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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Magnificent (Magnanni)

 For those people who have read my previous posts, they would know that I have this thing for shoes.  Dress shoes.  The kind that guys like me who have shunned the corporate world don’t have any practical use for.  Yes, we may, on occassion, have the need to slip our feet into handmade leather loafers.  But, since these occassions are quite few and far between, a couple of pairs would be sufficient.

Right…

As if a woman would be satisfied with just a couple of bags…

Anyway, I was aimlessly walking around the mall one day, enjoying its cool, airconditioned confines.  As it was an aimless wandering, I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going.  When I was just about done with my Chai Tea Latte, I looked around for a rubbish bin to dispose of my cup.  I asked a person in uniform for some help and realized that the uniform looked familiar.  Taking stock of my surroundings, it dawned on me that my wanderings have taken me into the men’s department of Rustan’s Makati…  Again…

Emotions of guilt and joy swept through me.  Or was it joy first and then guilt?  Joyful guilt?  Guiltful joy?  Whatever…  A plausible excuse must be found to placate my wife’s growing irritation at my increasing clothing bill.  But, wait!  I have not done anything wrong!  It was not my fault that I am back in Rustan’s!  My feet brought me here!  Yes!  My feet!  I had nothing do to with it, so there.

Satisfied that I have not done anything wrong, I finally glanced down at the magnificent pair of Magnanni shoes I have been cradling in my hands while I was undergoing my mental discourse.  Called the “Belton”, its exquisite brown sheen, delicate buckle, hand-sewn leather and the combination leather sole for the forefoot and rubber sole for the heel made me think about the movie Ocean’s Thirteen and how it was able to tastefully blend laid back elegance, impeccable style (care of world-renowned Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue), and careless wealth.

As much as I loved to imagine myself putting on a bespoke shirt, a light linen suit, slipping into these Magnanni shoes and getting into a Maserati Quattroporte (I am a family man, after all), reality must step in.  For the meantime, the shoes must be put back into its display stand and I must walk back to the parking garage, get into my vintage 4×4 and drive home.

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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Save My Skin! (Celeteque)

 You know how it is with guys and skin care?  That the two don’t mix?  Well, that’s just not true.  We are concerned about our skin.  It just takes a while for us to get to the point where we consciously seek out ways to improve and protect our “outer layer”.

We start out quite simply enough by popping our own pimples (apparently a big no-no) that were brought about by puberty.  Gradually, we move on to the commercially available astringents (another big no-no) that were used by our yayas (nannies).  It sort of tapers-off in college (buying skin care products cuts into our beer budget) then steps up again when we enter the corporate world.

The thing is, it’s just not enough.  In my case, years of futbol (soccer for the other half of the world), golf, scuba diving, hanging out at the beach and plain neglect have taken it’s toll.  This realization came to me while in bed engrossed in a game on my iPad.  I suddenly felt the urge to take better care of my skin.  With a jolt, I got out of bed and made a bee-line for my wife’s stash of beauty products (my wife is a dermatologist and skin care products for men make me break out).

After a few minutes of digging, I settled on an anti-wrinkle facial moisturizer by Celeteque Advanced which is pictured here.  It has a “Double Peptide Comlex” that is supposed to penetrate deep into the skin to help stimulate the formation of collagen.  It’s in a cream form which you pump out of the bottle (store it upside-down, otherwise, all you get is air).  And, surprisingly, the mositurizer doesn’t make me look like I just dipped my face in a vat of oil.  I’ve been using it morning and evening for a few days now and I haven’t broken-out yet.  Very encouraging…

I must recommend this to my yaya…

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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James Bondish… (Hackett)

 Ever since the time I decided to eschew the corporate life, I have been waking up with a smile on my face.  No more rush hour traffic.  No more long days.  And, I think more importantly, no more restrictive dress code.  My suits have been relegated to the back of my closet to make space for my casual, but otherwise, smart daily wear.

Of course, I’m not saying that I now look like a slob.  I still do appreciate clothes that are stylish and well-made.  It’s just that, rather than conveying a message of competition and assertion, I would like to think that the way I dress now conveys warmth and acceptance.  I think…

I do still work.  And, because of the nature of my profession (which I am trying to keep a secret), I still have meetings scheduled throughout the work week.  The difference is, the meetings are now more relaxed and informal.  Much like a meeting between friends.

Anyway, my more casual work wardrobe needed a little spiffing up.  Visa suggested that I shop around for a light sport coat that can be used for daytime appointments and not so formal evening functions.  Mastercard readily agreed.  And so, for the nth time, my credit cards find themselves in the men’s department of Rustan’s Makati trying to jump out of my wallet.

Being a regular guy, I made a mental map of the selling area and chose a route to follow.  After about half an hour, I was on my way to an elevated portion when I spied a blue jacket, which is pictured here, by Hackett of London that was left hanging in one of the fitting rooms.  It caught my eye because it was the first time I had seen something like it.  After ensuring that the room was empty, I entered to get closer to the item.  Maybe it was the yellow lighting in the room, I don’t know?  Called a “Blue Delave”, its soft blue color and luxuriously light linen fabric reminded me of the ocean, an immaculate shore line, and an ice-cold Daiquiri with those little umbrellas.  Or, maybe I’ve just been watching too many James Bond movies…

It wasn’t much of a fight, really.  I knew that this was the jacket I’ve been looking for.  It looks good.  It will go with the clothes I already have and it’s perfect for the tropics.  This is one time I gladly handed over my existence to the sales person and signed on the dotted line.

Now…  What to tell the wife…

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Machiavelli is Filipino! (Machiavelli Chocolatier)

I love the rain.  The weather gets a little bit cooler.  Streets and buildings get a much needed wash down.  The leaves on trees and plants glisten with their coat of water.  The sound of raindrops hitting the pavement muffles the otherwise deafening sound of daily life and, for a few hours or so, we are forced to slow ourselves down.

And slow ourselves down we did one stormy afternoon when classes were cancelled and work was called-off early.  Knowing that traffic would be going in the opposite direction, I swept my wife from bed, got into the car and hied off to Makati for a relaxing, mid-afternoon date.

Soon enough, we found ourselves in the immaculate and familiar confines of Rustan’s flagship store in Ayala Center (Let’s face it…  Most of us grew up borrowing our mother’s frequent shopper card).  We had a leisurely stroll among the beautifully laid-out displays with my wife taking note of the “X” items (my knees are quivering as I write this), while I was subtly directing her toward the men’s department.

I thought my efforts were succesfull when something caught her eye (*face palm*).  She immediately made a bee-line for some well-lit refrigerated display cases set against a purple background.  With no other choice but to follow, I scampered off after her.

She was already choosing what to buy when I made it to her side.  I don’t blame her.  We were staring into the display case of Machiavelli Chocolatier and the chocolates on offer were bite-sized works of art.  We bought a couple of pieces (the Grand Marnier and Coconut Screw) and relished the smooth, buttery chocolate that could have only come from the best chocolatiers in the world.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that most of the chocolates on offer had Filipino names.  There was Yema de Manila, Dusty Negros and Batangas Star.  There were even chocolate bars dedicated to prominent Filipino personalities such as Benny’s Morrocan Bar (dedicated to Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco) and the Cory Aquino Bar wrapped in yellow.  I asked the proprietor, Raul Matias about the store and he confirmed that the store is his original concept and that he made the chocolates himself!  Amazing, really.  It just goes to show that Filipinos can stand as equals on the world stage.

I’ll have this over Belgian chocolate any day.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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