Face to Face with Roger Ramos (SPipol)

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This is my first writing collaboration with a work colleague for SPi Writer’s Guild’s (now-defunct) blog, Project Backspace.

The man behind Employee Number 0002 is no doubt a legacy in SPi’s history. For the past 26 years, Roger Ramos has been one of the significant few who has seen SPi grow from a humble start-up company into a global enterprise. Yet more than that, Roger is also the man who had worked alongside SPi’s founder, Alan R. Fraser, whom he considers a supportive mentor and an affectionate friend. Surprisingly enough, Roger started his career in SPi as a janitor; he’s still proud to say that, with a gleaming smile to boot! More than the stories and urban legends he shared with us during those days in Saztec and SPI Technologies, Roger’s untold stories about his life’s challenges and successes are an even worthier read. Read more

Kami nAPO Muna: A Tribute to APO Hiking Society

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I wrote this article many years back for the Writer’s Guild’s (now defunct) blog, Project Backspace, in SPi.

“Nandirito kami ang iyong barkada mong tunay, aawit sa’yo. Sa lungkot, at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa kami kasama mo.”

The decision of Jim Paredes in 2005 to migrate to Australia with his family left me flabbergasted. I thought this would surely be APO Hiking Society’s final bow. The first bow was in 1998 when their show, Sa Linggo nAPO Sila, which ran for only three years went off the air. Just like other artists who became famous and simply disappeared into thin air, I thought I won’t be seeing them after conceding defeat to their noontime show rival. I was really saddened by the first. I was about to surrender my high hopes after the second. Read more

Lulu Tan Gan’s Second Coming through L Manila

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Another article I wrote about Lulu Tan-Gan’s new store, L Manila. This time around, it is published at The Village Gazette.

The newly built Greenbelt 5 speaks of modern lifestyle as our enthusiasm for all things luxe revs up. The new go-to place in Makati is the home of hip Filipino craftsmen and artists, alongside top-end foreign luxury brands. The unfaltering expert in the fashion industry, Lulu Tan-Gan, is one of the feisty souls who will take on a trend she once created to a rather higher, more different notch with her newest endeavor, L Manila.

I am an avid supporter of Filipino fashion works, and Lulu’s creations have been my delights. I remember strutting along the social circuit in one of our corporate events when a curious expatriate asked me, “Who are you wearing, dear?” Beaming lightly I replied, “I am wearing Lulu Tan-Gan.” Obviously, I was flaunting our very own designer that night. Upon hearing about L Manila, my heart jumped for joy. Read more

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