Connect with us


Kryz Uy just designed your next fashion buy

Fashion blogger Kryz Uy launches a passion project that marries local resources and craftsmanship with the intoxicating appeal of running away from home.

Kryz Uy

“Which one’s your favorite?” Kryz Uy asks me as we check out the bags from her new February Lifestyle line on the table during the photo shoot. Her excitement is palpable as she talks about each one, and nods excitedly when I say I preferred the ant-riddled Sweet Like Sugar. “That’s the one that the fashion girls really like because it’s so different,” she shares. “Yuppies like the Take Chances sling because it’s a simple but pretty design, and moms like the Let’s Get Lost tote since it’s so big and they can fit everything in it.”

Since its launch earlier this year, February Lifestyle is seeing a solid following—and it’s not just because it has one of the country’s top bloggers at the helm. Kryz started her fashion blog in college, long before the rest of us understood the meaning of online presence, and her Thirsty Thought page sees thousands of readers who are constantly on the lookout for style, beauty and even life advice. It might have been easy to bask in that success, but Kryz isn’t one to rest on her laurels.

Kryz Uy's latest passion project is a bag line that marries local resources and craftsmanship with the intoxicating appeal of running away from home. (Photography by Ezekiel Sullano/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016)

Kryz Uy’s latest passion project is a bag line that marries local resources and craftsmanship with the intoxicating appeal of running away from home. (Photography by Ezekiel Sullano/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016)

“I wanted to start a brand because I wanted to have something that, even after this whole blogger thing blows over, will encapsulate what I keep preaching about on the blog—how you should always be yourself and just do you,” Kryz explains. “I thought I’d come up with the line that is able to say that, and also promotes what I’m all about—traveling, having fun, working hard but also giving yourself time to breath.”

The sentiment was easy to come up with, but the process was a different story. Kryz had to consider all the different products she could come up with before finally deciding on what to put out. “It had to be a fashion item, because I’m a fashion blogger,” she declared. After flirting with the idea of a shoe or clothing line, she decided to go with bags and accessories, and gave called it February Lifestyle.

“It’s something we take for granted—we never really think about the month February,” she laughs “I named it February because it’s the only month of the year with 28 days, but every fourth year it gives us a surprise leap day. For some, it’s the month of love, but the lonely ones are always saying they hate February, it’s depressing. To us, it’s such a hot month, but all the way around the world, it’s really cold. So I’m saying that with February, you never really know what to expect.”

The thought process that went into the line goes beyond its design, and might be a testament to why Kryz is such a formidable presence in her industry. “I started conceptualizing everything last summer, so it’s been a year,” she shares when I asked how long the line has been in the making. “I would not allow myself to come up with a product that I wasn’t happy with, so there were a million tweaks and changes, and a lot of bag designs that I completely scrapped because it wasn’t working.”

It turned out for the best—February Lifestyle’s first collection is a trio of bags that are perfect conversation pieces for your next brunch with the girls. The roomy Let’s Get Lost tote is made of woven pandan, while the sleeker Take Chances and Sweet Like Sugar slings are from local raffia. Everything is handmade, with the only machinery involved in production being a sewing machine. “Even the metal details are hand-molded,” she adds.

The Take Chances sling, the Let's Get Lost tote, and the Sweet Like Sugar purse (Photography by Ezekiel Sullano/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016)

The Take Chances sling, the Let’s Get Lost tote, and the Sweet Like Sugar purse (Photography by Ezekiel Sullano/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016)

“These things I’m doing—100% handmade, we’re giving local artisans livelihood, promoting local materials—they aren’t new things. We hear it a lot, but if you’re a fashion person, it can be, ‘that’s good, but I wouldn’t wear it,’” Kryz admits. She flips the limitation on its head, instead seeing it as a challenge to use these materials in a new light. “It’s like banig bags. People in the Philippines might find banig boring, or that they don’t think a banig bag would be something stylish. But when you design it in a certain way that promotes quirkiness or fashion or travel, you give it new life and new meaning. People start to look at it differently.”

Tropical elements dominate the designs, which Kryz says was a conscious way to pay tribute to her other passion. “I love traveling. I feel like there are so many people in the world, especially in Asia, who are so obsessed with work,” she shares. “And for me, when I think of vacations, I think of tropical places and island getaways. I want people to look at it and know it’s a vacation bag, and it makes them feel good. And it’s also using local materials, but putting ants on them. We made it weird. We made it a statement piece.”

With the amount of time that goes into a collection, Kryz sheepishly admits she doesn’t want to give an exact date for her holiday collection. “I’ll probably do two collections in a year,” she shares. As for the first one, she’ll soon be consigning at Cabana in Banilad Town Center and hopefully more locations soon.

If someone can get you to carry an ant-riddled purse around, it’d definitely be Kryz Uy. The fashionable and individualistic blogger is all about staying true to yourself—in fact, the bags are shipped with motivational saying slipped into the package and one of my favorites is one that says, “Love Your Madness.” Kryz Uy is creating pieces that certainly lean on the quirky, but it seems the secret to her success may be finding the method to the madness.

photography Ezekiel Sullano makeup Janice Barillo hair Gino Fonghe locale District on 53rd
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2016. For back issues, subscribe via Magzter


Filipino graphic designer makes history, joins Switzerland’s Museum of Avant-garde among genre’s greats

PJ Ong of Inodoro, an internationally renowned graphic designer, is the first Filipino whose work will be part of the permanent collection of Switzerland’s Museum of Avant-garde

CEBU CITY — In a groundbreaking achievement, Cebu-based graphic designer and art director PJ Ong of Inodoro Design Studio, is set to become the first Filipino artist permanently exhibited at Museum of Avant-garde (MA-g) in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Cebu-based graphic designer and art director of Inodoro Design Studio, PJ Ong

Ong’s recognition at MA-g places him among over 250 avant-garde artists, including iconic figures like Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, signifying a profound milestone in museum history.

“Avant-garde,” is a term that refers to pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

“I am extremely honored and humbled. It is a remarkable milestone in my creative journey, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a prominent platform. The acknowledgment, especially considering Switzerland’s exacting standards in art and design, is truly fulfilling,” said Ong.


Part of a stellar contemporary collection

Under the museum’s Contemporary Collection, Ong will join global contemporary agencies such as M/M Paris (collaborator of Icelandic singer-songwriter and composer, Björk), WORK Pte Ltd (brainchild of the “Godfather of Singapore Graphic Design,” Theseus Chan), Bedow (Stockholm), BVD Stockholm AB (Stockholm), Socio Design (London) and Milkxhake (Hong Kong), among others.

Ong’s music packaging design for the Filipino harsh noise duo, White Widow, will be featured in the museum. The band’s album “The God Uterus Dissolves” — released under Melt Records — features an unconventional cassette tape packaging incorporating a hand-crafted wire mesh, elevating it into a unique and bespoke collector’s item.

The museum’s selection process for its Contemporary Collection involved three categories: Graphic Design, Photography, and Illustration. Swiss-Canadian Fritz Gottschalk, a prominent figure in contemporary graphic design, led the Graphic Design category.

“This is profoundly validating for me as a graphic designer. Being part of a museum’s permanent contemporary collection is a lasting testament to my capabilities as an artist,” said Ong.

‘Poetry you can touch’

The graphic designer from Cebu City further defined the album as a “deliberate departure from the ordinary,” stating that it was a testament to the artist’s and band’s dedication to pushing boundaries and offering the audience a unique and immersive experience.

“Careful consideration was given to every detail, including choosing a premium supplier for the cassette tape. Opting for a screen-printed cassette, where design elements were applied directly to the surface, gave it a contemporary and visually striking result, helping us reinforce the design narrative,” said Ong.

“From the cohesive placement of elements to using symbols instead of track titles on the spine and customizing fonts, every aspect was carefully thought out. Rather than opting for the conventional wire mesh treatment on print, I took a bold step by incorporating a hand-crafted wire mesh, adding a unique and sensory dimension to the album — almost like poetry you can touch.”


Profound honor

Established in 2003, Inodoro Design Studio under Ong’s leadership has garnered global acclaim for its bold design philosophy, spanning music, fashion, architecture, culture and technology. In becoming the first Filipino whose work will be on display at the MA-g, Ong stated that it is “particularly humbling.”

“Traditionally, these privileges are given to individuals who have amassed decades of experience, attained mastery in their craft, or even as a posthumous acknowledgment. To be among those selected is a profound and unexpected honor,” he said.

“Museums typically focus on visual artists, and for a graphic designer, especially within the realm of commercial work, recognition can be more elusive. I appreciate the challenges of this less conventional route and I am committed to proving the significance of graphic design in the broader artistic landscape.”

Art enthusiasts can anticipate viewing Ong’s work with “The God Uterus Dissolves” at MA-g, scheduled to open to the general public in 2025.


About The Museum of Avant-garde (MA-g)

The Museum of Avant-garde compiles an original body of work from private collections, providing a unique perspective on the cultural and artistic significance of avant-garde movements. These movements, synonymous with transformative ideologies and daring experimentations, played a pivotal role in challenging political and societal conventions. For more information, visit


About Inodoro

Inodoro is the creative moniker of graphic designer and art director PJ Ong, a prominent figure in the Philippine design scene. Established in 2003, Inodoro Design Studio, based in Cebu, Philippines, has garnered international recognition for its bold and distinctive design, with a focus on thought-driven imagery and iconic visual language. The studio specializes in identities, custom typography, graphic design and art direction. For more information, visit

Continue Reading


Ladies Who Support Ladies

Women’s Circle is an organization composed of Cebuano ladies who are successful entrepreneurs and top executives.  They recently held a fellowship event at the Sheraton Mactan Resort, with special guests from the Women’s Business Council Philippines. Chairperson, Rosemarie Rafael and Council Secretary Cynthia Mamon both flew in from Manila to discuss alliances between the Cebu and Manila groups.

Loot bag from Jo Malone, Sheraton, R&M Chocomanga, gift card from Maayo Clinic, sarong from Ferimar.

The half day event was organized by Perl Jacalan, Gina Atienza and Eva Gullas. Sheraton Resort through its GM Dottie Wugler Cronin supported the event as it is aligned with the hotel’s women initiatives.  The successful event was made more fun with generous give-aways, notably Jo Malone perfumes, Sheraton bags, R&M Chocomanga and sarongs from Ferimar.

Continue Reading


Eight Years of Redefining Hospitality Service

by Allain Dumon Fonte

The person behind the very successful chain of Bayfront Hotel  Cebu is the youngest son of entrepreneur couple, Edgar and Gregoria Cokaliong.  I first met Charlton as a young and dashing gentleman busily working in their textile business.  I am impressed with how he excellently juggled taking care of orders, organizing shipments, arranging deliveries, accounting, and even managing the staff of their textile company.  Charlton is an alumnus of Cebu Eastern College where he finished his primary and secondary education.  He then went to the University of San Carlos and studied accountancy.  He successfully passed the accounting licensure examinations, and worked as a certified public accountant while helping in the family’s textile business; who would have thought that he would venture into hospitality.  

Charlton Cokaliong (Managing Director of Bayfron Hotel Cebu). Picture taken at the Bayfront Hotel Lobby.

In 2014, he first opened Bayfront Hotel Cebu at the North Reclamation Area.  I even wondered why of all the places that he can start a hotel, he had to choose the North Reclamation Area.  I find the location appalling for a hotel.  What view will the guests see?  I would not want to stay in a room where the views are cranes, machines, and container vans from the sea port.  Yet, Charlton foresaw the future of hospitality service.  He knew that with the recent developments of Cebu City, people will prefer to stay in hotels that are near to the city, and have access to almost everything they need.  The hotel is right across SM City Cebu, 10 minutes from the sea ports, 30 minutes from the airport, and 15 minutes to almost all the tourist destinations in the city and in the hills of Cebu.  Then, he made the hotel packages and event packages reasonably priced; yet, with a 5-star quality of service.  I even questioned, are you not losing for the prices that you have set?  However, since the hotel opened and up to the present, Bayfront Hotel Cebu has always been fully booked and is becoming the primary choice of venue for events and celebrations.  Charlton explained that he foresaw that with the rising economy and the rising population of the metropolitan, people will always prefer to celebrate special occasions; yet, considering the inflation every year, people will also choose to become more practical by spending less  without compromising quality.  And this is what Bayfront Hotel Cebu delivers, an experience of excellent hospitality service at a price that no other can match.

Bayfront Hotel Cebu in Capitol Site.

Because of the continuous demand for their hotel rooms and venues, Charlton opened another Bayfront Hotel Cebu in September 2021.  This time the location is at the heart of the uptown of Cebu in the Capitol Site.  Again, Charlton banked on the great location of the second Bayfront hotel.  I once again questioned him on this; considering the competition in the area because of the many up and coming business hotels that offer the same rates and packages.  Charlton smiled and confidently said that apart from the great location, he also banks on the quality of service that his staff can deliver.  “If you take care of your staff very well, your staff will take good care of your customers”.  I have seen first hand how Charlton handles and manages his staff at their textile store, so I know how he also handles and takes good care of his staff in the hotel.  And I realized that this is his biggest selling point, the hotel’s incomparable service and friendliness.  Even though the hotel opened in the middle of pandemic restrictions, the new hotel is getting countless reservations; most especially that the Capitol Site Bayfront Hotel offers an amazing view of the city skyline at its roofdeck bar and pool area.  The gym , pool , and bar amenities at the hotel’s roof deck with its view are a must to be experienced.

Standard De Luxe Room at the Bayfront Hotel Cebu.

Early of 2022, Charlton also opened the hotel’s in-house dining feature.  For seven years, Bayfront Hotel Cebu was catered by a third party food concessionaire.  But, again, Charlton foresees that the Filipino market will be more critical to food and taste.  I asked, why is this?  Charlton explained that with travel becoming more affordable and accessible, people will get to experience different kinds of food and dine in different restaurants.  Hence, people will now learn to benchmark, not only from local restaurants, but also from their dining experiences around the Philippines and overseas.  Therefore, Bayfront Hotel Cebu needs to step up its game in dining.  With the opening of Caja Kitchen, Bayfront Hotel offers more selections of Asian and Filipino comfort food fusion with international cuisines.  With Caja Kitchen, Charlton turned a Filipino menu into an international dining experience. I asked him how he came up with all these.  Charlton  explained that dedication to make his guests happy and satisfied is the key motivation why he does not stop thinking about innovating and reinventing everyone’s hospitality and dining experience. 

Caja Restaurant: Bayfront Hotel Cebu’s in-house dining facility.

In September of this year, the Bayfront Hotel Cebu in North Reclamation Area is officially celebrating its 8th year of wonderful and excellent hospitality service; while the Bayfront Hotel Cebu in Capitol turns 1!  Great and exciting anniversary promotions and packages await its patrons and guests!  Please visit the social media pages of Bayfront Hotel Cebu to know the amazing anniversary deals!

With my last question, what does he have in mind now.  Charlton just smiled and said, “Well, who knows?  Another Bayfront Hotel Cebu shall rise soon!”.  After this interesting conversation, I can say that Charlton is truly a man who can foresee the future; may it be in business, in the market, with the trends, and with new experiences.  

Continue Reading