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
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 email@example.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).