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The Millennials in Profession and Passion: JT Gullas

by Allain Dumon Fonte

“Millennials are entitled. They’re narcissistic. They’re spoiled and they’re lazy.” Stacey Lastoe wrote in her article at The Muse, as the most common feedback she hears every time she asks about millennial employees in organisations. Probably, everyone heard the same comments about their millennial colleagues and millennial staff. However, are they really that entitled, narcissistic, spoiled and lazy? Or, are we just in an era where there is a massive generation gap between baby boomer executives and millennial staff?Many executives complain about working with millennials and their issues on behaviour, attitude towards work, and their sense of professionalism. Yet, Jay Gilbert, a professor in organisational management and vice-president for strategy and operations in OrthoEvidence Inc., believes that it is not the millennials that should change their ways; but, the boomer executives must learn how to adapt the fast-changing business systems and constantly developing global political economy. Gilbert argues in his article “The Millennials: New Generation of Employees, a New Set of Engagement Policies” (2011) that millennials are born in an environment where everything is almost automated. He further explains that the influence of technological advancements defines the behaviour, attitude, and thought process of millennials; thus, they work faster, results focused, more creative, prefers for more dynamic work places, works best in flexible systems, and technology-oriented. Hence, they easily get bored with repetitive work, manual and slow procedures, and time-bound types of work.

While many human resource managers may be challenged in dealing with millennials in the workplace; Paul Gilmore Ymbong, HR practitioner for 15 years, believes that employee engagement is the key to work best with millennials and to retain them in the organisations. Ymbong explains that engagement strategies should be diversed and HR practitioners should learn to identify key engagement drivers and also the threats that will impact the workforce. Although Gilbert advises that the boomer executives must change and adapt with the millennial staff to go with the current business trends, Ymbong argues that employers must still be very sensitive to the needs of every employee, must learn to bridge the gap between generations, and must be able to connect their differences between their work behaviour, attitude, and ethics. After all, in the end, it is the success of the organisation that both generations are working for.

With all these talks about millennials and work, the author interviews a group of Cebuano millennials who can be the next generation of business leaders. Even with their successful family businesses, these millennials still opted to work and engage in activities far from the nature of their families’ business empires. In this feature series entitled “The Millennials in Profession and Passion: What We Need To Know”, let us meet these young leaders and understand from their standpoint what is it like to be a millennial in an era dictated by boomer executives.

In today’s article, the author features JT Gullas.

John Tristan “JT” Gullas is a 19-year-old biology student at Cebu Doctors’ University, and aims to be a physician. With his towering height, chiseled features, perfectly-toned physique, hazel-colored eyes, and charming smile, he can surely turn heads in an instant. He is the only son of a high-profile media executive, John Vicente Gullas, and former supermodel and entrepreneur, Trisha Rivera-Gullas. Hence, it is without a doubt that his wit and good looks come from the best genes. Yet, with all the success in the family enterprise, JT works as a ramp and commercial model under the flagship of Cebu’s elite modelling agency, Models Association of Cebu (MAC).

As one of Cebu’s most sought faces, JT may have been juggling his schedule between work and university; but, it seems that he is handling both very well. JT is always complimented by his peers in the fashion industry to be the most professional…always on time, and always prepared. On the other hand, his classmates praise him as a very dedicated student, and he has never disappointed his professors.

In this interview, JT answers questions on what for him are the ideal workplaces and work environment, and his investment and life plans.


Allain: Hi JT! How are you?
John Tristan: I am good, thank you…and you?

A: Good to hear that you’re doing well. Okay, here are the questions. Shall we start?
JT: Okay. Shoot! I hope they are all easy. (laughs)

A: (laughs) Just relax. Promise, I will not get you in trouble. At work, do you prefer fixed schedule or flexible schedule?
JT: Although I am one for spontaneous laags (outings), I would prefer that my schedules be fixed all the time when it comes to work. That way my friends and family will know when I get off work, or when I have a break that way they can contact me.

A: Do you like working closely with the boss, or do you prefer to work independently?
JT: Yes, I believe that working close with the boss is a must.

A: Why do you believe so?
JT: For me, this helps you get to know your job better and make it easier, more opportunities are bound to happen with you if you are close with your boss.

“Five factors that would make me stay at work would be: Job security, work relationship, potential for growth in terms of learning, salary and location of work in terms of distance from home and school.” -JT

A: What if your boss is your dad?
JT: (laughs) Of course! I learn a lot from my dad.

A: Do you prefer to work in an office, or do you favor work from home?
JT: An office is the best place to work, although I am still a student, I find it hard to study in the house since my bed is just right there and the couches are so comfortable. Unlike when you are out in the open, you have to make yourself proper; and this is the best way to get work done.

A: Wow! A lot of millennials find reporting in the office on fixed schedules challenging. Anyway, since you prefer to work in the office, can you please enumerate 5 factors that will make you stay at work? Start with the most important to the least important, for you.
JT: Five factors that would make me stay at work would be: Job security, work relationship, potential for growth in terms of learning, salary and location of work in terms of distance from home and school.

Photo taken from JT Gullas’ Instagram account @jtgullas

A: I understand that even as young as you are, you are already earning as a ramp and print model, where would spend most of your money?
JT: I would spend most of my money on investing in big time businesses, that way I know that my money is safe and earning as the business grows bigger. I’d say I would spend most of my money on cars and fashion, but you have got to play it smart.

A: That is great to hear you talk about investments; and, Cebu has become the newest investment hub for businessmen, especially on real estate. So, what is your opinion on property investments?
JT: I see property investments as a way of earning money easily; well, that is of course back in the time when lands or properties weren’t as expensive as they were now. However, buying and selling properties is easy business, yet based from what I have learned, it was much easier to do such investments back then.

A: So, do you think that the millennials are too young to invest in properties or be involved in property investments and management?
JT: Not at all…An age of 21 wouldn’t be a bad age to start investing in properties since you would have already finished your college degree by then. I also feel like I would be mature enough to know how to handle properties when negotiating and investing.

A: How about millennials being aggressive in starting their own business? What is your opinion on starting your own business?
JT: Starting your own business means a lot of responsibility, you may not be on your own since you’ll have a lot of help but there will be a lot in your hand. But starting your own business will also mean that you will be able to do something that’s mainly your idea, you will be able to handle everything just the way you want it.

JT graced the pages of Zee Lifestyle magazine for the first time in its December 2017 Style Issue as one of the young personalities featured in “Generation Next“.

A: How about you? If you will start your own business, what type of business will you start?
JT: If ever, I would open up a restaurant business. I’ve figured this out already during my down time. A restaurant downstairs and a bar upstairs. I’m very interested in cooking movies, my favorite is Burnt. And I also enjoy cooking since one can get creative in many ways with many ingredients.

A: Wow! So, you will soon be the next Dr. David Eisenberg? I love him…well, he is a neurosurgeon and a Michelin star chef, who founded the Healthy Kitchens.
JT: (smiles) Maybe. Hehehe! I really hope so.

A: Well, I cannot wait to dine in your restaurant. So, for my last question. Please rate the following with 1 as the highest priority and 10 as the lowest priority in your life, right now: Career, House/Property Investment, Starting a Business, Health Insurance, Car, Entertainment, Travels, Branded Clothes, Shoes, Gadgets.
JT: Right now, I think my number one shall be Travels because traveling gives you a lot of experiences and lessons to learn, followed by cars. Then, for my number 3, that would be a house or a property investment, and entertainment will go next because I like watching movies. My number 5 priority is career, and then may be starting a business. Number 7 shall be clothes, hehehehe! My number 8 shall be shoes because shoes should match my clothes. Number 9 in my priority are the gadgets; I may need them for my travels, and last will be the health insurance investment because if you keep yourself healthy by eating right and resting enough, you will need less of the health insurance.

A: Well, that’s it. Thank you for your time and for opening yourself to us. I have learned about millennials, even from listening to just one millennial like yourself.
JT: The pleasure is mine. Thank you.


So, like any other young soul, JT has the passion for adventure and learning through his travels. He may be in to clothes and shoes; well, why not? He is the IT boy in Cebu’s fashion after all. Yet, as young he is, he has set his eyes on the prize by becoming the next doctor/chef. Plus, he thinks and speaks maturely on his plans for business and investments. A lot of people may say that millennials are hard to teach and impatient; but, not this guy, as JT is very eager to work in the office and wants to work closely with the boss to learn and gain opportunities.

In the next feature, we shall meet a millennial who did not only collect beauty titles, but also collected all the “A” grades in her university; a strong environmental activist, and even represented the Philippines this year to the ASEAN Youth forum on environment and climate change in Singapore.


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.



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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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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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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