Monday, October 20, 2014

The New Duty Free

How to find the perfect pasalubong? By shopping with your friends and family! DUTY FREE PHILIPPINES reinvents and refreshes the shopping experience

Shopping is all about what’s new---the sight yet to be seen, the thrill that’s never been felt. All over the world, Filipinos are famous for their shopping obsession, but the root of it all isn’t a mindless materialism. We know it in the very core of our being that travel is a great blessing, and we want to immortalize the journey and more importantly, we want to find trinkets to share with those we love.  Now that weight restrictions are stricter than ever, and we have so many more choices in our travel adventures, it makes more sense that we do our shopping for pasalubong when we land back here in the Philippines.

Duty Free Philippines understands this very well. “We are constantly evolving and shopping for brands to excite our clients. We know that they want their loved ones to get to enjoy what they may see, whether it was in the Middle East, Europe, or America,” shares the Chief Operating Officer of Duty Free Philippines Enchong Formoso. To enhance this experience, Duty Free Philippines has just completed their most extensive renovation of their shopping floors. “From the floor to the ceiling, we have changed it. We wanted to upgrade Duty Free to an international level, on par with Duty Free shops abroad. In a word, everything is new.”

On the fashion floor, boutiques for Longchamp and Coach have been enlarged and redesigned. Heritage brand Coach has embarked on a worldwide rebranding, and this boutique in Duty Free Philippines reflects this new direction. Other fun labels on the fashion floor include Givenchy, Lacoste, Penguin and Tommy Bahamas. The Repetto selection is also another delightful discovery at very delightful prices as well.

The watches are now housed in their own separate boutique. Beverly Ong Campos, who heads the Watches department reveals, “We started with the fashion watches, such as Anne Klein and Guess, but we are happy that Fossil, U-Boat and Philippe Charriol were so happy with our renovation that we are now carrying these brands.”

Perfumes and makeup are true bargains at Duty Free Philippines. From designer brands (Chanel, and Dior) to fashion favorites (MAC and Shu Uemura) to drugstore basics (L’Oreal and Maybelline), the choices and prices cannot be beat. Acca Kappa also has its own boutique here and a great selection of its toiletries and signature brushes. Fun finds such as Italian botanical soaps make wonderful presents, and they sit so prettily on a powder room counter.

The wine lovers will find Robert Mondavi wines that are exclusive to Duty Free, as well as Patron, Hennessy and Johnnie Walker special edition spirits. Chocolates remain the top sellers of all the categories, and the perennial pasalubong staples Ghirardelli’s and Godiva and See’s now have an expanded selection. There are always interesting promos with cute gifts that add to the fun of the shopping experience.

Walking through the aisles at Duty Free Philippines, my mind wanders back to so many shopping sprees of the past. But the memory that is seared on my brain when I step into Duty Free Philippines is of the children, who traipse about the aisles, grabbing a bag of M&M’s or clutching an adorable stuffed toy. And then I look for their parents and see the warm, glowing smiles. Then, and I am barely aware of it, my friends find me and ask, “What are you smiling at?” And I then feel a knot in my throat at having that realization that a bag of chocolates isn’t just an explosion of sweetness and calories, and that a pasalubong isn’t just a token from a trip, but a way to share the very best of ourselves.

Special vintage liqueurs, limited edition tequilas, and unusual blends of brandies and Scotch whiskies await gentlemen of distinction.

Sweet treats. Cute gift packages and delectable indulgences will delight everyone on your shopping list.

Popular heritage chocolatier Godiva’s and American classic See’s Candies of California are now available at the new Duty Free Philippines.

Watch it. Whether you are searching for a dressy timepiece or a sporty accessory, the new watch floor at the new Duty Free Philippines is bigger better and brighter.

Coach is the embodiment of the quintessentially American way of making sportswear effortlessly chic; and the current collection by cult favorite Stuart Vevers is now wowing magazine editors, bloggers and other followers of fashion.

It’s a beauty connoisseur’s heaven. Fragrance, skin care, cosmetics and gift items from drugstore brands to luxury houses are all in one easy to navigate shopping floor.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Joseph's Pure Joy

There was a look of pure surprise when the star of the recent hit Talk Back and You're Dead and the Pinoy adaptation of the Korean serye Pure Love, and the sure love of many TV junkies and film buffs, Joseph Marco, arrived at the surprise birthday celebration for him. Planned by his closest friends, it was held at the hip and happening Rambla. This new resto was inspired by the tapas bars of Barcelona, and so the bar was set with many small dishes to encourage tasting and easy conversation. Joseph was so touched by the outpouring of love and affection that he made sure to chat and sincerely thank each and ever guest. But there was no talk of work that night. Just pure fun.

Joseph Marco with his birthday cake

Talk Back Stars: Joseph Marco, Nadine Lustre & James Reid

Enchong Dee & girlfriend Sam Lewis

Couple Coleen Garcia & Billy Crawford

Jerome Ponce

Raphael Robes

Randy See

LA Aguinaldo

David Chua

Tola Orendain

Rajo Laurel

Sunshine Cruz

Luke Jickain and Shey Bustamante

Gerhard Acao & Arjo Atayde

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Miss World PH 2014: Just being herself

A beauty queen may not exactly be the first thing that comes to mind when we say ‘natural beauty’; but Valerie Weigman may just be part of the new wave of beauty queens. Crowned Miss Hana at the recently concluded coronation at the MOA Arena, as well as a slew of other titles, Valerie embodies the natural philosophy by letting her hair down, literally. Instead of the belabored updo that most beauty queens sport, she just let her hair flow freely. A PBB housemate in 2008, and tv host and commercial model the past few years, when she was asked how her reality show experience helped her in the contest, she replied, “Just be yourself because I’ve experienced it already, that sometimes you shouldn’t overthink. Basta pag ikaw yun, pakita mo lang.”

Peerless Lion Executive Vice Presiden Kazuhiko Kataoka, National Director of Miss World Philippines Cory Quirino, President and CEO of Peerless Lion Simeon Tiu & Peerless Lion Technical Manager Hideaki Yoshioka with the candidates of Miss World Philippines 2014

National Director of Miss World Philippines Cory Quirino

Valerie Weigmann at the dinner in Viking's for Miss World Philippines 2014 candidates

Team Peerless Lion: Marketing Director Pen Roque, Brand Manager Norman Mier, Associate Brand Manager Lesley Yu & Marketing Manager Caloy Bacani

Miss World 2013 Megan Young

Miss World and Miss World Philippines 2013 Megan Young bequeathing the crown to Valerie.

Candidate no. 19 Valerie Weigmann besting 25 other contestants.

The winners of Miss World Philippines 2014 pageant: (L-R) 3rd Princess Nicole Donesa, 2nd Princess Nelda Ibe, Miss World Philippines 2014 Valerie Weigmann, 1st Princess Lorraine Kendrickson, and 4th Princess Rachel Louise Peters