Category Archives: Design

Manila FAME in InstaGrams

If you are my friend on InstaGram, you probably noticed how I was flooding your feed with images last week of the Manila FAME expo. My apologies for that. I guess I couldn’t contain my excitement on how fabulous this year’s show was!!!  Hahaha!

But the posts I made were but a fraction of the wonderful things I saw. Here’s more!

These were but some of the baskets that we saw at the OTOP (One Town, One Project) section of the show.

More baskets! This was a collaboration with Heima. Love the colors! Pretty, and functional too!

Aren’t these baby brogues by Maco Custodio too cute!!!

One of my favorite accessories designers, Ken Samudio, fresh from his exhibit in London, showed off his new editorial pieces–hats inspired by corals in the ocean. So pretty, right? I wonder what he’ll come up with next!

Baubles from Joyce Makitalo. I sooo want her dipstick necklace and am saving up for it for this year!

Would you believe that this is both a bag and a sculpture?!? Only from the mind of super creative jewelry designer Micheline Syjuco. It’s definitely an art piece in itself!

Another fresh concept from Kenneth Cobonpue.


I must have ordered 3 new dresses from Filip+Inna!  Len Cabili is another one of my favorite designers!


Through these shows, and the various pop-up events I’ve attended, I’ve met a number of young and extremely talented designers.  Here is the Bungalow 300 display.  The creative tandem behind it is Vernice Songco and Marga Espiritu.  I just love the way they put things together!  Bravo, ladies!!!


Another artist to watch out for is Lilliana Manahan.  I just loooooove her quirky and colorful planters!!!  If I’m not mistaken, I think they took their inspiration from a buko shell!


Mats, mats, glorious mats!  These beauties hail from Basey, Samar, one of the towns hardest hit by Yolanda last year.  While they are still recuperating from the tremendous loss, the mat weaving industry is starting to get back on its feet.  I hope events like these will help their businesses to start picking up again!


Another beautiful exhibit on other Filipino weaves curated by Bungalow 300.  Everything here was so pretty, and just looking at it was so inspiring!


T’nalak Weaving.  I heard a story that one of the famous weavers sees these designs in her dreams so each of the patterns produced is really unique!


Last year, Schema was one of the hubby’s and my favorite booths.  We adored their pendant lamps and wanted to get some for our dining area.  This year they came out with these copper balls.  Oh no!  I want them too!!!  Hahaha!


Vito Selma’s Lotus table is giving his Geo table a run for its money!  Hahaha!  Did you know you can turn the base over for a different look and effect?  Genius!


While mommy was ogling the Lotus table, A set her sights on the Cara-Boo.  Don’t you just love it? 🙂


I think this Raina chair was one of the most photographed pieces in the expo.  Definitely queen-worthy!


Catalina’s booth is always visually striking!


Loved these functional yet decorative storage baskets from Hacienda Crafts!


Ok, so I totally want a distressed wooden dining table now.


Wow!  Love the effect of all these lightings clustered together 🙂


Beautiful throw pillows from Tadeco.  Loved their display too!


Such chic lighting from AZCOR! 🙂  It would definitely go well with my distressed wood dining table!  Hahaha!


A peacock chair from Obra.  I have no words… 🙂


For my future beach-slash-rest house 🙂


I wouldn’t mind lounging on these floor pillows as well.  So cool that they’re just made from jersey cloth!

So there you have it–my curated images of Manila FAME (trust me, there were too many nice ones to choose from!).  I hope they will encourage you to drop by and see the next show, which is scheduled for around October.

Not only is it a way to show your support to our local designers, and to the local traditions, but I’m sure it will be a feast for your (design) senses as well!


Bar Cart Makeover

Because of its accessible location, my home has become entertaining central lately.

Especially on Friday nights, my cousins who work close by love dropping by our place to have a drink or two, while waiting for the crazy traffic to subside.

Our wine and cheese, or sometimes chips and scotch nights have definitely awakened the inner hostess in me.  Hahaha!  It’s made me want to invest in nicer cheeseboards and knives, prettier chip bowls, and a nice bar cart to hold all our glasses, drinks and other cocktail stuff.

Even though I’m not really much of a drinker, and the hubby usually just drinks scotch, wine or beer, I think a bar cart would be such a chic way to display our beverages, especially when we have guests over :).  Don’t you think so, too? 🙂

Good thing that my mom’s bodega is really such a treasure trove of vintage things!  So much of my own furniture right now are actually cast-offs from my mom!  Hahaha!  And during one weekend trip home, I happened to spy what seemed to be a sad looking bar cart partially hidden underneath a pile of mahjong cases.  Upon closer inspection, I was quite excited to confirm that it was!!!  After getting my mom’s permission to take the bar cart home, the hubby and I loaded it onto our trunk, and drove away as happy owners of a truly awesome find!

Here is what the bar cart looked like.  It was a boring black color, and you could tell that the metal frame was already rusty, and had just been painted over.  The mirrored glass at the bottom level of the bar cart was also cracked and icky.  The wheels were stuck, and could not be rolled. Slide1

After consulting Pinterest and other blogs online, here are the pegs that I used as inspiration for my refurbished bar cart : oncedailychicblogspot

Image from


Image from


Image from


Image from


Image from

We hired someone to execute this project for us because as you can tell, there was a lot to be done to get it even close to Pinterest-worthy.  Hahaha!  The paint had to be stripped, the rust had to be removed, the metal smoothened (if that’s even possible) and coated with fresh paint.  While I initially wanted to do it on my own and claim all the makeover glory, I felt it would be more practical to leave this job to the experts.

And I’m glad I did.

This is what the bar cart looks like today.  Don’t you think it looks worlds away from what it used to look like? And while the styling and accessorizing are still a work-in-progress, I am already quite happy with how this little makeover turned out :).



Ain’t she a beauty? 🙂

As in the photo pegs, I plan to decorate that navy wall too, to add even more drama to this little corner :).

I would definitely call this makeover a success, don’t you agree? 🙂  Wine-and-cheese-slash-chips-and-scotch nights just got a little bit more exciting :).

Work-in-Progress Washi Wall

Our office just underwent a major renovation.  Aside from breaking down walls and re-assigning rooms, our entire space was re-laid out to maximize the total floor area of the office.

It was a pretty humongous undertaking, but I have to admit I am loving our new headquarters! 🙂  It’s definitely roomier, brighter, and more conducive to collaboration :).  Plus, it was nice to start the year in new digs! I can tell that our employees are both excited and motivated :).

A new office also meant a new room location for me :).  When I first moved in, the white walls were definitely screaming, “decorate me!!!”.  Hahaha!  You know what that means…project time!!!  Hahaha!  And for my first project, here is my Washi Wall!!!


Since I didn’t want to drill any holes into my wall, I decided to “frame” my daughter’s artwork, as well as other interesting images with washi tape.  I am loving the work-in-progress so far! 🙂

What do you guys think?

I’m actually in no rush to fill in the space as I’m sure it will get filled with inspiring images in time.  For now, it’s my personal little happy corner in the office :).

Gift Wrapping Idea # 2 : Pompoms and Polkadots


Over the weekend, I had to wrap a birthday present for one of A’s classmates.  As I was feeling extra crafty, I decided to start with a blank slate–kraft paper–and build from there.

Using left-over hole punches, I first stuck neon orange circles onto the kraft paper.  I love the look of bright orange against neutral brown.  It really stands out!

Then instead of ribbon, I used two shades of blue yarn which I wrapped several times around the gift.  I topped this off with several sizes and colors of pompoms. I thought it made the present look really festive and fun! 🙂

For the gift tag, I used a manila tag, and used my stamps to create the greeting. To personalize it a bit, I let the little one sign the card :).

So there you have it, an easy, festive, and crafty gift wrapping idea!  It took just a couple of minutes to actually put this together, and I had so much fun doing it too! 🙂

In Terrarium News…

So I recently “refreshed” our terrarium with new succulents.


I decided to go for the non-thorny variety since I was kinda getting traumatized by all the pricking everytime I’d have to transplant new cacti.

To make the arrangement a bit more fun and interesting, I also added the little one’s baby dinosaurs.  We got them from a birthday party loot bag some time ago.  I love that they’ve found a new home :).

When she saw her dinosaurs inside the terrarium, the little girl whispered to me, “Mom, they’re kissing!”

(Face Palm)

Gift Wrapping Idea # 1

Among all my recent creative pursuits, gift wrapping is the one that I’ve been enjoying the most :).  I’ve loved exploring with different kinds of paper, ribbon, embellishments and styles.  It is such an inspired process that allows me to experiment, to innovate, to personalize, and ofcourse, to prettify :).  And the results are almost always gratifying :).

My friends keep on telling me that I should start doing gift wrapping for a living, but I fear that doing so would put me under tremendous pressure, so much so that I may lose my love for it altogether.  Hahaha! 🙂

So instead, I’ve decided to share some of my ideas here on my blog :).  Hopefully you will find some inspiration from them, and may even be encouraged to do some gift wrapping of your own! 🙂


For my first Gift Wrapping Idea, I’ve decided to share what I did for my dad’s present.

It’s really very simple.

I started out by choosing a navy blue wrapping paper with white design.  To add a bit of visual interest, I paired it with a thick, plaid grosgrain ribbon in yellow and black, to contrast the “daintiness” of the wrapper. I finished it off with a diy gift tag, that the little one and I collaborated on.  I did the calligraphy, while she stuck the pompoms and the sequins.  And boy did she have fun doing it! 🙂

The result is a cheerful and festive looking package!  I love that it has so much personality, and was so easy to put together!  🙂

So I hope you liked my first gift wrapping idea entry.  Expect more to come!

Happy Sunday, folks! 🙂




These past 3 weeks, both my Instagram and FaceBook feeds have been flooded with stories chronicling the various relief efforts that people have initiated to raise funds or to provide goods and support to the Yolanda victims.

I continue to be pleasantly amazed that there hasn’t been a shortage of generosity for our Visayan kababayans since Day 1. People just keep on giving and giving! 🙂 Even the international community has been extremely charitable and supportive of our country. The image of a US aircraft carrier navigating our seas, bringing with it soldiers, supplies, helicopters and planes, will forever be etched in my mind.

If you, like me, are looking for more ways to personally contribute to this world-wide effort, please consider supporting Shop.Share.Care. It is a fund-raising online sale by the top Filipino accessories designers to benefit Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

The brainchild of Ken Samudio (one of my favorite designers), other featured designers in the sale include Vida Lim, Ann Ong, Lally Dizon, Joyce Makitalo, Amina Aranaz, Miadore, Dennis Lustico, Anne Marie Saguil, Eric Manansala, Adante Leyesa, and many more! What powerhouses, right? And this is the perfect opportunity to own one of their pieces because the proceeds will go to a wonderful cause!

Sale begins on Wednesday, November 27, at 6pm. For more details, visit their website,

Foodie Friday : Pi Breakfast and Pies

As I was looking through my iPhotos, I realized I hadn’t posted pictures of my lunch out with K at Breakfast and Pies.  It’s the newest restaurant from the Pino Group, and is in fact located right next to their restaurant on Malingap Street in Teachers Village, Quezon City.

Because it was a Payday Friday, my colleague K and I took advantage of our newly replenished bank accounts to have lunch out.  We’re also quite sawa of the selection of restaurants in our building complex so venturing out of our neighborhood and trying something new was also a welcome break :).

When we got to the restaurant, I immediately had the feeling that I was going to enjoy my experience there.  Why?  Maybe it had to do with my first impressions of both the exterior and interiors of the restaurant.  For some strange reason, I can never trust a restaurant that makes use of an “ugly” font for its signage. Weird, right?  Hahaha!  But knowing that super creative Alessa Lanot of Life After Breakfast was part of the team behind Pi Breakfast and Pies, gave me a lot of comfort that I wouldn’t have to worry about typefaces or graphics or ambience at all.  In fact, despite the cramped space, I loved the simple, industrial and homey design of Breakfast and Pies.  It actually reminded me of a New York neighborhood bakery :).


This “chandelier” was my favorite feature.  I thought it looked so cool!  They kind of reminded me of baking whisks :).


The white brick walls also added to the chic “New York” feel.  Haha!  I love this look so much, I’ve actually been contemplating painting our brick wall at home white too!


Ofcourse the baskets of bread that were on display made my mouth water!


I also loved the choice of cutlery, and the wooden “plates” that the food was served in.  It’s small details like these that give a restaurant a good impression in my book :).

On to the food :

Both K and I decided to have the Beef Sirloin Tapa.


When it arrived at our table, I was pleased to see a good sized serving of beef strips, sitting on a mound of orange-colored, kimchi-flavored rice.  Yum!!!  And the egg, which was a 6-minute soft-boiled egg, looked like it was cooked to the right doneness.

The first thing I did was to pierce the egg, and to watch as its golden yolk slowly rolled out, and covered the beef with its silky goodness.  Nothing like delaying gratification just a bit more, to make sure my dish had equal parts of egg, beef and rice.  Hahaha!

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant at first to order this particular menu item because of the kimchi rice.  I’m not such a fan, not just of the taste, but also of the spiciness.  Surprisingly, however, the combination worked and was actually very good!  The tapa was soft and nicely flavored, and the rice had just a subtle tinge of the kimchi taste.  And it wasn’t spicy at all!  I probably would have wiped everything off of my plate, if the rice just wasn’t so sticky.  Eventually, after a couple of bites, I could already feel it sitting like a lump in my tummy :). Hahaha! But that’s a good thing :).

On to the dessert!

It was actually very difficult to choose from the selection of pies that were there. Initially, K and I were going to try the Crack Pie, but because we had already indulged ourselves with the Beef Tapa, I thought we’d try to balance it off with a “healthier”, lighter dessert.  So instead, we went for the “fruitier” alternative, the Banana Cream Pie.


*Sigh*  It definitely did not disappoint.  In fact, it was yummy, creamy, crunchy, and the taste of sweet bananas was present in every bite.  It’s a good thing K and I decided to share a slice.  Contrary to what  I was originally expecting, this was actually a rich, filling, but thoroughly satisfying dessert :).

The verdict?

K and I definitely enjoyed Pi Breakfast and Pies!  We are so excited that there is another wonderful new restaurant that is close enough to the office for us to visit from time to time.  There are also so many wonderful items on their menu that I can’t wait to try!  Looking forward to the next Payday Friday lunch out! 🙂


Pi Breakfast and Pies is located at 39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.  It is open daily from 7AM-10PM.

The Best One Yet!

Ever since my first ManilaFAME experience, I’ve been hooked!  Imagine an event showcasing two floors of the best locally made furniture, home accessories, bags, jewelry and fashion–gosh, this is what heaven looks like for a girl like me! Hahaha!  So I’ve made it a point to troop down to SMX for every show since, for a little dose of happy and inspiration :).

And even after 3 expos, the giddiness I feel every time I visit has not died down one single bit.  In fact, after the recent show held last Oct 17-20–their best one yet–I’m still on a high and totally inspired by everything I saw!

As expected, the furniture and home furnishings were truly extraordinary!  No wonder our local artisans are considered to be design trendsetters, and have truly sparked global interest in and demand for our products :).





While I think there were less participants this time around compared to last March, the booths and the products were definitely nothing short of spectacular! Here were some of my personal favorites… 🙂


Ito Kish

Don’t you just love the wall treatment?  And those Busilak Jars are LOVE :).


Kenneth Cobonpue

I have nothing else to say but his booth was impressive as always :).  This shot was my paparazzi moment.  Hahaha!  Was hoping to meet him but this interview took a while :(.


Balay ni Atong

Those lamps made from pieces of inabel cloth and wire were TDF!!! I also fell in love with a woven blanket, but it was a bit out of my budget :(.



Those colorful stools/side tables made me drool!!!  I want one badly!!!


Schema by Kalikasan Crafts

The pendant lamps are a project for our dining room next year!  Excited!


Vito Selma

*Sigh* His Geo coffee table has been on my wish list for like forever!!!



I always love their booth display, and this time was no exception 🙂



Aren’t those light installations gorge? 🙂



They won the Katha Award for Best Booth Design :).


Triboa Bay

Another favorite of mine.  Their pieces are so well designed, yet very functional!  Their trestle table is another one on my wish list!

This time around, there was also a special showcase called The Red Box, featuring the work of the rising stars of local design.  These designers are part of a developmental program “aimed at harnessing Filipino creativity with the use of sustainable raw materials to produce design-forward products for the world.”


Loved these tables and the lighting by Leah Sanchez.  Incidentally, aside from being an architect by profession, Leah is also one half of the duo behind Resurrection and Found Objects Gallery :).


It was so nice to see the work of my favorite ladies from Bungalow 3oo on display during the show!  Bravo!

Even the Manila Wear section, now on its second year, had such a strong showing from its participant artists.  I noticed a lot of fashion designers combining regional craftsmanship with their own unique aesthetic and style, setting the stage for next year’s trends and must-haves :).

It truly makes me happy to see the Philippine aesthetic finally having its time in the spotlight :).  I’ve always been a fan of native arts and crafts, and it is quite wonderful that many designers have started incorporating not just local materials into their products, but traditional elements into their designs as well. Coupled with a modern twist or interpretation, the results are exquisite artisanal items that are really something to be proud of! 🙂

Here is a small sampling of my favorite brands at Manila Wear…




These bags are not just so “now”, but I love the use of the traditional fabric!  It was so nice to meet the designer and owner of the brand, who truly impressed me with her style and go-getter attitude :).




Such beautifully crafted accessories from last year and this year’s Katha Award winner, Ann Ong.  I’m not sure if I could wear the grasshopper on wood neckpiece, but I was definitely wowed by the intricacy of the design :).


It was so wonderful to bump into Dennis Lustico!  I am a longtime fan of his dress designs, and it is so nice to see how he has branched out into accessories–specifically, bags!  Aren’t they bee-yoo-ti-full? 🙂  I super loved that yellow “bayong” he is standing next to with the acrylic handles, as well as the blue beaded clutch at the bottom of the picture.  Ang ganda!!!!


I also finally got to meet accessory designer, Ken Samudio, and had a fan-girl moment!  Hahaha!  To say I love his stuff is an understatement.  More about it in my next blog post! 🙂



Another uber wonderful and cool accessory designer is Adante Leyesa.  Not only does he have talent by the bucket-loads, but he’s super humble too!  I just love his statement neckpieces and clutch bags!  They are definitely showstoppers!!!



I think my most favorite accessory designer of all time has to be Joyce Makitalo, though.  Actually, between my mom and I, we have 5 of her gorgeous necklaces!!!  I can’t wait to see her new collection which is coming out very soon!  I am so sure it will be amazing!


These barong dresses by Amarie first caught my eye at the MaARTe bazaar.  I would love to own one of these someday too :).


Filip + Inna’s booth, and the various pieces they had on display totally took my breath away!  Not only did I love the colors, but the embroidery designs were so exquisite!  Hard to believe these are traditional designs from the tribes in Lake Sebu–they look so modern and contemporary!  Again, more on this in another blog post :).

To be honest, I could go on and on about the amazing things I saw during ManilaFAME, but it would be even better if you guys had a chance to see the expo for yourself (watch out for it in March 2014!!!)!  These pictures are but a fraction of all there is to see!  As it was, I actually didn’t have much time to go through the entire show :(, so I had to breeze past other sections such as the OTOP (One Town, One Project), which features products from various regions all over the Philippines.

Don’t you agree, though, that Filipinos are soooo talented and creative? 🙂 Coming to a show like this will truly make you feel proud of our culture and heritage!  I’m sure it won’t be long before the world starts appreciating it as well :).

I. Can’t. Wait!


4 days and counting–I am so excited!

If you’ve read my previous posts on Manila FAME, you’ll know that this bi-annual event is something I always anticipate :).

Not only are the talents of Filipino craftsmen and artisans so proudly on display, but it’s a wonderful venue to be inspired and awed by all things locally made :).

And the best part?  I actually always end up with some pretty good stuff on the last day of the show, when purveyors put their wares up for sale :)!

Here are some photos of the last Manila FAME held in March.  I only posted a few of the ones I took, just for you guys to have an idea of what to expect this weekend…


Kenneth Cobonpue’s furniture is always a crowd pleaser!


*Sigh*  I’ve been lusting after this Vito Selma coffee table for ages!!!  One day, you will be mine!!!


Awesome pieces by Daniel Latorre Cruz!  Makes me want to have a garden just so that I can put them on display.  Hahaha!


These throw pillows by Inigo Elizalde are LOVE.


I wanted everything in Ito Kish’s booth!  What a creative genius he is!


Van Gogh is Bipolar’s booth was crazy beautiful!


My favorite jewelry maker, Joyce Makitalo, never disappoints!  Aren’t her pieces breathtakingly amazing?!?  Can I have one of everything, please?  Hahaha!


And last but not the least, my friend Lally Dizon’s luxe croc and python skin bag collection, with its yummy colors, were also on display during the show!  So proud!

These pictures are just a fraction of what one can expect to see during ManilaFAME.  Now you know why I’m so excited!  Hahaha!

If you guys aren’t doing anything this weekend, make your way to SMX Convention Center at MOA.  The show is open to the public on the last day, Sunday, October 20th.

See you there!