Beauty as Told by Laura Lehmann
Decoding the Artista Factor
WITHOUT a doubt, the Philippines is an artista-loving nation. Whatever walk of life you are from, you are not exempted to get that little jolt of kilig whenever you see celebrities in real life. And while others play it cool, most Filipinos squeal in delight, whip out their phones, and Instagram their artista experience immediately.
This phenomenon makes one wonder what it feels like to be in the limelight. Fortunately, young and promising actress Joyce Ching helped me understand what it’s like to live the dream.
Twenty-year-old Joyce started her career in GMA 7’s Bubble Gang Jr. in 2005, and soon the projects, particularly teleseryes, started flooding in. Known to produce some of the best teleseryes for TV, GMA gave Joyce lead roles in primetime shows like Anna Karenina, Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw, and most recently Strawberry Lane. These shows has catapulted her to be a household name.
When asked how she feels to be an artista, the sweet and unassuming Joyce replied, “It’s fun to be an artista in the Philippines because people get really happy when they see you in person. Whether you’re a big star already or just starting, they’re just really excited to see you. I love that I am able to make people happy effortlessly, seeing smiles on their faces is enough to make me happy.”
She also noted that just like any other jobs, hers also comes with challenges. She explained, “There are a lot of challenges. You don’t get enough rest or sleep, you always have to look good, people judge you easily, you have to play with your emotions during taping. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings just like everyone else.”
And with her typical humor, she added, “With all the sleepless nights, it’s hard to be glamorous!”
Joyce also shared that being an artista is prone to misconceptions and judgments. For example, people sometimes take her as mean or rude when she doesn’t take a photo with a fan. In defense, she explained, “That’s not true at all. There are really a lot of reasons: sometimes we’re in a hurry, or the venue doesn’t permit picture taking, or we’re really extremely tired that we didn’t hear you call our name.”
Having known Joyce personally for awhile, I can attest that snubbing is definitely not in her nature. In fact, she is actually “really shy” when away from the camera. She even wants to be a campus missionary one day.
When it comes to the temptations that are attached with her job, Joyce credits her faith in God to keep her grounded. “At the end of the day, I always go back to God. I always make sure that away from all of it, I live a simple and normal life,” she shared.
With family as her priority, Joyce often spends her days away from the camera pursuing her college degree, spending time with her family, catching up on social media like any teenager, and developing her other talents such as writing.
The sit down with Joyce made me understand that no matter how we see things from the outside, we could never truly know what a celebrity’s life is from the inside. After all, all we have our images based on our own perceptions that are hardly ever accurate.
The only best way to know is to ask and in asking, we realize that indeed, artistas are just like everyone else—human beings with strengths, weaknesses, and dreams of their own—despite our tendency to put them on pedestals.
Roaring for 2015
Daydreaming with the Daykeeper
For more about The Daykeeper, please visit www.facebook.com/thedaykeepernotebook. For more on the author, please visit her blog www.carlabiancaravanes.blogspot.com.
Distilling Life with Olan Ventura
Life Lessons from the Corner Office
Francis Flores, however, breaks all those stereotypes. When I met with him recently, he projected a youthful and engaging image. One wouldn’t think that he holds a very critical position in one of the country’s most prestigious companies. Yet, 38 year-old Francis is the Vice President and International Business Head for Mainstream Markets of world-renowned Jollibee Food Corporation. Francis and his team are in charge of bringing the Filipino favorite fast food chain to overseas markets with large populations but small Filipino communities. In the past two years, Francis has helped establish and create a solid following for Jollibee in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.
Before his current position, he was the General Manager for Greenwich overseeing the brand’s marketing efforts and operations. He brought a youthful vibe to the brand with unforgettable and funny “barkada” ad campaigns featuring actor John Lloyd Cruz (remember the sobrang cheesy campaign a few years back?). Under his leadership, Greenwich not only won awards for its compelling ads but also became the second favorite fast food restaurant in the country, next to Jollibee.
An overachiever while growing up, Francis is a product of the University of the Philippines education system—having studied there from pre-school until college—graduating with a degree in Business Administration and Management.
At 20 and straight out of college, he worked for Unilever as a Management Trainee and soon became the youngest Area Sales Manager at the age of 23. It’s safe to say that at this point, he was on the road to a really fulfilling career, but right before he turned 30 and while holding the position of Regional Brand Director at Unilever, Francis found himself questioning his purpose.
While he was extremely comfortable and happy at his job and his career path, a nagging sense inside him couldn’t help him wonder, “What can I do to give back?” At 29, it wasn’t enough that he was passionate about his work; he realized he needed purpose as well.
He realized his life’s mission in, of all places, an airport in London, when his flight was delayed. “Being in that international setting, I concluded that Filipinos are the best Asian marketers. We’re good communicators, very creative, and strategic.
Francis knew right then that the best way to give back to the country was by creating a global brand that will help fuel the economy. “Jollibee could be a good global candidate.” Two months later, he received a call from a headhunter saying that Jollibee needed someone for a new position that would help Jollibee go global. Instantly, Francis found the purpose he had been longing for.
Purpose is what fuels Francis every day. “What drives me is that it’s not just a job, it’s a mission. I feel like I’m on a mission that’s aligned with my personal mission and at the same time (my desire to be) nationalistic. My mission is to make Jollibee a truly global brand that everyone can be proud of.”
He also aims to be the kind of leader that develops others to be the best versions of themselves. “It’s important to have the right mindset of what a leader is. A leader is not there to be served, but to serve. When I first became a general manager for Greenwich, my former boss, Ariel Fermin, told me, ‘You only have two roles as a leader: lead them to the right direction; and take care of them.’”
This servant leadership mentality has developed leaders within his team and he is quick to say that nothing brings him greater joy than seeing members of his team accelerate both at work and in life.
He also strongly believes in eliminating politics in his team, with emphasis on leading by example—which he does through transparency and calling out negativity the moment he sees it.
When asked for his success secrets, he was quick to point out the importance of marrying one’s passion and purpose. “The first thing is to know your passion. That requires a lot of self-awareness. The earlier you have self-awareness, the better for you. That includes being honest about what you want and what you don’t want. Number two, you have to work hard; there’s no substitute for that. I always tell fresh grads, being in your twenties is crucial. Sayang yung time because at that age, you can still afford to make mistakes. But you have to invest time and energy, especially in your first few years at work. Think of it as depositing in your own personal bank account. And when you fail, learn from it. Be humble enough to know that you don’t know everything. Always go beyond what’s expected of you. Always aim to exceed.”
Francis adds, “Attitude goes a long way. Honestly, in the long run, your intellectual capacity or your intelligence is not enough. It’s attitude and character that make you succeed.”
Francis is a devoted Christian. He believes that without God, none of his successes would be possible. He believes that everything that has happened in
“Everything I have, including the title, and the position, is from God, pahiram lang; and if I don’t use it well, He will take it away. He gave that to me to not use in the wrong way. For me, leadership is a position of influence where you can make a difference in the lives of people.”
And with that, Francis’ life is definitely one that will leave an impact beyond the four walls of his corner office, out to where it matters most.
It means you no longer allow people to put you inside a box. It means taking a stand for those who are bullied and not letting men define your worth. It means you’re living a life that you chose for you – not one dictated by society and definitely not one dictated by who you’re in a relationship with. It means being courageous enough to love who you see in the mirror and most importantly, it’s putting into good use what you have been blessed with.
Instagram Isn’t Real
While social media has definitely helped us to stay in touch with friends and family and has opened up the world us be educated about what’s happening with the rest of the world without having to leave the comfort of our homes, the negative side effects of it can also be damaging.
Has the “look at me” culture of social media turned me into a heartless, social media vulture? Am I hollow on the inside? Am I obsessed with doing things in order to have something to upload on my social media sites? Do I upload things to prove to the ones I’ve had outs with that I am living a good life? Am I constantly working out and dieting in order to look good in my #selfieshots?
Has this translated into my daily living, only concerned about what’s happening on the outside disregarding things like kindness, love, and service? Have I created a life full of glitter and gold on the outside without placing importance in how I’m adding value to the lives of others?