Time for flowers, food and fashion!


As time passes, I need to learn to stop and smell the roses. At Te Amo Floristeria Boutique in Bonifacio Global City, I experienced the beauty of arranged blooms of different flowers and twigs. Learning the craft of creating hand bouquets or framed decoupages was quite therapeutic.

At the My Shelf Matters event in Te Amo Floristeria last week, special guests were invited to create more awareness on how a proper shelf and vignette styling can make a difference in one’s home. Moss Manila, the interior design firm that designed this stylish boutique, collaborated for this fun workshop to help ladies make their homes pretty and holiday-ready.

For my vignette styling, I asked Moss Manila’s Cyndi Fernandez and Te Amo’s Amy Peng to arrange beautiful blooms with elegant décor. Elevating levels, balance and texturing were just some of the tips both experts gave.

Moss Manila Home offers its services of interior home and interior commercial styling packaged with blooms from Te Amo Floristeria.

Moss Manila and Te Amo are graciously supporting the Red Charity Gala (RCG) at its new home at Shangri-La at the Fort.

E-mail home@mossmanila.com Its décor is available until Nov. 30 at Te Amo Floristeria, Active Fun Building, 9th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

New F&B loyalty program

Shangri-La at the Fort —along with Edsa Shangri-La, Makati Shangri-La and Hotel Jen Manila—invited local journalists and content creators to the launch of The Table by Golden Circle at its grand ballroom.

The Table is a new food and beverage loyalty program that offers unparalleled benefits to members who dine at Shangri-La properties both on the road and nearer to home.

The dining program is the latest initiative in the ongoing transformation of Golden Circle, which has rolled out industry-leading member benefits, new partnerships, exclusive offers and Golden Circle Event Planner Rewards during its nine-month loyalty first anniversary campaign.

Manila was one of three key cities (aside from Hong Kong and Beijing) to roll out the global loyalty program through an exclusive event featuring a collaboration between Manila-based global designer Bea Valdes, and the executive chefs of the four Shangri-La hotels, in an evening of artistic and culinary imagination, revealed in five acts and moods. 


Among the industry-leading differentiators that made Shangri-La’s dining loyalty program stand out are more rewards that earn Golden Circle Award Points from dining at more than 500 restaurants and bars in 98 Shangri-La, Hotel Jen, Kerry and Traders properties globally; Instant Indulgence for on the spot points and Elite Rewards for more bonus earnings.

The Table has an innovative, mobile-friendly digital platform, www.golden-circle.com/ thetable,  challenges the notion of a singular approach to hotel dining with dynamic content showcasing an exciting range of culinary experiences at the Shangri-La properties.

The culinary team created Instagram-worthy dishes for  RCG. At the food tasting, Shangri-La at the Fort GM John Rice made sure the menu would be excellent for our gala that would be held at this hotel for the first time.

High tech identification

Supporting RCG is Citibank. Citi Philippines CEO Aftad Ahmed expressed their support at the launch of Voice Biometrics, an authentication capability that identifies customers through their Voice Print, which, similar to a fingerprint, is unique to each person.

Starting October, clients of Citi Philippines consumer bank will no longer need to remember passwords, or personal ID numbers or answer a series of questions. The country’s largest foreign bank is the first to introduce this game changing technology.

Delivering convenience and additional protection for clients’ accounts, Voice Biometrics store Voice Prints when the Citi clients opt to enroll by recording their voices.

Cutting valuable time, the client’s identity automatically verifies the caller within 15 seconds without answering verification questions. This is a reduction from an average time of around 45 seconds currently or 66 percent less time spent on the phone.

Consumer banking head Bea Tan said that Voice Biometrics is a great example of how the Citi listens to their clients and leverages technology to address their concerns.

To date, Voice Biometrics authentication has been implemented in Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.  It will be rolled out throughout the region this year and in 2017 to cover all 12 of Citi’s consumer banking markets in Asia Pacific that represent more than half of the bank’s 19 consumer markets globally.

‘La Divina’

On the same day as the Citi Voice Biometrics launch was the book launch of “La Divina: The Life and Style of Chona Recto-Kasten” recently published by National Book Store, Anvil Publishing and Philippine Star.

Chona Recto-Kasten, an icon of fashion and elegance, lived a charmed life as the pampered daughter of statesman Claro M. Recto and the wife of debonair industrialist Johnny Ysmael. Her perfect world crumbled when Ysmael died and she married a man who later made life miserable for her and her children.

Techie Ysmael-Bilbao reveals the story of her mother in this book, with the editorial team led by Millet Mananquil, Jose Mari Ugarte and Karl Castro.

The book, now available in National Book Store, was launched at Ayala Museum with the support of Raffles Makati, Moet & Chandon, Philippine Airlines, Rustan’s, Bench, Pond’s, Leon Gallery, Cream Silk and Moss Manila.

Techie and her brother Louie Ysmael welcomed guests and relatives while some of Chona’s modeling colleagues like Ping Valencia, Frannie Aguinaldo, Peching Zulueta-Gomez and Charito Aguilar had a nostalgic time recalling their Karilagan days.

It was also a rare reunion of fashion luminaries like Inno Sotto, Rusty Lopez, Larrie Silva, Mike dela Rosa and Ito Curata.

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