From Mushrooms to Banana Leaves



A couple of weeks ago we had Marco Lobregat in Cocktales.


Marco is a fashion and commercial model, turned corporate guy, turned entrepreneur. He started a company that grows and sells mushrooms. It’s called Ministry of Mushrooms.


Yes this is the same dress I wore to the vintage circus birthday party. I’m a shameless repeater. Besides, I wore it in the show first. Not that it matters. It’s from K&Company. (By the way, K&Co now has a branch in Alabang Town Centre. Yay!)


Marco lobregat
This is Marco and his partners at work in their mushroom farm. For more info on Ministry of Mushrooms, check out their Facebook page. Photo from Expat Travel and Lifestyle Magazine.


Cocktales executive producer Giselle Ordinario with Marco.




Last week we had my friend Rommel Juan, the owner and creator of Binalot.


It was hard to concentrate during the interview while talking about adobo, pritong bangus, tapa and all our favourite comfort food. Plus salted egg. All conveniently wrapped in smoked banana leaves. Oh my. Cita and I seriously got hungry. Haha.


Our version of wacky. Shoot us! haha. (Wearing a cute K&Company dress printed with tiny giraffes, or maybe they’re llamas.)



Cocktales airs every Sunday night at 9:30pm on AksyonTV. (UHF ch. 41, SkyCable ch. 59, Destiny Cable ch. 7, cignal ch. 1). With replays the following Sunday 12nn. You can catch Rommel’s replay this Sunday. And if you’re abroad, you can see Cocktales via TV5’s international channel.



Cocktales galore



Wow, it just dawned on me that I haven’t posted much about my show Cocktales. Unbeknownst to many, I am actually co-hosting a talkshow produced by TV5 News and Current Affairs. It airs on Aksyon TV41. You can find Aksyon TV on free TV channel 41, or on cable via Sky Cable Digibox 59, Destiny 7, and Cignal 1. Cocktales airs every Sunday night at 9:30pm and replays the following Sunday at 12nn.

Cocktales, the name of the show, is derived from our co-host Vic Agustin’s popular column. Vic’s column was known for its business and political scoops and sometimes juicy stories. Cocktales, the talk show, has more of a business-lifestyle theme. It isn’t heavy on the controversy but we do get our share of interesting scoops. It is fun.

Here are some outtakes from the past shows.


We had Senator Bongbong Marcos. It was a bit of a scoop because it was his first interview after the Corona Impeachment Trial when he was among the three senators who voted to acquit the chief justice. OK, just to get it out of the way, yes we are shooting in a car showroom. Not just any showroom. This is the Ferrari-Maserati-Jaguar showroom.


In between takes, with Sen Bongbong Marcos. The team asked him to put on a jacket as his shirt was the same colour as the background.


What do you think of his attire? I’m liking the leather driving shoes. He says he buys Italian suits in HK and he has an amazing trusted tailor here in Manila. Mang-someone… I should have taken note of the name. He also said that his biggest critics are the women in his life – wife Liza Araneta Marcos, sisters Imee and Irene, and his mom Imelda. After every major speech, they each have something to say about his hair.


This interview was a lot of fun. There were times when Bongbong looked vulnerable, even wistful – when we asked about his sons going off to boarding school in England at a young age, and about things he remembers about his father. We also “bonded” over discussing the Lady Gaga concert. He loved it. So did I.


A few weeks before Sen. Marcos, we also had the Aquinos over – Bambam and former-Senator Butz. Here in photo is Mr. Willie Soong, owner of the luxury car showroom.


Doesn’t Bambam look so much like his uncle, Ninoy? Bambam is engaged to be married to his longtime girlfriend this year. There are also rumours that he’s considering running for Senate. He dispelled those rumours during the interview, saying he’s just focusing on social entrepreneurship.


Cita and me, shot by Cita’s niece, Bianca Araneta-Elizalde. While getting ready for the interview, Bianca played with my Olympus OM-D. She may have fallen in love with it because she bought one a week after.


I wore this navy silk jersey dress from K&Company. I was a bit charged with static from the carpet, haha. Earrings are my own creation (various semi precious stones), bracelet is the same one you’ve been seeing for months (pearls & rubies from India), and necklace is just made of rhinestones. Shoes are from Zara. This is the part when I say all my clothes during the shoots are from K&Company. Click here to see K&Company’s latest collections.


We had a fun interview with Bianca Araneta-Elizalde. As I said, she is Cita’s niece and I’ve known her for a while. It was great exchanging stories about our daughters – she also has three girls! Bianca is a full-time mom. She recently launched a maternity and nursing wear line called Eden.


Me and Vic Agustin. OK ba yung car sa background? Haha.


Very interesting guest – Michael Carandang, one of the producers of America’s Next Top Model. Michael was responsible for bringing Filipino talents like Michael Cinco, Bench and Francis Libiran to Tyra’s show.


Michael talked about his plans and wishes for working in the Philippine setting. He is so knowledgeable about producing talk shows and reality shows. His first job was with The Jerry Springer Show! Imagine that as a training ground? He then moved to the Tyra Banks show and then America’s Next Top Model.


Our group shot with Michael.


And now we pause for a Ferrari beauty shot.


I was a bit concerned about wearing big hair. But I adore Avril, our hairdresser. Complete trust.


Yes it is a bit strange that we are using the car showrooms as our set. But I love how unique it is. I especially love the street-level vibe. Complete with man-on-the-street vibe, as you’ll see in the next photo. We usually see a lot of doctors and nurses as this is just across St Luke’s. Wish we could stay here for the whole year.


I wore another comfortable jersey dress from K&Company. This has a Missoni-esque print. Oops, my earrings are still the same semi-precious stones I wore at the Bianca Elizalde interview. Note to self: rotate stuff. My huge cuffs are a gift from my friend Katherine. They’re Marni x H&M. Too bad the shoes can’t be seen. I dressed down the look by wearing jelly shoes (wedges) from Melissa.


This is that K&Company dress I posted about in my coral story. I kept it even busier by piling on my necklaces – Fenton&Fallon x J. Crew and my hefty rock crystal “gems” set in white gold. I made that a couple of years ago. I would think twice about making another one now because the price of gold is just so high. Sigh. Earrings, I made those too. Well, at least I designed them. You’ve seen them before. Oooh, this is that “magnetic coral” lipstick I raved about in the same coral story.


I have to say that I love working with my co-hosts Vic and Cita. I learn a lot from them in the hours we spend during taping – their wisdom, experience and their enthusiasm for tv interviews. This is the first time for both Vic and Cita to host a talk show. The team behind the show is a lot of fun as well. We’ve got a great group.


Our next episode will feature lovely newlyweds Paolo Trillo and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.


Rissa is seven months pregnant. I know! She looks GREAT!!!


Paolo, Rissa and the Cocktales gang.


Earlier on we also had the children of National Artist-elect Francisco Manosa – Bambi, Dino and Gelo who are all in the business of design and architecture.


My second episode on Cocktales was with the controversial fashion designer Puey Quinones about second and third chances. He mentioned trying his hand at catering now. Here I wore a Tiffany-blue jersey wrap dress from K&Company. I stuck to classics and wore my white south sea pearl strand and studs.


Whew, that was a lot of photos and captions. Hope you liked them. Watch Cocktales this Sunday 9:30pm, Aksyon TV41. We also air internationally through TV5 International.




VIDEO: Daphne x Bench by MN8 Studio



Here’s another wonderful video coverage of the launch of my home scent line for Bench. It was produced by MN8 Studios, which also specializes in wedding and event photography and videography.

I love how they captured the details and the mood of the event. Hope you like it…


Bench / Daphne Home Scents 2 from Marty Ilagan on Vimeo.



VIDEO: Launch of Daphne Home Scents for Bench™



Here’s what happened at the launch of my home scent line for Bench™. Hope you can view this video…





My dad’s 50 years of flying



It’s going to be a huge day. My dad is celebrating his 50th anniversary at the Philippine Air Force Flying School in Fernando Air Base, Lipa, Batangas.

A milestone. The members of the Class of 1962 will be there with their families – all of us proud and honouring our dads who’ve had very interesting flying careers. But of course in my eyes, I will only be seeing my dad’s face marching among the many graduates of the Air Force. He is our hero, our star, our Superman. He flew. And he had superpowers.

Through the fifty years of his being a military pilot, he survived it not only with flying colours but with dignity and honour. I am proud to say that my dad is an honest man. I feel like I have to say it because this is a paragraph with the word “military” in it.

I will be emotional tomorrow. That’s a given. I’m a daddy’s girl.

But that’s not the only reason there will be tears. I am reminded of the dark period when my dad was a victim of a harsh system and an unfair judgement. His is a story you would never have heard about because his name wasn’t big enough to be of public interest. (Except now, his name is in Carlos Celdran’s Livin’ La Vida Imelda). My dad’s case wasn’t a scandal. It was an effect of 1986 but it wasn’t about politics. It was simply an administrative fiasco that had a huge effect in our lives. Like, we lost our country overnight. My dad lost his rank at the peak of his career. And from what I saw, he lost the sparkle in his eyes.

But my dad’s strength of character was unwavering. During the many years of feeling exiled in a foreign land, all he wanted was to go home and finish serving his country. He fought for his rights. It was complicated. A few people helped. In 1997, he accomplished his task. And I was beside him though the journey. He got what he wanted and deserved – his clean name with a clean conscience and even cleaner, empty pockets.

My dad officially retired from the Air Force with the rank of full Colonel with a humble plot of land he paid off during his career. No luxury vehicles. No mansion. Like I said… honest. And happy.


Dad, Air Force
In the early days of his active service in the military, my dad was a rescue pilot.


Dad, Air Force
He then flew as a helicopter pilot assigned to President Diosdado Macapagal. And he eventually stayed on in the presidential wing as helicopter pilot of President Ferdinand Marcos from the 60’s to 1983.


Dad, Air Force
Here’s one of his “superhero” photos taken in a rural area. I love old photographs.


Dad, Air Force
Another photo from the 1960’s. His military career was focused on flying helicopters. At one point he was the comptroller of 700th Special Mission Wing (Presidential). It was the 1970’s then, and they were acquiring many new aircrafts. Very exciting times for the young pilots.


My dad in a helicopter used in Korean War
This is the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw. It is now in the PAF Museum near Resorts World.


Presidential Pilots with IRM & FM in Baguio
The presidential pilots with First Lady Imelda Marcos and President Marcos.


First Lady inaugurating the Puma (helicopter)
This was in the early 80’s. First Lady Imelda Marcos inaugurating the new PUMA helicopter.


My dad and Sammy Davis Jr
Dad got to fly heads of states and royalty (seriously). And other famous visitors like Sammy Davis Jr. In the background, Elvira Manahan.


Dad, Air Force
Dad as a civilian pilot in Canada.


Dad, Air Force
This photo brings us back to 1962, on the day when a young man from Quezon Province achieved his childhood dream of becoming a pilot. He did that… and more.


Some of the dads didn’t make it out of the Air Force. Mine did.

And he got the sparkle back in his eyes.

That’s a big gift. Thank you God.