Growing up, I was bullied.
My younger sister and I were the only Eurasian kids at a suburban school filled with blonde haired, blue-eyed surfing grommets. Apparently, we looked “funny”. Apparently, we looked “different”.
But while kids sought to throw hurtful words (and the odd tee-ball), scouting agents saw something else. Whenever we travelled with our parents from Sydney to visit my mother’s home city of Manila, Philippines, we were scouted by talent agents in the streets on numerous occasions. Later in life, I would learn that they would approach us because of our looks, but we always shied away from the limelight.
Instead, I focused on a publishing career.
I’ve discussed this in many interviews before – my most recent being published by The Samantha Wills Foundation. After finishing high school, I took up journalism while interning for various magazines. A week after graduating, I was offered the role of editorial coordinator/beauty writer—that was almost 10 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward to present day and, as you know, I’m the proud founder and editor of Gritty Pretty. I’ve grown to not only accept but love my Filipina cultural heritage. I consider myself equal parts Australian and equal parts Filipina, which is why I’m so humbled to have been featured by L’Officiel Manila magazine.
The full interview and editorial – made possible by dream team Christian Blanchard (photographer), Tarra Chong (stylist), Ania Milczarczyk (makeup) and Jess Furlan at Edwards & Co (hair) – can be found in the latest issue.
A big thank you to Pam Quinones and Cindy Go! Maraming salamat po.