It’s Boracay Bliss on Eye Candy Friday!

sun, sea, sky…and the purest white sand you’ll ever see: Boracay

It may be Friday the 13th but we’ve only got good vibes for you lucky ducks out there because it’s our 3rd edition of Eye Candy Friday…welcome! Where The Bamboo Stiletto takes you to visit beach houses/holiday homes by real people, or resorts and other holiday escapes, so that you and I can have some dreamy holiday fantasies over the weekend.

Now call me completely biased but one of our most favourite beach destinations in the world is the tiny island of Boracay in central Philippines, a speck of a gem lined with a seven-kilometre beach of the purest fine, white sand that’s rapidly becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. We still remember our first visit to this island, in all its rough, rustic charm, with no electricity, when the only resort of note was Friday’s, the only place to hang out was Jonah’s (the place for ice cold fresh mango shakes) and the only bar to hit at night was Cocomangas. These days, Boracay has acquired a sheen of Makati sophistication (with prices to match) but somehow, despite the burgeoning tourist traffic and commercialization, the island’s allure is still there. We hope that success won’t spoil this little island paradise and will be properly sustained as we hope to keep coming back year after year.

Back in the day, it used to be that if you couldn’t get a room at Friday’s, you had no choice but to somehow “rough” it on the island…now, that’s no longer the case. You are spoilt for choice in Boracay as long as you are willing to splurge because, according to one of our closest girlfriends and one of the island’s permanent residents, Boracay “no longer has a slow season”. So just take a deep breath, pull out that credit card and you may just want to make this particular five-star luxury resort – a Bamboo Stiletto favourite – your address on your next Boracay holiday:

private white sand beach
an enticing pool beckons…
lots of little nooks designed to get you horizontal
a quick look at the Filipino art installations – is that a spear & shield??? – in the guestroom
nice recessed area on the stone wall to make the flat screen tv unobtrusive…and we like the matching stone patterns on the cabinets below
seashell clusters on sand…an innovatively beautiful way to bring the outdoors in. isn’t it cute???
plush & comfy daybeds on the balcony…get off your feet & grab a margarita!
grab someone…anyone!…and hold hands during the loveliest sunset on the planet

This resort was so incredibly photogenic – talk about eye candy – that if I post all my photos of its exteriors and interiors, we’ll be here until Sunday, so I’m forced to edit down to the ones you are right now viewing. You know what this means, dontcha, means you’ve gotta go and see it for YO self!

When you’re staying at this particular resort, somehow you just lose the inclination to leave it, even though Boracay’s main strip is renowned for its nightlife. What for??? Everything that you could possibly want to do on an island beach holiday…the beach, the pool, the spa, dining & drinking and re-charging one’s batteries in peace and solitude and serenity, it’s all in one place, right here. And that could only be the Shangri-La Boracay.

of course stay at the Shangri-La Boracay…no other place will do!

For your next island beach holiday, just do yourself a favour. Book your stay at the Shangri-La Boracay right here and let them handle everything. Just pack a bikini, a camera, bring sun protection and your favourite weekend arm candy. You won’t regret it!

Where do you want to go on your next island beach holiday, Stiletto-istas? DO share!!!

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?