I've never laughed so hard after impersonating our parents’ Filipino accents and mannerisms. We bonded after filming Warm Brew's video for “A1 Day 1” and made plans to meet the following week for brunch at Silverlakes' Cliffs Edge. This incredibly talented and inspiring San Francisco native is the creator of This BeatifuLife as well as a photographer and marketing professional. How does one juggle all of this without passing out from exhaustion? I want to say, copious amounts of lattes – you can find photos posted on her Instagram. She's always on the go and meticulously planning what she's going to do next. Ambitious? Hell yea! There are very few people that you run into who is a master of all of their traits. Keep her on your radar because she's going to take over.
What is the story behind This BeautifuLife? "My site began as a portfolio site for my visual work but when I made the decision to take blogging seriously, This BeautifuLife was born. I wanted to keep the name pretty all-encompassing so that I could post about all things I enjoy such as art, style, travel, food, photography, and so forth without limiting myself to one or two topics. Even though I've read many articles that say the most successful blogs are the blogs that focus on one thing, I figure the types of people who would end up following my blog anyway, whom I know will enjoy my content, are just like me: interested in multiple things, scatterbrained at times, have a mild to severe case of ADD, etc. This BeautifuLife is the place for all of us to convene and be inspired together, in all our scatterbrained glory."
What message do you want to convey to your readers with your lifestyle blog? "That it's okay to be moved by multiple things, and it's important to live inspired; to think, feel, and live alive, no matter where we are, no matter when we are."
You started as a photographer but when and why did you decide to be in front of the lens? "Funny you should ask that. I actually didn't start as a photographer, I started off in front of the camera, back in those good ol' Myspace days. I actually even hosted a TV show on a popular Asian channel for a season. But shortly after I began working with photographers I realized I was just as interested in their craft, if not more so, than being in front of the camera. So I picked up a point-and-shoot and started playing around. I then began to develop equal parts in front of and behind the camera. It wasn't until about a year or two before I moved to Los Angeles that I found the bigger part of me wanted to be behind the scenes, because I have always loved being able to tell and capture stories with a camera. For years I honed that in, with a few sporadic (and rare) bits in front of the camera. But when I decided to take blogging seriously, I knew it was time for me to get back in front of the camera, because I'd essentially have to brand myself all over again. So here I am, playing both sides. I really don't think I was ever meant to do one thing. Is anyone, really?"
What do you naturally gravitate towards shooting? "Portraits and body studies. I love a great face shot, and I love body parts. I've also been really into a lot of motion lately, capturing fleeting moments in passing. But at some point in my life I really want to get into wildlife photography as a very serious hobby. I love animals, love the outdoors, and I really love the animal activist work that seems to go hand in hand with being a wildlife photographer."
Among the modern artists, is there someone who really inspires you? "Charmaine Olivia is an incredible talent and someone whom I've had the pleasure of shooting in the past. Her style of painting is very close to what I see as my ideal aesthetic when I look at art. The music by my friends at Soulection also always keeps me in the right mindset when I need to focus or zone out. Zaha Hadid is also a serious badass. Her work is incredible."
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why? "Dead: Michael Jackson or Aaliyah. Do I really need to say why? Alive: Probably Justin Timberlake. In my opinion he's one of the closest things we have to a young living legend. And no, I'm not biased by how sexy he is."
How important is it to you to maintain a constant dialogue through the interaction with your readers and newsletter subscribers? "Paramount. I constantly remind them of that as well. I think some people really enjoy being unreachable to a certain degree, which I can totally understand, because I believe there should always be a point where personal life is kept personal and separate. But I also understand that my interaction with my readers is the only thing that will keep them coming back (regardless of 'cool content') so I like to make sure they know that I love hearing from them, and I encourage it."
What has been your biggest achievement after creating This BeautifuLife? "Does it have to be relevant to the blog? I've actually really, really dialed in on my relationships with my immediate family and loved ones in the past couple months. I spend more time with them now than I ever have, and it makes them really happy. That's something I'm very proud of."
What is your current state of mind? "Effulgent."
What quote do you live by? "Can I do three? They're the three I have tattooed so I carry them with me everywhere: 'Passion will make you crazy, but is there any other way to live?' by Howard Hughes; 'Let the beauty we love be what we do.' by Rumi; 'The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...' by Jack Kerouac)."
What are you currently reading? "Lately all I've been reading are articles on things like marketing strategies, interior design, architecture, and 3D printing. I need to grab another book asap. Two books that I highly recommend though are Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, this book refined my entire perspective on life and love; and Power Forward by Reggie Love, this one made me love Obama even more, and was a really easy, lighthearted, fun, and inspirational read."
What song is on repeat on your playlist? "I have an entire playlist on repeat, but Maxwell's "Ascension" is my usual go-to to start it off."
What is your spirit animal? "I was actually just discussing this with my friend! I'm a combination of several things: a turtle-pig-lemur-pinkyandthebrain-dragon. A turtlepiglemuratdragon?"
If you could teleport, where would you go? "To a different planet."
Which planet? "Probably Kepler 438B because it's the most similar to earth. Baby steps. It's also the most promising for alien life right now. I've literally cried from the thought of not ever being able to meet an alien in this lifetime."
What would your last meal entail? "So much steak. And crab. And a Sunfire sushi roll. And ramen."
What makes you bored? "Spreadsheets. People who are really full of themselves. Close-minded people. Working for someone else's dream."
What is something that you could never give up? "Steak. And sex."
If you won the lottery what is they first thing you would buy? "A money making machine off the black market. Just kidding. First thing I would do, invest. First thing I would buy…probably a vacation home for my family to share."
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