Apr 19
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Touched by Dr. Mendez

Author: The Philippine Star

So what do writer-actress Carrie Fisher (Star Wars, etc. ) and such homegrown showbiz stars as Kris Aquino, Judy Ann Santos, Alice Dixson, Jessa Zaragoza (and husband Dingdong Avanzado), Michelle Bayle and John Lapus have in common?

You never guessed it – Botox, yes!

If you’ve been complacent with those wrinkles on your forehead (called "fabulous frown lines" by Time writer Richard Corliss), those laugh lines and crow’s feet, chances are that you haven’t heard of Botox and therefore are not familiar with Dr. Joel Mendez of Weigh Less Center & Spa which recently opened its new and biggest clinic on 31 Roces Avenue, Quezon City.

To the local stars mentioned above, along with the likes of Janice de Belen and Claudine Barretto, Botox and the name Dr. Mendez have become synonyms. In the beauty-crazy and weight-conscious world of showbiz here and anywhere around the globe, where the denizens would spend a fortune to retain that youthful look and/or delay aging, Botox is considered the new "miracle drug. " It erases like magic those wrinkles and those laugh lines and those crow’s feet and, presto, makes you look many, many years younger than your age (you may be 50 but can look surprisingly like, ehem, 35!).

According to the latest issue of Time magazine, Botox (short for Botulinum Toxin) was used as treatment only for spasmodic eye muscles, until doctors discovered that it could also smoothen the skin. A decade later, Botox injections have become a popular cosmetic procedure, about to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). It has been attracting well-heeled clientele, among them Carrie Fisher, 45 but who looks much younger, who has been Botoxing for five years now.

A few injections and you can smile as widely as you want to, or frown without worrying that those wrinkles and laugh lines and crow’s feet might make their unwanted and unwelcome appearance on your forehead (and face) and, horrors, give away your age. Look, Ma, no more wrinkles!

But Botox is not the only procedure and/or service offered by Dr. Mendez (may be distinguished from his star clients by his shiny top) who is becoming popular for his weight-loss reputation that began to spread five or so years ago when Ara Mina showed up at his clinic and lost unwanted poundage after several sessions.

"That’s why my clinic is called Weigh Less Center & Spa," said Dr. Mendez (Diplomate Philippine Board of Bariatric Medicine, written under his name in his calling card).

On the Monday afternoon we dropped by the Center, Jessa and Dingdong, as well as Michelle and John, were around, smiling from ear to ear without even the slightest trace of wrinkle showing. Salamat Po, Botox!

"I’ve been consulting Dr. Mendez for almost a year now," revealed Jessa, "especially when I could feel that I’m gaining even as much as half a pound. Dr. Mendez prescribes for me appetite-suppressant tablets so I won’t crave for food so much. "

So impressive were the effects on Jessa that Dingdong was soon enticed to also see Dr. Mendez.

"I was 15 pounds overweight," recalled Dingdong. "When I was a (Quezon City) councilor, I purposely put on weight so I would look more mature. I was heavy at more than 165 pounds. I’ve been seeing Dr. Mendez twice a week and I’m now down to my ideal weight (145 pounds) for my height (5’6"). I saw Dr. Mendez more often before Jessa and I mounted our recent concert (pre-Valentine) at the Folk Arts Theater. Now that I’ve gotten rid of excess poundage, I feel lighter and it’s easier for me to exercise and burn calories. "

Michelle said she has lost "at least six pounds" in only three weeks and she now looks slimmer on television (such a cruel and brutally-frank medium which can make you look bigger than you really are).

"I also see Dr. Mendez for my skin," added Michelle, the Canadian-bred actress-dancer who’s in the cast of the ABS-CBN sitcom Attagirl, weighing less than 110 (5’5").

At 5’8", comedian John Lapus should weigh no more than 140 pounds and, don’t worry, John is only a few pounds within his ideal weight.

"I look namamaga (bloated) sa TV so I ran to Dr. Mendez," said John who would pant even only after a few minutes of physical exertion. "Dati, mabilis akong hingalin. Ngayon, hindi na. "

Besides Botox injections, according to Dr. Mendez, his clinic offers other services, to wit: massage (shiatsu, Swedish, etc. ) at P300 per session; acne-treatment package; electrocautery; body scrub; waxing in the arms, armpit, eyebrows, etc. ; foot scrub; rejuvenating total peel; rosy peel; an anti-aging treatment program; herbal lift facial treatment; black and white facial treatment; and many others.

(Note: Besides the one on Roces Avenue, Quezon City, Dr. Mendez maintains other clinics all over Metro Manila. For particulars – fees, etc. – call tel. nos. 371-8886, 373-3365 or mobile 0917-8155488. )

Source: The Philippine Star