Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hectic exciting February

I can't believe it's the end of February. What a hectic month this has been. Seems like it was just Feb 1, and now the month has flown by. We had a friend of ours from Subic fly in for a few days to explore Puerto Princesa. He seemed to have a good time. He was the perfect guest, just went out on his own and did the things he wanted. We took him to our favorite beach an hour away for a native, eat on banana leaves picnic and we all enjoyed that. He's even coming back next week in March!
Next Merle Deen who is working with the city of PPC for an intergrated tourism plan so everyon benefits from her ideas, and printed collaterals that visitors will receive. Great gal, full of energy and great ideas. We met her the first time we came to PPC in May of 2009. We took her to our Green Tech Eco Center and she was excited about the possibilities there. We did a lot this month with the new electric tricycles at the Green Tech Eco Center. Dave refitted some of the new prototypes with more safety features among other things and now we need to work on the rest of the body. Merle seemed to really like the Etrikes too.

February 14th is a big day for Puerto Princesa, as that is when the city sponsor's the Love Affair with Nature event wherein the Mayor heads up the marriage of hundreds of people, who then have to plant new mangrove trees at location which have been degraded. Thousands of people show up for that and since our company Green Tech EcoCenter handles the official maintenance for PPC we had to dispatch all of the electric vehicles to said location by 4am that day. What a day that was!

 Dave drove our two Eagle prototype electric trikes the ET3's, which the City ordered and our partner from Manila, Willy dela Cruz came with a gentleman who is going to help us create an assembly program so we can make the etrikes here and help create jobs.

Suddenly it was the 17th and some business people from Manila came to explore the possibilities of teaming up on our Etrike technology, that day was also Dave's 53rd birthday, so after working all day and also taking my friend Mylene Abiva around town, who was here for a GoNegosyo Seminar sponsored by DTI and held at the PPC coliseum., I was able to throw a little get together for him that night at his favorite restaurant, Kinabuch. He loves the sizzling spareribs and all the waiters never even bother to give him a menu when he gets there since that's pretty much all he ever eats. Mayor Hagedorn was gracious enough to drop by as the first of 4 dinners he had to attend that night. He didn't stay long but we were all so very happy to have a few minutes of his time to ourselves. He's such a nice man, as well as an excellent Mayor.
The next day at the PPC coliseum I was scheduled as one of the first Go NeGosyo entreps to speak along with Vincent Tan at an open forum which was scheduleded  for 30 minutes but went on a little longer. That was fun and I really enjoyed the interaction with the crowd and the opportunity to inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs. I had to jump out of that event to attend to some emails and run my U.S. corporation back at my console at our home office, then head back to attend the Mayor's presentation of awards at same event to local entreps. Hop back out and then attend a dinner that night with Mylene that the Mayor hosts on behalf of the City of Puerto for important guests.


By Feb. 23 Images Asia Magazine Publisher and team and photographers arrived to do a story on me and Mayor Hagedorn, and I sort of co-produced Mayor's shoot by coordinating with his team, in between my shots, doing that kept me fairly busy till then left on the 26th.
Dancing at the Baywalk for Image's Asia Magazine shoot
This was a shot I arranged up for Images Asia to feature some of our local talents. It was at the Baywalk and the drummer/fireeater/dancers set up just at sunset and the Publisher, Ernest Gonzaga said to dance to the drums. This is one of the most fun things I enjoy. Dancing to drums. There is something so basic and primodial about the sounds of drums any way. I just to bye bye and all I hear are the drums, my heart beat and I can't help but sway.

Jones Tabujara, whose wife Kyle and daughter also drum with him made a great commotion on the Baywalk. I was so taken by the dance that I didn't realize there was a throng of people all around where we set up.

He a also designs jewelry, native crafts, works of art, hand made drums etc. made from native materials. I own several bracelets, necklaces etc. 
At Lotus Garden restaurant
This shoot was at one of mine and Dave's  favorite restuarants in town, the Lotus Garden Restaurant and Suites. They were so nice to let us use one of their cabanas as a prop and gave me a suite to change my clothes in. Very nice people that run it. We wound up taking the magazine crew to dinner there on their last night in town.

Picking up Monica and her son Santi!
Feb. 27, 2010-We picked up my niece Monica Eleazar Manzano and her hubby Ramon Manzano III, or "Montri" and their son Santi at the airport at 6pm. They were so excited to be here. Took them to the usual Kinabuch, then on to their new home not but 10 mins away from us!! It's a cute two storey affair and at a fairly reasonable rate, considering the greedy landlords have been tryin to get 20,000 Pesos for just horrid houses.  They have been planning this move or at least dreaming of it and telling us of their dream when Dave and I first moved here in Oct. 2009. Monica gives her explanation of why they moved here in a blog she wrote on the eve of their trip here.
Ramon Manzano III and wife Monica Eleazar Manzano
Since Dave and I need help building our Green Tech EcoCenter, I offered him a job with our company to help us grow it. They discussed it together and now here they are! Beginning to live their own dream.

Visit my personal website at http://www.djl.net/

Cover of Images Asia Magazine April May Issue 2010
More photos of behind the scenes for Images Asia Magazine at
These two photos by by MJ CAHERO for Images Asia Magazine April Issue

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Amazing Wedding- Singson- Michael - Jan. 4, 2010

Manila fashion designer Icon
Oskar Peralta. The first Filipino designer
to be featured in Vogue Magazine.
In December of 2009 Richelle Singson invited me to be Godmother at her wedding to Richard Peter Michael.  Her father, a family friend, just happens to be the Deputy National Security Adviser in the Philippines, and former govenor of Ilocos Sur, Luis "Chavit" Singson. As far as invitations go, it was rather last minute considering I didn't have anything suitable to wear and most of the fashion designers in Manila were already pre booked and buried in orders for the holiday season. I actually tried some of the higher end department stores, but alas, nothing would fit my shortness.

I was lucky enough to run into a social acquaintance in Facebook chat, Becky Garcia, who I know has great taste and also knows everyone around it seems, especially fashion designers. She turned me on to a designer named Oskar Peralta, who I later found out is an icon in the fashion world. I was in Manila for a doctor's appointment early in December and Oskar was kind enough to fit me in my hotel room and then made an ink drawing in less than 5 minutes, of what he thought would be flattering on my small stature. The scary part was that I would not be back in Manila to try on the gown until 2 days before the wedding, so if there were major adjustmests, I was afraid he wouldn't have time to change anything. My fears turned out be be unfounded and the dress, with minor adjustments was delivered to my hotel room in enough time the day of the wedding.

L to R: Diana Limjoco, Philippine President Gloria M Arroyo,
bride Richelle, Groom Richard Peter Michael, Phil Vice President
Noli de Castro.
What I didn't know until after I ordered the dress was that the bride had 37 other Godmothers and Godfathers that included Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Vice President Noli de Castro, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, her son Congressman Bong Bong Marcos, two major Presidential candidates, Manny Villar and Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro, and many more congressmen, senators and other notables!  I couldn't help but feel paranoid! Had anyone decided to bomb the event, it would have taken out the heads of state, the two most popular Presidential candidates, and half the candidates it seems, including our national boxing champion and hero, Manny Pacquiao!

It all started off well enough, we picked up my cousin Tata McNamee who was also attending and we got to the church, St. James the Great Parish, in Ayala Alabang Village with time to spare. We went inside the church to get good seats for my hubby Dave and Tata, and I went to the back of the church to lineup with all the notables to wait for the wedding march to begin.

Gov. Singson, Diana, President Gloria
M Arroyo
All went well, the wedding ritual was beautiful and the bride and groom had their teary eyed moment saying their respective vows. Then all Godmothers were called to the altar to have the formal photo with the bride and groom. This is where it all went south for me. When all the other Godmothers were done, there was a small moment in time while they gathered the Godfathers. I took this opportunity to get my solo shot with the bride and groom along with President Arroyo and VP Noli de Castro. Two perfect shots and I sallied down the steps, only to trip on my gown. I slid, rather gracefully I might add, right onto my BUTT down the marble steps in front of one and all!!! When I finally landed, one of the Mayor's offered me his hand and I raised myself up with as much dignity as I could muster. What I really wanted to do was crawl under a rock!! However, not being a quitter and not wanting to totally shame my family honor, I stood right back up in front of the altar and pretended I still had some composure.

Dave, Tata and I decided to head to the reception at the beautiful Byzantine Fernbrook Garden thus I was able to avoid the looks of pity and I had time to go into denial about the whole thing by the time we got to the reception. Somehow one of the waiters managed to spill some grease on my beautiful gown without me knowing it, until Dave pointed it out to me. Well nothing to be done for it there. Strike two for this event. I took it in stride. It was nothing to falling on my butt at the church.
Dave Dewbre, Diana Limjoco, boxing champion and
PI Icon Manny Paciquiao

We walked around and talked to those we knew. I walked around getting the invitation signed by as many of the Godparents I could find and then I sprained my ankle. I couldn't believe my bad luck. I managed to hobble to our table where I remained with a napkin full of ice on my ankle,which I asked one of the waiters to get for me. My spirits totally whacked out at this point, and in a great deal of pain, I asked for a wheel chair to be brought to me, and we skulked out a side door, with only a couple of tables witnessing my horrible luck. But of course as someone else pointed out, I looked great, and I guess that was all that mattered!

Dave Dewbre, Diana Limjoco, Imelda Marcos and Tata Roxas McNamee

The beautiful bride, Richel Louise Singson Michael, and handsome groom, Richard Peter Michael

Blog of Diana J. Limjoco of the Clan Limjoco