YAAAS QUEEN – Nine Lives by Mikko Mahinay

Did anyone say girl power?

The year 2016 saw the media had more weight it was actually capable of doing, yet, only two subjects remain invaluable in developing the ethic I strongly uphold today. One, how the electoral win of Donald Trump has affected me by a landslide more than whatever outcome the recent Philippine election has ever produced (or anything politics in this country has actually produced) and Kim Kardashian’s pseudo-censored nudie and eventual digital battlefield with Chloe Grace Moretz and Bette Midler. Both do have one thing in common- both have, in some capacity, tackle feminism. And no, it’s not the kind that Taylor Swift talks about during late night talk show interviews (although I will admit I am a fan of Taytay) but of a mentality within a community- potentially improving this third world country with traditions that seem to be stuck in colonial mythology.  An instance I considered myself officially a flag bearer of feminism was getting offended, and actually ignoring , a friend who once posted, which was similar to a recent post by some B list celebrity that received negative lash back, that women do not need to put on make-up because most men like girls who don’t wear make-up at all. Traditional mindsets would agree, but there’s an actual need to step out of the dark ages- women can wear as much make-up as they want to because they want to, and not to seek validation from the opposite sex. Another instance would be my mom telling me she feels the pressure to shop when she travels overseas with her other 50 plus year old cohorts since high school- my response was, “maybe you need to reassess and figure out who your friends are.” After all, real friends don’t pressure each other in retail

therapy or any other form of non-beneficial pressure- such as drinking and spending late night outs because you need to hook up with a man in order to feel hot or impress your friends (this is for you, millennials)

In the case of Kim Kardashian’s nudie on Instagram, (Donald Trump’s case doesn’t need any explanation as the man is already synonymous to everything chauvinist) it was the defining moment of my total understanding of feminism (more here) I have come to fully grasp #FreeTheNipple, Taytay’s actual help for Kesha and how women don’t need to hide their bodies in fear of men objectifying them, or even from scrutiny from other women- I have come to understand that women working together or helping one another can actually accomplish milestones rather than talking against each other, or behind each other’s backs. Maybe this new age mentality isn’t plausible to be sporadically decked across the mindsets of every individual- let alone in a country where most citizens still live and think 50 years back in the past- but we all need to start somewhere.

One of my recent works with JCI Bai Lawanen, an all-female chapter of JCI, hopefully captured that portrayal of the modern Filipina women. I have worked with them several times over the past few years behind the lens and under three different chapter presidents and I have been quite impressed with their improvement with every administration- both in how they see their organization as whole, and to each other as individuals- contributing much deeper into the context that they are, after all, a sisterhood.


Check out the video I shot, styled and edited for JCI Bai Lawanen’s 2017 induction here.

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