FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricardo F. Lo (Photo - Dr. Vicki Belo and her beloved Dr. Hayden Kho with David Foster and his girlfriend Yolanda at the blessing of The Belo Medical Clinic in Glendale, California, last June 6)

They held hands as they went around greeting the guests, so lovey-dovey that everybody was convinced that, contrary to rumors, all’s well between Dr. Vicki Belo and her beloved Dr. Hayden Kho.

Asked if, hmmmm, they’re cooking up “something big” before the year is over, again according to persistent rumors, Vicki blushed and pointed to iconic music-maker David Foster at a nearby table with his girlfriend Yolanda, “We’ll wait for them to do it first,” march down the aisle that is, “and we will follow.”

If and when, it will be the wedding of the decade, with an attendance 50 times more than the number that showed up Monday (June 6) last week at the blessing of Vicki’s first clinic in the US, located at 1160 North Central Avenue, Suite 201 in this city (for inquiries, call Janine at [818]572-3516 or e-mail at

About time. After all, even if they have little LQ’s (Lovers’ Quarrel) like any couple, Vicki and Hayden have survived every test and trial — twogether! — and have stuck to each other through thick and thin, come what may. If that sounds like a cliché, it’s because the couple’s romance has become so familiar that it runs like, yes, a cliché.

L.A.’s so-called “glitterati” (regional beauty title-holders, designers like David Tupaz and Monet Lu, Fil-Am artists like singer Michael Copon who was in Manila recently to front-act for Bruno Mars’ concert, etc.) happily mixed with homegrown showbiz stars now based in California (including Antoinette Taus, and Michael de Mesa with his girlfriend Julie who was visiting from the Philippines).

Lani Misalucha flew in from Las Vegas to perform on the mini-show after the ribbon-cutting with David Foster and Philippine Consul General Jo Bernardo Aragon doing the honors, and so did Martin Nievera (with sons Ram and Robin, and sister Gina Tabuena with husband Jaime Godinez) and Gary Valenciano (with wife Angeli Pangilinan, sister Gina and their Florida-based mom Grimilda whom they fondly call Mamita) who took time out from their US concert tour. Lani, Martin and Gary sang two songs, and then they sang a song together.

Ruffa Gutierrez was supposed to assist David and Consul General Aragon in the ribbon-cutting but she begged off (her US visa is posted on her expired Turkish passport which carries the name Sharmaine Bektas and not on her Philippine passport under the name Sharmaine Gutierrez). Her brother Richard Gutierrez was tapped to replace Ruffa but GMA didn’t let him because he had to shoot for Captain Barbell.

Asked if he had ever tried any of the Belo services, David said, “You know, Vicki gave me a facial when I was in the Philippines and it was fantastic. She’s very advanced, she’s very modern-thinking, she’s very new school. Her techniques are amazing and I’m sure America will take to her just the way the Philippines did.”

According to Yolanda, Vicki has her own unique way of “beautifying” her clients.

(Gary, Martin and David: Music is one thing they have in common)

“In America,” said Yolanda (whose flawless face hardly needs any “enhancing”), “they are quick to cut here and there, to peel off here and there, and everybody starts looking alike. I don’t like it. Vicki does great things with a little laser, a little peeling or a facial. She’s incredible!”

And what service would Martin need if ever?

“Well,” admitted Martin, “she has already started treating me with Thermage which is French for ‘Ouch!’ No, I’m kidding. It’s not painful at all. The treatment tightens your skin and brings out all its nice colors.”

Of course, face to face with David, you can’t help but ask him what’s up with his favorite alaga, Charice, who’s done with Glee and is shooting the Hollywood movie Here Comes The Boom (with Salma Hayek among her co-stars).

(From left: Martin Nievera, Lani Misalucha (above, with Martin) and Gary Valenciano (with Martin, below) were the star performers at the affair. Below: Your columnist with Martin, David and Yolanda. Below, far left: Martin with sons Ram and Robin.)

“Her career is just getting better and better every day,” assured David.

Any piece of advice for Filipino artists who want to follow in the footsteps of Charice (and, among other internationally-known talents like Lea Salonga)?

“They have to be original. The Asian community in general has been good in copying the American sound. They can’t do that anymore. You know, when you listen to Lady Gaga or Rihanna, she’s an original. When you listen to Eminem or Sting, he’s an original. Asians have to find an original way to get their music across. And eventually, they should develop their own style.”

Back to Vicki.

Last year, The Belo Medical Clinic received the Reader’s Digest Platinum Award for being one of the most trusted brands in Asia. The citation meant that Belo is three times more trusted than other brands. Vicki was also honored by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Top 10 Businesses of the Decade.

Vicki is optimistic.

With her Glendale clinic only a week old, she’s already thinking of opening another one soon.

Yes, in Beverly Hills.

Left (from left): Tim Evans of the US Immigration, PAL purser Mario Somera, your columnist, Ana Puno (Vicki’s business partner), Edgar Rame (who did the floral arrangement), STAR’s LA correspondent Raymond de Asis Lo and concert producer John Ling. Above (from left): STAR’s Life columnist Raya Manaquil, Raya’s uncle Tonie Martinez, Tim and Manila Bulletin LA correspondent Janet R. Nepales.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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