Waldorf Astoria Shanghai



I promised I’d share some stories about our Shanghai trip. Here they are in spurts. I’m still sifting through my gazillion photos. I was really happy that I brought my Olympus PEN EP3. It makes a world of difference not having to lug around a DSLR when you’re traveling.

We flew to Shanghai on a whim. It wasn’t really part of the plan. But I knew Patrick had always wanted to see that city so when I found a seat sale in PAL’s Twitter feed, I bought two tickets to Shanghai. The price was too good to pass up. I’m loving all these cheap airline flights. Most are offered only online and not through travel agents. So check the airlines’ online promo announcements.

It was our first time to go to China, so our travel agent Claudette Vitug of CV Travel recommended we choose a good hotel chain – safer that way. She offered the Waldorf Astoria on The Bund and the Four Seasons, both at a great rate. We chose the Waldorf Astoria because it’s in one of the restored buildings on the Bund and we’d have a great river view of Pudong and the beautifully lit Bund at night.

I feel I have to say this before anyone gets judgmental, this trip was in no way sponsored. It’s a personal vacation and I am sharing as much and as little as I can. Special mention must be given to Claudette’s CV Travel for finding the best solutions, best prices and for assisting us with visa processing. You’ll find her contact details below.

Here’s the first part of my little travel diary. This is all about our hotel. It was so beautiful and service was impeccable, I felt it merited its own blogpost. Am seriously in awe of the Waldorf Astoria service. Spoiled now…


First of all, let’s get this out of the way. You will see me wearing the same thing in all photos – this feather down jacket from Muji. Shanghai was cold. Temperature was between zero to 5°C, which I know is like springtime weather in Canada. But I’ve been living in the tropics too long. This jacket was awesome – lightweight and warm. Not the most stylish, but I didn’t care. I’m really glad that retail chains carry winter clothes in Manila now. Again, for transparency, I bought this.


By the elevators. This is in the new part of the hotel. Constructed to also reflect the neoclassical style of the original Bund building.


He will kill me for posting our photos. Oops. Ok, boots also from Muji. Surprisingly warm and very comfortable for an  inexpensive boot.


Everyone told me to go to The Bund. Ofcourse, how can anyone miss The Bund. It’s Shanghai’s showpiece. And our hotel was in one of these buildings. The Bund (meaning “embankment”) is the waterfront promenade lined with historical buildings that used to house banks and trading houses from the UK, Germany, France, US etc. in the early 20th century.


Shanghai was positioned as the financial hub of East Asia. I’ll skip the history lesson, you may read more about Shanghai’s history here.


Click “More…” to see the rest of my travel diary.



Our Spark day



Our SPARK cover is now on the stands. I hope you get your copy – any one of the three covers. It was a rare opportunity to be in a cover with my close friends Bryan and Ingrid. The fact that they were both in the Philippines when this shoot was scheduled was even quite a feat. I read my interview, and it’s felt different. Something happened, I don’t know (maybe age). But I feel so free to speak my mind now.


Here are some behind-the-scenes from the day of the shoot. Ingrid and Bryan already wrote about the outtakes. It was a wonderful day – great company, good food, wonderful architecture and incredible scenery. The SPARK House in Batangas was spectacular. I’m kicking myself for not making time to shoot this house for Urban Zone while we were still on air. I’m sure many urbanista viewers would be in awe. But all is not lost. We have some photos here and we’ll definitely make epic time for a reshoot of this house in the future.


The Spark House


Stunning property with a 360-degree view of the peninsula and the sea.


Beautiful staircase and lots of glass to maximize the view. It wasn’t a heat trap because of the generous windows that allowed the cross-ventillation of wind.


I finally got to wear my Rick Owens long dress. Ingrid, Bryan and I each had a solo in this field of weeds. Lovely.


The master bedroom has a glass roof with fully retractable blinds, so they have a full view of the sea, the sky and the stars at night. I was a little scared of wearing those heels on the glass floor/roof. That is a full shot of the dress I wore in one of the covers. It’s the same beaded dress I wore to Angel’s party. It’s from Antik Batik.


Click, click, click “More…”  to see more.


My birthday in Instagram



Thank you for all your wonderful greetings. I had a great day yesterday. Surrounded by my family in the morning. My parents are in the country. I am really grateful that they’re here to get a little glimpse of my crazy busy world and actually lend a helping hand. Most of all I love the comfort knowing that they’re near me. I woke up to lovely greetings from my daughters. At this age, my birthdays are more about my kids than about me. Each of them doing something generous and big. As I type this, Lily is creating a beaded necklace for me.


A baby bird in our yard. #birthday #blessings #sophia
Sophia left this note by my bedside yesterday morning. I don’t know what it is about baby birds being born in our home. It happens every season. So beautiful.


Had a great conversation with Umberto and Fernando Campana. "Campana Brothers"
Then I rushed over to Manila FAME to interview Humberto and Fernando Campana. The Brazilian design superstars known as Campana Brothers. Thank you so much, CITEM & Manila FAME for giving me the exclusive interview (online and video). Talking to them was so easy and inspiring I wish more designers and architects got to meet them. I will post the video next week.


Thank you @martyilagan for shooting Campana Brothers for Daphne.ph
I was lucky that my good friend Marty Ilagan was available to shoot my interview with the Campana Brothers. We also went around the exhibits of Manila FAME. I was also there the day before – as a member of the Board of Judges (again). I’ve been doing this (judging) for many rounds including Cebu last year and I honestly think that this season of Manila FAME has got it’s mojo back. Last October, we (the judges) decided that no one won the Katha Award. That’s how low the energy was. This year, the fair is back to being big and well-attended again. It would be interesting to see the actual figures from CITEM. Yay for the Philippines!


@itokish @vitoselma vickyrodriguez, nominees for Katha Award. #manilafame
After the shoot attended the awarding of winners of Katha at Manila FAME. I will do a separate post on that. Congratulations to Ito Kish for winning the Katha Award for Best Booth Design and Best Product Design – Furniture. In this photo are his fellow nominees Vito Selma and Vicky Rodriguez who also won a Katha.


Sneak peek at DAPHNE. Opening tomorrow at WorldBex, World Trade Center,
Then I ran back to my booth at the World Trade Center where I met up with my good friends Katherine & Stanley of K&Company and Ingrid & her mom who dropped by to give me birthday greetings. By the way we are offering 20% off Daphne Linens at WorldBex but it’s on order-basis, pick up on Sunday only. And I was invited to an intimate cocktails reception for Humberto and Fernando (yes, first name basis with the Campana Brothers) but last minute I decided it was time to be quiet and relish some quiet hours with my husband. So we met up for dinner and a movie.


Happy birthday to me! Coco Martin in the house! He watches #urbanzone & knows Daphne.ph!!!!
Well, our dinner wasn’t as quiet as I thought. It was full of excitement… on my part. Coco Martin was in the restaurant with his team of ABSCBN management and writers. I had met Coco before when he was just starting as an actor back in 2006. He was a guest in my ANC talk show with film maker Brillante Mendoza. He has since become quite the huge star! I love him as Daniel in Walang Hanggan (I try to catch it when I can). And I was star-struck! Turns out Biboy Arboleda, an old friend from ABSCBN, was his manager. So I got my re-introduction. Then Deo Endrinal, top boss of ABSCBN production, was also there. We had a nice chat about building new homes. Both Deo and Coco watched Urban Zone. Sigh…


Fangirl stalker.
My husband was dying of embarrassment. But I couldn’t resist. So I stole these shots. Haha. Biboy, don’t kill me. Fangirl moment. It was probably a working dinner for them. Tita Cory Vidanes was also there. Touched that they all greeted me for my birthday. It was around the time of Walang Hanggan’s airing and they asked the restaurant to put the channel on ABSCBN. SURREAL MOMENT. Coco Martin was watching his own telenovela!!! A bigger surreal moment, he told me he’s a huge fan of Urban Zone and he’s been trying to find links and photos of the show through my website “Yung… daphne daphne.” I die!! I wanted to say, give me your email I’ll send you a link everytime. Haha. Anyway, good to see that Coco Martin is very proper and quite humble. He did mention he was building his house and wanted more ideas from UZ. Someone please send him a link to my website and tell him to bookmark it because soon, I’ll be showing UZ webisodes here.


My UNICEF family sent me the loveliest present. A photo from our trip to Sarangani, Mindanao. #UNICEF
After our movie, “Mirror Mirror” – it was cute and entertaining, I got home and received some lovely presents. This is from my UNICEF family. Very thoughtful. This is a photo of my trip to Sarangani, Mindanao in 2010 when I met the many mothers and infants.


Thank you Louis Vuitton Manila. Always so thoughtful. #birthday
And a nice treat from my friends Rhea and Vanessa of Louis Vuitton Manila. Yum! You read my mind. Now I need to find time to pop open this Veuve.




Finally, the Daphnes under one roof



Daphne x Worldbex is at the East Wing L-14


Here is a quick snapshot of my booth from Nina Santamaria’s new iPhone. She is just discovering the life-changing aspect of the iPhone. Yay. Nina’s interior design firm helped me put together my booth. Who knew you needed an interior designer for a 3m x 3m space? I thought I was just going to arrange my furniture. But then I realized I needed walls… and a floor!

Grupo Santamaria rescued me last week. Just before we all left for the weekend – we were off to Taal Vista Hotel (such a pretty view) and Nina was off to go surfing. In a matter of hours she got me a reliable contractor who built this wall and put together my floor.

My new colours for Daphne chairs came out well. I’m not sure I will carry all the colours when I release them thru my new retailer (can’t wait to announce that…). I love the purple one. The orange and yellow are getting good reviews too. That wardrobe is actually for kids. I adore it. And also  that chest of drawers. I hope you like my colours. My current Daphne Linens are all here. They are regularly sold in SM Homeworld and Our Home. It’s such a treat to see all the products in one space.

I developed my own wallpaper too. Amazed at how The Purpose Store did it. I’m looking forward to the possibility of creating more.

There’s a pretty little announcement in my booth as well. When you visit, please linger and watch the video. My Urban Zone team – Manny, Denmark and Maila, with Paolo Ruiz who shot the video – put together an awesome AVP of Urban Zone. I will post it in You Tube after World Bex. But if you’re curious to know what will happen to UZ, please drop by the booth. Thank you to Mike Pena (architect), Jason Buensalido (architect), Cynthia and Ivy Almario (interior designers), Nina Santamaria (interior designer), Mark Madolaria (interior designer) and Isabel Gatuslao (graphic artist) for supporting the next step of UZ. Your testimonials mean so much to us!

Come visit the booth. I will for sure be there on Saturday March 17 and Sunday March 18 from 2pm to 5pm. I had planned on being there everyday but I have things to attend to today… it’s my birthday! I have an exclusive interview with the Campana Brothers! Gasp!!!! And tomorrow, my two daughters have moving up day at preschool. This answers your questions on how I balance my life. Priorities.



Grupo Santamaria
Suite 221, LRI Business Plaza
210 N.Garcia St. (formerly Reposo)
Bel-Air, Makati,
Mobile 0917-8252061 and 0922-8137361

The Purpose Store (wall paper)
Unit A-10 Makati Home Depot
2248 Chino Roces Avenue
Makati City
Tel 478-9047 and 623-4455



Dolce & Gabbana Mix & Match sunnies



DG 4132-1998_8G
I saw this at the BLI showroom and absolutely loved it. BLI is the importer and distributor of many luxury brands of eyewear. I was in sunglasses heaven that day. I love this because it’s all about mixing prints and patterns – like polka dots and lace.
Press Release —
The “mix and match“ of materials and patterns, which has always been very much a part of the Dolce&Gabbana DNA, is also featured in the new sunglass collection. One of the materials that best represents the brand, Sicilian lace, is combined with the patterns that have always been iconic elements of the Dolce&Gabbana brand: animal prints and polka dots. Artisan craftsmanship is again employed in the production process with the insertion of real lace between the two layers of acetate, creating a unique and original look.
The sun collection features 2 models with generous, sinuous shapes, available in a multitude of vibrant colour combinations including; white or fuchsia lace paired with white polka dot or animal prints on a blue or brown background, black lace on orange and fuchsia, combined with polka dot or animal prints in blue.
Outstanding attention to detail: the Dolce&Gabbana logo and the temple ends are in golden or silver coloured metal.


This model offers a generous and sinuous shape as well as a variety of different combinations that feature authentic lace inserts and animal prints available in the combinations; frontal frame in brown animal print with white lace temples, frontal polka dot frame with brown animal print temple, white lace frontal frames with polka dot print temple, and fuchsia coloured lace frontal frames, combined with pink animal print temple.


Large “butterfly” shape featuring original colour combinations such as frontal frames with black lace inserts resting on orange or fuchsia acetate paired with blue animal print or white polka dot temples, or white lace inserts resting on black acetate, paired with polka dot temples.


Available in Adora and LS Pascual Optical, Powerplant Mall.