Philippines’ Mark Gonzalez joins 2017 Business of Fashion #BoF500
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If has the Forbes 400, the Business of Fashion has the BoF 500—a prestigious roster of the most influential people shaping the global fashion industry today.
Based on months of research, data analysis, and nominations from current members, the list is refreshed yearly with the names of retail moguls and creative personalities around the globe.

This year, one Filipino—Mark “Jappy” Gonzalez—joins the BoF 500 roster as the Managing Director and co-founder of H&F Retail Concepts, Inc.
Since 1995, when Jappy opened the first homme et femme boutique at the Shangri-La Plaza, his stores and brands have developed a cult following of hard-to-please shoppers that look forward to brands only previously found abroad.

Mark Gonzalez
Photo: Patrick Diokno

H&F Retail Concepts, Inc. is an independently owned retail entity that encompasses multi-brand shops such as UNIVERS and Hoodwink, alongside 16 franchised boutiques such as Balenciaga, Fred Perry, COMME des GARÇONS, and Ladurée.

Jappy is responsible for the conceptual impetus and overall merchandising of the company, with 32 years of experience in the luxury retail industry.
Here’s what some of his friends and best customers say about him.



To see the complete roster of the 2017 BOF 500, click HERE.

First look: Happy Skin’s 23-piece collaboration with Sanrio
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Growing up in the ’80s, all girls were obsessed with Sanrio.
I remember having an “arms race” with my classmate Anna Zosa over Hello Kitty items—from matching pencil cases to aprons.
I don’t know about Anna, but I still haven’t outgrown these cute things.

Now Sanrio fans who are all grown up will be pleased to know Happy Skin is launching a 23-piece makeup collection featuring Hello Kitty, Little Twinstars and My Melody.
I recently met up with Happy Skin co-founder Rissa Mananquil-Trillo who showed me the entire collection over drinks at the Peninsula.

“It was an honor to meet Mrs. Yuki Tsuji last March at the Sanrio Licensing presentation,” said Rissa. “She’s the wife of the late Mr. Hunihiko Tsuji who had the vision to take Sanrio outside Japan. There’s so much love for Sanrio characters around the world because of him,” she said.

The collection includes products for face, skin and nails.
“We studied the personalities of Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Little Twin Stars in great detail, so what you will see from the products’ packaging to the shade of the makeup to even the names of the shades communicate who they truly are,” said Happy Skin co-founder Jacqe Yuengtian Gutierrez.

The collection includes two blushes with a handy mini-brush (Php 899)

Happy Skin x Sanrio
Happy Skin x Sanrio

Two sponges (both Php 499, including two small twin ones)

Happy Skin x Sanrio
Happy Skin x Sanrio
Happy Skin x Sanrio

Make A Clean Sweep Micellar Makeup Wipes (at Php 249—a first for Happy Skin)

Happy Skin x Sanrio

Blotting sheets (Php 175)

Happy Skin x Sanrio

I’m a minimalist, so I really liked the nude nail polish.
The Sanrio Characters Express Gel Polish (Php 299) comes in five shades: Red Apple, Purr-fect, Peaches & Cream, Curious Kiki and Lala Love.
You can buy individually or in a boxed set of five at Php 1,299—perfect for gift-giving.

Happy Skin x Sanrio nail polish

Of course, a Happy Skin collection wouldn’t be complete without the brand’s famous lip products:
Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippies (Php 599)
Moisturizing Matte Lippies (Php 699)

Happy Skin x Sanrio

and Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippies (Php 699).

Happy Skin x Sanrio

There are seven new shades:

Hello, Hello Kitty
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Hello Hello Kitty

Best of Friends
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Best of Friends

Kitty Cat
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Kitty Cat

Flower Power
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Flower Powerj

Berry Good
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Berry Good

Twinkle Twinkle
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Twinkle Twinkle

and Star Wand—all in character packaging.
Sanrio Lip Swatches_Star Wand

There are also lipstick sets—perfect for the holiday season, and packed in reusable cute Sanrio boxes. (Php 1299)

Happy Skin x Sanrio
Happy Skin x Sanrio
Happy Skin x Sanrio

Get them first as the Happy Skin x Sanrio Characters collection becomes available for pre-selling from this September 11 to 13 at and
To know more, follow Happy Skin on Instagram @happyskin_ph and Facebook.

Talk of the Town: Korina Sanchez Roxas at the Belo-Kho wedding
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A week before Vicki Belo’s wedding to Hayden Kho, I attended a dinner for author Kevin Kwan hosted by National Book Store at the Raffles Makati.

Kevin Kwan
Kevin Kwan drinks Coke!

Guests naturally talked about the upcoming wedding in Paris—who’s coming and who’s not invited, including how much is the rental of the Palais Garnier, where the wedding reception was to be held. (So yeah, the reception venue wasn’t quite a secret as people thought.)

Another topic of conversation during dinner was who is the better doctor—Belo or the competition. I’m extremely biased so I said Vicki. So did my two other seat mates.
Because even though Belo has some sketchy endorsers on her deck, it’s the ones you don’t see on billboards that speak volumes of how good Belo is.

Take Albert Martinez whom I encountered at the Belo Clinic during his Ulthera treatment (he was in the next room) and compare him to his brother William who did not get any treatment. Albert looks tons better.

Why is Piolo Pascual well-preserved at 40 compared with other leading men?

Piolo Pascual

(I saw Piolo at the Belo clinic and noticed that his facial mole had grown. I asked Dr. Belo if it should be removed, and she said Piolo didn’t want.)

Anyway, out of all the guests, celebrities and socialites in the actual wedding—guess who was being talked about most? In my circle, it was Korina Sanchez Roxas.
Everyone is just amazed how stunning she looks at 52.

Korina and Grace Lee
Korina Sanchez with Grace Lee

I mean just look at her arms. It makes me want to go back to Belo for another lipo. I don’t know if Korina is hitting the gym these days but she really looks good!

Korina Sanchez Roxas
Photo: Tim Yap

But how does one look this good without a glam in team in Paris?
We asked Korina how she put her look together and this is what she said:

“Nag panic ako kasi late ko na nalaman na black or white lang ang pwedeng colors ng suot. So I scoured though my closet and found an old, simple but well-fitted Nicole Miller bustier gown.
Eh ang simple sobra. I bought two strips of chantilly lace from Pepito Albert. Ako na ang nag drape sa may taas para lang may drama.”

“My hair was done by same hairdresser as Nicole Kidman, Monica Belucci and Marion Cotillard in Paris, as recommended by PJ Pascual. Ang mahal. But worth it. At nagamit ko narin sa wakas ang emerald jewelry ko.”

Here’s Korina Sanchez with Alexander at the John Nollet salon in Paris. Not too shabby, don’t you agree?

Korina Sanchez Roxas

Little Chef workshops, kiddie meals at Pepper Lunch
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If your little boys and girls want to be chefs in the future, Pepper Lunch is holding Little Chef workshops this month.
The workshops, open to kids ages 7-12, will be held at Pepper Lunch stores where the kids will be taught everything the Pepper Lunch way—from greetings to assembling their own favorite meal at the restaurant.
The Pepper Lunch Little Chef workshops are being launched along with the Pepper Jr. meals, the restaurant’s version of kiddie meals. They are dishes created specially with kids’ appetites and tastes in mind. Aside from Baby Ribeye Steak (Php 320) and Teriyaki Chicken (Php 245), other dishes are Hamburg Steak with Cheese (Php 220) and Beefy Spaghetti (Php 220).

Pepper Junior

The workshop costs only Php 399. Aside from the cooking lesson, the kids will get a certificate of attendance, a completion badge, name tag, mini apron, chef’s hat, and a pair of gloves. Of course, the child’s Pepper Jr. meal is included in the fee.

Pepper Junior

There will be four sessions on three dates in two Pepper Lunch locations:
September 9 – Shangri-La Plaza
September 16 – Rockwell Power Plant Mall
September 23 – Rockwell Power Plant Mall and Shangri-La Plaza
The sessions will be at 11 AM, 2 PM and 4 PM.
There will only be 10 slots for each session.

The kids will be supervised by Pepper Lunch staff during the workshops. The staff will also be responsible for cooking the meals.
Aside from assembly and cooking, there will also be games and a short lecture on how the dishes are assembled and cooked. A prize will be awarded to the most properly assembled dish.
The kids need to be accompanied by an adult during the workshops.

To register your kids, go to the Pepper Lunch branch that you’ve chosen for them to attend. You just need to fill out an application form. Hurry, as slots are limited!

Pepper Junior

Anya Resort brings luxury boutique hotel living to Tagaytay
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Finally, a chuva-approved hotel opens in Tagaytay.
And by that, I mean a place I could actually stay in because it has modern bathrooms with clean lines. For me, bathrooms are everything. If I’m not comfortable in my hotel bathroom, I’d rather stay home.
There is seriously a lack of chuva-approved hotels in the Philippines, that’s why I was very excited when I learned about Anya Resort from my friend Alexei Villaraza, who arranged a special tour for us.

Anya Resort

Anya Resort opened last July 2017, and is just one of three Philippine hotels included in the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is managed by Anya Hospitality Corp.—a partnership between Roxaco Land and Fuego Hotels.

Anya Resort

We drove to Tagaytay on a Tuesday morning, 11 AM and got there around 1 PM. Not bad.
You drive through this bamboo-lined road

Anya Resort

and arrive at this resort

Anya Resort

Frankly, I was shocked at the security we had to deal with. The gated community is heavily guarded so if safety and security are your concerns, then you’ll be happy there.

Anya Resort

Exclusivity, privacy, and space are at the core of the Anya philosophy, said Joe Escalambre, Sales Director at Anya Resort & Residences who welcomed us upon arrival.

Anya Resort
Joe Escalambre with General Manager Peter D’souza

There are 88 rooms distributed over eleven two-storey blocks.

Anya Resort

From the main building, which houses the reception area, three restaurants, and two function rooms, you can walk to your room or take a golf cart.

Anya Resort

The hotel was busy when we arrived. There was a large group from Max’s, I saw my friend Mark de Joya, and cute couple Audee and Kristel Villaraza, who were just checking out.

Anya Resort

“What we loved most were the little surprises. The resort knew I was celebrating my birthday, and they made is feel special was through small, repeated surprises,” he shared.
“Normally, resorts have a standard 2 PM check-in time. Anya does not practice this. You can check-in and check-out anytime through your Lifestyle Assistant. We arrived at 9:30 AM and it was great knowing we still had a fully day to enjoy the amenities.”
“There was a security personnel standing outside of our suite the entire time. At first, we found this odd, but seeing a security detail whenever we would step out gave us a good sense of safety. He didn’t follow us. He just guarded the perimeter area,” said Audee.

Anya Resort
The lobby

Anya Resort

Units at Anya Resort have been sold to investors from Php 11 million for a studio to Php 21 million for a one-bedroom. The rooms are enrolled in a lease-back program where they are rented out as hotel rooms. Right now, they have a special rate ranging from Php 5,200-Php 6,900.
Joe gave us a tour of the two room types.
The one bedroom (101 to 127 square meters) has a living room and kitchenette

Anya Resort
Anya Resort

and a spacious bathroom

Anya Resort
Anya Resort

The studio is 49 square meters and has either one king-sized or two double beds, plus a daybed for a third guest.

Anya Resort
Anya Resort

Plus the beautiful bathroom

Anya Resort

The rooms also have balconies and terraces.
Next we toured the three dining outlets.
Heading Anya Resort’s food and beverage department is Relais and Chateau-recognized chef Emmanuel Stroobant, who writes books, appears on TV, and owns restaurants in Singapore.

Samira is the all-day dining restaurant while Anila is a cafe and wine bar.

Anya Resort

Amra is a deli that serves pizza, pasta and sandwiches that you can enjoy by the poolside.

Anya Resort
Photo: Audee Villaraza
Photo: Audee Villaraza

Personalized service is also at the heart of the Anya Resort brand. There are Lifestyle Assistants who can make arrangements for guests before and during their stay. For example, they can tailor activities for you and your kids. If the kids want to go swimming, the Lifestyle Assistants can arrange a day trip to Punta Fuego. The resort also has a heated pool.

Anya Resort

Photo: Audee Villaraza
Photo: Audee Villaraza

I asked about Internet and cable TV because kids will not go anywhere without Wifi. I am happy to report that Anya Resort has both. For older people, there’s a spa.

Anya Resort

Anya Resort

Anya Resort represents the second phase of the 7.2-hectare Anya Resort & Residences development in Tagaytay City. The first phase comprises residential lots, which the owners can develop in accordance with three different house designs. The third phase will offer 134 residential units in 10 low-rise condominiums.

Anya Resort

P.S. If you’re bringing a driver, Anya can help you arrange his accommodation at a nearby lodging for Php1,000 per person/per night, inclusive of two meals.

Finally, a chuva-approved hotel in Tagaytay. If only one would open up in Baguio, that would be perfect.
Universe, make it happen!

Anya Resort is at Buenavista Hills Road, Barangay Mag-asawang Ilat, Tagaytay City
Manila (632) 657.1640
Cavite (046) 419.8040
Hotline (0998) 577.9999


For more information or reservations, go to