House with a fish “pond”


I had a lot of fun shooting this house for Urban Zone. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera that day. But good thing, the owner sent me photos… actual prints!… from the shoot. Yes it’s another modern tropical home. Why not? It’s the most practical architectural style for our climate. And basically with a shell that’s more streamlined, you can dress up the interiors any way you can.

It wasn’t just the architecture and design that I find striking about this house. I loved the experience of being here. Here’s why.


A happy home with a big garden, a pool, a separate cottage for visiting in-laws, lots of space for the kids to run around in.


I interviewed the contractor of the project.


I loved that the “front” of the house was off to the side, not favouring the street. It faced the garden and the pool.


They planted fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. I think we can all learn from this. What could be more sustainable than a garden that produces stuff you can really eat!


Most new houses now have a water feature. A lot of them have Koi ponds. It’s no joke maintaining a fish pond. It takes time, money and commitment. Koi fish are not cheap. But this one is a great idea. The owners created a wall where water cascades down, creating the soothing sound of water. And instead of decorative fish pets, they had fish from their fish farm. They run a fish farm out of town. So every week they bring in live fish and “raise” them here in the city for a few days or weeks. Then when it’s time…


They just go fishing in their back yard. What could be more luxurious than fresh tilapia and pangasius (dory)? From fishpond, to kitchen, to dinner table!


The owners gave us a gift that night. They sent me home with two tilapias and one dory fish! I was a bit stressed out about real live fish and the idea of killing and cooking it. But these are farmed fish meant for eating.


I went home so thrilled about this experience. Now I’m thinking, should we have a little fishpond at home too? But none of us are interested in raising fish. Plus the owners had a real working fish pond in their farm, we don’t. But it’s a great idea though.

Oh by the way, I’m still getting a lot of questions about the new schedule of Urban Zone. Here’s our new ad.


Oops, looks like we forgot to edit the copy. We’re on now every Friday night, after Trip na Trip on ABSCBN. The schedule on The Filipino Channel varies per region.


A preview of Reiss A/W 2011



I was going through the Reiss site last night and found some interesting clothes that are currently on sale. Since my friend Ingrid introduced me to online shopping, it’s made everything so much easier and attainable. Her site is connected to a few retailers that ship directly to the Philippines. Now that I have sponsors and ads on my site, I’m also looking at shopping some more. Reiss is a British brand that started 40 years ago selling men’s suits in Bishopsgate, London. Through the 80’s and 90’s the company grew and diverged but remained a UK menswear business. Now it has international stores and women’s clothing that has got the Duchess of Cambridge as a fan. And good news, you can now shop the women’s sale at Reiss US Online. Up to 50% off! While supplies last.

Reiss sent me a sneak peek of their Autumn Winter look book. I love the 70’s glamorous vibe of it all. Here are a few snippets from their press kit:

For Reiss’ 40th anniversary, its womenswear collection for AW11 takes inspiration from 70s luxury heritage brands: Gucci, Hermès and Halston. Muses include: Bianca Jagger for her iconic tailoring prowess, Diane keaton’s Annie Hall for her inimitable sense of style and Jerry Hall and Georgia May Jagger who effortlessly encapsulate old and new Glamour at its best.

ANNIVERSARY EDITIONS. In celebration of forty years, Reiss has created a limited edition collection. Clothing to cherish, the collection is symbolic of an uncompromising approach to fabrication, detailing and labour. 40th specials include: a sumptuous Alpaca Suri coat, luxury wool Mac, super-glam gold snakeskin bag and a gold textured sandal. Hand knits and hand draped evening gowns with a 70s heritage also add to the fray.


Leather jacket, Porto. Cotton, Blossom. Casual trousers, Hero. Boots, Marcella.


Top, Bretta. Casual trousers, Birkin. Necklace, Conelle. Shoes, Spritz.


Dress, Delia. Shoes, Theo.


Dress, Viva. Cutch, Luna. Shoes, Spritz.


Shirt, Ilene. Casual skirt, Jessica. Belt, Weller. Shoes, Spritz.


Shirt, Tux. Casual jacket, Taral. Casual trousers, Paris. Shoes, Theo.


Knit, Clarsey. Casual trousers, Lainey. Shoes, Spritz.


Dress, Lorna. Clutch, Daria. Shoes, Troy.


Cotton, Dominique. Casual trousers, Cherine. Cuff, Ingrid. Clutch, Daria. Shoes, Troy.


Dress, Cecille. Ring, Karl. Shoes, Garbo.


How’s that for inspiration? I can’t wait to see them on the site. For now, the current collection is on sale.



Varekai x Mac



I saw Varekai on Premier Night a few weeks ago. I got invited by Hoopla, through ABSCBN anchor Ces Drilon. It was an incredible show. I was seated with old friends and colleagues – Ces, Julius and Tintin Babao, Karen Davila. I brought my mom with me.


The Grand Chapiteau at Quirino Grandstand. During Premier Night, it was raining.


Mom and I at Tapis Rouge on Premier Night. Tickets to Tapis Rouge are P10,500 each! But there are different ticket categories, please check out the link.


Just like in all Cirque du Soleil productions, you will sit at the edge of your seat. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. In addition to the stunts and beautiful acrobatics that Cirque is known for, Varekai also has some comic parts. I knew my kids would enjoy this and after seeing it on premier night, I kept wishing for another chance to bring my daughters.

I first watched Cirque du Soleil in the late 80’s in Canada. They were just on the verge of becoming a world famous production then. I never forgot the experience. It was magical. It stayed with me forever. And Varekai did not disappoint. I knew my kids would love it.

Lucky is an understatement. I got another invitation for Varekai – this time from MAC. They offered me two Tapis Rouge tickets (again!). My husband isn’t really into these types of shows. He obviously doesn’t know what he’s missing. I should have shown him this video preview. So I ended up bringing Sophia to the show last night.


Sophia at the Tapis Rouge during intermission. She wore the dress from Rajito. (And yes, I purposely took her photo this way, with shadows.) She loved every minute of it. Even though it was way past her bedtime on a school night, she didn’t doze off.


Didn’t I just say that Anne of Green Gables was one of the best Canadian exports and legacies? Well here are two more — Cirque du Soleil and MAC makeup.
MAC sent me this interview of Cirque du Soleil’s makeup designer, Nathalie Gagne:

Makeup Designer Nathalie Gagné has been fascinated by makeup and its influence on the actor’s craft since her teens. She studied theatre production at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, a community college in Quebec, then went on to become one of the first graduates of the Montreal subsidiary of the famed Paris- based makeup school École Christian Chauveau.

Since Cirque performers have to apply their own makeup, Nathalie Gagné involves them in the actual creation of their onstage look. “Unlike actors, acrobats aren’t used to studying their own faces,” she says. “One of my goals is to get them to do just that, and help them find within themselves what I call ‘lines of force’ that will serve to build their characters.”

Which MAC cosmetics products are used the most in the show?
‘Definitely, the black track gel eyeliner, it is a must. Also, the pigment colour powder mixed with a medium water base. The Creamstick also.’

Which of these products can readers purchase, and how can they use them for a more modified look?
‘Most of the products we use in Varekai are from Mac Pro. The shows Zumanity, Corteo and LOVE have more a fashion look.’

What is the best thing about the collaboration between MAC and Cirque de Soleil?
MAC is willing to develop new and special products for our specific needs. MAC has also a very impressive selection of colors and a wide variety of products! We share many good ideas together more and more. They are as crazy as we are at Cirque du Soleil. Both our companies are similar in many ways.’


‘To create my looks, I work closely with the Costume Designer and Stage Director. My first inspiration will come from the costumes sketches. I will then do a research through magazines, books or any other visual stimulation element and will present the result of my research to the stage director. I will also spend some time watching the artists doing workshops during rehearsals. The way they move, their facial expressions and the character they are developing will give me very good insight on how to design their make up.” –Nathalie Gagne


‘The artists learned to put on their makeup with a «step by step» guide which means outlining on paper every step of the make up, accompanied by photos of the artist illustrating the application of the make up itself. This «step by step» will then become the reference tool for the artist to reproduce his make up himself. After the first encounter, the artist will have a minimum of 3 appointments with one of my wonderful assistants who, with great patience and generosity, will teach the artist some tricks of the trade that will help him do his own makeup.
I visit the majority of our shows twice a year to ensure that the artists do their make up according to the original concept and to work with them or help them if necessary.” — Nathalie Gagne


‘It is always very important to work with the artists, but, at Cirque du Soleil, since 70% of the artists are primarily acrobats or former athletes and do not have that much stage experience, I will teach them how to apply makeup rather than create my looks with them. They have to learn the basics and learn that they have face muscles that they play with those to make facial expressions that will give life to the make up.” — Nathalie Gagne.


For tickets to Varekai, please go to Hoopla.


Gifts from Rajito




Thank you, Venisse Laurel-Hermano, for the lovely outfits sent to my daughters. Venisse runs House of Laurel together with Rajo. Being a mother of girls, she shares my passion for all things pretty and lovely. Every season she gives my girls a little treat from her line, Rajito. Lucky girls.


Thank you Venisse.


Her presents always have the cutest wrapping. She matched the sticker cards with the outfits inside


This is for Stella.


Beautiful fabric.


I love grosgrain ribbons.


And the subtle details like this.


Here are the lovely dresses, seen in their official press photos taken by Toto Labrador. The line is called Androgyny. Venisse tells me she’s wanted to do a black and white collection for a while now. And she finally took the risk. The result is beautiful. Now we need a party or a wedding… The girls will look lovely in these.


For Stella


For Lily


For Sophia



Rajito at House of Laurel
6013 Villena cor Mañalac St. Poblacion Makati City
Tel Nos. 8955688 / 8999946


Winners of Kor Aura water bottles


I apologize for the delay in announcing the winners. We were invited to Varekai last night. I had already seen Varekai on premier night. I brought my mom then. It was wonderful. I wanted to bring my daughters too. Then the universe heard me and MAC (makeup) sent me two Tapis Rouge tickets for last night. I brought my eldest, Sophia. Now Patrick wants to take Lily but it’ll have to be on a matinee show. It’ll be hard for my kids to stay up past bedtime.

Meanwhile, back in the ranch…  I had trouble. I don’t think everyone followed the instructions of the giveaway promo. Based on the new Facebook likes of The Purple Tag, there were 558 new entries. But in the comment section of my blog, there were only 434 entries. Plus I found lots of duplicates, so after editing them out, we had 412 entries. I may have missed one or two duplicates, so instead of starting over, I will just disqualify them if they end up winning (they didn’t). The facebook wall had a few duplicates, and since I’m not an administrator of the site, I couldn’t edit them out. So I based the total number on the qualified entries in my blog – 412.

All winners were generated by – see winning numbers below. The numbers stand for the order the comments appeared.




The winners are:

130 Toni Tadeo

128 Reejane/Joanne Randiej

117 Clara Garcia Ocampo

257 Len Perilla-Jardenil

394 Lulu Eugenio


I have notified the winners via Disqus.  Congratulations. I hope you enjoy your new Kor Aura water bottles.