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Nostalgia: Tea in the Sahara

On a trip to Morocco, Jing Ramos rediscovers the stomping grounds of yesteryear’s glamorous gypset, led by fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and culturati Pierre Bergé

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Set against the majestic Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is the capital of South Morocco and its character is diverse enough to be both African and Arab, modern and traditional, oriental and European. Known as the “Red City”, owing to its cluster of mud brick houses, Marrakech is possibly one of the most exotic cities in the world for its potent mixture of cultures. Over a thousand years old, it has long been a mecca for charmed circles that include artists, journalists, aesthetes, fashion designers and socialites. Think of Paul Bowles in his novel The Sheltering Sky portraying the mystique of an Islamic culture that exists only for the privileged few. Photographer Cecil Beaton mentions the city in his diaries with bold-faced names such as Gore Vidal, Anais Nin and Truman Capote of those times in idyllic tones. British writer and aesthete Osbert Sitwell called Marrakech the “ideal African city of water lawns, cool pillared palaces and orange groves”.

It was in the year 1966 that culturati Pierre Berge and fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent had arrived in Marrakech. They had stayed in the grand dame of hotels, the Mamounia which at the time evoked an old world charm. In Mr. Berge’s terms, it was the concept of pure luxury that proved to be its fatal attraction. Not long after that the couple chose Marrakech to be their second home. Those years have become pivotal to the cultural identity that Marrakech has until today. Pierre Berge’s account of this rarefied life with partner Yves Saint Laurent was what drove my imagination to a frenzy.

Last summer, I had the sheer luck of being invited to Marrakech to find out for myself what made these influential people succumb to its fabled charms. The city itself is split into two distinct areas; the traditional walled medina and Gueliz and Hivernage both of which occupy the French-built Ville Nouvelle. I arrived in the sweltering heat of North Africa with two travelling companions in tow, a low-keyed interior decorator and a famous bag designer on the last day of Ramadan. Nothing could have welcomed me more.

We checked into a riad at the Royal Mansour in the center of the medina. The scent of jasmine and orange blossoms wafted as we entered our luxurious private quarters. I fell into a deep sleep after a three-hour ride from Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca to Marrakech and woke up to the sounds of muezzin prayers to usher the end of Ramadan at dawn. It was like entering that same twilight that could’ve easily been the subject of Eugene Delacroix’s orientalist pantings. Thus began my journey to the Sahara desert and back to Marrakech in search of paintings by Claudio Bravo in the Khalid Art Gallery in Dar El Basha. To my dismay, the collection had already been shipped to Tangier. My heart skipped a beat from the disappointment. Fortunately, there was high tea at the Mamounia to settle my nerves down.

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Fashion

Holy Week Must-Haves

Going on a trip? Look stunning and stylish on your Holy Week trip with these must-haves.

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There are plenty of ways to spend the Holy Week. Some people prefer to stay at home and fast while some people prefer to go out of town to spend the week. Contrary to the belief that traveling during this time is risky because of the superstition that evil spirits are lurking amongst us, most people actually enjoy going to beaches or mountains to have a fun and relaxing time with their family or friends during the long holiday.

Of course, planning the trip took some time for you and you’re cramming on your shopping on what things you need to bring with you on your vacation. That is why we listed a couple of things that you must pack with you on your trip because we want you to look good and stylish during this Holy Week.

 

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and Bad Gal Bang Mascara

Waterproof makeup is a must when going on beach vacations. The Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and their Bad Gal Bang Mascara are best brought when it comes to trips like this. Have fleeky brows using the Gimme Brow Gel with its formula that is created with microfibers that makes your brows full-looking. Their Bad Gal Bang Mascara also makes your lashes pop with their gravity defying formula that even after a long day, your lashes will surely still have that volume. Both of these products are water-resistant and long lasting so you don’t have to worry of having to retouch while you’re enjoying your day.

Origins Vitazing SPF 15

One thing we’re all worried about when going on vacations is how we can protect our skin from the sun. The Origins Vitazing SPF 15 will surely come in handy when going to vacations. It’s a moisturizer, a foundation and a sunscreen, all in one product. The Origins Vitazing SPF 15 will help you look fresh and clear while protecting you from damaging your skin from the sun exposure that carries UV rays.

 

Maryan Mehlhorn ‘Fusion’ (Hibiscus) Underwired Bikini

This swimwear by Maryan Mehlhorn will definitely bring you that confident vacation vibe this Holy Week. The luxurious bikini is designed with a mixture of prints that will make you look stylish and fashionable as you enjoy swimming in the waters or sunbathing in the sand. Made and designed to fit all shapes, this swimwear will surely make you look and feel elegant yet sexy once you wear it at the beach.

Lilly Pulitzer Castilla Cover Up in Resort White

If there’s anything you can’t be without when going to a beach, it would be a cover up. Cover ups always create the look, especially on photos. There are many kinds of cover ups available but this one from Lilly Pulitzer just looks so stunning with its flowy cloth and tassel designs which would really add the beachy vibe to your outfit. Plus, it matches the Maryan Mehlhorn swimwear mentioned earlier.

 

Dolce and Gabbana Butterfly Acetate Glasses

Look classy throughout your vacation with Dolce and Gabbana’s Butterfly Acetate Glasses. These square-shaped glasses would not only protect your eyes from the sun, but it would also make you look stylish and cute when you wear this at beach. Definitely, it will match any outfit that you choose to pair it with.

 

Cult Gaia’s Gaias Ark Bag

The Ark Bag from Cult Gaia is a staple and a classic to the brand. This bag from Cult Gaia is made from bamboo and it displays its iconic arc shape that not only is stylish but is also easy to carry with you wherever you go. It’s also very spacious and it can carry all your beach essentials such as sunblock, sunglasses and your camera.

Lapin House Straw Sun Hat

Known for its style and function, a vacation look is never complete without a cute floppy hat. Lapin House’s Straw Sun Hat would really look cute on you with its white ribbon band on top that would totally match the Lilly Pulitzer Cover Up or any outfit that you’ll be wearing. It’s also big enough to protect your face from direct exposure to sunlight and we want none of that.

Lady Rustan Dei Thin Cross Strap Sandals

A simple yet stunning sandals would complete your vacation look and adding a Lady Rustan sandals in leather should do the trick. These sandals would be perfect with any outfit that you have in mind and it’s good for walks on the sand. You can either get the brown one or the white one for the perfect beach look.

 

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6

A polaroid camera is always a must when going on a vacation. Capture precious moments with Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6. It’s better than your regular polaroid camera because it prints bigger films that will capture the beauty of every scene that you take, may it be a landscape of a place or it can just be a picture of you and your loved ones that you went to vacation with.

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Events

Enjoy a Funtastic Easter Sunday with the Kids at Rustans

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Easter is just a skip away, and for kids it’s really a super fun holiday.

Egg-citing treats and surprises await them at the Rustan’s Easter Party on Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m. at the  Rustan’s Children’s Department, Ayala Center Cebu. For a minimum single receipt purchase of  P 3,000 from the Kids’ Department, come and enjoy the following:

Food Carts

Sure to delight kids are a selection of food carts filled with yummy sweet and savory snacks. 

Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Bunny hid many colorful Easter eggs at the barnyard for our precious little hunters to find. Hop along and join the search for a chance to win special prizes from our different kids’ brands. Each participant also gets a Kinderjoy egg!

Easter Egg Decorating

Kids get to design and take home their one-of-a-kind egg creation at the Easter egg decorating station.

Crayola Art Activity

Let your kid’s inner artist shine. Make a splash with pastel shades, bright patterns or rainbow colors. 

Lego Building Contest

Fancy building an Easter bunny or a giant Easter egg? Let kids’ imaginations take flight with the Lego Building Contest at the Lego Corner. Exciting prizes are in store for those with the most creative and imaginative Lego creations.

It’s going to be a very hoppy Easter celebration at the Rustan’s Department Store.

For more information and updates, visit https://rustans.com.ph and @rustansph on Facebook and Instagram

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Featured

Here’s What Cebu’s Restaurateurs are Preparing for Easter Week

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The arrival of Holy Week often means a mass exodus out of the city—whether it’s for a trip back to one’s hometown or an opportunity for a vacation. That being said, food choices during this time are often limited, with restaurants cutting down hours to prepare for the holidays, or creating menus that suit the season.
 
While it’s interesting to know what these food spots will offer, we’re curious about what the people behind them prepare at home. To satiate our curiosity, we asked some of Cebu’s notable chefs and restaurateurs what they’re cooking up this week.
 
 
“For Most Holy week days, we’re most likely out of town. But buona pascqua is huge in Italy. So when we’re in town, we’re spending Sundays around the kitchen. We do gnocchi in all sorts of forms. We’re rolling it, then pan frying, adding reduced liquid , adding meat. Using cauliflower to make it healthier. And how can Easter be without a sweet? A Burnt Caramelized mini “otap” Tart with pear is our choice.” —Kate Anzani, Anzani
 
 
“One day this Holy Week, it’s going to be ribeye, mashed potatoes, puttanesca pasta for dinner and homemade tacos & margarita for the afternoon. Other days, we dine out.” —Jan Rodriguez, Weekend 

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