Spend a Day With Maiki Oreta, Woman of Substance and Fabulous Taste

The Kiddo-preneur founder, Aesthetique Solutions president, and anchor of ANC's "Square Off" talks about entrepreneurship, favorite wines, and proud moments.

What time did you wake up today?
Around 8:15 a.m.

What’s the first thing you usually do when you wake up?
I check if my youngest, Mariella, is awake. If she is, we cuddle in bed for a bit. Once we’re downstairs, I’ll have a glass of water with fresh lemon juice and honey while catching up on my e-mail and phone messages.

What are you up to this morning?
Meeting my assistant Kurt in the office at 10:30 a.m.

What time do you head out to work?
I’m typically out of the house by 10 a.m. and in the office from 10:30 a.m. till noon.

What was for breakfast?
Scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast and avocados.

Fashion staples?
Wrinkle-free clothing, flats, and a crossbody bag.

Favorite clothing labels?
Maje, Sandro, Theory, and Intermix for the quality and style.

Favorite shoes?
My black L.K. Bennett loafers.

I prefer sling bags so that my hands are free.

On some days I don’t wear any at all. But on others, I like wearing heirloom pieces from my mom and my mother-in-law.

Any signature accessories?
I stack other rings with my wedding and engagement bands for a different look every now and then. I also have a Florentine ring from my Wowa Emy that I wear on my right index finger.

What fragrance are you wearing?
It’s a bespoke natural perfume from Herbal Alchemy in Brooklyn. The scent is of cedar and citrus.

Favorite designers and shops?
Fini, Nicole Whisenhunt, Neil Felipp, Martin Bautista, and Betina Ocampo.

Style icons?
Ever since I was a kid and to this day, my mom Celine and my ninang Tunting.

Tell us about your regular workouts. How often?
I don’t exercise regularly, but once in a while I’ll use the rower, the stationary bike, or the treadmill at home.

Any specific diet you follow?
I just stay away from soda and sugary drinks.

Other consuming passions?
I’m passionate about engaging the Filipino youth in meaningful activities. Five years ago, we started Kiddo-preneur to get kids interested in business and entrepreneurship and last October, we launched the Alphabee Spelling Contest to promote excellence in spelling. Moving forward, maybe science fairs and math competitions too. Kiddo-preneur was the intersection of my passions as a mom and as a business journalist. The long-term sustainable growth we need in this country can be achieved if we have more entrepreneurs—more businesses and more jobs. This is why my family and I have made it a personal advocacy of ours to do what we can to galvanize the youth to this end.

How often do you entertain? Formal or casual?
We aim to have close friends and family over once a month. While my kids and I enjoy setting a pretty table with flowers and linens, get- togethers at home are never too formal.

Entertaining staples?
An assortment of cheeses, caviar pie, homemade dips, creme brulee cake, and a well-stocked bar.

Your tips to a memorable celebration?
Good food and wine, plus great company.

What’s your favourite meal to serve to guests?
Spaghetti vongole and a slab of roast beef with creamed corn and spinach.

What book are you reading right now?
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

What music is on your playlist now?
The Chill Hits playlist on Spotify.

What do you like most about your appearance?
My eyes.

Lunch today: business or pleasure?

Lunch companions?
My best friend Nikki.

Where? What’s on the menu?
Her house. On the menu? Hopefully not something she cooked!

If you were not on TV, what would you be?
I was at my most impressionable stage when Kristi Yamaguchi won a gold medal at the Olympics and when the film Cutting Edge came out, so deep down inside, I think I would have wanted to become a figure skater.

What do you find particularly meaningful in your line of work?
For Kiddo-preneur, I find meaning in getting kids passionate about business and entrepreneurship. At Aesthetique Solutions, I find meaning in providing new-age skincare solutions and creating employment opportunities. On the debate show, I love helping facilitate and broaden discussions on topics of national interest.

What has been your proudest moment?
I have three—the birth of each of my children, Brielle, Ava, and Mariella.

Why do you think it’s important to teach kids the value of entrepreneurship at an early age?
As with piano lessons or any other craft or sport, the more time you spend at it, the better you’ll get and the sooner you start, the more you learn. Any other values and lessons you strive to impress upon your children? Honesty, humility, respect for others, love for family, and a deep concern for the environment.

Any other values and lessons you strive to impress upon your children?
Honesty, humility, respect for others, love for family, and a deep concern for the environment.

Tell us about your family.
My husband Quinto is a property developer with interests and initiatives in both horizontal and vertical developments for the low-to middle-income market segments. My parents, Emmanuel and Celine, live in New York. My dad has an architectural firm there and my mom, who was for the duration of my childhood a housewife, now helps him out.

What activities do you have with your family in order to bond?
We travel together, or we cook, bake, make smoothies, and play board games.

Favorite cities to visit?
New York and London for the museums, the parks, the shows, and the architecture. Paris and Rome for the history and art. Nice for the Monday flea market. Tokyo and Hong Kong for the food and proximity.

Favorite restaurants?
Locally, Caruso, Last Chukker, Mamou, Tsukiji, Grace Park, Canton Road, and Tim Ho Wan. Elsewhere in the world, I like Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, Ett Hem in Stockholm, J Sheekey in London, Dal Bolognese in Rome, Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, Sra Bua Siam Kempinski in Bangkok, and Mott 32 in Hong Kong.

Favorite cheap thrill?
Recalling fond memories—the funnier the better.

Conversely, what is your favourite splurge?

Favorite wines?
2013 Kistler Chardonnay, 2005 Alter Ego de Palmer, and 2014 Chateau d’Yquem.

Favorite cocktail?
Hendrick’s gin and tonic garnished with cucumber and basil.

Last meal on earth?
Steamed Maine lobster with lemon butter sauce.

Causes you care about?
Entrepreneurship and environmental protection.

What else are you up to this afternoon?
I’m picking up my kids from school and then helping them with their homework.

What do you do as soon as you get home?
Discuss meal plans with our cook.

What was the prettiest thing you saw today?
My kids aside, our peacock Perry.

Guilty pleasures?
Online shopping.

Best decision of your life?
Marrying my husband Quinto.

Were you given any great advice today?
None today, though in general: Strive to be the kind of person you want your kids to become.

Have you dispensed any advice of your own?
I tell my kids that giving back is just as important as saving for yourself. Values you most appreciate in a partner? Integrity, honesty, humility, and humor.

Love of your life?
I’m married to him.

Where are you having dinner tonight? What’s for dinner?
At home with Quinto and the kids. We’re having chicken a la Kiev and vegetable lasagna.

Most memorable meal: Where with? With whom? What was on the menu?
New Year’s Eve dinner with my family. We spent it on the deck of the vacation home we rented on the North Shore of Oahu and had fresh shucked oysters, grilled steaks, steamed lobsters, baked fish in sea salt, roasted chicken, and lots of bubbly.

What else are you up to tonight?
After dinner my husband and I usually snuggle onto the couch in our bedroom with some wine and watch a serial—currently it’s Designated Survivor.

Maiki and her husband, Quinto, on trips with their three children, Mariella, Brielle, and Ava

What do you do and where do you go to unwind?
I get a massage at home.

What are you most grateful for?
The continued good health of my family.

What time are you going to sleep?
I’m usually asleep by 11 p.m.

What do you hope to dream about?
Something so ridiculous and silly that I’ll have a great story to tell when I wake up!

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Manica C. Tiglao
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