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Alex Y. Vergara

If the shoe fits

To welcome the fall season, Aldo Philippines recently launched several subcategories of men’s and ladies’ shoes under its Art and Soles series at MDF Italia. Mark Webber, Aldo’s main man in Asia and the Pacific, flew in from the brand’s regional office in Hong Kong to grace the event. This coming season, Aldo Philippines classifies ladies’ shoes and accessories into three: Forward Thinking, For Now, and Get Busy. The current theme Art and Soles is also a call to consumers to “stand out in the crowd” through the choices they make, said Lara Rapanan, Aldo Philippines’ brand manager. As far as ladies’ shoes go, four color families dominate fall—blush, black, bordeaux, and nude. A number of shoes come in classic styles and construction, from ballerina flats to dependable office pumps. Forward Thinking, …

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Taking it slow

Images by Noel Galang and Jam Melchor Asia’s Best Female Chef and slow food advocate Margarita Fores is equally comfortable using locally sourced ingredients kadyos, adlay, tabon-tabon, tinigib, and etag, as she is with more familiar Western staples like imported pasta, truffles, parmesan cheese, prosciutto, and wagyu beef in her cooking. Fores whipped up lunch recently for fellow advocates, farmers, and fisherfolk using indigenous and organic ingredients as well as sustainably caught sea-water fish like mahi mahi, parrot fish, and mackerel. The well-attended event was the closing-day highlight of the recently concluded World Food Expo (WOFEX), a three-day gathering of chefs, restaurateurs, culinary arts students, and foodies at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay. Slow food is a global movement that began in Italy, which advocates the use of “good, clean, and fair” …

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Worldwise and travel-ready

People behind Tumi know for a fact that its core customers value the American brand for producing sturdy luggage and other practical, but thoughtfully designed travel accessories. If lightness, which has also become a premium nowadays as more airlines try to scrimp on check-in weight allowances, is their main consideration in buying luggage, then they’re probably better off looking elsewhere. But with the introduction last year of Tumi’s first-ever collection of light, hard-sided luggage, customers can now have the best of both worlds. Its newest collection under the V3 series for fall/winter, for instance, promises to take lightness and durability to a whole new level—travel-proof luggage that weighs anywhere from 6.3 to 9.25 pounds, depending on the size. It doesn’t hurt that like all Tumi products, the scratch-resistant series looks sharp …

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The man from Avila

Not a few Filipinos associate the late Anastacio de Alba with several Spanish restaurants he opened and ran with passion through the decades, but to many foodies and colleagues in the restaurant business, the Spaniard was more than just a chef and businessman who reintroduced authentic Spanish cuisine, including 18 types of paella, to the Philippines. He was an honorary Filipino and cultural icon. HONORARY FILIPINO Alba, who first arrived in the Philippines from his native Avila, Spain in 1952, passed away last Sunday from cardio pulmonary arrest, said his family. He survived a stroke in 2012. He would have turned 90 on Aug. 14. Apart from his loved ones, he left behind a chain of restaurants simply dubbed Alba Restaurante Español. Food historians and those old enough to know have seen the numerous ups and downs in …

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Final tribute to ‘King of Paella’

Anastacio de Alba came to the Philippines in 1952 from his native Avila, Spain to “bring to Manila a part of Spain and its cultural history.” He did more than that. By the time he died last Sunday from cardio pulmonary arrest, the Spanish chef, through his chain of Alba Restaurante Español and several other restaurants he owned and managed over the decades, had introduced generations of Filipinos to the goodness of Spanish cuisine, including 18 different paellas. In a statement released by family members led by Alba’s chef-son Miguel de Alba to the media, they noted that their patriarch would have turned 90 on August 14. His remains lie in state at the Heritage Park’s Chapel 7 in Taguig. Chefs and admirers led by Nancy Reyes Lumen will hold the …

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Cruising on board a virtual floating City

It’s easy to understand why Asians have quickly warmed up to such a relatively new concept as cruising in the open seas. Modern-day cruise ships like Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas offer everything under one roof, including day-long shore excursions to exotic stops. “Two of Royal Caribbean’s biggest ships, Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, are now cruising in Asia,” said Joy V. Abrogar, SVP and COO, Arpan Air Inc., exclusive representative in the Philippines of Royal Caribbean International (RCI). “There are currently five ships deployed in the region. Depending on the season, they originate from and make stops in such destinations as Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.” Guests can even stay in their state rooms if they like, coming out …

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What Earthlings want

If necessity is the mother of invention, then science fiction is the repository of everybody’s wishes. After all, before a thing becomes a reality, it first must exist in the minds of both would-be user and inventor. Yes, the potential user is as important as the inventor in the birthing of new devices or even services. For what is the point of inventing something devoid of any practical purpose? And for it to be called useful, there must be a happy, satisfied user attesting to its usefulness. If the country’s scientists and inventors know what’s good for them, here’s a sampling of what people want now. Let us know as soon as you’re done with the prototype. I want a flying car. Nothing complicated. You just push a button and away you fly! —Annie …

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