A Happy Face, a Happy Life

Happy Ong­pauco-Tiu is the new­est face of Kamiseta Skin Clinic, ‘a 100 per­cent work­ing woman and 100 per­cent mom’ who has to look good even as she keeps a very busy sched­ule

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - with Ricky Lo

If you de­fine hap­pi­ness in only three words, it has to be Happy Ong­pauco-Tiu, a restau­ra­teur par ex­cel­lence who is the new­est face of Kamiseta Skin Clinic owned and man­aged by Cris Roque.

Like May­may Co­juangco and Yas­mine Espir­itu-Var­gas (wife of Que­zon City Rep. Al­fred Var­gas), the two other Kamiseta en­dorsers, Happy has, to bor­row a Su­san Ro­ces trade­mark (“copy­righted”) de­scrip­tion, “a face that re­freshes.” That says it all.

“I chose Happy be­cause I think we are the same,” said Cris Roque, Kamiseta Skin Clinic owner. “I could see that she’s a per­fec­tion­ist in ev­ery­thing she does. She em­bod­ies the Kamiseta char­ac­ter. She’s very pretty, very whole­some.”

Be­fore she signed up as Kamiseta en­dorser, Happy first tried some treat­ments and they worked for her.

“My three fa­vorites are the K Pore­less which min­i­mizes the pores, the Ther­mage which is good for the eyes. You know na­man my work, I’m al­ways in and out of the kitchen. I am a mother of four boys, the el­dest is 13 and youngest is one year old, and I also love the Vi­ta­min Drip. Hav­ing been preg­nant four times, ang daming nai­wan na dark skin tones. Af­ter only five Drip treat­ments, the tones have evened up na. So when Cris got me as en­dorser, I said yes right away.”

Kamiseta Skin of­fers a wide range of treat­ments and ser­vices from face to body with non-in­va­sive gold-stan­dard laser treat­ments for whiten­ing, glow­ing skin, anti-acne, anti-ag­ing, hair re­moval, con­tour­ing, slim­ming, lift­ing, skin re­ju­ve­na­tion and other der­ma­to­log­i­cal treat­ments.

“We are ser­vice-ori­ented and af­ford­ably priced,” said Cris who her­self is a walk­ing ad­ver­tise­ment for her clinic. “We work with our med­i­cal di­rec­tor and board-cer­ti­fied doc­tors with the lat­est in ma­chine tech­nol­ogy. We want to cre­ate a place where our Kamiseta Girls could pam­per them­selves af­ter shop­ping, in a beauty haven that is el­e­gant and lux­u­ri­ous, clas­sic and still af­ford­able much like what the Kamiseta Cloth­ing brand is known for.”

Although their fam­i­lies know each other, with Happy some­times hired as caterer for the Roque fam­ily events, they haven’t re­ally had a chance to meet closely un­til this in­ter­view at the

Cris: We are ser­vice-ori­ented and af­ford­ably priced, with board-cer­ti­fied doc­tors work­ing with the lat­est in ma­chine tech­nol­ogy in a lux­u­ri­ous am­bi­ence.

Kamiseta Skin Clinic (in Ayala Malls 30th Mer­alco Av­enue, Pasig City).

“When I see her cater­ing, I am amazed,” said Cris. “She’s such a per­fec­tion­ist from the prepa­ra­tion to the pre­sen­ta­tion of the food. She gives more than what the cus­tomer wants.”

“It’s not the money,” added Happy, “it’s the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

One thing they have in com­mon is that they both run sev­eral busi­nesses. Happy man­ages 12: a bou­tique-ho­tel in Ta­gay­tay City and a string of restau­rants (Pa­mana in Que­zon City, and the oth­ers in Baguio, Makati, Ta­gay­tay and the newly-re­ha­bil­i­tated Bo­ra­cay); while Cris has sev­eral busi­nesses, too, aside from Kamiseta Skin (Vanilla Café, a breath away from Pa­mana on Mother Ig­na­cia St., Q.C.) and a bou­tique-ho­tel in Baguio City.

“Like me,” noted Happy, “Cris also has four kids. We are both 100 per­cent work­ing women. And 100 per­cent moms.”

Happy begged to dis­agree when told that her body looked per­fect.

“No,” she said, “I’m not per­fect. I gave birth only last year and I have to im­prove all parts of my body. Re­mem­ber that I am 42 with four kids. I have to ex­er­cise. I have to pam­per my­self, my treat to my­self. I come to Kamiseta Clinic once a week.”

Luck­ily, Happy got good genes from her par­ents, re­tired ac­tors Lib­erty Ila­gan (who owns and man­ages Bar­rio Fi­esta in Makati City) and Rod Ong­pauco (Rod Evans to movie fans), the man who in­vented Crispy

Pata and who now runs a sprawl­ing re­sort-restau­rant in Nueva Ecija. Now mostly a lady of leisure, Lib­erty (daugh­ter of Na­tional Artist Gerry de Leon) has main­tained up to now the glam­orous-artista im­age nur­tured and pop­u­lar­ized by Sam­pa­guita Pic­tures where she starred in sev­eral films.

“My sis­ters and I learned a lot from our mom as far as good groom­ing is con­cerned,” shared Happy. “Never leave the house with­out look­ing good. You have to make sure that you are dressed prop­erly and your hair is combed well. We are three girls and grow­ing up, we would be rep­ri­manded by mom when she saw us not dressed prop­erly. Also, she re­minded us about healthy-eat­ing habits which is hard be­cause, alam mo na­man, we are in the food busi­ness.”

So what kind of diet does she fol­low?

“Hmmm, hindi kaya to stick to a spe­cific diet,” ad­mit­ted Happy. “You know na­man that I have to taste ev­ery food that I cook. At ang dami-dami n’un! Buti na lang madami akong hi­na­habol-habol

na anak, so I burn calo­ries that way.” What’s usu­ally for break­fast? “Beef tapa or long­gan­isa with brown rice. I’m an ad­vo­cate of healthy cook­ing at home so no MSG, no preser­va­tives. Ev­ery­thing I cook at home is made fresh. We make our own tapa, even our spam. My hus­band (Dex­ter Tiu, Chris Tiu’s un­cle) is strict so bawal

ang canned goods sa ba­hay. Preser­va­tives are not good for the body.” Any other food that you avoid? “When it comes to food, I eat ev­ery­thing. I’m a foodie. Men­tion a coun­try and I know what dish that coun­try is fa­mous for. That’s why I’m happy to be with Kamiseta Skin be­cause it helps me main­tain my body and look good.”

Happy’s typ­i­cal busy day starts at six o’clock in the morn­ing, dress up the kids and, as much as she can, ac­com­pa­nies them to school. The rest of the day she does her er­rands (gro­ceries, meet­ings, etc.), check on her restau­rants, so on and so forth. “I have an ac­tive life­style so I don’t re­ally gain weight.”

The pa­tri­arch be­ing pure Chi­nese, the Tiu fam­ily is tra­di­tional.

“At the end of the day, fam­ily has to come first. That’s our us­apan. If he had his way, he would rather that I don’t work. But I can­not not work. By 5 p.m., I should be done and be at home na. At that time, bawal

na akong tawa­gan ng mga em­ploy­ees. I cook our din­ner. I make the kids sleep by 7:30 p.m.; hindi ang mga ‘yan nakakat­u­log pag hindi ako katabi. Af­ter that, I have my ‘me’ time when I do my ac­count­ing. I sleep at around 2 a.m. Four to five hours of sleep are good enough for them. Okey na ako sa ganoon.”

Ev­ery now and then, to de-stress she and her fam­ily travel. (Happy and Dex­ter were mar­ried in Bali, In­done­sia.)

Mean­while, ex­cuse Happy while she goes into an­other “me” time at Kamiseta Skin Clinic. (E-mail re­ac­tions at rick­y­lophilstar@gmail.com. For more up­dates, pho­tos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/fun­fare or fol­low me on In­sta­gram @the­re­al­rick­ylo.)

Happy and Kamiseta Skin Clinic own­er­man­ager Cris Roque have many things in com­mon. Both run sev­eral busi­nesses but are never too busy to mind their fam­i­lies (both have four chil­dren).

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