Challenge yourself, YouTube style


“The best way to get ahead is to challenge yourself.” -Maine Manalansan, literally a few seconds ago.

There’s nothing like competition to help you get ahead of the game. But then again, it’s quite unhealthy to randomly compete someone to a battle of “Who Can Knit the Fastest?” I guess the only way is to challenge yourself. And I don’t mean just setting unrealistic expectations. I’m talking making an actual challenge, YouTube style.



Before anything else, I’d like to clarify one thing: 2014 wasn’t my best year. Don’t get me wrong; it was still great. I learned so much and met a lot of new people. But 2015 proved that things can get better (and it did) and I’ve never felt more light and free in my life.

This year, I learned how to let go and just let things happen to me. And because of that, I experienced some pretty cool shit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take note of everything. That’s the price you pay for being present, I guess.

1. Having creative freedom is both fulfilling and stressful.

Because of Toff, I was able to learn the meaning of being a design director. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. But you know what they say: fake it til you make it. I did and here I am now! I’ve never experienced a project as big as No Filter and it definitely taught me a shit ton of things. The six months I spent working in that production is better than six months in college, tbqh.

2. Being cool is so 2008.

For years, I’ve denied being a fan of anything because I thought it was ~*uncool*~. But alas, I’m knee-deep in One Direction shit and there’s no turning back. Being in the fandom can be stressful at times but the momentary joy it gives me (when they’re not being problematic) is incomparable.


So, what now?


I’m still awake at 1:30 a.m. with a cup –– yes, a cup –– of wine on my right side and a cup of Kafe Kreme on the left. It’s that kind of balance that I’m longing to achieve ever since No Filter ended.

For the first time in 13 months, I only have Young STAR and this blog to think about. I have no Sandbox, no TKS, no Stache. It’s strange having all these free time. I managed to watch three movies while cleaning my entire room in one day. Yesterday, I watched a Bollywood movie, finish two books and even created a Tumblr for my new yearly project. I miss that kind of self-benefiting productivity. I’ve never experienced anything like that in about a year.

To be quite honest, I also miss the routines: the simplicity of afternoon commutes from school while listening to Hoagy Carmichael to laying out a magazine every two months to setting up a projector in Circuit Makati for a No Filter show. Now, one of the most drastic changes in my life is currently happening and I’m sort of overwhelmed by it.
So, now what?

I can easily take on more freelance work to develop my skills or I can sell my soul to a corporate day job for more stability. I can probably hold workshops on basic Photoshop or InDesign or I can tap more publications where I can share my collage and photography work. I’m presenting myself with more options that I can even imagine doing and that only brings more confusion than final answers.

The truth is I don’t know what to do. And maybe that’s okay. After all, my track record says that I’m good at being at the right place at the right time. And somehow, just being where I am is the best place to be.