Interview with Rowena Romulo of Romulo Café London

In my previous post I mentioned that Filipino food has recently been making waves in London foodie scene — thanks to Rowena Romulo and many others who are raising awareness for Filipino cuisine in the UK.  Romulo Café London opened only over a year ago and has already garnered an award — the ‘Most Loved Restaurant in Kensington’ at the 2016 Time Out Love London Awards, and has continually received commendations from food critics and customers, and it now appears in some of London’s restaurant guide books.  I decided to interview Rowena for two reasons: first, she has a fascinating story to tell; and second, other women will certainly gain some insight and inspiration from her experience.  Continue reading

Ann Ong: Filipino Fashion Accessory Designer

I’ve lived in London for over sixteen years now, and in the last five years I have seen how some Filipinos are making waves in the UK, particularly in the creative and design industries. Since 2001 the British Council and the British Fashion Council (BFC) have chosen a number of  emerging fashion designers from 25 countries including the Philippines to the International Fashion Showcase – London Fashion Week (IFS-LFW). The purpose of this programme is to showcase the work of new designers and to celebrate the universal relevance of fashion in contemporary culture. Most, if not all, of the Filipinos who were invited to the LFW over the years have been featured by Vogue and other international fashion magazines, and have made a name for themselves at home and/or abroad. Mitch Dulce, Ken Samudio, John Herrera, and others are some of the talents that were discovered by some fashion editors at the IFS-LFW, and their products are now being sold in the UK and other parts of Europe. Continue reading

Romulo Cafe, London

A non-Filipino walking into Romulo Cafe could be forgiven for asking who are the people on the framed photographs hanging on the walls of the restaurant. It is partly the look of the place that piques people’s curiosity as to why it is adorned with memorabilia, and play an elaborate game of excuse-me. Partly, it is sheer pedigree: Rowena Romulo. It is the essence of this restaurant. Rowena, the granddaughter of Carlos P. Romulo, notable Filipino diplomat, decided to quit her job in the banking industry and recently opened the first outpost of her family’s restaurant in one of London’s posh neighbourhood. Continue reading