Casa Marcos


If you ask your parents about Casa Marcos, chances are they would describe the famous restaurant along Roxas Boulevard (or Dewey Boulevard back then) that served delicious Gambas, Steak Ala Pobre, Sopa de Mariscos, Paella Valenciana, and soft yet crusty pan de sal. Back then, Casa Marcos was known for its sumptuous dishes and warm and welcoming atmosphere. It was the place to go if you wanted to unwind with family and friends. Its name is actually derived from a Spanish pelotari named Señor Marcos de Guisasola and not from the political family. The restaurant initially belonged to Señor Marcos (he crafted the menu and created the dishes himself) and eventually passed on the ownership and management to its frequent patron banker Ben del Rosario when he decided to return to Spain for personal reasons.

For many decades Casa Marcos was a favorite. The restaurant even opened a second branch along Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City, and transferred to Tomas Morato until eventually it decided to close its doors in 2000. Its reopening was partly brought about by patrons of The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at the Ortigas Home Depot (the third generation’s take on a more casual Casa Marcos). Loyal customers of the famous restaurant clamoured for a reopening, which the family took into consideration and finally made it happen. And so the new Casa Marcos at Burgos Circle was opened in February 2011, and still offers the same bestselling dishes the restaurant has been known for. They even have their old cook on board heading the kitchen staff, who really insists on making everything from scratch, a rare quality in today’s restaurants.

Of course, I had no idea how much history was behind Casa Marcos until I heard its story. Imagine, the first Casa Marcos opened in 1945–that’s almost 70 years ago! And up until today they’ve preserved its menu and serve practically the same recipes as they did back then. It was actually a good story to hear over lunch, especially as it was told by the granddaughter of Ben del Rosario, Muffin Galvez. Needless to say, the ladies–being me, Patty Laurel-Filart, Karen Pamintuan, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Joei Gana and of course, Muffin–had an excellent lunch, enjoying great food and happy kwentuhan. The gambas was a hit! We ordered two more rounds!

20140117_121745Patty Laurel-Filart, me and Muffin Galvez.

20140117_121800Nicole delos Angeles and Karen Pamintuan.

20140117_114324Mini pandesal with butter!

20140117_115133Their spicy Gambas was a winner. (P320)

20140117_115114Almejas, or baked clams topped with melted cheese and crispy garlic bits (P230).

20140117_121024Baked Fish (Pampano) in oil and garlic served with fresh tomatoes and onions (P545).

20140117_121041Lengua Sevillana or tender ox tongue with mushroom gravy sauce (P345).

20140117_120401Paella Negra with seafood and vegetables–so good! This was served in a  24 inch paellera, good for six persons. (P845)

20140117_120838Pepito Steak–their smallest steak (for the ladies). (P395)

IMG_3346Their famous vinegar mix, which you can now buy in a bottle to enjoy at home.

20140117_121002Our feast! We were so full.

20140117_130314And for dessert, we had Bread Pudding ala Mode.

20140117_132528Another fun date with my girlies.


Casa Marcos at the Burgos Circle is open from Monday to Sunday, 11 am  to 3 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm while The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at the same location is open from 7 am to 1 am. You may call 703 7784 or 552 3781 for reservations.

The Bread Bag Pandesal Bar at Ortigas Home Depot is also open from 7 am to 1 am.


Patty Laurel-Filart launches a shoe line: Celebracion by Suelas


I am so proud of my good friend, Patty Laurel-Filart, for designing her very own shoe line! Yes, Patty now has another feather to add to her already brimming cap and we couldn’t be happier for her. This recently married gal is best known as a model, host, blogger, teacher and endorser, and now she can add shoe designer to her list of achievements. I don’t know where she finds the time to do it, but she is a testament to us ladies that we can do it all and more!

The shoe line is called Celebracion, as she was very much inspired by her own wedding last November. (Can I just say, it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended! I cried buckets when the Pats said their vows to each other.) And she found the perfect people to collaborate with—comfy shoe brand Suelas was able to make this long time dream of hers a reality.

Patty came up with three elegant designs, and they are all ballet flats. These are far from your ordinary pair though, as you can wear these to any formal occasion—even your wedding! Exquisitely made and very comfortable, these shoes are really worth buying. All its embellishments are handmade and its materials are top quality. Plus, part of the proceeds of this shoe line will go to CENEP, a teaching and feeding program for pre-school children in impoverished areas in Tondo and Mandaluyong. This really makes this a done deal for me, because you get quality shoes while helping out the less fortunate. Celebracion by Suelas is available online at for only P1650 a pair.

So of course, Patty rounded up her friends for the launch of Celebracion by Suelas. Celebrities Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, Karen Pamintuan, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles and Cesca Litton took time off from their busy schedules for the event. It was such a fun day filled with laughter, kwentuhan and pampering, and really, we couldn’t stop raving about the shoes!


Here it is: Celebracion by Suelas line by Patty Laurel-Filart.


Here I am posing with the newest shoe designer in town.


Me, Patty and Rica. Don’t we all look fab? Our dresses are by Jamie Ramos of Coral Couture. We look like bridesmaids at Patty’s wedding!


This cake was just stunning! Made by Michelle Teves of Coco Cakes. Love it!


New mom Nicole poses with Patty. Can you believe she only gave birth last August?


Nicole, Patty and Karen. So happy for Karen and her new-found love!


Pretty things at Pink Me Up Nail and Dry Bar at Shaw Boulevard.


Suelas owners Jackie Tan and Kaye Ong flank Jamie Ramos of Coral Couture.


The ladies sharing a laugh.


And here, all prim and proper. Haha!


Yummy macarons at the event.


Patty and Rica.


What we girls do. Caught in action taking a photo for Instagram.


Super kwento while eating macarons.


Customized milk teas by My Serendipitea.


More photo-taking for Instagram.


Patty excitedly talking about her new “baby”.


Haha here I am both modeling and admiring my pair.


Suelas owners Jackie Tan and Kaye Ong.


More laughter as we got our nails done.


We couldn’t be happier—we had our nails done and we got to take home a pair of Celebracion by Suelas.


One last pose!


So happy for you, Patty! Congrats for launching your very own shoe line!


Glamour Dazed


There’s nothing like a MAC makeup event to draw a crowd of pretty, fashionable ladies. Yes, this one was very well-attended, and by no less than Manila’s top female celebrities, personalities, actresses, models, editors and bloggers who were so glamorously dressed.

The name of the event was Glamour Daze, after all, so it wasn’t really a surprise to see everyone looking their best (and by this I mean beautifully made up, no doubt thanks to MAC). It was one of the biggest parties to date, and as expected there were lots of yummy, yummy makeup given away that night.


This pretty, pastel collection was 50’s glam inspired.


Drool-worthy products.


The set-up in Whitespace was just so girly and glam. I really love the way they set up this event.


Karen Pamintuan hosted the event, and welcomed MAC UK Senior Makeup Artist Cher Webb.


Cher talked about the collection, and gave tips on how to use the makeup.


She did a makeup demo on model Vanessa Matsunaga.


Gorgeous makeup.


Vanessa’s final Glamour Daze look.


Jay-R performed with the Hot Legs.


Actresses Andi Eigenmann and Carla Humphries.


Actress Bubbles Paraiso and model Pia Cabreira.


Bloggers Camille Co and Laureen Uy, Sean Go and makeup artist Jigs Mayuga.


Fashion designer Charina Sarte, celebrity host Divine Lee and Rubyanne Chin.


MAC UK Chief Makeup Artist Cher Webb with Preview’s Anna Canlas and Lyca Puno.


Claudine Trillo, Heart Evangelista, JM Rodriguez, Rachel Alejandro and Barney Alejandro.


Chris Tiu, Audrey Tan-Zubiri, her daugher and Cristalle Henares.


Gloria Diaz and Isabelle Daza.


Star Magic’s Helga Krapf and Melissa Ricks.


Pops Fernandez and Aiko Melendez.


Beauty editors Ianne Evangelista and Agoo Bengzon.


Tim Yap and Alice Dixson.


Actresses Maxine Magalona, Michelle Madrigal, Carla Humphries at the event.


Tessa Prieto-Valdez with MAC’s Kirsten Brito and Gay Lao.


Laureen Uy and Camille Co.


Spotted: Megan Young.


Makeup artist Gela Laurel-Stehmeier with models Mia Ayesa and Girlie Benitez.


MAC makeup artist Owen Sarmiento and Liz Uy.


Rorie Carlos, Pamela Lopez and Liza Ilarde.


Sam Pinto, Jacq Yu and Aubrey Miles.


Tyke Kalaw and Cesca Litton.


Thats me with photographers Paul S and Paolo Pineda.




MAC Brand Manager Gay Lao, Vanessa Araneta, MAC PR and AR Executive Kirsten Brito and Jaja Rama.

Preview Best Dressed Ball 2012

The theme for the event was athletic chic. I don’t know why, but initially I thought, “it should be easy enough, Ill just throw on anything bright with a graphic stripe and Ill be good to go.” I was so calm thinking about it too, until I assessed my closet and realized I didn’t own anything that looked athletic that I could actually wear out. I shouldn’t have been surprised though because I am really not that sporty. I mean I like running, and I enjoy yoga, but I have never really been one to dress sporty on a day-to-day basis.

That was when I knew I had to go to a designer. If you know me well, you’ll know that my go-to designer is Joey Samson. So I gave him a call, and just like that I had a dress to wear!

In case you didn’t know, Joey has been giving me dresses to wear to events since I started going to events. He doesn’t need to ask me what I like because he knows it already. So far, he’s been there to accommodate my every need, and really, he’s been there for me thru thick and thin.

Joey’s inspiration for my sporty chic dress was a scuba suit, and yes, it looked every bit as stylish and elegant as I imagined it. I was all-smiles when I saw the dress, and was practically jumping up and down as I was fitting it. Needless to say, the dress was very me, and I was only too happy to wear it to the ball. Thank you so much Joey!!

At Joey’s place taking one last look at my outfit.

When I got there the Preview girls were there already. And as expected, they were dressed to the nines.

Preview’s fashion editor Daryl Chang with fashion and beauty editor Anna Canlas.

We like short shorts: Anna Canlas.

Edgy black and white ensemble by fashion stylist Andre Chang.

Prettiness personified: Rima Ostwani.

Preview’s associate editor and Sparkling magazine’s EIC Eunice Lucero.

White peek-a-boo Kylee Lagman.

Sporty girls: Kylie and I.

How to wear athletic chic.

ABS-CBN’s creative consultant and writer Gitri San Diego and I.

Preview’s creative director Vince Uy.

Preview’s art director Eugene David and I.

With model Jenny Rockett, model/host Patti Grandidge and talent manager Pia Campos.

My favorite designer, Joey Samson.

Love them: Max Factor makeup artist Bobby Carlos and designer Louis Claparols.

With creative geniuses Ivarluski Aseron, Bobby and Louis.

The host for the evening Karen Pamintuan.

Bubbles Paraiso looking smoking hot.

I was trying to figure out just how hot this dress is. Okay, it is very hot. Sexy Bubbles!

Photographer Paolo Pineda and Jenny Rockett.

Midnight Bonkers: Ejay Leung, Paolo Pineda and Dondi Narsico. They made the awesome Best Dressed video.

On the best dressed list: beautiful Lovi Poe.

Lovi being interviewed.

Muji’s latest collection

With Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Nicole Hernandez-delos Angeles and Patty Laurel at the Muji event.

Muji recently showcased its latest collection and I really wanted to see it. There’s just something about well-made basics that appeals to a Virgo like me. Call me crazy (or boring, or both haha) but I am forever in-love with order, structure and organization. And there is no better brand to embody these qualities than Muji.

As usual, I took lots and lots of photos!

Looking around: neatly stacked piles of organic cotton shirts.

Cute outfit: Associate fashion editor Kate Paras shows off her leather skirt and white hightops.

Still empty.

Carefully measured seats.

And just like that, the space is filled with people. Show about to start.


Black & white ensemble.

Folded khakis and a burgundy cardi.

Girl-version of the stripes and cardi.

Brent Javier rocking the man purse.

Loving this look. Floppy hat is the perfect accessory.

Oversized shirt.

Slouchy chic.

Button-down goodness.

Chic way to wear an apron.

That soft blazer.

I adore this skirt.

Everyday functional pieces to add to your wardrobe.

Patty, Nicole, Bianca and I.

Pretty fashionista Laureen Uy.

Globe Telecom’s Dong Ronquillo.

Brent and Nicole.


With fashion director extraordinaire Robby Carmona.

Listed’s host Karen Pamintuan.

Malaysia crew reunion

At around September of last year I was invited to be one of the models to represent the Philippines at the MASIF 2011. MASIF, which means Music Arts Style International Festival, is a yearly event held at the KLCC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At that time I was modeling in Hong Kong and I remember I had to fly from Hong Kong to Manila, then Manila to KL and going back KL-Manila-HK. It was pretty tiring. But also loads of fun!

The whole thing was organized by Alvs Noel and Patty Laurel. Patty got her closest and prettiest friends to be models for this trip (she ended up walking down the runway, too). And she got talented designer Veejay Floresca (you will probably remember him from the first season of Project Runway Philippines in 2008) to create all these gorgeous gowns and dresses. Needless to say, the few days we spent in Kuala Lumpur were really memorable. We all had such a great time that at the end of the trip we’ve already bonded.

Our busy schedules didn’t allow for us to meet again until last week. But it didn’t matter, because it was a happy occasion, with lots of catching up to do. I was thrilled to see everyone, and I’m hoping we can all get to travel again soon! Here are photos from our reunion:

My KL roomie, Karen Pamintuan with Lala Jara-Tuazon and Veejay Floresca.

Right across from me: Patty Laurel, Patrick Filart, Nicole Hernandez (who wasn’t able to make it to the KL trip but is still part of the group) and Amber Davis.

The Pats: Patty Laurel and Patrick Filart.

Group photo: including Marcus Davis, Alvs Noel and Marge Gutierrez.

The ladies with Veejay.

Another one with Veejay.

The KL crew.


Of course, after posting all these photos I went to my 2011 album and looked at the pictures we took at that trip. Here are my favorite ones of the group. We were such a happy bunch!

6am rehearsal and we all still look so fresh!

I remember we all fit perfectly in one van. Super cozy!

Our dresses for the fashion show.

All dressed up and ready to walk that runway!

Second change! This was the cutout collection.

Showing off the cutouts.

Off to a lobster and steak feast.

This was after the fashion show. We had to go out and celebrate!