“I double-major in accountancy and financial management. It’s strange because my highest grades have been in history, humanities, and natural sciences subjects.”
"I'm one-fourth Chinese. My parents said I have some ounce of Spanish blood."
“I’ve always been interested in dressing up, in fashion. I don’t know, but there’s this bone in me that screams fashion. Fashion has always fascinated me. I believe it’s the ultimate way to communicate who you are without having to talk. It’s a creative form – an interesting medium – of self-expression. I’m a very shy person; maybe that’s why I love dressing up – it’s how I better express myself.”
“I like the extremes when it comes to working with groups of people – the children and the elderly. I dream of becoming a part of UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund]. I somehow developed this fondness for children; it’s funny because I used to not like them… I also wish to put up a foundation for the elderly – it came to me when I lost two grandmothers whom I was closest to. They died two months apart during my freshman year. That time was so tragic for me. I was very close to them both it tears me up until now whenever I think about it. ”
What emotion typifies your personality?
“Euphoria. I’m always excited about things, about life. I’m always excited to try new things. There’s always something to look forward to – I’m big on that belief. When you mess up, you end up learning – it’s never a bad life.”
What thing would best represent your perspective in life?
“An anchor. For me it symbolizes faith, hope and love.”
What’s your take on fashion?
“I oppose to wearing something just because it’s the trend. What you wear is supposed to be an expression of your individuality, of your uniqueness, of your weirdness.”
“Dressing up – loosely termed ‘fashion’ – is not something you can directly qualify as profound. But for people who love dressing up, it is. Everyone of us has this thing that makes it all okay, that we find pleasure in, and for me that’s dressing up. I wish UB had a fashion magazine which features students who love dressing up. I would absolutely love to start it. I would like to believe that it can somehow empower them to creatively express themselves.”
“There’s this magic that’s found in dressing up, you know. There’s power in knowing you somehow don’t look like hell, because it changes the way you look at the world, the way you deal with the people around you. They say dressing up is a form of courtesy. I guess that’s true – you get dressed up, you feel more at ease and maybe confident, and then you get along with people better and you get more things done. It just kind of ups your spirit.”
What era or period in fashion appeals most to you?
“I love the classic. I love the old Hollywood glam. I love Coco Chanel – she’s probably the embodiment of classic.”
What's your favorite collection so far?
“I love the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2014 Collection, which was inspired by ancient Sicily, the birthplace of [designer] Domenico Dolce. I particularly adore the combination of floral patterns and gold coins – it’s just stellar; it’s ethereal. It’s elegance, class and nature put together.”
Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne – they’re probably two of the biggest names in fashion today. Do you follow them?
“I love Kendall Jenner’s street style; she’s a street goddess. I love Cara’s personality – she lives her life, she just brushes her shoulders off when people throw nasty things at her, and she speaks her mind. She’s a free spirit. She amazes me. I love them both.”
If you were to go back to one moment in your life and change things, what would that moment be and what part of it would you change?
“I would take a different path after high school – I would go to fashion or modeling school right away.”
Are you planning on pursuing modeling?
“Yeah, maybe after college. I’ve always wanted to be a fashion model.”
Complete the sentence: If I was Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss, I…
“If I was Naomi or Kate, I would influence people in a way that they will be empowered to follow whatever it is that they’re passionate about. I believe following your passion is the first step to how you can impact the world, how you can touch the people around you on a profound level.”
The fashion/modeling industry is a tough, highly competitive, oftentimes cruel field. Do you think you're ready for that?
“It's what I want, so I might as well be ready for what's out there. I guess when you're really deeply passionate about something, you'll go for it no matter what.”
What's your anthem?
“I listen to a lot of jazz music – I totally love Beth Rowley’s You Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger. I also have some soul and alternative tracks on my playlist. But I think it’s Ray LaMontagne’s Without Words that best describes my spirit, and it’s a folk record. There’s that part that says, I can hear the morning birds/Light upon the branches/And each in turn/Sing of all God’s praises/Without words. It puts me to sleep at night. It just hits close to home.”
What do you think is the biggest lesson life has taught you?
“That you shouldn’t think too far ahead. Work on whatever’s happening at the moment; it kind of steals the joy of the moment if you obsess over the future.”
If there’s a lesson you have learned from college, what would that be?
“Find time for yourself – it can save your life. Also, be God-fearing.”
We all hold on to some belief in dealing with life. What is that belief you hold on to?
“Believing in someone is good, believing in yourself is great, believing in God is everything.”
Photo by RENE PASCUA
Interview & Text by RONA LIN