Auction for Action: It’s official


Today we had our official press briefing for Auction for Action, the design auction I helped put together with our UNICEF team. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this has been in my heart and mind for the past couple of months. The easiest part of doing something like this was asking the donor artists and designers. I have amazing friends who happen to be “ROCKSTARS” of the design world. It was humbling to receive answers like “yes ofcourse”, “for you, anything” and “thank you for giving me the chance to help children through UNICEF.” All of them answered in an instant.

As promised I will be blogging about all the auction pieces leading up to May 25. That’s when our eBay site will go live. Please bookmark: The auction is open to everyone from anywhere in the world. I’ll be sharing stories about the artists, their work and how I know got to know them.

I am very nervous about the auction. This is a first for all of us. First high-profile fundraising event for UNICEF. First auction for all of us. We are relying on friends in media to spread the word. I will need your help — please repost and retweet info about the online auction. Especially when the site is up on May 25.

Here are the official catalog pages of the artists/works I mentioned in last post. I will be doing this in a few batches as some pieces are still trickling in.

u-orlina u-kennethcobonpuelamp u-kennethcobonpue u-debbiepalao u-benji reyes u-vitoselma u-firma u-itokish u-daphnefurniture

Before I end, I’d like to tell my parents (they read my blog regularly and follow me on Twitter)… Mom, Dad I have put my education to good use again. My specialist in Art History finally makes sense. My years in Pi Beta Phi focusing on philanthropy also came in handy. Yay! Look at the salutation of the official event invite…


Tod’s D bag

Tod's D bag
Used my Tod’s D bag in a recent trip to Hong Kong…

At D&G last night with @TheBagHag
… where Ingrid and I did a lot of eating and fashion events… Here we were at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in th Landmark mall-wide event.

I’m really loving the Tod’s D bag – it’s beautiful, light, roomy. I have tendency to over use and abuse my bags. So brands like Mulberry and Tod’s are perfect for me.

Credit, or should I say blame, goes out to Ingrid who introduced me to the bag. She’s of course The Bag Hag – my personal (and everyone’s) luxury bag expert. She covered the Tod’s D bag retrospective last month, here. And during her last travels, she carried a beautiful purple Tod’s D bag, here.

Kate Middleton Tods D Bag
This photo did it for me. Haha. Kate Middleton and her D bag.

I had to have the exact same bag. The reason the bag is called “D” is because of Princess Diana. It was one of her favorite bags. Tod’s renamed the classic after her death. Read more here.

Auction for Action … for the benefit of UNICEF

Princess Beatrice Royal Wedding Hat by Philip Treacy

As you all know by now, the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding is currently being auctioned in ebay. As of press time, there are 51 bids and the latest one is at 15,700 GBP (I can’t find the currency symbol in my keyboard). That’s almost 25,500 USD. There are five more days left. Anyone want to guesstimate?

I think it’s so cool of Princess Beatrice to do this. She seems to have a great sense of humour for wearing that hat. This must have been planned all along. She set up The Little Bee Initiative for the purpose of raising funds for her chosen charities – all funds raised from the sale of this item will be spilt equally between, UNICEF UK and Children in Crisis.

I love her even more for supporting UNICEF.

princess beatrice auction

Meanwhile, back in the homefront, I have been working with the UNICEF team to conceptualize an event that would raise funds for UNICEF Philippines. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’d have heard of the online design auction I’ve been trying to help organize for UNICEF. We have our media briefing and preview today. And I wanted you, my readers to also get a preview.

For months I’ve been asking my friends in design to donate towards an auction for the benefit of UNICEF. The asking part was the easiest. 99% of the artists and designers I asked said yes in an instant – by text, phone, Facebook and Twitter. I am so humbled by their generosity and willingness to help the children. And these generous people are all top-calibre artists, internationally-known, award-winning, highly-in demand. These are artists I’ve met throughout my 14-year career on TV. My head spun that first week – it was like I had a list of favourite things from my favourite creative people. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to ask for help. The rest of the hard work is being done by the UNICEF team. It has been many days and nights of coordination, planning and logistical problem-solving. And we’re not even halfway through.

UNICEF Philippines is launching its first fundraising online auction entitled Auction for Action: A UNICEF Fundraising Online Auction to benefit children’s programs in the Philippines and worldwide ( goes live on 25 May 2011). This unique online auction in partnership with Ayala Malls, and Cibo brings together works of reputable artists in art, design, furniture, fashion, jewellery and photography along with exciting experiential packages.

Featured artists are: Manny Baldemor, Michael Cacnio, Celestina, Seb Chua, Kenneth Cobonpue, Araceli Limcaco Dans, Kristine Dee, Janina Dizon, Tom Epperson, Accessory Lab, Ito Kish, E. Billy Mondoñedo, Ramon Orlina, Debbie Palao, Ling Quisumbing Ramilo, Benji Reyes, Popo San Pascual, Vito Selma, Paul Syjuco, Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre of FIRMA/Felicity, Reg Yuson, and UNICEF Special Advocate for Children, Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez.

Galerie Joaquin artists such Jovan Benito, Jomar Delluba, Hamzah Marbella, Dominic Rubio and Juvenal Sanso are also participating.

Experiential packages include dinner by Chef Tonyboy Escalante of Antonio’s and dugout experience with the Philippine Football Team or Azkals on July 3 at the World Cup qualifier in Manila.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin shares, “This is a first for UNICEF Philippines. Our partnership with acclaimed artists via online auction helps us engage the public in a new and interesting way. As well as raising important funds for our work, we will be able to raise awareness of important issues affecting children in the most disadvantaged communities of the Philippines and worldwide.”

Here are some of the pieces donated by my generous friends. This is an incomplete list. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
Kenneth Cobonpue’s Harry. I love this quirky stool. I’ve been wanting to order this. I may just bid for it and save on shipping. I want this in my walk-in closet. It’s a little stool that rocks, so the kids can ride on it like a saddle. If you’re a Cobonpue fan, now is your chance to own one. There are two Cobonpues in this auction. The other one is a lamp called Boomtown which is similar to his Little People lamp.

In a couple of weeks we're going to have to give up this Cobonpue cradle
We have many Cobonpues at home. At one point Kenneth told me that my house looked like his showroom. Haha. We are hoarding for our future weekend home, you see. But my most favourite piece is Le Petit Voyage, the cradle me made (and specially tweaked) for Stella Margarita. For more on my Cobonpue stories, go here.

Silya ni Noel 2009
Benji Reyes’ Silya ni Noel. Benji designed this in 2007 in memory of his brother USAF MSGT Severino L. Reyes who passed away that year.

Interviewing Benji Reyes
I am a huge fan of Benji’s work – the clean lines, the use of old wood in different varieties, the architecture and engineering that goes into each piece, and most of all the way the pieces feel – they’re all comfortable and ergonomic. I know because I bought one of his chairs. This photo was taken one of the many times I went to his house/showroom.

Mr Ramon Orlina donated a stunning piece called A Mother’s Enduring Love. I will post a photo of it when I have one. This photo was taken days before I gave birth to Stella. I visited Mr. Orlina’s atelier and saw how complicated and difficult his art was. He was the first to carve figures out of glass using the cold method. He created improvised tools and machines to cut, grind and polish glass. I was a bit shy to ask Mr Orlina to donate a piece. He had just surprised me on my birthday with my first Orlina sculpture. But he was quick to commit and help UNICEF programs for children. Here are some of the blog entries I wrote about Ramon Orlina.

Ito Kish created this whimsical lamp called Tweet. Ito and I go way back. He designed the renovation of our downstairs. And to this day I am so grateful for the work he did there. Our family room is so relaxing. For more about Ito in this blog, click here.

Vito Selma’s Geo. I discovered Vito’s work through Ito Kish. Fell in love with his pieces. I even used a Geo as the backdrop of one of my photos for the UZ opening billboard. The actual piece he donated is made of wood and silverleaf finish. More on Vito Selma here.

Photos by Marty Ilagan
This photo was taken when I was pregnant with Stella. There are three Vito Selma tables stacked on top of each other. Photo by Marty Ilagan at Ito Kish Store.

Maze  DTO-1414B
Debbie Palao’s Maze table. Debbie actually donated two Maze tables – one coffee table and the other one a dining table! I am so touched by Debbie’s work. I just met her husband at the Cebu Next show last April. I was one of the judges and I fell in love with all her pieces.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
With my fellow Mugna Awards judges at Debbie Palao’s booth. Check out her website. You’ll be amazed.

Again, this is an incomplete list of donor artists. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

I know that a lot of people recognize UNICEF’s valuable work in children’s rights, but few realize that UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to support its work on the ground. I’ve helped them educate moms all over the country on maternal health, mortality and breastfeeding. This time, I want to help UNICEF raise awareness and funds for all their other goals: providing children with health care, access to safe water and sanitation, education, and protection from violence, abuse and exploitation.

I am also donating this piece for the auction. This is the Daphne armchair made of kiln-dried mahogany wood. As with all my Daphne furniture pieces, the finishing of the wood is very unique. This piece would work with any kind of interiors – whether modern, conceptual or traditional. It’s a comfy armchair.

UNICEF focuses on reaching the poorest, most disadvantaged families in the Philippines, and through our partners we work and advocate to ensure children grow up healthy, go to school, are protected from harm and develop to reach their full potential. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals like yourself (as well as corporations and governments) to fund its programmes for children.

Watch out for Auction for Action on May 25 (at


We have a moratorium on toys. I’m still not done going through all their toys and things. Before the summer ends we will have a garage sale. So in the meantime we agreed, no buying toys. But of course I’m always the first to break this rule. I cannot resist Lego, Playmobil and Toy Story stuff (Stella has developed a liking towards Buzz Lightyear). Here are my kids’ Playmobil worlds…

Sophia and Lily's Playmobil
Sophia loves the animals

Sophia and Lily's Playmobil
Lily loves fairies

Birthday 2011
Stella loves the princess castle

Patrick's toys
Even Patrick loves the tiny medieval soldiers.

We get our Lego and Playmobil from Build City, the sister of Hobbes and Landes. Check out Build City’s facebook page. I love that they have toys available for kids to sample. It has become a regular stop over for us, our kids play with the gazillion Legos they have in their bins. It keeps the girls creative and imaginative.

I am reprinting their press kit verbatim from this point on. Sorry that I have to spell it out. Just learned that some readers can’t distinguish a press release from my own writing, though I’ve identified them clearly with the words “Press Release”. Whatever’s italicized are me thoughts.

Playmobil Holiday

4857 Summer House scene
4857 Summer House
The summer house from PLAYMOBIL is the perfect place for restorative, relaxing, but also adventurous holidays far away from home. With its Mediterranean appearance, it will captivate any holidaymaker. The rooms in the house are lovingly furnished. The family can spend time on the idyllic terrace before retiring to the comfortable bedrooms after an exciting day. The kitchen offers everything one could imagine and there is also no shortage of activities to try. This summer house makes any holiday go like a dream.
– 4 Play figures
– Detailed furnishing of the individual rooms and the terrace
– Bikes
– House is half roofless for easier playing inside
– Dimensions of the house(L/W/H): 36 x 33 x 25.5 cm

4858 Pool with Water Slide scene
4858 Pool with Water Slide (This is a very familiar scene for our family this summer.)
There’s lots to explore and try out in the PLAYMOBIL pool! Boys and girls can simply splash about and use the slide, or enjoy standing under a waterfall while the adults bask in the sun. As always, there’s a pleasant shower for everyone at the end of the day. The children are already looking forward to the next time …
This PLAYMOBIL game has been nominated for an award in the category “A game for the whole family”.
– 4 child and 2 adult play figures
– Pool can be filled with water
– Working shower
– Sun umbrella, sun lounger and other accessories
– Inner dimensions of the pool (L/W/H): 23 x 18.5 x 3 cm

4864 Paddling Pool  scene
4864 Paddling Pool (This is what we do at home when it’s just too hot.)

4860 Girl with Swimming Ring scene
4860 Girl with Swimming Ring (This reminds me of Stella)

Playmobil Outdoor Action

1 Outdoor
A surprise from PLAYMOBIL: exciting ideas for outdoor playtime fun are the NEW Hand-Launch Gliders and Beach Racer.

PLAYMOBIL’s new Hand-Launch Gliders, with a wing span of 50cm, are made from EPP*, which means that they are ultra-light, have optimum gliding properties, and will also survive a crash. They are a fun way to help children learn to throw accurately. The Hand-Launch Glider is available in both black and red, making for exciting flying competitions – see which PLAYMOBIL pilot is the most skillful.

When the wind is really blowing, then it’s the ideal weather for the new Beach Racer from PLAYMOBIL. A cool gift that no-one will already have. You will need to run fast to catch up with it again.

4214 Hand-Launch Glider Extreme boxed
4214 Hand-Launch Glider “Extreme”

4215 Hand-Launch Glider Jet Team scene
4215 Hand-Launch Glider “Jet Team”

4216 Beach Racer scene
4216 Beach Racer

4310 Jet Plane scene
4310 Playmobil Jet Plane
Planning to have an out of town/country get-away with the whole family? Take Playmobil with you and re-enact your summer get-away:) This Playmobil Jet is for transporting passengers and cargo. Seats can be dismantled to make space for cargo. Lots of space for cargo. Includes lavatory facilties. Roof is removeable. Doors open. Adults are 2.95 inches tall and the child is 2.05 inches tall. Great for imaginative play.

PLAYMOBIL Easter Basket

Each of the four differently colored, reusable Easter eggs contains a creative playtime idea: the Scientist with Baby Dinosaur hatches” out of the green egg, the Mongolian Warrior on Horse gallops out of the blue one, the Fairy with Flower Throne is enchanting in the yellow egg, and the Ghost Pirate with Cannon fights his way out of the red egg’s shell. The illustration on the packaging tells the purchaser what each egg contains.

4927 Fairy with Flower Throne

4925 Scientist with Baby Dinosaur

Playmobil Top Agents

PLAYMOBIL brings exciting agent adventure into the playroom with the brand new Top Agents theme. High-speed pursuits, dangerous secret weapons, and victory for the good guys make for action-filled secret agent thrillers.

The world is under threat from Dr. Devil and his Robo-Gang. The launch of their dangerous virus satellite is monitored by the Spying Camera. The Spy Team agents in their well-disguised, high-security headquarters want to prevent this, of course. Will the Spy Team be able to defeat Dr. Devil and save the PLAYMOBIL universe?

The range of ten cool Action Sets provides plenty of technical highlights, from the multifunctional UV flashlight through to the functioning metal detector which would make even James Bond envious. The range is aimed at older boys from the age of seven who, as “real life” agents, are also able to use the technical equipment such as the Spying Camera Set with USB port and the electronic alarm system.

4875 Secret Agent Headquarters with Alarm scene
The Spy Team Saves the World

The Secret Agent Headquarters with alarm system (51 x 40 x 21.5cm (L x W x H)), which looks like a harmless holiday home from the outside, is the Spy Team’s base for all of their activities. Once the alarm system is switched on, it gives off a signal to warn of intruders. This means that the secret service headquarters is not only under surveillance, the agents of tomorrow are also able to protect their own rooms against “intruders”. The Spy Team is equipped with the most up-to-date technology. In the secret command room, a map of the world with LED illumination provides an overview of the various missions. In the workshop area, the cool multifunctional vehicle can be converted for use on land, water, and in the air. This is also where the LED super weapon and the reconnaissance planes are hidden, the only effective means of countering Dr. Devil’s virus satellites. This is why Dr. Devil is set on gaining possession of the super weapon’s system CD. With a trapdoor in the lockable jail, a secret stone panel, as well as a floating jet ski for a last-minute escape, the Spy Team is well-equipped to face the unscrupulous Robo Gang spies.

Danger lurks in the headquarters themselves, however, as Dr. Devil has managed to sneak a double agent (with revolving, changing face) and a Robo Creature into the secret stone hiding place in order to sabotage the agent station.

4877 Secret Agent Detection Jet boxed
The members of the Spy Team in the headquarters are supported by the Secret Agent and the Torpedo Diver, as well as the Secret Agent Super Racer which is there for every hot pursuit. There are countless camouflaging, firing, and conversion functions integrated into this vehicle, enabling its deployment on water and in the air as well. The Secret Agent Detection Jet with its removable metal detector is an especially important feature in the battle against Dr. Devil and his nasty cohorts, making it possible to track down the dangerous Robo Creatures and the secret CDs.

4856 RC Module Plus Set scene
4856 RC Module Plus Set
The longer transmission range RC Module Plus Set is suitable for use with all PLAYMOBIL RC vehicles. to upgrade all RC-compatible PLAYMOBIL Vehicles. 1 x 9-V-Block and 1 x 1,5-V AA Batteries required. Equivalent to Compact-RC-Module-Set (4320). Better operating range!

Build City branches:
3/F Rockwell Power Plant
3rd Level TriNoma Mall
4th floor Shangri-La Plaza Mall
3rd Level Greenbelt 5

Hobbes and Landes
Bonifacio High Street
Rockwell Power Plant
Greenbelt 5
Greenhills Promenade

Xeng Zulueta x Anthology

If any one knows colour, it’s Xeng Zulueta. Xeng and I met almost ten years ago. I was still in F and she was the hottest makeup artist in town. I was humbled that she took me on as one of her muses. She would do my makeup for my TV shows, guest appearances and most of my magazine editorial shoots. We became a package deal. I would regularly request for her.

Shu Uemura Eye Shadow
Check out Xeng’s makeup palette when she was Shu Uemura’s chief makeup artist.

Xeng's makeup box
And here’s another palette

This woman knows make up and colour. And she knows my face like the back of her hand. For my old live talk show ANC Life, she could do my entire face in 5 minutes. And she could also take over an hour if she wanted to.

Olay Body Soap Swap
She did my makeup here after I had cried all day because of the death of our friend Hecky Villanueva. The show had to go on.

DOP Jewelry
Here’s pale lips. Photo by Doc Marlon Pecjo.

Cover, People Asia, Oct 2006
Red lips. Photo by Sara Black for People Asia.

And here’s fierce mama, haha. Photo by Lilen Uy for Preview.

Xeng's new hair
Xeng at Manila Contemporary, after she did my makeup for a shoot.

with Xeng Zulueta
Xeng & me at the 100 magazine cover event.

Xeng now announces her collaboration with Anthology. She works literally on her toes, so Xeng is most comfortable in flat footwear – flip flops or ballet flats – when I see her. It was no surprise, she’d go this direction. This line, the San Francisco, is the classic Anthology ballerina shoe they’ve introduced seasons ago. But with Xeng’s touch, they are issued in a burst of colours representing paradise — PARADISO. Colours based on Xeng’s favorite make up palettes.

Azul top

Cacao side

Canary alt

Hibiscus diag

Orchid diag

Square toe ballerina flats, genuine leather upper, cushioned leather insole, non-skid rubber sole. PHP 2995. Available at: Anthem Greenbelt 5, The Ramp Glorietta, The Flat Shop Greenhills Shopping Center. (Free shipping for online orders)