What Glenda did

I didn’t sleep last Wednesday night. I swear.
I spent the night in bed watching TV shows while playing Free Fall and listening to scary sounds—from the wind howling, rain pouring, and metal doors slamming. So scary.
Power out at 3:30 AM. My husband woke up at 4 and wanted to go upstairs to the roof deck and turn on the generator. I stopped him because it might be dangerous. So we waited.
At 5 AM, the driver came up to turn on the generator by himself, then electricity came back on around 6 AM.
I still couldn’t sleep, even when the entire household was awake. Our helper Mariza told me to go to sleep, but I couldn’t.
My husband biked to the neighbour’s house to deliver a saw and took these photos.

Joeri cutting the tree in front of his house

Every time there’s a super typhoon a car gets crushed in our village. Best to park away from trees.

Vale Verde
Vale Verde

These were taken at the park

Vale Verde park
Vale Verde park
Vale Verde
Vale Verde
Vale Verde

Thank God, no serious damage at home, except for water leaking in a couple of windows.
I fell asleep at 5 PM and woke up at 9 PM, hungry. My husband and I drove to the nearest McDonald’s for a burger. Went home, slept at 3 AM and life is back to normal.

First look: Pottery Barn opens at Bonifacio High Street

I didn’t even know there was a super typhoon until my FIFA body clock woke me up at 2 AM and I saw a message that classes were called off on all levels.
The typhoon itself hadn’t hit Metro Manila by noon, so I thought it would be OK to go to the Pottery Barn opening at 3 PM.
Luckily, no traffic. All the billboards had been rolled up in anticipation of Typhoon Glenda.

The first Pottery Barn in the Philippines and Southeast Asia is located at Bonifacio High Street’s Central Square.
The two-storey flagship store includes Pottery Barn, plus Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Baby on the second level.
It’s the first time we’re seeing doors like these at the mall.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Anton Huang, Executive Vice President of Stores Specialists, Inc. introduced the lovely ladies of Williams Sonoma Inc. which owns Pottery Barn (from L-R): Michelle Hummel – VP of Global Merchandising, Jennifer Ozark-Blanton – VP Global Inventory Management and Franchise Operations, and Leigh Oshirak - Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The doors finally opened after a countdown by host Issa Litton.
Here’s what you’ll find on the first level: everything for the living room and dining room and table top.
I started on the right and was immediately attracted to the white items beginning with the plates, napkins and table cloth

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The prices are good, if you ask me. I bought the Caterer’s napkins (set of 6) for Php 1450. On the US site they are $29 or about Php 1260. I don’t mind paying Php 190 more, since I save on taxes and shipping.
This is a great place to have a bridal registry, just in case. They have cutlery and silverware

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

All kinds of candles and candle holders

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Some of the candles are battery-operated (safe and great gift items)

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Drinking glasses, jars, and accent pieces

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

You’ll find many products made in the Philippines. I bought this wooden serving board for Jeroens’ cheese and steak. Not bad for Php 2450.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Tasteful picture frames

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Throw pillows and faux flowers

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

A beautiful staircase leads to the second level

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Check out the wooden ceiling

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

I love this bedside tray—perfect for eating in the room (Php 15,500)

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

What really made me drool are the bed linens

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

They are really gorgeous, but expensive

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Also on the 2nd level are jewellery boxes

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Rugs

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The comfiest leather couch

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Bath items

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

And this way to Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Here’s a rich-looking loft bed

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Little people’s furniture

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Beddings for girls and boys

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Cute towels

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Lunch kits

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Rugs

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

and this charming sign

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

So basically, you’ll need an hour or two to look at everything because once you’re in, you don’t know if you should look to the left or right.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

I’m just thankful they opened in July and not in December, otherwise we would be panic buying for Christmas.
This is a great place to shop for newlyweds, babies, new homes, birthday gifts, or anyone who loves home improvement.
Pottery Barn is now open at the new Central Square, Bonifacio High Street.
To know more, follow them on Facebook.

Diego Mapa remembers the Grocery days

Diego Mapa used to work for me at Grocery, a hole-in-the-wall store I owned and ran from 1995-1998 after finishing my studies at Parsons New York.
This was the signage at the store, designed by my Parsons classmate Gerome Vizmanos. (Photo: RJ Galang)

Grocery

I met Diego through his mother Tess, who was an editor at Daily Globe, where I worked in the Style section.
I remember Diego and his elder brother Joao coming to the newsroom after school and asking Tess for merienda money.
“Give me back the change!” Tess would yell out as the boys and ran off to the cafeteria downstairs.

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My first job was at the Daily Globe. I dropped by the staff party at a hotel, around 1990.
Standing (L-R): Tess Mapa, Alex Magno, Micaela Fenix
Sitting (L-R): Elvira Mapa, Emmie Velarde, (me) Cecile Zamora, Diego Mapa

When Diego was a little boy and even when he was working for me as a teenager, I had no idea he would be a significant figure in the Philippine music scene—as lead vocalist of Pedicab, 1/2 of Tarsius and The Diegos, guitarist and vocalist of Cambio and Monsterbot. He is also husband to artist Geraldine Madriaga and a father of two.

Photo-by-Paul-Javier
Photo: Paul Javier

pedicab myx
With Pedicab (Photo: Myx)

tarsius photo by  Kaity Chua
As 1/2 of Tarsius (Photo: Kaity Chua)

So it warms my heart that Diego would remember fondly the time we worked together at my little store.
I’m proud of him as much as I am of the other talents Grocery has produced. They are now stylists, DJs, artists, designers, magazine editors, a zumba instructor, writers, parents, and other wonderful things that contribute to the good of this world (well, most of them).
Read, as Diego Mapa recalls the Grocery years in last Friday’s YStyle: ’90s special.

Grocery boutique: My gateway to Manila streetwear, couture, and electronic music
By Diego Mapa

It was the summer of ’97. I had just graduated from high school and failed all college entrance tests but was waitlisted at De La Salle University Manila.
I was living in Antipolo with my parents. I enjoyed occasionally jamming with my friends, something that later evolved into my first major label-signed band — Monsterbot (under MCA Universal) — and just listening to my cassettes at home.
I was into grunge, metal, punk and all that was under the alternative wing. Jamiroquai, Chemical Brothers and Prodigy were the new things happening on MTV.
My mom was the editor of a magazine called Woman’s Home Companion, and she came up to me asking if I wanted a summer job. I said, “Sure.”
“Remember Tita Cecile?” she asked. My mother used to work with Tita Cecile at Daily Globe. Tita Cecile today is the one and only Cecile Zamora-van Straten, probably more widely known as the blogger Chuvaness.
Mom told me Tita Cecile had a streetwear store in Mandaluyong and I could work there as an intern if I wanted to. So begins the story of my experience working at the legendary — and now defunct — fashion store called Grocery: streetwear store and boutique.

Cecile van Straten
Me at Grocery, 1997 (Photo: Lorraine Belmonte)

Grocery was located along Pilar Street, off Shaw Boulevard. The store was just around 40 to 60 square meters in a nice commercial space, and I remember first entering it after lunch when it was really hot outside. (I most likely took a jeep from Antipolo and was probably in my regular Beastie Boys getup: a shirt with khaki pants and sneakers.)
The vibe was refreshing. There was some downtempo electronic music going on that I hadn’t heard before, and all the clothes really had a modern edge. This stuff was more advanced than anything I saw on MTV.
It had stuff that Cecile made, which was labeled Kokur. These were the baby tees and dresses with Nora Aunor’s face on them.

Jo Ann Bitagcol
Jo Ann Bitagcol in Kokur, 1996

She also had a collection that was sun-damaged with acetate, like the clothes were bleached. There was a piece we called the baby doll dress. Much later into the summer, I ended up wearing this baby doll dress because we were so bored. The store also had some leather stuff like bondage pants, bondage pants in plaid, et cetera, as well as some imported clothes you couldn’t find anywhere else in the city, brands like Liquid Sky, which was my personal favorite.

Liquid Sky astro girl

I also liked going through the vintage rack, because they had really nice polyester shirts there. On the side, they had vintage Beatles pomade, pocket ashtrays, and Punky hair dye, which was really hard to get at the time. I was greeted by the manager — now fashion show director and stylist — Melvin Mojica, who my mom described as being like an alien with giant glasses. I didn’t get the alien part, but he did wear baby tees, colored vintage socks, jeans that ended just below the knees and Jackie O sunglasses when the sun was up. I had never seen anything like his fashion sense before.

Melvin Mojica
Melvin Mojica in Hello Kitty bondage pants (Photo: Eddie Boy Escudero)

Later in the day, I also met another storekeeper — Bang Quevedo, who was dressed in a baby ringer tee with elephant pants. I remember not really doing anything on my first day apart from familiarizing myself with the clothes and meeting Cecile (I think this was the point at which I started slowly dropping the “Tita”) and the rest of the staff. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is so cool, I’m working in a super hip store plus I get to hang out with cool people!”

Bang and Hank
Bang Quevedo (R) with Hank Palenzuela

I served as a salesman, but wasn’t really that much help. I tagged clothes with their prices, made sure that the store was clean and that the clothes were arranged and looked nice. At the end of the week, I was given an allowance that I ended up spending on clothes in the store.
In our downtime, I would browse through all the CDs in the store. This is where I discovered Tricky’s “Maxinquaye,” and acid jazz compilations, and we played a lot of Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy.”

special adi track jacket for Space cowboy
Jamiroquai in Adidas—our ’90s uniform

I also enjoyed occasionally going out with the crew. In the day, we went to the original massive ukay-ukay called Bangbang market in Manila, where we’d rummage for vintage wear. In the evenings, we were able to check out bars like Liquid (which later became Industria) where I met a lot of friends who I still hang out with today.
I also discovered clubs like ABG’s and Lava Lounge, and was able to attend events by Groove Nation.
These shows were new to me because before then, I only went to rock shows — at Club Dredd, Payanig sa Pasig, Arts Venue and Kalye, just to name a few. Dance clubs and other venues I’d been to then were probably Faces Disco, Equinox, Euphoria, Pep’s and Streetlife, and I had never experienced these new parties they called warehouse or rave.

Grocery

At the end of that summer, I made it to La Salle, and on the first day of college I wore a baby tee Nora shirt. I was late for one class and accidentally entered in front, where everyone could see me, and I remember the whole class laughing at me, not because I was late, but because of my shirt. Deep inside, I felt brave and just shrugged it off. A year later, everybody was wearing baby tees to school.

Within a year, Grocery closed down and reopened in the mall as a new entity, called Defect, in Glorietta. I also trained to work for that store, but my school schedule made me quit before it opened. Defect was a massive success in that it brought Grocery’s culture to the kids much faster. Other Defect-like stores started to pop up, and it influenced established local brands to shift their style towards what was going on there.

Defect isn’t around anymore, either, but today, I still work with Melvin; I sometimes DJ for his events. I also DJed for Cecile’s recent birthday. Fashion-wise if there’s anything I learned from Grocery, it’s that if you have a good idea, turn it into a shirt, which is something I’ve applied when coming up with my band merchandise. But other than that, what Grocery really taught me was how to be stylish in an effortless way, and how to enjoy dressing up.

Untitled
Diego Mapa, Judd Figueres and Melvin Mojica spinning at my birthday

#ShareACoke hits the Philippines

I rue the day I first tried Coke. I don’t know how or who got me to try Coke, but I wish I never had because it is a hard habit to break.
So yes, I still drink Coke and I’m still trying to stop. But I had 3 Cokes today. Tomorrow, no Coke for me.
Well, I had an excuse. I got this Coke invitation, which I couldn’t turn down.

Coke

I have no idea how they found out our cook is named Lydia, but she was thrilled when I gave it to her.
Lydia deserves a Coke because she cooks the best liempo in town, and may I add—perfect with Coke and rice.
But this is more like it :)

Cecile & Jeroen coke

Today I went to the Share A Coke launch x Bench at SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall.
The phenomenal Coca-Cola campaign that has taken over 50 nations by storm is finally in the Philippines.
Leading the celebration was Jasmin Vinculado, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Philippines, who also headed the first ever Share a Coke campaign in Australia.

Jasmin Vinculado, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Philippines,  with Ben Chan
Jasmin Vinculado introduces Bench CEO, Ben Chan

“We brought Share A Coke to the Philippines with one goal—to share happiness. Sharing a Coke is a simple yet fun and exciting way for us Filipinos to be able to show our appreciation to people who make us happy. For mothers who cook our breakfasts every day, for the fathers who drop off their children to school every morning, for the friends who listen to our never-ending problems, for the manang who serves our food in the cafeteria, for the manong who opens the door for us and wishes us a great day with his bright smile, for everyone who has shown us kindness—we would like to share a Coke with them simply because we know that happiness is made more real when shared,” Vinculado said.

Spotted were Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President-Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines

Adel Tamano

and Rajo Laurel

Rajo Laurel

Highlighting the event was a fashion show to celebrate the long-standing partnership between Coca-Cola and the country’s leading teen clothing brand Bench.

IMG_1052

IMG_1072

IMG_1058

IMG_1063
Coca-Cola Happiness Ambassador Joseph Marco

IMG_1073
Jessica Yang

IMG_1068

Also on the ramp were Coca-Cola Happiness Ambassadors Julia Montes and Enchong Dee who shared personalised Coke cans and balloons with guests.

IMG_1080
L-R: Jasmin Vinculado, Julia Montés, Enchong Dee, Coca-Cola FEMSA CEO Juan Ramon Felix Castañeda, Joseph Marco, Ben Chan

Find personalized Coke packs at sari-sari stores, convenience stores, groceries, supermarkets, and vending machines nationwide. You may also drop by Share a Coke booths in supermarkets, malls and schools to make your own personalized Coca-Cola printed in minutes.
To know more, go to www.shareacoke.com.ph.

The Tivoli best dishes in grand finale menu

Following Mandarin Oriental Manila’s recent announcement of closure after 38 years, the hotel’s signature restaurant, The Tivoli, will be saying goodbye though a grand finale menu this July 16-25, 2014.

Mandarin Oriental, Manila's Classic Fine Dining Restaurant The Tivoli

Executive Sous Chef Remi Vercelli and his team will present the Tivoli’s best dishes in À la carte, Business Lunch, and Degustation menus, which includes the Millionaire Salad, Tivoli Bouillabaisse, US Nebraska Certified Angus Prime Beef Rossini, Roasted Rib Eye from the trolley, Roast Sea Bass with Potato Gnocchi, Crab Diablo, Duck Breast a l‘orange, and Traditional Crepe Suzette.
The three-course Business Lunch menu is priced at PHP 1,818+, while the six-course Degustation menu is at PHP 3,400+++.

Crab Diablo

On July 18, Mandarin Oriental, Manila Executive Chef Rene Ottlik and Margarita Fores will join forces in a seven-course Degustation menu of Foie Gras Carpaccio, Acquarello Risotto with River Prawn and Latume Sac Ciccioli Crumble, Pappardelle Al Duck & Lardo di Colonnata Ragu, and Beef Tenderloin a la Griglia.
The Degustation menu is priced at PHP 2,400+++. Limited seats available.

Mandarin Oriental, Manila Executive Chef Rene Ottlik with guest chef Margarita Fores

The Tivoli is open from Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner, and on Saturdays for dinner.
July 25, 2014 is the last day of the restaurant.
For reservations or inquiries, call 750.8888 extension 2433 or email momnl-tivoli@mohg.com.

Birthdays and blessings, Part 1

It started with a dress.
My husband accompanied me to the Comme des Garçons flagship in Aoyama, and while I usually start on the right side of the store, Jeroen made a quick round before settling onto a chair to wait while I shopped.
“You have to look in there,” Jeroen urged me to look inside of the circular nooks in the store.
“You have to see what those girls are wearing,” he said excitedly.
I recognised one of the “girls” as the famous Japanese blogger and Comme des Garçons collector, Room Boy Pony.
I wanted to say, “Hello! I’m a fan! May I take your picture please??”
But this was Comme des Garçons and we are supposed to be cool and detached. Room Boy Pony left the store.
The other girl happened to be a Comme des Garçons sales assistant who was wearing this dress.

Comme des Garçons

Ah…I fell in love! Here it is on the runway (Photo: Style.com)

Comme des Garçons

And on the street

Comme des Garçons

I bought the dress not knowing where to wear it.
Back in Manila, I saw my clairvoyant therapist Jinky Amores, who said it is important for me to celebrate my birthday this year because of all the unfortunate events that have happened in the first quarter of 2014. It’s going to get better!
It had been seven years since I last had a big birthday party, so I went ahead and planned it.
Through the help of graphic designer Yodel Pe and Tinay Villamiel of Bleach, we created this throw pillow which was given out to 70 friends and family. (Photo: Hayden Kho)

Invitation

I imagined a place full of dots. Comme des Garçons was my peg for the decor.

Comme des Garçons

I found the polka dots online and secured Whitespace for my venue.

Whitespace
Whitespace
Whitespace

I met with my friend Melvin Mojica, Anthony Prudencio of Margarita Forés catering, and Ashley Rye of Saga Events to sort out the details.
I found the polka-dot balloons and paper placemats online and shipped them through Johnny Air. (Thank you Analyn Diego!)
Anthony and I came up with this table setting

Table setting
Table setting

While Ashley got the 70 ghost chairs and supervised as Saga Events placed 400 polka dots on the walls.
Together we transformed Whitespace into this magical party venue.

Table setting
Table setting
Table setting

(To be continued)

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