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January - February 2018 Volume 12 | Issue 05

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CONT ENTS 22 EATS Panaderya Toyo gives new life to Filipino bread

16 COVER STORY Designer Carl Jan Cruz on growing his brand

Cover photo by Joseph Pascual 12 SPACE When four design groups take office in one space

JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2018 04 FIXTURE Developing communities through art

26 RECIPE Protein-loaded ricotta

06 HEALTH The changing landscape of motherhood in the digital age

28 THE GET An enchanted tabletop game featuring Philippine folklore

EDITOR’S NOTE Creative musings Over lunch at Panaderya Toyo, Rachel Rillo of Silverlens Gallery turned to me and said, “There are a lot of goodlooking people here.” By “here,” she was referring to The Alley, the lifestyle hub along Pasong Tamo Extension. But “here” could also refer to a moment: when denizens of Pasong Tamo Extension and beyond are openly channeling their creative juices through mindful consumption or addressing everyday concerns in inventive, innovative means.

Just as 25-year-old designer CJ Cruz methods are animated by what he calls “muscle memory”: recalling emblems of his childhood, the kulambo and Good Morning towel, in his collections. In this month’s ode to the visual medium, we delve into the role of the muse. In Cruz’s case, these childhood emblems serve as both starting and end point: when the ideation, creation, and execution of a garment begins and ends with a memory.

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Southern Living is published by Hinge Inquirer Publications. 4F Media Resource Plaza, Mola corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Barangay La Paz, Makati City. Visit www.facebook.com/ nolisoli.ph now. Follow us on Instagram at @nolisoli.ph and Twitter at @nolisoliph. We’d love to hear from you. Email us at nolisoli@hinge.ph. For advertising, email sales@hinge.ph.

This magazine was printed responsibly using recycled paper with biodegradable ink.

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ONLINE

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MOVING IN

GROUP PUBLISHER BEA J. LEDESMA SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR ERIC NICOLE SALTA ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR BEA CELDRAN ASSOCIATE EDITOR ALYOSHA J. ROBILLOS ONLINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR PAULINE MIRANDA EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS OLIVER EMOCLING, BEA LLAGAS, YAZHMIN MALAJITO, ANTHEA REYES CREATIVE DIRECTOR NIMU MUALLAM ART DIRECTOR EDRIC DELA ROSA ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR DANICA CONDEZ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER PATRICK SEGOVIA, NICCOLLO SANTOS

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CONTRIBUTORS WRITERS DENISE DANIELLE ALCANTARA, GRAI ALVAR, KRISTELLE ANN BATCHELOR, SAMANTHA RAMOS ZARAGOZA PHOTOGRAPHER JOSEPH PASCUAL STYLISTS GRAI ALVAR, MELVIN MOJICA ILLUSTRATORS GRACE DE LUNA, MARK MAGNAYE, JOHN CHESLEIGH NOFIEL HAIR AND MAKEUP PAM ROBES COPY EDITOR SEPTEMBER GRACE MAHINO PROOFREADER PAM BROOKE CASIN BOARD CHAIRPERSON ALEXANDRA PRIETO-ROMUALDEZ FINANCE ADVISOR AND TREASURER J. FERDINAND DE LUZURIAGA LEGAL ADVISOR ATTY. RUDYARD ARBOLADO HR STRATEGY HEAD RAYMUND SOBERANO VP AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER IMELDA ALCANTARA SVP AND GROUP SALES HEAD FELIPE R. OLARTE AVP FOR SALES MA. KATRINA MAE GARCIA-DALUSONG HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT LURISA VILLANUEVA KEY ACCOUNTS SUPERVISOR ANGELITA TAN-IBAÑEZ SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES CHARM BANZUELO, THEA ORDIALES ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES MIKA ALCAUSE, KYLE CAYABYAB, XENIA SEBIAL, ANDIE ZUÑIGA SALES COORDINATOR KAREN ALIASA, CHLOE CARTONEROS SALES SUPPORT ASSISTANTS RECHELLE ENDOZO, MANILYN ILUMIN

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ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR PAM BROOKE CASIN EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS SHARM DE SAN JOSE, KRYZETTE PAPAGAYO, CHRISTELLE TOLISORA, HONEY BAUTISTA SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES SHANNA MALING, SARAH CABALATUNGAN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE INA MATEO SENIOR GRAPHIC ARTIST JAYCELINE SORIANO GRAPHIC ARTISTS CHEE FLORES, NICO ORTIGOZA, KRISTINE PAZ, DANA CALVO

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FIND SOUTHERN LIVING AT STARBUCKS COFFEE, THE MANILA PENINSULA, ALABANG COUNTRY CLUB, HEIMA, DUSIT THANI HOTEL, AYALA MUSEUM, AND FULLY BOOKED.

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SPECIAL FEAT URE

(Right) Mixtures of natural wood, stone, metal, and glass elements make up this two-story home; (below) a lap pool placed along the house, framing the indoor social area

SIGN OF THE TIMES Urban living has never looked this good

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FIXT URE

AESTHETIC THERAPY

How places of conflict find revival in art and the process making of it TEXT DENISE DANIELLE ALCANTARA ILLUSTRATION MARK MAGNAYE

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FIXT URE

“Art has a unique way of inspiring people and giving them life, not just through how they look at and appreciate it, but also by their involvement in the process of creation,” says mural artist and environmental and peace advocate AG Saño. Back in 2013, Saño and a group of volunteers spent hours up on ladders, painting dolphins, sea turtles, and other forms of marine life on the walls of the Aurora Boulevard tunnel. But while the mural evoked optimism, in truth, it was a cry for help to stop dolphin killings. It all started with the heartbreaking documentary The Cove, which affected Saño so much he took it upon himself to raise awareness on marine life conservation through art. His initiative started with just him and a few other experienced artists drawing outlines on public walls, then in a matter of days, more and more volunteers filled in the huge murals with colors. Prior to this, Saño had also been conducting workshops in conflict areas in Southern Philippines since 2010, when he was invited by Conservation International to take part in a series of environmental education activities. It was on the remote Turtle Island Group of Tawi-Tawi where he gave his very first basic art workshop to the locals, who in turn participated in painting a mural on the walls of a local elementary school. During the activity, one image stuck to Saño’s mind and heart: “Kids in hijab were painting side by side with Christian soldiers who were there to defend and serve them.” Down there in the south, where conflict is already thought of as a permanent state, that magical moment made the artist realize the probability of peace. School buildings riddled with bullet and RPG holes and children continuously striving to maintain a semblance of normalcy in their daily lives were what greeted Saño on another one of his art missions, this time in Patikul, Sulu. One elder even mentioned that

the last time anybody had taught art in the community was after World War II, back in the ’40s. Art is known to have recreational benefits, but Saño also uses it to heal communities. “Creating art makes people more aware of what is happening around them [through] the process of representation. As far as mural art is concerned, the participants become part of the message that is conveyed on the wall art, making them part of the advocacy itself.” While arts and culture remain low priorities in national development, he says that Filipinos are generally open to different art forms. Many of those he taught hadn’t held a brush before but were very much open to give it a try. As the French artist Henri Lamy, co-founder of the art center Taverne Gutenberg in Lyon, France, said, “You don’t have to be an artist to become creative.” In Poblacion, there is a studio that is home to five international artists yet is also open to the public. The Ruins, the current headquarters of the first residency program organized by Taverne Gutenberg, is a stone’s throw away from popular food places Bucky’s and Alamat, and colorful murals and canvases cover its walls. While resident artists experiment and churn out art every day, everyone is welcome to observe and even collaborate. The goal is for different people to connect within one space; even the floor of the studio hasn’t been spared. To date, it has already been painted on by 30 kids who have dropped by. Apart from the studio’s international residency program, its artists are dedicated to opening its doors to anyone willing to give art a chance; they even hold art workshops for kids in Tondo, Manila. “Throughout history, art has been proven to be a great force for changing society,” says Saño. Art brings about something that reason and logic alone cannot reach: a sense of positivity and unity that gets strengthened with each brush stroke.

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DIGITAL PARENTING

Why the age of social media has moms hung up on the image of a perfect motherhood TEXT SAMANTHA RAMOS-ZARAGOZA ILLUSTRATION JOHN CHESLEIGH NOFIEL

It’s human nature to complain, no matter one’s circumstances. I often catch myself mid-whine, but for the sake of my inner peace, I try as much as possible to bite my tongue first before I get started on my complaints. After all, as a 31-year-old woman living quite comfortably in a culturally advanced albeit still progressing city, I am part of the generation that is enjoying the benefits of what the women who came before me have fought hard for. Thanks to technology, issues that used to take years, if not decades, to be brought to light can now be exposed and discussed almost overnight.

It’s an era I can say I am blessed to be part of. Despite its downsides, technology has proven to be a tool that is also advantageous. In the realm of motherhood, however, the lines are not so clear. With the influx of information available at my fingertips, even my most obscure questions have answers online. Yet with this accessibility comes the pressure to do more and be more. Three years ago, after learning of my pregnancy, the joy I had initially shared with my husband turned to worry. To prepare for my then impending

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HEALT H

motherhood, I scoured the web for foolproof healthy and happy baby, we are lulled into solutions and conclusions from various thinking that we’ve done something right sources. Vaccines, free play, baby-wearing, that must be shared to those who now fear breastfeeding, co-sleeping, gadgets screen the same things we used to. time, healthy diets, tantrums, gender But often, whatever motherhood theory fluidity—these were the keywords that filled we hold true is backed by clinical research. my Google searches. With every search that The different paths every mother takes are led me to medical literature and social media simply variations headed to a common posts, there was this underlying feeling that I goal. That’s a pill we can have a hard time was incapable of doing what I was supposed swallowing due to our psychological wiring. to properly, and that what other people had The Internet compels us to create various posted online were the hard truths. Yet with personas: We’re able to show our best selves every click of the mouse, I’d find yet another despite the problems we face, yet we are set of studies and opinions, and something also capable of spewing hate through our that I had felt so strongly about just minutes comments, completely forgetting the effects our words and actions have on others. We before would suddenly sound irrational. now have opinions on Worse, with the virtually everything— influx of opinions, it We value the facts that support and working for a social feels as if mothers were organization being demanded to take our core beliefs—then use them media has exposed me to the sides. Are you breast- or to step on others’. craziest ones, even bottle-feeding? Are you those including death wearing your baby, or threats—because are you reliant on your stroller and mechanical soothing devices? Do technology has made information we think you practice “no tears,” or are you for the to be true more accessible. We value the Ferber method? And the list goes on. Positive facts that support our core beliefs—then use reviews on a particular practice are matched them to step on others’. We may feel we’ve with equally vehement backlash, with the become smarter, but especially with the judgment meted out behind the protection cloak of online anonymity, we’ve also lost our empathy.   of anonymity.  Motherhood isn’t immune to this, and it’s I’ve since come to understand that complexity is the very nature of motherhood. something every mother has to remember. It’s such a completely new experience to first- As the worries of parenthood drive us to time mothers that we can’t live through it by learn more, we must choose our sources following to the letter other mothers’ tips or wisely, work what we’ve learned into our published guides. Add to that the responsibility own lifestyle, and see if the result answers our of raising a human being—not a robot that children’s needs. It helps to take things with a comes with a manual, not something we can grain of salt, a generous serving of empathy, and the acceptance that misinformation can just mold according to our liking. It’s that fear that drives us to learn more, happen even to the best of us. It’s the only and once our actions are validated by a way to stay a sane parent in the digital age.

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SUNTRUST CYBERVILLE

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BEAUT Y

NATURAL LOOK

Go au naturel As cliché as it sounds, going makeup-free is actually liberating. You’ll save time getting ready in the morning and you won’t have to worry about taking off your makeup at night because there’s nothing to remove. If giving up makeup How a zero-waste beauty regimen is more sounds like torture, go the DIY route. Make your than just going makeup-free own bronzer using cocoa powder and your own TEXT BEA LLAGAS ILLUSTRATION GRACE DE LUNA eyeliner from kohl powder. YouTube has plenty According to American Allure, women spend a of DIY tutorials to guide you. whopping $300,000 on face products alone in their lifetime. That’s about P15 million—around The rise of “naked” products the same cost as having your own house built Another huge aspect of zero-waste beauty is inside an upscale village. Just think about that for the packaging. According to a report by The Guardian, “throwaway culture” has worsened a minute. I blame the beauty industry’s insidious methods the spread of packaging waste worldwide. And of convincing consumers that we have all these while much of it comes from food, the influx of skin problems we need to fix, and that one or two household products and cosmetics that use plastic effective products are simply not enough. Luckily, in their packaging also adds up. I first encountered these so-called “naked” we’re living in a time when people are inching their way towards a more sustainable lifestyle, products at Lush, a UK skincare brand that swears by their ethical buying policies. About 40 to 50 their beauty and skincare routines included. percent of the cost of a typical product goes to the packaging, but because their naked products are The first step is always the hardest This is true especially if you’re fond of makeup sold in the market packaging-free, more money is and skincare products, but you can significantly funneled into the use of quality ingredients. simplify your vanity kit through the process of Going zero-waste could be the be-all and end-all elimination. One of the first things you can ditch of banishing plastic from our vanity, but truth be is makeup remover; use coconut oil instead. told, there are infinite ways to create a minimalist Aside from its moisturizing properties, coconut beauty routine (going cruelty-free is another oil rids your face of dirt, including stubborn option). We’re not telling you to turn your back waterproof makeup. You’ll save yourself from on makeup, but the next time you go shopping, using cotton pads because you can just use your you might want to consider some of our pointers if you want to do better for the environment. fingertips instead.

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SUNTRUST 2

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SPACE Clockwise, from left: The common room includes a mini library of art and design books. Their conference room is quirkily named The Underworld.

BLANK SPACES

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Concrete, wood, and steel dominate the space, which features industrial elements and colorful art.

SPACE

Hydra Design Group’s headquarters is a clean slate for creative pursuits TEXT BEA CELDRAN PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

Down at the end of The Alley at Karrivin, a faint neon light glows through glass windows. Anyone in the loop will know that the luminous hues of violet come from Poison, the doughnut and coffee shop with interiors designed to resemble a near dystopian future. But little do most people know that Poison is just a front for something bigger within The Alley’s caverns: the headquarters of Hydra Design Group. “More heads are better than one” is a resounding theme among this organization of creative companies—Plus 63 Design Co., Inksurge, Acid House, and KM Interior

Design—all housed in one office. Also recently taking up residency in the space is the Tasteless Food Group. While each design company excels in their own fields, from creating visual identities to transforming environments, they all felt it was time to come together and level up as a group. “Everyone is friends,” says Dan Matutina of Plus 63, saying his group met the people of KM Interior Design in Japan through a project they were working on together. While there, they also found inspiration for their dream office: an architecture firm that also had a café at its lobby. “Everything happened at the right time.” Both teams realized that to set the bar higher, they have to attract more than local clients. And to do that, they needed to team up with different studios to offer a dynamic yet complete package. When the owners of The Alley offered a space, they grabbed the opportunity to team up. Hydra Design Group was then conceived, and along with it came a logo and a floor plan. In coming up with a rigid logo design, Matutina explains that it was time for evolution: “Ayoko na ng pa-cutesy-cutesy.

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SPACE Amid the industrial space are tenants’ personal items like these colorful graphic design posters at Inksurge, which add identity to the industrial space (right); A sculpture by Leeroy New (extreme right)

We’re still the same people but with more creative minds.” As a multidisciplinary firm that thrives on synergy, it’s almost expected that their space would be filled with pops of color and life. But on the contrary, the Hydra headquarters are all concrete walls against an off-white scheme. “Everyone loved [the idea of ] concrete, wood, and steel,” May Uy from KM Interior Design says, so KM mixed a mélange of industrial elements to create a relaxed office space. It is meant to feel unintimidating and open for occupants to throw ideas around freely. “We just wanted a blank canvas and let the art do the talking,” Uy adds. With all the visual stimuli the groups face on a day-to-day basis, its absence in their office gives them room to breathe. There are touches of personal details found within the space, however: In one corner, there’s a book shelf of graphic novels and hardbound contemporary art and design books; in another, a skateboard deck upcycled into a bench. Peek through the windows of every office space and you’ll

notice each group’s individuality, expressed through framed prints or self-made projects displayed on the walls, maybe even an excited dog waiting at the door. Has the big move affected work culture? Apparently not. Each design group still retains its own culture and personality amid like-minded neighbors. “There is an elevated form of work. We feed off everyone’s energy, but designers still have their own initiative,” Matutina says. The opportunity to team up has been doing wonders for the team. Apart from the artistic fuel they get from each other, another advantage is the close proximity. “We communicate with each other, and give input,” Matutina says. “It’s an interesting setup. We learn from different perspectives.”

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SPACE

“We just wanted a blank canvas and let the art do the talking.”

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COV ER STORY

THE GROWING YEARS Twenty-five-year-old designer Carl Jan Cruz’s evolution isn’t a linear process, and that’s how he prefers it TEXT KRISTELLE ANN BATCHELOR PHOTOGRAPHY JOSEPH PASCUAL

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He may have achieved a lot already at 25, but CJ Cruz isn’t immune to the grip of the quarter-life crisis. “Is that what they call [what I’m going through]?” he asks with a laugh. “Does that make sense? This is [who] CJ Cruz [is] now. I’m growing up, and [it’s the] same with the brand.” Cruz can’t set himself, the designer, apart from CJ Cruz, the brand, because the fashion he creates has been embedded in him from the get-go. “I’m questioning things now [about] where I want to see myself in five years. It’s the perfect time to cover the story.” With a degree in fashion design technology for menswear from London College of Fashion, Cruz launched his eponymous brand three years ago and steadily rose in the local and international fashion scenes. But between then and now, he came to the realization that he has begun to work in reverse: It’s not that he likes the work any less but that he is diversifying what he does outside of it. “I value more the things that influence what I do, like my family, my hobbies, even having more plants [at home] and binge-watching the different Masterchef franchises,” he says. “Generally, I think people think I am an extrovert, but I’ve learned that I like having my own time.” Last year, Cruz was among the chosen Filipino designers who showcased their collections at the Milan Fashion Week trade show, held at the Super Pitti Immagine. Shortly after that, he and his team flew to Paris to present at Paris Fashion Week.

He says the key to these feats was having an open mind. For the longest time, Cruz was hesitant to showcase a collection abroad, under the belief that no one really understood his brand yet. But after doing strategic financial checks and weighing everything, he realized it was tough but definitely doable. Plus, he finally felt ready. “If you want something, you should stop waiting for it; just do it,” he advises. “If you fail, then you’re just back at the same place. If you succeed, you deserve it.” He maintains this philosophy as he and his team are set to present in another showroom in Paris this March. “I’m just always grateful. I have the best critic [in] my mom, because no matter what, she sees me as her only child,” Cruz says. He modestly downplays the year that was, but he knows things are bound to change in 2018. He admits he finds it tough to envision how he wants his brand to evolve, because it is both a business and a personal matter. “I know that I want to have a brand in the long run, and I know that I still want to have the idea that it’s growing a community. It’s very personal, but at the same time, I want to be able to step back and actually not flesh out too much of myself.” His brand started out as a visual autobiography, blending influences from his Filipino and British roots. These dual references result in the constant push and pull in his work. He has pieces that he still wants to rework on even after they’re “done.” But the same influences make him aware of the sensibilities behind every

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COV ER STORY

creation and keep him from designing just for the sake of aesthetic. Cruz has also been fascinated by Filipino lifestyle mainstays, such as the kulambo and the Good Morning towel, but he says the fascination isn’t inorganic. “It’s not even the right term, but it’s like muscle memory. Those are things I actually grew up with; everyone had them that time. They’re both very Pinoy and [evocative of childhood].” Cruz and his team also develop at least 85 percent of their fabrics locally, though in the beginning, people were not used to seeing them as part of more contemporary fashion. But his longterm familiarity with these fabrics due to his background has helped him stay focused on what he truly wants to achieve with his brand, especially after meeting the people he works with to develop these materials and the recognition he has been getting for his efforts.

“It’s now becoming part of the dialogue whenever people ask me what my visual autobiography is [about]. I treat [the use of these local elements] more like it’s a given; it’s not really a big deal for me.” The concept of his latest collection maintains the identity of Cruz’s brand: very visual, also autobiographical, with styles that are tropical and at the same time continental. There also remains the idea of the person wearing them being on the go, but the main focus is how polished the pieces are. The collection is subdivided into three categories: Pambahay for the easier, everyday pieces; the contemporary but wearable Pang-alis; and Pang-okasyon, which is the elaborative platform that expresses more conceptual fashion. Cruz created 20 looks last season, but he is planning to create only nine this year, saying he doesn’t feel the need to do more. “When you’re a creative, you get this feeling that you need to create so much work. But [the danger is in] losing your scope that you can’t highlight anymore what you’re good at.” He applies the same restraint to business. For the longest time, he has done a certain silhouette of a jacket or a pair of jeans, and they’re just recently picking up interest. Cruz says he has to see it from an objective perspective to understand that he still needs time to let the brand grow, merchandise and market the pieces, and make further changes to them if necessary. He even admits that he’ll be doing less designing this year as he will focus more on product development.

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CJ Cruz says his brand is his autobiography, which is why he sticks to certain silhouettes that evolve every season.

“If you want something, you should stop waiting for it; just do it.”

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In fact, while working on the 2018 collection, he and his team unearthed a lot from their threeyear-old archives, looking at more than 60 or 80 looks, and working from there to simplify designs. It was a method that stayed true to Cruz’s aim for honest growth, and he describes it as 50 percent raw, comprised of mood board references and overarching processes like looking at silhouettes, textures, and details. “I just want everything to be decluttered and polished to that point that the pieces look plain. Then in consideration of the growth of the brand, the latter part of the process would be product development.” In the end, he says these two processes work hand in hand because through them, he is able to simplify things.

Working on the new collection rekindled what Cruz primarily likes about his job, which is to explore. With one pair of trousers alone, he was able to do multiple studies, which is favorable for a design house such as his because it facilitates the creation of a collection in one go. “What if the demand grows? We have to be competent about it, and I want this to put a good [kind of ] pressure on us,” he says. Cruz wants to be clear with one thing, however: He feels more like an adult now compared to when the brand first came to be, and that includes knowing that he couldn’t have gotten to where he is now in a straight line. “I really had to go through these things. I had to carve out my own story.”

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STYLING MELVIN MOJICA GROOMING PAM ROBES

COV ER STORY

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EATS When architect Arts Serrano of One/Zero designed the space, chef Jordy Navarra’s only instruction was to make it look happy (right). Although they use imported flour, Panaderya Toyo still incorporates local grains like corn and brown rice to Pan Casero (below).

BREAKING BREAD

Panaderya Toyo re-imagines our daily bread TEXT OLIVER EMOCLING PHOTOGRAPHY DANICA CONDEZ

At Panaderya Toyo, among huge loaves of traditional European breads, there stands out a curious type of pastry, molded into a knotted shape that closely resembles a naked ensaymada. A portion of its crust, however, suggests that it had been left in the oven longer than intended. When it meets the tongue, the bread reveals an odd yet pleasant lactic taste, far from the sweet breakfast bread we’re used to. This is Panaderya Toyo’s take on the classic pan de sal, and the breakfast staple is the first Filipino bread that the bakery developed using head baker Richie Manapat’s “natural tropical” bread-making process. “It’s a very natural process that we wanted to celebrate in our space,” chef Jordy Navarra says. Manapat’s baking procedure is a process of reinvention, but his technique also reconnects with the traditional way of making bread. In fact, Panaderya Toyo’s version may even be similar

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EATS Since Richie Manapat’s baking style is relatively new and unfamiliar, he prefers to train staff without existing knowledge of baking.

to the pan de sal that was naturally leavened with tuba back in the day. While most bakeries start baking during the wee hours of the day, Panaderya Toyo needs two or even three days at minimum to make their breads. “The first day is [for] preparing the masa madre, which is our sourdough. The second day is [for] when we mix and bake, but sometimes, that extends to a third day,” Manapat says. It doesn’t just take patience to make Panadarya Toyo’s breads; it also requires precision. The pan de sal dough, for example, has to be tied in a knot to make a wetter dough that will result in a more tender bread. If shaped like the usual pan de sal, the dough would flatten out like pancakes when baked. While bread takes the spotlight here, Panaderya Toyo is also a space of collaboration

between Manapat and Navarra. As they say, man does not live on bread alone, so Navarra concocted a series of palaman that lends a similar delicious ingenuity, as experienced by Toyo Eatery diners, to Manapat’s bread. Here, you can enjoy a pan de sal or any bread you prefer with a generous serving of Navarra’s series of palaman like fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy fish, tomatoes, and tortang talong. It’s a mélange of flavors and textures that reminds the palate of pastoral mornings. The pan de sal is merely a gateway to Filipino breads, though. In the future, you’ll find kalihim or maybe even pan de regla here, and what excites Navarra and Manapat is the possibility of using more local grains in their breads. While they are already using corn flour and local rice, they plan to introduce Ilocos sorghum, known as batad, soon.

Panaderya Toyo. The Alley at Karrivin, 2316 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. 0917-7208630. Instagram.com/panaderyatoyo

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EATS Tsuta infuses truffle, an ingredient uncommon in most ramen, in their broth (extreme left); chef Yuki Onishi

ON THE NOSE A not-so-secret ingredient helped Tsuta nab the world’s first Michelin star for ramen TEXT PAULINE MIRANDA PHOTOGRAPHY DANICA CONDEZ

Eating ramen at Tsuta, the first Michelin ramen bar is a totally different experience. The ramen is hot—the steam visibly rising from the bowl—but not scaldingly so that your tongue loses its faculties for identifying flavors. And it’s very aromatic, all thanks to an ingredient that no one thought could work well with ramen: truffle oil. And that’s just how he planned it. Chef Yuki Onishi of the first Michelin-starred ramen joint shares that more than the star, his aim is to keep satisfying his customers so that they come back. “Honestly, I’m not sure if I really deserve [the Michelin star] but I just want to give people the kind of ramen that they deserve.” When he was still thinking of ways to make his ramen different from others, Onishi thought of appealing to the sense of smell first. “When we eat, we usually base [how good it is] on how

it tastes. But I thought, how about its aroma?” This led him to use truffle oil, under the belief that it smelled good. It also turned out to taste surprisingly well with ramen. Unlike the usual ramen with a tonkotsu or pork base, Tsuta uses a combination of three broths: asari clams, Japanese fish (katakuchi, mackerel, and anchovy), and chicken. This three-broth soup, when mixed with a specially made soy sauce and truffle oil, bears an inviting aroma and a mild, balanced taste that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. With a grander goal of pushing boundaries when it comes to ramen’s flavors, Onishi is determined to make his restaurant’s expansion global. He wants to create more varieties of ramen, each one unique to every place that has a Tsuta in it, much like how certain fashion styles are suited to particular seasons. He keeps mum on what Tsuta’s special ramen for Manila would be like, though. “It’s just here,” he says, tapping his temple. That’s fine, though. We’ll wait. Until then, we can enjoy a steaming bowl of their signature offerings.

Tsuta. UGF C3 Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Instagram.com/tsutaphilippines

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YOUR GUIDE TO MANILA’S NEIGHBORHOOD HOTSPOTS, COMMUNITY GATHERINGS, AND CULTURAL EVENTS

NOLISOLI.PH MKTG

Follow us on:

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RECIPE

VEGAN CONVERSION Skip the dairy in this cheesy delicacy

TEXT AND STYLING GRAI ALVAR PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK SEGOVIA

TOFU RICOTTA PREPARATION 1. Place tofu in a bowl and mash with a spoon. 2. Place remaining ingredients and mashed tofu in a blender, and blend until you achieve a thick, creamy consistency. 3. Serve.

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SHOT ON LOCATION SEVENTEEN O’ NINE

INGREDIENTS 250 g. firm tofu 2 to 3 cloves garlic 2 tbsp. lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste

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T HE GET

DESTINY DECIDED

Project Tadhana lets us live in the past and play in the mystical realm TEXT ANTHEA REYES PHOTOGRAPHY NICOLLO SANTOS

Before giant wooden ships carrying curious Portuguese explorers came to our shores, before the Philippines was named the Philippines and all 7,107 islands declared themselves as under one country, there were stories of creatures that had terrified our ancestors at night yet awed them during idle days. Then as history unfolded, these stories went to the backburner of our collective consciousness, filling a reservoir for the imagination of future generations. Today, we make a game of it. Project Tadhana is an ongoing project spearheaded by Nathan Briones, a writer and an active member of the Filipino gaming community. Briones was inspired to make an original and accessible tabletop role-playing game (RPG) based on Filipino mythology and set in pre-colonial Philippines when mystical creatures lived among men. After two years in development, they now have the finished product, complete with a unique card system that veers away from the conventional polyhedral dice mechanic of other tabletop RPGs. What was life like for our ancestors before westerners came? What would a typical day be for a creature of the night? Would you have been a tikbalang, an engkanto, or a mangkukulam? Project Tadhana is the tabletop RPG that answers all of these questions with the flip of a card.

Project Tadhana. projecttadhana.rpg@gmail.com. Facebook.com/ProjectTadhana

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Southern Living: 2018 January-February  
Southern Living: 2018 January-February  
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