Monocle visits Manila
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Yodel Pe and I were looking at the Monocle pop-up store at Univers, One Rockwell last Wednesday night.
The pop-up store would only be there for one night, and I was wondering what I should get.

Ethan of Monocle
Ethan Hawkes-Pippen of Monocle

Monocle at Univers
Monocle scents by Comme des Garçons

Monocle at Univers

I thought of getting the cute Monocle bag by Rootote, but it cost Php 8,000. The price includes a magazine subscription, CD, and notebook. (Photo: Monica Llamas)

Monocle at Univers
Monocle at Univers

Then I thought, do I really need another bag? I am severely backlogged on my reading. So I ended up buying this cool Monocle tech case by Porter.

Monocle at Univers

I handed my credit card to Monocle’s Ethan, who was cashier for the night. It took him a while to do the transaction and I waited. He apologized a couple of times, while I mumbled to Yodel, “How can I get mad kung ganon siya ka guapo??”
The waiting paid off. Ethan gave me a free Monocle tote, which made me feel giddy the whole night. (Read: so kilig)

Monocle at Univers

The week before I had received this invitation by email.

Monocle invitation

The Monocle team was stopping by Manila, Taipei and Jakarta as part of their summer Asia-Pacific tour.
Put simply, the idea was to meet readers and fans face-to-face and expand the Monocle community.

When editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé decided to come here, he asked a Filipino friend in Hong Kong, who’s the best person to call in Manila? The Filipino recommended her friend, Margarita Forés, who would host a Filipino dinner for the team at Grace Park. Margarita also recommend Univers at One Rockwell as a perfect venue for the event.

Monocle at Univers

Rumor had it, Tyler dislikes the color purple, so I skipped the purple eyeshadow on my Shu Uemura Mon Shu palette and went for brown instead. Of course I wore black.

Cecile van Straten

All the other guests seemed to wear the same color scheme of black, white, blue, and khaki

Monocle at Univers
anders braso, Monocle advertising director
Anders Braso, Monocle Advertising Director

Mano Lotho and
Mano Lotho, Press Relations officer of Univers with Ethan Hawkes-Pippen of Monocle

Joey Samson
Fashion Designer Joey Samson

Jappy Gonzalez and Lucia Restelli of Peter Pilotto
Univers Managing Director Jappy Gonzalez with Lucia Restelli, Head of Sales for Peter Pilotto

Tyler Brûlé, Ed Calma, Chut Cuerva
Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé with architects Ed Calma and Chut Cuerva

Monocle at Univers

It felt like a man’s party

Monocle at Univers

Chambray: color of the day

elaine domingo, tere henson, Tadi de Leon, JoAnn Bitagcol, tina ong
L-R: Elaine Domingo, Tere Henson, Tadi de Leon, JoAnn Bitagcol, Tina Ong

As soon as I came in, Jappy Gonzalez of Univers introduced me to Tyler Brûlé, whom I had encountered in Hong Kong in 2006. Ack!! The Tyler I remember is a dream boat, extremely well-dressed and intimidating.

Tyler Brûlé
Tyler Brûlé
Tyler Brûlé, Observing the Current State of Media
Tyler Brûlé

I don’t really get starstruck, but tonight I was just super intimidated beyond words.

Tyler Brûlé at Univers

That night Tyler made a short speech about things you don’t need to change, like paper. Even though we’re in the digital age, there are things that don’t have to be obsolete. And these things we pay for. Not everything should be free and downloadable because it costs money to produce the things we consume.

Tyler Brûlé

Personally, I love paper. I don’t own a Kindle. I prefer books and the smell of bookstores, the feeling of going through the shelves, seeing book covers, turning pages.
Dinner followed at Grace Park, where Margarita Forés served lechon and lamb adobo, among other dishes.
I heard traditional chicken/pork adobo had to be whipped up last minute as a special request by Tyler, who thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wish I had stayed to witness it, but my shyness got the better of me.

Monocle magazine is available at Univers, One Rockwell East Tower, Makati City.
For back issues, just ask the sales assistants.
To know more about Monocle, go to

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I wanted to take a photo of him for our HK block party… pero I heard he hates to be photographed and from me he would have defo said no…. but no one can say no to cute little You not even TB! Hope you had a blast!



CVS Reply:

awww you’re the sweetest. Hope to see you in July :)))


Raul Ramon II L.Vopez-Vito Buc

no wonder. Ethan and I were on the same flight back Friday noon to Hong Kong. I’ve the tote from their store in St Francis Yard 🙂



By invitation only? Sana they extended the pop-up store even just for a day for other Monocle enthusiasts. Hehe.

PS: JoAnn Bitagcol is my favorite Pinay model!