Gap to Open Stores in Philippines

By | What's New at Rustan's | 4 Comments

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Franchisee Plans to Open a Dozen Gap and Banana Republic Stores in the Philippines by 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Oct. 9, 2007 Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced a franchise agreement to introduce the Gap and Banana Republic brands to the Philippines. Over the next five years, Gap Inc.’s franchise partner – Rustan Group of Companies – plans to open a combined total of approximately eight Gap stores and four Banana Republic stores throughout the Philippines.

The first Gap store is expected to open by the end of this year, and the first Banana Republic stores by spring 2008. All stores are scheduled to be open by 2012. 

“The Philippines represents a natural market for Gap Inc. to expand its international presence,” said Ron Young, senior vice president of international strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “The country has a strong, steadily growing economy, and consumers in this market have a great interest in iconic apparel brands such as ours.”

Gap Inc. will leverage the Rustan Group’s local operational expertise, and will provide access to Gap and Banana Republic’s clothing and accessories. In addition, the Rustan Group of Companies will hold exclusive rights to operate Gap and Banana Republic stores in the Philippines, will purchase merchandise from Gap Inc. or suppliers designated by Gap Inc., and must adhere to Gap Inc.’s quality standards to preserve the reputation of the Gap and Banana Republic brands.

“We’re pleased to have forged a relationship with such an excellent local partner,” continued Mr. Young. “In addition to strong operational expertise and a deep understanding of their local customer base, the Rustan Group of Companies has a track record of successfully introducing well-known fashion and apparel brands to international markets.”

Gap Inc. directly operates Gap brand stores in six countries and Banana Republic stores in three countries. Today’s announcement follows previously-announced franchise agreements to open Gap and Banana Republic stores in Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

2_brand_gaplog1.jpgAssociated Press  

 Gap to Open Stores in Philippines  10/9/07

Apparel retailer Gap Inc. on Tuesday said it agreed to open Gap and Banana Republic stores in the Philippines.
Financial terms were not disclosed
Over the next five years, Gap Inc. and its franchise partner Rustan Group of Cos. plan to open about eight Gap Stores and four Banana Republic Stores throughout the Pacific Rim country.
The first Gap store is expected to open by the end of the year and the first Banana Republic store is expected to open by the spring of 2008. All stores are expected to be open by 2012.
Shares rose 4 cents to $18.89 during midday trading.

Gap to expand into Philippines 10/9/07
NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Clothing retailer Gap Inc <GPS.N> said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with wholesaler Rustan Group of Cos to open stores in the Philippines.
The San Francisco-based company said it would open about eight Gap stores and four Banana Republic stores around the Philippines. The first Gap store is expected to open by year’s end, while Banana Republic will open next spring, the company said.
Gap said it would select suppliers for the stores, while Rustan Group will operate them and stock their shelves.
In all, the company plans to open eight Gap and four Banana Republic stores in the Philippines by 2012.
“The Philippines represents a natural market for Gap,” said Ron Young, the company’s vice president for international strategic alliances. “The country has a strong, steadily growing economy, and consumers in this market have a great interest in iconic apparel brands.”
Gap, which also runs Old Navy, has similar franchise agreements in 11 countries throughout the Middle East and Asia.

Gap Will Add 12 Locations in the Philippines by 2012 (Update1)
By Stefanie Batcho-Lino

     Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — Gap Inc., the largest U.S. clothing retailer, will open 12 stores in the Philippines by 2012 to expand in Asia as U.S. sales decline.
     Rustan Group of Cos. will help to add eight Gap and four Banana Republic locations in the country in the next five years, the San Francisco, California-based company said today in a statement.
     The company has signed franchise accords since 2006 and has partners in Bahrain, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Gap wants to reverse two years of profit declines after its namesake and Old Navy chains lost U.S. market share.
     Gap rose 3 cents to $18.88 at 12:27 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares declined 3.3 percent this year through yesterday.
     The company operates more than 3,100 locations, including Gap sites in six countries and Banana Republic stores in three nations.



“I created Gap with a simple idea: to make it easier to find a pair of jeans. We remain committed to that basic principle.”

Don Fisher, Gap Inc. Founder and Chairman Emeritus


Credits:   Photos taken from GAP Inc. website

New Menu at East Cafe

By | Foodie, What's New at Rustan's | 4 Comments

Prepared to be enamored by the scrumptious dishes of East Creative Asia prepared by Chef Him Uy de Baron.  He has unveiled a wealth of  South East Asian Culinary Creations including a whole new afternoon tea line featuring Caffe Molinari. The menu has much more food finds that will surely have everyone enjoying the culinary tour to Asia! 

Discover the Orient at East Creative Cuisine and Caffe Molinari

2nd level, Rustan’s Makati  – Contact (632) 812.0233


Tod’s and Metro Society Give back

By | Events and Launches, Giving Back | One Comment

October 17, Tod’s Boutique, Ground Floor, Greenbeltl 4 Ayala Center 6:00 pm

Luxury  Italian leather goods brand Tod’s – distributed in the

Philippines by Stores Specialists, Inc. – is no stranger to charity work. Among their most noted projects recently is their team up with CAA and Men’s Vogue in an art auction that benefited Project Angel Food in 2006. Tod’s has also partnered with several celebrities such as actress Laura Linney and W Magazine for an event that helped Habitat for Humanity last October  2006; and Lucy Liu who designed a multi-colored Tod’s Marlene bag, the proceeds of which went to  UNICEF also last October 2006.
Here in the Philippines, this isn’t the first time that the brand is fulfilling its corporate social responsibility. This year Tod’s has teamed up with Metro Society Magazine for a charity event to benefit Bantay Bata 163. There was a silent auction of two gorgeous exotic-skin bags from the brand: a Marlene Pochette Micro Evening Bag and a T Bag Bauletto Mini. A portion of the proceeds from both sales of the two evenings and the auction pieces will be donated to Bantay Bata 163.
With its commitment to the high standard of quality, Tod’s is sure to craft nothing but the most beautiful products – and give back to the people while they’re at it.  [email_link]


In case of fire!

By | Household Tips | 5 Comments

I discovered another great tip from Tita Monique Villonco!  When i visited her last week, i saw a bunch of plastic organizers set aside in her house.  I asked the household staff what it was and she said that, in case of a fire, those are the first things they will bring out of the house.  Wow!!! I was amazed at how organized it was and how forward thinking Tita Monique is.  And her being a photographer, of course, most of the stuff in those containers are valuable memories which you cannot recreate anymore once they are lost or burned.  I am going to Make Room to buy matching plastic containers and copying her great idea!




Persia Grill

By | Foodie | 9 Comments

From now on, Mike will be one of my top sources for restaurants to go to…..We are always on the lookout for good Persian restaurants and so far there is our number one favorite, Hossein’s Persian Kebab and a recently discovered one, Sinbad’s (, which was through Mike also.   And now there is Persia Grill to add to the list. 

Raphael (Raph), son of Gloria Diaz, works there and we got to meet him two weeks ago.  Thanks to my eating mate, Brenda, for always accompanying me.  Raph introduced his good friend to me, Kian, who owns the restaurant. I read somewhere that Kian was one of the housemates in Pinoy Big Brother Season 2. His father owns Kazemi carpets outside San Lorenzo Village. 
The restaurant was full during lunchtime with office people in big groups. Dinner time would probably be less crowded.

Mike specified to order GBX (ground beef express) and sure enough, it was really good. MAKE SURE YOU ORDER GBX.  We ordered several business meals ( you can’t see what is under the rice )  since it came with rice  already and came with butter on top which melts right when it reaches your table.  The lamb chop was really good too.  The fruit shakes looked really good but we did not get to try them instead we took photos of the shakes of our next door table :-)  You can have it with yogurt or without. For dessert, Raph recommended the leche flan which he says is homemade and really the BEST……IT IS TRUE!!!

The food is really very reasonable and yummy.  TRY IT!!!
Valero Car Park 2, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, in Makati City
telephone #:  818-9090
Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day

My next Persian stop will be Arya Persian in Promenade which my friend Lilli Ann is recommending.

By Gippy and Hindy

By | Homes and Interiors | 5 Comments

I visited one Saturday afternoon…….Another house to admire as they both did the interiors themselves.  They are very artistic!!! Not only is the house done well, but there is something about the house… is very peaceful and it had a very relaxing atmosphere.  All the drapes were tied because it was raining that afternoon, the wind was cool, it was quiet, and that feeling of peace was really nice.  It was such a nice ambience just hanging out there….I guess when a house is filled with love… it shows…….


Camp Pain for fitness!

By | Health and Fitness, Sports | 13 Comments


Boot Camp classes will provide a time-efficient approach to exercise. You work the whole body. You’re in and out. For most of us who are time-conscious, it’s a nice way to fit fitness in.  In a gym, you’re on your own, at Boot Camp you form a camaraderie with people, because you’re going through the challenges together.

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The core of Boot Camp is that it is an overall, well designed, whole body workout. A fitter you will perform better in whatever sport you participate in, in whatever situation you find yourself in.  The classes are about progress, not perfection.   The class works with your abilities and encourages you to work at your own pace.Boot Camp will develop your strength, stamina and flexibility. The program combines cardiovascular and strength training exercises in a regimented 60 minute sessions. 

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Join James, Katie, Bing Bing, Stella, Marge, Mig, Alexie, Ria, Gary and I at the Polo Club Gym on Mondays 1130am & Wednesdays 615am & 1000am.  And for those in the south, there are classes at the Alabang Country Club Studio on Mondays & Thursdays at 630pm. 

For more inquiries, contact Ned Hourani at or at 0917-8471764. 


Lartizan Bakery and Mickey’s Deli

By | Foodie | 9 Comments

Another good recommendation by my brother Mike.  We had lunch today at Mickey’s and the place was full.  We met the owner of both Mickey’s and Lartizan.  It is always nice to meet the owners, even if I just have to tell them what a great job they are doing.    Johnlu Koa of Lartizan (French Baker) was even baking himself!  They had this NO CRUST whole wheat bread which is perfect for me because I always remove that part.  This is the first time I saw it being sold that way.  All the breads of the deli are supplied by the bakery.  They also bake the pizza in the bakery with the toppings coming from Mickey’s.The lady owner of Mickey’s did not want me to take her photo because she wanted her partner, Mickey to be in it too plus I forgot to ask her name.  She was busy helping out…….. And it was good to know that she is a loyal shopper of Rustan’s :-)  Most of their deli items are homemade as Mickey, is a German master butcher. I had the Mickey’s Italian Burger and munched on each and everyone’s order.  Everything was excellent!  Mike was right when he said that the pizza crust was really good.  It is made from fresh ciabatta bread by Lartizan.  They had only one dessert and boy they really made sure that was all you should have….yummy!! What a great combination to have a bakery and deli. 

144 Jupiter st. corner Orbit st., Bel-Air 2 Village Tel #:  899-6923



By | Events and Launches, Hot Off the Press, Travel | One Comment

October 5, Friday 32 Mc Kinley

Congratulations to Liza Ilarde, Editor in Chief of TraveLife Magazine!  Liza was also the Editor in Chief behind one of the top magazines in the country, Mega magazine.    They were one of the pioneers in the industry.  I noticed that when sharing albums with friends, one of the popular subjects is travel photos. People always want to see where you went, what you did and what you ate. Many always ask for travel tips before they leave for a trip.  So this magazine for sure will be very helpful. 

To quote from the Publisher, Christine Cunanan: 
“It’s the only dedicated travel magazine published on a regular basis.  It is written for the Filipino market by passionate Filipino travelers with real experiences and stories to share.  It’s an original Filipino publication that aims to go international.  Apart from Nationwide distribution, we are already available onboard the first and business class cabins and lounges of most major airlines flying out of Manila.  TraveLife is literally going global. ”

For more information:

By | Hot Off the Press, Website updates | 2 Comments

Heart2Heart has found a new home!      


I will maintain my Multiply for personal and private albums so i hope to still see my Multiply contacts at Multiply.  Please bear with the new site.  It may have some glitches and the photos don’t have descriptions yet.

I do hope to count on your continous support in this endeavor.  Please register and sign up.  I hope you can tell your family and friends to sign up as well.

By registering, you will get the emails direct to your mailboxes.  You will still have to check your bulk folders especially for yahoo as they still enter there.  I still need to figure that out. 

It will be easier now to share the blogs with your friends – there is a feature below each blog “SHARE WITH A FRIEND.” 

I have decided to take my blogging to a more professional level as many people have suggested it to me.  Making money is not my main motivation for running this site. My main motivation is to grow and eventually make other people grow with me. It is just an added bonus if I do get people to advertise and support my work. My blog has gained me access to certain events. It has become a high traffic media outlet, and many have considered me as a member of the press.   It has been a very busy yet fun six months since I started blogging.

The ideal part from blogging is the freedom it brings. I write whenever I’m inspired to write. Plus I get to spend my time doing what I love most-taking photos, documenting and sharing it with as many people as I can.  I get to see many new places, new things, meet many people and learn from them.

THANK YOU so much to all my contacts in Multiply and to all of you who have been patient enough to accept all my blogs through your emails.  Sorry for filling up your mailboxes.  I am grateful to those who constantly follow all my blogs and take time out to respond.  And to those who delete and don’t read them, you are still my friends :-)  Just be careful, you might be blogged by paparazzi Rica!  :-)