expected that a celebration is set in place. Camille had plans for a big one to invite her family and friends. But alas! it was not to be so... the big C reared its ugly head and that ended what would have been a pivotal event to mark her 50th year on earth.

Everything was put on hold as if holding ones breath and unable to exhale, until she opted for the less invasive chemotherapy over more radical surgery. When life throws a curve, Camille is there to catch it gracefully, even if it comes from left field. All this was not without her family and friends support beyond doubt. However, it was not enough for Dr. John Pinches to merely accept the cancelled celebration as a consequence of this unexpected twist of events. Dr. Pinches came up with an alternative option. He put together

Family came in from Hawaii, her Mom, her sister, Agnes and husband. Best friends Maricar Campanilla, Luchie Subia, and sister Manette Agbayani flew in from the Philippines. Friends from Los Angeles, waited patiently for their turn. We would not have had it any other way for this magnificent creature of God who has blessed us with her loving friendship. May you have many more happy birthdays to come Camille, you so deserve only the best in this life. By: Sonia D Bermejo Photos by: Celia Abuel Correspondent/Interviewer: Grace Aguilar


Manette Agbayani

Camille with her family, sister Agnes, Mom, Son Ken, sisters Daisy and Manette Agbayani

Dr. John Pinches and Camille

Becky Burman, Maggie Abellera, Winwin Winters, Eli Moesser, Jihann Thoney and Venus Marin

Mary Ann Sheifert, Michelle Aldanese, Ken, Sheila Pavon, Shirley Nomorosa and Tess Vergara


Dorina Grella, Shirley Nomorosa, Camille, Maricar Campanilla and Tess Vergara

Her bestfriend who flew in from Manila

Luchie Subia, Winwin Winters, Sonia Bermejo

Camille with Grace Aguilar

Mom and friends


Mary Ann Sheifert, Shirley Nomorosa, Teresa Misa, Eli Moesser, Dorina Grella, Dr. Pinches, Camille, Tess Vergara, Luchie Subia, Becky Burman

Standing: Venus Marin and Tess Vergara Seated: Pinky de Leon and Manette Agbayani

Camille Agbayani

Sonia Bermejo, Becky Burman, Winwin Winters, Zara Piscasio, Weng Yap

Manette Agbayani, Mom, Camille and Daisy Agbayani Valido




he Talent Night of Mister and Miss Body Beautiful 2017 is optional for the candidates. However, there were 7 out of 13 candidates, who were brave enough to unleash their talents. They were Carima who performed belly dancing; Sharicamaelyn sang a song; Kris did singing and rapping; Jules showed a combination of acting and singing talents; Shaianne showed her Korean Dance moves, Janice also did a dance number and Florie May, who emerged as the Best Talent, entertained the audience with her energetic singing and dance acts. These seven contestants proved, that they not only have beautiful

bodies, but also have talents to show off. They all received Swarovski jewelry courtesy of Mr. Ogie and Bessie Villedo. The winner of the Best Talent was awarded a cash prize of £100 and a gift voucher during the final night. The show was hosted by Randy Silverio and Ela Hidalgo.

UK NA UK By Ela Hidalgo

Our special thanks go to the guest performers, D ‘Intruders, Bella Villasenor and Jahna Lucero. And to the judges, Rey Abesamis, Jo Alexa Taag and Angelica Cortez.

to raise funds for Christian Praise Children’s Love Foundation, in La Union, Philippines. The orphanage’s founder passed away, hence, the need for support from private individuals and sectors to provide for the needs of the children.

There was still more to see on the Final Night on July 22, 2017, 6PM at Baden Powell Queens Gate South Kensington. Support for the pageant helps to promote aesthetics, health and fitness. Most importantly, it was

It is with hope that through this pageant, funds will be raised to buy the children’s school supplies, medicines, computer set and food. Such events can be of help to build better futures for them.



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