Let your manners be without covetousness contented with such things as you have for He has said I will not leave thee, neither will I forsake thee.

Hebrews 13:5

A lovely sprawling home in the quiet side of Pasay evokes happy memories for me. In my grade school years, the home of National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio with bay windows to let the garden in was a top attraction for me. The house was later declared a historical and cultural treasure.

VELOSO FAMILY Malou Veloso and daughter Letlet

The only daughter of Pablo and his wife Marina, Malou Veloso grew up surrounded by doting aunts, grandmas like Lola Enchay, her mom Marina, and her Chinese amah. She learned to bake early and, from her mom, imbibed the love for pretty gowns and dainty embroidery. She was sent to a finishing school in Spain, where she learned the fine art of sewing. She soon evolved into a designer specializing in little girls’ frocks and ladies’ formals. 

Her two daughters followed in her footsteps, with Vicky becoming a baking enthusiast, later opening a cooking school for children and teens, and Letlet carving her own niche as a designer to a new generation of women.

In the pandemic, as orders slowed down, Malou has gone back to her garden. She has lots of herbs now, which she uses in her cooking. She and her daughter have a restaurant called My Mother’s Garden (by reservations only) that serves homecooked meals from Malou’s recipes, but for safety, it is temporarily closed. A pity because, surrounded by greenery and gowns, along with the bling-blings, beads, seed pearls, and other trinkets on display handmade by the supercreative Letlet, it is the perfect place for intimate luncheons and dinners.

“Mom and I are used to being busy, so being stuck in the house started to take a toll on us. Mom found happiness filling her hours in our garden. A client suggested I decorate her plastic face shield with the embroidery mom and I are known for, and lo and behold, I was soon making blank face shields come alive with glittering designs!” says Letlet.

FACE BLING Amanda Julia in Letlet’s face shield  

After giving away a few to friends, she soon received dozens of orders. Now Letlet is happily occupied personalizing and glamorizing hundreds of shields with fluffy tulle, piƱa, jusi, organza, satin, and taffeta, now on display at Tesoro’s on Pasay Road, Makati. One can browse through them and dream of better days and nights of socializing. 

The pandemic has stopped the world on its tracks, but the Velosos keep going by taking care of plants, flowers, and herbs and turning out dazzling face shields! Who knows what else is to come?

Source: Manila Bulletin (