Feeling like a superhero with these stylish fashionistas!

Last March 17, I held my second curated workshop partnering with Commune Cafe on how to wear mixed prints with some pretty amazing people for guest speakers. Shaira Luna, Liza Ilarde, Tessa Nieto-Villalon, Abraham Guardian and Joyce Makitalo are all fashion legends in their own right and save for young designer Ham, have been in the industry for some time. I met each one in different times of my professional life and worked with some in projects, workshops and shoots, featuring three out of the five here in SOS.

#SOSMIXIT was born out of a post I wrote about the Spring/Summer 2018 fashion trends. My friend Ruby commented that she needed a tutorial on how to wear mixed prints and our friend Joyce chimed that she wanted to do a shopping / dress up party while we were at it. It got me thinking of creating a workshop out of the thread and went to meet with Ros who owned Commune cafe. We’ve talked about doing an event in the past and I decided this is the one, plus Ros, being the philanthropist she is, suggested we give part of the proceeds to Mano Amiga, an NGO who helps the underprivileged. In a span of two weeks, plans were made, speakers were confirmed, the style guide printed and social media marketing was in full swing.

I was feeling my usual stomach pains, happens whenever I know I’d be speaking in front of an audience. The biggest fear, to be honest, was what if nobody showed up. I worked really hard, mostly on my own, on top of a demanding schedule, all for the love helping people feel good about mastering a tricky styling hack. This was the first time I also charged for a workshop so talk about double the pressure! I was lucky enough to have angels as friends who assisted, generously donated swag, shared their time and talent to make it possible for me to focus on facilitating and managing on the day of. I realised that the more I fear something, the more I want to do it. Just like the very first time I rode a roller coaster (while dying inside).

I was a nervous wreck once I started talking, partly because I wished more people had signed up. I didn’t want all the precious information and extremely entertaining talks to go to waste. Once Liza, the first guest speaker started her portion, however, I began to relax and have fun. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a full house, I owed the ones who took time out on a Saturday a good workshop and I was determined to give it to them, and I believe in the end, I delivered. I was so happy with each speaker’s words of fashion wisdom and tricks that even got me surprised! Each one had their own pasabog and the whole time I was thinking how lucky everyone was to have access to this information first hand from the most colorful personalities. The event closed with some lucky participants winning drool-worthy prizes—including a diamond solitaire necklace from Joyeria!!!— and going home happy & fulfilled, which is all I ever wanted. Probably the best thing that came out of this experience was knowing, in my own small way, I was able to help those who needed it (Mano Amiga’s mom cooks) and made some forget about their insecurities and just go for that outfit they never thought they could pull off. Fashion may be frivolous but utilised in the right way, can really change lives; I plan to continue doing so for as long as I can. Preach!

All photos by Eka Gomez of Thrive Creative House

The amazing speakers! L-R: Shaira Luna, Liza Ilarde, Tessa Nieto-Villalon, Abraham Guardian and Joyce Makitalo.

Liza Ilarde, Fashion & Beauty Editor at Manila Bulletin Style section

Known as the Queen of Prints, Liza never fails to amuse and amaze with her concoction of whimsical outfits and proves that dressing for yourself has no age limit.

Joyce Makitalo, Accessories Designer.

Joyce is an artist though and through and it shows in everything she does and touches. See the flower print on her top? She hand-painted it the night before to match the stripes on her skirt!

Abraham Guardian, Young Designer

Abraham, fresh out of fashion school, was a novice speaker who nailed it with his candid humor and intense love for fashion. How could you not love this?!

Shaira Luna, Photographer

Always smiling and in a good mood, Shaira is probably the most innovative of the loot, spending a measly P25.00 on this stellar ensemble and made it look like a gazillion bucks! Now, that’s talent!

Tessa Nieto-Villalon, Owner of The Florence Fling

The sweet and always perfectly put-together model-turned-entrepreneur adores dressing in prints—that’s actually a dress underneath the floral skirt that she layered!

Ros Juan, Owner at Commune Cafe + Bar and our event partner.

I believe this is the first time Ros ever tried wearing this top and these pants together. I would totally wear this look! Good job!

Some of the guests who made it to the shoot 😀

My client TJ, who didn’t wear prints as required but made up for it with her cheerful and eager-to-learn demeanor.

Mariel came with TJ and told me her outfit were her favorite pieces in her closet and the first time she actually wore them together. Love the indie/hipster vibe of her look!

Clarisse is my client-turned-soul sister who loves fashion as much as I do. Clever how she used accessories as her print on print hack!

Ana is my BFF who lovingly agreed to be my Vanna White for the afternoon. She normally doesn’t wear prints but did it anyway all for moi. I should be so lucky!!

Tessa’s styling trick that delighted us all!

Joyce’s fearless print pairing, first hand.

Shaira sharing ukay-ukay tips, like how she scored this See by Chloe silk blouse for a mere P5.00. Crayyyyyy!

First time speaker Ham charming the pants off everyone in the room.

A closer look at Clarisse’s lovely accessories.

Super cute summer print mixing by Tina!

My client, Dr. Anne Chan and her take on mixing prints. Not too shabby! And the fact that she wore leopard as a neutral earns her extra snaps!



Ria Perez-Olonan wearing her own Joyeria baubles. Shot at Commune, 36 Polaris st. Poblacion, Makati.

“You have to meet my friend Ria, she owns a fine jewelry business, she made these for me and Char. It’s our sisters ring, gifted by my MIL.” my friend L (for Leona, I’d just decided this is how I’d like to call her) says to me over brunch as she waves her hands and shows me delicate stacks of rings in golden shades, some with stones and some without. I felt a small pang of envy and awe as I looked at her fingers and stopped to appreciate each one. “Wow what a sweet Mom!,” I said with a laugh and L agreed wholeheartedly. She shares that the cost, considering the metals and stones used, was incredibly reasonable and I, although non-expert, had to agree; it was a classic (yet designed in a contemporary way) piece that will keep forever and looked super chic with absolutely anything.

By the time we kissed bye, we agreed that more people needed to know about this important information plus shine light on the designer’s talent, who I would later find out was also intelligent as she was beautiful. We waited until both L and her sister-in-law Char were both free to do the shoot at our common friend Ros’ cafe. I gave them instructions to style Joyeria’s latest collection in pieces that defined their personalities. Gone are the days that fine jewelry are only to be strictly worn for black tie or dressy occasions; nowadays, it’s chic to be ironic with fashion, so sporting a tennis bracelet with an old white tee is considered the new cool, the norm even. Broke the rules they did, and so much more! It was a great pleasure working/playing with these ladies and feel their closeness and sisterhood; such an appropriate end to bid Women’s Month farewell.

IG: joyeriajewelleryph
FB: Joyería Jewellery PH
Landline: +6329066010
Celphone: +639175088478
Private Showroom (by appointment): Fairways Tower, BGC Taguig

Ria on Joyeria 

When did you start the business? How did you differentiate the identity of Joyeria from your family jewelry business?
Joyería started in 2014 but we only catered to the fine jewelry requirements of our friends, who were either proposing, getting married, or just looking for the perfect gift for their special someone and even for themselves (sort of pat on the back for the promotion, etc.). Somehow, the friends I grew up with remembered my jeweller parents and knew they’ll be getting a good deal if they purchase fine jewelry from me. But unlike the straight-off-the-factory packaging of my parents: blue jewelry foam and plastic, Joyería upped its presentation to have that luxurious look despite its friendly price, which brings about the joy and the heart of the brand. It’s just serendipitous how the words/letters “joy”, our core, “e”, my husband and business partner’s name —Erick, and “Ria”, yours truly, all form the word “joyeria”, which literally translates as “jeweller” in Spanish.

Who / what is Joyeria’s target market?

Originally, Joyería’s target market was just friends and friends of friends that eventually, grew through word of mouth. We’ve really built a rapport with clients as their trusted personal jeweller. As part of our sincere service, we make sure we’re tranparent and recommend value for money deals. We’d like to build more lasting relationships like that. It’s nice to be part of a family’s legacy: from engagement, wedding, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, and many more milestones.

What are some important points to remember on buying fine jewelry?

Don’t be pressured by the 4C’s or gem/pearl grade. Find the sweet spot between your budget and desired specs. In the end, a good setting can always highlight the beauty of the stone as it is.

Most people can only afford to buy fine jewelry at a certain age..what’s a good “first piece” to buy once you can? And why?

I always recommend the classic diamond studs in 14k gold enlarger setting. It’s a must-have in your wardrobe that you can style in different ways. They can build their collection and make several looks using earring jackets, from halo, danglings, birthstones etc. The possibilities are endless once you start with the basics.

How would you style fine jewelry if you’re under 50 (years onld)?

I think that’s the beauty of fine jewelry. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, solid gold never go out of style and never tarnish. If you have avant garde or vintage pieces from lola’s jewelry box, you can have it redesigned and reset to fit your style. I always recommend classic settings so when you outgrow them (need bigger pieces for growing lobes, finger joints), you can pass it on to your children, and still be a classic.

Whats your favorite piece of all time and why? 

My favorite piece would definitely be the two-tone princess cut diamond creole my mom designed for me when she was still around. It can go from day to night, sporty to formal, plus it hides my droopy earlobes perfectly. I’ve had it since I was 18 and I always have it on. It’s ageless and timeless. I recently even had several custom made for clients who take notice. It’s my favorite piece because although I know I can make several similar designs, it can never replace the original given by my mom. Her memory lives on.

Sisters-in-law Leona Panutat and Char Carlos in their versions of a minimalist look. All jewelry by Joyeria.

The sisters rings up close!

Char’s channels Vicky B. in her classic look. I LOVE.

Leona in one of her favorite tops by Pat Ramos.

Color looks gorgeous on this beauty and further highlights the jewels.

Her version of sporty and the jewelry goes perfectly!

Leona mixing pastel prints!

A closer look at her masterpiece.

Char’s subtle mix print version is an A+.

“The Joyería EmpoweRing, launching this May, has 10 natural diamonds on each of the laurel leaves set in 14k solid gold, is to be worn on the “thanksgiving” (index) finger to symbolize the joy in luxury: of being able to write your own destiny as you create impact on other lives. When I designed it, I think of the joyous ripple effect it could have, as part of the sales would help support the Safe Cities Programme of the United Nations Women here in the Philippines. In essence, it’s women empowering women.”




Nothing like an all girls weekend to kick off the beginning of summer! Was lucky to be invited by Viajecito to Leku Eder, one of the beautiful homes in Tali beach (it was my first time there, ever) and got to bond with such awesome women. I’ve spotted the popular rubber tote before, but never got to see it in person until that weekend and I felt instantly in love with the simple design, functionality and choices of colors from the actual bag, rope handle and lining! We were asked to design our own and it was tough choosing the combo that’ll fit my lifestyle—I eventually ended up with the Fog which is their bestseller, and matched it with a red handle and pink stripe lining.

It wasn’t all work (if you call posing for pics and videos work) because soon as we arrived we were welcomed with yummy aperol spritz and snacks while we waited for our Mexican lunch. After siesta, we went on a treasure hunt (candies and cute earrings to be had), did the bag design activity, happy hour promptly followed then Spanish food for dinner. The next day took us to the beaches surrounding the area where we shot more photos & videos, drank, laughed and ate to our heart’s content and headed back to the house for a boodle fight! To say we were stuffed and had a blast was an understatement—it was the welcome brake I craved and a sort of post-birthday celebration with the best company. Snippets of that fun weekend ahead! Have a great summer!

The girls and I with our swag! Resident pup Pepe joined us for the pic. ADORABLE.

The box contents: a free class pass from Plana Forma and a water bottle, goodies from Take Root, tanning essentials from Sun Bum and Viajecito’s latest product, the super cute and convenient splash kit!

Sipping and snacking upon arrival. Those aperol spritz were one of the best I’ve tried, thanks Mika and Kat for concocting!

I’ve used my splash kit in the city, too, containing just the essentials: phone, keys, lip gloss and tissue! Super chic and versatile, I tell you.

Our happy hour spread with food and drinks from Molinera, Don Simon and J. Garcia Carrion. Needless to say this was WIPED OUT well before dinner came.

PS. Do you know you can use the tote as an ice bucket?? Just take out the lining, fill up with ice and bottles of your choice and viola—drinks on the go! CANNOT WAIT TO TRY THIS HACK!

Day 2: ready with our beach outfits and our Viajecitos, of course!

These goodies kept us hydrated, full and sunburn-free while island hopping!

Mika who takes care of Marketing (left) and her friend Kat were some of the new friends I made. They’re about ten years younger in age but our connection went way beyond the numbers. LOVE THEM!

The boodle fight spread that greeted us after island hopping. Writing this made me hungry, I mean…

Final group pic with the girls! Thank you, Viajecito and Marcie (front right) for the most memorable weekend!

Order your Viajecito tote and Splash Kit at www.viajecito.ph