Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Birchbox

This month's Birchbox items didn't come inside their signature boxes, but instead, they included a little envelope clutch!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November Birchbox

Monday, October 19, 2015

October Birchbox

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Les Catacombes

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lost on a Sunday

After a couple of days in Paris, I felt like it was about time to go and get some groceries so I ventured out to the city.

View from the inside of M6 going to Passy

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Room in Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris

Maison du Portugal - André de Gouveia
Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Plaza Premium Lounge

Landing in Hong Kong on my way to Paris and dreading my 10 hour layover, I decided to book a private resting area at the Plaza Premium Lounge.

Here are some photos 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ayala Land takes control of Divisoria’s Tutuban mall

August 14, 2015

Property giant Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) is investing P5.6 billion to acquire a majority stake in Prime Orion Philippines, Inc. which owns the Tutuban shopping complex in the bargain haven of Divisoria.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ALI said it entered into an agreement with POPI to subscribe to 2.5 billion POPI common shares of stock for a 51.36 percent interest in POPI, subject to certain terms and conditions.

POPI is listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange and is the owner of Tutuban Center in Manila City through its wholly owned subsidiary Tutuban Properties, Inc.

Tutuban Center is a retail complex in the shopping district of Divisoria in Tondo, Manila. It has a gross leasable area of about 60,000 square meters, offering various concepts from wholesale and bargain stalls, to regular retail and food outlets.

“This acquisition is aligned with ALI’s thrust of expanding its leasing business,” ALI said.
With the entry of ALI, POPI said it “will be able to benefit from the expertise and resources of ALI and optimize the development of its property assets, especially Tutuban Center.”
Tutuban Center, which sits on a 20-hectare property, will be the location of the North South Railway Project Transfer Station which will interconnect with the LRT 2 West Station.
POPI, through Tutuban Properties Inc., is currently continuing a program to expand, redevelop and rebrand its iconic Tutuban Center so that it can widen its consumer base from the traditional bargain hunters.

The shopping complex welcomed its new tenants which includes retailers from the food and fashion industries with the opening of TC Shopping Plaza which hosts a wide variety of products — from accessories, novelty items, apparels, and food stalls.

This recent development and tenant acquisition is part of the shopping district’s aggressive redevelopment and rebranding plans. Part of Tutuban Center’s efforts this year is to expand its target market and reach out to a wide range of tenants including traders.

For the rebranding, Tutuban will be transformed into a one stop shop for every kind of shopper. The plan is to utilize the property’s huge area to cater to different segments of the market.

The Centermall, for example, is being positioned as the lifestyle center while soon to be developed buildings will be for retailers and wholesalers.

Known for having heavy foot traffic, Tutuban Center is within convenient access to tenants and shoppers coming from Mayhaligue (PNR riders), Recto (LRT and North commuters), Tondo, Tabora, and Ilaya.

Meanwhile, The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has also pinpointed Tutuban Center to serve as the transfer station for the planned P171-billion North-South rail project. The west extension of Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) in Recto will also be close to the vicinity of the shopping complex.

Surprise Despedida Lunch

Surprise despedida lunch with Team Concepcion 😭

At Bistro88
City Sports Club Cebu

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ayala Land wins ITS South auction

August 11, 2015

PROPERTY developer Ayala Land Inc. topped the auction for the P4-billion contract to build and operate an intermodal terminal near the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) Complex in Taguig City.

Tuesday’s opening of bids for the multibillion-peso Integrated Transport System (ITS) South Public-Private Partnership deal saw Ayala Land seeking an annual payment of P277.89 million. This is significantly lower than Filinvest Land Inc.’s bid that sought a P1-billion yearly subsidy to build and operate the facility.

Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo M. Lotilla said his camp is still happy with the turnout of the bidding, despite the parties seeking annual grantor’s payment, instead of offering premiums, as in other auctions.

“The government welcomes the lowest bidder, because that is the amount that will be paid by the state. I think we have a good deal with the amount that they are charging,” he said after the auction activities.

It did not come as a surprise, however, as the first auction for this kind of project was also met with such  participation. Megawide Construction Corp. bagged the P2.5-billion ITS Southwest Terminal deal earlier this year, seeking an annual grantor’s payment of P100 million.

“It depends on their projections. Remember that under the terms, they are supposed to provide certain number of slots. If they have other enhancements in mind, it is possible that their project cost is higher,” Lotilla explained, referring to the design of the terminal.
The winning bidder will take care of the design, construction and operations, and maintenance of the terminal for a concession period of 35 years.

The multibillion-peso project covers the construction of a terminal within a 4.7-hectare lot on the FTI compound in Taguig. It will connect passengers coming from the South, specifically the Batangas and Laguna areas, to other public-utility vehicles that are serving inner Metro Manila.

Schengen Embassies in the Philippines

For your reference, here are the Schengen Schengen States with Embassies and Consulates in the Philippines

Austria (plus Lithuania)
4/F Prince Building, 117 Rada Street 
Legaspi Village, Makati City 
Tel. No. (02) 8179191/8174992; Fax. No. (02) 8134238 

Belgium (plus Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovenia)
6/F Don Jacinto Building, De la Rosa cor. Salcedo Streets
Legaspi Village, Makati City 
Tel. No. (02) 8451869/72; Fax No. (02) 8452076 

Czech Republic
Rufino Pacific Tower 
6784 Ayala Avenue, Makati City 
Tel. No. (02) 8111155; Fax No. (02) 8111020 

Finland (plus Estonia)
21/F Far East Bank Center 
Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City 
Tel. No. (02) 8915011/15; Fax No. (02) 8914107 

16/F Pacific Star Building
Makati Ave. cor. Sen Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City 
Tel. No. (02) 8576900; Fax No. (02) 8576951 

Monday, August 10, 2015

3 big land firms hold P6.7-B payment for Cebu property

Taken from this article on Inquirer.

CEBU CITY—Three big land developers called off the scheduled down payment of P6.7 billion for a 45-hectare property inside the South Road Properties (SRP) after questions were raised on the validity of the lot disposal.

Representatives of the consortium composed of Ayala Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc., and Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) informed city officials on Thursday night that they were canceling the turnover of the down payment on Friday morning at City Hall.

After the turnover, the consortium and FLI were supposed to receive notice of award as winning bidders for 26 hectares Lot No. 8-B-1 and 19.2 hectares in SRP, a 300-hectare reclaimed land owned by Cebu City.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Long Stay Student Visa for France

While doing my research about moving to France to study, I have scoured the internet forums and blogs for tips and tricks regarding French student visa applications for Philippine passport holders and to no avail did I find anything helpful, if at all. So, after finally getting mine, I thought I'd share to you what you need to be a step closer to getting that elusive Schengen visa.

Just to be clear, this post will cover the requirements and procedures to apply for a Long Stay Student Visa for France for Philippine passport holders. This is basically based on my experience while processing and getting the visa by myself. I did not go through any agencies. This is a DIY visa application.

Here I have collated all my references in applying for my visa with links to their respective sources.

For your official reference on tourist and other visas, please head on over to the Embassy of France in Manila website located here.

Again, this post will only cover Long Stay Student Visas for France for Philippine passport holders.

I'm assuming you've already secured yourself a spot in the school that you applied for and you're now on your next step which is applying for your student visa.

If you're still shopping around for schools, I won't be of very much help on how to start. I actually found my school when I was there in Paris the other year. Though, you can try the Campus France Manille website located here to help you with your search. They also have a Facebook Page located here.

Campus France Philippines offers free educational consultation services to everyone who wants to know how they can pursue higher education in France. You may click here for more information.

For more information on Campus France or to set an appointment with the Philippine representative for Campus France:

Consultation is by appointment only.

No signs of slowing down for Ayala Lands property segment

August 9, 2015

AYALA Land, Inc. (ALI) said growth at its residential property business should pick up pace despite a slowdown in the first half and threats of higher interest rates.
The property giant has also been beefing up its leasing business to account for half of earnings in the next five years.

ALI Chief Financial Officer Jaime E. Ysmael told reporters last week the 10% growth in the company’s residential revenues in the first half -- significantly slower than the 40% expansion a year ago -- is still “quite reasonable” given the high base as a result of its aggressive launches since 2009.

Reservation sales -- an indicator of future growth -- grew 8% to P52.47 billion in the first half.

First Post

Okay, so how do these things go again? It has been quite a while. Let's hope I'll actually stick to doing these posts.

To start off, I'm sure you've gotten yourself acquainted with what this site is about. If not, then head over to the ABOUT page and skim through it a bit. You'll get the gist.

I'll be moving to Paris in less than two weeks for grad school and I couldn't be more terrified. It's going to be my first time living away from home. Away from the comforts of luxury. It'll be quite an adjustment to fend for myself in a new foreign land.

Here's to hoping I can commit to writing in this. As they say, less is more. Moins est plus.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ayala Land builds community mall in Cainta

August 07, 2015  

Ayala Land Inc. is building a community mall in Cainta. 

The  80,000-square meter mall launched in the fourth quarter of 2014 will  be completed in two years and will be the next site of  Ayala Land’s supermarket joint venture with Puregold Price Club, Inc., Merkado. 

Ayala Land and Puregold officials earlier said each Merkado mall will cost P200 million to set up and will have  2,200 square meters  in average selling area. Merkado is operated by  AyaGold Retailers, Inc., a 50:50 venture between Ayala and Puregold.

Merkado piloted in UP Town Center on  Katipunan avenue.

Anthony Sy, AyaGold  president, said Merkado expects to break even in  three years.
AyaGold is  looking at a 14-percent gross profit margin in the  initial years of operations of Merkado.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ayala Land triples Fort condo pricing in just a decade: One-way bet

July 29, 2015

Ayala Land has just confirmed that it had tripled the price of its high-end condos in just a decade, a remarkable pricing power that outpaces the growth in the per capita income of Filipinos.

Ayala Land Premier managing director Jose Juan Jugo told a press briefing Tuesday that the demand for its latest top-end residential condo project in the Fort, West Gallery Place, has been brisk even though the average price of P234,000 a square meter is nearly triple the P85,000 sqm of the Serendra, its first condo project in the Fort, when the latter was launched in 2004.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ayala, Puregold to open first supermarket 'Merkado'

07/27/2015 12:24 PM

MANILA - Ayala Land and Puregold Price Club Inc. is set to open its first joint venture supermarket in Quezon City at the end of the month.

The supermarket, named Merkado Supermarket, caters to the middle income segment, and offers a wide range of fresh and grocery items, local and imported goods, and product lines from its own bakery and rotisserie.

Its first store will open at UP Town Center on July 31, 2015.

Merkado Supermarket is the product of AyaGold Retailers, Inc., a 50-50 joint venture between Ayala's ALI Capital Corp. and Puregold's Entenso Equities Inc.

"Merkado Supermarket plays a significant role in ALI's business portfolio. Not only does this strengthen and expand our retailing business which started with our convenience and department stores joint ventures, but is also a testament to our commitment in delivering a holistic environment and experience to the mixed-use communities that we are developing," Ayala Land vice president Cora Dizon said in a statement.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to Apply for a Tourist Visa for Canada

More information on how to apply for a tourist visa for Canada can be found here.

Before you plan your visit, you should find out what entry documents you need to enter Canada. Click this link and make the appropriate selections.

This post will cover the requirements and steps on how to apply for a visit visa for Canada for Philippine passport holders.

You can apply for a visit visa online or on paper. If you need help, you can contact the nearest visa application center (VAC). Since I'm from Cebu, it would be located at :

Canada Visa Application Centre — Cebu
VFS Services Phils. Pvt. Inc. 
 9F Keppel Center Unit 905 Samar Loop cor Cardinal Rosales Ave,
Cebu Business Park 
Cebu City 6000 

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