Invest in experiences
Marbbie Tagabucba (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Everyone looks forward to Christmas because it’s the perfect time to spread the spirit of giving and create priceless moments with loved ones. However, the joy of the season can get lost in the stressful process of shopping for presents for friends and family: Going from narrowing down the possible gifts for each person, to keeping track of your purchases, to worrying about losing your wallet during the busiest time of the year.

Why not customize your gift giving and match your presents to each personal passion instead? Be a smart shopper; make your gift buying hassle-free when you pay with your credit, debit or prepaid Mastercard rather than using cash. You won’t be wasting time lining up at the ATM, you can have keep track of all your transactions, and you can simply call your bank for assistance should you lose your card.

To help you get started, here are some gift ideas for various people in your life, with a little help when you use your Mastercard.

The Diva

Here’s how she can get a crowning glory like a beauty queen – they, as well as some of the country’s most beautiful actresses with shampoo endorsements, all go here to give their locks a boost! The salon exclusive HairTalk extensions, made of 100% human hair and in a variety of lengths, textures, and shades, are “taped” seamlessly onto the hair closest to the scalp so she can literally pull a Beyoncé and say, “I woke up like this” She can get an ombre without the chemical damage, fuller hair without the need to style it, or just longer hair without magic. Tokyo Posh, Power Plant Mall, SM Megamall at Mega Fashion Hall, and UP Town.

The Foodie

Bangkok’s progressive Indian restaurant Gaggan has been voted number one by various awarding bodies, notably The Worlds 50 Best as Asia’s Best for three consecutive years; its not having a Michelin star is only a matter of the guide not having a Thailand edition – but it’s coming soon, next year to be exact! Namesake chef Gaggan Anand gets his cred from being an El Bulli alum, but he’s made a name for himself, whipping up inventive dishes named only in emoji, and are served with unexpected accompaniments like portable JBL speakers inside an all-white 19th century home. It’s a unique dining experience that must be shared soon as Anand will close shop in 2020. Reserve a table for a maximum of 6 people at

The Water Baby

Everyone’s either going to Taiwan or Siargao these days. This loved one will fall head-over-heels for the laidback culture of this bucolic surftown in Mindanao. There’s a variety of accommodations, from the luxe Dedon Island Resort (which The Design Buff will love) to the happening Kermit, with yoga sessions during the day and a hip crowd at night gathered for the in-house restaurant’s Italian cuisine. Before sunrise, get your fill at Shaka and stroll to the nearby Cloud 9 to watch or catch a wave. The next day, paddle and snorkel around Sugba Lagoon or island hop. There’s a lot of water-bound exploring to do. Book a direct flight with SkyJet at

The Jet-setter

That it gets tossed and chucked upon check-in is exactly why they should have quality luggage – and when we say quality, we mean the durability to withstand these conditions and keep its contents secure and in good condition, so they can rest easy and focus on their journey. That’s why Rimowas are so popular. They also come in a variety of builds for your every need. To add to their luggage collection, we recommend the Multiwheel Sports Trunk, whether in ultra-light Salsa or humidity-friendly Topas Aluminum (there’s a new version with an electronic tag), because it has the compactness of a duffel bag. Perfect for last-minute packing. Rimowa, Greenbelt, 5, Ayala Center, Makati; Shangri-La, Plaza Mall East Wing, Ortigas; Power Plant Mall, Makati; and Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila.

The Design Buff

Add warmth to their design-savvy and quality-oriented home. True to the spirit of hygge, Danish furniture icon Fritz Hansen’s line of accessories called simply as Objects features a genius take on the vase, the Ikebana by Jaime Hayon. In clear hand-blown glass with a brass insert, it is designed to honor and enjoy the whole flower and not just the crown. Its sensibilities also complement a wide range of décor styles, from the minimalist’s pad to the maximalist’s trove. Dimensione, One Parkade, Bonifacio Global City.

The Busy Bee

Wash and wear hair is a gift that keeps on giving. This insider secret is frequented by movers and shakers in various industries who just can’t be bothered to style their hair daily yet look like they’ve always had great hair. In this by-appointment-only salon, everything is done bespoke by JuRo – creative directors Jude Hippolito and Rose Velasco — so you get hair that looks great on you. From Jude creating body on pin straight hair with a precision cut to Rose painting on the shiniest platinum blond without the pain or damage, a trip here is an investment, but it’s worth every penny. (Tip: They’re also known to resurrect damaged hair.) JuRo Salon, (0998) 568 2010, Kensington Building, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City.

The Health Nut

No treatment, diet, exercise, or product can treat a stressed out aura. Flotation therapy is proven effective in treating insomnia and depression, and promotes increased blood flow and lowers blood pressure. In a pod filled with 200 gallons of water warmed to skin temperature with dissolved 400kg of magnesium sulfate (a.k.a. Epsom salt), treat them to 90 minutes of healing sensory deprivation. Shut out gravity, light, sound – any distraction and drama from the world outside. You can also inquire about massages and meditation coaching. Float Manila, by appointment only at or (0917) 714 SALT.

The Animal Lover

If they had their way, they’d take every lonely furry friend home. Non-profit organization CARA Welfare shares the same love but unfortunately have limited resources and not all cats or dogs taken get adopted; sometimes because of socializing issues, sometimes of old age. Sponsor either a cat or a dog on the behalf of the animal lover in your life with monthly, annual, or a one-time payment options. Your loved one can visit the sponsored pet and receive email updates on the pet’s progress. Sponsor a pet,

The Beauty Girl

While it’s probable that she already has more than enough skincare and makeup topped with regular facials, upgrade her beauty maintenance measures with a derma day. Skin Inc.’s dermatologists are very hands-on and holistic in their approach, so each treatment is matched with what you really need and where you need it – all in a relaxing environment. They have a bevy of laser treatments and injectables, but we love their exclusive anti-aging treatment, the Ultraformer, which gives your skin a lift and a youthful glow after just one session without any pain on her face or your wallet. Skin Inc., (0917) 841 5014, Paseo de Magallanes, SLEX, Makati.

The Space Adventurer

Souped up with integrated WiFi, this telescope connects to your smartphone or tablet so you can explore the universe on it with its own app for iOS and Android. Use the planetarium interface to view the night sky in real time or display a list of celestial objects visible based on your time and location. With its alignment procedure built right into the app, you can observe the view from here and far away within minutes. Celestron Telescope Nexstar Evolution 6, Cutting Edge Greenbelt 5, Trinoma, Shangri-La Mall, and Mall of Asia.

The Hostess

The Alley at Karrivin is a treasure trove of unique lifestyle concepts, but for this loved one, the curation of Lanai makes it the store after her heart. Dedicated to the art of tropical home entertaining, it is made of four concepts, Casa (curated décor culled from around the world), Ropa (haute boho clothing and accessories plus weekly pop-ups featuring designer collabs), Cafe (we recommend their iced coffee and grilled cheese sandwich), and Flores, which fills the space with exotic blooms. We suggest the picnic basket set to inspire a lovely afternoon out, or a unique tropical chic wreath by Maria Parsons. Nothing livens up a space than flowers and plants, even after the party has wrapped up and gone. Lanai, The Alley at The Karrivin, Pasong Tamo, Makati.

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Make Christmas gift-giving effortless whether in malls or online shops from anywhere around the world. Use your Mastercard for utmost convenience, safety, and security. Explore flexible payment options – and don’t forget to ask for exclusive promos, perks, and discounts!

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