A baby bird at home

Skip this if you don’t care about animals. It’s a long one. But it’s charming.

Yesterday morning, Sophia woke me up (very early) with this crazy story about a baby bird at the back of the house. She went on and on. Me, “What are you saying?” Sophia, “There’s a baby bird in a nest at the back of the house.” Me, “Are you serious? We don’t have a tree. Where is it?” Sophia, “The nest is inside a pot.” Surreal. I got up and went downstairs wearing sleepwear.

A baby bird was born in our backyard. Cute!!!
True enough, there’s the baby bird. In a cute nest. Inside a pot. At the back of the house.

We hung around for a bit. Lily thought it was cute but she didn’t swoon. She’s not really into animals like Sophia is. Stella was thrilled. She wanted to touch it. And when she got away from my grip, she poked the baby. I shrieked. Imagined a decapitated or squeezed baby bird. I scared the bird and the kids – I get queasy and panicky around baby animals. Then I quickly washed her hands with soap and water. (Cute as it was, the bird was a wild animal. Bird flu. I don’t know…)

The whole day Thursday, Sophia and I observed the baby bird from outside my 2nd floor window. We had a great view of the nest. From there we saw the mama bird fly in to give the baby a winged insect. While the baby was pecking at its prey, another bird species flew nearby. It was a maya bird… inching its way near the nest, threatening to grab the dead insect. Then the mama bird (a bit longer-tailed than the maya) swooped down towards her baby to protect it from the intruder. It was amazing. Very much like National Geographic, except we weren’t in the wild. We were in the laundry area of our house.

By afternoon, I went to work. Soph’s assignment was to watch the bird but not to take it or touch it. I also asked my mom to leave it alone. Mom likes to adopt and care for animals that come her way. She’s taken care of a wild Maya that fell from its nest when it didn’t have wings to fly. When I got back from work, Soph said that the bird was gone. She wasn’t upset. She said the mommy bird took it away. Mom and I looked at each other and silently thought that a cat or bigger bird got the baby bird. We knew it was too young to fly. But we didn’t tell Sophia about our worries. She would have been crushed.

The next morning (today), Soph does the same thing. Rambles on early in the morning. She said the baby bird was back. Whew, relief. Wow and our yaya was telling the truth. She had said that the mommy bird and daddy bird picked up the baby using their beaks and flew away. I thought that was preposterous. But I guess it was true.

A baby bird was born in our property
Soph took her lola to see the baby bird, now in another part of the laundry area…

A baby bird was born in our property
The baby bird was chillaxing on a twig of a little plant under our water tank.

A baby bird was born in our property
Sophia couldn’t keep her eyes off the bird (see the pot closest to the front of her head in photo)

A baby bird was born in our property
The mama bird watched from afar. Soph assumed it was a migratory bird and gave the baby a name. “Migra.” I suggested we call it “Tory” instead. She agreed.

A baby bird was born in our property
Any bird experts out there? What kind of bird is this? The male had a crown type thing. (EDIT: It’s a yellow-vented bulbul).

A baby bird was born in our property
I’m not sure if this is the mama bird. I’m now beginning to think its a different species.

A baby bird was born in our property
By late morning, the baby bird moved from the branch of the plant to the corner of the water tank base. “Tory” was backed up against the wall. She/he was practicing her flight there.

I captured a bit of it by my iPhone video camera. But I don’t know why it’s uploaded so small here. You’ll see “Tory” trying to flap her wings. Keep your eye on the corner of the wall. And you’ll see Mama Bird coming to coach her. It was all pretty amazing.

I told my UZ staff about it. Manny said, “Bakit lapitin kayo ng mga birds? Why are birds always laying eggs in your house?” He was referring to last month. A mourning dove laid eggs and hatched one in my parent’s porch in Canada. Sophia asked the same question. I don’t know. I just said, “maybe because we have a happy home? So always be nice to your sisters and don’t fight each other.”

I really don’t know the moral of the story. It was just so sweet to see the natural protective and nurturing insticts of the mama bird and the little one’s determination to fly.

EDIT: Tin, Thank you for editing my mistake with “specie”/”species”. I write very late at night. And I actually hesitated with “specie” but oh well, made a stupid mistake. Same with “conjestion” – that was just a total a typo. Thanks.

Urban Zone, now on Fridays at ABS-CBN

Starting June 3, Urban Zone will now air on Friday nights instead of Sunday nights. We will still have the same late timeslot – after a shortened Trip na Trip – but at least you can all sleep in late on Saturday mornings.

Oh, I’ve added a segment in our closing credits. Some behind the scenes and a quick talk about what I’m wearing. It’s been well-received. We used to do this in F. Here are photos from two episodes ago about two adjacent homes that share a connected lanai. The two houses belong to two sisters.

Interiors by Frenjick Quesada
I’m wearing a printed and colourful K&Company dress. My shoes are plastic. Got them from Melissa. I’m wearing the earrings I designed. They’re made of blue sappires and diamonds but no, I didn’t set them like Princess Diana’s and Kate’s ring.

Interiors by Frenjick Quesada
Here I am with interior designer Frenjick Quesada. The master bed uses Daphne Linens. I love this set because of the texture of the ruching.

Interiors by Frenjick Quesada
Country-style kitchen. The island counter was once a simple desk which they upcycled.

Interiors by Frenjick Quesada
See the island counter? Oh I was wearing a striped dress with s faux coral necklace and wedge Melissas.

Don’t forget, UZ now on Friday nights after Trip na Trip.

Popo San Pascual for UNICEF


There are only two days left to bid on UNICEF’s Auction for Action. The Reg Yuson Mozzarella sofas have been bought (“Buy It Now”). There are some pieces that I know people are waiting for the last day (Saturday 4PM) to bid. Just remember that all proceeds of the auctions go to UNICEF’s programs. Go here to check how the items are going.

A few of my friends called me to ask about Popo’s painting “Blue Elephant.” They want to bid on it. It is a really beautiful painting. Click on the photo above and it’ll take you to see how “Blue Elephant” is currently doing. It is raising so much money for UNICEF! Yay.

Just a personal note about Popo – he is one of my favourite people. Such a joy to be around with… literally. Because he’s always joking around in a crazy way. I used to find refuge in his beautiful tropical garden in Tagaytay. I wish I had more time to see him. I have a few of his works. We don’t really have many paintings by local artists. We only have 5. And three of them are by Popo.

with Popo and friend
Here I am with Popo and a friend at Rhett Eala’s mom’s country house.

Popo San Pascual created my centre pieces
Popo created all the centrepieces at our 2002 wedding using plants and flowers from his garden. Here he was showing me the prototype. Check out his crazy glasses.

Popo San Pascual
Popo’s work is prominently displayed in our front room.

Sometime in 2004 or 2005 Popo invited me to his show in Magnet Gallery. He asked me about three times to be there. I said I wouldn’t miss it. Patrick and I went. I was in a ratty old Tshirt and baggy pants. I get there and see over 25 panels of canvas with a burst of colours in oil paint. It was quite a sight. The show was called “Daphne.” I didn’t want to assume, so I didn’t react. I asked him, “Why Daphne?” Then he gave a quick witty remark that I don’t remember now. But basically he said he named the entire series after me. I checked the name plate/identification cards of each painting and there was “Daphne No.1”, “Daphne No.2”, “Daphne No.3” all the way up to 25 or so, I lost count. He said he thought of me while painting those. I said, “Ows, you’re joking.”

Daphne Series by Popo San Pascual
My Daphne No. ?

Daphne Series
And my other Daphne No. ?

I still don’t know the real reason why Popo painted an entire series after me. But these paintings are precious to me. That moment was one of the most surreal I’ve experienced. It was a big honour. I’ve blogged about this before and I’m mentioning it again. Obviously, I am very proud of Popo and the Daphne series. Months after the launch I saw six Daphne paintings hanging in Kris Aquino’s foyer (in a magazine feature).

The three Popos hang by the top of our stairs. We see it everyday. I can never get tired of these. I will tell this story over and over. My friend, who was married to a famous artist said, “Popo named the entire series after you! Who gets to inspire an entire painting series? My husband never even named one painting after me.”

Don’t forget, the bidding ends on Saturday June 4 at 4pm. Click the logo below to take you to Popo’s and other artists’ works.

leaderboard 728x90 v2


What is happening in our airport? I’m not talking about the obvious decay of facilities. That’s old news. I’m talking about security, or the lack thereof. On June 1, Patrick and I drove to NAIA to pick up my mom. (She’s back. Yay!)

Our usual system, an unspoken rule in our family, is that we would just pick up under our letters. So, either O for Osena or P for Paez. This is how it’s been for over a decade. But last night, there were no more letter signs. Instead, just generic signs with “Bay 1” and so on… I saw NAIA in a chaotic and confusing state. Apparently NAIA changed its system.

Manila Airport
No more alphabetized waiting areas. Just generic “Bay 1” etc..

Under the system that we’ve gotten used to, cars were usually not allowed to lay idle in the driveway. Security would only let you hang out for a maximum of 30 seconds, maybe up to a minute. But if your passenger wasn’t there, the airport guards would shoo you away. Then you’d have to do the rounds, make a U-turn in Nayong Pilipino, then drive up all over again. It was harsh, but in an overpopulated city, we all had to live with that. The system worked. Everyone followed the rules.

There was another option, pay for parking in the outside lot. There, you can have access to the waiting shed across from arrivals, but it wasn’t free. You can walk upstairs where there were fast food stalls and full blast air-conditioning while you can look over the huge glass viewing deck. I believe it was something like P50 per person. The downstairs wasn’t free either, but it was cheaper. Harsh. But again, in this country, one overseas-based Filipino would arrive and his whole clan or barangay would meet him at arrivals. I remember the old airport… with trucks and jeeps of relatives and friends either making “salubong” or making “hatid.”

That old system was the only thing that was good about NAIA. It actually worked. For decades. People were deterred from going to the airport. Families Friends and neighbours stopped going to the airport to pick up or send off a loved one. Instead they eagerly awaited their pasalubongs at home. The arrival area was actually decongested. And it worked just fine.

I don’t know why the new airport management changed the system when it wasn’t actually broken. Here’s what happened:

Manila Airport
Cars are now allowed to go by the curb and load/unload baggage. This was not allowed before. Now, you can drive up and totally block traffic for everyone else. Major congestion.

Manila Airport
Goodbye alphabetized waiting areas. Instead, generic numbered signs… with three irrelevant sponsor logos.

Manila Airport
This is the ground floor waiting shed across from arrivals. It’s free. No more charge. So it was pretty crowded.

Manila Airport
From the waiting shed anyone can cross the street and go to arrival bays. This was totally not allowed before. I was even able to walk up the arrival ramp. No one checked. All the security guards just looked but no one was checked.

I remember a few years ago, when Gloria Arroyo was still president, she flipped out on an airport general because the security guards were not checking vehicles. We all had to open the glove compartment and be subjected to major vehicle checks. Now? None of that. It’s a free for all. Anyone can drive in and you won’t even be stopped.

Security at the RCBC tower a mall is even tighter.

This worries me.

I like tight airport security. Makes me feel safe.

Saddest place, airport departure area

I know everyone HATES the Manila International Airport. Call me crazy, but I love the architecture. It’s all part of the same style as PICC, Cultural Centre of the Philippines, Philippine Plaza, Film Centre. But it badly needs repairs and an upgrade. There are ways to preserve the architectural style while upgrading the services and amenities. They can build extensions made of glass and steel but still preserve the facade and main structure. This is done all over the world. I like the retro feel. Imagine if the fixtures and interiors were upgraded. I’m excited about what Kenneth Cobonpue and his group has planned for NAIA1. And once I know, I will share the information with you.

I don’t think the solution is to build another state of the art airport. Because it really isn’t the building that’s wrong… it’s the management and delivery of services. NAIA2 and 3 are new, but I can think of a hundred things wrong with the way they’re being run and maintained.

For now, I hope NAIA and it’s security officers shape up. I like tight security. We need that. Bring it back. Before anything bad happens.