I know a lot of you are already planning your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping strategies. My nephew who’s visiting the US says he’s going to “Occupy” Best Buy. That’s cute. We never had these major sales in Canada. Our Thanksgiving was a month ago. But now it doesn’t matter where you are. You can take advantage of the greatest deals online.

One of my sponsors is offering 20% off plus extra savings, see below. Just enter the code at check out. Note that the prices already include taxes and customs fees upon checkout. So no more guessing games with Bureau of Customs if you’re in the Philippines. OMG! Shop galore!!



Offer started Wednesday, November 23, and ends Monday, November 28, at 11:59pm PT.



Soft Set curls



I went in to Studio Fix yesterday to get a haircut. I texted Alex Carbonell for an appointment, saying I needed a change. I’d never had my hair this long before. And though I love the length I have to say that it hasn’t been easy to maintain. I don’t have time to get my hair blown out and set everyday. So I’d been relying on my hair accessories – spin pins, forks, clamps and clips to get my hair somewhat presentable.

Alex gave me options – a shoulder-length bob, new colour or maintain the length ala JLo. Can’t say JLo was ever my style peg but she is very beautiful and her hair is gorgeous. I knew I couldn’t maintain JLo hair on a daily basis. So that conversation didn’t last long. Then one thing led to another and I ended up getting Soft Set – Alex’s version of the digital perm. Its the newest digital perm process using Nano technology and ceramic rods. Alex said the results are texture and soft bounce, not the usual frizzy big permed waves of the last decade.

Remember that my hair has never gone through any chemical treatments before. I’ve never even tried rebonding. The most I’d done is get deep conditioning treatments. I actually surprised myself that I said yes instantly when Alex showed me the brochure that said “Soft Set. Seductive soft curls and romantic ringlets.” To me it meant the end of curling irons.


The whole process took almost 4 hours. It started with shampoo, then Alex trimmed my hair.


They gave me a treatment to soften the hair which took about an hour. Then they placed some sort of setting lotion for half an hour. After, they wrapped the hair in curlers. This had to be done with careful precision so that the curls would be soft and big. And each rod was attached to a wire that eventually heated up. The heating process only took 20 minutes.


We waited for the rods to cool down. They applied another treatment to “neutralize”. Then we washed my hair, applied a leave-in conditioner and curl enhancer.


Soft Set
And this is what my curls looked like when I left the salon! I love it!!!


Digital perm
And here’s what my hair looked like this morning straight out of bed. Soft and bouncy. Note, I just got out of bed then.


photo 5
It’s exactly what I wanted. Soft Set rocks! I love it!


Here are the FAQs from Twitter –

How long will it last?
It promises to be soft and with waves for 6 to 8 months.

How about maintenance?
Low maintenance. Just use moisture shampoo and light conditioner. Get a treatment once a month which you should be doing anyway even without a perm. Avoid combing harshly. Manipulate w fingers only and a styling product that can define curls such as curl definer hair balms or lotions.

How much is Soft Set?
The brochure listed prices – Medium Php 4,250. Long Php 6,450. Very Long Php 8,650.

Studio Fix by Alex Carbonell
Level 4, Greenbelt 5 Makati



Unicef Auction for Action again



UNICEF Auction for Action small


UNICEF Philippines and eBay Philippines launches its second online fundraising campaign through UNICEF Auction for Action: The Manny Baldemor Sabrosa Series from December 5 to 11, 2011 on

As one of the featured artists in the first UNICEF Auction for Action last May, UNICEF visual artist Manny Baldemor once again shares his generous talent for the benefit of UNICEF programs for children in the Philippines and worldwide. “I have received so many blessings that it’s only right to share and give back. Children’s welfare has always been close to my heart and that’s why I work with UNICEF Philippines because they help children in the poorest and most disadvantaged areas,” shares Baldemor.

The Sabrosa series was conceived during Baldemor’s art residency in Sabrosa, Portugal earlier this year. Located in the northern part of Portugal, the municipality of Sabrosa is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also the birthplace of Ferdinand Magellan, the first European navigator who reached Philippine shores in 1521.

The series of landscapes was inspired when Baldemor took a boat ride down the great river Duoro, “I took a glance upwards as we passed a steep incline and saw vineyards of different levels that would make our own famous Rice Terraces look like anthills. It was awesome. I’ve never seen layers and layers of vines in a gigantic mountain that almost touches the sky… I wondered if the vineyards were already there 500 years ago when Ferdinand Magellan trekked from this mountain of vines, down to the River Duoro to the Atlantic and finally to the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin shares, “UNICEF thanks Manny Baldemor for being a staunch supporter having lent his iconic designs to UNICEF cards and products and holding exhibitions of paintings for the benefit our programs for children. Proceeds from the online auction of the Sabrosa series will go towards our work for street children programs.”






Manny Baldemor’s Sabrosa Series, oil on canvas, unframed 12″ x 16″, framed 21.5″ x 25.5″.

Auction for Action: The Manny Baldemor Sabrosa Series on goes live on December 5, 2011 and will run for 7 days until December 11 at 8pm. Watch out for this exclusive auction and help make a difference for children.


Tree of Life



This time last year I was part of Metro Home’s Tree of Life event to raise funds for the cleaning of the Pasig River. My team and I created a chair shaped like a Christmas tree. Also in the first show with me were Bea Valdes, Tes Pasola, Rita & Anthony Nazareno, Al Caronan, Mel LaO & Gabby Lichauco, and Miguel Rosales.


Bea Valdez
Bea Valdes and her creation last year. She used discarded packaging materials from her bags and jewelry manufacturing business.


Me and my tree chair last year.


This year Metro Home is doing it again to raise funds and awareness for Save Palawan movement. All trees are up for bidding and all proceeds go to the cause. This year’s creators are: Avel Bacudio, Tony Gonzales, Nikki Luna, Milo Naval, Leeroy New, Eric Paras, Ling Quisumbing, Jujin Samonte, Vito Selma, and Nicole Wisenhunt & Michelline Syjuco.


Ling Quisumbing
Ling Quisumbing


Leeroy New
Leeroy New


milo naval
Milo Naval


Bidding begins at the opening of the exhibit at the Greenbelt 3 lobby on November 24 and will continue throughout the time of the exhibition, up to Dec. 4. Bids will be accepted at the exhibition and online, or through








Our eldest daughter Sophia had her First Holy Communion over the weekend. (I am not mentioning her school’s name. Please kindly respect. Thanks.)


It was lovely to see hundreds of 8-year olds wearing the same white dress. They sang like little angels.


We prepared these little wooden fridge magnets as her giveaway for her classmates and teachers. My brother in law, Fr Dennis, makes these “antique” wooden icons with scholars of Don Bosco. They sell them in various bazaars and regularly through SM department store or Kultura.




We are proud of you, Little One. But please don’t grow up too fast.