Author Archives: Excel Dyquiangco

About Excel Dyquiangco

In his 30 plus years of existence, never is Excel V. Dyquiangco ideally your fashion expert because of all the fashion faux pas he has gone through. But writing for the "Beauty and Fashion" section has made him realize that to have that perfect style - and wardrobe - all it takes is a little bit of ingenuity and a change of mindset. He has learned, is learning and will never stop learning.

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Meet the jogger: jogging pants turned cool

Thursday, 30 June 2016 | Written by
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Many men make the sordid mistake of wearing jogger pants or sweat pants. Some use it in the four corners of their office without pairing it properly, while others don on the clothing while running or jogging down the street. It is, after all, jogger pants.

Fortunately wearing jogger pants is a tad bit simple. These pair of pants can be used in all types of moods, cutting across different classes of people and personalities. Whether with the debonair, the casual or the suave look, jogger pants are versatile pieces and can bring out the best in you – if you know how. Here are ways to wear jogger pants in style.


Nothing beats a white T-shirt and a light pair of jogger pants. When it comes to the casual look, grab a crew cut T-shirt and pair it with a dark-coloured jogger pants. Go for the monotone look or a plain black T-shirt which symbolizes a clean slate. If you want to don on a more vibrant colour, experiment with patterns and shades and go for a bright top while retaining a more neutral look. For instance you can wear brown jogger pants while wearing a blue top. Too many colours, patterns or hues can just ruin or distract the whole ensemble from the true meaning of casual. This is best fit during birthday celebrations or partying with friends. Going to school or going to work (if you don’t have a dress code) also suits this style. jogger pants for men

If you opt for the smart casual facade which takes you away from the streets into your offices or informal meetings, look for a T-shirt that perfectly fits you to a Tee with a good material such as 100% cotton and pair it with slim and fit corduroy jogger pants. Not too fit, though, as it may look like leggings – not ideal for men. Slip a pair of slip-ons and then you are ready to go.


For the casual look, wear a short-sleeved polo shirt, very much versatile and can be worn any time of the day in any season whether summer or rainy season. Buttoned up, half button, open, with the sleeves rolled down or with it rolled up, you have different options to choose from. When it comes to a smart look, you can wear a short-sleeved polo atop jogger pants with light colours and then finish this off by slipping on some boat shoes. Wear a cap to finish off the look. 

As for the smart casual look, wear a neat long-sleeved shirt and pair your jogger pants with a trim loafer which makes you a little bit relaxed and comfortable. Use casual footwear to go with the look and you can never go wrong.


Polo shirts are once worn as a sports attire so it is no wonder that pairing this with jogger pants can bring on that amazing aura. In order to lessen that intense appearance, use jogger pants that are of lighter colour. For instance match a white polo shirt with grey jogger pants or maybe a plain blue polo shirt with grey jogger pants.

If you are the sporty type who often likes to walk or maybe run around the neighbourhood, this one’s for you.


The denim jacket is one of the trickiest outfits in the book since it can make or break you. Use the wrong colour and your look can appear like a mesh of hues without any flair or panache. In order to work on this look properly and if you want to go for the casual attire, don on a light-pair of denim jacket that reaches to your hips – while using a dark-coloured jogger pants. If you think your outfit is too neat, too composed or too formal, you can distress it a little to create that grungier vibe.

Your denim jacket can be worn at all occasions in any which way you want. You can also make this into a smarter look by choosing the right colour and style. jogger pants men2


Now with blazers – which is a versatile garment – try to keep the upper half of your body casual-looking because anything formal can’t match well with your jogger pants. You can use the same colour but similar shades. For a more formal look, use a tie or a more casual one, use a bonnet as an accessory.


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Short and sweet: the 4-minute workout that burns all day long

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 | Written by
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Yes, you guess it, the title speaks for itself. Those who are just too busy, too tired or too lethargic to lift those two-pounds dumb bells won’t have any more excuses as they can actually work out in just a couple of minutes a day.

Coach Jim Saret explains, “The 4 Minute MetaFIT Workout is a scientifically designed set of movements, done in certain parameters, with a specific goal of jumpstarting and revving up a person’s metabolism,” he says. “It specifically targets three major fitness components: Cardio-Respiratory Endurance Training, Fat Burning and Muscle Sculpting.” 

MetaFIT, an original program created by husband and wife team Coaches Jim and Toni Saret is based on all their trainings in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and many more.

As the couple are already beat up with their daily training and practice, the program started during the preparation of the PBA and National Athletes almost 10 years ago as a need to help them continue getting stronger and fitter, but in less amount of time. The couple then started fusing several programs together and experimented on non-traditional workout programs to give their elite athletes amazing results quickly, giving their bodies more time to rest.

MetabeatsAfter several years of tweaking, experimenting and researching, they were finally able to create the MetaFIT workouts with amazing results. Up to this day, it is still being used by the country’s elite athletes.

When both were given an opportunity to coach the US Hit Franchise “The Biggest Loser,” the MetaFIT Program suddenly opened doors to the “regular people” and not just to the athletic types.

“The results were even more amazing as we did something the other Biggest Loser Franchises abroad have never done before – we had the winner of the Biggest Loser take his shirt off during the live finale to show that not only did he lose 101 pounds in 3 months, he also only had minor skin sagging and even had an “athletic looking” body,” Coach Toni says.

A Unique Program for the Country’s Best

So what makes MetaFIT unique and different?

“Everything,” says Coach Jim. “The science behind it is not comparable to any of the mainstream programs offered now. MetaFIT can get anyone – no matter how young or old, no matter if they medical issues – stronger, fitter, healthier, in less time. Guaranteed. It has been tried and tested by the country’s best athletes and also by the country’s most obese, biggest loser. MetaFIT is not offered in the mainstream community yet. In fact we do not even market it. It is a very unique program exclusively used by the country’s best.” coach sarets

Coach Toni adds, “With time being the biggest detriment for people to get fitter and healthier, the 4 Minute MetaFIT Workout program was specially designed to give real results in only 4 minutes. It can easily be done at home with or without equipment and it also comes with several modifications so that everyone can do it even if they have certain limitations.”

In line with the workout, Coaches Jim and Toni continuously create new workout programs following the 4 minute MetaFIT system. They already have hundreds of workout programs that they use daily on all the national athletes and boot camp participants that they train.

“Last year we actually collaborated with some of the country’s biggest DJ’s like Mars Miranda, Ace Ramos and more to create a new MetaFIT Program which we use for FWD Life’s Live to Move Nationwide Campaign,” Coach Jim says.

“This year we tweaked it even more and created the 4×4 MetaFIT Program specially designed for METABEATS – our new show fitness and nutrition on ABS-CBN’s Lifestyle Channel. METABEATS is going to revolutionize health and fitness in the country. It is a 1 hour Fitness and Nutrition, the first locally produced show of its kind in the country. It is basically divided into 4 x 4 Minute Workouts (4 Workouts each 4 minutes long). Total workout time is only 16 minutes. It follows the scientific principles of MetatFIT wherein we target your metabolism, cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. End result is too burn fat and sculpt your body in no time.”

Based on the initial episodes, they have already shot their test subjects who were burning up to 900+ calories while doing the 4×4 or 16 minute workouts. Total calories burned after an hour was 1,500-2000 and continued for the rest of the sarets 2

“We are actually very excited right now at how things are developing,” says Coach Toni.

For those who want to try out the 4-minute workout, Coach Jim advises, “The Science behind the MetaFIT Workouts is the key to whole program,” he says.

“MetaFIT follows the individual’s fitness capacity. You don’t have to be as fast or as strong as other people doing the workouts. You can still get amazing results even if you are new, slow, have an existing injury, and medical condition. You can lose the same amount of weight as someone who is younger, stronger or fitter as long as you follow the basic rules of MetaFIT. MetaFIT is not High Intensity Training. It is about doing the best that you can do at your current condition no matter what that condition is. Of course, always consult with your physician before embarking in any workout program.”

Photos from Lifestyle Channel


What’s in a man-bag?

Saturday, 4 June 2016 | Written by

These days men carry a lot of stuff. So it is no surprise that along with all of his essentials is the key to putting it all together – a man-bag so to speak. But for the guy who showcases his wear inside the four corners of his office or struts the whole night keeping tabs of his work load, where to buy such a bag? We just don’t mean sports bags like Adidas or Nike. We mean bags that are locally-made too!

Here are some original Filipino brands – and places – to buy these man-bags at reasonable prices.

Gouache Waxed Canvas and Leather Goods. For the adventure lovers, the urbanites and those with a very active lifestyle, especially for those into photography, Gouache essentially brings out the man in us (note their bags are actually unisex). Stylish, rugged and a little bit brazen, the brand introduces canvas waxing to the locally-made industry which like leather, is durable, fresh and exquisite. No two bags are alike so we can definitely pick what we want. We may take awhile in choosing but at least we have the variety.gouache

Products include camera bags and knapsacks. Price ranges from 3,000-4,000 depending on the kind and quality. For more information or questions, contact 09985103911, email or log on to

Erb and Chet. Dubbed as the “Urban Style for the Modern Man”, Erb and Chet is the brainchild of friends Erbi Limin and Chet Alzona who both graduated from De La Salle University and decided to bring about bag products that are sensible, stylish and fashionable – perfect for the modern man and trendy connoisseur. Products are inspired by the ultimate urban lifestyle for men and through its designs, materials and textures that are locally-made, Erb and Chet shows off our personalities. Oh and aside from bags, they offer shirts and shoes too, equally festive and contemporary. Erb and Chet

Erb and Chet is located at Eastwood Citywalk 2. Contact for more details or log on to their website at,

The Tannery Manila. Men just love leather which is why the Tannery Manila has come up with a collection that stems from decades of leathery research. With a style of elegance, class and sophistication, the Tannery Manila boasts of men’s bags that are just suitable to the lifestyle of each dude – whether the high-profile boss, the family man or the laidback gentleman. Interestingly the Tannery Manila has the widest choices of colors for the average bloke – manly pink included. Aside from men’s bags, the brand also offers something for the opposite sex but of course, we are not talking about that here. tannery

Products to buy include a briefcase for the workaholic, a knapsack for the student, and a shoulder strap for the camper and so many other bags. These items can be a bit pricey as it ranges between P9,000 – P10,000 but leather products are usually expensive. For more questions or concerns, contact or call 706-9459 or 09175964013. The flagship store is still on its way to EDSA Shangri-La.

The School of Satchel. Satchel or known by its longer definition, means a bag carried on the shoulder and oftentimes closed by a flap. The School of Satchel (SOS) which carries men’s bags of assorted colors provide just the perfect and ideal space for the urban guy to lounge around, work and play. The sizes of the bags all are similar at 15 inches and we won’t be having much trouble opening and closing the material. Aside from men’s bags, SOS has women’s bags too – and other products such as key rings, memo jotters and luggage tags for gifts and souvenir items. sos

Prices may start at around P2,000-P2,500 but then again with its tight, sealed and sturdy material, this is one brand that can definitely go a long way. Log on to for orders.

Siklo Pilipinas. Nothing can be more durable and strong than bags made of inner tube and tire rubber, right? Well couple and backpackers Lyndon Ecuacion and Clarice de Villa found a portable solution with Siklo Pilipinas, their own brand and style that manufacturers bags for the avid adventurer or even the smitten fashionista. The bags take on a unique shape and form depending on our lifestyle which becomes a marquee of the brand. siklo pilipinas

Products are uniquely named such as the Tamaraw after the animal endemic to the island of Mindoro (cost at P1,800); the Indy satchel (cost at P2,000) and the Pasahero or the traveller in the English language (priced at P1,800). For orders email or log on at

With these Philippine brands prevalent in the market nowadays, men are sure to find these bags fashionable pieces.


Styling men’s hair: more than the usual snips and snaps

Thursday, 2 June 2016 | Written by

As much as men would love to style their hair, they wear their mane as is. No flair, no panache, no style – except when out on special occasions probably – because for them it is really quite difficult and time-consuming to be in front of the mirror all day long (It’s an exaggeration!).

Chastine Isidro, owner of the Hair Lounge Salon who took up further studies in hair styling in London agrees. “That’s why men go to barber shops because it’s easy and all they need to worry about is to have their hair cut,” he says. “Unlike women who have long tresses, a snip and a snap will do for men.”

However there are some occasions when men really need to look elegant which means applying more than the usual gel or wax. “Styling men’s hair is really a form of art and creativity,” says Chastine. “Of course it’s not easy doing that but when you master your look, you would know what’s the kind of cut you need. The intricacies of styling men’s hair, in general, are quite ostentatious as you need to consider the structure of the face, the length of the face, among others to make it have a cleaner and dapper look. It has to have attitude and character and brings out the total package of the person.”

More than styling men’s hair

Doing men’s hair is not just about snipping, cutting, applying necessary materials or styling to perfection. Like any other job, it has to have a whole lot of passion and zeal. As compared with other hair stylists whose execution isn’t done properly, Chastine adds that when he studied in London for further styling education, he has learned to be professional and to get to know the client in more vivid details – in short, to be more passionate in what he does.

“It’s also about having that intimate relationship with the client and seeing a vision that others can’t see,” he says. “I have a gift that when I see a person or a person’s face, I immediately know what kind of hair style he needs.”

Aside from having that passion and knowing what kind of hair to work on men, among the things that he has inculcated to heart include when to cut men’s hair, why and when to use color and every single detail. hairrrr

“I’ve already been exposed to hair dressing here in the Philippines so when I got to London, it’s easier for me,” he says. “In London, we learned the same style but more on technicalities such as consultation, the proper gesture when cutting hair and others.”

When Chastine put up his own business, The Hair Lounge along Shaw Boulevard, a homey atmosphere that provides clients and customers the comfort, the confidence and the relaxation that they need, not only did he apply what he learned in London but also experiment with every mane he faces. “We need to put a little bit of masculinity to every men’s hair,” he says. “The wave, the color and the tresses, no matter how long or how short need to stand out.”

The right style for your face shape

So when it comes to the ideal hair cut, Chastine says to follow the shape of the face. He recommends such style with this type.

  • Oval face shapes. An oval face or an angular face needs a style that’s cut short on the side with a longer mane on top. The key to wearing this type of hair is not to push your mane forward but backward in order not to make your head round. Also create an angle on your hair and put some volume on top. Having a man bun is recommended, if preferred. “Take into consideration your nose and other parts of your face too,” says Chastine.oval shape
  • Round shapes. Create the illusion of angles and heights so keep the hair longer on top and short on the sides. Choose a messy V-cut hairstyle. For men who want longer hair, this is possible but only if they angle it to the side and layered to balance how round the face is. Don’t wear bangs and buzz cuts. “You can also wear a tapered look that don’t show too much of your skin,” says Chastine.
  • round shapeSquare faces. Play around with every kind of hair style – nothing to worry about. Wear any of the following: slicked back hair style, classic undercut or a careless and dishevelled look. One can also wear bangs or a deep side part. “Short hair, long hair and also depends on the facade of a person,” says Chastine. suqare
  • Triangular or diamond faces. Have a volume on top and shorter on the sides. A side swept look or a deep side look with bangs can also look great.

But of course these are just classic examples and there can also be exceptions to the rule. But do keep in mind that to always look dapper, think of the hair.


The makings of a flight attendant

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 | Written by


It is not easy being a flight attendant. Aside from the usual stressors at work such as the daily grind of an intermittent schedule, other factors to consider include being away from the family, working late in the night, managing the various personalities of passengers, and having to look good.

For stewardess Bea Co who was once Miss Chinatown, knowing what to wear for a flight can be a daunting task. “It’s quite challenging to know what to bring for a layover,” she says. “It’s important to always be prepared for anything. Make sure you have the essentials like a pair of jeans or a jacket in case it starts to rain. Scarves are also a nice way to keep you warm and at the same time very stylish. You can play around as to how you would like to wear it. Stick to light coloured clothes and cotton fabric if you’re planning to stay outside all day.”

Bea admits, though, that she likes to look good and feel good. She always takes good care of her skin and always makes sure that every after flight, it’s a must to remove the makeup. “As a flight attendant whether you like it or not, you are the brand ambassador of the airline and you’re always up in front dealing with the passengers,” she adds.

“Looking good is a must and it also builds up your confidence.” Part of being a flight attendant, she says, also entails sleeping as much as she can, keeping herself hydrated, always taking good care of her skin, religiously following the basic skin regimen, investing in a good moisturizer and having a positive outlook in life.IMG_7054

The beauty queen-turned FA

Bea joined a beauty contest by accident. She used to model when she was a student in La Salle. During one of her modelling stints, an agent approached her and asked her to join Miss Chinatown. “At that time I didn’t know it was big,” she says. “I was just enjoying the moment but I didn’t expect to win. The time that I represented our country was the first time I was able to travel on my own. I guess it created a huge impact as to why I enjoy travelling so much and also meeting different people from other countries.”

As part of her fashion style, she likes wearing dresses and jumpsuits. “I would always prefer to choose comfort over style, and because most of the time we would always walk during the layover, it’s always a necessity to wear sneakers or flats over heels,” she says. “I find it cute to pair dresses with sneakers. If you have no idea if it’s going to be cold over the destination, always have a scarf handy or a jacket. It will not only make you look posh but it will also keep you warm.”

What influences her fashion and beauty styles?IMG_7056

“Most of the influence with my fashion style I get from my travelling,” she says. “It is important that you have an idea as to where you are travelling, if it’s in a tropical country or during summer in Europe, a dress or even wearing shorts are acceptable, but just make sure to also bring a jacket as the temperature may drop completely at night. Cultural and religious factors must be put in consideration too. If you’re going to see temples or churches, better to wear something appropriate and not too revealing.”

For the modern woman who wants to dress fashionably in whatever occasion and whenever it may be, Bea sheds some witty advice, “Always choose comfort over style. Learn what looks best for you and for the type of body you have,” she says.

“You can also experiment by mixing and matching the plains with the prints and the colours as well. Make sure to also have the basic white tees or that little black dress. Every girl should have a staple and reliable pair of jeans that suit your body. At the end of the day, wear something that will make you feel good about yourself without compromising your identity and personality and don’t forget to have fun!”


Twin sisters advocate positive body image

Sunday, 1 May 2016 | Written by

We all want to look and feel good and we want others to feel the same way about us. But what if instead of having a positive body image, we look down on ourselves? Twin sisters Danah and Stacy Gutierrez at first had the same problem because both are plump. Their journey started when Stacy recovered from Anorexia-Bulimia. “She chanced upon a body positive blogger and that sparked the idea of sharing our own insights and experiences on struggling with our own body image,” recounts Danah. “We created the blog last November 2009. We had no idea then that it would become the full-blown advocacy and movement that it is today.”

As they began to share their experiences and insights, the response was overwhelming although educating people, especially women, about having a positive body image, can be quite difficult. They admit that it does have its pros and cons because the concept is new to some – easy because the message of acceptance and love is freeing; difficult because some women have a terrible view on health and fitness that they can’t seem to accept the facts.

However, one memorable incident happened when they became online friends with a particular mom. “She would ask personal questions – my faith, beliefs, and advice on certain issues,” Danah says. “One time, as we strolled along Greenhills, a woman tapped my shoulder and it was her! She was so joyful, she started to tear up. She started to thank me because apparently our conversations helped her get through a dark season in her life. It made me cry, too! The blog helped her love herself again and pass on that love to her husband. It was crazy! I felt people watching as we basked in our atmosphere of joy and gratitude. It was so overwhelming. I will never forget that day. It was her birthday, too.”plumpinay4

Empowering women on positive body image

Through Plump Magazine, Danah and Stacy empower women to feel good about themselves. Their programs consist of talks on self-love and acceptance. “We did #memyselfandlove last month, together with other body positive and empowering women such as Rona Tai, Kat Gumabao, and Julianne Tarroja,” shares Stacy. “We wanted it to be holistic, so we discussed self-acceptance on a physical, spiritual, mental and emotional scale. It was a workshop, so we provided workbooks for the participants and each speaker had a specific activity in line with her topic.”

Danah shares that they also do make-up workshops. “Stacy and I do make up tutorials from time to time, because we want women to enjoy enhancing their beauty, but at the same time realizing that it’s really the confidence that matters, and cosmetics shouldn’t be used a crutch in one’s self-esteem,” she says.

Fitness Parties also occur. “We want big girls to feel safe in a community when pursuing fitness, so we plan fitness parties from time to time,” adds Danah. “It’s a fun get-together and we meet our followers too!” plumpinay3

Given all of these struggles and issues on having a positive body image, what then makes an empowered woman? Stacy answers, “An empowered woman knows her value and worth, her strengths and weaknesses, and uses her skills and talents to give back to society and empower others as well. An empowered woman fights against misogyny, doesn’t condone the patriarchy, and makes the most of the cards life has dealt her with. She is strong-willed, kind, and has killer wits.”

The path to recovery

For those who have a poor positive body image, Danah and Stacy share some advice. “Ask yourself, “what is the root of this?” When we get to the bottom of it and shed all the layers, then we can finally address the issue. You’d be surprised that it’s usually self-inflicted, or lies about yourself you’ve considered as truths. It’s never too late to start your path to body acceptance,” says Danah. plumppinay

Stacy says, “Also, check out! Our articles there are sure to knock some sense into you regarding your body image and self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who acknowledge your strengths, yet love you enough to rebuke you in love so you can grow.”

And when it comes to supporting each other, take it from the twins. “We throw a lot of healthy discourse to challenge our principles and beliefs about empowerment,” says Stacy. “We read, we gather information, and then we talk about it. We both always align in terms of where our advocacy is. On a personal level, we always bring each other back to our convictions and principles when one is about to overstep the boundaries or do something that isn’t in line with our advocacy. We keep each other in check, when it comes to walking our talk.”

Photos courtesy of Stacy and Danah Gutierrez

LOSA Handpainted dress with beadwork by Princess Tan

Bahag streetwear and other Filipino fashion reinventions

Thursday, 28 April 2016 | Written by
LOSA Handpainted dress with beadwork by Princess Tan

Filipino fashion designers are totally inventive. Imagine creating new forms and shapes in mind-boggling renditions of mythical creatures, creating pieces using plastic bottles, recycled glass, and bottle caps, using indigenous materials such as banana fibre and pineapple silk, experimenting with nuts and bolts and metal sheets and a host of many others.

Now Filipino fashion has taken on an even fiercer look. By incorporating what’s endemic to the country, designs have never been so chic, fabulous and with much Filipino flair. Here are some designs that mix culture, traditions identity and a fashionable piece.

Bahag-turned street wear

Climb up to the Cordilleras or the Sierra Mountain regions and you’ll see men wearing bahag, or a loincloth wrapped around their trousers area and worn by some of the indigenous tribes of the Philippines today. During some rituals, usually dancing, men donning bahag would parade in this attire which are used to conceal their private parts.LOSA Knit cotton and technical fabrics in a jacket by Joseph Bagasao

Interestingly some designers have taken on the extreme by combining tradition with an urban lifestyle. Pretend wearing such garment down the street in a casual meeting, in a rendezvous with a friend or even partying out all night. Yes your average pants, jacket, shirt or shorts are new given a new makeover by incorporating the technical fabrics of a bahag into your get-up. Casual and modern and yet with a traditional flair, this streetwear can become the talk of the town.LOSA Neoprene dress with embroidery inspired by the colors of Igorot costumes

Trench coat using Igorot garment

Thinking of what to wear during the rainy season? Try this trench coat made out of Igorot garments – tough, color-ladened which has a rustic flair. Instead of the usual sophisticated and debonair look (made out of a classic khaki) worn by historical greats, these trench coats are made out of a loin cloth similar to the bahag worn by men. Add in the yellows and the red by the native costume, then you’d have a one sleek trench coat that you can wear during the rainy season.

Using barong embroidery and crochetLOSA Handpainted dress with beadwork by Princess Tan

Gone is the idea that barong embroideries are used only during formal affairs such as weddings, anniversaries, oath-takings and presidential meetings. Nowadays embroidered and crocheted fabrics can be used in modern and ready-to-wear pieces such as white shirts, jeans and your normal and average blouse and trousers. With these barong embroideries, the classic pieces make it more appealing, attractive, with a touch of cultural ethnicity, since it is truly hand-woven straight from the heart. Indeed what makes Pinoy a Pinoy, these are one ensemble you can’t afford to miss.

The Basi Revolt of 1807

Inspired by the painting of the Basi Revolt of 1807 of which several towns of Ilocos Norte and others up North fought for both their freedom and basi or sugarcane wine, some collection pieces incorporate the colors of blue and red which signify freedom into their designs. The clothes are minimalist in nature given that the lack of intricacies and complexities make a simple and yet extraordinary creations with a deep sense of meaning for the Philippine history. 

Ramie, abaca and tulle 

Filipino fashion wouldn’t be where it is now without using some of the best fabrics found in the Philippines. Ramie, a vegetable noted for its toughness and strength which is also native to some parts in Asia, the tulle or a soft, fine silk, cotton, or nylon material like a net that is used for making dresses and veils, and of course the abaca plant, which is native to the Philippines, are some of the materials used to create ensemble pieces. Your normal outfit and your formal wear would never be the same with these fabrics tucked lightly, loosely or heavily into your clothing.

For those who’d like to be fashionable, chic and glamorous and for men, suave and elegant in nature, wearing street clothes, jeans, shirts or shorts made out of the Filipino culture and couture are the designs to beat. These and so much more are what make traditions quite interesting, attractive and appealing – with an identity that’s uniquely our own.



When you’re too busy to work out, TRY HIIT

Sunday, 17 April 2016 | Written by

Now there’s no excuse anymore. If you think you are too busy to exercise or can’t squeeze such a routine into your schedule, then you haven’t tried a hit yet. HIIT which stands for High Intensity Interval Training is composed of alternating between easier or intense moves for a short interval. Because the workout is quite intense, a 10-30 minute HIIT move is already sufficient which gives you more time to do whatever you want – make memories with your family or have that long-forgotten dinner date with a special friend.

So what are the benefits of HIIT? First, you can do HIIT exercise anywhere anytime, with or without any equipment. “Since it’s such a simple concept – go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat – you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have,” says author Charlotte Hilton Andersen of the book “The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything”. You can also lose calories in the process, have a healthy heart, lose weight, not muscles. Plus you get to increase your metabolism.

Here are some of the HIIT exercises you can juggle with your demanding schedule. physiotherapy-595529_640

Do a burpee. Shift from a standing to a squat to a push-up position, burpees work all of your muscles. Here is how it works. First raise your hands up in the air and jump as high as you can go. Next do a crouching squat and land with control. Third, do planking position by jumping your feet back. With this position, do a push-up and then jump your feet forward to do a squat. Repeat the cycle three or five times – you can also start with 10 repetitions.

Do a couple of jumping jacks. Probably one of the easier exercises which even a two-year old can do, jumping jacks increase your heart rate which can give you overall health. Start with 20 jumping and then rest for 10 seconds to catch your breath and then increase the number to 30..

Work on being a mountain climber. No need to climb a real mountain. Instead, get down to a planking position with your shoulders over your hands and your weight on your toes. In this position, bring your knees up to your chest with your toes just off the ground. Count to ten before switching legs. Keep the switch and do it faster until you feel like you’re running in a treadmill – only you’re doing it in a planking position. Do this for one minute – increase to two when you feel you can.

Run the stairs. Remember those signs in the elevator that says, “Take the stairs. It is good for you”? Well who would have thought that you’ll get a toned backside just by running up and down the stairs in your office or house? For five or ten minutes, climb up and down the stairs and maintain your breathing. This exercise works well anytime of the day.push-ups-888024_640

Do some high knees. Running and walking in place put together, using your knees can make you a lot healthier. Start in an upright position with the correct posture and run in place – make sure that you bring your knees to your belly as high as you can. Pump your arms too by swinging them by your sides.

Work on your lateral hops. Start in an upright posture. Jump from side to side as if there is an invisible line under you that you need to cross. To help you with the exercise, imagine yourself skiing as you move from one side to the next.

Do a jump squat. Begin with an ordinary squat and then as you rise up slowly, make sure that you jump as high as you can. When you land, make sure that you are in a squat position and land as quietly as possible. Take note that you need to have control over your landing.

Have a box set. Find a wooden box, a step or a small stool which you can use. Lightly knock your toes on the shoe box with a jumping movement and then switch to the other foot. Make sure that you repeat this exercise and maintain your breathing.

Keep in mind that if you think you can do more than 10 with these simple exercises, then go ahead and do 30 or more. You can also target at least 200 minutes a week should you desire. As Andersen says, “A good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.”


mesh or woven2

Walking cool in the sun

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 | Written by
mesh or woven2

Footwear is an essential part of summer. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is not as highly regarded as our wardrobe and accessories, but we men need to feel comfortable and breezy too – which means that our feet need to look and think convenient. After all, it is rather unpleasant and uncomfortable to go to the office all clammy and sweaty or go to the mall feeling and looking un-dapper.

Here we give you a lowdown on what shoes to wear during these hot, summer and intense months– forget about sandals, flip flops and slippers because these are quite common. We give you what’s unique and available in the market nowadays.

Brogue or Suede Derbies

It doesn’t mean that when it’s summer, we only spend time with our friends frolicking in the beach. No, there are times when one of our closest pals get married and in this case, we need a formal pair of shoes that can go with his summer wedding, especially when it is a beach wedding. In this case, we can choose what is called a brogue or suede derbies, sturdy and formal shoes that’s compact and lightweight. The texture is actually plush which makes it in tune with the summer season. suede derbies

For colours, choose the pale ones such as tan, khaki or camel instead of the really dark ones which connote a more formal affair. This is summer, after all, and we need to go for a fresher lighter look.

When it comes to wardrobe, brogues are best paired with slim-cut chinos and trousers, cotton blazers and linen shirts.

Where to buy them: Go to H&M Department Stores. They have a wide range of suede derbies in different styles, colours and textures that cost approximately P2,000 and up.

Boat Shoes

Also known as deck shoes, boat shoes are called as such because it is typically worn during a boat ride. These beauties come in canvas, suede and leather, and naturally we choose the first two fabrics because they are typically cooler. Plus we can choose from a variety of palettes and colours such as a scheme of white, navy and red or even the blue suede shoes to signify how cool we are.

The interesting aspect about wearing boat shoes is that we can play with its styles and designs – satirical, it may seem – but in all effect, shows how fun and playful we can be, perfect during these summer months. We can have a polka dot or a plain striped injected into its pattern and voila, our boat shoes become a head-turner.

One thing, though, that we need to avoid when choosing a pair of boat shoes is to avoid the excess laces. No to an additional pair of floating device.

Where to buy them: Boat shoes can be bought at the online shop of Zalora. They cost around P1,500-P5,000 depending on the style and design.

Mesh or Woven Slip-Ons mesh or woven

There are some men who don’t like to work too much on their footwear – which means slipping it on just does the trick. The mesh or the woven slip-ons have a titular character, making it appropriate for the hot summer days. Plus the lattice-work inspired motifs give our slip-ons life.

Choose designs in brown and tan as they connote a different kind of look for this season. However, if we are the sportier type and we want a look that spells athletic, let us go for the colours in off-white, navy, plain white, and even brighter shades and hues.

When it comes to the wardrobe, pair the mesh with long polo or shorts or can have a shirt to go with it. Casual or formal look can also be suited with this type of shoes.

Where to buy them: You can buy mesh or woven slip-ons at all Vans outlets Metrowide in different sizes, styles and textures for a cost of P1,500-P4,000.

Leather Sandals

Think Russel Crowe in Gladiator and we can have leather sandals – except, of course, the interwoven locks that reach up to the knees – that are just perfect for summer. Much like the movie, these pairs are sturdy, strong, comfortable, clean, and of course, have that masculine effect to it. Just make sure that the strap designs are not too intricate.

When wearing leather sandals or any sandals for that matter, don’t wear socks or we will indeed run the risk of mockery.

Where to buy them: Online shops are a thing nowadays and you can buy such leather sandals in shops such as Sapato Manila or Suelas for P2,000 to P4,000. They offer promos from time to time.

Driving Shoesdriving shoes

Not exactly a cousin of the boat shoes but driving shoes is a pair that is indeed comfortable, lightweight and carefree. Imagine getting out of the house without a feel of a pair in the feet – and this is exactly what a pair of driving shoes does.

Plus, this footwear is versatile too and can be worn in any type of occasion whether driving to the beach or spending time with family. Formal styles or smart casual, slip this on to a casual date or when hanging around with friends.

As for the colours, have them in brown or the neutral shades, or even the classic black which is apt for these summer months.

Oh and just like the leather sandals, wear them sockless.

Where to buy them: You can also buy driving shoes at Zalora at a cost of P2,000 or more depending on the design, the style and the size.



Owners Maximus cafe Andy and Sheryl Leuterio

A man-cave, bike shop, café rolled into one: what’s brewing at Maximus Athlete’s Shop Cafe

Tuesday, 1 March 2016 | Written by
Owners Maximus cafe Andy and Sheryl Leuterio

Of all places, a fitness hub has been developing at a former warehouse and a dry slab of a compound at 126 Pioneer St. Formerly just housing Regalong Pambahay’s outlet store and a boutique animation studio Toon City, this humble compound is fast transforming into a fitness center with Sparta, an indoor soccer gym, and 360 Pro, a crossfit gym. Then, just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, a coffee shop was constructed right next door. Turns out it’s not just a coffee shop, but a unique concept store inspired by the cycle cafes in Europe.

Owners Maximus cafe Andy and Sheryl Leuterio

Owners of Maximus Coach Andy and Sheryll Leuterio

“It’s the first multi-sport concept store and specialty coffee shop in the country,” says owner and triathlete Coach Andy Leuterio. “It basically combines specialty coffee which is highly different from any other coffee with a triathlon concept store that has our own flavour and personality to it. This is the brainchild of me and my wife, Sheryll.”

Entering Maximus Athlete’s Coffee Shop (which was named after Coach Andy’s second son, Max), I was immensely greeted with a barrage of bicycles that were almost the star of the show. Small, medium, large, three-wheels, of different colours and shapes, these transport vehicles overwhelm me that I immediately feel the need for speed. I learned that aside from the high-end and premium brand Specialized, the store also carries such worldwide phenomena like the mountain bikes Lynskey (touted as the Rolls-Royce of bicycles), Garmin, Oakley, Newton Running, Polar, and Brooks, children’s bicycles, and more coming in the next few months.

Because this is a shop created by athletes for athletes and non-athletes, the shop also sells food for nutrition such as candy bars, helmets, shirts and jerseys, sunglasses, GoPro, Yurbuds, elbow and knee pads, shoes and socks, and all accessories needed for that all-too perfect race. “We also have a full bike service area so we do everything from basic wash to complete overhaul to building your own bicycle and assemble it for you,” says Coach Andy.

At 280 square meters, Maximus is spacious—big enough for you to try the bikes yourself. Coach Andy, a Level 2 Certified Geometry Fit Specialist, helps bike buyers to determine which bike is best aligned with one’s body to ensure maximum power and endurance.

Cozy man cave

Given that this is coffee shop for those who want to get into biking or any other sport, as expected, Maximus has a warm manly appeal to it. The colours of red, silver and brown splashed all over the walls themselves are a true testament to the masculine and industrial role it has to its customers, given that these are hues associated with the famous race Tour-de-France. Maximus Interiors3

Maximus cafe interiors2

Parts of the structures are also covered with galvanized iron sheets which make the whole store look tough and unbreakable. The warehouse-look also adds a bit of a masculine and spicy environment that don’t intimidate, keeping customers cozy and comfortable. Some who come over for coffee even describe Maximus as their own personal man-cave. And it truly is, especially when I finally sat down to take in my coffee and thought that indeed, this is my own personal space.

“We’re certified by the EDSA Beverage Group,” says Coach Andy. “So we only use specialty coffee, just premium grade and we have menu of pasta, pastries and sandwiches. We cater to coffee connoisseurs and athletes which is a good target market for us and we are excited to go into this business.”coffee press

Honestly I am not much of a coffee drinker because I get headaches when I even sip a cup. But with the brewed coffee presented to me, I was able to drink two cups and I didn’t feel a thing. Not too bitter, not too strong, no sugar or syrup, definitely just the right sweetness and mix – perfect for those who want to laze and hang around the store and just right for those who need to race. Aside from the specialty coffee, I also ordered one of their bestsellers, the grilled sandwich – feta, cream cheese, and mozzarella with Spanish Chorizo – creamy and mouth-watering especially when the three kinds of cheese melt in the mouth. The serving is relatively huge and can be split with a partner but hungry enough as I was, I devoured the whole plate.

Aside from the grilled sandwiches, order the pasta such as the seafood marinara, the beef stroganoff and the puttanesca and for dessert, have a taste of some cakes and some pastries as well – which interestingly is also inspired by the competitors from Tour de France. “They eat a lot of pastas, grilled sandwiches and drink shakes every day during the race,” says Coach Andy. “This is very simple but fulfilling for them.”

They serve a huge sandwich at Maximus, something that athletes and fit people need for competitions.

Only a hefty sandwich will do for people on the go.

In a few more weeks, Maximus is also introducing a few more coffee beans and products for customers and clients to enjoy.

Whereas coffee shops are warm, cozy places just for chilling and hanging out, biking on the other hand connotes action, speed, power and energy. Combined, both concepts mesh together perfectly in one unique shop that both fitness buffs and coffee lovers can feel at home in. If you’re the type who lives for speed, then this is  the place to take it slow.

Photos by author

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