We were in awe looking at her long list of achievements and you’d definitely understand why once you get to know her better – Cosmopolitan’s Fearless Female 2011 award; lunching with Project Runway judge, Nina Garcia; as well as being practically featured in every major news outlet in Philippines are some of the achievements she has under her belt. The go-getter started taking pictures professionally at the tender age of 18 and since then, that is all she breathes.
With a love for Asian aesthetics and Japanese fashion, the doll-eyed beauty is on her way to break through the international market. Let’s dig a little deeper to see what it’s like to be the first and only Asian invited by Tumblr to attend New York Fall/Winter Fashion Week 2011.
1: What is the clearest fashion-related memory you carry from your childhood?
When I was little, I went as a lobster for Halloween while my classmates went as princesses, fairies and cute furry animals. I guess that proved a lot about how I’ve always viewed the world and how that had influenced my style. Growing up, my parents would bring us to different countries every summer or Christmas. I loved observing people and how they wore their clothes and how different styles were in each country. Of course as a kid I was instantly fascinated by anything that’s out-of-the-norm – not because it attracted attention, but because it simply looked fun to include some sort of quirkiness in your life, or in this case, wardrobe.
2: What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I take pictures, mostly of people. I don’t think I can ever live without taking pictures. Fortunately, I’m able to get publication work (for now) just by posting pictures online and by hoping that magazines or newspapers may one day find themselves lurking in my websites and liking what they see (laughs). I also take pride in taking most, if not all the content in my blog, or at least I make sure that I never post anything that doesn’t reach my personal photo standards. I spend hours deliberating what photos to use after a shoot, editing hundreds of photos, and uploading them on the Internet.
3. What’s in your bag?
I normally carry around bags that don’t have much in them, just make-up, perfume, some toiletries, allergy medicine and my wallet. My make-up bag has all sorts of things from different brands and different parts of the world – I always stop by Watsons, Sasa, Sephora and department stores when I travel, because there are some brands I like that aren’t available in Manila.
4. Any upcoming projects/anything you’re currently working on?
Shoots, shoots, and more shoots. I’ve been traveling non-stop since December last year so now that I’m back in Manila I’m going to try to focus on photography again. It’s my first and real love and it’s a little tragic to be forgotten as a photographer sometimes (laughs).
5. How did you feel being selected the only Asian Tumblr selected to invite New York Fall/Winter Fashion Week 2011?
It was an overwhelming experience, really. It never crossed my mind that my blog would reach an audience outside of Manila. I was sent there by Tumblr as a representative of the Philippines or Asia, which was all the more overwhelming, because I felt like I was more or less in the same level as the other bloggers who were chosen, and I used to have this notion that these opportunities are only given to people from huge, influential countries.
6. What about Japanese fashion inspires you?
I’ve always loved that dolled-up look they always have, as well as that knack for mixing and matching pieces together resulting in genius ensembles I can never replicate. They have so many fashion subcultures and it’s amazing how they even have magazines that cater to each one. I’m an avid collector of Japanese magazines and I follow a lot of their helpful hair and makeup tutorials.
7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
This is a hard question, because even if I’d rather live outside the Philippines, all my loved ones are here. If that wasn’t an issue and if we were in an ideal world, I’d totally still prefer to live in Asian countries like Japan, Hong Kong or Korea. Or probably somewhere in Europe where everything is just so historical and photogenic.
8. Name 3 fashion items that you can’t live without.
I can’t live without my classic black wedges that go with pretty much everything, my collection of oversized tops and dresses which I can dress up or dress down with accessories, and my satchel bags that can fit so many things including my small cameras!
9. If you have just won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
I’d use most of it for investment, or something serious like that. I wouldn’t want to spend it all on expensive things like designer bags or shoes – my parents taught me how important it is to know the value of money and to be able to deliberate whether or not a certain item is worth the purchase. I will, of course, have my own personal share in the million, but it’s likely for me to spend it on camera equipment than fashion-related things.
10. If you had a choice between shoes or bags, which would you pick?
Shoes. Good shoes take you to good places. Most designer bags are insanely expensive too – maybe I can use the money to send my future kids to school (laughs).
11. If you could only choose to be involved in one creative avenue, styling, photography or modeling, which would it be and why?
Photography. There is almost never a day where I do not have anything to do with photography, pictures, or cameras. It’s a huge part of my life and I never want to part with it.
12. In our first interview with you in March 2010, you mentioned that you’d love to make your own clothes. Any updates on that ambition?
TG: Maybe in the far, far future! In the meantime, I think I’d love to collaborate with brands who are willing to have a guest designer on board.
Stick around as we unveil more intimate details about our featured Blogger of the Month over June!
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