Join @chuvaness back-to-school giveaway

Sorry for the long absence, but time flies when you’re a mom.
We have a virus at home. Christian got better yesterday and went to school today, while Markus still has a 39° fever and is missing school again tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I have so much stuff to give away. I do apologise to all the people who gave prizes eons ago. I’m on it!!
Today I put together five train cases filled with goodies from National Bookstore, my happy place.

Back to school giveaway

The PVC train cases are made in Korea and come with a shoulder strap. I love this bag.

Jeroen and I at Globe Tatt Awards

Here’s what’s inside:

Back to school giveaway

1) National Bookstore’s Budget Bundle with pens and paper in a handy envelope
2) Total Girl’s cute school planner
3) Britto notebook
4) Campus BDJ planner with lots of discount coupons
5) Friends Fries notebook (thought it was funny)
6) My favourite Post-It pop-up dispenser
7) Dollar pen case
8) Post-It pop-up refill pack


1) You must have a Philippine address.
2) Share this entry through Twitter or Facebook by clicking the buttons at the bottom of this post.
3) Register HERE.
4) Contest runs until 11 PM of June 13, 2014, Friday.
5) Five winners will be chosen electronically via and informed via email or text. Depending on location and convenience, prizes will either be couriered, delivered, or picked up by/to the winners.
6) Winners’ names will also be posted on

Lance Raymundo reveals face after the accident

(Warning: graphic photos)

When I was young I used to love Montgomery Clift. I watched all his movies, collected his photos and read everything I could about him—all this before Internet and Google were invented.
I watched him on VHS tapes and bought biographies when I could physically find them in a bookstore.
The photos my dad bought in Japan when he traveled, like this one.

Montgomery Clift

Four times nominated for Best Actor in the Academy Awards for The Search (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953), and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Montgomery Clift was at the height of his career in 1956 when his car smashed into a telephone pole and destroyed his face.
He suffered a broken jaw and nose, a fractured sinus, and several facial lacerations which required plastic surgery (wiki).
Sadly his looks were gone.

Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick

There is nothing scarier than losing one’s face—literally and figuratively.
Last March 19, 2014, my nephew, indie actor Lance Raymundo met a serious accident at the gym when his trainer dropped an 80-lb. barbell on his face.
Lance felt the most intense pain. Blood covered his eyes but he could hear his trainer crying in Tagalog, “I’m so sorry, I have killed you!”

At that moment Lance had the following thoughts:
1) He forgave his trainer. “It’s not your fault,” he immediately told him. “Just take me to the hospital.”
2) He must not fall asleep and kept his mind occupied to keep it alert.
3) He must not die because his brother will kill the trainer.
4) He thought of his parents. He cannot die.

This was Lance before the accident:

Lance Raymundo
Lance Raymundo

And a few hours later, when he was “cleaned up” at the hospital.

Lance Raymundo
Lance Raymundo

Right after the accident, he managed to call his mom, Nina Raymundo, who rushed to the hospital.
“Mom, I’m gonna need a nosejob,” he told her.
The first day was critical. After emergency surgery when they thought he was sleeping, he heard his doctor tell his mom that he could die.
On March 20, the day after the accident, he began to regain full consciousness.
“I realized the gravity of my situation. I was half blind, the small crack on my skull made me vulnerable to meningitis and seizures. Through my one functional eye, I took a good look at the mirror and didn’t recognize my own face because it was disfigured. I thought I looked like Voldemort—only Voldemort looked better,” Lance said.

Voldemort and Lance

“But for some reason, instead of feeling angry, depressed or negative, I just took another look at the new me.
I smiled back at my reflection and thanked God I was still alive. I had personal a moment with God and asked Him to guide me in planning how to live an effective and meaningful life with my current situation. I also found it within me to completely and sincerely forgive the fitness trainer who accidentally dropped the barbell on my face and prayed for his peace of mind.
I must have fallen asleep, but at approximately 5:45 PM, I heard a voice within my head saying, ‘Your suffering will only last for 6 days because on the 7th day, everything will be restored.’
A day after, my swelling subsided. The doctor scheduled my surgery on March 25th and on March 26—SEVEN days after the accident, I woke up, opened my eyes, and realized that both eyes were working and my vision was restored.
The neurosurgeons informed my family that my brain was cleared from danger. I asked Mom for a mirror, and when I looked, it was me again! His Promise, fulfilled!”

Lance Raymundo

A second surgery followed after a month, led by Dr. Michael Porquez of Cardinal Santos hospital

Lance Raymundo

It looks promising

Lance Raymundo
Lance Raymundo

Less than three months after the accident, Lance and his family decided to celebrate his birthday with a thanksgiving dinner at Gloria Maris, Greenhills, with about 100 friends, family and media.
Last night, we finally got to see him again.
He likes his face. He looks slightly younger. No more eyebags, with a slightly turned up nose. Because hey, why not??

Lance Raymundo

The result is amazing. The accident is slightly obvious, but it will still improve as it continues to heal within six months to a year.

Lance Raymundo

But what’s more amazing to me—more than Lance’s speedy recovery and faith—is his ability to forgive the one who has wronged him.
“His first instinct was to forgive,” our cousin Ana Coscolluela told me last night. “That really means he’s a good person.
I agreed.

Lance Raymundo

Ana Coscolluela (R) with our beloved auntie, Nina Raymundo—Lance’s mom.

Read about Lance Raymundo’s accident HERE.

HOTDOG Together Again for Tacloban on June 17

HOTDOG’s Rene and Dennis Garcia, Gina Montes, Jess Garcia (the original kilabot ng collegiala during the ’70s), Maso Diez, Rita Trinidad and Joy Reyes are reuniting to support the rehabilitation efforts for Tacloban on June 17, 2014, 8:30 PM at the newly renovated Ballroom of Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.


At the height of their popularity in the ’70s, HOTDOG initiated the first ever provincial entertainment road tour with Pepsi Cola and their first stop was Tacloban City. The group was well-received by the “Warays” and that being the first stop of this milestone tour, Tacloban City remains very dear to HOTDOG.
The concert fundraiser—HOTDOG Together Again for Ayad Tacloban—will be a showcase of original Hotdog hits from the ’70s and ’80s including Manila, Annie Batungbakal, Parang Robot, Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko, Panaginip, Langit Na Naman, as well as compositions that have not been heard before.

Supporting this cause are W.L. Foods, Dusit Thani Hotel, Smart, Samsung, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Purefoods Tender Juicy, Crossover 105.1, Mellow 94.7, The Zen Institute, Federal Land, Petron Blaze, Skinfiniti, Hammerhead, Power V, Creative Minds, Rotary Club Southeast, Don Papa Rum, and
For tickets and inquiries, call (0921)293-1784 • 583-6782 • 893-7349.

Kung ako ay binaha, binagyo
Ako ba ay tutulungan mo?
Kung liparin ang bubong sa ulo
Ako ba’y papayungan mo?

Tacloban… babangon sa tulong mo
Tacloban… umaasa nang husto
Tacloban… laking salamat sa iyo
Kung brownout itong paligid ko

(Does it worry you to be alone?)
Sa dilim ba’y aalalayan mo ako?
(Are you sad because you’re on your own?)

Tacloban… babangon sa tulong mo
Tacloban… umaasa nang husto
Tacloban… laking salamat sa iyo

Do you need anybody
Ikaw ang kailangan
Could it be anybody?
Pag-asa ka ng Tacloban
Kung ang tiyan ko ay biglang kumulo
Di ka ba mawawala, lalayo
Okay lang bang ako’y pakainin mo?
Kahit medyo matakaw ako

Tacloban… babangon sa tulong mo
Tacloban… umaasa nang husto
Tacloban… laking salamat sa iyo

Do you need anybody
Ikaw ang kailangan
Could it be anybody?
Pag-asa ka ng Tacloban

Tacloban… babangon sa tulong mo
Tacloban… umaasa nang husto
Tacloban… laking salamat sa iyo

Goodbye Mandarin Oriental Manila, hello new location

So the rumours are true: the Mandarin Oriental, Manila on Makati Avenue is about to close later this year.
While the Mandarin Oriental, Manila has played an important role in the business and tourism market since 1976, the property’s infrastructure and existing facilities are no longer in keeping with the brand’s well-recognized, luxury hospitality offering.

Mandarin Oriental - Manila

But worry not—a new Mandarin Oriental, Manila, is scheduled to open in 2020.
To be developed by Ayalaland Hotels & Resorts, the new luxury 275-room hotel will be part of a mixed-use development branded and managed by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

The new Mandarin Oriental, Manila will feature spacious rooms and a range of elegant and contemporary facilities, including a variety of restaurants and a signature spa. More information will be released as soon as details are confirmed.

“Mandarin Oriental, Manila has been recognized as one of the city’s most iconic hotels since its opening in 1976, and the Group wishes to express its sincere appreciation to all colleagues for their legendary service and support over the years. All hotel colleagues have been informed of the forthcoming closure and will receive full and fair severance payment and appropriate professional guidance,” said Torsten van Dullemen, General Manager of the hotel.

Pond’s launches skincare for men

Pond’s isn’t just for women anymore.
As a leader in skin solutions, The Pond’s Institute aims to help Filipino men find new solutions to their skincare concerns. Pond’s Men is a groundbreaking, daily skin care regimen formulated to give men bright and energized skin.
To introduce its newest product line, Ponds recently launched Pond’s Men Energy Charge in a grand launch with brand ambassadors: (L-R) businessman Victor Consunji, director Paul Soriano, actor Xian Lim, singer Rico Blanco, and footballer Anton del Rosario.

The New Faces of Pond’s Men: Victor Consunji, Xian Lim, Anton del Rosario, Paul Soriano, and Rico Blanco

Hosting the event were Unilever Philippines Head of PR for Personal Care Apples Aberin

Unilever Philippines Head of PR for Personal Care, Apples Aberin

and TV host Marc Nelson

Marc Nelson

Also at the launch were Pond’s ambassador Tweetie de Leon Gonzalez

Tweetie Gonzalez

Models Fabio Ide

Fabio Ide

and Marco Lobregat

Marco Lobregat

Blogger Robbie Becroft

Robbie Becroft

Ryan Gallagher

Ryan Gallagher

Sam Richelle

Sam Richelle

Janna Tee

Janna Tee

and Maggie Wilson

Maggie Wilson

Setting the mood for an energised party were DJ Nina

DJ Nina

DJ duo Kimkat


Pond’s Men ambassador Rico Blanco

Rico Blanco

and Dutch trio Shermanology.


Watch Xian Lim #GetEnergized

To know more about Pond’s Men, go to or like them on Facebook.
Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @PondsMenPH

A look inside Tokyo Midtown

If you’re traveling with kids in Tokyo, the Ritz-Carlton is a great place to stay because it is connected to the Tokyo Midtown mall in the posh Roppongi Hills. The area includes this vast park and a museum partnered and designed by Tadao Ando and Issey Miyake.

Tokyo Midtown
21-21 design sight

I had been to Tokyo Midtown only once before and never forgot how modern and spacious it was and is today.
Tokyo does not have a mall culture like Manila, so their malls are not very full. In fact they’re so empty it’s a bit sad.


But when they build a mall, they do it so beautifully.


Space = luxury

Tokyo Midtown

From the Ritz-Carlton Hotel you can access the mall through this beautiful outdoor area.
Imagine this scenario in 18-degree weather

Tokyo Midtown
Tokyo Midtown #3

Tsutaya has mostly Japanese books but there’s always something cool to buy

Tsutaya books at Tokyo Midtown
Tsutaya books

Their Starbucks is gorgeous

Tokyo Midtown

This way to the mall


On the basement level are many affordable little food outlets. We ate most of our meals here because on the upper floors are really expensive restaurants that can cost you an arm.
This is a yakitori place


There’s a famous tonkatsu restaurant called Hiratabokujyo


There are two Dean & Delucas: one is small and cute

Dean & Deluca at Tokyo Midtown

The other one is huge with a grocery/deli and restaurant. Check out the baskets on the floor—the Japanese have respect for handbags—a concept that won’t work in Manila with our culture of thieves.

Dean & Deluca at Tokyo Midtown

Everything at Dean & Deluca Tokyo is cute but not necessarily delicious. This mango juice tasted like medicine

Dean & Deluca

I’m a sucker for Oreos. This alien-looking thing is called Crash Chocolate Muffin, but I wonder if they meant “crushed”?
Unfortunately I didn’t get to try this. My stomach was always full from all the food choices.

Dean and Deluca crash chocolate muffin

There’s a little Jean Paul Hevin store—but the one in Hong Kong has more choices. I find JPH so expensive—it is best to buy in Paris if anyone is going.

Jean Paul Hevin at Tokyo Midtown

Moku Moku Tezukuri Farm sells this Japanese sausage on a stick. So big, I couldn’t finish one.

Mokumoku at Tokyo Midtown

I took some home to Manila and grilled it.

Moku Moku sausage on a stick

Most convenient is the 24-hour Precce Premium supermarket

Precce Premium

Shopping itself wasn’t exciting for me. I found the whole selection too expensive.
Worth noting is Kurachika—which is Porter bags heaven

Tokyo Midtown

Just a medium-sized Muji store


and a Plain People store.

Tokyo Midtown

To be honest, shopping in this mall is not exciting. (To be continued)
To know more about Tokyo Midtown, click HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...