Friday, August 22, 2014

One Day by David Nicholls

I will never ever regret the moment I grabbed this book hurriedly to the cashier to purchase it and then rush back to the airport lounge in Bali to get my things.. imagine the pressure upon hearing somebody announcing our plane's nearing departure, the adrenaline rush, and the anticipation of reading a book you just randomly picked. Thrilling! And to find out in the end how brilliant the story was felt so rewarding, as if I was saved from the agony of my impulsive buying! This novel is totally "rad" and "sweet" I think I'm gonna have a hard time moving on.

  Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess were a natural in the movie. I just love them! I thank everyone behind this novel, this movie for making such brilliant, brilliant work. Kudos to the whole team!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Brunei Travel Diary

It is my second day here in Brunei and I am already impressed by how hospitable the people are. I am currently on a three-day staycation at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, after that, I will be spending the next days exploring some highly recommended tourist spots around the country. But did you know that The Empire Hotel in Brunei was originally built to house royal guests? Oh yeah. It was built by Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the brother of the current Sultan of Brunei. Prince Jefri owned a network of companies and investment vehicles, he bought the luxury goods company Asprey, built an amusement park, and other projects in Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and his brother have had some open financial disagreements in the past and finally came to the decision of converting the royal guest palace to a hotel. 

The Empire hotel is a grand, spacious, state-of-the-art, luxury five-star hotel. It is the best hotel in the country and the only one situated by the South China Sea. There are beaches and a whole wealth of swimming pools. There are seven restaurants, a golf course, a cinema and a bowling alley. The whole complex cost around $US1.1 billion to build! These photos won't even justify how beautiful and vast this area is. I've never seen a grander lobby, it's really impressive. Almost everything inside is lined with gold, the artworks are magnificent, and they boast intricately design interiors. The first thing I thought of when I looked around is where the people are. I thought maybe not so many people are staying here, I was wrong. What was I thinking? On a 180-hectare hotel, how can I expect everyone to stay in just one place, and with all the facilities here? But then, there's dinner and breakfast time. Ah! Pretty crowded eh? We had to line up and wait for an available table. They serve up fresh seafood, western and local dishes, but sadly, they were just OK. Nothing had impressed my taste buds, so far. I still highly recommend you stay here when in Brunei though, don't miss this out!

Brunei sunset
Largest pool
Infinity pool
A glimpse of the hotel lobby
This was my look straight from the airport!
Blazer | Forever 21 | Jeans | Forever 21 | Flats | Rubi Shoes
More photos from inside The Empire Hotel on my next post.
Now back to making the most out of this vacation. Until then!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Empire Hotel Brunei

As promised, here are some photos from inside The Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei. Impressive isn't it? What also made my stay here more interesting was meeting some of our Kababayans. It's true that almost everywhere in the world, there is a Filipino. You'll recognize the familiar friendly smiles, the polite gestures and sense of humour when having a conversation with them. Bruneians are as well good natured people, thoughtful and welcoming, so I had no trouble blending in. In fact, I met these group of teenage girls in The Empire Hotel while taking a dip one afternoon. Most of them were shy but that's not stopping them from being nice and all. Here's a shout out to you my dear @alexismhjpowers! See you again soon!

Dress | Dorothy Perkins

Who wouldn't feel like a Queen Bee in this place?
Watch out for my next blog post, still in Brunei!
For more photos, drop by my Instagram @lvlygrey 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Paul Maison de Qualite

What's a better way to spend the afternoon than having a cup of Joe? And in my pursue of finding the best coffee in the city, I found myself at PAUL. Paul Maison de Qualite is a French chain of Bakery/Café restaurants established in 1889, in Northern France, by Charlemagne Mayot. It specializes in serving French products including breads, crepes, sandwiches, macarons, coups, cakes, pastries, coffee, wine, and beer. Paul belongs to Groupe Holder, which also owns the French luxury bakery Laduree ~ ooh high tea! So today I chose the Café Surprise off the menu, it includes two French macarons, a cake, crème brulee, and your choice of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. I ordered café mocha, with whipped cream! So what? I loved it. The crème brulee was everything I have ever hoped for to taste like. Yes, I highly recommend you to try Paul's delicious crème brulee. The two French macarons I had were caramel and coconut flavoured. Another thing that I loved the most while at Paul, aside from the obvious quality pastries and coffee drinks, is their interior design. Look at the photo below. Fancy isn't it? It is quite nice to have a place like this at the heart of the city. It's an escape to the buzzling sounds of vehicles and crazy construction sites every where you look at. I've also visited Paul in Ngee Ann city and the look's quite the same. Consistency is the key, not only in the quality of their products but of the over all package of course.

I will come back for their crème brulee.
Modern elegance.
The artworks graced their walls.

I know you are all going to love my next blog entry - 'Where to eat in Singapore' Yes? You'll read about ten of the best restaurants/cafes in the country, according to me, based on their location, the quality of food, ambiance, and the overall package. I would like all of you to know that none of my posts are sponsored, so far. But for interested parties, do drop me an email at

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Yeng At LNU: Best Night Ever!

Yeng Constantino had a concert in Dagupan City and it was AWESOME
Last Thursday, March 20, 2014, the Philippines' very own Pop-rock Princess Josephine "Yeng" Constantino rocked the school grounds of the Lyceum-Northwestern University in celebration of their 45th Foundation and Student's Night. It was a year-end treat by the school administration to all Lyceans for their hard work after their long final exams.

For those who have missed the event, here are the 10 best #YengAtLNU moments:

10. Yeng covered Katy Perry's song Roar.
As the concert was about to start, I wandered off at the back to look for my colleagues and friends from the media. I was unable to spot any of them, so I figured they already have found their places around the LNU football field, where Yeng's concert had taken place, to cover the event. I decided to join the crowd and post tweets on my way. Suddenly, I was taken aback by Yeng's electrifying voice and the crowd's roar! With my 2-inch heels on, I jumped out of my excitement and found myself ten feet away from the stage, cheering with everyone else. It was the perfect opening number! The positive energy that clouded us was overwhelming! 

9. When the crowd sang 'Hinahanap-hanap Kita' with Yeng.
No 90's kid nor OPM fan wouldn't know this single from Rivermaya's 1997 album Atomic Bomb. It received heavy airplay from radio stations ever since, so no wonder that even our pop-rock princess chose to sing it during her concert here in Pangasinan. The Lyceans gladly sang along, keeping the good vibes!

8. When Yeng said: "I'll make this your BEST NIGHT EVER!"
You can just imagine how the crowd responded with that! One thing that I loved the most about Yeng is her sincerity, and THAT shone like rays of sun during her performance. Hashtag #BestNightEver was even mentioned a hundred times by students in their Instagram posts and Tweets, together with hashtag #YengAtLNU. I even heard a student say, "Best night ever talaga! Last year na natin ito sa school, buti na lang si Yeng ang nag-concert!"

7. Yeng connects with her audience.
"If you're in a relationship, raise your hands!" Yeng told the crowd and there was a loud cheer. "If you're single, raise your hands!" she continued, followed by singing Just Give Me A Reason by Pink. Again, the audience, including me, sang along. This part will always be my favorite because it is when Yeng tried to establish a connection with her audience by asking questions and telling stories. The more we feel connected, the more we remember and the more we appreciate her. It only shows how good an artist and a person she really is.

6. When Yeng gave a love advice everyone will never forget.
Before singing her song entitled Pag-ibig, Yeng gave a love advice everyone will never forget. Even the night after, I've seen Facebook statuses and Tweets quoting what she said during her concert in Dagupan. "Kapag ang lalaki hindi nage-effort, hindi love yan." The crowd goes "awww," then Yeng continued "Kapag ang babae hindi ka nirerespeto, hindi love yan." I'm sure everyone has learned a lesson or two about love. Thank you Yeng!
5. Yeng's got the moves!
It was a few years ago when Yeng first covered an original Eraserheads song entitled 'Magasin.' It was already a pretty popular song from the 90's, but Yeng's rendition of it caught both the media and the fans' attention. Aside from it being a girl version, Yeng and her band did a little tweaking on its musical composition by giving it an acoustic and reggae touch. Before singing its chorus, Yeng asked "Gusto nyo bang makita ang dance moves ko?" The crowd cheered. Even I was surprised she could dance, but she can and so she did! 

4. "You are all special.." -Yeng
Yeng Constantino continued to win our hearts when she sang an original Radiohead song entitled Creep. "When I was in high school, I've tried hard to fit in. But I can't, so I've stopped. I've realized we are all special." Then she added, "You are all special! You are unique! You are awesome! You are meant to be here tonight!!" I looked around me and I can't help but smile, feeling encouraged. I refrained from live tweeting and listened to her. There's so much feels in this song that I thought-- it deserved an epic "lighter moment!"

3. The special audio-visual presentation the Lyceans prepared for Yeng.
In the audio-visual presentation were students of Lyceum-Northwestern University singing Yeng's latest hit song 'Chinito.' It was evident in their faces that they had fun shooting it. They later on congratulated Yeng on her engagement to boyfriend Yan Asuncion and wished them good luck. Atty. Duque, the University President, went up the stage to personally thank Yeng Constantino and the people involved for the successful event. "Mula sa hardin ng aking puso,maraming salamat!" Atty. Duque continued to say. Yeng in response to that said "Aww, this is the sweetest campus ever!! Mula sa gubat ng aking puso, maraming salamat din po sa inyong lahat!"

2. Yeng greets LNU through Instagram video.
It was indeed a fun-filled night and we also received a special souvenir from Yeng! Yeng Constantino recorded a 15-second instavideo and posted it on her Instagram account In the video Yeng said, "Hey everyone! Andito ako sa Lyceum, sa Dagupan, Pangasinan. At eto sila!!" She then turned her smartphone camera to the cheering crowd. The video had been regrammed and reposted in Facebook a hundred times. What can we say? WE LOVE YOU YENG!

1. The 'Chinito' song number.
But of course the main highlight of the night was when Yeng sang her latest hit single 'Chinito!' Aside from the fact that it was the crowd favorite, two lucky 'chinitos' were invited to come up the stage. Not only that they had a chance to dance with Yeng, they also got a hug and a peck on the cheek from her! Another reason to love Yeng! She is down to earth, very professional, and have I mentioned how cool she is?! AWESOME!!

If you want to see more photos and videos from Yeng's concert, do drop by these Facebook pages: Lyceum-Northwestern University and What's Up Dagupan.
I would like to thank Lyceum-Northwestern University and the people behind its success, especially to Ms. Pebbles Duque, for inviting me and for making The Style Fondue your official blog partner in this event. I would also like to thank Ms. Micaela Rodriguez of, Mr. Simon Vistro of What's Up Dagupan, Mikkles Fernandez of Pixelhub Creative and Mr. Jefferson Samson! Also, to Ms. Yeng Constantino for being nice and friendly during the press interview! I even managed to sneaked in a selfie with her! Hurrah!

Feel free to leave a comment or write your best #YengAtLNU moment.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Top 10 Selfie-Taking Cities In The World

Isn't it that just last year 'selfie' was announced as international Word of theYear by the Oxford Dictionaries? 
It was also just twelve days ago when the record-breaking selfie by Ellen DeGeneres and A-lister stars including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper went viral with a total of 32.8 million views on Twitter and was instantly the talk of the town. 
Even my love, James Franco, wrote an article about The Meanings of The Selfie and was published online by the New York Times!
The word selfie means: a photograph that has taken of oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. (Oxford Dictionary)
To investigate the geography of selfie-taking, they built a database of more than 400,000 Instagram photos tagged 'selfie' that included geographic coordinates. 

The top ten selfie-taking cities are:

1. Makati City and Pasig, Philippines - 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

2. Manhattan, New York - 202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

3. Miami, Florida - 155 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, California - 147 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - 141 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

6. Tel Aviv, Israel - 139 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

7. Manchester, England - 114 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

8. Milan, Italy - 108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

9. Cebu City, Philippines - 99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

10. George Town, Malaysia - 95 selfie-takers per 100,000 people

Makati City and Pasig, Philippines is now the Selfie Capital of the World! Hooray! It's not something big, but we sure are happy for the recognition. And for that, I've posted a selfie myself! (see photo above)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld

I am always on the look for new exciting things to do and interesting places to visit while in Singapore so when I read about The Little Black Jacket exhibit at ArtScience Museum it didn't take long for me to decide to go and check it out. I was surprised to learn that admission is free, why thank you, how thoughtful of you Mr. Lagerfeld! I wish they had given away free Chanel jackets too instead of posters, just kidding! 

As I enter the room I felt the same sense of belonging I feel when I go to a library or a coffee shop. To say that Karl Lagerfeld's photos were stunning is an understatement. Every photo has a story to tell, you just have to figure it out. A number of very lucky and very famous models, musicians, and celebrities posed in front of the camera wearing a black jacket. To show their individuality, hence that, is what I think the whole idea is about... or not? I strongly believe it is not purely advertisement for the book of the same title which they had recently launched worldwide. I believe it is solid passion, art appreciation, and inspiration.