LOW KEY IN THE PHILIPPINES: Derek Lam may have jetted into the Philippines without much fanfare, but Manila’s fashion crowd recognized him when he was seen having lunch at Blackbird, a chic restaurant in the heart of suburban Makati, housed in a gracious building that was once an airport terminal. Lam, accompanied by his husband and business partner Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, met up with some friends, who showed them around the city. “They’re here on their way to Palawan,” said one friend, on condition of anonymity. “They’re doing a few touristy things while in Manila.”
Palawan is a scattering of islands in central Philippines, known for its white sand beaches and blue waters, not to mention its pioneering efforts in eco-tourism. Several resorts dot the islands, among them Amanpulo in Pamalican Island, and El Nido, a collection of resorts in the small cluster of islands that take their name from the birds’ nests (nest is “nido” in Spanish) found atop the islands’ cliffs. The much-sought-after bird’s nest is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.
It’s easy to vacation under the radar in Palawan, which explains why Amanpulo is a favorite of David Beckham, Naomi Campbell and Michael Kors as well as Phillip Lim, who spent a few days there in September. A second Aman resort is being developed in the Philippines, also in Palawan.