Dancing Through Life—And Then Some—There Is More To Yanyan De Jesus Than A Few Seconds Of Your Time

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Barely just beginning, this is a story of self-discovery unexpected.

Traversing the bounds of dance, comedy, and social media, Yanyan De Jesus gets real on stereotypes, expectations, and mental health.

Related: FROM CEO TO HERO: WHY NINA CABRERA OF COLOURETTE COSMETICS IS THE VIRTUAL ATE THAT WE ALL DESERVE

Designed to keep you locked in for as long a time as possible, social media is engineered like the space region that is a black hole, pulling even the strongest forces within its terrain with no escape—not even light. In a similar scope, whatever on your preferred timeline on the digital matrix is, whether it be threads of doomsday, philosophy, and humor on Twitter, a saturation of curation on Instagram, or the endless bounds of entertainment and energy on TikTok, the goal of the algorithm is for you to just keep scrolling. As much of an escape as it is, especially at a time when and where we need it most, it can be deliriously overwhelming, often forcing us to break away for a proverbial gasp of air. In this lucid awakening, the dust of the virtual marathon settles, and you are left with a linger of those by-the-second updates, posts, and episodes that truly sears itself into your consciousness.

Yanyan de Jesus LVNA
Quilted fringe jacket by NINA AMONCIO, Yellow tie dye top by TOQA.TV, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

A digital smashing of the ceiling, this is what makes and breaks anyone and everyone who dips their toes in the muddled and manic world of social media. A veritable extension of our lives, there are those who are just so good at the creation aspect that they separate themselves from the rest, proving themselves to be rigors and standards in what subsists on the trends, the fleeting, and the viral. On TikTok for example, the rising star ratified with an almost impenetrable gleam of permanence over the course of pandemic, one of those dominating the For You and Following, as well as the Discover tab is a bouncing and buoyant spark of energy that never seems to run out. Seemingly drawn out of an anime series, Yanyan De Jesus can be seen doing everything from dancing, putting on makeup, and acting out comedy skits. In mere seconds and minutes at most, he not only catches attention, but also completely charms and enamors the viewer, compelling them down the rabbit hole of his wonderland on the social media platform.

Yanyan de Jesus
Quilted fringe jacket by NINA AMONCIO, Yellow tie dye top by TOQA.TV, Yellow cargo pants by EINAR NICDAO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY 

With his digital following in droves of millions, 11.7 to be exact as of this writing, Yanyan De Jesus is a star—verified check mark and all. While most social media personalities chalk their claim to fame to a moment gone viral, Yanyan De Jesus is a complete contrast to that belief, having been on the wildly popular video-sharing app since 2016. “Back then, I was using TikTok as entertainment, for fun. Sobrang saya eh, but I stopped because of school and stuff. Then when I gained around 5 followers, I even joked, ‘Mom, I’m so famous,’” he recalls, holding his hand with black lacquered nails close to his mouth temper a hearty fit of laughter. “Tapos upload lang ako ng upload, pero hindi ko naman inaasahang padami ng padami ‘yung followers, kasi hindi ako nagche-check. Ilang years talaga ako nag-strive, but I never expected it. Hala, 100 followers, ang saya ko na dun kasi may nakakakilala na sa akin, but nung naging 1 million, 2 million, nagugulat ako kasi sabi ko, ano bang meron sa akin na nagugustuhan ng ibang tao?”

Yanyan de Jesus LVNA
Quilted fringe jacket by NINA AMONCIO, Yellow tie dye top by TOQA.TV, Yellow cargo pants by EINAR NICDAO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY, 

Perhaps an effect of early onset quarter life introspection, he is after all, 19-years old, Yanyan De Jesus has since leveraged his social media presence and persistence to embark on a journey of self-discovery. “Kasi ako, hindi ko alam. Pero I never ask personally. Gusto ko malaman and maradaman sa support that they give me,” he says. “I never really expected the outcome to hit 11 million. Parang yesterday lang, I was so shookt.”

BREAKING BOUNDARIES

Yanyan de Jesus
Hooded windbreaker by OPENING CEREMONY at AKIMBO, Black joggers with ethnic detail by PORTS 1461 at CUL DE SAC, Lambat top by NINA AMONCIO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

While it was no overnight success, the sudden influx of his fame past the average commas and zeroes has shaken him to his core. But he isn’t letting that consume him, especially since the gust to his wind is being able to experience a lot of things to be able to really discover who he really is. “I like to experiment things, with looks and movements, especially. As an androgynous person, gusto ko talaga mag-explore and I’m game to try anything, because I want to learn a lot of stuff,” he shares. “And right now, I’m slowly finding out who I really am, through the help of other people as well. They give me the love na sobrang nakaka-overwhelm. Kasi kapag ikaw nagmahal ka or nakaramdam ka ng pagmamahal, ‘di ba, it changes you? You become a better version of yourself, kasi you know na you love yourself and other people love you because of who you are. And dun talaga ako nagsa-strive na kilalanin pa ‘yung sarili ko and be genuine to a lot of people.”

Hooded windbreaker by OPENING CEREMONY at AKIMBO, Black joggers with ethnic detail by PORTS 1461 at CUL DE SAC, Lambat top by NINA AMONCIO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

A lifelong process, self-discovery really becomes conscious realization when life takes a sharp turn, forcing someone to a turning point in their journey. “Nag-start siya nung high school ako, kasi I was so feminine when it comes to movements, tapos ‘yung dance style ko, hindi siya B-boy. Mas nararamdaman ko ‘yung sarili ko when I dance the way I do. Na-bully ako dahil dun. Kumbaga dun siya nag start, people calling me names: bakla, ganun. It was an insult before, and now it isn’t anymore. Sabi ko, why don’t I embrace my inner self and find my own identity. I owned it and made it a part of me,” Yanyan de Jesus reveals. “Back then, I was so limited sa mga movements ko kasi nga, we have toxic masculinity and ayun, sobrang gusto kong ibahin ‘yung sarili ko. I want to think outside the box and explore. When they say, ‘hindi pwedeng mag-makeup ‘yung mga lalaki, hindi pwedeng mag-damit pangbabae ‘yung mga lalake, bawal ang cropped tops…’ I want to break through those standards or ‘yung tingin ng ibang tao sa iisang lalaki.”

Yanyan de Jesus
Retaso pants by HA.MU, Tie dye long sleeves by TOQA.TV, Chain necklace, rings and earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, White athletic sneakers by CONVERSE
Yanyan de Jesus
Nameplate beaded necklaces by J-DASH STAR

With an acute sense of awareness even early on, trumping adolescent insecurities through dance, Yanyan De Jesus started to come into his own more. This love for dance, which he credits for really helping him break out of his shell led him to audition and after a few tries, finally get into one of the country’s premier dance companies, G-Force. “With dancing, you can move freely. It’s like a conversation with you through your body, connecting through movements. Ako, wala akong nakakausap minsan kasi I’m not that open, introvert ako. So, ‘yun ‘yung way ko to communicate and open myself up,” he details. “After dancing, I started doing comedy even though it’s out of my comfort zone. Then I started with makeup and fashion. Kumbaga my channel is all about versatility and variety.”

Yanyan de Jesus
Hooded windbreaker by OPENING CEREMONY at AKIMBO, Satin sleeveless top by EINAR NICDAO, Black joggers with ethnic detail by PORTS 1461 at CUL DE SAC, Lambat top by NINA AMONCIO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

In his continuing quest for growth, he isn’t resting easy, just because he has amassed a success on social media that others can only aspire to. Here, he is constantly finding new ways to entertain, taking inspiration from his periphery on and offline. “I get inspiration from other creators as well. It’s a non-stop learning process, but as a viewer, I want to see the genuine person na pinapanood ko. I really want to see who they really are. When you’re a creator, you don’t just put content to the public just like that. Kasi kapag ikaw, sad ka, magpo-project siya sa camera,” he explains. “So, when I don’t want to film, I don’t film, kasi it affects the quality of the video. Kumbaga ako, pag masaya ako, it comes through. It really has to be genuine.”

Yanyan de Jesus LVNA
Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

But, of course, even with a seemingly unlimited source of verve and vigor, Yanyan De Jesus gets tired, too. Even at his young age, he knows when to take things slow lest he run himself to the ground. “Actually, I take a break. I never give up, but I take a break. Kasi ‘yun ‘yung pinaka-importanteng part eh. If you give up, you lose, but if you take a break, you realize and reminisce kung saan ka nagsimula. Saan ka ba nagsimula and bakit mo siya gustong tapusin? It’s a lifelong type of process, so you know, take a break and continue ka ulit,” he contemplates. This cognizance of the self is important, as it is a necessary reminder that we all run out of our maximums.

Ah, such wisdom from the youth.

SKY’S THE LIMIT

Yanyan de jesus LVNA
Tie dye kimono by SIGLA PH, Graphic turtleneck by H&M, White joggers by MSGM at AKIMBO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN
Yanyan de Jesus
Retaso pants by HA.MU, Tie dye long sleeves by TOQA.TV, Chain necklace, rings and earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, White athletic sneakers by CONVERSE

Hindi talaga!” he exasperates when our conversation treads to the question of if he ever imagined that he would come to this point in his life, on-the-cusp of so many possibilities. “’Yung feeling talaga, sobrang surreal, parang nananaginip ako. Hindi ko in-expect na may mga opportunities na ganito. Akala ko hanggang dancing lang ako kasi dun lang ako kumportable. Pero ngayon, sobrang saya, kasi I get to experience so many things out of my comfort zone. Dati, akala ko kilala ko na sarili ko. Ngayon, it’s just the beginning of knowing myself more.”

Yanyan de Jesus
White tee by AMBUSH at AKIMBO, Plaid bib by BON HANSEN, Knit leggings both by ROD MALANAO, Tie dye long sleeves by TOQA.TV, Earrings, rings and chain necklace all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

Unapologetic and unbothered, Yanyan De Jesus isn’t afraid to get real in the truest, unfiltered sense. As pervasive as happiness is, encompassing many fronts and facets of life, he knows that it will not always be the case. “Ang saya ng journey, to be honest, pero pressured din. Lahat naman ng bagay nakaka-pressure, especially for someone like me who grew up with anxiety and having gone through episodes of depression as well. But I know that with the proper help and support of my loved ones and the followers, I will be okay,” he says, uncharacteristically opening himself up more, as opposed to his typically reclusive self in real life. Living in a generation that really is threshing through the tired tropes of propriety in the archaic sense, Yanyan De Jesus is generous in the continuing conversation of mental health, as it is something that is a part of life that we cannot just sweep under the rug and forget about it. It is a big deal, and people have to respect and understand that. “Ako, marami akong pinagdaanan sa buhay. Everyone has problems or moments, but [being strong for yourself is important.] There’s a lot of people na nagaantay sa ‘yo, who cares about you. Follow what your heart wants, kasi if you do, sobrang saya,” he says to anyone who will heed his call. “Kumbaga ikaw, kung magtatrabaho ka tapos gustong-gusto mo, it doesn’t feel like work—akala mo naglalaro ka lang. Parang ako, when I’m doing TikTok, I’m happy, hindi ako forced or pressured. Just continue what you love doing and do it with happiness.”

Yanyan de Jesus
White tee by AMBUSH at AKIMBO, Plaid bib by BON HANSEN, Knit leggings both by ROD MALANAO, Tie dye long sleeves by TOQA.TV, Earrings, rings and chain necklace all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

Happiness of course is such a lofty ideal that many grown-ups still struggle with. Aspirational and elusive as it may stand to be on the surface, Yanyan De Jesus is making it known that this joy doesn’t lie on anyone or anything else but himself. Right now, however, I want to find my own happiness, ‘yung galing sa sarili mo mismo. Sabi nga nila, it’s a process, and nothing is perfect, but I want to find that through myself,” he admits, counting of course, his family, friends, and supporters as constant sources that make him happy everyday.

Yanyan de Jesus LVNA
Hooded windbreaker by OPENING CEREMONY at AKIMBO, Black joggers with ethnic detail by PORTS 1461 at CUL DE SAC, Lambat top by NINA AMONCIO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

From beyond the shifting thumbnails of his TikTok feed, there is a whole lot more to Yanyan De Jesus than the dancing, the comedy, and the trending. Barely scratching the surface of prospect and probability, this is just the beginning—and the magic of this isn’t lost on him. As grateful and content as he is, Yanyan De Jesus wants to keep on pushing himself, fully defining who he is and who can still be. “Ako, hindi ko pa kilala fully ‘yung sarili ko, but at this point, si Yanyan behind the camera is a shy person. Pero hindi siya mag-isa. He’s strong—sa dami ng pinagdaanan niya, lumalaban pa rin siya. And look where he is now?” he says with a sense of wonder. “I know there’s a lot more opportunities, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. While it wasn’t a goal before, ngayon, I prioritize what I have and I am happy—and of course, now, I’m dreaming bigger.”

Yanyan de Jesus
Hooded windbreaker by OPENING CEREMONY at AKIMBO, Earrings, rings and chain necklace by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Color blocked sneakers by REEBOK at SOLE ACADEMY

Trust us, the limit does not exist. A wise woman from one of literature’s seminal classics pre-TikTok taught us that—and yes, it still applies, kids.

Creative direction ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA

Art direction KENNETH DIMAANO

Photography ED ENCLONA

Fashion and beauty direction, styling LYN ALUMNO

Makeup MIN ORTIZ

Hair JAN EDROSALAN

Video CHINO VILLAGRACIA

Sittings editor ELYSE ILAGAN

Special thanks to LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

Frankie Pangilinan Is No Mockingjay—Even Better, She’s Amplifying A Revolution Of Conscious Consequence

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Privilege and position aside, if she can do it and so much more, what's your excuse?

In an age where one is accorded the leverage to figure things out, Frankie Pangilinan is well ahead of the curve, even more assured and actualized than most adults, persisting with passion and purpose one Tweet at a time.

Related: FRANKIE PANGILINAN IS SPEAKING UP FOR WHAT SHE BELIEVES IS RIGHT—PERHAPS IT’S TIME YOU DO, TOO

Newsflash: Despite a completely misguided attempt at a rosy, earnestly hopeful outlook amid the punishing persistence of the pandemic, the life we once knew of is but a chapter in the past of our collective histories as a human race. While some would file it as a footnote or as a privileged point of reset, depressingly determined to dig their nails deep to cling on the typical and traditional, we have to face the reality and relent to the fact that there is no normal, because frankly speaking, nothing about what we are still going through is. Sure, there are fragments and facets of the routine coddled within the pockets of the irregular. For example, as eerily quiet as the near empty streets were, with nothing more than a warm whistle of wind hissing through the particularly humid weekday, it was a scene of the ordinary: a father driving and dropping his daughter off for a few hours, this time for a shred of liberty from the limits of the circumstance of crisis—except that the father was Senator Francis Pangilinan and the daughter, Frankie Pangilinan.

Frankie Pangilinan
Embroidered corset and heart necklace (used as crown jewel) by JOB DACON, Headpiece by MILLE ATIENZA, Leather pants by ZARA, Crucifix necklace, ring and earrings all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

“I think I might’ve been pursuing distractions to the extent that I’ve forgotten to reflect, so thank you for the reminder,” Frankie Pangilinan says, beginning the usual course of considered thought that is characteristic of the young lady. “My typical response [when asked how things have been] has recently been that things could be better, but they could likewise be exponentially worse, for which I am, while tired, extremely grateful. I’ll admit that there’s this insane creative restlessness that lurks between the more shadowy parts of my brain, and I think it simply seeks to be relieved. It all seems to be stuck in some sort of purgatory, indefinite and uncertain. I truly detest being uncertain. I detest the middle.”

Frankie Pangilinan
Embroidered corset and heart necklace (used as crown jewel) by JOB DACON, Headpiece by MILLE ATIENZA, Leather pants by ZARA, Crucifix necklace, ring and earrings all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

Despite setting a self-effacing precedent of not having the slightest clue as to how she feels, which understandably swings from end to end and everything in between just like the rest of us, she is able to articulate the indefinite very well. “I tend to remind people nowadays that self-preservation has to be further up on our respective priority lists while living in the midst of a global pandemic. Survive, and then everything can follow. It’s an awful piece of advice for the most self-destructive generation there’s perhaps ever been, but that’s what makes it essential. Even in ordinary days, we already lost so much of ourselves between touchscreens and keyboards,” she furthers, detailing a coping mechanism in the form of necessary social media breathers from time to time. “When everything pertinent has to be done online, there’s little room to breathe. I think social media breathers were quite frequent for me already, it’s just that with an overwhelming amount of heartbreaking current events happening every single day, silences can be read into as well. I tend to disclaim prolonged absences now before I decide to sink into them, just so that people are assured that I’m not being apathetic. Apathy in such dark days is cruel. I don’t want to be cruel. I just likewise don’t want to suffocate. It’s essential to reset and reground oneself. Otherwise, we may go mad.”

WE’RE ALL MAD HERE

Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Caged corset by ROBERT ANDREW PAHIYAS, White shirt by ZARA, Crucifix necklaces and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Leather slip-ons by DR. MARTENS, Press-on Nails by ELINAILS MNL

Mad is a two-pronged word that both pertain to a certain amount of extreme. Whether it is aggressively charged anger or a moment unhinged, it all figures well into the emotional vocabulary of anyone who is wired online. This couldn’t be any more true for Frankie Pangilinan, who especially as of late, has gained a notoriety on social media for her unapologetic and unequivocal crusade on the social injustices and oppression that is not only plaguing, but eroding the very foundations of humanity.

Frankie Pangilinan
Caged corset by ROBERT ANDREW PAHIYAS, White shirt by ZARA, Crucifix necklaces and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Leather slip-ons by DR. MARTENS, Press-on Nails by ELINAILS MNL

“I’ve always been this honest, I just haven’t been quite as loud. Or perhaps I was going relatively unheard in the last few years, which is why the shift has been so sudden. People seem to pay attention now, which is terrifying. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop—I’d made a vow to myself to remain unfiltered for my own integrity. What’s the use of having a digital platform if you cant take full ownership of the content you post?” she challenges. “I’ve said this before on my writing account several times, but I believe that when something is powerful enough to affect you, it is beautiful. I keep my old Tumblr as a catalogue of things I once found beautiful. I keep the rest of my social media honest for the same reason. What’s the use of pretending on platforms specifically intended to share what little you can about who you are? Hell, I have no idea who I am, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try to find out. One day, I’ll look back at all these little digital fragments I left scattered around the limitless interwebs and build a person I used to be. Maybe I’m already grieving my youth before it’s even gone—but nothing keeps me more agitated than to think of a future where it’s all gone to waste. I want to live my life consequentially, if anything. I strive to affect what I can. Perhaps that’s beautiful in itself, then.” 

Frankie Pangilinan
Red embellished crop jacket by JUDE MACASINAG, Black bandeau by H&M, Crucifix necklaces and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Red leather pants by MSGM at CUL DE SAC, Leather loafers by DR. MARTENS
Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Diamond earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

At 19-years old, Frankie Pangilinan has not only come face-to-face with giants, but she has successfully slain these overlords of opinion with an acerbic wit and unflinching tenacity that has turned discourse and movements out of an opposition of archaic dictates and age-old archetypes that are better off left to gather dust and spools of cobwebs. Not one to be unnerved at the thought of trying to coterize deeply-rooted cancers in society with an all too powerful Tweet button, the magnitude of the responsibility she has been handed isn’t lost on her. “I think I’m just scared about the sheer visibility of it all. I don’t think I’m scared to say the things I say—people (by people I mean the big paid troll social media machine we’re operating against) will react no matter what that is, at this point. But I guess what I lack in fear of others’ opinions, I make up for entirely with fear of my own. It honestly helps that people forget I’m this young, because then I feel as if it raises expectations, which I gladly work hard to meet, but then if I’m unable, I don’t have to beat myself up too much. I guess most of my heart is just glad I’ve gotten a sort of head start in terms of the work I can do to advocate for justice, especially in such a crucial time in history. It’s odd that I can say that, all the while feeling as if I’m already running out of time,” she contemplates. “The deeper I think about where we are, I come to the jarring realization that there’s so much work to be done and I’m unsure if I’m able to do all that I want to without spreading myself too thin. This is said a lot, but truly I’m still learning, still growing, as every one of us are, I believe. Every single day is just another challenge to outdo myself, hopefully one day I can rest thinking I did enough. Maybe then I can sleep.”

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMANITY

Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Embroidered corset and heart necklace (used as crown jewel) by JOB DACON, Headpiece by MILLE ATIENZA, Leather pants by ZARA, Crucifix necklace, ring and earrings all by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

As elusive as the concept of sleep is to her, as anyone who follows Frankie Pangilinan on either her main Twitter account or the writing-dedicated one knows, it isn’t exactly the the figurative fire-breathing dragons she has willed to submission such as misogyny masquerading as concern or the power-tripping of politics that keeps her up well into the acquiescing of the darkness to light, but rather, it is a understandable bout of unnerving unsettlement that she is being put on a pedestal and knighted as some sort of Joan Of Arc or in a more contemporary sense, Katniss Everdeen’s Mockingjay. “I definitely do not get it, oh my goodness. I think it just sort of unsettles me because there are people who are much more deserving of the tag,” she reasons. “I’m a baby in both the academic and the age sense. I don’t say anything revolutionary, I only amplify what’s been said before. This capacity is a duty and responsibility to do so. When you’re given a platform, especially, in my case, one I didn’t even really ask or work for (like, really, what have I done? In the grand scheme of things, I’ve got lots left to prove), the duty then follows. We live in a horrible world where influence has been quantified, which, pardon my French, sucks ass, because influence is a quality. Everybody has a sphere of influence. Everybody deserves the same empowerment. But while that isn’t the case, it’s my responsibility to ensure that those who deserve the louder voice get to use mine.”

Frankie Pangilinan
Red embellished crop jacket by JUDE MACASINAG, Crucifix necklaces by LVNA JEWELRY

If these are the thoughts that live rent free in the minds of so many people, the young’uns and the adults alike, then perhaps we wouldn’t be living in a world where our morale and morals are no longer subject to any standards other than to just get us through each day, please. Sure, there will be a whole lot more insomniacs, but at least a thought of progress exists to be taken into action. More than just a couple of highly engaged Tweets that is the bare minimum for anyone and everyone with access to data and the internet, Frankie Pangilinan is not settling for pats in the back, but is actively finding ways within her means to make changes. We’ve seen this during that much-publicized extension of her and her family’s resources for the Sitio San Roque incident a couple of months back, as well as with something as simple as a digital thread on local brands to keep an eye out for.

Frankie Pangilinan
Red embroidered mock neck top by CHYNNA MAMAWAL, Denim jumper by COTTON ON, Crucifix necklaces and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Press-on Nails by ELINAILS MNL, Heart sculpture by AGODIP by M.A.

“I think it’s the most fundamental thing about being human. And that’s the cruelty of the world, to be honest—the fact that someone like me, who’s doing the bare minimum, is garnering attention for it, like it’s anything special. Sometimes it shakes my faith in people. If you’re incapable of taking your empathy further, then it’s entirely lacking,” she says, defiantly. “The real change is happening out there. Advocacies exist to feed action. A lot of activism online can be so performative, nobody’s lives are going to change from you posting a black square on your timeline if you don’t know what else you can do about it. It can start simple, sign those petitions (that’s free), make small cash donations (slightly less free), talk to experts, read articles. Getting informed is a great way to take action.” And while she has done more than most, she is still the first to admit that there is a lot to be done.

RECLAIMING THE TRUTH

Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Embroidered sweater by KELVIN MORALES, Denim skort by PENSHOPPE, Lace up knee-high boots by FOREVER21, Embellished headpiece by FASHION FLAVOUR PH, Crucifix necklaces, earrings and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

In the fiery pits of hell that is social media, everything becomes fair game, so much so that every possible delineation becomes blurred to a point unrecognizable. It would have been infinitely easier for her if, coupled with the leverage she has a teenager accorded with the headspace and legroom to figure things out, she stayed on her comfortable perch atop the ivory tower she was born into. However, while Frankie Pangilinan acknowledges and honors her privilege and position, she doesn’t let it define, and even more so, consume who she is and can be. “How can excess and poverty co-exist within the same landscape? It doesn’t make sense. It’s no individual’s fault, at least my parents worked hard for their money and didn’t exploit anybody to get to where they are—and they’ve equipped us with the tools to achieve success as opposed to handing things to us on a silver tray. They taught us the value of personal agency and they recognized we’d grow up in a bubble, which is why, I think, they also did everything within their power to ensure that it was at least, was a transparent one,” she says of a revelation of perspectives in her crusade for justice. “There will always be people who see me as deplorable or, alternatively, lovable, on the basis of nothing more than misguided assumptions of my background. I’m trying not to care. It’s not like I can change my childhood anyway, we’re well past that. All I can change is what I do now, what I do next—and that’s why it’s essential to me to learn about what I can do from where I am now in order to help make the most substantial, good change.” Far more actualized and realized than most, she is using her advantages for the greater good—when it counts and where it matters.

Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Embroidered sweater by KELVIN MORALES, Denim skort by PENSHOPPE, Lace up knee-high boots by FOREVER21, Embellished headpiece by FASHION FLAVOUR PH, Crucifix necklaces, earrings and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN
Frankie Pangilinan LVNA
Embroidered sweater by KELVIN MORALES, Denim skort by PENSHOPPE, Lace up knee-high boots by FOREVER21, Embellished headpiece by FASHION FLAVOUR PH, Crucifix necklaces, earrings and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

“I know I said that sometimes my faith in people is shaken, but that never means it’s been torn or irreversibly damaged. I have an insane amount of belief in people’s capacity to learn and change for the better. I think that’s because I’m still (somehow) more a romantic than a cynic,” she says. “It can be frustrating to speak to people who dont recognize such movements for the powerful, completely necessary, not-at-all outlandish ideals they represent. At the same time, though, it’s unfair to expect everybody to be somehow omnipresent and know everything going on all the time. Widespread ignorance is a symptom of an ailing society. I think when we fight for social equality, we must remember that those we often disagree with are just victims of the same oppressive system. I’m angry at machismo culture, but not at the people who’ve lived their lives accepting it as the norm. We all deserve better but not everybody knows that better isn’t out of reach, it’s fought for. We shouldn’t settle.”

Frankie Pangilinan
Red embellished crop jacket by JUDE MACASINAG, Red leather pants by MSGM at CUL DE SAC, and jewelry by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

For someone who is carving out an identity on terms all of and on her own, Frankie Pangilinan is the first to say that despite a courage that everyone seems to pull from her, she still gets scared, as is natural for a person on-the-cusp of so many possibilities. “I am constantly terrified, maybe not always of the right things, but it’s terror nonetheless. Please understand how much I mean this: There is nothing special about the things I do. But that’s exactly what should make it doable for everybody. If I’m able to do any of this at all, then anybody can—and everybody should. If you’re a cynic, then you know we’re all going to die anyway, so let’s at least die trying. If you’re an optimist, like me, then you have faith in the idea of a goodness for which we can all aspire.”

Frankie Pangilinan
Rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Custom embroidered veil by NELDA SOCAO, Press-on nails by ELINAILS MNL

In a sense, standing for a reclamation of everything from words, femininity, and being at the very least, a decent human being, as Frankie Pangilinan has graciously and gloriously articulated in the course of this conversation-turned-exposition, it is necessary that we define these on our own and fight for it with our lives in any way we can, because as succinctly as she puts it on the context of the otherwise, “Then what’s the point?”

Point well taken.

Creative direction ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA

Art direction KENNETH DIMAANO

Photography CRU CAMARA

Fashion and beauty direction, styling LYN ALUMNO

Makeup SLO LOPEZ

Hair JA FELICIANO

Video CHINO VILLAGRACIA assisted by ED ENCLONA

Special thanks to LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

And, Scene — Andrea Brillantes Breaks Through The Lens And Sees Herself In This Unfiltered Revelation

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Stripped away from her childhood too soon, Andrea Brillantes is determined to make her teenhood years count.

It would take someone really experienced to stay grounded once they get to a level of stardom and fame. But for Blythe, aka Andrea Brillantes, experience wasn’t much of a problem.

Andrea has been in the industry since she was seven years old. Still, 10 years later, with her face plastered in billboards everywhere, appearing in commercials, and booking shows and movies left and right, she details and defines what it’s like to be Andrea Brillantes and having to set aside her childhood to become the household name she is now.

Andrea Brillantes LVNA
Embellished lace top and skirt by CHYNNA MAMAWAL, Green sequined turtle neck top by H&M, Blush hat by MARY LIM, Diamond earrings, rings and bangles by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

“Can I take a picture with you?” Asks a sly stranger as Andrea sat at a shaded waiting area at Ngurah Rai International Airport last year. Even with a low profile and her head tucked underneath her arm, her young and instantly recognizable face doesn’t easily dissolve into shifting masses. Click. The stranger thanks her, and we’re off to our destination.

Fast-forward to a year later, Andrea and I are on a Zoom call, and she expresses her frustrations about how quarantine makes her miss the outside world and seeing people face-to-face. So, instead, we start reminiscing about the old times. “May isang beses, eight years old po ako and wala pa akong stage name ‘nun. May tumawag sakin, ‘Blythe! Pwedeng magpa-picture?'” she recalls, mimicking the shocked expression on her face. “Sobrang kinilig ako hanggang pag-uwi! Hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yun.”

Embellished lace top and skirt by CHYNNA MAMAWAL, Green sequined turtle neck top by H&M, Blush hat by MARY LIM, Diamond earrings, rings and bangles by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN and Oxford platforms by DR. MARTENS

Grinning and all aflutter, her childlike laughter and off-guard demeanor suggests that she has both seen it all and seen nothing at all. She slips so readily into unfiltered openness that it’s no surprise that a two-hour-long car ride in Bali a year ago was our door to familiarity with each other. In that car ride, we talked about her dreams, how she wanted to experience high school, and be picked up by her crush after school. We talk about boys. One boy. At that moment, we were just two girls on a roadtrip, giggling about the mundaneness of love and life.

I ask her if she ever felt like she missed out on a normal childhood. “Sobra!” She says without hesitation. The feigned smile followed a heavy scoff––as if carrying that weight on her chest for years. “[More than] kalahati ng life ko, artista ako. Ten years old ako nag start maging breadwinner. Kaya pagdating sa pera, ayoko alamin kung magkano kinikita ko. Hindi ko talaga siya inaalam,” she reveals, stating that it was her way to preserve the little childhood she had left. With bills to pay and the pressure to keep her family afloat, to her, ignorance was bliss. “Recently ko lang po inalam ano TF ko kasi siyempre adulting na.”

Andrea Brillantes
Blush asymmetrical gown with pearls by ROSBERT VILLAR, Metallic color blocked leather jacket by H&M, Diamond earcuff and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Platform boots by DR. MARTENS
Blush asymmetrical gown with pearls by ROSBERT VILLAR, Metallic color blocked leather jacket by H&M, Diamond earcuff and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Platform boots by DR. MARTENS

Andrea Brillantes has had multiple successful TV shows up her sleeve, her breakout lead roles being in Annaliza, and more recently, Kadenang Ginto, where she played Marga, the misunderstood antagonist in the show. She went to taping every day when the show was airing, and in her free time, she would star in magazine covers or appear in talk shows. She has a cosmetic line under her belt, Blythe Cosmetics. And now, she’s prepping to shoot for her next movie. It’s hard to catch a free schedule with this child star these days. Even during the height of the pandemic, Andrea was working non-stop.

“After ng quarantine, may gagawin kaming movie dapat,” she says, thinking at the time that the lockdown was only going to last a month. “So sobra akong naghanda. Nag-work out na ako. Honestly, kung hindi nangyari ‘yung quarantine, wala akong fitness sa buhay ko… Pero dahil nga akala ko magwo-work na ako, na-pressure ako kasi lahat ng kasama ko sa batch ko mapayat. Eh ako, may pagka-chubby talaga ako kumpara sa mga kasama ko.”

Andrea Brillantes LVNA
Green and blush tulle dress by SASSA JIMENEZ, Lilac corset by AJ JAVIER, White gold necklace and pink hoop earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Samba Rose sneakers by ADIDAS at SOLE ACADEMY, Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

I ask her if her weight has always been an issue, and she nods. “Pinaka nahirapan ako kasi may part na sobra kong prinessure ‘yung sarili ko. Nung two months ng quarantine, naging fit ako. Sobrang naging hardcore na siya. Naging too much na. Lagi ko sinasabing hindi pa ako okay. Hanggang sa napuno ako sa kakarinig kay Chloe Ting magsabi ng, ‘Hey guys, welcome back to my channel!'”

She then takes a moment to breathe, pondering. “Looking back, sana pala sinabi ko na lang sa sarili ko na: ‘You’re okay. You look fine. You look great,” which she does now.

Green and blush tulle dress by SASSA JIMENEZ, Lilac corset by AJ JAVIER, White gold necklace and pink hoop earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Samba Rose sneakers by ADIDAS at SOLE ACADEMY, Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

With a competitive industry where looks will make or break your career, Andrea’s long battle with her weight is far from over. She still catches herself trying to hold restraint with her food intake. Often, she would need someone checking in on her so she doesn’t eat too many snacks in between meals. “Insecure talaga akong tao,” she says. “Talagang work ko ‘yung nagpapa-push sa sarili ko. Mas confident kasi si Andrea. Kaya nung nakulong ako sa sarili ko [as Blythe], everyday, nakikita ko ‘yung mali sakin.”

She opens up about experiencing an eating disorder, though hesitant to share the nitty gritty details, she says, “‘Nung nagsta-struggle ako sa image ko, sa insecurities ko, nagkaron ako ng konting eating disorder.” She goes on, “Tapos ‘nung nag let go ako, na-realize ko na pagkain lang talaga nagpapasaya sakin.”

Green and blush tulle dress by SASSA JIMENEZ, Lilac corset by AJ JAVIER, White gold necklace and pink hoop earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

Blythe escapes herself through Andrea Brillantes; when she works and plays a role that isn’t her. “Pinilit kong ‘wag na bumalik sa corner na ‘yun. Kumain ako kasi ‘yun ‘yung nagpapasaya sakin. Minsan, iiyak ako. Nagka-problem din ako sa hormones ko,” she says.

Even with her youth stripped away early from her, the break she had during this quarantine was a reminder that she was still young, growing, and, most importantly, human. While some who go through adolescence shut the world away as they mature, Andrea didn’t have that choice with her career path. All eyes were on her, so the Andrea she presented at work was determined, persevered, and doesn’t take any breaks. There was more than one occasion when she chose to skip a meal to get all her shots done before she would reward herself with food.

Blythe LVNA
Green and blush tulle dress by SASSA JIMENEZ, Lilac corset by AJ JAVIER, White gold necklace and pink hoop earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

Mas baby ako sa bahay,” said Blythe, who still sleeps in one room with her mom and older siblings. “Kaya ako may pagka-baby kasi nagki-cling pa ako eh. Nagdalaga kasi ako agad. Tapos bago ako mag 15, bigla ako nag breakdown,” she says, realizing that she wasn’t going to be a teenager forever. “Nung nag 15 na ako, hindi na ako nagme-make up. Okay na ako sa tint and blush-on. Mas naging simple ako ngayon.”

Andrea Brillantes is careful of her reputation, underscoring how it’s important to keep her 10.3 million Instagram followers feel her presence. How going out in public means being on her best behavior. And staying relevant even when she isn’t working is vital for her career. It’s not easy being active on social media, especially as a minor who’s always subjected to hate and watchful eyes. So, I ask her if the hate ever gets to her and she answers, “Ang malungkot na part dito sa showbiz, na-normalize na kapag artista eh, kailangan mo na lang tanggapin.”

Andrea Brillantes
White ruffled iridescent dress by FERNANDO GABRIEL

She says that in the early days of her career, she was more sensitive towards hate, especially when the hate is projected towards her family. “It takes a lot to swallow ‘yung galit na ‘yun,” she says. “Since ang tagal ko nang artista, parang immune na ako. Lahat yan, narinig ko na. Medyo malungkot siya kung iisipin mo, pero may pagka-manhid na ako…’Yun ‘yung pang-protekta ko sa sarili ko eh. Kaya every time na pupuriin ako ng tao, masaya ako pero hindi na ako kinikilig tulad ng dati. Ayoko kasi yumabang.”

Far from a wilting flower plucked too soon from her roots, Andrea Brillantes is budding with life in the spotlight. She has been called the next Kathryn Bernardo, the similarities begin at how they both started acting at a young age, (and a loveteam with Seth Fedelin who has been compared to Daniel Padilla on a few occasions).

andrea brillantes LVNA
Blush corset by GIRLS RELIGION, Satin shorts by NEON ISLAND, White embroidered lace top by JOSEPH PALMA, Diamond earrings and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN, Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

Those who have been keeping tabs on Andrea’s romantic trail may be excited at her simmering connection with Seth. She conveys a Gen Z’s openness at the expectation that she ought to settle upon with regard to the personality she displays in public. Andrea is girly, she loves makeup and working non-stop. Meanwhile, Blythe loves video games, being outside, and going on adventures. “Sobrang thankful ako sa kanya [Seth] kasi bumalik ‘yung dating ako, ‘yung Blythe na hindi artista. Nung dumating si Seth, siya nagbalik talaga ng pagiging adventurous ko.”

As one of the youngest and most successful child stars leading the next generation of actors, Andrea Brillantes remains at her most motivated, but she’s still discovering herself. She’ll make mistakes. She’ll learn from it. And she’ll continue to grow.

Andrea Brillantes
White ruffled iridescent dress by FERNANDO GABRIEL, Silver flower earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

In four months, Andrea will turn 18 years old. The house she has been saving up for is almost finished, and her next goal is to learn how to drive and buy her own car. Besides that, she vows not to make any more plans. With uncertainty looming over everyone’s fate in the world, Andrea wants to preserve her energy by not setting anything into stone.

Gusto ko tumanda ng graceful,” she’s quick to say. “Kapag may gusto ako, go big or go home ako. Kaya pag gusto ko ang isang bagay, BDO ako eh. I find ways. Hindi ko pa nare-reach ‘yung gusto ko. Ang dami ko pang gusto gawin,” she said.

Andrea Brillantes
White ruffled iridescent dress by FERNANDO GABRIEL, Silver flower earrings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

It was half-past seven in the evening, both our tummies were rumbling. It was unspoken, but we both had one thing in mind, which she is quick to puncture through with another revelation of herself. She says she’s excited to make her own food now. Something she learned during quarantine as well.

Gusto ko mag-isip ng nakaka-inspire na sasabihin. Yung mapapa-aww ‘yung mga tao,” said Blythe, which I thought was quite telling of her generation, which is being aware that everything they say is on the record. So, whereas many teens would be word-vomiting when given the chance to speak about what makes them happy, Andrea wanted to choose her words wisely, but eventually apologized for not giving a carefully thought-out answer.

Andrea Brillantes
White ruffled iridescent dress by FERNANDO GABRIEL

After a beat and breath, she says, “Parang ayoko pa tumanda. Kasi hindi mo siya mapipigilan. So, bakit mo pa ira-rush ngayon? Isang beses ka lang magiging bata.”

As Andrea Brillantes makes her mark to lead the next generation of actors, she’s moving forward with knowledge of life’s joys and pains. And though her heart is guarded from the years of passion labored, she keeps her head up with confidence as she makes the little moments of youthful exuberance count. “Hindi ko man na-experience ‘yung normal childhood, pero nararanasan ko na ngayon ‘yung pagiging teenager.”

Andrea brillantes LVNA
Blush asymmetrical gown with pearls by ROSBERT VILLAR, Metallic color blocked leather jacket by H&M, Platform boots by DR. MARTENS and Diamond earcuff and rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

And just like that, Andrea Brillantes is completely and truly herself.

Creative direction ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA

Art direction KENNETH DIMAANO

Photography AYA CABAUATAN

Fashion and beauty direction, styling LYN ALUMNO

Makeup RAFFY SO

Hair MONG AMADO (using MIKKI GALANG HAIR)

Video CHINO VILLAGRACIA assisted by EN ENCLONA

Fresh flowers by Amor Blooms

Special thanks to LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN

There Is No Planet B: How This Filipino Artist Awakened the World By Illustrating

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Time to clean out the air.

Known for her illustrations on Instagram where she dabbles on unspoken feelings and self-introspection, Issa Barte knows the power of the pen. But more than being tagged as the “hugot queen,” she strikes a chord on environmental issues and being socially aware in the age of the Internet.

Today, we were able to have a quick chat with the 23-year old illustrator herself and co-founder of the non-profit organization For The Future PH, on why she uses her voice—her pen and paper rather, to awaken the youth and educate people on why art is a thought-provoking medium that can change the course of history. Like what she says, “if we really are the most intelligent creatures alive, how come we haven’t figured out how to live?

RELATED: Make The Planet Great Again: Demanding Sustainability in Fashion

NM: How long have you been creating art? Who are your influences?

IB: Been creating art for as long as i can remember—from making “I love you” cards to my parents when I was younger to using my art and poetry to express myself more maturely. I get the “what inspires you?” question often, but the underlying theme throughout my various answers is really trying to understand both my inner and outer worlds—trying to make sense of it all.

NM: How do you think has art contributed to being socially and political aware in today’s generation? Can you tell us why?

“Art is a lens to see the world in another perspective, it’s about discovery, expression, curiosity, and even humor.”

IB: Art has been a vital tool in getting the word out, to put a visual on what it means to act. Artists have put a deeper meaning in what it means to mobilize the youth, what it means to fight for something, what it can look like to move a nation.

NM: What are some of your favorites among your recent works?

IB: My favorites recently have been the art I’ve been making for @forthefutureph! We’re using visuals to spread the word and mobilize the youth. It’s been a great tool garnering concrete help.

It shows me what art can do, how much power it holds when used properly, especially when it’s for something bigger than the person who creates it.

NM: How can the youth of today raise awareness & educate themselves about social issues in the age of the Internet?

IB: I honestly think it’s about curiosity—when we step out of comfort zones, we are able to learn much more. Have those hard conversations, challenge your thinking, go and discover for yourself what you’ve missed out on.

Understanding what it’s all about can help us educate ourselves on what’s really going on— and once we understand better, we can act more efficiently, spread the message clearer, use the tools of this age of wifi in the right way.

Contrary to popular belief, most people hold back from making a change. They think heroic acts are only reserved for those in the heroes club. Though they may be our generation’s biggest game changers, you don’t have to be Greta Thunberg, Banksy or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to bring forth change and Issa Barte, knows this full well. From her vibrant sketches of the rarest animals in the country down to her gripping illustrations of our political climate and of course—her gems of unrequited love on the ‘Gram, Issa believes even ordinary people can do the most extraordinary work.

You can also watch Issa’s TEDX Talk here.

Never Forget: Things To Remember When Elections 2022 Rolls Along

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If there's anything 2020 taught us, it's that we have the power to change the way things are right now.

As a global pandemic continues to test our politicians and how they handle an unexpected crisis, their actions, reactions, and lack of action speak loudly of where they stand in the grand scheme of governance. You decide.

RELATED: Lessons Learned From Typhoon Ulysses

Remember this moment, kids. Remember every leader who merely shrugged at the people dying, every politician that put themselves first before the nation, and every capitalist that profited off of this pandemic. A crisis like this shows the true colors of those we put in power. So, let this be a reminder that every vote is, in fact, a matter of life and death.

That said, this is also the right opportunity to take note of the presidential elections this coming 2022. Our politicians; those we voted for, have a duty to be in service for the public. In times of great distress, such as COVID-19 and calamities like Typhoon Ulysses, that’s when a politician’s true duty is tested. So, when #Halalan2022 happens, take a look back at this moment and remember who served the Filipinos and those who were self-serving.

We still have two years to go before the next elections and the tendency is, we forget moments that matter when campaign season starts because we get blinded by the candidates’ flowery words and empty promises. But a politician’s platform means nothing if they do not fight for it in the times that we need it the most. They say they are for the poor, but where were they during this time? Were they asking for VIP testing while others who are dying are still waiting for test results two weeks later? Or were they finding ways to help the front liners get to the hospitals during quarantine and providing relief for those who needed rescue?

To make things easier for us to remember, here are some reminders before elections 2022 rolls along:

Your vote counts and it could save a life, so register to vote. 

Before anything else, it’s important that you register to vote so you can actually make a difference this coming 2022. We have seen the consequences of voting for selfish leaders, and the fruition of voting for effective and competent leaders. The next time we choose the leaders that will serve us, we have to think smarter. We should not waste an opportunity to vote for the leaders we deserve, because it could very well be the difference of promised change and actual progress. Don’t let complacency get the best of you, leaving it up to the elders to vote. Get up and speak up, because now more than ever, your voice matters. As early as now, the hashtag #Halalan2022 is trending on Twitter. Netizens are sharing their thoughts to tweet about who they will vote for in two years.

If you have thoughts about the elections, tweet the hashtag #Halalan2022

This hashtag is the hub of all that can be considered for the 2022 elections. Some people use it to warn others to vote against certain politicians, while some tweet to motivate others into voting better officials. One intelligent vote could save millions of lives, literally.

Look back on the promises, compare it to now

Was the leader you voted for truthful? Did they actually fight for the Filipinos and consider those of us who are less fortunate? Take note of these promises, make it count. Don’t vote for the ones who did not fight for you. A true leader’s intentions will show its true colors in times of crisis.

Don’t lose focus. 2022 is more than just a presidential race

While it is most important to decide who becomes the President of our country, our vote in the senate, mayoral, down to our barangay can make a huge impact in our lives, too. Don’t lose sight of the other candidates just because we have to pick one for president. If there is anything we learned from the previous elections, it is that the rumble of change is starting to take shape in the local governments, with young, able, and forward-thinking leaders at the helm of their constituency. This is the seedbed of the future, and we will definitely reap what we sow, especially come the next telling national elections.

Lastly, be open-minded

When selecting a leader, we tend to become more interested in how they will serve ourselves, our family, our career, rather than the whole nation. So, before deciding on a leader, think about the other Filipinos that can be affected by your vote: does this leader discriminate against a minority? does this leader care about the well-being of the poor? does this leader have a history of abusing their power? Just think about it. And once you’ve simmered long enough, talk to people. Engage in conversation and discourse, even if it is with people whose politics you don’t necessarily agree to. This is the beauty of the democracy we were blessed with, so let’s do our duties as stakeholders of this nation to keep the narrative going because it will matter the moment you hold the ballot in your hands and shade in your votes, ultimately sealing the fate of our country and our future for years to come.

From CEO To Hero: Why Nina Cabrera Of Colourette Cosmetics Is The Virtual Ate That We All Deserve

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Beyond just Colourette Cosmetics, let’s dig deeper into why Nina Cabrera is living up to her self-proclaimed tag line, Ultimate Boss Babe. 

Related: NEVER FORGET: THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN ELECTIONS 2022 ROLLS ALONG

November 12 could have been the day where businesses are focused on fulfilling orders after the monumental 11.11 sale. But typhoon Ulysses happened. Its heavy rain and strong winds revealed how unprepared the government was in providing solutions that should have been in place on the long-term. And for Nina Cabrera, the CEO of Colourette Cosmetics and Fresh Formula skincare, she went to Twitter and demanded accountability from our leader, just as any responsible stakeholder of this great nation should be doing. However, in this valiant effort, she received a lot of hate, but just like a modern Filipina, she fought back by using, or rather, taking back the troll-operated hashtag #boycottCOLOURETTEcosmetics to raise awareness for her donation drive that earned a total of P1.6 million. On top of that, she also gave all the stocks in her new clothing venture Wear.Bambi since according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, we cannot donate used clothes to the typhoon victims.

While we all laud this clap back very well done, and one that was taken beyond the virtual space and into the real world of tangible results, this isn’t the first time that Nina Cabrera proved that she is truly the older sister that we need and we should aspire to be. Sure, she can dish on all the beauty she can with Colourette Cosmetics, but here are more reasons why she deserves to be called a CEO and a real influencer—you know, the actual, textbook definition of the word, and not the marketing buzzword.

She Shares Business, Marketing, And Life Lessons On Tiktok

As of press time, Nina Cabrera has 987.1K followers on Tiktok where she not only provides swatches of her products or behind the scenes look at her two companies. She also uses this platform to answer questions about her day job and also provides marketing and business tips using layman’s terms in a matter of minutes. The best part? She also uses her platform to educate her followers on how to check one’s privilege.  

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFoMwCmh4k3/

She Supports And Collaborates With Other Filipino Entrepreneurs And Creators

She buys the products from aspiring artists and goes as far as sending shoutouts to other local beauty brands when she receives a package. She also tests and uses other cosmetic products and publicly shows them in her videos. Our favorite so far? The Colourette Cosmetics collaboration with Tala by Kyla last October!

She Is A Progressive Woman, Wife, And Mom

27-year-old Nina is also a mom of two children, a number of dogs, who is still addicted to Pokemon. In one video, she also showed how her son Nathan should not be shamed for wearing Powerpuff Girl jammies and she encourages her daughter to be more independent. Also on Tiktok, she provides a sneak peek at how she and her husband, Kurt navigate their relationship, finances and parenting in 2020.

She Admits Her Shortcomings And Apologizes When She Is Wrong

Her detractors were able to dig up some dirt on Nina, citing how unbecoming of a boss she was from years back. Instead of ignoring or denying, she admitted to that incident. She reflected and is continuously working on improving her relationship with her employees in her business and in her household. A few days ago, there were also some glitches that happened in the delivery of her products to which she resolved even if it will cost her company.

She Is #Malditaforareason

A few years ago, a female driver bravely remained in her lane as she stood up against vehicles counterflowing in a national road. Yes, that’s The Nina Ellaine, too! Most recently, she called out Tiktok celebrity Rosmar Tan for providing false information about the latter’s cosmetic business. When a basher labeled her as ‘tank build’ in reference to her weight using a term from Mobile Legends, she clapped back and schooled him about her hero, Masha from the same famous game that she used to play.

Credits to _roseangelique on TikTok for the term “Virtual ate”

Cut The BS: Should Philippine Media Stop Airing And Live-Tweeting False Statements?

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Let's not forget, journalists are not just transcribers.

Filipinos who watched President Rodrigo Duterte‘s televised address last Tuesday evening are now demanding local news outlets to have the same energy on coverage as the U.S. national elections.

RELATED: What We Can Learn About Social Activism From Young Hollywood Celebrities

False news stories have proliferated online in recent years. Social media sites such as Facebook and more recently, Twitter, have received sharp criticism for giving coverage to fake news and statements, which causes more panic and rage from ordinary citizens. 

In America, major U.S. news outlets have abruptly cut the airtime of Donald Trump when he spread disinformation on live television after the results of the elections. Now, Filipinos are expecting the same treatment towards our public officials.

President Duterte spent almost 20 minutes of his speech last Tuesday evening, alleging Vice President Leni Robredo of spreading lies about his whereabouts during the onslaught of Ulysses and the rescue in Cagayan. He placed the responsibility of the trended hashtag, #NasaanAngPangulo on her. However, the VP never asked about the President’s absence in any of her social media updates, interviews, nor public appearances.

Journalists on Twitter who were live-tweeting the President’s speech were criticized for not fact-checking Duterte’s statement before posting it on their socials. This raised a discussion on how the media should treat false statements in their coverage moving forward.

Joseph Morong, one of the journalists who have been criticized for live-tweeting the speech, questioned the people. “If I censored what the President said, would you also accuse me of protecting his image?” Which was then rebuked by several Twitter respondents under his tweet, saying that censorship is different from fact-checking and contextualizing statements.

Atom Araullo noted that live-tweeting events, briefings, and speeches has been an industry practice for a long time. “Should we reconsider the practice of live-tweeting the president’s speeches (or any official for that matter) if we cannot fact-check his statements on the spot? It has become industry practice, but we might have to reimagine our coverage in the age of mis/disinformation,” Araullo wrote.

Felipe Salvosa tweeted, “Journalists need to be weaned off the old standard of cold and neutral reporting, which has been hijacked by purveyors of falsehoods in the officialdom who used to have guaranteed spots in the news.”

Jeff Canoy also quoted an article from the Washington Post about false balance in the media: “Forcing balance where there is none is not journalistically ethical. It’s not part of the proud and essential tradition of truth-telling and evaluation, either. At best, it’s lazy. At worst, it’s an abdication of the media’s responsibility.”

Furthermore, with our democracy threatened and major news outlets are being shut down, more people will turn to the remaining news outlets for updates. So, it should be up to us, the journalists, to relay responsible and truthful information when necessary.

Not Just A Silly Bird App: This Is How Twitter Mobilized The Rescue Response Amid Typhoon Ulysses

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Now that's the tweet.

In a devastating series of events and circumstantial news blackout, Twitter comes to the rescue of those in need in the distressing devastation of recent typhoons.

RELATED: Lessons Learned From Typhoon Ulysses

“We are also part of the Philippines. We exist,” and so went the general cries of help in alarming aftermath of the wrath of Typhoon Ulysses. Just when most of the country was presumably getting ready to turn in for the night, after being confronted by the vicious wrath and violent whiplash of the tropical cyclones Quinta, Rolly, and Tonyo over the course of just a few days back-to-back, the population of social media, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, erupted with persistent pleas for rescue in Cagayan Valley, Isabela, and Tuguegarao city as the unforeseen and severely underestimated typhoon’s path of destruction resulted in one of the worst flooding the region has seen in recent years. “The water is still rising,” the deluge of Twitter updates reported from the ground, with some even taking videos and going on live to show the public the reality of the situation, where almost everything was submerged in muddy and murky water.

Up until this point, the focus was mainly on other severely affected areas as well, including but not limited to Rizal, Metro Manila, Marikina, Camarines Norte, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Bicol. “Cagayan needs your help,” the messages eventually read, which quickly and organically grew into a trending topic on Twitter, with by-the-second information coming in the form of rough estimates, gritty images, and heartbreaking videos lamenting the eventual truth that people were either missing or worse, dead.

While there were considerable and valiant efforts for rescue response on the ground, Cagayan was still for the most part left in the dark. Navigating the flood made even more challenging by rains, compromised vision, and dangles of live wires, Twitter was quick to amplify the calls for help, escalating the obvious state of calamity to a national concern. While we thought the worst was over with the passing of Rolly, which was warned to be wreak havoc and devastation worse than the onslaught of the paradigm shift of a typhoon that was Ondoy in 2009, it was a harrowing situation of life and death in the areas of concern with nothing but spotty signal, smartphones, and social media to keep an even worse outcome at bay.

With ears pressed to the ground of social media, several media outlets, who were at this point not the main source of necessary news because COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the LGU prevented them from covering the path of the natural disaster days prior. Add to the fact what was once a reliable hub of information in the form of the ABS-CBN Regional station had been shut down as an effect of what is to this day a highly questionable, presumable act of vendetta that is the denying of the network’s right to franchise. So, the soldiers of social media were up and at it, firing away in retweets, threads of information, and status updates on Twitter, which ultimately took the place of aerial shots and rained on reporters. Even Vice President Leni Robredo operated on her efforts for rescue and relief operations through Twitter, eventually coordinating all the information directed her way to the appropriate responders and agencies. Whatever was needed at the moment as made known to her, she was on it, which included outsourced calls for reliable transport and intel.

In the absence of immediate consolidated efforts from the national government at the harrowing hours of calamity, it was the silly bird app that people hop on to for memes, bite-sized news, and petty who-are-we-fighting-today brawls that shocked the nation from its disaster fatigue and woke the Filipino spirit of community into action. This wouldn’t be the first time that the pocket of the internet that is for the most part straightforward and replete of a lot of the shiny bells and whistles the rest are constantly updating us with (this was pre-Fleets, FYI), would rouse its audience to a movement. During the many misguided, misinformed, and misdirected maligning of the apparent public officials, as well as perspective-shifting events such as the US elections, it is in Twitter that we are made aware and an opinion is sculpted to a precise point-of-view. Admittedly not a top-tier, commercially-laden social media app, let’s admit it, when it comes down to it, Twitter saves the day.

When the rest of the country finally caught on to the tragedy unfolding in the region, which has now been filed as #CagayanNeedsHelp, the mobilized efforts didn’t stop, because the concern from rescuing quickly graduated to relief operations, where everyone, from big name celebrities to actual influencers living up to the dictionary-defined word, and even normal Twitter-folk would link their virtual networks in an effort that amassed to an inspiring movement of bayanihan, in the truest sense of the word. With creative asks for donation in droves and drives and the overarching calls to action for the unsettling climate change crisis, it is through Twitter again that the word got around fast, edging itself to the forefront of conversations—and rightfully so, too.

While we are still in the process of rebuilding the lives of those affected as obliterated to almost nothingness, far from ever reaching that now elusive normal, the threads that connect the world of Twitter is still at it, spreading news and information, riling up the act of generosity, and well, entertaining in mindless scrolls amid all the gloom and doom that proliferate our timelines. So, next time you dismiss Twitter as just that silly bird app that doesn’t take things seriously in the plane of flashy social media, remember that when it mattered, it cut through the noise of echo chambers and national responsibility; raising the nation at a time it needed the most.

Now that’s the tweet.

Here’s Why Charli D’Amelio Is Being Cancelled Right Now

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She has lost 1 million followers on TikTok since the video came out.

It seems like the 16-year-old TikTok sensation, Charli D’Amelio, is getting a taste of what it’s like to be cancelled on social media. Charli, who is known for being the most followed TikTok account, has been receiving backlash over comments she made on her family’s YouTube video series.

So what really happened for her to deserve all this hate, you ask?

Let’s go back to November 16, the day the D’Amelio family posted the first episode of Dinner With The D’Amelios. In the series, the family invites a mystery guest to dine with the family. The first guest was YouTuber and family friend, James Charles. YouTuber and chef Aaron May, who has been working as a private chef for the D’Amelios, prepared the food, which included a plant-based paella for her mom, and a classic Valencia paella with shrimp, chicken, and snails.

Everything was going swell until Dixie, her sister, was asked to eat the snail as it would bring her ‘fortune and good luck.’ Dixie gagged in front of the chef and ran off-camera to throw up after trying the mollusk. Meanwhile, Charli asked, “Do we have any dino nuggets?” as she munched on bread. Later on, Charli lamented that she wasn’t going to hit 100 million TikTok followers on the anniversary of hitting 1 million followers. “Ugh, I wish I had more time. Because imagine if I hit 100 mil a year after hitting a mil.” James Charles pokes fun at her: “Was the 95 [million] not enough for you?”

As the clips were cut and spread on social media, Trisha Paytas, a 32-year-old YouTuber with 3.8 million followers on TikTok, reacted to the video that called out the behavior of the siblings for being ungrateful. Viewers of the viral clip found the siblings to be “snobby” and “entitled” which then began the decline of Charli’s followers. She has lost over 1 million as of writing, as well as receiving the standard death threats that have somehow become normalized in being cancelled.

Charli addressed the controversy on Instagram Live on November 19, calling it a “misunderstanding.” She explained how her team knows she and her sister are picky eaters, and that including snails in the dish was meant to be a fun prank. “Blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human being is not okay at all,” she said between tears. “You can hate on me for whatever I’ve done, but the fact that all of this is happening because of a misunderstanding, I just feel like that’s not okay. And if this is the community that I’m in and the community that I put myself in, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore.”

She then called out Trisha Paytas on her live. “You have been completely rude to me multiple times, saying: ‘she doesn’t have a personality, she can’t dance.’ You have your own problems, please stop worrying about mine…” Charli adds, “Please stop talking about me, you’re not a very nice person.”

Trisha, while known for her cultural appropriation and transphobic remarks in the past, was quick to respond, saying: “I’m not worried about you. I’m commentating on poor behavior because that’s the only way you will be able to grow and change.”

Really? All this because a 16-year-old wanted to eat Dino nuggets instead of snails for dinner … and for being excited about a milestone?

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

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Wildest Dreams World Tour: First stop, quarantine.

Trapped inside a maze within the forest and each path packed with rattling snakes, booby-traps and floating jellyfishes, I wander and seek refuge on top of a hundred-year old tree. Until I fall into a dark abyss that engulfs me and I see myself disintegrating into a shards of diamonds. Of course, it was just a dream, no matter how surreal it looked like compared to a Salvador Dali piece.

RELATED: Blink and You’ll Miss It: The Designer Who Creates Optical Illusions Through Clothing

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

On Twitter, different users shared their own experiences now known as ‘Corona Virus Pandemic Dreams.’ Mostly intense, distressing and confusing. While the virus remains unseen, the biological warfare we’re experiencing is forcing our minds to find that ray of light behind the walls we have been sheltered in for the last few months—according to scientists. One study in the UK & China mentions that more people are having difficulty sleeping and if they do, it’s usually for shorter periods of time.

While the virus remains unseen, the biological warfare we’re experiencing is forcing our minds to find that ray of light behind the walls we have been sheltered in for the last few months—according to scientists

Dreams often help us cope mentally with our waking situation, sometimes reflecting our own realities.

The emotions we feel during the day can influence our dreams and what we feel about it. Some studies say they also serve as defense mechanism by giving us the opportunity to work through our anxieties and rehearse for stressful real-life situations. Spending more time in bed can also be a contributing factor due to the fact that you’re sleeping more and moving less.

Now, as the virus continues to spread (we are now at a total of 55.6 million cases worldwide), a few things to practice to avoid nightmares is to try and build a consistent bedtime and wake up time, limiting your interaction with social media (but still try your best to be informed), and schedule a buffer zone—a period you could use to unwind and reduce exposure to stressful content such as listening to meditation podcasts, reading books or calming music.