MANILA, Philippines — She was sidetracked from her original career. She took up TV hosting initially on a “whim.” After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts with a Specialist in Art History and Major in Urban Studies from the University of Toronto, Daphne Oseña-Paez originally thought to get employed in the City of Toronto and be an urban planner or work in the field of municipal governance.
Her career took an international route that made her beam with pride early on, but change the course of her plans. “I was assigned to be a project officer and manager in developing countries on behalf of a Canadian urban thinktank funded by the Canadian government,” Daphne offered. “I managed programs in Mexico and the Baltics. Then, I was sent on a long-term assignment in the Philippines.”
Although it was because of urban planning that she returned to the Philippines, that job paved the way for a different career that eventually gave Daphne recognition on television. “I was to stay here in the Philippines for a one-year contract and move on to the next project in Vietnam,” shared Daphne. “But before that project ended, the governor of Guimaras, Emily Lopez, a family friend, recommended me to ABS-CBN.
“I had one meeting with Freddie Garcia, who introduced me to Dong Puno and the news department and gave me an offer on the spot. I took it on a whim, willing to try anything. That was how I ended up on Philippine TV.”
From reporting to TV hosting
In 1997, Daphne initially started as a reporter and newscaster which she did for two years on ABS-CBN and Studio 23. Then came her break in TV hosting in the lifestyle and magazine show, F, that aired for seven years on ABS-CBN and Studio 23.
Daphne was originally eyed to host the program alone. However, Angel Aquino and journalist Cher Calvin were subsequently added to form part of the trio of F girls.
“F is a pioneer in the glossy lifestyle show under a news organization,” granted Daphne. “It set the bar for lifestyle shows in the Philippines. Up to now, I still have people asking me to bring back F. It was quite an iconic show, capturing the loyalty and admiration of a generation of viewers. It was also a special time for Manila, as we saw the rise of commercial hubs and new buildings, the sophistication of restaurants, spas, shops, fashion.”
One impressive and successful stint led to the next and more, until Daphne made a stellar name for herself in TV hosting. What followed F was Urban Zone, Daphne’s “baby,” which she conceptualized, wrote and created when F wrapped up after an illustrious seven years.
“It was the F girl who grew up, so it wasn’t about fashion and the lifestyle scene, but rather about homes, architecture and design,” Daphne beamed.
Urban Zone was the program closest to Daphne’s heart, understandably, as it was in sync with her interests and education. Since she wrote and conceptualized the show, it didn’t feel like work to her. Urban Zone also paved the way for her brand, Daphne® with collaborations with big retailers (like Bench, National Bookstore, Dimensione, SM and Rustan’s).
The travel show, AirAsia Red Talks with Daphne, came in 2018, although not a TV program, but a digital series produced by AirAsia that made its host nonetheless proud. “I filmed all over Asia,” Daphne said. “It was just offered to me as I was AirAsia’s brand ambassador. Beyond my wildest dreams.
“I filmed in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Surabaya, Bali and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, Shanghai in China, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Palawan here in the Philippines,” Daphne chronicled her trips.
“I interviewed David Foster in Surabaya. A lot of presenters only dream of having a travel show. I actually got to have it for two years and be fully supported by one of the top regional airlines.”
Daphne as the face of Recreate
Recently, Daphne was given a new hosting job on Cignal TV, Recreate, with Menans Perez as executive producer and Leo Conde as writer. Back in 2018, Daphne was offered by the management of Cignal to host Create.
“I had co-hosted the lifestyle magazine show, Cocktales for TV5 (with business columnist Vic Agustin) and focused on my brand Daphne® for a few years,” Daphne disclosed. “Cignal was launching new channels and I welcomed their invitation. We did two seasons. Then on a season break, the pandemic hit.
“I didn’t think we could come back to shoot again, considering this was a magazine show that would require us to go on location and interact with our subjects. While on break, I thought we need to do something else because everything has changed and we have changed. So, the idea of Recreate came about.”
Although she is not a producer in Recreate, unlike in her other shows previously, Daphne is very involved in the planning of the episodes. “It is very much a collaborative environment,” she said.
“Because I have an extensive network of contacts in the art, culture, architecture and design worlds, I usually am the one who invites the subjects. Then we plan how the episode will go, what aspects of their work we will highlight, etc.
“I am very proud of Recreate. In the show, we tell the stories of people, places and communities that have used their creativity in all forms, to thrive and survive these challenging times.”
Daphne is very thrilled and even honored that the June 5 episode of Recreate will feature the newly-restored Metropolitan Theater, the first time the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) allowed to shoot and feature the theater in full.
“They uncovered the seats, demonstrated the stage system and turned on the air-conditioning just for us,” Daphne allowed. “The Metropolitan Theater was built in 1931 in the style of Art Deco. This restoration was the most comprehensive and historically accurate since it was renovated by (former First Lady) Mrs. Imelda Marcos in 1978.”
Married to journalist Patrick Paez, with whom she has three daughters — Sophia, 18, Lily, 14 and Stella, 11 — Daphne is grateful for everything she has accomplished in her career. She cannot be thankful enough where opportunities have taken her, considering she never planned any of them.
“All my TV work came to me as wonderful opportunities,” Daphne asserts. “I’m glad that I can be proud of all the work I’ve done. Everything else is a bonus. A talk show would be good again. There are still a lot of stories to be told.”
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com