Friday, July 31, 2015

FMM: Making the rounds

In honor of Spandau Ballet's upcoming Manila concert, may I present one of my all time favorite Spandau songs.

While the song was awesome on its own, the MTV was also a visual and conceptual treat. I remember being a kid and mesmerized by the story of this video. It made me want to go to the U.S. and be a student there. Harhar.

You just have to love the 80s.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hello there 80s

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Madonna is bringing her "Rebel Heart Tour" to Manila. And so far it's the only South East Asian country where she'll be performing. 

Needless to say, the response to the concert has been kuh-ray-zee. Tickets were sold-out a few hours after they started selling it.

And today, the news about Spandau Ballet's concert in Manila just came out. Mind you, this is the whole, original band. And not the usual "Tony Hadley - lead singer of Spandau Ballet" concert.

Yes, the 80s are back. Hooray for us!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Catty comments

A nice tee is the perfect thing to wear on lazy days. All the fast fashion brands have their own armada of tees, but they usually vary in fabric quality and design. Among the lot, Uniqlo has the best tees so far. The cotton they use is soft and sturdy (I still wear my Uniqlo tees from 7 years back) and the designs have that Japanese creative aesthetic. 

Another underrated source of tees is Surplus Shop. All you need to do is step inside a store and you'll be treated to racks upon racks of great tees. That's why whenever there's a need for weekend wear, this is one of the default destinations.

While browsing the ladies' tee section, this soft, heather gray shirt caught my eye. It had a nice cut, and an even nicer fabric. The cotton felt so plush and soft.

The print, though, made me stop and think whether I should get it for the Ates. While it's tongue-in-cheek and supposed to be funny, I think it's a bit demeaning to single folks and perpetuates the stereotype of the "single cat lady."

Bad print notwithstanding, the fabric and style is really nice and worth buying. So the question remains, should I?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tour de Four-ce

Flashback to 8 years ago. I was still living in HKG, and one fine day, I decided to watch the film "The Fantastic Four." It was super duper ultra cheese!

In a few weeks, they're finally coming out with the reboot of the same franchise. Totally different actors, costumes, and - based on the trailer - approach to the film.

It looks more compelling and less cheesy than the 2007 version. Then again, that's what I thought when I saw the trailer of the first one.

We'll see.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lacy days and Mondays

Whenever there's a need for lace, the usual go-to places are Carolina's and Fabric Warehouse. They have an impressive selection of lace - particularly Carolina's. After all, the company exports lace fabric to fashion houses such as Armani.

If you have a penchant for adventure and don't mind crowds, Divisoria is another good source. There's a place in 168 that I frequent, and they have nice Prada lace that's 50% cheaper compared to mall stores.

Yesterday, another lace source presented itself. While looking for buttons for my old suit in Cubao, I chanced upon this fabric store that specializes in jersey and sports fabrics. But in one corner, they had a few bolts of lace. And they were really, really, really, really nice lace.

Of course, I couldn't resist to buy a few yards for future use. Particularly, this rose gold lace with a very elegant design.

This is going to make an equally elegant dress.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Simply Jesse

Today was an extra special day because we had an extra adorable and extra special guest.

Baby Jesse!

Baby Jesse is Mark's nephew and he dropped by Dexter's with his parents after getting his vaccination. Aside from being super duper adorable, he's a very nice baby. He didn't complain when I carried him, neither when Ate Bullet carried him as well. He was smiling a lot, and he'd laugh when you made googly sounds.

All that adorableness at less than 5 months old!

This visit really made my Sunday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Photo finish fashion

It's well-established that I'm a huge fan of photo prints in fashion. That's why Mary Katrantzou is one of the designers I always look out for because she's a master in blending photorealism and fashion.

Seeing that level of quality and craftsmanship isn't something you'd normally expect in the Philippines, but trust Plains and Prints to defy expectations.

This weekend, they previewed their 20th anniversary collection which they dubbed as "Photography x Fashion." They worked with 2 great photographers (both of which I'm lucky to have worked with) - Wig Tysmans and Mark Nicdao.

They translated their best photographs into fabric, and designed a collection around it. Needless to say, the results are breathtaking.

This is one of the best-sellers during the preview sale. The manager said that it flew off the racks the moment they opened, and I was lucky to get a pair for my sisters.

It's composed of a blouse with a print of a museum in Jaipur called "Albert Hall."

Then, a skirt with a photo print of a palace, also in Jaipur.

The print was done beautifully, and the fabric gave it enough volume and body for the print to stand out.

In my opinion, this is the best collaboration they've ever had.

Friday, July 24, 2015

FMM: Very Perri

Back when I was a junior copywriter, we'd work overtime quite often. Those sessions would usually last until the wee hours of the morning, and sometimes, the stress level would elevate.

When that happens, we'd always have a repertoire of relaxing music to keep everyone relaxed.

My contribution to that playlist was this favorite song from an awesome yet underrated group called "Perri."

This song has been around for decades, but it still sounds as relaxing as the first time I heard it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Juice mio

There's nothing like great packaging to draw you into a product. 

While I was in 7-11, I chanced upon this uber eye-catching packaging for juice. It was a bottle with a very young and modern label. Based on the packaging alone, I had to buy it!

It was a new local juice brand produced by NutriAsia. Aptly called "Locally," it's a juice drink that features Pinoy flavors. There's the standard Dalandan, and the more exotic Tamarind and Kamias.

The Kamias juice is good, although I was looking for a bit of that sour and bitter flavor. The Tamarind juice, though, was excellent.

They have a 4th flavor - Mangosteen - but it's still coming soon. And when it does, I'll definitely try that out, too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all!

It started when I found out that my former student - Yin - works at Riot. This is the production house where we're currently finishing the commercial we shot.

After talking to her, she told me that one of her classmates, Quinlin, worked in the next building. So, I asked her to set up a lunch get-together with the 3 of us.

Suddenly, lunch became dinner, and the 3 of us turned into 8. This was around 1/3 of my advertising class in 2013-2014!

It was so good to see - and hang around - my students again. It reminded me of how blessed I am to be given this opportunity to teach.

Here's to more reunions - instant or otherwise!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I don't know why, but traffic seems to have gone from worse to worst!

Last Thursday, it took us 1 hour and 10 minutes to go from Pasong Tamo to Ayala.

Tonight, it took my officemates almost 4 hours to get from Makati to Ortigas.

Someone should do something about this soon!

(This post reminds me of the documentary we did for our broadcasting class during my M.A. days. It was about traffic, and the title above was the title of our documentary.)

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Dress Debacle

Remember that raging debate over what color this dress is?

Apparently, that theory about how the angle makes it change colors is true.

Here's a dress I snagged a few months ago at the haunt. It's a Nine West dress with a sheer floral overlay and gold colored lining.

Yes, the color of the lining is gold, but everytime I take a photo of it, the color turns to blue!

Strange but true.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

(Ende)run away

When we were looking for a school as a venue for our shoot, my instructions to the production designer was to look for one that felt like it was a school abroad. But of course, it had to be very near for logistical ease.

In my mind, schools like Cambridge and Oxford were my peg. Schools that look old and storied, but with a lot of character.

Surprisingly, there was one within Metro Manila. That's where we shot today, and while it wasn't exactly Cambridge or Oxford, it came pretty close.

The school was called Enderun, and it's this chi-chi culinary school in Taguig.

Except for the modern buildings around it, the campus itself looked very "old school." (I couldn't resist the reference.)

The buildings were obviously patterned after old Ivy League schools, but they're way, way smaller than the real ones.

Apparently, this school is also open as a venue for parties, and it has a full functioning restaurant with very affordable offerings. They're good enough reasons to visit it again soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Church of my childhood

Since we're going to have a long shoot tomorrow, I decided to hear anticipated mass today.

From the final costume check, the driver passed through Tomas Morato, and that's when I got the idea of hearing mass at Sacred Heart Church. This church holds so many memories since it's where we would hear mass as kids.

The interior of the church has changed a bit since I was a kid. They now have a fancy retablo - something that wasn't there in my younger years. And like everything in the Morato area, the church also seems smaller now.

Despite the changes, though, everything feels the same the moment I sat on the pew. I was transported back to the days when the whole family would walk from Scout Gandia all the way to Sacred Heart to hear mass in the morning.

Wonderful childhood memories, indeed.

FMM: It's that kind of day!

Yes! Today is a holiday!


Thursday, July 16, 2015


Living up to their "We've got it all" mantra, SM Supermarket carries a yogurt brand and flavor that I only used to find abroad.

The first time I came across Elle & Vire was during a trip to Paris about a decade ago. Eventually, I found it in other parts of Europe. When I was living in HKG, Park and Shop carried this brand, which was awesome.

Now, not only do they have it in Manila, they also have it in my favorite flavor - Cherry!

This is a great reason to start eating yogurt again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

(Super)Man, oh (Bat)Man, oh (Wonder Wo)Man!

I'm geeking out at the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer!

Yes! Our first glimpse of Wonder Woman!

This is going to be epic!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


One of my earliest dreams in life was to be an astronaut. I've always imagined what it would be like to wear a space suit, ride a space shuttle, and travel all over the galaxy.

This is also the reason why I was a science geek when I was younger. I'd know all the planets and constellations, and would often look up in the sky hoping to catch a glimpse of the planets. And a syzygy.

That was many, many decades ago. And while I never became an astronaut, the fascination for planets never left me.

And seeing the closest shot of Pluto on the web today just rekindled that dream of being an astronaut again.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Not your usual game over

This photo from the web pretty much sums up the feelings of gamers all over the world.

The president of Nintendo - Satoru Iwata - passed away, leaving a colorful legacy and generations of people who grew up playing his games.

I'm one of those people - playing Super Mario on our Nintendo Family Computer as kids, collecting Pokemon when I wasn't a kid anymore, and continuing to play both games even as an adult.

While it may be "game over" for him, his memory will be like the "up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, A, B" trick we'd do on the family computer. It will have an infinite life.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The other clash of the Titans!

Imagine my thrill upon finding out that "Attack on Titan" is now a live-action film.

And imagine my bigger thrill upon finding out that it's going to be shown here in Manila.

I've followed this story and watched some anime episodes, and it's really engaging. I'm excited to see how they translate it to the big screen.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

First day. Hi!

Given the spate of school holidays, I was worried that today's class wouldn't push through.

But look, the sun came out (albeit briefly) and let us hold class today. Not to mention allowing us to hold the first faculty meeting.

Hi St. Scholastica's College. We're back!

Friday, July 10, 2015

FMM: After the rain

It's been gloomy and rainy the entire week, and it's supposed to clear up this weekend.

"Supposed" being the operative word. It might still continue, according to weather outfits.

While waiting for good weather, let me summon the rainbow with these 2 rainbow-themed old songs. These were favorites when I was a kid, and it never failed to bring good vibes.

First is from Angela Bofill.

And another classic from Kermit the Frog. Yes, Kermit the Frog!

Wait, I think I see the rainbow already. (No, that's just my imagination. And the songs, too.)

Thursday, July 09, 2015

What's not to Lake?

Whenever we're in Tokyo, Mark and I like scouring the supermarkets to buy juice. Whether it's in Ozeki, Prece, My Basket or a random combini, I usually stop by the chiller to see if there's any interesting breakfast and snack beverage that we can buy.

Usually, I gravitate towards apple and grape juice. Mark, on the other hand, usually buys the fruit and vegetable mix. At first, I found that combination odd, but warmed up to it eventually. It turns out a fruit and vegetable combination is not only refreshingly healthy, but yummy as well.

When I dropped by SM Supermarket, I found out that Oishi's juice brand - Great Lakes - had a Fruit and Vegetable juice. 

Needless to say, I bought a pack, and it was really, really good. It had the right tartness, and a taste of healthy greens. It's pretty much like the one we get in Japan, albeit a tinge bit sweeter.

I also bought the other variant, Tropical Blend Fruit Mix.

This one tastes like Four Seasons, but with a bit more sourness.

It's great that we now have more varied choices when it comes to juice.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Sketchy Stories: Corset it up

Formal affairs are a good excuse to glam it up and try something new. So, when Ate Bullet told me of her upcoming formal event at the new Grand Ballroom of the Marriot, I thought she should wear something glam and new.

Although she's been wearing the strapless silhouette for quite some time now, she's never tried a corset-style dress before. Although she has one - the Proenza Schoulder from HKG - she's never used it. That's when the thought of a corset gown came up. 

Since the top was already a detailed corset, the bottom part of the had to be simple, hence an A-line, pieced skirt. The fabric was corded lace in blush, mainly because Ate is into that color these days. Plus, it will make the details of the corset more visible. Finally, a jeweled belt was designed in to cinch the waist.

A corset is actually very tricky to do. In Paris, there are Corsetieres who do nothing but corsets, but they do it perfectly. We're not in Paris though, so I was hesitant to suggest this look. But I pushed through with it.

I went to one of the family's trusted dressmakers and explained to her the concept. She seemed to grasp the entire thing, so that was a "whew" moment. Still wasn't sure if she could pull it off, though.

When Ate went to her first fitting, I was pleasantly surprised at how she was able to make a nicely structured corset. It's not a Parisian-quality one, but it was pretty good considering the time she had to make it.

With the corset top and the simple, flowy skirt, the gown looked good and ready for a formal event. The silhouette and style, plus the jeweled belt, made it look elegant. But the color and fabric made it look fresh.

After taking it to the ball last Monday, Ate said that the dress was a hit. She got a lot of compliments, some coming from designers and stylists. And in a ballroom crawling with black and white dresses, her blush color palette was a refreshing change.

Just goes to show that you don't have to go over-the-top to go glam. Sometimes, fresh, simple and new is a good way to go.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Candid date

Raymond posted this photo of Ate Bullet and Kevin on their way to the new Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel in Resorts World. And it's such a nice, candid photo of the two.

Mother and son photos are always nice.

Monday, July 06, 2015


Pinoys have an affinity with puns. Heck, I can rattle of dozens of establishments whose names are based on puns.

But this one I didn't see coming!

Yes, it's a water receptacle named after one of the great singers of old.

Punny indeed.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Look, it's Lemaire

Whoa! This one slipped my collaboration radar!

Even before Carine Roitfeld's collection comes out, Uniqlo is dropping a collection with Christophe Lemaire. Yup, the same guy who used to design for Hermes.

The collection is about laid-back luxe. Since it's coming out in F/W, there are a lot of knits and sweaters. And I'm liking the one in the photo from his look book.

Lemaire is definitely something to look forward to.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A banner day

Today, in the U.S., they're celebrating the 4th of July.

I still remember back in grade school, we'd celebrate the 4th of July in the Philippines. It was called "Fil-Am Friendship day," and it was even a holiday. (Methinks.)

And to celebrate their independence, I think it's fitting that we play their national anthem. Sung by an American legend, Aretha Franklin.

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 03, 2015

FMM: A path to Cross

Dad's cassette tape collection is the reason why I have a diverse taste in music.

Imagine, being 6 years old and exposed to all these great names in music. From the classics like Frank Sinatra and Shirley Bassey, to instrumental artists like Ferrante and Teicher and Richard Clayderman. From wind experts Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione to jazz great Seawind.

One of the cassette tapes I'd always go back to was Christopher Cross. There was something about his songs that was so soothing. Most likely, it comes from the fact that he has this really cool voice which works well with the laid-back melodies that he sings.

And on a laid-back Friday like this, I think it's time to bring out Christopher Cross.

I'm so glad to have crossed paths with his music again.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Chic Carine

Uniqlo always comes up with the most unique and chic collaborations.

Even before Target snapped up Peter Lim and Alexander Wang, they already had collaborations with Uniqlo. (And my sisters have pieces from both collections.)

They've collaborated with fashion vanguards that other fast fashion brands haven't thought of yet. Think Costello Tagliapietra,


and their recent collection with Helmut Lang's Alexandre Plokhov.

Uniqlo also does work with influential fashion figures like Ines dela Fressange.

Now, they're launching an autumn collection with Paris style icon Carine Roitfeld!

This I got to see!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

What a difference a day makes

Last June 29, I was reading the InStyle website and this was one of their banner stories:

A day after - June 30 - I went back to the website and saw this headline:

All it took was a day for the story to take a total 360 degree turn.

That's Hollywood for you.