love if you didn’t spend so much of it worrying about how you look, or how much you weigh?”And that stuck with me. You know how it is, as you’ve grown up with such a spotlight on you. Everyone has their own idea of perfect and wants you so badly to fit into their own definition of perfection. People forget we have a right to be whoever we want to be in the way we see fit.
It’s so true, Nikki. And I have to tell you, to this day, I still sometimes catch myself. When I was younger, it would take days, weeks, months for me to pull myself out of the spiral. I spent too much time worrying about these things. We also have that fear of judgement. Of being judged for the way we look, dress...just a lot of things. My guru, Sarah Black, told me that: Where are you judging yourself from? How is that internal judgement a projection of how you think others are judging you? So basically, a lot of judgement comes from self-loathing. When you’re judging others, perhaps it’s because you judge yourself a lot. That’s something we definitely need to address. It’s a lightbulb moment, really, when you realize these things about appearance. But it takes time, and it’s okay if you’re not there yet. Catch yourself when you have your moments and know that you’re going to bounce back.
drive to achieve anything, and it took an earth-shattering experience to snap me out of that. It took my mother leaving this world for me to wake up and realize, “What am I doing with my life?” I think my advice for my 18-year-old, insecure self is that you can dream. Hakuna matata, it means don’t worry. When you are young, you worry about the most minute things in life that you think everybody cares about and will judge you about. But no, everybody is busy doing their own thing. No worries. As long as you put in the work, including the inner work, you’ll be good.
know that? There was a post Ms. Lea Salonga made on Covid. It was relatively new in the Philippines, and I was sick in bed. I think my Covid was already starting. But I saw the post and it seemed very hopeful, so I wanted to view it from the lens of hope. How would this virus be a catalyst for change? But people misconstrued it. As someone explained to me, Twitter’s interpretation of what I said was the worst possible one. To the point that when I got Covid, people were happy. It was heartbreaking. I felt that people missed my heart, but to hear that people
were celebrating because I was ill and down—I could’ve died—I just couldn’t imagine where all the hate was coming from. But that’s what made me realize, that this is the work we’re doing, all the light creators, all the people coming from a place of empathy and passion. This is the work we have to do. Engaging with haters from a negative place won’t do anything. We need to come from a place of love and understanding, and I had to try to understand and let go. But as a director friend of mine said. It’s a privilege to have hope.