Category: Inspirational

Last month, I was approached by Ms. Daphne Kuok (of the Shangri-La Kuoks) to donate a jewellery piece for this coming auction for the International Care Ministry in Hong Kong.  This would be my third time to donate.

Citrine bee brooch pin.

On October 12, I received this email from Ms. Tess Lyons:


Twenty-four hours ago, you helped change lives for the better.

Last night’s ICM banquet, held last night, was successful beyond measure – over HK11.4m  (US$1.5 Million) was raised to transform the lives of the impoverished in the Philippines. The silent auction items raised over 2.1 million.

Your generosity made our auction and evening so financially successful, and we are so grateful. There were 1000 people in the room – and we were glad we could provide your company exposure to this elite group.


Congratulations ICM!

There will be another auction for UNICEF this month as well as

a portion of the sales this month will be donated to Philippine Breast Care Foundation for Breast Cancer awareness month.

Sharing a friend’s post:

Whenever a tragedy happens, especially something like what happened at the Boston Marathon, where evil touches something that’s supposed to celebrate our humanity, I vow to actively counterbalance that evil by doing more acts of kindness and being compassionate towards my fellow man. I challenge everyone here to do the same and do something extraordinarily kind for someone, for other people, for strangers. Do that today. Give of yourselves, so that those who were lost were not lost in vain.

DIY terrariums

I have found a new hobby as of late and I encourage you to try it as well.

Terrariums are great way to bring the outside in.  Perfect to have near your work space or if you live in a condominium.

It’s really nice to start a new hobby from scratch and guess what, people like it! :-)

This was recently featured in Preview Magazine

They have graciously asked me to do a quick DIY on PreviewTV.

Here’s the link:

Thank you Preview!

As you might have noticed, we have updated our website and we are excited for you to experience this.  Since the site is categorized, it is easier to access pictures of the jewellery to the bags to how she wears it.

On this note, please allow me, dear reader, to make this blog a more personal one.  As they say, change is good.

I am also on instagram and twitter for instant gratification.

See you on the next post!


I need to share this fashion editorial with you.

This feature came from The Financial Times, Superior Interior edition and it mixed furniture and jewellery of which I both love.

The styling, the set up, the jewellery is impeccable.

I am moved by these images.

The chicks are such a great idea!

The surrealistic quality of the photos are astounding.

This is my favorite.

I truly love these images.

What moves you?

This year, Unicef goes online.  Catch the Auction for Action on starting October 1 till the 7th.

Amongst the wonderful things to be had, I have donated my best seller:

A double happiness cuff studded with 1.05 carats worth of gray diamonds. Set in rose gold plated silver and mounted on a 50 mm coral colored stingray magnet cuff.

This double happiness cuff in stingray is one of my most recognized signature pieces. This iconic cuff in this combination was specially made for UNICEF.

The regular price is P 49,000 ( US $ 1,165.00), reserve price starts at P 29,400.00 ( US $ 700.00)

Click here to see other furniture, art, jewellery items that are being donated.

Happy bidding!

Taking care of your jewellery

When you purchase jewellery, it most usually is a hefty investment.  Here are some tips on how to take care of them courtesy of jewellery expert, Don Grieg (@focusbmi on twitter)

Jewelry Care: :

-Never go swimming in your jewelry, chlorine in swimming pools can cause damage

-When cleaning jewelry, make sure it is completey dry before storing. Moisture can tarnish/pit metals

-When cleaning jewelry – use guidelines for cleaning the stone, not the metal.

-Put on jewelry over a rug. Helps to avoid impact damage should you drop it while putting it on

-Store in a soft fabric pouch. They are ‘organic’ items that need to breath or they will dry out

-Check for loose stones on a monthly basis and any issues repaired immediately.

-Remove jewelry before using harsh cleaning chemicals. Helps keep the lustre and shine!

-Don’t store silver in cardboard/paper containers. Sulfur producing compounds accelerate oxidation.

-Gold: Is soft and can scratch. Use warm water & a soft-bristled toothbruth for tough/embedded dirt

-Gemstones: Semi-precious stones (turquoise, opal, jade) are porous. Use warm water. Don’t soak!

-Gemstones: Diamonds, rubies & sapphires are tough substances & can be cleaned w ammonia based cleaners

If you’re on twitter, follow me here

A Man’s love

I met this couple a few years back (before they were married) and from the onstart, I could tell that they were really made for each other.  Sunshine was expecting at the time and Rob wanted to give her a birthday gift that will symbolize the 3 of them together.

He chose this

This is from the Transformer Collection.  The top which is the lotus symbolizes purity, the middle double happiness and the carnelian drops signifies success in all your endeavors.

Well, it must have worked because they now have a bouncing baby boy!

Congratulations Rob and Sunshine and welcome to the world Santiago!

Make a Wish

Kindly allow me to veer off jewellery for this post.  I have been searching for a charity foundation that I feel a strong connection with and now, I think I have found it.

Last week I had dinner with friends which included Rajo Laurel.  He mentioned that he was doing something for a 12 yr old girl for Make A Wish Foundation. I’ve heard of Make a Wish Foundation when we were still living in the US and a cousin in law used to work with them so I have always been a fan and to hear that a direct friend is helping out got me all the more curious.

Yesterday, while I was having lunch with my sister and Stephanie Chong of the Peninsula, she casually told us that they are holding a little gathering for the said girl at Salon de Ning and if we would like to come. They have graciously billeted Erika, her twin sister and her family in the hotel. I immediately asked if I could meet the head of Make a Wish Philippines, Kahlil Bagatsing.  He was very enthusiastic about telling us the whole process. Some of the wishes are actually very simple, like being able to go to a mall(!) or having a Barbie doll.  While he was telling us this,  I sensed gratuity in his voice- gratuity in the sense that he is in this wonderful position to make someone’s wish come true. Now’s that’s chicken soup for the soul. (sorry for being such a cliche)

This is Erika in her self designed gown.  She is 12 yrs old and has a brain tumor.  She has been in and out of surgery 3 times.  Her wish? To be a fashion designer.  So with the help of Make A Wish, they enlisted designer Rajo Laurel, model Teresa Herrera and photographer Sarah Black to make it happen.  You should see this girl and how joyful she was. Not a dry eye in the house after her thank you speech.

This event was so timely since it is Erika’s birthday this coming Friday.

I would like to share this video that my sister Candy took of Erika thanking everyone who helped her. Pls click on this link.

Would you like to join me and grant some wishes?

There is a recruitment night for Make a Wish happening end September, details to follow.

Four weeks ago, Marco Santos invited me to be one of the Philippine delegates for Asia on the Edge, a creative conference that was going to be held in Singapore. I readily agreed and asked if I could bring my sister in law Ginny since we both enjoy this kind of creative summits.

Here are snapshots from the conference

The Chamber at The Arts House at the Old Parliament where the conference was held.  This is the chamber where Singapore’s government was formed

Ginny and Edward Diwa

Ito Kish and I (before Rajo Laurel joined us)

Creative motivational speaker Fredrik Haren, founder of

He has an island off Palawan called Pitch him an idea and if he likes it, you are allowed to stay there for free.

His speech was so intriguing and so full of life. It was a joy to listen to him.

The Mandala way of thinking by Mr. Dilip Mukerjea of IdeAsians on the Edge.  I love it and plan to use this on my next business ideas.

Kenneth Cobonpue was one of the guest speaker and boy I was blown away by his talk!  Not only is he creative, he is also very successful! (sorry this is a half shot of him and his bamboo car(!) )

Group shot of Rajo Laurel, Kenneth Cobonpue, Ito Kish and Tim Yap

Me, Kenneth, Ito and Tim (photo courtesy of Rajo Laurel)

Ginny and Leslie Bituin having a chat at the Gallery Opening of artist Angus Ongge

This is where Lee Kuan Yew used to sit!

I must say this gave me a renewed sense of creative spirit and inspiration to do more, do better for the Philippines.

Thank you Marco and Mel Songco for this wonderful gathering.  Till the next one!

For more AOTE insights, pls read the blogs of

Ito Kish

Rajo Laurel

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