The travel was well worth it, we finally reached the Kuebang Lampas from land to boat. Describing the place like paradise with white sandy beach, I had a chance to enjoy the sound from beach waves along the shore.
It was really worth the travel four hour drive from SLEX:South Luzon Express Way. Pagbilao’s Kuebang Lampas should be included in one of the top beaches in the country. With better accomodations and restaurant, this place will be another top tourism destination in the Philippines.
(May 24, 2017) When she was 4, she used to name all of her shoes. Never had she imagined naming her own brand of shoes, fast forward to more than 20 years later.
She started making a living at a very young age. From Marikina, they moved to Mindanao (Butuan City). There, she recalls selling hair clips as early as 11. At 10, she was selling stationeries in school, and pinasugbo (a local delicacy) a year later, to have an extra on top of her daily allowance.
At 17, back to Marikina for college, together with a friend, she would post photos of foot wears and sell them online through Multiply (a social media giant that time). A journey she would later on continue by herself, due to some circumstances. That’s where all the magic started.
She reminisced some of the most unforgettable moments when she was starting on her own. During that time in the Philippines, only few people knew about an online market, and the main communication medium was only through text. Today, almost everyone can sell almost anything and can be reached out on Facebook.
None of us would have made it like her — a nursing student with an iconic all-white uniform and neat hair bun rummaging stalls and put-up-stores along the sidewalks of Marikina, knocking on the doors of shoe factories, saying, “hello po, ako si Via Galang, may online shop po ako, nagtitinda po ako ng sapatos” (“hello, I’m Via Galang, I have an online shop where I sell shoes”). She is nothing but an epitome of a bold, and brave persona. And because of that, she finally had a shoe factory “to-go-to”.
The owner was generous enough to let her take pictures of all the shoes, however this time, she could not do reservations, so she should buy the items outright. With a limited budget as a student, she could only afford one pair of shoes to start with.
She recalled one of the most beautiful items on her list. It was the Gretchen shoes which is (according to the factory owner) designed by the famous Filipino actress Gretchen Barreto. It was only available in black, and red, and since it was in demand, the factory only had limited stocks of it. The shoes remind her of her bitter-sweet experience while she was embarking her journey into shoe-selling. It’s through these shoes that her perseverance, and determination was tested.
In an extraordinary afternoon, she had to meet a client in Sta. Mesa who ordered Gretchen shoes. The rain was pouring real hard; the flood was already on the waist level while walking to the destination. She was on the way to V. Mapa Station when she had to carry her school bag all the way to the top of her head, for the shoes were there, while the flooding was persistent which then reached chest level. Her mind was saying “huwag lang mabasa ang shoes” (“the shoes should not get wet, no matter what happens”). She had to do that so she wouldn’t have to spend another penny for another pair, since part of her savings out of the school allowance was spent for it. She was thinking that’s probably the last pair in her bag right there. “It was the most difficult delivery I had to do” she said.
From then on, she gained a lot of followers and resellers. “I was the first seller of Marikina shoes online before. The factories did not have online accounts, there was no Facebook. If you find the same type of shoes sold in Multiply, I was the supplier, and the pictures on their page were from me” she said. She had more than a hundred resellers/clients from Mindanao, Vizayas, and Luzon.
Her venture continued until she graduated from College and she was able to buy herself a better camera phone that she’d been dreaming of. In the hopes of expanding her inventory, she would get Korean sandals from Muslim sellers in the basement of Farmer’s Market. She had a huge competitor selling imported shoes from China and Korea, and she also tried to sign up and import shoes from the same suppliers. “I think the market wants to have different designs, so while I don’t have the budget to create and design my own, I’d just be everybody’s reseller” she said.
She was a writer/copywriter in a company, when Multiply died. When she changed her career path, the shoe business led to a full stop. That was May, 2012. All the while she thought that the shoe-selling journey would stop from there, but no.
She would recollect glimpse of difficulties in importing, versus selling locally made shoes. According to her, there was not a lot of earning because of tax and payables in customs. “The designs are really nice, and if ever it gets manufactured in Marikina, it would be way cheaper. Since I am already living in the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, I feel like I have to take advantage of that” she said. That’s when her fascination of designing her own shoe collection started. Little did she know that this would turn into a reality in the next coming years.
In December 2015, she met her Prince (John, now her fiancé). Like a fairytale story, there would be moments full of sparkles, and moments that are too tough to handle. This chapter of her story made her realize that in creating a masterpiece, one doesn’t just need perseverance and determination, but also people that could be trusted; the ones that won’t let nor bring you down, through thick or thin.
In 2016, amazed by her compelling stories, John motivated her to continue what she has always wanted. He introduced her to the very first client who needed 37 pairs of shoes (same style and color) for an event in one of the known Universities in the Metro. This was when she made her very first shoe design. She signed up simply because she wouldn’t want to turn her first ever clients down. She found a shoe factory owned by a family friend who was willing to her design and get the job done just 3 weeks from the day of the event. “I was assured” she said, so she trusted.
The event was to be held on the 19th of May, however, the most painful part of the story set in — the factory sent the items a day late from the promised delivery date. Worst, that was morning of the very day before the event, with only 9 pairs finished. “We had to magically create 28 pairs a day before the event. I was already bad shot with my client because I was supposed to deliver the items on the 17th” she said. What a very unpredictable villainous plot by that factory.
But in the dark times, Via has always found her calmness through her very own fairy god mother (her Mom, Gina). Afternoon of the same day, she asked for an early out (from work) to meet her mom. “Whenever I have problems, I always tell it to my mom, because she always has a solution” she added. Hours later they had bags of 28 pairs of shoes sourced from different malls from Cubao all the way to Ortigas. She had spent more than what she prepared for, not thinking about the profit, but the commitment and promise she made.
Sad to say, her mom never got to see some of the latest designs after the first one. In January 2017, she passed away. When asked about her mom being an inspiration, she said “I am what I am now because of her, and my taste is greatly influenced by her” she said.
This May, just in time for the very 1st anniversary of Versaheel (her very own shoe-brand), she met MJ Racadio (a long time Publicist of the famous Filipino Eco-couture fashion designer John Ablaza). Both of them was in an event of the famous designer Francis Libiran. She never thought of meeting brilliant designers and some of the notable celebrities in Fashion and Entertainment industry. Days after, Ms. Jaclyn Jose (the 2016 Cannes Film Fest Best Actress) got her first ever Versaheel pair. A whirlwind experience she couldn’t believe up to now. “I was not planning to do something like this a week ago. So this opened my mind, and made me think of going out more often, just try new things.”
“For new designers, just play with colors, play with fabrics, do not produce shoes that are already out there. If you want to be distinct, you must take inspiration from your own personality” her answer when I asked her thoughts about aspiring shoe designers.
When asked about her own flavor she’s putting in her design, she said “I want my shoes to be the outfit. Even if you’re wearing sako (sack) or what, when you have my shoes, you stand out. Shoe is every period in your fashion statement. It pulls everything together. I want to be known as Via Galang, the girl in better shoes.”
Nice shoes indeed take us to beautiful places, but it’s us, our perseverance, our determination, our talent, and right people who believe in us take part in most of our accomplishments.
(Los Angeles, May 04, 2017) – Becca Godinez – actress, singer/songwriter, producer/director – makes a much anticipated return to the concert stage with “Me, Myself & Music” on Saturday, May 20 in Hollywood. The intimate show, which highlights songs that have influenced the artist through the years, serves as Becca’s one-woman debut at the legendary Catalina Jazz Club. While Becca has performed in numerous musical concerts in recent years (“Apl.de.ap Takes You to the Philippines” at the Hollywood Bowl and “Jazzmopolitan” at the Ford Amphitheater, to name a few), the Catalina engagement marks the first time in over seven years she will take the microphone as a solo artist.
“After 2009, I performed with other artists – perhaps because it was safer that way,” muses Becca. “I was returning to the concert stage after an absence and not having to singularly carry a show was easier. Sharing an act allowed me the chance to stretch, to rediscover what I could do stylistically and vocally and I began to grow into the entertainer that I wanted to be. Appearing in a solo concert on that [Catalina] stage will be a feather on my cap, for sure. I like being close to the audience – to reach out and Catalina is the perfect venue for that.”
“Me, Myself & Music” will present an eclectic mix of songs and musical genres covering everything from Brazilian jazz, to contemporary pop to acapella music. There will even be some original music that Becca will be presenting for the first time. “The audience will hear my voice – my choice of songs – the kind of music that I have loved – music that has influenced my song choices and styles. There will be no frills – just five musicians and me. I will be able to show all facets of my music and all the crazy sides of me.”
A portion of the concert proceeds will benefit two needy charities that Becca is personally involved with – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) (introduced to Becca by friend Ted Benito) and her own library system she developed in the Philippines that benefit children. “I have always leaned towards advocacies for children,” explains Becca. “CHLA is a true friend to children and their health care needs. They rely on the generosity of philanthropists to support patient care and as well do research that could positively impact all children today and in the future. In the Philippines, God opened avenues that allowed me to establish four childrens’ libraries to date. All of these are located in financially depressed areas. It was my dream but must confess that I did not do it alone. It is a humble but successful effort. I believe any child – given equal educational opportunities – can better or even surpass the successes of those who have been given an easier lot in life.”
As special guests for the evening, Becca will welcome the Philippine Chamber Singers (PCS), the chorale ensemble under the direction of Gelo Francisco. “I love them; I love their immense talents individually and as a whole and, I love the varied song styles they tackle,” said Becca. “I love hearing the coming together of musical chords. I saw PCS perform at the Disney Concert Hall last year and thought…’gosh I’d like to harmonize with that talented group!’”
The veteran performer, who got her start in Manila in television and in musical theater, will also give a musical nod to those genres as part of the evening’s repertoire. “There’s a big difference between a concert, musical theater and television. Musical theatre is scripted; performing in a musical allows me to sing but it is as a fictitious character,” says Becca. “It is similar with television. I hosted several of my own TV shows in Manila, but in the end, it is also scripted in a way as to please a specifically themed hour that involves guests, dancers, interviews, etc. A solo concert is freeing. I get to choose songs that could be random, funny, crazy – a mash up of musical styles and it is my raw heart that is offered to the audience.”
GODinUs Music presents
BECCA GODINEZ: “ME, MYSELF & MUSIC”
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Catalina Jazz Club
6725 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Two Item minimum or dinner per person
(not included with ticket price)
Doors open at 7:00 pm
Show at 8:30 pm
Club Parking Available: $6
Supporting CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES
To learn more about CHLA visit www.chla.org
“Me, Myself & Music” is a sentimental journey of songs from the American songbook, contemporary rock & pop and Broadway that have touched Becca Godinez’s heart and soul through the years. Becca Godinez is an award-winning, exciting, contemporary vocalist and singer/songwriter who brings a pastiche of music – Brazilian bossa, Broadway classics, modern pop, soft rock, jazz and Christian – punctuated by her unique and innovative interpretation. As an international artist, Becca has performed in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Manila and at major venues including the Hollywood Bowl and the Ford Amphitheater. “Me, Myself & Music” marks Becca’s Catalina Jazz Club debut.
It’s really a dream come true to visit the magnificent Mayon Volcano: perfect cone shape volcano located in the heart of Tabaco City. Where superstars meets the nature, some of the promising superstars and iconic artist performed live during the 16th anniversary of Tabaco City. The audience welcomed us with hospitality and full of love as the city known for ‘City of Love’. Definitely fell in love with the beauty of nature and people were indeed beautiful.
By Viva Galvez (Guest Writer/Blogger)
About Tabaco City
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but as we set foot to the City of Tabaco, in the wonderful province of Albay, beauty is when you gaze upon the Mayon volcano. Yes, Tabaco City is where the perfect cone shaped volcano seats. And if you’re wondering why the famous volcano is called “Mayon”, well, that’s just short for the Bicolano word “magayon” (which means beautiful). Tabaco is a city of love, as it brings us one of the best “love affairs” that will forever remind us why we are special. This is our love for nature, as well as our love for creator for us – for the place mirrors a true paradise one could only dream of. Aside from the beauty of the place, a lot of things could be unlocked. Whoever thought of “sili ice cream” making it on every Bicolano restaurants’ table is a genius.
There’s more or less a hundred ways to prepare or cook pili nuts. Such delicacies draw people from every corner of the globe to this beautiful place. Bonus is when we get a taste of their 16th City-hood Anniversary. Such event showcases everything that the City has to offer. Those, and with world class entertainment from both local and national artists. This celebration is worth trying for. While Tabaco City’s natural beauty sets it apart from other tourist destinations, it never fails to bring people in one place where together, they can experience beauty of nature, taste of culture, and unexplicable love. All in one.
Hollywood, California (Social Dragon PR) September 20,2016
INCinema’s Award-winning indie film “Walang Take Two” (No Second Take) directed by award-winning director Carlo Cuevas definitely making some noise. Early this year, the film were recognized from London International Film Festival to Jakarta Film Festival and bagged the Best Film and Cinematography from Madrid Film Festival. Apart from that, the indie film from the Philippines has come along way, “Walang Take Two” is the official selection for International Film Festival of Manhattan in New York City on October 20, 2016 and chosen as the opening film in Manhattan. In addition, also nominated for “Best Ensemble Acting Award” for feature film.
Cuevas said,” I am so thankful and bless that Walang Take Two won all these awards, I dedicate this award to all the staff and the team” .
“There are no second takes,” is what Hapi, a frustrated film director, always hears from his father Mang Julian, a retired videographer. Together with his best friends, Caloy and Onyok, he searches for potential producers who will finance his movie script. Out of options, they borrow from a known local loan shark named Alfajor, only to be stolen by the mischievous Oblax.
Striving to fulfill his dreams, looking for ways to pay his debt and with a struggling love life on the side, Hapi painfully learns that he has to be careful in his decisions before it is too late, because there are choices one might make in this life that can never be taken back– proving the wisdom behind his father’s ususal quip that sometimes there are no second takes.
Repertory Philippines invites kids to watch its childrens’ play this 2016
Quezon City, Metro Manila (Social Dragon PR) August 16. Repertory Philippines, the premier producer of thought-provoking and entertaining straight plays and musicals, is launching its Theater for Young Audiences program for 2016, with child-friendly performances of Hansel and Gretel.
“Our children’s musicals are some of our most popular plays, and we enjoy staging performances for them,” shares Repertory’s artistic director Joy Virata. “The stage is a wonderful place for children to immerse themselves in with fantastic stories and wonderful characters.”
From August 13 to December 15, 2016, Repertory will stage Hansel and Gretel, adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, and adapted into opera by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck. The story follows two hungry children sent to the woods by their mother to find strawberries, and are lured into a gingerbread house owned by a wicked witch. It’s a story that many of us grew up with, and with the adaptation and direction by Joy Virata, she promises to transform the fantastic tale for a new generation to enjoy.
“Really my first time to see this fun and exciting musical, perfect for the little ones, they can learn some moral lesson”- MJ Racadio (Blogger/TV Host of Net 25/Writer/Producer)
Blogger’s Review: “My team arrived at Greenbelt One before 11 am in the heart of Makati. The musical stage play Hansel and Gretel started right on-time. The opening part was fun with all the cast members singing and dancing before the main plot. The most memorable part of the show was the witch performances, her singing is superb and acting ability is amazing. The costume designers have done a top-notch work and the whole entire casts brought it” .
Bituin Escalante, Carla Guevara Laforteza, Ring Antonio, and Christine Flores will alternately play the witch, while Cara Barredo, Sweet Buchanan, and Christine Flores will alternately play the Dawn Fairy. The Hansel role will be divided between Joshua Nubla, Allen Orolfo, Mari Yapjoco, Tori Cortez and Nathan Flores, while Gretel will be portrayed by Ella Gonzalez, Ashlee Factor, Michelle Cornejo, and Rayne Cortez.
Other roles are the mother, essayed by Natalie Everett, Ayam Eckstein, and Buchanan; the father will be portrayed by Arnel Carrion, Hans Eckstein, Raymund Concepcion, and Raul Montesa; and the Sandman will be portrayed by Chino Veguillas, Vien Alen King, and Edu Briones.
Repertory’s Theater for Young Audineces, (RTYA) began in 1992 when Virata noticed that children would wait in the lobby for their parents to finish watching a play. She decided to create a show for them, and debuted with a short and simple version of Sleeping Beauty. It went on to become the biggest box office hit in Repertory history.
Since then, the company has produced children’s theater every year, in line with its mission of producing live theater that is excellent, resilient, and entertaining. Most importantly, it aims to make theater more accessible to Filipino audiences, especially children.
“We want children to grow up with the appreciation that theater can be delightful,” ends Virata. “Compared to films, stage plays have a sense of immediacy and intimacy that will draw the viewer in and make them part of the story. This would create an enjoyable experience for imaginative kids.”
Brought to you by the City of Makati, and Rebisco, in cooperation with Greenbelt, Ayala Malls, BusinessWorld, Lane Moving & Storage, Art+ Magazine, Philippine Daily Inquirer, TicketWorld, and What’s Happening.com.ph, with TeamAsia as its media partner, “Hansel and Gretel” will open on August 13 and will run until December 15 at the Onstage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legazpi St., Makati City. For tickets, reservations and showbuying, call Repertory Philippines at 843-3570 or TicketWorld at 891-9999. For more information log on to http://www.repertoryphilippines.phor visit Rep’s Facebook page.
I arrived at the venue around 3:30 PM, August 05 in the heart of Makati. Academy of Pastry & Bakery Arts (Philippines) celebrating its one year anniversary in the country. My team check out the main kitchen while students are prepping for the big event. Showcasing up and coming chefs with their talents in making pastries. I got lucky to witness all that from the beginning to the end of presentation. Finally, the buffet of pastries are amazing and yes indeed mouth-watering. Definitely a world-class event, gathering award- winning chefs passing on skills how to make a gourmet cakes and desserts.