Monday, February 28, 2011


Came across this picture of Olivia Palermo (incidentally, one of Stylecaster's 50 Most Stylish New Yorkers. Take that, Tinsley!) while cleaning out files on my desktop. Better post it here before deleting! Nice reference, in case an occasion pops up and I have to look nice, heehee.

Khaki and white always works no? The burnt caramel of her belt and clutch adds a nice dimension to the outfit too. Such a crisp yet soft & feminine look. Not just like, super like! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taguig Eats: Gustare Kitchen

Here's another foodie discovery by my friend Kaye Yao! When she says its good, it's real good! I can't wait to eat at Gustare. Pass by this weekend if you happen to be in the Fort, and let me know what it's like too!

Gustare Kitchen is the brainchild of 2 women who have been lifelong friends - ever since their Kindergarten days, many many years ago.

Ginny de Guzman and Chiqui Lara, were both in search of new challenges and adventures - Ginny, looking for a new “baby” to replace her 25-year old restaurant business and Chiqui, a place to rest her advertising-weary mind and body. They named their venture Gustare – which means “enjoy” in Italian, and opened their kitchen doors in August 2010 with a mind to providing quality, good-tasting food preparations for boardroom meetings & condominium dwellers in the Fort, as well as a place for family meals.

The owners had been scouting around for a good location that would position the store at the heart of the bustling Business and Financial district that is the Fort. Instead, they found a quiet spot, tucked inside the newly-opened W Building in North Bonifacio Triangle.

Inside Gustare Kitchen you wlll find a selection of delectable baked concoctions like - pavlova in mango & kiwi, chocolate and strawberry flavors, turtle pie, french apple pie, marjolaine, lemon torte, mango torte, oatmeal crisps, compost cookies, new york’s favorite - crack pie, and meringue kisses in mint, regular and choco flavors, among others.

For a truly special treat, try Gustare’s Caviar Pie - truly to die-for! A perfect hostess gift or a potluck hit, if I may add!

For condo dwellers looking for delicious lunch or dinner fare, Gustare Kitchen offers a range of home-cooked dishes - arroz con pollo, callos, steak & mushroom, lasagna, potroast and spinach ravioli. Hearty soups are also available – pumpkin, lentil and pancit molo.

You may also arrange for a hearty lunch or early dinner for a maximum of 8 people. Come and sit at their tasting table and enjoy the cozy, warm Gustare vibe!

In April, Gustare Kitchen will resume Saturday Cooking Lessons (open to all age groups!). Watch out for announcements of class schedules and menus for each week.

Gustare Kitchen
W Building
North Bonifacio Triangle, Taguig
Tel: 403-0345, ask for Wilma
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11am to 7pm

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Net-work It! Mixers and Events for the Design Industry

My friend Brian Tenorio has been hosting a series of New York-style Mixers (networking cocktails/events with pre-appointed point-persons strategically encouraging networking, lively chat, and fabulous introductions) in Manila since early February, and there are still THREE more mixers you can participate in! 

Pride in Design
— for the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) sector and their supporters
Eco Designers — designers for sustainable living and ecology
Design+Tech — inspired technology, high fidelity in design

Next month, March, Brian with the support of Ayala Malls, will be presenting two major events:
(1) a talk on The State of Philippine Design (at Cinema 2 for 300 people), and
(2) The Ambassadors of the Philippine Brand Exhibition (in Greenbelt, followed by Trinoma, then Alabang Town Center).

These events are especially valuable for students, practitioners and supporters of the design industry. This is open to all, and is a wonderful way to exchange ideas with those who have an appreciation and passion for design.

To find out more about these events, or to participate/RSVP, click on Brian Tenorio's online invite HERE.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Filipino Public Official Who Is Honest

I am sharing with you this touching and timely speech by our childhood friend Marc Reyes, during the Necrological Service for the late Gen. Angelo Reyes. My family was there at the wake, and my sister said this was the most tearful thing she had ever heard and seen. I found it brave that instead of deriding or attacking those who hurt them, Marc instead chose to highlight and stress on the travails of a Filipino public official. And I quote, "The honest Filipino public official will always find himself ALONE in many situations, because the environment he’s in is kinder to those who will just go with the flow." Why? – precisely because this system does not nurture integrity, or moral uprightness. Sad and true.

My name is Marc Reyes, son of Angelo Tomas Reyes, and I speak on behalf on my family: my mom, Tessie; my brothers Bogie, Jett, Carlo and Judd; our respective wives and children; our Uncle Lito, my dad’s brother.

Thank you very much to those who spoke before me.  Thank you for the kind words that you’ve shared about our father. Thank you for sharing your truths about Angelo Reyes.

The sheer magnitude of what we face tomorrow at his burial – and what my family will still have to face for the next few months – is pressing on me right now, and I stand before you all tonight, a son who just lost his father.  I will not wish the pain and anguish that our family has experienced on anyone.

The enormity and mystery of his final decision will slowly reveal itself to us in the coming days, and God knows we will need each other’s memories of Papa to survive the coming months.

However, this evening, I will not enumerate the achievements of Angelo Tomas Reyes – his achievements as a general, as a secretary, as a father, a brother, a husband, or friend.  I have the rest of my earthly life to do that – in private – with my wife and children, with my siblings and my mother, and with friends who knew and loved him like I did.

This evening, I will tell you about the story of the Filipino public official who is honest.  I am certain that there are many – just as I am sure there are many who are not.  The honest Filipino public official tries to do his work, shares his expertise in an environment that is, more often than not, harsh to him.  The honest Filipino public official will always find himself ALONE in many situations, because the environment he’s in is kinder to those who will just go with the flow.

The honest Filipino public official can only do so much. He can only swim upstream so high, if the tide is unkind to him. He stays low on the river bend, if the powerful direction of the tide overwhelms all of his muscles – muscles that were primed for attempts at good governance.

The Filipino public official who is honest – is NOT perfect. He knows this. He tries to work around his imperfection. He will be torn, often between priority after priority. But ultimately, he will have to DECIDE.

The honest Filipino public official is AWARE that the SYSTEM he is in is FLAWED.  And yet the honest Filipino public official STILL TRIES and NEVER LOSES FAITH.  Sometimes he succeeds – but for as long as the rest of the elements do not allow him to succeed, he won’t.  Often times he hasn’t – precisely because this system does not nurture integrity, or moral uprightness.

While the Filipino public official who is honest does not lay sole blame on the system, he also finds himself in a position to either FIGHT or FLEE.  Sometimes he decides to bolt all together; often times he decides to STAY AND FIGHT.  But no one will disagree that the Filipino public official who is honest TRIES.  And ONLY IF more people in the system will nurture HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND HONOR – only then will the honest Filipino public official succeed.

Again, on behalf of my bereaved family – thank you, all of you who are here tonight. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us. And contradictory as this may sound, thank you to those who respected our privacy and left us alone.

My name is Marc and I am proudly the son of the Honorable Angelo Tomas Reyes.

Response of the Reyes Family to the eulogies. Delivered by Marc Reyes during the Necrological Service on February 12, 2011.

SoFA Fashion Capsules Series

Finding yourself daydreaming about an exciting life working as a model, designing clothes or jewelry, conceptualizing fashion events or being a stylist to the stars while in your office cubicle, listening to your Theology professor or in between housewifey chores? Here's another reason to look forward to weekends when you are free of your weekday responsibilites: Saturday classes at The School of Fashion & the Arts via their SoFA Fashion Capsules Series.

The School of Fashion & the Arts invites you to meet, greet and learn from the country's top fashion experts and celebrities through a rare series of 1-day lectures & workshops. Classes will be conducted each Saturday from February to April. Get inspired as they reveal their tips, trade secrets, and insider experiences from various fields of creative work such as fashion design, photography, modeling, retail, events and styling.

Here is a complete list of workshops and schedules. Participation Fee is Php 1,750 inclusive of materials and official SoFA certificate signed by guest mentor.

Fashion Photography with RAYMUND ISAAC – Feb 26
Delve into the world of Fashion Photography through the eyes of noteable photographer Raymund Isaac. Learn how he captures priceless and amazing images.

What you will learn:
-How to sell an image & present a product
-Photographic styles for makeup, styling & lighting
-Lighting techniques for Fashion
-Cheat Codes for Pictorials
-Actual Shoot Demonstration
-Formulas for shooting fashion

Preparing for a Photoshoot with MARINA BENIPAYO – March 5
Acclaimed professional model, Marina Benipayo shares her secrets to success and how she continues to be one of the country’s most sought after fashion models.

What you will learn:
-How to internalize before a shoot
-Do’s and Don’ts in photoshoots
-Model’s Emergency kit: basic necessities in your bag
-Preparing poses for your body & face type
-Understanding photographer’s directions
-Working with clients and responding to their requirements

Enter the World of Fashion Design with DONG OMAGA-DIAZ – March 12
Fashion & Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP) former President, Dong Omaga-Diaz gives you access into his world. Find out if you have what it takes to be a fashion designer and learn about the creative design process.

What you will learn:
-Conceptualizing and sourcing for design inspiration
-From inspiration to materials sourcing
-Translating your inspiration to an actual collection
-The Role of Fashion Shows and Advertising
-Who’s who in the world of Philippine Fashion

Developing a Fashion Brand with RONALD PINEDA OF F&H – March 19
Yearning to start your own brand? Learn from the founder and president of Folded & Hung as he shares trade secrets and helpful tips to be a successful fashion retailer.

What you will learn:
-Strategies on building a fashion brand
-Grow your bazaar/tiangge brand to a wide scale mass retail label.
-First hand advice and experience on what made the F&H brand
-Advice & trade secrets of fashion retail
-Insights on the current state of the Phil. Retail Landscape

Creative Idea Conceptualization with ROBBY CARMONA – March 26
Visionary fashion & event director Robby Carmona gives you a peek into his creative process. Squeeze out those creative, unique fashion juices to hone your thought patterns and stimulate new perspectives.

What you will learn:
-Concretizing your big idea
-Mind Mapping and Visioning Exercises
-Learn to brainstorm and motivate your team
-Extract new & forward perspectives
-Thinking out of the box and producing results

Celebrity Fashion Styling with ALYANNA MARTINEZ – April 9
Have a glimpse of the Celebrity Fashion Stylist’s life. Learn first hand from Alyanna Martinez stylist to stars such as Ruffa Gutierrez, Miriam Quiambao, Maricar Reyes, Solenn Heusaff & more. Find out how to be a stylist yourself and gain inside access to the secrets of the trade.

What you will learn:
-Jumpstart your styling career
-Different styling job opportunities
-Building a strong portfolio to win the job
-PR skills to bag a client
-Various styling techniques and secrets
-Plus option to join a 1-day internship with an actual photoshoot

Jewelry Design with CANDY DIZON– April 16
Introduce yourself to the dazzling world of jewelry from one of the country’s premiere jewelers Candy Dizon of Jul B. Dizon in this rare opportunity. Their pieces have adorned countless celebrities and magazine covers such as Kris Aquino and Lucy Torres-Gomez. Educate yourself with the basic principles of jewelry design and the production process. See if you have what it takes to be a jewelry designer.

What you will learn:
-The difference between precious, semiprecious and costume jewelry
-Where to source for stones and precious metals
-Kinds of stones and metals
-An overview of the Philippine Jewelry Industry
-Basic design tools and principles
-Collection Development
-Jewelry production process

Discounts offered if you enroll in multiple classes.
Limited seats only. Reserve now!
For more information, please call SoFA at 8928807 loc 103/4.

Plains & Prints x Rajo Laurel


Rajo Laurel sums his Plains & Prints collaboration in one word: AMORPHOUS.

And when the country's most creative minds join forces to bring to life a creative vision...a campaign unfolds.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's New This Feb at SM Fashion Forum?

Lots of pretty dresses for work and play!

One of the things I miss about going to work in an office is dressing up. And if I were working, I would so buy my work clothes at Fashion Forum. Rissa just picks these super versatile pieces - take for instance these DVF-ish sheats and mock wrap dresses from Donna Morgan:

Prices aren't bad too! They start at Php 4,975 and never go beyond Php 5,975. Donna Morgan makes the sort of dresses that flatter all figures and suit all shapes and sizes. Check out the Donna Morgan girls in their showroom - they just happened to wear the same dress the same day.

Funny but cute! They don't seem bothered to be wearing the same dress no? Well, I like their dress too! I wouldn't mind joining in, haha!

Now, whether you are looking for dresses for work or for partying in, Max and Cleo may just have the sort of thing you are looking for! Prices range from Php 5,475 for the jersey dresses on the left to Php7,475 for that ombre taffeta number on the right.

In case you didn't know, Max and Cleo is owned by BCBG Max Azria group which includes BCBG, Max Azria, Lola, BCBGeneration and yes, Hervé Léger!

All these dresses are in SM Fashion Forum now, so visit soon! =)

PS - Jeffrey Campbells arriving next month! ;)

Nostalgia: Alexander Wang + Emee + Madewell in SoHo

When I read that Alexander Wang finally opened his flagship store in SoHo last Thursday, I remembered taking a picture of it while it was still under construction. So I started going through old folders until I finally found them:

The store occupies a whole block on Grand Street, and was once a Yohji Yamamoto boutique.

Wang tells WWD he wants the store to serve as a laboratory of sorts, the place to test drive experimental designs.

"There will be exclusives, starting with a five-piece capsule collection in leather: two jackets, a vest, a dress and a top. 'This is a place where we can do really special pieces that stores might not want to take risks on,' said Wang."

Sigh, how time flies! And wow, I really miss SoHo. I think a bulk of my life in NY was spent there, really. All my favorite shops were there and my favorite labels always seem to gravitate towards that little spot of the city. As much as how dreamy it is to have an uptown existence (imagine being a Park Avenue Princess!), I guess I really am a downtown girl through and through.

Another one of my favorite spots in SoHo is Emee Foussard's showroom. That afternoon, when we dropped by to say hello, they just so happened to be unpacking samples from a shoe line from South America and Berry took out this open toe bootie that matched her outfit from Splendid (a gift from Emee too!)...

We were laughing at how this over the knee boot was just as tall as Berry, hahaha!

After we said bye, Berry and I hopped over to Madewell where I went looking for Alexa Chung's pieces. I managed to take this outfit shot. But didn't get to buy the top I wanted because they sold out so fast in my size! I ended up with a white silk shirt with front pockets, super cute! I haven't worn them yet though! Gasp!

Shirt: +J Uniqlo, Jeans: Levi's Curve ID, Belt: Zara, Shoes: Toms

I kinda miss these sort of days. When you are in New York, you really feel like the world is moving, there's a sense of excitement in the air, there's always something to check out or look forward to, even if it's as trivial as a store opening or a new collection out in stores. Heehee.

Saturday, February 19, 2011



A glimpse of Rajo's creation before the odyssey is revealed...

Friday, February 18, 2011

OCs Anonymous

Kris of OC Mom in Manila is a self-confessed OC who happens to also have OC friends (birds of the same know!). She had this fun idea of asking us to share our OC habits and I admit, I can get really OC when it comes to buying wipes and sanitizers for Berry's "kikay kit".

I guess you can call her series, OCs Anonymous! It's all about the little quirks that makes moms like us weird, but special in our own ways, hahaha! Take for instance:

I can eat something that falls on the floor, but won't let germs touch Berry.

How many of us still think of our bags as blackholes? Internationally published FIlipina author Samantha Sotto doesn't have the same problem, because hers is super organized!

Mommyology has brought the meaning of reusable bags to a whole new level. She's brought it down to a science.

Pat of 101 Grams of Eye Candy has a traveling craft caddy that goes with her wherever she goes in the house! So amusing, and we have to admit, it is so brilliant!

These organizing tips go from bordering on crazy to hilariously practical, you'd wish you thought of it yourself. These are the sort of posts that will titillate all you neat freaks, I promise.

Incidentally, Kris is the distributor of Aquasana water filters, which are practically must have beauty gadgets! I've been using our shower filter for less than 2 months now and I swear, by the first week pa lang, my pores have shrunk. Now, I actually think my skin is glowing, my cheeks have become naturally rosy and my hair falls into place so much better. Not a bad side effect on top of the health benefits diba? I  am normally the number one suspichosa of all these newfangled gadgets and gizmos  tso you can trust my claims on this one, walang bola. I will share a post on this soon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Bags

Alexander Wang's niece Aila sure is rocking a baby Chanel 2.55 (a gift from Uncle Alex!) but this post is not so much about babies carrying bags, but more of a trend I am seeing - baby versions of all the bags that us big girls love!

It all started with this Celine nano luggage tote that the SA showed me in Celine Ngee Ann City.

This is super adorbs! It's all leather, and it comes with a detachable strap, so you can sling it like a shoulder or a cross body bag. Thing is, it's almost the same price as that mini luggage tote you see on the left. Hmmm, tough call right? Do you succumb to the cuteness or do you go for what's practical? Although, wouldn't it be shockingly cute (although I find it too indulgent) to see a little girl tote the micro luggage? Plus, mom can use it as a sling bag when she needs her hands free.

Yesterday, we spotted these:

But before you say, "Huh? That's just the Alexa, that's nothing new..." Check this out:

These are the mini versions, Baby! They come in Watermelon, Oak and Black and retail for SGD$1230. The Mulberry website sells it for US$695. Cheaper in the US, even with the GST refund in Singapore for sure. 

While I don't think big bags will ever go away because they sure have their purpose, and there are days when only a big bag will do, I see the wisdom in small bags. Now whether you spring for the baby version of a luxe bag, or you just buy any normal sling bag from the tiangge or a department store, I think you are doing yourself a favor by jumping in on the trend. Small bags are made for weekends - relaxed and casual. They are enough for you to keep essentials on hand, and perfect when you need your hands free (especially if you have a little one!). Besides, there are times when you don't want to be burdened by a big bag. Goodness knows, now that we don't have a car, and we just take public transportation in Singapore, I've realized that I really can do without a lot of things in my bag. I just carry a Rebecca Minkoff MAC or the Rocker sling and Berry's diaper bag, and we're fine.

As my friend Gretchen Uy says, "With small bags, you have to exercise discipline!" And isn't discipline and restraint the mark of true style?

(Photos via Divasoria,, and My Wardrobe)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Rajo!


Imagine a style world without color? It is like fashion without life.

Alas, we reveal the famed designer - RAJO LAUREL - whose acute sense of color has been a trademark of his joyful couture creations.

Bursting with energy, he surfaces to share the next part of his fashion odyssey...his quest for the perfect blend of hues.

Now that half of the collaboration has been revealed, any guesses which label Rajo is working with?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AVA Sneak Peek

A deal you would have gotten, if you signed up on AVA! It's not too late, there's still time to be there for the big launch, when we can all start shopping for the finest sale finds online, at up to 70% OFF. Happening soon! ;)

Sign up HERE.

Singapore Eats: Artichoke Cafe + Bar

Tucked behind a gallery and a church like structure in 161 Middle Road in Bugis is Artichoke Cafe + Bar. It's our favorite brunch place, a discovery of my foodie friend Kaye Yao. Artichoke sits on a compound, called Sculpture Square, that looks quiet and almost deserted from the street...

...but once you follow the path to the cafe, you'd be surprised to see a bustling place, with quite a number of diners at what should be a relatively slow time for brunch (this was taken around 3 pm, the inside was still full).

Full as it is, the service is quite fast, and we like that it is quiet enough for "lazy weekend brunches" - as it was intended to be. The shop also spells spices...

...and if gourmet spices are an indication of the quality of the food, then expect that the dishes are full of that - flavor and surprises. It will interest you to know that the restaurant has a limited menu, constantly evolving month per month. With their emphasis on freshness, their dishes only use ingredients that are in season, and at its best. Here's what we ordered:

Breakfast Bangers & Mash - chorizo & country sausage balls on mash with brown gravy & a fried egg (S$ 18)

Eggs baked in tomato sauce with beef meatballs, spanish onions, homemade labneh (Lebanese yoghurt cheese) 
& pistachio dukka + toast (S$ 20)

Pan-fried haloumi cheese on  toast with organic Kin Yan Farm mushrooms, crushed avocado & wild rocket (S$ 16)

Poached eggs wrapped in Spanish Jamon Serrano with romesco sauce, garlic breadcrumbs, pickled zucchini 
& wild rocket + toast (S$ 18)

I don't think I will be able to describe the food in a way that devout foodies do, but I can say they taste as good as they look. There is something unexpected about their dishes, in the way they combine the flavors and textures, and just when you go "Uhmmmm, this is yummy!", there's a flavor that will pop out from nowhere that takes the dish from good to great.

Because of their revolving dish policy, I've never had the same dish twice. But what I can guarantee you is this. It's always been love at first bite.

Artichoke Cafe + Bar
161 Middle Road
+ 65 6336 6949

Monday, February 14, 2011

All We Need is Love

Yes, we printed a line from the Beatles song on our wedding invitation! ;)

To my Dear Hubby, our delightful Berry, our parents, siblings, families, dearest friends and to you dear readers, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Here's to a sweet day spent with all our loved ones, be it in person or online!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Back to Regular Programming

Dear Hubby told me the other day, "Hon, tama na ang pamumulitika". And goodness knows I really want to get this behind me. There are so many more pleasant things to distract us with, I know. But sometimes, I just feel compelled to speak my mind on issues close to home.

So there, I apologize if I've been such a downer lately. I'll just start off by talking about food! Because isn't that such a comfort in times like this?

Watch out for my next post, it's going to be yummy!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Episode 5


Woven into this designer's vision are the fabrics that enliven his pattern. This is his next step into his journey of style...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Again, Not Everyone in the AFP is Corrupt

This is in response to an anonymous reader who left a comment in I Just Had to Say This. I thought my reply would best be shared as a post for the enlightenment of all:

Anonymous said...

The natural thing for somebody falsely accused of something bad is to defend himself, not to silence himself by death. You bet if in his position I will use all the airtime I can get to prove my innocence. It just does not add up.

Look at Lacson. Even the Supreme Court can exonerate him but because he fled instead of facing the music (and by the way he is a legislator so it says so much of his guilt that he is unwilling to face the process he had a hand in creating), EVERYONE doubts that he is, indeed, innocent...(cont.)

Thanks you for your comment Anon. You see, that was the first thing that crossed my mind myself. But people have varying degrees of conscience and sense of honor - guilty or not. We all take accusations differently. But some people are really just makapal ang mukha - they can lie through their teeth and face a crowd and say, I know nothing, I cannot remember, I neither deny nor confirm. Maybe what sustains them is the fact that they know they stashed away money in the bank or somewhere and they have to live FOR that. While some would rather die, than be called out in public. We all take stress differently. Yes, he could be guilty, and I also wish he just spoke up, but what I am against is people trash talking and bad mouthing one another, when in fact they do not know the real elements to the story. I am calling for people to look at issues in a sober and sane manner, and not be carried away by hysterics. Madami nakiki-ride lang sa issue.

I watched the Karen Davila interview of Rabusa in youtube. He admits to being corrupt himself. He is willing to go to jail himself. And I think rightfully so.

I was visiting Notre Dame University once and there's a small Filipino restaurant a few minutes away from it. I talked with the owner and he said a lot of kids of generals and military officials are studying in Notre Dame. But for the chance that they might have been awarded a scholarship, or that they were wealthy to begin with, how can you explain that they are able to send their kids to very expensive schools in the US (and own 8 houses here no less) on their own salary alone?....(cont.)

You brought up Notre Dame. See, with my mindset, the first thing that I thought of was Notre Dame in Cotabato. But you mentioned a Filipino restaurant, so I am assuming you are referring to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. I am a daughter of a general and my siblings and I went to Philippine universities. My younger sister & I went to a public university, where tuition fees were Php6,000 a semester (enough to save for the younger ones' education fund). None amongst our circle of friends in the military went to Notre Dame or other US universities. Maybe none of us are smart enough to attend, or maybe because not one of our fathers could afford it. See, this is what I am saying. Do not generalize (how apt!). Not all military officers are corrupt. There could be bad eggs, and THOSE are the ones who send THEIR kids to Notre Dame. Now if ALL kids of generals and military officials are studying in schools abroad and shopping like a Garcia son, then the WHOLE institution is in trouble. But the thing is, a lot of us military brats still have to work for a living, can only dream of shopping at Hermes, even help support families you know.

I think the problem is, that we all know it exists, we all are disgusted by it, but we are so unwilling to really make the move toward cleaning the system.

If you worked in government, you would know that it is not easy to change the system. You will encounter a lot of opposition, your colleagues will turn against you, and receive death threats for it. But if you knew the real story in the AFP, you'd know that reforms were put into action starting with Abaya when he made had all funds managed by GHQ sent out straight to operating units to be managed there, in the line. My father abolished J6, the source of corruption in the military and set up a system for accountability. He set into action several programs for reforms (research it in Phil Star or Newsbreak, because you'd never read that in Inquirer) which annoyed a lot of people - fellow officers, politicians, military suppliers. He gained more enemies and was accused of corruption himself by tabloid reporters. Hey, that's what you get for rocking the boat. But do you see any of these reforms being discussed in Congress or the Senate, or the general public? Well, after he retired we cannot really say if those reforms were carried out by his successors, although the current CSAFP assures my dad that is still the case. So you see, some of the issues being brought up are so 2003. But that's because that's the impression being sent out by media. And that's what formed YOUR opinion.

Because Hipsters Get Married Too

I have nothing against hipsters. Honestly, I like their laid back way of dressing. It's just more relaxed, more comfortable. More real.

Urban Outfitters, long associated with hipsters, has probably realized that the hipster aesthetic is something they can tap further, hence the creation of Bhldn, Urban Outfitter's new retail concept, which according to is "the firm’s attempt to put its unique, slightly off-kilter stamp on the bridal business."

So yeah, we're not talking princess dresses here. 

Not like the too commercial David's Bridal, and more than just a downtown Kleinfeld, the store carries earthy, thoughtful items like: flower garlands, glassware, serving pieces, candelabras, cake toppers and lanterns. Everything a hipster bride needs for her indie wedding.

The store launches via e-commerce sweetly, on Valentine's Day! About 2 to 3 Bhldn stores are expected to open in 2012.

(Photos via

Thursday, February 10, 2011


If you are a beauty enthusiast, then Into The Gloss (or ITG for short) is your Holy Grail of sites! Super slick and stylish, with no baduy beauty products or reviews EVER! It's just like candy for the eyes, and lips, and cheeks, basta you know what I mean.

Grace of Divasoria was so inspired, she had this brill idea of asking "cool Pinays" to share their kikay secrets. When she asked me, I happily said yes, of course! I may be "low maintenance" but I am totally into skincare. Want to read about my tried and tested beauty prods? Check out her post here. Oh! And you should visit her site often because my feature is just the first of a series! Fun!

Meanwhile, here's a version with more pics!

I was never a make-up girl. My mom’s idea of beauty is of the Parisian sort – natural, no fuss, simple. So I grew up with that sort of aesthetic. But as we all know with the French, there’s a bit of work involved in getting that “natural, effortless” look.

My beauty routine goes like this. In the mornings, I wash my face with Cetaphil or Hada Labo facial cleanser (I interchange, depending on my mood), tone with La Mer The Tonic, and slap on La Mer SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid. That’s pretty much it. Ever since we moved to Singapore, I’ve been going out sans make up. The humidity is such a downer, I feel like the less stuff I put on my face, the better.

Back when we were living in the States, I used Crème de La Mer, because my skin would get so dry, it was the only thing that was able to keep it from flaking. These days, I hardly use it, sometimes at night, and only when I remember. It’s just too rich and too thick for tropical weather. I have Dr. Perricone’s Cold Plasma on my shelf, it’s like some sort of wonder product for girls my age, but I am trying to use my remaining lotions and creams first.

So, on days when my face feels a bit tight, I use Hada Labo’s Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion. I love Hada Labo, it’s a Japanese skincare line that is so much cheaper than SK-II. I still love SK-II though. I used the full line before, but now I just use their foundations. Because when I feel like putting on make-up, it still feels like you don’t have make-up on. I am just using up my last remaining SK-II Perfect Radiance Powder Foundation, then I’m shifting to their Skin Signature Cream-In Foundation. Their beauty consultant told me if I use the latter, I don’t even have to top it with loose powder, it’s great coverage as it is. Let’s see!

For my cheeks, I use Shiseido Accentuating Color Stick in S2 Peach Flush. I used to want to make my cheeks look super rosy, but now that I’m older, I prefer a subtler, more natural sort of blush. For my lips, I don’t do lipsticks. I am more of a lip balm, gloss kind of girl. I use Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 (the best for windburn or just generally parched lips), Lancome Juicy Tubes (I have a stash thanks to my cousin Brenda who works at L’Oreal) and MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Fuchsia Fix (got it because it was the shade used by the girl behind the MAC counter at Saks, and it just looked so natural!).

For brows, I have it shaped at Browhaus. Highly recommended by all my friends, so I just took their advice. I actually miss Novi at Hairworks in Makati. She was the best brow groomer I ever had. When it comes to lashes, I think curled lashes are enough to make one’s eyes look pretty. I use a Shu Eumura lash curler, and I love Lancome’s Oscillating Mascara, it just makes mascara application so much easier. I bought a lash serum at Browhaus, but have yet to use it. Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen swears by this stuff, I better open that box soon.

Unlike the French who seem to make the rolled out of bed look extremely sexy, I prefer to go out looking well scrubbed. And nothing does well scrubbed better than Safeguard soap. I won’t argue with “kills 99.99% of germs”. Yeah, I am OC like that. For my hair, I use Santa Maria Novella Iris Liquid Shampoo and I switch it up with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (because I love how it smells). Between days when I don’t shampoo, I use Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo (a carryover from my ge lai days, hey if it was good enough to use for almost 30 days straight, it is great for in between days). Now, when it comes to moisturizing, I like Jao Goe Oil. It’s all natural and made up of 28 plant and fruit oils and butters. It just melts onto the skin!

For scents, I like Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey. It has that warm, fruity smell to it, I love how it lingers in my clothes even with just two spritzes. I once dropped a bottle and broke it, splashing our bath mat with it. Even if we’ve washed that mat so many times it still envelopes the room with the scent. Yummy! The Dior scent was a gift from my MIL, and the Tartine is Berry’s.

I like dark nails. I used to go all black, but now I want more sophisticated colors. I like Chanel not just because the colors are gorgeous, but also because they don’t make my nails turn yellow, if you know what I mean. But I am guilty of going grunge with my nails. With the demands of my daily life, I don’t get to maintain them. Chipped polish, hay. But at least they’re Chanel, haha.

- as told to divasoria

I Just Had to Say This

I know the Reyeses. And because I have no first hand knowledge of the allegations thrown against them, I cannot pass judgment. Sure, I am guilty of thinking the worst of Tito Angie, but I cannot point an accusing finger. We all do not know the real story, or the motives behind Rabusa's actions.  My best friend Nina, who works in news, has often told me you cannot publish the real story at times. It's always more complicated and deeper than what is presented to the public. What is in the news at times is just 50% of the story, sometimes just the tip of the iceberg. And often, in tabloids posing as broadsheets, 100% lies and fabrications.

What I can tell you is this. I practically grew up with them. They are family friends, and our neighbors in Camp Aguinaldo. My Dad used to work with him, and while Tito Angie and my dad did not see eye to eye on some things,  I've always had fond memories of their family. The boys are simple, low key. Never pretentious or power tripping, or with bodyguards. Unlike some kids of politicians out there.

Tita Tess once told me never to get used to power, because when you are no longer in position, then people stop treating you special. But what I remember most about her, is her funny habit of asking me if I had friends I can introduce to her sons. Every time I saw her, no fail. They were all single then of course. Such a mom! She always seemed to want to be in on the latest food venture, one time it was buko juice, and she proudly said, "Wala yang formalin!" - referring to the practice of unscrupulous manufacturers who added formalin to preserve buko juice.

I never really got to hang out with the older boys, but Kuya Bogie was always kengkoy and makulit. Marc was the one who gave me tips when I applied to AIM, and his insights  I believe, helped me earn a scholarship. Carlo is my age, super low profile, you'd never think he was the son of a powerful man. He'd go off by himself, I'd run into him inside the camp, Jollibee, the PMA grounds, never with a bodyguard. Judd is the youngest, I am not close to him, but he's friends with my younger sister. They're all nice boys really. So tragic for Carlo and Judd to be there when it happened.

So I can feel their outrage. They've been lambasted in the media, and I see the comments in online papers bashing them. But if you knew these boys, you'd see how real and down to earth they are. Unlike Garcia's sons, who've always been known to dress in designer clothes from head to toe, to the amazement and wonder of the Camp kids (how could they afford that? They'd ask their family, whisper amongst themselves. This was before Garcia was outed by his own wife).

Tell me honestly, how many of you out there really know what happens, so much more keep track of every single transaction that transpires in your dad's office? I know of some people who don't even know what their dads do for a living. So you cannot say for sure the family knows what is happening. Then all these people who don't even know them personally, start attacking, - because "eloquent" men in the Senate and Congress (who are themselves of dubious integrity) saw them as fair game.

It's really sad that Tito Angie died the way he did. I never saw that coming. I am sad because I know him and his family personally. It's different when it's just a name you read in the papers.  I saw him transform into this famed, then shamed character. And it is all the more troubling because you know that there's so much more to this than what is on the surface. I do not really know if the allegations are true, I just hope Filipinos start thinking critically and not just take things at face value, or join in on popular opinion, unless nahatulan na. Mahirap kasi sa atin, nadadala tayo ng mga magagaling magsalita, kahit walang base or substansya.

Ito lang masasabi ko. Alam nyo, hindi lahat ng nasa military corrupt. Yung  ibang mga TV anchors and reporters kung magsalita, parang nilalahat nila. Grandstanding din. Meron dyan siguradong nambubulsa, pero wag nyong lahatin. May mga nagsisilbi sa bayan na nabubuhay ng malinis at marangal. Yung mga nasa military, kaya nga sila sundalo eh, kasi hindi naman nila expertise yung pumarada at magpa-impress sa media - who take everything in hook, line and sinker. Lalo na, hindi man lang sila charismatic or gwapo. Paano magkaka-simpatya para sa kanila, eh ang  gusto ng tao mga bolero, or gwapo. Kung maabilidad sila sa tao at sa media, eh di politician or artista na sila. Sa totoo lang, buong gobyerno, may kurakot. Do not single out the military. Nagkataon lang na may Rabusa na naghihirap at naubos ang ninakaw kaya biglang nagka-change of heart. Hindi kaya sya binayaran para magsalita? Madami din naman silang na-plunder diba? 

So there, I've said my piece. Let me reiterate, critical thinking please. Think before you react. Yun lang.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Singapore Shopping: Bimba y Lola

I blame it on Alexa Chung. I first heard about Bimba & Lola (or Bimba y Lola) from her. And well, you know, whatever Alexa likes, Tintin likes too! (Copycat!) When I found out that Bimba y Lola had a store in Singapore, I knew I just had to check it out, yo! One of the incentives for moving here, I thought. Good thing when we got here, our serviced apartment was super near ION Orchard, which meant I could always stop by and visit. I love the dresses, love the shoes, totally could see each piece on Alexa. It's really "her".

But it can be a bit pricey. Like a top is about S$260 and shoes are S$300ish. A little duffel bag that Berry got was S$135. I just had to get it for her. When she saw it on display, she just ran for it and hooked her arm on the handle and wouldn't let go! The SA made her choose between brown and pink, and she got her first choice, the brown one! Such a classic,  grown-up color! Even the SA was amused!

But because I have been on saving mode, I have avoided the store. To keep away from temptation, you know. When my friend Ivy and her sister Mizel came to visit, lagot! I just had to show this to them, because everything in here is love! And they were on sale too! 30 to 50% OFF! Wah! Double lagot! And you know what, when we got in, the SA recognized Berry! Why? Because Berry ran for the orange version of her brown duffel bag! "She really loves that style", the SA said.

While Ivy was trying on shoes, Berry helped herself to a pair. Can you guess which one here?

Yes, she chose the pair that was like the shoe version of her outfit that day! This girl is THE CUTENESS!

Ayan tuloy, because they were so sweet with Berry and let her try on shoes and play with the accessories, I thought I had to buy something (sus, kunwari pa ako, excuses excuses!). Presenting my Bimba y Lola oxfords at 40% OFF!

Berry and I are matching again! Goodbye Dieppa Restrepos!

Now, my oxfords collection is complete. I think.

From L to R: Cole, Rood & Haan, Rag & Bone, Bimba & Lola (heeeeyyyy, what's with the & & &)

Bimba y Lola
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #B1-22, 238801
Tel + 65 6509 3305
Open Weekdays 10am-10pm
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