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Laila on my mind

ANGEL THOUGHTS God’s promises: I will give you rest. I will strengthen you. I believe in you. I will bless you. I am for you. I will not fail you. I will provide for you. I will be with you. I love you. —Sent by Vicki Tanjuatco ession at Sofitel, we had feisty Laila de Lima, (in Arabic, her name means ‘nocturnal beauty’) the former secretary of Justice as guest. She did not disappoint us with her witty and straight answers. Laila is both a La Sallite and a Bedan, having gotten her AB History and Political Science degrees from La Salle University and her law degree from San Beda. She took the bar in 1985 and was in the top eight. Laila worked in the Supreme Court under Justice Isagani Cruz and then became the secretary of the House of Representatives Electoral …

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A home in the mountains

I was already home, the door shut behind me when I realized that I left my wallet in the van that brought us from Baguio back to Manila. My jaw dropped to the floor. So I called The Manor Hotel, told them of my predicament, and waited for a return call. A few days later, I picked up my wallet at the hotel’s Manila office, all of my membership and discount cards still inside. Even the P40 that were my life savings remained untouched. It felt like Christmas, not just because it was only a couple of weeks before this highly-anticipated day of titas telling you that you got fat or asking you why you were still single, but because I felt the care. The Manor Hotel inside Camp John Hay …

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The climate phenomenon that stole christmas

No white Christmas in Chicago and much of the upper East Coast of the US last year. That’s thanks to El Niño that delivers mild Pacific air across the states, confining cold Arctic air to Alaska and Siberia. With all hopes for a snowy Christmas dashed in winter temperatures that hovered above zero over Chicago at Christmastime, last year broke temperature records dating all the way back to the 1800s. My aunt wrote me a note from Chicago on Christmas Day: “No white Christmas this year—would you believe?” A white Christmas is defined as one inch of snow or more on the ground on Christmas Day. In Manila, at my house, Santa’s presents arrived on Dec. 26 and not on Christmas morning as usual. He wrote a note to my nieces Rafa and Georges: “I was …

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10 things to look forward to this year

By Isabelle Laureta   New shows, exciting concerts, and a change in the country’s leadership—whatever it is that’s in store for us this year, we are so ready! 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS It’s been a rollercoaster term for PNoy and now it’s time for him to pass the presidency to another potential leader.  And even though the list of candidates is not final yet, the presidentiables are already doing their thing and making it look like an intense scene in a teleserye in the process. This is definitely one of the pivotal things to look forward to this year since it may or may not change the country’s fate in the next six years. Also, get ready for LSS-inducing campaign songs.   CONCERTS, CONCERTS, CONCERTS! Ahhh, 2016! You have blessed the Philippines with great foreign bands and artists …

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Memories of Letty

ANGEL THOUGHTS Everyone must leave something behind when he dies. A child or a book or a painting, or a house. Or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go to when you die. And when people look at that tree or flower you planted, you’re there. —Ray Bradbury,  Farenheit 541   Then Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc is everywhere. “We lost an ally, a mentor, and a friend.” So said President Benigo S. Aquino III of the “bedrock” of press freedom in the country, my dear friend. She was also the loving wife of Dr. Carlos Magsanoc who is the godfather in baptism of my youngest son Amado Juan, mother of journalist-cancer activist Kara (Alikpala) and Drs. Niko and …

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Good fortune

The new dean of the Consular Corps of the Philippines, Consul General Fortune Aleta-Ledesma of Monaco, was awarded the distinction of Officer (Officier) in the Order of St. Charles by Prince Albert II of Monaco in a private ceremony during the recently concluded Monaco National Day celebrations held November last year The Order of St. Charles is Monaco’s most senior order having been established by Prince Charles III in 1858, and later modified by Prince Rainier III in 1996.  It is awarded in five classes to both citizens and foreigners for service to the state or to the sovereign prince. The Order is the equivalent of the French “Legion d’Honneur,” the highest and most prestigious distinction given by the Monegasque government. In 2008, Consul General Aleta-Ledesma was awarded the distinction of Chevalier …

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How to have your best relationships ever this 2016

By Aileen Santos   Have you ever heard of the phrase “Relationship Goals?” If you’re online and on social media at least three hours per week (and I know you’re online much, much longer than that), then it’s likely you have. A picture of an old couple holding hands while staring at the sunset? That’s a “Relationship Goal.” A photo of a 30ish couple quietly reading next to each other in a park? That could also be a “Relationship Goal.” A 20ish couple attending a movie premiere—both of them in costume?  That could be someone’s “Relationship Goal,” too. There are memes and posts about them; maybe you’ve also “liked,” shared, or re-tweeted them. But think about this: If they’re truly relationship “goals,” then don’t we deserve to actually make them happen in our own lives? And …

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Brilliant ways to travel cheap

By Marky Ramone Go   Another year has come to pass and for most of us it was 365 days of backbreaking work and then some. While we look at it as a badge of honor in helping the country move forward, we also deserve that time off to indulge in a bit of travel. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean burning all our hard earned money in one trip to the beach or some exotic location somewhere. If planned properly and guided accordingly, we could stretch our meager budget and still enjoy a memorable experience on the road. As the old adage says “There’s nothing travel cannot fix.” It is high time to recharge yourself in preparation for the challenges of the coming year. So start plotting your vacation leaves and be …

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Journey to Jaisalmer

By Joshua Berida   I did not know what was in store for me when I traveled to Jaisalmer. I got used to the chaos of big Indian cities where auto-rickshaw drivers and taxis wantonly blaze through the roads, cows wander the streets, and street vendors and pedestrians vie for space along the sidewalks. It takes around 12 hours by train to Jaisalmer from Jaipur; and as soon as I stepped out of the cabin, I knew I was in a different place.   OF HAVELIS AND FORTS Jaisalmer does not have the blitzing traffic, high rise buildings, and the in-your-face aggression of big Indian cities. Yellow sandstone replaces concrete, and camels replace cows wandering the streets. The laidback atmosphere and slower pace of the city is a welcome relief. I look at the massive structure …

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Nuvali rising

There’s a surprise waiting for those who wish to visit Sta. Rosa, Laguna this season, or any time after that. Ayala Land has further amped the entertainment and leisure value of their masterplanned development, Nuvali, and you shouldn’t miss it. What used to be a small lifestyle strip offering a few chosen restaurants for those looking for a pitstop while on their way back to Manila from Tagaytay has now become a destination on its own. Thanks to a well-planned development in both residential, business, and leisure aspects, Nuvali is now Ayala’s most exciting project to watch out for. There’s more happening in the 2,290 hectare development, most of which are geared toward the family, and in promoting the “green” lifestyle that puts a premium not only on the environment, but the …

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