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A walk through the past

ANGEL THOUGHTS It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. —George Washington The 30th anniversary of the peaceful People Power Revolution that stunned Ferdinand E. Marcos enough for him to flee the country was celebrated this week. The people’s revolt brought Cory C. Aquino, the winner of the Snap Elections, to the presidency. Some “players” may still have their differences after 30 years, but no grinch can take away the euphoria of those four days in February 1986. And no, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, you are dead wrong! Cory did go to EDSA on Feb. 23 after landing from Cebu. She stood at the overhang of the POEA building and addressed the crowd. In fact, she led in the singing of “Ama Namin” and then left as the threat …

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Hitting the [retail] sweet spot

One evening in 2012, Inanc Balci was working on a pitch book in a bank in London when he received an email from German investors working for Rocket Internet. They wanted to talk to him and asked if he could come meet them in a hotel in Kilburn. It was 8 p.m., the Germans were scheduled to fly back to Germany at 10. Inanc has never left his office before 2 a.m. in the past three years. But he was going to have dinner anyway, so he met them at around 9:30 p.m. They talked for 20 minutes. The next morning, he quit his job. A week later, he flew to Manila to start Lazada Philippines. He was 26. Inanc knew nothing about the Philippines when he came here four years …

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Every little thing he does is magic

Danni Lim-Interdonato and Teray Garchitorena-Kunishi have been the best of friends since the carefree years of their teenage years. It began in college when a mutual friend introduced the pair to each other, confident that a strong and instant bond would develop based on one common denominator alone: they were, and still are, the biggest self-proclaimed Gordon Sumner fans. Gordon Sumner is of course the birth name of Grammy award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor, and philanthropist Sting, who was also the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1983, before going solo with hits such as “Fragile,” “Englishman in New York,” “Fields of Gold,” “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” “Brand New Day,” among others. Fast forward to today, …

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Art meets fashion

Fashionistas sizzled at “When Art Meets Fashion II,” presented by The Society for Cultural Enrichment, Inc. (SCEI) and recently, on its second year, at the Makati Shangri-La Rizal Ballroom. It drew a high profile crowd, an eclectic group of well-heeled socialites, diplomats, businessmen, and artists. Host Johnny Litton introduced SCEI chairman Consul Helen Ong who cited, in her welcome speech, SCEI’s objective of encouraging Filipinos to appreciate arts and culture. On hand were other topnotch members of the board: vice chairman Jimmy Laya, Consul Betty Chua, Consul Agnes Huibonhua, Sheree Chua, Elaine Villar, and Eni Alba. SCEI paid homage to the various personalities who have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour. The talented roster of awardees were artist-interior decorator Anna Vergel, multimedia artist Jose Tence Ruiz, first Filipina Prima Ballerina Liza Macuja Elizalde, musician/composer/arranger Ryan Cayabyab, glass sculptor Ramon Orlina, and art collector and patron of Filipino history and tradition Danny Dolor. Glamorous looks brightened up the night. The stars of the evening were SCEI members and friends who paraded gowns in a three-part fashion show presented with perky background music and fast-paced video images. The dramatic opening featured a beautiful artwork. The first part highlighted visual arts with colors blue and green as its theme while the second focused on movement with red, pink, and fuchsia as its color motif. The finale was Filipiniana with a black and white theme. Fashion director was Rodgil Flores. Easily one of the favorites was Sheree, who wowed the audience with her grace …

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Cecile Licad reaps accolades

Cecile Licad’s appeal and talent are infinite. Cecile, a luminary in the music world, recently held a one-night special concert, “Cecile Licad Encore,” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines( CCP) main theater, Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Co-produced by CCP and the Philippine Italian Association, the show was for the benefit of the Philippine-Italian Association (PIA) Endowment Fund and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra US 2016 June tour. They are scheduled to perform at the Carnegie Hall with principal conductor Olivier Ochanine. An icon of philanthropy and patronage, the PIA president Nedy Tantoco is effortlessly and elegantly engaged in art and culture. The PIA Endowment Fund was created under her leadership to address the growing needs of the underprivileged. Main beneficiaries are major charities organized by Italian-Filipino missionaries who provide educational, medical, food, and housing facilities to the poor street children and the elderly. The PIA welfare projects are supervised by the Missionaries of the Servants of Charity, Sisters Handmaids of Charity, and Canossa-Tondo Children’s Foundation. A world-renowned pianist who relishes a challenge, Cecile completely captivated the audience with a sublime two-piano concerto …

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When common sense fails

In the days following boxing champ, prizefighter, cabinet representative, and 2016 senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao’s homophobic remark, the pound-for-pound fighter has—in Kim Kardashian fashion—broken the Internet, shook world media, and sparked global fury and debate on deep-seated issues on LGBT rights. Pacman has since apologized albeit standing by his faith. Still, his Bible-inspired “masahol pa sa hayop” (“worse than animals”) statement has taken on a life of its own and there is no telling when—how—it will end. Manila Bulletin Lifestyle had a conversation with various well-meaning individuals from diverse sectors of society on their thoughts about Manny’s human/animal-insensitive argument. Here’s what they have to say. I acknowledge Manny Pacquiao’s contribution to the country but his statement regarding same-sex marriage and against the LGBTQ community was totally insulting and degrading. He has …

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Crystal Memories

In the ‘50s, my parents had a small jewelry store on the Escolta; that very short street, which dominated Manila’s business district before the Makati malls took over. The only evident eyesore was a bombed out relic, which had about half a dozen storefronts, one of them being our store, Gem Gift Shop. During that time I always wondered why it was never reconstructed after the war as were most of the other buildings in the area. It was only later that I discovered, to my dismay, that relic was the old Crystal Arcade building, at one time one of Manila’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the ’30s, designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro, the son of celebrated Filipino artist Juan Luna and Paz Pardo de Tavera, whose family held extensive properties in the commercial district. Andres was a talented architect who seemed destined to equal his father’s artistic achievements. Aware of his family’s holdings on the Escolta, he became obsessed …

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People Power

ANGEL THOUGHTS The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. —Ralph Waldo Emerson “EDSA 30: Ipinaglaban N’yo: Itututuloy Ko” (EDSA 30: You fought for it: I will continue it) is the battlecry of the commission in charge of the 30th anniversary celebration of the country’s glorious and peaceful EDSA People Power Revolution. They want to make sure people will remember the compelling reasons the nation came out in support of ousting the dictator. EDSA 1 began three years earlier with the assassination in broad daylight, in front of foreign media, of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Aug. 21, 1983. The haste and brazen way of silencing Ninoy was …

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Partners in rhyme

It was an artistic connection that just needed an outlet to finally happen. They’ve shot major covers and editorials together, and he is credited for her “outing” as a legitimate artist, long before she made her mark as a painter and became the art world’s sensational tour de force, the kind who sells out an entire exhibit in one night. So when Manila Bulletin (MB) Lifestyle editor and bestselling author AA Patawaran finally finished HAI[NA]KU And Other Poems, his debut collection of poems—50 in all—there was only one person he wanted to work with on the visuals—longtime friend and muse Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero, who excitedly took on the project, providing paintings that mark the beginning of each chapter, the breathings of her soul in oil setting the mood for the verses that follow, as well as the cover image, the unfinished version of a painting she is scheduled to unveil along with her 2017 …

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New hands on the reins

With its legendary reputation for excellence and professionalism, The Peninsula Manila makes moments last a lifetime. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited COO Peter Borer and group director for Human Resources Sindy Tsui from Hong Kong ushered in a brand new year, welcoming the new Peninsula Manila general manager Mark Choon. The event was likewise a heartfelt farewell for former GM Sonja Vodusek. Held at the Rigodon Ballroom, it was an evening of reminiscing for Sonja. She related a quip from Peter when she first came to Manila, saying: “Once you do Manila, you can do anything. I think he is a great testament to that since he is now the COO!” A modern woman on the move and an inspiration in her industry, Sonja’s success is a beautiful story to tell. She started at the housekeeping department of The Peninsula Tokyo years back. Now, she is the general manager of the same hotel. Manila was her first general manager post and she shared …

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