Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Crowning Glory

This hair cut is my absolute favorite look.  Layered, voluminous, with lots of highlights that shine, shine, shine!
I must share with you my big hidden secret, the person responsible for my artistically cut, easy to manage crowning glory: Karina Mantolino, Master colorist of L’Oreal, and Master Cutter of Regine’s Beauty Salon, which is located on the second floor of Link Building, just across the LandMark Dept. Store and next door to Makati Shangrila.  Regine also  has a branch at the Ayala Alabang Mall.  Karina’s credentials include graduating at the top of her class in the L’Oreal Color Expert Program in 2006, 2007& 2008.  She trained at Elle Academy in Johor, Malaysia under Simon Koh, a Malaysian Hair Master Hair Cutter who is also an Ambassador of L’Oreal.  K. Mantolino is the first ID (identity) Artist for L’Oreal in 2009 and her role is to uplift and professionalize the beauty industry and inspire the youth to consider hair styling as a career.
Karina Mantolino strikes a pose with her career weapon of choice: Her magic scissors!
If you want to get an excellent haircut and or/color for your hair, here is the number to call:  Regine, 8561723 or text 09167443299. 

At a Hair Style Fair last year,  Karina M. presented her models sporting different hairstyles and hair color. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Recital for a Cause

Kao Sugata is a 14 year old Piano Prodigy.  She started to play the piano at age 4 in Manila, and continued her lessons in Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore.  Back in Manila in January, 2010, she continued her piano under the tutelage of Ms. Cecile Basilio Roxas and in July, 2010, she won the first place at the Beethoven Concerto Competition, hosted by the Piano Teachers' Guild of the Philippines.  Kao is currently an 8th grader at the International School.

The wives of the Toyota Dealers organized a fund raising recital for the benefit of the Tsunami victims of Japan. Kao’s parents Mitch and Atsuko Sugato graciously offered their talented daughter to play 10 classical pieces from J.S. Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Felix Mendelsohn-Bartholdy, Sergei Rachmaninoff,  Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and Sergei Prokoliev.  Co-players for the Grand Trio Op.49 Molto Allegro Agitato are Dino Akira K. Decena on Violin and Yuka O. Sta. Ana on the Cello.  The event was held at the Lexus Showroom at the Global City.

The successful fundraising proves once again that a nation’s suffering is taken seriously by people of other countries who open their hearts in their willingness to help. 

Rene So, VP Toyota dealer in Baguio, Mitch Sugata, President of Toyota Philippines, concert pianist Ms. Kao Sugata,, Betty Lu, Toyota Dealer in Cagayan de Oro, and Daniel Isla, CEO of Lexus Philippines. 

Michiko Graff, proud father Mitch Sugata, Dr. Cecile Infantado and Phil Star Columnist Mayenne Carmona

Renowned pianist Raul Sunico, Star Week editor Doreen G. Yu, and Mitch Sugata

A beaming Kao Sugata is happy at the success of her Recital for a Cause

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lulu Tan Gan’s Knit and Pina Collection makes a Big Splash at the Makati Shangrila!

Designer Lulu Tan Gan has endured the test of time in the fickle world of fashion.  Never losing sight of her focus in her knit wear line, she has managed to reinvent her designs all these 26 years and stayed on top of her trade.  

Lately, her latest reinvention is combining pina with knits.  The pina accessorizes the basic knit short dress, long dress, capri pants, Bermuda shorts, and comes as a long scarf, a shrug, a loose long jacket over beach wear, a belted wrap-around kimono top or a dressy layered top over long knit pants.  

Tan Gan also accessorized some of her knits with beaded leather which were placed over the shoulders or hanging like bibs. 

A belted kimono inspired pina over a long dress

Lovely daughter Jessica assists mom Lulu with all her bouquets

A long knee length loose overhang worn with beach wear

A dainty cherry red striped pina kimono top over white capri and tank top

Tomato red dainty blouse over Bermuda shorts

A yellow slinky long with beaded leather and chains frontal décor 

Elegant long knit dress  with a neck piece

The accent is on the hem

Shimmery beige knit with a pina long scarf

Bravissimo, Lulu!! 

Selena Gomez look alike, stunning Rocio Olbes in her Tan Gan chic set.  She has a line of wooden bags, ROCIO, sold strictly in Europe.  

Beauteous ladies in the audience, Lilibeth Campos in her bronze Tan Gan, Linda Ley in a KENSIE strapless number.

Anne Puno in a chic summery knee length creation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Conversations with Two Dreamboats

The first time I met Ralph Fiennes was in Shanghai, at the plush residence of TV personality and cosmetic queen, Yue Sai Kan. Ms. Kan hosted a dinner party  for the cast of the White Countess, a movie shot in its entirety in Shanghai, starring Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson, (among others.) Ralph Fiennes plays the role of an American diplomat who becomes blind after he got hurt in a bomb explosion. The first thing he did when introductions were made was to correct my pronunciation of his name. "Call me RAFE," he said. As in Rape but with an F. 
I was seated between him and Natasha R. during the Chinese lauriat dinner and I had the honor to serve him some of the dishes as I was better with the chopsticks than he was. I noticed that his eyes were like pools of clear blue waters that had a lot of kindness in them. Talk about the eyes being the windows to the soul, his eyes were the windows to his multi dimensional personality. He was soft spoken and did not mind sharing his thoughts on certain subjects. What I remember most are his thoughts on marriage: "I am a non believer of marriage. I was married once and it was a catastrophe. I enjoy a close relationship with a woman but it does not have to lead to marriage."  About his leading ladies he said that J. Lo (Maid in Manhattan co-star) was very professional in her work but he did not have much chemistry with her off set. He continues to have a good friendship with his co star Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Julianne Moore, his co-star in The End of an Affair. 

My next meeting with Mr. Fiennes was my next trip to Shanghai a few months after. He was still there as he was still filming The White Countess. We attended a few dinner parties together and one swinging party of the Calvin Klein launch where he delighted the ladies by dancing with those who asked him. What a good natured man he is. I wonder if he will remember me next time we meet, if there is a next time. 

Hugh Jackman was in Shanghai in 2006 when he was promoting his film Wolverine.  Hugh Jackman is a WOLVERINE in sheep's clothing. He is a gentle soul, who believes in starting the day with a conversation with God.  I was the only journalist invited to attend a one on one interview of Jackman by  TV host Yue Sai Kan  (for her episodes on CCTV) and what struck me about him was his spirituality and sense of family. "Twice a day, preferably at sunrise and at sundown, I sit down for a few minutes and try to be calm. I get in touch with my five senses and listen without judgment. Meditation is like the ultimate rest. It's all about the pursuit for nothingness. It's better than the best sleep you ever had. It is quitting the mind, and yet it sharpens everything, especially your surroundings. It keeps life fresh and the more you practice, the deeper the experience gets". Jackman teaches his children, Oscar and Ava, (two multi racial children that he and his wife Deborah Lee adopted) what he has learned in the School of Practical Philosophy, where he has been going since 1991: how to make this world a better place to live in and how to be of service to others. 

Ralph Fiennes and Hugh Jackman, two big celebrities that I was lucky to have met.  After my talks with them, I realized that these two are not self absorbed actors with nothing in between their ears.  There is more to them than meets the eye. 

The dinner was for the cast of White Countess- myself, Natasha Richardson, hostess with the mostest Yue Sai Kan, Director of the movie James Ivory and producer Ishmail Merchant. 

Mr. Blue eyes, Ralph Fiennes and me

During the Gala of the Shanghai Film Festival, 2006, Hugh Jackman shared a few laughs with me.

 Hugh Jackman, wolverine in sheep's clothing