Soaking in Spring (Editorial)

This editorial was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but not to the full extent of the wardrobe. Maybe what some characters would wear during a day-off.

An editorial shot for Promo Magazine, NYC.

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Rebirthing

We all have moments in life when the only wise option is to change. The notion of change can be bittersweet, thankfully I acquired a penchant for the taste later on in life.

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First thing I faced in order to come to peace with the changes going on in my life was to awaken myself to a new reality.

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Sometimes, like getting up in the morning, a sense of change can be challenging to deal with internally, externally and existentially.

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As I rose, I began to notice a new renaissance.

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Overwhelming at first, but beautiful and magnificent.

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Everyday, I would choose to take on the challenge to be a better person – for myself. I decided to shatter the negative stigma behind selfishness.

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That change came to be cause there would just be days of exhaustion wherein ten hours of sleep would not be enough to charge the batteries of my energy. I would wake up tired and lethargic. In introspection, I would wonder what was wrong with me.

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Later on, I realized it was because I was living to serve others more than myself. I was seeking validation from family, acceptance from strangers and looking for love in all the wrong places.

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Living such a life can be a truly exhausting experience. But it was my choice and I decided to make a new one. The new option was to rise above the clutter of my mind, listen to my heart, and seek the purpose of my soul.

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Challenging is an understated description of the journey towards rebirthing.

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Blood. Sweat. Tears. Soul. Time. Those are the payments for change.

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You see, in the cocoon of my mind, I have an idealized version of myself. And in the presence of time, I have yet to achieve that me I yearn to become. The verb of the journey began when I challenged myself to prove I love myself, everyday.

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In loving myself, I began to love whatever surrounded me because I saw it as a gift of time. And in time, the same moments are highly unlikely to happen again – so I chose to enjoy time.

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Whether I found myself in solitude or with company, grieving or joyful, in bliss or in pain.

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I just embraced the complexity of my trinity and let another form of me takeover.

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I believe that in each rebirth, great lessons are accumulated to benefit ourselves in time.

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I set to work with a limitless mindset, meaning I decided to believe I’m possible.

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I sought the courage to blossom unabashedly.

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Models: Chrystalle & Tamiya (Elite Manila)
HMUA: Mong Amado
Stylist: Maura Rodriguez
Special thanks to Candice Arboleda for the couture and Pineapple Lab!

Bulgari & Bubbly

When Preview called me for a shoot at the Bulgari store, I immediately jumped at the chance. I just knew it was going to be fun. Though, little did I know how charmed the afternoon would be. As usual, I arrived a bit earlier. But I used that time to get educated about the brand.

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By the time I started shooting, I felt the brand was an old friend.

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Maui of Preview with Angelina of Bulgari

Angelina did such a great job at answering my curiosities about the brand. I told her that during college, I always admired this one necklace design from Bulgari that I used to call the power necklace but that afternoon, I found out that the name of the design is actually B.ZERO1. I am particularly fond of the collection by a powerful woman architect named, Zaha Hadid. I want every piece from the Life is a Labyrinth collection. Every detail is just so inspired!

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Earring from the Diva Collection inspired by Elizabeth Taylor

I learned that Miss Taylor had a long-standing affair with the brand.

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The fan-silhouette of the Diva Collection was inspired by the eye make up of Miss Taylor in one of her movies.

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Another collection is called the Serpenti – this collection is (again, so…) INSPIRED! The rings were so dynamically designed. Too bad it only fit my pinky finger.

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“I like this one for you.”

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That is one handsome watch.

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By the time the shoot was done, I wanted soooooo many things from the store. Buuuuuut… You know, it’s Bulgari. In time, in time – I thought.

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Everything was so pretty!

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It was a spectacle to watch.

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That time when apparently I did a “meme” face.

I just had so much fun with this bunch of ladies.

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#PreviewGirls

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Shot by Ritz Marie for Preview in the Bulgari store, Greenbelt 4, Makati, Philippines.
Models: Maui, Yanna, Steph & Nicole of Preview

 

Aranaz SS18 Campaign

Working with this brand was a dream goal come true. More than Aranaz being a Filipino brand, what I really admire about them is THE inspiration – behind the luxury, behind the vision, behind the team. Not to mention, the lifeblood of the brand is that of women, the three Aranaz women, Becky, Amina & Rosanna.

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During the day of the shoot, I had the pleasure to see the team in action and what a joy it was to watch. But more than witnessing the magic take place in their workplace, what a treat it was to be part of their team – even for a day.

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Work was so leisurely by their side.

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One could sense how the brand achieved its success by watching the trio work together with their team.

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Everyone on set breathed the brand’s personality, and that’s what makes it work – I guess!

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Authentic brands are the best! In my honest opinion.

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Looking forward to seeing what’s in store next for Aranaz. Here’s a peek of their next generation.

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Now, I don’t know who sold the bag better! In any case, that was such a great experience.

“Cheers, to a leisurely life.” – Aranaz

Model: Kat of Elite Manila
Make up Artist: Ciari Luna
Photographer: Ritz Marie
Shot for the SS18 campaign of Aranaz.

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AS Patrick Starrr

I must live under a rock of some sort, because when I was told Patrick Starrr would be on Preview Magazine’s last print cover, I had no clue about him. I’m saying this in the spirit of total honesty.  But walking into the Summit Studio this time, I sensed it was more special than the usual cover shoot.

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First of all, we had more space to work with, the clothes were nicely hung apart from each other and each piece was a statement – would expect nothing less from Marc Jacobs.

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It was the usual Preview staff.

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Patrick’s co-star for the cover was Alex Gonzaga.

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Took a portrait of Maui during the down time because I liked her statement gold eyeliner. Mind you, I usually come into these shoots bare-faced because I’m lazy like that. But I do appreciate the art of make up.

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Then when I walked in the pantry, there was a whole spread of food on the table, different from the usual. I thought, “What’s going on here?”

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Then Patrick’s team arrives first wearing MAC sponsored jackets with his name! At that point I was just to curious to see the person behind the Starrr.

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When I started shooting, I inserted myself in a few frames because I wanted a photo with him, I’m just not the type to ask frequently. I did however introduce myself as a photographer. I will not forget what he said, “Honey, make me look good – okay?” and I responded, “I’ve got your back.”

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Just being around his presence was so fun! I was having the time of my life until Maui whispered to me that Isha, the EIC, wanted to speak with me. I was shocked because I’m usually left doing my own thing and then I thought, did I do anything wrong? Because they really don’t usually call me, specially while I was having such fun documenting Patrick do his own make up! It honestly was super mesmerizing to watch. Anyway, so I went with Maui to the dressing room where Isha and the rest of the staff were.

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When I walked in, they were looking at me and Isha first apologizes and then asks “Would it be okay if you stood in as a model for Patrick?” I couldn’t quite get what she was asking. Let’s get real here.

People our size are greatly overlooked by M-A-N-Y or undervalued. I cannot even shop at a regular store without a “PLUS” line. I can go on a lengthy rant about this, but that’s not the focus here. I’m just saying, I’ve never felt the luxury of clothing before because of my size nor have had the chance to truly express my truth through my clothes, because the options are just so limited – specially in Manila. Patrick, if you ever read this, please consider starting your own clothing brand! Haha, why not?

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Anyway, back to me being a model. I was able to try on all the Marc Jacobs pieces Patrick wore during the cover shoot. But he – wore it with confidence. I was learning from a master.

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That pink coat was my favorite. I wanted to take it home with me.

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BJ shot a few frames then Alex came in with a bubbly disposition.

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It was a show to watch, because very few times in my existence have I witnessed a gay, plus-sized, Filipino outshine a pretty lady. I say this without offense to anyone, okay?

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Patrick moved like a supermodel! Like, super super model.

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Closest I’ve seen on video, but have yet to experience, that moves like that is Coco Rocha. “This Starrr!” I thought.

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Just look at him go. He gave attention to all the cameras in the room, and that’s not an easy task.

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At one point, he walked by my side of the studio to change shoes. I whispered to him, “Patrick you are absolutely inspiring.” Like, seriously. He said, “Thanks honey, what’s your name again?” I smiled and with a handshake, I replied, “Ritz.”

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A MAC representative from the New York office was part of his team. We got to talk, and she told me Patrick’s story. FYI, he has one of the biggest collaborations with MAC Cosmetics – second to Rhianna. What?! That’s amazing, I thought.

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He started as a make up artist for one of the MAC Cosmetics store in the US.

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Look at that SMIZE! Tyra would be proud.

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And unlike many other stars’ his spirit was that of inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

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They were an amazing duo. Alex is really really funny.

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That shoot was so fun, I’m glad some ladies encouraged me to write this story. I’m remembering everything through these photos, the feeling and all. It was good vibes all around.

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Team Starrr brings so much to the table. Just when I didn’t think I could be any more surprised by this individual, he transforms some more! Like Madonna.

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Grabe, ang inspiring niya talaga. I’m glad I got to tell him that in person.

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BOOM, right?

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SUPER SUPER MODEL – I tell you!

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Shot for Preview Magzine, photos by Ritz Marie.

Pia in New York

I can start this post as “One fine day in New York…” but being with the then reigning Ms. Universe was no walk in the park (though we did find ourselves in Central Park). As Miss Universe, she took work very seriously and every endeavor was met with a sense of sincere professionalism. Seeing her walk the streets of Manila and meeting her in New York City was thrilling. It was something we’d only dream of, and it was happening. Now that her reign has ended, I believe it’s just the beginning of something greater for her. That I truly believe.

If you’re reading this P, know that whatever happens, know, us, your friends will always have your back. Here’s something I wrote that I’d like to share:

One poignant key many fail to grasp is the importance of true friendship. There are many forms people morph into to be called a friend. The heart and mind may be sometimes fooled by the truth of these beings. But it is only when your souls and spirits form an iridescent light that you know true friendship. That kind of light cannot be manipulated nor can it be put to death.

Side note: there was a bride in the park who needed an eyebrow pencil and approached P saying “Looks like you’re the type of person who would have one. You’re beautiful by the way.” Pia gladly rummaged through her bag trying to find an eyebrow pencil saying, “Of course. It’s your special day, you should look your best!” and jokingly said “I could be your make up artist for the day.” Everyone had a laugh.

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Precarious

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Photographer: Rita Marie

Stylist: Chris Lee

Make Up Artist: Ria Aquino

Hair Stylist: Gerald Magtibay

Model: Barbara (Elite Manila)

Page 1-2: Gold moto jacket by Paige, olive green high waist bikini bottom by Con Cordeta

Page 3: Beige trenchcoat by H&M

Page 4: Feathered bodysuit by Twinkle Norte

Page 5-6: Sheer pleated cape top and black turtleneck both by The Showroom

Page 7: Beige trenchcoat by H&M, persimmon bodysuit by The Showroom

Page 8-9: Netted stockings stylist’s own, black bottom by H&M

Shot in Makati City, Philippines