Dec 232014
Sole mates

Sole sister: FitFlop Amsterdam come in a mix of smooth leather and patterned, weave-embossed materials with subtle stud detailing. Available at Res | Toe | Run outlets. MANILA, Philippines – Find your perfect sole-mate this season of merrymaking as FitFlop lets you indulge in the magic and fun of the holidays while giving your feet the festive update they deserve with the release of its two new styles, Ibiza and Amsterdam, exclusively at Res|Toe|Run.   Delight and dazzle with a bit of “rockstar” vibe in a pair of Ibizas — a luxurious mix of leather, braids and studs that keep you boho-cool and classy-sassy. For instant shine, slip into glamorous Amsterdam slides which come in a mix of smooth leather and patterned, weave-embossed metallic materials with subtle stud detailing. Fully leather-lined, this pair is also a darling to behold. Bearing the APMA Seal of Acceptance, both Ibiza and Amsterdam promote the brand’s promise of good foot health, built on the ultra-cush, go-all-day comfy Microwobbleboard midsoles — height-enhancing, shock-absorbing multi-density midsoles that give wearers a “super-cushioned” experience, offering better width fitting and pressure diffusion. Exclusively distributed in the country by Primer Group of Companies, Fitlop Amsterdam and Ibiza are now available in Res|Toe|Run outlets.

Nov 252014
Celio revolutionizes fall/winter basics

Sweater weather: Warm up by layering a classic sweater over your favorite button-down. MANILA, Philippines – Celio, the No. 1 men’s brand from France, sets the mood by immortalizing the fundamentals of casual wear in its 2014 fall/winter collection. This season, the spotlight focuses on basic must-haves with a modern twist. Button-downs, sweaters, jackets, graphic tees, and workwear chino and denim pants take center stage. Well known for its core offerings of stylish tees, polos, shirts, outerwear, bermudas, pants, denim and accessories, Celio aims to take fashion from the catwalk to the street — making it accessible and wearable for today’s young, urban men. Clean lines distinguish this season’s wave of button-downs. In addition to a cool palette of blues and neutrals, plaid color variants are resurfacing — echoing a laid-back feel reminiscent of ‘90s grunge. Chambray is going strong and embellished button-down hybrids with attention to print details are also flying off Celio’s shelves. Celio’s fall/winter collection also has tailored suits in tow, flaunting the perfect slim fit with saddler stitching and satin contrast details. With more than 1,000 stores in 60 countries, Celio aims to provide affordable, durable and stylish clothing options. Visit Celio at TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia, Market! Market! and Ayala Center Cebu. For style inspiration and the latest trends, follow Celio, the style leader on Instagram via @celioph. Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Oct 212014
Artistic license

Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol are arguably three of the most important artists of the 20th century. Now, with art historian Katherine Ingram’s This Is… book series, they get their own Marvel Comics treatment. Well, not exactly. The artists are presented not as Batman, Iron-Man and Spider-Man, but in scholarly texts that emphasize their major artistic story arcs — matched with cool, hip illustrations by Andrew Rae. Art and comic books. They may seem like polar opposites, but nowadays comic books are art, and art draws from the energy of comics. Pop artists Warhol (and Roy Lichtenstein) probably did the most to bring the two worlds together. Nowadays, we can’t look at comics without thinking about art. Ingram’s art books for the comics lover are a godsend in these book-challenged times. Available at National Book Store, the series is a rarity: educational, full of insight, good for kids starting to learn about art and perfect for hipsters who can groove on Rae’s witty drawings. Like those “Classic Comics” that so many young Filipinos used to read — instead of their Beowulf and Ivanhoe — these comic books are art history texts in disguise. The book on Warhol (This is Warhol) goes beyond the usual take on the artist — his now-commonplace quip about “15 minutes” of fame, which has somehow overshadowed the challenging nature of his work. Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: Ingram’s text covers Warhol’s relationship with his Russian/Slavic mom, who also was Read More …

Oct 142014
Where the wild (and weird) things are

The crocodilian Indian gharial has a bump at the tip of its snout to amplify buzzing sounds made during courtship. My two-year-old son — who rules our household with a Skyflakes- and condensada-stained fist — can identify the letters of the alphabet, is slowly weaning from his baby bottle and is partly toilet-trained. Given his level of maturity, I thought it was time that he learned about the birds and the bees. Literally. During a recent family trip to the Lion City, I wanted my Buddha boy to appreciate the fact that real animals were not animated, could not talk, and did not break out spontaneously into song and dance (also that birds were not spherical and could not be launched as projectiles), So we took him on a crash course to the Singapore Wildlife Reserves which included a visit to the Singapore Zoo (a 26-hectare wildlife park nestled in the lush Mandai rainforest setting which is home to over 2,800 animals representing over 300 species of animals), the Night Safari (a safari park for over 2,500 animals in their naturalistic nighttime habitats) and the River Safari (a wildlife park that features aquatic ecosystems from the different rivers of the world — from the Ganges to the Nile to the Mississippi — as well as 6,000 land and aquatic animals representing 200 species). This zoological expedition was enough to give Noah a run for his money. But it was well worth it as my son enjoyed all three visits (although Read More …

Aug 192014
Lucy in the sky

Watch out for Lucy: Scarlett Johansson plays the titular character in Luc Besson’s latest emerging-woman flick. You’ve got to admire Scarlett Johansson’s career trajectory of late — from indie films to Woody Allen to blockbuster superhero franchises, without losing a step in her high heels. But the most surprising direction she’s taken has been a trilogy of science fiction flicks that explore what it means to be a future woman. Her wasn’t supposed to feature her, of course. But director Spike Jonze replaced Samantha Morton’s voiceover and Johansson took over the purring tones of Joaquin Phoenix’s OS. The computer operating system, called Samantha, eventually evolves beyond human consciousness to some kind of singularity, a point where artificial intelligence transcends us. Scarlett had left the building, and was now part of the ethernet consciousness, an uber-being that understood everything about love, human frailties, and our potential. Then there was Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s meditative/arty take on Michel Faber’s science fiction novel. In it she played an alien seductress who picks up Scottish hitchhikers and lures them to their unfortunate demise. The movie was notable for Johansson’s deadma stare and quiet authority, as she investigated a planet (Earth) she found more and more beguiling. Under the Skin was certainly oblique, filled with long, unsettling shots and little dialogue, almost like a Kubrick film in its reluctance to be easily understood. Lucy, directed by reigning French pop director Luc Besson, doesn’t have that problem. It wants to be understood. And Besson, whose Read More …

Aug 122014
White house

Ah, Baguio. Known for its cool weather, its fresh strawberries, and its haunted houses. Baguio is like the SM of ghost sightings. They’ve got it all for you: from the Philippine Military Academy to Loakan Road to Teachers Camp to Hyatt Terraces Hotel to Casa Vallejo to Diplomat Hotel.  But if want to pay for a haunted encounter in (what is reputed to be) the most haunted house in all of Baguio, then look no further than down the stretch of Leonard Wood Road. House Number 14. Also known as the Laperal house. Also known as… The White House… (…Because “The Light Yellow/Beige House,” which was its original color, just doesn’t have as much gravitas. The house was repainted white in 2001).  For those of us who visited Baguio in our (pre-Instagram, pre-cellphone, pre-pager) youth, this once-decrepit and (what we assumed was) abandoned residence along an otherwise busy street did give off a slightly creepy vibe that made your heart skip a beat and made your pubic hair uncurl (especially when you caught a glimpse of the espiritistas gathering outside of the house to light candles on the eve of All Saints Day). Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: The stories about the house made you want to floor the accelerator so you wouldn’t hear the angry voices emanating from the house or spot the woman staring at you from the window of the second floor. But what made the house even creepier was that mumus weren’t Read More …

Feb 042014
More Beatles at the BBC? Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Beatles in your living room: The band did hundreds of appearances on the BBC in 1963 and ’64. “On Air: Live at The BBC Volume 2” collects more of them. There’s a line in the Coen Brothers’ recent Inside Llewelyn Davis in which the fledgling folk performer refuses to accept a box of his early recordings from his sister, who says “People should hear this!” “You’re not supposed to show them the practice stuff,” says Davis. “It ruins the mystique.” More often nowadays, we live in a world where every demo, four-track recording and 2 a.m. goof committed to tape find its way into the vast Archive that is the Internet. People like Rivers Cuomo release albums and albums of their early demos; the folks tending to Jimi Hendrix’s estate continue doling out live recordings bit by bit; while Neil Young and Dylan regularly unearth vast archival box sets, revealing the basic foundations of their art for all the world to see. Mystique intact. The Beatles are a rare case, because existing recordings of the band are a bona fide scarcity. That’s why the generous BBC recordings released in two sets through Apple — “On Air: Live at The BBC, Volume 1” and “Volume 2” — are a special find. What you hear is not a band finding its feet — they already were famous by the time these live BBC radio broadcasts were done between 1963 and ’64, though they had yet to conquer America — rather, it’s a Read More …

Jan 282014
Rush her not

Never rush a woman when she’s primping to go somewhere — never. You might be running a little late or even a lot late, but unless you want to meet your maker earlier than heaven has ordained, back off. I have witnessed a couple of epic fights between spouses and partners because the men at some point in their vigil made the cardinal sin of saying, “Let’s go!”  The first time I became aware of this phenomenon was when I was about seven, and my godparents were our houseguests. My parents were taking them to a party and my godmother let me watch her get ready. My godfather kept popping into the room saying, “Let’s go, we’re late,” and my godmother was getting frantic with each visit he paid her. The edgier she got, the more mistakes made, hence, more do-overs. It got to a point where, in frustration, she told me, “One more ‘Let’s go’ from your Ninong and he’ll see the devil himself come to life.” They ended up leaving extremely late, as the harder he pressed, the more my godmother took her sweet time just to get back at him. I learned from my parents the next day that they stayed away from each other at the party. Another time, in college, a good friend was getting ready with me in the room, while her boyfriend waited outside. He was taking her to dinner to meet his parents for the first time. She was a bundle of Read More …

Jan 212014
Time out of mind

Climb every mountain: Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig explore Walter Mitty’s mind in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. There are some great visuals in Ben Stiller’s new movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, like helicopter rides over Icelandic volcanoes and shots of the actor/director careening down a mountain road on a skateboard. But like the magazine which is the background subject of the movie, the movie is mostly a series of visuals meant to impart a sense of human wonder: it’s Life of Pi with more laughs, less depth. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is based on a James Thurber short story from 1939, so naturally it needed a lot of padding (and major updating) to stretch it to a 90-minute movie. A lot of stretching, considering the movie itself is very slight: the title character (played by Stiller) checks negatives at Life magazine during its final days; when he can’t locate a crucial photo taken by adventurous photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), he decides to locate the negative by tracking down the rock star lensman. Meanwhile, he’s smitten with new Life employee Sheryl (Kristen Wiig) but is too shy to connect with her. Instead, he daydreams (“zones out”), imagining himself in heroic situations. Anyway, if you’ve seen the trailer, you already know the story. A similar situation — stretching a short story to a full-length movie — occurred with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was padded out to epic schmaltz Read More …

Dec 032013
Man up

Host with the most: Edu Manzano, Mr. Pure Energy: Gary Valenciano Thank you, Manny Pacquiao, for systematically rearranging the face of Brandon Rios and boosting this nation’s waning testosterone levels. That decisive win last Sunday caused hair to spontaneously sprout on my chest, helped me grow an additional set of abs and increased my cojones a third in diameter. And, speaking of growing cojones, did you know there are many men whose cojones I would like to have? Wait. Allow me to rephrase that lest I be arrested. There are many men whose cojones I would like to emulate. Wait, that wasn’t quite right either. Basta, there are many men with great cojones, and I wish I had cojones just like them. You see, writing this column of national inconsequence, there are other balls that I juggle as well. These balls include real estate development, food market entrepreneurship, events and TV hosting, and my biggest ball of all, manservant to my wife and two kids. I know, I know, I have more balls than I can handle. But hey, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to eventually handle bigger balls. And, for me, these are the men that I look up to when I play with my balls. Tony Tan Caktiong — Uncle Tony’s (uuuy, nakiki-uncle daw, o) rise to success is the stuff of business legend. After graduating with a chemical engineering degree from UST in 1975, he used his life savings to invest in an ice cream Read More …