Yayas and girly boys: More fun in the Philippines
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While Japan and the United States are obviously richer countries than the Philippines, there are certain privileges we have at home that people have to struggle with abroad.
Like nannies for instance. It’s normal for us Filipinos to have nannies or yayas at home, since the day we were born. You don’t even have to be rich to have a yaya. Some yayas even stay forever, long enough to take care of the babies of their former wards.

In my house we have nannies to pick up the kids from school. We have a cook to prepare our meals and maids to clean the house. It’s completely normal to have these.
But watch how Corinne of the U.S. show, The Bachelor is frowned upon as a spoiled brat or freak because she still has a nanny.


Compared to other countries, I think the Philippines is very gay friendly. We’re pretty used to seeing gay men that nobody really gets their panties in a twist whenever they see girly boys at the mall.
But in some cultures it’s not that easy. Take this “genderless danshi” who says, “For us, our fashion choices aren’t necessarily easy—putting on makeup and picking outfits. To be frank, we are shamed a lot from other people.”
He goes through lengths to say he is heterosexual, while explaining his preference for manicured nails, bobbed hair and cosmetics.
If he were in the Philippines, no explanation necessary.


First look at Ayala Malls The 30th: My neighborhood mall
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When I first found out a new mall was opening right in my neighborhood, my immediate thought was, oh God. More traffic. But then it opened today. I was curious, and I visited. And wow, I’m so happy!
The place is called Ayala Malls The 30th, named after its official address at #30 Meralco Avenue, Barangay Ugong, Pasig.
This is where you get dropped off. The stairs lead up to the mall.

30th Mall

You’ll be surprised at the open space that will greet you.


We love Ayala because they respect green.

6 2

It may look small from the outside, but inside, it is pretty deep.
It covers two hectares and includes four cinemas, a full-sized Rustan’s Supermarket, and a corte—or outdoor activity center.

Rustan's Supermarket

I can’t wait to take the hubby to the cinema. There are four of them—two have all-reclining seats.
Don’t forget to bring your jacket or blanket. The mall has full-blast airconditioning.


I always say a mall is not complete if it doesn’t have a National Book Store and a Mercury Drug. It has both, including a Watsons which is not yet open.

National Book Store
Mercury drug

Of course it has our family favorites, like Pepper Lunch, Mrs. Field’s, Max’s, Pancake House, and Potato Corner.

Pepper Lunch
Potato Corner
Pancake House
Mrs. Field's

The mall was designed to be a neighborhood place for professionals, students (St. Paul’s Pasig is just within walking distance) and residents of the nearby villages like Valle Verde, and condominiums such as Renaissance Towers and The Alexandra.
The idea is that people can just walk to the mall—or in my case, get dropped off by car, walk home or get picked up by driver.

Among the other dining options are Conti’s, Ramen Nagi, Mamou is going to open, Genki Sushi, Morganfield’s, Wangfu, La Maripili, Kenny Rogers, and many more.
Another pleasant is Floating Island’s first restaurant outside Makati Medical Center. Everyone has his or her favorite dish at Floating Island. Mine is chicken skin.

Floating Island
Father and son Vince and Alex Revilla at Floating Island

Cool interior of Morganfield’s


If you’re craving for S&R pizza, it’s right here.

S&R Pizza

For the AFAM* community, there’s Draft and Lartizan


The mall also offers basic services such as LBC, money exchange, laundry, Nail Tropics, Bruno’s Barber Shop, Piandré, Bench Fix, plus three levels of basement parking.


I love the new look of Bruno’s barber shop. They even serve coffee


This way to Service Avenue


For the kids there’s Timezone and Mystery Manila. In May, Gold’s Gym will open.
For those who love to bake, there’s a Wonder Bake store where you can get baking supplies and take lessons.


Ayala Malls The 30th will also open 20 floors of office space for lease to BPOs and corporations.
Oh, and I’m so pleased with the restrooms. They are plenty, they are spacious, and they are airconditioned.


Ayala Malls The 30th is the first project of Mariana Zobel de Ayala, daughter of Jaime Augusto and Lizzie Zobel de Ayala, for the Ayala Group.

The Team
Mariana (in white) with her dream team

Can’t wait for all the stores to open. This is truly life-changing for our neighborhood.
To know more, follow Ayala Malls The 30th on Facebook and on Instagram @ayalamallsthe30th.

Mall directory

*A foreigner assigned in Manila

Tried & Tested: Dyson Pure Cool Link
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I’m one of those people who friends and family say are hard to find gifts for.
I won’t deny it though. But when I get something I really like, I won’t hesitate to show my appreciation.
One of the best things I received this Christmas was the Dyson Pure Cool Link which I found happily standing by the Christmas tree.


Let’s tell the truth here: beauty and function are not easy to find in home appliances. That’s why I love Dyson.
Lately I’ve noticed I’m getting more of the itchies. I’ve been getting mysterious bites.
Among my three sons, Chris is the one with the most allergies and sensitive skin. I have to make sure his room is cleaned thoroughly with all the junk and toys he collects.

But Bobby Yan, communications director of Whiteplanet Inc., which distributes Dyson in the Philippines, explains that allergens are everywhere, even in the cleanest homes.
Major indoor air allergens include gases from cooking and central heating, mold, dust mites, pet hair and pollen.
“These allergens are invisible to the naked eye so no matter how clean your home is, you won’t be able get rid of them. They are ultra-fine and airborne,” said Yan.

So what are other indoor pollutants? They include things we use every day such as scented candles, antiperspirants, deodorants, household cleaning materials, and more.
Dyson Pure Cool Link purifies the air inside our homes by removing 99.95% of indoor allergens and pollutants as tiny as 0.1 microns. Most purifiers can only catch up to 2.5 microns but Dyson can capture even those that are invisible to the naked eye.

“The Dyson filter uses a unique 360-degree HEPA filter and borosilicate fibers, which are super compacted so they trap the tiniest allergens,” says Yan.
The filter also has activated carbon, which removes contaminants from vapor streams. Carbon’s large surface area per unit weight allows contaminants to adhere to the activated carbon media. The filter is also capable of intelligent purification, meaning there are sensors inside the machine that can detect air quality at home, which you can monitor on your phone through an app. The filter is replaceable and can last up to one year if used for 12 hours every day.

Design and function in one product

Let’s not forget that this bladeless fan is still an electric fan and it cools the room. What I love about it is how lightweight it is. I can easily lift it from place to place without breaking my back.
How I wish they had these when my boys were little and I feared fan blades so much. Dyson Pure Cool Link makes it easier for parents to be less anxious when there are small kids in the house.


Plus, it has this cool magnetic design where you can stick the tiny remote to the top of the fan so you can always find it. I lovett.


The fan has long range projection to circulate the air across a spacious room and the Quiet Mark seal, which measures the world’s most quiet products. The fan is also engineered for night long purification and cooling so you can save up on electricity costs.
Because we sleep in a high-ceiling bedroom, my husband and I have always used an electric fan to bring the temperature—as well as the Meralco bill—down. Trust me, it works!

There’s a Dyson Link app, which you can download from Google Play or the App Store, allows you to monitor the air quality in your home, even when you are not there. The app shows you immediately if the air quality in the room where the fan is in is Poor, Fair or Good. You can see the days and time when air quality is poorest and schedule purifying at that time. Aside from this, the app also works as a remote control.


Dyson Pure Cool Link is available at Dyson stores.
Check out Dyson’s Greenbelt 5 store for the complete line of available products in Manila or go to

First look inside Silverlens’ new location at Lapanday Center
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Last July 2016, Silverlens suffered a painful loss when its warehouse—filled with the owners’ personal collection, plus the work of 40 artists—was gutted by a fire.
It took Silverlens co-founder Isa Lorenzo a month to recover with the support of partner Rachel Rillo. It’s a good thing they had something huge to look forward to.
Like Phoenix rising from the ashes, Silverlens has said goodbye to its former location at 2320 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension and moves just a meters up to Lapanday Center at 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension.

Silverlens at Lapanday

When Silverlens’ former landlord decided to raise the rent, Isa and Rachel, who started the warehouse gallery movement in Manila in 2006, drove up and down Don Chino Roces Avenue in search of a new location. They stumbled upon another warehouse space that was formerly a commissary of the Pancake House—with a much lower rent.
Continuing its tradition of adaptive reuse, the new Siverlens was designed by Anna Sy of C/S Design.

Architect Anna Sy

Its façade is made of panels of polycarbonate material that provides UV protection and thermal insulation.

Silverlens at Lapanday

These stairs lead up to the second level, which houses exhibition spaces, viewing rooms, artist studios, offices and a library, while the ground floor holds an art storage facility, artist’s studios, and a pantry.

Silverlens at Lapanday
Silverlens at Lapanday

Three galleries with bare concrete floors and white walls range from 65 square meters to 150 square meters with a 4.3-meter wall height.
A special feature of the main gallery are the Italian lighting fixtures that were custom-made for Silverlens. The lights are controlled by a mobile phone app that allows it to change direction and temperature.
Using her phone, Rachel showed us how they can easily adjust the lighting, ranging from natural warm sunlight to what Isa describes as “Icelandic” bluish white.

Silverlens at Lapanday
Silverlens founders Rachel Rillo (L) and Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo at the new main gallery

To inaugurate the new Silverlens, a group show entitled Translacion will open this January 7, 2017, and will run through February 4, 2017.
A commemoration of Silverlens’ twelve years in the art world, and a nod towards its future, the exhibition will feature new works by Silverlens’ represented artists, juxtaposed with their old work.

Curated by Gary-Ross Pastrana, Translacion will feature the works of Pio Abad, Martha Atienza, Gabriel Barredo, Frank Callaghan, Genevieve Chua, Chati Coronel, Corinne de San Jose, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Dina Gadia, Gregory Halili, Pow Martinez, Wawi Navaroza, Renato Orara, Gina Osterloh, Bernard Pacquing, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Hanna Pettyjohn, Maria Taniguchi, Ryan Villamael, Yee I-lann, and Eric Zamuco.

Silverlens at Lapanday

Silverlens Gallery is at Lapanday Center
2263 Don Chino Roces Ave Extension, Makati City 1231

Tel. +632.816.0044
Fax: +632.816.0044
Mobile: +63.917.587.4011
To know more, follow them on Twitter @SilverlensG or Instagram @silverlensgalleries

Genting Dream: Luxury, adventure and good food in the open sea
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By Dinna Vasquez

Genting Dream, Asia’s first luxury liner, caters to the region’s growing high-end market that appreciates luxury in terms of experiences, goods and services.
Genting (pronounced gen-ting) is derived from the Latin word for gentleman or well-born.
To those who have been to Malaysia, Genting Highlands, otherwise known as Resorts World Genting, is a hill resort in Malaysia developed by Genting Group.
Now Genting Dream is the first ship of Dream Cruises, a sister company of Star Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
We recently embarked on the Genting Dream’s maiden Asian voyage in an itinerary that took us from Singapore to Vietnam and finally, to Hong Kong.

S711_Genting Dream Float out-Aerial_2016-08-19

Our small group—consisting mostly of editors and writers from the Philippines—was never bored or hungry during the voyage which also took us to Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang and Da Nang.
Genting Dream, which was built at a cost of about one billion euros, had just arrived from a shipyard in Germany. The ship is indeed luxurious with over 70 percent of staterooms having their own balcony. There are ocean-view staterooms as well as 100 connecting staterooms to accommodate families and large groups.

Genting Dream has swimming pools and sun decks, six giant water slides, ropes courses and a rock-climbing wall. There’s a cigar lounge, a karaoke room, a club for kids, health club, beauty salon, spa and a barbershop.

The Pool Deck

Sundeck Bar

Little Pandas playroom for the kids

Crystal Life Asian Spa RELAXATION LOUNGE
Crystal Life Asian Spa relaxation lounge

Genting Dream also has a 610-meter wraparound promenade to allow dramatic seaside dining and lounging from sunrise to sunset in a multitude of themed venues. There are over 35 restaurant and bar concepts, including famed Singaporean nightspot Zouk and the world’s first Johnnie Walker House.

Palm Court wraparound promenade

Zouk Beach Club

At Umi Uma, where the teppanyaki tables are the largest in any cruise ship, all the chefs are Filipino. The sushi bar is always packed. Silk Road has the finest Chinese and fusion dishes.
Internationally-acclaimed Australian chef Mark Best brings his culinary artistry to the table with his very first restaurant at sea, Bistro.

At night, we enjoyed shows at the Zodiac Theater such as The Voyage of a Lover’s Dream, featuring live dance and acrobatic performances as well as high technology stage sets and special effects; Rhythm Divine, a Latin Ballroom Dance Show featuring international ballroom dance champions from Belarus, Italy, Slovenia and Moldova, and the After Dark with Dreamgirls show at midnight at the Silk Road and Cabaret.

Silk Road turns into a cabaret at midnight

You can also go shopping at the boutiques (Ferragamo and many other luxury brands are available) or look in the art gallery. While we were on board, there was a live Art Auction by the Park West Art Gallery featuring works of Thomas Kinkade, Peter Max, Pablo Picasso and many others.

My day was never complete without stopping at the bakeshop for a cup of coffee and delicious cookies, which I would take to the room and enjoy while looking at the sea and marveling how such beauty and serenity could be possible.
Blue Lagoon is a South East Asian style a la carte restaurant where guests can enjoy a quick meal such as a bowl of laksa.

Blue Lagoon looks like a fancy food court

Speaking of rooms, I have never been on a cruise but those who have warned me the rooms would be small. Well, those in the Genting Dream were not as big as hotel rooms but it was spacious enough for two people to share without bumping into each other.

I loved the beds, which were from leading brand Custom Comfort. The beds and pillows are very comfortable, thanks to Genting Dream’s Dream Beds concept.
Dream Beds is a collaboration between leading bedding brands from around the world that aims to deliver a restful sleeping experience. This concept combines high quality mattresses, silky-smooth Frette sheets, bouncy duvets and a mountain of pillows.

Dream Suite
The Dream Suite

To know more about Dream Cruises, call 836-6830 to 32 or email

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