DAPHNE Furniture® at Boy Abunda’s house



This is certainly a career highlight — seeing all these pieces from DAPHNE Furniture® at Boy Abunda’s Tagaytay home in no less than Kris Aquino’s tv show.

This time last year Boy consulted me. He said Kris wanted to give him a gift – either a living room set or dining set from my furniture line. An entire room! Then he left it all up to me. I blindly came up with a few suggestions from my team’s prototypes. Note that I had not seen his house.

Boy wanted the “famous” DAPHNE chairs in different colours. He wanted them as dining chairs, though they were meant as hall chairs (or accent pieces). I must say, they look adorable together the way he had them. The round dining table and colourful chairs are gifts from Kris. The other pieces were Boy’s gifts to himself.

Here are a few screen grabs from KrisTV via iWantv.


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Everything in this room is from my line, it seems. Except for the banig, from Samar. I love Tito Boy’s banig rugs.


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The green console table and Chippendale chair where Kris is seated are also from my line.


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KC Conception joined the tour. That horse sculpture was a gift of Vice Ganda for Tito Boy.


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From another angle. This isn’t his main dining room. This is in a smaller eating area upstairs.


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That mirror is enormous and heavy. All hand carved wood with silverleaf. It was incredible seeing the mirror adjacent to Elmer Borlongan’s Hari Sonic.


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The daybed from our first season.


Big thanks to Kris and Boy. You can watch the full episode of Kris TV July 26, 2013 via iwantv.com.ph.



ENDViolence against children



Next week we officially announce the renewal of my appointment from UNICEF as Special Advocate for Children. It’s a symbolic official renewal. In reality I have not stopped my commitment to all the causes of UNICEF and they have continued to invite me to participate. Hard to believe I am entering my fifth year with UNICEF. More than the fancy title, it is has been a real privilege and honour to serve and try to make a difference in children’s lives. It is something that I am most proud of. (I’ll save my speech for next week).

What I’ve learned from being on field and working with the UNICEF team is that anyone can make a difference. No one needs a fancy title to help protect children’s rights. When people ask me how they can “join” UNICEF, I simply direct them to UNICEF Philippines website where anyone and everyone can donate either once or regularly. Children’s causes don’t need championing just during crisis or emergencies. They continue every single day. There are silent emergencies like malnutrition and violence.

This season Liam Neeson, UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, launched a global campaign to end violence against children.





Unicef ENDviolence


UNICEF #ENDviolence




How can you be involved? Between now and August 14, post in Instagram or Facebook – a photo, graphic, story or simply the words #ENDviolence with that particular hashtag. Also tag @unicef. You may also post it on the UNICEF Philippines Facebook page. There will be winners chosen. You may win a Tshirt and your photo/work will be featured at teh International Day of NonViolence on October 2, 2013.

While working on this post, I came across this video clip from the makers of the animated film RPG Metanoia. I’ve love this song by the APO Hiking Society, Bawa’t Bata. It was written for the International Year of the Child in 1979. Jim Paredes wrote the Tagalog version. The original was by Godiego, a Japanese group. This video summed it up. It’s full of nostalgia about the childhood I had – playing outdoors, patintero and agawan base. It is my hope that every child gets to play and have fun this way. Let’s put an end to violence at home, at school, in the community. It’s time to talk about it.



Let’s all work together to make violence against children disappear.  Click here to get involved now.

Please do me a favour and press LIKE and TWEET below. Kindly repost this and help us get the word out. Big thanks!



Nice Print Photography



I remember when the world of weddings was all I could think about. I used to be the editor-in-chief of Metro Weddings. Though I only did four issues/two years, I met some of my best friends there. It was wonderful. But I quickly outgrew it. I think after you become a bride, you move on to decorating your home and for some, being a mom. But I do remember all the lovely shoots and concept weddings we created and styled. Now that I see how huge and successful the wedding industry is, a part of me wishes I had stayed on.

A friend of mine, Charisse Santillan-Tinio, who I met through Urban Zone when we featured her house, is doing quite well in the wedding industry. She used to own a few photo labs. But when people stopped having photos printed, she shifted her business to photography services. Now,  Nice Print Photography & Exige Weddings is one of the most popular choices of celebrities for their weddings. Check out the albums of Carmina and Zoren, John and Priscilla, Ogie and Regine among a few.


Zoren Legaspi and Carmina Villaroel’s wedding video by Nice Print Photography.


This is the bridal lounge of Nice Print Photography & Exige Weddings at Unit 206 Emerald Place, 604 Shaw Boulevard. It was designed by Grupo Santamaria. You may see more photos of the lounge here.


They have created a one-stop shop for everything wedding. Here is a wall of album samples.


Hanging on the wall is the famous couple Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid.


Regine Velasquez-Alcasid at Nice Print weeks after giving birth.


The bridal showroom was also visited by Kyla and Rich Alvarez.


Another Nice Print bride, Priscilla Mireilles.


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And to respond to the needs of their wedding clients, Nice Print Photography set up a photo studio for creative pregnancy shots and baby portraits. It is at SM Mega Mall 5th Floor Building B.


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Some samples of the studio photos hang on display at the studio.


Makes me wish I did some of these studio shots for my babies.


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One month old baby. Awwww… I miss babies!


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Here’s another cutie pie with his rubber duckie.


Cuteness overload.


Interesting father-sons photo.


Nice Print Photography & Exige Weddings
Unit 206 Emerald Place 604 Shaw Boulevard, 1100 Mandaluyong
+632-6365505 / 6333812 / 6385206/ +639178642377 (call only)

Nice Print Photo Studio
SM Mega Mall
5th Floor Building B




Kohler’s 140th Anniversary



While I was in my Canada trip last March-April-May, the Kohler Company invited me to see their facilities in Chicago and Wisconsin. I also attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in New Orleans as their guest. During the trip I got to meet all the members of the Kohler family. The Kohler Company is one of those iconic American brands that is still privately owned. It is the oldest and largest privately held company in the United States.


With Kohler’s Chairman & CEO Herbert V. Kohler Jr and wife Natalie at the Kohler company’s 140th anniversary party in Wisconsin. With me are Bea Ledesma of Philippine Star and Jen of Kohler.


David Kohler, President and COO of Kohler Co. at the KBIS in New Orleans.


I met Rachel Kohler, Group President of Kohler interiors, at a party she hosted in her beautiful Chicago home.


Senior Vice President of Human Resources Laura Kohler initially pursued a career in theater. She is also the executive director of the Kohler Foundation.


Here are some highlights from the 140th anniversary celebration of Kohler in Wisconsin. There were over a hundered delegates from Asia Pacific at the event.


The chairman.


The party was held at the Kohler Design Center


I remember how amazing these performers were. They played really cool acid jazz. There is also a Kohler subsidiary that makes the most awesome chocolates.


The birthday cake


At the basement of the Kohler Design Center is the museum. It was fascinating to see pieces from the late 1800’s.


Look at the old toilet with a wooden water closet. And the great grandfather of all tubs.


With Larry of Kohler Asia Pacific talking about the growth of Kohler in the Asia-Pacific region.


Bea and I with Peter Oesch, Director of Marketing Communications in Asia Pacific


The company invested in advertising at the turn of the century. By the 1920’s and 30’s, they introduced colour in the ads.


Kohler ads from the 1920’s and 30’s were actual commissioned oil paintings that depicted cute rosy-cheeked kids in comfortable homes.


These oil paintings from the 1920’s were similar to illustrations in vintage children’s books.


By the 1940s’ and 50’s, Kohler Co. had to stop producing home and plumbing products to make way for war production efforts. They continued to urge the public to think of post-war home design.


Post-war advertising were mainly water color paintings of scenes in a “perfect” American home.


I loved seeing all the original works. Here’s another pastel watercolour from the 1950’s. By then coloured bathroom fixtures were cutting-edge. Kohler continues to produce coloured enamel cast iron and ceramic pieces for the bathroom and kitchen to this day.


I love that lavatory with stainless steel legs. I’m obsessed with getting one for our downstairs bathroom. Kohler continues to make versions of this. Look at the pretty mom. Don’t we all look like her when we bathe our babies?


More tender moments between mother and child.


These remind me of the Dick and Jane books, which my kids still read to this day.


Advertising from the 1960’s -more modern and “psychedelic”.


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I had no idea this class photo was taken. I must have been upstairs taking photos at the showrooms.


For photos of the Kohler bathroom and kitchen showrooms, click More.