MEG ARTICLE: Try and try until you die!

I like writing. Sa daldal kong toh, kahit anong venue basta makachika! haha! 🙂 Usually i get special writing jobs for magazines, internet chuchus or newspaper. So aliw 🙂

Check out my article out for MEG this month! Please grab a copy for the photos chenes and cute issue about ERICH dispelling attitude problems 🙂 so gow!

paki deadma yung mga wrong spelling… d ko makita yung file ng final edit. haha!

“Try and try until you die,” was what I always wrote in those slumbooks’ favorite motto way back in grade school. I guess it was just me trying to be funny, or trying to be cool.  But that was the usual statement I would write. Now 20 years later, I never really thought how this trying to be cool statement could actually affect me and even be a defining statement of what my life is now.

When Bianca messaged me about this article, I was extremely excited. I enjoy writing for print. I like stepping out of my comfort zone ie: blog (MY BECKY SPEAK blog) So I took on the challenge. But the next text made me a little bit more hesitant, she wanted me to write about my climb/experiences to where I am now.  I love success stories don’t get me wrong, but honestly, I think it’s about time that my failures get the same airtime as my mini victories in life. So I pitched the idea to Bianca and thank God she agreed and was even enthusiastic about it.

So here we go, ladies and gentlemen let me present some my biggest failures in life.

I wanted to travel the world, live in a foreign country, speak another language in addition to Tagalog and English, be a Victoria’s secret angel, run a multinational company, and marry a prince.  Now before you react, please read my story J

I always knew I was mediocre. . I was tall, but not the tallest; I was doing pretty well to be in the honor roll but never the top, and I was likeable because I was funny and entertaining but never because of beauty or grace.  Honestly, I can’t complain.  Mediocre is fine.  It wasn’t such a hard high school life.  But of course, like any high school student, I started comparing myself. I started comparing myself to my gorgeous classmates who had billboards, covers and commercials all over Manila.  I compared myself to my well traveled high school classmates who spoke at least 4 languages. Yes, people… there is such thing- well traveled high school kids. Brent being an international school, I had a lot of classmates with foreign parents- so they would get to visit dad’s family in Switzerland, Mom’s family in France and Uncle’s villa in Italy. They’ve been to all these gorgeous places when the only Italian place I frequented was SBARRO (that summed up was my idea of an authentic Italian restaurant) So I asked my dad to bring me to China to see our relatives but he said we had none there or maybe some but.. he doesn’t know them.  I then, bugged my mom to find out about our Spanish heritage but she said the only Spanish thing we have left is her last name MONTANO which is not even so Spanish since I never really heard it in any Spanish teleserye. But I’m not one to give up easily, I made a dream book. I researched about the places and promised myself that I would marry a prince (no kidding).

Right before college, the self -comparison got the best of me. I always wanted the same things my classmates had- my jansport bag always looked a bit sad compared to their vuittons and prada schoolbags. I knew asking for an allowance increase was out of the question (though not undeserved) so I decided to earn a bit as a model. Again, it was pretty mediocre. Work was good, but not great. I thought that maybe Manila was not for me since I still had my focus on becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel. So I decided, at the age of 17 to try my luck in Hong Kong. It was a tough decision because my mom refused to allow me to go and my dad being the traditional Chinese that he is  thought it was a crazy idea. But I really believed that I would make it. So after my show in Hong Kong for Robby Carmona, I stayed behind. Because of this decision my parents decided to cut the financial umbilical cord and just to keep my parents from deporting me, we compromised that I would come home and finish college. Thankfully, it was summer vacation so I was able to stay and try my luck there. I worked hard as a model, though I was able to book jobs it was still not enough for me to stay there. I needed a plan b. So what I did was buy and sell items from Mango, Zara and Morgan (which was very in, yet unavailable in Manila at the time) to my classmates.  Business became better and eventually my buy and sell gig was earning more than my modeling. I expanded my “business” to cell phones and started selling those and accessories.  In other words my supermodeling dream had failed, but thank God for my mini business, I survived living in another country.

Upon coming back, I kept my mobile phone sideline and would frequent my father’s office to sell to his staff. Since I had to be savvy to compete with the greenhills stalls, I offered my products with installment plans. I was in the office almost weekly to sell and collect that my dad wanted to kick me out. He told me, since you keep coming to bug us during business hours to sell your cellphones, why don’t you try selling for the company. When he said that, I got a bit excited, I started dreaming about my floor to ceiling glass office and my secretary who would take note of all my appointments. My first day was nothing further from what I had imagined.  It was in the middle of the mall, in a booth, handing out flyers. Yes, I was one of those people handing out flyers.  I worked as an agent.  I did my job without pay, because as an agent, you only get paid when you close a deal.  So daily, I would go and hand out flyers. Luckily I was talkative enough, so I was able to close some deals. Our booth also became a TAMBAYAN since my classmates would come by to visit me, and eventually they were closing deals under my guidance. Then I was promoted to a broker. I refused to work for my dad (maybe because in the back of my mind, I knew he would never give me my glass office) so I started a brokerage group with my friends, and started traveling to establish networks abroad for our brokerage. We became friends with a lot of our clients who ended up getting our referrals for interior design. And since we have a lot of OFW clients, they wanted us to oversee the whole construction. Fortunately, my best friend was taking up architecture so we opened another division of our business – construction. I know it sounds such a big thing but that’s just how I want it to sound. Haha! Actually, our office was in my one bedroom condo unit, we had no secretary, no drivers or messengers. We started with simple painting jobs and renovations and eventually we became big enough to start bidding for small projects.

While all of these things were happening, I really started to miss fashion. Heck, I even missed going to the mall. Since our sites are always in far areas, I would come home pretty late and malls would be closed at that time. So to feed my appetite for fashion, I got a sewer to attend to my “needs”. I would print things from the net and have the sewer put it together. The problem came when manang was so efficient and was finishing 6 designs per day! I don’t need 6 outfit changes in a day! I knew I wanted to keep her, yet I have to find a plan to make if feasible for me. That’s how Luca started. I shared a space with my friend so that we can start selling manang’s production. Thankfully, Luca grew and David Milan came in to help me manage. Luca is now being fully managed my David and another partner, Fayinna Zaragoza. I am merely a silent partner now. After they came in, I had extra time to work with young designers. With a bit of background in retail from Luca, I helped Kermit Tesoro with his business model and website. On our first day, we got about 20 international orders from the website! All on the first day on website operations! Today, we are already distributing to a lot fo internet stores and shops all over the world.

While all of this was happening, I still had dreams of being on a cover, in commercials, on billboards. Just like my classmates in highschool. I tried my best while modeling but the best would always be a support role that if you blink you’d run the risk of missing my grand debut.  I eventually gave up and stopped comparing myself. I focused on doing things I love and improving to be the best version of myself.  Instead of moping about my insecurities, I started thinking of ways to fix it.  I learned to do makeup thru youtube. I would hang out in photoshoots and bug hairstylists to teach me how to do my own hair. And I started fighting for things I truly believed in regardless of what others may say.  A good friend of mine told me that maybe it’s time for people to start seeing this side of me and urged me to start blogging. I was kind of lost at first until she told me to blog as if I was just talking to her. And it worked!

So after years of trying to be that girl they were looking for, I just started being me. And you know what, they liked me even better than that girl I thought they were looking for. J

If you look back at my wishlist or dreamlist… I am a big failure.  Maybe 20 years ago, I would think just that. But after I started seeing myself differently, I also started seeing the list differently.

I wanted to travel the world and I did.  It may be for work but I was able to see all those gorgeous places while doing something that I loved. I wanted to live in a foreign country and I did.  Maybe I was not such a successful model in Hong Kong but the hardships pushed me to discover that I was actually better at something else. I wanted to speak another language, and I do! Maybe it’s not my first choice of French or Italian but I know Beckimese, something that my blog is full of.  And It’s never not too late to learn French and/or Italian anyway.  I wanted be a Victoria’s secret angel  -someone calls me “angel” in a way.  You see, part of what I believe in and what I fight for is our charity Childhaus. When you do visit, you will see a big sign with names of all of their guardian angels. I may not be Victoria’s secret angel but I would I am one of childhaus’ and that means more to me. I wanted to run a multinational company, and I do. It might be small but Luca, my brokerage and Kermit Tesoro are all active globally. Thanks to the internet. And I wanted to marry a Prince, but why settle for a Prince when I already have someone who treats me like a Queen. And honestly, I was crowned without a Prince… I’m very proud to be QUEEN BECKY for my LGBT friends.

So when you see a glammed up version of me in a shoot or fashion spread.  Remember to never to give up. Because underneath those clothes, makeup and curly hair is already a layer of thick warpaint of life’s struggle.  Remember guys, when someone say that you’re TRYING HARD it just means that you’re consciously making an effort and there’s never any shame in that. Use this as a reminder to TRY HARDER J So if ever anyone makes me sign a slambook again, I would gladly sign TRY AND TRY UNTIL YOU DIE.

So there becklings, ayan na! GO LANG! SUPPORTADO ko kayo sa pagiging trying hard 🙂 Just means you need to try harder 🙂

Much love,

D