On her passions & things that spark joy:

Two things that give me so much joy in this world are Art and Food! They’re both expressions for the senses, and I think that in the very digital world we live in, it’s important to find joy in things that are tangible. Aside from the joy I get from learning about and creating art and culinary dishes, I also get joy from being able to share these with others. So in a way, everyone wins! I also really love animals, sometimes to a fault. Countless times have I tried to sneak stray cats into my home, and countless times has my mom kicked them back out! Animals should be treated with respect and compassion. Not only can they give us invaluable emotional support, but they also serve key roles in maintaining life on this planet.

Her advocacy:

I support the Moreno Morena movement. I’m glad to see that the tide is turning and more and more Filipinos are becoming confident in the naturally tan skin they’re in. Mestizas, chinitas, and morenas are all beautiful, but our country has a history of pushing the darker skinned ones into the shadows and it’s about time they be given the a chance to shine like the bronzed beauties they are.

On self-worth and body image:

Happiness and Health. I believe that the key to finding self worth (when it comes to body image) is the balance between these two important things. I find it necessary to couple expectations with what is physically possible. Whether it means pushing yourself to be better, or being more understanding and patient with yourself – it is important to have a healthy relationship with the skin you’re in. Personally, I wouldn’t consider myself at my healthiest right now… and that’s okay! Even crucial. Admitting where I stand right now and understanding that my body is physically capable of doing more is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. I’m not here to bash on anyone advocating “love-yourself-as-you-are”, but I personally feel most confident when I see a challenge, progress, and growth.

Words she would have like to have heard at the most vulnerable point in her life:

“You have the power to change things”. Everyone has their own unique baggage, so it’s hard to find a sweeping statement that could apply to most of them… but I feel like this one does the trick. Once I read something that touched on the topic of time travel. It said that in movies, the character usually has to be very careful because the slightest change in the past could alter the future. It then went on to ask why people don’t apply that logic to the present. If small changes in the past could have huge impacts on the future, what makes our actions today any less significant? In the lowest point of my life, I wish I could’ve known that I wasn’t powerless and that my choices and actions really could make a difference. Eventually I learned this, but If someone had just told me this back then, I would have saved myself from quite a few troubling years!

On Alba:

Aside from being a totally cute swimsuit brand, they really take the time and effort to push for their advocacy. I can vouch that what they stand for is very heartfelt and genuine. Body inclusivity, especially in the swimsuit industry, is a topic that’s usually far from reach. But not only does Alba deliver it to your screens – they ship it to you in the form of a very well packaged and very fashionable piece. I’m really grateful to be a part of this movement, and have this platform to be able to share what it means to be confident.

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