My Top Picks at Daiso’s New Store in U.P. Town Center

Daiso is that one store where I come in looking for one item and end up leaving with a bagful of stuff I didn’t know I needed. I go to Daiso a lot because it’s so therapeutic and I discover so many unique items. Who knew I would need a cactus candle (More on this later)?

Recently, Daiso opened its 60th store in the Philippines, setting roots in U.P. Town Center in Quezon City. The new concept store is redesigned, and takes its inspiration from stores in Japan. Here, the products are front and center, tastefully arranged in a clean, bright, and airy environment.

Daiso is known for selling quality products from Japan starting at P88. The items are categorized by Fashion, Arts and Crafts, Food and Beverages, and Home. In fact, there are 10,000 estimated items in each store, with new additions each month!

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Robinsons and DTI to Support Local Products in Go Lokal!

I absolutely love local products. Many of them are made with quality in mind, and yet are still affordable because they don’t need to spend on importing and marketing. However, it can be a hassle to buy because not many are distributed in major department stores or shops. You have to go to artisan fairs or specialty stores (many of which are in the north) to buy them.

Luckily, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with retail stores for Go Lokal!, a partnership that promotes products made by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Their first partner is Robinsons Department Store, and the first concept store is open now in Robinsons Place Manila!

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Lazada Celebrates 5th Birthday with Discounts Up to 90%!

Lazada is a lifesaver for busybees who don’t have time to go out and buy things. Through the years, I’ve relied on the website to shop and have my goods delivered. Just recently, I bought a Fitbit, a digital weighing scale, and a smartphone. Lazada is a website I trust when I want to buy something and I don’t have the time to go out.

To reward all of Lazada’s loyal customers through its five years in the Philippines, the website is celebrating its birthday with the Lazada 5th Birthday Surprise, the biggest shopping event of the season with sitewide discounts of up to 90%, peso sales, time-based flash sales, exclusive offers from popular brands, and raffle prizes like vacation packages. Make sure to mark your calendars for March 21 to 23!

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Globe Gives 12 Gifts to Subscribers This Christmas

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Christmas is only a few days away, and we’re all feeling the holiday spirit, both good and bad. Good, because we’re seeing friends and family we haven’t seen in a while, and bad because we have to deal with last-minute Christmas shopping and the horrible traffic.

Globe is making our Christmas special by giving subscribers 12 gifts this December. From freebies to discounts, new partnerships, content, and ways to show our love, the network is creating opportunities to be merry this 2016:

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Do Your Christmas Shopping with Digimall, the Biggest Online Bazaar!

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Christmas in the Philippines is the most exciting and stressful time of the year. People crowd in malls and bazaars to find gifts, and because of this, I usually do my shopping months ahead. I kept putting it off this year, until I realized we’re less than a month away from Christmas. It looks like I have to join the holiday madness.

That may not be the case because I found my savior: the Digimall Online Bazaar. It’s a partnership between Globe MyBusiness and Shopify, an e-commerce platform that supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This is perfect for me as I love supporting local brands.

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Saturday Future Market @ Escolta

Yesterday, I was in Escolta for the monthly Saturday Future Market @ Escolta. It’s 98B COLLABoratory’s monthly initiative to bring back the glory days of Escolta’s heritage and invite independent sellers to sell their wares. In short, it’s a hipster market for books, records, prints, art, zines, trinkets, and all the things you don’t normally find in regular bazaars.

It’s funny how I’ve written about Saturday Future Market @ Escolta countless times in my column for The Philippine Star but I’ve never gone to one. Sometimes I have plans on the days they hold it, sometimes I feel lazy because it’s too far.

I finally decided to go because my friend Tyang has a booth with her team, the Cavity Collective. We agreed for me to be her publicist and I went to support her work. Tyang and I have known each other since college.

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A day in the new Century City Mall

Last Saturday, I was at the newly-opened Century City Mall in Makati with my family. I was invited to the gala launch on Thursday, but I watched the press preview of Repertory Philippines’  Noises Off so I had to miss it.  Luckily, my mom insisted on seeing the mall.

A lot hasn’t changed since the last time I went there a few weeks ago with my boyfriend (he wasn’t my boyfriend then). Not all the stores were open, but from what I could see, it’s beautifully laid out. They made the most out of the limited space they had and the result is a luxury mall with beautiful furnishings.

Even their restrooms are beautiful, and the hand soap they had was a deliciously-scented raspberry. I hope they won’t change it to the cheaper kind that smells like dishwasher. I was at the private opening of SM Aura and was later disappointed when they changed the hand soap from a flower-like scent to lemon when it opened to the public.

 

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My favorite store at Century City Mall has to be TWG, the luxury tea house from Singapore. It is home to around 800 tea variants from all over the world, ranging from the affordable (P300) to the insanely expensive (P10,000). It was paradise for a tea-drinker like me.

My family and I had afternoon tea after snacking on Caliburger, and we had a pot of the silver moon tea. It’s a green tea blend of red woodland berries and a vanilla bouquet, and my brother who hates tea had several cups. It was so good.

 

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What I love about TWG in the Philippines is that the staff isn’t snooty at all. Considering that their interiors are opulent and some of their tea blends sell for P10,000 per 50 grams, they’re all accommodating and friendly. I’ve been to the branches in Greenbelt, Resorts World, and Century City Mall and I’ve never had a bad experience.

 

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After our tea, I bought 50 grams of the Love Me tea, a fragrant green tea blend with lime blossoms and verbena. It’s the tea that my boyfriend and I had on our second date at Museum Cafe in Greenbelt, and he loved it, too. He didn’t drink tea before dating me.

 

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We later had dinner at Kimukatsu, one of the most famous katsu places in Japan with branches in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Sendai. Their katsu is known for its 25 layers of high-quality pork surrounded in a crunchy batter, and we all loved it. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and the meat inside was juicy and tender. I had the plain katsu, while my brother had the cheese, and my mom had the garlic. Even the cabbage, rice, and miso soup were divine.

By the end of the night, we watched Captain America: Winter’s Soldier at the cinema. I’m not a fan of superhero movies but I wanted to spend more time with the family and see the cinema. We watched at the Premiere Cinema, which had 60 fully-automated leather seats and a 7.1 Dolby Atmos Surround Sound system. It’s directly connected to the Premiere Lounge with optional butler service. Each ticket comes with unlimited popcorn and a drink from Tater’s, and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but even the popcorn and iced tea tasted better.

The theater was more intimate than other cinemas, and I loved the reclining seats. Even the visuals were top-notch. As for the movie, it was superhero-themed so I thought it was okay.  I did appreciate how crisp Chris Evans looked on the screen.

Century City Mall is the first retail development from Century Properties’ Century City. It’s the newest mall to open in Makati in close to 10 years, and is called the Mall of Modern Makati. The five-level mall is home to the latest in fashion, dining, beauty, and home furnishings.

The fourth and fifth floor of Century City Mall is an al fresco dining area that boasts views of Makati.

The Century City Mall Concierge offers personal tours of the mall, personal shopping assistance, transportation arrangements, and table reservation assistance in any of the mall’s restaurants.

Century City Mall is located along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City. It’s a luxurious respite from the hustle and bustle of Makati Avenue.