Found: Cool gift ideas at SM Aura

Some people don’t like shopping. Not me.
When I’m in the mood, I don’t mind going through the mall for hours. For me it’s a chance to exercise and unwind.
This is exactly what I did yesterday to find cool gift ideas at SM Aura.
It’s December 10 and we have two more weeks to shop before Christmas.
I started at the first level at Hoodwink where I found the cool tees by independent French label CLUB LES (ART)ISTS. (Php 3,798 each)
murakami teebasquiat tee
The tees are available in black and white, featuring the names of the designers’ favourite artists from the world of art, fashion and music.
Right next door is the French design wasteland Pylones, which sells the cute salt and pepper mills (Php 1,283 each) among other gift items.

Pylones salt and pepper mills

Still on the French theme and on Level 1, don’t forget to try PAUL Boulangerie’s Eclair Strawberry. At Php 190 each, it’s heaven in every bite!

Paul's strawberry eclair

At National Bookstore (Basement 1) I found the Yayoi Kusama notebooks at Php 1,105 each.

yayoi kusama notebooks

On Level 3 at Bench, I spotted the porkpie hat by Albertus Swanepoel x BENCH at the amazing price of Php 799.

Albertus x Bench hat

More on pop culture, the tomato soup trash bin is available at Quirks (Level 4) at Php 2,950

Tomato soup trash can

and the cute “luxury soaps” at Php 195 each


The Mickey Mouse flip flops can be found at the Havaianas store also at Level 4 (Php 1,245)

Disney x Havaianas

On the tech side, I saw the cutest iPhone 5 case at Digital Walker on Level 4 (Php 1,440)

iphone case

The Crosley turntable is available at Astroplus (Level 4) at Php 8,499

Crosley turntable

As a huge Samsung fan, I love stopping by the Samsung store at Level 2, where I found this affordable Tab 4 “phablet” which is a phone and tablet in one. Affordable at Php 10,990—I want!!

Samsung Tab 4

For the home and kitchen, I found these exotic bowls and tumblers at L’indochine (Level 3) in various sizes/prices ranging from Php 129.75 to Php 2,999.75.

rice bowls

The Iwatani wireless grill is one of our favourite cooking tools at home. Usually I’ve had to import this from Japan, so imagine my excitement when I saw this gift set at the amazing price of Php 2500.
It includes the wireless stove, the grilling top and three gas canisters. Found at Living Well on Level 3.

Iwatani Grill
Iwatani Grill

Also at Living Well are my kids’ favourite bedsheets by Paul Frank. I swear by the softness of these. Prices range from Php 900 for a pair of pillow cases to Php 4,400 for a queen-size duvet cover (now on sale at 10% off)

Paul Frank bedsheets

Stop by at Scribe (Level 3) if you like paper products, such as these cute labels (Php 195/pack)


I have a soft heart for chefs, so this big toy container with the play grocery items caught my eye at The SM Store‘s Toy Express at Php 1299.75.

chef toy

Also at The SM Store are a trio of kitchen gadgets for making homemade doughnuts, cupcakes and waffles.
Affordably priced at Php 699.75, Php 1099.75 and Php 699.75.

Westinghouse gadgets

I’m a sucker for grey sweatshirts, so this pullover appealed to me at Topshop (Php 2,295)

Chic Happens sweatshirt

Also at Topshop are the metallic phone clutch/wallets with card slots (Php 995 each)

iphone wallet

If you’re going on a winter trip, don’t miss out on the Jil Sander collaboration with Uniqlo, which comes once in a lifetime. I got this flattering J+ long winter hooded jacket for Php 9,990.


Also available is the J+ short hooded parka for Php 7,990


You can wrap all your gifts with wrappers found at Cotton On (Level 2) ranging from Php 50 to Php 199/roll.

Cotton On gift wrappers

Finally, I can’t wait for Crate&Barrel to open at Level 3 next year. Another reason to visit SM Aura, one of the best shopping destinations in now at Fort Bonifacio.

crate & barrel

How I sent my Christmas gift to Alabang for Php 50 only

Oops! I just sent a gift to Alabang for Php 50 only!


You can too.
From December 15-21, 8AM to 10PM, Uber and LBC will be providing a hassle-free service that allows you to deliver gifts with a tap of a button. On the Uber app, you will be able to request for a motorcycle-riding LBC courier to pick up and deliver your presents to and from any point in Metro Manila.

I tried it and it works! Here’s how:
1) Download the Uber app on your phone and register with your credit card.
2) Use my code ramonag13 when you sign up to receive ₱200 credit on your first Uber ride (if you choose to go for a ride instead of a parcel pick up).
3) Have your parcel ready.
4) Open up the Uber app
5) Move the slider to the Padala motorcycle icon.
6) Request an Uber Padala.
7) When the rider comes, fill out the form and provide the friendly LBC personnel the delivery address
8) No need for cash or tips! Your Uber account will be charged a flat fee of P169 per successful delivery (or in my case, Php 50 because they’re on sale today only!! Unbelievable!!

On Monday, December 15, all Padala trips will be 70% off!

Only one delivery address per trip, no additional drops allowed.
Allowed shipments for pick up shall be documents and light parcels, with a combined weight not exceeding 5 kilos or dimensions of 1 cubic foot.
Item subject to inspection by delivery personnel. For a complete list of prohibited items, please visit
Return-to-sender is also subject to P100 cancellation fee. Make sure the recipient or an authorized representative is available to receive the package.
For concerns, email

What camera am I using?

I often get asked what camera I am using. The answer is, it’s always a Canon.
I have to add though that I have never been sponsored by Canon. I had a couple of meetings with Canon Philippines in which they offered to sponsor me, but nothing ever happened.
So you can be sure my endorsement of Canon is free and sincere.
The camera I am using right now is the Canon S120 which I bought at BIC Camera in Tokyo last month because my Canon S200 broke during my trip.

Canon S120

This was the Canon S200 I really liked and purchased at Narita Airport last May 2014. Unfortunately it conked out due to lens failure. Fortunately I have a warranty card, which I am sending to my friend Sayoko in Japan. I hope they replace it.


Prior to the Canon S200, I was using the Canon S95 which I still keep as a backup. I have tried the Canon S100 and S110 and didn’t like any of them.

Canon s95

These are the best lowlight cameras out there. I rarely use a flash and have a very steady hand. I take more than one picture to be sure, and I hang the camera on my neck while traveling so I don’t miss a moment.
As for purchasing Canons, I suggest you check for the best prices and have them shipped to Manila via Johnny Air.

Tokyo is always a good idea

Despite all the bad things that happened to me in 2014, looking back I realised something really wonderful also happened—I went to Japan three times this year.
First, in March with my hubby (at Grand Hyatt Roppongi Hills)

Jeroen and I at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Sae (L) and Sayoko in Asakusa

Hiko at Womb
owl tokyo

108 ichimaruhachi
108 ichimaruhachi

Nui Hostel
NUI Hostel bar and lounge
Nui bar & lounge
Nui bar & lounge

In May, we were back again for Marky’s birthday and Mother’s Day


Our family’s favourite

Expensive robatayaki in Roppongi Hills
Coke at Robata

Donald Muneaki
Donald Muneaki

Mother’s Day cards
Mother's Day for me

Holding hands in the plane
Markus and Jeroen

And once again in November for our 14th anniversary honeymoon

Steak place

The best scallops
Steak place

Wagyu steak with garlic chips
Steak place

Taku’s dog
Taku's house

La Kagu La Kagu
La Kagu

Galali, Aoyama
Galali, Aoyama

Best steak
Galali, Aoyama
Galali, Aoyama

Happy hour on the way back to our hotel
Under the train station

I’ll never get tired of this. Can’t wait to go back in April.
Tokyo, my happy place.

Win four tickets to Japan plus a tour of the Royce’ chocolate factory in Hokkaido

Royce’ Chocolate invites you to join The Great Royce’ Getaway Christmas Promo, where the prize is a chance to visit the Royce’ chocolate factory in Hokkaido, Japan!
From November 8, 2014 to January 31, 2015, each single-receipt purchase worth Php 3,000 at any Royce’ shop in the Philippines entitles customer to one raffle stub.
One lucky winner will win four round-trip tickets to Japan, plus hotel accommodations (four days, three nights) and an exclusive tour of the Royce’ Chocolate Factory.

Royce' Chocolate World

Visit Royce’ Chocolate World and see how Royce’ chocolate is made. Get a chance to try more than 200 exclusive products not sold anywhere else. If you go in the winter time, you might even see snow!
Royce’ Chocolate is available at Power Plant Mall, Greenbelt 5, Trinoma, Eastwood, The Podium, and The Cake Club in Bonifacio High Street.
To know more, read complete mechanics below.

Royce' mechanics

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