Art Stage Singapore 2017

Now on its 7th year, Art Stage Singapore is something that I look forward to each year mainly because it is a great way to learn about the many talented artists in the region. As with years past (I've been to at least three), this one did not disappoint but unlike before I did not feel too overwhelmed, perhaps because I visited earlier in the day...though I must say that 120 exhibits is still a lot to take in one day! In any case, these are my top picks this year, in no particular order. Disclosure: I am not an art expert though I do appreciate good art when I see one. I would say my choice is driven by any or all of these things: craftmanship and dedication, innovativeness of material including recycling, uniqueness of concept, and relevance especially social. There are also artworks that I love simply for their sheer aesthetic value - those that do not require profound processing. So here we go! A statement of HOPE by Phunk Singapore, being watched over by this almost

Sonya's Secret Garden and Other Interesting Places in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is probably one of the easiest escapes from the heat and traffic of Metro Manila. Just two hours away, its higher altitude offers literally a different world with greener surroundings and more laid-back atmosphere.  Tagaytay is known for its retreat houses, spas, as well as parks and other recreations. It is also a culinary paradise with unique cafes and world-class restaurants dotting the ridge. Most importantly, one can savour all these in cooler weather, and with a great vista - the scenic Taal Lake and Volcano! One of my favourite places there is Sonya's Secret Garden - a bed and breakfast, with a restaurant, a spa, as well as a wedding venue. Despite its moniker, Sonya's Secret Garden is not a secret anymore, having been around for more than a decade now. But I am pleased to find out that it has retained its charms after all these years. The restaurant remains as it was ten years ago (my last visit before this trip). They still serve almost the same b