Bati Bleki, April 20th, 2015

MAKEUP JUNKIES REJOICE. Penha hosted an informal reception at its flagship store at the head of the main street just recently introducing two new stores-within-the-store, one promoting UD, Urban Decay, an edgy brand of gorgeous makeup and the other offering Dr. Kiehl’s, dermatologist recommended skin, hair and body care products. The event was hosted by raven-haired Nathaly Martina, the interim General Manager of Penha in Aruba, who also runs the Penha show in Curacao and Angelica Rojas, Store Manager for the Plaza Daniel Leo location. The company invited UD project manager Alfred Pagsibigan to help introduce the brand to local press members. Aruba is apparently the first island to have a dedicated UD Caribbean Travel Retailer. I personally love the brands’ eye-pencils, and I have been using them for quite some years, they are the best. I get them at Sephora in the US, now I don’t have to travel that far. Alfred was supported by Domenica Sigona, who works for cosmetic giant L’Oreal, representing the company’s luxury lines, including YSL . Paola Lopes, a gorgeous Brazilian promoting Dr. Kiehl’s, was also on hand to give the brand a good local push. Predictably, they came and they conquered, promising to return. The in-store reception featured nice cocktails, and butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, a video presentation and play time, as we were invited to try on every shade of UD eye-shadow from primer to setting sprays. If you LOVE make up, UD is for you!

ARUBA YELLOW PAGES HOSTS A MARKETING SEMINAR. According to the experts invited by Aruba Yellow Pages to speak at the Digital Exposure event the typical person sees 5,000 adz a day, and nowadays 73% of all purchases involve some online research. Duh. The room was filled with important, busy people, hungry for knowledge, who all for some reason, failed to notice or chose to ignore the Google logo, printed right on the ticket. So that was a brilliant strategy: Aruba Yellow Pages sold the tickets for cash – you could not swipe a card at the gas station where I picked up tickets – then they turned round to sell us Google adz. True, the Renaissance Convention Center served an excellent hot breakfast which ticket holders actually paid for, then the two speakers followed both conveniently selling services! As we said, brilliant marketing and cash sales all wrapped in one, and the consumer stays the patsy. TripAdvisor did the same thing just recently, so I should have known Google will try that same trick, which they cannot get away with in the US. Even some of Aruba’s Grupo di 7 bought tickets, indicating that the hunger for knowledge is equally prevalent among intelligent and ignorant audiences.

4DPHOTOBAR IS OPEN IN SHABA. Darren Gad is now the Managing Director of a 4D Photo Bar, where you can order your photo albums in store or online, and pick them up within 48 hours or less! The 4D Photo Bar allows you to upload your photos and print them on HD metal, canvas, a variety of phone cases, mugs, picture frames and awards, making the photos stand out. The gallery also rents out Photo Booths for birthday and promotional events. I didn’t get it, until I visited, then I realized the potential in the snapshots we keep taking with our cell phones. They may become long lasting souvenirs, if we drive out there and order some of the attractive keepsakes offered. The problem is that as soon as we snap a picture, we forget about it. Like it never happened. Then we take another. Darren who was the boss at Diamonds International, retired from his post a while ago, and opened his own business. I think it’s a good idea to turn our pictures into home decor pieces, or gifts. If I only remembered to do it.

DEMOLITION DERBY. Jacky Filiciana, the Executive Administrative Assistant of the Trop Casino & Club invited friends of the property for a demolition party on the site of the old Royal Cabana Casino. Apparently, the Tropicana Resort had started the renovation of 76 of its rooms, this week, representing phase one of an upcoming facelift project. So the naked shell of the old octagon has to go. I have many good memories from working just four years in that building, helping to market weekend bingo and the fabulous Jewel Box Revue. Those were action packed years, just before the Millennium, with my fun colleagues Michaelangelo Tata Tromp, Ofo Escudero, Detta Christiaans, Atalo Winklaar and many other incredible professionals. Then the casino went belly up. We showed up to work on a Monday morning and found the door padlocked. The slot machines were being loaded on containers on their way to some third-tier casino in Latin America, sold by the tax man in an effort to recover some lost fortunes. Stories circulated about the operator who fled the island with his family, perhaps by boat, and as a result of his bankruptcy we all dispersed, searching for alternative employment and striving to reinvent ourselves, Ofo became a band leader, Tata went into government service, I started working for myself. My colleagues all recovered from that career blow, but the building did not, it has been vacant for years, a shell of itself, now it is time to completely erase it and erect something new. I hope to see some of my friends at the site, when the blasted building comes down.

MISS TEEN ARUBA PRESENTS SEVEN CONTESTANTS. In an evening at Divi Links GLW Foundation introduced its lucky seven candidates to an audience of press members, family and friends. The evening under the stars was eloquently emceed by George Winterdaal and the charismatic Digene Zimmerman, Miss Aruba 2014, who showed off a short, sassy and sophisticated haircut. Two of the candidates looked and sounded like teens, #1, Marsheline and #7 Wenyivet. Wenyivet expressed the hope that pageant activities would help her shed excessive shyness, which was sweet. #3 Daniela, showed great poise and self-confidence representing her own company, Aruba Hostesses. Think about it, 17 years old and in business for herself. #5, Hillary, at 19, sounded and acted mature and intelligent. We hope she goes on to also participate in the Miss Aruba pageant. #4, Louisana, an experienced competitor showed off her strong stage presence. And I am prepared to be surprised by #2, Itaty and #6, Shevonne. Mark your calendars, July 19th, Sunday, Miss Teen elections.
COSMIC POINT OF VIEW. I visited the art auction inspired by Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, on Saturday night. It raised funds for Colegio Laura Wernet- Paskel in Santa Cruz, so that the school could finish the construction of its new library. It was an exceptional evening, sponsored by Divi Resorts and graced by Alex Nieuwmeyer’s Midas touch, which turns everything into gold. The evening reminded me of Cosmos, a series starring American astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, and popularizer of science, Niel DeGrasse Tyson, and his philosophy. He recommends, and I am paraphrasing, to adopt a Cosmic View Point, because if we compared our existence on planet earth, to the cosmos and its 13.8 billion year history, we would understand how insignificant, and petty, and unimportant we are. If we adopted that Cosmic View Point, we would stop fighting and killing each other, and arguments would cease. But I am digressing. The evening at the Alhambra Ballroom gave us all a cosmic point of view: About 40 painting were auctioned off by super-auctioneer Patrick Melchiors. Caribbean Mercantile Bank bought the lion, an image artist Heleen Kock Henneveld saw in the sea of light representing Paris by Night as seen from space. Werner Vennen got a Ireland & England seen from space as painted by Alex Nieuwmeyer and signed by the astronaut. Dagmara Ava won the bid on a Michelle Hooyboer-Winklaar, the first painting sold that night. [email protected]

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April 19, 2015
Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster
Bati Bleki by Rona Coster