Sunday, August 30, 2015

Marry the Queen

Dada and I got married at Mary the Queen back in 2008:

For some reason, Berry just loves the idea of weddings and always asks me to tell her our wedding story. 

While we were in the bathroom, she asked me about our wedding again.

"Well, Dada and I got married at Mary the Queen.", I started.

"I already know that, Mom." she replied.

Before I could say anything, she continued, "Oh Mom, you know I told teacher that you got married at Mary the Queen."

"That's right. And what did teacher say?", I asked.

"I told teacher that the church is called Mary the Queen because that's where people Marry and the bride is the Queen!", Berry said, looking up at me with a wide grin on her face.

Shocked but amused at the same time, I blurted out, "What! And what did she say?"

"She said 'No, it means Mama Mary is the Queen'", she replied, that big smile still plastered on her face.

"Yes, of course, teacher is right!", I exclaimed, not knowing at that moment whether to laugh or launch an impromptu catechism lesson. 

Right there and then, I vowed to be more zealous in supplementing Berry's CLE lessons, hahaha. 

Teacher, if you are reading this, know that I have nothing to do with this "Marry the Queen" idea.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Physiogel Has a New Look!

Physiogel has a whole new look.

If you've been having trouble finding Physiogel at your neighborhood drugstore, this could be the reason.

While I still saw some Physiogel products in their old pink packaging at Mercury Drug in Shangri-la Mall a few weeks back, you might get a bit confused if you see these blue ones instead. It's the same Physiogel, in fact, even better! Scroll down and read further to know why ;)

Of course, the A.I. Cream and A.I. Lotion, the stars of this line of hypoallergenic products, as it seems to have a cultish following amongst my circle of my family and friends, is still pink.

The better to spot it my dears. I know many of you hoard it when you see this in stock. So remember this, mothers.

About the New Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Line:

The new Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy line continues to be a differentiated science-led solution featuring the unique Physiogel BioMimic Technology® that works to soothe and repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Dermatologists highly-recommend Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy because it is non-comedogenic, and is free from soap, preservatives, perfumes and colourants.

In fact, Physiogel is the #1 Most-Prescribed Brand by Dermatologists in the Philippines. And what’s more, Physiogel is made more accessible to Filipinas across the nation as it is available in Mercury Drug Stores and other leading pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.

About Physiogel Free in My Skin Movement 2015:

Dry and sensitive skin affects 60-70% of Filipino women, and impacts on their quality of life as they are unable to fully embrace living life to the fullest.

GSK’s Consumer Healthcare division and Physiogel, its flagship skin health brand, aims to help Filipinas and all women across Asia, to be free from dry and sensitive skin. Physiogel believes in freeing the strength in sensitivity. 

“Sensitivity is a source of strength for women, not a weakness to be hidden away. This powerful consumer insight compels Physiogel to passionately advocate the #FreeInMySkin Movement in 2015. The Movement also coincides with the debut of the NEW Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy line,” reveals Justin Alejandro Lladoc, GSK Skin Health Senior Product Manager. 

The #FreeInMySkin Movement, now made more exciting by new additions with the introduction of the #FreeInMySkin website and Freedom List Challenge, is more relevant than ever because it is able to reach many Filipinas digitally across the nation. And because of its continuous success, from its conception in 2014, it has caught the attention of Mercury Drug. They too were encouraged to free many more Filipinas from dry, sensitive skin by making Physiogel products available across the country. 

“By the end of 2016, with its continued resonance with consumers, the Movement is expected to have rolled out to the rest of Asian markets,” Lladoc shares.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Klose Encounter with Kevin Kwan

I read Crazy Rich Asians in one night. No, make it from midnight to almost 4 am.

I had the mistaken notion of reading it during bedtime, thinking it was book that will help me go to sleep, after a long day taking care of two kids, and a mundane day of running errands, and doing some writing. But no.

It was a complete and utter page turner. I was caught up in the world of Astrid, Rachel, Nick and the cast of characters they call family and friends, that I found myself flipping through page after page after page, until I reached the very last. Which left me wanting more and had me pondering, "Who is Kevin Kwan? And where does he get all these fantastical ideas for a story?"

Thanks to Chris Yam Daez of Fully Booked, I found out soon enough.
When Chris told me that Kevin Kwan was coming to Manila to sign books, I knew I had to go. The same way every Kevin Kwan fan in Manila decided it was an event they weren't going to miss.

I had it all sorted out. I told my husband I was going with my good friend Maymay Tan way in advance, I would leave my three kids at home, have my books signed, and maybe ask Kevin if there's a real life Astrid living the painfully chic Astrid life.

On the day of the Crazy Rich China Rich send-off at Salon de Ning, Maymay and I came prepared, books on hand.

Kevin being welcomed by the evening's host Tim Yap, and Chris Yam Daez of Fully Booked

As we waited for our books to be signed, we listened intently to Kevin's Q&A with fashion journalist Bambina Olivares-Wiser who peppered him with all the juicy questions I would have wanted to ask myself.

 Bambina asking all the questions we've always wanted to ask

Some meaty tidbits: Kevin moved to the U.S. when he was 12. He studied at Parsons and worked in fashion (hence the knowledge about all the designers and labels written in the book), and he's related to the actress Nancy Kwan.

What's more, while the lifestyles of Colette Bing and and Kitty Pong were irrationally crazy and exuberantly rich as is, Kevin shared the plots in the books have actually been toned down because the reality is crazier!

Which gives new meaning to the term, "beyond my wildest dreams", come to think of it.

But enough about the the book, and more about my encounter with the author. Little did I know I would have my own fashion moment with Mr. Kwan that night.

As I stepped up the platform to have my books signed, I sank into the seat across him and we exchanged pleasantries. I rambled on about how big a fan I was, and how I barely slept a wink when I first read Crazy Rich Asians. He nodded politely, used to the babble of starstruck fans. As he was about to sign, I told him that even my husband enjoyed the book, and "Could you write it out to Harvey, please?"

A he scribbled on the title page he said, "That's a gorgeous accessory, who is it by?"

Taken by surprise, I held up the minaudiere on my lap and asked, "This one?"

"I was looking at your necklace, but wow that's gorgeous too!" he replied.

"These are both by Filipino designers", I excitedly blurted out. "This one is made in Cebu", I added, still clutching my minaudiere by Cebuano designer Neil Felipp.

He was genuinely impressed I suppose, that he asked if he could take a photo of my clutch.

Maymay managed to get  photo of Kevin taking a photo of my Suzy Wong minaudiere, woot!

 "Sure!" I replied, thrilled that he even noticed.

"May I tweet it, I mean post it online?" he asked.

"Of course!" I said a little too excitedly.

Kevin did post it on his Instagram!

Then he writes "For Tin (With the gorgeous accessories) Kevin". OMG.

Wow, diba?

To have my books signed that evening was a real treat, but to have Kevin Kwan himself notice Filipino design that evening? Priceless.

I would lie if I say I didn't feel a little bit like Astrid that night.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Road Testing the Chevrolet Captiva

When I hear "Chevy", I automatically think Suburban or Camaro. Big. powerful. Gas guzzling.

So it was a pleasant surprise when Chevrolet Philippines invited us to test drive their budget-friendly, fuel efficient Chevrolet Captiva. We took it for a drive down South, with Dada behind the wheel, and we liked it. Let me tell you why:

1. Personally, I like compact SUVs. It has the feel of a car, but with a lot more room. Not to mention, the Captiva looks sporty, but elegant.

This isn't all just form though. The Captiva boasts of an aerodynamic design that allows it to slice through air with minimal wind resistance. It also comes with projector headlamps, fog-light covers, LED taillights, standard roof rails and 17 inch rims.

2. Dada says no doubt, it has a great suspension system, as well as good torque (power) when accelerating. 

As with all Chevy vehicles, the engine is big on power. It has a 2.0 CRDi Turbo Diesel engine and makes use of Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT ) Technology, hence, fast and accurate acceleration response. The McPherson Strut and stabilizer, 4-dimension, multi-link suspension system meanwhile ensures a smooth and quiet ride.

3. Most importantly, the Captiva has a fuel efficient diesel system. We left the house with a full tank...

And went home with a tank still 3/4 full, after running 126 km on it.

Its GF6 six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control and ECO drive mode is designed to produce better fuel consumption ratings for extra value and savings.

4. We like the efficient configuration of seats. It can seat 7 adults. 2 in front.

3 in the middle.

And 2 at the back.

It's also easy to get into and out of the third row, as the second row seat collapses to make way for those who want to sit at the back.

These two seats on the third row may be individually folded, or folded down together to make room for big cargo like suitcases, strollers, plants, athletic equipment, or whatever.

Thing is though, when all three rows are used, there's only this slice of space for a trunk. Enough to fit a pair of shoes, a laptop bag and an overnight bag, max. I would say it can fit six comfortably, with enough room for bags and stuff, assuming you fold down one of the seats in the last row.

5. Good layout for the center console (A/C, radio etc.) steering wheel controls for radio/sounds and climate control.

These convenient features makes driving a breeze.

Love the storage space in the center console too. It has Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones and MP3 players.

6. The Captiva has a built-in navigation system. So for folks who can't Waze their way, there's always this.

7. When it comes to safety, the Captiva is also big on safety features:
- rear suspension auto leveling to distribute weight evenly
- anti-lock breaking system for better control on slippery roads
- driver and passenger airbags
- rear park assist and rear window defogger. Note though that from our experience, the rear view camera may show a discolored video feed (sometimes with yellowish/bluish tinge)
- electronic parking brake that replaces the hand brake, to prevent the car from rolling while parked.

Over and all, it's a great, compact SUV. Love it in and out, and most of all, I like that it's low-key but has loads of power and style.

If you're in the market for a new SUV, you may want to consider the Chevrolet Captiva. Do your research, and ask to test drive too, of course!

The new and enhanced Captiva 4x2 starts at Php1,398,888 for the 4x2 AT diesel variant. It comes with a 5-year Chevy warranty and 3-year free 24/7 roadside assistance. To know more about the new Chevrolet Captiva and/or promos, visit your nearest Chevrolet dealer, go to or Like the Chevrolet Philippines Facebook Page.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. For more on Chevrolet, visit

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Scholastic Builds a Nation of Readers + Problem Solvers

When I hear Scholastic, I think Harry Potter.

But Scholastic is more than just Harry Potter, or books for that matter.

Scholastic recently launched three projects that aim to encourage reading, and a love (a love!) for Math: Scholastic Literacy Pro and Scholastic Literacy Pro Library have made it possible to harness the power of the internet in order to create a new generation of successful readers, while PR1ME Mathematics is a world-class program based on the teaching and learning practices of Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong,  countries that have consistently performed best in their students' achievement in the field of mathematics.

Let me tell you about the first two: Scholastic Literacy Pro and Scholastic Literacy Pro Library

According to Scholastic Asia President Frank Wong, they believe in the importance of reading in nation-building, so instead of being intimidated and threatened by technology, they decided to use it to help teachers and students monitor reading progress as well as make it possible to access books online.

Scholastic Literacy Pro is an online monitoring program which provides teachers with accurate and timely reports on their students' progress and performance, giving them research-based insights to make informed teaching/learning decisions. 

It promotes the student's growth in reading by developing an individualized reading plan, with teacher reports and makes use of three action points: Assess on a regular basis to help evaluate performance, Inform via the Lexile Framework so teacher knows whether student is reading on-grade level, above or below and Develop by finding the right book for every student given his/her reading level and proficiency.

These books are accessed via the Scholastic Literacy Pro Library, an ebook library which gives readers of different proficiency levels unlimited access to more than 650 fiction and nonfiction ebooks. It may be accessed by students at home, in school or anywhere with internet access.

MGC New Life Academy in BGC and De La Salle Zobel in Alabang are among the first schools to implement these tools, and hopefully, more schools will offer this program to their students, because books truly open a world of possibilities.

Of course, equally as important are math skills. According to Scholastic International Publisher  and Vice President Dr. Duriya Aziz, "Problem solving is key to success" and that the future belongs to people who excel in solving problems, for which there are no rule-based solutions.

And this is where reading and math skills go hand in hand.

Under the stewardship of Dr. Aziz, who also worked closely with the Ministry of Education of Singapore in adapting concepts and components from its Primary Mathematics Projects, which transformed Singapore into the Math powerhouse it is today, Scholastic has come up with an effective learning program in PR1ME Mathematics.

While most of us grew up just mindlessly memorizing the multiplication table and treating Math like a hurdle that we just have to pass, PR1ME Mathematics scraps the old teaching methodologies and teaches through problem solving as a tool, focuses on method and process, provides tools to evaluate progress and identify areas where students need help, and supports teachers in creating a conducive learning environment and comes with an interactive edition.

All these programs were launched to coincide with the Scholastic Readers Cup, a tribute to the countless teachers, librarians, principals and school administrators whose efforts have improved literacy in their schools, producing students who are better readers and good learners.

According to Fritzie Salem-Cruz, General Manager of Scholastic in the Philippines, "The Scholastic Readers Cup is just one way of giving recognition to these noble educators. They are the real heroes in our quest for a more globally competitive Philippines. We hope to continue this tradition every year. By shining the spotlight on these individuals and institutions, we hope to inspire other educators to raise more and better readers, and good learners too."

Winners were chosen among the schools that participated in Scholastic's Assessment and Enrichment program (AEP) and Independent Reaeding Program (IRP). AEP and IRP are literacy programs which proved instrumental in producting signnificant improvements in students' reading abilities. The competition ran from February 2014 to April 2015.

From hereon, when I think Scholastic, I think a fun kind of learning!

About Scholastic:

Scholastic is the world's largest publisher, as well as an education and media company and distributor of over 600 original titles annually. Founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine, Scholastic has since grown into a global organization serving tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes in 165 countries in 45 languages.

For more information on Scholastic products and programs, email, contact +632 944 READ (7323) or visit

John Lewis at SM Home

British retail institution John Lewis finally makes its way to our shores, by way of shop-in-shops inside the SM Home section of the Philippines’ own retail institution, The SM Store, as well as in Our Home.

The first of the shop-in-shops opened last May 2015 at the fifth level of SM Makati, followed by Aura Premier, Megamall, and North Edsa.

From L to R: Katie Jordan - John Lewis Head of International Development, Trevor Lewis-Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Manila, Jorge Mendiola - SM Retail President, Pascale Jimenez- SM Retail VP Business Development, Louise Jones - John Lewis Manager of International Development and Siony Yap-SM Home SVP for Operations 

Easily one of the UK’s well-loved stores, given its long heritage (it started out as a drapers shop in 1864) and wide reach, with 43 stores all over the UK, John Lewis is best known for its policy of “Never Knowingly Undersold”, which has been in use since 1925. 

British consumers consistently rave about their staff’s knowledgeable and informed service, the atmosphere of their stores, and best of all, the quality of their goods – which are not just from established brands, but from their in-house brands as well. 

Of the latter, John Lewis takes great effort to ensure products are sustainably made, or quintessentially British, if not both. 

To say that John Lewis is a trusted retailer is an understatement. Judging from feedback from folks who shop there, the common sentiment is excellent value for money, and they give their hard-earned loyalty in return.

That said, it is hard not to shop at John Lewis not only because they treat customers right, but also because the employees, called “Partners” are taken cared of.

Partners are generously entitled to a share of the profits earned each year, and how can you not love shopping at a store that rewards its people like so?

The shop-in-shops in the Philippines are the second international collaboration, following seven outlets inside South Korean department store Shinsegae, and preceding that of three branches that will be opened in Singapore department store Robinsons.

But back to the Philippines.

When you visit the John Lewis shop-in-shops at SM Home, expect to find high quality bed and bath linens and goods, tableware, and home accessories, such as mirrors, candles and photo frames. 

 Towels, a tick-tocking clock, a glass cloche and ooooh, love that brass mirror 

For all ye Kings and Queens of your own abode 

For decanting wine, or some tea, perhaps?

I had to restrain myself from buying stuff I don’t really need. But I eventually caved in because I couldn’t resist this pillow. I kept on taking photos of it, and when viewed up close, the fabric is just thick and gorgeous.

I also just had to get the round mirror with brass frame because it’s so hard to find mirrors that fit my aesthetic.

Prices are reasonable, with duvet sets at about Php10,000, throw pillows at Php2,500 and the mirror at about Php6,000. If you are looking to redecorate your room or spruce up your home, you need to go to SM Home and check out the John Lewis section.

You might as well take a stroll around the entire SM Home floor, because they have just about everything your home will ever need. From Japanese kitchen appliances to ceramic vases, matresses, even mason jars from Italy.

When SM says they’ve got it all, they really got it all!

About John Lewis:

John Lewis has been named Omnichannel Retailer of the Year in the 2014 World Retail Awards. Other awards received include Multichannel Retailer of the Year and Marketing Advertising Campaign of the Year at the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014 plus Best Department Store at the Drapers Awards 2014.

On 1 January 2008, the Oxford Street store was awarded a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen as: “suppliers of haberdashery and household goods.” John Lewis Reading is also the holder of a Royal Warrant from the Queen as suppliers of household and fancy goods. Peter Jones in Sloane Square, Chelsea, which is part of the John Lewis Group, is the holder of a Royal Warrant to both HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as draper and furnisher.

Look for the John Lewis shop-in-shops within the SM department stores at SM Makati, SM Aura Premier, SM Megamall, and SM North EDSA. 

For more on John Lewis and SM Home, visit and Follow @smhome and @johnlewisph on Instagram.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cordlife Shares Stem Cell Breakthroughs

When I gave birth to Berry in the U.S. 6 years ago, we banked her cord blood.

Not a lot of people did it at the time, but Dada figured that by the time she was older, breakthroughs would have happened and we might as well bank it now, than be sorry later. 

When I gave birth to Xavi here, I was thinking one cord blood saved for the family would be enough, but Dada insisted we bank Xavi's too. And the same happened with Tepper.

Admittedly, I viewed it then as an expense, as we have to keep on paying storage fees every year. But hopefully, and from what I've seen at the Stem Cell Forum sponsored by Cordlife during a Rotary event I attended recently, breakthroughs in stem cell therapies are happening and by the looks of it, I'm now glad we banked it.

a list of all the diseases that are now treatable with stem cells

Of course the best would be not ever having to use it, actually.

But as per Dr. Gianna Montenegro, cord blood banking advocate, parents ought to be aware of the benefits of cord blood banking.

Atty. Lorna Kapunan shares a story of loss and Dr. Gianna Montenegro talks about the importance of increasing awareness on banking a child's cord blood

The evening's emcee, Atty. Lorna Kapunan shared the heartbreaking loss of her son King to leukemia, several years ago. Up to now, she still tries to find meaning in her grief, and believes that advocating cord blood banking may save other parents the sorrow and pain she went through.

After all, the chances of healing for a child with leukemia has considerably improved with today's advances in stem cell therapy.

Other speakers such as BIR Deputy Commissioner Nelson Aspe and Rotary Past President Raffy Garcia also shared their stories of losing a daughter and a father to diseases treatable with stem cell therapy.

Atty. Aspe's daughter went through a bone marrow transplant, and Mr. Garcia's father flew all the way to Houston, Texas for expensive treatments. In both cases, it was evident that family members will spare no expense to save the life of someone dear to them. That's just how it is.

You want to be able to say you've exhausted all possible means of a cure, and did not give up, because the loss is more unbearable if you could have done something about it but didn't, right?

The bottom line here is, if you are expecting a baby or know of someone who is about to give birth soon, consider banking cord blood. You don't want to be left wishing you did it years later.

Let me share with you some of the highlights from the forum, as shared by Dr. Arvin Faundo of Cordlife and Dr. Gianna Montenegro:

1. Stem cells are nature's building blocks and repairmen. They are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into specialized cells.

2. The placenta, umbilical cord tissues/lining and cord blood are normally discarded and treated as medical waste, but are a rich source of stem cells. Bank it! (To clarify, the Catholic Church strongly supports stem cell research, provided it does not include destruction of any human embryo. Because the placenta, umbilical cord and cord blood are perinatal stem cells, there is no human embryo involved here, because the baby is out already)

3. The bone marrow, eyes, fats, joints, heart and teeth are also rich in stem cells and capable of regeneration. (Kaya pala mabilis mag regenerate ang fat!)

4. Stem cell applications range from experimental therapy with animals to clinical trials to medically accepted standard therapy. Stem cells have been proven to help cure:

- leukemias and lymphomas
- myelodyplastic syndromes
- RBC disroders (thalasssemia, aplastic anemia)
- inherited metabolic disorders
- inherited immunodeficiencies
- solid malignancy (i.e. neuroblastoma)

Stem cell therapies continue to change and evolve quickly.

5. The advantages of cord blood versus other stem cell sources are:

- matching is less stringent
- less incidence of rejection
- no previous exposure of stem cells to drugs, toxins or infections
- pricess and cryopressured shortly after birth, thus not affected by aging
- procedure is painless and non-invasive
- higher harvest of stem cells

6. The baby's cord blood may be used by the entire family: the baby (100%), biological parents (0-50%), biological siblings (0-75%), close relatives (0-20%).

If you would like to find out more about cord blood banking with Cordlife, visit

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Shoe Story

Our shoe rack downstairs had been overrun with my shoes on current rotation that I decided to bring everything up to our shoe closet. 

Nana brought up one big West Elm paper bag filled with flats, sandals, sneakers and heels. It seemed like a manageable number, that I budgeted an hour to sort them out.

But when I laid everything out on the floor, even I got overwhelmed at the number of pairs I've accumulated. I took a picture for posterity, ahihihi.

I also realized I always end up buying shoes in black, nude, white or silver

While wiping the right pair of my patent ballet flats, preparing to put it right back in it's pink tissue lined box, I felt a sense of happiness (and maybe a little bit of pride) looking at the pile of shoes in front of me, like how other women would ogle their own jewelry collection, I guess.

But when I heard Dada's voice as he was walking in towards the closet, I panicked.

"Sh*t, when he sees this, he's going to freak out", I thought to myself.

But it was too late. He was already standing by the doorway, and I was crouched on the floor, still wiping away.

You know how some people use the term, "deer caught in the headlights?" That was me.

Photo via caffeinecrew

"I know, ang dami! I'm cleaning up na!" I told Dada before he could mutter a word.

But all he could say was, "Grabe."

He tiptoed around my pile as he grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt from his side of the closet, and left without saying anything else.

"Oh wow, that was easy", I thought.

Dada again appeared on the doorway, carrying Tepper. They stopped right there, looking down on me - still crouched on the floor, packing shoes in their boxes.

"Look at Mommy." Dada said to Tepper. They both watched me silently, and all that I could blurt out was...

"Don't judge me. Don't judge me. Don't judge meeee!"

Then Tepper smiled.

Hay these boys.

Thankfully, not a word was spoken ever again about my shoe situation.

Until Berry arrived from school and walked in on me.

"What a mess, Mom!" she said.

"That's why I'm cleaning up.", I replied. And to make her leave and not bug me I said, "Come help me clean!" And she turned away, hahaha.

Fast forward to dinner time and Dada was asking me why I wasn't getting the kikiam I bought from Mi Casa/Angel's Kitchen.

"I'm just waiting for all of you to get. Kuha ako when you're all done getting." I said.

"Wow, martyr!" he said.

Then added, "Hindi bagay!", chuckling happily at his own hirit.

I explained, "Ganyan talaga mommies no, last na ako, para you can eat all the kikiam you want."

Dada turned silent for a moment, seemingly mulling at my statement.

Then he said, "May martyr ba na ganyan kadaming sapatos?"

Dada looked at Berry, and they both laughed.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Afternoon Bites with Braun + Severin

You know you've turned into that stereotypical domesticated mom when a kitchen gadgets company invites you to merienda and you get super excited about it.

Because that's exactly what happened when my mommy friends and I were invited by our friend Mish Aventajado to Afternoon Bites with Braun and Severin - a kitchen demo/gathering hosted by the two German brands brought in by Alabang-based local distributor, Colombo Merchant Phils., Inc.

Yes, there were bites, lots of it in fact, all made with the help of Braun and Severin kitchen appliances...

But the reason we all hightailed to Serendra that afternoon was to see if there were any newfangled contraptions we ought to add to our kitchen. Did we find any? Yesireeee!

Exhibit A: panini press by Severin

Exhibit B: crepe maker by Severin

Mish shares she has a friend who has a crepe station set up every morning at home and her kids get to have crepe for breakfast every single day, if they wanted to. Now, that's what childhood dreams are made of.

Didi discovers that crepe isn't really hard to make, it just takes practice and a bit of technique

Exhibit C: waffle maker

And not just some common fluffy waffle maker that makes the kind of waffles you can get out of IHOP or Pancake House. We're talking waffle cone levels! 

As in, "My mom makes our waffle cones from scratch." bragging rights.

After the demos, we got to chat with Mr. Colombo himself, founder of Colombo Merchant Phils, Inc. who shared how they first started with the exclusive domestic distribution of small kitchen appliances and personal care products of the German brand, Braun. By 2011, they added two more German brands: Severin and Minox. In 2014, German health and wellness brand, Beurer was added to the roster.

We were then sent home with our toy of choice! I chose this electric kettle from Braun's Sommelier line. I've been looking for an all metal electric kettle for Dada, and found the perfect one for him.

Sommelier is Braun's premium line, and true enough, the kettle I got is so well-made and of such good quality, it is definitely a far cry from the ones I would commonly see in most department stores and appliance centers.

 toaster, drip coffee maker and an electric kettle from the Braun Sommelier line 

More interesting kitchen gadgets include Severin's mini crepe maker...

And this steamer.

Now if only it were that easy to have a kitchen that would fit all the gadgets and home stuff I want!

Braun, Severin, as well as Minox and Beurer are available at Rustan's, S&R, Anson's, SM Appliance, Abenson, Gourdo's, Living well, Santis and Duty Free.

For more information on the above brands, visit the Colombo Merchant Philippines website  and follow Colombo Merchant Philippines on Facebook, and @colombophils on  Instagram.

For servicing Braun and Severin appliances, contact the Service Center at:

CMP Incorporated 
Mezzanine 1, South Center Tower
2206 Venture St., 
Madrigal Business Park 
Alabang, Muntinlupa City 
Monday – Friday 9:00 – 6:00 PM 
Phone: (02) 809-3441 
Fax: (02) 809-3440
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