The LRI experience

The LRI Design Plaza shoot was my first official RL shoot and honestly, I was really nervous. During the first thirty minutes, I was chanting “what next what next what next” inside my head. I felt I didn’t know what to do. And another thing, there were too many awesome shops, so little time. Good thing Coni, our assistant stylist called the shots so I just had to follow her lead.

I was trying to control my curious self, unfortunately I failed—I found myself checking out anything and everything that caught my eyes. I can’t even count how many times I heard the line “get out of the frame,” (Oh my! haha) If you have read RL June 2010’s Shopping section, you’d know what sent me prying around.

There were a couple of items I fell in love with, including these oh-so-precious-and-girly brushes from Erfe’s Designer Furnishing Shop.


And this reading corner at Triboa Bay Living reminds me I need to find a good book soon and do some serious reading!


The lamp and one-seater from Kish gives out a striking manly aura which I am just simply drawn to.


Definitely an eye-catcher, this red resin divider is a to-die-for piece from Haute Design.


The shoot was fun and tiring, but seeing the June ish makes me more than proud. And yes, it’s my first RL issue too! :) (Photos by Vincent Coscolluela) LRI Design Plaza is located at 210 Nicanor Garcia St., (formerly Reposo) Bel-Air 2, Makati City.  Click here for more info, or grab a copy of the latest issue of Real Living magazine, for P140 only, at bookstores and newsstands nationwide.


Laya, Laya

2010 posted in Behind the Scenes, Others by Tisha, Real Living Managing Editor.
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Happy Easter!:)

I had so much fun working on this month’s Entertaining section, “The Grill-out Project”! Summer is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate these sunny days than with a good old-fashioned barbecue?


When we were trying to figure out where to shoot this section, I immediately thought of Laya Personal Dining, a by-reservation-only resthouse-turned-restaurant in Antipolo.

I first heard about this lovely place from photographer Miguel Nacianceno, who wrote about it for Yummy.ph. I decided to celebrate my birthday there a few months ago, and had been raring to go back. This shoot gave me the perfect excuse!

Laya, owner Irene told me on my first visit, used to be the family’s rest house. “But it didn’t make sense because we live just five minutes away!” she said. They thus converted Balinese-style house into this wonderful restaurant. Chef Ricci comes up with different set menus every so often, and you can enjoy the sumptuous food in the midst of a relaxing setting.



Imagine sipping some hot tea at that cabana (above) after a six-course meal!

They’re open every weekend, and the place can be reserved for a private group. Laya is located at Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo. For more details (including the latest menu), click here. For inquiries and reservations, email [email protected], or call or text 0917-846-4322.

Photos by Miguel Nacianceno


Lights, Camera, Action!

2010 posted in Behind the Scenes by Tisha, Real Living Managing Editor.
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We’ve had quite a few TV appearances lately, just to make our mag’s presence felt. It’s part of our job, and it eats up a good number of hours of a work day (or night). So what goes on exactly when we have a TV shoot?

First, we find ourselves in a makeup chair.


For this particular show, Snow White (who did Coni’s makeup before) worked his magic on my bare face. “Parang hindi bagay sa ‘yo ang makapal na makeup. Nafi-feel ko lang,” he told me. So he just gave me a light layer. “Light” by TV standards meant I still used up a lot of cotton balls getting everything off after the shoot.

And then there are the preps. Sometimes, we’re given cheat sheets–the questions that are going to be asked and all that, so we can start thinking of answers. Often, we just talk about a specific section in the mag, so we just try to know it by heart, and pick up some additional info that might be useful talking points.


Here, Coni does some last-minute memorization. See sometimes, we have to talk about articles we didn’t write. Other times, we just have to refresh our memories–we work on issues about two months in advance, so details can get a bit hazy!

For some shows, we might have to prepare a few props–like when we demo how to make decorations or other DIY touches for entertaining, for example.


And then…we wait.


For live shows, the wait isn’t that long. They have to stick to a schedule, so we know exactly what time we’re coming on. For taped shows, the wait can be longer–the ngarag camera crew could get stuck in an earlier shoot, or a busy busy host could be running late. So you could be waiting for hours.

Once everyone’s there and ready, it’s showtime!



This was Coni’s segment in our recent guesting on ANC’s Shoptalk with Pia Hontiveros. My least favorite part when it comes to live shows? The Q&A portion!


While it’s a great chance to interact directly with our viewers/readers, it’s also slightly nerve-wracking. You really have to think of good answers quickly, even if you’re not all too familiar with the subject matter! (Which reminds me…to the viewer who asked about getting rid of spiders–since it’s a persistent problem, maybe it’s time to call in a professional pest controller.)

For taped shows, you don’t have to worry so much about saying something stupid or bleep-worthy because they can just edit it out.


At the taping of The Sweet Life with the very tall Wilma Doesnt and Lucy Torres (our pimp, er, PR girl Kriztel Lorbes is also shown in the photo), we did a retake because one of the crew members thought I should have said something another way. He was very…straightforward, and it was all good (I get how stressful life is for production crews), but Lucy (who is all sugar and niceness) seemed to think he was being rude and gently reprimanded him. He apologized to me profusely after the take.

At these shoots, you also get to see hosts behind the scenes, and get a general impression of what they’re like off-cam. You see who’s genuinely nice, and who’s kind of mean to the crew. The Sweet Life ladies, thankfully, are both very agreeable. It’s funny how Wilma’s and Lucy’s personalities are as different as their appearances. While Lucy is reserved and soft-spoken, Wilma is all craziness and funny antics!

After the shoot, we sometimes receive a token from the show (a basket of fruits from The Sweet Life, for example). No payment or anything–we do this because we love our mag and want to promote it as much as we can! For the Jan-Feb ish, I think we’ve talked about everything there is to talk about, both on TV and on radio, so we (and you) get a month-long break from our invasion of other forms of media!


More than Meets the Eye

2010 posted in Behind the Scenes, What's In The Mag by Tisha, Real Living Managing Editor.

In magazines, what you see isn’t always what you get. Case in point:


This photo was taken by Miguel Nacianceno for this month’s alternative window treatments story. That sturdy crib is from Mobler, that curtain made out of doilies was crafted by Rach and her mom!

While dismantling and pulling out the crib took a lot of time and grunt work, setting it up was a cinch. That’s because we found an easier way to get the shot we wanted…


That’s me, caged in, while art director Arlene (milky white legs and all) helps me hold up the “crib.” Miguel’s assistant, Kuya Marlon, is flexing his muscles while holding up a curtain rod with the doilies (we weren’t about to ask Rach and her mom to make an entire curtain!), and pulling back some of the existing curtains at the playroom in my brother’s house. Before this pic was taken, we had to clear the area of toys so I had space to sit; while it was being taken, I had to press myself against the daybed so my head and arms wouldn’t be caught on cam. All the while I had to find the proper placement of my legs so that the others wouldn’t have to endure an impromptu peep show. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Whoever said magazine work is glamorous is so misguided.

So, yeah, we cheat, er, “magic” some shots. The next time you admire how a dress perfectly fits a reed-thin model and curse yourself for not filling the dress the same way, remember this: There’s probably a bunch of clothespins at the back of that outfit to get it to drape just-so.


What’s Up?!

2010 posted in Behind the Scenes, What's In The Mag by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

Have you chanced upon this month’s ed photo? The boss was kind enough to share her space with us so we could greet everyone a happy new year!


(Image by Ocs Alvarez)

The RL staff took a break from hauling sofas and this time made ourselves camera-ready.


Starting with make-up! Here’s Ms. Tish with our makeup artist for the day, Ces Guerrero.


L’Oreal Professionnel Stylist Emar Cabiltes took care of our hair. ( Isn’t he such a cutie?)


Photographer Ocs Alvarez’s sexy wife Bel dropped by the shoot to say ‘Hi!’


And guess who was shooting at the studio right next to us? It’s Ai-Ai Delas Alas! She was in her cover shoot for Good Housekeeping Philippines January 2010 issue.


A Burst of Sunshine

2010 posted in Behind the Scenes, What's In The Mag by Tisha, Real Living Managing Editor.

Happy New Year!:)

What better way to start the year than with good vibes and warm, fuzzy feelings? These are exactly what I got when we shot this image for the Jan-Feb 2010 issue’s Decor Ideas: “Curtain (Re)Call”…


I first caught a glimpse of these oh-so-cute jalousie windows as I was reading a blog entry by OK! Magazine editor Frances Amper Sales. She recounted her visit to Sunshineville, a project of Gawad Kalinga, and I was so fascinated that I wanted to visit the place myself. When the window story came up, I took it as an opportunity to go to Sunshineville, see the pretty windows, and meet the people behind them.

I coordinated with the GK people and one morning, I headed to Sunshineville with stylist Coni, photographer Miguel Nacianceno (who took all these photos), and his trusty assistant Kuya Marlon. As soon as our vehicle pulled up, we were welcomed by GK personnel and the Sunshineville residents. It was such a big, warm welcome that I felt like a UN Goodwill Ambassador! The Mabuhay Ladies, Sunshineville’s frontliners and resident tour guides, rushed forward with their umbrellas to shield us from the sun–they didn’t want us to get all hot and sweaty during our very short walk to their workshop!

At the workshop, the ladies craft bags, placemats, boxes, and other items using old tetra packs. So Sunshineville not only gives them a place to live, it also gives them their livelihood! How awesome is that?


Later, the ladies (umbrellas in hand) gave us a short tour of their village. These women were trained by the Department of Tourism, so they are incredibly pleasant and gracious and funny even–quite a turnaround from the days when they were still “mahiyain,” as one of the ladies revealed.


During the tour, we saw those windows that I had only seen in pictures. How lovely! The film used on the jalousie windows comes from a hardware store. It’s sold in rolls and, inspired by a set they saw on a Pinoy sitcom, the residents followed suit, cutting up the sheets and sticking the strips onto the jalousie panels. Voila! Colorful windows befitting the residents of this happy little village!


Now the Mabuhay Ladies may have been trained by the DOT, but they exuded something that no training could ever teach them–such pride and joy! After all, they used to be informal settlers, and now they own their own homes! And these weren’t just handouts either. Apart from helping build the houses with their own hands, they also shell out around P500 per month as payment. Their homes are something they could truly call their own.


After the shoot, we headed back to the workshop where we were fed puto especially prepared by the Mabuhay Ladies. Wow. We were there for such a short time, but the visit really touched me and refreshed my spirit. Being surrounded by this great positive energy just put me in such a good mood and inspired me! Here’s to more good vibes and a whole lot o’ love this 2010!


An RL Christmas Dinner

2009 posted in Behind the Scenes, Others by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.
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Before signing off for the holidays, the RL gang and some friends celebrated a hearty dinner at Gwyn’s. (Thanks Gwyn for hosting!) Here are some captured moments courtesy of our sweet friend Arlene Maslog.


Miguel and Ms. Tish.


Kath and Kaye are all smiles for the camera while Chinggay Labrador, and Issa chat are chatting away on the side.

Issa, yours truly, Arlene Sy, and Ms. Rach


Gwyn and Carlo


That’s me being the butt of jokes, again. (evidently, some things never change.)


Arlene, Miu Miu, and Ocs


Jenny I, Gwyn, and his cat Miu Miu


Kat Lopez and Kath Valle, Arlene Maslog and Arlene Sy


The Sweet Life

2009 posted in Behind the Scenes, Others, What's In The Mag by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

I was on QTV’s ‘The Sweet Life’ yesterday, promoting our December 2009 issue by demonstrating three of our 5-minute holiday decor ideas.


It took three wonderful men to make me camera-ready! Isn’t that the most hysterical thing?! And I love them for making the effort.


Here’s me before the cameras started rolling.


I think we were giggling over something funny Whilma said.


That’s me with Lucy! She was towering over me! When I did mention that, she just blamed it on her heels. (Hah! She was just being modest.)

After I got back from GMA and related the whole experience of being sandwiched between those two statuesque beauties, Real Living’s former Art Director Carlo Vergara unabashedly exclaimed ‘Parang Wilson Philips!’

Did we? Hmmm… I’ll let you decide.


Real Living on Radio

2009 posted in Behind the Scenes, Others by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

Been an intersting week so far here in Real Living. (well, at least for me. hihihi.)

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of promoting our December 2009 issue and together with our sexy PR officer Kriztel made the rounds of radio stations across the metro.

Though I had to wake up a bit earlier and brave the blood-curdling traffic to make the morning call time, I was rewarded with funny banter and good company.


at NU107.5 with my cutie friend Jay

(though the one who was onboard was the lovely Roanna.)


at Wave 89.1 with dynamic duo George and Picazo


at JAM 88.3 with the heavenly Gabriel


at Magic 89.9 with heartthrob Boom and sweet Mia

at RT 99.5 with the sexy Tina Ryan and cool Neil


Girls on TV

2009 posted in Behind the Scenes, What's In The Mag by Tisha, Real Living Managing Editor.

Real Makeover winners get quite a bit of exposure as a result of winning. Not only do they get published in the mag and, sometimes, in newspapers, but they also get to appear on TV! QTV’s House Life covers our makeovers every month, and thus our lucky winners and hardworking designers get a bit of air time.

Our October 2009 Real Makeover designer Kristine Neri was crazy busy, so she wasn’t able to make it to the taping. And guess who had to take her place?


Me with the October winner Kitchi

I was asked to join lucky winner Kitchi Serrona on taping day; as the point person for the makeover every month (except for the Nov 09 one–former ed assistant Kath Valle handled that), I’m pretty much there from start to finish. My involvement, however, is mostly limited to coordination–the real dirty work is in the hands of our designers!

The House Life crew did our makeup, and took shots of the made-over space prior to our one-on-one interviews. They also gave us some guide questions to help us prep for the interview.




(Top) The House Life crew at work; (above) Kitchi having a mic attached to her shirt 

For this makeover, Kitchi talked about the two adjacent studio units that her boyfriend (who works abroad) gave her as an anniversary gift (!), and how she wanted to somehow return the favor by coming up with a beautiful space. I simply talked about the wonderful changes that Kristine made in just ten short days.



(Top) Ready for her close-up; (above) the crew with Kitchi, who prepared some yummy merienda for us 

Kitchi narrated how she didn’t tell her boyfriend about the makeover–she simply mentioned that she had a surprise. But the boyfriend isn’t a big fan of surprises, so a couple of weeks after the makeover was done, he went home! By Kitchi’s account, he seemed very happy with the new space, pretty much saying it was worth the trip just to see it.

Read more about this makeover, and see the before and after pics in our October 2009 issue, out now! Also, House Life airs on QTV every Saturday, 8:00 p.m. (This particular ep aired last Saturday though!)