Photo of Paolo Feliciano
Daphne Oseña Paez is a household name in thePhilippines.
She is a Filipino TV show host, the producer of her own home design TV show Urban Zone®, a business woman (Daphne®), a jewelry designer, a Filipino blogger, a UNICEF special advocate, a product ambassador for Olay, a wife, and most especially, the mother of three children.
She is what I would call a “cosmopolitan woman”, somebody who knows a lot of things, who has combined her passion, her knowledge and everything she can possibly hold in her hands and put them into her life. She is ultimately the kind of woman we all like to be: successful, happy, loving, religious and creative!
As the Editor of this blog, I am highly honored to feature her for Saturday Success Story on AMSDaily as she is my all-time favorite TV show host! I have watched her incessantly in her first lifestyle TV show F! with Cher Calvin and Angel Aquino where I used to get ideas on Philippine fashion, food, travel and lifestyle. As everybody knows in the Philippine media, F! became the longest running and most awarded lifestyle magazine show in the country.
Today, she is what she has worked for and I am very glad to share her story with you!
This is her story:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.
Daphne: I am a mother, wife, TV Host & Producer of Urban Zone, web entrepreneur (daphne.ph). I was born in thePhilippines, raised inCanada. I’m a Canadian citizen.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Urban Studies, Specialist in Fine Art History from theUniversityofToronto. I was also appointed as the UNICEF Special Advocate for Children.
AMS: Growing up, did you always dream of becoming a producer, businesswoman and also a TV show host?
Daphne: No I didn’t. I trained to be an urban planner and did that for about three years. But I always had a creative and artistic side. I knew I didn’t want to work in an office. So my first job was for a Canadian company that did urban planning related projects in developing countries. I wanted to travel after university, see the world and gain international experience before getting a serious job inToronto. When I was in high school inToronto I thought I could one day be an architect even though I wasn’t really interested in the technical side of building a building. I was always attracted to the design world and the only way I knew to manifest it was to work as an urban planner. After my three years doing urban planning programs, I got an offer from ABS-CBN. It was totally accidental. But I was prepared for it. When I got in to ABS-CBN- I was a reporter, taught myself how to write and produce and tell stories and learned the language of broadcasting.
AMS: How did you become who you are today, the “Daphne Osena-Paez” that we all know?
Daphne: I learned everything on the job. I taught myself new skills. I wasn’t satisfied just being a host. I wanted to learn the creative side, the back-end, and eventually the business side. Urban Zone® is my baby. It’s my brand. A production company produces it for me – they provide the hardware, but the creative and editorial is headed by me with the help of my team. When UZ’s influence and foothold in the design industry got stronger, I established the Daphne® brand. It is a registered trademark. Under my brand there are home/design products like linens (available in SM and Our Home), furniture (in Rustan’s), and fine jewellery (available in Accessory Lab).
AMS: In carving your name in the Philippine media, what were some of the obstacles you met and how are you still making it?
Daphne: Initially it was a language/pronunciation problem. I didn’t speak Tagalog well enough, so TV Patrol never allowed me to voice a story for them. I would contribute but I never got to read stories. Until one time I had my own scoop – I interviewed a controversial person and only I had the story, I flew toBoston for it. Now, the challenges I face are those that involve being an independent. I don’t work for TV station. I do everything on my own – my management, my marketing, my content.
AMS: Being a Mom, a show host and a producer, how do you manage it all? Where do you get your inspiration and energy come from?
Daphne: I prioritize my children first. Hosting my show only takes half a day each week. The rest of the time I can be working from home. I say no to many social events. I just don’t have the time for that. It’ll take me away from my family. The business (home products) operations are done by my partners. The things that take a lot of time are photo shoots and other marketing activities I have to do to push my brand. And for those, sometimes I bring my kids.
AMS: Being a celebrated person in theManilaand around thePhilippines, what is your most important message that you would like your followers/fans to know about you?
Daphne: That I am a product of my own hard work and was never about hype. I never had a manager, publicist – I don’t even have an assistant. That I achieved this slowly but surely. TV shows don’t last forever. But even if I lose one, I can make another one. I credit that to the fact that I know the back end of my business. And also, that I am a mother first before anything else.
AMS: As the producer and show host of Urban Zone®, what are your favorite houses?
Daphne: Each house is worth a story. They are all good.
Editor’s Note: Watch a segment of Daphne’s TV show Urban Zone®:
AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are?
Daphne: My own personal desire to succeed. My parents of course guided me throughout my young life. I still turn to them for advice. And when things get rough, I turn to them for pep talk because no matter what, they are always my biggest supporters. I am proud of my university education – my parents worked hard for that. Professionally, it is my husband who helped make everything happen for me. He is my rock and my compass. He always knew which path I should take, even if it was the long path. But I got there.
AMS: What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had aside from we already mentioned?
a) Project manager of an international development program forCanada- at 24 years old.
b) Spearheading the coordination of foreign aid fromCanada’s Global Medic to Iligan and CDO last December. I just did it on my own out of frustration. I contacted Global Medic and asked them to come and help restore clean water. In a span of 24 hours I had to get approval from the top guy of PAL to fly in 5 Canadian volunteer medics and huge cargo full of water purification tablets. In the first 2 hours, I was able to get their two local trucks on board a Navy vessel. Then when things were getting critical, I was able to get a C130 to fly more cargo to CDO. I almost fainted after everything was delivered. The value of the aid was over $100,000 USD. BBC World News found out about what I did and interviewed me (live radio).
c) Being a UNICEF Special Advocate
AMS: Who are/were your motivators?
Daphne: The fact that I am a mother of 3 happy girls.
AMS: If, you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful (in general) in life- what are they?
1. Know the technical or creative side, learn the craft
2. Be open to new possibilities
3. I’m a firm believer that obtaining a university degree is a good thing to have. It may not be a guarantee for success, but it has always given me confidence that I can go anywhere in the world and my degree can open doors.
4. Be a good communicator – have good writing skills.
5. Charm is a good thing.
6. Never underestimate the power of being nice.
7. Get valuable work experience in the industry you want to be in – even if it means working for free at first.
AMS: What are your next goals for yourself and for family?
Daphne: To expand Daphne.ph
AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.
Daphne: Stability, Sense of achievement and Happiness
To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.