Thursday, October 18, 2012

Behind-the-scenes of OK!'s staff shoot, Part 2: The girls

Here is the second part of the OK! staff shoot. Let's meet the staff!

This is Joanna Tuazon-Mendoza. She's our absolutely amazing Features Editor. She is such a great writer. She's also so professional. She has a keen eye for grammar and spelling and facts. Her favorite thing to do is give us grammar refresher lessons! She always sees my writing mistakes (which are few, to my credit, but they're there) and very tactfully corrects them.

She's also a mommy of two boys and I seriously don't know how she's able to juggle work and family life. I know people tell me I juggle so well. Actually, I don't. I've been a mess this entire year! But Joanna, she's my peg of the woman who can make it all work!

To Joanna's left (and to your right) is Sandra Pineda, our editorial assistant. I hired her just before the other department heads could snap her up. Whew! She is the perfect combination of beauty, breeding and brains. She's so hardworking and has the most admirable work ethic and attitude. She will do anything without complaint and with a big smile. Nothing, absolutely nothing breaks this girl's spirit. She is a ray of sunshine all day, every day.

Those are Mary Love Siy (red) and Fran Haw Ang (purple), OK!'s publishers. They're in charge of making sure OK! gets ads, gets promoted and marketed, and reaches the newsstands. They're basically my bosses. Haha! They've been really great this past year in trying to push OK! out there. Thanks, Fran and Mary Love!

Oh, Fran and Mary Love are bloggers, too. Food bloggers! Fran is also known as the woman behind Frannywanny and Mary Love is the author of Glutton Shopper.

The two Franceses of OK!. What I really like about Fran is she's a blogger like me. She understands print media and she has a love for online media, too.

Joanna with Lana Chan, OK!'s super efficient, super reliable, super incredible Managing Editor, who manages to stay skinny despite eating all day. She attributes it to her stressful daily commute from faraway Fairview to Mandaluyong City. Lana is my rock. She's my Sam Gamgee. OK! will collapse without her.

Well, as long as these two don't get drunk, OK! will be okay. Just like me, Joanna and Lana don't drink. In fact, I was there the first time Lana got drunk and we were very alarmed. We thought she was going to die! On one glass of wine!!!

As for Joanna, I think it was at this very shoot that she first got drunk. Joanna's a quiet girl. She's only talkative when she's lecturing us about our grammar and when the she talks about her favorite star/movie/TV show. But at the shoot, for no reason at all, she found everything funny! She was drunk alright!

Who's looking at the camera? That's our red carpet columnist, Jay Santiago. Yes, our red carpet expert is male. I toyed with the idea that a man's eyes might be a better judge of women's clothes and, in this case happily, I was correct. Jay's red carpet  pages—anywhere from 4 to 16 in any given issue!—is one of the most popular sections in OK!.

In ravishing red is Kabbie Rodriguez Alipio, our Associate Fashion Editor. She has worked miracles on our fashion pages! Kabbie can walk into any store—high end or low end—and put together a smashing outfit even if all I see are rags. It's a talent, folks. Not many of us have it! Kabbie makes Hollywood celebrity fashion fun and, most importantly, she makes it attainable for lesser beings like us!

What I also admire about Kabbie, actually what I most admire about her is her spirit. She is a good woman and you can't put a good woman down. Believe me. I tried. She just kept throwing back the punches and when she fell down, she just got back up, dusted off her stylish self, and became better. Kabbie is an inspiration!

As you can see, I am absolutely happy I have the best staff in the world. I really truly enjoy working with them. They will have bigger careers than mine because they are far more talented than I am. My only real talent is I can pick the good ones and I can bring out the best in people.

In the pink dress is Elaine Natividad, our Associate Beauty Editor. She's absolutely brilliant. Just like everyone in the staff, her work ethic is incredible. She has a huge responsibility (OK!'s advertisers are mostly beauty brands) and works so damn hard, and yet she goes to work looking gorgeous, attends events left and right, never misses a deadline, has time to accept other writing jobs, and has even more time to spend with friends traveling the world regularly. How does she do it?!?

I plucked Elaine from marketing. She was really young then (actually, I hired these kids when they were about 21-23 years old) and seemed overly bubbly. But I saw a determined gleam in her eye when, during her interview, I asked the standard "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"and she replied, "I'll be the editor-in-chief of OK! magazine." Some bosses would be threatened by that but I loved it! I saw a girl who was ambitious and will work hard and learn well because she's eyeing the top prize.

And here's the gorgeous gang! Oh wait! I haven't talked about Red de Leon, our art director! He's the cutie at the very right. Red is another awesome talent. He injected freshness and dynamism to OK!'s pages. OK! used to look very predictable, very template-y. Then Red came along and our pages just came alive! Every page is stunning. I am so in love with my magazine as a reader, not just as its editor, all because of Red's great direction.

So now you know why my job seems easy. It really isn't but because I have the most talented people on board, working in OK! feels like I'm paid to eat chocolate. I am beyond grateful.

Okay, enough drama. Let's do fluff! I'll talk about the outfit details on Topaz Fashion. That's tomorrow! See ya back here then!


  1. Ehmerhgerd naiyak ako! Thanks, Frances... for everything. GROUP HUG!

  2. Kainggit yung braso mo!!! Ang payat!! :D

    1. Angle lang yan! My arms need toning. They're thin but flabby.

  3. Love how you have really good things to say about your stuff. :)

    1. And what I wrote about the staff is all true, too =)

  4. Hi. I love OK! Magazine Ph. I just wanna ask why you guys stop publishing?? And until now, I always buy back issues (if I see one) in booksale store. I wanna know if you guys know where I can buy a complete set of OK! Magazine from your first issue. Thank you. xoxo.

    1. Hi Angelica! The publisher discontinued OK! because it just couldn't compete with online news. We were releasing stories that were 4-6 weeks late so panis na =) It was a business decision and totally understandable.

      I am no longer with Summit Media so I don't know where you can get back issues, but try Filbars. Thanks again for loving OK!. We loved it, too!


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