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Kandaya Kinda Summer


The first time I saw Kandaya was on paper, an architect’s rendition that—even on a one dimensional page—felt grandiose. Jewelle Yeung was discussing the details of the dining hall with her mother Dame Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung, pondering over the indoor structures inspired by fishermen’s wooden traps that were to encase the tables, turning them into private […]

Posted: May 22nd, 2017 in Life | Read More »

The Superstore Cometh


Alice Tan Plaza wheels her shopping cart past me, only barely a quarter occupied…and with the most basic of vegetable selections. I chide the woman that she can get her sayote and ginger from anywhere, and she—good natured as she is—reminds me of the one question that belies all this hullaballoo about an 8,000- square […]

Posted: May 8th, 2017 in Life | Read More »

A Lesson on Becoming Filipino


Kyle Jennerman turned 29 on the day that I met him. He had also lived in 29 different countries before the Philippines, but kept his anonymity until he arrived in our country and was unceremoniously christened Kulas, kickstarting his journey to Becoming Filipino. “A manong just came in to the place where we would tambay, […]

Posted: April 24th, 2017 in Life | Read More »

The long and wining road: My journey from Red Horse to Red Wine


Two decades ago, I was invited to my first wine pairing event. As a dyed-in-the-wool probinsiyana who was raised on dorm-room Red Horse bottles and Laguna’s lambanog, my proclivity for alcohol was more of the plebeian persuasion. That evening, I dressed in black (which always seem apropos for glittery gatherings) and sat at the table […]

Posted: April 10th, 2017 in Life | Read More »

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 »