ASHA and Magnums Butlers Int’l. set 1-day Introductory Course on 7-Star Butler Service on Nov. 24

Josephine Ive (in red) and Marinela Trinidad (in blue) with ASHA students.

by Ana Marie “Alu” Aran, |

As a school that proudly promotes world-class learning in the hospitality industry, the Asian School of Hospitality Arts (ASHA) has blazed ground breaking trails, like its partnership with Magnums Butlers Intl. (MBI) headed by the world’s leading butler-training specialist Josephine Ive.

On November 24, Ms. Ive is once again in the country for a “One-day Introductory Course on 7-Star Butler Service” which will be held at the C3 Events Place on 8 Missouri St., Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City.

This event was done due to the insistent demand for this kind of butler training especially as the Philippines garners international spotlight with its hosting of the APEC Summit.

Ms. Ive was in the country a few months ago to conduct an extensive course on 7-Star Butler Service. After lessons and hands-on training from Ms. Ive — who has the reputation as a renowned former professional Butler to the British Royals -– 16 Filipino hospitality service professionals earned the distinction of being the pioneer graduates of the 7-Star Butler Service Basic Certificate Course. 

Josephine Ive demonstrating world-class butler service to students of ASHA
Josephine Ive demonstrating world-class butler service to students of ASHA

Empowered careers

For Mark Anthony John Sabhnani, starting a future in private service is a career path that he is looking forward to after earning his 7-Star Service certification.

“It’s worth the wait. I’m happy to be one of the first graduates of the program in the Philippines and to gain one of the most prestigious and internationally accredited certification for professional butlers. I thank ASHA and MBI for this rare opportunity. Now, as I proudly wear my MBI lapel pin, I’m more confident to take on my new job as butler at Palazzo Versace in Dubai,” he said.

Also proud of his career accomplishments is Cesar Lorenzana, Jr., an OFW and Head Butler of Regent Palms Resort & Spa, Turks and Caicos Islands, who flew in the country just to join Ms. Ive’s butler training workshop.

“I was originally planning to attend a similar workshop in Denver, Colorado. Fortunately, while I was browsing online, I chanced upon Ms. Ive’s training workshop in the Philippines so I decided to come home and participate,” he said. “I consider it an honor to learn from her. As a Filipino, I will wholeheartedly share my learning experience to my colleagues and staff when I return.”

Upscale service

Given his extensive 27-year hotel experience, Jose Ramon Cacho of Seven Suites Hotel said he is grateful for having the privilege of learning “more surprising things” about the industry.

“The insights I gained will help us in providing upscale services to our guests. As for the group, I will lead in training the staff so that they may achieve a higher level of professionalism and skill readiness to really help our hotel set the bar of luxury service,” noted Cacho.

Global readiness

Ayala Land Group’s senior corporate communication associate Gale Launio viewed the butler program as something that not only appeals to or benefits people in the hospitality industry.

“For instance, the part on social graces. It gives some sort of empowerment because you know how to act and present yourself well. We get to gain a new global perspective and Ms. Ive was able to put it together. It was a totally refreshing and highly enriching experience which I am honored to be part of,” Gale enthused.

Apart from the distinction, Fuego Hotel’s Hermie Tabanag regarded the workshop as a great opportunity to enhance the group’s brand of luxury service.

“We are fortunate to be part of this workshop. The timing is great, as we can incorporate the lessons that I learned to our existing properties, and for our upcoming high-end resort-hotels. We want to provide our guests the high-end, authentic feel of luxury not only through the physical amenities but most importantly through our services,” she revealed.

Highest achievers

Upon completion, the 16 graduates were given new lapel pins from Magnums and ASHA, a handbook, and certificates. Special leadership distinctions were accorded to three highest achievers: Sofitel’s Nina Rachel Noveno, Diamond Hotel’s Ron Angeles, and The Cravings Group’s Forsyth Cordero.

“I found out that being a butler is more than just giving assistance, there’s pride in the profession. It’s providing service from the heart, one that goes beyond your capacities. Personally and professionally, this is not just a certificate that crowns myachievements, but a way of imparting excellence and personalized service to all,” Noveno said.

For inquiries, call 907-8642/ 0917-8787191 or visit Check its FB page: Asian School of Hospitality  Arts.  ASHA schools are located in Antipolo, Kamias (QC), Tagaytay, and Santolan (San Juan).

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Ana Marie “Alu” Aran

Alu is a partner at Courage Asia (business consultancy firm & foodservice event organizers), an adjunct faculty at Enderun Colleges and a food and lifestyle writer. She also a Contributing Editor for, Managing Editor for and a resource person & speaker on marketing, event management and parenting.