New home store: Urban Abode

What a happy looking store front!

Urban Abode: What a happy looking store front!

Last weekend, when the husband had to do some car-related errands, he passed by a new home and design store in Ortigas Home Depot (which, as the name suggests, is a complex with a sprawling home depot, but it also has a sprinkling of home stores on the side, numerous restaurants and one or two car shops).

It was still closed when he passed by but judging by the store front, he thought I would like it. He told me we should try and drop by the following weekend and since I was nursing a horrible flu at the time and was only half-conscious, I completely forgot about it until we were driving along Julio Vargas Avenue last Saturday afternoon and he turned to the home depot.

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Good food, finds and a wedding

Ever had one of those weeks when you feel like nothing goes your way? Well, I’m glad tomorrow is a Saturday. All the calm and happy vibe of the past few weeks (Happy New Year!) have been sucked out by the past few days. So let me use this post to look back and be grateful for the week before for all happy things big and small–when I saw two good friends get married, when I got to finally try this cafe and bakery near the office, and when P and I discovered something new in an old haunt.

The wedding was held on a Tuesday, which was a welcome break at the start of the work week. It was also out of town and if you are looking for a place to get married outside crowded Manila, Tagaytay is a favorite choice. One of the loveliest churches there (well, just outside of it, technically it’s already in Nasugbu, Batangas) is the Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega. The chapel with its beautiful brick facade (supposedly reproduction of the original chapel in Caleruega, Spain) sits atop the highest point of Caleruega, a hilly and sprawling area that’s also a favorite venue of folks going on spiritual retreats and photo hobbyists. (My friend Terrie wrote about the beautiful ceremony and party here.)


Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega. It’s really beautiful though you might not appreciate it so much when you’re wearing really high heels.

Two of the most fearless and creative people I know get married. It was a great day

The happy couple! Their joy was contagious

Two days later, a few office mates and I made our way to Wild Flour Cafe + Bakery instead of having our usual lunch at the pantry. We’ve all heard so much about the restaurant, which is a short walk away from where our office is, we decided to finally schlep our way there. It’s within the business district of Fort Bonifacio and attracts (at least at the time we were there) a throng of smartly-dressed professionals and young ladies who lunch. But the atmosphere was casual, the service brisk, and the food, at least the ones we ordered (Croque Madame, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup, and the Shortribs Sandwich), were really good. The flavors were rich, and the bread, oh the freshly made bread made me want to go out, buy my own oven and harass their baker for the recipe. Continue reading

Arts and crafts along Alabama St.

Currently in Singapore now for work and last night my friends took me back to the Ann Siang Hill area for dinner and a few drinks. It’s a really lovely area with the rows of charming shophouses, many I was surprised to find out are actually bars and restaurants (at least along Club Street).  (The first time I went there was in the morning so I didn’t notice the closed bars.)

Anyway, in the spirit of lovely (and quirky) things, here’s a place in Manila that’s worth a visit if you find yourself looking for somewhere to go besides the mall.

In Alabama Street in New Manila, Quezon City there’s an old bungalow that’s now home to this wonderful furniture store and little gallery. Resurrection Furniture  & Found Objects Gallery takes old furniture and all sorts of  ‘junk with potential’ and makes them over to something better or (the term many shelter mags like to use now) upcycles them.

The store used to be located along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City (another must-see in Metro Manila for the many different restos and little hidden shops), but its new home seems to suit it better with the furniture arranged in the living room and spread out throughout the house. 10A Alabama Street also has the tiny RAW Art Gallery and a tea bar that looks like your school’s old science lab.

If that isn’t enough to make you schlep there, on the weekend of September 3 and 4, 10A Alabama will hold Handmade Art Fair featuring the works of designer Binggoy  De Ocampo, architect Leah Sanchez (the two people behind Resurrection), artists Robert Alejandro, Jazel Kristin, Sinag De Leon, Lizza Gutierrez, Arlene Florendo Barbaza, and Erika Bustamante Avancena.

Last month, they held 10A Alabama’s Arts and Crafts Fair, where different artists including Alejandro and Ginny Alcaide (love her use of thread for portraits) sold their works. There were also a lot of costume jewelry and other pretty accessories, notebooks, and organic soaps; and of course the cleverly refurbished furniture and home items from Resurrection. Here are a few photos of last month’s fair.

The white and blue gate along Alabama Street is hard to miss

Cute notebooks and clips

Pretty rings and necklaces

The ‘living room’ of Resurrection Furniture

The room where artist Robert Alejandro has some of his works

Journals by Robert Alejandro

Refurbished card catalog cabinet

The house’s ‘kitchen area’ or Hausbesetzer Laboratory of different sorts of tea

Where’s the wolf pack?

Artwork in the backyard

Let’s support local arts and crafts 🙂 See you in Handmade Art Fair!
Where: 10a Alabama Street, New Manila, Quezon City

Hunting for something pretty

Furniture store Space Encounters launched its latest line last night. It was something I was looking forward to all week as designer Wilmer Lopez creates the loveliest pieces with a playful style. It was also a chance to meet up with friends and have a few drinks (before the onslaught of deadlines and out-of-town shoots next week).

Dubbed, “Hunting Season,”  the latest collection is more Nordic-inspired (clean lines and soft colors) compared to the dark and dramatic Asian-pop inspiration of the “Indochine Remixes” collection.  With the new collection, Space Encounters looked like a completely different store. But just as pretty.

I love this corner, particularly the desk and the big mirror on the side

Interesting prints, framed quotes (that reveal one of the owners' love for Star Trek, among other things) and a lovely green couch

Looking for a different kind of chair? This sheep is surprisingly comfortable

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All you need is an IKEA (or two)

Hello there, beautiful

Before we went on another day of shophouse-ogling with the help of a friend and her Chinatown walking tour, we headed to Tampines, where the biggest Ikea in the country was located. For P, Ikea in Singapore is to Akihabara in Tokyo. It was on top of his must-see in Singapore list. He didn’t care if we were not going to Universal Studios, Sentosa or some other theme-park style attraction. (I didn’t care much for it either.) Ikea was his wonderland in Singapore. Aside from the fact that he loves how the furniture looks, I think it has something to do with the fact that there is no Ikea in the Philippines. It makes you want it even more.

Before we began exploring the Ikea branch in Tampines, my friends said we had to eat in the Ikea restaurant. To try the meatballs. Even before we left Manila, several friends were also telling us not to miss the meatballs. So before any drooling over the furniture could commence, we ate the much-hailed meatballs (they were good), chicken wings, and other plates of goodness.

Beyond furniture: Apparently the Swedes also know how to make some mighty tasty meatballs

The chicken wings (and the cake peeking at the right) were also good

Let the exploration begin…

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