I was never overly shy growing up, but I did get terrible stage fright at the thought of singing by myself to an audience. It was only after joining a children’s choir, music ministries, high school glee club, and a church choir that I started to become more comfortable with public performances. What really helped me break through my fears was my university choir, the UP Concert Chorus. Being a member through my entire college life taught me the discipline and work ethic I still abide by to this day. It also paved the way for other opportunities, and I started doing musical theatre professionally in the last 2 years of school and for a few years after.
In 2007, I was chosen to be part of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers, and I’ve been one-of-seven ever since. We entertain mostly at corporate shows, but also do musical revues, nationalistic productions for tourism junkets, and once staged a rock-opera with a full orchestra. With 3 albums, 2 awards, and 2 nominations under our belt, we celebrated our 10th year in 2017. We’ve been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, London, Berlin, and return regularly to the US.
I also sing for smaller functions like weddings and private parties with a group of UPCC alumni called the Gala Quintet. I’m thrilled to be a part of a newly formed jazz choir with an incredible group of artists in Vocal Lab. On the side, I freelance as a back-up singer and session artist. It’s quite obvious that I prefer singing in groups, but I also accept solo gigs on rare occasions. It’s just that I’m in love with harmonies!
A little bit of a bookworm since childhood, I’ve always had a special bond with the written word. Reading has influenced me into writing my own short stories in my private diaries, but after some time, a few found their way to school newsletters. In 2003, I started blogging, and oh I made so many to compartmentalize topics! It was the friends that I cultivated through those that I found the courage to submit my first article to a local newspaper, and it got published. At university, I studied all the different types of communication, but it is creative writing that I enjoy the most.
I’m a copywriter, editor, proofreader, and social media content writer. I write books with and for people, including both editions of bestselling financial literacy guide, “I Wish They Taught Money in School” and its complement, “Money Grows on Trees.”
I find such joy and fulfillment in creation, making things with my hands. I’ve tried cross-stitching, embroidery, rug hooking, beading, plaster, ornament-making, carpentry, weaving, pottery, papier-mâché, tatting, crocheting, stamp-carving, painting, and food styling; but it’s knitting that I keep coming back to. Self-taught through Youtube, and encouraged by an aunt, I started by following free online patterns, mostly for rectangular-shaped items like phone sleeves. Eventually, I got more comfortable with the craft and started making my own patterns.
My favorite finishing combines knits with cute, printed textile, and adding unique details like buttons and hooks for accents. We have limited variety of yarns here, so I’m still dreaming of getting to try those ultra chunky knits I’ve seen online.
Knitting is a skill and can be learned by anyone, so I hold one-on-one workshops upon request.
I host events big and small, from parties and wedding receptions, to seminars, shows, and pageants. Either it’s from majoring in communication, or I just really like talking… and I have an uncanny ability to fill awkward silences.
People have told me that I have a distinctive look. I used to get offended when I was referred to as “exotic,” but with age comes perspective and acceptance. I represent an alternative to the norm, and artists and entrepreneurs like that I am a canvas that can be molded into what they need me to depict. So long as I am in line with a brand’s mission and principles, I am always a willing subject.
On the far end of the spectrum, I have a second degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I’m a member of the Philippine Association of Speech-Language Pathologists, and currently hold a predominantly pediatric practice. I help children who have difficulty developing speech and language, and advocate early intervention.
Are you a concerned parent? Or just curious about anything regarding speech and language development? Let’s discuss.