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Time to make your own Magnum-again.

Byline: Vaughn G. Alviar

We're not sure if we're allowed to name our Magnums, but if the Make Your Own Magnumkiosk at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is about experience, might as well put a label on them, right?

Magnum Manila has transplanted the pleasure from its popular cafe at SM Aura to the second-floor lobby of the Mall of Asia main wing since Dec. 19, 2015.

The cafe closed in July after 14 months, which is too long by global standards for a Magnum pleasure store, says brand manager Andrea Huang.

Apparently there was an overwhelming welcome for the brand in Manila to justify that long run, she notes.

When the cafe closed, they even got hate mail-that was how much its denizens were so not over the brand yet.

Good thing the cafe resurfaced just before Christmas.

We wanted to bring the experience to another group of people, so we opened Magnum Manila MOA, says Huang.

People willfully forked out P120 to experience what Huang calls the heart of the store.

A pleasure maker allows you to choose your own dips, toppings and drizzles for your premium Belgian chocolate indulgence.

You choose your toppings, and the pleasure maker mixes them in a cocktail shaker. Then you choose between the vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and coat with any of the chocolates-white, milk or dark.

The pleasure maker pours the toppings onto the ice cream, adds a drizzle of the choco option of your choice, and finally places the M coin.

If you feel like sharing your work with the Magnum universe, share it through social media and use hashtags #MagnumManila and #MagnumMyWay. On Twitter and Instagram, tag Magnum_PH.

We followed all those steps when Magnum Manila allowed us to stay behind the bar and make our masterpiece on our own. The result: Magnum a la Filipino. It's chocolate ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and drizzled with milk chocolate. It is topped with dried mango, queso de bola shreds, Magnum's new topping, pastillas, and because we're hagglers, sea salt flakes. (It was that or chili flakes.)

Another one

Because people were prodding us to go back, we had the pleasure maker construct another one. We christened it Magnum fiesta, thinking about the vibrant fiestas all over the Visayas (er, how we want to be there).

It's a vanilla bar dipped in white choco and drizzled with milk choco, topped with Nerds (yes, the candy) and pistachios and dried raspberries-some of their luxurious options.

There are nearly 6,000 ways to enjoy the toppings (granting we used the right website and put the right variables to come up with it, of course), and as many reasons to return to the cafe- more if the dips and drizzles are factored in, and when they roll out their upcoming toppings.

Above all, you'll feel ownership for your own work. Huang says, It's very different from the Magnum you get from a normal 7-Eleven or in a normal supermarket.

It's not worth it to make someone buy for you; you have to stand there, be part of it, ask them to create it for you.

An added bonus is the look and feel of the store, designed by Moss Manila.

You are welcomed by the sight of model Magnums from Russell Beck Studio, an emblem made of 800 magnum sticks, inspired by an artwork at SM Aura, and a Magnum sculpture filled with 41,000 cocoa beans, like a work at Selfridges in London made with beans from Barry Callebaut, the chocolate provider of Magnum.

Taking all those into account, we think there aren't enough days until it closes-probably December-to get enough of Magnum Manila MOA.

For three Fridays and Saturdays (Jan. 22, 23, 29, 30; Feb. 5, 6), Magnum Manila MOA will host its first-ever #MagnumPleasureHour, giving away free Make Your Own Magnum bars. People need to be at the store 6-7 p.m. and share the promo photo on @Magnum_PH on Twitter and Instagram to claim their prize. Magnum Ambassadors will drop by the store. Magnum Manila MOA is a joint project with Selecta and FoodAsia Corp.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 15, 2016
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