December 17, 2012


Look what just got in at Centre Commercial!
Taking inspiration from both traditional British footwear and military uniforms, Centre Commercial reveals its version of the iconic Derbys and Richelieus.
Handcrafted in Brazil, Centre Commercial are the first shoes with crepe soles made from 100% Amazonian rubber. Yes, handcrafted in a family workshop using ecologically tanned leather – amazing!

December 15, 2012


Before my head explodes, here are all the news that I have been scrambling to find time to blog about. Yes, one more client project and I’m done for 2012. Thank god!

(Look who's thrilled!)

Monocle just sent me a package and I was thrilled to receive a personal note from them. I know it ain’t big of a deal for some but for someone who owns 3 years and a half worth of complete issues of Monocle, I felt like a baby with my first tooth officially peeking through. Two spread on my interview with David Celdran – fantastic! 

(This month's issue of Monocle Magazine with a feature on Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Manila)
Also, a couple of Filipino furniture designers from Cebu and mom’s birthplace, Bacolod, were featured – Monocle’s first!
(A feature on Filipino furniture designers: Kenneth Cobonpue of Cebu and the Gastons of Bacolod)

Ladurée! A box of sugar coated almond from Ladurée  is love. Enough said! Thank you Ingrid!
(Thank you so much Ingrid for this - I'll definitely die of diabetes next year! HAHAHA!)

And yes, that sweet ride (though it felt like my heart was in my throat), I still couldn’t stop myself from smiling.
In closing, It’s past 3 on a Saturday and guess what, my brain is simply swimming!

December 12, 2012


Despite all the options available, I have always been an advocate for argyle, rugby stripe, regimental, fair isle socks (only when I start freezing my ass at work) and silk dress socks for work. Yes, I love the simplicity of my dress code though it doesn’t really produce the most exciting outfit, my selection of colored and printed socks are anything but. 
(My new pair of Argyles I got for a bargain at $9 a pair at Zara)
And oh, no need to spend an arm and a leg - you can spend $9 –  12 from Zara, Massimo Dutti, UNIQLO and get a really nice pair in paisley, stripes and red, however, you can also go to Paul Smith and get a nice pair of florals for $50 - 60.  
Yes, I’m a cheapo – deal with it!

December 11, 2012


Italian actor Andrea Bosca was in town for four days and aside from stuffing ourselves with mozzarella balls the whole night, we decided to have a few glasses of red instead and a platter of cheese at the Lanai.

( Top: Alfonso Tagliaferri, Andrea Bosca and Christian Besler. Bottom: Andrea and myself.)

And oh, don’t forget the limoncello and those bottles of ice cold, lemon flavored beer.

(Andrea Bosca in this year’s Magnifica Presenza, Ferzan Ozpetek’s masterpiece that finally, after years, departs from his usual production. Not bad!)

December 05, 2012


"In Search of Italy's Dolce Vita on a '61 Vespa" - Peter Moore and no, this is not my version of Audrey Hepburn's Roman Holiday!

(Suit: Bespoke, Crisp White Shirt from Brooks Brothers, Red socks from UNIQLO and brogue lace-ups from Salvatore Ferragamo - La mia ode in Italia. Grazie Janthina Fong per la foto.)

OK, more like "Roman Holiday" minus Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert and no, I wasn't complaining. Blame it on the Mozzarella ball!

December 03, 2012


Last weekend, my sister and I finally headed down south for that much needed weekend just worshiping the sun and getting ourselves toasted in 36 degrees heat.  

(Relaxing day at the beach with these stylish and preppy swim trunks from Tommy Hilfiger)

No, we did not pack up our L.L. Bean tote but guess what, there is always our trusty J. Crew Kelly green tote and tracks from Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema Club to keep us bouncy whole weekend.

(Here's what I packed with me:  J. Crew Kelly green tote, espadrilles and my trusty straw hat from Florence)

(And yes,  here's what I wore to the beach: Purple trunks from Speedo, Espadrilles, white linen shirt, preppy nato straps and leather bracelet from Guam - a gift from my officemate)

November 21, 2012


( Basic blue oxford shirt from Brooks Brothers, NATO strap from Asprey, Selvedge, APC New Standard Jeans and my blue suede loafers)

When working overtime on a Saturday, note to self: never come to work underdressed.

November 16, 2012



Filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, Solange’s break-up single “Losing You,” is a play on sartorial irony featuring hyper-sharp sapeurs inspired by Daniele Tamagni‘s book Gentleman of Bacongo.

Dreamy just like an ad straight up from one of Japan’s famous retailer, Tomorrowland.
(Daniele Tamagni's book - Gentleman of Bacongo curated by Sir Paul Smith himself)
Still on repeat since 9AM – stop me!

Solange Knowles- Losing You from Louis Palacios on Vimeo.

November 14, 2012


My lack of posting is due to my lack of full brain function thanks to all the client and brand reports I have been busy working on. I swear, I can even hardly combine my sentences.  I have been swamped with work lately and my recent house move didn’t help at all – blame it on my freaking slipped disc.
Still looking like a zombie and a raccoon, I see myself distracted and frantic for the next few days until my parents arrive from the south and hoping I will be able to think in a straight line again and enjoy a glass or two of Cabernet Sauvignon or better, whiskey on the rocks. Make it 5 glasses, please!

Photobucket(The Voyager at night)

Just recently, John Walker & Sons Voyager arrived in Manila after docking in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei. The luxury yacht gathered Manila’s crème de la crème to experience the pinnacle of luxury craftsmanship, heritage and modern innovation, and launch the new rare triple malt, John Walker & Sons Odyssey.
Photobucket(Ingrid Chua Go and Paul Whelan)
Photobucket(Celine Lopez and Chut Cuerva)
Photobucket(Secil and Arif Esenc)
Photobucket(Amelia Ablaza, Florence Ko, Sandie Castro-Poblador)
A literal reproduction of an epic journey, the Voyager will sail through Asia Pacific and 9 key ports of call including Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and India.
Photobucket(Indy Villanon, Janthina Fong, Kenji Ong Lao, Alfonso Tagliaferri, Veronica Mendez and Myself)
Photobucket(Wig Tysmans, Liza Ilarde-Cuenca and Elbert Cuenca)
Photobucket(Dennis and Tessa Prieto Valdes)
What still amazes me, an exquisitely crafted, crystal-grade glass decanter has been created to house John Walker & Sons Odyssey. This stunning work of art is a reflection of the nautical heritage and success of the Walker business that perfectly captures the motion and romance of the sea. When gently pushed, the bottle swings elegantly to and fro and as the case is turned, rotates fluidly 360 degrees. When at rest, it will always point up, paying homage to the steadfast and progressive direction shown by Sir Alexander Walker himself.

Tipsy? Not really!
Cin cin!

November 06, 2012


Dressing well doesn't have to mean spending an arm and a leg for that perfect navy trousers paired with that handsome gray blazer - it's about combining the right shirt with the right trousers and yes, you better have a skilled tailor like I do.

The thing with guys like me, I always end up buying something of the same style in different colors from gingham to stripes. I mean, when undecided, get one of each! Haha It’s way cheaper that way and makes life waaaaaay easier. Besides, who doesn’t love a good deal?
Not that I’m cheap, I have always felt so proud and energized after emerging successfully from the negotiation waltz, coming to the realization that I really did score an incredible bargain. Trust me, it’s addicting!  

(Photos from unabashedly prep and refinery)
At Men’s Wearhouse, a men's dress apparel retailer based in the US founded by George Zimmer, everyday feels like Christmas!

such as “Buy One Get One Free (BOGO)” on suits, tuxedos, etc., “Buy One Get One 50% Off” on shoes, a
ll suits, sport coats, and outerwear, “Buy One (even on sale) and get the second for only $100, the list goes on! Unbelievable, yes?  Then start shopping!

What was the best deal you ever made?
Mind sharing?

October 31, 2012



It’s impossible to capture just how lovely the weather was last Monday on board Voyager.


And with  Manila’s skyline framing the horizon,  it was a perfect treat from last week’s stress and downpour (blame it on Typhoon Son-tinh). I mean, on and off the yacht for almost 13 hours, I really didn’t mind the humidity ( getting an afternoon tan was an added treat though).
(A literal reproduction of an epic journey, John Walker & Sons Voyager  will journey through Asia Pacific, docking at eight key ports of call, capturing the essence of a true odyssey.)

I should have worn my new pair of Sebagos but again, it wouldn't look right with my bespoke navy suit.

(And it's down! The countdown begins!)

Fast Forward 
10:00 PM: John Walker & Sons Odyssey finally launched, a unique triple malt inspired by the golden era of sea travel.
1:05 AM: Still sober after a few glasses of whiskey – a big high five to everyone for a successful and well attended evening.

October 22, 2012


Being out and about almost every week from launches to gallery openings, soirees to galas, every man should have the right outfit ready in his closet.

Unfortunately, in a country where most men think tucking ones shirt is considered dressy and formal wear means wearing your favorite pleated trousers 2 size too big paired with a boxy plaid shirt to a wedding – something really has to be done!
And oh, you don’t want to be snapped underdressed by a photographer at a gala.
I have come up with five (5) easy invitation translators for you to keep in mind in case you get one in the mail.


Black Tie. Enough said.

The alternative black tie
. Black tie with a twist – sub out your standard tuxedo jacket with a velvet smoking jacket (though not really applicable in the tropics, bonus points if it’s in deep red, dark blue or bottle green.)
Cocktail attire. A jacket, a tie, and dark trousers or even dark jeans. A nice bow can replace your tie, but everything should remain dressy.  Also best paired with a crisp white dress shirt.
Come as you are. Throw on a navy or khaki unlined blazer and if you’re the only one wearing one when you get to the party, take it off and roll up your sleeves. Can’t go wrong here.

Business casual. Dress as you would for standard day at the office unless you work for a call center, in which case, step it up a notch.

Still clueless? You can always skip the party and hit the sack at 10.
(All photos from Esquire)

October 10, 2012


You don’t have to wear purple head-to-toe and look like an anorexic Barney or desperately cling to anything trendy.

Today, it's no secret everyone is turning to street style blogs like The Sartorialist, Altamira NYC and the Face Hunter for inspiration.

It is always fun and interesting to see how styles and trends change over the years make a comeback. What felt less like a new fashion season now feels more like a contest on who spends more time in front of the mirror - trust me!

(Clothing every man should own - a crisp white dress shirt and a well-cut suit in navy! Photo from Shentonista)

A few years back, anyone wearing a plain white tee, fake ungraded thick framed glasses, would never be accused of being a trend follower but recently, such things have become shameless clichés.

Take a stroll in any of Manila’s spots from the malls to the newly converted warehouses cum indie establishments  and you will be sure to see a spectacle of fashion-conscious tweens to twenty something hanging about and sporting a number of predictable stylistic trademarks; ultra skinny jeans, spandex leggings, vintage red lumberjack flannel, fake ungraded thick framed eyeglasses and a yes, a keffiyeh ( that huge scarf initially sported by the Palestinians and field reporters) – a completely meaningless cliché fashion accessory.

No, they don’t represent the end of civilization!

Ok, so maybe ordinary denim trousers does get a bit boring sometimes, but was there ever really an excuse for wearing these excessively rinsed-out, high-waisted monstrosities? Although they were soft and comfortable that you could comfortably doze off in them, they did inevitably look as though you did your clothes shopping at the nearby thrift shop (Ukay-Ukay).
While there is the rare sighting of someone effortlessly stylish (this is Manila after all and not Hong-Kong or New York), real fashionistas don’t show up wearing “look at me” outfits – leave it to the fashion victims & wannabes.

(Here's a rare case of me posting a photo of myself - Pale blue dress shirt from Ascot Chang and Navy Blazer from Brooks Brothers.)
I know life can be difficult, but your clothes don’t have to be. Just like me, always stick to your updated basics.

This isn’t the Hamptons but who cares!

Pale, wimpsy and mumsy just like Pewee Herman; banish these words from your mind and incorporate pastel in your regular wardrobe to add insouciant splash of flavor. Think clubhouse style with a dose of Windsor dandyism and here’s the important bit: girls love a hard man in soft colors. 

(Red isn't dead - wear it loud and proud! Photo from Unabashedly Prep)

With the appropriate wardrobe, a triumphant comeback is always assured - fitted military inspired jackets in twill and corduroy, pea and toggle coats, seersucker shorts, skinny and selvage jeans and blazers in navy, khaki, black and splashes of plaid. And who are we to argue?

Basic Matter

Girls always make a point of attacking us guys for our lack of individuality, but it is our stubborn obfuscation that distinguishes us from our predecessors, while allowing ourselves to easily blend in and mutate. It is rare, if not impossible, to find an individual who proclaim himself a fashionista unless desperate for status that proclaims it.

(Roll it up! Trust me, you wont look dowdy! Photo from Shentonista)

Wear them from head to toe unless you are a rock star. Wear just one or two pieces during the day time. For big guys like me, some of the slim-line jackets can actually make you look like you have dropped a few pounds. Be careful with low-rise skinny jeans, which can accentuate a belly. You could try a narrow accessory like a belt or a shoe to update your existing outfit.
How the right clothes can shrink your gut, boost your height, build your chest, broaden your shoulders and give you a better butt. Not perfect? No big deal! Style tricks for every guy shape. Fire your trainer today! Everybody has shortcomings, but not everybody knows what to do with them. Here are tips and techniques you need to take what you have got and make it rock.
See the white, resist the dark side of denim once in a while and go towards the light. This summer, try khaki trousers as stylish basic alternative to blues. They are just as versatile, but look slightly dressier, so slip then on whatever you want to go from laid-back cool to polished-up casual.


Here is how the new silhouettes will measure up to more standard styles, and what to look for when you are slimming it - fitted proportions and fine lines. Trousers are tapered down to the ankle and hug your legs like your insane clingy ex when you walk out of the door. Shoes has gone longer, more rounded if you are in the high double-digit sizes (and please, no square-toe loafers) unless you want to end up looking like bozo the clown. For shirts, definitely a fitted torso. Anyone who has ever had to get darts put in the back of his shirt due to a slim body type is going to want to stock up on these. Appreciate the proportionate fit.

What you should have in your closet:

  • Tapered, updated, slightly shrunken and more fitted single breasted button suit in navy, black or charcoal is a no-brainer. Blazer is half to an inch shorter, body tapered ¾, lapel’s narrower and of course, tie should be slimmer. 
  • The dark-rinse, semi slim / straight cut blue jeans. When your brain is fried by all the denim options, simplify with an old-school pair that has no special treatment or rips.

  • The black pique polo from Lacoste. Never underestimate the star power of a preppy staple that is casual enough for day but stylish enough for night.

(Who said only Dorothy can wear gingham? Photo from Shentonista)

Now is your chance to take the straight-and-narrow path; everything from jeans and jackets to shirts and shoes are showing up in more slender, fitted shapes. It is a style that works especially well for – big surprise – thinner, shorter guys, but as long as the clothes are sized properly, they will flatter average, taller and carrying-a-little-extra body types, too (thank God!).

October 09, 2012


I have a few cocktail parties and gallery opening to attend starting next week and yes, my calendar is slowly getting filled up.

After packing at least two balikbayan boxes full of old clothes and shoes, I realize my closet has gone dismally inadequate. The last dress shirt I bought was three months ago --- a crisp white dress shirt from *gulps* Marks & Spencer.

(This is how I normally roll - work to cocktails)

I'm most comfortable in jeans (mostly raw), paired with a crisp white or pale dress shirt and brogues but I just can’t wear them to all the occasion I am invited to. My navy and black suits are not bad at all, and thank god they don’t make me look dumpy, dowdy---wide across the hips and lumpy in the middle.

A lot of clothes off the rack usually tend to emphasize everything I hate about my figure – thank god for my trust tailor and friends who are honest enough to tell you how much that shirt makes you look like Gumby or that pants make you look as if you have a double mangina (aka. Man vagina).

(If only Sid Mashburn  isn't 2,468.9 miles away from my side of the pond, I'd be there in a jiffy)

So, yes, I'm 30 years old, still whine about how my clothes fit and why every centimeter matter.

Should I get myself man spanks to keep my flabs from completely spilling out, and to keep my mushy abdomen in check? I guess I'll just reason through the psychological implications of this decision later.....much later.....

Hold on: Muchas Gracias José Fons Guardiola por presentarme a Antonio Rodríguez ayer por la noche. This rarely happens but yes, still kinda starstruck - Qué vergüenza!

October 04, 2012


What better way to spend the weekend across the pond than a Sunday morning swim in the Serpentine at Sunny Hyde.


No one stopped everyone from taking a dip and yes,  all 32 men battled out a freestyle swimming relay, racing  to  raise  vital awareness for endangered Asian elephants in the wild.


Supporters took advantage of the rare London glare and came to watch from vintage deck-chairs at the Lido and the grassy banks of the Serpentine.


Selected from the current collection of classic Love Brand & Co. trunks, the green trunks popped like sunshine as everyone reached the finish line.

Blame it on Mark Shand, brother of the Duchess of Cornwall and founder of Elephant Family and London designer Oliver Tomalin.


The fashion/charity project “Trunks for Trunks” is a playful collaboration between the British state-of-the-art swimwear and Britain's leading Asian elephant charity, Elephant Family, Swimming trunks in support of endangered Asian elephants.

Quintessentially English,  the morning was made complete by everyone warming up with a cup of tea  after the race.  Lovely!

October 01, 2012



And all you need is a perfect men's full dress form for that bespoke navy suit from Napoli.


As I reflect on this weekend’s plethora of head pounding hangovers, I realize that I drank almost no water. Aside from normally downing 7 cups of espresso everyday (that’s around 49 cups a week) I normally drink tons through the week while I'm at work, but I get pretty lax about it on the weekends. That Saturday, my only liquid had been a few glasses of red wine, 3 glasses of whiskey and a couple of el camino’s from the Rocket Room.

(Rocket on a typical Saturday night)

The rest of the weekend was spent giddy and giggly over someone (my lips are sealed), Jacobo’s despedida who was flying back to Madrid for good, a full brunch at the Negros Fair, a movie date with my sister and dinner with friends who I haven’t seen in ages!

This weekend was just filled with surprises
– so far the best I have had since December last year – I’m totally not complaining.

(I got mine in red, white and blue stripes)

On a brighter note, my NATO strap from Asprey (Yes, I'm hooked!) isn’t bad at all – I’ve gotten a couple of compliments from friends and strangers.