Tuesday, April 02, 2013

the fash packs: tokyo (the outfits edition!)

it had been a while since i packed for cold weather. but it was exactly what i was wishing for! sayang naman the coats and boots i bought during sales, nabubulok lang in the manila heat and humidity hehe... two weeks before i leave for a trip, i start to monitor the weather of my destination via wunderground.com. i check every day to see if the temps are consistent from day to day, if there is light or heavy rain, if it's windy, if temps drop drastically at night, etc. all these elements come into play when planning my wardrobe. arte ba? well, there's nothing worse than being unprepared, especially if it's colder than you expected!

i was invited to tokyo by kérastase to visit their labs and attend a regional press conference for their new product called intialiste (available in may). day 1 was all about the airport, airplane, driving two hours to the lab straight from narita, another two to the hotel, then having 15 minutes to get ready for a press con. so i've got nothing to show for that!

day 2 i was better prepared. temps were in the mid-to-high teens (15-18°C), so really pleasant. no need for thermals, gloves, thick mufflers, or heavy coats. it was still a working day, but after my official business, i had time to walk around roppongi hills. this is what i wore (without and with coat) (and matchy-matchy with the hotel lobby sculpture):

i wore a black wool double-breasted knit jacket (vintage from my mom), cotton skirt by forever 21, knee-high leather boots by paul smith, tote by longchamp, and a brocade coat by H&M. when it got colder in the evening, i added black opaque tights and a muffler, and i buttoned up the coat. those are the little tricks to protect you from the cold and wind: hidden layers (like the double-breasted style, lining in the skirt and jacket, pockets).

day 3, i had to check out of my expensive, sponsored hotel in roppongi hills and move to a more affordable boutique hotel in shibuya. then it was time to explore on my own. my friend pierra (check out her family's blog, the happylab.com.ph) made a walking tour for me, which i just followed. temps today dropped a bit to below 15°C, so it was chillier. here i am at some quaint and quiet café just off the busy and crowded takeshita lane:
i wore a mock turtleneck from a street market in kaoshiung, taiwan, a skirt by vivienne tam, knee-high flat patent boots by gucci. and this time i added black opaque tights and a tank top underneath. and of course i still had the same H&M coat with me.

day 4 was super gloomy and drizzling all day... and biting cold! it must have been around 10-12°C. i had planned to switch to a lighter coat today, but i had to stick with the thick brocade coat by H&M. i was picked up at my hotel by a japanese couple, who are friends of the hubby, and they took me around. first stop: ueno park, which has the most number of sakura trees in tokyo. so beautiful!!
i wore a thick red cotton turtleneck (vintage from my mom), silk/velvet patchwork skirt by christian lacroix, black leggings (because the skirt was not that thick, so i needed more protection from the cold), the same patent boots by gucci (perfect for the rain), and tote by longchamp (also ideal when it's raining).

day 5 it was time to go home huhuhu... i had to leave my hotel at around 745am and walk two blocks to the bus, which would take me to the airport. and it was 8°C eek! so layers that are easy to peel off is key, especially since i was landing in 34-degree temps eek!
so i wore a long-sleeved men's shirt by folded & hung under a light wool sweater by tory burch, men's stretchy pants by C2 collezione (stretchy is important for long flights), boots by gucci, coat by mango. before i got on the plane, i switched to flats by tory burch. before i landed, i took off the sweater and tied it around my shoulders, and folded the sleeves of the shirt. everything else got packed into the trolley. and i always like to have a hands-free slingbag for easy access to my passport, boarding pass, and wallet.

till the fash packs again!

Monday, April 01, 2013

the fash packs: tokyo

happy april fool's day! oops, i mean happy easter! as usual, the fash pack has been delinquent. i haven't kept my promise to post regularly. so how'd you spend your holy week break? for the first time in years, i spent it at home. yes, four days, from holy thursday to easter sunday at home! as in, i never left the house! i was busy de-cluttering and segregating stuff to give to charity, to share with family and friends, and to just plain throw away! ugh so tiring when you've accumulated so much (useless) stuff. i mean, how much makeup do i really need?? (hmmm gives me an idea to have a blog giveaway...) i've also been traveling! a lot of local destinations (so much of our beautiful country i have yet to see), and just last week i went to tokyo! i can't believe i waited 30 years to go back to japan! and how lucky was i that the sakura was early this year! what a lovely sight!!

ueno park

roppongi hills

it was my first time to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, which usually happens late march to mid april. and the flowers last for just 10-15 days, then they all fall off. it is a yearly event that the japanese really look forward to. you could really feel their excitement, taking pictures, posing in front of them, setting up picnic blankets beneath the trees (even when it was raining!), and just basking in nature's glory. 
roppongi hills

ueno park


and i of course didn't miss the chance to have my own photo op! since i was traveling by myself, i had to ask someone to take my picture! if you ever get the chance to visit japan, don't be shy to ask a local to take your picture, they'll be happy to do it. the japanese are some of the nicest, most helpful, and most polite people you'll ever encounter! 
excited much??

Friday, March 22, 2013

style weekend - mar 22

pls buy manila bulletin today (mar22) and get your free copy of style weekend! it's our men's issue (out every last friday of the month, except for this month—because next friday is good friday and we have no issue) and we've got liam hemsworth on the cover! he was in manila last week as the new bench endorser!

also in this issue: breitling jet team, man of the hour JR ang, tour guide for puerto galera, DJ mari ferrari on the centerfold, and more!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

my manila fame find

did you guys get to visit manila fame at the SMX convention center last march 14-17? if you didn't make it, be sure to catch the next one in october. twice a year, this international exhibition showcases the best in philippine design when it comes to furniture, home furnishings, christmas decor, and of course fashion (apparel and mostly accessories). this season i was honored to be asked to be a judge for the fashion category of the katha awards. here i am with my fellow judges for this category: 
L-R: millie dizon, SM's VP for PR & marketing; isabel de leon, manila bulletin lifestyle editor; me

last october 2012, ann ong won. well, guess what, she won again! this is her winning piece below, a minaudière called virginia, from her sierra madre collection. it's made from felled trees, cut and polished, and trimmed in gold. i like that it recycles beautiful pieces of wood found on the ground, and not from chopped-up trees. 

it wasn't my first choice, though. ann's piece certainly had the wow factor and i can imagine it on the pages of vogue as a last look item. a lot of the accessories we saw were not earth-shattering in terms of design, but often it was the back story of the company or the design or even the materials used that made them interesting. i was very drawn to the ones that were sustainable, eco-friendly, recycled... but you couldn't tell. and this is the one that moved me the most: raw earth collections by silnag. check out this necklace below. can you tell what those fine little beads are made of? 

i was shocked—and a little grossed out at first—to learn they were made from carabao nails! ewww, right? but the tiny beads were so clean and polished, you wouldn't even be able to tell. here they are mixed in with another part of the carabaohorn: 

they also use the bones (after scooping out the bulalo), but i wasn't able to take a picture. the carabao parts are just cleaned and bleached, not dyed, so the colors are very natural.

here is a necklace and matching ring to which they added crystals for some color: 

but the owners emphasized that no carabaos were killed just for these accessories. they collect the horns, bones, and nails from cara-beef slaughterhouses. ok, stop reading if that grosses you out because you will be surprised how much cara-beef is used in our everyday food (allegedly, some local corned beef and fast foods use cara-beef). so instead of throwing the parts away, they are made into beautiful, wearable things. zero waste. it's the wave of the future. 

for more information, visit their website www.silnag.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

now open: BCBG max azria

the presence of this brand in the philippines seems to be off and on. i've seen it at mix and i've seen it at rustan's. but for the first time, it finally has its own freestanding store at bonifacio high street central. the shop has been open since december, but last week they had a formal launch. here are raffy and kat florencio, the couple who brought the brand in (they also own the local technomarine, my diamond, and soon-to-open hervé léger): 

there was a mini fashion and here are a few trends i gathered from the current spring collection: 

black-and-white prints with a dash of hot pink

the new colorblocking

long formal dresses in red, white, and blue

a second branch of BCBG max azria will open middle of the year at the new shangri-la plaza wing. watch for it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

let's eat: oyster mondays

i've been absent for a month, and whaddaya know, my first post back is about food! tonight, the hubby and i got to partake of oyster mondays at circles, makati shangri-la. that's all-you-can-eat oysters as part of the daily buffet for only P1,635+++! that's pretty "sulit" if you're an oyster lover like me mmmmm... plus, the oysters are all imported. right now, the freshest come from france (normandy and brittany), australia, and utah—all huge, plump, and juicy mmmmm... 

aside from their regular fare, every station will be serving an oyster dish like oyster pizza, oyster sushi, oyster tempura, and oyster fritata, among others. the hubby said he was looking for oystersilog. na-challenge ang chef! if you like 'em baked, you can get them with mozzarella, cheddar, and rockefeller-style. 

while i like my oysters best freshly shucked with a squeeze of lemon and a drop of tangy cocktail sauce, i really enjoyed the pass-around platter. waiters walk around with trays of these delicious raw oysters topped with a combination of ingredients. mmmmm... 

did i say mmmmm...? 

oyster mondays, every monday dinner buffet at circles, makati shangri-la. for more info and reservations, call (2) 813-8888. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

now open: seda hotel

last week, i got to tour a new hotel in bonifacio global city called seda. it's owned by ayala, so it's located somewhere in between their other BGC properties, serendra and bonifacio high street. one of the hotel's features that excited me was the roofdeck bar called straight up. ladies and gentlemen, a new contender in the roofdeck bar wars: 

i'm sure it looks pretty at sunset and feels relaxing at night. i can already feel the breeze... a select group of media had the pleasure of being toured by no less than the architect himself, conrad onglao. here he is against one of the hotel's distinct walls: 

check out the lobby bar, below. can you tell where i am?? i'm in effin taguig, man!! 

too chic. and if that isn't enough, there is furniture by kenneth cobonpue and wire installations by ann pamintuan. go, filipino design with a global appeal!

and if you think they spent a bundle on the hotel, conrad kept telling us where he had to scrimp and save—but you couldn't really tell. for example, instead of expensive original artwork for the walls, they commissioned photographers to shoot abstract images that were "distinctly BGC," which were then blown up into black-and-white/sepia-toned square frames. cool idea, huh? goes well with the neutral shades and tones of the hotel's interiors.

curious about what the bedrooms look like? here's a typical room, below. quite spacious and so efficiently designed. love that bay window bench!
the hotel is only partially open and will be completed by march. for more information, go to www.sedahotels.com

Saturday, February 16, 2013

what to do when you're sick

i've been sick in bed for the past three days! since valentine's day! although last feb 14 i managed to drag myself out of bed, get dressed, and meet my date for dinner. no, it wasn't the hubby. valentine's day is the busiest day of the year for any restaurant, so i can never have a date with the hubby! so i took out my GBF rhett eala for dinner at elbert's steak room. can you tell who's who hehe...
him in new christian louboutin, me in old prada

so what did i do while lying in bed? i managed to view all the new york fashion week fall/winter 2013 collections on style.com on my ipad. what a luxury! i got to snap my favorites, make mental notes on what to keep and what to buy, and create trend reports. this is what i've come up with so far, so take note!
hold on to your ratty gray sweatshirts! L-R: 3.1 phillip lim, ostwald helgason, rebecca minkoff

black turtlenecks as formal eveningwear. very sharon stone at the oscars, circa 1996 (google it!). L-R: cushnie et ochs, chado ralph rucci, ralph lauren

this is just for me because this is how i like to dress hehe... my favorite mismatched-suit looks in shades of red. L-R: libertine, anna sui, lela rose

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SM/SQ raffle promo

i think it's safe to say that 99% of the population will never get to ride an A380. well, do you want to be part of that 1%?? all you have to do is shop at SM department store! spend P5,000 in a single receipt and you get one raffle ticket—if you have an SM advantage card, you get two! if you win, you get two tickets to any of six destinations (LA, london, paris, zurich, melbourne, sydney) via singapore airlines' A380 suite! yes, sweet! and don't think, bah i never win those things... because guess what? they're giving away a pair of 12—yes, TWELVE—tickets! more chances of winning wooo-hooo! you have till march 31, 2013, so shop na!!

yesterday was the official launch of this promo. it was held at SM makati and look who was there: the two power women behind this promo.
millie dizon of SM and rita dy of singapore airlines

two "authentic" singapore girls flew in just for this event. don't you just love their uniform? classic! 
coffee, tea, or two free tickets on the A380?

and just to give you a feel of what it's like to actually fly the A380, only the best was served: dom perignon, baby!
i'll have a bottle please

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


i live across the manila bay. my flat, though, does not have a view of the bay and i often have to step outside my door in order to view the daily glorious sunset. and although that fact often breaks my heart, it breaks my heart even more to know that there may come a time in the near future that i might not even be able to see the sunset from my building. because there are plans to reclaim more land in order to construct clusters of buildings that will block the sunset view from roxas boulevard and existing buildings and establishments. and these plans were approved by manila mayor lim. seriously?? so when there was an announcement to have a silent protest by having a synchronized sunset viewing and to create a human chain on the manila bay seawall on roxas boulevard, i knew i had to be there. this happened today starting at 4pm. let the photos speak for themselves. 

the neighbors and i came in full force!
this was the stunning view i caught as i arrived. people lined up on the seawall!
this mini chopper thingy with a video camera was flying around, capturing the scene
carlos celdran and his doppelgänger?
even the doggies came to join the protest!
people young and old came to see this unobstructed sunset
doing the wave! (and i hope it wasn't to say buh-bye to this sunset...)
we had an unusual sunset today—half lit and half shadowed. could the bay be telling us something...?