Belle de Jour Power Planner’s “Rendezvous Filipina Forward” Event



“Before I’m overwrought by future Saturdays, it’s time to get ready for one of the most important events of my life today!”




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First things first: THE RAMP!



Guess what? I wasn’t making this up as an introductory to a write-up. This was my actual status on my facebook account on the 15th of September, 2012.



And by the way, I do not do write-ups… errr.. Or, not just yet.
If asked for the reason why I write, I would glance away then, look back to say, “I just love it”…
as simple an answer like I lack words to explain why; when on the contrary, it is only when I permit myself to respond to you, that I would respond to you whenever I’m in the midst of composing text. But, to make it complex rather than complicated, I write (about events, or relationships/interactions with people around me, no matter how simple) for the sake of re-living.


So, what exactly was note-worthy about the 15th of September at THE RAMP for me to want to re-live it?



My friend, Mae Ilagan was invited to be one of the speakers, with focus on food and travel, for Filipina Forward; An event organized by Belle de Jour.





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Alright… I was late. The talk commenced at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, while I reached the venue a quarter past 3pm. Standing behind the seated audience, sounding like they were so shy to laugh out loudly as a response to what Mae could’ve had said, I felt settled. There was no way i would want to disturb anyone to find myself a chair hence, make known that I wasn’t on time.




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As the sound wasn’t so audible from where I was standing for more than 10 minutes, I grabbed my mobile phone to take some photos, just so I would look like i knew exactly what was happening. While adjusting the settings on my phone, Mae said something about  “not to deprive one’s self” (putting weight on traveling and exploring the Philippine Islands must be a priority) simultaneously, showcasing photos taken from different places from north to south. My initial reaction was to look at the seated guests if her statement made as much impact to them as it did to me… I had to supress a little chuckle for  they all seemed like 3-year-old girls, as their heads leaned forward in anticipation as if they couldn’t wait to hear what happened to SnowWhite after giving the apple a bite.



Without a word, the people in front, and us from the back were made to realize what we may have been missing out on.





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Despite my limited view to see what reaction was painted on their faces, their OHs, OOHs, WHOAs and other similar “onomatopoeias”  gave a vivid implication , that my friend had an audience!!! And to give a stronger emphasis to my claim, the ladies dramatically changed from being an audience to a crowd, when Mae cited that Frank (with Badeth and Joe-joe) was also there to grace the occasion. And since, none from the “crowd” could jump up to Frank, I decided to act on their behalf!




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 Mae’s “partner in crime” Frank Ruaya and yours truly



Anyhow, Mae’s powerpoint would be less powerful if not for Frank’s scenic/theatrical shots. Thus, she asked everyone to give Frank a round of applause which, if not equally, he so deserved. Mae, proceeded with the talk and winded up giving prizes, mostly gift certificates to lucky ladies who were able to ask sound questions like, “What are the top-five on your list of things that you cannot do without?”



There is no doubt, Frank and Mae really made an impact to fellow netizens, for even after the talk, they couldn’t be stopped (and who would dare do?) from coming up to  Mae, or Frank, or to Mae and Frank to ask to strike a pose with them.




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As for myself, I just felt privileged to have these two magnificent people as my friends. And earlier, I kind of mentioned that the sound wasn’t so audible from where I stood, while at the venue, THE RAMP. I guess, there’s a lot of truth about some book I read touching on conscious and subconscious state-of-mind. I heard what Mae was saying during the talk. I saw photos taken by Frank. Both mediums were talking… straight to my heart. I just couldn’t figure out the exact words but, I remember, I tried to hold back a tear. Because, I know , not just once in my life I chose to have other stuff in exchange for saving up to be able to travel; it is not everyday that I have a chance to speak to elderly people but whenever I get it, I don’t; and how many times did I break a promise to myself that once I have the money I will go to Vieux Chalet instead of heading to specialty shops?!



Shallow as it may seem to try to hold back a tear for such realization, but in some other way, I will let you in my shoes to be able to see what can be seen through my eyes… Otherwise, I am in the midst of writing.




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 meet the WIM team: Mark, Joanne, Mae, Frank, Paula, Kax and Vince!


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Wheninmanila.com President, Vince Golangco and yours truly





by: Miah Montemayor







Belle de Jour Power Planner‘s “Rendezvous Filipina Forward” Event with WhenInManila.com’s Mae Ilagan and Frank Ruaya