Loot raffle



I’m trying something new – rafflecopter. I’ve got a very nice giveaway from one of my sponsors coming up. But before I do that, I wanted to try this rafflecopter thing so I never have to manually count your entries again. This is supposed to do everything by lottery. And it’s supposed to be easy for all of us. So this is going to be a quick 24 hour raffle.




I’m giving out stuff I’ve accumulated – some swag from press releases and some I bought myself. Only one winner will win all of these –

1. Olay Total Effects anti-aging serum

2. Guerlain Blanc de Perle Lightening UV Base

3. Liquid eyeliner

4. Notebook from Fox International Channels

5. A pair of Havaianas flipflops

6. Foldable headphones

7. Cath Kidston wallet (real from London, not fake)

8. Olay Body Bars

9. Issey Miyake’s A Scent 50ml EDT

10. Joe Fresh bracelet

11. Baby pillows from Babies Direct – tiny pillows you can use in your car. 400 threadcount. So soft! Same ones I gave out from my baby shower.


This is going to be a quick raffle – like 24 hours. All you have to do is follow all the mandatory steps mentioned below. I hope there are no kinks in the system. If there are, please let me know.

Open to anyone with a Philippine address.



UNICEF’s emergency appeal






There’s a lot of fundraising going on locally and abroad. If your organization is looking to donate, please consider helping children and families in Mindanao affected by Sendong. DONATE NOW through UNICEF Philippines. If you’re an individual, every peso counts. A P1,000 donation can provide 2 families with water containers and water purification tablets for a month’s supply of safe, drinking water.

Lack of safe water and sanitation are the main priorities for those to responding to the emergency in Mindanao. UNICEF is co-leading the water and sanitation response with the government, UN and NGOs to respond to the needs of children and families affected by tropical storm Sendong.

The flooding has affected more than 63,000 families or 338,000 individuals half of them children in over nearly 260 barangays (villages). UNICEF has dispatched supplies to the affected areas including: water kits, water treatment, to ensure safe, clean water; hygiene kits containing soap, toothbrushes and personal hygiene items. We are also preparing to send tents and tarpaulins for temporary shelter; vitamin A for mothers and infants; breastfeeding education materials to reduce the risk of infant mortality; and recreation kits so children can play and begin to have a sense of normalcy.

Please donate now.



Kor water bottles



All throughout the year I’ve been asked where to buy Kor. If you simply Google Kor and my name, it’ll lead you to the sources. But I figured, since I’m still not done with gift giving, I might as well share the site where you can order your Kor bottles for gifts.


Kor Delta water bottles
Kor Delta bottles in my car. My kids use them too.



My Kor.


Messages that inspire. My bottle today said “Be the change.” And I’m about to do something like that right now.


You can order all models of Kor water bottles through their Facebook page. All their contact info is there.

It is a very strange time to be buying presents right now. Our country is suffering, as you know. I’m not preaching. We all find our ways of helping.

In case you’d like to help through UNICEF Philipppines click here. Just P800 a month can help provide 17 families with water containers, water purification tablets, and buckets for a month’s supply of safe, drinking water. UNICEF programs both long-term and response to emergencies are done through partners on the ground and in a national level. UNICEF Philippines estimates 43,000 children affected by Sendong. They are currently mobilising health, nutrition & clean water supplies for quick dispatch.

Also, if you are looking to donate and still need one fabulous gift for someone, check out what Kish is doing. He is selling some beautiful designer bowls at 50% off of its retail price and all proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross to help victims of Sendong. Kish will not earn a single centavo on this endeavor, but they clearly have made the effort to BE THE CHANGE. Thank you Ito!!! (P.S. The item is really really fabulous.)



The gift of sight



Remember that OFW YouTube video commercial? I posted it when they only had 250 hits. Now it’s gone viral. Very successful campaign. We all cried buckets… over and over again. The story that touched me the most was Jose Marie Ballon and his father whose eyesight was failing.






Just a few weeks before I had hosted the launch of American Eye Center’s new laser machine for cataract removal. I learned that vision could be totally restored by Alcon LenSx femtosecond laser surgery if the problem is caused by cataract (and not glaucoma). In fact during the launch, Dr. Cesar Ramon G. Espiritu performed live laser surgery on a 79-year old veteran who was already visually impaired. After a 15-minute surgery, the gentleman could see perfectly! I figured, if Mr. Ballon’s eye problem was cataract-related, then there was no reason for him to go blind.

Within minutes, I tagged my doctor from AEC in Facebook. See Alnette Lee Tan’s reply…




That same night, I did a Twitter shoutout wishing we could find the elderly man and lead him to my doctor at American Eye Center. It reached Coke and the ad agency. They emailed me and here’s what happened…


Coke email


Here’s the reply for me –

Coke reply


And that’s how it ended for me. Another generous soul had found Mr. Ballon and offered to help him. It felt great knowing that there are good samaritans out there. A part of me felt that perhaps the one who found Mr. Ballon before I got to him was also one of my own contacts who was looking on my behalf. I had a good feeling about it. Meanwhile, Dr. Alnette Tan continued to ask me if I found Mr. Ballon’s contact info. I told her what Coke and ad agency told me. That someone is already helping Mr. Ballon.

American Eye Center didn’t stop the search. AEC’s Dr. Carmela Ongsiako, at a meeting with Ayala Foundation’s Vicky Garchitorena, got a lead to Cecile Alcantara, President of Coke Foundation. “When Dr. Ongsiako approached Coke, they even told her that Daphne’s MD was also trying to  locate Mr Ballon, only to discover that it was one and the same Center,” Dr. Alnette told me. So there you go! AEC found Mr Juan Ballon.

AEC flew in Mr Ballon and his wife yesterday morning. Here’s the sequence of events from the photos of Dr. Alnette Tan.


The Ballon couple, interviewed at AEC by Dr Carmela Ongsiako. AEC flew him and his wife Julieta from Iloilo to Manila yesterday morning, picked them up from the airport and went straight to Greenbelt 5. He had to undergo a few tests to determine if he qualified for the laser cataract surgery.


Optometrist Dr Cherry Ann Ferrer, checking visual activity of Mr. Ballon.


Dr Sherman Valero performing retina exam.


Julieta and Juan Ballon waiting for further exams before undergoing actual eye surgery.


Dr Norman Aquino, glaucoma specialist, screening Mr. Ballon for any signs of glaucoma. He passed the test and was given clearance.


Dr. Benjie Cabrera doing the last check before they enter the surgery suite.


Dr. Benjamin Cabrera and Dr. Richard Kho peform cataract surgery.


Dr Richard Kho doing LenSx procedure on the right eye of Mr. Ballon. In layman’s terms, this femtosecond laser surgery zaps out the cataract and replaces it with new Alcon lens implants which are US FDA approved. So after a few minutes of surgery, the patient ends up with PERFECT vision.


Mr Ballon sees his wife Julieta after his cataract surgery, “Claro na! Kita ko na asawa ko! (Pointing through the glass windows). Ang laki na ng apo ko.” He spoke in Ilonggo, while anesthesiologist, Dr Arlene Hernandez translated.


An emotional reunion, Mr Ballon sees his son Romulo and daughter in law for the first time. Romulo (not the same son in the Coke video/commercial) is also an OFW in Saudi Arabia. He’d just arrived in Manila last October and hadn’t seen his parents for over 5 years.


Juan and Julieta Ballon with son Romulo’s family. Lots of tears… of joy.


Ballon father son
Jose Marie got the good news by phone in Saudi Arabia. Just last Christmas the elder Ballon suffered a stroke and stayed in the ICU for 17 days. Jose Marie helped pay for the medical expenses. After their brief reunion (for the youtube video shoot), Jose Marie said he would save up money to help his father deal with is ailing eyesight.


Now, through the help of American Eye Center, Mr Ballon has received the gift of sight. May God continue to bless the hands of the surgeons at AEC. This is such a wonderful gift.






Vogue Italia



I apologize to my Twittter followers if I sound redundant. But this is the first time I’m posting this here in my blog. This won’t be the last though. (Warning, I will be on Vogue Italia high all week).

Last Friday night, my Vogue Italia interview went live online. I cannot begin to tell you how incredible it’s been – from the time they emailed me, to when I answered the interview, to when I taped my video at home, then waited almost a week for it to come out online. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Vogue Italia would notice me/my blog, let alone give me a full feature – with a photo gallery and video!


Vogue, People Are Talking About
My feature falls under the category “News”. This is the main page of the News section.


daph vogue
And the subcategory “Vogue Features” in People Are Talking About.


vogue video2
There’s a video shot at our home.


Here is the Vogue Italia feature online. Please do me a favour and send Vogue Italia some love. They gave me the opportunity to share our beautiful Philippines. Please share, repost, retweet the link. And if you want, please leave a comment on their site.