Last week my team and I had a whistle stop to the Philippines courtesy of Ayala Malls in Manila. I originally visited Manila 3 years ago and fell in love with the people and the unique charm and extraordinary hospitality of the Filipinos! From the gracious manners and respectful treatment of my team, I was excited to revisit Manila this time armed with the Beauty Equation. I didn’t just bring my book but invited Jay Alexander to come with me with his autobiographical and self esteem building read – “Follow The Model”.
Our trip was non stop with photoshoots everyday for the Philippine Tatler magazine. I photographed 13 gorgeous women who are all stars in their own right in the Philippines (Yeah I know I have a hard job….;-) The shoots went amazingly with a fun concept of tons of mirrors and the ladies reflecting both physically and emotionally for every shot!
Each evening after the photoshoots we went to a different Ayala Mall for book signings and discussions on beauty with Miss Jay and myself. The crowds were enormous and delightful. Our first stop was at the Greenbelt Mall, then we went to Trinoma and finally to Alabang Town Center Mall. Our evenings were completed by fine dining in the top restaurants and lounges in Manila. My favorite night was at a lounge/restaurant called Establishment owned and run by good friend and Tatler editor in chief Anton San Diego, where I got cajoled into singing Karaoke on stage with Miss Jay….So far I have been spared the YouTube rendition of my version of Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin! Another memorable dinner was sitting next to Imelda Marcos at Tivoli…..
I look forward to returning to the Philippines soon
Posts Tagged Book Signing
Last year I was lucky enough to do 24 book signings all around the world and in 2011 I am still on the road with the Beauty Equation. We have had a signing in January at the 21 Club in NYC and this past Thursday at Eden in Washington DC. Next month we are in NYC at the Core Club again followed by signings in Manilla in the Philippines and Shanghai China. I’ll be doing other signings at schools and colleges too so please let us know if I can come visit your town, college or school!
Our DC trip was particularly wonderful as we were invited to visit the Sri Lankan Ambassador at his residence in DC. I am part Sri Lankan on my mother’s side and still have family there so you can imagine how thrilling this was for me. The Ambassador was extremely gracious and we schemed on getting ANTM to shoot in Sri Lanka potentially….. wouldn’t that be wonderful. The book signing was at great DC Lounge called Eden where we had a sell out evening. Which really means they should have bought more books The evening wrapped with a dinner at Hook, a delicious seafood restaurant that serves a mean oyster shot!
Hi! So, I have this great idea (well, I think it is) to use Beauty Equation as a spring board for mentoring at risk girls in the high school where I teach. I’m going to paste my grant proposal (partial) below for you to look at. BUT IT NEEDS A NAME. I’ve had a few ideas… “Inside Out” or “Awaking the Beauty Within” or “Empowering Young Women” but nothing seems catchy enough or encompasses the essence of what I want to convey in a title. Any ideas??? Please post soon with any thoughts! Thanks so much – Be well, LaRissa
“I am LaRissa Paras. My name means “the cheerful one” and it’s something I’ve always tried to live up to. Some days are easier than others, but I think I’m doing pretty well! I was born and raised in a mid-size Michigan town, but I have lived in 4 states. I am a wife, mother, daughter, teacher, sister, philanthropist and friend. I have been teaching at the secondary level for almost 11 years. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Central Michigan University, with a major in social studies and a minor in history. While at CMU I acted as a mentor to underclassmen and a Resident Assistant for two years. I earned my Master’s degree from the State University of New York (Albany) in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology.
I remember being an insecure young woman and see this every day at work in my students. I remember trying to compete with the media and other girls. I often felt ashamed of my curvy body. What now I see as a lovely hour-glass figure, I only saw as disgusting and fat. I took it as a personal failure when I couldn’t borrow my best friend’s clothes. She was tall and lanky and in my eyes, perfectly beautiful. And that was the pressure I put on myself. I have experienced an abusive boyfriend, coaches that encouraged more weight loss, cattiness of teammates, and a beautiful mother who couldn’t see how beautiful she really was. At one point, I even tried to control my shape with bulimia. I spent my teens worrying about who I was, my 20s figuring out who I was and now, in my 30s, I am loving who I am.
Every day, all around me, I see many young women struggling. So many girls don’t see their own value and beauty. Often times these girls are being hurt by someone or are hurting themselves. I have witnessed this lead to substance abuse, poor academic achievement and other risky negative behavior. When I recently read Beauty Equation by Nigel Barker, I thought of all of “my girls” that I wanted to gift the book to. This is when I realized that if I mentored more, Beauty Equation could be a great jumping point into a beautiful self-discovery for these young women.
I would like to use Beauty Equation by Nigel Barker as a base for a mentoring project. My vision is that a group of mentor teachers would lead a group of young women who have challenges with self image, are low achieving, or have been labeled “at risk”. Beauty Equation is a guide to self discovery and awakening the beauty within one’s self through readings, journaling, discussions and self-portraits. In my vision, 1 mentor would lead 2-5 mentees. I would like to start off with three mentors and up to 15 girls. (This could be larger, too, but I would like to start small to pilot the program.) Each person (mentor and mentee) would have a copy of Beauty Equation and each group would also have a small ‘point and shoot’ digital camera to share for the self portraits. I would also like to purchase journals for each student and also encourage the girls to use the www.beautyequation.comsite to track their progress and share ideas with other young women around the world. I would also contact local leaders to do special activities with the girls, like a professional photo shoot, a self defense session, a trip to a spa to learn about skin care, a visit from a nutritionist, volunteering at a soup kitchen and a yoga session. I would also like to have a weekend retreat with mentors and mentees to help awaken the excellence within and to do team building and confidence boosting. I also feel that giving the girls a larger view of the world will benefit them and allow them to express themselves a little more.”
Here are some shots from the book signing at the GRAM.