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Paulyne L. Fermin

Raising readers

It’s Book Fair week at my daughter’s school and she’s all excited. “Mom, I saw books about fairies and princesses. Can you please come to school and get them for me, please,” my five-year old asks while batting her eyelashes. “Of course, sweetheart. Do they have Thea Stilton? You know your brother has a whole collection of Geronimo Stilton books. He’s a mouse who works as a writer and has all kinds of fun adventures. Thea is his sister. You might like them, too,” I tell her. Her eyes light up and she proceeds to ask me multiple questions about the Stilton siblings. Bookworm As a child, I read everything that I could get my hands on. Reading became my passion at quite an early age. At six, I devoured The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I kept saying “constrictor” for two whole days after reading the first chapter. Then there …

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Wear your art

More and more women are choosing comfort over craze. The saying “suffer for fashion” no longer holds true, especially when it comes to footwear.  What used to be staples for kids and teeners are now also the shoes of choice of adults. I’m talking about rubber shoes (sneakers, sneaks, kicks if you will). Why even Victoria Beckham has traded her signature heels for Adidas Superstars! Trend and comfort, however, don’t necessarily have to exclude each other.  Find a great pair of white sneakers and you can pair it with almost anything. I use mine with dresses, pantsuits, jeans, and shorts. Slip-on sneaks are also top choices for busy moms who drive, run endless errands, and are basically on the go 24/7. Recently, I met local artists who have chosen canvas sneakers as the main medium for their art. Meet John and Juno Macrohon, the ingenious husband-and-wife team behind Face Off Kicks. …

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The Deconstruction of Joel Escober

I’ve been perusing different accessories, purses, and shoes for the past 15 minutes. My heart beats a little faster as I ask to take a closer look at one of the more intricate neckpieces. How absolutely gorgeous, I think to myself. Then I move on to inspect the clothes by the display window. A row of mannequins are all dressed in black. Some feature delicate lace overlay while others have embroidered flower cutouts sewn in them.  All sport black baseball hats which are again adorned with floral appliqués. Quite an unexpected pairing with the distinctly feminine cuts of the clothes. My interviewee’s assistant promptly announces that he would be arriving shortly and that her employer sends his apologies for being caught in traffic. It’s my fifth time to visit Courtyard 1976. …

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A grand salute to Teachers

Many children dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Some who are artistically inclined see themselves as sculptors, pianists, or painters. Still others desire to be beauty queens, racecar drivers, or even poets. The beauty of youth is such that one feels anything and everything can be achieved. But nobody ever became anybody just by wishing it. In order to become adept at any chosen field, one has to learn from good teachers. Give, Guide, Educate Gabay Guro, the education flagship program of PLDT Smart foundation under the directive of Manuel V. Pangilinan, has been assisting “would be teachers” and full-fledged educators for the past nine years. “Beyond the numerous scholarships that we have given out, we try to include pillars depending on the teachers’needs. Over the years, we have included trainings, …

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Oh Mickey!

A visit to any Disney Park anywhere in the world will tell you that everybody loves Mickey Mouse. He is the official mascot of Disneyland and almost always occupies the very last float in any theme park parade. Created in 1928, Mickey has proven that he is as popular today as he was back when he was first introduced to the public via the black and white short feature Steamboat Willie. Two years later, the Mickey Mouse club was born (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and would you believe even Ryan Gosling were once all part of this kiddie crew) which further cemented the beloved character as a worldwide icon. It used to be that you could only purchase official Disney merchandise when you traveled outside the country. Now, local clothing brand Folded & Hung has once again partnered with Disney to create a …

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A family trip to Cubao (and the realm of imagination)

As we waited for our eldest son to come back from varsity swim practice, my husband asked me what the plan was for that particular Saturday. It’s rare that he is home for the weekend, much less have free time away from work to spend with us. “There’s an Art Fair over at Cubao,” I said. “Would you and the kids be interested to go with me?”  “I want to go! I want to go,”replied my five-year-old daughter who had overheard our conversation. Husband winked at me and an hour later we were off to Art In Island Interactive Art Museum. I’ve always been in awe of people who can create things with their bare hands. So it was a real treat to see local artisans displaying their wares and crafts at the Art Market last weekend. It was also a chance for me to take my children on an …

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Take me back to Mario’s

Iremember Mario’s back in the ’80s. Situated at the very heart of Tomas Morato, it was the citadel of all celebrations. My most unforgettable memory, however, was waiting for almost an hour for a table on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend then (husband now) and I agreed it was worth the wait. Fast forward to 2016. I return with my family of four in tow. Live music from an electric organ greeted us as we were ushered to our table in the main dining hall. Right next to our seats was the carving station for the roastbeef and the cochinillo (slow roasted crispy pig). The kids immediately scouted the rectangular Sunday buffet. My daughter R made a beeline for the dessert corner. She stared at the two cascading chocolate (dark and white) fountains surrounded by bowls of marshmallows and fruits on sticks and with an impish grin promptly asked, “Mom, can I have dessert first ?” On the other side of the set-up, …

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The sixth floor

It’s during times like these when I wish I had gone to medical school rather than law school. I’ve always done well in science. It’s the blood that I can’t take and my precarious anxiety levels definitely will not prove useful as health care provider. I’m writing this as I sit on the bay window of Room 608. My five-year-old daughter R has been diagnosed with dengue fever syndrome while in Room 611, my teenager is fighting a viral disease.  Both kids have upper respiratory tract infections. This is not my first rodeo at the pediatric wing. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen the changing faces of nurses who acknowledge us with smiles because they’ve handled our cases before. Even the cleaning man Nathan has witnessed my son’s growth from …

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Florence fling

This local clothing brand offers chic and effortless dressing. I don’t see it being sold now in toy stores, but back in the day all the little girls played with paper dolls. Our pulp mannequins normally came with a stand so we could dress them up easily in paper clothes. I remember being so obsessed with precision cutting. My blunt-edged scissors moved slowly across the dotted lines of each dress, shoe, and bag. And after, my sister and I would outdo each other in our choice of outfit combinations. Fun times! Today, I still get to play dress up. Only it’s called styling and instead of cut-out paper costumes, I get to choose from beautiful dresses from clothing brands that I work with. One of my favorite muses is model/entrepreneur/fashion designer Tessa Nieto-Villalon. Her newest collection from her store Florence Fling (FF) is decidedly feminine and graceful. “My pieces are comfortable, eye-catching but …

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A Feast of the Islands’ Flavors

If there’s one thing that majority of Pinoys can’t live without—it’s Filipino food.  It’s a common practice for our kababayans to stuff their luggage with tuyo (dried fish), bagoong (shrimp paste), and taba ng talangka (crab fat) when they visit their relatives abroad. Some hand carry polvoron, chocnut, dried mangoes, and other delicacies which have been specifically ordered by (again) relatives and friends who pray that their all-time favorite goodies from home won’t be confiscated by immigration authorities. Similarly, balikbayans look forward to returning to the country to eat Filipino food. And no celebration or reunion is ever complete without the main fare—the mighty lechon! Every year, we are treated by The Manila Hotel to a culinary showcase of the best of the Philippine Islands. This month at Café Ilang-ilang, the …

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