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And So It Is

The stars of ‘Merry Widow’; the triple ‘p’ of Puno

By: - Columnist
/ 05:11 AM July 08, 2018

Ann Puno, Cory Quirino, BY Ong, Len Olbes

Your mantra for the week: My finances multiply as I increase my acts of kindness.

IAMISM is a course on happiness and there are certain ideas I teach that will assure one to live in peace and prosperity in this human journey.


  1. The Universe is like a Xerox machine that produces and multiplies copies of our thoughts, whether they be negative or positive. Keeping them positive directs you to the happiness road.
  1. We do not often see the multifarious blessings that surround us because we spend so much time regretting the past and resenting imagined slights. Try living in the now and focus on the good you see around and if you cannot find any, put them there, and you will find them.
  1. It is one thing to believe in God, it is another to live consciously in the presence of God, and practicing the Presence even for a minute of every hour we are awake creates miracles in our lives.
  1. We determine our destiny/destination by the choices we make. It has never been predetermined.
  1. Being dependent on another person for one’s happiness is the surest way to unhappiness. So, find your own happiness within yourself and let this be enhanced by sharing this with someone who has found his/her happiness within.
  1. Consider very seriously what the philosopher Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear any how.” Find your why to live and all challenges can be courageously overcome.
  1. Any act of kindness moves you forward toward your highest good and greatest joy.

The count has arrived

International ballet star Martin Buczko from Staats Ballet Berlin arrived last Tuesday evening and Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT) president Marilou Magsaysay and Noemi Casiño welcomed him at Naia.

I had the pleasure of joining them for dinner at the Mantra Bistro in Legaspi Village, a very New York-like resto that serves the best Indian food in recent years, including unique vegetarian dishes. It is owned by Ranjit Chimni, who also owns the bar next door called Tapas by Mantra.

Danseur Buczko will star in “The Merry Widow” as Count Danilo Danilovitsch and the wealthy widow Hanna Glawari is to be danced by our very own Veronica Atienza, the lone Filipino awardee at the Jackson Mississippi Ballet Competition.

This is Veronica’s first public performance after winning the Jury of Encouragement award.

Dancer-choreographer Buczko, for the information of health enthusiasts, has been a vegan for the last seven years. He says, “It has kept my body strong and energetic.”

He was born in Moscow, is a Hungarian from Budapest, and lives in Berlin with his partner, an investigative journalist, and their seven-year-old son.

During his stay, Buczko has generously agreed to hold master classes for PBT dancers.

Buczko says that when he dances, “My steps are the music and the stage is my melody.”


With that statement, I suggest you better make sure that you get your tickets now by calling the PBT office, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 6328848 or Ticketworld at 8919999.

“The Merry Widow” opens July 28 at Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Lawyer Rene V. Puno, Lulu Tan Gan, Mel Meer, Mario Katigbak

Rene Puno entertains

The irrepressible esquire Rene Puno invited 40 friends to dinner at his residence in Ayala Alabang last month to celebrate another year of harmony and abundance.

When his gracious and lovely wife Ann takes care of the food, it is a lauriat of gustatory favorites, like the cochinillo as only Ann can prepare it, lamb marinated in rosemary and red wine, chicken relleno, langka salad and two other green salads made of talbos ng camote, alugbati tops and boiled eggplants, baked fish with Ann’s made-up sauce. On the side, sun-dried tomato pasta and Banawe rice. For dessert, cassava cake and buko with jelly. Phew!

It was nice meeting Green alcohol’s Peter and Nancy Co, who golf with my siblings; seeing Mel Meer in one of his rare social appearances, looking fine and healthy; chatting with Evie Costa, Joseph and Nel Calata; exchanging society memories with Johnny Litton; saying hello to the always impeccably dressed Joanne Rae Ramirez with husband Ed of the Board of Investment; interrupting the tête-à-tête with Tina Jacinto and Helen Ong; getting caught by Agile Zamora’s yaya’s camera; greeting Rene’s favorite ladies—Connie Haw, Len Olbes, Mayenne Carmona and Nympha Valencia; and, finally, sitting with Lilibeth and Paqui Campos, Henry and Jojo Zabarte, Lulu Tan-Gan and Mario Katigbak who recently launched the Hermès cologne, Eau de Citron Noir.

Rene’s children Yago and Renee and future son-in-law Drix Crisologo were there in full force. Son Luis, who teaches in Spain, is ready to come home soon.

Rene’s family is the picture of wholesomeness except when you single out Rene and meet his Gemini twin, you will know why his close friends spell Puno with a triple p. He would be most glad to explain if you ask!

More years of laughter and joy to you, Rene!

E-mail the columnist at

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