And The Winners Are…

On Monday afternoon, Alphonse helped draw the winners for the Okasaneko Chornicles’ 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway. As my special guest, he did a really great job of keeping the raffle drum rolling. (He loved the raffle drum so much he had a hard time giving it up long after he had drawn out all the winners’ names.) I was very proud that he resisted the urge to tear the raffle stubs I made of the entries into itty-bitty pieces.  He took his job very seriously, as you can see, handing each piece of paper to me very carefully, sometimes, almost gingerly.

Taking his job seriously

I won’t keep you waiting any longer. I know that the Sylvanian Kitty girls are just as excited to announce the winners.  Of 32 official entries,  here are the winners’ names and the items they won from this raffle:



Congratulations to all the winners!

Please expect an e-mail (or a private message if you’re in Facebook or Multiply) from me this week. Thanks for joining, friends, but best of all, thank you for always dropping by my little corner of the Internet. I really appreciate it. Here’s to another great year of blogging!


New Kids on the Block

I am eating humble pie.

Whe I first wrote Sylvanians for the Masses, I must admit that I didn’t get Epoch’s marketing strategy on their new EU releases. It felt like a backward step for a company that has been producing finely crafted toys for 25 years. And so, while I appreciated the additions to my collections (you know collectors, they’ll collect just about anything even remotely related to their area of interest), I wasn’t in a hurry to acquire them all and when I did, I wasn’t at all that thrilled to open them. So they simply lay in wait in their sturdy card cases till I could summon enough interest to play with them.

Imagine my surprise one day, when reading a business magazine published by Globe Telecom and finding an article entitled “Launching a Mass-Market Line” ( Masigasig, volume 4, issue 7, August 2010), it suddenly dawned on me that even under different scenarios, local experts in marketing and management concur with the introduction of a low-cost line, or what they refer to as “second-tier” product line. Targetting differents segments of the market, they say, can actually boost company sales as these products serve different needs. Dr. Eric Soriano, a professor from the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business, says it best:

“When you offer different products that serve different market segments, your consumers need not go to your competitor, because you already offer them an alternative.”

Moreover, he “sees no cannibalization” and considers this decision to broaden market segments as protective of the primary line. In this case, while he talks of a different matter altogether (he bases his opinions and recommendations on a case of appliance makers who introduced second-tier brands to counter cheaper brands in the market), I can clearly make the connection to this particular case of Epoch and their mass-market Sylvanians.

But how do I get over the “lack of prestige”  of the new line? It seemed unlikely, at first, to find anything good to say about them. The only thing they had going, I thought, was the low-cost factor. The answer was simple: open the box and play with them.

And I did. Humble pie has never tasted as good as this.

They’re not photogenic, mind you; either that or my photography skills are not enough to showcase them at their best. Their clothes seem too simple and lacking in charm. They have single colors and none of the distinctive markings of more refined Sylvanians. But when you do take them out of their packaging, you will fall in love with them! Their flocking is amazingly plush and thick, making their coat seem luxuriant compared to their Flair and Epoch JP kin. The joints are well manufactured and none of them are too tight, or worse, too loose. Their clothes, which seem simple and unstructured, are soft to touch and made of good quality material. Instead of ribbons to tie clothing, these use garterized straps that are easy to loop over bodies and heads. Best of all, these critters have got the cutest tails ever!

I am four sets short of the entire line and only because I have yet to see the sister with accessory boxes shown below.

The furniture sets are made of good quality plastic that is not brittle and easily broken. They have no sharp corners or edges. They adhere to original furniture designs and while they did away with the tiny accessories, they did not scrimp on detail. The piano, for example, has a moving keyboard. The closet doors of the sink/counter open, as also the little drawers of the desk and chair set. The dining table and chairs feature designs in relief on the tabletop and chairs’ backrests. Perhaps the only things that are missing are paddings for the sofa, bed and baby crib, but even those can be easily remedied by a crafty person.

The beginner’s set is actually a version of the newly released JP Sycamore Cottage. This set features a gray rabbit sister with a bed and a square dining set (table with two chairs). At just PhP1500, it is cheaper than the starter set featuring the Chocolate Rabbit sister (then again, the latter has more furniture and accessories).

Ban Kee Trading, the company that distributes Sylvanian Families in the Philippines, released this with the purpose of introducing Sylvanians to young kids. Because this line is both parent- and child- friendly, they see this as a way of opening the market to new collectors who might want to continue collecting even as they get older. Moreover, the single furniture sets allow parents the flexibility to plan their purchases according to their budgets without ever sacrificing quality.

All in all, this new line complements the existing JP and UK lines very well. I’ve grown to love these new Sylvanians as much as my standard ones. They may be different, but different isn’t necessarily bad.

(See new pictures of these Sylvanians over at New Sylvanians.)


Three more days before the giveaway entry period ends. Please join and get the chance to win cool prizes!

Official Giveaway Rules

As promised, here are the mechanics for the3rd OC Blog Birthday Giveaway. 

Contest Duration: This contest will start on November 3, 2010 12:00:00 midnight and end on November 14, 2010, 11:59:59 pm.


  1. The raffle for Hello Kitty, Sylvanian Families, and Alphie’s Autism Awareness gift packs items is open to ALL readers, both local and international, of this blog.
  2. Due to the nature of the other gift items, the raffle for these prizes will be open ONLY to readers with local addresses.

How to Enter:

There are three ways to join the contest:

  1. Leave a comment in tomorrow’s blog post with your name and e-mail address. For posters outside the Philippines, please indicate your country of origin in the comments box.  Start your comment with “I want to win in Okasaneko Chronicles 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway.”  Only one comment per e-mail entry is allowed. Repeated postings will not earn additional raffle entries.
  2. Blog about this contest and link your post to the URL of this page. Please include the Blog Giveaway photo featuring our sponsors which will appear in tomorrow’s post. Leave a comment here with a link to your post.
  3. Share the giveaway contest with your friends in Facebook. Don’t forget to share the link of this post in your status message. Leave a comment here with the URL of your message so I can verify. Make sure the post is set to public so I can view it.

Each of these methods earns one raffle entry; do all three and get three raffle entries to increase your chances of winning.

Winner Selection:

  1. The raffle will be held in two parts- one for local readers and another for both local and international readers. You may win more than once so it pays to increase your chances of winning.  
  2. Winners will be determined using a raffle drum. The drawing of prizes will be held on November 15, 2010.

Winner Notification: The names of winners will be announced in a separate post within three days of the draw. An e-mail message will also be sent to the winners to notify them.

Claiming Your Prize: Please respond to the e-mail notification right away so the prize can be shipped to you promptly. Shipping of prizes will be shouldered by Okasaneko Chronicles.  

As of this writing, I have 12 confirmed gift packs for the raffle but who knows? I may be able to add some more (crossing my fingers)! So hurry and join; you have exactly eleven days to enjoy this contest. GOOD  LUCK!

Autism For A Day

I will join Communication Shutdown, a global fundraiser for autism tomorrow. Not only am I shutting down my Facebook and Twitter pages for a day but I will not be going online in this blog tomorrow. This campaign seeks to highlight the difficulties of communication people with autism live with everyday. As a mother of a nonverbal young man with severe autism, I know only too well of these difficulties in language and communication; my son lives with them every single day.

If you’d like to join this campaign and donate to raise funds for autism awareness, please make your way over to this page.

I’ll be back on November 2, with new pictures and more details of the 3rd OC Blog Birthday Giveaway that’s coming soon!

In the meantime, while you’re here, may I ask you all kind folks to look at the newest widget on the right side of this page and say a prayer for Jude, a little boy who’s going through chemotherapy today? His mom and I were classmates in grade school and though we haven’t seen each other since 7th Grade, we have since been reconnected through Facebook. I have only learned of six-year-old Jude’s plight a few days ago. I know Jude only through his pictures and the stories his mom proudly shares of him and his brother, but from what I have heard and read, he is a funny, witty kid with a lot of heart. I know he doesn’t know us but I have always believed that good intentions, well wishes, and sincere prayers always find their way to their destination. Let us send him and his family love and light today to give them strength and hope for the following days.

So to you, dear sweet Jude, we send you a million kisses to numb your pain, a million hugs to warm your day, and a million prayers to make you stay. God bless you always.

Herword is Our Word

Today, I am featuring the gift sent in by Ms. Judith S. Juntilla, my editor at, and Ms. Melody Bonus, the site’s webmistress, and it’s a beauty!

CH Carolina Herrera eau de toilette 1.7 fl.oz (50 ml) natural spray 

I’m not a big perfume person (I live on Philosophy’s Baby Grace and Amazing Grace, with the occasional spritz of Clinique Happy or Estee Lauder Pleasures Exotic) so I feel totally unqualified to review this. Instead, I will let the experts speak their mind to you:

The new Carolina Herrera perfume is floral, with a fresh start and an oriental finish. The composition is opened with fresh notes of bergamot, orange, grapefruit and a juicy melon. In the sweet heart there are Bulgarian rose, jasmine and praline. Cinnamon, woody notes and leather lock the composition down. (source:

Carolina Herrera CH features bergamot, orange, pomelo, melon, rose, jasmine, praline and cinnamon over woody base notes. (source:

I don’t know about you guys but I am just about sold on this. Were this not sealed new in cellophane, I’d be tempted to take a whiff or two and let my senses soar with the pleasure of a deeply luscious scent. Moreover, I love the aesthetics of this bottle. Deep red, in leather and metal, this bottle plays upon the imagination as well.

CH is expressed in leather, metal and intense red. A fusion between classic tradition and contemporary innovation, the fantasy and romanticism (source:

There’s a great review of this scent on the net and you can find it here. Check it out if you want to know more.

I am deeply grateful to for their support. As a voice of the Filipina woman, has advocated for the Filipina’s many roles in society. is also my home, where my writings have reached an audience of similar interests and passions.

If you want to win this beauty, be sure to come back for the 3rd OC Blog Birthday Giveaway! Five more days before it starts! 

D-6 and Counting

Late yesterday afternoon, I received three email messages confirming the pick-up places for the giveaways. Woohoo! This was all coming along so well, I thought to myself as I half-ran, half-skipped all the way to the bathroom to get ready.  I wanted to do at least one pick-up last night and depending on the state of traffic, maybe add another one. When Alphonse saw me getting ready, he started flashing his dizzyingly gorgeous smiles at me, which was a very convincing plea to bring him along.

I was excited but control freak that I really am, I had this script planned in my head already. I would bring along Alphonse, and with his dad taking our picture, he and I would pose with some store personnel in the act of receiving the donated gift items. More bloggable moments, I figured.  Our first stop would be the Sanrio Store at SM North EDSA Annex, where Ms. Isabel Lopez, marketing manager of Gift Gate- Sanrio Philippines (Great Gifts sales & Licensing International Corp.) had sent the giveways for pick-up. If traffic cooperated, maybe we’d have time to drop by Toytown Eastwood Mall where Mr. Joseph de Leon of Ban Kee Trading, exclusive distributor of Sylvanian Families in the country, had dropped off the SF giveaways.

I’m not a very vain person but when I know I’d be posing for pictures, I try to look better than I normally do. (The script in my head demanded for that, too.) Rummaging through my Kitty-inspired clothing, I fancied upon this super comfy gray Kitty shirt from Torrid, matched it with some black leggings, and finished the outfit off with my Hello Kitty Crocs McCall. Sorry for the creases in the shirt, folks. By the time I thought to take the pictures, Alphonse had been sitting on my lap for a while. 🙂

Kittymama in leggings- who knew?

In love with my Kitty Crocs

Traffic, as usual, was bad last night, so poof! I moved the second destination to another date. We would have gone back home were it not for Alphonse, who was so excited to be out again that he was literally squealing in glee. But nothing in the script, it seemed, was going to go as planned. The ride to SM North EDSA which normally takes just fifteen minutes stretched to an hour last night. Alphonse was in such a great mood, though,  that we didn’t worry too much about him getting bored. I prepped him with the plan again and elicited a pinky promise from him to behave very well.

I think he meant to keep his promise, really, he did. From the fourth level where we were parked down to the upper ground floor where the Sanrio Store is located, Alphonse held our hands and walked calmly, all the while flashing his silly grins. When we reached the store, I made him pose for a picture before we went in to get the giveaways. He smiled shyly, stood still for all of three seconds, and bolted away! I managed to click the shutter once before he ran straight to the Pizza Hut kiosk across the floor! I almost dropped the camera as we started running after him but he was determined and fast. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Poof! Another planned moment gone in a few seconds.

The good news is that even without the camera documenting our every move, I did receive the Sanrio giveaways. I am very grateful to Ms. Isabel Lopez and the Gift Gate family for their gifts, which we will raffle off to three lucky readers of this blog. Inside each of the bags is a charming yet functional Hello Kitty star card case/coin purse in canvas, a 35th Anniversary plastic file folder to organize your documents, a Hello Kitty magnet sheet (I’m a sucker for magnets, heehee), a mini-memo pad which is perfect for stashing in your bag, and a unique sticker sheet featuring all the official designs of Hello Kitty from 1974 to 2008. This is a great gift any Hello Kitty fan would love to have and it’s FREE!!! What could be better than that?  

I’m getting ready to publish the mechanics of the contest so please be sure to watch out for it. The contest will start on November 3 and end on November 14. I will pick the winners via this cool raffle drum on loan to me by the very kind folks at BusinessWorld. 🙂

Thanks for staying tune, friends! I will take more pictures of the giveaways as I receive them and post them up too. I hope these whet your appetite for The OC 3rd Blog Birthday Giveway. See you soon!

Sugar and Spice and Not-So-Nice

I love Hello Kitty just as much as any die-hard Kittyholic or Kitty fanatic but sometimes, some Kittified things strike me as extremely lame.

Meet Reebok x Hello Kitty PT-20 INT Plush Kitty Shoes.

Uppers are made of fabric used in stuffed dolls- ewww!

I have to tell you that in medical school, back before the days of comfy Crocs, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Reebok girl. Sporting white hi-cuts was the only way I could survive long hours standing up and running around wards; they were sooo comfortable. As a Reebok fan of longstanding loyalty, I am extremely disappointed. I don’t know which smart brain came up with this but it’s stuff like these that prove Hello Kitty Hell’s protagonist right again and again. It’s enough to make me want to scream in holy terror.

Are these cute? Well, yes, how could plush and stuffed toys not be cute? But as far as shoes go and shoes are supposed to serve a function (duh!),  is this even remotely functional? Heck, I don’t even think it’s fashionable! You walk a little in these shoes and you instantly mop up all the dust and dirt of your environment. Walk a bit more on these and ruminate on all the little pathogens that can cling to the furry backsides of these shoes and hitch their way back to your home, and I can almost cry.  The only place I can even think these are appropriate is in the bedroom where you are least likely to be assailed by germs and bugs and dust and dirt, but when I think about mites and bed bugs, I cringe all over again. At USD150 and a waste of good money, these Reebok pairs will certainly not make it to the list of my favorite Hello Kitty items.

Though these will.

More on Hello Kitty x Re-ment next time.

P.S. Giveaway Countdown

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