Bali with Samsung

 

 

I went to Bali a couple of weeks ago. It was a treat from my Samsung family. As brand ambassador, I got a preview of the latest gadgets and appliances at the Samsung Forum 2014. I’ve got lots of stories to share about the products.

Here are some photo highlights of the four-day trip. All photos taken using Samsung S4 and Samsung Galaxy Camera.

 

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Jimbaran beach

 

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The beach was very empty during lunch. Gorgeous. It was low season; it rained every day. But Jimbaran gets the crowds at night. There is a reason I am walking like an idiot…

 

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We had a lot of seafood. Sadly I couldn’t risk eating shellfish anymore. But I really loved the fish, chicken and veggies.

 

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With ANC’s Tony Velasquez and Jim Paredes.

 

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Jim was demonstrating the Drama feature of the Samsung S4. I’ve had my S4 for a year and didn’t know it had this amazing feature.

 

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My turn.

 

I didnt know my phone could do this. Thanks to @jimparedes for showing us. Photo by @kakanturing. In Jimbaran, Bali.
This is what we were trying to do.

 

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Bali has these lovely flower offerings all over.

 

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We snuck in some batik shopping. Love the blues.

 

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With journalist Jimmy Calapati, Samsung’s Chiqui Torres-Tan, Jim Paredes, Bridges PR’s Annie Ringor.

 

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Cute scene, like the Philippines.

 

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The family motorcycle. Glad the baby is wearing a helmet.

 

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I was able to check out Seminyak. I enjoyed the shopping scene. It’s less about local handicrafts and more about international contemporary designers. I loved everything in Magali Pascal. In fact, I bought that dress.

 

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And the fitting room of Magali Pascal. The apple glass on those doors. Peg for my future cottage. Haha.

 

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Sweet Indonesian “askal”

 

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I was on the look out for ikat weaves but they were mostly done in another island (Timor I think). So whatever I saw at our hotel was so expensive. Like this was almost 500 USD. They’re so beautiful though!

 

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Like this throw pillow in my hotel room. Love.

 

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Those carved wooden panels in my room. Nice!

 

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We stayed at the newly opened Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort. It had just opened in December 2013.

 

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It had this stunning and impressive lobby designed by WATG.

 

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The lobby was surrounded by these wooden relief sculptures above. It reminded me of buildings in 1970’s Manila.

 

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The centre of the lobby has these huge curved timber columns that support the entire roof. The columns symbolize a banyan tree, which represents the centre of social life in Balinese villages.

 

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The lobby at night.

 

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Here’s how they dealt with the limited ocean view. A part of the lobby opens to this pond and garden. Jim Paredes took this photo.

 

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That space in the lobby at night.

 

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The Sofitel buffet.

 

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The hotel’s club lounge.

 

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Loved this mini-break. Bali always inspires me.

 

More Samsung stories coming up…

 

 

 

 

Evita Peroni’s 25th Anniversary Sale

 

 

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Ever since I played dress up with my Evita Peroni hair accessories in 2009, I’ve had a great relationship with the Philippine distributors of the brand. They’ve sponsored by blog and have become my friends.

This year EVITA PERONI celebrates its 25th year this year with a month-long SALE event in all stores. Sale items are up to 70% off. Regular items are ALL given a special discount as a way of saying thanks to all Evita Peroni customers. So if you are looking for a little treat-to-self, now is the time.

Here are some of my own Evita Peroni pieces and how I’ve worn them…

 

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I wear Evita Peroni accessories all the time. It’s the easiest way for me to look “put together”. I don’t always have time to have my hair done in a salon. Here, hosting the Repetto launch, I had my hair in a simple ponytail and a crystal-embellished claw.

 

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My original caption when I first posted this in 2011 was, “I Heart India”. I think this was at the Red Fort in Agra. I wore these Evita Peroni sunglasses from their Handmade luxury line and received so many inquiries about it.

 

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This is that pretty crystal claw.

 

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I rarely wear headbands because most of them hurt my wide head. Haha. But these are rather soft. And I like how the wide fabric makes it look like a scarf instead of a band.

 

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This claw comes in various colours but I like the more discreet black and blue flowers. This can hold my entire head of hair in a neat French twist.

 

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The costume jewellery are really pretty too. I like this floral ring because it has a sculptural effect. Plus the band is made of soft elasticized metal spring. So it can fit any size of finger.

 

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This I use for low ponytails or half pony tails.

 

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This can’t really hold all my hair but it’s so so pretty I just had to have it. I stick it the back part of my ponytail or French twist as a single embellishment.

 

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A little throwback of Stella. She wore my soft headband when we watched the royal wedding of Kate and William.

 

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From an Urban Zone shoot. I love this silk headband. I wore it high up on my head so it had a bit of height. From a distance it looked like a pillbox hat.

 

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And my gold leather flower comb. Most of these were acquired over the past five years. Some may no longer be in stores. But they always have new ones that are equally as pretty.

 

 

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For the whole month of March, Evita Peroni sale items are up to 70% off. And regular priced items are ALL given a special discount.

 

 

Singapore Diaries 4: River Safari

 

 

Philippine summer is just a few weeks away. We’re planning trips, short courses and summer camps. Unlike last year where we spent 10 weeks in Toronto, we are staying put this year. I’m looking forward to the activities my family and I will be doing around town.

So I was organizing my photo files and realized I hadn’t shared this part of our Singapore trip. Some of you may be be planning trips to Singapore. Here was the itinerary for our four-day trip. You can click on these links to see my stories on shopping and dining, Gardens by the BaySEA Aquarium and Universal Studios. On our last day before heading to the airport, we spent a few hours at the newly opened River Safari.

 

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The River Safari is fun and educational for kids of all ages

The River Safari is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s wildlife parks near Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Over here it the park is inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers. It features a giant panda exhibit, the world’s largest fresh-water aquarium and an impressive collection of freshwater fauna with over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species.

Unfortunately when we visited the Amazon boat tour was under maintenance. But the entrance fee was all adjusted because of this. We didn’t feel like we missed out because we saw everything else, including the usually shy resident pandas JiaJia and Kai Kai. If you plan to go, make sure you are there during feeding times of the pandas. We were there in the morning and saw the pandas come out at around 11am.

 

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Fascinating river creatures. Photo by Andrew Chua STB

 

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Of course I had forgotten which river and which fish these are. The entire park represented all the significant rivers in the world like –  Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Murray, Mekong, Yangtze and Amazon rivers.

 

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The Mississippi paddle fish.

 

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Photo by Andrew Chua STB

 

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The Mekong giant catfish.

 

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Stella and the piranhas. We actually call this kid “Piranha” because of her teeth.

 

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Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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There was a fascinating indoor zoo where the pandas lived. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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Upon entering you see a couple of red pandas first.

 

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The two pandas are usually shy. We were very lucky to be there during feeding time. Both pandas came out to play. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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The kids were ecstatic. It was hard to keep them quiet.

 

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Even we were ecstatic. The giant pandas were so adorable. (I love all the photos that STB photographer Andrew Chua took of us.) Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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After the Giant Panda Forest, we couldn’t help but stop for our lunch there — all the food had panda theme. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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We especially loved the panda siopao.

 

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Of course we couldn’t resist shopping for souvenirs. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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Panda everything. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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Glow in the dark room.

 

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One of the major attractions in River Safari is the Amazon Flooded Forest, which houses the world’s largest fresh water aquarium. For six months out of every year, rain causes the Amazon River water level to rise. The water overflows, causing flood and creating a beautiful water ecosystem “wonderland” in which the forest is submerged in over 10 metres of water. This aquarium replicates that underwater world.

 

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We spent a lot of time here just staring at the manatees. This is a mommy and baby manatee calf. I even witnessed it breastfeeding. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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They are such gentle creatures. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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And to make our experience even more exciting, we witnessed the feeding of the manatees.

 

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After River Safari we went straight to Changi and had enough time to shop and do these kiddie activities.

 

 

Thank you so much, Singapore Tourism Board, for this wonderful treat for my family. And thanks for providing us with a professional photographer to document our trip. The photos are so precious.

To plan your next Singapore trip, please visit yoursingapore.com

 

 

Gingersnaps’ 20th Anniversary

 

 

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I had the honour of hosting Gingersnaps’ 20th anniversary. It is hard to believe that Gingersnaps is already 20 years old. The brand, its products and its stores always look so new and fresh!

I make no secret of my admiration for Gingersnaps. My daughters have always worn their clothes. I wore them during my pregnancy. They have the most fun and fashion-forward clothing for kids. The quality is always excellent. And the price points are more than fair.

It makes me proud to see how successful this brand has grown. It is a 100% Filipino brand that has gone global. Gingersnaps is now in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

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The president and creative director of Gingersnaps, Jerry and Sabrina Uy.

 

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I’m so honoured to have hosted the 20th anniversary of a brand I love so much.

 

The online Gingersnaps Model Search was a huge success. They got over 3000 entries. They got narrowed down to fifty. All 50 applicants underwent a casting call where they had to pose for the camera and walk on the runway. The judges were fashion heavy-weights Mark Nicdao, Robby Carmona, Pam Quinones, Frank Briones and Gingersnaps’ Sabrina Uy. From the fifty, only ten were chosen to be the new faces of Gingersnaps!

These kids all went through casting, photo and video shoots, rehearsals. The result was an amazing fashion show that was filled with cuteness and loveliness. Here are some highlights from the show…

 

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Ayala Malls’ Javier Hernandez and Rowena Tomeldan with CJ Jesena

 

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Josiah Go and Tricia Gosingtian

 

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With Gingersnaps’ Sherry Yu

 

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With some of the kids from the show

 

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Ravi & Roshan Samtani, Sabrina & Jerry Uy, Yvonne & Pael Romualdez

 

For the latest news on Gingersnaps, click here.

 

Shoes on sale

 

 

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I had some time this weekend. Did what I liked doing — online shopping. I found some good deals at Luisa Via Roma. Here are some shoes that are already marked down and still have an additional 10% off at check out. Remember that with Luisa Via Roma, the price you pay includes taxes and delivery all the way to your door in the Philippines.

 

01  Saint Laurent Tributes calfskin in red and green. These ones are now 30% off at €688.

02  Very nice pair of Pierre Hardy. Already 70% off. Sale price €274.

03  I love the curve of this heel. Alexander McQueen 60% off. Sale price €414.

04  Calf skin metal cage pumps from Sergio Rossi 40%, now €478.

05  Brushed nappa leather lace up shoes from Chloe. Now 50% off at €275.