There’s no place like Shang

For many of us living in “midtown” (Makati being “uptown” and QC/Cubao “downtown”), Shangri-La Plaza is like a second home.
As an expert mall-goer, I can tell you a successful mall needs to have the following staples: Mercury Drug, National Bookstore, True Value/Ace Hardware, movie cinemas, supermarket, department store, beauty salon, dental and health clinics, spa and gym mixed in with your favorite restaurants and reliable clothing stores.
Shangri-La Plaza has most of that, so imagine your second home right next to your home—and more.
Enter Shang Properties’ newest residential development, One Shangri-La Place, a luxury twin-tower residential development that will stand on top of new a six-level mall.
Amenities include swimming pools, a fully-equipped gym with changing rooms, a play area and game rooms as well as a four-level parking podium.

One Shangri-La Place Aerial view day shot

Designed by architectural consultants Palmer & Turner Hong Kong; Casas + Architects; BTR Workshop Limited, Hong Kong; LDI Design Limited, Hong Kong, Aecom; Meinhardt Phils., SunAsia, Inc.; and Davis Langdon & Seah, you can expect comfortable units with high ceilings and roomy interiors.

One Shangri-La Place Show Suite master's bedroom

One Shangri-La Place Show Suite living-room

One Shangri-La Place Show Suite kitchen

One Shangri-La Place Show Suite 2nd-room

Right across are the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and the Chi Spa; connected to it via walkways is the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, which has direct access to the MRT Shaw Station.
One Shangri-la Place is conveniently located near the San Miguel Corporation and Asian Development Bank, Poveda Learning Center, the University of Asia and the Pacific, and Medical City.

One Shangri-La Place site development plan

It joins a roster of residential and commercial developments under Shang Properties Realty Corporation (The St. Francis Shangri-La Place, The Shang Grand Tower, The Enterprise Center and Shangri-La Plaza Mall).
Shang Properties is the Philippine property development arm of the Kuok Group, one of the largest diversified conglomerates in the world renowned for the quality of its Kerry properties in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, as well as the Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
Interested buyers may visit the showroom and model unit on the ground level, Shangri-La Plaza Mall (on the side of Mercury Drug) or contact any One Shangri-La Place property consultant through (632) 634-8080, (632) 634-8111, (632) 634-5678. Or email

To know more, go to

101 People You Must Meet (right now)

Last January, Town & Country USA published a list of 101 People You Must Meet in 2011 with Lake Bell on the cover.

Town Cover

The alphabetical list included personalities like Wendi Deng Murdoch (67), Kate Middleton (64), Sarah Ferguson (34) and Lapo Elkann (30).


This month, Town & Country Philippines does its own version with Liz Uy on the cover.

Liz Uy

Compiled by a panel that includes Lizzie Zobel, Monique Villonco, Sevrine Miailhe, Doris Ho and Margarita Forés, the local version includes Lea Salonga (78), Irene Araneta (6), Tina and Ricco Ocampo (61), Anton Huang (46), Wynn Wynn Ong (62), and me! (100). Haters to the left!
Read all about it in the August issue of Town & Country, out in stands now.



What happened at the Pen…

As a judge of the Globe Tatt Awards, I had to be at The Peninsula Manila’s Salon de Ning at 6 PM.
But knowing how these things work, I left my house at 6:30 and followed the proceedings on Twitter.
Luckily traffic wasn’t a bitch and I arrived in good time.


Since almost everyone was a blogger, there were so many cameras. As you know, I dislike being photographed so I squeezed in the back with Carlos Celdran and Rajo Laurel (nominees both) and Victor Basa.


Starvation 2011! Victor was kind enough to steal me a hakaw :)


Spotted: Blast from the past, Jeje Santos of Giniling Festival! Yes, Jeje was around long before the jejemon came into existence.


Nominees Bianca Gonzalez and Laureen Uy with Liz Uy

Bianca Gonzalez, Laureen Uy, Liz Uy

While judges were being announced, I was hanging out with Matt Gozun and Jake Galvez of Becky Nights.


Then Gang Badoy’s name was called. I overheard Jake Galvez say, “What’s Gang Badoy?”
Matt Gozun answers, “Tao yon, sis.”
I was cracking up when they called me to announce the nominees for the Stylista category.
After this I went back to Matt and said, “Nakakatawa si Jake. Hindi niya talaga alam kung sino si Gang Badoy.”
Matt says: “Is he here na ba?”
Me: “Anong he?? SHE!!”
Yes folks, Gang Badoy is a woman and I quote:

Gang Badoy

Luckily Gang arrived shortly after and got to meet Matt Gozun (L) and Jake Galvez (R). So yes, she is a tao, and a woman at that. :)


After the program I was looking for Ginggay and found her at The Bar with Robby Carmona (L) and Divine Lee (R).


I spotted an apostle-looking guy across the room and was told he was from Korn.


To be honest, I don’t know Korn from Asin. But the blogger/loser/poser in me just had to take a picture.


There was a dude with him, so kakahiya naman. Take 2.


Siempre, join na rin si Ginggay, so Take 3.


Just then my son called from home and said he needed to bring an apple to school tomorrow. But where to get an apple at this ungodly hour?
Carlos Celdran suggested calling Mariano Garchitorena or checking out the hotel’s Fitness Center where they may have complimentary bottled water and fruits.
But I had another plan. I dragged Ginggay to the Escolta buffet.
“Why are we going?” she asked.
“I need an apple for Ben’s homework. He needs it for school tomorrow.”
“Anong balak mo?”
“Kukuha ako.”
“As in ipapasok mo sa bag mo?”
“Kind of.”
Ginggay looked doubtful. We entered Escolta and I immediately saw this container of fruits.
“Ayun, Ginggay. Ayun!”


Ginggay: “Teka, teka, teka.”
Me: “I just need one apple. One apple.”
Ginggay: “Can I just call Stephanie Chong? Let’s do this right OK?”
Me: “Fine. Me I’m gonna look inside.”
I wanted to look for someone I knew who could get me an apple from the buffet table. Surely there must be someone I know….
And I found one! Just when Ginggay had Steffie on the phone. We didn’t steal it!


So thank you Manila Pen, I can become a good mommy.
Love, Ben


P.S. I’m so glad I am a judge and not a nominee because online voting/campaigning stresses me. (Thank you Globe!!)
So while waiting for official event photos, find out who’s nominated and start voting now!

Let me eat cupcake

I was never really into cupcakes, but when you watch or hear about a certain kind of food repeatedly, you develop a craving for it.
In my case it was the Real Housewives of New York City where one of them might suddenly say, “I need a cupcake.”


In New York, one of the go-to places for cupcakes is Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village.

Magnolia Bakery NY

In Manila, there’s Cupcakes by Sonja.
Sonja Ocampo worked at Magnolia Bakery in 2005 before opening her own shop at Serendra. And lucky for me/us.

Cupcakes by Sonja

Opened in 2006, I never even tried her cupcake until 2011—and only because of the Real Housewives.


Not a fan of frosting (too sweet) I walked in and bought a variety only to scrape it off. Until one day, I decided to ask if I could buy them without frosting. And they said yes! So the plain vanilla cupcakes are the ones I like best. (Even in food I am quite the minimalist.)

Sonja's cupcake

Meanwhile my friend Jiki loves Red Velvet (Photo: Gela Abores/FLICKR)

Red Velvet Cupcake from Sonja's Cupcakes

I also think bag obsession is passé, but I was amazed at how detailed some of these bag toppers look.
I’m just waiting for an occasion to order it for a friend.

Sonja's handbag cupcakes

Cupcakes by Sonja is at 1C 03 Serendra Piazza, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

New openings for Louis Vuitton in Manila and Singapore

After an intensive expansion and renovation program, Louis Vuitton will reopen on October 15, 2011 at Greenbelt 4.
First opened in 2003 on Makati Avenue, the Louis Vuitton store has always been one of the most popular anchor brands in the shopping district of Makati. Today, this expansion reaffirms the Malletier’s confidence in the Philippine retail market.
Featuring a uniquely conceived façade inspired by the brand’s signature Damier pattern, the new store will be transformed into a two-level luxury retail space.

New GB4 Store - Store Facade

The store’s main entrance opens up to a travel area on the left and an expansive leather goods bar to the right.
The mezzanine floor will hold a dedicated Men’s Area.
The main staircase will take you down to the Women’s Universe featuring a vast array of leather goods, shoes, and accessories. An entire wall will showcase Rare and Exceptional pieces on the lower floor.
Aside from a special room dedicated to after-sales services, a highlight of the new store will be the unique and luxurious VIP salon, offering the ultimate personal and luxurious shopping experience.

Meanwhile, Singapore will open its first Island Maison at the Marina Bay Sands on September 18, 2011.
The Maison will sit on the waterfront of the Marina Bay promenade and will feature nautical-inspired interiors exclusively designed by internationally acclaimed and award-winning architect Peter Marino.

Singapore MBS Facade

Visitors can look forward to a unique and sophisticated retail experience as the first Louis Vuitton Maison in Southeast Asia will incorporate art and cultural elements in its retail space.
The ground floor of the Island Maison will feature a complete selection of men’s and women’s leather goods, ready to wear, shoes and accessories.
The mezzanine level will have the first Travel Room in Asia Pacific, dedicated to travel luggage and accessories. There will be a private lounge for intimate presentations as well as an outdoor loggia reminiscent of a deck on a luxury yacht.
From the island, visitors can travel through a tunnel that will showcase pieces of contemporary artwork.
The tunnel connects to the Marina Bay Sands mall and visitors will arrive at the Louis Vuitton bookstore, where they can browse through a specially curated range of design, cultural and art books.
A spiral staircase on the same floor will lead visitors up to a magnified space which will display timepieces, fine jewellery and exceptional leather bags.

Mothercare invites new and expectant moms to a “meeting”

Mothercare Philippines holds its 2nd Baby & Me Club meeting on Saturday, August 20, 2011 at the Greenbelt 3 Exhibit Area from 1:30-4:30 PM.

baby and me club newest 832011

On August 20, guest speakers will discuss proper nutrition and proper dental care for new and expectant moms.
Snacks and refreshments will be served, plus participants can join a raffle where Mothercare toys and a brand new Phil & Teds pushchair will be given away.

Phil and Teds pushchair

Registration is free! Just go to and post the following on their wall:
1) Full Name
2) Contact Number
3) How far along are you in your pregnancy/How old is your child?
Only the first 80 successful registrants will receive a confirmation text from Mothercare.

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