By Niña Terol March 8, 2009 IT is no accident that today, International Women’s Day, is the day when I am able to write this piece. For yesterday and the day before that, I was blessed with a unique opportunity to share my words with women (and men) from different walks of life, and I feel a profound sense of joy knowing that I have used even just a bit of my time here on earth to touch other lives. It is a mission I take wholeheartedly, a responsibility I take seriously—and the gravity of it all humbles me. I am in still in awe of it all, and I dedicate this to all the women out there who have dedicated their whole lives to helping dreams take flight. I dedicate this most especially to the women who have enabled some of my own dreams to be realized: my Surreality sisters: Carissa Villacorta, JV Wong, and Tricia Tensuan. Yesterday, March 7, was the culmination of a dream held dearly by four women who had met just a few months earlier. For Carissa, JV (Joy), Tricia, and I, our meeting on August 22, 2008--Carissa’s 29th birthday--was no accident. It would be only the beginning of changing each others’ lives, and we had hoped that our story would touch other lives as well. The Surreality workshop was an idea that we had thought of because we were all brought together in very surreal, synchronistic ways, and because it was the title of Carissa’s widely acclaimed book relating her experiences as a wide-eyed, twenty-something Filipina in New York City. The workshop took months of discernment and preparation to put together, and we were met by fears that--come Surreality Day, nobody would show up. Would people really be willing to pay for a workshop on “Making the jump from dreaming the life to living the dream”--and facilitated by non-celebrities at that? Our doubts turned into amazement, however, when people and organizations started offering their support to make this workshop a reality. Enderun Colleges, Powerbooks, and Design Muscle came in to partner with Joy’s firm, People Ignite, in providing logistical and marketing support. People from everywhere in Facebook started sending us messages of encouragement. Newspapers gave us free space to share our story and promote our activity to their readers. We knew that we were onto something special, but nothing had prepared us for the magic that was about to unfold. Our workshop’s mantra was “Believe. Begin. Become” and we also used it as a framework for our activities. We began the morning with a centering and visioning exercise, which I had framed and facilitated, and we walked our participants through some creative unleashing grounded by a healthy belief in self. Within an hour, our participants’ buried dreams were excavated, denied passions were confronted, and hazy visions were crystallized. I was moved by everyone’s willingness to let themselves go and come face to face with their inner selves. Carissa’s session, which came after mine, was a generous showering of tips, to-dos, and realizations based on her experiences in fulfilling her dreams in New York and beyond. For Carissa, Surreality the book was the culmination of a long series of serendipitous moments, but it was only the beginning of the influence that she was about to wield among thousands of readers from all around the world. For her awe-inspiring work, Carissa was awarded as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the United States at age 28. And in her session, Carissa pushed each participant to begin walking the path to their dreams and to complete the sentence: “Nothing can stop me from being a ______.” Joy’s testimonial came in the afternoon, and she shared her very powerful and moving story of clarity amid chaos; of triumph amid trials and tribulations; of faith in the invisible and faith in the impossible. In the span of five years, Joy had transformed herself from corporate workhorse to emerging entrepreneur, from cancer-afflicted to cancer survivor, from childless woman to mother. She shared with us how each of us is a warrior that finds the answers in the voice of silence and finds courage in the darkest of times. Joy’s story is, indeed, a story of "becoming." Until now, it is unclear to me how strangers become good friends, how acquaintances become kindred souls and how seatmates become accomplices in the fulfillment of each other’s respective missions. That day, however, as each session unfolded and as the facilitators and the participants fed off each other’s energies and together took steps toward self-actualization, I saw the cosmic forces at work once again. In sharing our stories and the birth of our participants’ buried dreams, Carissa, Joy, and I were fulfilling our own dreams of helping others rediscover and spread their wings. In joining us that day and patiently working through the exercises, our Surrealist friends were rediscovering their own paths and embarking on brand-new adventures of their own. I cannot even begin to describe in words how powerful the energy in the room felt that day. What struck me most late that afternoon, during the sharing of “vision boards” and “roadmaps”, was how open and generous everyone was with praise, encouragement, and support. Just as we had hoped, once-disconnected people were now offering to help someone else in coming closer to his or her vision. People who had other concerns of their own were offering time, expertise, or connections in support of someone else’s mission. During her session, Carissa encouraged everyone to be someone else’s “fairy godmother” so that we could all have a chance to be Cinderellas. Our friends seemed to take her advice to heart. And as we wrapped up and the day came to a close, it was evident that we were all exhausted--exhausted from exhuming the past, and exhausted with the knowledge that we had higher mountains to climb. Our bodies were evidently tired, but our spirits were alive and wide awake, and we all felt that another chapter in our lives had just begun. As for me, I was—and still am—enveloped by a powerful feeling of peace. There is so much chaos and uncertainty out there right now, but when you are given the chance to share yourself and be part of someone’s life in the most fulfilling of ways, you just feel so much JOY and SERENITY in the knowledge that the world WILL become a better place—somehow. When times are darkest and the tempest is strongest, leave it to women to bring a little bit of sunshine in. *Wink* Niña Terol, 29, fuses her passion for people, causes, and ideas in her work. A Communicator, Enabler, and Organizer, she uses the power of vision, words, and connections to inspire, empower, and motivate others around her. A creative soul at heart, Niña established herself as a writer, having co-authored various publications for a long list of clients. She is also a budding poetess and performs her poetry with the women’s advocacy group, Romancing Venus. She is also an ardent advocate of progressive reforms in the Philippines, being a key mover of several advocacy groups. She handles political communications for a reform-oriented senator by day, but she believes that her being Filipino is a full-time undertaking that knows no limits.
By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net BEAUTY, brains and boldness describe the 2008 YouTube Visionary awardee and staunch advocate of women rights, Jordan’s Queen Rania Al-Yassin. Queen Rania was born to Faisal and Ilham Yassin in Kuwait on August 31, 1970. She finished business administration at the American University in Cairo in 1991. Two years later, she met now Jordanian King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, then Prince, at a dinner party and months after, they were engaged and married. They have four children. Jordan’s Queen Rania has been noted for being tech savvy, especially in using video blogging (vlogging) for her advocacy on women’s rights and for answering questions about Islam and Arab culture stereotypes. This led YouTube to award her for the "use of technology to instigate social change." She accepted the award in a video taped speech and spoofed David Letterman by enumerating the top 10 reasons why she started her own YouTube channel in March. Queen Rania also puts education a top priority and has started the Madrasati initiative to help renovate Jordan's “most dilapidated public schools.” At the homepage of her official website, it can be read:
Educating our children is not just about imposing a body of knowledge on them. Rather, it involves preparing children from the early years for the world in which they will come of age. It means instilling a love for lifelong learning, creativity, self-expression and an appreciation for diversity.Below is her acceptance speech for the YouTube Visionary Award spoofing David Letterman’s show:
Admit it, guys, you will learn words and its etymology faster if she was your teacher. Her name is Marlina Orlova and she's a philologist or one who studies linguistics and etymology. She also happens to be "hot for words." Watch and learn.
By Agence France-Presse NEW YORK -- She declared her love, took off most of her clothes, and fought in Barack Obama's corner in an Internet video sensation. Now Obama Girl wants a little loving back. "Maybe if I could get invited to the inauguration?" giggled Amber Lee Ettinger, better known as the foxy Obama Girl whose "I got a crush on Obama" song scored more than 10 million YouTube hits. (Editor's note: Here's the famous video still getting more hits on YouTube:) Ettinger, speaking to AFP at a victory party for the Democratic candidate in a New York restaurant, said she'd at least like to hear whether the president-elect enjoyed the song. "I'd like a note from him some day saying he thanks Obama Girl." Ettinger, 26, came dressed as herself, with a diamond stud in her right nostril and a short but elegant dress, rather than the tiny shorts and bared midriff of her Obama Girl days. Publicity agent Kelly Brady said "I got a crush on Obama," which contrasted hilariously wonky lyrics with Ettinger's more raw appeal, was not just a joke. "Sex sells, and she was the sexy part of the election. That helped draw in the younger crowd. They asked: 'What's that hot girl saying about Obama?'" Ettinger says politics did not interest her much until Obama's campaign against Republican John McCain. Now she's ready for anything. "I've got my Super Obama Girl outfit in the back of the car!"
Yup, more women in Britain want it bigger, according to this Agence France-Presse report. Considering the improvements in the procedures (i.e. less scars), more women and not just celebrities, are turning to so-called "aesthetic plastic" surgeons for help: Excerpt:
LONDON -- Nearly three times as many women in Britain are having breast enlargement operations compared to five years ago, a study out Thursday showed. Britain's biggest-ever look at breast augmentation surgery found that members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) carried out 6,497 breast enlargements in 2007 compared to 2,361 in 2002. BAAPS secretary Rajiv Grover, a plastic surgeon in London, collated the information and studied the data, which was presented at the association's annual conference in Chester, northwest England.
We recently stumbled upon a hot mama, thanks to Sophie's blog. (Thanks Sophie). Sophie has been a regular feature in this blog. But for now, let's focus on Rhina who happens to be a stylist, according to Sophie's blog. She was part of the team which did the recent Triple Delight photo shoot for FHM Philippines. Okay, guys, don't drool. Keep those mouths close. We were lucky to have been directed to a Multiply site by photographer Jericho Montemayor, which happens to feature nice photos of our certified hot mama. Jerico (her husband) was kind enough to give us permission to post Rhina's photo here, which he himself has taken. (Thanks Jerico). He also provided us more information about Rhina Castro-Montemayor. She's turning 28 this November (same age as her cousin, the Soul Siren Nina) and is a proud mother of son Terrell Machiavelli Montemayor. She is a stylist for photography group ILLUMINATI.
In rock bands, it is often a man holding a guitar and just wailing away. But if you see a pretty girl wielding an axe, chances are you’ll give her a second look. Well, guys, here’s a rising guitar chic, which has been making the rounds – and we mean that literally. Having jammed with the likes of Sammy Hagar, Living Colour, Kal David, Andy Aledort and Allman brothers, Desiree Bassett, 15, is surely a hot chic who makes the guitar look sexier. She’s no amateur, according to her online profile. In fact, she already had years of lessons. Her influences include Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Rick Emmett, Jimi Hendrix, Reba McEntire, and The Allman Brothers. Here's just a sample from her YouTube collection of videos. This is her playing her own version of Jimi Hendrix' Purple Haze. And here's a more Bluesy tunes from Desiree: Well, guys if you happen to stumble upon other guitar chics, let us know!
FORMER beauty queen turned host Miriam Quiambao is now on the August 2008 cover of Playboy Philippines. Quiambao was first runner up in the 1999 Ms. Universe. The cover shows Quiambao wearing a white, skin-tight mini-skirt which reveals her sexy figure. A pair of dangling earings also accentuate her perfect face. This is perhaps her most daring photo-shoot to date.
OK, this is pretty late, but better late than never, huh, Sofie heh :) Sofie's FHM blog just turned a year old, and this Girl Next Door found an interesting way to celebrate. Here's an excerpt from her blog post:
FHM.com.ph wouldn’t be one of the most visited sites here in the Philippines without the sizzling photos, and it would never be called FHM without the hot and sexy photos of the babes. So for my FHMBlog’s anniversary, and as my gift to everyone, I decided to do a never-been-done shoot, and finally display a never been shown photo of me.Sorry, can't show the whole pic 'coz of the, uh, nippy weather, but here's a screenshot.
TO PROMOTE vegetarianism, (l-r) Istara Bon Gundry, Ashley Fruno and Katrina Lugartos of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wore lettuce bikinis and held a protest walk at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo Friday. Here's a video taken by INQUIRER.net multimedia editorial assistant Abigail Kwok. And here's an interview conducted by INQUIRER.net multimedia reporter Izah Morales. Here's another video from Izah, showing the lettuce bikini-clad ladies being shooed away by cops, who said PETA did not have a permit. And here are more photos. All photos taken by Izah.