Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seoul with Gusto

Further expanding my Gusto franchise, I just launched a new blog called Seoul with Gusto, which culls all the highlights of my trip to Seoul a few months ago. ‘Hope you’ll visit and let me know what you think.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Goodbye, Steve

Photo: Yahoo

I’m not in shock. I shed no tear. But I’ve been walking around with a heavy heart. I ache for the passing of someone who truly lived from the heart.

Thank you for passing through during my time. I am happy to have shared the ride.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Singapore with Gusto

I just launched a new Tumblr blog called Singapore with Gusto. It’s a compendium of all my travel discoveries in Singapore.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


A huge burden has been lifted. The cyst is gone. I don’t know what worked. Maybe everything did - the mineral supplements from Dr. Gonzales, the acupuncture sessions with Dr. Sison and Sister Liu, the Juju cleanse juices, the weekends at Sonya’s, the healing touch of Father Suarez, the breath work with Cynthia, the foot reflexology, the ventosa, the evening primrose oil, the wheatgrass supplements, the pills from Dr. Sua-Lao. Everything worked. Love above all. Dr. Sua-Lao said “love you.” She asked if I knew what that meant. It means I am loved. I feel it.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Anthroposophic Medicine

In my dogged pursuit to try all possible options to address my condition, I consulted another doctor, this time a practitioner of anthroposophic medicine, Dra. Divina Hey-Gonzalez.

Her approach to healing is wholistic. It is grounded on anthoposophy’s belief that human beings are composed of the physical body, the etheric or life force body, the soul and the spirit.

The physical body displays the symptoms of imbalance in the four bodies. Dra. Gonzalez recommends detoxification to restore balance physically.

The life force body is where healing takes place. This body thrives in rhythm, which is why Dra. Gonzalez recommends a certain routine of eating and sleeping. She tells me I should be in bed by midnight to give my liver time to renew itself.

The soul is the seat of consciousness. It is the part of us that thinks, feels and wills. Sleep is when the soul detaches itself from the etheric and physical bodies and allows them to rest. Illness begins when the soul’s needs are unfulfilled.

Lastly, there’s the spirit, which directs us to our task in life, the one thing that we must do to give meaning to our current life.

Anthroposophy looks at illness as a wake-up call, a message that there’s an imbalance somewhere and a life-change is at hand.

As to treatment, Dra. Gonzalez gave me mineral drops and capsules, to be absorbed through the tongue.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dr. Sam Dizon

Even after the good news from Dr. Sua-Lao, I didn’t stop exploring alternative treatments for my condition. I wanted to address not just the condition per se but also my predisposition to it.

I’ve always been a believer of detoxification, which is getting rid of toxins in order to allow the body to heal itself. Years ago, I underwent a 4-day detox program at The Farm in San Benito where I lived on green juices, apple cider vinegar drinks, natural supplements and cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. Every day, I went through either colonics or coffee enema. I had severe migraine on the second day but it was resolved the day after. Bug bites from a trip to Palawan the year before healed completely and my skin turned as soft as a baby’s.  

Dr. Chaoling Sua-Lao

I was so unhappy with the way my doctor handled my first diagnosis (She prescribed Lupron injections to me without discussing the side effects. On top of that, she prescribed Femara to address the night sweats as a consequence of Lupron but again failed to communicate Femara’s adverse side effects). I decided to take matters into my own hands and researched online for a better doctor. In many community sites, the name of Dr. Chaoling Sua-Lao kept cropping up. I found the number of her Medical City clinic and immediately scheduled an appointment. This was two weeks after I was given my first Lupron shot and three weeks after I had my first acupuncture session.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I just had my second acupuncture session at Oasis on Maginhawa St., Teachers Village.  Doctor Sison said we need to restore the flow of chi in my body because blockage causes cysts, migraine and digestive problems, among others.

I felt the onset of a migraine while I was on my way to the clinic but it disappeared after the session. It remains to be seen if acupuncture will do its work on my other health challenges but I’m willing to give it my commitment. After all, the 45 minutes I spend in bed with the needles is also time for quiet and rest, something I need and deserve.


Phone: (+632) 9217649

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I just returned from Bohol with friends and my adorable godchild, Luna. This may have been my sixth or so visit to the province but the place never gets old. Perhaps it’s the company I’m with.

There is something comforting about going back to a familiar place and known pleasures such as swimming in Alona Palm, bingeing on seafood at Panglao Nature Resort and on Nanay’s humba and chicharon at Judd’s house, and having coffee and drinks at Judd’s terrace to start and end the day.

On this visit, I went to the Bee Farm for the first time and enjoyed the wonderful Buzz ice cream (take note, malunggay flavor, which is really more akin to vanilla). I got to check out the scene at the Alona Beach strip and had a wonderful massage on the white sand. Judd and Tita Gigi are always gracious hosts. As always, we got to do a lot during those four days but it really felt like we were just taking our time.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family time

I wasn’t supposed to join the Boracay trip with family because it was a work week and I had already booked a trip to Bohol, which would require me to skip a few more days at work. But my sister in law had to attend an event that required her to take a later flight. My two pamangkins were scheduled to fly with her so I had to go with them instead, while my brother, my parents and my two other pamangkins took the next flight.

It turned out to be a lucky twist of fate because I really enjoyed spending time with my pamangkins. I would have really regretted not being with them especially at the onset of their summer vacation. They’ve all been to Boracay before but, seeing the amount of awe and delight in their faces every time they step on the white sand, swim or wade or get knocked over by a strong wave, you’d think it was their first time.

I also enjoyed spending time with my parents. We get to talk about more things now and I enjoyed listening to the tales of their youth, the latest going-on in the province where they are based as well as their plans for the future. I appreciate that they now allow me to make decisions for myself. It was great to see them have a good time. 

Asya Premier Suites


I returned yesterday from a trip to Boracay with family. We stayed at this beautiful cove at the opposite side of Shangri-la Boracay called Asya Premier Suites. The centerpiece was a round pool that was ideal for kids because it was mostly two-feet deep. Adlaw Bar beside it was a perfect spot for sunset viewing. A staircase led to the beach, and to Palay restaurant where we had our breakfast.

Adlaw Bar

Sunset view

Main bedroom

The Asian-inspired suites were tastefully done and every single one had a view of the beach. My parents stayed at the main bedroom while I parked myself at the ante room and had the daybed made for the night. My brother and his family were booked at the suite below us so we occupied a single villa structure.

I love a nice bathroom and ours was everything I can hope for—a wide egg-shaped tub, rain shower head, large mirrors, L’Occitane bath products and a small open garden with a view of the sky.

Room rates start at P25,000 per night but they’re now running a promo for local residents offering 50% off published rates.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Verandah

When I see something beautiful, I can’t stop looking. And every time I look, I always see more.

Tonight, that “something beautiful” is Cressida Campbell’s work.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For the children

I was battling insomnia at 5:44 a.m. so I decided to test my origami-making skills and made this crane. This was inspired by my friend Edna’s worthwhile project called The Summer of a Thousand Cranes. She and her son Gabby love making origami so she started a blog where friends and family can get acquainted with the art form. In the blog, she gives instructions on how to make a paper crane and encourages readers to share pictures or videos of themselves with their handiwork. She hopes to gather 1,000 paper cranes by the end of summer for the children of Japan. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jozu Kin

After reading about the restaurant in Chuvaness’s blog, I decided to give Jozu Kin a try. The problem is, when we got there, I completely forgot all the good stuff I wanted to order. So I improvised.

I love anything with Japanese mayo so I ordered the kani salad.

The Angus steak cubes were very tender and flavorful.

The gindara teriyaki was served last. I don’t know why it took a while to cook. I was so hungry by the time it was served that I immediately took a bite, which explains the partially nipped edge. It was so moist and tender that the flesh falls apart. Loved it.

I want to try the Symphony and spicy tuna next time.

Ronac Art Center seems like a nice place to hang out in.

Especially if you like contemporary art.

Basement parking

Jozu Kin

Ronac Art Center

Ortigas Avenue (near Gilmore)

Phone: (632) 403.1875; (632) 403.3646

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I love drawings, especially those that look like sketches, because they embody the spirit of possibility. They are the beginning of something good. 

Jacqueline Ryan’s jewelry sketches are almost as delicious as the real thing.

Sandra Suy’s fashion sketches are art.

Nobody captures the ever-changing moment better than Frederick Franck. I see so much more vividly because of his work.

Ines de la Fressange

She’s my style icon. She does high-low dressing like only a Parissienne could. I can’t wait to get a copy of her book, Parisian Chic: A Style Guide. Out on April 5.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness’.

- Susan Sarandon’s character in Shall We Dance

For my friends Bambi and Mon. Happy 20th.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A white loft in Paris

French by Design recently featured this delicious Paris loft. I’m a sucker for all things white, but she makes it even more interesting with the textured walls, flooring and doors. Click here for more pictures.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chelsea lately

It has been an emotionally tumultuous week and I was only too glad when Friday arrived. It didn’t help to hear about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In times like this, it is important to thank the universe for blessings big and small - a basket of kakanin from people who appreciate your kindness, a granola bar from a colleague, an iPod gift for a friend and a nice dinner from someone who knows what kind of work week you’ve just been through.

Libation for the gods at Chelsea Place

View of the loft

Equanimity like Buddha’s

It’s Friday and I’m in…

Fettuccine drizzled with truffle oil and topped with double smoked lardo

Pork belly with unbelievably crisp skin

I want my life to flare with color

The latest issue of my favorite e-magazine is out! Lonny mag, you never disappoint.

Read it now.

Blissful Mind Meditation

To download for free, go to The Guided Meditation Site

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The company I keep

Relationships are nurtured by making time – a visit, a phone call, an email, a poke, or, when you’re lucky, a restful conversation surrounded by good food.  

Casa Armas Podium

Clams piled high with garlic

Potato chips the way we like it



Garlic crabs

Paella valenciana

Wonderful red to cap the night off


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