Centennial Mile

Published in Metro Society magazine, November 2011

From its humble beginnings in June 1911 in a small house with only nine De La Salle Christian brothers for teachers and 125 male students, DLSU now has over 15,000 co-ed students and is part of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), a network of seventeen Lasallian institutions across the Philippines with over 100,000 student enrolled nationwide. During World War II DLSU–Manila provided shelter for wounded soldiers and civilians, and continued to hold classes despite severe damage and repeated bombings.  It was shut down in 1945, and reopened a few months later. The school closed down for a while during Martial Law, but eventually classes resumed and the school welcomed female students in 1973. It is now one of the most well-known universities in the country, and has recently been recognized as one (out of four) of the best Philippine universities in Asia by international organizations. This year marks the Centennial of De La Salle University (DLSU) and to commemorate this milestone, DLSU will be hosting a range of events and activities throughout the year, the first of which started last June.

In order to prepare for their 100th year, the DLSU Centennial Celebration Executive Committee was formed in April 2009. Dean of Student Affairs, Fritzie De Vera, was chair of the Centennial Celebration Committee. The celebration started the morning of June 16, with people coming in as early as 5 am. There was an Eucharistic Mass presided by Cardinal Rosales with Bishop Tagle giving the homily. The Vicar General from Rome was also present and gave a short message before the final blessing. After the mass, President Noynoy gave a message as well. “During the 16th there was a lot of people here – an estimate of over 20, 000 people on campus for the entire day. It was good to see so many people happy to be back and proud to be from De La Salle,” De Vera shared.

The official countdown started at 12 noon, with all the Lasallian institutions celebrating simultaneously. At the main campus there was the Green Mile, when all the students, faculty and visitors went out to Taft Avenue, standing from the South gate to the Andrew Gate while cheering and making jubilant noises. True to its “green” roots, De La Salle has been involved in a reforestation activity for the past few years, with trees planted in different areas all over the Philippines .The ceremonial planting of the 1 millionth tree occurred that afternoon, an activity shared by all the La Salle schools.

Later that afternoon, there was a pre-show where the Lasallian Centennial Dance anthem was performed, with various bands such as Sandwich, Kjwan, and Periodyko featured. The highlight of the celebration was the Centennial Concert, Isang Daang Sangangdaan, where different Lasallian performers (such as Barbie Almalbis, The Dawn, Kitchie Nadal and Gary Valenciano) took the stage. The show was directed by Ruel Santiago, with music by Louie Ocampo.

Aside from the main concert at the Yuchengco Theater, there were pocket events going on simultaneously in different areas of the campus, such as Strings and Stanzas – an acoustic concert and poetry reading event with Richard Poon, and the Animo Street Party. The celebration ended with everyone gathering at the amphitheater at around 9:30 pm to watch the fireworks, a pyro-musical and to sing the Alma Mater song.

The Centennial events and activities will continue until June of next year, with De La Salle students, alumni and supporters having a lot to look forward to. There will be an art exhibit, book launches, a Centennial sculpture competition, a series of lectures on various topics, the 5th World Union of Former La Salle Students (UMAEL), the World Universities Debate Championship, and a Tour of St. La Salle’s Relics around the various Lasallian schools, among others.

A hundred years may not seem like a long time in the course of history, but it is enough to raise up generations of achievers, leaders and performers who have helped shape our culture and country. As said in DLSU’s mission, they are committed to “train leaders, competent professionals, scholars, researchers and entrepreneurs, who will participate actively in improving the quality of life in Philippine society.” As De La Salle celebrates its past and prepares for its future, the promise of another hundred years of shaping minds is something that people can look forward to.

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Supplier Spotlight

Published in Metro Weddings Magazine, 2012

Be it crazy, classy or cool, colorful weddings are always exciting for everyone. Meet three wedding planners who can make colourful wedding dreams come true with flair and style.

Gideon Hermosa: Events Studio

From weddings to corporate occasions, Events Studio has it covered. As the proprietor of this company, Gideon is hands-on and it’s easy to see his passion and vision through the unique touches he adds to the weddings he has handled, like Marc Kenn Fortanilla and Feb Robles’ Moroccan-themed wedding. Bursts of aqua blue and purple brought their day to life. “I added other rich and jewel colors to compliment the motif, such as gold-bronze, orange, fuchsia, ruby red, emerald green, and more. Intricate Arabian patterns were also used. We also added gems, rhinestones, Moroccan lamps, candelabras and stained glass,” Gideon shared.

Being a relatively young wedding planner means that Gideon can take to unusual themes quite readily. For example, Dohdoh and Tetchie De Leon’s Avatar inspired wedding last June 2011. “Since the theme was Avatar, I added some elements from the movie such as huge mushrooms, giant flora, vines, huge leaves, the tree of life, wild flowers, and tiny lights on the backdrop to add some magical effects.” The result was a dramatic meld of the cinematic and ethereal.

Ernest Pascual: Bespoke Manila

Ernest personally crafts themed invitations, give art direction to the florists, and even braves Divisoria to find the best bargains for reception décor. He’s been dubbed The Details Diva, a title given by a satisfied bride. “She had a lot of ideas in her mind but needed someone to pull off everything – consistently, and exquisitely. After her wedding, I think she was so blown away that in her thank you note to me, she addressed me as the Details Diva. She was also part of this online forum and wrote an evaluation/rating of my services, which co-suppliers and clients read and picked up.”

His Detail Diva-ness is readily seen in weddings such as that of Norwelle and Gen, who wanted something ‘Light and Airy’.  Hot air balloons became the focal point for their 2012 wedding, with blue and yellow as the main colors. Graphic elements were consistently used on the invitations, menu cards and napkin rings. Yellow papiermâché numbers were used as table numbers, and Ernest incorporated glittered ribbons, buttons and lace trimmings to decorate the candle holders and place cards.

For Andrew and Abi’s Tagaytay wedding last 2011, he helped illustrate their love affair with wine using lilac and plum, while their tables were named after the various wines they enjoyed. “Escort cards were placed on wine corks. Real grapes were made part of the centerpieces. Bejewelled bracelets acted as napkin holders, and added on the tables were repackaged white chocolate pretzels with the phrase ‘We tied the knot.’” It’s fun and quirky elements like these that illustrate Ernest’s creative and conscientious eye.

Henry Pascual: Event Stylist

Henry is something of a pioneer, having been in the wedding industry for a decade. “When I first started out doing weddings the concept of ‘styling’ was alien to most brides, and I had to slowly introduce how to make a wedding celebration more heartfelt, intimate and memorable by creating an overall mood and feel.” His experience and dedication have helped him establish an excellent reputation, and his clients’ input is encouraged and valued. “I try to collaborate with the couple, make sure their personality comes through and not just the elements I want for them.”

Henry has managed to pull off a Bollywood wedding, complete with dancers. “The colors were in bold jewel tones of ruby, sapphire, emerald, cobalt, teal. We incorporated gold as accent color to make it more ornate and lavish.”One of the dangers with colorful weddings is that they can come across as too bold. Henry’s advice is, “When using colors, you have to have a clear grasp of what you want, otherwise it can come off as tacky and overboard. As in everything, editing is key. Try to have a clear-cut vision of what you like and edit, edit, edit!” He’ll be launching a brand new website soon, which is definitely something to look forward to.

The following Wedding Stylists can be contacted through the following:

Gideon Hermosa: Email guide_on_plz2004@yahoo.com or call 0928 722 3945 for more information.

Ernest Pascual: Check facebook.com/Bespokemanila1 for more details. Email bespokemanila@gmail.com, or call 09175215447 to schedule an appointment. Note: Photos from his weddings were by Mimi and Karl de Leon of Fotogra Weddings.

Henry Pascual: Call 0917 323 7921 or check out his current website, http://henrypascualeventstylist.blogspot.com/

McKinley Hill to host BMW car show

Press Release, August 2008

Watch out for the BMW Product Experience at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio from August 11 – 17, 2008. During the week-long exclusive BMW car show, guests will marvel at the wide range of luxurious and dynamic automobiles, including the world’s first Sport Activity Coupe – the all-new BMW X6.

BMW AG Product Trainer Herbert Grünsteidl, arriving all the way from Germany, will be supervising driving exercises where “participants will get to drive the latest models in a specially designed track, which highlights the dynamic driving characteristics of each model, as well as BMW’s innovative technologies such as xDrive and Dynamic Performance Control,” (Lia-Marie Guerrero.)   Participants will also be able to experience the Sheer Driving Pleasure of the BMW 1, 3 and 5 Series, as well as the BMW X3 and X5 models.

“The BMW Product Experience aims to give drivers a hands-on understanding of technical parameters and driving physics in various situations. This is a fantastic opportunity for participants to apply textbook knowledge into practical application, experiencing first-hand what Sheer Driving Pleasure is truly about.” (Lia-Marie Guerrero)

McKinley Hill is the perfect place to appreciate the driving capabilities of the latest BMW models. “McKinley Hill is an ideal venue for the BMW Product Experience. Its strategic location right in the heart of the city makes it extremely convenient for our participants to reach us, while the area’s smooth, open roads are conducive to driving exercises. Mckinley Hill is also an ideal partner of BMW as both our companies cater to an elite target group.” (Lia-Marie Guerrero)

The site of the event will be where the Venice Luxury Residences will soon rise. One of MegaWorld Corporation’s loveliest and most ambitious projects to date, these Italian inspired residential towers are set to capture the hearts of potential residents.

Each of the seven towers is modeled after a férro – the distinctive iron ornament found on the front of a gondola. Paolo Marioni Architetto, an architectural firm in Rome, was consulted to ensure a seamlessly classic Italian touch.

To complement the residences is the Venetian Mall, a magnificent shopping complex with its own waterway – the Grand Canal, where a romantic gondola ride can be enjoyed along with the latest stores and sumptuous dining establishments.

Right across the mall is another residential development; the Woodridge Residences, perfect for the stylish and exuberant crowd of young professionals and students. Woodridge is a set of six-story buildings with numerous service outlets and 24 hour convenience stores on the ground floor area.

Other residential developments include McKinley Hill Village, with Mediterranean themed single detached homes, and a number of low to high rise condominiums such as McKinley Hill Garden Villas, Tuscany Private Estate, and Stamford Executive Residences. What’s more, the community’s business district, Mckinley Hill Cyberpark, contains 30,000 square meters of prime office space and is a PEZA-accredited ecozone.

Well-orchestrated architecture, comprehensive facilities, and verdant nature parks beside state of the art amenities and a promising top BPO site will make the 50-hectare McKinley Hill the best integrated township development in the country to date.

Those interested in attending the BMW Product Experience may sign up at the BMW Pitstop – a display area located at the Bonifacio High Street from August 16 to 17, 2008. Participation is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.