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Monday, April 23, 2012


I decided against purchasing a tie-front bandeau and a cropped corset that I spotted at Forever21 the other day because I didn't know where else they could be worn aside from the beach! Turns out I haven't been paying close attention to Spring 2012 style reports. How could I forget about these babies from the runways of Dolce & Gabbana (top two rows) and Prada (bottom row)?

 photo credit:

The fashion world's obsession for dessous-dessus, or innerwear as outerwear, resurfaces, which is quite perfect for the nearly intolerable heat in Manila! Make bandeaus and cropped corsets more wearable by pairing them with sheer tops, ladylike structured cover-ups, and high waist bottoms. The look can be kept dainty and polished with natural makeup and a sleek 'do.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What to Eat in Tuguegarao: Pancit Batil-Patong, Patupat and Teaño Alcala Milk Candy

It has been over a month since my last entry about food finds (surprising, I know!) so I'm going through my backlog for The CityLifeStylist Eats

I was flown to Tuguegarao in January to conduct interviews with the local officials of Abulug and Allacapan, two waterless municipalities (municipalities with less than 50 percent water service coverage), about their water conditions and service management. Aside from these, we also talked about what they loved to eat: pancit!

There is practically one "panciteria" in every corner, and each has its own version of Pancit Batil-Patongthe best pancit I've had so far! The locals' favorite pancit places varied, but what I liked best was J-Ren's Panciteria, a recommendation from a colleague.

The Pancit Batil-Patong is freshly made pansit miki of Tuguegarao topped with pork (some may have beef or carabao meat), crushed chicharon, egg and baguio beans. It comes with two side dishes--a small bowl of pork broth as well as a vinegar and soy sauce dip with lots of chopped onions, calamansi and chili peppers. Can you imagine how sinfully flavorful it is? 

Plus, one serving is big enough for a hungry twosome, but the locals insist it's good for one! Even the little boy in the other table had a bowl all to himself. And I thought I had a big appetite.

My sweet tooth was also satisfied during the trip thanks to a bagful of Patupat, bite-sized kakanin made with sticky rice, sugarcane juice and coconut milk, which was ordered for us from Ballesteros, Cagayan. I'm not a big fan of kakanin because I usually find them either bland or too saccharine, but these were actually very tasty with just the right amount of sugar and gata. Mmm.

Another delightful sweet treat I discovered in Tuguegarao is Teaño Alcala Milk Candy. It's a special kind of pastillas made with fresh carabao milk that is incredibly addictive. I didn't get to take photos of the actual product but make a quick Google image search and you'll find several, like this photo from BlauEarth. While I was able to purchase most of what I brought home from Alcala, packs are also sold at the airport and--gasp!--in Metro Manila. Yup, they are actually available at 18 Lions Road, Mandaluyong City.

These are definitely some of the must-try eats when you find yourself in Tuguegarao (and hey, the Mandaluyong area!)

The CityLifeStylist

Friday, April 20, 2012

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012: Pam Quiñones

MEGA's Most Stylish 2012 would not be complete without Pam Quiñones, top Filipina stylist and one of the chicest ladies you will ever meet. I immediately recognized her when she stepped out of her ride, rocking tousled hair, a white oxford shirt and leather skinnies. I thought, man, this lady is fierce! 

Pam seemed to be as comfortable in front of the camera as she is working behind the scenes. All smiles in between shots, she would smoothly break into her sexy signature pout as the shutter clicked. 

Pam's style, which she calls "sexy garçon," is reflective of several influences including her ultimate style icon, Carine Roitfeld. Here are a few things she shared during the interview that didn't make it to the mag:

Favorite shopping destinations: Hong Kong, Paris and Milan

Current favorite items in her closet: 
  1. Haider Ackermann taupe leather jacket
  2. Zadig & Voltaire cashmere cardigan 
  3. White shirt from Balenciaga
  4. Black cotton shorts from Zara
  5. Black Guiseppe Zanotti stilettos ("The spikier the better.")

Must-have item for the summer: "A white shirt that's long enough to be a dress."

Last fashion purchase: A pair of Guiseppe Zanotti shoes

Next on her shopping list: "Maybe a knee-length Givenchy dress."

Clothing item she could not leave home without: "A lace bra. I'm so obsessed with lace."

Favorite local designers: Martin Bautista, Rajo Laurel and Jerome Lorico (“To me Rajo and Martin are priority because their items are really wearable, which is actually what everyone needs now. So there’s that, then there are designers like Jerome Lorico, who really put so much fun into a piece. So if you wanna wear something like an artwork, Jerome Lorico.”)

Favorite international brands/designers: Givenchy, Ricardo Tisci, Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens and Balmain

RTW haunts: Zara, Topshop, Homme et Femme and Univers.

Read about her shopping philosophy, how she discovered styling, and the exciting highlights of her career in this month's MEGA magazine.

The CityLifeStylist

Thursday, April 19, 2012

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012: Camille Co

In MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012 feature, I wrote about how Camille Co--Coexist designer, Mango It Girl for Spring-Summer 2012, and one of today's most sought-after fashion bloggers--remains enthusiastically modest despite her swift rise to international fame. 

She talked excitedly about everything she was busy with, from her plans for her charity beneficiaries and her clothing label, to her then-upcoming trips to Spain for a Mango shoot and Paris for vacation, her personal style, and her wardrobe management techniques.

I'm sure Camille's followers are wondering how she keeps track of all her clothes, bags, shoes and accessories. The secret? Her iPhone! She has a "small" closet (quite unbelievable!), which is why she keeps photos of all her things in her phone. At first, she tried to use the Stylebook app where one can make looks and plot them on a calendar, but later found organizing photos in albums easier. She shows images of her picks for the day to her assistant, who helps find them in her wardrobe. Pretty neat!

Svelte and modelesque, Camille moved effortlessly during the shoot for the Most Stylish feature, which she was also part of last year. As editor in chief Sari Yap noted, there are "repeaters" in this year's roster not because MEGA has run out of stylish ladies to feature, but because "to be a MEGA Most Stylish Woman is to be someone with permanence--to have a timeless appeal that no matter the season, year, decade or generation, remains the epitome of style, class and stature." This says a lot about the future the industry foresees for Camille.

Here are some tidbits from the interview that didn't make it to the magazine:

Favorite shopping destinations: Camille loves shopping in Hong Kong and Singapore, but said she would also love to shop in Paris and New York and hunt for vintage pieces, as she did in Spain: "When I went to Barcelona, I asked the Mango people about thrift stores or vintage stores. [They have] really old school Chanel and Hermes, and I was able to buy two pairs of vintage earrings shipped from Paris!"

Current favorite items in her closet:
  1. Orange Givenchy Pandora
  2. Black H&M boyfriend blazer ("I can see myself wearing it till I'm super old already!"
  3. Her mom's Chanel classic black purse (Camille laughs, "I remember how I persuaded my mom to buy it, thinking of my future!")
  4. Black Lanvin oxford heels ("It's a classic. I can also see myself wearing it till I'm really old."
  5. Mango black pumps with gold metal tip
Last fashion purchase: Two pairs of fluorescent pumps from Aldo in yellow and pink

Next on her shopping list: More stiletto pumps with metal tips in different colors or full metallic pumps

Accessory she could not leave home without: "This is going to sound like an endorsement but hindi talaga. My Goody Spin Pins! I can't leave [the house] without them."

Favorite local designers: Michael Cinco, Jun Escario, Joel Escober and Cary Santiago ("I dream of becoming a Cary Santiago bride!")

Favorite local RTW haunts: Coexist and a lot of online stores

Favorite international designers: Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs

Favorite international RTW haunts: Mango, Topshop, River Island, Miss Selfridge and Zara

Read more about Camille and all the ladies who made it to this year's MEGA's 20 Most Stylish in the magazine's April 2012 issue.

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012: Joyce Makitalo

Jewelry designer Joyce Makitalo may be the spunkiest among MEGA's 20 Most Stylish this year, with her distinct style that takes inspiration from blasts from the past and visions of the future.

She identified France and London as two places that influence her style the most because of the people's "devil-may-care attitude in dressing," and shared how she would look for thrift and antique shops in every country she visits to learn about the culture. She finds "real luxury" in pieces from big fashion houses "which are handmade by artisans from all over the world" and are created using "traditional styles [and] techniques to create modern pieces."

Here are a few of the things she shared that didn't make it to the magazine:

Current favorite items in her closet: Her neon yellow, mint green, red-orange, hot pink and floral skinnies

Must-have item for the summer: "Prada's oversized goggles sunglasses, perfect for the beach!"

Last fashion purchase: "A white vintage Chanel jumbo. I have a vintage Chanel bag collection. It has to be vintage. I enjoy the hunt!"

Next on her shopping list: "And because I just met Pam Quiñones, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes! Pam has a pretty amazing collection."

Accessory she could not leave home without: "My tulasi japa bead necklace from India."

Favorite local designer: "Locally, my most favorite would be Chito Vijandre. And then there's about thirty others. [There are] so many talented Filipino designers, it's crazy."

Favorite international designer: "Alexander McQueen forever and ever."

Closets she'd love to raid: Anna Dello Russo's and Mick Jagger's in the '60s

Read about her style philosophy as well as her design and style inspirations in this month's MEGA.

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012: Danica Magpantay

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012 also features one of my favorite Filipina international supermodels, last year's Ford Supermodel of the World winner Danica Magpantay. At 19, she has already modeled for numerous brands and designers both locally and internationally, and is currently a brand ambassador for Globe Tattoo

Getting photographed by supermodel-turned-photographer Jo Ann Bitagcol at the Mind Museum

Even with so much work and accomplishments in the industry, Danica still gets excited about fashion. She enjoys shopping in Manila because of the convenience of our local malls, but also likes hunting for cool finds in SoHo.

Here are a few tidbits from the interview:

Danica's current favorite items in her closet:
  1. Long gray cardigan
  2. Denim shorts ("Kasi bilang tamad, madalas naka-shorts ako.")
  3. Snow White sweater from Forever21 ("It's comfy!")
  4. Black Steve Madden wedges ("They're comfy but not so high. Casual, so puede siyang daywear.")
  5. Shades (the accessory she couldn't leave home without)
Her last fashion purchase: A purple sequined mini dress

Next on her shopping list: A nice bag

Favorite local designers: Michael Cinco and Cary Santiago

Favorite international designer: Alexander McQueen ("Talaga, kung may paglalakaran ako, yun ang dream na dream ko. His clothes are the kinds of things I really appreciate. Art and clothing in one.")

Read more about MEGA's 20 Most Stylish in the magazine's April 2012 issue.

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, April 16, 2012

MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012: Ruby Gan

I interviewed the lovely, radiant Ruby Gan, co-owner of high-end, one-stop lifestyle boutique Myth and Chocolate Schubar in Manila, for MEGA's 20 Most Stylish 2012 feature in this month's issue. The punchy outfit she wore to the shoot reflected her animated and warm personality. 

Ruby shows off her toned gams, tattoos and funky printed peep-toe stilettos

Ruby is drawn to bold colors and white, and prefers clothes that fit her active lifestyle. She is a staunch supporter of Filipino designers, with many of her favorite design talents' collections housed in her boutique and her own closet.

Matching in summer brights

Here are a few of the fashion tidbits Ruby shared that didn't make it to the mag:

Closet she'd love to raid: Sarah Jessica Parker's, because "she goes from fun and funky to classic, and she has killer shoes!"

Favorite shopping destinations: New York, Hong Kong and Manila

Favorite local designers: Ivarluski Aseron, Joey Samson, James Reyes, Xernan Orticio, Joyce Makitalo, Janina Dizon, Paul Syjuco (These are only a few of her favorites; Ruby said the list goes on!)

Favorite international designers: Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Christian Louboutin

Accessory she could not leave home without: Her watch

Last fashion purchase: A glittery Anya Hindmarch bag

Next on her shopping list: "I want a medium Givenchy Pandora in lemon yellow because that one got away. Or a Proenza Schouler clutch in a bright color."

Read more about MEGA's 20 Most Stylish in the magazine's April 2012 issue.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, April 15, 2012

H&M Gets Eco-conscious

photo credit: 

One high street brand that has taken fashion to a whole new sustainable level is H&M, which recently launched its Conscious Collection for 2012, an assortment of pieces in lively prints and solids made with eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester and organic cotton. 

This sure is cool, but I wonder if the time would come when brands wouldn't have to label their green collections because all of their items would already be environment-friendly!

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Walk the Eco-chic Talk with BreadTalk

In this month's MEGA, my feature on mainstreaming renewable energy use and sustainable practices lists several ideas on how to lead an eco-chic lifestyle. While living green has become more doable with the emergence of innovative environment-friendly products and services, various industries still have a lot of catching up to do.

Players in the fashion industry, in particular, may have created or endorsed products that care for the environment, but once you hit the mall to shop, you wouldn't see a lot of stores that promote such. While we continue dreaming of going fashionably green, BreadTalk is giving us a glimpse of what we can hope for in an ecologically fashion-forward future.

Get a chance to bring your green getup to life and win a shopping spree by joining the BreadTalk Mannequin Contest. You don't need sewing skills or a background in fashion design to join. Just use the mannequin display image that you can download from or from the BreadTalk Philippines Facebook page as your blank canvas for an outfit (or outfits!) made of purely eco-friendly fabrics and materials. That's right--you can send in as many entries as you like!

Make sure to email your designs to on or before April 20, 2012. I'm seriously considering joining, too! 

Happy doodling!

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Heating Up MEGA's April 2012 Issue with the 20 Most Stylish Women and the Dawn of a Solar-Powered Future

Stunning as ever, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez graces the cover of MEGA this month.

Find The Dawn of a Solar-Powered Future by yours truly in this issue, as well as my write-ups on five of MEGA's 20 Most Stylish--Camille Co, Ruby Gan, Danica Magpantay, Joyce Makitalo, and Pam Quiñones.

Blogging about what went on behind the scenes soon!

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, April 2, 2012

Haley Reinhart: Free, Finally!

photo credit:

Remember how I could not stop gushing about Haley Reinhart last year? If not, let me refresh your memory with this, this and thisI loved her from the moment I saw her American Idol 10 audition!

Now I'm incredibly excited about her upcoming album Listen Up! to be launched in May. She recently released her first single, Free, and its fabulous music video. It is undeniable that the jazzy, soulful "little growler that could (Steven Tyler, 2011)" sounds a lot better live, but I love the record nonetheless!

The behind the scenes video on her official YouTube channel reveals Haley's old Hollywood-inspired wardrobe choices. 

So glam!

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, April 1, 2012

EXTENDED: Create Your Own Pinkberry Concoction!

This is no April Fools prank: you still have two weeks to send in your entries for the Create Your Own Pinkberry Concoction contest! The following prizes await three winners:

Grand Prize Winner

·        Pinkberry gift certificates worth 1,500 pesos
·        Chilly Bliss Bag (worth 400 pesos!)
·        Take Home Cup for 25 ounces of Pinkberry to go (worth over 500 pesos!)

First Runner-up
·        Pinkberry gift certificate worth 1,000 pesos

Second Runner-up
·        Pinkberry gift certificate worth 500 pesos

Again, all you have to do is...
  1. Like the Pinkberry Philippines Facebook page.
  2. Take a photo of your customized Pinkberry frozen yogurt creation with a short description and a fun, creative and unique name, and send it to with the subject "My Pinkberry Masterpiece"
The deadline is extended until April 15, 2012

photo credit: Pinkberry Philippines

One great Pinkberry flavor you can play with is watermelon, which is perfect for the summer! This healthy treat becomes even more refreshing topped with watermelon and cucumber chunks, but there are tons of other toppings to choose from. 

Head over to Pinkberry at Greenbelt 5 and start swirling!

The CityLifeStylist