VATOS Korean/Mexican-American restaurant opens in BGC
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When Vatos Urban Tacos first opened in Seoul in 2011, the lines were so long that the wait sometimes lasted for three hours.
Even CNN called Vatos “a near miracle” in Seoul because of the perfect combination of Korean and Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has three locations in Korea now and two in Singapore.
Vatos finally opened last January 2018 in the Philippines, at the Net Park Building, 5th Avenue in BGC.

Vatos BGC

My sister Diday is the Philippine business partner of Vatos. She and her husband Leo discovered the restaurant in Singapore, where two of their children live.
We sat down with Shinhan Sid Kim, one of three Korean-American co-founders of Vatos, who explained how Korean-Mexican fusion isn’t actually strange and how the two cuisines are similar.

Vatos BGC

“I grew up in California where my father owned an appliance store and he had some Mexican employees. My father would bring his Korean lunch prepared by my mother and the employees would bring their lunch, too. They’d share their lunches. I grew up eating kimchi with almost anything, including tacos, burritos and other Mexican food.”

Copy of Vatos food table

Koreans and Mexicans both like wrapping their food. Koreans eat meat wrapped in vegetable leaves while Mexicans have their tortillas and taco shells. Both nationalities love chilies.

Lunch Set table

Vatos’ first location was a dilapidated building in Itaewon, Seoul. The interiors were hip and trendy, with lighting coming from different angles—but nothing too bright or too white. The walls are red bricks that seem to be falling apart. The tables have reworked faucets on the side where you can also hang your bags.

Vatos BGC

“Vatos has been designed as a place where people can eat, drink and chill. The interior have to be awesome but the food has to be even more so, because people won’t come back if the place is cool but the food is bad,” said Sid.
The look for Vatos’ interiors is the same, whether you’re in Seoul, Singapore or Manila.

Vatos BGC

Among their bestsellers are Carnitas Kimchi Fries, or fries covered with braised pork carnitas, sautéed kimchi and melted cheese with sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro and onions as toppings.
Sid said the dish was inspired by two Korean dishes—Gamja-tang or pork spine stew, which is cooked with potatoes, and samgyeopsal or grilled pork belly, which is enjoyed with kimchi.

kimchi carnitas fries

The Honey Tequila Chicken Wings is Vatos’ version of the popular Korean fried chicken. Chicken wings are coated in sweet and spicy tequila sauce and served with battered jalapenos and blue cheese dipping sauce.

Copy of honey tequila chicken wings

The Wagyu Galbi Short Rib Tacos are marinated short ribs, ssamjang aioli, Asian slaw, cilantro, chopped onions and roasted sesame seeds.
Vatos has a full menu that includes tacos, quesadillas, salads, burritos and burrito bowls. They even have a dessert of Nutella Tacos topped with vanilla ice cream.


Definitely worth mentioning are the drinks and cocktails at Vatos.
There are Vatos’ Ritas (they’re served with an inverted beer bottle), Authentic Margaritas, Frozen Margaritas, Makgeolitas (tequila with makgeolli, a rice wine) and local and imported beers.

Vatos drinks

Vatos is not a bar nor is it only a restaurant.
“One thing about Vatos is that it caters to all kinds of people. We get young people, families with children and even grandparents,” said Sid.

Vatos Urban Tacos is at Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
For more information, call 246-9069 local 186 or follow them on Instagram @vatosphilippines.

LOOK: Kardashian and Jenner sisters in new Calvin Klein Underwear global ad campain
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Hey! I’m back!!
Happy new year! Sorry for the absence. I’ve been going through A LOT. But doing just fine. I’m feeling very positive about 2018 for a change.
In 2017 my biggest achievement was to lose 22 lbs. from August to December.
I’ve had to give away much of my wardrobe (from medium-large, I am now a small-XS).
I’ve had to buy new clothes, including underwear.
I’ve been obsessing with underwear because I prefer boyish underwear. That’s why thought this was worth publishing. I’m not a fan of the Kardashian lifestyle and shows, but I really love the new Calvin Klein underwear.

calvin klein underwear

I’m a huge fan of typography in fashion, so I appreciate the Calvin Klein logo on the elastic bands.

calvin klein underwear
calvin klein underwear

Of course the Internet is going crazy because Kylie Jenner’s tummy is covered in a blanket, which fuels the rumor that she is pregnant

calvin klein underwear

I’m loving the black underwear though

calvin klein underwear

Shot by photographer Willy Vanderperre, the new campaign features sisters Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
The styles worn by the siblings are available in stores and online now, including CALVIN KLEIN Modern Cotton and the new CALVIN KLEIN Body range.

In the Philippines, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Jeans are exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc., a member of SSI Group, Inc.
Find Calvin Klein Underwear at Greenbelt 5, Shangri La Plaza, Robinsons Midtown, Bonifacio High Street, Rustan’s Makati, and Alabang Town Center.
Calvin Klein Jeans is located at Greenbelt 5, Shangri La Mall, Robinsons Midtown, SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma, and SM Megamall.

Own a Daphne Guinness, Lenny Kravitz or Wallpaper house at Century Properties’ first livable art park
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Pre-fabricated designer homes, museums and a manmade beach on a 142-hectare land seems like a lofty ambition for a real estate company. But as Century Properties Group chairman, Ambassador E. B. Antonio said, “We are no ordinary real estate company.”

Century Properties built Essensa East Forbes in 1997. It was an ultra-luxurious residential development designed by international architectural company Pei, Cobb, and
Freed with the legendary
“starchitect” IM Pei. Essensa was the first such development in the country.

Later on, Century Properties also launched collaborations with Paris Hilton, the Trump Group, Giorgio Armani, the fashion label Missoni and Philippe Starck.

Batulao Artscapes in Batangas, Philippines is Century Group’s most ambitious project to date. It is the company’s first leisure and tourism development, featuring an “artventure” park and designer homes
by Revolution Precrafted, a company headed by Robbie Antonio, who is also managing director of Century Properties.

Launch photos
Robbie Antonio (L) with event host Joey Mead King at the launch

The first phase of the Batulao mixed tourism development with an active retirement village component featuring designer homes from Revolution Precrafted, world-class village-exclusive vacation amenities, a manmade beach with clubhouse and a lake with a wedding chapel. Art cum adventure or ‘artventure’ facilities include a sports park, flavor park and art park with museums designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects.

Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects_Revolution Museum of Art and Technology
Revolution Museum of Art and Technology by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

Christian de Portzamparc_Revolution Museum of Design and Architecture
Revolution Museum of Design and Architecture by Christian de Portzamparc

John Nouvel Design_Revolution Museum of Visual Arts
Revolution Museum of Visual Arts by John Nouvel Design

Batulao Artscapes will showcase a fine collection of livable art—exceptional designer homes with a total sales value of Php 19 billion and created by some of the most revered names in architecture and design.

According to Robbie, the homes in the first phase of Batulao Artscapes have already been sold out.

“I always say it should be Pritzkers or almost-Pritzkers. Revolution Precrafted expects to supply Batulao Artscapes with around 7,000 homes,” said Robbie, the chief executive officer and founder of Revolution Precrafted.

Revolution Precrafted is the first Philippine startup that’s achieved unicorn status. This means it has reached a valuation status of $1 billion.

Launched in December 2015, Revolution Precrafted is introducing the concept of branding to prefabricated homes. The multi-branded housing company has a collection of limited edition, pre-crafted properties of stunning homes, designer museums, unique popup concepts and cutting edge hotels.

Three Filipino names lead the roster for Batulao Artscapes’ first three villages: Architect Ed Calma’s Polygonal Successions will make up the Cluster Village.

Polygon Home by Eduardo Calma

Polygonal Successions by Eduardo Calma

Designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s Hedera Homes will be the main feature of the Commune Village.

Hedera by Kenneth Cobonpue

Budji+Royal Architecture+Design of Budji Layug and Royal Pineda will fill the Collection Village with their Tranche and Facet Homes.

Tranche by Budji+Royal+Architects+Design

By the way, Layug and Pineda are also the brains behind Revo Basics, the most affordable structure under Revolution Precrafted at Php1 million.

A render of Revo Basics - a designer branded home for under Php 1 Million- P999k

The fourth section, called the Curated Village 1, will feature 12 one-of-a-kind homes by international architects and designers, including the Billboard Home by David Salle + AA Studio

The Billboard Home by David Salle In Collaboration with AA Studio

Eden by Marcel Wanders

Eden by Marcel Wanders

Instrumental Home by Marmol Radziner & Kravitz Design

Instrumental Home by Marmol Radziner for Architecture

Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

The Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

Butterfly Home by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

Butterfly Home by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

We Home by AFGH for Wallpaper


Adaptation II by Studio Libeskind Design

Adaptation II by Libeskind Design

Daphne Skin Home by Daphne Guinness

Daphne Skin Home by Daphne Guinness

Cabin Stack Prefab by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Cabin Stack Prefab by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Home prices range from Php4 million for a 56-square-meter unit at the Cluster Village to the larger homes at the Curated Village, which start at Php 17.4 million and come with their own private pool and guest home.

These limited-edition homes will be built using a combination of conventional construction methods and prefabrication, and will offer different sizes and specifications to meet individual tastes and preferences.

“Revolution Precrafted has cut the building time by about a year or more. We use advanced robotics in some cases so houses can be built in six months or maybe even less,” said Robbie.

Launch photos
L-R: Architects Royal Pineda and Budji Layug with Robbie Antonio and Joey Mead King

Batulao Artscapes hopes to attract families, weekend adventure seekers and active retirees with its cool climate, world class amenities, and proximity to Metro Manila’s financial district – with only a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Makati via four access points—through Daang Hari Road towards the
scenic Nasugbu-Kaybiang Tunnel, the Star Tollway to Tanauan Exit, the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX). Once the 49-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) is built, travel time to nearby Tagaytay City will only take less than an hour as announced by the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). Construction of the proposed CTBEX is expected to start by the 1st half of 2019.

As the project targets active retirees, special assistance to secure a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) for foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens will be offered, while the public amenities of the development aim to attract art and design enthusiasts and weekend adventure seekers and families. Domestic tourism figures in the Philippines have reached close to 40 million passengers as early as 2014 and are still growing. The development’s world-class and one-of-a-kind tourism facilities are also expected to draw foreign tourists.

This latest project the fulfillment of the company’s Century 2020 plans that include the expansion of its portfolio into the leisure and tourism business. Total sales revenue for the entire 142 hectares is over Php50 billion. In 2019, the company is also scheduled to deliver the four-star Novotel Suites Manila in Mandaluyong City.

For more information, go to
To know more about Revolution Precrafted, click HERE.

Panaderya Toyo: Not your ordinary bakery
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When I was a kid, my favorite bread was called “potpot.”
We used to live on Hemady Street in Quezon City where this man would pass by on his bike in the afternoon, with two giant tin drums on either side, filled with all kinds of bread.
Potpot was a sweet part of my childhood. It was five centavos a piece and I haven’t been able to find it since.

Long gone are the bike-riding bread vendors, but quaint little bread shops can still be found in local neighborhoods. Now you can buy all kinds of bread in chains around the mall.
What makes Panaderya Toyo special for me is, first of all, how it looks.
I was drawn to its interiors, imagined and created by Architect Arts Serrano.
Because it was conceptualized by the same people behind Toyo Eatery, which I love, you know this isn’t your typical bakery.

IMG_1379 2

For one, Panaderya Toyo has its bread on display in the middle of the store and in limited quantities, instead of heaps.
It has tables and chairs for those who would like to have their bread with coffee. They have fillings or palaman if you want something extra. Your sourdough could be topped with scrambled eggs and eggplant, and when you bite into it, there are unexpected flavors and textures, such as crispy dulong (silver fish) and shallots.
The breads, made by Panaderya Toyo head baker Richie Manapat, aren’t your usual, too.

Baker Richie Manapat

Most of the breads are sourdough, except for the bicho-bicho, or the twisted Filipino version of doughnuts.


The breads, which include pan de sal, pan casero, baguette and buttermilk loaf, are all crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The recipes use real butter instead of just margarine or oil.


Richie is very passionate about breads and baking.
“The style of bread making in the Philippines is very Americanized. Lots of white bread. People are afraid to make breads this dark and crusty,” said Richie, who studied culinary arts but is a self-taught baker.

Baker Richie Manapat

Panaderya Toyo breads, said Richie, are rustic. He compared it to breads baked in European villages in the old days.
“We don’t use additives or preservatives. The bread is wholesome. We use bleach-free flour. You don’t want to eat bleach.”


Toyo Eatery executive chef Jordy Navarra met Richie when the latter had dinner with Margarita Fores at the restaurant. Since then, Richie has helped bake Toyo Eatery’s breads, including their famous Tocino Bread.
“We’ve been doing our Tocino Bread for a long time but Richie helped professionalize our bread program,” said Jordy.

Chef Jordy Navarra

For me, what makes Panaderya Toyo a must-visit is its visual appeal, with interiors fashioned out of mango tree wood and walls in plain-gray cement.

Panderya Toyo

The bakery is divided into sections. There is the open bread-making area with the equipment. Then, there’s the bread display which reminds me of the glass box in church, where they keep the Black Nazarene (but that’s just me). Then, there are the tables and a long counter which chairs—the best area for me, if you are alone.

Panaderya Toyo is at The Alley, Karrivin, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
Open Tuesday to Saturday from from 11 AM to 6:30 PM

To know more, follow them on Instragram @panaderyatoyo

Cibo di Marghi now has Food To Go for Christmas
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Christmas Eve dinner used to be something that families prepared for weeks in advance. I still have fond memories of lechon and turkey at my Lola Paying’s.
My lola is no longer with us but I can still have a great Christmas spread for my family by ordering dishes from one of our favorite restaurants.

Cibo di Marghi introduces Food To Go for Christmas, which includes some of my favorite dishes, including Beef Tenderloin “Tagliata al Rosmarino” and Chilean Sea Bass or Norwegian Salmon “al Sale” or baked in salt crust.

Cibo platters
Cibo platters

Other dishes available are Timballo al Forno

Cibo platters

Classic Baked Lasagna

Cibo platters

Roast Chicken all’Aglio Olio e Rosmarino

Cibo platters

Slow–Roast Beef Belly

Cibo platters

Roast Half Carcass of Lamb

Cibo platters

Tiramisù Croccante di Marghi and Crepe Millefoglie

Cibo platters

And more

Cibo platters

Cibo platters

Cibo platters

Cibo platters

Orders must be placed at least three days in advance.
50% downpayment through bank deposit is required to confirm.
To order, call (02) 729-0030 or (0917) 513-8932 or email
You may pick up your orders at Cibo di Marghi’s commissary in Whitespace, Makati City.

To know more follow them on Facebook or Instagram @cibodimarghi.