The song is a tribute for empowered, inspiring women, womxn, the LGBTQ+ community, and non-binary skaters across the world.
What began as surprise and uncertainty in the pandemic trickled down to monotony as people remain restricted with the quarantine. For Bianca Yuzon-Henares, she feels like living “neither here nor there” in these times.
Remote work may have provided convenience, but it gave way for the blurring of boundaries. “Skating encouraged me to carve some ‘me time in before the hustle and bustle began, as well as introduce more movement in to counter all the sitting down and stagnation,” the artist shares.
Rekindling her interest in skating not only allowed her a sense of freedom amid quarantine but led her to collaborate with fellow skaters for a music video. Accompanied by her new single, “Oh My Days,” the tribute is for all those who share the same passion or the enthusiasm for a pursuit they love.
Return to pursuit
“I used to skate with my barkada in high school,” the artist says, recalling it was a hobby they engaged in to unwind that lasted until college. From admiring Tony Hawk to liking films and shows like Betty and Lords of Dogtown (that she created a Spotify playlist for it), skating became something she holds dear.
She stopped for a while when she pursued her music career abroad and an acting course at the New York Film Academy. During the pandemic, when the world slowed down, she thought of returning to her passion.
When her best friend Camille Juco was leaving for the US, Yuzon borrowed her orange penny board. It was fondly called Frank, after Juco’s favorite musician Frank Ocean. “I felt a little tug in my heart,” YUZON recounts the special moment. “That night, I took to the streets with a wobbly start, but after a while, that familiar feeling of gliding kicked in and I was elated.”
A sense of freedom
Since picking up her hobby, she even taught it to her husband Quark Henares. Armed with a skateboard, cruiser board, and longboard, they would skate in their break time, aside from biking that Quark does with friends.
“Skating puts you out of your comfort zone and teaches you a lot about commitment which I am still learning,” YUZON admits. Although she doesn’t join competitions, she keeps training while doing it for leisure.
Apart from allowing her to be outside, away from the confines of the house, skating makes her feel invincible. “It feels like flying, and can put you into a moving yet meditative state—a cross between letting go of the weight of the world and all its accompanying problems,” she explains.
Bringing the community together
This month, YUZON released a new single, “Oh My Days” together with a music video for Go Skateboarding Day. This tribute is for empowered, inspiring women, womxn, the LGBTQ+ community, and non-binary skaters across the world.
The singer/songwriter says the piece is “both reminiscent of our ‘past lives’ pre-COVID, but also a reminder to breathe and be grateful for the hidden gems of the present moment: having your loved ones close by, or things we’re passionate about that keep us going.”
“Oh My Days” carries her signature dream-pop tune. “I like that the beat and melody came together to paint things in an overall playful, positive light,” she adds.
In producing the tribute video, she worked with Melbourne-based Huckbery Studios and director Bea Velante. It was a challenge as they didn’t physically meet the featured skaters such as Tokyo Olympics 2021 athletes Poppy Starr Olsen and Bryce Wettstein, Japan’s Hinata, New Zealand’s Elissa Mah, and Fil-American influencer Natalie Pluto.
“I reached out to them on Instagram, a bit nervous at first because I was messaging people I really admired out of the blue,” YUZON reveals. But the unease melted into joy upon seeing the enthusiasm of the skaters for the project. “They are as passionate and dynamic off the board as they are on it, and their energy is infectious.”
“I hope that if some little girls out there watch the video, they’ll know they can be whoever they want to be or do whatever they set their sights on,” YUZON says, setting skating as an example.
Beyond inspiration, she stresses the value of celebrating old or newfound passions in the quarantine. No matter what these are, they allowed people to discover parts of themselves and even encourage them to be better.
“New stronger selves have emerged in this crisis,” she says. “So, don’t forget to hold on to your North Star, whether it’s a product of a lifelong journey or a skate down the lane.”
Photos from Bianca Yuzon-Henares