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A return to the native

By Floy Quintos Every August, for the past five years now, I have had the responsibility of fulfilling a loving uncle’s obligation to two nieces to source and provide costumes for the annual Buwan ng Wika at Kulturang Pilipino celebrations. And for five years, I have come up with what I thought to be the most wondrous celebrations of our culture. Celina and Andrea have attended their parades dressed successively in complete Yakan, Gaddang, Maranao, Tausug ensembles. Each outfit was meticulously sourced and came with a quick instructional (courtesy of folk dancer friends) on the signature steps or hand movements to bring each outfit to life. Overeager uncle that I am, I would dress them on the day of the parade and accompany them to their schools.  I would watch with pride as my wards stepped proudly into a sea …

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The long road to vogue

By Ken Samudio Images by Noel B. Pabalate The most frequently asked question I’ve been getting ever since I started designing is “How did you get started in fashion? How did you become successful at it?” To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember the specifics—when, where, how. I have never imagined myself being a designer, much more a fashion designer. I am professionally trained as a biologist with special interest in marine biodiversity.  The question of why the sudden jump from science to fashion has always baffled people I meet at local and international exhibitions. I do remember opening a Multiply website back in 2005 to sell vintage clothes. My site became an instant fashion phenomenon and soon, I was catering to celebrities and fashion editors. One editor, however, suggested that I should make a line of vintage-inspired accessories …

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Sage advice from a successful orchid grower

Sally Leuenberger is one of the most successful orchid growers in the country today. One uncontestable proof is that in the last Kadayawan orchid show in Davao City, she bagged practically all the major prizes in the different orchid competition categories. Her hybrid vanda was adjudged the Best Orchid in Show; her waling-waling won the first and second prizes; her strap leaf vanda won all the three top prizes; in the mixed genera category, her orchids also won the top three prizes. It is only in Dendrobium that she won the second and third prizes. On top of that, her exhibit booth was adjudged first prize winner. Who is Sally Leuenberger of Davao City? She is a top rate CPA who used to audit the books of professionals, businessmen, hospitals, schools, and other business enterprises. Her accountancy practice was lucrative but …

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For fear of sounding like my favorite writer

I’ve been asked many times, almost every time I speak before a roomful of aspiring writers or devout readers, how it is possible to avoid mimicking your favorite writers when it is your turn to write. Two weeks ago, at this year’s Philippine Readers and Writers Festival at the Raffles Makati, in which I had a morning session to speak about writing, as well as to launch the young writers edition of my 2012 book Write Here Write Now, I was asked that question again. This time I didn’t falter. I don’t think it’s an issue that you sound like J.D. Salinger, if you had just re-read The Catcher in the Rye before writing a piece on teen depression. And so what if you sound like Gertrude Stein while trying to write without a comma? I mean you can’t help it. I mean, no …

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The next big name in fashion

Rosenthal Tee, 28 Label: Rosenthal Tee Describe your signature style: My style is definitely nostalgic, quirky, and subtle. I believe what separates me from others is a structured sophistication in all my pieces that is ultimately young but pays homage to the artisanal skill of Filipino hands. Can you tell us about the upcoming collection you are working on? Currently, we are preparing for our spring/summer17 show happening in New York Fashion Week from Sept. 8 to 15. The collection is a visual discourse on the contemporary Filipina. The modern-day woman is in constant struggle with the duality and even multiplicity of her roles in society, so I looked back into iconic female characters of Philippine literature and paid homage to the fused vision of Sisa and Maria Clara, female characters of the Jose Rizal novels Noli Me Tangere and …

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The intriguing history of ‘Filipino time’

By Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr.   The enactment of Republic Act No. 10535 a few years ago only indicates that tardiness has grown into a national pet peeve. Signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2013, the said law aims to synchronize all clocks in the country, particularly in all government offices as well as private television and radio stations. RA 10535 was put into effect not only to require everyone to follow the “Philippine Standard Time” (or “Juan Time” as coined by DOST), but also to validate the notion that we’re a country of latecomers who love making excuses. These include among others Manila’s hellish traffic and the classic “my clock isn’t working” alibi. That a law had to be passed just to put these excuses to rest only confirms “Filipino time” isn’t just a wretched habit but a major …

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Brand Femme

Photos by JOVEL LORENZO In a quaint café located beside the iconic Tesoros on Arnaiz Avenue, Makati is a showroom that invites women to celebrate not just the usual clothes or bags most females appreciate, but a unique message of strength and hope fostered by a sisterhood of businesswomen who find purpose in gender, and encouraging a love for local.   GREAT WOMEN This showroom-cum-café goes by the most apt brand name: Great Women, the organization that bonds their unifying vision to support products that aim to empower women from different localities and even the most remote places in the country. Great Women is not just another business venture. It is a one-of-a-kind business model borne out of the “convergence of national and local government agencies, women’s groups, and private sector groups resulting in improving …

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The Kalamazoo promise

Kalamazoo, Michigan is known mainly for its “funny sounding” name and the hit song: “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” But today it is gaining a reputation for a program that other cities are lining up to follow, namely, free college education for every high school graduate. In the past decade, since 2006, more than 5,000 students have been eligible for the Kalamazoo Promise, an $80 million investment from a group of anonymous local donors that has allowed every high school graduate to attend an in-state college tuition-free. The initiative is so impressive that it caught the attention of President Obama who delivered his first high school commencement address at Kalamazoo Central high school in 2010. Proud of their accomplishment, Kalamazoo’s kindergarten teachers put college pennants up in their classrooms to spur students’ interest in going to college. Elementary school students …

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Born to break the rules

By John L. Silva Illustration by Eugene Cubillo Are Filipinos Undisciplined? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course we’re undisciplined! Give a Filipino a vehicle and he’ll go through all the red stop lights and signs. When stopped, he’ll not plead guilty but ask for mercy or pull out a R500 bill tucked in his driver’s license. When in line, our fellow Filipino will nonchalantly or sneakily get in front of you. When told there’s a line, she’ll feign surprise or beg you to allow her, or make you feel you’re a heel, even un-Filipino. The announcement is quite clear in a plane taxiing to the airport.  “Do not stand to get luggage…” is a go-signal for Filipinos to stand up and get their luggage. The stories are endless to prove the point.  Where did these anarchic tendencies of …

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To a friend

By way of your concern and kindness, I have been helped to pursue other dreams, Not only in poetry but also camaraderie, God willing, limelight in the city. Sharing of blessings is expected to many, And each is expected to be trustworthy, Notice the sun, the moon and the stars, They shine of different degrees. Only God knows the universe, So with the hearts of every man. —Annabelle Halili-Delicana, Cpa

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