Marvel Style: Mentors Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos with designers Sam Donovan, Asha Daniels, Shan Keith and Oscar Gracia-Lopez, at Meldown Comics and Collectibles store, Hollywood CA–Project Runway: Under The Gunn “Superhero Fashion” Episode

This past week’s episode of Lifetime Network’s “Project Runway: Under the Gunn”–was the penultimate challenge of the season– The designers were to create a look inspired by a Marvel Comics Superhero. All three mentors are still on the show and only four designers are left–Mondo Guerra has 2, Anya Ayoung-Chee has one…

Oscar and Nick: Oscar Garcia-Lopez and Nick Verreos–Meldown Comics and Collectibles store, Hollywood CA–Project Runway: Under The Gunn “Superhero Fashion” Episode

And I also only have one designer, Oscar Garcia-Lopez. For the introduction of this “Supehero Fashion” challenge, we all met up very early in the morning at Meldown Comics and Collectibles store in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. The reason we were there so early is obvious: the producers wanted to film before the store opened and that early in the morning, curious people walking Sunset Blvd. would not be milling around wondering why Tim Gunn is in the store? (Hello!)

Gunn Superhero: In case you may not remember, about four years ago, Tim Gunn became a Marvel Comics (Fashion ) Superhero when he teamed up with “Iron Man” For “Models Inc. : The Hero Issue” Because of his involvement with Marvel Comics and being a comics superhero of sorts, he thought this subject would make for a fun challenge for “Project Runway: Under The Gunn”.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Each designer on the show got to choose a superhero that would be their “muse” for the look they would be creating. There were these huge posters boards with all the Superheroes they could choose from. Oscar–my designer–chose Gamora, who was part of Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy.

Fierce: Gamora is the adopted daughter of a supervillain and the last of her species. Her powers include superhuman strength and agility and an accelerated healing factor. She’s also superchic and besides some of her various “uniforms”/costumes she wears, the one that she was wearing in the poster/board included a red bodysuit with silver metallic body armor. She also had long blond hair and green-colored facial skin. She looked very bad-a** but sexy as well.

So…let’s get to my “Nick’s Take”/Inside Dish of this Episode: 
Oscar was very conscious of how the judges perceived him–and what I thought was A STUNNING emerald green gown–from the last challenge so he wanted to make sure his muse was young, hot and very very sexy!

In our caucusing session at the store, he immediately told me “NEEEEK! I want to make a suit! A very Fabulous and sexy suit! No Gown! And something ‘unexpected’ so the judges (Zanna, etc.) can stop saying that all I can do is  a Gown!”. I was all for it.

The Workroom:

Workroom Critique: When Tim Gunn and I walked into the FIDM workroom, Oscar had already finished draping his half-muslin of the jacket that would make the “base” of his suit. He was also making a pair of superskinny pants to match the jacket…

Structured and Chic: The jacket included an open back section, structured shoulders, lots of jigsaw-like pattern pieces, a sleeve with the underarm section cut out, and a jutting peplum section. There was a lot going on but I still LOVED it especially since it was so “outside of Oscar’s box”. I just advised him to not let the design get too tricky with “too mucheey” in the jacket.

I’ll Show You: I think that Oscar also wanted to show the judges–and his fellow competing designers–that he could do a fabulous jacket with 85 pattern pieces and do it PERFECTLY! It was a way of “I’ll Show You!”. I get it, that’s exactly what I would have done too! (we’re kindred design spirits in that way!).

Coat Suggestion: Right before leaving him for the day, Oscar talked about possibly adding a coat to his outfit since he had A TON of this black felt fabric he had bought at Mood: if he had time, and only IF…we discussed how a coat would “suggest” a Superhero cape without being a cape (and you know how Oscar loves a cape!). As I left him for the night he said “We’ll see Nick…only if I have time…”

Runway Way:

Oh No You Didn’t: Yes kids, above is a screen cap of my reaction when I walked into the FIDM Workroom and for the first time, saw that indeed Oscar had made a coat and HUUUUNEY, it was this:

Supercoat: I just about fell on the floor with this vision of an asymmetrical, very modern and superchic cloak with high stand-up collar and wraparound self belt. Only Oscar would…
A) take the idea of “Maybe doing a coat” and make a SUPERCOAT, and
B) take $ 2/yard felt and make a garment that looked like it was worth $ 4000!

As you can see from the screencap above, I just kept on pushing him and pushing him–as well as smiling, at how talented he was and how he does things 110%. #GoOscar.

A Red Hint: Now, I’m not sure if the viewers and fans of “Under The Gunn” have noticed but Oscar makes it a point EVERY Runway Day to put something in his own personal attire that has something to do with the look he created. And this week was no exception, he cut a bias piece of the metallic red fabric he used on his jacket and pants binding and made a band for his hat (see photo above). And yes, in case you’re wondering he had extra time right before the runway to make that. #OfCourseHeDid.


Gamora Couture: Oscar’s model Meredith Hennessy looked so fabulous in Oscar’s outfit! It consisted of a metallic black/silver jacket and skinny pants with red piping accents and metallic zippers, as well as the aforementioned black felt cloak. You should have been there when she first came out and then stepped in front of the judges to effortlessly slip the waist tie off the coat and voila: Gamora Couture!

This was definitely one of the biggest “Oscar highlights” of the entire season. The judges gasped, I smiled from ear to ear.

 Oscar and his model Meredith in his “Gamora”-inspired look–Project Runway: Under The Gunn “Superhero Fashion” Episode

Worried: During the judges critiques, the judges were mixed–at least at how we saw it–in terms of what they said about Oscar’s look–some said “too costumey” (Zanna Roberts Rassi and Rachel Roy) while others LOVED it! (Thank you Jen Rade and Jaime Alexander from “Thor”!).

If you ask Oscar or myself, I think that we felt worried EVERY SINGLE Runway time, because you just never knew how the judges would react.
Every week, it seemed like such a mixed bag and so even if we knew deep in our hearts that he did AMAZING, we were always a bit unsure.

But eventually…Oscar (and I) were “In”! And I cried (again!). We’re onto the Finale!

**In case you missed it, watch this week’s Full Episode HERE on and…

**Don’t Miss Next Week’s FINALE of “Project Runway: Under the Gunn”–on Lifetime, Thursday April 10 9/8c !!!

Nick Verreos

Anthony Chen displays his Camera D’Or award
The 66th Cannes Film Festival in May. (Reuters)
I got an invite to watch the Philippine premiere of Iloilo The Movie.

I was immediately drawn to it not only because it is being buzzed as the film to beat in next year’s Oscars for Best Foreign Film but also because it reminded me of my wonderful one year stay in Iloilo City.

It was in Iloilo City where I became an FM radio disc jockey/ newscaster and learned to speak impeccable Ilonggo. Anyway, more of my Iloilo City sojourn in an upcoming feature 

Here’s the article written by Nestor P. Burgos Jr. of Inquirer Visayas:

Teresita Sajonia left Singapore 16 years ago as a nanny but returned to the city-state in August a celebrity.

On Aug. 24, Sajonia attended the gala premier at Marina Bay Sands Theater of the award-winning movie “Ilo Ilo,” a film inspired by her eight-year employment and relationship with a Singaporean family.

“Ilo Ilo,” which won the Camera d’Or (best first feature film award) in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May, was written and directed by Anthony Chen, 29, the eldest of three boys Sajonia took care of from 1988 to 1997.

“I’m very happy that they remembered the years we were together and that this was made into a movie,” Sajonia, 55, a native of San Miguel town in Iloilo province after which the movie was titled.

Auntie Terry on her way to attend the movie premiere

With Sajonia as guests of honor were Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam, his wife, Mary Chee Bee Kiang, and Lawrence Wong, acting minister for culture, community and youth.

Sajonia was accompanied by her partner, Juan Taguibe.

The audience gave “Ilo Ilo” a standing ovation, captured on a video posted on its official page on Facebook.

After its screening in Singapore, the film is expected to be shown in the Philippines. It stars Filipino actor Angeli Bayani, who plays the role of Sajonia.


REUNITED: Anthony & Christopher with Auntie Terry

The youngest of six children and a midwifery graduate who failed to pass the board examination, Sajonia went to Singapore in 1986 because she could not find a job in Iloilo.

She first worked as a domestic helper. After her contract expired, she went to work for the Chen family in 1988. She sent part of her earnings to her own family in Iloilo.

Aside from doing household chores, Sajonia took care of her employers’ three children—Anthony, Justin and Christopher. She was closest to the youngest, Christopher, who was only a month old when she started to work for the family.

The children learned their first English words from “Auntie Terry,” as they called Sajonia. She also made them listen to her cassette collections of “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables.”

At the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Sajonia returned home after her fourth two-year contract with the Chens had expired.

She also thought she was ill, only to learn later that she was experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Sajonia returned to farming and raising chickens in San Miguel, 14 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City.

For 13 years now, she has been living with Taguibe, 65, in their house in Sitio Onas in Barangay Santa Cruz, 5 kilometers from the town proper.

The Chens and Sajonia lost contact for 16 years. She wrote to the family once but she did not know that her letter never reached them because they had moved to a new place. But she kept pictures of her former wards.

“Ilo Ilo,” which has been screened in various international film festivals, led to the reunion of Sajonia and the three Singaporean children, now all grown up.


After his film had won the Cannes festival, he decided to find his former nanny. He traveled to the Philippines and in June, he met public relations consultant Charles Lim, a Cebu-based Singaporean and chief executive officer of Selrahco Management and Consultancy Services, who offered to help him.

Lim requested media outlets in Iloilo to help trace Sajonia. But without her complete name and address, and only with photos taken when she was still in Singapore, the search took weeks.

“We do not have a television and our radio station is not working well,” Sajonia said.

In July, a nephew of Sajonia in Australia recognized her picture in a Facebook post of radio station Bombo Radyo. He contacted a cousin in Iloilo who, in turn, informed Sajonia about the search for her.

“When I learned that someone from Singapore was looking for me, I was concerned that I might have done something wrong and that they would arrest me,” Sajonia said.


After 16 Years: Terry Reunites with Chris Her Favorite

But on July 22, Anthony and Christopher Chen quietly arrived in Iloilo City and on the next day paid a surprise visit to their Auntie Terry at her home in San Miguel.

At first, she did not recognize Anthony. “Who are you?” she asked him. But she recognized the now 24-year-old Christopher whom she last saw when he was 8.

“I embraced them and cried a little,” she told the Inquirer.

The brothers took their former nanny and Taguibe to Iloilo City to shop and stay overnight in a hotel before they returned to Singapore on July 24.

Anthony said his family was overjoyed when they learned about the reunion.

“My family and I are completely overwhelmed by the goodwill coming from Iloilo and the Philippines in finding Auntie Terry. We honestly did not expect to hear any news so soon,” he said in a statement.

“‘Ilo Ilo’ is a story about love, family and relationships, and we could never have imagined that a little film like this could reach out to connect and reconnect with those ties that we thought were long lost,” the filmmaker said.

Sajonia said she had always considered her former wards her children, having none of her own. “I’m happy that they grew up well,” she said.


Bedimpled & Bodacious Boholano Blogger

High school girls help repair their school
Among the most adversely affected by the 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol last October 15, 2013 were its school buildings and classrooms. 

As a former teacher and as volunteer from the private sector, one of my immediate concerns was the extent of damage inflicted on the educational institutions across the affected areas in Bohol. 

I even posted our photo documentation and factual assessment of the damages in my FB account


It was with sheer joy and absolute delight that two Singapore- based Filipinas, Celevel Ranoco-Butler (Island girl from Bohol) and Lou de la Pena (City girl from Manila) share my passion for education. 

Celevel & Lou 

Both accomplished ladies set up a Facebook page dedicated to raise funds for rebuilding damaged school buildings and classrooms that were devastated by the earthquake

One of the fundraisers being cooked up is an art auction slated on November 30 at Park House Orchard Boulevard (details will be sent to those attending upon RSVP)

Here’s the linkArt Auction & Sale

Bravo to you ladies!


The island that is known for its rustic charm is blessed with white sandy beaches, beautiful scenery and heritage buildings from a bygone Spanish era that bespeak of its graceful and historic past. 

Unique flora and fauna abound and so with peace- loving people who are known to be warm, friendly & hospitable. 


The entire school has been abandoned after this cavernous sinkhole
was discovered in front of the school after the earthquake 
No one would have guessed what Mother Nature has in stored for Boholanos until a strong earthquake shook the island and left much devastation on 15th October. 
The entire province touted to be the next Bali or Phuket of Asia fell on its knees. 
No electricity for more than a month, hundreds of school, churches and buildings were destroyed or have to be abandoned, thousands of people were left homeless, millions of lost livelihood and industry.

Children in the worst affected areas have to stop schooling for 2 weeks as entire areas and facilities needed to be abandoned due to multiple sinkholes and other risk-related issues. 
They slowly trickled back to make-shift huts and tents to continue their education. 
But since Bohol is tropical – rain, storm, typhoon and many other weather challenges have dampened the enthusiasm to go back to school. We know there are people who care for children and their future. 
We hope we find more and more friends who will support the drive to raise funds to help the local community with the Department of Education and two local organizations (BRIDGES and Bangon Bohol) rebuild the schools they have lost.
Children who will become adults and parents in the future will have the education they need to have the opportunity to have better lives. 

Your help isn’t going to stop at giving, it will trickle into a better life for the child, the community, for Bohol and the world. 
One life saved and improved can multiply in many ways.
Thank you for your sincere and unwavering support. We will never be able to repay you directly. 
And yet, we trust that you will be blessed far more than you give 
If you want to help rebuild the schools, restore lives and ensure a brighter future for these kids, here’s the link: 

Bohol Friends Forever: Rebuilding Schools

Photo Credits: Dennis Saco & Blu Chalce

Bedimpled & Bodacious Boholano Blogger

Valentines is a day of love! 
I was glad that me and my family had a lot of love for that special day!

It all started with a BitStrip from Sweets.

Then I posted a photo of me and Sweets that was taken 6 years ago.

Then I saw a lot more love photos from my family. 

Let me start off with my parents.  Papa Gary (ever since before) never fails to give Toblerone to Mama for special occassions, this Valentines is not an exception. 

Then the photo love of Mama Lena and Papa Nestor by Tita Mye. 

Then followed by the lovestory of Gboy and Laine. 

I love Valentines!
Then followed by Louise’ love story.

Then Mika’s Valentines with his friends. 

Then dinner with Tita Ninang Lynley and Erika.

Then the special cake from Mama’s students! 

The photo opps of Mika an Louise. 
We were not together last Valentines day but I am pretty sure that we all enjoyed the Love Day with our loved ones! 
Again belated Happy Heart’s Day to all!  I hope that everyday is a Heart day!!

My Orange Pen

Life is complicated! Sometimes they say that in order to enjoy it, we have to go with the flow and walk where the wind takes us.  Though it may sound right (we do not want to be OC), we also need to make sure that we have a goal in mind. 
Me, being me, I always wanted to make sure that everything is planned.  I wish I could have planned better but I am not an expert on that. 
Say for instance: I usually say that my Christmas gift list is ready by October. 
Evidence below, I posted this on Instagram 6weeks ago, so right about October timeframe.
But up until now, I am adding some people to my list.  Meaning – yes I have an end in mind but I do not claim that I am perfect in planning!
My point is, we may have planned everything in our lives but perfectly planning every detail of every occassion of everyday may mean a lot of stressful nights and OCness in our lives.  
Therefore, sometimes we have to give leeway to ourselves that we have to be flexible.  Personally, I find thrills if there are last minute things that I need to accomplish.  It may sound a waste of time for some but its an energy boost. 
So end in mind: always have a plan!
Your Plan: To enjoy life as it is and not to over complicate things! 
Happy Friday to y’all! 

My Orange Pen

Iv’e seen a lot of “Keep Calm” posters and I love them all! However, last night while I was browsing, I saw this one and made me smile! 

Wow! This is really me!!
If my mind is in chaos or I want to relax or I don’t know how to begin or end my day, I just sit in front of my laptop / phone and start doing my blog.  If other people has what they call “retail therapy” mine is really writing. 
Iv’e always wanted to write but my work before didn’t give me the opportunity. Now im enjoying writing as much as I am enjoying eating!
Writing gives me the opportunity to share  my thoughts, my inspiration, my source of strength! I hope that each story that I share will have some significance to the one reading it. Something that will give them inspiration on how to be happy and thankful!
More importantly, I hope that a simple post will make someone smile!

My Orange Pen