I’ve always believed that the easiest way to tell your story is through the things that you love. For me, that usually means through song and dance. But sometimes, it’s through style – Disney Style to be exact.
Best day ever!
If you’re just tuning in now, I created a blog series called #DisneyPrinsesa where I reimagine my favorite Princesses into versions of them that are a little closer to home – as Filipinas. Last year I did Disney Princess inspired looks for Philippine Independence Day. This year for my birthday, I worked with their actual costumes.
But for the final installment of this series, I saved my favorite look for last – Continue reading
Part II of my #DisneyPrinsesa series is here!
As part of my birthday month celebration, I took my original idea last year of making Princess inspired looks out of Philippine fabrics and design elements, and decided to up my game a bit by making Filipina versions of their actual live action costumes instead.
I picked out my 3 favorite Princesses for this, and started off with my childhood heroine Belle (which you can read here).
Next up on this blog series is –
What would a Filipina Disney Princess look like?
On Philippine Independence Day last year, I wrote a blog about finding inspiration and hope in the Disney Princesses despite never quite finding one that looked like me growing up. Though the qualities and morals of each Princess have helped shaped me into the person I am today, and though I strongly believe that we are all the same where it matters, I wanted to bring my love for Disney and my love for my country together.
So I decided to start #DisneyPrinsesa – a campaign to promote Philippine culture by showcasing local textiles and design elements through what I know best – Disney Style.
Weeks were spent planning, sketching, gathering materials, and sewing eight different ensembles (and even Mickey ears) to come up with the Disney Prinsesa lookbook I would have loved to see as a young girl. And finally being able to see it all come together was definitely a dream come true for my Filipina heart.
But as a little birthday celebration this year, I wanted to take #Prinsesa one step further. Instead of Princess inspired looks, I wanted to work with the actual costumes of my favorite Princesses, and come up with Filipina versions of each of them.
So before my birthday month ends, I am sharing 3 blogs – one for each of the Princesses who have most influenced my childhood, and guided me in adulthood.
And I am starting this series off with –
Growing up as a young Filipina, there was not a single Disney Princess that looked like me.
But I always found something I could relate to in each of them – qualities, morals, and values that I could find myself in even with my brown skin. Disney always made me feel like a Princess not because I looked like one, but because I was taught to dream like one. And though Disney always got the inside covered, I have always wondered about the outside – what would a Filipina Disney Princess look like?
Today we celebrate Philippine Independence Day. And I’ve decided to answer this question by combining what I’ve related to most in these beautiful characters with both Disney Princesses’ and Filipino style.
No, not my biological kids. (I mean, look at them they’re all teenagers, and there are 24 of them lol) But you know, they may as well be my real kids for how much I love them.
I haven’t been a teacher for very long. I’ve taught before, but not like this. Not in this life-changing, soul-changing, heart-changing way.
Some of these kids have been with me for almost two years, some barely one. But in my heart I’ve known them longer. Because I’ve gotten to know them through a very special way: music. I have been given the beautiful opportunity to see them grow into both incredible performers, and wonderful people.
It’s International Women’s Day!
And after watching the Academy Awards, and well, all that’s been happening with the world lately, I remembered this little piece I wrote for Portkey Events when we first started. Two years later, and this is still exactly what I want to say. Here’s to every woman in the world. Be strong. Be you.
Hermione wasn’t bossy. She was strong, and smart, and unafraid to stand up for what was right. Luna wasn’t weird. She was insightful, and loving, and brave. Ginny wasn’t weak. She was fearless, and clever, and kind.
These were the women we looked up to growing up. These were the women who taught us that being a woman does not, and should never limit you to what society dictates. A woman can be strong without being bossy, a woman can be quiet and insightful without being weird, a woman can be kind without being weak, and a woman can be herself without being less than a man.
As a little girl, I grew up thinking that I was a Princess. Not because I had everything, but because my parents always taught me to believe that I could be anything. And because I was a typical little girl, what I wanted to be was a Disney Princess. Eventually, I wanted to be a Gryffindor. Then a Rivendell Elf. Then a Rebel Pilot. And with every book I picked up and every movie I watched, I wanted to be something different. And through those stories, I did exactly what my parents said I could do. I went on grand adventures, and I became everything that I wanted to be.
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney
Almost a year ago now, I posted this video and this message:
6 years ago, a series of unfortunate events made me turn away from anything that had to do with my voice. If someone had asked me to post a video of my singing a year ago, I would have laughed in their face. In fact, if someone had told me to do this workshop a year ago, I would have run away.
But with the help of extremely patient and supportive friends, generous duet partners, voice teachers who allowed me to find my voice in my own time, and a family whose love for me never wavered, I am slowly beginning to embrace that side of me again. Needless to say, the stress, anxiety, and fear of letting people hear my voice still lingers, and man do I have a long way to go still, but I’ve at least taken the first steps forward. Small steps, but steps forward nonetheless. So that’s something.