Tried & Tested: Nivea’s in-shower skin conditioner

HONG KONG—Hyatt Regency‘s bathrooms are chuva-approved!
It’s my second time to stay here. Location is at Hanoi Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, right across from Holiday Inn at Mody Road. Lobby isn’t great and you have to change elevators from street level to lobby to reach your room.
Room is clean and normal, but the bathrooms are minimalist and modern, just the way we like it.
One day I’ll have a shower and bath just like this—separate but in one stall.

Shower and bath

Counter sink is a must

Bathroom

Plus clean toilet

Toilet

I ran out of moisturising soap, so I bought myself a big bottle of Nivea’s in-shower skin conditioner at Watsons.

Nivea skin conditioner

Nivea’s in-shower skin conditioner was recently launched in Manila for three skin types: dull, dry, and normal.

Nivea

Skin conditioner works pretty much like hair conditioner.
When I was young we didn’t have hair conditioner at home, so I had many split ends. One of the things I liked to do in high school was to clip the split ends when the teacher wasn’t looking. Now we can’t live without hair conditioner!

One of the things I hate while traveling is what I call the “hotel itch”. That’s when my legs or back suddenly itch due to the aircon or change in weather, so applying lotion is a must.
Unfortunately I am too lazy to apply skin lotion everyday. Sometimes I remember, but most of the time I forget. Nivea’s in-shower skin conditioner works for me because I can shower with it, rinse, and it will leave a non-sticky moisturiser on my skin.
I do not recommend using it on the face though. I would still use a facial cleanser for that.
I tried and the skin conditioner felt a bit too oily for the face. For the rest of the body, it is perfect though.

Nivea

How to use:
Use your regular body soap or shower gel. Then apply Nivea skin conditioner just like lotion on skin while in the shower. Rinse and towel off. I love it.
That said, I didn’t feel the “hotel itch” at all, and will continue to use this at home.
Nivea in-shower skin conditioner is now available in supermarkets and drug stores in the Philippines. Find them on the shelves, along with traditional body moisturisers. And read the label carefully for the words “in-shower”—you might confuse the packaging for Nivea lotions.

Delta + four major airlines move to NAIA 3

Good news for Delta Airlines travelers to and from Manila, Philippines: they’re moving to NAIA Terminal 3 beginning July 31, 2014 for arrivals and August 1st for departures.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Emirates, Singapore Air and Cathay Pacific will also be transferring to Terminal 3 by the middle to end of August. (Source)
NAIA Terminal 3 promises larger departure and immigration halls, a smoother walk between the airport entrance and gates, more seating areas, less congestion at security, and more shopping and dining options.

Airport Reflection
Photo: Dexter Baldon

Take note:
If you need to transfer between Terminal (T1) and Terminal (T3), allow at least 1½ hours to transfer between terminals.
An airport shuttle is available between terminals. The shuttle departs every 30-45 minutes, and the ride to T3 takes approximately 30 minutes.
Taxi service is also available between terminals. Taxis are located curbside at the T1 departure level, and the ride to T3 takes approximately 30-90 minutes.
Proceeding through the security checkpoint at T3 takes approximately 30 minutes.
BusinessElite® travellers may access Pacific Club in Manila,located on the L1 Mezzanine level. (Source)

Who’s afraid to fly to Hong Kong?

One of our favourite couples—Darren and Kissa McDermott—recently moved to Hong Kong.

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When we found out they were leaving, Jeroen made a plan with his afam* friends to visit Darren.
Well, Hong Kong is on final sale, so I told Jeroen I am tagging along—with my friend Patrice.
I was really looking forward to this trip until planes started falling from the sky—starting with Malaysian Airlines (MH 17) on July 17th, followed by Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways on July 24, and Air Algerie on July 25.
To think Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 hasn’t even been found yet since March 8.

My fear of flying hit the roof two days before our trip. The night before I had no sleep.
It’s also my first time to try Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy. I figured 1.5 hours won’t hurt. Only the food did—an adobo roll that looked kawawa. Not that I eat on the plane anyway.

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I kept my eyes on the screen watching the minutes count down and the altitude go up.
I prayed five rosaries and watched an afam next to me praying as well. I’m sure half the plane was scared to fly. I tried to play a few games of Maleficent but it made my heart beat faster.
I had deep conversations with God. Forty five minutes later, I started to think we are going to land safely. And we did!

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Hong Kong reunion (L-R): Darren McDermott, Joeri Timp, Joris Spanhoff, Jeroen van Straten, Jasper van den Borne

Also on our flight were my Carlo Tanseco and Chunchi Soler

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Victor Basa and Divine Lee—I keep seeing this couple in Hong Kong :)

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At the airport I kept seeing men in yellow shoes—a sign from God!!

yellow shoes
yellow shoes
yellow shoes

At least one of them was chic

yellow shoes

Actor Lee Min Ho is everywhere!!

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lee min ho
Lee Min Ho for Fila

And McDonald’s isn’t selling any patties due to the recent sanitation scandal

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I spotted a T-shirt that looks like Andre Chang

Andre Chang tee Andre Chang

Then ended with the best steak and frites in Hong Kong at La Vache with Fed Tan of Social/Capital (L) and JJ Acuña (The Wanderlister)

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*A foreigner assigned in Manila

Look who’s on Preview’s Best Dressed 2014

In 1999, I was on Mega magazine’s first ever Best Dressed issue. That was 15 years ago. (Photo: Lorraine Belmonte)

Cecile van Straten, Mega 1999

This year, I am one of Preview‘s Best Dressed—achieve! Hehe.
Seriously though my colour scheme hasn’t changed. And I am still difficult to photograph. (Photo: Koji Arboleda)

Comme des Garçons collectionCecile van Straten

When I was a kid we had film cameras and flashbulbs. You only took pictures during special occasions, unlike now where kids take selfies all the time and are used to the camera. That said, I would rather take pictures than be in them.
This month’s Preview (July 2014) features Georgina Wilson and Celine Lopez on the cover.

Preview cover July 2014

This year, Preview wanted to do more than come up with a list of best-dressed girls. So they decided to put two unlikely women together and ask them to converse. This year’s list also includes Jo Ann Bitagcol, Kim Jones, Ria Prieto, Pam Quiñones, Anne Arcenas, Marga Valdes-Trinidad, Tina Ong, Tinay Villiamiel, Zelda Kienle, Jessica Kienle, Dr. Aivee Teo, Jessica Yang, Marite Fe Ganse, Martine Cajucom, and Joane Laygo.

Also in the Best Dressed issue, Daryl Chang puts together a shopping guide for the first-time Manila visitor (or even long-time resident) including shopping haunts, a designer directory, and great finds that champion Philippine talent and craftsmanship.
They’ve also rounded up 30-plus pairs of the hottest footwear out there—and would you believe none of them have heels?
In the beauty pages you’ll find an arsenal of tools—from the right brush to different irons and blow dryers; plus how to get the perfect minimalist face in just 10 minutes.
Ann Jacobe takes you through a gym she’s dubbed “The Playground” and a healthy diet turned food business that’s given her the energy and glow of a woman half her age.
New neighborhood joints to eat in, Max Eigenmann’s photo diary from Art Basel Hong Kong, and a Q&A with Gab Valenciano are all in Preview July 2014.

My Oishi Sundate with Christian

Because of my work, I get lots of invitations. But for me to actually go to an event, there must be something special or different about it. This invitation from Oishi was difficult to ignore—a giant pack of chips landed at our front door.

OIshi event

Inside the mother sack are tons of Oishi’s newest chips featuring Team O’s Elmo Magalona, Daniel Padilla, and Ramon Bautista.

Oishi chips

The package included an invitation to a Snacktacular meet and greet with Team O at Glorietta.
“Who likes Daniel Padilla?” I asked the maids.
Ma’am, lahat po,” said Mariza.
Sinong pinaka die hard?” I asked.
Si Aiza po.”

I would have liked to take Aiza to the Oishi event, but they decided Yaya Joan would come with me and Christian.
In case you didn’t know, Daniel Padilla—nephew of Robin Padilla and son of Rommel Padilla and Karla Estrada—is equivalent to Justin Bieber in the Philippines. I can’t remember the last teen idol adored at this level by the masses (do you?). Even Mich Dulce likes him.
So one Sunday I packed my son Christian (6) and Yaya Joan to Glorietta 2’s Activity Center.
My heart was weeping for Brazil, so Christian wore this despite his father’s disapproval.

Oishi event

The activity centre was packed. It was difficult to cut through the crowd and enter the venue. Good thing Franco Santos of Bridges spotted us and let us in.
While waiting for celebrities to arrive, I took Christian around the activity booths. First, we hit the soft serve machine made of Oishi milk with oats. He chose chocolate.

Oishi event

Then celebrities arrived and all of a sudden everyone went wild

Oishi event

Good thing Yaya Joan was there. I don’t know these people…it’s Colleen Garcia

Oishi event

She is dating Billy Crawford apparently

Oishi event

Christian and I went to the next booth, where you take an empty sack and fill it up at a mock grocery filled with chips. Christian loved this activity.

Oishi event

He knows his Oishi favourites by heart so he knew exactly what to get, starting with Marty’s Cracklin’.

Oishi event
Oishi event
Oishi event
Oishi event

Elmo Magalona did it too, though not as wild as Christian

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Elmo Magalona

Then Christian hit the trampoline, where he appeared to be jumping out of a pack of chips. It was hard to pull him away, trust me.

Oishi event

Ramon Bautista did it too

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My favourite booth was the Make Your Own Snack Mix

Oishi event

You get an empty paper bag and choose the type of chips you like (I chose potato fries)

Oishi event

Then you choose from different flavoured powders

Oishi event

I chose nori, or Japanese seaweed

Oishi event

Shake, shake, and OMG this was so good!! I wanted to go back the next day to make some more, but the booth was already gone. Oishi, please make these chips for sale!! You can call them Chuva Chips, hehe :)

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Robbie Becroft made some too

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We like Robbie

Oishi event

We took our seats while waiting for the program to start. Christian was such a good boy.

Oishi event

And then screaming happened. Daniel Padilla had arrived.

Oishi event

My camera doesn’t quite capture the sound of my eardrums breaking

Oh, and Kathryn Bernardo was there.

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla

They were brought backstage, and the show began with Team O’s Ramon Bautista, Slater Young, and Elmo Magalona

Oishi event
Oishi event

Through the wonders of technology, Elmo sang a duet via music video with his father Francis Magalona

Elmo Magalona

Elmo never fails to make his mom Pia smile

Oishi event

Daniel serenaded the fans

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And the show ended with Daniel’s latest TV commercial for Oishi. Watch and see Daniel Padilla in action

I totally get why they love him, Mich Dulce included.
Thank you Oishi for the fun Sundate!!

Oishi event

Love, Christian

Oishi event

http://oishi.com.ph

Birthdays and blessings, Part 3

As my dad said, all you need in life are five good friends.
While planning my party, I realised how many people I wanted to thank for their kindness, their time and generosity, and for being good to me and my family.
First to arrive were the DJs: Diego Mapa, whom I have known since 1990 when he was ‘this high’, and Melvin Mojica who has been my friend and collaborator since 1995.

DJs

The two older boys waited for the party to start with their iPads

The boys waiting for party to start
The boys waiting for party to start

While Christian had a blast with The Cure

Traffic was really bad, but the guests finally arrived after 8 (what a relief). Promise, there was no dress code, but almost everyone really came in black, white, or blue

Guests arrive

My sister Ana (and her boyfriend Carlos) came early and ruined my eye makeup with her letter and present

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Jeroen and his mates: (L-R) Darren McDermott, Gerome Vizmanos (who was my classmate at Parsons NY), and Joris Spanhoff (a.k.a. the BFF)

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Me wearing “The Dress” — with Poma Malantic, Kevin Ching, Janina Dizon Hoschka, and Dennis Robles

Poma, Cecile, Kevin, Jenny, Dennis

Friends from the Grocery days: Yodel Pe (who did my invitation), Jo Ann Bitagcol (our muse), and Fren Te (who managed Defect)

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Newly weds Mikee Carrion and Nikki Luna

Mikee and Nikki Carreon

Hayden Kho was popular with the girls: Kerin Ching, childhood friend Lia Anonas, Rem de Vera (Kaladkarin of the Year awardee), Chiyo Tagami (who cuts my hair), Harriet van den Borne

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Rita Nazareno

Rita Nazareno

Takatoshi Kimachi, who designed the Pepper Lunch and Yakitori One stores

Takatoshi Kimachi

Grace Velasco—proof that great friends can be met online

Grace Velasco

Friends from the ’90s: Tata Montilla, Melvin Mojica, Fren Te, Princesse Fernandez, and my sister-in-law, Charmaine Zamora

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My cousins: RJ Galang, his wife Ana, and Robin Galang

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Stop the monopod! More collaborators: Melvin Mojica, Garovs and Ryan Vergara, Kellyn See and Rex Gapuz, Tinay Villamiel

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Dennis Robles, Jenny, Lucille and Candy Dizon, JP Singson

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Melvin Mojica, Kerin Ching and Nicolo Manahan

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Jeroen with my idol Lorraine Mabasa and her husband Johnby

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Friends from the industry: Alexei Villaraza and Dinna Vasquez

Alexei Villaraza and Dinna Vasquez

Patty Betita

Patty Betita

Kissa McDermott and Kevin Ching

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Feeling FIFA: Fumio Onishi

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Jo Ann Bitagcol (left) Ginggay dela Merced (right)

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Jasper van den Borne, Gerome Vizmanos, Lia Anonas, Van Porciuncula (who takes care of this site), Rem de Vera, Harriet van den Borne

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Drea Zuleta, Ana Galang, Grace Velasco, Erika Tatad

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Dancing to Hall & Oates: Judd Figueres and Melvin Mojica

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Choosing dessert: Christian with Lia Anonas

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Jay Diaz, Fumio Onishi, Harriet van den Borne, Gerome Vizmanos, Joris Spanhoff, Patrice Diaz, Jeroen van Straten, and Patty Betita photobombed by Jo Ann Bitagcol

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Not everyone is here though. Some of my friends were traveling and some of the guests weren’t photographed.
I don’t get to celebrate every year, so thank you, Jeroen, for my party and to everyone who was there!

Jeroen van Straten

Special thanks to Patrick Diokno for the photos :)

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