Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

Kevin Woo Uncovered: With A Clear Focus On What Matters Now, He Just Gets It

After all this time, he's got it still.

In this exclusive: We trace the evolution of Kevin Woo from the emergence and rise of K-pop, the shifting of his sound, and the focus on his growth.

Kevin Woo Uncovers Cover Magazine Nylon

Just like many of us. Kevin Woo did the inevitable and relented to the lure of TikTok amid the pandemic. While in isolation last year, the Korean American singer, host, and actor began documenting everything from his adventures of making Dalgona coffee, attempting the #wipeitdownchallenge, and even a funny TikTok duet with Jennifer Lopez. While it was fun and all, nothing was quite as entertaining as his series called, Evolution Of K-Pop Idols. (The Butter version alone is a treat.) Here, he illustrates the growth one charts from audition, being a trainee, and finally, the debut. As quick as it may be, it also is vastly enlightening to the process of discovery to phenomenon, proving that the stars we look up to and listen on repeat are truly worth our while.

No stranger to the pop culture shift and unequalled domination that is K-pop, Kevin Woo has not only seen it all, he was part of its emergence and rise. “Although I knew it was just a matter of time until K-pop captured global recognition, the speed at which K-Pop rose to popularity never ceases to surprise me,” he says. “I feel extremely proud to have paved the way for future generations of K-pop and I want to continue to advocate Korean music and artists to the world. As a Korean-American being familiar with both Eastern and Western cultures, it’s a surreal feeling to see K-pop all over global charts, TV shows, billboards, and more. What a historic phase in music history; a momentous achievement for K-pop.”


Evolution of K-POP #BTS #Butter #Army #BTSARMY #fyp #kpop #dance #trend #kevinwoo

♬ original sound – KEVIN WOO 케빈 ケビン

For the uninitiated, Kevin Woo is what the kids these days would call an OG in K-pop. Since his debut with the boy group, XING, in 2006, to his eventual assimilation with U-KISS in 2008. Since then, the South Korean boy band reached enviable success, with sold-out concerts, entries at the Billboard World Albums Chart, and adoration from Asia and the rest of the world. So, yes, he knows what he is talking about for sure.


All About Kevin Woo

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

“Not only has it innovated modern music, but also the way fans engage with their favorite artists. Fan engagement is essential to K-pop, as the fans support every aspect of the artist’s journey. Fans and artists are connected now more than ever through the power of social media and global fanclub communities,” Kevin Woo continues, taking us through a veritable history lesson in all things K-pop, straight from the source as they say. “It feels amazing to see how far K-Pop has come and that people all over the world resonate with good music regardless of the language or cultural backgrounds.” 

Just as K-pop has grown in epic proportions, Kevin Woo has traced an evolution of his own. In between his time with U-KISS, and even following his departure in 2017, he has made a name on his own as an actor and a host, starring in dramas and musicals, as well as hosting After School Club and KCON. “Not only as an artist, but as a human being, I am constantly evolving and discovering new sides to myself and that’s the biggest joy of what I do,” he reveals. “I think of my career as a marathon and it’s essential for me to constantly challenge myself to push my limits. My fans have been following my journey for quite some time ever since my U-KISS days up until now and I want to continue to show my growth and transformation.”

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

A stronghold in Korean entertainment, Kevin Woo is determined to expand his reach, further reaching into moments that he wants immortalized in among many things, music. Being able to look at his journey so far, he gets incredibly real, which is refreshing, especially since many of the stars we look up to still hide under the image of engineered perfection.

“Being in the spotlight from an early age, I’ve always had a mentality to please everyone. Whether it was the general public, industry workers, friends and family, etc. It took a toll on me later down the line when I started to feel emotionally and mentally drained,” he says candidly. “As I grew older, I realized that it is impossible for someone to please everyone. I’ve slowly learned the art of focusing on my goals and passion over what others think and this practice has really helped me grow into the independent artist I am today. I can take full control of my creativity and I am eager to show the world more of who Kevin Woo is.” 

Got It

This time, Kevin Woo is honing his sound, one that is completely of and by him. “Before, I was quite busy, going on tours and performing, but I really wanted more time to learn more about the whole music-making process. When we were all just kinda forced to stay home, I was able to really work on my craft as an artist, which allowed me to tap into my artistry in a new way,” he shares in an interview with American Songwriter. “Coming from that more personal space allows me to grow a stronger connection with my songs. Telling my story gives me freedom, creatively. So, I’m really proud and happy that I can allow my fans to have a decent look inside me.”

Opening up even more than before, the trilingual artist and performer is letting us in on his head and heart space. Getting even more personal, he is really diving deep into the process of creating, starting with the 80s and 90s hybrid retro boyband bop that is Got It. “First of all, Got It is the first song I wrote myself along with an amazing team of talented people. I was aiming for a more mature tone with my love for R&B and dance music while keeping my K-Pop essence,” explains Kevin Woo. “I wanted to capture honest emotions that we all have when it comes to feelings we can’t control. I want the audience to vibe out to this song while driving or even just chilling at home.”

Not quite a slowed ballad, but powerful nonetheless in its progression and pristine production, Got It is that track you will want to play when you want to slow things after a long day or just indulge in a little guilty pleasure every now and then. There is a lot to enjoy from the song, breathy vocals, bouncy orchestrations, and a build-up that allows you to dance to the beat. Following its release, the accompanying music video premiered, bringing the music to life in a neon-lit synergy. The only thing missing? A live performance.

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

“I really missed the energy and excitement that I share with the audience. I feel like live music and connection will heal our souls and mind after this pandemic,” he says the rest of the world slowly shakes the dangerous dregs of the global crisis and inch closer to a semblance of new world normal. “I’m looking forward to seeing fans dance, sing, and enjoy themselves with me.”

The Asian Experience

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

Despite all the good things coming his way, Kevin Woo is not taking his position and platform lightly. In fact, over the course of the past year, his resolve to not only represent but strengthen his repsonsibility to his Asian heritage. “I’m proud of my heritage and of being Asian. I want to continue to use my platform to spread awareness and share my story to the world so people can relate to and empathize with everyone,” he says, especially in the context of great suffering, injustice, and violence. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and I’m forever indebted to my parents and family for providing opportunities for me and allowing me to have a good upbringing.”

Through his music and his many avenues to reach out and speak up, Kevin Woo wants the world to know the struggles and sacrifices of Asian families. “Being a minority comes with deep hurts and pains for all types of experiences. In our day and age, I think it’s important to unite as humans and show empathy for everyone in these difficult times,” he says. Visibility is not only a motivating factor in the movement, but it is also one that matters for those who are coming to terms with their cultural identities. As something he has experienced in his formative years, Kevin Woo wants to be one of that figures of representation and reflection for others just like him.

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

“Growing up as an Asian-American, I didn’t get to see much Asian representation on screen or in the public eye. That’s why it means so much to me that I can be a role model to future generations,” Kevin Woo shares. “Now that technology has advanced, we can all showcase our talents on a global platform easier and faster than ever before. I want people to be confident and embrace their uniqueness to share their story with the world because that’s what people genuinely want to see and hear.”

Just Smile

There is definitely a lot more to Kevin Woo than it seems. While he was for a long time known as just part of a whole, he has worked his way out of the shadows of a great chapter of his life. Now, with a focused mindset where no limits exist, he is introducing to man he really is. “I would define myself as a young soul who enjoys the small things in life and never takes anything for granted. I’ve always had a passion for music and performing and it’s my fans who keep me motivated,” he says of the definitive Kevin Woo beyond the reputation that precedes him as an all-around entertainer.

Kevin Woo Nylon Manila Uncovers Cover Magazine

At the end of the day, one of his certain goals is to always smile, one that he consciously and consistently works at no matter what. “What makes me smile at night is thinking of the accomplishments I’ve made that day. In the morning, getting exercise and good food is what makes me smile. I would say, reminding yourself each day of what you are thankful for and knowing that you’re enough, helps one thrive.” Get it? Got it. Good.

Photography RAEN BADUA

Stylist TIFFANY BRISENO (The Only Agency)

Grooming SONIA LEE for Exclusive Artists using Oribe Haircare

Photo Assistant ANGELO AGOJO


alex diaz coming out

Write Your Story: Alex Diaz Gets Personal With Coming Out

This your story to tell. Write it as you damn well please.

While his own coming out story was hastened and forcibly taken from him, Alex Diaz is reclaiming his truth and telling it as it is, this time on his own terms, as it should have been.

It is nothing out of the ordinary, but here I am, huddled in the dark and cold of my room, wiping the wash of tears that don’t want to seem to stop from falling. Smearing my face with all the possible emotions to feel this late at night, it is but a little collateral for the heartwarming moments of the many coming out videos that my YouTube algorithm deemed necessary for me to consume. Whether it be to parents, a little brother, or a close friend, everything feels consistent: the trepidation, the clumsy stumbling of words, and the shifting body temperatures. This being published on the internet, it usually ends well, with long, tight, and warm hugs, assurances of unconditional love, and of course, even more tears. I remember the first time I ever had to come out, I had done so over the now defunct Yahoo Messenger to one of my dearest mentor and lifelong friend from high school.

Alex Diaz Coming out pride

“I am gay,” I typed out, each word entered as a new line on the chat box, separated by an ellipsis in between. Now, the rest of the conversation remains to be a blur, but yes, there were tears, an eruption of heart and hug emojis, and a lightness I hadn’t felt in a while. This was particularly significant, because with the sincerity, safety, and support I had felt, it set the tone with how I would begin to tell others who I felt needed to know, and most importantly, it helped me settle into this truth and identity I began to fully come to terms with. However, not everyone is as lucky to have this kind of a coming out story.

Coming out is such a personal process, and a lifelong one at that given the expansive, nuanced, and diverse spectrum of gender and sexuality, that there is no right way to do it. Only the person going through it, in a self-defined time and pace, can map out that journey of embracing who they really are and sharing it with others. There is, however, a wrong way, and this happens when people are forced to come out of their meticulously carved out spaces when they are simply not ready to. And this unfortunate reality is something actor Alex Diaz knows all too well.


The Coming Out Of Alex Diaz

Alex Diaz coming out LGBT

“Honestly, it was never going to happen on my own,” Alex Diaz begins, narrating what has become of what was supposed to be a story of his own writing. “I can only speak for myself as an actor, but in our industry, there are still huge stigmas with being diverse and so many people have been scared into their own version of ‘the closet’ for fear of not having a seat at the table. It’s great to see that the new generation is championing diversity, and that people, not just stars and influencers are emerging from all walks of life to live their truth.”

It isn’t exactly a new occurrence for the LGBTQIA+ community, because whether it be in school, at work, or even at home, queer people have been outed even before, and even if considerable stride have been made in terms of acceptance and visibility, every time this happens is still a dagger in the collective heart of the community, because it is a situation many have a shared experience with.

So, while being prematurely yanked out of the closet in a public space, and in a humiliating way at that, was a shock for Alex Diaz, it robbed him off the opportunity to see his own path of coming to terms with his sexual orientation and gender identity through. And in his candor, he admits that at the time, he wasn’t completely there yet in terms of understanding it for himself. “I had hit such a wall in my life. I felt like I was stuck in this infinite loop of the universe putting me in situations over and over again as the years progressed, the mental and physical ramifications of these getting worse and worse until things reached a fever pitch,” he details. “I felt like I was lying not just to my fans, but most importantly, myself. I was seeking approval for a characters I had no choice but to create in order to pursue something so important to me—my work, my craft.”

Starting Over

There is supposed to be an empowering, if not transformative aspect that trails the life-altering decision of coming out. But in the case of many who are still shamed into hiding their true selves to this day, for whatever reason, they become even less of who they are. “I don’t think I would’ve been here today, talking with you,” reveals Alex Diaz, who compelled by the incident of practically the rest of the world finding out about him being bisexual, was ready to throw in the towel to his passions and just retreat to a life away from the limelight. “To be honest, it was one of the darkest and lowest points of my life. At some point you start to firmly believe that there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. I was breaking down before going on set to act––something that brings me so much joy! I was going out, but for all the wrong reasons––to escape this feeling of inadequacy and shame that no one should have to feel. And that depression and that feeling of being trapped in a life you willingly entered into is enough to make anyone feel like it’s just not worth it.”

In this mindset of being ready to start over and find his peace, Alex Diaz was finally able to process what had transpired, especially on social media, and start walking the path of his coming out. Away from the noise, the judgment, and the uncertainty, here he was, finding some sort of clarity. It’s crazy because all of my bad habits and escapist tendencies––for lack of a better term––died with my old self. I kind of feel like I’m finally experiencing reality for the first time again and it’s really great,” he says. “With all this, I learned to trust myself and my intuition and to not let other people put fear in me for being me. I learned to never let any person ever put me in any kind of closet ever again, because that sh*t is toxic, that suppression. That wound, if left unchecked, it festers, it infects the rest of your thoughts, your life and until you address the wound and heal from it. You will continue to sell yourself short and make decisions that don’t represent the love that you’re looking for––that love has to be with yourself.”

While the reality was that if he hadn’t been outed, Alex Diaz would not have come out at all, and whether or not it was what his soul would have wanted, that was a decision he was prepared to live with. However, today, he is living his honest to goodness authentic self, discovering, learning, and understanding more along the way.

Write Your Story

“There are people in the world going through way worse things than I went through,” says Alex Diaz, well aware of his priviliges and good fortune “People are out here dying because of the color of their skin or because of who they love or because of the choices they’ve made for their body, which are no one’s business.” This is why, to the best that he can, he is working at being part of efforts and undertakings that propel the queer narrative forward. With shows such as Oh, Mando and My Fantastic Pag-Ibig, where he has played openly queer characters, as well as of new music with a new perspective, Alex Diaz is hoping that this cracks at visibility will open up the conversation in local entertainment more. “The more visible we are on social media, the more we destroy these toxic, old (and boring) norms, the better the world becomes. It becomes a place where EVERYONE has a seat at the table––as it should be and every voice matters, every voice counts.”

For so long, many people have been told they aren’t enough or they aren’t worthy of a place in the world, making them operate out of fear. And just like many strong and spirited souls that have come before him and will come after, Alex Diaz is determined to drive the inherent shame and loneliness that society shoves down the throats of the LGBTQIA+ community, whether it be conscious or not, because let’s admit it, the prejudice still persists to this day. Maybe one day, there will no longer be a need for a coming out story, not that anyone should feel obligated to one. But until gender identity and sexual orientation isn’t bookended by discrimination and violence, the fight continues.

Alex Diaz coming out

“I can’t sit down and say that my dreams and goals aren’t for me because of who I am, as my dreams are based on my perspective, and not anyone else’s. And yours are for you, too,” says Alex Diaz. “And if privileged people tell you that you can’t sit at the table because of who you are or what you believe in, build your own damn table. Today things are changing, the new generation is embracing diversity and to the older generations––there is still time to do the same and be who you are, because the world needs to see that person.”

If there is anything to pick up from his re-emergence armed by the truth, it’s that no one else has a say in your life but you, and the joy that comes with it is yours for the taking. But in anything, do so as you see fit and in a time that is right by you. So, whenever you feel it best to live your truth and write your own coming out, the world will wait. This is your story to tell. Now, it is time to write (or re-write) it the way you want. Whenever you are ready to share it, we will be waiting on every damn word you worked hard on.


Photography and Creative direction TRISH SHISHIKURA 

Art direction GIAN EDUARD 

Production manager MABEL QUIOGUE


Director of Photography KERBS BALAGTAS 


Video Editing WILL CHOI 

Fashion and beauty direction, styling KIKI TAN 




Hairstyling ALBERT MUYO 

Photo Retouching BRUNO OLIMPIO

Shot at Justin Bella Alonte Studio



Far From Sour, Olivia Rodrigo Just Took Us To Her Version Of Prom

Prom night would be brutal without Olivia's music.

Preforming a medley of her songs from SOUR, Olivia Rodrigo’s vision of prom night was a fun, magical, and emotional wrapped into one video.

Related: Turning The Sour Into Sweet, Olivia Rodrigo Proves Why Honest Feelings Make Her Fearless

Depending on your point-of-view, prom night is either the best or worst night of your high school life. It is a moment where you dress up and go with your special someone, your friends, and even by yourself to have a great time. If you’re lucky, things can get a little romantic between you and your special someone. For others, prom can be an extremely anxious night where insecurity and heartbreak could break out at any moment.

Do you know what else is filled with fun, insecurity, and heartbreak? Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album SOUR. So, of course it wasn’t hard to imagine Olivia holding a special prom event and concert. Her songs fit perfectly with a soundtrack to prom night. She even invited some of her fans personally to watch the event. If you never went to prom or had your canceled because of COVID-19, then maybe Olivia’s SOUR Prom might be a great substitute.


At the start of the video, a white limo pulls up to Olivia’s house to bring her to prom. She’s dressed in a blue dress, silver choker, and black chunky boots (quite on-brand for her). Upon her entrance, she begins her set by singing a mashup of happier and déjà vu. Already, you can tell Olivia is ready to let out all her emotions from the album.


It’s prom time. At this point, Olivia Rodrigo goes from heartfelt emotion to unleashing her inner pop-rock princess. She stars her next song brutal and this time, it also includes a dance number with the prom attendees serving as her dancers. Olivia then sings traitor. We liked how in some parts of the song, she is singing alone while her dancers in pairs dancing slowly to show that Olivia has no one to be with her (appropriate for a song called traitor). She then performs jealousy, jealousy, a stand from SOUR with an amazing bridge.


By the end of the song, she starts to get mobbed by the people, so she leaves and enters a photo lab. She then slows it down as she picks up a guitar and sings enough for you, showing that Olivia can both kill the upbeat songs and slow jams. Afterward, she leaves the room, puts on a black jacket, and heads outside to the football field. Here, she performs her first smash hit, drivers license with a piano, a gaggle of dancers, and some well-done lights show.


But prom shouldn’t end on a sour note, at least not for Olivia. This is why her SOUR Prom ends with her performing her current smash hit, good for u. For this performance, she goes all out with a marching band, a cheer squad, her own band, backup dancers, and stands full of people. As the song ends, she is joined by some of her best friends including Conan Grey. Together they walk off into the night on a high note.


Before the event started, Olivia Rodrigo revealed that she’s never been to prom because she’s been home-schooled all her life. She envisioned SOUR Prom as a fun event for her fans who weren’t able to go to prom because of the pandemic. Olivia succeeded on that front. For someone whose never been to prom, Olivia sure nailed the feeling of prom night.

She performed a great selection of songs from SOUR. In a span of 30 minutes, Olivia Rodrigo delivered the excitement and nervousness of going to prom, the fun times with friends, the more quiet and special moments, and the unparalleled it can bring. The event itself too was great. Her vocals were on point, the choreography was great, the set design was believable, and her acting was able to sell the emotion of each song. If this were a preview of Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR world tour, let’s just say we have our credit cards ready for when tickets go on sale.

Continue Reading: Is it All Just A Fairytale? Everything Comes Full Circle With Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

The New Movies And TV Shows Coming In July That You Shouldn’t Miss

Prepare to add some of these to your watchlist.

From the first MCU movie in more than a year to a reboot of a beloved 2000s TV show, here are the new movies and TV shows that you shouldn’t miss this July.

Related: Trese Is A Good Start For A Potential Series And A Step In The Right Direction For Philippine Animation

The month of July is almost here, which means another month of entertainment through new movies and TV shows. The month of July looks to be a promising one if the log lines of the releases are to be judged. If you’ve been waiting in anticipation to watch an MCU movie, the wait is over. July is also giving us sequels and reboots of beloved classics. Horror movies fans should also have their options with what’s coming in July. Here are the new movies and TV shows coming in July that you shouldn’t miss.

The Fear Street Trilogy

Netflix is giving us not one, not two, but a three-part horror movie series in the Fear Street Trilogy. Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling horror series, the trilogy will follow a group of kids who unravel the dark secrets of Shadyside in a mystery that is 300 years in the making. Each movie is set in a different time period and three different settings but are all connected to one another, which should make for an exciting watch. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 streams on Netflix July 2. Fear Street Part 2: 1978 hits the streaming service on July 9. The finale, Fear Street Part 3: 1666, is available to stream starting July 16.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

Resident Evil has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts thanks in part to the success and acclaim of the recent games. Hopefully, then that success can translate to TV and movie spin-offs. As part of Resident Evil’s 25th-anniversary celebration, a new resident evil show will be coming out called Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. Set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, the 4 episode CG show sees Leon Kennedy team up with Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak in the White House. The show streams on Netflix on July 8.

Gossip Girl Reboot

Gossip Girl is considered by many to be a beloved show, or at least, it’s a guilty pleasure. Watching the lives of scandalous Upper East Siders proved to be a compelling watch. Gossip Girl still retains its cultural cache and like most things that were popular in the past, the show is getting a reboot, which is premiering this July. The Gossip Girl reboot will follow a new generation of young and rich prep school teens as they deal with the resurgence of Gossip Girl in the age of social media and influencer culture. The concept of Gossip Girl does fit in with today’s generation so we’re hopeful the show can pull it off. Kristen Bell returning to narrate the show and rumors of the original cast members having cameos has gotten us more excited. The Gossip Girl reboot premiers on HBO Max on July 8.

Black Widow

WandaVision, Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki have been giving us some excellent MCU content. But nothing beats the feeling of watching an actual MCU movie. After nearly two years, we are finally getting a new MCU movie in Black Widow. The movie will follow Natasha post-Civil War but before Infinity War as she deals with her dark past as a spy for the KGB and the relationships she broke when she defected to America. Aside from the fact that it’s a new MCU movie, we’re also happy to see another female-led MCU movie since Captain Marvel. We can’t wait to see what happens in this movie. Black Widow hits theaters and Disney Plus on July 9.

My Amanda

My Amanda stars Piolo Pascual and Alessandra de Rossi as TJ and Amanda respectively. The two of them are very close friends with the pet names of Fuffy and Fream. The movie is set to explore their long-term relationship as well as their own relationship. My Amanda is Alessandra de Rossi’s directorial debut, and she describes the film as an ode to honest and lifelong friendships. The movie premiers exclusively on Netflix on July 15.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

The original Space Jam, which sees Michael Jordan get recruited by the Looney Tunes to help them win a basketball match, can be considered a cult classic. Space Jam: A New Legacy looks to capture that magic for the new generation. The movie follows LeBron James as he is pulled into the digital world to save his son. There, he meets the Looney Tunes, and together, they work to defeat AL G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle) and the Doom Squad in a game of basketball. If done right, Space Jam: A New Legacy could be one of the most enjoyable movies of 2021, and were hoping that is so. The movie’s use of multiple references to many different Warner Bros. properties has gotten us even more hopeful that the sequel is going to be a fun ride. Space Jam: A New Legacy hits theaters and HBO Max on July 16.

Kingdom: Ashin Of The North

Kingdom is one of Netflix’s best original shows. One of the highlights of season 2 was the appearance of Ashin near the end of the season. Kingdom: Ashin Of The North will serve as her origin story as well as an explanation of what started the events of the series. The special episode will detail the backstory of Ashin and the origins of the resurrection plant that triggered the avalanche of tragic events that swept through Joseon. Kingdom: Ashin of the North will be directed by Kim Seong-hun, who directed and oversaw the production of the first season of Kingdom. Writer Kim Eun-hee, who wrote the two seasons, also returned to write the script the special episode. Gianna Jun returns once again to play Ashin. Kingdom: Ashin of the North will stream on Netflix on July 23.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

The G.I. Joe action figures and comic books are well-liked. The movies, not so much. But that may change with the release of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins which serves as a reboot for the movie franchise. The movie will chronicle the origins of Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) and how he became the ninja he is. Based on the trailers, the movie looks to have some exciting action set pieces and if it is good, it might serve as a starting point for a new series of G.I. Joe movies and spin-offs. The movie lands in theaters on July 23.


M. Night Shymalan has been having a career resurgence as of late thanks to the success of Split in 2016. After directing the sequel to Split and working on his show, The Servant, M. Night is coming out with a new movie. Based on the graphic novel Sandcastles by Pierre-Oscar Levy and Frederick Peeters, Old follows a family on tropical vacation who discover that the secluded beach they are resting at is aging them rapidly and turning their entire lifespan into hours. They must now figure out what is happening and escape before they die on the beach. At his best, M. Night can deliver an attention-grabbing storyline with a jaw-dropping plot twist and we’re hoping that he brought his A-game to the movie. Old is set to hit theaters on July 23.

The Green Knight

From acclaimed director David Lowery (A Ghost Story, The Old Man & The Gun) comes The Green Knight, an adaptation and re-telling of the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The movie follows Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s nephew, on his quest to confront the Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) and go on a journey that will test him physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Green Knight may not have the appeal of a big-budget movie, but it looks to offer one of the most unique and intriguing viewing experiences of 2021. Based on the trailers alone, we expect the movie to be a fantastical, dark, weird, and surreal ride. The Green Knight premiers in cinemas on July 30.

Jungle Cruise

Based on the Disneyland theme park ride of the same name (yes, you read that right), Jungle Cruise follows Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), a researcher who acquires the services of Frank Wolff (Dwyane Johnson), a riverboat captain who agrees to take her down the Amazon on his about and help her find an ancient tree with the power to heal. To be honest, this movie could either be a hit or miss, but we’re going to remain hopeful since the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is also based on a Disneyland ride. Plus the movie stars Emily Blunt and Dwyane Johnson, two of the most likable stars in Hollywood. If the movie is anything like the modern-day Jumanji movies, then we’re ok with it. Jungle Cruise hits theaters and Disney Plus on July 30.

New Seasons

While not technically new, these shows are premiering new seasons that are worthy of a mention: Atypical Season 4 (July 9), Never Have I Ever Season 2 (July 15), Ted Lasso Season 2 (July 23).

Continue Reading: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Is A Decent Horror Movie But Doesn’t Live Up To Its Predecessors

Filipino makeup artist Philippines

Here Are 12 Filipino Makeup Artists Snatching Us To Other Worlds With Their Beauty Looks

And the award for Best Mug goes to... ?

Pushing the conventional limits of beauty norms, these are the Filipino makeup artists that are continuously making their mark.

Doing your own makeup is one thing, but painting somebody else’s face is another. From understated glam to flora and fauna-inspired looks, these Filipino makeup artists keep on defying today’s beauty standards with their craft.

READ MORE: 11 Filipino Stylists and Their Muses That Are Changing the Game


With an eye for runway and au naturale looks, Anthea Bueno’s artistry is sought-after by top celebrities like Ivana Alawi, KZ Tandingan, Janine Gutierrez, and Kelsey Merritt. She’s best known for the no-makeup makeup glam, no wonder clients go to her for clean, skin-baring looks.


Often avant-garde and otherworldly, Sylvina Lopez, also known as Slo is a self-taught makeup artist. She specializes in SFX makeup just like how she created this cyborg beauty for James Reid’s SODA music video and Frankie Pangilinan’s look on her NYLON Manila cover.


The way Jelly Eugenio paints one’s face impeccably still makes us wonder what kind of magic he has. With muses like Catriona Gray, Nadine Lustre, and Vice Ganda, he has the ability to transform anyone with his meticulous makeup skills.


Mac Igarta’s mastery of his craft is evident with his versatility in both grooming and glam. His muses are James Reid, the Gibbs sisters, Ian and Paolo Pangilinan, and SB19. Don’t you just love the range?

READ MORE: Boys Can Do It, Too! Ian and Paolo Bring the Heat With These Looks You Can Definitely Pull Off


Experimental and edgy makeup artist Jia Achacruz has an obsession with colors and the kitschy aesthetic. Her notable works are with SB19’s Ken, Josh and Justin for their NYLON Manila cover, Daniel Padilla at the Black Magic Ball 2019, and all of her crazy looks on Instagram.

READ MORE: SB19 Transforms Into Real-Life Rockstars


Oh, to be mugged by Zidjian Paul. The looks that this makeup artist creates often has an underlying tone of grit and vulnerability all at the same time. Artists like Jess Connelly, BJ Pascual, and Carl Jan Cruz are some of his notable muses.


Raffy So’s editorial looks are mostly brought to life by flora and fauna and preserved insects. As exotic as it sounds, Raffy also displays his flexibility with making the skin look as clear as day.


Katch Mejias has been working in the industry for more than 10 years. She’s no stranger to colorful looks and has been doing both hair and makeup for different publications, beauty brands, celebrities and even has her own salon. One of her memorables works? Kathryn Bernardo’s Halloween makeup last year.


Subtle and understated glam is Jorence Delimos’ game. The balance that this makeup artist puts in his looks has earned him muses like Niana Guerrero and Hannah Locsin.


Being in the industry for more than 20 years isn’t easy, but Xeng Zulueta is still at the top. She constantly reinvents herself with looks that range from painterly, edgy, to futuristic.


Did someone say otherworldly? Makeup artist Marlyn Ocampo is known for her bold and adventurous transformations. She’s also been noticed by RuPaul’s Drag Race and is the very first winner of the NYX Face Awards in the Philippines.


Chuchie Ledesma is a makeup artist that’s been on the radar for quite sometime because of her stunning lip art and ethereal looks. She also created a series of Filipino street-food inspired beauty editorial that made a lot of noise online.

CONTINUE READING: No More Bunny Business: Here Are Cruelty-Free Local Beauty Brands That You Should Stan

Free to Be: Speak Your Truth With TikTok This Pride Month


Pride month celebrations are back and more inspiring than ever

Being who we authentically are is always a call for celebration. Pride marches have been a long-standing tradition, and Filipinos have done nothing but go over the top in celebrating our truest and most authentic selves. From multicolored makeup, hilariously witty signs and slogans, to drag ensembles from head to toe–it’s never a Pride march without the extravagance of it all. However, the unforeseeable events of 2020 put the worldwide festivities to a screeching halt, making the LGBTQ+ community encounter a Pride month like no other. But this year, the Pride celebration in the Philippines is taking on a new, disruptive experience as TikTok is making sure we would still get to creatively celebrate and speak our truth with the social media application’s #ForYourPride movement.


dance dance lang hehe we’re in the middle of pride month and u deserve to be loved. and i def feel the love from Akimbo and Converse ❤️ dc??

♬ original sound – B TRAP ?

RELATED: This is Your Reminder That Pride is Way More Than Just Splashing the Rainbow on Everything Else

It’s more than just rainbows and butterflies

Through this campaign, we are all free to be ourselves in every TikTok content we make without having to worry about any kind of judgement. The powerful global platform is opening their arms wide as they invite us all to fill everyone else in on what pride really means to us. We can share our #ForYourPride pledges by creating videos and stories that showcase our representation of pride in our lives, whether it’s through dance, education, love, art, and so much more. What’s even better is this campaign is not just for those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, but for allies as well because showing support should always go beyond just including a rainbow emoji on our social media bios.

Amplified pride and diversity

With the help of TikTok’s Pride month campaign, we will all be empowered to freely share our experiences even more. Even notable TikTok creators like Dora Dorado and Niel Esteban have been exuding Pride in their own unique ways such as Q&As and comedic posts that represent their truest selves. And through the release of these loud and proud content, a great number of users will also feel the welcoming support from people in different walks of life, encouraging them to join the movement for themselves and for others.


pa sweet lang


Show your love for the LGBTQ+ community by joining TikTok and their #ForYourPride campaign this Pride month–and every month after that. You can download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

10 Young Stars Who Juggle Both Going To School And Having A Career

These stars prove that you can go to school and still have a career.

From Francine Diaz to Liza Soberano and Kisses Delavin, these young personalities not only have successful careers, but they also still go to school and juggle that with their career.

Related: The Simple Satisfaction Of Study With Me Vlogs

Celebrities, they’re just like us. Even with all the success they have achieved, they still do things that regular people do, such as go to school. They have to deal with the same issues as any student has to go through such as homework, studying for exams, and doing projects. While it might seem that having a career in the entertainment and showbiz industry is daunting enough, there are some young stars who are currently in school and manage to have that work-school balance. More importantly, they are showing that education is still important. Here are 10 young stars who juggle both going to school and a career.

Francine Diaz

In the past couple of years, Francine Diaz’s star has risen substantially thanks to her starring role as Cassi Mondragon in Kadenang Ginto. She is currently in the TV series, Huwag Kang Mangamba, and is considered as one of the next rising stars of the new generation. Yet despite her success, she still focuses on her studies when she recently announced that she is going to Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU) for senior high school. She currently is an SHS–ABM student.

Liza Soberano

To say that Liza Soberano is a superstar is an understatement. Over the past decade, Liza has risen to be one of the most famous celebrities in the Philippines. She has appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows and was recently in Trese where she voiced the Filipino dub of the titular character. But did you know she’s also a college student? Liza is currently taking up a degree in psychology at Southville International School, the same degree as Jodi Sta. Maria just graduated with. Despite her busy schedule, Liza still makes time for her school work and realized that she wants to use her psychology degree to help people with severe mental health problems.

Claudia Barretto

Aside from being part of the famous Barretto family and being the younger sister of Julia Barretto, Claudia Barretto has made a name for herself as a rising OPM artist and she has already released a few singles. But her career isn’t the only thing Claudia is focused on as she is also a college student at Ateneo de Manila University. Claudia originally entered Ateneo as a Business Management student, but has since shifted to AB Psychology so that she can pursue her advocacy of mental health.

Heaven Peralejo

Ever since she appeared in Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7, Heaven Peralejo has gained a large following and has appeared and acted in TV shows. Even with everything that has been going for her, she still finds time to go to school. She currently is in her 4th year at Southville International School where she is taking up Business Management. She actually has vlogged about her life as a student.

Kisses Delavin

Like her fellow PBB Lucky 7 alum, Kisses Delavin’s career took off following her appearance and an eventual second-place finish on the show. Her credits include multiple guestings and appearances in TV shows and movies. She’s also released an album in 2017. But having a successful showbiz career from also going back to school. She’s currently a student at De La Salle University. When Kisses entered the PBB house, she actually was an accountancy major at La Salle, but had to leave because she was in the show. She went back to La Salle in 2019.

Cassy and Mavy Legaspi

Like their famous parents, Cassy and Mavy Legaspi have careers in the entertainment industry. Mavy is a model and endorser while Cassy is an actress who has starred in shows like First Yaya. But school still proves to be a priority for the Legaspi twins as both of them are also college students. Mavy is taking up Business Management, major in Entrepreneurship while Cassy is a Business Marketing major. Both of them have said that, while not easy, they’re willing to make sacrifices in order to go to school and have a career since they really want it.

Angelina Cruz

The eldest daughter of Sunshine Cruz, Angelina is slowly taking after her mother. Angelina is an actress, endorser, and has even appeared in a few commercials with her famous mom. Angelina is also a singer and has released a series of singles in the past couple of years. She can also add college student to her resume as she currently is attending De La Salle University taking up a degree in Marketing Management. Like many of her peers, Angelina has said she has struggled with the online learning setup but has gotten used to it and is able to balance her work with school.

Juliana Gomez

Juliana Gomez has made a name for herself as a rising personality, influencer, and athlete. But despite everything that she is currently doing, she still considers education a priority for her. She currently is a 3rd-year college student at UP Diliman where she is taking up Public Administration. While Juliana is still unsure whether she would follow the footsteps of her famous parents, whether it be in showbiz or politics, she has said that she’s considering getting a master’s degree to further her education.

Alexa Ilacad

Alexa Ilacad has a thriving showbiz career. She’s been in movies like Four Sisters Before A Wedding. She’s acted in teleseryes. Alexa has even released her own music. On top of all of this, she is also a college student. She’s currently taking up a degree in Marketing at Treston International College. Alexa has been open in the past about how it can be very challenging to balance both work and school but said that it’s worth it and getting an education can serve as a fallback.

Gwy Saludes

If the name Gwy Saludes doesn’t ring any bells, then maybe her pen names of @gwyomi or @4reuminct will. Her fictional stories have gone viral over the internet such as her first hit Along Espanya (which is Kathryn Bernardo approved). The young writer and content creator has written and published numerous stories both on Twitter and on Wattpad. In fact, some of her Wattpad stories have even been published as physical books.

Gwy has gained a large following thanks to her writings, but even success at a young age won’t stop her from pursuing a degree in college. She is currently a college student at Ateneo De Manila University where she is taking up a major in BS Legal Management. She even has time to be part of an org, her home org, Lex. On her YouTube channel, Gwy has talked about what it’s like being a college student and how she studies.

Continue Reading: Students Open Up About What It’s Like Going Through Online Learning

How BTS Is Helping Me Cope With Grief And Post Concert Depression In 2021

So, see you next year or in 2023?

This article was written in collaboration with Erica Luna and Angelo de Cartagena

What exactly is post concert depression? While science has yet to formally and completely make sense of it beyond fan culture, here are ways how to deal, with a lot of help from BTS, of course.

Live concerts might still be a thing of the past, at least for us in this corner of the world, there is one thing that hasn’t changed even when the experience is transposed to the virtual space. Remember when after watching your favorite pop star or band play, you’d get this aching void override whatever daze and euphoria you’ve managed to chalk up—and it has only been a few minutes since the encore? Well, for many who have had the good fortune of witness a larger-than-life musical experience such as in the case of let’s say, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, or BTS, this feeling what many have since self-diagnosed as post concert depression.


The Deal With Post Concert Depression

bts muster 2021

Now, clinically and psychologically, post concert depression (PCD) hasn’t been studied just yet. However, while it is more fan culture than science at this point, it doesn’t make the emotional journey and mental residuals less real. In a thorough report on Medium, following the qualitative and quantitative analysis extracted from ARMYs across the world, a clinical definition of PCD was derived.

“The sudden, overwhelming, and rapid downward crash, characterized by a feeling of recurring emptiness, disappointment, longing, and heartache, after a very long-awaited fulfilling high moment, which often comes as a realization that the moment, and how fun and euphoric it felt, is truly over and is precipitated by the wish to relive the moment, followed by a fear of never getting the chance (or anxiety of having to wait to get the chance) to relive the moment again,” it states. “It may also include the annoyance and regret of things you didn’t get to do during the moment, a self-inflicted withdrawal from the real world (usually by spacing out and ruminating about the event, demotivation to do anything, or an overall somber mood) caused by a denial of having to return to a normal life after such an event, and a tendency to talk about the details of the moment obsessively or crave for similar content.”

Just like many of you who have a memory of something similar, this is exactly what happened to me following the 2021 Muster Sowoozoo of BTS earlier this month. Even it was held online, I felt the same surge of emotions as I watched RM, Jin, Jimin, V, Suga, J-Hope, and Jungkook disappear before my eyes, as well of the pang of pain that lingered long after the screen turned black.

Duty To Feel

Before you say that I am overreacting over these seven boys from South Korea who wouldn’t know that I exist, will you just try to go back to your own memory. Yes, that one night where you sang every word, felt every melody and for an hour or so, you were, as the song Lights says, “connected through sound” with the artist and the people in the room or the performance hall. 

post concert depression army bts

I never had the chance to attend any of the BTS live performances so what how am I feeling this way? As an ARMY, I feel that I have the duty to help everyone I could as we continue to live and create a life in the four corners of our own rooms closing in on us by the day. That, and to celebrate the eight challenging but very rewarding years of Bangtan Sonyeondan. Now, to make sense of post concert depression, as well as to acknowlede and honor all the feels, here are my own 8 ways on how I’ve been coping with this form of grief. It’s a process, so let’s go through it together, yes?

Listening to BTS the Best on Spotify

On top of coming to terms with post concert depression and other personal points of grief, here I am, mourning the loss of a missed opportunity to be one degree closer to one of my k-drama favorites. Naturally, I found myself listening to BTS’ latest Japanese album, BTS, The Best. I liked Film Out when it was released last April, but the words didn’t mean a lot until I got slapped with a probably “you-are-not-good-enough” slip yet again. As I let the album play in the background, the Japanese version of Not Today was BTS’ reminder that this situation doesn’t define me as a writer. If anything, it was a challenge whether I needed to be a part of an exclusive presscon in order to create an article that gives the actor the justice that he deserves.

Playing BTS World 

bts post concert depression

When I decided to temporarily leave my current job less than a year ago, I had a lot of time on my hands. So, I downloaded this game with very low expectations and it had sasaeng-vibes in the first few chapters into the game. Now stuck at Level 44 on my phone and 32 on my Samsung tablet, I think I know a lot more about how to promote a boy band than ever, as this game focuses on you as BTS’ manager. Collecting photocards within this alternative universe makes my obsession and my wallet at bay. I also dare you to not have LSS or last song syndrome with its official soundtrack.

Purchasing fan-made merch

I couldn’t wait for that special day where a huge box from Weverse Shop arrives at my doorstep. But until that day comes, I started to bring more BTS into my life, from the shirt that I wore during the release of Butter to the customized, purple vinyl sticker that reminds me of RM’s iconic rap lines in Ddaeng, supporting local businesses during a pandemic never felt so good. I always find myself smiling whenever I wash my hands because my soap is called “Holding Hands with Namjoon.” As my social media account gets flooded with more content from the septet, I get hit by countless BTS-inspired paraphernalia, from glass paintings to bento cakes that make me drool at 2 AM.

Looking for memes and crackhead videos on YouTube

My Twitter account was not active for years until I became a part of the ARMY in 2020. This social media platform is one of the many ways that the Bangtan Boys interact with fans through their @BTS_twt account. But what makes Twitter a goldmine for ARMYs is the memes that they create. Usually taken from BTS’ appearances, the ARMY never fails to make something funny and witty. If you find yourself crying at any time of the day, whether through yet another bout of post concert depression, try checking KOOKIESTAETAS, tiger taehyunq or jeonlina on YouTube and you will find yourself tearing up because of laughter. Run BTS is their own show that can make comedians lose their job over BTS. But the edited videos of the boys on these platforms can Save Me from my own black hole. 

Reading I Decided to Live as Me

First spotted in Bon Voyage Season 3, Jungkook brought this book with him to Malta. A bestseller in South Korea, ApopBooks released the first english translation in the Philippines last October 2020. As a Namjoon stan, I had a long reading list to at least have an idea on how his “sexy brain” works. But I thought that I should start with something more relatable. Packed with calming illustrations and no holds barred advice such as “Don’t blindly work hard just because you’re anxious,” author Soo Hyun Kim teaches you to fiercely live according to what is good and what feels good for you. If the golden maknae is using this book as he navigates adulthood, I think everyone of us can also learn a thing or two from this book, heaving post concert depression on your heart or not.

Communicating with fellow ARMYs on social media

I would consider myself a Baby ARMY as I only became part of the fandom in 2020. My first BTS-related Instagram story triggered a number of unexpected responses from a lot of people, from batchmates in elementary school to former and current officemates. One conversation led to another, and BTS has revitalized a lot of my friendships and strengthened my current relationships. I don’t think that I am allowed to disclose which Facebook groups that I am a member of, because more than anything, I respect the privacy of the people involved in it. These communities in social media, together with the stan accounts that I interact with, became my sanctuary, a space of no judgment where I can share my unfiltered thoughts about anything bangtan.

Supporting BTS’ new releases and ARMYs donation drives

We all have very limited time and resources. And being part of the ARMY comes with a lot of responsibilities. I was never pressured to participate at all, but I consciously make an effort to return the entertainment and artistry that BTS has given me. Whether it is purchasing their latest collaboration merch, streaming new content or video shared on BangtanTV at 12:00 AM KST, or donating to a legitimate philanthropy effort by fans such as the Magic Shop community pantry by Borahae from Manila, I encourage you to spread the love. Take for example McDonald’s Philippines who first shared the BTS to the frontliners last June 16. Give what you can, with what you have because we all have the responsibility to Make It Right. Besides, while large scale live events may not be permitted just yet, this could help get you through that post concert depression.

Rewatching BTS content on Vlive and Weverse

After seeing the boys perform in the Seoul Olympic Stadium this year, I realized why a lot of people can’t Jimout from BTS. Their music, performance, or visuals may have caught your attention, but it’s their personalities that made you love each of them. We all have our favorites, but let’s admit it, we know that your bias will never be as good as he is now if it weren’t for the other six that makes him shine even more. Seeing BTS running around the stage, throwing water at each other and how they fought against the bugs while performing reminded me of the precious moments in Bon Voyage, In the Soop, the Bangtan Bombs and Burn the Stage.

A lot has to be ratified in the community of psychology, but for me, post concert depression is indeed real. I can even dare say that after all the drastic changes lately in my life, I need more than just BTS to keep me sane. As Namjoon rapped in the end of the song of last week’s 6th Muster, “People change, things change, everything changes. After this pandemic, what will be here? We don’t know, but one thing for sure: we will just move on.” And, I am taking BTS with me.

So, will we see each other then and go through a tear-stricken, dazed PCD after? Here’s to hoping.


So, After Pride Month, How Do You Really Support The LGBTQIA+ Community?

Pride all day, everyday, all year round.

For those who dare to ask, no, pride doesn’t end this month. Sure, the rainbows blatantly splashed on many a marketing campaign are slowly being taken down (presumably because these have already amassed their pot of gold), the colorful collections of the out and proud glittered sort are being moved to the back of the store, and the attention of the general public is shifting towards the next thing on the calendar. But while the rest of the world moves on, the LGBTQIA+ community is still left to fend off inequality and injustice in many different contexts and circumstances and fight for the right to live their truth just as others would.

This isn’t to dampen the spirit of light, love, and liberty that pride month has encouraged from the community and its true allies, but while the euphoria takes its time to settle, we must be more cognizant and vigilant on the reason why there is even something being championed and celebrated. It isn’t just a parade or party that culminates weeks of pocket performances and pledges of support for the community. Rooted in protest at the hallowed grounds of the Stonewall Inn in New York, pride is a continuous conversation that demands equality and equity for the LGBTQIA+ community from society in general.

There is a responsibility that comes with pride, one that carries over even after the last confetti is cleaned up at the end of the month. For the LGBTQIA+ community, especially those at forefront challenging the status quo and demanding a definite end to systematic discrimination, it is what happens after that matters. Did we learn something? Did we change the prejudice of our ways? Did the community gain a step forward into the respect it deserves as human beings?

Beyond Pride Month

Despite the boundaries pushed and conversations sparked, especially during pride month, the discriminations continue to this day. To this day, where supposedly compassion is of prime consideraton, for anyone who identifies as anything within the diverse and dynamic spectrum of being queer, there still exists that compulsion for self-preservation and survival. Even after the rah-rah-rahs and declarations of happy pride, the rest of the community still have been relegated to the edges of society, the margins of the page if you will. Nestled deep at the core of pride is a proper reclamation of what it really means and needs moving forward to not only have a space in the story, but to simply live without the fear, pain, and exclusions we have so long endured.

So, what comes next after pride month? A whole lot. This is where the change really starts to shift, if anything. Just because the hype simmers down, that doesn’t mean the support is supposed to wane. In fact, this is where the efforts should really be consolidated and considered, making sure that everything bookended within the month of June isn’t mere lip service or performative allyship. For pride, as well of the freedom for all that the LGBTQIA+ has long fought for, the limits do not exist. All day, everyday, and all year round, actions and solutions should be committed to. Every effort, big and small, are necessary to keep the ripples of change becoming full blow waves to topple over the walls of hate and burdens of bias that have long weighed down the world.

Whether it be furthering the conversation to at the very least expand understanding, passing the mic to the voices that need to be heard, or joining the call to support anti-discrimination through policy and legislation, then so be it. We are all in this together. Besides, you never know who is reading or even at least seeing these stories of queer struggles, identity, and victories–an ally who genuinely wants to understand more, a young person struggling to come to terms with one’s truth, or even prejudiced people who need to learn. The more we see, hear, and support the queer community, true compassionate progress and equality will be much closer to being a reality, and not just something the world romances when it is convenient to them. It isn’t the time to be quiet or slow down, if at all, it is a constant reminder to keep pushing the plight forward. Pride month or not, it is time we actually do something. Now, the great work begins.

Now that the celebrations of pride month are coming to a close, here are more equitable, inclusive, and thoughtful ways you can and should do to keep championing the LGBTQIA+ community beyond the month of June.

Listen To The Community

There is no shortage of stories of pride. From entertainment, art, and reclamation of spaces, you don’t necessarily have to look hard, you just have to open your eyes, ears, as well as of your heart and mind to fully comprehend the truths of the LGBTQIA+ community. Whether it be music from queer artists such as Kio Priest (Man In My Dreams, Sugarbaby, Sinner), Dom Guyot (Unbeloved), and Paul Pablo (Kalawakan), among many others, or from varied podcasts from the likes of AC Soriano (Gabi Ng Bading), Greg, Makoy, and Dee (GAM Chat), and Rye, Aa, Leif, Karl, Kevin, and VP (The Shippers).

In fact, Spotify, in its push to create greater equity, empathy, and representation for the LGBTQIA+ community, has its Pride Hub, an all year long dedicated effort to feature and promote queer artists, podcasts, and themed playlists from around the world. Locally, simply typing up pride will draw up a lot of results including Bahaghari, the dedicated pride playlist of the Philippines with tunes such as Bangin, R.Y.F., Fix Me, and This Love Isn’t Crazy. Want to hear more of queer stories through song and sound? Stream it, because every play counts.

Support Queer Art

Creativity runs at the very core of the LGBTQIA+ community. When our narratives weren’t given the space it is beginning to occupy these days, we had to hide our art in ways that the conservatives and traditionalists will not realize was right under their watch. For the longest time, subversion was central to queer art, which compelled queer artists to find creative ways to pursue their passions. While the consumption of art in the community has been more open as of late, that doesn’t mean we should be complacent in the championing LGBTQIA+ works.

From cinema, visual media, sculpture, photography, and painting among the many mediums, there is a lot to support. Recently, Poblacion-based art space and bar, Futurist, hosted No Longer Will Our Mouths Beg For Water, “an exploration the crux of queerness and queering a space through unadulterated expression,” writes one of its indefatigable owners, Samantha Nicole. Also an homage to its beloved its founding space, Today x Future, a once-upon-a-time longstanding safe space and home for queers and friends, the exhibit features the visceral works of Ed Aniel, Nash Cruz, Jack Marion, Cru Camara, Andrei Suleik, Carl Jan Cruz, Leah Castaneda, Worshipthegays, Tokwa Penaflorida. (The show can also be viewed online at their website.) So, yes, support queer art by watching queer films, consuming queer content, promoting queer-themed exhibits, streaming queer music, and reading queer stories. There’s no more hiding in subversion for our art, it’s time to be out, loud, and proud about what we create with our passions.

Be Educated: Join In Panel Discussions And Talks

One of the many good things that peppers pride month is the overwhelming amount of panel discussions, SOGIE talks, and queer discussions. This year, as it has shifted in the last year, these were done virtually, which not only provided a platform for awareness but engaging education on the ever-dynamic landscape of the LGBTQIA+ community. “This is what I realized. We have come to a point of educating the younger generation especially, which is lovely,” says Janlee Dungca, a visible figure when it comes to the advocacies of SOGIE and HIV awareness, trans rights, and anti-discrimination policies in the workplace. “It is a continuous learning experience, even for me, which makes it amazing and humbling!”

Whether you identify as queer or not, there is no excuse: You have to educate yourself, especially since the resources are accessible now more than ever. Keep an eye out for opportunities to join in panel discussions and talks, because you will be surprised at the eye-opening experience it eventually becomes. From cinema, mental health, and legislation, there is a lot more to understand of the LGBTQIA+ experience. So, every similar effort like this is a step toward a better grasp at true equality in may spaces for everyone to occupy.

Sustain Queer-Owned SMEs And Pursuits Of Passion

If big-time corporations and brands have enjoyed your attention and hard-earned bucks, especially during pride month, then so do the queer-focused and queer-owned small and medium enterprises. While others see pride month as a time-bound marketing opportunity, for the actual community it is built on and serves, by people who actually identify as LGBTQIA+, this is their lifeline. It is very easy to fall prey to the glitter and glamour of pride, especially if some really walk the talk and offer a portion or all of the proceeds of their sales to causes of the community. But if you can cut through the system and directly support and sustain queer SMEs, then so much the better. Here, you aren’t just a footnote or a by-the-way in the business, but instead, you are the grand plan and purpose. And that attention, care, and focus just hits different.

There is a lot of queer-owned and queer-focused SMEs that will cater to many of your needs. Hip padding and wigs for drag queens? Yas. Vintage finds for your fancy? Yes. Cosmetics made locally? You betcha. For your sustenance and nourishment, you can indulge in the healthy eats of Vegan Atashi, sink your teeth into the sweet treats of Bekiry Manila, feel the true meaning of a safe space in homey spots such as Food For The Gays in Cubao, Quezon City. If you are more into the divine and self-reflection, then the Rainbow Seekers Tarot is definitely in your lane. A 78-card tarot deck that empowers everyone who comes into possession of this to find their own rainbow. Created by Henson Wongaiham, a certified tarot master and advertising professional from Manila, it can be used for meditation, divination, and even for fun. A pursuit that was unexpected but fully committed to in greater understanding of what we both can and cannot understand just yet, the Rainbow Seekers Tarot is a “testament of the LGBTQIA+ people—our triumphs, adversities, and our quest to love and be loved.” The deck comes with a bonus When Oracle: Rainbow Edition, which was done in collaboration with Ledz Lim. In the spirit of pride and its launch, it also has special sets with crystals, a spell jar, candle, and bracelet, all rainbow-themed. Most importantly, all proceeds will help fund necessary organizations in their efforts for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Meanwhile, serving a fresh and inclusive voice in the fashion side of things, clothing brand, Milkwear, knows that you matter and you are valid. So, for its Milkwear x LoveYourselfPride collection, 100% of the profits will be donated to the HIV awareness projects and services of LoveYourselfPH.

Support And Donate To LGBTQIA+ Causes

There would be no pride month to begin with if it were not of the pioneers and trailblazers upon whose shoulders we stand upon in celebration and education. Paving the way for the life we live, part of pride includes looking back at queer history, involving oneself in the information and inspiration these brave souls have accorded us. As a means to give back, as well as uplift the community, it is imperative that one supports and donates to LGBTQIA+ causes. In the scope of awareness, attention, and advocacy, there are lots to choose from and contribute to locally. From the all-important initiatives related to HIV such as testing, counseling, treatment, and life coaching through Love Yourself Philippines, Sustained Health Initiatives Philippines (SHIP), and AIDS Society of the Philippines.

Another worthy cause to support and make donations to is through The Golden Gays, a non-profit organizations that provides support, care, and as it name suggests, a home for the elderly LGBTQIA+ people. No strangers to challenges and struggles, the lolas of the Golden Gays have been further backed into a wall by the pandemic, where the mandates of quarantine and protocol has limited their ways to make a living, which is mostly through performing in drag shows. The efforts of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially during pride month, ensures that we not only forget about the Golden Gays, but also safeguards their day-to-day through in-kind and monetary donations. Hopefully, however, more efforts will help build them a forever home where they can live the rest of their lives comfortably without having to resort to their old scheme of rotating sleep schedules.

Tip Your Queens

With bars nowhere near the possibility of being re-opened amid the pandemic, performances and entertainment are still limited to the virtual sort. Where it was already challenging to make a living as a drag queen in the context of the nightlife back then, with tips being an insulation to what they earn, the struggle ultimately became even more real in the past year or so. Agile in adapting their art online, it still isn’t easy for drag queens. Diligent in their desire to entertain on a regular basis, depending of course on the third world broadband speed, drag queens persist, relying much more on good faith and kindness of their audience to earn even a little for the night. There are many shows to watch out for, especially on Facebook, just prep your late night and before you know it, a notification will pop up.

A reminder then and even more so now, please tip your queens. Times are hard, yes, but remember, even a little goes a long way, after all they’ve already made your night, the least you can do is show a little and share the live.

Join The Call And Support Anti-Discrimination In Office Policies And Nationwide Law

“Gender plays a huge role in the workplace. It is one thing to be gender sensitive but another thing to be gender responsive. Throughout human history, there has been a struggle not only for women, but also for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community when it comes to equal opportunities in the workplace,” says advocate Janlee Dungca in a SOGIE 101, Gender Sensitivity, and How To Become An Ally talk hosted by Telus International Philippines and Spectrum Philippines, a resource group for LGBTQIA+ in the workplace. “I firmly believe that taking the first step to understand what SOGIE is will help more people understand the wide array of preferences, behaviors, and gender identities we have in the workplace.”

While it is very easy to claim diversity, inclusion, and allyship, and it is a necessary step in achieving equity from the workplace and beyond, codifying these in anti-discrimination clauses in office policies is a tangible effort in making sure that empowerment and empathy are not just empty words but committed solutions in the exchange of ideas, talent retention, and creativity and innovation at work. Over the years, TIP has introduced inclusive benefits such as expanding HMO coverage to dependents, domestic partners, and same sex partners of team members, the introduction of gender neutral, self-identified male and self-identified female restroom across their sites. These are things you should look out for and maybe even ask for when seeking employment, and if you are a decision maker, encourage into the progression of policies that will make everyone feel safe, seen, and significant.

On a grander scale, this means demanding for legislation that will not only respect the SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity expression) of everyone, especially the queer community, but also act as protection from discrimination. Despite the many significant strides in conversation and support, the proposed SOGIE Equality Bill or the Anti-Discrimination Bill that been proposed and re-filed multiple times in Congress and Senate is a necessary means to assure that not only will the LGBTQIA+ people have equal rights, but be able to exercise it as it is due them to put an end to inequality and injustice that continues to plague the community to this day.

Beyond pride month, the call to pass the anti-discrimination bill into law should be louder than ever. This means speaking up and speaking out on it, educating people who might not be too aware of the details of the SOGIE Equality Bill, and being more mindful of the people we let into public office, especially in the upcoming elections in 2022. It’s about damn time.


8 Things You Need To Know About The Big Bad Wolf 2021 Online Book Sale

The Big Bad Wolf book sale is finally here, and it's the biggest one yet.

Here are some of the things that you need to know before you shop in the 2021 edition of Big Bad Wolf, the world’s biggest book sale.

Out of all the activities that people took up over the past year, from baking to growing plants, few activities proved to be as fulfilling as reading a good book. Despite what some people may say, the art of reading a book is still very much alive and there’s little that can beat the feeling of grabbing a good book and devouring it within days or even hours. Reading can be just as enjoyable or even life-changing as any other activity.

The pandemic, however, has made it hard for bookworms to travel to a bookstore or hole-in-the-wall stores to find their next favorite read. However, that won’t stop the world’s biggest book sale, Big Bad Wolf, though from happening. And this year, they’re going online for the very first time. With a collection of around 60,000 books and discounts as high as 99%, here are 8 things you need to know about the Big Bad Wolf 2021 online book sale.

Related: 7 Books You Should Consider Reading While In Lockdown

Big Bad Wolf is going online this year

The Big Bad Wolf book sale has been going on now for the past three years in the Philippines, the most recent one being held in February 2020. It has attracted thousands of book lovers from around the country to Pasay City for its annual week-long sale. Because physical events are currently on hold because of the pandemic, the entire sale is now moving online to their new e-commerce shop. And the best part is that the sale is available in the entire country, you can buy a book online in the Big Bad Wolf sale no matter where you are in the Philippines.

It’s 16 days long

The sale will run from June 30, Wednesday, at 12 AM to July 15, Monday, 11:59 PM.

There’s a huge collection available

There will be over 60,000 books you can choose from in the sale. That is around triple of what normally would be available in years past. There will also be around 20,000 new books being available for the first time on the Big Bad Wolf sale, which will be located in the New Arrivals section. Whether you’re looking for a bestselling novel, a cookbook, a self-help book, memoirs, YA, fashion, graphic novels, science fiction, horror, romance, business books, design books, and many more, Big Bad Wolf will probably have it. The sale will even have a collection of children’s books such as picture books and coloring books.

There are different ways to search for a book

Perusing through 60,000 books may be daunting and overwhelming for some people, so Big Bad Wolf has added some ways to make your shopping experience more convenient. You can search for a book by genre, title, author, even ISBN number. You can also input keywords to help narrow down your search. If you find something you like but aren’t ready to check out, you can add it to your wish list or add it to your cart. The website will also have a recommendations section based on your interests.

Big Bad Wolf is offering deals galore

Most of the books you’re going to find in the sale are going to be cheap, as in up to 99% off cheap. Big Bad Wolf is also offering a multitude of deals and steals to make your shopping that much better. If you spend at least 2900 pesos on a single purchase, you get free shipping anywhere in the country. This also isn’t a one-time thing so you can keep on availing of the free shipping every time you hit that mark. Spend a minimum of 1800 pesos and you can get access to a selection of books that cost only 10 pesos.

You can also input codes during your check out to receive a discount. Input BBWPH5% to get 5% off for a minimum receipt of 1200 pesos. Input BBWPH10% for a 10% off for a minimum receipt of 5000 pesos. These codes can only be used once. Other deals include: buy any three books from the Goosebumps Books collections for 320 pesos. (valid for selected Goosebumps book title collection only). Buy any three books from the Rick Riordan collection for 460 pesos. (pay for two books and get the third book for free, which is of the lower price value).

There are multiple ways to pay

Once you reach checkout, there are different ways that you can pay. You can pay via BDO Online Banking, GCash, GrabPay, Dragonpay, and other online payment options. The Big Bad Wolf sale won’t be accepting payments via cash on delivery.

Shipping may take a while

While you may get excited to get your hands on new books, don’t expect to get them immediately. All the books will be coming from Malaysia, hence the bigger collection. But that also means shipping will take a while, around 18-24 business days. The good news is that you only have to pay for local courier fees, not for international shipping.

There’s an online contest

Aside from the sale itself, Big Bad Wolf will also be having The Grand Wolfie Contest on social media where potential winners can win things like e-gift cards to the grand prize of an Apple iPhone 12 and Apple MacBook Air. The contest will run from June 21, 2021, to July 6, 2021. Check out the full details here.

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