Page 1

JANUA RY - FEBRUA RY 2018

ERICH GONZALES

brand new

S CO U T M AG . P H

Scout 30 Cover.indd 1

FREE MA GAZINE!

I S S U E NO . 3 0

23/01/2018 5:43 PM


Scout 30 Cover.indd 2 Untitled-1 1

23/01/2018 5:13 5:43 PM 10/01/2018


04

32 48 26

JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2018

IN THIS ISSUE 04 Joee and I ON THE COVER Erich wears Randolf Clothing from the Tokyo Fashion Week collection Photography by Regine David Styling by Jed Gregorio Makeup by Justine del Rosario Hair by Iwa Ajinomoto Shot at Minotti Manila Special thanks to Tipping Point Collective

Getting to know more about the avant-pop project of Joee Mejias

08 Darling Kink Artist Kay Aranzaso speaks up on her empowered, erotic art

12 Jenni Contreras How sex is central to the creations of this young and upcoming designer

16 2018 Chill Guide A satirical guide to having “good vibes only” this year

Scout 30.indd 1

20 Rebel Women Profiles on four women going against the norms while set on their own path

26 Beautiful Mess ‘Lolita’ and subtly messed up makeup inspire this beauty ed

42 Riot! Commemorating iconic strikes across history through fashion

48 Sleeping Boy Collective A look into the authentic, do-ityourself attitude of this group

32 Zines An immersion to figure out the power of small press publishing

34 Erich Gonzales The Siargao actress is dead set on finding her own lane

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


what are you leaving in 2017? @lexcereal

“What @denibeans  said.”

“The desire for a romantic relationship.”

@denibeans

@graceyyd

“Toxicity.”

“Materialism. 2018 is going to be the year of decluttering.”

@deerwho

W W W . S C O U T M A G . P H

group publisher bea j. ledesma editor in chief lex celera creative director nimu muallam associate editor denise fernandez senior graphic artist grace de luna editorial assistant celene sakurako copy editor patricia romualdez contributing writers rissa coronel, september grace mahino, pola beronilla, andrea v. tubig, carl cervantes contributing photographers cenon norial iii, edward joson, jp talapian, regine david, patrick segovia, shaira luna, eric bico contributing stylists quayn pedroso, jed gregorio, mav bernardo contributing videographer mv isip contributing hair & makeup artists janica balasolla, joseph jiao, slo lopez, gretchen gatan, marj maroket, iwa ajinomoto, justine del rosario interns bea amador, jessa marie barbosa,

Scout 30.indd 2

prai bonzon, aisha causing, isabel drilon, bea javate, gian latorre, rico reyes, pauline roy, jp sanchez board chairperson alexandra prieto-romualdez chief investment officer, inquirer group of companies j. ferdinand de luzuriaga deputy chief finance officer, inquirer group of companies atty. rudyard arbolado vp/group hr head raymund soberano vp & chief strategy officer imelda c. alcantara senior hr manager ma. leonisa l. gabrieles hr specialist reynalyn s. fernandez executive assistant/ editorial content planner jullia pecayo head of operations and business development lurisa ann villanueva svp & group sales head, inquirer group of companies felipe r. olarte avp for sales ma. katrina garcia-dalusong key account supervisor angelita tan-ibañez senior account executives thea ordiales, charm banzuelo account executives andie zuniga, mikaela alcause, kyle cayabyab, xenia sebial

sales support assistant rechelle nicdao sales coordinator karen aliasas, chloe cartoneros marketing and events manager jellic tapia events supervisor bianca dalumpines brand marketing supervisor ina rodriguez brand marketing assistant nicole uson marketing assistant carmina anunciacion senior marketing graphic artist roi de castro marketing graphic artist janina david production & distribution manager jan cariquitan production assistant maricel gavino final art supervisor dennis cruz final art assistant argyl leones distribution specialist arnulfo naron distribution assistant angela carlos-quiambao subscription assistant blue infante marketing trade assistant patricia florido liason associate rosito subang

@scoutmagph For general inquiries, email us at scoutmagph@gmail.com

4F Media Resource Plaza, Mola cor. Pasong Tirad Sts., Brgy. La Paz Makati City

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


Editor’s Note

A

ll my life I’ve considered myself an outsider, which I mean to say: I’ve found myself floating in between archetypal social groups in high school. I couldn’t find myself relating to any character from Friends, or any Hogwarts house, or any pop culture fandom devotion for that matter; I envied anyone with a strong sense of identity. Attaching yourself to an archetype meant you had a strong sense of self­—meaning you had things figured out, meaning things were easier. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a barkada but that I found that many friendships were out of circumstance rather than genuine interest. Being labeled as a so-and-so meant that you would draw friends of the same crowd, and for someone who moved around a lot in my youth, it meant drawing no one and everyone. I equated the value of knowing myself with the desire to belong. I found belonging a little bit later, in a way. I was born in the last days of dial-up internet connection, followed by the years of flash games, clunky MMORPGs, and pre-Facebook social media websites: Yahoo! Messenger, Newgrounds.com, Friendster, and numerous other websites that I’m too embarrassed to mention. The idea of being able to immediately talk to complete strangers through my fingertips felt exhilarating at the time, and it was there that I found friends, some of whom I’ve met in real life. As time went on, these connections grew larger and more “professional” in scale, which meant communities through the internet were slowly being built. Internet culture became a thing. Memes became a language. Now, more than ever, the internet has been a big part of our lives, to the point that life online and “real life” are one and the same. It’s interesting to consider the dynamics at play between IRL and online. I encountered the haunting, fantastic music of Joee and I (p.4), whom I profiled for this issue, through the internet. We captured various forms of tension and imagine them through ways of dress, and headed out to learn more about movements and communities that operate both online and in real life. Were things really simpler back in my younger days or am I just getting older (probably more cynical, wiser)? I still don’t have the answer. But while working on this Rebel Issue, here’s what I learned: 1) You do you. Fuck anyone who pressures you to fit a mold, 2) Too much comfort is stifling. Leaving your comfort zone gives room for growth, and 3) Going against the systems at work and aiming for change may seem glamorous and feel cathartic, but for some it’s necessary. It’s no accident that most of the stories we have in this issue are stories on women. 2017 was a big year for SCOUT, and 2018... let’s just say this year is going to be different. But you’ve probably figured that out by now.

Lex Celera Editor in Chief

Scout 30.indd 3

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


4

MUSIC

joee and i We converse with Joee Mejias on JOEE AND I, her musical project more than a decade in the making, and why she’s not a Björk copy. By Lex Celera Photography by Edward Joson

WHEN JOEE MEJIAS isn’t teaching production design at the College of St. Benilde, doing some projection mapping for clients, or collaborating with cohorts on projects like new media festival WSK or art platform HERESY—she’s a coproducer for both—she makes music as Joee and I. It isn’t her alter ego, or an evil twin, or a better half. According to her, it’s a totally different person. It’s hard to explain Joee and I’s music in the simplest terms. Even the genre that her music is in, “avant-pop,” fails, because what is the first reference that comes to your head when you hear the word “avantpop”? If it’s Björk, then that’s no bueno, because Björk is not Joee and I and Joee and I is not Björk. Joee and I isn’t an attempt to sound like Björk, or any other artist for that matter. “Her music is otherworldly and pure, but it has a tendency to challenge your listening sensibilities in a weirdly entertaining way,” says Ian Urrutia of The Rest Is Noise PH. What makes Joee and I stick as a musical project boils down to how fully fleshed out her vision is. Videos of her performances from her personal YouTube channel convey the feeling that a new world is unfolding before your very eyes. The use of music, production design, and a little bit of theater help weave together the world of Joee and I.

Scout 30.indd 4

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


MUSIC

5

HA.MU top, facebook.com/ hamustudios

Scout 30.indd 5

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


6

MUSIC

What’s the story of “To the End Of the World”? The album is about a journey of finding something, going to places but you don’t really know where it is. There is a start and an end, but the end is more of an acceptance of the whole cycle. When you perform, it’s more of an audiovisual performance. How much of it is you? Do you produce everything by yourself, or are there collaborators? Collaborators are very important to me. Like Jeona Zoleta, she’s a visual artist, so sasabihin ko sa kanya ’yung story, tapos I let her make something. Kunyari “Jeona, I want islands floating” then she’ll come up with her own version of islands. Ganoon siya. And for projection, I get Mvltiverse, or sometimes it’s my projections, and I ask someone to play it. Pati ’yung banda ko, they’re not regulars. Energy is important for me. ’Cause most of the time, my shows are improvised. Minsan lang kami magrehearse, parang the day itself lang. So parang this is the song, and my songs are repetitive, so sinasakyan nila ’yung structure. I build the structure and they just do whatever they want with it. Conventions in the realm of art have been broken, rebuilt, and broken again and again. To intentionally be different in an effort to say something new isn’t really saying much. That said, the appeal of Joee and I’s music lies not in the fact that it’s not just different from what we usually hear on the radio, Spotify’s Discover Weekly, or YouTube’s recommendations (depending on what you’re initially watching, really), but in how it is different. The music of Joee and I is effortlessly unique—a testament not only of Joee’s artistic background in music and theater but also to a clear reflection of her personal passions. How would you describe the sound you want to achieve? I think it’s more of a collage. Usually I start with a sound, because I record sounds. Like field recordings? Yeah, field recordings. Sometimes it starts from there, field recordings that I’m playing with a kalimba, or whatever instrument I pick up whenever I travel. Or I record my friends, and they have riffs that I like. And then I would put them together,

so it’s more of a collage of sounds and storytelling. It’s really on the spot when I write it. That’s the sound I’m looking for that has that story I’m trying to tell, and most especially with the sounds I collect. Then I connect them to something manufactured like electronic beats. I really wanted the song to depend on the story I want to share. If it’s a dream, it’s that feeling of being in a dream. Or sometimes I want this song to remind me of this place, and the things that I wrote there. Do you intentionally choose instruments that are uncommon? Especially instruments like the kulintang? ’Yung kulintang I used it for this song called Kidnap. Yeah, it is intentional. When I go to a place, like the palengke, tapos maghanap ako ng instruments nila like bells, and then I would record it and place it on the song. So pwedeng after ko siya i-pla-place. Parang i-record ko lang siya kahit ano, tapos after gagawin ko siyang kanta. Or the other way around. Parang ito na ’yung structure… ay, gusto ko ng ano dito, ng kulintang. It’s more of the sound that I’m after. But for the kulintang it’s a special case. I want that… Wala kasi tayo ’nun eh! Yeah. Hindi siya nabibili sa mall. Yeah! Our contemporary music is still very Western. Because with our popular music that’s always been our tradition: to follow the West. And you want to go against that? The closest we have is Grace Nono. How do I explain it? It’s not like in Indonesia where the gamelan is used in every genre. May gamit ’yung tradition nila. Or like in South America, even their modern rap, or pop. Meron siyang fusion ng tunog nila. In the Philippines, we have that sound but it’s very Western. I kinda want to incorporate some of that sound that’s coming from here pero in a way na parang ’di siya masyadong thematic. “To the End of the World” was released February this year, but it is far from done. Some of the songs from the album had been performed years prior, and in some way, are accumulations of her past work dating back from when she started making beats in 2005. Joee’s experimentation with sound is structured and focused in Joee and I, but “To the End of the World” is not the

tipping point but a huge addition to an evolution in sound more than a decade in the making. Whether the music sounds haunting (White) or bizarrely entertaining (Teknobalat) or soothing (Pebble Beach), in the heart of Joee and I’s music is a knack for storytelling brought by an earnest desire to connect with an audience: an open invitation to be transported to a place that’s familiar but foreign at the same time. It’s a gust of whimsy piercing through you, a dream unfolding right before your very eyes. Listen attentively and you will be rewarded. Keep it in the background and you will be soothed. What do you want your audience to feel when they “witness” your music? I don’t care if they say, “Oh, I really liked your track.” I’m not after that. It’s more of… you know, magkukwento sila tungkol sa panaginip nila. When they can relate. Ganoon. Sa Angeles nag-play ako randomly in this art place. You know there’s the local crazy guy, an old man. ’Yung biglang sasayaw. That’s the best. Some of the people who watched would come up and say, “Oh you know I remember something, I lucid-dreamed.” And they would tell me about their dreams. And they’d say they went to another place. Lalo na ’yung mga ’di taga-Maynila. Sasabihin nila na, “Grabe lipad ako!” Parang nakapunta sila sa ibang lugar. That’s the best. When they remember something from their past, their childhood. You mentioned that you wanted to add a couple more tracks or you want to change some other tracks in your current project. How do you know if a song is done? Oh, that’s hard. That’s really the hardest. Do you think your songs are ever finished? It really takes some time to develop a song so what I do is pag may gig ako tapos meron akong medyo bagong hilaw na tunog, ipipilit ko siya. And then, pag na-per-perform ko na siya, start na ’yun. That’s the start of the development of the song. And it should end in the studio, right? It doesn’t. n

Styling by Quayn Pedroso Makeup by Janica Balasolla

Scout 30.indd 6

23/01/2018 5:33 PM


MUSIC

7

HA.MU jacket, facebook.com/ hamustudios; SALAD DAY pants, mizandmoxie.com

Scout 30.indd 7

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


8

PORTFOLIO

@DARLINGKINK puts into art what people are too ashamed to talk about. By Denise Fernandez IT’S NO SECRET that we still live in a highly conservative country, despite some progress opening discussions on social media. Sex remains taboo. Women are shamed for masturbating and enjoying sex. Open discussions on sex positivity are few, and honest talks on kinks, fantasies, and fetishes are much rarer. It is also no secret that under the guise of privacy through exclusive chat groups and anonymous social media accounts do conversations about sex happen. But slowly, surely, educational sex talk is pushing outward to wider circles and larger platforms through the help of a few who dare make the supposedly profane more visible. We talk to Kay Aranzaso, better known as Darling Kink on Instagram, about her explorations of sexual erotic pleasure through art. Kay is one of the few female artists who openly illustrate sexuality and eroticism in all its raw, dirty, and beautiful glory. The rough lines and shading so heavily apparent in her art style parallel sex in its natural state—none of the romanticized, reserved portrayals of eroticism that the public is so used to seeing on mainstream media. Her imagery is fearless, with art of intimate scenarios ranging from BDSM to female masturbation. It was actually only in 2015 when Kay started focusing on erotica. But even before her illustrations started going viral on the internet, she had always been fascinated with the female form, creating art of various fictional women

Scout 30.indd 8

she greatly admired, such as the girls of Sailor Moon and Lara Croft of Tomb Raider. Kay then moved on to pin-up art when she was in college, and much later, children’s illustrations. Her Darling Kink persona has become an extension of herself as a female artist, functioning as an outlet to express her emotions, fantasies, and desires. “I realized when I started putting it out there, I felt stronger and more secure as an artist, and that my desire to produce such content has always been there. Erotica felt so organic to me, and it gave me the power to confront all forms of repression I felt as a Filipina living in a Christian country,” she says. Based on what we see and hear on national television and radio, the lack of sex education in our schools, and the deeply rooted conservative Christian values we have in the country, perspectives on sex are limited by who’s leading the discussion: conservative, misinformed, and male. Through her perspective, Kay interrogates and upends our conservative values by throwing it all out for everyone to see. Her art doesn’t just raise questions, instead they answer questions raised by girls on the cusp of growing up: Is there anything more to sex than just satisfying men? Can I, a woman, have fun too? The faces of the women in her art say yes. Given the wide spectrum of sex, Kay mentions that she can only represent one perspective out of the multiple

in existence. “Mostly, I pull from personal experiences, but sexuality as I represent it is raw, highly charged, and bold—not something that one should be ashamed of and hide. I would always talk about genuine representations of gender and sexuality in forums since I can only represent one perspective, and that is of a cisgender female. That is not to say I’m not open to drawing other perspectives, just that there is a lot of room to misrepresent something that I do not know or represent,” Kay says. “My art talks about very specific dynamics such as heterosexual relationships, hookup culture in the time of Tinder, my positioning as a middle class “liberated” woman, etc. I view my ability to be able to express these things as a luxury because many women are not afforded spaces to express themselves freely. Many artists talk about these things in diverse ways, and it’s a good sign that it’s a burgeoning topic locally.” “We haven’t changed a bit,” Kay says regarding the country’s position on sex. Regardless, it is with the help of artists like Kay that society is taking its slow but sure steps into a more progressive and equally representative mindset approaching topics such as sex, female pleasure, eroticism, and all the raw and tender bits in between. The road to openness may be long, but perhaps people aren’t as hopeless as they seem. n

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


PORTFOLIO

9

“Sometimes, don’t you feel like you never really has a love that’s real?” 2017

“Like a Prayer” 2017

Woman on Top, 2017

Scout 30.indd 9

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


in control

10 ADVERTORIAL

We get up close and personal with the popstar who’s changing direction this year, starting with her new single.

Scout 30.indd 10

STYLIST’S ASSISTANTS Floresse Trinidad and Gian Latorre MAKEUP Kaye Misajon HAIR Rhoy Cervantes

Photography by Patrick Diokno Styling by Florian Trinidad

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


ADVERTORIAL 11

JULIE ANNE San Jose is far from invisible. She has been in the spotlight for more than a decade, and her image as an actress-singer-model triple threat is an apparent natural growth from her Popstar Kids days. Time and time again she’s managed to stay in the radar. Is it because of personal reinvention? Or is it simply someone trying to abide with the changing times? We get up close and personal with her and here’s what we found out: a mix of both, and more. She’s hard to miss in the crowd, and that’s coming from observation: for her shoot with SCOUT, we headed to the busy street of Escolta and its winding intersections, busybodies and keen passers-through included. One could easily tell that this—working outside the confines of an air conditioned studio, and looking good doing it—is nothing new for the pop star. She carries the finesse of someone who’s experienced enough to do a shoot in the midday sun without breaking a sweat. But she’s not superhuman, and she rests with the rest of the team when there’s time to kick back and relax.

She’s wearing track pants, hoop earrings, and a crisp pair of white Chuck Taylors. “One time I painted on them or wrote on them,” she says when asked if she’s done anything to style hersneakers. “The very first pair of white Chucks that I bought, when they got old, I wrote on them. “ “Nothing Left” is her recent single slated for release on Jan. 22 under her new label, Universal Records, and it sounds raw, strong, and just the perfect amount of rebellious. “This is long overdue/I’m moving on from you,” she sings with her signature soaring vocals. This isn’t vengeance, this is redemption, and starting the year off with this track sends her to a high note. Stepping away from a toxic relationship is an experience shared by many, but Julie Anne takes a different route: there may be nothing left between her and her paramour, but she has resolve to find herself in the wreckage. She takes control. Recently, Converse has bolstered its presence in pop culture with the help of cultural figures and niche power players, but also people who are anchored in pop culture in a very authentic way, and Julie Anne is an ideal addition. Whether she’s speaking her mind with her songs or maintaining composure with her gracefully unapologetic demeanor, she’s one to look up to this 2018. n

Scout 30.indd 11

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


w w w w w w w

12 FASHION

w w w w w Scout 30.indd 12

23/01/2018 5:34 PM


what’s what’s what’s what’s what’s what’s what’s

your your your your your your your

problem? problem? problem? problem? problem? problem? problem? FASHION 13

Sex is nothing but a word for fashion designer JENNI CONTRERAS.

what’s what’s what’s what’s what’s Scout 30.indd 13

By Celene Sakurako Photography by JP Talapian

your your your your your

problem? problem? problem? problem? problem? 23/01/2018 5:35 PM


14 FASHION

SEX. FUCK. VAGINA. These words effortlessly flow from the lips of Lagunaborn Pr()blem Studios fashion designer Jenni Contreras, as she explains the meaning behind the blatantly graphic words slapped all over her 30-piece debut solo collection. “They’re words that people here in the Philippines [think of as] a disease or something, when they’re actually natural and one of the many beautiful things in the world,” she asserts. Unabashedly aware of the provocative nature of her self-expressive designs, Jenni reveals that her clothing isn’t a direct reflection of her personality. Behind the loud colors, bold prints, luscious frills, exaggerated shapes, and multi-layered seams is another budding designer who’s waiting to come out of her shell. She admits, “To say that I am sure of who I am as a designer—no, I think not. I’m still at that stage of trying a lot of things. It’s still a work in progress. Ang hirap kasi my clothes are really loud, but I’m actually pretty shy. Did you know that at parties, I have to get drunk to socialize because I can’t socialize when I’m sober?” Her collection, “Problem Child,” was inspired by Romina Ressia, Fly Art Productions, Cecilia Azcarate memes, and Stanley Kubrick. She stitched the pieces over three consecutive weekends while juggling a 9-to-5 job, eventually winning herself a ticket to Tokyo courtesy of the Bench Design Awards 2017. The 24-year-old’s designs were shown on the runway of last year’s Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo. Now that she’s ditched her day job and taken on Pr()blem Studios full-time, she dives into the world of fashion head on. Where did the name “Pr()blem Studios” come from? It’s actually supposed to be “Problem Child,” but I checked and there were already two brands named “Problem Child” and friend ko pa ’yung isa. So, I took the “problem,” added “studios,” and made the “O” look like a vagina. Everyone thought it was an open and close parenthesis because I’m open to collaborations. Well, pwede rin, but it’s meant to be a vagina. So you named your “Problem Child” instead?

collection

Yeah. “Problem Child” because I think that everyone, at one point, was a problem child or wants to be one. Like, “Fuck it, I’m going to do whatever the hell I want!”

Scout 30.indd 14

23/01/2018 5:35 PM


FASHION 15

So, were as well?

you

a

“problem

child”

Nung college ako sa [De La SalleCollege of St. Benilde], lagi akong late sa classes ko. I exceeded the allowable absences. I didn’t even know how I fucking survived, and I was a scholar too. You can ask any of my professors. I skipped classes. I was always late. My plates were mediocre. Nagseryoso lang talaga ako nung fourth year na. Sa grad show na lang. My collection then was kind of like my collection now: Renaissance. Renaissance x Punk, specifically. The concept was; what if Anne Boleyn was living during the ’80s?

Anne Boleyn?

I watched a movie called The Other Boleyn Girl and became obsessed with Anne Boleyn. I’m very fascinated with her. She’s such a badass. She was notorious. She was one of the wives of King Henry VIII. And she was sort of like a fashion figure during that time because she had a different way of wearing her clothes.

Is that “notorious” or “rebellious” nature something you instill in Pr()blem Studios?

I guess it’s part of the DNA of the brand, but I’m not trying to be rebellious. It’s more a reflection of how I grew up, who I am as a person. It’s a reflection of me, so I think it just comes naturally.

Scout 30.indd 15

How so?

Well, my parents are liberated. When I lost my virginity, my dad was the first one to know. He’s like my best friend; I tell him everything. On our way to church, I told him that I lost my virginity. I was 16. My parents talked to me about sex at an early age. I have a gay brother and a bi younger sister, so parang my family’s kind of very open. We talk about sex, we talk about that shit. I mean, alam nila sex life ko. It’s natural kasi it’s not an issue sa family ko. We weren’t afraid of saying things sa parents ko, that’s maybe why we grew up like this—very open to people, walang limitations.

What can you say about people who might find your designs offensive?

I don’t really blame them because it’s a common reaction. As long as they don’t condemn me or shove their beliefs down my throat. I’m not shoving mine sa faces nila. Parang, “You’re such a bad person because you’re doing this sa clothes mo.” Just as long as they don’t do that. It’s kind of a mutual respect thing. I respect your views, you respect mine, we’re all good.

Ang hirap kasi dito eh, sa Philippines. Kasi no one’s going to buy my clothes here. Let’s be honest. Siguro some, but it’s just a small market. But fashion is and always will be a business first and dito sa Philippines ang hirap. I want it to be a global thing. Eventually, I want to expand more. I don’t think my brand and my clothes are for here. I’m making an online store, a website for my clothes. It’s not going to be launched yet. Pero I’m also looking to sell these particularly in Japan. Is that so?

Yeah. I would want to make clothes for here, but not for this brand. I have a couple of collaborations lined up this month and I’m actually thinking of studying in Tokyo. By the end of the month, I will be releasing a ready-to-wear brand for women with two of my friends called Bad Rags. It has this cool ’70s vibe. But I’m not going to stop for [my] brand. I’m also doing a collab with an artist under Pr()blem Studios. Hopefully, we’ll release in March. n

Have you ever thought that maybe your clothes might not be for here?

I want to sell in Japan talaga. Like, when you go out, is it common to see people wearing fashionable clothes? No diba? In Japan, you see them every day.

23/01/2018 5:35 PM


16 FASHION

“We weren’t afraid of saying things sa parents ko, that’s maybe why we grew up like this—very open to people, walang limitations.”

feat. Lou of PMAP Models Makeup by Joseph Jiao of MAC Cosmetics Hair by Grace de Luna

Scout 30.indd 16

23/01/2018 5:35 PM

Untitled


Scout 30.indd Untitled-8 1 17

23/01/2018 09/01/2018 5:35 3:48 PM PM


18 SATIRE

we’re tired of staying woke. We tried to enter the minds of those who prefer taking life “less seriously”—the willfully ignorant, those who prefer to live in a vacuum—and figure out their wishes for the new year. By Rissa Coronel and Lex Celera

Scout 30.indd 18

23/01/2018 5:35 PM


SATIRE 19

HEY GUYS. We’re all the millennials wishing 2017 didn’t happen—and no, we’re not talking about 2017: The Year of the Silence Breakers, or 2017: The Year of the War on Drugs. We’re talking about 2017: The Year We Can’t Just Be Chill About Things Anymore, a.k.a. 2017: The Year of P.C. Culture Takeover. We usually don’t make our presence known—that’s kind of our thing—but we are still here, and we are many. What a clusterfuck of a year 2017 was, huh? 2018 is even going to be an even bigger shitfest. The only time a famous Western male actor is trending on Twitter is if (1) he’s dead, or (2)

2. It’s not our fault we were born with this much privilege. Maybe if you just worked harder—and were maybe born into the same class, race, and gender as we are (upper-class white males, FYI) in your next life—you could achieve your dreams. Being in this position is much harder than it looks, guys, what with constantly getting called out. It’s not our problem if you’re triggered.

he committed some form of sexual harassment. Whatever. There’s no need to bump off Annie Hall or any other Woody Allen movie from your all-time favorites just because he’s a total creep. The same goes for local musicians who were outed for harassing their fans. Why is everybody taking injustice so personally now? Can’t we all just be chill and stop ruining things for people who enjoy them? This is why we’ve come up with a list of reasons we shouldn’t continue checking each other’s privilege, and instead continue to exercise our own privilege to achieve being chill this 2018.

3. Ever heard of brotherhood? We have our friends’ backs for if (and when) they get called out for inappropriate behavior. Who watches the men who peep?

How are we supposed to selfmonitor our every action when there’s the option to just tune it all out and guiltlessly enjoy all the finer things in life?

4. Since when was it our job to be politically correct? Someone else has it covered: Somebody more outspoken and eloquent will always be there to comment against off-color posts, contact government representatives, and take to the streets when the time calls for it.

5. It’s easier to just retweet the aforementioned outspoken, eloquent people on the internet and chalk that up as political participation. If it has a thousand retweets, it must be right. Right?

6. Think about the children! By which, we mean recent victims of national scrutiny Isabelle Duterte and Sandro Marcos. Think about all the hate they’ve been getting. It’s not their fault they were born into power structures skewed in their favor. It looks like they’re doing great and are staying that way.

Scout 30.indd 19

1. Being constantly aware of our privilege is such a drag.

So why can’t we all resolve to just chill this 2018? Unlike many people in this country, we actually have the option to tune out politics. Standing up for what we know is right is stressful, inconvenient, and potentially even dangerous. And if it means never getting out of the warm, cozy bed of our privilege, it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. Good vibes only. n

23/01/2018 5:35 PM


20 PROFILE

WALK We meet four women who are striving to change the game in their respective lanes.

Photography by Eric Bico Makeup by Gretchen Gatan and Marj Maroket of Calyxta Beauty Hair by Janica Balasolla

TA L K

Nolisoli Scout 30.indd 20

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


K

YOUR GUIDE TO MANILA’S NEIGHBORHOOD HOTSPOTS, COMMUNITY GATHERINGS, AND CULTURAL EVENTS

K

Follow us on:

@nolisoli.ph

@nolisoliph

Nolisoli Ad 2018 - Scout.indd 1

09/01/2018 4:20 PM

Scout 30.indd 21

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


PIA

Interview by Lex Celera

22 PROFILE

PIA RANADA handles the Malacañang beat for Rappler. Her name has both been uttered by the President himself and placed in misleading headlines of articles to her discredit. She is one of the gatekeepers: members of the media who bear the inadvertent but conscious responsibility of disseminating information worth knowing, and by extension, stories worth reading.

Have you ever searched your name on Google? No, but my friends do tell me na “Pia, may lumabas na ganito,” “Aren’t you gonna say something?”, or “Doesn’t this concern you?”, because people make memes out of me. There are these YouTube videos of the presscons of me asking Duterte a question and their favorite is really to say that “Ah, si Duterte sinupalpal na naman si Pia Ranada,” or “Si Pia Ranada napahiya ni Presidente,” and they love that. It doesn’t really bother me that much because after a while, if you see it every day, you kind of get numb to it and it’s just funny na lang. I usually read articles over breakfast, and then I go, “ay, may meme na naman ako.” What’s new?

Scout 30.indd 22

Can you afford to be vulnerable in your line of work? When you’re asking the hard questions, can you afford to be soft? Soft, meaning weak-looking? I wouldn’t say weak. I mean, can you appeal to their sense of humanity? I don’t think I should change the way I do things because they haven’t convinced me yet that I’m doing the wrong thing. When they do, maybe I’ll change. But so far there are people who are patting me on the back for doing what I’m doing. As long as those voices are there, and the people who criticize me in those insulting ways don’t make sense yet, then I’ll still do my job the way I’m doing it. What advice can you give to future journalists, or future storytellers for that matter? One thing people should know that is journalism is not glamorous. Films make journalism look like “Wow, ang rockstar naman ng journalism, you get to bring power down,” but those are the rare moments,

and they don’t come often. You have to understand that journalism is mostly groundwork. Those shining moments of glory, they don’t come often and you shouldn’t expect them a lot. You have to love the job for how it is, not for what it can be like. The hardship, that’s what’s gonna stick to you, eh. That’s what’s going to affect your sense of self when you’re on the job. Siyempre, aspire for those moments of glory, but accept that it’s not always gonna be that way. These moments of glory, what do they look like? It’s not really fireworks. There’s no public ovation. It’s really an internal thing. [The moments of glory are when] you see people talking about [the story], being affected by it, making them feel a certain way, Or if it changed the life of the one talked about—it led them to getting paid for work that they didn’t get paid for before, or it leads to someone making up a government policy based on what you wrote. That’s the silent pat on the back you get.

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


CHAI

Interview by Andrea V. Tubig

PROFILE 23

CHAI FONACIER is mostly recognized for playing that mischievous street urchin from Cinemalaya’s 2017 best film, Respeto, and a transgender call center agent in Patay na si Hesus. Chai keeps blowing our minds not only with her acting prowess but with her courage to jump out of her comfort zone in the name of art.

What made you decide to move to Manila? I was born and raised in Cagayan de Oro, then grew up in Cebu for college. This is probably the longest I (have) lived in Manila—three months. I decided to move here because number one, the opportunities are here. Obviously. And two, I was looking for a way to help the Cebuano film community. I believe in what the Cebuano art community can do. Gusto ko tumulong, hindi ko lang alam kung paano kasi hindi naman ako direktor, o producer. So sabi ko, as an actor, how can I help? I guess it’s all right for me to leave home for a bit if that’s how I can help. Hahanapin ko muna ’yung daan ko dito tapos we can see what I can bring back to Cebu to help out. I don’t know what that is yet but I’ll find it. Apart from acting, you also sing and write songs. Where do you get inspiration for your music?

Scout 30.indd 23

My personal songs right now are part of a larger compilation called “constipated dreams” because they’re not yet out. Mostly it’s very far from [my trip-hop band] Womb, folksy is the most I can describe it. On one end of the spectrum there’s the medyo sarcastic, comedic. And then you go on the other end and it’s utterly depressive and people are like, “Why did you even write that, Chai?” And my friends would say, “Thank you for writing that. It feels like I’m not alone.” One of my friends survived an entire year just by listening to two of my songs: a demo and one from Womb. This is what art is supposed to be for. It doesn’t matter how many people listen to you, if it’s just one person and it changes their life, that’s it. What were some of the challenges you encountered in building your acting career? I think what fascinates me the most about Manila aside from building my network is ’yung cultural differences between back home and here. I find it fascinating because the more I see the differences, the more I also find their similarities, and the more I’m able to appreciate both. One thing I found really, really shocking

at first was how congested the capital is but how lonely the people can get, how isolated they are from each other. Tapos ang hirap maghanap ng makakainan. Kasi doon sa amin tu-tumbling ka lang ng lima, oh may barbecue na. Where I live now, nasaan na ’yung mga barbecue? Nasaan na ’yung mga kanin diyan? Nasaan ’yung mga isaw? What drives you to keep pursuing your passions despite the culture shock and the challenges of adjusting to a new place? I believe that stories are important. You tell stories and in the telling of those stories it’s important to pursue truth. Nasa art kasi ang capability natin to change mindsets and to shape sensibilities and it’s where a lot of our informal education comes from. If people stop telling their stories, that’s how a culture dies, that’s how people disappear. That’s why when I find a good story and I feel like this has to be told, I want to participate in it. I ask the director and producer where this ship is going so I know my place in this ship. You have to figure out your place so the story can be told properly. Beyond being an actor, story talaga. Story is king. Or queen. Depende.

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


CEEJ

Interview by Carl Cervantes

24 PROFILE

CEEJ TANTENGCO is an NCAA courtside reporter and three-time Palanca Award-winning essayist. During her time at Ateneo, she managed the features section of the university paper The Guidon, for which her team was awarded the Raul Locsin Award for Student Journalism. After college she worked as a multimedia producer with GMA Public Affairs, a writer for various respected publications, and an ABS-CBN courtside reporter. Listen and learn: here is her set play.

as a child: very competitive, very ambitious. When I realized that I liked something new, I’d want to achieve more in that field. Maybe that’s why I like sports—I can relate to the athletes striving for a goal. Every sports game is a microcosm for greater society. You see this from why we like the underdogs. We see our struggles in their struggles. This is why, when you see problems in sports— like the way women are treated—it may tell you something about greater society.

I just want to be honest: I looked you up and I am impressed by your straight-shooting career. So you started with The Guidon... I received my Palanca Awards when I was in high school. When I got to college, I put off joining The Guidon because I thought I was a creative writing person. But when I joined, I ended up loving it. I thought I was just a writer—and then I reported on cam. I never expected these changes, but when they did happen, I was so thankful knowing that my world could expand and that I could expand with it.

What are the struggles you face as a woman in a male-dominated field? Women working as courtside reporters are hit with a lot of sexism. The sports industry is truly a male-dominated field, and for a long time, women were a token addition. I still hear the role people assume for courtside reporters—they think of us just as muses: “Ah, she’s the pretty one.” When I started, I would hear jokes from coaches or players like, “Yes, you can interview me... pero pa-kiss muna.” Some coaches would ask me if I had a boyfriend and then say, “Eto, ’yung player ko na lang!” They’d say these are just jokes, but are those jokes we should still be making?

Did you have to set a goal or were you just trying different things? What was the process? I was always very goal-oriented, even

So, there’s a lot of work that people overlook...? Yes, it’s a lot of research, hanging out

Scout 30.indd 24

at practices, and asking smart questions. Sometimes, I sit around with coaches and talk about coaching styles. I love these deep conversations because it proves that I’m not just here to be cute. I’m here to say something, and I’m here with my own point of view. The struggles I go through reflect what female athletes go through. My talent is often overlooked because they think my job is just to look pretty. The same happens to female athletes—they’re on the top of their game but many of them are marketed as, “Oh, girls can play too!” Moving forward, what are some productive solutions to these problems? I’ve made a conscious effort in my writing and producing career to cover female athletes in a way that serves them. I feel like it’s my duty to cover them the way they’re supposed to be covered. I want to do my part and call people out on their bullshit. As a female journalist, if you want to get your opportunities, you’ve got to make them for yourself. Don’t wait for people to give you a role because they might just give you a role that they expect of you. You’ve got to get yourself a platform.

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


EFFY

Interview by Andrea V. Tubig

PROFILE 25

FATIMA “EFFY” ELMUBARAK knows exactly how it feels to be different. You probably know her better on Twitter as @BUKOJUICE, whose “woke” tweets cover topics that range from racism to gender equality to capitalism. But this 20-year-old pharmacist-cum-artist wasn’t always the fearless feminist whom we’ve all retweeted at one point. For most of her life, she’s been the target of bullies because of her Filipino-Sudanese heritage, her Islamic roots, her weight, her hair, and the hijab she wears. Practically everything that makes her Effy.

What was it like growing up multiracial? I was isolated in the first half of high school. I barely had any friends. All these kids, when nakita nila ako, it was their first encounter seeing a black woman. I only started wearing the hijab in third year so I had my hair out. I was plus-sized, I was overweight. I had big, kinky, voluminous hair. I was dark-skinned, so that made me an easy target for bullies. I guess looking back now, ’yun ’yung nag-spark ng vitriol ko towards unrealistic or unjust beauty standards that remain rampant today. How has your culture and faith shaped your ideas on feminism?

Scout 30.indd 25

I’d be lying if I said that Islamic culture treats women a hundred percent justly and fairly. Just like a lot of age-old cultural systems. I have firsthand experiences of how it could get tough for us at times. This is much more evident in a lot of Middle Eastern countries, too. All of these, and how I was raised, it shaped or it brought about the realization that, hey, it doesn’t have to be this way. I have firsthand experiences as to how the patriarchy or how strong the patriarchy sneaks its way into culture. And obviously a lot of times we can’t question it kasi ganyan talaga ‘yan. Something I had to realize over time is it’s really hard to argue with the scriptures. So I guess what I do now is I do what I can to help at least dismantle how it manifests in everyone’s daily lives. What inspires you to be vocal about issues you feel strongly about? I’m generally a shy person. I did not grow up outspoken but I’ve always had a lot of ideas. Being given the platform that I have now where I can speak out about what I believe in, I’m using it as much as I can. Also I don’t just speak about gender inequality but also racial discrimination, discrimination against social class. I try

my best to be as vocal as I can in social media because while I’m still learning, it’s important to note that we’re all learning here. I’d like to do my part in other people’s learning process as well. How do you deal with your bashers or people who react negatively to your posts? The thing about challenging oppressive systems na na-normalize na is that talagang may kokontra sayo. It’s inevitable people will tell you you’re wrong, kasi it’s how we’re programmed na. First kapag hindi naman ganoon kaobnoxious, I try my best to engage in matinong discourse. I’m scared of conflict. I’m soft. But I wouldn’t resort to ultimately avoiding conflict or discourse. I don’t avoid discourse kasi it’s a chance to educate people. But if they’re gonna resort to personal attacks, I just try my best to ignore it na lang kasi there’s really not much I could do. A lot of times we have to consider that not everyone has access to progressive readings as we do so when someone comes at me with misinformed statements I just engage in calm discourse. Maybe they’re not generally bad people. Maybe they’re just misinformed. n

23/01/2018 5:36 PM


26 BEAUTY

Looking like a hot mess may not be so bad after all Photography by Shaira Luna Hair and Makeup by Sylvina Lopez

Scout 30.indd 26

23/01/2018 5:37 PM


BEAUTY 27

WEAR THIS LOOK MAKEUP FOREVER flash palette, LA FEMME blush in Russet, MEHRON gold and silver metallic pigments, baby oil gel

Scout 30.indd 27

23/01/2018 5:37 PM


28 BEAUTY

WEAR THIS LOOK SUGARPILL eyeshadow in Home Sweet Home and Kimchi, VICTORIA’S SECRET Satin Gloss in Strawberry Fizz

Scout 30.indd 28

23/01/2018 5:37 PM


BEAUTY 29

Scout 30.indd 29

23/01/2018 5:37 PM


30 BEAUTY

WEAR THIS LOOK MUFE flash palette, OFRA liquid lipstick in Las Vegas, BYS snow glitter, NYX Twilight tint, DUOCHROMATIC illuminating powder

Scout 30.indd 30

23/01/2018 5:37 PM


BEAUTY 31

WEAR THIS LOOK SUGARPILL eyeshadow in Acidberry, MUFE square graphic glitters, ELIZABETH ARDEN 8H cream, baby oil gel

feat. Mau

Scout 30.indd 31

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


32 CULTURE

Needing little more than paper, scissors, a photocopier, and an idea, our strong independent zine community proves that something so inexpensive can be worth so much. By Pola Beronilla Photography by Patrick Segovia

THERE ARE several reasons zines have experienced a resurgence. It could be our lack of access to homegrown literature in major bookstores; it could be that we are ultimately nostalgists at heart; or it could be their cheap and DIY nature we’re so drawn to. But at the spine of it all is the form of escapism they offer, both to the artist and the audience. Stapled and flawed, zines piece together an untampered creative freedom the mainstream usually deprives us of. Getting everyone’s sheets together, they are a refuge for young creatives to express paper-led testimonies of feelings, aesthetics, and cultural ideologies. As far as we know, local zine culture has flourished since the ’80s, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that we saw the community actually turning a page. A major factor in this growth is a small press expo called Better Living Through Xeroxography (BLTX). Since its inception in 2010, BLTX has not only branched out into different locations around the Philippines (Quezon City, Naga, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Baguio), but it has also been providing a safe space where voices of women and the LGBTQ community can be heard. It inspired zine enthusiastic collectives like Magpies Press and Studio Soup Zine Library to strive in leaving paper trails of diverse expression as well. We go behind the zines with BLTX’s Adam David; Magpies Press’ Mac Andre Arboleda, Shaunnah Cledera, Paulyne Gonzales, and Pam Mendoza; Studio Soup Zine Library’s Camz Dagal and Eva Yu; and comic artist Hulyen to discuss how small-circulation self-published work can make a significant difference in our society.

Scout 30.indd 32

How important do you think self-publishing is to artists and writers? ADAM DAVID: As important as parks are to a city. The small press is often where people can exercise their artistic and political muscles more loosely because it often exists outside of the market, thus [it’s] not beholden to fulfilling profit margins. A lot of people doing small press right now are those who work on selling ideas and objects to other people, where the more effective sellers are rewarded for their ability to fool people into buying the ideas and objects they’re selling, and often they sell these ideas and objects using talent and skill fostered in arts school, now deployed in the market. Your level of poetic skill is weighed by how many people buy the beer you wrote copy for, your level of design skill is weighed by how many people share the sponsored GIF meme you animated. How about to our society? CAMZ DAGAL: It encourages people to bring their works out and voice their ideas and opinions. Whether right or wrong, the contents of zines are personal and untampered. There will always be minorities, and this is a venue where they can make their voices heard. Zines also build communities based on shared opinions and reading them puts you into another person’s experiences. MAC ANDRE ARBOLEDA: Selfpublishing gives the greatest freedom to artists and writers. With self-publishing, you’re given full control and the hands-on experience of accomplishing your own projects makes you more in touch with

your craft. Not getting exploited by big publishers is just an added bonus. HULYEN: Venues like BLTX, Komikon, Local Loca, etc. have also been very important. It encourages artists and writers to create and put their work out there. Creators don’t have to wait for mainstream publishers to release their work because they can print their own comics and zines. With self-publishing, people can experiment and be weird. It was in these small press expos where I saw work that was new, strange, and different from the stuff you can buy in bookstores. Zines aren’t necessarily a new thing, but why do you think more people have become drawn to them in the past few years? AD: I have a feeling it’s a reaction to how more and more of our engagement with rough reality has been shifting to strictly slick digital. People are ultimately nostalgist and materialist at heart. We will always seek to relive the non-digital experience even while using digital means. So in the age of easy blather in digital social media platforms, more and more people are getting into analog social media platforms like perzines, sketchbooks over Tumblr, portfolio zines over Deviantart, stickers over emojis. PAM MENDOZA: In my perspective, a lot of people are drawn to it because zinesters have started to work hard to disseminate information on zinemaking and its functions. People have started organizing events, and made spaces for zine appreciation and exchange. For non-zinemakers who go to expos, I think

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


CULTURE 33

they like getting to personally know the creators behind these zines. In your opinion, what needs to be changed in the zine scene now? AD: Becoming more politicized, becoming more socially committed, and being self-aware enough to know when to stop focusing on buying and selling. H: I wish to see more comics at comic conventions and less stickers, prints, fan art, and other merchandise. I do get why artists tend to tackle those mediums more often; they’re easier to do and usually sell more compared to comics [laughs]. But I don’t want to see the future with just stickers and not much comics. I prefer buying something that I can read. MA: We wish we could see more art criticism. We’d really appreciate it if people wrote about what they thought about zines like how they’d talk about the latest QCinema film they’ve watched. The only way the scene could be pushed further is if people actually started seeing zines as art objects that can and must be evaluated. Oh, and if there’s another thing, we wish the creative scene wasn’t centered in Manila! SHAUNNAH CLEDARA: And artists should really start doing away with the bullshit that is the image of the artist as a lone genius. So more engagement with fellow artists, and the community.

Scout 30.indd 33

CD: Also, we all need to get healthcare coverage and better laws as artists and freelancers, who don’t hold a full-time job. A healthy artist/creative/writer can make better work than a sick one. That way, people can do work that’s not just aimed at just making money. Where do you see the local zine scene going? MA: The local zine scene is only going to get better. You can see that in the last Zine Orgy V where despite the lack of new freshmen on campus because of the K-12 shift, the number of guests keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re already planning for next year’s zine events here in the south: Zine Orgy 666, ELBIKON, and Munzinelupa. I feel like the more we reach out, and as the scene gets bigger, zines are going to have more variety and precision. SC: Content-wise, we’ll see more zines with more awareness of the uniqueness of the form. Artists and readers alike are going to gain more understanding that zines aren’t just a trend, that they carry so much more potential for touching issues that are usually just swept under the rug or for content that is not just “cool” or “pretty.” Hopefully, the zine scene continues to interrogate standards in art and literature. n

Clockwise from opposite page: The Cursed by Dante Perez, published by Saturnino Basilla; Footnotes to Misplaced Items by Joanne Cesario and Michelle Bacabac; Shear Fear by Joanne Cesario and Michelle Bacabac; Tira Tira by Joanne Cesario and Michelle Bacabac; Ah, ok by Ev Yu; Bang Tsak Taw: Self-defense and Chinese Food by Pancho Karambola; Para sa aala ng yumao nating ama by Magpies Press; The Face of a Marcos Apologist by Azzhulz; Talumpati by Lizette Daluz; UGH #1 by Hulyen

“In the age of easy blather in digital social media platforms, more and more people are getting into analog social media platforms like perzines, sketchbooks over Tumblr, portfolio zines over Deviantart, stickers over emojis.”

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


34 ON THE COVER

Scout 30.indd 34

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


ON THE COVER 35

Fame has never been ERICH GONZALES’s end game, because what she ultimately wants is total creative control.

By September Grace Mahino Photography by Regine David Styling by Jed Gregorio

Scout 30.indd 35

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


36 ON THE COVER

Scout 30.indd 36

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


ON THE COVER 37

“She doesn’t do interviews in person.”

They’re words no writer likes to hear, yet this was the publicist’s edict handed down from Erich Gonzales’s team soon after I’d arrived at the set of her SCOUT cover shoot. Less than a minute later, though, so fast I almost got whiplash, a new directive was given: she was actually ready to be interviewed, like, right now. Perhaps the initial directive was the by-product of the actress’ 13-year-old showbiz career. Now 27, Erich had her start in the entertainment scene at age 14 via the talent search show Star Circle Quest and has since spent nearly half of her life under the glare of the spotlight. It couldn’t have been easy growing up in an industry where a young actress could only have so much control over what gets spun and said about her; maybe the “no face-toface interview” policy was set in place as a form of protection. Yet Erich, in person, is direct and cordial, with an easy laugh and the knowledge of the right words to convey what she means without revealing too much—a total pro who knows how to run the show with equal parts discretion and authenticity. For example, when asked what attracted her to be part of Siargao, the Paul Soriano-directed movie that starred her and Jericho Rosales, Erich cites the resonance she felt with her character Laura. “She’s a vlogger who wants to find herself and do some soul-searching—like an Eat, Pray, Love type of thing. I was offered to play her at a perfect time, because I had also wanted to do the same thing: some sort of rebuilding and re-creating myself.” The remark sounds simple enough—the kind of existential crisis most people go through in their 20s—until Erich later on reflects on what she took away from the past year: “Marami akong lessons na babaunin from 2017. I learned that it’s okay to prioritize myself, that it’s not wrong to love myself more. Before, I’d think of everyone else first, but I realized last year how short life is to keep doing that all the time. Putting myself first—I learned that

Scout 30.indd 37

a bit late, but at least I know better now.” A keen observer of local showbiz would connect her words with Erich’s breakup with actor Daniel Matsunaga early last year, which resulted in a mini-saga that played out on social media. And while both parties have kept mum about the reasons for the split, Erich’s reflection seems to be an effort to counter rumors regarding the issue without directly addressing it and accidentally reviving a fire that has long died out. And Siargao did provide her the space and escape she needed, along with the necessary push to remind her of her inner grit. “The film has me surfing in the first scene, so I had to learn it fast. On my first day on Siargao, on my first try, I was able to catch a wave, so I guess my sense of balance is okay—tsamba!” she recalls. “But I knew I have it in me to take risks. I’m not afraid to take chances and just jump in right away. Wala nang, ‘Naku, baka ganyan...’” She did have her hesitations, though, when it came to saying yes to Tanduay’s long-standing proposal to become their calendar girl. “Too much risk ba ’yung Tanduay?” she laughs. “They’ve been asking me for so long to model for them, but every time, I’d tell them I wasn’t ready yet.” However, when they came wooing again last year, Erich felt it synced well with the other projects she was already working on. Aside from Siargao, there’s also the suspense thriller We Will Not Die Tonight, where she plays a stuntwoman facing a life-or-death situation; the latter is a production that reunites her with frequent collaborator, director Richard Somes, and will also credit her for the first time as a producer. “For that movie, I was required to gain muscles because I had to do all my action scenes; I had no stunt double. I really had to be strong physically, so with Siargao pa, the workout had to be done double-time, triple-time,” she reveals. “And that’s when Tanduay approached again, so I thought, ‘Yeah, I think I’m ready for it now.’ I’m not getting any younger, I’m at the right age, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ But I

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


38 ON THE COVER

“My life is an open book anyway. I’m from Davao, I came from nothing—as in walang wala, so alam ko ang pakiramdam ng parehong meron at wala.”

Scout 30.indd 38

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


ON THE COVER 39

Scout 30.indd 39

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


40 ON THE COVER

asked if I could have a say in the creative process, and they were okay with that. It became a collaboration, and I’m happy with the outcome. The photos weren’t just about being sexy; they’re about being strong. And bold.” The project is perhaps the most visual marker of the kind of creative independence and control that Erich wants to pursue more in her career. Though a product of a studiobased talent search, she never really took the same track that most other artists her age and with her same showbiz beginnings did, as her filmography features a mix of mainstream projects, mostly under her home studio, and a lot of smaller independent ones. “I like trying to learn new things, especially those I haven’t done before, so my projects, especially recently, have been out of the box. I like working on indie films because I feel freer to express myself in them; there are no limits, unlike in mainstream movies where there tends to be a formula [to making them].” Independent projects also provide her the opportunity to flex her other artistic muscles that cannot be tapped simply by acting onscreen. The script for We Will Not Die Tonight, for example, was presented to her by Somes, who felt that the story was too big for any big production house to want to take on. “So I read it, and it’s a super interesting story of survival that plays out all in one night. The title says it all: ‘We will not die tonight.’ Ayun na siya talaga, so there’s a lot of running and action scenes.” Her interest piqued, Erich decided to sign up as both the producer and the lead actress, and she soon found herself quite involved in the work that goes on behind the camera. “I’m really part of the whole production process, even in the editing and the scoring of the scenes. Pumapapel talaga, pa-involved, haha!” Set for release this year, We Will Not Die Tonight will be the first movie produced under her new production company EG Films, and Erich is excited to do more in the future. “If there are more opportunities for me to produce movies, why not? Kahit hindi ako ’yung artista, as long as I believe in the story, I’ll go for it.” Storytelling and the work it involves have kept Erich excited about acting for the past 14 years. “Importante sa ’kin na naniniwala ako sa isang project, that I can put my

heart and soul into it. Otherwise, why do it?” What she isn’t keen about are the other aspects of her job: mainly, the socializing and especially the small talk that she finds excruciating. “Hindi ko talaga kaya ’yun,” she admits. “Sometimes, I don’t get invited to parties anymore kasi alam ng organizers hindi naman ako pupunta, haha! Or when I do, I’ll just say hi to people and then I’ll head home early. Hindi talaga ako pala labas.” Whatever free time she has, Erich prefers to spend it reading or tending to her home garden—“I grow roses, lettuce, anything I can”—or adding to her arsenal of short stories and poetry. “Someday, I’ll share them—when I have the courage already! They’re super personal kasi so I’m keeping them to myself for now. Maybe I’ll turn some of my poems into songs.” She also focuses on her various businesses and buyand-sell ventures when not busy with acting commitments. “I’ve always been the responsible type. Even though I’m the youngest in the family, I’m like the ate. And my life is an open book anyway. I’m from Davao, I came from nothing—as in walang wala, so alam ko ang pakiramdam ng parehong meron at wala. That makes me really value hard work. So instead of buying designer bags, I invest my money instead.” With 2017 a full one for her, both emotionally and creatively, Erich has nothing but excitement for the new year ahead, especially since on top of We Will Not Die Tonight, she has a new teleserye with ABS-CBN titled The Blood Sisters, which will have her playing triplets. “I look forward to a year that’s more productive and rewarding. There are so many things coming out in 2018 and it’s overwhelming, but I’m just embracing everything.” Lest people forget and think it’s all been handed to her, though, she’s quick to remind the public what she has put in to make things happen, and that her work may speak for her better than anything she might say. “I’ve learned that it’s not enough to watch out for opportunities; sometimes, I have to create them. That’s why most times, I don’t overthink the things I want to do. Instead of being sikat, I’d rather be known for just going in and doing the work.” n

“I’ve learned that it’s not enough to watch out for opportunities; sometimes, I have to create them. ”

Fashion by Randolf (facebook.com/randolfclothing) Makeup by Justine del Rosario Hair by Iwa Ajinomoto Shot at Minotti Manila Special thanks to Tipping Point Collective

Scout 30.indd 40

23/01/2018 5:38 PM


ON THE COVER 41

Scout 30.indd 41

23/01/2018 5:39 PM


42 FASHION

Two rebels with a cause come together to reimagine five iconic non-violent strikes that made history. Photography by Cenon Norial III Styling by Mav Bernardo

Scout 30.indd 42

23/01/2018 5:39 PM


FASHION 43

stand up! While many peaceful strikes have taken place throughout history, the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, where Filipinos rose against the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, was one of the world’s most prominent.

Scout 30.indd 43

ON MIRO: SLAVES ØF LIBERTY polo shirt and belt, GEN.MDSE at The HUB; CALVIN KLEIN polo, SM Aura Premier; RANDOLF pants, facebook.com/ randolfclothing ON BRUCE: SLAVES ØF LIBERTY polo shirt and kimono, GEN.MDSE at The HUB; RANDOLF pants, facebook.com/ randolfclothing

23/01/2018 5:39 PM


44 FASHION

ON MIRO: THE STARVING ARTIST shirt, facebook. com/thestarvingartist.co; DKNY pants, Greenbelt 5 ON BRUCE: RANDOLF pants, facebook.com/ randolfclothing

Scout 30.indd 44

23/01/2018 5:39 PM


FASHION 45

strike fast

During the Indian independence movement, the four-time imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi famously fasted for days at a time as he staged numerous hunger strikes from the ’20s till ’40s as part of a nonviolent resistance campaign against the British rule of India.

Scout 30.indd 45

23/01/2018 5:40 PM


46 FASHION

ON MIRO: PRAYER MEETING shirt, GEN.MDSE at The HUB ON BRUCE: CALVIN KLEIN jacket, SM Aura Premier

shhh... 2008. While the rest of the world spoke up about the Proposition 8 legislation that banned same-sex marriage in California, celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner Jeff Parshley ran a successful silent protest in 2013, where he asked his subjects to pose with duct tape over their mouths and “NOH8” painted on one cheek.

Scout 30.indd 46

23/01/2018 5:40 PM


FASHION 47

ON MIRO: CARL JAN CRUZ shirt and joggers, carljancruz.com; UNIQLO socks, SM Mega Mall Fashion Hall ON BRUCE: SLAVES ØF LIBERTY polo, GEN.MDSE at The HUB; UNIQLO socks, SM Mega Mall Fashion Hall

war is over When John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married in the middle of the Vietnam War in the ’60s, they celebrated their honeymoon with a “BedIn for Peace” strike. The two stayed in bed for a week at the Hilton Amsterdam’s presidential suite and invited global press into their room to discuss peace for 12 hours every day.

feat. Bruce and Miro Hair and Makeup by Sylvina Lopez

Scout 30.indd 47

23/01/2018 5:40 PM


48 BACK STORY

d.i.y. misfits SLEEPING BOY COLLECTIVE may be seen as a bunch of misunderstood punk kids, but they sure know how to throw one hell of a gig. By Celene Sakurako

RISING FROM the neglected nooks and crannies of the world that welcomes spiked, rainbow-colored hair, ripped duds, rebellion, and D.I.Y. culture are around 30 emo, punk, and hardcore kids from all over the Philippines. Collectively known as the Sleeping Boy Collective (SBC), they were brought together in 2014 by the unexpected death of a close friend and fellow scenester, Raffy Mapa. SBC was born at the wake of Raffy under the realization “that it was a good a time as any to start putting up the shows [they] always wanted to be part of.” In July 2014, 40 days after Raffy’s burial, SBC held their first ever promedical marijuana talk spearheaded by local cannabis advocacy groups. The collective’s inaugural gig In the Nervous Light followed months later, and since then, they’ve held 16 gigs and brought in nine international acts, including Italian black metal band Hierophant, American punk band Dangers, French hardcore punk band Birds in Row, Danish black metal band Hexis, and American dream punk band Turnover. Apart from being recognized as a gateway for both local and international hardcore bands to make it into the Philippine music scene, SBC gigs are known for being meticulously planned when it comes to ticketing and scheduling. Their crowd-controlled gigs don’t go by the standard Filipino time. They start and end as said. SBC strictly does not entertain media sponsorships as well. “We’re used to a certain degree of self-sufficiency in terms of pooled resources—financial, labor, or otherwise. It’s nice to have shows that mostly break even or do well, but we continue to do this for the music, art, and the people we get to work with. We don’t have the bandwidth needed to let people in for free. When we go to other people’s shows, we pay just like everyone else. Being there is one thing, but paying for a show helps promoters and bands in more tangible ways,” they say. “We

Scout 30.indd 48

largely refuse sponsorships from large corporate entities. The extra money from a sponsorship might help, but if it means having to use art as a figurative billboard for other people’s business interests, we’d rather go out of pocket to preserve our integrity. It’s hard enough having to participate in an oppressive economic system, so having the space to create something on our own terms means a whole lot to us. The fact we can create things and express ourselves in positive ways is important and worth celebrating.”

When asked if they deem themselves exclusive, they protest. “If you’re asking us, we’ve always made an effort to make SBC shows as inclusive as possible. We try our best to listen to the people who go to our shows, and allow their experiences to shape the course of shows to come. We always believed punk was inherently open and positive, and while it takes effort, we’re doing what we can within reason to look after the crowd.“ All in all, they’re kids who just want to throw a fucking great gig. n

The Saddest Landscape gig held at Mow’s, Quezon City

23/01/2018 5:40 PM


Untitled-1 1

15/01/2018 5:21 PM


OBC

Scout 30 Cover.indd 4 Untitled-2 1

23/01/2018 6:06 5:43 PM 22/01/2018

Scout: 2018 January-February  
Scout: 2018 January-February  
Advertisement