Monthly Archives: July 2012

Takatak Attack + Happy Weekend

There are about 16 more days until my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, and plans are in full swing!  I’ve already finalized the menu, the desserts, and the giveaways, and the paper pinata I’ve been working on is finally done!  The only things left to do are to print and cut out the gift and dessert tags, and to finalize the tablescape.

One of the major design elements in A’s upcoming Mexican fiesta is a papier-mache horse.  I was thinking of making it part of the table centerpiece, along with tissue paper flowers, and cactus plants.

I know that these horses, also known as takas, are available in Paete, Laguna, but how to get there, and finding the time to go posed a bit of a problem for me.

I think it was quite providential that while I was browsing FaceBook one evening, I chanced upon a friend’s picture of an art fair that featured a taka seller!  What luck!  I immediately googled the seller and was blown away by what I saw (and learned)…

The Takatak Project is a collaboration amongst four friends (formerly advertising professionals), who want to keep the tradition of taka-making alive, as well as adapt it to more modern times.  Together with the artisans of Paete, they first worked to standardize and perfect the mold of the horse figure, then started painting it with more contemporary designs.  The results are truly remarkable…

Image via

I waaaaaaant!

When I saw samples of the takas on their FB page, my heart literally started skipping–I was so excited!  You know how much I looooove Filipino crafts :).  To know that a new generation of Filipinos are working to keep it alive for future generations to enjoy, is truly a wonderful thing!  (And definitely, these takas are the perfect decor for A’s party!)

To push the envelope even further, The Takatak Project recently held an art show featuring different renditions of takas by 60 Filipino artists.  The exhibit, held at 10 Alabama last July 21st was aptly called, Takatak Attak: Modern Takes on the Traditional Taka.  I knew I just had to go!  By hook or by crook!  Hahaha!

So even though it was a wet and rainy afternoon, I dragged my little family (A included :)) to 10A Alabama.  Despite the gloomy weather, I was in the sunniest of spirits as I viewed and appreciated the workmanship that went to each taka. There was certainly no shortage of talent in the entire show!  Here is what I saw:

Aren’t the pieces lovely? 🙂

There were too many that I wanted to take home with me!  Unfortunately, there really isn’t any space anymore in our little shoebox (read: condo).  Sad 😦  So I pretty much had to content myself with these pictures I took on my iPhone.

But all is not lost 🙂  I am definitely looking forward to the takas I’ll be painting for A’s party!  Project time!  Stay tuned for the finished product next week!

Till then, hope you have a great weekend, folks!  Stay dry!


I am Loving…

…Bottega Veneta totes!

There are 2 types of bags on my lust list–the ones I want to buy, and the ones I can only dream of buying.  Hahaha!  Hey, dreams are free so why not, right? 😉

One of the brands that has eluded me thus far (and has remained a dream for now) is Bottega Veneta.  I’ve been eyeing an Intrecciato Nappa tote for a while, but because of the steep price point, I’ve opted for other more affordable bags on my list.

This morning, however, I received some “bad” news on my FB news feed (read: credit card beware! Hahaha!) .  Just recently, Bottega Veneta launched two new bag lines and not only are they beautiful, but they are certainly very affordable!  This news just made my European trip in October mighty interesting!  Hahaha!

Named Intrecciomirage and Intrecciolusion, the two lines belong to Bottega Veneta’s 2012 Fall Collection.

The Intrecciolusion line features items made of twill that undergo an artisanal process that prints the signature intrecciato pattern onto the bag.  On the other hand, the Intrecciomirage features thin Nappa leather, embossed with the same intrecciato design.

In keeping with Bottega Veneta’s style aesthetic, the bags are breathtakingly simple and streamlined.  I love the pop of colors in their fall collection, too, and wouldn’t mind taking home a tote in Canyon or Teal :).

Even this gold one looks really pretty…


Too many bags, too little moolah!  Hahaha!

One thing’s for sure though–a girl can never have too many totes, right? :p  I am obviously already justifying this future purchase!  Hahaha!

Photos via

I am Loving…

…High Low Skirts!

Quite surprising because I’m not that into clothing trends, but there’s something about this hemline that’s got my interest piqued :).

Skirts are actually my default clothing.  I practically live in my pencil cut skirts as I wear them both to work and even during the weekends with a classic vee or a round-neck tee.

But lately I’ve been wanting to spice things up, and this style seems to be just the thing I need to add a bit more perk into my wardrobe.

I’m a bit iffy about the sheer, pleated variations, though.  Too young.

I think a darker color and longer hemline would be more my thang :).

And if I could find one in jersey just like the ones above, that would be even more perfect!

Fabulous Find // The Breakfast Store

Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but in my book, it is one of my favorite meals of the day!  Nothing gets me started in the morning like a good serving of tapsilog (or any “silog” for that matter!) and a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee.  On a “feeling healthy” day, a broccoli and cheese omelette or even a bowl of oatmeal will do the trick :).  A happy tummy equals a happy me!

So you can imagine my interest was piqued when I passed by The Breakfast Store on Katipunan Road.  Located right across Blue Ridge Subdivision, not only did it catch my attention because of its pretty blue facade, but its name had me fantasizing of all things breakfast, and the wonderful goodies I would find.

Last Sunday, on our way home from the parentals, the H and I finally had the time to make a pit stop at The Breakfast Store.  Here is what we saw:

Don’t you just love their welcome signage?  The bright blue is such a happy, electrifying color, yet at the same time cool to the eyes.  I love how this frame was re-purposed too!

Some of the merchandise in the store included some locally made pottery (by renowned Filipino ceramic artist Lanelle Abueva-Fernando no less!) and market bags from a livelihood project that supports underprivileged communities.  I like how this store has a social conscience because it not only promotes local food items and wares, but it also encourages environmentalism and support of worthwhile initiatives.

On a side note, I’ve also heard that for every branded item bought in the store, a certain percentage of the purchase will go to fund the Ateneo Blue Plate Program, a feeding program for public school kids in Metro Manila.  What a wonderful cause to support, right?

Doesn’t this little nook look so cheery and inviting?  It made me want to sit down and order something to eat!  Haha!  I think it was such a clever way of putting sale items on display, and informing customers of the store’s specials.  It definitely made me stop and take notice!  Speaking of which, I definitely noticed the pretty colors of these abel iloko placemats and table runners!  My husband literally had to distract me so that I wouldn’t end up buying all the contents of this basket!  Hahaha!

And finally, on to the real reason we dropped by–the food!  The Breakfast Store has an interesting selection of various breakfast items from cheeses, to juices, from coffee, tea or tsokolate, to meats such as longganisa, tapa and tocino–all sourced from different provinces in the Philippines!  Our finds for the day?  Skinless longganisa from Tuguegarao, and some Vigan longganisa as well!

When I saw these Tsokolate de Cagayan balls, I could not resist buying a couple to try.  I just loooooove tsokolate eh and sampling different versions of this Filipino treat.  So a couple of these bad boys found their way into our shopping bag as well :).  Hahaha!

I can already tell that tomorrow’s breakfast is going to be a real treat!  I’m so excited!  Thank goodness for gems such as The Breakfast Store!  It is truly a fabulous find! 🙂



Baubles + Happy Weekend

Hopefully, around the same time next weekend, I will be the proud owner of this:

What is it, you ask?  They’re embellished shoulder pads with three layers of draped crystals!  Yes, it’s a bit of an unconventional type of accessory, but I’ve always been one for drama and oomph!  Hahaha!  Bongga!

Made by the talented Yekky Balingit of the brand miadore, I am truly amazed by the workmanship and detail of this fabulous piece!  I’ve been lusting after it ever since it made an appearance in his Las Mujeres lookbook.  And next week, it will be MINE!!!

Nothing like a little bit of bling to start off this weekend :).

Hope you have a wonderful one, folks! 🙂

Photo Credit: miadore FaceBook page

Sneak Peek: A’s Mexican Fiesta

In a little over a month, my little girl will be turning 2.  Fast, right?  I know, even I can’t believe it myself sometimes!  Haha!

While I have no intentions of throwing another major shindig for this occasion, I do want to make sure it is celebrated in a special way.  My mom always tells me, “It’s not important how you celebrate, but that you do.”

So here I am, in the midst of planning for A’s Mexican fiesta 🙂  And here’s a sneak peek at one of the DIY projects I’ve been doing…

Papel Picado!

Yup, I’ll be stringing these as buntings to add a more festive flair to the party venue :).  I’m also in the midst of making some paper wheel ornaments to hang.  I’ll post pictures of those when I’m done :).

This project has gotten me all pumped up and excited for A’s birthday!  At the same time, it’s been such a great de-stressing activity too!  Haha!

More pictures coming up soon!  Promise 🙂

Date Night Diaries { Atelier 317 }

Our latest date night came courtesy of a coupon I bought on Deal Grocer.  It was dinner for two at Stephanie Zubiri’s private dining restaurant in Palm Village.

I just love the concept of private dining :).  I love the mysteriousness of it, and the exclusivity as well.  Not that I’m a snob or anything like that, I guess I just like hidden, tucked away places, that are not as accessible to everyone as those you would find in the mall.  The experience of private dining also promises to be more unique and personalized, and I’m truly a sucker for that :).

Of all nights we chose to redeem our coupon, it was one that was rainy and extremely traffic :(!  We were quite late and hungry upon our arrival at Atelier 317, but that did not dampen the excitement I was feeling one bit.  I was definitely looking forward to what promised to be a lovely and yummy evening :).

When the H and I entered Atelier 317, I was quite surprised at how small the dining space was!  It can probably fit about 15 people, tops!  However, what it lacked in size was more than made up for by the cozy, feel-at-home atmosphere.  Unpretentious, yet filled with lots of personality, the decor was a mishmash of flea market finds, and items that apparently had some sentimental value to the chef.

On a side note, I must say, this was the second time I redeemed a Deal Grocer coupon, and like my first experience, it was easy as pie!  I simply handed over a printed out copy of my voucher to the head waiter, and we were immediately ushered to a table for two, and served our meal within a couple of minutes!  Very fuss free–I love it! 🙂

On to the food…

For starters, we were served a trio of appetizers: spiced pumpkin soup, gourmet cheese pimiento tartine, and flamed kesong puti caprese salad.

You know how they say it’s important to make a good first impression?  Well, this plate definitely set the tone for the rest of the evening.  Not only was the food nicely presented, it tasted even better than it looked!  The cheese pimiento and the caprese salad were my favorites though–the tomatoes were juicy and fresh, the pimiento tangy, cheesy and yummy!

For our mains, the H and I were also given a sampler of all of Atelier 317’s bestsellers.  We had their famous truffle mushroom lasagna, balsamic adobo, and crispy chicken bicol express with red rice on the side.

In a word, I would have to say the food was sublime!  I loooooved it all!  The truffle mushroom lasagna was so yummy, the adobo tender and extremely flavorful, while the chicken had the crispiest skin and a sauce that was both rich yet tasty–perfect when eaten with the rice!  Considering the symphony of flavors that was on this plate, I was surprised that they all seemed to fit and to complement each other.  It goes without saying, my tummy was more than satisfied :)!

Despite the fact that we were served samplers, I thought that the serving size was just right–enough to give us a taste of what Atelier 317 had to offer.  Usually, when the H and I are on dinner date nights, we lament the fact that we are unable to try a lot of dishes on the menu because it is just impossible for us to eat everything!  Samplers are a great way to try a variety of dishes in more manageable portions :).

For dessert, again, we were served a trio of Atelier 317’s unique specialties.  We had the green tea mousse, the chocolate truffle ice cream, and the pumpkin and ginger cake.  Being the sweet tooth that I am, I truly enjoyed every bite of these decadent treats.  What a way to end the evening–definitely on a high note!

The verdict?

I think you can tell by now that date night was a smashing success!  From the ambience to the service to the food, Atelier 317 provided us a wonderful, enjoyable, special experience!  Considering the gloom brought about by the rains, and the stress of traffic and a busy work week, Atelier 317 was just the pick-me-up the H and I needed :).

Musings of a COO: “Extra” for a Day

My job definitely keeps things interesting for me :).  I can be doing something creative one day like working on a new packaging design with our artists, or I can be conducting a press conference on another day with a famous celebrity.  There are times when I’ll be handing out medicines in a medical mission, or attending board meetings for a good portion of the day.  Whatever it is I’m doing, it is always guaranteed to be productive and out of the ordinary.  In fact, there are hardly ever days that are alike!

Recently, I had the opportunity to be an “extra” in one of our commercials :). While I’ve made cameos in some of our other commercials in the past, this is the first time that my face actually has screen time, and is quite recognizable!  While I find the experience to be quite nakakaaliw, I’m also quite embarrassed about the exposure.  To be honest, I thought that only my back, or at most, my profile, would be seen.  I didn’t think that the director would be taking from another angle, and it was that other angle that made it past the cutting floor!  Hahaha!  Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to chalk it up to another one of those experiences that I can live to tell my grandkids about.  Hahaha!

Anyway, just wanted to share with you some of the photos from the TVC shoot, as well as the final product, ofcourse!

The Set

Mareng Winnie and the “extras”!

Lights, Camera, Action!

With ASCOF Brand Manager, A 🙂

The production crew

With our director, Raul Ona

These were the “real” talents! Hahaha!

And finally, the TVC!  Please click on the link below :).  That’s me in the green blouse :).  No judging on the acting, please!  Hahaha!

At the end of the day, I feel really blessed to have a challenging, at times unpredictable, but definitely very interesting job that I love–I’m really thankful for this.  But more than that, the best part is being able to contribute, to enable, to inspire and to support my colleagues in whatever way I can, and for myself, that I never run out of new things to learn, and experiences that make me a better me.

The Weekend That Was

I am honestly still hung-over from a most amazing weekend :).

The H and I were invited to an out-of-town wedding on Sunday, so we decided to make a weekend trip of it, and brought the little one along for the ride.

Before getting to the wedding destination, however, we decided to spend the day in Tagaytay.  It’s been ages since we were last there, so I was excited to soak in the cool weather, marvel at the fabulous view (it never gets old), try a new restaurant, and give A a fun-filled, enjoyable weekend.

Looks like I wasn’t the only one who was excited!

 One of the weekend’s highlights was lunch at Marcia Adams.

Tucked away in a side street not far from Residence Inn and the Tagaytay Arch, Marcia Adams is a beautiful, rustic restaurant that can easily be mistaken for a Tuscan countryside home.

While the food is simple but flavorful, it is the ambience that is, for me, the biggest draw of this place.  Big windows that overlook lush, green fields showcase the Tagaytay countryside at its best.  Having just endured a hectic and stressful week, the serene landscape and relaxing ambience was just what the doctor ordered.

Prior to the wedding, we also had time to sneak in a visit to the Animal Farm at Tagaytay Highlands.

I was amazed that they had a pretty decent selection of birds and animals.

As expected, A had a really great time!  She enjoyed petting the parrot, was captivated by the eels and big fishes, and giggled when the monkey would make faces at her.  She is definitely an animal-lover like her dada! 🙂

Finally, after all the family bonding, it was wedding time!

My colleague A, tied the knot with the love of his life K, in a beautiful, intimate and very personalized ceremony.

It made me want to get married all over again–hahaha! 🙂

I love how A was involved in all the details, designing everything from the invitations, to the banners, to the tablescape.

As you can see, he did an AMAZING job!!!

And ofcourse, it goes without saying, my team had an AMAZING time!

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  But as we drove back to Manila in the heavy downpour, plans were already being made for our next out-of-town weekend–I can’t wait for it!


I wish it was the weekend already.