My mom loves sharing this certain story of me as a full-banged 3 year old, flying off to America with my cousins without them, hugging them tight at the airport and never looking back as I walked away. I can’t help but smile the biggest grin when I try to paint that picture in my head, courage in my bones from the very beginning.
I grew up and spent my girlhood days under the yearround summery heat of Manila, always a different character everyday, life full of innocent wonder and color and inspiration. As if by nature, I start to sing and dance, write poetry and draw portraits, taking (silly) photographs shortly after by age seven using my mom’s Olympus analogue point and shoot. At first there were no creative ideas — just me and my reflexes to capture as much moments in stills, and that went on for many years. It was all child’s play, the world my playground and at the tip of my fingertips, words and photographs and rhythms as my instruments.
A lot of other different passions went and left. Once upon a time I thought all I wanted to become was a mother, and then an on-screen actress (just because as a child I thought it’d be nice to always be pretty) but then I became a teenager and stopped dreaming for a while. Those days were of blurred nighttimes, belly aches from laughing with my friends and falling in love with a boy, documenting almost everything with my phone and lomography cameras I worked hard saving up for whenever I can afford to buy rolls of film. Before graduating from high school, I got into fashion styling and assisted in a handful local photoshoots and events, deciding to pursue fashion merchandising when I got into college at Meridian International. One month in and I find myself shifting to theatre arts, deeply intrigued by my ability to transform into bygone, make-believe characters in that alternate Universe. I was obsessed with my professor’s words: theatre is all about ‘the insatiable thirst for the human experience’. This was to be my first and last year as a college student.
In time, I just knew in my heart it was time to go back to my own world. Confused and uninspired, I decided to leave the walls of formal college and started on the path to my today.
For over two years, all I did was create stories. That’s all I knew how to do anyway. Eternally inspired by culture and creation, my mind would whirl with colors and concepts for photographs, and then as I’d head out into the world with a camera gripped in my hands, in my heart are words and worlds that I later scroll onto paper. I told my journal in secret: one day you would travel the world and document all the beauty you find. That is still the goal.
As a freelance photographer, I’d take on fashion and food assignment mostly whilst being one half the two-girl team of a birth documentation company called Benigne Studios. On the side I helped co-run a beautiful otherworldly gallery & restaurant down south rightly named Artists Haven and spent many hours working on personal creative projects among many other things. To me,I have always been my own biggest project. Striving for growth & goodness everyday and making my life my greatest masterpiece.
Things change halfway through 2015. Nineteen and a fierce dreamer as always, there was an inner fire to do more purposeful work — to touch other people’s lives beyond my photographs and writing. I stopped accepting work towards the end of the year, letting photos and poetry take the backseat in my life so I can focus most of my time, love and energy in building a community-centered business I’ve decided to call Eden & June.
Everything is still in the works and it’s been a crazy amazing, humbling and exhilarating journey so far for me. I’ve never tapped on my creativity, thought-process, core values and purpose as well as my intuition as much as I have in the past eight months, and really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Starting small with The Raw Table gatherings monthly, I can already tell Eden & June is going to be magic. Even better, it’s all for you. So please keep in touch? I promise to bring you updates once they’re ready. And I’m telling you now, soon is soon and you have to brace yourself for it.
I’m not here anymore as often as I want to but this tiny space stays as my online journal, my open heart to the world where I share photographs, films and writings from my creative journey and little, blessed adventures on this Earth as a human (really) being.
There’s more to my life than I can write on a single About page, so peek into my journal for what’s really real. You might have other questions in your head that I was able to answer in a FAQ page, but if you have any more curiosities or just want to say hello, shoot me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org