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


Dean & Deluca to open in Rockwell this November

Good news for Dean & Deluca fans: the first Dean & Deluca store in the Philippines is scheduled to open this Novemeber 2014 at Rockwell Center’s Edades Tower.
Franchised by Ms. Caroline Tanchay of Citimax group, the 187-square-meter store will include a mezzanine floor for a total of 250 square meters of space.

Dean & Deluca at Rockwell
Dean & Deluca at Rockwell

Started in New York in 1977, Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca opened their first shop at the corner of Prince and Greene Street in the heart of SoHo’s gallery district.
With its high ceiling fans, white walls, and mosaic-tiled floor, the atmosphere suggested a European café culture, which became the standard for cafés to come.
In October 1988 they expanded to a flagship market at the corner of Broadway and Prince Streets, offering gourmet food in departments manned by product experts.


Even though I wasn’t into food at that time, Dean & Deluca fascinated me as a student in New York in the ’90s—
with its minimalist look, marbled floors, and stainless steel shelving.
Every time I went there to buy a $2 brownie or a small rack of lamb, it felt like I was buying myself a present.

Dean & Deluca

Since opening 30+ years ago, Dean & Deluca has expanded to retail stores and cafes in selected U.S. markets, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the Middle East, and soon, the Philippines.
Japan alone has 14 stores—a little more than the 11 stores in the U.S.
Personally, I’ve found that Dean & Deluca is different in each country—at least the ones I’ve been to.
Nothing beats New York’s massive SoHo Market. You cannot compare it with Singapore, which is much smaller and offers more of an East-meets-West menu.
Tokyo is a whole new experience altogether because everything is cute with lots of merchandise.

Tokyo : 9 Mar 2012
Dean & Deluca at Tokyo Midtown

I don’t expect to see these in Manila

dean and deluca

but I’m hoping they’ll have these.

dean & deluca brownies

Looking forward to what Dean & Deluca will offer in the Philippines.
What Dean & Deluca products are on your wish list?

Yellow shoes

Do you believe in signs from God?
Back in 2001, I was pregnant for the first time. Something horrible happened in my business (don’t ask) and because I was pregnant, I didn’t have have the energy to fight back. I didn’t know how to proceed. So I talked to my sister and she told me that if you need a sign from God, ask for something difficult and specific.

I know this sounds super shallow, but during that time there was a Stephen Sprouse x Louis Vuitton bag I really wanted. I saw it in the shop (when it used to be at 6750) but it was reserved by someone else.
I told God, if you want me to give this up (the problem), please let me have the bag.
A few days later I got a call from Louis Vuitton (and I was not a VIP customer), they told me the bag was now available because the one who had reserved it changed her mind.
The bag is very special to me. I ended up selling the business.

Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse

Lately I’ve been praying to God more often. This year 2014 hasn’t been good for me, but through the kindness and prayers of friends and family, I’m still here.
Last June 12, I prayed to God for a sign. “Are you with me? My faith is weak and I need to know if You are with me.”
“What sign do you want?” was the question I got back.
“Ask for something difficult and specific,” I remembered my sister’s words.
“Yellow shoes. On a man. I have to see yellow shoes on a man before June 18.”
Yellow shoes.
Who the hell wears yellow shoes in Manila, I thought. This is going to be difficult.

So the next three days I kept looking at people’s shoes in the mall, in the hospital, in the supermarket.
I saw nothing. Then on June 15 I was feeling kind of sick. I took an Advil PM and went to bed. I could not open my eyes when Netherlands played against Spain in the middle of the night.
Once in a while I could hear my husband getting excited.
“Are we winning?” I would ask. “What’s the score?”
Netherlands ended up winning the game 5-1.
The following day my husband was on the Dutch Telegraaf watching the five magical goals that made them win, and showed them to me.
Here’s what happened.

world cup yellow shoes
world cup yellow shoes
world cup yellow shoes

“Wait. Are those green or yellow shoes?”
“Yellow,” said Jeroen. Pause.
I told him about my prayer.
The entire Spanish football team, plus two Dutch players that scored important goals, wore yellow shoes.
“If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is,” Jeroen said.

Last week I finally saw a man at the Shang—live in and in person—in yellow shoes. I wanted to stop him and take a picture for my blog. But I was too shy.
June 16 was the first time I watched a World Cup game this year. Since then I’ve been seeing yellow shoes all the time, almost everyday.
Is God with me? I certainly hope so.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10

Is Carl Jan Cruz the future of men’s fashion?

I meet CJ Cruz in 2008, while shooting Fatima Rábago at my house.
Kai Huang was the photographer. Melvin Mojica (L) and I were styling.

Melvin, Kai, Fatima

At that time CJ was practically a baby at 16 years old, the same age as my baby sister Ana.
He had tagged along as Melvin’s assistant and now considers Melvin his mentor.
Since Melvin considers me his mentor, does that make me CJ’s grandma mentor?

CJ Cruz + HMG

Shortly after we met, CJ moved to London to study fashion design but would frequently return to Manila, where he interned for Melissa Dizon at Eairth and eventually set up his own workshop in Taguig.

Carl Jan Cruz in Taguig
CJ Cruz in Taguig, photographed by Judd Figueres

“I’ve been in London for five years now since I was 16,” said CJ. “My dad is from London and I am British by default of citizenship. I wanted to explore the culture I didn’t grow up in, since we moved to Manila when I was four years old.”
CJ ended up studying at London College of Fashion under the BA Programme and did very well.
His capsule collection was recently featured in Vogue UK.

CJ Cruz
CJ CruzCJ Cruz
CJ Cruz
CJ Cruz
CJ Cruz

“It’s a visual autobiography,” CJ explains. “These are clothes, silhouettes, and colours that I trust and stand by. I pragmatically designed them and continuously pushed the envelope of its possibilities.
I believe it’s an honest, discreet, and intimate collection—very personal from the development of the fabrics with the mills, cutting and producing it, adding all the final details.”

Everything was made in the Philippines.
“It is also a challenge to myself regarding integrity. I believe in integrity and hopefully that is one thing my generation can sustain and push for—quality over quantity. Grounding oneself and being self-aware helps a lot, it makes one see what we really want.”

So what’s next for Carl Jan Cruz?
“Slow motion. I have designed this be a permanent collection that I can keep offering and developing whilst growing in the industry. I am still up for serving time under houses I believe in, and that will make me grow.”

To know more about CJ Cruz, click here.

Trying out Wee Nam Kee’s new dishes

It’s been a while since I last went to Singapore—February 2013 to be exact.
I’m a little scared to go because every time I visit, I gain weight.
Lately I’ve been going to Wee Nam Kee at Serendra due to its convenient location. I like to go at off-peak hours and I don’t mind eating alone, because I try to have my dinner before 6 PM.
I usually go for the classic chicken rice and cereal prawns.

wee nam kee

Cereal prawns are covered in a mountain of cereal mixed with curry leaves, chili, corn flour, milk powder, eggs, sugar, butter. No sharing, no leftover.

Cereal prawns, Wee Nam Kee

Aside from those two, my favourite Singaporean dish has to be fried chicken in shrimp paste. It is the best thing ever. The best I’ve had was at YY Kafei Dian on Bugis Road, but the owner was sungit (read: bad mood) because it’s not on the menu. I’m afraid to go back.

Chicken with shrimp paste batter

So usually we take a cab all the way to Powsing in Serangoon Garden Way so I can have my fried chicken in shrimp paste fix. These are so good.

Shrimp paste fried chicken wings

Last week I found out Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines has a new menu, which includes Prawn Paste Chicken Wings.
So last Sunday, we were there. It did not disappoint.

Fried chicken in shrimp paste

We started off with the crispy Mantou bread dipped in condensed milk. My husband Jeroen says it’s just like a fried cuapao.


Jeroen and our friend Joris both enjoyed the wok-fried chicken with chili and cashews

chicken with cashew

as well as the butterflied tilapia with chili crab sauce—perfect for those who don’t want to work for their food (translation: ayaw maghimay).

butterflied tilapia

As for the kids, they loved the chicken but were looking for plain rice.
What they really loved was the Milo Dinosaur—a tall glass of chocolate milk topped with Milo sand.

Milo dinosaur

Pardon the candid photos. We had four kids at our table and tons of food—very hard to take proper food pics.
I’m thrilled that Wee Nam Kee has a new branch at Shangri-La Plaza’s East Wing—much closer to home, with many shops to discover.

Wee Nam Kee at Shangri-La

Wee Nam Kee has many other new dishes. Didn’t get to try them all, but I’ll be back for my favourites.


Established in 1989 in Singapore, Wee Nam Kee now has eight branches in the Philippines:
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Serendra, Glorietta 2, Alabang Town Center, Promenade Greenhills, Trinoma, Shangri-La East Wing, and the new Fairview Terraces Mall in Quezon City.
To know more about their new dishes, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @WeeNamKeePH

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