Tracie is a lot of things to different people—juggling many different hats depending on the time and on the day—though she’s best known to the public as the travel director for A2A, a luxury travel company, and creative director for Sarsa, the popular restaurant helmed by her brother, chef JP Anglo. In between, she finds time to do a bit of graphic design for coffee-table books and even dabbles in another lifelong passion, painting.
Tracie grew up in Bacolod and went to Manila
Even if you have bad taste, or it is perceived to be bad, at least you still have taste. You know what it is? It is being true to who you are. That is what’s important.
Tracie moved on to do graphic design for other companies, including Kim Hastreiter’s Paper magazine and freelanced for the then-fledgling RadicalMedia group; she believes she would have stayed forever in the city if not for one life-changing event: 9/11. “Would you believe, my
A commissioned work in progress
It didn’t take long for Tracie to sort out her life. Back in Manila, she was hired as Preview magazine’s first creative director, but then a blind date led to another change in direction. She met Binky Dizon, who at the time had left his career in banking and had just returned from a sabbatical in Africa. Together with Jose Cortez, Binky started A2A (then known as Asia to Africa Safaris) as a passion project. “I wasn’t always interested in Africa, but on our honeymoon, we went to Zimbabwe, and that go me hooked. Now we go every year,” shares Tracie, who became A2A’s employee #3.
Since A2A’s founding, the number of Filipino
Tracie’s travel outlook may be global, but her palate is tuned very close to home. With Sarsa, she’s helping more people discover the joys of Ilonggo cuisine. “It reflects where we are from, and how we are proud of it. If we don’t, all these Ilonggos will kill us! Ilonggos are so hard to please. We said we better not screw up the food,” she says. Though Sarsa’s been a runaway success, Tracie and her brother have gone back to the drawing board to offer an even more authentic experience. “We’re going to re-do a few things, change the menu, launch a new logo, a few things. That’s what keeps me busy now at Sarsa. It’s a different world. I recently went to Siargao to learn about JP’s passion, surfing. It really blew my mind. So you’ll see some of these elements incorporated in the new Sarsa. Now, I really understand my brother. Surfing culture is really a big part of it. I never understood it until I went. Now I get it!”
On the subject of personal taste, Tracie paraphrases the quote by Arnold Bennett: “Bad taste is better than no taste.” She says, “Even if you have bad taste, or it is perceived to be bad, at least you still have
Source of inspiration?
Culture and nature.
Greatest professional influence?
The late Henry Wolf. He was the art director of Esquire, Bazaar, and Show in the 1950s and ’60s. He was my teacher and taught me about conceptual design and how to think out of the box.
There are many beautiful stores in the world but I do have a thing for markets–flea or otherwise: Marché Paul Bert Serpette (in the Paris flea market), Dover Street Market everywhere, and markets in India, Morocco, and Latin America. 1st Dibs, online.
A good pantsuit. It can be dressed up or down, worn separately, and hide a multitude of sins.
Univers in Manila, and all the markets abroad (Dover Street Market, Le Bon Marché, and flea markets in Paris, India, Zambia, Buenos Aires and Mexico). 1st dibs online to ogle at furniture.
Can we all name someone cooler than Sofia Coppola? I also love Yasmin Sewell and Gabriela Hearst. I admire the textile designer Carolina Irving’s interiors style–she’s the ultimate mix master.
Your idea of the perfect home?
Original, individual, and intimate.
Framed art and travel
mementos in Tracie's home
nowness.com, New York Times T magazine.
Who do you follow on Twitter/Instagram?
On Instagram, I follow a lot of accounts! Ashley Hicks, Conde Nast Traveler, Hugo Guinness, Miguel
Pleats, please, in all shapes and
Tracie in Mexico
Place you've never been, but would like most to visit?
Istanbul. Every time we plan to go something always happens and we never end up going. Maybe in 2018!
Most memorable trip?
Every African safari is always memorable. But my most memorable trip this past year was Cuba: profound, romantic, melancholic, and just way cool.
Weekly massages at home; half-a-pastry (so half-the-guilt) for breakfast; dark chocolate after lunch or dinner.
Alas, fashion, a depreciating asset. And maintaining the highlights on my hair. It takes a village!
Tracie's work desk
Itamae-sans (Japanese sushi chefs) and my brother, of course.
I haven’t met a sushi bar I didn’t like, but in Tokyo, Sushi Iwa, Yoshitake, Jiro, and Shinji Kanesaka; in Manila, Tsumura. For teppanyaki, Ukai Tei in Tokyo. And, Sarsa, of course, for a taste of home.
What would your last meal on earth be?
What else? Sushi. Preferably by Jiro.
Writer or book?
Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela. I’ve recently discovered Dominick Dunne (a few decades late) so I’m currently reading all his books.
Most treasured possession?
If you had 24 hours to take someone around your hometown, Bacolod, where would you go?
We would have breakfast at
Issues and causes that you advocate?
I’m passionate about social justice and wildlife conservation.
Words to live by?
Pay it forward.
This story originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Town&Country Philippines. For the full story, get a copy of the magazine at newsstands and bookstores.