Chapter 1: The young Juliana.

         The wind came and left rapidly, unstoppable like time. The world used to be so wide and clear that I actually felt like if I stared too long to the sky, it was going to swallow me. Now I’m lying down on a roof and it feels like the world have gotten smaller. I can see the edges on each corners of my eyes. 

@shutterkissed (Gerard Del Mundo)
@shutterkissed (Gerard Del Mundo)

Growing up in a village with lush mountains and vast green fields was one of the many beautiful memories I was grateful to have. I was born during the era when playing is physical. Swim and catch fishes from the pond under the sun together with other kids, hunting spiders and random fruits, running bare-feet on vast oasis. I always got scolded whenever I came home with muddy clothes of coming from the farm I went to gather the crops farmers’ missed during harvest season.

The sense of discovery brought me to unfamiliar places and found new paths to wander. Until now I’m still surprised how careless and lucky I was to stick my hands into those holes to hunt frogs but never found a single snake.

The most amazing thing back then is waking up the next day with a fresh memory if yesterday wasn’t good.

I have a beautiful grandmother with hair like waves of the ocean always clipped with a ribbon. She was hard-working. Toughest woman I’ve ever known and she always amazed me on how she managed to look fine even after all the work. She was a Kabo (“jueteng”) always walking all day.

I wish I was able to help her buy medicine and treat her diabetes back in the day because it kept her awake everynight when it’s causing her pain. It gave me the wrong impression that hospitals were only for dying people because she never wanted us bring her there.

I was wrong, hospitals are for people who can afford to live longer.

      I wished I could grow up faster.
I stayed at school the whole day while others go home for lunch because my grandmother was sick and there was no food at home. I spent time reading books and old magazines. Sometimes, I simply just lay my head on the grass contemplating. I remember Mylene, my oldest of the classmate. Just like me, nobody wanted to her friend because they think she is dumb for being on the same grade. She was kind. She brings lunch at school because she lived far from school and just like me, she has to walk everyday. She lives at the end our village in the middle of the rice fields. We shared scrambled egg and tomatoes and sometimes the food is no longer good. She was so kind even when she didn’t have much to share.

I wonder where she is now.

         At young age. I got to learn the language of silence. The beating of my chest, the sound of the wind, the colors of the sky and loving mountains to contemplate life. All I learned is gratitude for all the little things.

I was able to buy myself a pair of slippers and medicine for my grandmother from selling on the streets at eight years old. I still remember how my new pair of slippers went through the fast running water while I was crossing the muddy bamboo bridge. I followed and watched it go away. My grandmother got so worried. She was shouting at me asking me where I was. I didn’t see any reason to tell her what happened. I stayed at the river just watching the water. I ended up getting hit with a wood at the back of my legs.
I’ve always been treated differently. I was the reject—the outcast. The weird girl sitting at the back of the class with no comfidence to sit in front. Attentions embarrassed me. I was the errand girl. My classmates always asked me to do things for them because the canteen was far away while they would give parts of their food. That’s how I survived breaks during grade school. I let it because I needed them.

IMG_2658-4          One day my teacher pulled me out from the class because I got caught stealing ice candy from our canteen. From that day on things got worst. I was discriminated everyday. I get bullied and rejected. No one wanted to sit close to me or be part of the group. It was a horrible feeling when everyone’s disgusted with you and fear that I was going to steal their things. I felt alone.

I found beneath the hair that’s covering my face. I felt a bit safer from those people who were judging me. Thank goodness to those magazines and story books hiding from the shelves. I had something to do during those years. I have always been alone sitting at the broken chairs.

I got used from being ignored and somehow it felt safe. I felt like I had the super power of being invisible. It was easier for me to move ignoring what people think. Life was better that way. A lot of time to think, to dream, to be anything and sometimes by looking down, I find pennies on the floor. (lol)

After classes before I can play out, I had to finish my tasks at home. Fill up water containers, wash dishes or gather some woods for cooking. Finish everything early so I can go out and play longer. We lived near little forests and farms. Dragon flies go in search of place to stay during sunset. It was the best part of my days, watching butterflies, catching dragon flies and the sun kissing my skin. Playing with shadows from the golden rays of the Sun. That time when the only beauty I know was the beauty of nature. These were times I missed the most. The simplicity of life, the freedom and joy that I might not able to feel anywhere again anymore.

One time I made a kite. It wont fly even if it was made of 2 wings and a tail. I didn’t understand.

      “How come when it looked exactly like the rest of kites?”

         I kept running and running. Out of madness both wings detached—rotated rapidly  as it continously hit the ground. I was about to give up but then it stayed up, still. Best times! A memory I can’t forget. I made something fly. It became my daily routine. Everyday I was excited to fly my kite.

But one windy day—like the rest of the days I was excited! I thought the weather was perfect to fly my kite. I let it go until the string reached its bottom. My kite was so high and so small. The string felt hard, enough to let me know that the wind was strong. I tried to roll it back as fast I can but it was too late. I’ve lost it. It followed the direction of the wind.

        Carelessness. I didn’t realized that the wind was harder and stronger up there. I was focused on getting it higher and higher. I didn’t consider the capacity of my kite. I was still holding the string that connected me to it but it’s gone.

Then came High School. I got 50% scholarship from the government also with the help of my school.

         But nothing has changed. Maybe faces and names but my situation remained. I was still invisible and it kept people away. They didn’t even remember my name until second year.

Then came the most challenging and unforgettable moment of my life. Few days before Christmas.

My dreams died as the love of my life and the only person I had left me forever, my Grandmother.

I questioned the universe. Why? Why everything had to happen with me. I blamed God, the nature and everyone else With my misfortunes and heartaches. Why did I have to face everything at a young age. I didn’t know what was going to happen with me. I was scared. I never asked anything from this world. I tried not to be a baggage to anyone. I tried and find ways to make it all easy for everyone around me and answer my own doubts. I never complained but fate was hard.

I was meant to be too young to find ways to extend my grandmother’s life. I had to be born through a married father with a young woman who wasn’t prepared to raise a child alone so she had to leave me to my grandmother who had six children, who was sick and will passed away before Christmas Eve -before I was even able repay her.

Those were moments when the unknown was the only beautiful thing there is. When tomorrow was a gift. I was given an armor of bravery and fearlessness. When you are just broken. There was nothing more to lose, nothing more painful to feel. The ability to move forward with no reason to look back.


But there is always a light waiting at the end of the tunnel.

Being completely on my own, I broke my walls and let people do what they want with me. I had a brave heart even when it pounds most of the time. There was nothing more to lose only lessons to learn. Pain struck me long enough to be weak. I didn’t want to live and die in the same way in the same place—being hopeless again. I am going to live life and see the world.

I traveled to the city and it was not an easy start. I had to go through shit holes before I even get started. I had to deal with different faces of hypocrisy while I try to find my true self. I was naive but slowly I have learned.

In this world, you are not striking if you have nothing to offer.

You know this thing called beginner’s luck? I guess it was all because of it. At some point I was scared to put down all my card but I’ve got to try atleast and hope to get better ones from it.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Awaken from that long nightmare, tears of joy came rushing on my cheeks. It was like a dream. I found myself walking on the stage, spotlight on my face. What a bright runway. People watching and taking photographs of me. ‘That moment I didn’t have to do anything anymore, just keep my head straight and be proud.

I made money just like that. I used to think I would have to clean toilets to make that kind of money.

But of course it took me a while to finally get used to the pain fitting my ginger-feet inside those six-inches stilettos. Tears of joy every time I got new projects. I’ve never felt so relieved. I didn’t expect to become any of it. I was just glad its over.

In no time, I left Philippines. I had my first plane experience traveling to Zurich, Switzerland at 19. My first love. The one who taught me about my self-worth. The first person who showed me a beautiful reflection of myself. He believed in me and loved me more than anyone could ask for. With him, I learned that love is the most beautiful feeling there is to feel and give. I was free. He let me transform into a beautiful butterfly be the best I can ever be. I was in Lucerne, on the mountains of Rigi and San Moritz, steps to Uetliberg, apartments in Basel then back to Philippines. As soon as I arrived, I became an official candidate of the most prestigious National beauty competition in the country which during the time of the audition I didn’t even know what it was. Miss Philippines-Universe changed my life. It was around 2012. I didn’t win but it was an instrument for me to gain confidence and projects. I travelled back to Zurich then to Paris, encountered a beautiful woman named Julie (Maison Julie) , who asked me if I could walk for her show in Zurich while I was shopping at her boutique. I walked-in to some agencies in Europe and tried to model. Metro-models and Time models gave me a chance but I had to go back to Philippines and again my life was on fire. I won Ms. Resorts World 2012-3rd Runner up, then travelled to Singapore as a prize. I couldn’t believe what was just happening to my life. Year 2014 represented Philippines for Asia New Star Model–FACE of the Philippines. It was a competition held in Korea where I met every every race in Asia then a lot more magical things followed. 2015, I won a place for Miss Manila. 

I realized that there is no real destination, only finding meaning to life. We are all in search of treasures we don’t know we already have. And yet, the wisdom from failures and losses develops us to fulfill our highest human experience. 

From the day I lost those slippers, it taught me to be tough and learned to let go even those that are most precious to me because there is no use of holding on and letting life slip away. Take the unbeaten paths and be brave enough to walk alone.

Those times I let people hurt me, I couldn’t be more thankful to them. I gained more wisdom and sensitivity for  people who are also going through rough times. To understand how it feels to be rejected, discriminate, bullied and to have nothing.

All the rejections and discriminations were my greatest momentum to something big and special that is going to happen with me even when I felt so small. Sit from a distance while seeing things clearer, to read better, observe and be more sensitive about other people.


Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

To my grandmother, thanks for being tough. Thanks for leaving me enough wisdom and strength to face the world before you left. Now I know why you had to show me tough love.

To that kite that disappeared with the wind, it was a lesson from the universe. To find balance in between things. To have self-discipline in order not to get lost with the unpredictable direction of the wind. To always keep my connection to the ground and know that being on top is not always a good place to be. It could be cold, lonely and sometimes it’s just going to break myself apart.

As I grew older, I realized that we are only able to see our treasures when we are ready to have them. It could’ve been just in front of us the whole time but we were looking somewhere else and it’s alright. That’s life! We need to experience and learn new ideas before we are able to see the beauty of life we have. Life is up to you, your own definition.

If you are looking for happiness, look for things that nurture your soul and the key to that is to always know what how your heart feels. If you want to be successful about something, you’ve got to use your craft and believe in yourself. Discover, develop and be consistent. It doesn’t matter how slow you progress as long as you are not stepping back.

We are part of a great masterpiece, part of the soul of the universe and it will bring us to where we are supposed to be. Sometimes we just get surprised for those greater things we are meant to live.


And up to now I’m still learning and learning from all my experiences and from everyone I meet along the way. From people passing by the streets, from all those amazing islands and mountains that welcomed me, from all these amazing people around me, for everything. I am grateful they happened to me.  My life is beautiful.







           Years ago I didn’t know so much about taking care of myself. We didn’t have money but we had lots of plants and trees around the house. I learned that if you invest in yourself, people will also invest in you. So take care of yourself because it is the best you got.
To feel confident and feel good, first, you need to do something good to yourself.
There are many affordable or free ways to do this wether you are living on the mountains, islands or city. Here are the Natural Beauty Treatments I did this week. To to talk to you about it, I personally had to make and try them first.

Coffee scrub has several benefits that include: exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties, temporary reduction of cellulite, improved circulation, reduced eye puffiness, and smooth skin.

All you need is

  • Pressed COFFEE Powder.
  • Any kinds of SUGAR.
  • Organic/Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Any Recycled Container
  • Spatula
  • Bowl


  1. Place the pressed coffee powder/tabs in a bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 lesser amount of sugar to the coffee powder then just 1/4 amount of coconut oil
  3. Mix it well using the spatula.
  4. Now that you have your home-made face and body scrub, put it in a container and leave it in the fridge.

So pag nasa hospital si Bakla, Aida agad?

Around my 24 years of existence, I have been surrounded with LGBT community, mostly gay who’s been part of my life and my career. Whenever someone’s been rushed to the hospital from their community, I often hear them say: 

“Omg, feeling ko may AIDS/HIV si bakla!”

Aren’t we supposed to be open-minded about it and support them instead of being disgusted to them?

My uncle was rushed in the hospital again today because he just had his tonsils removed (Tonsillectomy) and since he’s not been eating anything and there is no one to take care of him, he started eating solid food which was the only available food around even if the doctor foreboded him-that made the wounds bleed in his throat. Since he was just in the hospital not so long ago and then again today and we are all far away from him, internet was the only way he can inform people that he’s in the hospital again, then someone joked around (wether is serious or joke) posted “aida” (gay lingo means aids).
My point here is that, some people are just insensitive, pure idiots. I don’t understand why they think it’s a good joke or it’s alright to think that when a gay is in the hospital, they think of AIDS/HIV.

Wether it’s true or not, it’s never okay to discriminate people who are already sick. Grow up! You came out of the shadow for a reason. If you fought for your gender, you should also fight side by side for the things that comes with it. There are many people who just give up because they are alone during the fight. Some people are even insecure informing their friends they are in the hospital just because they are scared people will think they already got infected.


But anyway, FYI, my uncle can slap you with his papers from the test he just took few months ago. From that day on he uses condoms so there’s no way he’s infected!

He’s sensitive right now because he’s sick and he’s feeling weak because he can’t eat. Can you imagine what he’s going through right now? So for those people out there who are ignorant about this, shush…!


Think before you speak, blink before you click!

And for those who’s got AIDS and HIV, keep fighting, there are many reason to stay alive. Find a friend or a lover who can be there with you all the way! You’re gonna pass through it.


An unsent letter to a stranger.

We were lying close together on the floor beside the water. We raised our beer bottles as we celebrated our life and love. You talked about the future. We talked about having a family, about having small number of children and where we are going to raise them. You even said we are going to marry twice that I actually thought you were kidding. One my way and one your way. We are going to build our home in a place with a nice garden where we can have bbq, lunch and dinners together with our children. It was a tickle to the soul. All I did is smile at you. You were certain it is me and you. Stars aligned for me that night.

I have a heavy feeling in my chest. I felt it every day. You’ve changed…like I don’t know you anymore. Your rythmn, your mind, your heart and your soul.

I don’t know you anymore.

Is it me or it is you who have actually changed?Maybe it’s just because I started to care more about what you think and how you feel?

Is it my own ghost haunting me?

We’ve drifted apart.

You have awaken my insecurities. I used to know how you feel, what you were thinking, what you’d do. Now you’re just a stranger that’s squeezing my heart.

Do you still love me?

As I looked at myself in front of the mirror, I see a lonely reflection. This is where distance brought us. My heart hurts and my soul is slowly dying. Our love turned into poison, killing both of us slowly. I don’t know, maybe it’s only me. I am lost. I don’t know where else to go.

You have been my home but now I can no longer come to you.


Memories of Yudanaka

The way to Yudanaka

We have arrived at Yudanaka Station after having an amazing 50 minute of watching the beautiful mountain sceneries through the windows of the train from Nagano Station. There were apple farms, colorful and breath-taking landscapes. I didn’t even realize that we have arrived already at our destination. 

The Japanese Lifestyle

We stayed our first night at Hotel Yudanaka, where we have experienced a very unique vibe. I had the chance to wear a kimono and sleep on a Japanese bedroom.  

Yudanaka is a very preserved yet friendly little town. For dinner, we went to Japanese GOEN Restaurant and enjoyed delicious soup and yakitori where I had the chance to make a my own chicken meatballs with vegetables and finish with noodles and Sake to add a little bit of character. 

The next day the hotel served us their Japanese breakfast–which I didn’t like that much because I normally don’t favor pickles for breakfast–( but coffee was good!) After breakfast, the accomodation normally include free ride to the Snow Monkey Mountain trip.

On the way back you’re gonna have to take the bus that leaves atleast every 1.5hrs but we preferred to walk to see more of the little town. 

Along the way, we passed by a brewery that opens around 11am for tasting, a buddhist temple and (my favorite of them) the small street adventure with so many little Japanese stores and restaurants along the way. If you are also looking for ATM, you can find it inside the post office. 

By the way, the snow welcomed us when we arrived but the next days, the weather got more dry and sunny which made our trek to the snow mountain easier. We finished the night with a bath at the hotspring inside the hotel which was also very interesting to try. I had to be naked with all the other women and enjoyed 10mins of relaxation. 

The Snow Monkeys

Female snow monkeys live together while male snow monkeys only join the group when during mate season. They stick together to keep each other warm especially during winter. Just like humans, they are very protective of their children. 

A night to remember

We decided to have another night in Yudanaka and moved to another hotel called Shimaya. It was owned by amazing old Japanese couple who were bery accomodating and always try to help out to make every one of their guests trip easier. It was atleast 5-10mins walk from the station. Just like the other hotel, it also had a Japanese style bedrooms. We went to Takayama for dinner, a local restaurant very close to the Japanese GOEN (all walking distance). When we entered the restaurant, there were only locals. The vibe was super authentic Japanese. 

We ordered another Japanese soup which turned out to be the food for Sumo wrestlers. (But ofcourse smaller serving good for 2). It was managed by old Japanese Couple as well which the chef was the husband and the wife was the one taking care of the service. Before we left the restaurant, I had a photo only with the chef because the wife was too shy to join the picture. 

The group of Japanese guys came over to us after eating to give us a basket of fresh apples from their farm. It was so kind and sweet of them. And just like the other night, we reserved the hotel’s private ONSEN (hotspring), a 3 minute walk from the hotel to bond together since other ONSENS don’t allow couples to be together and we had the whole little cozy place for the night before going back to the hotel. It was such an amazing and unique experience. The cold weather and the hotspring, the wonderful mountains, the amazing culture and food, everything was worth it. 
Arigato Yudanaka!

Top-10 Most Instagram-able places in BGC


    Are you looking for a great place to eat? Check out The Watering Hole. They serve amazing Filipino all-day breakfasts, lunch, mirienda and dinner from 8am-12am(weekdays),8am-3am(weekends).

    Sounds familiar? Yes! This is the same as the famous bar in the 90’s. The first independent Filipino brewery in the Philippines located in Now they are back to business! And this time, they are going to give you a mouth-watering food experience!



The food does not only taste good but (hey!) also looks good!  The simplicity and variation of white and wooden interior gives a relaxing vibe while you eat.

MUST TRY: Super soft and tasty Wagyu Beef Tapa(Sukiyaki beef in sweet soy marinade) with your choice of egg and garlic fried rice or crispy Bagnet(pork belly) served with tomato salsa, shrimp paste and their house vinegar that surely will satisfy all your cravings. (Also Pinakbet and Pork Sisig)





     Let this classic Filipino dessert/merienda bring you back the real taste of Filipino lifestyle.








This place is definitely Instagram worthy!

ADDRESS: Forbestown Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, For reservations: Call: (02)831-4692,

UP NEXT……(New post every Wednesday!)

Palacio Amazonia

A weekend well-spent!

It was indeed a remarkable place to spend the weekend close to Manila. Palacio Amazonia is located in Taytay, Rizal, a private mansion consist of 12 rooms and two swimming pools, a spacious living room, a helipad and a secret cave which the owner said it was a room like the one in fifty shades of grey. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see it. It was a kick ass mansion with wild landscape.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Manmade lagoon/swimming pool

view from the room.

There is a spacious living room with table sets where numbers of people can drink, dance, watch a movie or play a game.

Another one is the amazing panoramic view of the whole Manila from the helipad close to the pool. Oh my god! It was breath-taking even though the it cloudy. It’s rare to see a clear view when you’re just inside the city!
Before we went to bed after our night out, we played tropical house music. Then afterwards started dancing since I was the only one who didnt have a partner. 7th wheel to be exact. 


Thank you so much to my friend Mike for inviting us to his friend’s place. It was such an amazing weekend!

The Sleepy Guitar Vendor

I went for a walk today. I brought my camera with me and see which scenes it’s going to make me capture. I was thinking of writing reviews for restaurants but found myself shooting people along the streets. I am inspired, touched and moved in every story I was able to bring home with me.

Last 7 Months ago, I bought a guitar from this man. I saw him always carrying all these guitar along the streets then stopping by at this exact same spot before night. I passed by him again today. He was sitting trying not to fall asleep but he was very sleepy. I wish I could buy all his guitars. It was the guitar I bought for the old man working as cab driver who wanted to become a musician but couldn’t afford to buy. This guitar street seller was kind to give me one of his finest guitar even if I only had enough money for the smaller ones when I said I was buying it for the old man. Your family is lucky to have a husband and a father with such a big heart like yours.

It wasn’t a very busy time along the street so I kept walking to find something to eat. This father and his son spent time together playing and sitting behind their cart full of coconut while there was no customer.

After eating at one of my favorite restaurant to visit in Manila, I’ve crossed path with these two young men holding their balloons to sell along the streets. I knew the other boy was feeling a little bit embarrassed  but I admire these young men for trying to do something to earn. I used to be like them back in the day, when I was high school. I worked in a carnival to collect tokens on a running light. I was a little bit embarrassed because my classmates were looking down at me to see me work, I still  did it to be able to go to school.

This country is amazing! These simple things that the Filipino people do to keep living make this country different from others. We try and try because that’s is life. As long as you are still attached to your surrroundings, to people and still feel grateful, you are living the life. One day, we will all realized that it’s all those simple things that matter.




The Beauty of a Lisa Crosswhite

“She is amazing in every way. I am inspired by her attitude towards making her visions come to life, for believing in me and for seeing the beauty of everything through her heart.”


Who is Lisa Crosswhite?
Screenshot 2016-07-20 11.59.25

Lisa Crosswhite is one of the most remarkable women I have worked with. She is the CEO and founder of Gnossem, a retail business and later on founded her own brand, Chi Chi Von Tang, both based in Singapore. She started sketching fashion collections when she was nine but she was trained in Political Science and literature. As an artist and someone with such excellent background, there is no doubt she was able to execute extra-ordinary results. Her love and passion for Asian beauty and its diverse design heritage is the inspiration behind the brand Chi Chi Von Tang.

The Burma collection

Screenshot 2016-07-20 11.11.10

I walked for the show and chosen to model for the look book and cover of the website wearing the latest collection of Chi Chi Von Tang inspired by her travel in Myanmar where she lived with four different tribes. Burmese women are known for their strength, sophistication and mysterious way of living… so is Chi Chi Von Tang

The latest collection was made of fine silk, cuprous, highly textured linens and leathers. bag-2

9-3.JPG5721d9e162d90SHOP THIS LOOK!

Working with Lisa Crosswhite
First impression, Bad ass!

Screenshot 2016-07-20 11.13.41

Where on earth can you find a woman with such beauty, brain and mad skills? She’s a Founder and a CEO, she owns a unique brand, trained in Political Science and Literature but still with genuinely beautiful heart? She is amazing in every way. I am inspired by her attitude towards making her visions come to life, for believing in me and for seeing the beauty of everything through her heart.

Follow her Instagram: @myessentialself @chichivontang




Penne Pasta with super tasty meatballs


(40 mins)


Meatballs: Minced beef, Onion, Rosemary, Mustard, Salt and Pepper, Lemon

Pasta: Pesto, Penne pasta, Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Olive Oil, butter

How to make:

STEP 1. Boil water in a deep pan.

STEP 2. Before putting the pasta, make sure the water is boiling. Add some drops of olive oil into the water for a better pasta texture. Add a little bit of salt then wait for 8-11minutes with medium heat.

STEP 3. While waiting, place 300grams minced beef in a bowl with two table spoon of mustard paste.

STEP 4. Minced one medium sized white onion and chopped rosemary leaves into very small pieces to add to the beef. Wash your hands or wear plastic gloves to mix everything together for a better taste.

STEP 5. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle some lemon. Once its mixed well, you can now make your meatballs. Make sure it’s not too big or too small.

STEP 6. When the meatballs are ready, cut one piece of garlic in half.

STEP 7. Wait until the pasta is al dente before taking it out of the water then place it in a new bowl. Sprinkle some olive oil so they won’t stick together.

STEP 8. Using the same pan from the pasta, wait until its dry from heat before adding the butter. Sauté the garlic until it turn golden brown.

STEP 9. Put some pesto sauce atleast 3 spoon. Wait for one minute before putting the meatballs. Cover the pan for 5minutes.

STEP 10. When the meatball is ready add cherry tomatoes. Mix carefully.

STEP 11. Add the pasta. Stir it carefully then add salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset