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03:38 AM June 9th, 2013

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By: Anton San Diego, June 9th, 2013 03:38 AM

TONYBOY and Gretchen with their daughter Dominique

It’s always a joy to witness how girls blossom into lovely ladies. When Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter Dominique turned 18, I grabbed the opportunity to feature the family in the June issue of Philippine Tatler.

Titled “All Grown Up,” the feature had its pictorial and interview in one of the suites of Raffles Hotel Makati (thank you, Monique Toda, for facilitating). In one afternoon, the Tatler team and I got to know the family on a more intimate level.

The elusive Tonyboy, with the beautiful actress Gretchen Barretto, talked about how thankful they were to have Dominique in their lives. As they slowly opened up to us, we found out that, though the family has drawn its share of controversy, deep inside they are just like any other family, weathering the ups and downs of life with their love for one another.

We watched Gretchen fuss over Dominique like any other mother, assisting her through the entire shoot. The glamorous Gretchen was more than willing to let Dominique have her turn in the limelight.

TONYBOY Cojuangco and 18-year-old daughter Dominique on the cover of Tatler

Tonyboy was content to watch lovingly from the sidelines, though he could not help but express a little wistful sadness when the conversation turned to Dominique’s leaving to study in London.

Contentious topic

One contentious topic that we were able to touch on was the nature of Gretchen and Tonyboy’s relationship. For years, these two have stayed together against all odds, surprising naysayers and even themselves. Their relationship remains a point of controversy, and everyone will have his or her say about it.

But they have stuck it out through thick and thin. This much is evident in Dominique and the accomplished young woman she has become.

I asked top makeup stylist Patrick Rosas to apply his artistry on the two beautiful ladies. Photographer Doc Marlon Pecjo captured Dominique’s fresh energy, Gretchen’s regal elegance, and Tonyboy’s laid-back demeanor.

Travel time

HOTEL Mulia Resorts and Villas

Last month was particularly special for me as I got to travel to many places. I went to Coron, Palawan, and stayed at the Two Seasons Resort & Spa; attended the Tatler regional conference in Phuket; stayed at the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore; and had fun at the appreciation night of the Hotel Mulia Resort & Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Each of these places held its own unique and memorable experiences. Palawan was definitely the most beautiful, but I will save that for another article.

I have not been to Bali for five years, so when I was invited by the Mulia group, I could not refuse. The resort sits on 30 ha of architectural and man-made wonders. It is not done in the typical Balinese style, but is a sheer visual delight.

The resort is divided into a boutique hotel (The Mulia), a standard hotel (Mulia), and the resort and villas. One of the highlights of my visit was the performance of Il Divo, whom I haven’t heard for some time, but were still in stellar form.

The Mulia Resorts & Villas, which opened in December 2012, has already been selected as Best New Hotel in the World on the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Hot List. Although modern in approach, the impeccable service, attention to detail, and the magical Balinese culture make this resort a place one would want to go back to time and again.

IL DIVO in Bali

Tittle tattle

The hot conversation topics this week are: the Vice Ganda-Jessica Soho controversy; the unfortunate incident in Serendra; the Cebu Pacific mishap; and Juan Ponce Enrile stepping down as Senate President. Each of us will have our own take on these issues, but I particularly liked Monique Wilson’s article on Vice and Jessica, which came out in the Inquirer as well as on her Facebook page. To quote: “To Vice Ganda and other media personalities who trivialize rape: Use your celebrity status to promote awareness of the issue of violence against women, so that you can contribute to ending violence, not be instruments in its perpetuation because of your lack of empathy.” Speaks volumes.

Note to self

This week was full of events, like the Italian National Day last Thursday at the Manila Peninsula. Congratulations to Ambassador Massimo and  Agnes Roscigno for a great celebration.

At Butch and Cris Albert’s Fila black-tie party, they introduced the Volcanoes Rugby team. Champagne was overflowing, and the Intercon’s Prince Albert food was exquisite. Congratulations as well to Cris Albert, Ana Abad Santos and Robert Blancaflor for the amazing decoration.

The dinner given by Ben Chan for US Ambassador Harry Thomas was superbly fun. At the party, it was such a treat to hear powerhouse singers Regine Velasquez, Nina and Ogie Alcasid sing; they were simply fantastic.

I got to meet male supermodel Paolo Roldan and was pleasantly surprised to find out that he is down-to-earth, sexy and very charming.

At these various gatherings, I got to catch up with good friends Ben Chan, Miguel Pastor, Vicky Zubiri, Carol Garcia, Mons Romulo, Small Laude, Alice Eduardo, Tim Yap, Tessa Valdes, Pops Fernandez and Korina Sanchez-Roxas, which is always special as they are all busy.

From all the frenzied activities in life, I have realized that the most precious and fulfilling are the times you spend with people you care for.

Note to self: Call my mom!

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