self-doubt passion

How Self-Doubt Immobilized Me From Pursuing My Passion

Ever feel like you weren't as good as you once thought you were?

Doubts kill more dreams more than failure ever could.

I used to be a pretty confident kid. I was the type of person who loved performing on stage, singing in front of the whole school, and dancing as if I knew how to. Growing up, my family and friends validated me and gave me the boost that I needed to try new things.

RELATED: My Accomplishments Are Sus, Am I Experiencing Impostor Syndrome?

I studied at a Catholic school all my life and my mom closely raised me (almost) entirely on her own. Mostly living a sheltered lifestyle, it was when I entered college where I became exposed to a world that was bigger than me. There were people who wouldn’t think twice about humiliating or hurting me. And on occasions, I would realize that I wasn’t as good as I made myself out to be.

That’s when my doubts started to take over my life.

I lost my friends at the end of freshman year. They said I was too bubbly, laughed too hard, and was too immature. Everything I liked about myself became an insecurity.

I was so conscious about what people thought of me to the point that I would hide from my professors during recitation in fear of saying the wrong answer, I started doubting my writing because I felt like it wasn’t good enough for journalism, I quit chorale because my voice wasn’t as powerful as I had thought. The things that I was so sure about no longer inspired me. Up to this day, I still struggle with the same insecurities. At work, I would second-guess my skills, overthink before responding to messages, and I would get discouraged writing because I felt like my self-worth was measured by numbers.

I felt immobilized; like I couldn’t do anything right because I had so many negative introspections. Sometimes, I felt like an impostor even with my achievements and it made me realize that I gave up my aspirations and my passion, purely because I thought I wasn’t good enough.

This feeling reminded me of an encounter with my Anthropology professor back in college. He took recitations very seriously. He was intimidating, wise, and frankly terrifying. I skipped his classes despite wanting to learn from him because I was afraid that he would call me and I would say the wrong thing. Finally, a good friend noticed that I was avoiding his classes. She asked me to stay because we had a paper to turn in.

My worst fear (at the time) happened. He called my last name for a recitation. And as I read my essay in front of the whole class, the paper I was holding was shaking through my trembling hands. When I finished reading the essay, everyone fell silent. I couldn’t tell what was going on in my professor’s head—his deadpan eyes enough to make me return to my seat in shame. Did I get the assignment wrong? Did I misunderstand the lesson? 

Then he started lecturing the class about self-doubt. How often times, we underestimate the power of our mind and the influence of our voice. He looked at me and told me that he would like to hear about my ideas in class more.

Recently, I had the same experience at work. Responding to work messages still gives me anxiety. Asserting myself feels like I’m being a push-over, and with the work-from-home set-up where all means of communication are through texts and emails, it’s easy to be misunderstood. But I’m grateful to have a team that believes in me, supervisors who see my potential, and a family that supports my decisions. I realized that the only one stopping me from pushing myself further is me.

To this day, I’m still working on getting my confidence back up, but I don’t want to feel entrapped by my worries when there are so many opportunities out there. I want to be able to face a challenge with a brave face on and confidently say: I can do it.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with self-doubt. Sometimes we become so obsessed with not committing any mistakes that we end up not being able to make room for growth. We are so caught up with being accepted and validated that we forget to live for ourselves. It should be okay to be wrong, it should be okay to feel good about the things you love, and it should be okay to not overthink all the time. Do the things you want to do no matter how daunting it may seem. And if at the end of the day, things still don’t go as planned, give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to try.

So, You Want To Party Amid A Pandemic? Don’t.

Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should.

With the pandemic far from over, there’s no reason to party just yet. There are many ways to find little joys and reasons to celebrate, but there is no excuse for this excess, especially when everyone else is just trying to survive.


There have been many instances in recent memory where I had to stop a conversation mid-sentence just to correct someone’s use of tenses. No, it wasn’t an exercise of being a grammatical blowhard, but rather to knock some sense of real life context to the discussion concerning the pandemic. The often-confusing levels of lockdown have considerably eased since the last year, with the government and business sector trying to resuscitate a struggling economy, but the fact of the matter is, while a lot of the population would like to think of it as a thing of the past, the pandemic is far from over.

The seemingly blatant nonchalance for the gravity of the crisis isn’t too hard to spot. A quick scroll on your social media feed would reveal a reality that harkens to a time pre-pandemic with the traffic on EDSA unbearable, people flocking to both enclosed and outdoor spaces alike, and for some, even choosing to party despite the mandated protocols, repeated warnings, and overarching message of: if it isn’t necessary, stay at home. As of this writing, the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases based on the latest bulletin posted by the Department of Health (DOH) is 518,407 active cases, following an addition of 2245 cases with deaths at 10,482 and recoveries 475,542, putting us well above the top of the coronavirus disease situation report culled by World Health Organization on the Western Pacific Region.

On top of that, the more formidable and infectious strain of the coronavirus has seen instances of local transmission, including reported cases in Quezon City, La Trinidad, Benguet, Calamba Laguna (discharged and cleared), and in Bontoc, Mt. Province as confirmed the DOH. And even with such glaring and truly alarming figures, there are still people who have the audacity to insist on celebrating despite it all?

Is It Worth It?

Again, it doesn’t take a deep dive on the internet to find out who has been actively violating protocols in parts or as a whole. Establishments have been made to explain themselves or worse, forced to shut down after repeated disregard of the rules set by the IATF, public officials and personalities have been called out and reprimanded by the courts of social media for leveraging privilege, and much of everything we all knew to be normal was (and still is) scaled back or made to be forgotten completely. Let’s face it, life isn’t the same, nor will it ever be moving forward from this point of our collective histories. No amount of rushing or rationalizing will make things normal, even if you preface it with the word “new.”

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t find reasons to celebrate despite having no clear end in sight. As human beings who require even the least bit of social activities and well, sunlight, it goes without saying that we understand the need to break out from the walls closing in on us with different iterations of cabin fever. Mental and emotional states have taken the most beating, and it shows no signs of relenting anytime soon, too. Perhaps we are all just desperate to find a little joy in our lives that some overlook the systems set in place to keep everyone safe. But that still isn’t even remotely an excuse for any show of excess, especially when the rest of the country, and the world is on survival mode. Even with all the means, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

While all too familiar at this point, the stories remain just as, if not more aching than before: Families separated by considerable distance because of quarantine limits, front liners risking their lives day in and day out just to make sure everyone else is well, good, and functioning, and for some, having to face the painful truth of loss and death. As if we haven’t been put through the wringer enough, with little to no solid plan to curb our exponentially growing worries, and with an incurred debt of 9.615 trillion as of August last year, the government is nowhere near in full control of the healthcare crisis, turning its attention instead to other inanities that make one go, “really, in the pandemic?”

Party pandemic
The Flaming Lips staged a concert in bubbles.
Mind The Guidelines

With barely a rudimentary guidance to turn to, we have since been compelled to deal with the pandemic on our own accord. The Local Government Units (LGU) have stepped up for sure, with most of them mobilizing mass testing, strict enacting of protocols, and procuring doses of vaccines for its constituents. In fact, Pasig City has become the first LGU with an approved vaccination plan, with its local COVID-19 task force working with the WHO, the government, private medical institutions, and NGOs to follow through with this breakthrough rollout. Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross is set to launch saliva testing for COVID-19, which is not only less invasive, quicker, but also a lot cheaper than the standard Molecular, PCR, and antigen tests.

Even with these modicums of safety and assurance, it doesn’t mean one should be complacent, because unlike the holidays or parties, the pandemic sees no reason to pause and cause for a celebration. Even if you preface every social sortie with a negative test result, it doesn’t soften the blow of what stands to be a form of extremism in this day and age. People have to realize that for those who aren’t as privileged, the mere act of going out for necessities or to earn a decent living is already a sacrifice, one that isn’t insulated by a swab test that runs an average price of P3800-P5000.

So, framing your festive circumstance that goes well beyond the maximum number of people allowed, with little to no physical distancing, and with an absence of masks even for just a while is a clear skewing of the moral compass that is now preceded by the pandemic.

The Bubble

Think of it as a sign of respect. Just as you wear a mask at any given situation, elbow each other in lieu of handshakes or hugs, and interact at safe distances, you should also think of limiting movements altogether. The simple science behind it is the more motion, the greater the risk of infection, especially when setting out beyond your respective bubbles. And no, compounded bubbles don’t count, because who knows what the interactions in between could have resulted to. We don’t want another complete lockdown similar to August 2020 where even the medical and health front liners were at wits end trying to flatten the curve and keep people alive.

It’s excruciatingly difficult, we know. But while you unnecessarily gallivant, there are grandmothers who couldn’t see her grandchildren during Christmas because senior citizens wouldn’t be allowed beyond a checkpoint, there are friends who have to field every invitation to get-together even with just a handful in attendance, and there are those who couldn’t even see their dearly departed for one last time. Think about it before finding every reason possible to justify a moment of over-the-top merrymaking. The mere fact that you can even think about it means you are infinitely lucky, meanwhile others are not. Remember that.

Party  pandemic
Wuhan, a year after.

A gospel truth in a world pre-pandemic as it stands to be now, let’s be real, no one is going to die if a party doesn’t happen. Now, even if you choose to ignore the rest of the world while in the comforts of your own bubble, know that at some point these gleaming orbs will pop, and the fall could prove to be fatal.

So, you still want to party in the pandemic? Here’s a friendly suggestion: don’t.

Bratz chunky boots

You Need To Add These Bratz Shoes To Your Wardrobe ASAP

Here are some local shops where you can get them!

If you’re lacking in the height department or you just wanna feel like a Bratz doll, chunky boots are the answer.

There are some things from the 2000s that we can’t just let go of (except for the creepers/tsinelas hybrid), fully manifesting in a current unhealthy obsession with chunky boots. Ever since Prada released their own version two years ago, everyone from Gigi Hadid to Rihanna couldn’t stop wearing them.

Not only are they comfy, they also add a few inches to your height. We also love how versatile they are as you can wear them with absolutely anything. An oversized hoodie, mini skirt, a suit or even pants, they make stomping look 10x better. Take it from the OG baddies, aka the Bratz dolls Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha, and Jade. Just look at their fits—they made “clown shoes” look stunning. Despite the warm weather in Manila, we were able to find five local shops that sell them (took us a while TBH). So, lace up, dress up, and embrace your inner Bratz doll with these chunky boots.

RELATED: Low-Rise Jeans Are Making a Comeback. Do We Love It?


We’ve found this hidden gem of a shop that sells different chunky boots and platforms that look pretty and affordable. Yasmin would approve.


If creepers or platforms aren’t your thing or you’re just really blessed with height, this shop also carries combat boots.


Originally a signature of Lolita Dolls and goth girls, chunky boots aren’t only made for dark clothes. Take it away, Jade!


Who said they don’t look good in white? Imagine these in pink though.


Next to the Prada monoliths, Dr. Martens has a lot of styles to choose from. If you’re feeling like a sci-fi character, a little punk or just want that extra attitude, better add all of these to cart.

local skincare

Here’s A Resolution: Commit To Adding Local Skincare To Your Routine With These Discoveries

It’s all about local love, always.

One need not look very far for skincare solutions, because local brands have been up and at it, catering to targeted concerns that work best for Filipinos.


So, you’ve written down that resolution to finally be consistent about your skincare routine. Yes, we know, more often than not, the bare minimum of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing is well in place, but if there is anything the past year has taught us skin-wise, it is that it just won’t quite cut it anymore. Think about it, in a time shrouded by stress, anxiety, and face masks, all of which add up to take a toll on your skin, extra TLC is needed to keep things looking its best despite the pervasive uncertainty that has taken over our lives.

Photo via @happyskin_ph

Now that we have your attention, it’s time to take the discussion on skincare a step further, but much closer to home than you think. Sure, there are a lot of options, formulations, and innovations stocking up the market of skincare, which is all well and good, but it might be high time to reconsider what you favor and at the very least look into a growing market for local skincare brands that are just as, if not more effective since they are made for our skin type specifically. Dependable and diverse, these Filipino-owned and made products have been slowly and surely occupying spaces on social media and our skincare stash as it stands to be efficient, effective, and just as important a consideration, economical.

Tackling everything from rebuilding, refreshing, and rejuvenating, these local skincare brands are worth your discovery bandwidth and penny, because not only do you get to work wonders on your skin, bringing it to be its best state yet, you also get to support local. Trust us, that purchase goes a long way for an industry that not only has the best interest of the Philippines at heart, but also a trained focus on the most important factor in the equation, you.

We’ve scoured the internet and social media for local skincare finds for your kind consideration. These brands and products really do make strong case for loving all that is proudly Filipino.


A firm believer in the power of skincare, so much so that they incorporated it in their cosmetics line, Happy Skin doubles down on their skin caring advocacy with the launch of their new #GoodForYou products. Formulated for healthy, hydrated, and glowing skin, Happy Skin brings together the powerhouse four (Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide, Cica, and Niacinamide) in the Hyaluronic  + B3 Boost Water Cream and the Hyaluronic Soothing Cleansing Gel. The perfect 1-2 punch in skincare, the necessary combination of the duo proves to cooperate with the skin with its biocompatible ingredients that strengthens the barrier of the skin, allowing it to serve as a self-sustaining protection against everyday aggressors. Lightweight, highly absorbing, and pleasantly smelling, a practical amount of product goes a long way, easily gliding across the skin, immediately soothing and improving with diligent use. And guess what, you might not need anything else but these two, how comprehensive and cool is that?


At this point, the constant and consistent washing or sanitizing of one’s hands is an essential everyone has to be most mindful of. A key point of consideration and protection against the virus that continues to pummel through our lives, it is best to always have alcohol or hand sanitizer at arm’s length all the time. Responding to this necessity, but also extending their popular scents line, blk introduces the Hand Detox, the best smelling and most moisturizing hand sanitizer. Available in two delicious fragrances (jasmine and lily), it is a supercharged form of protection with 70% alcohol and a formulation of aloe vera and vitamin E to keep your hands clean without stripping it off its softness.


Has the incessant popping up of acne been getting you down once you remove your face mask? Whether you have long struggled with pimples or are the rare few blessed to not call it a concern, the struggle of modern-day maskne is real and it exempts no one, even the ones with the most enviable state of skin. Seeking to push the envelope and address concerns unique to the Filipino market, In Her Element introduces the fast-acting Masknegel for spot-treating acne. Proudly made in the Philippines, it helps control acne with its swirl of Cica, Salicylic Acid, and Tea Tree Oil.


There is a lot to like even just from a quick rundown of what Apotheke Science is. Handcrafted and all organic, this Filipino-made skincare brand harnesses only the finest of natural ingredients to combat against irritants, curb the effects of aging, and address other pertinent issues such as acne, redness, scars, eczema, puffiness, and itchiness. On its Instagram page, there is a wide range of products to choose from, but it also has box with its complete line that guides you along its prescribed steps of skincare. From detox to defense, they have you covered. 


Just like the fictional wish-granting characters in literature, Skin Genie is here to give you what you want, especially when it comes to local skincare. There are no conditions or a long drawn out haggling of wishes, because it promises to provide safe, gentle, and all-natural solutions for your skin. One of its more fun but also effective products is the Liquor Soap Bar, which also comes in a trio infused with different spirits to take your bath time routine from ordinary to out-of-this-world. With its playful twist on Jagermeister, Jack Daniels Old No. 7, and Tuscan red wine, each soap is infused with virgin coconut oil, microbial ingredients, and botanical extracts that addresses all things from skin refining, anti-aging, and brightening. Best of all, there is no rubbing of the lamp necessary.  


Mindful of you and mother Earth, Rraw has quite the realistic approach when it comes to eco-consciousness. Worth telling before we get into the range of locally handmade organic products, the Filipino brand does it very best by upcycling packaging and offering refills on your items at discount using their old bottles. (You must be willing to send it back to them, of course.) They even have a platform where you can give back and make a difference by donating to the rescue of dogs and cats through shelters or rescuing animals themselves. Now, on to the local skincare products. From a selection of Lip Oils, Body Butters, and Tonic Toners among others, their fluffy, creamy, and luscious Body Frostings that work as a body scrub, body polish, and whipped soap that exfoliates and hydrates. In comes in yummy variants that make you want to dig in before lathering. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Mochachino Mojito, and Marshmallow Icing anyone?


Guided by honesty, simplicity, and sincerity, Bloom & Topiary makes good on its premise of thoughtfully-made local skincare solutions. Consciously crafted with nature, their philosophy is anchored on delivering a regimen that is uncomplicated. With its line of high-performing and fuss-free products, you will definitely be confident in your own skin. One of its popular blends, the Revitalizing Body Oil with SPF 15, is made of Rose, Jasmine, and Neroli essential oils, as well as of Rosehip and Avocado oil that essentially tightens, improves, and balance the skin to near perfection.

5 Perfect Date Ideas You Can Pick Up From Noah Centineo

What exactly is a “perfect date” anyway?

Raise your hand if you’ve never been on a perfect date!

The idea of a perfect date is subjective, really. It depends on your personal feelings, preferences, and hobbies. For example, the most awesome date ever for me is attending a concert, but it may not be a cool idea for some. And that’s okay. Different strokes for different folks.

RELATED: Friendship Over? How Outgrowing Certain Relationships Help Us Move Forward

As Valentine’s Day is approaching, we’re sure some of you who are cuffed are already thinking of ways to spend the season of love. Considering that there’s a pandemic, your choices are limited. But thanks to Noah Centineo’s rom-com, The Perfect Date, we’ve got some ideas. Noah plays Brooks Rattigan, the smart guy, looking for an Ivy-League worthy extracurricular that can get him accepted and let him earn money at the same time. After posing as the boyfriend of tough girl Celia Lieberman, played by Laura Marano, he finds out he’s good at being the perfect “stand-in.”

Brooks’s best friend Murph, played by Odiseas Georgiadis, creates the Stand-In app (a nod to the adapted book’s title). It lets users choose the personality and setup of their idea of the perfect date. Business booms. He meets his dream girl, Shelby Pace, in the form of Camila Mendes. He’s close to achieving his life goals. But is Brooks sure of what he wants?

The movie is teeming with perfect date ideas for different personalities.

1. For the ones who love culture and art

It may not be ideal to visit art galleries just yet, so go around the city instead to spot street art or go on a virtual museum tour around the world. If it’s a new collection you’d like to see, it helps to do a little research about the artist. If you’re planning a mini road trip or walking tour, map out the stops together, making sure there’s a nice cafe nearby to grab a bite.

2. For the sporty type

Watching a game or playing a match together can help build your bond. It’s good to get your A-game on to see how compatible you are.

3. For the first-timers

First dates are tricky; you’ll want to get to know each other first. Having a decent conversation is key. Find a great place where you can talk about your interests and life in general; a cafe that serves good grub and has strict safety protocols is perfect. Or better yet, stay at home, invite them over, surprise them with good food from your favorite restaurant if you can’t cook. And above all, be yourself. Don’t overthink what you think your date would like to talk about just to look cool. Half the fun of going on a date is discovering each other’s common likes.

4. For the chill type

Parks have a natural atmosphere that offers relaxing experiences. You can get to know each other while exploring the grounds. Seeing a different scenery or a random moment creates opportunities for fun, spontaneous talks.

5. For the ones who like an elegant experience

Start your reservations at a fine dining restaurant. You also can’t go wrong with sipping cocktails at a hotel rooftop bar, too. Wear your mask, your best shoes, and a chic outfit and you’re all set!

Remember These Filipino Adaptations Of Korean Movies And K-Dramas?


We list down the most talked-about K-drama and K-movie adaptations that remain memorable to this day.


Early last week, TinCan Films announced on Twitter that the Philippine adaptation of a perennial favorite, My Sassy Girl, was well on its way in production. This classic Korean romcom movie which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year was often credited as one of the most successful Hallyu exports of all time. It also made actress Jun Ji-hyun one of the top-billed Korean stars to date. Since its announcement, there have been mixed reviews online—from Toni being “too old” to play the part to speculations on who else is part of the project. Despite it all, one cannot deny that she is an effective and experienced entertainer who can deliver the goods of this beloved Korean film.

Meanwhile, after much speculation (all found under the hashtags, #MSGMovie and #MySassyGirlPH), stage actor Pepe Herrera was selected to be the film’s leading man, the Pinoy version of Gyeon-woo. Also, Fifth Solomon is flexing his talent behind the scenes of the film

As we wait for more news about My Sassy Girl, here’s a roundup of some K-dramas and movies that both your younger and older self knows by heart.

Miss Granny (Movie)

In 2018, Sarah Geronimo’s portrayal of Shim Eun-kyung’s character earned her the Best Actress award 35th PMPC Star Awards for Movies. Nova Villa also won the Movie Supporting Actress of the Year award at the 50th GMMSF Entertainment Box Office Awards. According to reports, the movie was also “the highest single-day gross for a local movie released in 2018.”

Miracle In Cell No. 7 (Movie)

The Filipino adaptation of this memorable tear-jerker starred Aga Muhlach, child actress Xia Vigor whose performances were strengthened by film and stage veterans Joel Torre, Mon Confiado, Soliman Cruz, Jojit Lorenzo, and JC Santos. While the movie didn’t win any awards in the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival, it dethroned the usual top-grossing comedies and producers around that time of the year.

Ako si Kim Samsoon (K-drama series)

Three years after GMA 7 aired the tagalized version of My Lovely Kim Sam-soon, Regine Velasquez brought the classic slapstick comedy back to our weeknights and made it undeniably Pinoy. Just like the original, it broke the mold by putting the spotlight on a more mature storyline and cast. Mark Anthony Fernandez was cast to play Cyrus, which was originally portrayed by Hyun Bin.

Lovers in Paris (K-drama series)

First dubbed in Filipino, this award-winning drama aired on ABS-CBN in 2004. Because of its high ratings, the Kapamilya Network decided to produce their own adaptation, which featured Piolo Pascual and Zanjoe Marudo. This was also KC Concepcion’s first television series. Who can forget its theme song, Kitchie Nadal’s ‘Wag na ‘Wag Mong Sasabihin

My Girl (K-drama series)

As mentioned in the Korea Times article in 2008 by then ABS-CBN Business Unit Head Deo Edrinal, the Kapamilya Network retained the core of the story, but it was tweaked to a younger demographic. It starred Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and Enchong Dee. In 2013, the Philippine adaptation was aired with Malaysian subtitles on TV3 Malaysia.

Descendants Of The Sun (K-drama series)

Everyone was excited when the Kapuso Network announced that they will be creating the Philippine adaptation of this very successful series. Unfortunately, filming was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Filipinos supported Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado’s version that was on the Top Ten TV Shows when it premiered on Netflix last November 2020.

Whether you love, hate, or simply didn’t bother to watch any of the ones we listed, we are sure you are as curious as we are as to whether Toni and TinCan Films will be able to entertain us with their remake of My Sassy Girl. As for us, we are just delighted to see the cast and its crew back to work and we look forward to more projects that showcase Filipino talent.

Jolina Magdangal

Of Charm And Chuva-Choo-Choo, This Is Why Jolina Magdangal Will Forever Be A Legend Slaying

Bow down to the queen.

Armed with a trove of life’s experiences, Jolina Magdangal, the original teen queen of the 90s comes full circle as a modern woman, ready to take on new chapters—quirks and all.


It was just right before the turn of the new millennium when Butuan city in was at the cusp of being a bustling metropolis. Mid-sized grocery stores were expanding into department stores, a bowling alley and a swimming complex was the hippest place to be and near the city’s top university stood a new and wildly spirited commercial import from Manila—Jolina’s Fashion Gallery.

The memory of its opening is a little hazy but what remained vivid was that it certainly sent pleasant shock waves to what was then a relatively sleepy town—that time seemingly stood still as ribbons were cut, confetti rained on the concrete, music blasted and children flocked to the gates near the school all to catch a glimpse of the original teen queen, Jolina Magdangal.

Since then, little and not-so little girls (and boys) would go in droves to the store and leave being Jolina-fied. Yes, with the ubiquitous butterfly clips resting atop and bouncing on their heads and multi-colored beads accentuating their braids and tendrils.

A certified icon at an impressionable 16 years old in 1999, with record-breaking music sales, top-rating TV shows, blockbuster movies (kids of the 90s admitted to cutting classes and trooped to the cinemas just to watch her film with Marvin Agustin, Labs Kita, Okay Ka Lang? Don’t worry mom, this writer didn’t), and a seeming empire to her name, she was at the top of the game. Her success would continue years later, even with a much publicized network transfer that shook the very core of local show business.  Yes, Jolina Magdangal was—and still is—powerful.

However, somewhere along the line, the proverbial music mellowed down.

Where Did Jolina Go?
Jolina Magdangal

“’Yung before, hindi naman ako totally nagpahinga eh. Siguro dati pinipili ko kung ano ‘yung gusto kong gawin or ‘yung kaya ko at that time. Hanggang sa nagbuntis na ako,” she beamed with that unmistakable glint of wonder in her eye during our conversation sometime in 2015 for her MEGA magazine cover.

It was true; she would sporadically pop up on television with a guesting spot here, a series there, but nothing remotely grand that should is deserving of a Jolina Magdangal. However, she wasn’t one to demand or rush things. A firm believer in things falling into place in its own time and pace, she waited.

In the time she was seemingly slowing things down, she got married to Mark Escueta in 2011 and two years later, celebrated the birth of their son, Pele. “Iba,” she paused to take in a comfortable sigh as we talked about her new role in life, as a mother.

“Lumawak pa ‘yung pag-unawa mo sa buhay. Siyempre pag teenager, may pagka-impatient ka. Dati pagpuyat ka…tulog pa. Ngayon, anong puyat?” Jolina then narrated an instance earlier in the day where she wrapped up shooting for a soap opera she was part of then, Flordeliza at 2 AM “Siyempre maaga ang gising ko kasi maaga nagigising si Pele at kelangan ko siyang i-breastfeed. Wala akong pakialam. Ang sarap ng feeling kasi anak ko ‘to eh,” she reasoned.

Mother Marbles

Since then, Jolina Magdangal would not only relish being a mother, as she does to this day with Pele and her daughter, Vika, but she really came into her own as a woman celebrating this chapter of her life. From intimate glimpses of her life as a mother with constant and consistent social media posts aptly filed under the hashtags, #PeleSerye and #TeleVika, Jolina Magdangal has become way more than just the teen queen of her time in the 90s and a paragon of local pop culture. Today, she has fully assumed being a Momshie, a term of endearment for a mother that has parlayed from colloquial conversations to an enduring morning talk show, Magandang Buhay, with Karla Estrada and Melai Cantiveros on ABS-CBN.

Hindi siya madali ha,” she said of being a mother, explaining her and her husband’s decision to be pro-active parents, career and challenges notwithstanding. In what would become a constant topic of conversation on the informative, inspiring, and informative show, she furthered: “Kasi meron at merong nagsasabing: ‘Ano bang klaseng nanay ka, dala-dala mo siya sa lahat.’ Eto akong klaseng mommy, hangga’t kaya ko na dalhin ko siya o makakagawa ako ng paraan na nandiyan lang siya, gagawin ko kasi ‘yun ang unang-una kong sinabi eh—magiging hands-on ako.”  

There is an air of contentment that washes over her elfin frame, which was made even brighter with a smile that needed no explanation as she coddled her beautiful baby. Already an image that reduced us to a pool of awwws, it was made even more perfect when a then baby Pele responded with a giggly smile as well. “Kahit anong puyat ko, basta katabi ko siya, iba ‘yung saya ko. Talagang priceless,” she said.  

The Way Back
Jolina Magdangal

In an exercise of swift yet perfect timing, Jolina Magdangal-Escueta found herself thrust into the welcome but glaring spotlight when the rumors were revealed to be true years back—Jolina Magdangal was coming home to where it all started, ABS-CBN.

Masarap ang feeling kasi ang warm ng welcome,” she gushed of her homecoming to the network that she started with way back. “Umuwi ako na proud ako na ganito niyo ako pinalaki, ganito rin ako babalik.

May mga times na pag natutulog ako, parang iba ‘yung feeling ko eh. Minsan hindi nagsi-sink sa akin na pag-guest ako sa mga show, may mga nakaabang sa labas ng dressing room para magpa-picture at nagsasabi na: ‘Kumpleto na childhood namin,’” Jolina Magdangal detailed. “Ako parang, ‘Talaga?’ Nahihiya ako. Very ano…thankful and grateful na makakabalik ako sa ABS-CBN, kung saan ako parang pinanganak at lumaki.”

The word “throwback” gets thrown around a lot these days, with its currency, nostalgia, being a curious thing. While it is a wonderful memory one looks back to from time to time, it can also be a propelling force forward. “Kung ano ako ngayon, masaya ako na pinagdaanan ko ‘yun lahat. Siguro lahat naman mangyari, may magrerebelde na bata. So ako, kung ano ako ngayon, konektado siya lahat sa kung saan ako pupunta,” she mused.

As understandably overwhelmed as she gets from time to time, Jolina is sure that this is where she is supposed to be at this point of her life. See, perfect timing.

The Re-Introduction
Jolina Magdangal

Ako po si Jolina Magdangal-Escueta,” she said during her first guesting spot for The Buzz, words warm, genuine, and earnest.

One would wonder why someone of her stature would find the need to introduce herself again, to a different audience specifically. “Gusto ko makita nila na sa showbiz, wala kang masyadong maipapagmalaki kung hindi mo mahal ang trabaho mo. Dahil forever ka dapat natututo. Forever ka mago-grow. At kahit ano pa man ang in store for me, gagawin ko ‘yun kasi gusto ko pang ma-excite,” said this icon of her own right in show business. And as things stands, there is a reinstated sense of vigor that is prodding her to tackle new things in entertainment. “Siguro ngayon kahit marami na akong pinagdaanan, gusto ko pa, gusto ko pa! Gusto pang gawin ‘to, gawin ‘yan.”

Still The Same

What does it take then, to be Jolina?

“A good person,” she replied without batting her mascara-coated lashes. “Kahit ano man ang estado mo sa mundo, kung mabuti kang tao ikaw na ang the best. Marami kang napapatawa, matutulungan, mapapasaya at mai-inspire, more pa ‘yun sa pera o katanyagan. Ako, ‘yun talaga.”And you know what, we agree. One doesn’t get to where one is without being even the least bit nice. Jolina Magdangal-Escueta is proof that with the right amount of re-invention, talent, a true love for what she does and an overall nice personality, one can and will go places.

Today, she no longer sports colorful beads, mismatched eyeshadows, and yes, the butterfly clips as she did then. However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t as spirited as she was before. In fact, she still relents to the same sense of charm and chuva-choo-choo that has cemented her in the league of legends that still slays to this very day. (A hilarious parody account on Facebook and Twitter? No one comes close to her power, really.) Whether it be a magnificent pearl headband or festive pair of earrings festooned on her, there will always be that spark of fun as if reminding us that she will always and forever be the Jolina Magdangal that has colored our youth.

An infinite well of life and lessons to her name, there is a whole lot to learn from Jolina Magdangal. While so much has changed, she is far from done. As evidenced by her endearing energy, there is much more flight in her to soar to new heights. Yes, pretty much like the butterfly clips she still fondly talks about.

(Interview from MEGA magazine March 2015)

Low-Rise Jeans Are Making A Comeback. Do We Love It?

The way they dropped it real low just like THAT.

Don’t we all love a glorious comeback? Ditch the high-waist jeans cause things are about to go low, low, low.

Fashion does love to bring back trends every now and then, and that’s the beauty of it. But some just don’t make it to the cut at all—even when supermodels and celebrities make it look really good. By really good, we’re talking Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and pretty much anyone from the early 2000s. They were often accessorized with body chains and/or visible thongs, but how come it remains so divisive?

While it did give the midriff some much needed air time, some people think it looks like it’s sagging—but for a good cause. Exposing the belly button (and the hip bones!) instantly made you look taller. Blame it on Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner for constantly being spotted wearing the polarizing trend, and Maris Racal for her TikTok where she realized it gave her an hour glass figure, and now it’s everywhere. Out with the old, and in with the new old. Did that make sense? While you’re at it, scroll down below to see how these celebrities and style icons wore low-rise jeans.

RELATED: 10 Iconic Paris Hilton Outfits You Can Still Wear Today


Take it from the Y2K queen herself. Paris wore low rise jeans every day and night, often paired with the tiniest cropped top or tracksuit, and some kitten heels. She even wore them low to the red carpet!


File this under the tell me that you work out without actually telling me you work out challenge ’cause Maris is nailing the model off-duty look.


Not for the faint of heart, but it’s fun to take risks every once in a while. Wear your low-rise jeans with hints of sheer and a whole lot of attitude.


If you aren’t ready to go all out yet, pair a statement top (or bikini) with a tailored suit and some amazing trousers.


It would be a crime to leave Ms. Bella off the list. Low-rise jeans have been her go-to for two years now and she’s basically worn them with everything from cropped button-downs, knitted vests, to trench coats.


If you don’t feel like dressing up or you just want to do some errands, keep it low-key and wear your jeans with a denim jacket and some comfy sneakers.


Wanna feel like a Bratz doll? Ditch the high-waist jeans and put on some amazing platform shoes and a furry bucket hat to pair with your corset.


Another early 2000s trend you have to visit is the scarf top. It’s a summer staple that will never go out of style.


Keep it flossy with a lace-up top and some visible thongs. Trust us, it looks immaculate in white.

Totally Spies Gadgets

These Skin Care Gadgets Remind Us Of Totally Spies

Once upon a time, girls only wanted these gadgets.

Can anyone please tell us why no one, not a single cosmetic brand ever came up with a Totally Spies collection yet? WE. NEED. ANSWERS.

It’s not just the boys that deserve the cool weapons. In the early 2000s, The Totally Spies were three high school besties Clover, Alex, and Sam who fought crime and worked as undercover spies all while dealing with their own issues as teenagers. They were the epitome of women empowerment alongside The Powerpuff Girls and Kim Possible. Oh, and they had the coolest gadgets, too.

For the longest time, only the male protagonists get to keep the arsenal of the coolest gizmos, but the girls of Totally Spies proved that they were woman enough to get the job done despite society saying otherwise. The gadgets were not only pink—they were powerful and often disguised as makeup. Take for example the unforgettable Compowder (a powder puff used as a communication device to contact Jerry), the Laser Lipstick (a mini light saber disguised as a lippie), and their Scanner Hairbrush (used to trace and scan DNA).

Out of the many make up gadgets that the Totally Spies have, we’re still wondering how come no one’s ever made an actual, legit line and not just toys for kids? While we wait, we’ve rounded up a few local beauty gadgets we saw that resemble what the girls have used to save the day. (Hello, spies need some skincare, too.)

RELATED: It’s All About the Eyes: Here’s The New Mask-On Beauty Look For 2021


If hair removal and hot wax is something that terrifies you, this device is so much better than having to shave or pluck those strands one by one.

(Price: P3,599.00)


Move over jade rollers, there’s a new HBIC. These ice globe massagers are best used when chilled (not frozen!) five minutes before massaging the skin. They help reduce puffiness, soothe facial nerves and muscles all while leaving a radiant glow.

(Price: P850-P999)


Let’s face it, getting facials aren’t easy as it used to be. But getting an LED Light Mask isn’t such a bad idea either, especially if you’re conscious about your face being touched. The mask has seven different treatments and changes color whether it’s blemish removal, to revitalize skin, treat acne scars or minimize pores.

(Price: P10,999.00)


We know, those chewable facial devices they use to train the jaw are kinda scary. But the facial contour is not only non-invasive, it helps relax the facial muscles upon gliding to achieve a more defined shape and lift the under-eyes.

(Price: P1,550.00)


Not only does the Eye Fairy lighten dark spots and circles, it helps regenerate the skin and uses red-light therapy that gets rid of those eyebags.

(Price: P2,299.00)


Don’t forget to exfoliate! This is one of the most important steps in your routine. Facial cleansing brushes could do more harm than good when the bristles aren’t as soft. The LED lights gently unclogs pores, removes dead skin cells, and has a built-in warm massage system.

(Price: P2,500.00)


Admit it, you’ve always wanted to know how it feels like to supercharge your face with crystals. In the meantime, this pretty little thing makes our dreams come true. The rose quartz crystal eye mask regulates circulation on the skin and has the healing powers that balance your chakra, helping you get more sleep at night.

(Price: P4,200.00)

(Photos courtesy of Totally Spies Fandom)

Unbothered, Sabrina Carpenter Has Been In The Spotlight All Her Life

You can try to get under her skin, but she's all right.

Sabrina Carpenter may be under the heat of the spotlight because of the rumored drama with Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett, but she’s been in the spotlight all her life. She can take a little heat.

RELATED: New Generation Of Music: 10 Filipino Artists On Our Radar

Way back in 2018, Disney star and musician, Sabrina Carpenter visited Manila for her Almost Love tour. Even amidst a crowd of flashing lights, her flaxen hair stood out and glowed as if coming straight out of a Disney live-action remake of Tangled.

As beautiful as she is kind, she values the reputation her fandom holds. I mentioned that I was talking to her fans prior to meeting her, and the first thing she asked was: “Were they nice?”

Kindness is something that seems to lack at the moment as fans speculated that she was the “blonde girl” Olivia Rodrigo was talking about in the lyrics of her hit song, Drivers License, which debuted number 1 on Billboard Hot 100. Rumored to have dated her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star, Joshua Bassett, who is now allegedly dating Sabrina.

This week, Sabrina released her single, Skin, and fans are calling it a diss track in response to Drivers License. Today, Sabrina addressed the rumors on Instagram.

“I wasn’t bothered by a few lines in a (magnificent) song and wrote a diss track about it,” she wrote. “People can only get to you if you give them the power to. and a lot of people were trying to get to me. The song isn’t calling out one single person.”

Sabrina added, “Please don’t take this as an opportunity to send more hate anyone’s way.”

Looking back in 2018, I see where her fans get their genuine kindness from. Sabrina Carpenter simply radiates sincerity as soon as she walks into a room. So the interview may have happened three years ago, but luckily, there are some things that don’t change about her. Read on for more of this exclusive conversation:

Kids are looking up to you as they grow up. Have you ever found it difficult to be a role model for the youth since you’re also just a 19-year-old girl, maturing under the spotlight?

I can’t really think of myself as a role model. I just like to think about making the decisions that I, myself, feel good about making. Because if you try to think about everybody else then you end up not making yourself happy.

How do you use your platform to spread positivity and acceptance to the younger generation?

I do think that with everything that I try to do, I put a lot of thought behind it and I try, you know, to make sure that I’m authentic and I’m honest. Because that in itself I think is being what would be close to being a good role model. If they choose to look up to me, then I am honored ’cause they have a lot of choices, so it’s really really kind of them.

Out of all the tracks that you’ve made so far, which song means the most to you?

Ooooh. Probably a song off of my new album, [Singularity.] But if not, actually a song that I love so much and that will probably mean a lot to me in the future—and still now—is Alien which is my collab with Jonas Blue. We wrote that in London and the song just means a lot to me and we’re really happy we got to do it together!

What was the best life advice that was ever given to you?

Oh wow. Life’s too short to not love what you’re doing. Love the people that you’re with and have fun!