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Palawan’s Feast of the Sea, Thailand’s Songkran, celebrities answer biting questions, a most unusual artist, new shops, products, books, gadgets, cds and updates on the gourmet world around the region!

shop alerts


Bag designer Amina Aranaz-Alunan juxtaposes indigenous materials such as mother-of-pearl and coconut shell with sparkling crystals and luxury fabrics. The results are precious pieces, from clutches to carryalls, that have a distinctly Filipino touch, rendered in a sophisticated style. While the Aranaz bags have been available locally in select outlets, and abroad in small boutiques, this new store, designed by Carlo Calma, is the first freestanding, also providing made-to-order facilities and a bridal bag boutique. Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Manila.

celeb chat

Nadine Madarang asks four celebrities this issue’s hot question

Dannieboi R&B artist

What is your ultimate beach soundtrack… and where’s the best place to listen to it?

I’d choose Legend by Bob Marley & The Wailers and I’d listen to it in Boracay.

Feast of the Sea


ON THE FIRST weekend of May this year (2-4), Puerto Princesans celebrate the International Month of the Ocean for the ninth time at Tagkawayan Beach. Revellers swim, bathe and play games on the 1.6km long white sands while bands perform nightly. Festivities culminate with a grand bikini contest. Bring your best beachwear, sunblock, camera and tent, and get ready for some spontaneous fun. For sports buffs, it’s the ideal time to get a team together and join the beach volleyball, soccer, or mountain bike race. Get creative in the sandcastle building competition, or play patintero (tag) or luksong-tinik (literally meaning ‘jump over thorns’). If none of this is for you, simply pick your spot along the talisay-tree lined beach, pitch your tent and fly a kite. Remember to do your bit for the environment by joining the coastal clean up on the last day.


Take in the grand view “where the sea meets the sky.” On the last night, gorge on the fabulous foods available from numerous stalls set up by restaurants from downtown Puerto Princesa. Buy ice cold beer and join the crowd for an all-night dance party. Or simply lie back on the southern side of the beach for some unhampered star-gazing.


Fly to Puerto Princesa. Take a bus or jeepney to Barangay Bacungan. Get off at Salvacion and take the inexpensive special jeeps or buses to Tagkawayan Beach


body glow


This is a celebrity and make-up artist must-have, found in all the best kits for photo-session flawless skin. Even former Bond girl, Halle Berry is a big fan, she uses the oil mixture to keep her looking even more gorgeous. From sheer to medium, the unique blend of Monoi oil and rich chocolate shimmer combine to give you glowing, healthy-looking skin. Price PHP2,950/USD73 from Rustan’s Essenses in Makati, Shangri-La Plaza, Alabang, Robinsons Place and Ayala Center Cebu.

celebrating Our Heritage


THE CAMPUS of Far Eastern University is one of the hidden highlights in Manila’s treasure trove of cultural jewels. Located along Nicanor Reyes Sr Street (formerly Morayta Street), FEU, as it is commonly called, is in the university-belt and therefore not usually visited by non-students. A stroll around the area reveals a lively hub of colleges and universities, budget eateries, book and magazine stalls, internet cafés and, of course, hordes of scholars.

FEU dates back to 1928, when a group of educators led by Dr Nicanor Reyes Sr, founded the Institute of Accountancy. Two years later, it became the Institute of Accounts, Business and Finance, until in 1934 it rose to the rank of a university. From a single facility with just 117 students, Far Eastern University has grown to encompass seven institutions attended by more than 20,000 students. Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks (above left), leads the campus tour ‘A FEU Good Men,’ and he and Martin Lopez, executive director of the President’s Committee on Culture, who heads different cultural performances within the school, are fonts of knowledge about the building and its history. “The whole campus is a living art space,” explains Dy. Several renowned artists lend their talent and time to contribute in what Dy calls “heritage advocacy”. The school administration also promotes this cultural legacy and the campus grounds have several art deco features and classical pieces.

The National Artist for Architecture, Pablo Antonio, designed five of the major art deco buildings. “They are the main building, also known as Nicanor Reyes Hall (named after the FEU’s founder), the administration building, the former Boys and Girls High School buildings and the science building. All of them were built from the 1930s to the 1950s, and represent the Art Deco style of that period,” Dy continues.

Lopez takes up the story: “The former Boys and Girls High School buildings mirror each other. As the high school has moved to the FEU campus in Diliman (Quezon City), these buildings are now used by the Law and Nursing Institutes.” The new ones (designed by Pablo Antonio’s son, Pablo Antonio, Jr) were built in similar fashion to blend in with the older structures.

Vicente Manansala, the National Artist in Painting, created metal sculptures at the center of the open grounds – this is one of his few sculptures; and another National Artist in Painting, Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco, was responsible for the Stations of the Cross murals at the chapel. Even the FEU hymn was composed by National Artist for Literature, Nick Joaquin. “Art abounds in public areas,” Lopez observes. “Very rare sculptures by Vicente Manansala, stand prominently in the heart of the campus. They reflect the thoughts of Dr Reyes on education, freedom and justice, which became the university’s raison d’ êtres.”

If you walk away from these sculptures, you face the tree-lined walkway leading to a Chapel, on top of which sits a mosaic in tiles of Our Lady of Fatima done once again by Manansala. Inside there are three of FEU’s four murals by Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco. Having these monuments exposed around the university adds to the atmosphere of culture. The tour is a great way for members of the public to enjoy them. The auditorium is one of the most exciting landmarks. The art deco building seats 1,040 people and has been witness to countless concerts, operas, ballets, plays, folk dances, zarzuelas (light opera), and film festivals. Just recently, prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, together with Ballet Manila, performed there. Everything is free to the public, and students are particularly encouraged to attend.


To schedule ‘A FEU Good Men’ and other tours, email oldmanilawalks2@gmail.com, or go to www.freewebtown.com/oldmanilawalks


For a campus that occupies only a few hectares, FEU has a number of interesting places. The Freedom Park, which is right in front of the chapel, is so named because it’s the hub of a wide range of activities, from student meetings to study sessions, and even occasional birthday celebrations. If you want to get a great view of the campus grounds, the open stage is safe bet. And right at the back of the stage is a quiet nook where the noise is refreshingly kept at bay – when it’s not lunch-time, that is times a week from Manila.

hot stuff


London’s FDI magazine has picked Quezon City, Cebu and Davao as numbers 7, 8 and 10 in Asia’s top ten ‘Cities of the Future’. Criteria included quality of life and economic potential. Singapore came top.


This 20 year old FilAm has made it to the top 12 on American Idol! We wish her great success.


A new chick has been bred in captivity in the Philippine Eagle Centre in Davao. Born in January, at six weeks old it was already bigger than a rooster.


The Philippines has fantastic natural resources for renewable energy, according to a study by US company Renewable Energy Coalition. We are the second largest producer of geothermal energy and have a ‘unique geological make-up’.


Companies such as America’s Pier 1 are buying up innovative products from Cebu, in shows such as Philippine International Furniture Show.


Filipino Black Eyed Peas star Allan Pineda Lindo is promoting the Philippines in his latest solo album, with a song entitled Mama Pilipina which talks about the beauty of the country.


It might be influencing our fashion and, according to whispers in the West, our hair, but we say, the noughties is the decade to celebrate.

shop alerts


For the ultimate designer’s playground, head over to Cosmopark in Manila. This hip boutique features America’s biggest fashion labels with up to 70 per cent off the original prices. There are jeans, shoes, eyewear, bags, tops and dresses from brands like Paul Frank, Steve Madden, Quicksilver and BCBG. Plus, celebrity brands like Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers and Apple Bottom jeans by hip-hop star Nelly. Cosmopark, Unit 70, 2nd floor, Shoppesville Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan.

davao’s 6th dive the gulf festival!

April 26 sees the culmination of a photograph competition in Davao, and is the end of the five-day exhibition and lecture series, running from 23-27.

It’s all to celebrate the Gulf, with events such as the Island Garden City of Samal (otherwise known as the Caracoles Samal Festival, now in its fourth year), a coastal and underwater clean up called Scubasurero and a dive concert. The highlight is a national digital photography competition, Davao Gulf Images, through a lens. The finalists and winners will be featured in a five-day photo exhibit and lecture series at SM city Davao. And there is plenty of dancing and beautiful costumes. For more information on how to get involved, email gulfimages2008@yahoo.com

wet, wet wet, wet


FROM 13-15 April this year, Thailand will have one of its moments of madness – the Songkran Festival Of Water. It may well sound like an event full of water-based activities on a lake or by the river. In fact, the sprinkling of water as a religious ceremony for monks is the reason for the event, but this year’s Songkran, as with most of the recent events, will be another fun-packed weekend… and sprinkling is not quite what the majority have in mind.

Basically, if you are out on the street, you will get wet. So be prepared for a complete stranger to simply come up and throw a bucket water over you. There’s nothing other than good intentions in this act and, as with most things in the ‘Land of Smiles’, you might as well just smile, get yourself a bucket of water and return the compliment. A word of warning though, it’s best to wear light shorts (even swimming shorts), a light top and flip flops, and also to make sure that mobile phones and paper money are well wrapped in a plastic bag.

For the best traditional shows of the Songkran Festival, Siam Square, Bangkok is your best bet. If you go to Bangkok, any Soi (small road) off Sukhumvit Road, between Soi 3 and Soi 33, will guarantee a good water throwing time. However, Chiang Mai in the north is the most popular (and wettest!) place to enjoy the festival (take an overnight coach or train). Wherever you end up, you’ll find a street party with water, and many bars stay open all day to serve food and drink between soakings. High pressure water pistols are the weapon of choice for most children, but use any receptacle that comes to hand and feel free to join in any battles. However, remember that the elderly are exempt from soakings.

Somewhere in the midst of all this partying, Thai New Year is celebrated, but that may well pass you by in a torrent of water!

Aliwan Fiesta!

From 1-3 May, the Manila Broadcasting Company and the Cultural Center of the Philippines are uniting to prepare a street fiesta with dancers, performers and ‘a bevy of beauties’ parading Roxas Boulevard from Quirino Grandstand to the CCP. Organizer Susan Isorena-Arcega, says: “The Aliwan Fiesta is a microcosm of life in these 7,107 islands!”

celebrate binondo!

Binondo: Pride Of Place, an exhibition at the Yuchengco Museum (RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala & Sen, Gil J Puyat Avenues, Makati, tel (2) 889-1234, www..yuchengcomuseum.org) celebrates this edgy side of our capital. Running until 3 May, it features antique photographs, maps, and prints of Binondo.

lucky fragrances

These feng shui fragrances enhance good luck and eliminate bad.

Made with concentrated herbs and oils, each has its own properties. Fresh lime attracts opportunities, sandalwood removes negative energy, peony is perfect for attracting love and good people, while pomelo removes bad luck and mandarin orange attracts business opportunities.

Price PHP500/USD12.30 from Charms & Crystals branches at 22-B Dapitan St, Sta Mesa Heights, Quezon City, Robinsons Galleria, South Wing of SM Mall of Asia, 122 Timog corner T Morato and Alabang Town Center. For more information tel (632) 742-2597, (632) 413-9112 or text +63920-9705953 and email hapee_joy@yahoo.com.

foodie finds



This is the new dawn of Filipino food, with a myriad of successful Filipino restaurants springing up on every corner. And last February, in Greenbelt 5, the doors of Solihiya opened, offering a dining experience so unique and yet so familiar at the same time. Solihiya, which literally refers to the intricate weaving of the furniture, suggests that the restaurant is also a weave of the different flavors that have shaped Filipino cuisine.

Chef and owner Nick Santiago explains, “During the 1930s and 1940s, the really good Chinese restaurants were in Binondo but they slowly faded away because of the influx of high-class Chinese restaurants. I want people to reminisce about the food that they once used to enjoy, such as the hototay (clear soup with wonton, liver, shrimp, pork slices and assorted vegetables).” Interestingly, although the classic street foods were the inspiration behind the restaurant’s concept, it has a certain touch of class and distinction. The light, wooden chairs and the crisp white walls give the place a clean, simple Zen-like atmosphere. Among the more striking pieces inside the restaurant are the colorful, antiquarian posters, as well as an unusual centerpiece composed of sea urchin shells. The architecture and interiors were done by Ed Gallego and Clayton Tuganon, two great craftsmen and the best that Cebu has to offer.

Guests are served with not just one but three appetizers for free! Quail eggs in vinegar with tomatoes and cucumbers, singkamas, and crunchy spicy dilis.

A taste of the Solihiya Lechon Macao Salad garnished with jellyfish salad and tossed in hoisin vinaigrette will make you want to have a second, third, or even a fourth serving!

The Fried Canton noodles with meat and seafood is perfect for snacking. Everything about it is just right from the crunch to the ingredients.

The Pata Tim – pork leg in a rich sweet and soy-based sauce – is also a Solihiya bestseller.


The Pinsec Frito. These crispy fried wonton wrappers with fillings are crunchy and so addictive! The Steamed Dory Fish Fillet with soy sesame oil sauce is a burst of softness and flavor.

No frills, just good, inexpensive comfort food. Solihiya makes classic classy!

Level 3, Greenbelt 5, Manila, tel (2) 729-8744

travel cafe philippines

It’s not just a coffee shop… it’s a Lifestyle Café! Travel Café Philippines’ (TCP) philosophy is “coffee, travel and more…” This philosophy illustrates a love for Philippine coffee, a call to travel the Philippines as well as an invitation to see what “more” this beautiful country has to offer.

TCP was born in Tokyo in 2006 as a venture between Mr Kayuzuki Goto of Travel Café Co and the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT). The concept was brought to the Philippines in December last year and new branches are set to make a mark in New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Singapore!

A trip to this restaurant is just like having a first class ticket to explore the various treasures of the Philippines. The place is sleek and modern, while still unmistakably Filipino with its bamboo chairs and walls exhibiting the Baybayin (ancient Filipino calligraphy). Guests can also brush up on Philippine culture by enjoying a short documentary on the country, interest themselves with a wide array of materials from the travel library, or bring home fascinating finds. But what makes TCP stand out from other coffee shops is its Travel Shop, where a full-time Travel Concierge can assist anyone in booking flights as well as in answering all inquiries about traveling in the country.

TCP brings warmth through its exquisite selection of organic coffee from various provinces such as the Barako Coffee of Batangas, the Cordillera Mountain Coffee, and TCP’s pride, the Alamid Coffee, one of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world.

On the food side, the raw and fresh mackerel ceviche in vinegar and spices is a flare of fiery flavor. For those with demanding tastes, the braised beef oxtail in peanut sauce served with banana heart, eggplant, baby bok choi (Chinese cabbage) and anchovy pancake (below) will satisfy the senses.

Fruit suman sushi – fresh fruits on sticky sweet rice with pandan sauce and coconut sprinkles, with yummy chocolate chopsticks, is the perfect way to end!

halo halo from razon’s of guaga

It’s a century-old recipe, and it’s still making news up to the present day! Razon’s signature halo halo is still one of (if not the most) craved halo halos in the Philippines.

Perhaps what makes it an all-time favorite is its simplicity. Made of saging na saba (sweet banana), macapuno (coconut sport), and leche flan (Philippine custard) with ice and special milk, it has fewer frills than the common topping-laden halo halo but more sweetness!

If you are up for a good, inexpensive, and quick snack, partner the halo halo with another of Razon’s specialties, the Pancit Luglug (noodles) with red sauce, shrimps, and eggs. For a fully-loaded feast, the halo halo is also great with their Sisig (fried rice with meat and vegetables) and Sizzling Bulalo (thick beef casserole).

Razon’s of Guagua has 18 branches all over Metro Manila. Razon’s special halo halo is sold for only PHP70/USD1.72.

spicy fingers

The first Spicy Fingers was opened in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai, by a Filipino named Raphael Echaluce. Before Spicy Fingers, he had set up Sticky Fingers in Kowloon because: “This is actually the title of a

Rolling Stones’ album. Our restaurants showcase very good live bands, so we were inspired by that name.” And now, Spicy Fingers has arrived in Manila, recently opening in Greenbelt 2 and continuing the tradition of showing live bands.

The restaurant boasts two floors, spacious enough to host a big crowd who wish to enjoy the band, yet still


The extensive range of pandesals (Philippine wheat buns) from smoked salmon and buffalo cheese to the Longganisa pandesal. The chef also recommends the Linguini Aligue Aioli made of crab fat and garlic chilli sauce.

Travel Café Philippines in Greenbelt 5, is the new, spectacular lifestyle café that’s sure to take you places! Level 2, Greenbelt 5, Makatiintimate enough for cozy lunch or dinner dates.

As the name suggests, Spicy Fingers mixes spices from all over the world. Savor the goodness of the Char Grilled Blue Marlin made of fresh fillet served on gratin dauphinois with fresh asparagus accompanied with roast capsicum sauce. The chef is proud of the Lamb Loin Steak served with seasonal vegetables, with a choice of fries, mashed potatoes, or fragrant rice.

travels on the the Highway


LAST SUMMER transport officials were sent out to test the Philippine Tourism Highway, a road and transport system that connects major islands. A vintage train, speedy buses, swift ferries, and, finally, a plane brought us from Luzon, through Visayas then Mindanao.

The first leg began at dawn and the train took us through the heart of Manila. The view soon shifted to vistas of green with rice fields and Mount Makiling in the foreground as we passed through Calamba, the first Laguna station. The hometown of the national hero José Rizal still boasts well-preserved Spanish homes and nationally-known crafts and sweets.

Quezon province is hectares of coconut plantations, stretching as far as the eye can see. Coconut influences the lifestyles here – farmers earn a living from processed coconut oil and copra (the dried meat or kernel of the coconut); cuisine is gata-based (coconut milk) resulting in rich concoctions, including Lambanog, made from fermented coconut juice.

As Daet town came into view, we caught glimpses of daragang magayon so stately and graceful. We were so close, the ridges and furrows through which smoldering lava has flowed were visible as we drew close to the foothill.

We spent the night in Legaspi which was an excuse for fiesta with the legendary hot food. Early next day, we boarded buses to Matnog, Sorsogon the last town at the tip of the province. There, we were transported by ferry boat to Samar. The breezes were gentle as we caught sight of Homonhon, which Magellan, the Portuguese sailor thought were the Spice Islands, and led to the “discovery” of the Philippines. Soon we hit the Visayas with its impressive vistas. We stayed at Leyte Park Hotel, built in Imeldific (1980s) times, it was predictably grand and the sea lapped right up to our balconies.

Back on the road, the San Juanico bridge, gracefully connects Samar and Leyte. We drove through bustling Cagayan de Oro, then we were back on endless roads carved out of the forests. In Bukidnon, pineapple plantations stretched out to the edge of the horizon, into Cotabato, where ranches and farms reflect the abundance of Mindanao.

Davao City, the end of the journey, is a melting pot of various regions – Ilocanos, Cebuanos, Ilonggos, Tagalogs, who all came lured by the promise of abundance. The dream of the earth is made real here – orchid farms, banana plantations and co-operatives, a way of working together.

On flying back to Manila, I thought that our islands are seemingly fragmented, but are also undoubtedly connected by an indomitable zest for life.

tried & tested

my favorite...

Lancôme’s Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 Spot Eraser
by Zerline Chan, group product manager
Evens out my skin tone and fades away the brown spots and pimple scars. My skin looks more radiant.

Awake’s Invention Compact Powder
by Mariel Chua, writer and makeup artist
Awake’s Invention Compact Powder in Champagne has something about the formula that makes my skin glow and people always notice. But they comment on my skin, rather than my make-up! Plus the compact is refillable.

Mark Cealer from Shu Uemura
by Jackie Cohen-Antonio, columnist, Philippine Star’s YStyle section
This is the best concealer I have come across and in my job, many brands and products have come my way. It provides ultimate coverage without ever looking too thick or caked on and can be used to cover up blemishes and under eye circles.

Mineral Care Dead Sea Products
by Gabbie de la Rama-Talan, editor-in-chief In-Print and associate editor Homestyle Magazine
Mineral Care Dead Sea Products, Spa Bath and Body Oil, are hypo-allergenic as well as smelling really great – clean and beachy minus the coconut.



The thinnest laptop ever features a full-size keyboard and LED-backlit
13.3-inch display with built-in iSight, and the new larger trackpad supports multi-touch gestures. Apple got the size down by using the same 1.8-inch 80GB drive that’s in the iPod classic. Price: PHP94,990/USD2,334.50 From Power Mac Center at Greenbelt 3, Power Plant Mall, TriNoma, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall and SM North EDSA

celeb chat

Amanda Lapus - Model

What is your ultimate beach soundtrack… and where’s the best place to listen to it?

The best song to listen to when in Bali is Wolfmother’s White Unicorn. Close runner-up is Know-How by Kings of Convenience.


As I Am By Alicia Keys Grammy winning singer/ songwriter Alicia Keys really outdoes herself with her As I Am album. Her voice has never sounded better with deeper and raspier tones, which add flavor to her songs. Some of the best cuts include Superwoman, an anthem for strong women everywhere and a catchy chorus that will get you singing along and the beautiful, reggae-inspired No One.

■ Jukebox by Cat Power Chan Marshall or Cat

Power is a talented singer and musician who loves recording covers. With her new album Jukebox, she makes a tribute to the greatest vocalists who have influenced her over the years. Song To Bobby for Bob Dylan is perfect, a new and mellow tune like some of her older songs. Metal Heart is a very passionate rock ballad and her cover of Joni Mitchell’s Blue will make you want to cry.

■ Good Girl Gone Bad by Rihanna This third album from Barbadian R&B singer Rihanna features guest production from the likes of Timbaland and Stargate. It sees her go for a more uptempo sound while keeping her soulful edge. Guest vocals come from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Timbaland and Jay-Z. Umbrella has a chorus as contagious as a beat-injected nursery rhyme.


The Trouble with Marriage by Debby Holt
From the author of The Ex-Wife’s Survival Guide, comes this witty and touching novel. When Tilly got a marriage proposal from her beau Robin, it was a slice of heaven. But when reality sinks in, the sparkle fades and the couple’s love ends up in a tide of bitterness and venom. Maybe ‘Happy Ever After’ all depends on how the couple face problems or run away from them. Price: PHP399/USD9.85

Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella The fifth installment in Sophie Kinsella’s bestselling chick lit ‘Shopaholic’ series, Shopaholic & Baby explores Becky Bloomwood’s (now Brandon) pregnancy. With shopping as her mantra for curing morning sickness, Becky tackles the challenge of baby blues with style. Even with a little one in tow, Becky is still the same person – ingenious, savvy and loving. As she faces this new situation like all momsto-be, she realizes that there is more to life than outrageous splurges on a designer wardrobe…Price: PHP419/USD10.35

The Gathering by Anne Enright Winner of the Man Booker fiction prize, The Gathering focuses on the musings of a traditional and dysfunctional Irish family. From a strict and Catholic background, Veronica Hegarty is a sister to nine siblings, wife and mother. When her brother Liam sadly drinks and drowns himself to death, Veronica learns to come to terms with her past, present and future. Shocking and dark, The Gathering must be read twice to fully understand the Hegarty family’s ties that bind. One must be free from the past in order to heal old wounds. Price: PHP455/USD11.25 By Rebecca Rodriguez




What to do in the newly-opened luxury St Regis Hotel Singapore

■ Call for your personal butler, every floor has one.

■ Admire the original art in each of the rooms.

■ Wander down to the lobby and walk straight out onto the heart of Orchard Road.

■ travel in one of their suite of customized Bentley’s.

This is the first luxury hotel to open in Singapore for 11 years! 29 Tanglin Road , Singapore, tel +65 6506 6888

Lattice art


EDGAR BAYANI, a semi-retired Filipino advertising photographer, began experimenting with lattice images in 1998, using illustration boards as prototypes.

He was searching for new ways to display his photographs. The results, while quite striking, didn’t really command the attention until he converted to wood. It was a difficult process, deconstructing, then reassembling his images on to quarter inch slats of plywood, then gluing them onto a solid base, but the effect he obtained from the translated picture was so unique and emotionally evocative, he continued producing them. It takes three weeks of painstaking labor to produce a 76cm by 102cm lattice picture. His works came to the public’s attention when former classmates from his fine arts school asked him to submit a few pictures for a group exhibit. He sent two lattice panels, which stood out among conventional paintings submitted by his contemporaries.

Bayani had been an industrial and advertising photographer for nearly 35 years after working in dance photography, then shooting movie stills for US drive-ins. When he accumulated enough capital, he opened his studio, developing a reputation for dependability. “In focus. Well composed. Properly exposed. On time,” is how he explains his success. His training in art was evident in his photography and he continued to draw and paint in his spare time. He also did woodwork for relaxation and now combines his hobby with his occupation.

The subject dancers in two of his lattice images are members of The Moscow City Ballet Troupe, who were visiting performers in Manila about a decade before. His nudes are quiet examinations of form rather than sensuality. Family portraits are made-to-order for clients, including a wealthy real estate developer. Edgar Bayani is currently experimenting with aluminum prints, starting with small ones until he has tamed the medium.


Edgar Bayani says: “Before computers came in, advertising or graphic art was done mainly with camera and screens to prepare them for offset printing.

I was using straightline screens and viewed the positives with a magnifier before submitting them to the agencies. I noticed that the lighter portions had broader lines and the black portions of the photos had very thin lines.

“From there, I imagined doing it on wood and made a prototype negative at four lines per 2.5cm.

It’s actually a low resolution photograph using straightline screen. I blew up the low resolution negative in the darkroom to enlarge the lines to less than 0.5cm. I printed it as a photograph using the photograph as a guide.

“I think nobody else does this kind of art. I have sold about 27 pieces, and among some of my collectors are politicians, a university president as well as businessmen.”


If you’re sick of loose peripherals jammin’ up your bag, then Belkin’s got just the thing for you. They’ve come up with Mouse Trap, a zip-up circular pad that easily turns into a pouch for you to tote around your computer doodas. You can also open it up and use it as a portable mouse pad. Mouse Trap is perfect for moving from your bed, to the couch, to the dining-room table, and for your squeaky-clean stuff on business trips. Choose from jet with cabernet, dove with tarragon, or chocolate with tourmaline. Now, that is smart.

Zegna´s Solar JKT

Charge your cell phone on your jacket! Luxury goes hand-in-hand with environmental friendliness as this jacket uses the sun’s energy to charge mobile phones or iPods. Stylish, luxe and green. Available in Singapore’s Paragon for SGD1,800 (PHP52,568/USD1,296).



celeb chat

Denise Laurel Model

What is your ultimate beach soundtrack… and where’s the best place to listen to it?

Hed Kandi Beach House 04.04, maybe some Jack Johnson as well. This summer, I’d love to be on a beach at the Maldives or Hawaii. You can’t blame a girl for dreaming! See you guys at Boracay!


vietnam style

If you’ve made the most of one of Cebu Pacific’s bargain flights to their newest destinations: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, see if you can check out this award-winning hotel. Recently topping the poll of the Travel & Leisure Magazine Design Awards 2008, the Nam Hai Resort (Hoi An, Hamlet 1, Diem Duong Village, Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province, www.ghmhotels.com), the hotel is between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi and each of the lavish villas, with their dark wood design, crisp white décor and tranquil atmosphere set around simple ponds is a true example of Vietnamese hospitality. Check out our feature on Vietnam on page 96.

trumpets playshop

With a record of ex-students who have starred in shows including Disney’s High School Musical On Stage, Trumpets Playshop’s summer school is running from 2 April to 1 June and you can enroll now, tel 636 2842.