SPCM HS'76 Now!

SPCM HS'76 alumnae are cordially inviting everyone -- regardless of batch or Paulinian Alma Mater -- to lend a hand to residents of the Vigil House, the home for ailing SPC Sisters located at 3rd St. corner Hemady, New Manila, Quezon City, behind SPCQC. If your class, organization or company would like to know how you can help, pls contact Paulinian Global Foundation board member Mary Ann "Shankee" Sancianco-Miranda at ashankee@yahoo.com. You can also visit her SPC Vigil House Page to learn about more developments. Thanks!

Tips by Kitkat Bonnevie-Sanvictores ’76 and Emma Z. Mijares

Smart Dressing for the Corporate Woman

(Source: Jobstreet.com 2003, http://ph.jobstreet.com/career/streetwise/women3.htm)

Despite the workplace trend to dress down, women would do well to dress to impress as they make their way up the corporate ladder. Here, two successful career women share their bag of tricks on dressing for success.

Heads turn as Katrina Sanvictores strides across the conference room. She cuts an impressive figure in a white blouse and light blue skirt-suit, with elegant, simple accessories and subdued makeup rounding off her career woman-on-the-go look. She steps up the podium and starts to speak. Everyone listens attentively.

Katrina, a manager at the Export and Industry Bank in Makati City, understands the principles of dressing to impress.

Bonnevie Sisters Kitkat and Christine (our SPCM GS’71 batchmate)... having fun during SPCM Homecoming 2001! Both DLSU Liberal Arts / Commerce grads, Kitkat is Small and Medium Enterprise Manager at Export-Import Bank in Makati; she’s also national director of Phil Exporters Confederation. That’s Christine’s unica hija, Chris Ann, on the left.

"Dressing well is essential," she explains. "It's not about how many clothes you have or how expensive they are, but how you package yourself," she says. "You're trying to project a successful image, and a smart physical appearance does a lot to help you make your way up the corporate ladder."

Look good, feel good

On a personal level, Katrina says there are undeniable psychological benefits to knowing you're dressed your best. "When you know you look good, you feel good. You're able to speak with confidence and walk with assurance and stand tall and straight. All these jibe with your efforts to reach your work goal of upward mobility."

Despite the current workplace trend to dress down, Katrina strongly advises doing the exact opposite, particularly for women looking to get a promotion.

"Sure, there may be less gender bias nowadays, but let's face it, women still encounter greater obstacles than men in the corporate race to the top," she points out. "Come to the office in sloppy attire, and the higher-ups aren't likely to take you as a serious contender for a more responsible post. Why make it harder on yourself?"

Okay, you concede it may be time for a wardrobe overhaul. But you ask: How do I go about making that shift from dressing comfortably to dressing for success?

Classic's still best

Unless you work in the entertainment media and other less traditional industries where individuality is cherished, Katrina says women's surest and safest bet is to adhere to classic styles. "With conventional business suits, you're less likely to commit style boo-boos. Wear them particularly when attending high-level meetings and business presentations where you want to make an impact. Tailored suits give the impression of authority and credibility," she says.

As for color options, the bank executive prefers neutral to dark shades, and shuns bright hues that "shout at others a mile away." She warns: "What you don't want is overdo things and appear TH (trying hard)."

Emma Mijares, deputy executive director of a multisectoral policy body, the Export Development Council, concurs. "Black or other dark-colored pantsuits and skirt-suits are standard garb for me, too. These I often pair with an inner blouse that may vary from white to pastels and bright colors," she notes.

Perfect fit

And make sure the fit is impeccable, Emma admonishes. "No matter how well chosen your attire, if it's too tight or too big, it's a disaster." She adds that women would do well to invest in a full-length mirror at home to see how they appear to other people.

Getting the dress basics down pat isn't the end of it, though. Both Katrina and Emma say there are still a few neat tricks you can do to pull off that corporate look to perfection.

For one, wear stockings and medium-heeled pumps to cover unsightly varicose veins and other physical imperfections and project that polished look. Dainty sandals may also be worn, but be sure your toenails are clean and polished.

What about undergarments? Whatever good points you earn are easily erased when you have to pull up your slipping bra strap while talking to your boss or your pantyline shows through your pants or skirt as you write on the whiteboard. Chuck ill-fitting bras and wear high-waisted panties instead of bikini styles so the elastic isn't visible around the hips.

Accessories for variety

And don't underestimate the power of accessories, either. Scarves and simple, classic jewelry enhance your appearance much more than you think. "It's one way to bring variety to your style and look -- making you a more interesting personality -- so that even if you have a limited wardrobe, people won't know," Katrina says.

She points out that you don't necessarily have to wear snatcher-bait real jewelry -- check out those quality fashion jewelry items now being sold at discounted rates at the malls and choose the ones that look restrained but stylish.

Kitkat (in tangerine) with ’76 Paulinians -- Chiching Reyes, Eileen Niguidula, Gigi Besa. Vicky de Joya, Grace Domdom, Irene Laurente, Gina Olondriz, Lui Galvez, Bellay Abelleda, Marilen Arrastia, Lorna Santillan, Baba Arellano -- during Volleyball Funday, in conjunction with SPCM HS76’s Silver Jubilee / SPCM General Alumnae Homecoming in Jan 2001. More photos.

Another important reminder: Don't step out of the house without makeup. "Done right, makeup will always improve your looks, no matter how beautiful you may already be," Emma insists, but cautions against overdoing it. "Err on the side of understated makeup rather than thick coloration because the latter makes you look garish and cheap."

Use light foundation and face powder in natural tones, a light shade of lipstick, brown eyebrow liner and mascara/eyeliner to highlight your best facial features, she says.

Last but not least, take care of your crowning glory. Get a good hair stylist to give you a modern, upbeat cut. Highlights are permissible, so long as they are soft and natural looking.

Dress tips

To look your office best, these two women offer the following tips:

Avoid faddish and sexy outfits.

Neon colors, sneakers and denims are out.

Accessories should be simple.

Perfume should not be too "loud."

Style experts recommend that to get a feel of the right way to dress, study the clothing habits of admirable women. Look at famous personalities, colleagues, friends and acquaintances that you think are well groomed and take down notes. Do they go for monochromatic color schemes or mix-and-match colors? What accessories do they use? What hairstyles complement their faces? How do they apply makeup?

When you think you've learned enough, go to classy department stores to see what's on their racks. No, you're not there to blow away your life savings, but to see how expensive, quality clothes are made. Check the seams, the fabrics used, current styles, etc.

Make planned purchases

Then go to your favorite clothes store and make careful, planned purchases taking into account all your observations -- and your budget.

In the long run, it pays to invest in duds that are a "little bit expensive" since they last longer, according to Emma. "Most of what I have now are already about three years old. They're rather costly, but the quality and style have withstood frequent washing and wearing, unlike the cheaper ones. "

She adds that as you acquire the skills for fine dressing and complete your basic wardrobe, you can exercise more versatility and creativity. "Try experimenting with mixing and matching colors until you arrive at your own unique, personal style."

Katrina says a startup capital of P5,000 is often sufficient to build your basic wardrobe. "That initial investment can already include two skirts, a pair of pants, a blouse, two pairs of shoes, a bag, scarves, stockings and even a dress, depending on where you shop. Once you have the basic items, you can just set aside about P500 to P1,000 a month for regular purchases," she said.

Her advice: To extend your purchasing power, buy items on sale or take advantage of regular store-wide sale promos at the SM Shoemart, Robinson's and other shopping malls.

"Buy smart," says Emma. "I try not to spend so much by buying only coordinates that even look good paired with our uniform."

It also helps that Emma sews. Buying fabrics and sewing them cost less than purchasing RTW, she says. "The money left over I use to buy shoes and accessories."

What really matters

But in the end both Emma and Katrina assert that being well dressed is not enough -- it should go hand-in-hand with real knowledge about your work. "You may dress like a CEO but if you're just bluffing your way up, a no-nonsense executive can easily spot a shallow head above those tasteful clothes," Katrina says.

Emma agrees that nothing beats talent and performance to get you to the top. "In our line of work, more than being dressed right, you need to be well-versed in current issues to interact with top government and business officials. And many companies nowadays just don't really care about how you're suited up as long as you deliver. But brains coupled with power dressing skills are still an unbeatable combination, and if you have both, why not use them to your advantage?"

Agnes Cayco visits Sr Miriam

June 2003, Tuguegarao City / Aparri, Cagayan.

Hello everyone!!  I recently had the opportunity of visiting Saint Paul University in Tuguegarao City.  I met up with Sister Miriam Raymond, now 84 yrs. old, but still very sharp.  She sends her warm regards to all of you.



SPU was founded as Colegio de San Pablo on 10 May 1907 by one Chinese and four French nuns belonging to the St. Paul of Chartres congregation. It holds the distinction of being the only university among the 39 Saint Paul schools in the Philippines, having been conferred university status in 1982. For more info, visit SPU’s official website at http://www.spu.edu.ph.


I also visited Aparri up north and was pleasantly surprised to see St. Paul School of Aparri (above rt).





’75 PS: For a roster of SPC Philippine congregation membership including Sisters on foreign missions, along with a list of Philippine SPC schools and their contact addresses, see Claretian CommunicationsReligious Women of the Philippines (requires PDF Reader).   

Jan 2003 Reunion with Rosemer Albovias-Enverga

Rosemer was visiting Manila from Canada for a family emergency. '76 Paulinians and SPC Sisters including Sr Luisa and company (above and below) made sure they got together with her during her short stay.

Fast fact: Now a Toronto resident, Rosemer was given the "Most Outstanding Canadian Award for 2001" by Ontario officials in recognition of her outstanding social and community service. Among others, Rosemer and her family are active in the Majayjay (Laguna) Club of Toronto/Ontario where she serves as the PRO. In her acceptance speech, she credited her Paulinian training as a factor in instilling civic-mindedness in her. Rosemer is also member of the St Scho Alumnae Association of Canada along with our '75 batchmates Jowie Corpus and Ana Paras.

Oct 2002 Get-together with Sr Miriam

SPCM HS'76 Paulinians including (l-r) Tavi Villapando ('76 Chair), Vivian Recio, Agnes Cayco and Shankee Sancianco met with our former SPCM grade school principal, Sister Miriam. In addition to helping the retired and ailing nuns at the SPC Vigil House, '76ers are also trying to raise scholarship funds for Education students at St Paul University in Tuguegarao where Sister Miriam is a consultant; a pledge of P5000 a year supports one scholar. Anyone who can help the '76 ladies in their community outreach endeavors may call Shankee at ashankee@yahoo.com.

First SPCM HS'76 Silver Jubilee 2001 Meeting

Chiching Reyes' Residence, 28 Jan 2000.

Front: Vivian Recio, Eileen Niguidula, Bellay Abelleda, Janette San Juan, Ace de Guzman  // Row 2: Agnes Cayco, Eva Asuncion, Grace Domdom, Tonette Montojo, Chiching Reyes // Row 3: Cris Lorenzo, Angie Concio, Rossi Revilla, Kitkat Bonnevie, Lorna Santillan  //  Back: Eleanor Reyes, Lui Galvez, Shankee Sancianco, Tavi Villapando, Baba Arellano

2001 Homecoming Weekend: PAAM invitation. Batch 76 Dinner. Volleyball Fun Day. Lunch at the Quad. Live at the Fleur-de-Lis. SPCM HS'76 Website.

Please send pictures to '75 Web Admin at SPCM_HS75@hotmail.com .

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Latest page update8.19.2003

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