MANILA UP! 3
Editor’s Note Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor Sweet, somber November……..here you are at last. The leaves, after such magnificent explosive display of colors, have finally fallen on the ground. The change in nature is abruptly felt. Not the subtle one brought in by the month of October. We have transitioned into the temperamental weather, the windy, sometimes sunny, sometimes foggy, oftentimes crisp month of November. The eleventh month of the year, based on the Georgian calendar, and the ninth (‘novem’ in Latin, where its name was derived from) during the early Roman calendar. Known in Old English as ‘Blotmonath’ (blood month), when animals are slaughtered for food, and prepared for the onset of the winter months. Crops have been harvested, as well, and placed in storage. Pickles and jams to the ready. The month also known as the Peanut Butter lovers’ month, jam and jelly will always come in handy…
“Our Father, fill our hearts, we pray, With gratitude Thanksgiving Day; For food and raiment Thou dost give, That we in comfort here may live.” - Luther Cross, Thanksgiving Day Being designated as the Thanksgiving month, people are more inclined to express their gratitude, otherwise often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of this thing called LIFE. Families take the time to get-together, creating more wonderful memories they can look back to with a smile on their faces, to be passed on to the next generations. It is a great time for reflection, to be reminded of the things we ought to be thankful for.
Always grateful for God’s graciousness, Manila Up! International Magazine has so much to be thankful for. A lot have transpired since our first
issue was published. Our masthead has grown tremendously. The word ‘International’ had to be inserted into our title, the result of the acquisition of contributing writers representing different parts of the globe, introducing us to different cultures, different aspects of life, the connectivity issue taken very seriously to heart. Drawing more followers. Launched in Manila last June through the generosity of Governor Chavit Singson, we are looking forward to a second launching this month, on November 10 at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, Manila, this time hosted and sponsored by Philippine Airlines. I am so humbled by the outpouring of support. It is quite overwhelming, that this little undertaking, a not even one-year old magazine, is honored this way. It is hard to express the tremendous feeling of gratitude and happiness emanating from my heart. Indeed, it was a journey full of wonderful blessings. The challenges have made us patient, the obstacles made us stronger, every suffering, endured, created in us a heart full of thanksgiving, a great faith in the One Who gave it all to us. Snags were met with a smile on our faces, knowing full well that whatever it is, it too will pass. God is behind everything that we’ve gone through, be they good or bad. It had taught us to keep our focus on Him, to always ask for His guidance, that the magazine be an instrument, a testament of His unfailing love, not just in our lives, but to the lives of the people who are kind enough to be featured in our humble publication. And as it has brought wonderful blessings to us, may it be used to bless others as well. In behalf of my Manila Up! family, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Our very supportive loved ones, sensational friends, admirable sponsors, and fantastic readers.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! _______________________________
Note: Cover page by: Paul Mirador
MANILA UP ! MAGAZINE
Sonia D. Bermejo Publisher/Executive Editor Associate Editor Antonette B. Ang Contributing writers:
FLORIDA, USA Life’s Journey Melody Garcia
DUBAI Living the Good Life Gabriela Miloda
WASHINGTON, DC Around D.C. Anette Bacani A.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES In Other Worlds Becky Garcia
LOS ANGELES, USA Reflections of Hope Rev. R.D Quema
Earnest Snoops! Ernest L. Gonzaga
Beautiful Life Monet Lu
Walk my Way Mayenne Carmona
On the Beat Fe Koons
Metro Scene Joy Fong
Over a Cup of Tea Malou Mariano
Proverbs 31 Woman Jhoanna de Guzman
HAWAII, USA Maui Mania Edith Pendleton
LONDON, UK UK na UK Ela Hidalgo
Photographers: Rudy Autor Willie Cheng Benny Uy Phillip Ner Jon Bermejo Richard Dizon Gerry Edra
LAS VEGAS, USA Vegas Vibes Esmeralda Padilla-Gould
Social Media Photographer Celia Abuel PaparrazzCel” Events Interviewer/Correspondents Grace Aguilar Icee Cruz Associate Marketing Gilda Pineda Dionela – London, UK
Island Living Randy Antonio
Consultant & Design Director Paul Mirador Art Director Hydee Abrahan Creative Consultant Noli Yu/Layout Video/Technical Consultant Isidric Panganiban
NEW YORK, USA On Call Romulo Aromin, Jr. MD
MANILA UP! MAGAZINE 3756 W. Avenue 40 #160, LOS ANGELES, CA 90065, USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http//www.manilaupmagazine.com 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
MANILA UP! 5
Jaime Bautista: S
The Renaissance Man, the Influencer, and the Visionary By Mayenne Carmona
o much has been written about the history of Philippine Airlines since its conception in 1941, when five leading Philippine businessmen founded it. Its ownership changed hands many times - from private with government shares to full privatization, back to government, then back to private ownership to this day. In 1995, Lucio C. Tan, who was the major shareholder of PR Holdings (the company that bought PAL in 1992 from the government) became the Chairman and CEO of Philippine Airlines. The airline went through ups and downs especially during the Asian Crisis in 1998, when PAL had a complete shutdown on September 23, 1998, which lasted a couple of weeks. But PAL was able to survive the dark years and managed to rehabilitate itself with a revised business plan. In 2000, during its first year of rehabilitation, PAL finally returned to profitability, making PHP 44.2 million in profits, breaking some six years of heavy losses. When Jimmy Bautista was appointed President and COO by PALâ€™s El Kapitan aka Lucio Tan, he knew that he was appointing a man of integrity, who would lead his flagship company to greater heights. With Bautista at the helm of his flagship company, PALâ€™s colors changed from red to black. Despite some big challenges, Bautista steered PAL to profitability.
MANILA UP! 7 Through its massive re-fleeting program and continuous overhaul of its fleet, flights to Las Vegas, Macau, Nagoya, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh, Brisbane, Riyadh, and other destinations were restored. In 2006 and 2007, PAL was named “Airline Turnaround of the Year” by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation for its “strategic contribution to the aviation industry through a significant transformation by successfully restructuring its operations through L-R meeting with his team - Nelsie Fabella, David Lim, Lito Alvarez (standing), Angelique Tinsay, innovative cost-cutting measures Siegfred Mison (standing), JJB, Stewart Lim & Emilio Yu, (both standing) Maria Antonia Liamzon, resulting in operating profits.” Cielo Villaluna For the Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2007, PAL reported a net income of During the two years under San airline’s total Comprehensive income US $140.3 million, the largest profit in Miguel (2012-2014), rumors flew reached PHP 6.547 billion in the first its 66-year history! that El Kapitan who was still PAL’s nine months of the year. PAL attributes Chairman allegedly noticed the low the growth mainly to higher passenger Between 2008 and 2010, there morale of the PAL employees. In revenues as passenger traffic rose by were hindrances in PAL’s expansion September of 2014, he offered to 30% mainly in the USA, Australia, program, notably the pilot’s strike buy back the 49% shares owned by Japan, Middle East routes. in July 2010 and the lay-off of 2,600 San Miguel. The final transaction There will be increases and employees. Despite that, a surprising amounted to $1.3 billion and on decreases in profits during the next turn-around happened, the 3rd time October 15, 2014, Ang officially years of J. Bautista’s mandate but what in PAL’s history in 2 decades. During stepped down as President and COO is more important to him is the high the fiscal year 2009-2010-2011, PAL of PAL. morale of his team. His up-beat nature reduced its $297.8 million loss to is very contagious because the man is $14.3 million loss then still earned a Enter Jaime J. Bautista, the an Influencer. There is a saying that the whopping $72.5 million! Renaissance Man. From the time “most powerful influencer of beliefs he stepped in as President and is a direct experience,” and that is The airline industry was beginning COO in October until December, exactly one of the secrets of Bautista’s to call Bautista the Renaissance Man. PAL recorded a net profit of PHP success in handling his team: his vast He rejuvenated an ailing airline, 127.74 million. Under the renewed experience in the field of business infused some life and vigor into it, management of Bautista, there was a when he started his career with LT resulting in big profits. Despite this sharp increase in passenger and cargo Group of Companies and ten years in turn-around, El Kapitan sold 49% revenues, which have improved with the airline industry. stake in Philippine Airlines for US the launching of new routes such $500 million to San Miguel, one of the as Manila to NY. Primary drivers of This Renaissance man is an Philippines’ biggest conglomerates. improved performance are improved Influencer and a Visionary as well. Under the terms of the sale, Bautista flying operations, passenger service, His long-term goal is to guide PAL had to step down to pave the way to reservation, sales, aircraft, and traffic to being a World Class 5-Star fullRamon Ang as President and COO of servicing. service national airline. With his highly PAL. Lucio Tan stayed on as Chairman proficient and inspired team working and CEO. SM said they would help In 2015 - 1st quarter recorded with him to attain this Vision, PAL modernize and strengthen PAL and a net profit of PHP 3.8 billion (85$ will one day be on the same roster as restore its competitiveness in the Asian million) - up from $20.7 million net the 5-Star World Class Airlines. Jaime Aviation Industry. loss in the same quarter of 2014, under J Bautista will not stop at anything to But under the SM management, SM management. 2015 saw profits “get that STAR!” because he himself is PAL experienced heavy losses. In soar exponentially as demand for air a Star, shining brightly for Philippine 2012, it lost PHP 2.74 billion, and in travel remained robust and as the fall Airlines, the Heart of the Filipinos! 2013, it lost a staggering net amount of in oil prices gave way to large savings. PHP 11.85 billion. Passenger volume In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Source: PhilippineAirlines.Com, declined dramatically. Exchange, PAL Holdings said that the Rappler.Com, Portscall.Com
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Emilio Yu, JJB, David Lim; standing- Stewart Lim, Angelito Alvarez, Siegfred Mison
MU: We have seen all your accomplishments and dedication to PAL. During my last interview, you mentioned that you want to emphasize the MISSION, VISION & VALUES that you want to implement - can we discuss your plans further? JJB: We are serious in our efforts to achieve our new vision. Just to emphasize, our vision is – to be the five-star, full-service national carrier of the Philippines; to be the airline of choice in all markets we serve and to be a source of pride for Filipinos everywhere. Our corporate mission is to deliver safe, reliable, efficient, and pleasant travel experience exceeding passenger expectations; to provide a satisfying career to our employees and adequate returns to stockholders, and to represent the best of the Philippines and the best of Filipinos to the world.
The eight corporate objectives are: 1. Offer superior product consistently, price our product to deliver superior value 2. Expand routes, network, and connectivity 3. Win back the Philippines 4. Redefine and build the PAL brand equity 5. Deliver the desired customer experience 6. Enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness, employee engagement and empowerment 7. Expand distribution network and increase sales effectiveness
8. Improve operational performance
A top priority corporate-wide initiative, called Get That Star (GTS), solicits the commitment of all employees to support the new goals. Throughout the company, the daily mantra is – Get That Star. MU: How will you make PAL a world class, 5-star full– service national carrier? What are the updates/developments that transpired since our last interview in June? JJB: We are working closely with Skytrax (a UK-based research organization that reviews and ranks airlines and airports from around the world) to assess our progress at achieving five-star rating through regular audits. We immediately work on those areas where the audits show low grades. We have multi-departmental task forces that coordinate the efforts at addressing weak areas of our operations. We also take passenger/customer complaints seriously, especially during flight disruptions, through a system of service recovery. This system empowers front liners to respond accordingly when operations veer out of normal. Our GTS campaign is governed by a pilot (PAL President), and co-pilot (PAL Express President), who chair the GTS Council (composed of group heads and senior executives) that formulate policies and direction. Under the Council is the Core team (composed of representatives from key departments/offices) that oversees identified
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Nelsie Fabella, Angelique Tinsay, Maria Antonia Llamzon
initiatives and monitors who need to do what. A network of GTS champions from every department or office monitors the implementation of all programs and projects.
With the ultra long-range capability of the A350-900, we can fly non-stop Manila to New York, passing over the Arctic region.
The GTS concept is cascaded throughout the PAL organization including all domestic stations and foreign destinations. GTS road shows are conducted at different stations to explain the goal and secure the employees’ individual commitments to do their share to achieve a fivestar rating.
MU: With your mission and vision, what do you expect from your team?
An annual recognition system was devised to honor and reward employees who did their best at their jobs – called STAR (Shining Through Achievement Recognition) Awards. MU: Now that you have a straight flight from LAXCEBU, are there any new destinations? JJB: We recently opened a new route – Manila-TaipeiOsaka – exercising our 5th freedom air traffic right. We plan to use the same traffic right to open a route to Kuwait through any of our existing flights to the Middle East. When our orders for the wide-body aircraft Airbus A350-900 start delivery in 2018, we can expand our European and North America network. Currently being studied are possible direct service to Rome, Paris, Hamburg in Europe, and Chicago, Miami, San Diego in the US.
JJB: Our Human Capital Department reintroduced the ‘employee performance review system,’ called PRIDE (Performance Review of Individual Delivery of Excellence), which solicits specific work commitments from employees. These commitments, which should be aligned with the overall corporate goals, form the expected output from each team. Heads of department/offices monitor if their teams are delivering what is expected of them. We do quarterly internal review of our organizational performance to determine areas of improvement. MU: Who are on your team? What are the contributions of each of them in your plans and vision? JJB: The Group heads in PAL are: STEWART LIM - Executive Vice President /Treasurer & Chief Administrative Officer – responsible (through the CFO) for providing the oversight, management and administration necessary to ensure that the proper fiduciary controls, processes, reporting procedures and systems are in place; also responsible for overall management,
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Nicky Joson, Ria Domingo. Marrianne Raymundo, Dinah May Flores Photo by Ruel E. Bonghanoy
responsibility, and control of the performance of Departments under him.
operations, cabin services, catering operations, and aircraft engineering.
EMILIO C. YU - Executive Vice President/Special Assistant to the Chairman and CEO - provides guidance and recommends directions to the Chairman and his officers based on his technical expertise in business affairs. Created the Million Miler program in the mid-1990s and authored the “Get that Star” campaign in the late 2015.
ATTY. SIEGFRED “Fred” MISON - Senior Vice President-Legal – handles the company’s legal issues; ensure that quality legal services are provided to PAL’s different operational units.
“The Million Miler Program was my brain child, and the late Mr. Friedrich Jahns was recognized as the very first Million Miler. Now, PAL has 3,666,728 Mabuhay Miles Members of which 221 are Million Milers.” “Get that Star is now an ongoing program. After we get the 4th Star, to get the 5th Star is the ultimate goal.” ANGELITO “Lito” ALVAREZ - Senior Vice President (SVP) for Planning – responsible for the implementation of PAL’s planning process in order to define strategies and action plans to fulfill corporate objectives. ISMAEL “Nicky” GOZON - Senior Vice PresidentAirline Operations – ensures proper delivery of services to the airline’s customers. Main targets are schedule reliability, on time performance and safety. This is achieved through properly managing personnel of flight operations, airport
DAVID “Dave” LIM - Senior Vice PresidentCommercial – responsible for the overall management, responsibility and control of the performance of the Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management and External Affairs and Partnership departments, in support of revenue and profit objectives. MARIANNE RAYMUNDO - Senior Vice President Finance (chief finance officer) – responsible for the correct presentation of PAL’s financial information; management of records are consistent with the corporate philosophy, policies, and objectives; handles PAL’s investments; and forecasts significant economic conditions. MARIA ANTONIA “MEAN” LLAMZON - Vice President (VP) – Human Capital – Leads the development and implementation of human resource management practices that are strategically aligned with organization direction and business goals, and supportive of a culture that promotes high productivity and performance, service
MANILA UP! 11 excellence, work commitment and job commitment and satisfaction and well-being of employees. ANGELIQUE “Angie” TINSAY - Vice President Information Systems – Responsible for planning and implementing enterprise information systems to support the business operations and to achieve more cost beneficial enterprise-wide IT operations. NELSIE FABILA - Vice President - Safety – Designs, directs, administers and oversees the safety management system and environmental programs of the company to protect its human, physical and financial assets by identifying potential events that may affect the company’s operations and manage risks to most minimum levels as possible. DINA MAY FLORES - VP Revenue ManagementVice-President - Revenue Management Has overall responsibility for the Revenue Management function of Philippine Airlines’ system-wide operations. The position leads a team of Revenue Managers towards achieving the department’s mission of maximizing the company’s passenger revenues through revenue budget formulation, pricing and seat allocation decisions and passengers/revenue/yield performance monitoring to deliver corporate revenue goals and support profit objectives, in close collaboration with the leadership of Sales & Distribution, Marketing, E-Commerce, Finance, & Operations. RIA CARRION-DOMINGO - Vice President – Marketing Philippine Airlines’ Marketing Department is a strategic driver of Philippine Airlines’ business towards achieving the Company’s vision of being the airline of choice in all markets we serve. We build PAL’s Brand Equity as “The Heart of the Filipino,” develop innovative ground and inflight products, market new and exciting destinations and champion the desired customer experience. “We also develop innovative ground and in-flight products that provide passengers with a more relaxing travel experience, such as our recent launch of PAL’s enhanced in-flight entertainment system. Aside from this, we also market Philippine Airlines’ new and exciting destinations as we bring Filipinos to the best of the world and as we bring the best of the Philippines to the world. We have also recently launched Philippine Airlines desired customer experience model, which will guide the Company as we provide a heartwarming travel experience to our passengers. At PAL, we welcome you onboard and take care of you the best way we know how: with the warmth of our smile, our unique hospitality and a heart that is truly Filipino.”
MU: What do you expect from them? JJB: I expect all Group heads to work as a team, crossing departmental boundaries to extend cooperation where needed so as to achieve company goals. MU: What is the highlight (or highlights) of this year PAL’s 75th anniversary? JJB: Several activities marked PAL’s 75th anniversary that was celebrated last March 15, 2016. We had a special formal dinner for employees where we unveiled the company’s new brand equity, a major marketing initiative to propel PAL as a five-star airline. The following day, we re-staged the same program for VIP guests at a gala dinner. We had a historical memorabilia exhibit, the launch of a coffee table book, pocket celebrations at various outstations. Soon, we will launch a commemorative anniversary postage stamp. MU: How do you see PAL 5 years from now? JJB: By the year 2021, we hope PAL shall finally re-join the league of the world’s best airlines. We would be rated five-star by Skytrax based on an excellent assessment of various elements of our operations. We would be the pride of Filipinos anywhere in the world and a model company in the Philippines. MU: Most of my family and friends had shifted from European and Asian airlines (Air France, KLM, CX, Thai, Singapore Airlines) to the Middle East Airlines - Qatar, Etihad, Turkish, etc. because of low prices. How can PAL compete when the time comes that you will have other European destinations? JJB: We hope to strengthen our position with a highly respected brand so we can offer a distinctly Filipino service that other carriers cannot match. We hope that our cuttingedge customer service enhancements will keep passengers loyal. We have succeeded in maintaining a market niche – frequent flyers who go for quality service. We are the only carrier that operates non-stop from the Philippines to long-haul destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. This is the distinct advantage we have compared to foreign airlines. We have in place several programs to control cost and maximize current asset utilization that result to the lowering of the cost of operations, which in turn will allow us to offer competitive fares while maintaining profitability. Photos by: Rey Veloira Last Photo Credit to: Ruel Bonghanoy
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WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE (W.O.E) By Sonia D. Bermejo
Seated L-R Rosalie Cua, Din Santiago Lipana, Rose De Belen, Lulu Viscondong, Flordelisa Cruz, Connie Sabiano, Belinda Marcelo, Karen Ferrer, Rosalinda Polido, Lanie Gregorio, and Maricel Pili with Grace Aguilar
Background: Rosalie Cua, owns a perfume store. Two years ago, October 13, 2014, she felt that God wants to use her in spreading the Good News, people are drawn to her store, talks to her and seek her advice. These women, her regular customers formed the group W.O.E. There were only 3 of them when they started, and now, there are 20 members. She said, “My store is the avenue, the place to reach out to people. Through God’s divine intervention, they are brought to my store, and they get helped in whatever they are going through. We depend on and solicit the word of God. Through fellowship, we become stronger; we overcome obstacles and problems, and we have more peace. With our regular Monday fellowship, we gain faith, and we learn a lot. God changed us. It is a continued learning and studying of His Word that we all benefit from; being close, being blessed because this is where we’ve all met and we all started our mission in discipleship.” The women present during the interview were Rosalie Cua, Din Santiago Lipana, Rose de Belen, Lulu Viscondong, Flordelisa Cruz, Connie Sabiano, Belinda Marcelo, Karen Ferrer, Rosalinda Polido, Lanie Gregorio, and Maricel Pili. Those who were not present, but have been part of the ministry are Karen Tupaz, Marian Arfurong, Jocel Yabut, Jackie Chua, Maricar Villar, Belle Halili, Lourdes Rena, Connie, and Gaizz. MU: What is W.O.E? WOE: W.O.E. stands for Women of Excellence. It is a group of women who meets every Monday to support each other through the Word of God. It is a support group dedicated and committed to transform women of woe to Women of Excellence. MU: What is the group’s main goal? WOE: Two years ago, there were just 3 members in the group, it had grown to 20. We are now celebrating our
2nd anniversary. We are more committed than ever before to fulfill our discipleship mission, we named it “Disciple,” which stands for: Dedication - to dedicate our time to the Lord, to find time for each other Inspire - each other, share our personal experience through our personal testimonies Strengthen – to strengthen by supporting each other; we live through the covenant with Christ Connect – we are here for each other, for other people; to console, to spread the Word Improve – to improve our lives by studying the Word of God that transforms us, that by knowing, we will be transformed Pray – to pray for each other to overcome, and conquer any obstacles that we encounter, united prayers unleashes the Holy Spirit Love – to give love; with God’s love in our heart, we can channel it to others Encourage – to encourage each other, encourage that we are not alone and God is always here to help us and not to forsake us. MU: What do you do when you meet every Monday? WOE: We meet in different places, normally at food courts. We pray for each other, share our praise report, testimonies, and study the Word of God. We share our experiences, the changes when we experience the Word. We meet to encourage, to have accountability to each other, to sharpen other weaknesses and turn it into a strength. We want to be a shining light to other people that we have God to change us. To spread the Word, and present Jesus Christ our Saviour to those who have not known Him. To give our best and to offer to God, our life, our love, our best for His glory. We come together with that purpose. Real fellowship. MU: Are you accepting more in your group? WOE: Our group, we want to be an inspiration
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Women of Excellence
to others. They can start their own small group, it is not necessary to join us, but we are here to accept anyone, any creed, any religion, any ethnicity. This group is not about religion; but to form a close personal relationship with God. We will not judge, but we will look after you. Before we close our interview, I would love to quote a Scriptural verse Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Golden Women Ministry and WOE
Whatever you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Aside from the W.O.E., we have a smaller group, Golden Women Ministry that we have started in January of 2014, three years ago. A few months from now, it will be its 3rd anniversary. This group meets every Friday. Interviewed by: Grace Aguilar Photos and video by: Celia Abuel
Las Vegas, a one of a kind city Vegas Vibes
We will further examine three unique perspectives gathered from their own distinct viewpoints as articulated collectively by two geographically distant and two demographically divergent peoples. The odds are, most famous examples of Las Vegas include colossal marquis, the sounds of bells and whistles, countless taxi cabs, and of course... the requisite (and endangered) neon lights of Sin City. These are quite obviously likenesses brought forth from the memories of the past tens of thousands of weekly tourists who make Las Vegas their temporary home. By far, the most predominant culture in Clark County is the wonderfully diverse general populace, commonly referred to as “locals.” These are your everyday citizens who see Las Vegas for what she really is... a modern, beautiful city in the Mojave region, in the western United States of America. We locals live and flourish here in this mild, predictable semi-arid climate of perpetual blue skies and scattered stratus morning clouds. We enjoy countless
shopping and dining options, top-notch shows, and events, as well as a plethora of schools and colleges a short drive or jog from the next perpendicular block or corner street. Now for the last contingent, I will mention on this sunny day today...our vast Asian communities sprawled about the greater Las Vegas area. As a Filipino immigrant myself, I have experienced the overwhelming excitement of my dreams and desires being realized. We have all shared in the hope and anticipation of a successful, quality life being available as only the United States can provide. It is no secret in the Las Vegas Asian community, there are many opportunities one can seize to better the quality of life for any willing individual. Las Vegas has something for everyone, whether you’re on vacation, a resident, or making a life-changing decision to create a promising future for yourself and your progeny. There is no other city overflowing with unique opportunity quite like Las Vegas, and there may not be for a long time.
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Glamor, Fashion, and Giving Back...A Ball with a Heart I was one of the excited attendees of a Glamor event where Manila’s crème de la crème – along with a bevy of celebrities and famous personalities – gathered at the Shangri-La The Fort in what was certainly a fabulous event to remember: the 8th Red Charity Gala. Ever since the Red Charity Gala was conceived in 2009 by hardworking style and society mavens, Tessa Prieto– Valdes and Kaye Tinga, the annual event for a cause has consistently turned the spotlight on the best Filipino creative talents in fashion. Raising funds and building awareness for two significant endeavors: the Philippine Red Cross and the Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation. Indeed, glamour, high fashion, and the desire to give back was the order of the evening as the grand ballroom began to fill with elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen who came to support a worthwhile cause and to pay homage to this year’s designer in focus: the peerless Chito Vijandre. Preceding the much-awaited fashion show that evening — the affair’s pièce de résistance — a charity auction conducted by Tessa Valdez and Tim Yap was held, where guests enthusiastically placed a bid for an exciting array of lots generously provided by the sponsors. Then, the moment that everyone had been waiting for: the presentation of Chito’s 40-piece Filipiniana Haute Couture collection, a mélange that traced the richness of Philippine history and culture —reimagined
In Other Worlds by Becky Garcia
And as the man of the hour, Chito Vijandre sashayed down the runway in the grand finale — where he was joined by Tessa, Kaye, international model Ivo Buchta, and Ben Chan of Bench, Red Charity Gala’s main presenter — a warm, celebratory round of applause and reconfigured. Featuring six suites greeted the designer. A most heartfelt — an “ethnic suite,” a “revolt suite,” and segments dedicated to Hollywood tribute and fitting conclusion to what Glam, flapper girls, and carnival queens will undoubtedly be one of the most — the decidedly maximalist collection memorable events with a heart of 2016. To Kaye and Tessa, congratulations and was redolent of rich colors, lush textures, and fine embellishments — all may you continue to give your heart and effort for a good cause!!! expertly sewn by hand. L-R: Kaye Tinga, Ivo Buchta, ChitoVijandre, Tessa Valdez, and Ben Chan
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Anton Lagdameo and Dawn Zulueta
Trisha Verzosa and Gabriel Holigores
Marixie and Alex Prieto
Margie Moran and Ricky Toledo
Lingling and Emerson Yao
Jonathan Crespi and Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi
Sen . Richard Gordon
Annika Valdez and Dennis Valdez
Edd Fuentes, Freddie Tinga, Millet and Robert Mananquil Tonichi Nocom, Liza Ilarde, Mons Romulo
Justin Pitt and Cristalle Belo-Pitt
AiveeTeo and Z Teo
Derek Ramsay, Lovi Poe, Tim Yap Sheila Romero, Fabio Ide, Maricris Albert
On Thanksgiving On the beat by
On December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed the bill making the date of Thanksgiving a national holiday and fixed the day as the fourth Thursday of November. The Pilgrims who were dissenters from England were in Plymouth. They had a bountiful harvest. They ate with King Massasoit of the Wampanoag Native American who had taught them how to plant corn and other crops. There were 50 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving is the time when families bond together. Nowadays, it meant the beginning of the holidays when shopping spree gets crazy. It is also the time when the homeless are fed. Oftentimes the impoverished are remembered only on Thanksgiving. It is probably the beginning of the conquest of the Native Americans who welcome those who escaped from the tyranny of England. In these times of war and racism, Thanksgiving should be a reminder of the blessings that we have. Like the Native Americans, we should welcome those who flee from warring countries and seek asylum in the United States. After all, America is home to those who dream of a better life. This message was emphasized by the poet Emma Lazarus in her sonnet “The New Colossus” in 1883.
Its lines were inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty --- “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Lazarus was involved in the anti-Semitic movement and advocated on behalf of the poor Jewish refugees from Russia. In reality, the Pilgrims were refugees from England who sought sanctuary in this nation. The native Americans embraced them as new settlers. Today, we need to extend our hands to those who seek shelter in the United States. This is the true meaning of Thanksgiving --- not shopping, but rather cuddling those in need of help. After all, we are one family in this global humanity.
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JOIN OUR ALL DAY SPECIAL & FREE GIFTS 9TH ANNIVERSARY / DECEMBER 1, 2016
20 MANILA UP!
Bluewater Panglao Beach Resort Luxurious Escape by Joy Fong
Bluewater Panglao creates a luxurious escape that honors Bohol’s natural beauty. Nestled on an island with white-sand beaches, pristine waters and marine sanctuaries, the resort’s Filipino architecture and design complement Bohol’s culture, inherent warm hospitality, and eco-focused initiatives. The design concept matches well with the environment — organic yet elegant, innovative and functional. The first phase of the resort comprises 54 elegantly appointed guestrooms and villas. In the Pool Wing, all ground-level rooms have private verandas with direct access to the pool. First-floor rooms have private balconies. For guests who prefer a more luxurious accommodation, the Villas offer premier rooms with private outdoor dipping pool. RhyzBuac, GM of Bluewater, said the company’s mission is to maintain the quality of products and services. The resort has two dining options: AplayaRestaurant, which offers international and authentic local fare, featuring exotic
flavors made fresh with local products; and Baroto Pool Bar that offers all day dining and cocktails. The resort also is home to the Amuma Spa, the spa brand of Bluewater. Bluewater Panglao also offers island activities and themed dinners, fishing and boat tours, cycling around Panglao Island, Dolphin and Whale watching and a guided Island eco and adventure tours. Email email@example.com Photos Klara Fernandez
MANILA UP! 21
MANILA UP! MU: DISCUSS AN EVENT IN YOUR LIFE THAT WAS LIFE CHANGING, OR YOU EXPERIENCED AN EPIPHANY?
Hi Everyone! I wanted to introduce myself to you. My full name is Simplicio Michael Luis Asis Herrera, but I’m simply known as “M” in the fashion industry. I have been a celebrity designer for about 20 years now in Hollywood. During that time, I have worked with everyone from singers, artists, actors, and every sort of VIP, including royalty. Being of Filipino descent, I would love to share these experiences and update the entertainment industry back home with what’s going on in Hollywood today via up close and personal interviews with my celebrity circle of friends. Please add me on the below social media platforms and stay in touch! Enjoy!
SS: In 2009, I was accused of having sex with a minor. I was deceived into thinking she was older and didn’t think twice. I wish I would have been more responsible in my judgment. I have so much respect for women and to be accused of that broke my heart, and I’d do anything to change what happened and comfort her and let her know I’m sorry if I put her through any heartache. MU: WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE OTHER ASPIRING ARTISTS? SS: Be true to yourself, don’t let the industry dictate who you are...be ready to give all you got to achieve all you want. Respect yourself and love your family.
Sincerely, “M” Url: www.mthemovement.com Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @mthemovement
SHANE SPARKS MU: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF? ARE YOU A SINGER? IN A GROUP? MUSICIAN? SS: I am a choreographer, singer, writer, music producer, and screenwriter. MU: HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY IN YOUR CAREER BEGIN? SS: My journey started when I was a kid. I was never taught to dance, it’s my gift. I knew if I followed it, it would take me everywhere I wanted to go...and it did. MU: HOW DO YOU KNOW “M”? SS: I met M through a close friend I was designing a clothing line for, and my friend told me, “I have the perfect person to help you launch”...we met and 6 years later we’re still friends. MU: WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? SS: DreamGirls, off-Broadway show I choreographed seven years ago, and my current project as a recording artist! The world will finally get to see me perform. MU: ARE THERE ANY OTHER ARTISTS YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH AND WHY? SS: I would like to work with Lil Wayne or Chris Brown...little Wayne because I don’t think there’s an artist out there I relate to the most as far as swag and conviction to my craft and Chris Brown because I’d like to do the hottest dance video ever put on film.
MU: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? SS: Currently, I’m about to release an instructional video called “Dancing With The Mom’s.” I’m very excited about it, you’ll be able to get it on my website shane-sparks.com A new reality show just premiered October 13th called GROWING UP HIP HOP on the We Network. And my proudest project is my music! Coming soon!! MU: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO THE PHILIPPINES? IF NOT, ANY PLANS? SS: Never been but really want to go!!!!! Hopefully, soon. I hear so many incredible things about it.
Shane Sparks Facebook: shane sparks Twitter: @sparks5678 Youtube:firstname.lastname@example.org WebSite: shane-sparks.com Snapchat: mindmonger5678 Instagram: @shanesparks5678
MANILA UP! 23
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW AS A HOME SELLER
BUT WON’T BE TOLD BY A POLITE REALTOR
Real Estate in Real Time by Paul Mirador
Having a litter box per cat is good for the cats... Not for getting offers. – For the fact that you have gotten used to it; you may not smell it, but we can smell it on the way in. Spray some Febreze or light a candle once in a while. And while you are at it, wash the curtains, rugs, kitchen towels as well. Open up all the windows, turn on the fans, and get your home’s atmosphere ventilated. Ikea hacks look like Ikea hacks. Ok, you may have seen some hackers on Facebook or other social media sites, but when it comes to showing off your house, it’s not ideal to show off your hacking skills. Buyers will open every single closed door. And they are judging you. Buyers want to see how big the closets are and if the closets have an organizer or what type/condition the shelves are in there. They want to see how much clothes they can fit in there and if it’s dark inside. Just ensure your closet is clutter free, organize, and safe. The last thing we need is your stuff falling on a potential buyer once he or she opens the closed door. Cleaning the inside of your appliances? Not optional. When was the last time you cleaned the inside of your microwave and or the oven? Are the knobs (range and or kitchen cabinets) greasy? Is your stainless steel refrigerator still having that shine? The idea is to make everything look brand new.
Extension cords are signs of the devil. Aside from the fact that cords all over the house can cause a fire, anyone can easily trip over it. It is also an ugly clutter sight to behold. Um .. We know that’s a bong.
Don’t forget to put away your personal items, like your underwear, and or a bong; it doesn’t give a good impression here. I can imagine the potential buyer’s questions “Is this house on the DEA watch list?”, “Is this a crack house?” Whenever we see an old switch plate, we die a little inside. Do everyone a favor, be consistent when replacing your switch plates, they are cheap and will help beautify your place. And let’s not forget the yellowed ceiling. The first thing that comes to mind, “are the home-owners smokers?” “Why is that ceiling corner yellowing? Is there a leak from above? As the seller, it’s your responsibility to point that out to your listing agent, and have it checked and treated before
showing the property. No one cares what the place looked like when you moved in! Do you still have items inside your boxes when you first moved in? Do you have flat empty boxes against the wall? These boxes don’t need to be around when showing the property; it will only distract or block potential buyers from seeing more of the property. Have you seen showroom floors with empty boxes lying around? Throw away rus that should be thrown away. You know those rugs, carpets that are cut using a utility knife, unevenly cut, and shaped; used to hide or patch something you don’t want people to see. Well, it’s time to “cut” your ties with them; it’s time to get rid of them. They are clutter and dangerous. People can step and slip or trip over them. We’re less than thrilled that your aunt Betty is a Realtor. OK, this is what a Realtor is REALLY thinking when you say something like this to us. In the Realtor’s mind, your aunt will not do a great job because if they mess up with negotiations, paperwork, coordination, inspections and termite repairs, etc.; you will understand and forgive your aunt because after all, she’s a relative. Your aunt will treat you like a relative than a client. Meaning, you will not be their priority, because you will always be there, an unrelated client will be their priority because they are hard to come by. How do we (Realtors) know this? Because we have had clients asking us to resolve their “inexperience aunt’s” mess. About the author: Paul Mirador is a California licensed Los Angeles Realtor @ PLG Estates Office: Beverly Hills and Los Feliz. BRE# 01839177
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MAYFLOWER Seafood Restaurant
LA CHINATOWN WE DO CATERING 679 N. Spring Street FOR ALL PARTIES & Los Angeles, CA 90012 LUNCH SPECIAL DAILY Open 7 days 11AM-3AM Tel: (213) 628-0116 Fax: (213) 628-0129
26 MANILA UP! The Best Dressed Women of the Philippines
Earnest Snoops by Ernest L. Gonzaga
The Best Dressed Women of the Philippines (BDWP) Annual Awards Ball, Manila’s most elegant was recently held at the Makati Shangri-La’s Rizal Ballroom. The vision was in white; tables were festooned with immaculate linens and floral centerpieces in a monochromatic theme. The BDWP is an annual glitzy and dazzling event to raise funds for the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), a nonprofit organization that helps indigent cancer patients. Businesswoman and honorary consul to Angola Helen Ong has been spearheading the event for years now together with the selection and organizing committee members Jayelles’ Roselle Rebano, Mabel Abaño, and Marian Ong as well as Philippine Cancer Society (PCS) officials led by
The Best Dressed Women of the Philippines Glitzy Annual Awards Ball vice chairman Antonio Ma. J. Guerrero.
Marie Golez Tiongco, among others.
Since its inception, Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco had been gracing the event and donating P1 million to the PCS until her death last year. Awardees normally pay the tables for dinner, proceeds of which go to the PCS. Beyond ticket sales, many of the awardees have made the PCS their personal charity.
Men of Extraordinary Influence adopt a cancer patient for radiation or chemotherapy. Among this year’s awardees are architect Ed Romualdez III, retail entrepreneur Ben Chan, builder Oscar Violago, and Malacañang communications head Martin Andanar.
Former Miss Korea, Carolyn Lee Tan was this year’s Style Icon who sashayed with gusto when presented. This year’s BDWP awardees were composed of Imelda Pechera, Alta Redor Lyttle, Ingga S. Cabangon-Chua, Jerianne Ejercito Peña, Sheila DizonCarlos, Judy Miranda Abalos, Dr. Cecilia Ramos Berdad, Richelle Louise Singson Michael, Charisse Santillan-Tinio, Sheila
For 13 years now, the Best Dressed Women of the Philippines continues its commitment to support PCS in its programs to help Filipinos battling cancer. Bravo to another successful gala all for a worthy cause! (Photos by Jeff Arevalo/Henry Ferrer)
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Serla Russel and Agile Zamora
Mhel Pechera Maila Garcia King, Nikki Tang, Rosemarie Basa, Anna Sia, Marcott Almeda
Michelle Lucas and Jemellie Gonzales Anne Ong and Anna Sia
John Crespo and Mark Lester Lico
Jennifer Weigel, Ofelia Wadle, Bianca Gauthier, Beth Ventura and Michelle Lucas
Carolyn Lee Tan
28 MANILA UP!
Perhaps it was a divinely guided meet the day I decided to accept an invitation to attend an Eric Worre convention here in Orlando, FL. Relationship marketing’s finest and eager entrepreneurs all converged to gain expert wisdom to grow and develop themselves, their business and network. I was personally marching to my own drumbeat that day. I attended not because of the industry, rather an internal compass in my personal journey to find my own true worth, redefine and re-ignite my own identity, to make sense of the calamity and challenges that happened in so many levels that tested my very belief system and my very existence. To the outside world, I was the perfect chameleon of charm, energy, intelligence, wit, and public presence but internally I was sinking faster than I could breathe and relied on my “perfected crafts” to play out in public, the perfected smile, energy and a curious mind. It was during a quick break that fate stepped in. Finishing some notes, I happen to look up as this man walked passed me. He smiled, I smiled back, and he doubled right back. My first thoughts, “Oh here we go.” The first thing that hit me was his level of energy, walking confidently right up, he extended his hand and said: “Hi, I’m Evan and you are?” We exchanged pleasantries, contact cards, small talks and parted ways. He was interested in my Philanthropy engagements. Right after the convention, as I crossed the parking space, I hear my name being yelled at in a rather congested parking lot, looking around, I find him literally
Thanksgiving Special Edition Article
“If I tell you my Story” The Journey of Evan Klassen
causing traffic as he rolled down his window and said “Melody, I’m leaving for Japan, but I want to let you know I’ll be in touch when I get back.” And thus started a path of friendship over the last 9 months as I took a “student of life seat” to observe this almost “none human” with an insane trajectory of passion and success “do his thing” as he traveled globally. Meet Evan Klassen…
Who exactly is Evan Klassen? A two-time Best Selling Author of “Think and Grow Rich Today” and “Transform.” Inspirational Thought
Leader of the Year, A global jetsetter who has traveled well over 26 countries with an unstoppable force in launching highly successful businesses around the world. A soulful singer-songwriter, purpose driven Entrepreneur, an enthusiastic and passionate motivational speaker whose platform message is to inspire everyone to live happy and reach the peak of success with fulfillment and so much more.His name has been linked to business giants, experts, and had been countlessly interviewed and published in many articles over time. But his journey didn’t start that way. Evan was far from being the man he is now. Born from humble beginnings in Dushanbe, Central Asia, Evan is the middle child out of 9 children. His family escaped from a country ridden in communism, poverty, and persecution to Germany by the time he was 8 years old. As a young boy, Evan developed an inferiority complex of “not being good enough” which was further compounded when he was academically held back one year. He believed he was a “dumb kid,”
Evan speaking in Rimini 1
a belief that stayed deeply rooted through his teens. To protect himself from potential bullying, he leveraged by trying to find something nice in everyone. Evan didn’t have big dreams for himself as other children did and he believed he would not really amount to much. The first stirrings of Evan’s entrepreneurial independence started at the age of 11 when he decided to work as a newspaper route boy. By age 14, he was holding down 3 jobs, including being a factory worker, while also maintaining school. Most of his days would start at 6am and end at 12am. The money he made at the time gave him a sense of financial freedom and independence and built his confidence. Moreover, the ability to help out his large family gave him a strong sense of accomplishment and pride. At the age of 20, Evan went through a very difficult personal situation that led him to severe depression with thoughts of ending his life that became too alluring. “It is in
the moment of indecision, because of the fear of not meeting other people’s expectation that leads to a depressed state,” he quips. It was also around that time that a friend invited him to attend a seminar in relationship marketing. This was the conduit to his introduction to selfdevelopment and network marketing. It was only then that he understood what true Entrepreneurship had meant and it was not an easy journey the first 6-months. His residual income? A mere $14.05 and where others may have understandably thrown in the towel, Evan decided to persevere against the odds. Surrounding himself with valuable mentors, who allowed him to look at his life with a different “set of eyes” a solid grit on his goals of becoming a millionaire and intense focus.
At age 21, Evan moved to the United States, with a dream of becoming somebody. He knew from the get go that he did not want to
MANILA UP! 29 work for anyone else but himself. With nothing but a dream he set to pursue real estate and failed the first few attempts. He recalls the lack of confidence that others had on his credentials as an immigrant learning the English language and geographic locations in general. For the first year and a half, he was just hustling to make money to just survive. He showed up 6 days a week and worked 12-18 hour days and this was during the recession where everyone was losing their home. Everyone kept telling him he should quit and get a regular job and he became determined not to. Then to top it off, Evan ends up rear-ending another car. It was one of the final breaking point, where he found himself asking God why He would allow him to continue to suffer. But it was also a moment of clarity, his “why” which was his family, his mother, served as the strong purpose to continue. In 2008, while the entire country suffered through the recession, Evan soared in real estate. Closing more deals than he can handle, unaffected by news due to carrying on a great positive attitude with unwavering solid focus he went for it. He felt he had nothing else to lose and he took massive action. “When you go through the most difficult times, they are not setbacks, but set ups for your success, set up for your new beginnings. It’s the time when you make that decision, that your destiny is shaped. Find the opportunities in the problem and you will succeed.” In 2011, he decided to go back into relationship marketing. It was also at that time, Evan found himself having to start back from scratch when a business he spent a year building did not come into fruition and he took a significant financial hit and went back to square one of losing it all. In 2012, he was asked to co-author the book “Think and Grow Rich Today” and in process of writing
30 MANILA UP! this book, he re-discovered his true meaning, discovered his deepest pain and allowed himself to re-assess his own authenticity with the love he has for people. He shared that at the height of his depression in his early twenty’s, he came across a homeless street beggar and was insanely jealous of that man’s situation. The main reason was that he knew if he took his own life, so many people would get so hurt, but if he were the homeless man, no one would care. It was a humiliating feeling, because he sought out to be the person whom society shunned out. Evan adds, “I did commit suicide… not in the physical form, but in my former self. I ended his limited beliefs, I ended all that held him back to becoming completely unleashed in life.” God humbled him to the point of authenticity. He became more compassionate and understanding of people and this paved the platform of his purpose which is to truly empower people to live happy. He adds, ”we often wait for things to happen in order for us to create happiness and the truth is that happiness comes before success. It comes before we achieve certain things. If we are not happy with what we have right now, having more of what we want will not make us happier.” By giving people compliments, by believing in them, he saw and felt the internal change within. Evan in Japan
God had always been the center of Evan’s foundation. ”Happiness is every moment’s choice. Don’t blame the circumstances but accept the cards that you have been dealt with and blame effectively. Become the best version of yourself,” he strongly encourages.
Evan’s 3 Step Process to transformational thinking…
Evan has a 3-step transformational thought process that allows him to continue to be empowered even through the toughest of circumstances and allows the experience to transition into the mental focus of a positive moment. Evan’s formula is quite simple. First, ask yourself what are you going to focus on? Second, how are we going to feel about it and lastly, what are we going to do about it? These 3 steps will help you assign the meaning to it and once we learn how to change the way we look at things, then the things we look at start changing. During one of his reflections, he really recognized that one of his gifts was a genuine love for humanity and despite the fact that God had allowed pain in the process, it was through that, he became a brilliant networker because he learned to see the “soul of man” behind the titles, behind the facades and behind the pretenses.
MANILA UP! 31 One of the most powerful questions he asks himself during any adversity or pain is how can he look at things from God’s perspective? What blessings can he culminate from the experience and what can he be grateful for?
A Message to his younger self…
As he looks back at his life, I asked him, what would he say to his younger self? The young boy who had so much doubt and carried an internal pain? This brought an emotional pause, as I observed Evan, reach back in his past and in soft gentle tones, he said, “I would tell my younger self that everything he was afraid only existed in his mind and was not the truth. That God gave me certain gifts and that all the pain and struggles are part of the purpose because my destiny and my pain carries the message that will end up helping so much people. That these are necessary and are going to become the foundations and the drive that would inspire a lot of people. So accept it and allow it to grow you into a good person and it was never meant to destroy you. It allowed me to feel different feelings so I can be compassionate, so I can love like other people can’t love and care deep where others can’t care… and to trust that I have a beautiful destiny ahead of me.”
Synchronicity and Serendipity ...
How exactly does Evan Klassen’s own personal journey collide with mine? An evident of God’s answer to a challenging prayer I sent up in the midst of my own intense pain. You see, I asked God at the very time my faith in Him was tested, that if He truly cared about me, He needed to send people that could see past through my perfected “chameleon” character, to have the basis of intense pain I had felt, whose talents mirrored mine in all ways, so that no words had to be expressed and who, through adversity, were made stronger. I was tired of seasons and reasons and that God needed to send in the lifetime change makers, those whose journey ignites everything within me that felt broken and I would know by discernment of their character, their thought process and their genuine love for mankind and …Evan (among others later on) shows up at the most unexpected time in a place I would perhaps not typically attend. I regard him and his journey with the utmost respect, value our friendship like a rare gem, admire his steadfast unwavering belief and love for humanity with a resounding passion that mirrors my own heart, his ability to stay grounded, his exuberance each new day brings with a childlike excitement and his meteoric rise to the top with a razor sharp focus and purpose of helping people live life to the fullest, breaking chains of limiting beliefs, hurtful pasts and ignite the very reason they were placed on earth and all the
while giving God the glory, all the time. This is the real Evan Klassen I have come to know and admire beyond the obvious achievements and accolades. We have tackled on volunteering in the past, focused on helping less fortunate families, have a witty exchange of ideas or comments and genuine respect for each other’s journeys, and take on the world with the gifts we have been equipped with, with the purpose of making a difference in the lives of others and leave a legacy as we point others upwards, onwards and blazingly forward. It is a solid certainty and honor to have been blessed to become friends.
Evan’s Final thoughts to Readers…
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming what you thought you couldn’t.” Life is happening for you, not to you. Accept the difficult times as a means to grow you. Welcome the pain, welcome the process and in the end you will see that all these are means to your destination of a beautiful life. And he adds his popular catch phrase “To the TOP!” Catch Evan’s Journey on Social Media: Web: www. Evanklassen.com Snapchat: therealEvanKlassen Facebook: www.facebook.com/EvanKlassenVIP Twitter: @EvanKlassenVIP
Evan and Tony Robbins
32 MANILA UP!
Expressing one’s Gratitude to God
God loves us equally. Even though we are divided with different beliefs and practices, the way He sees us never change. And the fact that we’re all sinners, He still never ceases to love us all. That is the very reason why by Jhoanna de Guzman we are responsible to respect Him. We exist to appreciate God, and we are created to honor Him.
Proverbs 31 Woman
Since God didn’t create us alone, as Genesis 2:18 says “It is not good that a man should be alone,” one manner to be grateful for what God has done is also to appreciate those whom He created around us. Each and every single day, God purposely presents us with situations that assess our ability to love those whom He put in our path. That’s one way He uses to test if we really love Him. When we try to be kind even when we don’t feel like it, we pass the test; we please God.
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Nevertheless, it is not always easy to pass this test; we almost always fail in this area. But we can do it in simple steps anyway. We can always start with doing small gestures: paying for someone’s coffee, holding the door for someone, giving compliments, being the bigger person. Every time we make an act of kindness, we don’t just express gratitude to God, we will also feel better about ourselves. When we show God how we bless others, we give a smile on His face so to speak. Surely, we are positioning ourselves to receive more blessings from Him. After all, God is the God of more than enough. We are prosperous because God wants us to be generous; our needs are being met because God wants us to share it with others. Nothing is wrong with giving what we have because we can always be certain that God will always supply our needs. We must not be afraid to give because when we give through helping others, then we are headed to overflow. So, you, how will you express your gratitude to God today?
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Alana Danielle Pine
Photo by Gery Edra Photography
34 MANILA UP!
THE PENINSULA MANILA CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF MEMORIES WITH A SPECTACULAR GALA NIGHT Metro Scene by Joy Fong
The Peninsula Manila commemorated four decades as one of the legends of Philippine hospitality with one of the grandest gala events the city had seen in a very long time. Having opened her doors for the first time on September 14, 1976 – and graciously welcoming guests and patrons from all over the world ever since – the hotel celebrated its anniversary 40 years later to the day with a gorgeous gala party. Shimmering custom-made capiz chandeliers cascaded down The Lobby ceiling; entertainment was top billed by Lea Salonga; buffet tables groaned with Maine lobsters, Russian caviar, French cheeses, Philippine artisanal chocolates, Lechon, Atlantic turbot, among many others; wine and Champagne flowed non-stop, and the party extended all the way to Salon de Ning, Spices and The Pool. In his welcome speech, The Peninsula Manila General Manager Mr. Mark Choon remarked, “Tonight, we look forward to sharing our “Peninsula” memories, as well as creating new ones with all of you.” The Chairman of The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited, The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie said: “This hotel is very close to my heart
HSH Chairman The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie and Washington Sycip
being only the second Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels property to bear the Peninsula name. Following our flagship property The Peninsula Hong Kong, which opened in 1928. We were
thrilled to open a new Peninsula Hotel in the Philippines, which is famous for its warm people and spectacular scenery.”
Joy Fong, Rupert & Tina Jacinto, Joseph Calata, Glen Gale
He said that The Peninsula Manila hotel is inextricably linked to the past, present and future of the Philippines, adding that with its wonderful location at the heart of the Makati district, The Peninsula Manila Lobby quickly became the place “to see and be seen . . . creating unforgettable memories and witnessed the variety of life in all its drama and excitement.” Exactly 40 years to the day of her 1976 launch, The Peninsula
Manila celebrated another milestone in convivial style with an evening of splendid entertainment and refined joie de vivre. And, 40 years after, Makati’s “Grande Dame” has never looked better as she welcomed the great and the good of Makati, the Philippines and beyond for a gala celebration that will live long in the memory of all who attended.
MANILA UP! 35
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Photos Lorna LLanes
Isha Andaya Valles, Grace Baja, Chris Daez and Jacqui Salonga
Chito Vijandre, Evelyn Lim-Forbes and Inno Sotto
Louie Barcelon Locsin, Teddyboy Locsin and Mila Magsaysay Valenzuela
Miguel Pastor, Ben Chan, Ricky Toledo and Shauna Poppler
Raul Manzano, Mia Borromeo, Rosanna Ocampo Rodriguez and Christian Valdes
Rita Dee, Mellie & Louie Ablza, Nympha Valencia, Natty Pappas
The Peninsula Manila General Manager Mark Choon with wife Jennifer
Fortune Ledesma, Czarina Syquia, JunJun Ablaza, Marian Ong Mathew Lim, Kim de Guzman & Daniel Lim,
Annie Sarthou, Sandy Uy, Rowel Santiago and Tina Fernandez
Nonoy Basa and Eva McGovern Basa
36 MANILA UP!
BAGUIO COUNTRY CLUB: THE PHILIPPINES’FIRST AND ONLY 5-STAR MOUNTAIN RESORT By ERNEST GONZAGA
BCC Golf Course
Spread out over 34 hectares of prime Baguio land, adjacent to John Hay; the Baguio Country Club is the place to be in Baguio. There is hardly any tourist, local or international, who has been to Baguio without encountering the Baguio Country Club. Whether one passes by en route to John Hay or Minesview, or hears about it from other people, Baguio Country Club is an institution, an integral part of Baguio. It is in fact, much more than that, having been declared a national heritage in 2005 when the BCC turned 100 years old. Now there is even more reason to rejoice for Baguio residents, Baguio Country Club members and friends. The Department of Tourism, after careful evaluation and monitoring, awarded the BCC, formerly a Triple-A Resort, a much coveted 5 Star Status. It is not only the first but is the only 5-star Mountain Resort in the whole Philippines.
Several years ago, in an effort to bring up their ratings to international standards, the Department of Tourism released new guidelines for the accreditation and rating of resorts and hotels. In connection with this, Baguio Country Club and most other establishments in the Philippines underwent extensive evaluation. The Standards Monitoring and Enforcement Division of the Department of Tourism which is the body tasked with evaluation and accreditation noted that the team effort of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the Baguio Country Club were of such magnitude that they exceeded, by a substantial margin, the mandatory requirements for a five-star property. It is a well-deserved honor indeed. BCC General Manager Anthony de Leon attributed this notable and sought-after breakthrough to the assertive and constant upgrading and development of the
Club’s luxury facilities. BCC will soon be inaugurating two major facilities. These are the world-class, environment-friendly Convention Hall and the Infinity Garden which are very popular venues in the BCC. So read on and rediscover, this venerable Baguio Institution that continues to flourish beautifully and getting better, year after year. Members and guests of Baguio Country Club enjoy the fascinating facilities such as the following: The newly-refurbished Verandah which is composed of two main areas, the Potenciano Ilusorio and the Roman Ozaeta wing. The Verandah’s lure include the alfresco dining, delicious a la carte offerings, and their ever popular theme buffets. The Cotterman, the main dining area of the club which offers sumptuous breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets. Its fireplace, woodwork, and piano music exude a romantic ambiance making it an immensely
popular date destination. Named after Charles M. Cotterman who was responsible for reorganizing the primitive Philippine Postal system to make it at par with the rest of the world. Hamada Japanese Restaurant, a critically acclaimed Japanese restaurant headed by the BCC’s Japanese chef, serves up authentic Japanese cuisine and has consistently been regarded among the top Japanese restaurants in the Philippines. Hamada utilizes theTeppanyaki style of cooking, guests are treated to acrobatica cooking performances by their highly trained battery of chefs. The Black Angus rib eyeTeppanyaki and the Teppanyaki ice cream are de riguer for an authentic Hamada experience. Raisin Bread Shop, where a lot of people troop to BCC for the raisin bread alone. This prompted the renaming of the Pastry Shop to the “Raisin Bread Shop.” While Raisin bread remains the star of the show, there are a lot of yummy pastries and cakes available. The famous Baguio Country Club Raisin Bread was born from the recipe of a previous General Manager of the Club, the late Mrs. Kate Reed Crosby. She was the GM of the BCC from 1955 to 1968. Par 7 was formerly known as the “Golfers Nook.” This has long been the traditional destination for players after a round of golf. While it is more of a sports bar or cocktail lounge, one can avail of the Verandah menu while chilling here. Halfway House, aptly named because it is halfway through the challenging 18-hole Golf course and located in the middle of the lush course. Halfway House offers an alternative venue for non-golfers to relax and enjoy the scenery of Baguio. W. C. Forbes Ballroom is considered one of the best ballrooms located outside Metro Manila. It is the premiere and most sought after venue in Baguio Country Club. Favored by the crème de la crème of high society from the highlands and lowlands. Utilizing the finest materials to
bring to life its grandiose design, the integration of classic interior design elements with elegant lighting fixtures resulted in a most beautiful place that is unequaled in the City of Pines. The ballroom is named after Governor General William Cameron Forbes, the founder of Baguio Country Club and the namesake as well of the opulent Forbes Park in Makati, as well as Governor Forbes Street in Manila. Ballroom Roofdeck is all about the view here because, from the roofdeck, one is greeted with an expansive view of the Baguio Gold Mountain. Below are grandiose views of the ItogonTuding Benguet valley. The ballroom roofdeck is located directly above the Forbes ballroom and is the top choice of couples who wish to have an outdoor wedding. During the rain free months, it lends itself well to black tie events and elegant evening cocktails. Ambassador Francisco V. del Rosario Jr. Hall is one of the most used for these corporate functions. It is quite fitting that the hall, named after the highly distinguished and multiawarded Ambassador Francisco del Rosario Jr., remains the first choice of companies and organizations. Ambassador del Rosario used to be a board member of the Club and has made numerous, invaluable contributions that have been instrumental in making the Club the prestigious institution it is today. President’s Room has served as the boardroom away from home of countless corporations. Being the Summer Capital of the Philippines, the Supreme Court holds sessions in Baguio during summer. By the same token, the President’s Room gives the corporate world a venue to conduct business and hold meetings away from the heat of the Metro. Finished with simple but elegant furnishings, the size of this room is in fact well within the usual average size of corporate conference rooms with a sweeping view of the golf course; the weary executive only needs to lift his eyes to the windows in order to refresh his mind. The room is so named as a
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Raisin Bread Shop Cotterman
Par 7 (Bar)
The Core Area Roman Ozaeta Wing Verandah
38 MANILA UP! tribute to past Presidents of the Baguio Country Club whose pictures line its walls. Infinity Garden, one of the newer venues in the Club, delivers some of the best views that Baguio has to offer. Being an outdoor function area, its availability is quite dependent on the weather, but between the awesome views and the splendor of the garden, one would be hard put to find a more idyllic wedding venue. These are just some of the exciting and fascinating outlets and activity area of BCC, to name a few. The cottages are the most familiar part of the Club after the main club itself. Separated physically by the road, the cottages have been around for a long time and are quite famous in their own right. At the moment, there are 15 cottages, all self-contained units that are complete and well appointed. Baguio Country Club, being a 5-star retreat, is not cheap. The Deluxe rooms, however, offer excellent value and are the all time favorite of guests. Beautifully decorated in an eclectic mix of contemporary and native
interior design. Artifacts from all over the Cordilleras are integrated into the room décor. The Executive Suites are located on the 4th Floor of the Club. The location ensures that views are superb all around. Being high up, noise from the Club activities below are essentially non-existent. With a total area of 125 square meters, the suite is almost three times the size of an average studio in Metro Manila. Each Executive suite has two bedrooms with separate bathrooms. Golf is the major attraction of the Club as far as sports activities are concerned. Always a favorite in the competition circuit, the Club co-hosts the longest running tournament in the Philippines, the Annual Men’s Fil-Am Invitational Tournament. Designed by renowned course designer Luis Golem Silverio, the course is a par 61, 18-hole course that spans a total of 4,038 yards. Bowling is another big activity hub in the Club. A total of 8 bowling lanes make up the Bowling Center. Popular among avid bowlers, the Bowling facilities of the club are often tapped for tournaments.
Baguio Country Club offers a heated swimming pool, a perfect way to cap a fun day in Baguio. It has 3 major areas, the main pool, kiddie pool, and a Spa. The very well equipped Fitness Center features a gym with a wide range of state of the art equipment. An Aerobics room rounds out the Fitness center, and it serves as a venue for both aerobics and Yoga. Recognizing the occupational risk of golf and other physical activities at the Club, the Fitness center also features licensed Physical Therapists for swift and effective rehabilitation. The Baguio Country Club has truly evolved from its humble beginnings. The dreams of Governor General Forbes for BCC not only came true but have been surpassed by a wide margin. Many Baguio institutions have come and gone, but clearly, the Baguio Country Club is here to stay. It has become an indispensable hub for social and corporate activities in Baguio. A highlands destination for business and leisure, the ONLY 5-star Mountain resort in the country. There’s really nothing quite like it in the Philippines. Hamada Japanese Restaurant
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H-2B Work Visas for Filipinos Immigration Professor’s Corner to Work in the USA Robert Perkins, Esq. by
The most commonly used work visa in the past was the H-1B visa for professional workers. Recently though, that visa has been hard to get. This article briefly outlines one other option, the H-2B visa. Before beginning this process, though, Filipinos must have a US employer to sponsor them. The H-2B visa is available for any type of job. To get this visa, a US employer must show that the job is temporary and that there are no US workers available in the area who meet the qualifications for the job. The employer must first file and obtain the prevailing wage. Then, the employer must list the job with the corresponding State Workforce Agency and file for Temporary Labor Certification with the US Department of Labor (“DOL”). This job listing must remain active until 21 days prior to the job start date. The DOL will then direct the employer to advertise and show that they are not able to find any US workers. Any US workers who might be qualified for the job must be interviewed and if one meets all the qualifications the case can be lost. It must be demonstrated that the only person who meets the requirements is the foreign national. The employer must also show that their need for the employee is temporary, not permanent employment, meaning that the need for the employee will end in the near, definable future. The employer’s request for labor can
be for a one-time occurrence, a seasonal need, a peak-load need, or an intermittent need. For a one-time occurrence, a person can get an H-2B visa for up to three years. For intermittent, seasonal, or peak load needs, the position can be for up to nine months, and can only be extended by going through the entire Department of Labor process again. Upon DOL approval, the employer can then file with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) where they again will have to demonstrate the temporary need. DOL approval is only advisory, so the USCIS can issue an H-2B without it if there are extenuating circumstances. The whole H-2B process can take at least 90-120 days to complete. Once the case is approved in the United States, the applicant can interview for this visa at the United States embassy in Manila. The applicant will have to show that he/she does not intend to permanently immigrate to the United States. The H-2b visa is a viable option for some Filipinos who can connect to US employers (through friends, relatives, the internet) and also have strong ties to the Philippines (relatives, own a home, etc.). To learn more about this visa, please call our offices nationwide at 888-439-4560.
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Alana Danielle Pine is an eighteen year-old, half Filipino and half African-American beauty who is emerging into the modeling scene. Alana entered Miss Philippines USA 2016, as her first pageant ever, and was named one of the top 10 finalists. She learned a lot from the competition and enjoyed the experience, which inspired her to pursue modeling.
She was blessed with the amazing opportunity to participate in New York Fashion Week this past September, walking for the very talented Willfredo Gerardo, where she experienced the ins and outs of runway modeling. She was also asked to walk for L.A. Fashion Week, where she modeled for both Willfredo Gerardo and his new collaboration design, Arzamendi Style. This is just the beginning of Alana’s journey into the fashion world. Alana is currently concentrating on furthering her modeling career, as well as finishing her studies. She is a full-time student, and works part time for Behavioral Autism Therapies. She is passionate about raising awareness for Autism and helping the
ANIELLE PINE By Mia Humphreys
families affected by this disorder. Alana attended Bishop Amat High School as a student athlete, where she was part of their track team and graduated on the honor roll. She is currently attending Mt. San Antonio College to complete her A. A degree, and will be transferring to a university next fall to finish her B.A. degree, majoring in Business. Alana is the granddaughter of Aurora Belderol, owner of Rising Stars Performing Arts Studio, in Walnut, California. She grew up learning about music and the performing arts. She loves spending time with family and friends, and enjoy being a positive role model for her younger siblings and cousins.
Photo by Gery Edra Photography
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Designer, New York Fashion Week
Born and raised in North Hollywood, CA, early in his young age, Willfredo had been always interested and involved with fashion. Style and presentation were the main component of his upbringing that filtered into his career. After attending several performing arts schools in Southern California and Sarasota Opera House, he started to migrate from performing arts and immerse himself into fashion. He moved to New York, where he worked in retail and stumbled into designing bridal gowns for high-end clients, and embraced his love for designing couture.
He has gained status as head designer for Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015 & 2016 and seen his looks all across red carpet events such as the Golden Globes, Emmys, People’s Choice Awards, Latin Grammys, Latin Billboards, & Premio Juventud. Ninel Conde, Chiquinquirá Delgado, Alejandra Espinoza, and Daphnie Joy are known to be a few of Gerardo’s star studded client list. Willfredo Gerardo is currently based out of Miami, Florida, and has been traveling the world showcasing his designs for fashion weeks in Miami, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Mexico, and Beijing.
ALANA PINE with the designer Photo credit: LAFW Photos by Celia Abuel
Source: www. willfredogerardo.com For more information, please visit his website.
Alana Pine at the New York Fashion Week LA Fashion Week
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Living in DUBAI Living The Good LIfe by Gabriela Miloda
Being an expat is one of the most enriching experiences you can have in life. My husband and I moved to Dubai 4 years ago, and we still have no plans of budging. We were blown away with how amazing this city was but like every expat couple that moves to Dubai, we thought we’d stay a year or two max. Turns out Dubai has so much more to offer than we thought!
As we like to put it, “we’re not done with Dubai yet.” Inevitably, like with all expat postings, that day might come at some point, but for now, we want to take in everything this fantastic city has to offer.
for really interesting friendships. My closest friends are from Italy, France, Switzerland, the USA, and Iran and like myself, they’re of mixed heritage too. Being a Third Culture Kid, this is my comfort zone.
So what makes Dubai such a great city to live in? I’d like to start with what is most important to me personally, the people of Dubai. This city has one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world. Only about eight percent of Dubai’s population of around 2 million are Emirati - the other 92 percent are from overseas. This makes
Another thing I love about Dubai, which also has to do with the people who live here, is the buzzy and exhilarating environment. Most people who move to Dubai are professionals who bring their ideas to this city from all around the world. A lot of my friends, I know have started their own companies here because Dubai offers a great platform for entrepreneurs,
both female and male. You never know what new cool homegrown restaurant, fashion brand, recreational activity or platform for artists will be launched next. That energetic vibe is contagious and best of all it just never gets boring. And finally, my most recent reason why I love Dubai is because how family friendly it is. Everything here is catered towards families (yes, there are changing tables in every public bathroom as well as ramps and elevators for prams in every building) and kids are welcome everywhere. Our typical weekend always include the beach for some kite surfing, running along the beach on the 14 km long running track and of course swimming in the sea. Our daughter is obsessed with the beach, so luckily everyone is happy at the end of the day. During the week, outdoor play dates in the park or beach together with other mummies is the norm. I consider myself blessed to live and raise a family in a city that is so open and welcoming to all, and Iâ€™m proud to call it my home!
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Dancesport Council th Celebrates 20 Anniversary with a Grand Show
Willanne Rose Ducay & Tristan John Ducay
Belinda Adora Kids
Atty Noel Laman and Danella Publico
This year, the Dancesport Council of the Philippines celebrates its 20th anniversary. There is so much to be thankful for. When I founded the Dancesport Council 20 years ago, I did not imagine even in my wildest dreams that one day, dancesport will become an institution, a thriving industry improving the lives of so many people, producing dancesport champions and putting the Philippines in the international dancesport map.
We have reached two decades of dancesport existence and still moving on. It was not an easy ride at the start but we have survived; and we will continue to pursue our mission and vision to put the Philippines in the world dancesport map, and we are getting there. We have since witnessed our dancesport community grow and establish itself as an institution we could now all be proud of.
Last Saturday, October 1, upon the initiative of one of our active board of directors, Tita Nanette Mendoza, we presented an anniversary show at the Makati Sports Club featuring all our top dancesport athletes and supporters. Dedicated coach and Show Director was former dancesport champion, Mr. Bong Marquez. The Board of Directors were even prodded to do a dance number as the finale. We performed to a full house attended by our dancesport friends, supporters, and enthusiasts. Leading the guests were Philippine Olympic Committee Director Ms. Cynthia Carrion with husband Jerry Rollins, former DSCPI Director Jun Herrera, and wife Ditas, who continue to be a staunch supporter of dancesport. The program started with an invocation led by Director Andy Fornier. The opening number, which was well applauded was the eight movements show dance led by Gerald Jamili, Cherry Parcon, Gelmar Ballovar, Sheena Badong, Elmar Dizon, Rachael Sun, Jed Villaruel, Rose Jean Marquez, and Ben James. The group of Dance Vision Arena dancing Standard led by Benny Lao and Jeanfer Salas, Brian Ocana and Elena Lee, Frederick Ventura and Anita
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Tansipek, Zandro Siozan and Tengteng Abella. Standing ovationÂ was the Antipolo Kids of Belinda Adora who performed a great Latin show dance. Not to be outdone was the Latin and Standard performance of the students of Studio 116. The highlight was the dance numbers performed by the National team composed of standard Group German Enriquez and DanellaÂ Publico, Tristan John Ducay and sister Willane Rose Ducay, Sean Aranar and Ana Nualla. The Latin group was Gerald Jamili and Cherry Parcon, Michael Angelo Marquez and Stephanie Sabalo, Roque and Rhea Marquez. The highlight of the show was the finale number of the members of the Board. Opening chacha number by Atty. Andy Fornier and Arianne Madrid. A Tango number by Atty. Noel Laman and Danella Publico. Rumba number by Mike Ozaeta and Cherry Parcon. A foxtrot number by Becca Jose and Marvin Marquez. A bouncy samba number by Glo Alcala and Richard Obong, Emma Nieto and Noel Reyes, that brought the house down. A mean jive number by Nanette Mendoza and Michael Gualvez, and Chona Mercado and Norwille Damasin, and finally a jumpy Cha cha cha number by Ambassador Tonet and Linda Lagdameo, Marvie Cojuangco Yulo and Jesse Panelo and yours truly and Joel Ocsena. The program ended with a shower of confetti, and a thank you speech from yours truly. Thanking the guests present for the continued support of the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee. Pagcor Chairman Gina and Ronnie Mohnani
Andrea Domingo, a former DanceSport Board and dance competitor. Benny Lao of Dance Vision, Ms. Emily Silva of Studio 116 where we held our rehearsals for the show, and of course thanks to all my dancers who gave a great show that night. Long love DanceSport!
Director Tonet Lagdameo, Ms. Cynthia Carrion, Ms. Becky Garcia, Jerry Rollins
Emma Nieto, Becca Jose , Chona Mercado, Gloria Alcala, Becky Garcia Ping Valencia, Dr. George Sarakinis
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CRISTINA TARUC’S 7TH PAINTING EXHIBIT, aka TIINZTARUC ART By Ching Pangilinan
A homegrown beauty queen and versatile Kapampangan visual artist will be visiting the Philippines for her 7th Exhibition at Museo Ning Angeles (Angeles City Museum, Pampanga, Philippines) late 2016 or early 2017 from California. She is set to share her modern art whimsical paintings of Mother and Child Collection, Lucky koi fish paintings, and her famous flowers and nature art. Tiinz Taruc, aka Cristina Taruc in real life, is a cherished granddaughter of Kapampangan History Icon Hukbalahap founder Luis M. Taruc. Tiinz is the daughter of Dr. Romeo Taruc and Teresita Taruc. Tiinz is currently based in the United States where she paints professionally in an impressionist style inspired by the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, among others. Each yearly homecoming of Tiinz Taruc is a personal and a community milestone as she continues the legacy of her brave forefathers, specifically her grandfather, Luis M. Taruc, whom she fondly refers to as “ALIPATO,” (which means the SPARK THAT SPREADS THE FIRE) through her art. While Tiinz does not consider herself a political person, Taruc infuses her love for country in her passion for the arts. It has been a commitment for Tiinz to come home to Pampanga every year to showcase her artworks to the Filipinos as a way to remember and pay tribute to her Kapampangan roots. Her painting subjects like the ponds and koi fishes, landscape, and
MANILA UP! 47 flowers according to Tiinz are personal since her grandfather, Luis M. Taruc aka “lolo Pop,” loved nature and gardening. Tiinz is also famous for her sunflower paintings. She loves to paint flowers since to her, opening up of the petals of the flowers is like opening up our palms to praise and worship the Lord. Tiinz is a single mom with three children, Gino Carlo, Tia Katrina and Jacob Robert. Her strong love for her children inspired her to paint modern art Mother and Child/Children subjects, which she is most famous for. Our beauty queen princess Tiinz, celebrates her Kapampangan heritage through her art. Tiinz next lucky 7th exhibit will be a meaningful way to celebrate her Kapampangan Spirit and legendary beauty as our province also celebrates its 445th founding anniversary. You may find more details about her forthcoming 7th exhibit on her facebook page, TIINZTARUC ART, or you mail email her at MISSPAMPANGA1@yahoo.com. You may also check Angeles City Museum Facebook page, MUSEO NING ANGELES. https://jennysserendipity. com/2015/10/05/tiinz-taruc-impressionisticart/
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SECOND QUEEN OF ASIA-PACIFIC 2016 AT BEVERLY HILLS, A SUCCESS Los Angeles – It is sweet sixteen for the Queen of Asia-Pacific, 2016! 16-year old Jena MafnasSerrano from San Diego, California was crowned the new Queen of Asia-Pacific (QAP) 2016 last Sunday night, October 16, 2016 at the Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, California. Dionne, the QAP 2015, crowned Jenna Mafnas - Serrano, as the new Queen of Asia-Pacific
Photo credits to: Benny Uy Rob Ryan
Her crowned royal court were Rochelle Lozano as Princess of Asia; Angeline Nguyen from Orange County as Princess of the Pacific; Ana Ngo from Vietnam as Princess of South Seas, and Samantha Guzman as Princess of Polynesia. The five finalists were picked by the prestigious board of judges from the 13 QAP Candidates who were presented at the second Queen of Asia-Pacific pageant, 2016. Reactions on QAP 2016 Executive Producer Lissa Pacheco Chow said, “I was overwhelmed with emotions because of the large turnout, and enthusiastic grace, and poise of our candidates. This night is for them.”
Jena Mafnas Serrano - QAP 2016
Meanwhile, Queen of Asia President Lino Caringal Jr said, “We welcome this opportunity for the Filipino-American community. The QAP had successfully penetrated Beverly Hills with a magnificent and
wonderful coronation. This is a good foreboding of significant things to come,” Caringal added. Caringal also acted as the emcee during the crowning ceremonies. A Night with a Bang Creative Director Fenny Pangan said, “We would like to thank all our sponsors, patrons, family and friends and most of all the candidates for their great undertaking.” Although things did not turn out according to our plans and many circumstances were beyond our control, yet our candidates showed their grace and poise under pressure. In the end, that’s all that matters.” The Saban Theater was filled to the brim with multi-racial guests, photographers, media people, and dignitaries who flew from other parts of the world for the event. This is the first time that the Filipino-American community pageant penetrated Beverly Hills with a bang.
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Jena Mafnas-Serrano as QAP 2016 and her Royal court were Rchelle Lozano as Princess of Asia, Angeline Nguyen from Orange County as Princess of the Pacific, Ana Ngo from Vietnam as Princess of South Seas, and Samantha Queen of Asia Pacific Candidates
QAP 2015 & 2016 Candidates
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Queen of Asia Pacific 2015 Dione Janique Fusch
Producer Lissa Pacheco Chow at the center QAP Candidates at the red carpet
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INSTRUMENT OF CHANGE,” A Davao Tribute” September 2, 2016 - At a night market in Davao City Philippines, where the 16th President of the Philippines hailed from, a bombing UK na UK incident happened, by Ella Hidalgo causing at least 14 deaths and 70 injuries. One of those injured, a pregnant woman, died on the 13th day of September 2016, bringing the death toll to 15. The said incident happened weeks after it was announced that Davao City located in Southern Philippines is the safest place in the world. The Militant Islamic group, Abu Sayaff, reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombing but later denied responsibility, claiming that their allies, the Daulat Ul-
Islamiya, were responsible for the incident as a show of sympathy to the group. Displeased vendors were also considered as possible perpetrators. However, on October 2, 2016, three of the ten suspects were arrested, and it was linked with Maute Group which has ties with the Abu Sayaff. Since, the relatives of Chit Sarmiento, President of Dabawenyo UK, witnessed the said incident, she thought of organizing a charity event that can raise funds for the bombing victims and their family. Chit Sarmiento had this doubt, due to the short span of time, that she will not be able to do it, as she wanted to bring the funds personally to Davao when she goes home for a holiday, October 16. September 11, at the Starvision’s launching and first event, 80s Revival in Bar FM, Sarmiento shared her wish of organizing a fundraising show, and approached me and my friend Paye Yap, if we can help. Although she had the fear that it will not materialize, I confidently accepted the offer
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to organize the show within 3 weeks. I named the event “Instrument of Change,” because I believe that every one of us can be an instrument that can change the lives of the bombing victims and their family, through our little acts of kindness and generosity. October 9, Sunday at Vila Ronel Bar in Kilburn, supporters and guests from different organizations like the Dabawenyo UK, DDS, PMUK, London-based Filipino personalities, and businessmen came to support the said event. Regardless of status and political beliefs, all were united that night, with one goal - to raise funds and be an instrument of change. A request for a Prayer for President Duterte’s 100 days was also included in the programme.
Through the effort of Starvision UK and Chit Sarmiento, with the help of the Dabawenyo members, Terry Beauty Salon Staff, Paolo Tressman, all the sponsors, TBS, Wynchu Travel and Padala, Touch Spa, True Care Massage, Sta. Lucia, Genistar, Ogie Villedo and our media, George TV UK, GMA, One Philippines and to all who were there that night, including Mr. Gene Alcantara, who bid and won the “Under the Stormy Day” painting and Aurora Wilson who bought a small painting, an amount of £1,072,43.00 was raised. Of course, kudos to all the talented performers who shared their time and talent, Adelaide Cana with dad, Mike of D’ Intruders, Anna Belle with Bobby of Seenzone, Alpabet, Midz Dagamac, Trixie Quinto, Florie May, Jessie Crystal, Jun Degamon, Elson Sutanto, Side Projects and D’ Intruders. PHOTOS BY: JHEPOY PHOTOGRAPHY
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Kandaya Resort – D a a n b a n t a y a n , C e b u C i t y - PHILIPPINES
estled on a white sandy beach amidst the northern tropical landscape in the island of Cebu is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Land, sea and sky meet and blend seamlessly to form the postcard-perfect backdrop of KANDAYA Resort, an idyllic, luxury destination located in the coastal heart of historic Daanbantayan. Named in homage to Datu Daya, an ancient brave tribal chieftain whom once stood as protector of old Bantayan, this piece of paradise located north of Cebu, offers an enviable mix of serenity, adventure, relaxation and tradition to reinvigorate the body, refresh the mind, and uplift the spirit. Accommodations A picturesque beachfront oasis dotted by swaying trees await guests after a scenic drive from the city. Sprawling gardens lead to Kandaya’s main building which houses 18 contemporary-styled rooms and suites that overlook the resort’s iconic infinity pool. One will be hard pressed to tell where the Visayas Sea ends and the horizon begins with the spectacular, panoramic views along the 7.5 hectare property. A leisurely walk further into the resort will reveal 22 secluded garden, beach and ocean villas, some with their own private pools.
Dining Located in another area is its signature Kusina restaurant and bar which serves wholesome, organic and nutritious meals. Putting emphasis on sustainability, Kandaya prides itself in offering only the freshest flavors and ingredients. At the heart of the Kusina’s philosophy is the concept of “farm to table,” using locally sourced and freshly picked inhouse organic produce for homemade breads and pastries, and courses on the menu.
Amenities Be spoilt for choice at Kandaya where one may either opt to engage in a variety of health and wellness, outdoor and sports activities or simply luxuriate and soak in the tranquility. A full range of amenities await those who prefer to stay active from a fully equipped gym, yoga studio, and mixed martial arts center as well as a multi-use court to play basketball, tennis and beach volleyball in while private nooks on the resort’s grounds and lush gardens provide the perfect surroundings to revive the senses. Pamper yourself at the Daya Spa and let skillful, healing hands bring back a state of balance and well-being. Bask under the sun and enjoy the beauty of nature with Kandaya’s menu of family-friendly water sports and recreational activities. Kandaya houses the only horseback riding facility within a resort, the Kuwadra with a stable that holds a maximum of seven horses and a field of 60 x 120 square meters for guided and independent riding that also extends to paths along the shoreline. The Kuwadra also has a Pony Club to give kids hours of educational and arts & crafts fun. For added adventure, delight in the clear, turquoise blue waters of Northern Cebu on kayak, jet ski or Hobie Cat, or leisurely outrigger boat rides to nearby Malapascua Island and cruise along in one of the well-appointed outrigger boats outfitted with a hammock and bean bags. Diving tours and a day trip to Kandaya’s private beach cove on Malapascua island, renowned for its long stretch of white sand and underwater treasures may also be arranged. Cap off the day at the resort with sandy toes and a glass of champagne or signature cocktail while enjoying one of the most stunning sunset views in Cebu. For more details, visit www.facebook.com/ KandayaResort, @kandayaresort on Twitter and Instagram, or www.kandayaresort.com. For inquiries and reservations, contact (032) 260-6006 or (032) 231-0956 loc. 152, or contact email@example.com. Beachfront 2
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Garden Pool Villa ( Interior) Pool view 2 (1)
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When Blue Equals Flu
by Dr. Romulo Aromin, Jr.
As the new school year has commenced, this is the time to get prepared for the upcoming flu season. While it can be endemic all year round, flu is most common during the fall and winter with more cases seen in October, usually peaking in February. Tracking these patterns help make recommendations about what type of vaccines are to be given and when to provide such vaccines. Most afflicted patients recover after a few days to less than two weeks. At-risk individuals can develop complications like pneumonia (lung infection), swelling of the airways (bronchitis) and sinuses. Flu can worsen existing medical conditions and individuals with these problems can particularly benefit from the vaccine.
Influenza A and B are the types that cause human epidemics. As the viruses reproduce, certain changes in the gene (mutation) causes strains that can become more potent resulting in more severe symptoms. Vaccines are specific to these mutations (proteins found on the surface of the virus) that they may well be not effective against a different strain. This is the reason that flu can spread across a wide swatch of the population relative to its ease in infecting others who may well not have the immunity to it in the first place. Let us be reminded of influenza A (H1N1) virus that was a worldwide pandemic. Compared to Influenza A, Influenza B is less likely to have these mutations. How do I know that I have the flu and not just a cold? With the flu, one develops the
symptoms very rapidly, always with a fever with chills, with body aches being usual and more severe with fatigue. These symptoms are slight or uncommon in common colds with the latter manifesting as sneezing, sore throat, and stuffy nose.
Who should be vaccinated? Vaccines are usually offered from September until mid-November before the flu season starts so that we can build up the immunity (protection) prior to being infected. When not contraindicated, routine annual vaccinations is for all persons six months and older. Contrary to what people may believe, infants do develop antibodies after the vaccination, and for up to 8 years of age, two doses are recommended to maximize response. There is no preference as to one type of vaccine over the other. Older adults are less likely to get protected when vaccinated as they respond less vigorously after the shot. The more individuals are vaccinated, the less likely that other unvaccinated individuals will be infected when the
flu strikes (herd immunity). As vaccine preparations are egg based, some individuals may not be able to take the vaccine due to allergic reactions. For safety reasons, such individuals may be vaccinated under closer medical supervision (hospital, clinics, physiciansâ€™ offices). When effective, protection usually extends to up to 6 to 8 months. Who are at risk to become infected? People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. It is mainly spread by droplets when people cough, sneeze or talk. To avoid this, people should stay away from sick people and stay home if sick, cover your mouth when you sneeze or use your arm when you do. Susceptible individuals are from ages 12 to 17 or those with medical illnesses (lung problems, liver disease, HIV). Individuals 65 and over are more likely to get hospitalized and die from flu complications with an estimate of 71%â€“85% of deaths in 2012â€“13. Those with chronic heart and lung problems are at increased risk for severe
symptoms. Children are particularly susceptible. Deaths resulting from flu for youth less than 18 years of age has been a mandated report since 2004. Younger adults experience the infection less severely, but nevertheless infections in younger adults frequently result in absences from work. Pregnant women and newborn are vulnerable to severe symptoms with increased hospitalization, increased risk for fetal distress and premature deliveries, cesarean delivery, and stillbirths. Further, congenital malformations are increased during these periods. Association with schizophrenia was likewise observed during the flu season in the winter. Influenza infection is a common cause of deaths among older adults in nursing homes and other residential
settings. This has resulted in special types of vaccine that can mount a better immune response in this age group (high-dose IIV, Fluzone HighDose). A second vaccine, Fluad, is likely to be available this season. Those who are severely obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater are also at greater risk. How safe are the vaccines? Usual side effects? This becomes more important when one has to ask how it may apply to children. Vaccines are not associated with increased side effects other than swelling of stomach and small bowel (gastritis/duodenitis) during the first two weeks of vaccination, which are self-limiting (diarrhea, vomiting), and none were associated with complications. There is no increased
MANILA UP! 57 risk for febrile seizures. It is tolerated by organ transplant patients. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) are rare, and when it occurs, an emergency room visit is indicated. Most frequent is a headache and soreness or pain at the injection site, which responds to warm compress and a simple pain reliever (Ibuprofen, acetaminophen BUT avoiding aspirin). These are more common with high dose vaccines as mentioned above. Of particular concern is whether vaccination causes birth defects in the unborn and studies involving the first three months of pregnancy showed that the risk is also similar to unvaccinated mothers. It is a big scare if one thinks about a rare paralyzing condition, Guillain-BarrĂŠ Syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease characterized by rapid-onset and progressive muscle weakness, where patients become bedridden. As its worst, patients become unable to breathe on their own and would need mechanical ventilators. GBS is associated with multiple infectious illnesses, most notably Campylobacter jejuni gastrointestinal infections and upper respiratory tract infections. It occurs in 10â€“20 cases per million adults and is associated with flu (Swine Flu of 1976) rather than being caused by the vaccine itself. Although accumulating evidence shows no increased risks from exposure to vaccines containing Mercury (thimerosal), the government has recommended to eliminate or reduce the thimerosal content in vaccines as part of a strategy to reduce mercury exposures from all sources. Dr. Aromin is a physician working in Manhattan. The above is informational only. It is recommended to seek medical evaluation to determine what is best for you.
58 MANILA UP!
MANILA UP! 59
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