The Far-Off Philippines — Dream Escapes


The Philippines as interior design Inspiration – from Apartment Therapy. Bamboo Stiletto hearts!


GASP! The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite time sink – Apartment Therapy – has Filipino roots! Who knew? It was an absolutely delish surprise to see this post about design inspiration from the Philippines in our blog reader inbox this morning. We’re avid fans ourselves of the capiz shell pendant lamp and of course, the rattan “Voyage” bed by Kenneth Cobonpue, a super-talented young furniture designer from Cebu. Here’s a shout-out of pride for Kenneth and our hometown, y’all. Yay!!!


Shoe & The City: If Your City Was a Shoe, What Would It Be?

Have you read one of these articles lately which are all about how your shoes are supposed to reveal your personalilty type? Well, how about, what your shoes reveal about your city? Put it another way…if your city was a shoe, what kind of shoe would it be?

I’ve had the privilege of living in three of China‘s biggest, fastest-developing and most fascinating cities: Beijing (7 years), Shanghai (2 years) and Guangzhou (1 month & counting…). When I think about these 3 cities in terms of shoes, here’s what I came up with:

Converse sneaks (summer) / Uggs snow boots (winter)

summer kicks for the Beijing hipster…artsy, intellectual, with just the right touch of ” I’m so cool I don’t care about how I look” grunge attitude

with sub-frozen winter temps averaging minus 20C, comfort & warmth reign over style for the resident Beijinger’s toes

Christian Louboutin stiletto peep-toes (summer) /
Jimmy Choo patent leather stiletto knee-high boots (winter)

seductive, blatantly sexy, oh-so-expensive & not afraid to show it, with just the right amount of toe cleavage, the Shanghai stylista endures suffering as long as she’s tres chic!

for striding through snow & ice…and a fashion runway (just in case). in Shanghai, style always triumphs!

Ok, I must admit I was in a bit of a quandary about this…this city is so hot & humid, deceptively sunny & yet so mercurial, with sudden massive downpours of rain. With the amount of rainfall, enough to ruin your shoes after two outings, at first I thought Guangzhou would be a pair of  sturdy Hunter Wellies (Wellington), as is:

in Guangzhou, blame it on the rain!

But then last Sunday, as we were caught in yet another unpredictable downpour and I was mourning my soaked Onitsuka Tigers (they were espadrille-style…darn), a girlfriend glanced at my feet and said, “You really should get a pair of Crocs.”

Now don’t get me wrong and I hope I don’t offend anyone out there but I just think Crocs are the fugliest shoes on the planet and only babies, toddlers, teens and grown-up men doing manly things like going to the hardware store, look remotely good in them. Grown-up women, news alert! Crocs don’t make you look good. At all.

Then I glanced at her feet…voila!…she had on a pair of Crocs and mais oui, this is what they looked like (my friend is, of course, French):

casual, unpretentious & low-key, perfect for sweltering sun or sudden torrential downpours, to keep one’s tippy toes happy in Guangzhou

Trust the French to find something stylish yet practical to my footwear conundrum in Guangzhou. So, here you go, Guangzhou: Crocs crocband flats.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t give my old hometown in the Philippines – Cebu – a whirl with this game. So here’s what I came up with and in this case, my heart is  really where the shoe fits….right at home.

Castaner wedge espadrilles

for perenially sunny, blue-sky days, the Cebuana keeps it easy & casual-chic, ever-ready for kicking off & going barefoot on the beach or instead, slipping on a pair of…

Also, for Cebu:
Havaiianas flip flops

a Cebuana’s unofficial uniform

A shout-out to the Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Cebu peeps out there, do you agree with my shoe choices above?  Let’s make this fun, everyone!!! In the Comments below, tell me about where you live and what shoe would your city be?

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