I’m not a coffee drinker but when I first saw the Nespresso boutique at the IFC in Hong Kong in 2011, I really wish I did.
Last September, Nespresso Philippines gifted me with my own machine, which I opened very recently. It makes me happy to have one in the house for my friends.
I quickly bought a transparent case shaped like a Nespresso capsule because presentation is everything.
When Nespresso formally opened its first legit boutique at the Power Plant Mall this month, what my friend Grace and I wanted to know was whether Nespresso global ambassador George Clooney would make an appearance.
Well, not exactly, but he at least appears on the store front.
The opening of the boutique in the Philippines is the latest of its new openings in Asia, which now has a total of nine markets.
Occupying a 140 square-meter space, the new Nespresso boutique highlights a wide range of coffee beans from around the world.
“We are delighted to expand and reinforce our partnership with Novateur (the company that brought Nespresso to our shores) in B2C (Business to Consumer), while accelerating the existing OOH(Out of Home) business. We look forward to sharing more inspiring Nespresso coffee moments with coffee enthusiasts in Philippines in home and out of home,” said Renaud Tinel, Nespresso-Head of Asia, during his welcoming remarks.
“Nespresso speaks of passion, premium quality and innovation, and is a highly regarded global brand. In the past, Filipinos could only enjoy Nespresso on their trips abroad. But now we bring your favorite coffee closer to you,” said Patrick Pesengco, Managing Director of Novateur Coffee Concepts Inc. “Through this boutique, we hope to introduce you to a world of unique coffee experiences.”
Also present during the launch were Nespresso officials, including Regional Head of B2C Commercial Lai Ching Kok, Asia E-Commerce Director Aurelie Batmalle, Regional Marketing Manager Eliz Tan, Regional Sales and Marketing Executive Pei Hua Koh and Regional TQM Manager Simon Gigandet.
They were joined by media guests and Nespresso lovers, like actress Angel Aquino
Jonty Cruz, Chief Editor of Rogue Magazine
Novateur Coffee Concepts Marketing Head Melissa Valdez and Nespresso fan, celebrity Marc Nelson
If you’re wondering what happens to the aluminum Nespresso capsules, they are recycled. Nespresso’s global program encourages customers to return used capsules to the boutique. The coffee grounds are reused for fertilizer while the old capsules smelted and repackaged.
The Nespresso Boutique is located at R1, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City.
You may also order your capsules online from www.nespresso.ph with free delivery when you spend Php3,000 or more.
When Vatos Urban Tacos first opened in Seoul in 2011, the lines were so long that the wait sometimes lasted for three hours.
Even CNN called Vatos “a near miracle” in Seoul because of the perfect combination of Korean and Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has three locations in Korea now and two in Singapore.
Vatos finally opened last January 2018 in the Philippines, at the Net Park Building, 5th Avenue in BGC.
My sister Diday is the Philippine business partner of Vatos. She and her husband Leo discovered the restaurant in Singapore, where two of their children live.
We sat down with Shinhan Sid Kim, one of three Korean-American co-founders of Vatos, who explained how Korean-Mexican fusion isn’t actually strange and how the two cuisines are similar.
“I grew up in California where my father owned an appliance store and he had some Mexican employees. My father would bring his Korean lunch prepared by my mother and the employees would bring their lunch, too. They’d share their lunches. I grew up eating kimchi with almost anything, including tacos, burritos and other Mexican food.”
Koreans and Mexicans both like wrapping their food. Koreans eat meat wrapped in vegetable leaves while Mexicans have their tortillas and taco shells. Both nationalities love chilies.
Vatos’ first location was a dilapidated building in Itaewon, Seoul. The interiors were hip and trendy, with lighting coming from different angles—but nothing too bright or too white. The walls are red bricks that seem to be falling apart. The tables have reworked faucets on the side where you can also hang your bags.
“Vatos has been designed as a place where people can eat, drink and chill. The interior have to be awesome but the food has to be even more so, because people won’t come back if the place is cool but the food is bad,” said Sid.
The look for Vatos’ interiors is the same, whether you’re in Seoul, Singapore or Manila.
Among their bestsellers are Carnitas Kimchi Fries, or fries covered with braised pork carnitas, sautéed kimchi and melted cheese with sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro and onions as toppings.
Sid said the dish was inspired by two Korean dishes—Gamja-tang or pork spine stew, which is cooked with potatoes, and samgyeopsal or grilled pork belly, which is enjoyed with kimchi.
The Honey Tequila Chicken Wings is Vatos’ version of the popular Korean fried chicken. Chicken wings are coated in sweet and spicy tequila sauce and served with battered jalapenos and blue cheese dipping sauce.
The Wagyu Galbi Short Rib Tacos are marinated short ribs, ssamjang aioli, Asian slaw, cilantro, chopped onions and roasted sesame seeds.
Vatos has a full menu that includes tacos, quesadillas, salads, burritos and burrito bowls. They even have a dessert of Nutella Tacos topped with vanilla ice cream.
Definitely worth mentioning are the drinks and cocktails at Vatos.
There are Vatos’ Ritas (they’re served with an inverted beer bottle), Authentic Margaritas, Frozen Margaritas, Makgeolitas (tequila with makgeolli, a rice wine) and local and imported beers.
Vatos is not a bar nor is it only a restaurant.
“One thing about Vatos is that it caters to all kinds of people. We get young people, families with children and even grandparents,” said Sid.
Vatos Urban Tacos is at Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
For more information, call 246-9069 local 186 or follow them on Instagram @vatosphilippines.
Hey! I’m back!!
Happy new year! Sorry for the absence. I’ve been going through A LOT. But doing just fine. I’m feeling very positive about 2018 for a change.
In 2017 my biggest achievement was to lose 22 lbs. from August to December.
I’ve had to give away much of my wardrobe (from medium-large, I am now a small-XS).
I’ve had to buy new clothes, including underwear.
I’ve been obsessing with underwear because I prefer boyish underwear. That’s why thought this was worth publishing. I’m not a fan of the Kardashian lifestyle and shows, but I really love the new Calvin Klein underwear.
I’m a huge fan of typography in fashion, so I appreciate the Calvin Klein logo on the elastic bands.
Of course the Internet is going crazy because Kylie Jenner’s tummy is covered in a blanket, which fuels the rumor that she is pregnant
I’m loving the black underwear though
Shot by photographer Willy Vanderperre, the new campaign features sisters Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
The styles worn by the siblings are available in stores and online now, including CALVIN KLEIN Modern Cotton and the new CALVIN KLEIN Body range.
In the Philippines, Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Jeans are exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc., a member of SSI Group, Inc.
Find Calvin Klein Underwear at Greenbelt 5, Shangri La Plaza, Robinsons Midtown, Bonifacio High Street, Rustan’s Makati, and Alabang Town Center.
Calvin Klein Jeans is located at Greenbelt 5, Shangri La Mall, Robinsons Midtown, SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma, and SM Megamall.
Pre-fabricated designer homes, museums and a manmade beach on a 142-hectare land seems like a lofty ambition for a real estate company. But as Century Properties Group chairman, Ambassador E. B. Antonio said, “We are no ordinary real estate company.”
Century Properties built Essensa East Forbes in 1997. It was an ultra-luxurious residential development designed by international architectural company Pei, Cobb, and
Freed with the legendary
“starchitect” IM Pei. Essensa was the first such development in the country.
Later on, Century Properties also launched collaborations with Paris Hilton, the Trump Group, Giorgio Armani, the fashion label Missoni and Philippe Starck.
Batulao Artscapes in Batangas, Philippines is Century Group’s most ambitious project to date. It is the company’s first leisure and tourism development, featuring an “artventure” park and designer homes
by Revolution Precrafted, a company headed by Robbie Antonio, who is also managing director of Century Properties.
Designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s Hedera Homes will be the main feature of the Commune Village.
Budji+Royal Architecture+Design of Budji Layug and Royal Pineda will fill the Collection Village with their Tranche and Facet Homes.
By the way, Layug and Pineda are also the brains behind Revo Basics, the most affordable structure under Revolution Precrafted at Php1 million.
The fourth section, called the Curated Village 1, will feature 12 one-of-a-kind homes by international architects and designers, including the Billboard Home by David Salle + AA Studio
Eden by Marcel Wanders
Instrumental Home by Marmol Radziner & Kravitz Design
Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects
Butterfly Home by Elizabeth de Portzamparc
We Home by AFGH for Wallpaper
Adaptation II by Studio Libeskind Design
Daphne Skin Home by Daphne Guinness
Cabin Stack Prefab by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Home prices range from Php4 million for a 56-square-meter unit at the Cluster Village to the larger homes at the Curated Village, which start at Php 17.4 million and come with their own private pool and guest home.
These limited-edition homes will be built using a combination of conventional construction methods and prefabrication, and will offer different sizes and specifications to meet individual tastes and preferences.
“Revolution Precrafted has cut the building time by about a year or more. We use advanced robotics in some cases so houses can be built in six months or maybe even less,” said Robbie.
L-R: Architects Royal Pineda and Budji Layug with Robbie Antonio and Joey Mead King
Batulao Artscapes hopes to attract families, weekend adventure seekers and active retirees with its cool climate, world class amenities, and proximity to Metro Manila’s financial district – with only a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Makati via four access points—through Daang Hari Road towards the
scenic Nasugbu-Kaybiang Tunnel, the Star Tollway to Tanauan Exit, the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX). Once the 49-kilometer Cavite-Tagaytay-Batangas Expressway (CTBEX) is built, travel time to nearby Tagaytay City will only take less than an hour as announced by the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). Construction of the proposed CTBEX is expected to start by the 1st half of 2019.
As the project targets active retirees, special assistance to secure a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) for foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens will be offered, while the public amenities of the development aim to attract art and design enthusiasts and weekend adventure seekers and families. Domestic tourism figures in the Philippines have reached close to 40 million passengers as early as 2014 and are still growing. The development’s world-class and one-of-a-kind tourism facilities are also expected to draw foreign tourists.
This latest project the fulfillment of the company’s Century 2020 plans that include the expansion of its portfolio into the leisure and tourism business. Total sales revenue for the entire 142 hectares is over Php50 billion. In 2019, the company is also scheduled to deliver the four-star Novotel Suites Manila in Mandaluyong City.