A Kitty Wonderland: Part Two

As promised, here are some more photos of the Hello Kitty Christmas Village at SM City North EDSA. The display and scheduled activities will run until January 6, 2013.

This was my favorite “house” of all. Why? Because I “live” here! Teehee!

Still don’t see me yet? Here I am, all in pink! Oh, yeah, I don’t have delusions about being Hello Kitty because I am… ehrm… her mama!

I love the balloon centerpiece on the cocktail tables set up on the left side of the venue, behind two of the houses. I’m glad I was able to take a picture of even one as this was the last one there. I ignorantly did not claim this because as soon I stepped away from it, someone else claimed it for herself. No doubt, that was a Hello Kitty fan.

Remember I had one of these for my birthday before? BreadTalk has new designs for the cakes and you can preorder these yummy beauties just a few days in advance for any special occasion. Nom nom nom nom nom.

Those are Anthony and Margaret George, Hello Kitty’s loving grandparents.

The best part about the whole event was seeing so many people who love Hello Kitty as much as I do. Many were dressed up in their best Hello Kitty fashions. I requested this mother and daughter team in matching Hello Kitty dresses to pose for a picture. (Thank you, mommy and daughter!)

Look, she even has a friend in a Hello Kitty dress too!

Here is the vivacious Ms. Prieto posing for a picture. (She said yes after she had me take her picture for her Instagram account, hehehe.) I took this for my friend Cynch. I only wish I had not forgotten the paper banner I made that said “Hello, Cynch!” *toinks*

And here is Gift Gate Philippines’ very own Operations Manager, the lovely Ms. Cleo Balingit De Ocampo. She was running about the venue until I had her freeze for a shot. 🙂 That is grace under pressure!

An additional blessing: I met a very nice Hello Kitty collector at the event. Her name is Denise Lao. She came up to me and said very nice things that flustered me a bit. *blushes* I’m glad I made a new Hello Kitty friend. I borrowed the picture below from Denise’s Facebook album of the event. Sorry if I looked sweaty and red all over.

As I told you in the previous post, Hello Kitty fashion makes it big at Forever21 so catch them before they run out! Unfortunately, sizes run in the regular range and not in the plus size range, eliminating me at once as a target audience. Oh, wait, I do fit under the umbrella! The neck pillow too! And the scarf!

No need to walk to the Annex to get your Sanrio fix, as they’ve set up a selling area in the venue. I want the bed table!!!

And even SM has Hello Kitty clothes and toys for sale, including toys imported by my favorite toy distributor, Ban Kee Trading.

Upstairs, on the 3rd floor, the exhibit started quietly and without much fanfare…

and then I suddenly noticed a bunch of photographers taking pictures of the ones beside me. So engrossed was I in looking and taking my own pictures that I didn’t realize I had run into Mr. Hans Sy again! Unlike snobby VIPs, he didn’t make a big fuss that I was blocking his view (though I could feel the bodyguards’ stares boring through me). I quietly slipped away, pretending I hadn’t noticed.

These are DJ Nicole Hyala’s Loungefly bags.

And her popcorn machine. And her cotton candy machine. And her bling cases for her gadgets.

And her microwave oven!

Part of Ms. Dianne Abella’s collection. The Anteprima wire bag is worth PhP25,000- and that is only the small one!

She also has very nice plushes.

Want to see more Hello Kitty collections? There are more to see! (P.S. Ms. Denise also has some of her collection on display so look for it, please!)

It took all of my willpower NOT to publish here or in Facebook all 286 pictures I took of the event using two cameras. I figured, a sneak peek is all one needs because the experience is definitely better than a bunch of photos. So if you want to see more of the Hello Kitty Christmas Village and the Hello Kitty Exhibit, head on now to SM City North EDSA!

~0~ ♥ ~0~

My thanks to:

SM City North EDSA and the SM Marketing Group

Ms. Zelina Baluyan and Ms. Mares Palma of Yehey! Digital Team

Sanrio and Gift Gate Philippines, with special mention of Ms. Cleo De Ocampo



A Kitty Wonderland: Part One

The invitation said four in the afternoon and I had meant to get there by three at the latest to get a feel of the Atrium’s layout. But when you’re a mom and wife and everything else all rolled in one (yes, I am even a handy carpenter on occasion), sometimes, getting your undies on right side out is all you have time for. Cross my Kitty heart.

In fairness, though, I wasn’t really late. I was there 15 minutes before the scheduled time but already, there were so many people that it felt like the MRT on rush hour, sans the funky smells of course. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the security and all the people milling around and wandering aimlessly. There were just so many. Fortunately, my phone rang just in time and I was graciously led me to where I was supposed to be seated for the duration of the program, on the second row of the right side of the stage.

The launch of SM City North EDSA’s tribute to Hello Kitty came in the form of a runway fashion show spiced up with a LOT of Hello Kitty talk. Ms. Tessa Prieto and Mr. Raymond Gutierrez hostedthe almost two-hour show. It was wonderful to see Ms. Prieto and Mr. Gutierrez banter lightly on stage. But of course, the star of the show (aside from the REAL star) was Ms. Prieto who was right in her element- fun, wacky, and feisty, but elegant to the core.

True to Ms. Prieto’s spirit, she came out in an over-the-top, multicolored (I counted six colors, at least!) Hello Kitty-inspired fairy/butterfly gown! It had pink pearly, sequined wings AND Hello Kitty plushes trailing down the hem and train. Shades of Lady Gaga’s plush gown, except waaaay more wearable. 🙂 Oops, don’t forget her aqua blue and pink feathery fascinator! Only Tessa Prieto can ever pull an out outfit like that. *bows to the master*

There were girls dressed in Hello Kitty finery and styled with ribbon bows made of hair on their head. They pranced and galloped and sashayed on stage like seasoned models (okay, okay, there were one or two little girls who were clueless when it came to directions but, hey, they were cute!).

There were young ladies who showed off adult fashions- from playtime to night time dates- complete with charming accessories like bags and blings, even a neck pillow and a scarf.

All of these fashionable finds are currently available at SM Department Store branches for kids’ fashion and Forever21 for ladies’ wear.

Then, there was a brief Q and A portion with Hello Kitty fans and collectors, including well-known designer Francis Libiran, actress Maxene Magalona, and FM DJ Nicole Hyala.

A-list designer Mr. Francis Libiran designer (middle) designed Hello-Kitty inspired outfits for America’s Next Top Model 18th cycle (April 25, 2012 episode). Seen here beside him to the right is Ms. Pia Arroyo-Magalona.

GMA-7 actress Maxene Magalona is in Hello Kitty from top to toe!

And DJ Nicole Hyala shows off a Loungefly patent embossed tote bag, a HK watch, a HK-covered white iPhone 4s and HK shirt dress with matching shoes!

While I loved being right near stage, my vantage point for photos was hopelessly limited. Moving around was not an option as there were so many people you’d be stepping on people’s toes when you do. Right in front of me was the row of seats occupied by Mr. Hans Sy, Executive Vice President of ShoeMart Inc.and President of Shopping Center Management Corporation, and his guests and officers. Mr. Sy donated gifts to the 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize Awardee Kesz Valdez and his supported advocacy.

Sorry, you can’t even see Kesz here but you can see Mr. Sy and his giveaway presents!

Right after that, it was time for the REAL star of the show to come out! There was much funfare as heralds started screaming Hello Kitty’s name. Confetti shot out from giant confetti guns and filled the air with fluttering paper! A white vintage car drove (the better word would be “crawl” as it inched its way ever so slowly, surrounded by a throng of people into the center Atrium). Inside, a fluffy giant feline waved happily to the crowd that greeted her with such a uproar of delight.


Hello Kitty being assisted up the stage

She is surrounded by Kitty-addled crowds- men, women, and children!

The vintage car that carried the star of the show!

After that, it was complete bedlam as people rushed to get their photos with Hello Kitty! So enamored were they of her that they screamed her name and jumped on stage, even with hosts Ms. Prieto and Mr. Gutierrez still on it! It was Kitty crazzzzzy! 🙂

I managed to get one photo taken with Ms. Kitty through the kindness of Ms. Cleo De Ocampo of Gift Gate Philippines. Long after the time given for Hello Kitty to welcome guests (can you imagine how hard it must have been for the person inside the mascot costume?), people were still pulling her for photo ops.

It was a Hello Kitty-rific day!

~0~ ♥ ~0~

(Part two to follow with more photos from the event, the displays and the exhibit! Watch out for it!)

GOOD Kitty!

Picture from NYDailyNews.com

I know I wasn’t alone in my Hello Kitty fantasies and obsessions. How could I be, when the whole world recognizes Hello Kitty as an International Icon of Cuteness?

Few characters have had such a distinguished career as this furry feline. Even without a mouth, Hello Kitty crosses the barriers of age, gender, and nationality with such ease that you’d think this cat that weighed no more than three apples was bestowed with her very own manifest destiny.

Consider this: In 1984, Hello Kitty was named UNICEF Ambassador in the US. Ten years later, Japan’s UNICEF office also awarded her the same post. And in 2008, she was hailed as Japan’s offical Ambassador for Tourism, a post highly coveted by humans and nonhumans (fictional or otherwise) alike.

At 38 years old and nearing midlife, Hello Kitty seems to show no signs of aging as she continues her domination across the globe.

Few of us have ever gone to Japan’s Sanrio Puroland and Sanrio Park Harmonyland, or even Malaysia’s very new Hello Kitty Town in Johor. For many Filipinos in love with Hello Kitty, these will remain part of their bucket list, probably unchecked for years, because of soaring ticket prices and travel costs.

Still, there is a Hello Kitty glimmer in the horizon, and it comes perfectly on time for this holiday season, as SM City North EDSA, the largest mall in the country, teams up with Sanrio and Gift Gate to bring Hello Kitty to her many fans in the country.

Yes, my friends, Hello Kitty will be here soon.

Hello, Hello Kitty!

At SM City’s North EDSA The Block Atrium, from November 10 to January 6, Hello Kitty will be featured in one of the most animated, interactive events of the supermall’s history.

Hungry for Hello Kitty treats? There will be a Hello Kitty Cake Shop where kitty treats are more than just catnip!

A coffee lover, are you? Then head on to the Hello Kitty Coffee Shop to get your caffeine fix with just the right amount of Kitty sweetness!

The Hello Kitty House is perfect for photo ops with you and favorite Kitty friends, so bring them all and wear your finest Hello Kitty oufits! (I know I will!)

Looking for a romantic date? The Skygarden has Hello Kitty lanterns for a most unique experience!

And everywhere in the Activity Hall, you will find exciting activities that are sure to whet your Hello Kitty appetites for more, including but not limited to the following:

  • face painting sessions, from November 10 to December 24, from 2 to 4pm, with Hello Kitty up, close, and personal
  • Hello Kitty fashion show on December 8, 4pm, where the latest and trendiest Hello Kitty fashion and accessories will be shown off

Still not convinced this is the BIGGEST Christmas extravaganza this season? Check out the Hello Kitty Luxe Collection at the 3rd floor of The Block from November 10 to January 6 and prepared to be amazed!

Now, if you think Hello Kitty will exempt the normally calming oasis of the elegant Interior Zone, think again! Also from November 10 to January 6, longtime collectors and Interior Zone tenants will team up with some of the the country’s best designers from the Philippine School of Interior Design to present to you Kittified room exhibits.

Wait, there’s also a Hello Kitty car display collection to make you drool! Can you absolutely believe it? Hello Kitty will be everywhere at the SM City North EDSA! *faints*

Of course, SMNE outdoes itself by adding more events in this season of merriment!

  • There’s the Santa Meet and Greet at the City Center (main bulding) 3rd floor, on December 9,16,24,and 25 from 3 to 5pm.
  • The Mr. Men and Little Miss Misterland opens on December 1 at the Annex 4th floor, with free storytelling sessions on December 2,14,22,and 23.
  • Be serenaded with the most enchanting carols on December 2 and 16 by SM’s Grand Chorale.
  • Shop till you drop at the All-4-Kids Sale at the City Center 3rd floor from November 14 to 18 and December 10 to 16.
  • And if you haven’t had your fill yet from toy sales, the latest being Toy Kingdom’s very successful Warehouse Sale at SM Megamall, SM City North follows it up with a Holiday Bazaar at the Skydome on Novemver 30, December 1 and 2.

Truly, there is no limit to our holiday merrymaking this Christmas!

See you at SM City North EDSA! Kittymama won’t miss this for the world!

~0~ ♥ ~0~

And now for some sponsor acknowledgements:

SM City North EDSA

Sanrio and Gift Gate

With the special participation of the following:

HP, Samsung, Firefly, Uniqlo, Toy Kingdom, SM Department Store, The Philippine School of Interior Design, Color & Life, Eglo, Linden Teak, Market Square, Space & Style, Urban Concepts, Breadtalk, Jamba Juice, Papa John’s Pizza, and Tender Bob’s, Forever 21, National Bookstore, Pink Parlor, Van’s, Shell Canvas, Cakes R Us, MSI Notebook.