Sunday, April 29, 2012


Bruce Muller's Short Film titled, "Frequencies", starring my favorite longboarder Kassia Meador, explores how man can find synergy with nature's cycles. Music is by psyche-pop trio E.S.P. It's quite hypnotic & enchanting (the music, the images, and the surfer). Enjoy :-)

Frequencies: Early Echo from Timothee Verrecchia on

“We exist in a world that is vast and dynamic,” Muller says. “We’re using surfing as a medium to explore how we harness these energies and the effects they have on us."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beach House 9: Houses of the Sundown Sea

I. Want. This. Book. 

"The Cooper Wave house under construction, with Gesner at work at the tip of the vault. Before he conceived the house, Gesner spent days surfing the waves in front of the plot and contemplating the design. Finally, he says, 'I paddled out through the break, turned the board to the beach, and sketched the Wave house on the face of the board'  - Wallpaper Magazine

Gesneer started his own practice at 25, and most of his works are known 
to be energy-efficient & quake resistent.  

His architecture is quite bold & maybe for some, wild & out of control.  As for me, although I am generally drawn towards "straight-&-square" architecture,  I can definitely see & understand the beauty and guts of a designer to think up something like this.  

I like that he drew the first sketches of this on a surfboard, in the lineup.  

This kind of architecture is typical of 1950's California modernist architecture.  

Architecture by Harry Gesner 

Architecture by Harry Gesner 

This was one of Gesner's studies for a structure that was never built.  

Decades later, the ocean shoreline has receded and the current owners were forced to put concrete reinforcements to support the Wave House.  The undulating wave roof still stands and is unchanged.   Oh, and did I mention that this was the inspiration of Jorn Utzon when he designed The Sydney Opera House? 

For those who seek it, I leave you with this MUCH inspiration overload for the night:

"Many of Gesner's clients sought him out because he could build on limited budgets and 'unbuildable' sites, and because that impossibility - and the views - shaped what he built. He made houses that hang like a bridge between canyon walls; 'hang 10' over the lip of a cliff; or that could only be reached by funiculars. They are scaled like fish or rigged by Norwegian shipbuilders; he sketched his Wave house in grease pencil from beyond the surf line on a 12-foot balsa board."

At 86,  Gesner is still working and surfing today.  
(shown here with his 3 sons, courtesy of Dwell Magazine)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lust List March 2012: Lamp, Console, Stool

This month's Lust List features a Pushpin Stool, a drool-worthy console perfect for that beach house, and an uber cool lamp that wouldn't take up even 2 inches of your floor space.

The Nepa Lamp is made from birch plywood with stainless steel and aluminium detailing, it uses 12v to illuminate the high-powered LEDs. Standing about 6ft high, the lamp is wall mounted and uses friction hinges along with a pivot in the base to enable a full range movement. 

"The Practical Console" from the Contemporist. 
Handsome & sexy, right? :-) 

And my favorite this week, the pushpin stool. 

The Pushpin can be a stool on one end, and a side table on another end.  It's on my list not so much because it's such a smashing, breakthrough idea but because the designer's cute & I have a crush on him. hahaha! His name is Kenyon Yeh, London-educated but based in Taiwan. 

Like I said, this blog is about random things that inspire me.  So I'm just saying. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

LACY DAYS: The Filipino Terno is New Again

Summer is officially ON and the heat is getting more unbearable everyday.  Can't wait to be back in the ocean.  Meanwhile, wahines everywhere-- both in the city & by the sea-- are showing up in delicate threads to beat the heat & stay cool. 

Noelle Hilario in a vintage "terno".  And when i say vintage I mean, like, VINTAGE! She got it straight from her mom's BAUL! (For those who don't know, "baul" is Tagalog for what Americans like to call the "Heirloom Chest" or "Hope Chest"). 

The "TERNO" is has been called a masterpiece, a classic, a national treasure. From the Spanish word meaning "to match." It was the handiwork of not just one couturier but a coming together of the innovations of many. The Filipino terno usually matches a top & a skirt, joined at the waist, with bodice & skirt made of the same material. 

Classic Filipino ternos by Pitoy Moreno

Different versions of the terno through the years.  

Looking at these photos, it looks like our female ancestors had it all figured out already-- the loose but flattering shape of the outfit lets breeze pass through while maintaining a conservative look.  Layering of sheer but durable fabrics result in lightweight but still practical/ functional clothes.  I would think that maybe only the innermost layers are washed regularly, and not the outermost covers w/c are usually made of jusi or pina? Thus saving the fabrics from wear & tear.   

The whole look is feminine & a delight to the eyes even if it's just the lady's wrist, neck, & shoulders that are seen.  It's so elegant especially when joined at the waist for formal wear.  

I can't believe Noelle made it look all new again! 

Having some yoga done at the Beach Apartment.  Well done, Noey, well done!
Check out her awesome blog, wanderlustdrifted.

And speaking of beach here's another wahine, my friend Kage Gozun.  

Kage pretty much rocked her lacy beach cover-up by donning a flouro bikini & headband!
Check out her photos at

Here, another surfer friend, Nicola, shows us that lace tops are not just for the beach but also for dinners in the city.  Her top is so delicate & light, it's perfect for those hot & humid nights in the Philippines! (I told you our female ancestors had it all figured out ages ago)

Speaking of dinners, here's one I went to w/ my cousin Charlie last January. 
 I bought this lace dress for Php 150 in La Union bazaar across the church at San Fernando.  

This was taken by my friend Annie & I love the way my dress mirrored the laser-cut stars from the park. Here in the Philippines, January is still considered part of Christmastime & holiday decors aren't really taken down til it's almost February! 

It's just wonderful how lace can be used at the beach, in the city, and even at formal occasions.  Best time to invest in a versatile lace top like my pretty bed jacket from Brown Belly!  I used it at my mom's 60th birthday dinner...

...and at my friend Ely Villas' wedding.  Shown here about to throw petals at the newlyweds, w/ UP friends James Razo & Armin Azores (and his mini-me Aidan):

photos taken by Aidan's mommy Nonie Azores

you can catch a glimpse of my pretty lace sleeve here...
(Nonie, baket si Armin mukhang nagtatalumpati dito...?)

Everything's just coming up lacy!!!  
How to wear white lace without looking like some lost bride?  
Take it from these mademoiselles.

Cameron Diaz

Who else, Scarlet Johanssen being her usual gorgeous self. 

nice skirt hemline.

from Cupcakes & Cashmere

top from Lulu

lace tops from Marc by Marc Jacobs

...and my favorite so far, this dress on Taylor Swift
Ain't it sweet? Pretty neat!

I leave you w/ this impossibly sweet photo
lace cookies I featured in my Lust List back in January. 

Enjoy your lacy days of summer!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Buri is Beautiful!

For my design firm Grupo Santamaria's company outing, we were lucky enough to go to BURI RESORT & SPA, in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.  It's fantastic architecture was designed by Architect Mikko Yap & accessorized by Ito Kish, both very dear friends of mine.  It was everybody's first time to stay there and it was truly (in the words of my Senior Designer Archie) "a once-in-a-lifetime" experience for them.

Now, how beautiful is this place? Oh wow let me count the instagram ways...(bear with me please...i am a newbie instagram & iPhone user and am at that stage where everything i see is excitingly "instagrammable").  This will be a mix of images both natural (as is) & edited.

the start of many Instagram images I will be toying with

the perfect dock

So peaceful & serene! I was debating w/ myself for quite a while 
if I should order a brewed coffee or a San Miguel Pale Pilsen.  
I went with the latter. :-p

Instagram brings out the frustrated inner fashion / art/ design editor in me, I swear! Plus, it really summarizes how I want to remember a barrage of images in my mind-- thus organizing my memories according to mood & theme. Like this one above: we had gray skies when we got there...& this diptych/ triptych photos expressed my happiness when the sun came out the 3rd day.  

On the other hand...

These 5 photos above are all-natural.  
No photoshop, no instagram filters.  Nature can still be stunning like that.  

Other shots from the trip:
My super useful & fab Maryknoll/ Miriam College High School alumni bag: fits my sketchpad, notebooks, watercolor pencils, chargers--pretty much EVERYTHING including my 17" MacBookPro...a bottle of wine.  

No, Really.  

hahaha! see?

Meet my hardworking & crazy design & accounting staff...
NO, I do not employ 8-year-olds.  That is my secretary Marnel's son, Kent, who went along for the trip!

Archie, Dexter, Joyce, Marnel & Kent 

They sure love their Coast Thru Life shirts.  

They went snorkeling, banana boating, swimming, kayak-ing! I made sure they had a great time.  I pretty much let them have a free schedule except that we always had to have our meals together.  Once-a-year bonding, you know!

The clear waters in front of Buri Resort, Puerto Galera, Mindoro.

On our last night at the island,  I arranged for a visit to White Beach so they could experience the wild shows & the parties that it is popular for.  I'm not really a fan of these drag shows, but they are part of the culture of Puerto Galera so it is something one should experience.  I taught my designers that travel exposes you to different cultures that are vital in the makings of a good & flexible designer. 

What I like best about Buri is that it really looks & feels "nestled" amidst the trees & landscape.  The architects did a fantastic job planning the resort--- they let the terrain dictate the way the villas would be built and let nature take the show.  

photo from Buri Resort website

No "faux" materials, no exaggerated structures & unnecessary lighting.  
Wood was used as wood, concrete as concrete, & stone as stone.  

It's always the natural surroundings that is the main attraction. 

And now I show you my AWESOME, AWESOME PERFECT ROOM! And when I say PERFECT, I mean it.  It's perfect for its location: a cool, modern, bahay kubo facing an ocean cove, surrounded by a lush landscape.  Natural daylight & ventilation abound.

a modern & updated bahay kubo

windows open outward if you don't want to use the A/C 
& want to enjoy the cool mountain breeze instead

Capiz, bamboo, wood, stone...  
you can't go wrong. 

and the best part was the semi-outdoor bathroom! aaaahhh...MY kind of bathroom!

if there was surf in Buri, that would be it.  I would move to live here.  
Can you imagine?  This bathroom's big enough to wash & store my surfboards in!

Other beautiful details at Buri:

the delicate lace tablecloth they put on the tables in the evenings

I loooved the casually plucked & composed floral arrangements
featuring birds-of-paradise, irises & gumamelas from the resort grounds

the Blue Bar at night
(this photo from Buri website)

But since there was no surf, what did I do instead? 
The 10 most memorable parts of the trip for me was when I:

(1) hung out w/ my staff
our 1 hour planning session

 (2) I competed against Dexter in a diving contest (he won, & my head ached after the 5th round)

(3) Kayak-ed calm waters

(4) I sketched & colored the view outside my room
Yes that is a banana split you see beside my colored pencils.  
Artists need energy, you know!

still unfinished here

(5) I slept & chilled out

(6) I added some new seashells to my collection

(7) and took photos of pretty much every nook & cranny at Buri Resort.  

(8) I bought "pasalubong" Batangas coffee, pure, wild honey & banana chips

(9) I sorted out my seashells & pebbles

(10) got my dose of the "Daily Bread"

There was so much to be thankful for.  It was a really lovely place & the staff was very friendly & hospitable.  Most of all I was able to share with my staff my love for the ocean, nature, rest & recreation & to use these blessings to recharge for the work ahead of us.  After the trip they felt renewed energy & said they understood why I never get tired at work even if I always go surf on weekends.  

We all can't wait for the next one.  Where could it possibly be? :-)