DAPHNE & National Book Store



The DAPHNE® & National Book Store collection


Last week we launched my line of stationery and organizing tools at National Book Store. We had working on this for over a year — actually almost 18 months from the moment of the idea to concept, design, manufacturing. Seeing all the products together on the shelves of NBS was a big thrill. And having my whole family there even made it more special.


National Book Store Glorietta was dressed up in the DAPHNE prints.


The idea of having a DAPHNE line in National Book Store came from NBS’ Xandra Ramos-Padilla. I can’t thank her enough for believing in me and my brand.


I wanted this collection to be inspired by my daughters. We used their names as the jump off point.


It was my first experience in product development — from the shape of the products to the prints. For 12 months, Xandra and her team worked with me on the samples. We worked with graphic designer Isabel Gatuslao to design my prints.


My folks are in town. Big treat that they were there.


My Pope Francis brigade came in full force — Jeanne Carpio, Hazel Cabrera and Joan Barretto


Happy that my BFF’s Ingrid Go, Fiona Araneta and Mel Cuevas (not in photo) were also there.


Jewelmer’s Mia San Agustin and Pen Uy with Liza Ilarde Cuenca.


Cura V’s Kai Lim in full support.


Ingrid with Ronald Gonzales, Alex and Simon.


My friend Janine and daughter Gabby Dario who is now a courtside reporter.


My lawyer and good friend Leslie.


Katherine and Stanley Cheng of K&Company. (I am wearing a K&Company dress)


There’s Mel with my Mom and Dad.


Goofing off with my standee. (Stella wants one in her room.)


The prints are inspired by the names of the girls – rose, lily and daisy. Coincidentally they are all wearing Gingersnaps dresses and Melissa shoes.


Xandra and event stylist Barbie Pardo


Sophia doing origami crafts with CraftMNL. We had my prints developed into origami paper just for the launch.


Reina and Leslie.


Childhood friend Vic Betita with SIL Patty Betita.


Real Living’s Rachel Medina and Tom Castaneda and interior designer Nina Santamaria





Available at the following select National Book Store branches: Abreeza Mall Davao, Alabang Town Center, Alphaland Makati Plaza, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Centrio Mall-CDO, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Festival Supermall, Glorietta 1, Greenbelt, Greenlanes Arcade, Katipunan, Market! Market!, NAIA North Wing, Power Plant Mall-Rockwell, Quad Alpha Centrum Building, Quezon Avenue, Robinsons Ermita, Robinsons Magnolia, San Antonio Plaza, Shangri-La Plaza, SM Aura Premier, SM Bacolod, SM Bacoor, SM BF Paranaque, SM Cebu, SM Clark, SM Fairview, SM Iloilo, SM Lanang Davao, SM Mall of Asia, SM Manila, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Sta Rosa, Superbranch Cubao, and Trinoma.

The ?#?DaphneandNBS? collection includes a tote bag, pouches, desk organizers, dry-erase board, binder, clipboard, expanding envelopes, journals and pens. More on the products at a later post.

Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com and earn reward points for online purchases.



Fresh new start at home



One of the easiest ways to refresh your home in this new year season is by updating some accessories. Instead of going for a specific look that’s on-trend, you can try sticking to a specific colour. This way, your range of styles will be wider, and you won’t get stuck with a look that may eventually go out of style. While going around SM Home at The SM Store, I found some the neatest blue accessories. Blue has the effect of calmness and serenity.


This pitcher’s shade of blue is a great addition to any home. It has a nice rustic carafe shape but the handle gives it more practicality. I also like the double lined plastic mason jars. I’ve been using glass for my juices. But this is great for the kids’ drinks.


This sofa will work well in a condo or in a family room. It looks so inviting that you just want to plop yourself in the middle of that crease. SM Home also has a wide selection of framed wall art. You may consider a seasonal rotation of framed art.


I love the simple lines of this chair. And that blue fabric upholstery just gives it a modern Scandinavian vibe.


I’m loving these storage bins. They really make it easy to stay organized. And I particularly love these blue and white striped version.


Serve ware that looks like expensive cookware.


A little rustic, a little country. Perfect tableware for breakfast.


How are you approaching this fresh new start to 2015? Any new updates or plans for your home? Share your stories with me by using the hashtag #practicalhomesolutions #practicalhomeinspirations

Follow SM Home via Facebook at SM Home, Instagram @smhome, and Twitter @SMHome_PH for more information and inspiration.



Did you meet the Pope?





My parents arrived in Manila the night after the Pope did. On the ride home from the airport, my Mom asked me, “So will you meet the Pope?” My Mom thinks I am as famous as Oprah or Kris Aquino. She doesn’t live here. She is, of course, my biggest fan. “Mom, how could I meet the Pope? I don’t even have passes to any of the scheduled Masses.” Then she said, “I don’t know. You have many friends. You’re in media. The government. The church. Fr. Dennis. Your dad’s Air Force friends.” I remembered why I didn’t ask anyone for tickets or passes. I told my Mom, “Pope Francis is not like that. He’s not about using privilege and connections. He’s here to see the people who suffered during Yolanda.”


I spent the first three days of Pope Francis’ visit glued to the TV screen watching and listening to him. I must have freaked out my kids because one minute I’m sobbing when his plane lands, then I’m laughing between tears when his beanie cap gets blown by the wind. I listened to all his homilies and speeches with tears in my eyes. Touched by every single one of them.


The events in Tacloban did it for me — the storm, the pilgrims in raincoats, the survivors, the Pope’s silence, the unfortunate death of Kristel and the crash/mishap. I wanted to see the Pope, even for a split second.


I had no means of getting ID’s or passes to get close to the Pope. I didn’t use my contacts in media, church, government and military. I just wanted to go out and catch a glimpse of him in the motorcade along his route. My husband couldn’t come with me. He’s a journalist and he was manning the fort in his station. My Facebook feed was starting to fill with Pope sightings from privileged friends who found their way in to ticketed events. I wanted my own Pope story. I have never seen a Pope in person.


Luckily, my cousin Joan had plans, and more importantly she had the will to go Pope-stalking. In photo: my cousin John and his wife Sheila, Joan and her friends Jeanne, Hazel, TJ and Joan’s husband Ace. This was at the first corner we found in Quirino on the wrong side of the street.


Our strategy was simple – find the best site where the Pope will surely pass. Our goal was not to go to Luneta. We didn’t have IDs for it and the periphery would be too crowded. TJ had a Cherry mobile phone with a TV and monitored the morning UST events. We knew Luneta would just be jam-packed, so we didn’t even try to get near it.

It was raining the entire time. We parked our car in Harrison Plaza then walked along Quirino Avenue as close as we could to the Nunciature. We didn’t actually go near the Nunciature because it was too crowded.


Pope Francis
We found space in the elevated planter island on the middle of Quirino Avenue. We knew that eventually he’d have to pass Quirino Ave to get to Luneta. So from 10:30am to 3:00pm, we sat under the rain using just a raincoat and some plastic garbage bags lining the muddy ground. For almost five hours, the rain didn’t stop. But we didn’t move from our spot. We didn’t eat or drink.


The road was still relatively empty. There were some moments we doubted ourselves. What if they changed his route? Where were the cops and the human barricade? But we didn’t move. We were determined to wait it out.


That weekend coincided with the feast of Santo Nino.


Around 1pm the PNP troops started to come to our area. That’s when we knew for sure that we were in the right spot. The mood along the motorcade route was celebratory. Even the cops were in a light and friendly mood. People shared food with them. We gave them water.


The PNP-issued rain capes were cool. Unfortunately not all the troops got raincoats. Some had to wear garbage bags.


It was by far one of the most illogical things I’ve ever done — to wait in the rain for 5 hours with no umbrella. We were told via news media not to bring umbrellas. We sat on plastic garbage bags directly on top of soil, so after about an hour, the mud started to seep into our “seats”. We got up and stood the rest of the time. Mud seeped in to my shoes. But none of us complained. And the wait didn’t seem that long at all. It was fun being there. People were kind and funny. There was a man who was the town-know-it-all, a pushy old woman who was oblivious to danger, and children who didn’t whine or complain. Ang saya! It’s more meaningful in Tagalog.


By now you have read hundreds of Pope encounters. I will say what everyone has said. The feeling was electric. My hands and legs were shaking. In the few seconds that he was in our (unobstructed) line of vision, he was facing our direction and waved his hand in a blessing gesture. I saw his wonderful smile and his eyes… I will never forget. I lost my composure – tears, screaming, jumping. My cousin and I settled ourselves into a big hug and cried to each other.


A video posted by DAPHNE® (@daphneop) on




Pope Francis 2015
After seeing Pope Francis. Drenched but so happy.


After five hours in the rain, no rainwear is totally waterproof. I wore two layers – a hooded raincoat from Uniqlo and a thicker navy coat from Muji.


We had to get back to Harrison Plaza from Quirino/Taft. On our walk back, we found a pedicab and asked him to take us.


My feet were soaking in mud inside my Toms. It was the end of my favourite pair of Toms. I bought rubber flip flops and alcogel at Bench Harrison Plaza.


Here’s our pedicab cyclist. Everybody happy.


I know that the Pope is just a man. He is not God. We do not worship him. But we like him a lot. He has been able to spread the word of Jesus in the most attainable and understandable way. He’s shown compassion and goodness. And we like good stuff.

The whole experience was amazing. It was an incredible feeling being with the people and walking the streets of Manila in the rain. I got to see my Pope without VIP connections, special ID’s or privileges. We just waited patiently, and he came. It wasn’t so much about seeing him than it was about being together. In the eyes of God, we are all equal — rich or poor, sick or healthy, good or bad. Of course now, I wish the world would just be like that… no poverty, no corruption, no inequality, no suffering. But that’s all up to us now.


“Allow yourselves to be surprised by God. Don’t be afraid of surprises. They shake the ground beneath our feet and make us insecure, but they move us forward in the right direction.” — Pope Francis, UST Jan 18, 2015.



Happy new year




Happy new year, friends. Pardon me. My mind is still on vacation. Working on a few posts. Including my reflections from the same beach we go to every year. Never gets old.