Monday, February 21



               Teens come in all shapes, sizes, and colors with their own likes (and dislikes). In the middle of this unique mélange of shapes, size and colors, there is a common dilemma that most of them face – acne. Almost 8 out of 10 teens have acne and people think that having acne is normal – an unavoidable part of puberty.

                Acne usually appears when skin pores get clogged up under the skin. Washing your face daily with a mild soap and water can help keep your skin clean and free of pimple breakouts. But a lot of times, this is not enough and you get to the point where you need to find out “How to get this pimple off my skin before someone sees it!”

 Well, Justin Bieber says there is a solution to this problem. With the help of Proactiv acne and pimple fighting skin care solution, you can have skin that is free and clear from acne.  "I think everyone deserves to be clear," says Justin Bieber, Proactiv’s teen endorser, "so I’m really glad to tell people about Proactiv."

Healing acne and preventing pimple breakouts in the future with Proactiv is not the only great thing about Proactiv. You also have the chance to win Justin Bieber concert tickets when you buy a Proactiv Kit! Promo period for this amazing offer (Philippines only) is from February 15, 2011 until March 30, 2011. You can buy Proactiv at Proactiv kiosks located in the following malls: Glorietta, Ground Floor, Trinoma, 2nd Floor, Robinsons Galleria, 3rd Floor, Marquee Mall, Ground Floor or you may call Proactiv door to door Delivery Hotlines: 729-2222 or 0917-801-8888.

Proactive constantly has great promotions so you can follow Proactive Solution Philippines on Facebook to be kept up to date with all the Proactiv news. You can also post your comments here about how Proactiv keeps you confident and clear!

Wednesday, February 16

Annulment and Divorce in the Philippines

In the Philippines, unstable marriages are frowned upon. Husbands who choose to leave their wives are flippantly pronounced as irresponsible while wives who decide to step out of their marriage are judged as self-centered and bear the brunt of the blame for the failure of the marriage. 

Generally, failed marriages are a stigma in Philippine society. Wives are expected to kowtow to what her husband dictates, and sacrifice everything to have a stable marriage, turning a blind eye to illicit affairs, verbal abuse, beatings and all. A lot of data has already been churned out regarding abuses occurring in marriages but these results mirror just a small speck of reality. A lot of women hide behind a façade of ‘white picket fences’ to mask the sad state of their marriage for fear of being thought of as failures. This means it is society that pressures wives to turn a blind eye on anything that may wreck the marriage, accepting their ‘fate’ in life.

Declaring that a marriage has broken down is generally a disgrace in Philippine society. In fact, it is difficult to find a legal remedy to a broken marriage. The only solution allowed by the Family Code is the annulment of a marriage (on option eagerly utilized by showbiz couples who want to get out of ill-advised, broken marriages). A married couple whose relationship has broken down can file for an annulment of their marriage. In simple terms, this means the couple wants the courts to declare that their marriage had never taken place. Ever. An annulment burns that piece of paper called a Marriage Contract and blows it to the wind. It also allows the pair to freely enter into another marriage.

An annulment is different from a divorce. A married couple that divorces accepts that they entered a union; but has now decided to end it; and go their separate ways. Divorce changes a couple’s status from being M (Married) to S (Single), allowing them to have the choice of entering once more into another marriage. Divorce, as an option, is not available to married couples in the Philippines at present.

A law allowing divorce is not included in the Family Code. Although there is a divorce bill filed in Congress, it has few overt supporters among lawmakers. This reluctance to support the passing of a law allowing divorce in the Philippines mirrors Philippine society’s generally negative view on it, fueling the lawmakers aversion to anything that may offend their predominantly Catholic constituents, many arguing that the Philippines is not ready for divorce
The provision for annulment in the Family Code is the only available venue (at present) for resolving broken down marriages. This has caused indignation among progressive women’s groups like Gabriela, who are exposed to cases of marital violence everyday. However, most victims or marital abuse and violence prefer to quietly bear their marital burdens, afraid to upset their families, and unwilling to admit to their perceived ‘failure’ in keeping the marriage strong. 

This distorted perception of a woman’s role in a marriage is irrevocably tied to the issue of annulment and divorce in the Philippines. It is one of the many stumbling blocks towards having the “option to avail of remedies that will pave the way for the attainment of their (women’s’) full human development and self- fulfillment and the protection of their human rights”.

The difficulty in obtaining an annulment and the absence of divorce has certainly brought a lot of pain and unnecessary social consequences for those who are in the middle of this situation. It is our hope that ordinary people who are trapped in broken marriages are able to find justice and fairness in the legal arena soon.

If you are thinking of getting an annulment and needs legal advise, send me email at .

Tuesday, October 12

Sandalias Festival in Trinoma

Sandalias Festival 2010 a smashing success

Once again the Sandalias Festival delighted sandal lovers with a fabulous showcase of Ipanema, Ipanema Gisele Bündchen (GB), Grendha and Rider footwear; an awesome fashion-cum-dance spectacle; plus fun games; pampering activities; and the first ever Giant Piñata shower.

Aptly themed “Step Into Some Love”, the Sandalias Festival truly made hearts beat happily throughout the two-day event as it paved the way for guests to enjoy a Brazilian style soiree whilst finding the perfect sole mate to match their personality and lifestyle. Ipanema attracted the eternal beach bums, while Ipanema GB appealed to social-conscious women, Grendha charmed urbane belles and Rider enticed active adventurers. 

TriNoma was enveloped by a gleeful air as Steps Dance Project sashayed around the mall donning colorful and comfy Ipanema, Ipanema GB, Grendha and Rider sandals, spreading cheers and inviting mall goers join in the festivities.  Moreover, the group rendered a superb performance that creatively played out the chic fashion and tropical inspired lifestyle espoused by the said Brazilian footwear brands. 

Guests likewise enjoyed free foot massage, nail art, as well as foot or body tattoo.  They were also able to take home souvenir photos with different captivating destinations in the background. Sporty guests who aced the climbing wall and the gyrating mechanical surf board, Ride N Surf, took home cash prizes and gift certificates.

Sandalias Festival’s show-stopper and most unique attraction was the Giant Piñata, a larger than life flip flop filled with goodies and freebies.  Once hit, it unleashed a great shower of prizes including gift certificates from Ipanema, Ipanema GB, Grendha, Rider and sponsors – Lay Bare, Planet Sports, Nivea Sun, magazines from Summit Media, Orly Nail Lacquer; as well as an air ticket to Boracay from Cebu Pacific Air and a 3D/2N accommodation at Patio Pacific, Fairways and Bluewater and Discovery Shores. Other sponsors were Us Girls, Essensuals by Toni and Guy and Terra Wellness Spa.

Indeed, the Sandalias Festival 2010 was a huge success, just like in the past two years.  Patxi Elizalde, Managing Director of ELRO Corporation, exclusive distributor of Ipanema, Ipanema GB, Grendha and Rider in the Philippines, was elated with the good turn out of the event.  “Mounting the annual Sandalias Festival is part of our continuous effort to bring our brands closer to the market.  This is our way of establishing an emotional connection with our patrons.  We want them to not only experience our products but also be immersed in the culture and lifestyle that inspire the creation of our footwear.”

Elizalde added that also part of their effort in engaging the market is opening a concept store called Bambu, which features all their Brazilian footwear brands. The launch of Bambu TriNoma, the third concept store, coincided with the Sandalias Festival.  Other Bambu outlets are located in Glorietta 4 Makati and Marquee Mall Angeles City, plus a kiosk in Alabang Town Center.

On his final note, Elizalde said that while Sandalias Festival is their banner event, patrons could look forward to more exciting activities and of course, more stylish products from Ipanema, Ipanema GB, Grendha and Rider in the near future.

Saturday, October 2

Looking For A Webhost...

Any newbie with a goal of setting up his own website knows that if you don’t have an IT background and not too technology savy, everything about this daunting goal is like trying to understand a foreign language.  But you absolutely have to put up that website, it is absolutely essential for your business.  So you go to the experts to solve your website construction and hosting problem.  Just when you think all your problems are solved you experience crappy service after initial construction and paying them for the job. 

I went online to survey the most frequent web hosting problems encountered by others like me and found out that I am not alone.  Most people complain about crappy customer service after hiring a web hosting company.  Decided to research some more and typed the words web host  To my delight, I see what I'm looking for instantly.   

Like an answered prayer, I find out that  have what I was looking for. Entrepreneurs (small and medium business owners as well) like me should really read and check their offer and most importantly they have a great reputation on customer service.

Almost anyone can do website management nowadays but how many of those actually have great “after sales” service? I think I’m going to try it out for myself to know they their name translates to their superb service.

Wednesday, August 25

Clinique De-Aging Solutions

Stressed out, sleep-deprived, eating on the run? It all takes a toll on your skin. Here's what you can do to help slow down the clock. 

Commit to a daily skin care regimen. Basic daily care is the best predictor of how skin will age. At Clinique that starts with dermatologist-developed 3-Step Skin Care. Twice-a-day is the recommended routine. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize to get—and keep—skin radiant, glowing. 

Always protect the skin and eyes from the sun. 
Sun exposure is harmful to natural collagen. Be vigilant about using a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen daily. And wear a hat and sunglasses to protect skin and eyes when you're in direct sunlight. 

Smoking? No way. Smoking prematurely ages skin by damaging blood vessels and limiting skin's ability to self-repair. 

Eat a balanced diet.A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish and whole grains benefits your skin as well as your overall health. Avoid processed carbohydrates and excess sugars, which have been shown to cause damage to collagen and elastin. 

Get your beauty rest—and extra moisture, too.Sleep time is skin's repair time. Get your 8 hours and you'll notice a difference. Counteract nightly dehydration with a targeted moisturizer, no matter what your skin type.
Relax and de-stress. 
Stress impacts our bodies in many ways, and skin inflammation is one of them. Ever notice that you break out more when you're under stress, or that skin looks duller when you've got a big deadline? Make time every day for to do something completely stress-free. Listen to your favourite music. Spend time with friends. Relaxing is important for your health—and your skin.

Check out Clinique De-Aging Solutions 

Even if you use sunscreen every day, there's daily damage. With Clinique's potent De-Aging Specialists, skin really can look better, longer. Our guiding dermatologists have always insisted that you can have great skin at any age. It's not your decade that counts. It's your dedication. 


Saturday, August 14

The Latest from Krispy Kreme

Wednesday, August 4

Cyber Bullying

The Internet has two faces:  a lovely side and an ugly one.  The Internet is a great source of information. It is a remarkable tool that connects people around the world with a simple touch of a button.  Internet users can easily pass and share text, images, sound and videos with one another.  It’s a perfect venue for companies and individuals to advertise and sell their products.  Consumers can browse and go shopping online without the hassle of leaving the house.  The Internet makes things easier and more convenient.

Unfortunately, the Internet has a negative side.  People with bad intentions can manipulate information shared online and use it to their advantage.  Cyber-bullying is one of the terrible things that someone can experience online. The National Crime Prevention Council's defines cyber bullying as a situation "when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person."

Cyber bullying can come in different forms. It can be as simple as sending an e-mail to someone repeatedly even though the said person expressed that he does not want further contact from the sender.  It may also involve something as serious as threats, sending below the belt comments and criticisms online and posting false facts with the goal of humiliating the person.

A cyber bully can either disclose his real identity in websites and forums but he may also choose to hide behind an alias.  In worse cases, a cyber-bully can pose as the identity of his cyber victim in order to bring shame to that person.

Cyber-bullying is a scary reality. Kids can fall prey to abusive people online. It is important to supervise kids when using the Internet.  Explain to them that it’s dangerous to talk to strangers online just like it’s dangerous to talk to strangers in the street.  Let them know that it’s dangerous to share personal information online. Adults should also be extra careful in divulging important information online.  Make sure you only share personal facts to trusted online sites.  

Monday, July 19

What's New with Sunsilk...

Sunsilk makes expert-touched hair accessible to Filipinas

Fact: Not everyone can afford expert haircare found at high-end salons.

Fact: Everyone wants pretty, healthy hair. Solution: Salon-quality products for every girl, whoever she is, wherever she lives, whatever her hair type created by internationally renowned hair experts.

Sunsilk believes that the secrets to beautiful hair shouldn’t be locked behind the salon door. Expert haircare is no longer limited to people with cash to burn and time to spend.

A new line of products pioneered by Sunsilk is taking the high price out of the formula and offering a democratic approach to world-class hair.

In their quest to unlock the secrets to specific hair types, they searched for specialist hair experts: the world’s best at what they do, be it straight, sleekness, hairfall or damage control. Experts who are not only superlative hair professionals, hairdressers or clinicians, but obsessive industry pioneers who don’t sleep until their clients have perfect hair. They are dedicated to the creation of the world’s best haircare products; prolonging color vibrancy, embracing well-defined curls, creating brilliant shine and repairing damage to create perfectly smooth and healthier hair. They love, live and feel for that particular hair type: the kind of perfectionism you want to bottle. They have turned obsession into a life ambition.

“Through this unique way of working, Sunsilk brings to millions what was previously available only to the privileged few frequenting the world’s most exclusive salons: international hair expertise and perfectionism in every bottle,” says Dean Aragon, global VP of Sunsilk. “Sunsilk aims to provide access to international hair professionals to every girl around the world so she can create salon-quality looks at home. And this is just the beginning. We’re just at the start of an exciting co-creation journey.”

Having tapped the world’s best, the company worked on teaming up to create new formulations to solve haircare issues troubling every woman around the globe. Meet the experts who made it possible.

Teddy Charles

The look: The shape and lengths expert, he embodies Big Hair, creating the signature windswept mane made popular by celebs like Blake Lively. His work combines a flare for contemporary femininity and glamour with an edgy bohemian sensibility. “To this day, long and abundant hair continues to be the timeless symbol of feminine beauty,” he says. For Asian hair, particularly the Filipina’s, he notes how it is straighter, stronger and heavier. “Most Filipino women want longer hair, and the key is to nourish it so it remains stronger as it grows longer,” he says.

The clients: He’s worked with celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Blake Lively and Hayden Panettiere — as well as behind the scenes with photographers like Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Glen Luchford, Mikael Jansson and Karl Lagerfield, magazines such as French, Italian, American and Teen Vogue, i-D, V, Numero and Vogue Nippon.

Tom Taw

The look: The cutting-edge stylist is obsessive in his passion for repairing damaged hair — usually caused by too much styling, too many products and intense heat — and is the trusted hair dresser to repair the damaged locks of world-famous musicians, models and actors. Having begun his calling at the age of 15 at the local salon, Tom Taw cemented his career after training under major hair figures as well as high-profile Italian hairdressers. After a stint as senior creative director at Aveda, Tom is no stranger to creating impressive and inspirational looks.

The clients: He not only designs for fashion shows, but also speaks at educational seminars. He opened his Soho salon, BobSoho, in 2007 where he concentrates on enhancing the natural beauty of hair. The work of his creative team regularly appears in the pages of fashion bibles Vogue and Elle and he is fast becoming a hit with the stars.

Yuko Yamashita

The look: As a young Japanese stylist, Yuko met countless women who were unhappy with their hair. “For my entire life, I have wanted to help girls get healthy, straight hair,” shares Yamashita. The most common complaint was unruly hair that had to be constantly styled every morning and the mere suggestion of rain would make it frizzy and uncontrollable. Yuko wanted her customers including many celebrities to have beautiful, straight and healthy hair without spending hours getting it that way, so she created Yuko Hair Straightening, which has been taking the world by storm for over 10 years.

The clients: Having been lauded by industry bibles Celebrity Hair Style and American Salon magazines in the US, as well as Shape magazine, Yamashita’s Yuko Hair Straightening, created in Japan in 1996, has been making people’s lives easier when it comes to haircare.

 Francesca Fusco, MD

The look: Francesca Fusco believes a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and is dedicated to giving every girl the best head start possible to getting glorious hair through care for the scalp. A world-leading expert in dermatology and scalp care, Dr. Fusco graduated from New York Medical College. Her approach is based on the philosophy that with early intervention, patients can avoid invasive treatments. Francesca urges people to recognize the delicate nature of scalp; as an extension of the skin on your face.

The clients: As an expert dermatology resource for the television media community, she has appeared on CNN, Eyewitness News, CBS News, Inside Edition and Fox News 5. Alongside TV, her medical advice appears regularly in magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times (voted Best Doctors 2008, 2009), Elle (Beauty Genius Award), Women’s Health (consultant on advisory board), Cosmopolitan, More Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Marie Claire, Shape, Health, Real Simple, Web MD, InStyle, Allure, Glamour, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News.

Reposted from Philippine Star

Sunday, May 30

Marriott Hotel, A Getaway in Manila

Experience bliss of a lifetime with Marriott Hotel’s Escape! Spa Package

Relax and reenergize as you bring back to life your tired and weary body with Marriott Hotel’s ultimate Escape! Spa Package. For only $220 net single or $245 net double, spoil your senses at the Quan Spa, where you can enter to a world of restoration and look forward ending your day to the Marriott Hotel’s luxurious deluxe room accommodation.

The package includes an indulging daily buffet breakfast at the Marriott Café and an hour of massage of choice at the Quan Spa, where water element comes to life. Must-try is one of Filipinos famous service—hilot. Considered as one of the best-loved treatments where virgin coconut oil is applied to the body which reduces tension build up. Introducing as well is Dagdagay which is basically a deep tribal foot and leg massage using clay to enhance the kneading motions while cleansing and purifying the skin.

And to complete the luxury, have a moment of lull in the exquisite deluxe room, complete with practical amenities such as high-speed internet access, 40” full high-definition IPTV and the new remote jack pack plug-and-play system, luxurious bedding plus facilities such as outdoor pool and health club, among others. This promo is valid until June 30, 2010.

Share with your loved ones this delightful escape offer for a night or more and experience a surely memorable bliss of a lifetime. For more information about Marriott Hotel Manila, please call (632)988-9999 or visit

Tuesday, May 4


Some are called to lead despite remaining passive and unprepared most of their lives. They are suddenly presented with this grace, this opportunity to shine, but have done very little to earn this kind of noble calling. Beware of this kind of leader; he may just be going with the flow, blinded by the prospect of power and fame, and deafened by the roar of the crowd behind him. He may realize too late that he lacks the tools and the strength to shoulder the burden of leadership.

Then there are those who have been preparing most of their lives to gain the experiences and muster the strength to have what it takes to be a true leader. They are the ones who are truly prepared, who have done their homework, so to speak. They have the confidence and they have the tools and the capability to rise to the occasion. The inspiration they provide stems from their own lives, not from something bestowed upon by family background or circumstance.

The Self-Made Man

Manny Villar clearly belongs to this category. He is a self-made man, having built himself from scratch. He does not have a movie star's charisma to beguile the poor to vote for him. He does not rely on any distinguished pedigree or lineage to propel himself, because he really comes from humble origins. What he does have are concrete achievements as both entrepreneur and political figure. Powerful actions back up his inspiring words and programs, which is why you can believe in them.

Almost every Filipino by now knows that he, among all the candidates in the coming election, understands the true meaning of hardship. Coming from the poor, he exudes genuine compassion and understanding of what the destitute and the needy go through. Every Filipino knows this adage: “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, di makararating sa paroroonan.” Villar certainly knows he couldn’t have reached this far in life without always looking back at what he went through. And that should greatly inspire the multitude to rise from their present misery and want and on to the fulfillment of their dreams. Sipag at Tiyaga! Everyone knows that this simple philosophy of life is true. It is anchored in reality. It is something you can hold on to. It is a genuine promise of our salvation. It is a genuine roadmap to our progress.

Everything starts with the individual.

And it starts with you.

Anti-Poverty Platform

Manny Villar does not make promises alone. Although he has made poverty alleviation a top priority, he knows this is something that everyone, including the poor themselves, must strive for and work towards. He is just keeping it real and being honest about it.

This is his powerful message to the masses who are always mired in poverty, one administration after another. Many people say that corruption causes poverty. While this is surely true, it is also more the other way around : poverty causes corruption. Root out poverty, empower the people with the means to live well and rise above their station in life, and you can eliminate the need to beg, to steal, to kill. It is certainly important to eliminate corruption, especially those that happen in high places because they affect the most people. But equally important is the need to address the heart of poverty. And the inequitable distribution of wealth and access to it lies at the heart of this matter including his entrepreneurial revolution.

Nacionalista Party senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla hit it right when he said that the biggest issue for voters in the May 10 polls is poverty. All other problems are just side issues. Having overcome poverty himself, Manny could have easily been contented with having a comfortable life, except that he continually feels he has to give back to the poor and inspire them to elevate themselves. This is what the other candidates lack – genuine empathy with the impoverished, not just lip-service. And that's what's propelling him to popularity. People know it's about time to consider a candidate with solid credentials instead of empty promises. We need a candidate with programs backed up by experience and achievement instead of one riding on popularity alone.

And there's no one with more experience and achievement than Villar. Consider his accomplishments even before he embarked on his political career. He became known as the “housing czar” for initiating mass housing projects that benefited more than 100,000 poor and middle-class families. His pioneering initiatives and innovations that revolutionized the country's mass housing industry were complemented by his enactment of economic and social reform laws that proved vital in sustaining the country's economic momentum and improvement of the lives of Filipinos.

Achievements in Congress

As a young congressman, he applied his economic and managerial expertise in bringing about economic reform measures during the Ramos administration, such as the New Foreign Investments Act and the restructuring of the Central Bank.

He organized the “Manpower on Wheels Program” to help educate poor students. It has since produced more than 5,000 graduates and been awarded by various government and civic organizations. This accomplishment backs up his current plan of action to spend more for education and create a more competitive environment among schools and among teachers.

He oversaw various infrastructure projects in Las Piñas, and steered this district and Muntinlupa to cityhood. He upgraded the hospitals, launched drug prevention programs, and authored several legislation and initiatives that protected and promoted small and medium entrepreneurship. In the process, he garnered the highest satisfaction ratings while leading both Houses of Congress. As House Speaker, he was able to reform the “pork barrel” system, paved the way for leadership reform by appointing neophyte congressmen to head important committees such as ecology and banks, and pioneered laws such as Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the New Central Bank Act, New Securities Code and the New Banking Act.

Achievements as Senator

As a neophyte senator in 2001, Villar filed 204 bills covering a comprehensive legislative program of action. He authored 44 laws during the 12th Congress, filed bills aimed at providing business opportunities for the people and improving the Filipinos' quality of life through basic health care, decent shelters, responsive social services and high quality education. He spearheaded the building of schools, sent out medical missions and set up relief operations whenever or wherever needed. In addition to initiating a livelihood training program with the Sipag at Tiyaga Caravan Kaalaman, he privately funded a tree-planting drive consisting of over 1 million trees as his environmental advocacy. (Reads his legislative performance and Manny Villar's Governance Matrix)

Villar's life and achievements are too numerous to fit this page, but it should be sufficient to note that actions do back up his words. He is getting a lot of criticism for having the biggest advertising expenditure, but the good thing here is that he spends his own money, without the need for “backers” who naturally want to recoup expenses once he is elected. After decades of getting used to “crony capitalism,” we finally have a solid candidate who is a crony of no one, who is beholden to no one but the country. His advertising expenditure, in addition to carrying his messages of “sipag at tiyaga,” point to his capability as a business leader and effective communicator, and these qualities are important to have for someone to represent our country in the world stage.


Two signs show how effective Villar's advertising and marketing programs are: his lead in the polls, and the desperation of his detractors. As the campaign season heats up with him leading the surveys, more criticisms are bound to come flying thick and fast, left and right. But many people find this pathetic. The way his opponents have been hurling the C-5 issue against him is simply pulitika. Clearly, there has been no anomaly in the C-5 project; it is even a project that Villar is proud of. As he himself stated, “Only those with vision, capability, and are strong-willed can be part of something like the C5 project – a project that shows the country is moving forward. While many of us who want to get elected promise progress for our country, C5 is that promise realized. It is there for everyone to benefit from and take advantage of. “

Indeed, people will see this as the desperate move by his rivals to discredit him. Meanwhile, some candidates relish in bashing him but they will never get far with this kind of negativity. The people want candidates that can outline their programs in a positive way. Attacking somebody else is a cheap gimmickry that's good for a few laughs and a short hoopla but that's just about it.

If a candidate has truth on his side, and is backed up by genuine capability to manage people and lead the country, the slings and arrows of outrageous accusations will never hurt him. Instead he will shine through, as only the best among us does in the face of adversity.

Count on it.


The Lady from Sulu

Last January 2009, three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). They were Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba.

After 77 days in captivity, Lacaba was released by the ASG to the honorable Vice Governor Nur-Ana “Lady Ann” Sahidulla; followed by Notter nearly two weeks later. The last to walk to freedom was Vagni who was turned over also to Vice Governor Sahidulla on July 12.

The Sulu Vice Governor‘s role in securing the safe release of the three ICRC workers was commended by Philippine National Red Cross chair Richard Gordon.

According to Gordon, “As the Vice Governor of Sulu and the Chair of the PNRC Chapter in her province, the responsibility of finding a peaceful, effective and humanitarian solution to the hostage crisis rested on her shoulders.”

Gordon said that the vice governor’s intimate and unique knowledge as well as the trust and respect of the people of Sulu made it possible to communicate effectively with the Abu Sayyaf and ensure the safety of the hostages, bring them food and medicines, and eventually secure their safe release from their abductors.

Sahidulla’s use of peaceful means to address the hostage crisis saved, not only the lives of the hostages but also of soldiers, the Abu Sayyaf and other people who might have been hurt if an all-out conflict was pursued, Gordon said as he defended the lady vice governor from critics and doubting Thomases.

She was also part of the team that negotiated for the release of broadcast journalist Ces Oreña Drilon and two other ABS-CBN employees who were kidnapped by the ASG in 2008.

Vice Governor Sahidulla, also known as “Lady Ann” enjoys the distinction of being the first Woman Vice Governor in the province of Sulu. She is running for the 2nd district congressional seat in Sulu and most of the Sulu town mayors are reportedly supporting her candidacy, affirming Sahidulla’s independence and firm decisions on any issue and her knowledge in the art of negotiation during conflicts.

Sahidulla is also known for her peace advocacy, saying that peace is an essential ingredient for sustainable development. “Mindful peace is uplifted if there’s harmony in each others heart. True and clear heart can overcome the rouse of evil in one’s mind,” she said. The lady vice governor also believes that the root cause of armed conflict in Mindanao is poverty. “Kung walang gutom, walang aakyat sa bundok at hahawak ng baril,” she stressed. Meanwhile, she’s helping her constituents thru her livelihood programs like soy sauce making, aquaculture, livestock raising and lately, coffee farming.

Sahidulla founded the Anak Ilo Foundation Incorporated in 1995. Anak Ilo is a foundation designed to help the orphans in attaining their dreams through scholarship grants.

She is also actively involved in livelihood projects, literacy programs and activities which support and promote the good image of Sulu, as well as in medical missions and relief operations benefiting families in Sulu who are affected by unending conflict and bloody encounters in her province. Through her, the building of the BLOOD BANK of the Philippine National Red Cross was made possible and raised for the benefits of the Suluanos.

Sahidulla said, “I will continue to provide assistance to our people and most especially the victims of war in Sulu even if armed conflicts in this province have waned down. As a vanguard for people’s right, we must guarantee support to children and refuge their rights”.

If elected, Sahidulla will replace 2nd district Rep. Munir Arbison who is on his third and last term as congressman of the district.

Give the Lady a seat in the House.