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INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE October - November 2017 Issue




ith our Manila Up! International Magazine’s upcoming second anniversary, my mind is busy working as I put together a major production for December. The mother of all fashion events is coming your way.

Sonia Dionela Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor


I got a Chinese designer to dress up the Cover Girls for our photo shoot and the actual fashion show. We will present “The Kiki Wang Collection” combined with N. Shofield Jewelry which will showcase their exotic and intricate jewelry collection that the girls will wear. To complement our cover girls, one of our sponsors, Alka Vida (Alkaline Water), will select Ms. Alka Vida on that special night. Guest actor, Fernando Carrillo from Mexico and another Hollywood actor we featured in our May issue will be invited as well. DJ John Robinson, an international disc jockey who was popular in the ‘80’s is our special guest who will do all the gyrating and playing scintillating disco music from the 1980’s era! Additionally, we look forward to a successful team-up with L’aura Wellness and highlight their very own Calendar Girls for 2018. It will be a full package to include products Smart Lipo and Pelleve  ambassadors and global  icons. If by pure design enticed one of the designers from the latest Project Runway (which is still showing in the


networks), Kentaro, to dress up the girls for Casual Wear, we are truly blessed by the fashion gods. From cover to cover, our cover girls and guys do so much to present the essence of our publication. We try to honor them back by presenting not only their accomplishments but also the depths of their characters in the stories and narratives contained herein. Both regular columns and articles coming in through the presses have enriched so many folks in more ways than we can imagine. Thanks to readers inputs and feedback, we are continuing our mission to provide ever more enriching material. Our dual October/November issue will culminate with our December anniversary special to wrap up this glorious year. Sincerest thanks to our loyal sponsors whose continued patronage keep our pens writing and our cameras clicking away. For now, allow me to return to the important tasks at hand, not in the least ensuring that this and our forthcoming issues will surely make it worth your while to keep coming back for more from our pet project, (amidst many worthwhile other projects) Manila Up! International magazine. Meanwhile, read on and enjoy all the goodies for your eyes to savor within these pages. Till next, ciao for now.



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

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

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

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

LONDON, UK UK na UK Ela Hidalgo

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

Kingdom Adventures Gilda Pineda Dionela BANGKOK, THAILAND Siam Living Maricel Diaz

Talk This Way Tim Park Dine Travel in Style Grace Aguilar

Piece by Piece Angel Tahimik HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton Island Living Randy Antonio Photographers: Benny Uy Rudy Autor Phillip Ner Jon Bermejo Richard Dizon Gerry Edra Jophel Huffman Louie Garcia Tony Garcia Auspicio Yan Ramesh Shah   Social Media Photographer/ Videographer Celia Abuel “PaparrazzCel”  Events Interviewer/ Correspondents Grace Aguilar   Layout Artist Juvelin Aripal Website Designer Allan Mark Paanio


3756 W. Avenue 40 #160 Los Angeles, CA 90065 USA Email: | Website: http// Follow us:  FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Issuu Articles published in this paper do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. ISBN 231-256-2-16


Edith Y. Pendleton |

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Slow down, you are not in the mainland” is a bumper sticker one will see around the islands. As the Editor of this beloved magazine, it occurred to me that this was some kind of mantra to explain the fleeting ennui some euphemistically refer to as a “writer’s block”. Sure enough, it was some kind of subconscious message to snap me into action when I came across one such car at a stop light. “Alright already, I thought to myself, here in front of my keyboard lies a list of all the contributing writers. I can start from a litany of that sort for this dual issue. By now, I would have ‘rested’ my creative mind sufficiently, having skipped a single issue to busy myself with, right?” I have decided that the table of contents could do a great job of directing our readers to the inside treasures found within Manila Up!



International magazine. I conceded that we have a wonderful mix of subject matter to cover a wide array of interests so my regular column, “Maui Mania” will take a back seat for now and reawaken from its slumber in time for our second anniversary special issue in December. October marks Fil-Am Heritage month in both the US and Canada where the Filipino population comprise quite a huge chunk of the “minority”. It sounds oxymoronic, however, we shall abide by politically correct terminology. It has been said that some 35% of ‘kamaaina” (or, locals in Hawaiian) have some Filipino DNA running through them. The blending of cultures and races make for such an eclectic recipe when combined under one flag. There is, a state flag which redefines the geographical divide among states, however, there is more to the union than there are to the divisions which are basic realities whether we want to believe them or not. The “Sakadas” got my full attention when I attended the Fil-Am heritage celebration here in Maui. There was a booklet being offered to those who were interested in the history of the Filipino labor union within the agricultural milieu of the Hawaiian economy. Published by the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), it is titled: “1946

SAKADA Filipinos and the ILWU”. What a fascinating read it was for me to understand the deeper roots that lie underneath all that our present generation of Fil-Am descendants of the first and second wave of migrant sugar and pineapple workers may not have even heard about from formal schooling. I encourage our readers to get a hold of a copy to share along in our quest to explore deeper into the ongoing diaspora of Filipinos worldwide. In honor of migrant workers from the past, and our present day heroes and heroines in the person of the Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW), here is a grand salute and humble gratitude for trail blazing the foundations so that your children and their children’s children will have the opportunities to empower them, achieve levels of job and income security while maintaining solid structures of family and “Bayanihan” communal spirit that are the glue which keep us united, (one slogan during the labor strikes in the plantations here then read: United we stand, divided, we fall”). It took a long while to get to where labor rights are where they are today here in Hawaii, but then again, that old bumper sticker pokes it’s head in my head:” Slow down, you are not in the mainland”! And therefore, I shall not rush the river, rather, I will go with the flow. Here’s to your flow, may it go smoothly your way.



Photographer: Steven Clint | Hair & Makeup: Level Up by Maryann Muah





y name is Lucita Certeza Maybituin. My family, friends and acquaintances call me “Luchie“or “Luch”. I was born on June 25, 1970, in a Barangay named Talim Point. Our barrio lies at the southern tip of Talim Island, in the middle of Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines. The hilly island is within the boundaries of the Province of Rizal, under the jurisdiction of two municipalities, the western side is part of the municipality of Binangonan, where our Barangay belongs while the eastern section is part of Cardona, Rizal. I spent my childhood and teenage days in this captivating and serene island. My dad (Tatay Junior) died when I was six years old, so we grew up with our great resolute and loving mother, (Nanay Tinay). Solitarily raising us and single handedly providing our livelihood and education, my Nanay taught me the values of humility, honesty, courtesy, generosity, integrity and caring for others. These served as my markers or guides in all of my journeys in life.

The humble beginnings and hardships that we went through are always worth reminiscing. In this island, I started to dream and shape my future. I had been dreaming of high aspirations, become a lawyer, a successful lawyer someday. To become a defender of those with less in life and the islanders. I was lucky that we had a school in our barrio. I used to spend my weekdays in the school. Late afternoons until dinner were spent helping my mother in her cooking business, where I used to prepare all ingredients for her, and, later in the night till midnight, I was studying my lessons. Saturdays were my cleaning and laundry days. Sundays were no exceptions when

it came to work. It was big business, a chance for us to sell our cooked food for the barrio folks where and when they usually gathered for dancing or recreation. This was my life cycle then, bereft of more games and little luxuries usually enjoyed by the typical child or teenager living in urban places. During summer vacations, I was lucky to be chosen as a representative to youth seminars organized by our parish, usually held in Baguio City or



how to interact in that society with grace and conviction. and clothing allowances. Oftentimes the same needed to be budgeted tightly. There were times that I sacrificed eating lunch to save money for my fare. I dreamed big, that’s why I had to sacrifice and carried on in other urbanized areas. The free training and seminars, framed not only my spiritual, social and moral well-being but prepared me to be more steadfast in most of my decisions in the years to come. My patience and the accompanying hardships paid off, graduating as the Valedictorian in both elementary and high schools. After high school, I became one of the recipients of our municipality’s scholarship program. Due to a lack of available information, I missed all the college admission tests. Fortunately, I was admitted at the Far Eastern University (FEU) where I enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. My college life was not easy. I faced a lot of hardships and obstacles. Though my tuition fee was free, I needed allowances for my uniform, transportation, food and other school expenses. During every summer vacation, I worked in a garment factory in Taytay, Rizal to raise funds for my additional allowances. I was still lucky because I had my auntie, my Tita Belen, who had been generous and supportive for four years, providing for my transportation

After I finished my Bachelor’s Degree, I was fortunate again to be granted a scholarship to study law at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). I spent almost two years of my law school life in this university where wonderful memories are worth reminiscing. I met my glamorous classmate, my BFF, Manet Agbayani. (Now, Atty. Manet, my “momshiee”). This sympathetic and kind-hearted lady taught me and guided me on how to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life,

But due to my eagerness to earn money and help my family, I was constrained to leave UST for a job in one of the law offices in Makati City. This job did not deter me to totally abandon my law studies. In due time, I enrolled at Arellano School of Law, where they offered an executive law class for working students. This school is the most memorable one for me. It was there where I met my lifetime partner, my terror of a professor, and now my husband, Glenn. On December 11, 1996, Glenn and I tied the knot. My dream of becoming a successful lawyer was then temporarily archived for lack of time to review for the bar. We are gifted with five beautiful children, all who now blossomed into talented and pretty ladies.

10 MANILA UP! Twenty years down memory lane, I am still dreaming to take the bar exams and culminate my dream of becoming a lawyer. In the meantime, while preparing myself for this and to regain momentum, I enrolled in a Masters Degree in Hospital Administration at the University of the Philippines, College of Public Health. In between my continuing education, often interrupted only by my schooling, we have established our trading and pharmaceutical business and confounded at least six other medical centers and hospitals. Surely, this MHA will come in handy someday.

I believe that life is full of opportunities…these can be turned into success if we develop a clear sense of direction and with a greater precision to use our goals, strategies, priorities and actions. Success is not an accident. Failure is not an accident, either. Careful thinking and proper management and planning before taking an action, can better control one’s success in the future. It’s all about a dream. I believe

dreaming is so powerful. Dreaming makes me move, act, learn, focus, and do whatever it takes to make it come true. One of the thoughts that I learned in my life’s journey … “Life is the Best School, hardship is our Best Teacher, Problem is the Best Assignment and Failure is the Best Revision.” Always aim for high standards and commit to excellence. As Vince Lombardi has said, “The quality of your life will be determined by the depth of your commitment to excellence, no matter what your chosen field is.”



ucita M. Subia, Luchie to most and as a matter of preference, started her venture in the corporate world sometime in 1999, right after graduation from law school, when she co-founded S-A Technologies, Inc. S-A Technologies is a private corporation trading and

servicing industrial x-ray, ultrasound and microscope machines for the semiconductor manufacturer, which are thriving in the Philippines. With college degrees in Political Science and Law, S-A Technologies which was in the semiconductor

business, was altogether alien to her, the only possible relevance of her degrees in the venture was probably how she can then conduct herself politically correct at least most of the time, before their clients. Nonetheless, having been pushed

MANILA UP! 13 in ensuring quality and reliability at all times. In the middle of 2001 and after steering her first company to modest success, she sold her share in SA Technologies to her co-founders in order to focus her attention to healthcare industry and to jumpstart her second venture, the Maystar Company.

Caisa and Caryl

She envisioned to establish Maystar Company as the company of choice when it comes to preference of suppliers of high-end and technology-driven medical equipment. Never did she realize that the healthcare industry was more competitive and demanding than the semiconductor industry. While before she has to deal with younger people most of the time, in the medical industry, she has to deal and please people much older than her and invariably consider themselves of a higher level than other professionals.

Ground Breaking Ceremony of one of our hospital projects

into it by circumstances and a business opportunity knocking, she immersed herself in crash studies of the semiconductor business. Browsing into a very slow internet service then and interviewing people of the industry, she learned and assimilated herself into the semiconductor corporate world. In due time she was already dealing with technical-savvy end-users on

the technical specifications of her machines, while interacting with the middle and upper management groups for the financial aspects of the trade. Soon S-A Technologies became one of the major suppliers and service providers in the semiconductor industry of test equipment which are indispensable

The newly found challenges and apparent roadblocks, not to mention the gargantuan task of going back to trainings and seminars on various medical equipment, somehow did not deter her and instead converted such challenges and apparent roadblocks as motivations to get her new company into the mainstream of the medical industry. Starting only with a few unknown brands of medical x-ray and OR equipment, sourced from either India or China and two technical people and a sales staff, she personally went from one hospital to another, towing with her technical staff as back up for possible technical

14 MANILA UP! risk if only to save her fledgling company. She started, with some relatively unknown hospitals with the arrangement that they can use the products without initial cost and pay if proven reliable and useable. The prospect of having equipment without initial acquisition cost was surprisingly a bit acceptable in the market. As luck would have it, none of the equipment supplied in pay-whenapproved basis, experienced any serious troubles other than the usual re-familiarization by the end-users of the new technology. Nevertheless, the hospitals were not contented with the payment arrangement only, they further asked for extended warranties on parts and labor. To this May star company readily agreed to having been relieved of anxiety as to quality and reliability of its products.

questions that may have escaped her recollection, albeit the technique was more to show her prospective clients that she has a solid engineering team, ready and able to back up her equipment. The start-up was not easy to say the least, coming at a time when only western manufactured products were known and acceptable then in the Philippines, not a few doors were shut upon mention that you have things from India or China, unless you were peddling silk or dining wares. For almost half a year, no one bothered to take a look at her products, not even her closest medical acquaintances and the business operation was slowly eating on her little savings and proceeds of the sale of her shares in S-A Technologies. She must find a solution and she must do it real quick or lose her shirt. After several sleepless nights, analyzing how to overcome the persistent negative perception of her products, she realized that if only

she can prove that her products are as reliable as the others, then maybe, just maybe, she will start to earn their trust in her products. But to prove quality and reliability means she has to take the first risk by paying for the products herself and the only way to prove quality and reliability is to have them used by the hospitals at her own expense and risk. The strategy did not come cheap and quick, but she had to take the

The strategy worked and was kept for a little more time, to the consternation of the other suppliers. Slowly, Maystar Company was gaining a foothold in the provincial areas where technical services came far in between and Maystar Company took advantage of the service vacuum and promoted more aggressively using as reference the first hospitals who put their trust in its products. Before she knew it, through enhanced and responsive technical group, Maystar was soon recognized in the medical industry as one of the most reliable suppliers of medical equipment. With revenues starting to come in, she focused more on the development of her service team as the platform of her company,

MANILA UP! 15 hiring more engineers and sent them to factories abroad for technical trainings. With the much improved and factory-trained service engineering group, Maystar became synonymous with competent and affordable service. The service then well in place, Luchie slowly but surely developed a well-versed sales team and the sales revenues rapidly grew. Not a few banking institutions, likewise started to request for meetings with Maystar to promote their banking and financial portfolios and for the first time Maystar came to feel how it is to be a client for a change.

and shake the hands of decision makers and get her message of “reliable but cost effective medical equipment”, across. To date, the company she cofounded back in 2001, became one of the major players in the medical industry, supplying the entire Philippines with various highend medical equipment including Magnetic Resonance Imaging, CAT scanner, Cathlab and high-end Ultrasound among others.

Shortly thereafter, Luchie was able to create for Maystar an image of a customer-focused company among the doctors and hospitals in the Philippines; that Maystar became more known as an industrial partner rather than a seller.

Maystar is now one of the pillars in the medical equipment industry, participating in almost all major exhibitions and conventions of doctors and hospitals in the Philippines and in the process contributes in its own little way, in the development and enhancement of the health care for the Filipino people and to everyone else sojourning in the Philippines.

Networking has likewise helped her in no small measure in reaching out to hard- to-connect prospects, her growing network of friends and references created bridges to meet

The success of Maystar Company though, did not make her take a well-deserved rest, instead she decided to venture in the pharmaceuticals to compliment

her equipment business, and established the Paramount-Star Pharma & Trading Corporation in 2011, to cater to the pharmaceutical demand in the southern part of Luzon, the main island of the Philippine. As a new player in the pharmaceutical business a dejavu of Maystar was inevitable, but having mastered the art of survival, it was not as difficult and risky as it was with Maystar. In less than two years her pharmaceutical company started making profits and became selfsupporting. In mid-2017, after acclimatizing herself with the basic corporate development and survival, she is now nursing to financial stability and maturity her latest company Megaion Corporation, that will trade on various hospital consumable and disposable products. Her new venture carries with it a different twist though, as it is more designed as a training ground for her children whom she made part of the corporation as incorporators. She envisions to impart her experiences to her children to start the process of “passing the torch” so to speak and gradually transfer the corporate helm to them. Be that as it may, and as a natural process of diversification, Luchie has now co-founded at least five mid to high end hospitals and sits on the Board of each, unselfishly and unknowingly sharing with them her dreams, passion, visions and aspirations. Most of these hospitals now are in their infancy or under construction and are hoping to soon follow the story of Maystar Company.


and printed it. He was strangled and burned to death on October 6, 1536 because of his love for God and for ordinary people.


eople, places and events are all marked in history so that people from all walks of life can connect to the past and live in the present for a better future. On October 31, 2017, the Christian world will remember the 500 years of Reformation by a former German monk, Martin Luther (1483-1546). My writing assignment from the United Kingdom is to commemorate him. I have an English link to Martin Luther who changed history as we know today. He is William Tyndale (1494-1536), the Architect of English Language who translated the bible from its original Hebrew and Greek

To avoid confusion there is another influential English priest with the name John Wycliffe (1329-1384) who set the stage for Reformation known as “The Morning Star of Reformation”. He was the first one to complete translation of the Bible directly from Vulgate (Latin Translation of the Bible) to English. His work influenced Martin Luther and William Tyndale. There were many reformers throughout Christian history and the great ones came from within Roman Catholic heritage. These Reformers did not intend to create new denominations nor break away from the Church, they just desired to correct wrongdoings that sneaked in over the passing of many years. All of them studied the Bible thoroughly and subscribed to its tenets. They succeeded, in a way. There are many changes in the Roman Catholic Church and the institution even

apologized for the punishment of “burning at the stake” particularly of John Hus. Followers of the Reformers on the other hand moved on to another denomination to expand the Kingdom of God. It is not about the battle of denominations, it is about making disciples of Jesus Christ.The Word of God is like fire and the Spirit like wind to cause wildfires to remove unbiblical teachings and result in practice of many denominations today. During olden times, the term Bible was sacred and holy in that it only referred to the Jewish and Christian belief of Almighty God. Nowadays you can find books like Gastronomic Bible, Bible of Healthy Living and so on. It is about time we bring back the Bible to its proper place. The Bible speaks about life and is life. Most Filipinos share and quote Bible verses in English on social media. Understanding its origins may help us appreciate more of what we share. During earlier times, the Bible


was forbidden to ordinary people by the Roman Catholic Church. Only the clergymen were qualified to read and interpret it. Also, it was written in Latin. Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses, as a basis of debate on the door of Wittenberg’s castle church in October 31, 1517 forever changed Christianity. The English hero of Reformation, William Tyndalein 1524 went to Hamburg where he met Martin Luther and sought out his help in his translation

work of the Bible we read today. The work of many Reformers opened the door for us ordinary people to read it in whatever language and dialect we can understand. They paid a high price and given up their lives.William Tyndale was a theologian and scholar educated in Oxford and Cambridge. In 2004, I started to doubt if the Bible is really the “Word of God”. I was hard pressed on all sides being in a foreign land. I know Jesus is my friend and He can talk to me through

my bible. One night I thought,“what if the bible was written by some clever author and is not true?” God has a way of guiding His doubtful children. The following morning my sister and I went to the house of her American atheist friend a well educated graduate of Princeton University. I looked at his private library and the first book I touched was “William Tyndale: If God Spare My Life (The Origin of English Bible)” by Brian Moynahan. I was astounded that was what was on my mind the night before. I borrowed and returned it afterwards. I was deeply moved by his last letter while in prison. Despite his condition he remained respectful and concerned about the salvation of those who imprisoned him. In his letter originally written in Latin while in prison to the Marquis of Bergen, he requested for the following items he owned but in possession of the Procurer or the person in charge of him in case he was to remain there in the winter: A warmer cap because he felt extremely cold from the head; a

18 MANILA UP! warmer coat for the one which he had was thin; a piece of cloth to patch his leggings; he expressed that his overcoat and shirt were worn out so he was requesting for his woolen shirt and thicker leggings as additional layer; a candle because the prison cell was so dark; and his Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Grammar and Hebrew Dictionary so that he can study. Finally, he wished for the salvation of the soul of the person he was writing to and his acceptance of whatever verdict they were to give him he said, “I shall be patient, abiding the will of God to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen.” ~ W. Tyndale There are many persecuted Christians around the world. We do not know who suffered the most but what we can learn from Tyndale is that he had a calm spirit and amid suffering he chose to learn more, express love, not hatred and give glory to God under those circumstances.Finally, he was burned. Tyndale’s last words before his death were “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” Just one year after his death, King Henry VIII commanded that a Bible be placed in every Parish Church. Tyndale’s translation of the bible served as the basis of all subsequent English translations of the Bible, including the ‘King James’ version of 1611 of which 84% of the New Teststament was copied directly from Tyndale’s Bible.After reading his life story I asked for forgiveness from God that I doubted that the Bible is the Word of a Living God not because Tyndale died for it but because just the night before I was thinking that the Bible is just a story written by a good author. It was not a coincidence. It was God responding to my doubtful mind.

VICTORIA EMBANKMENT GARDENS LONDON is a few minutes walk from Big Ben along River Thames. There can be found the statue of William Tyndale. The day was lovely and sunny when I went to take the photos. I took the best shot, then sat down at the garden bench where I could look at and talk to William’s bronze statue eye to eye. The English way of

looking at the eyes of the person you are talking to is one of those mannerisms many Filipinos are still findng hard to do. It was a Sunday morning. Just the week past I felt like God was so far that He would not talk to me as He did before. I went to the garden without any plan. When I woke up that morning I just decided to find the monument of William Tyndale.


While sitting on that bench looking at the eyes of William I asked, “what shall I write about you, tell me?”No answer. The statue has been standing there since May 7, 1884 and I wonder how many people asked random questions like me. Maybe only me apart from his posterity. The leaves of the tree I was sitting under was partially obstructing my view of him. I thought, “if I could put his face in the frame between these leaves will give me a unique shot.” Suddenly the wind blew and the leaves swayed giving me a quick glance of his face unobstructed. I got what I wanted. After a while I saw an English woman about 70 years of age taking note of what was written on the commemorative plaque of William’s statue. Then we heard loud cheering from the people lined on the road. It was the Marathon at IAAF World Championship London 2017. The woman and I went out to join the crowd. People of different nations were waving

their flags to motivate their country’s representative. That’s wonderful, I just went for a short photo shoot and became part of a World Event while the camera was rolling for world telecast. That is London. You don’t need to know someone to be a part of a world class celebration. Just come as you are, whoever you are. The woman and I had a chat and she was the answer to my prayer. My visit became extraordinarily exciting. She said she came for William Tyndale as I did. She was studying about Martin Luther and the Reformation. We discussed the life of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. I found a friend from another time as if we are friends from another life. She is a devoted Roman Catholic named Pat Brown. We discussed things for about an hour and she recommended that I go to Westminster College or St. John’s College in Cambridge University like she did. It was a wonderful moment that two people, total strangers having the same interest were brought together in a memorial of a man who died nearly

500 years ago. You may ask,“what were you two doing in the garden on a Sunday morning?” She said her priest was on holiday and she marked that day on her calendar to see the monument. I was just 30 minutes away from my church for its 2:30 service. In London, you can do a lot of multi-tasking. Even at times when I feel like God will not speak, surely, He listens and answers. It is a mistake to think that God’s response depends on one does or does not do. It always depends on Him. His kindness and mercy. Though it was the statue of William which I asked as to what to write, God answered anyway. The time Pat and I spent was truly wonderful. I know I am not supposed to talk to the statue and it was not the statue that sent Pat, the wind that blew the obstruction of my sight and the one who arranged that meeting was the One who responded, the Living God. One thing for sure, the statue cannot do anything for me. The statue flashed back to me the hardship William went through, but if I come back again to that statue to ask for something that only God can answer, two things I should expect people to label me are that I am either crazy or idolater because normal people don’t talk to statues. Normal people talk to Jesus everywhere even without seeing Him because He is surely there. The only way we can know God is reading His Word written in the Bible, affirmed by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit in us when we believe in Jesus. Without the presence of the Spirit in the heart of the Reformers, the Bible will not have been accessible to us. Let us salute them for their courage that will benefit us until our next lives. Photo source: Marcus/Audrey


Architectural details of Historic Landmark, Lackawanna Station (Photo© JBLThabet)

Mabuhay. Shalom. AsSalaam-Alaikum. Namaste, the Spirit in me

salutes the Spirit in you. In whatever language, there are reasons to wish you all well. The end of summer for those who live in the Northern hemisphere; and, the start of the last quarter in the Georgian Calendar usher in the holidays as well as a calming influence on those who are perhaps overcome by summer’s whirl of outdoor exertions. The cool air of autumn soothes

overwrought spirits as if in surrender to nature’s healing hand. New York saw the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year this September and watched it unfold in the holy days of atonement known as Yom Kippur. Meantime, along with a few other cities with residents from India, Jersey City and Queens venues hosted events for the important Hindu festivals of Navaratri that showcased dances called Garba and Dandiya Raas traditionally part of a ritual performed

by both men and women. One of the events held at the Westin Hotel in Newport in Jersey City was soldout weeks before the actual holiday. The Festival of Lights, Diwali follows this October. So what other mini adventures in New York or New Jersey can one embark on this autumn? For History buffs, the Washington Headquarters Museum (WHM) in Morristown, New Jersey is an ideal place as this museum and the considerable property on which it



sits is a lovely place in autumn. The museum exhibits provide an insightful experience that commemorates General Washington’s six-month stay in New Jersey during The American Revolution. The Ford Mansion where Washington actually stayed is next to the museum. The mansion was rented to Washington who used two rooms downstairs as his office and also occupied three rooms on the second floor as living quarters, according to National Park ranger Watts. From this museum, proceed on a short drive to an encampment called Jockey Hollows, just five miles south of the WHM. Washington’s army, which was estimated to have been around thirteen-thousand strong, built huts on these slopes from the winter of December 1779 to June 1780, according officer-on-duty Ranger Watts. To visitors like us, the bivouacs give an air of reality and proximity to the Revolution against the British which was to continue for eight years. Closer to Manhattan and made famous by Hollywood in a Marlon Brando flick “On the Waterfront,” Hoboken, New Jersey is a quick access trip via PATH trains from either Herald Square or from the World Trade Center. Hoboken’s most famous son, however, is Frank Sinatra.

Morris Museum.© Barbasa Archives

An Ocean liner passes the Waterfront. (Photo © JBLThabet)

Blue sky over Hoboken, N.J.


The empire State Building as seen from Hoboken on the 4th of July 2017. (Photos © JBLThabet.2017)

Every year, a Sinatra tribute singer is chosen after a live competition onstage in Hoboken. Alfred Stieglitz, a renowned photographer who married Georgia O’Keefe was also born here. During the two World Wars, Hoboken played a vital role by way of the large dock yards. “Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken” was a muchrepeated phrase that signified hope and safety promised to Americans by Admiral Pershing during World War I. The Erie-Lackawanna railroad route station, which still stands today, was the hub of one of the most significant transportation lines in the Northeast which, at one point, reached: Delaware; the border with Canada; and, Ohio. The station, which is a National Historic Landmark, currently serves as the terminal for the local Light rail system similar to the ones found in Germany, Zurich, and Toronto. It also shares the facility with the PATH trains to Manhattan; and, the New Jersey Transit (NJT) trains that serve trans-state services up to Trenton, N.J. connecting to Pennsylvania; to New York’s Harriman State Park, and to Suffern, both

Books at Symposia Bookstore

in upstate New York. Hoboken’s other significant claim to landmark recognition is the game of Baseball, said to have been invented here. Nowadays, Hoboken is the “it” town for pleasurable dining; for bar-hopping; and, for enjoying an expansive waterfront with a panorama of Manhattan. Behind midnight blue skies, a chiaroscuro confronts leisurely strollers with a feel of a wide screen that is seemingly endless; and by luck, a large moon or a misty Hudson River caps this display of nature at night. At daytime, ocean liners still present an awe-inspiring sight when they pass. A trek uptown to The Hoboken Historical Museum grants a peek into the Hudson River’s links to commerce, baseball, Frank Sinatra, and past wars. Lectures, films and other activities allow families a nice day together. This museum owes its existence to Bob Foster who literally ran the museum alone at its inception. Now a lively showcase with a line-up of activities for kids and as well as adults, the museum shows

posters and photographs of German ocean liners that brought travelers and immigrants to New Jersey and New York and present a window to German immigration. During a casual conversation exchanged between this writer and an old German farmer who lived in the remnant of a farm at a 200-year-old barn in the heart of Salzgitter, Germany, the old farmer bemoaned the loss of most of his friends who all moved to America. The gentleman who has since passed away, emphasized that all his friends left via Bremen. Bremen was one of the points of origin for ocean liners that docked in Hoboken. According to facts shared by the museum, German immigrants once utnumbered the Irish and Italians living in Hoboken. That changed after the great wars. For book bargains and great conversations with local personalities, don’t miss Symposia Bookstore on Washington Street. It is a community treasure thanks to its founders Carmen and Cornell. Hoboken is also all about food. For some up-to-the-minute dining joys, Halifax Restaurant, which mainly

MANILA UP! 23 serves seafood dishes, awaits food hounds at the “W” Hotel facing the waterfront. It is one place where one can wait to witness lovely evenings. It is the pride and Joy of hotel owners, Joe Barry and his sons Joe and David, two of Hoboken’s most successful real estate entrepreneurs. Smoked delicacies are prepared in-house by Chef Seadon Shouse while the operations of the sleek restaurant is seen to by GM Carlos Arteaga. Cue Restaurant, on the other hand, features a barn-like setting and offers heaps of smoked meats by the pound. It packs a large crowd during game nights and features live performances on certain days. It also faces the waterfront. Karma Kafe serves Indian fare that is consistently flavorful and is very popular to locals. The lunch buffet at Karma brings out-of-town visitors to Hoboken.

A casual evening in Hoboken at the W.

Meantime, Biggie’s is one of Hoboken’s Best-kept secret. While there is Happy-hour fare every day, Tuesdays features a Raw Bar event of oysters and clams at great prices. Qdoba Hoboken is a Mexican casual-dining-a-la-cantina that serves moist and tender chopped steaks, pork and chicken. Tutta Pesca is the new guy in town and is very cozy open to BYOW/BYOB arrangements. Havana Kafe offers a tasting of Cuban cuisine. Warm and crunchy empanadas are highlights at the bar.

Halifax at the W Hotel

Sri Thai on Bloomfield serves freshly gathered ingredients in delectable Thai specialties. Bangkok City on Washington Street is a local institution. For pastries, try Old German Bakery for authentic country baked goodies; Choc o Pain French Bakery is on 1st street. Giorgio’s uptown makes the best Italian Lobster tails; and famous DiCarlo’s is right in front of City Hall. Joyous jaunts to all! Cod and shrimp appetiser at Halifax

Clams at Biggie’s

(By Janice B. Lingad-Thabet. All Rights Reserved. 2017).


lag carrier Philippine Airlines unveiled its newest and ‘radical’ ad campaign in the Philippines #FlyTheWayYouDeserve to reinforce ‘brand strengths’ which have given the airline the competitive edge through the years. The advertising campaign encourages smart, practical travelers and commuter-flyers in the country’s regions: Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to tr y and experience PAL’s full-service flights at surprisingly affordable fares. The “Fly the Way You Deserve” campaign’s messaging – translated into powerful visuals covering various phases of the flight – focuses on

PAL’s array of full-service offerings, such as: free baggage allowance (FBA), free snacks and beverage for domestic travels, free hot meals and drinks for international travels, free movies, TV shows and music by way of the myPAL Inflight Entertainment System, comfortable seats to ensure a comfortable and relaxing flight experience, and its dedicated heartfelt service. PAL’s heartfelt service or Buong Pusong Alaga is an integral part of the key message of the campaign thus reinforcing what sets the flag carrier apart from its competitors. The campaign kicks off with an

online video, which pays service to the newly-reconfigured Airbus A330s offering the first-ever triclass experience with state-of-theart facilities. 8 of PAL’s 15 A330s are tri-class and are being used for PAL’s regional routes such as Osaka, Haneda, Narita, Sydney, Melbourne, Honolulu, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.The campaign also highlights the airline’s domestic and international route network driving home the message on connectivity and convenience. PAL Vice President for Marketing Ria Carreon-Domingo said “With this new campaign, we want more Filipino flyers to understand that when they fly PAL, they get more value for their


money. Our overall better and heartfelt service at year-round surprisingly affordable fares will give them a better flying experience.” “For those who have never flown PAL, we encourage you to try us, and experience the difference. You can check out our weekend promo fares, PALmazing Deals online from Friday to Sunday for amazingly low fares,” she adds. March 2016 marked the introduction of the airline’s new service philosophy “Heart of the Filipino. Since then, and up until today, PAL has remained focused on: translating this Brand Equity into a genuine service mantra and introducing service innovations, route network expansion and fleet modernization to add real value to one’s travel experience. All these aim to make the company’s renewed vision of becoming a 5-star full-service airline by 2020 a reality.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista stressed, “We remain fully committed to continuing our brand story of delighting passengers through genuine care, warmth and charm. We want to expand our customer base so more and more travelers can

experience the full-service brand we have built and continue to strengthen to meet the needs of the discerning traveler.” For more information, visit www. or flypal.


Celia Abue with our sponsors, friends and guests

By Grace Aguilar


anila Up International Magazine’s first major collaboration with Occasion had a very successful turn out last September 30, 2017. With only less than two months of preparation time, with a lot of hard work and dedication, this event was brought to reality.

Weng Yap, Norayma, Winwin Winters, Lily Rudick, Sarah Kaur, Miss India, Sonia D Bermejo, Publisher, and Nanshi Ignacio from San Diego Photo Credits: Ramie Dador, Pol Joaquin, Jhenny Evans, Louie Garcia, Reybert Estrada and Tony Garcia

Our purpose and goal was to help raise funds for victims of sex and human trafficking for two of the charities - The Hidden Tears Project and Crystal Lotus. That indeed we did see it through.

MANILA UP! 27 We had great performers for the night from live band April Velasco and The Hearts of Rhythm, singers, Tiffany Nicole Brevard and Lorenzo Caunan, dancers Dee Guevara and Kamil Koruczko, DWTS finalist in Poland, DJs Joel Velasco (Producer and Founder of Occasion Pros), Aljess Bernardo of A8 Creatives, DJ Wilson, Alvin Razon and with only female DJ GG Starr. The highlight of the event was the casual wear collection of Fashion Designer Mul Tayoba with an excellent runway performance of our 10 models; Krystal von Seyfried, Danielle Viray, Alyssa Guevarra, Alana Pines, Gayle Velasco, Princess Queenie Tatlong Hari, Tiffany Nicole Brevard, Jacqueline Hogarth, Miriam Ayala, and Valerie Bonoan. An awesome surprise number from WCOPA’s 2016 Group Dance winner Junior New System, which ended the event with a blast. It was a night of fun, laughter, music, dancing, raffle draws, food tasting, good food, great performances from amazing talents. It was most of all a reunion of old and new friends reminiscing down memory lane gathered, but most especially gathered together for a good cause. In behalf of Manila Up International Magazine and Occasion Pros... Once again, We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to everyone, volunteers, Fashion Designer, Mul Tayoba, Director Geo Sargent, Mel Austin, Lulu Williams, Scott Kurachi, Tony Garcia, Icee Cruz, who took part in making this event a success. Thanks to the photographers; Remie Dador, Pol Joaquin, Reybert Estrada, Louie Garcia and Auspicio Beltran Yan, our very own, Celia Abuel, and most especially to our numerous sponsors. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for

Performer and lead singer of Hearts of Rhythm, April Velasco with group of friends plus one of our sponsors Vinnie Scafidi of Carrington Real Estate and Mortgage

Grace Aguilar with guests

Photographer, Tony Garcia, Celia Abuel, Ariel Abuel, Jhenny Evans and guests


Emcee comedian Mel Austin, co-emcee Lulu Williams of Rising Stars Music and Performing Arts, Producer DJ Joel Velasco of Occasion Pros

Singing and playing the harp is beautiful, talented singer, composer and very active supporter of human trafficking, Tiffany Nicole Brevard

their belief and trust in us. Hoping and looking forward to another successful celebration of Manila Up! International Magazine’s 2nd year anniversary on December 17, 2017. We would like to invite everyone for another fun filled and exciting event to end the year 2017 with a memorable addition to the magazine’s list of accomplishments. Praying and hoping for many more good years to come in the new year 2018.

Performing their sexy couple’s dance number, Dee Guevara with Poland’s handsome DWTS star Kamil Kuroczko





xperience always informs us and shapes what we eventually do as part of working through life’s challenges. Jeanette Bocobo Marco, the woman behind the Foundation did exactly just that. Herself a victim of domestic violence from what could have been a near fatal encounter as a result of that, she has now sublimated the experience through concerted efforts with other individuals by creating this initiative. The victims now can have the tools to reclaim their lives shattered by the abuse, in ways that are protective, affirmative and corrective. A number of these individuals who comprise the Board have voluntarily provided their expertise in building the framework: Atty. Nick Caraquel, in defining the legal aspects of the organization and its not-for-profit functions; the grassroots campaign and experiences in public service (his residency in Arkansas and work with the Federal government) gives Joshua Ang Price, a community activist, this edge; and the entrepreneurial leadership of a woman in the face of Bella Owen, Founder of Bella Skin, Inc. The core group is no less diverse. Peter Marco is its

Chief Finance Officer, himself having a long stint in pop art, filmmaking and writing as well as philanthropy. He uses art as a tool in spreading the advocacy. Another film maker and art photographer with a New York Film Academy background, Paula Morandarte, owner of Galatians Media, and the Foundation’s Secretary, uses these media to advocate for these victims. Its Vice President, Luis Pedron, Co-Founder and festival

Director of International Film Festival Manhattan, currently utilizes film in bringing domestic violence front and center in the conversation. It is not coincidental that during the official launching of Basilia on September 14th at the Producers’ Club in Hell’s Kitchen, that Mr. Ramon Roxas, producer of Sikreto sa Dilim,of RM8 Films Movie Productions, was there. Directed by Mike Magat, it touches on domestic violence as it affects family and children in a larger

MANILA UP! 31 societal context. Ralph Maverick Roxas stars with support from Carlo Cepeda, Lovely Rivero, Akihiro Blanco, Diane Medina, Kikay and Mikay, among others. It is going to be screened during the festival which starts on October 19-23rd. The Consul General of New York, Ma. Theresa de Vega opened the program through inspirational statements emphasizing the challenges of growing pains and the need for contouring support. Dr. Romulo Aromin, Basilia’s Global Adviser, a psychiatrist in practice for more than two decades with experiences in residency training, academia and academic psychiatry, provided a short lecture on the current climate of domestic violence in the Philippines. He provided staggering data on violence reaching public health proportions. “For women ages 15-49, 1 in 5 since age 15 had experienced physical violence. One in twenty five

Community Leaders with Congen Tess Dizon De Vega

had forced first sexual intercourse. Four per cent experienced physical violence during pregnancy. Spousal violence includes 1 in 7 being physical and about 8 percent experienced sexual violence”. He also presented that while infrastructures (Women and Child Protection Units as run by the Department of Health), mandated by Republic Act (RA) 9262, the AntiViolence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, are in place, attitudinal shifts in the community, legal system (male judges), law enforcers, still need to improve when it comes to providing gender sensitive services to abused women and their children. Carol Tanjutco, JD, another Global Adviser, provides criminal court litigation experience into the table as she affirms educational outreach as the first step. Prof. Alfonso “Monsi” Serrano, a business and political analyst, of The Philippine Business and News, also serves as a Global Adviser.

Dr. Chitra Raghavan, Deputy Director of MA in Forensic Mental Health at John Jay College of criminal Justice also talked on the implications of violence in the society. Other global advocates comprise of women who are leaders and achievers themselves. Fateena Qasem, Managing Director at Life Hotel and Social Media Guru of GAM Hospitality; Carolyn Joyce Penalosa, global and local community activist; Fermira Diane Ramos, current reigning Miss RP; and a 14 year old Miss Tourism International Junior Teen, Emily Concepcion. Another global advocate, Ashley Lavilla, has recently graduated cum laude in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College. She also heads Ninuno Travel and Tourism Consulting and Safety Net Founding Inc., and Director of Junior Chamber International Philippine-New York. JCI adopted the foundation by providing support

32 MANILA UP! to start up Basilia’s shelter program. Aside from providing a safe haven, the shelter provides the space with which the victims are assisted in starting a new life through accessing permanent housing (case management), planning for their safety, learning skills to break the vicious cycle of abusive relationships and understanding and moving beyond the abuse and living reclaimed lives (counseling and workshop). As of this writing, the plans for building the shelter in the Philippines is under way. With the foundation named after Ms. Marco’s grandmother, who also reared her, the shelter will be built in Tarlac, her home province. As she quips, “Siya and nagturosa aking lumaban at maging matatag sa buhay (She was the one who taught me to fight and be strong in life)”. Architect Louie Dy, of Architectural Design Services provided his complementary services in the design and planning of the building. Projected opening is in January 2018.

Producer of Sikreto Sa Dilim (an advocacy film on Domestic Violence Mr. Ramon Roxas, Ms. Imogene Raypon and Dr. Romulo Aromin Jr

The website provides access to emergency services both in New York (7182549134; and US: 800799 SAFE [7233]) as well as for those living in the Philippines, with Basilia’s 24 hour hotline. Donations are accepted through the Foundation’s website: www. donate-now/. Further, clothes, goods, books and household items are likewise welcome.

Dir. Allen Cuyugan, Maurice Flores and Dr. Romulo Aromin Jr. Guest Speaker and Global Adviser of the Basilia Womens Foundation




ngry Eminem is back. In his freestyle for the 2017 BET Awards, the Detroit rap legend unleashed his great disdain for President Donald Trump. The four minute freestyle, titled the Storm, is a constant stream of bars on top of bars, all delivered with Eminem channeling his early battle-rap days The topics brought up in the video range from the recent NFL protests to the Puerto Rico crisis. He ends the freestyle with his fist up, telling the president to watch out. On a technical level, the Storm wasn’t Eminem’s strongest performance. Many of the lines came off too broad to be edgy, and his body language time to time was rather ‘over the top’. Some may even call this his latest attempt at become relevant again. I, however, happened to think that all this doesn’t really matter. Upon viewing and analyzing this cypher, what matters the most is where Eminem stands in popular culture, and what this means to the constant struggle against the current regime.

Photo Source: watch-one-thing-today-eminem-video/

Eminem is undeniably the most well known hip hop artist alive. His discography is a record-breaker after record-breaker, and his influence in music and pop culture in general is too big to comprehend. There certainly are other rap artists of his caliber, most notably Jay Z, Diddy, and Dr. Dre, who compete Eminem in terms of career, cultural influence, and social impacts they can conjure. All of those artists have expressed their disrespect for the current president in one way or another. Jay Z has repeatedly called Trump “laughable”, and Diddy has encouraged NFL players to stand up against the president. Eminem’s message, however, was told through rhyming. Hip hop and politics go hand and hand, it’s been a tradition since the birth of rap. Eminem certainly isn’t the first one to take shots at President Trump. Donald Trump’s name has been brought up in songs far before his presidency even begun. During

the campaigning, rappers YG and Nipsey Hussle dropped their smash hit “F Donald Trump”. On a pure lyrical level of insults and anger, “F Donald Trump” has a lot more raw energy than Eminem’s freestyle. However, the argument ultimately comes down to Eminem’s position in popular culture. It’s like Beyonce dropping a whole dance anthem against Muslim travel ban, or Steven Spielberg making a movie entirely dedicated to the cruel actions taken by ICE agents. Eminem has become a figure so essential and iconic in modern pop culture. What we’re seeing right now is a living icon using his artistic platform to voice his concerns and opinions against prejudice. You may think that the freestyle was amazing or underwhelming, and I encourage this opposing discussion when viewing a piece of art. However, no matter what you thought about this freestyle, we can all agree on one thing- Trump can’t ignore these voices anymore.


Actress Abigail Spencer of NBC’s Timeless; Mike Fisher, Vice President of Revenue, CONDÉ NAST; Born Free USA Board Chairman Sean Cassidy; Frank Valentini, Executive Producer and Director of General Hospital and event host committee member; and Prashant Khetan, Born Free USA CEO and General Counsel.



orn Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, brought its unique message of Compassionate Conservation to an audience of Hollywood stars and animal lovers at its late September

benefit at the Palihouse West Hollywood, exceeding fundraising goals by raising more than six figures in donations. In addition to several high profile television executives and Born Free supporters, notable Hollywood actors Katie Cleary, Edward Holcroft and

Abigail Spencer attended the benefit to hear about and support the charity’s work to end cruelty to wild animals – in captivity and in their natural habitat – and to keep wildlife in the wild. “These are tough times for wild animals, both here in the United States and around the world,” said Prashant

MANILA UP! 35 K. Khetan, CEO and general counsel of Born Free USA. “Captive animal abuse, trapping, the brutal killing of animals for their fur, and the international trade in wild animal parts, such as ivory, that threatens to drive species to the brink – these are all issues that Born Free USA tackles on a daily basis. And yet, at the event, so many guests stepped up to become partners with Born Free in this fight we are truly humbled and moved.” The money raised at the event will go towards animal care at Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary in Texas, the largest in the country, as well as support the charity’s collaborative efforts with local anti-trapping and anti-fur groups to change laws at the state level. The event’s keynote speaker, Will Travers, son of the stars of the classic wildlife movie Born Free, explained why the success of the evening was so important: “Running a nearly 200 acre Primate Sanctuary with nearly 600 residents – confiscated animals, primates that have been voluntarily surrendered by labs, donated ‘pets’ – is a massive undertaking. Food, maintenance, new enclosures and our dedicated care team cannot be paid for without the generous support of our friends and partners. The money also will allow us to take our campaign work, aimed at ending the keeping the wild animals as ‘pets’ to the next level.” According to Khetan, Born Free USA plans to make this an annual event in Los Angeles, and is exploring future events in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. For those who would like to support Born Free USA and make a donation, visit WildlifeDonation.

Photo Source: Born Free USA Facebook Page

Born Free believes that every individual animal matters. Inspired by the Academy Award®-winning film “Born Free,” we work locally, nationally and internationally on the conservation frontlines, in communities, classrooms, courtrooms and the halls of Congress, to end wild animal cruelty and suffering, and protect threatened wildlife. Born Free USA also operates one of the country’s largest wildlife sanctuaries, which provides a permanent home for 600 primates. Many are retired from research facilities, some rescued from inhumane conditions at circuses, zoos and private ownership. They have often endured a lifetime of abuse, neglect and cruelty. But at our sanctuary in Dilley, Texas, they are safe and live free. Launched in 2002, Born Free USA is inspired by Virginia McKenna and her (late) husband Bill Travers, who, along with their son, Will, founded The Born Free Foundation (UK) in 1984. Their experience in Kenya filming the classic 1966 Academy Award®-winning film “Born Free,” the story of Joy and George Adamson’s fight to successfully return Elsa the lioness to a wild and free life, launched the couple’s Compassionate Conservation movement, aimed at keeping wildlife in the wild. This movement continues to motivate millions of followers and activists across the globe. In 2007, Born Free USA merged with the Animal Protection Institute. More at,, and


reading about this hidden paradise. The island boasts crystal clear waters, incredible beaches, wonderful people and amazing food. It is surprising that Palawan is just getting all this attention now, despite the province’s extraordinary beaches and hiking and diving spots. It was once named one of the best islands in the world by National Geographic Traveler. This is not the first time Palawan was in the limelight. The province received the coveted No.1 spot in 2013. A recognition that isn’t far-fetched.

Photo Source:


’ve been to so many places. Stories about my international exploits occupy a significant amount of coverage in my column. Traveling soothes my soul and makes me appreciate life. It causes me to discover the beauty in any city, town or island that I’ve been. Such was my goal when I read that Palawan was voted the best island in the world by readers of a leading travel magazine. Palawan claimed the top spot with over 76,000 votes in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards


for 2015. Votes attributed primarily to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, which is one of the top natural wonders of the world. At nearly five miles in length, it is the longest underground river in Asia and the second longest in the world. Visitors on guided boat tours travel through a subterranean cave system featuring large chambers, stalactites and stalagmites. I have never been to Palawan but I’ve always wanted to go. I began

There, beautiful blue water mixes with emerald green, jungle-filled mountains that appear to rise up from the ocean, and small fishing villages dot the island. Visitors are greeted with mountains rising out of impossibly turquoise waters, where shipwrecks and reefs make for prime scuba diving and snorkeling. “Palawan is every beach lover’s dream destination,” said one voter, who regarded it as a “wonderful and magical place.” It is home to one of the most amazing locations for snorkeling and diving. A popular spot for undersea adventures called the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is the province’s second UNESCO World Heritage Site. Described as “the last frontier,” Palawan has artifacts that date back 50,000 years. The island is accessible

MANILA UP! 37 by either boat or airplane — it’s about an hour and a half by air from Manila— although you can also get there from Iloilo and Cebu. Many say the ideal time to head to Palawan is between October and May. Prepare yourself because a load of outdoor activities awaits you. Go island-hopping around the Bacuit archipelago for the cliffs, sinkholes and lagoons. Scuba diving — we suggest Coron Bay as the bottom of it is the best spot to scuba dive — or venture to Puerto Princesa for its culinary delights and stay in one of Coron’s luxury hotels. Do not be surprised to see some incredible (and rare) wildlife around the islands. Purple crabs, Philippine mouse-deer, Philippine pangolin and beautiful butterflies are just a few of the amazing creatures you’ll find in this place. Just be sure to avoid the creepy-looking Palawan bearcat at night.

Photo Source:

Nature has its way of making us swoon. And if you’re like me who would travel to the ends of the world to experience nature at its finest, I definitely suggest putting Palawan on your bucket list. It has always been on mine, along with Bohol and Boracay, both of which I visited when I went back to the Philippines. After having explored Rome, Spain and Italy this year, I decided that my next trip would be more of a “back to basics” type of exploration. As a yearly tradition when I go to the Philippines, I wanted to check out what our country is known for: our world-class islands and amazing beaches.

Photo Source:

I feel so proud of the recognition that Palawan received and not because it is undeserving — quite the opposite, actually. It is such a great feeling knowing that our islands are among those that the world think about when they need to be out there and experience what crystal clear waters can do to your soul. Palawan indeed has so much to offer. I would say congratulations are in order but I have a better idea — one that involves spelling “congratulations” with a diving gear on. Stay tuned for my very own “National Geographic” adventure on paper.

Photo Source:



his year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th Anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations. Fifty years ago, the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - sat down together in Bangkok, Thailand and signed a document to promote regional peace and stability and to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in Southeast Asia. Now, it has ten member countries from Southeast Asia comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This event, co-organized by the Network of Myanmar American Association (NetMAA) and the ASEAN People’s Association (ASEAN PAC), will bring together people from not just the member countries, but those from many corners of the world and showcase the economic prosperity, social and cultural developments through the event will go to further strengthening these developments through the new Cultural Center of ASEAN People’s Association in Los Angeles. Photos by: PaparazzCEL


L-R: Aung M. Naing (Gala Co-Chair), Hon. Adelio Angelito S. Cruz (Consul General of The Philippines), Amb. Nina Hachigian (Former U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN), HRH Tengku Amir Shah (The Crown Prince of Selangor, Malaysia), H.E. Dr. AKP Mochtan (Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN) and Nellsen Young (Gala Co-Chair & President of ASEAN People’s Association of Los Angeles).

L-R: H.E. Dato’ Serbini Ali (Ambassador of Brunei), Hon. Kim Chha Hout (Honorary Consul General of Cambodia), Consul Pendekar Sondakh (Consulate General of Indonesia), H.E. Mai Sayavongs (Ambassador of LAOS), Hon. Raja Saifful Ridzuwan (Consul General of Malaysia), H.E. Aung Lynn (Ambassador of Myanmar), Hon. Adelio Angelito S. Cruz (Consul General of The Philippines), Ms. Kershing Goh (Regional Director, Singapore Tourism Board), Consul LT. Gunpirom Vichathorn (Royal Thai Consulate) and H.E. Pham Quang Vinh (Ambassador of Vietnam).


Standing Row: L-R: Hon. Ho Xuan Son (Consul General of Vietnam), H.E. Dato’ Serbini Ali (Ambassador of Brunei), Hon. Kim Chha Hout (Honorary Consul General of Cambodia), Consul Pendekar Sondakh (Consulate General of Indonesia), H.E. Mai Sayavongs (Ambassador of LAOS), Hon. Raja Saifful Ridzuwan (Consul General of Malaysia), H.E. Aung Lynn (Ambassador of Myanmar), Hon. Adelio Angelito S. Cruz (Consul General of The Philippines), Ms. Kershing Goh (Regional Director, Singapore Tourism Board), Consul LT. Gunpirom Vichathorn (Royal Thai Consulate), H.E. Pham Quang Vinh (Ambassador of Vietnam) and, Hon. Aung Soe Win (Consul General of Myanmar). Seating Row: L-R: Fabian B. Pascoal (Trustee), Dato’ Bobo Ng (Trustee), Nellsen Young (President, ASEAN People’s Association of Los Angeles), HRH Tengku Amir Shah (The Crown Prince of Selangor, Malaysia), Dato’ Rossana Kong (Trustee), Aung M. Naing (VP, ASEAN People’s Association of Los Angeles), William Chu (CFO, Singpoli Group) and H.E. Dr. AKP Mochtan (Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN).

Prince of Selangor, Malaysia, HRH Tengku Amir shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Nellsen Young

Guests from various consulates


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“Nandun ako sa second floor ng apartment na tinitirahan ko. On the day the hurricane hit, I saw giant tornadoes whirling outside the streets. Then it hit the building where I was staying. Our concrete apartment, a hurricane-proof building, was shaking so strong as if there was an earthquake. The winds banged and eventually broke the glass windows around my room. Good thing I was not hurt. Nagtago ako sa sofa at mga cabinet,” relates Pierre of that dreadful day. “Devastated ang island. The economy is down as the territory relies heavily on tourism. No job, no power, no water. Safety was also a concern as people started looting,” added Pierre who was able to save only a backpack of clothes after the hurricane.

These words resonated at the arrival area of NAIA Terminal 2 last September 20 as more than 100 distressed overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) deplaned from a Philippine Airlines Airbus A340 jet that repatriated them from the Caribbean Sea islands that were hard hit by Hurricane Irma, the most catastrophic storm in the Atlantic since 2005.

Pierre John Capistrano, a native of Talisay, Cebu who worked as a nurse in Anguilla in the Caribbean, is one of the repatriates who was welcomed by the government and PAL officials at the terminal. Clad in gray walking shorts and a black round-collar shirt, Pierre was teary eyed as he related the story of how Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the island paradise.

Pierre, who has only been working on the island for a year, was grateful for the immediate arrival of the PAL repatriation flight that was arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs through the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC. “Wala akong masabi sa mabilis na tulong na ipinaabot sa amin ng gobyerno natin. It was service with a heart. Makikita mo na hindi lang sila tumutulong dahil trabaho nila but they were helping because they were sincerely concerned for us.” He shared how overjoyed he was upon seeing the PAL plane on the tarmac of the Luis Munoz Marin airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He felt that he was already home. “Nung nakita ko yung buntot ng eroplano

MANILA UP! 43 ng PAL sa Puerto Rico airport I felt relieved kasi I know I am going home na talaga.” “This is it!” sabi ko. Naisip ko agad ang pamilya ko. Lalu na nung nakita ko ang mga PAL crew, feeling ko parang nasa Pilipinas na ako! Masarap ang feeling nung binati kami ng mga flight attendants. Kinausap nila kami at kinumusta. Nakinig sila sa mga kwento namin. Binigay nila lahat – food, blanket, etc. para maging komportable kami. It was a very smooth 13.5 hour flight. Wala kaming masabi. Naramdaman namin nang sobra ang pagmamahal ng mga kababayan natin. Para sa akin, iyon ang importante kasi sa island kanya-kanya ang buhay namin doon,’’ shares Pierre. Joel Natividad, who worked in a hospitality business in Sint Maarten for 20 years, also shared his experience of Hurricane Irma. Joel was with his whole family when the hurricane hit. Fortunately, their house remained intact and Joel was able to help his Filipino kababayans who lost their homes and properties. “Nung tumama yung hurricane, na-witness ko how an island so beautiful was ravaged in a span of a few hours. Good thing I and my family were safe. The first thing I did was to help our kababayans whose houses were devastated.” Witnessing chaos and devastation in the island, Joel immediately decided to sign up for repatriation. “Nakakatuwa isipin na hindi kami pinabayaan ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas. Hindi nila kami kinalimutan kahit nasa abroad kami. Nagpapasalamat kami sa tulong. Malaking tulong ito sa panibago naming simula. Babangon at babangon kami kahit anong mangyari, kahit anong dagok pa ng buhay,” he relates.

Two days after Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean islands including, Anguilla (UK), Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands (UK), Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy (France), Sint Maarten (Netherlands), Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), U. S. Virgin Islands, United States and other unknown islands, the Philippine government immediately launched assistance for the Filipinos trapped in the Caribbean. The aid came in two forms-folds – distribution of relief goods to the survivors and repatriation of our kababayans who wanted to fly home. According to Consul Katrina Borja-Martin, secretariat head of the crisis management team, the government immediately launched the repatriation effort as many of our kababayans asked for it. “They wrote to the government to help them immediately fly home as situation in the islands was bad,” she states. Consul Borja said it was a very challenging task but was thankful as the spirit of bayanihan prevailed. The repatriation team encountered various

obstacles along the way including the complex logistics involved in traveling to the hurricane-hit islands where most of the ports were destroyed. They had to deal with not just one country, as the repatriates were assigned in territories of various nations. One major challenge was visa requirements. Many of the repatriates do not have US visas, which are required for a visit to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the converging point of the repatriates and the only airport remaining operational in the Caribbean. “The DFA had to work it out with the US government to allow our kababayans entry to Puerto Rico without visa. It was a tough negotiation. Good thing they were given a ‘port parole’ for humanitarian reasons in a few days and finally allowed entry to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the flight back home via San Francisco on PAL PR 8115,” relates Borja on how her team was able to bring home the 136 Filipinos composed of 129 adults and 7 infants. The government is also providing livelihood assistance to the repatriates to help them start their lives again. According to Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

44 MANILA UP! PAL, since its inception, has been the nation’s partner in times of crises. In Dec. 1941, barely in its one year of existence, PAL was drafted into the Phil. Army Air Corps, the forerunner of the Philippine Air Force. PAL American pilots flew from Aparri to Jolo carrying allied forces officers, payrolls, medicine and other urgently needed supplies. After World War II, PAL helped rebuild the nation from ashes with missionary flights to various remote islands in Mindanao.

Chief Hans Leo Cacdac, OWWA is providing economic and psychosocial assistance consisting of planning for sustenance initiatives or community-based revenue producing undertakings, skills training and finance facilitation, providing credit, counselling, stress debriefing and many others. Cacdac thanked PAL as the airline has always been the government’s partner in saving our kababayans abroad. “Aside from the quality service that PAL delivers, bihasa na sila sa repatriation with decades of partnership with the government,” he says. For Airbus A340 Chief Pilot Capt. Emmanuel ‘Butch’ Generoso, who led the flight crew in the repatriation, accepting these missions is priceless and rewarding. “I can do all repatriation flights even if you do not pay me. It is a rewarding experience saving the lives of our heroes!” he exclaims. He recalls an emotional encounter when he saw a group of Filipino passengers at the Puerto Rico departure area waving at him and the

rest of the crew. “They could not believe that they were finally flying home until they saw the PAL crew in uniform. I saw faces of relief. I gave them further reassurance and reiterated to them ‘iuuwi namin kayong lahat kahit anong mangyari’. Tears rolled down their cheeks as they thanked us for being there.” There were challenges along the way: including an agonizingly slow trickle boarding process in the San Juan airport, as there were no people manning the terminal, and a cargo door that took time to close. Worse, they had to fly out immediately as another super hurricane was fast approaching. With everyone’s cooperation, including the heroic efforts of the Philippine government and the support team of PAL ground personnel in Manila and San Francisco, PR8115 finally took off from San Juan mere hours before Hurricane Maria arrived to crush Puerto Rico. After a long journey across the Western Atlantic, the continental U.S. and the Pacific Ocean, the repatriation flight landed in Manila, and our kababayans were safely home.

In 1980, PAL was called upon to evacuate OFWs from Amman and Kuwait following the outbreak of war between Iran and Iraq. Five flights brought some 1,100 workers home. One of the biggest repatriations it conducted was during the Gulf War in 1990 where PAL evacuated more than 10,000 OFWs from the Middle East on board 30 flights. It was the largest of its kind in PAL history. In 1990, the airline evacuated refugees from Baguio after a killer quake struck the city. In 2013, PAL, through the airline’s corporate social responsibility arm, PAL Foundation, flew more than 300 tons of cargo and thousands of rescue personnel to Tacloban to provide aid to Typhoon Yolanda victims. It also carried rescue and relief aid to Bohol after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the province in the same year. Also in 2013, PAL flew about 30 orphaned Muslim children from Cagayan to Manila after the Zamboanga siege. “For more than seven decades, Philippine Airlines has been the wings of a nation, playing its part to airlift Filipinos in times of armed conflict and calamities. We remain committed to this role – serve our kababayans in times of need so they can rebuild their lives,” said PAL President Jaime J. Bautista.


Bogacz, Mrs. Diversity USA received a new sash which was placed on her by special guests Teyanah Sanders (Junior Miss Universal City 2017) and Deanara Aragon (Miss Pre Teen Universal City 2017). Then they re-crowned 2016 Diversity Pageants Mrs. Diversity News 1st Runner-Ups, Silvia E. Garcia from Mexico and Miss Diversity News, Janey Nalinchaiyasit, from Thailand.

Diversity Pageants USA 2016 - 2017 Royal Court Queens, Marie Bogacz, Silvia E. Garcia, Janey Nalinchaiyasit


iversity News Productions announced that their 2017 Diversity Pageants USA New Queens Re-Crowning, Fashion Shows and Red Carpet event was a success! Janey Nalinchaiyasit was crowned Miss Diversity News USA 2016/2017 and Silvia E. Garcia as Mrs Diversity News USA 2016/2017. 2017 Diversity Pageants USA New Queens Re-Crowning, Fashion Shows and Red Carpet Event was held on August 26, 2017 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM in SAS Movie Studios located at 501 S. Avenue 17, in Los Angeles, California. The event featured two red carpet arrivals, two live performances and three fashion shows. The live performers were the lovable and legendary Singer/ Performer Linda England and Singer-Songwriter/Actor/Recording

Artist, Songwriting Shane. The three fashion shows designers featured on the runway were: Celebrity Fashion Designer, Ammar Rhaima, from Ammar’s Tailoring and Celebrity Make Up and Sylist, Fashion/ Graphic Designer, Gabriel Escamilla from Fashion/Mask Designs. Diversity Pageants USA Queen Marie Bogacz, Mrs. Diversity Pageants USA who is a fashion designer also from her own brand of MB Style Collections. Steven Escobar, Founder, CEO, President and Executive Producer of Diversity Pageants USA formerly known as Diversity Pageants introduced Diversity Pageants USA 2016/2017 Royal Court. Marie Bogacz, Mrs. Diversity USA 2016/2017, Janey Nalinchaiyasit, Miss Diversity News USA 2016/2017 and Silvia E. Garcia, Mrs. Diversity News USA 2016/2017. During the event, Queen Marie

Sponsors were: Hollywood Actor’s Showcase, SAS Movie Studios, World Wide Vital Marketing & Public Relations, Diversity News Magazine Awards, Skincare Treatment by Galina Capanni, South Main Rejuvenation Institute, Bob Delgadillo Photography, Maxx Promos by Mutch Carino, Diversity News Magazine, Diversity News Television, Diversity News Radio, Miss Diversity News Beauty Pageants Magazine, Diversity News Publications, Party By 5, GOT Anchored Online Magazine, Manila Up! International Magazine, Ammar’s Tailoring, MB Style Collections, Gabriel Escamilla Fashion/Mask Designs, Dalila Landeros, Disenadora de Moda, SG Promotions, Tsingtao Beer, Cheesecake De Granger, Doris Kitchen Restaurant, Elevation Bar and Lounge. Steven Escobar thanked Linda England, singer-songwriter/actor/ recording artist, Songwriting Shane, actress, model and Queen Marie Bogacz, Mrs. Diversity USA, actress and host, Thushari Jayasekera, Kyron Jones, Eddie Perez, Enriqueta M. Briones, Claudia Perez, Jacob Prieto, Danielle Pereira, Linda Satloff Krongold, Arthur Bukujian, and Alex Leon.

46 MANILA UP! After learning of such events, I often think of what would cause such a tragic event. Of course, terrorism comes to mind first, but what about the “homegrown” situations? My husband vocally pondered upon the idea that these things didn’t happen with such deadly frequency a decade or two ago. I asked him to elaborate on his thoughts. He brought up the pharmaceutical industry and their unrelenting flooding of airwaves and more recently, the digital and internet deluge of instant or miracle cures via an unassuming pill one can pop down the proverbial hatch daily to cure a multitude of age old and “invented” ailments. Does your leg twitch? Do you feel tired, anxious, nervous, depressed, jolly, angry, lonely, claustrophobic, tall, short, fat, skinny... you get the picture. Please excuse me for sounding obtuse regarding medicinal use for genuine diseases and/or chronic ailments. I understand there are multitudes of justified prescriptions being filled every day. LAS VEGAS

unday, October 1st, 2017 will be a day to remember for decades to come. A day of sadness, untold loss, anger, fear, helplessness, and perhaps a litany of other unforgettable emotions. I happened to be at a concert, myself. More specifically, on stage performing a faithful rendition of our National Anthem as part of the opening act.

As our Las Vegas community continually reflects on that fateful and tragic evening, many of us wonder how this can possibly happen, how an individual can act in such an inhumane and evil way. What could have taken over the mind of a fellow human being? Could this have been prevented? Could this atrocity happen again next year? Next week? Tomorrow? Scary, isn’t it?

He seems to question the quick availability to readily “cure” a child’s perceived inability to sit still and pay some attention at school. They take away football, tag, dodgeball, etc. at recess because of greedy lawyers ready to sue our schools for a scrape or broken bone. Thereon lies the problem, how can a little boy full of energy sit still and write poems all day while his energy reserves are nowhere even close of being tapped, much less depleted? Many of us already know the answer... what do


VEGAS VIBES By Esmeralda Padilla-Gould

the pharmaceutical companies call the lack of available attention one can give at any particular moment? Let’s see... how about something that sounds like a disorder... hmm. You get the picture. What happens to the chemical makeup of the synaptic fluids in the brain? Perhaps the fluids are altered a bit to create a more relaxed individual who magically sits and “obeys”. Problem solved! Or is it? What may happen when an individual is suddenly taken off these zombie inducing drugs? Do you think there’s a chance the person may not be himself? Or maybe do something that those of us not on these pharmaceuticals, may deem crazy? Like shoot up a school, a restaurant or night club, or perhaps set up a perch a few hundred feet up, looking down at a couple thousand people with several thousand rounds to fire off. I implore the public at large to do themselves a favor and look into this epidemic, do a bit of homework on this subject. How readily available were these magical concoctions in a pill a decade or two ago? Is this starting to come together and make sense? After all these horrific happenings, some good can be wrought from

all this. I’ve noticed our Las Vegas community come together in a profound and extraordinary way. Complete strangers rising to the challenge and donating liters upon liters of blood, while others set up GoFundMe, Crowdfunding, etc. accounts to aid victims financially. Others provide free rides, transportation services, temporary free room and board, and many other selfless activities set up for those in need due to this terrible local crisis. My husband and I are quite proud of how the Las Vegas locals stepped up to the plate and made

good things happen. Perhaps the media should report on the fact that our community has shown complete color-blindness and racial harmony during this unsettling time. I haven’t heard nor witnessed anyone checking the color of the injured or fallen’s skin before administering aid or lending themselves in harms way to help another, for all the blood we have seen, spilled or donated was all certainly the same exact color. Las Vegas stands united and our community proud for the heartache we’ve shared and the healing we have come together for.









PROVERBS 31 WOMEN By Jhoanna de Guzman

am approaching my mid-twenties and everything seems to be so fast. Life gets busy. Everything is fast-paced. One thing I noticed in this season of life is that, as I get busier and busier, it also gets harder and harder to look at life in a bird’s eye view. As we get bombarded by errands and young adult responsibilities, we tend to forget what really matters in life. As Dolly Parton says, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” The precious life that God has given us. The bible also mentioned that, “So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” But with all these things.. - We transfer places - We gain responsibilities - We change careers - We lose jobs and position - We travel - We fell in love - We gain friends - Friends get married - We miss opportunities - Friends and family dies - We try to figure out our paths - We aim to have “stuff ” - We separate from the protection

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of our families The list goes on and on. I myself confess that amidst all of this, I get so overwhelmed to the point where my chest hurts. It sounds absurd, but really, there are moments when I just knew that I have to slow down a little bit, take a pause, have a break and do what’s most important, to pray. It came to a point in my life that as I pray, I suddenly wonder, where is God through all of this? Am I letting the days pass without Him? Since when haven’t I noticed that he is absent in my life most of the time? But wait, is God really away or am I just not reaching out? To my fellow millennials, I just

want to share this passage with you. Mark 6:31 says, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to [His disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” It is difficult, for us to hear God’s still, quiet voice over the roar of the 21st century crowds. But just like Jesus, we must make time to rest and hear from our Lord. Life happens but it’s not too late to remember God. Let’s not make Satan win because all he wants is for us to be overworked, overstressed, and spiritually undernourished. But God, He wants to give us rest. Let’s not get too busy that we let life pass without hearing from Him.


By Gilda Pineda Dionela


very November, Roman Catholic and the Anglican Churches celebrate two very special occasions; All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day. In the Philippines it’s one of the most important holidays, as it’s the day designated to celebrate a feast in remembering and honouring All Saints who were not given a specific day of feast. The celebration became official

with Pope Boniface IV on May 13 in 609 AD. It was changed to November 1 by Pope Gregory III in 731-741. It’s the time when people all over the country return to their town or village to lay flowers and offer candles on the graves of deceased relatives. Most of the time, it’s when relatives gather together to remember their loved ones who passed away and reunite with old mates from their childhood. It serves as a mini reunion of family and school mates in the cemetery.

Some are praying for the souls of their loved ones who departed from earth. Our loved ones who went home before us are the ones praying for us to make the right decision while on earth. After our life on earth, we cannot alter the choices we’ve made. Take a look at the story of the rich man and beggar Lazarus. When Lazarus died, the angels carried him into Abraham’s side and when the

MANILA UP! 53 rich man died he was buried and tormented in hell. What determines whether we are going to heaven or hell is our faith, not our material possession. By grace of God through faith can secure us a place in heaven. Once we are saved, then good works shall flow out from our hearts. The rich man didn’t want his five brothers to be in a place where he was, he wanted to warn them through Lazarus. Abraham said it’s not possible. Those living on earth have Moses and the prophets, the spiritual leaders of the true Living God, to listen to. If they don’t listen to them, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. This story describes two different states of human being; while on earth and after their time on earth. There is no in between where you can change the destiny of the departed loved ones, not even through prayers. It’s good to solemnly gather with our family and friends in remembrance of our loved ones on All Saints Day, but the living should remember to pray for themselves too. There is only one way, Jesus. Because God is holy, we are not we cannot approach the Father directly without Jesus mediating for us. Neither the saints, bishops, priests, nor the Pope could mediate us to the Father. There’s no wrong in respecting our spiritual fathers, but don’t give them the burden which Jesus carried for us 2000 years ago. Only then can we be sure that we’ll meet our loved ones once again in a good place.

Before every November 1, there’s always October 31. In ancient British Isles, they celebrated October 31

as All Hallows Eve. It was a feast of harvest. When the Celtics became Christian, they merged the festival of harvest with Christian ideology. All Hallows Eve means “holy evening”. The night was spent by people praying, singing hymns, fasting and reading various scriptures in preparation of the following two important days of remembering and honouring all saints and departed loved ones, the All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Scary costumes were worn that night to drive the evil spirits away, and people gathered around churches. That’s the reason Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of the church on October 31, 1517- he knew that night would gather many people around the church. Even with the separation of Roman Catholic and Protestants, they still united in celebration of All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All

54 MANILA UP! Souls Day. During the time of my grandparents and my parents’ people in the Philippines, people cooked special delicacies and sang from house to house on the night of October 31, quite similar to All Hallows Eve. Now, the tradition has diminished to say the least. Today, there is no Christian group that I know who celebrate All Hallows Eve. There might be special nights when some Christian groups pray, fast, sing hymns, and read the scripture but what a great impact and power would it be if it was done by the body of Christ at one time. During the times of our forefathers, the Church or the body of Christ was powerful and influential to the world, not the other way around. All Hallows Eve was given a secular name, Halloween, by those who wished to avoid religious observance of the day. During All Hallows Eve people wore costumes to drive away the evil spirits. Now people wear costumes of the evil spirits themselves. This is not a scholarly or theological work. I am just giving information on why people observe the occasion such as Halloween. I am no expert but an ordinary believer of Jesus Christ just like many of the Filipino readers in diaspora. So here I ask, what happened? Why is “All Hallows Eve” gone and Halloween here? After the Reformation, there was a big divide and religious upheaval. The Age of Secularism and Pluralism started during the 16th century. While some of those confused observers didn’t know which side to take between Roman Catholic and Protestants, they formed their own group with totally different doctrine and belief. There is so much conflict in the

world today, but the conflict among those who claim to be followers of Jesus is overwhelming. We ordinary Christian believers wish for a council to sort out these differences using the Word of the Living God as the basis. We are longing for Peter and Paul who met in a council in Jerusalem. They argued but at the end of the day both believed and died for what Jesus taught, not imposing dogma not found in the Living Word of God. They sorted out their differences through the leading of the Holy Spirit. The accountability and responsibility weigh more to those who lead spiritual beliefs of the people. On the other hand, people cannot point nor

blame their spiritual leaders when they reach their final destiny. Now that the Bible is readily available in most nations and Holy Spirit is poured out to all men, we have no excuse. Praying, singing hymns, fasting, reading various scriptures, respecting and honouring those who died for their faith, and respecting our deceased loved ones are not bad things. This is looking back where we came from. Surely the Father will be glorified in the Kingdom of God, advancing if the body of Christ is united. There are major differences in the doctrine of Roman Catholics and Protestants. However, they both believe in God the Father, the

MANILA UP! 55 Son, and the Holy Spirit. Going back to “All Hallows Eve” is a good starting point. One night for all Christian denominations to pray to the Father and Father alone in the name of Jesus.

Perhaps you are wondering whether November 1 is a national holiday in Great Britain like in the Philippines? No, it’s not. But this year, United Kingdom and the world is commemorating the 20th year since the death of the most photographed woman in the world, Princess Diana of Wales. There are many tributes given to her in television, newspapers, and radio. I have something to share to you in remembering her. I went to Kensington Palace the day Prince William and Prince Harry made an impromptu visit to speak with followers of their late mother. After viewing the tributes and cards, they left by the gate of the Palace and thanked those who came to the Palace. I visited the memorial garden for Diana, the White Garden, at Kensington Palace. There were sweet scented narcissus and gladiolus through overlaid white ‘forget me nots’. The classic English white roses encompassed the pool, and in the centre of the garden there was a fountain gently splashing tiny drops of water. The tiny drops of water reminded me of Diana’s influence on the world. Her compassion and charity to those in need were the highlight of her royal duty. The glowing and cheerful ornamental grasses and wild meadows braided through Cosmos daisies, few scattered fuchsia pink roses and many more

flowers that were known as Diana’s favourite.

that comforts me is that of our reunion in a good place.

The ambience was very much like Diana’s life from, a simple Lady to an iconic world figure. In my opinion, what captivated the heart of the world towards her was that while she was a real Princess, she wore her heart on her sleeve and wasn’t afraid to show the world her weaknesses and imperfection. She was a woman considered a goddess by the masses, and yet the feeling of insecurity and the pain of rejection was genuine. No one comes even close to the way she carried her outfit, whether in tiara or blue jeans. Her short blonde hair and oceanic blue eyes suit her tall frame. The most important of all, she did her best as a mother to the future King and his Prince brother. She taught them to be in touch with ordinary people. She took them for a ride in public bus, underground trains, and defied royal protocols for her children. Grieving the loss of a loved one, especially of a parent or a child, is the most difficult emotion to digest. I can say that the feeling I never fully got over with was when I lost my parents. The assurance

This All Saints and All Souls day as we remember the short life of Diana and our loved ones, remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man. We cannot pray for them that went before us, but we can pray for everyone who is on earth right now. As we remember them, they remember us too. Lighting a candle for a loved one means different things to different people. To some it’s a symbol of solemnity, to others a symbol of remembrance. For me it’s a reminder that life is like a candle light, a single blow of wind and it’s gone. So it’s our duty to let that light shine while on earth. We weren’t born alone- we were born to a family, a family of God. Together, whether rich or poor, our lights will shine the brightest when we honour One Father through His begotten Son Jesus, and it’s possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the true essence of All Saints and All Souls day. The only light that will shine up to eternity is the glory of God in heaven and surely it is good to pursue that while we are on earth.


The 2017 Metropolitan Fashion Week Closing Gala & Fashion Awards featured one-of-a-kind avant-garde & haute couture designs inspired by the artwork from the J. Paul Getty Museum, and created by national & international fashion designers. Over 1200 industry VIP’s, celebrities, fashion designers attended the event on October 5, at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center. Photo Credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images


announced winners of its METROPOLITAN FASHION AWARDS last night honoring outstanding achievements in fashion and costume design in motion pictures, television, and live performance during the 5th Annual Metropolitan Fashion Week’s Closing Gala & Fashion Awards at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center. The event, hosted by Metropolitan Fashion Week producer EDUARDO KHAWAM, was attended by over 1200 industry VIP’s, celebrities, costume and fashion designers. Award presenters included former Miss Universe and star of Telemundo’s La Gran Oportunidad, ALICIA MACHADO;Shades of Blue actor ANTONIO JARAMILLO; GRAMMY®-Awards Winners Earth, Wind & Fire members VERDINE WHITE and RALPH JOHNSON;

Telemundo’s STEPHANIE HIMONIDIS “Chiquibaby” (of Acceso Total); actor/singer ROBERT AVELLANET of the International group Menudo;Honey Cone’s SHELLY CLARK, among others. A special exclusive live performance by Luzia by Cirque du Soleil entertained the audience. In addition to the Awards, the Gala showcaseda unique, exclusive runway show featuring over 150 oneof-a-kind avant-garde costumes and couture evening gowns, created by national and international celebrity costume and fashion designers including: Fashion Designer BENITO SANTOS (Mexico); Fashion Designer MARIKA SODERLUND ROBISON (Sweden); Fashion Designer BARBARA L ASHLEY (Uganda); Fashion Designer ERICK BENDANA (Nicaragua); Fashion Designer DOUGLAS TAPIA (Venezuela); Fashion Designer EMIL GAMPE (Austria); Fashion Designer CARL

ANDRADA (Philippines); Fashion Designer DAVID SANTILLANES (San Diego, CA); Fashion Designer INOE VARGAS (Mexico); Costume Designer RICARDO SOLTERO; Fashion Designer FERNANDA PINHEIRO OF GIOVANNI TESTI (Brazil); Fashion Designer DAVID TUPAZ (Las Vegas, NV); Fashion Designer JULIE DANFORTH (Seattle, WA); Fashion Designer JOEY GALON (Los Angeles, CA); Fashion Designer RITA MEZRAHI (Iran-USA); Fashion Designers SHELLI BLACKNELL & TANISHA BOSTON (USA); Fashion Designer XAVIER OTHON (Mexico); and Couture Hat Designer ARTURO RIOS (Mexico). The show is produced and directed by Eduardo Khawam, fashion expert, producer and TV personality for Telemundo, Univisión and the CW and Executive Producer Paul Jaramillo. Photo Credit: Celia Abuel “PaparazzCel”

Fashion Designer CARL ANDRADA (Philippines)

Fashion Designer of the Year, DAVID TUPAZ (Las Vegas, NV)

Fashion Designer JOEY GALON (Los Angeles, CA)

Award presenters included former Miss Universe and star of Telemundo’s La Gran Oportunidad, ALICIA MACHADO and Shades of Blue actor ANTONIO JARAMILLO

Model Scott Kurachi




ime sure flies when you’re having fun!... Two more months and it’s almost Christmas. We’re in the month of October where people celebrate Halloween, get dressed up in their costumes and go trick or treating. Aside from Halloween we have the Oktoberfest bringing in a bit of Germany in Los Angeles. It’s an autumn festival held in Munich, Germany in late September and early October featuring drinking of Beer. For all the beer lovers out there... Here’s one place you wouldn’t want

to miss dining in. It’s a place we discovered on a labor day weekend in Miramar, San Diego when we were scouting out for a casual place to dine that had a cool bar and a restaurant serving delicious food. Ballast Point Brewery is rated as 4.6 stars and is truly fitting for a large group setting for an even wholesome late lunch and early dinner which Ballast has a lot to offer.

Ballast Point Brewery was founded by Jack White and his college roommate named Pete A’ Hearn both had passion for beer began home brewing at their UCLA apartment. Their small group of brewers wanted to find a perfect balance of taste and aroma resulting in a better beer. Jack White opened a Home Brew Mart in 1992 which was filled with supplies and ingredients to making a better

MANILA UP! 59 beer at home for every brewer. Jack White wanted to bring brewery to a “pro level” and Pete A’ Hearn graduated with a Master Brewer’s Certificate bringing their hobby and dream to realty. They found a collaborator by the name of Yuseff Cherney, who became part of the team which opened the “Back Room” brewery behind their shop. Thus, Ballast Point evolved in 1996. Ballast Point grew in 2004, moved to a Scripps Ranch for a larger production working around the clock meeting the demands of beer. Ballast opened its third location in San Diego’s Little Italy which serves as a lab, a brewery, tasting room and restaurant. Mid 2014 brought about the construction of Miramar as the new brewery headquarters. Ballast Point’s mission is to continue growing and doing what they love which is making what they love to drink. Ballast Point Brewery has 7 locations where you can tour the brewery, taste beer, fill a growler (can/ pitcher) or a keg(a small barrel less than 30 gallons) of beer. Visit their website for more info: I give Ballast Point Brewery a two thumbs up for great service, delicious food new to the palate, wide range of ale or beer plus a casual ambiance with a pleasing atmosphere whether indoor or outdoor. To visit the Miramar location in San Diego, it’s located at: Ballast Point Brewery 9045 Carroll Way San Diego CA 92121 (858) 790-6901 *Tasting Room Hours* Mon-Thurs  11am-11pm Fri & Sat       11am-12am 10am-12am Sunday         (Sunday Brunch Served 10am-3pm) Photos: Paparazzcel


WALK MY WAY By Mayenne Carmona

breathe in the grandeur of the city’s magnificent past.

It is an autumn that was custom made for me by the Gods. The Universe knows cold weather was never my friend so Paris welcomed me with warm, sunny weather and the bluest skies filled with nebulous clouds as a bonus. It has stayed this way all throughout my stay this month of October. The French called it their Indian summer.

Think of Napoleon Bonaparte and his beloved Josephine, Louis XIV, the Sun King, Joan of Arc, the fallen Queen Marie Antoinette, Gustave Eiffel who made the remarkable  Eiffel Tower, the French Intellectuals Voltaire, Sartre, Rosseau among others, the old Masters whose works inhabit the incomparable Louvre Museum and the modern artists whose masterpieces are in Centre Pompidou and other museums. I can go on and on talking about the famous and the infamous persons of interest both historical and contemporary who have contributed to make France the glorious country that it is today.  But space is of the essence in this short article so suffice for me to tweak the readers’ interest with a few pictures of Paris famous landmarks and ordinary sites that make Paris the interesting and livable city that it is today. It is the City of Lights, the City of love and romance!  My heart is filled with memories of the loves that I have gained and the loves that I have lost in this romantic city of love!

As I revisited my favorite haunts, walking the cobbled streets marked with quaint sidewalk cafes, boutiques, restaurants, churches, museums, iconic landmarks and historical monuments,  I could not  help but

All good things must come to an end and each time my Paris trip comes to an end, it is never Adieu (good bye). It is always “Au Revoir Paris!” - till I see you again, Paris! You are always “trés magnifique!”

Jaques Cesaire Joffre was a popular French General during World War I who led the French army to victory against the Germans in Marne. Behind is statue is the part of the Ecole Militaire, the French Military School.


here are no truer words uttered than these by novelist par excellence, Ernest Hemingway: “ if you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then where ever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”. I belong to that group of lucky mortals who have lived in Paris at one point of their youth or another. Just  like Hemingway has said, Paris has stayed with me- in my heart and in my soul- way after I left this magnificent city.  Unconsciously,  I bring my Parisienne habits where ever I am.  Paris indeed is a moveable feast! Like a siren’s song never leaving

my subconscious, Paris beckons me to visit every so often. Having two sisters and nieces living there is all the more reason to take the trip.


This is the season for fresh oysters, considered a delicacy by the French and good sized gambas.

Marisa Chan and Lucell Lopez stands in front of the Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower was designed and built by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel and attracts 7 million visitors a year. It takes 10,000 bulbs to light it up to this golden color.

Fruitstands abound all around the city.


Unveiling of the brand name - The Mansion, Rep Jerry Treñas, Sarah Peña, Presedent Nena Sy-Lim, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Noel Sinclair Sy, Emmanuel Sy and Viviane Sy

By Joy Fong


he newest stomping ground in Metro-Iloilo for events, parties and hospitality is The Mansion. Recently acquired by Brightside Properties and Resorts, Inc. (BPRI), the heritage hotel was formerly known as Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center. The rebranding was launched with a cocktail and dinner party and with Iloilo’s A-Listers in full attendance. The new owners, led by the BPRI President NENA SY-LIM and The Mansion’s top honcho NOEL

The facade of The Mansion day


Kat de Mesa-Sy, Julia Sy, Katy Sy, Charlene Ang-Co, Michael Co, Lance Lim, Kendrick Ang, Patrick Lim, Ryane Ang and Miguel Sy

Jey-R Santos, John Castigador, Jasmine Castelo, Pane Rosales, Nikko Cid and Red Sarabia with Rex Victor Gardose, Francis Laurea and Dr Risa PeĂąa

Emmanuel Sy, Noel Sinclaire Sy, Viviane Sy, Emma Sy-Yu, Teresa Sy-Nocom and Nena Sy-Lim

Benjamin and Teresa Nocom

64 MANILA UP! SINCLAIRE SY, came en force to welcome the guests and to lead the celebrations. The Mansion is called as such because it wants to encapsulate the rich heritage, culture and history of Iloilo City as exemplified by the stately homes of the landed Southern gentry. It also fuses the colorful Spanish, Chinese and Filipino influences with International in its decor, cuisine and service. The colors of the logo – purple and gold – speak of royalty. Rightfully so, The Mansion will offer royal service with Ilonggo touch. Lorita and Francis Dilag

The menu prepared by Chef CHYRCH MENDOZA and his team drew oohs and aahs from the guests. It included Bread, Soup, Salad and Maki, Main Dishes, Carvings, Desserts and Beveragic Delights! PR man NONOI YBIERNAS and marketing maven JONG COMBONG-PIJUAN joined forces to make the event the talk of the town for weeks. Tall, dark and handsome lawyer SEDFREY CABALUNA hosted the actionpacked, fast-paced program that included AVPs on The Mansion and Iloilo City, cultural dances from Sidlangan Dance Troupe, musical presentations by JBLFMU Choir, a mini-fashion show of the personnel’s uniforms by Cosmo-Manille based Ilonggo fashion designer HILQUE BABAN DAIRO, and the unveiling of The Mansion logo.

Terry Apistar and Ruth Tirol-Jarantilla

According to Sales and Marketing main man PATRICK LIM, renovation, repairs, restoration and refurbishing of The Mansion are ongoing and will see fruition in two to three years. Certainly, it is something Ilonggos are looking forward to! N’estce pas? Email

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demonstration. JI was even hailed as the “blind folded hair stylist”, when he cut one of the models’ hair live on stage blind folded.

Hair Creation by Paolo Tressman


he concept and idea of the Hair Revolution came out in December 2014, when Terry Santos was still running Majabella Salon. She wanted to pay tribute to her valued clients and thought of just organising a dinner party. Since Terry is in the hair business, I then suggested it to her to create a hair fashion show instead, wherein all their hairstyles and creations will be showcased. I am proud that I originally created, conceptualised and gave the signature title of Terry Santos’ hair fashion show, “HAIR REVOLUTION”. The first ever Hair Revolution was held at the Marriott Hotel in Kilburn in February 2015 and last year it was held in Baden Powell South Kensington in the same month. Hair Revolution was in its grandest this year, as it was held in a Five Star luxurious hotel in London, the Hilton Park Lane, last

Live Demo by Junifer Lonzon aka Blind-folded Hairstylist

August 19, 2017 under the auspices of TERRY BEAUTY SALON. This is so far the first Filipino hair fashion show ever held in London and at Hilton Park Lane. AUGUST 19 - It was a day of excitement. Terry Beauty Salon (TBS) with its ever talented and creative hair stylists, Paolo Tressman, JuniferLonzon (JI), along with makeup artists, Maribeth Gaspar and a young girl, Ariane with Scarlette Dax, joined forces in preparing the models’ hair and make up. TBS explored the complex world of hair that deals with “DIVERSITY”. They have set the new trend in hair fashion with their own creations. Each and every hairstyle they created that night sent a message that hair plays a central role in our lives and that’s the way it is styled depicts one’s sense of style, social status, religious beliefs, conformity and nonconformity. They indeed showcased diverse hairstyles on the runway and during the live

It was indeed a very successful Hair Revolution Part 3 under the production of Terry Santos, owner of Terry Beauty Salon with the help of Eds “Grace” Pineda’s hard work organising it and Ryan Montenid for assisting. Of course, this event would not have been possible without the support of friends, different Fil- Brit organisations, major and minor sponsors, patrons, the alluring models from all walks of life, the ticketing staff Chit Sarmiento, Tomek Krypczyk and Juvy Atalo, all the performers (WYCOPA UK Rep. Joel Miranda, Aldrin Dagui, Rye Serneo, Florie May Rapirap, Regin Raquedan, Ambie Da Dive, Alpabet, Maribeth Gaspar and Don Rey Abesamis), hosts (Elija Villanueva and Ela Hidalgo) the audience and Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo who gave an inspirational speech. Therefore, we express our sincerest gratitude to all. Congratulations to TERRY BEAUTY SALON located at 27 Willesden Lane Kilburn. If you want a magic touch and to get the best LONDON LOOK, visit TERRY BEAUTY SALON. Have your hair done and you might be one of the models on next year’s HAIR REVOLUTION. (Photo credit to Ryan Ubasa)


‘Los Angeles India Fashion Week’- LA’s premier fashion

event from October 5-8, the first of its kind and all about Indian glitz, glamour and fashion drew enormous interest culminating in a grand finale at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel on October 8. Smita Vasant, a passionate community leader, a former beauty queen and winner of Mrs. Asia USA

who created and organized the very first ‘Los Angeles India Fashion Week’, said the event aimed to highlight various vendors, who bring the latest designs to customers. “I am bringing together vendors and designers from India, and from local boutiques. The vision is not only to shine light on the  beauty of Indian designs and culture but also to create a market place for new and existing designers/vendors

and boutique buyers to do business with each other.” said Vasant. Partnering with many organizations, notably make-up sponsor Ziba Beauty who hosted the launch party and adorned the models with first class looks representative of each fashion show and designer, the First LA India Fashion Week was a resounding success tantamount to the


likes of Los Angeles Fashion Week or New York Fashion Week. The latest and greatest in modern Indian formal wear were on full display with beautiful runway models and dazzling designs. Models, designers and vendors from India, various US states and locals showcased the latest trends in Indian designer wear from casual, to ceremonial garments won the hearts of the guests. Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj, Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ashok Patnaik, Shaila Patankar, from the Artesia Chamber of Commerce and some formidable sponsors who contributed in making it a grandiose week were among the dignitaries present at the L.A. India

Fashion Week event here in Cerritos. The main event which featured multiple vendor booths and four fashion shows, commenced with Smita Vasant, Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj, and Shaila Patankar kicking off the show. Both Taj and Patankar welcomed the premier designers, branded stores and jewelry owners to their city and thanked Vasant for her efforts. Upcoming singer from LA, Sanjana Deshmukh, kicked off the first fashion show with a solo mashup of “Jiya Re”  from  the Bollywood movie ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan,’and Michael Jackson songs with her guitar and vocals,  followed by models walking the ramp showcasing label ‘Voila by designer Roma Bhalla’, Sari Palace

by designer Heeral Mehta, Namaslay by designer Avnee Mithaiwala and various designer collection by local boutiques: Frontier Heritage and Aanchal Designer Showcase. NEO CALIFORNIA and ESDIAC Global and PASTRIES N CHAAT a franchise company from Phoenix were event sponsors along with Ziba Beauty. Vendors present at the L.A. India Fashion Week event included Frontier Heritage, Ziba Beauty, Sari Palace, Fashion by Rohini, Voila by Roma Bhalla, Namaslay, Ramuli Creations, Sai Raah, Navani Collections, Neo Moissanite, Big Bangles Theory, Glowworm Creations, ZZ Collections, Clumas Jewelry, Divine Kaya, Naiya Indian Fashion, Alka Vora Jewelry,


Blue Lotus Couture, Style Paparazzi, Meeta & Malvika, Karmik Fashions, Karma by Sheetal Jaglan, Aanchal Designer Gallery. Prerana Kulkarni Art and ESDIAC Global App. Upon conclusion, Vasant, who herself was dressed by different designers during the entire show said: “This is the most efficient, informative and entertaining show for viewing the complete collections of upcoming seasons from major fashion designers and national brands. I am happy that

the show was a huge hit with the audience especially with the new faces of fashion and ideas that promote local Indian clothing, accessory boutiques and stores.” Vasant added, she hopes to see L.A. India Fashion Week occur at least once every year, most likely in the CerritosArtesia area. The program concluded with Vasant thanking sponsors, participants, modeling coach Javier Ortega, makeup artist Oscar Naranjo, Ziba’s Sumita Batra and food stall ‘Pastries N Chaat’ that served delicious

fruit cakes and ‘chatpata chat’ to all. Produced  in the cultural enclave of the Indian community in the city of Artesia where you can always find everything Indian from delicious food, sweets and delicacies, to great Bollywood movies and more, this event pulled an international crowd that felt transported to the depths of India with its festive ambiance. Photo Credit: RAJESH SHAH Photography



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awyer Manette Agbayani, celebrated her birthday at her favorite Italian Restaurant, the very exclusive Last Chukker at the Manila Polo Club with her closest friends. Early birds were famous painter, Marivic Rufino along with Argentinian diplomat Miguel Realmonte, gorgeous Gela Cornelissen of Fashion Interiors Furniture, “consciousness” guru & Inquirer columnist George Sison, power couple George Sarakinis & Becky Garcia, who were with New York based, Marc Macaraeg, socialite, Len Olbes and songstress, Lilybeth Garcia.

The endless succession of gourmet foods, wines, interesting & juicy chit chat were made even more fun with the mini raffle draw of items. The most coveted were some soft art work by artist Marivic Rufino. Dr. Joni Dizon was so elated to be among the lucky ones to win the prize. Pretty in pink wellness guru, Cory Quirino, debonair Sonny Tanchangco with partner John Gaddi and lovely businesswoman Luchie Subia and Anna Sia of Philippines Best Dressed won the rest of Mav’s art pieces. The ever regal Virginia Lane of Asian Tiger Philippines also won one of the major prizes. Everyone went home in high spirits because it was


indeed a lovely night of camaraderie and bonding of beautiful and nice people. Email: Photos: Lorna LLanes


Manette Agbayani, George Sison, Marivic Rufino & Miguel Realmonte

Anna Sia, Manette Agbayani and Marivic Rufino

Cory Quirino and Manette Agbayani


Manette Agbayani and Becky Garcia

Joy Fong, Dr. Joni Dizon and Gel Conelissen

Luchie Subia, Sonny Tanchangco, Len Olbes and John Gaddi

Manette Agbayani and Anna Sia

Luchie Subia, Dr. Joni Dizon and Virginia Lane



The Painting Exhibits


ne evening last week, an art event was held at Caruso Italian Restaurant. Owner Emilio Mina collaborated with Polish businessman Maciej Podhajski and business partner Riza Hansen to mount the painting exhibit of Polish painter Natalia Biegalska. Natalia Biegalska, born in

1986 in Poland, is recognized as the outstanding Polish artist of the younger generation.

She comes from an artistic family. Her ancestor, Boleslaw “Biegas” Biegalski was born in 1877, well-known in France painter, sculptor, playwright.

 Natalia is one of a few artist in the world who paints with a unique technique to which she uses only knives.

Her paintings are in a hands world-renowned collectors, and the price of paintings in the last 5 years has increased from 500 euros to 6,000 euros, making her art also a great investment. At the opening of the exhibit, special guests Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos, former Governor Chavit Singson, and famous sculptor Ramon Orlina cut the ribbon.


Becky Garcia, Ramon Orlina, Gov. Chavit Singson, Rep. Imelda Marsos, Riza Hansen, Maciej Podhajski, back row - Sen. Orly Mercado, Joel Cruz, Artist Natalia Biegalska

Rupert Jacinto, Atty. Rene & Ann Puno, Tina Jacinto, Mellie Abalza and Marge Enriquez


Joel Cruz, Natalia Biegalska and Johnny Hubilla

Mayeen Carmona and Cris Badiola

Art lovers and art enthusiasts like Congressman Manny Lopez with lovely wife Suzette Hahn Lopez were admiring one of the paintings. Others present were international photographer Rupert and Tina Jacinto, visiting couple from Belgium Philippe Oyen and Miguel Sarmiento, Businesswoman Julie Evangelista, who bought one of the paintings was with Interior  Designer Johnny Hubilla, Lovely couple Gerry Lane and

Mav Rufino and Argentine ConGen. Miguel Realmonte

gorgeous wife Virginia who bought 2 paintings, Atty. Rene and Anne Puno, Consul Mellie Ablaza, Consul Helen Ong, Lord of Scents Joel Cruz who commissioned the painter for his family portrait with his 3 sets of twins, Chris Badiola, Artist Marivic Rufino with Diplomat Miguel Benavente, Noel and Duday Tuason, Marisa Fenton and Glecy Mojares, Mayenne Carmona, actress Jean Saburit who will also have her  portrait done  by

the artist, Pianist Ingrid Santamaria with Maurice Lim. Movie actor Ricky Davao was asked to sing several songs that delighted the guests. Emilio also obliged with several Italian songs. Several guests stayed on to admire the paintings. The artist is still in Manila to do some more portraits. Watch out for another forthcoming exhibit at the Manila Peninsula Gallery.



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