Feeling nostalgic in Hong Kong
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I used to go to Hong Kong at least three times a year, I even had a Hong Kong frequent visitor card. Sadly, that card has expired.
Ever since I got my multiple-entry Japan visa, I just stopped going to Hong Kong regularly. As my cousin would say, Japan is the new Hong Kong.
I had not been to Hong Kong for more than a year. I had to go this year because of a medical checkup required by my dad’s bank. The trip was sponsored and timely because I’ve been feeling lonely ever since my son left for China to study for six weeks. I figured, five days in Hong Kong will help pass the time till my son is back.
I decided to stay at Gateway Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui because two years ago my friend Penny recommended it. She said the bathrooms were Penny-approved and most likely chuva-approved. She was right. I absolutely loved the bathroom!! This was on the Club Floor by the way, Room 1421.


My friend Rem and I had shared a room with two beds. This was my bed. Interiors very mainstream but I can’t complain because the aircon is cold and the bathroom is great!!

Gateway Hotel

Gateway is a great place to stay if you have only a few days because the hotel is connected to the mall. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor and you’re right smack inside Harbour City Mall with a bridgeway to Silvercord Mall.
This is where my grandparents used to stay when they were alive and where we’ve been shopping since I was a kid, with its low ceiling and constantly changing brands/shops.

Harbour City

I feel very sentimental about this place, particularly Tsim Sha Tsui. Many years ago, this was the happy place of our parents and grandparents—the love of which their generation has passed on to my generation.
Hong Kong is a mere 90 minutes by plane from Manila. Even for someone who hates flying, this isn’t bad at all. We had the smoothest Cathay Pacific flight, by the way.
I wasn’t close to my maternal grandfather, but I can feel his spirit around. I know he loved this place.

Canton Road

For some reason, I think of my Lola Paying when I ride the ferry because she also loved Hong Kong. I wonder if she liked the ferry too.

Hong Kong ferry
Hong Kong ferry

I didn’t get to shop that much, but that’s OK. I still have clothes with tags from my Tokyo trip last September. I did buy that small Globetrotter from Lane Crawford I’ve been eyeing for years. I can finally afford it.


A trip to Hong Kong is never complete without a meal at La Vache!, which serves the best steak and fries in Hong Kong


and the best “unsweet” chocolate cake!


The neighborhood

Elgin Street

It’s always good to see friends in Hong Kong, like James Acuña and Alexandra Seno who we met at Second Draft.

2nd Draft

Really liked the fried chicken and grilled squid!

2nd Draft
IMG_20161110_192817James and Alex

Couldn’t help but notice Jack the bartender/barista who is half-man, half-Schnauzer

Jack at 2nd Draft

As for my checkup, it went really well. I came home with a clean bill of health. I had a great relaxing trip, and I love Hong Kong all over again.

Cecile van Straten

Biggest audio/video expo this November 12-13 at Dusit Thani Hotel
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The year’s most anticipated Audio and Video Expo in the country will feature a total of 49 rooms.
On display will be the latest in high-end audio systems, vacuum tube equipment, turntables, headphones/IEM gear, home theatre, restored vintage audio systems, and the largest gathering of LP records and CD dealers.
The November HiFi Show is at the Dusit Thani Hotel Makati this November 12-13, 2016 from 10 AM to 6 PM. Entrance is FREE, with live musical performances by APARTEL and EXTRAPOLATION on November 12 at 6 PM.

November hifi show

WATCH: Paolo Ballesteros wins Best Actor in Tokyo International Film Festival
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Paolo Ballestersos

Eat Bulaga’s regular cast member, Paolo Ballesteros, has won Best Actor in the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) held October 25 to November 3, 2016 in Roppongi Hills.
Paolo won for his role as Trisha, a transgender woman who makes a living as a beauty contestant in Die Beautiful, directed by Jun Robles Lana.

Die Beautiful wins in Tokyo International Film Festival
Paolo Ballesteros accepts the award with director Jun Robles Lana in Tokyo

Before dying unexpectedly, Trisha expressed a desire to remain beautiful even in death. Her one last wish was to be presented as a different celebrity on each night of her wake, but her conservative father wants to bury her as a man.
Trisha’s friends are left with no choice but to steal her body and hold the wake in a secret location.
As Trisha is transformed to look like different celebrities, they also look back at the colorful and extraordinary of a son, a sister, a mother, a friend, a lover, a wife, and ultimately, a queen.
Die Beautiful also stars Christian Bables, Gladys Reyes, and Joel Torre.

Paolo was chosen Best Actor by the President of the Jury and four members of the International Competition Jury.
In addition to a trophy and award certificate, Paolo will also receive a prize of US$5,000.
Watch as Paolo makes his red carpet entrance made up as Angelina Jolie in a black modern Filipiniana gown.

Watch Paolo’s win and acceptance speech here:

Die Beautiful also won The 29th TIFF Audience Award, which has a prize money of US$10,000, a trophy, and award certificate from the TIFF Minato Committee.
“Being selected as a Competition film itself was already a big surprise for us,” said Director Lana. “Receiving this award convinced me that the film strengthened the bond beyond language and race.”

Die Beautiful wins in Tokyo International Film Festival
Director Jun Robles Lana (L) and Paolo Ballesteros in Tokyo

Watch out for the local release of Die Beautiful in cinemas.
To know more, like them on Facebook.

Happy Skin x Disney Princess lip swatches revealed
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When I posted the new shades of Happy Skin’s newest lip shades coming out this week, I didn’t realize that the pictures didn’t quite capture the actual shades.

Happy Skin x Disney

That’s why I decided to do another post showing how the new colors look on actual lips.

1) Cinderella liquid lipstick

22 Cinderella Lip Swatch

2) Ariel liquid lipstick

23 Ariel Lip Swatch

3) Elsa moisturizing matte lippie

24 Elsa Lip Swatch

4) Snow White moisturizing matte lippie

25 Snow White Lip Swatch

5) Anna moisturizing matte lippie

26 Anna Lip Swatch

6) Aurora moisturizing matte lippie

27 Aurora Lip Swatch

7) Belle moisturizing lippie

28 Belle Lip Swatch

8) Rapunzel moisturizing lippie

29 Rapunzel Lip Swatch

Be the first to own them this November 4 to 7, as the limited edition sets are pre-sold exclusively at and
On November 8th, Happy Skin will reveal the rest of their Disney Princess collection.

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