Friday, July 29, 2011


 We know that Santorini can be found in the Aegean Sea.
We know that it is a volcanic island, a caldera that remained after a huge volcanic explosion.
We know that we can reach Ancient Thira by going up the cliff riding a donkey (hence, the donkey souvenirs all over)...
...but we know that the donkeys are so smelly for us (sorry donkeys, we still love you!), that we'll end up riding the cable car instead.
We know that there will be tons of tourists even if it's off-peak season. (We were even lucky to have met these really nice and funny Italian tourists).

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Okay here's one secret we didn't want to share but we'll share anyway.  Hehe.  For summer dresses, our favorite go-to place is none other than... 

Coco Cabana can be found at SM Department stores.  They have all sorts of cute dresses that you can get for as low as PhP350!  

So when we went to Santa Catalina Island, we thought we must come in colorful summery outfits to match the festive colors of the island.  It didn't come as a surprise that we both packed Coco Cabana dresses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


During our first trip together in Milan, all we cared about were visiting the museums of Hennes and Mauritz a.k.a. H&M Stores, the historical Coco boutique a.k.a. Chanel, the birthplace of Miuccia a.k.a. Prada, and all those other fashion-y shops.  Y'know, you get the idea.  As a result, we ended up going home with crappy photos (later, you'll see!) and blurred memories of those 4 days.  

But, we were young then.

That's why on our second time together in Milan, we paid more attention to its culture, its people, food, and whatever is worth taking note of.

Downtown Milan  
The drive from Malpensa airport to downtown Milan takes around 1 hour.

Taking the cab from the airport to the city costs a lot of money.  We learned it the hard way.  Almost 6 thousand pesos for a taxi ride is just... just so... never mind.  Time to move on. 

We stayed at Genius Hotel Downtown (, a 3-star family-run hotel in Via Porlezza, located right at the city center.  It is just a short walk from the Duomo!  Check out Google Maps to see how good its location is (click here).  Their rooms are reasonably priced too!  The hotel we stayed at during our first Milan trip is so friggin expensive that it's not even funny.  We paid US$695 per person for a 4day3night-stay at Hotel Vittoria Milano ( in Via Petro Calvi.  To be fair, it wasn't entirely the hotel's fault.  We didn't know that our trip falls during the Milan Moda Donna Fashion Trade and (drum roll please) tadaaaaaa... Milan Fashion Week!  So, hotels jacked up their prices during those dates.  When planning a trip to a city, make sure there are no trade fairs or major concerts going on to avoid ridiculous hotel prices (unless you're really going there for that). 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Aside from getting a nice, even tan in the beaches of Cebu, another thing one must put on her to-do list when visiting the city is to check out the Joanna Lhuillier store.

By British Designer, JML or Joanna Maitland-Smith Lhuillier, her bags are made of materials sourced from all over the world sewn together by skilled Cebuano artisans.  They are sold all over Asia, US, Canada and the UK.  Here in the Philippines, you can find her bags in her stand-alone shops at Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Makati Shangri-la Hotel. You may also visit

So when Karol went to Cebu, it’s definitely more than just a tan she got-- something fine and good-looking, not to mention, close to her heart...

1001 THINGS WE DID BEFORE WE DIE: Shop like crazy in Avenue Montaigne and Rue St. Honore


Friday, July 15, 2011


We arrived in Jakarta from Manila at 12 midnight,  checked-in at a hotel near the Soekharno-Hatta Airport at around 1 in the morning,  slept for 2 hours, woke up, took a shower, got ready, and went back to the airport to catch our early morning flight to Yogyakarta.  With only 2 hours of sleep, this is how we spent 24 hours in Yogya.

We landed in Adisutjipto Airport at 8 in the morning.  This is the time we discovered that squat toilets, which they call closet jongkok, are still widely-used in Indonesia.  No worries though, because they always have closet duduks (ftw!) too. 

We arranged an airport pick-up with the hotel, but instead of checking-in right away, we decided to go straight to Borobudur so we can maximize our day.

Borobudur Temple
From the airport, it took us more or less 1 hour to get to Borobudur.

We bought our entrance tickets for  Rp125,000 or around $15.  They charge a much lower rate for locals-- around 1/10 of what they charge to foreign visitors.  Those paying the higher fee get to enjoy unlimited welcome drinks (bottled water, juice, coffee or tea) in an air-conditioned room.  In this same room, they also provide you with a sarong.  All the other local guests get their sarongs from a separate stall.

It's kind of a long walk from the entrance before you get a glimpse of the temple.

The Borobudur Temple, or Candi Borobudur as they call it,  is a Buddhist temple listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Site.  It is considered to be the largest Buddhist structure in the world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Goodbye To All That: Designers Say Farewell To Central Saint Martins' Digs On Charing Cross Road
by Katharine Zarrella

photo from
Home to one of the best fashion schools in the world, Central Saint Martins has quite the track record when it comes to producing superstar designers; its alumni include Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Riccardo Tisci, Hussein Chalayan, Phoebe Philo—to name only a few. However, judging by the primary fashion building which, erected on Charing Cross Road in the heart of Soho in 1938, is a drab stone structure crumbling around its colorful student body, Saint Martins is indeed missing its mink. “I suppose the decrepit-ness allows a certain freedom. It’s always been decaying, even when I was a student in 1984, so it’s never been about the building. It’s about what goes on inside the building,” Wilson says.

But the summer marks the end of an era for the school. This month, Saint Martins, whose fashion and art schools currently span 11 buildings, will consolidate under one roof in a new high-tech $320 million dollar complex.

We're kinda nostalgic about Central Saint Martins moving to a new campus because we went there for some courses on Fashion Design (so yup, technically we can say Alexander Mcqueen is our "schoolmate" hahaha), and all the memories we have of CSM are from the old Charing Cross and Southampton Row campuses -- now gone.  Allow us to reminisce. Sob.

The bus stop on the left of above's photo is where Karol would sit and whine every morning because she wants to skip school and Macy would drag her up the classroom everyday.

Charing Cross
outside the Charing Cross campus

Monday, July 11, 2011


As soon as we arrived Bali, we told our guide about how interested we are in meeting Elizabeth Gilbert's palm-reader, Ketut, in the movie Eat Pray Love.  He laughed (together with the driver), and we didn't know why.  It's probably because all tourists in Bali now considers Mr. Liyer as a tourist attraction.  

We found out later on that most of the locals believe that Ketut Liyer's healing powers have disappeared after his Hollywood fame.  According to them, his healing spirit slowly vanished when he started charging the people for his readings.  Yes, 250,000 rupiahs or roughly US$30 per person for one sitting.

He also has the reputation of giving the same prediction to his clients, and they said it's because his English is very limited so he tends to say the same things.

We told our guide that it's okay because we didn't want our palms to be read anyways, and that we just wanted to see him and observe him read other people's palms.  Our guide said "Okay, let me call him first to check if there are plenty of people today."  Wow, they have each other's numbers.  After he made a phone call using his Blackberry (we wonder if they BBM each other too), our guide said we can go.  He added that it's always better to call him first before making a visit because on some afternoons, he rests as he is already very old.

In a few minutes, we found ourselves in front of Ketut Liyer's house in Ubud.