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Women Watch: Celebrating 12 women with beauty, style and passion

As the world celebrates women, Zee Lifestyle does the same by looking back at the very special 20th anniversary cover that looked back on the ladies who have graced our pages for their beauty, elegance, talent and passion for their endeavors.

As we celebrated our 20th year in the industry, it was only natural that we also celebrated the women who graced our covers. The team handpicked 12 women who are no strangers to our pages, but remain driving forces in their respective industries. 

With March being National Women’s Month and March 8 International Women’s Day, we found it fitting to pay tribute. These women are no strangers to our pages, and will probably be fixtures on it for years to come. It’s not just for their beauty or their keen sense of style, of course. It is their elegance and individuality, and the strong drive to succeed in whatever their efforts are directed.


Amparito Lhuillier

When were you first on the cover of Zee? The August-October issue in 1996

Any memorable experience with Zee? It’s definitely my favorite!

What would you change about Cebu? There’s nothing to be changed. I love Cebu!

Wearing Philip Rodriguez


Margot Osmeña

Do you remember your first Zee cover? I have only faint recollections about my Zee cover shoot–might be attributed to my senior years! If my memory serves me right, it was done in Teresin Mendezona’s house.

What do you love most about Cebu? When I first arrived in Cebu around 30 years ago, it became very obvious to me that there was this strong sense of pride. “This is our home” kind of feeling was apparent in the Cebuanos. As we move forward, I pray that this attitude is passed on to our children and their children.

Wearing Philip Rodriguez


Mia Arcenas

Do you remember your first Zee cover? The first time I was on the Zee cover was the time I got back from the US in 2010. I had just finished my degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and I was starting my career in fashion. I remember wearing Puey Quiñones with my first ever collection of accessories called Free Structure, made with abstract brass wire, crystal quartz and satin ribbons. Jon Unson shot it, while the hair and makeup was done by Romero.

Any memorable experience with Zee? The most memorable experience I’ve had with the magazine was when they co-hosted my first ever gala at the Oakridge Pavilion in Cebu. Zee has always been a big supporter ever since, and it was very heartwarming to have their full support.

Wearing Mia Arcenas


Fiona King

Do you remember your first Zee cover? My first cover was way back in college, when I was featured as a model. It was an unforgettable experience, but I must admit that the second time was bigger for me. It was in February 25, and I was honored to be featured as a real estate developer. Indeed, it was personally significant for me because Zee had seen and recognized my own life’s changes and growth, and found these to be cover-worthy.

What do you love about Cebu? I’m glad Cebu presents more opportunities for Cebuanos to thrive, evolve and make a difference. Cebu has always been bursting with opportunities, but we have to look around now to see that Cebu has exponentially grown. It is a city where entrepreneurs, artists, visionaries and people from various disciplines can make a name for themselves and become global without having to start in Manila. It is a city where people have become prouder of who we are and what we can do, and this pride has helped us to really redefine the Cebuano spirit and boldly succeed from the home-front to the world.

Wearing Vania Romoff


June Alegrado

Do you remember your first Zee cover? The first time I was on the cover was with good friends Bernie Aboitiz and Rochelle del Rosario. We had so much fun we didn’t notice the time. It felt like a get-together. Working with the Zee team was amazing. They took good care of us and were very professional. Artists were assigned to do our hair and makeup, and we were given choices of clothes and sandals to wear. The photographer and stylist helped us relax and loosen up, making it easy for us to project and feel comfortable in front of the camera. It was one of my most enjoyable experiences.

Changes that you’re happy about? I’m glad cellphones now have internet access. It has definitely made life more convenient–from buying clothes and paying bills to researching and learning new things. Keeping in touch with people to meeting new people. Accessing our music library, reading books and watching movies. But the past part of the smartphone is the camera, and the fact that my children and I can talk face to face even when they’re so far away.

Wearing Jun Escario


Christina Garcia Frasco

Do you remember your first Zee cover? The year was 2008. At that time, I had been living in Manila for 10 years already for school and work, and really missed Cebu. It was a memorable experience being on the cover of a magazine for the first time. I’m glad it was Zee, because to me, the magazine represented the best of Cebu–and being a Cebuana in Manila, I of course was fiercely proud of my home province.

Changes in Cebu you’re happy about? I’m happy to see Cebu strike a balance between being a center for world-class talent and locally made products, while being open to the influx of global brands and massive development. Hopefully our infrastructure can catch up very soon.

Wearing Dino Lloren


Kryz Uy

Do you remember your first Zee cover? Yes, of course! I was on the cover for the Youth issue, and I remember very clearly discussing with (then editor) David Cua his chosen copy for the cover. “Who doesn’t know Kryz Uy?” He was so set on having that line and I was so shy about it!

Changes in Cebu you’re happy about? The city is progressing quickly and we’re building a lot of companies, brands and even personalities that are competing well globally. That’s definitely something to be proud of!

Wearing Miranda Konstantinidou


Marguerite Lhuillier

Do you remember your first Zee cover? It is always flattering to be asked to do a cover, and of course, I willingly obliged. I had a great and fun time preparing for the shoot, what with the wonderful group from Zee Lifestyle. Everyone made the experience extra special.

Wearing Cary Santiago


Carla Yeung-McKowen

Do you remember your first Zee cover? It was an unforgettably fun experience. I was surrounded by the creative geniuses of Cebu–Cary Santiago, in Kenneth Cobonpue’s showroom, and shot by Dan Ong!

A memorable experience with Zee? The latest shoot. Being with other Cebuano women who I think are superbly gorgeous and successful, coupled with the “village” of creative minds who choreographed everything–it had to be my most memorable experience with Zee.

Wearing Stella McCartney


Danessa Onglatco

Do you remember your first Zee cover? Yes, of course, as it was a memorable fantastic experience for me. It was my first time to be a cover girl in a magazine, plus considering Zee is the only lifestyle magazine in Cebu. I was really honored to be chosen. I would like to take this opportunity to thank one of Cebu’s top designer Philip Rodriguez for choosing me, Zee’s former editor Jing Ramos and publisher Eva Gullas.

Changes in Cebu you’re happy about? That Cebu has continuously grown to be a tourism destination worldwide, and has seen growth in other industries like hospitality, real estate and the different types of BPO’s.

Wearing Miranda Konstantinidou


Kym Maitland-Smith 

Do you remember your first Zee cover? I was on the cover with my sister Divine for the October 2014 issue. It was a blast! We had so much fun shooting together, and everyone who participated from the makeup artists and stylists to the photographer and the location were all great. I remember rushing through the shoot because we had a flight to catch that morning, but everything went super smoothly. Divine and I were very happy with the photos and the article.

Wearing Miranda Konstantinidou


Alice Woolbright

Do you remember your first Zee cover? Yes, the November 2011 issue. It was a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving shoot with my sisters held at our ancestral home.

A memorable experience with Zee? My most treasured experience was the mother-daughter shoot. The timing was perfect as Erika was off to college that year.

Wearing Alexander McQueen

 


photography Jan Gonzales | creative direction Melo Esguerra | locale Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December-January 2017 issue.

People

EXCLUSIVE: Never Been Released Behind-the-Scenes photos of Zee Lifestyle’s Emerald Issue Cover Shoot

Photographer Jan Gonzales, Margie Lhuillier, June Alegrado, Kryz Uy, Mia Arcenas, Amparito Lhuillier and Alice Woolbright

We celebrate the strength and resilience of womanhood in this year’s Mother’s Day by looking back at these never been seen before behind-the-scenes shots of  Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s Emerald (20th Anniversary) Issue cover shoot featuring the “Leading Women” of Cebu.

***

LEADING WOMEN

To celebrate the 20 beautiful years of Zee Lifestyle as the ultimate source of lifestyle news in Cebu, we handpicked 12 strong and stylish women of Cebu from every age group. These women show us that independently building one’s strength of character and living one’s passion knows no age. From the beginning, Zee has always been empowering women, providing the Cebuanas a platform to express their beauty and confidence, share their passions, engage in economic and political participation which yields to viewing women with equality and respect that we deserve.

photography Jan Gonzales
creative director Melo Esguerra
art director Doro Barandino
sittings editor Shari Quimbo
beauty director Romero Vergara
makeup Arnauld, Janice Barillo and Nicko dela Peña
hair Jessie Egos and Jake Arias
fashion styling Clint Potestas
production assistants Patty Taboada and Katrina Labra
locale Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu

Twelve women, two sets and one afternoon. That is how the Zee Lifestyle team decided to celebrate the title’s 20th anniversary issue—with a challenge that, in some ways, is one of our biggest productions yet.

The idea came along when publisher Eva Gullas and editor-at-large Melo Esguerra were discussing a cover story that would best represent the magazine’s history. From commissioning artistic depictions on Cebu to playing with the anniversary’s emerald theme, no idea had stuck until Melo suggested putting a series of women who had already been on the cover of Zee, again on the cover all together.

Oj Hofer and Margot Osmeña

Kryz Uy

Coming up with the list of names, of course, was no small feat. Our covers from the last 20 years have included several strong personalities—from philanthropists and politicians, to actors, and names to soon watch out for, our pages have seen them all. The challenge, then, was to come up with a list of women who had been driving forces in their respective fields when they had first appeared on the cover, and remain as powerful players even today.

Amparito Lhuillier, Kryz Uy, Alice Woolbright, Margot Osmeña and June Alegrado all wearing MIRANDA KONSTANTINIDOU

Photographer Jan Gonzales and creative director Melo Esguerra

With input from editors, both past and present, we rounded up 12 women from different age groups, fields and industries, who are all strong and passionate at whatever it is they do—Amparito Lhuillier, who remains the doyenne of Cebu society as a picture of elegance and class with her continuing efforts in business and social causes; the always-stylish Marguerite Lhuillier, herself an example of sophistication in all her efforts, whether business or otherwise; Margot Osmeña, who as a Cebu City Councilor has spearheaded many urban projects directed for the betterment of living in the city; hospitality mavens June Alegrado and Alice Woolbright, who are deeply involved in the rise of their brands, Bluewater properties and Beverly Hotel, respectively; Christina Garcia Frasco, the current Lilo-an Mayor advocating impressively progressive efforts in the area; former model Fiona King, now a major player in homegrown real estate with projects like Bloq Residences; the fitness enthusiast Danessa Onglatco who has espoused wellness with the opening of Yogahub; restaurateur Carla Yeung-McKowen who is behind the city’s hottest dining outlet, The Pig & Palm; designer Mia Arcenas, whose signature resort wear and accessories are representative of Cebu’s laid back lifestyle; Kym Maitland-Smith, who juggles efforts in swimsuit design through SOLTI Activewear and is building awareness for the vegan lifestyle; and Kryz Uy, whose online presence was a strong one even before fashion blogs were on anyone’s radar.

Kymberly Maitland-Smith

Makeup Artist Romero Vergara, June Alegrado and Hair Stylist Jessie Egos

An impressive bunch, for sure. These women properly embody the characteristics that Zee Lifestyle looks for in one who makes the cover—beauty, yes, but also elegance coupled with individuality, and always a strong drive to succeed in whatever efforts they are directed.

This, it turns out, was the fitting tribute to the years Zee has been Cebu’s premier lifestyle bible, as well as a sign of the things forthcoming. Our 12 cover stars may have been on our pages before, but if their current efforts are any indication, our pages will continue to see more of them in the future. And as continuing purveyors of what Cebu has to offer, Zee Lifestyle will happily be seeing them in the years to come.

FROM LEFT Marguerite wears CARY SANTIAGO; June wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Mia wears MIA ARCENAS; Kryz wears ELIZABETH HALLIE; Amparito wears MONIQUE LHUILLIER; Alice wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Fiona wears VANIA ROMOFF; Margot wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Danessa wears OJ HOFER; Carla wears ALICE+OLIVIA; Christina wears DINO LLOREN

(This article had already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s December 2016 Emerald Issue, “Leading Women” on pages 140-155.)

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Culture

La Liga Henerales: Shaping History Awareness Back Again in Cebu

La Liga Henerales is a community of young talents passionately promotes historical awareness through periodic costumes carefully researched for its authenticity and accuracy and promoted as well in events and schools.

Only few individuals before were into pursuit in this historical awareness project until the age of communication where internet is convenient in the palm of our hands through our gadgets. New information travel fast and data is retrievable, yet also possess a disadvantage with the plethora of different social media platforms carried by various makers as well. In a daily basis, historical backgrounds are unearthed making its trend until now as new discoveries are released, but the idea of these information being shown and shared is as close as not valuing or commemorating to its sources leaving this information just a trend.

There is a certain community of Cebuanos that are taking a quest to rewrite and restructure what was in the past, filling the gaps in facts with further research of variable sources that are made debatable but sticks to it true cause, to unveil the truths of our heritage and our origins, as Cebuanos and as Filipinos as well.

La Liga Henerales is a Cebu-based, non-profit organization composed of a group of talented, committed and respectable individuals from different walks of life, schools and profession whose primary aim is to promote both, Cebuano and filipino culture and heritage that was depicted before in pre-colonial and colonial eras via re-enactment with costumes vested in proper research and investigation to achieve authenticity. They also push their cause on schools and other social gatherings promoting and spreading awareness about our local, and national heroes that we look up to. With these said, they also portray a closer look of the lifestyle of the past to where they perform stories, perform forgotten dances and rituals and portray their individual roles, vital in the fight of our country’s future during those challenging times, and in honor to spread awareness of the lost practices we had in those times.

The Founder

Combining passion and education. Louis Villaflor re-enacts his way patriotism through his periodical costumes and expresses his love for Cebu and Philippines as a culture-centric country.

Louis Kenneth Villaflor, an entrepreneur and an avid history enthusiast and costumer, founded the group on the purpose of re-educating the youth about real local and national history, he saw the opportunity to combine his favourite hobbies which is costuming and story role-playing and the process to instill the historical awareness and value among the youth and in schools, along with a group of fellow enthusiasts who shares his passion about research and history, they took it among themselves to be purposeful in the advocacy in spreading historical awareness in schools or events by wearing periodically correct costumes and sharing the stories and its value to the youth.

Behind the Garments

With the its senior expertise of fashion design and a teacher of the field, his passion also of history caters also in his designs as he pushes through sustainable fashion and historical awareness combined.

Meet Rodney “Pee-Wee” Senining, who has been in the fashion industry since the late 90’s, strives  in concepts of avant-garde, innovation and cutting edge-fashion forward design. And also a teacher of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design of University of San Carlos, he had grown into research of books like the holy grail in the Library Resource Center and is always fascinated of the periodical times and how to preserve it; Hence, his interest had grown for the affinity of Periodical Costumes and Sustainable Fashion.

 Being part of the group La Liga Henerales, he was tasked to instantly be their mentor for the young talents and as the organization is still new and developing with limited funds, resourcefulness and research were done to come up with a good output of photo shoot and was quite proud of it and still promise on the next editions of pieces to be more historically accurate. Even as teacher for Fashion Design in SAFAD, his expertise comes hand in hand with the members as he helps them do research as well. His passion and interest somehow led him with enough knowledge to key the insights of the significant periods and historical backgrounds of it.

Historical Awareness in Cebu

The strength and progress of a country is anchored on how well they know and honor its history. The means of historical awareness in Cebu is almost non-existent among the Cebuanos, although we push forward in tourism and promote beauty through sceneries and other aspects of culture yet never commemorate deeply on historical icons such as our other local heroes, and ancient cultures as well that is almost been forgotten in an urban Cebu. Nevertheless, as long as communities’ like La Liga Henerales are now evolving in a learning state by real discovery by multiple resources, this will always reflect of how we appreciate love, patriotism and honor to our country and would look forward to progress.

 

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Culture

After the Razzmatazz and Razzle-dazzle: Post-Sinulog Thoughts

by Chrissy Grey Resaba

Buntings of red and yellow were removed from post to post. Streets were cleared and cleaned. Fireworks displays were faded in the sky. Beats of #prititit and tunes of tourism-booster Cebu tracks were being put to archive once again.

Contingents from different parts of Cebu and Central Visayas had gone back home. Party people had gone sober while some are still recovering. Traffic has gone back to normal. Businesses, as well, has gone back to normal.

However, all the fun and loud chants, smooth grooves, and frenzied choreographies are still replaying from the memory banks of the people who celebrated Sinulog 2020. The queen of all festivals in the Philippines has left again another mark of cultural and festive nostalgia to the people from all parts of the world and Cebuanos alike.

After all the razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle, let’s get to know what are these IG and FB personalities’ #PostSinulogThoughts about celebrating the newly-culminated Sinulog 2020 and how did they differentiate it to last year’s.

 

Eva Patalinjug

Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 @evapatalinjug

I celebrated my Sinulog with my boyfriend and some of my close friends, we decided to choose a place where it’s not very crowded where we can see the whole Cebu, talk, and chill the night away. We went to Verified Lounge – Cebu’s newest premier sky lounge – located at the rooftop of the Avenir Building. It was something new for me as the night was calm as I was away from the busy streets of Cebu. It’s definitely one way of enjoying such festivities.

 

Kim Covert

Kim Covert @kimcovert

The Sinulog celebration this year has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only was I invited to perform a few of my own songs during the weekend’s festivities but I also turned over my Binibining Cebu Tourism crown to my successor. Last year, I was busy with work and was not able to completely grasp the events. This year’s festival was more organized which is a great success for Cebu. Many have flown in and had spent time with their families in the “Pit Senyor” spirit, others have enjoyed spending time off with friends and colleagues. It was a great way for me to start my New Year and close my Cebu chapter before I leave to the US in a week.

 

Alem Garcia

Alem Garcia @thealemgarcia

Well pretty much, I was still busy doing shows and events for Sinulog. But what made it different this year was the religious celebration made me believe even more that Sto. Niño is indeed miraculous and that He is meant to be celebrated. Even though you are successful in your chosen field, furthermore, everything will be meaningless if you do not have the faith.

Philip Pingoy

 

Philip Pingoy @almostablogger

We all have a Sinulog story to tell. It may be a story of losing faith and finding hope. But what is important is our devotion to the Holy Child Jesus (Señor. Sto. Niño). This year, my Sinulog experience was very different since I am already based in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the internet I was still able to watch the mass and all the festivities in Cebu. I am in UK because I prayed to Sto. Niño. So, let us not forget the reason we celebrate Sinulog and let us continue to share to the rest of the world why Sinulog is the grandest festival in the Philippines. Pit Senyor everyone! I hope you had a good one!

 

Lyssa Amor

Lyssa Amor @lyssaamor

Sinulog celebrates Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity. This year, I celebrated Sinulog by hearing the word of God. I went to church which I do every Sinulog but the difference now is that I am not in Cebu. It’s my first time to celebrate Sinulog away from home because I’m currently in Japan. Although I didn’t dance the traditional Sinulog dance this year, I wasn’t able to watch the fireworks in Ayala, and didn’t spend time with my friends in Mango and IT Park. Snr. Sto. Niño will always be in my heart and I am forever grateful that our ancestors accepted Christianity and we continue to embrace it up until today.

 

Kevin Geniston @kgeniston

Sinulog will always be a highlight for me as a Cebuano. This year has been fulfilling as I was able to brave the crowd in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu three times to attend the novena mass which had also become like bonding time with my family, daughter, friends and loved ones. I ended the celebration of the Sinulog festivities with a bit of the usual partying and/or clubbing.

Carlo Olano

Carlo Andrew Olano @kalamicebu

My Sinulog this year was a great mix of religious and secular activities. I was able to go to the church and somehow witnessed the Traslacion and the fluvial procession. I also went to many side events like parties, mall events, and fireworks exhibitions. Sinulog 2020 had a fantastic balance of fun, faith, and festivities.

 

Danna Bacolod

Danna Bacolod @dannabacolod

This is the second time I spent Sinulog with Cebu Pacific. We had series of events prepared during its entire week and participated the grand parade by having a float last Sunday. I always feel excited to join Sinulog Grand Parade and see a lot of people celebrating their own way of Sinulog along the streets of Cebu. Guess it’s safe to say that I had so much fun. Even if this was work-related, I didn’t feel like I’m actually working as it was always joyful doing events like these.

 

Nimo Scheming

Nimo Hideki @nimo_scheming

You prolly knew this already but, Sinulog 2020 was by far the most phenomenal Sinulog experience: more laidback than the previous years’. The music in every corner of the streets were still there to help you let loose and enjoy the experience. The surge of people had tested you both mentally and physically. But it was an experience you cannot miss like mingling with people from different walks of life and shouting out “Pit Senyor” to everyone. Summing up my Sinulog experience, I was able to get crazy and enjoy all aspects of the fest.

 

Michael Rey

Michael Rey @michaelsomewhere

I had the most relaxed Sinulog experience this year. I did not party and preferred to witness the grand parade instead. I do think that this year’s celebration was more colorful and much safer as establishments strictly abided the rules imposed by the Cebu City Government. I was also amazed at how the festival of fashion here in Cebu has evolved throughout the years.

Now, how about you? What are your #PostSinulogThoughts this Prititit 2020? Viva Pit Senyor!

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