I will always remember moments like these: Me as a child, playing around the thick mud after every storm in my hometown province in the Philippines called Nueva Ecija. As kids, me and my brothers saw the thick watery soil as an opportunity to play rather than dirt. The blissful joy we felt while playing with the mud outweighed the the catastrophe that came with the watery earth that surrounded us.

I remember that day as if it was yesterday. It was a fine day. I was in the middle of a rice field. My shoes had disappeared in the murky waters that I was stepping in and I was knee deep in a mix of water, mud and fallen grass. But I looked up and I saw the pale yellow sky and felt the setting sun on my face. Years later, when I became a businessman, and I’ve experienced the gratifying fruits of my hard labor that life had to offer, I remembered that one fine day. I saw beauty then and I still see beauty now. It is up to you to find beauty in the ugliest of days. You never know what life can teach you.

Bravery. Patriotism. Love of country. Most of the men in my hometown sign up to be soldiers once they are of age. As a child, I would see brave-looking men wearing camouflage uniforms on the street and I would imagine. I would imagine them coming home to see their loved ones, only to leave again in a few days to fight the good fight for their country. I became one in 1989.

I grew up with the knowledge that coffee was all one needed for breakfast. A drink for the morning, an essential to start the day. But as my wife and I began travelling around the world for business, I learned that coffee extends beyond convenience. It is an atmosphere-setter for good conversation and relaxation. The smell and taste, although sour, becomes pleasing as I talk with my wife about our future. A cup of coffee reminds me of the good moments, the moments when time seemed to stay still.


No fear and all faith. My personality coincides strongly with a tigers’. Fearless, brave and cunning. My spirit is focused on facing all of life’s challenges, and determined to succeed at every turn. No matter how long the journey is.

I was inspired by the infamous Santorini. Its sunset is the most spectacular I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. I was there on August 2011, along with hundreds of tourists from all over the world. Despite our differences in culture and in spirit, all of us starred in wonder at the breath-taking scene right before our eyes. The spirit of calm, inspiration and oneness with the people around me enveloped my soul at that very moment.

Snow, white and purely from the sky above us. It was February in 2017. I took a trip to New York and New Jersey. The whole city was wrapped in white and people everywhere were frolicking in the snow, while children were making snow angels. I saw it as a celebration of nature’s wonders, and held my hands out, ready to hold on to every snowflake I could catch.

Gray, with touches of green, reminds me of my previous life as a teacher of drawing. Every stroke of a colored pencil radiates a spark of creativity, and the connection between teacher and student is bound by an armor of affection. I taught Basic Drawing from 1992 to 1999.

Whilst I settled my family in Cebu, a blessing fell in front of me. A condo unit in Manila became up for grabs, so I went ahead and caught that blessing with my two hands. That was 2004.

Now, every time I look out from our glass window with a view that overlooks the Rockwell buildings, I remember the blessings that continued to fall in front of me after that, and I smile at the thought of catching more. For my career as a designer, and for my family as a whole.

The year 1999 is a year I will never forget. My wife and I travelled to London for the first time. Despite the never-ending gloomy weather, the people and the culture oozed sophistication and inspiring elegance. From the winter boots on their feet, to the earmuffs settled on their head. We stood out in the crowd in our bright blue jackets, as it was our only means to combat the cold. But it was a first in making a fashion statement, through our clothes and our bag designs, one step at a time.

Today, I mostly wear black. It has become my signature color.

My first sky jump as an airborne soldier is a memory I never want to relive.
The jumpmaster’s loud commanding voice overpowered the noise of the planes engines, giving me and the other jumpers the courage to take the leap. We were 3,000 feet off the ground. Who wouldn’t be nervous? But as my parachute opened, like a flower that was newly sun-kissed, my fear was replaced by calmness. I saw the vast expanse of blue while floating in the air, and I felt peace.

Once a Marine, always a Marine. I was one from 1987 to 1991.

Our trip to Czech Republic, was a last minute plan. We had finished our show in Paris and other business commitments and decided to make the most of it in Prague. I remembered that for three days straight, I would go to the Od Town Square before the sun was even out. And before the daily bustle of the town began, I would sit at the quiet and stare in amazement at famous Medieval Astronomical Clock. I wondered how can one thing be created with such meticulous and intricate work. It was a wonder to think about.


A name that was conceptualized and made long before it was introduce to the world. It started with an idea.

As all of us are unique and one of a kind, my wife and I wanted to create brand wherein all our designs were one of a kind. No repetitions or replications. Our brand says a clear message that every being on this Earth was born uniquely, and was made for a purpose.

From twilight to the dawn of a new tomorrow. Form the darkness of our financial woes to the light of a divine provision.

I was an Overseas Filipino Worker in Italy for three months in 1999. I came home with my faith strong in business. Not long after, a breakthrough came, unexpectedly, in the form of an angel bearing the gift of benefaction. A buyer from New York bought a huge quantity of our products that provided the means to grow our little enterprise.

A glorious morning came that day. I became a certified businessman, and a designer ordained by God.

I am my father’s son.
He showed his affection by gifting me with my first pair of denim pants. It is the mark of manhood, he told me. I wore it for ten years, my Kerr boot jeans, but the memory of father-son connection will live in my heart for a lifetime.

Blue curacao. That was the color written on the tag of the jeans my father gave me. that is how my father showed his affection.

“Whoever finds a friend, finds treasure.”
“Happy wife, happy life.”

It brings me joy and overwhelming peace that I have a friend in my wife. She is the representation of all the blessings I have in my life. She is the sun that brings out the color in my eyes, and my source of inspiration for my designs. I love you, my beloved Rosemarie.

A harvest of green grains. The rice not fully matured, me and my friends would cheerfully turn into the quintessential snack of our childhood. After hours of pounding and toasting, voilà, Pinipig!

Fragrant and crunchy. A well-earned food for hungry stomachs. I smile whenever I think of this memory.

A farmer’s trademark color. The color of the earth’s produce. A farmer is known for the color of the earth’s produce. Their sun-kissed skin and their humble hearts of gold.

My father in law was a very good farmer. He worked on his small farm by himself, through blood, sweat and tears. He worked with his bare hands to clothe and feed 10 children, my wife being the 9th.

He taught me a very valuable lesson: to focus on one thing at a time. The world will adjust to your timing if you just let it. Because he who begins with many, finishes none.

This minaudiere is my tribute to him and all farmers.