Turning Japanese

It is the time of the year when the days get hot! And going to the beach is one of the fun activities! Stepping out on the beach with your most fashionable Havaianas flip flop is a must!

This time the 52-year old flip flop brand from Brazil goes Japanese! Inspired by the spring blooms of cherry blossoms, the Havaianas  flipflops will have East meeting West. After all, its first flip flop was inspired by Zori, a type of Japanese sandal made of fabric straps and rice straw soles.

Now on its 11th year, Ilonggo fashionistas will have the eastern Zen and western joy experience at Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH) this weekend at All Flip Flops in SM City Iloilo. The biggest flip-flops customization even in the country, MYOH will go back to its Japanese roots as it gives Havaianticos a glimpse of the land of the rising sun with its iconic rice patterns and designs of straps, soles and pins.

Available in top and slim soles, this year’s Shibori-inspired limited edition commemorative pairs go perfectly with a wide selection of kawaii pins, such as zori, empress and ramen. Shobori is a Japanese-inspired fabric-dyeing technique.

A bridal show

One of Metro-Iloilo’s top young designers JET SALCEDO will headline Modes: Wedding Essentials 2016 fashion show on Sunday, April 24 at Robinsons Place Roxas. Known for his opulent creations and extravagant looks, he will present 10 bridal gowns from his latest collection.

Joining him are four Roxas City based fashion designers, namely PIA AVIOLA, MARIA MARGARITA MAGALLANES, CYRUB MASILLONES and LEE UVAS.

Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion BO PARCON will direct the bridal show.

The bridal show will open the weeklong (Apr. 25 to May 1) bridal fair which will be participate in by wedding suppliers and organizers in Roxas City and hereabouts.

Now on its 2nd year, Modes: Wedding Essentials is the only bridal fair in Capiz! It promises to be bigger and better than the first!


Celebrating fun

It was the Bad Boy of Iloilo Fashion BO PARCON’s birthday and restaurateur MIGUEL CORDOVA treated him and dearest friends to a simple yet fun get-together at Bavaria German Restaurant.

The celebrator, our host, fashion designers JET SALCEDO, MIKE SORILLA and ACE of Hello Hello and yours truly enjoyed on organic green salad, cold cuts, paella, a platter of various sausages and bottles fine wine and buckets of iced-cold beer – all spiced by good conversation on fashion, food and friendship with a dash of politics and philosophy!

The get-together continued with more beer and conversation at the al fresco side of Straight Bar on the 7th floor of Seda Hotel Atria. It gave us good view of Metro-Iloilo’s nightscape!

Few days later, after a sumptuous dinner at DoVa, BO, JET, model ELIJA CHAVEZ, Cosmo-Manille based stylist MELVIN MOJICA and yours truly shimmied to 70s, 80s and 90s music at JLK Music Bar. Amid sips and spills of beveragic delights, we took bites of spicy and cheesy appetizers and exchanged tidbits on creativity and styling!

Of fashion and beauty contests

Recently in town was one of Philippines’ Best Dressed Women and socialite MAGS CUE. Eventologist NONOI YBIERNAS, social chronicler ZEDRICK SEÑERES and yours truly joined her for lunch at Ponsyon in Plazuela de Iloilo.

National Chair for screening of candidates for Mutya ng Pilipinas 2016 and owner of the famous Mags Boutique, she updated us on the upcoming regional and national searches of the beauty contest.

According to her, a regional screening will be held at Kalibo on June. And we were tasked to be part of the production! Oh, well, more information will be disclosed sooner than soon!


A taste of good food

Sheridan Boutique Resort-Iloilo never ceases to surprise the discriminating Ilonggos! It recently launched its new menu at its Ayanna Garden Restaurant!

The unveiling of the new gastronomic treat was spearheaded by its Resort Manager RHEGENE E. QUILAO, Sales Account Executive RUBIA CRISTA E. KING and Chef-Consultant MINER del MUNDO. In full attendance are bloggers and lifestyle writers.

Amid the Balinese ambience of the resort and jazz music by a DJ, we all enjoyed on a sumptuous array of cold appetizers, cold cuts board, hot dishes and desserts. The culinary creations were all prepared by Chef MINER and resident chef ANDRES “Bonny” GONZALEZ.

The favorites – mouthwatering Ayanna Chicken Cocido, Honey Pork Belly and Ayanna Back Ribs and calorific desserts Tablea Chocolate Truffle and Ube Haleya Cheesecake – are still very much part of the menu.

According to the management, the resort aims to “please the distinctive (Ilonggo) palates with a wider choice of rich flavor and aroma.” The dishes to look forward to at Ayanna Garden Restaurant include farm to table salads like Classic Caesar, hot off the grill Gen San Tuna Belly and divinely sweet treats such as Guimaras Mango Cobbler.

Resort Manager GENE QUILAO told us that by “creating our dishes, we hope to appeal to wider audience and encourage them to drive down to Oton and partake a truly mesmerizing Ayanna dining experience.”

And yours truly couldn’t agree more! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Best of both

Volvo Club Iloilo president BUDDY SILVA and public relations officer JAY-R SANTOS gathered the club members at the mezzanine of the newly opened Coffee House Beanery for a get-together dinner party.

Good food and fine wine set the pace for things to come that night. Hot topics were safety, politics and future plans and projects.

President BUDDY, who is also the CEO of SafeSat and advocate of safety, discussed with everyone the advantages of his company’s commercial and consumer safety applications on mobiles, laptop and iPads.

The night ended on high note with promises of more meetings!


Beauty bears fruits

While Guimaras is famous for its world-class mangoes, it is also known for its beautiful ladies! The beauties and the fruit will take center stage on May 20 at the Provincial Capitol Gymnasium for the Mutya ng Guimaras 2016 Pageant. This is in celebration of the 23rd Manggahan Festival and 24th Guimaras Provincehood Anniversary!

Rightfully so, nine lovely ladies representing five municipalities of Guimaras will vie for the title. They are JOANNE PORRAS of Jordan, JOYCE GAYORGOR and DANA MAE DIANA of Buenavista, SHERYL FAITH PERANIA and ROWENA GANDEZA of Nueva Valencia, JELL ROSE DUGA and MARY WELSEN QUEZON of San Lorenzo, and RUTH EMILY VALENZUELA and SHARA VIM VILCHEZ of Sibunag.

They were presented in a Press Conference, which also featured a mini-fashion of resort wear and evening gowns, at the Event Center of SM City Iloilo

Naturellement, bloggers and lifestyle writers were treated to a sumptuous array of delicacies of Café Panay, and juicy, mouthwatering mangoes from Guimaras!

The Mango Capital of the Philippines is also famed for its Trappist Monastery, Pagtaltal Festival, beaches, windmills, world class resorts, historic attractions and tourist spots!

“I’m every woman!”

Seven ladies of substance were honored in the 1st Women Empowered Awards by the Council of Women’s Clubs in Iloilo City (CWCIC). They were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective fields of endeavor! They were IMEE LOPERA, MARY LOU BORLADO, Capt. LUZ LIM ESCARILLA, Dr. CRISTINA GARCIA POMAAR, M.D., PO3 ALONA A. LAYSON, Dr. MARY BARBY BADAYOS-JOVER, Ph.D., and P/Supt. MARIA CECILIA DETABLAN (Ret.).

The awards and citations were presented in a simple yet meaningful ceremony at the Auditorium of St. Therese-MTC Colleges (Molo Campus). The merienda cena affair was attended by presidents and members of JCL Ilang-Ilang, Women law Advocates of the Philippines, Inc., Women in Maritime Phil. Iloilo, Soroptomist International of Iloilo, Quota International of Iloilo, Inc., Zonta Club of Iloilo City I and Zonta Club of Iloilo City II. These women’s organizations make up the CWCIC.

The program was opened with Welcome Remarks by JULIE ANN JARANTILLA of Soroptomist International of Iloilo. On behalf of the awardees, P/Supt. MARIA CECILIA DETABLAN delivered the Response Speech. Past President of Zonta Club of Iloilo City I YOLANDA S. GALVEZ closed the program with an impassioned message about women’s contribution to society.

CREAM Magazine and member of Zonta Club of Iloilo City MAFELOU L. AGRIAM was the program host.


A night of good music

Sobremesa Uno was so successful that event organizers MARISA MONTELIBANO and LINA DIVINAGRACIA held Sobremesa Dos. At a bigger venue – Ballroom of River Queen Hotel, it was attended by who’s who in society, business and politics!

Sobremesa is Spanish for “the time spent around the table after a meal, talking to people you share it with; and time to savor food and friendship.”

Indeed, friends took time out to enjoy good food, each other’s company and fabulous music. Sobremesa Uno and Dos were charity events for the benefit of better politics in Metro-Iloilo.

The night was highlighted by the stellar performance of GENARO LOPEZ who played lead in Miss Saigon in Australia, and local talents LEE MARIEL SANTILLAN, MARY ALICE JARANTILLA CANAAN, MELKY ARBOLEDA and Atty. SEDFREY LOPEZ CABALUNA. They sung Broadway songs, movie themes, pop and standards and OPM. All musical presentations were well-applauded!

Is Sobremesa Tres in the offing? (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


“It’s pure romance (Part 2)

The religious ceremony of the RAYMUNDO-HORTILLAS nuptials was followed by a celebratory reception at the Royal Garden.

While the well-dressed and well-heeled guests hobnobbed with each other, they enjoyed on delectable hors d’eourves, fine wine and good conversation. They oohed and aahed on 18 paintings by masters from the VALENCIA family collection flown in just for the wedding. The art pieces decorated the cocktail area.

The cocktails set the mood for the dinner party. The venue was transformed into a romantic setting by eventologist du jour DENNIS OCHOA with his special touch! A bountiful array of sumptuous dishes by Chef WILSON ESPARANCILLA was laid out on the buffet table for the guests to enjoy!

The night was highlighted by the special performance of singing sensation JED MADELA. (Photos by Morrie Lorena Jr.)


It’s pure romance (Part 1)

CARLO V. RAYMUNDO and ANGEL L. HORTILLAS’ love affair begun long before they were born. The groom’s uncle EDWIN VALENCIA and the bride’s mom MARISSA LEDESMA-HORTILLAS worked in a financial institution in the 1980s.

As fate would have it they were married in a glittering event. The romantic day kicked off with a religious ceremony officiated by Archbishop JOSE PALMA of Cebu at Jaro Cathedral.

Guests from here, there and abroad were in full attendance all dressed in designer gowns and dapper suits and Barong Tagalog!

Pretty in a VELUZ masterpiece wedding gown, the bride ANGELICA LEDESMA HORTILLAS is the daughter of GERARDO “Jungie” and MARISSA HORTILLAS (née LEDESMA). She studied at Assumption Iloilo and at University of the Philippines in the Visayas. She is now an Investment Specialist at Metrobank.

The groom is CARLO FRANCIS VALENCIA RAYMUNDO. He is the son of Dr. NOEL and AGNES RAYMUNDO (née VALENCIA). A graduate of De La Sale Greenhills and Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Economics, he took his Master’s Degree at Fordham University in New York. He is currently the Vice President of Credit Suisse NY.

Nine pairs of principal sponsors led the witnesses of the couple’s exchange of “I do’s” and first kisses a newlyweds. (To be continued. Photos by Morrie Lorena Jr.)