There’s a famous saying about death and taxes that I’m thinking of, except that those are two things I never like to think about. Thank goodness there is Sun Life of Canada around who can deal with those things.

Sun Life recently hosted an intimate gathering of friends at the Manila House Private Club, together with the Red Charity Gala team, all to discuss estate planning, legacies and other uncommon yet necessary topics. As part of its efforts to raise awareness and give people more information on estate taxes, Sun Life also invited Atty. Benedict Tugonon, partner and head of tax at the law firm of Quiason Makalintal, to highlight tips on the efficient transfer of estates through estate tax planning.

Mylene Lopa, Sun Life chief marketing officer, shared that without proper estate planning, the legacy we’ve worked so hard to pass on to our heirs may end up being more of a burden to them if we don’t prepare for its efficient transfer. One common headache is how heirs often are unprepared to pay estate taxes, which must be done within six months of the passing of the loved one. If not settled, a 25% surcharge and 20% interest will be added per year.

Jenny Del Mundo, Sun Life’s head of agency distribution support, then showed how the product solutions of Sun Life can actually help alleviate the cash issue in estate tax payment, specifically how life insurance can used by the beneficiaries to settle estate taxes or be left with the heirs as the inheritance itself.

Also present were Alex Narciso, Sun Life president and chief agency distribution officer, and Riena Pama, Sun Life Asset Management president. The Red Charity Gala guests present included Beth Fernando, president of Fersal Hotel Group, and Marife Zamora, CEO of Convergys Philippines. Both were among the personalities recognized at the Gala together with Charo Santos, Sun Life ambassador.

Sun Life can make wealth preservation easy. All it takes is for us to be armed with the right information and the right partner to help guide us through the ins and outs of estate planning. Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. For more information, visit

After the affair, Melissa Lee, head of Hi-Precision Diagnostics, gave special attendees HP Executive Healthcare Program & Imaging packages. Hi-Precision, one of the most reliable names today in medical diagnostic services, is known for its innovative and quality delivery of diagnostic-related products.

Christine Sandejas, Brent Javier, Sea Princess, Melissa Ongsue-Lee, and Jackie Go, lower area from left to right Jeff Lo, Janna Tee and Michelle Lim

I invited Melissa to attend the Sun Life talk after I saw her at the Hi-Precision new campaign launch. Their #AmIReallyFit campaign aims to bring awareness to the real definition of “being healthy” and living well.

Joined by other fitness enthusiasts like Christine Jacobs-Sandejas and Brent Javier, the Hi-Precision campaign launch at The Upper Deck Sports Center revealed the true state of our health, based on the tests given. The package offered is part of their new campaign of what “being fit and healthy” really means.

The beauty of the package is that the blood and urine tests can be done in the comfort of one’s home with the HP technician on call. Other tests can be done at Hi-Precision Diagnostics at Power Plant Mall Rockwell, or in their branches in Del Monte or Santa Rosa to name a few. Check for more information.

Now that I am in my 50s, I really see the value of living well and keeping health as a priority. Another lady in her 50s but who looks amazingly younger is singer Zsa Zsa Padilla. I bumped into Zsa Zsa at the grand launch of the Flexform flagship showroom.

Flexform’s Italian principals and owners, Saul Galimberti, Giuliano Galimberti and Matteo Galimberti, flew in just to grace the impressive launch. Flexform was founded in the furniture manufacturing district of Brianza, in northern Italy. In 1959 the Galimberti brothers started a crafts workshop, which they called “Flexform di Galimberti.”

Today, Flexform is the leading expert in the production of finely crafted sofas and furnishings, with collaborations with the best designers. Crafted with the best materials and the most advanced technique, Flexform products are made to last in time.

Leading the guests-of-honor at the Flexform ribbon-cutting ceremony were Sen. Nancy Binay Angeles, Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino, Flexform Manila’s Gec Chia, and Flexform Italy’s Giuliano Galimberti. Joining Zsa Zsa and other guests were celebrities Charlene Gonzales and Diether Ocampo. The music was spinned by DJ Bigboy Cheng while the menu was catered by Gaita Fores of Cibo di M Signature Caterer.

We welcome November with the upcoming Bench 30th Anniversary Show titled “Under the Stars” on November 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Bench started with a dream. What began as a small department store brand carrying men’s T-shirts and jeans back in 1987 has now evolved into a Filipino fashion favorite.

Bench continues to raise the benchmark for the Philippines’ retail landscape. After three successful and noticeably eventful decades in the biz, Bench invites us all to celebrate with almost 50 of the country’s hottest stars at the Bench Show.

The highly anticipated show’s creative process was a collaborative effort between Bench’s main man Ben Chan, stylist and Bench creative consultant Noel Manapat, long-time Bench collaborators fashion director Robby Carmona and production designer Gino Gonzales, and international production team Les 7 Doigts de la Main, headed by creative director Gypsy Snider, who also worked on the 2014 Bench Denim and Underwear Show, “The Naked Truth.”

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