What do Walter Isaacson, Denise Richards, David Baldacci and Jane Lynch have in common besides writing a book?


They all signed their books for me! This one is incredible!!! Yes, it’s my second copy of Steve Jobs’ biography. The first one, I read. And this was sent as a gift. I will treasure this the most!


I actually didn’t know Denise Richards wrote a book. Everyone has a story to tell.


Best selling author David Baldacci.


Jane Lynch’s (Sue Silvester of Glee) autobiography Happy Accidents. Sounds like the story of my life – nothing was really planned.


Alton Brown
This is just fantastic! Even Alton Brown sent me a signed copy of his book, Good Eats 3.


Alton Brown
I was without a cook for two and a half weeks. (I’m holding my breath today, the day she promised to return from vacation). In these couple of weeks, I took total control of my kitchen. Alton Brown’s book helped a lot. If you’re familiar with his book, he dishes out a lot of information and trivia about every single ingredient and gadget you’ll need for cooking. This book is exactly like his show. Even the lay out. I love this!



All books are currently available at National Book Store.






It is always a pleasure interviewing Tina Periquet. Architects are my favourite people to talk to. I love discussing their ideas and being in the physical space they’ve created. My dream conversation would be with Frank Gehry. Universe, please make it happen. I dream big. But I digress…

This last interview with Tina was at a 170 square metre penthouse unit of a relatively new condominium tower, the interior architecture of which she also designed. She knew the entire building inside and out. The owner of this unit wanted a place where they could entertain guests but would not necessarily live in. They still lived in a house nearby. To say that Tina created a sophisticated and modern space would be a gross understatement, so let me just quote directly from our interview.

All captions, lifted from Tina’s interview.


The concept was the unfolding of space as you enter.  The door is treated as part of a wooden box frame that runs all the way up, past your line of sight, to the upper level and then folds into a ceiling element that you only see when you move forward into the main area.


Then the ceiling opens up into a double-height space with a wall of windows that wraps round one side, and you are treated to an eye-filling, panoramic view of Forbes Park and the golf course below.


The upper spaces seem to float over the lower, with a wooden bridge that crosses from one side of the apartment to the other, leading you from the stairs at one end to the master suite at the other.


To maximize the effect of the double-height glass wall in making the sky seem part of the unit, we wanted to minimize anything standing between us and the view.  The problem was that there was this large beam in between upper and lower glass panels.


We painted these white to make them blend with the white shell of the space, and used solar film instead of curtains or shades, to keep the view unobstructed while managing the entry of light and heat.


To make it “disappear”, we built out the window frames slightly, with continuous vertical lines running from top to bottom, to visually flatten the beam and make it seem to form part of the window paneling.


The fact that a penthouse is a house in the sky rather than on the ground tends to dictate a certain approach to its design.  Instead of trees and grass outside the window, you see blue sky and clouds and gray concrete, and steel and glass structures.  So you tend to reach for a different palette of materials and colors that will complement this — not earth tones, but more sophisticated urban shades such as silver gray, ice, pale beige and taupe, and then mix this with metallic surfaces and lots of glass.  And then warm the whole thing with wood, or you may end up with a frigid, inhumane environment.  This is a residential space, after all.


We used a modern language here, as the context was contemporary and the client wanted something adventurous, since she wasn’t really going to reside here.


The bedroom on the upper floor.


Transluscent frosted glass visible from the living room.


Master bathroom.



Some thank yous



Here are some of the new things I received from brands/companies over the holidays. There were many more but I wasn’t able to photograph every single gift. I will try to post them in the future. So to everyone who sent goodies, thank you so much.


I wasn’t able to photograph all the beautiful wrapping. Why are the Holidays like that? Everything is just magnified and overloaded, it’s hard to focus and give attention to one thing. Every single item was wrapped with so much care.


My sister in law Isabelle sent the most original wrapping. She printed photos from our last family vacation and taped them on to kraft paper. Then she tied gold string around them (I bought the string for her in Market Market and sent them to NYC). I love these thoughtful personal touches.


The Estee Lauder team sent me this set from their Michael Kors collaboration. I love it! Perfect palette for everyday makeup. And the little pouch is so glam!


Curl enhancing products, gift from Alex Carbonel of Studio Fix Greenbelt. My favourite is APE. I spray it mid-day or in between events or places. It gives my hair a natural-looking bouncy wave. The label says “after-party spray.” The Moroccan Oil is very good too. Just use a little bit. It’s good for any hair, whether permed or not. Potion K is like a curl-enhancing lotion to be applied on wet hair.


VMV sent me this gift pack, for babies. They do everything so well – from merchandising to graphics and packaging. I have yet to try their products.


This LAMY fountain pen was a gift from Bong Rojales and Rossy Yabut of Heima. I love fountain pens! And this one’s so light.


You know me and tote bags. This was sent to me by Amina Aranaz. I love the mix of material she used – leather, shell, hardware. You can find this bag in Aranaz stores in Greenbelt and Rockwell.


Evita Peroni
Evita Peroni sent me this hair elastic with a leather flower. It works as a ponytail holder or headband. Or a bracelet.


This wasn’t a Christmas present. It was something we earned. But we only got the cards over the holidays.


As regular clients of CIBO, I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it is for our kids to be members of Club Bimbi. There are so many freebies and fun stuff. One time they had “make your own pizza” for kids! And it had spinach which the kids ate. Ask any CIBO branch about applying for a Bimbi card. It’s open to all kids under 13.







Beautiful but…


Over the holidays, I discovered this rare French fragrance company in Rustan’s Makati. They have a beautififul fragrance section where the old cafe used to be. It’s so pretty there you’ll be convinced to buy a special non-commercial scent. I was.

While searching for a scent for Patrick (he doesn’t like commercial scents), I ended up in the feminine side. I found Eau De La Couronne by Rue Rance 1765 in a small shelf. I was initially attracted to the “oldness” of the display. Not old as in forgotten and decrepit. It was very old world and luxurious. The bottles were engraved and decorated with grosgrain ribbons. Everything seemed very exclusive. I took a whiff of Eau De La Courronne and instantly fell in love. It was the perfect scent. Nothing too deep like a French old lady’s perfume (which I also like). It was a mix of fruity and floral. And the scent was unrecognizable. The price tag was hefty. Almost P6,000. Gasp! It was their last bottle. And I went for it.

The other scents from the same Rue Rance line were heavier and muskier. I liked them all, especially the one called Josephine. Apparently it was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte for Josephine. Can you imagine?! I was tempted to go for it, same price as Eau de la Couronne, but they had a lot of Josephine bottles left and the Couronne was standing alone. So I went for Couronne because of my “first love” instinct.

A review from Fragrantica – Rue Rance Eau De La Couronne is constructed as a fragrance with accentuated fruity accords above floral heart and hot amber. It features red orange, lemon, melon, black currant, apple, jasmine, violet, freesia, lily of the valley, sandalwood, iris, musk mahogany and amber. Its flacon is also made of glass and decorated with gold.


Too precious.


I was in a buying mood. And I thought I deserved a gift to self. So I didn’t do my usual method – spraying the scent and letting it sit and develop after a few hours. Because, like I said, they had only one bottle left and it was the height of the Christmas rush. So I bought it instantly.

Here’s my verdict. It may be the most beautiful scent I own (next to Daphne [Guinness]). But sadly, the scent dissipates into thin air after an hour. Leaving no trace! My baby’s water-based cologne from Mustela even has longer staying power. I feel so gypped. Maybe I should have gotten the Josephine or the Laetitia. But still. For a French perfume company with pedigree that goes back to Emperor Napoleon, I think something went wrong with the Couronne mixture. It’s just… too weak.




Cover of Clickr magazine



2012JANUARY Clickr magazine


It feels great to be starting the year with a magazine cover. Clickr, a TV lifestyle guide, put me on the cover this month. They shot me just before Christmas while I was shooting for Urban Zone. So yes, you have seen this outfit somewhere. I like the cover. It’s fresh. It’s a real smile. I look very friendly. Nothing fierce haha.

It is sweet because Clickr is a magazine about TV shows. Their previous covers had been network stars like Kim Atienza, Boy Abunda and Karen Davila. So for a non-network, non-star, non-primetime host like me to be their cover, means something. These days I’m getting most interviewed about my blog, my products and my advocacies not so much about my show. I have forgotten that first and foremost, I am a TV creature. And Urban Zone, despite its airing at the ungodly hour of 1:30AM, has made a huge impact in the industries of design, architecture and real estate. Thank you Clickr, for recognizing us.




Clickr is available in all major bookstores and magazine retailers.