Monday, January 30, 2012

matthew's day off

for those of us who watched "ferris bueller's day off" the first time it was released, i think it's safe to say it made a huge impact on us. it's every kid's fantasy—playing hooky from school and getting away with it. and matthew broderick became the darling of the 80s. well, honda brought back ferris bueller—circa 2012! but it's ferris as matthew, all grown up and now a movie star. but with the same live-a-little attitude. you will love this, i promise!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

hello, is it me you're looking for?

this is too cool not to share! have a good laugh :-D

Friday, January 27, 2012

style weekend - jan 27

please buy manila bulletin today (jan 27) for your free copy of style weekend for men (out every last friday of the month)—our first for the year! on the cover: champion swimmer/award-winning actor/happiness ambassador enchong dee. photographed by mark nicdao, styling by noel manapat, grooming by peps silvestre.

inside the rest of our sports issue: piolo pascual's running tips, the lowdown on the NBA lockout, the guy who finished first at the ironman challenge, fine dining at champagne room and impressions, features on fuerza bruta and the girl with the dragon tattoo, lindsay lohan centerfold, and more!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

flight to bangkok (and back)

my flight to bangkok last week was via philippine airlines. i was kinda dreading it because the last time i flew PAL was to seoul last november, when they were having a lot of problems with the strikes. so it affected their service as well. back then, i flew economy and our food was served in boxes:
parang packed lunch! when the FA asked what drink i'd like, i asked for wine. they said, sorry we're only serving beer. hoookay, beer it is:
this time, going to bangkok, i was booked in business class. well, can't complain! champagne before and after takeoff!
for lunch, we started with marinated prawns and scallop in lemongrass with green mango salad:
and for main course, i chose pistachio-crusted seabass in lime lemon veloute with roasted onion and potato gratin:
i was so happy with my meal! the food was good, the service was good, the flight was good. like i said, can't complain! (but, really, they must do away with the plastic knife—other airlines have!)

but alas i was brought back down to earth because my return flight was booked in economy. huwaaat?? that's what happens with sponsored flights—surprise, surprise! there was no champagne before or after takeoff, and lunch was a choice between chicken or beef. i asked how they were cooked. "the chicken is like afritada and the beef is stewed." i opted for beef:
well, i must say, the food was actually good. and so was the service. and the flight. can't complain. (for a short three-hour flight, that is...)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the fash packs: bangkok

last week i left for bangkok and once again failed to post anything during my travels. i was there to attend a press conference for a health food/ingredients and natural/organic beauty trade fair happening in bangkok in march. so it was purely business with a tour and a bit of shopping thrown in. this is where i was booked:
i stayed at the four wings. not related to the four seasons. below, the room, bathroom, and view:
ugh. i hate views like this. i hate looking into other windows, and i hate other buildings blocking my view. and this is what i looked like when i checked in:
ngarag. my plane outfit: vintage black cardigan (thrifted at reno, nevada), sleeveless knit top by kate torralba for paper dolls, slim black pants by herbench, tan flats by dexter (from payless), red tote bag by longchamp.

day 2 was when everything happened: press con, lunch, tour, dinner, shopping. since this was not a fasyon event, i thought it best to dress simply but appropriately. when it comes to business-y events like this with the regional press, attire can run the gamut from dark corporate suits to jeans and flip-flops—you never know how people are going to dress! what i wore fit right in between:
my press con outfit: striped top by topshop, navy slim trousers by gap, black flats by dexter (from payless), black tote bag by longchamp, green-pendant necklace by crû, gold-bead necklace from hong kong. after lunch, we toured the grand palace. i have been to bangkok many times, but i never even knew this existed! (that's because we come here to shop and eat!) what an awesome place. i loved the colors, the patterns, the shapes in this complex of spectacular temples, halls, stupas, statues, structures—grand, indeed!

see how the giant demon cooperated and matched my outfit hehe...
finally on day 3, it was time to go home. check out the hubby's new maleta by salvador bachiller, which i borrowed. i never had a maleta that had its own lampin hahaha! so arte!
one last shot of my return-flight outfit (can't you tell i love stripes?? hehe): cardigan by kate torralba for paper dolls (yes, i bought the whole collection!), fuchsia tank top by U2, brown pants by herbench, tan flats by dexter (from payless), red tote bag by longchamp, slingbag by louis vuitton, cheap shades by H&M.
tomorrow: all about the flight!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

fuerza bruta comes to manila

have you heard of fuerza bruta? i don't remember when i first heard of this show, but after seeing the video years ago, i promised myself that the next time i go to new york, i'm going to watch this show! well, i went to new york april last year and i failed to watch it. boo. that's because my jet lag was sooo bad, i was always too sleepy to go anywhere at night. hell, i even fell asleep while having dinner with a friend! but now i don't feel so bad because fuerza bruta is coming to manila, woo-hoo! care to share in my excitement? then watch this video:

learn more about the show by going to their website or read this!

Fuerza Bruta: They dance, they fly, they smash things

Theater and dance fans and the rest of the show-going public who think they’ve seen it all better think again. Starting this February, Fuerza Bruta, an event filled with innovative artistic thrills promises to grab their attention and never let go. A mix of theater, aerial stunts, and dance party, the tour de force spectacle that has been wowing audiences across the globe will make its Manila premiere at the Manila Hotel on February 14, 2012.

Celebrated by audiences across the world, Fuerza Bruta is a non-stop collision of dynamic music, visceral emotion, and kinetic aerial imagery. Defying both gravity and convention, Fuerza Bruta is a show to stun the senses. Audiences are urged not just to watch, but also shout, spin, touch and even help the cast smash things—an interactive live event that makes the usual night out dull in comparison.

Fuerza Bruta will captivate audience members as soon as they step into the Manila Hotel Tent, which will be transformed into an alternate universe with thumping beats, engaging dream sequences, and even a multidimensional swimming pool above the heads of the audience as they stand in the middle of the action.

Breaking free from the confines of spoken language and theatrical convention, Fuerza Bruta is an event where worlds collide and reality takes a back seat. At show time, audiences are engulfed in a 360-degree spectacle featuring mind-blowing visual effects within inches of the audience that must be seen to be believed - a man running full throttle on a giant treadmill, bursting through a series of moving walls; tumbling performers suspended in mid-air; beautiful dancers in a clear pool overhead.

"We have had amazing success touring Fuerza Bruta around the world, and after a very successful run in Taipei, we are excited to bring it back to Asia," said Michael Cohl, Chairman of S2BN Entertainment. "The powerful, high-octane visual extravaganza has great international appeal whether it is in the United States, South America, or Europe - and even in Asia, too."

With famous clients and successful world touring shows including the Rolling Stones, U2, Pink Floyd, The Bodies Exhibition, and hit Broadway sensation Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Cohl, the head of S2BN Entertainment, has an impressive track record identifying, producing and effectively marketing live shows and events.

Fuerza Bruta has a company in New York that is currently performing in their fourth blockbuster year, as well as a touring company that has played major cities worldwide, including Buenos Aires, Lisbon, London, Cordoba, Bogota, Edinburgh, Berlin, Mexico, Rosario, Miami, Chicago, Puerto Rico, Caracas, Sao Paulo, Madrid, Bilbao, Knokke Heist, Moscow, Antwerp, Taipei and Tel Aviv, to high critical acclaim.

Fuerza Bruta was founded by some of the creators of the international sensation De La Guarda, including Diqui James (Artistic Director/Creator); Gaby Kerpel (Composer/Musical Director); Alejandro Garcia (Technical Director), Agustina James (Technical Producer), and Fabio Daquila (Production Supervisor).

Celebrity followers of James' work include Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Sting, Britney Spears, Harrison Ford, Tyra Banks, Robert DeNiro, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sandra Bullock, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Lil Wayne, Jessica Alba, Fergie, Beyonce, Rachel McAdams, Jude Law, John Legend, Shakira, Alexis Bledel, Amber Tamblyn, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Serena Williams, Ashton Kutcher, Kanye West and more.

The stage is set for the most astounding event of 2012 as Hoopla Inc., the promoter of Cirque du Soleil here in the Philippines, launches another world-class first in the local entertainment scene. The cast will perform in Manila beginning February 14 for six weeks at the Manila Hotel Tent. For inquiries, call 320-1111 or visit Tickets are also on sale at the Manila Hotel concierge.

The Manila Hotel and Fox International Channels are the official sponsors of Fuerza Bruta in the Philippines. The Manila Hotel is also the official hotel and residence of Fuerza Bruta.

Monday, January 23, 2012

what i did on CNY eve

i'm not chinese, so every year, chinese new year passes without any fanfare. it's just another day with an excuse to wear red, eat round fruit, and buy lucky charms! but yesterday, i got an invite to manila hotel's festivities, so the hubby and i decided to go. it wasn't a formal affair, so i just wore red polka dots:
my CNY outfit: shirt by D&G, black jeans by marc by marc jacobs, wedges by forever 21, bag by kate spade. before midnight, everyone was made to go outside, get a balloon, write your wish on it, then face south east.
then at exactly 12 midnight, everyone was made to release the balloons.
hmmm this can't be good for the environment, can it...?
then there was a five-minute fireworks display.
speaking of fireworks, the bay area was pretty busy last night. aside from this event, katy perry was having a concert at the mall of asia concert grounds (heard she was two hours late) and there was a variety show and countdown at the quirino grandstand. roxas boulevard was full of people! then it was back into the hotel for the post-midnight auspicious buffet. but not before the tossing of the yu sheng salad.
may the year of the water dragon bring all of us good health, success in our careers, luck in romance, and prosperity!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

kong hei fat choi!

Year 2012 Zodiac Sign: Water Dragon
Commencement of the year: 23rd January 00:01 am 2012
Formal duration of the year: 4th February 2012 at 6:22pm to 3rd February 2013
Element of the Year:
• Heaven stem element: Water
• Earth branch element: Earth
• Supporting element: Water
Zodiac signs offending the Tai Suey: Dragon, Dog, Ox, Goat, Rabbit
Zodiac signs that must avoid Burials: Yin Fire Ox, Yin Earth Goat, Metal Ox, Earth Dragon, Golden Dog, Fire Dog
Lucky colors: Gold, Silver, White, Sky Blue, Green, Red, Pink, Violet, Peach, Orange, Beige, Yellow, Brown
Luck for wealth: Treasure Bowl, Vivacious Prince of Wealth, Flying Golden Pei Yau
Luck for career: Jade Dragonhead Fish
Luck for safety: Jade Master Protection Pendant, Safety Medallion
Health protection: Health Medallion
Luck for romance and relationships: Romance Bucket, Brass Happy Couple, Mandarin Duck
Improving overall luck: Benefactor Jade

2012 Forecast Highlights

1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Zodiac’s Nature:
Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, zealous, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, ambitious, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.

2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. People born in the year of the Dragon are said to be offending the Grand Duke (Tai Suey Pang Tai) of the year, which will usher in periodic inauspicious and difficult periods throughout the year. . They will be under stress and will face many obstacles, challenges, persecutions and problems. They should be very careful in handling their work or business and do things step by step. They must remember to work more and talk less, to avoid unnecessary rumors and jealousy. “Think before you act” is a key phrase to remember, for them to be successful within the year. They have to keep a low profile, be patient, do their best to maintain good relationships, and avoid being involved in personal disputes.

Financially, it is not a fortunate year for Dragons, because of so many antagonistic stars gathered under their sign; money will be easy come-easy go. They should cut down their expenditures and do their best to save money. On love affairs: this is not a fortunate year. Single Dragons should not expect too much this year. Lovers should be patient with each other to reach mutual understanding. They must be careful with the way they handle their relationship to avoid any conflict. On health: because of the existence of the antagonistic stars, Dragons should pay special attention to road safety, keep away from sharp objects and beware of spleen, gall bladder and stomach problems. Moreover, they have to watch over their diet.

1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001

Zodiac’s Nature:
Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, ambitious, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be a loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold.

Although there are so many antagonistic stars under the sign this year, they will not be affected too much because Snakes are flexible and changeable in character. They can cope easily with sudden changes and they can utilize their talents to reap the opportunities that come along. Snakes will have a step ahead this year. They have to maintain good relationships with people to avoid isolation, or else the operation of their work or business will be affected. Financially, money luck is quite fortunate this year for Snakes. On love affairs, two romantic stars appear under the sign. They indicate that romantic sparks are easily ignited. Love life will blossom into permanent relationships. On health, the existence of the “Sickness Star” signifies that Snakes will easily get sick. They have to pay special attention to their lungs and respiratory problems.

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Zodiac’s Nature:
Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile both mentally and physically, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.

This is a stable year for Horses in the year of the Dragon. In order to succeed this year, they have to be more conservative in handling their work or business. They absolutely cannot take any shortcuts for fast success. They will also have many chances to exhibit their skills and talents and show off their working ability. So, they have to work hard, be more creative and take initiative at work. Financially, the year is good and optimistic. Money comes from all sources and never ends. On love affairs, this will be a pretty dull year for the Horses; it is because of the influence of the Lonely Star. Lovers will experience communication gaps and misunderstandings. To prevent this situation from happening, they should pay more attention and give more affection to their loved ones. On health, it may be possible for Horses to have an operation this year. They should keep away from dangerous water activities and pay special attention to road safety.

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991

Zodiac’s Nature:
Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, determined, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.

Goats will be blessed by the Grace Star, so it is lucky for them to explore their business in overseas markets. Working employees should open their eyes to opportunities around the world. They should have the guts to challenge themselves, and grasp the good opportunities to work abroad. It is also lucky for Goats to explore studying abroad or migrating. Financially, money is easy come and easy go. Goats should try their best to save money for the rainy days. Most important of all, they should be wary of money traps since they can easily be cheated. They must be extremely careful when engaging in contract signing. On love affairs, female Goats will have better luck than the males. Goats should not indulge too much in nightlife. On health, due to the appearance of the “Kaau Sat” unlucky star within the sign, Goats must pay attention to heart, liver and lung problems. So, precautions should be taken regarding their diet. Don’t take too much oily food, and have a medical checkup in the beginning of the year.

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

Zodiac’s Nature:
Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious

This is not a favorable year for Monkeys in the year of the Dragon. There are so many unlucky stars gathered under the sign. So, they easily get into trouble and experience problems, especially related to business ventures, rumors and court cases. However, constant hard work and humility will bring success to Monkeys. Financially, money is fluctuating. It is crucial that they avoid being too greedy or they will lose everything. On love affairs, the Romantic Star shines bright. It is beneficial for lovers, and is especially auspicious for weddings. Single Monkeys should consider getting married within the year. On health, since there is the appearance of the unlucky stars, Monkeys should avoid going to funerals or visiting the sick people in the hospital. They also have to watch their diet and hygiene. They should not take too much oily food and beware of glung, intestine, stomach and digestive problems.

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

Zodiac’s Nature:
Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, opinionated, given to empty bravado.

Luck of the Roosters is fluctuating. Roosters will face many obstacles or problems ahead, but they should not be too worried about that as these problems will eventually get solved. The lucky stars will change their bad luck into good fortune. “Change” is a must for Roosters. They have to look for a new job, new market and new direction to explore their business. They should be ready for the sudden changes and try their best to cope with them. It is important that Roosters work hard constantly and have no fear in any unfavorable situations. Moreover, they have to build good relationships with people, so that they are able to work efficiently and achieve their target easily. Financially, Roosters will have stable incomes, but they should try their best to save money for the rainy day. There will be many chances for them to join ventures. However, they should be wary of swindlers. On love affairs, this will be a very romantic year for Roosters. They are very attractive and popular in social gatherings. However, they have to avoid indulging too much in love affairs and neglecting their work. On health, Roosters should have enough rest and must pay special attention to their diet and hygiene to avoid liver problems.

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Zodiac’s Nature:
Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.

Dogs are directly clashing with the Dragon sign this year. They are clashing with the Tai Suey (Grand Duke). So, they should be extremely careful in handling their work or business. this is not an ideal year for Dogs to change jobs or expand their business. They will be under stress and will face many problems such as personal disputes, rumors, jealousy, and backstabbing. Their work progress will be seriously affected. , to avoid unexpected problems from happening, they must be patient and keep a low profile. They must also try their best to keep away from disputes. Money luck is not so optimistic. They have to be very careful in handling their wealth. They must try to broaden their sources of income and reduce unnecessary expenditures. Aside from this, they should not act as a guarantor for others. On love affairs, this is not a fortunate year for Dogs in romance. They should not expect too much this year. The more they expect, they more disappointed they will be. On health, they must try to have enough rest to avoid exhaustion.

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Zodiac’s Nature:
Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic.

It is a prosperous year for Pigs and things go quite smoothly. It is especially lucky for those who are in the field of management as they will have good opportunities for them to expand their business and show their talents, skills and working abilities. Both career and business luck are stable, if they are able to handle their work cautiously and without any major mistake. It is important that they make a clear distinction between public and private interests when handling their work, and understand that work and friendship do not mix well. Financially, this is a pretty good year. Pigs will have many opportunities to change jobs or have better prospects. However, they should treasure their luck and should not let their chances go. On love affairs, this is a romantic year for Pigs. They will enjoy harmonious relationships with those around them this year. Single Pigs can expect romance to flourish, and they will have the chance to find a partner. Married Pigs should avoid heavy engagements and socializing. On health, Pigs have to try to keep fit this year. Most importantly, they should have enough rest to avoid exhaustion.

1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996

Zodiac’s Nature:
Forthright, tenacious, systematic, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, hardworking, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, mendacious, venal, selfish, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, scheming.

This is a fortunate year for Rats. They will have the chance to get a promotion and change jobs. They can consider either starting their own business or expanding their current business. Both fame and reputation will be popular for Rats this year, especially for those involved in politics, media and TV business. So, for their popularity and success in career development, they should consider doing some good for the society in order to get support from the public. Financially, this is a fortunate year for Rats. They will have a steady income and profits and they will have the chance to exhibit their talents. However, they should avoid becoming greedy and losing more than they gain. On love affairs, it will be quite an unsteady year for Rats. They will face many obstacles and problems and may end up with separation. Therefore, lovers should be more understanding with each other to avoid conflict. On health, Rats will have a hectic work schedule this year, so they should have enough rest to avoid exhaustion. Most important of all, they should watch out for the health and safety of their elder family members at home.

1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Zodiac’s Nature:
Dependable, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.

Due to the influence of the unlucky stars “Koon Sok” and “Kuen Sit”, Oxen have to be careful when it comes to the way they handle their relationships with their people this year. They must talk cautiously and think before they act, or else they will easily create conflicts which can result in a legal case. Luckily, this is an auspicious year for Oxen in business. The lucky stars shining brightly and everything is going smoothly. However, they have to understand that humility and patience are the positive attitudes needed when treating people in order to win full support of others in business. They have to keep in mind that they should not be moody and arrogant. Otherwise, they will suffer a big defeat by their competitors. Most important of all, they have to keep in mind the Chinese motto that says: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do unto you”. Financially, Oxen will be quite fortunate because they will have a steady income from different sources. Love lacks richness, but it is still stable. Oxen should be alert of love traps and avoid indulging in too much nightlife. Health is moderate. They have to pay attention to their diet and hygiene. Exercise more, as this will be helpful in keeping away from sickness.

1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Zodiac’s Nature:
Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive.

This is a tough and busy year for Tigers. They have to work very hard to survive in business. On the other hand, they have to be patient, keep a low profile and keep away from disputes, so that their career development will not be hindered. “Silence” is the keyword for them towards their path to success during this year. They must think before they act and avoid being too talkative or they will suffer numerous troubles. They have to be more conservative in handling their money matters. It is important that they pay special attention when signing contracts. On love affairs, the romantic star is weak. It is full of complications and love life is definitely not going smooth. So, they should not expect too much or they will be deeply disappointed. Lovers should be patient with each other and maintain their relationship with care to avoid problems. On health, they have to relax more and do more soft exercise to keep fit.

1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Zodiac’s Nature:
Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, astute, compassionate, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

Rabbits will have better luck this year. Career luck is promising and they are able to change their bad luck into good fortune. However, they have to work step by step and stand on solid ground in order to succeed. It is important that they avoid dreaming and aiming too high. Their arrogance will be their biggest obstacle at work, so they must be humble and open themselves up to accept opinions of others. Financially, money luck is prosperous, but they have to prevent the problems that will be created from the wealth. So, they should not be greedy. They must avoid corruption or they will put themselves in jeopardizing situations. On love affairs, it is easy to get into romantic involvements with the opposite gender and romantic sparks are ignited easily. On health, it is not too good for Rabbits. They have to exercise more to strengthen their immune system to prevent getting sick. Try to relax more and make sure to have enough rest to avoid exhaustion or sudden collapse.

2012 year of the water dragon forecast courtesy of master joseph chau for mandarin oriental manila
dragon photographed by me at the manila hotel lobby
animal zodiac signs from

Friday, January 20, 2012

style weekend - jan 20

pls buy manila bulletin today (jan 20) for your free copy of style weekend! on the cover: model nayla wears the season's colors and a pair of shoes from nine west's spring/summer 2012 collection. photographed on location at ion sky, singapore by me! check out the rest of the collection and my exclusive Q&A with nine west creative director, fred allard

it's also our chinese new year special! where to eat, buy tikoy, watch a dragon dance, get a feng-shui reading, and celebrate the countdown. also in this issue: guangzhou as china's new "in" destination, red accessories for good luck, rachelle que's mon-sun style, profiles on katy perry and fil-am youtube sensations, and more!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

repetto opening soon

spotted in greenbelt 3:
so it's true! i had been hearing this rumor for the last three months and there's the evidence. a boarded-up space in greenbelt 3—but not just any space! this had actual ballet slippers hanging from the wall! (more like toe shoes actually.) how clever! how cute! how creative! (and if you look closely, it looks like a pair had already been pried loose!)
so who's bringing repetto in? well, a pretty little birdy told us that it's suyen corp., i.e., the company that owns bench, human, dimensione, aldo, the face shop, et al. oooh they're taking over the shoe market! aside from aldo, suyen also carries call it spring and pedro, and now repetto.
exact location? it took over the space where madison used to be. right next to fruits & passion, and right across regatta. so are you egg-zited??

to know more about repetto, go here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

style weekend - jan 13

pls buy manila bulletin today (jan 13) for your free copy of style weekend! on the cover: model aliah heitz channels sophie of mamma mia! photographed by brian bravo on location at pearl farm beach resort davao, styled by kristine serrano, makeup by daniel lois buddy congson, hair by jonelle bansali. top by free people clothing and lifestyle, shorts by soul lifestyle.

also in this issue: fashion experts tell us what's in for 2012, printed accessories, latest fragrance releases, lissa kahayon's mon-sun style, and more!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

D&G HK controvery

saw this interesting news report the other day on the wall street journal website. read it and tell me what your take is on this. in this age of the "documentation generation," people take pictures of anything and everything to post on their facebook, twitter, blogs, instagram, tumblr, flickr, pinterest, youtube, or whathaveyou. these days, before people eat, they don't say grace—they take pictures of the food! well, raise your hand if you're guilty *raises hand*

in my experience taking pictures around manila, i have had to do most of them on the sly. restaurants now tolerate you taking pictures of the food and interiors, but a lot of stores and malls don't like it. abroad, i have been stopped in madrid from taking pictures of the outside of an open-air shopping center. in istanbul, a lot of stall owners invited me to take pictures of their wares—except for one that was selling copies of birkins and kellys haha! but i found new york city to be the most tolerable. the city is crawling with tourists, posing with and taking pictures of everything outdoors AND indoors, and not once did i see anyone stopped. which was refreshing. hell, i was even able to organize a fashion shoot inside the museum of modern art—without permission! which was actually quite bold.

Dolce & Gabbana Photo Ban Sparks Protest
JANUARY 9, 2012, 5:44 PM HKT

People in Hong Kong went to the streets on Sunday, but unlike previous mass rallies in the city, this one wasn’t about politics or democracy. The cause: The right to take photos in front of luxury retailer Dolce & Gabbana.

More than 1,000 people showed up outside the Italian brand’s flagship store on Canton Road after the retailer reportedly prevented people taking pictures of its store front earlier in the week. The protest forced the store to shut at 3 p.m. as the crowds swelled.

The rally was organized on Facebook after local newspaper Apple Daily reported that Hong Kong citizens were banned from taking pictures of window displays, even if the photos were taken from the public street. Apple Daily also posted a video that showed security guards telling journalists to stop snapping pictures from the sidewalk.

According to the report, representatives of the retailer allegedly defended its policy, arguing that it was trying to protect its intellectual property even though the pictures were taken from the public street. However, the defense was undercut further when the company said foreign and mainland Chinese tourists were exceptions to the photo ban.

Why the company’s security drew the line between local Hong Kongers and mainland tourists is not exactly clear, but some have speculated it has less to do with copyright infringement and more to with placating high-rollers from China.

According to other reports, including this one from the Hong Kong Standard, a “well-known mainlander, possibly a government official” was shopping in the store and complained to D&G of photos taken from the street, fearing that they would be posted online and link his shopping trip to corruption. (Last year, a Chinese rail official came under fire after it was revealed he was sporting an expensive luxury watch while at a press conference following the Wenzhou rail disaster.)

Luxury companies in Hong Kong have been doing brisk business, mostly selling to Chinese tourists from the mainland who flock to Hong Kong’s lower-taxed shopping. The shop which was the focus of public anger is located on Canton Road, a luxury strip so busy that Chinese tourists are often asked by store bouncers to queue up on the sidewalks.

While some have called the incident an overreaction, academics say that the large turnout on Sunday underscores the continuing struggle among Hong Kongers to protect against infringements to freedoms and rights they are afforded as a special administrative region of China.

“Since the city’s handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong people have faced a lot of setbacks in their fight for democracy and freedom. As there is no universal suffrage and other political rights, they cling very hard on to what is left for them, such as the fundamental right to enjoy public space,” said Chung Kim-wah, director of Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Centre for Social Policies Studies.

Mr. Chung said the incident was also a platform for the locals to express their frustrations over the mainland Chinese, who are playing an increasingly significant role in the city. “Mainland mothers come to give birth, mainland buyers are buying the most luxurious properties in Hong Kong. The mainland is basically the backbone of our economy. Hong Kong people are afraid that their roles will be increasingly taken over by the mainlanders, but they have nowhere to express this fear,” he said.

In a statement issued on its Facebook page, Harbour City, the shopping mall that houses the D&G flagship store, apologized for the inconvenience caused. “We will learn from the incident and listen to the views of people from different sectors.”

Harbour City, owned by blue-chip conglomerate Wharf (Holdings) Ltd., said it has over the past few days reminded its tenants that they shouldn’t intervene the activities of people outside their shops unless the activities affect their customers or other passers-by.

Late Sunday, Dolce & Gabbana issued a press release to try to diffuse the situation. “We wish to underline that our company has not taken part in any action aiming at offending the Hong Kong public,” it said. But in the minds of Hong Kongers, it already has.

– Polly Hui contributed to this article.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

let's eat: naci comfort food & dessert bar

when it comes to restaurants, the greenhills area is filled with hidden gems tucked away in little corners of the shopping centers or within buildings along the annapolis or connecticut strips. one such eatery is naci, which labels itself as a comfort food & dessert bar. i say it's more like creative comfort food.
i had heard and read about the place, and in fact featured it on style weekend. but it was my first time to check out the place and i'm glad i finally did! interiors are simple and cozy, and they played standards:
when dear mother and i eat out, we like to order lots of little dishes and share. so we ordered salad, soup, and appetizers. everything was big enough to share. we started with kani mango crunch (P160). "layers of assorted greens, kani, ripe mangoes, cucumber with crispy wonton and vermicelli drizzled with wasabi mayo":
i love kani-mango salad, but this was different. the crispy wonton and vermicelli added an interesting texture and the wasabi mayo was subtle and not at all overwhelming. still very fresh and light. the manager suggested we order tita em's chowder (P150), simply for novelty's sake—the "creamy, hearty chowder with shrimps, fresh corn kernels and bacon" was served in carved-out sourdough bread:
very filling as you might expect. and the bread was good too. our "main course" was two appetizers. first, beef taco springroll (P190). "crispy springroll stuffed with beef taco, tomato salsa served with sour cream":
this was quite unexpected. the wrapper was thin and crispy, not thick and "nakaka-busog" like regular springrolls. and i'm glad that they were generous with the sour cream. then we had shrimps on toast (P190). "minced white shrimps with chopped pork and vegetables served with tomato salsa, cheese sauce and spicy tomato":
this is best eaten hot, so don't allow it to get cold before you dig in, otherwise the toast gets soggy. and if that wasn't enough, we were offered dessert—syempre naman, that's their specialty! apparently, they make the desserts fresh in their kitchen located on another floor. we decided to share one slice of their best-seller, caramel cream cake (P85 a slice).
we expected it to be really sweet and "nakaka-sawa" but it was surprisingly light! i almost regert not ordering my own slice haha... all in all it was a nice, pleasant lunch with good food in a relaxed atmosphere.

naci is located at 2/f fox square, connecticut st., greenhills, san juan, tel 726-7266,