Saturday, December 26, 2015

Eighteen With Thirty-Two Years Experience

Its been a year of big birthday celebrations. Most of my school mates turned fifty and we've celebrated from Bacolod to Curimao, Ilocos Norte. One that stands out in my memory was a surprise birthday cruise in Manila Bay for my college friend Bia Ruiz-Ang. Her daughters did all the planning, secretly messaging all of their mother's friends for the big event. Thinking it was just a trip to the beauty salon, Bia was screaming her lungs out as she saw a boat filled with her friends from college and high school. It was truly a treat, feasting on Spanish food with a breathtaking view of Manila's skyline.
Exceptionally well preserved at fifty, I believe Bia's real beauty secret is her genuine happiness in having raised her children well. Growing old is a joy knowing there's a kinder, honest and God fearing generation after you.

Manila's skyline

Manila Bay's famous sunset

Bia and her high school friends.

Bia and her college buddies.

Bia's beautiful family

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wearing Your Heart On Your Terno Sleeve

Last night, at the charming Peninsula Manila, lovers and patrons of culture gathered for the launching of Fashionable Filipinas, a book about the evolution of the Philippine terno. Published by Suyen Corporation Inc. and Slim's Legacy Project Inc., the book is beautifully essayed by Gino Gonzales and Mark Lewis Higgins and features stunning photographs from 1860 to 1960.
Events like this ignite patriotism, and nurtures love for heritage. An army of ladies wore their hearts on their terno sleeves.

The book is available at Bench stores nationwide in hard cover and paperback.

Reminiscent of Manila in the '50s, The Peninsula Manila's Rigodon Ballroom festooned with capiz lamps and tropical trees.

Capiz lamps added a very '50s vibe.

Suyen Lim-Yap in Joey Samson

Liz Uy in Hannah Adrias

Lucy Torres-Gomez in vintage Joe Salazar

Valerie Ty in a Gino Gonzales design

Candy Dizon in a heather grey jersey terno

Karylle Tatlonghari-Yuzon in Yvonne Tabanao

Tessa Prieto-Valdes in Pablo Mendes III

Rinby Chan-Lao

Shera Chan-Tiu in Ivarluski Aseron

Lilybeth Romero in vintage Patis Tesoro

Cris Villongco 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Manila FAME, Design Week Philippines, October 2015

This is the fourth year I've been actively involved with Manila FAME. For this season, I curated the Manila Wear bridal setting for design masters Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, and Rhett Eala, millennials Joel Escober and Happy Andrada, and breakthrough designers John Herrera, Jaggy Glarino and Tony Evan.
The Philippines, in the recent past has produced very inspired designs in furniture and fashion accessories. I believe, a lot of credit goes to Josie Natori, Kenneth Cobonpue and Budji Layug for leading the pack. Untiringly working with the design community are Secretary Gregorio Domingo and Department of Trade and Industry, and Rosvi Gaetos and CITEM.
Kudos to the Filipino designer for persevering and for showing the world our brand of excellence.

* You may also want to read my past posts about Manila FAME.

Drawing inspiration from the intricacies found in creation, Liliana Manahan presents a fanciful assortment of unction and decorative pieces imbued with a hint of playfulness. The collection is developed in collaboration with Masa Ecological Development Inc. MCCA Industrial Corporation

Kenneth Cobonpue's setting

Ito Kish's miniature city composed of vases inspired by the Art Deco walls of the Manila Metropolitan Theatre.

This year, I curated the Manila Wear bridal setting featuring masterpieces by masters Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, and Rhett Eala, millenials Happy Andrada, and Joel Escober, and breakthrough designers John Herrera, Jaggy Glarino and Tony Evan.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Office Project

In the past, the Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines, of which I am a member, has been renting an office space that it would only use for quarterly meetings and keeping files. For general membership meetings, we usually book a room in a restaurant where eating takes top priority.
We've long given up our office space, saving rent money for our worthy projects instead. Last Thursday, we held our core meeting at The Office Project, a bright new concept that's perfect for a council like ours or small companies who need an office space for just a few hours. They have the conveniences of a real office - meeting nooks, wifi, printing and unlimited coffee. In this age of paperless files and the metro's traffic problems, this space is a really nifty idea.

The Office Project Coworking Studio, Unit 1C Alpha Salcedo Condominium, Bautista St., Makati 122, Makati, Philippines

All the convenience of an office - wifi, printing

Help yourself with unlimited coffee.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Happy News Of The Week

I love everything Japanese except perhaps sashimi. Call me unsophisticated, but I'm not a fan of raw food. I'm a big eater, I like burgers, steak and pork chops. I love cakes and all flavours of Kit Kat. In Japan, I look forward to eating wagyu, sinful bowls of ramen, and pork tonkatsu. The unlimited shredded cabbage that goes with your tonkatsu somehow diminishes the guilt of being a porky, and so I indulge.
Here in Manila, the good news of the week is that Maisen, the go-to-place for tonkatsu has opened its second branch closer to my neighborhood, just across the cinemas on the third level of Megamall. I shall have my pork and eat it too. Itadakimasu!

Maisen at Level 3 of Megamall

I had the tenderloin katsu set, it comes with pickled cucumber, miso soup and fruits slices.

"I shall have my pork and eat it too!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dumaguete And Oslob

I would often see Rajo Laurel's Instagram posts of his childhood playground, Dumaguete. Tagged humorously #DIVAguete, the city boasts of blue green mountains, beautiful marine life, and the first American University in the Philippines and Asia.
Last week, I was invited by a dear old friend to join her and other friends for a long weekend holiday in this tropical paradise. Located at the southern tip of Negros island, it is less than an hour away by boat to Oslob, Cebu or Siquijor Island. At a very relaxed pace, we enjoyed the cuisine, lounging by the pool, the windy boat rides, and the swim with the gentle whale sharks in Oslob.
I heard Julia Roberts stayed for five days, now, I know why.

A bird's eye view of Sumilon Island, 5 mins before landing in Dumaguete.

Dumaguete's Boardwalk

Monument to Paulinian Nuns who came to the city in 1904

Home of Dumaguete's famous Silvanas

 The oldest known bellfry in the province stands next to the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

Silliman University

Silliman University Church

St. Agustine of Hippo, Bacong, Negros Oriental

Our home for 5 days, Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

The local bayong is perfect to take anywhere.

The tree house for yoga and evening dinners.

Worth the calories! Turon de Leche and Cassava Cake topped with Ube Ice Cream

Dumaguete's famous Silvanas

Divers leaving early morning.

The view of Dauin coastline from the boat. It's good that most of the resorts are not full concrete structures, they beautifully blend with the coconut trees that line the shore.

High tide at Manjuyod White Sand Bar

Dumaguete is less than an hour away by ferry or boat to Oslob, Cebu. 

I'm not a good swimmer but I managed to swim with the gentle whale sharks in Oslob.

Mother and daughter, Rina and Pia swimming gracefully with the whale sharks.

No need to invest on an underwater camera, you can rent and the Oslob fishermen take really good photos.