Food for thought and ladies of choice
- Joy Angelica Subido, Joy Angelica Subido, Karla Alindahao () - March 16, 2006 - 12:00am
I was the single exception, a light-skinned woman among 30 black males. After suffering a week of humiliations, I came to the conclusion that I was not willing to run such a gauntlet, and offered to withdraw… The director asked me to explain my sudden departure from the class, and I had no choice but to face that united front… and tell them that in my country, men did not enter the women’s bathroom unzipping their fly, did not shove women aside to go through the door first, did not knock each other down for a place at the table or to get on a bus, and that I felt badly mistreated and was leaving because I was not used to such foul behavior. A glacial silence greeted my peroration. After a long pause, one of them spoke to say that in his country, no decent woman publicly exhibited her need to go to the bathroom, or tried to go through a door before the men, but in fact walked several steps behind, and that his mother and his sisters never sat at the table with him; they ate what the men left behind. He said that they felt permanently insulted by me, that they had never seen a person with such bad manners."

Isabel Allende recounts her experience as the sole woman training as a writer with a group of Congolese men. With persistence and fortitude, Allende decided to finish the course, and eventually became the celebrated and world-renowned Chilean novelist that she is today.

Allende’s success story is the universal story of women throughout the world. Once considered second-class citizens in many cultures, women have fought for recognition, respect, and the right to be appreciated as the unique individuals that they are. Fortunately for us, sexual discrimination and female repression are not as widespread in the Philippines as in several other countries. Thus, we have much cause to celebrate our womanhood.

To herald National Women’s Month, Unilever, the company that manufactures the Lady’s Choice brand of products, introduced us to several Filipino women who exemplify strength, intelligence, versatility, determination, and creative flair. Confident and willing to work hard to achieve their goals, these exceptional women represent the different attributes of true ladies of choice. They embody the outstanding qualities and virtues of contemporary Filipino womanhood that we celebrate on National Women’s Month.
Barni Alejandro
While we groan and complain about having to go on a diet, Barni shows us that simple, healthy food need not be boring. Known as the Sexy Chef, she helps us rediscover the pleasures of pure, uncomplicated flavors of fresh food and the benefits of healthy living.

Although she is empowered to be whoever she wants to be, the modern Filipino woman does not forgo what is most important to her: family and home.

Barni shares, "In my recent travel to Bangkok, I took up a Thai cooking course. When I got home, I couldn’t wait to make my family sample my newly-learned cuisine. I made a spread that consisted of papaya salad, tom yum soup, green chicken curry, and phad thai. My sister Rachel simply loved them! It truly is my joy to feed the people close to my heart."

Barni Alejandro’s Crudites With Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise And Blue Cheese Dip

1 carrot

1 cucumber

1 turnip

2 green bell peppers

2 red bell peppers

2 yellow bell peppers

5 stalks celery

For the dip:

6 ounces Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise

2 ounces blue cheese


salt and pepper to taste

Cut the vegetable into even slices or sticks.

For the dip:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Add Tabasco, salt, and pepper to taste.
Vicki Belo
While women of yesteryear were in constant denial about undergoing beauty enhancement procedures, Dr. Vicki Belo helped us realize that to be forthright and honest about what we want is a more acceptable and happier option. The woman of today is proud of who she is and empowered to be who she wants to be. She is well informed, makes intelligent choices, and has the capability to improve and reinvent herself not only physically, but intellectually as well.

Says Dr. Belo about a memorable meal, "The most creative dinner I ever gave was for my boyfriend. My menu consisted of French onion soup, duck a la orange, arugula salad with raspberry dressing, and pan-fried goose liver and fresh oysters flown in fresh from my home town in Capiz. I think a memorable dinner should involve the stimulation of all five senses. Scented candles all around a special table set for two; only the finest china and crystal; Celine Dion singing only French songs. The dessert – my forte – was Grand Marnier chocolate mousse cake and the piece de resistance was an espresso coffee with two tickets to Paris, first class, on Singapore Airlines."
Vicki Belo’s Bangus Belly With Calamansi & Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise Dip
For the bangus belly:


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 eggs

For the dip:

6 ounces Lady’s Choice mayonnaise

3 tablespoons calamansi juice

2 teaspoons Kikkoman soy sauce

1 teaspoon dayap peel, strips

salt and pepper to taste

For the bangus belly:

Dip strips of bangus belly in egg before dredging in a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Deep-fry in vegetable or corn oil and drain well.

For the dip:

Combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tessa Prieto Valdes
She is creativity and courage personified. Best known for her flamboyant attire, Tessa Valdes-Prieto’s fashion sense is highly individualistic and goes against the usual standards. Her fashion sense has been alternatively called fun, frivolous, unique, strange, vibrant, and daring. Surely, however, one has to combine courage and confidence to be able to pull off a style that is inimitably Tessa’s – unusual, unique and absolutely unexpected.

"For my 10th anniversary with Dennis, I had an African safari theme complete with zebra skin, shrunken heads and boar’s teeth," says Tessa about her most creative meal. "For the menu, I prepared various kinds of dips with Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise to go with the ostrich meat. I mixed boiled ostrich eggs into the mayo and seasoned it with salt, pepper, chopped onions, garlic, and leeks. That was the piece de resistance!"
Tessa Prieto-Valdes’ Vegetable Samosa With Curried Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise Dip
For the samosa:

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1-inch ginger

4 potatoes

8 carrots

3 tablespoons spring onion

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1/4 tablespoon nutmeg

1/4 tablespoon cloves

spring roll wrapper

For the dip:

6 ounces Lady’s Choice mayonnaise

6 ounces low-fat yogurt

1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper to taste

For the samosa:

Cut the vegetables into small cubes. Mix in the spices and wrap the mixture in the spring roll wrapper to form approximately two-inch triangles. Deep fry these in vegetable oil and drain well.

For the dip:

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Doyee Tumpalan
As a successful entrepreneur, Doyee’s company supports Philippine industry by promoting locally-made products. In turn, support of local industry translates to the employment of numerous individuals. The modern Filipino woman is in tune with what is happening around her, and actively contributes to nation-building. With resourcefulness, determination, and innovation, she can attain both personal and business success.

Doyee’s creative talent and vision are apparent as she describes an inspired meal: "I am fortunate to belong to a family with adventurous tastes. For one of the First Quadrant’s food fairs, I came up with one-of-a-kind recipes using our vitamin drink (First Vita Plus dalandan) and experimented with a chicken dalandan, fish fillet with a cream Vita dip in Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise, and an easy orange chicken salad, again with Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise. It’s amazing what can be achieved through the versatile use of ingredients!"
Doyee Tumpalan’s Kani And Wansoy Lumpia With Wansoy-Wasabi Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise Dip
12 lumpia wrappers, small

1 egg yolk, beaten

vegetable oil for frying, either canola or corn oil

For the filling:

12 crabsticks

24 sprigs of wansoy (cilantro)

For the dip:

6 ounces Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise

6 tablespoons wasabi paste

6 tablespoons chopped wansoy

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Wrap each crabstick and two sprigs of wansoy in the lumpia wrapper. Seal with the egg yolk. Heat oil in a pan and fry. Cut into halves. Serve with the wansoy-wasabi dip.

For the dip:

Mix all ingredients together.
Rissa Samson
Versatility is key, and a good model is multi-faceted. One would hardly dream that Rissa Samson, aside from being one of the country’s top models, is also a wife and mother. The modern-day woman is amazing as she adjusts and takes on her numerous roles with verve. With imagination, she is able to transform the run-of-the-mill into the exceptional. Taking her life beyond the runway, this Ateneo University business management graduate plans to pursue an MBA this year. She is dynamic. And, with a good sense of fun and optimism, she is able to lighten up the lives of people around her.

"Creativity goes beyond the dinner table," says Rissa. "My grandest parties as PMAP (Professional Models Association of the Philippines) president were our themed Christmas parties. We once had a cross-dressing party where guys came as girls and girls came as guys. It was hilarious how some guys went all the way to shaving their legs! We also had a children’s party complete with balloons, games, party hats and pigtails. Then there was the red light district party where the skimpier the outfit, the better! Last Christmas, it was a red carpet party with a photo-op wall and red carpet host/commentator to boot!"
Rissa Samson’s Chicken Meatballs With Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise-Tomato Relish
For the chicken meatballs:

6 ounces ground chicken breast

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 teaspoon minced shallots

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar


salt and pepper to taste

For the dip:

6 ounces Lady’s Choice mayonnaise

2 ounces tomato ketchup

1 chopped tomato, seeds removed

1 shallot, chopped

1 teaspoon horseradish

For the chicken meatballs:

Combine all ingredients and form into one-inch meatballs. It is best to use a spoon when measuring the mixture for even-sized balls and round them in the palm of your hands. Cook the chicken meatballs in a pan with oil for 10-15 minutes until dark brown. Serve with the mayo-tomato relish.

For the dip:

Mix all ingredients together.

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