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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chill Holiday Chic

Who: My youngest aunt Trixie (who's practically just like an older sister to me!) fresh from London at our annual Christmas reunion
The Look: She donned a posh and laid-back pairing of blacks and whites, with a lacy tank top, a flowy cover-up, shorts, and printed floral peep-toe heels following the classic color palette. Too bad I didn't get to take a photo of the sheer lace details at the back of her cover-up, but I love how it matched her tank top and shoes! She kept accessories at a minimum, with a black elephant pendant as centerpiece. 

Easy sophistication is always in season!

NOTE: All City Streets photos are posted with permission from the subjects

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, December 19, 2011

Help Victims of Tropical Storm Sendong

Tropical Storm Sendong (international name: Washi) brought 12 straight hours of devastating rains Friday night, causing flash floods and landslides that left Mindanao, Philippines with over 700 dead, hundreds more missing, and over 35,000 people displaced from their homes, according to the latest reports from the Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Among the most affected areas are Cagayan De Oro, Iligan City, Bukidnon, Negros Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Zamboanga del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

In addition to offering our prayers, there are more ways to help. You may coordinate with the following for your donations:

1.      Philippine Red Cross

The Philippine Red Cross is appealing for immediate cash assistance to support its relief and recovery efforts. Get instructions for online donations and other ways to donate from the PRC website.

2.      Smart Communications, Inc.

Smart subscribers can send monetary donations to the Philippine Red Cross through text. To donate, text RED (amount) to 4143. Valid donation amounts for Smart are 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000. These will be charged to the subscriber’s prepaid load or postpaid bill.

Smart Money users can also transfer funds using their mobile phones to the official Baha Fund account. Log on to the Smart Communications, Inc. Facebook page for the account number and more details.

3.      Globe Telecom

Globe subscribers can also send donations via SMS. Text RED (amount) to 2899. Valid donation amounts for Globe are 5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 pesos.

Donations can also be sent via GCASH. Check out the Globe Telecom Facebook page for more information.

4.      GMA Kapuso Foundation

Support Operation Bayanihan: Relief Operation for Victims of Flashfloods in Mindanao.

According to GMA, following rescue operations of the government, relief goods from Manila, Cebu and Davao are being transported to Cagayan de Oro and other affected areas. Donations in kind such as bottled water, rice, instant noodles, clothes and medicines can be delivered directly to the GMA Kapuso Foundation repacking site: Capitol University Gym, Corrales Extension, Cagayan de Oro City. Contact Armi Sobremisana at 088-8577933 or 0919-5749835.

Cash and material donations can also be dropped off at the GMA Kapuso Foundation, 2nd Floor, Kapuso Center, GMA 7, EDSA Diliman, Quezon City. You may also call their hotline numbers (02) 928-4299 or (02) 928-9351.

Cash donations can be deposited to Metrobank, UCPB and Cebuana Lhuiller branches as well. Log on to the Unang Hirit Facebook page for the account numbers and more details.

      5.      TV5 Kapatid Foundation

Send donations in kind such as food, clothing, utensils, water containers, blankets, mats and medicines to the News5 Aksyon Center, TV5 Office, San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. For inquiries, call the News5 Aksyon Center hotline, (02) 938-6393. For cash donations, log on to the InterAksyon website for the BDO and BPI bank account numbers.

6.   ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

Sagip Kapamilya also welcomes donations in cash and in kind. 

You may send food items like rice, noodles, canned goods, biscuits, coffee and sugar, as well as clothes, blankets, mats and medicines to Sagip Kapamilya, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc., Mother Ignacia cor. Eugenio Lopez St., Diliman, Quezon City.

For instructions on how to send cash donations, log on to the ANC 24/7 Facebook page.

7.      Gawad Kalinga

Gawad Kalinga has launched Operation Walang Iwanan Mindanao. For donations in kind, GK is preparing food packs. Each food pack contains the following:

·        Three kilos of rice
·        Four cans of sardines
·        Five packs of noodles
·        Coffee
·        Sugar

To find out where to send cash and food donations, log on to the Gawad Kalinga website

Donating slippers and other kinds of basic footwear would be good, too, as I read on Twitter that many of the people displaced are barefoot. They also need bath and laundry soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine napkins.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Guide 2011

I've been really busy the past few weeks, and I can't believe there's barely a week left till Christmas! I already spent my entire Saturday hunting for the perfect gifts for my loved ones but I'm not even done yet. While hopping from one mall to the next, however, I was able to come up with a list of gift ideas that I hope can help my fellow last-minute shoppers.

photo credit: MUJI Philippines

Pretty much everything you'll ever need is available at MUJI. Find clothes, bags, shoes, furniture, home decor, food, and all sorts of supplies for school, the home, or the workplace. MUJI's products are perfect for family and friends who like classic, minimalist designs.

 photo credit: QUIRKS Philippines

For those who like fun, extraordinary things, QUIRKS offers a variety of useful kooky knickknacks like (cassette!) tape dispensers, undercover tablet sleeves and mighty wallets. 

 photo credit: and

Your glam girlfriends might like accessories that would add sparkle to their holiday outfits! Forever21 and stalls at the Greenhills Shopping Center like Girl Shoppe have a wide variety of rings, earrings, necklaces and bangles that can rival those of Gossip Girl's Rhodes ladies. Girl Shoppe also has pretty silk turbans (like Carrie Bradshaw's in SATC2) and hair accessories such as fascinators and clips.

photo credit: adidas Philippines

Gifts with a touch of Filipino flavor are great for balikbayan buddies and relatives. Get them neat Pinoy presents like jackets and tees in the Philippine flag's trademark colors from the adidas Philippine Range collection.

photo credit:

The grammar police would be in for a hilarious treat with this series illustrated by Elbert Or. Just found out that Tahanan Books has released I Am Herewith Enclose, the sequel to The More the Manyer! and Without Further Adieu. They're available at National Bookstore, but I also spotted a few copies at the ECHOStore, Serendra Piazza.

photo credit:

Chocolate lovers would enjoy Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates. My personal favorite is the Labuyo, a dark chocolate bar with siling labuyo (chili)! Other unusual bars are GingerCalamansi, and Green Mango & Salt, but there are also traditional ones like Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Barako. Check out the Theo & Philo website and Facebook page for information about their holiday gift packages.

I highly advise shopping alone and taking the MRT or the LRT if possible, instead of driving or taking a cab/jeepney. Traffic is crazy, and taxi lines are loooong, people.

Good luck and happy shopping!

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rice and Shine!

A mainstay in local cuisine, rice is something many Filipinos claim they couldn't live without. Here are some yummy variations of the Pinoy staple.

photo credit: Joseph Interior

Harvest Rice
Casa Verde, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu
Don't judge Casa Verde's Harvest Rice by its simple appearance. It may seem like your average fried rice, but once you take a bite, you'll find out why this flavorful side dish makes the perfect companion for the restaurant's famous baked pork ribs. The Harvest Rice pleases the palette without upstaging the main course.

Yang Chow Fried Rice
North Park, TriNoma Mall, Quezon City
I've tried different restaurants' takes on Yang Chow, but North Park's version is by far one of my favorites. More expensive Chinese restos may similarly offer generous amounts of veggies, pork, scrambled egg, and shrimps, but what usually puts me off is the excess oiliness. This, however, is just right. One serving is good for two.

Saffron Rice
Shomal Kebabs and Curries by Hossein, TriNoma Mall, Quezon City
Another blogger, Rochelle Sy Chua, said she could have this without anything else and still be satisfied, and I completely agree! The combination of the saffron and the rice with hints of butter was delicious. Plus, the long grain rice was delightfully fluffy, with a firm but chewy texture. I wish I could have this with every meal!

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mad for Mad Mark's

Last weekend, I had the best sandwich experience ever. I was never a big fan of sandwiches until I discovered Mad Mark's Man Sandwich and Frozen Desserts.

I had no idea what I was in for. Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately fell in love with its minimalist charm and warm, friendly atmosphere. My attention was redirected to the big, bold letters behind the counter, and despite the small menu, I found it difficult to choose. There were the Man Sandwiches that looked divine on the tables I passed, but I was dying to try the sumptuous-looking Zing Wings and fries as well. It was also tempting to have the dessert come first, with all the homemade ice cream flavors calling out to my sweet tooth.

photo credit: Joseph Interior

Good thing I was dining with friends. We all got to try the Lumberjack (without cheese for me), which is packed with certified Angus beef, mushrooms and caramelized onions, and the Mariner, a freshwater fish fillet with Mad Mark's house mariner sauce.

photo credit: Joseph Interior

Both tasted fresh and delicious from the crisp buttered Italian bread to the flavorful fillings. Each sandwich was a juicy, mouthwatering mouthful. (Yes, they're yummy and the servings are huge!) The difference between the two is that the Mariner is a little lighter, but still very tasty, while the Lumberjack is heavier, which is great for bigger appetites and meat lovers.

While I managed to avoid any allergic reaction from the sandwiches, I wasn't able to have much of the Herb Parmesan Fries, which my friends were crazy about. I had a taste after brushing off the cheese, and it was really, really good. They say I won't be able to tell exactly how good it is without Parmesan, though, so you better just see for yourself!

Didn't get to take a photo of the Zing Wings, which I liked because they had a nice, hot kick that was not too overwhelming. The Raspberry Cold Tea was also a delight. It went well with everything we ordered.

We were already full so we waited a few minutes before ordering some ice cream. After trying the Javan Hot Chocolate, Salted Sumatra, Madagascar Vanilla Bean and Half Baked Madagascar, I was glad we didn't skip dessert. What's great about their homemade frozen concoctions is that they're made without scrimping on ingredients. The first two are my personal favorites.

I'm definitely coming back for more! Mad Mark's Man Sandwich and Frozen Desserts is open daily at 23 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Check out its Facebook page for more information.

The CityLifeStylist

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Country Club Khaki

photo credit: and

I've been waiting for Orly's Country Club Khaki to get back in stock for months! At first I thought the grayish beige (greige!) shade would look dull on my nails, but it actually exudes a more sophisticated, but understated, feel. Plus, it goes perfectly with my entire wardrobe.

Pick up a bottle at Landmark Trinoma before stocks disappear again!

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Style Note No. 10

(Beige and blue dresses, pussy bow blouse, and cocktail ring,; red skirt,; clutches, necklace and earrings,

The holidays are fast approaching and it's easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy while hunting for great new pieces for the season. These days, however, practicality is key. You can look good without breaking the bank for, say, a dress that's so trendy and memorable that you wouldn't feel like wearing it again. Why not use timeless pieces--old or new--as a canvas, and "paint" them with a few bold or sparkly accessories, or maybe a trendy piece or two? That way, it would be a lot easier to incorporate your holiday pieces into your 2012 wardrobe!

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Carnivores with a Sweet Tooth

Sampled some steaks and cool treats on my most recent trip to Mercato Centrale. My friends, boyfriend and I were surprised we actually managed to control ourselves this time--our table wasn't so full anymore, but we definitely were after all the meat and the sweets!


"Home cooked food, cooked good," read the sign. But it wasn't the tagline that got to us. These did:

The USDA Angus Beef Belly Roast...

...with the Wickedly Good Mashed Potatoes. Honestly, the latter should've been named "Wickedly Excellent"!

The sign was right. It tasted like a good home-cooked meal. The meat was very tender, though it could be more flavorful, while the smooth and buttery mashed potatoes sent us to carb heaven.

Steaks on Stick
Steaks really seemed to appeal to us that afternoon. We tried the Steaksilog and a couple sticks of Wagyu sans the rice.

I think a sauce with a spicier or tangier kick would complement the steaks even better. Fans of good ol' mushroom sauce, on the other hand, would enjoy the Pepper Mushroom Sauce. If you're looking for a heavy, tasty breakfast, the Steaksilog would definitely hit the spot.

Sebastian's Ice Cream
My friends were raving so much about the cheese ice cream with walnuts and honey (above), so even if I'm allergic to it, I can tell you that it's a must-try, along with Sebastian's Dive Bars!

The Snack Attack, my pick, was the best in my opinion. It's like salted caramel ice cream with a lot of crunch. With buttery ice cream dipped in caramel and rolled in chocolate-covered potato chips, peanut butter-covered pretzels, and honey-roasted peanuts, what more could you ask for?

I love dark chocolate and crisp butter toffee, so I thought the Butter Toffee Crunch was good, too.

The Naked Mango tasted like a frozen, perfectly ripe mango! It's quite creamy and has just the right amount of sweetness even if it's dairy-free and fat-free.

I can't wait to try the rest of Sebastian's Dive Bars. The desserts were definitely the cherry on top of this great meal. Click here to learn more about them!

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ice Princess

Who: My cousin, figure skating champ Chloe, who was pretty as ever at our uncle's wedding
The Look: She rocked a babydoll cocktail dress in black silk and chiffon with pink details, which she paired with kitten heels and a matching purse in muted silver.

Chloe looked sweet, fresh and ladylike in her ensemble, which was complemented perfectly by her half beehive 'do--a hairstyle that's sleek and classic but fun and youthful at the same time.

photo credit: Teen Vogue

She reminded me so much of Elle Fanning, as well as Anne Hathaway's look in a Teen Vogue feature in 2004 (above).

Très chic!

NOTE: All City Streets photos are posted with permission from the subjects

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Style Note No. 9

(Lauren Conrad photos, and; red cardigan,; animal print cardigan,; navy blue and beige cardigans,

Take the cue from Lauren Conrad and transform your cardigans from mere coverups to tops by simply buttoning them up!

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tagaytay Food Trip

Last weekend, my boyfriend took me to Tagaytay for my pre-birthday celebration. I came prepared--I took note of the addresses of all the restaurants I wanted to try, and a few that I was excited to revisit. It made deciding where to eat a lot easier. Here's the rub on the grub!

1. Manos Greek Taverna
Calamba Road, Olivarez, San Jose, Tagaytay City
It was my first time to have so much carbs in one sitting. Think pita, fries and rice!

Our favorite part of the meal was the appetizer--pita bread with Tzatziki, a yogurt dip with cucumber and onions. It was creamy and perfectly tangy, and the combination of cucumbers and onions tasted fresh and lively.

One of our main courses was the Grilled Souvlaki, sticks of skewered pork with fries, rice, calamansi and grilled tomatoes, which was okay. The meat was a little tough, and it wasn't very flavorful. The sides made it better, though, especially the juicy tomatoes. We also had the Beftekia Scaras, grilled beef patties served with fries, rice, calamansi and a small serving of corn, carrots and peas. We liked this dish because the patties were soft, thick and tasty. The crispy homemade fries were really good, too.

2. Buon Giorno
The Cliffhouse, General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
The Cliffhouse looks beautiful and romantic especially at night! There are other restos in the area that we wanted to try, but we were craving for pasta so we picked Buon Giorno. (Yep--more carbs for dinner!)

We had one of my fave pasta dishes, Penne All'Arrabiata, which had bacon bits and spicy tomato sauce. It was excellent, but we thought it needed a bit more Tabasco. Good thing a bottle was readily available. As for the Risotto con Vedure Del Mediterraneo, we were more than satisfied. The creamy risotto with a generous mix of oven-roasted vegetables was divine.

At first, the servings seemed small, but we were already full halfway through the meal! We skipped dessert and had a couple pots of Tarragon Tea instead. The tea was deliciously soothing.

3. Diner's Bulalohan
Mendez, Tagaytay
A trip to Tagaytay would not be complete without a bowl of bulalo (beef shank soup). This restaurant is very popular for its version, and rightly so.

Out of the four bulalo places I've tried in Tagaytay, Diner's Bulalohan has, by far, the tastiest. The meat was very tender and the soup wasn't too oily. I think it could still get better with corn and string beans in addition to the cabbage slices, though.

I feel like I gained several pounds overnight--and we've only ticked off about one fourth of my list! I'm already looking forward to our next food trip in the chilly city.

The CityLifeStylist