SM Appliance Center

 

 

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I have written a few times about my dream kitchen. It took 10 years of living in our house before I renovated and got exactly what I wanted. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio, but I was in charge of how it looked and how it happened. I sourced most of the materials and appliances myself.

I started with photo inspirations from magazines and Pinterest. Then I assessed the condition of our old house — kitchen is on the second floor, practically on stilts above the garage. I wanted to maintain the character of the old “Bahay na Bato” but also needed the comforts of a farmhouse style kitchen. I ended up with exposed beams in my ceiling, wooden floor boards, white distressed cabinetry, cast iron sink, pendant lamps, and modern, technologically advanced fixtures and windows.

 

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The defining feature of my kitchen is the enamelled cast iron sink and goose-neck faucet which I had to import from the US from Kohler.

 

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My appliances were the first things I decided on because we had to measure the section where the gas range went. My Samsung fridge is so big we had to place it by its lonesome against one wall.

 

As the months and years went by (the kitchen is almost three years old), I would discover little things I needed – a new toaster oven, coffee machines, a juicer, a new water dispenser. I’m not really gung ho about buying kitchen gadgets because I like to keep my counters clear. I no longer use a microwave for reheating, instead I steam or broil. But there are things we cannot do without — appliances that we need to make our lives simpler.

Our usual first stop is SM Appliance Center for the simple reason that there is one conveniently located in a mall near our village. I like that no matter which branch I go to, I get similar level of service that ends with a convenient paying and efficient delivery system.

Check out the good deals in SM Appliance Center:

MOULINEX PANINI MAKER SANDWICH SM 1568

 

HANABISHI ELECTRIC KETTLE

 

SEVERIN MIXER HM 3822

 

There are 10 different payment methods: SM Gift Card, SODEXHO gift certificates, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, SM e-card, shopping card. AEON, Home Credit, or good old-fashioned cash.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

And because it is SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary, they have a promo giving 25% off for SMAC, BDO and Prestige members, plus a Frequent Shoppers Rewards Card.

 

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The Frequent Shoppers Card gives away shopping credits, Vikings vouchers and staycation to Taal Vista, Park Inn, or Radisson.

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For more information on SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Blowout, visit www.smappliance.com or SM Appliance Facebook.

 

 

Melissa x Jeremy Scott

 

 

Brazilian plastic footwear brand, Melissa, launched its newest collaboration with visionary designer Jeremy Scott.

Together with Melissa, Scott has created two signature styles: an ankle boot and a mule. “I’m so excited to have the chance to collaborate with Melissa! I’m a fan of the fun that they put into footwear and I’m honored to be included in the long line of great fashion designers that they have collaborated with over the past 44 years,” said Scott. “It’s been a joy to watch my ideas become translated by their expert team and to be able to bring to life designs that are not only high fashion, but affordable, too.”

 

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Melissa x Jeremy Scott mule as seen in NYFW

 

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Melissa x Jeremy Scott ankle boot

 

The mule and ankle boot feature a wide spectrum of colors. “Being my first foray into plastic footwear, I wanted to play with the concept of inflatable pool toys,” continued Scott. In addition to the two original designs, the collaboration also includes two pairs of flats, a sandal, and a rain boot for kids. All the styles will have a mock air nozzle to hint at the inflatable pool toy inspiration.

 

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The Melissa x Jeremy Scott collection

 

Scott, creative director of Italian brand Moschino and of his eponymous brand, has been known for his fun, cheeky, and colorful take on fashion. His admiration for pop culture and humor has consistently reflected in his designs, including his collaboration with Melissa. Full of bright colors and pool inspiration, this designer collection offers shoes perfectly apt for the sunny summer season.

Last May 31 at SM Aura Premier, Melissa collaborated with Preview magazine on the launch of the Jeremy Scott collection with Preview Shops Here: Melissa x Jeremy Scott.

 

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Find your favorite Melissa shoes at TriNoma, Glorietta 3, Greenbelt 5, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Aura, Alabang Town Center, Robinsons Magnolia, UP Town Center, Shangri-la Plaza East, Marquee Mall, Centrio Mall, SM Seaside and Ayala Cebu.

For online orders, log on to www.melissaphilippines.com.

 

 

Crepusculo at Antonio’s Tagaytay

 

 

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It has been a while since Patrick and I went out on a Friday night, let a lone a Friday night in Tagaytay. But if there is one person who can drag me all the way there, it would be Tonyboy Escalante, chef and owner of Antonio’s. Tonyboy and his wife Agnes have been our friends since they were just starting to plan Antonio’s. We met through artist Popo San Pascual and Tita Sonya Garcia of Sonya’s Garden many years ago, when Patrick and I were just planning our wedding. Popo did the flowers in my wedding and his mom was my caterer. Tonyboy would tell me stories about his plans for his place. Of course since then Tita Sonya and Tonyboy have grown both their little cottages into restaurant empires and respected brands.

Last Friday May 27th, Tonyboy celebrated his birthday at Antonio’s Tagaytay in collaboration with Hennessy and Porsche. In attendance were his close friends from his hometown in Bacolod, Manila, and Tagaytay. It was like a reunion of sorts for us, the Tagaytay-Alfonso people. Yes, one day I will live there too. I hope.

Happy birthday, Chef Tonyboy! We are so proud of all you have achieved. Thank you for your friendship and generous spirit. More blessings to you and Agnes!

 

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Raclette station

 

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Raclette with french fries, marbled potato, gerkins, cocktail onions, chili flakes and paprika

 

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A staple at any Antonio’s event – Steak Tartare

 

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Beef Skewers

 

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Oyster station

 

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Prawn skewers spiced with lemongrass

 

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Burger Sandwiches with bbq sauce and caramelized onions

 

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Arugula lemon drop

 

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Manolet Escudero, Agnes Escalante, Baba Escudero, and Paul Henares

 

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Isabel Lozano, Eric Diaz, Tonyboy, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Wataru Sakuma, and friends.

 

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Popo San Pascual, Tonyboy, Tita Sonya

 

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Louie Ysmael, Claudine Trillo, Ian Dy

 

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Patrick and I with Tita Sonya

 

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Steve Mago and Pia Guanio

 

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Edu Manzano, me, Tonyboy, Maui Obrero, Timmy Obrero, Jun Obrero

 

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With Franco Tommasi of Villa Girardi wines

 

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Agnes Hechanova Escalante and Mitchie Yulo

 

For more info on Antonio’s visit www.antoniosrestaurant.ph

 

 

Shanghai Giveaway

 

 

It has been four years since Patrick and I took that wonderful trip to Shanghai. I dug up some old photos, and sigh, wow, Shanghai is really beautiful. We went during the winter/spring of 2012. We explored Shanghai French Concession, the Bund, the gentrified Tianzifang, our beautiful hotel Waldorf Astoria, the skyscrapers of Pudong, saw a friend who lives there, ate lots of yummy dumplings, and spent an afternoon in the urban planning museum. Shanghai is really a wonderful mix of east and west, old and new.

I’d really love to go back to Shanghai and perhaps bring our kids next time. In a few days on June 16th, the $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney Resort will open. It is Disney’s third theme park resort in Asia, after Tokyo and Hong Kong, located in Shanghai’s bustling Pudong district, home to some of Shanghai’s landmark skyscrapers.

Last week I attended the launch of Air Asia’s newest destination, Shanghai. The launch was held at Niu by Vikings. Air Asia, now my site partner, is the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for seven consecutive years. Starting June 10, 2016, Air Asia offers direct flights from Manila to Shanghai with an all-in promotional fare starting from as low as P2,888 booking at www.airasia.com now until June 12, 2016. Guests who avail of this promo must travel from June 10, 2016 to October 29, 2016. You may also have this promo via their mobile site.

Here are some of the highlights of our last trip to Shanghai. It is such a chic destination. I really loved our week in Shanghai. And now with Disneyland, it is more family-friendly. Can’t wait to bring the kids soon.

Scroll down to see how you can win one round-trip ticket to Shanghai (from Manila) with Air Asia.

 

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The view of Pudong from our hotel suite at the Waldorf Astoria.

 

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Nanjing Road

 

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The city’s most recognisable landmark is the Oriental Pearl Tower. We didn’t go up anymore, but we went up close. Patrick doesn’t like crowded, touristy places. So in lieu of sightseeing at the Oriental Pearl, we went up to several rooftop bars in some of Shanghai’s tallest skyscrapers.

 

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In one of the traditional market areas. East-meets-west, truly.

 

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In Pudong.

 

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At Flair, Ritz-Carlton.

 

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Blooming jasmine tea

 

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Self-confessed urban planning nerd. I spent a few hours in the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum.

 

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French Concession

 

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View of The Bund from Pudong.

 

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View of Pudong skyscrapers from Flair, the bar at the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton.

 

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Cloud 9 at the Grand Hyatt at Jin Mao in Pudong. When it was built in 1998 it was the tallest building in China. I find this building really elegant with all it’s lines. The exterior curtain wall is made of glass, stainless steel, aluminium, and granite.

 

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But by 2007, Jin Mao was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center right beside it – the one with the blue lines.

 

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The Bund, all lit up at night.

 

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Street food.

 

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Our fancy dinner at Jean Georges in one of the buildings at The Bund.

 

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The glamorous bathroom of our suite in Waldorf Astoria.

 

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Xiao Long Bao in Din Tai Fung.

 

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Shopping and dining areas in Xintiandi.

 

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We loved Tianzifang because unlike Xintiandi, it had more local colour — lots of hipster shops, vintage finds, designer studios, quaint restaurants.

 

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A shop in Tianzifang.

 

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Beautiful sycamore trees at Xintiandi.

 

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Monumental commercial buildings in the Beaux Arts style that date back to the 20th century, when the Bund was developed into a major financial center of east Asia.

 

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At the lobby of our hotel, Waldorf Astoria.

 

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Butter with the most perfect font!

 

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A fishing village about an hour away from Shanghai.

 

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It was a lovely contrast, seeing this traditional fishing village in the rural part of the outskirts of Shanghai.

 

My Air Asia Giveaway –

You can win – One roundtrip ticket Manila-Shanghai-Manila. Valid travel period is from June 10 to July 1, 2016.

All you have to do –

1. Upload any of your photos in Instagram. Tell me why you want to go to Shanghai. Tag 5 friends and my IG account @DaphneOP. Use hashtag #WhereinShanghai, #AirAsiainShanghai #DaphneOP

2. I will choose the winner based on your answer, so make it interesting. Winner will be notified by IG direct message.

3. This giveaway runs from now June 6, 2016 to June 9, 2016 5pm. Winner will be announced on June 9th before 7pm Manila time.

4. Winner is responsible for processing his/her own Chinese visa. See requirements below. By joining this contest, I assume you have a valid passport and are able to apply for a Chinese visa.

 

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Andrea Bocelli

 

 

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A couple of weeks have passed since Andrea Bocelli’s concert in Manila and I am still listening to his double CD-DVD album Cinema while working. It was a magical night at the Mall of Asia Arena last April 26 where for once in a very long time, I enjoyed a concert without the glow of LED lights from cellphones and cameras blinding my eyes. Video and photos were not allowed. Just as well, I got to relish Bocelli’s every last note with his voice so clean and crisp. For a good two hours, the entire arena was silenced and focused on the voice of the 57-year old tenor, Andrea Bocelli. He was accompanied by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and Ateneo Chamber Orchestra conducted by Carlo Bernini.

The concert was divided into two parts. The first was composed of Italian arias, with “La Dona e Mobile” from Rigoletto being the most well-known song in the set. In the 12 years since I last saw him perform in Manila, Bocelli appeared older now but very distinguished with his silver hair and lean physique. His duet with soprano Maria Katzarava of Verdi’s Libiamo ne` lieti calici was a delight.

 

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The second set focused on his current album, Cinema, which features Oscar-winning scores from movies like Doctor Zhivago, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Evita, Cinema Paradiso and more. The second part opened with a more familiar “Maria” from “West Side Story”. I loved seeing movie clips from The Godfather as Bocelli sang “Brucia la terra”. I was so taken by Italian flutist Andrea Griminelli’s rendition of “Gabriel’s oboe” from “The Mission”. A big surprise was the evening’s pop guest, Christine Allado, a Filipina performer in London’s West End. She won the audience’s heart with that cute duet “Cheek to Cheek” with Bocelli which they finished off with an actual cheek to cheek gesture. The “Canto della terra” duet with Allado was very powerful that even Bocelli seemed overwhelmed, he literally swept Allado off her feet.

I sat through the performances with that silly look with a half-smile and my eyes nearly tearing up. That’s how I felt while watching him – happy and in love. I was taken away from the realities of life — no negativity from Facebook, no election-related talk, no deadlines, just beautiful music . As wonderful as those two hours were, I couldn’t wait for the concert to end because I knew I was going to meet Andrea Bocelli backstage.

 

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With Ricky Ilacad (CEO, MCA MUSIC), MJ Juco (Strategic Marketing Manager, MCA MUSIC), and Archie Gormley (Director for Strategic Marketing in Asia, Universal Music Group).

 

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My date.

 

My invitation to meet Mr Bocelli came from MCA Music’s MJ Juco. She told me I would be given some time to meet him either before or after the concert. She also facilitated my interview with Mr Bocelli. As for my husband and my tickets in the Lower Box, we bought them regular priced online.

After the show, I was whisked backstage. I waited outside Mr Bocelli’s dressing room while the MCA Music execs presented him with a combined 10X PLATINUM AWARD. This was in recognition for the outstanding sales performance of his brand new album “Cinema” and various catalogues, selling over 150,000 units in physical and digital formats in the Philippines.

After the record company did their plaque presentation, I entered the dressing room by myself. I expected an empty ante-room or reception lounge before seeing Mr Bocelli but when the door opened, he was actually standing a few metres away. I was very surprised. I just wanted to keep my eyes on him. I was greeted by a very beautiful and friendly woman, Veronica Berti, Bocelli’s wife and manager. She introduced me to Mr Bocelli and asked me about my blog, daphne.ph. Then she led me to my position beside Mr Bocelli while the official photographer took the shots. It happened quite fast. And it may have been a language issue, but no one told me it was over. So I said, “Thank you.” And Veronica asked me if I liked the concert, to which I answered in superlatives. Mr Bocelli smiled. I looked into his eyes, knowing he couldn’t see me and thanked him for touching my soul.

 

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Here is my interview with Andrea Bocelli —

 

Your new album “CINEMA” features a collection of songs from some of the greatest movies. What is your favorite movie/story? Why?

In my youth, I was very fond of musicals with Frank Sinatra. As a child, I was fascinated by the heroes that my parents liked, for instance, the couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Although for a long time, I happened to listen, appreciate and sing some songs, without even knowing that they were taken from famous films. As I have already had the opportunity to point out, if movies are a ‘dream factory’, the music that supports them often keeps and concentrates in itself all their magic and sentimental vitality. I am really pleased I have achieved this musical project that I have had in my heart for many years: finally I have selected and “fixed” the songs linked to cinema that I love most, that have marked my life, that have made me grow, have moved and amused me. In this album, I have tried to concentrate the best of best.

Is there a difference between songs that are created specifically to score a movie and those that are released on its own?

I think that the scores conceived for films in many cases are a step ahead: they are potentially freer, more creative, being not necessarily subject to the schemes neither of classic songs, nor to a topic necessarily referring to love. Thus we are speaking of “utility music”, because it gives a sound to images, but it can also represent an exciting challenge for composers and turn, sometimes, into masterpieces, into songs that live independently and, that as in the pages I propose, go beyond all generational barriers, becoming real immortal classics.

The films which are represented in your album “CINEMA” are from different times and places. If you could choose a certain time and place to live in, what would it be? Why?

I must say that I am pleased with the historical period I am living, and I am particularly happy I was born in Italy. Anyway playing along with the question, I must say that I am particularly fascinated by the extraordinary period featuring the last decade of the nineteenth century, when Giuseppe Verdi was still alive, and Puccini was writing his first masterpieces along with his fellow composers like Pietro Mascagni and Umberto Giordano.

What goes through your mind when you are singing?

I try to be concentrated, to live fully what I am proposing, in order to succeed in making the listener share the great emotions that every repertoire, when valuable, can convey. When I sing, I always try to have a direct relation with each individual listener, hoping to convey positive emotions. In fact, when I am on stage, my desire, my goal is to be able to enter the hearts of those who are listening.

What are your pre-performance rituals?

Before a show, I have no good luck rituals, nor superstitious routines, and I do not pursue any particular escamotage to maintain self-control. I try to spend my time in isolation, trying to maintain the maximum concentration, and I observe when possible, strict silence in the twenty four hours preceding the concert. No need to say how happy I am, when I have the possibility to have next to me my wife first, in the dressing room and then with the audience (something that happens almost always, because Veronica, besides being the woman of my life, also takes care of my management) and my beloved children. A few hours before the show, I have to provide for my body a sufficient amount of energy necessary for the effort on stage such as proteins, sugar, but also carbohydrates (I prefer rice with oil). A bottle of mineral water must always be at hand.

 

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I was at your last concert in Manila about 12 years ago and the experience of hearing and watching you live is forever etched in my memory and heart. What were your fondest memories about that trip to the Philippines?

I have fond memories of my first trip to the Philippines. It was a very intense and positive experience. The warmth of the Filipino audience really struck me and I received moving demonstrations of love. This is one more reason to be excited at the idea to be back in Manila again, trying to give my best on stage.

Your philanthropic efforts (focusing on poverty alleviation, disability and social exclusion) are so noteworthy and noble. What role do you see art and music playing in making a difference in our current world?

Let me say, first of all, that at the base of the creation of the foundation bearing my name, there is this consideration: Life is like a great banquet where we are all well if there is a bare minimum for everyone. But if, for whatever reason, there is someone who is not well, the banquet will fail. For this reason, I am convinced that solidarity is not only a moral duty, but an act of intelligence. I believe that goodness is the only viable path for the whole of humanity. As for art, I think that it can educate us to beauty; it can open our hearts and minds. Music is the voice of the soul, it moves on paths that penetrate the most intimate spheres of our psyche, without being affected by any conditioning. I think that good music carries a strong message of peace and brotherhood.

Very often, I mention in this regard, Cato Uticensis a politician and intellectual of Ancient Rome, who suggested the rulers of the time to prevent soldiers from listening to music, because in his opinion this art was likely to soften their mood, thus making the warriors unable to fight! Artists, I believe, should be fully aware of the great importance they play in society because art and culture improves the development and peace in the world.

 

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Read my Inquirer article here.