A Visit to Florence’s Home and Life

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Here’s another article I wrote about Florence Kho, owner of FurnItalia store, for the January 2008 issue of Forbes in Touch.

Home is where one starts from. – T.S. Elliot

Most people say that finding one’s character can start by simply observing one’s possessions, like asking someone, “What is it in your bag?” From there we’ll get interesting finds that may somewhat describe the person. I also recall this web site I learned from a colleague at which it encourages visitors to show all the things that are living in the pockets of their bag, scan them with their faces on, and send a copy for their project. A way of artistic expression so to speak, it is also fascinating to see and interpret the lifestyle and the personality of each individual with her personal things. Read more

Marga & Bea Valdes: A Myriad Stories in their Bags

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This is a repost of an article for Forbes in Touch about the Valdes sisters, which I wrote many years back.

Yeah, at some point, I miss writing again.

“The business doesn’t work without them. There’s so much emphasis on design,” exclaims Bea Valdes, together with her sister Marga, on a bright, sunny morning in their comfy Forbes home.

The name Bea Valdes does ring a bell all right. She’s a celebrated Filipino designer whose creations have been graciously featured in local and international magazines such as Bazaar, Glamour, Marie Claire, Newsweek, Preview, Philippine Tatler, Town&Country, Vogue, W and O magazines; snapped up in trendy stores like Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue; and worn by high-profile celebrities like Sharon Stone, Kate Hudson, and Rachel Roy. Her collections are getting innumerable while her client base is mounting and growing diverse, too. There’s no doubt that she’s behind all these works. Yet without a great tandem found in the family (a trio, actually), the designer brand beavaldes won’t appear much in full gloss. Read more

Mark + Kristi: An After High School Love Affair

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Their love story can be described as something discreet, low-profile, and quite unexpected. Kristi and I have been friends since first-year high school, and in our circle, both of us were considerably the goody-two-shoes: studious, responsible, and sensible. Nevertheless, Kristi’s demure beauty and attitude is what makes her stand out. She’s known for her childlike sweetness and self-righteousness; yes, her high-pitch voice never fails us to cuddle her instead whenever she loses her temper (as she’d claim).

Mark came around on our third year. As my first impression on him didn’t go wrong, Mark is a statuesque male of being prim and proper. As usual, every fresh (cute) face in the campus can really ignite excitement, and Mark was definitely one of the few (respected) heartthrobs. Read more

My Top Everything of 2009 – my best places

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1. Iloilo

It was ten years ago when I first visited this Visayan place that is gifted with a rich culture and history. A random invite, to say the least, mom and I visited the quiet islands of Concepcion, the majestic churches of Jaro, Molo, Miagao among others, and the country’s Island of Mangoes, Guimaras.

More than enjoying the places, the food, and the people of Iloilo, my bonding moments with mom were truly worth it; no matter how at times, we’d get into petty fights and troubles along the way! I was able to picture out mom’s life snippet in Iloilo as she showed me to places where she lived, studied and enjoyed. At this point too, I was able to personally meet her closest girlfriends. It was very fascinating to see these three female musketeers jeer at each other’s misadventures (or even the lack thereof). There were no dull moments with them. I suddenly felt so belonged in this (old) ladies group. Read more

Perpie in Pinas 2009: Boracay Trip with Friends

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Photos taken by Dylan Yap-Gozum, Janet Borja, and yours truly.  A long overdue blog task, I’ve posted everything at last. It’s my New Year’s gift for myself and for Dylan, Janet and Steph. A remembrance for the year 2009, folks! Good times.

Five days before the trip, a tropical storm named Feria started lashing southern part of Luzon. We were really praying hard to the heavens above. Neither we could reschedule our Boracay vacation nor ask for refunds.

By the time we heard that Feria had already gone out of our territory, we were jumping for joy until we heard another breaking news: a Zest Air plane overshot the runway of Caticlan airport. Luckily no one was seriously injured but a lot of passengers, including us, got their flight schedules jumbled.  It was a relief that we were able to get through the busy hotlines of Cebu Pacific and got rescheduled to an early afternoon flight. Read more

Bacchus: A Premium Go for Wine this Holiday Season

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We are all expecting another round of merrymaking that equally encapsulates all the good things that happened in our lives this year. Apart from creating large food buffets, wines and spirits are definitely not discarded on the shopping list.

A search for the best wine in the metro seems to entail tough luck nowadays. Yet in case you are yearning for such a “Holy Grail” that does not only suit your palate but also expresses your chosen mood or personality, perhaps Bacchus can bestow what you truly seek for.

We’ve Come From the East in Search for Great Wines

Bacchus is truly proud of its 10-year legacy in providing high-quality, highly valuable wines. It only has three branches in the country situated at some of Shangri-la’s hotel chains. From a starting collection 2,000 bottles, wine-passionate Alex Lichaytoo, the owner of Bacchus, now manages a full warehouse of around 300 labels and types of wines both coming from the Old World and the New World. To be exact, Bacchus imports wine directly from classic vineyards in France and Italy and from new players such as Napa Valley in California, Chile and Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, and South Africa. Read more