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Nespresso opens first boutique in the Philippines
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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.

Nespresso

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.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

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.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

“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 Head of Asia Renaud Tinel
Nespresso Head of Asia Renaud Tinel

The boutique has dark wood interiors. There are separate Tasting Area, Machine Gallery and Accessories Collection. The colorful Coffee Wall of boxed capsules—a global design feature—is very Instagrammable.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

“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.”

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L-R: Power Plant Mall Senior Leasing Manager Tin Coqueiro, Novateur Coffee Concepts Managing Director Patrick Pesengco, Nespresso Head of Asia Renaud Tinel, Nestle Philippines CEO Jacque Reber and Swiss Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mathias Domenig

Aside from Nespresso’s top-of-the line coffee machines and premium coffee collection, coffee drinkers and Nespresso fans can go to the Tasting Bar where they can try the different Nespresso coffee varieties and recipes. There are baristas to help shoppers choose which among the 24 Nespresso Grand Crus to get.
“There’s a whole range of options for different preferences, moods and tastes,” said Tinel.

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

Nespresso at Power Plant Mall

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

Angel Aquino

Jonty Cruz, Chief Editor of Rogue Magazine

Jonty Cruz

Novateur Coffee Concepts Marketing Head Melissa Valdez and Nespresso fan, celebrity Marc Nelson

Novateur Coffee Concepts Marketing Head Melissa Valdez and 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.

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VATOS Korean/Mexican-American restaurant opens in BGC
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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.

Vatos 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.

Vatos BGC

“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.”

Copy of Vatos food table

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.

Lunch Set table

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 BGC

“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.

Vatos BGC

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.

kimchi carnitas fries

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.

Copy of honey tequila chicken wings

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.

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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 drinks

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.

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LOOK: Kardashian and Jenner sisters in new Calvin Klein Underwear global ad campain
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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.

calvin klein underwear

I’m a huge fan of typography in fashion, so I appreciate the Calvin Klein logo on the elastic bands.

calvin klein underwear
calvin klein underwear

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

calvin klein underwear

I’m loving the black underwear though

calvin klein underwear

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.

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Own a Daphne Guinness, Lenny Kravitz or Wallpaper house at Century Properties’ first livable art park
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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.

Launch photos
Robbie Antonio (L) with event host Joey Mead King at the launch

The first phase of the Batulao mixed tourism development with an active retirement village component featuring designer homes from Revolution Precrafted, world-class village-exclusive vacation amenities, a manmade beach with clubhouse and a lake with a wedding chapel. Art cum adventure or ‘artventure’ facilities include a sports park, flavor park and art park with museums designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects.

Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects_Revolution Museum of Art and Technology
Revolution Museum of Art and Technology by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

Christian de Portzamparc_Revolution Museum of Design and Architecture
Revolution Museum of Design and Architecture by Christian de Portzamparc

John Nouvel Design_Revolution Museum of Visual Arts
Revolution Museum of Visual Arts by John Nouvel Design

Batulao Artscapes will showcase a fine collection of livable art—exceptional designer homes with a total sales value of Php 19 billion and created by some of the most revered names in architecture and design.

According to Robbie, the homes in the first phase of Batulao Artscapes have already been sold out.

“I always say it should be Pritzkers or almost-Pritzkers. Revolution Precrafted expects to supply Batulao Artscapes with around 7,000 homes,” said Robbie, the chief executive officer and founder of Revolution Precrafted.

Revolution Precrafted is the first Philippine startup that’s achieved unicorn status. This means it has reached a valuation status of $1 billion.

Launched in December 2015, Revolution Precrafted is introducing the concept of branding to prefabricated homes. The multi-branded housing company has a collection of limited edition, pre-crafted properties of stunning homes, designer museums, unique popup concepts and cutting edge hotels.

Three Filipino names lead the roster for Batulao Artscapes’ first three villages: Architect Ed Calma’s Polygonal Successions will make up the Cluster Village.

Polygon Home by Eduardo Calma

Polygonal Successions by Eduardo Calma

Designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s Hedera Homes will be the main feature of the Commune Village.

Hedera by Kenneth Cobonpue

Budji+Royal Architecture+Design of Budji Layug and Royal Pineda will fill the Collection Village with their Tranche and Facet Homes.

Tranche by Budji+Royal+Architects+Design

By the way, Layug and Pineda are also the brains behind Revo Basics, the most affordable structure under Revolution Precrafted at Php1 million.

A render of Revo Basics - a designer branded home for under Php 1 Million- P999k

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

The Billboard Home by David Salle In Collaboration with AA Studio

Eden by Marcel Wanders

Eden by Marcel Wanders

Instrumental Home by Marmol Radziner & Kravitz Design

Instrumental Home by Marmol Radziner for Architecture

Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

The Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects

Butterfly Home by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

Butterfly Home by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

We Home by AFGH for Wallpaper

We Home by AFGH for WALLPAPER

Adaptation II by Studio Libeskind Design

Adaptation II by Libeskind Design

Daphne Skin Home by Daphne Guinness

Daphne Skin Home by Daphne Guinness

Cabin Stack Prefab by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

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.

Launch photos
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.

For more information, go to http://www.batulaoartscapes.com/.
To know more about Revolution Precrafted, click HERE.

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