Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quirks & YOU can help Japan

Quirks Marketing Philipipines is donating to World Vision Philippines in helping Japan.  How? Just "Like" their page.  Quirks will be donating the equivalent amount (of Likes) to World Vision Philippines' Relief Program for Japan by June 1, 2011.  So, go on and click "Like" and help spread the word.

And while you're at it, might as well check out World Vision to find out how you can help :D

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Berry Good!

Red mango's latest offering is Blueberry Frozen Yogurt that's made with 100% real blueberries for that delectable and absolutely heavenly yogurt treat.  Known for its powerful antioxidant properties, red mango's non-fat frozen yogurt version is truly delightful desert.
RM Falling Blueberry 3x2

I can't wait to try their Berry Nutty Bliss that comes with fresh strawberries and rich, premium cheesecake by Karen's Kitchen, topped with Walnuts for that cheesecake experience.
redmango berry

*red mango’s non-fat blueberry frozen yogurt contains no preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors, and is made with 100% all-natural ingredients including real blueberry fruit.  Available in Blueberry and Blueberry Swirl.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Shoes and a New Friend :D

I am such a "color" person.  You'll hardly see me wearing black unless required, or when I feel I need to hide some flabs ;)  So, when I saw Virtual Mae's latest Color Splash shoe collection in facebook, I just had to have them!  

Isn't this Versace-esque just futuristically sexy and fun?

An exchange of FB messages, SMS and e-mails followed; with me sending questions for a feature on her fabulous shoes in my Manila Bulletin column.  Below is my article that came out last Saturday :)

The Smartest Steps
A winning online formula, plus fabulous shoes

MAE SERGIO, a DLSU graduate at the tender age of 18, inadvertently got into the shoe business. "Little did I know that my brief vacation abroad with my mom was going to be the start of a new-found career," she recounts. "I posted my new purchases to show off to friends. Then, they offered (or let me rephrase that, they begged) to buy them. Only those with the same shoe size as mine were lucky. Then, upon announcement of my next vacation, orders from friends started pouring in."
Virtual Mae 2

Such became the business model of sorts for VIRTUAL MAE, her online shoe store, which started out with a Multiply site in August 2009 and has become the shoe source for a good number of fashionistas quite taken by her fabulously appealing statement footwear. The site has become so popular and credible that it has garnered a "Trusted Business" status from the popular online commerce platform.

Her success is a combination of aesthetic acuity, resourcefulness and online business savvy. Through her many travels conducted as part of running a fashion boutique, she has accumulated a network of creative and dependable suppliers overseas, who collaborate with her in coming up with shoe designs. Images of prototypes are then posted on the Multiply website for one to two months for potential customers to place orders. Only when orders are placed, with a 50% downpayment, will the pair of shoes go into production. ( "A few extra pairs are manufactured for spot buyers," adds Sergio.)

VIRTUAL MAE has been in the shoe business for more than a year and a half and has proven its worth amidst so many competing online retail stores. Sergio credits her success to, among other things, "an unquenchable enthusiasm and industry in everything I endeavor." "In concrete terms, these include sheer business-sense, innovation, variety, high quality of products, fashion-forward designs, reasonable prices, an order-lite system, service plus: beyond customer expectations." "These make up for a proven formula," she adds.

The Multiply site has also been very supportive of Sergio's new-found venture. She adds, "Online shopping puts customers at a high risk of fraud, given the lack of ability to inspect the items before they can purchase it. A "Trusted Business" status on Multiply guarantees that, aside from having complete and legitimate documents, the company has a solid and verifiable track record as a leading seller. It is a 'quality seal' of sorts. It implies a stronger ground for buyer's assurance; connotes a merchant's confidence and trustful commitment to serve and deliver. It has actually encouraged my market to purchase freely without much wavering. I am extremely grateful to David Hersh,'s vice president for business development, for this honor. I had the privilege of meeting him personally last year, as he discussed special features in the works to make the Multiply Marketplace a better platform for businesses like mine."

Says Jack Madrid, Multiply's Philippines country manager: "VIRTUAL MAE is one of the entrepreneurial success stories that define what Multiply's mission is in the Philippines, helping Filipinos build online businesses. Virtual Mae is a birlliant example of that."

Advertising in all forms helped create wonders for Sergio as well, with customers sharing their latest shoe purchases from VIRTUAL MAE by word-of-mouth or through cyberspace. Stylish personalities such as Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez, Rocio Olbes, Mai Kaufman, Ornusa Cadness and Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, and fashion bloggers such as Tin Iglesias are loyal customers of Virtual Mae.

My experience was really fun! One of my bestfriends MIKA LAGDAMEO knew I was looking for the perfect pair of black wedge boots for my fall trip to Italy. I was really specific with what I wanted.  I searched everywhere and still couldn't find that "perfect pair."  That was when Mika stepped in and insisted I go with her to Mae's house. And what do you know? I found exactly what I was looking for almost instantly.—Rocio Olbes

I absolutely love VIRTUAL MAE! The selection of shoes are so much more stylish and up to date as compared to others and customer assistance is outstanding!  Website easy to navigate and the speedy deliveries are a pleasure!  Shopping online has never been this easy.  Thank you MAE SERGIO for your good taste and excellent service! =)—Mai Kaufman

And why wouldn't they be? Sergio's shoe collection is on-trend: "VIRTUAL MAE styles are "high fashion," of imported genuine materials and complex construction; with more colors and/or interesting details, in platforms, wedges, stilettos or architectural heels, (Inspiration: Nicholas Kirkwood), or pump stilettos or pin-ups that are suitable for work and evenings without the overt sexiness (Inspiration: Salvatore Ferragamo) or classy and evening-appropriate peep-toes with crystal-studded heels that remind me of styles from Stuart Weitzman. Constant research, fashion trade publications and travels abroad help keep me up to speed."

For its latest collection, VIRTUAL MAE offers an explosion of bright-hued power soles Sergio dubbed as the COLOR SPLASH series. "This was actually inspired by the movie "Sin City, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same title. Here, they used a technique similar to what they use in a software application called "Color Splash," converting photos to black and white while letting you leave behind colors in some detail, thus adding a dramatic pop to it--the same type of attention I want drawn into the shoe designs. They're whimsical, fanciful and unpredictable," explains Sergio.
933 front

When asked what she'd be if she were a shoe, her answer is as interesting as her shoe collection:

Hmmm... Let me rephrase that.  If I were a type of footwear, I'd be BOOTS!  High-heeled ones!  Why?  Because they're HOT! Hahaha..

Seriously though, boots, particularly those worn as protective footwear by workers (work boots) have a reputation for being as hard-wearing as their owners, hence the commonly used simile "tough as old boots."
To "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" means to sustain oneself without external help.  I dip my hands into the dirty work, and by myself as much as possible.

Wearing "seven-league boots" references a classic children's fairy tale and indicates that a person or company can cover great distances, figuratively or literally, in a single stride...which is exactly my approach.  Furthermore, I am a risk-taker.  My actions are guided not so much by reason but by intuition.

Boots have become my "proper shoes."  I don't follow norms, and I could wear heeled boots even during the summer season (Talk about HOT, literally!)  So I guess in this respect you can call me deviant, haha!  Designer Henry Lawson leaped to fame after being spotted in a newspaper wearing boots. Referring to them as 'Proper Shoes', this led to him being 'booted out' of the cool footwear elite of the late nought-ies.

Why high heels in particular? ...because I "walk tall, aim high"...wink, wink!  

Being in heeled boots is a total, wholesome experience!   It "soars" spirits to "greater heights!"  Who knows what the future holds, but equipped with stylish heeled boots, I am confident I can cope with anything.

"Elevate"...rule the world!

Visit to checkout more styles. I suggest you stop thinking about what to order and just follow your heart.  By the time I confirmed my orders, most of them have already been sold out :o  Manufacturing and shipping will take about 6-8 weeks.  I know, it's a bit long, but I'm sure I will be swept away when I see MY shoes by May ;)

Good luck and happy shopping :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beauty Discounts

Hey, my dear readers!

I got an e-mail from Strawberrynet last week regarding a special discount for our readers here.  It's an online site that sells beauty products at discounted price.  The prices are pretty okay, but you'll get 50% off when you use this discount code that they gave me: SNETBR-033883.

This code is good for one-time use only and will expire on Monday, March 28.

I haven't had the chance to order from them, since I still have a lot of beauty products in my "cupboard."  So, if anyone of you would like to try and grab this opportunity, do let me know and I will send an e-mail back to the Strawberrynet girls regarding your orders.  This way, I can assist you and make sure your order gets to you.  Let me know also if you have any good or bad shopping experiences with them.

Happy shopping! :D

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sakura Blossoms

Watsons launched another homegrown brand last month—Sakurabella.  I love the scent of these flowers, as they are fresh, light and powdery.  Although I was late for the launch—I have a regular job, I was still able to catch up with some ol' friends that afternoon at SM Makati.

Lee Shen Gee of shen's addiction

The host, Bianca Valero

Love her ring! She bought it in Mongkok for only P800—FTW!

The lady behind Sakurabelle, Denise Congco

Watsons Marketing Head, Vicky Encarnacion
with Au Lim, F21 Marketing Coordinator

Kate Torralba

Tracy Dizon who makes the cutest pillbox hats

Au and taking a shot together :D
F21 Marketing's Dynamic Duo haha...

Don't you just love these flowers?

Another setup that we love :D

Presenting the products: Shower Gel,  Scrub and Lotion

They also come in travel packs. Sweet!

Speaking of Sakura flowers, I sure hope and pray that Japan is on its way to recovery.
I know this will sound like a Ms. Universe answer, but I am praying for world peace and a calamity-free world :)  Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Four Play

The formal launch of the four Ralph Lauren Big Pony scents was held at the one and only Art of Scent store in Resorts World.  I like the fact that the store has coffee beans for you to smell in between testing scents.

Anyways, to the perfumes—four were released with a brand ambassador representing each bottle.

RL Big Pony 1, the fragrance that embodies the game of sport and addresses the challenge of performance was represented by Rovilson Fernandez, a well-known health buff who was also part of the Amazing Race Asia Season 1.


RL Big Pony 2, the scent that brings men into the game of seduction conquering love and affection was represented by Brazilian-Japanese model-actor Daniel Matsunga; a perfect match with his chiseled body and sultry stare that could melt hearts of thousands.


RL Big Pony 3, fit for the game of adventure and the challenge of the outdoors was embodied by the adventurous Rich Herrera, winner of this season’s Amazing Race Asia.


RL Big Pony 4, representing youthful style and sophistication, was personified by the trendy and fashionable Mike Concepcion, owner of modern yet socially conscious clothing boutique Greater Good.


Colorful alcoholic beverages were served while we waited for the unveiling:

The very beautiful Megan Young opened the "show":

And if you're curious about the people I bumped into, here they are:

Photographer Daniel Tan

Lancome's Sheena Dy and Shu Uemura's Nina Solano

Stylebible's Renee Puno

Pia Campos, Mari Litonjua, and Jasmine Smith

Daryl Chang

I couldn't resist having a photo taken with our rings ;) Mine being from Forever 21, of course ;)

Shoe designer Andre Chang

Look at the back detail of his hair—wow!

Nuffnang's Country Manager Carlos Palma

Mega Group's Creative Director Suki Salvador

Stylebible and Sparkling's Eunice Lucero and Garage's Rey Ilagan

U-Boat's Jason Soong

Eventscape's Stephen Ku, who's company just celebrated their 15th year anniversary. Congratulations :D

An after-party featuring LMFAO was held at Republiq

On my way there, I bumped into JM Rodriguez


Here are the rest of the peeps I saw at Republiq:
Alyanna Martinez

Kiehl's Lenny Tiongson

Garage's Adrian Concepcion

What I wore:
Forever 21 top with shoulder detail, blue leather mini, Stella Luna booties and Fendi bag

Thanks to Keri Zamora for being my date that night ;)


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