Saturday, October 11, 2014

“Mission: Makeover ‘Ma’am’ “
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 11, 2014

Day in and day out, our kids spend most of their waking hours in school. Acting as our trusted partners in molding our dearest children to be the best that they can be are their kind-hearted and selfless teachers.

In celebration of Teachers’ Day, the Davao Christian High School Parents-Teachers Fellowship (DCHS PTF), of which I am the president for this school-year, treated the school’s well-loved teachers to a much-deserved night of makeup and fashion through a special workshop.

Conducting the exciting workshop was one of Davao’s leading professional makeup artists, Carine Bacani, and the lovely fashion stylist and fellow DCHS mom Erika Soriano-Mata.

Mission : Makeover Ma’am

Carine, originally from Manila, moved to Davao three years ago with her husband and two kids. She is a makeup artist and beauty workshop trainer for private and corporate clients.

She studied makeup artistry at the Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and has worked with close to one hundred clients for activities ranging from debuts, formals, weddings, and corporate seminars.

On the other hand, Erika is a mom of three brilliant kids and the ever supportive and loving wife of Dr. Richard Mata. A graduate of Medical Technology from the San Pedro College, Erika has always turned heads not only for her beauty but for her tasteful fashion style. Recently, she has found a newfound career as a much sought-after speaker for talks on fashion.

Ten-minute Makeup for Busy Teachers

During the workshop, Carine taught and demonstrated the “Ten-Minute Makeup for Busy Teachers” and for a fun night out, the more dramatic smokey eyes using Human Nature and VMV Hypoallergenics’ makeup, our generous sponsors for the event.

Last summer, my sisters-in-law and I along with our friends first met Carine during an intimate makeup workshop session at home. It was a great bonding time with girlfriends as we were taught the basics of makeup using our existing stash and tools.

It was the same jovial atmosphere last pre-Teachers’ Day celebration as the teachers listened eagerly to Carine who shared her practical makeup tips. For instance, Carine shared that according to her pediatrician, did you know that when the speaker wears red lipstick, the listeners tend to be more attentive? Wow, that’s such useful information for teachers yearning for their students’ undivided attention!

Beautiful inside and out

Erika is a dear mommy friend whom I adore to bits! She is beauty and brains personified. I’ve always admired her for her tried and tested taste in fashion. Sometimes, she may be dressed simply in just a plain white shirt and jeans but when she puts her personal take on it through well-chosen accessories, she “levels up” the look.

In the workshop, Erika, who is a former Penshoppe billboard model, imparted sensible ways on how to dress appropriately for different occasions as well as according to one’s body type. She also emphasized the importance of finding your fashion style.

At the end of the workshop, teachers Mary Jane Manseguiao and Cristina Sasube, experienced a total makeover courtesy of Carine and Erika.

Each wearing the day (“no makeup/flawless”) and smokey makeup look by Carine, the two teachers were stunning donned in Erika’s pre-selected ‘surprise’ outfits.

Erika wowed us all as she was only given a budget of P1,250 each for the teachers’ new look which included their semi-formal dresses, accessories and shoes.

We capped the unforgettable night by giving away fantastic raffle prizes from Human Nature, VMV Hypoallergenics and Bloom Facial Spa.

Christian High’s next top model

Two weeks after, the PTF’s pre-Teachers’ Day treat came in handy as the DCHS Student Council organized the school’s annual Teachers’ Day celebration with the theme, “Christian High’s Next Top Model : Setting the Best Example”.

Inspired by the reality hit TV series, “America’s Next Top Model”, excited cheers from students reverberated in the school auditorium as the teachers gamely sashayed on the red carpet with their best looks.

It is worthy to note, however, that the theme of the affair did not only highlight the teachers as ‘fashion models’ but most importantly, it also focused on the educators’ role in molding the students’ character and values and how they have made a significant impact in their students’ lives.

To all the amazing and wonderful teachers in the Philippines and around the world, Happy Teachers’ Day! Cheers to you!

The DCHS PTF’s “Mission : Makeover Ma’am” could not have been possible without the all-out support of the ‘glam team’ Ms. Carine Bacani (For bookings, check out; like her on Facebook: Makeup by Carine) and Ms. Erika Soriano-Mata; Human Nature’s Monique Villanueva, Joy Mempin and Sylvia Rieta; VMV Hypoallergenics’ Anna Anastacio, Marie Cortez and Jacklyn Remo; and Bloom Facial and Spa’s Golda Divinagracia. Our sincerest thanks to all of you for making the DCHS advanced Teachers’ Day treat such a memorable one!

Special thanks to Silvia Gomez-Gempesaw for Carine’s photo.       

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

“You the Mom!”
Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 27, 2014

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s ‘Super Mom’!

With their almost superhuman qualities, dynamic Mommy Mundo founder Janice Villanueva admires moms for their powers in time management and multitasking alongside their ability to do anything and everything for their loved ones.

“And, they accomplish all of these things wholeheartedly and passionately at that!”, Janice declares.

“Because most moms do their tasks with grace and usually with flair even, we may sometimes forget to show her some appreciation and affirmation. Even moms themselves don’t seem to recognize their own efforts because taking on numerous responsibilities and caring for those we love comes naturally to us. Still, we should take pride in who we are and the important roles we play not only in our own families, but also in our communities and country”, Janice enthuses.

At the recent Expo Mom 2014, Mommy Mundo recognized moms for their many big and small accomplishments through their campaign, “You the Mom!”. The said campaign puts “the spotlight on all the unbelievably good things that moms do by featuring women whose stories represent every mom who has made a difference in her community, her family and her child’s life”.

I was privileged to be one of the inspiring Davao moms of the “You the Mom!” campaign together with Marga Montemayor-Nograles, Lyn Buyco-Tan, Mimi Vergara-Tupas, Olive Puentespina, and Gel Ferrer. We may be involved in different fields and advocacies but all of us share one common thing – motherhood is by far the most challenging and fulfilling role we’ve ever had!

Now on its seventh year, “Expo Mom is the biggest of its kind, gathering progressive, active moms in an environment that’s both recreational and educational. It has become a venue for like-minded moms to establish lasting connections and has also become the catalyst for the mompreneur movement in Manila”, Janice shares.

In Davao, Expo Mom has been organized here only for the second time. Showcasing over 20 booths at the Abreeza Mall Activity Center, the event highlighted exciting all-day talks, demos and raffle draws.

The enlightening talks and activities included “Joomajam” by Vin Dancel of Ritmo; “Your Baby’s Cordblood-Why Bank it?” by Cord Life; “Delightful Electrolux-Price is Right?”; “Best Beginnings” by LATCH Davao; “Building Character in our Children in their Tender Years” by Boyet and Elaine Quinto of EDUCHILD; “Let’s Talk About Fashion” by Erika Soriano-Mata; “Mom and Me Fashion Show” by Stockbridge International School and Soul Lifestyle; “5-Minute Makeup for the Busy Mom” by Carine Bacani; “The Seed Sower” by Lyn Tan; and “Mimathology: Premier Child Photography” by Mima Tan.

Aside from Manila and Davao, Expo Mom has also expanded its campaign to Cebu and Bacolod.

For more information and event updates, visit To be part of the “You the Mom!” campaign, check out

Follow Mommy Mundo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on events and activities for moms throughout the year.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

“Reesa’s Slide and Ride”
Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 13, 2014
Ariana Melissa Tempongko Villanueva, or Reesa to her family and close friends, is an avid home baker. Chocolate Chip Cookies, Red Velvet and Carrot Cupcakes are among her scrumptious bestsellers.

Currently a second year college student at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Reesa is taking up BS Community Nutrition.

Recently, Reesa celebrated her 18th birthday, with a unique concoction that warms the heart.

Here is the recipe for Reesa’s satisfying birthday treat!


Reesa’s decision to forego the traditional cotillion was not made overnight.

As the daughter of Gawad Kalinga (GK) full-time worker Ricky Villanueva, she was a mere 4-year old kid when her father started bringing her to communities to paint houses, till backyard vegetable gardens and play with the children of the GK villages.

Gawad Kalinga, which means to “give care” in Filipino, is recognized globally as a world-class Filipino movement for nation building. It has built close to 2,000 beautiful and thriving communities for the poorest of the poor.

At the age of 18, Reesa was ready to choose a road less-travelled, and to celebrate a milestone in her teenage life.

How else? The GK way! Where else? Her favorite village – GK Pueblo Antonio in Catigan, Toril, Davao City.


Reesa had to give something concrete, something that the community would benefit from for the long-term.

A stainless work table for the ube processors? Too serious. A fresh coat of paint for the GK houses? Too grown-up.

Even at 18, Reesa was still a child at heart. Bingo! An outdoor playground! The garden fronting the Daycare Center was conveniently vacant – a void that two sets of slides, swings and see-saws would do well to fill.

A GK Playground, this would be Reesa’s long-lasting and tangible legacy to GK Pueblo Antonio!


What is an 18th birthday celebration without a party?

And, so, Reesa planned a typical children’s party – complete with the staple fried chicken and spaghetti (cooked by the Pueblo Antonio Cooperative), chocolate cupcakes (from the ovens of GK Sakadab Village); fun games and prizes; party give-aways; and the party clown who entertained the children for an entire morning.

The highlight of the celebration was the unveiling of the stone marker, Ariana’s Slide and Ride, which formally opened the playground to the children of GK Pueblo Antonio.


This was to be the icing on Reesa’s proverbial cake: the Daycare children of the village came together and offered her a song, followed by a bouquet of flowers, freshly picked from the homes of the GK residents, and arranged by the mothers of GK Pueblo Antonio.

That exact moment affirmed Reesa’s conviction that a life lived for others is its greatest reward.


A whole community of children, and generations of children for years to come!

(The above article was beautifully written by Monique Tempongko-Villanueva, my good friend and the lovely mother of Reesa for Human Nature Davao’s #HeroesRising. Special thanks to Reesa’s elder sister, Kimie Villanueva, for the photos.)

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