The Leap of Choice

9:00 AM

Coming from UP, sunflowers mean something to us other than just a flower. When it starts growing along university avenue some time in February, it marks the beginning of the end of college for a lot of students. Once it has fully grown, it symbolizes a new chapter in the life of those fresh grads who are zealous to face the real world.

For me, these sunflowers signify that the best is yet to come. This year, I felt ready taking on new challenges. I've finally ventured into film producing by applying to work with Joe Alandy, a young producer who's slowly making his mark in the local indie film scene. Although I have experienced how it was to produce an event such as Bloggers United bazaar, it is by a mile, nothing compared to (creative) producing a film.

Film producing is far more complicated, more cerebral and more consuming.

Currently, I'm working on (under the producing unit) our Cinema One 2013 entry, Shift by Siege Ledesma. According to our timeline, we'll start principal photography by August, to give enough time for post production and marketing before the festival this November (we've been working since June as you can see).

Just when I thought I knew what I was getting into, reality slaps me on the face  it's a totally different ballgame. This isn't my cup of tea and I was thrown way off my comfort zone. I realized I know nothing (but I've been learning).

All of this was a mere leap of faith.

Faith works like a miracle for all of us. The more we believe in ourselves, the more we empower ourselves to conquer all obstacles, transcend all limitations and overlook all boundaries. Wise men have said that the word 'impossible' itself spells, 'I'm possible'. The courage to march ahead towards our goals shows how deep our faith is in the kind of person that we are (and the kind that we can become).

This recent pursuit of mine involves many difficult tasks that may greatly affect the success (or failure) of Shift. There is this expectation for me to perform, deliver and accomplish.

I know that you're aware how this feels. At different instances in your lives, you also experienced that pressure to achieve – whether it's acing an exam, topping the class, perfecting a school play performance, reaching a certain quota for work, targeting a business profit, getting a job promotion, beating a deadline and so on and so forth.

Succeeding is never (and will never be) easy. To emerge victorious in each of our chosen endeavors, we need to put in a lot of hard work, extra perseverance, unwavering patience and concentration on our objectives. Add to that triple Ds: determination, devotion and dedication. Expect obstacles, stress and setbacks (even failures) as part of the journey; for sure we'll encounter them. What matters most is that we never get discouraged, we struggle to fight back (a fight that's worth it) and we evaluate ourselves and do what's necessary.

I've been thinking about taking my chances on being a film producer for quite a while now. I'm just happy that once and for all, I went for it. It's a small step but this is where I start. If you have been reading this blog in its early years, you probably know that I once worked with the legendary director Mario O'Hara as the wardrobe stylist of Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio, a Cinemalaya 2010 Director's Showcase entry. Dealing with his reputation of greatness was overwhelming. I deeply admired his works, his intelligence and his humility above all. Call me one of the ultimate fan girls, yes. Upon knowing that he has stored a number of scripts in his shelf, I started daydreaming of being able to produce his films someday.

In order for me to do that, I started my "career" (if you call it that) in indie filmmaking as a production manager. I liked being in control, coordinating with the departments and working on operations and logistics  the tasks that I'd like to think I'm good at. This job is supposedly my stepping stone to eventually becoming the film producer that I've always wanted.

However, I keep on getting offers to do styling jobs that initially, I didn't really feel like doing. I became a stylist by circumstance and not by choice (plus, I lost myself in the fashion blogging scene for some time). Yes, I am who I choose to be. But during those times when I needed income (ah, the life of a freelancer!), I had to grab the job that was readily available which was fashion/commercial/wardrobe styling.

And so, I continue to juggle a stable styling job with some film and video production management work. It has worked well for me so far but I just needed to take control of what else I wanted to be. I do not see myself styling forever and the longer I do it, the more I'm being stereotyped as nothing more than a stylist (when I'm just so much more, I know it). And although I'm grateful that I got the job most girls (and boys) dream about, for me, it will always be a hobby that luckily earns me money.

Reality is, oftentimes, life makes you choose. It's tough when we can only pick one (as they say, we can't have everything). As part of growing up, there comes a time in our lives when we have to be clear and decisive on our priorities; knowing which comes first, second, and last. Is it family, career, ourselves or love? There's no right or wrong - just personal choices that we make which will determine our life today and several years from now.

As for me, my passion and affection for indie filmmaking and my personal advocacy to help uplift the quality of Philippine independent cinema is the greater cause (and more important choice) that I live for right now.(30)

* * * * * * * * * *

This outfit was what I wore last Bloggers United 5 bazaar (check my Tumblr for the event post). In an event that was packed with fashionable individuals, all I wanted was to feel like I was (somehow) different. Being trendy was one of the things that I tried to stay away from. I refrained from wearing (anything popular recently like) animal / camouflage / cross / tropical prints, skulls, Simpsons, comics pattern, stripes and so on and so forth.

Shoes, Jellybean  | Bag, Desino Dulce

Thus, I decided on wearing sunflowers. Back then, I thought that if I wear this kind of print, then there would be a huge possibility of me not bumping into anyone dressed in something similar. True enough, I was the only one (yey haha). This sunflower printed maxi skirt that I scored in ukay (for fifty pesos, yehess!) a few months ago reminded me so much of Ashish S/S 2012 collection. :)


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  1. i've always admired how articulate you are, Melai. good luck in tackling your crossroads!

    boat ride through the sky

    1. Thanks Gela!! :) I wish myself the best of luck tooooo. Same to you dear! <3

  2. I think you should do whatever you want to do Melai
    just go for it with all your heart and all your energy and I bet you will be a hit!

    good luck chasing your dream job :)

    The Sweetest Escape 

    1. Thanks Stevia! The positivity of this comment makes me really all-out it claiming it! Thaaaaaanksie!!

  3. i love the skirt... the sunflower print is way to cute.

    It’s a GIRL Thing

    1. Hi Julie! Aaaw thanks. When I saw this, I new I really really had to buy it. IKR super cuuute! :)

  4. Wow, those words are truly inspiring and motivating. I really (really!) adore how you write and of course you, yourself!! :)

    P.S. Your look is as lovely as your hair! Sayang, hindi kita nakita nung BU5. No picture with you. Huhuhuhuhuhuhu. </3 Hope to see you on the next one!!! xx


    1. Aaaaw Gemnikka super salamat! I appreciate you reading this entry. It's pretty long kasiiii hehe. Thanks for complimenting my hair! Although it has grown now and no longer red (huhu bilis mag-fade) hehe. :) Thaaaaanks! See you next time na lang!

  5. Hi Melai, thanks for dropping by at my blog again. I didn't know that story about sunflowers in UP, but the meaning of the flower is wonderful. :) Anyway, I love the whole outfit itself, I love the skirt, I love the huge ass belt, and the black and gold wedges (surprising that it was from Jellybean). :) I can imagine seeing this outfit snapped from Jak and Jil or maybe streetfsn, seriously. I love it!! And about Tin Iglesias, it's my first to hear about her, and my first time to visit her amazing blog. I can say, yeah maybe we have the resemblance, maybe the shape of the face. :)

    xx Diana

    1. Aaaw thaaanks for the generous compliments regarding this outfit. Appreciate it so much! See I told you, you look like her! (sort of) hehe. I'll always drop by your blog if I see it on my feed. :) I'm following you kasi. And you have a good sense of style <3

  6. i love your skirt. your'e so lucky, i mean, i want to do what you do but there's no industry for it where I live right now. Maybe I should totally move to the Philippines haha.

    xo, Carla

    1. I'm doing a lot of things! Haha which of these do you want to do dear? Where do you reside? Now I'm curious! Hahaha. I'm sure it's also great there but hell yeah try it here? Hehe :) Thanks for visiting!

  7. Such a gorgeous skirt! I love your necklace too. And I'm sure you already know that your hair is awesome :)


    P.S. I've got a giveaway goin' on at the blog.

  8. That's a truly beautiful print..and I love what it symbolizes to you :) Awesome shoes as well!

    - Che

  9. hi miss melai,

    i love the black in you. very chic and slick. keep it up.:)


    sef :)

  10. lovely hair and necklace dear ^^

    I'm holding an international giveaway on my blog, dear!
    Win an item on you choice from Persunmall :D
    I hope that you can join in too!
    Thank you very much !


  11. Stunning look!

    Don't miss today my look showing my New Strapless Silk Jumpsuit....with amazing accessories!.

    Kisses from - My Bloglovin

  12. nice outfit !! i love your skirt :)

  13. that sunflower skirt is gorgeous and your hair color is dashing! oh i totally agree with your perspective on growing up. life choices become more difficult by the day as they come with more responsibility and repercussions. good luck for all of us I guess!



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

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