Yes, Chef: 12 Stars Who Honed Their Cooking Skills At Culinary School

Trained in the culinary arts.

From Maine Mendoza, Bea Alonzo, Julia Montes, and more, these stars traded in their scripts for a white jacket and apron at culinary school.

Related: 11 Celebrities And Personalities Who Shifted Careers

Be honest, when you watch movies and shows like RatatouilleTop Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, or Master Chef, a part of you wonders what it would be like to be an actual chef. Donning that white chef’s jacket and cooking your favorite meals? Sounds like a dream. Studying to become a chef, or at least develop those cooking and baking skills is a goal many hope for, whether from the jump or as a career shift later on in life. 

For these following stars, that dream became a reality when they enrolled in culinary school. While their careers ultimately took them in a different direction, they still carved out time to live out their passion and train with the pros. Scroll down below for some local stars who can proudly say they went to culinary school.


Bea Alonzo with her Culinary School certificate

The beauty of culinary school, like with many forms of education, is that people can take it at any stage of their lives. Just take a look at Bea Alonzo, who, in 2018, enrolled and graduated from the Center of Culinary Arts Manila. She completed the Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry Arts course with the skills she learned helping her well considering she posts cooking and other food collabs on YouTube.


In between his bust schedules, Joshua still finds the time to pursue his other passions and hobbies in life. Case in point, the actor has been on a culinary journey as he attended classes at the Center for Asian Culinary Academy (CACS) Manila where he learned to whip up a variety of dishes.


Maine Mendoza at Culinary School

For her undergraduate degree, Main Mendoza took up a Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management Major in Culinary Arts from CSB. It was during this time that she interned as a chef abroad at the upscale The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, New York for six months. It honestly makes you think what Chef Maine would be like if she never made it big on Dubmash.  


As a model and actress, Bea Binene had a stable career. But growing up, she always wanted to have something of herself. So, in 2015, she started her own business called Bea Bakes. Four years later, she achieved her dream of studying culinary when she took up Professional Culinary and Pastry Arts at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies. It was through the course that Bea learned new skills to help her run her baking business on a more regular basis. Currently, Bea balances her time with her acting duties and running her bake shop.


Jodi Sta. Maria knows that learning does not stop as you get older. A few years ago, she made headlines when she went back to school and graduated with a degree in Psychology. And recently, Jodi entered student mode once more as she managed to squeeze in time from her busy schedule to take up a special culinary course at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in San Juan.


Julia Montes with her Culinary School certificate

A successful career isn’t going to stop child star-turned-A-list actress Julia Montes from learning new things, especially things that she has a passion for. This is why in 2015, she completed a course at the Center of Culinary Arts Manila. Julia even called her graduation, “one of the happiest moments of my life.”


Marian Rivera at Culinary School

In case you didn’t know, Marian Rivera is a major foodie. She loves to cook for the people near and dear to her heart. So. it’s no surprise that the superstar trained at the Heny Sison Culinary School for a few months in 2015 to hone her skills.


Pia Wurztbach is a multi-talented beauty queen, actress, host, and advocate. Oh, and she’s also a graduate of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies. Before rocketing to fame with Miss Universe, Pia was a former culinary school student. And while fate had other plans for her, Pia still put those culinary skills to use when she launched her food brand, Pia’s Kitchen, in 2022.


In hindsight, Juday graduating from the Center for Asian Culinary Studies with honors in 2006 should have served as a foreshadowing. Food and Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo are like a match made in heaven. She served as the host of MasterChef Pinoy Edition. She played one in a teleserye. She’s a chef in real life, and she runs a successful restaurant. And Juday does this all while having a legendary acting career.


Learning how to cook is a dream for many. It’s made even better when done in the company of friends or that special someone. Sofia Andres must be living the best of both worlds then when she recently revealed that she finally got to achieve her dream of going to culinary school at the Center for Culinary Arts Manila and doing so alongside her partner, Daniel Miranda.

Continue Reading: These Stars Prove That It’s Never Too Late To Go Back To School

Meet “The Other Side” Of Mark Tuan As A Solo Artist

It's a new era for Mark Tuan.

Mark Tuan opens up on his new single, going on a solo tour for the first time, what he recently learned about his dog, Milo, and more.

Related: GOT7 Is The Name: GOT7 Make Their Long Awaited Return With The Fun And Laid Back ‘NANANA’

A famous face since he was a teenager, Mark Tuan is no stranger to the stage. As a member of the K-pop boy group GOT7, Mark reached the A-list as he and the rest of the members became global stars. But following the group leaving JYPE in 2021, Mark shifted gears a bit and has been focusing on his solo activities. These activities include dropping solo music, killing it at fashion week, fronting international magazines, and completing his North American Tour titled the other side. This upcoming May, the tour is set to continue in Asia starting in Bangkok with more cities coming soon.

His solo tour also shares the same name as his debut solo album, a project that has been a long time coming. In his debut LP, he wrote and composed all 20 tracks that serve as his first magnum opus as a solo artist. But now, it’s time for Mark to enter a new era of sorts with the release of a new single entitled Carry Me Out.

His first new release since dropping his solo debut album, Carry Me Out is a little more fun than he describes. “It’s about getting to know someone, but I don’t want to say too much so check out the single when it’s out!”

While a new album is a little ways off for now, “I don’t want to rush anything…while I’ve been in the studio as well, it’s probably a little too soon,” he says, the new single does serve as Mark’s desire to switch up the overall mood of the songs he has been putting out lately. It’s the embodiment of a Mark Tuan who isn’t afraid to try new things. We caught up with Mark as he let us in on what it’s like going back home, his viral fashion show appearances, and more.

When you were in the K-Pop space, the albums you released with GOT7 emphasized concepts. Now that you’re releasing your music, do you feel like you still rely on concepts, or do you create whatever comes into mind?

I get a lot more flexibility working on music alone since I can mix and match things up. I get to create whatever comes to mind, or whatever genre or style I feel like exploring. When it comes to putting together the album though, usually there’s an underlying unifying theme that I want so that’s where song selection comes into play.

As an introvert yourself, how do you face your fear of performing in big crowds? Do you have any advice on fellow introverted musicians who feel they’re pushing past their limitations?

I actually really love being on stage. Back when I was a trainee in Korea, it was the feeling that I got from being on stage that pushed me to work harder to debut. Performing with the other GOT7 boys also made being on stage really fun, so I don’t quite have a fear of that. I think musicians who find it hard to perform in big crowds should try to focus on one thing or feeling that they enjoy from being on stage. As you spend more time on stage, eventually you get used to the feeling.

You embarked on your first solo tour in 2022 across North America. Can you describe your top 3 favorite moments on tour?

Meeting the fans. That will always be my favorite moment from touring. We went to many different cities so meeting the fans and talking to them always leaves me with a great feeling. The NA tour was also my first-ever solo tour, so receiving good feedback from fans who came to the shows was really nice and made me and the team feel quite happy. If I had to choose another moment, it would be visiting local spots in the different cities on our free days. It’s always fun to just relax and have a good day out with the team.

How would you describe the relationship that you’ve cultivated with people who support and listen to your music?

It’s irreplaceable. They’ve been there for me on some of my loneliest and hardest days, always having my back. I released the other side album to share that side of me, but to also let them know that I am there for them when they go through such periods, too. They’ve been my strength and I hope that when the days get dark for them, I can be a source of strength for them as well.

Musicians like you have dabbled in other forms of creativity such as releasing their merch. Your collection was inspired by Arcadia, the place you grew up. What does releasing your collection teach you? How do you describe your collection aesthetic?

The latest collection was created with Arcadia in mind. I have been away from home for quite some time and I just wanted to create something that was close to my heart and provided a sense of belonging. That’s why the collection was named Arcadia Country Club, to provide that sense of belonging. Aesthetically, I prefer things to be clean and simple, which I think is reflected pretty well in the designs for this collection.

Your fans and loved ones saw you from afar attending the 2023 Paris fashion week, especially at the Yves Saint Laurent Show. Was it your idea to put together the looks you wear for a big event like this? What kind of emotional response do you feel when you put together an outfit that suits you?

For the fashion week appearances, Saint Laurent and I work together to decide on the outfits. It’s always an enjoyable experience picking out looks for the show. Putting together an outfit that fits the occasion and that suits me well makes me feel good and confident. I like being comfortable, so if the fits don’t suit me well, it’ll show. But thankfully we haven’t had any of those so far!

You’re a proud dog owner of Milo, your beloved poodle. Can you tell us how you got Milo in the first place? What are some quirks you noticed about Milo? Does milo ever help ease any stress you have in your daily life?

I got Milo when I was in Korea and living alone. Back in Korea, I didn’t have many friends outside of the group and I preferred to spend my time at home. Having Milo provided me with the company I needed, so I wasn’t as lonely. Milo’s very energetic and playful and when he runs around and gets excited, he hops like a rabbit sometimes. I also didn’t notice this before, but apparently, Milo’s quite the camera genius! He’s pretty good at staying still and looking good whenever we try to take photos.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Vestil

Continue Reading: SORN Keeps It Real With Her Fans And Friendships

Did You Know, These K-dramas And Movies Were Shot In The Philippines?

Time to make the road trip itinerary.

You won’t need to go far to visit the set of these K-dramas and movies.

Related: The K-dramas And Movies Coming To Netflix This 2023 We’re Thrilled To Watch

It’s no secret that Filipinos love Korean dramas and movies. They’re on TV, streaming services, and someone’s phone while they’re on the way home from work or school. But as much as people love them, there have also been moments where K-dramas and movies have shown that love back. Recent hit K-dramas such as Squid Games and The Glory have mentioned the Philippines in their storylines. And not only that, some are even set in the country.

If the recent news of Korean star Choi Woo-shik filming a project in Navotas is any indication, the country is slowly becoming a top shooting destination for K-dramas and movies. Here are some of those titles whose characters found themselves exploring the wonders of the Philippines.  


While most of the titles on this list are partially set in the Philippines, Big Bet stands out because most of its plot happens in the country. The recently-released series revolves around the comeback of an ill-fated casino mogul who returns to the gambling scene in the country, aiming to be the legendary figure in Philippine gambling that he once was, risking everything he has, including his own life. 

This Disney+ series stars big names including Choi Min-sik (Oldboy) as the protagonist with Seon Seok-koo (My Liberation Notes), Lee Dong-hwi (Reply 1988), and Heo Sung-tae (Squid Game). Also included in the cast are Filipino actors, with the standout being theater actor Nico Antonio, who plays a Criminal Investigation and Detection Group officer helping the Korean police. Big Bet, which already has two seasons under its belt, is mainly set in Manila, as well as the surrounding provinces.


For Filipino viewers of this 2020 K-drama, a few of the locations featured on the show proved to be a familiar sight. The series centers on two people who are drawn toward a mystical forest. And while most of the series is set in the Gangwon Province of Korea, episodes 19 and 20 see the lead stars travel to the Philippines for work commitments. It is during this time that they also squeeze in a bit of sightseeing with locations featured including Okada Manila, Intramuros, and the Manila Cathedral.


Lee Jong Suk and Seo In Guk in a sport film set in Davao? That isn’t fan fiction, but the plot of this 2013 movie. It centers on two competitive swimmers whose desire to succeed in the sport clash while they are in Davao. The movie features multiple settings around Mindanao, including Davao del Norte and a particularly touching scene on Samal Island.


When the Won Network is caught participating in a fraud deal, a series of events leads the main characters to the Philippines. In particular, this 2016 action film has scenes set in the historic districts of Manila, with action set pieces around Tondo and Binondo. Fun fact: the production had to close Jones Bridge to shoot scenes there, making it the first time a Korean production shut down the historic bridge.


This 2011 film starring Song Kang-ho follows a retired gangster and assassin who fall in love. And while Busan serves as the main setting of this action-romance, a part of it sees its lead characters travel to the Philippines. By the film’s conclusion, the couple retires to Mactan, Cebu, specifically the Hadsan Cove Resort, to live out the rest of their lives in peace. Cebu is often hailed as a top tourist destination among Koreans. So, it’s no wonder the lead stars decided to settle down on the island.


What do couples do when they want to find that spark? Take a trip to Boracay, of course. That’s the set-up of Romantic Island, a 2008 movie about three couples of different relationship statuses who take a trip to Boracay. As the movie progresses, the couples’ relationship evolves and changes as they take in the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most famous islands.


Another Korean film, another project that highlights Philippine beaches. The premise of this 2009 film centers on a Taoist wizard who catches escaped goblins in the modern world. The Philippine setting happens when the lead character’s love interest tells him that she wants to be on a beach. So, he teleports her to a beach in Boracay.


Believe it or not, we live in a world where a shirtless Rain walks along Grecian pillars located in Batangas. In the first episode of this 2010 series starring Rain, the main character is sent to the Philippines for a mission and is seen walking by an acropolis with Grecian pillars. While you may think that was Greece, it was actually the Fortune Island Acropolis in Nasugbu, Batangas. That’s TV magic for you.

Continue Reading: ICYMI, Here Are Some Of The Filipinos Who’ve Appeared On K-Dramas And Korean Films

Donny Pangilinan Stars With His Mom In The “First-Ever” Filipino E-sports Movie, ‘GG’

And his sister will co-produce!

GG marks the first collaboration project of Donny Pangilinan and his mother where he will play as an aspiring gamer.

Related: PSA: Donny Pangilinan Posted A New Tiktok Entry

After the success of An Inconvenient Love, Donny Pangilinan topbills yet another exciting feature film project. And this time, he’s about to embark on a fresh and unique journey with a role and story that we’ve never seen him in before. The movie is called GG and is currently dubbed as the “first e-sports film in the Philippines.” Apart from featuring one of the hottest and phenomenal heartthrobs of the country, GG also includes a compelling premise, a star-studded cast (that’s close to Donny’s heart), and a creative team that will get you excited for all the right reasons. Here’s what we know so far about it.


Donny Pangilinan with the GG cast and crew

Announced last March 27, GG follows the story of Seth, an aspiring gamer that has to face a challenging family environment (e.g. judgment from his parents) as he ventures in “competitive barkada gaming.” While most of the details about the story are still under wraps, the premise of this Donny Pangilinan starrer is sure to resonate with the youth today especially with the continued growth of the local gaming industry.


GG marks the first time that Donny Pangilinan will work with his mother, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan. And it seems that their mother-son connection will now be seen in the big screen as Laxa-Pangilinan is expected to play Seth’s mother, who wants him to prioritize his studies over gaming. Relatable, right? Other principal cast announced include Baron Geisler, Boots Anson-Roa, Ronaldo Valdez, and Igiboy Flores.


Donny Pangilinan with the GG cast and crew
Photos from Mediaworks

It also looks like GG is somewhat a family project of the Pangilinan family as Mediaworks, the media company of Anthony Pangilinan’s (Donny’s dad) The Anthony Pangilinan Group, is set to co-produce with Manny V. Pangilinan’s Cignal Entertainment. Donny’s sister Hannah, on the other hand, will also be onboard as the creative producer. 

Meanwhile, Prime Cruz, who previously helmed the horror-romance Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B and the hit romance-drama Ngayon Kaya, will direct the film with story concept by Zach Aquino. Manila-based production boutique Create Cinema will be the consulting producers. 

Donny Pangilinan with the GG cast and crew

With a powerful team and a timely story to tell, GG is looking to be a one big deal of a project that is fitting for the star power as that of Donny Pangilinan. “I’m very grateful and blessed to be where I am right now,” Donny says in an interview. “I’m just happy that I get to do fun projects as well.” And when asked about what to look forward to about his character, he teases, “Abangan!”

Continue Reading: Donny Pangilinan’s Indie Film Debut Is For A Good Cause

filipina rappers

15 Filipina Rappers That Are Spicing It Up With Their Every Bar and Flow

Mic check: you listening to this?

Nothing else makes you feel more self-aware about the world when handing over the mic to a woman.

Making it known that they’re here to stay, Filipina rappers are slowly raising the bar in a male-centric industry. It’s already hard enough to penetrate the walls of hip-hop, let alone being taken seriously as a female artist by many. Femcees, or a woman who raps and freestyles as what they call it, have been around in the Philippines for a while now and they’re not slowing down for anybody. It’s up to us now to pick up the pace and start listening to what they have to say. From social issues, women empowerment to sex positivity, here are 15 Filipina to add to your playlist ASAP.

READ MORE: 13 Filipina Tattoo Artists Inking Their Way Around The Philippines


“Island woman rise, walang makakatigil. Brown, brown woman, rise, alamin ang ‘yong ugat.” No Filipino rap line has ever sparked pride as much as the opening hook of Ruby Ibarra’s Us. Her powerful flow makes her tracks sound like an anthem, packed with a lot of identity, resistance, and the diaspora as a Filipina who migrated to the US. By day, Ruby is a vaccine scientist and co-founder of Pinay Rising scholarship program, and a free-flowing rapper at night.


This 15-year old rapper hailing from Batangas has been making music since the age of five. For someone as young as Alex Bruce, she’s already talking about female empowerment, social justice, and knowing who to trust within her circles. With music influences spanning from Missy Elliott to Nicki Minaj, this Filipina rapper’s sound has been making enough waves as she’s already been performing in different parts of Asia. On Dime Girls, Alex says, “Kami naman, kami naman ngayon sa unahan. Kami naman, kami naman ang dapat n’yong tingnan,” which roughly translates to, “watch out, we’re here to stay.”


Get you a girl who dresses like a Bratz doll, but spits feisty bars and is self-aware with what she brings to the table. Welcome to Zae’s world. While most of us first heard Serve, her “feelin’ myself” type of viral track on TikTok, this 20-year old rapper isn’t afraid to talk about hard-hitting topics like misogyny, too. On her song Pantsu, Zae fearlessly disses the infamous Neneng B rap song by Nik Makino (which highly sexualizes females BTW) and says, “Our body, its majestic, hypnotizing, we know. This power ain’t from your attention.” Can we get an amen up in here?


If you’re feeling a little lost and existential, you definitely have to give Filipina rapper DB Tha Girl (aka Dess Banaag) a listen. Her music will make you feel free as a bird all while treading the different hurdles of life—like a hiking trip to be exact. She’s a part of hip-hop collective Baryo Berde and has amassed almost a million plays on Soundcloud alone. Aside from being a femcee, DB Tha Girl is also an all around artist and graphic designer. On Progress, she raps, “Am I a slave of my body? Am I a slave of my mind? Am I a part of reality? An illusion like time?” Word.


Illest Morena, a.k.a Angelica Pola Layague is a Filipina rapper and R&B artist that only started making music a few years ago. Her moniker itself is a clapback against colorists, admitting that she was bullied for her skin color as a young girl, while she got “illest” from the undisputed queen of rap, Nicki Minaj. If you’re into chill, brooding type of slow jams, her music will make you feel like your head is in the clouds even if it ends in unrequited love.


It’s a hard knock life and rapper Tiffany Lhei knows she has to grind to survive. Also known as Jaja Cabero, the young Filipina rapper’s bars are heavy on social and political issues but she also doesn’t forget the fact that she’s still in the process of growing up. (Alexa, play Sorbetes by Tiffany Lhei.) On Bakal Na Pader, she raps, “Delikado mang laro to handang mapunit ang balat. Tumayo at lumaban ng malaman mo kung pano ba manindigan sa buhay na pinasok.” Kendrick Lamar would be proud.


Ever heard of female rage? Yup, it’s real and raw AF. Add some 808 beats, a cool music video, and you have Queen Manica Money, a.k.a Nica Pauline Llamelo’s discography. Her breath control is insane, with lyrics and flow that almost feels like a dagger. It’s a challenge keeping up with the Nueva Ecija native, because when she wants something, she’ll almost always find a way to get it no matter what the cost.


SHNTI, a.k.a Ashanti Bulanadi has music that feels hypnotic at best. Rapping through jazzy, lo-fi loops, the Filipina artist’s music talks about self-preservation, sexism, and healing. On her track Free, she raps about women owning their power in support of decriminalizing abortion here in the Philippines, a controversial topic that’s timely and relevant. She even digs on a former country leader on her first ever track, OH NO PH! and says, “Mabangis, pero binebenta us like langis. Joke lang po, wag kayong makulit. Baka makaabot ito sa pulis.” At the end of the song, she challenges her listeners and asks, “it’s better to be socially aware, do you care?”


If you feel the need to talk to your inner child, SLIZ a.k.a Mhicaela Marbella’s songs will help. The Filipina rapper’s slow, almost child-like vocals feel like plucking prickly thorns from a rose that you just want to protect at all costs. Her songs make you want to take slow, deep breaths from all the chaos, as heard on tracks like Rapmabu, Sige, and Wala Sa Sarili.


Peaceful Gemini’s music is one that resonates with those who’ve found their Nirvana. Operating on a higher sense of self, the Filipina rapper known as Nicole M. Leonar tells us to wake TF up and read between the lines, literally. In Gising Na Gising she says, “contented with the peace that I’ve reached in this entity, connected ’cause I see you in me. I feel empathy.” Tending to your wounds is one thing, but achieving inner peace puts everything else in perspective.


Bisaya trap set in the female gaze may be unheard of by many, but Dhyana Mitta gives it to us real good. The Cebuana rapper’s music is a gift to all the women who’ve been kicked to the curb, a reminder that we’re all tied by a common thread rooted in a machismo society, but still coming out stronger as a pack. Dhyana talks about sex positivity, elevating and supporting women, and reminding them of their place in the universe.


LA-raised Filipina rapper Klassy’s music is nostalgic of the golden age of hip-hop. With the boom bap as her weapon, a sprinkle of jazz in between lines of “they treat the hood like it’s a zoo where brown folks roam, they tell us go back where you came from while they take our homes,” Klassy is unhinged with her sharp lyricism. Aside from making music, she’s also working as a tattoo artist.


Born and raised in Baguio, Nicole Anjela first gained popularity for her hip-hop song covers. Of lines like “kumot at unan lang ang nasa isip” and “kalaban ay antok dahil sa lamig,” instantly transports you to the chilly City of Pines with her songs. Nicole has also lent her lyrical prowess to local artists like Rjay Ty and fellow femcee DB Tha Girl.


Rapper and activist Rocky Rivera is one that walks the talk. Music’s been one of her avenues in making the world know what she stands for, whether it’s social justice, community empowerment or colorism. Imagine all of that laid out in bass-heavy beats, lines delivered in a nostalgic, almost smooth as honey type of way. Perfectly wrapped in a bow if you ask us.


Filipina rapper Faith Santilla makes it clear that she’s not playing around. The intro to one of her songs When Women and Grrrls Are Killed will make your heart race, thinking twice whether the sound of the drums are eerily similar to that of gun shots. This double-entendre dynamic not only works in Faith Santilla’s lyricism, but reflects also in the production of her music. She’s also an award-winning poet and was even was featured in the 1997 documentary, Beats, Rhymes and Resistance: Filipinos and hip-hop in Los Angeles.


Put some respect on the First Lady of Rap’s name. Dyan Villavicencio, known for her moniker Lady Diane is the OG Filipina rapper that paved the way for local hip-hop alongside icons like Francis M, Andrew E and Michael V. In fact, THE only female of that time. Most 90s babies would recognize her song Saddam, a word play on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the tagalog phrase, “sa dami.” The hit song with political puns, talks about the same struggle that Filipinos have been facing more than 30 years ago until today. It skyrocketed Lady Diane to fame and led her to pursuing a degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies, a MBA and a career in advertising. And oh, years later, she also came out in a reality show as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Mic drop.

CONTINUE READING: The Tables Have Turned: 16 Filipina DJs That Are Killing The Game

These Filipina Cosplayers Are Elevating The Art To The Next Level

The best kind of transformation.

Talent, skill, and a passion for pop culture are some things these Filipina cosplayers have in common.

Related: Already Working On Your Halloween Costume? Justin Of SB19 Has Cosplay Ideas

The world of video games, anime, and all things in geeky pop culture has such a passionate fanbase that many are willing to go above and beyond to express their love. For some, that comes in the form of doing cosplay. A mix of the words costume and play, cosplay is the act of dressing up as any fictional character. But it goes above just dressing up in a costume as cosplayers embody their character, often in intricate and detailed looks.

The Philippines is no stranger to cosplay as it has a vibrant community. There are even cosplay-specific studios and locally organized conventions and events. But while the stereotype is that men dominate these fields, there are Filipinas out there who are more than capable of delivering A+ work. Not only are these women making a name for themselves, but their craft is making a space for other women to join in on the passionate hobby. Check out these Filipinas who express their love for all things geek through their excellent cosplay.


It’s safe to say that the Philippine cosplay scene wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for pioneers like Alodia. She was arguably the first Filipino whose cosplay hit the mainstream as she was tapped by and partnered with some of the biggest companies in the world. With a fanbase in the millions, Alodia is a star of the global cosplay scene. And while she may cosplay less often these days, she uses her position and influence to help others like her such as co-founding Tier One.   


Myrtle is known for many things—an actress, Kapuso star, and the winner of PBB Teen Edition 4. But to many, Myrtyle will always be known as an icon of the Philippine cosplay scene. As one of the most popular cosplayers in the country, she helped push cosplay into the forefront of pop culture. Even if she’s already years into her career, there’s little sign that this in-demand cosplayer and gamer is slowing down anytime soon.  


To some, cosplay is just a hobby done during their free time. But there are those who can turn that passion into a paying job. One successful cosplayer who does just that is Awie De Guzman, who more commonly goes by AWIE. Over the years, AWIE has been tapped by companies, such as Warner Bros., to get into cosplay for their latest projects. If she isn’t stepping out in looks with her partner, Prince de Guzman, the occasional photographer is bodying her latest take on a pop culture icon. If you’ve ever been to a local movie premier or event, there’s a chance you may have seen AWIE in cosplay as one of your favorite characters.


With hundreds of thousands of followers across her social media pages, Charess has made a name for herself as one of the most sought-after Filipina cosplayers in the country. A peek into her excellent portfolio shows why. It is no wonder then that she was chosen by Riot Games to serve as the official cosplayer of Valorant’s first Filipino agent, Neon. She’s the closest we have to an IRL Neon.


One of the best things about cosplay is how people can transform into a completely different person. That’s something Kitz Cua does so well. Her cosplay transformations have gone viral in the past which has helped her rake in over 500,000 followers on TikTok alone. Aside from that, Kitz is also a game streamer and does aerial dancing on the side. Talk about multi-talented.


With her level of cosplay, Geneva is here to school the kids how it’s done. And probably because it’s her day job since she’s a high school teacher. This cosplayer is also a model, events host, and ambassador, and has been in a few commercials.


Being the first of anything is a big honor to hold. Just ask Aryanna, the content creator and cosplayer who’s been at it since she was 14 years old. While fans may know her for her amazing Valorant cosplay, like for Killjoy, Aryanna had the humble flex of working with Riot Games for major projects. In particular, LoL character Zeri was recently added to the roster of League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Aryanna was picked by the company to be the first official cosplay to welcome the update.


Cosplay is more than just dressing up as your fave characters. It can unleash a whole new person from inside you. Just take a look at Lia Bear and her attention-grabbing cosplays. If you frequent cosplay events around the metro, you may spot Lia and the impeccable way she can turn heads.


Roxanne and her partner, Zack “Zackt” Tolosa, are the definition of cosplay royalty. But her solo work is more than enough for this talented professional cosplayer. We would pick a favorite look from her, but there are too many to choose from. Aside from cosplay, Roxanne is also a gamer, streamer, and ambassador for MSI Gaming Philippines.


With a love for the visual and performing arts and all things geek, Carla Vergara entered the world of cosplay. And nearly a decade later, she’s still going strong as one of the local cosplay scene’s favorite Filipina personalities. Outside of her cosplay work, Carla is also a freelance host. (Fun fact: Her name of FoxRots comes from the word Foxtrot with rot coming from her love of horror and gore.)


With expertise in wig styling and makeup, Hippochi us a human chameleon with the way she can shape-shift to any character she chooses to cosplay as. There’s a level of quality consistency this talented cosplayer displays on a regular basis.


Fans of the local cosplay scene may be familiar with Asakura Ysa, more commonly known as Arsene Imagery. Not only is she a veteran cosplayer, but she’s also a sought-after photographer. Need someone to capture your cosplay? She’s the woman to call. And if that wasn’t enough, she also runs her own studio where budding cosplayers can book their shoots.  


Do you know what’s better than doing cosplay? Doing cosplay with your friends. That’s what New Game+ is about. This group is composed of friends who all share a love for cosplay and get together to do just that. From detailed looks to put-together concepts, you definitely need to give the women of this cosplay group a follow. Let them serve as inspo or an example of high-quality cosplay.   


A self-described “Mega Dork,” MJ Ronquillo, who goes by Mira Rae, is one Pinay cosplayer that should be on your follow list. Her stunning looks and transformation touch upon a wide variety of sources, from anime to video games, TV shows, and more.


Aya began her cosplay career in 2014 and has had a fruitful career since. After making a name for herself in the local cosplay scene, Aya has expanded her resume to include being a host, streamer, gamer, and more. You can also catch her on Tier One as one of their hosts.

Continue Reading: This Newly-Opened Museum In Makati Is Pop Culture Heaven

Get To Know Yes My Love, The Rookie P-pop Boy Group Of Your Dreams

Yes, my love?

Yes My Love, Cornerstone’s latest six-member P-pop boy group, is hoping to be that group you’ll fall in love with next.

Related: Born To Win: BINI Is In It For The Long Haul

What’s in a name? Without even seeing the person, the name alone is enough to form an impression of who the person could be. No truer is this when it comes to music groups whose name serves as one of the guiding forces behind who they are. So, when rookie P-pop boy group Yes My Love call themselves, well, Yes My Love, they aren’t lacking points the uniqueness department. 

It’s one of the most interesting P-pop names out there as it also serves as a statement and declaration to that special someone. And that’s exactly the point with Cornerstone’s latest P-pop group. At the heart of this team is the desire to spread the love with what they promise is a flurry of bangers and other surprises coming soon.


Yes My Love is a six-member boy group composed of Niko (Main Dancer/Leader), Joshua (Main Vocal), Brian (Lead Vocal), Jeff (Lead Vocal), RZ (Main Rapper/Lead Dancer), and Eli (Visual). Right off the bat, the group’s name is enough to grab at least a glancing look. According to them, it came from their desire to do things differently. “We know that we are expected in a way to do something a little bit fiercer, and we wanted to take it in a different route, or more lighthearted route,” they share in an interview. “Love is universal and we wanted to pick a name that’s going to draw inspiration from. We’re always motivated by love in so many different aspects.”

Their unique name can conjure the impression that Yes My Love is a romantic boy group. And while that is true, the boys add that they have other things to offer. In particular, they use the word eclectic to describe themselves. “We all come from different walks of life. We all come from different provinces. Four of us are actually from Cebu.”

And, of course, don’t discount their talent. “As a group, we really want to showcase vocals because we’re firm believers of the Filipino music scene, especially P-pop. We want to highlight that Filipinos love to sing and at the same time we want to have a lot of fun, so there’ll be a lot of dancing as well.”


While this may be their first time as a group, this isn’t their first time at the rodeo. If the boys look familiar, that’s because each of them appeared on TV. Niko, Brian, RZ, and Jeff were part of Top Class, with Jeff even making his way to the finale as one of the winners. Joshua first appeared in the first season of GMA Network’s reality singing competition The Clash where he was part of the Top 5 in the show. As for Eli, viewers of TV5’s videoke singing reality game show Sing Galing may know him since he was a frequent of the show as part of the Singtokers. And that’s not to mention his bubbling acting career. 

Their careers looked as if they were going on different routes. But fate had other plans in mind as their lives led them to meet to become a boy group. It’s a major career shift, to say the least. But it’s one they welcome. “Ang saya kasi iba ‘yung feeling na magkasama sa isang grupo. Bigla ka nagkaroon ng limang kapatid.” In particular, they celebrate the fact that their diverse backgrounds allow them to complement each other. “Parang nagtulungan po kami para ma-feel ‘yung each other’s strengths.” They work in tandem to bring each other up as their past experiences before Yes My Love gave them a crash course on the industry. 

“It helped us be braver in the life decisions that we made,” says the boys on what they learned from their TV stints. “The changes and the redirections had their purposes. We’re just so grateful in a way that Cornerstone created another P-pop and we’re very excited at the same time.” While they technically are rookies on the scene, their time on TV and reality shows helped them for the moment. “Kaya ‘yung naging training ground naming is naging malaking tulong sa group.” They add, “Nothing can necessarily prepare you [for the industry], but at least you are equipped when you’re in battle.”

Once all the cards came into place, Yes My Love was ready to go. But before they made their debut, they first built that hyped with pre-debut performances and covers. From covering Stray Kids to Morissette, the boys showcased the talents across vocals and dance. And they didn’t go unnoticed as they were already gaining fans, called 143, through these pre-debut activities. It’s a development the boys are grateful for. “We were very humbled, and at the same time, we were overwhelmed yet very grateful. Seeing these comments sometimes can easily get in your head but we’re grateful for the comments that we’re receiving. We always want to achieve better because you’re just as good as your last performance.”

Despite all having their brush with fame and coming from a big company, there was no guarantee that Yes My Love was going to get attention. This is why the fans they’ve already made this early on is a blessing to them. “Hindi naman mawawala ang kaba siyempre pag bago ka, especially sa P-pop. So, hindi po naming alam kung ano ang magiging tanggap sa amin ng tao and we’re very grateful. It fueled us to strive more para ilabas naming ‘yung kaya i-offer and hindi masayang ang support ng mga 143 namin.”


Yes My Love made their official P-pop debut on March 17 with the release of their single, Rhythm. The song is a dance-pop track that expresses attraction at first sight. With its groovy tunes mixed with a touch of sexiness, the song has its place in the summer playlist. It’s all about that feeling of being with “someone that you can’t resist—from feeling the instant connection to wanting to be with that person.” And while the anthem is confidence-inducing, its journey as so wasn’t set in stone.

Originally, when Cornerstone and Republic Records Philippines showed them the track, the group initially thought that the song wasn’t going to be their debut. But one thing led to another, and they made everything work out in the end as all the pieces for the song came into place. They even had a hand in the creation of the track as they brought their vision to life. 

“We had the opportunity to be able to co-write the draft, especially on the Filipino parts of the song and some of the English verses as well. So we’re so grateful that they gave us the freedom to be able to do what we really want as a group.” “Kinalibutan” is the word they used to describe how they felt seeing Rhythm become what it is today. The opportunity for Yes My Love to make Rhythm what they imagined it to be, especially this early in their career, is one they don’t take for granted.


While it’s only been a few weeks since Yes My Love made their debut, the boys tease that their debut year is going to be an exciting one. The members are music lovers and are excited to share with P-pop fans, and the rest of the world, their vocals, choreography, and new tracks. You can also expect Yes My Love to experiment with their style as this explorative P-pop group isn’t looking to put themselves in a certain box. “We want to cater to different audiences.” 

Staying in one lane is not on the agenda for Yes My Love. What is on the agenda though is finding new ways to expand the group and the P-pop sound, and that includes being open to collaborations. “Yes My Love is such a collaborative effort. And that is why we believe in the unity of the P-pop community as well. To be able to collaborate with any P-pop groups or any OPM artist would be such an honor for us.” 

Yes, my love? Ppop boy group

The group and their fans have much to get excited about as 2023 continues. Yes My Love has a lot of dreams and goals they look forward to doing. And on top of that list is bringing pride to their hometowns. “The goal for each of us as a group is to be able to perform in our hometowns. We hope that P-pop will get bigger over time here in our country.” As the interview comes to a close, they look to their future endeavors on a high note. “It’s going to be so much fun, and we just want to really, really share it with people and the ones who support P-pop and the entire community.” From a strong point-of-view on their creative vision, unique background, evident talent, and understanding the power of collaboration, Yes My Love has a lot to offer. Keep an eye out for this P-pop group, you may just be swooning by the end.  

Continue Reading: 11 New P-pop Groups To Keep On Your Stan Radar

beauty queen tattoo

6 Beauty Queens That Prove Tattoos Are Not Unladylike

We stan even more.

In case you need any reminding: Having a tattoo doesn’t make you less of a queen.

Let’s face it, tattoos is still seen as taboo by some. “Ang dumi mo naman,” “kababae mong tao,” or even being called the spawn of the devil are just some of the toxic stereotypes that people mindlessly say, especially to women. It’s quite ironic when you realize that a pre-colonial tattooed civilization, decorated warriors to be exact, actually exists within Filipino culture. So, imagine how game-changing it was to see beauty queens no longer hiding the fact that they too have been inked. From Miss Universe Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez’s arm band tattoo to Celeste Cortesi’s delicate designs, here are six beauty queens who prove that tattoos are not unladylike.

READ MORE: Did You Know? These Filipino Pageant Coaches Trained International Queens


Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez was the rule-breaking beauty queen of her time not only because of her advocacies, but also with her fearlessness of not concealing her tattoos. At the moment she has an arm band tattoo on her left arm, an alien, a cat, and a delicate geometric piece.


At this point, we can’t keep count of how many tattoos Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Celeste Cortesi has. She has a lot of hidden, delicate tattoos that can only be seen fully when she’s wearing playful ‘kinis. So far, our favorites are her sternum and dog tattoo.


If you’re more into low-key tattoos, take inspiration from Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa who has two tiny tatts on her inner thigh and ankle.


Ayn Bernos’ choice of ink designs are definitely what an artist would pick out. We honestly can’t choose between the watercolor splash tattoo or the flowers!


Out of all the tattoos that former Miss Universe Philippines 2021 contestant Maureen Wroblewitz has, our favorite would probably be her rib cage tatt that’s an image of a girl hugging herself with the words “self care.”


Are you really an island girl if you don’t have a palm tree tatted on your back? Miss Universe Philippines 2017 Rachel Peters’ tattoos are mostly inspired by the tropics and they’re mostly easy designs one can easily copy.

CONTINUE READING: 10 Beauty Queens You May Have Spotted In Local Fantaseryes and Movies


Here Are The New Projects From Kathryn Bernardo To Get Excited About

She is back!

From more daring roles to braver themes, here’s what to look forward to in the big screen comeback of Kathryn Bernardo.

Related: Which Kathryn Bernardo Style Era Fits You Best?

Almost four years after her last movie Hello, Love, Goodbye (2019), Kathryn Bernardo is back on the big screen. In time for Star Cinema’s 30th Anniversary, the Asia’s Superstar unveiled her next film project during ABS-CBN Films’ New Movie Alert event last March 27, 2023. And yes, Kathryn Bernardo is about to get bolder and braver in her new roles.


Star Cinema is set to explore new themes and genres as they mark their third decade. It’s a fitting vision for Kathryn Chandria Manuel Bernardo. She has expressed her interest in collaborating with the film studio to explore the uncharted waters.

A Very Good Girl key art

Star Cinema and Kath are taking on a fresh and unique undertaking with A Very Good Girl. It will serve as the first in Kathryn’s slate of upcoming projects. Written by Marionne Dominique Mancol (James & Pat & Dave and He’s Into Her), A Very Good Girl features an “eat-the-rich” concept from the youth’s perspective.

Petersen Vargas was personally handpicked by Kathryn to helm the movie. “It’s going to be a dark comedy, but with a lot of sass and class,” says Vargas. This is going to be his first time working with Kath. “We want to serve this fantasy of representing this frustrated and powerless generation through Kathryn’s character.”

Kathryn Bernardo A Very Good Girl
Photos from Star Cinema

Another major thing to get hyped up about Good Girl is the fact that Dolly de Leon will be Kath’s co-star. Creative manager Carmi Raymundo reveals that the BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee is excited to be with Kathryn again after a very long time. Also, she has been very collaborative with the team.

Kathryn Bernardo with Petersen Vargas
Photos from Star Cinema

A Very Good Girl is slated for a release this September.


Another special project for Kathryn is Elena, 1944. It is a historical offering that follows the story of a comfort woman during the Japanese occupation. This film finds her working with Black Sheep for the first time. Also, Kath reunites reunites with Olivia M. Lamasan seven years after Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016).

“When we did Barcelona the challenge there was to transition Kathryn from a young teenage roles to more young adult roles,” the director says. “Then seven years later… not to really transition, but to really push you, push your limit as an actress to doing more edgy, more mature and more daring [roles].”

Kathryn Bernardo with Olivia Lamasan
Photos from Star Cinema

This also marks acclaimed filmmaker’s return to the director’s chair after her years-long stint as ABS-CBN Films’ head. Described as a fusion of historical drama and action, Elena,1944 is based on a Palanca Award-winning screenplay by Patrick Valencia. It will also be co-written by Enrico Santos (An Inconvenient Love). Vanessa Valdez, writer of Must Be…Love, is its creative manager.

“I love to do a project like that, representing women empowerment,” declares Kathryn. Elena, 1944 is currently in development and is targeting a 2024 release date.


A new scoop into the love team’s comeback project was also revealed during the NMA event. As explained by Kathryn, she and Daniel Padilla will be pursuing individual projects in the future. But, they’ll also be reunited in a project soon. She says that the announcement for the Cathy Garcia-Molina-helmed film will have its separate launch. It’s confirmed that their reunion movie will come out after A Very Good Girl.

In an earlier press interview, Garcia-Molina first revealed that the upcoming reunion movie is unlike their past movies and will not be of the rom-com genre. “It’s something new and we’re all very excited for.” The veteran director adds that it will be a “more mature” project for the premier love team.

Meanwhile, Kath has also expressed her gratitude to all the KathNiel supporters who remained loyal and believed in them. “Natutuwa at napa-proud ako sa fans namin na KathNiel. They allow us to grow,” the actress says. “KathNiel will always be there. Ang importante kami ni DJ nagsusuportahan sa isa’t isa. Mutual decision ‘to and excited din ako what’s in store for DJ.”

Continue Reading: 11 Filipino Movies And Tv Shows That Should Be On Your 2023 Must-Watch List

Meet HAVEN, The 19-Year-Old Artist Who Has Worked With KD Estrada And Kyle Echarri

You don't have to look far for that future somebody.

HAVEN opens up on the power of self-love and how she learned to prioritize herself.

Related: SORN Keeps It Real With Her Fans And Friendships

Some of us yearn to find the one we picture ourselves being together with. HAVEN, a 19-year-old Singapore-based musician, tells us we can picture our future selves first before finding others. Her latest single, Future Somebody, was a journey in that. 

The original lyrics of the single were about her finding that future somebody in someone else. Her producer suggested changing the lyrics to about loving herself for her future self. That seemingly simple suggestion changed everything and empowered her to appreciate all the good things about herself since she struggled with self-love in the past. A few tweaks later, and came the release of Future Somebody last January 2023 and a change in perspective in life many can relate to.

Over a Zoom interview, HAVEN had the chance to share with NYLON Manila about her single, Future Somebody, appreciating the little things in life, and more. 


“I never stopped and appreciated the little things that were going on in my life,” says HAVEN when reflecting on her COVID-19 pandemic experience. The then 16-year-old was three years into pursuing her music aspirations when the world shut down in 2020. She was also less than a year into releasing her debut single. But HAVEN didn’t let the quarantine dampen her spirits as she’d make a new song out of it. She even called her friends for a video call and asked them to create a song with her. 

Although music has been there her whole life, the pandemic taught her that the things around her are important. It’s a feeling that she links to her favorite book of all time, The Alchemist. HAVEN summarized that the treasure in the book is finding your purpose in life, but in the end, it’s necessary to have fun and experience everything.

The end goal is there, but the experiences along the way teach us. It’s those experiences that have made for a steady climb for this Singaporean artist. Over the past few years, she’s slowly been building her name and career, which includes working with Filipino acts such as KD Estrada and Kyle Echarri. And with her signing to WILD Entertainment in 2022 (the same company Nadine Lustre is set to release a new song with later this year), the potential is boundless.


In the music video for Future Somebody, which serves as her debut single under WILD Entertainment, HAVEN and a male actor have a red string wrapped around their wrists. If that scene looks familiar, that’s because she took inspiration from one of the biggest anime films of the 2010s, Your Name. “It intertwines and tangles, but it’s a connection between two people.”

The storyline of the music video starts with the attraction of two people followed by curiosity throughout the relationship. But as it continues, the relationship proves to be less than healthy. As the relationship goes into chaos, the music video ends with the clipboard placed on a desk. On that clipboard, there is a therapist’s note and HAVEN is the patient. HAVEN says that’s the plot twist. This is done intentionally to show that life isn’t as straightforward as it seems as we’re continuously experimenting and searching to find the one. “The love for yourself is so much bigger than we think,” HAVEN explains as she reassures us that we will find the one, but it starts with self-love first. 


While HAVEN’s latest work is all about self-love, she had points in her life where she had to let things go. Pursuing a music career also meant that HAVEN had to sacrifice things along the way. Education was one of those sacrifices that she had to put on hold. She couldn’t have her heart in two different places and focused on her music full-time. Still, there is a silver lining to the moment. “If I’m doing this, I’m going to give it my all.”

The younger version of herself was terrified at the time, deciding to put her education on hold. But now that she’s older and wiser, the present-day version of HAVEN feels that she’s doing what she loves to do. What matters most is that she tried her best even if things didn’t go well. “You are responsible for yourself and your future.” HAVEN reminds herself and her fans that what is meant for you will be meant for you. Nurturing our future somebody of ourselves will help us be there for our future partners. It’s a tale as old as time, but self-love and learning to focus on yourself first will never let you down.

Photos Courtesy of WILD Entertainment

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