As the Inquirer celebrates 33 years this month, To be You, the youth platform of the Lifestyle section, recognizes the personalities whose passions clearly embody the spirit and ideals of their generation.
It was in To be You that some of them got their first public exposure, even before making their mark in their chosen field.
To be You was the first to whisk her off to an out-of-town shoot in El Nido, Palawan, a month after she bagged the Miss Philippines Universe title last March. The job felt more like a vacation for her, a welcome break before she prepared for Miss Universe. Very fun, genuine, down-to-earth and bubbly off-cam, she turns professional and absolutely slays once a shoot starts. It’s no surprise that she’s now the 2018 Miss Universe.
This relative newcomer shows great promise. From playing a range of roles—an aspiring gymnast in “Double Twisting Double Back,” a steamy lover in “Glorious” and a student who learns about martial law in “ML”—Labrusca is one to watch.
YouTube singer and music producer Alex Aiono.
This Phoenix, Arizona-based Maori American is a social media superstar whose videos boast over 700 million views.
Olympic skater Michael Martinez.
Since his debut in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the first Filipino figure skating Olympian has inspired aspiring athletes to reach for their goals and dreams no matter how long or seemingly impossible.
Model Maureen Wroblewitz.
She brought pride and honor to the country by being the first contestant from the Philippines to win “Asia’s Next Top Model.” Being the underdog in the competition didn’t stop the then 19-year-old from standing out among more experienced participants.
American actor and Bench ambassador Cole Sprouse.
He charmed Filipino fans with his wit and good looks on his visit to Manila last April. The 26-year-old plays Jughead Jones, the hamburger-loving best friend of Archie Andrews, in the comics-based TV show, “Riverdale.”
To be You’s homegrown model Alaiza Malinao.
She represented the country in cycle 4 of “Asia’s Next Top Model” and one of the world’s biggest model searches, 2016’s Elite Model Asia-Pacific competition. The Davao del Sur native is the epitome of Filipino beauty, with her glowing, morena skin—a look that appeals to brands and agencies.
SM Youth Go-See Season 2 winner Macauly Lofgren.
He gives model student a whole new meaning: the civil engineering major is also a student leader at De La Salle University Dasmariñas and a model who tours the country as representative of SM Youth.
This rapper proves that no one is too young or too old to be “woke.” Other than songs of life and love, Dope also awakens listeners with socio-political issues like “Norem,” a commentary on the war on drugs. What could be more dope than that?
‘Angel’ Kelsey Merritt.
She made headlines by being the first Filipino woman to walk the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Despite being criticized for her “western” looks, she stressed that being Filipino went beyond her outward appearance: it was also about heart, mind and soul.
Before she was Miss Universe 2015, she was a To be You mainstay, juggling duties as model, beauty writer and makeup artist.
The son of professional kiteboarders took after his parents, winning multiple times at the Kiteboarding Youth Cup, before bringing home the silver medal in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 17-year-old was the only Asian representative of the international event.
Singer-songwriter Juan Karlos Labajo.
The 17-year-old placed third in the first season of “The Voice Kids.” JK continues to make music with his recent hits “Sana Kung Pwede Lang,” “Demonyo” and “Buwan.”