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Fine China


Marguerite Lhuillier, swathed in appropriate black and that impossibly tiny waistline, finds me in the crowd and floats over, with a concerned expression on her face. “Why aren’t you in makeup?” I am tickled when I hear her and the glamazons of Cebu chide me for a bare face, it was from these elegant ladies […]

Posted: March 20th, 2017 in Life | Read More »



The Barenaked Ladies, my favorite Canadian rock/folk band, called Vanilla just that in their breakout single “One Week” from the 1998 album “Stunt.” I sang through it and nodded with everything in agreement. The song played not so silently in my head when I was digging into my vanilla-infused soup, of course, which explains why […]

Posted: February 20th, 2017 in Life | Read More »

Summer calling: Boracay and her charms


The moon called to me. As the lunar new year rolled in with, ugh, the month of hearts, I found myself in Boracay with five couples, three of whom were pregnant. You’d think I’d be the interloper, with my perennially single status and wandering eye (there is much to wander over on this stretch of […]

Posted: February 6th, 2017 in Life | Read More »

Okada Manila’s Michelin-starred Chef cooks for Cebu


There are 42 minutes and 10 seconds of Hirofumi Imamura’s voice on my recorder, which is surprising, even as we have been bracing for a temperamental artist who may or may not even speak to us. “I’ve had one chef who didn’t talk to me for three months,” recalls Tiger Resort President Steve Wolstenholme, the […]

Posted: January 23rd, 2017 in Life | Read More »

Postcards from the edge: Why living on the fringes of Tokyo made my budget trip possible


FIRST, let me tell you that I only had nineteen thousand pesos in my pocket when I boarded the plane to Narita. I spent the odd thousand missing on the terminal fee, and could not get more because the ATM machine had a daily cap on your maximum withdrawals, and I had reached mine. And […]

Posted: January 3rd, 2017 in Delicious,Life | Read More »

Three Lessons


“KEIRA, do you know how tita Joom and I met?” asks Carissa, as she packs the last of her daughters’ things into the suitcase, they were flying out in three hours. “How?” Keira is now five, and the last time I saw her was two years ago, also in this bedroom, on this bed, and […]

Posted: January 3rd, 2017 in Delicious,Life | Read More »

New eats from old friends: Two new restaurants to try this season


COCINA DE LA CASA #8 Morales Street, (behind Harold’s Hotel) +63 32 4010750 Stephen Aznar’s now defunct Café Elysa in Parian was my go-to downtown eats destination. The stories he weaves with his food always fascinated me, and they made for great copy. His pancit, for example, was made from the salty native kind that […]

Posted: December 20th, 2016 in Delicious,Life | Read More »



I HAVEN’T written you in a while. Not because I felt I had nothing to say that was both intimate enough to be interesting (intimacies are always a point of interest, no?) and yet universal in a way a good song transcends personal experience and becomes a shared one. I’ve been sorely trying to find […]

Posted: December 20th, 2016 in Life | Read More »

D.I.Y. Day-to-night holiday looks in 10 steps


Veteran makeup artist Vanessa Gamus, a favorite for destination weddings, lays down some basic steps (and a few juicy insider tips and products!) to recreate her signature flawless looks for the holidays. No need to fret if your favorite makeup artist is booked for the rush this season, pick that brush up yourself! (MODEL: Ericka […]

Posted: December 6th, 2016 in Delicious,Life | Read More »

DEATH BECOMES HER: Why the crossroads town of Carcar is the perfect ghoulish stopover


NOTE: In the aftermath of a well-meaning travel advisory against the South of Cebu, I’m publishing this belated Halloween-themed, impromptu trip to just that area in question. I acknowledge that the threat is always present, always real, but that I have faith in my government to provide the necessary protection to both its visitors and […]

Posted: November 8th, 2016 in Delicious,Life | Read More »