LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL

CATCHING UP WITH LIFE FEAT. MISIBIS BAY, CAGRARAY ISLAND

Every working millennial would understand that “tired” is always a part of our existence. Behind our care-free life that we project is an ambition and willpower that burns inside of us. These usually fuel us to exert that extra effort in performing well in our jobs. However, our passionate minds and hearts may also lead us to be deprived of our personal time. It’s very inevitable especially when our capabilities are milked out like crazy to meet an urgent deadline.

When “beaching” is the perfect remedy.

My bff Joana (https://happyrabbittravels.com/) posted a write up regarding the same musings, and we usually talk about how we maintain the harmony of our personal lives. From the looks of it, she already found the right formula to balance her social and corporate life. In my case, no matter how hard I try, it seems that finding the equilibrium for these two is a huge challenge for me. There are just weeks where I would go without rest day to finish urgent matters in the office. Yes, my desk is clear but my head is cluttered. I missed my friends; lazy afternoon naps; and doing absolutely nothing. Just when you are on the verge of overheating comes my much anticipated 8 working day mandatory leave. The much needed hibernation took me to one of the most beautiful places in my hometown in Albay. I must admit that I am guilty on exploring only a few parts of the province despite jet setting to a number of places.

Sunny afternoon in Misibis Bay.

White sand at its finest.

My friend and I found ourselves in Misibay Bay Luxury Resort in Cagraray Island, Albay. After we arrange our stuff in our designated room, we immediately swapped our clothes to our swimwear and head to its famous white sand beach. The sun, the waves and the wind in our faces are the true therapy to combat the overflowing stress.

The feeling of lying down, facing the sun with the sand on your back stops the time like no other. A quick escape from the busy streets and skyscrapers brings an inner peace that melts all the restless feeling that has been accumulated all together. We never mind the burning sensation in our feet. All we care about is how we can make the most out of our time away from harsh reality.

After this short-lived vacay, it made me understood that there is nothing wrong if you allocate a spare time for yourself.  I still have this vacay-aftermath syndrome where I would crave for that pampered feeling, but I know it would be much impossible to have a weekly dose for such due to budget and scheduling concerns. Then again, weekends are there for a reason, and I just realized that I have to maximize this free time to be in the best shape the next working day. I will still render overtime in the future if its necessary, but I’ll make it a point to squeeze in some “me” time even if it is in a form of a long sleep, or a short adventure if possible. Being dedicated (or workaholic in some sense) to your profession is a thumbs up, for as long as we can draw a clear line from our lives within and outside our office.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

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LIFESTYLE

THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM ONLINE DATING

Photo by yours truly.

Establishing an online presence has opened a lot of new things for me. Aside from the opportunity in creative writing and photography, it has allowed me to expand my network and meet the influential people that I truly admire. Being single and loveless made me decided to also try finding true love in cyberspace.

I was one of those who installed those dating apps; spending most of my free time browsing the potential lovers, and diligently responding to the messages of those interested ones. It was really overwhelming to know that someone is really interested to view your profile and send you a message. Hopes were up since some of my friends were able to kiss the right frogs through dating apps/ sites and found their destiny.

To cut the story short, I was able to score couple of dates with some “interesting users”. Later on, I realized that the fun part is only in the beginning. Let’s just say, every date became a “charge it to experience” moment.

SHOWING YOUR TRUE COLORS

If he loves you, he will accept you as a whole and help you become the best version of yourself. However, if he will change you with his superficial standards as his main focus, then better ask yourself if you really want to be with someone like him.

EXPECTATION VS. REALITY

Hopeless romantics (including me) immediately draw stories and fall in love with that perfect imagination. After which, we heavily expect that this day dream would soon be a reality with this potential partner, whom we’ve only gone through a single date. If this doesn’t materialize, we end up heart broken in the midst of singlehood. So fellas, its better to set our eyes to the real world and manage expectations.

Vector and images are copyright to their respective owners. Digital art by yours truly.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES

The greatest sign that a guy doesn’t want to continue on the getting-to-know game is a sudden and unpredictable change. This is when his messaging habits gets limited until he stops and forget about you. In a blink of an eye, he became “busy” from unexplained stuff that extends beyond 24/7. It goes back to the old-age scenario of being awkward in bringing the bad news. Even if it is online, the jittery feeling of telling NO to someone interested in you is hard AF.

Remember, don’t ever waste your time chasing  them. Don’t boost their ego by begging for time, and making them feel that they are worth chasing. We are all grown ups and we don’t want to play childish guessing games. If someone wants you, he will ensure that you will be remember not just when he needs someone to talk to.

YOUR INSTINCT IS YOUR BFF

That whispers in the back of your ear are there for a reason. It’s not overthinking, its your common sense telling you that there is something wrong.

In relation to the previous item, your gut feel on his actions can sometimes tell you if he still wants to pursue you. Just be observant with actions or frequency on messages. He won’t tell it straight to your face (or app in our case), but his actions plus your gut feel will slap you for a wake up call. If that’s the case, then its time to pull the plug.

“LOVE YOURSELF” EXCUSE

One of the overly used term in the millennial world is now being used in the so-called blame game in dating someone you met online (or in real life). To cover up their indecisiveness and for them to dump you, they would usually reason out that “you have to love yourself first”. This is a nice way of saying that “you can have all your love back for yourself”. Most of the time, we tend to stop and ponder deeply if there is still lacking from within. This toxic people make you look like its your fault, when its their unsure nature is the real problem.

Let me tell you this, loving yourself does not necessarily mean that you have mastered loving others. If you can heal yourself alone, then consider yourself lucky. However, there are just situations that you need a loving partner to remind you that you are worth loving despite you being broken. From this, you can slowly eject the loneliness and make room for love. Little than you know, you have grown how to appreciate and love yourself from the support given.

Photo by yours truly.

LOVE IS BEYOND FILTERS

Online dating is synonymous to marketing yourself. As part of this strategy, we tend to post our best-angled shots, and sometimes rely on filters for a little tweaking. But its a different case when the person you are dating has only fell in-love with your images, not the real you.

To share my experience, I’ve gone through a date with douche bags values appearance more than anything. There were days that I was told that either I gained weight (with a brow raised) or  I looked skinnier. This usually became the topic of our convo, and it made me think twice if I still have to finish my food. After which, my stress-related breakouts would become the main topic. I mean dude who wakes up in the morning and walks around with a ring light in his face?  Dating them made me more self-conscious and down, knowing that my value is based on images. Later on, I realized that if that is their perspective, then they are free to print my photos and take those out for a coffee.

USER-FRIENDLY EXPERIENCE

We are not talking about the apps and sites here. The people itself ready to tap your photo are the issue. It may take someone to kiss a lot of frogs to find the right one, or others may find luck in the first tap. Online dating may open possibilities, but its does not guarantee that it will spare you from troubles and depression from dickheads. Just remember to be cautious and be aware of what you’ve signed up for.

 

Ben
GeekyBF.com

 

FASHION, MODELS TALK, REVIEWS

MODELS TO WATCH (FEMALE) – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL, THE NEXT

Runway photos from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner.
Digital art by yours truly. 

There are a lot of serious potential on the girls booked for the latest Manila Fashion Festival. Short listing the models is indeed a tough job. In a season flooded with newbies and rising stars, we pick the top contenders who commanded the fast phased runway, and impressed our selective eyes. We firmly believe that their hard work plus whole package can lead them to the ranks of catwalk supremacy in the Philippines.

Note: List is arranged in alphabetical order.
Runway photos are from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner. 

Anna Bradborn/ CalCarrie’s/ @bossbradborn

The runway and camera lens can’t get enough of her beauty. Anna is a bankable muse with an excellent track record from the respected people in Filipino fashion business. She simultaneously brushes us with her elegant aura, plus an immensely gorgeous face that won’t let you blink an eye.

Anne De Mesa/ Art Personas/ @annedemesa

Anne is a brilliant student who juggles the calling of academe and high heels. Outside her world of calculator and books, she is known to be the sophisticated girl, with a face made for beauty plus a physique sculpted for fashion. This beautiful geek may have found the formula to be that bookworm in high heels, and I hope she won’t mind giving us a cheat sheet of her modelling prowess. She has made repeated appearances on the runway each season. For the latest MFF, participation with Veejay Floresca, SOFA Graduation show and Azucar has got Anne gracefully marching in full control. She also scored a campaign with beauty brand – Garnier, making her a true runway home girl and the model with the bright future.

Baina Tan/ PW Models/ @bainatan

With the strong commercial nature of the market in Philippines, there will always be a soft spot to love a quirky beauty. The MFF runway is no stranger for Baina. She has graced its runway before and she made a towering comeback for Cheetah Rivera. Baina’s Asian features complimented the clean and minimalist collection, bearing an ethereal touch to her edgy aesthetic. If we have someone we are rooting to see more on catwalk and top glossies, it would definitely be her

Ella Tejana/ Yeoh Models/ @ellatejana

Coming from an agency with a strong reputation of producing caliber models, Ella is surely an asset on their board and the runway. From her introduction on the catwalk, Ella surely got that standout ticket on-hand. Her Asian features mixed with a hint of a Lily Aldridge resemblance is very interesting, thus making her a clear choice to show up in the right places.

Erika Narvaez / Art Personas/ @ikaynarvaez

People may perceive Erika as a timid beauty because of her calm nature. Her recognition of being among the strongest models is credited thanks to her quirky girl-editorial presence which truly works. Favored with a look that is hyped in fashion, this young model has the complete package to soar and create a mark as top model.

Geisha Naganuma/ Art Personas/ @geishacamille

That something that we truly love about Geisha is the mood she brings on the show. She is the real deal when it comes to being classic and edgy. It was nothing but a runway dream, seeing her carve her strut into perfection. The MFF season has wrapped up, but the musings for this Japanese rookie will keep on going.

Joma Bernardo/ PW Models/ @jo.majesty

Having a dark and shaggy bob as a weapon of choice, Joma declared that she is one of the owners of the spotlight. The intensity of her expression and bouncy walked could’ve passed to be the evil twin of top model Tanya Dyagileva. Joma’s stint has seduced the runway with an all-androgynous experience, leaving us with firm admiration.

Kevin Cusi / @imkevincusi

From the time she dipped her baby steps, we instantly became a fan. Kevin is a newcomer, who is obviously gifted with sensual curves; legs that stretch for days; and hypnotizing eyes. There is this tropical exoticism she delivers which puts her above others. No wonder she became one of the most wanted, for her presence will say that there’s no dull moment.

Kira Manansala/ PMAP/ @kiraeowyn

The youthful and sweet newbie of PMAP snaps as a head turner this season. Out of the pool of master walkers, Kira is synonymous to a breath of fresh air, gifted with long legs following the path of the big leagues. Her innocent-doll face and flowing mane only speaks her undeniable potential.

Ksenia Zambon/ Reign Models

When a model’s presence is enough to call it a day, you know she is a hot commodity. Ksenia’s stint in the Philippines is truly a memorable one. She strutted down 14 shows with her piercing expression, commanding the theatrics with her stomp. Her best performance is on her appearance for Veejay Floresca. She set the bar in providing a great amount of energy on such a dreamy collection.  As she explores the globe for modelling gigs, we only hope to see her back again for good in the seasons to come.

Leila Ibanez/ Art Personas/ @leilaibanez

A favorite among local designers, Leila stretches beyond the ordinary and has proven her worth. This model is an alumnus from Face of the Philippines who keeps on getting better each season. She radiates a traditional Filipina aesthetic that is synonymous to opulence and refinement. When it’s her turn on the catwalk, she can surely guarantee to end her turn on a high note. She was truly an exceptional selection on Vic Barba’s collection, winning not just the eye of the designer, but also the hearts of the audience.

Maria Fabiana/ IM Agency/ @mariafabiana_

She is the feistiest import that sweeps us off our feet. Since her appearance, Maria up her game to the nth level, going beyond the initial awe from the on-lookers. Behind that obvious beauty is a fire and energy that she keeps in tune. The good thing about Maria is her versatility. She can easily fit mainstream and crossover to bold- editorial.  We have witnessed her prowess on the spotlight, and we can give her a capital A plus for an effortless breakout star moment.

Maria Rivera/ @immariarivera

An excellent model never bores an audience, whether it’s her looks or her presence. This is the reason why we always have Maria in our mind. Last season, she fearlessly carried a bob cut and booked top tier shows. This time, she flaunts a long-wavy hair, with a strut that punctures our heartbeat. She is mile-high from the day she started, and her chameleon beauty will always welcome a strong following.

Martin Tuanquin/ @martintii

Martin’s feline-like face is something that leaves us all in amazement. Her ever-toned body aligned for swimwear and avant garde is something immaculate that most of us would die for. Our runway star has already taken part of previous seasons of Manila Fashion Festival, but the unsolicited attention will continue as it is. As one of the representation of redefining the modelling business, Martin will always deliver beyond recognition.

Wanda Chen/ @wandachen_

It appears that someone is spreading pink positive all over. Wanda has been fearlessly swapping her looks from time-to-time and always getting positive response. Rocking a not-so-typical hair color is huge risk for models. But Wanda made her color choices as part of her DNA, which blossoms into steady runway bookings and a campaign for Mosimmo clothing. Shying away from that usual baby face-Asian stereotype is unarguably her best move.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK, REVIEWS

MODELS TO WATCH (MALE) – MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL, THE NEXT

Runway photos from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner.
Digital art by yours truly. 

There is this unexplained rush they send while walking, and the sensation they left behind from their footsteps have been burned to our fashion memories.  Aside from worshiping the latest collections from the designers, our eyes our also glued on the living mannequins who were true stand outs. A model’s performance on the spotlight is deeper than the minutes spent on the runway. It’s an assessment of whether their attendance can give us a big check on that make-or-break moment. To mix it up a bit, we’ll start counting down the boys first. Note that the models are arranged in alphabetical order.

Runway photos are from Manila Fashion Festival. Credits to the owner. 

Dayal Chowdhary/ @dayalchowdhary

Having an unruly mane with an overgrown facial hair makes Dayal a smoldering commodity to appear this season. As his good looks separate him from the rest, he tends to promote an inexhaustible force on the catwalk that would surely welcome admiration and bookings under his cv.

Diogo Zambon

His Barbaric and rugged visage strides the runways of Darirue, Chris Diaz and Jun Jun Alblaza in overflowing intensity. A memorable performance has cemented an inevitable and charismatic following for this Brazilian. Living his trademark of messy hair and piercing eyes only says that he is destined to join the runway honor roll.

Elys Lim/ @project.el

Who would have thought that the delicate and gentle features of this Asian boy would work through dark and edgy styling? Elys is flexible enough to contradict his cherub-like charm and work well with the designers’ vision, which he also incorporated for the editorial spread he recently booked. We just discovered a fresh talent  who is a “sought-after” in the long run.

Howel Medina/ Art Personas

Howell’s projection alone tells a lot of story. He was promising from his start, and has seen him grow until these days. As an artist himself, he carries his skills to the runway, and turns himself into a walking work of art through his otherworldly features. He is surely someone who ends his appearance with a high note, and we are keeping that in mind.

Iago Faria/ @iagofaria13

The irresistible Brazilian is showing us that blondes really have more fun. It was all natural for him when he commands the runway with an easy-feel good spirit. Possessing a perfect bone structure; god-like height; and eyes that pierce through someone’s soul – guess we found a new buzz generator.

Jake Villumsen / Art Personas/ @jakevillumsen

His gentleman face has appeals between the classic and mainstream market. Mr. Villumsen has a quality that always brought a lasting impression which was requested by the runway royalty. Despite his frequent runway appearances and travels, this handsome Danish secured the passport to land as a marvelous model.

Johannes Rissler/ @superjohans

When we saw him on the runway, he is just too hot for words to describe. His perfectly sculpted jawline, and mesmerizing eyes made him a strong contender on the roll. From that point, we knew that we fell in love with this eye-catching demi-god with a body made for war.

Juan Carlos Schubert/ @schubert.jace

The youthful and refined aura of Mr.Schubert have paved way to becoming a runway distinction this season. He proved his modelling abilities by standing out, and executing an elegant walk behind the theatrical creations of Ablaza. This performance only says that he is more than just a product of a gifted DNA.

Ken Bosch / PMAP/ @kennbosch

You can always see him flashing his bright smile backstage. However, this model means business when it’s his time to shine on the spotlight. Putting his magnetically striking features upfront, and turning that cute charm into a slaying power, he found himself a secured spot and it’s not hard to see why.

Lawrence Cervantes / Art Personas/ @mr.walecner

Artist/ Art Professor/ Model – Seems a lot but a handsome multitasker carries these titles effortlessly. He initially existed in the art world. An almost similar industry, where his deep affection with something beyond normal is cultivated. Crossing borders to fashion seems to be natural for Lawrence. Possessing bold facial features and a lean physique to match made him a vital part of Manila Fashion Festival. He is pretty much successful in his early endeavors, and the fashion world seems to have more in-store for this man-for-all-seasons and reasons.

Mark Jason Go / Yeoh Models/ @markasongo

The relax yet exaggerated features of this model goes along with his strong and remarkable presence in Manila Fashion Festival TheNext. He made an impression as a stand out in SOFA Graduation show owning not just his perfect jaw line and orient looks, but the aesthetic of the pieces he is wearing. We now understand that having him on shows would tell us that he is unintentionally meant to be noticed.

Maverick Lacson / @mavericklacson

He set the runway in heat as he made his stint this season for Manila Fashion Festival. Maverick is the epitome of “individuality” on his stride and absorbs all the attention on the catwalk.  The quirkiness maybe unusual for the commoners, but who cares if you are a citizen built for the runway?

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, LIFESTYLE

HER SMELL OF SUCCESS – SOLEIL ET LUNE

Photographed by yours truly.

Our history class uncovered to us that woman back on the early times have been treated as second-class citizens kept in silence. Oppression along with sexism has been the norm up until our sisters fought for change and equality. As the previous leaders were overtaken by a new generation, the old prejudice ideas have been overtaken with a new unbiased environment, slowly opening their minds into recognizing the voice of women. Being in the 21st century, we can see a huge leap from what it was before. Women nowadays are free to express themselves through opinions and personal style. They have promoted the idea of establishing an identity which is free from what the understatement that they have been told to before.

As a companion to her success and self expression, a dab and spray of a perfume has been a part of her weapon of choice. A fancy bottle can define and even become an extension of the person she is. For the modern day women, a scent is more than just smelling good. It is a sort of invisible accessory, awakening her alluring spirit and empowering the individual she wants to be.

With the willpower of femininity in mind, Ms. Kristine Dee and Elizabeth Supetran of The Beauty Mission introduced Soleil et Lune – a fragrance catered to celebrate the Filipina, complementing her exceptional beauty, freedom and aspirations. They also believe that women deserve to enjoy an everyday luxury, that is why they managed to encapsulate this concept in a bottle for her to do so. Soleil et Lune is translated from French as Sun and Moon, with the implication of providing a whiff of the lush life that a woman warrants from sun rise till dark. The range of the Soleil et Lune creations came from the carefully selected oils and essences from Grasse, France to match the seasons of our country. Get to know Soleil et Lune’s variety that airs the promise of an opulent experience.

 

Images from Soleil et Lune. Credits to the owner. 

With an exceptional fragrance, we now understood that success and being remembered are not just about the eyes, but also the nose. Visit soleiletlune.ph or seektheuniq.com to order online. Soleil et Lune is also available at Firma in Greenbelt 3.

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK

MANILA FASHION FESTIVAL (THE NEXT) GO-SEE HIGHLIGHTS

Photographed by yours truly.

We have witnessed Manila Fashion Festival’s success that merited our slow claps throughout the past seasons. But before the glitz and cheers, they have to conduct first the rigorous practice of model casting.

Just as odds are in our favor, we were lucky enough to be invited to experience another round of casting. It is already my second time to watch this process, but the excitement will always there. My usual lazy Sunday afternoon has been overpowered by model adrenaline as we mingle with fashion experts and model hopefuls. As the stress is evident, seeing the whole selection process makes us feel grounded. You can see the hard work that everyone incorporated in their task – Models brushing off the nerves; looking as if they are having a good time, and the casting committee screening hundreds of models, ensuring that each one of them fits the mold.

Photographed by yours truly.

The day ended with a “sigh” from everyone. One down from their task line up, but there is more to go. Every designer has marked their favorites, and may deliberate to the other models that they may want to consider. For sure, there is a lot in-store for us this season – from models, designer creations and the actual show. At the meantime, enjoy the cut below for the catch on what’s inside the Go-See for Manila Fashion Festival THE NEXT.

Photos are property of GEEKYBF.COM. Please ensure proper credit upon usage. 

Ben
GeekyBF.com

FASHION, MODELS TALK

LEGITIMATELY LIZZY

Photo: Jerick Sanchez
Makeup : Syd Helmsley
All credit goes to its respective owners

Years ago, there was this buzz on fashion forums about a Filipina-British model making waves on the fashion scene, represented by the biggest agencies in major fashion capitals. She goes by the nickname Lizzy (Born Rosemary-Anne Elizabeth Burden), who gave a twist to the typical English Rose beauty with her South East Asian mix. Most of us followers only knew about her through the edgy body of work and opportunities she had in her career, such as working with Katie Grand and sharing a runway with Alessandra Ambrosio. Little did we know, she is a woman with a voice and substance who extends beyond what we see. 

I gushed with excitement when I got the opportunity to meet her for a Saturday dinner. She waved and welcomed me in her cute British accent. Before the interview, we talked about some of her endeavors outside modelling. To be honest, I arrived with the idea of getting information on her career background, but our conversation ended up where I got some inspiring advice from her, especially when it comes to pursuing your passion and the love of your life. The self-confessed frugal is also a smart and dedicated student, who recently decided to lend her footsteps to the Filipino fashion arena under the management of Elite Manila. Her intelligent insight on her model journey is pretty impressive, and her mature approach on things is something worth our attention.  

Photos from Fashion Model Directory
All credit goes to its respective owners

When you were young, how did you understand modelling

I admired the grace and elegance of the women in the magazines, but I didn’t realize how much creative work went into those pictures. It isn’t just the model – it’s also the photographer, the hair and makeup artists, the stylist, the designer and manufacturers of the clothes, the agent, the casting team… Back then, all I saw was the end product: beauty. 

How did that perception change now that you are a model? 

I’ve learned that fashion isn’t just art, it’s also business. As a model, you need to sell your brand. You need excellent people skills so that you can build relationships with agencies and clients – you must always be a pleasure to work with. There’s so much behind each photo and I’ve come to appreciate that over the years. 

What were the struggles that you encountered when you were starting? 

I was lucky to have a relatively easy beginning. From Manchester I went to London, then to Milan and Paris, then New York. But that first year, I got alopecia – you know, when your hair falls out. I guess I was overwhelmed by everything, and it was even more stressful because my whole income relied on my looks. But I learned to stop caring about it. I found that I could spray the patches with black. Thankfully, no one laughed at me and I kept booking jobs. Cultivating that self-acceptance was a big life lesson. Only when I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me did my hair grow back.

Of all the countries in Asia, what made you decide to choose Philippines as your next stop? 

I’m doing postgraduate studies in International Relations. From an academic perspective, it was a simple choice: it’s such an interesting time here politically – to say the least – and I wanted to perfect my Tagalog. From a personal perspective, modeling here is a wonderful opportunity to return to my motherland and spend time with my Filipino family.

How do you differentiate the pressure in modelling vs. your other priorities, like school? 

I don’t find modeling to be high-pressure. Sure, it’s competitive, but I don’t waste time thinking negatively about the competition. I’m only responsible for myself, unlike in my corporate job where I was responsible for 100 people. Plus, I’m my own boss as a model, so the only pressure is how much I put on myself, which is the same as in academia, ultimately. Agents and professors can push you, but it’s your career and your degree in the end. I’m constantly learning how to push myself better. Both modeling and academia take self-motivation and careful time management – especially balancing the two – so the skills from both fields feed into each other. But I think the most important part of pushing yourself effectively is finding enjoyment in it. For instance, I enjoy taking care of my body because working out makes me feel good – you can’t argue with endorphins! Staying in shape is just the by-product. When you truly enjoy a challenge, whatever it is, the pressure disappears.

You’ve jumped from one fashion capital to another. How was it living with complete strangers, especially in the model apartment? 

I’ve only lived in model apartments twice but both times my roommates became my friends. All I’d say to anyone moving into a model apartment would be follow the basic human rules. You know, respect the other person and their privacy, be considerate when they want to sleep, be clean and tidy, don’t burden them with your problems. When you give that respect to them, you can expect it back. That’s the basis of a happy co-living arrangement, right? (Laughs).

You have worked with a lot of bookers from different agencies; can you give the top 3 beauty advice you had from them? 

Common sense!

• Exercise regularly.
• Sleep consistently.

• Eat clean, lean and green and keep hydrated.

 

Photo from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

You have an impressive book, what posing tips can you give us when it comes to selfies and full body shots? 

Focus on the mood that you’re trying to convey and it will shine through your eyes. Only think about body angles and lighting secondarily; that way the result will be natural.

Is there anything that you would like to explore more or venture on? 

One thing I’ve been really impressed to find in the Philippines is that there’s a strong eco-ethical fashion movement. I got to do a show with Miranda Konstantinidou in Cebu and at the end, she had her entire crew on stage. She cares about them, and we could all feel it. The entire the front row was crying. Her company is something like 99% female and production is 100% in-house, which means her staff get fair rates for their work. It’s the opposite of fast fashion. There are also designers here like Zacharias and Joanique who are using indigenous materials such as mother of pearl, and others still who are incorporating innovative fibers like pinya (from the pineapple) into their designs. I’m excited that this movement is happening and I want to champion it because I’m so proud that it’s happening here.

As one of the new generation models with Filipino blood, how have you witnessed the evolution having Filipino models on the scene? 

When I started modeling, I felt like Asian models weren’t really considered. It was, “we’ll put one token black girl in the show and maybe an Asian for good measure”. Now, I’m very happy that Asian beauty is getting more of the recognition it deserves. 

What can young Filipino models expect when they want to break in to the western scene? 

When I was in New York, I was put into the “ethnically ambiguous” category. What is that? One day I’d be Latina, black the next, then Asian. Somehow, they didn’t know how to pinpoint the Filipina look. It was great commercially – I was every woman! But I think it’s very important to be proud of Filipina beauty in its own right. Fashion, by its nature, is constantly changing, so we have to keep faith in our power to redefine the categories, shift the goalposts.

Photos from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

How did this career change you? 

It has made me more independent. At a young age, I got to travel the world and meet people from lots of different cultures – that made me more empathetic. Modeling has also helped me to keep my own counsel. You have to work with different crews every day, you are moving from city to city, so you need to be a friend to yourself, that voice in your own head who says, “you are beautiful, you are a good person, you can achieve whatever you apply yourself to”. Learning to be kind to myself has helped me in every aspect of life.

What direction do you see yourself now you’re here in Philippines?

While I finish studying, I want to maximize all the opportunities in fashion I have here, and do the best work I can across the spectrum of editorial and commercial. I’m also an ambassador for Liter of Light, which is the first clean energy NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Asia. Their work is amazing. They teach women to build sustainable light sources, so that in itself creates jobs, and having light at night helps to prevent rape and theft. It means kids can study when the sun goes down. So my goal is to use modeling to expand my platform to promote this kind of work. One of my role models is Emma Watson. She was studying at Oxford when I was at Cambridge. Because of her acting career, she has a big audience who listen when she’s promoting women’s rights – now she’s a UN ambassador for women. I aim to combine my academic background with my work in fashion and documentary film to have a positive influence in the world.

Before we wrapped our interview, I asked her take on things she considers as “First”: 

Love – I was besotted with some older boy I met at the local disco when I was kid. I couldn’t stop talking about him for a year!

Modelling gig – I was scouted for a little shoot in the Philippines when I was 13, but my mum wasn’t very happy about it so I didn’t model again until I’d nearly finished school.

Disney movie – The Lion King. 

Impression that a model should do – Be on time.

Thing that she notices to a guy – Confidence.

…Bizarre talent – I used to really, really like Elvis Presley. I won a talent competition in school where I dressed as him and sang “Heartbreak Hotel” with my toy guitar!

Photo from Elite London via Bellazon forum
All credit goes to its respective owners

With special thanks to Stig Latorre of Elite Model Management – Manila

Ben
GeekyBF.com