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Monday, December 23, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | The Potluck Solution

The most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest, with reunions and parties to attend left and right, tasks to be ticked off Christmas checklists, and work deadlines that need to be rushed before the new year rolls in.

With a schedule that’s packed to the brim, many of us may not have the time to share our culinary creations in every single gathering. Good thing there are delicious, easy-to-order dishes that can save the day. I’m not talking about your regular fast food fare—these are homey holiday meals available for takeout this season. 

Read the rest of the post on The Fat Kid Inside.

Happy Holidays! 

The CityLifeStylist

P.S. Make sure to call ahead to place your orders or make a reservation! Links to the Facebook pages/websites of the featured restaurants are included in the post.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Surge of Literature, Art, and Photography in the Wake of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

For the past weeks, the Philippines has been grieving. After supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) swept through the country, devastating reports of lost lives, homes, and entire towns have emerged. 

Amidst these trying times, however, the world has become witness to the resilience and optimism of Filipinos. I've heard interviews with people from Tacloban City--one of the hardest hit areas--in which the victims themselves were the ones giving reassuring messages via the media. Survivors in Bantayan Island in Cebu, many of whom are also reconstructing their destroyed homes, said they consider themselves "lucky" for being spared from a storm surge. 

We have all extended help in our own ways, hoping the government and the private institutions that serve as a bridge are able to distribute the funds and relief goods efficiently. But as the people of Tacloban, Bantayan, and many other affected areas rebuild their lives, they are still in dire need of our support. 

One way to keep the aid coming is to grab a copy of Surges: Outpourings in Haiyan/Yolanda's Wake, a book featuring literature, art, and photography in the wake of the supertyphoon. According to the official Facebook page, the proceeds will be used for reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in some of the most devastated areas in the country.

Join the book launch on Thursday, December 19, 6:00 p.m. at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City. Entrance is free, but make sure to RSVP via text or email. Please refer to the poster for the contact details.

You may also check the Facebook page for more information on how to order. It's available for only 500PhP (15USD).

See you there!

The CityLifeStylist

Thursday, October 24, 2013

UNICEF Auction for Action 2013: Funding Play-Based Learning for Disadvantaged Filipino Children

Children have the right to play. Different forms of play--whether structured or unstructured--keep children healthy and sharpen their skills in listening, observation, self-expression and even decision-making. Playing develops their minds, builds their confidence, and fosters their sense of curiosity.

In the Philippines, studies show that three out of ten children under six years old have access to any form of early learning such as day care centers. Access is said to be lower in remote, conflict- and disaster-affected areas due to a number of reasons, one of which is the lack of resources.

To address this issue, and in time for National Children's MonthUNICEF Philippines holds Auction for Action 2013. Proceeds will benefit Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP), an education program that will give disadvantaged Filipino children a learning head start.

Apart from far-flung, conflict and disaster-affected communities, UNICEF also supports the SNP program in informal rural and urban communities. The home-based learning program can be set up in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree by trained day care workers or parent volunteers who can spend two to three hours a day for a minimum of ten months guiding children as they learn through organized play.

The auction, curated and presented by UNICEF Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña Paez, features one-of-a-kind creations by notable Filipino artists and designers including sculptor Ramon Orlina, furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, jewelry designer Joyce Makitalo, and artist, sculptor and designer Leeroy New, among others. (See full list of participating artists and designers here.)

The online auction on eBay is from October 21 to 27, 2013. Preview the pieces on display at the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City,  until tomorrow, October 26, 2013.

The CityLifeStylist

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | Freshwater Finds

photo credit: Joseph Interior (top photo)

At age ten, I had to prepare myself for a life without seafood. Succulent shrimps, scrumptious shellfish and delicately flavorful tuna sashimi were among the many offerings of the ocean I had to give up.

Fifteen years later, I’ve gotten used to my seafood allergy. Though the selection in freshwater ponds and lakes is very limited, I could still get my fill of fish, after all.

Whether or not you’re allergic to seafood, I bet some of my favorite freshwater fare would please your palate as well. Here are a few of my finds in Manila and Cebu.

Read the rest of the post on The Fat Kid Inside.

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pinup Makeup

I've always been fascinated with everything vintage, but recently, I've been quite obsessed with the whole pinup look.

While I haven't gone as far as doing a complete overhaul on my beauty boudoir, I've certainly been updating it. The smallest details, after all, make a difference--a pair of false eyelashes, darker and more defined brows, and bold, matte lips.

Today I'm sharing my pinup-related beauty finds, from tutorial videos and pegs to must-try beauty products.

The DIY Pinup Look

Basic pinup beauty tricks

Another step-by-step guide to achieving the pinup look

The glamorous, polished pinup look may seem intimidating to recreate, but these videos make it a breeze! Learn the techniques but feel free to switch up a few things (such as lipstick shades) according to what suits your skin tone and personal preference.

Instagram Beauty Pegs

photo credits: @renee_o, @giagenevieve and @hisvintagetouch on Instagram 

Some Instagram users known to provide pinup beauty inspiration are international model Gia Genevieve (@giagenevieve), another pinup model and self-proclaimed “vintage nerd” Doris Mayday (@dorismayday), hairstylist Tony Medina (@hisvintagetouch), and one of my favorite jazz artists, Grammy Award nominee Renee Olstead (@renee_o). Their posts are always worthy of a double tap!

Key Tools

It's all about the falsies.

You can call me and my best friend Faye total fangirls of Renee O.! She is very talented, such a sweetheart, and always so glam! We took her cue and donned false lashes during her despedida performance at Merk's Place in early September. I digress, but you might be interested to know that she actually returned to Manila to perform at the concert of the "grand dame" of Filipino jazz, Annie Brazil, at Solaire Resort and Casino on October 5th! She seems to have fallen in love with the Philippines, and we Pinoys are obviously just as smitten. 

Remember to follow her on Instagram for the prettiest pinup beauty pegs!


photo credit: Zalora Philippines

There's a wide variety of falsies at Zalora Philippines. Whether you're partial to full, lush lashes or a more delicate pair, these pretty little things are sure to open up your peepers!


An easy-to-use, smudge-proof and waterproof black eyeliner is also key to achieving the perfect cat eye. I'm a fan of Maybelline's Hyper Sharp Liner, a fine tip liquid liner, and Benefit's BADgal slimline eyeliner pencil.

A non-drying matte lipstick also adds understated elegance to the pinup look. Many of my friends swear by MAC's matte tubes. The bright red Ruby Woo is by far the most popular. I've recently discovered the wonders of Chanel as well. The Rouge Allure Velvet formula keeps lips hydrated while providing a soft matte finish. I love the La Distinguée shade, a subdued peachy pink that’s chic and work-appropriate. Still on the hunt for a bold matte hue that suits my skin tone, though!

Have fun playing pinup, ladies!

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | Filipino Food Identity

Like the fluid conversations and lengthy lunches that spill over to merienda and even dinnertime at fiestas, family reunions and intimate home gatherings, the pursuit of pinpointing the true identity of Filipino food seems endless.

The country’s cuisine has been shaped by a number of factors, such as diverse foreign influences from the Malays and the Spanish to the Americans and the Chinese, as well as the varied cultures, traditions, and socio-economic circumstances in every region. But while a lot of inspiration comes from their colonizers, occupiers and immigrants, Pinoys are ingenious cooks who have created—and continue to create—fresh, flavorful dishes out of borrowed recipes, each with an undeniable Filipino twist that may be attributed to indigenous cooking techniques, homegrown ingredients, or family kitchen secrets.

But there’s so much more to Filipino food that makes it extraordinary, and one cannot simply sum it up in a paragraph, in an article, or in a single book. If one wants to learn what makes food truly Filipino, he must ask not one, not two, but every Pinoy he encounters. Who could speak with greater authority on the subject than Filipinos themselves?

I myself got curious about what they would say about Filipino food identity, so I gathered some insights from a few bona fide Pinoy food enthusiasts. Five of them work with some of the country’s finest restaurants. One is the man behind what is probably the most popular street food stall in Manila, which has been around for nearly three decades. Another is an adventurous food lover who whips up the most heartwarming meals for her family and friends. The common thread that runs through them is their delight for what the Philippines has to offer their eager palates day after day.

Read the interviews and the rest of the article on The Fat Kid Inside.

Reposted from Instagram

Big thanks to Nimfa Camua, Dee Jae Pa'este, Rico Arellano, Therese Galang, Lauro "Mang Larry" Convencido, Jr., Kathryn Mackay and Nadine Howell for their contributions to this post!

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | One Handed Wonders: Handy Bites for Busy Days and Nights

With a fast-paced lifestyle and tight schedules, it can be a challenge not to succumb to fast food and junk—the most accessible types of one handed food around.

While I am guilty of loading up on cookies and chips at work especially during crunch time (pardon the pun), I’ve learned to prepare well-balanced munchies that are just as easy to eat when beating deadlines.

Check out the full post on The Fat Kid Inside.

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | A Penchant for Pudding

When I’m trying to regulate my carb intake, I find that sacrificing rice is much less of a problem than skipping starchy desserts. Losing my sense of self-control would thus translate into devouring chocolate cakes, Nutella crepes, chocolate ice cream-filled mochi, buchi (red bean sesame seed rice balls, preferably chocolate-filled), and my most unassuming carb-laden favorite: bread pudding.

My first encounter with bread pudding was on a trip to Cebu. It was homemade and served so casually amid a flurry of conversations that the first bite took me by surprise. The moist, buttery consistency paired with what I remember to be a sweet, tangy and spiced vanilla sauce instantly made me melt.

My friends were stunned that I hadn’t tried it before. I don’t bake (yet!) and perhaps I just hadn’t noticed it on dessert menus, as my eyes usually just scan them until they settle on something with chocolate.

Since then, however, I would always be on the lookout for this humble but heavenly dessert. Whether it’s matched with a creamy sauce or some ice cream, every bite of bread pudding enfolds me in a blanket of comfort. I originally wanted to share my top three, but I had to squeeze in one more.

Read the rest of the post on The Fat Kid Inside.

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, July 8, 2013

Now on The Fat Kid Inside | House Parties and Dietary Dilemmas: Hope to Cope Whether You're a Guest or a Host

Respect for diet diversity goes a long way. On The Fat Kid Inside this week, I'm sharing tips on how to deal with dietary dilemmas at house parties, whether you're the guest or the host.   

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fiesta Bahia: Bringing the Best of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to Manila!

The Mercato Centrale Group has done it again. July 12th marks the launch of Fiesta Bahia, the first food tourism market in the country at SM By the Bay, right across the SM Mall of Asia Entertainment Mall.

It's a gathering of the best regional food finds from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao right in the heart of Manila. Starting July 12th, it will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. 

It's a whole new food trip for Manila folks! Don't miss the launch this Friday, July 12th at 6:00 p.m. Check out Fiesta Bahia on Facebook and Twitter for more details.

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, June 17, 2013

Something's Cooking with The Fat Kid Inside

Looking for a delicious read? The Fat Kid Inside has brought in a new roster of writers, including yours truly, to whip up more hearty features on everything food and drink.

The Fat Kid Inside started out as a Tumblr blog in 2010. It has recently seen an overhaul, with a fresh format and several new categories, but what its followers have come to love about it remains: engaging, unpretentious gastronomic content, chock-full of creative yet practical recipes and stories about food. 

The man behind it is Erwan Heussaff, also Food and Drinks Editor of Esquire Philippines, who talks about how he shed the extra pounds through a healthy yet satisfying lifestyle that included "tasty, well prepared dishes with all the right stuff." He features occasional indulgences as well, thus providing a holistic resource for everybody who enjoys food.

There's more to come from this exciting new collaboration. For starters, we serve stories of our "First Time" to whet your appetite.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Local Talents with Global Appeal Take the Spotlight in This Month's MEGA

MEGA highlights homegrown talents and celebrates all things Pinoy this month, with G Tongi and Regine Velasquez on its double cover.

For this issue, I interviewed Filipino interior designer Jigs Ranada Adefuin, whom I admire for his quiet ferocity towards his craft. Grab a copy and read about his style, his inspirations, and how he guarantees every client's satisfaction.

The CityLifeStylist

Friday, June 14, 2013

After a Few Flops, We've Found the Right Fit

A shot from the movie Clueless

Throwback to the early 2000s: I was in high school, and all the boys donned oversize shirts and jeans so baggy everybody could see their underwear. I was puzzled by this trend that was carried over from the nineties. 

photo credit: 

It was as if the pendulum had to swing to the extreme opposite in my college years, as I witnessed guys trade in their bottoms for skinny jeans and tiny tees that could rival their girlfriends' wardrobes.

"Be better than the Gap."
A shot from the movie Crazy Stupid Love

These days it seems young menswear is back to "normal," with no single trend dominating the male sartorial psyche. Never mind that Pinoy men seem to have embraced the high street brand craze (hello, Topman, Zara, Uniqlo, Cotton On regulars). At least their clothes are actually starting to fit them properly. (Ryan Gosling's character in Crazy Stupid Love probably had a hand in it.)

I realized this as I was reading an article on bespoke clothier Ascot Chang in this month's Esquire Philippines, which guided me through the process of creating the perfect shirt--from carefully choosing quality fabrics, handpicking the appropriate trimmings, and most importantly, sticking to the company's tried-and-tested traditional tailoring techniques. I was amused to discover that in terms of custom-made clothing, one's weight gain is not the only thing that could ruin a shirt's fit; posture change could, too.

My boyfriend is a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, but he knows fit. There may be days that call for loose clothing for a comfier feel--among both men and women--but it's nice to know that the era of peek-a-boo boxers and too-tight pants is over. At least for now.

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The New Sexy

photo credit:

Unfussy basics with discreet little sensual details define the new sexy. My favorite pieces from Rihanna's collection for River Island fit this description to a T!

photo credit:

Her take on the crop top involves knots and soft fabrics in solid hues. Perfect for Pinays in this scorching heat!

We may not have River Island in Manila yet but we can take inspiration from the collection. Think breezy tops, short shorts, crop tops and trusty denim skirts. 

 photo credit:

We all know a girl feels sexiest when she's comfortable! Looking and feeling sexy has never been this easy. 

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lovin' Levante

The new food and lifestyle market on the block is going on its third week! 

Levante, the latest offering of the Mercato Centrale Group, is open from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. every Friday at the Eastwood Citywalk 2 in Libis, Quezon City.

Feast on meats and vegetarian choices plus a good selection of drinks and delightful desserts from constant Mercato favorites and intriguing newbies.

On my first visit, I was immediately drawn to the Eat My GF (Garlic Fries) stall, which was bright and inviting. I had the Virgin Chips, a dish of sliced potatoes with fresh garlic, parmesan, and a dash of parsley. Though I skipped the parmesan ('cause I'm allergic), it was still deliciously garlicky, with the parsley adding a fresh, aromatic herb flavor.

Next time, I'm having All the Way, a mix of the Original GF and Virgin Chips with sausage and bacon. Really, what more can you ask for?

More cheesy grub I wish I was able to try include Cheat Day's cheese-filled Cheat Day Burger, and the DigDeepCups by Twisted Desserts. If they taste half as good as they look, they should be a killer. Try these and lemme know what you think, will ya?

When I recognized Michelle Basa of Chef Bab's Sisig, I knew I was in for a treat! I've been frequenting her stall at Mezza Norte for the Veggie Sisig, but this time I wanted to try something new: the Tofu Sisig

And it did not disappoint. I'm still partial to the veggie version, but I enjoyed the spicy, tangy flavor and soft texture of the tofu.

Also available at Levante is Crunchy Belly by Carlo's Kitchen. I'm hopelessly addicted to these salty, crisp bits of pork belly. They're a hundred times better than chicharon!

Yet another Mezza Norte favorite you can find at Levante is Cakes by K, known for its delectable crepe cakes. I decided to try something new so I opted for the Pistachio Sansrival instead of my usual Chocolate Crepe Cake. It sure packed a lot of that pistachio flavor, and it's great if you have a sweet tooth. The crepe cake will forever be my favorite, though!

Drop by this Friday! There's so much more in store that'll surely please your palate.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tea-Infused Pho at

Had lunch at Tea Lounge at the Net Lima Building in Bonifacio Global City, just a few steps away from Wildflour Café + Bakery. Writing another entry on the teas as the Pho deserves its own post!

My sister and I shared a huge bowl of the chicken pho. Its tea-infused broth gave the dish a clean, refreshing taste, without overpowering the flavor of the meat. It may be on the bland side for some, but while I often like my food oozing with flavor, I also appreciate this pho's pure and succulent tastiness. 

But if you prefer your pho hot, salty, sour, or a combination of the three, serves lime on the side, along with chili, soy and hoisin sauces, so you can adjust it to your taste. 

A definite must-try.

The CityLifeStylist