Ronnie & Joe: a well-curated optical salon
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My entire family has poor eyesight. I, for one, started wearing glasses in 3rd grade. In high school I switched to soft lenses, then hard lenses, until I had LASIK done at American Eye in 2003.
Fourteen years later I can feel my eyes getting weaker—old age is creeping in. I have some reading glasses on standby but I rarely have to use them. One day I’m going to need glasses again.
In the meantime, a really cool optical salon has opened at SM Aura. Earlier this year I just happened to walk into this shop at the upper ground level.

Ronnie & Joe

I had never seen it before, never heard of the name Ronnie & Joe.
What really pulled me inside was the sight of these Matsuda eyeglasses.

Ronnie & Joe

As a child of the ’80s, I recognised one of the brands that defined the decade. Mitsuhiro Matsuda was one of the most coveted designer labels of my generation.
Inside, the interior design and the selection of eyewear just blew me away, beginning with the patterned glass doors and the whole ambience.

Ronnie & Joe
Ronnie & Joe
Ronnie & Joe

Founded by model/entrepreneur Michael Concepcion, Ronnie & Joe Optical Salon was named after his grandfather Joe and his twin brother Ronnie Concepcion.
Ronnie & Joe
“As an eyewear consumer myself, I recognized the need for a shop that would provide a variety of specialty brands and a curated experience you would not normally find in an optical store chain,” Michael said.
“We look beyond fickle designer logos and define luxury through a brand’s history, heritage, craftsmanship, material, design and attention to detail. Most of our brands have been around for close to 100 years, yet only a handful of specialty retailers worldwide like Harvey Nichols, Dover Street Market, Opening Ceremony, Colette, and Ronnie and Joe, carry them. We are proud to be a standing retailer and partner to represent these brands in the country.”

Mike Concepcion for Esquire PH

Expect to find the following brands at Ronnie & Joe: MOSCOT, Illesteva, Native Sons, Max Pittion, Grey Ant, Shwood, Matsuda, Karen Walker, Barton Perreira, DITA, Thom Browne, GLCO, Ksubi, Italia Independent and Mark Mcnairy.
Coming soon: Graphic Plastic, Garrett Leight, DITA, Thom Browne, House of Holland, Cutler & Gross, Mykita x Margiela, Activist, Effector.
Ronnie & Joe Optical Salon is at the upper ground level of SM Aura, open daily from 10 AM-10 PM.
To know more, go to

Celebrate One Day Without Shoes with TOMS at SM Aura’s Skypark
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In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found that they had no shoes to protect their feet.
Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.


On April 29, 2014, TOMS Philippines will be celebrating One Day Without Shoes, the company’s annual day of awareness in partnership with SM Aura. This year’s event will take place at the mall’s scenic Sky Park.
Expect a fun-filled afternoon with a barefoot walk, film premiere, and interactive installations to share the TOMS story.
There will be a cool lounge in which to hang out, Style Your Sole art booths, refreshments, musical performances, and a one-day-only pop-up shop with limited-edition items.

4:00 PM — Registration
6:00 -6:30 PM – Barefoot walk
6:45–7:00 PM – Band performance
7:00-8:15 — As We Walk film premiere
8:15 –9:00 – Band performances

Every year, thousands around the world go barefoot to spread awareness about the impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. Last year, over 1,000 One Day Without Shoes events at 500 schools and 230 companies took place across 50 countries all around the world, including the Philippines.
In the US, loyal TOMS fans Charlize Theron, Demi Moore, and Kristen Bell, among others, have pledged to go without shoes in support of the cause.

Charlize ODWS
Charlize Theron

Miley ODWS
Miley Cyrus

Through the help of Giving Partners, TOMS has given more than 10 million pairs of shoes to children worldwide.
This figure includes over 200,000 pairs given to children all over the Philippines, including those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).


This year, the event hits even closer to home as filmmaker Joy Aquino’s documentary entitled As We Walk, will be screened for the first time.
TOMS Philippines encourages everyone to take off their shoes and help spark the conversation.
For one day, an hour, or even just ten minutes, TOMS encourages everyone to take off their shoes to put themselves in the place of children who have none.


To know more, go to

Change is good
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2014 is a time to change.
For one, I stopped drinking Coke everyday and dropped 6 lbs. I never thought I could achieve this.
I allow myself to drink Coke maybe once a week or less but the goal is to lose 5 more lbs.

Japanese Coke

Second, I’m no longer obsessed with Twitter, and yes, it can be done. I have friends who no longer go on Twitter because of all the negativity, preferring Instagram instead. There seems to be less hate in there, at least for non-celebrities like me.
Twitter death
Third, I decided to stop watching CNN all time time.
My obsession with CNN started in 1991 when I was studying fashion at Parsons New York, where all week long, everything was about fashion. I thought that watching CNN would make me a more well-rounded person, so I would keep it on while doing my homework or eating. It was either that or Tagalog movies I rented from the Filipino store.

Michael Bublé helped me unpack

I’d watch CNN in hotels while traveling, watch it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
I like to keep informed. Until this year, two big events made me extremely sad—the missing Malaysian Airlines airplane, and the sinking of the Korean ferry with high school students on board.
Everything is about death and accidents, and why both in Asia in such a short span of time?

Patrice and Penny watching CNN
Patrice and Penny watching CNN in Hong Kong

After a psychic told me they will never find the plane, I started to get depressed watching CNN.
After the ship sank, I decided to take a break from all the sad news. But how to break a more than two-decade habit?
Today I decided to give E! channel a chance but then I felt my IQ points going down. The highlight of my evening was to watch my very first episode of the Kardashians, like EVER. I watched because it was about Kimye’s marriage proposal and I began to understand what the Kardashians are all about. I won’t say it here because trolls are waiting to pounce and I don’t want to judge.
Since Channel E’s not working for me, maybe I’ll just stop watching TV at all.
Here’s what happened at Kim and Kanye’s wedding proposal.

Smart announces partnership with Deezer
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Smart Communications, Inc. recently announced a strategic and exclusive partnership with global music streaming service Deezer to bring a new kind of musical experience to mobile users in the country through Deezer’s Premium+ service.


With Deezer Premium+, more than 72 million Smart mobile subscribers nationwide can enjoy unlimited web and mobile access to a huge library of music tracks online and offline—all in high-quality and without the interruption of ads.
Deezer’s availability in more than 180 countries will also allow Smart mobile users to listen to their favorite songs whether they are in the Philippines or overseas.

Smart will soon announce affordable streaming rates and promotions with Deezer, so that Smart users will be able to purchase a Deezer Premium+ subscription using their prepaid or postpaid accounts.
On mobile devices, the Deezer app can be installed on iOS, Android, Windows Phone as well as Blackberry 10 smartphones and tablets. It can also be enjoyed using laptops and PCs.
For more information, visit or

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