Room with a view



Remember that awesome view of the city of Manila through my Olympus PEN?  This is the condo where I shot from.

It’s a 75-square metre two-bedroom condo unit that interior designer Nina Santamaria converted into a one-bedroom. The second smaller room was turned into a closet. The owner, Lyndon Cayco, loves collecting art. Nina found enough space to highlight his pieces and even created a gallery wall.


Upon entering you see a wooden pedestal that holds Lyndon’s precious antique saints. The pedestal is made by VIto Selma. This was from his Bahia collection where he recycled old train tracks from Bacolod. It’s upcycling, converting waste into new objects. Vito Selma is exclusively available (in the Philippines) at KISH in Nicanor Garcia St, Makati.


This serves as his altar.


Because space is always a limitation in condos, Nina kept the kitchen visible from the rest of the space. This counter functions as a buffet serving table as well.


Click “More…” to see the rest of this condo with a great view.


Manila through an Olympus PEN filter



Before the holidays at a shoot for Urban Zone in Manila, I dared sit out on the balcony of the owner, Lyndon Cayco’s condo. I hate balconies. My knees get weak. But I played along because I’d never seen Manila from this angle.


This was Burnham’s Manila, with neo-classical government buildings in Luneta Park


And Dewey (now Roxas) Boulevard. It was a good day. Moderate/usual haze and pollution, light traffic. Hard to believe this was just days before Christmas.


Then it dawned on me that I could finally use the Diorama art filter built in to my Olympus PEN EP3.


Everything popped out! And cars looked like toys.


The colours were more vibrant.


Manila looked like a dream!


This is how it looked like without the art filter.


And with the Diorama art filter. I love my Olympus PEN.


I have major issues with my server again. Every time I have spikes in my readership, my server crashes. Good problem to have. At least I know you’re all here with me. It just means I really have to get a bigger/private server. Thank you for sticking around. Will post this condo, designed by Nina Santamaria, in a bit.

I hope you have a good day today, folks. If your day looks a little hazy and polluted, just put on your imaginary art filters and try to brighten up your life.



Moroccan-themed house



Here’s something from my archives. I shot this in 2010 with Urban Zone. This is a house owned by a young couple who loved Moorish architecture. They built their house in a traditional way like most southern homes do – with Mediterranean touches. But years later they added decorative embellishments to reflect their love for Moroccan architecture. This is not your typical modern-Asian home.

The home owners worked with Gretchen Torres Ronquillo for the interior design. I will try to remember as much as I can from the shoot but most of the details escape me now so I can’t give any technical information. As well, here’s a gentle reminder that all photos belong to me. Please, no grabbing or reposting. Linking and sharing are welcome and of course Pinterest is fine.


Every nook and cranny of this house was embellished with Mediterranean and Moroccan details. Here, the side entrance to the pool area, is a small set up for an informal lunch.


The door knocker.


We started our shoot outside the house. Here, Gretchen Ronquillo  shows me the lounge-type set up they prepared by the front gazebo.


The foyer.


The formal dining room with beautiful lattice-work sun screens on the window. (I forget whether this was made of wood or metal).


Click “More” to see the rest of this very interesting house…



Themed bedrooms



Everytime I post photos from my house tours at Urban Zone, the readership skyrockets. I owe you a few UZ house stories so I plan to post at least one a day this week. Here’s one from a recent shoot. This is a brand new house. The owners, Jibby and Charisse Tinio of Niceprint Photography, had just moved in weeks before the shoot. Architecture and interior design by Alex Co; children’s bedroom interior designed by Nina Santamaria.


Like most new houses being built in Metro Manila, this one takes on a modern Asian sensibility.


The foyer, with art work commissioned by Charisse reflecting images of her sisters and her.


Living room


Click “More” to see the rest of Charisse’s house



UZ holiday shoot



Our last shoot for UZ before the holidays was at the lovely store of Ito Kish at Nicanor Garcia St. Makati. I also had two photo shoots for two different magazines that same morning. I love multi-tasking.


Prettiest shop in Metro Manila. Go visit Kish.


I wore a simple long black dress with my golden south sea pearl earrings.


I’m falling in love with south sea pearls again.


Then I wore a K&Company dress in white lace. I love the way this dress falls. It also comes in beige and black. You’ll see the black one below.


Wore them with those purple shoes sent by a Comfit, a blog sponsor. My hair – with Soft Set digital curls from Studio Fix – is still holding up well.


Ito can make any corner of any space look so beautiful.


I love the colour of this K&Company dress. From their current collection.


Loving all the Vito Selma pieces in this store.


I don’t know what was so funny.


Our team.


And here is that same K&Company dress in black lace.