How the kids found out about Santa Claus
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I still remember how I found out who Santa Claus really is.
It was Three Kings Day, January 6, the ’70s.
We used to get really cool presents on Three Kings Day, sometimes even more special than Christmas presents.
My favorite Three Kings presents were temporary tattoos and Action Transfers—remember those?

Letraset Action Transfers 'Space Adventure/Meteoroid Menace' 1968

One Three Kings Day my sister and I found a baby doll crib and sheets under the tree.
On its plastic cover was our names written in Pentel Pen (or marker to you) by what looked very much like my mom’s handwriting.
“It’s mom’s writing,” my intelligent sister thought out loudly.
Oh my God.
We woke up my mom to ask her, and she confirmed it. Not only was she Santa Claus, she was also Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar.

We Three Kings

My sons are now 6, 10, and 12.
A couple of years ago the two elder boys started hearing in school that Santa isn’t real.
Not wanting the spoil the fun for the little one I simply told them, those who don’t believe in Santa don’t get Santa gifts. So both elder kuyas continued to “believe.”
Each year I would think very hard how to make the packaging believable, not even using my own handwriting.
This year I ordered personalized Christmas sacks from the U.K. They were gorgeous.

Santa sacks

The little boy got Playmobils from Santa, while I ordered two iPad minis for the bigger boys.
The iPad minis were purchased in Hong Kong by Tita Grace because they were a cheaper by a couple of thousand each.
I was so proud at what I did. We even spread a trail of “snowflakes” on our doorstep.

On Christmas eve, the boys got scared when they saw the “snowflakes.” They thought someone had broken in—like someone from the North Pole maybe? I wondered out loudly. Duh??
And then they saw the Christmas sacks, opened them and saw the iPad minis.
“This isn’t possible,” Markus said, shaking his head.
“Am I dreaming?” Ben said.
They were so happy they high-fived each other and went to bed.

On January 4, while we were checked in at the Raffles Hotel for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, the boys searched for their new iPads to bring down to the ballroom, just in case.
That was when Tita Grace casually told Ben, “Oh, I bought those in Hong Kong you know.”
Ben’s eyes grew and whispered to me he knew I was Santa.
“Please don’t tell Markus and Chris,” I said.
Ben promised.

A few days later while having lunch at home, Markus asked me in between bites, “So how do you get our teeth from under the pillow without anyone noticing?”
“What?” I said.
“You’re the Tooth Fairy right?”
I looked at Ben. “You told him!”
“It’s OK mommy. I knew you were Santa. I just wanted to get the gifts,” Markus said.

For a while there I didn’t know if I wanted to kill Grace or thank her for sparing me another year of staging a North Pole invasion in our living room.
I decided not to get mad at her. The boys are after all growing up. It would be ridiculous to have a teenager writing to Santa next year.
Anyway, I did save some money on the iPads. So thanks, Grace! I guess.

Those interested in the Christmas sacks, here’s where to order.

Fab finds for your space
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After featuring my new office space a couple of entries ago, some of you have been asking where I got the stuff, particularly the wallpaper, the print, and the throw blanket.

Office: after
Office: after

The Piet Hein Eek wallpaper was purchased from Mel Ongsue ( She has a very limited supply left, so check with her what she has. Hurry because her price is much cheaper than what you’ll find online.

I love uplifting prints, such as the ones I got from this Etsy shop.
These are nice to hang around to remind oneself to keep positive—it’s good for the soul.

I screen you screen poster
I screen you screen poster

The throw blanket was purchased from one of my favorite online stores,
I realize the message isn’t exactly positive, but there’s the other side of me, which is pasaway (naughty).

Don't Fuck It Up throw, $50

Here are some other finds you’ll see at—the brick wall mural for $89

brick wall mural, $89

The giant ruler wall decal for only $29.50 is great for your children’s room

giant ruler decal $29.50

Manila poster by Loose Petals, $22

Manila poster by Loose Petals

I’m thinking of purchasing the Brillo stool from the Andy Warhol Foundation, on sale for $379
Brillo stool

brillo box stool $379

Love the Merde pillow by Alexandra Ferguson, $99

merde pillow by alexandra ferguson $99

Bookmark stand by Paul Cocksedge, $93

paul cocksedge bookmark stand $93

Suck UK pen holder, $23.50

suck UK pen holder $23.50

Acrylic pencil holder, $38

acrylic pen holder $38

and Another Fucking Tote, on sale for $12

another fucking tote

I find that is a great source of curated finds from cool brands and artists I may never hear about otherwise. I’ve been ordering from them since 2011. But since they don’t ship to the Philippines, I get my stuff sent through Johnny Air or my friend Cedric in the US, who sends them to me.
To see more, sign up

Please vote for me pag may time!
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I don’t really know how the expression “pag may time” originated, but I think it’s funny.
The first time I read it was when Carlos Celdran posted “selfie selfie pag may time.”
Well, it’s voting season again. I really don’t know why Preview’s Stylebible included me in their shortlist of Best Blogger of 2013 when (almost) everyone in that list is below the age of 25!!

Vote for me!

When I first saw the shortlist I thought, I don’t stand a chance from these Instagram rockstars whose following runs into the hundreds of thousands.
So why do I want to win? Because my kids are excited to see mommy in it!
“I’m gonna use five iPads,” Markus said when he found out.
It’s a family thing I guess. The kids will put in some votes for me pag may time—from school, tutor, homework, and Minecraft.

“What’s the prize Mommy?” Ben said.
“Nothing, I think. Just bragging rights,” I said.
“What’s that?”
“Well, you get to brag that you won something.”
“Oh,” Ben said thoughtfully. With that, he voted for me 10 times last night before going to bed, while and my husband has been clicking away, bless him.

Please vote for me pag may time until January 31, 2013. And special thanks to Bes for keeping the votes up in U.S. time!

Adidas Originals brings back Stan Smith
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A global fashion icon comes back this Spring/Summer 2014 as the legendary Stan Smith tennis shoe returns from its sabbatical.
Removed from the shelves for the past few seasons, the classic style has been re-invigorated and updated while staying true to the look and shape of the original.
Stan Smith x Adidas
Since its debut as a tennis shoe, the Stan Smith has made its way from the tennis court to the street, becoming Adidas’ best-selling shoe of all time, with over 40 million pairs sold.
American tennis icon Stan Smith began wearing what was the world’s first ever leather tennis shoe in 1971, when he won the US Open on grass and the Davis Cup on clay with the American team.
In 1972 he won Wimbledon wearing the classic adidas shoe.

Stan Smith

Originally introduced and developed for French tennis player Robert Haillet in the mid-1960s, the name of Stan Smith was added to the tennis shoe along with Haillet’s at the start of the 70s, before it was designated as the signature sneaker of the American sporting icon in 1972.
Stan Smith x Adidas
The Stan Smith is available in leading Adidas and Urban Athletics stores in the Philippines this January 2014.
To know more, go to

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