Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planet Borneo Lodge

image credit: Planet Borneo Lodge

Planet Borneo Lodge (PBL), the B&B with an attitude, is a hidden resort smack in the middle of the city that feels just like home. 

Nestled in a quiet residential area along the famous stretch of road known as “Lorong Park” which means “Park Lane”, in 'the Hills' neighbourhood of Kuching, PBL offers cozy, clean and safe accommodation for its guests.

PBL positions itself very differently from other lodging houses in Kuching as it is a beautiful detached residential house featuring a huge compound and a tropical garden. Its new main feature is the Longhouse Lounge with a dip pond surrounded by a beautiful jungle landscape.

Mainly offering dormitory style accommodation, Planet Borneo Lodge also has two family rooms in its inventory. It is within walking distance to restaurants, eateries, supermarkets and sundries. It’s ambience feels more like a home than a hotel.

It is definitely the hotel with the nicest and friendliest staff.  It is a cozy chilled-out place, with beanbags, tv, computer and kitchen for the guests' comfort. Rooms are like a hostel but clean and nicer than your average hostel fare. It’s a five minute walk from the city centre and the sights. As a bonus, all the guests also got on well with each other too.

Planet Borneo Lodge features friendly & helpful staff, a big living area with a kitchen you can cook in, a washing machine and clothes-drying area, space for relaxing - including in and around a small pool with jungle landscaped surroundings -  generally a gentle, laidback vibe.

It offers a nice change from the normally dodgy ones you always tend to encounter on a shoestring holiday.

While you are there, do encourage the Manager Bryan to break out his wok and cook you some of his amazing and mouth watering chicken rice and his famous cakes.

Facilities available at Planet Borneo Lodge include:

• Longhouse lounge and a dip pool with beautiful tropical landscape.
• All rooms equipped with air conditioning.
• Free wifi.
• Full kitchen facilities.
• Local breakfast for in-house guests.
• Free all-day refreshments (coffee/tea/drinking water).
• Light snack items available for sale.
• Cable TV in the sitting lounge.
• Common share bathroom with hot and cold shower.
• En-suite Family Room.
• Linen & towels provided for all rooms.
• Bicycles for hire.
• Lockers (for overnight storage) for hire.
• Convenient Kiosk in the Lodge

PBL can accommodate 34 guests in total at any one time

Contact Info
Phone 082-412 100
Email reservationkch@planetb

fb: https://www.facebook.com/planetborneolodge?ref=ts&fref=ts
website: http://www.planetborneolodge.com

Labels: ,

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thanks to Eraman Malaysia, You Can Now Smell Like Gwyneth Paltrow

images and text by Veronica Ng

Malaysia Airports (Niaga) Sdn Bhd (MAN) also known as ERAMAN Malaysia, a premier travel retailer, has released Hugo Boss’ Nuit Pour Femme perfume in Malaysia in conjunction with the third edition of its “Celebrations” shopping and dining catalog.

BOSS Nuit Pour Femme is inspired by the eternal elegance of the little black dresse and the confidence that it gives to women. The perfume is created to complete the sophisticated smartness of a woman before her evening out.

The fragrance begins with modern, elegant and fresh sparkling notes of aldehydes and peach. The heart radiates feminine white flowers, jasmine and sensual violet. The base consists of crystalline moss and creamy sandalwood. Of course, the face of the perfume is the gorgeous actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

At the recent launch, guests were treated to an exciting fashion show of Flying Nomad’s latest collection of the autumn/winter 2012 collection of Eraman’s fashion label, Flying Nomad. Eraman General Manager Fawzy Ahmad said during the launch that the Celebrations cataloger could not have come at a better time, as there are many exclusive products and special deals that travelers can take advantage of when trying to find that perfect gift to celebrate the year-end festivities.

Themed “Holiday Fanatics”, the new collection includes a wide range of apparel and accessories, such as handbags, shoes and scarves. The Flying Nomad label was founded in 2011, with the aim of offering traveling fashionistas functional but stylish contemporary apparel. Fawzy said the name Flying Nomad “evokes the essence of both the aviation and travel industries which form the brand's core-market”.

Eraman Merchandising Fashion & Design Division Head Noor Haizam Abd Aziz made a lot of sense by saying that apart from casual clothing, Flying Nomad strives to design clothing choices which help ease a traveler's packing process.

Having the on-the-go traveler in mind, we have also developed the line to include innovative yet fashionable pieces such as foldable shoes, which are full-leather, as well as compact T-shirts and compact scarves, which are shrunk to palm-size for easy packing. As a frequent traveler myself, I can appreciate and relate to that.

“Starting with just simple and stylish clothing, Flying Nomad is now looking more into clothes and accessories that are flexible and versatile for light traveling and, at the same time, saves space in a traveler's luggage. These are some of the developments which we have been constantly working on to complete the label as a home-grown product.”

The new collection includes a women’s line designed with a feminine silhouette in chunky knits, featuring warm colors and South American tribal prints and patterns, while the men’s line offers a more bohemian and sporty style, with bright colors dominating.

So let’s get straight to the juicy bit - The Flying Nomad autumn/winter 2012 collection is available at Flying Nomad Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuching International Airport and Labuan International Airport.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Pet Blessing

image credit: Veronica Ng
Dogs, cats, animals. They came in various sizes, just like their owners, for a special ceremony at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) recently to be blessed in an inter-faith pet blessing organized by the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) in conjunction with World Animal Day.

The event is believed to be the first of its kind to be held in Kuching, and was part of the World Animal Groove (WAG) Music Festivities. The ceremony was a symbolic gesture signifying that pets were a blessing to their owners.

The day is also the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. As the founder of the order of Franciscan friars, St Francis embraced all God’s creatures and referred all animals as his “brothers and sisters”.

SSPCA president Dona Drury-Wee said each pet will receive a certificate to commemorate the occasion. Pet owners can also opt for a private blessing for their pets. Besides the certificate, those who opt for private blessing will also receive a photograph of themselves with their pet.

To cover the costs for the certificates, photograph and other arrangement, SSPCA will charge RM10 per pet owner who opts for the group pet blessing and RM30 each for those who opt for the private blessing.

Since 1931, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It is a day to highlight the enjoyable aspects of pet ownership and to recognize the important contribution animals make to society.

“SSPCA works with less fortunate animals. Let’s spare a thought for the thousands of animals out there who do not have a home and say a prayer for them,” said SSPCA chairman Rebecca D’Cruz.

The blessing was conducted by Franciscan friars, Buddhist nuns, Malaysian Hindu Sangam Sarawak branch chairman Penghulu T. Komarusamy, and a Bahai representative. Besides the pet blessing ceremony, a WAG Bazaar featuring various stalls was also held in conjunction with the music festival.

Animal blessing started in Florence, Italy in 1931, in remembrance of St Francis of Asisi, but is now held worldwide to commemorate World Animal Day, celebrated every Oct 4.

Besides the animal blessings, the day’s events also included the WAG Bazaar and the music festival. The bazaar started at noon while the music festival took off at 7pm. 

Click here for review on the music festival.

Labels: , ,

Sarawak SPCA’s Gala 50th Anniversary Dinner

image credits: Veronica Ng

As part of its 50th anniversary, the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) had a fund-raising dinner to raise RM1.5 million to build a new shelter at Jalan Stephen Yong here. 

Held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), the charity dinner also served as a prelude to the World Animal Groove Music Festival, which was held the next day.

“SSCPA members come from all walks of life and share one goal, which is to speak for the animals who share our planet. Indeed, there is probably no action more noble than to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,” said SSPCA patron Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He also said that since its inception on Sept 11, 1962 the SSPCA and the state government have enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial partnership.

Abang Johari, who is also the Minister of Tourism and Housing, added that Kuching remains the only city in Malaysia where the local authorities have a formal agreement with an NGO to promote animal welfare.

“Through this arrangement, SSPCA takes all the abandoned, abused and unwanted animals collected by the council teams. These animals are housed at their shelter and cared for until they can find new loving homes,” he added.

He also said the partnership includes joint subsidized neutering programmers as a means to curb the stray animal population. He also said that next year, SSPCA and the government would conduct a city-wide census of the stray population to aid in developing targeted strategies for the future.

Abang Johari also said a programme would be held on caring for animals, which would also benefit the community as a whole.

“To achieve our shared vision for a clean, healthy and caring city that locals and visitors can appreciate and enjoy, we must extend this partnership to include all other sectors of society including business and industry,” he added.

During the dinner, Abang Johari was also given the honour to launch the new design of the shelter. SSPCA president Dona Drury Wee said the new shelter, which will be built on a three-acre land, will be promoting a green concept.

“We care for over 300 abused and abandoned animals everyday brought in by the three municipal councils and members of the public,” said Wee.

She also said the limited space and flash floods were among the key triggers for the SSPCA to seek a new shelter.

The Gala Dinner featured exquisite cuisine accompanied by performances from some of the artistes slated to perform the next day at the World Animal Groove Music Festival.

Click here for the WAG review.

Labels: ,

The Sarawak SPCA is 50!

The SSPCA began its work in Kuching in 1959, formed by a small group of expatriate officers who were moved by the sight of the diseased dogs and sick animals that roamed the streets. It was legally registered under the Registrar of Societies as the “Kuching Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) on 11 September 1962.
In the years following, with the departure of many of its early members, the Society became inactive but was never de-registered. In September 1975, a group of expatriates and Kuching residents came together to revive the KSPCA. Their first meeting was held on the 10th of October at "Eversleigh", the residence of the then British Council Representative Mr Philips Williams.

Others who were involved in the committee at that time were Dr Hsiung Kwo Yuen, Mrs Elizabeth Kok, Mr Chua Siang Cheng, Mdm Florence Foo, DSP Lim Tian Kim, Mr Andy Lo, Mr Ali Adenan and Miss Celine Foo.

In 1977, the Society’s legal counsel, the late Mr Sahathevan revised the constitution to better reflect its rules and regulations. The amendments included a change of name – it became the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or SSPCA.

In the years that followed, this group of dedicated volunteers and their very active cadre of Junior Members, organized awareness - raising events, rescued and re-homed stray animals, initiated a pilot neutering scheme, and organized fundraising events.

They were also instrumental in reaching an agreement with the local councils in Kuching to house and care for all the stray animals picked up by these councils. It’s an agreement which has carried through to this day, and remains the only such arrangement between an animal welfare organization and local councils in Malaysia.

Perhaps their most notable achievement was securing tax-deductible status for the Society. This has proved an invaluable asset to the Society in its fundraising efforts.
In 1999, through the generosity of the Sarawak State Government, the SSPCA secured a 0.6-acre piece of land at 61/2 mile Penrissen Road, Kuching on which to build its animal shelter.

In the years since, this little piece of land has served as a refuge, a haven for thousands of stray, abused and abandoned animals. Some have been fortunate enough to be given a second chance at life, others have lived out their days in the loving care of our shelter staff, and many have gone on to the ‘Great Kennel in the Sky’.

As their finances improved, they expanded and improved the Shelter facilities and services to cater for the ever-increasing number of animals brought to their door. Unfortunately, this also meant having to make sacrifices and utilizing the exercise/play areas.

As with all NGOs, committees came and committees went, but the good work continued. Here is a short list of their achievements:

·         They ran joint neutering campaigns with the local councils in an effort to curb the expanding stray population.

·         They walked hundreds of visitors through their Shelter to educate them about the need to be more responsible citizens and pet owners.

·         They organized countless off-site adoption campaigns to increase the chances of their animals finding new homes.

·         They responded to the many reports about animal abuse cases.

·         They invested in the first animal crematorium in Malaysia, so that they could dispose of animal carcasses in a safe and hygienic manner.       

·         They climbed up trees and down drains to rescue trapped animals in the dead of night.

·         They braved the flood waters at midnight to take their shelter animals to safety.

·         They penned millions of words in an effort to raise awareness about Animal Welfare and to fight for Animal Rights.

·         And through it all, they enjoyed the support of animal lovers in Kuching and around the world, through donations of food, equipment and other essentials, as well as much needed funds that allowed them to keep their shelter doors open.

The SSPCA at 50

When the Animal Shelter was built in 1999, it was surrounded by lush green undergrowth, set well away from housing and commercial areas. 13 years on, Kuching has well and truly arrived at their doorstep. Nothing says, “It’s time to move the animals” better than having a ‘Pizza Hut’ as your neighbor!

The Shelter had a very unfortunate incident when they experienced major flooding due to a whole day of heavy rain on Jan 11, 2011.Countless rescued animals were trapped throughout the ordeal. The lucky ones were able to climb to higher ground while the smaller and weaker ones struggled to keep from drowning. SSPCA committee members and volunteers rushed to the place in the middle of the night to save lives. It was indeed a sad sight. Staff and volunteers carried out a cleaning up event nonetheless. The tragedy strengthened many hearts, including those of the animals.

In 2012, SSPCA assisted in the first successful prosecution of animal abuse in Sarawak, something for all of us to take pride and learn from. Even so, all citizens are encouraged to not just stop there as we know all four-legged creatures deserve to have equal rights to live. They are no different from humans in a lot of ways.

Their biggest birthday wish is to secure a new and larger piece of land, away from development, on which to build a state-of-the-art Animal Shelter that can continue to serve the needs of the animals and people of Kuching for the next 50 years, and beyond.

That’s why they are channeling all their efforts this year to secure that piece of paradise and to raise funds to build and equip their new shelter. This is where you, the good people of Malaysia and beyond come in. They need you to turn out in huge numbers for the events that they have lined-up in this year and 2013, and to dig deep into your generous hearts (and pockets!) to help them raise the RM 1.5 million they need.

For more info, surf to: 


Labels: , , , , ,