Win free stays and luggage from Rustan’s and PNB

It’s more fun in the Philippines as Rustan’s partners with PNB in its Journey Into Summer promo.
Take home free Samsonite premium items or win free stays at some of the country’s top resorts with a minimum single-receipt purchase at participating Rustan’s stores (all Rustan’s department stores, Rustan’s Red Tag outlet store, and Rustan’s brand stores at Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila) from now until April 15, 2013.


Choose between a Samsonite foldable tote bag or duffle bag with a minimum Php 10,000 single-receipt purchase.
A minimum Php 50,000 single-receipt purchase entitles you to a Samsonite Headline 3 Backpack.
And if your single receipt purchase amounts to Php 100,000 and up, you’ll get a Samsonite Cosmolite Blue 55cm Spinner.
But if you use your PNB/Allied Bank Credit Card to purchase, you can get your Samsonite gifts for less!
Spend just Php 9,000 instead of Php 10,000, Php 45,000 instead of Php 50,000, or Php 90,000 instead of Php 100,000, to get your corresponding gift.
To redeem your Samsonite gift, present your receipt to the Concierge desk at Rustan’s department stores.
Please note that qualified purchases do not include merchandise from cosmetics, perfumeries, toiletries, SSI brands, Debenhams, Rustan’s Flower Shop, as well as purchases of Rustan’s gift certificates.

Win free stays at top resorts

From March 15 to April 30, 2013, every Php 3,000 minimum purchase at participating Rustan’s stores entitles customer to one raffle ticket.
A total of 24 winners will be drawn:

Four winners will win 3D/2N stays at El Nido Resorts
El Nido Resort

Five winners will win 3D/2N stays at The Farm at San Benito
The Farm Resort

Five winners will enjoy 3D/2N stays at Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa
Eskaya Resort

Five will win 3D/2N stays at The District Boracay
The District Resort

Another five winners will each receive a three-piece set of Samsonite luggage.

Grand raffle will be May 9, 2013 at Rustan’s department store, Makati.
Per DTI-NCR Permit No.2464 Series of 2013

Where have all the lychees gone?

It’s been almost 1.5 years since I last had fresh lychees.
I bought these in Singapore last December 2011.

Australian lychees

They were so expensive. And perfect.

Australian lychees

Since then I’ve been searching for fresh lychees in Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore and have not found any.
I remember many years ago, Mich Dulce and I were in Hong Kong. She bought fresh lychees on the street and was savoring them in the hotel room. Now even in Hong Kong I can’t find lychees anymore.
Where have they all gone?

Health benefits of lychees:
• According to a Chinese book, the nature of the flesh of the lychee is warm and can help improve the blood.
• The Chinese believe lychee has the ability to relieve pain and shrink swollen glands.
• Studies conclude that lychee prevents the growth of cancer cells. Flavonoids found in the lychee fruit pulp were found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and appeared to be especially effective against breast cancer.
• Lychee is a rich source of Vitamin C and can benefit those suffering from colds, fever and sore throat.

Trip to Solaire, Part 1

Last week everyone was talking about the opening of Solaire Resort & Casino at Entertainment City along Manila Bay.
They say it’s Las Vegas in Manila. Because I missed the opening and media previews, I asked to be invited to a more intimate tour with Solaire’s marketing group.

Solaire Resort and Casino Manila

It took us more than an hour to get there from Pasig on a Friday night.
Upon arrival, I was imagining what it would be like if our international airport looked like this.

Solaire Resort and Casino Manila

Since it opened only last March 16th, I was quite surprised to see the place buzzing with activity, though some of the photos might not reflect that.
Our tour began with a dinner at Strip Steakhouse


We met Katrina Razon, lovely daughter of Chairman and CEO Enrique Razon, Jr.

Katrina Razon

My dinner consisted of the freshly baked bread from Solaire’s in-house bakery


Grilled Hokkaido scallops

Grilled Hokkaido scallops

and this 350-gram ribeye steak, which Jeroen helped me finish :)

Strip steak

All the head chefs in Solaire are imported, including baker, pastry chef, and many food items.

Strip chefs

After dinner we began the walking tour to burn some of the calories we ingested.
Yakumi Japanese restaurant was right next door.


We met Japanese chefs Norimasa Kasaka and Shinobu Endo.
Prior to working at Solaire, Mr. Kasaka (L) has prepared sushi for celebrities like Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Schumacher, Naomi Campbell, and Nicole Kidman.
The fact that Nicole Kidman came back for more and Naomi Campbell didn’t throw chopsticks at him, probably means his sushi is worth a try :)

Japanese chefs

Busy that night


I was quite interested on who would get to taste this giant Hokkaido crab (Hi Ana!)

Giant Hokkaido crab

At Finestra Italian fine dining restaurant, we met Executive Chef Salvatore de Vicentis (L) with Finestra manager Giulio Gongarini


It felt like walking into a dream—or a movie set


My first thought upon seeing this was: We’re not in Kansas anymore. Seriously it felt like I had traveled abroad.


Red Lantern, the Chinese restaurant next door, brought me back to earth

Solaire Resort & Casino Manial

with beautiful flowers flown in from the Netherlands

Flowers from the Netherlands

There’s the Lucky Noodle Bar

Lucky Noodle Bar

and the popular Fresh buffet restaurant


Very affordable compared to many buffet spreads in Manila

Fresh prices

Some of the offerings: cheese spread

Cheese spread

Seafood bar

Seafood spread

Dreamy desserts!

Dessert bar

Here’s Chef at work


Celebrity sighting: Liz Almoro and Victor Aliwalas

Liz Almoro and Victor Aliwalas

(To be continued)

How to organize: Multiple iPads and laptops

If you’re a multiple-gadget household like ours, you might feel frustrated trying to organize all your ipads and laptops.
You don’t want to pile them up together because they can fall or get scratched.

Apple products

I thought hard about how to fix this and found this wooden FANBY rack in IKEA.

How to organize

I hoarded a few of these and voila—my kids know where to find their iPad if they leave theirs lying around my room.
It’a space saver and it’s cheap!

How to organize

Here’s another gadget I love, which was a favorite Christmas gift last year—the XtremeMac Docking Station—for Apple products. You can choose from either three or five docking stations
Xtreme charger
Xtreme charger

I put this on my husband’s bedside table where he parks his iPhone.

Xtreme charger

Last Christmas, the families I gave these to really appreciated it.
To know more, go to

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