The Most Glamorous Filipino Ball in North America


I got an invite to The Most Glamorous Filipino Ball in North America on November 11, 2011 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. This is the brain child of Jeff Rustia, Vice President and Co-Chairperson of Kol Hope Foundation for Children. Jeff is the father of Kol Rustia whom the foundation is named after. Kol was born with Trisomy 13, a fatal genetic syndrome and was diagnosed to live three months. Kol is now 14 years old. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Kol when he was just a toddler. Jeff is a great old friend of mine.



Jeff Rustia, a BPM:TV VJ is the host of Club Fashion TV, 60 BPM News, and 50 Most Fashionable Music Videos. He was given the Philippine Presidential Pamana Ng Pilipino award in Malacanang in 2006. Jeff was recognized for being an “exemplary visionary and role model for Filipinos in Canada and around the world.” Jeff owns and leads a successful award winning, international, TV branding and Design agency, trusted by the world’s largest television networks. Check out Front TV.


Jeff is an old friend from school. We met at the University of Toronto. He just went up to me and said, “Are you Filipino?” He was my first Pinoy friend. We clicked right away. He recruited me to join the Filipino Club. I attended a few events. But in the end I was too involved in Pi Beta Phi and that became my world. Jeff moved to Asia (all over) after university, did the most amazing things in Channel V and MTV in the 90’s. By the time he moved back to Toronto, I had moved to the Philippines. We kept in touch. He created his own branding and production company. Next thing I hear, he’s a media mogul. Whenever he visits Manila, we get together. This was when I was pregnant and I took him to Chef Laudico, where he loved the “couture” Filipino dishes.


This was last year when he took me to lunch in Toronto and I fried under the sun in his convertible. He said he’d cook dinner for me. Turns out he arranged a dinner party inspired by our meal in Chef Laudico Manila.


This was the invite to the dinner he hosted at his house. It was in honour of the “Most Beautiful Women” in his life. Yes, Jeff loves getting people together. And he’s very good at it. The message read – “from a Broadway Star, A TV Host, to a Lobbyist, A Financial Whiz, an Entrepreneur to a Writer, an Actress, and even an Opera Singer and many more wonderful professions, the talents of some of the “Most Beautiful Women in my life” are unique and diverse.”


His beautiful dinner table. He asked each of us to bring a favourite quote from a book so we could share. In the end of dinner, that long space in his living room became a catwalk. We all ended up doing a fun fashion walk off and the real party began.


Jeff dreams of seeing Filipino cuisine being celebrated around the world. He says, it’s time for Couture Filipino food. He served stylized fried chicken adobo, laing and lumpia.


That “Most Beautiful Women in My Life” dinner. It was a lovely time… Unforgettable. I should do this for my amazing girl friends.


Me and Jeff towards the end of that fabulous dinner party in his apartment.


On November 11, Jeff is pushing his Filipino pride even further by hosting The Most Glamorous Filipino Ball in North America. I would be there if I could. Jeff’s such a great ambassador of Filipino cuisine and fashion. I love that he just took on this cause and merged it with raising funds for Kol Hope with just his vision and the support of his awesome friends. If you’re in Toronto at that time, I urge you to please try to support this cause. It’ll be fantastic! The Four Seasons’ head chef will cook adobo!


Wear your most Fabulous Terno, as the Competition for Best Butterfly Imeldific dress is judged by Celebrity Judges from Canada, with a grand prize of an exclusive handmade coutured Wedding Gown valued at $5000, compliments of Joy Couture. Those who need inspiration for the “Butterfly” dress or Terno… click “More”



Jinkee Pacquiao for Belo Nutraceuticals



I couldn’t say no to this lunch event in honour of Jinkee Pacquiao. I haven’t gone out to any event in months – except those I’m directly involved in. But this time I made the effort. It was lunch and I’d be home before the kids got home from school.

Dr Vicki Belo herself invited me. I had been going to Belo religiously for the past three years – every two weeks to get a facial/cleaning. Recently I finally tried a fancy treatment. Nothing surgical or invasive. And nothing on my face. I just wanted to get rid of the fatty stuff in my upper back – aka the wings. No matter what kind of exercise I do, my wings seemed to grow. So I went for the newest machine Tite FX, the “most innovative non- invasive body contouring and fat killing machine in the world. It uses Electroporation High Voltage “HV” Pulse for permanent destruction of fat cells. It’s combined with radio frequency that provides précised optimal heating of the skin for tightening and body shaping.” I have done five out of the recommended six sessions and let me tell you… it really works! I don’t know where my fat went or how it disappeared, but it is noticeably flatter and tighter. Let me know if you want to know more about it and I’ll write…

This story is about our Jinkee and why she appears to be glowing.


Jinkee, introducing her endorsement of Belo Nutraceuticals. I didn’t actually get to meet her, but she did say hi to me as she was walking towards the stage. And yes, she looks exactly like she does in the billboards.


L-R Dr Belo, me, Johnny Litton, Cristalle Henares and Phoemela Baranda. Dr Belo and Cristalle were totally hands-on with everything. And this photo makes me look 5 months pregnant. I swear, it’s just the dress.


Like I said, hands on. She did the rounds and made sure every one was okay. (Note, the valet stand for my white blazer. Nice touch by Red at Shangrila Makati).


Jinkee Pacquiao. They raffled off products and boxing gloves signed by Jinkee and Manny Pacquiao. I didn’t win… I never do.


Armed with confidence, and the expertise of the Belo Authority, Jinkee Pacquiao now looks and feels like a knock-out.  With Belo Nutraceuticals,  Jinkee Pacquiao is now FEARLESS.

A breakthrough product from the Belo Authority, Belo Nutraceuticals provides the key benefits of whitening and anti-aging in one pill. It has a patented formulation that has gone through extensive testing and study to ensure its professional grade quality, safety, and efficacy.

Belo Nutraceuticals is infused with 250 mg of compacted glutathione that fights dark spots to whiten your skin, and collagen that lifts skin from within as it provides strength, elasticity, and resilience.

Source: Press Kit



Since I do not use any whitening products, I’m cutting and pasting some FAQs from the press kit.

What exactly is glutathione and why is it important?
Glutathione is a tripeptide of amino acid present in our human cells. It is considered as the master antioxidant because it is the most potent antioxidant in the body. The highest concentration (26.58% of glutathione in the body is found in the liver because it is where it is needed most. It is also involved in various reactions, such as detoxification, destruction of free radicals, and strengthening immune health. It is also clinically proven to whiten the skin.

How does glutathione whiten the skin?
Glutathione whitens the skin in 3 ways:
a. Interferes melanin production
b. Changing dark melanins (eumelanin) to light melanins (pheomelanin)
c. Replacement of skin tissue to excrete melanin

When is the best time to take Belo Nutraceuticals Glutathione + Collagen?
It is recommended to take it in the morning, with or without meal because glutathione levels are lowest and oxidative stress is highest during daytime.

Would it cause hyperacidity when we take this capsule without food intake?
No, because the Vitamin C present in the capsule is in the form of ascorbate. Ascorbates are known to be less acidic than other types of Vitamin C and provide better absorption than ascorbic acid alone.

Are there any side effects associated with Belo Nutraceuticals Glutathione + Collagen?
No. There are no known negative side effects associated on this product.

Can lactating or pregnant women take this product?
No.  We don’t recommend lactating or pregnant women to take this product.

What is the average daily dosage of glutathione? What happens if I take a very high dosage?
The average daily dosage of glutathione is 100mg to 1000mg per day. Based on studies, if you take in above these recommended dosage, it could affect the body’s own production of glutathione.

Belo Nutraceuticals: Glutathione+Collagen is available in Mercury Drug, Watsons, and other leading drugstores nationwide.   It comes in three sizes.   The recommended dosage is 2 capsules per day, with or without meals

For more info check the Belo Nutraceuticals website.



Kitchen Studio



Last Friday, I hosted an intimate event at 105 Rada, the showroom of Kitchen Studio.


The event was to re-introduce old partners and new ones including Bisazza, Hunter Douglas and Kauffman.


I met Kitchen Studio’s Rafael Calero last year through my friends at Bisazza. We are trying to work on my kitchen at home – as soon as I get my act together.


David Kauffman talked about new products under their brand.


It’s always nice to see old friends – Joan Soro was my Editorial Assistant when I was editor of Metro Weddings eons ago. She then went on to be Managing Editor. Now she is with Cocoon magazine.


Flamenco dancers from Clara Ramona.


I wore Lanvin x H&M from last year – scored by Ingrid Go in Paris. Lucky me. I swear I had my hair blowdried before the event, but it has a life of its own and prefers to be disheveled. Used an old denim shoulderbag which I converted into a clutch.



Metrobank Art & Design Excellence


Earlier this year, Metrobank Foundation invited me to be a member of the Board of Judges of Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE). It’s a very prestigious annual art/design competition. I had to be sworn to secrecy and not reveal myself as a judge. I was among the company of academics, artists, architects, designers. Ramon Orlina was chairman of the board of judges for sculpture. I was one of the judges for the Interior Design category – I suppose because of my exposure Urban Zone. I approached the “job” as a consumer and editor, as I am not a professional interior designer. I could just as well have judged painting as art is my first love and I secretly buy art. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialist in Fine Art History from the University of Toronto (Urban Studies was my Major). It was a great honour to have been invited by Metrobank Foundation. The MADE awards’ past recipients include celebrated artists like Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Gabby Barredo and recently Ronald Ventura, whose work sold at Sotheby’s for $1.1 million US dollars.


There was a little part where all the judges would be called on stage. Initially the organizers told me the attire was “formal.” Good thing I double checked. Formal means gown. But what they meant was business cocktail. As I don’t do business attire well, I opted for something cocktaily-artsy. This dress is from K&Company’s current collection. Wore them with nude pumps in vegetable tanned leather, can’t get any simpler than that. And a little minaudiere in purple, a gift from Katherine Cheng of K&Company. Grabbed my hair in a high ponytail and put make-up on in the car.


Just wanted to set the record straight. I am not a TV producer in the Philippines, US and Asian region. I’m just the producer of Urban Zone. But I have won awards for my work in the Philippines, US (Gold in US TV and Film Awards in Los Angeles, CA) and Asian region (two Asian TV awards). Sorry to toot my own horn, I have no publicist or manager, LOL.


Aniceto Sobrepena, President of Metrobank Foundation, with other VIPS, awarding the MADE winners.


Touches of Varekai…


Alexander Roxas, 2nd Prize winner for painting. His work, “Uncorrupted.”


A lot of people go shopping for new artists in MADE. I was interested in this but it got bought on the spot.


Interesting interpretations of social realism in a very Filipino way. I met one artist who wasn’t among those that competed. She said that she wouldn’t do well here because her art was “too happy.” Cute. Not to say that the art was all dark though. They all had deep socio-political messages, but some were approached with wit, humour and irony. I was on the lookout for technique. I love that there seems to be a move towards photorealism.


Great turnout.


One of the semi-finalists.


I loved the “uniform” of the Metrobank Foundation female staff. They looked distinguised and sophisticated.


The grand prize winner for Interior Design, IDr. Angelo Del Mundo. We picked two finalists out of a batch of 18. We reviewed their plans and sketches and deliberated amongst ourselves for one day. Then the two finalists, Angelo and Childy Elamparo, worked on an empty model unit of a Federaland condo for about two months. Then we went back to see the actual space and judged based on the actual. It was fun and taxing at the same time. I thought it would have made a great TV series…


MADE 3rd Prize winner Julmard Vicente and his winning piece “Prosti-Tuition.”


Sorry for the incomplete photos. I flew solo that day and as you can see, ended up carrying lots of things like my awesome plaque from MADE, a few magazines and stuff. I had to convert my minaudiere into a little bag (it had lapiz lazuli beads as handles).
Congratulations to all the winners and participants of MADE. Thank you Metrobank Foundation for inviting me. Long live Philippine art and design!



“Bladeless” LASIK at American Eye Center




American Eye Center in Greenbelt 5


Last Wednesday I attend the American Eye Center’s unveiling of the most advanced laser technology — the Wavelight Refractive Suite or all-Laser or bladeless LASIK surgery. I had done LASIK surgery in 2005 and I’ve written and spoken about this many times. I admit, it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but it was also one of the best decisions I’ve made. It completely changed my life. Having bad vision for decades was a major disability for me and it became a hindrance. I remember taking crazy risks like scuba diving with contacts on, only to have my contacts fly out of my eye while riding the boat, leaving me half blind while diving. Grr! And all these crazy lightweight titanium glare-free glasses that weren’t actually glare-free on TV (those made me look too serious anyway). And my baby Sophia grabbing and breaking three eyeglasses. It marked the end of needing specs just to function. Best thing I’ve ever done.


Sharing my experience about LASIK with RJ Ledesma. I wonder if he’s going to get LASIK done. (I wish there was a similar procedure that could LASIK my arms. But I’m an all-natural kind of girl, except with this eye surgery which was necessary.)


American Eye Center had invited me to participate in the press conference by sharing my own experience with LASIK. The media, and I’m sure many of you readers, wanted to know if it hurt. It was completely painless. The worst thing about it was my fear. But the procedure was fast and painless – and I was completely awake. I got perfect vision immediately – after about a 3 hour nap at home. And my vision is still perfect — no, more than perfect — up to now.

The new machine is also LASIK except that it uses an all-laser technology. The one I had still used a blade. But like I said, it was also completely painless and fast. Let me quote from their press kit because it’s highly technical…


The all Laser or bladeless LASIK surgery via the WaveLight Refractive Suite.


The first of its kind in the Philippines, this new equipment is very much in demand in all premier eye centers around the world. Its acquisition by American Eye Center reinforces the latter’s commitment to be at par with global standards of quality and excellence in ophthalmic laser treatment.

The WaveLight Refractive Suite is known as the world’s fastest refractive platform .  It combines two of the most advanced lasers currently available for performing LASIK surgery—the  WaveLight EX500, a 500 Hz repetition excimer laser; and the WaveLight FS200, a 200 kHz Femtosecond laser.

The FS200 femtosecond laser is impressive because of its speed and ability to make the flap that is needed for LASIK surgery.  There is no need for blades.  The surgeon is given the freedom of choice with regard to diameter, shape, thickness, depth, angle and location of the flap according to the individual needs of the patient. Integrating seamlessly with the FS200 is the EX500, the fastest excimer laser in the market operating at 1.4 seconds per diopter of treatment.  It can perform a wide range of customized treatments.

Source: American Eye Center


Dr Alnette Tan, during actual surgery


American Eye doctors with host RJ Ledesma and Magic 89.9 TM DJ Jessica Mendoza, who actually underwent the new all-laser LASIK during the presscon! We all watched live as it happened. And she went on stage minutes after surgery.


Here I am with Dr. Tan and Dr. Cabrera. It was Dr. Tan who performed my surgery in 2005.


The doctors of American Eye Center.


As mentioned in Twitter, American Eye Center is giving away ONE FREE LASIK SURGERY to one of my readers. This giveaway is completely transferrable. So you can give the gift of seeing to someone you care about. I honestly am bogged down with birthday party issues and details, so I haven’t figured out how to do this contest. Should we do it completely at random? Or should you share your stories and leave it up to me to choose. I have no idea. Let me put my kids to bed first and I’ll be back with the contest details.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts.


EDIT: August 1, 2011 6:51 PM. Contest is now closed. All comments posted after this time won’t be counted. Thank you.