July’s Joie de Vivire


July is a rare month. This year, Feng Shui master Marites Allen forecasts that it will bring double wealth, greatness and opportunities to most animal signs. But at the same time, it can also bring challenges to others. To find out what’s in store for you and to get lucky tips, check out “Marites Allen Live on Facebook” sessions.

This month, we also get a total lunar eclipse on July 27, which is forecast to last 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century. There is really something magical and mystical about the moon.

At the Full Moon Kundalini Yoga class of yogi Rosan Cruz, we harnessed the energy of the full moon to forgive the past, let go of what doesn’t serve us, and contemplate on what we want out of life. Rosan also did a meditation to balance the moon center and to remove haunting thoughts of pain, fear, limiting beliefs.

clockwise from top; Ann Gillian Tero, Jill Altejos, Rica Lacson-Carlos, Sea Princess, Vina Francisco, Rosan Cruz, Jenny Taningco and Gigi Relunia

It was great to be a part of Rosan’s health series for Lunar Women. The sessions run every Thursday for six weeks at Yoga+Express Legazpi. The class on July 12 is a New Moon Solar Eclipse class, and on July 15 is a “Scent and Sound Healing to Free Yourself From Sleepless Nights.” Those interested can text 09188889198 for details.

Speaking of the moon, Rustan’s and Montblanc recently launched the new Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Special Edition Collection, creating a lunar-themed universe at The Eye at Green Sun Hotel. The venue has a 360-degree blank canvas that can be used to create a myriad of themes. Creating one based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved novel, The Little Prince, with its themes of imagination and friendship, was a snap for the Rustan’s group.

At the launch, guests included luminaries like Ben Wintle, Tom Yeung, and Chris Tiu, who got the first look at the new Meisterstück pens with etchings on friendship and bonding and the iconic characters from the book. The beautifully designed range features caps and barrels in an alluring blue resin, the first instance of Montblanc to use such a palette, which is inspired by the dark blue universe, the stage of the prince’s adventures. Another sweet detail is a yellow, lacquered star embellished on the clip. The special edition Meisterstück pens are now on sale at Rustan’s Department Stores.

As part of the program, a special performance by dancers from the Steps Dance Studio told the tale of how friendship is built, with Ghian Renzon Arboleda as The Little Prince, and Anna Isabelle Huang, daughter of Anton and Nina Huang, as The Fox.

From this French writer de Saint-Exupéry, we move to French food with exuberance. La Mere Poulard, the iconic French restaurant in heart of Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, is now open in Manila. Using ingredients coming from the best local sources, La Mere Poulard serves the taste and flavor of cuisine true to its French roots and serves dishes in beautiful copper cocottes and pans, the same way it’s done in Normandy.

Mont Saint-Michel is a significant part of the history of France and Christianity in the West as a center of spirituality, culture, and Christian faith. Started in 1888, Annette Poulard’s inn served the devotees and pilgrims that flocked to the island, eventually attracting gourmets to her restaurant as well. Her fame in France and around the world earned the name “La Mere Poulard,” an honorary title awarded to the country’s finest female cooks in France of that time. Autographs line the restaurant’s walls, documenting the lives of great diners from Hemingway to Saint-Laurent who once graced its hearth.

I found out all that from owner Debbie Tan, who was kind enough to host my hubby Dennis and I for dinner when we celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary last month. Today, La Mère Poulard is a culinary ambassador of French culture and tradition, spreading its roots far across the globe, including their branch in SM Aura, BGC.

Dennis and I loved the restaurant’s best sellers, including scallops, salmon, cod, and signature puff omelettes. The restaurant’s open kitchen design gives diners the opportunity to watch the staff prepare their dishes while listening to the beat created by the rhythmic whisking of the eggs, an experience integral to La Mère Poulard’s identity.

This July roundup ends with an invitation to see “Breakpoint” by Jono Duran Pisano at the JOYA Gallery, Alphaland Makati Place Mall, starting July 10. Gallery owner Julian Ongpin hosts the budding artist’s first solo show.

Julian told me that he first met Jono around four years ago, but reconnected at a TOQA event by Isabel Sicat and Aiala Ricard. After exchanging a few names of their favorite artists, such as Peter Doig and Neo Rauch, the two knew they would hit it off. Julian invited Jono to do a show immediately, and the latter was only too happy to accept.

Julian noted, “Jono’s works are something very special. I came up with the name for this show, ‘Breakpoint,’ to highlight the mystery of the series.” Each of Jono’s oil paintings is split in two scenes, showing different reproductions of photographs from a famous archive spanning 22 years and 72,000 pictures. The juxtaposition of the images creates a relation between seemingly unrelated times and places, resulting in a combined image of poetic beauty. Go see the show for yourselves at JOYA.

See more pics at @seaprincess888 on Instagram.

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