Manila Fame 2012 Winners of Katha Awards



I was one of the judges again for this season’s Katha Awards at Manila FAME. Unlike last year’s Manila FAME where we, the board of judges, decided that no one would be awarded, this year found the most interesting winners in all categories.

I don’t have the actual figures but from what I saw the few days I was at that expo, it felt like the energy and positive vibes were back. There seemed to have been more foreign buyers. I’d be curious to know the figures.


katha judges
The Katha Board of Judges (Front row, L-R) Lino Santiago of NCIDP (secretariat), Jeannie Javelosa, Daphne Osena-Paez, and Rachy Cuna. (Back row, L-R) Rino Datuin of NCIDP (secretariat), Rey Soliven, Robert Alejandro, Tristan Jovellana, Daniel dela Cruz, Tonichi Nocom, and Maco Custodio


Here’s Vikki Rodriguez of Accesoria Inc. who won for Best Product Design in Housewares.


I was glad I was able to attend the awarding of the winners the next day, that I saw Ito Kish’s reaction when his name was called for Best Product Design in Furniture and Best Booth Design. It was a busy week for me. I had a booth at WorldBex. In fact the day of judging Manila FAME was the same opening day of WorldBex where I participated in the opening rites and was also a judge for their interior design contest (on top of manning my booth).


Best Product Design for Furniture – Gregoria by Ito Kish
Selected for its massing of balustre, a design icon of Filipino ancestral homes, combined with the woven solihiya for the seat.


Anahaw Tree by Philippine Treasures
Best Product Design for Holiday and Gifts – Anahaw Tree by Philippine Treasures
Selected for the use of anahaw leaves cut in well-proportioned manner, as well as for its quality finishing.


Feather Agate by Lafina Moda by Kitsilver Jewelry
Best Product Design for Jewelry – Feather Agate by Lafina Moda by Kitsilver Jewelry.
Selected for its intricate craftsmanship of traditional gold filigree rendered in contemporary fashion.


Kinks & Curls by Accessoria, Inc.
Best Product Design for Housewares – Kinks & Curls by Accessoria, Inc.
Selected for its ingenious use of natural rattan splits.


Necklace produced thru NuCast Process created by Floreia
Special Citation for Eco Award was a tie between this Necklace produced thru NuCast Process created by Floreia…
Selected for the its Nucast proccess (use of recycled paper material and process). Products promote sustainability and are biodegradable, recyclable and environmentally-friendly with no volatile organic compound.


Chair produced thru Naturecast Process created by Naturecast Eximport
Special Citation for Eco Award (tie). Chair produced thru Naturecast Process created by Naturecast Eximport.
Selected for its patented trademark process, Naturecast, that applies green manufacturing process. It is made up of fallen barks, twigs, dead shrubs and other agro-forest waste which are classified and shredded, and uses odorless water-based binder to produce works of applied arts.


Ito kish
Best Booth Design – Ito Kish.


During CITEM’s Manila FAME, I got the chance to have an exclusive interview with Brazilian design superstars, Campana Brothers. I’ll be having that video edited and uploaded this week. You’ll love them.






I hope you all had a happy Easter.

This season marks many new beginnings for me. Here is the first one – a new show within the TV5 network. I’m joining veteran news journalist Vic Agustin and co-host Cita Revilla in the lifestyle, society and business talkshow, Cocktales. The show’s title comes from Vic’s business/political column.

We’ve just done one episode and I already love the work, the team, my co-hosts. I was just thinking how much I miss a live talkshow format then this offer came about. Talkshows are so much fun to do. It demands a different skill and method of storytelling. Though Cocktales isn’t live (it’s taped), it keeps me very challenged. I hope you can try to catch it and eventually make it a habit to watch the show every Sunday night at 9:30 pm on AKSYON TV (Uhf 41, Cignal 1, Skycable Digibox 59, Destiny 7).

Here’s the promo plug for last night’s episode. In case you missed it, there’s a replay the following Sunday at 12noon. I hope you can watch it and let me know what you think. (Apparently the video doesn’t show up in some cases. I apologize. I uploaded it on Flickr. There’s no YouTube channel yet. Please try viewing it in your laptop.)



Those wondering about Urban Zone, please watch this video I published last week. Thanks!



Anthropologie wishes



Anthropologie Ramus Catalog
I’m crazy about this Ramus chandelier. It’s so interesting-looking.


Anthropologie Ramus 2
It looks dramatic in the dark. The Ramus chandelier was created by the Brothers Dressier of Toronto. Made of walnut.


Anthropologie Ditte Sofa
I love everything about this sofa – the scale, the legs, the fabric. This is the Ditte sofa and it has a preppy version of the Ikat print going on.


by Gregory Parkinson
Anthropologie launched “Made in Kind”, a wonderfully curated collection by new and not-so-new designers introducing them to the Anthropologie world. This Rose Madder maxi dress by Gregory Parkinson is so attractive. I love his way with fabrics – he pushes the tie die process with embroidery and appliques. His clothes have a very handmade feel.


Potrero Anthropologie
Potrero Flatforms. You know me and wedges. Period.


Carved filigree earrings
Carved filigree earrings. This is a cute take on the chandelier earring.


Seafloor Clutch
This Seafloor clutch is calling my name. I love how it does look like the bottom of a coral reef.


This is the part I envy my north American and international readers. Online shopping is so easy and transparent where you are. Sigh. Then there’s the rest of us in the Philippines who try to be savvy with online shopping. It is still a little blurry with the customs, duties and taxes here. But there are ways – through 3rd party shippers, balikbayan boxes, kind relatives. Shop the newest arrivals from





Our tropical life



Like most Easter weeks, we stayed home again. I love staycations. Manila is at its most beautiful this week. No traffic, no pollution, no crowds. I’ve cooked every meal for my family – lasagna, quiche, waffles, spaghetti. It’s a nice feeling when your home makes you feel like you’re on vacation. But let’s not talk about the heat.

Here are some photos from a couple of weeks ago, taken using an Olympus E-P3.

There is no house in either places yet. But it already feels like home.


I love tall coconut trees.


I love that the kids are fascinated with the things that used to fascinate me. Like the Makahiya.


Makahiya is an herb that folds inward when you try to touch it. This was me growing up. Very shy. And perhaps still me now. Touch-me-not.


Yaya introduced the kids to the neighbour’s cows. Lily, my 5 year old, styled herself for a day in the “farm”. Oh Lily.


This little guy was the friendliest.


It is such a gift to have my parents staying with us for an extended time. It feels so normal. Dreading the day they leave. Here, my dad found something interesting.


Sophia, the curious one.


Mom collected coconut husks for her orchids.


Please do not judge us. We didn’t do this on purpose.


Saying bye to their friend, Cowie. Then we drove about an hour away, to the other paradise.


Patrick with Lily and Stella.


Stella can draw letters. But she didn’t do this. She just dictated the “spelling” of her name.


Soph let this little snail crawl on her foot.


This family is a sucker for sunsets. I’m not kidding.


My little marine girl, Sophia.


Lowtide isn’t my favourite, but it has it charms.


Sophia. My child who shares my love of the sea.


Grateful for the silence.


Have a blessed Easter weekend.







Just checked out Reiss’ new arrivals. Always so tempting. Online shopping is my frenemy. I’m still not over lace and fancy textures.


This round neck, three quarter sleeve bodycon Nola dress has a nude slip layered with black textured lace, and floral applique detail as well as gentle ruching to the waist


Melia in French navy chiffon is a feminine fit and flare pleated dress. With a sweetheart neckline, structured bodice and wide sheer sash straps, this pretty style features pleated and jacquard spot panels, a nipped-in waistband and a double-layered full skirt.


Nimbi textured knit dress in bronze has horizontal detail waistband, styled in a close fitting silhouette with v-neck detail and skirt which flares to the knee.


The Sylvie sandals in delicious caramel are a flat, ankle strap style. Featuring contrast cord in cream and mocha and chain detail across the straps, it’s a stylish summer staple.


Misia in nude macrame is a woven almond toe shoe. This gold-flecked cork sandal has a block heel and platform sole with a macrame weave toe, back of heel and skinny ankle strap.