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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Shopping in Manila 2013

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"Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight"

I love this movie Meet Me at St Louis which stars Judy Garland and of course this
is where the popular Christmas Song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
came from.

For the past months, my life has been a blur and I badly needed a break. I didn't have plans to travel towards the end of the year but a perfect opportunity came and I was able to go to Manila and have some holiday shopping. Actually, the initial plan was just for me to get to see beautiful Christmas decors and window shop since I have completed my Christmas shopping earlier and I was planning to set aside some cash for savings but then I just felt the real need to jump into a plane, shop and give myself a break.

We took the 6 am flight out of Davao via Philippine Airlines. We did get to ride the big airplane an
airbus A340 but it was this Boeing 737 that caught my eye at NAIA-hopefully I'd get to fly
in this one again.

In Manila, I just planned to go to Greenhills, Shangrila Ortigas, Greenbelt and Rockwell. My mom suggested that we can go to MOA and Resorts World but I opted not to go to those places. I mean I have lived in Manila years ago and the holiday rush is just too toxic. You have to get in very long lines to get a taxi and it always seemed like there was a shortage of taxi cabs. Malls are crowded with shoppers especially MOA, you can't even walk at your usual pace. My friends shopped at SM North Edsa and Trinoma when I was living there and they ended up walking from SM North Edsa to UP Bliss in Quezon Avenue because they can't get any taxi and worst, the MRT is just too crowded that you can't even climb the stairs as hordes of people wait to get into the train.

My favorite: Stir-fried Tofu with Brocolli

It  became somewhat a tradition to eat at North Park every time we go to Manila.

As I expected, I shopped till I dropped. I had fever the whole time I was there but I had to make the most out of the trip.  I wanted to buy cheap stuff there. If you're the type of person who easily gets dizzy in an over crowded place- I think Greenhills is better than Divisoria. Last time I went to Divisoria, the prices were almost the same or equal to those being sold at Greenhills. We had to go there in the morning and planned to leave in the afternoon but instead decided to leave later at 2pm but due to the long taxi queue we were able to leave the place at 2:45.

We went to Glorietta in Makati and then Greenbelt. I was searching for a converse or vans sneakers. I wanted something unique-something you couldn't buy at stores here in Davao. I was planning to buy the Hello Kitty vans with the red ribbon but all that's left are sizes too big for me. We went to the Shoe Salon and there I got torn between Taylor Swift's keds and a glittery black vans sneakers. In the end I decided to go with the glittery black sneakers as the keds one makes my feet look big but both are very comfortable.

images from

We dropped by my favorite shoe store Clark's. I bought my first pair of Clark's in 2010. I love those shoes, they are very comfortable even if the heels are 3 inches high. My old workplace was located inside the mall and the mall decided to replace their tiles into slippery ones that one horrible morning I was in a hurry to get to my office, I lost my balance and slid. It happened 2 times already the other instance was inside their toilet. These shoes despite the heels-I have avoided many possible humiliating experiences. Until to this day, I'm still wearing my first pair. From then on, I have bought 3 pairs already. The thing is, this brand is pretty expensive for an average earner. One pair costs PHP7000.00, but I usually buy mine at 50% off. They were having a sale and I fell in love with this. I just love how comfy it was but there was a rip in the strap and I prayed hard that I would find another pair just like it at Shangrila the following day.

Jumpsuit from Kamiseta, bag from Cole Haan
I dunno how my pictures started to light up-must be picasa :-)

It's a good thing we went to Shangrila, not only did I find a new pair of the wedges I wanted but Rustan's Shangrila's Winter Wonderland Theme was so nice-kudos to the person who conceptualized it. I was also happy to see that they have a Miss Selfridges store there. I have wanted to get into one ever since I watched BINTM (Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model) their clothes are just so glamorous but expensive.  They had some items on sale and I was able to snag a lace cover up for 50% off. I was already happy with my purchases. 

In the afternoon we went back to Greenbelt as my mom was looking at bags. We went inside Kate Spade and I found this bag. I wanted the bag so much but it costs Php 22,000-24,0000 (forgot the exact price). The most expensive bag I've ever owned is a large leather Cole Haan  tote bag that I have bought on Ebay for roughly Php8,000 and I don't think my conscience would ever let me sleep if I buy something that expensive. 

My last day in Manila, I spent the day on my own. At first I had I had brunch with my friends at this Korean Restaurant in Jupiter street, Korea Garden. Food was yummy. After that I went to SM Makati and splurged on make-ups. It's a sad thing that 4u2 is going to get pulled out from our local SM. I really like their eye shadows-very pigmented compared to In2it, Nichido and Etude plus it's cheaper. The only thing I hate about their eye shadows is that they easily break but then this can be resolved by just pouring alcohol and pressing it back into it's container. I also bought some Nyx lipstick as gifts. I haven't tried Nyx since I read that it dries the lips and have dry lips but their colors are really pretty that I tried one shade love the shade but it doesn't last compared to that of In2it's matte line.

Later, I moved to Greenbelt and people watched since I'm feeling really sick already. I managed to shop around Manila by taking paracetamol every 4-5 hours. I sat and waited for my Mom to get off their meeting and my sister to get off her work and then we went to Ayala Triangle and saw the light show.

Also one of the stuff that I'd been planning to buy is a headband much like those in this new series Reign. I'm currently into this show. At first I was a bit apprehensive with this show when I read that they were making a period dram about Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland. I've been obsessed with her life ever since I was in 5th Grade (11 years old). I remember that one afternoon while waiting for someone to pick me up, I went to the library (as usual) and randomly checked out this old comic book about Mary Stuart. I just remembered the line "too much blood has been shed for me". I really wanted to go back to that library and look for that comics. I have tried searching for that in the internet. I guess it was taken from a movie or drama series. I saw Katharine Hepburn's movie but it doesn't seem like that's where the comics was based from. Anyhow, I have read various biographies of her life ever since. I have read  Victoria Holt's/Jean Plaidy's version as well. Her life is pretty much intriguing and its end is always a mystery-whether or not she really did plot against her cousin Queen Elizabeth is still a topic in debates.

Out of curiosity I watched the trailer and didn't like it at first but then I read how audience for the show was growing and so I watched the premier and got immediately hooked. I never thought I'd like the lead Adelaide Kane-in the trailer I saw her as mediocre looking but I guess I just saw one scene and judged to soon. In fact, her beauty grows on me. She looks a bit like Anne Hathaway but her features are softer than Anne's IMO. The dresses and headbands are all too die for- its' like Gossip Girl fashion in period drama. I think her style is like Blair Waldorf and Georgina Sparks all rolled into one.

Though I love the show, I wonder how they are gonna progress with the drama. If you know
the real story of Mary Queen of Scots, you know that Francis eventually dies and
that Mary had to return to Scotland. As they add a fictional character named Sebastian
the bastard child of Henry and Diane-I somehow wonder if Torrance Combs would
eventually become Mary's long time partner in the show since the
role of Francis is bound to be short-lived or are they going
to base all the series in one year (the time Mary and Francis were wed IRL)?

Back to the headband, I found some nice ones from Evita Peroni but they are all too expensive. I would possibly shell out for one piece if it's a PHP1000.00 but the cheapest is PHP3000.00- I wanted to cry. I went to Forever21 and I haven't found anything special. I went to Aldo's accessories and found cutes ones like a gold bunny ear and crown ones at PHP400.00+ each but it was just to cutesy to wear to the office. It was a good thing I had my mother convince me to go to Rockwell after dinner even if it's already 8pm (stores closed at 11pm during the holidays) and glad to have discovered this new store, Ever New Melbourne. I was so happy to find one-of-a-kind hair accessories that cost only a fraction from that of Evita Peroni. I only bought one though cause I was thinking I need more money for the next day to buy some additional gifts. I settled on this one which costs Php700.00-expensive for some but actually just enough for something as pretty as this.

Love these headbands from Evita Peroni but they are very expensive for me :-(
These are the styles that I wanted from their shop though.

What I bought from Ever New

Going back home, I was pretty contented and happy with my purchases. Though I was feeling tired and my ear popped during the airplane ride because of my runny nose. I spent an entire afternoon half deaf. Speaking of Gossip Girl, I haven't mentioned that my Xperia broke down. I had to buy a new phone. I wanted Xperia Z but it was so expensive and out of my budget range. I then wanted to buy LG Optimus G Pro but then I read not-so-good reviews about its camera. Then I thought about Lumia since I had a crush on this when I first saw it on Gossip Girl.

Trying to take a selfie with my Lumia Cam. Wearing a shirt I bought
from Greenhills.

Night Shots taken from by Nokia Lumia-all the other shots in this entry are
shot by my Nokia also-well, except for the stock photos.

I found out that it has a great camera as well. So I got the Nokia Lumia 920 in red and I was amazed at its photos especially those taken during night time. The Pure View is awesome. I would have wanted a Nokia Lumia 1020 but it wasn't out yet at that time and the price is really expensive. Nevertheless, I guess I'm contented with my Nokia for its camera and functionality while window's application-well that's a different entry.

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