yoo: More fun in Boracay!

Have you noticed the sudden influx of afams in Manila lately? (AFAM = a foreigner assigned in Manila).
I was having dinner recently at Mamou, Rockwell—and couldn’t help noticing how many afams were passing by and eating in the restaurants. It was almost Singapore levels.
Not talking about Burgos-quality afams, but young, good-looking and male and female afams (no offence to Burgos afams).
Could it be the ad campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines”?
Could it be Noynoy Aquino—knowing our sitting President isn’t stealing is making the country more attractive to foreigners and investors?
Could it be that the New York Times, Travel & Leisure , and Condé Nast Traveller all named Philippines as one of the top travel destinations in 2013?
Could it be that new luxe hotels and resorts are setting up shop in the Philippines?
Or all of the above?

After Century Properties announced its new development called Acqua Iguazu with yoo inspired by Philippe Starck comes Aqua Boracay by yoo.
I know it sounds all too confusing—both are called Acqua and Aqua with a slight difference in spelling and both are designed by yoo—but developers are different.
Acqua Iguazu is by Century Properties, while the other is developed by the AQUA Boracay Group of Marco Biggiogero, Marco Manzoni, and Dmitry Zhur.

With Marco Alessandro Biggiogero, Marco Manzoni and Shunn Shur

Aqua Boracay will have a cluster of four-storey, low-density and low-rise building, offering 134 units of up to two-bedroom luxury apartments with prices starting at P11 million.
Amenities include concierge, guest services, housekeeping and laundry, on-site water sports, and exclusive access to clubhouse and swimming pools


Take a look at the renderings designed by yoo.
Here’s a studio type

living room

The bedrooms with the local, resort elements mixed with modern sensibilities


The bathrooms I would not complain about. (For me, the big come-on is the banyo. Filipinos don’t do banyos like these.)


The living/dining/kitchen in various renderings—take your pick—it all boils down to clean and simple lines

living, dining, kitchen

Is it Vito Selma?

living room
living, dining, kitchen
living, dining, kitchen
living room

Check out the floor plans for one-bedroom


and two-bedroom


To me, it all looks magical. But I’ve never been to Boracay.
I imagine a beach looks lovelier with less people. But with Boracay getting more commercialized and populated—hey, at least it get a few notches cooler with yoo joining in the fun.
Now if only the government would fix the airport….

To know more about Aqua Boracay, go to http://aquaboracay.com/ or like them on Facebook.

Wish ko lang

I wonder if Vicky Morales’s show Wish Ko Lang still exists?
Vicky was a schoolmate from Assumption, and I still bump in Vicky once in a while. I wonder if could make a wish through her show.
See, there’s this house on 8th Street, New Manila, which used to belong to my grandparents.
Here’s a picture of me, my elder sister and my Mom in that house, back in the day.

Mom, Diday and I at 8th Street

We spent a lot of time there. All weekends and summers of my childhood. We swam, read Pinoy komiks, bought Magnolia ice cream from the cart, played patin-tero and piko (hopscotch), while the adults played mahjohngg and cuajo all the time.

Mahjongg at 8th Street

There was a big pebble wash area near the pool. I still remember those glass doors and that couch. I scanned these from my Tita Noni’s photo album, that’s why she’s in most of the photos.

The terrace, Papa's house

Here’s the view from inside the house. My grandfather is in red, my grandmother is in the green dress.

I miss Mama's house

I have vivid memories of these windows

Outside Papa's house

These were the Galang relatives in the veranda, where the kids used to eat

Papa's house

I wish I had more pictures. The house was sold when my grandparents became too old to climb the stairs and moved to a bungalow. I don’t know who bought the house, but it’s still there and once in a blue moon I drive by and wish I could go inside. I distinctly remember the wavy walls—can you see the slight curve?

47 8th Street

This is how it looked two years ago.

47 8th Street

I am dying to go back and visit. I literally dream about it.
Sometimes I wish I could just go there with an artista (popular actor) like Maxene Magalona and her mother Pia, and just ring the doorbell. I think Filipinos would be awfully kind to celebrities who appear on their doorstep.
I still remember when Sharon Cuneta rang my doorbell in the ’80s to use the toilet due to the heavy traffic. She was with my former schoolmates, stuck in an unmoving car and my house wasn’t far away. They decided to walk to my house to use the toilet and ask for water.
I wish Sharon and I were close. Maybe she would ring the doorbell for me. :)
That said, I do hope someone in the universe will make it happen. Does anybody know anyone who lives in this house?

How to remain calm

What do you do if your car slips on an icy road, spins around and drops your baby girl onto the road where a truck narrowly misses running over her?
You run for your kid and walk back calmly, while your companion jumps down to pick up the blanket and hangs it on the side of the car. Hmmm….

Crying over a hamburger

So yesterday I was at Pepper Lunch Shangri-La, having merienda with our maid and driver, when I saw on Twitter that Carlos Celdran was found guilty of “offending religious feelings.”

I read online that Carlos can go to jail between “2 months and 21 days to a maximum of one year, 1 month and 11 days.”
I have no idea why the numbers are like that.
All I know is I started to cry while eating this double hamburger (shameless plug).

Because I'm spoiled

“The last time I cried over a hamburger was at Brother’s Burger, when I heard that Gilda (Cordero-Fernando) had a heart attack,” I told my friend Jude over the phone.
“So stop eating hamburger,” Jude curtly said.
Jude had visited Carlos in jail when he was arrested last September 30, 2010.

Carlos Celdran

I believe the night he spent in jail was enough. Carlos apologized. He has been banned from bringing his tours around the churches. Don’t know if he was excommunicated and I don’t want to bug him to ask.

Carlos facebook

Yesterday I spent a great deal of time ranting on Twitter and even arguing with some righteous Catholics with four followers. I consider myself deeply Catholic even though I don’t go to Mass regularly. I like to think that Jesus, while on earth, would have drawn people to himself, instead of repel. So why do some righteous Catholics tend to alienate others instead of inspire?
By nighttime I had a feeling of remorse and used an app to erase more than 2,000 tweets on my timeline, and with that, I went to bed.
So now that even the President thinks Carlos should be pardoned, I think we can rest assured, Carlos will be free.

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