How Geraldine Mapa’s work ended up in Time magazine

By Gian Cruz

A washi tape is a decorative Japanese tape that tons of crafters are obsessed with. Call it a fancy masking tape. We have no idea how the washi tape came about and suddenly became trendy. Washi tapes are used to decorate everything from scrapbooks to gift wrappers and tea cups.

Washi Tape

Washi tape isn’t something one would easily associate with portraits, but artist Geraldine (“Ge”) Mapa can tell us otherwise. Her very first washi tape project was in November 2013 for the Bloom Arts Festival.
It was comprised of three 18” X 18” acrylic sheets with the portraits of Garovs Vergara, Twiggy, and Andy Warhol.

Khismet with Twiggy in wash tape
Khismet Maralit with a portrait of Twiggy

Last May 2014, Heima home and lifestyle store invited Ge to do a live washi tape demo at their craft event, which led to the creation of Margot and Richie Tenenbaum on clipboards.

Wes Anderson_11_Margot and Richie

The event drew a lot of interest whether the artworks were for sale, which eventually led to Heima and Ge doing more portraits. So, for the 5th anniversary party of Heima, a Wes Anderson tribute was agreed upon, which led to Ge doing an additional ten more of Anderson’s characters, including Bill Murray in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Geraldine Mapa
Geraldine Mapa

Geraldine Mapa washi tape portraits

Meanwhile on Facebook, Ge Mapa got tagged by a friend about an exhibit of Bill Murray artworks, which was open to anyone in the world. Ge gave it a shot and submitted a photo of her work.
A week later, her artwork ended up in a Huffington Post article on the exhibit, but sadly not to her credit, so she contacted the curator and the Huffington Post.
The curator replied that the matter should be fixed, with the good news that her artwork was going to be part of the exhibit. On top of that, Ge also found out that Time magazine had made an inquiry about the piece.
And that’s how she ended up in Time.


The Bill Murray Art Show takes place on August 8, 2014 at Public Works in San Francisco, CA.
For more information, go to
To contact Ge Mapa, email her at

Special thanks to HEIMA for the photos :)

A MasterCard exclusively for online shopping

“Mommy, before there was Amazon, where did you shop?” my son asked me a few years ago.
“We went to the store,” I laughed.
The question made me realise how much online shopping had become part of our lives.
Amazon was the first online store I ever shopped from. In fact, this was my first order.

My first Amazon order

It was 1999, before I was married. I ordered a book and two VHS tapes.
Fifteen years later, while VHS tapes have become obsolete, online shopping has only gotten bigger.
Even though many global brands have been opening in Manila, I still prefer to buy things online for its convenience. No traffic and no “out of stock”.

Five years ago, not a lot of Filipinos shopped online. This has totally changed.
Last year, MasterCard made an Online Shopping Behavior Study of 14 Asia Pacific countries. They found that while the number of Filipinos that shopped online remained constant at 40.2% compared to 2012, those who made at least one purchase in the last three months grew by 2.6%.

Music downloads (41.4%) and app downloads (37%) were the Filipinos’ top online purchases.
They also spent for personal, educational and professional development websites (27.6%), travel (27.2%), computer software (26.8%), airlines (26.4%), home appliance and electronic products at (25.6%), fashion and beauty (24.2%), personal care and beauty care brands (21.6%).
Entertainment is also popular with purchases from movie theatres, restaurants, and food delivery service (at 22.6%).

The three considerations for online shopping were security of payment facility, price, and convenient payment methods.
Other factors included the reputation of the website or seller, delivery or shipping costs, speed of transaction, and a good exchange or return policy.

Mastercard online shopping

One card program that addresses online shoppers’ need for a convenient, secure and quick way to pay online is the MasterCard Virtual Card.
A MasterCard Virtual Card is a MasterCard account number that is issued to a MasterCard credit or debit cardholder.
This allows you to manage a separate card account number for Internet use only—and you limit credit line and amount of purchases.
You can provide family members with unique accounts for online purchases and track online and retail purchases separately.

Unlike a physical plastic credit, debit or prepaid card, the MasterCard Virtual Card will not be accepted for face-to-face purchases or at in-store card payment terminals.
This was designed to protect your primary credit or bank account details from identity thieves by not having to expose information while making payments online.

So convenient, you can even apply for a MasterCard Virtual Card online or through its partner banks:
Security Bank

One of the setbacks I’ve had with online shopping is that one of my main credit cards always flags down my online purchases as fraud. They decline the order and bug me on the phone at odd hours to check if I made an online purchase. By getting a MasterCard dedicated to online shopping, I can avoid this inconvenience. :)

Have tea with Kate Spade at Raffles Makati

Raffles Makati puts a stylish spin on afternoon tea with its Prêt-à-Portea series.
To launch the series, Raffles Makati teams up with Kate Spade New York and its latest collection this July 14 to September 14, 2014 at the Writers Bar—available daily from 2:30 to 5:30 PM.

Kate Spade New York Pret-A-Portea at Raffles Makati

Enjoy a three-course spread of savoury sandwiches, chocolate-chip scones, and sweets decorated in the brand’s signature colours, bag styles and prints.
Receive a special gift voucher from Kate Spade New York and enjoy the afternoon tea experience with a variety of premium teas or a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne.
The Kate Spade New York Prêt-à-Portea is good for two people for just Php 1500++.
Add Php 1,000++ to upgrade with a glass of Rosé Champagne.

For more information and reservations, call Raffles Makati at 555-9840, or email
Follow Raffles Makati on Facebook or Twitter.

What Glenda did

I didn’t sleep last Wednesday night. I swear.
I spent the night in bed watching TV shows while playing Free Fall and listening to scary sounds—from the wind howling, rain pouring, and metal doors slamming. So scary.
Power out at 3:30 AM. My husband woke up at 4 and wanted to go upstairs to the roof deck and turn on the generator. I stopped him because it might be dangerous. So we waited.
At 5 AM, the driver came up to turn on the generator by himself, then electricity came back on around 6 AM.
I still couldn’t sleep, even when the entire household was awake. Our helper Mariza told me to go to sleep, but I couldn’t.
My husband biked to the neighbour’s house to deliver a saw and took these photos.

Joeri cutting the tree in front of his house

Every time there’s a super typhoon a car gets crushed in our village. Best to park away from trees.

Vale Verde
Vale Verde

These were taken at the park

Vale Verde park
Vale Verde park
Vale Verde
Vale Verde
Vale Verde

Thank God, no serious damage at home, except for water leaking in a couple of windows.
I fell asleep at 5 PM and woke up at 9 PM, hungry. My husband and I drove to the nearest McDonald’s for a burger. Went home, slept at 3 AM and life is back to normal.

First look: Pottery Barn opens at Bonifacio High Street

I didn’t even know there was a super typhoon until my FIFA body clock woke me up at 2 AM and I saw a message that classes were called off on all levels.
The typhoon itself hadn’t hit Metro Manila by noon, so I thought it would be OK to go to the Pottery Barn opening at 3 PM.
Luckily, no traffic. All the billboards had been rolled up in anticipation of Typhoon Glenda.

The first Pottery Barn in the Philippines and Southeast Asia is located at Bonifacio High Street’s Central Square.
The two-storey flagship store includes Pottery Barn, plus Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Baby on the second level.
It’s the first time we’re seeing doors like these at the mall.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Anton Huang, Executive Vice President of Stores Specialists, Inc. introduced the lovely ladies of Williams Sonoma Inc. which owns Pottery Barn (from L-R): Michelle Hummel – VP of Global Merchandising, Jennifer Ozark-Blanton – VP Global Inventory Management and Franchise Operations, and Leigh Oshirak - Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The doors finally opened after a countdown by host Issa Litton.
Here’s what you’ll find on the first level: everything for the living room and dining room and table top.
I started on the right and was immediately attracted to the white items beginning with the plates, napkins and table cloth

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The prices are good, if you ask me. I bought the Caterer’s napkins (set of 6) for Php 1450. On the US site they are $29 or about Php 1260. I don’t mind paying Php 190 more, since I save on taxes and shipping.
This is a great place to have a bridal registry, just in case. They have cutlery and silverware

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

All kinds of candles and candle holders

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Some of the candles are battery-operated (safe and great gift items)

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Drinking glasses, jars, and accent pieces

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

You’ll find many products made in the Philippines. I bought this wooden serving board for Jeroens’ cheese and steak. Not bad for Php 2450.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Tasteful picture frames

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Throw pillows and faux flowers

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

A beautiful staircase leads to the second level

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Check out the wooden ceiling

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

I love this bedside tray—perfect for eating in the room (Php 15,500)

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

What really made me drool are the bed linens

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

They are really gorgeous, but expensive

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Also on the 2nd level are jewellery boxes

Pottery Barn opening in Manila


Pottery Barn opening in Manila

The comfiest leather couch

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Bath items

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

And this way to Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Here’s a rich-looking loft bed

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Little people’s furniture

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Beddings for girls and boys

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Cute towels

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

Lunch kits

Pottery Barn opening in Manila


Pottery Barn opening in Manila

and this charming sign

Pottery Barn opening in Manila

So basically, you’ll need an hour or two to look at everything because once you’re in, you don’t know if you should look to the left or right.

Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila
Pottery Barn opening in Manila

I’m just thankful they opened in July and not in December, otherwise we would be panic buying for Christmas.
This is a great place to shop for newlyweds, babies, new homes, birthday gifts, or anyone who loves home improvement.
Pottery Barn is now open at the new Central Square, Bonifacio High Street.
To know more, follow them on Facebook.

Diego Mapa remembers the Grocery days

Diego Mapa used to work for me at Grocery, a hole-in-the-wall store I owned and ran from 1995-1998 after finishing my studies at Parsons New York.
This was the signage at the store, designed by my Parsons classmate Gerome Vizmanos. (Photo: RJ Galang)


I met Diego through his mother Tess, who was an editor at Daily Globe, where I worked in the Style section.
I remember Diego and his elder brother Joao coming to the newsroom after school and asking Tess for merienda money.
“Give me back the change!” Tess would yell out as the boys and ran off to the cafeteria downstairs.

My first job was at the Daily Globe. I dropped by the staff party at a hotel, around 1990.
Standing (L-R): Tess Mapa, Alex Magno, Micaela Fenix
Sitting (L-R): Elvira Mapa, Emmie Velarde, (me) Cecile Zamora, Diego Mapa

When Diego was a little boy and even when he was working for me as a teenager, I had no idea he would be a significant figure in the Philippine music scene—as lead vocalist of Pedicab, 1/2 of Tarsius and The Diegos, guitarist and vocalist of Cambio and Monsterbot. He is also husband to artist Geraldine Madriaga and a father of two.

Photo: Paul Javier

pedicab myx
With Pedicab (Photo: Myx)

tarsius photo by  Kaity Chua
As 1/2 of Tarsius (Photo: Kaity Chua)

So it warms my heart that Diego would remember fondly the time we worked together at my little store.
I’m proud of him as much as I am of the other talents Grocery has produced. They are now stylists, DJs, artists, designers, magazine editors, a zumba instructor, writers, parents, and other wonderful things that contribute to the good of this world (well, most of them).
Read, as Diego Mapa recalls the Grocery years in last Friday’s YStyle: ’90s special.

Grocery boutique: My gateway to Manila streetwear, couture, and electronic music
By Diego Mapa

It was the summer of ’97. I had just graduated from high school and failed all college entrance tests but was waitlisted at De La Salle University Manila.
I was living in Antipolo with my parents. I enjoyed occasionally jamming with my friends, something that later evolved into my first major label-signed band — Monsterbot (under MCA Universal) — and just listening to my cassettes at home.
I was into grunge, metal, punk and all that was under the alternative wing. Jamiroquai, Chemical Brothers and Prodigy were the new things happening on MTV.
My mom was the editor of a magazine called Woman’s Home Companion, and she came up to me asking if I wanted a summer job. I said, “Sure.”
“Remember Tita Cecile?” she asked. My mother used to work with Tita Cecile at Daily Globe. Tita Cecile today is the one and only Cecile Zamora-van Straten, probably more widely known as the blogger Chuvaness.
Mom told me Tita Cecile had a streetwear store in Mandaluyong and I could work there as an intern if I wanted to. So begins the story of my experience working at the legendary — and now defunct — fashion store called Grocery: streetwear store and boutique.

Cecile van Straten
Me at Grocery, 1997 (Photo: Lorraine Belmonte)

Grocery was located along Pilar Street, off Shaw Boulevard. The store was just around 40 to 60 square meters in a nice commercial space, and I remember first entering it after lunch when it was really hot outside. (I most likely took a jeep from Antipolo and was probably in my regular Beastie Boys getup: a shirt with khaki pants and sneakers.)
The vibe was refreshing. There was some downtempo electronic music going on that I hadn’t heard before, and all the clothes really had a modern edge. This stuff was more advanced than anything I saw on MTV.
It had stuff that Cecile made, which was labeled Kokur. These were the baby tees and dresses with Nora Aunor’s face on them.

Jo Ann Bitagcol
Jo Ann Bitagcol in Kokur, 1996

She also had a collection that was sun-damaged with acetate, like the clothes were bleached. There was a piece we called the baby doll dress. Much later into the summer, I ended up wearing this baby doll dress because we were so bored. The store also had some leather stuff like bondage pants, bondage pants in plaid, et cetera, as well as some imported clothes you couldn’t find anywhere else in the city, brands like Liquid Sky, which was my personal favorite.

Liquid Sky astro girl

I also liked going through the vintage rack, because they had really nice polyester shirts there. On the side, they had vintage Beatles pomade, pocket ashtrays, and Punky hair dye, which was really hard to get at the time. I was greeted by the manager — now fashion show director and stylist — Melvin Mojica, who my mom described as being like an alien with giant glasses. I didn’t get the alien part, but he did wear baby tees, colored vintage socks, jeans that ended just below the knees and Jackie O sunglasses when the sun was up. I had never seen anything like his fashion sense before.

Melvin Mojica
Melvin Mojica in Hello Kitty bondage pants (Photo: Eddie Boy Escudero)

Later in the day, I also met another storekeeper — Bang Quevedo, who was dressed in a baby ringer tee with elephant pants. I remember not really doing anything on my first day apart from familiarizing myself with the clothes and meeting Cecile (I think this was the point at which I started slowly dropping the “Tita”) and the rest of the staff. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is so cool, I’m working in a super hip store plus I get to hang out with cool people!”

Bang and Hank
Bang Quevedo (R) with Hank Palenzuela

I served as a salesman, but wasn’t really that much help. I tagged clothes with their prices, made sure that the store was clean and that the clothes were arranged and looked nice. At the end of the week, I was given an allowance that I ended up spending on clothes in the store.
In our downtime, I would browse through all the CDs in the store. This is where I discovered Tricky’s “Maxinquaye,” and acid jazz compilations, and we played a lot of Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy.”

special adi track jacket for Space cowboy
Jamiroquai in Adidas—our ’90s uniform

I also enjoyed occasionally going out with the crew. In the day, we went to the original massive ukay-ukay called Bangbang market in Manila, where we’d rummage for vintage wear. In the evenings, we were able to check out bars like Liquid (which later became Industria) where I met a lot of friends who I still hang out with today.
I also discovered clubs like ABG’s and Lava Lounge, and was able to attend events by Groove Nation.
These shows were new to me because before then, I only went to rock shows — at Club Dredd, Payanig sa Pasig, Arts Venue and Kalye, just to name a few. Dance clubs and other venues I’d been to then were probably Faces Disco, Equinox, Euphoria, Pep’s and Streetlife, and I had never experienced these new parties they called warehouse or rave.


At the end of that summer, I made it to La Salle, and on the first day of college I wore a baby tee Nora shirt. I was late for one class and accidentally entered in front, where everyone could see me, and I remember the whole class laughing at me, not because I was late, but because of my shirt. Deep inside, I felt brave and just shrugged it off. A year later, everybody was wearing baby tees to school.

Within a year, Grocery closed down and reopened in the mall as a new entity, called Defect, in Glorietta. I also trained to work for that store, but my school schedule made me quit before it opened. Defect was a massive success in that it brought Grocery’s culture to the kids much faster. Other Defect-like stores started to pop up, and it influenced established local brands to shift their style towards what was going on there.

Defect isn’t around anymore, either, but today, I still work with Melvin; I sometimes DJ for his events. I also DJed for Cecile’s recent birthday. Fashion-wise if there’s anything I learned from Grocery, it’s that if you have a good idea, turn it into a shirt, which is something I’ve applied when coming up with my band merchandise. But other than that, what Grocery really taught me was how to be stylish in an effortless way, and how to enjoy dressing up.

Diego Mapa, Judd Figueres and Melvin Mojica spinning at my birthday

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