The 9/11 Memorial



My SIL Isabelle Paez sent me photos of the 9/11 Memorial. I haven’t been here yet. The first and last time I was actually in Ground Zero was 5 months after the attack. My husband and I were there as journalists. It was hard to describe what we were seeing. Then with every succeeding trip to New York, it wasn’t like we went out of our way to visit the site. In fact, the times I went to Century 21 to look for bargains, I purposely looked away. It was hard to be reminded of the horror. Our dear friend Joe Katanik walked down from the 56th floor of the South Tower when the second plane hit his building. He was able to get out and help people along the way. But he also saw a lot of people go back up. I cannot imagine the healing and understanding that had to and still has to happen.

This is what the 9/11 Memorial looks like now based on the winning design of architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker. An international design competition was held in 2003 for a national memorial to remember and honor the people killed in terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Design submissions totaled 5,201 and were received from 63 nations. (Source: 9/11 Memorial)

There are two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original twin towers. Based on the design overview, this conveys a spirit of hope and renewal, and creates a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis.


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North Pool of Memory. Behind is the 911 Memorial Museum’s entry pavilion designed by the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta. Photo by Isabelle Paez.


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The nearly 3,000 names of the men, women, and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 are inscribed on bronze parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools. Names are organized according to which tower and floor they occupied. Hence they are listed with whom they died. Those who died in the planes are also together. Photo by Isabelle Paez.


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Names are stencil-cut into the parapets, allowing visitors to look through the names at the water, and to create paper impressions or rubbings of individual names. At night, light shines up through the voids created by each letter of a name. Photo by Isabelle Paez.


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The South Pool of Memory. Isabelle’s insights, “It is quite beautiful. It has just the right tone of loss, memory and renewal.” Photo by Isabelle Paez.


Aerial rendering of Memorial and Museum
Image credit, Squared Design Lab; Courtesy, National 9/11 Memorial & Museum; Taken, September 07, 2010.
This image appears in the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum set in the WTC Renderings gallery.


Actual aerial photograph by Joe Woolhead. Courtesy, Silverstein Properties. Taken, October 01, 2011


Click “More…” to see photos and renderings of the 911 Museum



Breast Cancer Awareness




BCA Single Ad Page


October was breast cancer awareness month. It came and went and I forgot to mention anything here in my blog. I had been invited to Estee Lauder’s event, as I usually am every year. But I couldn’t attend because of prior commitments. They sent me some post-event releases which I want to share with you. Though it’s now November and I’m late, I don’t think it really matters what month it is. Breast cancer awareness should be on-going every month.

Just some stats. 1 in 8, chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life, according to the American Cancer Society. 1 in 8!!! 90% in women whose breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and is localized, 90% survive more than 5 years. Women in their 20’s should begin breast self-exams on a monthly basis. And women aged 40 and above should have a mammogram every year and should keep doing so as long as they’re in good health.


MANILA, PH (October 13, 2011) –The Estée Lauder Companies announced this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign theme and launched local initiatives to raise awareness for this disease. This year’s 2011 BCA Campaign initiatives support its Campaign’s concept “Together. Connect. Communicate. Conquer. For A Future Free Of Breast Cancer,” a compelling call-to-action that emphasizes the power of millions joining together, with one voice, to communicate the life-saving message about the importance of breast health and early detection.

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of its Global Landmark Illuminations Initiative, The Estée Lauder Companies and Philips are proud to launch their first-ever partnership, whereby prominent global landmarks will be illuminated in pink lights using Philips’ innovative and environmentally-friendly LED technology.


The 2011 BCA Campaign Illumination of Storey Bridge in Queensland, Australia
Illumination of Storey Bridge in Queensland, Australia. Source: BCA Facebook


White Tower, Greece.
Illumination of White Tower, Greece. Source: BCA Facebook


The 2011 Illumination of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada through BCA Campaign and Philips Partnership.
Illumination of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Source: BCA Facebook


Transformation Sculpture by Architect Lor Calma
The first local illumination of Architect Lor Calma’s award-winning Transformation sculpture. The three monolithic structures, a beacon of light, symbolic of the rapidly evolving community of Bonifacio Global City, was illuminated in pink for two weeks since October 10.


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Ina Casas, Kirsten Brito and Camille Flores.


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Patty Betita, Mel Lerma and Myrza Sison.


To share her own message of hope, Patty Betita, professional model, beauty queen and image consultant, narrated among the guests her inspiring survival from breast cancer. According to Patty, “You don’t have to be 40 years old to get your base line mammogram. The earlier that it is detected the better chances of cure, better quality of life, and of course most importantly, survival.”


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Rosan Callueng of Philips, Patty Betita, Michael Huang of Rustan’s and Mel Lerma of Estee Lauder


Since 1992, The BCA Campaign has distributed close to 115 million Pink Ribbons worldwide. Rustan’s has been a supporter of Estee Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and have been partners in philanthropy. Michael Huang, owner of Rustan’s Group of Companies and Special Assistant to the President said in his remarks, “We firmly believe that as Evelyn Lauder stated “together we are stronger, together we can do more”. It is this belief in the possibilities offered by this campaign that makes us affirm that this initiative has the full backing and support of Rustans.”

Mel Lerma, Estee Lauder Business Development Manager highlighted in her remarks the objective of this campaign, “Our goal for all of these initiatives is to reach new women and men, unify us all to eradicate the effects of this disease, and to conquer our future Free of Breast Cancer. ”


Please go to to know more about breast cancer. And please spread the word.



Our little piece of heaven on earth




This year one of our biggest dreams came true.

I always said to myself that my moving back to the Philippines as an adult had to make sense. When I made that decision fifteen years ago that meant scuba diving every weekend. I knew Anilao like the back of my hand. I was a beach bum with the best tan — until my skin paid for it with severe breakouts. Then something happened that made me retire my dive gear.

I’ve always wanted access to the beach and the countryside. We’ve worked hard on those and continue to do so. I always get asked, “Will you ever move back to Canada?” And my answer always varies depending on the current situation. Canada is family. Fresh air and open spaces. It’s home. Half of my life is still there. But so is the Philippines. It’s home. So while that question can’t really be answered with a period, I figured this all had to make sense for us and the kids. I want them to have childhood memories of the true beauty of the Philippines. And I’m not just talking about beach resorts. This weekend, we finally had a taste of that.

We visited the site of our small property in the south. Here we hope to build a little cottage and fill it with happy memories. We don’t know when that cottage will happen, but this piece of the earth is ours now. And memories are already being made.


I love looking up at coconut trees.


Her initial instinct… to run freely.


101 things you can do with a coconut… a drum.


…a ball.


“Can we keep the cows, Daddy?”


They named her Dolly.


I dressed for a leisurely afternoon in the country. I got this Indian woodblock print dress in Jaipur. The necklace is made of plastic beads, not real coral. I also forgot one of my gazillion sunglasses… of all days to forget. So Patrick lent me his Wayfarers.


Click “More” to see the rest of our adventure…