Adrien Brody in Wes Anderson’s H&M Holiday Film
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Only a few living actors make my heart beat. One of them is Adrien Brody who won an Oscar Award as Best Actor in The Pianist back in 2002.
Now he stars in H&M’s holiday short film Come Together, by award-winning director Wes Anderson.
The story takes place on a train traveling through a snowy landscape on Christmas Eve where Brody plays the conductor.

Adrien Brody

“The winter train ride, under Wes Anderson’s direction, is the perfect setting for H&M’s holiday collection full of relaxed, wearable elegance. It’s about mixing the informal with a sense of occasion, capturing the holiday mood for both dressing up and getting cosy with loved ones,” said Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s Head of Design and Creative Director.

Come Together H&M
Come Together H&M

In the film, lone passengers are traveling to join their loved ones for the Christmas holiday, but winter weather conspires to way-lay them.

Come Together H&M

“This story may resonate more than ever at a time in the world where we could all do with giving a stranger a hug,” said actor Adrien Brody.
Watch this.

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Smart introduces World Travel Wifi to make your life (and trip) easier
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I still remember the very first time I ever saw mobile wifi abroad. It was when Grace brought this pocket wifi to Shake Shack, New York in 2012. I was simply amazed that we had wifi anywhere and could Instagram our burger without using our phone’s data, which was really expensive at that time.

Virgin's Mobile wifi

Shortly after, I found out I could rent mobile wifi in Japan, at Narita Airport, and wrote about it here.
Since Smart came out with out Surf Abroad plan, where you pay Php 550 a day for data wifi on your phone, I stopped renting the Japanese mobile wifi, simply because it adds to the stress of traveling when you have to return it at the airport.

It was simply a matter of time before the Philippines caught up. And now Smart introduces World Travel Wifi.
Last Tuesday, Smart gave us a preview of their new portable Wifi hotspot that lets you stay connected in over 100 countries for as low as Php 390 per 24 hours.

Smart World Travel Wifi

Unlike roaming which makes use of your existing SIM to access telco partners in the country you are in, Smart World Travel Wifi connects you to the local Smart partner telco in the country you’re at for a “richer and faster experience,” said Tina Mariano, Head of Smart World.

Tina Mariano, Mike Lim, Abbie Dimaano
L-R at the briefing: Tina Mariano (Head of Smart World) with blogger Mike Lim (Fashion Pulis) and Abbie Real Dimaano (Smart Social Media Manager)

Available to all Smart and even non-Smart subscribers, Smart World Travel WiFi (the unit) may be booked online and delivered to your doorstep before you fly out. You can also choose how many day passes or credits you will need at www.smart.com.ph/booktravelwifi.

When you arrive at your destination, simply turn on the device, click start, then press confirm to enjoy 1GB data for every 24-hour period.
Smart World Travel WiFi lets you connect up to five devices, so you can hook up your phone, tablet and laptop all at once, or share the connection with your friends and family.
The device goes offline every 24-hours. You simply need to click “okay” every day to continue using. For added convenience, the device will be picked up from you upon your return to the Philippines.

Smart World Travel Wifi
Can’t wait to use mine!

The Smart World Travel WiFi Day Pass costs Php 390 per day for Asian destinations including Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Smart World Travel WiFi Day Pass costs P490 per day for getaways in Africa (Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa); Europe (Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican); South Pacific (Australia, Christmas Island, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand) and Middle East (Israel, Qatar, Turkey).

The Php 490 per day rate also applies to the Americas (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saipan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela).

To know more about Smart World Travel Wifi, visit www.smart.com.ph/travelwifi.

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Basilur teas are perfect gifts for the holidays
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I love books and bookshelves, but I’m also a sucker for anything disguised as a book. It could be a clutch bag, a pen case, a lipstick set, or a place to hide money in your bookcase.
That’s how I discovered Basilur teas. I was browsing at Angel’s Kitchen in Greenhills when I stumbled upon these adorable tea books by Basilur.

Basilur teas

Open them and you’ll find 32 assorted tea bags inside.
When they’re gone, you could always use the tin book to hide your stash because kids never look in bookshelves 🙂

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There are many sources of tea in the world but tea from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is special because all tea leaves are handpicked and manufactured the Orthodox way, instead of the crush, tear and curl methods employed by mass-produced brands.
Basilur only uses the finest ingredients from around the world to produce its teas.
Their machines are made in Italy, and teas are packed in foil to ensure freshness. You certainly won’t find staple wires in Basilur tea bags.

Basilur teas

To ensure the best taste, Basilur tea blenders curate hundreds of tea samples every week.
Basilur Tea carries the Ceylon Lion Logo symbol of quality.
The name “Ceylon Tea” and the lion logo indicate that the tea—grown, manufactured and packed entirely in Sri Lanka—conforms to the strict quality standards laid down and administered by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Aside from the tea books, I’m in love with the tea packed in wind-up music boxes. Makes me miss my Lola.

Basilur teas

For the Christmas season there are special teas in festive packaging. These are filled with Pure Ceylon Black Tea.

Basilur teas

There’s also a selection of teas for those who like them fruity.

Basilur teas
Basilur teas

For those who prefer a more traditional presentation, there are boxed assortments available for home, restaurants, or gift-giving.

Basilur teas

Basilur is available in 67 countries and sold in specialty boutiques, hotels, high-end boutiques and supermarkets.
Order online at www.basilurph.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram @BasilurTeaPH.

Scan

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Imports below P10,000 now tax-free
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Good news for online shoppers like me!! And thank you Duterte government for this piece of good news, which I got from the Philippine Star.
Based on this article by Evelyn Macairan, starting October 5, goods worth Php 10,000 and below will be exempted from Custom duties and taxes.

BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said the new rule is one of the salient features of Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 02-2016, which covers imported goods with de minimis value.
The CAO will implement Section 423 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, which provides that “no duties and taxes shall be collected on goods with a freight on board or free carrier value of Php 10,000 or below.”

De minimis refers to the value of goods exempted from duties and taxes.
Goods with de minimis value are considered importation with negligible amount and entitled to immediate release.

The new rule is an upgrade from the decades-old Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, which only provided P10 as the de minimis threshold.
“This is good news for Filipinos, who can now fully enjoy their small purchases from other countries. I trust that everyone will strictly abide by the provisions of the CAO,” Faeldon said.

Change is indeed coming.

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