French Film Festival marks 20th year this June 3-9, 2015

Oh, I miss the days when I had all the time in the world to watch all the films I could get my hands on—at the expense of my grades. All the better if subtitled. That was 30 years ago.
So it’s good to know that the French Film Festival celebrates its 20th year of bringing critically acclaimed films and blockbusters to Filipino audiences.
This year, the festival also pays tribute to Philippine cinema by screening Taklub starring Nora Aunor and produced by Sen. Loren Legarda, which follows the lives of Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

French Film Festival

The French Film Festival runs until June 9 at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City and at the Bonifacio High Street cinemas in Taguig.
Tickets for each screening are at Php 100 each, available at the cinema box office or through www.sureseats.com.
For this year’s festival line-up, the 19 releases contain themes that range from family, love, conflict, passion, and the arts.

Sked_BHS
Sked_GB3

This year’s festival goes beyond cinema with a concert on June 5, Friday 8 PM at the Greenbelt 3 Park.
French DJ Oof will fuse electro and cinema with the Cinémix project, a collection of reinterpretations of French soundtracks from the 1960s and 1970s synced to videos flashed onscreen. Entrance is free.
It all ends with a fashion night hosted by L’Officiel Manila and the SSI Group Inc. at the Central Square, Bonifacio High Street on June 9, Tuesday.
Guests will enjoy perks and discounts offered by the different brands at Central Square.

For more information, go to www.frenchfilmfest.com.

Who’s that girl?? Meet Caitlyn Jenner

Good morning!! I just woke up to these pics on my phone (thanks to Cedric!).
First I was wondering, who is this woman on the cover of Vanity Fair?
It took a while for my brain to wake up. Then I remembered Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer when he refused to reveal his new name.
Caitlyn it is. He is a sweet little girl inside pala. I mean she.

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner

Read the story and download Vanity Fair HERE.

How I spent my summer vacation: Tokyo with kids (Part 2)

6) Where did the time go? In 2012, Ben already had a taste for clothes.

Ben

Then last April I took him to Comme des Garçons, Aoyama, for the first time.
He loved it. He loved the Evian bottles and the whole experience, which he told Markus about. He bought two shirts a pair of shoes. At 13 years old, he stands almost 5’8″.
Ben and I took a walk in Omotesando before taking a cab back to Shinjuku.

Ben

7) We met up with the rest of the gang to go to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. As fans of Hayao Miyazaki films, we were all excited to go.
I may have expected too much as I thought we would visit a place as magical as the movies Studio Ghibli has produced, such as Spirited Away, Totoro, and Grave of the Fireflies.

Studio Ghibli movies

My friend Sayoko bought our tickets in advance. To get there, we took the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku station to Mitaka.

Commuting

From Mitaka station we took a shuttle bus to the Ghibli Museum. How to get there.
This is the entrance to the museum

Studio Ghibli

Covered in ivy

Studio Ghibli

No photos allowed inside, but I managed to steal a few.

Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli

Basically it’s a big house with rooms of memorabilia that shows the fine art of animation, back when everything was drawn by hand.
There are three floors. The top floor has a play place for small children and a souvenir shop—but honestly there are better Studio Ghibli merchandise at toy stores like Kiddyland or Hakuhinkan.
After going through all the rooms and floors, we watched short animated film before heading back.

Studio Ghibli
Studio Ghibli

Basically the trip going there was longer than the actual time we spent at the place.
The highlight of that trip was when Markus bought me my favorite milk ice cream.

Markus buying ice cream

We walked the rest of the way back to Mitaka Station. It was seriously tiring. Unless you have long Dutch legs and love long walks, please take the shuttle bus back to Mitaka Station.
Thank God the weather was good. I love looking at Japanese houses and pointing them out to the boys

Nice house
Mitaka house
Mitaka

and those trees

Mitaka
Mitaka

(To be continued)

How I spent my summer vacation: Tokyo with kids (Part 1)

Seven days is too short for Japan—especially if you’re traveling with kids. Next time, we will go for ten days.
Being the mom of three boys, there are sacrifices to be made. Nobody wants to go to Puroland but me.
Shopping is next to impossible, so that must be carefully planned around what they want (read: Nike).
Here’s a quick guide to what we did within one week in Tokyo:

1) Kiddyland in Harajuku is a must stop. Kiddyland is five levels of cute stuff. I’ll take Kiddyland to any other toy store in the world. Kiddyland and Hakuhinkan are my favorite toy stores.

Kiddyland
Kiddyland
Kiddyland
Miffy

2) Whatever you do, do NOT be fooled into going to the Ninja restaurant in Akasaka. I regret having been tricked by a blog to go there. It is a horrible tourist trap. I thought it would be fun to take the kids to a realistic Ninja restaurant but it was really dumb, I can’t even put it into words.

Ninja Asakusa

This three-piece toro sushi was the only good thing we ordered

Ninja Asakusa

Not the kind of salmon Ben expected, so Jeroen ate it.

Salmon

Worst yaya meal: Ate Mariza and Markus ordered curry. This is what they got: inedible black balls

Black curry?

Inside:

Black curry?

Jeroen had a bite and then nobody touched it anymore.
The food was so bad we were ended up “fighting” over expensive steak, but it was not enough.

Ninja Asakusa

Our bill for 6 people: about Php 14,000

Ninja Asakusa

We were still starving after dinner so we ended up buying food at this place.

7-11

3) Here’s our favorite restaurant in Tokyo: Barbacoa which specializes in Brazilian all-you-can-eat churrasco.
Jeroen and I have been eating here since 2000. We have tried to bring it to Manila, but the Japanese simply aren’t interested.

Barbacoa, Shibuya

This is our family’s happy place

Barbacoa, Shibuya

with the unli Japanese rice

Barbacoa, Shibuya

and all kinds of barbecued meat brought to your table

Barbacoa, Shibuya
Barbacoa Osaka

P.S. Their rolls are to die for

Barbacoa rolls

4) Chris and I really love the milk ice cream at Meal Muji. I am still dreaming about it. There is nothing like it in Manila. This is a must have.

Meal Muji, Shibuya

Ate Mariza has one too

Mariza and Christian

Wish we had Meal Muji in Manila

Meal Muji, Shibuya
Meal Muji, Shibuya

5) Sega Joypolis in Odaiba is a boy’s world. Since Jeroen and I don’t know how to take the train, we took two cabs and it was expensive to travel to and from Shinjuku.
It’s a three-level high-tech indoor playground that is perfect for a rainy day. We spent a few hours there and the boys loved it.

Sega Joypolis
Sega Joypolis

The boys enjoyed the virtual rides, but even Jeroen felt sick after two rides and had to slow down.

Sega Joypolis

I saw myself as a fish in a virtual aquarium and felt very sad

Sega Joypolis

The boys went wild with the shooting games

Sega Joypolis

Jeroen and Markus won plush toys

Jeroen and Markus

Finally, Ben and Markus had their caricatures drawn by a Japanese artist

Getting their portraits done

He’s so talented

Getting their portraits done

(To be continued)

Tried & Tested: Preview magazine x Happy Skin’s new lip crayons

As a lifestyle blogger, I get free makeup all the time. I can’t tell you how much beauty stuff I get, and I don’t have to buy mascara again for the next five years.
So far, the only homegrown cosmetic brand that is chuva-approved is Happy Skin. Their lip crayons are what I use everyday (sorry I can’t say “lippie”. I feel like the word doesn’t suit my age group, sort of like the word “epic”).

Aside from like the actual products, I’m amazed at how Happy Skin always comes up with exciting packaging, the latest of which is Happy Skin’s collaboration with Preview magazine.
To celebrate Preview’s 20th anniversary, Happy Skin has created two moisturizing matte lipsticks presented in a gorgeous little book/box.
Preview x Happy Skin
Preview x Happy Skin

“Lipstick is the most indispensible of all makeup products,” said Preview Editor in Chief, Pauline Juan.
“If there was just one thing in the Happy Skin line that I could pick, it would be the lippie. I think that one is really the most winning product.”
But Pauline says they were very particular about the matte formulation. “The worst thing you can have are matte lips with flaking,” she said.

Preview x Happy Skin

Happy Skin’s Rissa Trillo agrees wholeheartedly.
“We were relentless in finding the perfect balance between matte finish and moisture level, without compromising color payoff and lip hydration,” she said.
The secret was found in the miracle ingredient, Cupuaçu Butter, “which offers unrivaled hydration, making it the most moisturizing matte lippie you’ll ever try,” said Happy Skin’s Jacque Gutierrez.

Preview x Happy SkinPreview x Happy Skin

The limited edition Preview x Happy Skin lip crayons are available at Php 599 each, or Php 1,099 for a set of two.
Hot Stuff is a very deep, sophisticated shade of red, while my personal favorite is the nude-based Too Cool lipstick.
From June 1-7 only, the set will be sold at zalora.com.ph for a special price of Php 999.
But you can also buy Happy Skin at Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La Plaza; Beauty Bar; Plains & Prints; The SM Store Makati, Mall of Asia, and North Edsa; Watsons Mall of Asia; Landmark Makati, or at http://store.happyskincosmetics.com/index.php.

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