How to design a Royal Pen

I must be living under a rock. I didn’t even know Prince Albert of Monaco already got married last July 1st. I thought I would see it live on CNN. It is now three weeks later and I haven’t seen any wedding photos up until now.
So many details go into a royal wedding and what commoners like us don’t know, is that even the pen is thought of. You can’t get married to a prince and use a Bic ballpen.
Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of pen we used when we got married?
For the wedding of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco to Charlene Wittstock, Montblanc created a one-of-a-kind writing instrument, a Création Privée from the Artisan Atelier Hamburg.
It was used by the couple on their wedding day as they made their lifelong commitment to each other.

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The intricate writing instrument was inspired by architectural elements of the Palais Princier and the Principality Flag, embellished with precious stones and the monogram of the Princely Couple.

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The unique fountain pen is made of solid white gold. The cap and barrel is engraved with a rhomb-shaped pattern and set with 161 rubies and 128 diamonds, reflecting the royal occasion and the colors of the Monegasque State.

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The largest stone to adorn the writing instrument is a ruby in rhomb cut set on the clip.
The 18K gold nib is engraved with a dove, rings and crown—all meaningful symbols of this state union.
As with all its creations, the Montblanc emblem adorns the top of the cap, this time in mother-of-pearl, reflecting the rarity of this piece and representing the future prosperity of the Princely Couple.

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Following the wedding day, this unique writing instrument becomes a memento of a special occasion in European history, and a personal treasure for the newlyweds.

Montblanc is exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-la and at Newport Mall, Resorts World.

The best steak in town

Pepper Lunch aside, Jeroen’s favorite steak is hands down, Mamou.

Mamou steak

For me, it’s Tsukiji’s Wagyu Ohmi Beef, which I can have only once in ten years because it’s so bloody expensive.
So when my friend Abet invited us to her birthday treat, I was really just hoping to have the best kani salad in the world (Pepper Lunch aside).

Best kani salad, Tsukiji

But then Abet mentioned wagyu—say what? I couldn’t refuse. I seriously thought four of us were gonna share one order—we had four orders of wagyu.
I was shocked when four orders of steak were brought to the table! I was also in heaven. I broke my no meat diet and gave in to steak, rice, and Coke.

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These were my lunch dates: Tina, who isn’t a Coke drinker, ends up ordering Coke whenever she sees me.

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Patty is a Simple Girl with perfect ponytail and Longchamp Pliage tote. Kulang na lang hand sanitizer! (And iced tea )

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Here’s the generous celebrant

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And once again, Patty, who is simply chica.

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I treasure times with my girl friends as much as my gay friends. Thank you Abet for the wonderful treat.

Tsukiji Japanese restaurant is at the Milky Way Building, Pasay Road corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati
Tel. 843-4285 or 812-2913.

Who do you choose to be?

Find out from Smart C+’s new generation of movers and shakers: Anton del Rosario, Divine Lee, RJ Ledesma, Liz Uy, and Rissa Mananquil
Designed for multi-tasking individuals on-the-go, Smart C+ is a revolutionary vitamin-powered drink made with real fruit juice and pure vitamins, minus colorings, preservatives, and additives.
Each 500 ml bottle delivers 500 mg worth of Vitamin C, known to be beneficial in strengthening the immune system, supporting the metabolism, restoring energy and repairing vital cells and tissues from day to day stress.

To know more about your Smart C+ ambassadors, click here.
http://www.keepupwithsmartc.com/

Ed Westwick on CNN’s Talk Asia

Five years of playing American bad boy “Chuck Bass” on “Gossip Girl” have made British actor Ed Westwick one of the biggest names on US television. Talk Asia sits down with the 24-year-old to discuss the popularity of the show, how he nearly missed out on his career-making role and he shares his experiences of working with some Hollywood’s biggest names.

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“Gossip Girl”is shot on location in the heart of New York City and is based on a popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar that explore the lives of a group of privileged adolescents. The show’s popularity has seen its stars become idols across the globe. But for Westwick, a problem with his working visa nearly saw the actor dropped from the show before it even started. He recalls how he felt as his nervously waited for the go-ahead.
“I don’t think I allowed myself to panic too much, because if I would have done, I don’t know, the whole world would have crumbled down around me. Fortunately what happened is I had a fantastic immigration lawyer, who met me in Toronto, which is apparently the place you go to get quickie visas!”

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Born and bred in the U.K., Westwick’s first acting role was in the 2006 British film “Breaking and Entering” directed by the late Anthony Mingella. He says the experience was invaluable and exciting.
“All of a sudden you are 17-years old and you find yourself on this film set with an Oscar winning director, and film stars like Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Ray Winstone and Robin Wright Penn. And it was just like this is pretty cool, everyone is super nice and it’s fantastic. And you’re just like, wow, this is great. It’s summer and I’m 17, turning 18 on set, and they bought me an iPod for my birthday.”

The 24-year old is also a singer in the band “The Filthy Youth” but has had to put his musical aspirations on hold after moving to New York.  But Westwick won’t rule out a musical career in the future.  “We get inspired for films through music.  You only have to look at Quentin Tarantino, who said that whenever he is having an idea for a film what he does is he will go through his record collection… I don’t feel like anyone should have any reservations about pursuing one art form just because they are established in an another.”

Highlights of Ed Westwick’s interview with TALK ASIA will be available online at http://www.cnn.com/talkasia after the first airing.

Show times:
Wednesday: 0930 GMT (1730 Hong Kong)
Thursday: 0330 GMT (1130 Hong Kong)
Saturday: 0800 GMT (1600 Hong Kong)
Saturday: 1600 GMT (0000 Hong Kong)
Sunday: 0830 GMT (1630 Hong Kong)
Monday: 0200 GMT (1000 Hong Kong)
Monday: 0730 GMT (1530 Hong Kong)

Amanda Coling’s official statement

Funny and sad, it is published in the Showbiz section of GMA News.

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Amanda Coling’s statement about an Azkals ‘incident’
07/19/2011 | 11:27 PM
Posted by Atty. Apollo X.C.S Sangalang
Lawyer of Amanda Coling
July 19, 2011

My client, who is known to most by her screen name, Amanda Coling, is trying to find in her heart forgiveness for what has been done to her more than a month ago, specifically on June 2, 2011. Since then, she has moved on with her life, making a decent living as a freelance commercial model and events host in order to support her family.
Amanda Coling. GMANews.TV

It was her intent to just suffer in silence but subsequent events have forced her to surface.

On or about June 6, a purported reporter from a major newspaper somehow learned of her mobile phone number and started requesting an interview regarding the incident. He claimed that he got the lead from someone connected to the group involved. Fearing that this was a setup, she declined and avoided him. The reporter, however, kept on encouraging her to speak out and press charges. Confused, she consulted a militant women’s organization and then with a public attorney, but it only strengthened her resolve to remain silent. Be that as it may, she lived in constant fear that the June 2 incident would become the next big scandal in the Philippines.

Several days later, friends informed her that in a certain news program of a major TV network, Amanda Coling was named as the woman in an alleged gang rape video scandal with some members of a very popular sports team. Soon, media people started calling and texting her for confirmation and interviews. She did not confirm or deny. And she again declined all requests for interviews.

Some of the reporters suggested that she hire a publicist or a lawyer. But she does not know or trust the people being referred to her. This finally prompted her to seek my legal advice and representation on or about July 12, 2011.

When she first brought up the matter to me, she told me that I am the only lawyer she trusts. She was straightforward in saying that she could not afford my fees. So I offered to help her as a friend. She was obviously sleepless. She said she felt harassed and very scared, primarily due to apparent pressure from some friends and media people encouraging her to take immediate legal action and call for a press conference.

I listened to her story. She sounded honest to me, but very confused. I believe her. I asked whom else she confided with about the incident. She answered that the only persons she consulted were the one from the militant women’s group in Quezon City and the public attorney from Makati City Hall. She also remembered calling TV celebrity friends of her for help on the day itself, June 2, and thereafter, sharing her ordeal with a close friend.

Since I was flying out of town for a pre-scheduled vacation, I advised her not to talk about her story with anyone else and to say “no comment” to anything related to the June 2 incident, until I return and study all the angles.

It is unfortunate that on July 13, Amanda was abruptly informed that she will no longer be allowed to participate in the production number for a major victory event of a well-known men’s magazine. She was also told that she would be removed from the roster of sexy model endorsers for a leading contraceptive brand. The reason being that the management found out that she was being linked to a scandal involving the Azkals, and they are afraid of negative publicity.

The loss of her job, income, and career opportunities was too much for her to handle. It pushed her to seek redress thru the media which she initially avoided. She had no intention to stir up the issue but she could not understand why she had to become a victim all over again, when she was trying to hold her peace. She granted media interviews to protest the unfair treatment she got from the events organizer.

For the record, she has no axe to grind against the Azkals as a team. In fact, she openly supports Team Azkals and continues to wish them great success and glory in their upcoming games. She also has nothing against the men’s magazine and the contraceptive brand. She actually wishes them more business successes. This was precisely the point she was trying to make in her media interviews and TV appearances. She was trying to send out positivity and peace to everyone. She was extending love as a way of countering the prejudice that she experienced. Unfortunately, the message got drowned out sensationalism and cynicism.

I am sure that a lot of us will find it hard to understand the real person behind Amanda Coling because she is not the victim stereotype. Yes, she still experiences pain, agony, suffering and anger. But she doesn’t despair, at least not for long. She shifts, bounces back, and moves forward quickly, sometimes too soon. Insofar as the June 2 and July 14 incidents are concerned, she has no vindictiveness or vengefulness in her heart. And because of this, she is and will be misunderstood. She told me that she’s been getting a lot of threats and hate messages and feedback in the media and Internet, but she forgives them.

She fervently hopes that the issue that involves her and certain individuals, will not be blown out of proportion, nor should it cause additional grief and harassment to her and to the others affected. Although she is a model and attracted to the limelight, it is never her intention to seek publicity at the expense of others. Neither did she speak out to cause divisiveness, or to promote negativity. What really happened on June 2, 2011, she would rather forget than remember. The way she was treated on July 13 is already behind her. To set the record straight, she never specifically named, identified, or blamed anyone as liable or responsible, despite attempts by certain entities to put words into her mouth. It is highly unfair to subject anyone to trial by publicity. Everyone has a family or a loved one to protect, as well as dignity to uphold, whatever status one may have in society.

She believes that everyone makes mistakes and deserves second chances. She is therefore open to accepting an apology from the concerned parties, provided that they are sincere and willing to mend their ways. Regardless, she knows that the universal Law of Karma will eventually serve poetic justice in favor of the deserving consistent with her Rosicrucian beliefs.

Given the foregoing premises and after discussing again with my client the possible ramifications of the issues, it is still her decision to defer whatever legal action is appropriate to take under the circumstances in order to give all parties, including herself, ample time and opportunity to reflect, meditate and pray for enlightenment and discernment. She prays that, if she ever decides to take legal action, it would not be for the wrong reasons, and that it will not become a circus.

On behalf of Amanda Coling, I thank you for your patience, respect and understanding.

Atty. Apollo X.C.S Sangalang
Lawyer of Amanda Coling
July 19, 2011

How to spot a fake

Last Thursday we were invited to visit the Central Bank of the Philippines in the heart of Manila.
Ooh, a field trip! I was very excited and felt grade school again.
Carpooled with Pia Magalona and Harold Geronimo all the way to Manila because carpooling rocks! It’s fun, you save gas, and lessen traffic.

Central Bank of the Philippines

The good news is, the BSP building, built in the 1960s-1970s (by Pia’s grandfather, in fact) is well preserved with the marble floors and a retro feel. You could almost expect to bump into Eddie Rodriguez or Vic Silayan in its freezing hallways, or maybe my grandfather. :)
Pia and I made a quick stop at the José Rizal wall to take pictures. I had a serious crush on Jose Rizal during high school. I swooned while reading Noli and Fili. So yes, mahal ko si Cristostomo Ibarra!
Until I found out he was less than five feet tall in real life, so I got over it.

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Because of our long journey, Pia and I had to make a quick stop at the restroom, which was renovated, and well, TONS better than NAIA. Why can’t NAIA restrooms be like this??

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We were led into a conference room for a briefing about fakes

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The fakes are very scary real-looking

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Bam Aquino was there

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The nice part was when we were allowed to change our money into the new bills (kulang ng 50 pesos)

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Tessa is happy (and yay, my arm is smaller than hers, hehe)

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After the briefing we went to see the Governor in his office, which had all these iconic Amorsolo paintings.
(Ugh, I miss my lola!! Amorsolo used to eat in her house and he would give her paintings!!)

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Amorsolo really warms my heart.

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Bold!

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We got to meet Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. (and I wonder if he could take over NAIA to fix the damn place).
He gave us a gift of all the new bills plus a 10-peso coin in a special folder.

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We got autographs

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On our way out we saw this massive antique table where the Malolos Constitution was supposedly signed.
Awesome!! I want to see some mumus.

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Paid our respects to Rizal once again.

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Then said goodbye to the wonderful Fe dela Cruz, Director of Corporate Affairs.

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Tomorrow, Pia Magalona, Tessa Valdes, Bam Aquino, Elmo Magalona and I will be at the media launch of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Anti-Counterfeit Campaign.
HP Philippines and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas invite you to view a showcase of original currencies and HP inks and toners at the Activity Center of Trinoma Mall on July 20 and 21, 2011.

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The two-day affair will feature panoramic galleries showing national currency memorabilia through the years, and interactive demonstrations on how to determine the authenticity of the newly issued Philippine peso bills.
Guests can also enjoy the special opportunity of exchanging their old bills for the new banknotes in all denominations during both days.
Each person is allowed to exchange one (1) set of the new peso bills (P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, P1000).

New Philippine Currencies

Aside from getting their hands on the new banknote series, visitors can also exchange their old non-HP printers to receive discount certificates on new HP printers. HP will raffle off new HP printers and premium items to those who visit the exhibit.

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There will be photo souvenirs given away and special performance from surprise celebrity guests.
See you tomorrow at Trinoma as soon as the mall opens!

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