Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holey and Moley! Part deux!

Presenting the confirmation that I've long been waiting for!

Since it's now on their corporate website, it's now safe to say that H&M is really, really, REALLY coming to the Philippines.

(Insert collective gushing of shopaholics here.)

Friday, November 29, 2013

FMM: Magical weekend

That's what the weekend is going to be.

Biboy flew in from the U.S. to celebrate Mom's birthday, and we're spending the weekend in Bataan with the whole family! And this calls for a Friday Magic Madness song from Shirley Bassey. A song that I used to listen to a lot because Dad has a cassette tape of it.

What can be more magical than that.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Birthday enjoyment!

Today is Ate Bullet's birthday! And this year's celebration is special because the immediate family is all here for the celebration. We had the usual rowdy dinner at Elias and enjoyed the awesome Pinoy cuisine capped off with a cake from Dexter's.

The dinner was at Robinson's Magnolia, and Javi had a lot of fun running around and exploring the mall. He went through nooks and crannies, and the result was a lot of cute photos of him just enjoying himself.

Like enjoying a humongous drink at Jamba Juice:

Enjoying his part-time job as an ice cream boy:

Enjoying his moment as a nerd:

And amidst all this enjoyment that Javi was savoring, I enjoyed accompanying him every step of the way.

Now that was definitely an enjoyable way of spending the evening.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Coined term

I'm a coin hoarder. I feel more at ease when I know I have a lot of coins in my pocket.

This started when I was still living in HKG. One time, I left my wallet at home and was too lazy to walk back to the flat and get it. When I checked how much coins I had in my pocket, I found out that it was enough to take a round-trip MTR ride, a meal, and a magazine. Since then, I made sure that I always have a substantial amount of coins in my pocket.

It's a habit I've carried with me when I came back to Manila. You'll often find me jingling and jangling because of the amount of coins I carry.

The funny thing is, I sometimes don't realize how much coins I have. For instance, I emptied by pockets of coins last week, and found out that I had more than P300 in coins!

No wonder my pockets were so heavy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kid TV

During our brainstorming sessions, we always end up talking about old kiddie shows and how they don't make show like they do.

Apart from the kooky characters and the incredulous concepts, what made them memorable were the opening theme songs. And among the lot, my favorite theme songs were:

The terrific and trippy "Tomfoolery,"

The spaced out "Great Space Coaster,"

The mystifyingly magical "Marlo and his Magic Movie Machine."

And of course, the ferociously funny "Felix the Cat."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "They don't make shows like this anymore."

Monday, November 25, 2013

More celebrity confusion

Here's another addition to the "Hollywood-celebrities-who-look-so-alike-it's-confusing" list.

May I present Viggo Mortensen and Aaron Eckhart!

It came to a point when I'd have conversations like:

ME: "I didn't know Aaron Eckhart played Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings.'"
SHE: "He didn't. That was Viggo Mortensen."

Then there's the:

ME: "Viggo Mortensen was great in 'Erin Brockovich.'"
SHE: "That was Aaron Eckhart."

Maybe they should be cast in one film as twins, like a male version of "The Parent Trap." At least they can put the confusion to good use.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Color story: Pale and a pop

While I've professed a liking for color, I also like to keep it toned down and neutral every so often. Now, my sisters' closets are full of colors from both ends of the spectrum, so I thought of adding a very neutral piece in case they want to look a bit more muted.

I found the perfect look for that during a visit to The Ramp last week.

The first thing I saw was this beige shift dress which had a classic shape in a pale, oatmeal-like color. This is actually the same party-at-the-back dress that I snagged at The Ramp last July. 

Further down the store, my attention gravitated towards a pair of brogue-inspired pumps. The heel was substantial, the peep-toe was a nice detail, and the color was a winner. It was predominantly beige - which matched the dress - and it had pops of lemon yellow. Nice combo.

Putting the pieces together yielded this simple and streamlined look, which might be predominantly pale, but has a nice pop.

With the amount of parties Ate will be attending this Christmas, I'm sure this outfit will pop out of her closet pretty soon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

LFLTAT: Mega-nanimous!

SM Megamall is really determined to make people spend! For the second time in just a month, they held a 3-day sale last November 15 to 17. As expected, people came in droves, looking for good buys.

Those people included me, of course.

While scouring from shop to shop to shop to shop, I was able to gather bits and pieces of clothing to come up with a classy and chic look for less than a thousand. 

I wasn't disappointed!

The first item came from Surprlus Shop, and it was a blouse with a eye-catching print, an interesting neckline and a fabulous gold accent near the shoulder. I scored this for P249.00!

Item # 2 is a classic pencil skirt in beige, made from a ponte knit that's very flattering. It had a black waist band which gives the body shape. The great part is that it was marked down by 70%, and this beauty ended up costing P249.00 as well.

Finally, this pair of flats from Parisian completed the look. It's made from brown suede (or suede-ish) material, and had gold hardware right in front. The gold echoes the detail of the blouse, and the color fits well with the brown tones of the blouse and skirt. This retailed for P499.75, but since there's a 10% discount for SM Advantage card holders, it eventually rang up to P450.00.

The result is this very Audrey Hepburn looking outfit that's classic in silhouette but modern in print and style. And yes, the entire ensemble cost P948.00. So it falls under the LFLTAT category, and you still have P52.00 for a Jollibee meal, or treat from Bread Talk, or even a Spam Musubi at Spam Jam.

Indeed, SM Megamall is a mega place to shop.

Much more when there's a sale.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FMM: That's work

Anyone who works in an advertising agency will know that this is the default song whenever a project comes in.

Yup, another couple of rush projects coming up.

(P.S. Vintage Keanu Reeves cheesiness can be found in this video. Harhar.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What's your sign?

While looking at a zodiac sign posted on the mall, I realized that most of my immediate family members are Sagittarians.

Out of the 7 of us, 4 fall under this sign: Dad, Mom, Ate Lissa and Ate Bullet. Kuya Marv is a Libra, Biboy is an Aquarian, and I'm a Scorpion.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More closed encounters

This isn't a stellar day for my food cravings.

The stall at St. Francis Square where I buy my coffee jelly drink... closed.

The kiosk at Megamall where I buy my saba con hielo... closed.

The food court branch of Manang's Chicken, also in Megamall... closed!

Gosh. It's slim pickings at it is. Now, the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quite Contrary

First it was Etro, then Suno, and more recently, Peter Pilotto. 

More and more designers are embracing the art of mixing prints in bigger and bolder ways. An addition to the list of designers is Greek/Brit it-designer Mary Katrantzou. She's a young designer with a very whimsical take on printed dresses.

She's not that big here in Manila, but I've been following her for a few years now. She had a capsule collection with Topshop that I was hoping would be brought here. But alas, it wasn't. So, I just head over to the Nordstrom website to get my fix of Mary.

One of the dresses on the website that caught my eye was this. A mock turtleneck, halter top and full skirt confection. Made with 2 contrasting prints, of course!

It was so beautiful and covetable. Not to mention pricey. It's Nordstrom, after all.

So, imagine my surprise when I went to one of my haunts and saw this:

It's the Mary Katranzou dress!

On the contrary, I'm really not sure if it's a Mary Katranzou since the dress didn't have a label. But if you look at the side-by-side, you're looking at the same thing!

The prints are phenomenal. The materials are substantial. The workmanship, top notch. This can either be an overrun, or an excellently made replica.

Whatever it is, the dress is now about to find its way into my sisters closet.

It's a Mary day indeed!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sweet Caroline

Oh look! Here's another reason to add to my already long list of reasons to go back to Tokyo!

Caroline Kennedy is the new Ambassador of the United States to Japan!

I've always been fascinated by the Kennedy family, even as a kid.

When I was in grade school, I'd read about JFK, his work, his assassination, and his legacy. I remember how I wished I had a time machine so I can go back in time to stop his assassination from happening.

I'd also follow Jacqueline Kennedy-Onnasis during her later years in life. She was always the epitome of class, pre- and post-JFK.

And of course, the kids. The sudden death of JFK Jr., and the responsibility of Caroline to carry on the family legacy.

It looks like she's going to do just that. Be the living legacy of the Kennedy family.

I know a lot of the diplomats hear mass at St. Francis' chapel in Ropponggi. Who knows, she just might be there the next time I visit Japan.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Crossing Jourdan

More than a month ago, I wrote about how I thought that Jourdan would eventually land in the top 2 in this cycle's ANTM.

Well, Jourdan did end up in the final 2, and she eventually won it all!

I had a feeling she'd win. It was the same feeling I got with Jaslene in cycle 8.

Go Jourdan!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sushi strangeness

For some strange reason, Mark and I have never tried eating at a revolving sushi bar in Tokyo. We've been there so many times, but it's something we haven't experienced yet.

And when we finally decided to try it, we ended up doing it in Manila!

Yup, we tried the Sakae Sushi all-day sushi buffet! It was a good deal for P399 since you can eat all the sushi and maki you can, along with bottomless green tea and miso soup.

Of course, the maki and nigiri weren't like the ones in Japan. (As Mark noted.) It was a hit and miss thing, with the misses being really scary and the hits being really good.

Overall, we enjoyed the experience, but not as much as the other people around us who devoured sushi like there was no tomorrow. We were able to finish 18 plates, while the others around us had 20 and more!

Maybe we should go back and improve our record next time.

Friday, November 15, 2013

FMM: 'Tis the season

The cool, crisp evenings and the rush of mad shoppers at SM Megamall this Friday sale says it all.

Christmas is really upon us!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

To health!

While passing through Gateway on my way home, I spotted this peculiar poster near the food court:

 What made it peculiar? It's talking about "lusog," and the first dish on the menu is....


How healthy can you get. Harhar.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Double Ds

Most people are wary about wearing denim on denim. The most common worry is that they'll look like an Western-film extra or that they just stepped out of a saloon.

Personally, I think denim-on-denim is cool. Especially when done right. That's why when I was looking for a gift for my niece, Kai-Kai, I gravitated towards this denim combination.

It's a Derek Heart denim dress coupled with a Derek Heart cropped vest. The materials of both items are soft denim, and I've decided to mix light and dark denim.

The combination is very youthful, which fits my 15-year old niece. And it still has a touch of edge because of the denim combination.

Now I don't think this ensemble reads western or saloon at all.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tree wishes

At the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo, there's a tree that's surrounded by thousands of votive tablets. It's always a sight to behold, and the story behind the tree and the tablets make it more interesting.

The tablets are filled with peoples prayers - for themeselves, their families, the people they love, and for their rabbits. (I read one tablet about a girl's rabbits.) These tablets are turned over to the priests, and their prayers are sent up to Him.

I wrote a prayer on votive when I was in the shrine a few weeks ago. And now, I'd like to add another prayer that the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Tacloban and all the Yolanda-stricken areas be over soon. That they find their loved ones who are still missing. That they rebuild their lives. And that they find strength in faith to face each difficult day until their prayers are answered.

Monday, November 11, 2013

At the bottom of the box

One of my favorite mythological stories is "Pandora's Box."

It was my favorite when I was in grade school, and I'd read it on our encyclopedia over and over again. Then, when I was in high school, I did my first school play as Prometheus. Needless to say, the play was "Pandora's Box."

In the story, Pandora inadvertently releases different misfortunes and ills to the world by opening a forbidden box. She closes it after she realizes what she did, and feels so much remorse after. But as she was about to keep the box, she hears a stirring from inside.

When she opens it again, she saw that at the bottom of the box was hope. She releases it so that even with all the ills and misfortunes, people can hope that things will be better.

Typhoon Yolanda is like Pandora's Box. After reading, watching and seeing its trail of death and destruction, you can see how the typhoon released different misfortunes and ills in Tacloban and the Visayas area.

But despite all that destruction, we remember that there is hope.

Hope that generosity will prevail. Hope that the world is coming to their aid. And hope that this, too, shall pass.

So I pray that the people of Tacloban, Samar and other typhoon-struck areas never lose hope.

Hope is, indeed, a powerful thing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm feeling 22!

Nope, this isn't a Taylor Swift post.

It's just that I was able to finish wrapping 22 Christmas gifts today!

Now that's an accomplishment that's enough to make me break into song.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Let it begin

Officially, today is the first day of the 2nd semester! And yes, this semester is usually the crazy, unpredictable and exhausting one.

So yes, we've just begun.

Friday, November 08, 2013

FMM: Full Lipps

Nothing tells you it's Friday like an old song from Lipps, Inc.

And today, I'm not just playing music. I'm playing "Designer Music."

Yup, I'm back to my childhood.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

This takes the Cake!

Presenting the sinfully delightful concoction that my Ate Bullet prepared for me for my birthday!

It's a chocoholic's dream! Chocolate cake with Nutella filling, then covered with Kit Kat, Snickers, M&Ms, Reese's, Maltesers and Raisinets! It's all my favorite chocolates in one cake!

No wonder my celebration is much, much sweeter.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

This is Love

There's no better way to spend your birthday than to be surrounded by people you love the most.

It's such a blessing to be around family who watched you grow-up, and friends who watched you grow as a person.

That makes tonight's birthday celebration the best one yet.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

To the bat Kev!

Whenever I see my nephew Kevin, I see a lot of myself in him.

Aside from the obvious similarity (read: eyebrows) we also have a lot of things in common. People say we look alike, and that he can pass of as my son.

Kevin is also very creative, and you can see it in how he likes to layout posters and other POP materials.

Kevin also likes to travel, and he enjoys his jaunts with his classmates. Also, he's very passionate about things he likes to do, like singing and playing music.

And to top it all off, Kevin and I are born 1 day (and decades) apart. My birthday is November 6, and Kevin is celebrating his birthday today.

So, to my nephew who I see a lot of myself in:

Happy Birthday, Kevin! (Hey, it rhymes!)

Monday, November 04, 2013

Back to regular programming

After that wonderful 1 week in Tokyo, it's now back to work.

And back to work I was. I arrived in Manila at 1:30am, and was at work at 8:30am. Talk about hitting the ground running.

Not only that, Mark's here in Manila, too. It was fun because we were just hitting the malls in Tokyo last Saturday, and now, we're in Glorietta.

Just like we do regularly.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A day at the airport

Literally, I spent the whole day at Chek Lap Kok!

My lay-over was 7 hours, and as much as I tried to move my flight up earlier, all the ticketing agents told me was: "Flights to Manila are crazy full today." I guess it's because of the long weekend.

Good thing there's a lot to do at the airport. There's free wi-fi, lounging chairs, a multitude of food choices, and a book store where I was able to buy this month's InStyle!

If this happened to me in NAIA, I would've flipped by now. Luckily, Hong Kong's airport is a place that I wouldn't mind spending a day in.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Friday on a Saturday

I was so caught up in our Tokyo trip that I didn't notice that yesterday was Friday Magic Madness day.

But as they say, better late than never, right?

And since Mark and I went to Harajuku thrice this trip, it's a time for a not-so-old-FMM from the mid-2000s.

Who else but Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Girls.


Friday, November 01, 2013

Meals with Mark: What the Puck?

Last night, Mark and I passed through Harajuku to check out the Halloween scene. As expected, there was a flood of Gothic Lolitas, ghouls, aliens and all sorts of horrifying characters.

On our way in, we spotted Wolfgang Puck's foray into casual dining - Wolfgang Puck Express. Mark said he always wanted to try it out, so we did.

We had the fresh spaghettini and the barbecue chicken salad. It took a bit of time because they made the spaghettini noodles right after we ordered it, which made it perfectly al dente. The spinach and chicken sauce complemented the noodles perfectly.

The salad had huge and flavorful chicken chunks which added a burst of flavor to the salad.

There were a host of other things on the menu that we wanted to try, including the sandwiches and the barbecue melt. So the next time I puck-up and head over to Tokyo, I think we'll be back here again.