A month ago, this popped up in my inbox and I just HAD to do my celebratory chicken dance. To give you a proper mental image, this dance involves a lot of hip movement and arm flapping. Needless to say, I was THRILLED that I was invited! I had NO idea where it would take place or what to expect–but the words “Conde Nast” and “Limitless Possibilities” were enough to convince me that I had to clear these dates on my calendar. I had a few things lined up for work but I knew a few adjustments here and there would be worth it!
And wow, UNILEVER really made it worth our time! We were whisked away to the brand new and already award-winning resort Pangulasian Island in El Nido, Palawan. There has been a lot of buzz around this island for the past few months, in fact, a lot of industry insiders claim that this is could be the island that could give the Maldives a run for their money. And after spending the entire weekend there, I’m convinced of this bold prediction too. From the moment our boat docked on the island it was VIP treatment all the way!!!
I’m a sucker for details and it’s always something I keep an eye on when attending events. We were quite a large group but surprisingly Unilever managed to make everything so personal! We received customized tote bags, welcome packs with handwritten notes, even my paypay had my initials. And of course a whole kaboodle of Unilever personal care products filled every crevice of our gigantic bathroom. A big shout out of course to Apples Aberin and her team for plotting out each and every detail! I really appreciated the thoughtful details injected throughout our weekend in El Nido.
To add to the fun, they assigned me the best roomie—my good friend and fellow newlywed, Kelly Misa-Fernandez. Aside from being a well-known Pond’s beauty, she is possibly one of the most grounded and sensible people I’ve ever met in the industry and I’m so proud to call her my friend. We spent our free time in our luxurious villa, chatting about our newlywed adventures and mishaps! It’s so nice to be able to share these life experiences with someone who’s going through something very similar. I’m just so happy that her husband Carlos has been taking such good care of her and vice versa.
I felt so undeserving to be in this PC Summit because all the who’s-who in the industry were seated right next to me! From celebrities like the Younghusband brothers, Raymond Gutierrez, Heart Evangelista, Tweety De Leon, Catriona Gray, Rissa Mananquil Trillo to top magazine editors, to newspaper columnists, and of course the famous bloggers like Jenni Epperson, Laureen and Kryzz Uy, and Ingrid Go! Just looking around the room made me feel so kiligggg!!! Why am I even here?!?! It was definitely THE EVENT of the summer and by some stroke of luck, I managed to get a seat! Wow! I can imagine Manila was completely silent for a whole weekend because Unilever plucked out all these influencers and flew them to Palawan! Hahaha
The group was officially welcomed by Chariman and CEO of Unilever Philippines, Peter Cowan. After which, Gina Lorenzana, VP for Personal Care, shared their mission and vision: “Unilever Personal Care has the widest reach and greatest depth of brands that reaches Filipinos from all walks of life. As such, it is our responsibility to come up with products that can positively impact Filipino lives. In Unilever Personal Care, we aim to put people first.” And of course the stunning PR Head for Unilever Personal Care, Apples Aberin, shared a few words and also revealed the first ever PC Brand Council.
After lunch, we were broken down into small groups. We were treated to a fun and insightful Summit Experiential Discovery Tour around Pangulasian. The different Unilever PC brands set up little pavilions scattered across the island. Each brand had something uniquely prepared, allowing the guests to have a concrete and tangible experience with the products. The specially designed tour took us through the Dove Between Us Girls Lounge, the Vaseline Summer Skin and Style Pavilion, the Rexona Do:More Pavilion, the Hair Supremacy Pavilion (with TRESemmé, Vaseline, Sunsilk, Clear, Dove, and Cream Silk), and the Fresh Lounge (with Close up and Pepsodent).
I’m a bit of a nerd so listening to the reports on their sales statistics, science and research, and other studies were really intriguing for me. Indeed, these people are the experts when it comes to personal care. And yes, it’s clear that they do take it personally. I enjoyed all the little activities we were asked to do for the day but the most embarrassing was when I lost to Phil Younghusband for the Rexona DO MORE challenge! We were supposed to DO MORE animal sounds and on my tenth animal sound I was trying to do the dolphin sound but failed miserably. Nakakahiya! I sounded like a little pig getting lechonified. Hahaha!
Night time came and we were asked to wear our favorite sunset hues for the Pond’s dinner hosted by the lovely Pond’s girls. The take home message for this dinner was “When women feel good about themselves, they are able to do great things. This is precisely why inspiring women to look and feel more beautiful by taking care of their skin is at the heart of everything that is Pond’s.”
The following day it was all about LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES care of the CreamSilk team headed by their gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous endorser Heart Evangelista. Ok, let me put it out there at the risk of sounding like a crazed fan girl. All my life up until last weekend, I always thought I was exceptionally pretty. You know how all these celebrities have their standard press release “I always felt ugly as a child then an agent discovered me in the mall and I became a Victoria Secret angel.” I didn’t have that. I always thought I was SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! Even if I had funny patches on my skin, an ever blossoming bundat tummy, looked like a beaver with my chiclet teeth, and blessed with baby fat–I totally rocked it and loved the way I looked as a young and awkward girl! My parents did a great job of building my self esteem despite my obvious flaws–basta feel na feel ko talaga na ako ay isang batang diyosa. Now as an adult, I’d like to think my features have refined and I feel even more beautiful. THEN I SAW HEART LAST WEEKEND. And BOOM. My gandang-ganda sa sarili streak came to a bitter end. So to all the people who I tried to convince that I was some sort of beautiful—I truly apologize. Nahiya ako kay Heart eh, siya lang ang may karapatan. HAHAHAHA! Of course, this is all in jest and I am just a huge admirer of this CreamSilk beauty. Just as Carlos, the Asst. Brand Manager of CreamSilk shared, it’s the goal of CreamSilk to encourage all Pinays to believe that they can be not only beautiful but BEYOND BEAUTIFUL. So ladies, we can be our OWN kind of beautiful!
Each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) of each day we spent in the island felt like a wedding! The tables were lavishly decorated by TEA (The Events Architects) with a different theme per meal! I was completely overwhelmed with all the pretty little details
The last day on the island was dedicated to the MEN. The Unilever PC brands Clear, Axe, Rexona, Master by Eskinol, Dove Men, and Vaseline Men hosted a special breakfast for all the guests reminding us that the men in our lives need some attention too! There’s a host of products available that were carefully engineered for the bodies and faces of our hunky dudes.
Congratulations to the hardworking team behind the very FIRST Unilever PC Summit! The core members were very passionate about their respective brands, speaking not only about the numbers and statistics to back up their sales pitch, but they also spoke based on their own personal experiences as consumers. Their presentations were very relatable and non-intimidating which I thoroughly enjoyed. This summit was a very refreshing way to engage their partners in the press and media.
“We, at Unilever Personal Care, aim to sustainably uplift the lives of Filipinos from all walks of life by providing the most trustworthy brands.
With the widest reach of brands, we take our pledge to serve Filipinos at heart by reaching out and listening to what they have to say— their concerns, needs and wants. We invest in clinical research and product development to ensure function and unparalleled performance. We push beauty boundaries to deliver breakthroughs and innovations. And then we come up with products that show that we’re really paying attention.
But while we are proud of all the products we’ve developed, at our core, we know that this success has come only because we always have the people we serve in mind. In the end it’s about more than just our products, but about how our products can positively impact the lives of our fellow- Filipinos”
My happy problem: Trying to squeeze in all the Unilever PC products into my tiny maleta! I had to pack and unpack three times until I finally figured it out!:) I shared the goodies with my friends and family as soon as I got back to Manila.
Homeward bound in our cool El Nido jeepney with Heart, Raymond, Lourd, and Kelly.
Special thanks to Sandro Paredes for the awesome photos!:) Again, my deepest thanks to the Unilever PC and Bridges PR team for inviting me to the very first PC SUMMIT! It was a great pre-birthday treat for me I’m definitely looking forward to the next one!!!