Sweet Somethings

2008 posted in Events by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.


Care for something sweet?

Friends from the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) are in town and holding their 23rd Negros Trade Fair at Rockwell Tent in Makati City. Running from Sept 30 until October 5, 2008, the fair is a showcase of the best products and creations from Negros.

Take your pick from the all-Negrense-made products – laminated home furnishings, table top décor, gift items, furniture, lamps, decorative items made of resin, pandan products, ceramic décors, fashion accessories, handbags, garments, pina-cloth barongs, coco products, wood decorative items, woven linen and handmade fabrics, and the ever popular Negrense delicacies and served-hot Negrense dishes.

For inquiries, orders and other business transactions, call 034-4338833, 034-4341000, 034-7099032, or e-mail [email protected]


Piece be with you

2008 posted in Decorating Tips, Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

I’ve been seeing so many patchwork items recently. Part boho/part eco-recycling effort, this style looks sophisticated gypsy at best…and taong grasa at worst. :(

The best patchwork item I’ve seen is this Chesterfield couch from Squint. This UK-based furniture and design company specialize in piecing together new and vintage fabrics. Their color combinations are always bright and very beautiful. Look at this:

Patchwork sofa by Squint

That sofa reminds me of my old silk peasant skirt. I’ve stopped wearing it because my mom says I look like a crazy street woman in it (again, a reference to the taong-grasa patchwork comment).

My own skirt

Here’s another patchwork example from Ouno—a pretty vintage silk scarf bedcover—so very one-of-a-kind. When Apartment Therapy posted it, everyone went crazy. And it isn’t cheap—US$550 at least.

Ouno vintage scarf bed cover

Can’t schlep over to the US or UK to get these? I suggest you DIY it: ask your local mananahi to stitch together a series of scarves from ukay (the patterns and color on the older ones always look better than the new ones from the mall) to form a duvet cover. Slip onto your comforter and voila—trendy patchwork.



2008 posted in Home Finds, Others by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

Intercoms. In the days before Yahoo Messenger, offices and large houses had them. I have really funny memories about intercoms. My lola’s house had one so that she could sit in the living room and hear if a customer needed something at their pharmacy next door. Needless to say, my older brothers and cousins only used it to play pranks on each other. I remember it looked like this, so nice and vintage:

Image from

In the architectural office I worked in, the receptionist used the intercom to alert us if we had a phone call (OK, this was way before pagers and cellphones, and this is how old I am). When she wasn’t around, the draftsmen would sneak up to it and yell into the intercom:

“Size 8 sa black!” or: “Driver Jerry to the parking area!”

We also had an intercom in the next design office I worked in. The head architect used it to boss us around from the other room. I hated it, only because I was the most junior designer on board, and was placed directly under that beastly intercom. Until the secretary decided to use it to wreak revenge on the boss. When he wasn’t around, she announced via intercom: “O,umuwi na ang boss ninyo, masakit daw ang (insert embarrassing body part here) niya!”

Apparently, intercoms are still around, pretty handy if you live in a large house. Here’s an attractive one, the NEC Aspila Topaz and Topaz Lite PABX, disguised in the form of a simple phone:

NEC Aspila Topaz PABX

Topaz diagram

But don’t be fooled. This “phone” can accommodate extensions up to 27 trunks and 72 extensions, connecting fax machines, modems, answering machines, etc. Great if you have a home business—or an army of househelp. The Topaz lite retails at P17,900 at major appliance stores, or email [email protected]


Extreme Angono

2008 posted in Arts And Culture, What's In The Mag by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.
1 comment.

Angono Higantes

If you’ve run out of weekend options, maybe you’d want to try visiting Angono, Rizal. It’s known for its many artists (including the late National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco), and when the Real Living staff went off to cover it one day, they saw that it really was a town brimming with artistry, and a lot of offbeat creativity.

Balaw-Balaw restaurant

First stop was the bizarro Balaw-Balaw Folk Food and Folk Art restaurant. Angono is known for its higantes, those towering, papier-mache figures that make up the surreal pageantry in the Angono fiestas. They make higantes here at the resto/gallery, and they are displayed with reckless abandon throughout the place. They even have miniature higantes (an oxymoron, if you ask me).

Higante heads

Another stranger-than-fiction place is Yab Design. Take a look at the entrance to the place; it’s guarded by Ptolemy X and his family:

Pharoah lane at Yab

Yab is a company that actually specializes in customized resin figures. Boy, are they creative—and crazy! Look at this twisted tableaux, who would think of that:

Weird stuff going on at Yab

RL art director Carlo Vergara on the other hand, fell in love with the T-rex outside:

Carlo loves T-rex

But what is Angono without the Blancos? The Blancos are best known for their “the family who paints together stays together” attitude. Everyone in the family is encouraged to paint, even before they could walk! It was just too sad that immediately after this was photographed, the patriarch, Jose “Pitok” Blanco, passed away.

Blanco family mural

Angono can’t be contained in one blog entry. I suggest you go straight there this weekend and see it. Or read about it in Real Living’s September issue. (The wonderful photos here are by At Maculangan)


Ladies’ Night

2008 posted in Arts And Culture, Events by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

Frailty exhibit at Pablo

I love going to art exhibits, and I am not choosy—the exhibit openings I go to run the gamut from chi-chi champagne-and-National Artist events to hole-in-the-wall student painter evenings with isaw and beer. But somehow, nothing can compare to the Pablo exhibit openings at Cubao X, and their most recent fab event was their Frailty thing last weekend.

Frailty featured the (painting, photo, mixed-media) works of 33 different female artists, including Pepper Roxas, MM Yu, Cynthia Arre, and my college batchmate Ene Lagunzad. I totally liked most of the artwork, especially the cool-freaky animal head illustrations by Mara Bernaldo and the paper skull cutouts by Lala Gallardo:

Artwork by Lala Gallardo and Mara Bernaldo

And that crazy “Dear Chandelier” by erstwhile RL contrib Genie Ranada:

“Dear Chandelier” by Genie Ranada

After seeing all that stuff, we wanted to take in more found-object, mishmash, re-worked things and headed off to I Love You store nearby. They sell reworked clothes and other fashion accessories, but visiting it is a treat in itself.

I Love You Store

But of course, going back to Pablo, there was the entertainment. We had another treat in the form of Cambio and Pedicab, with Raymund Marasigan and Buddy Zabala playing live to boot:

Go Buddy!

Go Raymund!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to those chi-chi champagne art events again after this. That’s how pedestrian I am. Anyway, Frailty runs at Pablo, Cubao X, Araneta Center Cubao until October 9. (Chandelier photo courtesy of Genie Ranada, Raymund and Buddy photos by Peejo Pilar)


Ikea the series?

2008 posted in What's In The Mag by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

I got this invite in the mail this morning:

Easy to Assemble web series

I would have been thrilled to go, but aside from the fact that the launch is in 3,000 miles away in LA, there isn’t even an actual IKEA store here. :(

Apparently, actress and funny girl Illeana Douglas (Law and Order, Ghost World, a few episodes of Six Feet Under) is starring and producing Easy to Assemble, a web series (it’s the in thing now—TV series made for the Youtube generation and other lurkers) of spoof videos showing various celebs like Jeff Goldblum, Tom Arnold, and Douglas herself training as staff in an IKEA store. It’s co-produced by IKEA, of course.

What a great marketing idea! Though I can’t imagine doing a spoof show or something like that in…uhm…for various reasons, I won’t mention the store’s name. :)
But if you’re curious, catch it on this site.


Guys only

2008 posted in What's In The Mag by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

I tried my hand at styling for guys recently for an article in the September ish of Mens Health Magazine. It was quite refreshing to do after producing setups that almost always veered on the feminine side of things. Here’s the first setup, I tried to make it as “guy” as possible:

Men’s Health guy style tips at home, photo by Miguel Nacianceno, photographed at Domani

We gave out guy style tips with cool masculine furniture picks as well in the September issue of Real Living

Bo Concept styled by Gwyn Guanzon, photographed by Jeryc Garcia

…in our hopes of proving that real guys can go beyond the bachelor pad cliches of dirty laundry on the bedroom floor and pizza boxes on the sofa. But somehow, we wouldn’t dare take out the honking big TV. :)


Designer Sleep

2008 posted in Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

One of my frustrations with local home stores is the dearth of designer diffusion lines like that of Isaac Mizrahi for Target in the US a few years back. Remember? It had all these products with big, beautiful blooms:

Isaac Mizrahi Design for Target US

It’s great that mattress and foam giant Uratex recently tried their hand in diffusion, this time with fashion designer Rajo Laurel. Now Rajo is no novice to diffusion, as he has launched bedlinen collections before with Our Home and SM Homeworld (around the same time with Frederick Peralta). He came up with two products; a mattress called Trapunto, named after traditional Italian quilting. The mattress has a sleek, quilted fabric and foam cover that adds even more softness and plushness. Funny, but what first caught my eye in this picture were the pillowcases—I have a dress exactly like it!

Trapunto Mattress by Rajo Laurel for Uratex

There’s also the Scatola, a convertible ottoman/extra bed. No ugly futons here—it folds up neatly into a compact ottoman that will blend in with the rest of the furniture.

Scatola Ottoman by Rajo Laurel for Uratex

I hope more Filipino designers will make diffusion lines in the future, and I hope the furnishing companies will likewise give them a chance! Uratex products are available at major home and department stores; the Scatola is available at Our Home.


Pablo is turning Three!

2008 posted in Arts And Culture by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

And wants you to come to the party.

WHAT: FRAILTY exhibit opening night, a group exhibit featuring the works of 33 female artists

WHEN: 13 September 2008, Saturday, 7 PM

WHERE: Pablo Gallery, Cubao Expo

Celebrate with: Sandwich , Chillitees, Juan Pablo Dream, Project 2 & Pedicab