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Putien brings the clean taste of Fujian cuisine

THE PLANET’S seasons shape our lives, and one might think that this is limited to agriculture, but think about how they alter your wardrobe, travel, and work plans. Those powers are heavily reflected in Putien’s menu, which changes according to the seasons. Perhaps it’s that respect given to the planet’s axial spin that is the reason the restaurant has consistently earned one star in Singapore’s Michelin Guide for four years straight.

Panda Express opens its first branch in Manila

AN ASIAN-AMERICAN brand has crossed the oceans to bring American-Chinese food to the Philippines. Panda Express opens its first branch in the Philippines, today, Dec. 12, in SM Megamall.

From waste to high taste

WE KNOW that the planet is in bad shape when even luxury brands are taking a stand. Oceans rise, empires fall; but people will always shell out a little more for something special. In 2018, Chanel announced that it would no longer use exotic skins, which would include crocodile, lizard, snake, stingray, and fur. As part of its efforts to make responsible fashion, Chanel unveiled a gold boater hat earlier this year, using a faux leather called Piñatex, derived from pineapple fibers -- from the Philippines, no less.

Perfection in a salmon sashimi

FROM SUSHI delivered by train, we now have sushi crafted by hand.

Flavors to please an empress

WHEN YOU think of the empresses who ruled China, one name immediately comes to mind: Dowager Empress Cixi. A former concubine plucked from obscurity when she bore the Emperor a son, the woman shaped the last years of Imperial China. Cold and imperious, she eliminated all competition to the throne, even going as far as usurping the throne from her own son — the sanitized story is that she served as regent when her son was taken ill and eventually dying.

What it takes to become big in Japan

JAPAN is a place of many contradictions. It is simultaneously old and young; frighteningly modern and comfortingly aware and compassionate of its past. Its people hold on to who they are, and yet openly takes influences from the West. Several fashion designers call it home, and the easiest names to recall from that region are Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake. When it comes to large-scale production meanwhile, Muji and Uniqlo are successful global exports. The Japanese seem to have it all in their own set of islands, and the thought of making it there makes penetrating the Japanese market a worthy, but also daunting prospect. BusinessWorld talked to two stakeholders in the competitive Japanese fashion market to help Filipino designers understand what makes Japanese customers tick, and the steps they’ll have to take in order to make it in Japan.

A superhero in a Chanel suit

NOT ALL superheroes wear capes. Some of them wear Chanel suits.

Proudly Promdi brings the spirit of the north to the big...

“RUSTIC” has come to mean a lot of things as the dawn of the new decade approaches. It can mean just plain and simple, and especially if it was made somewhere rural. These days, however, something having a rustic quality means that it was born somewhere away from the prying hands of the city and modernity, and thus, quite pure.

Glenrothes whisky: a taste of the sun

IT CHANGED hands like a parcel at a party, and it has burst into flames at least four times, but here we are, drinking their single malts.

‘Time is Life’

TIME MOVES ever so quickly, and yet the entities that remind us of its passing move so slowly. I’m talking about watch companies. Built up on one generation following another, time freezes for many of them, and they remain the same, unlike the world that surrounds them.

Seda’s serviced apartments open in the heart of Makati

SEDA FOUND, and made for the paying public a new home in the Ayala North Exchange Tower.

Wearing a bit of history on one’s wrist

NEVER FORGET: Queen Elizabeth II wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 101 (then the world’s smallest movement), concealed within the links of diamond bracelet during her 1953 coronation. Every time you’re wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre, you’re wearing a bit of history on your wrist.

Monga’s bird in the hand

TWO INCHES doesn’t sound so big, until we’re talking about the thickness of a chicken fillet.

From Beverly Hills to Manila: Anastasia’s is here

THE PRODUCTS of the brow salon to the stars, Anastasia Beverly Hills, now has a physical counter in Manila in Rustan’s Makati.

Essential oil company enters the Philippines

THE multi-level marketing platform dōTERRA, built on a bank of essential oils, has arrived in the Philippines. The company, based in Utah and present in several dozen countries, was officially launched in the country at Okada earlier this month as a locally registered product in the Philippines, as were its Makati corporate offices.

Homecoming: How a restaurant defines the word

WHAT DOES the word “home” mean? In a world of constant movement, it could mean many things: something as simple as having somewhere to lay your feet on after a long day, or else a place where you can belong, either out of guilt or by love. A new restaurant by chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou gives a diner a taste of what another person thinks is home, and in the process, perhaps finding the meaning for themselves too.

Chef Talk: Anton Amoncio on opening restaurants, cooking on television, and...

ANTON AMONCIO isn’t on TV just for his looks. He is on TV at the Asian Food Channel and Food Network because he won the Food Hero contest in 2016, which tested his on-screen appeal and creativity, winning with a Cheesy Lamb Kaldereta (helped by his smile). The kaldereta was part of his menu at Antojos (which has since closed its doors). However, the restaurant in itself is a story: Mr. Amoncio opened that, his first, at the young age of 24.

The seduction of Natori

MULTICULTURALISM and luxury, as well as a two new lines for an experienced master were the focus of Josie Natori’s launch last week in Rustan’s.

Frou frou and excess mark Giambattista Valli x H&M collaboration

THERE WAS Wang, Kawakubo, Balmain, Kenzo, and even Lagerfeld. Every year, H&M collaborates with an important brand or fashion designer, and this year, it’s Giambattista Valli. Manila couldn’t have been more pleased.

Bling it on for Christmas

SANTA’S been meaning to ask if you’ve been naughty or nice, but either way, you get jewelry, and that’s always a good deal.

Sparklers for a Christmas list

WE’VE GOT a little over a month before Christmas, so make someone cry tears of joy with collections from some of the best known names in jewelry. Trust me, with just one of these baubles, you’ll get whatever you want this season.

Today’s wedding venue was originally an anniversary gift

IT WOULD HAVE been easier for the Liamzon family to sell Villa Milagros, the one-hectare property their grandparents built up at the foothills of the Sierra Madre by Rizal province.

New World vs. Old World wine, style vs. substance

THERE ARE two important Judgments of Paris, both of which changed the world, depending on what you’re reading. First, there’s the Judgment of Paris of Greek mythology, where the lost prince of Troy, Paris, had to choose who the fairest was between goddesses Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena, and the consequences of that launched the Trojan War. Secondly, there’s the Paris Tasting of 1976, a competition by a British wine merchant, where California wines flushed out their French counterparts in a blind tasting by French judges. This competition paved the way for New World wines to be taken more seriously.

Chivas Regal: Blending into a success

THE BLENDED Scotch whisky brand, Chivas Regal, launched its new campaign last week called “Success is a Blend.”

Something Old, Something New

A BARRAGE of Assumption Old Girls filled Tesoro’s in Makati earlier this month for the launch of a collaboration between Tesoro’s and Veloso by Malu and Letlet, a storied fashion house founded in the 1940s, with a legacy stretching three generations.

Shopping diplomacy

THE International Bazaar Foundation’s International Bazaar 2019 (now on its 53rd year) has a unique proposition: shop -- and help bolster international relations at the same time.

A different kind of gender reveal

FOR MEMBERS of the LGBTQ community, coming out of the metaphorical closet is the first step into a new life, and it makes the difference between merely surviving and really living. In coming out, someone steps out of the smoke and shadows they’ve wrapped around themselves. It’s not an easy step, and it always takes years of self-examination, and of course, it comes with the fears of rejection, and several hard questions for yourself and others.

Virtus Awards honors hotel’s ‘lifeblood’

OUTSTANDING marketing professionals from the hospitality industry were honored on Oct. 14 at Conrad Manila at the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association’s (HSMA) Virtus Awards. The organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Charity done with style

ARGUABLY one of the most glamorous evenings of the Manila social season, the gowns and the gems were brought out for the Red Charity Gala, which would go on to benefit Philippine Red Cross, Assumption HS ’81 Foundation, and various charities throughout the country.

ISCAHM: Leave it to the pros

THE International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) has been around since 2003, and its gift to itself is the pride it sees in producing students of a certain caliber.

Glorietta’s Food Choices gets a new look

GLORIETTA’S facelifted food court, Food Choices, is changing expectations of what a mall food court should be like.

Born in the Purple: A Succession Story from Charriol

DO STORIES really end? We’d like to think that the end of one story just begins another, link upon link like the chains in a bracelet.

Versace boutique opens in Solaire

THE FIRST Versace boutique in the Philippines opened earlier this month in Solaire in Parañaque.

20 years of making wine meant for Filipino tastes

PHILIPPINE wine company Novellino celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this week, marking its hold on the growing wine industry of the country.

San Miguel now has a wine

SAN MIGUEL, known for its beer and gin, is set to shake up with beverage market with a new product: wine.

PeopleAsia’s ‘Women of Style and Substance’ fêted

A SENATOR, a mayor, businesswomen, and other luminaries are among PeopleAsia magazine’s 14th batch of “Women of Style and Substance.” The magazine has been honoring women by including them in the lists since 2006.

Luxury according to chef Nobu Matsuhisa

IN A world where anybody with a huge bank account can afford anything, do we still know what true luxury is?

How Via Mare’s Glenda Barretto ended up serving presidents and princesses

WHAT DOES it mean to be the best? You can take the example of Glenda Barretto, founder of Via Mare, and caterer extraordinaire. Mrs. Barretto’s bejewelled hand has presided over numerous state dinners at Malacañang Palace after a dinner she catered for a friend caught the attention of the dictator’s wife, Imelda Marcos. Since then, Mrs. Barretto’s imprimatur has been on almost every plate served to almost every world leader who has stepped foot in this country.

The constantly evolving terno

A COLLABORATION by clothing conglomerate Bench and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) culminates again in a celebration of the Philippine national dress, the terno, in a gala on Jan. 26, 2020 called Ternocon.

Song and games inspire fashion

WHOLESOME FUN and fashion was the name of the game at the recent Baro’t Saya gala, held on Sept. 22 at the Grand Hyatt ballroom. It is an offshoot of the Awit at Laro project, which aimed to bring traditional Filipino games and nursery rhymes to a younger audience. Proceeds of the show will go to support the child-based projects of UNICEF, Tukod Foundation and the renovation of Museo Pambata.

Not all Bordeaux is expensive

WHEN YOU think about Bordeaux, which I’m sure you’ve bought because of its reputation — you’re partaking in the glory of the French Second Empire.

Secret Superhero: The Barista

YOU MIGHT think that a barista is simply the guy who hands you your coffee at the counter, but after attending the first Philippine National Barista Assembly at BGC last week, well, we certainly got an education.

What is good design?

IF TIME were a true test of anything, then objects may matter more than we do. We would be long dead and gone, but the objects we would have acquired through the years will still be gathering dust by the time we would have turned into it.

Heart Evangelista expands into jewelry

GREAT JEWELRY matched with great women are matches made in heaven. We can look at the jewelry collections of actress Elizabeth Taylor, for example, and think about the great, noisy, roaring life that she lived.

As rice farmers groan, rice company holds a gala

AN OFT-REPEATED legend about Queen Marie Antoinette of France is that when she was told that the people had no bread, she replied, “Then let them eat cake.” The phrase has gone down in history as a marker of the indifference that the wealthy give to the poor.