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Sonia Dionela Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor





Photo by: DJ by Eddie Moran


leopatra Jones was born and raised in San Diego and currently resides in Yucaipa, California. She is a humble, intelligent, energetic young woman and the youngest of five siblings. She was raised in a home with strong Christian morals and ethics. She is 17 years old and her family and friends refer to her as “Cleo.” Cleo’s ethnic heritage is derived from a mix of Filipina, Latina and Irish. Her mother is retired and hails from Cebu City, Philippines. Her stepfather is a Background Investigator/Correctional Sergeant for the California Department of Corrections. Cleopatra, a Senior at Yucaipa High School, is enrolled in Advanced Placement studies and loves to play sports. She played in the field hockey team as a sophomore and played volleyball in a private club as a junior. She selftaught herself to play the guitar and

started composing Christian songs at the age of thirteen. Cleopatra recently won the title of “Miss Ventura County Teen” and is a Southern California model. She appears in various Southern California sponsored events such as “Run for The Cure,” where she represents her title and provides an exceptional example for girls and young women to emulate from. She is frequently complimented by photographers for her ability to appear as many different ethnicities in photo shoots. She is often complimented affectionately as a “chameleon”, having the unique ability to change her appearance as needed, which is highly beneficial and advantageous as a print model. She was featured in the print publication of the high fashion, conceptual Magazine “IntElegance,”


which is based in Canada. She odeled as a pre-teen for girl’s sports clothing for a famous talent agency in the United States. She has a strong passion for acting and is currently attending acting classes and training for commercial and feature films in West Hollywood, California. Cleo’s inspiration is to become an actress someday and to follow in the footsteps of her famous celebrity cousins in the Philippines, singer/ actress Miss Vina Morales and actress Miss Shaina Magdayao. The first pageant she was invited to join was “Miss Napa Teen 2016” and she was blessed by placing third amongst the many highly-qualified competitors. Cleo fully understands the importance of education. She plans to attend college and her career goal is to pursue a PhD in Psychology.



Photo by: Jophel Huffman Photography





Photo by: Alan M Photography

Photo by: Jophel Huffman Photography

Photo by: DJ by Eddie Moran




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

MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia

Walk my Way Mayenne Carmona Metro Scene Joy Fong Proverbs 31 Woman Jhoanna de Guzman London, UK Kingdom Adventures Gilda Pineda Dionela UK na UK Ela Hidalgo

HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton

NEW YORK, USA On Call Romulo Aromin, Jr. MD

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” 

LAS VEGAS, USA Vegas Vibes Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

DUBAI Living the Good Life Gabriela Miloda

Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga

BANGKOK, THAILAND Siam Living Maricel Diaz

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 Hollywood Glam by “M” Simplicio Michael Herrera EZWay’s Corner Eric Zuley Talk This Way Tim Park

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 |

omen’s power is a delicate area of discussion to tackle, especially at dinner table conversations where it was almost taboo to talk politics or religion. Now the era of females in revolt has come as if it was an uninvited guest. Amidst the clang and clamor among the so-called more enlightened, liberated females around the world, it is especially notable among women in the larger Western or Western influenced metropolitan/cosmopolitan areas. This age of social media and “ultra fast speed of light” communications has intruded upon the merely fraternal discourse among men. Women not only want to be seen but heard, loud and clear!!! Competing for conversation within the context of “all-things-women” are issues that run the stretch of the longest interstate freeways, each with its needy child-like attempt to gain attention, even banging (kitchen, mind you) pots and pans. Issues that come to the fore are almost always self serving, not selfish, now there’s that thin line. From the rights of women lists come a litany from A to Z. Let’s start at the very beginning, A for Abortion to begin with, (and no, I am not going to touch that -ouch!) all through to E for Z -


Zumba away to the modern woman’s world across the pond or the planet… “Who is going to put out the trash?” Or, “my rights are as important as yours! Heckle me timbers! Let’s file for divorce. You are no longer bringing out the best version of I, me or myself and I can earn much more that you, yadda, yadda, yadda. I have power!” Screaming our heads or effigies off in women’s marches, ask, is it against the male of the species for equality we go against? Or, are the systemic givens of imperfections in world religions and government, the cultural biases and religious differences or indifferences, environmental Armageddon, etc.… making us feel so disempowered? Against whom and what, women of the world, are we really, truly deep in ourselves empowering ourselves for? The global intermix has gotten our quest for women’s empowerment to the point of no return. Adjustments have to be made and made fast, or maybe not. Slow but sure, yet, no one wants to be left behind in the revolt. That leaves us, both men and women, the choice to engage in either fast forward, fists in the air movements to change the world or hold hands and walk gently towards pursuing fair gender equality and even more… Equal pay for equal work. As well,

squeezing its ever so subtle agenda so as to maintain her lady like demeanor is the C-Suite contender who has yet to break that glass ceiling, whose glass is made out of unbreakable material! Sexual orientation/choice lies in the alphabetical range of S… yep! It’s almost there towards the end of this ever growing list. So much so that if someone is tapped on the shoulder in the waiting line outside an LGBTQ rest room asking where the Ladies or Men’s Room is, the urge to go seems to shrink significantly. No levity involved, but, where do most women really sit (no pun intended) on matters as basic yet as complex in the ‘new world’ definitions? Servitude or devotion? When a wife maintains her domestic role in a household, the first question to really ask is where in the world? The answers to this run the range of pounding rice for a family living in grass huts being hard labor or fetching water miles away from its source being man’s work and unacceptable leading towards diametrically opposed responses, depending upon which side of the female dinner table you sit – servant or service? Oh, before we forget mind where you are seated, the progressive liberated guests and the more traditional women who happen to sit opposite.



VEGAS VIBES By Esmeralda Padilla-Gould



ach year, Earth Day - April 22nd - marks the anniversary of the environmental movement dating back to April of 1970. Back then, the evening news and publications seemed oblivious to environmental issues and concerns. The days of expected air pollution, leaded gas from behemoth automobiles, and used, non-recycled plastics abound.

Earth Day was originally a national event. In 1990, Earth Day enjoyed the infant internet’s potential to expand its reach across the globe to several countries. Now, Earth Day is recognized in over 184 countries worldwide. As a result, the Environmental Projection Agency, The clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species act exists today. This is a day dedicated to increasing awareness about the earth and its environment. Hybrid/electric cars, extracting geothermal energy,

carpooling, planting trees and plants, conserving energy, using recyclable bags for groceries, formulating new methods and ideas to efficiently harness wind and solar energy, along with significantly reducing toxins in our atmosphere, are among the few changes this environmental awareness movement we call Earth Day promotes for our future on this planet. Photo Source: Google


Ambassadors at the Bell Towers



early all ambassadors posted to the Philippines come here with a bucket list, and the cities of Vigan and Laoag in the province of Ilocos Sur and Norte respectively are usually at the top.

So on a recent weekend several ambassadors were able to happily tick the two cities off their list when they were the guests of former ILOCOS Sur Former Governor Chavit Singson who hosted them in Vigan City where apart from taking in the historic sites they were able to grapple with pythons and pat tigers at the sprawling Baluarte estate of Chavit.

A day side trip to Laoag enabled the ambassadors to visit the museum and the ancestral home of the late long serving President of the Philippine Ferdinand Marcos who is a proud son of Ilocos Norte. Email Photos by Lorna LLanes


Ambassador Tour in Vigan

HE Nicolas Kaimenakis of Greece

HE Rolando Alvarado at the Bell Tower

Madam Lizia Matityau (Israel)

HE IgorKhovoev (Russia)



At the Pinakbet Farm

HE Effie Ben Matityau (Israel)

H.E. Phoxsy and Madam Souddayone Khaykhamphoune

Madam Maria Ilyina (Russia), HE Aruni Ranaraja (Sri Lanka)



One important quality that stands out in Ms. O is her faith in Christ. She is a born-again Christian who lives out her faith and strives to “do the will of God.” She says that her life verses include: Malachi 3:10, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test… if I will not open the windows of heaven for you…” Another one is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the Kingdom of God… and all these things will be added unto you.”

s many would say, “Beauty comes in many forms.” From someone coming from the aesthetics department, I know this by heart. It is the very core of my project, “The Beautiful Life Celebration,”which celebrates the beauty of life. Whether it is through one’s beautiful career, passion and even womanhood.

Olivia and her family go to Shepherd of the Hills for Sunday Service. I love that I can always come to her for advice. She has the wisest words to calm my fears and worries. When I was going through a lot in my life, she was there for me. She is, for me, a living testimony of what a Woman of God is like.

My earliest recollection of Olivia Quido-Co (most commonly known to her clients and friends as “Ms. O”) is when I met her in 2003 at a convention in LA. She was in her booth when I approached her and asked if I can feature her in one of my shows. She was still starting out as an esthetician.

Before her success in the skin care business she started out as a regular employee. After finishing her course in Cosmetology (with focus on skin care) she worked at a spa in Monterey Park. After realizing that her meager income just won’t cut it, she decided to open up her own business. She rented a small room inside Lody Styling Center in Artesia. The owner, Lody Garcia maybe saw what I see in Ms. O, that she became one of the people who helped Ms. O build her brand and network. Lody stands as Ms. O’s second mom.

Back then, she was just renting out a small space for her skincare business. Now, they have successfully branched out into two outlets, one in Cerritos and the other in Eagle Rock—talk about hard work and determination. Yet, aside from Ms. O’s impressive work ethics, she has a passion and an astounding faith that “can move mountains.” When she told me about her plans, I instantly believed with all my heart that this woman is going to make it. I know when a person is dead serious and determined to fulfill her passion.

Right now, Ms. O owns and operates O Skin Care+Spa (Medical Spa). It is a complete medical service facility that specializes in a wide a range of skin treatment, from facials to 3D eyebrow sculpting and stem cell rejuvenation, among others. She also has a TV beauty segment in “Adobo Nation” called, “Beauty by Ms. O.” It

is featured every Sunday at 6:45pm through Kapamilya TFC. When I asked Olivia to talk about the beautiful life she lives, she said, “Everyday is a day to give thanks to the Lord for the beautiful life he has given me through the years. I have nothing else to ask Him because I honestly believe that He has blessed me with everything – and even more. I love being able to help others look beautiful, but most importantly, I love the opportunity to show God’s love and share His Word to my clients. As Matthew 4:19 says, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ – This is what I long to do for the rest of my life. A life of worship to God is for me is the most beautiful life anyone could live” Olivia is married to her equally talented husband, Jason Co, whom she considers an “engineer trapped in a financial advisor’s body.” She says her husband handles and operates their spa machines. He is very supportive and a great father to their three beautiful children, namely, Faith, Timothy and the twins, Toby and Julia, a beautiful family indeed. To my friend Olivia who knows a lot about Beauty, thank you for showing us what real beauty is like.


Siam Living By Maricel Diaz


ince moving to Bangkok, Thailand in 2006, I get to celebrate New Year not only once or twice but thrice a year! First is every 1 st of January, which is also observed and celebrated around the world, second is for the Chinese New Year in February, and the third one is called Songkran or Thai New Year in April and is the most celebrated time of the year in Thailand.

April 13 marks the beginning of the new solar year and it is celebrated with a water festival. This is a 3-day event that includes fun-filled revelries of water splashing all over the country, enjoyed not only by locals but also by foreigners and tourists alike. Traditionally, Songkran the celebration is practiced with meritmaking, this include visiting local temples and offering food to the Buddhist monks in the morning. People perform water pouring

on Buddha statues as a ritual and represents purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. This is also the time of the year when people who have moved away usually return home to their relatives and loved ones to reunite and pay reverence to their ancestors as well. Younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of their elders’ hands. I remember how I got to experience it as part of my first Songkran celebration when I went to Surin province. The feeling was amazingly authentic.


In big cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Phuket, the holiday is known for its huge water festival celebrated by young people, locals, and tourists. Major streets in Bangkok such as Silom road, Khaosan road and RCA are closed to traffic and are used as arenas for water fights. So, if getting wet is not in your agenda, better avoid these areas. To enjoy the celebration, here are some of the ‘must-have’ items and tips to observe when joining the water fight: 1. A “Floral Polo” – Songkran’s “official” shirt costume worn with simple or colorful beach shorts. Ladies are encouraged not to wear short shorts and white tops. Everyone is advised to dress appropriately; 2. Plastic pouch – to protect your phone, money and credit cards from getting wet;

3. Waterproof camera – this celebration has claimed so many cameras and you want to ensure that your photos will make it to your social media posting; 4. Sunblock – April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand and sunscreen protection is a must; 5. Goggles – to protect your eyes from water and chalk/talcum; 6. Water gun or bucket – the most important weapon for a water fight, of course! And most importantly, have fun and embrace the experience of getting soaked. So, if you want to experience Songkran next year, make sure to book your flights and accommodation months ahead. To me, “Siam Living” will never be complete without experiencing Songkran in both the traditional way and the water fight festival.

I am wishing everyone “Sawadee Pi Mai” or Happy Thai New Year! Photo Sources: Yahoo,, Bangkok Post



housands of women of color marched in Downtown Los Angeles to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) last March 5. The rains did not dampen the fearless spirit of the women. The march organized for the third year in a row called attention to the diverse issues facing women of color and to join the feminist uprising against fascism. Led by Af3irm Los Angeles, a transnational feminist organization with chapters around the United States, the march began in front of the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department. They also stopped at the Metropolitan Detention Center to demonstrate against the attacks on the undocumented and to protest deportations. In its statement, Af3irm said women must engage in leading the resistance towards liberation of women globally and throughout the United States.” Now is the time

to harness the power of women. We call for the end of trafficking and defending the rights of defending our communities against detention and deportation which separate families,” Af3irm said. Native American Elder Gloria spoke on behalf of the indigenous

women, many of whom protested against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. “We have to let our voices be heard! “ She also led the prayers before the march began, invoking the spirit of the Creator to bless all the children and to respect the ancestors of the land.



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fter the magnificent failure that was the 2017 Oscar Academy’s Best Picture Awards, a lot of people seem to now talk down on the almost winner La La Land. While being one of the most successful films of 2016- both critically and box office wise, with a 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and making nearly twelve times the original budget- the controversy behind the picture is hotter than ever. Some are questioning the validity of its place in the Best Picture category (though it didn’t even win the award), and some are out to denounce the acting ability of its lead actress Emma Stone, who won the Oscar for the category.

However, the most talked topic regarding the film La La Land is about the fundamental, thematic element of the story itself- can white people really have such claims on jazz? The film stars Emma Stone, a struggling barista-actress with big dreams, and Ryan Gosling, also struggling as the jazz pianist who dreams of opening up a jazz club one day. There is a scene that sums up people’s problem with the movie, where Gosling’s character Sebastian takes Mia, played by Stone, to a local jazz club after Mia reveals that she doesn’t enjoy jazz. This infuriates Sebastian, a jazz enthusiast, and leads him to give Mia a short lesson on the history, technique, and the current state of jazz. This short scene shows Sebastian’s frustration with where jazz is now, as the genre

is dying slowly. Later in the movie, he ends up opening the club, tying it to his earlier claims about the music “dying out”, and it’s presented as if Sebastian single handedly saved jazz music. People’s problem comes with the fact that both Sebastian and Ryan Gosling are as white as someone can get, while jazz is a black art form based upon its roots. As a product of Harlem Renaissance, jazz was born in New Orleans then moved to Harlem along with the great migration of blacks from rural south into the urban north accelerating in the 1920s. Jazz was first developed as a means of self representation and of taking pride in African heritage, with musicians using tribal rhythms and beats alongside


European instruments. It is true that the pioneers of the genre used their music in strong social situations like the great Duke Ellington, and many back jazz musicians were often underpaid or overlooked by white musicians playing the same notes it’s well known that Paul Whiteman was paid a lot more than his


contemporaries like Louis Armstrong. But what many are completely ignoring is the fact that the music was heavily polished and developed through a handful of dedicated white artists. As time went by, jazz evolved and changed dramatically from its original form as many things do. For example, a sub genre rose to fame in the 1950s and saved jazz from a competition against rock’n’roll, and it was called cool jazz. This West Coast based new breed of jazz was cooler, smoother, and a lot more unpolished and free than its predecessors. Behind this newborn sound were pioneers like Chet Baker, Paul Desmond, and Dave Brubeck. While these white artists definitely drew influences from the older artists and worked

with contemporary black artists like Miles Davis, their contributions to the genre is undeniable. Jazz may have started from strong black roots, but it transcended race as the music evolved. Looking back at the history of jazz, it is apparent that accusing La La Land for “appropriating” black culture is pretty obscure. Yes, seeing Ryan Gosling ramble about how much he loves the fact that jazz started from a poor black neighborhood as a means of survival can be pretty annoying, but that’s not enough to denounce a cinematically stunning, outstanding in its technicality, brilliantly acted body of work. Not to be confused-cultural appropriation is very much real and alive. Just look at Karlie Kloss’ geisha-themed photo

shoots with Vogue - many view this series of photos as “distasteful” and there are others who call it “yellow facing”. But accusing La La Land, a film featuring a widely diverse cast and staff, of “stealing black culture” because the movie dealt with a genre of music that was race-inclusive in its origins is going past the line. In ten years people will be having the exact same debate over hip hop, and great examples like Eminem and Beastie Boys will be there to back up those white folks. But for now, one thing that can be clearly said and that white people can claim that some, definitely not all like what they did with the rock portion of jazz. Source: Photo Source: Google


By Gilda Pineda Dionela


When in April the sweet rains fall The drought of March gone through the root To generate therein and create the flower The tender shoots and buds and the young sun. And little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye. Then people long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers long to seek strange strands, To far shrines well known in sundry lands. And especially from every shire’s end Of England they to Canterbury went. The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they were sick. (Prologue of The Canterbury Tales) April is frequently the month of pilgrimage for the Christian world to commemorate and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Known as “Holy Week” to some, here in the UK we call it the Easter holiday. In England most people may no longer go on Christian pilgrimages in April as they had done before, but history shows they did it too some time ago when the country was still a Catholic nation before the Reformation. Above is the prologue of the most famous of all English poems, “The Canterbury Tales”. This poem is famous because it drew a picture

MANILA UP! 25 what England was like during the reign of Richard II. The prologue describes the atmospheric conditions of England in April. The poem was about a medieval misadventure of pilgrims from Southwark to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury. It was written by Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400), the father of English poetry during Medieval England. In the past, the nobles spoke French, the church and law used Latin. English was the language of “commoners”. Chaucer’s literature made English prominent and became the more commonly used language relative to French and Latin. It happened during the period immediately following

ago still applies to the weather of today. If there is a major difference from the above prologue, it is about the pilgrimage that not many British go on at present. Whereas in comparison, the Filipinos who learned about pilgrimages 400 years ago from the Spaniards (who introduced us to Christianity), many still go to these today. It only proves that seasons never change over the centuries although manners or methods of expressing one’s faith is continuously ever changing. God created the seasons but man always has reasons to change God’s unchangeable intention to redeem man after “the fall”.

trees without leaves and icy whistling winds aside from cold I never experienced before. Only when I came here did I realize that winter is not just all about snow. What really matters after long Winters is that Spring is back. Most Filipinos are not brought up to travel a lot. Only the upper five percent among the population who are from the privileged elite, the “old rich”, politicians and celebrities were privileged to explore the world. Times are changing. Aside from Filipino expats working in different parts of the world average working class folks are now able to travel more. Though not everyone gets

the Black Death, a great calamity that devastated England, reducing its population by one third. Chaucer was able to illustrate his pilgrims with humour and optimism, not with a mood of gloom and despair. He was a Londoner, the son of a rich brewer. He was brought up to speak French and studied to write and speak Latin at the age of seven, yet he chose to reach out to common people. He succeeded and many benefited from it including us in the modern world. It is one reason you are reading this writing today in English instead of in French or Latin.

Speaking of April and weather. If you come to England, the most common topic of the day is the weather. Traditionally, Spring starts on the night of March 20 or 21. It marks the end of freezing, icy winds and very cold winters. Finally, the trees which appeared to be dead because most of them had no leaves at all during the freezing season, start to have buds. If you come from a tropical country like mine where trees and all kinds of plants are always green, fresh and alive, seeing trees without leaves in real life for the first time is quite depressing. I thought winter only meant that there was snow everywhere. It never ever crossed my mind that it is also about

to experience the four seasons, here is my way of sharing that experience.

The portrayal he made about English weather more than 600 years

The sweet scent of Spring is in the air. As nature changes the colours from grey to green like a forest, yellow like daffodils, pink like English daisies, red like tulips, blue like English bluebells and other vibrant colours, our wardrobe changes along with the seasons too. The best way to enjoy a vivid picturesque spring is in the park. The City of London is ahead of time in terms of development, a place that continues to lead as a financial centre of the world. And yet London is exemplary in maintaining its parks and wildlife at the very heart of the city. In the park in April are early


flower bloomers which captivate the eyes of people walking or jogging. When the sun kissed clustered trees have pink cherry blossoms, it creates a reflection of vibrant purple in its surroundings. An exuberant display of elegant art laid out by nature itself. Rains start pouring, tender shoots bud, and birds are flying. Britain preserves nature so well. Ravenscourt Park located in Hammersmith is the one I visit frequently in order to pray. It is 2 minutes away from where my sister used to live. It has ponds, puddles, willow trees, cherry blossoms, daffodils, and many more. The swans, geese and ducks playing in the pond is simply mesmerizing. They have no worries and cares in this life. Outside the park, multi-cultural and first class restaurants, fish-and-chips “take away” or dine in eateries abound. Japanese, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian restaurants, fancy it, and you will find it. If you asked me what “take away” is, that is the equivalent of our “take out” in the Philippines. The first time I ate in a simple restaurant in Notting Hill, the lady asked me, “dine in or take away?”

I thought... “how can I eat it if you are taking it away?” Birds are having a good time too. While I am sitting on the park bench praying, there are flocks of birds of different colours and sizes. They rest on top of the branches of large trees or in the bushes. There are red robins so tiny yet the sounds they create resonates in the air. I have constant company and friends while praying in the park, the green noisy birds. I think they are praying with me and watching over me. In my head, I ask them to send my prayers up to heaven. Though I know they don’t have to, God can hear me without them doing so. I am just giving them a task other than flying from one branch to another. When I go to another park called Wandsworth Common Park once a week, they are there too. I am so convinced I am special and they are watching over me. They are my company. One day while in Ravenscourt Park I asked an elderly English lady if she knew what kind of birds they are, pointing

to these friends of mine. The lady said they are Parakeets. She said one man released only a pair of it, now there are thousands in Great Britain. Since I know what they are I investigate further. The lady is right. “The Telegraph” has several articles about them. The way the author wrote it seems prejudiced and was not happy about the existence of the birds I called my friends and messengers. He wrote, “... one thing has now been established about Britain’s booming ring necked parakeet population: they are pushing out the country’s other wildlife and threatening their numbers.” All the while I thought I was special with guardian green birds sent by God to look after me only to find out I was mistaken because the truth is, these Parakeets are everywhere. I call Green birds, parrots. It is a rare, slightly different and expensive species in my country, which is how I got the wrong impression. English Spring is beautiful but the sun shines, the rain falls just as in other parts of the world. Different countries have their different flowers unique to these places which are suitable for growth in their climates. Remember, there is only one Creator who designed it all. We are all assigned to look after nature. Coming to England will open the eyes of any traveller, to reveal how modernization and nature blend together. Let us love the only earth we have, whatever we do to it, we will reap. Man’s reaction when there is a calamity is to ask why God allowed it, but before asking that question, we must first ask ourselves, why we permit it to happen. Thanks to many Geoffrey Chaucers who used their talents and gifts to show what it was like during their time, let the next generation appreciate us too for the habitation we prepared for them. Photo source: http://www.telegraph. Noisy-parakeets-drive-away-nativebirds.htmlwww


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“We cannot do great things on Earth, only small things with great love” – Mother Theresa Bush, London, March 26, 2017BAR FM Shepherds, a birthday wish came true when a fundraising show, “Overrated” turned out to be a success. It was really an immense birthday wish that I will be able to help a less fortunate family from my province in La Union, the Lomboy Family. One of the Cordillera Connection Scholars, Jara Abubo recommended a

family in her town, Bauang La Union. According to Jara, the family has 6 kids; they rarely eat when they go to school. The mother is a housewife and has cancer cells from her goiter operation, while the father is a fisherman. The family has a hard life and difficulty in meeting both ends. Instead of having the usual birthday celebration, I thought of making my birthday memorable with a good cause. I organised “Overrated”, Laughters and Music to raise funds for the family. With the help of my brother, Deleo Hidalgo and his wife Emilyn; school supplies, clothes, shoes and slippers of each and every member of the family, groceries and

cash were all delivered. My family even celebrated my birthday at Jollibee with Lomboy Family. I felt the happiness inside me and I was so overwhelmed when I saw the photos and videos of Lomboy family, especially the kids enjoying a simple Jollibee meal. As a matter of fact, it was the first time for the kids to have eaten at Jollibee. Therefore, I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who sponsored and attended the show, especially the performers, Joel Miranda, Susan Lovejoy, Jhermy Esperanzate, Alpabet, Angelica Cortez, Judy Ann, Adelaide Cana, Harin Perera, TCC Divas Jo Alexa Taag, Manel Sinfield and Grace Quinto and


my band mates, Regin Raquedan, Ipe Panganiban, Jayr Da Silva, Michael Cana and Rey Abesamis, as well as to my host, Mindy Tizon. They all shared their time and talents without asking anything in return. It was a night full of fun, laughters, music and dances. At the same time, Mister and Miss Body Beautiful 2017 were launched and attended by some of the candidates. This is a pageant for aesthetics, health and fitness with a good cause. Thank you so much to the sponsors, Monira Guiamalo, Councilor Danny Favor, Sta. Lucia Land International, Wynchu Importante of Wynchu Travel and Padala, Wildflowers, Lillia Baguiney

and to gifts and vouchers donors, True Care Massage by Julie Cana, Terry Beauty Salon of Terry Santos, Alice Macahis of Chumleigh Hotel, Ogie and Bessie Villedo for the Swarovski Jewelry, Mark Barton and to Jhermy Esperanzate for the facial spa vouchers. To Armin Natividad and Janette Panaligan, thank you for the time shared in helping at the entrance. Lastly, to everyone who joined us at the event, a huge thank you to all and to BAR FM for the venue. This act might not be great; it might just be a small thing to do to the humanity but it was done with LOVE. It is, indeed, that my birthday wish this year has come true.

30 MANILA UP! The Penthouse Gang doing a special Latin number


t was standing room only for the generation that wore platform shoes, flared pants, flowing skirts, BangBang jeans and NikNik shirts, as they converged upon Strumm’s in Makati for the 6th installment of Penthouse 7 Incorporated’s trip down memory lane. “A Very Special Disco Like We used To...For DJ Papi” was held recently, and attended by many a discophile that frequented such places like Another World, Where Else?, Coco Banana, Stargazer, Faces, and Euphoria. This continuing series of events, that has all the elements to get you dancing all night long, is the brainchild of Penthouse 7 Incorporated, composed of Pipo Liboro, Sandy Hontiveros, Milky Evangelista, Gina ValencianoMartinez, and Boyet Sison, who were dancing icons on TV in the 70s.

and many more, reverberated over the dance floor as performed by Route 70, and spun as well by DJ’s Boyet Sison & Jon Tupaz.

EARNEST SNOOPS By Ernest L. Gonzaga

In spite of the Friday night traffic, the attendees came in droves early, and the evening began on a high note as music from the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Paul Jabara, Gloria Gaynor,

But what made the night more special was the surprise Latin dance number by the group, who were joined by Anna Viv Garcia & Tina Fores Henson. Seen having a blast at the party were 1977 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Anna Lorraine Kier-Tabora, Ace Saatchi & Saatchi COO Mio Chongson, Peng & Vicky Perez de Tagle, Enzo & Sandie Squilantini of the Romulo’s Food Group, Ronnie

MANILA UP! 31 & Ida Henares, Angeli PangilinanValenciano of Genesis Entertainment, Dental-B’s Chris Portillo, Composer Louie Ocampo with his better half Jojo of BPI, Bledes Fores-Legarda, Gigi & Sandy Piit of the Rieseling Boracay Resort, Gilda Reyes of the Sunshine Place, Jomie & Lia Francisco, Jay & Jackie Hechanova, and Carmella Gana-Araullo, The event was also to raise funds for Penthouse Live dancer & renowned DJ, Manolet “DJ Papi” Santos, to help him with his medical expenses, who was present with his lady love Grace, and elder brother Ricky.

The support of The Manila Times, Delimondo, Mac Grafix Carranz, Paramount Insurance, Globe, Republic Cement, Orahex, The Sunshine PLace, The Party Kitchen, Crossover 105.1 and Retro 105 DCG-FM, was instrumental in making the night a big success. “This is what we need more of, to re-live the good times and dance”, says Sandy Hontiveros, “Our generation still wants to gather to listen and move to the music of years gone by” chimes in Pipo Liboro. “Dancing should part of everyone’s life, because it’s simply good for you”,

Penthouse 7 Incorporated’s Boyet Sison, Gina Valenciano Martinez, Pipo Liboro, Sandy Hontiveros, Milky Evangelista

Ronnie & Ida Henares

says Gina Valenciano- Martinez, “It’s a great way to get a workout in and keep healthy” says Milky Evangelista. For Boyet Sison, he says, “the music of the era just had a lot of heart and soul, plus great rhythm to boot”. Many have tried to emulate the concept, but the regular patrons of the series say that the “Penthouse 7” touch is what keeps these “reunion” of sorts, a step above the rest. Another edition is already in the pipeline, and it won’t be long when everyone again gets to Disco Like they used to.

Manolet Santos being surrounded by (L-R) his brother Ricky, Angeli Valenciano, his ladylove Grace, Gina Valenciano-Martinez, and other friends

Chinky Marfori, Natalie Riviello, Gina Dahlen, Anna Lorraine Kier, Didi Foronda - Copy


L-R: Veronica Ibaretta, Bing Carrion, Swiss Ambassador Andrea Reichlin, Kaye Tinga, Pilita Corales, Marife Zamora, Nanette Miloda

L-R: Grace Balzetrt, Maria Bruimann, Swiss Ambassador Andrea nReichli, Nanette Miloda, Kaye Tinga, Marife Zamora, Bing Carrion, Marilie Llorens Bacsain, Rosemarie Josine Garcia

Nanette Miloda and Pilita Corales

L-R: Nanette Miloda, Karina Mackenzie, Cassandra Eschmann, Didi Cruz

Artist Nanette Miloda’s painting

L-R: Bing Carrion, Nanette Miloda, Pilita Corales

L-R: Nanette Miloda, Savannah Lumen, Paulina Luz Sotto, Veronica Ibaretta

Artist Veronica Ibaretta’s paintings

Nanette Miloda and Michel Miloda

Artist Paulina Luz Sotto’s painting

Artist Savannah Lumen’s painting


Proverbs 31 Women By Jhoanna de Guzman


rt and women empowerment came alive as “EBA V2.0”, a group art exhibit that features the work of artists, Nanette CruzMiloda, Savannah Lumen, Paulina Luz Sotto, and Veronica Ibarreta was launched on Saturday, 25 March 2017 at F1 Hotel, Bonifacio Global City. The exhibit aims to support the advocacies of Zonta Club International whose actions focus on ending crime and violence against women. The proceeds will go to Zonta Club, Naga Chapter in particular, which is helping their scholars in the Philippine Science High School, Hablon and the street children of Camarines Sur. Some of the people who supported the launch include Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Ms. Andrea Reichlin, 3 rd Woman President and the 68 th President of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) Ms. Marife Butalid Zamora, Managing Director of W/17 Home and CoChairperson of the Red Charity Gala, Ms. Kaye Tinga, and Asia’s Queen of Songs Ms. Pilita Corales. While visitors wandered the gallery, there was a positive energy as they took in the variety and talents on display. They were thrilled to see the paintings presented at the event. Ms. Bing Carrion, the district head of Zonta Club, warmly greeted everyone and celebrated the work

of each artist who supported the advocacy. “We’re gonna leave this earth as nude as when we arrive like babies and the only thing that we’re going to bring with us when we go are the good things that we’ve done for others that changes their lives and changes them for the better so this world can become a win-win world.” The paintings have indicated a strong social conscience and a growing awareness about how women are integral to decision making positions that affect and impact humanity. Nanette Cruz Miloda, one participating visual artist whose paintings were inspired by yoga said, “Yoga is an expression of humanity through our body. And art is like yoga, it’s a state of meditation, any kind of creative and physical creativity is like meditation because you are focusing on something other than your life.” L-R: Jhoanna de Guzman, Bing Carrion, Nanette Miloda, Pilita Corales

Nanette added, “Yoga is something I really enjoyed when we were living in Switzerland. I did it a lot with our two daughters when they were growing up. So for me, it symbolizes our relationship and family bonding, it represents peace, quiet and harmony. I don’t do Yoga anymore because of my knee injury from skiing! I find it important that everyone has a place to find their peace and quiet, and since I cannot do yoga anymore, I find my peace and quiet when I’m painting”. Zonta Club International has over 130,000 members and 35,000 clubs worldwide, its number one advocacy is “No to violence in any form”. In the month of May the Zonta Club Naga Chapter conducted several sessions with women and girls to teach them skills. And finally, Ms.Carreon says “When you educate a woman, you educate the world and it changes everything.”





ine art photographer and artist Carla Sibal Thompson holds a prestigious degree from the world renown Parsons School of Design, alma mater of Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Donna Karan. She recently acquired a Master of Art degree from the University of the Arts London and programs from the London Fine Art Studios. She specialises in visual arts involving fine art portrait photography,

oil painting and digital art. Early in her career, she worked in Paris for the House of Balmain and Escada. Returned to Manila, and worked as: Editor in Chief, MEGA Magazine, Manila Editor in Chief, SPARK Magazine, Hong Kong & Manila Director for Sales & Marketing, Cercle Magazine, London Creative Director, Margarita ForĂŠs Personal Brand Marketing Fashion Designer/Founder, Baghera

boutique, Greenbelt Mall TV Endorsement Model: Whisper and Breeze A fine artist in London: Based in London, Carla is focused on fine art portraiture in oil painting, photography and digital art. She is currently working on commissions from London’s business and social elite who come to her for classic portraits with a luxurious contemporary aesthetic.


By Castellanes GKN


What was initially thought of meeting younger Filipino Americans on, what else do they keep themselves occupied also became a study of time tested values of passion, perseverance, of giving back, and of rethinking what an organization should be. And for this writer, a revisiting of not so distant a past of the country’s part in the World War: the Bataan Death March. FilAm Tri (, since its inception in 2006 started by a few fitness minded individuals, is now more than 300 member strong organization across the Unites States. It is sponsoring a series of charity walks to benefit FilAmerican veterans and their families, of varying difficulties in four states starting on April 8th, a Bataan Legacy 7.5 mile Valor Run in San Francisco, CA; on April 22nd at Chesapeake Bataan Death March Run (16.6, 5, 1 mile) in VA; on May 20th, the STX Fila-Am 5K in Jersey City, NJ; and on June 10th, the PiyestaPinoy5K in Bolingbrook, IL. Arland Macasieb, its Founder and CEO, is a slender, average height, lean and approachable young man of a marathon frame, indeed befitting of a cyclist behind his jacket he wore during this interview. Conversing over Italian fare at Zero Otto Nove in the Flatiron district, he remembered how the first Run in Jersey City finally materialized after three years

of planning when it partnered with the Santacruzan Festival festivities. Though under staffed but with support from locals, the initial launch was a success. To move the organization to the viability and sustainability was next logical move. This was when Bel Molina, with her strong background in marketing analysis, proved to be what Arland needs. Bel, a petite 5 ft powerball and driven by challenge and what she calls the “perseverance” in the Filipino, tried her first attempt for the NYC Marathon by lottery and finished her virgin run last year. She agrees that while the Filipinos are four million strong in the US, with the large chunk of the annual family income above $80,000 bracket being in the tristate, this group still needs to be meaningfully tapped for charitable causes. She comes across with confidence and enthusiasm that defies her a small frame. Thus far,

the current marathon series has the support of Philippine Airlines (PAL), the Philippine Department of Tourism and the luxury watch Philip Stein. Arland recalled how New Balance used the prior race to launch its new line of running shoes, and yes it’s “Boracay”. As our meeting went on, Arland happily shared a fellow athlete/cyclist, Coryn Rivera, “American born, pure bred Filipino”, who recently won this month’s Tour of Flanders Women 2017, the first ever American to win such title. It is considered to be the height of and most highly prized race in spring. A month earlier, she sprinted to her first title at Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Cittiglio, Italy. Talking about the endurance that we Filipinos are known for. As part of identifying a common cause, the organization adopted the fiftieth celebration of the infamous

MANILA UP! 39 Bataan Death March (Martsang Kamatayan). To wit, after a 3-month Battle of Bataan, the prisoners of war were transferred from Bagac and Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac Camp O’Donnell by way of San Fernando, Pampanga. Significant Filipino casualties, up to 18,000 and up to 650 American deaths were reported, arising from physical abuse and wanton killings. The march was later judged to be a Japanese War Crime. Its counterpart celebration in the US predates its local celebration, the Bataan Memorial Death March, has been observed annually since 1990 in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. It is a full marathon with a 15-mile reprieve for those who do not wish to finish the full course. Though open to all, US military units and their families, together with their foreign counterparts serve the majority of participants.

Of note, Jun Diego sang the Philippine National Anthem for the very first time during the last run. New Mexico’s Las Cruces was heavily represented in the Bataan Death March as the 200th/515th Coast Artillery of the National Guard was drafted there. A number of commemoration markers have been erected across the US. As some may remember, the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge in Chicago, Illinois has the plaque commemorating the defenders of freedom. Another unveiling will occur on April 8th at Orangeburg, NY with a march, entertainment and symposium. Every year on April 9th, Bataan Death March is honored as Araw ng Kagitingan, a national holiday in the Philippines. For the different runs, you can register at: www. Cash donations can be forwarded to FilAm Tri.



There is a popular belief that there is no place left in Hollywood for outsiders - the town is already full of those who were lucky enough to be involved in the business from a very young age. From Kylie Jenner to Ryan Gosling, it almost seems like in order to become a star, having an insider family connection seems almost necessary to many. This certainly isn’t the case for Renato Vidalon, an actor/model who flew here all the way from Lima, Peru. “I had a cousin living in Los Angeles, but that was about it. I left my parents and friends in Peru” told Renato. The twenty year old star, when asked about what it was like to move out, told us “ my family and friends from Peru they all believe in me, and they have always supported me, I’m very happy that my family accepts the idea of myself moving to LA. Renato’s father and brother are both electrical engineers, and he was also expected to become one. But, he always knew that he wanted to become

an entertainer. “I was sixteen when I first did my professional acting job. I was in a Peruvian TV show called “Somos Family ” he told.

those who “helped me understand how Hollywood works.” Renato said that his connections in the industry became his friends even outside of the work.

After the first job, Renato said that he “fell in love with the job”, and decided to move to the United States to study acting.

His passion reached outside of modeling and acting, as Renato told us that he wishes to host his own TV show eventually. “ I just like everything that has to with telling stories. Even if it’s like screenwriting, or doing voice over like cartoons. I like everything in the show business” told Renato.

He lived in San Francisco first for six months, attending to acting workshops and pursuing his dream. There, he met Linda DeFilippo, his current manager. “She told me that I could do more things in LA, and as soon as I graduated high school, I moved to LA.” “My biggest challenge was finding agents and a manager” told Renato. “ It took a while, but at the end, I found a good commercial agent Trio Talent Agency and a good manager DC Talent Management under Linda.” Renato also had a struggle finding the right people in the industry to guide him. As a foreigner and a total outsider, Renato had to rely on his friends to lead him to the right direction, and

Renato set a great example for the new talents trying to get into the industry. With nothing but sheer passion and love, he was able to attend the runway for Kenneth Barlis and act in various shorts and features. He didn’t forget to end the interview with inspiring words for those like himself- the outsiders trying to break big in Hollywood. “We only live once. My biggest fear is to look back later in life and to think ‘I wish I would’ve done that differently”. Happiness is the key,” said Renato. “Just follow your heart.”


Follow Renato Vidalon: Instagram @renatovidmal17, Snapchat @renahollywood Facebook @Renato Vidalon. Video by Celia Abuel Special thanks to: Marc Berke, Leonard Espra, Lilia Lao Interview on location: Beverly Hills Mansion, Beverly Hills, CA


Photo credit: FILBERT D. KUNG


Ella: My mom is the most hardworking woman I know. She’s so passionate about herself and what she loves to do. I admire her when I see her being the life of the party, and always making funny jokes with people with a big smile on her face. My mom is an amazing dancer. She loves to go out to events. She naturally radiates her beauty inside and out. I see her caring more and more about living a healthy and environmentally sustainable lifestyle by choosing to eat more vegan food and less meat. It’s amazing how much she is willing to learn how to be a healthy person and I see her youthfulness shines through. She’s always proud of who she is, and that’s something she taught me. To trust in my own diva-self-love which is a positive self-expression knowing that you don’t need to listen to what other people think or say about you. I admire her selflessness when she gives so much to others to make sure

they’re ok. I think of my mom as an artist too. She loves poetry and writing is her passion. She loves interviewing people and getting to know them while making them feel at ease with her sense of humor.

Ella: My mother raised us to be compassionate and to forgive people. She showed me through her actions that she prays for everyone. I’m always amazed by her sensitivity to spirituality and healing work. She has raised my sister and me to be go-getters. She showed me that nothing is impossible when you don’t give up and work hard for your goals. She raised us by supporting our dreams to pursue any career we wanted, which is a blessing. I’m so inspired to raise my children the way she did in the way of supporting 100% your children even if they want to become an artist. I will always remember during my swim team races, in which she always wanted my sister and me to be physically active and socially engaged,

that she would cheer from the sides. “Go baby go!” I could hear through the muffling sound of the water and saw the blurry outline of my mom looking down and following me on the side of the line. That imagery will always stick with me as an adult. I can see that this is a parent who really helped me be strong and she always has been supporting me all these years.

Nikki: Our mom sacrificed so much to raise us. I like to ask where my mom was when she was my age at 27. She was rising in her journalism field, interviewing celebrities, dignitaries and traveling the world. The eldest of six kids, my mom used to live in an apartment in Kamuning, Quezon City where she shared a bedroom with all her siblings while her parents slept on the floor of the living room. But this career came to a pause, as she saw the rise of a dictator

44 MANILA UP! imprison and torture thousands, still flexing the oppression internalized by dictators from 500 years ago. She made the difficult decision of leaving her entire family behind, her career, and her studies for a master’s degree in Journalism and start again her life in the U.S., this time with my dad. They first settled in a one bedroom apartment, outside downtown Los Angeles, cramped with my dad’s family in the hopes of making it in this new land of the same colonizer but a different face from years ago. I think about the moment of that first night in the U.S., my mom sat in that apartment with cockroaches running across the walls, as she tried to mask her tears and doubts when she called home to tell her parents that she had arrived safely, but not showing in her voice the uncertainty of her future ahead.

My mom went through the double layers of oppression as an immigrant and as a woman. She experienced discrimination when she applied for jobs. When she finally got her break at Sunset Magazine as a marketing assistant, my mom proved through hard work and diligence that she was a team player, and reliable. Whatever money my mom made, she poured into our education. My sister and I had access to private Catholic schools from K-12, positioning us to find our own voices and navigate the white dominant system that kept pushing down on her. She invested in an education that would teach us to take notes for ourselves, to create our own careers, eat our own cake rather than submitting to the crumbs offered on the plate. The same spirit that moved my mom to board that plane with a

one-way ticket to LAX, to take night courses, kept alive her dreams of writing and telling stories that were not being told. I remember going with her to the publishing firm one day after elementary school, and picking up the first copies of my parent’s startup magazine, Manila Extra, which featured local leaders, talents, and issues in our hyphenated FilipinoAmerican community. The pride of their work blurs with my memory of the money running out and my parents doing everything from editing to distribution to getting advertisers. But I can’t find any memories of my parents being defeated or giving up their hopes of being writers. I can only see the late nights where after my mom’s 9-5 job ended, she would type away at the

computer to finish her article for the week. These sacrifices now amplify my mom’s success as the first Filipina in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, only the 2nd Filipino to be part of this prestigious group of international journalists (the first one is my dad). I wish that my mom can continue to find success in her writing. My mom is the kind of person who, when she enters the room, the naughty jokes, music, and dancing turn up another level. She’s also the kind of person who, when she tells you to do something, you do it because you don’t want to question the wisdom of a woman who has been through a lot. She’s the kind of person I wish to be when I grow up!


cclaimed as the major coalition of the fashion industry, “Bangkok International Fashion Week 2017” – hosted by three elite shopping centers, Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery conjured up 36 Thai designers and leading fashion labels to rock the runway. Offering the complete, new dimensions of the fashion world and marking the 10th anniversary of Thailand’s phenomenal fashion week, this event turned three iconic shopping centers into the

ultimate fashion destination from 2126 March 2017 at Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery. “Bangkok International Fashion Week 2017” is a real game changer as it represents the first synergy between three shopping centers, aimed at showcasing the strong potential in Asia’s leading fashion hub, three shopping elites are turned into the complete hub of fashion activities ranging from fashion shows, fashion talks, workshops and exhibitions.

Each shopping center is categorized by its outstanding character: Siam Paragon’s the RUNWAY represented a creative space dedicated for worldclass fashion platform; Siam Center’s the REAL WAY represented a creative space for wardrobe staples while Siam Discovery’s MY WAY represented a creative space for unique, personalized fashion tastes. BIFW 2017 received the honor to welcome Guo Pei, the most canonical Haute Couture designer from China,



who designed Rihanna’s most-talked about canary yellow cape for the red carpet of New York’s Met Gala 2015. Guo Pei’s collection was unveiled on BIFW’s stage as the opening show. Under the gigantic dome of Parc Paragon during 23-26 March 2017, BIFW proudly presented a total of eleven shows by international and Thai designers including Guo Pei, Issue presented by Wacoal Mood, Paragon Department Store Presents “The Spirit of Thai Designers”, Tube Gallery, ASAVA presented by Purra, Vatanika presented by CITI, NAGARA presented by TAT, Absolute Siam presented by TrueMove H 4G+ (by Adhoc, House of PB, Shaka), La Boutique, Fri27Nov. and Milin. Siam Center, the Ideopolis, underlines its position as the hub

if your Thai designers by offering them opportunities to showcase their infinite potential at Atrium 1, Siam Center. Creating a buzz in Thailand’s fashion industry and making their runway debut. Hundred “Nodels” (nobody+models) gleaned from the “#iamsiamish” campaign and rocked the runway with the latest Spring/Summer Collection designed by leading Thai designers. Fashion Designer Network by the department of Industrial of Promotion in collaboration with Kasetsart University presented a special design collection comprising of apparel, leather goods and accessories. Siam Discovery proudly presented “Spring/Summer 2017” by Kullawit Laosuksri, Thailand’s leading fashion gurus – took place at My Kitchen, 4th floor of Siam Discovery. Encouraging all fashion enthusiasts to enjoy Siam Discovery’s latest Spring/

Summer collection from various fashion brands, all fashion lovers were invited to enjoy mix and match their preferred outfit through innovative “Digital Fashon Presentation”, a virtual reality technology at His Lab, M Floor and Her Lab, G Floor. BIFW 2017 is made possible with the support from both government and private sectors, namely Citibank Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), TrueMove H 4G+, Wacoal Mood, Huawei Consumer Business Group (Thailand) PCL., Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Osim (Thai) Co., Ltd., DHL Express (Thailand) Ltd., VIE Hotel Bangkok, Harper’s BAZAAR Thailand, Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel, M.A.C cosmetics and L’Oreal hair care products. Credits to Maricel Diaz, BIFW 2017 and Siam Paragon mall


Beverly Hills Hilton

Renato Vidalon-Model for Kenneth Barlis


Photos by Celia Abuel

By Usama Ishtay

By Odair Pereira

By Danny Nguyen

Kenneth Barlis with her Muse and Models

By Danny Nguyen

By Hale Bob

By Usama Ishtay

By Usama Ishtay



L-R: Sheila Pavon, Elsie Daniels, Hollywood Faces Production Manager, Mary Ann Cidro Muah, Level Up Salon, Key Hair & Make-up Artists with the models


WALK MY WAY By Mayenne Carmona

Ibiza has become well known for its nightlife, electronic music that originated on the island, and for the summer club scene which attracts tourists and natives alike. After a visit to Ibiza and seeing their booming night scene, Movenpick Hotel owner Manny Osmena had a vision to put up an Ibiza Beach Club on the beach front of his hotel.

Cebu, Ibiza The vision soon became a reality. With its spectacular ocean view and architectural design, Movenpick’s clients as well as the locals are surely enjoying the Mediterranean cuisine and nightly entertainment that Ibiza Beach Club offers. The Club also offers  a 15 course Balearic inspired menu- grilled meats and seafoods on skewers. 

Among the favorites are filet mignon, juicy rib-eye steak, baby back ribs and buttery rock lobsters. Award winning Manny “O” wines are offered with the delectable tapas and dinner menu of choice. A perfectionist, Manny Osmena even flew in a DJ from Ibiza, Spain to jumpstart the night life and soon the place was rocking to his eclectic and

MANILA UP! 53 electric choice of music. Nightly performances of singers and dancers are part of the dining experience. The repertoire of the entertainers varies monthly. Makati City, Ibiza In April this year, a 3,000 sqm. Ibiza Beach Club rose from scratch  on the 6th  floor of a newly opened W City Center in Bonifacio Global City. Taking the dining experience to the next level, this 1000 seater flagship club has a spectacular view of the metropolis, a section for water dipping and sunset viewing,  private party rooms, plush lounging seats, a center stage for theatrical entertainment, a dance space, and first class dining section. Not to be overlooked is the excellent acoustics,  world class D&B Audiotechnik, considered as the Ferrari of sound equipment. Just like the Ibiza Beach Club in Cebu, the BGC franchise offers the same Mediterranean menu and its 15 course Balearic inspired grilled meat and seafood. The menu also includes a salad bar with some pasta and a variety of breads and cheeses. The signature specialty dessert is grilled queen pineapple. As a trendsetter of unrivaled entertainment, Ibiza Beach Club BGC offers musical productions and performances of world class talents to their visitors 6 nights a week. Showtime starts at 8:45PM. Ibiza Beach Club is a brand unique to the Philippines, a registered trademark conceived and established by businessman Manny Osmena, Chairman of the Manny “O” Group.



By Sonia Dionela Bermejo


MU: Mr. Abunda can you tell us about yourself? Which province, if any, schools you attended and the family you come from? BA: My popular name is Boy Abunda. My full first name is Eugenio. There was a time in my life when I wasn’t so comfortable with Eugenio, only for me to realize that it means a lot to have the name ‘Eugene’ (in English), it translates to the word ‘genius’. I hail from Borongan, Eastern Samar. Borongan is the capital city of Eastern Samar in region 8. I went to the Borongan Pilot Elementary School. But before that I studied first grade in a very, very small barrio, it is a remote town in Eastern Samar, Can-avid. I spent my first grade at the Barok Elementary School, where my Nanay (mother) was a public school teacher. Thereafter, it was at the Borongan elementary school where I studied from the 2nd through the 6th grade. I spent 4 years of high school at the Seminario de Jesus Nazareno. And then, for college, proceeded to the Ateneo de Manila University. My father said that even if they were not rich, he would work so I can study where Rizal (our national hero) studied. My father passed on when I was in my second year of college. I quit school because I needed to work. I was lost. I did menial jobs from opening doors at restaurants to selling encyclopedias and fire extinguishers and became a tourist guide. I did all sorts of things until I found my way to the theater. In the theater, I was a production assistant. There was a time when production assistants were called assistant stage managers. And then, the great Conching Sunico discovered me. She told me

to go to her office one day, and asked me to become part of her public relations office. That’s how I started. I eventually became the Director of Public Relations of the Metropolitan Theater. I became a member of the board, I think I was 22 or 23 years old. I familiarized myself with the discipline of public relations. From there I left the (Metropolitan) theater, and set up my own company. I began with one typewriter “lumang, luma” (very old), and worked in a small space, it wasn’t even the size of an apartment, it was just a small room. I started handling talents, and became a publicist. To make a long story short, I started representing the likes of Kuh Ledesma, Regine Velasquez, Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Apo Hiking Society, and many more entertainers. Name a singer in the country, and it’s likely that I was their publicist at some point. From being a publicist, I became an artist manager. Then I set up Backroom Inc. where I represented, among others, the likes of Ariel Rivera, Monique Wilson, (of Miss Saigon fame), Dawn Zulueta, Gretchen Barretto, Kris Aquino, Ai Ai delas Alas, Erik Santos, Bianca Gonzalez, Drew Arellano, Mariel Rodriguez Padilla. I still manage most of them. Backroom, the business has stopped operating, but I opened up a new office, which is called the Asian Artists’ Agency Inc. In short, that’s the story of my life and career. About his show “Tonight with Boy Abunda” (Mon to Friday late nights) and showbiz career MU: Who was your most fascinating guest? BA: Every star I hosted at “Tonight with Boy Abunda”(TWBA) is fascinating, each one is a peculiar and unique character. But the first names to come to mind are Mariel

Rodriguez, Bianca, and Toni Gonzaga, it was really fun having them as guests then I did an episode with the three girls. Also one in show biz, the most fascinating was the interview I did with sister Christine Tan. She passed on, she was a great woman, a great nun. She came to my show not knowing who I was. I think she was sent by her congregation to “Private Conversations” with Boy Abunda, because they had a project they wanted to promote, I don’t remember exactly why she was on my show. “Private Conversations” with Boy Abunda was live, so the first 10-12 minutes of the show were daunting, grueling, because I didn’t know where to go, what to do, what to say, or what to ask. Christine answered my questions with a word or two. It was a really, really difficult interview. But right after the first break, I prayed to God “Lord, help me, I don’t know what to do, where to go”. When a guest doesn’t give much, it becomes a challenge for the host. So I continued praying and I prepared for the interview. I did so much research for that interview which was interesting. The, during the second part, we started talking about her advocacy. And about her love. I asked, “Tell me what you know about love, Sister?”. She said “Love for God, Christ. I do what I do because I love God”. Then I asked, “Did you fall in love before you became a nun?” She answered “Yes, of course”. That broke the ice. Then we began a wonderful, fascinating conversation. Unforgettable! MU: Did any of your guests get you in trouble with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB)? BA: Many! No specific guests did, but there were some episodes that had us go to the MTRCB. I remember once when we were called for a particular


episode. The “Buzz” was my afternoon show at 4:00 o’clock. There was feud among a whole family including children. We did some stories that got us into trouble. Actually, I don’t remember specific guests, but when doing a live show, one can control what happens only up to a certain point. What your guests say and what happen, are beyond your control. What I cannot forget was an episode I did for “Controversial”. I did political stories in that particular show. Somebody, whom I don’t remember, brought us to court. We fought well against these court cases filed against us. I was summoned to the ‘sala’ of a judge in Quezon City. After watching an episode I did on “Controversial”, the judge wrote me a letter asking me to explain why I should not be cited for contempt because I conducted an interview with a minor. I remember going to a great lawyer Kathrina Legarda, a very good friend of mine, and I sought her advice on what I should do. She just told me to write a letter to explain my side of the story. I remember writing a personal letter to the judge. I wrote, “When I did that interview, her lawyer was less than a meter away from the child. I had raw footage of the interview that proved that the lawyer was present and also beside her client. I also remember asking “Am I actually allowed to do this interview?” It was recorded on tape because I was aware that the girl was a minor. We got into a lot of trouble, but I don’t remember having done anything on air to intentionally discredit,malign or destroy the reputation of anyone. We got into trouble because of technicalities, and because of some events on the Buzz that were beyond our control. We negotiated with some guests who were displeased with the way we did our shows. I remember being called by the Vice President for news, asking

how and what happened to the final version of an interview. It’s territorial, it happens. And among the hazards of the trade. MU: Who was your smartest guest? BA: One that comes to my mind is Deepak Chopra, a new age philosopher. The very first episode of “Private Conversations with Boy Abunda” was with him. I also interviewed Victor Hansen, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. I had some brilliant guests, the likes of whom are Kris Aquino, Cherie Gil and former President Gloria Arroyo, who was extremely brilliant. I invited her when she was still the Vice President, and she came to the show when she was the President of the country. MU: Has anyone during your career as show host, walk out on you during an interview? BA: I did a lot of “sensitive” interviews with so many people, but so far no one has walked out. Maybe one or two of my guests got offended but so far no one walked out. MU: Who was the most fascinating international celebrity you have interviewed? BA: Deepak Chopra whom I had mentioned earlier. And Sarah Jessica Parker, I think she was fascinating. I was given about 12 minutes to do the interview, but they moved the interview to an earlier time, so I was late and was only given 6 minutes to do the interview. When the six minutes were up, she told me “No, you can continue because I’m enjoying the interview”. Despite my reluctance, she wanted me to ask her more questions. She then turned to the producers and said “Why don’t you allow interviews like this to go on

for longer?”. I won’t forget her. Ben Stiller was interesting, I interviewed Jennifer Lopez thrice. Jackie Chan and Ben Affleck were both interesting too. Adam Sandler was very, very smart. Cameron Diaz was also fascinating. There was a time in my career when I was doing junkets like these once a month until it became so tiring. MU: How many talents do you manage, aside from Kris and Ai Ai. How is the pressure in this type of business? BA: Approximately, we have anywhere between 20 to 30 talents. (The pressure) is crazy. If you give into the pressure, you go crazy. It’s too much. It’s a business of projection, it’s a business of ego, it’s a business of beauty, it’s a business of stars, it’s a business of ‘has-beens’, it’s a mind game. Weaker souls have no space in this business. It’s crazy, but it’s also fun. It can also be fulfilling. The entertainment business, at least in this country, is a space between heaven and hell, closer to hell depending on what stage you’re on. It can also be closer to heaven, when you can make unknowns into superstars, that can be fulfilling.


MU: Who, in your opinion are the most beautiful local celebrities in ABS-CBN? Outside ABS-CBN? BA: First name that pops into my mind is Liza Soberano. That girl is beautiful. Outside of ABS-CBN, I like Bea Valdes, it’s the whole package. Of course, there is Gretchen Barretto and Dawn Zulueta. The nice thing is that these girls are beautiful inside and out. And of course, there is my best friend, Kris Aquino, who I think has one of the most beautiful skin in the world. b. Outside Showbiz MU: Do you have political plans? In what province or city? BA: I am the only one in my family who is not into politics. My father was in small town politics. My mother, after being a public school teacher, got into politics. My sister right now is in her third term as the Mayor of Borongan City, my birthplace. There have been invitations for me to run as the governor or congressman for Eastern Samar. There were times when I actually seriously considered running in our district. Right now my answer to you is a “No”, but my doors are not closed.

MU: What is your chosen charity work? BA: I’m proud of my foundation called Make Your Mama Proud (MYMP). I’m very passionate about this foundation. Our motto is: ‘To make your Nanay proud, be the best of who you are, be the best in all that you do, and it’ll make her proud’. Can you imagine a world where each one consciously makes his or her nanay proud? What a wonderful world would this be. MU: What are your hobbies outside of showbiz? BA: I play badminton. I play tennis. I love reading books. You can leave me in an island with books of Angelu or Gabriele Garcia Marquez and I will be fine. Now, I’m reading a lot of books on political theories and social development because last year, I finished my doctoral degree with a PHD in Social Development. MU: What do you think of the current Duterte administration? BA: I’ll put it this way, the President and his government need a lot of support, our support. I would take it the other way around, we need to be active citizens. Was it Kennedy, who said about active citizenry? “Ask what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country.” It’s too early, he’s been in the office for 8 months. Let’s give it a chance. I love this country. I believe him when he says he loves this country. I believe it when he says he will kill and die for this country. So I’ll take it from there. But this is a time in our lives when we have to choose to be the best citizens we can be. This government, this President, our President, needs our help. Credits to: Elna Villaflor, Tim Parks, Edith Pendleton Special thanks to Mr. Boy Abunda and to his staff


Mother seem to only subside by way of form and through the presence of my sister, Cece Anonas Karnopp.

By Maria Anonas

I remember the day when Cece spoke to my Dad for the last time. It felt like it was only an hour ago. She had just arrived home from work, drove straight to our parent’s house to pick up then 7 month old Kristiana Marie. While my Dad was resting in bed, with Mom by his side, Cece told him that she was leaving her lucrative position as an Executive for Clinique and The Estee Lauder Company to take care of her family and become a fulltime wife and mother. It was quite shocking as she had already invested at least a good 10 years working for the company.


other’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate the joys of having a Mother. There is simply no way we can ever really thank our Mother for all that she has done for us. She is the one who bears our pain that we experience, the one who wakes up early in the morning to make sure there’s breakfast on the table, the one who kisses away our wounds , our troubles, and all perceivable dangers – just to name a few. Everyday should be Mother’s

Day for everyday that we live is a life given by our Mother. I lost my beloved Mother in 2006. Since then, I have found ways to honour her by looking through her eyes, believing in her ways of the world, continuing to cherish her memories in the little things that meant the world to her such as the love and adoration of her family. I imagine having my Mother here with me despite the absence of her physical being. This longing for my

Her whole life changed that day. After a loss of a loved one – our Dad, a secure job, and in some ways her independence, she painstackingly juggled her time, energy, and resources raising her family and taking care of her new husband, Darrell. In the next few years, Cece and Darrell bravely ventured into Real Estate and found great success at buying and selling homes. They were able to buy and sell their first home in Ganesha Hills, CA only after 3 years of occupancy. Next came an opportunity to move to a thriving community in Rancho Cucamonga. However, when Rancho Cucamonga


started to get congested, they decided to relocate to Oaks Hills, CA – a small gated community located in the heart of the city of Hesperia. All these “moving” proved there was nothing ordinary about it.

Unlike me, Cece will get a chance to tell her eldest daughter, Kristiana Marie, to leave any boy who will cause her heart to break and move on as swiftly as life demands of it. Nothing ordinary about that.

Texas came hollering in 2006. So she packed up her family of 5 and moved to Katy, a suburb in the Houston area. It was heartbreaking losing her to Texas but exciting to see her spread her wings – the size of Texas – by moving away from the only home she’s ever truly known.

Cece will get a chance to tell her son Nico that it’s not nice to leave a “dead petrified lizard” inside his sister’s jewelry box. Nothing ordinary about that.

Her relocation to Texas proved to be a very fruitful decision as she eventually decided to go out into the work force and try her hand again in Real Estate. She eventually became a Counselor for a building company. Through the years, it’s been one great opportunity and success after another. The details are not important. She even convinced my youngest brother, John Paul to move to Texas and start a life and career of his own. These events may seem ordinary but quite the contrary. Cece is resilient, courageous, loving and strong – all attributes of what a Mother should be. Nothing ordinary about that.

And finally, she will get a chance to cry endlessly as Skyler, her 5th grade baby girl, thanks her during her acceptance speech for the Academy Awards. Nothing ordinary about that. I take comfort in knowing that all three of her children will take her with them in heart, spirit, and soul – wherever she goes. Nothing ordinary about that. On this Mother’s Day, let us remember that no matter what changes happens in a Mother’s life, one thing remains constant and that is every Mother will find ways to make happiness and success their first priority for their family. Whatever stage every Mother is in her life, it is of value. She is of worth….She is of substance…..Nothing ordinary about that.



Estela Cottle is a self-made woman, a nutritionist, chief dietician, manager, chef,

surgery tech, and now a Skin Care Specialist. A multi-talented mom who never stops changing and re-inventing herself. She used to work long hours, but now, she slows down and enjoy this new chapter in her life, in which she enjoys the most. She looks at each day as a gift from God and wants to fulfill her mission in life – to give love, spread love, be of help to others, and share her faith in God.

Estela Cottle was always known as the Angel of Beauty in the San Fernando Valley, but to me and my sisters, mom is always the mother who knew how to sacrifice. We had our ups and down when our parents separated when we were young, and it was quite difficult to grasp when I was little when mom chose to stay in the US and leave us back in the Philippines. This has cost a rift between my mom and dad. We didn’t know the struggles she had to go through because we were blessed to have a privilege life, we were blessed because our dad has his own company. Proving to her family in the United States that she can make it on her own and start anew was not an easy task. She braved odd jobs just make ends meet, and that’s a very strong quality that I wish I can have. The endurance she had to go through simply amazes me. When I decided to live in the United States myself, I had fond memories where she would always cook for me, making sure that I would eat my favorite dishes. Despite that she had left her first love; being a chef, we were never remise of this great skill. Being brought up in the Philippines for half my life, and the privilege of having a cook, I never

learned to cook anything until I met my husband. I would call my mother up and we would spend hours talking about how to make certain dishes, I will never forget when she helped me bake my then boyfriend’s favorite dish, ‘meatloaf ’ that won his heart, we got engaged within a year and the rest is history… As a proud Kapangpangan, her culinary prowess has always been over the top. Winning everyone’s approval, so when I learned to cook, I cook with all the love, like how my mom does. She has always had a servant’s heart, she would serve the church early morning and it was a great virtue, I always wondered where I got my passion for volunteering and I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Now that I have a family of my own, I cherish, my mom even more. You see, she’s not perfect, but I never wanted for her to be. She loves my kids so dearly and they admire her so much. She’s the hip grandma, who always treats her grandchildren to a shopping spree, the always fashionable mom that I’ve known… Thank you mom, for being an inspiration, I love dearly…

You might say I am biased because she is my mother, but the person I am now is because of her... strong, caring and loving. Many peo-

ple look up to me because they say I am a wonderwoman, I never get tired of working or doing things for other people... but I always say “you should see what my mother can do”.... She is the most selfless person in the world to me and I love her with all my heart and soul. She is my hero because not only did she give life to me, but she is my strength in my times of weakness. Her words of positivity and care help me survive the darkest parts of my life and for that I will give up everything and anything for her. My mother is the epitome of what a mother should be, but she is more than that. She is the mother everybody wants to have because her love is contagious, but we only have one mother in our lifetime and I’m proud and lucky that she is mine :-)

Estela Cottle is not only one of the most caring people I know, but she is selfless, devoted and hard working. I am not biased due to the fact that she brought me into this world, I have just gotten the chance to witness her love first hand for the past twenty-six years of my life. She has a spirit that can light up a room even on the darkest day. She shows genuine concern for people and she truly does care about everyone that has stepped foot in her life. I am proud to have such an inspirational woman to look up to and as an added bonus I get to call her Mom.



not just a mother, but my best friend and adviser, and we can always talk anything and everything. I consider my mom, my best friend. For she is the only person who understands the reasons I do things without giving her an explanation. She seems to read my mind and respect my decisions in life. When everyone else turns away, mom always turns towards me.  When I fell, she always helped me up.  When my heart was filled with disappointment and despair, she always gave me a sparkle of hope. Since I got married and now live with my husband and son,  I’ve realized my mother’s presence in my growing years.  As a mom to my only nine-year-old son, Kenneth, I now realized how patient, loving and giving my mom is.

here is no gift more precious from God, to a son or daughter than having a godly mother. For over forty years, I have been blessed with having a mother who has greatly influenced my life for the better. Mom instills in my mind, the value of loving and worshipping God

with all my heart. Showing me that my priority in life should be: God, then family and then career. We always go to church together every Sunday, enjoying church activities in our area.  My mother is also a woman of great integrity and very high moral values. Leading me and my two brothers by her own example, displaying a sense of doing what is right.  She is

I know that I am very lucky to still have my mom around, and to have a chance to hug her and love her. She knows that hugging me will give me a feeling of self-esteem and self-worth --- a sense of stability and security in an insecure world.   If you are like me and blessed enough to still have your mom with you, have you hugged her today?   If you have not, please do so at every opportunity because one day she will no longer be around to hug you.  Treasure those times when you and your mom are drawn closer to one another, through the simple act of hugging.  May the Lord richly bless all Moms on this Mother’s Day!


By Samantha Shinn

nspirational! If there’s one word to describe her that would be the right word. With every stride, she takes she holds her head up high and never looks away from her goal. Even when times are hard and the people around her want to bring her down, she continues to look forward, unafraid. She’s the type of person that if she wants something she will put all her energy into it, even if it means staying up all night to get work done. She’s the type that has so much love to give, even though at times she doesn’t get anything in return. She’s the type that makes the people around her want to be around her because she makes you want to be a better person. She’s the strongest person I know. The hardest working person I know. The person that I love the most. Happy Mother’s Day Mom.



To my Daughter, Samantha Shinn Samantha, my beautiful daughter, is 21 years old now and I am proud of her beyond words. Throughout the wonderful years we had, she has never brought any trouble to me. I raise her single-handedly, and she couldn’t’ve been a better daughter. She is a kind soul and obedient, until it comes to scholarly subjects. She’s a competitive scholar, so much that I don’t even

have to pay for her tuition! She studies hard and takes it seriously. Sam doesn’t complain in situations where other kids of her age would’ve. She followed my teachings very well, and this conservative side of her makes me smile sometimes. However, the best thing about my daughter is that I learn from her all the time, too. Her lessons vary from advices in my makeup to my choice of clothes to wear; she’s like a best friend to me. Simple is the word that perhaps captures Sam’s humbleness the

most. She doesn’t ask for anything, she is very thankful and appreciative; she never asked to buy the expensive designer brand names. Her practicality and logical thinking amaze me even till this day. I thank God because she is my daughter, and for that I am truly blessed to have her in my life. This treasure of mine made my life so much more fulfilling than what it would’ve been without her. I love my daughter Samantha from the deepest of my heart.



n a system, especially disadvantageous towards working mothers, many pregnant women are faced with social pressure to give up their passion and focus on being a mother. Joy Alegre didn’t surrender to the norms, but rather took the pressure as a challenge. She became a mother and later a grandmother, while being a successful businesswoman and an active community leader with her church volunteers. Raising a child is tough. It is even tougher when you have four children. Joy Alegre did it while continuing her career, all by herself. As a single, working mother, Joy had to work even harder than anyone else. She did it, and made sure her children didn’t grow up lacking anything. Joy knows how to balance her life and be a better person and attend to all the needs and attention of Sheryl, Fritzie, Bong and Denise. Added to her joy are her grandchildren Patricia Reign, Joshua, Julianne, and Micah Joy who she loves to be with. This apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree, as Joy credits her parents and their affection and lessons for who she is. She learned the key of life from her parentsbalance. Joy was able to balance in between job, family, and improving the community. Even till this day, she thanks her parents for their influence. As the Chief Executive Officer of AAA Enterprises, Inc., Joy provides medical supplies and linens to health institutions. She continues to be an amazing businesswoman, an amazing community leader, and most importantly, an amazing mother. Photos by Stills & Motion Photography


ting up with all of us. Parenting isn’t easy, so I acknowledge all of your patience – you’ve dealt with all of us. Love you mom!!! - Jennifer

My dear mother Unlike any other You taught me everything I know You showed me your ways in order for me to grow. You raised me up to be a God fearing man When situations arise, you always had a plan. You came to the states alone and brave You were there for me every single day Even though we didn’t have much growing up as kids, You managed to do what it takes to live. I’ve seen your suffering, heartaches and pain, I wanted to show you my appreciation the day I tattooed your name. I know at times we can be a pain in the neck Sometimes we talk back, sometimes we disrespect. Sorry for those moments, we don’t really mean it. But when we say we love you, really please believe it. Everyday’s mothers day not just once a year, Even tho’ you live far, I’m truly thankful that you’re still here.

On behalf of all 5 of your kids, we’re proud to call you, mother, If any of you reading this, when you see her in person, tell her we love her! Happy mothers day Ma! Love you! - Christian You are a great mom. Thanks for never fully giving up on us. I’m a mother myself and I know how difficult it can be to stay strong. I thank God for giving you all of the strength for put-

My mother is my role model, I aspire to be just like her when I am older. Through all the hardships she faced raising my siblings and me and all the sacrifices she made In order to make our lives better, I can truly say that my mother is an amazingly caring person with a generous heart, who has sacrificed so much for the ones she loves. The greatest gift my mother has ever given me was showing me the true meaning of life and what our purpose in this life is, I thank God each and everyday for blessing me with the greatest mother anyone could ever ask for. Right from the start, you were the one who nurtured me, prayed over me, worried about me, guided me, and supported me in every pursuit. Thank you for being there everyday with just the love I needed. I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. - Cleo



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Dear Mommy, Thank you for always being there for me! You have guided me in many unimaginable ways and I truly appreciate everything that you have done for us. You are my Hero and my best friend! I love you! Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Tarz

My mother, Lily Rudick, means the world to me. She is the most beautiful, caring, and loving mother a son could ever ask for. My mom has never said no to me for anything that I have asked her to do for me. No matter what the time of the day, she always has a smile on her face and makes me the happiest person in the world. My mother has taught me so many things and made me the person I am today. There is no one in the world that makes me happier in my life but my mom. Matthew


Marc Anthony Nicolas with Jessica Sanchez

By Grace Aguilar


n a Saturday afternoon, April 1, 2017 at Eriel’s Cafe in Artesia owned by entrepreneur Gloria Uy, close friends and family gathered together for a special occasion. It may be April Fool’s Day, but it was a beautiful day for a birthday celebration of a bubbly, kind hearted and talented person by the name of Marc Anthony Nicolas. Marc Anthony Nicolas is the producer of the 6th time Emmy nominated show - The Talk. The Emmys is slated to be shown on April 30, 2017 and everyone will be rooting for Marc Anthony Nicolas as producer of the year for 2017. He’ll be up against other talk shows like Ellen DeGeneres, The View, Maury and Wendy Williams show. We wish you all the luck Marc!...

Everyone knows Marc Anthony Nicolas didn’t fulfill his dream overnight. He’s always wanted to be a producer and it took a lot of hard work and there were a lot of challenges on the road to success. He started off as a waiter at Olive Garden and BJ’s Pizza restaurant. His experience as a waiter showed him a lot of patience dealing with customers to serving people to make sure he gave them a great experience. So he grew from it as Pizza, pasta maker to producer. Marc got his big break as production assistant in a reality show called “Starting Over”. He slept in his friend’s car for 6 months, even in the cold winter nights because he couldn’t afford an apartment and a car. But always instill that belief when there’s a will there’s a way. 

Marc’s next job was at a Tyra Bank’s Show as an associate producer. It was his very first talk show experience. In his interview he was told he didn’t have that much experience. He replied that he will learn to do anything to be an associate producer and he wants to make Tyra Bank happy because he’s a huge fan. That got him hired on the spot. Marc states that personality, perseverance and determination will get you far in life. He moved to New York. He left his family and friends for 3years to work at The Tyra Banks Show. Unfortunately, his job was cut short. He had  to quit his job at the Tyra Banks Show to move back to Los Angeles to be with his mother when he heard she had stage 4 breast cancer. Marc wanted to be with her at her last breath. 


Marc with Anjanette Abayari, her two sons, and Lilia Lao

Gloria Uy, Ariel Abuel, Louie Garcia , Christina Napuli, Lilia Lao, Marc, Grace Aguilar, RD Alba and Andy Edralin

Marc with his father, and siblings

As a producer of the number one, only Filipino American talk show in the United States... What’s next for Marc Anthony Nicolas? Marc replies that at the end of the day, all we love is our friends, our family, our daughters, our sons and our siblings. Without them, we are nothing. All I wish for on my birthday is everything for everyone. Interviewed by: Grace Aguilar Video by: Celia Abuel Photos by: Celia Abuel and Iwanuki Sugawara Flowers and Catering by: Gloria Uy “Eriel’s Bakery”

Marc Anthony Nicolas, Ranelle Ferrer and Jessica Sanchez



Agent “Mul� 007 James Bond celebrated his big 60 with a BANG! Girls in tow are Bb. Pilipinas winners as the James Bond girls wore all white gowns designed by the birthday celebrant. Mul, a civil engineer, and an accomplished Couture Designer showcased his haute couture gowns worn by his clientele and models. His artistic talents show vividly in all his creations. The party was well attended by his family, relatives, and many friends who enjoyed the night away. A great party! Photos by Stills & Motion Photography

Mul with Bb. Pilipinas 2016 winners


Mul Tayoba and his models

Celia Abuel,Danielle Viray, Michelle Molina, Dahl Bravo, Marissa Mariano, Grace Aguilar

Mul Tayoba with wife Rosie, and children


By Grace Aguilar


iss the Monkeys Founder Al Harris had a wonderful 50th birthday celebration with co-founder Raquel Sanchez atop one of the luxurious estates in Malibu Hills with a gorgeous view of the canyons and ocean.  Kiss the Monkeys is a social

networking organization with 7,000 members worldwide. Its mission is to launch an event in every country and state spreading the movement of doing good and giving back to others while having fun at the same time. Hundreds of members of Kiss the Monkeys and other celebrity guests attended and took the red carpet fashionably posing in their beautiful outfits. The celebration started out with a fashion show of 6 designers with music provided by

Aljess Bernardo of A8 Creatives. Guests like Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch was entertained by singers and dancers from all over the world. The night ended with a lot of fun, laughter, dancing, music and a happy Al Harris who turned 50 and feeling younger. Grace Aguilar – social media correspondent/bloggers Photos by: Celia Abuel, Auspicio Yan and Ramie Dador Photography



By Maricel Diaz


n March 22, about 2,000 members of the Filipino community in Thailand gathered at Royal Thai Navy Convention Center in Bangkok to meet President Rodrigo Duterte. Currently, there are estimated 16,000 Filipinos working and living here in the Kingdom of Thailand. Though the president is scheduled to meet them at 7:00 pm, the attendees arrived as early as 2:00 pm that day as many of them came from different towns and provinces away from Bangkok. “Tatay Digong” as he is fondly called by his huge supporters, addressed the Pinoy community before going back to the Philippines from his ASEAN countries visit. He expressed his sincerest gratitude for strongly supporting his campaign against drugs, economic reforms and goals and also from his strong political opponents. As expected, the audiences were all delighted and cheerful listening to President Duterte’s expletive, but humorous speech, but at the same time he stressed that Filipinos must be more assertive to stand for their rights and against corruption whenever confronted of the situation. President Duterte also shared his light moment with the Thai Prime Minister after their dinner the previous night when the latter presented him a birthday cake to wish him goodwill. The crowd, of course, did not miss the chance to greet him for his birthday and sang the “Happy Birthday” song in unison.

President Duterte with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha

Prior to the gathering with the Filipino community, President Duterte made a bilateral agreement with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha that will benefit both countries on tourism, trade and industry, agriculture and military aspects. This bilateral agreement signing between the two leaders concluded Pres. Duterte’s ASEAN states visit as preparation to host its 9 other country members this year. As this year’s chairperson, he said he wanted to hear each of the ASEAN country leader’s suggestions or concerns prior to the summit day so it will be a “smooth sailing” process of agreement among them. Philippine Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the bilateral agreement between Thailand and Philippines resulted good mutual agreement with programs to boost tourism to help encourage more Thais to visit the Philippines and vice versa; trade and industry agreements that include exchange of good and expertise, especially in education, as the majority of Filipinos here in Thailand are employed as teachers. For agriculture aspect, it is the implementing rules in improving the production of dairy products and breeding of water buffalos

with the initiative of Philippine Carabao Center and its counterpart here in Thailand; And lastly, the military agreement to strengthen Maritime Security relations to prevent terrorism in our region. Also discussed were what will be the roles of Thailand, and Philippines to even strengthen the ASEAN community as this year is its 50th year anniversary celebration with Philippines as head of the ASEAN summit. On the other hand, in an interview with Philippine Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Sal Panelo, he said that our president is doing all his best to improve our country, adding all his visits and bilateral agreements with ASEAN country members were a success. Asked about how “visible” to him and the president about the situation of the Filipinos here in Thailand, he said that they encourage the community to reach out in case any problem arise, so they will be aware and will call the attention of the embassy staff about the issue that reached him and the president. Atty. Panelo even said that Filipinos can directly send him formal letter, instead the embassy to express their concern and they will make action on it immediately. He added too, that the community, especially his supporters, not to worry about his critics, as they can only try to put him down, but that’s all they can do; nor worry about the president’s health, as Mr. Duterte is fit to serve and perform his duties. The President turned 72 this March. (Photos from Sec. Martin Andanar)





2017 April - May  
2017 April - May