The homefront





It’s been a while since I posted stories about my home and my family. I have to admit that this blog has taken on a different turn from what it used to be like. I remember when my blog was still Daphne’s Diary and only a handful of people were blogging, it was filled with random little nothings about my life. And you were all there to keep me company. As the blog grew, it somehow became a product of my “work” like part of the official brand DAPHNE®. Collaborations came in and with top retailers! The luxury bed linen line with SM Homeworld and Our Home, my furniture line that retailed in Rustan’s and Dimensione, and of course my pride and joy, the DAPHNE x Bench collaboration. I am so grateful and still floored that all that happened and continues to happen. Hint, hint.

Somewhere along the line I feel like I detached myself from the blog a bit too much though. Or am I over-analyzing? Maybe it was because Instagram became too accessible that all my little random diary entries went there instead of here. I didn’t find time to sit down and actually write. Heck, I even stopped using my micro four-thirds camera and DSLR. Today I am drowning in press kits, product samples, event invitations which I appreciate but I also feel like that’s not just what Daphne’s Diary is about. Yes, I talk about products, but I used to share more stories about things I’ve discovered or learned without any marketing or PR activity involved. All authentic stuff. I feel like I owe it to you and myself to get back to my roots. At the very least, all my marketing campaigns are identified. And I also have not partnered with nor supported any campaign that didn’t fit in with my aesthetic and principles. I have declined quite a few.

So I will attempt to balance — business and real life. And please let me know how you feel about it. This is not and never was a mommy blog. So I’m not going that direction. I’m also not an expert on food but admittedly, I am in the process of discovering my inner home-cook talents. Join me on that discovery process. Travel is also a big part of our lives now. Though my 10-week stay in Toronto last year almost went un-blogged. There’s so much I didn’t share about that trip because I was so busy living life at the present moment. Design is still in my vocabulary especially since we are working at doing more home tours. Health, wellness and spirituality make up a huge chunk of my new life now. I won’t preach, but I may tell stories from this journey. Then there will be little anecdotes about my daughters. When I started blogging, I had only one kid. I was pregnant with my second baby, Lily. Now these girls are growing into their own versions of themselves. I’d like to include some of their stories in my blog. Of course security and privacy is an issue, so I can only do so to a point that we are comfortable with.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a lot of noise out there. I want this site to continue to be my happy place so I’m regrouping and things are going to change. You are always welcome here.

I just did a fun shoot at home with Xeng Zulueta as the makeup artist and Sandro Paredes as photographer. Xeng and I have worked with each other for a long time. She did some of my most amazing cover shoots. This was totally random and fun. We didn’t even have a hairstylist. I just washed and dried my hair myself. Sorry for the unkempt hair.

But this is what real life is like at home — minus the false lashes.


This is the hallway where my girls’ little feet stomp all over. The house is never quiet when we are home. It is filled with voices, footsteps and laughter. All three daughters are wearing Gingersnaps. My dress is from Sfera, shoes are Repetto.


My masterpiece. Haha. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio. He executed all the ideas I wanted and presented me with more options that I didn’t know existed. I’m loving my kitchen floors. These are treated wood from Matwood. Rafael stained them a certain way so they wouldn’t look too red. In real life they’re lighter. I’m particularly proud of my ceiling. I had this brilliant idea of knocking down the existing ceiling and exposing the roof and beams. But at the time, I didn’t know what lay beneath the ceiling lining. Surprise, surprise… a beautiful structural beam. Oops, it’s hardly in photo. I must show it to you at another occasion.


My kitchen took forever to finish. The reason was because my sink had to be brought in from Kohler, Wisconsin. Yes, Kohler is not only a brand but also a place. It is beautiful. Here are stories from when I visited the Kohler sites in Kohler, Wisconsin. My sink is made of enamelled cast iron. I absolutely love it. P.S. We had to make adjustments to the cabinetry in order to make the sink fit. We initially didn’t know we could have this sink, until I had a “love affair” with the brand officially. My windows are pretty special too. It’s a huge treat to have new windows like this. These are tempered glass and PVC from a German brand called Veka from Fourlinq. As many of you know, the rest of the house has wooden capiz windows. Balance and irony. Haha. Oh, if you’d like to see the video of my kitchen renovation, click here. Top from Sfera, jeans from Uniqlo, shoes from Repetto.


My throne. Seriously. Because every woman must be the queen of her home. Ha!


This Raina chair was a special birthday gift to me by Vito Selma. He sent it to my house right after he showed it in Manila Fame, March of this year. It is, by far, the largest present I’ve ever received. Look at it going through our door on Instagram. I love it! And I adore Vito!  P.S. Dress is from Sfera.


Oh dear, the kitchen beam is still not visible in this photo. Oh well. Here are my three bunnies. We purposely bought three un-matching stools. You can see a bit of a mess behind me. Proof that the kitchen is not “for show.” It’s a real working kitchen. Perhaps only Pinoys will know what I mean about that. Haha. So we dressed up a bit in this shot. I’m wearing a silk dress I bought in Bali from Magali Pascal. Sophia is wearing Rajito by Rajo Laurel. Lily and Stella are wearing Gingersnaps.


The most photographed part of our house is the red door. Every time I have press people over they think they have the “money shot” with the red door. I have to disclose that it’s been done many times. I can actually do an entire series just filled with red door shots! Hmmm, that’s an idea. Future blog entry perhaps. Well, the story here is that the house is really old. It’s the house my husband grew up in. And when we got married, we wanted to give it a bit of a facelift, but slowly. So we began with paint. I wanted red from day one. We also played with colour inside the house — pink hallway, green living room. My advice is, if you don’t have much budget but you want to give your home a boost, start with paint. Don’t be afraid of colour.


All photos by Sandro Paredes.
Make up by Xeng Zulueta.



Leave a comment

  • Cory Josue

    Hi Daphne,

    I’m glad that you are returning to your roots. I’ve been reading your blog since forever but honestly, I stopped reading it about a year ago because I felt like there were too much paid posts that sometimes, I can’t relate anymore. I really like your blog posts that tell stories though because I learn a lot from it; especially when it it comes to home decorating. With this announcement, I feel like I will rekindle my love affair with your blog.

    • Anonymous

      Oh thanks so much. I didn’t really have “paid posts”. I just blogged a lot about products that I endorsed because that’s my job. And the blog has become my job.

      Working with marketing campaigns is a lot of fun and it’s quite fulfilling when done properly. I hope it never stops. Haha. But I will do it better and balance it with more heart.

      I also went on a different kind of journey this year that I had to really disconnect from the blog. Plus balancing privacy and security issues.

      I can’t promise everything back, but definitely more writing and more insights. Product reviews, events, endorsements will still be there of course. But I will share again … a bit more. Let’s see. Haha.

      Thanks for coming back.

  • Vera

    it’s posts like this that I super love about your blog Daphne 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thank you. I just… got lazy? Disconnected? Focused on real life? Haha.

      Let’s see how this goes. Thanks for always being around Vera.

  • Dee

    Hi, glad to read you are going back to what it was before. Love your family stories. Can we talk about the format? Hehehe.. Sorry but I really like the old timeline type before, these squares really confuse me plus those moving banners on top. Sorrrry, but its ok, Ill still keep coming back for your stories.

    • Anonymous

      It’s simple. Just click on the icon BLOG. And everything is linear and in chronological order.

      The banner… I love them. Like I take time to do the layout and all. Haha. Sorry. That stays.

  • Mieke Zamora-Mackay

    Such a great post, Daphne! I am sure you’ll find the change more freeing. I’ve always loved your home. The red door photos would make a great montage of your family’s growth as well.

    • Anonymous

      I love writing. It’s just that with all that growth came a lot of self-“censorship”. I have to manage privacy and other serious matters.

  • Jocelyn Feredo Freeman

    I miss posts like this! Thank you for sharing such lovely photos of your home and family. I’ve been reading your blog since its Livejournal days and I look forward to more personal, “non-commercial” posts in the future. Enjoy the rest of this blessed week with the family, Daphne!

    • Anonymous


  • Raquel Nakila

    I used to look forward to your blog posts when it used to be Daphne’s Diary, where air time is free. I loved reading about your normal daily family life. I didn’t like it when you changed your blog format but I eventually stopped reading when most of your posts became more about brands and events though I still get your FB updates. It was a shame as I am a big fan. I horde Daphne home scents whenever I go home and I buy magazines on Zinio whenever you are on the cover. I am so glad that you have decided to write blog posts like you used to in Daphne’s Diary.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. I will try.

      I dont think there’s any thing wrong with blogging about events or products since this is what I really do professionally… and I just blog outttakes. But I will try to write a bit more and make an effort to write better.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Will make better effort

  • Anonymous

    Hello. Please say hi. I love meeting readers and viewers. Really, it’s ok. Thanks.

    Congratulations on following your passions. I pray that it will lead to a stable and lucrative work situation. Pursue your art! Did you watch the movies Chef and Begin Again? It’s kinda like that. 🙂

  • the KALOKA

    Yehey! Im happy to read this. To be totally honest, I still check your blog from time to time but don’t read it anymore because of the same reasons most of your avid follower wrote here. It’s always a good idea to go back to the very reason why people love you. In fact I say that to my married friends that whenever you fight, always go back to the very beginning why you fell in love and from there you’ll sort things out.

    • Anonymous

      Haha. kiss and make up.

  • Anonymous

    Awww. thanks for sharing that.

  • Anonymous

    I think that’s exactly what I meant. I didn’t mean to lessen the product & event features. I guess I want to write more. Like before. Write better.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. I hope we get to go to Batangas again. I love it there.

    • Anonymous

      The Batangas and trip to India posts are my faves!

  • Anonymous

    all the best to you and your family!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Daphne!

    Thank you for deciding to share more life stories. I like reading about your marketing posts because oftentimes you inject your personal insights. And I love knowing that you only feature brands that you care about.

    However, your stories about family and life, in general elicit those warm, fuzzy feeling and genuine smiles and laughter. It also inspire a lot of people, like me. I’ve always enthused that you are my life peg: able to balance your passions, work, life and social advocacy.

    Your blog posts make an impact in someone’s life. And they inspire. Now that am going to be a mom anytime soon, I really look forward to re-reading your older posts to see if I can pick up some tips on living a balanced life. Also, that my conscious decision to breastfeed was strongly influenced by your breastfeeding advocacy. I’ve seen colleagues who are enthusiastic at the beginning but have abandoned it even before they begun. But I referenced back to your thoughts about it– that it starts with a conscious decision to do it and then you’re on the road to a breastfeeding commitment. And that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience and discomfort it may cause along the way.

    So, thank you. And keep on inspiring and making a difference in the lives of your readers.



    • Anonymous

      Dearest Sheng

      Thank you for your note. I really appreciate hearing all that. It reminds me of why we are doing this in the first place. And congratulations on becoming a mommy soon. Get ready for the ride! It’s going to be amazing! Don’t blink!


  • Jing

    I love reading your life stories and this is my fave

  • Leah Marie Silang – Guamos

    I always visit your page, looking forward to new blogs/stories. thank you for sharing. God Bless you 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much Leah.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you must keep it dry at all times. We haven’t encountered any pests yet. But I’m ready. With cockroach repellents and fly stickers in case there’s a problem.

    Re writing — I wrote my own segments in F. And for Urban Zone, I also head wrote… everything I said on cam was spontaneous, unwritten. Just from me. Hee hee.

    • – r@ch alarcon –

      hmmm… looks like I have to do more than that but I guess it really depends on where you are situated and your surroundings too!

      spontaneous! one of the skill that I need to have 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

    I do not share my political views here. If “political families” come up, this is purely because they are my real friends. Neither I nor my family have ever benefited from any other person of high authority. In fact, quite the opposite happened. We were persecuted and we suffered because of my father’s professional ties. Through it all, my dad remained professional and never got involved with the political side. I am over that now. But my family perhaps will never forget.

    I came back to this country to help make a difference in nation building, not to be famous or do business. Somewhere along the way, I found love. Haha. So I stayed.

    Thank you for being here. And thank you for the respect. I hope to repay you in the future. Let’s see… hmmm… what topic do you want me to do? Your wish is my command. Haha.

    • Stringbeans

      oh you replied! that’s enough for me. ha ha! i wouldnt want to give you a topic to write on as that would be me already and not Daphne (w/copyright logo) Should i bump into you in the future, i would surely say hi to you! 🙂

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Thank you….

    Now back to regular programming. Haha.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you didn’t misunderstand me. There will always be sponsors. Otherwise, I cannot afford to run this website. I’ll just go back to Livejournal and do my diary there. Haha.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad you get me. That’s exactly what I meant.

    Things were so different back in 2005. haha.

    But we’re still here. And yes… more design. In fact, I have a surprise coming up…

  • Anonymous

    Oh my. That’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard.

    After I met Taylor Swift, my daughter said, “How do I become a VIP? I want to meet Taylor Swift too!!” Haha. I told her I didn’t meet Taylor because I was a VIP, I met her because I worked hard for many years and the record company noticed I could tell stories well. Now they are working on their writing and drawing skills. Haha.

    Good luck to your daughter!

  • Anonymous

    Just to clarify. I post about products that I endorse. I did that even with the old blog. In fact even before I started the blog, I was already endorsing products. Im transparent about them. But I also post products that I discover and want to share, whether I’m an endorser or not. It’s about sharing information. My point here is that I stopped writing diary-type entries. And that’s because of many factors – security, privacy, and other changes.

  • Toni De Leon Piamonte

    Hello, Daphne,

    I’m having a wonderful time reading your blog! From your travel adventures to your home decorating.

    I love what you did with your kitchen! I particularly love the sink. It reminds me of our old sink in Sangley. We will be moving in with my Mom-in-law soon and will be renovating her house to accommodate us plus our fur babies. Does Kohler sell that sink here in Manila already?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Toni.

      I dont know if they carry it now locally. Last I check, the distributors still didn’t bring it in. They use the kiln in Wisconsin USA, not china. (For this particular enamelled cast iron sink).

  • Tago Fabic

    That Raina chair is sooo regal. 🙂 I suddenly missed watching Urban Zone so I went to the youtube channel to watch the epis again and eventually led me back to ur page. Love the details of the kitchen reno! Certainly missing Pinas cause of that! 🙂

    • Anonymous

      hello again. hope you stay a while. haha.

  • Justin Vawter Greco T Buenagua

    This just speaks so close to me. As a blogger, I’m at a phase where it gets tiring sometimes and it feels like not me at all. I am grateful for all the brands trusting me and my blog and I can definitely relate to you. This just gave me a major boost and inspiration to always remain true to your brand while accepting all the sponsors on the side. After all, that’s already a part of our work and life.

    I love reading your blogs and by the way, that Raina chair was soooo gorgeous. Saw it on Manila Fame. I hope I’ll bump into you soon. And I hope I can be like you since I’m an architecture student and I just love everything about design.

    Thanks for all the inspiration, Ms. Daphne. Cheers~!

    – Justin – 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for dropping by. I appreciate your note.

  • Jac Ledonio

    Hi, Daphne! I’ve been reading your blog way back in Livejournal. I remember it was also around the same time you were featured in Preview’s Best Dressed list. Even before that, I always stayed up late to watch you and the others on F. Then when you had your own show, Urban Living (do I remember it correctly?), I stayed up for that, too. What I love most about your blog are Lily’s drawings, especially the alien ducks! Lol

    A lot of the blogs I used to follow have changed through the years with more marketing, events, etc. I don’t mind it as long as bloggers still remember that their readers are more interested in the life and character of the blogger more than any product or event.

    I’m glad I revisited your blog after so many months of not doing so. I hope to see more personal and authentic posts from you. I’m not demanding though 😉

    • Anonymous

      So nice to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

      I dont think it’s marketing that changed the blog landscape – a lot has happened in the past 10 years. Everyone is on instagram and twitter. And fewer people are reading blogs.

      But like I said, even if I have only 5 readers, I will still blog. This is my happy place. And I’m just so happy to share with with anyone who comes here to feel good and spread kindness.

      Thanks so much for dropping by.

  • mitch

    i miss your blog posts miss daphne! pls blog some more!

    • Anonymous

      will do. thanks.