Tie dye project



Spent the day making tie-dye Tshirts with the kids.
Last week, the kids and I did an ambitious project. My mom bought plain white Tshirts and we embellished them with dye, markers, stencils and the kids’ own art.


Waiting for our tie-dye shirts to dry.
We had complete kit that had the dye, instructions, airbrush and all the materials needed. It was a gift from Lily’s godmother Katherine. The brand was Project Runway. We worked on the tie-dye part one afternoon then waited for them to air-dry over night.


The next night after dinner, my mom and I helped the kids decorate with final touches. Lily and Sophia worked on the stencils. We also used the battery-operated airbrush that came with the package. That part was a bit frustrating, so we ended up manually drawing the art work using stencils.


The stencils were pretty elaborate – complete with alphabets, symbols and pretty art like this tropical flower.


Sophia meant to do a statement tee with the word “Peace”. But she was too engrossed with the stencils that she misspelled “Peace” so she decided to make it “Paez” instead. Good girl!


For Stella I made stars. That is, after all, the meaning of her name. Lily insisted on using her second name, Paloma. This was completely her own design – the name, the idea of winged hearts. I airbrushed the name but she did the peace sign and hearts herself. And she drew the wings of the hearts by freehand.


Lily wore her Paloma shirt the very next day.


Stella Margarita wears her tie-dye stencil Tshirt we made.
Stella loved hers too. And so did Soph.


We’ve had this Project Runway kit for almost a year. I never had the patience nor the time to devote to the project. Last week was our first normal non-programmed week. The kids were done with their musical theatre and ballet lessons. So we just did unplanned things. It took two days to finish this project. As you can see, the whole family was involved. Even Patrick and my Dad sat in on the decorating sessions.

We still have some dye left over from the kit. I’m afraid the kids will want to tie-dye more stuff. I’m hiding the kit from them for now. It took three days for the dye to wash off from my fingers.

Great memories were made again.



Beautiful desk clutter



I was working on a nice and long blogpost. I don’t know what happened but the thing didn’t save or back up. I lost half of it. Very, very frustrating. I’ll get back to it later after my day with the kids at the pool.

I went back to my home office this morning. I had not been using this room all summer. It is the hottest corner of our house. And even with airconditioning it’s just all wrong. (Neighbour cut their tree and we lost our huge shade. Must deal with this in the future.) I was so overwhelmed when I saw these huge mounds of papers and boxes. Most of them are my kids’ stuff. This is as real as it gets in my Instagram (@DaphneOP).

My friends and followers shared photos of their desk today. I hope you like them as much as I do.


I didn't touch my desk all summer. Clutter has taken over. Help!
My desk at home. I haven’t touched this table all summer. My kids’ stuff have taken over.


Zsazsa's desk
This desk belongs to Zsazsa Padilla, singer and actress. And she managed to write two checks using the desk this morning.


The baghag's desk
Curious how Ingrid Go manages two awesome blogs – The Bag Hag and Manila Social Diary? Here’s her desk clutter as seen in her Instagram. Psst, I love the bag of chips!


nina santamaria's desk
@NinaSantamaria‘s desk. She’s an interior designer so despite the clutter, it looks very pretty.


From Instagram, @justjay19‘s desk. She works in finance.


This desk is so neat and well styled. It belongs to @danielisbored, an online retailer. Loving all the silver, chrome and crystal.


Anna Rufino's desk
Dermatologist @annapear‘s desk at home. She says she doesn’t really work here. Art is always good to have in your work space.


Alvin desk
While reviewing for the bar exams, @alvinfg‘s desk. Book stand. Nice.


isabel gatuslao
My graphic designer, @isabelgatuslao‘s ever changing work landscape.


isabel gatuslao
Another shot of Isabel’s workdesk. I love how totally utilitarian it is.


Show me your desk and home office space. I’m @DaphneOP in Instagram and Twitter.



I’m over it



Last Easter weekend, while enjoying our relaxing staycation, I had to deal with some minor drama at home. I discovered a puddle of water forming in the corner of our tiny lanai. It turned out that one of the air-conditioners had a leak. Then I saw that one of my old trunks, filled with memories and sentimental mumbo jumbo, was inadvertently moved to the lanai by my husband. And the puddle of water seeped into my wooden baul.


Here’s the antique trunk.


And snippets of my life from the time I moved to the Philippines to before I got married. I had photos and slides from my work in Guimaras and Mexico, old Metro magazines where my first published article and columns came out, and tons of letters from friends and family. The only thing that could console me was a cup of Earl Grey tea. And solitude for about an hour.


Good thing my box of negatives survived the water damage. They were all untouched inside this paper box. Seeing old negatives again actually made me smile. Gosh, how I loved film! My camera back then was a point and shoot Rollei and Rollei Prego.


This was the worst casualty. A pile of old letters and cards, mostly from my friends in Canada and my family. I bit back some tears. But when I saw that some old black and white photos of my parents survived unscathed, I got over it. It’s better to lose the letters than the old photos, in my opinion.


My life flashed before my eyes. An old road trip to Pennsylvania with my  mom and brother. This was at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. An original black and white print from the time I was one year old. My old ABSCBN News and KBP Press cards, which reminded me that I actually was a news reporter in Malacanang. I also went through a few weeks of covering police/crime stories with a Tulfo Brother (aka Erwin)! The old Metro Weddings magazine that published my bridal diary. After this, they offered me Editor in Chief. I did it for a couple of years. That’s where Ingrid – The Baghag and I met.


Black and white photos that Patrick took of me at the set of The World Tonight. I was the weathergirl back when Angelo Castro Jr. and Loren Legarda used to be the anchors. One of the news managers asked me to cut my hair short to make me look more serious. I had a 45 second appearance every night . The World Tonight was the top rating newscast in its time slot back then. Other reporters wanted my job. Even though 99% of the time, I said the same thing – “scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.” I took the job seriously, but my heart was never in it. I really just wanted to tell stories. So I learned how to write, shoot and edit my own vignettes – Video Postcard. Seeing this brought back memories of my hungry years in the newsroom. Yesterday, Patrick and I attended the necrological services for Angelo at ABS-CBN. It was deep, meaningful and personal. I’m not sure I have the words for it now.


One of the albums that survived – my scuba trip to Palau in 1997. I remembered how much I loved scuba diving. That was the main reason I first decided to move to Manila. I was diving practically every weekend. Diving made me so happy then. Until eventually I found reason to be happy on land. Oh to be young and angsty.


I have two of these small albums that didn’t quite make it. All the photos got stuck together. This one was from the time there was a major snow storm in Toronto in 1999. By the way while I was going through and talking about my photo albums, Lily blurted out, “What’s an album, mommy?” Thank goodness we have digital files now. I am finally appreciating the digital age.


Every time I went home, it was difficult to say goodbye. #family
Every time I went home to my parents in Toronto, it was so difficult to say goodbye. My sister Hanni did this for me.


These photos didn't make it. But the loss wasn't as great as I had thought. Whew.
These photos didn’t make it. I don’t even know what images they once held.


Minor damage in this old magazine from 2002. Patrick wrote about surviving his “abduction” by the Taliban (or was it random bandits) when they went to Kabul, Afghanistan via the Khyber Pass in 2001. This one’s for keeps. For our daughters.


I thought about whether on not I should even share this little mishap of mine. I know some of you lived through worse water damage – Ondoy, Sendong, hurricanes, tsunamis. And I am so sorry for that. My damage is minor.

This came at the strangest time in my life though. It was Easter week. While I was going about my quiet life at home, I got distracted by a useless but harmful storm that got me sad for a day. It took some perspective and silence to get over it.

Then a day before Easter, this happens. It was a different kind of sadness. It was more of a cleansing. I took it as a sign that maybe I should unload physically and mentally. That I shouldn’t think too much and just live life to the fullest every single day.  That even though I lost some old letters and photos, I continue to make new memories every day. That I am grateful for all the people whom I loved and loved me in those old photos and letters are still here with me in my life now. My sisters consoled me via WhatsApp. My dad texted me from Ilocos. Patrick and the kids rushed me so we could spend the rest of the day laughing and playing at the pool.

I’m over it.



Manila Fame 2012 Winners of Katha Awards



I was one of the judges again for this season’s Katha Awards at Manila FAME. Unlike last year’s Manila FAME where we, the board of judges, decided that no one would be awarded, this year found the most interesting winners in all categories.

I don’t have the actual figures but from what I saw the few days I was at that expo, it felt like the energy and positive vibes were back. There seemed to have been more foreign buyers. I’d be curious to know the figures.


katha judges
The Katha Board of Judges (Front row, L-R) Lino Santiago of NCIDP (secretariat), Jeannie Javelosa, Daphne Osena-Paez, and Rachy Cuna. (Back row, L-R) Rino Datuin of NCIDP (secretariat), Rey Soliven, Robert Alejandro, Tristan Jovellana, Daniel dela Cruz, Tonichi Nocom, and Maco Custodio


Here’s Vikki Rodriguez of Accesoria Inc. who won for Best Product Design in Housewares.


I was glad I was able to attend the awarding of the winners the next day, that I saw Ito Kish’s reaction when his name was called for Best Product Design in Furniture and Best Booth Design. It was a busy week for me. I had a booth at WorldBex. In fact the day of judging Manila FAME was the same opening day of WorldBex where I participated in the opening rites and was also a judge for their interior design contest (on top of manning my booth).


Best Product Design for Furniture – Gregoria by Ito Kish
Selected for its massing of balustre, a design icon of Filipino ancestral homes, combined with the woven solihiya for the seat.


Anahaw Tree by Philippine Treasures
Best Product Design for Holiday and Gifts – Anahaw Tree by Philippine Treasures
Selected for the use of anahaw leaves cut in well-proportioned manner, as well as for its quality finishing.


Feather Agate by Lafina Moda by Kitsilver Jewelry
Best Product Design for Jewelry – Feather Agate by Lafina Moda by Kitsilver Jewelry.
Selected for its intricate craftsmanship of traditional gold filigree rendered in contemporary fashion.


Kinks & Curls by Accessoria, Inc.
Best Product Design for Housewares – Kinks & Curls by Accessoria, Inc.
Selected for its ingenious use of natural rattan splits.


Necklace produced thru NuCast Process created by Floreia
Special Citation for Eco Award was a tie between this Necklace produced thru NuCast Process created by Floreia…
Selected for the its Nucast proccess (use of recycled paper material and process). Products promote sustainability and are biodegradable, recyclable and environmentally-friendly with no volatile organic compound.


Chair produced thru Naturecast Process created by Naturecast Eximport
Special Citation for Eco Award (tie). Chair produced thru Naturecast Process created by Naturecast Eximport.
Selected for its patented trademark process, Naturecast, that applies green manufacturing process. It is made up of fallen barks, twigs, dead shrubs and other agro-forest waste which are classified and shredded, and uses odorless water-based binder to produce works of applied arts.


Ito kish
Best Booth Design – Ito Kish.


During CITEM’s Manila FAME, I got the chance to have an exclusive interview with Brazilian design superstars, Campana Brothers. I’ll be having that video edited and uploaded this week. You’ll love them.



Plants, peace, summer at home



It’s officially summer for our kids. School’s been out a week. I haven’t committed them to any particular summer camp activities yet. I’m still sifting through the many options. Sophia wants singing, guitar, theatre and maybe art. Lily wants ballet, art and swimming. Stella is 2 and a half and I’m still trying to find her an activity that will maximize the use of her energy. We have the usual one-stop-shop in our club. But I’m also considering other locations.

Meanwhile, here are scenes from our home. There are lots of art activities as always – all year round. The best way to keep my girls busy is to get them paper and art supplies. This makes them happiest. That and a trip to the park. Life is still simple, thank God.


Last weekend, the kids visited the Daphne booth at WorldBex. The area I was in had some nurseries and plant stores. Sophia fell in love with the strangeness of cacti. This is her new cactus “garden”. Lily got a few leafy plants as well.


They are pretty, especially when in bloom.


None of us have a green thumb. But the kids show a lot of interest in plants. I hope my mom’s green thumb is genetic. Though it skipped me, I hope my girls get it so they can keep these cactus plants alive.


We made some Shrinky Dinks the other day. Remember those? They still make them. Here’s Lily and her “boof” at home. She designed a Lily booth.


A visiting neighbour Carol Magtibay Rodriguez came bearing gifts for my kids. Thank you Carol. Stella hasn’t taken off her fairy costume in days. Oh those boots, one of the few things we bought in Shanghai. They’re from the Gap.


Sophia and Stella. Soph was doing art work. Stella was on the iPhone. Stella is the rule-breaker. The other two girls were all about the earth, arts and crafts, and simple pleasures; Stella found a way to break us and take over our iPhones and iPads. Are all babies like that? Sigh. (And yes, Soph has a purple nail. We were testing out the colour. The start of summer marks her liberty. She now has purple and pink alternating with glitters on her nails. I’m okay with that.)


Sophia’s artwork. I gave them the left over posters from WorldBex. They used the backside. Her drawings are so influenced by Anime now (which makes me ever so vigilant, but whatever). I’m glad though that her main message is still about her love of the earth. They amaze me!


“Less than a mile, then bike in style”. She also has “Plant more trees, or we’re doomed!” Haha, so much for subtlety.


Lily’s poster for their “Peace Club”. It includes loving the earth. Look at that earth with a gazillion little people holding hands around.


What are your plans for the summer (if you’re in the Philippines)? It’s springtime everywhere else. I heard Toronto and the eastern side of North America are experiencing the weirdest hot spell. How are you spending your early summer/spring?