FAVORITE CITY HOTEL Fasano Sao Paulo in Brazil, Le Meurice in Paris, Four Seasons in Mexico City, and Cape Grace in Cape Town.
COUNTRYSIDE HOTEL OR RESORT
Fazenda Catuçaba in Brazil, Estancia La Bamba de Areco in Argentina, Ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya.
TRAVEL MUST-HAVES Pleats, please, in all shapes and colors (sharp and indestructible as travel staples). A pair of binoculars (a must on safari) and a killer itinerary.
PLACE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN, BUT WOULD
MOST LIKE TO VISIT Istanbul. Every time we plan to go something always happens and we never end up going. Maybe in 2018!
MOST MEMORABLE TRIP Every African safari is always memorable. But my most memorable trip this past year was Cuba: profound, romantic, melancholic, and just way cool.
FAVORITE WAY TO UNWIND Getting a massage. I also like going to the beach.
GUILTY PLEASURES Weekly massages at home; half a pastry (so half the guilt) for breakfast; dark chocolate after lunch or dinner.
GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE Alas, fashion, a depreciating asset. And maintaining the highlights on my hair. It takes a village!
ENTERTAINING STAPLES Cocktails care of my husband, music, home-cooked food combined with Sarsa catering, a good mix of people, and flowers— lots of it.
YOUR TIPS TO A MEMORABLE CELEBRATION
Book a good restaurant with great food, ambience and service; wear something fabulous; just have a good time. You’re there to celebrate, not stress.
FAVORITE MEAL TO SERVE YOUR GUESTS
Roasted rolled peppers with anchovies for starters, a good pasta, Sarsa’s inasal lumpia and isaw.
DREAM DINNER GUESTS Carla Sozzani, Mirella Ricciardi, Barack and Michelle Obama, Ralph Bousfield, Oprah Winfrey, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Lucia van der Post (whom I actually had dinner with before in Marrakech and she’s a riot), Pablo Picasso, Manuel Ocampo, Ilse Crawford, Ernest Hemingway, Anthony Bourdain, and David Tang. But since they’re all opinionated, the dinner might end very early.
FAVORITE CHEFS Itamae-sans
(Japanese sushi chefs) and my brother, of course.
FAVORITE DISH Sushi.
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS I haven’t met a sushi bar I didn’t like, but in Tokyo, Sushi Iwa, Yoshitake, Jiro, and Shinji Kanesaka; in Manila, Tsumura. For teppanyaki, Ukai Tei in Tokyo. And, of course, Sarsa.
CHEAP EAT RECOMMENDATION
Singapore Hawker food.
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL on EARTH BE? What else? Sushi. Preferably by Jiro.
MOST MEMORABLE MEAL Every year it’s different, but this past year it was definitely Enrique Olvera’s Pujol in Mexico City. I was with my husband and I had the best mole of my life.
DRINK OF CHOICE Only wine.
DESSERT I’m a recovering chocoholic.
WRITER OR BOOK Long Walk to
Freedom, by Nelson Mandela. I’ve recently discovered Dominick Dunne (a few decades late) so I’m currently reading all his books.
FILM Anything by Wes Anderson.
FAVORITE FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT
Movie night at home with the kids.
FAVORITE ACTORS OF ALL TIME Colin Firth and Harrison Ford (double swoon).
MOST TREASURED POSSESSION My
FAVORITE WORK OF ART David Hockney’s portraits, Picasso’s ceramics, Matisse’s cut-outs, and Choupatte Géante, by Claude Lalanne.
FAVORITE ARTISTS Aside from the ones I mentioned above, I also like RM de Leon, Peter Doig, Cecily Brown, Chris Ofili, Frida Kahlo, and Manuel Ocampo.
IF YOU HAD 24 HOURS TO TAKE SOMEONE AROUND YOUR HOMETOWN, BACOLOD,
WHERE WOULD YOU GO? We would have breakfast at Pendy’s, then head out to Salvador Benedicto, where my parents have a rest house. We’d have lunch there and show them around the area before heading back to Bacolod for some shopping at Negros Showroom. On the way to Silay airport, we’ll visit my old friend Chell Lacson’s new B&B called German Unson Heritage House (which used to be her grandmother’s house) for a late merienda.
GREATEST HOPE FOR THE FUTURE Our
ISSUES AND CAUSES THAT YOU
ADVOCATE I’m passionate about social justice and wildlife conservation.
WORDS To LIVE By Pay it forward.