Category Archives: The Tippi Point

The Productivity of Idle Time


I’ve recently discovered the immense benefits of claiming some major down time for oneself. When things get a little crazy (as they often do these days), I realize that all it takes is a step back for things to find their natural flow again. Saying ‘no’ to certain things has allowed a spaciousness back into my life. Having time to doodle…and read…and journal…and daydream…without the frenzied pace that has ominously crept into our daily existence, has put unnecessary stress in the back seat and has let playfulness and creativity take the lead once more. Oftentimes the best ideas come in when we’re doing nothing at all :-)

Work (Forever) In Progress


Busy on a myriad of fashion design, home and life-in-general projects the past week, I realized that for everything we accomplish, another new thing is just waiting in the wings to be started. It’s a never ending process of discovering, creating, learning and growing–the cycle goes on and on. We are all, forever, just a work in progress.

This goes so much against the concept of the bottom line, deadlines and the finiteness of a job done, and speaks to our deeper calling and life’s purpose which in essence is simply to experience the world and continually contribute back to it by sharing ourselves through our designs, photography, art, music, food, literature, etc. That way, while we are a work in progress, our work is for progress too.

What do you think about it? Is work just a means to an end, or something that can be never endingly progressive?

Designed for Travel

A couple of years ago, as travel got cheaper (Yay! More impromptu adventures!) and weight restrictions got more limited (Boo! Less clothes & shoes to bring!), Ito and I began shopping around for lightweight polycarbonate suitcases to replace the indestructible, but HEAVY, oyster suitcases that we had. We eventually got swayed to the Zero Halliburton polycarbonate suitcases which looked good and had a lifetime (limited) warranty. We made our purchases at The Travel Club in Powerplant Mall, and a few weeks later left on a trip, hopping from Manila to Singapore, and a few days later to Cambodia, before heading the same way home after a few days in Siem Reap. After our trip, I noticed a crack in the corner of my suitcase–I immediately took it back to The Travel Club and explained that I had bought the case recently and only noticed the crack back in Manila. They accepted my suitcase, and within the week had replaced it with a brand new one :-) Talk about great after sales service!

Fast forward to three years (and numerous long-haul and short trips, both local and foreign) later, my three-year old crimson case–which had held up beautifully–took a non-stop trip from Manila to London and arrived in Heathrow looking like it had been trampled on by elephants. It was all scratched up, the zipper looked distorted, and it had cracked in the corner (numerous ‘Fragile’ stickers notwithstanding). By this time I knew well enough to immediately make a report at the airport, which I did. Thankfully we were spending the entire two weeks in London and not traveling around Europe, so I didn’t worry about the crack worsening during the course of our stay.

damaged luggage

When we arrived back in Manila, I followed up the the report made in Heathrow with the airline’s baggage handling service in NAIA T2 and went home. While the representative I corresponded with was quick to respond, I rejected their initial offer since it wasn’t enough for a replacement. I decided to take my suitcase back to The Travel Club to see if they could assist me in any way since my suitcase was still under the lifetime ‘limited’ warranty (in the meantime, Ito’s Zero Halliburton suitcase continues to hold up just fine). At the same time, I also filed a claim with my travel insurance.

Initially, The Travel Club tried helping by issuing a certificate indicating the suitcase’s retail cost (around 5 times the initial compensation offer) and stating that it was beyond repair, but it soon became apparent that the airline would not be covering the full cost of a replacement suitcase. I was beginning to feel resigned to the whole thing and was going to charge it to unfortunate travel experience, when I received an email from The Travel Club (Primer Group).

Instead of repairing or exchanging my battered suitcase, they were offering me a spanking new ‘polycarbonate perfected’ suitcase of the same size (in the color of my choice) from their newest Briggs & Riley Torq collection. Best of all, it came with the ULTIMATE no-questions-asked-airline-mishandling-included lifetime warranty! You can imagine my relief at the thought of never having to go through this baggage-mishandling ordeal again!!

When Ito and I went to Powerplant, we met with the very gracious Ms. Joni Lim, Assistant Vice President of The Travel Club, and Ms. Renee Ngo, Brand Associate for Briggs & Riley, who took us out to a delicious lunch before handing over my handsome new adventure partner (well, other than Ito, hehe ;-) ). I’m thrilled and can’t wait for our next trip! Thank you, The Travel Club, for consistently offering your customers such amazing, personalized service!


photo(26)My new travel partner–I chose a cool granite over crimson this time around :-)

photo(27)This suitcase is designed to look good while hitting the open skies (or sitting on a flower bed ;-) )

*As of this writing, the airline had doubled its initial compensation offer (which I accepted, for the hassle & aggravation) and my travel insurance also coughed up an additional minimum compensation. All’s well that ends well (although I am actually still waiting to receive both).

**(Suit)case closed–two & a half months after the report, I finally received the airline’s cash compensation of US$200 as well as my travel insurance’s maximum cash compensation of P8,167.17 (or US$192.26) for a total amount that was closer to my damaged suitcase’s retail cost. A happy ending to this travel tale! :-)

Raw Beauty

Un-manicured, un-styled, unfettered…and beautiful. The wonder of nature is in its ability to take our breath away, without any art-directing help from us. From the moment we began our descent over Camiguin, the lush greeness (is that even a word??) of the volcanic island seemed almost filtered and unnatural. Even the air smelled sweet & green! Ito’s and my early morning arrival at the intimate and barefoot-chic Somewhere Else Boutique Resort was punctuated with bird calls and butterflies fluttering through our open-air patio.


photo(22)Over the next few days, with hand-drawn maps from Jerome (the quirky & funny French resort owner), we drove around and explored the second smallest island in the Philippines, managing to circle it in a day. We puttered around its coastal highway with stunning sea views, sometimes stopping to check out a giant clam sanctuary and photograph a romantically crumbly old church, other times cooling down in a waterfall lagoon and taking a dip in a pool of soda spring water.L1140160

L1140108We also took a banca ride and spent a day in picturesque nature-reserve, Mantique Island, where the coral gardens and snorkeling in the marine sanctuary were fantastic (I even had uni served to me picked up straight from the sea)! Of course it was expected that the seafood in Camiguin would be extremely fresh, and I gorged on everything from clam soup, to grilled fish, to garlic prawn pasta, to hand-tossed Napolitana pizza all from restaurants close to our resort. Did I mention I have a weakness for seafood??DSC_0079

DSC_0099To cap of our trip, we spent our last afternoon strolling the stunning stretch of powdery white sand on White Island, catching the sunset, and watching the sea and sky melt together into a watercolor-washed pastel-hued painting. It certainly didn’t take a village to get the island of Camiguin looking picture-perfect!DSC_0120



*Photos by Ito

To Market, To Market!

Markets have always been one of my favorite haunts, and the Portobello Market that runs through Notting Hill in London on the weekends was an interesting, vibrant place to visit. Wandering through a packed two-mile stretch of stalls during our last trip, there was a great mix of everything, throwing together antiques and kitsch, fashion and crafts, not to mention a whole lot of eye-catching (and sometimes mind-boggling) knick-knacks.

It was a bustling street, filled with people shopping, eating, browsing, haggling and selling which only added to the already colorful vibe of the famous market. It made me think of a great quilt, stitched together with the pretty, colorful Victorian townhouses that lined Portobello Road! :-)









*Photos by Ito

Evolution of Fashion

Spending a late afternoon at the V&A Museum during our recent trip, I found most of my time consumed by the fashion archives. “Fashion” as a noun and as a verb has always fascinated me. How clothes were shaped by, as well as influenced, the times they were in. More than just passing flights of fancy, fashion over the years has proven to be a great barometer of the era that created it. It’s like reading a history book through ornamentation, fabric & silhouette!

It also made me wonder what our current choices of clothes reflect about the new millennium. Hmmm…what do you think our modern day fashion says about us?

DSC_0397Christian Dior’s New Look was a reflection of post-war optimism in the 1940′s

DSC_0392Young designer Dice Kayek’s winning work, “Istanbul Contrast”, shows current globalization with a blend of East & West

DSC_0399The  ‘Youthquake’ of the 1960′s is clearly displayed in the revolutionary, vibrant spirit of its fashion

DSC_0393The beginning of sportswear evidenced the growing liberation of women. They were so chic too!

DSC_0403In full bloom in the 1950′s. Imagine…just a few decades ago, women used to dress like this everyday!

*Photos by Ito

Blessed By A Saint

Tomorrow is Ito’s & my anniversary (Yay!!! *clink!*) and we are happily celebrating every triumph & challenge, every love-fest & scream-fest, every crazy & uneventful, outsize & miniscule moment in the 6,205 days since we grabbed each other by the hand and headed off into the proverbial sunset. It’s been over a decade and a half of blessings, some of them in disguise no doubt, but oftentimes we still catch ourselves amazed and thrilled by it all.

This year Ito & I got the best anniversary gift we could have imagined–a seventeen year old blessing from newly canonized Saint John Paul II. Who would have thought, all those years ago, that we would have been touched by a saint? Maybe, somewhere deep inside us, we always knew because it’s one explanation for the multitude of everyday miracles we have been experiencing since then.

Yes, we are (hashtag) blessed and we are forever grateful :-)


marriage certificate


Happy anniversary to us! (*some details in our marriage certificate have been omitted ;-) )

*Photos by official Vatican photographic service

Going Green!

Whether it’s Earth Day, or St. Patrick’s Day, or Every Day for that matter there’s always a good reason to celebrate going green :-) Last March we joined in the St. Patrick’s celebration in London and, on an uncharacteristically warm and bright spring day, Trafalgar Square was a sea of Shamrock hues. With the sun shining and flowers blooming, it could easily have been celebrating the earth’s rebirth as much as honoring the festival of the Irish saint.

Green is the color of earth & nature and symbolizes the energy of harmony & love. So let’s wear it, practice it, and celebrate more green days to come!

L1130111Pretty young girls wearing wreaths of silk flowers with touches of green

L1130073Bedazzled green fit for the Emerald City!

L1130067Green is in! Mom and I dressed in green for the occasion

IMG_4262The green way to see the sights! A bright & sunny walk by the Thames

Fashion Retrospective

If there’s anything that I adore more than fashion, it’s vintage fashion. And if there’s anything that thrills me more than vintage fashion, it’s vintage fashion that’s not just preserved behind a glass encasement but is worn out and about on the street. On a sunny weekend in our recent vacation, people were primped & dressed up in matching suits, tiny hats & circle skirts while retro music played in the background.

There’s just something about the playfulness and expressiveness of earlier styles mixed with the classic/practical design of that  period that keeps it from going overboard and lends itself to so much visual inspiration. With the fashion world’s current obsession with retro-inspired prints and silhouettes, it’s time to put a modern spin on your wardrobe by throwing on something from the past ;-)




L1130502   L1130497





*Photos by Ito

Graffiti Gallery

My family recently traveled together to London, and while the trip itself was a pleasantly unexpected surprise, what made it even more fun was not having an itinerary other than just wandering (and tubing, busing & training) around and exploring this exciting city. London is a vibrant, sprawling, cosmopolitan place, and what I loved about it was that, even with the number of amazing museums and galleries that filled the city, there seemed to be as much art on display outside the museum walls as there was inside it.

L1130387Stardust all around! With Ziggy at Electric Avenue (…& then we’ll take it higher…)

IMG_4315Paper butterflies, collaged drain pipe and painted door

DSC_0337The portrait gallery on the London streets

DSC_0343Dreamy, drippy street art in Shoreditch

IMG_4314Vibrant strokes and delicate paper butterflies cover an entire wall

L1130186Colorful graffiti at the underground skate park on Southbank

L1130713Tongue-in-cheek graphic design covered neighborhood streets

L1130495A playful, fashionable line-up on display in the back streets

L1130722London’s street art gets to the heart of the matter

*Photos by Ito

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