Mark Nicdao’s lair in Elle Decoration
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“Have you seen Mark Nicdao’s flat in Elle Deco?” my friend Yodel said the other night.
“No, why?”
Parang hindi si Mark,” Yodel said. “It looks gothic/medieval, very Euro Flash, with faux romanesque arches and Tudor (Elizabethan) furniture. Going for old siya! Age of Enlightenment. I’m impressed he also has old prints. Kinda looks English with Spanish elements,” Yodel elaborated.
As if Elle Decoration read my mind, a copy landed on my desk this morning.

Elle Deco cover

Mark Nicdao is one of the most in-demand, highest paid working photographers in Manila.
Now take a peek at his home, with the dungeony feel

Mark Nicdao's place

The trompe l’oeil book wallpaper and deer head

Mark Nicdao's place

It has an old world feel with dark and antique-looking objects

Mark Nicdao's place


Mark Nicdao's place


Mark Nicdao's place

and wardrobe

Mark Nicdao's place

Everything looks so put together

Mark Nicdao's place

Who knew Mark had it in him?
Well, OK the Hannibal Lecter mask is a bit much, even for me 🙂

Mark Nicdao's place

You can read all about it in this month’s ELLE Decoration Philippines, which is the magazine’s first year anniversary special with the theme Global Style, Filipino Spirit.
“To celebrate this milestone, we’ve prepared an anniversary issue that takes you into the residence of six Filipinos who take a passionate approach to decorating and furnishing their homes,” writes editor-in-chief Becky Kho in the October issue.
Also, drop by Cafe ELLE Deco designed by Jinggoy Buensuceso if you’re going Manila FAME this October 17-21 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
“Come by for coffee and design inspiration,” invites Becky. “Take in the latest creations of the most talented Filipino designers.”
Then take a peek at ELLE Decoration Philippines exhibit as it presents a photo retrospective of fine Filipino interiors taken from the pages of magazine. To be held this October 21-30, 2013 at the Greenbelt 3 lobby, the exhibit is an opportunity to see the most stunning homes around the country.

ELLE Decoration Philippines is available in bookstores and newsstands for Php 200 and online at Summit Newsstand.
To know more, follow Elle Decoration Philippines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Open letter to My M&Ms
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Dear My M&Ms,
I realize that by blogging this, I will lead more customers to your site.
I’ve been a fan of your customized My M&Ms products and have ordered many in the past. You could call me a good customer. It is one of my favorite things to give away, as gifts or just for fun.

Chuvaness x M&Ms

Once I ordered M&Ms for my dad’s birthday

Birthday M&Ms for my dad

My friends’ wedding

Everywhere We Shoot x M&Ms

and my nephew’s baptism

My M&Ms for Noah

Because I live in the Philippines, all orders are shipped to Johnny Air Retail in Woodside NY and forwarded here to the Philippines. I have to pay extra for the shipping to the Philippines, and though the total can be quite expensive, the smiles it brings to people are worth it.

I’m writing to you now, hoping you can help me with a problem I’ve been trying to solve via email but going nowehere.
Recently I placed an order for customized M&Ms and a small bag of Halloween M&Ms but didn’t get a confirmation letter.
I emailed Customer Care to find out what happened. Here’s what I got:

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 3.08.05 PM

So I went ahead and ordered again. What happened next? I received two duplicate orders.
The first box arrived, I gift wrapped it and sent it to my cousin for his daughter’s baptism—that’s why I no longer have the packing slip that came with it.

My M&Ms duplicate orders

This week a second box arrived. Packing slip is with me. The order # is 11777381.

My M&Ms duplicate orders

I now have an extra 100 packs of customized M&Ms that I wish I could return to you, but not practical since I am in the Philippines. Also wondering if I am entitled to a refund (never mind the Johnny Air shipping) since it is not my fault that there were two orders sent to me.
I do apologize for this very public blog entry, but this is the best way I can explain the situation to you with pictures and hopefully get a fast resolution.
To all my readers curious about the product, you can check out
The site has some problems though. It does not keep a record of your order history, which left me wondering if they indeed received my first order.

Found: Homme et Femme Archives outlet store
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Fans of homme et femme stores, including Fred Perry and Univers might be glad to know an outlet store just opened at Gamboa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati.
Archives is located right across from Washington SyCip Park.

Homme et Femme Archives

My friend Patrice and I dropped by a couple of days ago during its soft opening

Homme et Femme Archives

It has two floors. The bottom floor has the women’s lines and a pop-up coffee shop called The Curator

The Curator

I started with the marked down tech cases by Jil Sander, Liberty, and more

Homme et Femme Archives

Wallets by Comme des Garçons, among others

Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives

There are shelves of Comme des Garçons tops on sale

Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives

Spotted on the racks: this Margiela tee

Homme et Femme Archives

Givenchy dress, 50% off but still expensive

Homme et Femme Archives

Fred Perry tops, etc.

Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives

Upstairs is the men’s section, which was being sorted out when we were there

Homme et Femme Archives

A couple of fitting rooms

Homme et Femme Archives

Really nice shoes by Lanvin

Homme et Femme Archives
Homme et Femme Archives

Martin Margiela

Homme et Femme Archives

Dries van Noten

Homme et Femme Archives

Heschung x Comme des Garçons

Homme et Femme Archives

and more

Homme et Femme Archives

I ended up just buying a couple of Fred Perry sweatbands for the hubby (300 each) but Patrice got really nice Acne shoes and plans to come back for a Fred Perry top.
Such a lovely space and view. Drop by if you’re in the area.

Homme et Femme Archives

Archives d’homme et femme is open daily from 12 noon to 9 PM at Gamboa Street, Legazpi Village, Makati.
Tel. 836-2740 • (0917)849-4008

When Celine Lopez met Sean Ellis
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Guest writer: Celine Lopez shares her take on the journey to Metro Manila

Who says you don’t meet great men at parties?
Although it was far from romantic, my friendship with Sean started out in 2007 in a party at my home.
He had studied with a good friend of mine in Barcelona and immediately started gushing about how interesting Manila was.

Sean Ellis, Celine Lopez, Axel Favre
Tea time at Lusso, Greenbelt 5—from L-R: Sean Ellis, Celine Lopez, Axel Favre

Years passed. Sean made other movies and I was busy with YStyle while living in India/London part time.
Every time I saw Sean, all we could talk about was this movie project. But we couldn’t seem to get our timing in order.
Then on November 2010, Sean was free from any pending projects and I was about to call off my wedding. We said to each other, “Eff it let’s do this!”
And so began the adventure and the amazing ride of the precious movie Metro Manila.

Sean Ellis, Metro Manila

At Sundance, our first night of screening garnered a humble number of viewers who applauded when the movie ended—in unison with gasps. It was music to our ears. At that moment we were just happy to be there.
The next day, through our Sundance app, we saw that all of our screening dates had been sold out.
Our baby had taken its first step.

Jake Macapagal, Celine Lopez, John Arcilla at Sundance
At Sundance 2013: Jake Macapagal, Celine Lopez, John Arcilla

The thing that struck me the most about Sean was his sensitivity upon observing our culture.
Sean noted: what’s not being said is louder than what’s being said. He made the brave decision to shoot it in Tagalog. The undeniable talent of Jake Macapagal, Althea Vega, John Arcilla, JM Rodriguez and Ana Abad Santos took this challenge to another level.
Sean’s partner Tilly, along with the passionate production team, all took this jewel box production to heart.
What I found most interesting was seeing how everyone—from different countries, cultures and even backgrounds—all work together in this passion project.

Metro Manila at Sundance
Metro Manila’s Filipino cast, producers, and director accepting the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Things were difficult. Money was tight. Even time was a precious commodity.
There were terse moments always to be followed by hugs afterwards. It was a great moment for everyone, even if there were no guarantees of success.
However, we all knew we were all part of something special. We literally just did it. Bahala na!
Seeing Metro Manila grow into the hit that it is today, even noted by the Guardian as possibly the movie of 2013 has surpassed our greatest dreams.

Metro Manila family scene

What touches me the most about our film is that it has found its way in the hearts of all our viewers in Europe. The universal language of love, hope and faith has found its way to audiences who understand Tagalog in the same capacity as hieroglyphics.
Philippine cinema is definitely having its moment along with other foreign movies that have put their focus on our country.
Metro Manila is proudly the UK’s submission for the Oscars.

When Sean first arrived in Manila, I gave him a Team Manila T-shirt that said the Philippines needs more love stories.
Providentially, Metro Manila has become one of our love stories.
See the baby in theaters this October 9, 2013. Mabuhay!