Auction for Action: Experience Packages

UNICEF Auction for Action small

In addition to the amazing art and design pieces in Auction for Action, we’ve also put together some unique experience packages that bidders would definitely enjoy. Check these out:


Blue from American Express
If you win this bid, you get the chance to hang out with your favourite Azkals… in the dugout. Hello! Bid!!!


Antonio’s is my favourite restaurant.

Antonio's 2010
If you win this bid you get a full dinner for 4 persons.

And Chef Tonyboy Escalante will prepare something special just for your group.

Chef Tonyboy Escalante
Chef Tonyboy is an old friend of mine. He’s such a great host. It helps that he calls me his “lucky charm.” And when I asked him for a donation to Auction for Action, he was very very game.

Steak tartare. Yumm.

Antonio’s is our peg for our dream weekend house.

I hope you consider bidding for these packages. There are more items up for bidding, this is just a preview. Auction for Action goes live in on May 25, 2011. Counting on you to please spread the word.

Thank you.


Auction for Action: Reg Yuson

UNICEF Auction for Action small

How many times have I written about my love for public art and open spaces? When I was an urban planning student at the University of Toronto and an intern at Toronto City Hall, I found out that Toronto had a by-law stating every new property development had to have 1% of either the land area or the cost of the project go towards public art. It was no wonder that all buildings in downtown Toronto had great sculpture pieces — ones you can touch, climb, sit on, experience. We need more of that in Manila.

Art Gallery of Ontario
In Toronto, this is my favourite monumental sculpture — by Henry Moore.

Henry Moore sculpture
Another Henry Moore, this one in Boston, at the M.I.T. campus. The date, 2002. Bagets!

In Manila, I think Reg Yuson is one of the most brilliant sculptors we have. His monumental pieces are witty and have become icons in our landscape. I wish to see more Reg Yuson sculptures around Metro Manila. At yesterday’s press briefing for Auction for Action, I was asked which was my favourite piece. As founder of the event and curator of the collection, I felt it was inappropriate for me to answer. Besides, I am a fan of all the artists to begin with. And I personally own some of their work already. But one artist remains in my bucket list. I’ve discussed this with my husband before. I want a Reg Yuson sculpture in our front “yard”. I really do. Imagine, a Filipino bahay-na-bato with an art piece that’ll make you smile or make you go hmmm everytime you see it. I want!

Sound sculpture at High Street, by Reg Yuson
Been a fan of Reg Yuson since I found out he did this. It’s called “Hearsay” and it’s located at Bonifacio High Street. This is me and Soph when she was just 3.

Soph whispering inside the "sound sculpture"
A wider shot of Reg’s “Hearsay.” You whisper on one end, and your message will be received by someone at the other end… but not exactly the tube on the same axis. It’s like a game.

This sculpture is so interesting
Who hasn’t had their photo taken in this sculpture? It’s called “Specific Gravity.” An awesome landmark.

Reg Yuson's "Who's Afraid of Yellow"
This was Reg’s piece at Bo Concept’s party in 2009. He calls it “Who’s afraid of yellow?” I wonder if this had a political meaning. Found it witty though.

So needless to say, I am a fan of Reg Yuson. And I am so thrilled that he donated not just one but two pieces. Mozzarella and R. Muck & Du Paint. Please take the time to read the descriptions that go along with the photos. The Mozzarella (set of two) are actually seats made of foam.


Reg Yuson "Mozzarella"
OMG they do look like mozzarella cheese!

Furniture sculpture.

The Mozzarella cast foam furniture sculpture series was developed for over a year of constant trial and errors. Several mixtures were tested before coming up with the right foam density to ensure comfortable seating for long periods of time. With an innate interest in combining art and design, form and function, as well as understanding materials and processes, Yuson challenges himself with the concern of using the natural properties of materials as a crucial component in his creations.

Cast foam is a process that is not commonly used by furniture makers in the Philippines. The Mozzarella name came about when Yuson was exploring the raw materials for a foam seat concept and saw the process of making molded foam. It starts as a thick liquid mixture then poured to set inside the mold. As the material sets, the foam expands to assume the form of the mould and then you have a product. The foam sets into a solid form and later becomes yellowish in color, like that of the Mozzarella cheese.

Initial sales of the Mozzarella seats started in Singapore last year and will be sold in Manila after it’s launch sometime June of this year. It will ba a limited production series per mold.


Auction for Action goes live in on May 25, 2011. Counting on you to please spread the word.

Thank you.


*Edited May 18, 2011 5:30 pm

Auction for Action: It’s official


Today we had our official press briefing for Auction for Action, the design auction I helped put together with our UNICEF team. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this has been in my heart and mind for the past couple of months. The easiest part of doing something like this was asking the donor artists and designers. I have amazing friends who happen to be “ROCKSTARS” of the design world. It was humbling to receive answers like “yes ofcourse”, “for you, anything” and “thank you for giving me the chance to help children through UNICEF.” All of them answered in an instant.

As promised I will be blogging about all the auction pieces leading up to May 25. That’s when our eBay site will go live. Please bookmark: The auction is open to everyone from anywhere in the world. I’ll be sharing stories about the artists, their work and how I know got to know them.

I am very nervous about the auction. This is a first for all of us. First high-profile fundraising event for UNICEF. First auction for all of us. We are relying on friends in media to spread the word. I will need your help — please repost and retweet info about the online auction. Especially when the site is up on May 25.

Here are the official catalog pages of the artists/works I mentioned in last post. I will be doing this in a few batches as some pieces are still trickling in.

u-orlina u-kennethcobonpuelamp u-kennethcobonpue u-debbiepalao u-benji reyes u-vitoselma u-firma u-itokish u-daphnefurniture

Before I end, I’d like to tell my parents (they read my blog regularly and follow me on Twitter)… Mom, Dad I have put my education to good use again. My specialist in Art History finally makes sense. My years in Pi Beta Phi focusing on philanthropy also came in handy. Yay! Look at the salutation of the official event invite…


Tod’s D bag

Tod's D bag
Used my Tod’s D bag in a recent trip to Hong Kong…

At D&G last night with @TheBagHag
… where Ingrid and I did a lot of eating and fashion events… Here we were at the Dolce & Gabbana boutique in th Landmark mall-wide event.

I’m really loving the Tod’s D bag – it’s beautiful, light, roomy. I have tendency to over use and abuse my bags. So brands like Mulberry and Tod’s are perfect for me.

Credit, or should I say blame, goes out to Ingrid who introduced me to the bag. She’s of course The Bag Hag – my personal (and everyone’s) luxury bag expert. She covered the Tod’s D bag retrospective last month, here. And during her last travels, she carried a beautiful purple Tod’s D bag, here.

Kate Middleton Tods D Bag
This photo did it for me. Haha. Kate Middleton and her D bag.

I had to have the exact same bag. The reason the bag is called “D” is because of Princess Diana. It was one of her favorite bags. Tod’s renamed the classic after her death. Read more here.

Auction for Action … for the benefit of UNICEF

Princess Beatrice Royal Wedding Hat by Philip Treacy

As you all know by now, the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding is currently being auctioned in ebay. As of press time, there are 51 bids and the latest one is at 15,700 GBP (I can’t find the currency symbol in my keyboard). That’s almost 25,500 USD. There are five more days left. Anyone want to guesstimate?

I think it’s so cool of Princess Beatrice to do this. She seems to have a great sense of humour for wearing that hat. This must have been planned all along. She set up The Little Bee Initiative for the purpose of raising funds for her chosen charities – all funds raised from the sale of this item will be spilt equally between, UNICEF UK and Children in Crisis.

I love her even more for supporting UNICEF.

princess beatrice auction

Meanwhile, back in the homefront, I have been working with the UNICEF team to conceptualize an event that would raise funds for UNICEF Philippines. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’d have heard of the online design auction I’ve been trying to help organize for UNICEF. We have our media briefing and preview today. And I wanted you, my readers to also get a preview.

For months I’ve been asking my friends in design to donate towards an auction for the benefit of UNICEF. The asking part was the easiest. 99% of the artists and designers I asked said yes in an instant – by text, phone, Facebook and Twitter. I am so humbled by their generosity and willingness to help the children. And these generous people are all top-calibre artists, internationally-known, award-winning, highly-in demand. These are artists I’ve met throughout my 14-year career on TV. My head spun that first week – it was like I had a list of favourite things from my favourite creative people. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to ask for help. The rest of the hard work is being done by the UNICEF team. It has been many days and nights of coordination, planning and logistical problem-solving. And we’re not even halfway through.

UNICEF Philippines is launching its first fundraising online auction entitled Auction for Action: A UNICEF Fundraising Online Auction to benefit children’s programs in the Philippines and worldwide ( goes live on 25 May 2011). This unique online auction in partnership with Ayala Malls, and Cibo brings together works of reputable artists in art, design, furniture, fashion, jewellery and photography along with exciting experiential packages.

Featured artists are: Manny Baldemor, Michael Cacnio, Celestina, Seb Chua, Kenneth Cobonpue, Araceli Limcaco Dans, Kristine Dee, Janina Dizon, Tom Epperson, Accessory Lab, Ito Kish, E. Billy Mondoñedo, Ramon Orlina, Debbie Palao, Ling Quisumbing Ramilo, Benji Reyes, Popo San Pascual, Vito Selma, Paul Syjuco, Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre of FIRMA/Felicity, Reg Yuson, and UNICEF Special Advocate for Children, Ms. Daphne Oseña Paez.

Galerie Joaquin artists such Jovan Benito, Jomar Delluba, Hamzah Marbella, Dominic Rubio and Juvenal Sanso are also participating.

Experiential packages include dinner by Chef Tonyboy Escalante of Antonio’s and dugout experience with the Philippine Football Team or Azkals on July 3 at the World Cup qualifier in Manila.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin shares, “This is a first for UNICEF Philippines. Our partnership with acclaimed artists via online auction helps us engage the public in a new and interesting way. As well as raising important funds for our work, we will be able to raise awareness of important issues affecting children in the most disadvantaged communities of the Philippines and worldwide.”

Here are some of the pieces donated by my generous friends. This is an incomplete list. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
Kenneth Cobonpue’s Harry. I love this quirky stool. I’ve been wanting to order this. I may just bid for it and save on shipping. I want this in my walk-in closet. It’s a little stool that rocks, so the kids can ride on it like a saddle. If you’re a Cobonpue fan, now is your chance to own one. There are two Cobonpues in this auction. The other one is a lamp called Boomtown which is similar to his Little People lamp.

In a couple of weeks we're going to have to give up this Cobonpue cradle
We have many Cobonpues at home. At one point Kenneth told me that my house looked like his showroom. Haha. We are hoarding for our future weekend home, you see. But my most favourite piece is Le Petit Voyage, the cradle me made (and specially tweaked) for Stella Margarita. For more on my Cobonpue stories, go here.

Silya ni Noel 2009
Benji Reyes’ Silya ni Noel. Benji designed this in 2007 in memory of his brother USAF MSGT Severino L. Reyes who passed away that year.

Interviewing Benji Reyes
I am a huge fan of Benji’s work – the clean lines, the use of old wood in different varieties, the architecture and engineering that goes into each piece, and most of all the way the pieces feel – they’re all comfortable and ergonomic. I know because I bought one of his chairs. This photo was taken one of the many times I went to his house/showroom.

Mr Ramon Orlina donated a stunning piece called A Mother’s Enduring Love. I will post a photo of it when I have one. This photo was taken days before I gave birth to Stella. I visited Mr. Orlina’s atelier and saw how complicated and difficult his art was. He was the first to carve figures out of glass using the cold method. He created improvised tools and machines to cut, grind and polish glass. I was a bit shy to ask Mr Orlina to donate a piece. He had just surprised me on my birthday with my first Orlina sculpture. But he was quick to commit and help UNICEF programs for children. Here are some of the blog entries I wrote about Ramon Orlina.

Ito Kish created this whimsical lamp called Tweet. Ito and I go way back. He designed the renovation of our downstairs. And to this day I am so grateful for the work he did there. Our family room is so relaxing. For more about Ito in this blog, click here.

Vito Selma’s Geo. I discovered Vito’s work through Ito Kish. Fell in love with his pieces. I even used a Geo as the backdrop of one of my photos for the UZ opening billboard. The actual piece he donated is made of wood and silverleaf finish. More on Vito Selma here.

Photos by Marty Ilagan
This photo was taken when I was pregnant with Stella. There are three Vito Selma tables stacked on top of each other. Photo by Marty Ilagan at Ito Kish Store.

Maze  DTO-1414B
Debbie Palao’s Maze table. Debbie actually donated two Maze tables – one coffee table and the other one a dining table! I am so touched by Debbie’s work. I just met her husband at the Cebu Next show last April. I was one of the judges and I fell in love with all her pieces.

CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
With my fellow Mugna Awards judges at Debbie Palao’s booth. Check out her website. You’ll be amazed.

Again, this is an incomplete list of donor artists. I will be posting more stories about the design pieces in the next few days leading up to May 25. I will feature every item we have.

I know that a lot of people recognize UNICEF’s valuable work in children’s rights, but few realize that UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to support its work on the ground. I’ve helped them educate moms all over the country on maternal health, mortality and breastfeeding. This time, I want to help UNICEF raise awareness and funds for all their other goals: providing children with health care, access to safe water and sanitation, education, and protection from violence, abuse and exploitation.

I am also donating this piece for the auction. This is the Daphne armchair made of kiln-dried mahogany wood. As with all my Daphne furniture pieces, the finishing of the wood is very unique. This piece would work with any kind of interiors – whether modern, conceptual or traditional. It’s a comfy armchair.

UNICEF focuses on reaching the poorest, most disadvantaged families in the Philippines, and through our partners we work and advocate to ensure children grow up healthy, go to school, are protected from harm and develop to reach their full potential. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals like yourself (as well as corporations and governments) to fund its programmes for children.

Watch out for Auction for Action on May 25 (at