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The Man Cave: Three loving dads showcase their personal spaces

By STEPHANIE ZUBIRI, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 18, 2022 5:00 am

Although it may sound primitive, conjuring up images of cavemen with clubs and animal pelt togas, a man cave can be quite a sophisticated and curated affair.

It is best described as a place of refuge — a den of sorts, where a man can showcase his hobbies and interests. For some it might be a collection of vintage toys or cameras; perhaps it’s a wine cellar or simply a quiet corner that can be truly one’s own. This Father’s Day, we celebrate three exceptional dads as they share with us their own personal spaces where they can work, relax, recharge and indulge in their passions.

Hayden Kho, Jr.: This is my work- and pray-space with my books and cameras

Describe to us your man cave.

HAYDEN KHO JR.: For the most part, my personal space is in line with the theme of the rest of our home, which is very French. But I’ve added some modern industrial touches to the room, such as a marble conference table, metal-and-glass shelves, and dark wooden accents, to make it feel more laidback and comfortable. I like to think of it as what would happen if you turned me into a room, because every single element you’ll find speaks to something about my personality and my experiences. From the books that line the shelves to my treasured Leica collection to the family photos hung on the walls, it’s a picture of what I value most in life and my personal style and taste.

Hayden Kho, Jr. with daughter Scarlet Snow Belo

I also make it a point to keep everything organized. My books are arranged by size and by theme — art, photography, business and leadership, philosophy, religion — and I’d like to think you can infer a lot about my personality from just one look at my collection. My cameras have their own display shelves as well. I’m not a fan of clutter, so I want to keep it as clean as possible.

When do you spend time there and what do you like to do there?

The space has a small “inner room” that only I can enter. Unless I’m working out, I start my day by praying in that room. After prayer, I dive into work, and that takes up most of my time. I get a lot of work done there — I take all my Zoom meetings there. Not a lot of people know this, but I’m quite introverted, so I like having this corner to recharge my social battery and focus on the task at hand.

I step out of the room for lunch, or if it’s Scarlet’s playtime. Otherwise, Scarlet enters the room herself. We have regular one-on-one sessions here on Wednesdays and Sundays. This is where we have our Bible study sessions.

Hayden Kho, Jr., managing director of Belo Medical Group, says his man cave is what he would be like as a room: It is sleek, organized, and houses his collection of Leica cameras, a golden plate his mentor Ravi Zacharias gave him, and his precious books.

Can you share with us one item that is most special to you?

My late mentor, Ravi Zacharias, gifted me a golden plate from an artist from Israel. It’s embossed with the words from Deuteronomy 6:4-8, wherein Moses reminds the Israelites “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Ravi was and continues to be a great influence in my life and spiritual growth, so this gift has a special place on my shelf.

What do you love most about being a dad?

I’m responsible for the life of a person who has the potential to change the world positively—and the prospect of that is both frightening and incredibly fulfilling and empowering.

I believe in experiences and the number one thing about being a dad is to be able to do these experiences with my kids, learn about who they are and let them know every single day that I love them.

James Deakin: My sanctuary essentials are a bar, tv and massage chair

Describe to us your man cave.

JAMES DEAKIN: My man cave has all the essentials, including a vintage bar made of aluminum with exposed rivets and leather accents, a 77-inch LG wallpaper OLED TV for Netflix, F1 and UFC, and a three-seater La-Z-Boy that is quite possibly the most comfortable thing I’ve ever sat on! In addition, there’s a LD professional tower speaker with subwoofer that also wirelessly connects to the TV. I also have a workstation with a podcasting machine and full recording setup for work and an Ogawa AI master drive massage chair with voice activation and Bluetooth audio for relaxation. The space is also equipped with a full kitchen with an ice-making machine and air fryer for endless snacks. I chose a retro theme, mostly ’80s, so I mixed and matched some pieces I found online to retain the look. It also has blackout curtains which makes it perfect for a movie experience even during the day.

James Deakin with kids

When do you spend time there and what do you like to do there?

I spend time in there every day. It’s my quiet place and sanctuary. I also use it as my workspace and blogging studio because it has so many different corners and textures, like brick, wood, and wall murals.

James Deakin, host, blogger and journalist likes a mix of masculine textures leaning to the industrial and vintage ’80s. His space is where he can unwind and watch sports with friends and also where he hosts his podcast.

Can you share with us one item that is most special to you?

It’s a toss-up between the LG wallpaper OLED TV and the Ogawa AI massage chair.

What do you love most about being a dad?

It has to be watching your children turn out better than you. I never got to finish first year high school so seeing my eldest finish college and my daughter graduate high school at the same time was the proudest moment of my life. I can’t wait for my youngest to reach that milestone in a couple of years.

Mahesh Mirpuri: Superheroes reign with my bar and game tables

Describe to us your man cave.

MAHESH MIRPURI: I designed my man cave into three parts: a home theater room, a bar with a poker table and billiard table, and the third is an outdoor-indoor seated area. This area is full glass, where you can sit and have drinks. There’s a waterfall on one side and a few big pieces from my collection that are enclosed in glass. My style is really focused on the “Superhero” theme. My furniture, all of the glassware, tableware, the beer and shot glasses are all in theme. Even the felt of the poker table is “Marvel vs DC.” When you walk into the bathroom, there’s even a logo of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and posters in it. Spider-Man is even climbing on the roof! I want people to come in and feel like, “Wow!” I wanted every detail to follow the theme.

Mahesh Mirpuri with daughters Samara, Mishka and Nayntara

The main door to the room, I had it built like a vault, so it’s like you’re walking into a vault of history. I collect superheroes — both Marvel and DC. Also, Shogukin Japanese Robots. I was a big fan of Mazinger Z and Voltes V growing up. I collect toys from cartoons I used to watch as a kid like Centurions, GI Joe, Transformers, Bridgestar and all the Saturday morning cartoons that I enjoyed. I even have Archie comics! Everything that I grew up with and enjoyed is what I collect. I also have an entire cabinet full of comics from the ’80s. They’re all kept carefully and hopefully my grandchildren will one day enjoy them, too. I’m a very colorful person and the style of décor is really meant to give that “This is crazy!” impression. I’ve been collecting all of these since I was a little kid!

When do you spend time there and what do you like to do there?

Mahesh Mirpuri, CEO of Ramps Corporation and current president of Entrepreneurs Organization, lives with superheroes.

I entertain in the room a lot because of the huge bar! I also put a draft beer machine in it. It’s our home theater as well, so we watch movies there with the kids. I love playing poker and I even run my own poker tournament. And now, I just got this arcade machine. I probably spend about once a week in it but whenever we entertain, it’s the best place for me to entertain because everyone can feel who I am and how much passion I have for collecting toys.

What do you love most about being a dad?

For me, I want to be able to spend time with my kids and have experiences with them. It’s so different from our parents growing up. Now, I am currently on this trip in the United States, and we are just doing so many things together. To just be able to sit and have conversations with them and play with them. I’m a little kid! I just love to play, going to theme parks, getting on the rides… I believe in experiences and the number one thing about being a dad is to be able to do these experiences with my kids, learn about who they are and let them know every single day that I love them.