K&Company Holiday 2018

 

 

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The K&Company Holiday 2018 Collection is another beautiful set. I saw the pieces trickle in gradually in the Powerplant Mall, Shangrila Plaza, and Rustan’s shops, and each time left me breathless. I have been wearing K&Company since the first year they opened in Rockwell. It is a sense of joy and pride for me, to have a very long and continuing relationship with a homegrown brand I love. (And on a personal note, being their muse for almost 18 years forces me to maintain my weight and shape so I can keep wearing all my K&Company dresses.)

This season expect an even more elevated use of lace in their otherwise classic shapes and cuts. Kathering Cheng, the woman behind K&Company, pushed lace to take on a deeper dimension with laser-cut silk appliqués. New silhouettes include the emphasised butterfly sleeves in diaphanous materials seen in long and cocktail dresses. Colours range from classic fiery red to a delicate dove grey.

The 2018 Holiday collection was launched in the newly renovated shop in Rockwell designed by Ivy Almario. True to the brand’s identity, the new interiors are elegant and understated. The new K&Company shops have sleek brass fixtures and delicate materials such as padded walls in pale blush, a luxurious velvet couch in sage green. The curved counter is made of Volakas marble and is framed by a wall of brass cutouts lit in soft LED lights.

The evening was catered by BIZU with pretty hors d’oeuvres such as beef tenderloin, wagyu, salmon canapés topped with flower petals. To complement the beautiful and luxurious atmosphere, cocktail drinks and tea were infused with flowers as as well.

It was a beautiful evening attended by K&Company’s longtime, loyal friends and family. Congratulations K&Company!

All photos by Medal Elepano.

 

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Follow K&Company in the Instagram and Facebook. You may also shop online at their webshop.

 

 

Gingersnaps Holiday 2018

 

 

Gingersnaps Tile

 

I was so happy to have hosted the Gingersnaps 2018 Holiday Preview. It’s becoming a wonderful tradition – to ring in the holiday season at Gingersnaps. I love planning my daughters’ outfits for Christmas dinner and for the various parties we have lined up. The clothes are always so pretty. And this season is no different. Lot’s of east-meets-west inspired outfits for boys and girls.

The preview event allowed the guests to shop for the holiday collection in advance. By now the items are starting to trickle in to the stores. So you may find these pieces at your favourite Gingersnaps branch.

It was also a good time to meet the winners of the Gingersnaps Model Search. Five thousand kids joined. 50 made it to casting call. 10 were chosen as winners. To us, all the kids are winners. All the kids are adorable.

Check out some of the pieces from the Gingersnaps 2018 Holiday Collection…

 

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Lace, tulle, embroidery.

 

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Blue and white ruffles and separates.

 

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The cutest fashion accessories at really affordable prices.

 

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Ruffled top and skirt in tulle. And that sweet cupcake bag.

 

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Headbands and jelly wallets.

 

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Trinkets like pens that light up.

 

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We will always see red in holiday collections, but Gingersnaps does it with a twist. Loving the patches and pins.

 

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This is the sweetest blue cardigan. Definitely getting this for Stella.

 

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I’m sorry I am obviously biased when I post too much about girls’ clothes. But Gingersnaps boys’ fashion is really on point too. Loving that preppy little man outfit, complete with a tennis cardigan.

 

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Separates for boys

 

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The lovely invitation

 

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So honoured to have been asked to host the Gingersnaps Holiday Collection.

 

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Gingersnaps’ Sabrina Uy at the lovely “enchanted garden” setting.

 

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26Fashion Stylist Pam Quiñones styled the children during the model search and fashion show.

 

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Gingersnaps 2018 Model Search

 

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The Gingersnaps casting call.

 

 

Instagram @gingersnapsph
Facebook Gingersnaps Philippines
Website www.gingersnaps.com.ph

 

 

National Museum of Natural History

 

 

NATMUSEUM

 

Earlier in 2018, I started hosting a new TV show called CREATE. It aired in Colours channel carried through the Cignal cable subscription, and continues to air in ONE News. The show is about profiles of creative people. One episode focuses on one subject. Our first season ran well, we are now about to produce our second season. We took a break because I went on a 10 week vacation in our Toronto home. I thought it was more than appropriate to end our first season with a profile on Dominic Galicia, an architect I respect so much.

I have come to know Dominic’s work in the two decades I’ve lived in the Philippines first through the churches he’s built, and the many houses I’ve featured in Urban Zone. I love what he has done in the National Museum of Natural History.

The original neoclassical building was built in 1930 by Antonio Toledo as the Agriculture and Commerce. It had been used as the offices of the Senate of the Philippines for some time, until the National Museum started to integrate the three buildings into a museum complex – including the National Museum of Anthropology and Fine Arts. The pitch of Dominic Galicia Architects and Periquet Galicia interior architects won the bid for the restoration of the National Museum of Natural History and construction started in 2013. It took five years to complete.

The visual focal point of the new National Museum, of course, is the Tree of Life that stands in middle of the atrium.

 

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The architect, Dominic Galicia, explains to me the metaphor of the “Tree of Life” – it is both biblical, mythological, and philosophical.

 

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One of the requirements of the project was to make use of the central space created in the inner courtyard. It once was open and exposed to the elements. Dominic and his team though of creating a central structure like the tree with its canopy covering the space. It is interesting to note that the original structure of the museum does not bear any of the weight of this new structure. It is fully supported by the trunk of the “tree.”

 

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The edges of the canopy of the Tree of Life do not rest directly on the roof and walls of the old building. The weight is completely supported by the trunk of the tree which houses an elevator inside. The Tree of Life is not only symbolic, it is also functional.

 

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A current highlight when visiting the National Museum now is the taxidermies body of Lolong, the world’s largest crocodile caught and placed in captivity, who has now become the iconic “superstar” of the museum. He was caught in Agusan del Sur in September 2011 and unfortunately died while in captivity in February 2013.

 

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This is the taxidermied body of Lolong, displayed in the main atrium.

 

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Lolong’s tail

 

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The walls and windows surrounding the museum were lined with translucent prints of wildlife indigenous to the Philippines. This is the tarsier.

 

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View from upper ramp

 

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I was led to the base of the Tree of Life, where Dominic Galicia showed me the entrance to the elevator.

 

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The elevator shaft in the middle of the trunk is encased in glass.

 

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View from inside the elevator, looking up.

 

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Once you are on the top of the Tree of Life, the elevator opens to this walkway that leads to the galleries. The view from here is quite spectacular.

 

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We continued our interview here.

 

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I asked Dominic to show me the gallery where the 700,000 year old rhino bone was. Since we shot on a Monday, while the museum was closed, the gallery was locked. The actual bones of Lolong is prominently displayed, hung from the ceiling.

 

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This corner gallery is a very impressive space. It used to hold two floors. The project’s interior architect Tina Periquet removed the second floor. The tall arched windows give the larger space a unified feel. Notice the hexagon patterns repeating itself on the mosaic floor and the coffered ceiling? Not only is it visually appealing, it is also symbolic of the shape of DNA, which is the foundation of all the fossils and artefacts displayed in the Natural History museum.

 

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The display cabinet of the 700,000-year-old rhinoceros bone and hacking tool was empty.

 

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Looked like some final touches were being done in the display case. The 700,000 year old rhino bone was on the table. Note that the room was locked. None of us entered.

 

I think the rhino bone should be the star of the museum more than Lolong, the crocodile. But that can be debatable.

This find is so significant not just to the Filipinos but to the rest of the world. A bit of a background, the artifacts (bone and tool) were found in an a river flood plain in Luzon beside a butchered carcass of a rhinoceros. “The ancient toolmakers were clearly angling for a meal. Two of the rhino’s limb bones are smashed in, as if someone was trying to harvest and eat the marrow inside. Cut marks left behind by stone blades crisscross the rhino’s ribs and ankle, a clear sign that someone used tools to strip the carcass of meat.” (Source, National Geographic linked below).

Researches estimate the age of the remains to be 709,000 years old. The earliest evidence of Philippine hominins were found in Callao Cave, and dated to only 67,000 years ago. This rhino bone and tool suggests that the Philippines was occupied before the known origin of our species, homo sapiens. One of the questions is how did early hominins get to the Philippines in the first place. Read more in this National Geographic article, published in May 2018 here.

 

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The ramp to be experienced going down.

 

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A big treat was getting to walk in the private halls and offices of the museum. My imagination was working full force. What could be inside these cabinets?

 

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Interesting artifacts and fossils

 

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I did not touch

 

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Still in progress when we visited in May 2018.

 

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With the production team of CREATE. Exclusively shown in Cignal’s Colours and ONENews channels.

 

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Dominic Galicia, architect.

 

Watch the full episode here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negros Trade Fair

 

 

NTF

 

I have to confess that I have not been going to the shopping and trade fairs the past couple of years. My reason is simple – I am really working hard at simplifying my life. I have way too many things, and I have been buying interesting goods during my recent travels. Plus I am easily tempted by pretty things. There is one trade fair that I cannot resist though – the Negros Trade Fair.

The Negros Trade Fair is the country’s longest-running provincial trade fair held annually in Metro Manila. It was established in 1985 to provide small and medium enterprises of Negros a venue to showcase their trade. This is the 33rd year of the Negros Trade Fair, in collaboration with the Association of Negros Producers.

This year’s theme is SWEET TALK: SUGAR SPICE, & EVERYTHING NICE,   and will take place on September 26-30 at the Glorietta Activity Centre. Negros grew its wealth and heritage from the success of the sugar industry. This resulted in a fascinating lifestyle enjoyed by a few of the Negrenese families who had haciendas. We get a glimpse of that refined way of living in the world that Chef Tonyboy Escalante created his restaurant in Tagaytay, Antonio’s. So it was quite appropriate that this year’s Negros Trade Fair was kicked off with a media lunch preview at Antonio’s.

The 33rd Negros Trade Fair pays tribute to the Negros heritage influenced by the sugar industry by encouraging the exhibitors to make use of sugar, its components, and by-products. The trade fair will feature booths from various sectors such as natural and organic food, garments, fashion accessories, furniture, décor, houseware, agriculture and tourism.

 

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Antonio’s was set-up beautifully in its veranda.

 

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Beautiful setting for our press preview.

 

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Antonio’s was born out of Chef Tonyboy Escalante’s own upbringing in an hacienda in Bacolod, Negros.

 

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The menu by Antonio’s

 

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Burrata from Negros.

 

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The raclette station is always a big hit.

 

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An original cocktail concoction by Chef Tonyboy. Tropical gin infused with sour fruit from Negros, batuan.

 

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That’s my raclette.

 

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Antonio’s reception area was transformed into a showroom by Negros Trade Fair patron and supporter, Nena Tantoco.

 

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A piña blouse by Rubyline

 

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Cotton apliqued blouse by Tilia.

 

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Ruffled wrap skirt by Tilia.

 

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Woven scarves and basket bags.

 

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Salad Fork by Silay Export

 

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Sauces and dips.

 

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With my godmother from our wedding, Mrs. Nena Tantoco, who traces her roots to Negros as well.

 

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Me and good friend, Chef Tonyboy Escalante. There is a section in my book #CHICbyDaphne about him. I’ve known him since the time he was just dreaming about Antonio’s. We have a running joke, he calls me his lucky charm. It’s in the book.

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(L-R) 33rd Negros Trade Fair Organizing Committee – Treena Tecson (PR Consultant), Mariel San Agustin (Domesticity), Isabel Lozano (Antonio’s), Banj Claparols (Creative Definitions), Cata Ereñeta-Manaloto (Ereñeta-Manaloto Chorizo), Albert Avellana, Chef Tonyboy Escalante (Antonio’s), Nena Vargas Tantoco, Merry Ann Colmenares (Artisana Island Crafts), Ina Gaston (Hacienda Crafts), Ynez Reyes (Negros Trade Fair), Joey Gaston (Hacienda Crafts) and Mike Claparols (Creative Definitions)

 

33rd Negros Trade Fair will run from September 26 – 30, 2018 at the Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City.

 

Poster

 

Here are some more of the things you can find at the Negros Trade Fair. (Click on thumbnail).

 

 

PICC

 

 

PICC

 

I was invited by the management of the PICC – Philippine International Convention Center to spend an afternoon touring the facility. It may appear like the most random invite. The PICC isn’t your typical tourist place. Since I have publicly declared that the PICC is my favourite building in Manila, being invited there isn’t so random in my books.

I used to sneak in to the PICC and pretend to be scouting locations for events just to marvel at the massive concrete slabs, clean lines, smooth curves, and dramatic lights of the public spaces and private meeting halls. For most Filipinos, the PICC is the site of their graduation or professional convention. For me, it was neither of those, but I considered it an architectural gem, a reminder of a period in our history that is so intertwined with my personal family history.

Some facts: The Philippine International Convention Center is Asia’s first convention facility built specifically for a world event. It opened in 1976 by former President Ferdinand Marcos for the 1976 IMF-World Bank Meeting. It was built and completed in 23 months on land reclaimed from Manila Bay. The PICC was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin. The architectural style of the PICC complements the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ brutalist style. The PICC is managed separately as a government-owned and controlled corporation ultimately under the ownership of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

 

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The PICC’s Main Lobby’s grand staircase and 3,000+ drop lights hanging from the ceiling.

 

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An enormous painting by National Artist José T. Joya painting in the lobby. It is entitled “Ang Pagdiriwang,” and measures 5m x 8m.

 

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An HR Ocampo triptych at the management office of PICC. The art collection housed at the PICC belong to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

 

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Another large work by Jose T. Joya, a sculpture in wood. This is almost as tall as me.

 

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The sculpture garden was recently decorated with sculpture gifts from APEC member countries that participated in the 1996 conference in Manila. *

 

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Appreciating the lines and curves of these office stairs. *

 

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Another staircase, this time surrounded by original wood parkay flooring from 1976 . *

 

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One of the reception halls, prepared for an event later that day. The PICC can host meetings, conferences, birthday parties, and weddings. Big or small. *

 

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Original chandeliers at Reception Hall. *

 

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Loving the chandeliers. Photo by PIAA.

 

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The same red carpet staircase where St Mother Teresa and St Pope John Paul passed through. *

 

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Everytime I visit the PICC during an event, I always stop to admire this walkway leading to the Plenary Hall.

 

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The Garden. *

 

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The path leading to the garden is inspired by the painting of Joya. *

 

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Sculpture by Arturo Luz. *

 

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I will always appreciate the clean lines and minimalism of this building. *

 

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The Amorsolo restaurant on the second floor of the PICC Secretariat Building is open daily from Mondays to Fridays at 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m. It is operated by the Via Mare Corporation.

 

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One of the meeting halls has a small theatre. *

 

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One of the things I love to gush over, and is most often unappreciated, is the detailing of the wall panels. *

 

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Carved in wood, these panels surround the interior of the theatre and meeting halls for the purposes of controlling sound and reducing noise. *

 

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These benches are designed and carved by  by National Artist for sculpture, Napoleon Abueva. *

 

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The exterior deck of the Summit Halls has a view of the Manila Bay and may be used for outdoor events.

 

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Lunch w the founder of Via Mare Glenda Barretto and PICC’s GM Renato Padilla. Via Mare is the exclusive caterer of PICC.

 

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A special setting for me. I was totally surprised by this.

 

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The menu, carefully prepared for me. I always associated PICC with big events, but it also makes for a quaint little venue for small events. Ask about the small dining rooms and meeting halls.

 

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My lunch.

 

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Lunch company.

 

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Crepes for dessert.

 

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With Via Mare’s Mrs Glenda Barretto. *

 

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Renato B. Padilla, PICC’s General Manager. *

 

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An untitled Arturo Luz sculpture. *

 

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With PICC’s Dinah Gonzalez and Portia Cabiad. *

 

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Outfit: I wore a white shirt and black skirt, both from Uniqlo. And kitten heel pumps from French Sole.

 

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Thank you, PICC.

 

 

Photos marked with “*” are taken by Marty Ilagan. With additional photos from my phone.