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Luxury is a mindset

Francine M. Marquez



How does one present luxury in the midst of a pandemic that has brought immense challenges in all aspects of living?

Suddenly, the world has been forced to step back and retreat to the confines of one’s home to take refuge from the deadly coronavirus. The past nine months has compelled us to work, play, study, learn new skills, workout, even celebrate and grieve in a manner where we physically distance ourselves from each other and preferably, go through the dailiness of living through phone and computer screens.

Just as we have adapted ourselves to the crazy-busy, never-staying-put kind of lifestyle — making home merely a transient space for energizing before slaying more concrete-jungle goals and leading corporate battles — quarantine grants a tricky sense of stillness and savoring quiet moments as luxuries in themselves. Time is a precious commodity and suddenly, one has got a lot of it in one’s hands.

Czarina Ablaza’s kitchen is filled with the holiday spirit.

In the stillness of things comes moments of reflections, realizations and transformations. Practically, that’s what has happened to everyone who have discovered new spaces to use at home, new skills to upscale one’s way of living, and deepened relationships with loved ones and those one can finally catch up with — no matter if it’s just online.

In this issue, we discover that luxury is really a mindset. It’s not just about the material trappings that we invest in, but as our gracious “guests”—the people who have wonderfully opened their living spaces—it’s what you do with your high-end fixture or opulent habitat that should make you a better, kinder human being in this chaotic world.

Philip Cu Unjieng’s private library.

Here, topnotch architect Cathy Saldana gives us a general view of how the future of Philippine architecture is challenged to modify its practices in the new world. We also take a peek at soon-to-rise Shang Residences Wack Wack and why its generous spaces and state-of-the-art amenities makes it the ideal space to hide away in the new normal and beyond. We also get an insight from award-winning designer Ito Kish on why luxury isn’t really about price points but truly about originality and the timelessness of design.

We also learn that we are not much different from the yearnings of those who have put their heart and soul in reimagining their living spaces. People just want to breathe and be happy in a space where they can be their authentic selves. And we are all just looking forward to better days when a COVID-19 vaccine has finally been approved.

Archie Tiu swims with bright ideas when surrounded by his fish tanks.

Meanwhile, luxury is a state of mind and a state of the spirit, too, where we just have to believe that life, home, the people who matter to us — or even those whom we should look after — are not to be ignored but rather given time and its company relished in the moment.