From Fiji Times Online (7 January 2011)

Partying with Mario Basilo

by Kelera Serelini

You would have probably noticed Mario Basilio clicking away with his camera during social functions that you attended in recent months.

And one might wonder whether this young man has better things to do than attend parties weekend after weekend.

After actually having a short conversation, you will realise why he is so popular.

His extrovert personality makes Mario a very intriguing person.

So how does he pull it off?

According to Mario, the trick of being a local socialite is to stay tipsy enough to be able to take as many pictures during an event.

This includes having a beer or two while mingling with everybody in the room.

"It works all the time for me," he said.

Before the end of the night, most of the guests would already be captivated by his personality and easy- going nature.

"I love beautiful things like clothes, fashion and most of all I like talking to people and to socialise," the 30-year old said.

And he credited his people skills to the short period he spent at Hotel and Catering School.

"I used to work behind a bar before and when I work, I always meet a lot of people with issues.

"I started to notice that I was a people person and my desire to be around people grew.

"I love it when people would approach me and start a conversation and that is the most beautiful thing about it all.

"I think they love the energy that I have."

Mario is the youngest of eleven siblings.

And despite this, he had to work hard as the rest of his siblings to earn a living.

"People think that I am just partying every weekend but I do more than that," he said.

"My family came from Rotuma and everybody has to contribute.

"I also spend a lot of time with my family and I also work hard in order to buy groceries.

"I don't even spend much on drink, most people actually appreciate my company and they buy my drinks for me."

With the many events he had attended, Mario has become more than a socialite.

And with his camera, there is always something to look forward to on Facebook the next day.

"I have people writing on my wall, demanding to see the pictures I had taken the previous night and I find this funny.

"Some of them are really great pictures and they just have to see them.

"Some invite me to their weddings even though I don't really know them that well."

Aside from photography, Mario loves to dress up.

"I am not a designer but I can be a stylist in my own way," he said.

"I like putting things together and giving fashion advice to women and colleagues."

Sitting quietly on his work desk at the Treehouse Boutique on a Friday afternoon, Mario already has plans for the weekend.

"I will be going on a day cruise with friends soon, I want to try something different," he said.

"Most of the pictures are of events that happened at night but hopefully I can show my Facebook friends that I also socialise in the day."