space, spending time with close family and friends, and going to farm getaways. The city itself is beautiful. My cousins took us to this quirky resort called Takatuka, a lodge and dive resort. We really had fun.
What distinct Ilonggo characteristics do you think you have?
My slow manner of speech, I’m very touchy feely, and can be very laid back as well.
As a fashion buyer, what does your work entail?
It entails everything from trying to decipher the demands of our customers, sourcing out their needs, negotiating with vendors and meeting with them several times a year, overseeing merchandise display at the stores, and marketing activities for the brands and concepts that we introduce. I’ve been a fashion buyer for as long as 12 years. And right now I’m busy with the Ladies and Young Adult’s Fashion. We just launched a new concept store for our Young Department called STUFF.
What’s a typical day for you like?
I always make it a point to have breakfast with my son. I start the day early at 7a.m. with morning coffee. After I’m done checking my email, I go through the day with meetings and store visits. And just as how I started my day, it’s important that I always have dinner with my family. After I put my son to bed, I go back to checking my email messages and make some calls to foreign suppliers.
Have you always been into fashion?
I guess I was, but I wasn’t aware of it. Growing up with four older brothers, I was a bit of a tomboy. As I got into my teens, I became more and more concerned about what I wore. My personal style is still easy and relaxed; I like mixing feminine outfits with edgy, tomboy pieces.
What do you think are the must-have fashion pieces every woman must have in her closet?
A classic watch, diamond earrings, a perfect classic swimsuit, a nice pair of shades, white tees, jeans, trainers, a black dress that can be worn to different occasions, and a pair of nude heels.
What can you say about the business side of fashion?
It’s extremely, extremely challenging. It’s not all about the glitz and glamour, like most people perceive it to be. It’s also hard work. But at the same time, it’s also fun and it being challenging is what makes it all the more interesting.
Tell us about your family.
It’s just the three of us—paolo, who I’ve been married to for five years, and my son, Xevi, who’s now four years old. We spend a lot of time together by the pool, hanging out at home, and we love going on weekend getaways.
How do you balance your time between work and family?
It’s always the toughest balancing act. I’m still trying to figure that one out (laughs).
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Once in a while I like to get massages; and I spend time with my sister Bea for a relaxing day. I also practice Reiki healing and music therapy. Bonding activities with my family include movie nights, beach getaways, lunches, dinners, and Sta. Elena weekends.