Bench Tower opens with Lee Min Ho
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For many years, I’d visit the Bench headquarters in Pasay for various meetings.
On display was the scull boat Richard Gomez used in the famous Sculler TV commercial in 1991.

Guess what this is?

Now everyone’s moving to the Fort area, including Bench.
Here’s the new Bench Tower at Bonifacio Global City.

Bench Tower Pasay

I was there last week to see my favorite Korean heartthrob, Lee Min Ho.
Lee Min Ho, one of Bench’s many endorsers, is the star of my favorite Korean drama, Boys Over Flowers.

Lee Min Ho

Earlier that day Bench officially inaugurated the building (L-R:) Virgilio and Nenita Lim, Carlos Chan, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, actor Lee Min Ho, Ben Chan, Lucy and Richard Gomez (Photo: @lucytgomez on Instagram)

Bench ribbon cutting

When I arrived the fans were still waiting for another glimpse of Lee Min Ho. So organized and civilized 🙂

Lee Min Ho fans

I saw Bench VP Bryan Lim in the elevator and invited myself to the VIP area at the Penthouse.
Saw Tessa Valdes, Arnold Vegafria and John Prats

Tessa Valdes, Arnold Vegafria, John Pratts

Small Laude, Korina Sanchez, Anton San Diego

Small Laude, Korina Sanchez, Anton San Diego

Lucy Torres Gomez with Mayor Len Alonte of Biñan

Lucy Torres Gomez with Mayor Len Alonte

But more than the who’s who, I was enamored by the VIP lounge, designed by Miguel Pastor.

Kitchen lounge

Reminds me of Cathay Pacific lounge

Kitchen lounge

Of course I saw these! Though I only drink Coke once a week now

small coke

Went down to the 21st floor for the Lee Min Ho press conference which was teeming with reporters, bloggers, photographers

Lee MIn Ho media event

It was so full, Ben Chan and his VIP guests gave way to us and sat humbly at the side

Lee MIn Ho media event

Unlike the Sarah Jessica Parker press con at SM Aura, this one was quite civilized. No rabid fans blocking our view 🙂

Lee Min Ho

Sam Oh interviewed Lee Min Ho. I really love him! Kind of sad I couldn’t scream.

Sam Oh and Lee Min Ho

After the press con we were led to the basement, in time for Ronnie Salvacion’s photo exhibit of Bench images through the years. Saw Patrick Uy working.

2013-07-05 17.17.45

Sam Ajdani

2013-07-05 17.17.23

Juliana Gomez

Juliana Gomez

Bench CEO, Ben Chan

Ben Chan

On my way out the fans were still waiting for Lee Min Ho, who passed by quickly in a van. And they screamed! Made me feel lucky he was just three meters away from me. (Hoping to tour the rest of the Bench office 🙂

Lee Min Ho fans

Found: Lotte ice cream sandwich takes me back to the ’70s
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Merienda is underrated.
I seldom get to enjoy merienda because nobody’s home at merienda time—kids are in school and hubby is at work.
When we were kids, merienda was a big deal, especially during summers at my lolo’s house in Quezon City.
The kids would swim while the adults played mahjongg.
In the middle of the afternoon, a bell would ring, heralding the arrival of the Magnolia ice cream cart.
The kids get out of the pool, bug the parents for money, and run to the Magnolia cart.
These were the choices:

Magnolia frozen delights

1) Magnolia drumstick
2) I’m not sure
3) Pinipig crunch
4) Twin popsies
5) What’s this called?
6) Ice cream cup
7) Ice cream sandwich

Chocolate twin popsies were my favorite, and I have memories of having my tongue stuck in them.
Ice cream cup was also a fave, particularly Super Mocha.
If I’m not mistaken, ice cream sandwich was the most expensive and no longer exists.
Imagine my excitement when I saw this in the freezer of Konbini Store in Greenhills: Lotte’s vanilla monaka or ice cream sandwich

vanilla ice cream sandwich

Inside is a nicely portioned wafer so you can share or break parts of it for more convenience

vanilla ice cream sandwich

It’s the closest thing to Magnolia’s ice cream sandwich—imagine light vanilla ice cream (not too sweet) in a chewy thin wafer. The taste just brings me back to the ’70s.

vanilla ice cream sandwich

It costs Php 150 each at Konbini Store and the best part is, I can call them and reserve whatever I want in advance (Tel. 722-4263).
Konbini Store is at 57 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan.

Now if only someone would bring this back in a glass bottle, that would be fab.

Magnolia chocolait

Royce’ for green tea lovers
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Maccha—or Japanese green tea—isn’t just for sipping anymore.
Maccha is now a sought-after ingredient, lending its multi-layered flavors and hints of luxury to ordinary dishes and desserts.
Produced under the most meticulous conditions, dried tea leaves are stone-ground until it turns into the fine, bright green, talc-like powder we know as maccha.
Imbued with antioxidants, it is said to boost metabolism and help reduce cholesterol levels.

Now maccha has found a perfect partner in Royce’s Green Tea Fair, with three new offerings this July.
Enjoy the fragrance of almonds and the bitterness of maccha with Royce’s Maccha Almond Chocolate

Maccha Almond Chocolate1

Bite into Prafeuille Chocolate Maccha to savor fragrant green tea sauce sandwiched in lightly textured, chocolate thins mixed with green tea leaves


And for the ultimate indulgence, try Nama Chocolate Maccha—premium green tea leaves blended into chocolate, sprinkled with green tea-flavored chocolate powder.

Nama Maccha1203_08

Maccha Almond Chocolate, Prafeuille Chocolate Maccha, and Nama Chocolate Maccha will be available in all Royce’ stores at Greenbelt 5, Rockwell, Trinoma, Eastwood Mall, Podium, and The Cake Club in Bonifacio Global City for a limited time only.

Only 35 slots for The Script Factory in Manila
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That movie in your mind can become a reality, as The Script Factory—UK’s leading script development organization—comes to Manila for a three-day script development workshop for film and television drama.
A first for Asia, the Script Factory workshop will run from September 27-29, 2013 and will offer 35 participants the chance to train and network alongside the best scriptwriting and producing talent in Southeast Asia.

The Script Factory

The workshop will provide participants with new perspectives on the script development process and focus on screenplay design and structure.
It will help participants to be more confident in the art of script and story editing and more effective when assisting writers of feature film and television drama.
Deadline for application is August 16, 2013.

the script factory

The Script Factory in Manila is hosted by Cinemanila International Film Festival Foundation and the British Council Philippines.
To know more, or to request an application form, email

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