I received my first official Christmas gift from Royce’ Chocolate this week!
It’s a four-storey showcase of their Christmas offerings which I personally love to give and receive.
The smallest package holds the Christmas Cookies—thick cookies half coated with mild milk chocolate. (Php 690)
The blue package—Christmas Pure Chocolate—is something I like to give kids who love chocolate—I mean who doesn’t? I love the festive gift wrapper. (Php 720)
Inside are two kinds of individually wrapped chocolate—in Mild Milk and Creamy White chocolate.
This one is for me! The Happy Collection makes me feel like a kid, with the Royce’ Kids series and other Royce’ favorites. (Php 1,700)
The biggest box—called Royce’ Christmas Selection—is great for giving families you love. Filled with Christmas Cookies, Royce’ Kids Pure Chocolate and other popular items. Comes in two sizes: Small (Php 2,370) and Large (Php 3,460).
Find them in Royce’ stores at Greenbelt 5, Eastwood Mall, Trinoma, Power Plant, Podium, and the Cake Club at Bonifacio High Street.
Don’t stop helping yet! Buy music and help #YolandaPH.
The global music community has released a compilation from the biggest names in music to raise money for those affected by supertyphoon Haiyan in The Philippines. Songs for the Philippines, a collection of 39 chart-topping hits and classic tracks, is now available worldwide on iTunes.
The artists, record companies and music publishers who are collaborating on this project together with iTunes have all agreed to donate proceeds from Songs For The Philippines to the relief efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.
Check out the titles in the track listing:
1. The Beatles – “Across The Universe”
2. Bob Dylan – “Shelter From The Storm”
3. Michael Bublé – “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”
4. U2 – “In A Little While”
5. Bruno Mars – “Count On Me”
6. Beyoncé – “I Was Here”
7. Eminem – “Stan” (Live from BBC Radio 1)
8. Cher – “Sirens”
9. Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
10. Katy Perry – “Unconditionally” (Johnson Somerset Remix)
11. One Direction – “Best Song Ever”
12. Fun. – “Carry On”
13. Lady Gaga – “Born This Way” (The Country Road version)
14. Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”
15. Justin Bieber – “I Would”
16. Alicia Keys – “New Day”
17. Imagine Dragons – “30 Lives”
18. Madonna – “Like A Prayer”
19. P!nk – “Sober”
20. Kylie Minogue – “I Believe In You”
21. Enrique Iglesias – “Hero”
22. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Factory Of Faith”
23. Linkin Park – “Roads Untraveled”
24. Kings Of Leon – “Use Somebody”
25. Muse – “Explorers”
26. Lorde – “The Love Club”
27. Josh Groban – “Brave”
28. Kelly Clarkson – “Stronger”
29. Paolo Nutini – “Simple Things”
30. Ellie Goulding – “I Know You Care”
31. James Blunt – “Carry You Home”
32. Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – “Feel This Moment”
33. Earth, Wind & Fire – “Sign On”
34. Apl.De.App – “Going Out” feat Damian Leroy
35. Sara Bareilles – “Brave”
36. Jessica Sanchez – “Lead Me Home”
37. Lily Allen – “Smile”
38. The Fray – “Love Don’t Die”
39. The Beatles – “Let It Be”
When China threatened to impose visas on Filipinos traveling to Hong Kong, it didn’t bother me that much because the last time I went to Hong Kong in August it felt a little different. It felt tired.
My first trip out of the country, I was eight years old. We flew first class to Hong Kong and stayed at the Peninsula.
We don’t always fly first class as a family. It was just that one time. Maybe my parents wanted to make it special, and it was.
I remember buying Monchhichi dolls in Tsim Sha Tsui.
I have vivid memories of bones aching from walking so much at Ocean Centre, trailing family members looking at mainstream stores, and wishing, well, that I knew where the cool clothes were. (Now I know.)
Hong Kong is a Filipino pastime. My late grandmothers shopped there as well. I remember my lola frequenting to Shui Hing on Nathan Road. It doesn’t exist anymore.
If you’re Filipino, going to Hong Kong is such a treat because of its convenience.
“Five hours door-to-door,” Tita Virgie Ramos once told me. “That’s what I love about Hong Kong.”
Well, five hours for Tita Virgie, eight hours for me. I timed it. From our doorstep in Pasig to our hotel room in Causeway Bay, it took about eight hours.
My husband and I were supposed to go on our annual honeymoon in Tokyo this November 25. But Yolanda happened, and I couldn’t get myself to book the flights and hotel, or get a visa. It all seemed so frivolous, and depressing.
Yolanda took so much energy from me. I did what I could and I’m still doing it—helping people rebuild the roofs of their houses. But then Christmas is coming and so rapidly. I need to put up my Christmas tree for the kids. I need to buy some new parols. I need this and that. I needed a break.
I convinced the hubby to take me to Hong Kong where tickets and hotels can be booked quickly online, no visa required, not yet anyway. I got ourselves free business class tickets through Asiamiles. I booked us at Park Lane in Causeway for its convenient proximity to Ikea, among other stores.
We were lucky to be upgraded to First Class on Cathay Pacific—what a treat!
I even ate the meal!
When we arrived at Park Lane, the room wasn’t what I expected, so we got a “free” upgrade to a large, although dated, suite. (You half expect to see Tony Ferrer come out of the wood work).
This is the last time we’re staying at the Park Lane, hubby and I agreed.
We were there from Thursday to Sunday.
On Thursday I passed by all the shops on Causeway Bay—from Ikea, to aesop, Zucca, I.T, Vivienne Westwood, Liger, Droog, Frapbois, a.p.c.
On Friday I hit City Super, Lane Crawford, COS, and had a wonderful date at a hip Spanish eatery called Boqueria in Lan Kwai Fong. (Thank you James Acuña and Apple Mandy for arranging!)
On Saturday I had no more energy.
I feel old, I told the hubby. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t shop till I drop. I feel like a lola.
Hong Kong has lost its luster on me. I have been there 100 times. So if Hong Kong wants to impose a visa, I’m OK with it.
Despite all of that, we checked in six pieces of luggage on Sunday, when I thought that I didn’t shop enough. Luckily, Cathay didn’t charge us for overweight. Plus were upgraded to First Class—again!
My husband and I were seated at 1A and 1K, right by the nose of the plane.
Someone is happy…
Strangely enough I felt no fear. I prayed my chaplet quietly and read until we landed.
More than anything, however, my body was tired. I had developed a bad cold in Hong Kong and I intend to take it slow this week.
The opening of H&M in the Philippines is no longer a rumor as Swedish retail giant H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB has announced the signing of a contract for its first store opening in Manila, Philippines.
The flagship store will open in 2014 at SM Megamall.