October 30, 2012

Gabay: Dibuhong Umaakay

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
- Scott Hamilton


We are all somewhat damaged. But I guess we really need to be broken for us to realize that we are only human, that at times we need to re-examine our life, pick up our shattered pieces and make them whole again.

This year, the Batch 2012 of Philippine School of Interior Design takes the challenge of designing beautiful spaces for a specific sector in our society who experienced being broken - the physically disabled, particularly the deaf, blind, paraplegic, and the elderly.

I was totally impressed with the aesthetically unique and socially-relevant designs as they come to life in an ambiance of healing. They give one a sense of wholeness. And they sort of live my dreams of having a space of my own someday. If someday will come hehe.

If Walls Could Speak
Made especially for the hearing-impaired, 
this bed vibrates in sync with the alarm clock.

Memoirs of Audrey
A dainty Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired dining area.

Abot Kamay
This bedroom was originally designed for former PBB housemate 
Naprey Almario who had polio. I love spaces surrounded with photos 
that remind of happy memories.

Tinig
The flowing water gives this lanai equipped with a doorbell system 
that sends vibrations through the floor, a relaxing feel.

Beyond Sight
A living room designed for a blind child, it has an apt and lovely quote 
on the wall lifted from The Little Prince and written in Braille - 
"What is essential is invisible to the eye."

IndustrialEYEzed
An industrial Maranao-inspired bathroom with beautiful, sharp edges.


Midnight Rhapsody
Designed for couples, specifically for a husband with low vision. 
Makes me wanna sleep on that comfy midnight blue bed.


Phosphorescence
A state of the art Tron-inspired kitchen.


Diamond in the Rough
With the eye-catching gramophone, this looks like a shining period-bedroom, 
but actually this is originally designed for grannies and widows.

Sweet Escape
In this sunny, pocket garden dining room, one will enjoy to eat, pray, love.

Disability is just all in the mind. You will never be a handicap as long as you are loved and needed by someone.

October 25, 2012

Kahuna Beach Resort and Spa

When you say yes to others, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself.
 
I was the last minute replacement for the HDPR cluster meeting to be held first time outside Manila for this year. The group has been regularly meeting to develop policies and programs aim at reducing poverty and promoting human development in the country. It is usually composed of the highest echelons of the member agencies. I could have said no for several reasons – I’m just an aliping sagigilid, I’m not familiar with most of the proposed policies, well maybe except for the RH bill, and I really want to take a short break (just to enjoy my numerous leave credits) and perhaps go to the beach. But as fate would have it, the meeting would take place in a beach resort up north. And to add, being far away from the office these days means less stress haha, that’s why I did not refuse. Suddenly the waves of La Union seem beckoning.
 
I was happy with my decision. Otherwise, I would have missed staying in a Filipino-Balinese fusion inspired beach house with such garden-like bathroom I so love; eating quite expensive plate of fresh fruits in the morning; and enjoying perhaps the most charming boutique resort situated in San Juan, the surfing capital of La Union. Kahuna was named after a native Hawaiian word meaning “expert in any field”.  And honest to goodness, the resort lives up to its name especially in providing its guests luxury, comfort and fun.
 














 
Heard the saying “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”? Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to. But with the fast and free wi-fi connection of the resort, I enjoyed surfing the net till the wee hours of the morning.

October 18, 2012

October 14, 2012

Cocoon Boutique Hotel: Green is In

They say that people change for two reasons – either they learn enough that they want to or they’ve been hurt enough that they have to. True but well, not all the time. Sometimes, people just need a change of place, just to be whole or feel recharged again.

While cocoon is the transitory place for all caterpillars before they transform and fly out to the world as beautiful butterflies, the modern Cocoon in Quezon City has somewhat the same effect to rejuvenate tired and weary souls due to the stressful hustle and bustle of the city.

Cocoon which is owned by lawyer-accountant-hotelier couple Rafael and Gigi Vinzon, is the first green luxury boutique hotel in the country. The hotel is the by-product of their retirement funds and perhaps their love to have a second home (inspired from the various concepts of boutique hotels they have stayed overseas, particularly Europe) they can share with the public. It is also their socially-relevant contribution (by being green) to the society. Perhaps you would agree with me if I say the couple is sort of the Lorax in the hotel world.


The hotel’s lobby is an artwork of simple grandeur from the (I thought) Balinese-style wood wall which are actually framed antique wheels of carabao-drawn carriages, comfy lounge chairs and couches, centerpiece Murano chandelier to the original 1800 Steinway Grand piano, which I’m pretty sure would give justice to my favorite piece “Leaves on the Seine”. Hotel staffs at the lobby were warm, friendly and graciously greet me by my first name.




The moment I stepped into my room, I found a safe sanctuary, really a cocoon. Getting out of my banig, and snuggling for a night between fresh and crisp 400 thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linens with pocket springs and memory foam, and soft Goose down duvets was such a welcome respite from my everyday boring slumber life. Soaking myself in lukewarm water and taking a cold water rain shower after soothed my tired muscles. It was indeed a refreshing bath experience.



Dining at the roof deck was another wonderful experience. The control buffet breakfast was healthy and unassuming. They have limited but good food selection - from their freshly-baked muffins, porridge, cereals, fresh fruits and drinks to less than 10 breakfast set meals, which you could choose from. I settled for a hearty American breakfast. But what really captured my heart, I mean my palate was the sobrang sarap na ensaymada… well I munched about four. 






Beside the al-fresco dining area is the pool which added coolness to the place. The roof deck is perfect not only for intimate and small gathering, but also for sunset or sunrise watching.



Almost all the hotel amenities, decors and structures which provide ultimate comfort for the guests, were infused with sustainability - from the rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, water-saving faucets, LED lighting and TV sets, inverter-type air-conditioners, dual-pipe system to thermoelectric refrigerator. Interestingly, the hotel has a no-smoking policy. Anyone caught smoking will be fined P5,000. I wonder kung may mga nahuli na hehe.

The next time you want to relax, unwind, and metamorphose internally, without leaving the city or travelling too far, why not spend a night at this eco-friendly, chic hotel. True to their words, the hotel is a nesting place, where luxury is responsible. I promise, you would embrace the new you coming from the Cocoon.

Cocoon Boutique Hotel
61 Scout Tobias cor. Scout Rallos Sts.
Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City
Tel. Nos.: 998-3117, 921-2706 to 08

October 13, 2012

Beauty attracts the attention but personality captures the heart


“Let someone love you just as you are. As flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you might feel, as unaccomplished as you might think you are; let someone love you just as you are. And let that someone be you.”
- Sandra Kring

October 11, 2012

Flying Sauceria

Nothing is more beautiful than natural beauty. The same applies to food. Nothing is more palatable than a food made from natural ingredients.

Drawing inspiration from many of the world's great cuisines, Sauceria only use ingredients as close to natural as possible. This artisan philosophy resulted in dishes with no MSG, preservatives, or commercial additives and a very low chemical profile.



Black grape and strawberry yogurt smoothies

Tuna tataki

Char siu tonkatsu ramen

Ampalaya and salted egg pizza

Suman supreme with mango balls



If you think they only serve strange pizza, well for me their suman was a revelation.

Sauceria
25 Boni Serrano Ave. (formerly Santolan)
cor. Sunrise Dr., Brgy. Crame, Quezon City
Tel. No.: 584-396