Urban Zone: Tagaytay weekend home


Hello friends! I've missed you. Sorry for taking that long break. We are THIS close to turning over and moving into our new site. I didn't realize how tedious it could be. Plus I've been learning new skills that I'll be applying to the new site. It's like learning a new language, literally. And I'm having a hard time retaining the info unless I practice everyday. Yikes.

So in the meantime I'm back here in LJ to give you a few updates... because I've missed you all.

Here are a few photos from last week's UZ shoot. This is a weekend home in Tagaytay. The owners wanted something that looked playful and fresh. The exterior of the house was dictated upon by the developers - all country-ish. So Mark Madolaria (interior designer) used that basic idea as well.

Lovely climate in Tagaytay.

All the homes had this character.

Setting the tone at the front entrance.

With Mark Madolaria, the interior designer.

Living and dining areas.

Dining area. Yellow was the main colour.

A couple of wing chairs by the side of the stairs. Nice use of those see-through acrylic nesting tables.

Most of the furniture came from Heima.

They added new floors - engineered wood floor boards. The original floor was indoor/outdoor tiles.

Bedroom of teenage girl. She wanted something inspired by glam Barbie.

Bedroom of older sister. She wanted "Tiffany blue."

Everything was new.

Mother's bedroom. Very cute.

Wingchair from Heima. It's called "Holly Parrot."

Interiors by Mark That Space.

What do you think of the space?


Amanda Visell and Carlos East


With Bigboy Cheng at Super Fresh Gallery, Ronac Art Center.

Ever since BigBoy introduced me to this genre of art, I've been hooked. I have to admit, I know very little about designer toys or the graphic/animation pop art. I've been trained in the fine arts - traditional painting, sculpture, drawing and stuff from the Classical to the Renaissance to Post-Modernist periods. Yes I went to art school and took studio courses at University. I even learned how drawing nude figures from the flesh. And how to paint in oil, acryclic and water colours. (I can't do any of that now). But I am so ignorant about this new world of art. It's great to be a student again.

Amanda and Carlos7
It started with these pieces I got from Bigboy. Limited edition works by JP Cuison and Nemo Aguila. The Rizalborg is stunning!

Amanda and Carlos5
This Boxboy by Christian Tamondong is sold out. I wish I could get my hands on one. Bigboy tells me it usually starts with a painting or drawing then it gets produced into plastic toys then customized by the artist in limited quantities.


International release of collectible art toys by Amanda Visell and Carlos East
July 1, 2011 5PM

Secret Fresh is proud to be the host of the much awaited international release of collectible art toys exclusively produced by Amanda Visell and Carlos East with Secret Fresh. To be launched this 1st of July Friday at 5 PM at Secret Fresh, the toys, namely Topsy Turvy Croc by Amanda Visell and Don Pedro Calavera by Carlos East, are limited to 75 pieces only. Internationals orders for the art toys are to be made by first come first served basis via email

Amanda Visell

Amanda and Carlos1

A sneak preview of these art toys will be unveiled at the upcoming 2011 TOYCON Manila at SM Megatrade Hall on June 18 and 19 (Saturday and Sunday) as part of Secret Fresh’s booth exhibit among the other toys that it has produced exclusively with local artists such as : 2004 Ateneo Art Awards nominee Christian Tamondong, the designer of Boxboy and Paley Pils and who also has an upcoming collab toy project with Huck Gee; Pilipinas Street Plan members and street artists Whoop who designed Mr. Brain Freeze based on one of his whimsical pastel-colored paintings reminiscent of ice cream delights and Nemo Aguila’s irridiscent bug eyed round bellied Bochog Manster; award-winning adman and Gigzilla poster meister JP Cuison who designed the iconic Rizalborg now currently on view at the Rizalizing the Future exhibit at the Yuchengco Museum.

Apart from the art toys to be exhibited, Movement 69, a loose collective of street artists composed of Whoop, Tripp63, Nemo Aguila, Alien, Exld and Egg Fiasco will be doing a live spray painting session on the 1st day of the Manila Toycon.

Nemo Aguila will also be part of the panel at the 2011 ManilaToycon and will be discussing the creative process of making, designing and customizing toys, JP Cuison in particular will be discussing on the inspirations behind his mash-ups and reinvented cartoon characters and the impetus in creating Rizalborg.

Amanda and Carlos2
Amanda Visell

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Rest in Beast by Carlos East of the Beast Brothers.

Amanda Visell and Carlos East will be here in Manila for the launch of their toys as they will also be holding a talk on July 2 Saturday at 4PM. The talk is limited to 30 slots. Reservations for the talk and further queries can be made by email thru or by calling Secret Fresh at 570-9815 local 7 or send an SMS to 09175171188 (Elaine). Updates can also be tracked through Secret Fresh on Facebook, and

Amanda and Carlos3
More from Carlos. His works speak to me because in my old life I was almost Mexican. (I had spent some time there after I graduated, worked as a project officer of an environmental planning program for the Canadian group I first worked with. Ironically, it was by loving Mexican culture first that brought me back to my Philippine roots which I had been removed from for many years... I digress, sorry).

Secret Fresh is at G/F of Ronac Art Center, Ortigas Avenue, North Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Mondays to Saturdays from 2-10 PM and Sundays at from 1 – 6 PM.


Winner: Tkees


Congratulations, Karen Ang! She is the winner of the TKEES promo.

There were 539 entries (more if I counted the doubles, spammers and unidentifiables) and more now because people are still joining (folks, contest is over).

Tkees winner
I used to generate a random number, and it chose 228.

Tkees winner
Congrats, Karen! I'm sending you the GC this weekend.


A single journey can change the course of a life


Angelina Jolie for LV

I saw this online last night. Retweeted it right away. This morning after a short text conversation with Louis Vuitton's Vanessa Mayuga, I mentioned UNICEF then she got a thought bubble and sent me this press release that just came out today. What's not to love about Angelina?

And that line, "a single journey can change the course of a life" - is so true. It happened to me.

Press Release- June 2011


Angelina Jolie is the latest outstanding personality to be photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Louis Vuitton's Core Values advertising campaign.

The visual – to appear in international titles from mid-June – was shot in Cambodia, a country with which the actress has close emotional ties. She travelled there for the first time in 2000 to film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and was overwhelmed by the beauty of its landscapes and the warmth and generosity of its people.

She returned to Cambodia in her role as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Goodwill Ambassador, raising awareness of the dangers of landmines, and subsequently adopted her eldest son Maddox from a Cambodian orphanage. In 2005, she was awarded Cambodian citizenship by King Norodom Sihamoni for her humanitarian and conservation work in the country through the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which she established in 2003.

The Core Values campaign pictures Angelina Jolie sitting barefoot in a traditional wooden boat in the luxuriant, watery landscape of Siem Reap province. Next to her is a vintage Louis Vuitton Alto holdall in Monogram canvas, a bag the actress has owned and loved for many years. The tagline reads: "A single journey can change the course of a life. Cambodia, May 2011."

Having described her first encounter with Cambodia as a life-changing experience, Angelina Jolie agreed to be photographed there for Louis Vuitton.

Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, comments: "We are honoured that Angelina Jolie agreed to participate in our Core Values campaign, whose central theme of travel as both a physical and emotional journey is one with which she can personally identify. Angelina Jolie is a global star in every sense – not only in her career as an actress, but also in her long-term commitment to international humanitarian issues."

Angelina Jolie's fees for this campaign are being donated to charity.


Win a pair of TKEES from The Flat Shop


32 Angelina Jolie Coco Butter
Angelina Jolie

15 Blake Lively Sunkissed
Blake Lively

angelina j
Angelina Jolie again

TKEES (t-keys) are a fun and easy way to express yourself! We think of them as “Cosmetics For Your Feet.” They are available in over 40 different shades, and emulate cosmetics in terms of color and attributes defining specific categories.

Glam up those feet by the pool, at the beach, at work, at a party, anytime is the right time. Highlight that perfect pedicure, or simply grab a different shade whenever you so desire. Go from laid back to sexy in one fell swoop! Finding the right shade is as east as slipping your feet into another pair. No nail polish remover required to change the mood of your feet. Simply slip on and slip off. Go from relaxed to luminous without the headaches.
TKEES will make you feet smile! (Source: TKEES Press Kit)

Win a pair of TKEES, worth over P2,200. This contest is open to anyone. I will send you a gift certificate and you can claim your TKEES at The Flat Shop, Connecticut Arcade G/F, Greenhills Shopping Center.

If you want to know more about TKEES, I wrote about it here. (I'm still in pain, but this contest was written previously and just published now.)


1. Like my page on Facebook here. Leave this message on my Facebook wall, "I want to win TKEES."

2. Follow me on Twitter, DaphneOP. Tweet me the same message, "I want to win TKEES."

3. Leave me a comment in this entry, " I want to win TKEES." EDIT Please mention your twitter & fb names as well. (Earlier entries can be exempt, as I forgot to write this. We can cross-check later.)

4. Winner will be chosen randomly on Wednesday, June 15 by 5:00pm.

5. One entry per person.

6. Note, non-LJ members can also join and leave a comment here. Please put your name, Twitter code name and FB name. Non-LJ commenters have to wait until comments are unscreened. No need to put double entries. Also, you must leave you twitter code name & facebook name, otherwise it gets deleted.

EDIT: And we have a winner.




Carpal tunnel syndrome
Me today.

I started feeling discomfort on my right wrist two days ago. I pushed it. I continued to work on the computer with bad posture (lying down). Then today it was just unbearable. I couldn't even use my phone. So I got a splint. Next, I will see my cousin, an orthopedic surgeon.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A lot of people get this. My mom got it years ago from her work. She said her doctor injected her with something (I have yet to find out) and the pain never came back. I've heard of people who had to get surgery. I'm not at that point, I don't think.

By the way, I'm typing with my left fingers. It's so hard because I type really fast with both hands. I learned typing the right way in high school. Do they still even teach typing in school these days?

I will rest from blogging. I should. Give me a few days. Please follow me in Twitter in the meantime - DaphneOP and please join me in Facebook as well by clicking "Like" here.

Maybe this is good timing. In a few days, I will go live with my new site. So we'll be in transition. I need you all to stay with me, through Twitter and Facebook. I expect some hiccups along the way. But it'll be a better site. Promise.

Thanks and please pray for my right wrist. I need it back to normal. Take care you all.


Staycation at the Sofitel


A couple of weeks ago we stayed at Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. We didn't go anywhere far or exciting this summer. Though the kids' activities were action-packed, we couldn't let this summer go by without a little treat so we went for a staycation instead of a trip. The universe conspired and we ended up at the Sofitel Prestige Suite for three days. It was wonderful.

View from the entrance to the room.

The living and dining areas.

Same area, reverse shot. Can you see my kids checking everything out? They do this type of inspection everytime we enter a hotel room.

View from one of our windows. I lost count of how many windows and balconies there were. Our room was really long.

I wear a lot of blue and white stripes. I was so pleased with our room.

So were the kids. They couldn't believe how big it was. The two "littles" danced.

Lily checked out the amenities. The bathtub was big. The kids loved it.

I loved the toiletries. For three days we all smelled like Hermes.

Our bathroom had two back to back lavatories.

Lily claimed the rights to the "office."

I loved the idea of having a little home office like this - adjacent to the master bedroom and facing a view of the bay.

Lily's drawing. Check out the personalized stationery!

Of course we hit the pool right away.

I have fond memories about the Philippine Plaza pool. It was a landmark then. It's still spectacular now. Lots of kid-friendly parts. But there were very deep parts too (I'm so not used to deep pools anymore). The slides were not for kids below 12. It's pretty trecherous. Exciting for big kids.

Lily's way of relaxing
Lily loves doing this. Chillax.

She looks so grown up
Sophia loved the idea of being so close to the sea.

They were wishing there was a beach. (Soph's multicoloured nail lacquer was badly in need of a re-do.)

Lily and Stella

Good thing there was a sandbox.

Stella took long naps. Here, she just woke up and took off her clothes.

Warning, this photo is guaranteed contagious. After her siesta. Yawn...

The hotel is so beautiful at night. We took long walks and even swam at night.

The kids played in the playground and stayed up way past their bedtime.

Beautiful architecture, inside and out.

Best view of fireworks from our room. There just happened to be an event at their tent.

Patrick and my favourite part was our access to Club Millesime, their executive lounge. Everything was free.

It had been newly renovated.


Great memories were made again.


Ronac Art Center


Last week, I finally got to visit Ronac Art Center in Ortigas.

Urban Zone was invited by Uratex. I interviewed the Bigboy Cheng.

We featured Uratex products on the second floor show room. This is their highest-end mattress. It has a layer of gel on top.

It was nice to see my favourite Daphne bedlinens being used at the Uratex showroom.

The third floor housed Bigboy's playground. It reminded me of his own house, I visited 4 years ago.

This is the playground. It has a professional basketball court. Some PBA teams practice here. But it can be used for other purposes like concerts or parties.

The second floor has this really cool art gallery called Secret Fresh. Currently on display are the works of Nemo Aguila.

Check out Nemo's work. Very talented and witty pop art.

Denmark Alejandro, my spiels director and segment producer. I love how they play with my camera without my knowledge. LOL.

Go Denmark Go.

Even at the stairwell.

At the Fresh shop on the ground floor.

More pop art toys.

Then we ran into Gerald Anderson and I had to say hi. It's funny when TV people meet in person for the first time, it's like we have this "thing" that we act like we've already known each other for a while. It's a professional courtesy thing. (But deep inside I was like...)

Cute or what? He was very charming. He watches UZ.

This building pays homage to Uratex. The spiral staircase reminded me of Frank Gehry's AGO. But Bigboy tells me it represents the spring of a mattress while the facade represents the foam. It was stunning and well done!

So Denmark went on with his photo shoot. LOL.

I'm not wearing a hat. It's just a silk headband from Evita Peroni. I liked that it was a bit sculptural.

I love the way this K&Company dress fits. It also comes in light blue. I chose the grey one.

We were there from lunch to late afternoon. It was a bit too hot. But I loved the way the shadows created those lines on the wall. Best time to go to Ronac is after 6pm.

Floors are made of teak wood.

You'll never run out of camera angles in this place.

Even the elevator was something else, fully lined with teak wood. I wish it was airconditioned though because it did really feel like a sauna. Haha.

This Volkswagen van will soon be a food cart/restaurant.

I tell stories in the end of the show - about what I'm wearing or stuff that I have. We used to do this in my old show, F. So far it's getting good reviews. People are nosy. Haha. Anyway here I am, showing the daisy pendant I designed after my daughter Stella Margarita's name. It's made of spessartite and diamonds. My dress is from K&Company.

This was my last shoot. I love the prints by JP Cuison. I now own a Rizal Borg sculpture by him! Yay! Now, to own one of those prints... haha. So here I am talking about the outfit etc - dress from K&Company, cuff was a gift from Janina Dizon. Can you see my ring? I designed that. Will post a tighter shot soon. It's a stunning mandarin garnet with tsavorites. My shoes? I got from a random store. Then I talked about my Kor Delta water bottle. I would not normally gush about water bottles, LOL. But this is really awesome. It should win a design award. The spout alone is so smooth, it makes drinking so comfortable. You can get them here.

RONAC Art Center Ortigas Ave., Greenhills
Secret Fresh on Facebook