2020-01-20

Lifestyle Check: Owners of Rustan Store At home with Jun & Menchu Lopez

Jun Lopez watches movies as Darth Vader and the rest of the Star Wars gang (a couple of Iron Men here and there) watch the watchers.

It can be quite magical, this house in a galaxy not so far, far away.

Two antique doors from India are mounted on the living room wall like pieces of bas-relief. Another pair, from Morocco this time, is installed on the upper walls of the entrance — near a rack of hats (reminiscent of Casablanca and Romancing the Stone) and a Xenomorph sculpture (from the H.R. Giger-designed Alien movie franchise) made from car parts and bought in Singapore. Could those doors lead us to another world altogether, we wonder.

Jun Lopez started Rustan’s Supermarket in 1970 and went on to stir Starbucks Philippines starting in 1997 to what it is today. Not many people at the time imagined how warmly Filipinos would embrace Starbucks and the culture of premium coffee. By his side is his wife, Menchu Tantoco-Lopez, the woman behind Rustan’s Flower Shop. To say that she loves flowers is an understatement (her favourites are hydrangeas, roses and, most especially, lavender). Menchu, from the famed Tantoco clan, pioneered the gourmet and liquor section in a supermarket. She currently runs a restaurant and catering business called Gourmet Garage.

Jun Lopez’s home cinema with its 4k projectors, thundering sound system and massage chairs is festooned with life-size statues from the man’s all-time favourite movies. Stark. Darth. Yoda. The coolest home cinema I have ever seen.

Two turtles are attempting to make more turtles in the side of the house. The koi are huge. Birds hum in the background. Schoolkids occasionally drop in for field trips and marvel at the variety of animals in the Lopez’s garden.

The sons and daughters of Jun and Menchu (Noey, Quito, Jun Jun, Maricar and Rica) have all started families and careers of their own, but the father always tells them these nuggets of wisdom:
“Be a blessing to others.”
“Be part of making this world a better place.” “Do your share.”

━ (SOURCE: The Philippine Star)

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