Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Shopping’

Things to get yourself for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Shopping 1 Comment →

Of course we should not reject gifts from lovers, but the only way to ensure that you get the really good stuff is to buy them for yourself.

1. Wear World Domination.

The World Domination shirt declares that you have little patience for dithering. It is especially good for hanging out with friends. Available in three colors and sizes, only at The Library of Babel. Payments are accepted via bank deposit, credit card, and PayPal. Freight charges apply. Deliveries in Metro Manila take 3 working days, elsewhere in the Philippines and overseas in 5.

2. There must be chocolate.

Serious chocolate. Artisanal chocolate made by generations of cioccolato-makers in Padua, where Galileo taught. Have you noticed that with really good chocolate, each bite is so intense that you only need a few pieces? Seems almost disrespectful to eat everything at once.

The Villa del Conte menu should be set to music:

Praline balls in dark chocolate with hazelnut cream and cereals
Praline sticks in dark chocolate with orange cream filling
Dark chocolate domes with cocoa cream and salted toffee chips
Fig fillet truffles covered in extra-dark chocolate
Marron glace truffles covered in dark chocolate and cocoa powder…

Villa Del Conte has stores at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-la Mall, Resorts World, Alabang Town Center, and Robinson’s Magnolia. For bulk orders of Villa del Conte chocolates, contact 893-2575 or 621-6101.

3. Glow from the inside.

Borage oil, the main ingredient of Blooming-G capsules, contains omega-6, essential in the development of skin cells. It helps protect skin cells from damage and maintain adequate moisture levels.

For more information on Blooming-G and Omega-6, go to

4. Read a fake book that offers real pleasures. S, a collaboration of filmmaker J.J. Abrams and writer Doug Durst, is a fiction about fiction.

The cardboard case contains what looks like an old hardcover library book that’s been borrowed many times. It’s called Ship of Theseus, purportedly the final novel by one V.M. Straka, translated and annotated by an F.X. Caldeira. According to the preface by Caldeira, nobody knows who Straka really was, and there is a raging debate in the academe over who really wrote his books.

Tucked among the pages are old letters, photos, telegrams, postcards, notes—a reminder that before you lend your books to anyone, you should inspect the pages for any damning evidence you may have stashed in them.

In the margins are scribbled notes from Jenny, a college senior, and Eric, a graduate student. Jenny and Eric have not met; they communicate by writing notes in the margins of the Straka, which they borrow and return to the library.

Which obviously has the laziest librarians in the world, because they don’t notice how the book has been defaced.

That’s how you know this is a work of fiction: the margins are large enough to leave notes on, the notes are neatly arranged, and the correspondence can be understood by any random borrower.

A clever idea, and a good-looking book.
S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Durst, Php1399 at National Bookstores.

7. eagle
5. Get yourself a ten-inch bird for Valentine’s.

Everyone hopes for everlasting love; the Philippine Eagle just hopes to avoid extinction. The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines and one of the world’s rarest and most critically-endangered species.

The de luxe Philippine Eagle stuffed toy is packed in a cloth pouch and comes with a specially printed information tag. Proceeds will go to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, dedicated to saving the endangered Philippine Eagle and its rainforest habitat.

Buy the Philippine Eagle stuffed toy at Payments are accepted via bank deposit, credit card, and PayPal. Freight charges apply. Deliveries in Metro Manila take 3 working days, elsewhere in the Philippines and overseas in 5.

jazz in love
6. Bring your best friend to see Jazz in Love at UP Cine Adarna.

Jazz in Love, the acclaimed documentary by Baby Ruth Villarama, is the story of Jazz, a young man from Davao whose German boyfriend has just proposed marriage. Obviously they can’t marry in the Philippines, so he must fly to Germany for the wedding. But Jazz speaks no German, and must temporarily relocate to Manila for language lessons. Meanwhile, his parents in Davao have absolutely no idea of their son’s plans.

7. Why not adopt a stray cat or dog? This one adopted us.

CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) and PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) match homeless cats and dogs with humans who have large reserves of love for their fellow earthlings. Contact CARA or PAWS today. If you’re not ready to commit to a non-human housemate, consider making a donation.

Be Your Own Valentine

February 07, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Shopping, World Domination Update No Comments →

shirt shop

Flowers, chocolate and fabulous presents from admirers are all very well, but there’s no substitute for getting something that is distinctly You.

This Valentine’s Day, get yourself and your like-minded friends the World Domination T-shirts. The limited edition World Domination T-shirts are available in three colors and various sizes at The Library of Babel online store, Each shirt costs only Php269, plus freight charges.

Romance is thrilling, but World Domination is your destiny. Visit The Library of Babel now.

A shopping expedition to Puregold in Fairview

February 03, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Shopping 1 Comment →

usual puregold
The typical Puregold supermarket

Generally we hate domestic chores and do them only because we have no choice (The litterbox must be cleaned lest it turn into some new biological warfare agent), but we have always enjoyed doing the groceries. It’s not so much a chore as an anthropological expedition: we learn not just what things cost (Fancy Feast costs Php42.75 a can??), but what new products have been developed to meet market demands (People need calcium and fiber but don’t have time to prepare their own food. Voila: Oishi Oaties, milk with oats in tetrapaks), and how current trends affect manufacturing (Environmentalism and the emphasis on well-being equals more natural/organic products). Yes, it’s more fun being a nerd.

We tend to shop at whatever supermarket is closest to our house, but we’re always curious about what other stores carry. Our friends have recommended S&R for its vast selection of merchandise, but we don’t need to shop in bulk (the pack of 24 rolls of toilet paper would not fit in our cabinets), plus we can’t have too much food in the house because we will consume everything even if we’re not hungry.

puregold terraces2
The new Puregold Fairview Terraces in QC

Last week we were invited to check out the new Puregold supermarket at Fairview Terraces in QC. That’s practically cross-country from Makati, but we decided to make a field trip of it. (Make sure you are in a car with people who know all the showbiz chismis. We got all the news, hearsay and speculation on the Vhong Navarro incident.) We’ve never shopped at Puregold, but we hear that their prices are lower than their competitors’. More importantly, we were told that they had ample stocks of cat food and kitty litter.

Fairview Terraces is the new Ayala mall in Quezon City, and Puregold Fairview Terraces is the first mid-market outlet of the top supermarket chain the country.

The supermarket is shiny, brightly-lit, and welcoming, with broad aisles so you don’t accidentally run over people’s feet with your shopping cart.

There is a well-stocked Health and Nutrition section with vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter medications.

And speaking of self-medicating, a fairly impressive liquor section.

As promised, there is cat food and kitty litter. Just the basics for now, but we were assured that their range of pet supplies will grow.

palm index
The prices are lower than those of the two supermarkets we shop in. We have a personal price index for supermarkets, based on the retail cost of Palm Corned Beef. Puregold’s price is Php157.55 a can; we’ll check the other supermarkets’ prices this week.

Update: The Palm Corned Beef Price Index:
Puregold: Php157.55
Rustan’s: Php168 (But they’ve never claimed to have the lowest prices)
SM Supermarket (Thanks, wangbumaximus21): Php170-175

human nature

Human Nature products used to be available only from dealers; we’re pleased to note that supermarkets now carry them. The Human Nature shelf at Puregold Fairview Terraces is stocked with the latest from the 100% No harmful chemicals brand, including 500ml pump bottles of moisturizer with no synthetic fragrances (Yay, no headaches).

puregold terraces
If we had actual cooking skills, we would probably be impressed at the assortment of fresh produce.

Mission accomplished: Cat supplies for the whole month.

And the field trip was educational: we haven’t been north of Tomas Morato Street for so long, we just found out that the UP Integrated School campus is now the UP Town Center. Our friends graduated from a shopping mall, haha.

If Puregold opens in our neighborhood, we would totally shop there. They do have a humongous branch near our sister’s house, so we’ve convinced her to do the groceries with us.

Desirable old residences: The compound on F.B. Harrison, Pasay

December 09, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Design, Places, Shopping 5 Comments →

1. pasay
Yesterday we did our Desirable Old Residences Tour of Metro Manila, conducted by Rene, who has lived in or wanted to live in these buildings. Rene has a bit of a Nora Aunor complex (constantly moving house), and Noel is into interior design. We are generally indifferent to interiors—for years we slept on our couch and had sheets taped to the windows in lieu of curtains—but we enjoy hanging out with our friends.

2. artelano11
Our first stop was the large tree-lined compound on F.B. Harrison near Edsa in Pasay, the one with the red gate. We don’t know what it’s called—according to Eric Paras, whose furniture gallery Artelano 11 occupies two houses, it’s referred to as the Chinese compound. The houses are two-storey structures built in the middle of the last century, which is the romantic way of saying “50s, 60s”. When you’re in the compound you forget that you are smack in the middle of urban chaos.

These residences are so desirable that a hotel is reportedly leasing five houses to turn into tourist accommodations.

3. floor

Look at those machuca tiles. Our Sunday snooping quickly turned into an Xmas shopping expedition. No more wading into the mall for last-minute presents at the peak of the holiday rush hahaha!

4. birdcage

This birdcage should be eight feet tall. Then you could hire a naked male model to sit in it, and occasionally pelt him with birdseed.

6. handles
5. spider china

A-11 has plenty of inexpensive china pieces (A set of 6 saucers for Php300), such as this plate with a spider design. This plate is perfect for that someone you hate but still have to give a present to (co-worker, in-law, etc), who happens to be arachnophobic. Imagine serving them a nice pudding on this plate, watching them enjoy it, and then seeing them freak out as the spider emerges from under the sauce…

“If you hate them, then don’t give them anything,” Juan pointed out later.

“You’re not cooperating!”

7. bookends
8. bookshelf

Bookends for book lovers and an off-kilter bookshelf for off-kilter book lovers.

9. black mirror

These are black mirrors. On May Day Eve, says the story by Nick Joaquin, take a candle and go into a dark room that has a mirror in it. You will see either the man you will marry, or the devil.

Approach the mirror with your candle and say, “Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be.” And our hand will shoot out of the mirror and slap you. “You really want to be someone’s property? Gaga!”

The black mirrors are gorgeous but cost more than the crazy bookshelf.

10. insiang

And here’s a great gift for Lino Brocka fans: an old-fashioned flatiron (plantsa). Not only an excellent conversation piece (We don’t know how to iron clothes), but a wonderful prop for reenactments of the climax of Insiang starring Hilda Koronel and Mona Lisa.

Artelano 11 is at 2680 F.B. Harrison St, Pasay City, telephone (02)832.9972, email

Next: North Syquia and the MacArthur Suite at Manila Hotel. By the way, if there is anyone living at Rosaria reading this, could you let us into the building? We hear it’s fabulous and we just want to have a look. One does not simply walk into Rosaria, one must be invited, but unlike vampires we promise to exsanguinate no one.

This week in earrings

December 04, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Shopping No Comments →


Marlu found these earrings in Cebu, made by a company called Avatar. Our favorite is the pair of recycled NYC subway tokens.


These paper bead earrings are made by the staff of the BenCab Museum in Baguio, where they are sold. We requested unmatched pairs.


Our friends say this ring design is Egyptian; we think it’s Elven. Ramon found it at a bazaar.


These Yakan weave earrings were available at the Likhang Habi Textile Fair last November, where Rene got them.

The Handmade Sale

September 11, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing, Shopping No Comments →

black+gold fabric
red fabric

Abel iloko fabrics, handwoven in Ilocos Norte, Php650 per yard. Inquiries: Rene,

pink bedcover

Queen-size abel iloko bed covers, Php6000 each. If that seems steep, compare with other dealers. Inquiries: