Archive for Miguel Mari

Philippine Events: Rogue Magazine’s Black Tie Brawl Was A Knockout

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by JJ Duque

For anyone who knows me – you know that I’m a jeans, t-shirt and sneakers kinda guy. I prefer to dress comfortably lest I be labeled as a metrosexual. Not that I have anything against metrosexuals, but I just enjoy the anonymity of regular citizen fashion as opposed to the semi-flashy casual-collared and leather-shoed wear.

However, I can dress for the occasion as need be, and do adhere to the strict dress codes, although my gift of gab and fine reputation does allow me to bend the rules to my favor at times – like say, getting into Establishment with a pair of sneakers when the place calls for more appropriate footwear.

Anywho – when Rogue Magazine’s Managing Director Katrina Tuason extended an invitation to attend the Black Tie Brawl at the Renaissance Hotel ballroom, she insisted that it’s strictly formal attire. She knew I loved my jeans and tee look, but she kept texting me constant reminders – “Don’t forget it’s formal, and you’re sitting on my table.” Aaaahh – the pressure to not embarrass my ‘date’.

I went deep into my closet to raise my formal wear from the dead, found my tux shirt, the bow tie (damn, I haven’t tied this in 10 years!) and brought out the sleek black Cashmere suit. The last time I donned a tuxedo was in the United States more than a decade ago. You hardly wear a tux in the Philippines, or maybe I just don’t get invited enough to parties where you could wear a tux. And well – the transformation from plain Joe to Joe Black was quite a change indeed.

“Wow, JJ! You look like James Bond.”

“Huh? James Bond? Excuse me, I’m Bruce Wayne. I’m a brat billionaire, and don’t need government to pay for my gadgets.”

I arrived an hour past the 7pm call time just right in time for the table seating. I doubled-down on the Maker’s Mark Kentucky bourbon whiskey to catch up, and eventually made my way to my seat beside Rogue Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jose Mari Ugarte, his lovely wife and ExcelAsia CEO Rita Trillo-Ugarte, Design Editor Miguel Mari and his better-half Managing Editor Carmela Lopa, photographer Mark Nicdao, Rogue covergirl Angel Locsin and her pretty friend, whose eyes left an impression, but sadly her name escapes me.

Our table was just right behind the judges and committee panel of executives from the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and just an arm’s length away from the ring. Really up close and personal with the possibility of blood, sweat and tears splattering on the Mustard Crusted Beef Tenderloin in Whiskey Pepper Sauce. (Kudos, to Renaissance Hotel Restaurant Director Javi Berenguer-Testa)

Razorback opened the festivities with a rocking version of the Philippine National Anthem, followed by a rude awakening of Voodoo Who Do?. Then, the ring girls were introduced – Rogue cover girls Sanya Smith, Ornusssa Cadness and Rogue mannequin Mia Ayesa – and the heat factor in the Renaissance ballroom making things a little sweaty under the bow tie.

Without further delays – MC Boyet Sison gave the lowdown on the rules, and got the fights underway. Eight bloody bouts from Pinweight to Heavyweight with a main event Flyweight championship were listed on the card, organized by URCC big boss Alvin Aguilar.

Charlie Angel Kicks Alvin Ramirez At The Rogue Black Tie Brawl

Charlie Angel Kicks Alvin Ramirez At The Rogue Black Tie Brawl

Large quantities of Maker’s Mark makes it hard to remember who beat who right now, but there was a submission by rear-naked choke, there was a KO induced by a flying knee to the face, there was a TKO by strikes.

I do recall going 3-0 on my picks for the first three fight. I recall cheering on Charlie Angel to beat Alvin Ramirez, just because we had an Angel (Locsin) on our table and because if you added an S to his name, he would be Charlie’s Angels. Of course, the Angel won.

Then, the Kentucky bourbon hit hard when I got depressed when Bimbe Perez of my home gym Elorde MMA was outclassed and eventually submitted by Eric Kelly of Yaw Yan Ardigma. That kept me quiet from jeering (as opposed to cheering.)

The Flyweight championship main event went the full two ten-minute rounds, and even needed an extra five-minute tie breaker as challenger Jilmar “Stonecold” Tangayan of Cenojas MMA and Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of Lakay Wushu went all-out toe-to-toe with URCC Flyweight champion Kevin Belingon eventually retaining his title.

The after party at Cinna Bar of the Renaisssance Hotel was equally festive. Single malt crazy with The Macallan. Got KOed myself when I hit the sack at dawn. (I don’t recall if the sack hit me back).

That same morning, the remnants of Bruce Wayne were ready for the dry-cleaners, and hopefully it wouldn’t take a decade to unearth again.

Oh wait – for sure, in next year’s Rogue’s Black Tie Brawl.

Philippine Events: Rogue Magazine Launches New Media Division With A Huge Party

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2009 by JJ Duque

My dear friend Katrina Tuason, who is also the marketing director for Rogue Magazine sent out the invitations for the launch of Rogue Magazine’s New Media Division, and immediately I got excited.

I remember the topic of New Media being thrown around the Rogue office for quite some time, and then finally, they just made it happen. They launched Rouge.ph, and Rogue Live, which is basically vidoe clips of several Rogue events and Rogue exlcusive interviews that have been made digitally available on-line. With the help of pelicola.tv, Rogue gets to add more meat behind just being a simple magazine, to becoming a new media. Not only will you get the Rogue-ish articles on the magazine, but you’ll also get to treat yourself with video content that includes exclusive footage of their shoots and in-depth interviews.

DJ Junior Sanchez with ME!

DJ Junior Sanchez with ME!

They kicked off the launch with a huge party at White Space along Pasong Tamo, which featured also the introduction and launch as well of the BMW Z4. Another cool highlight of the night was also the music courtesy of DJ Junior Sanchez, who is one of the legendary deejays to come out of New York City. In fact, when I once lived there in the early 90’s,  I already knew of  DJ Junior Sanchez, and had seen him spinning in house parties at SoHo.

Anyway, so Dj Junior Sanchez rocks a set that has everyone dancing away. Good vibes. And after his set DJ Mars Miranda closes off, and everyone is still going ballistic, including Dj Junior Sanchez, who seemed like he was having a blast. And certainly that was what everyone was having.

An overflow of food catered by Cibo Di M plus all-out open bar on Rene Barbier wines, San Miguel beer and some vodka and some whiskey. Nice for everyone indeed.

Big congratulations to Katrina Tuason, Miguel Mari and Josemari Ugarte for the huge success of the Rogue New Media launch.

Do I have to list the who’s who of who went? Nahhh! As if we need our names published ala high-society style. You knew that if you were there, then you wouldn’t complain. Good party. Period.

Philippine Events: Rogue Magazine Wrap-Party and Black Tie Brawl

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2008 by JJ Duque

I was at the September issue wrap-party of Rogue Magazine at the sleek and chic Music Room at the Hyatt Hotel And Casino in Malate a few weeks back. Apart from it being a really cool party hosted by Rogue Magazine, it was also the birthday celebrations of the Thunder Goddess Katrina Tuason as well as the unveiling of the Black Tie Brawl event, which will be co-hosted by Rogue Magazine and the fine boys of the URCC.

Anyway, I was supposed to write this post a long time ago, but I was hoping to make use of the video footage I took from the party to include in the post. As it happened, the video camera got semi-drenched during the rain (it was a very, very rainy day/night and there was a 4-hour traffic jam earlier that day), and now the camera is experiencing technical difficulties and I can’t even play the tape. (Josemari, forgive me for the delay in editing the footage!)

Without any more excuses, and still without the footage, I decided to write about it anyway before my article really becomes late news.

Well, the party was fun. Got to see some really good friends – Karl Roy, Paolo Basa, Carlos Celdran, Kat and Felipe, Twinky Lagdameo, Dennis Lagdameo (you related to Twinky?), Marcus Maguidad, Erwin Edralin, Cacay Moras, Miguel Arellano and of course the awesome people of Rogue Magazine – Carmela and Miguel Mari, Josemari Ugarte, Brian Banta, Jay Pou, and the other Jay. Of course, DJ Danger Sanchez spinning some groovy tunes, and Rogue’s September cover girl Hindy Webber-Tantoco lighting up the room with her glow.

We had fun singing it out in the different KTV rooms of the Hyatt’s Music Room, and let me just say that the rooms were pimp! Huge couches, big-ass flat screen TV, private bath room for powdering, a bar. And just when we thought we would run out of margarita, the waiters were spot on time in bringing in a fresh tray of drinks and sossy munchies. Horse Devours as Jay Ignacio would say.

Rogue Magazine Presents Black Tie Brawl

Rogue Magazine Presents Black Tie Brawl

Some time in the night – there was the unveiling of Black Tie Brawl, an MMA event which will be hosted by Rogue Magazine and URCC (Alvin Aguilar and Jed Dario reprezent!) on October 18, 2008 at the Hyatt Hotel And Casino. The MMA event will feature a 5-course sit down dinner while watching eight professional MMA bouts. Of course, strictly black tie. If you don’t know what that means, think James Bond. Or look at the damn picture.

The ticket prices range from P6,000 to P10,000 bucks per seat, and the tickets are limited. Of course, there are also special discounted room rates for those who want to avail of a room at the Hyatt to powder up before and after the fight. Room party anyone?

Anyway, I talked to some of the MMA fighters at Elorde Sucat when I went training, and I was excited to find out that Lando Espinosa, Bimbi Perezand URCC Middleweight Champ Caloy Baduria will be included in the fight card for Black Tie Brawl.

In the last URCC event held at A-Venue, the Elorde Sucat boys didn’t fare too well. Only Lando walked away with an impressive win via armbar submission. The rest – Bimbi, Caloy, Panchito aka Sugar Ray – disappointingly failed to book a win. At least now Bimbi and Caloy have the chance to redeem themselves with a win at Black Tie Brawl. That’s something to look forward to. And hopefully Lando can continue his win streak!

So there – in the middle of soup and salad, expect some blood, sweat and tears to add some spice in Black Tie Brawl. I’m certain it’ll taste yummy no matter what – after all, it’s a 10,000 peso plate, so it should taste great.

For information on tickets for Black Tie Brawl, you can call the Rogue Magazine office at 7297747.

Rogue Magazine’s August ’08 Issue Now Available

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Current Events, Philippine Lifestyle, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by JJ Duque

I received this in my e-mail from Katrina Tuason-Cruz, the Marketing Director and Operations Manager of Rogue Magazine, and of course would like to share it with the Philippines Fun Wall.

What’s in this issue :

Amanda Griffin-Jacob on the August cover of Rogue

Amanda Griffin-Jacob on the August cover of Rogue

THE APPETITE ISSUE:

NEAL OSHIMA SHOOTS THE COUNTRY’S MOST DYNAMIC CULINARY PROFESSIONALS:
MARK AUBREY, TONYBOY ESCALANTE, MARGARITA FORES, J. GAMBOA, NORBERT GANDLER, ROLANDO LAUDICO, COLIN MACKAY, ARIEL MANUEL, ED QUIMSON, SAU DEL ROSARIO, JESSIE SINCIOCO and TONY TANG

AMANDA GRIFFIN DEVOURED, Story by Apa Ongpin, Photographed by Mark Nicdao

THE ODYSSEY OF A TUNA: FROM GENSAN TO SEATTLE By Gutsy Tuason

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL: BEHIND THE SCENES OF A NEW YORK RESTAURANT By Marco Rodriguez

PLUS!

SQUID VICIOUS RETURNS
THE GREAT BURGER ROAD TEST
and a BUTCHER’S GUIDE TO BEEF

ROGUE’S GALLERY

Tals Diaz goes incognito as she attempts to the find the Holy Grail of hamburgers. Gino de la Paz puts on his beer goggles before heading out to Murphy’s Pub for some Rogue brews. Paolo Reyes unscrews the cork of a Sundance-selected wine cooler labeled Bottle Shock. James Gabrillo meets the mad scientist behind Vitamin Beer as he nibbles on some edible artworks. Erwin Romulo ignites the flames of Pinoy heroism after reading Profiles Encourage. JC Bernardo smells something fishy in a velvet-roped sushi bar called Kobikicho. Anjanette Pe picks up some butcher’s jargon from a steak-loving meat expert. Chino Reyes tests a daredevil chef’s limits and gets Glutton for Punishment. Food blogger Wysgal dishes out some appetizing sites worthy of public consumption. Resident Rogue Trader Bruce Curran serves a five-course menu of financial choices.

STYLE GUIDE

Sail the seven seas, or at least imagine that maritime life with model boats from Authentic Models. It’s food for thought when it comes to kitchen-inspired grooming goodies.Get the clean, wholesome look of Jamie Oliver and the Carribbean laid-back lifestyle of Bond creator Ian Flemming. Leather footballs aren’t only beautiful collector items but also practical treasures.Get shorty with a brief history on your favorite weekend bottoms in Retrospect. Omega is going all Olympic on us with new limited editions of their Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph and Gentleman’s Constellation. The goodlife high-defined with tech-riffic offerings including Samsung’s YP-KS and HTC Touch Diamond.

ALSO!
IT’S NOT ME
Fiction by Luis Katigbak

For local and international subscriptions of Rogue, visit http://www.m-express.com.ph

DUKE 420 2 CENTS POSTSCRIPT

I was actually present at the Rogue office during the day that they were picking which of Amanda Griffin-Jacob’s pictures they were going to use for the cover. “They” being Jay Pou, Miguel Mari and Josemari Ugarte. I can’t really quote verbatim, or even remember who said what, but then the decision-making process was something like:

“This one looks safe for the advertisers, but I don’t think it’ll really capture the readers.”
“This one looks awkward. Her pose doesn’t look natural.”
“This one looks very disgusting. It looks like someone puked on her, but it’s really very sexy and it’ll make you want to look inside the magazine.”
“But then, will we get advertisers for that?”
“Well, they didn’t mind the Joey Mead cover with the flag”
“It doesn’t look appetizing for an appetite issue.”
“Actually, it does.”
“This one is just off. Her head’s too big, and her smile is pilit, but I like the cleavage.”
“This one, she has a great smile, but then you don’t even see her cleavage.”
“Does she have one that has the smile and the cleavage?”
“There’s something, but it’s a bit see-through?”
“Bad see-through, or good see-through?”

Hmmm. Hard decisions indeed. Well, I guess they eventually did pick the one that looked like someone puked on her. But that isn’t puke – it’s honey!

Sweet, huh?

Rogue First Year Anniversary Party Featuring Steve Aoki

Posted in Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine Lifestyle, Philippine News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2008 by JJ Duque
DJ Steve Aoki pumping up the party at Rogue's First Year Anniversary

DJ Steve Aoki pumping up the party at Rogue's First Year Anniversary

Rogue Magazine Turns One!

A BMW X6 was unveiled, and a rocking party commenced with overflowing booze. Me – I drowned in Johnny Walker Black Label too early until late. My personal kudos to my friends at Rogue magazine – Josemari Ugarte, Miguel Mari, Carmela Lopa-Mari, Katrina Tuason, Jay Pou and Brian Banta. After the BMW was unveiled, I was wondering if there was going to be a short program – maybe a speech by E-in-C Josemari Ugarte, but according to Jay Pou, “Dehins na iyan! Party na lang!”

And what a party it was. DJ Steve Aoki had a really fun set, although I think YMCA wasn’t one of his strong points. Maybe he thought it was fun, but most of us from the party scene have gone sick of YMCA since once upon a time in Giraffe, if not even earlier than that. In any case, it was good fun, and it was wonderful to be surrounded by good friends, and actually finding some old ones. Cheers to that.

I had considered name-dropping ala society-lifestyle column, but then figured against it. After all, I had spent too many years doing the ghost-writing bit for the likes of Donnie Ramirez, Resty Vergara and Maurice Arcache to have to go back again to writing about Cosmo-Manille’s who’s who that attended the party. After all, who the fuck cares?!?! Some of us were there, and some of you weren’t.

In any case, the photo used above was taken by hotshot lensman Eddie Boy Escudero. More of his pics on the Rogue party at his Facebook profile.

Once again, congratulations to the people of Rogue Magazine. More than the great party, it’s been a great year for the magazine, and indeed it really is an awesome magazine. Personally, I love the edgy articles and the fact that they don’t hold back on the tone. Most articles try to be a bit more precise with their words, but Rogue magazine allows their writers to let loose without worrying about the word count. They know how to tell stories. Anyway, they don’t have a website yet, but you can catch some of their awesome magazine artwork and magazine covers here at Miguel Mari’s gallery.