UPDATED: Ten Filipinos who look Japanese

You know I’m obsessed with almost anything Japanese. I can’t help but think about Filipinos who look Japanese, but tell you the truth, I had a hard time coming up with ten.
Japanese to me—or at least the ones I’ve observed—have an innate coolness, whether they are teenagers or grandfathers. There are certain things they’ll wear. It can be the simplest top and it will just look cool on them.
The Japanese I’ve observed don’t wear body-fit clothes or short sexy dresses, which Filipinos love. Or maybe I’ve been hanging out in the same areas in Tokyo.
Japanese have nice haircuts and are a quiet, relaxed people.
The Filipinos I’ve chosen here are for the most part shy and introverted. They express themselves through talent and they way they dress or colour their hair. Chances are you’ve never even heard of them if you’re not in the industry.
There are Filipinos who try to look Japanese but some of them look like caricatures or maybe more Korean, Taiwanese or Chinese.
This is just my list. I’m sure there are more out there but I probably don’t know them.

The model: John James Uy
This Filipino actor and model was born in Mountain View, California but now working and living in Manila. I rooted for him in the Be Bench Model Search in 2007 but he won second place. I grabbed his pics on Instagram @johnjamesuy and I know him as the boyfriend of model Jessica Yang.

John James Uy
John James Uy
John James Uy

Tom Girl: Jo Ann Bitagcol
I first spotted Jo Ann Bitagcol around 1995 when she was just starting out as a model in Manila. I chose her to open and close my first fashion show in 1996. After that her career just took off and she became Manila’s top model. Since then she has transitioned into one of Manila’s most respected, in-demand photographers.
She continues to be low-maintenance in her lifestyle and the way she dresses.
Her personal style is “tom girl” (a girl who dresses like a boy) just like me. Anything I own just looks more fabulous on her but we don’t hate her.

Jo Ann Bitagcol wearing CJ Cruz
Jo Ann Bitagcol wearing CJ Cruz
Jo Ann Bitagcol wearing CJ Cruz
Jo Ann wears Carl Jan Cruz, photographed by Charles Buenconsejo

The obvious: Jujiin Samonte
It’s not difficult for photographer/videographer Jujiin Samonte to look Japanese. He’s often in Japan where his mother is based. His name sounds Japanese. He looks so Japanese that when he’s in Tokyo, people speak to him in Nihongo and they are shocked when he tells them he’s Filipino. I’ve been with him in Tokyo where he easily blends in and even gets stopped on the street to be photographed for street fashion magazines, such as TUNE.


Kawaii girl: Reese Lansangan
Reese Lansangan is an all-around talent who does visual art, graphic design, fashion design, writes music, you name it.
I don’t know how I found her on Instagram @reeseypeasy but she looks like the girl I would’ve wanted to be if I were in my 20s again. We want to know more about her. She’s so cute!!

Reese Lansangan
Reese Lansangan
Reese Lansangan

The alien: Andre Chang
We don’t know where he came from, but Andre Chang is a Filipino who looks like he’s from another planet. I’ve had my eye on him since 2006 when I started spotting him at fashion events. Good thing I had a style blog; I had an excuse to talk to him and take his picture.
Stylist and fashion editor Andre maintains a Lookbook page that has over 38,000 followers. And while he seems to have broken every rule in the fashion book (while boldly mixing local and international designer brands), we can’t take our eyes off him.

Andre Chang
Andre Chang
Andre Chang

The sister: Daryl Chang
If one has a brother like Andre Chang, what are the chances that the sister would know fashion as well?
I met Daryl through Andre and liked her on sight. Like Andre, I’ve seen her looks transform—physically, hair-wise, fashion-wise. These days she’s second-in-command at Preview magazine where she works as Fashion Editor. I’ve seem her bloom from quiet to confident—all the while keeping her feet on the ground—and we like that.

Daryl Chang
Daryl Chang

The Boyfriend: Mano Lotho
Daryl Chang’s boyfriend, Marketing Officer for H&F Retail Concepts, also has his moments of looking Japanese, with some Spanish mestizo mixed in. Unfortunately he is so low-key there are not many photos of him online, so all we have are photos of him with other people. We love the way he can wear a regular Fred Perry shirt and look so good in them. Simple, laid back, Japanese style.

Mano Lotho

Daryl and Mano
With Daryl Chang in Malate

Mano Lotho and Raymond Ang
With Raymond Ang at Lusso

Mano Lotho and Ethan Hawkes-Pippen of Monocle
With Ethan Hawkes-Pippen at Univers

Manila’s Herb and Dorothy: Ryan & Garovs Vergara
Ryan and Garovs may look like a non-conventional couple, but deep inside they are very much traditional.
Ryan knew she was “the one” when she spotted her in the hallways of the College of St. Benilde during their school years. And after being together and working together as Everywhere We Shoot, they finally tied the knot in an unforgettable wedding ceremony in 2012.
Of the two, Garovs is the one who looks really Japanese, but when they’re together, we can’t help but imagine Ryan speaking fluent Nihongo, then neither of them would look out of place in Tokyo.

Ryan & Garovs for HUMAN
Everywhere We Shoot photographed by Mark Nicdao for HUMAN

Ryan & Garovs
Ryan and Garovs Vergara
Photo: MM Yu

The jack of all trades: Mikko Sison
I’ve known Mikko since high school during the ’80s, when he was one of the few guys who dared to wear a skirt to parties. I’ve seen him grow from Parsons New York student to painter, graphic designer, interior designer, father to Rojo, and head of his own company, MassZero Project Management Inc..
Aside from a sharing a love of Japan, Mikko and I also have a common envy of anyone who is visiting Japan at the moment. It is an envy only few would understand.
(Photos by @denisembp on Instagram)

Mikko Sison
Mikko Sison
Mikko Sison

The actor: Jake Macapagal
It was my friend Jude who pointed out that Jake Macapagal, who starred in Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila, look Japanese. I mean just look at him with the chiseled nose, Oriental eyes, nice haircut and carefully chosen wardrobe. Not much photos of him online, but hoping to see more of him on the big screen.

jake by BJ pascual
Photo: BJ Pascual

jake macapagal
Jake Macapagal
Jake Macapagal
Photo: Pilar Tuason

Dani Girl: A musical that’s good for the soul

Manila’s newest performing arts group, The Sandbox Collective, mounts the groundbreaking Off-Broadway musical Dani Girl this July 11-27, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
20.Dani (played by Mitzie Lao at certain performances) goofs around with her mom (played by Shiela Valderrama)

Dani Girl tells the uplifting tale about a young girl’s battle with leukemia.
Far from sitting back and letting her condition take over, nine year-old Dani Lyons, whose cancer has returned after three years of remission, sets off on an imaginary quest with her guardian angel Raph, her film-obsessed roommate Marty, and her teddy bear Mr. Fritz, to get back her hair after losing it to chemo, and find the answer to the question, “Why is cancer?”
Dani Lyons and Marty, played by Rebecca and Luigi Quesada as Marty are roommates at pediatric oncology

Told from a child’s perspective, this provocative, new musical by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond explores the universal themes of life in the face of death, hope amidst despair, and the peerless power of a child’s imagination.
The show has played at sold-out houses off-Broadway, as well as in fringe theater festivals and regional theaters across Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Dani Girl will be making its Asian theatrical premiere through The Sandbox Collective.
12.Dani Lyons (played by Rebecca Coates), embraced by her mother (played by Pamela Imperial at certain performances)

“We are very privileged to be re-imagining this bold, new musical for our local audiences,” said Toff de Venecia, The Sandbox Collective’s managing artistic director and Dani Girl director.
“The songs are beautifully crafted; the story, a bit dark but positively uplifting; and the production, promising to stretch you to the limits of your imagination. This is theater for new audiences.”

Lorenz MartinezReb Atadero

The show will run for 15 performances from July 11-27, 2014 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
Tickets available at Ticketworld.
For show-buying, block-buying, and ticket inquiries, call 585-6909, (0917) 899-6680, or Ticketworld at 891-9999.
To to know more go to http://thesandboxcollective.com or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Dani musical

CAST: (in alphabetical order)
Reb Atadero (Marty / Raph)
Rebecca Coates (Dani)
Pamela Imperial (Mother)
Mitzie Lao (Dani)
Lorenz Martinez (Raph)
Luigi Quesada (Marty)
Shiela Valderrama (Mother)

Director / Executive Producer: Toff de Venecia
Co-Executive Producer: Anna Santamaria
Musical Director: Ejay Yatco
Choreographer / Movement Designer: Delphine Buencamino
Costume Designer: Maronne Cruz
Hair and Makeup Designer: Myrene Santos
Set Designer: Faust Peneyra
Lighting Designer: Meliton Roxas Jr.
Assistant Lighting Designer: D Cortezano
Additional Set Design: Leeroy New, Bibo Reyes, Kayla Teodoro
Additional Prop Design: Denis Lagdameo
Sound Designer: Chuck Ledesma
Dramaturg: Giselle Garcia
Production Photographer: BJ Pascual and Shaira Luna
Head Stage Manager: Bym Buhain
Design Director: Maine Manalansan

Dani Girl is presented with the special participation of My Apt. by Heima, St. Lukes Medical Center Global City, Aristocrat, Toy Kingdom, CSB School of Design and Arts, KEDS, Kythe Foundation Inc, Childhaus, and media partners Young STAR, Chalk, Metro, Metro Society, Working Mom, Circuit, MYX, Travelife Magazine, The Lifestyle Network, JackCITY, Jeepney TV, Focus Media, Business World, HerWord.Com, TomCat Radio, Green Giant FM, and The Manila Bulletin.
Dani Girl is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Tommy Hilfiger and Jonathan Newhouse host sosy dinner in London

To celebrate London Collections: Men Spring-Summer 2015, Tommy Hilfiger (L) co-hosted an intimated dinner with Condé Nast International Chairman and CEO Jonathan Newhouse (R) at the acclaimed Little House Restaurant in Mayfair.

Tommy Hilfiger and Jonathan Newhouse

Little House, Soho House’s most exclusive venue, is a private members club in the heart of Mayfair.
The intimate space is lined with conceptual and graphic contemporary art by celebrated American artists Jenny Holzer and Taryn Simon, among others.

Little House, Mayfair
Little House, Mayfair

Mr. Hilfiger and Mr. Newhouse welcomed an array of international fashion press, retailers and VIPs to the event, such as models Robert Konjic


David Gandy

David Gandy

and Jack Guinness


Talent agent Andrew Weitz

Andrew Weitz

English actress Tamara Beckwith and Tommy’s wife, Dee Hilfiger

Tamara Beckwith and Dee Hilfiger

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet

Natalie Massenet

Model Tatiana Cotliar with Dazed & Confused founder Jefferson Hack

Jefferson Hack and Tatiana Cotliar

Businessman Harold Tillman and Topshop CEO Sir Philip Green

Harold Tillman and Philip Green

Author Nicholas Foulkes with KleverMedia Founder Spas Roussev

Nicholas Foulkes and Spas Roussev

GQ Deputy Editor Bill Prince and Esquire Fashion Director Catherine Hayward


Art director Ronnie Cooke Newhouse with husband Jonathan Newhouse and Sir Philip Green


Comme des Garçons President Adrian Joffe, Jonathan Newhouse and fashion editor/stylist Grant Pearce


“I always look forward to coming back to England to celebrate London Collections: Men, and I am delighted to once again support the incredible design talent here,” said Tommy Hilfiger.
“Since my first collection in 1985, I have rooted my designs in the prep classics, and as the birthplace of preppy style, England is always close to my heart—the architecture, the art, the music and the culture of the city offer endless inspiration.”

“London Collections: Men has in a short time established itself on the fashion calendar as an event not to be missed. The range and depth of talent on display is extremely impressive. London has become a true fashion capital for menswear, and we at Condé Nast International are proud to give it our enthusiastic support,” said Jonathan Newhouse.

In the Philippines, Tommy Hilfiger is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) and is located at Greenbelt 5, Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La Plaza, Newport Mall Resorts World Manila, Abreeza Mall, and Rustan’s Tower Shangri-La Plaza (children’s wear only).

Everywhere We Shoot’s PANIC BUYING at West Gallery

By Sunshine Reyes

Everywhere We Shoot’s obsession with grocery items carry on in their second solo exhibit, Panic Buying, opening at West Gallery on July 3, 2014 at 6 PM.
While most people panic-buy for security reasons, Ryan and Garovs Vergara fall into the habit when enticed by attractive packaging and ridiculous promos.

Garovs Vergara

In last year’s Foods exhibit, Everywhere We Shoot showcased food in its most awkward glory—stripped bare of artifice and set against a bright backdrop.
Panic Buying reimagines the frenzied atmosphere in a grocery store and the delirious state a shopper gets when exposed to this setting.
A series of lightboxes with aluminium lining are put together to mimic a juice and dairy section, but a closer look reveals distorted and multiplied packaging labels—an interpretation of the confusion when presented with too many choices.
The products taken during the hoarding were shaken out of their packaging and haphazardly styled, resulting in a colorful, visually striking mess.

Ryan and Garovs Vergara by MM Yu
Ryan and Garovs Vergara, photographed by MM Yu

It’s been a yearly tradition for Everywhere We Shoot to release their “SuperLimitedEdition” merchandise.
This year they’re launching a new sculpture for the exhibit: a pile of leftover trash shaped in resin and coated with metallic paint.
After all, that’s what Everywhere We Shoot does best—recognise beauty in the most unlikely objects.

Panic buying poster

PANIC BUYING by Everywhere We Shoot
3 July-2 August 2014 at West Gallery
48 West Avenue, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

For more information call +632 411.0336 or email info@westgallery.org
Gallery hours: Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM
Closed on Sundays and public holidays


Hoarding is fun with Watsons’ Switch & Save products

People often ask me for travel tips. I’ll give you a great one: Watsons disposable panties—just because I don’t want to bring home dirty underwear. I’ve been using them for years and it’s only gotten better.
Watsons disposable panties used to be made of paper, but now they are made of polycotton.


I used to hoard these in Hong Kong, but when Watsons opened in the Philippines in 2002, it changed the way we hoard.
I love the Watsons brand because it gives me choices of good, quality products at a much lower price than other brands.
I also love my job. Yesterday Watsons invited me to shop at their Greenbelt 1 store to experience the Watsons Switch & Save products.


Carts are a must. I was assisted by store supervisor Jane Mabao who took me around the store. If not for her I wouldn’t know how many Watsons brand products there are. (Perhaps they should have a dedicated shelf just for it so people would know where the goods deals are?)

Jane Mabao supervisor

We started with my favourite makeup remover round puffs (buy one, take one at Php 89). I use so much of these—first thing in the morning before putting makeup on, and last thing at night for makeup removal.


A must in any girl’s bag are tissues and wet wipes, especially if you’re a mom.


Don’t leave home without these.

wet tissue

Watsons also has the cutest boxed tissues in a pack of three

tissue cute

On your red days, you’ll save more if you switch to Watsons sanitary napkins (Php 74 for 24 pads).

sanitary pads

I remember when these were the newest things and the first time I tried them. The word “forest” comes to mind.
Nose pore strips are Php 119 for a pack of ten

nose strips

Got kids? Watsons has a Looney Tunes line just for them, like the top-to-toe foaming baby wash at Php 299, buy one-take one

baby wash

Baby cologne

baby cologne

and baby lotion (a buy one, take one steal at Php 239)

baby lotion

If you prefer square facial puffs to round ones, there’s the Tweety Bird variety at Php 99—buy one, take one

facial puffs

Watsons is known for the generously packaged toiletries at buy one, take one prices.
Giant cream shampoos are Php 269 for two

shampoo creamy

Treatment shampoos are Php 189 for two

shampoo treatment

Shower gels, Php 259 for two

shower gel

Exfoliating body wash, Php 239 for two

scrub 1

Chubby bottles of hand soaps, Php 149 for two

hand soap gel

plus refills for Php 109—buy one, take one

hand soap refill

Large bottles of mouthwash, Php 249 for two

mouth wash

Hair treatment wax, Php 239 for two

treatment wax

Body lotions are Php 119 each


And so much more! I ended up with five baskets for our household of 14. Not bad for Php 7000. Nobody in the house has to buy shampoo and shower gel for the rest of 2014.


I also got a Watsons tote bag, zippered pouch and fat bottle of hand soap—for free!
To find out more about Watsons’ Switch and Save products, go to a Watsons store nearest you.

watsons poster


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