Loud Basstard



Loudbasstard. 100% awesome. 100% Made in the Philippines.


Just got the coolest thing the other day – iPhone speakers that don’t need electric power. It’s simply made of one bamboo stalk. I saw it online in early November and was so curious to hear how it worked. I contacted one of the designers Koh Onozawa through a common friend Jay Aldeguer and asked if I could test the product.

My Loudbasstard arrived last Friday. I was so thrilled! It works and it’s so beautiful in its simplicity. I immediately texted Koh to ask if he could accommodate some Christmas orders. And just like that I was able to scratch off names from my gift list. The very next day (yesterday) I got my Loudbasstards.


Loud Basstard
The one I have is in Natural colour.


Loud Basstard
It comes in many other colours.


Don’t expect Loudbasstard to replace your speakers or home sound system. It is more like a personal sound amplifier that is completely organic in design and environmentally friendly. It uses no electricity. It works the same way I when you cup your phone’s speakers in order to hear sound better. But bamboo seems to be an excellent sound conductor. And it makes a great conversation piece. My daughter Sophia is inspired to create something “environmental” in the future.


Meet the creators – athropologist Koh Onozawa and furniture designer Franz Ignacio.


This is my demo of Loudbasstard. (This was uploaded on Flickr. Hope you’re able to view it).


Loudbasstard is very new. It just “launched” last October. This early, the guys already have distributors in Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Philippines. Fans of Up Dharma Down can also get limited edition Loudbasstards through their website. There are also re-sellers in Manila found in bazaars, my marquee.ph, therapy.ph.

Each Loudbasstard is selling for 995 pesos in the Philippines and 28euros/35USD abroad. For more information, www.loudbasstard.com



Pois Belly and Kids



Ten years ago I met the owner of Great Expectations, a brand of maternity fashion. I was pregnant with Sophia. She asked me to be the image model of her brand. Yes back then it was still called “image model”. I wore their clothes while hosting F up until I had contractions on set.


Then when I was pregnant with Lily, I wore this brand again. We shot this campaign a month before I gave birth.


ANC Life
And I also wore their clothes on the set of ANC Life with the Lily pregnancy.


They have since rebranded and are now under the retail concept store Pois Belly & Kids carrying Belly Maternity, Great Kids and Pois. We just received a beautiful gift package from the owner for each of my daughters. They were so funny while opening the gift bag. Each one felt like Barbie trying on her new fashiony clothes.


pois belly kids
Lily go the one on the left. Stella got the purple skirt and top. Thank you Tita Rowena! Purple is Stella’s favourite colour.


pois belly kids
We are big fans of leggings. They’re so comfy for kids. These have a little glittery shine on them. Soph got the middle outfit, a new silhouette for her. She now promises to be willing to try new things.


pois belly kids
Lily has the pink dress.


pois belly kids
This collection is so cute and comfortable.


Pois Belly & Kids BOUTIQUES:
TriNoma: Ground Floor near Activity Center
Glorietta 3: Level 3 Kids Zone
SM Megamall: Level 5 The Atrium
SM Mall Of Asia: Ground Floor in front of Kids Universe
SM City Cebu: Level 2, North Wing
SM City Iloilo: Upper Ground Floor
SM Lanang Premier Davao: Opening October 2012

GREAT KIDS for girls is also available inside the ff dept. stores:
The Landmark TriNoma
The Landmark Makati
Robinson’s Galleria
Robinson’s Midtown Ermita
Robinson’s Filinvest Festival Mall Alabang
Robinson’s at Ayala Abreeza Davao
ICM Mall Bohol
KCC Mall General Santos City



Farm house sink



I was hoping to be able to reveal the results of my  kitchen renovation before the year ends but I don’t think we’ll make it.

Who knew that the little details would take much longer than construction? All these delays are self inflicted though because I am the pickiest kitchen owner. My contractor (Cesar Ali) and kitchen supplier (Rafael Calero Kitchen Studio) have been so professional and prompt. I must say they were also very patient.

The major delay was caused by my crazy idea to order a cast iron farm house sink from the US. Kohler Philippines believed in my project that they found a way to bring in the heavy sink to the Philippines. It has finally arrived and let me tell you, IT’S WORTH THE WAIT!


kitchen sink kohler
Here’s what my sink and faucet will look like. Kohler Whitehaven apron front sink and Hi-Rise bridge type faucet. Beauty. (Photo from Kohler USA).


photo 3
Worth the wait! And the weight!


photo 2
Here’s where it’ll go. Today Rockstone Solid Surface will cut the countertop. My windows are beautiful. I went with white PVC by Veka ordered from Fourlinq. I found Fourlinq through the trade listings of Slivers Magazine.


photo 1
I love how Rafael Calero did our cabinets. Something tells me this counter is going to be the most used “table” in our house. Oh and that crazy idea of installing wooden floors from Matwood isn’t so crazy because (a) look how gorgeous it is, (b) these are treated against termite/moisture and (c) Matwood sources its hardwood from sustainable sources (registered tree-farms’ cycle of harvest ensures continuous replanting and nurturing of trees).


The next few weeks will be about installing lights, connecting the appliances to power, finding a water filter (totally forgot about that), building a casing for the range hood. It is a crazy kitchen in a rickety old house. But it’s totally a labour of love. I don’t want to build it up too much because really, it is quite small. Nothing impressive. And there were so many challenges along the way. We had to work with limited space. I still don’t know how the Samsung fridge is going to work with such a tight space. I think owners of old homes can relate. I’m not going to knock down any more walls. Construction fatigue now on going. Haha.

But really, there’s so much more to be done in my house. Next month, I have to  —

1. Deal with windows for the rest of the house – something that will work with our old capiz windows and wooden frames.

2. Redesign the bed of the girls, converting one into a bunk bed because they all want to stay in one room.

3. Convert my front room into some sort of library lounge for the girls.

4. Renovate the guest bathroom downstairs.

5. Fix leaks.


It’s no joke living in an old house. But everyday I fall more and more in love with our little old cottage with all its kinks and problems.

Feel free to share your house maintenance/renovation stories…











Wearing long dress in Philippine fibre by Religioso. #PGBeauty
At the launch of the new Camay last week, I wore a special dress from Religioso. It was my first big event as P&G Beauty Ambassador, so I figured, it would be ok to wear a long dress. I don’t have official photos yet, so this is pretty much all I have from that night – an Instagram photo from the washroom of Opus.


I got a lot of oohs and ahhs about this dress. I was proud to say that the bodice was made of a Philippine weave, and the dress was sold off-the-rack. It wasn’t custom made for me. A few weeks ago I went to Religioso’s new location in Greenbelt 5. It was just a few steps away from their original shop. They now occupy Cesar Gaupo’s old spot. I met up with the sisters Yvette Religioso Ilagan and Choc Religioso Dayrit.


Religioso’s new and more compact spot in Greenbelt 5


This season, Religioso created modern pieces using traditional Philippine fabric like pina, banana fiber, cocoon, and other local materials. They called it the Terno Collection.


Inspired by the barong Tagalog – this shirt dress can be worn in a modern way without looking too costume-y.


Detail of embroidery


Choc and Yvette.


They not only played with material but also experimented with textures. Laser cut aplique gives this local fibre a new feel.


Loving all the textures.


This is adorable – a striped pencil skirt with an embroidered thin layer of handwoven silk.


Patterns galore – done so well.


Lovely feminine dresses in dyed piña and banana fibre.


Rocking more piña and jusi ruffled tops with jeans.


Religioso is on the 2nd floor of Greenbelt 5. All photos by me except for the last 3 from Religioso by Marty Ilagan.



National Book Store flagship store



Have you seen the brand new National Book Store flagship store at the new Glorietta 1 in Ayala Center, Makati? It’s huge. There are three floors with the most complete selection of books, school and office supplies. The store also has a dedicated book signing and events area, numerous shop-in-shops for signature brands like Moleskine, Crane & Co., Sheaffer and Work Station, and Illy Café (yay!).

I had the honour of hosting the reopening of this flagship store last week. As always, it was a pleasure being with the NBS family.


National Book Store's Xandra Padilla, Presentacion Ramos, Cecilia Licauco, Alfredo Ramos, Socorro Ramos, Ayala Malls' Rowena Tomeldan, Trina Alindogan and Daphne Oseña-Paez
National Book Store’s Xandra Padilla, Presentacion Ramos, Cecilia Licauco, Alfredo Ramos, Socorro Ramos, Ayala Malls’ Rowena Tomeldan, Trina Alindogan and me


Ayala Malls' Rowena Tomeldan, Daphne Oseña-Paez, AC Ocampo and Myrna Fernandez
With Ayala Malls’ Rowena Tomeldan, AC Ocampo and Myrna Fernandez


National Book Store's Miguel Ramos, Trina Alindogan, Daphne Oseña-Paez and Xandra Padilla
With the new generation National Book Store cousins Miguel Ramos, Trina Alindogan and Xandra Padilla. When I posted this in Instagram, the dress got a lot of feedback. Yes, another white lace dress. I’m wearing K&Company and Jewelmer south sea pearls.


Socorro Ramos
It’s been 70 years since Nanay Coring opened her first store in Avenida Rizal back in 1942. They now have over 140 stores nationwide. In fact this National Book Store Glorietta 1 is the seventeenth National Book Store branch opened this year. Other new branches are Antipolo Victory Park, Ayala Cagayan Centrio Mall, Greenhills Greenlanes Arcade, Lucky Chinatown Binondo, Mandaluyong, Manhattan Parkway, Robinsons Calasiao, Robinsons Magnolia Town Center, Robinsons Palawan, San Antonio Plaza, SM Consolacion, SM General Santos, SM Lanang, SM Laoag, SM Olongapo and SM San Fernando.


Interviewing Socorro Ramos
Back in 2007, I interviewed Nanay Coring for Proudly Filipina. She told me her story about how she set up her first store during the war and passing on the entrepreneurial genes to her children and grandchildren. Nanay Coring is now in her eighties and still goes to work everyday.


nanay coring
My kids enjoyed reading this lovely book written by Yvette Fernandez. When Sophia saw these photos as I was writing this entry, she retold the story in her own words. She was amazed to see that Nanay Coring was a real person and that I knew her. Now she wants to meet Nanay. I think that can be arranged.


Shop online at www.nationalbookstore.com and follow National Book Store on Facebook and Twitter for the latest events, promos and contests.