New NAIA: In our lifetime please!
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I’m a simple girl. At least I like to think I am.
All I wanted was a nice, clean, modern bathroom at NAIA so I wouldn’t have to stuff my face with tissues when entering the loo. Can you smell this?


Oh, and the food problem. We need food in NAIA. Not mass-produced dense siomais, noodles cups and other smelly food.

NAIA Terminal 1

I feel so sad for me and all the foreigners who leave with the worst image of the country—NAIA.
Then things started to improve. They started to fix some toilets—not all.

NAIA restroom

But the food still sucks.
And now, something more than we’ve bargained for—an overhaul by some of the biggest names in Philippine design—Kenneth Cobonpue, Royal Pineda, Budji Layug, and Leandro Locsin:

Cobonpue group to design NAIA-1’s interiors for free
June 26, 2013 4:19pm

The government has tasked the team of world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue to give the interiors of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) a facelift, a Malacañang spokesperson said Wednesday.
Quoting a text message from Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Cobonpue’s group “will be allowed to do the interior of the NAIA 1 building” for free.
Lacierda added that the Leandro V. Locsin & Associates (LVL) architecture firm, ran by the son of national artist Leandro Locsin, will be in charge of the airport’s architectural services after it was awarded the contract to redesign NAIA-1 two years ago.
“The Cobonpue group will help out with the interiors, but Architect Locsin will still be architect of record. The Cobonpue group has offered their services pro bono,” the president’s spokesman said.

new NAIA
new NAIA

I have no words. Thank You Lord, for Filipinos who care.
And as Filipinos would say, “NAIA, bigyan mo naman kami ng kahihiyan!”

YES I know we still need a visa, but this is life-changing for me
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wanderlust (ˈwɒndəˌlʌst)
a great desire to travel and rove about
[German, literally: wander desire]

I’m one of those people who dies a little inside whenever I want to travel and just can’t take off.
Because of the kids, because of my fear of flying and other fears (bathrooms) etc.
The last time I traveled was to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my husband in Singapore—and to try yakitori sauces for our new food concept opening soon at SM Aura (shameless plug).

Yakitori One opening soon at SM Aura

Then Pope Francis was elected on March 13, 2013. In my heart I wanted to fly to the Vatican and see him, but he said, give the money to the poor instead.
Summer came. My kids didn’t want to travel and there were court hearings for my son’s adoption.
So we stayed put.
It is now the end of June. I am still thinking of the Pope. I am still recovering from lipo and I can’t buy new clothes yet.
But I woke up to such great news: Japan relaxes visa rules for Filipinos.
This means I no longer have to apply for a freaking visa every time I want to go there—which is twice a year!!
Yes, I know we still need a visa. BUT I can get a multiple entry VISA for three years—that’s all I want.
I’m so tired and I can’t tell you how tedious it is to get a Japan visa.

Japan visa collection

Japan is like my second home. Japan is in my heart. Now I don’t have to go to Hong Kong every time I feel like I need new clothes. This changes everything.

Nina Garcia enthralls at JAG Origins
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Project Runway judge and Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia enthralled fashion fans at the recent JAG Origins during Philippine Fashion Week at the SMX Convention Center.


Radiant in a black halter crepe dress with silver lamé crocodile pattern and peplum detail, Nina shared bits of wisdom about the fashion industry in a live interview with Boy Abunda.

Boy Abunda and NIna Garcia

JAG Jeans flew in Nina as the inaugural speaker of JAG Origins, which will be an annual event promoting fashion, marketing and creative thinking among industry and fashion/art students.
“You should have passion, the drive, and the desire to be in the business… It is important to know a lot about culture, to know a lot about the arts, to know some about business… because it is really art and commerce,” Nina advised aspiring fashion designers.
A highlight of JAG Origins was the presentation of capsule collections by Norman Noriega, Jeffrey Rogador, and Jerome Salaya Ang, who worked on the theme “couture-meets-denim.”


JAG also hosted a special cocktails where Nina got to rub elbows with some of Manila’s top fashion personalities, like Robby Carmona and Rissa Trillo


Tweetie de Leon


Mark Bumgarner and Maggie Wilson

http://chuvaness.cMark Bumgarner and Maggie Wilson

The fashion event, hosted by Sarah Meier, opened with a fashion show to launch JAG Jeans 2013 Holiday Collection, which especially featured the ankle cut jeans for women and stretch denim for men.
Watch the highlights of Nina Garcia’s visit to Manila.

JAG Origins is part of JAG’s commitment to promote and nurture the most promising fashion and design minds in the country. Known for its dedication to product innovation and delivering quality and high value products for over 30 years now, the program is the brand’s way of giving back and ensuring that its commitment to design lives on among the future movers and shapers of the Filipino fashion and design industry.

Where to get cool reading glasses
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As some of my friends go into their 50s, out come the reading glasses.
I remember my former friend telling us, “One day you just suddenly go blind, as in you can’t read. It just happens overnight.”
I gave him that quizzical look and thought, it can’t happen to me. I had LASIK. I have like 20-15 vision (more than perfect).
And then this year I noticed I had difficulty with the tweezers. At first I thought it must be the nighttime. I should tweeze in the day time.

Then two days ago I tried to read the fine print on a medicine bottle and suddenly felt blind!!
Oh my God!! It’s that day frienemy was talking about!! I am officially OLD!!
How strange because I still have perfect vision. I can read everything from a safe distance, but I can’t read fine print on a medicine bottle.
Will I turned into one of those people who whip out the glasses to read a menu or even look at an iPad?

So the first thing I did was Google “cool reading glasses” and found the site of Filao Paris.
I seem to remember having seen these glasses in Tokyo with my mom.
By coincidence my cousin Jenny tweeted this the day after I discovered I was blind.

Good to know I’m not alone.
I promised Jenny I would blog it, so here are the glasses:


The nearest shop is at Victoria Optical at the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
So Jenny, shall we?
To know more, go to

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