Sense and sexuality

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A few days ago, Woman, Create invited me as a guest performer in their first open mic night Here I Am. It was an intimate gathering of girls (and a few boys) to talk about everything and anything about being a woman. A lot of people shared about their struggles with depression, anxiety, and society’s norms. Needless to say, there were quite a few tears shed. But there was two girls who surprised us with excerpts from the Vagina Monologues. Honestly, I haven’t seen the entire play before but I know it enough to recognize lines from the show.

It was fun and all; them shouting the word vagina in basically every sentence that they speak. Some girls were laughing, too, but most of them from embarrassment. I couldn’t help but wonder: Why is sexuality such a taboo subject to speak of in public? Or in general? I’m 23 years old so I’ve gained enough confidence to talk about my sexuality. What disappoints me is it is sometimes welcomed by strange (this is the more polite term) looks. What’s wrong about discussing my body and my perfectly human experience? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one with the vagina in the world.

A few months ago, I was introduced to a brand called Ilya. To put it simply: they’re an online sex toy shop. But what got me is their entire branding. Firstly, their logo is on point. I love how they played with butts and bunny ears and I just found it so cute. This alone made me want to work with them. Arvin, one of the founders, was discussing their inspiration behind the brand. They want to open up a conversation about sex and sexuality and inspire a culture that is more open to things like this. Because there’s nothing better than education when it comes to sex. Anything related to your body or health should be openly discussed, no matter how “taboo” it is for other people.

I just find it so inspiring that they courageously did something like this. They made sex more playful and less intimidating as it should be. AH! I don’t know how else to describe it. You just really, really need to check out the website. They worked with Serious Studio on this one so it’s no wonder why it’s so good.

If you’re new to all of this (I am too, don’t worry), you can take the test in their website and find out which one you should get first. They have awesome customer service, so if you have any questions about any gadgets (mini game: try to figure out which end goes where, it’s fun) you can just ask them. And if you finally decide what to get, just do it. They kindly gave me a coupon code to share with y’all so you can get a cute little discount: MMxilya. It expires this month so better hurry.

Have you seen Arden Rose’s sex Q&A? That was so good. Watch it here.

Ending 22 with a bang

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Who knew that Taylor Swift was right? Being 22 is a great age. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for the many opportunities life threw my way in 2016. So, in typical tamad and overwhelmed format, here’s a list of what I’ve been up to since January this year.

1. No Filter became a book!

 

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YES. A BOOK. Who knew! Marga, Sab and I worked our butts of for the past 6 months. We couldn’t help but tear up when we finally released our baby. I felt myself grow professionally because of this project and it’s all thanks to these girls. I learned so much from them about work and life. Special thanks to Toff for trusting me with this project and essentially making my dream come true.

2. We finally released Mr. Manileño!

 

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In 2016, I found myself working on the strangest project ever. Little me, managing a website about surfing and motorcycles called Mr. Manileño. Like… in what world. Special shout out to Karen for helping me land the biggest and most challenging job of my life. And to Echo for the trust. I’m having so much fun working on this and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the rest of the year!

3. My makeup game got stronger!

 

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All the money and time spent on makeup finally paid off. Thanks to L’Officiel Manila for thinking of me for this series. Oh and did I mention? I did my makeup in the car on the way to the shoot. Sometimes Manila traffic can be useful.

4. I became the art director of Young STAR!

 

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I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. It’s something I’ve been unconsciously working towards for the past 2 years in Young STAR. Thanks Marga and Jonty for this. And thank you Raymond for putting me in Young STAR in the first place! Huhu.

5. Rogue Art Portfolio? D:

 

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Ok look. Rogue was one of the reasons why I fell in love with laying out magazines. I did it (cluelessly) for a year with Stache but Rogue really made me realize that what I was doing was shit and helped me be better. And now I’m part of the Rogue Art Portfolio. Again: In what world? This one, I guess. And to make it all better (and more !!!!!! for me tbh), I’m with the ladies who I look up to in the art world. I cri. I truly cri.

2016 has been a great year for me and I can’t wait for the last four months to hit me in the face with more (work) opportunities. We’ve come a long way, fam. But this wouldn’t be possible without the amazing people I mentioned above, and more. So, for the first time ever, I’m doing something special for my birthday. Check my Instagram tomorrow at 10 p.m. for my birthday project.

 

I climbed Mt. Pulag!

Fam, I did the impossible. I actually climbed a mountain.

If you asked me to do this three years ago, I would’ve ran the opposite direction, mostly because I’m scared of long walks and falling on my butt. But I did it! And it was for a good reason.

One morning during breakfast, my mom told me that she’ll be hiking Mt. Pulag with her friends. And I was like, “cool, have fun.” “Sa June 11-12 kami,” she said. Then it hit me harder than a rock in a harder place (a line from No Filter book) (more on this later): there can never be a better time to hike Pulag –– and celebrate my freedom –– than Independence Day.

Damn, I already heard Beyonce singing Freedom at the summit from our breakfast table.

So I signed up… and dragged two of my cousins with me. I’m not stupid enough to allow myself to be the only beginner there, okay.

… Bumaba ako sa jeepney (wow this blog is starting really roughly)

Because we signed up a little later than the rest, we didn’t have enough time to prep. I only had a week to condition my body. That week was particularly stressful because of deliverables I needed to finish for American Idiot and the No Filter book. I’d like to think that I’m fitter than average, but man, nothing ever prepared me for how cold it was.

Going to Pulag was fairly quick. We took a bus from Victory Liner Cubao to Baguio then a jeep to the DENR office to register. They gave a short introduction about Mt. Pulag National Park and the different trails you can take to get to the summit. The one we signed up for was Ambangeg (the easiest) but I expected that we will be taking Akiki (the killer trail, according to most hikers) –– not that I want to. I’m just saying. There’s another one that they refer to as “The Bloody Trail” but I forgot what it’s called. My mind involuntarily forgets unpleasant things.

Zine and heard

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It’s been a while since I last taught a workshop. My first (and only) internship boss Arriane got me to help her teach the Photoshop portion of Blogworthy a few years ago and I loved it. So of course (of course of course) I said yes when AJ of Sunday Paper asked me if I want to do a zine workshop.

I’ve always been in love with publishing. I love the idea of putting your heart and soul on a piece of paper for everyone to see and experience. That’s why I created Stache in the first place.

We held the workshop at Common Room, Katipunan on a Sunday afternoon. How fitting. The class was fairly small but so full of energy. Definitely felt that while we were discussing One Direction and Game of Thrones.

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I taught basic content planning for a mini zine. I didn’t really focus on the technical side of laying out because I wanted them to do their own thing. That’s what a zine is all about anyway. But if you want me to teach layout or Photoshop, don’t hesitate to send me an email so I can work something out. 

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Overall, it was a great afternoon. We had a blast and a lot of laughs. I can’t wait to do this again!