Redirecting my focus to the positive and productive | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Karen Jimeno, Irene Chua, Ruby Chua, Sheila Romero, Cory Navarro, Susan Joven, Ching Cruz, Maricarl Tolosa
Karen Jimeno, Irene Chua, Ruby Chua, Sheila Romero, Cory Navarro, Susan Joven, Ching Cruz, Maricarl Tolosa

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Milton Berle

From the sand dunes of Namibia to the wilderness trails of Botswana to the towering coral formations of Tubbataha Reefs, I have ventured into my travel life bursting with enthusiasm and pleasure. From being overwhelmed with challenges and unwanted circumstances with no immediate solutions, I have redirected my focus to opportunities that open positive options and productive results.

After immensely enjoying my African travels, I flew to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, to go on a weeklong diving trip on board Oceana Maria Scuba (@divetubbataha for details) to Tubbataha Reefs, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Karen Jimeno, Irene Chua, Ruby Chua, Sheila Romero, Cory Navarro, Susan Joven, Ching Cruz, Maricarl Tolosa
Karen Jimeno, Irene Chua, Ruby Chua, Sheila Romero, Cory Navarro, Susan Joven, Ching Cruz, Maricarl Tolosa

Considered as one of the best sites in the world according to CNN Travel, Tubbataha Reefs is only accessible by boat on a liveaboard, since there are no accommodations. During diving season, that is from mid-March to mid-June, the waves are calmest, weather is clear and water visibility is up to 150 feet.

The pristine coral reefs are stunning and well-preserved. It is home to some of the most diverse and healthy marine life on earth. The thriving ecosystem features a variety of hard and soft corals that make each dive so incredible and memorable.

With swirling schools of barracuda, trevallies and jacks, there are so many pelagic encounters that make Tubbataha a diving haven. On lucky dives, there are sightings of mantas, dolphins and whale sharks. We have seen schools of tuna even bigger than the reef sharks!

Our dive trip started last Sunday so I was so delighted to catch the last concert of Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano held at MOA Arena the night before. The three-hour, highly entertaining concert was a thrilling and energetic showcase of Pinoy talent in song and dance, with a cast of hundreds and a whole lot of soul! It was so heartfelt, and Gary V truly is a gift of God! Due to public demand, there is a third concert on May 10.

Made-to-orderBefore leaving for this dive trip, I attended a couple of launches. One of them was the Jimmy Choo Spring 2024 and Bridal Collections (exclusively distributed by Stores Specialist, Inc., and is at Greenbelt 3, Shangri-La Plaza and Rustan’s Makati. Shop Jimmy Choo online at; visit; follow @ssilifeph on Instagram). Held at the Greenbelt 3 boutique, the launch also celebrated the return of the made-to-order service. Among the attendees was Miss Universe Philippines 2023 Michelle Dee.

The brand expands upon its highly successful made-to-order service to include additional styles and fabric options, with 25 silhouettes across shoes from September 2023. The service invites customers to bring their dream styles to life, combining the innovative spirit of the London design studio with time-honored Italian craftsmanship, and hand-finished by its team of master artisans in Florence, Italy.

The new arrivals come from the Spring 2024 collection where “Statement Glamour” is the season’s raison d’être, focusing on a powerful lineup of assertive shoes and accessories. Modern monochromes and graphic applications are playful yet confident. The Bridal Collection features a myriad of pearl-embellished pieces that would make a beautiful pairing for any wedding wardrobe.

From shoes to makeup, I attended the MAC Cosmetics launch of its latest silky matte lipstick, MACximal at Whitespace, Manila. Reformulated to perfection with a new silky finish, MAC’s iconic matte lipstick is the right blend of coconut oil, shea butter and organic cocoa butter. Giving more color, comfort and longer wear, MACximal is perfect for the summer glow.

The launch highlighted a quick lip makeup demo that was led by MAC affiliate artist Gery Penaso. Well-known for his top-tier makeup looks, he recreated MAC’s “Teddy Makeup” featuring the new lipstick in Velvet. With him on stage was MAC’s education manager Jaycee Matias, who shared her expertise and knowledge on MAC’s latest lippie.

The event also revealed the newest batch of the MAC crew. In Ruby Woo was Marina Summers, a Filipina drag queen who continues to slay the world. Other crew members were Teree Daisuke, Mitch Briones, Ry Velasco and Sanya Lopez. Guests were able to enjoy exploring the new MACximal lipsticks in display areas, as well as pose at photo hotspots.

Golf tournamentI am happy to bring the lipsticks and dive with my favorite Velvet Teddy shade underwater. I am still manifesting a sighting of mantas and whale sharks, so let’s see if that happens. If not, I will just wish that I play an excellent round of golf at the Wilcon Cup happening on May 7. The annual golf tournament is held for the enjoyment of their clients and business partners.

For over 46 years, Wilcon has been on a journey of redefining and enhancing its customers’ shopping experiences. Pushing boundaries of quality and innovation, the company strove to create impeccable customer service and premium product lines. This year, Wilcon hopes to upscale convenience and excellence in its service and products even more with the Do It With Wilcon Campaign.

Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano
Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano

Wilcon has always dreamed big. Its tagline over the years has been “Building Big Ideas.” But more than the recognized “bigness” of its own operations, Wilcon wanted to share in the responsibility of helping Filipinos build their own big dreams.

Wilcon sourced the best possible products on the market. It tailor-fitted needs and designs to what the customer desires and what is etched in their mind’s eye. In the course of doing this, Wilcon allows customers to explore new experiences with carefully chosen products for their precious spaces.

There is hardly a major province in the Philippines that does not have a Wilcon facility in its midst. From the modest first store in Quezon Avenue, Wilcon stores have sprouted end to end all over the country. To date, it has 93 stores and is well on track to opening its 100th store by year’s end.

Today is a very special day because my youngest Athena Prieto Valdes turns 19 years old. Having 5 as her auspicious number, Athena was born on May 5, 2005. I am looking forward to seeing her over summer break from London. INQ

Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram.


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