Two houses under one roof


Last Friday July 29, we showed this beautiful home in Urban Zone. It is one of the best-designed new homes I’ve seen. The architect and interior designer is Dan Lichauco, amazing amazing talent. There are two houses in this property — the mother’s house and the daughter’s family home. Both houses function separately but are connected in the middle by a formal dining room. The character of the two homes couldn’t be more different from each other. If I didn’t tell you they were under one roof, you’d never guess they were inside one structure.

The property is huge. The family had lived here for many years but opted to build a brand new home to go with a new phase in their lives. So the old house was knocked down to make way for this new one. Interesting that the residents opted for a bungalow instead of multi-level monster home. Let me show you the mom’s pad first then click on the jump below to see how the daughter created her own unique cosmopolitan space.


The living room of the first house. The mom kept a lot of her old furniture. Dan gave them a different feel by giving the wood a darker stain. They wanted to maintain an old-world feel that was a mix of colonial formality and tropical living.


All the rooms in both homes open up to the garden and swimming pool so there’s a lot of natural light.


The inner sitting room with reworked furniture. To give the wooden coffee table a more “European” feel, Dan added a marble table top. I’m loving all those shutter blinds.


Philippine art and a contemporary colonial setting.


Must have fresh flowers whenever you can.


Stunning main door with carved wood and brass art by National Artist for sculpture, Imao.


Detail of the main door and another look at the very sunny living room.


A stunning master bedroom with very high ceiling.


Loved this bathroom.


Pretty bathroom that reminded me of my own bathroom at home except that this is more glam and luxe. I used an antique mirror.


The lady of the house loves to cook. She asked Dan to create a kitchen that was open to the living and dining rooms.


Again, old furniture given new life by upholstery, marble surfaces, and new stain.


The dining area opens to this hallway which is the one that connects the first house to the second house by way of a sliding door.


Both houses are connected by a narrow hallway and this dramatic formal dining room.


The second house is so different but just as stunning.


Click here to see the second house

Thanks for making Trevor win




It can’t get any sillier than this. But it was a fun two days for me and my siblings. Thank you for coming in to rescue us. Trevor won!

So as promised, I’m raffling off one set of Daphne Linens to those who participated and voted for Trev. I wanted to show you how I do things when I use so I took a video of myself doing the counting. I apologize for the shaky video and the seriousness of tone. I was maneuvering two gadgets while making sure the video was focusing. Anyway here goes…











Congratulations Sonny-Lilo Flores Carpio! Email me back and I’ll send you the bedsheets. Enjoy! And thanks everyone!!!




Stella’s special day



Stella’s a two-year old now.


If you’ve noticed I haven’t said anything about the 3 parties I hosted over the weekend – Lily’s school birthday party on Friday, their joint party on Sunday, and Stella’s school celebration on Monday. I needed to catch up on my work life. And I needed to let some time pass before I could write this.

Lily’s little school party went well. The Sunday party was wonderful. Kids had so much fun. I went overboard and became with inefficient, so I was a bit stressed. But the looks on the faces of the kids were just priceless. Those parties deserve a blogpost and I will work on that. By Sunday night I was just pooped. But we still had a Monday party for little Stella.

I figured, there’d be nothing to worry about for Stella’s party. I would be simple and stress-free. I got a cake from a chain bakery and packed fried chicken meals from McDonald’s, just like Lily’s a few days before. All I wanted to do was show up and take pictures of Stella blowing her candles. We only had a 30 minute window – from 11:00 to 11:30 – to sing, blow the candles and eat. I sent the driver and one yaya to pick up the food at 10:30am. And here’s where the nightmare began.

At 11:00 our party was about to start and the food and cake were not at school yet. I phoned my driver. The cake was ready but the meals were not. “What do you mean there’s no food?” My knees went weak, my voice went high, my heart was throbbing so fast. “Mam, nakalimutan ng McDo yung order natin.” 3…2…1… I will spare you the details of what went on. To make a long story short, we got our packed meals past 11:30. A lot of the kids didn’t get to eat. They brought the chicken rice meals home.

The rest of the hour was a blur. I don’t remember what Stella did. I know she was cute and happy because while my head was spinning like Linda Blair waiting for the food to come, she was dancing around. At one point she pullled my hand and wanted me to dance with her. She was the only kid dancing. We dance a lot at home. But I couldn’t “be there” for her. I couldn’t even take her pictures. I was dealing with a pressing issue – the food.


This is what I have of Stella’s birthday dance.


I’m sure fiascos like this happen with other restaurants – fast food or not. I’m not the first and only person this has happened to. It was an unfortunate situation. But I couldn’t let this week pass without putting this out there. Especially since up to now I’m having a hard time writing a decent Stella birthday post.

So I’m trying to learn from this. And I figured I’d write this, not to bash a brand, but so I could learn and move on. The first thing I did after the incident was to write a formal complaint letter. I emailed it through their website – with no specific person or contact. I wrote the incident in detail. The next day, I got an email from the branch manager. I told her I wanted to hear from the corporate level. I felt this was more than a branch issue. So I heard from the head of consumer services, and still I wasn’t ready to talk. I was still very upset.


What did I learn?

1. It’s time to do homemade packed lunches for birthday parties. No more big chain quick orders.

2. Working moms & dads who order from chains like this should phone them the night before or the morning of, to reconfirm orders – because it’s never a sure thing.

3. Always write formal complaint letters through proper channels, not just through blogs. And I hope if and when you do, you get a proper response from them.

4. Try not to let these little glitches ruin your kid’s day – obviously this is something I need to work on.


A day after I rejected the head of consumer services’ apology, the president of the corporation emailed me a humble apology. I read and re-read it. I was clear about not asking for a refund or a re-do. And even more clear about not having anyone fired. It took me a whole day to figure out what to say back. At the end of the day, I accepted his apology. And now I’m working on trying to forget this.

Nothing can really replace lost moments. I’m still trying to rebuild memories from Stella’s 2nd birthday party. I still owe her a birthday story.




Giving: LASIK from American Eye Center



American Eye Center at Greenbelt 5


After a week and a half of thinking about how to do this LASIK giveaway from American Eye Center, I’ve come to figure something out. I’ve read all your comments at my blog about the new all-laser LASIK machine sharing your stories about why you want this procedure. It would be hard for me to be responsible for choosing the most deserving winner. Double checking the count from alone ate up 2 hours of my time, I can’t imagine the stress of choosing who I think deserves a free LASIK surgery worth almost P100,000. So I figured something out…

American Eye Center is giving away ONE FREE LASIK SURGERY to one of my readers. This is completely transferrable. So you can give the gift of seeing to someone you care about. And let’s say you win but you end up not qualified for the surgery (there’s a barrage of tests you have to go through), you can give the chance to someone else. If you want to know more about the procedure and American Eye Center, please follow EyeTweets on Twitter.


During the press conference, members of the media watched the procedure through this monitor.


The operating room is actually visible from the reception area, behind these glass walls. Here, Dr. Alnette Tan was performing surgery on Magic 89.9 TM DJ Jessica Mendoza.


I just need to say this… I underwent LASIK in 2005, and though it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, it was also one of the best things I’ve done. Completely life changing. The procedure was painless and fast. The worst thing about it was my fear and anxiety. I am not at all trying force you to get LASIK just because it’s free. This is something only you could decide for yourself. It took me years to decide to do it and when I did, I wondered why I waited so long. Just as with anything, there will always be risks. The doctors there will tell you everything you need to know. So ask questions… better yet, read up on it. Be informed. Now having said that, I have complete trust in the doctors at American Eye Center.

And for the purposes of disclosure, I am not paid for this “campaign.” AEC gave me a gift after appearing in their press conference, and that is a free certificate for their new LASIK machine to be given to anyone I want. I could have given it to one of my sisters, but I choose to give it to one of my readers.


So here’s how we’ll do it.

1. First, LIKE American Eye Center in Facebook.

1. Leave a comment below, tell me why you think you should be awarded this chance at LASIK (either for yourself or special someone). Those who already left their stories at the earlier blog entry need not write a new one here. All those previous entries will already be counted and have been read. New entries can be posted here below.

2. I will select 12 candidates based on your stories/comments with the help of my mom and dad in Canada. They like reading my blog. Selection will be done on Monday August 1, 2011 at 3pm.

3. The 12 candidates will be notified by email, tweet or Disqus on Monday 6pm (give or take a few hours, you know me). I will most likely ask for your photo and/or the photo of who you want to give LASIK to. You will need their approval before we post their photo.

4. By Tuesday morning, all 12 candidates and their stories will be posted on the Daphne Facebook wall.

5. From Tuesday, August 2 to Friday, August 5 at 6pm, all 12 candidates will have to gather “LIKES” on their stories. More detailed instructions on Monday night (So yes, you’re going to have to do the work, not me.)

6. The candidate with the most number of likes by Friday August 5 at 6pm will WIN the certificate for LASIK surgery.


EDIT: I’ve decided to remove the Facebook campaigning aspect. There will be 12 pre-selected candidates. Then final choice will be at random. More here.

EDIT: August 1, 2011 6:51 pm – contest is now closed. All comments posted after this time will not be counted.


Good luck!!




Do me a favour please


Looks like this week is a week of contests. We just finished the Versace sunnies. I’m about to announce the mechanics for LASIK from American Eye. But before that, we have something fun and easy in between.

I usually don’t participate in Facebook Like contests. But this is really cute. For some reason, my brother in law Trevor got nominated in Babybot’s fan of the year contest. He could win $500 worth of baby/kiddie gear from that store. Who doesn’t want free stuff right? So anyway, Trev was winning then got overtaken this morning. So I did a few Twitter and Facebook shout outs and we recovered the lead. But we must not be complacent. Another team is working just as hard. So to make it worth your while, I’m throwing in a mini raffle as well.

First let me introduce you to Trevor Holmes, my sister Hanni’s husband. Say hi to him if you see him in Toronto. There have been very cute instances of Osena family sightings in Canada. And you lovely Twitterfolk never fail to amuse me by tweeting me when the sightings occur. Very cute…


Here’s Trev and my bag.


Hanni and Trev during our trip to HK early this year.


My kids with Uncle Trevy and little W in Oakville, Ontario.


So here’s how the Babybot contest works.

1. Go to this page and click LIKE to get in to Babybot. You have to do this in order to vote for Trevor in the next step.

2. Vote for Trevor Holmes by going to this page and clicking LIKE in Silent But Deadly.

3. Everyone who “likes” Trevor in Silent But Deadly will get a chance to win 1 set of Daphne Linens (exclusively available at SM Homeworld and Our Home.) I will select a winner at random based on the names that have “liked” or voted for Trevor.


I’m giving away this set of Daphne Linens – fitted sheet with pillow cases.


This is a fast and easy raffle/giveaway. I will announce the winner on Saturday night. By the way, just by joining this like-like Babybot thing, you could also win $50 from them.

If you’re wondering why I’m doing this, it’s because a) the contest is silly and funny; b) I’m too involved I can’t back out, LOL; c) we love Trevor and we want him to win (C’mon, he has to beat the shirtless dad and the one who defected to America, LOL.). Just to show how crazy we sisters are, look at what Pauline made… a song via a free iPhone ap called Songify. I found it so funny, I couldn’t breathe. But that’s just us, we’re silly.

Anyway, go “Like, like.” Have fun!!!



EDIT:  Contest is over. Trevor won. Thanks so much for humouring me! Your support is overwhelming. One set of Daphne Linens on its way to a lucky winner!