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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ticket to Ride

 photo credit:,, Therese San Diego

I started to take notice of equestrian fashion after seeing Mad Men's Betty Draper (January Jones) looking so chic in full riding regalia. After interviewing Nadine Howell for MEGA's June 2012 Stylephile feature, I saw how jodhpurs can be worn outside the barn. 

I recommended a pair of jodhpurs-inspired bottoms to a friend, thinking it would only work with tall, statuesque body types such as hers and Nadine's--until I spotted a pair at Zara last month and found a perfect fit! It seems whether you're tall or petite, there's a pair that's right for you.

Here are a few pegs you can use once you find your perfect match:

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It may be too hot for knee-high boots in Manila, but you can opt for ankle boots instead. Thin and light sweaters with a loose fit are comfortable for cooler weather--perfect for the rainy season!

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Another piece that's too hot for tropical weather is a black leather top, but any tight-fitting long-sleeved tee would work just as well with jodhpurs and a pair of pumps.

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Another option is balancing off the toughness of black jodhpurs with feminine details on your top, like ruffles or billowy sleeves.

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Finally, you can always take the classic route with a crisp oxford shirt, or perhaps a plain tee or tank top if you really want to dress down.

Check Zara, Topshop, The Ramp, and stores at the Archaeology Wing of the Power Plant Mall for options! Oh, and don't forget the department stores; you might chance upon great jodhpurs-inspired finds there, too!

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the August 2012 MEGA Stylephile Shoot

I was excited to interview the beautiful, talented and animated Vida Lim for the August 2012 MEGA Stylephile feature, especially since I was in love with her bold, precious jewelry designs. We talked about her creations under her self-named brand Vida Lim, her accessory imports for her second brand Dolce Vida, how she discovered her passion for her craft, and how she handles being a hands-on mother of two while working on her flourishing design career.

I discovered the overlap between Vida's design aesthetic and style philosophy, both centered on drama and glamour. "Why design something that cannot be seen? Even before I started [designing], I would always look for accessories that were dramatic or big enough for me," said Vida. She added that "every collection is different" and that she doesn't stick to a specific style. It is the striking quality of her pieces that has become her trademark. 

At the shoot, she demonstrated her personal style savvy through a variety of looks, all of which were full-on glamorous but never overdone. 

Her makeup was done by Amanda Padilla of MEGA Fashion Crew fame, while her hair hardly needed styling--she went au naturel!

Photographer John Ocampo snapped away as MEGA's Ysa Reyes took charge of art direction.

Ysa made each of Vida's favorite pairs of shoes shine in a single shot.

Amanda and I also fell for her bag collection of mostly classics in the richest hues--stunning pieces that will stand the test of time. 

Grab a copy of this month's MEGA to read more about Vida Lim. Visit her website and official Facebook page to check out her exquisite designs.

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Travel in Style with This Month's MEGA

It's not too late to grab a copy of MEGA magazine's August issue with the stunning Bea Alonzo on the cover, fencing sword in hand and dressed in a gold embellished number by Kermit Tesoro

The travel issue shows you how to travel in style with jet-setter fashion and beauty essentials. An article on planning and budgeting trips to Europe and the Caribbean will help you prep your next globe-trotting itineraries, while a food feature will make your mouth water with a culinary tour of the Mediterranean, South America and Asia.

The South American cuisine section of the food feature was written by yours truly, and I'm excited to share one of the recipes I wrote about, Papas Rellenas. It'll be my long overdue update for The CityLifeStylist Eats!

I'll also be blogging about what went on behind the scenes at the STYLEPHILE shoot with the beautiful and talented jewelry designer Vida Lim.

Stay tuned!

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Best Boracay Eats: Zuzuni, Mañana Mexican Cuisine and Astoria Boracay

Some of the most scrumptious dishes we had in Boracay were from Zuzuni, Mañana Mexican Cuisine and Astoria Boracay.


1. Zuzuni
Boat Station 1, White Beach, Boracay Island

On our second day on the island, we had lunch at award-winning Greek restaurant ZuzuniWhen the food came, we discovered what everybody was raving about.

Since I was watching my figure (at least for the beach trip, har har) our appetizer served as my main course. I love zucchini and I love tzatziki even more, so it was no surprise that I became a fan of their Kolokythakia Tiganita--deep fried zucchini with a tzatziki dip.

The boyfriend, on the other hand, ordered the Warm Chicken-Bacon Sandwich. I had a bite and it was really good, too. The chicken was grilled to perfection, and the bacon lent just the right amount of saltiness and smokiness to it. 

I can give up carbs like rice and bread during meals, but I can never give up sweets! We split the restaurant's bestselling dessert, Mati Chocolate Sin, a warm flourless (molten) Valrhona chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream. 

It really was sinful, I tell you. The sweetness was a bit overwhelming for the boyfriend, but I savored every bite. You're really supposed to eat the cake and ice cream together. The combination of warm and cold plus the mix of chocolate and vanilla will tantalize your taste buds!

2. Mañana Mexican Cuisine
White Beach, near Boat Station 1, Boracay Island

Another famous beachfront resto in Boracay is Mañana Mexican Cuisine, which serves authentic Mexican dishes. The photo above shows the view from our table.

We ordered beef burritos, which I didn't expect to be so huge! With the big serving sizes, their dishes are great for sharing, especially if you're watching your beach bod. 

According to our waiter, everything is made fresh, including the sauces! The burritos were already flavorful on their own but the four sauces combined gave them a hint of sweetness and a hot kick. Would've sampled more dishes but I didn't want to walk around in my bikini with a food baby!

3. Astoria Boracay
Boat Station 1, Boracay Island

A good dinner spot is Astoria Boracay's restaurant, where we had a buffet dinner on our second night. The boyfriend was my lucky charm because he was given free passes as we were walking along the shore! The catch was that dinner came with a presentation about the hotel, but we sure didn't complain. The food was amazing! My favorites were the chicken salad with pomelo, the roast beef with potatoes, and the lechon. I guess buffet meals on beach trips are fine as long as you skip the rice and go easy on the fatty stuff!

Aside from the powder-fine white sand, sparkling water, and fun water activities, another reason I'm going back to Boracay is obviously the chow!

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, August 6, 2012

Parasailing and Helmet Diving in Boracay

I went on vacation early July but had to plunge right back into work, leaving no time for blogging. I finally have a free day after another working weekend, so I'm filling you in on my recent Boracay getaway!

I've been excited about the trip for months as it was a graduation gift from the boyfriend. We originally planned to just lounge around the beach and go on food trips, but later thought it might be fun to do a couple water activities: parasailing and helmet diving.

Boy, was I glad we went for it! I thought parasailing would be as heart-dropping as ziplining, but it was actually the opposite. "Relaxing" was not a word I thought I would use to describe the experience, but it really made us feel light and at ease. It was very peaceful up there, and I'm so happy that our tour guide was able to capture everything from lift-off to landing in such crisp, beautiful photos. The best shots, of course, are the ones where we were in the air. 

I'd love to go parasailing again!

Helmet Diving
Helmet diving came next. Our group was accompanied by divers, including guides and photographers. We got to take home CDs of our photos and videos. 

Let's just say I'm not as comfortable underwater as I am up in the air! I got nervous on the way down, ten feet underwater, but it was definitely a thrill. Just imagine walking on the ocean floor with schools of fish swimming around--what's not to get excited about? 

Sharing more about the trip in the next entry!

The CityLifeStylist