The Aldub fever





Last Friday September 11, my friend Stephanie Arambulo Dela Cruz sent me this photo thru Facebook. You should have seen and heard my reaction. Haha. I didn’t ask for it. Stephanie knew that I had been appreciating “Aldub” for a while because I’ve made a declaration in my Facebook weeks before. Stephanie worked on the first Aldub commercial (McDonald’s), and asked her talents to do me this favour. You can see that both actors were wearing what they wore in the TVC.

I posted this on my Facebook page, got a crazy reaction from fans —  got a lot of questions from people who didn’t know them yet, some mentioned that I was the reason they started watching it. It got over 5,000 likes and hundreds of shares. These numbers mean nothing now. Yesterday, after Yaya Dub’s and Alden’s first date, they broke the internet with over 11 million tweets. Eleven million.

A lot has already been written about the Aldub phenomenon. So I won’t even try to add to the analysis. When I first posted about it in my Facebook page (the day the wall came down), I received some judgement from people who expected “more” out of me. Really, ugh. I also got judged for saying that I’d never watched Eat Bulaga ever before. Seriously. Noontime shows were not allowed in our house because the noise bothered me. All that has changed now. The entire household staff and I watch together! Ok, I may have exaggerated a little. I probably watched Eat Bulaga as a kid during the 70’s. I also said I didn’t know who the Dabarkads were. Of course I knew Tito, Vic and Joey. I knew some of the hosts personally. But to tell you the truth I didn’t know the rest of the gang! I really had to google. Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo’s comedy are completely new to me. And let me tell you, I am now a huge fan! Well, apparently some were upset with me for saying I didn’t know who the Dabarkads were. But just to give some perspective, I haven’t been watching any TV shows lately. And not just Eat Bulaga. I also have never watched an episode of Showtime. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, and I only saw one season of Gossip Girl. I just got too tired that I preferred to catch up on sleep whenever I could. So there… no snobbiness behind what I said. But I must admit, I got a little upset by the reaction that I deleted that post. (Yes, I get that way.)

I think what’s evident is that this Yaya Dub and Alden phenomenon has made converts out of non-viewers. And it’s not just me. I think after this weekend, more of my FB demographic will watch. I usually catch it on the Eat Bulaga Facebook Page before going to bed. After my two-week trip to France, I found myself catching up on episodes I missed. That’s how hooked I got.


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I first found out about the Kalyeserye, a segment within Eat Bulaga, where half of the hosts go on remote locations to different barangays, the day after Yaya Dub fainted (in real life during the live show). There was a bit of a debate whether her fainting spell was scripted or real. Click on that link above and you’ll see how real it was. Yaya Dub is Maine Mendoza, a graduate of College of St Benilde who did her internship in culinary arts in New York. Maine became “famous” online because of her crazy Dubsmash hits, like this one…



Alden Richards is a GMA 7 actor whom I’ve actually met twice before. First time was during the opening of Options Studio Timog (see photo below). A few weeks later, during my guest appearance at the Ryzza Mae Show, he peeked his head into the dressing room and said “Hello, po.” Yes, he said “po.” Mabait na bata, hehe. He was cute and clean and mabango. But both times, he didn’t register well enough with me to get giddy. All that has changed now. I wish I could get invited to Broadway Centrum studios again.


Alden Richards at the launch of Options Studio Timog.


My husband wondered why he’d see me laughing my head off. I told him, the Lola characters were hilarious. Jose dancing Mambo Number 5 gets me all the time. I also told him that I was fascinated with Maine Mendoza and how she got discovered by Eat Bulaga via You Tube. They didn’t mean to make the Kalyeserye an #Aldub love story. It was supposed to be just the same segment where they meet real people, interact with them, give them advice, give them prizes. But one day in July, a couple of weeks into the first episode, Yaya Dub was caught reacting with a “kilig” smile when she saw Alden on the monitor. The rest was pure genius. The co-hosts teased the two. The audience reacted positively. The main hosts took a back seat and allowed all this to happen naturally.

I told my husband, and declared in that now-deleted FB post, that this was revolutionary. Again, something that sparked a debate. But I knew early in August that Eat Bulaga had not only created a new genre of local TV — a live series with a bit of improv that included audience participation online and in person — but it would also cause a disruption in the TV network landscape. And we see that happening now, with how the other networks have reacted. Again, 11 million tweets, what can anyone do? It reminded me of how Tagalog-dubbed Marimar also changed the TV landscape.

While most of my FB friends were oblivious to the Aldub craze, one of my friends who is a commercial pilot, sent me this private message. He said he has noticed a change in psyche of some Filipinos he worked with. (And yes, he is the only person who calls me Mare.)


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Another fascinating thing about this phenomenon, is that it has sparked so many new creations like songs and art work. Check out these amazing fan art I found online.


Art by Gwendie85


Art by @Natzumiehan


Art by Gwendy85


The reason why I laugh non-stop, the Lolas, played by Jose, Wally and Paolo. Art by @eewlevi


From #ALDUBMostAwaitedDAte, that pugo egg and isaw. Art by @enjelicious


The genius use of the split screen! Art by @enjelicious


The adorable Maine Mendoza. Art by Cheeneetoh23


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Art by Felix Cruz.


What’s your #aldub story?


La Mer’s Blue Heart



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Hawaii, Lanai, School of Yellow Tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens) in the Hulupoe Bay Marine Preserve. Photo from National Geographic Society ID1934245.


Today, June 8th, is World Oceans Day. It was established in 1992 and made official by the United Nations in 2009. This is a time to recognize the importance of the sea as a vital ecosystem and to take action to preserve its delicate habitats and wildlife, after all 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans.


My scuba diving self in the past.


When I first visited the Philippines after my parents settled us abroad, I had my first snorkelling experience in Anilao, Batangas. There, just outside my uncle’s beach house, I saw so many colourful fish and corals. I fell in love with the ocean. Soon after that, I got my open water diving license. This was during the early 90’s. When I moved here for work, I spent every weekend scuba diving. Though diving was a social “sport” – traveling to different islands with friends and cousins – it was a very solitary experience once you go down the water. It’s just you and your breathing apparatus. I remember feeling so close to God when I used to dive. It was a beautiful world down there. It gave me a deeper understanding of environmental issues. I have since hung up my dive gear in year 2000. Nowadays, I’m too scared of the sun (wrinkles) to spend hours in the water.

Speaking of anti-aging, La Mer has always taken inspiration from the sea. La Mer’s founder, Dr. Max Huber, pioneered the use of sea kelp in the cream that renewed and restored the look of his skin. To this day, La Mer continues to help support the natural habitat of this special sea plant by only using sea kelp that has been sustainably hand harvested. Inspired by the sea, La Mer is sharing its Blue Heart through a commitment to supporting the protection of ocean habitats for generations to come.

This year, after supporting ocean conservation efforts for the past decade, La Mer continues its global partnership with the National Geographic Society and its next generation of ocean explorers. In 2015, La Mer will support two new explorers: Dr. David Gruber and Shannon Switzer.


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Shannon Switzer is a social scientist using film and photography as a tool to help coastal and island communities to manage their own resources in a sustainable way. Shannon is working in South East Asia and Oceania.


Here is Shannon’s photo diary from her work in the Philippines. All captions are by Shannon.


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I got started in underwater photography documenting my friends having fun on waves. That evolved into shooting while free diving, as I was doing here, making images of spinner dolphins on Oahu’s coast. Photo by Morgan Hoesterrey


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The Philippines are in what is known as “Typhoon Alley” and are constantly hammered by strong tropical storms (sic). The largest and strongest ever recorded hit in November 2013, causing widespread devastation. Here in the Verde Island Passage of Oriental Mindoro, though not directly hit, they had strong winds and rain and experienced a great deal of erosion. Sandbags can only do so much.


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This is Clark Bautista. He was also an enormous help in connecting me with fishermen and gaining insight into the management of marine protected areas in the region at higher levels of governance as he works in the Fisheries Management Office. He also showed me some of the best places to snorkel and dive.


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Not only do the mangroves provide protection for community members, they also act as a nursery for marine life and help sustain a healthy fishery. Men and women both fish in different ways. Here women and children ‘glean’ small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks from the exposed reef at low tide. The mangroves help continuously replenish these fauna.


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I had the opportunity to join two fishermen from Silonay on one of their forays. They leave at four in the morning to be on the water at dawn’s first light. Fish are one of the only reliable sources of protein for residents, and over the last few decades their numbers have been declining. A big hope for the mangrove restoration project is to reverse this decline, and in combination with reasonable fishing regulations that both support the fishermen and help sustain the fish population, there are signs of recovery.


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A key part of the program is having visitors plant mangrove propagules, shown in the foreground here. They pay to come as a group and plant them and the proceeds go back into sustaining the project. This was a group of Korean students, and two girls from Silonay joined in the fun—the plantings seemed to always end in mud fights.


To commemorate World Oceans Day, a 100ml jar of Crème de la Mer with a new limited-edition design will be available May through June 2015. For the first time, the jar design will be inscribed with ‘Blue Heart’ to communicate the brand’s ongoing goal of supporting the protection of the blue heart of our planet, the ocean. Purchase of the commemorative Crème de la Mer does not impact La Mer’s Blue Heart charitable donation. La Mer has donated over $2.6 million since 2008 to help promote ocean conservation efforts globally.


100ml Crème de La Mer Limited Edition World Ocean’s Day. Exclusively Available at Rustan’s Makati (812-2507), Rustan’s Shangri-La (633-4636) and Rustan’s Cebu (6332-231-1166). Retail Price PHP 24,300






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I can’t believe I haven’t even written about the story of the DAPHNE® & National Book Store collaboration yet and the products are over halfway sold already. I’m sort of in a panic because I actually want to hoard as much of these products as I could. They make the perfect gifts. And I love using them myself. Now that I said that, I will try to troop to National Book Store tomorrow and try to stock up on my favourites (all).

Meanwhile, as promised,  I’m sharing with you some of the photos by friends, followers and readers who have posted with the hashtag #DaphneandNBS. I remember doing this when the DAPHNE x Bench Home Scents came out and many of you posted your unboxing and use of the bottle. I looooved that! And now you are doing the same with the Daphne & National Book Store stationery.

Thank you for sharing a bit of your world with me. I love seeing how you use my products. Yay to Daphnefication. Haha. Keep them coming!


From Rica Peralejo’s instagram


DOP NBS @krislerismania
We are in good company, with Sen Miriam Santiago’s book. From @krislerismania


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From Belo’s @cristallebelo.


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From @theabakescupcakes


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It is amazing to see my products alongside the greats like Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston. Photo from my friend Elna in London or @sle117


Elna wore my Daphne tote in London Fashion Week! @sle117


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From Elle Decoration’s Devi De Veyra


DOP NBS @marrylerojo2
From @marrylerojo


DOP NBS @charrypotter
From @charrypotter


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More crafting cuteness from @marrylerojo


DOP NBS @delladeleos
With lovely rings and a cute pola by @delladeleos


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From Kristine Margareth Santos Aba-a


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And here is Kristine Margareth’s little girl, totally DAPHNE-fied.


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From @juicehut_manila


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From @isalcaraz


From Ivonne Capistrano, a teacher in the US.


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The Lily pouch from Cheng Flores via FB.


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From Ry-Anne, traveling to Singapore.


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My friend Ginger Roxas Arzt uses the whiteboard calendar for her menu planning. So do I.


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Detail of our journals by @mangofreeze


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Lovely desk by @deynakim


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Manila Bulletin’s @aapatawaran uses my pen! And that’s some real poetry folks.


DOP NBS @iamtiramisu
Precious baby doodles by @iamtiramisu


DOP NBS @hazelcaballeroscott
Now if I woke up to a scene like this everyday…. wow. By @hazelcaballeroscott


DOP NBS @elainecarag
Ok where did that baby Groot come from. I want! Haha. From @elainecarag


DOP NBS @dulcesia
Looks like Dulce’s daughter likes making her own plans. From @dulcesia.


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Organizing pouch. Photo by @apolonski.


DOP NBS @catcantada
Loving everything in her bedside table. From @catcantada.


DOP NBS @beadladymanila
My daughter Sophia is going nuts over @beadladymanila’s polymer creations. She wants to learn how to make these little cupcakes.


My hummingbird bag made a cameo appearance at an ABS-CBN soap opera.



Share your #DaphneandNBS photos in Instagram or FB… I will post them again. Thanks everyone!!


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 and earn reward points for online purchases.



Christmas scent and music



Now that it’s officially Christmas in our home (yes, I know it’s earlier than usual), I have to keep up with the spirit of season. The decorations and ornaments, check. Start shopping for presents, check. And a gazillion little things that I still have to list down.


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To get everyone into the spirit, I’ve opened a few DAPHNE Home Scents in Green Forest Pine. These are available at Bench and Dimensione. I’m also starting to play some Christmas music. I have a few old Christmas CDs that I keep bringing out. I have a acid jazz and pop christmas songs from the 90’s. They’re still good. The most popular in our home now are the Disney Christmas songs.

I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on these new Christmas releases from MCA Music Philippines. These are now in all major music stores.


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“The Crossover Café: Holiday Grooves” (Various Artists) | 2CDs Php 495.00

“THE CROSSOVER CAFÉ: HOLIDAY GROOVES” is a remarkable compilation all wrapped up with over 40 holiday tunes by today’s jazz legends, soul artists, and new artists. It brings together easy listening renditions of some of the most memorable Christmas classics reinvented cool, crossover jazz style. Revel in the smooth blend of sophisticated sound from only the finest musicians and artists of the genre, including Diana Krall, David Benoit, Dave Koz, Dianne Reeves, Sitti, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Phil Perry, Ledisi and more.


Dave Koz_The 25th of December
“The 25th of December” (Dave Koz & Friends) Php 495.00

The holidays have always been about bringing close friends together and celebrating the season with good times and great music. Saxophonist Dave Koz has been doing it every year for nearly two decades with talented friends and collaborators on a tour that brings the yuletide spirit to devoted audiences from one coast to the other.

Koz brings that same collaborative spirit to his new holiday recording, The 25th of December, scheduled for release on October 27, 2014 on Concord Records. The album features duets with some of the most prominent pop and jazz artists of the last several decades, including India.Arie, Eric Benét, Jonathan Butler, Gloria Estefan, Fantasia, Kenny G, Heather Headley, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Trombone Shorty, BeBe Winans and Stevie Wonder.


“Motown Christmas” (Various Artists) Php 459.00

This is the first new Christmas music from Motown in 46 years. Produced by award-winning Aaron Lindsey, this album includes unique collaborations featuring Smokey Robinson & Kevin Ross, Gregory Porter & Anita Wilson, Ne-Yo & Tasha Cobbs, India.Arie & Gene Moore, Babyface & Toni Braxton, The Tempations and more.