Winner of luxury eyewear from SPEX




Versace eyewear from SPEX Greenbelt 5


This was a fun raffle. We got 920 Facebook likes and many more Tweets (I can’t count the tweets and retweets). After reviewing the comments here in Disqus, I found quite a number of duplicates so we ended up with 671 comments.

According to, the lucky winner is the 32nd commenter. Congratulations Julie Christy Chua!

Next contest will be very very interesting…







In a few weeks, I’ll be going on a short trip to India. I’ll be with a small group together with my good friend Ingrid. I have always wanted go. And so has Patrick. But we have this thing about not leaving the children alone. So we only either travel with them or bring them to my folks (in Canada) then jet off somewhere. Neither option is possible. So it’ll just be me. It’s hard not to have any family around.

Last year, my sister in law Isabelle, who lives in New York, went by herself. She came back with lots of woodblock print fabric, great photos and 7 pounds shed off (thanks to her North American tummy and the Indian diet). I plan to do the same thing, including the weight loss. Good luck to me.


Isabelle in India, December 2010


I have featured Isabelle’s New York apartment in my livejournal blog many times. Isabelle is in the design industry in Manhattan. She’s exposed to architecture and interior design even on the trade level. So she knows where to get anything. Her place is gorgeous and always evolving. (I’ll post links to her apartment if and when livejournal goes up again. It’s currently under attack once more.) Her current phase is, naturally, India. Look at how she worked Indian fabric into her very chic Manhattan apartment.


The bolster pillow is from Suzani. Though it looks it, it’s technically not Indian.


The chest is made of pressed or hammered tin, made in India but bought in NYC.


Her two old French chairs got reupholstered using Indian wood block print fabric on “katcha” found in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  She says it wasn’t cheap there but she still went for it. Interesting mix of the luxury of a gilded french bergere paired with something humble. (Note: San Miguel de Allende is a fabulous place in Mexico. I’ve been there before I reconnected with the Philippines and it quenched my thirst for something local and artsy/crafty.)


From another angle.


“I’ve gone Indian in my bedroom. I hand stitched the curtains myself.” — Isabelle


Here’s how the lovely prints look like with backlighting.


Indian woodblock print sheets paired with headboard draped in an embroidered blanket she got in Mexico City.


She changes the look of her headboard by simply draping white cutout fabric from India. “Nothing fancy,” says Isabelle. “I lugged that quilt through 4 international airports. They were so inexpensive. It was hard to choose at the factory. No two patterns were alike.”


I love the mixing of different prints.


Indian woodblock printing factories, here I come.



Two major LV stores to be opened in Asia


This just in from our friends in Louis Vuitton Philippines. They seem to know that I love design stories. Here’s a preview of how two LV stores will look like when they open later this year. The first is at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the other one is the re-opening of our LV store in Greenbelt 4.


Singapore, Louis Vuitton Island Maison

Singapore will welcome a new luxury shopping destination and retail icon when Louis Vuitton opens its first Island Maison at the Marina Bay Sands in September of this year. The Maison will sit on the waterfront of the Marina Bay promenade and will be a distinctive landmark in the celebrated landscape around the bay.

The Louis Vuitton Island Maison is a one of a kind concept for the luxury brand, and will feature nautical- inspired interiors exclusively designed by internationally acclaimed and award winning architect Peter Marino. Visitors can look forward to a unique and sophisticated retail experience as the first Louis Vuitton Maison in Southeast Asia will incorporate art and cultural elements in its retail space.


Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands


The ground floor of the Island Maison will feature the complete selection of men’s and women’s leather goods, ready to wear, shoes and accessories. Keeping close to the brand’s DNA where the desire is to transform every journey into a refined and personal experience, the mezzanine level will celebrate the romance of travel by dedicating an area to travel luggage and accessories in the first Travel Room in Asia Pacific. There will also be a private lounge for intimate presentations as well as an outdoor loggia reminiscent of a deck on a luxury yacht.

From the island, visitors can travel through a tunnel that will showcase pieces of contemporary artwork. The tunnel connects to the Marina Bay Sands mall and visitors will arrive at the Louis Vuitton bookstore, where they can browse through a specially curated range of design, cultural and art books. A spiral staircase on the same floor will lead visitors up to a magnified space which will display timepieces, fine jewellery and exceptional leather bags.

The Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands will be the fifth store for the brand in Singapore and opens to the public on 18 September 2011.



Philippines, Louis Vuitton Greenbelt 4

Louis Vuitton is proud to announce the reopening of its store at Greenbelt 4 this October after an intensive expansion and renovation program. First opened in 2003 on Makati Avenue, the Louis Vuitton store has always been one of the most popular anchor brands of the premier shopping arcade in Makati.

Today, this expansion re-affirms the Malletier’s confidence in the Philippine retail market. Featuring a uniquely conceived façade inspired by the brand’s signature Damier pattern, the new store is a testament to Vuitton’s spirit of combining innovative retail concepts with the tradition of savoir-faire and travel legacy.


Louis Vuitton, Greenbelt 4


The new store will be transformed into a 2-level luxury retail space. The store’s main entrance opens up into an intimate travel area on the left and an expansive leather goods bar to the right. A few short steps lead you up to the mezzanine floor where a dedicated Men’s Area is located. The main staircase takes you down to the Women’s Universe featuring a vast array of leather goods, shoes, and accessories. An entire wall showcases Rare & Exceptional pieces on this lower floor.

Aside from a special room dedicated to after-sales services, a highlight of the new store will be the unique and luxurious VIP salon, offering the ultimate personal and luxurious shopping experience.

The Louis Vuitton boutique at Greenbelt 4 re-opens on October 15, 2011.




Blog giveaway: Luxury eyewear from SPEX


At the launch of American Eye Center’s new all-laser LASIK machine last week, I had some time to check out the eyewear store attached to it. The place is called SPEX and it’s just beside Alex Carbonel’s Studio Fix on the 4th floor of Greenbelt 5. Lots of luxury eyewear there.


Entrance to American Eye Center




SPEX carries brands like Prada, Versace, Burberry, Polo, Bulgari, Ray Ban and more.


The nice people at SPEX are giving away one free pair of luxury eyewear for a lucky reader of I had so much fun picking out sunnies that I think you would like. You know me and my sunglasses. I have snooty eyes. I can only wear good quality eyewear – that means great lenses, which also means luxury eyewear. Otherwise I get dizzy. And I like big frames most of the time. This is also my anti-aging tool. Big dark shades protect me from squinting, therefore it minimizes the wrinkles around my eyes. I read that somewhere and I stuck by it. For indoors when I want to avoid glare, I have these aviators that are ultra light and the lenses change colour depending on sun exposure. So I don’t look ridic wearing sunglasses indoors. I could go on and on. Sunglasses are my favourite accessories.

So here’s what I chose. It’s from Versace, with a nice ombre purple frame and a discreet logo/crest on the side. I think everyone will look good in these. I want it for myself, but I’m disqualified from joining the promo. Haha.


Versace eyewear from SPEX worth P9,995.


It’s so gorgeous, I’m having a hard time parting with it.


And a beautiful discreet Versace logo, a neoclassical face/medallion, on the side.


Here’s how to join:


1. Leave a comment below:  “I want to win luxury eyewear from SPEX through ” with either your email address or your Twitter name. I will base the selection on your entry/comment here in my blog.

2. “Like” this entry in Facebook – you will see a FB logo at the bottom of this post, click Like. It will automatically place it on your wall. Leave the same message “I want to win luxury eyewear from SPEX through ” and ask your FB friends to join too.

3. Follow me on twitter, @DaphneOP and tweet “Follow @DaphneOP and win luxury eyewear from SPEX. Please RT”

4. Only one entry per person, in this blog. But you can RT and repost all you want.

5. Winner will be selected by based on comment entry here in this blog. Once winner is chosen I will check if you did the FB post and Twitter retweets.

6. This giveaway is open to ANYONE. I will send the Versace eyewear to you by courier, anywhere in the world.

7. Winner will be chosen on Thursday July 28 at 9:00pm (Manila time). Winner will be notified by email or Twitter.

Good luck!!!


Winner of this giveaway has been announced here.




One Shangri-la Place Ortigas




Everytime I see a new condo go up – as in see it from scaffolding to construction to the finished product- I always ask my husband, what if we bought that at pre-selling price, we’d have a nice condo now? Then he tells me, “We’re not condo people.” We live in a house that we love, imperfections and all. The only thing we really wish for is more space without having to move. So that’s on our wish list. Meanwhile because our wish is not yet on the market, we’ve bought some land here and there. We have no plans of moving any time soon, just dreams of someday building a home in the countryside or by the beach. We like to dream. Sometimes we play, “what if…” And we always come across the question, “What if we bought a condo, would we choose Makati? Fort? Manila Bay? or Ortigas?” The scenarios we come up with can get crazy.

Real estate is all about location. That famous quote, “location, location, location.” I aced geography in high school and ended up studying urban planning in university. Up to now, I still hear that quote with every real estate developer I talk to. You get the gist. Of course there are other equally-important factors such as the developer’s track record, property management and design.

Last month I was invited to lunch by Shang Properties to introduce me to their new development One Shangri-la Place in Ortigas. I have to be honest, I haven’t been to Shangri-la Plaza in over a year. I’m a southerner remember? I was wondering where this new project was. I was only familiar with The St Francis right beside Shangri-la Plaza. So I was really surprised to see that the project they were about to introduce to me was actually already being constructed. And in terms of location, this one is right smack in the middle of Shangri-la’s cluster of luxury developments.

Here are some photos from their press kit. Quotes from press kit are in bold :


One Shangri-la Place is located between the mall and the hotel where the outdoor parking used to be.


Imagine living here.


To give you an idea of where exactly it is, here’s a map. One Shangrila Place Ortigas is at he center of Shangri-La Place Complex.


One Shangri-La Place will exude the details of luxury living in an urban, cosmopolitan setting. This 60-storey twin tower residential condominium will soon rise at the gateway of the 8.5-hectare Shangri-La integrated community, located at the Ortigas Center business district.

Designed by Palmer and Turner Hong Kong in collaboration with Casas Architects, this new building will capture the best of both worlds – 5-star living and the warmth of home. Over 1,300 residential units will be located atop the six-level retail podium of the Shangri-La expansion, which will have 150 upscale retail and dining options, and is right across the five-star EDSA Shangri-La, Manila, with its world-class Chi, the Spa at Shangri-La.

Recently, One Shangri-La Place unveiled the show suite at Level 1 of Shangri-La Plaza mall. Designed by BTR Hong Kong, the interiors are a mix of several opposing symbolisms – solidity, lightness, coziness, modernity, warmth, and freshness – which when combined, are in fact, complementary. The interior designers said that this is a paradigm that seems to shorten the distance between dreams and achievements, an antidote to the boredom of traditional houses.

As guests enter the showroom, they are greeted by Nero peppering granite walls overlaid with off white silhouette blinds in varying heights and widths. The long central “catwalk” is made of engineered wood flanked by glossy black stone; while the entrance speaks of its own identity, the harmonious space is balanced with richness and luxury.


Residents will take pleasure in the spacious and exquisitely crafted interior design of the unit, complemented by the sleek clean lines of the custom made furnishings and the luxurious feel of the imported European fabrics.


The beech engineered flooring in neutral monochromatic colors complements the wall panels in Santorini veneer and the living room accent wall tiled in limestone in varying depths and dimensions. A painting dominates one end of the room. Behind the kitchen is the maid’s room with a built-in wall-mounted bed, as well as the maid’s bathroom.


The floor-to-ceiling windows in the master’s bedroom show feature cityscapes, as well as a roomy walk0in closet with open fully veneered shelves, panels and cabinets with back lighting, which gives it a neat and efficient look.


The suite’s master’s bath features stone tile flooring accentuated with decorative laminates and elegant fixtures from Toto, his and hers sinks, and a tub and rain shower. Off topic, but this is the part in my show where I say, “secret to a happy marriage… separate lavatories.” It’s a luxury to have this in a condo.


The second bedroom, which can be used as a guest room or den, features cabinets paneled in white leather and an accent wall in a shimmery fabric. A separate toilet and bath also serves as the guest powder room.


The project’s amenities reflect the luxury lifestyle: adult and children’s swimming pools, Jacuzzi, spa, steam room, massage and sauna, karaoke, male and female shower changing rooms, function rooms, children’s play area, gym, fitness rooms, aerobics center, and game rooms.


To know more about the project, check the official website of One Shangri-la Place. Or visit the show suite at Level 1 of Shangri-la Plaza mall.