Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Island At The Edge Of The World

I used to have a Valentine's Day ritual, I stock up on chips and bring out my Breakfast At Tiffany's DVD. Always, I end up crying as Holly Golightly goes looking for Cat in the rain.
The past decade has been different, I have stopped dating Audrey Hepburn. 14 February to me has become more special because it's my dear friend Kris Aquino's birthday. Every year, she has celebrated it differently, from intimate dinners to a trip to Puroland. This year, she brought us, her sons Joshua and James, her sister Pinky and husband Manolo, her best friend Zsa Zsa, Darla, Jasmin, Pam, and me to Dedon Island, a beautiful resort in Siargao Island on the southeastern tip of our archipelago.
Siargao Island has been a well kept secret by Australian surfers who love the huge waves on its side facing the Pacific Ocean. Quite interestingly, they call the area Cloud 9, not because the waves look like clouds but after the chocolate bar the surfers love to eat.
South of the island where the waves are calmer is Dedon. It is owned by Bobby Dekeyser, the man behind the famous outdoor furniture of the same name. The villas are charmingly designed in tropical style, its huge bathrooms one could only dream of in the city. It also gives me so much pride that Dedon furniture is made in Cebu, the Philippines.
Back in the city, I could still hear the sound of the waves inside my head, continually amazed by the beauty of our islands. Thank you very much Kris for this wonderful treat. Happiest birthday!

Halfway through our flight, we decided to stop counting calories, it was officially vacation time!

How can you say no to these?

View of the mangroves before landing.

Dedon Island's beautiful gate.

Two of the nine villas in the resort.

Water in a jar to wash sandy feet.

Sue welcomed us with cold towels and Dedon Island Coolers.

Mango + Watermelon + Calamansi

The 'Swingrest' on the porch of the villa,  a perfect place to have a drink and feel the sea breeze

The mini bar.

The bathroom.

The pavilion.

The 'Nestrest'  hammock.

My weight brought the hammock down to the ground!

Bed weather, it's more fun in the Philippines.

Joshua is a very good swimmer.

Walking on water with Zsa Zsa.

Low tide!

A quick stop at Cloud 9 with Manolo and Pinky.

The volleyball court has Dedon chairs too.

Dedon is proudly handmade in the Philippines.

The path to the mangroves.

The Pagoda.

Stand Up Paddle lessons.

Coffee table decor - shells!

'Bird's Nest' lamps.

Sharing a light moment with our birthday girl.

Mojitos by the pool.

Sleep like a king.

Saying goodbye to Dedon's wonderful team.
For more about Dedon Island, visit

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Twenty Years And Counting

Dennis, Kasia, Vic and I were schoolmates at the University of Santo Tomas. I became really close to them after graduation, when Montana, Mugler and shoulder pads ruled the runway. Inspite of our different characters and design philosophies, we clicked and became best of friends in this rock and roll world of fashion.
Kasia, now based in the US, recently came to visit, and we had a happy little reunion dinner.

Vic Barba and I

Kasia Francisco and Den Castillo


John Dory Fish Fillet, Parmesan and Caesar Glaze

I really enjoyed this one - Pinakbet Rice and Lechon Bagnet with Chocolate Sauce

Rustic Apple Pie with Butterscotch Sauce

Den, Vic, Kasia and I
Ak Bistro, One Rockwell, Makati City