Debbie Palao



We have two hours left before Unicef Auction for Action closes. I am at the edge of my seat here. It has been so wonderful! Thank you for being part of this amazing non-event. Haha. We are hitting over P2 million pesos as I type this. And we didn’t even host an event, just a press briefing. This is proof that there are boundaries for art, design and willingness to help children. It’s universal.

I can’t keep still. So I’ll just try to tell stories.

This one is about Debbie Palao, furniture designer from Cebu. Debbie generously gave two pieces again this year. She is an avid supporter of Unicef Auction for Action. Thank you Debbie.


CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
This was Debbie’s booth at CebuNext furniture expo in 2011. She donated this red chair called Pout.


CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
I was one of the judges of Mugna Awards then. Loved all her pieces!


CebuNext Furniture Expo 2011
Here is a version of  Pout in off white. Really awesome piece!


Debbie in Elle Decor India.


Showing you Pout at the UNICEF Auction for Action press briefing. Bid here til 6pm (Philippine time) tonight.


This is Pout. Bid here til 6pm (Philippine time) tonight. Isn’t she lovely?


There is also this bench called Crayola in the auction. Don’t let the wooden pegs fool you. This bench is cushioned. So your little tushies will be comfy when you sit. And what better symbolizes childhood play and dreams than crayons?


Bid now. Two hours left.


Plet Bolipata and Elmer Borlongan



Last night I fell in love.

I was guest of honour at the gala opening of ManilART. A whole post on that after this.

I fell in love with the works of Elmer Borlongan and Plet Bolipata at the Boston Gallery’s booth. I’ve seen their works before. But never together in one spot. This is what I’ve been hungry for. That “feeling.” I’ll stop gushing because you’ll all think it’s crazy talk. Haha.

It is an honour to have a Bolipata and a Borlongan in this year’s UNICEF Auction for Action. Bidding continues until October 7. This is a rare chance to own their pieces way below gallery/market price. So please spread the word. Plet and Emong donated their works 100%. All proceeds go to UNICEF programs for kids in the Philippines.




“Cain and Abel. Baa Baa Black Sheep and Waa Waa White Sheep: Sibling Rivalry”, (H:63″, L: 94″, D: 29″, each). Behind it on the wall is a painting by Elmer Borlongan.


Owner of Boston Gallery, Dr. Joven Cuanang.


Half of the “Cain and Abel” story. This is “Waa Waa White Sheep: Sibling Rivalry”, (H:63″, L: 94″, D: 29″)


Cain and Abel
Here’s how they look like together. Complete madness! I love them. Photo from Plet Bolipata’s Facebook.


Brochure from a recent Alliance Francaise show – for husband and wife, Elmer and Plet


Public art galore! Adorable animal sculptures in Plet’s garden in Zambales. These were the lovelies in her show “imagiNATION” at Bonifacio Global City’s Offsite Gallery. Photo by Elmer Borlongan, from Plet’s Facebook.


Plet Bolipata
From Plet’s Facebook, her caption reads, “Ev’ry time we say goodbye, I die a little…” Goodnight, peeps. This little kitty cat wants to sleep. Photo by Elmer Borlongan


Plet donated the pink kitty cat to our UNICEF Auction for Action. Photo by Elmer Borlongan, from Plet’s Facebook.


And Elmer donated his work from 2006. He said he didn’t have enough time to paint something new that fit our theme “Play” so he gave a drawing from his archives. Convoy, Pastel on paper, 16.5 x 23 inches, 2006. (Apparently the original painting of this is owned by Karen Davila). It currently has the most bids among the lot, and it’s only Day 3. You can keep track here.


Black Hat in a Pink Kitty by Plet Bolipata. This is how it appears in the site. But this photo doesn’t quite give the piece justice.


Plet Bolipata
The scale, the proportion, the craziness. Please keep track of Plet’s Kitty Kat in the auction here.


This was the note Plet sent me a few weeks ago near our Auction deadline –

Dear Daphne

My parents, when they were younger and newly married, co-authored a book on stories of UNICEF which they published and distributed in public schools all over the Philippines. I grew up with this book so it sentimental for me to help in anyway possible.

I was able to finish one fiberglass resin kitty cat for the auction. Happiness!



Thank you, Plet. I want a piece of your world now. I want to see life through the eyes of a child. Lily, my 6 year old, just saw your photos and she was giddy! “It is the same sculptures from the park I went to.” Patrick took her to Bonifacio weeks ago. She wants to be an artist just like you. And she wants this pink kitty in her bedroom. Haha! Thank you for sharing your wonderland and for making a huge difference in the lives of children!







Baby Valencia’s corner


House of Baby Valencia, on Urban Zone
Back in 2008, I had the chance to spend a day in this beautiful cottage near Tagaytay. This is the home of artist Araceli Valencia. We all call her Tita Baby. She is the mother of fashion designer Rhett Eala. I met her through artist Popo San Pascual.


"grand staircase"
Her garden was endless. I was inspired by creative people like Tita Baby, Tita Sonya (of Sonya’s Garden), Tonyboy (of Antonio’s Restaurant) and Popo to one day own a part of this world and make a home in it.


at her garden
Her garden was so lush. And she had this special Medinilla sp. plant found in the jungles of Quezon province. According to my plant and wildlife expert friend Dr Rico Quimbo, “They’re not cheap. They’re all over the phiippines but the best and showy ones are in the Southern Tagalog area. Saw a truly resplendent representative in the Samar Island National Park.” I love our endemic vegetation.


House of Baby Valencia, on Urban Zone
Her cottage had a beautiful wrap-around porch.


Dining room Her cottage had an open plan. You see the dining area and sleeping quarters all under one roof.


Her bedroom, visible from the living and dining areas.


House of Baby Valencia, on Urban Zone
She surrounded herself with beautiful objects – both created by man and by nature.


Jasmine flowers from her garden.


Still Life
Washed up corals and antique dishes.


Her paint brushes
Her paint brushes.


One of her paintings
And just by her back porch hangs this beautiful painting. (Found this coincidentally! This photo is from 2008).


Baby Valencia A Corner in my Garden_ed
This is the same exact painting she donated to UNICEF’s Auction for Action. Baby Valencia’s “A Corner in My Garden”. Beautiful.


You can keep an eye out or bid on this painting at UNICEF’s Auction for Action here.







SC Vizcarra



The UNICEF Auction for Action went live today. We had a wonderful start. Some items are already flying off the charts. Some have surpassed my “internal limits” – I wanted to bid a few things too. I know many of you have different strategies for eBay. This is going to be so exciting. And for such a good cause!


At Mornings @ANC with Paolo Abrera promoting the launch of @unicefphils #auction4action now live at
I spent the morning as guest of Mornings @ANC promoting the auction while highlighting some pieces. You can log on to to see the over 80 items up for bid.


Town&Country nanna
Last Saturday I got a message from SC Vizcarra‘s Rita Nazareno. She asked if she could donate a bag like this. It was one day before auction. I accepted her offer.


Auction for Action 2012 Catalogue-p79
Here is the Nanna bag by SC Vizcarra. It is so well crafted, the bag is completely reversible! And I love the colour she gave.


Watch or bid on the Nanna bag here.







Jewelmer for Unicef



I’ve written about my love for Jewelmer many times. Some have asked if I am a Jewelmer endorser. Technically, no. I’ve never appeared in any of their ad campaigns. But Jewelmer was a major sponsor of F for many years. And that’s the depth of my relationship with their brand. Up to now, when I have special occasions, I can call on them and request to wear their pieces. I did just that last February during our informal F reunion.


With Cher Calvin, Angel Aquino and Amanda Griffin last February 2012. We were drowning (happily) in Jewelmer pearls.


Jewelmer spent the whole media day with us and adorned us in Philippine south sea pearls.


We were photographed by Jake Versoza.


Played dress up. My gown was by Hindy Tantoco. We were styled by Millet Arzaga and MAC Cosmetics team.


Golden south sea pearls never cease to amaze me. These are endemic to the Philippines. Thus, our National Gem.


OMG right?


They are just so stunning.


Designing something. But this golden baroque south sea pearl from Jewelmer is so beautiful as is..
My golden baroque south sea pearl from Jewelmer. I waited months before an idea came up for the setting. Technically this is a baroque pearl even though it looks almost perfectly round to me.


I had it set in 18k gold by Jewelmer using their Stella ring design. But I took out the diamonds on the sides. I wanted the pearl to appear suspended and naked.


This is what I did to my golden south sea pearl from @Jewelmer. I wanted the pearl to appear like it's floating. #happy
I always get complimented whenever I wear this ring. And it’s totally simple!


This is the strand of south sea pearls Jewelmer donated to UNICEF. This is how it appears in the catalog.


Beautiful golden south sea pearl strand from #Jewelmer. In the UNICEF #auction4action.
Here’s what it looked like on my Instagram.


And here’s what it looks like on me. I am falling in love with this strand. Photo by Kat Palasi 2012.


I can’t get over the fact that Jewelmer donated an entire strand of golden south sea pearls to UNICEF’s Auction for Action. I would love this piece to go way above market price to raise more funds for children. But you’ll never know how auctions turn out. You could end up with a strand that’s half the price of retail. Watch this piece on Monday…