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From wallpaper to Wallpaper

Cheryl Tiu and Kissa Castaneda-McDermott

Better late than never, indeed. Some may think this has been my guiding principle when it comes to attending events, but in life, timing is really key. Sometimes there’s a reason why certain scenarios are not there yet, but when it does arrive, it does so in the best way possible.

With more than two million copies sold worldwide, covering more than 100 destinations, the Wallpaper* City Guides finally launched its first ever Manila edition. There’s always “city envy” when we travel to different places and see luxe guides published about the world’s best destinations and Manila would always be NOT on the list. Well, times have changed and we are now officially on the map. “Published by Phaidon Press in the UK, Wallpaper* City Guides presents a tightly edited, discreetly packaged list of the best a location has to offer the design-conscious traveler, acting as a passport to the best the world has to offer,” my dear friend, journalist, editor and publisher Cheryl Tiu said. 

Cheryl was tapped as the author, and Hong Kong-based journalist and editor Kissa Castañeda-McDermott as contributor. They worked closely with the British team led by executive editor Jeremy Case, and French photographer Pierre-Emmanuel Michel, who flew in to the country just to capture the venues of the book. Countless emails to coordinate shoot schedules to show them the best of what we have. All of us bar and club owners acting as de facto tourism ambassadors of the country (or more like GROs) to make sure we highlight the best of what we have.

  Pinoy pride has always been my battle cry, so as soon as I found out this edition had seen print, I volunteered myself to Cheryl to be part of her team to celebrate this milestone. 




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A week of Whatsapp messages later, a Philippine launch party was held at Carlo Calma’s Manifesto Gallerie on the 12th Floor of the Clipp Center, with the “Obsession and Fetishes” exhibit as the backdrop. I proudly hosted this event, of course, with guests enjoying free-flowing wine, Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs, Viña Pomal Blanco 2012 and Viña Pomal Blanco 2011, from AWC Philippines, and Don Papa Rum cocktails like Kapag Serious Ka, Coco Breeze and Don Papa Old Fashioned. This resulted in a more than happy vibe the entire night, which ended up at Valkyrie at the nearby Palace, of course.

A Pinoy feast wouldn’t be complete without lechon, and so pritchon was the way to go, even if I couldn’t stop myself from peeling the crispy skin off the suckling pig. We also feasted on cheeses, cold cuts, Beer Nitrogen Ice Cream, Shrimp “Isaw,” Paella Valenciana, and Black Fideua with Octopus and Calamari by Chef J. Luis “Chele” Gonzalez of Vask and the soon-to-open Arrozeria at Century City Mall. 

I was so proud to see a long queue for people to have the books, distributed locally by Fully Booked. They were lining up to have their guides personally signed by Cheryl and Kissa. Leeroy New’s “Aliens of Manila” went around on a parallel universe, playing around with the guests and making them feel at home in that space. The beats? Katrina Razon a.k.a. DJ Katsu provided them, a groove as unique as the artworks featured in the gallery.

 A few weeks before that, the guide was also launched in Hong Kong with a Fall Merienda Party at the newly opened Chino restaurant at Kennedy Town. “It was co-hosted by noted blogger/architect JJ Acuna, also known as The Wanderlister, and Teresa Tayzon, marketing manager of Puma, it was an intimate gathering of 30 Pinoy movers and shakers,” said Cheryl, ever so humble about this new feather in her cap, alongside having a new column at Way to go, Cheryl!

Things are indeed picking up. It’s about time.

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The Wallpaper* City Guide is available in the Philippines at Fully Booked and Sketchbooks. It is also available on the Phaidon website, Amazon, and in bookstores around the world. It can be downloaded as an app on iPad and iPhone from the Phaidon website (

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More guides to cities and life @officialtimyap both on Twitter and Instagram.

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