CHIC Readers

 

 

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My very CHIC readers in Seattle

 

So you know I wrote a book, right? It was launched in National Book Store by Summit Books last September 2016. CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work has been on the NBS Best Seller list since its launch. Thank you to all my readers. Especially to those who bought them in bulk to give as Christmas gifts.

 

A photo posted by DAPHNE® (@daphneop) on

 

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A reader in Seattle, Amie, contacted me via Facebook. She wanted to order 10 books to give to her girl friends.

 

CHIC is only sold in National Book Store – in stores and online. I wanted delivery to be easier for Amie, so I bought the books for her in NBS Greenbelt, and her niece picked it up from me. First, I signed and dedicated each book for them. Her niece then brought the books to the US.

My book was Amie’s gift to her girl buddies to commemorate their 10th year of friendship. I thought it was the sweetest gesture, not only because it’s my book, but because these amazing women take time to see each other regularly. And look how elegant and chic they are.

 

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The package was well received. Amie sent me this photo. Since I love receiving hand-written notes, I also love sending them.

 

Dearest Amie, Zyd, Tonette, Tisha, Apple, Jean, Jennifer, Pam, and Raquel – thank you for being an inspiration. You all embody the idea of CHIC not only in the way you look, but more importantly in your faith and friendship. Stay CHIC!

P.S. To all my CHIC readers, please post photos in IG, Twitter or FB and use the hashtag #CHICbyDaphne. I’d love to repost your insights from the book.

My Dyson Pure Cool Link

 

 

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The Dyson Pure Cool Link has made our home healthier and safer.

 

Last November, I got a phone call from the doctor in my daughters’ school. She asked me to pick up my daughter (I won’t identify which one, to respect her privacy) because she was wheezing and having difficulty breathing. We had been warned by the pediatrician that she could develop asthma, there were already telling signs but it was too soon to diagnose. I quickly went to the school and brought her medication. We have been on asthma alert ever since.

Any parent of a child with asthma or severe allergies can tell you that we do whatever we can to prevent episodes and attacks. The most common intervention is to get rid of dust. This involves constant cleaning of your home environment. But there are so many allergens that are invisible to the eye. These can aggravate allergies or worse, can even enter your bloodstream.

Last Christmas, I received the Dyson Pure Cool Link purifier fan. As the name suggests it is a fan and air purifier in one. This is the first Dyson product in our home. And I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to finally own a Dyson – their products are not just technological breakthroughs, but also major triumphs in design.

I just love that the Dyson Pure Cool Link automatically removes 99.95% of indoor allergens and pollutants as small as 0.1 microns from the air. Just to give you an idea of what 0.1 microns means – these are particles that are 1,000 times smaller than a single strand of human hair. These particles are so small it can penetrate the bloodstream and cause respiratory diseases.

The Pure Cool Link is a well-designed vertical bladeless fan with a sleek cylindrical air purifier at the base. It has a small footprint – not bulky at all. Its sleek design goes well with any style of interiors. We’ve seen them usually in new, modern homes. But as you will see, it looks great even beside our antiques and tropical furniture.

 

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Stella was amazed at the fan. Finally she won’t be risking hurting her little fingers. The air she breathes from the Pure Cool Link has been removed of toxic fumes and odours.

 

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The remote control has the simplest and easiest buttons. Nothing frustrates me more than a remote control that I don’t understand. With the Pure Cool Link, you simply turn on the power button and control the strength and circulation. It has 10 airflow settings and an automatic night-time mode for the lightest sleepers.

 

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I love that you can rest the remote control on the fan, and it becomes one with the silhouette. That magnetized surface is perfect for storing the remote control.

 

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The Dyson Link app can automatically monitor the air quality of the room. You can use it to control the air purifier and fan from a remote location.

 

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I downloaded the Dyson Link app so we can see the air quality and purify the air in the room even before we get back home.

 

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Of course I had to try it from outside the house.

 

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The app monitors indoor and outdoor air quality. You can also check your usage and air quality history.

 

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Patrick sent me a screenshot of the app while he was at his office.

 

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Since indoor air pollution can be up to five times worse than outside (due to trapped air), we maximize the use of the Pure Cool Link by moving it around the house. Here it is in our bedroom.

 

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My tiny desk in our bedroom. Yes I have succumbed to working from the bedroom. But we will change this in 2017. I believe the bedroom should be just for resting. The Dyson Pure Cool Link has such a small footprint that it can stand anywhere a letter sized paper can fit.

 

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This uses a Dyson 360 Glass HEPA filter. It has a layer of activated carbon granules that captures odours and harmful toxins like paint fumes. The Glass HEPA filter is the reason it can stop even 0.1 microns of pollutants, as it has borosilicate fibres that are densely compacted and woven together. The filter lasts one year if you use the machine 12 hours a day.

 

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My kids are crazy into art and books. This afternoon I kept the Pure Cool Link on in the family room, so when they come home from school, the air is purified. The sensors inside the machine detects changes in home conditions. So every time I move it to a different location, it analyzes the air quality first, then cleans it.

 

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In the kids’ bedroom. The Pure Cool Link removes pollen and allergens, bacteria and mold, industrial and auto emissions, odours and fumes, ultra fine particles, and pet dander.

 

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The simplest and easiest interface on a remote control.

 

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It looks great in our family room. It can be damp in this part of the house. The machine can detect high levels of humidity and prevent poorly ventilated areas from accumulating excessive mould.

 

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Even scented candles, anti-perspirant, and household cleansers can contribute to poor air quality. We don’t have furry pets, but for those who do, the Dyson Pure Cool Link can get rid of pet dander to prevent allergies on humans.

 

For more information on Dyson Pure Cool Link, visit the Dyson concept store in Greenbelt 5 and in Century City Mall, Rustan’s Makati, and SM Mall of Asia.

 

 

Facebook Safety: What every parent should know

 

 

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This photo appears in my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work. Photo by Jeanne Young.

 

It all happens so fast. One year we’re all about twirling in tutu skirts and fairy wings, next thing I know, Sophia goes to camp in France, Lily is navigating through emotions with friends, and Stella is having big conversations with even bigger words. My girls have grown. And unlike what our parents went through when they were slowly releasing us into the real world, we have to deal with both the real world and the online world.

My kids are not gadget-savvy. If my husband had his way, they would be. But I chose to keep them off social media and to limit their gadget time. As a result — and I can take credit for this — they are creative and outdoorsy kids. Ok, the outdoorsy part is my husband’s. He takes them biking, hiking and such.

Some of Sophia’s classmates were on Facebook as early as first grade. Soph never felt left out. She was busy playing in the park with her BFF neighbour. When her classmates came up with a FB group for school-related announcements in Grade 7, that was the only time we gave her a Facebook account. She was 13. The “legal” age for minors to be on the social media site. Til this day, Soph can’t really manage to navigate through FB. All she knows is that there are some cute puppy and kitten videos on it.

My kids have a little community on Facebook called The Strawbunny. This is to share their art and creative expressions. It is managed by Patrick and me. Occasionally we do post photos of our children. They were born into this already – each birth announcement was featured in a magazine or in my show. However, we keep their presence online under control. And they are ok with it.

I feel strongly about the safety of minors on the internet that I wrote a section on it in my book. The threats are real, folks. UNICEF recently came out with a baseline study on violence against children in the Philippines. While there are predators online who are waiting to pounce on children, there are also friends and acquaintances who sometimes overstep boundaries and create a very stressful environment for your kid –  yes, bullying. So parents, please be aware of your children’s digital tracks. You have to know about all their activities online.

 

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In mid-November, I was invited by Facebook to join a workshop on safety. This was attended by a few journalists. They released some valuable information that can help all of us manoeuvre through Facebook with safety. The biggest concerns in our forum then was the proliferation of fake sites and hate-mongering. Facebook has now improved its mechanism to identify these unwanted activities. In “Report Post” there is now a slug for “it’s a false news story.”

 

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After the workshop, I had a brief discussion with the officers from Facebook head quarters. I asked them more about the need for keeping kids safe on Facebook and all social media sites. There are way too many minors below 13 on social media. As it turns out, every day, parents in the Philippines come to Facebook to ask for advice in Groups, share pictures of their kids or just stay connected with family in different places. And for many parents, they also have questions about how Facebook works once their kids join.

 

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Facebook tools for journalists.

 

Facebook just launched the Parent’s Portal, a new section of the Facebook Safety Center. It will include guides for parents about how Facebook works, tips for talking with kids about staying safe online and resources from experts around the world.

Here are six tips to help parents kick off a digital discussion so that both parents and their children get the most out of their Facebook experience:

Let your child know that the same rules apply online as apply offline.
If it’s not something you want others to do to you, don’t do it to others. Just as you might tell your child to look both ways before crossing the street or to wear a helmet while riding their bike, teach them to think before they share online.

Try to be a good role model.
The adage that children will “do as you do, not as you say” is as true online as it is offline. If you set time restrictions on when your child can use social media or be online (ex: no texting after 10:00 PM), follow the same rules.

Engage early.
Data suggest that parents should engage online with their children as soon as they are on social media. Consider friending them when they join Facebook. Just as you lay the foundation early for dialogue and conversation offline with your children, you should lay that foundation early online. It gets harder to do so if you wait. Even before they are on social media, talk to them about technology as a whole. It can help lay the groundwork for future conversations.

Identify and seize key moments.
For example, when your child gets their first mobile phone, it’s a good time to set ground rules. When your child turns 13 years old and is old enough to join Facebook and other social media, it’s a good time to talk about safe sharing. When your child gets a driver’s license, it’s a good time to discuss the importance of not texting and driving.

Trust yourself.
Typically, you can adopt the same parenting style for your child’s online activities as you do for their offline activities. If you find that your child responds best to a negotiated agreement, create a contract that you can both sign. Or, maybe your child just needs to know the basic rules.

Ask your children to teach you.
Not on Facebook? Or, maybe you’re interested in trying a streaming music service? If your children are already familiar with these apps and sites, they can be an excellent resource. The conversation can also serve as an opportunity to talk about issues of safety, privacy and security. For example, you can ask them questions about privacy settings as you set up your own Facebook account. And, as most parents know all too well, your child will likely appreciate the opportunity to teach you.

 

My guiding principle is this — I don’t allow my girls to go out unsupervised in public areas. The internet is one big public area. So while they are minors, they are completely under my care. They are not to run around the internet without my knowledge and presence. All phones are turned over to our family charging-dock every night at an agreed time. Their school and places of activities cannot be published. Photos are not geo-tagged. Etc…

There are many other little rules we have. Some of them are in my book. I’d be curious to know what your policies are in your family.

 

 

Mabuhay

 

 

COVER-December-2016

 

Christmas marks a time when many OFWs and balikbayans come home to be with family. And more often than not, they choose to fly with Philippine Airlines. I do, especially when I travel to and from Canada. Nothing beats Filipino hospitality on long haul flights, especially if you have small kids.

Before I go on, let me say that this is not a paid ad at all. I am not paid nor have I ever gotten a free flight from PAL except for the mileage I’ve earned through my credit cards. I am however, a legit PAL baby. Or I should say, a child of aviation — complete with stories of playing in the tarmac. Those of you who have already read my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work will know that my mom was a flight attendant for PAL in the mid 60’s. My dad was a military pilot. I grew up in an air base.

This month, the iconic Mabuhay, PAL’s inflight magazine has featured me in a two-page spread. I love, love, love the way they do this section. Instead of a PR photo or glam shot, a hand-painted watercolour illustration fills up an entire page. I like the painting so much, I’ve put it on my Christmas wish list. If my husband pays attention, he would have gotten the original for me. I have yet to find out on Christmas morning.

 

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Painting by Cheryl Owen.

 

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The painting is based on this photograph, taken by Dix Perez back in late 2012. That’s my front door. Xeng Zulueta did my makeup. Felicity Son did my hair. I wore my own beaded dress and necklace I made for myself in 2006. This image made it to the Vogue Italia feature.

 

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Certainly one of my “blogging career” highlights. Vogue Italia featured my jewellery, furniture, and other products. So much has happened since then. And the Mabuhay article, as well as my own book and writing process, has given me a chance to look back, appreciate, and be grateful.

 

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The chair that Vogue called “doll house furniture”

 

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I no longer sell these chairs. We had a problem with copycats (ugh). My only authorized dealer was Dimensione. Last month, I took orders from my Instagram and FB followers, and was so surprised to still see so much interest in these chairs. Hmmm, ideas …

 

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We had the chairs personally delivered by either me, my husband, or my driver. The rest were shipped via LBC (which is now my official courier). Hello, ecommerce made easy.

 

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I continue to make my own fine jewellery for myself. Sometimes I can take in orders and commissions. I am aware that a few sellers have copied my concept. I don’t know how to feel about them. And I am sure I am not the only one who has to deal with this.

 

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I have been wearing my faith charm necklaces since 2005. I made them for me, as these were significant and meaningful. The opportunity to design and sell my work came after.

 

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Then I took the work seriously and invested in my brand identity. Each of the pieces comes with handwritten notes and certificates. And just as my chairs have them, the jewellery also have engraved brass plates. Anyone interested in my jewellery can email me directly at info@daphne.ph

 

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Back to the Mabuhay article. Thank you, Carlomar Daoana for your insights. It’s always hard to talk about oneself, and even harder to read what’s written about oneself. A big thank you also goes out to Mabuhay’s new EIC, James Ong, for taking interest in featuring my book and my work.

There is just one little thing that I have to clarify. I did spend my childhood in Metro Manila. It is true that my dad was the helicopter pilot of President Marcos – a fact about my dad’s work and character that I am very proud of.  However my family and I did not abruptly emigrate to Canada in 1986. There was no such “escape” after the EDSA Revolution. My family moved to Canada in 1983, not to be immigrants but to join my father who had been on an official assignment attached to the Philippine Consulate since 1982. In fact, during the actual EDSA Revolution, I was on a trip to Spain and Morocco organized by my high school. I celebrated my 16th birthday in southern Spain.

 

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There was a bit of drama… ok, a lot. But definitely no abrupt leaving and no actual emigration. As for the real details, you’d have to read about it in my book.

 

 

Abuela’s

 

 

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Had a lovely lunch at Abuela’s Restaurant in Makati. My friend Vicky Tensuan and her cousins finally opened a home for that famous prime rib I tried a couple of years ago.

Abuela’s serves heirloom dishes originally created by the grandmother of Marianne Lacson Campillo and interpreted by her husband Chef Marco Legasto. The grandmother, Eduarda Cuyugan Lacson, had an inherent love for cooking that stemmed from her Capangpangan roots. Marriage took her to Bacolod where she settled and lived an idyllic life while holding fort in the kitchen.

 

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I particularly enjoyed this pochero, served in a  modern minimalist way. The broth comes separately in a small carafe.

 

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My fave. Pochero, topped up with roasted tomato.

 

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The callos was excellent. I don’t normally eat callos. But this was so, so good.

 

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Our lunch group – Rica de Jesus of Heart 2 Heart, Preview magazine’s Jacqui Salonga, Abuela’s Vicky Tensuan, and Mega’s EIC Peewee Isidro

 

Chefs Marco Legasto and Yoshimi Igarashi
Chefs Marco Legasto and Yoshimi Igarashi. Chef Marco graduated from IHMES Isle of Man in the UK, while Chef Yoshimi from Hokkaido, Sapporo Japan was trained in Hotel Nikko. He spent the past 17 years heading Benkay outlets in Mexico, Paris, Myanmar and the Philippines.

 

Bone Marrow Mushroom Rice
Bone Marrow Mushroom Rice

 

Mila's Roast Chicken
Mila’s Roast Chicken

 

Jojo's Filipino Curry Prawns with Crab Fat Sauce
Jojo’s Filipino Curry Prawns with Crab Fat Sauce

 

Lengua Estofado by Lilibeth
Lengua Estofado by Lilibeth

 

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The menu was designed and hand drawn by Vicky Tensuan who also owns Whisk Designs.

 

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The Abuela’s Roast Beef platter that I blogged about a couple of years ago is back! It comes with sauce of your choice and sides on a ceramic platter ready to be taken home and served.

 

For more information on Abuela’s, check out their Facebook Page.

Abuela’s is at 104 Aguirre St, Somerset Millennium Makati Building, Legaspi Village, Makati City.  Tel 02 805 2713 or 0917 853 8881