Thursday, December 29, 2016

LIFESTYLE | A Christmas Carol: Appreciating The Manila Hotel's Christmas decor and its old-world glory

halfwhiteboy manila hotel christmas decor 01
Love how these teddy bears look so expressive.

While driving home from Malabon on Christmas Day, we decided on a whim to drop by The Manila Hotel for some snacks. I haven't been to the hotel since my oath-taking as a CPA ages ago, and thought it was probably time to check it out once more. I know it's a very old hotel but I was also curious how it is today.

It was chaotic the moment we pulled up at the hotel entrance. There were lots and lots of people and cars moving about. It was Christmas after all. It also took a while for a valet to come for our car. But never mind because the moment we stepped in, I realized the hotel takes Christmas decorating very seriously.

A gigantic gingerbread house installation that doubled as a shop stood between the doors and the rest of the lobby. It instantly brought out the kid in me. To be fair, I think the kid in me comes alive with every Christmas installation I come across with (like the impressive winter castle of the Makati Shangri-La). But The Manila Hotel just went all out--and I mean all out--with its classic Christmas theme. I also had a blast with an impromptu OOTD session featuring a piece from Collezione C2's The Sampaguita Collection.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Sampaguitas on my polo: The Collezione C2 resurgence

halfwhiteboy collezione sampaguita polo shirt 01
Yup, this is how I blog.

I recently scored a few polo shirts from local brand Collezione C2, and I was pleased with their new designs. After hitting it big a few years back with their My Pilipinas (My Philippines) shirts, where they used the map of the Philippines as an embroidered logo on their polos (think Lacoste's croc logo), then later on with their different takes on the Philippine flag, it's been relatively quiet for the brand in the last couple of years.

Until now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

LOOKBOOK | A black and white evening

halfwhiteboy black and white outfit 01

It was a black and white theme for our department Christmas party this year. It was also a leeway of sorts for some peeps who didn't want to go through the "hassle" of finding what to where because we were given the freedom to go either formal, casual, or whatever it is that we fancied as long as it's either all-black, all-white, or a black and white combo.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Blue, white, and silver, you say?

halfwhiteboy blue, white and silver outfit 01
"Hear ye, hear ye!"

That's me declaiming. Or delivering an oratorical piece perhaps? What about delivering a message of good cheer to the king's constituents? Haha! Whatever, I just have to have my photo photos taken by this glorious Christmas installation.

But before anything else--and even before I dressed up as a Christmas tree--my colleagues and I recently attended ISACA Manila's Christmas party at the Makati Shangri-la. The theme was winter wonderland, and they specifically stated that we follow a blue, white, and silver motif. They also said that ladies were encouraged to wear a hat and the guys, bow ties. Now that's confusing because how are bow ties and ladies's hats supposed to fit in a winter wonderland setting? But never mind, because I obliged.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Being a Christmas tree

halfwhiteboy christmas tree outfit 01

It's already a tradition in our department to hold our Kris Kringle (Monito-Monita, Secret Santa, exchange gift, whatever you may call it) on a separate day from our Christmas party. Because we're more than forty, the whole process of guessing one's monito or "baby" and handing out gifts takes too much time away from the program already.

We've also started following a theme even if we only do it at the office. Last year I wore a Christmas sweater--replete with tiny sleigh bells--in line with a preppy dress code. This time around it was something Christmassy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DINING | A sampling of Kapitolyo Gastro Park's good and inexpensive food

halfwhiteboy kapitolyo gastro park 01

I love food (who doesn't?) but I'm not one who goes out of my way just to try a new happening place or resto, so finding myself in Kapitolyo Gastro Park in Pasig City is something unexpected of me. We happened to be in the area for something else and when we looked for a place to have dinner, we chanced upon this gem of a food-tripper's haunt.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Wearing butterflies

halfwhiteboy butterflies print shirt 01

As staples in every man's wardrobe, plain shirts afford the wearer ease in pairing things up and accessorizing. They're like blank canvasses that you can build on each time. Printed shirts, on the other hand, usually demand attention, even more when they're loud and colorful. So when putting together an outfit, the key is to find pieces that complement, rather than compete with, printed shirts.

Now how do we deal with butterflies?

Monday, November 28, 2016

DINING | Gringo (Makati): The latest addition to Legazpi Village's growing foodie scene

gringo legazpi village makati 01

A mere six months or so since kicking it off at SM North EDSA's The Block, Gringo, a local restaurant serving Latin American cuisine, has already opened its third branch in Makati City. Located along C. Palanca St. close to the corner of Dela Rosa St., Gringo is the latest addition to the growing list of food joints in Legazpi Village. So far I've been there thrice already as of this writing.

Interiors and ambiance
Characterized by bare concrete, a partly exposed ceiling painted in black, metal screens, glass, galvanized iron, and plastic plants, I'd say Gringo's interiors are a cross between rustic and industrial. There's also some wood, bricks, and ceramic tiles thrown into the mix. It's not exactly homey but the informal setting makes it a place that's welcoming rather than intimidating.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

LOOKBOOK | An ode to the 90s

halfwhiteboy 90s inspired 01
Summoning the power of the elements?

I'm supposed to be a kid of the 80s but I don't know why I relate more to the 90s, be it TV, movies, or music. I wasn't much of a fashion follower then but I, too, have worn all sorts of loose clothing like everyone else that, looking back, makes me cringe.

Ironically, however, my outfit here is just so 90s.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

LIFESTYLE | The polar bears, reindeer, and co. are back for Christmas at Rockwell

halfwhiteboy powerplant mall christmas decor 2016 01
It's the reindeer's time to sing this year.

I often say that I love Halloween more than Christmas but it doesn't mean I don't love Christmas. Maybe it's the dressing up in a Halloween costume that appeals to me so much that makes me say such things. With Christmas, on the other hand, it's the festive decor that I enjoy a lot, and I always appreciate whatever anyone puts up.

One of the decors I look forward to each year are from Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati City. They won me over four years ago when I first saw their stuffed animal holiday display, which drove me nuts. Talk about polar bears, pandas, penguins, and white tigers fitted with animatronics! All the cuteness will kill you and the kid in me naturally took over. Some of them even learned how to "sing" over the years (just go see them and you'll get what I mean). Last time it was a polar bear that did the singing; this year it's a reindeer. Now watch this:

Monday, November 21, 2016

FRAGRANCE | Another great find in Volutes by Diptyque

halfwhiteboy diptyque volutes 01

Been wearing this one for a few weeks now and I love it. Volutes by Diptyque, my first try at the French perfume house's wide array of fragrances, did not disappoint.

Friday, November 11, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Super cyan

halfwhiteboy cyan and gray 01

Who doesn't love Fridays? Aside from heralding the start of every weekend, don't we all just love that we can ditch the stiffness of formal corporate wear and go casual?

I know some fashion pundits lament the fact that casual has become too casual these days. Of course I'm just as guilty as everyone else, what with me sporting nothing but a t-shirt and jeans combo with sneakers on Fridays at work. But in this case I'm trying to keep it a little dressed up. Just a little.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

DINING | It's not just crepes at Crepe Amélie

halfwhiteboy crepé amelie 01
No, this ain't pizza.

It's been a few months now since this new restaurant opened near our office. So far I've paid them a few visits already and I guess it's high time to write about Crepe Amélie.

Friday, November 4, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Pullover, please

halfwhiteboy green and gray outfit 01

Weather's just a wee bit colder than usual, which to me is most welcome. Perfect day to wear a pullover--a pullover with a huge P on it. I guess P is for pullover after all. Pullovers, sweaters, sweatshirts--whatever you call them--are pretty basic pieces that give us plenty of room for styling. It's all up to the wearer how to show some personality.

After working a knit sweater with green pants recently, I'm again wearing green pants, though in a lighter shade. I'm trying a gray on green ensemble while holding on to what's left of our Yggdrasil from last week's Halloween office decor before we completely tear it down.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Knitpicking

halfwhiteboy off-white sweater and green pants 01

I have a thing for knits. They're comfy, plain and simple. You don't have to fuss about them so much because you just put them on and you're good to go.

Where I come from the climate unfortunately isn't kind enough for us to enjoy knitwear so much. But sometimes--just sometimes--we get those moments that allow us to wear them, like rainy days, for instance.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

EVENTS | A Scandinavian Halloween with Vikings and gods

halfwhiteboy halloween decor - norway 01
No, this ain't Christmas. It's Halloween!

Where I work, Halloween is so BIG. It's HUGE! GINORMOUS! EPIC! Even though it's officially a workday, it's practically a holiday where parents bring their costumed kids to our building for some trick-or-treating. And it just keeps getting bigger and bigger each year, with our HR steadily introducing more and more contests. Aside from different variations of best in costume for kids, there's now one for adults as well.

Workspace-decorating, however, has been the core of our Halloween celebrations for many years now--and people are serious about it. Never mind that the prize isn't really that substantial; I guess it's the sheer joy of doing it that motivates employees to put up a great show. Okay, and maybe bragging rights for the winners.

But auditors being the stereotypical boring professionals that we (supposedly) are, we never ever bothered joining the annual competition until two years ago when we decked our office in a full-blown Hogwarts theme for Halloween, followed by some Shark Tale under the sea Halloween decor last year.

This time it's Norway.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Loki, period.

halfwhiteboy halloween costume loki 01
Loki left Asgard for some drinks at the tavern.

And so what I've been waiting for all year has finally arrived: my favorite annual occasion, Halloween! Yes, I love it even more than Christmas. It must be the immense joy I find in dressing up in a costume, along with all the decorating that goes with it. I'm also lucky that our workplace embraces Halloween like no other, so putting on a costume is something I always look forward to.

It wasn't something I planned but, well, this year I was Loki.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Velvet and waffles

halfwhiteboy velvet suit and waffle sweater 01

No, this isn't something I'd just wear while walking along the streets of Metro Manila. Not in this heat, no. But in an air-conditioned office, yes, more so when it's gloomy or raining outside, in which case it becomes even colder.

I'm making a conscious effort to wear my suits more often--mostly dressed down, of course--and I thought it was time to bring out this reddish brown velvety suit once more.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

LOOKBOOK | A day for gray...and squeaky white shoes

halfwhiteboy gray suit and white sneakers 01

After my little foray into colorful outfits, here I am doing a full 180 with gray. But contrary to its association with dull, gloomy days, gray can also be interesting. For one it can serve as an ideal backdrop for some other colorful piece in your outfit, allowing that piece to shine while toning things down.

Another trick to keep gray interesting, be it an all-gray ensemble or a gray and white combo like my getup here, is patterns. My suit here, for instance, sports a rather subtle checkered pattern. It's understated enough that you'll probably won't notice it from afar but up close, that's where the appreciation begins.

DINING | Let's get messy at Mando's Wing Shack

mando's wingshack 01

It's no secret that the Poblacion area of Makati is fast becoming a foodie's haven, what with the steadily growing number of food haunts in this part of the city. While most of these restaurants are concentrated around the Burgos area, we're starting to see establishments spill over onto nearby locales.

One of these is Mando's Wing Shack, which popped up on a rather quiet residential area near the Makati City Hall. Because it's very near our place, I've been here three times already, so I decided to write about it.

Monday, October 3, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Coral on land

halfwhiteboy coral pants 01

Though I also dig black, neutrals, and darker hues, I'm not one to shy away from color either. I even have this thing for wearing colored pants for years now, and I don't care if it's pink. Yes, pink.

Guys wearing pink shirts may no longer be a novelty these days but guys wearing pink pants isn't all that common yet. I understand it takes guts to wear something as loud as this but you can always start with safer bets like dusty or muted pink trousers. You'll get used to it soon enough.

As for me, I'm going for coral, though.

Friday, September 30, 2016

LIFESTYLE | Manage your life with Taiwan Excellence products

I know a lot of people are yearning for that seemingly mythical thing called work-life balance. With today's work demands, not to mentioned the added stress brought about by the worsening traffic situation in the metro, it appears to be an impossible feat. Some even say that work-life balance doesn't exist. We live in a converged world after all, but I don't think it's wrong to aspire for it either.

Yes, we can take steps to balance out the stress we face at work, like by exercising. I know it's hard to even find time to sweat it out but we always have a choice and we can make time if we really want to. So how?

Bike to work
Aside from contributing to lessening the number of vehicles and commuters on the road, biking to work and back is already an exercise in itself. Take the versatile Link B7 from Tern for a fun and different urban transport. It's one of Taiwan's best brands that bear the Taiwan Excellence seal, assuring customers of the product's superior quality.

01 Tern_Link_B7
The Link B7 from Tern, one of the featured brands of Taiwan Excellence.

LOOKBOOK | Baby colors

halfwhiteboy baby pink and baby blue 01

Baby pink. Baby blue. They're fairly common references to lighter, pastel shades of pink and blue. But they aren't just for babies, are they? I mean, I also like wearing them on occasion. Pastels are easy on the eye, inoffensive, and refreshing.

Pairing pastels with darker colors always works in clothing as long as the colors are complementing each other, like pastel yellow and brown, or mint green and navy. It's like a fail-safe bet each time. But then we often forget that pastel on pastel, or at least pastel on a similarly lighter shade, also works. Just look at them babies!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Slytherin's Arrow

halfwhiteboy arrow 01

I know, what a poser, you might say. That I admit. When my colleagues and I tried our hands at archery, the Green Arrow outfit (unsurprisingly) came to mind. Katniss was obviously for the girls and although there's also Legolas and Hawkeye, Oliver Queen was at the top of my mind.

Of course I never intended to go full regalia because that would be crazy and Halloween is still a month away. I just wanted to casually sport something from my daily wear that's inspired by the character. Yup, like a green hoodie.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

LOOKBOOK | A craftily subtle Baguio City shirt

halfwhiteboy baguio coordinates shirt 01

Nothing says Baguio City more than pine trees and the cool mountain air. When our team at the office went there last summer for our now annual summer outing, I was sadly confined at the hospital. But at least I got this red souvenir tee (yeah, we're so cheesy we've been having souvenir t-shirts for 2 years now).

Designed by a colleague, it's basically the coordinates for the place. I love its simplicity and I thought, what a crafty way to wear a "Baguio City" shirt without actually having to wear something with "Baguio City" printed on it! And I finally got to wear it while at the so-called City of Pines!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

DINING | Deété Espresso - Organic Cafe

halfwhiteboy deété organic cafe 01

The Korean zombie flick Train to Busan has been making a lot of noise lately. Add to that the fact that a considerable number of Filipinos are also hooked on K-Drama and K-Pop, it can't be denied that the Korean influence on this country is expanding. Not that I'm complaining because I love Korean ice cream and bingsu. So thank you for that.

All this just reminded me of this cafe at Century City Mall that I chanced upon last July. It's called Deété Espresso - Organic Cafe, a Korean chain (please don't ask me how it's pronounced).

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Blazing in blazer and shorts

halfwhiteboy blazer and shorts 01

It was a pleasantly cold day in Baguio City. It wasn't too cold that I still got to wear shorts but a little nippy at times that I needed a jacket. It was a lightweight blazer that I brought with me.

The blazer and shorts combo is not something I usually wear because, well, it's uncomfortably hot and humid in Metro Manila. Besides, it's not something that I can wear to the office, so I'm left with weekends and other days off as the only occasions to wear them. But then the thought of it simply escapes my mind each time.

Monday, September 12, 2016

GADGETS | The Pokéball power bank: Just because it's so cute!

halfwhiteboy pokeball powerbank 01
Because I gotta catch them all.

I'm one of the millions who's been hooked on the Pokémon Go craze. For someone who's not into games, that's highly unusual. But then I don't really consider it that much of a game to begin with.

So far I haven't done any battle, never been to a gym. I just couldn't. I mean, to subject all those pocket monsters to fighting, that's just plain barbaric! Much like animals, they do have "monster rights," don't they? So despite reaching Level 24 as of this writing, I still don't have a team, although I'm kinda inclined to pick Team Instinct for the simple reason that I love Spark's outfit.

I guess I just enjoy collecting and evolving all these adorable Pokémon. But whatever your reasons for playing Pokémon Go, you know that it's very taxing on your phone's battery and power banks are a necessity. And then I saw this Pokéball power bank (Magic Ball power bank actually) from Takatack, an online marketplace aggregator from Voyager Innovations. Oh my.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

FRAGRANCE | Gucci by Gucci Sport (Pour Homme)

halfwhiteboy gucci by gucci sport pour homme 01

It's a fragrance I wonder why I even bought in the first place. It's not a bad fragrance, don't get me wrong, but it's a purchase I kind of regret.

Packaged in a sturdy yet elegant bottle, Gucci by Gucci Sport Pour Homme is a fresh and not-too-ordinary scent. If the liquid's green color is any indication, this fragrance hints at fresh, aromatic leaves--pine, actually. And combined with citrus top notes, it's a rather sophisticated alternative to the usual shower fresh scents of some sporty colognes.

But then the party comes to an abrupt stop.

Monday, September 5, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Peeking duck

halfwhiteboy donald duck shirt 01

I'm never one who shies away from wearing cutesy stuff, like t-shirts with cartoon designs, for example. And never mind how old I am because I don't care.

But of course I understand there are others who prefer subtlety to loud prints, a route which I also take depending on my mood. So here I'm keeping it discreet with a tiny embroidery of Donald Duck peeping out of a pocket. Ironically, though, a lot of people seemed to notice it more. Talk about small design with a big impact.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Introducing plaid to the varsity

halfwhiteboy varsity jacket and plaid pants 01

Nope, never been on any varsity team back in school. Besides, I've never really been into sports to begin with. So wearing a varsity jacket is nothing but a so-called fashion thing.

A few who asked where I got the jacket were surprised when I told them it's Bench, a local brand. I've had it for a while now and yeah, it's a nice jacket. It's got small quilted patterns and it's warm enough for the office air conditioning.

Monday, August 22, 2016

FASHION | Worry no more about creases with T.M. Lewin's new Infinity Suit


It's all too real. You leave for work in the morning looking sharp and neatly pressed. You get in the car, or take the bus or train, and in the process collect a medley of creases on your suit, shirt, and trousers. And you haven't even stepped into the office yet.

Yes, the struggle is all too real. No matter how careful you are to preserve that spiffy look of yours for at least 8 hours, you always seem to end up disheveled by the end of the day. Okay, maybe just a little.

But what if you could go on about your day like Chase Armitage here, with nary a care about creases and what-have-you? Parkour your way to work perhaps? The answer to all your woes is T.M. Lewin's new Infinity Suit.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

EVENT | Discover Taiwan’s best brands at TriNoma, August 19 to 21

Photo 2
Taiwan Excellence brand partners showcased their products at the press launch earlier this year.

Mall goers will once again be treated to a wide selection of high quality products from Taiwan’s best brands at the third Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone, currently happening at TriNoma mall in Quezon City from August 19 to 21.

Led by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and in partnership with the Taiwanese government, the Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone is an interactive product showcase featuring brands that bear the Taiwan Excellence seal, which assures customers of the products’ superior quality.

Over 140 products from 54 Taiwan Excellence-accredited brands will be offered at the Experiencing Zone. The wide range of products covers needs for Information and Communications Technology, Home and Living, and Sports and Leisure. So apart from familiar brands like ASUS and ACER, you'll get to check out STRIDA’s durable bicycles designed for convenient and reliable urban transport, SH-RD’s protein cream that avoids hair damage and promises softer and shinier hair, and FECA’s storage products that help in maximizing the home space. 

Performances, fashion shows, games, and raffle draws are lined up to keep shoppers entertained while exploring Taiwan Excellence products. Customers can also watch out for surprise gigs from favorite bands such as Silent Sanctuary (August 19), Callalily (August 20), and Up Dharma Down (August 21).  

There will also be booth tours and brand presentations to educate consumers on how the featured products can complement their lifestyle. Selling booths from brands such as Tatung, MSI, FECA, and Asus will be available, while generous discounts from brands like Kymco, MSI, Pacific, Tatung, Tern, and Thermaltake will be offered on-ground.

Don’t miss out on the latest gadgets, home appliances, fitness gear, and many other treats from Taiwan Excellence-approved brands and head to TriNoma on August 19 to 21!

About Taiwan Excellence
The symbol of Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan’s most innovative products that provide tremendous value to users worldwide. All products carrying this symbol have been selected for specific Taiwan Excellence Awards based on their excellence in design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D and manufacturing. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is recognized by 100 countries.

Organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), MOEA
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. is responsible for implementing policies and regulations governing foreign trade and economic cooperation. Established in January 1969, the BOFT's role and position have been adjusted regularly to meet the needs of the ever changing international economic and trade environments. The BOFT has been guiding and working with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in numerous promotional trade projects and activities both internationally and domestically. Having worked closely with TAITRA for many decades, the BOFT continues to commission TAITRA for various critical government projects relating to business, trade and investment, while promoting Taiwan internationally.

Implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)

Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit, semi-governmental trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets. TAITRA boasts a well-coordinated trade promotion and information network of over 1,200 international marketing specialists stationed throughout its Taipei headquarters and 50 overseas offices worldwide. Together with its sister organizations, the Taiwan Trade Center (TTC) and the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), TAITRA has created a wealth of trade opportunities through effective promotion strategies.

[Sponsored post]

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Not part of the (Suicide) Squad

halfwhiteboy joker suicide squad shirt 01

Love it or hate it, I thought Suicide Squad was good. I mean, it sure wasn't perfect but it certainly wasn't the godawful movie those glorified critics are trying to paint.

Anyhow, I got myself a Joker t-shirt that they were selling at the cinema. No offense to Jared Leto but this colorful, stylized skull face depiction of the character is way cooler than the other merchandise with his face on them. Paired it with black skinny jeans and some pinkish ombre boots, and I was good to go.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Classic khaki and blue

halfwhiteboy khaki and blue 01

Aw, I look like such a good boy, don't I? Casually but presentably dressed, hair neatly in place, and a crooked smile.

halfwhiteboy khaki and blue 02

I don't really know how to smile in pictures. I mean, they almost always look uncomfortably forced. We were asked at work to submit new half-body photos for a redesigned company ID. A lot of us thought having our photos taken at a studio or somewhere was a hassle, so we took matters into our own hands and with nothing but a mirror-less camera and natural light from the window, did a session right at our office.

And yes, we had to smile.

Monday, July 25, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Pants-a-slouching

halfwhiteboy loose pants 01

I'm a firm believer in wearing pants with the right fit. The long and short of it is that it looks nice when your trousers have that tapered look, hugging you in the right places and yet leaving room where it should.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it's also nice to break away and just let loose.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Rusty orange

halfwhiteboy rusty orange 01

No one probably wants rust on their metal. But rust on your clothes (I mean the color, of course), well that's a different story.

Quite a lot of orange hues in my outfit here. A spritely pastel orange tee with rust-colored pants -- because why not? They're both anchored on the same color palette but the difference in hue allow them to complement each other. On their own, I know it can be a bit loud, which is why I wore this dark blue cardigan with brown stripes to neutralize the noise.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

TRAVEL | Inside the Grand Hyatt Macau's Grand Club

the club floor at grand hyatt macau 01
Handsome dark wood panels adorn the elevator lobby of the club floor.

It's not often that I get to stay in a fancy hotel, let alone in a fancy room, so when such chances come by, it better be an excellent experience. Thankfully, and as I detailed in my review of the Grand Hyatt Macau, our stay was a truly great one. More so, spending a bit more for a Club room proved to be worth it.

Now let me take you inside the Grand Club of the Grand Hyatt Macau.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

FASHION | How to style the 'Duterte shirt'

du30 shirt
Photo by AP.

Oh, THAT shirt. Checkered, plaid, or whatever it is that you call it, has been observed as a favorite of new Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, so much so that it's been dubbed by some as the "Duterte shirt." It's also often unfairly called your dad's or granfather's shirt, dismissed outright as something totally unfashionable.

However, we can always put a fresh spin to this much-maligned checkered shirt. Of course having the right fit already addresses much of the problem while styling takes care of the rest. I went through some of my look book posts from the last 5 years and hopefully offer some inspiration on how to wear your "Duterte shirt" with pride.

Wear it with jogger-style pants.
Given the fact that joggers and pants patterned after joggers are everywhere right now, I'm sure there's something out there that can complement your checkered shirt perfectly. Here I experimented with a red and olive combo without looking like Christmas (thankfully!). You can wear sneakers but if you're feeling it, go for something that looks more formal, like these two-toned lace-ups I got here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TRAVEL | The Grand Hyatt Macau

grand hyatt city of dreams macau 01
The impressive and elegant lobby of Grand Hyatt Macau.

Haven't found the time to write about this until now. Late last December I had the pleasure of staying at the Grand Hyatt Macau--if only for two nights. I had a really great time there and clichè as I may sound, I wish I could have spent more time at this hotel.

Anyhow, here's a rundown of my experience.

Architecture and ambiance
Located at the City of Dreams entertainment complex along the Cotai Strip, Grand Hyatt has two interconnected rectangular, narrow towers. There may be nothing extraordinary about its architecture but the hotel gives off a hip and modern vibe. The exteriors have an understated look and even the changing colored lights at night are never loud enough.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

LOOKBOOK | The "Duterte shirt"

halfwhiteboy duterte shirt 01
Doing Duterte's fist sign that was a hallmark of his campaign.

Call this my tribute of sorts to our new president, Rodrigo R. Duterte, who was officially sworn into office today at exactly 12 noon in accordance with the Constitution. I may not agree with him on a lot of things but, like it or not, he is our president. I'm only hoping that God or the powers that be guide him as he leads the country toward realizing that genuine change he has promised during his campaign.

Much has been said about Duterte's fashion sense, or lack thereof. He definitely is no Trudeau in terms of style and he couldn't care less about how he looks. He is often seen wearing slightly baggy pants and of course, his trademark short-sleeved checkered shirt, which I'm totally embracing today. Yeah, you can call it plaid or whatever but in this part of the world, it's also fondly called the "Duterte shirt" by some.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Almost dandy

halfwhiteboy dandy-ish outfit 01

Yeah, I held back a bit on this one. No tie since it's supposed to be another office-to-happy hour outfit, so I'm keeping it casual, or close to. Besides, I just sported a dandy outfit in a recent blog post, however unintentional it was.

My starting point for this getup is the shirt: a pink long-sleeved number with French cuffs from London clothing brand T.M. Lewin. The shirt looks a tad loose on me but that's because I lost a hell lot of weight since I bought it. Otherwise it should have fit me perfectly because T.M. Lewin shirts come not just in different sizes, but in a wide variety of collar and sleeve length measurements. You're sure to find the perfect fit for you here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Summer wedding feels

halfwhiteboy summer wedding outfit 01

As if there's a wedding in the first place! Second, unlike countries in the West where summer weddings are a thing and attendees wear anything from seersucker to lightweight suits--usually in lighter shades--there's really no such thing here in the Philippines. There's just weddings. And it's practically summer all year round.

But I felt like I was attending one with my outfit.

TV | No Sibling Rivalry: Brother and sister are happy to compete for the title of MasterChef Australia

I still remember the first time I got hooked on MasterChef Australia back in 2011. It was actually reruns of the show's 2nd season where 20 year-old Callum Hann made it to the finale but lost to Adam Liaw. The world’s most famous cooking show franchise all began with MasterChef Australia’s ingenious take on UK’s original MasterChef series. The Australian version started the now popular format of hundreds of home cooks competing to be part of a small group of contestants, cooking from challenge to challenge to make their way to the title of MasterChef.

MasterChef Australia Season 8_High-Res_IMG06
Judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris return to offer their guidance to the group of contestants in the eighth season of MasterChef Australia, premiering July 4 on LIFETIME and airing 8PM all weekdays.

Now on its 8th season, MasterChef Australia, premiering July 4 on LIFETIME and airing 8PM all weekdays, has only gotten bigger and better. Judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris return to offer their guidance to the group of contestants. Joining them are big international names such as the Queen of the Kitchen herself, Nigella Lawson, as well as Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White.

Part of the current crop of contestants are Singaporean-born siblings Jimmy Wong and Theresa Wong-Visintin. They were exposed to the world of food as children, when their family operated various local grocery stores and restaurants. Both pursued a career in design until realizing that their true calling lay in cooking. MasterChef Australia gives them the perfect opportunity to hone their craft and show the world what they can do.

Monday, June 20, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Fit for Friday with T.M. Lewin

halfwhiteboy tm lewin 01

So this was officially my first day back to work (not counting the days spent working at home) after hospital confinement. As luck would have it, I guess, my first day wasn't even at the office as I was attending a 2-day conference at a hotel. Consider it my temporary office anyway.

I didn't want to be all suited and stiff. I wanted something a bit more relaxed but which would still qualify as an outfit that's office-appropriate that could easily transition to happy hour at some pub while waiting out the rush hour traffic. A fit for Friday outfit, yes.

I started off with a business shirt from T.M. Lewin. I love that they don't simply make shirts in small, medium, and large but in a combination of various measurements for, say, collar and sleeve length. I've had several runs with other brands before where the shirt fits nicely around your body but the sleeves are either too long that slouch just above the cuff or where I'd turn blue if I insist on buttoning up the collar.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

LIFESTYLE | Taiwan government project “Taiwan Excellence” strengthens Taiwanese brands’ awareness in the Philippines

Taiwan continuously reinforces its importance as a trading partner of the Philippines. According to 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Taiwan is the 4th top country in the world for imports (with $5.2B imports) and 9th for exports (with $2.2B). With this, the Taiwan Excellence campaign, which is organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) of the Taiwan government and implemented by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), is again rolling out for the third year in the Philippines to further strengthen trading ties between the two countries. Last year they capped it with a singing contest via video submissions.

Photo 1
(From left) Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Deputy Executive Director of Strategic Marketing Department Scott Yang, Taiwan Economic & Cultural Office (TECO) Ambassador of the Philippines Dr. Gary Song-Huann LIN, Manila Economic & Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Amadeo Perez Jr., and celebrity guest Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

This year, Taiwan Excellence, the symbol of superiority of products from Taiwan, will have more exciting and more comprehensive activities. Through experiential activities to be staged throughout the year, TAITRA aims to let Filipino consumers experience how they can enhance their lives and create a truly “Excellent Lifestyle.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Wearing long sleeves to the beach

halfwhiteboy beachwear linen 01

Long sleeves? In the heat of summer? And on the beach at that?

Why not? Whether your intention is to cover yourself up because you simply abhor the sun (but ironically want to be on the beach) or because you just want to for whatever it's worth, the key is to wear a shirt in a breathable, lightweight fabric. In my case I picked linen, which is as summer as it can get. You can also opt for something sheer if you want. Leave your flannels and all those heavy fabrics at home.

Friday, May 13, 2016

GADGETS | Live with the King

This is personal. My smartphone that's not even a year old yet totally went dead on me. None of the combination of long presses of buttons to restart it worked. Even the repair guy couldn't revive it. Worse, it happened while I was confined at the hospital and when I needed a phone not just for communication but to keep myself entertained as well.

I started to question my preference for that brand (which we shall not name), and then I saw this:


The Huawei Nexus 6P!

Touted as the King of Android, I was intrigued. I honestly haven't used a Huawei phone before but given its dominance in the field of telecommunications equipment (microwave, transmission, core equipment -- you name it), I suppose they're more than capable of producing a quality smartphone. I haven't seen a Nexus 6P up close yet but its features are quite impressive and very tempting. I'm no tech geek but the following appeal to me a lot:
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