Smart + Cool: How I manage energy consumption at home

Smart Cool

We have turned into people who talk about the weather every single day. In Manila, this is the constant talk now. “It’s so hot!” and “Ang init.” Granted that we’ve been in the middle of summer, but really, it just seems to get hotter every year.

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I’m sure all of you in Manila can relate to this. How hot has it been in the city the past month? Look at the Accuweather report for May 2018. In reality it felt like a degree or two higher. It has been incredibly hot. For reference, 35 degrees Celsius is 95 degrees Farenheit — just 5 degrees away from boiling point. Source: Accuweather

If you’ve been following me on social media you know how I’ve been posting about my guilt-free use of aircon at home. Since December 2016, we have changed our units to inverter-type air conditioners. I can’t be too technical here. Basically inverter airconditoner units have a compressor that operates at high speed in order to cool the room quickly. When the desired temperature is reached, the compressor slows down, maintains same temperature, and saves energy (cost). A non-inverter aircon runs at fixed speed, so it costs you more.

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This is our Klarwind inverter air conditioner from Carrier. We got it in December 2016. It keeps our family room nice and cool. I love how the design is lipstick-thin, it didn’t obstruct the balance of our two elephant lamps.

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That is the Carrier wall-mounted split-type inverter air conditioner in our bedroom. The kids have the same one in their bedroom.

Air-conditioning units are no longer a luxury in the Philippines. Its become a necessity. Since we changed our units to inverter-type air-conditioners in our bedrooms, kitchen, living room and family room, we have noticed the dip in our monthly electrity bills. There was one month where we paid one-third (1/3) of what we spent the year before, with the same amount of use. It was my wish to eventually change the units in our guest room and study from a regular window-type aircon to an inventor. My wish came true and more after I hosted the press conference of Smart + Cool.

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With Mr. Raul Joseph A. Concepcion, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Concepcion Industrial Corporation at the launch of Smart + Cool.

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Mr Concepcion, introducing the Carrier Smart + Cool System.

The Carrier Smart + Cool is a system (Carrier Window Room AC + Smart+Cool Plug + Smart+Cool App) that uses a cool plug attached to your Carrier window air conditioner unit. It helps you to manage your air conditioner usage via a mobile app. It allows you to schedule your air-conditioner to turn on and off when you want it to. You can turn your unit on or off from even from a distance by remote. One of the most interesting functions of the Smart + Cool is it lets you track and monitor your electrical consumption in both peso amount or kilowatt usage. You can actually set a daily, weekly, or monthly budget limit and the app will let you know once you’re hitting your limit. This is a game-changer in smart appliances! Imagine, no more bill shock or guessing games!

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The day finally came when our new window-type Carrier inverter aircons for the guest room and study were delivered and installed.

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Since our house is old, and it already has existing window holes for air conditioners, we kept the model as a window-type and not the split-type wall mounted. The good thing is, this uses inverter technology – environmentally friendly, low electricity consumption, five-year compressor warranty. And that’s not even the most news-worthy part. Let me show you how Smart + Cool works.

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The Smart + Cool app allows you to control and manage your Carrier airconditioning unit from anywhere you are. You can turn it on or off when you’re on the road, or you’re at work. And it lets you track the consumption in either kilowatt or peso. I chose peso. Easier for me, budgeting-wise. But I can easily switch view to see actual energy consumption.

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The dashboard lets you control your aircon unit.

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Like yesterday, I turned on the aircon while I was out for a lunch party. I texted our the kids at home and told them to move to the guest room. The guest room is actually also my husband’s mancave. In the summer months it is the coolest place in our home. This way I didn’t have to turn on the air con in the family room.

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Here’s what it looks like on daily view. It shows that the day before, it cost us P85. And today, our running tab was at P53. I told the kids I wouldn’t let it go beyond P100 per day (for day-use, overnight is another budget limit). I’d be curious to track our consumption over night. But like I said, this is the guest room. Hmm perhaps we should do a sleep over.

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You can also schedule Maintenance Alert. A lot of consumers actually tend to disregard cleaning and maintain their air conditioners. It is so important to be on top of aircon cleaning. Our units are cleaned every six month. For our new window-type inverter unit, we haven’t set up the Smart + Cool app to do the maintenance alert yet. Note to self, set it up. This way, it’ll send me a message reminding me to have my unit cleaned… and Carrier will actually call or text me for a schedule. I love it.

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Basically that’s what it looks like on the wall. You see the Smart + Cool plug on the wall.

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This is the app looks like in Real Time.

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All that from a little cube plug that makes cooling your home so convenient and intelligent.

It’s only been a week since we’ve been using the Smart + Cool System, and I absolutely love it. With this, I can have total control of our new Carrier window-type air-conditioning unit. It has made the management of our air-con much easier. I appreciate the features of the Smart + Cool System by remote, like the on-off facility, scheduler, maintenance service, consumption manager, and real-time chat with customer service.

Watch my Instagram and Facebook page for more and current posts about how Smart + Cool has improved my life, our home, and our genuine family time. For more information Smart + Cool.

#WelcometoIntelligentCooling #CarrierSmartCool

Global Views

 

 

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Julia Buckingham for Global Views

 

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the opening of Global Views, a luxurious furniture shop in Ayala Vertis North Mall. Global Views is a US home decor wholesale company with showrooms and distributors across the US, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and now Manila. It offers a wide assortment of furniture and home accessories that can blend into elegant, refined, casual, and exotic settings. Global Views is the go-to design source of interior designers and decorators for residential and commercial projects. Now in Manila, Global Views is open for retail to the public.

 

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Storefront

 

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The shop window at Global Views in Ayala Vertis North

 

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Boomerang Chairs

 

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The Wiggle Dining Chairs in black, by Julia Buckingham.

 

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Just next door is another furniture shop called Home and Beyond. It is owned by the same couple that owns Global Views. In photo are the Global Views Philippines owner Josephine Lim and her team with influencers Tessa Valdes, Mikaela Martinez, Aubrey Miles, and Troy Montero.

 

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With Tessa.

 

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Home and Beyond has contemporary pieces of furniture and accessories.

 

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Cowhide rugs from Brazil at Home and Beyond. Im wearing a K&Company top, Azotea bracelet, and Rabeanco bag.

 

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With the owners of Global Views, Josephine and Frank Lim.

 

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Dwell Studio accessories.

 

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Wall sculpture that come in nickel, brass, or bronze.

 

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Detail of the wall sculpture.

 

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Kyoto cabinet.

 

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With TV host Regine Tolentino

 

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My favourite, the Link Bunching Table. Pieces with travertine tops shaped like jigsaw puzzles that link together. I also like the many choices of wall decor that come in brass, nickel, and other finishes. Here we see the Lily Pad Clusters in antique nickel.

 

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A nickel plated “gravy boat” used as a wine cooler. This, too, is one of my favourite pieces.

 

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The raindrop rug by Julia Buckingham. I had to show it to scale with my feet. I’m wearing French Sole.

 

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Visit the Global Views Manila showrooms in Ayala Vertis North Mall in Quezon City, and in Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila +63 946 3940.  Follow them in Facebook at GlobalViewsPH and Instagram at @GlobalViewsPH

 

 

Ayala’s Sustainability Summit

 

 

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Ayala Sustainability Summit 2017

 

Around his time last year, October 2016, I attended the United Nations’ official kickoff for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Philippines. As UNICEF’s Special Advocate for Children since 2010, I was invited to speak about the volunteer work I do through UNICEF Philippines. A couple of years before in 2015, I hosted the culminating event or graduation of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Of the eight MDGs, Goals 4 and 5 (Reduce Child Mortality, and Improve Maternal Health) were the focus of my work as UNICEF Special Advocate. One of the ways to easiest and the best interventions to lower the number of infant deaths, was to promote exclusive breastfeeding for infants from the moment of birth up to six months, and complementary feeding up to two years old. I went around the country, to the most disadvantaged areas, to speak to health workers, mothers, community leaders, government agencies, and as a bonus I got to cuddle some cute infants. This advocacy brought me as far as Maguindanao during a time of conflict, Sarangani, Davao Oriental after Typhoon Pablo, Tacloban after Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, Rizal, Quezon, Laguna, and as near as the slums of Taguig. As the years went by, I also contributed by organizing some fundraising campaigns, the highest profile among the four events was the auction of chairs designed by Kenneth Cobonpue for APEC. We raised a total of 8.8 million pesos in two hours. In addition to advocating better maternal health programs, and encouraging breastfeeding, I am also now doing some work on child protection, mainly violence against children.

All these development jargon may sound like stuff I lifted from a technical brochure. But having been on the ground, having met many mothers, and knowing the plight of their families especially during environmental emergencies, the best way to communicate the importance of these lofty goals is to simply tell their stories.

 

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At the UN Day celebration in 2016, where I gave a brief talk. As one of UNICEF’s national ambassadors, I continue to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

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At the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Children and the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals in  2015. The UN SDGs were launched a year after the MDG culmination.

 

The new SDGs are 17 goals that aim to transform our world by 2030. You can read more about the global goals here. They are simplified with well-designed flat icons. I wish all local schools included the SDGs in their curriculum. The world’s critical needs are to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice, and fix climate change. The Philippines is right smack in the middle of this global crisis. If the situation does not improve, it may be catastrophic for our land and our people.

 

This is the video that shows international celebrities and UN goodwill ambassadors’ support for the SDGs or Global Goals.

 

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Once in a while, my worlds collide and create wonderful things. I’ve had the privilege to work with the Ayala Group a few times in the past – as host/emcee of their corporate events, and as a creative partner when they sponsored a season of my Urban Zone TV show. In July 2017, I hosted the launch of Children’s Rights and Business Principles with UNICEF, in partnership with the Makati Business Club. The CRBP is a set of principles to guide private sector companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights. The CRBP was supported by the Ayala Group. In photo, I am having a conversation with my seatmate, JP Orbeta of Ayala Corp.

 

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It was supported by the country’s prominent CEOs and partners like Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Ayala Group of Companies. Photo source.

 

The UN recognizes that in order to achieve these global goals, all sectors of society and all types of people must support and participate in it. One of the major groups, of course, is business and industry. The Ayala Group, not only has committed to respect and support children’s rights via the CRBP, but has also been committed to a strong sustainability philosophy since 2012. Ayala is integrating sustainable development goals into its core strategies and corporate culture. You can read more about Ayala’s commitment to sustainability here.

 

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Ayala Corp. chair and chief executive officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala has been named one of the 10 “United Nations SDG Pioneers” for 2017. He was given recognition at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2017 last Sept. 21 in New York.

 

Last October 6, 2016, Ayala hosted its 7th annual Sustainability Summit. I was invited to attend together with advocates of sustainability in government, non-profit organizations and social enterprise, as well as Ayala executives and managers. They shared experiences and insights on finding solutions to local and global social development challenges. The Summit coincided with the UN Global Compact’s recognition of Ayala Corporation President and CEO, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, as the UN SDG Pioneer for Sustainable Business Strategy and Operations.

 

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The Ayala Group presented their commitment to at least 10 principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Since, sustainability has been integrated into various Ayala businesses, it has included long-term sustainability targets in its many business interests. Some of these targets and goals are highlighted in this brochure:
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Prof. Zeger Van Der Wal, Associate Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

 

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Prof Van Der Wal presented 8 global mega trends. According to Prof Van Der Wal, aside from the good effects and positive contribution to society, a sustainability culture brings about good business as well. Your company will get new, well-paying customers. There is a consciousness among consumers these days; many are willing to pay extra as long as they know the products are eco-friendly and were created using sustainable business practices. You will also create a culture of high-performing employees in the future. And you encourage a better reputation.

 

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Ayala Corporation’s Chief Finance Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Sustainability Officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco gave the welcome remarks.

 

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Richard Welford, president of CSR Asia, talked about creating a culture of sustainability by giving examples of global companies that have embedded sustainability in their corporate culture. He encouraged companies to create communities within where employees themselves believe in sustainability and become champions.

 

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Ernest Cu, CEO of Globe Telecom, talked about how their culture has transformed to become a trusted and sustainable company. He said, with a sustainability culture imbibed throughout the organization, employees feel empowered and find meaning in their work, customers feel special and valued, and shareholders feel confident and rewarded.

 

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Ayala’s John Philip Orbeta, Richard Welford, Ernest Cu and Tony Lambino.

 

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Zubaida Bai, Founder of ayzh, is an advocate of maternal health in India. She is also a champion of the UN SDG.

 

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The story tellers. Tobit Cruz, from Taytay Rizal local government, Len Cabili, Founder of Filip+Inna, Irenea & Erelie Hitgano, Founders of Hillsview Mangostea in Davao Oriental. The discussion was moderated by Mark Mulingbayan, Sustainability Head, MWC.

 

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Irenea Hitgano of Hillsview Mangostea told her amazing story of how Typhoon Pablo left their mangosteen plantation devastated in 2012. While mourning the loss of their harvest, they realized that the fallen trees, with its leaves and barks, had very good medicinal properties. This was how Mangostea (mangosteen tea) was born. As the saying goes, when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.

 

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Len Cabili, founder of Filip+Inna, told her story about finding meaningful work after she had been diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. She found this in her roots in Mindanao. Filip+Inna works with different communities of weavers all over the Philippines. Her products are now sold in prestigious shops in the US and in Europe.

 

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Tobit Cruz was a former Ayala employee. He wanted to make a difference in his community in Taytay, Rizal. With baby steps, he got involved with the river clean up and rehabilitation, until he found his way to be an elected local leader. Tobit is now councillor in Taytay Rizal.

 

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I love what Mr Zobel said, that institutions should want to contribute to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a personal responsibility not because they’re mandated.

 

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With Mr Zobel and Globe’s Ernest Cu.

 

The occasion also coincided with the launch of the new Ayala website, with an updated section on sustainability. You may check out www.ayala.com.ph

 

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The participants of the 2017 Ayala Sustainability Summit.

 

 

Amanpulo with Kerastase

 

 

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Not too long ago, I was rolling around the pure white sand beaches of Amanpulo for three days. I had just signed on as one of the new brand ambassadors of Kérastase. To relaunch the brand and new lines, Kérastase flew me, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, and Amanda Griffin-Jacob to Palawan together with our special guests and members of lifestyle press. Amina and Amanda brought their husbands. I brought my mom. My parents were visiting us at the time, and Patrick and I had just had our JUNK trip (Just Us, No Kids) so I felt that my mom would really love the tropical island treat and the whole luxurious experience. And she did.

A week before our trip, I had the most amazing salon experience at the Kérastase Institute in 6750 Makati. I used to just use shampoo and conditioner for semi-oily hair. I had no idea that hair has individual issues and needs that can be specifically addressed via a scientific hair diagnosis. At the Kérastase Institute they had all the instruments to determine your hair’s needs. It truly is very personal care, which coincidentally is the campaign’s message. They had 10 color-coded hair-care ranges, and mine was the Discipline line. More on that in a future post. Check out the video of my Kérastase Institute experience.

The salon experience was an indication that we were in for some very personal care in the island paradise of Amanpulo. There were some very special, personalized touches from the moment we boarded the chartered plane to the island, to the lovely gifts in our rooms, to the engraved crystal glasses at our last dinner.

The experience was unforgettable, and I am so grateful I got to share these gifts with my mom. Let me tell this story via photos…

 

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I won’t dwell on how small planes scare me. But we flew to Amanpulo and back in great comfort (and safety, thank God).

 

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Pamalican Island, Palawan better known as Amanpulo.

 

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Me and my mom.

 

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Loved the personal pillow.

 

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We were all picked up in golf carts. And driven to our own casitas.

 

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After which the golf cart was turned over to me and mom. I was to be her designated driver for the whole stay.

 

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Bedroom

 

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Someone was very happy.

 

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There was a wrap around porch.

 

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The bathroom. Spot the Kérastase surprises.

 

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Kérastase Discipline for me. This line is for unruly curly hair. But because my hair isn’t technically curly, it just gets frizzy whenever it feels like it, I just needed smoothness. For that my routine calls for Bain Fluidéaliste sans Sulfate (sulfate-free shampoo to smoothen and rid hair of frizz), Maskératine (a mask to leave hair soft, smooth, and with weightless fluidity), and Keratine Thermique (a pre-styling cream to protect hair before blow-drying and use of heat styling tools, leaving hair smooth and shiny).

 

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My mom had to answer a series of questions, and based on those she was given the Spécifique line which focuses on scalp-related issues like itchiness, dandruff, hair loss and oily roots. Her shampoo is the Spécifique Bain Vital Dermo-Calm to moisturize and purify her scalp to calm irritation and inflammation. She also has the Cure Apaisante, a concentrated 4-week treatment to sooth her scalp.

 

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Right after we settled in, we hit the beach. The casitas are all behind the bushes, so they are not visible from the beach.

 

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I parked myself in one of the lounge chairs.

 

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Drove to the clubhouse to check it out.

 

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Dress code for dinner was Moroccan.

 

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But first, the sunset.

 

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The evening was Moroccan-themed for the launch of Kérastase Aura Botanica.

 

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Kérastase Aura Botanica is made of 96% natural origin ingredients with handpicked and responsibly-sourced Samoan coconut & Moroccan Argan oils. It contains no silicones, no sulfates, and no parabens.

 

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The AURA BOTANICA Concentre Essentiel Aromatic Nourishing Oil Blend. It is a multipurpose oil, comprised of 99% natural origin ingredients. Renewable avocado oil, rich in Omegas 6 and 9, and jojoba oil add softness and shine to hair, while the rosemary extract helps preserve the oils. It is highlighted by an aromated fragrance of sweet orange essential oil.

 

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Despite the Moroccan theme, we had Filipino food.

 

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Loved everything!

 

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Ferdie Salvador, Javi Martinez, Rafa Alunan, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Tim Yap, Amanda Griffin, me and my mom.

 

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With Amina and Amanda, video by Pam Quinones, editor in chief of L’Oficiel Philippines

 

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The next morning we hit the beach and went snorkeling.

 

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Editors in kaftans and big hats. Inquirer’s Cheche Moral, Town & Country’s Yvette Fernandez, and Philippine Star’s Therese Garceau.

 

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Took a break from snorkeling and soaked up some sun.

 

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Happiness by the sea. Always. I wanted to remember this moment because I used to go scuba diving every weekend. It was one of the reasons I stayed in the Philippines for an extended period. Had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I always feel God’s presence when I am underwater, even if I’m just snorkeling.

 

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We had a nice light lunch back at the beach.

 

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Salad and antipasti

 

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Those artichokes.

 

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After lunch, back to the beach.

 

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The rest of the group went out on the boat again while I stayed behind and went paddle boarding by myself.

 

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Then the boat came to my direction and suddenly I had everyone taking photos of me. Yay. Photo by Pam Quinones.

 

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The reason the boat came my way, it turned out that a resident pawikan (sea turtle) was a spotted near me. So some of the people in our group jumped into the water to look for the turtle. Photo by Pierra Calasanz Labrador

 

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And there he was, the lovely giant sea turtle (pawikan) as captured on video by ABS-CBN’s Marie Lozano. And how’s that for a money shot? That’s me!

 

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Amanpulo is completely surrounded by fine white sand. You can walk around the island!

 

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Even birds leave their footsteps on the sand.

 

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On the night of the relaunch of Kérastase, we were all asked to wear white. The set up was so lovely.

 

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Mom loved all the pretty details…

 

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…beautiful orchids…

 

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And this lovely souvenir. We all got engraved crystal wine glasses.

 

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It was  magical.

 

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Kaila Nicdao of Kérastase

 

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My video campaign was first shown.

 

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It was so lovely being with Amina and my fellow F girl, Amanda.

 

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All of us.

 

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The Kérastase team.

 

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With Nik Pedro and Janlee Dungca

 

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More handwritten notes and special gifts from Kaila Nicdao of Kérastase.

 

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We wrote postcards to home.

 

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It was hard to say goodbye.

 

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On our last morning before we flew back home, my mom woke me up while it was still dark. She said, “Do you want to see the sunrise?” I dragged myself out of bed and went walking with her in the dark. I have photos and videos, and they were pitch black. There was nobody in the beach except us. We didn’t really talk. It was too early. Neither of us had coffee yet. But we just walked side by side until the sun went up. By this time we saw an Amanpulo staff working on a docked boat. And I asked him to take our picture. This has got to be one of my most memorable moments with my mom.

 

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I’m so glad I had spent this time with my mom. In all the years I’ve been living and working in the Philippines, my family rarely gets to see my work. This time, not only did my mom get to come with me to Amanpulo, she saw the relaunch of Kérastase with my video, and experience Kérastase Very Personal Care with me. Photo by Cholo de la Vega

 

 

Mabuhay

 

 

COVER-December-2016

 

Christmas marks a time when many OFWs and balikbayans come home to be with family. And more often than not, they choose to fly with Philippine Airlines. I do, especially when I travel to and from Canada. Nothing beats Filipino hospitality on long haul flights, especially if you have small kids.

Before I go on, let me say that this is not a paid ad at all. I am not paid nor have I ever gotten a free flight from PAL except for the mileage I’ve earned through my credit cards. I am however, a legit PAL baby. Or I should say, a child of aviation — complete with stories of playing in the tarmac. Those of you who have already read my book CHIC: Tips on Life, Style, and Work will know that my mom was a flight attendant for PAL in the mid 60’s. My dad was a military pilot. I grew up in an air base.

This month, the iconic Mabuhay, PAL’s inflight magazine has featured me in a two-page spread. I love, love, love the way they do this section. Instead of a PR photo or glam shot, a hand-painted watercolour illustration fills up an entire page. I like the painting so much, I’ve put it on my Christmas wish list. If my husband pays attention, he would have gotten the original for me. I have yet to find out on Christmas morning.

 

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Painting by Cheryl Owen.

 

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The painting is based on this photograph, taken by Dix Perez back in late 2012. That’s my front door. Xeng Zulueta did my makeup. Felicity Son did my hair. I wore my own beaded dress and necklace I made for myself in 2006. This image made it to the Vogue Italia feature.

 

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Certainly one of my “blogging career” highlights. Vogue Italia featured my jewellery, furniture, and other products. So much has happened since then. And the Mabuhay article, as well as my own book and writing process, has given me a chance to look back, appreciate, and be grateful.

 

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The chair that Vogue called “doll house furniture”

 

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I no longer sell these chairs. We had a problem with copycats (ugh). My only authorized dealer was Dimensione. Last month, I took orders from my Instagram and FB followers, and was so surprised to still see so much interest in these chairs. Hmmm, ideas …

 

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We had the chairs personally delivered by either me, my husband, or my driver. The rest were shipped via LBC (which is now my official courier). Hello, ecommerce made easy.

 

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I continue to make my own fine jewellery for myself. Sometimes I can take in orders and commissions. I am aware that a few sellers have copied my concept. I don’t know how to feel about them. And I am sure I am not the only one who has to deal with this.

 

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I have been wearing my faith charm necklaces since 2005. I made them for me, as these were significant and meaningful. The opportunity to design and sell my work came after.

 

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Then I took the work seriously and invested in my brand identity. Each of the pieces comes with handwritten notes and certificates. And just as my chairs have them, the jewellery also have engraved brass plates. Anyone interested in my jewellery can email me directly at info@daphne.ph

 

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Back to the Mabuhay article. Thank you, Carlomar Daoana for your insights. It’s always hard to talk about oneself, and even harder to read what’s written about oneself. A big thank you also goes out to Mabuhay’s new EIC, James Ong, for taking interest in featuring my book and my work.

There is just one little thing that I have to clarify. I did spend my childhood in Metro Manila. It is true that my dad was the helicopter pilot of President Marcos – a fact about my dad’s work and character that I am very proud of.  However my family and I did not abruptly emigrate to Canada in 1986. There was no such “escape” after the EDSA Revolution. My family moved to Canada in 1983, not to be immigrants but to join my father who had been on an official assignment attached to the Philippine Consulate since 1982. In fact, during the actual EDSA Revolution, I was on a trip to Spain and Morocco organized by my high school. I celebrated my 16th birthday in southern Spain.

 

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There was a bit of drama… ok, a lot. But definitely no abrupt leaving and no actual emigration. As for the real details, you’d have to read about it in my book.