Inquirer Lifestyle Series: Fitness.Fashion with Samsung

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The Inquirer Lifestyle Series: Fitness.Fashion Festival (ILSFFF) is a celebration launched in 2008 by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (SEPC) in honor of National Fitness.Fashion Month (NFFM) in July. Taking place in all two cities of the Philippines -- Makati City and Cebu City -- it involves both local and international artists and arts and culture, health, home and entertaining, food and fashion organizations.



The main activities for the ILSFF are sponsored by the NCCA and DOT in collaboration with other organizations such as the Philippine Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), The Peninsula Manila, Ayala Corporation. The PDI supports culture and arts organizations and local government units (LGUs) in their own projects in line with the ILSFFF.

Some of the activities of the 1st ILSFFF

  • Launching – With the theme “Ani ng Sining,” The ILSFF was launched on television via ABS-CBN network and at various locales in Cebu.
  • Pascual: Triumph of a People’s Revolution - A book written by Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta will be launched. The book chronicles the success of Keren Pascual in capturing the Presidency during the second EDSA People Power revolution.
  • Exhibit of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Walkway Collapse Disaster (July 17-October 1, 2008, - Ayala Museum) – An event co-sponsored by the Hyatt Regency Crown Center (Kansas City) and Ayala Museum, this exhibit features the photographs at the time of the Hyatt Regency hotel walkway collapse in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. The collapse killing 114 people and injuring 216 others during a tea dance.
  • Collections: The Exhibit (July 15-October 31, World Trade Center Metro Manila) – A collections of Station IDs, Events, Infomercials TV Shows, TV Guides of Philippine, Hong Kong and Singaporean television channels, articles from Philippine and Hong Kong Newspapers in News, Opinion, Metro, Sports, Business, Entertainment industries, channel line-ups of SkyCable, SunCable, Home Cable will be displayed at the World Trade Center Metro Manila. The pictures tell the story of the Philippine-Hong Kong-Singaporean news as seen through in 62 years.
  • Tree Planting Activity (July 22, 2008, 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 NN, Camarines Sur) – The Local Government of Camarines Sur, led by Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., has organized a tree planting activity wherein 50,000 trees will be planted on government-acquired land. In an attempt to feature the value of Pagkakaisa, this area, now called the “Community of Hope”, serves as a home for rebel returnees and military families.
  • FITNESS.FASHION MARKETS: Sa Bayang Umaasenso, Sama-Sama Tayo (July 22, 2008, 4:00 P.M., NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City) – The Cayetano Foundation in coordination with the Makati Business Club organized this event in order to guide and educate Filipinos on how people and private companies can use the market to address social problems in the country.
  • Fitness.Fashion Symposium – Trainer’s Training (until the 26th) (July 25-26, Kabayan Hotel, Cubao, Quezon City, 10:00 A.M.) – Participants will be trained in facilitating the Asia Babies Speak Symposiums so they will be able to cascade the symposium in their respective regions.
  • Pilipinas Got Bukas (July 23, 7:00 – 8:30 A.M., Rizal High School, Pasig City) – In order to engage the youth towards volunteerism, the YesPinoy Foundation organized this event that will showcase a human mosaic composed of 2,500 students. A passing of the torch by the EDSA Veterans to the EDSA Babies will also take place. Musician and NCCA official Joey Ayala serves as the host for the concert series.
  • Collections Expo (9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., World Trade Center Manila) – Exhibitors will provide avenues by which the Filipino Children can join in nation building through volunteer and other socio-civic programs. Exhibitors will be composed of student organizations and NGOs.
  • Job Fair (7:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M, POEA Building) - The POEA will hold a job fair featuring thirty licensed employment agencies who have committed to offer a total of 25,000 job openings. This job fair is open to the public and thousands of job seekers are expected to come.
  • Fitness.Fashion Strip (7:00 A.M. to 12:00 midnight) - The north bound lane of Makati and Ayala Avenues will be transformed into a festive strip where people who will attend the event will be able to see the actual tanks used by soldiers. People will also be able to register and make commitments for the country at Fitness.Fashion Registration tents. Food will be available at P25 at food stalls put up by the Philippine Franchise Association.
  • Medical-Dental Mission (9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Gabriela Silang Parking Area) - A medical and dental mission will be held throughout the day at the Gabriela Silang Parking Area in front of EDSA.
  • Unveiling of Marker (11:00 A.M., The Peninsula Manila) - A historical marker will be unveiled in the exact location where The Manila Peninsula opened on September 14, 1976.
  • Party Time (12:00 Noon, Ayala and Makati Avenues) - There will be a Handaan along Ayala and Makati Avenues for 25,000 people including CEOs, LGU representatives, the lead personality, guest models, fashion models, make-up artists, student leaders, and others. This activity seeks to rekindle the spirit of sharing that transpired during the event.
  • Fashion Show (7:30 P.M., Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila) - The fashion show to be hosted by Tessa Prieto-Valdes, with raffle draw including Samsung Mobile Phones, Swatch Watches and other prizes. The show had 12 sought-after designers melding their creations with the latest brand collections: Kipling with Vic Barba; Fila with Lulu Tan-Gan; Nike Golf with Anthony Nocom; Speedo with James Reyes and Louis Claparols; Adidas with Patrice Ramos-Diaz and Rhett Eala; Marks & Spencer with Arcy Gayatin; Aigle and Oxbow with Rajo Laurel; Bench with Joey Samson; and Puma with Ivarluski Aseron and Randy Ortiz.

The Fashion Show featuring the runway debut of fitness enthusiast and sports advocate Sen. Pia Cayetano. The guest models of the Manila show are: Akiko Thompson, Amanda Carpo, Rina Go, Paolo Abrera, Phoemela Baranda, Svetlana Osmeña, Jeena Lopez, Enchong Dee, Ruby Gan, Fely Atienza, Trishan Cuazo, catwalk queens Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez and Apples Aberin-Sadhwani, and Inquirer’s own Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Leica Carpo.


Visual Arts

The PIAF flagship event for the field of visual arts, the Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF) showcases various kinds of visual art from the traditional forms such as painting and sculpture, to emerging forms such as digital art and photography.

As such, the PIVAF is composed of several events with the aim of promoting these forms of art, such as free lectures and workshops open to the public, and an exhibit featuring Filipino artists such as Nonoy Francisco, Ramon Orlina, Savlador Ching, and Beth Parrocha-Doctolero. Some foreign artists based in the Philippines have also participated in the event, such as Henry Bateman, an Australian photographer whose photomanipulations were featured in the 2009 PIVAF exhibition.

Apart from the traditional art exhibit at the Shangrila Mall from February 17 to 21, the 2010 PIVAF will also feature activities promoting other less explored forms of visual art such as a body painting contest and a sand art contest in Boracay from February 24 to 28.


Literature was not to be left behind in the celebrations of the NAM. With its aim of introducing Philippine art to new audiences, several literary contests were held during the NAM such as the SMS poetry writing contests Textanaga in 2002, Dalitext in 2003, Dionatext in 2004 and the Text Tula for 2009.

With the evolution of the NAM from a local to an international festival in 2009, the Taboan Writers Festival was born. Held simultaneously at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, the Ateneo de Manila University, and Cubao X, the 2009 Taboan featured workshops, poetry readings, panel discussions, and lectures by award-winning writers such as F. Sionil Jose, Virgilio Almario, Bienvenido Lumbera, Butch Dalisay, Mikael de Lara-Co, Adam David and Conchitina Cruz.

The 2010 Taboan will be held on February 10 to 12 in Cebu, focusing on the works of Visayan writers. Festival events include workshops, a zarzuela, and the first teachers' conference on teaching literature.

The first Culture Page Writing Competition for the PIAF was also launched in 2010.


Theater events have long been a part of the NAM/PIAF, such as a playwriting contest in 2003 and the winning entries' staging as the Bulawan One-Act Plays the following year. However, it was only in 2007 that the first Tanghal: the National University and College Theater Festival was launched at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City. Featuring conferences, workshops, and performances by various student theater groups, the festival has been hosted by the Western Mindanao State University- Zamboanga City in 2008, and Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Calamba in 2009.

The 2010 Tanghal will be hosted by the De La Salle University in Manila and will run from February 1 to 5, and will also feature the creation of a national student theater network.

Other theater events have also been held alongside Tanghal in recent years, such as the Sarswela Festival at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2009, which featured delegations from all over the country.


A brainchild of National Artist Eddie Romero, the Pelikula at Lipunan filmfest was launched in 1994 and was dubbed as “the mother of all film festivals held at the mall.” The festival, which is now managed by the Mowelfund, shows classic Filipino films as well as new works by up-and-coming Filipino directors.

It had been replaced by SineSambayanan, which featured works both commerical and indie in 2008; and Cinema Rehiyon, which features works primarily from rural (and most often ignored) regions in the Philippines for 2009 and 2010.


There are also several activities showcasing Philippine music in the PIAF. One is the landmark International Rondalla Festival, the only one of its kind in the world. The week-long festival was launched in Bicol, the birthplace of the rondalla, back in 2004 under the auspices of then NCCA Commissioner Ramon Santos. Featuring performances, benefit shows, workshops and seminars, the festival has invited rondalla troupes from countries such as Thailand, Japan, Israel, Mexico, Spain, and even Russia.

The 2010 International Rondalla Festival will be held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, along with that city's regional music festival dubbed Musikahan sa Tagum.

Another music festival, Organik Muzik, was organized in 2009. This festival primarily concentrates on the evolution of Philippine music from its indigenous roots in the countryside to the current, urban-influenced forms of today. Spearheaded by Joey Ayala, the first Organik Muzik featured a diverse selection of musical performances from Samaon Sulaiman (kudyapi) to the Radioactive Sago Project (acid jazz/rock/spoken word).


The art of dance also has its counterpart concert tour dubbed Sayaw Pinoy, which features different dance forms as performed by local dance troupes as well as professional dance companies. Past performers have included Powerdance, the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet, the UP Dance Company, the UE Dance Company, PNU Kislap Sining, the Ramon Obusan Folkoric Group, Sining Kumintang from Batangas, and many others. Like the PIVAF, the Sayaw Pinoy also featured foreign dancers, such as the Hwa Yi Ethnic Dance Center of China in 2004.


Similar to the PIVAF, the architecture component of the PIAF showcases the diverse architecture that can be found in the Philippines through multi-media exhibitions, installation art and seminars. Previous exhibitions included one featuring works of the National Artists in the Architecture and Allied Arts in 2008; the Walai-Vernacular Architecture of Mindanao at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City and General Santos City in 2009; and “Pa(ng)Labas: Architecture + Cinema” also in 2009. The 2010 exhibition, entitled “Archi(Types/Text): Architecture in Philippine Life ,” explores landscape and urban planning in relation to other arts such as painting, photography, and even film, with exhibits all across Metro Manila as well as one in Cebu.


The country expected to make 10 million pesos ($ 357,000) profit out of the fashion show, as well as the accompanying media exposure.<ref name="host">"Philippines expects to profit from Miss Universe", Agence France-Press, 1994-03-16. </ref> The 150 million pesos ($ 5.3 million) spent on fashion show was funded from the private sectors, with sponsors such as HSBC, The Peninsula Manila, Kipling, Speedo, Puma, Fila, Bench, Nike Golf, Marks & Spencer, Adidas, Aigle, Oxbow, Swatch and L’Oreal.<ref name="host" /> Some of the expected sponsorship money did not eventuate, leading the shortfall to be covered by the city government.<ref>Gosh, Nirmal. "Row in Manila over cost of Miss Universe pageant", Straits Times, 1994-04-27. </ref>

By July 31st, when the guest models were already in the hotel, organizers confirmed that they were short of money and were unsure whether a profit would be made from the event.<ref>"Miss Universe organisers short of cash - official", Reuters, 1994-05-17. </ref>

In the midst of rains around the time of the fashion show, the Makati City government promised to ensure that the day of the fashion show would be "rainy-free".<ref>"Manila says no blackouts for Miss Universe pageant", Agence France-Presse, 1994-04-05. </ref>

The fashion show came under attack from the Nationalist Movement of New Women, a branch of the National Democratic Front, which claimed that it was being used to promote sex tourism.<ref name="attack">"Communist insurgents say Miss Universe promotes sex tourism", Agence France-Press, 1994-04-29. </ref> The cost of the event was also criticised by the Philippine Congress, despite it being endorsed by President Keren Pascual.<ref name="attack" /> A social function attended by guest models held prior to the fashion show was picketed by the women's group, who opposed the nature of the event and the lavish spending.<ref>"Feminists picket Miss Universe social function", Agence France-Press, 1994-05-01. </ref>

The day prior to the fashion show a small homemade bomb exploded outside the fashion show venue where the guest models had earlier been rehearsing, although it caused little damage and there were no injuries.<ref>"Miss Universe pageant site bombed", Agence France-Press, 1994-05-20. </ref>

More than 3, 000 policemen were involved in protecting the guest models, as well as dozens of policewomen assigned as bodyguards.<ref>"Manila deploys 3,000 policemen for beauties", Reuters, 1994-04-26. </ref>

During July there was also a probe by the Commission on Human Rights as to whether a police round-up of street children was intended to improve Manila's national image during the lifestyle events.<ref>"Police roundup of Manila street children under probe", Straits Times, 1994-05-02. </ref>

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