Saturday, August 20, 2016

“Iron hearts”
Sun.Star Davao, August 20, 2016
                Grit is defined as a “combination of passion, perseverance, tenacity and hope”.
            In her book, “Grit”, New York Times bestselling author and psychologist Angela Duckworth explains that it is not only talent and intelligence but grit which will lead an individual to success.
                Last August 7, 2016, several Dabawenyos participated in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship in Mactan, Cebu. Enduring swimming for 1.9 kms.; biking for 90 kms.; and running for 21 kms. under regulated time, surviving this premier race is truly one of the ultimate tests of an athlete’s will power and determination.
             Read about some of the awe-inspiring moms and dads who hurdled this recent competition as they share their “grit” journey to the finish line: 


Number of times you joined Ironman: The Ironman race held last August 7, 2016 was my first one.

Sports competitions through the years: Durianman, Safeguard 5150 and Dipolog 101
Motivation for an active lifestyle: I wanted to be healthy and actually look healthy.  Also, hearing triathlon stories from my cousin Dolly pushed me to try it out myself.
Journey to Ironman: I started from ground zero with triathlon coach, Patrick Serrano.  I could barely swim 25 meters without struggling for air, and it seemed impossible to run 1 km. without taking a break.  It took about 2 years of 6 days a week workouts which consisted of strengthening, swimming, biking and running at 530 am.  The swim part was what I dreaded since I am not a strong swimmer and the water was quite choppy. Fortunately, the current was going in the same direction as us for most of the way, and I finished the 1.9km swim in 48mins. The bike leg was a challenge since, for half the time, there was a strong head wind, I finished in 3:16. The last leg of the race was running and my legs were pretty tired but I just kept telling myself that I was already half way done so I just had to go on.  I finished in almost 3 hours with a cramped left calf but with a big smile on my face.
Balancing sports with parenting/work: I trained early morning before the kids’ school starts.  When I have work, I skip my workout and compensate the next day. And, I usually dine out with family if I don’t have a workout the next morning.
Life lessons from Ironman: There were days that I was confident that I could do it but there were also days that I doubted myself and thought it was impossible.   But, perseverance, diligence, and support from family members kept me focused in achieving my goal. I learned that nothing is impossible with the right amount of will and dedication. 

Advice for parents who want a more active lifestyle: It takes a lot of sacrifices but the result will be priceless.  As my coach once told me, “No pain, no gain!”.

Number of times you joined Ironman: I raced Ironman 70.3 twice, 2015 & 2016, both in Cebu.
Sports competitions through the years: I usually join local triathlon races all over Mindanao; Durianman in Davao; NAGT in Cagayan de Oro; Lawihan Tri in Gensan. Recently, I raced in the Sarbay Triathlon where I won 2nd place in my age group category 30-34.
Motivation for an active lifestyle: To be healthy for my family, to have energy to perform well at work.
Journey to Ironman: During my annual physical exam in December 2013, I was obese, diagnosed with dyslipidemia and high uric acid. At that point, I thought that if I continue with my sedentary lifestyle, I might not be able to see my kids grow up, so I decided to engage in sports and do daily exercises. I was inspired when I saw triathletes and how disciplined they were. I took up the challenge and trained to swim, bike and run, joined triathlon races starting from novice, sprint, Olympic distance and eventually made it to Ironman 70.3. Training became part of my daily routine and I became healthier. I lost 10 kilos of weight. Cholesterol levels and uric acid now are normal. I have more energy to engage with my family and find time to play with my 2 daughters, aged 5 and 3.
Balancing sports with parenting/work:  Waking up early morning at 4 a.m. gives me a boost of energy to start my day. I start my day with daily training (either swim, bike or run). This helps me to clear my mind and gives me a good perspective on my goals each day. With renewed energy every day, I'm able to manage my different roles: first, as husband to my wife Sai and dad to two kids; be active at work with my teammates; and perform well. My boss is also a health buff like me. I also attend celebrations every Wednesdays and Saturdays with my church community, not to mention occasional social activities with friends and high school classmates.
Life lessons from Ironman: I've learned that anything is possible when you put your mind and heart into it. The human spirit is unlimited that we can do everything that our mind can conceive as long as we are determined to achieve it.
Advice for parents who want a more active lifestyle: My advice is to set a fitness goal, and take small steps towards it daily. Find the motivation to exercise daily, be it for the kids, family or yourself. Imagine to live a healthier happier life in the future.


Number of times you joined Ironman: It was my first time to join the Ironman Philippines Asia-Pacific Championship in Shangrila, Mactan Cebu. I got 3rd place in my age category (45-49) with a female time of 5:58:37

Sports competitions through the years: “Rody Duterte Lumba Bisikleta sa Kadayawan” - Champion, Ladies Category (2015); Sprint distance/Novice Overall Champion –Female Manta Triathlon (2014); Overall Champion - Female XRail Offroad Triathlon (2015); 1st Place-Age category Dipolog Triathlon (2015); 3rd Overall Champion Defy Triathlon 123 (2015); Offroad Triathlon Overall Champion - Female Petron Blazemen Offroad Tri (2015); and 2nd Overall Champion –Female 8080 Triathlon (2015)

Motivation for an active lifestyle: I want to stay fit and challenge myself to my limits.

Journey to Ironman: Ironman is a hard endurance race. Starting day 1 of my triathlon training, I realized that this is not an easy sport. It will take much of my time. But, as long as I have the passion to do it, I just do it day by day. I stay hyper focused on a goal, then conquer anything I thought wasn’t possible.

Balancing sports with parenting/work: My daughter is 16 years old already and understands my sports. I see to it that we have time together and go out on “date” regularly I see to it that I spend quality time together with my loved ones in between work, training and rest. My work schedule is very flexible. So, it simply fits to my training program for a certain day.

Life lessons from Ironman: I learned from joining Ironman that if you dream something big and work hard for it, dreams do come true. In my 2016 Ironman Experience, the hard work I put into my training paid off, I finished, and even got a bonus, I Podium-ed.

Number of times you joined Ironman: Challenge Philippines 70.3 distance inaugural race in Subic with son Carlo, our 1st half IM distance (2013); IM 70.3 Cebu (2014); IM 70.3 Cebu (2015); IM 70.3 Vietnam (2016); and IM 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship Cebu (2016).

Sports competitions through the years: Running has been my forte before my 1st marathon in 2013. I have completed the Run United Series in Manila in 2012 and did more than 30 half marathon in 2 years. Since then, marathon became my staple run every end or start of the year. I have finished the Audax 200 kms. from Davao to Mati and have been a consistent Triathlon Podium Finisher in the DurianMan Olympic distance series races. My bucket list includes, Tokyo Marathon in 2017 and Great Wall Marathon in China in Sept. 2017.

Motivation for an active lifestyle: Defy age. It is just a number. I hope to inspire my three growing active teenage boys by involving them in sports and nutrition as well as instill discipline and maximize their potentials. Besides leading a healthy lifestyle, I wish to instill in them the value of sportsmanship, performing their best and not giving up.

Journey to Ironman: At first, I could not run a mile without my heart pounding. My bike had spent more time at home than being ridden out for a spin.  I could not barely finish a lap in the pool. It took a lot of guts, courage, motivation, and discipline to join an IM. But, when I took that initial step to run, pedal that bike and glide that stroke to swim, anything is possible. If you worked and trained for the IM distance, trust your training and believe. You compete with no one but yourself. Focus on finishing and completing the race than trying to outrun anyone in the race.

Balancing sports with parenting/work:  Running is my therapy. It relaxes my mind. It became a part of my lifestyle so I incorporated it in my daily schedule, usually in the morning before heading to work. On the other hand, cycling or spinning is my cross training activity. It gives me the opportunity to go to other places and explore. Lastly, swimming is part of my recovery. It relaxes my muscles and a good therapy for my run-bike program. My recovery is equally important as my training.

Life lessons from Ironman: Sports or triathlon is part of our family’s lifestyle. Every race or activity becomes a family affair and a chance for us to bond, travel together and have fun. All of us are looking forward to the after-race feast whether I make it to the podium or not. I just simply thank the Lord for letting me finish strong, safe and injury-free. Joining Ironman is a life-changing experience for me. I learned to persevere and be patient at my stance. One realizes that there is no shortcut to success but hard work. It actually made me a better person as I was not only able to inspire my kids but also my friends and teammates. In addition, I learned to appreciate God's gift of life and strength. All things emanate from Him!


Number of times you joined Ironman: This is my 4th Ironman 70.3 in Cebu. All the half Ironman races I have joined since 2013 have been in Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu. Each year has given me different experiences and it never seizes to amaze me year after year how the sport and the races are getting better and better that is why I keep going back. The Cobra Ironman 70.3 race in Cebu is the “it” race for me yearly.

Sports competitions through the years: Every sports event I register for during the year is geared for training leading up to the Ironman 70.3 race. Last year, I joined the Beijing International Triathlon in China and came in 2nd in the 40-44 female age group. I also ran the full marathon (42 km.) during the Davao Finisher’s Marathon last December 2015. Early this year, I joined the Kalilangan Duathlon in General Santos City where I placed 1st in the female age category 35 and up and the Sarbay Triathlon in Gumasa Beach, Sarangani Province where I placed 3rd overall in the female category. In Davao City, I joined the first ever Durianman Cross Channel Triathlon in the Island Garden City of Samal and placed 1st in the female 40 and up age category.

Motivation for an active lifestyle: I joined numerous fun runs here and there, usually 10 kms. and up. Ever since I joined my first ever Novice Triathlon way back in April 2012, I got hooked to this multi-sport. I never looked back since then. I took swimming lessons, had an online running coach from Manila and bought a better bike. I then met some running buddies like Yvonne Sasin and Haroon Cali whom I molded strong friendships with through running 3 times per week for the last four years.

Journey to Ironman: The journey towards completing the Ironman 70.3 race is priceless! It entails countless of early morning hours, sweat, blood and money! Crossing that finish arc is a very emotional and surreal feeling for me because everything I trained for over the last 6 to 8 months is finally put to a test. The race itself - swimming 1.9 kms. in the open waters of Mactan, biking 90 kms. from Lapu Lapu City to Talisay and running 21 kms. under the intense heat of the sun is not an easy task to complete. You have to have an iron heart and will, and be mentally strong to embrace the pain.

Balancing sports with parenting/work: I am fortunate that my two daughters are now 16 years old and 13 years old. They are very independent when it comes to their schooling. I always believed in letting them learn from their mistakes and I am just there when they ask for help. I have learned how to delegate all the tasks to cater to their needs. My mornings, which starts around 4:00 a.m., are for my training sessions (swim, indoor bike, run or yoga) and after work, I spend time with the kids during dinner time. I don’t have any social life because I am asleep by 8:30pm.

Life lessons from Ironman: I have learned that if you put in the time and effort into your training, you will improve. It is also important to invest in a coach or training lessons because they will always help you.

Advice for parents who want a more active lifestyle: It is never too late to start today. Age is not a factor at all. Being healthy and fit, makes you happy and that aura will spread to your children and family.


Number of times you joined Ironman: It was my first time to join the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, 1st Asia Pacific Championship held in Shangrila Mactan, Cebu City.

Sports competitions through the years: Durianman - Finisher (2016 & 2015); Xtrail Offroad-Finisher
(2015); Regent 5150 Subic Bay - Finisher (2015); SarBay Fest - Finisher (2014); Timberman Butuan City -Finisher (2014); Tunaman Gensan - Finisher (2014); 1st Phil. Eagle – Finisher (2014); and 6th TRIAD Davao- 1st in Adult Novice (2010)

Motivation for an active lifestyle: My friends and health. I used to have high cholesterol and sugar level.

Journey to Ironman: It all started as a hobby and eventually, I got hooked on it. I realized how this kind of sport could benefit one’s health. I wanted to become an inspiration to others also. As the saying goes, "Kung kaya nila, kaya ko din!". Another factor were friends who were so supportive of me. We share the same passion. We do these all together for God’s Glory. The heart medal for the finisher serves as an inspiration to me. It symbolizes the finisher’s “iron heart". That's where I draw strength from during the darkest hours of my race.

Balancing sports with parenting/work: It's all about planning and time management. In my daily life, I get to bond with family in the morning then before or after work, I allot time, either for a 2-hour swim or run. But, I make sure I eat dinner with the family. Saturdays are for bonding time with triathlete friends in Samal where we swim, bike and run. Saturday nights and Sundays are entirely for the family.

Life lessons from Ironman: Anything is possible if you pray. You can do things with perseverance and determination. To God be the glory!

Advice for parents who want a more active lifestyle: It's not about joining all the three sports. You can start with just purely walking every day. Put your heart and soul into it then that's it. You can start right there and then. And, enjoy every minute of it.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

“Pippa’s Marché Gourmand birthday fete”
Sun.Star Davao, August 6, 2016

            It was a spectacular culinary event that whetted the guests’ appetites as Davao’s top chefs joined their whisks and spatulas to concoct Aoife Marie Barretto Uy’s Marche Gourmand birthday fete at The Marco Polo Davao.

Fondly nicknamed Pippa, Aoife (uniquely pronounced as “Ee-fa” which means “pleasant, beautiful and radiant”) is the fourth child of well-loved couple Moe and Bianca Uy. “We decided on the nickname Pippa so that we will always remember the correct pronunciation of her name”, says Bianca.

The energetic mom who serves as the assistant vice president for Kar Asia, Inc., the family-owned authorized franchise dealer of Mitsubishi in Southern Mindanao, admitted feeling a bit exasperated in choosing an appropriate party theme for their dear Pippa as every conceivable kiddie party theme has already been used.

“Luckily, it dawned on me, why not use my husband’s penchant for food as the party theme!”, enthuses Bianca. After all, aside from being the owner and building administrator of ATU Development Corp., Moe is a certified foodie and great cook, as well as the culinary genius behind Fat Monkey.

“I was inspired by Moe’s passion for cooking, his constant hunt for the finest cuisine and scrumptious food concoctions. Finally, it was decided that the party theme was the Gourmand Market/Kitchen Party”, Bianca shares.

To make this ambitious foodie soiree a reality, Davao’s premier party organizer Annie Paz-Lim and her team donned their thinking toques to whip up a grand feast fit for a gastronome’s princess!

Taking only less than a month to prepare, Moe and Bianca, together with Annie, meticulously handpicked the suppliers for Pippa’s party. They wanted to achieve an authentic Gourmand Market experience which was new and gastronomically enticing. Hence, the party featured tasty artisanal food products in different gourmet food stations.

There was delectable homemade ice cream, dessert buffet and savory treats all the way from Tagum City’s Yuyu’s Café and Dessert Shop by Chef Adi Uy; Chicken Quinoa, Kani and Avocado and Salted Egg Salad Shakers from Soul Kitchen Co.’s Mimi Vergara-Tupas; 24-hour cold brew coffee and milk shakes by Basti’s Brew’s Randall and Vanessa Ong; as well as mouthwatering kiddie sandwiches from Kutsara ni Juan’s Chef Maki Uy.

As if the food booths were not appetizing enough, The Marco Polo Davao’s executive sous chef Alex and team likewise served a lip-smacking Chinese buffet as well as fresh whole raw tuna and lechon.  
“The gorgeous 5-tiered cake with flowers, stripes, spoons, forks and a teddy bear on top was made by the ingenious Joel Rodriguez of Osvaldo’s.  It was the stunning piece de resistance to complete the backdrop”, smiles Bianca.

“We also had a live acoustic band that rendered cover versions of popular songs.  However, to maintain the childlike character of our party theme, we used whimsical decors and filled the place with toy bears, kitchen toys and balloons”, Bianca continues.

“Our hats off to Annie!  Her inimitable styling never fails to surprise my husband and I. She went above and beyond our expectations (as always!).  The décor was tastefully done and she really made sure our so called “favorites” were conspicuously laid out in the ballroom”, Bianca enthuses.

Kiddie guests went home with functional mini picnic bags made by Anna Ibarreta-Santos of FTU (Fabianne Trends Unlimited) packed with goodies and Fat Monkey’s pesto with pistachio nuts.

Merci beaucoup to Simply Gray Studio for Pippa’s Marche Gourmand birthday fete photos.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

“Hail to the Queens!”
Sun.Star Davao, July 23, 2016

Back when there were no malls in Davao, watching a movie involved going to standalone theaters, a thing of the past not familiar anymore with the millennials of today.

As a child, our monthly movie break was a special treat for the family. Saturday “lakwatsas” during high school usually culminated with back-to-back movies or more commonly known as “doubled with” features. For the price of one ticket, you get to watch two movies...alright!

My friends and I must have watched dozens of Filipino films such as “Bagets”, “Hotshots”, Sharon Cuneta tearjerkers and Regal Films’ cheesy romance-drama-comedy flicks. These were such hits that the audience didn’t mind the “standing room only” situation sometimes.

And, if you missed the first part of the movie, you had the option to catch the film’s next schedule at no extra cost. In fact, if you had nothing better to do, you could even stay from the theater’s opening to closing time.

Among the popular theaters then were Garmon, Galaxy, Crest, Golden, Ideal, Lyric, among others. But, considered the classiest theater was Queens. The catchy name was given by the late businessman Ricardo Limso. It was the biggest movie theater in the city with a grand staircase and comfortable seating

However, in the ‘90s when the era of movies in malls came, including the multiple in-house cinemas of Victoria Plaza, these standalone theaters’ audience dwindled and eventually abandoned.

Recently, much to my delight (and to my kids’ amazement and amusement) the Queens’ iconic marquee gloriously lit up again as Davao DDBP Resources inaugurated its newest commercial development which was the site of the old Queens Theater.

In May 2014, roughly 20 years after the scarlet red curtains of this well-loved cinema was drawn, Davao DDBP Resources acquired the property and revived it into a commercial lease-type building.

It now houses Focusinc, a New York-based business process outsourcing company and 7/11, the famous chain of convenience stores that has been furiously expanding in Davao City of late.

Davao DDBP Resources Inc. decided to retain the building's name, "Queens", because of its nostalgic impression, a reminder of the once magical theater scene in Davao.  I am sure the officers of the company were also smitten by the fond memories much like me.  Good things never go away.

The building may be newly renovated with its modern design and facelift by  Architect Lilibeth Limpo and Engr. Noel Bersabe of Ugnayan Builders, but some things should never be changed, the Queens' mark remains.

Hail to the Queens!

We share photos of the happy occasion by Simply Gray Studio.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

“The legacy of Juna”
Sun.Star Davao, July 9, 2016

A grand family reunion was recently held by the heirs of Francisco Villa-Abrille to celebrate the lasting legacy of their beloved forefather.

June 28, 2016 marked the centennial or 100th year of the Original Certificate of Title (OCT) 5609 which was registered in the name of Francisco Villa-Abrille Juna in the Province of Davao on the 28th of June 1916. The said title covering 603.70 hectares of land in Davao was issued by the then government of the United States by virtue of Decree No. 21484.

Being a fifth generation descendant of Juna and the great granddaughter of Luisa V.A. Huang, I was truly honored to share the fascinating history of my great great grandfather during the reunion at The Marco Polo grand ballroom. My presentation was based on the article of Malou V.A. Abella-Lopez from the “Hijos de Davao” coffee table book.

Great adventurer

“In 1862, Juna, an orphan with neither brother nor sister, boarded a junk from Tang Sua, Fookien, Southern China to the Philippines.
From Manila, he eventually found his way to Jolo where he became a successful pearl diver and trader. He married Tan Sipo, of Chinese-Muslim lineage from Pollok, Cotabato, and was baptized into Islam in Jolo.
Juna arrived in Davao with Tan Sipo in 1882. They were among only 20 Chinese families then. They settled with the Tausugs in the Piapi area where he set up a small store. The family would later move to Claveria Street with a bigger general merchandise store where he sold fishing paraphernalia, beans, corn, rice, tobacco and abaca.

        Juna was referred to by different names, among them Juan Padda and Lim Chuan Juna.
At 40, Juna and Tan Sipo, 29, married anew in Catholic rites at the San Pedro Parish in 1890. They were given Christian names: Francisco and Maria Loreto Villa-Abrille, after the Spanish Governor General in Davao, Faustino Villa-Abrille. The couple had five children: Ricardo, Carlos, Luisa, Cesareo, and Candelaria. (Author’s note: At the reunion, the descendants of Ricardo wore purple; Carlos, blue; Luisa, green; Cesareo, red; and Candelaria, white).
Juna spoke fluent Spanish and his ability to speak the lumad Bagobo and Mandaya dialects earned him respect. By 1929, of the 20 Chinese pioneers, Juna was the only who remained.

Generous heart
To his grandchildren, he was Ingcong, and Maria Loreto was Amah. His grandchildren still recall how Ingcong kept his precious pearls in a sack; how they were made to choose fine cloth before these were sold in the store; and how they never ran out of rice, sugar, and food. He was known to give away goods for free when he deemed that the buyer didn’t have enough to pay.

       Juna became a reluctant landowner towards the end of the 19th century, when a Spaniard forced him to buy a 600-hectare tract of wilderness for PhP2,000 across Davao River (Matina Area) because the Spaniards were already fleeing Mindanao.
By virtue of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Juna became a Filipino citizen at 48 years old. Juna would also own some 30 hectares of land in Davao’s poblacion and another 121 hectares in the town of Sta. Cruz. By 1904, Juna was one of the big abaca planters in Davao.

         He would later donate parcels to accelerate the development of the municipio of Davao of the undivided Davao province: the land of the Post Office, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Office, the General Hospital, the Chinese School, and the Puericulture Center, and the roads of what was then Jones Circle, and portions of Uyanguren Street, Tomas Claudio Extension, and Acacia Road.

          By World War II, the 600-hectare tract was already a composite of abaca and coconut plantations and a cattle ranch. But, these were taken over by the Japanese. His big family fled in separate groups to as far as Tugbok.

He died at 93 years old in 1943.”

Juna’s legacy    

“His four surviving children (Ricardo died ahead of Juna in 1925) worked to recover the family properties after the Japanese occupation.
Davao’s first residential subdivision, the 100-hectare Juna subdivision, was established in 1952.

           The 20-hectare Davao City Golf Club, Davao’s first, was set up in 1954.
           Juna’s heirs have various residential and commercial developments in Davao.

Like their forefather, they continued to donate lands for the advancement of the city which included portions of what are now Guerrero St., Sta. Ana Avenue, Juan de la Cruz Street, Jacinto Street, MacArthur Highway, Candelaria Street, Maa Road, Quimpo Boulevard, and Tulip Drive, and a proposed park along MacArthur Highway. His children also donated a portion of Philippine Women’s College of Davao property in Juna Subdivision.”

Dabawenyo at heart

In 1969, Juna’s philanthropic contributions earned him the distinction of being one of the first Datu Bago awardees (posthumous), the highest honor ever bestowed to a son of Davao.  A downtown street (Villa-Abrille) was also named after him.           
         Though not Davao-born, Juna took great pride in being a Dabawenyo and encouraged his children to do their share in the growth and progress of the city.

         To continue his legacy of helping Davao develop as Mindanao’s premier city, his heirs have also sponsored the Chinatown Friendship Archway along R. Magsaysay Ave., one of the four archways that frames Davao’s 42-hectare Chinatown.

       “As we celebrate the centennial of OCT 5609, we, the descendants of Francisco & Maria Loreto Villa-Abrille, commit ourselves to their legacy of hard work, humility and generosity.” We hope to make our forefathers proud by doing our share to be good and productive citizens of Davao and being a significant part of its development.
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Saturday, June 25, 2016

“Browmance with Cathleen G.”
Sun.Star Davao, June 25, 2016
Busy mother-of-three Cathleen Ann Limso-Go loves everything that has to do with beauty and fashion.     And, when it comes to makeup, Cathleen passionately believes that well-groomed eyebrows are an absolute must!  

 “Well-groomed eyebrows frame the face. It can instantly make you look more polished even if you don’t have much makeup”, stresses Cathleen, , who moved to Cebu from Davao when she got married in 2006.

“I used to have an ordinary eyebrow tattoo but it was very thin and I wasn’t very happy with the shape. It looked very fake that I had to fill it in everyday with eyebrow products; sometimes, as long as 30 minutes, until I was satisfied with the results. Eventually, people started to compliment me on how lovely my eyebrows looked just by filling them in. I guess, I have a natural talent because I can make my eyebrows look good even with a very bad tattoo underneath”, giggles Cathleen.


            Recently, Cathleen took her love affair for the perfect brows a notch higher by becoming an internationally-trained cosmetic artist.
         It all began when Cathleen came across an article about microblading which made her obsess about having hers done. First thing that came to her mind was how much time this microblading procedure would save her.

           When Cathleen’s mom saw her microbladed eyebrows, she was so much impressed that she wanted to have hers done. However, the wait list was at least 5 months in advance.
          “My mom said I was a pro at drawing eyebrows and makeup. So, she encouraged me to look for a school abroad so I that I could do her eyebrows. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom, I actually considered it”, smiles Cathleen.


         “I was trained by one of the finest semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo artists in Asia and in the world. At first, I just took the Basic Beginners Class and practised microblading on latex”, Cathleen narrates.

      Also known as “eyebrow embroidery”, microblading is a relatively new, manual method for semi-permanent eyebrows. The procedure is different from the traditional hairstroke technique done by machine.

           Microblading is done using a very fine blade to deposit pigments into the epidermis. Because the color is closer to the surface, the strokes appear crisp and very fine. There is no “spilling” under the skin.

          “I did my research about microblading and of course, I wanted the best. In the process, I learned that different Asian countries have different patterns so I had mine done with who I think makes the most natural-looking eyebrows abroad”, discloses Cathleen.

Depending on the drawing technique, microblading creates an individual look for each eyebrow. So-called HD and 3D eyebrows do not appear as tattoos.

Kilay squad

            When Cathleen came back to Cebu, she was confident enough to do it on real people. Her daughter’s caregiver was the first ‘brows-tomer’.

            “I really had to convince her that I was ready so eventually, she let me do her eyebrows which turned out fab”, Cathleen recalls.

          The hands-on mom proudly posted her initial creation’s before and after photos on Facebook and Instagram. Soon after, people came to her wanting to have their eyebrows done as well.

According to Cathleen, the ideal candidates for microblading are those aged 18 years old and above; and people who suffer from hair loss and have sparse eyebrows. It is also an alternative for people who want to define the shape of their eyebrows and those who want to correct old faded eyebrow tattoos.
            In addition, it is recommended for gym rats who sweat a lot without worrying whether their eyebrows are still “on”. It is also for beach lovers who don’t want their eyebrow makeup to be “washed away”.

            After doing around 50 eyebrows, the kikay mompreneur later enrolled in Advanced Microblading Class with Tricopigmentation (Scalp Tattoo).

I woke up like this....

           For the kilay fanatics wanting to achieve the “I-woke-up-with-gorgeous-eyebrows” look, microblading seems to be a tempting choice.
            “The microbladed eyebrows appear very natural because it is semi-permanent. Best of all, unlike the old tattoo procedure of yesteryears, the colors won’t change to green, blue or red over time”, distinguishes Cathleen.

             The ink utilized for microblading will completely fade in 5-6 years while the microbladed eyebrows will last 2-3 years depending on skin type but will last longer with retouch every 1 or 2 years”, Cathleen details.

In microblading, the pigments are manually placed into the skin. As with the handle of the machine, the microblading manual pen is equipped with sterile packaged blades ("slope" style, in U-shape or curvy.). The blade glides with gentle pressure over the skin and causes a fine cut. The cut is as fine as a papercut and you can hardly distinguish it from real hair.

           Cathleen assures that she uses a potent numbing cream in her microblading procedure.”There is actually no recovery time after and no swelling. But, you cannot get the eyebrows wet or touch them for 48 hours or 2 full days”, she advises.
           “Right after the procedure, your eyebrows will look fantastic after the pictures are taken. It will get really dark on the 2nd day and start to slowly peel off on the 4th to 6th day. By day 7, it will look 20-30% lighter”, Cathleen says.

           Aside from microblading, Cathleen likewise trained for eyeliner or eyelash enhancement on the lash line, lip tattoo and scalp tattoo.

         So, if you are a kikay-on-the-go and want to save precious time with your makeup routine, book now with Cathleen G.!

            In partnership with Skin Doctors Clinic (SM Lanang branch), Cathleen G. will be in Davao on July 15-17, 2016 with limited slots, by appointment only. For inquiries, you may call or text (0917)7054277. Follow Cathleen G. on Instagram and Facebook at ibrowsbycathleeng.

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