Summer is officially over, but it looks like it’s going to be extended. The days are still long, the sun shines brighter than ever, and the birds are creating a more cheerful symphony in the morning. And the thing is, I love it. I guess you see the good in everything when you’re happy with your current situation. It helps that I know the perfect ingredient to a refreshing summer: Starbucks’ Banana Split Mocha Frappuccino and Irish Cream Coffee Pudding Frappuccino!
Tea is one of my favorite beverages because of the variety and the different effects it has on the body. A strong black tea can perk you up in the morning, while a hot cup of green tea can calm you down and relax your nerves. There’s a specific type of tea I drink for every occasion or time of day.
One of my favorite tea brands is Teavana, an American line of premium teas that Starbucks acquired in 2012. Last year, Starbucks brought an exclusive line of teas to the Philippines, introducing Filipinos to this popular brand.
Growing up in the Philippines means one thing: frequent trips to Jollibee, where a kid can have Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti, and whatever else it is the kid is craving. For me, the two constants of my childhood diet were the two-piece Burger Steak and the Jolly Spaghetti.
I love the Jolly Spaghetti because of its unique taste. I like my pasta sour, but there’s always a special place in my heart for Jollibee’s sweet-style spaghetti.
It turns out that British-Filipino child star Xia Vigor shares the same feeling. She said that even before entering showbiz, Jollibee is her favorite place and she goes there with her mom, her older brother, and her cousin.
I love rice. I call it the great equalizer because it balances the strong flavors of Filipino dishes. In fact, I wouldn’t call a meal complete if there was no rice. After all, I’m both Filipino and Japanese, two countries that revere the mighty grain. Naturally, I have a strong affinity for Spain’s paella, and I just discovered a place that serves some good stuff, with a sangria promo for the month!
One of the best places to hang out in the city during the summer is your local Starbucks store. The place is airconditioned, there are cozy nooks where you can read, watch your favorite movies or TV shows, or just catch up with friends. And of course, there’s the extensive menu of Frappuccinos, which can cool even the warmest of days. This summer, Starbucks Philippines is making the summer more bearable with an exciting lineup of products, and I have all the information for you!
I find it incredible that despite having 300 stores across 58 cities in the Philippines, the Starbucks experience is the same wherever you go. You are greeted warmly each time you enter the store, and all the baristas serve you with a smile. “Going beyond” means making meaningful small talk with the customers, and even developing friendships with them. I’ve said this so many times: Starbucks is not just selling coffee, they’re selling an experience.
This month, Starbucks celebrates its 19th anniversary of selling this experience in the Philippines.
One of the most-awaited times of the year is the start of Starbucks’s Christmas collection, especially the planners. Collectors patiently gather all the stickers required to have one, while others wait for the holiday beverages, food, cards, and merchandise.
I love all of these things, but what I love about the holiday season is how festive their stores are. I always believe that Starbucks is selling an experience, one you can feel the moment you step in the store, and this heightens during the Christmas season.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Starbucks holiday beverages, food, cards, planners, and other merchandise:
Starbucks 2017 Planner
The Starbucks 2017 planner is worlds away from their minimalist collection last year, which was a partnership with luxury brand Moleskine. This year, Starbucks is going a more colorful route with the mermaid design and the coffee stain design. It features the same weekly format which I love, and has a blank space next to each page so I can have a daily and weekly bullet journal. I wrote extensively about it here, and I’m giving one away tomorrow!
To avail of the planner, you have to collect 18 stickers, or the equivalent of 18 beverages (nine core handcrafted beverages and nine holiday featured beverages). Stickers can be obtained from November 2, 2016 to January 8, 2017, and the redemption of planners will only be up to March 9, 2017. If you’re too excited to collect, you can get one planner by a single receipt bulk purchase worth at least P7,000.
I am not a morning person. At all. Every morning is a struggle between my alarm clock (set every five minutes) and my bed, and most of the time, my bed wins. I was lucky to have worked in an office with flexible working hours, until they changed it to a more rigid 9-6. Of course, my payslip suffered. Now that I work from home, it has gotten worse, because there’s no one policing my time.