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.

10A Alabama Handmade Arts & Crafts Fair

Last Saturday, after watching Sa Wakas at the PETA Theater, Nikko and I decided to drop by 10A Alabama’s Handmade Arts and Crafts Fair. As I am a sucker for arts and crafts, I wanted to go and see if I could pick up something.

The place was crafts heaven. There were people selling lovely accessories (one even made them from yarn), tote bags, paper wallets, and Adventure Time dolls. We came when it was about to close so I was flitting from one booth to another, quickly skimming the items to make sure I covered everything. It was a shame, really, because I saw a lot of great stuff worth checking out – like this one that had gorgeous notebooks and another that sold them in sets and had architecture on its covers.

One of the booths that caught my attention was Aromerateria. They sell these fragrant solid perfumes that come in tubes the size of lip balm. It’s like Lush’s solid perfumes, but these are locally-made. It is also alcohol-free, pthalate-free, paraben-free, and are 70% organic. Aside from the really delicious scents – which come in unique combinations like sea spray and sugar and patchouli and pepper and vetiver – they have fascinating names with literary references. There’s Austen, Veruca Salt, Hermione, Trese, Rudyard, and Sherlock. I got to chat with owner Shari Tan, and I feel like she could be my best friend. We’re both into books, soaps, and fragrances.

She says she gets her inspiration when she wonders what literary characters would smell like in real life. And she makes them herself!

I ended up getting Sherlock, a masculine scent that contains notes of bergamot, patchouli, oakmoss, basil, and sugarwood. It’s a scent I imagine the Sherlock Holmes of olden days to smell like. It smells of danger and mystery.

I always believe that it is important to buy scents in a good mood. The sense of smell is very powerful and if you buy perfume in a bad mood, you tend to remember the memories every time you spray it. Fortunately, I was still on a high from watching Sa Wakas and chatting with Fredison Lo, so it gives me positive energy whenever I rub it on my pulse points.

You can buy Aromateria from Firma and AC+632, but it’s a joy to meet Shari in bazaars. She’s such a character.

I also stayed at Lotus Bloom’s booth inside. I met Joanne Quintana, who makes these luxurious soap with the most amazing scents. It was quite overwhelming to select one because of the choices, but I zeroed in on the lavender-infused soaps. Lately, I’ve developed an obsession with the scent so I was glad that Lotus Bloom carried three with lavender. I bought Sulis, or French Lavender, which was mixed with crushed lavender blossoms and a blend of essential oils of lavender and peppermint. It was really fragrant, and showers became affairs to look forward to. Unlike the last soaps I used – ylang-ylang and mangosteen bars from Bangkok – the scent of lavender really stuck to my skin and made me smell like an earth mother. The best thing was, Lotus Bloom soaps are handmade and made with natural ingredients.

The other variants are just as tempting to buy. Some of the ones that piqued my curiosity were a combination of jasmine, ylang-ylang, and saffron, a combination of sampaguita and moringa, a combination of mandarin, patchouli, and sea kelp, a combination of rosemary and mint, a combination of basil and thyme, a combination of coffee, cocoa, and mint, and a combination of chocolate and mint.

Sulis was a great soap and I loved it, but my issue was that it melted so easily. It was generously-sized when I purchased it, but after five days, the size was 1/8 of when I bought it, and by the time a week passed, it was so thin that it broke apart. After another day, it was already unusable. I blame the summer heat, but I’ve never had this issue with any of the soaps that I used. My friend Melvin said it was because there were no preservatives and while I’m glad that Lotus Bloom is really organic, I don’t think I’m willing to shell out P150 for a bar of soap that will only last for 8 days.

I did see some lavender-scented from Healthy Options so I might pick a bar up as soon as I get the chance.

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday I went out to complete my Christmas shopping. I was out with my sister last Friday to do them but we got to the mall late and we only had time to buy a few items. We capped the night at San Mig Pub where we had a couple of beers.
I needed to buy presents for my mom and two of my friends from UST so I went to SM to get something for my mom (I already had something in mind for my two friends at Alabang). She was the hardest to buy for because everything she owns has a designer label. I wanted to get her a bag for her toiletries because she travels a lot. I thought of getting her something from the department store because it would be silly to get her something a little more expensive when she carries Louis Vuitton. Trouble was, I wasn’t impressed with the selections so I ended up looking in Alabang. I stopped by Booksale before leaving and was blown away by the new store’s facade. It’s roomier and it’s even bigger than the Mall of Asia branch. I was looking for issues of foreign Vogue but I didn’t find any.
At Alabang, I couldn’t afford anything in Rustan’s but I did find a sophisticated-looking bag that could easily pass off as Mango from this store called Accessories. I’m not familiar with the brand but their original price tags have British pounds on them.
After finishing my Christmas shopping, I got myself a “Be@rbrick” (note the quotation marks because I doubt the authenticity of these so-called Be@rbricks). They’re adorable and I might start collecting them, authentic or not. I got this one because it kind of looks like Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director of Chanel.

I also got one for my brother that has PSP written on its face and the trademark symbols on its shirt. By the way, that’s not my gift for him. I got him a bottle of cologne because he’s a growing boy and he’s terribly conscious of everything.

I wanted to get the Coco Chanel Be@rbrick and have found one on eBay except it costs half a million pesos. True story, guys.

After a solitary dinner at Tater’s and tea at Serenitea, I headed home. I was excited because my ankle boots were chafing and I wanted to try this new way of wrapping gifts, inspired by Carina. She used packaging paper and twine and it looked amazing. Trouble was, I bought manila paper instead of packaging paper because you had to buy them by the roll and the twine I bought was too thick. So now I’ve wrapped the gifts and they look awkward and they don’t have ribbons. I might buy some fancy-looking (and thin) twine on Wednesday because I’m going to Mall of Asia to celebrate Christmas with the staff of the paper.

Here are my gifts!

All in all, Christmas shopping was an expensive experience but I totally liked it because I felt like an adult.

I’m 21.

That’s all.

Bargain #2

I had my community service this morning (finally, Christmas break!) and I decided to drop by this ukay near my house. I’ve been seeing it for several months now but I only had the guts to check it out now because I thought it was a relief goods center because there were so many clothes and it was inside the court of a village park.

I found this summer jacket from Maldita Man and I got it for P200. What’s amazing is that it still has its tag (original price is P1,699). The zipper’s broken and it’s going to cost me P150 to repair, but what the hey. P350 is nothing compared to P1,699.

If you’re from the south, the ukay is in the park of Philam Village. They sell bags, jackets, shirts, and jeans and some of them still have their tags and are still sealed. Brands include Penshoppe, Oxygen, Esprit, etc.
I’m not sure where they get their clothes and I didn’t want to ask because they might be a syndicate and they might cut my fingers off if I “snoop” too much.

They’re staying there until the end of the month so you better go there ASAP.

Bargain #1

Okay, that post on my new Maldita Man jacket reminded me of two bags I bought a couple of weeks back at another ukay. That one is one of my favorite haunts because they have good finds at dirt-cheap prices. When they’re on sale, dress shirts come at P10 a pop so I end up buying dozens.

A Comme des Garçons backpack I got for P200:

A weekend bag from Hardy Amies I got for P250:


You just keep on pushing my love over the borderline.

Everybody loves sales. You get to buy really expensive stuff at slashed prices and you can strut around in it, not telling people you bought it on discount. I’m actually guilty as charged. I once bought a pair of really fabulous shoes for half-price, but when friends asked how much I paid, I told them 3 grand.

Today SM Mall of Asia had a sale and Powerbooks texted me, inviting me to come over and check out their books. So after I changed my schedule for my summer class, I went straight to MOA to see what Powerbooks had.

Everybody loves sales. The problem is, everybody loves it. There were so many people that I was hardly walking in a straight line anymore. I had to zig this way, and then I had to zag that, avoiding the many people and their many shopping bags. Apparently, everyone was going crazy. And not in a good way. I’m talking frothing-in-the-mouth crazy. Sadly, I was one of them.

Even Powerbooks was unusually crowded. When I saw the prices, I didn’t wonder. It was absolutely ridiculous. I bought FRONT ROW: ANNA WINTOUR [hardbound, baby!] for only 99 pesos! I was so overjoyed that I reserved copies for my fashion-inclined friends too. I also bought a copy of Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days in Sodom. It was still pretty expensive [it was only 20% off], but I’ve been wanting to get the book so I did.

Happy with my purchases, I went around, wondering what else I could buy. I didn’t have much, but I still had the money the japanese gave me, so I ended up buying 2 CDs. I was supposed to get a dress shirt, but they didn’t have my size, so it sucked. I was thinking of getting a drink in Coffee Bean, but I assumed it was going to be crowded as well, what with the summer heat and all.

I was tired anyway, and the people were getting on my nerves, so I went home. I was sort of regretting it because it’s a Saturday, and instead of going out with my friends, I’m here. Bff Arvin did invite me to have drinks with the fashion flock, as did my guy friends from school, but I want to be with R tonight.

I do want to go out. This morning, before I went to school, I texted Kathy, inviting her to have cocktails with me in Alabang. There’s this bar that has a fabulous promo where you get a pitcher of cocktail for only 300 pesos, but she couldn’t come because she was with her boyfriend. I got upset when I realized I was going to be alone tonight, because I really need company. Bff Arvin’s landline is broken so I couldn’t pour my grievances, and I think he’s out with the fashion flock.

I think R’s out with his friends too. Oh well.

I guess it’s just going to be me and Anna tonight. Cheers.