H&M Home opens in Manila

And just like that H&M home opened at Robinsons Magnolia. I did not expect it at all.
Last week I even asked my friend Rem to buy me H&M Home stuff in New York, where most of the stuff I wanted were sold out. So Rem only got two items for me.
Then I found out H&M Home was opening at Robinsons Magnolia today.
I am not a morning person but I woke up early and was there to take pictures before it opened to the public at 11 AM.
Here’s what I saw: Christmas items, like throw pillows, napkins, sacks and ornaments

H&M Home
H&M Home
H&M Home

Tabletop and party ware

H&M Home
H&M Home


H&M Home
H&M Home
H&M Home

Cushion covers and inserts

H&M Home
H&M Home

Bath towels and rugs

H&M Home

Gift boxes and gift cards

H&M Home

And many other gift items, just in time for Christmas

H&M Home
H&M Home
H&M Home
H&M Home

I don’t think you will ever see AFAMs* manning the cash registers anywhere else in Manila


Friendly H&M staff like Joey and Joe, who are part of H&M’s global setup team


More AFAMs shopping

H&M Home

Two people I need to thank: Alexei Villaraza of Bridges PR (left) who helped me shop, and H&Ms PR Responsible, Dan Mejia who carried my bags

Alexei and Dan


Dan Mejia

The H&M Home concept is part of a two-level 3,000-square-meter H&M store at Robinsons Magnolia.
Apart from Home, H&M’s second location in Manila carries the brand’s full assortment for women, men, teenagers and children, as well as H&M Sport and Mama.
To know more about H&M Home and what you can expect, click HERE.

*AFAM = a foreigner assigned in Manila

Giveaway: Win free tickets to #cinemajam2014 #makeastatement

November is perfect for a night out under starry skies.
Treat yourself and special someone to a midnight concert, outdoor movies, zip line, and wall climbing on November 29, as Cinemajam 2014 happens at Greenfield District Central Park in Mandaluyong City.
Movies lined up are Letters to Juliet and Now You See Me, and concert features Franco, Urbandub, Imago, Itchyworms, Cheats, Chocolate Factory, Autotelic, Group Hug, Pedicab and Banda ni Kleggy.

Cinemajam 2014 lineup

Here’s how to win 2 tickets FREE to Cinemajam 2014:
1) You must have Twitter or Facebook account.
2) Share this entry by clicking on Twitter or Facebook button at the end of this post.
3) Like Cinemajam on Facebook or follow @cinemajam2014 on Twitter.
4) Register HERE until November 25, 2014 only.
5) Ten winners of two tickets each will be selected via electronic raffle.
6) Winners will be announced on this blog and contacted on how to claim tickets.

To know more, go to http://www.cinemajam.ph.

Get ready for Cinemajam 2014

Great music, blockbuster movies under starry skies, exciting outdoor activities, and other surprises all come together at Cinemajam 2014 on November 29, 2014 at the Greenfield District Central Park in Mandaluyong City.
Now on its second year, Cinemajam 2014 has fun activities lined up, including a zip line and wall climbing in the daytime, followed by outdoor movie screenings of Letters to Juliet and Now You See Me.

Now You See Me Letters to Juliet

A midnight jam finale will feature popular bands like Franco, Urbandub, Imago, Itchyworms, Cheats, Chocolate Factory, Autotelic, Group Hug, Pedicab and Banda ni Kleggy.





Presented by Crizal Traditions lenses, “Cinemajam 2014 aims to promote good eyesight and positivity through a celebration of arts, music, and camaraderie, along with the launch of our latest product Crizal Transitions Signature Green,” said Jinky Navo, marketing manager of Essilor in the Philippines.

CinemaJam 2014 also supports the humanitarian organization World Vision.
“We are very excited to help the beneficiaries of World Vision and we hope to touch more lives in the upcoming years,” said Dra. Emelita Roleda, general manager of Essilor, the exclusive distributor of Crizal Transitions.

Be part of Cinemajam 2014 on November 29, 2014 at the Greenfield District Central Park, Mandaluyong City.
For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or go to www.ticketworld.com.ph.
To know more, go to http://cinemajam.ph/
Follow Cinemajam 2014 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @cinemajam2014

CinemaJam 2014 is made possible by C-Interactive, Greenfield District Central Park, Myx, the Official Music Channel, Cinema One, Police, Toby’s, Medicard Philippines, Grab Taxi, the Official Sponsor Ride of Cinemajam 2014, Play FM, and WhenInManila.com.

Up next: How to win free tickets to this event!

Looking for a couch? Furninova is a couch potato’s heaven

I never really knew the importance of a couch until we owned our own home.
A couch is the centerpiece of one’s living room and the rest of the pieces—from the coffee table, rugs, paintings, accessories—usually follow.
When we moved into our own house in 2003, we didn’t have a lot of choices in Manila.
A few years ago I was shocked at the prices of couches being offered in Manila’s better showrooms—who knew Filipinos could drop 1-2 million for a couch?

For those who are renovating, upgrading or starting a new home, luckily there’s Furninova, a Swedish furniture brand that specialises in couches, with prices ranging from Php 70,000 to 200,000.
“Before we brought in Furninova, there were no great mid-range couch brands in the Philippines,” said Joseph Tay, managing director of Dot Mobel Corp., which distributes Furninova in the country.


Joseph first discovered Furninova in Singapore, when he sat on a couch at a furniture store.
Impressed, he asked where it was made and found out that Furninova couches have a defect rate of .3%, which spoke volumes about the brand’s quality.


I learned out about Furninova’s showroom through Instagram while we were looking for a dining table.
I am simply amazed how a showroom located at the second floor of Hemady Square in Quezon City, is doing brisk business despite its unusual location.
Clients are mostly young but upwardly mobile couples who live in houses are smaller than their parents’.


“They want couches they can sit on comfortably. They want something sturdy that their kids can jump and play on, yet attractive and stylish for their guests. They can’t afford the million-peso couches, so they come here and are amazed that Furninova has pieces that fit their requirements,” said interior decorator Dana Uy, business partner of Joseph and his wife Stenie Coyiuto.

Dana Uy, Stenie Coyuito & Joseph Tay
(L-R: Dana Uy, Stenie Coyiuto and her husband Joseph Tay)

At Furninova, customers can choose from any of their 500 fabric and leather swatches for their modular sofas. Furninova Philippines also employs interior decorators who help customers choose the right sizes of sofas and furniture for their homes.
Dana Uy, for one, is studying interior design at the Philippine School of Interior Design. She also designed the layout of the store.

Furninova swatches
Furninova swatches
You’ll go crazy with the swatches

For couch potatoes, Furninova is heaven. Every couch has options for bolsters. Some have pockets on the side for remote controls, magazines, or iPads. You can choose couches with trays for drinks.
Furninova couches all have solid frames and solid foam, not just scraps put together. Comfort level is very high, and each couch is built to last a lifetime.


“We’re a service-oriented store. Our customers love our personalized service. Despite opening without a formal launch in March 2014, we’ve had a lot of referrals and repeat customers. Because we don’t just sell sofas and other furniture, we will look at your floor plan or your house, and suggest what will work,” said Joseph.


The showroom also offers pieces from other brands like Conform, Oliver B and Woodpoint.
See for yourself at the 2nd level, Hemady Square, 86 Dona Hemady Street, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City.
For more information, call 975-4470.

A date with Sergio Mendes in Manila

I believe that parents shape the taste of their children. Not all of it, but some of it.
The music, I got from my dad.
I have fond memories of my dad in his music room with the hi-fi stereo and the huge headphones he would put on the ears of my siblings and I. And we heard the happy music of Sergio Mendes.

Sergio Mendes gives me warm, fuzzy memories of childhood and growing up in the ’70s.
I have never stopped loving his songs.
So when I heard he was coming to Manila, I really couldn’t miss the chance and booked the tickets online a week before. The moment wouldn’t be complete without my best friend Jeroen who appreciates the music too.

Jeroen van Straten

Traffic was a killer on Saturday so Jer and I left the house at 7 and reached the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 7:45 PM.
Cubao still has a wonderful ’70s vibe that’s so festive in the holiday season. I can’t remember seeing a Christmas tree this big, up close, ever.

Christmas in Cubao

Jeroen and I were so thrilled to see senior citizens all around, some of them with white hair and holding hands. So adorable.
We found our seats at the fifth row. At first we thought the place would be empty—the VIP section right in front of us certainly was.
Veteran jazz singer Jacqui Magno opened the show. Sadly she sang with a low-tech minus-one recording instead of a live band. She can’t hit the high notes anymore, had to sit in the middle of her set, and apologized for taking sips of water in between songs.
The audience didn’t seem to mind though and I certainly didn’t because she just added to that nostalgic vibe I was craving. She felt like an auntie singing at a family reunion.

Jacqui Magno

After Jacqui’s set, there was a 15-minute intermission. Jer and I looked for something to eat (sadly, not much choice at the coliseum). When we came back at 9 PM, the VIP area was already full.
Sergio Mendes came out in his signature Panama hat and yellow shirt.

Sergio Mendes in Manila

Just wow!

Sergio Mendes in Manila

His three singers included (L-R) his wife Granciha Leporace, Ayana Layli, and Katie Hampton

Sergio Mendes in Manila

“They sound exactly like the CD,” Jeroen noted.
Visually I was thinking I wish I could style them. What would I make them wear?
They sounded amazing though. Shot me right back to my father’s music room.
The concert also featured Sergio Mendes singer Joe Pizzulo, who is known for the hit song, Never Gonna Let You Go. I could imagine the lols finding him hot

Sergio Mendes in Manila

Joe Pizzulo certainly aged well. Look at him in 1984

At one point Sergio paused to acknowledge the presence of his good friend, Mr. Jorge Araneta, whose family owns the Araneta complex in Cubao. He also mentioned the presence of President Aquino who was seated at Lower Box with cabinet members and security guards.
That certainly added excitement to the evening. And yes, we saw him dance!
Also spotted: Mar Roxas, Frank Drilon, Herbert Bautista

President Aquino and friends

It was awesome to hear my favourite songs, like Pretty World, Goin’ Out of My Head, Look of Love, Girl From Ipanema, live and in person.
How I wish Sergio could live on and on, and how I wish I could pass on the music to my boys.
I’d like to thank Jeroen for coming with me and the awesome photographer, Magic Liwanag/Ovation Production for sharing the photos.
Thank you Dad, and thank you Sergio Mendes for the music.

If you want to know what the concert was like, here’s the exact concert (minus Joe Pizzulo) they performed in Vienne, France, earlier this 2014

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