Themed bedrooms



Everytime I post photos from my house tours at Urban Zone, the readership skyrockets. I owe you a few UZ house stories so I plan to post at least one a day this week. Here’s one from a recent shoot. This is a brand new house. The owners, Jibby and Charisse Tinio of Niceprint Photography, had just moved in weeks before the shoot. Architecture and interior design by Alex Co; children’s bedroom interior designed by Nina Santamaria.


Like most new houses being built in Metro Manila, this one takes on a modern Asian sensibility.


The foyer, with art work commissioned by Charisse reflecting images of her sisters and her.


Living room


Click “More” to see the rest of Charisse’s house



My year-end report



Stella ran to hug Lily
This time last year, we were in Batangas with my family – my sisters, their husbands and kids, my parents.


Before we all get back to regular programming, I wanted to share how 2011 looked through my eyes. I never used to do that –review highs and lows. Ugh. And I never made plans or resolutions for the new year. I just went on with life while it happened.

But I figured, it can’t really hurt to do this now. Just in case the world does end this year as the Mayans believe, at least I’ve got this floating on cyberspace. I’ve got a good filing system in my photo archives anyway, so it wasn’t much work to pull file photos. I will skip details about my professional work, because… really, who does that? This is about my personal journey and some of my most enriching experiences.


Click “More” if you want to read about my year…



Happy New Year



I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s celebration. Ours was the usual quiet one. As quiet as you can get in Metro Manila with all the neighbours’ fireworks.

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Eve. Even in my 20’s when I’d pay to celebrate at a hip club with friends then spend the entire first day of the year in a hangover, I was just doing it because it was a habit. Now we treat New Year’s Eve like a regular night, except that we wake up at 11:30pm and sit in our front porch to watch the neighbours’ pyrotechnics. No big parties. Just simple togetherness and a few little family traditions…


We do this every year. And it’s so cute to see the number of stemware grow. I have no idea why we have those tiny glass & crystal stemware. The irony is that our champagne flutes are made of plastic while the kids’ are breakable. I was too lazy to bring out the crystal flutes. The kids had strawberry kiwi juice and we had a peach bellini. Too lazy to crack open the fancy champagne. Saving it for another time when we’re more energetic.


I throw some coins inward through the front door – for prosperity. The kids and house help run to get them.


This time we added a new thing – Face Time with Canada. The kids missed their cousins because this time last year they were with us in our front porch.


Patrick’s department (aka him and the kids) drive out to get the simplest firecrackers ever. We don’t like burning money plus I’m terrified of burns. So he gets sparkles and poppers – none of which we do ourselves. Only the yayas have fun with them.


Thank goodness for neighbours who love to put on a show.


And for kids who make noise the old-fashioned way.


Happy New Year everyone!