Fiona Patricia S. Escandor adds it all up as three siblings count their blessings
SAY “Riz” and the three ladies all turn to look. Sisters Rizanne Ostrea-Tiongko, Rizelle and Rizbelle Ostrea have a lot of things in common.
Beauty, elegance, taste in fashion, even in the way they talk—ladylike and blithe—and not to mention their nearly identical names that can get even their closest friends confused.
But beneath the designer bags and glitzy personas are independent, thriving women who have each started remarkable paths in their respective fields: Rizanne in aesthetics, Rizelle in interior design, and the youngest Rizbelle in culinary.
A fine combination
The eldest in the family, Rizanne, whose name is a combination of their parents’ names Ricardo and Susana, is juggling two roles at once: running her own beauty clinic and being a mom. Rizanne, 33, is a proud hands-on mom of two boys and a girl.
Rizanne’s clinic is called SkinZone and it offers skincare, salon and spa treatments. “I have always been interested in beauty and skin care. With the help of my mother-in-law who’s a doctor, we developed the concept and right now I’m already managing it,” she said. With a background in business management, Rizanne has also taken workshops and seminars relating to aesthetics.
Career by design
Meanwhile, middle child Rizelle is the creative one in the bunch. She is a licensed interior designer running her own firm RBO Interior Designs. In 2009, she ranked fifth place in the nationwide board exam for interior designers. Her first major project was SkinZone and since then she has dressed-up homes and commercial spaces around Cebu.
“It’s all about art meeting function,” Rizelle said. Her knack for design, she said, came from her mom who loves beautifying their home, while on the professional front, the designers she looks up to are Jonathan Adler, Mary MacDonald and Thom Filicia of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame. Rizelle is part of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, where she is presently the secretary for the Cebu chapter.
Rizbelle is studying culinary at The Academy for International Culinary Arts. A graduate of computer engineering, she is slated to wrap up her second degree this March and will soon go on her 360-hour internship. “People think of it as an easy job,” she said, “but in the kitchen it’s really hectic and you have to be fast.”
Anyone who’s seen a cooking competition knows how taxing it is to maneuver in a
professional kitchen, yet the dainty, aspiring chef says she has always been inclined to it and doesn’t mind going through the nitty-gritty aspects of food preparation that can go for over nine hours a day.
“I’m in the stage when I’m learning so much and I’m still narrowing it down to the cuisine I want to specialize in and develop,” she said. Just like her older sisters, Rizbelle has a venture of her own that she recently started: Belle Gourmet, through which she caters gourmet food and packed meals.
Rizanne, Rizelle and Rizbelle all agree that their dedication to their craft was grounded by their dad who taught them the value of discipline and hard work at a very young age. “Our dad is a man of principle,” said Rizbelle. “He’s the type who believes that you have to get through something to get to where you want to be.”
A Life of sharing
It must have been overwhelming for their 20-year-old brother growing up with three older sisters. Everyday must have felt like a slumber party at home—with the three borrowing each other’s clothes and make-up, sharing giddy relationship stories, or lending a shoulder to cry on when things get tough.
Nowadays with Rizanne living with her own family now and the newly engaged Rizelle soon to follow, their sisterly bond takes on a new face.
Gone are the days of what seemed to be an endless series of slumber parties.
Nevertheless, they don’t allow their varying priorities to get in the way of making sure to always be around in time for weekend lunches with the entire family, and the occasional yoga sessions the sisters attend together.
“It’s our bond as sisters and the love that we have for one another that always keeps us close,” said Rizelle.