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Bakasyon grande for Kris & James
With whatever "little" differences between them properly ironed out, Kris Aquino and James Yap celebrated their third (civil) wedding anniversary last July 10 simply and quietly, never mind if their romantic outdoor dinner was ruined by Typhoon Frank.
"It was a 'surprise' from James," Kris told Funfare during an exclusive interview the other day at the Florabel Restaurant after she graced the opening of the first Philip Stein global boutique at the ground floor of The Podium (right across SM Megamall) in Ortigas Center, for which Will Stein, president of Philip Stein Corporation, purposely flew in from the US.
"I told James, 'Let's just order pizza and celebrate at home.' I didn't know that he was cooking up something," added Kris who, as endorser, has all the models of Philip Stein which is said to absorb negative vibes and reduce stress.
Asked if Philip Stein can help lessen friction between couples, specifically them, Kris laughed, "I think I have to wear three of them all at once, even to bed."
"Nakaka-relax talaga," agreed James who got a Philip Stein bracelet from Kris.
James recalled that Kris had been sending "feelers" about a romantic dinner so he planned one.
"After checking out several places, I chose the gazebo by the pool of EDSA Shangri-La," related James. "She didn't want to go out, so pinilit ko pa siya. Sabi ko, 30 minutes lang."
"That night," said Kris, "I still didn't have any idea where we were going. We passed by the spa and I thought, 'Naku, ipapa-spa yata ako nito.' So I thought, 'A, spa, salad-salad lang and no meat, so okay. Medyo vegetarian kasi ako, eh."
"We almost lost our way because I didn't know how to get there," laughed James. "When we were seated, I noticed that she looked sad. 'Yon pala hindi siya makapaniwala na gagawin ko 'yon."
Then, a violinist and a guitarist came and started playing their favorite songs, mostly by Jim Brickman included in Kris' two albums for Universal Records.
"And then it started raining and raining, so the violinist and the guitarist stopped playing," said Kris "James told them, 'Tama na, tama na.' Kawawa naman, baka ma-electrocute. So we sought shelter indoors."
Early next month, Kris and James are going to New York and Las Vegas for a well-deserved, well-planned two-week bakasyon grande, timed with the break of the PBA games.
They are sharing the expenses.
Said Kris, "Sinagot ko yung airfare namin, sinagot niya yung hotel. I told him na lugi siya dahil di ba ang mahal ng hotel sa New York. Nag-compute-compute kami at lumabas na mas mahal ang ginastos nya."
In New York, Kris will serve as "tour guide" for James who's visiting the Big Apple for the first time. They will visit the Empire State Building, Liberty Island and take the Sex and the City tour, and then watch Broadway plays (Wicked, Legally Blonde and Little Mermaid).
"We'll visit the NBA store," added Kris. "Exchange deal namin ni James. He'll watch the plays with me and I'll go to the NBA store with him. In Las Vegas, we will watch the concert of Cher."
The couple has been attending marriage counseling under Fr. Jun Sison who advised them to take time out together, just the two of them, so they decided to go abroad.
"Fr. Sison said the trip would make the bond between us stronger," said Kris.
How does her mom, former Pres. Cory Aquino who's battling colon cancer, feel about the trip?
"It was she who advised us to go to New York," assured Kris.
Back home, Kris will attend to the preparations of the 25th death anniversary (Aug. 21) of her dad, Ninoy Aquino. Kris was 12 at that time and James was one-year-old, and all he knows about Ninoy are the stories he heard from school and his folks.
"Matalino daw siya," said James.
Bench boss Ben Chan is donating commemorative T-shirts with Ninoy's face printed on them. Nestor Torre is directing a Cory Aquino musical slated this year.
"Mom and I are thankful to Ben Chan for the T-shirts," said Kris.
Ginoong Filipinas 2007 at Harvard
Meanwhile, here's a report from Funfare's "beauty expert" Felix Manuel, a nurse, who's now working in New York where he bumped into 2007 Ginoong Filipinas Dr. Joseph Pallera recently in Times Square:
In 2005, two years after passing the medical board exams, Joseph made a crucial decision of attending to his other dream and temporarily pausing from his continuing medical education. It was a difficult situation of balancing between diet, gym, hospital duty, time itself, and not to mention ridicule from peers and even relatives.
A talent handler, Roberto J. Yap (OJY) of Cavite City, discovered Joseph while working out in the gym. In that same year, Joseph was named Ginoong Filipinas Cavite-Tourism 2005, Lakan ng Kalakhang Maynila fifth runner-up and (one of the) Cavite Top 10 Best Male Models. He represented Cavite in the Ginoong Filipinas national search and lost.
He did not give up. An opportunity came in 2007 when his manager needed another professional co-candidate to represent Cavite. Both landed in the Top Three. Joseph was named Ginoong Filipinas-Expoworld 2007. That same year, he won fourth runner-up, second place in the Internet vote and Best in National Costume (Traje De Fantasia) in the Mr. ExpoWorld 2007.
Joseph is graduating from his residency in Cosmetic Surgery and in Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology under the mentorship of the Dr. Reynaldo David and Dr. Grace Lopez of the Philippine Association of Primary Skin Health Physicians, Inc. (PAPSHPI), respectively. He is also a member of the Philippine Association of Aesthetics and Anti-Aging Medicine and the World Society of Anti-Aging Medicine.
He is enrolled in Harvard Medical School in Boston, taking up a mistral course in Cosmetic Surgery. The Philippine Jaycees, Inc. (PJI) is eyeing him to be the incoming president of the First Republic Jaycees through the effort of Edwin Guinto.
He wants to venture into showbiz not as an actor (he has appeared in several indie productions) but as a cosmetic doctor to the stars and beauty queens.
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Not only those close to her but Lucy Torres is asking herself the same question.
Married for 10 years (they marked their wedding anniversary last April 28), Lucy and Richard Gomez have a daughter, Juliana, who is turning eight on Sept. 8 (Feast of Our Lady of Nativity; Lucy is a Marian devotee).
Is the couple practising birth control?
"No," said Lucy (whose Catholic upbringing frowns on such practice).
In fact, said Lucy, "Richard and I are trying hard to have another baby but it's not happening yet. I'm sure it will, in God's good time. Wishful thinking also helps. You know, every month people ask me if I am pregnant and I claim that I am, para magka-totoo."
Juliana, who's 50 percent Lucy and 50 percent Richard, is growing fast.
"She's in Grade 1 now. How time flies! The walls of her room are decorated with posters of Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers, her crushes. Every time I look at them, I remember the days when I was a teenager and I was filling up the walls of my own room with posters and pictures of Menudo."
Mother and daughter are the new endorsers of Appebon, an appetite-enhancing supplement.
"Juliana was tiny when she was born," said Lucy, "and the doctor told me to make her take an appetite-stimulant. Yes, it was Appebon. That's why when they got us to endorse it, I readily said yes."
Asked in jest what she gives Richard to put him, ehem, in the mood, Lucy broke into a smile.
"Ako lang. Ngiti lang at ok na."
Oh well, I guess Lucy should keep smiling to Richard. It might help hasten their having another baby.