At a very young age, my mom influenced my siblings and I to be avid readers. Our room was filled with nursery rhymes, children’s books, and all kinds of literature—and when it came to buying books, no matter how expensive it was, it was always okay for her to buy. Every night, she would read stories to us, and there was even a time when I was just two years old that I memorized an entire book about monkeys. Whenever she read it to me, I would recite it along with her—to the point that it fooled my grandmother to thinking I already knew how to read at just two.
Fast forward to when I was about six or seven years old, and I was already learning how to read. My mom got me Disney’s Elegant Book of Manners by Vincent Jefferds, which I would read to her every night. It was in reading this constantly, coupled by practical lessons from my mom, that I learned my social graces and etiquette at a young age. After all, having good manners was very important to our family. This was complemented by the upbringing of my high school, Poveda, who made sure we grew up to be fine, young ladies.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an invite to attend a fine dining etiquette class and makeup workshop by La Vie Institute. I was so intrigued, and thought to myself it would be a good reinforcement of what I’d already learned when I was a little girl. The event was from 1pm to 5pm in La Vie Institute, Commercenter Building, Commerce Avenue, Filinvest, Alabang. It’s been a while since I came to the place, and was surprised to see that it had expanded! It even has cinemas already, and parking was very easy to find.
Movement Training Studio
Upon arriving 15 minutes before 1pm, I was given a quick tour of the center. The lobby is small and neat, there was a makeup studio that can fit 10 students, and it was connected to the movement training studio which had a small stage/platform. There were a couple of conference rooms for one-on-one sessions, and one of the bigger rooms was transformed into where our fine dining etiquette class would be held. The rest of the attendees were charming mommy bloggers, and at first, I felt a little out of place being the only single, beauty blogger in the room—but eventually, we were all introduced and became good acquaintances.
Fine Dining Etiquette Class
Conference Room 1
Conference Room 2
The program director, Monica Santiago, gave a brief introduction of La Vie Institute (which in French, means The Life Institute) and explained to us that they want to break the notion that personality development schools or centers are only for those who want to model, be part of a pageant, or become a celebrity. She also discussed the current curriculum of most schools in the country, which doesn’t include character development any longer. Ideally, traditional schooling should be able to intensively work on every student’s character development, but due to the rigors of academic preparation, character development is forced to take a lower priority in most classrooms. With the increasing demands of today’s society to be competitive and become number one, growing up in this world is now taking a serious toll more than ever. This applies to little kids, pre-teens, young adults, and even professionals.
La Vie Institute was created to address these pressing needs. They are a learning facility that is focused solely on the thrust of developing character and personality. Their programs feature a multi-layered design that enriches a person’s habits, values, philosophy, confidence, and communication skills. Workshop sizes are kept small (minimum of 4, maximum of 10) to make classes more engaging, interactive, and meaningful for all learners. Their mentors come from diverse backgrounds drawn from early childhood educators, fashion stylists and lecturers, leadership trainers, life coaches, communications specialists, and management consultants. At the core of La Vie Institute’s mentors is to inspire every individual to live a life of purpose and fulfillment.
With one of La Vie Insitute’s mentors, Mic Salazar.
I think the facility’s mission to empower individuals regardless of age and background is incredibly admirable, and I got to experience this in two of their classes. The first was a basic makeup workshop with professional makeup artist, Mic Salazar. Prior to the event, we were given a list of materials to bring. I was ecstatic when I discovered Suesh was a partner of the event, and provided each of us with a set of makeup brushes to take home!
Brought my entire makeup train case, which incidentally is also from Suesh!
Being a beauty blogger and a makeup junkie, and working in the beauty industry, I had an edge because it was very easy for me to apply the basics such as foundation, concealer, eyebrow powder, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and lipstick. What I did learn was how to contour and highlight based on the shape of my face, and it was helpful that we were given handouts for guidance. Mic was also very attentive to each learner, and kept addressing questions or concerns the other bloggers had.
My materials for the makeup workshop.
Another photo with Mic!
The second class was the fine dining etiquette class with Miss Vangie, a retired flight attendant of Philippine Airlines, who is so funny, well-traveled, and cultured. I enjoyed listening to all her stories, and it was nice of her to provide us handouts of the different French terms used in fine dining as well as its definition and how to pronounce them.
At the end of the fine dining class, we were able to use what we’d learned as we were served pasta care of Mona Lisa Restaurant right beside La Vie Institute.
If you’d like to know more about La Vie Institute’s programs, you may visit their website here. They offer a Kids Program, Pre-Teens Program, Teens Program, Young Adults Program, Professionals Program, and The Modern Woman’s Program. Each program has three phases, with 20 hours per phase. Phase 1 is Php 34,200 with 10 sessions (20 hours). Phase 1 and 2 is Php 68,400 with 20 sessions (40 hours). Phase 1, 2 and 3 is Php 102,600 with 30 sessions (60 hours). However, there are upgrade rates available to get a discount on Phase 2 and 3. I recommend giving them a call to get to know the programs better.
Primped, Poised, and Polished with La Vie Institute
Unit 202 Building 1, Commercenter Building, Commerce Avenue, Filinvest City, Alabang Muntinlupa