Le Bunny Bleu Spring/Summer 2015 + Slip-On Sale

Mila Oxfords

Must. Resist. Temptation.


I’ve been wearing a lot of men’s-style shoes lately—in part because their androgynous look is the perfect foil for my floral dresses, and quite simply, because they’re sock-friendly and comfy (I walk a lot). So when I spotted these rubber-soled Mila Oxfords at Le Bunny Bleu recently, I was instantly smitten!

These are part of Le Bunny Bleu’s new Spring/Summer collection 2015, which features their signature “romantic vintage” aesthetic updated in fresh colors and fun prints. Their popular oxfords come in the prettiest pastels and blocked heels, while trendy sneaker slip-ons are updated in patterned black or white. And of course, there’s a whole slew of sweet ballet flats, strappy sandals, and chunky loafers, plus their newest style—the Cindy Wedge in basic linen shades or fun floral prints.

When I purchased my shoes (OK, I caved), I was pleasantly surprised to get a mug for free, and to top it off, it featured a lovely watercolor design made especially for Le Bunny Bleu by one of my favorite local artists, Arlene Sy. The mug comes free with every P2500 purchase from the brand’s newest collection!

Le Bunny Bleu

This lovely mug featuring pink flowers and Le Bunny Bleu’s blue oxfords by Arlene Sy comes free with a minimum purchase of P2500! (Mug design featuring yellow sandals and camera also available)


SLIP-ON SALE! Just for today (Saturday, May 23), Le Bunny Bleu is holding their Slip-On Sale, offering all their slip-ons at only P699 per pair! Offer available for in-store purchases only. Hop on over today!


 Le Bunny Bleu is located at 5/F East Wing Bridgeway Shangri-La Plaza, 2/F Glorietta 5,  or visit www.lebunnybleuph.com.

For updates, follow @lebunnybleuph on Twitter and Instagram, or LeBunnyBleuPH on Facebook. 

For a Gem of a Mom

Mom always calls us kids her jewels, but we know who the real treasure is. So if I could only afford it, here’s what I wish I would be presenting her on Mother’s Day tomorrow: these sparkling beauties from the St. Michael collection.

This seasonal collection of high-end jewelry is discovered, curated, and collected from independent designers and jewelry houses across Asia by young jeweler Micki Olaguer. Not to be confused with Micki’s own jewelry line, her mission for the St. Michael capsule collection is simple: “to discover beautiful, breathtaking, hard-to-find jewelry, and share it with you.” Wouldn’t these make an exquisite gift for your mom, wife, or even future mother of your kids? Here’s a peek at the current Regal Collection from the St. Michael line:


Victorian Pave rings

Victoria Pavé Rings featuring diffusion-treated rubies, smokey quartz, or green quartz. Wear just one or stack as many as you please!

Isabella Pear Halo Earrings

Isabella Pear Halo Earrings. Teardrop-shaped red quartz and diffusion treated rubies make a stunning statement

Elizabeth Pave Tower Ring

Elizabeth Pavé Tower Ring. A square step-cut 14 cm genuine rose quartz held by a tower of rose quartz stones, the universal gem of love. Handcrafted in black .925 sterling silver. Only one piece available (size 6)

St. Michael Regal Collection curated by Micki Olaguer

Catherine Pavé Prong Ring in genuine rose quartz, citrine, lime quartz, and blue quartz, all from the St. Michael Regal Collection curated by Micki Olaguer


To request a catalog, email hello@mickiolaguer.com or contact 09166955002. 


The Tasting Room

Last week, I attended the annual general meeting of the Commanderie de Bordeaux at The Tasting Room at City of Dreams. Although I had been to this restaurant before for another function, that lunch, unfortunately, was cut short due to some other commitments and so I wasn’t able to get a good sense of the food. I had heard some good things about it so I was pleased to attend the Commanderie function at this venue, even if it is a little out of the way for me.

After getting the business meeting out of the way, we sat down to dinner. An interesting amuse bouche arrangement was presented. This consisted of a cube of goat cheese, a lollipop of foie gras in chocolate, and a sphere of some kind of citrus – yuzu, if I recall correctly. The cheese was quite good and the sphere was interesting but most of us didn’t care much for the chocolate and foie gras combination.

Amuse Bouche - Goat Cheese, Foie Gras and Chocolate Lollipop and Citrus sphere

Amuse Bouche – Goat Cheese, Foie Gras and Chocolate Lollipop and Citrus sphere

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I got a pleasant surprise recently when I got an invitation from fellow Chaine member David Pardo de Ayala to try the new Tapenade restaurant at Primea on Ayala Ave. Primea is the flagship property of the Discovery group which also runs Discovery Shores in Boracay, Discovery Suites in Tagaytay, and several other properties. David used to helm the Prime 22 Steakhouse at Discovery Suites Ortigas but was promoted to General Manager of Primea last year.

Although Tapenade has a small buffet going with salads, oysters, cold cuts, cheeses and breads for the pocket friendly price of P 640.00, we were treated to a dinner of some of the restaurant’s representative dishes from the menu. Tapenade is a Mediterranean-themed restaurant but that does not mean it is Eurocentric. Care is taken to represent food from the North African shore as well.

Our dinner started with two spreads with grilled bread – one with a tapenade and ricotta, and one a brandade of bacalao.

Tapenade and cheese

Tapenade and ricotta cheese

Bacalao brandade

Bacalao brandade

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Denlim’s Kitchen

I rarely venture out of Metro Manila to eat. After all, there are so many good places to in the city and so many places yet unexplored. A few months ago, I got an invitation to join a group for dinner at Denlim’s Kitchen in San Fernando, Pampanga. Denlim’s Kitchen is highly spoken of by those who have been there plus there’s a 6 month waiting list to suffer through. This is considerably longer than even the most highly sought after tables in Manila so I thought I ought to give it a try.

The trip from Manila was pleasant enough. It took about an hour from entering the NLEX until getting to the place. Exit at San Fernando and then make a right where the flyover of the Gapan-Olongapo Road crosses the MacArthur Highway. You will be going north along the MacArthur Highway for some distance until you see a Jollibee on your left. Make a right at that intersection. You will cross a bridge and Denlim’s Kitchen will be on your left just after the bridge. The sign will say LA Factory Outlet.

The place itself was an old bakery that now has a long table for a maximum seating of 24. The place is brightly lit, with bottles of sauces, beers and various kitchen condiments on the shelves. Organized chaos! All the available surfaces are covered in the names of the customers who have visited. Be warned, though, the place isn’t air conditioned so be sure to dress comfortably. Shorts and t shirt are fine.

Denlim's Kitchen

Denlim’s Kitchen

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Paper Love

Paper lovers! Journal hoarders! Indie art enthusiasts! Check out some of the wonderful finds at this weekend’s 10aAlabama Handmade Arts & Crafts fair, open till 7 PM tonight!

Seen here: stationery sets by @swathe.manila, handmade grid journals by @wedthursfran at the @speculiars booth, postcard art by @nikkiradan , potheads/succulents by @gawanifemi , Neil Gaiman inspo journal and happy thoughts adhesive tape by @ella_lama , and kitty ketz notecards by @inkylivie :) Find them all on Instagram!

arts and crafts

I Am Kim Bibimbap

First, the bad news. Chef Him Uy de Baron has just closed his Nomama restaurant at Capitol Commons. He said he wants to restart it with a fresh concept and rumor has it that he’s looking to reopen some place in Makati. It’s no secret that the Happy Lab crew have been fans of Nomama since it opened in QC and we will certainly miss it. We are looking forward to its reopening, hopefully not too far in the future.

In the meantime, Chef Him still has a presence at Capitol Commons with the opening of his I Am Kim bibimbap restaurant at the basement of the Estancia Mall. It’s all bibimbap in heated stone bowls with a few appetizers thrown in. Although they have a wide selection of ready-made combinations available, diners can also customize their own bibimbap by choosing ingredients themselves. One medium bibimbap makes a good meal for one but you can also order the large size which is good for two. Prices are very friendly with some combinations costing less that P 300.00 while a large order costs around P 400.00.


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Mecha Uma Revisit

It’s not easy to book a table at Mecha Uma (Japanese slang for Absurdly Delicious), one of Manila’s hottest dining spots. I had a bit of a struggle trying to reach someone to take a reservation at the restaurant as I mostly got an automated response. When you finally talk to someone, usually tables are booked way in advance, so you’d better have a couple of alternate dates available. You also choose which seating to take: 6:30 to 8:30 or 8:30 to 10:30. Finally, you are informed that your reservation can only be confirmed after you have made a 50% down payment by depositing the funds in the restaurant’s account. They send you a text with the account details and you have to fax the deposit slip once done. You then get a confirmation of your reservation with all sorts of caveats about how there is no substitution of food, no change in the number of persons who reserved, you can’t be more than 15 minutes late etc. It’s a rather tedious system but suffer it. The rewards are worth it.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

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Indie Fashion Pop-up at SOMA Stores

Have you been to SOMA Stores yet? We love how this hip pop-up gathers cult favorite indie brands and fresh local talent in a chill, industrial space.

This is the last weekend for the current collections and brands (they’re closing down the space on March 15 and will unveil the new collections and some new brands by mid-April), so be sure to drop by SOMA today or tomorrow. Here’s a sneak peek at the sartorial goodies in store for you (bonus: some stores are offering major markdowns, too!):


SOMA Stores

Your future favorite wardrobe staples at Basic Movement

BM dress

The ever essential LBD by Basic Movement


Bill Cunningham

Wearable wit at Randolph

Crushing on this Bill Cunningham tee

Crushing on Randolph’s Bill Cunningham tee


SOMA Stores

Everyday neutrals at Euniform


tropical prints

Punchy clutches and fashion pieces in tropical-themed hand-drawn prints at Neon Island


Polly wants a cracker! And I want Polly! (Mint pullover by Neon Island)



Contemporary cool at Purveyr



Unique display system: rummage through these boxes to check out Garapata’s merch!


Box 1: Gara tote bags
Box 2: Garapatees
Box 3: Stickers!


Soma Stores


Furry fabrics, funky prints, rainbow sparkles, and a Jap pop vibe? Must be Salad Day!


Soma Stores

Sharks and streetwear at Proudrace

Sharks and streetwear at Proudrace


Drawstring pants

Breezy linens and burlap bags for your summer adventures at Slaves of Liberty

Slaves of Liberty 2


polka dot

Want: these polka-dot bucket hats at Creative Elite Operation



Preppy essentials: Vintage inspired-menswear at Newspaper Boy Clothing


Have fun exploring SOMA Stores for more fab finds! Make a unique style statement, and support local talent, too!

Located at G/F Green Sun Building, 2285 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 1-9 PM or follow @somastores on Instagram for updates.

Flow Easy

Two years ago, I took a special yoga class called the Tao of Woman. I had gotten a flyer at one of the yoga lectures on yoga and wellness I attended at Global Mala and was intrigued. The class would delve deeper into how we could integrate both yin and yang yoga with women’s health.

It’s been a while since I took that class, but what I remember from it has helped shape my yoga practice (on and off the mat) ever since. Four of us attended that intimate session, and over cups of tea we shared our insights on what the word WOMAN brought up for each of us. And as Dona led us through our asana practice, we began to explore these ideas in our bodies, minds, and experiences.

Staying strong and supple helps life flow more easily. Photo courtesy of Women's Health Philippines. Shot by Dairy Darilag.

Staying strong and supple helps life flow more easily.
Photo courtesy of Women’s Health Philippines. Shot by Dairy Darilag.

“Doubt appears when we stray from the present. Often, we lose awareness just thinking of how we can become more aware. Ananda, or bliss, is in us always. We need to stay present to know it exists.” This was one of the takeaways I had scribbled down in my notebook right after the Tao of Woman class, just so I was sure I wouldn’t ever forget.

For women and men, I feel that staying in the present is so important in all aspects of life. It helps us figure out what our bodies are telling us so we can stay in good health. It helps us situate ourselves in relation to others. It helps us clear the muddy waters that can make our lives seem confusing. Being in the present and knowing yourself better is a wonderful gift you can give to yourself and to family.

women's health circle CDO

Women’s Health Circle in CDO.

Dona has guided me through my learning ever since that very first lecture and through the months I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve been able to explore and expand my own ideas about my own health. When I found out that she would be holding this same class this year, I was happy to know that others would have the same opportunity to learn these important lessons, the same way I did two years ago. (I’m still learning now!)

Dona is holding the Tao of Woman on March 28th in celebration of Women’s Month. In conjuction with Yoga+, she’s also delivering a FREE TALK on Women’s Health. I asked her a couple of questions about her own experiences and the talk she’s delivering, for anyone who’s interested in living well.

The Happy Lab: What sparked the idea behind this event? 

Dona: The Women’s health workshops that I have been running have really been inspired by my personal experience in finding solutions for my period-related problems. in 2012, I started practicing Yoga with the intention of alleviating symptoms which my mentor Victor Chng said are not natural to women.  True enough, after three months of practicing sequences which I designed with this in mind, my symptoms went away.  This prompted me to deepen my studies in Women’s Health and eventually share it with people.

The women who attended my workshops started feeling the relief as well with regular practice.  I’ve been giving women’s health workshops and women-centered sequences since then.  It used to be just a 3 hour workshop.  Now, I’m even giving a Women’s Health Weekend in Bangkok in April and in Manila in September!  I’ve given women’s health workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, and soon in Brunei.

This is my third year to give a women-related event during Women’s Month.  It’s my own little contribution. This year, I’ve decided to give a FREE talk and facilitate an Interactive Discussion on women’s health and how taking care of our health is a also taking care of the health of the community.  I feel that opening the discussion up for free will encourage more women to participate in their own wellbeing and see how this leads to healthier communities as well.

This will be followed by a women-centered yin and yang practice.

Women's Health practice in Bangkok.

Women’s Health practice in Bangkok.

The Happy Lab: What’s one of the most surprising statistics you’ve come across with regard to women’s health?

Dona: Here’s one from the WHO report on women.

86% of adolescent girls are not getting the required physical activity. there are studies that show that girls with physical activities are less likely to engage in drugs, alcohol, and behaviors that lead to teenage pregnancy and STD’s.

This is so important because these adolescent girls are the future mothers of our children. We need to see the connections and implications, the impact that we have as women to the bigger community, to the world, and the next generations.  

The Happy Lab: How can men be more supportive of the health of the women in their lives / families? How can they benefit from attending the talk?

Dona: BOTH men and women have to begin to honor the cycles of women. We follow a different rhythm. Our pace is different. For example, during our blood phase, we natural have a slight dip in energy. We have to honor this and make time to build in more rest.  We also have the tendency to be more reflective during this time. Men have to understand this and not brand it as moodiness (unless it’s extreme which signals an imbalance already). And there will be times during the month (our ovulation) when we are fully expressive and sensual.

Men AND women also have to be more aware of the biases we against women.  Truth is, women sometimes perpetuate these biases!

The Happy Lab: How has becoming more in touch with women’s health affected your life / your relationships with the women in your life personally?

Dona: I’d like to think that I have become more compassionate and honest. I have also become more aware of how symptoms are multigenerational and that by being aware and expressing these and allowing women to talk about, healing can begin. I’ve also become more interested in the stories of the women in my life. I listen more, with a genuine curiosity.


For more information, email info@yogaplus.ph

For more information, email info@yogaplus.ph


Dona Tumacder-Esteban, a certified Holistic Health and Nutrition coach, has been teaching women to Mind their Flow and to be proactive about their menstrual health.  ”Our period says a lot about us and I help people decode the information so that they can make appropriate lifestyle changes,” she says.

Dona delivers "Finding your flow is essential to your well-being" care of Homegrown.

Dona delivers “Finding your flow is essential to your well-being” care of Homegrown. Click here to watch her talk.

Follow Dona on Instagram @mindbodydona  and www.donaesteban.com.