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D1 Sunday, February 7, 2010

BusinessMirror

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‘Segunda Manang’

A thrift shop owned by 78-year-old ‘Nanay’ Puring Dy in Tondo has become a destination of choice of bargain hunters and serious collectors

By Marianne A. Tocmo

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Photos by Roy Domingo

econd-hand appliances from refrigerators, air-conditioners and television sets, as well as pianos, paintings, furniture plus vintage glassware and chinas—that’s what Nanay Puring offers, and a whole lot more. No wonder for many avid home decorators she’s “Segunda Manang.” Filipinos are known to be resourceful and practical. And this was what inspired 78-year-old Purificacion “Nanay Puring” Dy to start out her business of selling secondhand items way back in 1973. Before the ukay-ukay phenomenon, she already knew segunda mano is going to be a big hit. But she said she never thought it would become this huge, such that she’d end up dubbed as “thrift queen.” The business started with a P500 capital and a kariton, which she pushed on the streets of Recto. At the start, she sold only used clothing, which she got from rich homeowners that her sister used to

work for. Then it became a routine; the homeowners, the wives, introduced her to their amigas, giving Nanay Puring more clothes to peddle. Then a relative of Atty. Dong Puno offered her to buy old furniture and home wares, as well, which expanded her simple buy-and-sell business. Her market, as well as her sources of segunda mano items, grew through word of mouth, through recommendation of friends and clients.

How it got big

Dy got a big boost when Merly Basco, then a writer for Good Housekeeping, featured her business and vintage home collections in the magazine, allowing Dy’s network to become bigger. Clients, as well as suppliers, kept on coming. In 1989 she set up her nowfamous segunda mano store at 1170 Asuncion Extension, Tondo, Manila. The venture helped fund the studies of her three children: Susan, the eldest, finished her BS Social Work degree from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM); Benjamin Jr. took up ECE also at PLM, while the youngest Marilou studied business management

at the University of the Philippines. Whereas before, Dy used to go from house to house to ask and buy secondhand products, now she gets calls from different patrons, selling their old toasters, washing machines and even office files, telephone directories and invoices. Born in Roxas, Capiz, and a Tondo resident since 1948, Dy says she’s the only one in her family with an eye for business. Having worked in a bazaar before setting up her own thrift shop, she claims that her business skills come from pure instinct and talent. Dy is very dedicated to her business and customers that she only accepts secondhand items from referred sources and whom she knows personally. She makes sure to meet up personally with new suppliers before entering into any deal. Although she says she would buy any item as long as it’s reusable, she says she prefers local items. “Tangkilikin ang sariling atin,” she stresses.

What’s in the store?

Name it, she has it. Electric fans, microwave ovens, any home appliance available, she buys and sells them. Dy also has a variety of glassware, plates, furniture and other home accessories, all vintage and usable. How does she price her products? She says it depends on the condition of the merchandise. But it’s really cheap. For instance, she sells her old vinyl albums for P20 only, compared with other vintage stores, where they sometimes fetch for P600 and above. Take note, however, that credit is not allowed. Dy selects the items from the houses of her sources and deals with the pricing herself, and a

delivery comes in every day. The segunda mano store is such a huge hit that it opens as early as 7 a.m., and deliveries are usually sold out by the afternoon. “Nu’ng bagyong Ondoy, andaming nagpunta dito, binenta ’yung mga basang gamit nila. Ayun, tuwang-tuwa sila at naging pera,” Nanay Puring recalls. Her customers are not limited to Tondo residents, as bargain hunters from as far as Las Piñas make the trip just to buy her goods. She takes pride that her store is one-of-a-kind in Tondo, which is why she has no plans of relocating or opening another one in Makati or other commercial centers. She says she’s perfectly happy with her business, and the secret to her success? Prayers and honesty, plus her love for her customers.

Collections

Dy’s store is not your usual thrift shop of old clothes and books. She is well-known for her vintage collections and antiques. Indeed her’s is a collector’s haven; she has a variety of local and foreign coins and bills, portraits of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, which she got from Corinthian Gardens; plates and figurines from Germany and France; and a record player and a counting machine that she still uses for her business computations. Nanay Puring takes pride in her collection, which she considers priceless. “’Pag madaling araw at mag-o-open na ako ng shop at nakikita ko ’yung mga koleksyon ko, natutuwa ako at nagpapasalamat sa Diyos.” She still collects vintage items, particularly rare and unique finds, and she makes sure they are cleaned regularly to ensure a longer life span. n


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D2 Sunday, February 7, 2010

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By Roderick L. Abad

uxury and convenience are the hallmarks of a refined urban lifestyle that provides consumers a diversity of choices. This is the promise Ayala Land Premier (ALP) makes with its latest residential project, the Park Terraces. “Park Terraces is a very unique residential enclave of Ayala Land Premier as part of the P20-billion-worth Ayala Center redevelopment that’s well under way,” revealed Antonino Aquino, Ayala Land president. “This three-tower centerpiece is our first sustainable vertical community anchored on globally benchmarked building principles, raising the bar for premium developments nationwide.” Offering premier living spaces, Park Terraces caters to sophisticated city dwellers, who deserve—and expect—nothing but the best. “These buyers which we already have now—both in the Philippines and abroad—are people who like the idea of living closer to a top-tier financial hub like Makati that marries residential and commercial establishments with a wide array of options complementing diverse lifestyles,” said Melissa Gil, ALP’s senior division manager and head of residential buildings and leisure. “What’s more, they are the people who look for a great investment or those who downscale—meaning they like living in large houses but then over time they want something that’s easier to maintain.” This soon-to-rise landmark in the posh Makati commercial district presents an equal mix of prime business and leisure options within arm’s reach of its residents. An underground network connects the Park Terraces to Ayala Center, providing residents an easy access to the various dining and entertainment choices offered in Greenbelt and Glorietta. “So, it’s going to be very well integrated to all the different lifestyle options that others can’t provide,” boasted Gil. “That guarantees only that the needs of future residents are taken care of, not to mention the Park Terraces’ concierge services,” Aquino added.

Towering heights

AMID the strong buzz in the condominium sector of the country today, ALP still managed to create a stir with the initial 370 inventory units of the first of the three towers of Park Terraces. The first 50-story building, whose construction will commence in the next quarter for turnover in 2015, will have spacious units with areas ranging from 42 square meters to 269 square meters, excluding balconies. Unit types for sale range from studios, one-bedroom and special one-bedroom units to two-bedroom, special two-bedroom, three-bedroom and three-bedroom penthouse units. Safety and security-wise, Park Terraces’ Tower 1 will have

SITUATED at the heart of the newly redeveloped Ayala Center, Ayala Land Premier’s Park Terraces offers premier living spaces, providing residents with all the conveniences, as well as luxuries they need.

properties

Address of the future

The high-end Park Terraces is a key focal point in the P20-billion redevelopment of the Ayala Center

WITH retail spaces, cafés, restaurants and wellness outlets planned for the ground level spaces, and the easy access to all commercial establishments found within Ayala Center, the choices in Park Terraces are truly limitless.

THE three-tower Park Terraces is Ayala Land Premier’s first sustainable vertical community—anchored on globally benchmarked building principles, setting the bar for premium developments all over the country.

semi-addressable fire detection and alarm system, proximity card access and 100-percent backup power. For convenience, residents may use the 40-meter-wide motor court and arcade, four high-speed elevators, mail room, and centralized sanitary disposal system. Motion sensors for lights in select common areas are also available The amenities and facilities of Tower 1, whose dwellers can take advantage of along with those in the next-in-line Tower 2, include an outdoor infinity pool, a fully equipped fitness center, a social hall, function rooms, as well as indoor and outdoor children’s play areas. They will also share a common lobby and

podium’s facilities and gardens, which will be separated from those of Tower 3. More so, they may use efficiency features for common area toilet fixtures, 24-hour security and building maintenance, administrative offices and conference rooms. For the whole community’s convenience, there are shared motor court and four levels of basement parking interconnected to Ayala Center as access points to and from the main Makati City thoroughfares. What’s more, they may enjoy provision for a laundromat and direct access to Palm Promenade from the ground floor. But the big come-on are the exclusive lifestyle choices at Park Terraces with retail spaces, cafés, restaurants, and well-

ness outlets will be housed right at the ground level. Sustainability features to be integrated in the design of this three-tower development are among the other exciting things to look forward to by prospective buyers. It’s “greener” in a way that it is planned well to make it easy for residents to become environmentally responsible. For instance, they may choose to walk to workplaces or schools and help reduce their carbon footprints. To lessen power consumption, energy-efficient master switch cards—which only plush hotels usually provide—are readily available so that when they leave their room all the lights will automatically turn off (except the refrigerator). And because 60 percent of the units will have balconies, occupants need not have to use air-conditioning all the time since the sliding doors will allow the natural breeze to come in. Maximized natural ventilation is guaranteed as well in common areas. “These are our solutions to a lot of problems that condo dwellers normally encounter. Hence, living here will make their lives very easy and convenient, and more green in that sense,” Gil noted. Park Terraces, delivering top-tier standards to an already bustling urban landscape shaped by Ayala Land, ensures fine breathing space for all its residents. Top-of-the-line finishes will be incorporated in each unit. For one, bathroom fixtures, with brands like Koehler and Grohe, best demonstrate the finer touches of comfortable living. A soft-touch feature in the kitchen cabinets is on a par with European standards. “These are just some of the things that we’ve thought through that would make all the daily living simple pleasures. We call it ‘intricately crafted living spaces,’ which, when put together, things are closer, greener and finer. This is really a unique proposition that only Ayala Land Premier can deliver in a product like Park Terraces,” Gil said. For inquiries, call 848-5000, e-mail ask@ayalalandpremier. com or log on to www.ayalalandpremier.com.

Tange Associates infuses Japanese modern design into condo project

Perspective of The Grand Midori’s grand lobby

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joint venture between Federal Land and Orix Corp. Japan, The Grand Midori Makati is pitched to condo buyers as the “height of Zen living” in a prestigious, highrise address. To do this, Tange Associates, the world-renowned Japanese design firm of The Romeo Hotel in Italy, the One Raffles Place in Singapore, West Kowloon Arts and Cultural District in Hong Kong, and The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo, was tapped to create an impressive rendition of this project. For The Grand Midori Makati, Japanese modern design methods were applied to formulate spaces aimed at comforting and relaxing the individual amid the urban jungle. This is achieved through generous spaces and elements that encourage coexistence with nature, both indoors and around the common areas of the facility.

Perspective of The Grand Midori’s porte cochere

Artist’s perspective of the swimming pool area

Artist’s perspective of The Grand Midori Makati

Among the notable features of the development are the elegant porte cochere or drop-off area, as well as grand lobby and outdoor amenities, which use a consistent design intent inclined toward the Zen theme. Another essential component, the Zen Garden, considered an archetypal form in traditional Japanese landscape design, will be created to introduce natural elements into an often-confined space. Despite its urban setting, each area will carefully be arranged with simplified elements of nature to express abstract groves, such as rain and sunshine filtering through foliage, to imbue a sense of nature. Residents will also find a koi pond and pocket gardens at the lobby and in virtually every residential floor in the development. The lobby design creates a metaphor of the rain that can serve as a poetic atmosphere as a refined artwork. To embody “Midori,” which means “green” in Japanese, the

development will utilize lots of plant varieties in the common spaces to exude an invigorating ambiance for the residents to appreciate in their day-to-day existence. At the same time, this design will create an environment, which results in an ecologically sustainable building. Tange Associates, coordinating with WV Coscolluela and Associates in implementing the architecture and design of the whole property, will also take into consideration the location of the property being in a tropical country. Though selecting suitable plant species, which require minimal maintenance and are locally available proved to be a challenge, the designers said they were able to find suitable varieties that would simulate the Zen design while adding a sense of familiarity. The Grand Midori Makati is a residential complex rising along Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village in Makati City. The re-

laxing attributes of The Grand Midori Makati can be summed up in five key points: convenience, security, premium finishes, amenities and expertise. The project offers young professionals and families a whole scale of premium amenities that will cater to their urban lifestyle, including a 20-meter swimming pool, fitness center, outdoor play area, 100-meter jogging path and commercial/service stations, all found within the podium level. This secured, exclusive and eco-friendly development is also highly anticipated when it turns over its first tower by 2012. By then, residents can finally enjoy living in an urban sanctuary in the heart of the city. The Grand Midori Makati show room is on the ground floor of GT Tower International along Ayala Avenue, Makati City. For inquiries, call 898-8842 or visit www.thegrandmidorimakati. com.ph.


eSunday

sMirror

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By Kim Palmer

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

ver wonder if you’d enjoy your home more if there were less in it? Rita Stollman-Levin doesn’t have to wonder. She knows. Since clearing her clutter and rethinking her space with the help of a professional organizer, she’s loved living in her century-old Victorian home. “It’s so pleasant to walk in the door, and that wasn’t the case before,” she said. She and her husband entertain more often, enjoy it more and even have a more harmonious relationship now that they’re no longer sharing one crowded office. “I was driving him nuts,” she recalled. Now she has an orderly, functional home, with a place for everything. “It’s empowered me to do more with my life and still have a more leisurely lifestyle.” A fresh start like Levin’s is appealing, especially at this time of year, when many of us resolve to pare down and spruce up. But this year, the economy is putting a different spin on that annual ritual. “People are really nervous and emotional; there’s a lot of instability and fear,” said designer Cy Winship (www.cywinship.com). Many homeowners seem reluctant to part with items they think they might need in lean times ahead, noted Lisa Wendt (www.homesthatwork.net), the organizer who transformed Levin’s house. “When I say, ‘Let’s start donating,’ you can tell they’re thinking twice,” she said. Wendt said she’s fielding more questions about refinishing furniture. “People say, ‘It’s not so bad—maybe I’ll hang onto it a little longer.’” And more of those who do pare down their belongings are interested in getting cash for them, she said, or donating them to benefit someone in need, rather than merely getting rid of them. While most retail sales are down or flat, consignmentstore business appears brisk. At Hope Chest, which sells upscale second­hand furniture, home accessories and clothing, sales rose by 20 percent last year, said Susanna Franklin, manager of the St. Paul, Minnesota, store. “People are working on stretching their dollars.” Clothes Mentor, a national consignment-store chain that pays cash for women’s clothing and accessories, saw a 28-percent rise in sales last year, according to Chad Olson, chief operating officer and owner of the Minnetonka, Minnesota, store. “Honestly, the economy has been a huge positive factor for us,” he said. More people also appear to be selling secondhand goods themselves; Craigslist reports a 20-percent increase in furniture postings for 2009, according to spokesman Susan MacTavish Best. Even those who do have money for home-improvement projects appear to be watching their wallets, according to Winship, who sees a new practicality emerging. And that’s not all bad. It’s contributing to better, smarter design. “People are interested in new green products, and they want quality,” he said. “They don’t want to waste money on crap. They’re asking better and more questions. That’s been really heartening to see.”

Rita Stollman-Levin and her husband have removed a lot of the clutter from their home, making it more livable and giving them the ability to entertain again. The decluttered living room is shown in St. Paul, Minnesota. Joel Koyama/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT

Homeowners also appear less drawn to high-priced trophy gadgets and materials, he said. They’re more interested in comfort and function. “It’s not just adding pretentious things but thinking about how we use things. Rather than trying to impress, people are putting their money into things that work better for them.”

A pack rat gets help

Stollman-Levin loves old Victorian houses, but not their lack of storage space. And she has a lot to store: a collection of antique silver and linens, her many books and magazines, and years of paperwork generated by her dual career as a selfemployed editor and educator. “I have all these different identities, and they all come with stuff,” she said. After she, her husband and daughter moved from New York City to St. Paul, a decision inspired by 9/11 and their desire for a more “family-focused environment,” her accumulation of stuff moved with them, first into storage while they rented an apartment for two years, then into their current house. “It was wall-to-wall boxes,” she recalled. Her husband, a neatnik, hated the boxes and suggested that they hire a decorator. “I said, ‘That’s the fun part,’” Stollman-Levin recalled. “I wanted someone to help me rethink my space.” So she interviewed five personal organizers, finally hiring Wendt of Homes That Work. Wendt challenged her to pare her paperwork (“Do I really need 30 copies of a magazine I edited 20 years ago?”) and brainstormed some innovative space solutions, such as creating a laundry area, screened by angled bookshelves, in a second-floor sitting room and installing a medicine cabinet in the hall outside their tiny bathroom. “Now I have a place for everything,” Stollman-Levin said, which freed her to focus on wallpaper and finding storage pieces with a Victorian look. “It enabled me to create a B&B ambiance in our home. Lisa brought order to our lives.” n

www.businessmirror.com.ph | Sunday, February 7, 2010 D3

INTERIORS

Conquering clutter

This year, the urge to purge may be tempered by unease about the economy

Rita Stollman-Levin sits in her home office space on the second floor of her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Joel Koyama/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT

Paring down

Think it through. Saving things for a rainy day may seem practical. But it can leave you and your home bogged down with excess baggage. The secret is to kick the habit of compulsive, mindless collecting—and explore better alternatives. “There’s a difference between hoarding and saving,” said professional organizer Wendt. She coaches clients to “Save it for a reason. Keep the stuff you really want, and get rid of the things that mean nothing.” Parents, for example, can become overwhelmed with school papers and kid-related keepsakes. By all means, hang onto that funny essay or beautiful artwork—but not every worksheet. And instead of saving that big bulky science project, take a picture of the child with the project and put it in an album. Then dismantle the project and recycle the parts. Recruit a partner. You can hire a professional organizer to help you sort through your closets and cupboards, but you don’t have to. An honest friend, willing to say “Are you serious?” can do the trick, Wendt said. “Don’t have a family member help you. They may guilt you into keeping things.” Repurpose mementos. If you’ve been hanging onto old clothing with sentimental value—babywear, your teen’s old sports jerseys—why pack them away in boxes? Willow Creek Studio (www.willowcreekbaby.com) will turn your garb into memory blankets. For 16 pieces of baby clothing and $75, you can get a small baby blanket. Adult blankets start at $125. Swap your duds. Clothing swaps, where a group gathers to trade clothes, shoes and accessories that they don’t want or that no longer fit, are a great way to clean out closets while getting “new” clothes. (For more information, go to www.meetup.com.) Give it up. Some think getting rid of things is wasteful. But finding good uses for them is greener than letting them molder or fall apart in your garage. The items you no longer need could be doing someone else some good. “You may have things sitting in your basement that people could really use,” Wendt said.


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