“Oh, this is so cute!” Neil San Pedro explains as we emerge from the canopied pathway and into the clearing that was Shangri-La Mactan’s La Tierra del Chocolate. Hidden from the rest of the resort by towering trees, the area has a heavy wooden table, a considerably sized plant box with sprouting cacao seedlings and a series of stations that chronicles the various stages of harvesting the cacao bean.
General manager Rene D. Egle had learned about the rich traditions that came with the Philippine Cacao when he moved to Cebu, and believed the story was a platform on which they could build a new cultural experience for locals and tourists alike. Partnering with Racquel Choa and The Chocolate Chamber, he offers an immersive experience that celebrates local chocolate.
The Chocolate Sommeliers, who had led us from the lobby to the garden, gave us a tour of the Viaje Por El Jardin del Cacao (which literally translates to Traveling in the Garden of Cacao). It starts with Harvesting, although they note that as of now, Shangri-La’s actual crops are still too young to harvest. They do, however, show how the cacao pods are split open, and the beans scooped out. We then move over to Fermentation, which traditionally has the beans dried under the sun, and then Roasting in a large wok. After that, Winnowing is for removing the outer shell of the bean, leaving behind the cacao nib—the group was invited to sample the tiny nib, which had a rich, nutty flavor. Last comes the Poundings, where beans are crushed in a mortar and pestle until it turns into a paste that is molded into the tablea.
Seeing the process behind its creation certainly made us appreciate our chocolate high tea, which highlighted three different kinds of sikwate (local hot chocolate)—the full-bodied version from The Chocolate Chamber in Cebu, the light Dalareich Tableya from Bohol, and the medium-bodied Malagos from Davao. These were perfectly paired with biko (glutinous rice cake) and slices of ripe mangoes for a truly Filipino gastronomic experience, and was the perfect accompaniment to the afternoon’s light conversation.
Zee: Let’s start with asking, what is fashion for you?
Neil: I think fashion is basically a personal extension of who you are. It can be depending on your lifestyle, or how you feel on that day. If you want to dress down like Mark Zuckerberg, or you want to dress up to the point where you’re like an Iris Apfel—which I wish we could dress up like.
Gillian: I think also it’s about what you do during the day, and how the clothes that you wear adjust to the type of things that you do daily. Like, for me and Erika, we usually go to construction sites and do measurements on the spot, so we go for functionality. But then we have to rush to a furniture store or a client meeting, so we also have to look presentable.
Rachel: For me, it’s about being unapologetic for what you’re wearing. If it’s your style, then it’s your style. You don’t have to think about what people are going to say about you or what you’re wearing.
Vanessa: I grew up on a very small island, it was a mining community. Everybody wore the same thing, and we could only go to the city every weekend. So fashion was a very foreign thing to me, but I remember I wore pink shoes to school. I would lie to my teacher and tell her we didn’t have enough money to buy black shoes, even if I had two pairs at home. Those were the kinds of stories my lola would tell me—she would say I was so arte growing up. But I wasn’t being maarte. It was just me wanting to do what I wanted. People have always said that I was so weird, so I didn’t associate fashion with me. I was just weird.
Zee: Does anyone else have early fashion memories?
Gillian: I remember this very clearly. My mom told me to wear a denim jumper to SM—SM had just opened at the time. I was eight or nine and I didn’t want to wear a jumper, so I wore a fluffy red party dress. That was my fashion moment.
Erika: I grew up with three brothers, so I love anything that has a masculine spirit. I’m comfortable wearing baggy blazers or baggy white shirts. I also think my dad is very stylish—not fashionable, but stylish. I see him wearing a black or red shirt with white pants all the time. That’s his signature look, and I grew up very close to him so it became innate for me too.
Vanessa: I always feel like there’s someone who influences you. I think for me, it was my mom. I remember her nail polish, red lipstick.
Neil: My grandmother. She used to go to all these events. She would wear these pieces—I don’t know if it was lace or embroidery, but it was really beautiful and delicate. And she did everything with such grace, matching her outfits to her bag and huge-ass pearls. She was, and still is, one of my most favorite muses.
Ixa: For me, it’s my mom. I would dress her up whenever she went out ballroom dancing. I’d be there in her room, wearing her sandals, and she would ask me what I thought. I think that’s where I picked up the touch of masculinity, because my mom was so sexy and I didn’t like her going out in a strapless dress or something. So I’d get my dad’s coat and ask her to wear it, and she’d say, yeah it works. I think that’s where it all started—my mom is like the Mary Kate Olsen of my life.
Zee: And from there, how were able to develop your own personal style?
Vanessa: I really don’t think it’s a conscious effort. I don’t even want to look at my old photos.
Gillian: Me too! I feel like it’s trial and error all the way. I was telling Vanessa that I don’t want to look at those old photos of ours—where we pile on all the prints, all the accessories. It’s a constant evolution.
Zee: What did you use to wear that you’re embarrassed of now?
Neil: Floral shirts! I had a lot of floral shirts—I looked so tropical! Now, if you notice, it’s all plains. I definitely agree with Gillian about the trial and error. I understand the concept of Mark Zuckerberg, how he just wears the same outfit every day. I’ve been stuck with all black, all white, or all gray. It’s just so tiring to think. I remember how we used to plan all our outfits the day before, but nowadays, I just want to take a good bath and sleep.
Ixa: For me, I don’t have a constant style, but I’m not afraid of colors and I love oversized shirts. I don’t really shop, like my brother Rei. We’re so busy making clothes for other people. My “mall” is my dad’s closet. This is my dad’s polo that I cut. I can get some from my brother too. I just mix and match.
Erika: I gravitate towards classic pieces. I don’t like the trendy ones because everyone’s wearing it.
Gillian: But I think that’s the great thing about styling. You can pick any trend, and then incorporate it as your own. Or you can pick out a classic and transition it into a trend to make it fit your body type or style, or where you’re going that day. Sometimes you don’t even have to buy the trend, it might already be sitting in your closet.
Zee: Where do you usually find the inspiration for how you dress though? Like for Gillian and Erika, since you’re both in interiors, does that somehow find its way into how you dress?
Gillian: I think it can go both ways, but it depends. Sometimes I meet a client and I’m like, whoa, she has great clothes. I need some styling tips from her. Or the other way around—I’ll be like, let me help you out.
Erika: Or when I look for interior inspiration, I go to the classic ones like Frank Lloyd Wright. When I research, I look up the person and I’d see their photo and be like, their outfit is nice. Like Picasso—he looks so good with his red cropped pants and white top. So it could start from there.
Gillian: Actually Erika’s right. I guess that’s why I started my blog, because I found out during my studies that some of the principles of design affects all the other design aspects. It also works with fashion, or multimedia and advertising. Like proportions in interiors—it has an outlet in fashion, like matching a narrow waist with a wide shoulder. I guess that’s how I started to understand and appreciate fashion more.
Zee: What do you guys think about Cebuanos’ style now?
Ixa: it’s very safe, very laidback. But there’s a kind of laidback that’s still stylish.
Vanessa: I’m okay with people who want to be laidback. That’s fine—but I want to wear heels.
Neil: I have to admit that Cebu’s style is much better now than it was five to ten years ago.
Gillian: I think we have more choices now.
Ixa: It’s social media also. A few years ago, not everyone could afford magazines like Vogue. Now people can find inspiration easily and go a little extra on their outfits because it’s like, oh, I want to dress like a Kardashian.
Neil: The accessibility of information has changed everybody nowadays. You have to make sure that the outfit is Instagram-able.
Zee: How do you feel your style helps you in your everyday life?
Vanessa: I think it really is just for me. People will say, oh you’ll comfortable in a T-shirt, and I’m like, no. I’ll be sad in a T-shirt. Comfort is really subjective. I won’t feel comfortable in a T-shirt, but good for you if you do.
Neil: Mine has to be a perfect balance between comfort and my preferred aesthetic. Like a certain comfortable shoe is just a big no-no—Crocs! I don’t care how comfortable that is, but it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.
Rachel: I think you really just wear what you’re comfortable with, and the confidence will follow. Then people will say, yeah you look good!
Gillian: I don’t know about everybody else at the table, but if I end up wearing something I don’t like, it really affects my whole day. I’ll be so bothered, to the extent that I can’t work. Other people might think it’s shallow, but really it’s just how I feel.
Awesome Online-Exclusive Deals and Free Shipping Await Shoppers at the Newly-Launched Old Navy PH Digital Store
OLD NAVY, NEW HOME
By Danica Ronquillo
Nothing screams “Americana” like Old Navy!
From trendy denims and soft cotton Ts to statement graphics and fleecy pajamas, Old Navy has been the first name in fun, classic fashion staples for the whole family since 1994. Known for high-quality pieces that fit every size, shape, and budget, this heritage brand has found a way to reach even more hangers in the digital age: OldNavy.com.ph.
While no stranger to the digital sphere, OldNavy.com.ph is the brands’s first standalone e-commerce, making Old Navy’s vast array of on trend apparel and accessories available to customers 24/7. The launch of OldNavy.com.ph will not only feature styles that can be found in their brick- and-mortar locations, but also seasonal essentials and online exclusives, like Old Navy’s activewear line.
OldNavy.com.ph customers can enjoy free shipping with a minimum order spend of Php 4000, as well as various deals and e-payment options to ensure everyone can be a part of the Old Navy experience.
Shoppers will still be able to find new arrivals in all Old Navy Philippines stores, including Bonifacio High Street, SM Megamall, and Shangri-La Plaza, as well as in Old Navy’s Viber community.
With this launch, Old Navy Philippines continues to be the pioneer of making comfort, quality, and style accessible to all. There’s something for everyone at Old Navy!
37 Years of High Fashion; Arcy Gayatin leaves a Legacy of Edginess and Elegance
Arcy Gayatin: A Legacy of Luxury in Fabrication
By: Allain Dumon Fonte
The brand Arcy Gayatin gave the Queen City of the South a distinct reputation in the fashion industry. The fashion line of Arcy Gayatin sets the bar higher each year for clothing luxury and fabrication techniques.
Araceli “Arcy” Ancajas Gayatin is the daughter Galileo Ancajas and Remedios Zanoria Ancajas who founded Cebu’s home brand, Gal’s Bakery. Arcy went to the University of San Carlos and studied Political Science. And just like Dr. Muccia Prada, who completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and established the luxury line of Prada, Arcy also got in touch with her artistic side and started her own fashion line. However, it was not Prada that influenced Arcy. Arcy was introduced to fashion and tailoring at a very young age by her mother, Madame Remedios Anacajas whom they dearly call Mama Eme. Mama Eme was running a tailoring business back then. It was called Arabel; named after Arcy and her sister Belma. Ara from Araceli and Bel from Belma. In those years, Arcy was fascinated by fabrics and was intrigued by how to manipulate the fabrics to come up with fashion-forward designs without compromising comfort and taste.
After 37 years of creating haute couture pieces for the most fashionable personalities in the Philippines, Arcy Gayatin is now laying down her sketchpads and pens to rest. As she enjoys her retirement, may be on a cruise to the Bahamas or a holiday to the Swiss Alps, Arcy Gayatin has left the fashion industry a legacy of elegant and edgy clothing ensembles that understand and define the shape of women; without compromising comfort and good taste.
To salute the lady who brought Cebu fashion to the world, a retrospective exhibition of Arcy’s incomparable masterpieces can be seen today at Ayala Center Cebu’s The Gallery; curated by fashion editor and writer, Clint Holton Potestas, and interior and fashion designer, Jul Oliva.
BALANCE. Arcy Gayatin is known for her perfect symmetrical lines when fabricating. She knows how to balance edginess and class; understanding well the strength and the finesse of a woman.
RHYTHM. Arcy’s expertise in draping and fabric manipulation can be seen in how she achieves rhythm between architectural lines and soft fabrics like silk and cashmere.
TEXTURE. With her thorough knowledge on fabrics, Arcy Gayatin has achieved the perfection of fabrication by working on different types of fabrics and creating a single piece of art out of them.
HARMONY. The simplicity of the silhouette plus the intricacy of the details create a wonderful harmony, making Arcy Gayatin’s design a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
The photos below show an up-close look at the intricacy and the exquisite craftsmanship of Arcy Gayatin’s fabrication techniques:
THE SPIDER WEB: one of Arcy’s genius fabrication techniques.
MATCH and PATCH: Arcy’s unique fabrication craft by patching layers of different types of lace and lace patterns
PLEATS: The perfection of symmetry in pleats on silk.
LA ROSE BLEUE: U.P. student, Danielle Alessandra Deutsch, inspired by the artistry of Arcy Gayatin, designed this midnight blue dress. The cabbage rose made from layers of silk organdy gave this evening ensemble a romantic appeal.
Cebuano Haute Couture Shines at 2021 Cebu Wedding Expo
Forever at Soltana
by Allain Dumon Fonte
Soltana Nature Residences host the grandest wedding destination expo for 2021. In their grandiose Events at Soltana venue, wedding suppliers, event coordinators, events stylists, fashion designers, and exhibitors gathered to showcase their best to excited couples and clients. The grand expo was opened by the Chairperson of Lapu Lapu City’s Tourism Commission and first lady of this historic resort city, Madam Cynthia Cindy King Chan; she was with city counselor, Hon. Queenie Malingin Amman; Taft Properties COO and Vice President, Myra Lynn Gilig; Taft Properties CFO, Feliz Tiukenhoy; and Mr. Justin Gaisano of Taft Properties.
To set the event’s mood, AD models Kevin Lahousse and Gingie Alducente acted as newlyweds joining the expo and leading the guests to the exhibitors’ booths. Yet, the highlight of the event was the glamorous fashion show set in the world’s most visited wedding destinations, as the mannequins of AD models paraded the haute couture creations of Cebu’s A-list fashion designers.
The show was opened by Miss Earth 2008, Karla Henry-Amman, wearing a bridal gown designed by Hanz Coquilla. Her wedding mood was the historic streets and sceneries of Vigan, Philippines. Coquilla created a Filipiniana-inspired bridal dress with perfectly constructed butterfly sleeves, exquisitely clean lines, and masterfully crafted bias skirt of balanced cones and flows. Valerie Alvez showcased a bridal dress made of vintage Chantilly lace. Alvez proved her skills in manipulating laces to be impeccable; the bow detail at the back added glamour to the dress, exuding luxury to the bride wearing Alvez’s masterpiece. Wendell Quisido set her wedding theme to the dreamy beaches of Ipanema; and as her model glided on the runway, everyone in the audience dropped their jaws to the intricately detailed bridal dress that Quisido made. Quisido designed a bustier dress with well-balanced panels that wonderfully fitted the model’s figure; but what made Quisido’s dress jaw-dropping are the countless Swarovski crystals that covered the dress. Dexter Alazas joined the fashion show with a 1920’s inspired wedding dress of vintage tulle and embroidered in the decade’s popular baroque patterns. Alazas has shown the wonders of working with delicate fabrics and the opulence of vintage embroidery patterns.
The fashions show also brought us to the rich sceneries of Mallorca, Spain with Ren Manabat’s three-tiered wedding dress. The labor-intensive layers upon layers of soft English tulle made Manabat’s artwork stand out, among others. Another head turner is a dress that was carefully planned and architecturally constructed, the bridal gown designed by Protacio. Protacio has obviously studied well which fabrics to use and how each fabric is sewn to the other to create an illusion of nudeness under layers of vintage Italian mesh. The dress was architecturally constructed like the Burj Khalifa where every piece sits perfectly with each other in harmony and balance. Fashion connoisseur Marichu Tan-Geson created an extremely detailed bodice lined with Swarovski crystals, and a skirt made from layers of dotted soft English tulle. Tan-Geson’s manipulation techniques on the soft tulle and how she delicately draped every layer of the tulle upon the other is interesting and intriguing. With a work of art as beautiful as that, I could say that Tan-Geson is the Madame Gres of Cebu fashion. The show ended with a groom and a bride wearing a 19th century English-inspired wedding ensemble by master couturier, Philip Rodriguez. Rodriguez has proven once again his artistry and expertise in fashion by creating an empire-waist gown with ruffled sleeves made from dotted Italian mesh of 100% silk and vintage silk taffeta. Rodriguez presented a truly elegant wedding dress; lesser on the intricacy but more on the richness of the materials being used. The rarity of Rodriguez’s fabrics already makes his dress worthy to a MET gala exhibition.
The models wore the timeless and recherche jewelry collections from Royal Gem to match the bridal dresses of the featured designers. Every jewelry piece is made to complement a woman who loves fashion and whose self-awareness dictates her own style. From green sapphires to yellow diamonds, every jewelry piece is stunning. No wonder why socialite and fashion icon, Heart Evangelista, loves and promotes Royal Gem. All models are wearing Shandar bridal footwear.
The Grand Wedding Destination Expo at the Events at Soltana will run until the 24th of May 2021 with exciting activities: a maquillage session with Jessie Glova, a bridal make-up competition and show, a financial literacy session for new couples, a talk on real estate investments, a session with Rod Bautista and Eddie Jamin from the Centerpiece Weddings and Events about wedding destinations in Cebu and the new norms in wedding celebrations, and a whole lot more of raffle prizes from Plantation Bar Resort and Spa, Solea Mactan Resort, Savoy Hotel Mactan, and others.
Inside Scoops at Cebu Art Week 2021
Awesome Online-Exclusive Deals and Free Shipping Await Shoppers at the Newly-Launched Old Navy PH Digital Store
Arcane: League of Legends: Netflix Review
THROWBACK THURSDAY: Thanksgiving with the Woolbrights
BTS: Beetle and Bimmer Clubs for Men’s Issue
BTS: Borgy Manotoc and Georgina Wilson Cover Story
Magic Touch: Healing Power of Efficascent Oil
Noise and Sounds: An Artform
Christmas in Colonial Cebu: A Themed Exhibit by Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas for Stylescapes 2019
Artisanal Cebu: Aspiring calligraphy artist Abigail Condrado
Experience authentic Korean Barbeque at Da-In Restaurant
Chaine des Rotisseurs: A Night of Spanish Cuisine
Events3 months ago
Who Really is Miss Cebu?
Events2 months ago
A Tale of Two Queens
inside2 months ago
LADY CYCLISTS HIT THE ROADS AND SLOPES OF CEBU.
Culture1 month ago
The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.
Leisure2 months ago
Lady Cyclists Hit the Road and Slopes of Cebu. P.2
Events1 week ago
Inside Scoops at Cebu Art Week 2021
Eats3 months ago
ZEE’s Pick for the Week
Eats4 weeks ago
Zee’s Pick for the Week