Friday, September 19, 2008

Me In FilAmStar (Opulent Fashion Shows, Electric Parties)

I received an email from sir Ernest Gonzaga regarding my photos that graced the latest issue of FilAmStar (September 16-30, 2008 Vol. 1 Issue 18). It's in the "Lifestyle & Entertainment" section. I was so happy to hear the news. Thank you sir Ernest for the opportunity to work with you. Below is the article:

My photos below are the photos of Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz with Bea Alonzo, and Dingdong Dantes.

Thank you for the credits sir Ernest. Looking forward to work with you again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Me In Business Mirror (Romance According To Rajo)

My photos graced today's (09/15/2008) edition of Business Mirror in the "Life" section entitled "Romance According To Rajo" by C. Mendez Legaspi. I received an SMS from the author (C. Mendez Legaspi) about the article. I'm still waiting for my copy and check the photos in print myself.

During the Rajo Red! fashion show, I finally got the chance to meet the fabulous C. Mendez Legaspi. However brief, I was happy to finally put a face to a colleague who help me published some of my photos in newspaper. Much to my surprise he's also from Mindanao (Cagayan De Oro)! Small world indeed. Daghang salamat jud kaayo sa imoha. Thanks also to sir Dong Omaga-Diaz for introducing me to him.

Below is the article (click here for the link):

By C. Mendez Legaspi

‘I live for fashion! It is like air or water for me,” Rajo Laurel says with palpable passion. “Without fashion, I would cease to exist! I study it very closely. It is already part of me.” This assertion by the prolific designer was proven in an astonishing show at the Makati Shangri-La when he celebrated 15 fruitful years in fashion in a gala called Rajo Red! The fund-raising event, spearheaded by Laurel’s sister Venisse and his best friend and muse Tessa Prieto-Valdes, was for the benefit of the Makati Chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross. Directed by Robby Carmona, the show was presented by Globe Platinum, Sony Ericsson and the Makati Shang.

Laurel’s 65-piece collection, varied and vainglorious, were heavily inspired by his archived journals painstakingly kept all these years. Romance and luxury—his avowed aesthetic—are the keywords that informed his accomplished collection, with exquisite fabrics like Italian silk, crepe de Chine, Bisque taffeta, beaded tulle, silk organza, silk gazaar all adorning his creations.

“I have always been a disciple of Cristobal Balenciaga. Ever since I was a young designer, I was already in awe of his work. I have also been influenced by the great designing minds such as Geoffrey Beene, Azzedine Alaia, Gianfranco Ferre and Valentino,” Laurel says of his fashion heroes that he paid tribute to in his show. “I am also influenced by architects like Geoffrey Bawa and Tadao Ando.”

To help him raise the needed funds for disaster management, Laurel selected 25 women special to him. Those that particularly inspire him? “I have always been attracted to women with character. I would have to say that Mrs. Imelda Cojuangco’s style is a big influence on me. My friends have a big impact in my designs as well, like Leica Carpo, Tina Maristela-Ocampo and Mandy Santos. However, it is my sisters that test-drive the designs and give me honest and grounded feedback with the work that I do.”

The gentle designer demurs when asked how much was raised during the glittering evening. “Tessa and Venisse are in charge of the funds. I only did the show,” he says with a laugh. “Why so few red dresses? I did not want the show to be too literal! I wanted to tell a story, and I thought that I did not have to inundate everyone with red dresses. That would have been trivial and expected.”

What lessons and insights has he learned after 15 years in a cutthroat business? “Humility and perseverance are very important in this line of work. I am blessed with a good team and this has taught me to take care of my people. Discipline is also a very important factor, as it is not always about art but a balance between art and commerce.”

Besides his well-entrenched name among the country’s most sought-after designers, what is he most proud of? “I think winning the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. It’s a very prestigious award!”

“I want to be in Vogue!” Laurel says with wishful glee. “I want the world to know how extremely talented we are in the Philippines! It is about time that they see more of our work. There is still so much that I want to do, and everyday I feel as if it is the first day of a fantastic voyage into fashion!”

To keep his ideas fresh, current and modern, he “travels a lot, and I read a lot of books! I also recently discovered the computer and its powers, and this has been really occupying my time. I am a guest blogger in My blog is in the ‘Insider’s Fashion’ section. The Internet is really amazing!”

So what’s next for the “phenomenal designer,” as he is introduced as a judge in Project Runway Philippines? “I really want to rest first; I feel like I did a fashion marathon, with the Fashion Watch Quartet show and the Red Ribbon cakes , followed by a collection for Plains and Prints, then Project Runway, then the Rajo Red! gala. I need to take a breather. Just like an athlete, I need to recharge and rest.”

And what the fashion world can do is wait with bated breath.

Fresh Faces By Scents of Asia And ImagesAsia

I am posting this in support to ImagesAsia and sir Ernest Gonzaga. This is a great opportunity for aspiring models. Please see attached poster for details. Good luck everyone.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Me In Business Mirror (Falling for Randy Ortiz)

I received an SMS from C. M. Legaspi (writer of Business Mirror) that the photos I took during the fashion show presented by Samsung and Metrowear for Mr. Randy Ortiz entitled "Aspirer" graces the pages of Business Mirror today (09/08/2008). Please grab a copy of Business Mirror today (09/08/2008). Though there was no credit on the web version, I was told that the paper version does have my name on in. I have yet to check it because I haven't got a copy yet.

BTW, below is the article (Falling for Randy Ortiz) where my photos are shown:

By C. Mendez Legaspi

TWO decades ago, a discerning fashionable few fell for the neoromantic aesthetic of Randy Ortiz. Since then, the soft-spoken designer has attracted a larger following and remains well-loved in an “industry” notorious for its catfights, copycats and charlatans. To celebrate 20 years of a still-burgeoning business, his name firmly entrenched in the company of the country’s most admired designers, Ortiz unleashed his Samsung Metrowear “Aspirer” holiday collection recently at the Edsa Shangri-La to rapturous applause, A-list attendance and some unforgettable falls, and even more graceful rise from the ramp. “I’m relieved. I’m very happy. It was the culmination of my dream. It was my first major gala after 12 years,” Ortiz said a day after his talked-about showing. His last one, “Uncovered,” was directed by former supermodel Annette Coronel because his best friend, the director Jackie Aquino, was in New York at that time. After that, it was a series of small shows and group outings for Ortiz.

But Aquino was on hand for “Aspirer,” the concept of which—from the inspiration, music and staging—was the brainchild of Ortiz. “We know that a fashion show is the call of the designer. But Jackie embraced my concept,” and the best buddies of 30 years presented a seamless blending of ideas to produce a show that evoked a nostalgic feeling long before it was over.

“Aspirer is Latin for ‘aspire,’ which means to want or to desire for something,” Ortiz explained. What he aspires for is for his clients to be like his idols in cinema, to approximate their glitz, glamour and elegance. “We are so awed by the beautiful men and women of cinema who have captured our hearts,” he said. “With the red carpet as the canvas for my collection, I then took my references from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”

Ortiz derived heavy inspiration from The Valley of the Dolls, Twiggy, Jackie O, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, and from modern-day, red-carpet divas Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. When conceptualizing his menswear, he brushed up on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Beatles and American Gigolo. The look was achieved by the Patrick Rosas Team for Makeup Forever and L’Oreal Professionel, with accessories by Arnel Papa, and shoes by Pedro and Nicolo Junsay.

A recurring symbol of his clothes was the rosette. “My fascination for the neoromantic can be interpreted through a flower, and the rose expresses a lot of emotions and it captures the romantic in a person,” Ortiz said. On the bodice, on the skirt, on the stage backdrop, the rosette was everywhere.

John Estrada and Richard Gomez, who both gained fame and acclaim at the same time as Ortiz, lent their leading-men presence on the runway as they donned the designer’s formal ensembles. As proof of his appeal to the younger set, upcoming actors Rayver Cruz and Bea Alonzo also worked the ramp.

In a subtle entrance, Alonzo came as the bride, radiant in off-shoulder silk organdy, patterned rosette in silk and pleated organdy texturized with embroideries. Why her? “Well, Claudine Barretto is married already, and Bea is the next It Girl. She has the height and a beautiful face. All the elements are there. She is such a darling.”

This touching quality also endeared her to Ortiz even more, when during the curtain call, Alonzo slipped onstage. Shocked and mortified, Ortiz can only manage to murmur, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” To which the gracious celluloid star replied: “Randy, this is for you.” If the ABS-CBN camera crew were there, that could make for fabulous footage for the star’s Betty La Fea show.

Early on, the overly gleaming ramp claimed victims from even the fiercest catwalkers. When Jo Ann Bitagcol and Ria Bolivar, the reigning queens, couldn’t keep their strides in sync with the music for fear of sliding unceremoniously in front of a well-heeled crowd, everyone knew it was a matter of time before someone fell flat. Then the always resplendent Marina Benipayo (in fiery red serpentina with electro-pleating detail and bodice in rosette-pattern embroidery) came gliding like the glamourpuss that she is, the audience thought the unforgiving ramp was conquered.

Annette Coronel nearly slipped, but regained her footing quite beautifully. When her contemporary, Suyen Chi, the queen of the catwalk at their prime, came in a V-neck plunging neckline serpentina, energy was at an all-time high. There’s nothing like a seƱora who can give justice to a couture creation, after all.

Then what was feared the most happened. The magnificent Ms. Chi stumbled and fell in a heap of silk taffeta. On reflex, she recovered in a split second, laughed at herself, posed for the cameras and played to the gallery amid raucous cheers and shrieks of delight. “Suyen, she’s a trooper and a diva! She is the reincarnated Miriam Quiambao of the ramp! I never knew there was a fashionable way of falling and rising,” Ortiz said admiringly.

“I watched the show live. I didn’t want to be near the models because that would only make me tense. I have the manang to dress the girls and [designer friends] Anthony Nocom and Vittorio Barba helped with the boys, so I was already kampante,” Ortiz related. “There was great momentum. Everyone tried to really emote. Palaban lahat. I told the models before the show, ‘We should all have our moment. Savor it. This is not just my night. This is also your evening.’”

Somehow, Randy Ortiz’s words came true. Despite the falls, Ortiz remains unfazed. “It was a live show. Things happen. [The falls] didn’t bother me in a negative way. I think the show was close to perfection.”

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I just would like to share this story from an e-mail I recieved this morning. It touches me. Maybe because I'm far away from my family and had to live on my own that I miss them so much. I'm so excited to go home on the 17th to visit them. Hope you'll like the story too.

>>oo0 ( ^ _ ^ ) 0oo<<


After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out
to dinner and a movie.

She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would
love to spend some time with you."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my Mother, who has
been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three
children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.
"What's wrong, are you well," she asked? My mother is the type of woman
who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of
bad news.

"I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I
responded "just the two of us." She thought about it for a moment, and
then said, "I would like that very much."

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit
nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to
be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She
had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to
celebrate her last wedding anniversary.

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. "I told my
friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,"
she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and
cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.

After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large
print. Half way through the entries, I lifted my ey es and saw Mother
sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips.

"It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she
said "Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I
responded. During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation nothing
extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's life. We
talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house
later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me
invite you." I agreed.

"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice,
much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened
so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her. Some time
later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from
the same place Mother and I had dined. An attached no te said: "I paid
this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but
nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your
wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son."

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I love
you." and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in
life is more important than our family. Give them the time they deserve,
because these things cannot be put off until 'some other time.'

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've
had a baby.... that somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother,
"normal" is history.

Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the
first....that somebody doesn't have two or more children.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and
delivery....that somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the
first day of kindergarten...or on a plane headed for military "boot

Somebody said a Mother can stop worrying after her child gets married..
..well that somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or
daughter-in-law to a Mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a Mother's job is done when her last child leaves
home....that somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your Mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell
her... that somebody isn't a Mother.

Pass this along to all the "Mothers" in your life and to everyone who
ever had a mother. This isn't just about being a Mother; it's about
appreciating the people in your lives while you have matter
who that person is.

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of