AS A KID, LA Aguinaldo dreamed of being an astronaut, of flying rocket ships and walking on the moon and planets.
Years later, he achieved the next closest thing to it. Known in social media as #TheLATravels, LA posts photos of his trips abroad on Instagram. So far, followers have seen him traipsing all over Thailand, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, US.
He’s even managed to make his wanderlust work to his favor. Blessed with an enviable height, lean build and good looks, LA—aka The Suave Traveler—beat 400 other hopefuls to become 2014’s Axe Gold Man.
“I’m living the gold life,” said LA, who won a brand new car, trip to Las Vegas and rent-free condo unit in Bonifacio Global City, “and it’s time to show that to the world.”
Gold life, indeed. To date, the model has bungee-jumped over a lake in the jungles of Thailand; skated on Trump Rink in Central Park, then made a wish on the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, New York; visited Hagia Sophia in Turkey; and trekked the hills of Lisbon, among other adventures.
Japan, however, will always remain close to his heart. He loves the country’s food, its culture and how the Japanese take fashion seriously yet make it look so effortless. Of course, he loves the Philippines for its amazing beaches.
Given all the countries he’s been to, nothing beats the comforts and warmth of home. This only child has fond memories of growing up with his cousins, and being close to his lola, who put family and God first above everything.
Looks like this former shy boy has come a long way.
“You have to be your biggest motivator,” he says. “You constantly have to remind yourself that you are a great person blessed with a unique set of skills and opportunities, someone who is ready to make greatness out of nothing. Be confident in who you are as a person and don’t compare yourself with anyone. Just do you.”
Photography Maika Anthoni Styling Luis Carlo San Juan Grooming and hairstyle Syd Helmsley