Get Botox With Me—Beauty Girl Bianca Mascenon

Fine lines, be gone.

Quick background—I’m Bianca, a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. I’m a big beauty girl who just got BOTOX for the first time. I was 23 when my dermatologist first brought Botox up. “You’ll never get wrinkles,” she said. I was a baby with not a single line in sight.

I remember considering it, even posting on a beauty Facebook group if I should take the plunge. It’s a pretty polarizing thing, with some people telling me they wish they had started sooner, and others shocked to find me thinking about it way too early. 

Botulinum Toxin, more commonly known as Botox after one of the more popular brands, is a neurotoxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles. In the world of cosmetic procedures, this temporary paralysis allows experienced injectors to manipulate face and body shapes, create looks, and prevent wrinkles. 

At 27, I still don’t have any prominent wrinkles, but I did start to get bothered when one of my nose lines—a horizontal line right between my eyes—started to linger on my face longer than it used to whenever I’d *involuntarily* scrunch my nose. 

I ran to my dermatologist. It was time. 

Botox, when used in the context of wrinkle prevention, paralyzes the muscles that pull on the skin. Less pulling equates to a lesser likelihood of developing wrinkles. Of course, I could just stay stoic for the rest of my life and never develop any lines—but that’s a lot easier said than done!

My dermatologist, Dr. Windie Villarica-Hayano, is a master injector who was able to use botox to improve my face as a whole. You can watch my video and she’ll explain each and every detail so much better than I could!

I got injections on my forehead, around my eyes, and on my nose. I didn’t even know I was causing all these wrinkles, but THE DIFFERENCE it made. Wow. I was in awe. 

It was super subtle, and my face isn’t frozen at all, but I do feel like I look so much younger when I talk because my face no longer creates lines whenever I make expressions. It is definitely what I was expecting it to be…and so much more than that too.

It only really lasts for about 4 months, and then you’ll have to do it again if you want to keep the effect going. If you ask me, I’ll definitely be back. BOTOX IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. 


When I told my family I was getting Botox, I had a bunch of violent reactions. All ranging from you don’t need it to it’s bad. Botox has such a bad rap—everything from botched and overly done housewives of (insert city here). 

I can assure you, if you go to a good injector, that wouldn’t happen!

Myth #1: You’ll look frozen

White Chicks is to blame for this—don’t worry! You absolutely won’t. You’ll still be able to move your face like you used to, but less involuntarily. This means you could still intentionally raise your eyebrows, but they won’t keep moving as you talk. Less movement = less wrinkles.

Myth #2: You’ll have to do it forever

No pressure! You can do this once, and never again if you don’t want to. Temporarily paralyzing your muscles just saves you a bit of time… but you know what they say: a stitch in time, saves nine.

Myth #3: You’re too young

There’s actually no right or wrong age to start getting botox. There’s also no right or wrong time. You could start very early and prevent everything from happening, or you could also wait for the first line to form.

Myth #4: It’s too expensive

It’s actually pretty affordable compared to other anti-aging treatments in the market. One unit of Botox will set you back PHP400–PHP700 depending on the clinic. I got 24 units done because I wanted to cover a lot of areas, but you could start as low as 10 units!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Botox journey 🌻 If you have any other questions about it or anything beauty related—hit me up on my Instagram @biancaalecxis 💖 I hope you also enjoyed the video—if you want to see more of that, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

🌻 bianca

A big beauty girl, Bianca Mascenon is a newly-minted entrepreneur coming from the depths of the fashion and beauty industry. When she’s not napping or being a beauty *influencer* you can find her on TikTok or watching reality tv shows.

Getting Nosy with Le Nez Parfumerie: A Peek at My First Entrepreneurial Venture

Julia lets us in on her latest headach–uh, we mean, heart-thumper: Le Nez Parfumerie!

If you’ve been following me (Julia, lol) on my personal social media accounts, I’m sure you’ve already been bombarded by my promotions of a little ol’ brand called Le Nez Parfumerie. While I can’t apologize for that–your girl has to make sales somehow–I will take this time to let you guys have a sneak peek into the brand that has so quickly burrowed a nest into my heart. 

For those that aren’t aware yet, Le Nez (pronounced more like “luh nuh”, but we’re Filipino, so I think we can get a pass at just saying “leh nehz“) is one of my latest brain babies, launched alongside my sisters, Joyce and Bea–though Bea is non-biological, she’s a sister nonetheless!

Behind the Brand: A Walk Through Grasse

Shoutout to the cutest nails from Kuko Ko

As much as I’d love to take credit for the brand, the idea of it all really came from my sister, Joyce. She had always had an entrepreneurial spirit, making and selling different things through her passion for finding new ways to make a little dough. She had sold perfume years ago, but had never really put a name to the bottles–until Bea and I came into the mix. 

She approached us with her latest idea: a brand of local handcrafted luxury perfumes that could stand against the richness and longevity of expensive brand names while making sure our customers’ pockets didn’t bleed at the expense. As we sat down to brainstorm (but let’s be real: most of our ideation really came from 2AM WhatsApp conversations starting with “OMG WHAT IF?”), we realized that this brand was much more than just perfume. It was an experience–Ate Joyce’s experience, to be precise–that we wanted everyone else to be a part of. 

See, many years ago, my ate went on a soul-searching trip to Grasse, France with my tita. There, her love for perfume was exacerbated. She had always loved perfumes, even when we were little; she would collect luxurious fragrances and would bring me to stores to show me the scents that she loved, therefore bringing me to love perfumes as well. However, Grasse materialized it into something much more. Being in the epicenter of the fragrance capital of France, she saw (and smelled) just how lovingly each little perfumery bottled their products. There she learned that the boutiques (each with their own master perfumers called “le nez”) specially made each scent for their customers, gauging their preferences to craft a bottle unique to them, then labelling it with their name to give them a once-in-a-lifetime scent experience. 

With that story, our brand was born! And while we can’t replicate the exact ways of Grasse, we can do our best by giving you scents crafted meticulously by hand, sniffed endlessly until perfection was deemed, and tested over and over again to make sure that you get the same feeling of opulence that you would with branded items. We also wanted to replicate the homey, small-town feel of Grasse, so we’re doing our best to represent that through our eco-friendly and reusable pouches, recyclable seaweed paper wrap, and a little bit of twine to tie it all together–packed individually by hand, by the way, by our lovely Bea. 

Our little three-person company does everything we can to work together to bring you only the best. While we shiver in our own respective singular-person-run departments, we absolutely love what we do, so we hope that you feel it too in every spritz of our perfumes.

Le Nez: Tell Us About It

While I wouldn’t want to bore you with all the little details, I would like to let you in on what we have and why you need (yes, need) to try it out. 


First of all, we have 12 staple scents to choose from that each come in varying sizes to accommodate your needs. While there are scents whose notes may be generally geared towards either men or women, we like to let you decide for yourself. Though many of our scents are actually unisex in nature, as I said above, we like to show off all of our scents sans the gendered label. For example, there are some masculine scents, such as Tease (deep, musky, and the right amount of spicy), that actually work well with my personal preferences. That being said, we like to allow you to discover the scent that best suits you, as a unique individual, with our androgynous descriptions, packaging, and overall brand sense.  

Let’s get into sizing. Want the most bang for your buck? A 50ml spray bottle of the scent of your choosing is perfect. Just a few sprays is enough to last you the whole day, so you’re sure to make the most of your purchase. Travelling or need something convenient for your purse? We have 10mls and 5mls that are sitting pretty on our shelves just waiting for their perfect perfume lover to snag! Bonus tip: since our 10ml and 5ml bottles are rollers, it’s ideal for controlling the amount of perfume you’d like to apply. For example, you’d like your scent to come off a little stronger, then layering it on is literally just one roll away. 

Each scent is made with high concentrations of imported French oils–only the good stuff for our lovely customers, of course! This high concentration also means that it lasts longer on the skin. Whether you’re out all day or staying in all night (iykwim), our scents will stay put. This is tried and tested, mind you! A few spritzes on the wrist and pulse points would give me a lovely scent that lingered from the moment I’d leave my house in the morning to the second I’d take my nightly showers. 

While I’d love to chat your ear off about each scent, it may be best to give our socials (@lenezparfumerie on Facebook and Instagram) a follow to get a feel of each of them lest I make this article take twenty hours to read. 

We also let you personalize your 50ml bottles with handwritten calligraphy (courtesy of our multi-talented sales head, Bea) to give you a Grasse-esque experience. Plus, it’s adorable for gifting to your loved ones! Who doesn’t like things with their name on it? It just makes things feel more personal, you know?

What’s Next for Le Nez?

A LOT! This is a Julia Benito guarantee: there is SO MUCH more to come from our three-month-old brand, so do make sure to stay updated. Of course, I can’t reveal too much right now, but one of the most exciting things we can say is that we have many new scents (maybe new products?) in the making!


We’ve actually released two just the other day: Maverick and Valentine. These two were practically made for February date nights, so if you’re hoping to woo a special someone, a little whiff of these scents is all you need send them into a sensual frenzy. Warning: this may or may not be confirmed by The Ladies of Le Nez. Hahaha! Because this is such a new scent, we even decided to mark it down for you for its opening month! Buy 1 scent each (so 1 Maverick and 1 Valentine) in 5ml bottles for only P350 until the end of the month only–I know, right? Such a steal.


Aside from the new scents, you can expect some freebies along the way! This February, we’ll be giving out some Le Nez tote bags to those that buy two 50ml bottles of any scent of their choosing. Why? Well, why not? Everyone loves tote bags! Got errands? Going to the gym? Hitting up a beach? Tote. Bag. Plus, it’s the season of love, so think of it as a little Valentine’s Day present from us to you for supporting us through and through.

What’s Your Fave?


This is literally so hard for me because I genuinely like all of the scents we made–duh, otherwise I wouldn’t sell them, LOL! But if push comes to shove, I would name my top three to be: 1) Eclipse, 2) Valentine (new, but so good!), and 3) Delirium

I’m not one to typically gravitate towards bright, citrusy scents. So, when earthy, neutral, and kind of spicy scents like Eclipse and Delirium hit my nostrils, I am a goner. Valentine is a newbie in the lineup, but the initial soft, floral-but-not-lola-floral scent hits your skin, it really gets you in a flirty kinda mood. It makes me feel some kinda way, you know? Then, as it sits and melds into your skin and body heat, it gives off a deeper, vanilla note that’s perfect for getting cozy with my mans–hi, babe, if you’re reading. 

I hope that little deep dive into Le Nez Parfumerie was interesting for you! For the supporters who followed us from day one to those that just got aboard the fragrance train, I deeply, deeply thank you. Words will never be enough to express how much this brand, being the first actual entrepreneurial venture I’ve ever had that was my OWN, means to me and my family. 

From the stone cold recesses of my heart, I, the Marketing Department of Le Nez, thank you. 

Now, go on and slay safe, babes! Don’t forget to drop a follow on your friendly local luxury parfumerie’s socials if you want more scentacular updates!

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

The 411: How We Knew We Were Meant To Be Lifelong Friends

Your resident maarte babes look back on how we figured out we were soul sisters meant for lifelong friendship 👯‍♀️

While some people come into our lives for a hot second to be temporary, there are friends that come along that imprint themselves into our souls forever—such is the case of your friendly neighborhood duo, bound together by their maarte tendencies and mutual understanding of each other’s trashy personas! 

What started as a simple freshman year acquaintanceship based off of a mutual love of canned goods and instant noodles eventually grew into the laughter-induced-stomach-cramping, beauty enabling, K-Pop obsessing, adventure-seeking companionship it is today! Through shared classes and internships and slumber parties and drunken fiascos that encompassed the eight (or so) years we’ve known each other, we—as the collective JaJu you’ve come to know and love—couldn’t help but look back at our stupidity this International Friendship Day and reminisce the best moments of our friendship where we knew we were meant to be soul sisters.

Hopefully, our stories crack a smile on your face and inspire you to give your besties some extra love today, too! 

When we could enter each other’s homes without knocking or announcing ourselves because our families are so used to us being a packaged deal. Our families have gotten so used to having each other around that they have foregone all decorum around the both of us. Jazz’s mom, for example, was once walking around in just loungewear and Jazz had asked her to wear something proper because they had a guest: Julia. Upon seeing who the guest was, Jazz’s mom remained unflinching and pointed out to her child, “That’s not a guest; that’s Julia,” and continued about on her way, flipping through Netflix in her loungewear with her feet up on a chair—thanks, Tita 😂

We also realized we spent too much time together when Julia’s dog, Batman, honest-to-goodness mistook Jazz for the former. Batman’s usually very bark-y at strangers—no matter how familiar they could be—so it came as a shock to us when he stopped being his usual bark-at-strangers self when Jazz came over one evening for dinner. He was wagging his tail excitedly and even lay down in front of her for rubs and pats! That was…until Batman realized Jazz was not his human! When Julia crouched down next to Jazz and actually got so confused between the two of us; It didn’t help that both of us liked pairing boots with our outfits and happened to be wearing similar pairs. He looked back and forth with the obvious shookt confusion of a dog, no doubt thinking to himself, “Why are there two of you?”

Jazz, who currently has her own pan de sal, cheesecake, and longganisa business running (PH readers please support her or you’re panget), also happens to swing by the house to make deliveries whenever Julia orders—so much so that Ate Lyn (Julia’s very lovely kasambahay) regularly notices Jazz’s weight loss (Ate Lyn is such a big support 🥰).

When we’re comfortable lending each other our clothes knowing full-well that we’re not going to see those garments for a good 2 months (at the least) until they remember to give it back. This happens so often, when something goes amiss in our closet and we’re in desperate need to find a certain piece, we usually call each other up just to check it’s not at their house (sorry, Jazz ✌🏻).

When we’re comfortable hitting each other up for a crying stress sesh or a drunken adventure and we know the other would be down either way because no matter what life throws at us, we can only take so much and we need a shoulder to hold us up. At the end of a stressful day, when all the sh*t hits the fan, and we’re in need of a little venting, all it takes is a simple text to hit up a drive or a call so that we could let all the feelings out. Alexa, play Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away” because it rings so true. 

We’re trying to make the most of our youth given the fact that we would never know what happens tomorrow (hello pandemic, we see you), which is why we’re usually down and ready to go for any random adventure we cook up in the moment—a pre-COVID bar hop? Yes! Maybe pizza and wine? Always! A little Grey’s Anatomy binge session? Sis, we’re already at each other’s doorstep with wine bottles in hand—sometimes already half empty. Because being within residential proximity of each other definitely has so many perks, we borderline abuse it.

This down-for-anything mentality started even way before we graduated, when we’d exit class with our stomachs gurgling only to randomly look at each other with knowing expressions that could only mean one thing: Chowking. Regardless of the fact the nearest establishment was a good 1.5km aways (and that we were too stingy to use our baon money for a pedicab), we’d use our lunch breaks to walk all the way there, no complaints in the slightest, and only happy to have someone to make damay

Our readiness for random extended trips (i.e hastily planned day-trips to the beach from a dire need to disconnect from reality) even went so far as to plan a week-long vacation to Korea for just the two of us, with itineraries based solely on the slightest possibility of seeing one of our favorite idols. Sure, we squeezed in some sightseeing for a day or two, but the rest of the trip? You better believe we concocted entire routes primarily just to hit up entertainment agencies and stare at their buildings, slightly bowing to them in respect. We’re dorks, we know. But as we’ve mentioned before: Stans Together Strong! 

When we could not speak for weeks but still pick up where we left off like nothing happened. While we love each other to death, we also need some space and time apart to deal with all the things that life throws our way individually. After a while, we’ve gotten a hang of picking up on each other’s quirks and moods—bonus points because the lemons life throws at us are usually simultaneous. We’re also way past the age of getting offended when the other doesn’t reply or talk to us every day—we’ve got our own lives to live after all! We’ll just update each other when the lemons have been squeezed dry and we’re not pulling our hair out from all the crazy. 

When we could be sitting together in silence doing completely different things, and still be happy with the hang out. Not everything is meant to be loud and put out into the world. Sometimes, the comfortable quiet and beautiful silence that only tried and tested friendships can endure are a god-send. We don’t always have to be doing the exact same thing or some big thing together; we’re happy just sitting in the same vicinity and stuffing ourselves silly while we scroll through our phones. Rest assured, we’d still be sending each other memes via chat even if we’re right in front of each other—when we’re not lazy to show our phone screens.

When we could have 5 different chats running simultaneously on different platforms and in different tones but could still keep up with each other with ease. Besides the obvious “finishing each other’s sentences” best friend trope, our wavelengths are so in sync we’ve literally got a handful of chats which are labeled categorized in different tones and topics so that we’re able to talk about a million things at once without missing a beat: Kakao is for work related matters, Instagram is meant for scrolling and sharing the pretty ~aesthetic~ things, Telegram is for quick file sends, and Facebook is for our general life talks (i.e. memes and daily trashiness). While it’s such a foreign concept to many (mostly our parents), we’ve got it down with such practiced hands.

Yung saktong pa-cute lang at an inuman
One of the many girls’ night’s out

When we don’t have to think twice about the dumb shit we want to kwento because we know they’re just as stupid and won’t judge. Aside from the fact that we’re usually bursting with dumb b*tch energy (because thinking up all the ways we can contribute to the world and be sustainable in this economy takes a lot), we’ve stopped acting surprised at what stupid things we get up to on our own. The first one to know, besides the obvious eyewitnesses, is definitely each other. Random marriage proposals? Funny Bumble convo? Really weird experience with random older men at a bar? Unsolicited advances from cute Tinder boys? Receipts, or it didn’t happen.

When we could thirst over pretty boys and cry over personal matters and not feel ashamed about either of them. Believe us: this has bit us in the butt IRL a couple of times via all the weird looks people throw our way, but we regret nothing! One of our favorite examples of thirsting over pretty boys is our encounter of spotting a cute guy in the SM Entertainment’s Sum Cafe. We didn’t have the balls to go and dine in so we just stood outside (like complete losers) and looked in through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Jazz had offhandedly pointed out to Julia that there was a cute boy sitting by the window having coffee with someone—in such a very K-Drama scene style with his casual way of sitting and his legs crossed, soft filtered morning light shining on his hair. Julia had doubled back and emitted a squeal so unconsciously loud that the old grandpa who was walking past us had shot us a surprised dirty look. We had to scurry away because we were a tiny bit scared that he would report us and we’d have to be deported for disturbance of public peace (lol).

Our parents’ number one fear when they sent us abroad together for the first time was that we’d be vulnerable to all the pretty boys we’d find 😅; it was the one thing they kept emphasizing during the lead up to our Seoul graduation trip. Lo and behold, not even a couple days into our little jaunt, we found ourselves trying to navigate an underground maze of a subway station when a cute oppa could obviously tell we were out-of-our-wits lost and took pity on us. He looked to be on his way to work with his preppy casual suit but had the kind heart to offer us help and find our way out by following him out of an exit he was bound for (stranger danger guys, don’t follow anyone unknowingly)—thank you muddled brain and slow loading Google Maps for gracing us with that encounter. In the end, he was kind enough to point out the correct exit for us when we declined the following him out option.

Exhibit A of the dumb things we spend time on together: hijacking BP’s comeback looks!
Exhibit B: The curly-haired Rosé to Jazz’ Jennie

When being in each other’s presence automatically increases our innate stupidity so much that we both gain confidence to do dumber and dumber shit. If you’ve read our article on concerts, all the antics we get up to on con day is really just a beautiful prime example of our integrated stupidity being enhanced more than threefold. From nearly falling down railing just to get a glass of beer or sweet-talking some guards for pabebe photoshoots in off-limits areas or practically foaming at the mouth when our fave idols get within ten feet of us, our capacities for idiocy knows no bounds when it has the both of us to bounce off of. 

How cute were we?

Honestly, what do you do you’re decked out in traditional Korean hanbok at Gyeongbokgung Palace and fellow tourists ask to take a photo with them for “authenticity” feels? The answer: shrug, smile, and pose for a photo! (They said we were cute and adorable, so we rolled with it 😅).

We’re also not sure how but we were able to convince a fellow intern to do a relay message run during an editorial shoot for a VIP. Long story short, the dressing room and the area for the shoot was a bit of a ways off so we were tasked with giving the editorial team a heads up that the VIP was on her—very reminiscent of “the eagle is landing” scene from The Princess Diaries 2. This occurred simultaneously when the VIP had passed Julia and she had curtsied at the former, not knowing what to do with herself. Consequently, once the VIP had passed Jazz, the latter had collapsed to the floor in laughter after seeing Julia curtsy (“I’m awkward with famous people, okay?!”).

When we could spend 7 days straight in a foreign country and not want to strangle each other by the time we got back home, despite the many reassurances that our RBFs did not mean we were pissed at each other, but just that the walking around activity was tiring for our stamina-deficient selves. If anything, our first trip abroad reaffirmed our friendship by proving to us that despite the initial five (5) years we’ve known each other, we were meant to be friends for longer. 

When they are the first person you ask an opinion from for almost anything and everything, because they’re basically half of the braincell you share and your best hype-person. Shopping trips have never been the same since. If we’re not trying to talk ourselves out of impulsively buying pretty things (ehem, Jazz), we’re turning to our bestie to help us out to do just that. Unfortunately for us, 9/10 times that barely works out and it ends up with somehow finding ourselves enabling each other leading up to us both purchasing items in our signature JaJu colors (rose quartz and serenity blue; hello fellow Carats). Either way, we walk out of stores with some percentage of buyer’s remorse.

Sometimes, when we despair to each other about it (without revealing that we had purchased something) it’s so instinctive to ask: what did you buy now?  

This show of solidarity has even gone so far as Jazz asking Julia to accompany her for moral support to a photoshoot she would take part in, only for Julia to dance around and scream “YAS, HOE!” behind the cameraman to help make sure Jazz loosened up and projected. If your friends don’t make absolute fools of themselves to help ease your nerves, are they even really your friends? 

When you know enough dirt on each other to possibly ruin each other but won’t because you love them. There have been countless rants and experiences and secrets that we’ve shared in the seven-ish years we’ve spent together as friends, it’s inevitable to have learned and uncovered some skeletons in our closet. It’s a gamble to even let ANYONE crack open a peek at said metaphorical closet, but we’ve proven to each other (and our respective trust issues) that we’ve got nothing to worry about and we’ve got each other’s backs always. All secrets will die with us, especially since we firmly believe that someone else’s dirty laundry isn’t ours to air out. 

When all it takes is one look or a quirk of a brow, and you know automatically what they’re thinking of. Whether one of us has noticed a cute boy had pass by or overheard a tidbit of someone’s conversation that had caused the signature JaJu silent-yet-judgmental sass to manifest, a simple side-eye or an eye roll to one another (even from opposite corners of the room) have us exchanging full-blown conversations without a single word.

When, despite not seeing each other for months thanks to quarantine protocols, your uterus (uteri?) still syncs and you still get your periods at the same time. Myth or legend, based on evidence blood sisters do exist. Although we’re not quite sure what science (or mystical forces of nature) causes this, it’s happened to us too many times for it to be just a mere coincidence. 

These are just some of the stories and kalokohan we’ve gotten up to during the course of less-than-a-decade old friendship! We’re telling you, there’s so much more we’ve yet to tell (maybe soon!)

If we’ve put a smile on your face this International Friendship Day (or if you can somehow explain how the innate female reproductive system’s apparent bluetooth connectivity works), please like or comment on this post! And don’t forget to follow us on our Instagram!

Let us know some of your favorite stories with your own besties; we’d love to read all about them!

Wishing you and your besties all our love 💖

✨ jazz

A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

5 Movies We Never Get Sick Of

Pass the popcorn and settle in, love. We’re bringing out our fave flicks that still guarantee a good watch.

Most of quarantine season has seen us melding into our couches (or beds), constantly flicking through Netflix for something to transport us away from the horrors of reality. However, with the three months (and counting) spent with our eyes glued to our electronics, it’s inevitable for us to seemingly run out of things to watch—but, wait, why look elsewhere when we already know what movies we’d never tire of seeing? 

We’ve rounded up our five favorite flicks that we’ve seen more than a couple hundred (try thousands of) times—the kinds we could recite word for word from memory out of sheer passionate obsession. These films are more than our go-tos today. As most had been released during our formative years, they’ve even lent a hand at shaping and influencing our mindsets and personalities.

Scroll below to find out how these movies have defined the Jazz and Julia of today!

Mamma Mia (2008 / 2018)

Oh, what we’d give to be lying sun-kissed on a pristine beach with crystal blue waters on an obscure and tiny Greek island while we belt our hearts out to timeless music from ABBA. Sigh. With the film’s vibrant cinematography, instantly recognizable song numbers, and soulful acting that never fails to get us clutching our own mothers tightly to our chests, this feel-good musical is just what we need when we want to give our heartstrings a good ol’ tug. My, my, how can we resist it?

We’ve had countless dreams—albeit unrealistic ones, at that—of how incredible it would be to become a spirited youth like Donna (Meryl Streep), running away from the world to recklessly entangle herself with the most attractive strangers while on her quest to find her purpose; how she eventually settled into a remote island with just a backpack continues to boggle the mind! Though as (not) tempting as that may sound (especially given our present economy or the state of the world we live in), there’s no denying how much fun this film, and it’s surprisingly equally good sequel, actually is. Granted, its plot may be loose, seemingly existing to serve as a vessel in which LSS-inducing ABBA tunes could be poured into, but with such gorgeous Grecian scenery, soul jumping song numbers, and the hilarious quips by Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), does it honestly matter? Here’s our short answer: not even a little

Donna and Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) pure, untainted love for one another is truly the heart and core of these films, never-failing to bring a tear rolling down our cheeks (or full on sob fests depending on the time of the month) as we guzzle down yet another bottle of wine.

This film is a quintessential no-fail when we’re in a mood for a pick me up too as it’s truly one of the few good things left in the world—in Jazz’s honest opinion. Just the first few beats of Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen has us on our feet and singing at the top of our lungs (we are very sorry to anyone who’s had to listen to us drunkenly sing at 2AM). We could be stressing about the world falling apart, but grooving to Supertrooper as we do so! 

As we wallow in quarantine, counting down to the day this nightmare is all over, we’ll be daydreaming of jet-setting away to Kalokairi with cocktails in hand via silver screen for now, content to know that we’ve still got glitter in our veins (Ruby Sheridan, you are a character) in spite of everything that’s happening!

Clueless (1995)

As one of the quintessential ~90’s girl~ films, we couldn’t possibly write a listicle on infinitely rewatchable treasures without Clueless. Along with the iconic Alicia Silverstone eye-roll that later became part of our defining personality traits (LOL sorry, not sorry), this hilarious teen comedy has absolutely everything we want from a rom-com and more—from gorgeous outfits to punchy one-liners (“Ugh! As if!”) to a heart-tugging romance with the ever-youthful Paul Rudd. Need a mindless film to give your nights an easily digestible pick-me-up? This is it and then some! 

Admittedly, the biggest factor for the inclusion of this film is because of its styling. How could it not be when Cher’s revolving closet is chock-full of fitspos that dare to withstand the gruesome and cruel tests of time? Of the most memorable are, of course, her plaid co-ords. Seen in vibrant yellows and classic red (with a kicky beret to top it off), this ensemble with knee-high socks redefined our visions of school girl chic. Even Blair Waldorf would curtsy before this queen! Cher even made sweater vests—SWEATER VESTS—look cool again, layering them on top of crisp white button downs or sheer long-sleeved blouses. This film is dogeared in our life as the start of our infatuation with see-through cover-ups, as Cher seemed to have a near-endless supply of them to accent her unfailingly flirty yet refined style.

While it’s unquestionable how good Cher’s taste is, let’s not forget that the rest of the cast was dressed to the nines as well! Amber’s (Elisa Donavan) eye-catching gym class ensemble where her matching black and white striped activewear is to die for—our closets are quaking as we speak—and Tai’s (Brittany Murphy, may she rest in peace) grunge-y plaid-over-leggings look would undoubtedly still be killer in today’s scene. 

If there’s anything to take away from this film, it’s that a good sense of fashion and a sharp eye for style never grow old. It’s been a good 15 years since its release and we still go gaga for their ensembles, squealing over each iconic piece as they stroll into the scene. Well, that and the actual plot that shows how a person’s wealth and image doesn’t dictate how good they are of a person. 

Telling you, iconic!

But let’s be honest: it’s really the outfits that’s got us coming back repeatedly! Haha!

Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)

Need we say more? This is the defining cultural touchstone of our generation, where both books and films played a transformative role in our upbringings and worldviews. We can’t even remember a time when getting to know someone was not initially based on what Hogwarts House they believed they were in. Much like how we obsess over zodiac signs these days, Houses gave all of us Potterheads a way to easily assess the kind of people we are! For reference, Jazz is a Slytherin and Julia is a Ravenclaw. 

This franchise is more than the magical world that it is on the surface. Whilst we love the grandiose idea of being able to live in a wizarding world, wave our wands around, stuff ourselves silly with Honeydukes sweets, and wait for our Hogwarts letters (although it’s around 12 years too late for us) to arrive via snowy owl, we can’t deny the fact that the underlying tones spoke volumes to us in our formative years. For a fantasy series aimed at children and young adults, it’s been able to sensitively touch on big topics that are deeply reflected in today’s societal issues like a sterling silver mirror, such as gender equality through Hermione as a strong female protagonist or unjust incarcerations in the case of Sirius Black. However, most notable of all is the allegory of ethnic cleansing and racism through their fight against pureblooded elitism. 

What a satisfying punch

This franchise is more than the magical world that it is on the surface. Whilst we love the grandiose idea of being able to live in a wizarding world, wave our wands around, stuff ourselves silly with Honeydukes sweets, and wait for our Hogwarts letters (although it’s around 12 years too late for us) to arrive via snowy owl, we can’t deny the fact that the underlying tones spoke volumes to us in our formative years. For a fantasy series aimed at children and young adults, it’s been able to sensitively touch on big topics that are deeply reflected in today’s societal issues like a sterling silver mirror, such as gender equality through Hermione as a strong female protagonist or unjust incarcerations in the case of Sirius Black. However, most notable of all is the allegory of ethnic cleansing and racism through their fight against pureblooded elitism. 

The values that were imbued in the struggles of the characters within this world were anything but childlike. The Harry Potter franchise was one of our first teachers who taught us that the world isn’t inherently black and white. In the words of Sirius Black, “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark sides inside of each of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.” 

It’s also laid the groundwork for youthful liberal activism today, empowering many of us to fight hard for what we believe is right—and to fight powerfully, loudly, and strongly (yes, we do not agree with J.K. Rowling’s comments on transgenders but we haven’t let that ruin our relationship with the books/movies). In a world where we’ve come into, what could only be seen as, a dark age of terrorism, climate change, and economic uncertainties, we hold steadfastly onto the belief that “fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten,” (Coraline 2002, Neil Gaiman). Raised to believe in our innate strengths and capabilities against tyrannical oppressors, these films have groomed us to become much of the same politically engaged hero generation brought up by Hogwarts. 

The beauty of the franchise doesn’t only come from the magic and the core values we carry within us today. Harry Potter pushed our generation to belong to something bigger than ourselves as we bonded over the books and the fantastical world it built for us, both canon and fan-made, with Potterheads found locally and internationally. In a world that’s been secularized for quite some time, that is definitely something powerful in and of itself, speaking so much to what the world could be like if we all got along and rallied under one banner: for the love and good of all.

Harry Potter’s struggles and pains to fight for freedom against evil continue to echo within us today (laugh all you want on Tiktok, Gen Z) and it’s the reason why we raise our metaphorical wands alight when another unwarranted AK is cast, why we still cry when the Battle of Hogwarts draws to an end, and why our hearts still ache when we’ve finished an 8-piece movie marathon.

The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants (2005 / 2008)

We’re sure we’ve all had that one summer that happened to be our biggest wake-up call—a prologue to adulthood—much like Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby’s first summer apart.

Any girl who has seen these films (or read the novels) can always relate to each girl from the quartet of besties, wishing they share the same pair of magical jeans with their own friends, and dreaming of the whirlwind summers of Bridget or Lena. We’re not going to lie: the deciding factor of including SOTP in our run-down of favorites to rewatch is definitely Lena’s scenic summer in Greece (we really love Greece, okay).

The rollercoaster of emotions that we experience alongside the girls on screen is a set up for a good cry and to let all the ~feels~ out (hello, Bailey’s secret little documentary self-interview): from Carmen’s pent up anger about her dad to Bridget’s complicated feelings about her mom post-sex with Coach Eric, and from Lena acquiring her first love and learning deal with heartbreak, to Tibby dealing with existential and internal struggles.

These encapsulated the coming-of-age genre of films, pelting lesson-after-lesson at us that they were basically prepping us for the lemons that come with maturity so that we’d be able to make a semblance of lemonade (at some point).

These films finely imprinted on us, at the foremost, the need to form everlasting bonds and sisterhoods—ones that stood the test of time and whatever life threw our way, even if it might be something as small as spending a summer apart—and that those kinds come from the most unexpected places. For Jazz, it was her tether to a sense of normalcy and establishing roots after moving schools and leaving friends behind (because really, when the internet was new and cellphones were just for the adults, how do you stay in touch all the time?).

We’re drawn to keep coming back to these four girls, because while the lessons remain the same, watching them during different eras of our lives just helps make them make more sense. We see so much of ourselves in their journeys of growth as we grapple with truths on our own journeys.

To this day, despite already sharing closets, we still wish we had that one pair of jeans we could share that made us look as good as it did on all four of the girls and have something special occur (unknowingly) while we had it on. 

But the numero uno rule that the girls left with us, when you see someone hot, you must remain calm. Don’t go falling into the sea because you’re drooling over a Kostas, sis!

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

As one of the most iconic films to grace theaters and streaming services, this Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway masterpiece of a film has us constantly dreaming about working in publishing. We’re 100% sure that we’ve still got Miranda Priestly’s iconique sweater speech memorized down to pat (we took the Buzzfeed quiz!).

Casting alone was phenomenal. Aside from the dream duo, this film also gives us memorable performances from Emily Blunt (“I love my job. I love my job. I love my job!”), Adrian Grenier, and even Giselle Bundchen. 14 years after its release, we’re still waiting for our sartorial godfather in the form of Stanley Tucci’s Nigel to come judge and transform us to Miranda Priestly’s standards. That aside, the film undoubtedly captures the velvety glitz and glamorous illusions that the fashion world has wrapped itself in, but held no restraints in making sure that the tricks behind the magic were not left unseen or minced off. This movie is one of the reasons that led us to apply for a voluntary internship at METRO Magazine a few years back (a tiny shoutout to our fellow interns Nicole, Bella, Ezy, and Megan) as well as to birth our baby: t à ∙ y o!

Because this truly was one eye-opening experience that has also cemented our love for writing and all things sartorial, we decided to break it down individually. 

JAZZ: The opening sequence of the film alone always has me at the edge of my seat, young and eager wide eyes glued to the screen, as I watch the disparity between the clumsy and awkward but ambitious Andrea Sachs and the easy breezy and sophisticated fashion girls like Emily—the lyrics, “suddenly I see, this is what I wanna be” has never rung so true. It literally echoed in my soul like a church bell tolling on a Sunday morning. Ever since I sat down to watch it the first time (even for the eleven thousandth time), it’s been a thrilling and intimidating goal for me to be able to work in a room with people whom I aspire to be in such a powerful industry that lets you see how the art of fashion moves and shapes the world we inhabit—seeing each piece of apparel (and its use and styling) as symbols of “iconography used to express individual identity”. While to many it is still quite trivial, the film has so plainly verbalized for me how fascinatingly the kingdom of fashion is a realm where everything from power and beauty and art constantly intersects. And so, despite all the horrifying treatments and demands that Miranda Priestly dishes out on her minions, it’s oddly safe to say that I am still wholly tempted to bullishly fulfill my starry-eyed ambition of making a name for myself in that world.

Andy’s persistence to prove herself to the illustrious Miranda, complete with falling over herself (but in Chanel boots, of course) to climb into her good graces, is something that I’m more than all too familiar with. I have always been one to work myself to the bone—often sacrificing a few things to make everything else pan out perfectly and prove myself worthy. While it is one thing that Anne Hathaway’s honest and truthful character is able to work out for herself over the course of the movie, I’m still in the process of being able to fully figure that some things aren’t worth killing myself for (thank you, Bianca, for pushing work-life balance down my throat). 

Though confronted with the two sided face of the glitz and glamour, I can’t ignore or shut out the three important life lessons—no, commandments—I’ve (for anyone who’s watched it really) taken away and continue to keep close to heart. No. Shan’t. Each time I find myself in a slump, I ask myself is everything truly worth it—both the pretty and the ugly truths—if it’s not the life you’re dying to have? Because if it isn’t and it won’t make you penultimately happy, then you have to really reflect and ask yourself the reason you’re here. In such a cutthroat world, imagine the girl you aspire to be and continuously show up as her, to be what you want to be and where you want to be, you’ve to project to the world so confidently until you get therebecause darling, the wolves will sniff you out and eat you alive. Last but never the least: girl, the work will be hard, but you’ve got to get your ass to the top, might as well make it look easy and glamorous.

JULIA: I’d be lying if I said I never dreamed of having Miranda Priestly metaphorically step on me with a stiletto as I scribbled down her every word as if it were law. I had always been in love with the art of the writing, but never have I been more inclined to write specifically for the world of fashion and beauty as I did after seeing this film for the first time. I was at the ripe age of fourteen then, so young and eager to make a name for myself in this world; seeing Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy, succeed in making an indelible dent in the industry by poking a hole through her steely Editor-in-Chief’s heart sparked a flame within me, bursting into a life-long desire for all things beauty and editorial. I know, I know: that’s not what the film was supposed to be about—the exact opposite, even—but her iconic makeover montage and the slow transformation of Priesly’s disgust-turned-approval made a bigger impact on me than I could ever express today. It’s precisely this reason why Jazz and I got into our first internship at METRO Magazine back in 2015, as well as the reason I interned (and eventually worked with) Calyxta.  I would even go as far as saying all of my internships afterwards have been affected by this very instance; every company I’ve put myself under have been geared towards the same ruthless yet intriguing world—all because of this movie.

I’m lucky enough not to have been put under the same kinds of pressures as Andy (I probably would’ve peed myself, if I’m being honest with you; thanks for being a nice editor, Gretchen!), but my determination to be part of that world stuck HARD. Today, as I willingly submit myself to the internal struggles of continuously improving my writing amidst our society’s continuously shortening attention spans, creating original pieces for online content for work, and facing the whirlwind experience of putting together, planning, and overseeing the magic of editorial shoots, my mind always goes back to this film. I am where I am and who I am because of this film, and every time I need a reminder, I allow myself to recognize my inner Emily Blunt because I, with all the sincerity my soul can muster, really do love this job.

But aside from the incessant need to surround myself with that kind of life, this film taught me the value of hardwork, the sacrifice achieving your dreams may cost you, and the deep, deep need for one to be in tune with their own personal priorities. Being prepared to take on struggle is always easier said than done, and almost always said in hindsight; but, when you know who you are, what you can do, and what more you know you offer, then despite what anyone else tells you, there’s always a way. Most of all, it taught me to recognize worth, to know where to draw the line when it comes to being handed unreasonable scopes of work, and to trust myself to do what I need to do for myself. A boss b*tch doesn’t mean being you’re your boss’s b*tch, after all.

At the end of the day, this was a truth we couldn’t ignore

If you’re in a binge watching mood, or any mood at all honestly, have a go at our quintessential films! Let us know if some of these movies have made an impact on your life or better yet, let us know what titles have made that impact and defined who you are today by commenting down below! You can also reach out to us via Instagram or Facebook!

Stay safe, babes! 🌸

✨ jazz

A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

A Reflection on Self-Acceptance with Karwa

It’s a tough world out there, undoubtedly. So there’s no need to be tough on yourself too. Darlings, you are enough. Every morning, every sunrise, every day.

Self-acceptance isn’t something people just gain overnight; it’s something cultivated through years and years of introspection, of trials and tribulations that test the very core of our existence, of moments both bad and good that collectively give us an idea of who we are and what direction we want to take. Like many people out there, self-confidence was one thing that didn’t come easily to the both of us. As individuals, we both found that only through hard work and persistent self-reassurance did we stand a chance at falling in love with who we are and how we look. 

The journey to accepting ourselves was a rough ride, and even through our growth, we still sometimes catch ourselves in a web of our own insecurities. That’s why when one of our good friends, Karina Dayrit (a.k.a Karwa), verbalized it into a mellifluous song with hard hitting lyrics that hit too close to home, we knew we wanted to share it and the powerful meaning behind it with you. 

But before we dive right in, we wanted to share what self-acceptance means to us:

What it means to Jazz: When I’m faced with the phrase self-acceptance, I think of it as synonymous to being enough for myself. It is a constant reminder that whatever the external world thinks or opines of you, your very existence does not need to be tailor-made for them. Self-acceptance is never doubting yourself in whatever you’re wearing—be it that loud hot pink sweater or an ankle-length skirt or your short pixie cut. It is about living comfortably in the body that you’ve been bestowed and rocking it. Many of our insecurities are so deeply rooted in flaws that are pointed out to us that we tend to oversee what truly matters: that through every phase of growth you are in, you are loving yourself each step of the way, coming to terms with your flaws, and keeping confident even without the final results just yet. So go out there today, unbowing to the standards that the world has set for decades, if not centuries, and remember that real beauty is being able to stand tall and proudly declare to the world that this is who you are and you are taking no one’s sh*t.

What it means to Julia: Self-acceptance for me is really just detaching yourself from the idea that other people can define you. What they think, how they see you, how they choose to treat you—these are all things that you cannot control. The one thing you can control is yourself, and choosing to stay true to your nature, to go about your path with the assurance that you are being who you are because you’re doing what you love, and being open to the fact that you can, along with everyone around you, constantly change is what I see as the rawest form of self-confidence. So, no matter what you wear, or what makeup you like, or how you want to express yourself, as long as you feel that it is untainted by undeserved external judgment and truly from your heart (and not harmful to anyone in any way possible), that’s good enough. You’re good enough. Always. 

But, of course, as young women, we grew up around the concepts and standards of beauty set by society and the beauty industry as a whole: from clothes to makeup to skin care to body image, we were constantly led to believe that there is one type of acceptable beauty. Although the industry has been working around the problem of acceptance and non-conformity as well as learning to embrace facts that beauty is not just on the outside, it still presents itself to be quite a looming shadow for many people. While the beauty industry can be wielded as a powerful tool to create and uplift, it can also stand as a double-edged sword to those that fall into their intimidation tactics. These are but a few of the topics that this song tackles, so let’s unpack more of these in depth with the songwriter herself. 

Stream it on Spotify

To help us take a deeper look into her latest song entitled “Who Is She?”, we were able to catch up with Karwa this quarantine season via email (stay safe indoors people) to talk about her inspiration for the song and what it means to her personally!

Please introduce yourself. Literally, who is she?

Getting asked that question is sometimes difficult because we continually evolve as people; our careers, likes/dislikes, beliefs can actually change through time. But for the sake of answering it, here’s “me” at the moment: I’m Karina Dayrit, but I go by the artist name “karwa”, which is one of my nicknames back in college (with a sabaw story probably reserved for another chat). I currently work with a digital marketing company and teach yoga therapy part-time to my community in Muntinlupa called “Flow Village”. Dancing, creating music, eating good food, hanging out with my family and two dogs makes me sane, especially through this tough time.

What was the inspo to write this song? 

I was watching a short video clip of Yoga by Adriene where she was talking to a crowd about how she started creating free content on YouTube for people who want to practice and know more about Yoga, which has eventually grown into this big community. One of her lines during the talk struck to me: “What’s the point of looking good if you still look at the mirror and you don’t know who you are, and you don’t love what you see?” I was like, “Damn girl, you have a point!” At this time, I was kind of struggling a bit with what direction I should take in life and also body image issues, so that line made sense to me.

Can you tell us about your creative process when it came to producing the song and the video?

Since that whole line was so powerful, that became the root concept of the song so I just picked up my guitar and started babbling words until I got into the flow of writing. I collaborated with my co-workers and friends who are into beauty, fashion, and make-up vlogging to get their clips for the video. I wanted to highlight the mirrors at home to show how when we look at ourselves, sometimes we are our harshest critics and there would be moments where we don’t even recognize ourselves while looking at our own image.

We’re hoping you can share with us your personal experiences and self-love growth?

Ever since I was a kid, I would always be on the lookout for something to do, and I was always hungry (literally and figuratively) for more. This type A personality made me push myself to go after anything I ever wanted to achieve, but it would also make me stressed and unappreciative of my own efforts. To be honest, a big shift in my perspective happened when I got hooked into taking Yoga classes back in 2016, then went on to becoming a certified teacher where I got to learn more about the philosophy and the supportive community that fosters acceptance. It also helps that I have a very good support system which is my family and friends who I can always count on when life gets tough. 

What are your personal thoughts on the standards of beauty in society and the use of makeup?

What is deemed beautiful is subjective and beauty standards are always changing in our society. We are constantly exposed to messages telling us, “This is what you should wear” or “This is how you should look”. Over time, when such messages are consistently ingrained in our minds, we then believe that this is also how we should be. Sometimes that can be problematic because it sets us up to unrealistic expectations like seeing a brushed up model and thinking, “I should be that flawless” But, of course, you forget that some pores were edited in Photoshop. As for the use of make-up, I grew up with my mom putting very minimal make-up on her face. Her go to would be a compress powder, eyeliner, and a lip balm. She already has a beautiful face so I think she can do without it to be honest. And because she’s like that, I did the same – believe it or not my blush on back in highschool was me pinching my cheeks. Plus, I would sometimes joke to people that the reason I don’t put on so much make-up is so they can get used to my bare face and not compare it to an enhanced version of me lol. But kidding aside, I think make-up is also a form of art that has this amazing power to transform and highlight  our natural features which can make people feel good about themselves. Sometimes, when you’re feeling a lil’ ugly at home and you just put some tint on your lips, it can actually make a difference in your mood. 

Do you have any advice to someone experiencing self-doubt or insecurities or having trouble finding who they were, what would it be?

I think the first step is acknowledging that you have these doubts and insecurities and trying to identify where these all started and what triggers them. Are the harsh words you tell yourself your own voice or are they the words of other people? When it comes to finding who you are, girl I’m still figuring out who I am most of the time! Maybe we’re all just trying to wing it in life. Personally, I find it helps to keep doing what you love doing, have a solid support system, and know that things are always changing – even the answer to the question, “Who is She?”

Don’t forget to follow Karwa through her various socials! For more music and movement, come say hi via her pages below:

And remember to drop a like on the video

If you’ve got stories about self confidence and personal growth that you’d love to share with us or what you think about Karwa’s new song, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments below!

And remember lovelies, becoming the baddest b*tch starts from within.

A Day in the Life of Two Fangirls: Concert Experiences and Tips

Because we believe that stans together strong, and that we’re waxing nostalgic about our favorite concert experiences!

With the global pandemic uprooting what we all know as “normal”, the thought of attending concerts now seems like a fever dream that’s left just out of reach. While live streaming and YouTube content can satiate our needs to see our biases and future spouses—us girls can dream—for now, it’s safe to say that nothing compares to being in the midst of it all: the sore throat-rendering screams, the sweat-soaked bodies bouncing in synchronization, and the communal love for music that ingrains each and every concert experience into the deepest recesses of our souls. 

Right now, as the world is still testing the waters of what’s to be the “new normal”, we’re left with our memories and our deep, deep longing to be thrown back into the throng of fangirls (and boys!) and see our faves up close. So, to quell the ache in our hearts, we’ve decided to come together and recount some of our favorite concert experiences and everything we learned from them! 

To preface this, you should know that the both of us have seen quite a few concerts together, namely: G-Dragon (our first together), iKON, GOT7, Seventeen (twice!), and Troye Sivan—technically also EXO, if you count the digital concert we attended in Seoul. So we think it’s safe to say that we’ve earned our veteran’s badges. LOL! 

Ready to join us and relive our fangirl days?   


THIS GOES WITHOUT SAYING, BUT BE EXTRA, EXTRA EARLY WHEN BUYING TICKETS. As soon as those concert dates are up, write it down on your calendars and do not, we repeat, do NOT forget to set alarms for it. Julia once slept through her alarm to buy EXO tickets (in Manila, this time) and woke up a solid four hours later. Needless to say, we did not go to EXO that year. Don’t be a Julia. For online ticket buyers (especially for those wanting to watch Korean idol groups), expect a LOT of lag and the need for multiple attempts to get into the website, because believe us when we say that K-Pop stans are CRAZY. Have your account ready beforehand to cut the time needed to log in! 

It would also help if you and your buddies tag-teamed then split the costs afterwards, just to have more chances of nabbing those precious tickets! For those buying tickets in person, we’ve learned it’s best to go for the malls that aren’t usually as populated (e.g a smaller SM) because you’ll SURELY catch more people camping in the larger main malls. We elected to go to a smaller mall with a ticket outlet right when it opens and found that the line was actually pretty manageable! Just remember to be there around 1-2 hours before ticket selling to be extra, extra sure!

SEATS. Personally, we’ve experienced concerts in various parts of venues: from all the way at the back in Gen Ad for G-Dragon’s ‘Act III MOTTE’, to Upper Box for Troye Sivan (where organizers bumped our section to Lower Box), to Lower Box for SEVENTEEN, and to VIP for iKON and GOT7. It goes without saying that the closer you are, the better your view is, so when it comes to deciding your seats, be sure to have a budget set aside and to set your expectations accordingly. 

Every concert is gracious enough to have a gigantic LED screen anyway, so the view of G-Dragon’s gorgeous jawline was still very much visible to us in the very back. Keep in mind that VIP tickets tend to come in 6-digit figures, and while we do admit that it’s A LOT of money to pay upfront, the miraculous view of Mark Tuan’s biceps or BOBBY’s bunny smile up close are really unforgettable life moments. BUT, it also comes with the pressures of extreme body heat, being carelessly shoved about, and straining your neck because the sis in front of you won’t put her phone down. Besides, other sections have seats and the opportunity to set down your belongings–pros and cons to everything! 

It doesn’t make it any less fun to vibe in non-VIP sections, so don’t feel too pressured to shell out the cash!

LIGHTSTICK. A K-Pop concert experience just doesn’t feel really complete until you’re waving this in sync with everyone else to the beat of the songs. It’s such a special, goosebump-inducing moment to be able to see the venue light up with the lightsticks specially designed for each fandom. Many fan projects also make use of the lightsticks, and seeing them turn different colors thanks to bluetooth tech is just a whole ‘nother level of awe. Trust us when we say, you will experience complete and utter FOMO if you don’t have one in hand on the day, so canvas from trusted sellers months ahead. There’s a lot of sellers out there who do group orders (G.O.s) way ahead of time. Your lightstick will arrive literally in the nick of time for concert day. Do yourself a favor and purchase ahead. You will save yourself an infinite amount of stress down the proverbial road. Pro tip: your batteries should be the alkaline kind and taken out right after the event—lest you forget it inside and it leaks.

VIBE TO THE SETLIST BEFOREHAND. You can usually find these online prior to the concert, especially if the group has been on tour prior to landing in Manila. Being the addicts that we are, we usually have these on repeat for around two weeks (a minimum, at least) just so we have the main parts, like the iconic lines, down pat! It also wouldn’t help to try to know the lyrics at least phonetically, so you can still sort of sing along even if it’s in Korean and you have no idea what you’re saying. By concert day, you should be singing along like a karaoke pro! LMAO! 

MEMORIZE THE FANCHANT. There is NOTHING more heart-melting than hearing an entire venue chant at the same time. We have shed literal tears because of this alone, and trust us, you’ll feel like you’re part of something so, so much bigger if you join in. And if you’re a SEVENTEEN stan, then it’s also the perfect way to practice and jumpstart your rap career! 

PREPARE YOUR HEART as well as your mind. The experience will still definitely rock your world and blow your mind, but it’s best to come prepared. The crowd will be intense. The whole experience will leave you shooketh. Seeing your bias in real life? Girl, it might just send you to an early grave. So keep in mind that while the rush is amazing, keeping your wits about you through the whole ordeal will keep you first and foremost, safe. Your biases do not want your falling over yourselves just for them. Please bear that in mind.

PREPARE YOUR SIGN. What’s a sis got to lose? A chance to get noticed by your bias, or one of his members, maybe. Note that your sign is the same size as everyone else’s! So keep it witty and easy to understand—remember, your oppas are Korean. Make it flashy and colorful or maybe even neon! A surefire way to get them to see it is that it’s readable and eye catching. Also, be doubly sure it’s organizer compliant and small enough to fit in your bag too!

COORDINATE YOUR LOOK WITH YOUR BUDDY AND THE THEME. Something we both love doing is coordinating our outfits with each other, so we tend to wear complimentary colors or clothes with similar levels of hoe-ishness. For K-Pop stans, your groups usually have fandom colors, so we like to play it up with those too! Going to see GOT7? Green Ahgase eyeshadow! Going to the iKONCERT? Wear something red! Not only is it super cute, but it’s also so fun getting decked out for a concert and seeing other people do it too. Also, pro-tip: don’t wear jewelry in case it gets stolen, or caught on people and their hair. That’ll be a nightmare.

BRING EXTRA MERCHANDISE CASH. Both of us are notorious impulsive buyers when it comes to merch and knick knacks, and as much as we say we won’t spend on a thing, we WILL end up spending on the thing anyway. Our Troye Sivan experience is quintessential impulsive buyer behaviour: we walked in completely confident that we wouldn’t buy the hoodie because we were outraged by the price (it was around P3,000 or so), yet ran immediately to the merchandising stall right after the concert because we were just so engrossed in the moment and needed (yes, NEEDED) memorabilia. If you’re like us, prepare yourself, because it’s uber HARD to resist.


SET YOUR MAKEUP LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Sis, when we tell you you’re going to sweat, you are GOING TO SWEAT–most especially if you’re in VIP Standing. We both come out of concerts looking a hot mess every single time, but do the eyeshadow or blush fade? No. Why? Setting spray! Don’t believe us? See the gif below for proof that setting spray saves lives.

WEAR DEODORANT. We don’t know how much we have to drill it into you that the sweat is real. Keeping your pits dry isn’t just for your own comfort, but also a courtesy to the people around you. You don’t need to add to the eau de sweat already permeating around you. Do everyone a favor and bring extra for that ate gurl who didn’t put on deo. Also prepare for random kili-kili by your head or your shoulders. It’s a bit gross to think about, but it is inevitable. That random kili-kili will find you.

SECURE YOUR HAIR. This is mainly a Julia tip, because she was dumb and wore space buns to a concert in VIP Standing. Do you know what that means? Her hair got caught in literally everything: phone cases, light sticks, hands, faces, shoulders—you get the idea. Keep the mane neat and don’t be a Julia

BUT ALSO, BE PREPARED TO HAVE ALL THE HAIR IN YOUR FACE. This is self-explanatory and is in conjunction with the tip above, but you will not exit the VIP Standing section without having a mouthful of hair on you at least once. And that’s not even the minimum, honestly.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, BRING A SMALL BAG. This is not only for your own personal safety, as it sticks closer to your body, but it’s also to make sure other concert goers aren’t being harassed with your big ass backpack swinging around everywhere and hitting everyone in the face. Stick to your tiny purses or crossbody bags or fanny packs and pack only your essentials: mist, powder, a fully-charged power bank, phone cord, wallet, ticket, lipstick or balm or gloss.

EAT BEFORE THE CONCERT STARTS. Do not starve yourself pre-concert. You are going to need all those calories (and a bit more) because concerts are just basically one giant zumba class but with your faves! All the jumping around, getting squished in the crowd, and dancing around? You’ll be burning all those calories, sweetie—and not just the ones you gained from dinner.

HYDRATE! Hydrate! Hydrate! You’re crying and sweating, the idols are crying and sweating, everyone’s mushed together; that’s a lot of water to lose in less than a handful of hours. They usually forbid outside food and drinks inside the venue and will ask you to surrender those upon getting admitted into the lobby of the venue. And because you don’t wanna prune or die in front of your bias, you should definitely hydrate while you’re in line and post-concert. If you’re a non-VIP, they might allow water inside but only if you buy from the venue concessionaire—but even then, you might risk spilling it on yourself as there’s a no cap policy in most venues.

DON’T WEAR BIG OBSTRUCTIVE HEADBANDS. This is as a courtesy to your fellow concert goers because they will sapak. We have seen videos of fans throwing water bottles at people’s heads to get them to remove it, so just don’t

BE SWEET TO THE STAFF. It goes without saying that being nice is a trait that everyone should employ regardless of the occasion, but being extra, extra nice to staff reaps its rewards. Take, for example, our very cringey attempt at sweet-talking a guard to let us take a photo behind the rails as the sun was setting in a really opportune angle. At first, he said no, which was to be expected. But we pulled out the “Sige na, Kuya! Mabilis lang naman eh! Pang picture lang po, promise! Tapos alis na kami agad. Sige na, po!” with matching pout and little-girl stomps and what do you know? He let us do our mini shoot! Julia’s friend even messaged her afterwards because she was a few rows down and was like, “Dude, what the heck? Was that you? LOL.”

This also helped during the iKONCERT, because we were already queuing up and filing into the venue, but it was moving at such a glacial pace that Miranda Priestly would have had an aneurysm. We were parched (see above reminder to stay hydrated), so Julia decided to hop over the fence to the mini mart across the street. Was that allowed? Technically, no. But once again, the miracles of being pabebe and utilizing your kapal ng mukha let her cross to and fro without issue. Fair warning though, but lady guards may not be as susceptible to such wiley charms.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE KAPAL MUKHA. Take all the photos and capture all the memories. For content purposes (and because receipts or it didn’t happen) we try our best to take as many photos as we can of the entire experience. Also, you’re playing the waiting game, so might as well entertain yourselves while you’re at it! Note that people will stare when you have your mini photoshoots—so what? It’s your experience! Soak it all in and have photos for keeps!

While most fans are calm and happy and actually very nice, it is unfortunate to say that some can actually be mean and rude. We’re not going to specify which fandom they’re from, but people will and do fight and push. You must double down and stand your ground, sis. Jazz has gotten into numerous stare downs and confrontations because someone had shoved her too strongly or picked a fight for no reason. But don’t think everyone is out to get you, though! There are a lot of really nice stans out there that will help you wiggle forward and even give away free things. STANS TOGETHER STRONG.

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES OR YOU’LL DIE. There’s nothing more boring than being seated during a concert, and trust us when we say that NO ONE stays seated anyway. Save yourself the pain and wear something you’ll be comfortable standing in for at least 3 hours. Especially if you’re a SEVENTEEN fan because everyone knows that their encore with AJU NICE is basically a whole ‘nother concert in and of itself. Pro-tip: opt to wear platforms! They’re way more comfortable than heels and will help you see better if you’re vertically challenged–sorry, Jazz. 

THERE IS A 90% CHANCE YOU AND YOUR BUDDY WILL GET SEPARATED IN VIP STANDING. So, we went into the venue for iKON together and were fully prepared to share this life experience with one another, right? Oh, honey, we were so wrong. It was our first VIP Standing experience, and maybe thirty minutes into the concert, we both got separated by the massive homogeneous mob that were the iKONICs that pushed and pulled every time a member moved closer to the edge of the stage. 

Julia was way too busy trying to track Donghyuk on the other side of the stage, so like a dummy, she followed him. Lo and behold, once she turned over her shoulder, Jazz was nowhere to be seen! Boohoo for Julia, though, since Jazz ended up right at the barriers and was able to get an up close look at the boys. It’s suffice to say that Julia’s regret runs deep, but it was all good in the end! 

To be fair, it wasn’t the biggest deal, because both of us stopped giving a sh*t after literally 2 seconds of losing each other and immersed ourselves in the experience instead because we’re those kind of people, but just know that separation CAN and most probably WILL happen unless you are very diligent with gluing yourself to your friends. Or, you know, be like us and just go with it, because hey, it’s still a once in a lifetime thing, right?

This is why it’s important to keep a powerbank on your person in case your phone dies from all the videos and photos you took–so you can recharge and find your buddy! Or, you can discuss a designated meeting place in case this happens, because it will.


STRETCH. You will be tired. This one is especially for those in VIP Standing: give your neck a good stretch to avoid pain further down the line. Staring up at the baes is beautiful, yes, but it can also be painful. No one ever said love is without sacrifice!

RE-NOURISH. Rehydrate and get some food because you WILL be tired and hungry. You need to stay alive so you don’t miss the next concert, right? 

RELIVE THE EXPERIENCE YOU LITERALLY JUST HAD. We have this habit of just sitting in some coffee shop or restaurant in silence just to check or exchange videos and it’s so much fun just basking in the realization that, “Damn. That really happened, didn’t it?” 

Troye Sivan: The Bloom Tour

CLEANSE. Numero uno to-do when you get home is to remove the gunk on your face and your body. You do not want to sleep in makeup, sweat, and someone’s kili-kili essence. That’s just not right in any universe. You will thank yourself for it when you’ve fallen into your dreams filled with your bias and you’re squeaky clean! So cleanse sis, cleanse. 

CRY. Cry because it’s over for the next few years, but also cry because you experienced it. 


THE BEER INCIDENT. During our Troye Sivan concert experience, one of the sponsors was San Miguel. Therefore, SanMig Light was being sold at the concert! And you were also allowed to bring it in! So of course, being self-pledged alcohol enthusiasts, we went for it. Not even halfway through the first half of the concert, we were already done with our cups. During one of the lulls in between songs, we looked down from our balcony railing into the mosh pit and there, to our utter surprise, was another SanMig Light stall! We frantically waved and got the bartender’s attention and tried to convince him if he could do us an immense favor by refilling our cups with another round of beer. After much struggle (a.k.a Jazz holding onto Julia’s belt loops so she doesn’t fall into the VIP section and the bartender standing on a couple of crates), we were immensely happy with ourselves by not sloshing the drinks onto the people below us. A couple beside Jazz blatantly looked at us as if we were either: (1) crazy, and (2) wordlessly asking where we got our drinks. We did them a solid and got them theirs, repeating the whacked process once more. To say our alcohol-loving selves were immensely satisfied is quite the understatement.

GETTING AWAY WITH PHOTOSHOOTS. We ramped up our confidence game and took all the photos. It worked to our advantage that we had each other and that we trust each other to take amazing photos for the ‘gram! Befriending the security and staff were plus points because they let us take photos in restricted areas because the lighting was the bomb. It pays to be nice to anyone and everyone, people! (Also we’re very pabebe, ask anyone.)

KUYA GUARD BEING A CUTIE. During SEVENTEEN’s Ideal Cut, we weren’t allowed to take videos with our phones—the heck, right? So, during the entire concert, there’d be this guard moving throughout the aisles (context: we were Lower Box) with a sign telling us to stop taking videos. But the entire time, he was dancing. He was swaying to the music, and every time he’d catch someone with their phones up, he’d get real close and dance into their video cams. So adorable, but also quite the hassle when you’re trying to film Mingyu dancing to TWICE’s ‘TT’. Grr at you, Kuya Guard. Grr. 

(JAZZ) VIBING BIASES. Being tiny has its ups and downs during a concert, especially when you’re in the VIP section. But the one thing I’m thankful for is being able to squish my way—voluntarily or not, but most often not–to the barrier up front where it’s only basically an arm’s length away from being able to touch my biases. In the iKON 2018 Continue Tour, Jinhwan basically just vibed out in front of me onstage for an amazing 10 seconds. I was also able to get a quick brush of Donghyuk’s person when he came down and ran by our section. Gosh, what a dream. During the 2019 GOT7 Keep Spinning Tour, I didn’t even realize how close I was to the stage until Jackson rose out of it for the concert exclusive AmeriThaiKong Unit stage. I honestly thought I’d died with how close he was. My sign was so forgotten because I got so caught up in the moment, I prayed to whichever deity could hear me that Julia would be able to take photos or videos of the moment in my stead as I definitely did not trust myself to do so.

(JULIA) TAKE THIS AS PERVERSELY AS YOU WANT TO, BUT JAEBEOM (GOT7) MADE ME WET. Like, literally. With a literal water bottle. Getting splashed in the face with water that was partially sipped from by an idol is one of the most strangely satisfying concert feelings ever, and it doesn’t help that he is definitely on the top of my list of the most attractive K-Pop idols. Unfortunately, Ahgases know how hard he friendzoned us as a fandom, so I will respectfully appreciate him from afar even as my heart aches—wow, drama? Wetness aside, for that concert, I also had an LED app on my phone that made the phrase “JAEBEOM BE MY BABEOM” scroll repeatedly, and it was the funniest thing seeing Bambam look at it, pause, scrunch his eyebrows, and tilt his head in confusion before completely ignoring me afterwards. At least I was noticed, I guess?


Each one is a different set of memories and no con experience is ever the same. Upon writing this article, with all the looming “new normal” protocols floating around, it really hit us hard that the realization of concerts not being a thing for a couple of years is too real to even comprehend. So treasure the experiences you’ve had so far, because you’ve literally no idea when the next opportunity will happen.

If you’ve got any concert tips or memorable experiences you’d like to share, let’s talk about it in the comments below! Or you can reach out to us on our Instagram account (@talktayo), we’d love to hear all about it!

As one of Jazz’s favorite authors have written, “Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow!” 

But don’t be that sis and always practice proper hygiene and social distancing. 

Stay safe, lovelies!

✨ jazz

A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.

💋 julia

A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.

An Ode to Bosses Turned Friends

To the bosses turned friends, this heartfelt letter of thanks is for you.

We’ve heard countless stories of peers quarreling with their bosses, of complaints of unfair treatment, or of being unjustifiably overworked. We’ve heard of people feeling so distant from their management, some left to flounder about and left to their own devices and some to be micromanaged to the point of madness. And yet, despite these gruesome realities, life has been so kind to bless us with not just one but two bosses (each!) that we can genuinely say truly made us feel more than an employee.

We wanted to take this time to give thanks where thanks are due, especially to those that have impacted our lives in such unquantifiable magnitudes. With this, here is a love letter of sorts to the bosses we’re proud to call friends

Here’s to you, Millie-unnie, for starting our friendship through unabashed giggling and mutual fangirling over BTS comebacks, all while making sure to guide me patiently through digital jargon and campaign creation that left me slack-jawed in confusion before you came to save me. I still remember the moment you saw the Suga wallpaper on my phone from a distance and immediately came to me and started going off about shipping TaeKook, becase same. LOL! I will forever appreciate your kindness, your stories of both wisdom and kagaguhan that make us laugh so loud that they never fail to earn us stares from other departments (sorry, not sorry), and your immense detail-orientation that still sticks with me to this day (you will never see a campaign without UTM tags ever again, I promise).

Thanks for teaching me more than I ever realized I learned at the time, and thank you for being a friend that is always ready to hype us on (quick shoutout to Andy, because we’re all in this together, hoe), share the best love life advice (both PG and R-rated, but mostly R-rated), and lend an ear when we’re feeling down. Most of all, thank you for being genuine and understanding, even when we were at our lowest. Thank you for letting us confide in you without an ounce of judgement and for bringing some much needed light into the concealed dungeon that was the “social media room”.

I hope to one day to inherit the kind of fearless, fiercely independent boss b***h energy that you bring, as well as the kindness you’ve always shown us even when we make mistakes. I am beyond grateful that you were my first boss—most especially my real-life unnie! Plus, who could say that they went on a leisurely trip to Korea with their Senior Manager and actually enjoy the heck out of it without feeling awkward? Um, other departments could never.

Unnie with her Dongsaengs in Seoul
Caption from this story was: “Minsan, normal kami.” Mga siz, kung alam niyo lang….
Naver Report: New girl group spotted. Ansabe ng digital team mo? Charot!

And here’s to you, Gretchen, for putting your faith in me and making me kulit through emails to make sure I knew I still had a chance to work with WeaveWorks, hahaha! Thank you for your thoughtfulness, for your endless gifts of pastries every Monday, random cosmetics from your ~influencer life~, and for introducing us to your pets that I have now come to call my older siblings. You, Booboo, (*in my deeply modulated voice*) Bella, and Cayo have left an indelible mark on my soft soul and I will always be proud to have been your work baby. Thank you for our Breakout team building sessions that never fail to bring us closer together even if we lose (ESPECIALLY WHEN IT WASN’T OUR FAULT), and for your unfailingly calm demeanor that always reassures me that everything will be okay. I know I can get frazzled sometimes, but you’re always there to make sure I keep my head on straight and understand where I’m coming from, which honestly means so much to me being the anxious little hooman that I am.

Thank you for answering the bazillion questions I have every day (and not looking annoyed at me when I interrupt your train of thought), for deeply understanding the need of work-life balance, for cultivating such a positive sense of family in our workplace, for accepting me in both my silence and my craziness, for always sticking your neck out for your all of your office kids, and for going above and beyond in teaching all of us new and relevant skills that you weren’t even required to do just because you wanted to help us grow.

Your trust means the absolute world to me, as it helped me grow so much in confidence, creativity, and KNOWLEDGE (*fist pumps the air*), so please, please know how much I value the time I had with you. I look up to you so much, and I know your future child (biological, this time) will be in the greatest and gentlest of hands—even if I’m sure you’ll laugh at him/her when s/he falls down then upload the video to @KidsGettingHurt. My heart breaks a little bit every time I think of your chair being empty, but I promise that I, along with the rest of your Wenkwonkers, will do my best to make you proud in your absence!

All dressed up for our Gatsby-themed company party!
Partial flex that I also met Kylie Verzosa. Heheheh.
Momma alcoholizing with her children coz she’s a cool mom

I love you both to the deepest depths of my soul (even though my resting face and monotonous manner of speaking may not show it) and am beyond lucky to have started my corporate life with mentors like you. You both are the best examples that flexibility in the workplace and genuine human connections with your employees have SUCH a big impact. Thank you both for helping me get to where I am, and for setting me on my way to become an even greater version of who I can be. Ang drama ko ba? HAHA! Minsan lang naman.

Big hugs and kisses from me! Please know that wherever you are in life, your lowly subordinate is cheering you on with both hands in the air while screaming her lungs out.

💋  With love and a never-ending well of terrible jokes, Julia

Cheers to you, Marla, for seeing me and choosing to hear the rumblings of my stomach during my interview as a sign of hunger to prove myself (even if I was actually, really hungry) and seeing the steely-eyed determination in my eyes to get things done.

Thank you for taking a chance on me with production and rooting for me always. For being a chill but very attentive boss, I know B somewhat gets it from you—honestly, I am more than thankful for you. You’ve let me grow and guided me to bloom, even sticking up for me when I felt lost. You are thoughtful and kind, qualities that peek through in snacks and gifts and small conversations that mean so much to me—I’m still in love with the SPF mist you gifted me for Christmas 2019, I was torn between using it sparingly and using more than I should.

You’ve convinced me to take up Pilates and Yoga with a little help from ClassPass, guessing spot on that I would enjoy despite all the sore muscles the next day. Stairs at the warehouse were never the same post-Physique 57! Thank you for encouraging fitness is lit!

You’ve also put up and accepted how weird this Aquarian is, encouraging my ways and humour—all the many inside jokes, most of which were R-rated, and stories 😉 (of sweaty baguettes and cousins). You are an amazing supportive member of Terrace House Energy, being a voice of reason in a crazy arena. Content and messages from it saves me many-a-time.

I look up to you, both professionally and personally because you are a beautiful human being. The way your creativity and mind works still astounds me, which I can only hope to have at least a fingernail of and learn from.

And cheers to you, Bianca, for being my forever mom as you have been such a guiding hand in many things. Literally guiding my head away from staring at yet another boy, and making sure I do not walk into an accident but also basically mind-linking with me when faced with beautiful creatures (ehem, boys) and just mentally shutting down.

You took me under your wing during the day and still partied with me like it’s 2012 at night (the videos exist, my gosh, Kuya Grab was horrified but supportive). You made work never have to feel like work, and one of the reasons is because I had you as a boss—being there to make sure that everything made sense, at the same time sending memes and crazy photos. You’ve drilled into me that there are efficient ways to get things done and showed me the ropes to make processes and products look flawless.

You’ve always seen the big picture when I am too focused on the smaller things, and you catch the devil in the details when I am too focused on the bigger picture. You’ve made sure (without fail) that I knew I am valuable to you and that me and my opinions matter but you also call me out on my b*llshit in a gentle fashion so that this edgy cry baby doesn’t break down or retreat into her shell.

You got me in so many aspects, from the way I speak, to the way I think, and to the way I do things, that I honestly think you’re a mind reader. We have been through so many things and I have a phone full of crazy memories to prove it—from never-quiet car rides, tinto de veranos and burrata pizzas, juice and coffee runs, to the cookies and froyo breaks, and the fire escape photoshoots, all of which I am grateful for.

Thank you for letting me and Iya (shout out to my sis) create your dating app account and profile—they were somewhat successful, but not as successful as our little walks and heart-to-hearts and encouraging me to take a break when I didn’t even know I needed to—they were never little to me. One of my favorite lessons that you’ve imparted is pushing me to let myself be young and to accept that it’s okay, to enjoy it for now. Your affirmations and confidence in me surpasses my own self-confidence sometimes, and they are part of the gifts that I treasure more than the red lipstick or baked goods. You amaze me in many ways, from your ingenuity in making the most sense to your pabebe-ness.

Some people leave footprints in our lives, and we are never the same again. You’re not only mentors to me, but most especially you are friends I am more than glad to keep. You have both taught me many things, and I will never know how to repay them—especially the little things.

As your subordinate once-upon-a-time, I hope that I was able to make you proud. I miss you both always but a little extra every time. You’ve shown me that work relationships can be more than just the outputs produced, that investing in human relationships in the workplace is more than worthwhile. I could not have had more ideal bosses than you both as some of my first mentors. There are so many things I can say and am thankful about during the small amount of time that I’ve been able to spend with both of you professionally, but surmise to say that I am eternally grateful to you for just getting me to my core and taking care of this Aquarius / Pomeranian / crybaby.

You are definitely the coolest of cool and are without-a-doubt above and beyond. You have my love and my utmost appreciation, always.

✨ From the bottom of my heart to the length of my mermaid tail, Jazz

This is for all the bosses who are much more than their title and management position.

To all the bosses in the world that care deeply, we thank you.