Ilocos Norte Diaries 2

 

 

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Touchdown Laoag. I really like this idea of walking across the tarmac. It reminds me of my childhood.

 

Here is the next part of our Ilocos Norte Diaries. The reason we went to Ilocos Norte was to attend Himala Sa Buhangin. See the fabulous photos here. Now let me piece together stories from our four day trip.

 

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Laoag International Airport is beautiful

 

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Everything works – the aircon, conveyor belt, extra fans.

 

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The bathrooms are new and well-maintained. All stalls have rolls of toilet paper. There is proper (not watered-down) liquid hand soap at the lavatory. There’s even a sink for kids, also with hand soap. The hand dryer is working. There’s a separate bathroom for persons with disabilities. There’s a diaper changing table for infants. This is what all our local airports should be like.

 

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I love how those arched windows and local bricks reflect the heritage of Ilocano architecture. The airport looks great for something built in the early 80’s. Proof that a little maintenance can go a long way.

 

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Our Ilocos Norte adventures started in the sand dunes of Paoay. We stayed at a nearby private guest house.

 

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What do people wear in sand dunes? Shorts, cotton tshirts, head gear, slippers, sunglasses. Unless you are that man who is comfortable in jeans and running shoes. (I cannot imagine the heat and all that sand in the shoes). When we got there, I bought five “good morning” towels so all of us could ward off some dust. There were 4×4 races and other festivities during that weekend of Himala.

 

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Sand castle competition.

 

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We did our own 4×4 off-roading adventure.

 

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Then the Vice Mayor of Paoay saw us and treated us for a ride in his custom pink buggy. Of course the girls loved it!

 

This video shows what goes on in a 4×4 Ilocano adventure. I had not felt this alive in a very long time. (There was one adult for each of my kids while we went down the sand dunes. They loved it!)

 

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The morning of our departure, the kids went back to the sand dunes.

 

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Lily tried sand-boarding sitting down

 

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So did Soph.

 

I love this crazy video of Sophia attempting to do it standing …

 

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With “Superstar” Nora Aunor at the Himala presscon.

 

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The night of the Himala festival, those colourful tents were filled with people.

 

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Eliza and I went in comfortable clothing.

 

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I was presented with a Daphne® chair cupcake by a local baker Ava’s Cakes

 

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I’d never seen anything so intricate. Thank you Ava’s Cakes. I’m going to want this in my next/future event.

 

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Confession, the kids ate the cupcake but I kept the fondant Daphne chair.

 

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The lovely family of Ava’s Cakes.

 

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It was amazing to see the culmination of all the hard work and vision by the provincial team.

 

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Fire dancers

 

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Belly dancers

 

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Eliza and one of the Ilocos tour guides in the moshpit before a gazillion people came in.

 

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Word got out that Bamboo had arrived.

 

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Within seconds, the crowd thickened.

 

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To this.

 

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And this.

 

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It was amazing to see different genres of music and dance. I even heard Ilocano hiphop. Awesome. Kids were belly dancing!

 

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With Nicole of the Provincial office and Eliza. I have to say it was my first time to attend a party like this – in the middle of the desert sands of Paoay with awesome music and company. Now I can’t wait to do it again.

 

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So you think I had fun in Ilocos Norte?

 

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A little bit?

 

For information on Ilocos Norte Tourism check out www.tourismilocosnorte.com. Part One of my Ilocos Norte Diaries about Leeroy New’s art installation here. And the one about new developments and old favourites like Paoay church and Batac empanada here.

 

 

Last few hours…

 

 

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01  My Daphne chair. Bid here. I’ll throw in a meet and greet at the UNICEF office when you pick up the item.

02  Jewelmer’s Tutti Frutti south sea pearl earrings in 18 carat yellow gold with rose quartz, citrine and white topaz.

03  Ann Ong’s Binanig clutch. This piece won the Katha Award in 2012 Manila FAME. It kick-started Ann’s successful career as a designer, giving her three consecutive awards after winning with this piece.

04  Leeroy New’s Entropy. An amazing piece from a very significant contemporary artist whose works have been worn by Lady Gaga. Leeroy is a Visual Arts graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts and University of the Philippines Fine Arts.

05  New York-based designer Inigo Elizalde’s Tamaraw throw pillow.

06  Pete Jimenez’ Play it by Ear

 

Catch the last three hours of Unicef’s Auction for Action at www.stores.ebay.ph/unicefph

 

 

Auction is live

 

 

Auction for Action went live last Monday. The UNICEF team and I have been working on this for many months. These seven days are exciting and nerve wracking. We are hoping to raise P5 million for UNICEF to help fund the Supervised Neighbourhood Play program. We are so grateful for the generous support of almost 100 artists and designers. And thank you to all of you who tweet and share in Facebook links to the UNICEF Auction for Action site, www.ebay.ph/unicef. Those using mobile gadgets as opposed to laptops and desktop computers can view the auction site at http://stores.ebay.ph/unicefph.

Here are more photos from the #AuctionforAction press event at Yuchengco Museum lobby. I wanted to show the items so you can see the scale. Because we are totally an online event, the true beauty of the pieces may not be evident in the online catalog. You can see the pieces at Yuchengco Museum for free.

Where possible, I posted direct links to the auction site for the items I’m showing below. After October 27th, the links won’t be active anymore.

 

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The Kinks and Curls lamp by Vikki Rodriguez of Accessorias is made of many curled up rattan strips. You put them together by linking the strips into a hanging chain. It sort of reminds me of monkeys in a barrel.

 

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Some of the jewelry pieces. For a complete listing, click here.

 

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This Amaranthine beaded bag by Nicole Whisenhunt is stunning!

 

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Jewelmer’s Tutti Frutti earrings.

 

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Kristine Dee’s Summer Garden necklace.

 

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Collectors would love Elmer Borlongan’s Hari Sonik. We actually have this in our living room.

 

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Popo San Pascual’s Botanical I painting. This is so so stunning. Not Popo’s usual colourful mask series. This is

 

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Stanley Ruiz’ wheelbarrow chair, Sandra Gfeller’s oil painting “My Time Has Infinite Space“, and the Daphne Chair.

 

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Debbie Palao’s Nimbus and Vito Selma’s UN (One) cocktail table.

 

I played with a few collage layouts featuring some of the items as a group. I will be posting the rest in other days.

 

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1 Ripples 3 wall art by Triboa Bay

2 Tes Pasola’s paper sculpture James Bound

3 Betis Craft’s Hall Chair 1

4 Inigo Elizalde’s Tesoro Pillow

5 UN cocktail table by Vito Selma

 

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UNICEF Auction for Action Year 3

 

 

We held the press preview for my third UNICEF Auction for Action last week. Lots of new developments since we first started in 2011. I can’t believe that in the two times we’ve done it, we’ve raised over P4.5 million pesos all in online auctions. This year, I have a bigger goal. Will you help me raise P5 million?

Auction for Action started as a small idea between me, Angela Travis (then Head of Communications for Unicef Philippines) and the fundraising team. Initially I relied on goodwill from friends and relationships I cultivated after years of focusing on design. Now we have a full team organizing the auction and we have partners approaching us to help and get involved.

It is a huge honour for me to be given the chance to get all my great loves together in a project that means so well — my love for art, design, media and children. I am so grateful for the opportunity to curate another auction of this magnitude.

Since it is held in October again, we are honouring National Children’s Month, with Auction for Action 2013 bringing together over 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry. We are specifically raising funds to benefit a unique education program to provide children access to early learning: Supervised Neighborhood Play Program (SNP).

I had the chance to see Supervised Neighbourhood Play Program first hand when I visited Davao Oriental last March, 100 days after Typhoon Pablo devastated the area. There I saw a preschool teacher singing songs and acting out lyrics with her 5-year old students. It was the “raindrop song” – so simple yet so full of impact. These are kids who witnessed a scary storm that destroyed their town and killed people and animals. They need the raindrop song and other educational methods to help them cope with trauma.

This year’s Auction for Action will go live on ebay.ph/unicef on October 21 to 27. I will post links then. For now, feel free to read more here.

 

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This year, we partner with Yuchengco Museum, who not only hosted the site of our press preview but will also host the public preview everyday at the Yuchengco Museum lobby.

 

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This is my only shot of the Yuchengco lobby facade from the inside. It is accessible through RCBC tower in the ground floor. Admission to Unicef Auction for Action is free. You can see most of our auction items everyday up to 6pm except on Sundays.

 

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With me is Dr Willibald Zeck, UNICEF’s Chief of Health and Nutrition, who is also a published artist in Austria. He donated another one of his abstract works. Also in photo is Mr Tomoo Hozumi, Country Representative of Unicef. (The red painting is by Roceli Valencia, “Meditation in Red”. And the little guy is Hari Sonik by Elmer Borlongan).

 

I have to warn you that this blog post will overdose with photos of me. For some reason, that’s all I have in my camera and in the official camera. I promise to post detail product shots of the items at a later date.

A bit more about Supervised Neighborhood Play – It is a simple, low-cost and easy to organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours, every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and in informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.

 

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Dr Zeck presenting his abstract painting. Also seen in photo is Raymond Legaspi’s “The Sack Race” and Olivia d’Aboville’s “Liquid Heaven”

 

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Domicillo Mirror and Jinggoy Buensuceso’s Moth chair. We have two, in black and this marigold.

 

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Kinks and Curls lamp by Vikki Rodriguez for Accessoria.

 

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Stunning oil painting by my classmate from elementary, Sandra Fabie Gfeller, who is a celebrated artist. You can also see Stanley Ruiz’s Wheelbarrow. I have a Daphne Chair in the lot too. All the auction pieces come with a commemorative brass plate this year. See the man with the magnifying lens? He is looking at a miniature water colour by Gregory Raymond Halili.

 

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Foreground, Seb Chua sculpture. Olivia d’Aboville’s Anemone table lamp and behind me is Michael Cacnio’s Sweet. Candy Crush fans would love that one.

 

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TRANSFORMER earrings by Janina Dizon Hoschka. These dangling earrings consists of a brilliant cut blue topaz with green tsavorites and a pear shaped amethyst top in yellow silver. The middle part are bezel set amethysts with white sapphires in the double happiness symbol. Bottom danglers are made with icy blue amazonite drops in silver. These earrings can be worn five ways.

 

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Tomoo Hozumi checking out the detailing of Kawayan Tech’s bamboo bike. The world is catching on to this bamboo bike technology. Even Marc Jacobs designed one here.

 

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Mr Hozumi trying the Kawayan Tech bike. You can see in the background – Leeroy New’s Entropy, Hamzah Marbella’s Catching Fish , Dominic Rubio’s Father and Two Sons, Pete Jimenez’ Play it by Ear , and Manuel Baldemor’s Filipino Family.

 

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National Book Store donated 10 signed books. We’ve decided to auction them all individually. Stella wants to bid on the Eric Carle’s “The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.” You can see a beautiful carved ostrich egg lamp by artist Danny Rayos del Sol.

 

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And our major highlight, Kenneth Cobonpue’s sculpture Coral. Kenneth has not shown this piece to the public yet. It makes its debut here at Auction for Action. That gorgeous blue and white painting is by Popo San Pascual. He never fails to amaze me. The desk lamp is by Chito Vijandre and Ricky Toledo of Firma Makati.

 

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We have an impressive collection of jewelry and accessories from – Amina Aranaz, Kristine Dee, Paul Syjuco, Janina Dizon-Hoschka, Jewelmer Joaillerie, Joyce Makitalo, Ann Ong, Ana Rocha, SC Vizcarra and Nicole Whisenhunt.

 

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A closer look at Leeroy New, Kawayan Tech push bike for kids, Hamzah Marbella and Mitch Shivers’ Log-in.

 

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Grateful to Patty Laurel for attending the press preview with her lovely mom and sister. Thank you to my Bench family for my pretty dress from Karen Millen.

 

Bid for one-of-a-kind pieces from notable Filipino artists and designers and help make a difference for children. The auction goes live on October 21-27, 2013 at www.ebay.ph/unicef.

For a preview, visit www.unicef.ph or go to the Yuchengco Museum from October 3 to 26 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

This year’s auction is made possible through the generous participation of the Philippine Star, Yuchengco Museum, Summit Media, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, EBay Philippines, Citem and Manila Fame.

 

 

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

 

 

I’ve been getting tagged on Twitter and Instagram by people who’ve seen the DAPHNE® Chairs at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery. The photos all looked so adorable that I had to see the place for myself. Over Christmas, I made arrangements with the owner to visit the Glorietta branch. It is located on the second floor of the new part of Glorietta near the walkway to SM. The place stood out in all its cuteness.

 

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This was three days before Christmas. Patrick, the girls and I did some last minute shopping. Soph and Lily were so happy to take a break from the mad rush.

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Bakery had the most adorable and feminine kitchen. We were here to see the decor and use of DAPHNE Chairs as much as to taste the cupcakes. Neither disappointed.

 

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The place was decorated like a playhouse version of grandma’s kitchen. There were tea and baking paraphernalia.

 

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The girls loved all the details. Sophia said, “This is so me! A little bit Cath Kidston with DAPHNE chairs.” She went on about her love for vintage and feminine decor.

 

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I was so giddy to see many DAPHNE Chairs in one space, all being used.

 

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A lot of my Twitter and Instagram followers have mentioned that all my chairs had the logo plaque — a sign of authenticity (because yes, these have been faked and copied. Tsk!).

 

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All the DAPHNE Chairs in Vanilla Cupcake Bakery are authentic. The owner bought them in Dimensione.

 

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I wish I had this many of my chairs in my own home.

 

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I love the mix of different chairs and sofas.

 

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An orange one from the 2012 collection.

 

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We weren’t able to get a seat, the irony. And we didn’t really have the time to sit around. So I don’t have detailed photos of the cupcakes.

 

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But let me tell you, they’re all good – moist, soft, smooth.

 

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The owner gifted me with a beautiful box of 12 cupcakes. The girls chose their cupcakes based on colour and design.

 

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Lily fell in love with the place. And the cupcakes. So did I… and I don’t usually like sweets.

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is located at Glorietta and Trinoma. Other branches will be opening soon.