Jul 25, 2007

The stars’ not-so-secret beauty formula

As early as the 1950s, celebrities were already being rumored to have had this and that surgical procedure to improve — and maintain — their looks. For a long, long time, people whispered about how a sultry singer had silicone constantly injected into her nose to make it look more patrician.
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This was never confirmed — although it’s not too late to do so because the singer is still around. I would have asked her, except that we never had the chance to meet.

A celebrity I knew from way back, however, admitted to me many years ago about how her doctor would cut her stomach open to allow him to scrape the fat off

inside (ouch!). This was in the ’70s — long before Dr. Vicki Belo started doing liposuction in the Philippines. My celebrity friend wasn’t the only one who had it. Even a popular action star of that era went through that very painful procedure. Too bad for them, Dr. Belo was just starting pre-med then. Today, she does smart lipo, which is totally painless. And yes, celebrities can now openly talk about it because everyone seems to be undergoing surgical enhancement these days.

Of course, there are still a few celebrities who would rather keep mum about having done this and that with Dr. Belo (who also keeps her mouth shut anyway). But I know of a lot of movie and TV stars who talk openly about the procedure they’ve had with Belo Medical Center and are proud of it (and they should be because they look good).

Below are the celebrity clients of Dr. Vicki Belo and the procedure(s) they went through with Belo Medical Center:

Zsa Zsa Padilla — This top singer and multi-awarded actress is one of the more popular Belo babies. Although she had undergone meso-therapy (to melt body fat) and thermage (a non-invasive procedure to lift or prevent sagging skin), her favorite is the pan-germinal rejuvenation or Pan-G.

Like thermage, Pan-G also lifts sagging skin, but without injection or anesthesia. "Like I always say," volunteers Zsa Zsa, "para ka lang nag-lunch break and when you come back, may face lift ka na."

Zsa Zsa decided to sign up with a series of Pan-G procedures when she did her soap opera for ABS-CBN. "You know how it is in marathon tapings. You work every day, you cry every day — you don’t sleep. But your body doesn’t understand that you are working. You will just end up looking all stressed out and drained after all that crying. And then your face will sag," she points out.

To her relief, Zsa Zsa was advised to go through the Pan-G sessions by Dr. Vicki Belo. It was perfect for her because Pan-G doesn’t have any downtime and that enabled Zsa Zsa to return to her usual routine right after every treatment. "I admit there is a little pain involved, but the result is fantastic. After the first session, I already felt my skin tighten."

Zsa Zsa says she is most vain about her skin because she likes to go around without makeup when she’s not on TV. With all the skin treatments she gets from Belo Medical, she gets to get her wish and goes around without the benefits of cosmetics, but with extreme confidence.

Albert Martinez — He is my idol when it comes to discipline. One time we found ourselves at a dinner party and when it was time to get food from the buffet table, I followed his lead and only put on my plate the food he was scooping from the chafing dishes — and it was all greens! I chomped my way through that plate of leaves and tried to wash it down with iced tea. But the minute Albert took his leave (he tries not to stay up late — still part of his discipline), I stood up to get my pasta and meat fix. Goodbye, discipline.

But even Albert falters with his discipline from time to time (he’s only human, after all). On occasions he couldn’t control his diet, he would saunter over to Belo Medical in Greenhills and tell the staff there, "Please, tunawin n’yo naman ’yung kinain kong crispy pata last night."

Albert’s tummy isn’t big and isn’t exactly a candidate for liposuction. But when he over eats and doesn’t have time to exercise, little amount of fat finds its way there and that’s when lipo-lite comes in really handy.

Lipo-lite is non-invasive and I don’t even think you need topical anesthesia for it. The Belo people just use a machine on you and zap the fat out which you eventually flush out the natural way. After the procedure (45 minutes or so), you’re again good and ready — save for a few little red marks in the body area that underwent treatment. You can go back to work or even do intensive workout after that.

Celebrities are actually among the most disciplined people on earth (that’s a requirement for them to last in this industry). But when discipline fails — like what happens to Albert on occasions — Dr. Vicki Belo is there to the rescue.

Paolo Contis — I always tell young gym buddies to start taking care of their abs (through diet and exercise) when they reach 25 because after that (when metabolism gets slower as aging sets in), it is going to be very difficult to trim it. Somehow, when you get fat around the waist when you are below 25, it is still easy to return to your old waistline if you just lay off food for a few weeks and regularly hit the gym.

But in the case of Paolo, even if he is just 23 years old, he decided to embrace the wonders of science because as an actor loaded with assignments up to here, he doesn’t have all the time in the world to diet and exercise. (He got fat while doing Asian Treasures and his trip to the Middle East where he gorged on food and had zero exercise). And since Dr. Vicki Belo is around anyway, he merely decided to have smart-lipo.

Smart-lipo is so much easier than the liposuction of old. The doctor merely runs a laser through the area that has fat (it melts in the process) and you have the option to have the fat sucked off right there and then or wait a few months to discard it the natural way. Paolo had it removed right away.

It was actually Claudine Barretto, a friend from way back during their Ang TV days (they also worked together on Home Along Da Riles), who talked Paolo into having smart-lipo. After Claudine, he also talked to his other celebrity friends and they all encouraged him to go to Dr. Belo because most of them already had it with her.

Although sedated throughout the two-hour operation, he claims that he wasn’t afraid at all even if it was his first surgical procedure. Well, there really was nothing to be scared about because after his smart-lipo, he was able to report for taping the following day and now he’s very happy with his body — especially the abdominal area that underwent smart-lipo.

The other celebrities who had smart-lipo procedures with Dr. Vicki Belo were Joyce Jimenez, Claudine Barretto, Eula Valdez, Ai-Ai de las Alas, Ara Mina, Bobby Andrews and Mylene Dizon.

(Next: More celebrity clients of Dr. Vicki Belo and the procedures they went through).
Butch Francisco
Philippine Star

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