True: Shopping, and more!

Tagbilaran, Tuesday, 11 September 2007 03:38:38

Havaianas, US Ambassador Kenney and Go Green


An everyday thing like strolling at the mall can be a mini-adventure in itself. If you know where to look.

Recently, True found himself at Island City mall (ICM) for simple dinner and a movie and the experience was far from interesting.

I’m not a mallrat and I seldom go malling unless I have to something to buy.

It was three years ago that a modern mall was introduced to the Boholanos. Family and friends used to shop in Cebu. How things can change with time... not anymore, people with different taste buds can choose what they want in mall with lots of signature tenant shops. I just learned this from True VRS that ICM management (headed by Sir Mario Cirujales) is "choosy" because ICM wants to project as a first class mall comparable to the malls in Manila. First class enetertainments and events can be witness at the ICM (especially weekends) with top caliber artists and bands from Manila. This is because customers like us deserve the best from the best mall in Bohol.

My agents cum nurses from the Holy Name University who were involved in the myHNU sim launching became "mallrats" for the day. One Kareen "Kimi" Trabajo says: ICM Screenville turns between public interest and personal relationship. Screenville is surely something that is worth to measure up and bring entertainment alive to the people lives. Sulit imong pagtan-aw. In fact, it would seem like there are more who are coming in than those who have left. The famous Havaianas holds their first pop-up shop at the Island City Mall (see separate story) making ICM the best choice of international companies like Havaianas.

Signature tenants are coming in this year, says Ariel Fullido, a total shopping leisure for all Boholanos.

Ambassador Kenney and Go Green

U.S Ambassador Kristie Kenny with Bohol governor Eric Aumentado and other dignitaries
U.S Ambassador Kristie Kenny with Bohol governor Eric Aumentado and other dignitaries.

She always has interesting, famous lines when she gives speeches. The woman has a sweet, soft voice and her words are dear to the hearts of the Filipinos since her arrival to the Philippines last year.

I have total admiration for this woman because watching her on television helping people is simply inspiring. She is elegantly approachable. She is no other than US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney.

She visited Bohol last Friday to focus on the many partnerships and initiatives the U.S. Government works on in the city and immediate region.

The Ambassador said that Bohol is "leading the way, several times before..."

The wide variety of partnerships between the American people and Boholanos is a great example of the continuing friendship between our two countries, she said. More than that, she encouraged all people to create bright future.

During her visit, Ambassador Kenney met with local government and business leaders, including Gov. Erico Aumentado, Rep. Edgar Chatto, David Valdes, the WWF President and TB LINC stakeholders.

U.S Ambassador Kristie Kenny

Ambassador Kenny’s visit to Bohol was her first time. She had a face to face encountered with world’s smallest primate, the tarsier. The internationally-acclaimed Loboc Children’s Choir also draws in tourists. Ambassador Kenney, too, made sure she saw Loboc town’s famous choral group when she visited Loboc. It was covered by GMA 7’s Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho last night.

The Ambassador’s visit was highlighted by a joint celebration of development partnerships featuring the signing of a MOA for a Bohol Childhood TB Control Program and launching of Going Green: An Environmental Toolkit for the Tourism Sector in the Philippine Coastal Areas. Both initiatives are directly supported by the US Agency for International Development. "Create healthy children and healthy planet... and going green," Ambassador Kenney said.


Her biography (thanks to Karen Schinnerer, Deputy Press Attaché at the Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy in Manila) says: Ambassador Kenney served as executive secretary of the State Department for three years, the first woman to hold the key position. In that capacity, she headed a staff of 185 persons responsible for inter-agency policy coordination and crisis management working directly for Secretary of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albirght.

Ambassador Kenney’s overseas postings include Economic Counselor at the US Mission to International organizations in Geneva, Economic Officer at the US Embassy in Argentina and Consular officer at the US Embassy in Jamaica. Her Washington assignments include director of the State Department Operations center, a detail to the White House as a member of the National Security Council staff, and Political-Military Officer in the Office of NATO Affairs.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Clemson University. Ambassador Kenney also attended the National war College. She speaks Spanish and French.

U.S Ambassador Kristie Kenny

She is a recipient of the State department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Arnold Raphel Award (for leadership, motivation and mentoring) and several honor awards. An avid tennis player and skier, she is married to William Brownfield, a Senior Foreign Service Officer, currently the US Ambassador to Venezuela. The two share their homes with three black and white cats adopted from an animal shelter in Virginia.

If there’s anyone who brings a message of hope and encouragement for the people of Bohol, I say it’s US Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney.

Going Green is an investment for the future. Reading the kit, there are straight forwarded advices that do not require expensive investment in technology. Rather, it gives practical tips for us to protect our environment:

Remember, every interaction between man and nature will always have an impact on the environment. We are part of the magic web of life…

Happy feet

Happy Feet

A man’s journey begins with wonderful steps.

Years ago, I would berate my friends of buying expensive slippers to the tune of P2,000+ one pair. I wondered why they have to spend that amount for simple slippers they could buy outside the mall. I called them "tsinelas" ka level sa Spartan and Islander.

My friends’ fetishes are the Havaianas (pronounced ah-vai-YAH-nas) products. They came in different colors (sometimes neon, sometimes metallic), patterns , themes, prints, etc. They wear it not only in the house, but also going to the malls, for gimmicks, to parties and even to the office.

Incidentally, I forgot to bring my own slippers when we went to Panglao for an event. The good thing was my friend had an extra Havaianas... and when I put them on, it felt different from my ordinary slipper.

Friend showing Havaianas

Is it I’m wearing an expensive tsinelas? Or, the colorful appeal? No—it was the comfort, the thick rubber concoction perfectly fit the curves of my feet. It preserves the foot’s natural design and role.

Readings brought me to the world of Havaianas. It’s the most popular flip-flops in the world. Luminaries, dignitaries, celebrities, fashionistas and 3G icons wear it. People branded it as "slippers" of the "who’s who," and "elite."

Did you know that the Zori (a Japanese style sandal) was the inspiration for the creation of the Havaianas sandal in 1962? The name Havaianas, Portuguese for Hawaiians, was a tribute to America's glamorous holiday destination. The addictive nature of these flip-flops is largely due to a 42-year old secret rubber formula, which makes them butter-soft, bouncy, flexible and durable.

The idea for the new sandal was so simple that its success spread like wildfire. In less than a year, São Paulo Alpargatas was making five pairs of Havaianas every second; which adds up to 125 million pairs per year. Since their launch, 2.2 billion pairs of Havaianas sandals have been produced and sold throughout the world. If the sandals were laid end to end, they would go around the world 50 times.

In Brazil, Havaianas are beloved and worn by all personalities from the average citizen to dignitaries and celebrities. Since being introduced to the United States three years ago, Havaianas have created an unprecedented cult following.

Now referred to as the "best rubber sandal in the world," Havaianas can be seen gracing the pages of the hottest fashion and sport magazines, strutting down the runways at New York Fashion Week and featured at red carpet events.

Stylish Americans, including top athletes, rock stars and celebrities demanded the butter-soft comfort of these inexpensive flip flops, making Havaianas available at the most chic retailers and surf boutiques nationwide.


Lately, a friend gave me his worn-out Havaianas (after many attempts to persuade him give his slippers for free). And that started, for me, the tale of a thousand wonderful steps. My Havaianas represented my freedom, my wellness, positive outlook in life and more so, the celebration of being myself—I use to go out wearing shorts with my cowboy hat as added apparel ...and my Havaianas.

This 100% rubber concoction makes Havaianas ultra-comfortable and highly durable. Havaianas are available for men, women and children in the yummiest colors and the most fashionable designs. They also come in classic styles that outlast any trend.

The core philosophy behind every Havaianas product is comfort and fashion.

This is not a paid advertisement. I just love to share the comfort and fashion of Havaianas.

Fast-forward Everyone needs a pair of classic foam flip-flops. They're the ultimate 'do anything' shoe, but since you wear them so much, they wear out quickly. A classic person will know the only flip-flops to be seen in this year are Havaianas, the classic, comfy Brazillian designs. But where to buy it in Bohol?

Yesterday, the Havaianas Pop-up Shop has stormed island City Mall (ICM). The Havaianas Pop-up Shop is only until today (9am-pm at the 2nd floor near Chowking).

This making Havaianas brand of cool available in places outside of the provincial city where a refreshing fashion culture is emerging. The plan is for kiosk to pop-up for a limited time, allowing locals to enjoy a brief but intensive shopping experience, pack-up and pop-up in different place. Style savvy individuals are able to shop, try out and indulge the distinct Havaianas retail experience without having to cross the metropolis.

The concept connects with what our consumers want—the answer to their demand for fashion options combined with the element of surprise, exclusivity and buzz," says Terry S.A. Managing Director for Marketing Anne Gonzales.

Havaianas is always associated with the class A and B because people think it’s expensive. People who think Havaianas products are expensive have not tried it. It’s about comfort and fashion and not the price.

Leanne Florendo and Aimil Sarmiento of A.L. Amizade Marketing, Inc., the exclusive sub-distributor of Havaianas for Cebu, Bohol, Oriental Negros and Leyte have witnessed how Boholanos love Havaianas.

"We are happy Bohol has welcomed Havaianas," Florenda said with a warm smile.

"There are many people who are wearing Havaianas. In Brazil, everyone wears it. The President wears it and even the workers wear it... Havaianas is a social equalizer," Florendo said.

Every year they changed our catalog, revealed Florendo, so people have the freedom to select what they like.

They are also aware of some imitations in the market, yet Florendo said, "we are really against imitation because we value creativity and intellectual property."

She advised to buy Havaianas in duly authorized dealers.

"It’s not comfortable and they could not get the real thing and the durability of the products," she added.

There are different kinds of Havaianas to choose: Brasil, Flash, Hibisco, Flowers, High, Joy, Kids, Surf, Top, Cartunistas, Small Flowers, World Cup, Slim, Style, Estampadas, Baby, Stripes, Sunny, Surf, Tradicional, Boy, Girl, Socks, Ipě, Alamoana, Camuflada, Metallic, and the limited edition of the Filipinas (Limited Edition sporting the Philippine flag on strap).

The Havaianas are seriously the best flip-flops you can get and you won’t want to take them off your feet.

Trust me I know!

Havaianas cost

The price range for Havaianas ranges from 400 to 700 Pesos for the children’s line and 600 to 1,400 Pesos for the adult collection. Special collections may also be available at a higher retail value. It is guaranteed that the retail price for Havaianas is the same in all authorized outlets.

Where to buy

In Bohol, Havaianas is available exclusively at Panglao island Nature Resort.

In Cebu, Havaianas is available at Rustans, Ground Floor Ayala, What A Girl Want, What a Girl Wants for her Man, 2f Ayala, July Boutique, Fine Living, 2F Mango Square Mall, Republik, Ground Floor BTC, Chocolate Clothing Company, @F BTC, Rustans, Shangri-la Mactan, Plantation Bay, Dive Shop, Maribago Bluewaters and Gift Shop.

In Dumaguete, you may check Hayahay Tiange and Handpicked Boutique.

In Tacloban, check out 7R Store.

For further information, you may email For provincial outlets and Manila stores, please visit

Leo holding Havaianas

You can email me at Or you may read online at Interact at Or be "in" at Visit the journal of the high-minded progressive Boholano,

Leo P. Udtohan