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.



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 and follow National Book Store on Facebook and Twitter for the latest events, promos and contests.








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Bauble Bar



Bauble Bar
Check out new advertiser BaubleBar + Atlantic-Pacific Collection. All very affordable. Visit to see blogger Blair Eadie’s jewelry picks.


Bauble 2
The arrow is the symbol of my university women’s fraternity. I used to collect everything arrow. This is so cool. Gold Arrow Ring, $24


Here’s how Blair Eadie wears the gold arrow rings.


Bauble Bar 1
Marie Fruitbowl Bib, $42


use FINAL 4
Butter Bauble Bib, $36


Bauble Bar Nina Garcia
They also have the Bauble Bar + Nina Garcia collaboration in four jewellery trends for fall. Click here to see the Nina Garcia collection.


Bauble Bar only ships to the U.S. and U.S. post office boxes.



Daphne® stuff



I had a gazillion of these postcards made for my booth at World Bex last March. I had spent so much on all this branding (good quality paper and design) that I was very careful about distributing them during the 3-day trade fair. I didn’t want to run out before the show ended. And look, now I ended up with so much left over. I use them as stationery and my funny business card sort of thing. The thing about having a self-named brand is that no matter how it’s viewed, I will always look like a self-promoter. Yikes. Haha.


This is part of the batch I sent out to the winners of my last raffle months ago.


My heart still skips a beat every time I see a DAPHNE® display in Bench or Dimensione. This is the one in Bonifacio High Street.


They look so lovely here! I must say, they make the best gifts. Really. I often randomly walk in to Bench or Dimensione to buy a few bottles when I have to give gifts.


I always get asked which one is my personal favourite. But that’s like asking me which of my daughters I love most. They are all the same. Acres of Lavender is the best-seller because I think lavender is the universal scent for relaxation. It is also the most familiar among the three. The more adventurous ones go for Homemade Lemon Tart. This is the one that is most talked about. You smell more of the cookie tart rather than the citrusy lemon. It’s a great mix. Then the Mint Jasmine Infusion smells the most refreshing.


Since it is already Christmas in Manila (it has been since the last week of August), early planners should consider getting Daphne Home Scents to fill up their list.


It’s Christmas in Dimensione.


I love that my bottles are displayed at the check out counter!


If I saw this at the check out counter, I would buy impulsively.


Not so hard-sell, self-promoting, eh?