How This Stylish Couple Celebrated Their 20th Anniversary
What time did you wake up today?
Elbert: 5:30 a.m. to
Liza: Early! It’s my birthday today and I’m leaving for Germany.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up
L: Hug the dog. Then the husband! My morning ritual starts with oil pulling, which takes 20 minutes. I have to have breakfast even if it’s just coffee and a croissant. But always coffee—black.
How do you approach dressing for the day
L: I’m not one of those people who plans her outfit the night before. It depends on my mood, where I’m going, what I’ll be doing, and if I’m feeling fat!
Favorite thing about your job
L: Traveling to new destinations to do fashion shoots or interview interesting people.
Least favorite thing about your job ?
You both play a part in shaping Manila culture. What is your hope for the respective industries that you work in, and for Manila
L: They say print is dead, so I want to produce content that will engage readers and make them want to pick up the paper every
Favorite clothing labels and why
L: I don’t have a favorite, I like them all.
E: Right now, I’m liking Bata, but I really prefer to be wearing a pair of Adidas Ultra Boosts.
L: In the last couple of years, I’ve been wearing heels less, and flats more. Lately, I love mules.
E: Series 3 Apple watch.
L: I don’t like wearing a watch, but I have a Fitbit, which I always forget to wear.
Do you have a signature accessory?
E: My leather man-bag which I collaborated with Fino Leatherware to design.
L: Not really an accessory, but people know me for my prints.
E: Clinique Happy for Men and Bulgari BLV Pour Homme.
L: I love the smell of my dog after he’s had a bath. I find it so relaxing.
What ’s on your shopping
E: A Vespa scooter (waiting for wife approval).
Favorite designers and shops?
E: Paul Smith.
L: Whenever I’m abroad, I make it a point to enter COS, Gucci, Target, and Ikea. I don’t necessarily buy anything, I just like to look.
How do you stay in shape?
E: I bike at least 300 km a month.
L: Brisk walking for 30 minutes every morning by the bay.
Dream dinner guests?
E: Anthony Bourdain, Thomas Keller, Jenson Button, Jony Ive.
L: Family members who have sadly passed away. How I would love to catch up with them.
E: Music, and it has to be soft dinner jazz.
L: A case each of red and white wine!
Describe your home.
E: Eclectic and high tech. Cozy and functional.
L: My sister once said that it’s decorated the way I dress—that means eclectic pieces that I love and don’t necessarily go together. It’s definitely not “interior designed.”
What magazines and websites do you read regularly?
E: Lucky Peach magazine, and a lot of Facebook.
L: I read Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Domino. Online, Business of Fashion and WWD.
What books are on your coffee table?
L: Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverent Iris Apfel, Fashionable Filipinas: An Evolution of the Philippine National Dress in Photographs 1860-1960, Kate Spade New York: Things We Love, and Pattern, by Orla Kiely.
E: None of the above are mine.
What music is on your playlist
Name one positive thing that happened today.
E: I woke up.
L: I got a birthday upgrade on my Emirates flight!
E: Per Se for the experience, Le Bernardin for the food, and, of course, Elbert’s Steak Room.
Where are you traveling to this year?
E: We are going to Siargao. We’ve never been there.
You just marked your 20th anniversary. How did you celebrate
Any gifts for each other?
E: We don’t normally give each other gifts, but for my flight back from Germany, Elbert told me he’d pay for my upgrade on the A380—it was my first time on that plane!
In one word, describe the last 20 years together.
Favorite memory of being together
What do you think makes you two click?
E: We’re both Aquarians.
L: More than just loving each other, we genuinely like each other. We like to hang out together, just the two of us.
E: Anything with alcohol.
What would your last meal on Earth be?
E & L: A steak.
Most memorable meal?
E: Per Se in New York with Liza. I remember the experience, but I forget what we ate.
What do you do and where do you go to unwind
Causes you are passionate about?
E: Orphaned kids.
L: The environment. I was green before it became a thing. Even if we don’t have any kids, I think about what kind of world we’ll be leaving future generations.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
E: Having accomplished at least three major things.
L: Being on a beach with family, breathing in the fresh air, and just drinking and chatting all day.
L: Munching on Doritos or Cheetos instead of having a proper dinner.
Biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
E: Losing my business and having no means of income after.
Best decision ever made?
E: Marrying Liza.
Biggest mistake of your life?
E: Not marrying her sooner.
E: “Sir, do you have a smaller bill?”
L: When people don’t use a perfectly functioning flush in a public restroom.
Best piece of advice received?
E: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” —Steve Jobs.
Values you appreciate most in a partner?
E: I appreciate that she is grounded and therefore keeps me grounded as well.
L: Being trustworthy.
What time are you going to sleep?
E: Hopefully before 10 p.m., so that I can get up early to
L: Definitely not before midnight!
What do you hope to dream about?
E: A better world, where everyone is happy.
L: Our plans for 2018 and beyond.
This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of Town& Country Philippines.