Auction for Action Catalog



Auction for Action 2012 Catalogue
The auction catalog is now available online through this Flickr album.

Bloom Easy Armchair lime green
Bloom, by Kenneth Cobonpue


Auction for Action 2012 Catalogue62


Keep track of all the updates through the UNICEF Philippines website. Auction goes live October 1 to 7.







UNICEF Auction for Action





I hosted the press preview of UNICEF’s 2nd Auction for Action last Thursday. This is the culmination of months of work I did with the UNICEF fundraising and communications team.

As with last year, I simply asked my artist and designer friends who were all very generous in donating their precious works. This year we have over 80 pieces from the most creative Filipino artists and designers, double of last year’s pieces. Last year we raised over P1.4 million in a 7-day online auction. This year I hope we meet our target.

In the next couple of weeks I will share some anecdotes about some of the pieces donated. We added new and exiting objects and genres.  I will also Tweet and share some images on my Instagram @DaphneOP. But don’t worry if you can’t keep track of all my activities because  in a few days, all the pieces will be revealed in an online catalog so you can see them ahead before the auction opens on October 1st in Ebay Philippines.


With Angela Travis, Chief of Communication and Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines.


Willibald Zeck, UNICEF’s Chief of Health and Nutrition is also an artist at heart. He painted “Playing in Circles” which is part of Auction for Action.


During the event I wore this strand of golden south sea pearls donated by Jewelmer. This exquisite strand will be up for auction! So if you’ve always dreamt of owning a strand of Jewelmer pearls but were intimidated with the price (being the “top of the line” south sea pearls worldwide), now is your chance to get one. The minimum bid price will surprise you. I fell in love with this piece.


Topaz Horizon‘s Frances Amper snapping a photo of Michael Cacnio’s Fly Up.


Bloggers checking out Debbie Palao‘s Crayola bench.


That is Vito Selma’s table called Square. A glimpse of Debbie Palao’s chair, Pout. The white round figures with legs on top of Vito’s table are called “Garapata” by Dex Fernandez from Secret Fresh Gallery. Lots of sculptures behind me. I’m covering the amber-coloured glass sculpture by Orlina. It’s lovely. And yes, I have a Daphne® chair also part of the auction.


With my UNICEF family. They insisted I sit 0n Ito Kish‘s award-winning Gregoria chair. I was very very sick this day (I’m still a bit sick now). The kind of sick that should have kept me curled up in bed with a sick face on. My bones and muscles were in so much pain. But nothing was going to keep me from being there to see this event launch. It’s amazing what a bit of hydration and strong will can do.


Auction for Action is one of the fun ways we can make an impact in the lives of children in the Philippines. We try to make it a win-win for everyone. Filipino creativity gets highlighted. There is awareness about children’s issues. And bidders can potentially get a piece at below market price (though we really hope to raise a lot of money, so please bid, bid, bid).

Proceeds all go to fund UNICEF programs in the Philippines. Most of the furniture pieces, special objects and sculptures are donated by the artists in full. Some paintings are partially donated through galleries. We are not having a public event or launch party… we figured, it would be best to save from spending. So everything is happening online to cut on costs and raise more money for kids.

Please check for more details.

All photos ©UNICEFPhilippines/2012/K.Palasi







UNICEF Breastfeeding Stories in Taguig


August is Breastfeeding Month. I meant to share this story weeks ago, but the storms and floods got me off focus. I went on a UNICEF site visit to Taguig a few weeks ago to see their breastfeeding program.

We chose Taguig over other cities or municipalities because in a recent survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Taguig recorded an increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates from 68 to 73 percent. We wanted to see for ourselves how they did it. Taguig is the perfect example of a community that upholds a breastfeeding culture. Through the combination of effective laws and policies that promote and protect breastfeeding, supportive local leaders, health service providers and family members, as well as activities that reach out to mothers and their babies, any community can ensure the best start for its children.

Before going on field we met with Taguig’s Mayor Lani Cayetano. She told me that it doesn’t really take much to support a breastfeeding program in a city or municipality. “In terms of funding, not much. However, it does take a lot of heart and commitment from everyone, from the mayor to the councilors, down to the barangay captains and community health workers and volunteers,” Mayor Cayetano said. It is also cost-effective in the long term. The more breastfeeding mothers there are, the healthier their children and citizens will turn out to be. This means fewer people seeking medical treatment in the long run.


This is the breastfeeding lounge in the Taguig Municipal Hall. It goes beyond a basic breastfeeding room with a sofa and fridge. It has a massage chair, mini kitchen, lots of seating, a TV…


… and a play and learn area for toddlers. I wish all companies and malls had something like this.


Taguig City also recently started to implement the Department of Health’s TSEK Program – short for Tama, Sapat at Eksklusibo – to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates among mothers and infants up to six months old. The TSEK program receives crucial support from the World Health Organisation through the joint UN programme to tackle infant and child nutrition, and from the Government of Spain and the European Union. Local NGOs such as Arugaan also lend assistance by transferring breastfeeding knowledge and counselling skills to the breastfeeding peer counsellors.


UNICEF’s Angela Travis and I with Mayor Lani Cayetano and her municipal health team. We then proceed to do our rounds in Taguig


I gave a brief talk about my experience as a breastfeeding mom. All my daughters are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and complementary breastfed (with solids) up to 12 months.


Please allow me to give a little explanation about exclusive breastfeeding. “Exclusive” breastfeeding means babies from birth to 6 months are fed only mother’s milk, and nothing else, not even water. It has many benefits for both the infant and mother. Studies show that breastfeeding exclusively is the best way to feed a baby, providing all the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding also contributes to the health and well-being of mothers–it reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer and helps space pregnancies. Best of all, it promotes mother and child bonding. After six months, nutritious and safe complementary food can be given but breastfeeding is still encouraged for up to two years and beyond.


Mothers and fathers waiting for their turn to see the doctors.


Here is a lovely seven-day old baby getting her shots. Warning, there are a lot of baby photos in this post. I love babies!


Click, click, click… to see more of Taguig’s successful breastfeeding program.


The Robredo Effect



I can’t believe August is almost over. So much has happened this month – the storms, the floods and the tragic death of Secretary Jesse Robredo. I have said so much in Twitter and Facebook, but words are never enough to express this great loss for our country. Secretary Robredo was able to achieve so much of what good governance is all about — something seemingly so impossible in 99% of this country. But he did it. He could have done more. I am grieving.

I met Sec Robredo through UNICEF this year. And even before I met him, his reputation preceded him within the international development circles. UNICEF always spoke highly of him and I finally had the honour of meeting him at the launch of the Children in an Urban World event which I hosted. Before he spoke about child-friendly municipalities he told us the important role of parents, specially mentioning his wife Leni, in providing a safe and healthy environment for children. He said his wife could have done a lot in development but focused on raising their three daughters at home. I thought that was so remarkable and it needed to be said.

Even the organization I used to work with in Canada before joining Philippine media in the late 90’s also mourns his death. Here is the statement of the Canadian Urban Institute. He was a supportive partner and ally. Urban planning and international development was my field before switching to Philippine media. In the years I worked as project manager of the CUI, I had never really seen a true success story in good governance. I’m not singling out the Philippines situation here. I worked in Mexico and managed programs in the Baltic states and Vietnam as well. I felt like everything I learned in urban planning just had to remain theoretical outside of Canada. It was frustrating. I quit. But Jesse didn’t.

Now that we’re learning about what Jesse Robredo achieved as Mayor of Naga which led to his winning the Asian Nobel Peace Prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, we’ve seen that it can all be done — transparency, no corruption, lower crime rate, a city run like an efficient business, citizens participating as stakeholders, no informal settlers and more. I don’t know when we can see another Robredo doing this in local government again.

But perhaps the deepest reason I am so affected by his death goes beyond the feeling of being orphaned and losing hope in what could have been a great leadership for our country. I am simply so so sad that Aika, Patricia and Jillian lost their most loving, dedicated and good dad. My heart goes out to the Robredo family. My deepest and most sincere condolences to Atty Leni and her daughters.