Philippine Veterans Bank Iloilo honors WW2 heroes

PVB AVP Jean Carranceja (Visayas Area Head), PVAO Administrator Gen. Ernesto Carolina, PVB President Nonilo Cruz, Governor Defensor, Mayor Matibag, PVB Chairman Roberto de Ocampo, Councilor Mabilog, PVB AVP Ezme Halal (Branch Marketing) snip the ceremonial ribbon at the opening of the newly renovated Philippine Veterans Bank Iloilo Bank; Arthur D. Defensor Sr. receives his token from PVB Chair/CEO Roberto F. De Ocampo and President Nonilo Cruz; and PVB AVP Jean Carranceja (Visayas Area Head), PVB Iloilo Branch Manager Elsa Peregil, PVAO Administrator Gen. Ernesto Carolina, PVB President Nonilo Cruz, Governor Defensor, PVB Chairman Roberto de Ocampo, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Councilor Jay Treñas, and PVB AVP Ezme Halal (Branch Marketing Head)

 In time for the 72nd anniversary of the Liberation of Panay, Philippine Veterans Bank inaugurated its newly renovated Iloilo Branch. Making their presence felt for the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Governor ARTHUR D. DEFENSOR Sr. of Iloilo, Mayor JED PATRICK E. MABILOG of Iloilo City, and Iloilo City Councilor JAY TREÑAS who represented his uncle Rep. JERRY P. TREÑAS of the Lone District of Iloilo City. They joined the top rank officials who jetted in from Cosmo-Manille, namely PVB Chair and CEO ROBERTO F. De OCMAPO, OBE, and COO NONILO C. CRUZ.

Also there were Branch Banking Group SVP VILMA NOCHE and Head for Corporate and Consumers Relations, VP MIKE VILLA-REAL.

The World War II Wall of History; and yours truly with Ferdinand Palor, chief of Finance division of PVAO

The piece de resistance of the newly renovated branch is the World War II History Wall. It is a 6-panel wall that chronicled the story of heroism of Filipinos around the Philippines during World War II. Several panels were also dedicated to local events during these dark days of Japanese Occupation of Panay and Romblon leading to their liberation in 1945.

The branch also displays artifacts, paraphernalia and memorabilia, and a TV screen that continuously play documentaries and photos of World War II.

As a son of a World War II veteran, yours truly can’t help being sentimental about the photos on display.

Locate on corner of Valeria and Delgado Streets, the PVB Building sports a new façade with a large “V” logo. “Not only that it is a nod to the bank’s stockholders – over 300,000 Filipino World War II veterans – but also a symbol of the aggressive outlook that the bank has of the city,” enthused De OCAMPO in his speech.

Herbert Vego, Mayor Ike Rojas and Manuel “Boy” Mejorada; and yours truly with Chona Layson-Bondoc

Rightfully so, the aggressiveness is easily dispelled with the homeliness and comfort of the interiors of the bank.

Moving around, yours truly spotted Officials of Veterans Federation of the Philippines and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, and the surviving World War II veterans of Panay and Romblon. (Some photos were provided by Nonoy Taclino)


Goodbye and hello

DFA Asst. Assec. Atty. Leo Tito and Agnes Ausan with (front row) She-ra Mae Agenga, Mydee Homena (Officer in charge Regional Consular Office Iloilo DFA) and Jocena Jocson, and (back row) Alvin Bolido, John Dan Elijah Fajardo and Joel Lanciola; Agnes B. Ausan and Sarah Salcedo; and fashion designer Agnesette Marie B. Ausan with Maddy

Friends and colleagues travelled to the AUSAN residence in Zaraga for the despedida party of diplomat Atty. LEO TITO AUSAN Jr. and his wife AGNES B. AUSAN.

Before bidding farewell to assume his next post as Consul General in Vancouver, Canada, the much-liked couple was honoured by everyone with roasts and toasts.

The party was highlighted by good food, fine wine and hot topics on fashion, current events and future plans.

The night ended on a high note with promises of upcoming get-togethers.

DFA Asst. Asec. Atty. Leo Tito L. Ausan Jr. with Regional Election Director of Comelec Region 6 Atty. Dennis L. Ausan and Deputy Register of Deeds of Iloilo City & Acting Register of Deeds of Guimaras Mara M. Ausan; yours truly with John Dan Elijah Fajardo of DFA Regional Consular Office Iloilo and of Panay News; and Bo Parcon, Kristoffer Luis Catinan, Jet Salcedo, Mike SorillA, Mark Lester Gumapas and RJ Gregorius pose with Sarah Salcedo, Asst. Assec Leo Tito L. Ausan Jr. and Madame Agnes Ausan

When Iloilo’s Gwapas and Gwapos walk for a worthy cause

“I really enjoy doing charity, for a good cause, it’s like the least I can do, I really enjoy that stuff. I enjoy giving back.”Alex O’Loughlin

A Gonzalez family friend, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Pampanga is the guest of honor and international concert violinist John Lesaca will perform at the show.

Yes, tonight Gwapa/Gwapo will unfold at Jade Ballroom of Grand Xing Imperial Hotel. Distinguished Ilonggos, beauty queens, kids and teens and supermodels will sashay the prêt-a-porter and haute couture collection of Ilonggo international designer NONO PALMOS.

Iloilo models Anne, Aileen, Delza, Kryzza, Nneka and Princess, and John Mark, Niko and JJ

MACAPAGAL-ARROYO of the 2nd District of Pampanga as Special Guest and will feature the stellar performance of international concert violinist JOHN LESACA.

The proceeds of Gwapa/Gwapo will go to Raul M. Gonzalez Sr. Foundation, Inc.’s free medical services for the indigent Ilonggos at its Medical/Dental/Diagnostic Digital Imaging Clinic in Petalsville, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City. The clinic is part of the museum complex built and named in honour of the Ilonggo statesman, late RAUL M. GONZALES.

Iloilo models Samya, Sharon, Shawie and Tracy, and John and Philip

This is a production of mother and daughter Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ and Dr. GOLD T. GONZALEZ.

Everyday, Ilonggos take advantage of the medical, dental and diagnostic imaging services at Raul M. Gonzalez Memorial Museum and Medical Clinic.

For a good cause

Gwapa/Gwapo poster

Rightfully so, Gwapa/Gwapo is presented by Raul M. Gonzalez Foundation, Inc. under the auspices of mother and daughter Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ and Dr. GOLD T. GONZALEZ.

Gwapa/Gwapo will unfold in a cocktail and dinner fashion on March, 25, 2017, 6:00 p.m. at Jade Ballroom of Grand Xing Imperial Hotel.

It is a charity event for the benefit of the foundation’s free medical services for the indigent Ilonggos at its Medical/Dental/Diagnostic Digital Imaging Clinic in Petalsville, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City. The clinic is part of the museum complex built and named in honour of the Ilonggo statesman, late RAUL M. GONZALES.

Joe Marie Agriam, eventologist Jane Javellana of the Artjuana fame, and Nonoi Ybiernas of Philippine Tatler and Zedrick Señeres of The Daily Guardian

Working behind the scene of this worthy project are creative individuals, all experts in their fields. This dream team includes JOE MARIE AGRIAM, publisher of CREAM Magazine, who is charge of PR and Marketing; top notched eventologist JANE JAVELLANA who is the show director; society chroniclers NONOI YBIERNAS of Philippine Tatler and ZEDRICK SEÑERES who will handle the publicity and reception; Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion BO PARCON who is the runway master and choreographer; and society photographer RAY TABAFUNDA who will document the show and event. Yours truly is the executive producer and in charge of concept and production.

Iloilo’s Bad Boy of Fashion Bo Parcon and society photographer Ray Tabafunda

Joining the 21 distinguished Ilonggo in sashaying the prêt-a-porter and haute couture collections of Ilonggo international fashion designer NONO PALMOS are RAPHAEL KIEFER, one of the judges at Philippines’ Next Top Model; supermodel RIA BOLIVAR; Miss Earth 2015 ANGELIA ONG; and Miss Earth Philippines-Fire BENCE BIANZON.

Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong; Miss Earth Philippines-Fire 2014 Bence Bianzon Philippines’ Next Top Model judge Raphael Kiefer; and Supermodel Ria Bolivar


Fashion for a cause

“I don’t mind fighting as long as it’s for a good cause.”Ken Cuccinelli 

Dr. Pacita Trinidad-Gonzalez, Dr. Gold T. Gonzalez and the late Raul M. Gonzalez and the museum and clinic named after him.

Mother and daughter Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ and Dr. GOLD T. GONZALEZ will stage Gwapa/Gwapo on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at Jade Ballroom of Grand Xing Imperial Hotel. The charity event is presented by Raul M. Gonzalez Foundation to raise funds for the continued free medical services for the indigent Ilonggos at its Medical/Dental/Diagnostic Digital Imaging Clinic in Petalsville, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City.

Nono Palmos; Charmaine Gonzalez-Castillo, Norma Rosales and Kathleen Ynion; and Atty. Raul T. Gonzalez and Mayor Mac Napulan of Miag-ao

The cocktail and dinner fashion show will feature twenty-one distinguished Ilonggo shakers, movers and achievers, namely Atty. RAUL T. GONZALEZ Jr., Dr. CHARMAINE GONZALEZ-CASTILLO, NORMA P. ROSALES, MARYLOU ARCELO, Hon. TRIXIE FERNANDEZ, DARLENE GO, DIANNE JIMENEZ, DOLLY CHUA, KATHLEEN YNION, PRIMA BUCKLEY-SWEENEY, SHEILA DRAPER, VIRMA YASA, PUTLI FUERTE, ADOLFO and GRETA NGALONGALAY, Atty. JOEBERT and RHEA PEÑAFLORIDA, Hon. MAC NAPULAN, Dr. ROLLIN TABUENA, JOJO ANG and NIKKO R. CID, who will sashay latest prêt-a-porter and haute couture collections of Ilonggo international fashion designer NONO PALMOS, who hails from Miag-ao, Iloilo and advocate of heritage fabric Hablon.

Jojo Ang, Atty. Joebert Peñaflorida and Nikko R. Cid; and Dr. Rollin Tabuena and Adolfo Ngalongalay

The eponymous museum and clinic is the legacy of the late RAUL M. GONZLEZ, who was the three-termer Representative of the Lone District of Iloilo City and Justice Secretary during GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO’s presidency, to the people of Iloilo City. It was built in his honour by his wife Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ and children.

Putli Fuerte and Mayor Trixie Fernandez of San Enrique; Virma Yasa and Greta Ngalongalay; and (foreground) Diane Jimenez, Marylou Arcel and Prima Buckley-Sweeney are joined by Rhea Peñaflorida, Dolly Chua, Sheila Draper and Darlene Go.


It’s very Fanny!

“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.”– Nancy Rathburn

The celebrator Fanny Uy with Norma, Pangging and Pane Rosales; Maritess Lim with Marilou Uy-Chua and her daughter Audrey Marie Chua; and the celebrator Fanny Uy with her children, their spouses and grandchildren. 

The indefatigable FANNY UY, the grand dame of the Filipino-Chinese business community in Metro-Iloilo, was fêted by her children and grandchildren with a fabulous lunch party at Jade Ballroom of Grand Xing Imperial Hotel.

Her sons Dr. ROLAND UY, ROBERT UY and wife JANE CHUA-UY, ROGER and spouse MEG GARCIA-UY and RONNIE UY and better-half JOYDEE YOUNG-UY, and unica hija MARILOU UY-CHUA with hubby JERRY CHUA were here, there and everywhere receiving the who’s who of Metro-Iloilo’s society, business and politics.

Romeo Go and Felipe Uygongco; Norma Rosales and Lolit Wong and Jackie Wong-Tinsay with Irma and Tony Lim


Judgee, Sarah and Atty. Rita Peña with Nonoi Ybiernas; Pia and Terence Uygongco; and Nap and Helma Sy

Songstress EVA POON hosted the programme both in English and Chinese, and rendered a medley of DORIS DAY songs. The programme included Jazz and Flamenco numbers by gorgeous sisters PANGGING and PANE ROSALES with choreographer JOE DELINA, and a Latin dance from the friends of the celebrator. An AVP, that chronicled the life and time of the celebrator, was also shown. Those who did not make it to the party greeted her on video.

My selfies with Robins Jarvis Uy, Eva Poon and Jane Chua-Uy

Of course the food was great! The buffet tables groaned of continental and Japanese dishes!

The guests had so much fun that they stayed till mid-afternoon, a testament of the popularity of the feisty celebrator, who wore a LARRY ESPINOSA creation.

Roses for the celebrator Fanny Uy


It’s party time!

“I like to go out if there’s a party or go to the movies, but I just like hanging out with my buddies and having a good time.”Jean-Luc Bilodeau

Prima and Alan Sweeney with Neil Symonds and Flora MacMahon; Sarah and Judgee Peña; Val and Herminio Maravilla; and yours truly and Dolly Chua

There were great reasons to party at the VIP Room of Muelle Deli! First, it was bon vivant ALAN SWEENEY’s surprise birthday party and NEIL SYMONDSbuenvenida bash.

PRIMA BUCKLEY-SWEENEY of the Sta. Clarita International School fame tried to keep her husband’s birthday party a surprise but somehow the latter got wind of it, but just the same, he played long. NEIL SYMONDS, who is here for a vacation, is ALAN SWEENEY’s long time friend from United Kingdom.

Therese Sarabia and Ivy Gurrea; Joe and Neira Totengco; Diane Jimenez and Eva Duenneisen; and Junel Ann Divinagracia, Sandra Gomez and Dr. Cheryl Lyn Nuñez

The partying went in crescendo with friends from Zonta Club of Iloilo City II, Iloilo City Host Lions Club and American Association in Western Visayas. Also there were expat-friends of the couple from Canada, New York, Holland, Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Ireland and their Filipina wives.

Muelle Deli owners HERMINIO and VALERIE MARAVILLA prepared a sumptuous array of dishes that kept everyone coming for seconds and thirds! We enjoyed on assorted bread and butter, fresh green salad, seafood chowder soup, steamed rice, stir-fry vegetable with shrimps, chicken Milanese, grilled tangigue, and crème brulee.

Alan and Prima Sweeney with Mafelou and Joe Marie Agriam; Ray Gomez and Capt. Nelson Ynion; Ortha and Dick Lumanlan; and Capt. and Mrs. Nelson Ynion and Dr. and Mrs Suribio

The good view of the historic Iloilo River and Metro-Iloilo’s nightscape and fine wine set the pace for fun conversations on current events, fashion and weather, all exchanged with good laugh!

George and Mae Hedges; Vivian Metal, Myrna Koopmans, Lynnette Brand, Virgie Diebel, Flora Mc Mahon and Nerrisa Luger ; Hanz Metal, Paul Brand, Barend Luger, Katwy Heru and Max Diebel; and Trevor John and Jeanette Lloyd

Beyond the call of beauty

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” Sophia Loren

YSA Dra Borra, Marketing Head Anne Navarro, YSA Skin and Body Experts Owner Sheila Nazal and YSA SM City Iloilo Supervisor Cherry Ricaforte; YSA Ambassador Allen Guillen and Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2017-Iloilo City Mary Grace Tubelleja; yours truly with eventologist Joana Marie Barroquillo; and the corridor leading to private service areas at YSA Skin and Body Experts at SM City Iloilo.

YSA Skin and Body Experts re-launched its Iloilo branch with a new location at SM City Iloilo. The new branch boasts of updated look and better state of the art equipment and services.

Owner SHEILA NAZAL jetted in from Csomo-Manille for the re-launching and blessing. She was joined by YSA Resident dermatologist Dr. BORRA, Marketing Head ANNE NAVARRO and Iloilo Branch Supervisor CHERRY RICAFORTE as they hobnobbed with the guests.

YSA Ambassador ALLEN GUILLEN and Miss Iloilo Dinagyang 2017-Iloilo City MARY GRACE TUBELLEJA led the special guests who included media personas, regular customers and beauty experts.

YSA Skin and Body Experts’ state of the art equipment

The YSA Skin and Body Experts at SM City Iloilo is among the twenty-two branches across the country. It offers the following services: acne treatments, skin peeling treatments, aesthetic surgery, facial services, whitening services, rejuvenation treatments, mesotherapy and slimming treatments, and other services that include IPL hair removal, laser vein treatment, sclerotherapy, scar revision (stretching), warts and skin tag removal, melasma treatment and other skin diseases, stretch marks revision and permanent make-up.

Yumminess by Granny’s at the re-launching and blessing of YSA Skin and Body Experts at SM City Iloilo

With its slogan, “Nobody loves me better,” YSA Skin and Body Experts will certainly bring one’s youthfulness and beauty to fore.

Ilonggas in Tatler Ball Best Dressed List

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel

The cover of the March 2017 issue of Philippine Tatler featuring Josie Natori

They were invited, they came, they partied and they made it to the Best Dressed List! Yes, the Philippine Tatler, in its annual fashion issue this March, came up with the Best Dressed Women at the 15th Tatler Ball.

According to the editors, coming up with the List was never easy. Naturellement, the usual favourites made it with a sprinkling of new faces.

Tatler Ball is a yearly charity event for worthy causes. And it has become a red carpet drama for the country’s most stylish women who always come with glowing personality and impeccably dressed in designer gowns and fabulous jewelry!

This year, two Ilonggas made it to the List! They are SHEILLA MARIE GOLEZ-TIONGCO and ATTY. RITA O. PEÑA. It is no surprise since these ladies are achievers in their fields of endeavour.

Sheilla Marie Golez-Tiongco in Bo Parcon

SHEILLA T. is a businesswoman who has interests in banking and real estate. In 2010, she was named one of Iloilo’s Women of Style by Panay News, and last year one of Philippine Best Dressed by the Philippine Cancer Society. She is married to Dr. NAPOLEON TIONGCO Jr. with she has three daughters and a son.

Atty. Rita O. Peña in Vania Romoff

A practicing lawyer in Cosmo-Manille, RITA P. is the great-granddaughter of former Vice President of the Philippines, the late FERNANDO H. LOPEZ. Her parents are power couple JUDGEE and SARAH PEÑA. She is an ever-supportive sister to Dr. RISA and soon-to-be engineer RICA.

The opening spread of the Best Dressed Women List of Philippine Tatler’s annual fashion issue.

An ultimate arbiter of discerning sophisticates, taste and glamour, Philippine Tatler is the country’s most trusted and enduring high-society and luxury-lifestyle magazine.


Old is new again

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”Winston Churchill

The Old Jaro Municipal Hall and the restored Jaro Municipal Hall

Rightfully so, Iloilo City is known for its heritage houses, historical landmarks and period buildings. One of these edifices is the Jaro Municpal Hall. Built in 1934 from the design of Filipino architect JUAN ARELLANO, is it an exceptional sample of Art Deco. It is located across the Jaro Plaza.

Once a municipality, Jaro officially became part of Iloilo City in 1940 under the Charter of the City of Iloilo. The Jaro Municipal Hall then became the headquarters of the Jaro Police Station.

The Jaroeños believed the restoration of Jaro Municipal Hall was long overdue. The rehabilitation was made possible through the efforts of Representative JERRY P. TREÑAS of the Lone District of Iloilo City. He authored Republic Act 1055 which is An Act Declaring the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, The Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex, all located in the City of Iloilo, as Cultural Heritage Tourism Zone. The restoration cost more or less P20 million.

Inspector Ronaldo Amihan, OIC Jaro PNP; Barangay Captain Leo Lindero, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Jaro; Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas of DOT-6; Vice Mayor Joe Espinosa III; Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog; Jeremy Barns, Director of National Museum; Rep. Jerry Treñas; Gov. Arthur Defensor; and Ana Maria Theresa Labrador, Assistant Director of the National Museum; and Fr. Rene Javellana, S.J., trustee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Once restored, the Jaro Municipal Hall was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum. It was announced at its blessing by National Museum Director IV JEREMY BARNS. According to him, Important Cultural Properties have exceptional cultural, artistic or historical significance.

Iloilo City Mayor JED PATRICK MABILOG opined that, “the restoration of this building is a great manifestation of Iloilo City’s great culture and colourful historical past…” He was happy for the Jaroeños and those who were involved in culture and arts and who had been working hard, slowly but surely in restoring Iloilo City to what it was before.

Iloilo Governor ARTHUR DEFENSOR Jr. also believed that “the building is also a symbol of pride and the fulfillment of the dreams in the past.”

On the guest list for the blessing and inauguration included Department of Tourism Regional Director for Western Visayas Atty. HELEN CATALBAS, Vice Mayor JOE ESPINOSA III of Iloilo City, Inspector RONALDO AMIHAN of Jaro PNP, members of the Iloilo City Council, Liga ng Mga Barangay in Jaro led by its president Brgy Capt. LEO LINDERO, and Assistant Director ANA MARIA THERESA LABRADOR of the National Museum.

The restored Jaro Municipal Hall will house the satellite office of the National Museum in Region-6. It will fully fund the operation and maintenance expenses. It will serve as training center, conference facility, seminar venue and frontline service the National Museum offers. JEREMY BARNS is hopeful that the satellite office will address issues affecting cultural properties and national cultural treasures in Western Visayas. (Photos provided by José Nereo Cajilig Luján)



Best friends became husband and wife

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.”Franz Schubert

The newlyweds Peejay and Lorena Taño and at Jollibee.

PEEJAY TAÑO and LORENA MONTAÑO were best friends in college. After graduation, they went different ways: he became a seaman and she worked on a cruise ship. They promised each other that by 30 years old and still single, they will get married to each other.

As fate would have it, they met again, most often at Jollibee. Over burgers, fries and fried chicken, they caught up with each other. And Cupid did his work!

With the vow, “We will find a way to make it work,” PEEJAY and LORENA exchanged “Ido’s” at St. Clement’s Church before family and friends. The groom wore a blue suit by BO PARCON while the bride was decked in a LESTER BADANA creation. The female members of the entourage wore gowns by BINKY PITOGO.

The bride with her parents Leonardo and Salvacion Montaño and the groom with his family members: brother Philip John, sister Perly Jane and parents Jerline and Pelagio Taño.

The groom is the son of PELAGIO and JERLINE TAÑO and the bride is the daughter of LEONARDO and SALVACION MONTAÑO.

Après the religious ceremonies, the fun reception followed at the Boracay Ballroom of Sarabia Manor Hotel. The venue was spruced up with floral and foliage arrangements by VRIAN JEFRREY BUENAVENIDA of Wacky Productions. Thanks to the organizers, Not Just A Box Wedding Events Expert, the TAÑO-MONTAÑO nuptials went smoothly as planned.

The VIP table at the reception; the wedding cake; and the floral arrangement.

Two of the highlights of the programme, hosted by ALDENE JOSE LAPATTING DUYAG, were the photo slides by Prima Luce Photography and video presentation by Eunoia PH of the wedding.

To, PEEJAY and LORENA, cheers for a happy wedded life ahead!

Noel Mirasol, yours truly and Vhinz Tamba; and Medrich Estopito and Sally Mae Escarez.