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Metro Channel Hosts And Editors Take On The Uniqlo Challenge

How many gifts can you fit in P5,000? Metro Channel hosts Marc Nelson and Christi McGarry and Metro Editors Geolette Esguerra, Kate Paras, and Justin Convento take on this challenge.

Gift-shopping during the holidays can be a dizzying foray into organized chaos. At times frustrating, it’s still a rewarding experience to find a perfect gift for your loved one. Each person has a strategy for shopping, so we challenged our Metro editors and Metro Channel hosts to fit in their holiday gift shopping in one afternoon. 

Each person brought their A-game and shared their shopping strategy, their gift list, identifying which items they wanted to get, and their go-to Uniqlo piece.

Raul Manzano, Metro Society Editor-in-Chief and EIC on the Move Host


Known for his luxury travel series, EIC on the Move, Raul loves buying his essentials from Uniqlo so it’s not surprising that he knew exactly what to get for the gift guide challenge.

“When you walk into the store, you can get carried away with the variations and prices but I always check the sale rack and get as many items as I can from there,” he shares his tip. He likes to buy separates–tops and bottoms–because you can use them in different ways. For the challenge, he was shopping for his brothers, so he picked out the SUPIMA Cotton Crew Neck as “these were perfect for the beach”, the Low Cut Socks, and the Men’s U Crew Neck Shirt. 

Apart from this, what caught his eye were the UNIQLO jeans–they’re always a perfect fit.

Typically for Raul, he went over-budget!

Justin Convento, Metro.Style Culture Editor


The gift list of Justin is pretty diverse, as she’s looking for items for her parents, her boyfriend, and godson. Her strategy is to “stick to the budget but try to give a bit of allowance just in case you find something else not in your original list, so you won’t feel as deprived. 

“Think about which kinds of fabrics and what colors your friends and family like,” she adds. Some like thick cotton ones, but some also like lightweight materials perfect for sports training and the tropical that we have, she adds. 

For her mom who likes the thicker, cotton type of shirts, she bought the Women’s U Crew Neck Shirt, while she also provided the Women’s AIRism Seamless Shirt for her mom. For her dad and boyfriend, she picked the Men’s U Crew Neck shirt and the SUPIMA Cotton Crew Neck shirt. For her godson, she picked the pajama bottoms with pockets which are quite functional.

As for Justin’s favorite items, it’s AIRism all the way–you can never have enough AIRism products.

Marc Nelson, Beached Host


The host of Beached, Marc Nelson was shopping for his brother, mom, nephew, and godchildren. 

His shopping strategy involves a lot of math: “I like doing math in my head so as I’m picking out items I’ll try to stick to my budget and shop for the least priority recipients which happen to be my brother and nephew.

For the challenge, he liked the Kids’ Easy Shorts, the Toddler Dry Pajamas, and the SUPIMA Cotton Crew Neck Shirt. “I try to find it in the colors my brother and nephew like. For my nephew, it's perfect because he likes to go out and play basketball so something like this texture would suit him just fine,” he says. Plus there’s also the Women’s U Crew Neck Shirt. 

He does have a lot of favorite items from Uniqlo such as the Puffer down jackets he carries with him wherever he goes all over the world. “When I’m in a plane, it’s stuffed down to basically nothing–makes a ball in hand, it fits into its pockets, and keeps me warm,” he explains. 

Christy McGarry, Beached Host


Beached host Christy was shopping for her boyfriend’s side of the family from her boyfriend’s parents and niece. Unlike the other shoppers, she was also looking for a little something for herself. “I always try to look for the best deals at Uniqlo because they have a lot,” she shares. “Think about who you’re gifting and try not to be excessive. Look for pieces that people can use forever!”

She picked out the Girls’ Easy Shorts and paired them with a Ribbed Cropped Top. For her Boyfriend’s Nephew, there are the Toddler’s Leggings with the dinosaur print and the Toddler’s Pajama set. For her boyfriend, she picked out the Men’s U Crew Neck Shirt. Turns out, he is also a Uniqlo fan: “He has this in different colors but these colors will complete his collection.”

Christy also picked out something for herself. “Sometimes, you just need to treat yourself,” she admits. This would be the Women’s Ribbed Cropped Shirt in both black and white. 

Geolette Esguerra, Editor-in-Chief of Metro.Style


Shopping for her husband, son, and friends, Geolette set out to finalize her list first and check the prices. “The list reminds me of who I’m planning to give gifts to, and that helps because shopping can be quite overwhelming.” She often grabs a lot of items and then decides at the very end before she goes to the counter. 

Some of her finds are the Toddler’s Pajamas and Toddler’s Leggings. “These leggings can be matched with AIRism shirts. My toddler is very active so this will be useful for him. Also to add the cuteness factor are the Kids’ Easy Shorts. 

She spotted the Ribbed Cropped Shirt that would match her pamangkin. “If you like items that you can’t wear (because they don’t fit your style), you can just gift them so other people can appreciate them.” There are also the Girls Easy shorts for the younger ones. 

Some of the other finds are the Women’s U Crew Neck Shirt and SUPIMA Crew Neck Shirt, both of which come in a variety of colorways. The Slub Jersey Shirt is also an easy piece that friends would love for their wearability. Then there’s the U Crew Neck Shirt, and the SUPIMA Crew Neck Shirt.

Kate Paras, Metro.Style Beauty Editor


Kate is always a thoughtful gifter, and this time she was looking for pieces for her husband, nephew, and niece. “I make a list so I don’t miss anyone and I plan early,” she says. “It’s important to look at price points as well. I have to canvass the entire store to see what’s available and from there I can already choose which ones to pick.”

For this challenge, she gravitated towards the Women’s U Crew Neck Shirt. For her husband, she got a variety of packs of the Dry Packaged Crew Neck Shirt. Then she also pre-styled items for her niece and nephew such as the Girl’s Easy Shorts and Ribbed Cropped Shirt. To fill in the amount, she picked out a few socks for her husband. “They’re very functional and classic. An easy gift for everyone, really.”

Her go-to items in Uniqlo are the bags and accessories that caught her eye the minute she went inside the store. “I am a self-confessed budget girl so I stick to a list and I prepare for shopping early because when you’re pressed for time, you end up just making purchases that you’ll regret in the end,” she says. 

“Uniqlo is the perfect place to shop this holiday because their items are timeless. They’ve got so many wonderful basics that never go out of style. I’ve got items that I have had for so many years and I still use them to this day,” says Marc Nelson. 

Kate adds: “Uniqlo has everything for everyone. You’re bound to find the perfect piece for everyone you love.”

“If you’re in a rush, you can find everything at Uniqlo,” declares Geolette. 

Why is Uniqlo the perfect place for finding your gifts? Christy echoes the sentiments of everyone. “Everything can be found in Uniqlo, there’s something for everyone! Despite the age and every color range, the textures, they’re cool, elegant, and smart so for sure you’ll find someone for every member of the family.”