Tiff Kids 2013



I attended the opening of TIFF Kids (Toronto International Film Festival) with my sisters and their husbands. My brother-in-law Mathieu’s aunt, Nancy Florence Savard, directed and produced the movie that was chosen to be the opener. The film Legend of Sarila is Canada’s first 3D animated feature — a really charming story about the adventures of three youths living on the Arctic tundra who must brave numerous dangers to save their community from starvation.


TIFF Kids offers a diverse slate of films from Canada and around the world at the Bell Lightbox from April 9-21.


The screenings include an opportunity for children to engage in discussions with filmmakers and special guests.


With my lovely sisters Pauline and Johanna.



The film maker Nancy Florence Savard. This movie took 11 years to make.


Nancy with Pauline and Mathieu.


Loved the bar and lounge, overlooking King Street.


With the greatest Toronto landmark, the CN Tower.


We had an ice storm the night before (yeah, in April). But the temperature went down and it was my first time to dress human again.


Check out the films that are in TIFF Kids. The festival is on until April 21.



Consuelo Foundation



When I was in university studying Fine Art History, I considered going the direction of  art therapy. But though my heart was in art, my mind really was in urban planning. So I stayed an extra year and got another major in urban studies. Well, you all know what happened after.


Now as a mom, I surround my children with art supplies and let them freely express themselves through art. They’ve never taken formal lessons. They just love to draw and paint what they see or imagine. There’s plenty of time to learn other people’s techniques later on. Whatever it is that I’ve shared in my blog and Instagram is just a micro portion of the art projects they churn out on a daily basis.


Lily's drawings
This is Lily’s drawing of an alien family when whe was 4 and a half. Once in a while, my brother in law (who has a PhD in Psychology) analyzes their drawings. Art therapy involving lots of princesses, fairies and occasional aliens with fancy eyelashes.


During my recent UNICEF trip to Davao Oriental after Typhoon Pablo hit and devastated the region, I visited schools with temporary classrooms. Children used art to express their fears and hopes. Art therapy. This was at Purok Sampaguita, Poblacion Daycare Center,Boston,Davao Oriental. Photo by UNICEF/2013/KatPalasi


I got an invite to “GIVING HOPE” – AN ART EXHIBIT, open to the public from April 6-10, 2013 extended to April 18. Though I couldn’t be there to attend, I’m telling their story because it is so fascinating in many levels. This exhibit highlights the child abuse prevention and treatment programs of Consuelo Foundation gathering artworks of children and young adults from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila – a fitting tribute to celebrate 25 years of Consuelo Foundation.


Creative Kids POSTER


It is an exhibit created by children who are either survivors or at-risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation under the tutelage of art educator, Bambi Mañosa of Creative Kids Studio.


The children created their own interpretations of themes that resonate imageries and traditions of the different regions where the workshops were held like large-scale flowers, paper machie birds, huge lanterns using a variety of medium.


The artworks reflect the hope and aspirations of children ages 4 to 21 who have experienced a renewed sense of hope through the support of the Consuelo Foundation.


The Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation has been quietly helping abused and neglected women and children in the Philippines for 25 years. I had first heard of it when I met US Ambassador Harry Thomas and Bambi Manosa on the same day. I had no idea about the enormity of this foundation’s portfolio — more than 400,000 children and women reached by Consuelo programs for the past 25 years, more than $75 Million USD invested by Consuelo Foundation for Philippine and Hawai‘i programs since 1993, and more than 125 Organizations in its network.

75 million dollars?!! Quietly helping people?! Who is Consuelo Zobel Alger?


A portrait painting of Consuelo, who in an extraordinary act of grace, committed her inheritance to the foundation that now bears her name.
Consuelo Zobel Alger was born in the Philippines in 1914. She grew up in a prominent Manila family whose ancestry dates back some 400 years to the Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon.


Consuelo is the sister of Mercedes Zobel Mcmicking, the ancestors of the Zobels of Ayala Corp. She and her husband did not have children. When she died, she left her entire wealth for this foundation which operates programs on the prevention and treatment of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children, women and families. The foundation has quietly invested more than $75 million in child protection and social development programs for the past 25 years.


Consuelo with her husband James Alger
Consuelo with her husband James Dyce Alger, an American officer, stationed in the Philippines. Alger retired and resettled in Hawaii with Consuelo where he died in 1986.


This story of incredible philanthropy began in 1987 when wealthy heiress Dona Consuelo was approached by Child and Family Service Philippines (CFSPI) head Patti Lyons for funding, she became CFSPI’s main benefactor. They later opened a Consuelo Zobel Alger home, a residential center for street children in Baguio City. It was here where Dona Consuelo found her inspiration. In 1988, she created her own private foundation, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation to improve the quality life of disadvantaged children, women and families in the Philippines and Hawaii. She had no children of her own.

When Consuelo passed away in 1992, her endowment was given to the foundation where it was invested. This is where her legacy lives on. Today, the earnings from the investments are sustaining the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation. Since its inception, the foundation has given over 75 million dollars or 3 billion pesos to help her cause. (Source: www.consuelo.org)


From her earliest days, Consuelo was inspired by the words of St. Therese who said what matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.
From her earliest days, Consuelo was inspired by the words of St. Therese who said what matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.


St Therese did what I want to do in life...to let fall from heaven a shower of roses.
“St Therese did what I want to do in life…to let fall from heaven a shower of roses.” — Consuelo Zobel Alger


To know more about Consuelo Foundation and its programs visit www.consuelo.org.

And please visit the Ayala Museum and see the exhibit Giving Hope. Extended up to April 18.








01 “Kill Them With Kindness” by Rebecca Puig. $229.90

02 My Whole Heart decorative pillow. $89.90

03 Always art print on base. $69.90

04 “Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky ” by Rebecca Puig. $199.90


All products are from the Sugarboo Designs boutique, currently on sale at Shop Rue La La until April 15, 2013.



Remember Typhoon Pablo?



Corazon Bacalla and her children. They have been living in this tent since the typhoon displaced them from their home. ©UNICEF Philippines/2013/KPalasi


This is inside Corazon Bacalla’s tent where she lives with her young children. Her husband supports the family through farming. Typhoon Pablo damaged acres of farmland when it struck in December last year. ©UNICEF Philippines/2013/KPalasi


A few weeks before summer started, I visited Davao Oriental with UNICEF. It was, by far, the most memorable and most touching trip I’ve taken with UNICEF.

Last December a really strong typhoon hit the south eastern part of Mindanao leaving an entire region devastated and thousands of people dead. Many homes were destroyed and the damage to property and livelihood was enormous. I visited three months after the typhoon and still there were so much debris and fallen trees around. Yet despite all the damage and destruction, I saw in the eyes of many children, a lot of hope and faith. I still have so many stories to tell about the people I met and the places I saw.


We talked to partners and barangay officials about the water and sanitation situation inside the evacuation centre in Baranggay Papag. With me is the head of the American Catholic Relief group, working with UNICEF here. In photo wearing blue vest is UNICEF Philippines’ Country Representative Tomoo Hozumi.  ©UNICEF Philippines/2013/KPalasi


Dapnan Elem School
Dapnan Elementary School in Baganga, Davao Oriental. Children here hold classes in temporary shelters. All structures save for one school hall remained after Typhoon Pablo struck last year. ©UNICEF Philippines/2013/KPalasi


The Typhoon Pablo story has fallen off the front pages of the newspapers too soon. It is one of the deadliest typhoons that hit our country, and yet very little news of this came out. So much still needs to be done. At the time of my visit, all international and foreign aid agencies were still at the UN camp – each working on different aspects of restoring normalcy and rebuilding.

I am pleased to share our article published by Rappler.  I hope you take the time to read the stories and please share them in your blog, facebook and twitter.


Rappler - UNICEF in Davao Oriental 2013

Please read our story in Rappler here.


For more info on UNICEF’s emergency response and recovery efforts, visit www.unicef.ph.




Coach Rio on Cocktales



On Friday, April 12, Coach Rio de la Cruz joins us in Cocktales.


I have to admit, being the non-runner that I am, prior to this I didn’t know much about Coach Rio except that he’s big in the running world and he wears his hair in an afro. It turns out, his life story is truly inspiring. He came from humble beginnings and grew up running with no shoes. He put himself through university (UP, no less) through a running scholarship. Now he is a successful coach, entrepreneur and brand himself.


Coach Rio
At the time of our interview, Rio had just married his dream girl Nicole. This photo was from their pre-nup photoshoot with Pat Dy.


Please watch the wedding proposal! Totally sweet.


It is not so common to hear about sweet success stories from people who are completely self-made. I really admire this guy.

Cocktales is on every Friday at 10pm on Aksyon TV and TV5 International. With replays on Saturdays and Sundays.