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VAGUE: A Tribute to Cebuano Society

Zee pays tribute to Vague with a special section dedicated to the Annes, Ashiras and Barbras we know. Read about the fashionable it girl, the stunning trophy wife and the sophisticated socialite and let us know: Which one are you?


hair and make up Romero Vergara

A VAGUE regular, Barbra with a brand new haircut and streamlined wardrobe reintroduces herself to Cebuano society, giving these young it girls a run for their money, showing them how to live a truly charmed life.

What’s your family business?

My family is into mining; we’re very much connected to the South African diamond magnate.

Who are you wearing right now?

Edwin Ao.

Who do you consider your friends in the society world?

When you’re on top you have a lot of friends here. Well, I consider a lot of people my friends but I don’t know if they consider me a friend. But of course, I’m very close to Amparito because they’re also into the jewelry business.

What about your enemies?

I would consider politicians my enemies, especially in times of elections. They ask for contributions, so they’re my enemies every three years.

What do you say to people who call you a social climber?

Oh, well they should climb with me!

What are your thoughts on Paris Hilton?

She doesn’t deserve the name. I’ve been to Paris and it’s very romantic, and Paris Hilton is never romantic. She’s… I don’t know what you would call her.

Speaking of Paris Hilton, do you have a sex video?

Yes, 60 pounds ago but it was never released. When I did, it was still on VHS.

Do you believe that money can’t buy happiness?

I don’t believe it. I mean, money is happiness. That’s why so many people want it.

You travel quite a lot and get recognized often. Where do you go to escape the paparazzi?

My bathroom. It’s the safest place in the world. I don’t have windows in my bathroom.

If you could trade places with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I would like to be the former pope, Pope Benedict XVI because I want to see what it’s like to be pope and then not be pope anymore, but still be alive.

If Hollywood were to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?

It would either be Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie. Julia Roberts because she has the best smile, lips and personality, and Angelina Jolie because she’s like me right now: we don’t have any boobs.

How many husbands have you had?

I’m a Filipina so I only have one. But to say the least, I think I have lived with seven men.

What do you say to rumors about your husband being unfaithful?

I don’t really care; I also am.

Do you have any kids?

I have three—one is in Europe, studying in Cambridge. Two of them are in the US, one in MIT and the other in Harvard.

Where did you go to school?

I finished highschool in the Philippines, then proceeded to college in Oxford and then graduate studies at MIT.

Do you have a private plane?

I have two. I can give you one.

What’s your favorite travel destination?

Antarctica. It’s the only place I get real privacy.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

Love. But it’s on sale these days.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Cebu?

Anzani and Tavolata, and of course the ones that I own.

What’s your favorite drink?

Blue margarita

Who are your favorite designers?

For gowns, locally, I love Cary Santiago. Internationally, I love Christian Lacroix.

Where do you usually shop?

Paris, and of course Milan.

Do you have any charities?

Yes, I have a lot right now and there’s one under my name, the Barbra Foundation, which is for women who are struggling, abused women and women with unfaithful husbands—just so they can get a livelihood, and get a life.

Do you believe in plastic surgery?

Yes of course! If you’re beautiful inside but not on the outside, then go for plastic surgery. Fortunately for me, it’s just that I don’t need them. No botox, not yet. Maybe after 20 years, maybe I’ll join the likes of certain high profile women who are very open with their botox.

Where do you usually go out in Cebu?

I don’t usually go out. It’s just with friends at their houses. I mean, Cebu’s a bit crowded now and I’ve been advised by my security people to not go out as much.

Where do you live?

It’s a humble house with the front door by the Banilad gate and the back door by the Busay gate of Ma. Luisa.

What do you drive?

I don’t drive; of course I have my driver. I’m the simplest person, I don’t know the brand I’m riding on. I just ride them comfortably. That’s a man’s world.

Who’s a Cebuano guy that you have a crush on?

Mike Rama, I have a crush on him. Especially now that he won again.

Would you ever run for office?

Never. I fund politicians, but I would never run myself. It’s so tedious for me, and I don’t like going there and convincing people to vote for me. But I can buy votes though.

The Trophy Wife: ASHIRA DUPONT

hair and make up Gari Son

Poised to become Cebu’s next wine mogul, Ashira talks about how her beautiful looks and slender figure landed her in a life of luxury.

Where are you from?

Cebu City, but I actually grew up in the province, in Tuburan. I went to school and worked in Cebu.

Who is your husband?

Michel Dupont, from Antwerp, Belgium. We met during my vacation in Boracay, and I was shocked when I found out he was filthy rich in Belgium. It’s how I became a rich woman.

What is your family business?

Now I’m managing our wine importing business in the Philippines, but he still manages his jewelry business in Antwerp. I can’t tell you the name, though, because it’s very confidential.

Do you guys travel a lot?

He travels most of the time in India and in Africa, but he comes here often. He loves Boracay and Palawan; he loves the Philippines because he gets to relax. But we’ve travelled around the world—he loves Asia and I love Europe. We went to Germany, but I love Paris and Italy. It’s very romantic. I love the Mediterranean.

Do you have a private plane?

No, we don’t. I think it’s very expensive in Europe, but we only take first class flights because my husband is a very sophisticated person, very luxurious. He wants luxury all the time—if it’s five-star, six-star, I can’t tell. I’m not used to having that luxurious life, but I love him. He’s quite handsome; at least he was when he was younger.

How old is he?

He is 46 and I’m 28.

How old were you when you met?

I was 27, so it’s been a year of luxury. This is really all still shocking for me.

How did you start your wine business?

My husband is really a businessman, and he wants to earn more money so he told me to venture into the wine business. He is a shareholder of a winery in the south of France, so that’s why he exported wine to here and I receive it to sell in Cebu City.

Where do you live?

I live in Maria Luisa alone, with my helpers.

How many helpers do you have?

I have six, to take care of the house and my clothes.

What brands and designers do you like?

I love Louis Vuitton and I love Versace, it’s my favorite brand. It’s so sexy, and I feel like Donatella. That’s the look I like. I love Gucci also. I don’t like the American brands that much; I’d rather go for the European ones. I would like to be able to wear Alexander McQueen, but it’s too avant garde for me. I have bags and shoes that my husband buys for me, and he just gives me a credit card so I can shop and swipe in Europe during my vacations.

What car do you drive?

It’s an Audi, a silver one. I don’t know what model though, and I don’t know how to drive. I need to practice. We just hired a driver to drive me to the office.

What do you do everyday?

I just manage the wine business since we’re just starting. It was launched last October. It’s called “Hey, Wine!”. Hey, because it’s that great feeling of just greeting people with “hey!” It’s welcoming. If it doesn’t work we’ll change the name to “Hello, Wine!”

Do you go out a lot?

I’m not used to going out because I still don’t have a lot of friends in the social circles of Cebu. My husband isn’t here and if I go out a lot, then he might get jealous when I meet men—and I don’t want him to think that because I’m rich already. I can’t give up my husband, so I take care of him and the business. I do go out to Ayala to shop and dine in the best restaurants in Cebu.

Do you believe in plastic surgery?

Yes! Before I had small breasts but my husband didn’t like them so I opted for implants, went to Belo and had it fixed. My husband was so happy with my operation. It looks superb now. I feel like a Victoria’s Secret model.

Do you plan on having children?

Oh my God, I don’t know if my husband can handle babies, or if he’s ready for it. I would like kids though, because they’ll live a rich lifestyle and they can go to the good universities.

How often do you go to Belgium?

I lived in Belgium for seven months after the wedding, before my husband decided I should go back to the Philippines and start a business. I got bored in Belgium. It’s a cold country— nine months of cold weather—and when you’re a Filipino, you need to adjust and all, but my husband was very sensitive. He told me to go back and continue my happy life in the Philippines.

Are you on a diet right now?

No, my yaya just cooks for me. I just eat whatever she prepares.

Do you have any charities?

Yes, I do help children. My family is doing a feeding program in our barangay and soliciting money. I just give, because whatever you give will come back a thousand times over. I really believe in that. Just share the good karma, and it will come back.

Where does your family live now?

In Tuburan. I don’t want my family to live with me because I decided when I started a family of my own, I want it to be separated. I just had our house fixed there and support them.

Does your husband get mad that you support them?

He’s very understanding, because I let him understand.

Have you met your mother-inlaw?

She’s already dead, but I’ve met my father-in-law and I can’t understand him. The language is really complicated. I need to live there for five more years, then maybe I can speak fluently and understand better.

Do you and your husband have a language barrier?

No, he speaks very good English. He’s a businessman and he meets a lot of people from around the world.

Do you spit or swallow?

Of course I swallow, because I’m not bulimic. I don’t want to spit out what I put in my mouth. Just follow the natural process of things.

Would you rather be rich and ugly, or poor and beautiful?

Well, I would rather be poor and beautiful, because that was how I was before. I was just fortunate enough to find a very rich and handsome husband who was my knight in shining armor. He rescued me from poverty. It’s just like a Cinderella Story.


hair and make up Romero Vergara

The 19 year-old hotel chain heiress gives VAGUE a sneak peak into the life she’s tried so desperately to keep private and her plans for the not-so-distant future.

Describe your style.

Elegant and sophisticated but bitchy.

People say you’re a bitch. Are you?

When I enter a room, it’s full of bitches, but I’m the prime bitch.

There are rumors going around that your boyfriend is gay.

Those who are spreading rumors obviously just want to sleep with him.

Do you abide by the unwritten rules of friendship, like don’t sleep with your friends’ exes?

It’s always situational. It depends if my friend’s ex is hot, then maybe. It could be one way of revenge for her, right?

How do you feel about the hundreds of fake accounts of you on Facebook?

Stalkers! Ambitious!

Leather or lace?

It depends on the boyfriend, but a mix of both would be great. Hard and soft. I’m always for the balance.

Where do you usually hang out?

I’d rather not say. Commoners will start crowding up the place.

How much is your monthly allowance?

It’s too vulgar an amount to mention.

What is your take on friends who magically lose their wallets when it’s time to pay the bill?

They’re not my friends anymore.

Did you go to an international school?

Are there any other kind?

What’s your family business?

We own an IT company and we have a lot of hotels in Cebu and Manila, but we’re humble. It’s the Award Hotels.

Is there a membership club in the hotel?

For you guys no, it’s just for the beautiful bitches.

Do you have a private plane?

No, because my dad doesn’t want me to have one since I’m too bratty already. But I’m a member for all the airlines, but except the low-budget ones, of course.

Where’s the last place you traveled to?

Sorry, I travel a lot so I can’t remember. I think it was in Milan. I had lunch in Milan, dinner in Paris and then breakfast the next day in London.

Where are the Awards from?

Genovia. I’m neighbors with Princess Mia.

Are you part of the royal family?

I have to keep that a secret to protect the family, but just between us, yes.

Who’s your favorite designer?

I always loved Christian Dior and Roberto Cavalli. I love the way he goes for prints and volume.

What do you look for in a man?

I already have everything, so my perfect guy is like what everyone wants. A very simple guy: rich, handsome, very good attitude… rich.

What if the guy is poor?

Poorer than me? Well that’s a given cause I’m the richest. But he shouldn’t be far from like the second or third richest family.

What are your parents’ names?

My mom is Bitchirhea Award and my dad’s Pedro. He’s half Filipino.

What are your plans for the future?

It’s all laid out by my parents already so I don’t have to worry about that.

Are you going to take over your company?

No! I need to pay people to take over. I just want to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in different places with the best guy on my side.

What’s the worst thing you’ve done to a girl?

Stared at her. After that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Were you a mean girl in high school?

I wasn’t! I was so friendly. Everyone would say hi, and then that’s it. They’ll go back to bowing their heads when they walk.

Have you had any plastic surgery?

No, everything here is real.

Are you against plastic surgery?

No. If people need the ego boost, then they can go ahead. I don’t need it.

Do you think you’re pretty?

What a stupid question.

How old are you now?

I’m 19, turning 18.

How many boyfriends have you had?

I can’t tell you, my dad might be reading.

How old do you want to be when you get married?

19. So, I have to get married soon.

Where do you like to get a drink here in Cebu?

At Crossroads, just Distillery or GILT. I love Waves at Shangri-la Mactan.

What’s your boyfriend’s name?

Stefano Dalimarsh. He’s from Belgium, I met him last night. He runs a restaurant and a club, and he’s a gangster.

What kind of sausages do you like?

Depends on my mood. But everyone loves Hungarian.

Do you prefer guys in boxers or briefs?

Boxers. I like them bouncing.

Where do you want to get married and have your honeymoon?

Paris and Maldives.

Do you have a hotel there also?

No, but my dad’s friend does.

Do you have any siblings?

No, I banished them all. It’s all about me.

Where do you live?

No, you might go to my place. In Cebu, I do have a condo in Calyx.

Where do you usually shop in Cebu?

In Ayala, but I shop when it’s closed. It’s a private thing.

Name a prominent Cebuano guy you have a crush on.

Joe Vince Canizares

  • photography Dan Douglas Ong

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LONDON IN FULL BLOOM: An Exclusive Look at the recent Chelsea Flower Show

Dame Judy Dench (center in white) with gallery owner, Jerry Sibal, Edwin Josue, writer Eva Gullas and artist James Doran-Webb.

The Chelsea Flower Show in London, one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the world, returned in full glory in May 2023, captivating visitors with its stunning displays and landscape designs. Held annually on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, this year’s show proved to be a true feast for the senses, showcasing an array of breathtaking gardens, vibrant floral arrangements, and innovative landscaping. The 3-day event showcased 36 outdoor gardens, including four balcony gardens for small spaces. Inside the giant pavilion, blooms compete with each other, exotic flowers, roses, and many more.

Princess Kate Middleton walking the booths at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Dame Judy Dench, who owns several of Webb’s pieces in her garden, with James Doran-Webb and Jerry Sibal discussing the works of James.

One of the flower arrangements competing at the show.

The 2023 Chelsea Flower Show embraced a Nature’s Harmony theme, with a strong focus on sustainability and mental health. The show’s organizers emphasized the importance of sustainable gardening practices and biodiversity conservation, inspiring attendees to create beautiful outdoor spaces while preserving and protecting the environment.

One of the floral gazebo displays recycled chairs and salvaged materials.

Shops at the Chelsea Flower Show are mostly from sustainable materials.

What’s Cebu got to do with the Chelsea Flower Show in London? One person. James Doran Webb (, an Englishman working with driftwood, has been displaying his artworks for several years. James collects cast-off driftwood and shapes them into beautiful animal shapes that find places in some of the most iconic gardens. Leaping horses, owls, reindeer, and the occasional dragon, James Webb’s creations are avidly collected by landscapers to add accent to gardens in all sizes, using cast-off wood, fitting perfectly with the sustainable element—something Mr. Webb has done quite well for the last decade.

The impressive dragon of James Doran-Webb


The Philippine International Flower Festival will be held at the PICC in Manila from January 14 to 18, 2024. Watch out for more info from our website!

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Eatz Cebu Issue 5

You can also view Eatz Cebu Issue 5 PDF file here

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