Thank you, Tammy, Cecile and Therese for leading me to this wonderful story from the Wall Street Journal.
photo by Tammy David
In Philippine City, Salon’s Revival Signals Hope after Haiyan
Some Residents of Storm-Ravaged Tacloban Are Rebuilding Their Lives, Despite Long Odds
By Chun Han Wong
TACLOBAN, Philippines—Typhoon Haiyan wiped out a lot of businesses when it barreled through this port city in November, including Rosita Imperial’s 27-year-old beauty salon in a downtown shopping mall.
Just eight weeks later, she opened a new location in a tiny storefront across from a funeral parlor. By February, her receipts were almost back to where they were before the storm.
The quick turnaround in Ms. Imperial’s business is a reminder that for all the devastation in Tacloban—more than 2,500 of its 220,000 residents were killed—many residents are finding ways to rebuild some semblance of their former lives, despite long odds.
Much of the city still lacks electricity, while construction snags have slowed a government push to relocate displaced families in semipermanent homes. More than 12,000 businesses are idled or closed for good. Some Filipinos have questioned whether Tacloban will ever fully recover.
But some residents, through a combination of ingenuity, grit, and raw necessity, are getting on with their lives. Dozens of banks and restaurants have reopened, and hundreds of small street-side stalls have sprung up.
In some cases, store owners such as Ms. Imperial are getting a boost from residents seeking simple pleasures that remind them of life before the storm.
“People still go to the salon because when they look at the mirror and find themselves looking haggard—that will add to their problems,” said Eunice Julian, a 59-year-old retired civil servant and longtime regular at Ms. Imperial’s salon, after walking in for a pedicure.
Ms. Julian’s husband of 32 years, Oscar, died from medical complications caused by diabetes four days after the typhoon. She believes he would still be alive if proper medical care had been available at the time.
“It feels good to come here and meet friends,” she said.
By her own admission, the 57-year-old Ms. Imperial, known as “Rose” to her clients, and her family were among Tacloban’s luckier residents. Her house survived the typhoon with only its roof blown off.
But her “New Rose Salon,” previously housed in a dank, aging shopping mall downtown, was trashed by churning storm waters. When Ms. Imperial returned a day after the storm, she found the floor caked with putrid sludge, furniture smashed, appliances useless, and her stock of hair products all but washed out.
“I felt despair. My salon was my sole source of income,” recalled Ms. Imperial, who opened the store in 1986 after about five years in apprenticeship at a local beauty parlor. “But I didn’t cry. All I could think of was where I could get capital to restart my business.”
New Rose Salon had been her life. It helped raise her three children and two nieces, and paid for her house. And, as she soon realized, others in her community also had a stake in the salon.
A month after the typhoon, Ms. Imperial received a call from a friend and regular customer. “I’d like to get a manicure and have my hair colored. Could you come by my office?” asked the friend, Carmen Soan, Ms. Imperial recalled. The beautician promptly agreed.
Caring for one’s appearance is “a way of moving on from the typhoon,” said Ms. Soan, an administrative officer at the Department of Health’s regional office in Palo, a neighboring city of Tacloban. “My white hair was starting to show and my nails were getting very dirty,” she said.
Soon after that, Ms. Imperial said, requests for house calls started rolling in, roughly two to three times a week. Encouraged by the demand, she pushed harder to reopen her salon.
Failing twice to secure relief funds from a Taiwanese charity, Ms. Imperial in mid-December turned to the Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative Inc., a local credit union, and borrowed 20,000 Philippine pesos ($450). Every penny would go toward rebuilding her salon, because she “couldn’t spare a thought for anything else,” not even her damaged house, she said.
Ms. Imperial then found a new storefront—a rudimentary 3-by-3-meter space alongside a busy street in downtown Tacloban near an upmarket hotel. Although the rent–at 8,500 Philippine pesos a month–is somewhat pricey compared with her old store, “the location is great for pulling in walk-in customers,” she said.
Her husband, Floro Gerona, objected because it was too close to a funeral parlor. But “I told him if we’re not taking this space, I’m going to go to Cebu and open a salon there,” she said. “And he gave in.”
Soon after she agreed on a lease in early January, Ms. Imperial installed an electric fan, mirrors and a wash basin retrieved from her old shop. She also bought a small generator for the lights using money borrowed from a friend. She used the electric fan to dry customers’ hair at first because she no longer had blow dryers (though she later bought some supplies during a trip to Cebu).
Yet almost immediately, the new New Rose Salon was pulling in clients as word spread that Ms. Imperial was back in business.
“Maybe it’s because I don’t charge ‘Yolanda prices,’ ” she said, referring to large markups that some other businesses have resorted to since the storm, which is known locally as Typhoon Yolanda.
“Maybe people just want to look good and feel better about themselves.”
—Tammy David contributed to this article.
Such an inspiring story of Filipino hope and perseverance! As women, we all know the power and confidence that beauty and wellness contribute to one’s self. Tammy had a brilliant idea of helping out Aling Rosita by donating our unused beauty tools and products. She is planning to send out a box full of these precious products to Tacloban.
The response has been overwhelming with just a few posts on facebook and now we are taking this to you, fellow glossy girls!
If you want to continue to help to the rebuilding of Tacloban after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, consider putting together your unused beauty products or old but working styling tools such as hairbrushes, hair dryers, curling/straightening irons, etc.
For coordination, kindly email me through email@example.com
Danella Yujuico Yaptinchay came back to the Philippines after nine years of living and studying abroad and started two companies dedicated to servicing the startup and entrepreneurial scene here in the country. She is managing director of a services company providing backend support to small businesses called Full Suite. Recently, she started a media company called Homegrown with some like-minded and awesome individuals, which produces multi-media content for and about startups in the Philippines.
Although I like pampering myself, I usually go for the most straightforward routine possible with the most natural products I can find.
Who doesn’t love a good shower? I am currently loving the coconutty-buttery smell of Organix’s Brazilian Keratin Therapy shampoo and conditioner — not to mention how great my hair feels when I dry it after washing. I also use Nature’s Gate Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner on some days to keep my scalp cool and soothed.
For my body, I alternate between Zenutrients’ Cotton Mint & Tea Tree soap, which keeps me squeaky clean, and Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Liquid Soap in Peppermint which leaves me tingly in all sorts of places (this is one of my all-time favorite products! Divasoria’s note – MY FAVE TOO!).
My skin is on the dry side, and Cetaphil Lotion does the job of keeping me moisturized after I shower. My other trick, which I discovered only recently, is taking Himalayan salt with my water daily. I noticed that my skin is so much more hydrated– my face feels so much more supple now than it did a few weeks ago. My secret weapons for dealing with irritated skin (face) are the Avène Soothing moisture mask (which I leave on at night, it just gets absorbed) and a Hydrating Mask for Sensitive Skin by The Laboratory of Flowers. The second one is from a line of essential oil products which I learned about from my aromatherapy teacher.
When getting ready, my regiment for my face is fairly simple: I use the Creamy Eye Treatment from Kiehl’s then use Kiehl’s Clearly Corretive Dark Spot Solution for the areas kissed by the sun, after which a layer of Sensitive Skin Face Oil (at night) or Cream (in the morning), both from The Laboratory of Flowers also. Of course, I use sunblock every day. I like Neutrogina’s Ultra Sheer sunblock. I use the Kiehl’s Skin Brightening Exfoliator about twice a week to give my face a little scrub.
At the end of the day, I remove makeup with L’Oreal’s Gentle Lip and Eye Makeup Remover and wash my face with a Soap-Free Wash I buy from my dermatologist.
Makeup-wise, I get a lot of my tips and tricks from my sister Iya, who’s a makeup artist (check out her site: tintediya.com). The products I can’t live without are my tweezers, eyelash curlers, mascara, blush and basic lipstick. I use Tweezerman to clean my brows in-between grooming from Browhaus. My eyelashes are very straight, so I use a Shiseido eyelasher curler specifically made for Asian eyes and/or a heated eyelash curler to keep them curled all day. I am addicted to this drugstore brand of mascara I bought in Japan called K-Palette 1 Day Lash Perm; I do use Maybelline mascaras as well. For blush, I’m currently using the Bobbi Brown Pale Pink Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks — it stays on all day! My absolute favorite lipstic is Antigone from Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine line. It’s very, very light and natural-looking.
When I’m feeling blah, I use Laura Mericier’s Tinted Moisturizer to even out my skin tone and bring some color to my face. I also use Bobbi Brown Bronzer and some eye makeup, but you can see from my palette that the colors I use are very basic! I use the Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Liner in black to help enhance my eyes. I try lipsticks from time-to-time, but I can’t use the matte or heavier colors very often because my lips chap very easily. Currently in my stash are Chanel, Tom Ford and Nars.
I get my nailpolish influence from my sisters. My staples are the Chanel and Essie lines, along with Seche Vite for the base and top coats.
I am very sensitive to smells, and like the lighter, cleaner scents for myself. My all-time favorite scent is the Green Tea with Mint fragrance from L’Occitane — problem is, it’s been discontinued so I’m rationing it! The close backup for this is L’Occitane’s Eau Universelle . I also use 4711 as a nice day fragrance and Annick Goutal’s Petite Cherie for the evening.
as told to divasoria
*Danella is wearing a dress from Exhale Manila – Check them out!
The Manila concert scene continues to surprise me! It was a month ago when we had Phoenix grace our shores and now, in a few days, Brooklyn-based, Ohio-bred indie superstars The National will be here. I AM DYING!
Just in case you weren’t sure if I’m a The National fan – let me give you a quick briefer:
1. I interviewed the band’s bassist a few years ago for the Philippine Star.
2. I travelled to Singapore just to watch their concert
I assure you that they are AMAZING live.
For tickets, check out ticketworld. See you there!
I will come clean – my last Louis Vuitton purchase was way back in 2009! It was the second time LV came out with a Stephen Sprouse limited edition pieces.
It’s a speedy 30 and I still LVoe until today! You know what, I should take it out for a spin one of these days. <3
I'm still lusting for a navy Sofia Coppola bag and I'm trying to figure out how to finance that(it's effin' crazy!) or decide to just go to Paris to buy one. LOLs! But during a recent visit to the store in GB4 I saw something that caught my fancy!
The grand old house continues its quest to offer their A-list clientele with elegant and unique bags via the made-to-order luxury of "Haute Maroquinerie".
Now until February 23rd, Louis Vuitton offers you the chance to have a bag that is truly YOURS. Offering tailor-made bags from some of the House's iconic designs such as the Lockit, Noe and Triangle to newer pieces the Neo-Steamer and Milaris.
Noe(I WANT ONE!!! such a classic)
A travelling trunk makes its way to Manila containing a wide variety of bag details and components you can choose from.
You choose 8 of the finest leathers made available ranging from supple, firm and exotic and a total of 27 colors to choose from, all of which can result in 40,000 possible combinations!
Enhanced further by a personalized patch with the name of the owner, making every design unique and distinct.
The Haute Maroquinerie collection demonstrates Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire in creating the finest leather handbags with impeccable details, enhancing the House’s made-to-order service to a whole new level.
What are you waiting for? Haute Maroquinerie will be featured at Louis Vuitton Philippines located in Greenbelt IV, Makati City until the end of February 2014. For inquiries, please contact (632) 756 0637.
Trixie Yutuc is an HR executive in charge of recruiting for one of the top 3 petroleum companies in the Philippines. She is a chemist who had stints in logistics, operations and sales and counts watching TV and movies as well as playing golf and traveling as her hobbies.
1. I have morena combination skin that goes through extremes of oily and dry, sometimes at the same time. I have not outgrown the teenage phenomenon of having a pimple breakout during hormonal spikes.
2. My hair is wavy and is a natural de-humidifier ergo it absorbs a good amount of moisture resulting to a bouffant hairstyle worthy of a Falcon Crest casting (Gasp! I just revealed my age! LOL!). I regularly have my hair Keratin treated to manage the frizz and puffiness.
3. I am a make-up amateur. I do not have the skill or the patience to put the whole make-up shebang on myself.
4. I consider myself a high-maintenance-easy-on-the-budget chick. My essentials include a mix of steals and splurges that balance out in the end.
Dove Shampoo and Conditioner. I rotate between the blue and pink variants. Dove makes my hair feel healthier and more manageable plus it doesn’t make my scalp itch. The pink variant makes my hair less puffy although not totally straight but I’m ok with it. This leaves my hair smelling really good for at least 24 hours and it doesn’t cause acne and backne!
TRESemme Smooth and Shine Mask. I’ve been using this for months and it was great for when my hair was longer and the ends were getting dry. It’s good to use every other day to keep ends from getting too brittle. Of course, this won’t make your hair trim-proof, but this helps make the trim-length as short as possible.
Kerastase Chroma Sensitive Rinser. Treated hair should be washed with no- or low-sulfate shampoo so this is what I use to clean my hair every after 2 days of regular washing. This feels like a conditioner and does not lather much. Although even with that, this leaves my hair soft and clean smelling.
Kerastase Samples. Hooray for free samples when you buy Kerastase products! The tiny bottle here is for volume enhancing. Not pictured is my new discovery and next on my list: Bain Cristal Thick. Tried it a few times and it makes thick hair so light feathery and yet very tame and manageable. And it’s the best smelling of all the Kerastase products so far for me.
Kerastase Oleo Relax Serum. After air drying my hair, I use this to tame some shorter strands near the roots and to smoothen out the ends. Works like magic!
Sunsilk Weather Defense Serum. I use this when I know I’ll be under the sun during the day and also when it’s extra humid. This has UV shield and prevents your hair from becoming a moisture magnet.
Safeguard Active Deo-Cool Blue Soap Bar. Those TVCs with amoeba-like animation on people’s bodies really got to me when I was young. So if I feel the need to be 99%-germ-free clean, this is what I use. Not only does it smell good, it’s also PAMET recommended!
Dove Go Fresh Moisturizing Body Wash (Grapefruit and Lemongrass Scent). I love the citrujs-y smell of this wash and how soft your skin feels after bathing. It moisturizes your skin but does not leave you feeling like you need to rinse yourself a little bit more.
Vaseline Total Moisture Aloe Fresh. This has a light formulation, fresh scent and is easily absorbed by the skin, which are the top 3 things I look for in a body lotion! This lotion does not make you feel sticky, even when you start sweating – perfect for our very humid weather.
Nivea Intensive Moisture Serum (SPF 25). I use this when I know I’m going to be out under the sun for a significant period of time during the day. It keeps me from getting too sunburned without having to make me feel like I have gooey sun-block on.
Nivea Extra Whitening Cell Repair & Protect Body Milk. It also has a light formulation and is easily absorbed by the skin. This one helps even out my skin color when I get an unfortunate and unexpected sock/shirt -tan from golf or a watch-tan from long hours of driving (I got this during my stint in Sales when I was assigned in Central Luzon.).
Dove Go Fresh Cucumber and Green Tea Scent Deodorant. Underarm protection that doesn’t irritate skin, discolor clothes and has a very mild scent that doesn’t compete with your cologne and makes you smell manang-ish.
Neutrogena Deep Clean and Clean & Clear Deep Action Cleanser. I find that rotating the two allows me to help keep my skin from developing “immunity” to a product. I normally use either of the two to wash my face of dirt and make-up at night and to prep my skin for the day in the morning. Both work the same way for me and helps control oil and reduce the occurrence of pimples.
Dove Beauty Bar. When my combination skin decides to change seasons and switch from La Nina to El Nino, I switch to this because it helps keep my skin from drying out and adds just the right touch of moisturizing without the oily feel.
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Moisturizer with Cooling Essence. I put this on every other evening before going to bed. I love that it’s cooling effect which is a perfect pre-sleeping therapy. It smells great too!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer (SPF 50). I love this moisturizer and sun block in one because after application, it doesn’t feel like you have anything on. You don’t even need a lot because it spreads out easily and gets absorbed just as fast. And you can use it under make-up.
Body Shop All-In-One Face Base (05). The coverage of this powder base is good and yet still sheer enough to look very natural.
Body Shop Lip and Cheek Tint. Best. Product. Ever. This product adds just the right amount of color to your cheeks to keep you from being mistaken for the next -best-thing…in The Walking Dead. It may take some practice to get the application right but once you get the hang of it, you can’t go wrong.
Maybelline Pure Blush Mineral (Rose). I brush the apples of my cheeks with a little bit of this for that added oomph of color. This has a tiny bit of shimmer so it helps polish off the flushed look.
MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder (Medium Plus). I use this sheer powder to keep the shine away without adding more layers of make-up on my face.
MAC Brow Set (Show Off). My eyebrows are out of this world. I would say they’re Vulcan because if not trimmed and managed, I would end up with Spock-brows. This gel helps keep my brows at bay and fills in lighter areas to make my brows look fuller and less…well, alien.
Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm (SPF 15) in Cherry Kiss and Menthol. My lips are prone to drying and cracking so I use lip balm a lot. Cherry Kiss adds a hint of color when used. On a particularly warm day, I use Menthol because of the cooling sensation you get, especially when you’re in front of a fan or A/C. I remember my derma telling me that lips suffer from sun damage too and need to be protected hence the SPF. Pucker up!
Jo Malone Verbenas. This is my favorite scent in the whole universe. This is similar to the one by Loccitane but I find that this one lasts longer and is a little bit more sweet-smelling. This makes me feel pretty and happy. I hear they’re discontinuing this scent. *Presses panic button*
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. Also a favorite, I like this because it’s mild and fresh-smelling. It makes you feel like you just came out of the bath.
D&G Light Blue. This is my go-to fragrance for formal events. The scent is stronger and attention grabbing but not too heavy. And it doesn’t make me dizzy!
Johnson’s Baby Cologne and Denenes. Now who doesn’t want to smell like a baby? Whenever I just want to smell light and fluffy like a newly bathed infant, I splash on either of these colognes and I instantly feel like I’m 3. All I need is baby powder all over my body.
I like to take care of my hands, feet and nails so my regular me-time includes a visit to Nail Tropics in Eastwood to have a mani-pedi every 2 weeks. My polish of choice would include Jessica in Stark Naked and LA Colors in Sheer Beige for nude nails and Essie in Ups and Orly in Bus Stop Crimson for red nails.
I don’t invest in expensive make-up because: 1. I don’t have a lot of events wherein I use them, 2. I don’t really know how to put them on and 3. I have a ton of MUA friends who are willing to help with #2.
Of course, I always want to be prepared. In the event wherein I need to do my own make-up, I bring out my Break-In-Case-of-Emergency Kit.
The Body Shop Nature’s Minerals Foundation (05). This is very easy to apply, non-sticky and has great coverage. Plus, I love using the Kabuki brush.
The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes (Pallete 06). This adds the just the right amount of shimmer to the lids and the colors are easy to blend with each other. The neutral tones are perfect for make-up amateurs like me.
The Face Shop Brush Eyeliner. This is also easy to use because of the pointed tip which helps with the application even with your eyes going 10 blinks per second.
Maybelline Colossal Kajal. A tad thicker than the brush eyeliner, this is a good eyeliner to use for more defined eyes (Think: Kardashians, Princess Jasmine). This is Racoon-eyes-proof so it’s hard to remove so be prepared with your potent eye make-up remover. It takes practice to learn how to use, though. PS. I’m still practicing…so thank God for How-To videos on You Tube.
Maybelline Unstoppable Lash Extension. Replaced by the Illegal Length mascara, I love that this actually adds fibers to your lashes to extend them. Hello Betty Boop eyes!
Maybelline The Magnum Volume Express Mascara. I have normal length lashes that are stick-straight. I find that after curling my lashes and putting this on, I have thicker and longer lashes worthy of all the batting that the eyes can do.
Body Shop Lip Liner (Pink Brown) + Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss (Candid). I learned this from my wedding MUA. Define and fill in the lips with the lip liner and then add gloss to create soft pinkish-nude shimmery lips. Again, this duo is fool proof for make-up amateurs.
Channel (Mademoiselle), MAC (Brave) and The Body Shop (53). I’m not a fan of lipstick so thanks to my friends who so generously give me make-up, I now have 3 basic shades I can use: brownish pink, nude pink and red.
as told to divasoria