Thursday, June 28, 2007

A tribute to my grandma.

Paz G. Banas
March 14, 1914 - June 28, 2007
Photographed by: Jaime Zobel de Ayala

You were once my one companion
You were all that mattered
You were once a friend and mother
Then my world was shattered

Wishing you were somehow here again
Wishing you were somehow near
Sometimes it seemed if I just dreamed
Somehow you would be here

Wishing I could hear your voice again
Knowing that I never would
Dreaming of you won't help me to do
All that you dreamed I could

Passing bells and sculpted angels
Cold and monumental
Seem, for you the wrong companions
You were warm and gentle

Too many years, fighting back tears
Why cant the past just die

Wishing you were somehow here again
Knowing we must say goodbye
Time to forgive, Teach me to live
Give me the strength to try

No more memories, no more silent tears
No more gazing across the wasted years
Help me say goodbye.

Help me say goodbye.

-Andrew Lloyd Webber-

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mad about Brilliant Roses.

Rose cut diamonds (RCD) were introduced as early as the 1500's and were popular until the early 1900's. The shape usually resembles the petals of a rose bud. The bottom is flat. The crown is domed shaped and the facets meet in a point in the center. The number of facets varies from 3,6,12,18,to 24 facets. After the 1900's, everyone preferred to purchase and wear the modern cut diamonds (MCD). It is only during the last 7 years when diamond lovers have begun to demand for this cut once again.

This is an eternity ring using 10 pear shaped RCD with a total weight of 4.92 carats. Since the diamond is flat on the bottom, this ring wraps around the finger perfectly. A great alternative to the classic engagement ring after all, we are all about being unique.

Jul B. Dizon designers have been in love with the RCD since we all started manning the business. We all love the look of antique jewellery which is why when we come up with designs, we usually use estate jewellery as our inspiration. Something that the Royal Family would wear and I guess it's the kind of jewellery that I would wear just as soon as Prince William realizes that he wants me as his Royal Wifey!

It is said that when you wear this stone, it brings luck to your business. Most of my clients have at least one set of RCD and true enough, their businesses are thriving! I am not saying that it is all because of the RCD but it won't hurt you to wear one. It is also a great stone to have because of the illusion of size and weight meaning, since all diamonds are sold by its carat weight, a one carat RCD may look like a three carat of MCD. So price wise, it is much cheaper. Measurement wise, the one carat RCD may have the same diameter as a three carat MCD. Not bad if you are a size queen.

The MALTESE cross is a favorite of our clientelle. We have made a few variations of it and these brooches are all convertible to pendants and may even be worn as a bangle.

All the items above have been sold but we would be very happy to design you our own version of the Royal Jewels.

Jul B. Dizon Jewellery
EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
(632) 6347448

The Peninsula Manila
(632) 8864638

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sneak peak -Bejewelled Nature

On July 19, 2007, Jul B. Dizon Jewellery will celebrate its 29th Anniversary at The Conservatory of The Peninsula Manila. This is when the new pieces are displayed and at the same time give thanks to our special clients by having a get together with fellow jewellery lovers and have good food prepared by The Peninsula handled, of course, by Stephanie Chong.

For those asking for a preview, this is the best that we can do to show you what's in store. Because our pieces are one of a kind, you have to understand that we cannot take reservations but be assured that when you wear our jewellery, there is no one out there that has exactly the same one as you have.

As you can obviously see, this is a small part of our Bejewelled Nature. It is a favorite collection of many and since we have added more unique stones and materials, I am sure it will continue being one.

For this show, we are also going to be launching Janina by Jul B. Dizon, the new store of Janina. It will be a show you will surely enjoy.

Please note down in your calendar :
Jul B. Dizon Jewellery Salon and Janina by Jul B. Dizon
The Conservatory, The Peninsula Mania
July 19, 2007, 3:30 pm

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anyone for Balut? (Duck Fetus)

I do not mean to offend anyone by writing this blog. I just have to express myself about how disgusting I find this delicatessen to be. Someone that I had met recently said that in all fairness to the Balut, eating a fetus is just like eating roe (fish eggs) which we find in California Maki or other kinds of Japanese dishes. But there's nothing cute about these duck fetus and I just cannot fathom the texture it may have inside the mouth. Imagine the feathers, feet, beak!!! (eeeuuuwww!)

It is full of protein and iron which is why it is said that Filipino men usually eat one or two of these before engaging in love making. It is supposed to give him the strength and lust to last for hours. That's fine with me as long as the guy eats it (hihi). It is also very high in cholesterol so some feel pain on the back of his neck after consuming more than one fetus.

Basically, BALUT is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. Here in the Philippines, the fetus is usually 17 days old before it is boiled and kept warm under a blanket ready to be devoured by beer drinkers but mind you, one can find this aphrodisiac in a 5 star hotel but of course, served in a more appetizing manner.

Now believe it or not, here in the Philippines almost every single person has eaten a Balut at least once in his life. Some even eat as many as 4 or 5 in one session of beer drinking spree.

I once asked an American friend, Justin Smith, to eat one of these and it took him about 7 minutes to finish it because he found it difficult to chew and swallow the baby duck. But according to Justin, it doesn't taste so bad. Looking at the photos now, guess I have to take his word for it and leave it at that.

Thanks but NO THANKS!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

CHI Spa at EDSA Shangri-la!

Event: Grand Opening of CHI Spa
Venue: Poolside, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
Date and Time: June 15, 2007, 6:30 pm
Attire: Spa Chic

A very elite spa for very discerning clients recently opened in EDSA Shangri-la Hotel. The event was a major production and according to Gabbie Bagasao of Communications, it took them 2 months to prepare. The whole poolside was closed as huge structures had to be built to accomodate a stage, 5 spawled out buffet stations, each with a different theme and to cover almost the whole pool area with tents. There was a play of lights that made the pool green, blue, red and purple. Mist was everywhere and soothing sounds played throughout the 4 hour celebration.

Guest of Honour was President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who arrived with Mayor Neptali Gonzalez of Mandaluyong City, Ms. Kay Goon, IC Chairman for Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts Phil. and President of EDSA Properties Holdings Inc., Mr. Andy Bautista. After a short dance presentation, PGMA and the other special guests unveiled a gong which PGMA hit 3 times to officially open Chi. She and her entourage entered the spa lobby and stayed in there most of the time probably because it was hot hot hot! outside the pool area. Secretary Ace Durano of Department of Tourism was also amongst the special guests. That's he and I rubbing elbows.

The set up was tremendously well thought off. Beautifully decorated and you can tell that they spared no expense to convert the poolside into something magnificent. The food was all about health. Vegetable sticks, strawberries, steamed dumplings, fresh fruits cold noodles and other healthy nibblers to munch on. One part of the buffet was set up to look like you were under the sea. Huge ice carvings and blue lights made me feel like a mermaid. The food was laid out on a clear huge flat platter which was on top of an actual mini pool where goldfish are swimming about.

It was a shame though, that they decided to hold this event on a Friday AND a payday nontheless. So guests who were invited got stuck in traffic. My friend Steffie, who left The Peninsula at 6:30 p.m. arrived after 2 hours! This trip usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes on a regular day. Next time you have an event, I suggest that you avoid having it on a Friday.

As I walked around taking photos of the decoration, I noticed that most of the people who were eating and mingling are actually NOT guests but hotel employees. They were wearing nice cocktail dresses but the name tag gave it away. I guess it was a good way to fill up the place with people and still treat the hotel employees to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

My good friend Eric Pe Benito was there to grace the event.

My super glamorous gang of the night, Stephanie Chong, Rosette Fernandez and Annabelle Chavez.

Sari Yap and Heidi Ng of Lifestyle Asia.

I haven't tried the services of Chi but when I get to, I will make sure to let you know how it is. But by the looks of the interior and prices, someone's going to have to treat me to the therapies and massage they offer (yeah, you know who you are).

CHI the Spa at Shangri-la
Ms. Ella Marie Lacson, Manager
EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
6338888 loc. 1777

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Totally Tali!

A weekend getaway at Tali Beach was what I needed to get some serious R and R (Rest and Relaxation). I slept for almost 20 hours and felt like I needed more but it was time to get up and take some photos of what I think is a great place for you guys to check out.

Along Sunset Beach Road, we found a little cove that has a great place for cliff jumping. Unfortunately, I had already showered and put away my bathing suit so I just took photos of my brothers who were dared and had to show how macho they really are. They would have done a higher jump but it was already low tide and was a bit dangerous.

The view was amazing although the weather was too darn hot. Steaming in fact. I had to borrow my brother's oversized T-shirt because I had totally drenched mine with sweat. Not a nice feeling. EEEUUUWWWW!
But then again, seeing all this was worth it.

Next time I find myself in this area, I vow to do the jump just to show you guys that I ain't no sissy girl!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Crazy for Coral!!

One of the most beautiful materials that we often use in jewellery making is CORAL. In this blog, I will inform you of the nature, characteristics, beliefs and how to care for this exquisite gift from Mother Nature.
(Sorry guys, but this one is for the gals).

This bangle has an antique coral with unique carvings. We used jade leaves and amethyst to bring out the color of the coral. A butterfly with diamonds are added to give off sparkle against the opaque stone.

Corals are marine animals from the class Anthozoa and exist as small sea anemone-like polyps. They belong in a group that are important reef builders and found in tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. They are found in quite a number of colors such as deep red orange, red, light orange, pink, light pink, white, black and even blue. The light pink is also known as Angel Skin and it is often quite rare. Unprocessed, coral is matte. It is not until it has been polished that it takes on that beautiful shine.

This flower carved ring is a bit thick so I decided to add the design of vines and leaves on the side and on the band to make the ring even chunkier than it already is. I also used rose gold which made the pink hue of the coral blend perfectly with the metal. A butterfly with diamonds is perched on top of the rose to give a realistic garden touch to it.

Coral is often porous, full of holes or cracked, and in these cases it is of lesser quality. Coral of that kind is sometimes filled with coloured wax to improve its appearance. High-quality coral is of an even colour and free of cracks, blotches, striations and holes. Since genuine untreated coral is rare, it does fetch good prices. For that reason, anyone being offered what appears to be high-quality coral cheaply would do well to view the matter with a certain degree of scepticism. The best thing to do is to purchase one's high-quality coral jewellery from a reputable merchant like Jul B. Dizon Jewellery Salon (plugging, hihihi).

As you can see, the color of this coral is red orange which means that it is of good quality. The carving is intricate and the size of the coral is about 3 inches wide. It is a perfect size for a brooch. In this case, we added green emerald carved leaves and pearls and small diamonds to soften the already vivid colors.

Corals are highly sensitive to environmental changes. Scientists have predicted that over 50% of the coral reefs in the world may be destroyed by the year 2030, and because of this, they are generally protected through environmental laws. A coral reef can easily be swamped in algae if there are too many nutrients in the water. Coral will also die if the water temperature changes by more than a degree or two beyond its normal range or if the salinity of the water drops. In an early symptom of environmental stress, corals expel something called zooxanthellae. This is the process where the corals eventually become colorless as the stress reveals the white of their calcium carborate skeletons; an event known as coral bleaching. So if the coral is red, it means that it has grown in a stress free environment where the temperature is just right and the level of nutrients in the water is balanced thus making it the most expensive color.

Coral jewellery should be kept in a safe place and from time to time cleaned with a soft, damp towel. If the surface of the coral does get scratched, the jeweller can have it repolished.

In many cultures, especially Chinese, red corals are worn as jewellery to protect the wearer against evil spirits or illnesses. Coral, it is said, relieves tension and fear and promotes positive forms of social life.

In ancient faith practices the custom of putting a necklace of red corals round the neck of a small child. Young girls too are often given a fine coral necklace as their first piece of jewellery. Yet coral is more than that: in some wonderful way coral reflects the complexion of its wearer, developing a positively irresistible effect on her bare skin. Coral is one of the most attractive decorative materials imaginable. Again and again, it inspires international designers to create magnificent pieces.

This is a photo of a bangle that I designed wherein the coral and jade mounting may be worn as a brooch/pendant and when attached to a cuff, it becomes a very decorative bangle.

Unfortunately for those interested in these pieces, they are all sold and already being enjoyed by fellow coral lovers. I suggest that if you have the coral in a setting that you do not particularly like, bring it over so we can redesign it to something that you will surely love to wear.

Jul B. Dizon Jewellery Salon
The Peninsula Manila
(632) 8864638

EDSA Shangri-la Hotel
(632) 6347448

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Seeing RED!

Some of my most favorite things in life are red. I don't know but for some reason, I am attracted to this color. Probably because it is bold, daring, hot and passionate, loud yet mysterious. Guess my attraction to red is based on my lack of all the qualities it possesses. Anyway, I thought that I would study it and look up the meaning to see why it is my favorite color. Who knows, I might find the answers to some uncertainties I have in life.

A HUE of my favorite things.

Based on my extensive research in Google (hihi), red is the hottest of the warm colors, it is a stimulant. Studies show that red can have a physical effect, increasing the rate of respiration and raising blood pressure. It also means courage and power. Why do you think the carpet for VIP's is color red? The bloody red lipstick evokes sexiness and holds power over men like you can't imagine. Wear red when you want to stand out and get people's attention. It adds confidence and even a dash of danger. Rrrooaarr...


In Feng Shui, red belongs to the element of fire. Chinese consider the color as representing luck and happiness. Using red in decorating always signifies richness and luxury. If used too much, though, it can bring restlessness, bursts of anger and over stimulation. Better use it with caution, always easier to bring red in details and accessories, rather than on furnishings or wall color.


There are a few things to consider about this color though. Here are some of the points to take notice of:

Good red:
Red letter day - important or significant occasion
Red carpet treatment - make someone feel special, treat them as if they are celebrities
Roll out the red carpet - same as above
Paint the town red - celebrate, go out partying

Bad red:
Seeing red - to be angry
Red herring - something that deceives or distracts attention from the truth
In the red - being overdrawn at the bank or losing money
Red flag - denotes danger, warning, or an impending battle


Well, I think I know all I want to know about red. I once read that you tend to like the color or hue of whatever your birthstone is. I think that that's how RED became mine. I am July born and this is my birthstone. I have one ring that's a ruby and I treasure it like more than any belongings that I have. Even more than my red car and my red cellphone...I could go on but I think you get the picture. I didn't find any answers to my uncertainties in life based on why I love this color. I guess I just like it so much because I look good in it (especially on the last three photos, hint hint!!)


By the way, it is also written somewhere that you should wear your birthstone because it is supposed to give off some kind of power or protection. I use my ruby ring everyday and often wear red lipstick so if I should get caught by traffic enforcers, I use my charm, luck and red lips to give my sweetest smile. Believe me, it always gets me off the bloody hook.



January - Garnet (Maroon, Green, Dark Pink, Light Brown, Fiery Orange)
February - Amethyst (Purple)
March - Aquamarine (Light Blue)
April - Diamond (White)
May - Emerald (Green)
June - Pearl (White, Black or Golden)
July - Ruby (Red)
August - Peridot (Light Green)
September - Sapphire (Blue, Pink ,Yellow, Green)
October - Opal (White with rainbow speckles)
November - Topaz (Usually Yellow)
December - Turquoise