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

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:

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)


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.


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)

Pottery Barn opening soon at Bonifacio High Street

As a homeowner, I’m excited for any home store opening in Manila because of our limited choices.
The newest brand to enter the country is American home furnishings retailers Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids. Scheduled to open July 16th at Bonifacio High Street Central, expect exclusively designed furniture and accessories for the living room, dining room, bedroom, bath, outdoor, and more.
Last night I checked out the space at the newest mall at BGC.

Pottery Barn at BGC

It is pretty much empty for now, except for Baskin-Robbins ice cream upstairs.

Pottery Barn at BGC

I had forgotten about the opening of Baskin-Robbins and didn’t drop by.

Pottery Barn at BGC

Pottery Barn will open to the left of the entrance.

Pottery Barn at BGC

The store continues on the second floor—this way to Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Baby.
(Too bad no Pottery Barn Teen and Dorm—my favourites.)

Pottery Barn at BGC

Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids are part of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands. Originally founded in 1949 in New York City, it was acquired by Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in 1986
Now in partnership with Stores Specialists, Inc., Pottery Barn Philippines will bring to the Philippines home furnishings of exceptional comfort, quality, style, and value.
Get a feel of what to expect, as seen on Pottery Barn’s Instagram:

Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn

Can’t wait for July 16th!
For updates, follow them on Facebook.

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 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).

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