Holiday finds at 10a Alabama Arts&Crafts Fair

Haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet? Don’t panic—just drop by the 10a Alabama Arts&Crafts Fair this weekend! 10a Alabama is our go-to place for charming, handcrafted finds by local artists, and you’re bound to discover great gift ideas that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

alabama poster

Today and tomorrow (November 15 and 16), the fair will be featuring the regular “Alabamers,” as well as new crafters and vendors. “Apart from meeting new vendors and seeing their work, we’re excited to see how the artists/crafters challenged themselves for this fair,” says Arlene Florendo Barbaza, one of the fair’s organizers. “Those who join the 10a Alabama fairs are a talented bunch, so there’s always something new to see, even from hobbyists who join just our fairs. The Alabamers, despite being an informal group, somehow continue to inspire and challenge each other. And that helps us grow as artists and crafters.”

Here’s a peek at what’s in store:

Hey Kessy

Mansy Abesamis of Hey Kessy will be launching her exquisite new jewelry collection, which is based on her popular papercut designs. “The collection is a collaboration with my mom. I take care of the paper cut prototype–sometimes I also make a silver counterpart and gold plate it at my mom’s workshop–and give it to my mom and her artisan so they can reproduce it in gold.” IG: @heykessy



Says Mikko Sumolong of I Try DIY: “These are pressed flower art pieces using flowers either I or my mom pressed ourselves. Some flowers are over a decade old. We picked flowers from Alaska years ago, then put together to create entirely new pieces. Some will be sold as postcards (P30) and 8×10 prints (P80). Actual framed pressed flower pieces start at P600.” Available on November 15 only. IG: @mikkomix



Crystal jewelry by Moonshine Arts and Crafts. In photo: Hope Wire Ring (citrine; for abundance, drive, and positive energy), Harmony Wire Ring (prehnite; for harmony of mind, body, and soul), and Be Calm Wire Ring (amethyst; calms the wearer), all featuring hand coiled steel wire. IG: @moonshineph


Obra Paduding

Handstamped, handcrafted accessories (love this mermaid piece!) by Erika Avanceña for Obra Paduding. IG: @obrapaduding

Olie Olie

Handmade paper lowers and jotters featuring original bird paintings by Olie Olie. Available on November 16 only. Website:

Orig.kami earrings

Orig.kami’s signature origami earrings


This weekend, Orig.Kami (Handmade Novelties by Alejo-Aytin) will be featuring origami and wild flowers encased in resin made into pendants.

Swathe 2

Gorgeous wrapping paper by Swathe, featuring watercolor drawings by April Frigillana (P30 per sheet). IG: @swathe.manila


Arlene Sy

Botanical-print notecards, art prints, and “A Year in Bloom” 2015 Calendar by Arlene Sy. Available on November 15 only. IG: @arlenesy


Famed for quirky handmade journals and wooden clips since 2006, Artefact is introducing hand stitched leather items this year, such as the Sapin Sa pen (pen holders), seen in photo. IG: @artefacthandmade

Biscuits Clothing

Turbands from Biscuits Clothing, which offers handcrafted, fashionable items for kids and parents (beanies, bowties, playdresses, mom & me matching accessories, and more). IG: @biscuitskids


Book clutches, fold-over clutches, and other “handcrafted chicness” by Jessica Sumagaysay. IG: @bunnyrella

Book clutches, fold-over clutches, and other “handcrafted chicness” by Jessica Sumagaysay. IG: @bunnyrella Bunnyrella Book Clutch3

Chalk & Cloud’s handcrafted creations capture schoolday nostalgia, such as this Bibliothèque Private Library Kit (keep track of who borrows your precious books from now on!). Available on November 15 only. IG: @chalkandcloud

Chalk & Cloud’s handcrafted creations capture schoolday nostalgia, such as this Bibliothèque Private Library Kit (keep track of who borrows your precious books from now on!). Available on November 15 only. IG: @chalkandcloud

Delectable treats by Eenie Minni Cupcakes & Pastries

Delectable treats by Eenie Minni Cupcakes & Pastries

Sew-shi playset by Gawani Femi. Isn't it the cutest?

Sew-shi playset by Gawani Femi. Isn’t it the cutest?

Start the year on a happy note with hip 2015 calendars by Habilcrafts

Start the year on a happy note with hip 2015 calendars by Habilcrafts


Wearable art and eclectic accessories by Heleyna

The Arts & Crafts Fair will be held from 12 NN-7 PM on November 15-16 at 10a Alabama St (near E. Rodriguez Avenue), New Manila, Quezon City. For more information, visit

More photos in Fifi’s Finds, Manila Bulletin.

Label Holiday 2014 Sale

Our friends at local indie clothing line Label recently sent us some photos to give us a sneak peek (sweet torture, I tell you) at their upcoming holiday collection, which they’re finally launching this weekend! Though their seemingly simple basics are a departure from my usual quirky, colorful picks, Label’s thoughtfully-constructed pieces actually serve as the building blocks of my wardrobe. Whether you veer toward minimalism, prefer playful layers, or love to accessorize, Label offers wonderful go-to pieces that you can dress up or dress down as you please (and they’re reasonably-priced, too). Here are some stylish staples from the Label Holiday 2014 collection which I’m looking forward to seeing in the flesh:


Admunsen top

Navy Admundsen 3/4-sleeved top with light khaki neoprene skirt (the fabric of the season!)


Label Manila

Red Amundsen 3/4-sleeved top (we’re told it has a silky feel but with the weight of cotton twill) and casual chic sarong pants



Lusting after this neoprene and stretch jersey tube dress–dazzling on its own, or layer with a polo or holiday-worthy bejeweled cropped jacket. You can even roll down the top to wear it as a skirt!



Your ever dependable LBD–but with a surprising pop of lime!


Bullet train

Fun fact: the Label family recently went on a trip to Japan, which provided the perfect background for an impromptu fashion shoot! This denim dress is quintessentially Label–utilitarian, chic, and comes with pockets (our favorite Label touch)!


For more updates, visit LabelMNL on Facebook or follow @labelmanila on Instagram.


Pylones Merry Money Promo

With a wide array of fun and functional merchandise, quirky French knickknack shop Pylones is the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. And guess what? Starting tomorrow, November 7, Pylones is offering a money-back promo in the form of gift coupons!



With a minimum purchase of P2500, customers receive P250 worth of “Merry Money” gift coupons, and each additional P500 thereafter entitles you to P50 worth of gift coupons, which you can use to spend on more Pylones goods. The more you splurge, the more gift coupons you receive! Isn’t it sulit to do your Christmas shopping here? Count on Pylones to turn thoughtfulness into major currency.

merry money


Always overwhelmed by the bright, colorful displays and miss out on the good stuff? Here are some all-time favorite Pylones gift ideas, as well as new arrivals to spend your Merry Money on:


Pylones coat rack

Hang up your jacket/sling bag/umbrella/hat on this whimsical coat rack

Cake server

Cake servers have never been this cool

crocodile kitchen pliers

Oh, snap! Crocodile kitchen pliers

cups and tumblers

Quench your thirst with a smile

Pylones ph

Your artsy pal will love these kooky Mona Lisa-inspired nesting dolls

 Fridge magnets make fab stocking stuffers

Fridge magnets make fab stocking stuffers


Mom always fumbling with her house/car keys? Get her a bug-shaped LED light

Pylones home accessories

Magnet clocks, princess broom/dustpan set, and fun trivets

Pill poppers

Wacky pill boxes at only P398

Pylones Power Plant

Funky reading glasses for your far-sighted friends


Make bathroom hygiene fun for your little one with robot toilet paper holders!

black cat

Say meowy Chrismas with this kitty tape dispenser

Pylones toaster

How cute are these toasters?

Pylones Merry Money

Want: these pretty trays!


Tweet! Chirpy cheese graters to brighten up any kitchen

Pylones Chef

The best-selling Chef paper towel holder is back in stock!


Pylones’ Merry Money promo runs from November 7 to December 31, 2014.

Pylones is located at Power Plant Mall (phone 01 846 8023), SM Aura (phone 02 846 1611), and soon at SM MOA. Follow @pylonesph on Instagram or PylonesPH on Facebook for updates.

Kissako Uji Matcha Café

First, have some tea. Kissako is a Zen concept. Don’t rush. Whatever you are doing, you can take the time to have some tea.

Kissako Uji Matcha Café

Kissako Uji Matcha Café

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Rags2Riches online shop now open!

Love the bags of the fashion forward social enterprise Rags2Riches? You can now purchase them from their newly-launched online store! (Uh-oh, temptation! Already succumbed to that Maia clutch I’ve been eyeing, with just a click of a mouse!)


Shop the chic new Ampersand collection, modeled here by Kim Jones


Psst: The High Seas Collection is currently 20% off (while stocks last). Plus, get a free Jane Purse by Rajo Laurel with every purchase of the R2R Classic Buslo this weekend (Oct. 31-Nov 2)! *Promo valid online and at their Glorietta 1 and Power Plant Mall (Archaeology Section) branches.

Rags2Riches by Rajo Laurel


Buslo in turquoise

Just one of the lovely colors of R2R’s much-loved Buslo collection, designed in collaboration with Amina Aranaz-Alunan. Click here to see more colors or to start shopping!


(Photos from the R2R website.)

Toby’s Estate Coffee

One of Toto’s joys in life is coffee, and his top happy place for months now has been Toby’s Estate. A Toby’s flat white is the one thing that can convince him to brave the hellish traffic from QC to Makati (yes, I’ve bribed him a few times).

Just look at that smile!

Just look at that smile!


Apart from their Salcedo (V Corporate Center, Leviste St.) and Century City Mall branches, they are now open at EcoTower, BGC and soon at SM Aura. We’ve heard whispers of an Ortigas branch, but no word yet about QC, which is just as well–my wallet isn’t quite ready for what is sure to become a daily indulgence (and what would I bribe Toto with, the next time I need him to accompany me to Makati?).

A flat white (right) for Toto, and a mocha for me

Cuppa joy: a flat white (right) for Toto, and a mocha for me. Their chocolate chip cookies are fab, too!


Toby's Estate

Don’t you just love their chalkboard witticisms?

H&M Opens in Manila (squee!)

Are you ready, Manila? After years of speculation and months of official anticipation, the phenomenally popular Swedish retail brand H&M is finally launching at the SM Mega Fashion Hall tomorrow, October 17! Doors open at 9 AM and gift cards await early birds (up to P6k worth for the first 200 in line!), plus up to 50% off on select merchandise on opening day. And since it happens to coincide with the SM Mega Sale weekend, you can shop till you drop—or till Manong guard escorts you out at 12 midnight! (Regular store hours of 10 AM-10 PM resume on October 20 onwards.)

Last night, we were thrilled to get a sneak peek at H&M’s first store in the Philippines—covering approximately 3,000 sqm and three fabulous floors featuring H&M’s complete range for women, men, teens, and children (yes, athletic wear, lingerie, and the limited edition H&M Studio line, too). No need to travel to get your H&M shopping fix—you’ll find everything here, from the hottest trends to essential basics, and at amazingly affordable prices. Here are some of our favorite finds we spied at last night’s shopping frenzy (we’re SO going back for that Hello Kitty kiddie tutu—fingers crossed it’s still there!).

Welcome to Manila, H&M!

Welcome to Manila, H&M!


Adorable MTV VJ Aryanna Epperson trying on a glam hat (we can see your influence, Jenni!)


H&M Manila

You can never go wrong in black

H&M Manila

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

H&M Philippines

How adorbs is this poodle skirt?

Your holiday uniform: a fuzzy pastel sweater, a flippy skirt, chunky heels, and sparkly bling!

Your holiday uniform: a fuzzy pastel sweater, a flippy skirt, chunky heels, and sparkly bling!

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Lebanon’s Chateau Musar

It might surprise some people to know that Lebanon is home to one of the world’s vinous treasures – Chateau Musar. At a lunch at Restaurant M, Premium Wine Exchange, Chateau Musar’s Philippine importers and Ralph Hochar, whose family owns Chateau Musar presented some of their wines.

Wine grapes were grown in Lebanon as far back as 6000 years ago. Chateau Musar, however, was started in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. The Hochars were of French origin and came to Lebanon during the Crusades. The French connection was reinforced by the friendship between Gaston and a French Major stationed in Lebanon – Major Ronald Barton whose family owns several famous chateaux in Bordeaux. Although the war in Lebanon in the 70s was a major challenge, The winery continued to produce despite great odds, missing only one vintage. Today, Chateau Musar is recognized as the iconic wine of Lebanon and has been praised by many wine critics.

Our welcome drink was  a wine that Mr. Hochar brought with him, the Chateau Musar 2012 Rosé. This is blend of the indigenous white grapes Obaideh and Merwah and Cinsault to give color. The method to create this wine is a blend of individual wines as is the method used in Champagne. This was pale salmon. Very dry and savory. Lean and refreshing.

We proceeded to lunch with 4 reds. All the reds are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, with the proportions varying from year to year depending on the quality of the grapes. The first two younger wines, the 2007 and 2004 were paired with a hearty Tagliatelle and Oxtail Ragu.

Tagliatelle and Oxtail Ragu

Tagliatelle and Oxtail Ragu

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Artist Series: Arlene Sy

I love how Arlene Sy’s dreamy watercolor illustrations mirror her career in bloom. A former art director for a local publishing company, she quit her day job to pursue her dream to become a full-time artist four years ago. She quickly became a favorite of brides-to-be for romantic custom wedding invites, but recently, decided to concentrate on her paper goods line (be still my stationery-loving heart!). Here, we chat with Arlene on following her passion, her fascination for roses, and the cutest fun fact ever!



Adorable Arlene at the BGC art fair

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Falling for Shoes

So, we don’t get to witness Fall’s full glory over here in the tropics, but we can certainly enjoy the arrival of new shoe collections from some of our favorite brands!  Here are a few to check out now:

My sensitive feet are never too happy in folding flats, but I absolutely love Cocorose London—I can walk comfortably in them for hours, and they look great, too! (The secret is the heel padding and sole support).  This season, this English import features a wonderful tie-up with Ballet Philippines, which helps support young dance talent. For every purchase from Cocorose London’s Royal Ballet collection, a portion of sales will go to the Ballet Foundation Philippines. Shop and help fund a dancer’s training!  

Cocorose London

Ballet Philippines soloist Denise Parungao wears the Clara from Cocorose London’s Royal Ballet collection


Amina Aranaz-Alunan

Stylish designer/entrepreneur, super mama, and Cocorose London muse Amina Aranaz-Alunan shows off her matches-anything Brixton in nude from the Classic Elegance line


Cocorose London

Cocorose London New Knightsbridge in Silver


Janan Leo

Cocorose London CEO Janan Leo, who was recently here for the launch of the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, told me, “The main theme is based on underground glamour—taking something that was edgy and sexy, and infusing that into the flat shoe. Normally, when people think of flats, they don’t think it’s something that’s sexy enough to wear out, and that’s what we’ve tried to make.” We can totally rock in this Hoxton black sued studded flat!


Cocorose London is located at Glorietta 5, or visit (Read more about Cocorose London in my Fifi’s Finds column in Manila Bulletin today!)


Are you perpetually in flip-flops? You’ll definitely fall for the sleek new Havaianas Luna (P1395), featuring a slim metallic strap braided at the front and a sling back that kicks your casual look up a notch without losing that boho vibe. Available in classic white, sand grey, Fog, and Neon Pink, wear it from a pool party or coffee date, to a night out with the girls for a year-round summer state of mind!  




Havaianas Luna will take you from day to night in easy-breezy style

Available in All Flip-Flops stores or visit for a list of retailers.


Have you discovered the ultra-cute Le Bunny Bleu yet? This romantic vintage-inspired shoe with a whimsical touch (flats with bunny ears, anyone?) goes (mostly) mannish this season, with toned-down shades androgynous styles. Our fave picks: Python slip-ons and preppy oxfords that are the perfect foil for your girlie dresses!

python slip-ons

Le Bunny Bleu Python Slip-ons (P2995)


emily oxfords

Le Bunny Bleu Emily Oxfords (P2795)


Le Bunny Bleu

Mary-ann Oxfords (P2795)


Le Bunny Bleu

Le Bunny Bleu Zoe Hidden Heel Loafers


Sale alert: Visit the Robinsons Sale at the World Trade Center this weekend for up to 70% off on past seasons’ styles of Le Bunny Bleu!

LeBunny Bleu is located at 5th Level East Wing Bridgeway Shangri-la Plaza (phone 654-2599) and 2nd Floor Glorietta 5 (phone 955-7225). For updates on their new collections, visit them on Facebook (LeBunnyBleuPH) and follow @lebunnybleuph on Instagram and Twitter.


For some homegrown goodness, check out Suelas for chic and comfy flats and sandals. Wonderfully affordable, too! These pointy-toe Prescot ballet flats (P900) are poised to become your favorite go-to shoe, and will look especially great with this seasons midi circle skirts for an Audrey Hepburn-ish vibe.


Prescot flats available in tan, nude, red, and black. Get them all!


At the Suelas showroom: These lovely folding flats are begging to be packed to accompany you on your next trip!

At the Suelas showroom: These lovely folding flats are begging to be packed to accompany you on your next trip!

Suelas 2

This multi-colored Monet sandal (P1050) is actually from Suelas’ Spring/Summer collection, but it’s so pretty, we’re including it in this round-up, anyway!


Suelas is located at 2/F Doña Consolacion Bldg, Jupiter St, Makati or visit

Happy shoe-pping!