Why do I have to explain



I am who you see on TV. My shows are unscripted. Even when I had a live talk show on ANC, I didn’t have guide questions. I don’t work with a stylist. I wear my own clothes, jewellery and shoes unless otherwise indicated. I don’t have a PR machinery. I don’t have a publicist. I write my own entries. I take my own pictures. My blog is named after me. My brand is named after me. Everything here has my point of view. My opinion.

I’m not new to this. I’ve been sharing my photos since 2005, blogging since 2007. I’ve encountered a few haters before. Nothing new. Since I’ve moved and set up this daphne.ph site, my readership has grown three-fold. There have been instances where sudden peaks in readership have caused my server to freeze or nearly crash. It was a good problem to have. Now my server and spiking issues have been resolved by my tech specialist Joben Ilagan of Seer Technologies. But with growth comes some unwanted attention. Or rather, attention of the wrong kind. And Heaven help me, I find myself struggling with this.

It is ridiculous that I have to explain myself now. But let me just put it all in context –

1. I did not put down any local celebrity. I love celebrities. Most of them are my friends/acquaintances.

2. My kids met KC Concepcion and Frankie Pangilinan at the CCP. They didn’t know who they were. Everyone was nice and gracious – as all kids should be, celebrity or not. I just thought it was amusing enough to mention because who, in this day and age, does not know KC? Apparently, my kids.

3. They also didn’t know who Agot Isidro was. They were introduced. They know her now as just Tita Agot. Again, amusing. My kids do not watch local TV shows like noontime variety programs, kiddie telenovelas and such. Why? Because I say so. They’re my rules. They’re very young and impressionable. I want to keep their minds stimulated – through reading, art, crafts, playtime at the park, sports. There’ll be lots of time for TV when they grow up. Sometimes I try to make them watch Tagalog-dubbed age-appropriate movies to improve their Tagalog.

4. Sophia’s ninang is Angel Aquino. She adores her Ninang Angel. But she’s never seen any of her shows or movies.

5. I didn’t diss Philippine theatre. How can I diss something I love and support? Please take a pill, y’all. My kids watch Repertory Philippines at least twice a year, not counting the other independent productions we go see. Me, I try to watch anything whenever I can. I’m kicking myself for missing the British Council’s night of PETA’s Haring Lear. It’s on til March 4th.

6. All I said was it was their first time in a <s>real</s> Western theatre. I was referring to the architectural structure and the whole theatre scene in general. Like New York’s Broadway , Toronto’s Theatre District or London’s West End. Don’t anyone think that’s a snooty remark. My kids love Araneta Coliseum (or as Lily calls it, “the collisee”) as much as they love watching rock concerts at the SMX grounds. They think Newport Theatre is the bomb. Me, I love the CCP.

7. ABSCBN Production’s Winnie gave me two tickets to the Mamma Mia Gala. I didn’t ask for it. I had no access to them. Prior to that another friend offered me two tickets but I politely declined. I needed to bring two kids. So two tickets would have been pointless. When I told Winnie that I couldn’t come to the Gala because there weren’t enough tickets, that was the time I thought of asking for a third ticket. Winnie is no stranger to me. I felt comfortable enough to ask. She gave them to me. Front row seats. Please don’t hate me if I get free tickets. I’m sure you get perks in your job too.

8. My blog has advertisers and sponsors. I’m transparent about that. It costs me real money to run this site. I’m not on a free blogspot. There’s nothing wrong with having a commercially viable website.

9. I do not get paid for clicks in my ads. Don’t worry about those things. I may get commission in some of the sales generated if you enter a site through my links. So think of that as a minor way of showing support to the maintenance of this site. Or not.

10. Going back to the not knowing local celebrities. Why did I have to answer so many questions about that? My kids weren’t even aware I was on TV until other kids in school told them. They have not seen a single episode of Urban Zone. They’ve only seen me in my National Geographic TV commercial. Like I said, I am amused and pleased that they are unaffected by the world of “celebrity”.


Everything you read here is from me and by me, with the exception of the 2% of the times when I post press releases from sponsors. I’ve been getting a lot of love and encouragement from my regular readers. Some of you have been with me since my early days in Flickr. It was peaceful then. We all just shared the love of photography and the thrill of that perfect capture. Now I encounter all kinds. I can take it, for the most part. But I’m a busy girl. And I can’t tolerate assinine comments. If you offend me or my family, I will delete your comment. I may even blacklist.

I don’t use my site to spew negativity, power trip or rant about stuff. I value my advertisers. I respect my readers. My name means everything to me. So instead of going all Linda Blair on you, I will just simply delete.




Daphne® at WorldBex 2012



daphne LOGO


First, I’m announcing that my website Daphne.ph is one of the “official media” partners of WorldBex, the country’s biggest construction and building expo. I’m up there with major newspapers and TV networks! I am so giddy with the “official media” aspect. But even more excited with the fact that I will have my own booth!

From March 14 to 18,2012 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, DAPHNE® will have a prominent booth alongside international and local brands that cater to building, construction and design markets. I have been to WorldBex a couple of times in the past. This is the show you should go to if you plan on building or renovating your place. All the major suppliers are there – materials, construction, new technologies, design. Click on the Worldbex links or the ad on the right column to see schedule of events. Admission is totally FREE. There are talks and seminars which you might want to sign up for with a minimal fee.

I have been to many trade shows here and abroad so I have an idea of what kind of booth would appeal to visitors. The challenge is that I am not really selling anything – I’m basically just introducing my brand Daphne® as an online publication open to advertisers. And more importantly, Daphne® as a legitimate and tested brand for licensing agreements with home products. Just as my website reflects the Daphne brand, this booth has to feel and look like everything-Daphne. So you will see new designs with my product lines like linens, furniture and hopefully that other one that I can’t announce yet. I’m so excited!


CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
At CebuNext Furniture Expo in 2011


Check out Ing's monogrammed Goyard bag
This was back in 2006 at the Avatar booth at Manila FAME. Butch Carungay’s booth was the best! He used to have a cocktail bar… with champagne!


The Bisazza Mosaico booth at the 2008 WorldBex.


More of the Bisazza booth at WorldBex 2008.


With Milo Naval
With Milo Naval, Manila FAME 2005


I am thinking of my booth design. I want you all to feel welcome when you visit. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little meet and greet with you all? What do you think?



Metro Home



MetroHome 9-1 Cov FA
Metro Home & Entertaining has two “scoop” homes in its current issue: the dream home built by the reclusive, little known but internationally successful designer Renato Vidal and the remarkable new home of the famous but very private broadcast journalist Ces Drilon.


This issue will be out in the stands on Feb 10. Urban Zone viewers will recognize one of the “scoop” homes. I featured it my show last year. It was also a popular post in this blog. I had to protect the identity of the owner for privacy reasons.

Get this issue, and you’ll know who the owner is. And you’ll see more of that fantastic place.

Guess who…




Happy 9th birthday, our lovely Sophia



Happy 9th birthday, our lovely Sophia.
We didn’t have a party for her. But I wanted this day to be special. I did this last night – just pulled up some photos from Flickr, printed them on bond paper and hung them on a string. When she woke up, she was so happy! Her prayer tonight, “Dear Papa Jesus. Thank you for my family. From the time I woke up, I felt the love from them. And also my friends and my teachers.”


Darling Sophia,

Has it already been 9 years? Or only 9 years? It’s like you were just born yesterday. I still see you as that precious little newborn that I just gave birth to. But I feel like I’ve known you my entire life.

Everything about you is wonderful. Your gentle soul. Your passion for the earth. Your intense curiosity about the world around you. The “Peace Club” you established. Your sensitivity towards your friends. Your non-stop questions. Your interest in science and art. Your coolness about rock concerts and broadway musicals. That you love Taylor Swift and you’re over Michael Jackson. That you read a bit of the classics like Anne of Green Gables and enjoy popular series like Geronimo Stilton and Magic Tree House. That you like age-appropriate magazines like Total Girl and that you create your own books and “magazines” with your sisters. That you don’t know local celebrities and remain unaffected by that world. That you are determined to be a good ice skater and you never give up on what you want.

I am proud of everything you are and everything you do. I am excited about the gazillion things you want to become when you grow up. And I am touched by your humility – that you never want to show off. But it’s time you share your talent.

You’re a good girl. Please stay a good girl. We have four more years before you become a teenager. Walk me through it. Don’t sprint. Hold my hand, always.

Happy birthday, Sophia. Don’t grow up too fast, Little One.




Mamma Mia again



ABBA is big in our family. I grew up listening to their songs (also Bonney M). Lily’s favourite song from the time she was a toddler is Dancing Queen. She is our own little dancing queen. When she was just three years old (turning 4), my mom took her to see Mamma Mia at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. It was the perfect experience for three generations of ABBA-loving women. My mom, me and my two older daughters. Though it wasn’t their first time to see live theatre or a musical, it was their first time to watch in a real Western theatre, or as Lily called it “feeter”.


Mamma Mia, Princess of Wales Theatre
This was Mamma Mia in Toronto where we had the ultimate grandmother-mother-daughter event in 2010.


Last year, whenever Lily would see billboards of Mamma Mia in the Skyway, she would ask if we were watching it again. I couldn’t promise. The tickets were very expensive. She found out Katy Perry was in town but she said she’d rather see Mamma Mia. I tried to get tickets, but for the good seats I wanted, it would have cost P26,000 for four tickets. Eeeps! So I gave it up.

Last week I got a call from Winnie of ABS-CBN Production. She said we were invited to the Gala Night. I managed to squeeze in a third ticket – so it was me, Soph and Lily again. Stella is still too small.


photo 3
The CCP was glorious that night. All photos are from my iPhone 4.


photo 2
Full house!


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