Chalet dreams

While waiting for some good news (hopefully) from Naumi Hotel, I watched a DVD of Chalet Girl, which stars Felicity Jones as Kim, a former skateboarding champion who loses her zest for the sport when her mother dies in a car accident.
Bored with life and to make ends meet, she takes a winter job as a chalet girl in Austria, where she meets Johnny, the rich heir, played by Ed Westwick.

Powder Girl (Chalet Girl)

Powder Girl (Chalet Girl)

The movie made me feel like a 20-something again, made me wish I was skinny, European, and liked snow (I truly hate winter). Made me wish I was so cool I could snowboard and had access to a chalet. (Unfortunately the closest I have been to a chalet is the Old Swiss Inn restaurant in Makati.)
I just love the setting of the movie because I’ve got my eye on the Chalet Dolce Vita in Italy, not because of skiing, I just really like how cozy this looks.

Screen Shot 2012-01-23 at 1.33.22 AM

Screen Shot 2012-01-23 at 1.32.56 AM



Felicity Jones is a wonderful discovery for me as it’s the first time I’ve ever seen her. Not your typical girly girl, she transforms from chalet girl into the snowboarding champ who gets the boy.

Powder Girl (Chalet Girl)

Powder Girl (Chalet Girl)

It’s nice to hear Ed Westwick in his natural British accent and watch Brooke Shields as his snobby mom, a former Concorde air hostess who married rich (Bill Nighy).


Two of my favorite characters are played by Sophia Bush, as Chloe (Ed Westwick’s sosy fiancée) and Mikki, the “single guy from Finland” who teaches Kim how to snowboard.


So heartwarming, I watched it twice :)

Sleepless in Manila

File this under #ChuvanessProblems

Since yesterday I’ve been problematic about a credit card bill that reflected a charge from Naumi Hotel in Singapore the amount of SG$ 941.60 or about Php 32,686 for a hotel stay that didn’t even occur last December 26, 2011.
Last December 26-30, my family and I stayed at the Quincy Hotel during the Christmas-New Year break and had a good time. But between Naumi and Quincy, I would have preferred to stay at Naumi.

Naumi Hotel

How did this happen?
I called of Shalini Silva at Naumi to ask about the bill. I would describe her telephone personality as stern (read: not friendly) as she said it was a no-show fee and instructed me to email them a complaint.
I went into my Gmail archives to look for a correspondence between myself and Shalini. The last correspondence I had was from me asking her to book the said hotel and giving her my credit card number.
After that, I don’t have any record of any response with a confirmation letter.
I emailed and waited.

A few hours later I received an email from Simon Tham at Naumi saying I will still be charged with a no-show fee, attaching a confirmation letter from the hotel which I was seeing only for the first time. My heart sank.
I asked for consideration. He later emailed that he would get back to me this week.
To be honest, I am such an OC traveler that I immediately print out all confirmation letters for hotels and plane tickets, put these in my travel case in the safe. I fill up everyone’s immigration forms, including arrival cards at the destination way in advance.
I also diligently check in early and reserve seats online because I am super OC about flying.
I don’t understand how this could’ve happened. No confirmation letter, I had no way of knowing I was booked. I ended up booking at the Quincy a month later—note that I received a confirmation letter from them.

That said, I’ve been stressed since Friday afternoon. Last night I ran so hard just to take the pain away from the thought of an electronic error that is costing me money. And now I can’t sleep.
I am hoping Mr. Peter Wong of Naumi Hotels would have a Google alert on his name and read this entry. I am begging for consideration on a refund, or at the very least a discount for the no-show fee.
I know Mr. Wong is a hands-on manager as I have seen him personally answer feedback on
If it doesn’t work, I’ll write to the Singapore Tourism Board for assistance.
Hoping I can get some sleep right now.

My reviews of Naumi Hotel: the bad one and the good one.

Jeroen and I at Naumi Hotel
Jeroen and I in Singapore, 2009

Naumi is such a beautiful hotel if you get the right room (not the one with open bathrooms). I really hope they can fix the problem so that I can come back in future.
Meanwhile I’m waiting for that dreaded email hoping they will make things right.
Will go to Mass tomorrow for help. Wish me luck!

Bleach Home pillows

I need to get some of these for my Onion couch (Photos: Grace Velasco)

Bleach Home

Bleach Home

They come in graphics or scrabble letters

Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows
Bleach Home pillows

Comes in two sizes: small-Php 695 and large-Php 1195
Available at Bleach Catastrophe, 2nd level, Greenbelt 5, Makati

Why ticket prices are sky high in the Philippines

Ever wonder why Filipinos pay so much money foreign acts in concerts in Manila, even though we sometimes have to stand in the rain in some reclaimed area/parking lot in a god-forsaken place?
OPM, that’s why. OPM apparently demands a very high fee from any foreign act performing in Manila. This includes the international touring group of Mamma Mia that is set to perform at the CCP this January 24-Februrary 12.

Instead of feeling insecure about foreign artists performing here, OPM should be more nationalistic and consider:
1. All the hotel rooms these people are going to occupy = tourism
2. All the Filipinos who will enjoy watching a real performance of Mamma Mia, fresh from abroad, instead of having to fly to another country to see it
3. Whatever happened to “it’s more fun in the Philippines?” You are actually making it “more hassle in the Philippines.”
4. It’s not only the Filipinos would enjoy watching Mamma Mia at the CCP, it would also give tourists/foreigners/expats something else to look forward to besides our ho-hum malls.
5. Your exorbitant fees are absorbed by the producers who pass it on to the consumers. That explains why it’s more expensive to watch concerts and shows in the Philippines. Thank you very much.

Read on and let us know what you think in the comments section.

OPM to stop ‘Mamma Mia!’ if million-peso fee not paid
By: ,
January 21, 2012 | 2:01 am

MANILA, Philippines—The Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) is considering filing an injunction or temporary restraining order against the local promoter of the international touring production of the long-running West End and Broadway musical, “Mamma Mia!,” set to open Jan. 24 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Elmar Beltran Ingles, OPM executive director, told the Inquirer on Friday that the local promoter Concertus Inc. had not paid the equity clearance, a requirement for all foreign artists performing in the Philippines, which is bound by a memorandum of agreement between the singers’ union and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

“We’ve been talking with the promoter since November last year and were willing to give a 20-percent discount because the amount due is P1.8 million which is huge,” said Beltran.
The equity clearance fee—Php 5,000 per performer per show—Beltran said, goes to the OPM fund that pays for medical treatment and other emergency expenses of singer members.
But Concertus managing director Bambi Verzo said the BI had issued a special permit for the performers in the musical, which will have a four-week run.

“We were being charged double [from the original amount of Php 900,000] because OPM said December to February is a peak season for local shows. We discussed the situation with the BI.”
Verzo told the Inquirer that her office paid the bureau Php 367,000 for the special permit.
She did not explain why she paid an amount much lower than the OPM’s asking price.

Beltran pointed out that the amount does not cover the equity clearance. “We suspect something happened inside the BI without the knowledge of the top officials,” he said. “Ogie Alcasid (OPM president) has been trying to contact the immigration commissioner (Ricardo David Jr.) but it seems his calls are being ignored. We may bring the matter to the attention of President Aquino.”

Verzo, whose group has produced other international productions including “Cats” and “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” also at the CCP, said she didn’t see a problem. “We have the official permit, including the receipt of payment. That should settle the issue.”
Beltran said OPM will wait until Monday for Concertus to meet with them.

Lancel Daligramme: tribute to a great love

One of the best gifts I got this Christmas was this special edition Daligramme bag from Lancel.

Lancel daligramme

I love this shape

Lancel daligramme

At first I wasn’t sure at first what its purpose was

but sure is pretty, even without the filing “cabinet”

Lancel daligramme

Then I figured it out what it’s for: an organizer for all my gift checques! The perfect gift for an editor/blogger/writer or anyone who gets a lot of these.

Lancel daligramme

When I was growing up one of my favorite artists was Salvador Dalí. I used to stare at his works in my dad’s art books—he with the crazy mustache and paintings of limp watches and suspended eggs.



Salvador Dali - Eggs on the Plate Without the Plate 1932

Apart from his art and lifestyle, what struck me about Dalí was his devotion to his wife and muse Gala.

Gala and Dali

Salvador Dali worshipped and adored Gala, the love of his life who inspired him to greatness and rescued him from madness.
From the moment they met in 1929 on the beach in Cadaques, they became inseparable. At that time Gala was still married to the poet Paul Eluard, who had no choice but resign to his fate. He left without Gala.
Gala was “the woman I dreamt of and painted before I knew her,” said Dali. “I am crazy for Gala Gravida,” he declared, and invented an alphabet of love through symbols or variations on their initials, D and S and G.
Thus the “daligramas” were born.


This season, Lancel pays tribute to love of Salvador Dali and Gala through the Daligramme Collection, a range of bags emblazoned Dalí’s secret symbols.

Image 7
Image 10
Image 3
Image 9
Image 4
Image 2
Image 13
Image 8

Find them at Lancel, 2nd level, Shangri-La Plaza.
To know more, go to

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