My most important audience

 

 

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I spent this afternoon giving a talk to my most important audience – little girls from the age of 6 to 13. (Stella was also there and she’s only 4.)

 

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The girls wanted to know how I got my dream job (or jobs). I walked them through my long TV career — from how I started as a reporter to how I became a TV host for the shows F, Proudly Filipina, ANC Life, Guide to Urban Living and to eventually produce and host Urban Zone. I also talked about how I got my brand collaborations and how I started this blog. My language and delivery were much simplified because I wanted the girls to get my story. I shared some lessons like all the good things happening to me now (like the Taylor Swift interview) are results of many years of hard work and mastering my craft. And one thing I want them to remember – never be afraid to ask for what you want.

 

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I loved seeing the faces of these wide-eyed girls with big dreams! It was a privilege to share my story – that nothing is impossible if you are determined, focused, willing to learn and work hard. But you have to be smart too. Education counts. Even though I didn’t end up in the field that I studied, having my degree a good university gave me confidence to try new things without being afraid of failure. There was no road map for this journey that I chose. No one new that blogs would be considered a valid form of media 10 years ago. I didn’t know how to get DAPHNE products out in the market. In my TV work, I’ve had doors close on me. I’ve handled disappointment. I was told that what I wanted was impossible. But continued doing what I loved doing which was telling a story – using words, pictures and videos. Everything else followed. And I still love what I’m doing.

 

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Our venue for this private little talk was Commune at Liberty Plaza, 102 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

 

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Commune baristas make the cutest latte art. Here is Sophia’s cup of hot chocolate.

 

Ill be giving a pep talk to my most important audience. Little girls ages 7 to 13. My sponsor @gingersnapsph is giving the cutest accessories. I love my job. #shine #dream #daphneph #daphneop
All the kids and moms received bracelets from my sponsor Gingersnaps.

 

 

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

 

 

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And just like that, Philippine summer is almost over. And soon, it’s “back to school.” I had a head start with my kids’ school bags and pencil cases. Last year, they had the Romero Britto Collection from National Book Store. Now we’re all about the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Collection.

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada is a Spanish fashion designer which became known through her unmistakable hearts, clouds and flowers designs. She has brought a breath of fresh air making bold use of colors in her designs and projects.

Under the premiere stationery brand Miquelrius from Spain, the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Collection includes two vibrant themes—orange flower and pink heart designs. Each set displays bold colors and patterns. The collection is comprised of stationery items such as spiral notebooks in A4, A5, A6 and A7 sizes, mini notebooks, notepads, ring binders with “O” and “D”-shaped rings, and folder with flaps, and travel accessories such as backpack, messenger bag, shoulder bag, pouches and mini cylindrical pouches.

The Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Collection is exclusively available in selected National Book Store branches. Shop online at nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on the latest events, promos and contests.

 

 

10 Awesome Summer Activities for Kids

 

 

Philippine summer is almost here. It’s weird because mornings still feel like the January cold spell but by lunch time it’s so hot again. I am so scared about how hot it could be this summer considering the strange weather we’ve all been having – Polar Vortex there, sweater weather here. Good luck to all of us.

Since classes are almost over for traditional Filipino schools, I made a list of 10 awesome summer activities your kids may enjoy by the end of this month. I didn’t include swimming and theatre since those are pretty much standard.

My criteria for awesomeness includes one of all of the following — a) I’ve tried them for my kids and they loved them, b) my friends kids have done them and loved them, c) My friend own and run the activities/camps and I trust them.

 

1. Soccer with the Younghusband brothers

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The pool of coaches that will handle the summer clinics is spearheaded by James and Phil Younghusband of the Philippine Azkals, together with Technical Director Nate Burkey.

 

Chelsea FC Summer Camp 2014 organized by the Younghusband Football Academy (TYFA) through their training arm, the Chelsea FC Soccer School Philippines (CFCSSPh) will begin on April 1, 2-14.

Anyone can participate in this Summer Camp. Kids as young as three (3) years old and even adults are welcome to join the training sessions at the Gatorade Chelsea FC Blue Pitch at Circuit Makati (the latest artificial football field and the first FIFA-sized blue football field in the country) and at Ayala Alabang Country Club.

Blue Pitch, BGC: Tuesdays & Thursdays 5-8PM and Saturdays 2-5PM
Alabang Country Club: Wednesdays 4-6PM and Saturdays 8-10AM

For registration and inquiries, please call: 807-0278, or 0918-837-8019 or 0917-538-7589. Or email info@chelseafcssph.com or info@tyfa.ph For more information, www.chelseafcssph.com

 

2. Fashion courses at SOFA

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This summer the School of Fashion and Arts Design Institute has a number of programs for kids of all ages. For younger kids aged 4-7 there are arts and craft classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Fashion Design for Kids aged 8-12 . For teens there are short capsule series in Interior Styling, Fashion Design, Fashion Film Making, Fashion Immersion, Packaging Design and others.

 

5-yr old Lily at skirt-making class at SOFA (school of fashion & arts)
Lily and Sophia did a one-day fashion camp at SoFA a couple of years ago. They still remember how much fun they had.

 

Lily made this skirt at SoFA kids fashion workshop.
She “designed” this skirt and put embellishments on it.

 

To reserve a slot, contact 478-4611 or 478-4622 loc. 115. SoFA Design Institute is located at the Ground Floor of Enzo Building, 399 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave, Makati City.

Check out www.sofa.edu.ph for a full listing of courses.

 

3. Modern Dance

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If modern dancing is something your kids would like to try there’s Movement Dance Studio. They have two locations listed below. Also check out their programs for adults. This is a place that mixes dance with fitness.

Register before March 15th and you get 20% off.

Makati:  2nd Floor, Three Salcedo Place, Tordesillas St. Salcedo Village 392-6220 / 0922-886-8343

Podium Mall: 4th Floor, inside Kidsville Play and Party Center 788-6527 / 0933-360-5344

 

4. Sewing Classes

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Last year, I made a big leap and enrolled myself in sewing classes. I had owned an electric sewing machine for years and never knew how to operate it. On the first session, I successfully made a pouch bag. And on the second day, a sling bag.

This school is located in BF Homes Paranaque. It is actually a very cute sewing school for kids and I found out about it through one of my readers. The owner and instructor, Anne del Rosario, had some slots for adults when I enrolled last year. This summer, she has organized a number of sewing camps for kids.

 

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This is the bag I made on the second day. It was a bit tricky because it had a lining inside. But I did it in a couple of hours!

 

For more information of kids’ sewing camp this summer, check out Sew Easy for Kids or call 0919-999-4009. Tell Anne I sent you.

 

5. A real summer camp… away from home

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I’m sure many of you have heard of CISV or Children’s International Summer Village. It is an international organization that’s been around since the 1950’s. After World War II ended, many peace initiatives were created through the UN. CISV is unique for it believes that the ultimate source for lasting peace is in the hands of children.

The first CISV Village was held in 1951. It continues on to this day. CISV Villages are international camps that inspire 11-year-old children to imagine a more just and peaceful world. Children come together from 10-12 different countries to take part in a variety of educational, cultural and fun activities. There are local mini camps as well.

Click here to see activities of the Philippine chapter of CISV.

 

6. Art classes

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These were the works created by children who were going through trauma. They had undergone art therapy with art educator, Bambi Mañosa of Creative Kids Studio. It was shown at the Ayala Museum during the 25th Anniversary of Consuelo Foundation.

 

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Bambi and Creative Kids regular classes.

 

Creative Kids Studio runs beautiful art programs for kids in the Alabang area. I describe their activities as very “Art Attack” or “Hi-5” but in a more original way, and sometimes inspired by Filipino culture. Lots of bright colours, textures and shapes. Art therapy is something Bambi does as a special program in addition to running the regular art school. Creative Kids Studio caters to children of all ages.

 

summer 2014 workshop schedule

 

This summer Creative Kids Studio’s theme is all about Filipino Fiestas! They have arts and crafts classes for kids as young as 2 years old up to 12 years old. There are two new classes this year that look interesting- Interior Design and Paper Theater.

To reserve a slot for your kids contact 917-872-5307 or email admin@creativekidsstudio.com

 

7.  Ice Skating

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Sophia when she was 5.

 

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Lily when she was 5.

 

If you want to raise the next Filipino winter olympian like Michael Christian Martinez, you better start sending your kids to your nearest mall ice skating rinks. We’ve personally used the one in SM Mall of Asia and at the old SM Megamall. They have guides (some real athletic coaches, some just people who know how to skate) on a first come first served basis. Or you can buy a set of classes and reserve the coach of your choice.

The fee for use of the ice skating rink already includes use of skates and helmets. If you have your own skates (like we do), you still have to pay the same amount of the use of ice-skates-helmet package. There were some stressful rules like each kid can only bring one companion inside the rink area. But if you have two kids you can’t have two adults come in, only just one. Strange, but manageable. Just check in separately in two batches. Sigh.

Anyway, Sophia did lessons for a few years. Lily did one season. But I have to admit, we weren’t as dedicated as the mother of Michael Martinez. And school got in the way. Haha. Doing regular morning weekend mall sessions were tough – and you wouldn’t want to do it in the afternoon either because the rink is just so full of people. So the girls hung up their skates last year. Now we have skates in all sizes which Stella will eventually inherit. But I’m glad Soph and Lily know the basics of ice skating.

 

8.  Ballet with Danspace Manila

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My two older daughters have both done ballet over a few summers, but poor little Stella hasn’t had her turn yet. We hope to find time this year between swimming lessons.

If you’re in the Makati area, try your kids at classical or modern ballet in Danspace Manila under the direction of Maritoni Rufino-Tordesillas, the Principal Dancer for the Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT). Danspace trains children from 4 years old and above. The school uses the Australian Conservatoire of Ballet (ACB) syllabus which adapted the 8-year Russian Vaganova method into a 12-year training and examination program. The program emphasizes correct placement, dynamics and performance quality.

For more information, www.danspacemanila.com or check them out in Facebook.

 

 9.  Archery

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Young archers at Aim Right Archery Range.

 

For something new and different, have your kids try archery. It can give your child enlightenment, help her develop discipline and self-confidence, and give her some exercise. It can encourage your child to focus, set goals, be respectful of others, and even be a better student.

The Aim Right Archery Range is at Longos, Malolos at The Garden Pavilion, The Cabanas. Price for the range is only P150 per hour. Rental of bow and arrows another P150 per hour. Coaching 200 per hour. A beginner can use the range and rent with coaching for 500 per hour. Summer classes are for 5 sessions discounted at 10% off. At Aim Right, they can teach Olympic recurve and barebow.

Contact Doods Tanabe at 0932 654 9221 or check out Aim Right Archery Range in Facebook for more information.

 

10. Crafting

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Watercolour sessions with Alessandra Lanot

 

I stumbled upon Alessandra Lanot’s world while planning for Sophia’s birthday last month. My niece Bea recommended her. Soph didn’t want a party. She just wanted a hangout day with her school friends. So I asked Alessandra to host a little crafting party. Alessandra prepared a wonderful morning filled with activities that the tweens really enjoyed making – plush toys, greeting cards, tote bags. I promise to blog about that event.

In real life Alessandra does graphic design and runs a vegetarian restaurant. Crafting is her thing and she does it so well. Check out a the listing of Alessandra Lanot’s “crafternoons” in her blog Life After Breakfast.

 

So what are your awesome plans for the summer?

 

 

My Tag

 

 

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My Tag ID bracelets are made of durable and quality materials, it comes in a variety of designs and can be used in many ways. It comes in different colors to choose from and it fits children and adults alike.

 

My Tag is a personalized identification product that provides basic information to those helping an individual in need. My daughters all use My Tag ID bracelets when we are traveling. My husband also uses it when he goes biking. This is a product used by many active people – those who run marathons and do outdoor sports. It comes particularly handy if someone is suffering from allergies or other ailments. The intention is to alert good samaritans, emergency first-responders, physicians, emergency room personnel or police of the condition of the wearer even if the wearer is unconscious, incoherent, too old or too young to explain.

 

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The bracelets come in kids’ sizes too.

 

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I also ordered one for my little nephew who has a few food allergies.

 

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With Stella in Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay last December 2013. She wore her My Tag bracelet. In it is her name, birthdate, and our cellphone numbers. This is to give her some form of identification in case an unfortunate incident happens and we lose her in a crowd. I hope it NEVER happens. But just in case…

 

To order My Tag, click here. Or you can check out these sports shops and retailers. You can also contact them through My Tag Facebook page.

 

 

Singapore Diaries 2: Gardens By The Bay

 

 

For the second part of my Singapore Diaries, I am featuring only one place, a spectacular one that needs its own post — Gardens by the Bay. It is a 101 hectare park of reclaimed land facing the reservoir. It has gardens, water parks, conservatories. The entire concept is a triumph for sustainable architecture, landscape architecture, conservation efforts and a new type of amusement for visitors of all ages.

I could have spent all day here. I would be so inspired to sketch and take photos all day. We were just there for over two hours. But our experience was so well-planned that we saw all the main attractions. There are suggested trails on the website link I posted above. I suggest you plan your trip in advance. We saw the two domed structures – the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. The Supertree Grove, the iconic landmark of the gardens, is visible from all angles. It is spectacular at night, I hear. This is a reason for us to go back.

 

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At the visitor’s centre near the entrance to the two conservatories, you see three sculptural Supetrees. This gives you a preview of what it’s like at the Supertree Grove, which includes a Skywalk and a restaurant on top of one of the biggest Supertree. You can also opt to tour the outdoor gardens using this audio-guided tram. Because of time constraints we skipped the Supertree Grove. I hope to visit again — at night next time. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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Smile! Singapore sunshine! I packed the kids’ sunglasses. But they forgot to bring them from the hotel. Yikes.

 

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We started at the Flower Dome with its incredible design and architecture. The entire space is air-conditioned, cooled by chilled water pipes in underground slabs, while warm air goes out in vents on top. The entire space replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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The entire dome has no columns. It is the world’s largest columnless greenhouse. The Conservatories’ glass sits on a steel grid that acts like an eggshell.

 

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They change the flower displays in this Flower Field to reflect seasons, occasions and themes. This was taken on December 1st, hence Christmas.

 

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Amazing.

 

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My favorite tree – the baobab. It doesn’t have a good meaning in The Little Prince but in reality these are Africa’s trees of life. That one nearest my face is shaped like a heart. I am so fascinated by them. This is what they look like in Madagascar.

 

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A little Lily #OOTD. She takes pride in “styling” herself. She wore a Gingersnaps neon-sleeved T-shirt with the cutest giraffe graphic and matched it with light purple lace shorts also from Gingersnaps. Athletic shoes and that crazy headband from Cotton-On. Oh Lily!

 

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The gardens are completely accessible to anyone. There are elevators but we opted to use the stairs.

 

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Just a little Stella update. She, being my youngest, is sooo attached to me. Now more than ever. We are going through some separation anxiety even if its a short trip to the grocery or when I pick up the two sisters from school. I am relishing these days that she seems to be hanging on to her toddler phase which has actually passed last year. A real “bunso” (youngest child aka “baby”). Oh her cute little Tshirt was a gift from @mimssac of Instagram. You can order personalized Tshirts and other items from her. A few people have asked about my sneakers. I got them at Cath Kidston online.

 

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The Cloud Forest is spectacular. It has a 35-metre tall mountain covered with a wall of lush vegetation. It has the  world’s tallest indoor waterfall with plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000-metres above sea level.

 

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A rare photo of the two of us at the Cloud Forest, not because we are elusive but because we don’t have anyone to take decent photos of us. I’m always the one shooting. This time, with STB’s professional photographer Andrew Chua documenting our visit, we have a lot of photos of the family – complete and just us as a couple. Yay!

 

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My nature-loving daughter Sophia was in heaven. Photo by Andrew Chua STB

 

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My little Fifi. I wish for her to always feel this free and adventurous. She can’t wait to see the rest of the world.

 

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They loved identifying plants. I couldn’t believe Soph knew a lot of them already. This is the “pitcher plant”. Sophia tells me it’s eats insects, and it really does. OMG. There was a little pond up top of the mountain with a pod full of carnivorous plants including the Venus Fly Trap. How fascinating. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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It was incredible seeing a really tall lush vertical garden. There was an amazing mixture of orchids, ferns, colourful bromeliads, begonias and carnivorous pitcher plants, all the way up.

 

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We made our way up the top of the Lost World Trail. The highest point replicates the cloud forest vegetation at around 2,000m above sea level.

 

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Here we are on that trail. It’s very safe. We even brought Stella’s rental stroller. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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It was very high. My knees were shaking. It weaved in and out of the mountain. I’m so proud that Lily got over her fear of heights.

 

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To give you an idea of how high it was, here’s a 360 view.

 

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So the Paezis made it to the top of The Lost World. Haha. It wasn’t anything like real trekking, so none of us suffered. We didn’t even break a sweat. The entire place is air-conditioned and very well-maintained. There are elevators and escalators too. Photo by Andrew Chua STB.

 

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I have to say, Gardens By The Bay was one of … if not, THE highlight of our trip. It was a very unique experience seeing modern architecture with the world’s most exotic plants and trees. We learned a lot about the environment and the danger we face with the changing habitats that put plants and animals in danger.

 

For a complete list of our four-day itinerary in Singapore, click here. And to plan your trip to Singapore, check out www.yoursingapore.com

More of our Singapore travel diary coming up in a few days.