Photographed by Yukie Sarto, Miguel Abesamis, and Hub Pacheco. Art direction by Marc Pagdilao. Styling by Roko Arceo. Clothes by Rajo Laurel.


4 Social Media Enthusiasts Keep It Real in the Digital Landscape

  • May 31, 2019

The special feature stories were originally written by Pipo Gonzales and Sara Siguion-Reyna for Lifestyle Asia’s May 2019 edition, titled “The Age of Social Media.”

In this era of social media, everyone seems bent on curating their feed. Every photo must follow a certain theme with befitting captions. But Mika Martinez, Rajo Laurel, Cat Arambulo, and Derek Ramsay are not ones to overly-curate their posts. From reflecting their true persona to conveying inspiring messages, these social media enthusiasts share their honest thoughts on traversing the online world.

Mikaela Martinez in dark blue top
Photographed by Yukie Sarto.

Keep It Balanced: Mikaela Martinez On Sharing Life On Social Media

On social media, Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez is not one to overly-curate her feed. Although she recognizes the merit in keeping it nice, Mika shares, “Of course I like to post the ‘better’ photos but I’m definitely not one to stress about editing.” She only shares photos she likes but avoids oversharing. This is “so that I still have private moments to myself.”

Sharing spontaneous moments

The mother of three values her and her family’s privacy. Mika shares how her husband, Chucho, would remind her to keep her social media balanced. She tells, “keep some moments to ourselves-sometimes for safety and really just for the moment.” In posts, Mika considers first if it will benefit the people who see it.

Mika is aware of how the life she shares online can also affect her children in the future. She wants to make sure her posts are the beautiful and proud moments; nothing that would embarrass her children. “I guess it’s safe to share more about myself rather than the many milestones of my kids and wait until they can share them for themselves,” she says.

Rajo Laurel in dark blue shirt
Photographed by Miguel Abesamis.

Drawing in Good Energy: Rajo Laurel Radiates Positivity on Social Media

On the Instagram of Rajo Laurel, you will not only see bits of his dazzling fashion designs and personal life’s moments. You will also notice bursts of inspiring quotes and messages. The global fashion designer makes it a habit to spread positive vibes at the start of the day. “It’s really for myself. And a lot of people enjoy it because I guess they can connect to the reality of that. It comes from a place of healing.”

Spreading positive vibes

Creating a social media account comes the choice of staying honest or creating a filtered persona for others to see. For Rajo, he understands how this connects to the issue of self-esteem. He shares, “Everybody wants to become pretty. Sometimes, that’s the hard part because the self-worth is based on just this particular aspect. But I believe there are more valuable or pressing aspects where you can get your affirmations.”

Rajo wants to stay away from an environment that fosters a toxic self-perspective, especially on social media. Thus, he came up with the practice of sharing encouraging posts for himself and for anyone who might need it. “Because not every day is a good day, so sometimes you need that little push just to keep it going.”

Cat Arambulo in black dress
Photographed by Yuki Sarto.

#Unfiltered: Cat Arambulo is Confident and Candid On and Off Camera

When you scroll through her Instagram feed, you can see that Cat Arambulo-Antonio shares almost everything in her life. There may be personal moments she does not show but her social media reflects pretty much everything. “It’s no filter, it’s not edited, it’s as raw as it can be. It comes with the good and the bad, right? If I’m being judged for it, whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s the real thing,” she says.

Responsibility in the digital world

Cat’s authentic and insightful posts garnered attention on her social media accounts like Instagram. She is capable of turning anything to quality content with her incredible wit and humor. As an endorser, she is aware of the results of reflecting her true persona on and off camera. “That’s why I’m so raw because I want them to see that ‘Hey, I’m not perfect!'”

As a social media personality, Cat recognizes her responsibility to guide the youth. While they are typically engrossed on their smartphones, Cat admits, “We’re also guilty of it, but we try to make an effort to [engage in real conversations].” Being dependent on the digital world can have psychological perils that’s why Cat treasures sharing and connecting with people both online and offline.

Derek Ramsay in black shirt
Photographed by Hub Pacheco.

Baring It All: Derek Ramsay Keeps It Real in the Online World

On social media, even celebrities tend to curate their feed to keep up with a certain image. Derek Ramsay is not one to do it. You can confirm it with a run-through of his Instagram where he posts spontaneous moments along with work photos. He says, “I’m already in the industry where I’m pretending to be somebody that’s not me by bringing life to characters that I portray. And then in real life, I also got to filter out and pretend to be something else? That’s just not me.” The British-born Filipino model/host likes to keep things real in all aspects of his life.

Unapologetically himself

Media personalities may tend to fit themselves within a frame but Derek thinks it is important to be yourself. After all, this is what he does on his social media. “That’s the content that you get on my Instagram. It’s very me. No filter, no editing. It’s very raw.” He is not afraid to show himself and what he does despite receiving occasional negative comments. He knows not everyone will like him but he emphasizes the value of respect. “For me, a meaningful life is you do all the things that you want to do in life, and you do it with respect.” No matter the toxic situation, he knows to only keep constructive criticisms and grow through it.

For Derek, it is all about keeping things real and being unapologetic for the way he is, especially online. “Yeah, I’ll show pictures sometimes of my work… But the stuff that I post where it’s me, you don’t see me in different filters. It’s just true.”

Read the full special features in Lifestyle Asia’s May 2019 Edition, titled “The Age of Social Media.” Download your digital copy on Magzter and Flip 100, or purchase your print copy on LazadaShopee or your nearest bookstore. For orders, email [email protected]