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Fashion designer Ito Curata, 60

FASHION designer Ito Curata died at the age of 60 on March 26. According to reports, he died of pneumonia caused by the COVID-19 virus, which has killed thousands around the globe.

Famous victims of a pandemic, exactly 100 years ago

DISEASE does not discriminate, and takes lives great or small. During this coronavirus pandemic, when you can: stay at home. Otherwise, maintain distance in public, avoid close contact with people, and take all necessary sanitary precautions.

Now, Time to Sit

THE various details that were once mere facts of life become major decisions when you’ve been forcibly locked inside the house by a virus. New developments everyday force us ever more to retreat inwards, but inside a space filled with dread. Maybe a touch of true silence will make that place a little better.

The confusion of confinement, in words

YOU and I have been placed under house arrest by an invisible spectre: a virus.

How hotels are dealing with the lockdown

WHILE several hotels have sent us statements regarding their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rules have changed as swiftly as the statements were issued. While hotels such as The Peninsula Manila and Marco Polo assured us of their food safety procedures a few days ago, they, as most of the hotels in the National Capital Region have since been closed, or are currently closing.

Grocery delivery in the time of COVID-19

WHILE we’ve been ordered to stay home, going to the supermarket can feel risky, what with the long lines of panic buyers and checkout stands touched by every Tom, Dick, and Juana who may be harboring the virus that causes COVID-19. But there now are grocery delivery services available where one can order one’s necessities without having to interact with anyone in real life,except maybe the wary delivery person. Here is a list of where to get your groceries and other essentials in this time of need. Most websites, however, have posted warnings that there will be delays in delivery, due to the obvious logistical issues.

Rolex opens a new boutique sporting the brand’s new look

THE WORLD continued to tick on for wearers of Rolex as guests flooded into the Rolex boutique at the Podium in the Ortigas Center a few days before the announcement of the community quarantine spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new boutique is the first of its kind.

Samar gives up its secrets

SAMAR is regularly brought down to its knees thanks to its geographical location, which puts it right in the path of storms, including the long nightmare that was Typhoon Yolanda. And yet, when BusinessWorld spent the last days of February there, it was hard to feel that it was a province that knew hardship. In a carinderia (roadside eatery), a couple feasted on what are considered luxuries in the country’s capital: crabs and upland rice. A member of the tour group, who will not be named, scoffed, “And they call us poor.”

Stories in thread and cloth

AMID A climate emergency, a possible pandemic, and all the great and small battles we all fight everyday, the world continued to spin for the designers of Paris. Two designers at the shows in the first week of March showed a nostalgia for days gone by, one designer opted for the arts as a palliative, while one maison refuses to go down without a fight.

Saving the planet, one dish at a time

How sure are you that your choices when you’re dining out are healthy for the planet?

Discovery Suites Ortigas marks 20th anniversary

DISCOVERY Suites Ortigas, the first hotel of the Discovery Leisure Company, Inc. hospitality group, celebrated its 20th anniversary last month, thus commemorating everything else that followed the hotel’s 2000 opening: the various properties located in Makati, Tagaytay, Boracay, and Palawan.

Three icons, one stage

TONIGHT and tomorrow, three icons of Philippine music — Basil Valdez, Lani Misalucha, and National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab — join forces in And The Story Begins.

‘We eat the same things’

CHEF Myke “Tatung” Sarthou, like most people, may well have been content to stay in one place. As it is, however, man has a mandate to move, and despite it being a time of rest for him, he has managed to open two restaurants in less than a year.

A taste of Spain’s Rioja

It is understood that the people who work with wine somehow shape it too: while wine is indeed time, climate, and space distilled elegantly in a bottle, surely the hands who made it have left their imprint on it too?

New GrabKitchen offers Makati residents tastes beyond their boundaries

MAKATI RESIDENTS can now stop fretting: the dishes of Omakase, Mister Kabab, 24 Chicken, Recovery Food, and Frank and Dean, all restaurants which are outside the city, are now available in the area, while CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice has expanded its delivery operations in the area. This isn’t because they’ve opened up new branches. They’re all there thanks to Grab’s GrabKitchen.

Eddie Garcia, Tony Mabesa honored at FDCP Ambassadors’ Night

THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) held its 4th Film Ambassadors’ Night (FAN) on Feb. 9 to celebrate audiovisual workers who have brought honor to the country by winning in film festivals abroad.

Highballs: Matching mixers with whiskey

TIPPLING is even easier with a handful of new drink recipes from Johnnie Walker.

A harvest of prints to last years

FILIPINO brand Plains & Prints summons spring with its new collection featuring its signature Spring Harvest prints.

Like a diamond, the Macallan Edition No. 5 is judged by...

THE Edition series was launched by single-malt distiller Macallan in 2015 with the Macallan Edition No. 1, which celebrates its relationship with oak. Every year since, they’ve released a Limited Edition to celebrate qualities present in their whisky. No. 2 celebrates taste (with a collaboration with the Spanish culinary geniuses the Roca brothers), No. 3 presents their expertise in aroma (collaborating with master perfumer Roja Dove, who served as the first Guerlain Global Ambassador outside the Guerlain family), and finally, No. 4 serves to highlight their devotion to craftsmanship.

Obsession

JAPAN SEEMS to have an obsession with time: its trains hardly ever come late, and when they do, the transportation authorities find it so atrocious that they feel the need to issue an apology. When BusinessWorld asked Grand Seiko Craftsman Takuya Nishinaka about the relationship between Japanese people and time during the 60th anniversary celebration of Grand Seiko held in the Lexus Showroom at BGC last week, Mr. Nishinaka chose not to answer the question. This is understandable -- in order to answer the question, Mr. Nishinaka would have to delve deep into the history of the Japanese empire: including its meeting with the West, its navy, its school system, and its trains.

UNIQLO focuses on 1920’s style in latest special collection

AT the beginning of the year, BusinessWorld predicted that fashions from the 1920s would come back in style, thanks to Laver’s Law.* Japanese global retailer Uniqlo, in its latest collaboration with model and author Ines de la Fressange, has coming out with a collection based on the year 1924.

Imelda Marcos — in her own words

THEY SAY that a fish is caught by its own mouth. Every moment that Imelda Marcos opens her mouth in The Kingmaker, a documentary about herself by Lauren Greenfield (who also made the documentary The Queen of Versailles), we can frequently catch her saying — well, something.

They said order all you can, so we did

OF COURSE we went to Ogetsu Hime, one of SM Aura’s Japanese restaurants, right when the Department of Health issued a statement discouraging the public from consuming raw food in light of the spread of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Founder’s DNA placed front and center in Paris Haute Couture Week...

IT’S A season of change as the earth seeks to shrug off the snows of winter -- the same can be said about the appointment of two new names at two fashion powerhouses. BusinessWorld saw the shows at Paris Haute Couture Week last week (via a video stream), and chose three shows that shared something in common. While each is a flex of their maison’s muscles, the haute couture shows also dictate where fashions might go. Yes, trickle-up inspirations and Hollywood exist to do the same, but you might expect a few fast-fashion factories to copy these looks, thus bringing them to the middle classes. The collections revert to a sort of innocence and a return to basics -- a timely response to the complications of our world.

New beauty lounge brings beauty to the masses

IT ISN’T fair that physical beauty should be a given only to those that can afford the time and treatments needed to obtain it. KimRey Face and Body Contouring Lounge in Bagumbayan, Quezon City, (right outside Eastwood) makes an effort to change all that.

Annual Angel Walk for Autism set at SM MOA on Jan....

THE THIRD week of January is officially the Philippines’ National Autism Consciousness Week, as per Proclamation NO. 711, signed by former president Fidel V. Ramos. As part of the celebrations, SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, and the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) will be holding the annual Angels Walk for Autism on Jan. 26 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City, with gates opening at 6:30 a.m.

The Proof is in the Patty: MOS Burger opens soon in...

MOS burger, one of the largest brands in Japan, will open in February in the Philippines.

Gucci revisits an ugly childhood

THE INTERNET was abuzz with Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection, launched last week at Milan Men’s Fashion Week, and BusinessWorld had to take a look. An article from Vogue about the collection says that the brand’s look revolves around “the characteristics of masculinity through an allegorical journey in clothing back to childhood.” A giant swinging pendulum dominated the runway, which BusinessWorld takes to mean a sort of hypnotic regression to childhood. Allesando Michele’s vision of childhood seems to revolve around the following interpretations: androgyny, thrift shop and schoolboy/schoolgirl chic, plus the uncool part of the 1970s.

Streaming hits critical mass as Filipino content thrives

SIX YEARS since the entry of streaming services into the Philippines, Asian streaming platforms HOOQ and iflix have pronounced that the industry has emerged from infancy and consider 2019 a turning point, with more originals being produced and the entry of more players signifying that the Philippines has fully embraced a new way of consuming content.

Gaultier announces in a tweet he is quitting haute couture

FASHION DESIGNER Jean Paul Gaultier announced on Twitter last week that his upcoming show on the 22nd would be his last Haute Couture show. The show, taking place for Paris Haute Couture Week, celebrates his 50 years in fashion.

Starting things right in the Year of the Rat

IT WILL be the Year of the Metal Rat in the Chinese Zodiac starting on the Lunar New Year (Jan. 25). BusinessWorld, attending a luncheon at the Marco Polo Ortigas last week and got this year’s lucky feng shui forecast from geomancer Master Hanz Cua.

Filipino shoe brand Annie & Lori takes a step in British...

IT’S NOT every day that a Filipino brand makes it into the pages of British Vogue, but here we are, talking about Annie & Lori, a homegrown brand featured in this month’s issue, under the Designer Profile section.

A Skeptic Swallows: Dinner at Van Gogh is Bipolar

I WILL TELL YOU now that this review will be clouded over by a certain incident. Before going to Maginhawa’s Van Gogh is Bipolar, a restaurant in Quezon City, this reporter was listening to the song “Dominique” by Souer Sourire. I was thinking of a story my mother told me, that in another world, I might have been named Dominic (a variant of the name), because of her and her father’s shared fondness for the song. I was contemplating what life would have been with another name — that name — right before meeting artist and chef Jetro Rafael, the founder of Van Gogh is Bipolar (which we will call Van Gogh from here on in). As I stepped into the restaurant, Mr. Rafael greeted me: “Ah! Dominic.” I then proceeded to interview Mr. Rafael with the sort of wide-eyed curiosity one accords to a magician.

The 1920s in the 2020s

IT’S EXACTLY 100 years since the 1920s began. The “Roaring ’20s” came in a few years after the end of the First World War (allegedly “the war to end all wars,” but who knew then?). The Western world was in an extended period of mourning for the lives and the way of life lost after the war, and were eager for something the world had never seen before. And fashion, art, music, theater, dance -- all aspects of cultural life -- went for it.

What to do with holiday leftovers

AS WE leave the old year behind, we’re entering 2020 with a little bit of baggage: holiday leftovers. For the first week of this new decade, we’re giving you a few recipes using things you might have left in your fridge after the holiday rush.

Already a Witcher fan, the lead role in the Netflix series...

A SUPER MAN landed in the country last week when Henry Cavill — known for playing Superman — flew to the country to promote his latest project, an upcoming web TV series by Netflix based on fantasy series The Witcher. The first episode airs on Dec. 20 on Netflix.

Deceptively simple clothing

AFTER MAKING waves in Australia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, a Singapore-based clothing brand, Beyond The Vines, is finally hitting Manila.

The resurgence of a 1990s staple

IF YOU WERE someone with a smidgen of fashion sense in the 1990s and the very early 2000s, you had at least three pieces in your closet from Marithé et François Girbaud. The name was too long for most people to bother saying so they would just call the brand by the last names of the French founders: Girbaud.

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.