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I Love piNoY

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from PEPPERMILL by Pepper TeehankeeI Love Pinoy
Philippine Star, Oct. 21, 2008

Start spreading the news: Pinoys are taking over the Big Apple.

Well, almost. Former TV personality in the Philippines and now New York entrepreneur Samantha Lopez would be happy enough to take even just a small bite of the Big Apple to put Pinoy talent in New York’s radar.

Through her production outfit, Samantha Lopez Productions or SLP, Sam hopes it will be just a matter of time before non-Filipino New Yorkers can label “ILOVEpiNoY,” and enjoy what SLP has to offer — Pinoy arts, culture and entertainment served up with a New York twist.


Sam set up the production outfit with the intention of creating a whole new level of entertainment targeted not only to Filipinos but non-Filipinos as well. For Sam, New York is the perfect place to share her love for Pinoys.

“IlovepiNoY” is, of course, a spin-off of the famed “I heart NY” concept. It’s an ingenious logo that Billy Samson crafted for SLP. This early, the merchandising potential for it looks promising. In fact, the T-shirts alone are selling fast.

For Samantha, who has lived in New York for the past seven years, the “ILOVEpiNoY” concept gives her a sense of Pinoy pride. Sam helps her husband Warren Edwards at the upscale shoe store named after her husband and managed by dear friend Ayie Barrios at 107 East 60th St. in Manhattan. Samantha Lopez

At the formal launch party at Serafina in SoHo, Pinoys and non-Pinoys mingled to share Sam’s new venture. Honorable Consul General Cecilia Rebong joined her in unraveling the banner. Writer Carissa Villacorta, also of the Philippine Consulate, came with the consul general and Giselle Aranda of Time magazine. Giving Sam more “ILOVEpiNoY” moments were Caroline del Rosario with immigration lawyer husband Mark, Cora Rivera, Dindi Gallardo, publisher of Planet Philippines Luis Pedron, Asian Journal editor-in-chief Momar Visaya, Manny Agbanlog of New Jersey-based Filipino Times, Tim Garcia of Fingerprint Communications, copywriter/journalist Dennis Clemente, Terry Badiola of Carousel Pinoy, Nanding and Mila Mendez of Philippine Fiesta, owners of the fast-growing Pinoy events and marketing company, Cesca Litton, Paulie and Carla Villacorta and Robin Tomas.

Also toasting to Sam’s successful launch party were Konstantin Yusipov of Capital One, Katrina Quintas of ALTOUR, chef Noel dela Rama, Ria Del Rosario, Bea Tenchavez, Christie Tan, Lucia Santiago, Stacy Brennan, Nicole Hernandez, Christine Larranaga, Clement Gavarry (otherwise known as the “nose” of the Sarah Jessica Parker perfume), Filipino restaurateurs Nell Castellvi of Perlas ng Silangan on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and Henry and Marissa Beck of Grill 21 in Manhattan.

True to making her concept an event not only for Filipinos but non-Filipinos as well, Sam’s first SLP foray is a first, a comicfest featuring Rex Navarrete of Hawaii, Ron Josol of Canada and Air Tabigue of New York, three of the best Filipino stand-up comedians in North America.

Later, Dindi, Carissa and Kate Gordon, former mayor of Olongapo City, took to the stage to raffle two-day stay at Two Seasons Resort in Boracay while Beverly Hills 6750 and Warren Edwards gave away gift certificates. Other sponsors are San Miguel Beer, Serafina, Western Union and America Calls.

Sam can’t wait to launch another event showing Filipino talents for the greatest city to see and appreciate. Nothing thrills her more than to see a Pinoy take center stage in New York. To her, “If you can make it in the Philippines, you can make it anywhere. Even in New York.”

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