tagaytay highlands - Balikbayan Magazine

Comments

Transcription

tagaytay highlands - Balikbayan Magazine
SPECIAL REPORT: THE PHILIPPINES’ QUES T TO BE THE BES T DES TINATION IN THE WORLD FOR MEDICAL TOURIS TS
I ssu e 45, Vo lu me VI
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2015
TAGAYTAY HIGHLANDS
D E F I N I N G M O U N TA I N R E S O R T L I V I N G
THE RISE OF FILIPINOS
IN AMERICA
CATCHING UP WITH G.TÖNGI
POPULAR HEALTH &
BEAUTY TREATMENTS
COST ANALYSIS
TRAVEL
HOW DOES THE PHILIPPINES
COMPARE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD?
THE 10 BEST DESTINATIONS IN
THE PHILIPPINES FOR MEDICAL TOURISTS
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
1
2
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
3
DE LA SALLE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Exceptional hospital experience
The Philippines is ranked 6th out of
the 14 top medical tourism destination
in the world for the year 2014 according
to Reenita Das in Forbes.com in her
article “Medical Tourism Gets a Facelift . . .
and Perhaps a Pacemaker”. One of the
reasons for this ranking is because the
Philippines is home to some of the top
hospitals in the world.
One of the healthcare destinations in
the Philippines is the De La Salle University
Medical Center (DLSUMC). It is the
first hospital in the Philippines to be
awarded an ISO certification for its
quality management system. DLSUMC
is the largest level III hospital in Region
IV-A nestled in nine (9) hectares of
sprawling grounds of the De La Salle
Health Sciences Institute in the City of
Dasmariñas. The hospital is owned by
the De La Salle Brothers Philippines and
administered by the Sisters of St. Paul
of Chartres.
4
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
EXCEPTIONAL MEDICAL CARE,
SERVICES AND FACILITIES
DLSUMC is committed to providing
quality, holistic, and compassionate
patient-centered
medical
care
and services. As part of its vision,
DLSUMC continuously upgrades its
facilities by acquiring state-of-the-art
equipment and advanced technology in
CALABARZON. The hospital has a team
of dedicated and credentialed medical
professionals who provide the best
possible care to the patients.
HEART INSTITUTE
The first hospital in Cavite that provides
a full range of cardiovascular services:
prevention, diagnosis, treatment,
rehabilitation of heart disease.
BLOOD BANK
The first hospital licensed by the
Department of Health to operate a
blood bank with proficiency for HIV
testing. It is the first hospital that has
Apheresis. Apheresis is the procedure
where several units of a particular
blood component (e.g. platelets) are
collected from a single donor. Also, it
offers the most affordable apheresis
procedure among private hospitals in
CALABARZON.
RADIOLOGY SERVICES
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
The only facility in Cavite equipped
with MRI to produce clear images of the
head, spine or other parts of the body.
DUAL ENERGY X-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRY
(DXA)
The only facility in Cavite to offer bone
densitometry. This machine measures
the bone mineral density for diagnosing
osteoporosis and other metabolic
diseases of the bone.
SP E C I A L A DVE RT I SI N G F EATURE
NUCLEAR MEDICINE
The only facility in Cavite accredited
by the Philippine Nuclear Research
Institute which provides diagnostic
and
therapeutic
services
using
radioisotopes.
monitoring of the patient’s airflow
through the nose and mouth, blood
pressure,
electrographic
activity,
blood oxygen level, brain wave pattern,
eye movement, and movement of
respiratory muscle and limbs.
BREAST CARE CLINIC
The first and only breast care
diagnostic facility in Southern Luzon
which provides patients, whether
female or male who are at risk,
another option to generate an accurate
diagnosis on breast diseases. It helps
clinicians accurately diagnose breast
disease (cancer) through minimally
invasive procedure.
EYE CENTER
The only center in Cavite that provides
advanced eye care and treatment
services
using
state-of-the
art
technology for diseases and conditions
associated with the eyes. The Center’s
highly trained and specialized doctors
provide sophisticated eye surgeries for
patients with eye diseases.
SLEEP (POLYSOMNOGRAPHY) TEST
The only center in Cavite that
offers the polysomnography (sleep)
test. This overnight test evaluates
sleep disorders which includes the
OTHER SERVICES AND FACILITIES:
• Animal Bite Center
• Diabetes Education Center
• Dietary Services
• Hearing Center
• Hemodialysis Center
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Immunization Center
Neurodevelopmental Center
Endoscopy Services
OB Ultrasound Services
Oncology, Hematology, and
Rheumatology Services
Laser Therapy Services
Electroencephalography (EEG)
Laboratory Services
Minimally Invasive Surgical
Services
Mobile Clinic Services
Pain Management Services
Pathology and Laboratory
Services
Pharmacy Services
Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation Services
Pulmonary Services
Radiology Services : CT Scan,
Mammography, Ultrasonography,
C-Arm Machine Scan, and
General Radiology
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
5
PREMIER SUITES
Another milestone in DLSUMC’s
remarkable expansion is the launching
of the Premier Suites last June 2015.
The upgrading of its third building’s
third floor to the Premier Suites is the
latest offering of DLSUMC in providing
the finest health care services to the
CALABARZON area.
DLSUMC elevates the hospital
experience to a whole new level by
offering a calm, relaxing, and healing
environment where patients’ and
families’ comfort and privacy are of
utmost importance. It combines holistic
and compassionate healthcare with all
the comforts of a hotel to hasten the
recovery of the patient. The Premier
Suites consists of modern interiordesigned two (2) Prime Suites and eight
(8) Executive Suites.
6
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
ROOM FEATURES FOR PRIME AND
EXECUTIVE SUITES
• Personalized Guest Assistance
Services ensuring hassle-free
confinement from admission to
discharge
• Intelligent patient bed
(electronically-controlled) with
fine linen and brand new pillows
• Wireless internet access and free
local calls
• Access to business services (fax,
scan, photocopy, and printing
services)
• 24-hour roving security personnel
and CCTV-equipped floor
• Personal electronic vault (in-room
safe)
• Flat-screen television with cable
system
• Premium bathroom amenities
with hot and cold water system
• Kitchenette with refrigerator,
•
•
microwave oven, electric kettle,
coffee maker and fine cutlery
Complimentary bottled water and
daily broadsheet newspaper
Basket of fresh fruits upon
admission
ADDITIONAL ROOM FEATURES FOR
PRIME SUITES
• Spacious patient room with dining
table for three (3)
• Multi-docking station for gadgets
and Blu-ray DVD player
De La Salle University Medical Center
Governor D. Mangubat Avenue, City of
Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines 4114
Manila line: (632) 988-3100
Cavite line: (6346) 481-8000
Email: [email protected]
www.dlshsi.edu.ph/dlsumc
www.facebook.com/dlsumcofficial
www.twitter.com/dlsumcofficial
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
7
IN THIS ISSUE
Travel Map
CONTENTS
October and
November 2015
Page 21
THE RISE OF FILIPINOS IN AMERICA
Raphael John C. Oriel shares a brief
history of how Filipino-Americans
became the 2nd largest AsianAmerican population with the 2nd
highest-median income in all of
America.
Page 29
THE LIFE OF A CPA
Contributing writer Agnes Constante
interviews one of the Fil-American
community’s celebrated CPA Victor Sy.
Page 38
CATCHING UP WITH
G TÖNGI
A lot can change in a year, but G is just
getting started. Balikbayan catches up
with G Töngi to discover her plans for
the future.
Page 46
A VIEW FROM THE TOP
The only mountain resort of its kind,
Tagaytay Highlands redefines a
barefoot luxury unique to Tagaytay.
Page 55
THE STATE OF THE MEDICAL TOURISM
IN THE PHILIPPINES
A report on the country’s medical tourism. And why the Philippines is the best
country for medical tourists.
Page 57
HEALTH IS WEALTH
How much will you spend on medical
expenses? Read on for a cost analysis
on the country’s common medical
procedures.
Page 63
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR MEDICAL
TOURISTS?
Be informed on the popular health
procedures in the country.
8
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
The charming log cabin at Tagaytay Highlands
(see page 46)
Page 68
ANY REASON, ANY SEASON:
Top 10 Best Destinations to Unwind in
the Philippines
From the country’s Summer Capital,
the the country’s Queen of the South,
John Christopher Amodo breaks down
the top 10 best destinations to unwind
in the Philippines.
Page 80
COMMON SKIN MYTHS
Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce Clinic
sits down with John Christopher
Amodo to dish out the common skin
myths: What routines you need to stop
and what regimends you need to start
doing. Now.
Behind-the-scene photo of G backdropped by the mural “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” in Los Angels.
see Page 38
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
9
Indulge!
The guilt-free selection of
mouthwatering culinary feat at Club
Punta Fuego’s Italian inspired, al
fresco restaurant, Il Jardineto. Made
only with the freshest ingredients, this
Italian restaurant suggests a perfect
combination of outdoor dining with
world-class culinary expertise. Imagine
a candlelit, romantic meal overlooking
the lush, green landscape with the
echoes of the waves crashing nearby: Il
Jardineto serves not just great food but
outstanding ambiance and memorable
experience.
Try:
Gambareto. Il Jardineto’s seafood
pasta made famous by a local travel
show. This dish is a succulent meld of
light spices and herbs over an al dente
pasta.
Margherita Pizza. Aromatic, freshlybaked gourmet pizza sporting a blend
of fine cheese and crisp dough, this
dish is a perfect pick-me-upper after
an afternoon dip.
(not shown in this photo)
Page 72
PRIVATE ESCAPE
Club Punta Fuego’s seaside luxury
melds with its fiery passion to define
The Punta Fuego Experience as one
that is familiar yet truly unique.
Page 83
DAET AEROSPORTS
Maria Nimfa Nadjta H. Villaver tries the
newest breed of sport in Bicol.
10
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
SPE C I A L A DVE RT I SI N G F E ATURE
DON TIM
DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION
Structurally engineered homes
within one’s reach
“Owning a home is a keystone of
wealth…both financial affluence
and emotional security.”
- Suze Orman
Don Tim Development Corporation’s
(DTDC) residential projects provide
the best value for money, both by
owning premium homes as well as
living away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.
STRUCTURALLY ENGINEERED HOMES
Clients can choose from an array of
model houses varying from classic to
modern designs. All model houses exemplify a contemporary Mediterranean charm. The new model houses have
smaller floor area with bigger outdoor
spaces to take full advantage of the
countryside.
A hands-on team of expert civil engineers and consultants plan the house
properly. Natural elements such as air
and light are taken into consideration
when it comes to determining the design of the house. Clients can sit down
with the team to discuss suggestions
or DTDC can customize the design of
the house if the client has his/her own
preferences.
Every house and lot package of
DTDC’s projects in Tagaytay and Cavite
come with the finest specifications.
All houses delivered are fully finished
with laminated wood flooring and fully
painted walls and ceiling with waterproof paint finish. Single detached
houses have two to three bedrooms.
All bedrooms as well as the kitchen are
provided with pressure laminated fire
retardant and termite proof modular
design cabinets. All electrical and
plumbing requirements are Underwriters Laboratories approved.
CUSTOMER-ORIENTED SERVICE
Single detached houses are constructed within a reasonable time and
will undergo proper commissioning and
testing before turnover. DTDC makes
sure clients are satisfied prior to mov-
ing in their new homes. Homeowners
are guaranteed with a 1-year structural
warranty, which covers any physical
damage caused by natural mishap.
Moreover, there is a Property Management Company ISO Certified, under the
Homeowners Association of respective
projects, which can assist homeowners
for the maintenance.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
“The environment and surroundings
provide sufficient privacy, peace and
relaxation” - Judge Bambi Fernandez
(Resident of Altamonte)
DTDC’s projects – Alta Monte, Montebello and South Midland – boast wideranging amenities from multipurpose
clubhouse, swimming pools, gazebos
and service bar. The private subdivisions have recreational facilities such
as children’s playground and sports
facilities like basketball court and tennis court.
Clients can purchase their own residential property in the rustic housing
community at friendly terms and valuefor-money packages. House and lot
packages are reasonably priced starting at 5 million pesos.
For more information, visit
www.dontim.com.ph,
or like them on Facebook at
Don Tim Development Corp.
For Inquiries, call
+632 8439471 | +63 917 8258435
or email [email protected]
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
11
DIGITAL CHANNELS
BALIKBAYANMAG.COM
New home! After several months of
development, we’ll be launching our newly
designed website that is filled with new
content, amazing photography, an online
shop, travel features, business and investment
opportunities, global views and perspective
from our renowned collection of columnists,
and so much more. Stay tuned in the coming
weeks for your newly constructed bridge to the
Philippines.
INSTAGRAM.COM/BALIKBAYANMAG
Balikbayan Magazine’s New Travel Show
This coming December 2015, Balikbayan Magazine will be launching an all-new
travel show on TNC, Skycable Channel 81. With a daring, intense approach to
storytelling through a collection of correspondents, the show will tackle the rapid
modernization of the Philippines with a 30-minute weekend series. Enticed by the
opportunity to showcase new destinations, cultures, foods, the party scene, and people
changing society, Balikbayan will make viewers want to visit, invest, retire, work, and
live in the Philippines. Join us as we track the remarkable growth happening across
this exotic and beautiful land of 7,107 islands.
Schedule: Saturdays: replays on Sundays at 7pm.
YOUTUBE
INBOX
DO YOU HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH OR
TRAVEL STORY YOU WISH TO BE
PUBLISH? OR HAVE A PLACE
YOU WANT US TO FEATURE?
OR WANT TO JOIN OUR TEAM?
On location: Pueblos Blancos Boutique
Residences, Tagaytay, The Philippines
12
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Watch before you go. Thinking about your next
getaway? Watch our behind the scenes coverage
of the most breathtaking destinations in the
entire country, Tagaytay Highlands developed by
Bellecorp.
contact us at
[email protected]
to join our pool of
wanderlust
correspondents.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
13
PUBLISHER & CEO
PRESIDENT & CO-PUBLISHER
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Vice President for Sales
Vice President for Marketing
and Special Events, Philippines
managing editor
editorial consultant
FEATURES editor
DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGIST
CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
CONTRIBUTING WRITERs
Roger L. Oriel
Cora M. Oriel
Raphael John C. Oriel
Sharon Ann Bathan-San Pedro
Vince F. Samson
MARY MAY PORTEZ
Rod Cornejo
MARIA NIMFA NADTJA H. VILLAVER
CHRISTINA M. ORIEL
NOEL TY
Issue 45 / volume vi
MAu Mauricio, andy tecson, ding carreon
A symbol of innovation and Philippine ingenuity,
Tagaytay Highlands is the country’s most sought
after mountain resort community offering
exclusivity, full-range of amenities, and themed
residential communities.
Agnes Constante, CHARISSE TRINIDAD
Advertising Executives
Kimberly delos Santos, GREG TRINIDAD,
ROCELLE ANABEZA, KATrina DELA CRUZ, jazmine
laboriante, marie madeline ramboyong
Multimedia Developers
KENNO SAMULDE
james christer francisco
godwin gasacao
LAYOUT-ARTIST & illustrator
ALLANA SANTOS
Accountant
Gemma C. Fabro
Admin and finance officer
Geralou Sagun
Circulation ManagerS
INTERN
philippines headquarters
JOHN CHRISTOPHER AMODO
3OTH STREET CORNER 1ST AVENUE,
ASIAN JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INCORPORATED
PUBLISHER & CEO
PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING
managing editor
Roger L. Oriel
Cora M. Oriel
RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL
Elizabeth Hilario Sison
Belle M. Sison
Monette Adeva Maglaya
CHRISTINA M. ORIEl
Robert Macabagdal
VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Joseph Peralta
editor-in-chief
northern california
orange county & the inland empire
editor-in-chief
philippines
2/F D&E FORT PALM SPRING CONDOMINIUM,
BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, Taguig City
Telephone. (+632) 856-1661
Email: [email protected]
Online Presence:
BalikbayanMagazine.com
Facebook.com/BalikbayanMagazine
Twitter.com/BalikbayanMag
Tablet version available at:
iTunes.apple.com Search: Asian Journal
For subscriptions, back issues, and other
circulation concerns please contact us
at [email protected]
Ivy Manalang
VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER
LAS VEGAS
executive editor usa
new york & new jersey
the asian journal publications, inc
Arthur Sibulangcao, ROLANDo Manese
US OFFICES
Los Angeles
1210 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91204
Telephone (818) 502-0651
San Francisco
1001 Bayhill drive suite 200
momar visaya
san bruno, ca 94066
malou liwanag-bledsoe
Las Vegas
telephone (650) 616–4150
3700 W. Desert Inn Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89102
billy de la cruz
Telephone (702) 792–6678
New York
133-30 32nd. Avenue
Flushing, New York 11354
Telephone (212) 655–5426
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or
any information storage of retrieval systems, without permission in writing
from the Publisher. Asian Journal Publications, Inc. regrets that
no responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited material, which will be
returned only if stamped, addressed envelope is enclosed.
Printed in the Philippines. Distributed in the Philippines for newly arrived balikbayans
at Duty Free Philippines, as well as at select hotel rooms, resorts, restaurants
and cafes, major bookstores and magazine distributors. Circulated at
special events and through subscription throughout the world.
14
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
New Jersey
449 Hoboken ave.,
jersey city, nj 07306
Telephone (212) 655–5426
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
15
the INVESTMENT ISSUE
Publisher’s Note / Keeping a Journal
The Rebirth
of Print
For the past several years, we’ve been
reading reports about the imminent
death of the print media because of the
onset of the digital revolution—go to any
coffee shop, restaurant, or simply watch
pedestrians crossing the street, you will
surely find someone looking down on
their smart phone. In this digital age we
now find ourselves in, people are more
often than not getting their news on
Twitter, Facebook, Google—you name it,
they’re seeking the information they want
online—I know I do. Just last week, I had
lunch with my 72-year old friend who had
an iPad with him.
One of my favorite phrases in publishing
is that, “News is what we don’t know that
we want to know.” There are millions of
important news stories every single day
if not hourly, or every second for that
matter. In all of the World’s information,
how do we know what is important and
interesting?—What is worthy of our time,
attention, and knowledge? As a publisher,
I firmly believe in the editorial process,
professionally trained journalists, and
an editorial committee who filters (and
argues) the most important news for their
audience. Sometimes it feels as though
we are taking for granted this editorial
process and the importance of news
media companies. I can’t imagine a world
without any journalists or freedom of the
press; after all, journalism is the backbone
of a free society and the purveyor of
democracy. What if there wasn’t someone
investigating political corruption, global
warming, or war crimes? What kind of
World would we be living in then? There
is no war between digital and print—these
two are deeply interconnected in ways
such as life requiring water for survival.
What we do at the Asian Journal
Publications is provide news for and about
the Filipino community—reporting on
the ongoings in suburban America where
Filipinos reside. In general, our editorial
committee aspire to find positive news.
For me, I would rather read about an
16
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
inspiring story of triumph, success, and
accomplishments much more so than
crime—I like to learn about something
that is more uplifting than discouraging.
In our busy everyday lives, you can surely
stay up to date with what is going on in
the world perusing through the daily
newspapers and checking CNN.com once
or twice a day when you have the time. But
with our weekly news journals, think of it
as your community, your city, your people,
and your country in review and what to
look forward to in the weeks ahead.
Another favorite quote of mine
comes from Warren Buffett, one of the
wealthiest and successful men in the entire
World. Buffett explained his decision
for purchasing several small community
newspapers in the US. “Wherever there is a
pervasive sense of community, a paper that
serves the special informational needs of
that community will remain indispensable
to a significant portion of its residents.”
Well, Mr. Buffett, I couldn’t agree more.
Recently, the New York Times published
a 5lb Sunday Newspaper and a few weeks
later, ran a story about the declining sales
of digital books and how the actual print
edition has unexpectedly grown. On a
recent dinner with one of my daughters,
she asked me, “Dad, I heard publishing
is one of the most stressful jobs because
of the constant deadlines. How have you
been able to do this for over 24 years now?”
Well, simply put, inside print is knowledge,
I love print—it’s nostalgic. And I’ve never
b een more energized to compliment print
with digital.
Roger Lagmay Oriel
Publisher and CEO,
Asian Journal Publications, Inc.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
17
SPECI A L ADV E RTIS ING FE ATU R E
The Autohub
Group of
Companies
The Philippines’
ultimate one-stop
auto shop
Planning to buy a new car? Going out
of town over the weekend for leisure?
Or simply need a tune-up for your car?
With 16 years in the automotive business, the Autohub Group of Companies
is the premier one-stop auto shop in the
country.
Authorized Dealerships And
Distributorships
The group’s first venture in the automotive industry was in 1999 when Engr.
Willy Q. Tee Ten was awarded his firstever automotive dealership–Ford Makati.
After establishing the Ford dealership
in Mindanao, in came the acquisition of
new car brands that led to form a name
for the whole group – Autohub Group
of Companies–a synergy of automotive
dealerships and distributorships.
Under the leadership of President
and Dealer Principal Engr. Willy Q. Tee
Ten, the Autohub Group is currently the
authorized dealer of Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, and the importer and distributor of British luxury brand Rolls-Royce,
the iconic MINI Cooper and the sports
car Lotus. It’s also the Exclusive Distributor also of Piaggio Apé, the three-wheel
commercial vehicle, Vespa scooters and
the V-KOOL window film.
Quality Car Care Services
To complete the real auto experience,
the Autohub Group has other automotive-related businesses. Autohub Car
Care Services (ACCS) delivers premium
body and paint services ranging from
mechanical services, electrical and detailing services. ACCS also offers quality,
but affordable accessories varying from
audio systems to detailing supplies for
all kinds of vehicles.
18
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Satisfactory Auto Rental
And Leasing
Wandering out of town without a personal car is made easier with CLICK Car
Rental and Leasing which offers topnotch car rental and leasing service
offerings suited for your travel needs.
CLICK offers cheap and affordable renta-car rates in manila for:
01 Airport transfers
02 Car hire or chauffeur service
03 Car rental or self-drive
04 Long term leasing or
corporate lease
05 Limousine service
06 Airline crew shuttle
07 Luxury car rental
08 Van or coaster rental
09 Special events rental such as for wedding/bridal rental car,
company outings, and
conventions.
Clients can choose from a wide selection of cars from compact, intermediate, full-size, premium, van, coasters,
and luxury cars dedicated to suit your
needs.
Expert Automotive
Servicing Technicians
Maximize the lifespan and value of
your car with regular car servicing. The
Autohub Group has expert technicians
trained to service any model of car using the latest techniques and diagnostic
equipment. They are committed to providing a friendly, straightforward, and
honest service.
In fact, the Autohub Group founded
the Autohub Institute of Technology
(AIT), an industry-based and sociallyoriented training center to equip more
technicians. AIT provides 2-year Automotive Servicing Technician courses
based on the National Certifications
courses of the Technical Education and
Skills Development Authority (TESDA):
Automotive Servicing NC1, Automotive
Servicing NCII, Automotive Servicing
NCIII, & Automotive Servicing IV. AIT is
also a holistic and values formation
center which nurtures professionals
with human virtues and values among
its trainees, partners, and staff.
AIT serves as a professional development institution that hopes to
address the operational needs of the
Autohub Group and secondly, play a
significant role in the economic and
social development of society, and the
nation in general.
Energy Efficiency Solutions
One of the group’s automotive related businesses is distributing V-KOOL,
the top quality and high performance
window films. V-KOOL is recognized
globally as the leader in providing daylight harvesting and energy efficiency
solutions through advanced thin film
coatings for architectural and automotive glass. In 2012, the Autohub Group
inaugurated its first-ever Envirocare
Showroom in the whole dealer network
of V-KOOL International.
Autohub’s Push for Entrepreneurship
or Arangkada Pinoy Entreprenyur
(APE)
For those
who have an
entrepreneurial mindset, the threewheel commercial vehicle line Piaggio
APE will definitely be a good partner
for your business. Boasting a 36km
per liter mileage and a small body,
the Piaggio APE provides cost efficient
transportation solutions to limitations
such as high fuel prices, traffic and
road inaccessibility.
In the next three years, the Autohub
Group aims to expand its acquisitions
of car brands as well as double its
number of branch dealerships in Metro-Manila; maintaining to be the Philippines’ preferred one-stop auto shop.
The “Car Guy” as most people call him,
President and Dealer Principal Engr. Willy
Q. Tee Ten confessed he did not have a background in the automotive industry—he’s not
even a car enthusiast himself. But being able
to place himself in the mindset and eyes of the
consumer allows him to create effective strategies.
Tee Ten graduated B.S. Chem Eng in
De La Salle University, placed 2nd in the
National Liscensure Examination for Chemical Engineer, worked in the family-owned
alcohol distillery business, had a short stint in
Procter&Gamble then finally ventured into
the car business where he poured all his life
long savings in one basket without having
much knowledge in the Automotive Business. It was the right timing that Ford came
to the Philippines and was looking for a dealer
in Makati. Among the applicants, it was Tee
Ten’s marketing strategy that stood out.
“We’ve done a lot in the last 16 years, from
one dealership to where we are today,” says
Tee Ten. He considers the Autohub Group of
Companies as a ‘dream.’ A dream that came
true because of hard work; and a dream he
continues to share and pursue with his team.
CONTACT INFO:
Autohub Group of Companies
Blk. 15, 32nd St., cor. Rizal Drive,
Crescent Park West, Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City 1634
+63 2 860-8888
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
19
20
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
THE RISE OF
FILIPINOS IN
AMERICA
A brief history of how FilipinoAmericans became the 2nd largest
Asian-American population with the
2nd highest-median income in all of
America.
By RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL
On a trip to Israel last year, one of my tour
mates, a 71 year-old German-American
from New York, asked me if I was Filipino.
Looks aside, I was rather surprised he was
able to identify this—as I typically get
Japanese or Chinese guesses when such a
conversation would arise from non-Asian
people. Naturally, I was curious as to how he
knew—wondering what his experience was
with Filipinos—so I asked him. He told
me that his son’s wife is Cebuana, how they
got married in Cebu, that she’s currently
a nurse practitioner, and that they own a
condo at Rockwell (which they currently
rent out, oddly enough to an unrelated
German-American). As the conversation
continued over the course of our 2 weeks
on tour, he shared with me his war stories of
fighting side by side with Filipinos during
the Vietnam War. One of the most interesting questions he asked me was, “Why and
how did your family migrate to the US?”
Embarrassingly, I had no idea other than
simply quipping, “The American Dream...
we’re lucky I guess—my entire family is
pretty much in the States now…no one is
in the Philippines except for me.”
Upon arriving back in Manila, I sent
an email to 20 of my Filipino-American
friends wondering if they knew the answer
to the same question the old man asked me.
16 of them are 3rd generation FilipinoAmericans and had no idea of their family
origins either. And the remaining 4 are first
generation Filipinos who came in on student visas and later became naturalized. As
the answers trickled in, to say the very least,
it was fascinating to read about their family
history and the specific reasons they had for
leaving home. Whether it were:
• “My grandfather served in
WWII and because of that, his
kids were able to attend American universities for free.”
• “My dad passed the US board
and license exams and became a
doctor in the US.”
• “I married an American. We met
in Boracay.”
• “My mom got a student visa,
became a nurse, got a job, and
never left.”
• “My grandmother taught
Japanese during WWII and
the Japanese occupation of the
Philippines. She ended up teaching American soldiers and also
married one.”
With all of the answers, a general theme
became clear—their families’ love life in
America, are incredibly thankful to be there,
and the majority of their family members
are professionals with college degrees or
higher.
But, I wonder, how and why have Filipino-Americans become the 2nd highest
Asian-American population with the 2nd
highest median income level and with this,
what affect, if any, does that have on the
Philippines?
Four Waves of Migration
In 1898, the Philippines became the territory of the United States and from this,
the century old relationship takes its roots.
Filipinos first arrived in the U.S. largely as
farmers to fill the demand for labor in the
agriculture and fishing industries in California, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.
By the 1930s, the Filipino population
was nearing 50,000 and because of the
perceived economic threat to American
workers, prejudice and hostility grew in
society—legislation was even passed to
forbid Filipinos from marrying whites. As
a result of the growing concerns of a rising
Filipino population, out came the TydingsMcDuffie Act of 1934—better known
as the “Philippine Independence Act”,
which was signed by President Franklin
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
21
PUNTA BULATA RESORT & SPA
YOUR SANCTUARY OF RELAXATION
T
raveling to Bacolod City soon? Take a break and unwind at
Punta Bulata Resort at Negros Island. Come and Experience
the authentic Negrense hospitality, cuisine and delicacies, as
you arrive at the island of Negros.
PUNTA BULATA RESORT
A tropical resort with Asian inspired architecture, and rooms are strategically built to angle the spectacular ocean view and great sunsets.
The resort sits on a 20 hectares of hills and tropical beach on the heel
of the southern coast of Negros Island facing the Sulu Sea. The beach
front is up to 1 kilometer of white sand beach, and is close to the
renowned Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary.
WARMTH AND COMFORT
Negros is known for its laid back lifestyle and cheerful locals; The
resort is at pleased to have the very hospitable staffs that perfectly
blends with the soundness of nature, surrounding the Asian inspired
property, and warm humid weather.
The resort features 19-room accommodations, an infinity pool, full
service restaurant, dive shop, sports and recreation facilities, and island and land tours.
DISCOVERIES AND ADVENTURE
Reconnect with Mother Nature on a full day island-water activities at Danjugan Island Marine Sanctuary, a 20 minute boat ride from the shore of Punta
Bulata. The island holds a sustainable biodiversity of different species that
will definitely astound the eyes and lenses of thousands.
The resort also has an infinity pool and sauna to soothe and relax the body
after a whole day of activity. You may also do kayaking, paddle boards
and learn Scuba Diving while at Punta Bulata.
VISIT AND CREATE MEMORIES
From Manila, Philippines, there are about 13 flights schedules that goes in
and out of Negros Island via Bacolod—Silay Airport. The flight is about 1
hour and 10 min. The resort is located about 156 km from Bacolod City at
Barangay Elihan, Cauayan, Negros Island. Airport transfers are arranged
upon arrival by our reservations office.
KNOW MORE ABOUT US!
Punta Bulata Resort has recently gained the appreciation of Agoda.com,
one of the largest online travel agency operating internationally, and they
have recently listed Punta Bulata as one of the Top 6 Emerging Resort in the
Philippines.
T: (63 34) 4335160 or (63 34) 4730235
M: (63) 920 900 3558
E: [email protected] / [email protected]
W: www.puntabulata.com
22
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
23
D. Roosevelt. After a period of ten years,
the Philippines would be provided with
independence from the United States. A
year later, in 1935, the Constitution of the
Philippines was written. However, with the
Tydings-McDuffie Act, a quota of only 50
Filipino migrants per year was installed and
all Filipinos were reclassified from United
States Nationals to aliens.
It wasn’t until the full onslaught of World
War II for American attitudes to change
toward Filipinos. The United States military heavily recruited Filipinos to serve in
the Navy as stewards and cooks. This is
known as the third wave of Filipino immigration, which largely serves as the origins
of many Filipino-American families today.
As a result of the significant role Filipinos
played in WWII, attitudes quickly changed
and the age-old adage of, “Spill blood together, die together” rings true.
The fourth wave of immigration was a
result of the Immigration and Nationality
Act of 1965 as thousands of Filipinos began
arriving in the U.S. for work and education.
This act abolished America’s antiquated
immigration policy of the 1920’s, placing
an emphasis on the immigrant’s skills and
family relationships with American citizens.
According to the World Bank, the Philippines receives the highest number of
visas issued by the United States. However,
24
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
because of the welcoming acceptance of
America for Filipinos, this significantly
drained the Philippines of highly educated
and skilled Filipinos. No longer was the
country sending farmers or military personnel, but mostly professionals in healthcare, law, engineering, and accounting.
This is known as the complex brain-drain
phenomenon—qualified skill leaving its
own country. There is no telling what kind
of influence or profound affect this has had
(year after year) on the development and
progression of the country especially since
most socioeconomic professors largely
attribute the rise of America was a direct
result of the pool of ideas and talent it receives.
To this day, since the 1960s, brain-drain
is still relevant to the country’s economic
situation today. Because of the ravages of
WWII, infrastructure and the economy
was devastated which largely impacted
national health problems and the uneven
distribution of wealth. As part of the reconstruction goals, the now independent
Philippines, encouraged and promoted
the education of nurses in order to raise
national healthcare standards. However,
the government was more concerned with
the country’s financial problems more so
than health. Due to the lack of government
funding for provincial clinics and hospitals
and low wages, coupled with the perfect
timing of America’s immigration reform
of 1965, resulted in the mass exodus of
Filipino nurses. As such, because American
nurses receive high salaries placing them in
the upper middle class economically, this
gave rise to the appeal of nursing and the
industry of remittance. Studies indicate
that remittances sent home are seen as
more economically valuable than pursuing
actual work back in the Philippines.
Today, close to 4 million FilipinoAmericans make up almost 60% of the $28
billion remitted to the Philippines. And
these figures don’t completely represent
nor account for the investments made by
Filipino-Americans in real estate, travel,
and shopping in the Philippines (some
economists actually estimate Philippine
remittance at $86 billion). Year after year,
American travelers represent the 2nd
highest figure of visitor arrivals in the
Philippines—just slightly behind South
Korea. This doesn’t even account for all of
those who are dual citizens, the Americanbalikbayans. For the 3rd year in a row, Pew
Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project
once again showed that the Philippines really loves the United States—even more so
than American citizens themselves. 92% of
Filipino respondents have a favorable view
of America whereas only 51% of American
respondents answered yes.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
25
Ms. Antoinette Taus:
Sweeter the second time around
Ms. Taus lands a role in resorTs
World Manila’s neWesT sTage
offering ThaT Turns her froM
sWeeT To sWeeTer
She may not be as infamous
a diva as her namesake Marie
Antoinette behind the French
Revolution, but this Antoinette
sure knows how to act like one- or so we’ll witness when she
steps into the shoes of Lavinia
Arguelles, the antagonist of
Resorts World Manila’s sixth
theater offering, ‘Bituing
Walang Ningning: The Musical’
returning on October 8.
After a 10-year hiatus from
the Philippine showbiz scene,
Antoinette Taus re-emerged
in 2014 this time shedding her
sweet persona as she tackles
more challenging roles such as
that of Lavinia Arguelles.
As Antoinette plays the role
alongside shining stage muse
Cris Villongco in the musical,
this talented artist is definitely
ready to give audiences
something to watch out for
during the second run of
‘Bituing Walang Ningning: The
Musical’ --something that no
true blue Filipino pop culture
fan would want to miss.
THe sweeT GiRl
eveRyone Knew
Born Antoinette Cherish
Flores Taus, this multi-talented
Filipino-American artist
has made her mark in film,
television, and music since she
first experienced the limelight at
a very young age.
Audiences were quick
to acknowledge her sweet
demeanor during her stints in
comedy shows ‘Ang TV’ and
‘Oki Doki Doc’ and later on as
one of the big stars that make
up the cast of noontime show
‘ASAP’ in 1995.
26
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Antoinette’s career
progressed with more notable
performances in shows like
‘Anna Karenina’, ‘GMA Love
Stories’, ‘Munting Anghel’,
‘Larawan Presents’ and ‘Click’
among others, making her a
household name associated
with feel-good teen dramedies
on TV, and as half of one of
the biggest love teams of her
generation.
In 2004, despite already
making a name
for herself back
home, Antoinette
decided to go on
a sabbatical from
Philippine showbiz
amid persistent
and untrue
rumors about her.
Antoinette decided
to migrate to Los
Angeles where she
would take on a
quiet life with her
family… for the
time being.
RiGHT aT
Home in
pHilippine
sHowbiz
When Antoinette left,
her fans feared she might
never return to the Philippine
limelight again. Over in LA,
Antoinette had brighter plans
to broaden her horizons.
She ventured into recording
stints, sang in live shows,
and even made appearances
in a TV show for NBC, and
other public service projects.
Antoinette was bent on
exploring other prospects
abroad in the hopes to further
develop
her craft.
Her gigs abroad also
included hosting jobs for the
BBC Millennium Celebration
and for a NHK Japan
documentary furthering her
status as a reliable performer of
various fields.
In 2014, Antoinette decided
to go back home to the
Philippines for a much needed
vacation. The said vacation
was extended and eventually
triggered some buzz on the
showbiz grapevine, exciting
her fans who had missed their
idol for so long. As fate would
have it, Antoinette signed up
for TV’s ‘Bridges of Love’
and from then on received
numerous project offers
inspiring her to stay home for
a while.
Antoinette’s return
was welcomed with much
enthusiasm from the industry
that she saw herself venturing
into stage theater for the first
time with ‘Grease’ as the
character Rizzo.
She then landed a role for
the musical ‘Sabel’ wherein she
earned rave reviews for her role
And as Antoinette
has matured into a more
professional well-rounded
artist after exploring other
prospects with her 10-year
absence, her calling to be one
11
thecountry’s
country’smost
mostininofofthe
demandthespians
thespianstoday
today
demand
finallyloud
loudand
andclear
clear
isisfinally
her.
totoher.
ThisOctober,
October,
This
Antoinette
takeson
on
Antoinette takes
another
challenging
role
another challenging role
already
immortalized
already immortalized inin
thepages
pagesofofPhilippine
Philippine
the
komiks,
film,
and
komiks, film, and
television.
For
thevery
very
television. For the
firsttime,
time,the
thesweet
sweet
first
AntoinetteTaus
Tausthat
that
Antoinette
manyofofher
herfans
fansknow
know
many
willmomentarily
momentarilydo
do
will
awaywith
withthe
theniceties
niceties
away
and
raise
her
eyebrows
and raise her eyebrows
likethe
thediva
divathat
thatLavinia
Lavinia
like
Arguelles
is.
Arguelles is.
22
33
headedcharacter
characterduring
duringthe
the
headed
musical’s
press
preview
at
musical’s press preview at
NewportPerforming
PerformingArts
Arts
Newport
Theater,
the
same
venue
for
Theater, the same venue for
its
return.
Her
portrayal
offers
TwoHappy
Happy
its return. Her portrayal offers
Two
welcomeexperience
experiencethat
that
ReTuRns
aawelcome
ReTuRns
complementsthe
thebrand
brandofof
This
October
8,
the
complements
This October 8, the
actingthat
thather
heralternate,
alternate,Cris
Cris
Philippines’premier
premierplace
placefor
for
acting
Philippines’
Villonco,has
hasalready
alreadyeffectively
effectively
world-class
entertainment
and
Villonco,
world-class entertainment and
establishedduring
duringthe
thefirst
firstrun.
run.
lifestylealternatives,
alternatives,Resorts
Resorts
established
lifestyle
This
time,
fans
of
the
WorldManila,
Manila,once
onceagain
againbrings
brings
This time, fans of the
World
musicalare
areininfor
formore
more
to
the
stage
another
all-Filipino
musical
to the stage another all-Filipino
highlights
and
altered
scenes
triumphinin‘Bituing
‘BituingWalang
Walang
highlights and altered scenes
triumph
and
performance
numbers
that
Ningning:The
TheMusical’.
Musical’.
and performance numbers that
Ningning:
further
make
the
innovative
Theinnovative
innovativemusical’s
musical’s
further make the innovative
The
stagemasterpiece
masterpieceaamust-see.
must-see.
firstrun
runearlier
earlierthis
thisyear
year
stage
first
Withthe
theaddition
additionofof
garnered
positive
reviews
from
With
garnered positive reviews from
Antoinetteininthe
thecast,
cast,fans
fans
bothaudiences
audiencesand
andcritics
critics
Antoinette
both
arealso
alsoininfor
formore
moreexciting
exciting
alike
which
led
to
a
clamor
for
are
alike which led to a clamor for
chemistrybetween
betweenpop
pop
anotherrun.
run.With
Withthe
thesecond
second
chemistry
another
superstar
and
new
stage
favorite
run,Antoinette
Antoinettewas
waslisted
listedasasaa
superstar and new stage favorite
run,
Mark
Bautista,
rising
star
newcast
castmember
membertogether
togetherwith
with Mark Bautista, rising star
new
MonicaCuenco,
Cuenco,and
andaahost
hostofof
comedianEpy
EpyQuizon
Quizonadding
adding Monica
comedian
other
stage
luminaries.
morestar
starpower
powertotothe
thealready
already other stage luminaries.
more
Callititserendipity,
serendipity,the
the
triumphantstage
stagemusical.
musical.
Call
triumphant
returnofofshowbiz
showbizsweetheart
sweetheart
Antoinette’s
Lavinia
has
return
Antoinette’s Lavinia has
AntoinetteTaus
Tausand
andher
herrebirth
rebirth
proventotobe
beworth
worthwatching
watching
Antoinette
proven
inthe
thePhilippine
Philippinestage
stagevia
viathe
the
out
for
as
she
gave
her
own
in
out for as she gave her own
returningmusical
musical‘Bituing
‘Bituing
brand
of
the
feisty
and
swellreturning
brand of the feisty and swell-
44
55
WalangNingning:
Ningning:The
TheMusical’
Musical’
Walang
certainlysomething
somethingthat’s
that’s
isiscertainly
worththe
thewait.
wait.
worth
‘Bituing
WalangNinging:
Ninging:
‘Bituing Walang
The
Musical’
opens
onOctober
October
The Musical’ opens on
8,
2015
at
Newport
Performing
8, 2015 at Newport Performing
ArtsTheater,
Theater,Resorts
ResortsWorld
World
Arts
Manila.Visit
Visitwww.rwmanila.
www.rwmanila.
Manila.
comfor
formore
moredetails
detailsand
and
com
updates
or
call
the
Toursit/
updates or call the Toursit/
VisitorHotline
Hotlineatat(632)
(632)908908Visitor
8833.
8833.
Thecast
castofofBituing
BituingWalang
WalangNingning:
Ningning:The
TheMusical
Musical(L-R)
(L-R)Ronnie
Ronnie
1.1.The
Liang,Mark
MarkBautista,
Bautista,John
JohnNite,
Nite,Cris
CrisVillonco
Villoncoand
andMonica
MonicaCuenco
Cuenco
Liang,
MarkBautista
Bautistaasastalent
talentmanager
managerNico
NicoEscobar
Escobar
2.2.Mark
RonnieLiang
Liangasascomposer
composerGarry
GarryDiaz
Diaz
3.3.Ronnie
JonSantos
SantosasasAuntie
Auntieand
andMonica
MonicaCuenco
CuencoasasDorina
DorinaPineda
Pineda
4.4.Jon
Antoinettewill
willjoin
jointhe
themain
maincast
castofofBituing
BituingWalang
WalangNingning:
Ningning:The
The
5.5.Antoinette
Musicalwith
withMonica
MonicaCuenco
Cuenco(left)
(left)and
andCris
CrisVillonco
Villonco(right)
(right)
Musical
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
27
28
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BUSINESS
From the Executive’s Desk
The Life of a CPA
AUDITS
There’s a trick to dealing with audits
from America’s Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) that has won nearly all cases for a
retired Fil-Am CPA: don’t come into the
meeting with a set battle plan. Instead,
test the auditor’s temperature with a quick
joke, gage his personality, and adjust the
approach accordingly. Be sensitive to the
agent’s body language. The agent may have
had a fight with his (includes her) spouse
or is just having a bad day. React and adjust on the fly with one goal: win the audit.
Don’t fight the auditor. “You have to
understand that the agent in front of you
didn’t choose you,” said Victor Sy, 70, who
has been an accountant for 50 years. “The
computers did and assigned your case to
this person, so there’s no animosity between you.” It’s to your best interest to
work with, not against, the agent.
Credibility, systems, and meticulous
preparation are the most effective tools in
winning audits. Finding common ground
with the auditor is another helpful tactic.
So is treading lightly with the agent, despite that some agents may be outgunned
by your experience and knowledge. Don’t
rub it in. Be humble. The agent knows that
he may be outgunned but is also aware
that you are being nice and helpful. Make
it easier for him to do his job. Well-timed
humor does wonders on how the audit
proceeds toward a settlement - and a win.
“Instead of saying, ‘That’s wrong! I say,
‘Please consider this approach or how
about looking at this tax court case?” That
signals a desire to work together, settle the
case, find a resolution to help the agent
close the case, and secure a win for your
client.
There’s an enthusiasm in Sy when he
talks about his experiences with the IRS.
He said it’s been more than 10 years since
he last lost an income tax audit. And of the
cases he did lose in his career, he appealed
the decisions and ended up winning them
– quite a record for a CPA specializing in
tax controversy.
“Accounting is not very exciting and is
sometimes boring, but I found a love in
fighting and working with the IRS,” he
said. He also delved into tax controversy
Painting of Victor Sy
Writer AGNES CONSTANTE
and contested decisions from the Franchise
Tax Board of California, Employment
Development Department, Department
of Labor, Department of Industrialization
Relations and Board of Equalization.
Work Habits
In the 50 years of his accounting career,
Sy’s passion for accounting and workaholic nature shined through a company
he established in 1977 called Sy Accountancy Corporation where he worked 11-14
hours during tax season.
His daily routine would begin at 5:30
A.M. when he departed from his home in
Arcadia, California. By 6 A.M. he would
be in his office reading emails, tax subscriptions, delegating work to staff and
reviewing work products. By the time his
staff arrived at 9 A.M., his desk would be
clear. With an open-door policy, Sy’s staff
was allowed to come into his office for any
questions or concerns, which would have
made it a challenging environment for
him to accomplish other tasks.
While Sy endured a fruitful time as
an accountant, it wasn’t a job he initially
aimed for when he began his college years.
He was actually on track to attend medical school, but because three of the seven
Sy siblings were already studying in UST
(University of Santo Tomas) the field, his
parents couldn’t afford a fourth student at
the university.
Profession
After comparing the successes of doctors
and CPAs in the Philippines his hometown of Jones, Isabela, Sy found that accountants in the country fared better. He
was also drawn to accounting by his famous relative Washington SyCip, founder of SGV (SyCip, Gorres and Velayo).
Somehow, his mind shifted and he found
that accounting was what he wanted to do.
He enjoyed statistics, physics, and algebra,
and eventually went on to attend University of the East, a reputable institution for
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
29
30
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
01
accounting in the Philippines. There, he
majored in accounting, minored in finance,
and graduated cum laude in 1966. He was
placed in an honors program, which he
credits as his motivation for relocating
to the United States: students in the program used textbooks written by authors
who had studied in the USA at Stanford,
Columbia, Yale, and UCLA, among other
universities.
“It’s kind of neat when you’re taking
commercial law and the renowned author
himself is the one teaching the subject,”
he said.
ISU
Sy obtained his master’s degree in business administration from Indiana State
University where he opted to study because a cousin lived in the state. He also
worked full time at Ernst and Young while
he was a full time student and called this
period in his life one of the toughest.
Despite having family in the area, Indiana, he missed Filipino food and had to
drive an hour to find Asian food and having to go all the way to Indianapolis for
Filipino restaurants. But when Sy visited
a cousin living in Hawthorne in Southern
California, there was no need to travel so
far for the ethnic cuisine. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all these Asian
restaurants in the neighborhood,” he said.
While he didn’t have a job lined up in
California, Sy decided to pack his bags and
move in with his cousin. Shortly after settling in, he landed a job at a CPA firm in
Bakersfield and moved to the area, where
he lived for two years.
Sy worked for three CPA firms for two
to three years after graduating from Indi-
02
01 Cagayan Valley 2011: Sy Clan with relative Washington SyCip
02 Roger Oriel, Former President Fidel Ramos, and Victor Sy
ana State before he began entering a series
of partnerships with a Japanese CPA and
various Filipino CPAs he met through the
Philippine American Society of CPAs.
“Partnerships were hard because it was
like getting married. I enjoyed partnerships with my Filipino counterparts but
one of my other partners was the most
disorganized CPA in the whole world!
To get to his desk, I had to wade through
records all over the floor,” he said. That
kind of disorganization did not work for
Sy, who describes himself as methodical
and systematic. So when the time came to
establish his own practice, the transition
was liberating. “Nothing was challenging.
In fact, it was a relief. When I was on my
own, I was able to set up systems and procedures that way I wanted to,” he said.
Back To Audits
Among the things he wanted to do and
ended up doing for much of his professional life was battle against the IRS, a
topic of discussion that lights up his aura.
He has an abundance of unique stories
about his experiences dealing with the
agency, but the one consistent thread in all
of them is his determination to emerge the
victor of all audit cases.
I had major challenges in life, the most
serious from a marital problem that ended
in divorce and the business failure of major
client from bankruptcy – at the same time.
It was devastating. “I lost everything that I
had, but I was able to get back up,” he said.
“I fell to the gutter but with God’s help, I
came back, stronger than ever. I really had
a tough time.”
Sy attributes his will to solve problems
comes from his MBA background.
“When there’s a problem I don’t sulk.
Right away, I look for a solution. What
are the options? What are the pluses and
minuses of option? I prepare a decision
tree chart, quantify the alternatives, and
decide. I was never depressed,” he said.
God gave me a strong coping mechanism
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
31
32
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Vic with siblings Butch, Te, Sol, Vic, Phil, John & Washington SyCip
which I did not know I had before the
troubles began.
The lows in Sy’s private life have come
in handy, as he has used lessons from his
problems to strategize and help his clients
and friends navigate major problems.
One situation he cites involved a couple that was audited because the husband
withdrew pension funds without telling his wife, causing an IRS audit and
prompting her to seek a separation.
From Sy’s personal experience, he was
able to offer the husband some advice
privately: “I think we both know that you
screwed up. Why don’t you act like a man
and ask for forgiveness?” The husband
did and peace returned to the household.
There was closure and forgiveness before
he died thereafter.
In another incident, a cardiologist client
was going through a divorce. Sy was an expert witness for the husband but noticed
that they still liked each other and saw a
chance at reconciliation. “Why don’t you
send her some flowers and start courting
her again?” He did and she moved back in
their home and have been living together
happily to this date. She fired her lawyer
and accountant and became one of Vic’s
favorite clients.
With the depth of Sy’s devotion to his
clients, he admits to not having that much
of a personal life. It’s part of the reason he
decided to retire in December 2014.
Now, he’s spending more time with his
wife, Marissa Espiritu-Sy of the Francisco
Motors clan (remember the nickel-plated
jeepneys?) Las Pinas, Cavite, and their
three grandchildren. He was so engrossed
in growing his business in providing for
his family that he regrets not having spent
more time with his children.
Health
His health was the in his decision to
withdraw from his career. In July 2014, he
underwent surgery for a pacemaker, as his
resting heart rate had been in the 40s and
50s beats per minute for some time, below the minimum rate of 60 per minute.
While he said he never felt lethargic or
like fainting when doctors asked – because
he didn’t feel so – he eventually said yes
to all their questions after reading about
the problems that could result from a slow
heart rate, such as a stroke and heart attack.
Doctors told him he was lucky he didn’t
faint at that heart rate, because they
wouldn’t have been able to revive him. In
addition, both lenses in his eyes had to be
replaced.
Cataract had clouded both natural lenses
that to be replaced with synthetic lens.
Unfortunately, collagen holding a lens had
weakened that dislodged. Fortunately, a
delicate surgery to reattach the lens was
successful.
“I was so healthy, and all of a sudden all
of these medical issues converged in one
year. Maybe it was the lord telling me it’s
time to enjoy life,” Sy said.
Upon the implanting of his pacemaker,
Sy said he emerged with a renewed energy
that made him realize his body had likely
adapted to his slow heart rate, which was
why he never felt fatigued.
Retirement
After 50 years in the business with three
CPA licenses in the states of Hawaii, Illinois, and California, he decided to hang
up his gloves. Sy decided to sell his company in late 2014 to another workaholic
Fil-Am accountant, Arlene Al-os, CPA,
MBA, but continued to work 12- to 14hour days during tax season in 2015 to
help Arlene with the transition. Now, his
weekends are spent babysitting two of his
grandchildren, Tyler, 5, and Emily, 3.
Sy also shares that his brother and sister-in-law are psychiatrists.“You can tell
the mental health of the Sy family by the
number of psychiatrists we have,” he says,
jokingly.
IRS Book
With 12-hour workdays out of the picture, Sy has gotten back into bowling and is
looking to start playing badminton again.
He is also in the process of writing a book
about how to avoid IRS audits, which is
geared toward individuals who have issues
with the IRS and US citizens and residents who have foreign bank accounts and
financial assets. The book is a precursor to
U.S. taxation seminars he plans to hold
in the Philippines to educate US nationals and expats of their filing requirements
especially with respect to foreign bank accounts. Many US nationals living abroad
do not file US tax returns for fear of paying more taxes, but there are strategies to
save taxes. They need to learn that there
is a foreign earned income exclusion that
exempts about U.S. $100,000 in earned
income. In other words, there is no federal
income tax on such income. And whatever
foreign income taxes they pay can be credited toward their U.S. taxes so they are not
subjected to double taxation.
But his upcoming retirement activities
don’t stop there. The 70-year-old has volunteered for the finance committee of the
Central Filipino Seventh Day Adventist
Church, the California Highway Patrol,
and the Arcadia Police Department.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
33
“I can’t rest,” he said. “I like to do things.”
Charity
Sy has been supporting poor schools in
his hometown of Jones, Isabela for more
than 10 years. During our interview, six
boxes were being shipped to Philippine
schools in his province of Isabela: Jones
Central School 1, Jones Central School 2,
Jones Rural School and La Salette of Jones,
schools Sy attended while growing up, and
he says they’re institutions that don’t seem
to be cared for much. In the last decade, Sy
has sent a balikbayan box or two each year
to the teachers of schools with classroom
supplies, educational DVDs, backpacks,
wallets, purses, T-shirts, hats, and chocolates among other things. Rather than providing money for scholarships that benefit
only one or two students, Sy has shifted to
providing items for the whole school and
benefit thousands of students from year to
year, including televisions, DVD players
and Bose speakers for audio-visual rooms.
Awards
• Outstanding CPA in Public Practice,
PICPA (Philippine Institute of CPAs)
• Outstanding CPA award, PASCPA
(Philippine-American Society of
CPAs)
• Top 66 Graduate Award,
University of the East
• Outstanding Alumni Award,
University of the East
• Exceptional Achievement Award,
University of the East
• Certificate of Commendation, Mayor
34
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
•
•
•
Tom Bradley, City of Los Angeles
Certificate of Commendation,
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Businessman of the Year, National
Republican Business Advisory
Council
Top 10 Ernst & Young Midwest
Conference
I’m also proud to have been trained by
the gold standards in the accounting industry:
• SGV SyCip, Gorres, & Velayo/
Andersen Consulting, Manila.
• Ernst & Young, Indiana.
I gave back to our community by volunteering as Commissioner:
• Commissioner, Legal Advisory
Council, State of California
• Commissioner, Code Enforcement
Commission, City of Pasadena
• Commissioner, Cultural Heritage
Commission, City of Los Angeles
• Member, Committee on Productivity,
City of Los Angeles
• Commissioner, City of Arcadia
Beautiful Commission
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS
I’ve had many thrills but the three most
wonderful events that gave instant rush
and excitements were:
• Birth of the children – inside the operating room
• Passing the US CPA exams unexpectedly on a trial run (as part of my review strategy, I decided to try the
•
CPA exams first - before taking a
Becker review course to give me an
insight of the exam. But I passed!
And cried).
The three young boys winning chess
tournaments in their first tries ( Jonathan at kindergarten defeated the
top seed, a high school senior, and
won the championship at the Santa
Barbara Chess Open. Michael was
2nd, Byron 3rd). They repeated this
success at the Bakersfield Rook
Chess Tournament when Byron
and Michael tied for 1st and Jonathan 2nd. They were all rated in the
top 50 by the US Chess Federation
after only a year of playing chess.
In Closing
As Sy transitions into the life of a workaholic retiree from that of a workaholic
accountant, he’s not completely leaving the
career in which he spent half of a century:
He says he’s considering doing some consulting in the field.
“Next to my children, IRS audits are the
love of my life,” he says. “I go to the IRS
and I feel so at home.”
PHOTO:
(Left) My 3 stooges - Byron, Michael,
and Jonathan 1988
(Right) Son Jonathan, wife Marissa,
daughter Abigail, with Vic
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
35
SPECI A L ADV E RTIS ING FE ATU R E
GRAND RIVIERA SUITES
Live a grand life by the bay
Most urban dwellers think that their
dream of starting and ending their day
with the sight of the sun and sea can
only come true outside the city. But
with Moldex Realty’s recent premier
development , the Grand Riviera Suites,
the dream of a bayside view is within
the comforts of one’s home every
single day.
BAYSIDE CONDO HOMES
Grand Riviera Suites offers a
different kind of condominium lifestyle.
This high-rise structure by the bay
combines the scenic view of one of
the world’s most beautiful natural
harbours with modern contemporary
architectural designs. The elegant and
stylish ambiance is easily seen and felt
in the breathtaking façade, high-ceiling
lobby, and spacious units that make up
this 55-storey residential skyscraper.
Its most captivating feature is the
unobstructed view of the gorgeous
Manila Bay sunset, offering residents
with a daily glimpse into the wondrous
beauty of nature that is simply a sight
to behold.
SOPHISTICATED UNITS
All units from studio, one-bedroom,
two-bedroom, and three-bedroom
premium units are modern and stylish,
but also cozy and comfortable. Most
importantly, unit owners are safe
and secured. The building’s six-level
parking podium have been carefully
laid out to ensure maximum safety for
one’s vehicle in case of flooding.
PREMIUM AMENITIES
Grand Riviera Suites boasts a topnotch amenity deck, which houses a bay
view leisure pool, a lap pool, a kiddie
pool, and a pool deck. It also features
open lawns, a pocket garden and a
rock garden, giving a feel of nature in
the middle of the city. Other facilities
included in this 8th floor recreational
area are a gazebo, function room with
pantry, a recreation room and children’s
playroom, and a fully equipped fitness
gym with shower and locker room.
36
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
SPE C I A L A DVE RT I SI N G F E ATURE
IDEAL LOCATION
Located along Roxas Boulevard
right across the US Embassy, Grand
Riviera Suites is quick to locate
and easy to get to. Investing in this
residential property not only gives unit
owners a permanent address at the
heart of Metro Manila, but also gives
them a place of residence that is within
minutes of the best that the city of
Manila has to offer. From restaurants
and shopping malls, to historic
landmarks, parks and amusement
centers, everything is conveniently
close to one’s home.
Grand Riviera Suites is ready for
occupancy. For more information on
Grand Riviera Suites and other quality
developments of Moldex Realty,
Incorporated, please contact
717.8880 or 0917.7178880.
You may also visit
www.moldexrealty.ph.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
37
Catching up with
g
tÖngi
Interview by Christina M. Oriel
Photography by Mau Mauricio
Creative Direction by Godofredo Astudillo
Styling & Wardrobe by Kristine Amarillo / Tales for Ester
Makeup by Patrick Santa Ana
Hair styling by Ramon Fuertes
38
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
39
Just last year, Giselle Töngi (succinctly
and popularly known as “G”) was living
and raising her children in Manila.
Occasionally, she would return to the
limelight with appearances on TV and in
movies. But then, an opportunity to host
and produce “Kababayan Today” in Los
Angeles knocked.
In what G describes as a “whirlwind
experience,” the leap of faith meant
uprooting her family back to the United
States and taking over an 8-year-old
program with an established reputation
in the Filipino-American community.
For someone who was known as an “It
Girl” in the 90s (film and TV actress and
MTV Asia VJ are among the items on her
resume), the past year has been fulfilling.
On “Kababayan Today” — the first and
only daily show for Fil-Ams in Southern
California on KSCI LA-18, with
syndication in Hawaii — G isn’t afraid to
push barriers. The half-hour show doesn’t
only highlight the Fil-Am experience and
personalities; it also opens a dialogue for
issues culturally perceived as taboos (i.e.
mental health). On a lighter note, the
show features “Pun Plip Pridays,” the
first-ever televised original sketch comedy
segment written, produced and performed
by an entirely Fil-Am team.
A lot can change in a year, but G is just
getting started. For starters, “Kababayan
Today” is extending its bounds with global
syndication on the TV5 Kapatid network.
Balikbayan Magazine recently caught
up with the TV host and mother of two to
reflect on her first year and discuss what’s
next for the show.
Q: Overall, how has this past year been
for you?
G Töngi: Joining LA18 a year ago has
truly been the highlight of my entire
professional career thus far. I have had to
learn a multitude of skills that I didn’t have
when I first started this position as the
host and producer of “Kababayan Today.”
People see me on air, but the requirements
needed to create a daily talk show is a
challenge that I have been able to take on
in full gear.
Q: For those who just see you on air, can
you talk about the behind-the-scenes
work you do for the show?
G Töngi: Shows that are shot in the studio
require less production time than the TV
specials that I have created outside of the
studio. For the TV specials that we have
produced, I am also the cameraman, editor,
40
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
G in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown
coordinator and scriptwriter. It’s a chance
for me to take on a project creatively from
start to finish. There is a sense of pride in
my work that I really am passionate about,
not because I produced it, but because I
am able to showcase Filipino-American
history in the making. That truly has been
the rewarding and fulfilling aspect of
taking on this job. It certainly isn’t easy,
especially when I am a “one woman band”
at times, but the drive to create content
that shares our experience as Filipinos in
America, who are defining culture and
history, is what fuels my desire to work
hard and churn out quality stories as a
journalist. I am blessed to have the support
of the station, LA18, which believes in my
vision for “Kababayan Today” to broaden
the demographic to multi-generations of
Fil-Ams.
Q: What is a ‘typical’ day like for you?
G Töngi: My typical day always starts out
with waking up my children and driving
them to school. Then, it is off to either a
location shoot in the Los Angeles area,
meetings for potential guests for the show
or to the LA18 offices to shoot interviews
or edit the shows that are waiting to be
aired. There are events I have to attend
in behalf of “Kababayan Today” as well,
which I deem extremely important to
be out in Fil-Am community events to
represent the LA18 station and the work
that I do because the show is a platform
for the entire community to participate in
and be a part of.
Q: What kind of feedback have you
gotten on the show? If any negative, how
do you respond?
G Töngi: I welcome creative criticism. I
usually get comments of how “emotional”
I can get over a guests story or that I
am biased about this or that. I also get
superficial comments like they don’t like
what I am wearing or that my outfit isn’t
flattering. I thank them for their comments
and take it with a grain of salt.
Q: How has your show invited dialogue
on certain topics that have been taboo or
sensitive in our community?
G Töngi: There are still several stigmas
on topics, such as: suicide, mental
health, sex and relationship issues, being
undocumented, acceptance in the LGBTQ
community and parenting strategies for
second-generation Fil-Ams. By pushing
the envelope on the topics we cover on
our #TalkTuesday panels, we destigmatize
these topics by just even talking and
discussing them.
Q: “Kababayan Today” is now
international. Can you talk about the
partnership with TV5?
G Töngi: TV5 and LA18 share content
across all their syndication platforms. We
have been airing TV5’s Aksyon News on
our free, must carry TV platform, which
gives them leverage over other Filipino
subscriber-based networks. In that same
vein, TV5 airs “Kababayan Today” on their
local Philippine channel, as well as on
their subscriber-based network called the
Kapatid Network.
Q: What were some highlights for you
whether on air or at large in the Fil-Am
community? Memorable guests and
interviews?
G Töngi: Honestly, the entire year at
Kababayan Today has probably been the
highlight of my career so far as I have
truly poured my passion of telling Fil-Am
stories that educate, empower and inspire.
My themed shows have been a way to focus
on a topic vastly that really are relevant
and affect the community. In November
of last year, Jennifer Laude was murdered,
so the show made sure to highlight the
stories and experiences of the LGBTQ
community. A transgender man came to
the show and had his lola [grandmother]
read a letter of love and acceptance to the
transgender community. It was touching
and we were all sincerely in tears. These
are the stories that really leave a mark in
my mind because the show is used as a
platform to really teach our community
about issues that are happening globally.
Jose Antonio Vargas was a great interview
as well for our Undocumented series on
the show. Each show [has] its own unique
content that I wholeheartedly create with
my passion for representing the best of the
Fil-Am community.
Q: The show has been around for 8 years
prior to you joining. How have you made
it your own and added your own touch?
G Töngi: We finally have new bumpers
and graphics that reflect more of my
personality and sensibilities. I also have
regular segments from people in our
community such as “Know History, Know
Self,” which is a weekly history lesson for
Fil-Ams. By giving opportunities to other
members in the community to share their
expertise, the show has grown to be able to
accommodate our community by featuring
events, topics and people who continue to
elevate our representation as a people in
America.
Q: Where do you see the show going in
the next year? What can viewers expect
moving forward?
G Töngi: I can’t believe an entire year
has gone by already! I’d like to be able to
really elevate the show to the next level
and create a user generated platform
where Fil-Ams can contribute their own
videos and experiences. By providing the
tools to others to create and share through
media our own stories as Fil-Ams, it gives
us validation in this country that we are
not only good at assimilating, but also
preserving our unique virtues that are
distinctly cultural.
Q: If you weren’t the host of “Kababayan
Today” right now, what would you be
doing?
G Töngi: I got accepted to the master’s
program for the Women and Development
department at the University of the
Philippines, Diliman, under the guidance
of Nathalie Africa Verceles. if I wasn’t
doing this, I’d be pursuing my masters.
(This interview has been condensed and
edited for clarity.)
**Special thanks to
Efenel Azarcon-Barker, Tim Walters, Eliseo Art Silva
(mural artist of “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana”
in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown),Tribal Café and
Search to Involve Pilipino Americans for the shooting
locations and Pilipino Workers Center for the jeepney.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
41
42
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
43
“
44
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
...the drive to create content that
shares our experience as Filipinos
in America, who are defining culture
and history, is what fuels my desire
to work hard and churn out quality
stories as a journalist.
”
G in front of Eliseo Art Silva’s “Gintong
Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” (Filipino
Americans: A Glorious History, A Golden
Legacy) at Unidad Park in Los Angeles’
Historic Filipinotown
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
45
A View
From The Top
Tagaytay Hig hlands is a symbol of innovati on and Philippine
ingenuit y transforming Tagaytay’s best mountain ridges
into a resid ential mountain resor t offering a luxuri ous club
lifest yle and themed c ommunites.
Writer MARY MAY PORTEZ
W
hile the country ushers its way up the economic
ladder, the investment sector has never been as
thriving as the country’s tourism. It’s definitely an
understatement when we say that the Philippines is rich in
natural resources and is blessed with breathtaking sceneries:
from the far-flung vista of Batanes to the dreamlike islands
of Palawan, the country, doubtlessly, is a haven of beauty.
Much like its isolated islands, the experiences are unique to
46
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
their own. The exotic islands provide unimaginable wonders
while the nearby destinations offer an easier escape.
If you’re coming from Manila, the most popular, if not
best, destination is Tagaytay. Known for its cool breeze and
unparalleled green landscape, it is the perfect place for a
weekend getaway. These and the countless recreational
activities encouraged Belle Corporation and Highlands Prime,
Inc. to develop Tagaytay Highlands, a premier destination
overlooking an expanse of approximately 1,200 hectares
that speaks of exclusivity and luxury, an ideal mountain
hideaway melding nature’s natural charm with the comforts
of urban living. It is the only mountain resort of its kind and
scale with lands covering the 3 provinces of Cavite, Laguna,
and Batangas. For over two decades, Tagaytay Highlands has
been a private refuge from the toils of modern life. Here, life
is peaceful. Life is great. Nestled along the highest elevations
of Tagaytay, this premium residential community, divided
into three enclaves: The Highlands, The Midlands, and The
Greenlands, redefines luxury with its line of world-class
amenities.
Four clubs, 27 residential developments and 20 years
later, Tagaytay Highlands has become the most sought after
mountain resort community in the country, offering exclusivity,
full-range of amenities and themed residential communities.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
47
The Highlands
Picture the lush greens swaying like
pendulums from your large picture
windows, the leaves spiraling with
the gentle breeze that caresses the
drapery. The pearlescent light that
peeks in teases a reverie of country
bliss enough for you to forget that
you’re only a 90-minute drive from
Manila. The cool breeze invites you to
bundle up and take a private walk along
the handsome array of pine trees as
you take in the crisp smell of freshly
trimmed lawn with a subtle hint of dank
wood. The Highlands, comparably, is
your own private Tagaytay with its wide
range of world-class facilities that will
surely create wonderful experiences
to share with its members and guests.
Enjoy the sun and the cool breeze
while exuding the active lifestyle at the
Sports Center. Children will enjoy horse
back riding, fishing, biking, the ATV trail,
or even introduce golf to them through
the 9-hole mini golf links; while groups
can enjoy the 14-lane disco bowling
center, indoor and outdoor tennis
courts, trekking trail, bird watching trail
and, camping grounds. For eucharistic
celebrations, there’s also the al fresco
Holy Family Chapel that emanate a
rustic charm with its thatched roof and
wood details.
The Highlands is also home to
the Tagaytay Highlands Golf Club.
Designed by the esteemed American
golf architect Richard Bigler, this golf
course sports 18 challenging holes of
golf complete with a cable car system
that transfers golfers from the 9th and
18th holes to the 1st and 10th tees.
Players can enjoy a good game while
marveling on the breathtaking views
of Taal Lake, Laguna de Bay, Mounts
Makiling and Banahaw, Manila, and
Batangas Bay.
After a fun-filled day, you can
reward yourself with The Highlands’
culinary indulgence: from the premium
selection of steak right off the grill
and wines from the finest vineyard at
the Highlander Steakhouse, the most
3
4
5
1
6
2
48
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
7
8
9
10
1 View from Woodridge Place Model Unit
2 Log Cabin Interior of Woodlands Point Model Home
3 Swiss-Engineered Cable Cars
4 Highlands Golf Course
5 The Country Club
6 The Woodlands
7 Woodridge Place
8 Aspenhills Village Hall
9 Woodlands Point Model Home
10 Highlander Steakhouse
popular restaurant in the community,
or marvel over the selection of treats
at The Country Club from the upbeat
Chosun at The Gourmet Avenue serving
authentic Korean cuisine to Akasaka at
The Gourmet Avenue offering delightful
selection of Japanese cuisine, dining
is always a worldly feat. Or for that
ultimate guilty pleasure, book a spa
appointment in The Spa and Lodge that
overstates a line of luxurious beauty
treatments and relaxation therapies.
Made entirely of Western red cedar
logs, this two-level structure houses 25
well-appointed suites including a his
and hers salon and a health bar at the
Great Room Lounge that whips up the
finest and healthiest meal options.
Showcasing charming log cabins
and contemporary ski resort-inspired
buildings, the Highlands presents 9
themed residential developments that
enjoy the lush mountain ranges and a
landscape with profuse pine trees that
are complemented with world-class
amenities. Among which are:
Woodlands Point
A signature log cabin community
that heightens the Tagaytay living
experience with homes inspired by
the rustic charm of North American
log cabins. Sitting on 12 hectares of
sprawling land, it melds Western red
cedar accents with elegant detailing
of glass and stone. Woodlands Point
presents
three-bedroom
classic
models and four-bedroom luxury units,
all boasting well-appointed interiors
and modern features that include
log protection and mess-free termite
control.
Woodridge Place
Situated in one of Tagaytay’s highest
elevations, it offers breathtakingly
unobstructed views highlighting greens,
valleys, and the lilting waters of Laguna
de Bay. It is surrounded by pocket
parks, picnic groves and landscaped
gardens, and provides a fresh new
take on living amidst Tagaytay’s misty
mornings, greenscapes, and beautiful
views. The Mahogany and Linden
Towers are 2.26 hectares in total with
an elevation of 1,715 feet above sea
level. With 11 residential floors, the
buildings are situated on an East-West
axis, allowing for a smooth passage of
mountain breeze, and unobstructive
natural daylight to flow through the
spaces throughout the day.
Aspenhills
Envisioned as a themed residential
village with a modern ranch style
and mountain lodge architecture and
design, it is inspired by the colorful
happy summers of Aspen, Colorado.
This residential village with a total
land area of 27 hectares located at
The Highlands complex, overlooks the
verdant mountains of Batangas and
Laguna, Canlubang Valley, and Laguna
de Bay. It combines the rustic charm
of wood with contemporary touches of
glass and stone and is landscaped with
hundreds of Araucaria pine trees.
For more information, please visit
www.tagaytayhighlands.com or call
+63 2 5052422 and +63 917 5150158.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
49
The Midlands
Dawned by the perfect setting, The
Midlands gives you an assortment
of design options with its gated and
themed residential developments. This
private paradise continues to cater
to diverse taste and preferences by
developing residential communities
that boast a prime location near the
stunning golf course encouraging a
lifestyle worthy of the most active sport
enthusiast.
The Midlands houses the Tagaytay
Midlands Golf Club that sits on a lush
forest 1,000 feet above Taal Lake. A
48-seater funicular transport system
takes guests past this 400 hectare
expanse while offering a panoramic view
of Taal and the Midlands Complex. The
California Mission-style Madre De Dios
Chapel is also found in this enclave.
Adjacent to the Veranda of the Midlands
Golf Club, this chapel is perched on a
lush foliage of greens backdropped
by the glorious sunset overlooking the
Taal Lake and Volcano.
Katsura
A Japanese themed residential
community inspired by the great
Katsura Palace of Kyoto, this princely
summer retreat awes the senses and
uplifts the spirit by offering a place
of rustic, elegant simplicity, carefully
cultivated and stretched across 14
hectares of gently rolling terrain.
Set within the community to give a
more authentic oriental ambiance are
“KOENs” or pocket gardens, symbolic
of tradition and inner peace.
Yume
Katsura’s best kept secret, Yume
(dream) is the aristocratic center
nestled over 3 hectares of gently rolling
terrain situated near the Tagaytay
Midlands
Fairways.
Architectural
design can include stones that form a
link between the abode’s inhabitants’
spirits, while the bamboo can symbolize
virtue, fidelity and constancy that
will likely be reflected in the owner’s
home. Yume and the highest elevation
of Katsura share a majestic view of the
Taal Lake and Volcano which brings
ultimate sense of tranquility.
50
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
1
02
2
3
4
5
6
7
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Architect’s Perspective of Sycamore Heights
Midlands Landscape
Madre de Dios Chapel
Pueblo Real Swimming Pool
Park at Katsura
48-Seater Swiss Funicular System
Pavilion at Yume
Sycamore Heights
Exhibiting a contemporary Asian
theme, this community is perched
right at the heart of the premium
location in Tagaytay Midlands offering
a stunning view of the Taal Lake and
Volcano, the Midlands Fairways, and
the mountainside. It offers a wide range
of recreational amenities like a bird
watching park, jogging path, children’s
playground, tree court, pavilion and its
own swimming pool.
Pueblo Real
Master planned for wellness and
adventure, this Mediterranean-inspired
community faces the majestic views
of Tagaytay ridge to the west and Mt.
Makiling to the east. Enjoy the Midlands
sunset and the ever changing hues
of the mountains right above your
home or take an outdoor escape with
amenities such as the swimming pool,
nature trails, pocket parks and bicycle
lanes.
For more information, please visit
www.tagaytayhighlands.com or call
+63 2 5052422 and +63 917 5150158.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
51
The Greenlands
Imagine a cozy afternoon while you’re
lounging in your private porch enjoying
a cup of hot cocoa. The sight before you
is beyond what words can describe. You
marvel over the picturesque wonder as
you breathe in the fresh air, enjoying
life.
Tagaytay Highlands offers the best
backdrop when it comes to the view. A
self-contained community with premier
themed residential developments
varying
from
contemporary
to
sustainable design ideas, it presents
a tasteful fusion of nature and
aesthetics. The Greenlands offers a
tightly knit community that encourages
camaraderie and a well-balanced life.
1
2
Fairfield
A community of contemporary
bileveled American homes capped by
wide, shallow-pitched roofs with broad
overhanging roof space, Fairfield is a
Contemporary American Suburbaninspired community perched on eight
hectares of wide open spaces and
towering trees.
Nob Hill
The only community in Tagaytay
Greenlands that features contemporary
architecture homes. This modern
residential haven introduces another
form of art appreciation wherein
the natural backdrop is brought
inside the home and forms part of its
interior blueprint. The community has
exclusive amenities such as a gazebo,
palm court, 2-meter jogging path and
children’s sand play area. Prime lots
have designated driveway access and
landscaped linear park.
The Parks at Saratoga Hills
A sweeping community amid rich pine
trees, fragrant flowers, and herbs that
that exude fresh and earthly scents. The
Parks is a planned unit development
of South American country homes
grouped into small clusters of four
to ten units with its own landscaped
courtyards and gardens.
The Verandas at Saratoga Hills
A vision of South American
architecture, each home enjoys opensided living spaces such as terraces,
verandas, and porches that highlight
the pleasures of the fresh Tagaytay
breeze while enjoying the majestic
landscaped scenery.
52
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
3
Come home and reconnect
with your dream community at
Tagaytay Highlands. With its steady
developments, Tagaytay City is not
just your weekend destination but a
burgeoning refuge for that perfect
living.
1 Greenlands Overlooking Mt. Makiling
2 The Verandas at Saratoga Hills
3 Central Park at Fairfield
Tagaytay Highlands is a leisure development
of the SM Group of Companies. Nestled
along the highest elevations of Tagaytay lies
a premier leisure destination that speaks of
exclusivity and luxury. Where stunning views
and a breezy, cool climate come together to
redefine relaxation. Where golf and country
clubs, a selection of restaurants, worldclass amenities, and a variety of premium
residential communities reshape your idea of
a weekend getaway.
For more information, please visit
www.tagaytayhighlands.com or call
+63 2 5052422 and +63 917 5150158.
Tagaytay Highlands continues to be the exclusive luxury
destination of choice in the country’s summer capital, enticing
new generations of club members and homeowners to make
their wise investment.
The Parks at Saratoga Hills
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
53
54
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
The State of Medical Tourism in the Philippines
A look at the Philippines’ quest to be the top country for medical tourists
WRITER
Raphael John C. Oriel
The majority of travelers try to stay
out of the hospital for their vacations,
yet a growing industry of medical tourists are actively seeking medical services
whether it be cosmetic, invasive, or alternative wellness treatments. With the
rising cost of healthcare in developed
nations, patients on dire waiting lists,
and an ageing global population, all
have given rise to the booming medical
tourism industry in Asia.
The National Economic and Development Authority projects medical tourism in the Philippines to hit
record highs in revenue to $3 billion
by the end of 2015 with estimated
medical tourist arrivals to approach
200,000—double that of 2008’s figures
of 100,000. As a result of the sector’s
drastically improved systems and high
quality of health care services and welltrained professionals offered by the
country’s leading hospitals and medical
clinics, the Philippines is no longer just
a consideration, but a competitor in the
global market especially with its ability to out-price the competition while
maintaining high quality standards.
The Joint Commission International
( JCI), the most prestigious healthcare
accrediting organization in the United
States has accredited St. Luke’s Hospital, the Medical City, and Chong Hua
Hospital. Other hospitals such as the
Philippine Heart Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, and Asian Eye Hospital
have also received accreditation from
Canada International.
Cosmetic surgery, wellness treatments, and dentistry are just some of
the specialty care that the Philippines
currently offers. The only problem
holding the medical tourism industry
back from really taking flight is the
national infrastructure deficit since
many airlines still cannot fly directly
to the Philippines because of safety
concerns and high costs of refueling at
the country’s national airports. Despite
Philippine Airlines receiving category
one status in the U.S. and Europe, the
quality of the airports is still lagging
years behind its regional counterparts.
Although Ninoy International Airport
has made improvements, the Philippines opted out of joining the ASEAN
Open Skies program. Despite alternative airports such as Clark International
Airport and Mactan Cebu International
Airport making remarkable improvements, it will take quite some time for
these upgrades to be fully completed
and integrated.
With the government’s investments
in health and renewed focus on their
commitments to PhilHealth, this in
turn has ignited corporations to diversify into the healthcare industry. For
example, Ayala Land, the country’s biggest real estate developer, has strengthened its portfolio in 2013, acquiring
Whiteknight Holdings, which owns
33% of Mercado General Hospital. A
joint venture is now in place named
QualiMed, which plans on adding 1000
hospital beds, 10 new hospitals, and 10
satellite clinics over a 10-year period.
Yet, regardless of the growing economy and increasing urbanization, the
Philippines continues to lose thousands
of highly skilled health workers due to
the rising supply of available jobs and
earnings potential in the U.S., Europe,
Canada, and Australia. In the United
Kingdom, Filipinos make up the thirdhighest number of National Health
Service staff at 12,744 as of 2014.
However, with the Philippines appeal
of beautiful islands, quality of life (for
those who can afford it), the country
could indeed attract foreign talent,
not just balikbayan doctors and nurses,
but also American and European doctors looking to start private practices.
Because the Philippines continues to
rank high in English, many medical
students from neighboring countries
are now completing their residency in
the Philippines as they can also learn
English and also improve their skills.
In order for the Philippines to
become a top 3 Asian destination for
global medical tourists, the country
has to attract at least 1 million medical tourists. Despite rising health care
spending, decades of underinvestment
have resulted in large deficiencies in
both facilities and services. Last year,
in 2014, the government spent the
WHO recommendation of 5% of GDP
in order to reach their goals for 2016.
Modernizing and upgrading hospitals,
cancer centers, orthopedics, dialysis,
and primary health care clinics has been
a major priority of the government.
Yet providing an adequate number of
hospital beds continues to be a challenge for the Philippines, as such, more
Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) are
required.
With competitors such as Thailand,
Singapore, and Malaysia, the Philippines has to carve its niche, but the
country does have very impressive
accolades to leverage and boast of. At
the country’s core is the high level of
professionalism, expertise, and strong
command of the English language.
Filipinos can surely bank on their wellknown reputation as healthcare providers as large numbers of professionals in
the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East
work in many leading hospitals.
To compliment this, the Philippine
Medical Tourism Program (PMTP)
was put together by the Department of
Tourism (DOT) and the Department
of Health (DOH), which aims to concentrate on four key areas: full hospital
care and treatment; specialty clinics;
wellness and spa centers; and retirement and long-term care for the elderly.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
55
56
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
HEALTH IS WEALTH
Writer MARY MAY PORTEZ Illustrator ALLANA SANTOS
“In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer. In the
United States, one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer during their lifetime. A quarter of all American deaths,
and about 15 percent of all deaths worldwide, will be attributed to cancer. In some nations, cancer will surpass heart disease to
become the most common cause of death.”
-Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
55.44%
RUSSIA
69.83%
73.02%
CANADA
UNITED KINGDOM
72.4%
POLAND
FRANCE
71.25%
72.91%
MEXICO
74.8%
JAMAICA
72.4%
COSTA RICA
72.59%
SPAIN
GERMANY
73.29%
ITALY
COLOMBIA
CHINA
72.37%
ISRAEL
DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC
79.09%
65.49%
66.98%
69.74%
74.53%
70.23%
SOUTH KOREA
PHILIPPINES
64.52%
DUBAI
70.94%
JAPAN
71.58%
INDIA
73.1%
74.26%
THAILAND
72.65%
BRAZIL
64.82%
SINGAPORE
SOUTH AFRICA
68.4%
ARGENTINA
Medical Tourism Industry score based on Medical Costs and Destination Attractiveness
Note:
The MTI (Medical Tourism Index) is
a source for medical information
and statistics. It follows 8 steps of
methodological, statistical, and index
construction procedures to develop
psychometric sound measurement.
Source: www.medicaltourismindex.com
In Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor
of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, he
mentioned that medicine begins with storytelling: patients tell stories to describe illnesses and
doctors tell stories to understand them, while
science tells its own story to explain the diseases.
The relationship between a doctor and a patient
is often an optimistic assessment. It is a succession of careful examinations without which, a
doctor cannot effectively evaluate the patient’s
condition nor prescribe the imperative course
of action. Medicine, arguably, was developed to
understand life and eventually, prolong it. And
although the question of whether this field of
science is an accessible innovation remains to be
reconciled, health remains to be of vital importance—regardless of cost.
S.W.O.T. Analysis (a discussion paper published
in September 2013 from the Philippine Institute
of Development Studies), medical tourism in the
Philippines started during the time of former
President Marcos. The 1970s brought a cluster
of medical centers consisting of the Philippine
Heart Center, the National Lung Center, the
National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and
the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. These
institutions of excellence were built to prepare
the country, particularly the city of Quezon City,
as a hub for medical tourism in Asia.
Currently, there are more than two hundred hospitals in Metro Manila, alone, securing
the Philippines’s 6th spot in the Top 14 Medical Tourist Destinations By Volume and Care*
ranking published in forbes.com.
MEDICAL TOURISM
Medical Tourism is fast becoming a strong
mover in the economy. According to Oscar E.
Picazo’s Medical Tourism in the Philippines:
Market Profile, Benchmarking Exercise, and
*The Top 14 Medical Tourist Destinations By Volume and
Care index is part of the online article entitled “Medical
Tourism Gets a Facelift...and Perhaps a Pacemaker” written
by Reenita Das. It was published in forbes.com on the 20th
of August 2014.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
57
58
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
MATERNITY PACKAGES
NORMAL
CAESARIAN
$822
$1111
$1,266 - $2,266
$1,822 - $3,222
Manila Doctors Hospital
UN Ave., City of Manila
Tel: 528-8102
Makati Medical Center
2 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Vill., Makati City
Tel: 815-9911 / 892-5544
Maria Lourdes Maternity Hospital
1076 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
Tel: 895-3846 to 47
$400 - $466
Olivarez General Hospital
Dr. A. Santos Ave. Sucat, Parañaque City
Tel: 826-7966, 826-5035
$555
$1,333 *ward
The Medical City
Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City
Tel: 635-6789, 631-8626
$1,111
St. Luke’s Medical Center
279 E. Rodriguez Sr. Blvd., Quezon City
Tel: 723-0101
$1,244
$2,088 *ward
$1244 - $1,288
$2,088 -$2,177 *ward
$577 *private room
$1,444 *private room
$888 *private room
$666 *ward
$1,333 *private room
$577 *small private room with
local anesthesia
$793 *small private room with
epidural anesthesia
$855 *small private room
St. Lukes Medical Center (Global City)
Rizal Drive corner 32nd Street, Bonifacio
Global City, Taguig City
Tel: 789-770 or 924-4051 to 61
Alabang Medical Center
Alabang-Zapote Road across Madrigal Business
Park, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa
Tel: 807-8189
UERM Memorial Medical Center
Aurora Blvd., Sta. Mesa, Quezon City
Tel: 716-1853
Tel: 826-7966, 826-5035
Cardinal Santos Medical Center
Wilson St. Greenhills West, San Juan
Tel: 727-0001 to 17
Tel: 723-0101
Dr. Jesus Delgado Memorial Hospital
7 Kamuning Rd., Quezon City
Tel: 924-4051 to 61
$333 - $444 *ward
$555 - $666 *semi-private room
$555 -$888 *private room
World City Medical Center
$777 - $888 *ward
$1,000 - $1,111*semi-private room
$1,111 - $1,333 *private room
Normal Delivery with general
anesthesia:
$928 *ward
$1,166 *private room
960 Aurora Blvd., Quezon City
Tel: 913-8380
Normal Delivery with epidural
anesthesia:
$333 - $1,086 *ward
$1,300 *private room
TOP 14 MEDICAL TOURIST DESTINATONS
BY VOLUME OF CARE
01 THAILAND
02 HUNGARY
03 INDIA
04 SINGAPORE
05 MALAYSIA
06 PHILIPPINES
07 UNITED STATES
08 COSTA RICA
09 BRAZIL
10 MEXICO
11 SOUTH KOREA
12 COLOMBIA
13 BELGIUM
14 TURKEY
Note:
Basic packages include room and board, use of the Operating Room and
Recovery Room, and the administration of general anesthesia. Other services
may vary per institution, so readers are advised to contact the hospital of their
choice to inquire on updated rates. Rates are estimates and are subject to
change without prior notice.
Philippine rate reflect a conversion rate, USD1:PHP45.
*Source: http://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/labor-and-childbirth/2013maternity-packages-from-30-metro-manila-hospitals/page/5
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
59
MEDICAL PROCEDURE
MEXICO
USA
POLAND
TURKEY
ISRAEL
S. KOREA
Angioplasty
$10,400
$28,200
$5,300
$4,800
$7,500
$17,700
Hip Replacement
$13,500
$40,364
$5,500
$13,900
$36,000
$21,000
Knee Replacement
$12,900
$35,000
$8,200
$10,400
$25,000
$17,500
IVF Treatment
$5,000
$12,400
$4,900
$5,200
$5,500
$7900
Gastric Bypass
$11,500
$25,000
$9,750
$13,800
$24,000
$10,900
Breast Implants
$3,800
$6,400
$3,900
$4,500
$3,800
$3,800
Rhinoplasty
$3,800
$6,500
$2,500
$3,100
$4,600
$3,980
Face Lift
$4,900
$11,000
$4,000
$6,700
$6,800
$6,000
Liposuction
$3,000
$5,500
$1,800
$3,000
$2,500
$2,900
Tummy Tuck
$4,500
$8,000
$3,550
$4,000
$10,900
$5000
LASIK (Both Eyes)
$1,900
$4,000
$1,850
$1,700
$3,800
$1700
Cataract Surgery (Per Eye)
$2,100
$3,500
$750
$1,600
$3,700
Heart Valve Replacement
$28,200
$170,000
$19,000
$17,200
$28,500
$39,900
$900
$2,500
$925
$1,100
$1,200
$1,350
$27,000
$123,000
$14,000
$13,900
$28,000
$26,000
Dental Implant
Heart Bypass
GLOBAL MEDICAL INDEX AS OF 2015
Prices are estimated and does not reflect actual costs. These do not include
airfare travel or lodging for patient and
companion. Prices will vary based on hospital, doctor’s experience, accreditation,
currency exchange rates, etc..
All data are taken from the The Medical Tourism Association™ report on global
medical tourism.
The Medical Tourism Association™ also
referred to as Medical Travel Association,
is the first membership based international non-profit trade association for the
medical tourism and global healthcare
industry made up of the top international
hospitals, healthcare providers, medical
travel facilitators, insurance companies,
and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting
the highest level of quality of healthcare to
patients in a global environment.
USD1 : Php45
The Philippines is proving to be one of
the top destinations for medical tourism
because of its availability of internationally-trained and experienced medical
staff, successful adoption of best practices
and state-of-the-art medical technology, excellent tourism infrastructure, and
international patient flow.
A typical visit to a medical doctor at a
local clinic would cost about Php500 or
roughly USD20, while a specialist would
charge around Php1,000 or USD19-24.
Cost and quality are two of the main
selling points in local medical tourism. In
the index shown above, it can be seen that
the Philippines offer a competitive alternative in medical procedures and overall
medical costing: compared to a standard
heart bypass procedure done in Singapore
and South Korea, the Philippines bear a
30% discount.
St. Luke’s, one of the premier hospitals
in the country, offers an outpatient checkup package that includes basic blood tests,
and a basic evaluation of the heart, lungs
and abdominal organs.
MALE/FEMALE Php4,830 or USD104
(Inclusive of Professional Fees)
01 Urinalysis
02 Routine Stool
03 Complete Blood Count
04 Hepatitis B Screening (HBSAg)
05 Hepatitis B Screening
-HBsAg
-anti HBc (Total)
06 Chest X-Ray (PAL)
07 Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
*source:
http://www.stluke.com.ph/healthservices/healthandwellnesscenter/13
¹ Surgical package deal includes cost of hospitalization for specific number of days, medications, operating room and professional fees. Does not include cost of
blood and/or screening of blood products and cost of Intra Aortic Balloon, Graft for Peripheral Vascular Bypass, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Peacemaker, Introducer
Sheaths, and Complications of Surgery. Source: Philippine Heart Center website, www.phc.gov.ph *Prices updated on 1 June 2015 and are subject to change
without prior notice ² Coronary Angioplasty/Stenting Pack Semi-Private/Standard package at The Medical City. *Stated rate is an estimation and does not
include room accommodation. Source: www.asktmc.com ³ Average medical costs in local hospitals taken from the Medical Tourism Philippines website, www.
medicaltourism.com.ph ⁴ Implant package does not include Bone Augmentation and Sinus Lifting procedures. Duration treatment is estimated at 6 months.
Source: Dental World Philippines’s website, www.dentalworld.com.ph ⁵ Estimated prices taken from the Philippine Orthopedic Center. Source: www.doh.gov.ph
60
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
VIETNAM
MALAYSIA
THAILAND
SINGAPORE
INDIA
PHILIPPINES
$8,000
$4,200
$13,400
$5,700
$6,646 ²
$9,250
$8,000
$17,000
$13,900
$7,200
$5,000 - $7,600 ³
$8,000
$7,700
$14,000
$16,000
$6,600
$5,200 - $7,700 ³
$6,900
$4,100
$14900
$2,500
$5,300+ ⁸
$9,900
$16,800
$13,700
$7,000
$9,800+
$4,000
$3,800
$3,500
$8,400
$3,000
$3,000 - $3,500 ³
$2,100
$2,200
$3,300
$2,200
$2,400
$2,000 - $2,500 ³
$4,150
$3, 550
$3,950
$440
$3,500
$3,500 - $4,500 ³
$3,000
$2,500
$2,500
$2,900
$2,800
$3,000 - $4,000 ³
$3,000
$3,900
$5,300
$4,650
$3,500
$3,000 - $4,000 ³
$1,720
$3,450
$2,310
$3,800
$1,000
$1,500+ ⁷
$3,000
$1,800
$3,250
$1,500
$1,300 - $3,300 ⁶
$13,500
$17,200
$16,900
$9,500
$18,000 [Single Valve Replacement]
$22,000 [Double Valve Replacement] ¹
$1,500
$1,720
$2,700
$900
$12,100
$15,000
$17,200
$7,900
$500 - $600 ³ $5,610 [2 implants + 3 unit
bridge (fused to non-precious metal)] ⁴
$15,314 - $26,147
[Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting]
$9,261 - $11522
[Peripheral Bypass Surgery] ¹
INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION
Medical Tourism in the Philippines continues to attract patients from all over the world. It has been considered as one of the major benefits in the retirement
market, part from the unique travel destinations in the
country. Despite the competition with other ASEAN
countries that offer similar medical procedures, it keeps
abreast with the latest technology and practices in the
medical industry. One example is the laser-assisted in
situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery that is fast
becoming an in-demand treatment attracting foreign
patients. A normal case LASIK surgery costs about
Php70,000 or around USD1,500 for both eyes. And
even in cosmetic surgery, the Philippines remains to be
highly competitive with the world’s be-known “plas-
tic surgery mecca,” South Korea. Breast implants in
South Korea starts from Php177,000+ or USD3,800,
compared to a starting price of Php140,000-160,000
or USD3,000-3,500. These figures continue to attract foreign patients as well as investors to subsidize
medical breakthroughs and medicinal research to
discover new alternatives to promote a better life.
“Part of our view of what’s going to happen over
the next ten years is, first, the global population is going to increase by about a billion people, from seven
billion to eight billion. Second, 50% of that increase
is going to be people over the age of 50. So you have
not only an expanding population but an aging population.”
-Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis
⁶ Cataract Surgery estimated cost per eye depending on the IOL (intraocular lens) used. Recovery period normally takes three days to two weeks. Source: Asian
Eye Institute 2013 entry on the Retirement & Healthcare Coalition International website, www.rhc.com.ph ⁷ LASIK (Laser In Situ Keratomileusis) laser refractive
surgery is indicated for patients 21 years and older. Asian Eye Institute uses Bausch + Lomb Technolas VICTUS femtosecond laser from Germany to create a
flap. Average price for this surgery starts at $1,500 depending on patient’s condition and preference. Source: www.asianeyeinstitute.com ⁸ At present, there are
2 centers in the country that offer IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment and other forms of assisted reproductive technology, RM Lab and Victory ART (Assisted
Reproductive Techniques). Source: www.asianhospital.com
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
61
62
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
What’s in store for medical tourists?
Popular health procedures in Philippines Writer MARIA NIMFA NADJTA H. VILLAVER Illustrator ALLANA SANTOS
Pristine beaches and sceneries are not just the only
reasons tourists visit one place. People also travel to
seek for specialized and affordable medical treatments and healthcare services. Likewise, developing countries are increasingly offering their skills
and facilities to medical tourists.¹
In the past decade, there has been a notable increase in medical tourism as people continue their
pursuit for specialized care, shorter waiting time,
cost savings or adventure.² Because of this demand,
the list of popular medical tourism destinations is
getting longer.
The Philippines have joined the said list with its
high-quality and cost-effective healthcare services.
In fact, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has
noted the country’s comparative edge in health
and wellness tourism. The various medical breakthroughs and milestones achieved in the past years
have made the country one of Asia’s most advanced
nations in the field of healthcare. Moreover, leading
hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission
International ( JCI) or certified by the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO).³
In the paper published by Philippine Institute for
Development Studies, it showed that the country
is competitive in the medical tourism industry although there are copious challenges that are yet
to be addressed. ⁴ On the survey conducted by
www.whereismydoctor.com in 2011, an international
health care platform and interactive medical directory, the Philippines ranked 7th in the top ten
popular medical tourist destination. The survey also
noted that the country is known for dental care and
plastic surgery. Among the procedures that patients
seek treatment in country are hip and knee replacements, heart bypass and other cardiac procedures,
eye care, stem cell therapy, and cosmetic surgery.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
63
AESTHETIC MEDICINE
“Foreigners are difficult to treat. It
depends on their skin type,” shares agemanagement/anti-aging, aesthetics and
skin health expert, Dr. Gisela TrajanoSarmiento, “But it seems that foreigners
have found their haven.”
Maintaining a natural and healthy appearance is a part of a normal health routine for everyone. It is no wonder that most
medical tourists seek treatments to keep
the skin healthy and younger-looking.
The American Academy of Anti-Aging
Medicine, defines aesthetic medicine as a
developing clinical subspecialty and field
in scientific research aimed at the use of
minimally invasive cosmetic treatments to
enhance patients’ satisfaction with their
physical appearance.
In the Philippines, there are cosmetic and
dermatological clinics that can perform
both non-surgical and surgical aesthetic
procedures. Dermatology services are also
common among medical tourists who
prefer to have their clinical treatments like
facial and peeling in the Metro.
When it comes to surgical or minimally invasive procedures, medical tourists
choose to undergo their cosmetic plastic
surgery procedures in the country such as
liposuction, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, face lift, tummy tuck and blepharoplasty at local hospitals and out-patient
surgeries.
As cited in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
– Philippines website, there are many
qualified and well-trained doctors who
have had formal training in plastic and
reconstructive surgery, have acquired their
postgraduate or fellowship training from
well-known institutions in the U.S.A. and
have been mentored by leading plastic
surgeons.⁵
DENTAL SERVICES
Dental tourism is also growing popularity
in the medical tourism industry. The Philippines is known in the field because of
Filipino dentists abroad as well as dental
schools that attract a sizeable number of
foreign students, especially from the Middle East. Picazo’s study noted that contemporary technologies are well integrated
in local dental practice including dental
implants, dental cosmetics, orthodontics –
braces and dentures – and teeth
64
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
whitening. Most of the dental clinics are
ISO certified, proving that dental services
in the country has a high standard
STEM CELL THERAPY
Stem cell therapy treats diseases by introducing new adult stem cells into the
damaged tissue of a patient. Five hospitals
in the Philippines have respective departments dedicated to stem cell therapy.
Moreover, there are stand-alone clinics
and labs involved in stem cell therapy.
According to the article ‘Unlocking the
Powers of Cell Therapy from Aesthetics
to Cancer Cure’ (2013), “stem cell facilities
of these five Philippine hospitals use stem
cells from the safest known sources, bone
marrow and peripheral blood from the
patient himself or herself, or from human
umbilical cord blood. In cases where the
patient cannot use his/her own stem cells
(the patient is too you or too old), donor
stem cells are harvested usually from siblings, parents, and other close relatives.”
EYE SURGERY &
OPHTHALMOLOGY
Philippine eye clinics cater to multiple
refractive errors and their correction
(nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia), regular and irregular
astigmatism, and presbyopia. Filipino
doctors have gained reputation in LASIK
(Laser-assisted in situ keratomilieusis), a
bloodless surgical procedure that corrects
hyperomia, myopia, and astigmatism.
Top-notch clinics also render highquality clinical procedures such as cataract
removal; corneal transplant; PRK surgery;
conductive keratoplasty; refractive lensectomy; ocuplastic, orbital, lachrymal and
reconstructive surgery; and low-vision
rehabilitation.
FERTILITY TREATMENT
Another healthcare service utilized by
medical tourists visiting the country is
the fertility or reproductive tourism procedures. Private hospitals are offering the
following procedures: invitro fertilization,
intrauterine insemination, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, artificial insemination, endometriosis, TESE (testicular
sperm extraction) and sperm washing.
Having a number of medical procedures
preferred by medical tourists, the Philippines is making its way into the Asian
medical tourism industry. Nevertheless,
the country needs to invest in new technologies to improve the general quality of
healthcare services to compete with other
medical tourist destinations.
DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES
& GENERAL SURGERY
Some of the best hospitals and standalone specialty clinics in the world can
be found in the country. These hospitals
are offering world-class expertise and
state-of-the-art facilities; topped with the
distinct warmth of the famous Filipino
hospitality. Among the common surgeries
medical tourists sought here in the country are pediatric surgery, appendicectomy,
gastrectomy, mastectomy, lumpectomy,
hemorrhoidectomy, goiter removal surgery, thyroidectomy, laproscopic surgery,
proctology, hernia repair, gallbladder removal surgery
NOTE:
01 Milica Zarkovic Bookman and Karla R Bookman, Medical Tourism In Developing Countries
(New York : Palgrave MacMillan, 2007)
02 Stephanie Watson and Kathy Stolley, Medical
Tourism: A Reference Handbook (California,
2012)
03 Department of Tourism, Myths on Medical
Tourism, 9 Sept. 2015 http://www.tourism.gov.
ph/Pages/MythsonMedicalTourism.aspx
04 Oscar F. Picazo, Medical Tourism in the Philippines: Market Profile, Benchmarking Exercise,
and S.W.O.T. Analysis, (2012)
05 American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine,
What is Aesthetic Medicine? 9 Sept. 201 http://
www.a4m.com/fellowship-aesthetic-overviewwhat-is-aesthetic-medicine.html
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
65
Revolutionized Treatment With A Personal Touch
Looking for a smart way to be a better you? Age-management, aesthetics,
dermatologic surgeon and skin health expert, Dr. Gisela Trajano-Sarmiento has
taken beauty to a different perspective through Skeen Face and Body Anti-Aging
Centre. Opened in 2009, Skeen is one of the country’s leading aesthetics clinics
that introduced new methods, pioneer treatments and scientific procedures in the
skin and body care industry in the Philippines.
GETTING KEEN ON SKIN
“I see beauty in each culture. But it’s
not just beauty on the outside that matters; you have to empower beauty from
skin deep. It’s not just all about physical
attributes; you have to be very discerning on the perspective of the functions as
well.”
-Dr. Gisela Trajano-Sarmiento,
Skeen Centre Founder
Every consultation begins with a
formal introduction where Dr. Gisela
provides patients with valuable insights on anatomy and physiology,
making it vivid with a cut section of a
skin model. Later, Dr. Gisela creates a
program specifically curtailed for each
patient’s face and skin care needs. All
procedures and protocols are thoroughly explained and with that, patients
decide which treatment to receive. Dr.
Gisela will see to it that she has walked
the patient thoroughly with the proper
scientific information and not coercion.
EXPERT’S TOUCH
Skeen provides the most up to date,
pioneer and advanced services, which
are performed by well-trained doctors,
aesthetic therapists, and registered
nurses—all of whom were professionally trained by Dr. Gisela herself.
She has trained countless aesthetic
physicians throughout the country. In
addition to being a medical mentor, Dr.
Gisela lectures and speaks at medical
and non-medical symposiums, congresses, conventions both in the Philippines and abroad. Dr. Gisela is also a
key opinion leader for 21 companies
and medical societies which she holds
official responsibilities.
66
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Dr. Trajano-Sarmiento is a fellow of the International College of
Surgeons, a fellow of the Philippine
Academy of Aesthetics and AgeManagement Medicine Inc., fellow
of Philippine Academy of Medical
Specialists, co-founder and fellow of
the International Academy of Medical Specialist, Associate Fellow of
the Philippine Academy of Aesthetic
Surgery. She is also a member of the
American Academy of Aesthetics
Medicine, the World Society Interdisciplinary Anti-Aging Medicine,
the Philippine Medical Association,
the Las Piñas Medical Society, the
Philippine Academy of Non-Surgical
Aesthetics, the First Philippine Stem
Cell Society, and the Philippine Association of Regenerative and Cellular
Science.
SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE
Skeen Clinic was among the pioneer
to introduce these technologies in the
field of aesthetics and anti-aging industry in the Philippines such as:
• Ultra V-lift (UVL), a fine thread lifting technique, 3D Ultra V-Lift (3D
UVL), Twisted, Tornado versions,
HIKO a non-surgical nose lift and
alar reduction utilizing PDO fine
thread, a technology and training
from the innovator/inventor in Korea.
•
•
•
Botulinum Toxin face and neck lift
called Dermalift for face scuplting
and shaping utilizing intradermal
technique to avoid the frozen look,
wherein she trained in Taiwan, and
Korea.
Fractionalized Microneedling with
RF Thermolysis & Iontophoresis (Microcell), which is a higher
level of automated derma roller
for acne treatment, all types of
face and bodily scar resurfacing,
general skin rejuvenation, wherein
she trained in Hongkong & Korea.
Maximus Trilipo Tripollar Radiofrequency, which is world leader in Radiofrequency utilized for
Face and Body tightening, shaping,
sculpting, skin resurfacing, with
trainings under Pollogen International Israel.
•
Grid Fractional RF (Intragen), a
world-class deep face sculpting
without surgery, also from Korea.
•
XLASE Advanced Multi Laser –
hailed as World’s Most Advanced
Laser multi-platform technology,
from Italy. This addresses total
skin rejuvenation and lifting, scar
resurfacing, pore minimizing, all
bodily areas hair removal, addresses deep hyperpigmentations,
birthmarks, tattoo removal, spider
and reticular veins on all areas.
•
E-brid technology Perfectha
Fillers and Nabota High Purity
botulinum toxin utilizing the Microtoxin intradermal technique
and Body Toxin techniques, from
Korea and Italy. Dr. Gisela belongs
to the Faculty training physicians
on these innovative and world
class products.
CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY
With regional and international affiliations and recognitions, Skeen is
constantly updated with the latest
technology like the Italian made, XLASE
Advanced Multi Laser. This technology is
praised as the world’s most advanced
platform in laser technology—and it
is now available in the Philippines. Dr.
Gisela continues to pursue additional
tutelage having received further training
at the National Skin Centre in Singapore
and the American Academy of Aesthetics
Medicine. Just recently, Skeen reinforces
its edge among its contemporaries by
adding revolutionized treatments such
as 3D Micropigmentation Organic Tattoo
on all bodily areas, even camouflage of
scars and vitiligo, Food Intolerance Test
for 250 food panels, and now Facial and
Body Acupuncture.
HOMEY AND INTIMATE AMBIANCE
Skeen exemplifies a homey and intimate ambiance; perfectly suited for clients who want privacy with their face,
skin and body treatments, all the while
providing them with the utmost quality
and attention.
From the two-bed capacity with
three machines in their first clinic in
Las Piñas, that grew to an eight-bed
capacity in just three months, Skeen
strengthens its position through its
Alabang Town Center branch to better
serve the people in the south area and
those coming from nearby cities. At
present, the all Skeen branches cater
to adept of 75 procedures.
The clinic’s client base has grown outside of residents living in neighboring
cities but having serviced balikbayans,
foreigners from all over the world as
well. Soon, Skeen will be expanding
with additional branches not just in
Metro-Manila, but in addition to Greenhills, Bulacan, Cavite and Iloillo cities.
Alabang
2nd Floor Commerce Mall Alabang Town
Center, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Telephone: +632 5535017
Mobile: +63 9178901640
Greenhills
2nd Floor, G-Square Commercial Mall, 212
Wilson St. Greenhills,
San Juan, Philippines
Mobile: +63 9178428763
twitter.com/SkeenClinic
facebook.com/Skeen Face and Body Centre
Instagram.com/SkeenClinic
[email protected]
www.skeenclinic.com
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
67
68
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
69
70
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
71
72
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
PRIVATE
ESCAPE
CLUB PUNTA FUEGO’S SEASIDE LUXURY
MELDS WITH ITS FIERY PASSION TO DEFINE
THE PUNTA FUEGO EXPERIENCE AS ONE THAT
IS FAMILIAR YET TRULY UNIQUE.
Photographer NOEL TY
Writer MARY MAY PORTEZ
Clinging to a terrace of sublime landscape and rich architectural sight on a peninsula recognized as the site of battle
between the Spanish Galleon San Diego and the Dutch battleship Mauritius in 1600, the 88-hectare Club Punta Fuego
has for many years attracted celebrities, socialites, and
respite seekers who go barefoot without inhibitions and embrace the private escape unique to this intimate paradise. An
exclusive getaway, this Miami’s Fisher Island inspired residential development welcomes guests in the Main Club that
serves as the heaven of activities with a set of world class
accommodations. Club Punta Fuego prides itself as the only
club in the country that offers marina facilities that house
over 120 trailer boat parking, 30 floating berths, a fuel station, and boat maintenance facilities; in addition to a Nelson
& Haworth designed nine-hole golf course with a backdrop
of the stunning views of the 12 nearby beach coves.
UNWIND
Originally part of the Roxas family hacienda, this flame
shaped peninsula has been developed to be a private escape
from the modern tumult in the city. The striking Mediterranean architecture complements perfectly with the overall unbend atmosphere that suggests a more laid-back lifestyle.
“Club Punta Fuego is not an amusement park. Here, we are
not selling the attractions. Here, we are selling lifestyle. It is
a place to relax and to really enjoy. It’s the [complete] opposite of what you have in Manila,” as what Mikel Arriet Arruiz,
Club Punta Fuego’s General Manager, would put it.
Fully equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, minibar,
hot and cold showers and in-room safe, the club offers 33
Casitas that features a bathroom that opens into a pocket
garden and a veranda that welcomes guests with a breathtaking view of the landscape and the calming sound of the
sea as the waves crashes over the shoreline. There are also
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
73
01
16 Sunset Rooms are divided into four
categories:
Garden View, (2) Inner Rooms, (2) Loft
Sunset Rooms that are ideal for a small
family with its two floors space and a
small dining area for private meals, and
(11) Sea View Rooms that show off the
staggering view of the West Philippine
Sea.
Lodging at Club Punta Fuego is the
epitome of barefoot luxury and subtle
indulgence. There’s the complimentary
basket of fresh fruits and homemade
baked goodies paired with a bottle
of wine, and personalized greetings
welcoming every guest. Familiar hospitality is also highlighted by the accommodating staff as well as the 24-hour
concierge service to address every
guest’s needs and requests.
INDULGE
Batangas maybe known for food tripping, but Club Punta Fuego takes food
tripping a little more seriously with its
four restaurants providing a variety
of different culinary satisfaction. San
Diego Restaurant & Terrace located
at the Main Club serves a fusion of
world class gourmet cuisine. It opens
up into an al fresco dining suggesting
a magnificent view of the Sunset Cove
and the iconic double infinity pool. The
Member’s Lounge facing the pathway
toward the double infinity pool recommends a more relaxed ambiance.
Wicker couches under white parasols
are a vision of the ultimate resort vibe.
74
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
02
Here, guests can lounge with a glass of
ice-cold cocktail drink while waiting for
the spectacular sunset view. The Punta
Fuego sunset has been dubbed as the
best sunsets in this side of Batangas
and the Member’s Lounge offers the
perfect spot to witness this glorious
splendour while enjoying a cup of afternoon tea or a glass of freshly squeezed
fruit juice. For the Italian fix, Il Jardineto
is an alfresco restaurant located at the
Lower Beach serving pizzas, pastas,
and other Italian cravings; while the
Barracuda provides a more quaint dining experience that resembles an English fish and chips joint. This humble
spot is popular among yacht owners to
enjoy a glass of beer overlooking the
berths and the sea.
04
03
05
06
07
LIVE
Club Punta Fuego hosts an annual diving competition together with the Philippine Diving Team. This diving competition is just one of the many activities
that the club continues to promote to
encourage a more memorable experience inlcuding the annual Regatta
competition that invites local and foreign guests to compete in a good spirit
of tradition and sportsmanship. There
are also several recreational activities
like the Tennis Court, Mountain Bikes,
Squash Court, Beach Volleyball, Mini
Golf, Game Room, Water Sports and
Dive Facilities (speed boat, kayak, banana boat, wakeboard, knee boarding,
boat rentals, jet ski, fishing, snorkeling,
diving, and sunset cruise are also available).
Adventures aside, Club Punta Fuego is
also an idyllic space for private gatherings and business functions. Equipped
with LCD/overhead projectors, white
screens, AV system, and WiFi, the function rooms can house about 200 people:
the biggest function room, San Diego
Terrace, sporting an area of 250 square
meters.
RELAX
End your day with a rejuvenating SPA
appointment at Ylang-Ylang SPA. Offering a complete line of natural and organic products, guests can choose from
a variety of massages, facials, body
exfoliations and wraps, it is the perfect
ender for an unforgettable day at Club
Punta Fuego.
A vision by ROXACO Land Corporation
and Landco Pacific Corporation, Club Punta
Fuego is a membership resort community
located in Nasugbu, Batangas. For general inquiry and reservations, please call:
A breathtaking morning of sunlight Sea
View rooms opening to a private porch.
02 While at Il Jardineto, make sure to try
their famous gambareto, a seafood
pasta of rich shrimp taste and
succulent spices.
Club Punta Fuego, Inc.
03 Marvel at Club Punta Fuego’s
Brgy. Balaytigue, Nasugbu, Batangas
Mediterranean-inspired architecture.
www.clubpuntafuego.com.ph
Enjoy a good game of golf with the stunning landscape and a picturesque view
of the sea.
Cool down in one of the iconic double infinity pools.
A parade of yachts in the Marina suggests a private island hopping experience.
Club Punta Fuego’s ever-inspiring General Manager Mikel Arruiz
is all smiles to welcome all guests.
01
04
05
06
07
Reservation:
+632-553-8888
[email protected]
Membership:
+632-751-4026 to 27
[email protected]
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
75
76
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
SPE C I A L A DVE RT I SI N G F E ATURE
Y2 RESIDENCE HOTEL
Your second home in the metro
Amidst the busy streets of Metro
Manila’s business and entertainment
district dwells a serene place, the Y2
Residence Hotel. Newly opened in
November 2013, Y2 Residence Hotel
offers the weary soul a distinctly
serene and tranquil ambience with
its ancient Oriental philosophy of
balance and harmony. Strategically
located just a few minutes away from
the city’s Central Business District as
well as several world-class shopping
destinations, vibrant nightspots and
and various renowned restaurants
located along Jupiter Street and BelAir Village, Y2 Residence Hotel has the
perfect location for travelers.
SERENE AND TRANQUIL AMBIANCE
Inspired by the concept of Yin and
Yang – two opposing, but equal forces
in a tight embrace to produce balance
and harmony – the artistic play of black
and white will immediately capture
guest’s eyes when they enter the lobby.
The mood is eloquently set by the
décor which makes the hotel a private
sanctuary in Metro Manila.
SPACIOUS ROOMS WITH FULLY
EQUIPPED KITCHEN
Discover the Zen-like serenity and
blissfully warm and inviting feeling
in your room. Whether it’s studio-type
(33-38 sqm) for the individual traveler
or the one or two-bedroom unit (44-150
sqm) for a family or large group, guests
will feel at home with the complete
room features such as living room,
dining, and fully equipped kitchen.
TOP-NOTCH FACILITIES
Y2 Residence Hotel provides every
guest not only a comfortable bed to
sleep in, but also amenities that make
anyone’s stay a pleasant experience.
Guests can enjoy the view of the Makati
skyline while dipping at the rooftop
swimming pool, enjoy a massage at The
Amare Spa or have a workout inside
the state-of-the-art gym located at the
upper penthouse. The hotel also has a
boardroom and Yin and Yang Function
Rooms to cater meetings and events.
Likewise, delicious food awaits guests
at the Pink Panda Southeast Asian
Dinner, which is owned by celebrity
Chef Erwan Heussaff.
Y2 Residence Hotel provides every
guest the following premium services:
• 24-hour front desk & Concierge
• Daily housekeeping
• Daily newspaper setup
• Transportation services
• Mail and parcel services
• In-room massage
• Laundry, pressing and dry
cleaning services
Managing the Y2 Residence Hotel
is Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII). A
pioneer in the business, HII has been
providing travelers and residents the
best options and a wide range of choices
for accommodations since 1998.
+632 224 3000
[email protected]
www.y2hotel.com
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
77
78
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE
RENEW
PLACENTA
The answer to beautiful,
whiter and younger skin
The first thing people see when they
look at a person is the skin. As one gets
older, unwanted wrinkles and dark
spots start to appear. So how can one
maintain a younger, healthier-looking
skin?
Placenta is a natural, temporary organ known for its skin rejuvenating effects. The discoveries from this natural
wonder became a trend that scientists
found a way to include it in soaps. Today, Placenta is popular as an anti-aging product because it lessens wrinkles
and lines, scars, and stretch marks. It
is also effective for skin whitening and
skin regeneration which then result to
a new and lighter skin.
Among the wide array of cosmetic
products in the market, Renew had
pioneered the first Placenta soap in
the Philippines that effectively delivers
what it promises: younger and brighter
skin.
RENEW PLACENTA:
“Stay Young, Stay White”
The Renew Placenta Classic Soap
has the basic but remarkable effects
of Placenta. It is a specially formulated soap with natural placenta extract
that refreshes and whitens the skin.
With double anti-aging and active skin
whitening properties, it also increases
moisture and suppleness, leaving the
skin young, smooth and brighter.
Renew Placenta is also Halal certified
(for muslims), GMP certified (for FDA),
and a Gold Brand certified in 2014,
a citation of a powerful and greatly
admired Philippine product. Renew
Placenta also received the National
Shopper Choice Annual Award and the
Philippine Marketing Excellence Award.
TRUDERM PAPAYA TROPICAL FRUITS:
“Truderm, True Skin...”
One of the best fruits for skin care
is papaya. It contains rejuvenating enzymes that exfoliate one’s skin to pro-
vide a glowing complexion. Truderm
Papaya Tropical Fruits is specially
formulated with pure papaya extract
combined with the following extracts to
deliver superior results:
• pineapple extract - to lift and wash
away dead skin cells;
• watermelon extract - to reduce
size of skin pores and minimize
excessive secretion of oil;
• mangosteen extract - to eliminate
acne and skin disorders.
Regular use of the soap will promote
whitening of the skin and will keep it
clear and pimple-free.
Renew and Truderm products are
made in the Philippines and manufactured by Goldware Essentials. Both
products are exported globally and
available nationwide in different hypermarkets, shops, and drugstores.
Goldware Essential Products Corporation
608-614 Blumentritt Extension,
Sampaloc, Manila
tel. no. 743-2467, 749-1083, 749-6353
Fax No. 731-7321
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
79
80
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
81
82
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
DAET
AEROSPORTS
THE NEW BREED OF SPORT IN THE BICOL REGION
Writer MARIA NIMFA NADJTA H. VILLAVER
Photos GODWIN GASACAO
After Camarines Sur earned its fame
for watersports, Camarines Norte is now
making its way to the limelight with
another exciting sport, aerosports.
Daet has been a famous surfing and
kiteboarding spot in the country because of
the long stretch of Bagasbas Beach. But in
2012, Daet embraced a new development
in its local tourism when American sports
enthusiast Mike Gambrill introduced not
only kite boarding, but also paragliding
and paramotoring in the town. Gambril,
owner of local kiteboarding school Mike’s
Kites, together with Kite Tour Asia
introduced the local government of Daet
to the Philippine Paragliding and Hanggliding Association (PPHGA). Eventually
both parties agreed to initiate the 1st Daet
International Paragliding and Hanggliding Competition in March of 2013.
Perfect location
Aside from flying in Boracay, Gambrill
discovered another unspoiled location.
“The location here [Daet] is absolutely a
perfect place to learn how to fly because
we have this nice sea breeze; and the wind
always keeps the wings in the air, making
it easier to learn how to fly,” Gambrill
shares with Balikbayan magazine.
“But it was always trying to figure out
what to fly [in Daet] because it’s unique
here. If you have a helicopter and [an]
airplane, that’s really expensive. I needed
something that’s portable, slow, [and] fun
so I went with the paramotors,” he added.
According to Randell “Buko” Raymundo,
President of Air Sports Adventure
Philippines, it is a unique opportunity to
hold such aerosports activities inside a
commercial airport facility. The airport is
currently utilized for chartered planes only
making it more accessible for local and
international pilots.
Exhilarating activities
but a unique experience
Sports enthusiasts can choose either
paragliding, a recreational free-flying
which do not need an engine part from
a harness with a small wing that uses the
wind and thermals to fly and a winch
to pull it up in the air; or paramotoring,
another form of ultra-light aviation where
the pilot wears a motor on his or her back
(a paramotor) that provides enough thrust
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
83
84
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: 45 minutes Manila
- Naga then 2-hour drive
going to Daet
Land: 6-8 hours Manila -Daet
For Paramotor Discovery Flights,
Kiteboarding Lessons and more,
contact: Mike’s Kites
http://www.mikes-kites.com/
Mike Gambrill 09496220761
to take off using an adapted paraglider or
paramotor wing.
The Paramotor Discovery Flight is an
extremely exciting option during windless
days. Through this, one will have a unique
experience to see Bagasbas and the sea as
well as the surrounding islands from the
air.
“When you get up in the air, you realize
how much more beautiful the place is,
especially when you can see all the islands
and everything else,” Gambrill said.
Discovery flights are also available on
tandem rides together with paragliding
instructor Karl Kreiple from Austria.
Discovery flights are available daily
depending on weather conditions.
Typically, the flight is either during the
morning or afternoon when the conditions
are smooth and the views are at their best
with the sunrise and sunset.
“Aerosports is the new breed of sports
that the people can try. I mean, it’s about
time na di sya iisipin (that it wouldn’t be
regarded) as an extreme sport. We just need
to understand that given the right weather,
maganda yung panahon, maganda ung
hangin (good weather and wind), you can
enjoy flying like a bird,” Raymundo said.
Following the success of its previous
exhibitions, Daet now showcases an annual
International Aerosports Show in time
with the Pinyasan Festival, the foundation
anniversary of the town. Gambrill, together
with the local government of Daet aims
to encourage more Filipinos to try the
sport by promoting the sport within Bicol
Region and the entire country. After all,
aerosports is fun and safe as long as one
follows the rules.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
85
B A L I K B A Y A N S I T S D O W N W I T H G R A C E O —T H E E N T R E P R E N E U R ,
C O O K B O O K A U T H O R , A N D C R E AT O R O F F O O D T R I E N T S , O N E O F
T H E F A S T E S T G R O W I N G H E A LT H M O V E M E N T S I N T H E W O R L D .
86
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
GRACE O’S FORMULA
FOR AGING WELL
FoodTrients® is a revolutionary, age-defying concept created by Grace O. It’s not
only a cookbook and website, it’s also a
resource, and even a philosophy, built
around the power of foods to heal and to
help us age beautifully.
Her new cookbook -- The Age GRACEfully Cookbook: The Power of FOODTRIENTS to Promote Health and Well-being
for a Joyful and Sustainable Life -- is the
product of a lifetime of research and
work that began at an early age in the
Philippines. Her father was a physician
who taught her the value of a healthy
diet. Her mother, the founder and owner
of a culinary school, taught her the value
of great tasting food. Grace was 19 when
her mother died of cancer and she had
to take over as the culinary school’s directress.
Grace O’s success as a chef and culinary
teacher led her to open three restaurants
in Metro Manila where she also launched
a number of food trends.
When she moved to the U.S. in 1992,
Grace entered the business of healthcare.
She was so quick to learn the business
that within two years she was managing
a skilled nursing facility in Los Angeles.
She is now the owner and CEO of three
skilled nursing facilities in California specializing in geriatric care. Throughout her
years in healthcare, Grace has also been
focused on the importance of good nutrition for patients.
After spending 23 years in healthcare,
Grace found herself at the center of a
new food movement – food as medicine.
Her curiosity and extraordinary culinary
skills were the impetus behind the development of FoodTrients®. We sat down
with Grace recently to learn more about
her cookbook and FoodTrients.com.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
87
01
Q: What is a FoodTrients®?
GRACE O: I needed to come up with a term
to encompass the anti-aging properties of
various foods. So I call them FoodTrients. Think of them as nutrients that lead to our
overall wellness and help us age gracefully.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for
a FoodTrients cookbook?
GRACE O: The inspiration for my empowering FoodTrients® program—the website,
the cookbook, my board of advisors—really
came from my father. He was a physician and
he had a way of looking at food as though
it could heal us. He understood the value
of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh
foods and how those elements could supplement our health. Food like organic fruits and
vegetables, wild fish, and humanely raised
animals have so many good things in them:
antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins,
minerals, anti-inflammatory agents, fiber and
anti-bacterial compounds.
After I turned 50, I had my own health issues. I have struggled with my weight –
working hard to lose it only to gain it back
again. I have had problems with my knees,
which have made it hard to exercise. I knew
I had to do something and, believe it or not,
all of the work I have done on FoodTrients®
have helped me stay healthy – my cholesterol is normal, all of my bloodwork is normal.
I don’t take any medication, but I do make
sure I have plenty of FoodTrients® every day.
Q: How do you come up with your recipes?
GRACE O: I start creating a recipe only after I find a fruit or grain or spice that has
something beneficial to offer my body. For
instance, I know that the spice turmeric has
powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can therefore reduce swelling in the arteries. Arterial inflammation leads to things
like blood clots and strokes. Turmeric is a
bold yellow spice that also keeps nasal passages from swelling too much during an allergy attack. So I know I want to get turmeric
in my diet. But how? Unless I eat Indian food
every night, I don’t normally come across this
spice. Here’s where I get to work. I taste, I experiment, I make meal after meal until I hit
upon a delicious recipe or two that incorporates this beneficial food. One of the recipes I
created is Turkey in Turmeric Sauce recipe. It’s
in the cookbook.
01 Lemongrass Tea
02 Anti-aging spices
03 Almond-Blueberry Gelatin Parfait
88
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
02
03
01
02
01 Artichoke
02 Chia seeds
Q: Tell us about your
background.
GRACE O: I have been cooking
and baking professionally and recreationally all of my life. As a child
growing up in the Philippines, I
learned the art of cooking from my
mother.
After moving to America and
spending over 20 years in healthcare, I have seen the connection
between healthy food and the
diseases of aging. I wanted to create flavorful foods, using the finest
ingredients, that ultimately lead to
good health. My recipes are low in
saturated fat, salt, and sugar, but are
high in flavor. I inject spices from all
over the world to enliven my dishes,
with the goal of serving food that is
different and delicious.
Q: Does the quality of
ingredients matter in your dishes
(organic, no chemicals, no preservatives)?
Grace O: Yes! I try to use organic
produce as much as possible. I particularly pay attention to the Environmental Working Group’s list
of Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen Produce Guides available on EWG.org.
Certain fruits and vegetables, like
strawberries, tomatoes and apples,
have higher concentrations of pesticides so if you can buy them organically grown, it’s better for you.
Q: How can FoodTrients® help us?
Grace O: The right foods, herbs
and spices can help us detox, lose
weight, improve our skin and live
longer, more vital lives.
Q: How do FoodTrients® help us
look younger?
Grace O: I believe that food can be
just as effective at fighting aging as
the most expensive skin creams.
Certain FoodTrients like omega-3
fatty acids and the vitamins C & E
are very good for building collagen, hydrating skin, keeping skin
elastic, and helping to build strong
nails and hair. Some of my favorite
beauty-enhancing recipes from my
FoodTrients cookbook are my Turmeric Orange Juice, Sweet Potato
and Jackfruit Delight, Papaya Salsa,
and Home-Smoked Fish.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
89
03
04
03 Spices add flavor and an anti-aging kick
04 Ginger tea
Q: What foods can help us detox our
bodies?
Grace O: We can overwhelm our liver
and its ability to pull toxins out of our
body; yeast and parasites can inhabit our
bowels; and secondhand smoke and air
pollution can affect our lungs. I try to
detox every few months, but there are
things you can eat and drink that will
help every day:
• Pure water
• Green tea
• Turmeric
• Citrus fruits
• Garlic
• Okra
• Chia seeds and flaxseeds
• Fresh watercress, cilantro, and
parsley
• Artichokes
Q: How do FoodTrients® work like
medicine?
Grace O: Just to give you a few examples:
Garlic contains the FoodTrient allicin,
which is an anti-inflammatory that reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. So if you have
trouble with rashes, allergies, swelling, or
atherosclerosis add garlic to your meals
whenever possible.
Ginger plant’s root has its own very special FoodTrient called gingerol. Gingerol
has the power to alleviate nausea (a side
effect of many medications) and reduce
90
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
the risk of cancer. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
Parsley and other bright green grassy
herbs—such as watercress and wheatgrass—contain lots of chlorophyll, a
FoodTrient that protects against certain
cancers.
Green and black teas are full of the
catechins, which are super-antioxidants
that help reduce the risk of heart disease
and heart attack. Those at high risk for
heart attack should consider drinking
a cup of tea at least every day. The catechins in tea also help prevent cavities,
promote weight loss, and protect against
certain cancers.
Turmeric (found in many curry powder
mixes) is rife with curcumin— curcumin
is a strong antioxidant, antibacterial,
and anti-inflammatory that works in the
body to reduce swelling of the skin, arteries, brain (as in Alzheimer’s disease),
bowel (especially in irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease), joints (as in
arthritis), and nasal passages (as in allergies). It therefore helps reduce the risk of
heart disease and certain cancers.
Q: What sets this book apart from
other cookbooks?
GRACE O: This is really an anti-aging
cookbook. It’s not a diet book or a meal
program. It’s full of recipes that utilize
powerful and even exotic ingredients
like turmeric, bitter melon, açai, soursop,
and jackfruit, all of which help keep you
looking young.
Q: Are the recipes hard to make?
GRACE O: Almost every single one of my
recipes has 7 steps or fewer. They don’t
take a lot of time to prepare—minutes,
not hours. They aren’t overly complicated and often can be made in just one pot
or pan. I want people to see how easy
it can be to get really good, anti-aging
foods into their diets.
Q: Where do you get the exotic ingredients you use in your recipes?
GRACE O: Well, I’m very fortunate to live
in southern California where so much
produce grows. I found a man in Sherman Oaks, California who grows moringa
plants, but there’s a website – Moringa
for Life.com – that sells a variety of moringa products.
And even though I can stop into Asian
or Latino markets on any corner in Los
Angeles and find fresh turmeric or bitter melon or soursop, I know that most
people across the country aren’t so
lucky. For them, I recommend visiting
Melissas.com.
Don’t miss Grace O’s blog, Age Gracefully,
on FoodTrients.com! The FoodTrients
cookbook is available on Amazon.com
and BarnesandNoble.com
THE AGE GRACEFULLY
COOKBOOK
The Power of FoodTrients® to Promote Health and
Well-being for a Joyful and Sustainable Life
F
oodTrients® is a unique approach
to fresh, nutritional, and age-defying foods, which was originated
by Grace O. FoodTrients® is her name for
the natural anti-aging properties of food.
Delicious foods and rejuvenating nutrients combine to create The Age GRACEfully Cookbook, a collection of enticing
and nourishing recipes that promote
health and well-being for a joyful and
sustainable life. The recipes are built on
the foundations of modern scientific research and ancient knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural ingredients from
cultures all over the world.
There are many books about super-
foods and supplements, but few provide at-a-glance guides in each recipe
detailing key ingredients and how they
increase health and longevity. Grace O’s
cookbook focuses on five categories of
FoodTrients® that are essential to healthful living:
• Antioxidant: prevents and repairs
oxidative damage to cells caused
by free radicals
• Anti-Inflammatory: reduces inflammatory process in cells, tissues
and blood vessels, helping to slow
aging and reduce risk of long-term
disease
• Immunity Boosters: support the
•
•
body’s resistance to infection and
strengthen immune vigilance and
response
Mind and Beauty: enhancers that
encourage vibrant skin and hair
and improve mood and mental
agility
Disease-Preventing: reduces risk
factors for common degenerative
and age-related diseases
The beautifully illustrated recipes incorporate all the ingredients you need
to look and feel younger, not only on the
inside, but also on the outside.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
91
01
CELEBRITY CHEF
HELPS LAUNCH
COOKBOOK IN
STYLE
02
01 Grace O, Barbara Weller, Eric Greenspan, Robb Weller
02 FoodTrients® Main Courses
[Photos by Matthew Fried]
92
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
Grace O’s new cookbook was launched in style with a Los Angeles press event at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills on September 17.
Food Network star Chef Eric Greenspan, winner of Iron Chef and
Celebrity Cutthroat Kitchen, was on hand to participate in the allFoodTrients® tasting menu, which included samplings of Grace O’s
delicious appetizers, salads, main dishes, desserts, and drinks.
Chef Eric prepared the appetizers and joined the FoodTrients®
panel, which was moderated by TV producer and host Robb Weller.
The panel discussed Grace O’s new cookbook, The Age GRACEfully
Cookbook, her newly designed website, and how her recipes can
help us all age beautifully. The event was attended by dozens of
writers and reporters from the media including the Los Angeles
Times, The Asian Journal, and the Huffington Post, and by some top
food bloggers.
According to Chef Eric, “I was impressed with all of the flavor that
Grace O brings to her dishes, and was introduced to moringa for the
first time.”
Some of
Grace O’s
FoodTrients
F A V O R I T E S
ASHWAGANDHA
Ashwagandha, a traditional Ayurvedic
herb that is used for conditions ranging
from arthritis and anxiety to liver disease
and sleep issues, is trending strongly in
the natural products market. Known for
its powers of helping the body adapt to
stress in the environment, ashwagandha
supports the immune system and may
help reduce inflammation. Because of
the ability to help the body achieve selfregulatory balance within various systems, this herb is often used to prevent
the effects of aging and to treat systemic
or hormonal conditions such as fibromyalgia or fertility disorders. With clinical trials as evidence for the efficacy of
ashwagandha, this is certainly an herb to
know more about in the future.
REISHI MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms are a major FoodTrient®
food! Both edible and medicinal mushrooms contain properties including anti-
inflammatory, antioxidant, immune
boosting, and disease prevention effects. Two mushrooms backed by research that contain potent health
benefits include Reishi and Turkey Tail.
Reishi mushrooms aren’t something
you will find in your local grocery store.
Though all mushrooms have health
promoting properties including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and
immune-boosting compounds like betaglucans, some mushrooms are more edible than others. Because of their bitterness, Reishi is often taken in capsule or
extract form, but now they are showing
up in drinks and other natural food products. I like Rebbl’s Chocolate Reishi drink.
These medicinal mushrooms have a long
history of use in Chinese and folk medicine but are now gaining popularity in
the U.S. due to the body of research that
continues to develop about the health
benefits associated with Reishi.
(On this page)
Rambutan is a delicious and healthy fruit option
(On the next page)
Longan boasts plenty of health benefits
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
93
mangosteen drinks and add the ground
pericarp to mangosteen juice. If the
juice is more pink than white, you know
the pericarp was added. Mangosteen
supplements are widely available. These
mostly contain the pink pericarp, dried
and ground.
RAMBUTAN
Another exotic fruit that I love to eat is
rambutan (also available at www.melissas.com). These Malaysian fruits, which
mean “hair” (rambut), look like small, red,
hairy monsters. The somewhat rubbery
brownish-red outer shell is peeled away
to reveal a white, moist oval that is very
similar to a lychee. It’s sweet, juicy, and
subtle in flavor, not unlike the mangosteen. Rambutans are botanically related
to lychees. They contain the vitamin C,
iron, and phosphorous. Vitamin C helps
the body resist infection, helps prevent
cataracts, and aids in tissue regeneration
to keep your skin young and fresh looking. Vitamin C also reduces the risk of
some cancers and stroke. Sufficient iron
intake ensures that your red blood cells
are distributing enough oxygen to your
tissues. Phosphorous helps muscles contract, builds protein, and keeps nerves
functioning properly.
ASHITABA
Ashitaba has been used for thousands
of years for many conditions and is
known as the ‘longevity herb.’ It shows
evidence of exhibiting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This herb
is native to Japan, and though used primarily in Asia both in the diet and as a
dietary supplement, is gaining popularity in the U.S. because of its promising
health effects.
There is some evidence that ashitaba
is effective for gastroesophageal reflux
(GERD) and peptic ulcers because of its
ability to reduce stomach secretions.
Ashitaba has also been shown to exhibit
anti-cancer effects.
Ashitaba has also been studied for its
role in cardiovascular health including
decreasing blood pressure, as an antithrombotic (anti-clotting agent) and to
increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease triglycerides.
Finally, there appears to be potent anti-
94
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
platelet activity in ashitaba compounds
meaning that it could be a helpful blood
thinner for those prone to excessive clotting.
Unfortunately, there have not been
extensive human studies performed on
ashitaba so its safety and effectiveness
are largely unknown, but studies have
shown that the extract was safe when
tested on rats.
MANGOSTEEN
The flesh of the mangosteen has antiinflammatory properties and is full of
antioxidants, including the FoodTrient
vitamin C. Mangosteen rinds contain
xanthones, which kill cancer cells in the
lab. More tests are being done with animals and humans to see if the xanthones
can work as well when ingested.
My fruit purveyor ships fresh mangosteens from Southeast Asia, but you can
purchase them online at www.melissas.
com. Some companies manufacture
LONGAN
Longan fruit can be eaten raw, dried or
even frozen to enjoy later. No matter how
it is used, the health benefits are plentiful. It’s similar to the popular lychee.
• Great source of vitamin C – Just
one half cup provides 80% of your
daily vitamin C requirements. Iron
absorption depends on vitamin C
and combining longan fruit with
meat increases your iron levels.
• Antioxidants – Longan fruit is rich
in antioxidants and can protect
against heart disease, chronic inflammation and may even help
prevent some cancers.
• Better skin – Used in Chinese Medicine for many years, this magic fruit
adds luster, shine and suppleness
to the skin.
• Other benefits – Longan helps
with blood production, most likely
through the iron content needed
to produce new red blood cells. It
has been used for over 2,000 years
as a sexual health tonic. Longan
fruit is also known to improve energy and impart a sense of calmness
to the spirit
Asian Fusion:
A Fistful of
Flavors
In Southeast Asia, where Grace O grew
up, the cuisine has been influenced by
many countries: China, Japan, Spain,
France, America, and to some extent the
Middle East and Northern Africa. So she
has been practicing fusion cooking her
whole life. Grace O’s mother ran a cooking school and her family operated multiple restaurants. Her recipe for shrimp
on sugar-cane skewers is a perfect example of Asian fusion food. It became
very popular in their restaurants and
then spread all over the world. When she
sees it on menus in restaurants today, it
makes her smile.
Asian fusion cooking is about using
Mediterranean or American ingredients
and, possibly, French techniques in classical Chinese, Thai, or Filipino recipes.
Grace O likes trying new and exotic ingredients and enjoys looking at trends
in the healthy cooking sector. Then she
adds her own delicious Southeast Asian
spin to create new recipes.
Take quinoa, which is a very trendy ingredient right now because of its many
health benefits. For Grace O, it has almost no flavor, and because she won’t
eat something just because it’s good for
her, she has to find a way to cook it so
that she would crave it. So she did. She
took that crunchy Incan grain and added
some sautéed shrimp, onions, scallions,
and orange bell peppers.
This was a nice start, but quinoa, like
rice and pasta, really benefits from a
sauce because it’s so naturally flavorless.
Luckily, Grace O discovered a food company called Sosu (http://sosusauces.com)
that makes an incredible ketchup with a
kick. They’re based in San Francisco. The
young owner, Lisa Murphy, experimented with ketchup until she found a really
delicious recipe based on the original
Chinese formula brought to Britain in the
eighteenth century. She makes a spicy
sriracha-laced ketchup called Srirachup.
Grace O added it to her sautéed shrimp
with vegetables. Then she spooned the
concoction over the cooked quinoa. Success! If you can’t get your hands on Srirachup or if sriracha is too spicy for you,
try making a Thai-flavored sauce using
a purée of roasted red peppers, orange
tomatoes, a pinch of curry powder, and a
dollop of lemongrass.
ASIAN FUSION SHRIMP
AND QUINOA
Ingredients:
2 cups water
¼ tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 cup quinoa (red, or black, or white or a combination thereof)
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled (or skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes)
½ cup chopped red onion
4 scallions, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 (8-ounce) jar Sosu Srirachup (or your own favorite sauce)
Procedure
01. Bring water, salt, and garlic to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan
with a lid.
02. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
03. Sauté shrimp (or chicken cubes) in the coconut oil in shallow pan with all of
the veggies over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
(If using chicken, sauté for 5 minutes.)
04. Add sauce and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque
and the veggies halfway between crisp and tender.
05. Spoon sauce over the cooked quinoa.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
95
Mangoes: All Hail the
‘King of Fruits’!
For those of us who grew up in
Southeast Asia, mangoes are as common there as apples are here in North
America—they are everywhere and in
just about everything. Grace O’s mother
encouraged her to eat mangoes every
day and she was happy to oblige. Originally cultivated at the foot of the Himalayas 4,000 years ago, mangoes are one
of the most popular fruits in the world.
Mangoes are low in calories (135 for a
whole mango), they have been found
to help to protect against colon, breast,
leukemia and prostate cancers, can lower cholesterol, promote eye health, help
your skin, improve digestion, regulate
blood sugar, and boost your immune
system.
There are hundreds of mango varieties grown throughout the world, and
six of them are the main varieties available in the United States. Grace O is very
96
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
partial to the Ataulfos which are a lot
like the ones in the Philippines.
They are golden in color and have a
relatively small seed, so there’s more of
the juicy flesh, and they don’t have the
slight aftertaste that some mangoes
have. Ataulfos are available fresh March
through July. The Kent variety is mostly
green on the outside and very good for
juicing. It’s available January to March
and June to August. The most commonly grown mangoes in the U.S. are
the Tommy Atkins, which have green
skins with a pinkish-red blush. Semiripe mangoes are tarter that fully ripe
ones and hold their shape better. Grace
likes to use them in her Mango Shrimp
Cocktail, mango shakes and mango
preserve.
If you like more sweetness, use ripe
mangoes instead of green ones.
MANGO SHRIMP
COCKTAIL
( Serves 4 )
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup sliced scallions
2 tsp. sliced jalapenos
1–2 tsp. sea salt
1–2 tsp. hot sauce
2 cups diced green (semi-ripe) mangoes
1½ cups diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup julienned young coconut meat
¼ cup minced cilantro
2 cups medium wild shrimp,
steamed or grilled
Tortilla chips
01. In a glass bowl, combine the lime
juice, scallions, jalapenos, salt,
and hot sauce.
02. Fold in the mangoes, tomatoes,
coconut meat, and cilantro.
03. Carefully fold in shrimp.
04. Chill in the refrigerator for
at least 2 hours.
05. Spoon into martini glasses.
NOTE: Depending on your taste for spicy
foods, you can adjust the amount of hot
sauce and jalapenos.
Debunking
the Myth of
Coconut
SWEET POTATO AND
JACKFRUIT DELIGHT
(Serves 6–8 )
• ¼ cup tapioca
• 2 cups water
• 1 can (8 oz.) jackfruit, drained of syrup
• 4 cups coconut milk
• 1 lb. peeled and cubed yellow and orange sweet potatoes
• ¼ cup sugar
01. Place the tapioca in cold water in a medium saucepan and slowly bring
to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat until tapioca is translucent and
soft, about 1–3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut the jackfruit into strips and set aside.
02. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Add the sweet
potatoes and boil until tender, about 5–10 minutes.
03. Add the jackfruit, sugar, and tapioca to the sweet potato mixture and
cook an additional 5 minutes.
04. Serve warm or chilled.
While growing up in the Philippines,
Grace O would only occasionally eat
coconuts, drink coconut water or cook
with coconut oil because she had always
been told that the fat in coconuts were
bad for her health. Only after she moved
to America and started hearing that coconuts might actually be good for her
and help in losing weight, she started researching the subject. Grace O concluded from this research that coconut does
not at all deserve its negative reputation.
Coconuts do have a high fat content, as
do avocados and olives. The fat in avocados and olives is monounsaturated and
therefore good for our bodies. It doesn’t
contribute to bad blood cholesterol. The
saturated fat in coconuts is made up of
medium-chain fatty acids versus the
long- chain fatty acids found in meat and
dairy products, and is easy for the body
to break down and turn into energy.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone talks about the
virtues of coconut oil in his book, Forever
Young. He says, “Virgin coconut oil is a
medium-chain saturated fat (MCFA) that
speeds weight loss, lowers cholesterol,
reduces the risk of heart attacks, and improves diabetic conditions.” Not bad for
an oil that’s been wrongly maligned for
years because of its high fat content.
Coconut oil and coconut milk also contain lauric acid, which has antifungal and
anti-bacterial properties. In Grace O’s
Sweet Potato and Jackfruit Pudding recipe, she cooked yellow and orange cubes
of sweet potato in coconut milk before
adding bright yellow strips of canned
jackfruit—the world’s largest tree-fruit
that tastes somewhat like mango and
is high in antioxidants. It can be eaten
warm or cold, as a breakfast dish or as a
dessert.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
97
Atchara Pickle Is
Great Digestive Aid
Papayas contain papain, an enzyme
that helps break down proteins. Vinegar can lower blood sugar and may
help with weight loss because it helps
you feel more full and satisfied. Unfortunately, most of the olives and pickles
on store shelves have been pasteurized
and are probiotic free. That’s why it’s
worth making your own.
Seafood Is a Recipe for
Building Bones
Bone-building protein is in abundant
supply in meats and dairy products,
such as yogurt and cream. Seafood also
has plenty of protein per square inch.
Seafood chowder with cream and potatoes is very good for bone health. Beans
are an excellent vegetarian source of
protein. A lentil and kale salad is a significant source of both protein and calcium. You can even combine all of the
above nutrients into a bone-building
recipe or two. Try making a seafood
gumbo with beans, collard greens, and
miso paste. Or create a fruit salad of
kiwi fruit, figs, apricots, and bananas to
spoon over yogurt.
Enjoy it with a glass of soy milk and
say a toast to your healthy snack. Be
sure not to drink too much cola, however (more than two drinks per week),
because the phosphoric acid in them
might leach calcium from your bones.
The anti-inflammatory properties
of fresh cilantro, ginger, and olive oil
help keep skin looking young. Grace
O prefers to make this fish recipe using
tilapia fillets, though you can substitute
any firm, whitefish fillet. Using banana
leaves to wrap the fillets will impart the
full flavor of the fish, but the use of aluminum foil alone will also work.
TILAPIA FILLETS
WITH CILANTRO
( Serves 2 )
• 2 banana leaves
• 2 tilapia fillets
• Sea salt and ground pepper to
taste
• 1 lemon, cut in half and seeds
removed
•
•
01. Preheat grill or oven to 350 degrees. Lay a banana leaf on top
of a large square of aluminum
foil (about 8“x 8”). Place a fillet in
the middle of the leaf. Repeat.
04. Wrap the banana leaves around
the fillets to create a square
packet. Wrap the packet with
aluminum foil.
02. Add the salt and pepper and
squeeze the juice from the lemon
over the fillets.
03. Top the fillets with the tomato,
ginger, onion, and scallions.
Drizzle with olive oil.
98
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
•
•
•
•
½ cup seeded and sliced tomato
1 Tbs. peeled and thinly sliced
gingerroot
¼ cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped scallions
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
05. Bake fillets at 350 degrees for
13-15 minutes, or grill for 20
minutes on each side.
06. To serve, remove the aluminum
foil wrap and transfer the fillets
to a plate. Top packets with cilantro and serve with banana leaf.
(Serves 8–10 )
• 8 cups coarsely grated green
papaya (or cucumber if you can’t
find green papaya)
• 1/4 cup coarse salt
• 8-10 cloves of garlic (from one
head), peeled
• 1/4 cup julienned fresh ginger
• 1/2 cup pearl onions, peeled
• 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
• 1/2 cup green bell pepper strips
• 1/2 cup carrot florets or strips
• 1/2 cup jicama strips
Pickling solution
• 3 cups white balsamic vinegar
(champagne or seasoned rice
vinegars will also work)
• 2 tsp. salt
• 3/4 cup white sugar (for a sweetand-sour pickle, double the
sugar)
01. Place the papaya shreds in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse
salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
02. Make the pickling solution by combining ingredients in a porcelain or
glass pan (don’t use a metal pot) and
simmering for 10 minutes or until all
the sugar has dissolved. Remove from
the heat and allow to cool.
03. Squeeze any remaining water out
of the papaya shreds. Toss together
with garlic, ginger and the remaining
vegetables and place into wide-mouth
pickling jars.
04. Pour the cooled pickling solution
over the vegetables. If the solution is
too warm, the vegetables will cook.
Top off the jars with water if necessary so that the vegetables are completely covered. Close jars tightly and
put in the refrigerator overnight to
cure.
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM
99
100
BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM