No Misguided Wannabe Attempt, Miley Cyrus Earns The Right And Respect To Rock Out In Plastic Hearts

The midnight sky is the road she's takin', and ooh, we know it's true.

Following her many physical and musical transformations, Miley Cyrus swings into the rock scene with a settled sense of self through Plastic Hearts.


While everyone is praising this apparent ascension of Miley Cyrus into a glorious rock era—and for good reason—people seem to forget that as early as her pre-teen years, she was already rocking out the show? Sure, the words rock and rock star gets thrown around a lot like chump change, especially in the plane of celebrity renown and reverence, but while she was wigging out as Hannah Montana and riding through the notoriously sanitized Disney filters in her Breakout and Time Of Our Lives phase, inciting a rebellion of self-discovery in Can’t Be Tamed, Bangerz, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, and returning to her roots in Younger Now, Miley Cyrus was truly living the best of many worlds. Straddling the defiance of rock, she traipsed along everything from saccharine pop to the languid drawl of country with an ease that was held together by the common denominator that held her musical evolution—her gritty, gravelly voice.

While this isn’t as experimental and trippy as say, her brush with psychedelic pop and outrageous as smashing through walls in a wrecking ball, Miley Cyrus realizes her most confident and actualized self in Plastic Hearts. In the explosion of rock in many permutations, the 15-track decidedly punk fare skids through known thoroughfares such as 80s new wave, 90s alt-rock, and new millennium angsty girl rock. From the get-go, she bursts past the first strums of the bass guitar with the explicitly taunting, WTF Do I Know, and then slides into the titular track, Plastic Hearts that at this point has already fully convinced you that this is by no means an attempt at a diluted alter ego that many have fallen trap to in their rebellion. Assured and authentic, Miley Cyrus sings, “I just wanna feel, I just wanna feel something,” perhaps alluding to a sense of liberty that courses through the record.

Before you loose yourself to head-banging and leg-thumping dictates of rock, Miley Cyrus snaps you out of the reverie with the surprising slow but soaring, Angels Like You, which might be a track or two early in terms of the typical. However, it all makes sense with the sparkling disco and glam rock coalition with Dua Lipa in Prisoner. “Why can’t you, why can’t you just let me go,” they sing back and forth, before Plastic Hearts revs the rock with lingering licks of synth and throbbing bass lines in the irreverent Gimme What I Want. At this point, you are fully taken into the gravity of the genre, with an awareness of the body that makes you feel every shift in instrumentation deep within the skin. With shoulders moving in an undulating wave from side-to-side and your head dangling along the motion, you submit to the call of Miley Cyrus and rock legend, Billy Idol, in Night Crawling. It wouldn’t be long for the proverbial dust of the duet to settle and Plastic Hearts amps up the glimmer and glitter with the gleaming wink and nod allegiance of independence that is Midnight Sky.

In an effort of equilibrium, and maybe to allow one to catch a lungful of air, Miley Cyrus calms down in High, an unplugged-ready vocal stretch, and the introspective, Hate Me. Speaking of a breath, Bad Karma slinks itself all too quickly with a rhythmic exchange of salacious moans and exhales. With heavy-handed guitar work and pounding percussions, Miley Cyrus goes at toe-to-toe with another icon of rock, Joan Jett, who dishes out her signature singing with ad-libs of advice that add a lash of warmth to what has shaped to be quite the smoking play of music. Rounding out the time warp of rock ‘n roll are the distilled deliverance of Never Be Me and the appropriately glow of Golden G String. “I was thinking about my life, and the questions made more questions,” she writes, clearly essaying yet another slice of her life into a searing truth. “I was trying to own my power, still I’m trying to work it out. And at least it gives the papers something they can write about.”

Before she turns around and walks off in a dramatic finish, Miley Cyrus drags her heels a bit longer and sticks it in the ground with Edge Of Midnight (the Midnight Sky remix featuring Stevie Nicks), as well as of the definitive live performances of her Plastic Hearts era, Hearts Of Glass and Zombie.

As she wails and warbles through the rock classics, it becomes clear that Miley Cyrus not only shines in this musical offering, but she is also at her most confident in recent years. In Plastic Hearts, she fully lets go of any pretense and inhibitions, draining any dregs down the drain. Far from being a performative trope, this is no misguided wannabe angsty rock star attempt, but a respect-wrought right to rock out as she pleases. 

It’s Still A Party: How Futurist Has Recalibrated Its Purpose In The Pandemic

The Future lives on, Futurists.

Months after the untimely closing of Today x Future, its sister, Futurist, carries on the legacy with a repurposed thrust as it navigates the reality of the pandemic.


When Today x Future announced that they were closing officially, my boyfriend and I were in a state of shock. Though we were privy to the news beforehand, the actual announcement still took a toll on us. Clearly, all the abrupt changes that happened earlier this year was catching up to us by then, and we weren’t exactly coping as well as we thought.

It wasn’t because we didn’t believe that there would be no Future in the future anymore. It was more on the fact that it felt like a huge part of us was forced to end unceremoniously. Now, we are not only chalking it to the pandemic, but because of poor governance as well. (Don’t let me get started with that one.)

Needless to say, Future, as well as all other small businesses and places we call our second homes, were, are, and will still be f*cked if there’s nothing done and soon. However, if there’s one thing about Future and especially the people behind them that makes them, well, amazing, it’s their passion and drive to continue being a platform for every living person out there that seeks a place to call home, refuge or simply a place where they could freely express themselves whether through arts, music or even just by dancing. That is why they continue amidst everything that has happened and is thinking of ways to keep the fire burning. Starting—or continuing—with Future’s sibling, Futurist (stylized as Futur:st) in Población, Makati.

Setting aside its nightlife element (for now), Futurist has slowly and safely re-opened its doors for both Future alums and new guests, with earlier operating hours and proper COVID-19 safety measures. It even saw an interior makeover with its now airier space, white walls, and brighter lighting, which is a stark contrast if you’ve been inside pre-pandemic. 

Between the new walls and new hours, its program, however, remained just the same as it was. “Futurist was always meant to be an iteration of Today x Future—from art shows to retail pop-ups and DJ sets. Perhaps it’s just more highlighted now since the nightlife element had to take a step back,” said Futurist’s power couple, Samantha Nicole and Leah Castañeda.

Indeed, the DJ sets were put in the backseat for now, but there are still plenty of upcoming events you can look forward to and reserve a slot for. 

I recently asked Sam, who’s also the Music and Program Director for Futur;st, if she can disclose a couple of things and to which she shared: “Plenty more collaborations, kitchen takeovers, and shows. We have an upcoming group show on the 27th of November, a joint exhibit by Jeona Zelota and Willar Mateo (Salad Day) on the 11th of December, another dinner service—this time by Fat Michael’s (Jude Mancuyas with Darryl Recina) come mid-December. For the rest of December, we’re looking to have a Christmas market upstairs, and we’re exploring opening from Thursday to Sunday. Early next year, we’ll have exhibits by Mags Ocampo, Jer Dee, and Micaela Benedicto, to name a few.” But for those who are still pretty wary of going out, Sam adds that they also have a website,, where you can view and buy art from their previous shows online.

“As long as it makes sense for us financially, which is a big part of us operating, we intend to continue what we’re doing,” Leah, co-founder, and Director of Operations, answered when asked about continuing these kinds of events even post-pandemic. “The overwhelming support has been great. We hope we get to open more days in a week so we can do more.” (Currently, they are only open during the weekends Fridays to Sundays from 2 PM to 10 PM.)

Now, I’ve been back to Futurist a few times since it re-opened. Despite it being socially weird at first, having no physical interactions with people except my boyfriend and housemate for months, the feeling of coming home and belongingness was adamant and immediately felt—which is certainly what Futurist (and Future) are best known for, and the reason why many of us felt so heartbroken when Future closed down. 

Future, Futurist, and places like it became our second homes, and its people, our chosen families. So, it’s only fitting for us to continue supporting them especially during this time when they need us the most. Guys, let’s not wait for another one to close down, we chide each other.

So, when asked about the future, Sam and Leah answered, “We wish for a much safer and healthier new year for everyone for starters. Of course, for Futurist to still be there when we welcome 2021. And for the community to continue supporting us, and us to still be a vessel for more creatives.” 

Sam added, “Also, if anything, for our sector to be better subsidized and for small businesses or independent spaces like ours to be recognized as an essential part of our culture.” Because really, they are integral in our lives no matter what people say—mind, body, and soul. 

Our beloved Today x Future may be closed for now, but it’s not entirely gone. It lives on with its sister, Futurist, while it gets its much-needed beauty rest and disco nap to be ready for that post-COVID afterparty we’re all waiting for. 

Its second group show, In Praise of Grace, featuring Ev Yu, Luis Santos, Kiko Escora, Bree Jonson, Tof Zapanta, and Everywhere We Shoot opens today, November 27. DM Futurist on Instagram for viewing reservations.

Why Nadine Lustre’s Wildest Dreams Should Be A Blueprint For Fashion Shows In The Future

Stuck in a dream, everything she touches is treasure.

Nadine Lustre did not hold back in her latest album, Wildest Dreams. It’s the first time a Filipino artist has ever attempted to make a visual album and no one else could have done it better than the ~aesthetic queen~ herself.


Back in May 2020, Nadine sent me a DM saying we should shop for clothes for her music video shoots. Curious, I asked: “ShootSSSS??” As she was working on her new album, she quipped, “Nuff of that mediocre stuff,” obviously wanting to do more things outside of her comfort zone. The last time I dressed her up was during the premiere of Making MEGA in Rio back in February, and because the mall shows and other shoots we were planning to do got COVID-canceled, it was pretty exciting having to work on something while being stuck in isolation. She set a meeting with us, her creative team, and we began brainstorming on what the album and her music persona would look like.


nylon wildest dreams nadine lustre notes
These were my initial keywords and ideas for her new look. The second photo is from an art book she purchased, and that became a key visual for us.

Nadine is very hands-on. She likes to be involved in everything from choosing the colors of her shoe lace to what type of fabric were the designers going to use. So, I’m thankful that she entrusted majority of the decision-making to me. The visual album, directed by Zoopraxi Studio, was a conscious journey towards attaining the highest version of yourself through love, and the details on every outfit played a huge role. I’d love to discuss more than 50 of those looks, but that deserves its own spotlight on another story.

This was the mood board that I came up with for the fashion direction.

As a self-confessed art history geek, one of my major influences are Renaissance art. But I knew her vision was one that had to be told from a Filipino point-of-view even through the clothes, which is why I immersed myself in our own culture and folklore for weeks.


An attempt to shake up the culture will never not be important, but even riskier is the fact that our resources were limited. First thing I thought was, “who even makes collections now? How can we even make this huge ass project happen?”

Much to my dismay, I was turned down by a few designers due to the fact that they didn’t have fabric supplies, some discontinued their ateliers, and were stuck in the province. But the universe is always on our side because more than 30 designers and brands agreed to work on this project.

Logistics-wise, our wildest dreams became a nightmare with one package from Singapore being stuck in customs for a month, a look shipped from China that we couldn’t track, and a single car to pull out everything from different parts of Manila and provinces for less than three weeks. It was just three of us in my team but luckily, the odds were in our favor.


As tempting as it was to take inspiration from Western musicians who paved the way, I had to find my way back into our culture. It made me realize how many stories from pre-colonial Philippines still had to transpire into mainstream consciousness. I researched mostly on deities like Dalikamata, Maria Makiling to name a few from Filipino mythology, and the ornaments and fabrics that our different tribes wore.

My favorite was probably creating our version of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus painting. Not only because it’s my favorite art piece ever, but I was hugely inspired by Mayari (goddess of war) and Dian Masalanta (goddess of love). Instead of Venus covering herself, she was holding a sword, wearing a clam bra with seashell strings (hinting on Nadine’s past self that existed in Atlantis), a handsewn skirt that’s similar to the bahag, and adorned in brass bangles made by the T’Boli tribesmen from Lake Sebu. That’s just one example of the many stories behind each look that made its way into the MV.


When all was said and done, we had to sit down and watch months of hard work unfold. The 33-minute long visual album was finally done and the team had a private viewing a few weeks before it was launched. I was speechless. Mostly because I was crying tears of joy and realizing how it was an honor to play a part in Wildest Dreams with the most hard-working and talented creatives in the game. It felt amazing knowing an all-Filipino cast could produce something as breath-taking.

Even though the pandemic struck us hard, we were lucky enough to be able to give a platform to industries that were hit—including fashion. It was a mix of different designers both old and new, each having their own stories to tell, and some even calling it the best decision they’ve made in 2020. Wildest Dreams was proof that we can do it too. And with Nadine’s vision being self-actualized, at last, we can collectively say: “I give myself permission to follow my dreams.”

Photo & Animation by Ed Enclona

Fashion: DiDu, Jessan Macatangay, Neric Beltran, Kelvin Morales, Proud Race, Ebiro, Mazri Ismail, Renan Pacson, Jann Bungcaras, Dr Martens, Snazzy Swim, Mazee PH, Nawa.PH, Stone River

Here’s Where To Get Those Quirky Home Decorations You See On Pinterest For Less

Let the Christmas shopping begin.

Living in lockdown has certainly become one of the biggest unforeseen catalysts of change in 2020. While some still prefer to be in physical spaces like erm—those who host mañanitas, most people have enjoyed their newfound love in being a homebody.

Sure there are the plantitos and plantitas, but the cult of Marie Kondo is slowly taking over quarantine with DIY home decor and everyone re-furbishing their nests. As staying at home has an entirely different meaning nowadays, here are eight of the stand out shops that we’ve seen on Instagram to quirk up your little lair.


The Midnight Catalogue’s playful pieces remind us of being in Shoreditch, a city in East London known for its streets emblazoned with graffiti. The decors are mostly 1 of 1 as they’re sourced from all over the world, so you better get yourself one ASAP.


Celebrate womanhood with Karma Atelier’s decorative pieces. They have everything from body lamps, lip dishes, and cheeky vases. Timeless ornaments that echo the female anatomy.


Two words: pastel perfection. Relive your Polly Pocket dreams with Rotten Mermaid’s squiggle mugs, clam pillows, Rubik’s cube-esque candles and even an egg for a rug.


Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Wabi Sabi. Their handmade ceramics are mostly tongue-in-cheek and adds a little humor to the beauty of imperfections and random objects like their octopus bowls and boob mugs to name a few. A daily reminder not to take yourself too seriously.


Almost everyone on the ‘Gram has been decorating their mirrors with this gooey cloud-like foam. But who would’ve thought they’d look good as tables too? Did we mention they also sell minimalist chairs and framed posters?


If you’re a fan of the 1960s art scene, then The Free Form’s retro vases and iridescent catchalls are what you need. Almost all of their offerings are as good as center pieces already. Brb, adding everything vintage to cart.


All things Terrazzo is our current obsession and Honeymoon House Co’s newest candles are the only thing missing from our bed side table. Their crowd favorites are the boob bath mat, knotted mugs and odd-shaped vases.


Last but not the least is Poppy Home. You may know them for their cute bags, but they can accentuate your spaces too. Definitely buying their LED floor lamp, flower wall clock and iridescent table.

Register To Vote: This New Step Makes It Easier For You To Be A Voter

So that you know what it's like to be prioritized.

We know how important it is to be able to vote this 2022. We’ve spent long years, realizing and seeing the effects of having good and competent leaders in the country. We have also experienced the consequences of placing greedy politicians in power. There’s more than a year left to be educated, but you can start moving as early as now.

RELATED: Never Forget: Things To Remember When Elections 2022 Rolls Along

With the introduction of the Online Accomplishment of Forms for Voter Registration, the COMELEC has made it one step easier for you to become a registered voter. Do note that accomplishing this online form does not mean that you are already a registered voter. But people who accomplish iRehistro Forms may set an appointment. Those with appointments are given priority over walk-in applicants.

  1. If you want to set an appointment, make sure that you have already selected the Province, City / Municipality, and Barangay of your Residence, afterwards, select your preferred date and time schedule from the calendar that will appear below.
  2. If you do not want to set an appointment, simply check the “I don’t want to set an appointment” checkbox below. Please take note that by not setting an appointment, you can submit your application form any time during regular working hours before the end of the registration period.

This application form is for:


Any Filipino citizen who is not yet a registered voter, may apply for registration, provided they possesses the following qualifications for May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections:

  1. At least eighteen (18) years of age on or before May 9, 2022 National and local elections;
  2. A resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the May 9, 2022 national and local elections; and
  3. Not otherwise disqualified by law.


Any registered voter who has transferred residence to another city or municipality may apply with the Election Officer of his new residence for the transfer of his registration records.


Any voter whose registration has been deactivated pursuant to the preceding Section may file with the Election Officer a sworn application for reactivation of his registration in the form of an affidavit stating that the grounds for the deactivation no longer exist any time, but not later than one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) days before a special election.


If your name has changed or needs to be changed in your registration record.


Book of Voters refers to the compilation of all registration records in a precinct. Any person whose application for registration has been disapproved by the Board or whose name has been stricken out from the list may file with the court a petition to include his name in the permanent list of voters in his precinct at any time except one hundred five (105) days prior to a regular election or seventy-five (75) days prior to a special election. 

Bella Hadid Is Making Me Want to Dye My Hair In This Color. Hint: It’s Giving Powerpuff Girl Vibes


Fighting crime, trying to save the world, and inspiring a generation to want to have red hair, The Powerpuff Girls were a style icon well ahead of their time.

Related: 8 of the Best Beauty Moments From 90s Rom-Coms That You’ll Want to Copy Today

Ever since The Powerpuff Girls came out in the mid 90s, I’ve been wanting to dye my hair in an electrifying shade of red like Blossom. But 8 year-old me didn’t have the confidence to be pretty, spunky and badass like her. Until I saw Bella Hadid’s Instagram post recently where she was wearing nothing but a pair of red latex boots and *gasp* fiery red hair.

The thing about red hair is it’s versatility. It looks good in every skin color, but it also depends on how bright or dark you’re willing to go. Here are some A-listers that are rocking the red trend for some much needed inspiration if you’re looking for your next quarantine cut.


Kim K did the big swap recently on the ‘Gram.


She’s serving us some Ariel!


The singer-dancer has always been known for her bold looks, but this is a ‘do that takes less than 5 minutes!


Are we hallucinating or is Dua bringing back this bright red hue? Count us in!


A chameleon of all sorts, Gabs’ take is on a lighter shade. Matching brows optional if you’re feeling a little adventurous.


Issa makes sure that her red locks with tones of violet are having lots of love in the sun.

rc cola commercial art nylon manila

Wait, What? RC Cola, We Need Some Answers

Cannot. Unsee.

Just when we thought it was a regular night, the Internet suddenly broke and became an overnight discussion of all things weird and a little creepy. In case you missed it, RC Cola made the strangest commercial in the most brilliant way.

Related: Is It Just Me or Are My Dreams in Quarantine Getting Weirder?

The 1 minute and 30-second commercial opens with a child coming home from school, demanding answers from his mother if he’s adopted. She tells him to pay no mind to whatever they say. It pretty much looked like a typical heart-tugging video until the kid opens his shirt, face down on the table and reveals what seem to be…four cups on his back. What?


Mind-boggling, but okay. But when the mother revealed what was in her head the whole time (pun intended), was where we lost it. What. Did. We. Just. Watch.

Hands down, one of the wittiest commercials we’ve ever seen that rivals those Japanese commercials on the dark side of the web and our local fantaseryes. If RC Cola’s aim was to be thought-provoking in a weird way, then they’ve absolutely succeeded. Here are some of the funniest reactions we’ve seen so far:

In The Visual Telling Of Wildest Dreams, Nadine Lustre Demystifies Her What Once Was, Realizing Who She Really Is

Stuck in a dream, still.

Just like the wildest dreams you keep coming back into within the subconscious, we revisit the compelling visual masterpiece of Nadine Lustre and try to crack the code from its mix of metaphor, motion, and music.


Close to a month ago, just mere days before the highly-anticipated drop of Wildest Dreams, we chanced upon Nadine Lustre in the darkened corner of their Brooklyn-inspired headquarters. In the dimly lit room, the space was set for one of the many pocket viewings of what was then a rough edit of the 33-minute visual album, and while she didn’t necessarily show it, she was clearly deflecting a bundle of nervous energy as she dazzled herself with a light-up yo-yo. The tension was understandable, especially since this was a pure project of passion for her. A return to what really fuels her in full conviction, this was Nadine Lustre taking us into her mind and soul, making us understand who she is according to her, and not what we have decided to know of her.

“There I was, living unawake, allowing myself a buried courage on earth; allowing myself, a soul to be shared. Dreams brought to life, an overdue passion comes knocking,” beckons a disembodied voice from the void of darkness. Soon, a speckle of light materializes, illuminating our heroine dangling mid-air enveloped in a cloud of smoke. “Dreams called to me unraveling, my path unraveling, our paths unraveling. Knock, knock, knock, knock. Am I sleeping or finally awake?” And with an ominous rhythm of pounding drums and a jolting crack of lightning, so begins the slow awakening of Nadine Lustre in Wildest Dreams.

Essayed in different states of becoming, Nadine Lustre traverses the subconscious in an increase of confidence. From the foretold of her past, this is where she begins to break through the veneer of her image, slowly leaning into the encouragement to feel (Dance With Danger). Here, we plummet into an even deeper trance-like spiral akin to that of Alice In Wonderland, where she shatters the orchestrated façade and preconceived notions of her reputation and allows herself to forge her own person (White Rabbit), to love herself, to trust her own vision (Glow), to be one with others (Ivory), and finally, to follow her dreams (Grey Skies).

Art by Kenneth Dimaano, Photos from Nadine Lustre’s Wildest Dreams Visual Album

Cloaked in a mix of metaphors set to music and motion, this is by all means the personal telling of Nadine Lustre. In her own words and vision, the fragments of time, space, and imagination become the landscape for her to sculpt who she wants to be for herself and not for anyone else. “This is really who I am. This is all of me,” she says during our quick debriefing following the viewing of the Wildest Dreams visual album. Just as one of her poetic incarnations in the cinematic exposition says, “Binigay ko ang lahat sa inyo, minahal ko kayo. At ang tanging hinihiling ko ang pagmamahal ninyo.” In opening up to this creative endeavor, breaking herself further than she has ever done in the name of art, she is giving you everything to define an identity separate from the star placed high up in the galaxy of entertainment.

Art by Kenneth Dimaano, Photos from Nadine Lustre’s Wildest Dreams Visual Album

In the coming together of Careless Music, Zoopraxi Studios, excutive producers Lox Valiente and James Reid, director Dominic Bekaert, and Nadine Lustre, we are whisked into this heightened fantasy of emotional storytelling, animation, fashion, and choreography that makes the appreciation and understanding of Wildest Dreams a profound experience. Just like the music videos of the 90s and turn of the new millennium ala Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, and TLC, there is a lot to take in, sure. But these visceral chapters form a narrative that while unique to Nadine, can easily be your story, too. Wherever you figure in the narrative, there is a place for you to embark on the same path of enlightenment and be your most you. This is most realized in the lead single and fitting punctuation to the visual album, Wildest Dreams.

“I need to breathe, falling deep into the water. Stuck in a dream, everything I touch is treasure,” she sings. “I see the flowers blooming, days are moving, sun is shining. We’re just cruising, falling deep into the water. Live in the moment, we’re just starting.” At this point of her catharsis, Nadine Lustre is relents to the shift she has just gone through in perhaps many cycles of slumber. Threading the loose ends of her dreams, she comes to the binding knot with a compelling resolve. While it stands to remain an unknown to the audience, this is her poetic privilege. Stirring from her lucid dreams, she locks her gaze off-camera, setting her sights perhaps into another great unknown to conquer.

Photo from

Is she finally awake then? Only she knows—and we will give her that pleasure of keeping into herself until she is ready to tell us another story of her wildest dreams.

Disclosed Folklore: 7 Revelations from Taylor Swift’s Latest Documentary

One thing's for sure–she had a marvelous time giving us the inside scoop about folklore.

Taylor Swift truly is a mad woman (a compliment, truly) with all these facts from folklore: the long pond studio sessions, released on Disney+.

Imagine sitting in front of a campfire outside a cabin in the woods–you’re bundled up in a cozy blanket as you wear your most comfortable cardigan underneath it, all while holding a glass of red wine in one hand. As you take a sip, the first few notes of Taylor Swift’s the 1 starts playing in the background. That was definitely what I envisioned as I was watching folklore: the long pond studio sessions.

The Fearless singer-songwriter knows how to keep us all on the edge of our seats with every Instagram post because more often than not, they have at least one hidden meaning. This is why after she posted a photo with the caption, “Not a lot going on at the moment,” it wasn’t completely shocking that we were graced with another Taylor Swift creation—a documentary film streaming on Disney+. The film features goosebump-inducing performances, behind-the-scenes clips, and intimate discussions about her first 2020 surprise, folklore. Thanks to this mad, sneaky woman we adore, we found out quite a lot from her latest treasure.

Art in isolation

“It just became an album really quickly, and really, really beautifully,” said Swift at the beginning of the documentary. Since the entire album was created in isolation, separated from her collaborators like Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner—something she has never done before—she still considers it a big mirage. Even Antonoff mentioned he has never worked on any album like that before.

Shining just for you

As we all know, Taylor Swift is a genius when it comes to creating metaphors in her songs, and in folklore, she didn’t disappoint. According to her, mirrorball is a metaphor for what a celebrity is and what they go through. “[Mirrorballs] are broken a million times, and that’s what makes them so shiny. We have people like that in society, too. They hang there, and every time they break, it entertains us.”

William Bowery… Who?

Actor Joe Alwyn, Swift’s long-time boyfriend, actually co-wrote exile and betty. However, he was credited on the album as William Bowery instead. According to Swift, Alwyn plays the piano beautifully, and as he was doing so on a random day, he also started singing the first few lines of exile. Because of this, Swift asked if they could finish the song together, along with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Twisted in bedsheets

When folklore was released, Swift revealed there were three songs revolving around the same love triangle, namely cardigan, august, and betty. In august, she always imagined the girl was named Augusta or Augustine, and that she wasn’t necessarily the villain of the love triangle. Like every other person, she simply wanted to be loved, which was what she experienced during her summer romance with James that eventually just slipped away into a moment in time, like a bottle of wine.

Songwriting that goes all over the place

“It’s a weird experience to work with you,” said Antonoff as he was talking to Swift. Apparently, her songwriting process goes from one place to another and another as she comes up with different and even better lyrics as time goes by.

There truly is nothing like it

As soon as Taylor Swift heard a piano piece Dessner had written, she immediately knew the ominous strings underneath it signified female rage, thus the creation of mad woman. She ended up thinking about the most rage-provoking element of being a female, which is the gaslighting being done by a man. Oftentimes, when women respond to that type of male behavior, Swift said, “That response is treated like the offense itself.”

An escape that’s been a long time coming

Swift considers the folklore bonus track the lakes a testament of not only what she wanted to escape from, but also where she sees herself escaping to. This was inspired by a visit to some cottages in Lake District in England where hundreds of years ago, poets from different places moved to. They were heckled and made fun of because of their eccentric nature but as an artist herself, Swift understood why they all wanted to live there. Coincidentally, ever since she was 20 years old, she has written about having a backup plan of escaping to a cottage and just bidding farewell to living a life in front of thousands of cameras.

5 Stories That Accurately Portray Asians In Mainstream Media…Plus The Ones We’re Rooting For

Are we finally being seen beyond stereotypes?

While there’s still the issue of Asians being interchangeable in Hollywood, we’re finally seeing some progress when it comes to how we are being represented in mainstream media.

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It’s enlightening to see that we are no longer a mere foil to white protagonists in stories. We have Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before being hit movies that have Asian leads. It’s comforting to see that it isn’t solely East Asians being represented anymore. As a kid, seeing people who looked like me in my favorite movie and TV shows made me feel seen. What more now that they have actual story arcs that we can relate to?

Disney and Nickelodeon were two of my go-to channels while growing up. I remember getting excited to watch Vanessa Hudgens (aka Gabriella Montez) and Kathleen from Hi-5 because they were both Filipino. But that representation only ended in their looks. Now, we’re seeing major streaming platforms and mainstream media delve deeper into diverse Asian cultures. And though there’s still a long way to go, we’re hopeful for the future as these companies are answering the call for POC representation and expand its exclusiveness.


Set to release in March 2021, Raya and the Last Dragon is advertised as a new original animation, heavily influenced by Southeast Asian lore and cultures through their re-imagined kingdom, Kumandra. Vietnamese American actress Kelly Marie Tran is the new star of Disney’s animated original fantasy film. The film follows Raya—part princess, part warrior — and her journey to find the last dragon to save Kumandra from evil forces. Kelly makes history and becomes the first actress of Southeast Asian descent to lead a Walt Disney Animation Studios movie.

While we definitely have some reservations about the movie blanketing 11 countries and the hundreds of distinguished cultures in one generalized culture, we remain hopeful that kids who are watching will feel represented and that POC stories will be shown more in mainstream media from the success of this film.


Blue’s Clues & You! stars Joshua Dela Cruz, a Filipino-American actor that filled the shoes of our childhood friends, Steve and Joe. Last November 20, the Nick Jr. star introduced his lola in the show, showing more of his Filipino roots by one simple gesture to show respect: the mano po. Much to the delight of Filipino-Americans watching the show, the episode also featured Bibingka, a Filipino rice delicacy.


The 2019 short film FLOAT is the first-ever all-Filipino CGI animated movie from Disney’s Pixar. Filipino-American Bobby Rubio created, produced, and directed the project. In FLOAT, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, the Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight—but when his son’s ability becomes public, the Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. The short film is a heartwarming metaphor of what ADHD children and their parents go through amidst societal pressure.


We were no short of tears upon watching the Disney UK Christmas advert when it first came out. We’re sure we weren’t the only family with groupchats from abroad that were packing with notifications to reminisce the good days with their grandmothers. Because respect and love for the elderly is a big part of Filipino culture, the short film perfectly encapsulated the sentiment of Filipinos. And it’s undeniable that the Christmas spirit in the Philippines is unlike any other.

It all started with the short film re-imagining what the Philippines looked like on Christmas Day in the year 1940. Kalesas, parols, and jeepneys were portrayed within the first few seconds of the film. Later on, the little girl does the mano po gesture to her lola. As the granddaughter grows up, she loses connection with her lola, but one look at the beloved Mickey Mouse doll prompts a heartfelt reunion between the two.


Netflix’s comedy-drama Never Have I Ever from Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher dropped last April. Inspired in part by Mindy’s own upbringing, Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age story of a South Asian girl, Devi Vishwakumar, who is Indian-American. It’s awkward, funny, and at times, hard-hitting at best. One of the aspects of the show that I enjoyed most is the way it embraces the beauty and challenges of being true to one’s self and the culture in which one is raised. It’s refreshing enough to binge-watch, but has substance enough to understand trauma, grief, and cultural barriers.