Shooting Globe Tattoo's L.E.D Billboard

4:07 PM

I can now finally cross out having a billboard in my bucket list.
When I was a kid, a part of me secretly wanted to be a commercial model for TV and print. I've always wanted to be the next Candy or Meg Magazine cover girl and/or someone from a really recognizable TV commercial bordering on wanting to be on showbiz (not to be a celebrity) because I simply wanted to perform.

When I was in elementary, I took workshops (like most of you) on singing, dancing and theater. And even though I wouldn't want to admit it, yes I secretly auditioned for some of those star searches on television or go-sees for some campaigns and never bothered mentioning it to anyone because I didn't want to feel embarrassed when my friends would find out I didn't make it.

So there, I said it. I didn't make it - in almost anything I tried out for as a child; as far as these fields [modeling / showbiz] are concerned. As I got older, I have realized the truth that in these careers, even though I believe that I have talent, it's never going to be enough because society's notion of what beauty is will always be the prevailing or deciding factor. Here in the Philippines, the main standards are tall, white, chinita or any foreign-blood look, biz-related friends or families or connections.

I know, not everyone in the industry adheres to these qualities. But most of them though. Even Danica Magpantay (who yes, has defied these standards) had her foot at the door of the modeling world because (even though she won the competition through hard work) it is worth noting that she's also a daughter of a supermodel to begin with (falls under the category of relatives working in the same business). And if there are any exceptions like Nora Aunor, Melai Cantiveros, Ai-ai Delas Alas, Eugene Domingo, Pokwang, Kiray, Boy Abunda, Allan K. and some others (local showbiz personalities), let me just repeat that they are merely exceptions (either really talented or just being made fun of, really).

This little childhood dream that I once had was long gone and I'm happily working behind the camera for various production work now (management, design, styling, photography) and hosting events every time a project offer comes up. The only moment that I relive that dream is when I get to be the star in this humble, little blog of mine (haha). But to clarify, I blog not because of fame. I blog because I like to write (isn't it obvious how long and chatty most of my entries are? haha).

And to tie up my first statement at the beginning of this entry to everything that I was just saying, all these references to my little childhood dream, is because I had been given a totally unexpected opportunity to be featured in my first billboard (L.E.D) for Globe Tattoo's "I Choose Tattoo" campaign. Funny because I knew then that I'm not made for this but it was a blessing that landed to me because of this blog and our Bloggers United endeavor. Being a pioneer of a blogger-initiated event for a cause with Aisa and Ana, Globe thought of having us in their roster of online personalities and social media mavens.

False humility aside, there's a small part of me that feels so shy being next to Garovs Garovillo, Camille Co, Dominique Tiu, The Plump Pinays, Paul Jatayna, Lloyda Lim, Vince Golangco, Lauren Dado and these other awesome bloggers! But... I am a part of the pack for a reason and I need to work on that disbelief and start turning it around and claiming this for myself. Mental note: Confidence is key.

The billboard shoot took place around the last week of September and some of the other bloggers have already blogged about the behind-the-scenes shoot on their blogs. On the other hand, I decided to wait for the billboard to come out before saying anything. However, I wasn't totally mum about it because I posted a status message about it on my facebook wall. Haha.

Thinking about what to wear on the shoot was never a problem because we were initially told that the shots are medium close-ups anyway and that, they would put markings of a fake "I Choose Tattoo" tattoo on our body parts. I think my best asset are my shoulders so that was what I wanted to emphasize in my photo. I wore a plain off-shoulder shirt, crochet cover-up with golden beads and striped shorts. Everyone looked fabulous by the way!

We also met new bloggers over pizza dinner at Cyrus Panganiban's photo studio.

Would you believe this was my first time (and only time yet) wearing fake eyelashes? I would want to wear it more often sana if only I know how to put it on without it looking too fake. Haha.

The shoot was a lot of fun and you can really tell by looking at Paul and Ana here. Halooo guys!

I felt so much pressure after seeing these guys work it! Siyempre, di papakabog lola niyo! I wanted to look great in my photos like them. But if you're wondering why I don't have the others' photos, it's either they were already done by the time I arrived or I was busy chatting with everyone on the set. Haha.

Everyone had a really good time seeing each other and Paul is just so hot that girls flocked him like this! Feel na feel naman ni Aisa okaaay! Hahaha

Our billboards are finally out! Catch them at Katipunan, Edsa Pioneer, Lawton Manila. Will post the final photos in my next entry. :)  I just feel super blessed right now... I'm just so thankful to God for this, and for all his plans for me in the future.


Additional photos from Ava and Ana


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  1. I believe you've bested the society's notion of what is beautiful. You've made a name for yourself through hard work and perseverance. You are style and soul not becoz you are an actress or a model you are Style and Soul simply becoz you're YOU!congrats Melai!;)

  2. Congratulations Ms. Melai! :)) You guys deserve it. Stay humble po and keep inspiring us! Indeed, great things come to those who wait. By the way po, great writing skills!

    xx, Channie

  3. Really really happy for you :) Good people are truly blessed!:)

  4. congratulations melai your so beautiful :)

  5. I can really feel the CMC vibes from you by in the first paragraphs! Congratulations of the billboard! I'm sure it's fun that you've experienced working both in front and behind the camera!

  6. Congrats guys! Glad to see my favorite bloggers here! Even if I don't regularly get to pass by each of your blogs, do know that what you guys write and show on the web are authentically inspiring unlike the pa-cute trend we usually see on TV :D

  7. I'm so proud!!:) You and ana definitely rock the off shoulder!:D

  8. Sometimes we sort of forget about our dreams when we were younger after being disappointed so many times. But they'll always remain at the back of our heads and subconsciously, the things we do as we grow older lead to our biggest dreams and when the time is perfect, dreams come true little by little. :) Sometimes dreams, with the right amount of passion and perseverance, have a way of coming true (whether it be exactly as you pictured, or even better).

    I said this before, but I don't think I'll get tired of saying this--I really love how you write your posts. It's a breath of fresh are to read posts so rich in content. :) Coming from a "fellow writer" (or so I'd like to be).

    Congratulations Melai! :)

    ♥♥ Megann of STYLE SURGERY

  9. c0ngratulati0ns MeLai! ^_^

    C0unt us as 0ne 0f y0ur f0LL0wers! =)

    Please supp0rt 0ur bL0g by f0LL0wing us back @

    als0 c0nnect with us thru g00gLe

    Thank y0u! ϡ

  10. You're so lucky! Congrats!! so happy for you!


  11. I hate that Filipinos still think that pale skin is beautiful, and it doesn't help that this idea keeps getting reinforced by advertising, media, and those stupid whitening products. But that's what I love about blogging and the Internet - we can slowly influence other people to appreciate real Filipina beauty. I'm glad that the shoot helped you realize a childhood dream! We all look so gorgeous. :D .


I appreciate anything you have to say. Thanks for dropping by. It means so much to me. Love, Melai

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