Winners: Watsons shopping spree!

Great news!
After receiving more than 1,000 entries to my Watsons shopping promo, the good people at Watsons decided to add five more prizes worth Php 2,000 each, in Watsons gift cards!

Watsons gift cards

The winners were chosen electronically through random.org.
Winning Php 10,000 worth of Watsons gift cards is Aurora May Cabaneros.

While the winners of Php 2,000 each worth of gift cards are:
Margaret Caligner
Jo Anne Formalejo
Mary Elaine Reate
Apple May Rodriguez
Blythe Maxine Ancheta-Cabanting

Winners, please check your emails in a bit and reply so I can send you your prizes as soon as Watsons sends them to me.
Everyone else, please watch for my next giveaway in the next couple of days!

French gift shop Pylones opens at Rockwell

I still remember the first Pylones store I ever saw—at Harbour City, Hong Kong—more than five years ago.
That place is always full.

Pylones at Harbour City

As a lover of colorful things and stationery, I can’t resist a Pylones store whenever I see one. I just have to walk in and buy something. It feels like I’m buying myself a present.
French gift shop Pylones (pronounced “pee-loan”) opened its first store in Paris in 1987, selling colorful functional gift items. The idea is to take an ordinary object and make it extraordinary through a splash of colors and whimsical design, made by a team of passionate artists in France.

pylones

With nearly 100 stores worldwide, Pylones opens its first ever shop in the Philippines today at the 2nd level of Powerplant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati.
Some of you may have seen this barricade at Rockwell or SM Aura.

Pylones at Rockwell

I got a sneak peek at what’s behind the barricade and got to be their first customer at Rockwell.

Pylones at Rockwell

It’s amazing, the store is finished! It looks just like any Pylone store in Europe, with the colorful drums in the middle of the space.

Pylones at Rockwell

The 78-square-meter space is much larger than the one in Hong Kong

Pylones at Rockwell

Sensory overload! I didn’t know where to start looking or taking pictures, so I just shot anything.

Pylones at Rockwell

Among the things you’ll see are the kitchen items

Pylones at Rockwell

Aluminum flasks

Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell

Espresso cups

Pylones at Rockwell

Colorful bowls and plates

Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell

Hairbrushes

Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell

Pens and stationery

Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell
Pylones at Rockwell

Lunch kits and toys

Pylones at Rockwell

iPhone cases

Pylones at Rockwell

Bath scrunchies with suction cups

Pylones at Rockwell

What I love: the chic umbrellas

Pylones at Rockwell

Cool reading glasses—hey Jenny, I got one for Php 698!!

Pylones at Rockwell

The paper towel holder (for obvious reasons)

Pylones at Rockwell

The blown-glass rings

Pylones at Rockwell

Pylones is slated to open three stores in Manila—at Rockwell, Glorietta 5 (opening on July 17th) and SM Aura (opening in October).
The prices are affordable, ranging from Php 198 for an eraser to Php 2,798 for a ceiling lamp. You will go crazy with over 1000 SKUs!
To know more, go to http://www.pylones.com/

Found: National Bookstore’s time savers

I’m Filipino, so I cover my books in plastic.
Yes, I still cover my books even though I’m no longer in school.
Some find it therapeutic. Though I have to say I prefer wrapping gifts to covering books. :)
Imagine my delight when I found these time saver plastic covers at National Bookstore.
The pre-cut rolls of plastic come in three sizes

National Bookstore time saver plastic covers

Easier to store, use, and cut than those mega long rolls we all know (at left)

National Bookstore time saver plastic covers

I hoarded.

National Bookstore time saver plastic covers

No, I’m kidding. I bought two of each.
The shortest one is good for small pocket books (below), but I soon found out the most useful length is the longest of the three.

Wrapping a book

So whoever thought of these is a genius :)

Bench Tower opens with Lee Min Ho

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

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

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

Prafeuille_Maccha

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.

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