Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye to 2013

2013 is drawing to a close.  It is always a time of reflection for me.  How did I spend 2013? Did I accomplish anything that I can offer to my Creator? 

For us Filipinos, 2013 will always be defined by super typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon in the history of the world and the Napoles multi-billion pork barrel scandal. It is ironic how the two are somehow intertwined with one another.   

Why did God choose the  Philippines as the recipient of Yolanda's wrath? Is it a wake up call to the corrupt politicians running the country to put their pork barrel to good use ? The politicians' pork barrel is supposed to be used in projects of infrastructures, education, health improve the plight of the marginalized Filipino and the country as a whole. But corruption is so endemically ingrained in these politicians evil minds that they think of their pork as their right to fatten their bank accounts.  I just wonder if Yolanda has awakend the conscience of these unconscionable, corrupt politicians.  Matanda, pogi and sexy, wake up!  God gave us Yolanda to shake you and politiicans of your ilk to stop milking government coffers so the money could be used to rebuild and restore the devastation Yolanda and other natural disasters have caused. Get it?

Moving on to more pleasant matters, my friends and I have an angel network which aim to feed the poorest of the poor in different barangays around Taguig and the Mandaluyong area.

We call ourselves Angels to Street Kids (ASK) for short. We do not belong to any foundation.  Rather, we are a bunch of well-meaning, civic-conscious individuals who aim to give cheer to the marginalize by feeding them a decent meal once a week. We welcome friends who want to join us and welcome donations of cash, goods, medicines and food.  Interested donors, call Pretzel-09177910725 or Jessa 09484205898.

This month of December, we went to different Barangays to feed the elderly and the children. Birthday celebrants Tess Schoeffer,  Ito Curata, Cris Badiola, Cecile Infantado, Ann Ong, Jemellie Gonzalez and Nikki Tang decided to sponsor our Saturday feedings in lieu of hosting big parties. God bless these Angels.

It has been December celebrant Linda Ley's custom to host an intimate gathering at Salon De Ning on the last Friday of December to celebrate her birthday.  This year, Ann Ong decided to raffle a python clutch bag to mark the occasion and to give a preview of her 2014 fashion accessory collection.  Congratulations to Rachelle de Guzman, the lucky winner!
Chinese beauty Linda who can give many Chinese celebrities a run for their money announced that this Salon de Ning birthday celebration will go on for the next 50 years. Same guests, same menu, same day, last Friday of December. With that, Susan Joven replied " by then we will be with our care givers or nurses! but with our wobbly knees, we will still be dancing! 

Never give up!"

That is the spirit! While there is life, there is hope. Hope springs eternal!
Wishing every one a Happy New Year! May 2014 bring a realization to all our dreams! 

ASK, short for Angels to Street Kids.
the Angels fed in a GK community in Welfareville,
organized by GK volunteer Rabbi Mendoza ,
extreme right, 2nd row.
the food was sponsored by Goldilocks.
Rachel de Guzman and Linda Ley interact with the kids. 
Ariel Arce and Tess Schoeffer in action. 
 Suzette Lopez shows off the ice cream Arce Dairy
generously sponsored.  Michelle de Leon in green,
organized this feeding, which was
Tess Schoefer's ( in white) birthday celebration. 
Birthday celebrant Cris Badiola (in blue)
was happy seeing all the children enjoy his treat.
Bob Miller, Linda Ley, Hera Geriene
and Len Olbes cheer him on.
Showing off our new Angels T-shirt. 
Cecile Infantado, birthday celebrant is all smiles
to feed the elderly. Nikki Tang, Ann Ong,
Francis de Leon, Mayenne Carmona look on. 

hungry children waiting for the Angels to arrive. 

amidst the squalor and the poverty, 
Ask members are all smiles in fulfilling their mission: 
Mayenne, Hera, Jemellie, Ann, Pretzel, Ruby, 
Francis, Bob, Ito and our mascot Taj Curata. 

0ur year end feeding, ASK group chose to feed the elderly.
 We all met at Mary Grace at Taguig.

Am so proud of our group,
I just had to introduce each and everyone. 
Francis de Leon and Rachelle de Guzman at work
Ann Ong offers them dessert,
Arce Dairy ice cream and some cakes. 
Thank you Lord for all your blessings!
Ariel Arce leads the prayers while I look at the camera. 
Arriving at the Peninsula
with Cecile Infantado and Richard Tiu.
Linda's beauteous guests- Rachelle,
Mayenne, Mara Gerienne, Cecile, Yoly and Len. 
Cris Badiola, Linda Ley,
the celebrant, Tina Cuevas and myself. 
who is the lucky winner of this python clutch bag? 
Mark Ley and Mara Geriene
Gale Laude, Mark and Hera Geriene
Rachelle, Tina and Rupert Jacinto, Linda Ley
Ito Curata, Mayenne and Linda
the KISS!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Faabulous Gala for Yolanda Victims

The yearly Faabulous coffee table book of Rupert Jacinto was launched recently at the 3rd floor Gallery of the Manila Peninsula.  The book is a collection of portraits of distinguished personalities of the Philippines, some more distinguished than others.  This year, the guest of honor for the Faaabulous Book IV launch (yes, this is now the fourth book) was Fidel Ramos, former President of our Republic, who together with artist Betsy Westendorf, Elaine Villar, GM of Peninsula Sonja Vodusek, and National artist Arturo Luz, cut the ribbon to formally open the exhibit. 

Viewers of Rupert Jacinto's portraits of the fabulous men and women reveled at the artistry of Jacinto's portraiture.  Every portrait has the distinct Jacinto touch, like a master painter perfecting his art at every stroke of his brush.  

In as much as every portrait has its own charm and beauty, the surprise of the exhibit is the portrait of the Black and White Swan.  It is a fantasy portrait of myself and my dance teacher, Ryan Jago.  Like art imitating art, I copied Natalie Portman's heavy eye make-up and hair decor when she portrayed a prima ballerina in the Black Swan.  The portrait received positive reviews all night. Dress designer  Ito Curata excalimed, "I love Mayenne's portrait. That really is Faabulous!" Art collector Tereret Liboro said it in Spanish, "muy distinto y differento! Me gusta mucho!" President Ramos posed with me and gave it the thumbs up! John Gaddi tweeted- "Winner! Mayenne's portrait is a masterpiece! "

The Gallery guests segued to the ballroom where a Gala dinner followed the coctail launch.  Hosted by the inimitable Johnny Litton, the Gala which was a fund raising for the victims of Yolanda, had an auction of art pieces donated by National artist Arturo Luz and Betsy Westerndorf.  

The highlight of the evening was seeing the beautiful ladies in their black or white gown.  They were eye popping gorgeous, and the scene seemed like a fashion parade of haute couture gowns.  Manila's fashionistas will always support a good cause!
Javy Berenguer Managing Director of
Salon de Ning of Peninsula, Ofi Wadle And
Kim Mattias in Albert Andrada, and Kim Policarpio
Tessa Prieto Valdes
Mayenne Carmona, Fidel Ramos, (guest of Honor)
and Tina Jacinto.
Art for art's sake-Ryan Jago as the White Swan
and myself as the Black Swan.
Rupert Jacinto, Hera Geriene in Ito Curata,
Cecile Infantado in Azucar, Mayenne in Kim Gan, Henry Zabarte
Agile Zamora and Jun Jun Ablaza
Sonny Tanchanco, haute couture designer Ito Curata and John Gaddi
Vice Governor of Isabela and one of the
15 Faabulous Men, Tonypet Albano 
Lilibeth and Pacqui Campos, one of the Faabulous Couples
Faabulous ladies in Ann Ong's fashion jewelry pieces-
Ann Ong and Rachel de Guzman
Louis Ablaza, Mayenne in a John Paras gown and David Lim

President Ramos and Dr. Rene Samaniego
Rene Puno, Ann Puno in  Ito Curata, Ito Curata
Tess Schoefer, extreme right with her friends from Germany,
Eden and Lorna. Francis de Leon at the back
Becky Garcia
Madame Nene Leonor, one of the two cover ladies
portrait of attractive couple Manny and Suzette Lopez was a stand out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pamper yourself for the Holidays at Skin Perfect

Sheila Ong Ching would be described in a fairytale story as the fairest of them all.  She has luminous, flawless skin and a beauty that is on the same calibre as movie stars and  models of  beauty products.  Instead of being a lady of leisure, she decided to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams which resulted in the birth of the first Skin Perfect Aesthetic Salon on October 7, 2000 in Quezon City.  Today, they have branches nationwide and have continued to maintain  its high quality standards. 

With an advocacy of promoting beauty through skin care and other body treatments, Skin Perfect takes on a spa-care oriented approach in making people understand their skin problems and the solutions available to them while they are being pampered in a relaxing ambience. 

Skin Perfect anchors its main thrust on providing sustainable and quality skin care  through the latest technological advancements and treatments known in dermatology. Its inclination towards the use of non-invasive treatments provides for the safety and comfort of its clients. 
On its 13th year anniversary, Skin Perfect went all out in their celebration and invited their clients to try their latest non- invasive treatments like facial skin tightening (Radio Frequency and Intense Pulse Light), non surgical eyebag removal through mild current/galvanic method, chemical peeling, anti wrinkle treatment, and the list goes on.  Sheila Ann Ong launched three aesthetic branches at Magnolia Robinson Mall -Skin Perfect, Perfect Contour specializing on body contouring as the name suggests and Vanity Circle Salon specializing on hair treatments and nails. 

I opted to have an extensive facial treatment coupled with  their non- invasive eyebag removal treatment and in all sincerity, I can say that my eyebags improved considerably.  However just like all non- invasive treatments, one has to repeat the treatments at least every few weeks until optimal results are obtained.  I was tempted to do a body contour treatment but unfortunately I did not have the luxury of time. 
Perfect Contour caters to those who are looking for fast and effective non-surgical alternatives to slimming and beauty enhancement.  Its state of the art facilities intend to take care of the clients’ safety and treatment effectively.  It specializes on non-invasive body contouring treatments that are specifically designed to safely facilitate fat reduction and muscle toning therefore sculpting the body to its ideal silhouette.  

Gift yourself this holiday season with a low- cost pampering program at Sheila Ong's one stop Aesthetic Salons as all three are located on the 3rd floor of Robinson Magnolia Mall In Corner N. Domingo Street and Aurora Blvd., Quezon City. 

Skin perfect beauty,
proprietor Sheila Ong Ching
I definitely am sold on
Skin Perfect's beauty treatments
antiseptic- clean beauty rooms
the tastefully designed reception area of Perfect Contour
Skin Perfect products  for your skin concerns

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tess Schofer's Heartwarming Birthday Celebration!

There is something about maturing in years that changes one's perspective of a birthday celebration.  Time was when a birthday celebration had to be something grandiose with all the guests dressed to the nines, or a trip to some exotic place with your besties to provide the fun element.  But as we mellow through the years, we tend to be more thoughtful of the marginalized and share with them our blessings. 

Hong Kong-based Tess Schoefer decided to fly to Manila the day before our Saturday feeding and join our "Angels to Street Kids" network (Ask for short).  She chose to spend her birthday feeding 200 kids in a poor barangay at Taguig, where Michelle de Leon, our organizer brought us that day.  Our new recruit, Ariel Arce, delighted the kids with his treat of Arce ice cream. 
Having been pre-empted that it was Tess' birthday, Michelle made sure that the kids  welcomed her with the "happy birthday song".  One child brought her a single rose which brought the birthday celebrant to tears.  

ASK members in Sto. Nino Catholic School,
Taguig for Tess Schofer's  birthday feeding.
Tess Schoefer takes delight in carrying a child.
ice cream treat! thanks to Arce Dairy!
Suzette Lopez, Michelle de Leon, Rachel de Guzman,
celebrant Tess Schoefer, Linda Ley and Mayenne Carmona

Ariel Arce at work!

The day just started for Tess.  Later in the evening, the ASK network  planned a Halloween party as a way of thanking her for her generosity and to celebrate jointly with her, the birthdays of our host and ASK member, dress designer Ito Curata, and man for all seasons, businessman Cris Badiola.  It was a creative and fun Halloween party as the ladies planned a beauty pageant kind of costume party where they came representing different countries.  It was the brainchild of Linda Ley who even ordered sashes of the countries the ladies represented.  One thing about the Angel ladies, they certainly know how to have fun!  Talking about authenticity,  Geisha  lady Rachel de Guzman came with the total look- Japanese kimono, the hairdo and the white Kabuki makeup! 

the beauty pageant contestants:
Miss New York, Tina Jacinto, Miss Saudi Arabia,
Hera Geriene, Miss Thailand, Cecil Infantado,
Miss Spain, Mayenne Carmona, Miss Venezuela,
Tess Schoefer, Miss China, Linda Ley, Miss Russia,
Suzette Lopez and Miss Japan, Rachel de Guzman.
Taj Curata was our mascot.
Tina Jacinto, our host and birthday celebrant Ito Curata,
and Linda Ley 
birthday celebrant Tess Schoefer
was our songbird for the evening 

Cris Badiola, Tess Schoefer, Marcio Silva Camargos, 
Bob Miller, Francis de Leon
seated- Anthony Wahl, Tina Jacinto, Rupert Jacinto
Hugh Napier, Richard Tiu and fashion jeweler creator, Ann Ong
Miss Thailand Cecil Infantado with Anthony Wahl
Russian Czar and Czarina,
Manny and Suzette Lopez
geisha Rachel de Guzman and Jason Ong
Handsome dinner host Architect Conrad Onglao
& birthday celebrant Tess Schoefer

Leo Valdez and Me
Ryan Jago strikes a pose in the dinning room w/ its fabulous view.

On the evening of Tess arrival, I whisked her to a small intimate dinner party in her honor that our good friend Architect Conrad Onglao graciously hosted in his new, fabulous house.   It was an evening of nostalgic reminiscing of their schooldays in UST, College of Architecture where the two of them were schoolmates.  The King and I star Leo Valdez kept us in stitches with his jokes and anecdotes and entertained us with a few songs, while my bestie Ryan Jago took souvenir photos in my new Sony camera!