Peninsula Tokyo and the hood
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I finally got a three-year multiple-entry to visa to my favorite city in the world.
We stayed as usual at the Peninsula, which is home in Tokyo

Hotel Entrance

I love this place

Deluxe Park View Day

It has the best hotel bathroom in the world

Deluxe Suite Bathroom

The best room service

Peninsula Tokyo

Here’s what I like to order: salmon and rice for breakfast

Room service

Chicken Caesar salad for merienda

Room service

and steak bowl with giant leeks for dinner.

beef bowl

Jeroen loves the coffee maker

Peninsula Tokyo

I love the closet

Deluxe Room Dressing Room

It’s cherry blossom season!

Peninsula Tokyo

This lady was playing calming music at the lobby, but Jeroen says if you sit there long enough, you will go crazy


I prefer the jazz music they play in the daytime from this hidden balcony

musicians at the peninsula tokyo

There’s nothing like a stroll on Ginza at night. First stop: Hakuhinkan toy store before they close at 8.


Tita Virgie Ramos was here: Questina!


and right next to it, coincidentally, is a Virgina S store


There’s the Yamaha building


Vertical gardens inside the building next to Zara


I love wooden blinds


Prada Ginza


A beautiful tree in the middle of it all


Hawaiian bistro with scribbles on the window


Jeroen loves these holes in the wall, but it was full


We ended up having tapas and drinks at a Spanish restaurant


Before heading back and stopping by 7-11


These look so wrong—but the following day they were all sold out!

Chocolate covered shrimp crakers

We walked back in the freezing cold carrying snacks from 7-11 and spotted this cute Peninsula coffee truck.

Peninsula Tokyo

(To be continued)

What we can learn from Lance Raymundo’s “freak accident”
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You may have heard of Lance Raymundo the singer/actor, but to me he’s my nephew Reggie.
Reggie’s lola and my dad are cousins. That makes him my sort of nephew. But I see him more like a cousin, or my buddy. We both grew up in Greenhills and I have fond memories of playing at his parents’ house.
Reggie and I became close during the ’80s when we would travel to Japan together. I wanted to become Lisa Bonet. He wanted to become Robert Downey Jr.
This was Reggie as a little boy.
Reggie Raymundo

We drifted apart before I moved to New York for a few years and he decided to try showbiz.
He changed his name to Lance and he became buff.

He works out a lot!

Lance is truly one of the kindest souls I know, and I’m glad his life was spared when he met a freak accident last March 19, 2014.
Around 10 AM, Lance was at his gym doing a dumbbell fly workout, while laying down on the bench press.

He narrates: “There was an 80-lb. barbell on top of me because the workout was a ‘superset’, meaning, right after I do 10 reps with the barbell with the help of my trainer, I rest it back in place and proceed to do the dumbbell fly workout.
After completing 10 reps of the dumbbell flies, the trainer leaned forward to assist me in lowering the dumbbells, but his body weight accidentally dislodged the barbell, which fell on my face and smashed it.

“This kind of superset workout has been done in many gyms for over 30 years, so it’s not a new workout. But I guess talking to other people while assisting someone can prove to be dangerous.
Luckily, very kind souls at the gym, some of whom I’ve never met, rescued me. A nurse named Paolo who was working out at the time asked for my car keys and rushed me to the ER.
I sustained multiple fractures in my entire (middle) face and parts of my orbital socket (casing the eyeballs).
Luckily my eyesight has been spared! I consider myself lucky because had it even hit just a half an inch either above or below the point of impact, it could’ve been fatal!”

A team of neurosurgeons, eye specialists and EENT doctors are attending to his case. They have assured Lance that his face will be fully restored after two major surgeries are completed.
Lance is in no way suing or badmouthing the gym or trainer and didn’t even want to disclose the names “as no one wanted this accident to happen.” (Obviously we now know the name of the gym because it’s on Instagram.)

Lance asked me to write about this because, “in the many years I have been working out, I have witnessed so many close calls due to horsing around, not paying attention, neglect, or even listening to an iPod while working out.
I hope this serves as a warning for everyone’s safety. I survived a near-death experience so I can be an advocate of this safety reminder,” Lance said.

Lance’s first surgery will be on Tuesday, followed by a second one after a month. Please keep him in your prayers.

Old Navy opens at Bonifacio High Street
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Stores Specialists Inc. is proud to announce the opening of the first Old Navy store in Manila tomorrow, March 22, 2014.
The flagship store will be at Bonifacio High Street (1700 m²), followed by Glorietta (1550 m²) on March 29.
Both will offer a complete selection of fashion and accessories for men, women, children, baby, and maternity.


Stores Specialists, Inc. has partnered with Gap Inc. to operate the Gap brand and Banana Republic stores in-market.
The Old Navy brand’s arrival into Manila is the first franchise store for Old Navy and is a key step in the company’s international expansion as it works to grow in the global retail apparel market.


Follow Old Navy Philippines at and sign up at

Jean Pigozzi opens “My World” exhibit in Beijing
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Long before photobombs and selfies were coined, there was Jean Pigozzi—a photographer who often pictured himself among celebrities.
“I take photos of friends, relatives, architecture, landscapes, the food that makes me hungry, the people I admire, the women I desire. I have the intention to keep taking photos as long as I can,” he said.
Now showing for the first time in China, Jean Pigozzi is usually introduced as the photographer of the jet set.

My World invitation

Heir to a European car empire (Simca), he suffered dyslexia from a young age and started taking photographs of his daily life as a teenager.
Instead of writing a diary, he kept a visual journal of his life in the high society since the 1960’s.
His current exhibition in Beijing covers four decades of capturing celebrities in their off guard moments—like Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, and even as recent as Leonardo Di Caprio, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts during the 2014 Oscar parties.

Jean Pigozzi and Mei Ting (actress) and Huang Jue (actor)
L-R: Jean Pigozzi at the opening with actors Mei Ting and Huang Jue

Jean Pigozzi and the Luu Triplets (from the film, Pacific Rim)
Jean Pigozzi and the Luu Triplets from the film, “Pacific Rim”

Both an insider and outsider, friend and fan, his photos reflect moments of intimacy in the life of the rich and famous. They provide access to a world that is usually hidden from sight: the Oscar or Cannes Festival parties, yacht trips, private dinners, weddings, even backstage of Rolling Stones concerts.
Appropriately titled Jean Pigozzi—My world, the exhibition at UCCA (Beijing) includes 250 photos shot in black and white, curated by famous film director Alexi Tan.

Jean Pigozzi My World exhibition in Beijing
Jean Pigozzi My World exhibition in Beijing

Before his return to China as a film director, Alexi Tan was a photographer in New York who shot numerous portraits of Hollywood celebrities for major fashion magazines.
By introducing Jean Pigozzi’s photographic work to China today, director Alexi Tan nods to his own past as a photographer.

Brothers Fed and Alexi Tan
Brothers Fed and Alexi Tan at the opening

Li Xinyi (TV host)
TV host Li Xinyi

Jean Pigozzi My World exhibition

Presented by GQ China, Audi, ThinkPad, and Moët & Chandon, Jean Pigozzi—My World, curated by Alexi Tan will be on view at the The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), 798 Art District, Beijing from March 14 to 24, 2014.

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