Nespresso for home now in the Philippines!
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Sadly, I never learned how to drink coffee.
When I was in college I asked my dad to teach me how to drink coffee, but he said, “Don’t even start.”
So I never did. The only coffee I enjoy now is by Haagen-Dazs.
Maybe that’s why I’m always sleepy.
I’m okay with not drinking coffee, but I started to have coffee envy when Nespresso came out with these cute little machines with shiny coffee pods.


Lots of Filipinos own Nespresso machines, but for many years they had to buy their machines and pods abroad. Now here’s the good news: Nespresso is now available online through
On August 11, you can also buy them at Rustan’s Makati, Rustan’s Shangri-la Plaza and Abenson’s BGC.
A customer hotline (02 477-7870) will connect consumers with Nespresso Coffee Specialists, who can answer questions and receive orders.

“Now you can have Nespresso coffee without leaving your home and have it delivered right at your doorstep,” said Melissa Valdez, Brand and Marketing Head at Novateur Coffee Concepts Inc., which distributes Nespresso in the Philippines.
The brand has been in the Philippines for a number of years, selling only to businesses and institutions.

Since its creation in 1986, Nespresso has redefined and revolutionized the way millions of people enjoy their coffee today, shaping the global coffee culture and becoming the reference for portioned coffee or coffee pods.
For many, Nespresso is part of a stylish and cosmopolitan lifestyle. You know you’re in a good hotel if you see a Nespresso machine in your room.

Nespresso at Four Seasons HK

Nespresso at the Four Seasons Hong Kong

Nespresso at Four Seasons HK

Only 1-2 percent of the world’s coffee crop meets Nespresso’s strict quality and aroma profile requirements for its Grand Cru coffees. These rare coffees, from the world’s most well-renowned coffee growing regions, are crafted into exceptional blends and single origin coffees, specially developed to suit every taste preference.
The Grand Cru coffees are available in 24 blends, each one featuring a distinct aroma profile, and hermetically sealed in aluminum capsule which preserves the freshness and aromas of the coffee against damaging factors, such as light, air and humidity and ensures that all aromas are protected until extraction in the consumers’ cups.

Nespresso cups

According to Valdez, the coffee doesn’t come in contact with oxygen until after the machine pierces the pod.
Valdez said the most popular flavors in the Philippines are Arpeggio (rich and creamy) and Livanto (round and balanced).

Nespresso will be making home machines available in the Philippines.
The Ezzenza Mini (PHP 6,500) is perfect for small homes or condo units. Offering two programmable cup sizes, the Essenza Minimachine creates perfect coffee just the way you like it. Choose from two shapes and three colors to suit your taste.


The Pixie (Php 13,900) with premium metal slide panels, is energy efficient, and has a compact and minimalist design.


The Inissia (Php 14,000) includes the Aeroccino milk frother, which steams or froths milk at the push of a button.

Inissia red

The other machines include the Citiz (Php 14,000)


and the top of the line Latissima Touch (Php 26,000).

Lattissima White

Those with smaller machines can also purchase the easy to clean Aeroccino milk device.

AEROCCINO milk device

Nespresso machines are equipped with a unique technology that delivers an optimal equilibrium between the right water temperature, quantity and speed, along with the optimal extraction pressure, creating the perfect cup every time. Each parameter has been calculated with great precision to ensure that all the aromas from each Grand Cru can be expressed, giving it body and creating a dense and thick crema, the sign of ultimate coffee quality. Crema is the foam that forms at the top of coffee.

Here’s more exciting news: Nespresso will open its first ever Nespresso Boutique in the Philippines in December.
Before then, shop online at

A look inside Noteworthy—the newest stationery wasteland at Greenbelt 5
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I’ve always loved stationery. Back in the ’70s we collected stationery and traded them as they were rare in Manila. I think we had to buy them from PX stores (imported goods stores) or from the US.

I still collect stationery! I have boxes of them that I actually use. That’s why I still write notes. Not everything needs to be digital!
If I don’t write notes, my handwriting will be crap and I’ll have no reason to buy stationery.

On my bedside I keep a notepad and pen for ideas and to-do lists. Yes, I am old school in many ways.
National Book Store is my happy place. It’s a good thing I collaborate with them because I know their stock so well. I drop by very often to look at what’s new.

Recently I walked into Noteworthy at Greenbelt 5 and found all my favorite stationery brands in one place. I just knew it had to be an NBS store, and it is!


It carries Itoya from Tokyo, a 112-year-old brand that offers Color Chart, leather goods and office accessories in bright and happy colors, plus the Romeo line of elegant pens and dark leather goods.


Caran d’Ache has writing instruments and an assortment of pencils, pastels, fiber-tipped pens and paints for art.


Sheaffer has pens and its trademark luxury fountain pens (which you can have engraved) while Filofax offers organizers, notebooks and refills.


Other brands include






Rhodia, and more.


There’s a corner for workspace essentials such as staplers, punchers, scissors and paper clips.


You can even order personalized inked stamps.


If you can’t resist nice pens like me, then you’ll be happy that they carry an assortment that includes my favorite Sarasa Clip.


A crowd-drawer at Noteworthy is the Paper Bar which allows you to customize notebooks. Just choose a cover, page inserts, and a spine. Have it assembled. Then have your name, initials, or short message stamped on the cover.


Noteworthy is located at Level 2, Greenbelt 5 in Makati (right next to Swatch).
To know more, follow @noteworthy.mnl on Facebook and Instagram.

Flying back in the midst of #GorioPH
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Among all my my phobias, the fear of flying is one I wish I didn’t have.
I have narrowed down my worst phobias to three:
1) Fear of flying
2) Fear of bathrooms/toilets
3) Fear of confrontation

I’m famous for #2 and I don’t want to discuss #3 right now. So this entry is about #1, fear of flying.
I was in Tokyo last week with the hubby just for a brief holiday. I needed it.
It was so hot I tell you. July in Tokyo is hot and rainy. But I’m happy to have met some really cool friends and shop a little bit.

Our flight going back was on Thursday night, 6 PM, from Narita.
On Wednesday night I was already concerned that there was a monsoon rain/typhoon named Gorio in Luzon, and that classes were cancelled. Needless to say I was very anxious that night.
I was able to pack our luggage (4.5 pieces) on autopilot before sleeping. I prayed a lot and monitored the weather over Twitter, making kulit my friends and followers to update me.
The following day my husband and I left the hotel at 12 noon and arrived at Narita at 2:30 PM.
I had three hours to kill before boarding at 5:30 PM.
I went shopping for an hour before meeting my husband at Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge.

JAL lounge

I simply love the JAL Lounge. I think it’s better than the Cathay Pacific Lounge in HK.
Design is much simpler. I want my living room to look like this.

JAL Lounge

We boarded at 5:30 PM. No flight delays. The typhoon was headed toward Taiwan in the north west. This was the path of Gorio. Note that we were flying home on July 27.

Gorio PH

Based on this map of Japan (green) and Philippines (orange), I figured we would feel turbulence around the Mariana trench in between the two countries.

Japan and Philippines

So I kept my eye on the flight tracker on the TV screen.
We were told in advance to keep our safety belts on due to expected turbulence. So I did just that and prayed a couple of rosaries with 1/2 Rivotril (tranquilizer).
I didn’t fall asleep but I was calm. I noticed that from 36,000 feet, our altitude went up to 38,000 feet. It was one of the smoothest flights I had ever taken. We only had a few seconds of turbulence before landing and that was that.

Japan Airlines flies a small plane between Narita and Manila and the Business Class may feel coffin-like, especially when you’re fully reclined. I can’t imagine how cramped Economy is. But the smoothness of what should have been a bumpy ride was worth it and that’s something I’ll always remember.
Thank you for bring us back safely to our kids.

Japan airlines business class

To help or to take a picture?
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That is the question.
In this day of social media, one can’t help but whip out a smart phone every time something out of the ordinary happens.
I’m in Tokyo for a short break with my hubby. I asked him to take me here during a recent spell of depression and he did.
I’m so happy to be here even for just a few days, even when it’s sweltering hot.

Something is wrong with my taste buds. I’ve had this cough for a month. My doctor said it seems to be an allergy. I take medicine at night, and now my taste buds are whacked. Food isn’t so delicious, I can’t even finish the last bite of anything.
Today, while my hubby met up with his Dutch friend Marco, I took a cab to Shake Shack Marunouchi for a solo lunch. It’s a good thing this is all I ordered.

Shake shack

My son is right. The burger does taste greasy. The Coke didn’t taste good and I wasn’t able to finish the last bite. I put my backpack on as I left the restaurant to go shopping. A few seconds later, I saw an old Caucasian man walk into the glass window.
He fell, and I saw blood.
My instinct was to go and talk to him.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
I walked him to a bench where he sat down holding his head.
Then two young foreigners (male and female Caucasians) approached him too, so there were three of us.

“You’re bleeding,” I told the old man.
“Am I?” he touched his head and his hand was covered in blood.
“It doesn’t look so good,” I said.
I saw white stuff under his skin. I don’t know if that was a skull??
I decided to run inside Shake Shack and look for the manager.
He came out, and OK, I’ll say it: he was guapo…. (sorry)

I told him a man had walked into their glass and was bleeding. I pointed to the glass window which had a mark.
“Do you know him?” the manager asked.
“No, I don’t.”
On my way out, another foreigner (white woman) handed me a cup of water for the old man.
The manager and I approached the lolo and I gave him the water.

There were food trucks parked around Marunouchi during this busy lunch break. One of the vendors offered me a variety pack of bandages. I heard one of the young foreigners say he was a medic, so I handed him to band aids.

I told the Japanese manager, “Where is the hospital?”
He said to the man, “Do you need an ambulance?”
The lolo said no.
Just then I heard the “medic” say, “I don’t think he even needs stitches.”
And I was thinking, are you kidding me? I’m not a doctor but he’s dripping so much blood…..

Just then another vendor went up to me and handed me a plastic bag with five wet wipes. But I was shaking… I seriously didn’t know what to do.
Then the other white foreigner (female) took a picture with her phone. I was thinking, why???

The lolo was holding his phone and blood was on his phone. I asked him if he was alone. He said his wife was at the hotel.
I said, where is your hotel?
I offered to walk him to his hotel, but the young foreigners told me the man needed to sit down for a while. He seemed disoriented. So kawawa I tell you.
I figured the medic and his companion would take care of him, so I left.

Shake Shack Marunouchi

There were so many angels in Marunouchi today.
There were three angels that offered water, bandages, and wet wipes, and there were strangers who offered help and concern. What I noticed was it was mostly white people (except me) who were quick to help. I’m guessing because the lolo was white and the Japanese people would be lost in translation.

One thing I learned about myself today: when faced with a situation whether to help or take a picture, I chose the former.
I don’t know where lolo is now. I feel like crying thinking about it. I hope he got stitched up and is resting well with his wife.
From now on, lolo should never walk alone.

I am done studying (and why Viber parent groups make me feel inadequate)
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“Tapos na po ako mag-aral,” a respected magazine editor famously said when talking about parents doing their kids’ homework.
Both she and I have three sons enrolled in the same school.
I can honestly say the editor is intelligent and accomplished. I myself didn’t do well in school. I was a mediocre student, but I don’t think I did badly as an adult. I am still a work in progress. However, I don’t want to study again.

I have two college degrees—one from Assumption and one from The New School for Social Research. I have three sons. Two of them started as honor students—now is a different story.
My youngest son, however, is struggling to pass his subjects.
I try to help my kids in school when it is necessary, such as completing an intricate Chinese lantern that only one who went to art school could possibly accomplish (read: a Chinese lantern that only a pattern maker of Viktor & Rolf could understand!! How can my 7th grade son without an art background do this on his own?? It took me three tries to finish it!)

Red lantern I made
My son’s school project

Viktor and Rolf
Viktor & Rolf gown

While my two sons pass all their subjects without really trying, my youngest son is harder to teach. He has a short concentration span. I blame YouTube and Pewdiepie. How I wish my son had never held an iPad.
I am much older compared with the parents of my youngest son’s classmates (read: I have less energy!!) My body gets tired at 6 PM and I am simply too exhausted to helicopter parent.
I feel so pressured and inadequate whenever I see the devotion of younger parents in our Viber group, how sincerely concerned they are about their sons’ homework etc.

I grew up without a tutor. I was simply left to my own devices when I was in school. A couple of times maybe the yaya helped me with math or an art project. But my parents didn’t do my homework or school projects. That’s why now I don’t think I have to do it for my kids. Sure, I’m ready to do the costumes and the art stuff. Other than that, tapos na ako mag-aral.

When I get home, I just really want to lie down and relax. I also pity my kids who wake up at 5:30 or 6 AM and come home between 4 PM to 8 PM. Sometimes they just want to play basketball and sometimes they just want to lie down and look at their phones. I really don’t blame them.

How I wish life, school, parenting weren’t so difficult.
That said, may I repost once again a clip from Michael Moore’s documentary why Finnish school rank highest in the world. Cause maybe we’re doing it wrong!