Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding



Yesterday we had a press conference for the launch of a new breastfeeding campaign that UNICEF is supporting. As Special Advocate for Children of UNICEF, I participated in the Beauty, Brains & Breastfeeding billboard project. The message is, “smart, glamorous and hardworking women breastfeed.” We are doing this because only 34% of mothers in the Philippines practice exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of their babies. Based on UNICEF statistics, nearly half of all mothers in the country depend on artificial milk in varying degrees.

There will be five billboards – three along MIA Road in Pasay City which will be launched on October 14 when the weather lets up; one in Philcoa, Quezon City; and one on the DILG Building in EDSA. A few more billboards will be up soon with sites currently in negotiation. The photos were shot by Raymund Isaac. Our clothes were provided by my good friends – K&Company, Divine Lee’s Luca and Gingersnaps.




Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding would like to correct several misconceptions which discourage mothers with infants and young children to breastfeed — main hurdles to having all Filipino newborns properly breastfed:

• exclusive breastfeeding in the formative first six months of an infant is NOT a hindrance to a mother’s professional or personal goals;

• exclusive breastfeeding is a commitment to give one’s child with life-nourishing food and a good start in life; to think of breastfeeding as only for the poor should be dismissed immediately;

• continued breastfeeding DOES NOT cause a woman’s breasts to deform, sag or make her look haggard and unattractive; and

• the act of breastfeeding in public places is not an act shame and therefore should be encouraged.

No matter the prevailing conditions and norms in any society, nothing best embodies the miraculous ties between mother and child than the act of breastfeeding.


I committed myself to breastfeeding each kid for at least the same amount of time, if not longer. I did not want to deal with any issues like so and so was breastfed longer. Besides I really enjoyed the whole process. I’ve said it many times, breastfeeding is love. It was the time I felt most beautiful and powerful as a woman. My body was giving life and nourishment to my children, and I knew they were getting nothing but the best.

I’ve gone on and on about the beauty and health benefits of breastfeeding but it was only during my work with UNICEF that I got to know the issues on a deeper and more important level – that exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months is a significant “mechanism” to lower infant mortality rates globally. I have seen this firsthand. During my last UNICEF mission to the ARMM in Maguindanao, I saw babies that had severe acute malnutrition. They were being treated through UNICEF’s community based management for acute malnutrition. One of the factors why the babies got severe acute malnutrition, in addition to contracting multiple diseases, was dehydration due to diarrhea caused by formula milk plus dirty water… formula they acquired from donations at a relief centre. There are very strict guidelines discouraging donations of formula milk during emergencies. And this is why I vowed to not endorse formula milk. I’ve been used and misled once before. Now I know better.

It is also timely to mention that I cried over (spilled) spoiled milk before. During emergencies like Milenyo and Ondoy when we had to leave our house due to extended black outs, my stored milk thawed and went bad. But I realized that there’s no need for stored milk, noneed for anything except me and my direct feeding. We are still expecting 10 more storms. There will be floods and brown outs. I hope all moms of newborns choose to breastfeed.

Going back to the message of the billboards… Iza is a busy working mom. She’s a social entrepreneur and she’s very committed to her work as a breastfeeding advocate. She is also working with labour groups and corporations to help give support to breastfeeding in the workplace. Patricia Hizon, a sportscaster and TV host, breastfed her sons with the involvement and support of her husband Vince Hizon. We all want to share the same message – that breastfeeding can be done no matter how busy you are. You can look good while doing it. And you will give your kids the best start in life.

The billboards are supposed to be up today in MIA Road. I’ll take a peek this weekend. The billboards will be up after the current storm signals stabilize.

I’d love to hear your thoughts….


Meet Nicholas Sparks



On October 28, 2011 at 5 PM at The Podium you may get the rare opportunity to meet Nicholas Sparks, one of the world’s best selling authors. You know him from “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “The Last Song.”


“The Best of Me” is now available at all National Book Store and Powerbooks branches for P549.


So remember how I have a gazillion signed copies of books? Not really a gazillion but more than 10 at least. Those were gifts to me by National Book Store. There is now a chance for you to meet a best selling author and get your book copy signed as well. Here’s how:

1. All purchases of Nicholas Sparks’ new book “The Best of Me” from National Book Store or Powerbooks will come with a Lucky Draw Coupon. Note: The Lucky Draw Coupon in not a guaranteed Signing Pass.
2. A person may purchase as many copies as he/she wants and each purchase will come with a Lucky Draw Coupon.
3. The Lucky Draw Coupon shall entitle the bearer to one (1) attempt at a Lucky Draw on Friday, October 28, 2011 at the atrium of The Podium. Lucky Draw will start upon registration at 1:00 pm.
4. Every person who draws a marked winning stub shall be entitled to a signing pass to have one (1) book signed by Nicholas Sparks at the event.
5. There will be a minimum of six hundred fifty (650) winning stubs in the the Lucky Draw.
6. In addition, there will also be fifty (50) Early Birds. The first fifty (50) persons to arrive at the venue will be allowed to have their Lucky Draw Coupon automatically exchanged for a Signing Pass. Limit is one (1) signing pass per Early Bird.

For more information, click here.



Fashion Forum



I hosted the launch of Fashion Forum at SM Mega Mall. (This is the second time this month I saw my maiden name in print, interesting).


Fashion Forum is like a little boutique within the premier SM department stores like Makati, Megamall etc. They sell some US brands of very sensible clothes – dresses that take you from work to cocktails. They also have evening wear. The price points are a bit lower here than retail US prices (I saw pretty dresses in the P2,000 to P8,000 range). And all the looks they launched are current collections. They also replenish the boutique every week. Sizes range from 0-16.


Fashion Forum offers a different shopping experience from the rest of the department store. There are SA’s and fitting rooms exclusively for Fashion Forum only. Even the shopping bag looks different. The day of the event, Citibank shoppers got 10% off.


It was nice to meet the couple behind Moroso, Joseph Tay and Stephanie Coyiuto-Tay.


With one of my favourite stylists Sidney Yap who said a lot of the clothes in Fashion Forum are very “Daphne.” I am wearing a dress from Fashion Forum. I love the cut and the fabric.


Fashion Forum’s Carissa Chan and SOFA’s Amina Aranaz


SM’s CarRet Lindayag


I also got to meet some young adorable bloggers like Patricia Prieto, who I just learned through her blog is a relative of mine – her Lagdameo side is related to my dad’s Argosino side. I grew up knowing so much about our Argosino family, it’s only now I’m getting to meet extended family. I love that about the Philippines, we’re all somehow related.

Here are some highlights from the event, clothes that are currently on the floor now.












Steve Jobs



No need for words. Scenes from Apple New York.

I got these photos from our friend Billy Tashman of the Sofia Inn.







Holy Carabao



It’s that time of the year again. I’m sure some, if not most, of you have started your Christmas shopping or at least have made the lists. Don’t look at me because I’m a procrastinator. I like sharing gift ideas though. Here’s something from Hindy Tantoco. Hindy, we’ve known as designer and creator of Culte Femme. She has since taken a sabbatical to focus on family and other creative pursuits while living in a beautiful farm. She really lives in a farm – cows, horses, chickens and all. I love her home.

This Christmas, again, Hindy is taking orders for her pro-Pinoy, pro-organic, pro-wellness, pro-yummy and pro-happy gift crates called Holy Carabao. These are great for friends, family, business colleagues and teachers on your Christmas list.


Bowl of Greens P995 + VAT
Salad is the new fruitcake. Show them how much you care with something healthy, revitalizing and not re-giftable. Fresh, scrumptious salad for two.
Includes: our signature Holy Carabao wooden crate; a wooden salad bowl; bamboo tongs; organic/biodynamic lettuce, micro greens, sprouts and cherry tomatoes — wrapped in a sealed bag with FreshPicks® ethylene absorber to ensure postharvest freshness for a longer period.


Flower Power Pots P695 + VAT
Flowers aren’t just for Valentine’s. Blooming gifts will bring love (not war) long after the 12 days of Christmas. Peace out.
Includes: our signature Holy Carabao wooden crate; two terracotta pots wrapped in cheerful farbic; two varieties of live, planted blooms in rich, living, organic soil.
You may substitute flowers with organic herbs like Tarragon, Basil, Oregano, and Dill for P875
You may also specify the flowers you prefer. For example: Poinsettias. Prices subject to change depending on flower variety.


Click, click to see MORE Holy Carabao options…