Have a taste of Starbucks’ new drinks and food items

With the launch of the Philippine Starbucks Card, Starbucks Philippines is also presenting its new  (and returning) food and beverage items.

First up are the new delicious drinks that will be available starting tomorrow:

Starbucks Tiramisu Frappuccino Blended Beverage

Sample of the Tiramisu Frappuccino Blended Beverage

The Tiramisu Frappuccino Blended Beverage features the Starbucks coffee frappuccino with Tiramisu sauce, topped with cheesecake-inspired whipped cream, biscuit bits, Tiramisu sauce drizzle, and cocoa powder dusting. To be honest, I didn’t get to really drink the actual frap, since I am pregnant and caffeine is a no-no right now. But I got a taste of the whipped cream and drizzle and I must say, the Tiramisu tasted like it had liquor, but it doesn’t. I will surely feel bad about missing out on this.

But the good thing is there is a new cream-based frap offering: the Banana Raspberry Frappuccino Blended Beverage. It combines the yummy Raspberry Blackcurrant juice with milk and peeled banana. This I will probably grab. :)

There will also be new food items on the shelves:

Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom on Ciabatta Bread, Sausage and Peppers Casserole on Cornmeal Bread

Top: Roasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom on Ciabatta Bread. Bottom: Sausage and Peppers Casserole on Cornmeal Bread.

Chicken Tex-Mex Wrap, Tuna Melt on Dark Multigrain Bread

Top: Chicken Tex-Mex Wrap. Bottom: Tuna Melt on Dark Multigrain Bread.

Bacon Parmesan Stromboli

Bacon Parmesan Stromboli

Ratatouille on Cheese Semolina Bread, Ham and Egg Salad on Challah Bread

Left: Ratatouille on Cheese Semolina Bread. Right: Ham and Egg Salad on Challah Bread.

Mango Coconut Sansrival Cake, Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookie

Top: Mango Coconut Sansrival Cake. Bottom: Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookie.

Not in photo is a returning favorite: Grilled Ham and Three Cheese on Whole Wheat Bread.

Don’t they all look yummy? Well, there’s no need to wait a long time to have a taste of Starbucks’ latest food and beverage items because they’ll be in stores come tomorrow, July 29. Visit your nearest Starbucks store and have a taste of the wonderful food and drinks (don’t forget to grab the limited-edition Philippine Starbucks Card, too)!

Presenting the 1st Edition Philippine Starbucks Card

I’ve been looking forward to Starbucks Philippines releasing a card design that we could call our own. Well, whaddayaknow? Wish granted!

Philippine Starbucks Card

The 1st edition Philippine Starbucks Card

Yes, the 1st Edition Philippine Starbucks Card is making its presence known to everyone. Featuring a sketch of the Philippine Eagle, our national animal, in the colors of red, blue, and yellow on a banig pattern, the card’s design surely showcases our culture and roots. And the word “Pilipinas” etched in gold just makes the card perfect, doesn’t it?

The Philippine Starbucks Card will be available in stores beginning July 29, 2014. This will only be released in the Philippines, so it’s truly a collectible — you gotta have your own. :)

Along with the release of the card is the launch of a new Starbucks tumbler that will surely complement the Philippine Starbucks Card:

Philippine Starbucks Tumbler

Philippine Starbucks Card Tumbler

Also, with the launch of the Philippine Starbucks Card comes some exciting treats:

First, if you activate or load your Philippine Starbucks Card with PHP 1,500 (one-time transaction) from July 29 to 31, 2014, you get an additional PHP 300. So instead of just PHP 1,500, the load in your card becomes PHP1,800!

And second, if you purchase the new Philippine Starbucks Card Tumbler using your Philippine Starbucks Card from July 29 to August 31, 2014, you get a free tall handcrafted beverage! Now ain’t that sweet?

There are a lot more stuff coming on July 29, including new food and beverage items, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, mark your calendars and be one of the first people to get the Philippine Starbucks Card when it arrives in stores because they’ll be coming in limited quantities.

Kudos to Starbucks Philippines for bringing the 1st Edition Philippine Starbucks Card to our shores! :)

Glenda: before, during, and after

It’s been a day since Typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) left the Philippine area of responsibility. Up to now, everything’s not yet back to normal, with a lot of places still without electricity, some without water even.

I remembered Tuesday night, when my family and I prepared ourselves for the storm. Since we lived in a low-lying area in Pasig (beside Floodway), we anticipated flooding. When I heard that it packed winds comparable to Milenyo, which hit the country way back 2006, we also secured parts of the house that may be affected, most especially the roof and other things that may be sent flying about by the strong winds.

Wednesday came. We moved all the important things to a higher part of the house, tied furniture left in the main house (we live in a bungalow) that may float when it floods. My parents made a plan on how to go about when we had to move to the second floor of our former sari-sari store (an annexed part of our house). My daughter and I (since I am pregnant) will have to go up first when the water rises. Food, water, and clothes — good enough for about 3 to 5 days — will also be brought there. We’ll have makeshift beds from cots and sleeping bags that we have. We’ll also have flashlights, candles, a TV, and radio with us, too.

Throughout the morning, the dam at Floodway was ringing the alarm. The floodwater at the street rose to about 5 inches at about 10 AM, which was my parents’s signal for us to start moving to the second floor. Good thing, though, that the water did not enter our house.

The wind howling like crazy scared us, especially my daughter. I was thinking then that we were lucky that we had no big trees in the vicinity, just those that easily bend and sway with the wind. The thought of metal sheets flying by and electricity posts that might fall kept us on our toes, though.

Of course, the one thing that sucked that day was the power outage that started since 5 AM. But at least we had phones that had TV so we were still up-to-date with the news. We just had to use them at different times so as not to drain the batteries.

A little bit after noon, the rains were subsiding and the wind got less strong. By 2 PM, we saw people and vehicles on the streets. Some were already clearing up the front of their houses. We got to relax and eat lunch. By around 4 PM, my daughter and I went down to the main house. Everyone was chilling out, despite the fact that we had to contend with not having electricity yet (During that time, we kept calling the Meralco hotline, but all we got was the automated response, “Sorry, all circuits are busy now.”).

By 8 PM, our area had the electricity back. That was a sigh of relief — I thought hubby and I wouldn’t sleep because we needed to fan our daughter throughout the night. Anyways, everything at home slowly got back to normal that time onwards. Still, we’re on our guard just in case Tropical Storm Henry (international name: Matmo) enhances the  monsoon and bring rains again in Metro Manila.


Despite the calamity that Glenda brought to many places in the country, I’m glad that many people were prepared for it. It helps that nowadays, we can lean on to many other things besides TV and radio. Social media was a big help in keeping us alert with the news. And of course, technology.

My hubby’s and brother’s TV phones gave us constant updates on what was happening outside. It also helped that, a few days before Glenda made landfall, PAGASA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts always made posts about the weather. Project NOAH‘s website was also helpful in telling me further weather updates (I also follow Mahar Lagmay, the one in charge of Project NOAH, on Twitter).

Infographics about rainfall warnings were also very helpful. Since Habagat, I’ve been keeping this in mind:

PAGASA Rainfall Warning System

PAGASA Rainfall Warning System

Of course, we can’t discount the power of prayer. During these times, besides being physically and mentally prepared, we also have to lean on God’s grace to keep us away from harm.

As of this writing, the sky is a bit cloudy, though the weather is better than the past few days. But Tropical Storm Henry is on its way and the rainy season will surely bring in more bad weather. Let’s just keep ourselves prepared in every way.

I hope everyone reading this post is now A-okay (albeit the succeeding reports of rotating brownouts) after Typhoon Glenda. :)

Let your child learn through play with Ogalala System in Play

Children nowadays learn from a lot of things: from observation, TV, and other forms of media. But, as my guidance counselor sister said, one of the best ways for a kid to learn is through play. It’s not too imposing and not too stressful for his/her young mind, plus it’s a more enjoyable way of discovery.

And this is where Ogalala System in Play comes in. This system addresses the need to adapt to how kids are able to learn new things, and that is through play. It’s an enjoyable way to discover a whole new world of knowledge and at the same time encourages the children and parents to bond and communicate.

Know about Ogalala System and Play by joining the Ogalala Child Development Workshop, which will happen on July 19 and 26, August 2 and 16, and September 6 and 20.

Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop

Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop

The workshop will cover the following:

I. AVP introduction of Ogalala

II. Welcome message from Maye Yao Co Say, COO of Internationale Globale Marques, Inc. (IGM)

III. Brief introduction of IGM

IV. The Ogalala System in Play

a. Brief rationale

b. Infant, toddler, and preschool development insights

c. The Ogalala Schedule

d. Demo of activities (with children)

V. Q&A and Insight Sharing

Know more about the Ogalala System in Play Child Development Workshop from Manila Workshops: http://manilaworkshops.com/2014/07/ogalala-system-in-play-child-development-workshop.html. You can also register for this event. And it’s free, too. Limited slots only, so be sure to register to secure your slot.

Know how to make learning for your children more fun. Join the Ogalala System in Play workshop!

Thinking of going dot-com

I’ve been running my blog on free WordPress since 2008. And after exposing myself to the wonders of blogging, it dawned on me that I want to change my blog to hitsandmrs.wordpress.com to a blog.com site.

I realized that, while WordPress is so easy to use, there are limitations when using the free hosted version. For one, the selection of templates for the free version. Second, the ability to monetize my posts or the blog itself. I remembered turning down some paid-to-write articles because my blog just can’t. Not right now.

So now, I’m doing my research on web hosting and domains. And seriously, I’m at a loss on what to do and where to start. WordPress does offer a premium account, but I don’t know if I should get that or find a local web hosting company instead. I’m thinking which offers a better package for a Pinoy blogger like me.

Also, if I go self-hosted, how do I design my blog? Do I use a WordPress template? Or maybe I can get help from friends who have knowledge on web design? Or I just discover web design on my own?

I have so many questions in my head about going dot-com for my blog right now. Pretty sure I’ll be asking around, especially to my blogger friends, for help about this. And hopefully, I’ll find the answers and be able to self-host my blog. :)