M&S Davao Style File: Kara Francisco, summer destinations & styles

Summer chic. 
On Kara: M&S Collection lily shirtdress over basic tee, blue chino & accessories; 
On Caye: M&S Men’s ensemble of white polo, red shorts & sunglass; 
On Bella: M&S Collection striped tankini, cropped beach pants & accessories.

It's summertime. Kids are on a break from school, parents’ vacation leave have been filed and there’s a long weekend ahead. Where to go? Escape the summer heat and head to the mountains or get a tan at the beach?

The play on clothes. Versatility is the key, high & low altitude dressing. 
On Caye: M&S checkered polo over crewneck shirt & jogger pants; 
On Kara: Classic striped top, M&S Collection navy chino & dotted scarf; 
On Bella: M&S Collection top & light blue cotton cropped pants.

Kara Francisco prefers the mountains. “I have always loved the cooler climate because I like the feel and scenery of freshness,” she confessed.

Kara Francisco prefers the cool weather when traveling.
On Kara:  Classic grey wool blend cardigan over striped top .

But her daughter, Bella, loves the beach. “I like the sun, the sand and the sea. I prefer the beach with waves, the higher the waves the better,” she said with a big smile, the excitement evident in her voice.

In the family of five, the mother and daughter tandem are tied by adventure. Where the thrill is in sight, whether it be the zip lines, roller coasters or whatever vertical and gravity rides there are, you’ll find these two in the line.

Bella is a wave rider & a thrill seeker.
On Bella: M&S Collection Lily shirtdress & Indigo straw hat.

“Bella has bungee jumping and sky diving on her bucket list. The men in the family, my husband and two boys, unfortunately, don’t share in the joy of any adrenaline rushing activity,” said Kara, pointing out the boys’ fear of heights and her husband’s vertigo.

“By default, I am my daughter’s companion,” she said.

Destination choices: the warmth of the beach for Bella & the crisp chill of the mountains for Kara. 
On Bella: M&S Collection Lily shirtdress & Indigo straw hat. 
On Kara: Classic cardigan & M&S Collection blue chino pants & sunglass.

Caye, the older of the two male siblings, shares with his sister is the love for the water, “I prefer beach because I like swimming over hiking,” he said grinning.

Caye, like his sister, is a beach lover.
On Caye: Blue Harbor shirt & M&S Man ball cap & sunglass.

It’s the mountain for mom and the sea for son and daughter. Who gets to decide where the Francisco’s go to for vacation?

“It’s always a compromise,” replied Kara, “The family sits down and choose a vacation spot where both the cool weather lovers and sun worshippers can have fun,” citing a couple of places they went to last year and drove from up to the mountain and down to the beach.

“It’s always best that everyone in the family enjoy. It makes the trips memorable each time.”

Beach babies. 
On Bella: M&S Collection spot swimsuit, white shirtdress & accessories; 
On Caye: Blue Harbor top, M&S coral shorts & accessories

“This is what’s beautiful about Mindanao, it has the best of both worlds. We don’t need to travel far to get to a mountain or a white sand shoreline. Everything is within driving distance. It’s traveling economically minus the plane ride for five. Even on a very short break or a spur of the moment decision to take a trip out of town, the family can enjoy either destination, even both.”

Bohemian cool.
On Bella: Indigo embroidered blouse & M&S Collection striped shorts. 

Part of the trip is planning which clothes to bring. They make sure they have enough gear for the cold and hot weather.

“It’s about knowing which important articles to bring so as not to be lugging heavy luggage from one destination to another,” said Kara, “Pack light, breezy clothes for the beach and a couple of cardigans for the cold weather. Sunblock, of course”

Ready for the Bukidnon chill. 
On Kara: M&S Collection knitwear floral top & white cropped jeggings & M&S Collection sunglass; 
On Bella: Indigo long-sleeve yellow top & printed skirt, M&S Collection sunglass; 
On Caye: M&S Men’s striped knitted top & navy chino shorts, Blue Harbor pink polo.

“Travel light but stay stylish, a tip I learned from my mom. That and be presentable at all times. We inherited her rule of ‘never step out of your room properly made up’. I’m passing that to my kids.”

For this year’s summer break the family is escaping the heat and heading to a mountain resort in Dahilayan, Bukidnon. It’s a six-hour drive from Davao City.

“Dahilayan reminds us of Baguio—it takes hours of driving to reach, cool weather and hundreds of pine trees,” reminisced the Francisco couple.

Warm choices. 
On Bella M&S Collection cardigan over spot top, cropped jeggings in white.

Bella will have a time of her life at the resort’s zipline and base jumping, and the water babies can go white water rafting, which is a couple of hours away from the place.

“If they’re still itching for the sand and sea, they can always head to our hometown in Mati after the trip. They have all summer to enjoy the beach,” said Kara.

Fashion: Marks & Spencer Spring/Summer 2016 collection available in Abreeza Mall & SM Lanang Premier
Photography: Wizbren Ang
Styling & Make-up: Otoy Mercado