Taking a breather



Tomorrow, the auction goes live. Please click the graphic icon below to take you to the www.ebay.ph/unicef site.


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Everything has been about the auction… I’ve put so much work on hold. I hope you all take the time to set up an Ebay.ph account. It’s easy and free. You don’t even need to give your credit card number. Bidding will even be easier. And for this auction, you can pay by bank deposit or cheque. I hope you find it worthwhile to participate.

I’m very nervous about the auction. This is new to all of us. But I am confident about the items. They are beautiful. Meanwhile there is a storm coming our way. I thought that was it tonight. It rained and howled at around 7pm. Turns out that’s not even the storm yet. I hope Chedeng won’t be as bad as the forecasters say it could be on Thursday or Friday. We don’t need another catastrophe. I’m praying for the communities that could possibly be affected. Storms make me nervous.

Last weekend we stayed at Sofitel Manila (Philippine Plaza). It was the most perfect staycation for our family. Lovely hotel. Awesome service. Will blog soon. Beautiful weather. But on Sunday, just like that this huge dark cloud covered Manila Bay. It was surreal…


Last Sunday's sudden rain
Manila Bay May 22 4pm.


Haircut by Alex Carbonel, Studio Fix
I had a haircut yesterday with Alex Carbonel of Studio Fix in Greenbelt. Look at how long my hair has gotten.


Haircut by Alex Carbonel, Studio Fix
And this is what Alex did. He gave me nice bangs. When my kids picked me up at the salon, Sophia said, “Mom you’re so pretty. You look like Lady Gaga.” Then Lily said, “You look like us!” I think Soph was reacting to the red/burgundy lipstick I wore plus the new bangs. Lily probably meant I looked younger? Before going to bed Lily said I looked like Hanna Montana. I know their world. They meant them all as compliments.


F reunion lunch
I had lunch with my old F team today, all the way in Quezon City. It was nice to see the old team, all doing very well. With me and Angel in this photo, Chi Almario-De Guzman and Alex Alikpala.


I should go to bed. I have a big day tomorrow. Rainy season is here while spring is in full effect in Canada. This time last year we were home with my parents. I looked at my Flickr calendar and found these… it brought me home and made me feel peaceful.


Benjamin's in St Jacobs
At Benjamin’s Restaurant in St. Jacobs, Ontario.


Benjamin's in St Jacobs
Waiting for our table.


Benjamin's in St Jacobs
Stella fed herself.


Running through the weeds
Soph ran through meadows (full of weeds).


St Jacobs Ontario
And Lily bought strawberries from lovely Mennonite ladies.


The only covered bridge in Ontario
We found the only covered bridge in Ontario. And kissed.


I can’t believe it’s been a year. I miss the old life.

Folks, tomorrow morning I hope you tune in to ANC Headstart with Karen Davila. I will be on as a guest together with Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Representative. We’ll be talking about the auction ofcourse, and also about the programs of UNICEF. I am so grateful for the support of media and the general public. It’s overwhelming.


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Auction for Action: Jewelry and Objects

One more day before we go live in Ebay.ph. We’ll be at Greenbelt 5 tomorrow as some of the pieces will be on display for one night only. Everything will be done through the Unicef eBay site – so every one can bid on any of these beautiful items. Here’s a quick post about the jewelry and beautiful objects up for bidding. I will be doing separate posts about each item in the coming days.

u-kristine dee u-paulsyjuco u-janina dizon u-celestina u-daphnejewelry

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Topaz in silver bib necklace from Accessory Lab

Adam Ant and Mich Dulce
Adam Ant and Mich Dulce (Photo by RJ Fernandez)
Mich Dulce – milliner, designer and corsetiere has hand made a miniature version of a hat that she made for Adam Ant in 2010. Adam wore the full sized version for live performances throughout that year and this. Adam has signed and customised the hat (pictured below) and has also donated some of his tour merchandise including T-Shirt, signed poster, badges, wristband and a plectrum that he used at his recent 100 Club performances in London in support of the auction. The winning bid will receive the boxed hat plus the items listed along with a hand written note from Adam and Mich.

Here’s the link to the ebay.ph/unicef site. Just click on the image below and it’ll take you to the auction site. It goes live on Wed, May 25, 2011.

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One more day!


Our unforgettable (duck) dish at ToTT’s

Tott's at The Excelsior
Ingrid and I had lunch at ToTT’s at The Excelsior.

Tott's at The Excelsior
We had a fantastic view of the harbour. There, we met Wendy Lee, Director of Communications of The Excelsior, Hong Kong.

James Williams
Wendy introduced us to the hotel’s new Chef de Cuisine, James Williams. Chef James brings with him a passion for fine food as well as more than 20 years of international experience, including working in some of Brisbane’s most acclaimed restaurants, Restaurant II and Seasalt. Prior to joining The Excelsior, Hong Kong, he also headed one of Brisbane’s most popular cooking schools, the James Street Cooking School. Chef James prepared a special menu for Ingrid and me.

Tott's at The Excelsior
I started my meal with a very refreshing berry shake.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Pesto bread.

Tott's at The Excelsior

Tott's at The Excelsior
The chef poured pumpkin soup around the shrimp. I love pumpkin soup.

Tott's at The Excelsior
A small bite of seafood cannelloni…

Tott's at The Excelsior
…with smoked salmon.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Here’s where everything went blurry for me … a whole platter of duck in all its glorious forms. From left to right, foie gras, duck breast, crackled duck skin, duck confit and poached duck egg. Sounds better in French, Foie Gras, Magret de Canard, Confit de Canard, and Oeuf de Canard.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Foie Gras and Magret de Canard.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Oeuf de Canard. I only had a bite of this. It was two steps close to heaven.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Confit de Canard. This was so so good.

Tott's at The Excelsior
Another view of Chef James’ special dish.

15.ToTT's - bar
I’d love to go back to ToTT’s at night. Looks very chill. The view is fantastic. (Photo source: The Excelsior press kit).

16.ToTT's - veiw from Roof Terrace
The Roofdeck. (Photo source: The Excelsior press kit). For more info on The Excelsior, Hong Kong, please visit their site.

Links charm bracelet
To remind us of our fantastic duck dish in Hong Kong, Ingrid and I bought ourselves a duck charm to add to our bracelets.

Hong Kong food trip

This is not a food blog. I used to hate doing food reviews in F… hate is a strong word. Let’s just say it wasn’t my favourite part of my job. But I just want to share these stories and photos because my trip to Hong Kong with The Bag Hag/Ingrid was very much about food. And I enjoyed every single bite… too much.

Warning, looking at food photos past midnight will make you hungry.

We stayed at The Langham. I can still remember the scent of the lobby.

Our first meal was at Sweet Dynasty on Canton Road. I had duck noodle soup.

Ingrid had her HK usual – congee with special stuff 🙂

We met Geoffrey Wu of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (thanks to Charisse Chuidian and Erika Aquino of the Mandarin Oriental Manila). Geoff is wearing a black jacket. He took us to the opening of his friend’s restaurant called Canto Pop. Met editors of Luxe City Guides, Janice Leung (assistant editor) and Kee Foong (editor); and Ogilvy & Mather’s Tim Ho.

Thank you for my Luxe Hong Kong, Kee. When will there be a Luxe Manila? 🙂

This is Canto Pop.

They served fast-food and homemade-type snacks but everything was organic. Like this sausage was supposedly healthy.

The eggs they use are not only organic, they’re “music eggs.” The chicken listen to music while laying eggs… very interesting. So the yolks are bigger etc.

Yung Kee goose
We also had roast goose at Yung Kee.

Yung Kee
And roast pork.

Then we had ramen. And because I’m not a natural food blogger I don’t remember the name of the restaurant. It was in Causeway Bay though.

Ingrid insisted we have dessert at Yee Shun Milk Company. It was so yummy.

I had cold milk custard.

And she knew I needed caffeine in the morning before I could fully function as a human being. So she dared me to have half milk-half coffee. I could only have half of it. I could feel the caffeine running through my veins after one sip.

Jeggings for the kids
I found the best jeggings for my girls. This was on their wish list. It started with Sophia who “discovered” it in Orange Juice. She said it was like jeans but so comfy. So then Lily wanted it badly. But because they’re from a couple of seasons ago, Gingersnaps was already out of her size. But HK was still raining jeggings. So I got one for each kid in H&M and Giordano. Note that I do not wear such things. Jeggings are only cute and acceptable on kids, IMHO.

It was nice coming home to this.

Cleaning staff left this at my bedside last night.
Every night the staff at the hotel would leave these cute postcards with the next day’s weather. This was a good message.

One night in HK: Champagne, Malls and Tory Burch

I went to Hong Kong with The Bag Hag last week. We’ve been friends for almost a decade but this was our first time to travel together internationally. In the years I’ve known her, I’ve been either pregnant, breastfeeding, busy with work and too attached to the kids and P that I never thought of traveling with my friends. But last week was much needed and much deserved. I was able to achieve a lot and progress with my work in those three days and in addition, I got to meet some very interesting people, thanks to Ingrid’s vast network of friends in the fashion industry.

I knew we’d be going to some fashion parties. My biggest dilemma was footwear. How to get from our hotel to our destination in uber high heels. I wanted to look fierce. LOL. But I gave it up knowing how much walking we really do in HK. So I went for height minus the pain. That means wedges and platforms. Then the heat was unbearable. It was almost impossible to wear black. I wore white cotton jerseys most of the time.

We got an invite to the “Boutique Boulevard” party at the Landmark. It was tricky, mall event. But this was quite spectacular.

Landmark party
The reception began at the Landmark atrium where they set the tone with these ornate Baroque and Rococo details. All the boutiques had their own mini reception – champagne, wine, cupcakes, candies and other party food.

Landmark party
They had models in period costume going around the mall.

Landmark party
And this very interesting hamsterball ballet dancing.

Landmark party
We came a little late and missed the celebrities. But it was a good mix of celebs, socialites and press people.

Landmark party
Christina of HK Fashion Geek and Ingrid

Landmark party
I loved what this girl was wearing. But I was too shy to take her picture. Plus, I had a bag in one hand, and a glass in the other… it was so hard to take good shots.

Celine instore event
So we went boutique-hopping. This was at Celine. I think Phoebe Philo can do no wrong. She’s just so awesome.

Celine instore event
Sigh… Celine.

Celine instore event
And more sigh… Celine.

Landmark party
Then the gang moved to The Landmark Mandarin Oriental for dinner at MO Bar.

Tory Burch
Then we went to the Four Seasons for Tory Burch’s show and party.

Tory Burch
Nice party atmosphere.

Tory Burch
This DJ played the happiest top 40 tunes.

Tory Burch
Jennifer, Virginia of HK Fashion Geek and Ingrid.

Tory Burch

Tory Burch
Loved the view of the waterfront skyline.

Tory Burch
A closer look at Tory Burch F/W 2011

Tory Burch
Sometimes I wish we had four seasons here in Manila… fashion-wise.

Tory Burch
More rich lady dressing.

Tory Burch
Loved that velvet suit.

Tory Burch

Tory Burch
The last outfit – bejeweled tunic – was stunning but it’ll be very tricky to not look matronly in real life.

Tory Burch
I couldn’t believe how nice and accessible Tory was. She talked to everyone. Not just smile and photo-op kind of talk. She engaged everyone in conversation. Sweet!

Met Tory Burch
Met Tory. She was really nice. She and her staff liked my necklace. I could have fainted. Told her I admired how she created a successful brand – a whole imaginary world – where everything was chic, cool, hip. Imaginary for me, but not for her. I love her!