Canada Philippine Fashion Week



Canada Philippines Fashion Week


A bit over a year ago, my friend from Toronto, Jeff Rustia, and I met up in Manila for afternoon tea. He was going through a personal journey and rediscovery of the Philippines. He told me of this “crazy” idea of doing a fashion event where he’d bring Filipino designers to show their stuff in Canada. And now we have Canada Philippine Fashion Week on June 10-15, 2013 in Toronto.


Jeff & Rommel
Lunch with Jeff and fashion director RomMel at Holts Cafe in Toronto.


Tickets are on sale online for the gala show at C$55. This includes a FREE $30 black car with driver to take you to the event.



For Boston



A few days have passed and I still can’t make sense of the Boston Marathon bombings. I don’t think I ever will. What kind of world is our children living in? Horrible.

Amidst all the conspiracy theories are stories of heroism, resiliency and love. At times like these when we see the worst and most evil of human acts, we also see the best and kindest in people. My heart goes out to all the families of those who’ve been hurt and killed. Nothing I say or do will ever take away the pain. In fact, I am even living in fear myself. It’s the mama bear in me. Sigh.

Hours after the attack, I got an email from the president of my site partner Rue La La. Their headquarters is in Boston just blocks away from the bombing. They are doing a small fundraiser to pay for medical expenses of victims. Available at Rue La La, keywords Honoring Boston.


rue la la boston


Rue La La will donate all net proceeds from the sale of this Honoring Boston tee to the Emergency Medicine Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital, which supports the patients and families affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.

This item will be shipped standard (within the US) for free. Sale ends April 21, 2013.




Tiff Kids 2013



I attended the opening of TIFF Kids (Toronto International Film Festival) with my sisters and their husbands. My brother-in-law Mathieu’s aunt, Nancy Florence Savard, directed and produced the movie that was chosen to be the opener. The film Legend of Sarila is Canada’s first 3D animated feature — a really charming story about the adventures of three youths living on the Arctic tundra who must brave numerous dangers to save their community from starvation.


TIFF Kids offers a diverse slate of films from Canada and around the world at the Bell Lightbox from April 9-21.


The screenings include an opportunity for children to engage in discussions with filmmakers and special guests.


With my lovely sisters Pauline and Johanna.



The film maker Nancy Florence Savard. This movie took 11 years to make.


Nancy with Pauline and Mathieu.


Loved the bar and lounge, overlooking King Street.


With the greatest Toronto landmark, the CN Tower.


We had an ice storm the night before (yeah, in April). But the temperature went down and it was my first time to dress human again.


Check out the films that are in TIFF Kids. The festival is on until April 21.



Elle Decoration Philippines March 2013



Daphne Print Ad - TCMarch2013
Ad for Daphne Furniture in Elle Decoration March 2013.


Wonderful things are happening. But I am also knee deep into work. Somewhere between catching up with work, being involved with the kids’ school activities and fixing our house, I was able to free up three days to go on a UNICEF mission to Davao Oriental where I saw the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo. Major stories to tell. We’re working on them now…

I got a copy of Elle Decoration’s March issue. I’m so giddy to share that my full page ad came out! We shot the new collection of DAPHNE® Furniture. Then I got word from my friends at Elle Decoration that I’ll be hosting the opening of Cafe Elle Decor at Manila FAME. I had been planning a deeper involvement in Manila FAME this season but because of the above-mentioned things I’m doing, I wasn’t able to get my act together. So hosting this event makes me feel part of the very important community during design week.


Elle Decoration cover March 2013
Elle Decoration Philippines March 2013


Is it just me or are we really feeling that most eyes are on the Philippines again. Are we totally back on the map or what? Are you feeling it in your industry?

I love it!!! Yay Philippines!






My siblings know me so well. And I miss them so much. This morning I got an email from my brother. It just had this picture and no captions.


BCE place
The subject line read: BCE Place this morning.


My brother and sisters know that this is one of my favourite spaces in Toronto. I was still living there when this was being built by Santiago Calatrava. The space merges an old bank building and a tall skyscraper into an amazing visual feast. My brother’s office used to be in this building and we would often make this our meeting place.


CN tower toronto
Hanni sent me this by Twitter yesterday. The CN Tower all decked out in lights.


I love Christmas lights. I love how crazy we get in Manila with our Christmas lights. Everything is so theatrical and stunning! I love that we can have an exaggerated Christmas and still wear Tshirts and open-toed shoes.

Now it’s my turn to show my family how Christmas is like in Manila this year.


Rockwell by far has the most elegant Christmas lights. Every year they turn on these rope lights that I assume are permanently attached to the tall buildings. The line of lights extend all the way to the ramp off EDSA.


Ayala Avenue used to be the king of all Christmas lights. I remember how crazy it was here in the early 2000’s. But in the past few years they seemed to have toned it down. This year they finally used LED lights.


If I were the designer I would have skipped the artificial tree silhouette and shrubs. I’d have extended the lights all the way to the palm leaves for a perfect tropical Christmas theme. But then it would look just like Rockwell’s side walks.


But perhaps the reason Ayala Avenue is a bit subdued was because the Ayala Triangle Park completely went all out! This has become a wonderful family tradition. Every year for the past three years we take the kids to see the lights and sound symphony at the Ayala Triangle.


It’s perfectly magical! Lily, our dancer, celebrates each beat and sound.


The Ayala Triangle Light Show goes on every thirty minutes. This year the music was mostly all Filipino festive songs mixed with contemporary dance beats. Here, Lily is raving!!


There’s no stopping the dancing Lily. And she had just recovered from the flu!


There is nothing like it. And I know you would love it here. Knowing Dad, he would probably stay for three rounds. Each time picking a different spot. Sigh… I miss you all. So much.