today in happiness: ladies who lunch

Dearest ______,

I didn’t realize just how much I missed the Dolls from the previous job until I met up with them for brunch lunch earlier today at Gen’s fabulous flat (think Charlotte York’s Victorian chintz meeting Blair Waldorf’s Uptown closet… pretty much any fashionable girl’s few square feet of heaven).

While I can rough and tough it up like the rest of the boys, I do enjoy down time with the ladies.  It’s true what they say about women’s company- it’s something else.  More so, I guess, when you get a lively and witty bunch to sit down with.   We can go on talking about boys- yes, I ‘ll give you that.  But with the same breath and alacrity, we can also talk about the merits of  urbanism in Rem Koolhaas’ architectural forms.  Today though, we just chose to be silly and fun.

Today in happiness was Sunday lunch spent inside a charming little flat with a mint green wall and a huge white bird cage.

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barbecrew

Dearest ______,

With all this talk of longboarding, you might want to ask me how well I actually am at it. Or maybe not. I’ll tell you anyway: if I were to gauge myself by James Kelly’s standards and such, my skills are as worthless as the smallest pebble of the smallest hill he has ever ridden off of. Although you might say that it doesn’t even cut close to that.

Last weekend found us at the nearby park with some, I don’t know, 30 other longboarders?
Now that does not cut close to the actual number of riders who’ve joined the Gout Skate Crew. Explained by one of its founding members, Gout came from the hilarious idea of a group of working guys men who’ve found themselves inexplicably hooked (stoked, really) to longboarding… all of them well beyond the usual age of extreme sports fixation. Old folks get gout. Apparently some of them just want to get it on a board!

It was a whole lot of fun. Really. So much so, you’d think that most of them would get minor bodily repurcussions days after the barbecue. But, no. Most with but a few hours of sleep in them, they all went to another skate session the very next day.

If you are around these parts of the world, why not find them and ride some asphalt waves with the rowdiest crew in town?

Love,

Karlita

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surprise, surprise saturday

Dearest ______,

If you really knew me, you’d know well enough just how much I love surprises.  Throwing them, really.  This makes me the worst candidate for any kind of surprise, I guess, since I have every aspect of it (white- lying, logistics, etc) down pat.

Last Saturday was yet another one of these surprises my friend Angel planned to throw for her hubby’s __th birthday.  She had booked a suite at one of the hottest hotels in Singapore today, contacted a caterer, ordered the balloons and the cake… and we basically just helped her do everything else that very day of the party- from cabbing around the city to pick everything up, doing up the room, getting everybody else there on time, etc.

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rendezvous

Dearest ______,

I’ve always liked Rendezvous Hotel here in Singapore, simply because it’s along the strip of the city’s old 1920’s Art Deco buildings; right across the museums and other such places of curiosity. It’s understandable how the hotel its self bares signs of the ornamental, eclectic, and artistic design that specific style era was heavily known for.

Geometric curves.

These tiles take my thoughts to Miami Beach.

This central piece at the lobby went all the way to the high ceiling. Sculptural lighting at its best, I think.
I couldn't stop looking at the driveway drop off's roofing. Those patterns and that lush green wall...

When lines and curves collide, in symmetry or otherwise, you know it’s a party.  Muy bello, si papi?

Love,

Karlita

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the way of the Dragon

Dearest ______,

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy Lunar (Chinese) New Year!  When I think of dragons, the following come to mind:

1) My father, born in the Year of the Dragon

2) That unfortunate karaoke staple, Puff the Magic Dragon

3) Bruce Lee

4) Daenerys Targaryen

5) Fire, strength, immensity, authority, flight

Literal Food for the Gods.

While ancient Mayan predictions state that 2012 should be the end of the world as we all know it,  Oriental philosophy dictates that the Dragon is the ultimate master of authority and deliverer of good fortune.  So how must we interpret these two contrary notions of the Lunar Year that has just begun?

I say we enter the Dragon in the way of the dragons- with courage; with fiery passion, nobility, and calm; with a strong sense of adventure in our blood; with a huge and generous heart.   If the Mayans have it right, at least we shall not go out without a fight.

Enter the Dragon (Bruce Lee, 1973)

Let’s all own this year and unleash the best dragons from within ourselves!

Love,
Karlita

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santorini- esque

Dearest ______,

Who doesn’t want to go to Greece?

Okay, maybe the people who were forced to hide inside a tight Trojan Horse… but in this day and age when Travel is becoming more and more accessible…

who, in their right mind, would not want to go to Greece? Not too long ago, I was pleasantly surprised by a private resort in the Philippines (also in Tagaytay) because it had the craziest likeness to the Greek island of Santorini.

You can always count on a super events planner- turned- bride to find a wedding location as gorgeous as this place

Straight from the small driveway, I was greeted by this impressive, verdant sculpture. Awe- stricken, I managed to say hullo back.

Architecture always does the trick, I think.

Create an organic form, nonchalantly finish it with textured white paint, build down inside it spaces that cascade off a mountain’s face, orient it to maximize unobstructed views of expansive beauty, permit as much air and light and laughter inside.

But the key is always to create organically… nonchalantly… light- heartedly. Because I find that the most beautiful things (be it in architecture or fashion or art) look unaffected, natural, not forced.

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manila at night

Art by French graffiti artist Tilt. on display at RONAC Art Center, Manila.

Dearest ______,

When we flew back to the Philippines last month, our good friend introduced us to possibly the coolest adult we’ve ever met in our lives.  By adult, I mean married and has kids, owns business properties, mortgages, and all.  By coolest, I mean he longboards, travels the world to collect toys and art, and knows pretty much everybody you need to know when you’re out and about in Manila.

We told our new, coolest friend Desmond that we didn’t have much time in Manila, so he tried to take us to as much places as that time permitted-  one night, really.  We landed on a Saturday afternoon and went out to meet him a few hours after that. Our first stop was meeting his other friend, Mr. Rocks*, who happens to be the Philippines’ biggest collector of Tektites.

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