Let’s go to Taiwan





“Do you want to go to Taiwan?”

“Hmm. Can’t say it’s in the top of my travel wish list. What’s in Taiwan?”

I don’t know what I was thinking or not thinking, but wow Taiwan is such a charming place. All these years of living in the Philippines, with Taiwan being our closest neighbour in the north, and I never thought of going there? Until now, when I got an invitation from Chal Lontoc del Rosario of Jeron Travel to join their media tour to Taiwan.


Our journey to Taipei started with Eva Air. I thought we were in business class when I saw our seats. They were wide and roomy. Turns out this was Premium Economy. Impressed!


While flying I checked out their pamphlet about the EVA Air Hello Kitty Jet.


I would love to bring my girls on the EVA Air Hello Kitty Jet someday.


Barely two hours up in the air, we were in Taiwan! So close.


I don’t know how to travel light. Haha. This is what I bring for a three night trip. The smaller wheelie was my carry on. It was empty except for my heavy MacBook Pro and cameras.


From the airport of Taipei our bus took us near the Taipei train station near our hotel.


From my hotel room, this was my view. I love the layers and mix of old and new.


1 F ?? Main Entrance
Our hotel was the very chic Palais de Chine.


The ground floor street level display showed these red “doors” with all things symbolic in my life – the letter P for Paez and the hummingbird as a symbol of my dad (the helicopter pilot). The cursive P here of course stands for Palais de Chine.


1F ????Concierge_02
Upon entering the ground floor lobby of the Palais de Chine, we were immediately drawn into a “story” that would keep unfolding as we went up the higher floors – one about travel and exploration. This life-size wooden sculpture of a gallant horse was brought in from Paris. It is surrounded by lush, reddish-purple velvet curtains, reminiscent of a European theatre. A long leather bench surrounds the space, while a giant crystal chandelier adds drama.


1F ????Concerige _01
Across the wooden horse was the hotel’s concierge. In keeping with the cross-cultural theme of travel between the orient and Europe, there is a giant bookcase conveying the idea of future travels.


5F ??? ??? Waiting Area
The waiting areas reflect European style decor and show antique art collections. As the name suggests, Palais de Chine is an elegant French-style hotel inspired by Parisian romanticism. It is common to see a mix of cultures in Paris, and this is what the hotel wants to convey with their mix of east-west, old-new.


???? ???? Executive Deluxe
I don’t have a clean shot of my room but it resembled this. Except that I had a corner room so my bathroom was off to the side with a full view of the Taipei Train Station. This photo (and others) is from the hotel’s PR kit. This is the Executive Deluxe room where the bathroom has no walls or doors.


I had a corner room and this is what my bathroom looked like.


I had a wall-to-wall window view the old Taipei City.


6F ?? Lobby _01
The 6th floor main lobby, enveloped in cobble stoned walls, felt like a European castle.


Antique-like mirrors are the signature of Palais de Chine. You find them all over the hotel, including the elevators. The designer, Ray Chen, visited antique markets in Paris to source original mirrors. In Taiwan, he had craftsmen wash away the mercury on some parts of the mirrors using acid etching in order to achieve the look of old mirrors.


Group check in was made easy with the help of Jeron Travel’s Chal del Rosario.


I love the rough-cut stone walls of the lobby reception.


The buffet at La Rotisserie is a feast for the senses.


6F ????? La Rotisserie   01
The dining area reflects idea of mixing eastern and western influences. The ceiling was made to appear cloud-like using the same antiquated mirrors arranged in the shape of the Chinese character “pin” which is also the second character in the Chinese name of Palais de Chine.


The salad bar was what Taiwan was all about for me – fresh produce!


Fresh fish.


6F Le Bar ?_02
Le Bar is located outdoors in an upper deck. It was made to feel like a North African safari.


Just a dog, not a Chinese Fu Dog (which is actually a lion).


Even the wooden floors are made to look old and weathered. Ray Chen asked carpenters to apply a special liquid solution to speed up the aging of the wood.


?????? Exterior
And the fun part of Palais de Chine… there’s some lovely shopping right below it.


The Palais de Chine was my entry point into Taiwan. And in a matter of a few minutes I realised how much I’d been missing by not thinking of Taiwan as a vacation destination. This hotel was a sophisticated mix of old and new, east and west which were elements that I would see throughout my visit. More on Taiwan’s attractions, food and shopping coming up soon.

My trip to Taiwan was sponsored by Jeron Travel, Taiwan Tourism Bureau  and EVA Air.



I’m thinking about…



july anthro collage


01 I’m loving pleated dresses this moment. And this one with its gorgeous floral print is just perfect. Meadowlight Dress from Anthropologie.

02 Another flash sale. This time from One King’s Lane. Whenever you see a sterling silver anything at a yard sale, don’t think. Just buy it. As long as it’s sterling silver and not just plated. This is extra lovely as it stands on 4 legs. Vintage Sterling Silver Mini Pot Used to be $225 now $79.00 for a couple of day only.

03 Riding on the trend started by Dior, Bauble Bar has its own line of 360 stud earrings. This has the arrow point design. Check out their site to see the spherical versions as well. Pave Stud 360 Studs.

04 Adorable umbrellas with pet silhouettes. I particularly love this one from San Francisco Umbrella Company – “Dog Park” Welsh Corgi Umbrella $25.90 (regularly $40.00) Link closing in 1 day.

05 A perfect combination – carved wood and delicate glass. Wood & Glass Pedestal Plate w/ Dome from One Kings Lane $59.00 (originally $140.00). Hurry because OKL doesn’t keep their items posted for long.

06  India, particularly the Rajasthan area, is one place I vow I should return to. I loved everything – the architecture, history, culture, textiles, jewellery. I’m glad I splurged a little while I was there and bought me some fine jewellery. This particular piece is a beautiful take on Indian jewellery by Amrita Singh. Maharaja “Nadra” 18K 22.00 ct. tw. Turquoise Enhancer It is currently 65% off in Rue La La. For two days only.

07 We are redecorating our home office to make room for the kids’ study area. I’m thinking, something like this would do the job. I like that it folds up. Retractable Writing Desk from Anthropologie.

08 I’ve always been a fan of chunky rings and gem stones. Here’s a good deal from Rue La La. Ippolita “Modern Rock Candy” 18K 14.00 cttw. Gemstone Ring on flash sale at Rue La La for $1,199.90 (original price $3,000.00). Link valid til July 3, 2014.

nawwTy with O&M Home



Home of Trish Panlilio


Last week I received an invitation for lunch at Trish Panlilio’s home. Unbeknownst to many, the very fashionable Trish has developed a love for cooking. It began as a simple hobby of cooking for friends and as a daily labour of love for her sons. By October 2013 Trish introduced “nawwTy’s kitchen” to her public with home cooked meals on order-basis. nawwTy’s kitchen not only offers homemade a mix comfort food like roast chicken and decadent meals like crab fat paella and prime rib roast, they also can deliver straight to your home and custom cater your events of up to sixty people. For info on how to order, see directory at the bottom of this post.

Trish’s luncheon at her home was also the setting of lovely tableaus showing pieces from Oliver & Maude Home, an online seller of all things monogrammed — acrylic trays, carved tangile cheese boards, pillows, placemats and napkins.


With the pretty hostess, Trish Panlilio, who was hands-on at the kitchen while making sure all the guests were comfortable and well-fed.


With Javi Martinez, Tessa Valdes and Vicki Zubiri


This is the only photo I have of the ladies at the table. Sorry if we all look like we are attacking the paella. Haha. Seen in photo, Grace Barbers Baja, Cheryl Tiu, Rory Manzano and Rica Lopez de Jesus of one of my favourite local blogs heart2heart. So, about the paella, from left to right, crab fat paella, paella valenciana and paella negra.


The very aromatic T’s pollo arrosto


Prawns thermidor


Prime rib roast


Herbed butter logs


I couldn’t resist taking snapshots of Trish’s homey place.


I loved her accent pieces such as this wing chair


I was charmed by all the little pops of colour


That blue chair!


Every woman needs a glamorous reading corner.


Interesting mix of textures


Her pool bar and garden was the showcase for Oliver and Maude’s pieces.



Acrylic tray


Julia Morales of O&M Home


Personalized napkins, glass


Placemats and napkins can either be monogrammed or have your whole name embroidered on it. Same goes for the wooden boards.


So ya, in my future next home, I want an outdoor bar (as well-stocked as this).


More monogrammed placemats, napkins and hand towels


The acrylic trays are sturdy and can be engraved with any design or logo.


Monogrammed glassware. This season O&M Home also has a gold santol bowl.


Wooden chopping boards were a very popular gift item last Christmas. I received a couple with “PAEZ” carved on to the boards. Now I have a “Daphne” and a “D”. Next on my list is to have a couple of those acrylic trays.


Thank you Trish and Julia for a lovely lunch!


For more information on nawwTy’s kitchen check out their Facebook page here, email nawwtyskitchen@gmail.com or call (0918) 936 9854 or (0920) 907 9122

To order O&M Home, email oliverandmaude@gmail.com or call (0917) 809 7287

Rachelle Wenger Interiors at Au Courant



“Marble, the first material I am introducing for my home line is a natural material which takes thousands of years to form.  Romblon’s marble is considered one of the strongest if not the strongest in the world.” — Rachelle Wenger


These marble products are specially handcrafted by local artisans from Romblon.  Its beauty lies on its unique grains and lines and no two items are exactly identical. With every acquisition of this product, you help the livelihood in Romblon province and fund scholars.


You can find Rachelle Wenger Interiors and other fabulous home and fashion sources at Cura V’s trunk show on May 10th and 11th at Rockwell Centre’s Kirov Model Unit beside the tent.







Garden stuff



Inspired by gardens — vertical ones.


The vertical garden on The Bund, Shanghai. 2012.


Detail of The Bund vertical garden. Each plant was wrapped in foam and placed on the grid.


DSC_5020 STB 301113 Lifestyle Experiences in Singapore@Gardens by the Bay (AC) Preview
Sophia and Lily at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. 2013.


At that same garden in Singapore, the tallest vertical garden I have ever seen. It had a sophisticated irrigation system.


Just last February I was at Bali. The parking building at Bali Denpasar airport caught my eye. It reminds me of the San Miguel HQ in Ortigas… and the Park Square building in Glorietta, which has now been replaced.


Ayala Ave tries a wall garden. Nice!
Ayala Avenue as it turns to EDSA also has san impressive set up. I took this a while ago and it seems the wall gardens are still alive. I won’t include the MMDA versions by the tunnels. Because I don’t  understand what they were trying to do.


Dusit Hotel does the vertical garden so well! #makati
I like what Dusit Hotel has done in this little piece of wall.


I found some interesting garden fixtures from some of my site partners and friends. Of course no one really needs to buy expensive wall brackets for vertical gardens. I’ve seen many versions of it, even the basic trellis would do. But it’s good to have options, especially the one by Gronomics because it has built in pipes for easy irrigation. I’m also loving the quirky planters from Kenneth Cobonpue’s Hive.


collage garden


1 Gronomics Vertical Garden from Target

2 Sugar Cone Wall Planter from Anthropologie

3 Plantscape Vertical Garden from Target

4 Boulders Table Planters by Jinggoy Buensuceso at Hive

5 Animal Farm by Kenneth Cobonpue at Hive