Movies for the bedridden

I did something crazy last Friday, which amounted to two liters of fat. I’ll spare you the details, but this is what I saw before I went home that night.


I’ve been homebound since that time, been very sleepy, and this is the time I think I can sit up and catch up on my work before I fall asleep again.
Apart from fatigue, the reason why I sleep so much is because I want to escape the itching I feel from the healing under the skin—also to make the day pass by more quickly. I can’t wait to recover and see the end result.
That said, I’ve had a chance to watch a lot of movies during my time in bed—some cheesy and some worth seeing.
The first one is Stuck, which I highly recommend to those who have adopted a child or thinking of adopting one.


It follows the stories of American couples and individuals trying to adopt children from other countries, all the trouble and heartache they go through, in order to bring their loved ones home.
This is a 15-tissue documentary, which I hope our lawmakers get to watch to make the adoption process less frustrating.

The Housemaid (2010) is a creepy Korean melodramatic thriller, a remake of a 1960 Korean movie of the same title.


The lifestyles of a rich Korean family change drastically when a young housemaid is hired and leads the man of the house to commit adultery. Things go from bad to evil when the women of the house discover the maid is pregnant and plot to get rid of the baby.
The stylish movie makes me intrigued with Korea’s wealthy, and makes me want more and more to visit Korea.
I don’t recommend watching it alone, and please don’t watch it with the youngsters due to very graphic sex scenes.

As a child I loved Disney-esque stories about little creatures and how they creatively convert everyday objects, such as a matchbox into a bed, or an empty spool into a sidetable.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) is another masterpiece by Studio Ghibli, creator of Grave of The Fireflies and Spirited Away.

The Secret World of Arietty

Arrietty is a 14-year-old “borrower” or 4-inch-tall creature who lives with her mom and dad, under the house of human “beings.”
They survive peacefully by “borrowing” ordinary things such as sugar and biscuits, until they are discovered by a lonely and sickly boy named Sho who wishes to befriend Arrietty.
When Sho’s evil caregiver finds out about the borrowers, Arrietty’s parents are forced to leave and find another dwelling place in order to find other borrowers and survive.

Watch this especially if you have kids. It will warm your hearts.

Monocle visits Manila

Yodel Pe and I were looking at the Monocle pop-up store at Univers, One Rockwell last Wednesday night.
The pop-up store would only be there for one night, and I was wondering what I should get.

Ethan of Monocle
Ethan Hawkes-Pippen of Monocle

Monocle at Univers
Monocle scents by Comme des Garçons

Monocle at Univers

I thought of getting the cute Monocle bag by Rootote, but it cost Php 8,000. The price includes a magazine subscription, CD, and notebook. (Photo: Monica Llamas)

Monocle at Univers
Monocle at Univers

Then I thought, do I really need another bag? I am severely backlogged on my reading. So I ended up buying this cool Monocle tech case by Porter.

Monocle at Univers

I handed my credit card to Monocle’s Ethan, who was cashier for the night. It took him a while to do the transaction and I waited. He apologized a couple of times, while I mumbled to Yodel, “How can I get mad kung ganon siya ka guapo??”
The waiting paid off. Ethan gave me a free Monocle tote, which made me feel giddy the whole night. (Read: so kilig)

Monocle at Univers

The week before I had received this invitation by email.

Monocle invitation

The Monocle team was stopping by Manila, Taipei and Jakarta as part of their summer Asia-Pacific tour.
Put simply, the idea was to meet readers and fans face-to-face and expand the Monocle community.

When editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé decided to come here, he asked a Filipino friend in Hong Kong, who’s the best person to call in Manila? The Filipino recommended her friend, Margarita Forés, who would host a Filipino dinner for the team at Grace Park. Margarita also recommend Univers at One Rockwell as a perfect venue for the event.

Monocle at Univers

Rumor had it, Tyler dislikes the color purple, so I skipped the purple eyeshadow on my Shu Uemura Mon Shu palette and went for brown instead. Of course I wore black.

Cecile van Straten

All the other guests seemed to wear the same color scheme of black, white, blue, and khaki

Monocle at Univers

anders braso, Monocle advertising director
Anders Braso, Monocle Advertising Director

Mano Lotho and
Mano Lotho, Press Relations officer of Univers with Ethan Hawkes-Pippen of Monocle

Joey Samson
Fashion Designer Joey Samson

Jappy Gonzalez and Lucia Restelli of Peter Pilotto
Univers Managing Director Jappy Gonzalez with Lucia Restelli, Head of Sales for Peter Pilotto

Tyler Brûlé, Ed Calma, Chut Cuerva
Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé with architects Ed Calma and Chut Cuerva

Monocle at Univers

It felt like a man’s party

Monocle at Univers

Chambray: color of the day

elaine domingo, tere henson, Tadi de Leon, JoAnn Bitagcol, tina ong
L-R: Elaine Domingo, Tere Henson, Tadi de Leon, JoAnn Bitagcol, Tina Ong

As soon as I came in, Jappy Gonzalez of Univers introduced me to Tyler Brûlé, whom I had encountered in Hong Kong in 2006. Ack!! The Tyler I remember is a dream boat, extremely well-dressed and intimidating.

Tyler Brûlé
Tyler Brûlé
Tyler Brûlé, Observing the Current State of Media
Tyler Brûlé

I don’t really get starstruck, but tonight I was just super intimidated beyond words.

Tyler Brûlé at Univers

That night Tyler made a short speech about things you don’t need to change, like paper. Even though we’re in the digital age, there are things that don’t have to be obsolete. And these things we pay for. Not everything should be free and downloadable because it costs money to produce the things we consume.

Tyler Brûlé

Personally, I love paper. I don’t own a Kindle. I prefer books and the smell of bookstores, the feeling of going through the shelves, seeing book covers, turning pages.
Dinner followed at Grace Park, where Margarita Forés served lechon and lamb adobo, among other dishes.
I heard traditional chicken/pork adobo had to be whipped up last minute as a special request by Tyler, who thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wish I had stayed to witness it, but my shyness got the better of me.

Monocle magazine is available at Univers, One Rockwell East Tower, Makati City.
For back issues, just ask the sales assistants.
To know more about Monocle, go to

Family Mart opens at Glorietta 3

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Japan without having stopped at Family Mart—usually late at night when most shops have closed. My favorite Family Mart has to be the one at Daikanyama T-site

Family Mart

Family Mart is like a Japanese 7-11, but way cooler—because of the Japanese magazines, the Crunky chocolate, the packed meals, and the Muji stationery!

Family mart
Family Mart

Now, Family Mart, Japan’s largest convenience store chain, has opened its first branch in the Philippines at Glorietta 3—without the stuff I mentioned above. But it does offer a lot of other options not found in your typical convenience store.

Family Mart Glorietta 3 façade

Brought in by Stores Specialists, Inc. and Ayala Land Inc. together with foreign partners Itochu Corporation and Family Mart Corporation, Family Mart is set to open 40 stores this year across Metro Manila.
Stores at Glorietta 5, Ayala Avenue MRT Station 3, and Exchange Regency in Ortigas are currently in progress, while Eastwood City, Pasay City, and Cavite are also in the works. The brand aims to open 300 stores in the next five years.


Some of their offerings include healthy fruits and salads
fruits and salads

photo 2

Sushi plates
sushi plate

Cha Soba
cha soba

Katsudon in the cute packaging

Chicken Teriyaki roll
chicken teriyaki roll

Japanese snacks
Japanese snacks

and drinks

Plus Filipino favorites, like Pancit Canton and Malabon
Pancit Canton and Malabon

Fried chicken meal and fries, and so much more!
chicken meal and fries

During the opening at Glorietta 3, Family Mart Executives observed the customary Kagami Biraki, where they opened a cask of sake as a sign of celebration and good luck.

FamilyMart Executives and VIP Guests perform the Kagami Biraki, a traditional Japanese ceremony. From left to right: Isamu Nakayama (President, FamilyMart Japan), Fernando Zobel de Ayala (Chairman, Ayala Land), Anton Huang (President,  Philippine FamilyMa

Participating were (from L-R): Isamu Nakayama (President, FamilyMart Japan), Fernando Zobel de Ayala (Chairman, Ayala Land), Anton Huang (President, Philippine FamilyMart), Junji Ueda (Chairman and CEO, FamilyMart Japan), Yoshihisa Aoki (Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer and President Food Company, Itochu Corporation), Masaaki Kosaka (Managing Director and Managing Executive Officer, FamilyMart Japan), Tony Aquino (President and CEO, Ayala Land), Kenichiro Koreeda (Deputy Head, Japanese Embassy)

Fernando Zobel de Ayala (Chairman, Ayala Land) and Anton Huang (President, Philippine FamilyMart)
Fernando Zobel de Ayala (Chairman, Ayala Land) and Anton Huang (President, Philippine FamilyMart)

Crickette Tantoco, Tony Aquino (President and CEO,  Ayala Land), Zenaida Tantoco (President, Rustan Commercial Corporation)
Crickette Tantoco, Tony Aquino (President and CEO, Ayala Land), Zenaida Tantoco (President, Rustan Commercial Corporation)

Jaime Pineda and Catherine Huang
Jaime Pineda and Catherine Huang

The Unilever team: Terri Sy, Freida De-Guzman, Betsey Isla, Ralph Umali, Pat Gan, Trishia Cu, Clint Raypon, Elo Siccion, Fredy Ong, Carl Cruz, Janmar Roque
The Unilever team: Terri Sy, Freida De-Guzman, Betsey Isla, Ralph Umali, Pat Gan, Trishia Cu, Clint Raypon, Elo Siccion, Fredy Ong, Carl Cruz, Janmar Roque

Isamu Nakayama (President, FamilyMart Japan), Bobby Dy (EVP and COO, Ayala Land), Junji Ueda (Chairman and CEO, FamilyMart Japan), Anton Huang (President, Philippine FamilyMart), Junichi Yamashita (Chairman, Philippine FamilyMart)
Isamu Nakayama (President, FamilyMart Japan), Bobby Dy (EVP and COO, Ayala Land), Junji Ueda (Chairman and CEO, FamilyMart Japan), Anton Huang (President, Philippine FamilyMart), Junichi Yamashita (Chairman, Philippine FamilyMart)

#JAGorigins winners announced

After 396 valid entries to our recent promo, here are 10 winners of two VIP tickets each, to see Nina Garcia at the JAG Origins fashion and style forum at SMX:

Nina Garcia

1) Karen Aligato
2) Vanessa Angela Reyes
3) Eunika Fernando
4) Victoria Benedicto
5) Jonalyn Salo
6) Ralph Gregor L. Castillano
7) Kaye Lantoria
8) Celine Mallari
9) Rowena Barazon
10) Pearl villamor

The following will each receive either a pair of JAG ankle-cut jeans for women or JAG stretch jeans for men:

1) Christian Ilisan
2) Kristine Joy Diaz
3) Romy Antonette Pena
4) Ilene Rina Biong
5) leo garcia
6) Anthony Garcia
7) Pearl Joy Manalili
8) Thea Marie J. Moreno
9) Cheska Que
10) Miraflor Cipriano
11) Fiona Nesse Tindugan
12) Regine Anne Sibayan
13) Kylie Shayne Go
14) Patrick Dimaranan
15) John Xandre Baliza
16) Cel Baltazar
17) Celine Mallari
18) Brian Brandares
19) Chrystal Ventura
20) Michelle S. Lugasan

Winners, please wait for a confirmation email from JAG with instructions on how to claim your prizes.
Thank you and enjoy!

Who wants to see Nina Garcia in Manila? (or win JAG jeans) #JAGorigins

Nina Garcia—fashion expert and creative director of Marie Claire—is set to arrive in Manila to promote JAG Origins, a fashion and design advocacy program to benefit Filipino design students and budding fashion entrepreneurs.
On May 24, 2013, the celebrated Project Runway judge will be at Philippine Fashion Week at the SMX Convention Center, to lead a forum-type discussion that will focus on global style, design, and fashion trends worldwide.

Nina Garcia

Sharing her global perspective on fashion, Nina will give guests a sneak preview of what’s to come for JAG Origins 2014.
During the forum, Filipino designers Jerome Salaya Ang, Normal Noriega and Jeffrey Rogador will present special collections that will highlight Filipino artistry.
The forum will culminate in JAG’s Holiday 2013 fashion presentation, featuring JAG’s Ankle Cut Jeans for women and JAG Stretch Denims for men.

NIna Garcia

Do you want to see Nina Garcia in Manila?
I’m giving away ten pairs of VIP tickets to the JAG Origins forum at SMX. That’s 10 winners of two VIP tickets each.
Plus, 20 pairs of JAG ankle-cut jeans for women or JAG stretch jeans for men will also be given away.

Here’s how:
1) Open to anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account.
2) Follow @Jagjeans76 on Twitter or like them on Facebook.
3) Click on the Tweet or Like button at the bottom of this entry.
4) Register HERE.
5) Contest runs from May 21-22, 2013.
6) Winners will be raffled electronically and posted here on

The Sarah Jessica experience at SM Aura

Last Thursday, everything was all about Sarah Jessica Parker opening the new SM Aura mall in Taguig.
Almost everyone I knew was going to be there, including my husband who opened the 16th Pepper Lunch store at Food on Four.
I was invited by SM’s Millie Dizon to SJP’s press conference at 6 PM.
I left the house around 5 PM and got there at 5:30 PM.
Here’s what greeted us: massive but moving traffic.

SM Aura opening day
SM Aura opening day

It was well-organized.
A couple of days prior, everyone was asking if I would be attending, and some asked if I could bring them in, like Paulo and Jujiin who are known to dress crazy, even on a regular day.

Paulo and Jujiin

I told Jujiin, “If you go, can you please not wear a costume?”
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them all dressed up like this:

Jake, Matt, Jujiin, Paolo
L-R: Jake Galvez, Matt Gozun, Jujiin Samonte, Paulo Castro

We all went in for the presscon, but it was crazy crowded. I have to thank these guys and Elmer Lapeña of SAGA for helping us get through security. Joey Mead was hosting.

Joey Mead

Everyone was there

Sarah Jessica Parker at SM Aura

I’m so grateful I was able to secure a front row seat, but the presscon was crazy. Not a good idea to mix the press with the fans, because this was my view:

My view
My view
My view

Behind me: Saab and Maxene Magalona with Mary Ann Tinio and Teddyboy Locsin, who patiently tried to listen through the noise


Seriously. The fans would not stop chattering, we could not hear a thing.
Anyway, Sarah Jessica Parker was a vision in a simple black dress, no vulgar jewelry, just simple hair and makeup.

Sarah Jessica Parker at SM Aura
Sarah Jessica Parker at SM Aura

She is much more beautiful in person, I just can’t put my finger on why as she is not a conventionally beautiful woman.
We are the same height, but she is probably 30 lbs lighter.

Sarah Jessica Parker at SM Aura

I wish I had better pictures, but butts were in my face.
These pictures I borrowed from Instagram. She is really beautiful.

Photo: liza ilarde
Photo: Liza Ilarde

Photo: Deneb Villanueva
Photo: Deneb Villanueva

Photo: deneb villanueva
Photo: Deneb Villanueva

Photo: kat malicsi
Photo: Kat Malicsi

I wasn’t able to look inside the SM Store with its new look, but I’ll be back when the crowd thins out.

The SM Store

Tried to eat at Pepper Lunch but it’s been packed since it opened at 11 AM on Thursday.

Pepper Lunch at SM Aura

My friends and I ended up checking out what’s open. Digital Walker has a gorgeous store on the 4th level

Digital Walker at SM Aura

Forever 21 had a crazy queue when it opened to the public yesterday

Forever 21 at SM Aura

Passed by Cotton On

Kevin and Cedric at Cotton On

Spotted: Yvette Fernandez after a shopping spree

Yvette Fernandez shopping

Passed by briefly at the cocktails, where I saw Robby Carmona, Cedric Cid, Dong Ronquillo, and Tim Yap

Robby, Cedric, Dong, Tim

Ended up at Uniqlo to buy the lounge pants I’m wearing now

Uniqlo at SM Aura

Overall an exciting experience. Haven’t seen so many people in suits in Manila, and SM Aura has the aircons to accommodate them, even in this heat.

SM Aura on opening night

I’m scared of crowds, so I’ll be back to check out the rest of the mall—maybe next month. :)
Watch this!

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