Photos for a cause



christmas family photo card


Some of the best portraits of our family have been taken by Doods and Issay Tanabe of Real Kids Photography. I met Issay through Baby magazine when Lily became its cover girl when she was 7 months old. Since that time, I’ve asked them to photograph our major milestones from birthdays to baptisms and random days at home.

Issay was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently undergoing some treatments. As soon as I heard, I talked to Doods about raising funds for medical expenses. Instead of soliciting funds or having a huge fundraising event, Doods and I thought the best way to do this was to provide their services at a friendly rate. This way it’s a win-win situation. The public can have wonderful family or self-portraits… Issay and Doods can do what they do best… and hopefully everybody’s happy.

Scroll down to the end to see how you can avail of this awesome photography package. It’s the perfect time to do it… for your CHRISTMAS PHOTOS.

I’m showing some of my favourite photos Real Kids took at our home. There are hundreds… As you can see, Doods and Issay have a way of capturing the tender moments without being too posed. They are the most loving parents to three awesome daughters. Perhaps that has a lot to do with it.

The smiles. The love.


Issay shot this when Stella was just three weeks old. I could not have done this on my own. My kids don’t sit still for photos when I’m the one shooting.


Lily gigil.


Lily playing Go Fish with a 3 week old Stella, while Sophia giggles.


A look back... a year ago.
When Lily was 5 months old. This was a shoot for Gingersnaps.


Here, Lily was 6 months old. Just noticed her toes peeking out.


Soph just turned 6 here.


Lily’s favourite spot. She must have been just 3 here. My kids love hanging by the windows.


Photo by Real Kids
Unfortunately I don’t have hi-res of this. But this was one of our favourite shoots. Issay and Doods came to the house early in the morning and I jumped out of bed and made everyone wear white.


January 2008
When we were four. Pre-Stella. What I love about Real Kids coming to our house is that they’ve also documented the story of our house. Here it was in its “museum” stage. Haha.


Me and Stella


Stella in her cradle.


Issay and Stella
Issay and Stella when she was 6 months old.


I'm a stage mom
And this is how Doods and Issay captured those tender moments from the first few frames above. Look at me being a stage mom.


Please consider booking your family’s Christmas photos with Real Kids on Saturday Sept 29, 2012 8-5pm at Blue Leaf Pavilion. There will be four “locations” within Blue Leaf. You can use two out of the four “locations”. For only P3,500 you get 10 shots inclusive of 11×14 print and a DVD of the shots.

As a bonus, I am including freebies from my sponsors. Lots! Will re-edit this post as soon as I confirm.

We have a pledge of giftpacks for the first 30 participants from Procter & Gamble. We are also raffling off a camera from Olympus (exact model to be confirmed)…

Please leave me a message in the comment box if interested. My family and I are definitely doing a session. So it would be great to meet some of you there. Let’s do this for Issay. Thanks!


Info page



Town & Country September cover!



Town & Country - September 2012 - Cover


This is just amazing. Somehow I made it to the cover of this month’s Town & Country magazine…. and I don’t even have a country house! 🙂

It’s their first time to do a series on Alpha Girls — a totally new angle for me. Haha.

I am sincerely touched and honoured to be recognized for the things I simply love doing – my Daphne® products, my blog and just being with my family. This year didn’t start out so well with the end of UZ on TV. But my super duper adviser (aka. husband) told me that maybe it’s really time to go “beyond TV”. At the rate things are happening, I think he’s right. It’s been a crazy year of new products, new endorsements and new business relationships through my site. All these when I purposely decided to slow down and just do what I love doing. And now Town & Country recognizing the lifestyle brand as a real thing. Amazed! Thank you T&C.



Town and Country cover
The issue is packed with lots of inspiring stories, as usual. I especially love this batch of Wonder Women.


“SOMETHING IN SEPTEMBER Apart from launching the Alpha Girls, our 5th anniversary special also highlights our 3rd annual Wonder Women feature, where we celebrate women who have already reached the pinnacles of success in their chosen fields. This time, know the stories of Cecille Licad, Maria Ressa, Wynn Wynn Ong, and Loida and Mely Nicolas through the eyes of those closest to them.

As we know that true luxury goes beyond indulgence, this edition curates a mix of reads that show the many reasons why life is indeed beautiful! We take you, along with the world’s richest and brightest, to the exclusive TED Conference in California; to Federico de Vera’s thriving stores in the Big Apple; to the best places in Hawaii with Jay Gokongwei as your guide; among many other destinations.

We lineup the best and the latest finds in beauty, fashion, and design–from the newest iconic perfume brand to land in Manila and the much-awaited miracle jar promising youth to the most interesting fall/winter fashion staples for the new season and the most intricate showpieces of jewelry designer Wallace Chan. Enjoy our September issue! Now out in bookstores and select newsstands.” — Town & Country Sept 2012 Press Kit


If you live overseas, you can simply get this issue of Town & Country  thru and on iPad.

Now about being Alpha female… Haha! Lots of crazy definitions on the internet. What’s yours?



Aranaz spree



I’ve forgotten what it’s like to go on a fashion shopping spree. Everything has been about this epic kitchen. Did I tell you that I changed sinks midway? So the cabinetry had to be adjusted. I am a client from hell. Haha. But it’s all going to be good. Now we just wait for the sink. Delay of over a month.

Last week I made it to Amina Aranaz’ birthday sale. All the bags in Aranaz were at 50% off during those three days. Here’s what I got.


Perfect bag for events. Big enough for everything. Delicate enough to not look like a work bag. It’s very Lanvin-esque and Prada-esque with Amina’s personal touch.


I love handicraft look bags. This one is crocheted. Love the mix of materials.


Going back to basics. A banig colour-blocked clutch with leather lining.


All that for less than P5,000. Not bad at all.



Shopbop video



Cute but somewhat long video showing Chris Benz, Rachel Zoe, Stacey Bendet, and many other Shopbop designers catapulted into the stratosphere, straight to the doors of happy fashionistas.



If you’re thinking this wouldn’t apply to us in the Philippines, you should look at the shipping options in the checkout of Shopbop. You can choose “Customs and Duties prepaid and added to your total.” This makes your shipment hassle free. Delivered right to your door.

In case anyone from Philippine Customs tries to charge extra, report it to the Bureau of Customs chief, whoever that’ll be during political season.

Fall items are coming in. Summer items are marked down as low as 70% on Top Brands at!



44th Anniversary



This was my mom’s Facebook status update early this year. Dad had gone to Cambodia last year with his brother. My mom had always wanted to go. So during one of their Manila visits, Dad took her to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat.


Mom and Dad August 2012


Today, September 5th, is my Mom and Dad’s 44th Wedding Anniversary.

To this day, they hold hands while walking, take each other’s photos, take photos together using self-timer, talk to each other non-stop, go on long drives to unknown towns just the two of them, take unplanned weekend getaways in quaint towns (that photo above was in Goderich, Ontario where they just walked in to Ben Miller Inn and decided to stay the night… no luggage or pre-made plans), they travel the world together, whip out their senior citizen cards like a badge of honour, bicker like kids, laugh like teenagers, speak with pride about their offsprings (a word my Dad actually uses referring to us) and dote on grandkids like there’s no tomorrow.

Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom !!! You are my peg for life. Enjoy Spain this Fall. Can’t wait to have you back in Manila with us. I love you forever.