These creatives are taking the wheel of fate into their own hands.
Without being able to visualize better days ahead, living through these unprecedented times can weigh heavy on the soul.
At an especially awkward juncture are content creators who must bank on every burst, spark, and whiff of creativity they can find. And, these days, inspiration can be hard to come by. For people in the business of engagements and reactions—like, love, care, haha, wow, sad, and angry—the cup can run empty.
But leave it to the OGs Camille Co, Tricia Gosingtian, and Laureen Uy to be ready for tomorrow, whatever it may bring.
Although what constitutes as “normal” anymore grows fainter by the day, the girls have not resigned themselves to a poor, helpless fate. If anything, these blogging besties have stayed fresh despite the spiritual drought that is COVID-19.
Their secret? Knowing that time doesn’t stop for anyone, but we can move right along with it.
Co, Gosingtian, and Uy all made names for themselves during the golden age of blogging, when social media wasn’t as dominant.
“When we started, the landscape was still so different. Like during the blogging days, social media was just up-and-coming. But now it’s really everywhere and it’s really more real-time,” Uy tells Lifestyle Asia.
The seasoned content creators reminisced the days of having to visit someone’s blog just to check their OOTDs. “Now there’s Instagram, there’s TikTok, there’s everything. I don’t wanna say it’s more challenging, but I feel like it’s more fast-paced nowadays,” Uy admits.
Collectively, they now have millions of followers on social media, which if not proof of their staying power is at least testament to how they’ve successfully made the transition from domain-based blogging.
More than adapting to the rules, the girls invented the game. They carved out the path followed by today’s generation as among the first locals to monetize and diversify content.
But even they weren’t prepared for the plot twist of the pandemic.
Date with destiny
Much has changed since the girls last collaborated in their February 2020 vlogs.
“I gave birth at the start of the pandemic. No vaccines, no PCR and antigen tests, no clear future about what was going to happen. It was like life threw a curveball at me and I suddenly found myself with no ‘village’ to raise my child with,” Gosingtian recalls.
From an emergency CS without her husband in the surgery room, to her son Leo only meeting her dad at six months old, Gosingtian has experienced the unpredictable. When things seemed the most uncertain, she found herself dedicating all her time and energy just trying to keep their baby alive and their household safe.
“I’d dress up from time to time just so I won’t forget the old me. I’d post some on social media but actually kept most of it undocumented. Content creation became the least of my worries,” Gosingtian reveals.
There were nights when she’d cry herself to sleep, realizing only a year later that it was because she was mourning her pre-baby and pre-pandemic life. From then, the new parent managed to create a routine for her next chapter. She cited the old saying of how a first-time mother doesn’t just give birth to a baby, she gives birth to herself.
“Something that I learned from motherhood was pausing and letting things run their course without interruption. And so I went deep when the waves came crashing down, letting myself feel it all instead of trying to suppress and stop the sadness,” Gosingtian reflects. “I came out changed, not necessarily entirely healed, but I realized that’s exactly the point. Suffering well, not stopping suffering altogether.”
She’s proud to have accomplished being a full-time working and stay-at-home mom in the middle of the pandemic. On top of breastfeeding her son for nearly two years, Tricia worked on a collection for her brand Hinhin and was on top of collaborations with other names.
“I owe it all to my husband RG who has been my #1 supporter since 2011. I firmly believe that motherhood changed me, body, and soul. It was such a whirlwind life adjustment, but a necessary one for sure!”
Her fellow cool mom Co similarly acknowledged how the pandemic left an imprint on everything.
“For sure, it has—not just on the surface like logistical roadblocks, canceled plans, and last-minute pivots but more so, on a deeper level, mentally and emotionally,” Co recounts. “There were so many times I felt so uninspired, burnt out, anxious, stressed, and depressed.”
She considers her biggest victories to be personal: becoming a mother, having her own family, and building a dream home from their own earnings. Her main goal right now is to be content.
“The pandemic taught me it’s okay to pause. It’s okay to rest and disconnect so that I can do a reset and recharge. In order to keep going, it’s essential to stop every now and then,” Co says.
Rewrite the stars
Year three into the COVID-19 crisis, recurring restrictions and outbreaks have become muscle memory for the girls.
They regarded the recent new year, calendar and lunar, as an opportunity to wish for better conditions. Given the chance to will something into reality, they unanimously voted for the pandemic to end and the world to heal so that people can lead normal lives again.
“Manifesting a world where COVID is no longer a major threat, where my son can enjoy meeting family and friends without all the usual padding that pandemic parents always need to prepare,” Gosingtian hopes.
Moreover, they all believe that one can directly influence their fortune and shape the future.
“When you say something and when you put something out to the world, it usually gives it back to you. Definitely with hard work. I’m not saying you keep manifesting and just be at home and not do anything, of course,” Uy explains.
She feels that her content only changed during the pandemic. Before, she would travel frequently for work, but then everyone was forced to stay indoors for safety.
At the height of 2020, Laureen couldn’t help but feel uninspired and unmotivated for days or even weeks.
“I feel like now at least we’re all very careful every time we step out of the house if we need to do something. My content really did change. But I feel like I was also challenged in a way to stay motivated and stay inspired so I looked for things I could do here at home that hopefully can inspire other people or other creatives out there also,” Uy situates.
Aside from content creation, her long-term passion project is her burger business, Hungry Homies. She hopes to make it big with her boyfriend Miggy Cruz, who cooks up all their new recipes and burger variants.
“Hard work is always there, but I do believe that if you really do love it so much and if you work hard for it, it’s not gonna be easy. But it’s just like stairs you know. You’ll reach the top if you really want it that bad or if you worked hard enough for it,” Uy advises.
Leap of faith
Determined and in control of their fate, the girls advise aspiring content creators to decisively pursue their goals.
“Invest time and effort into every single content you put out because it shows. Your passion shows. Your creativity shows. Your personality shows. Sure, you can follow the trends. But don’t forget to add your own flavor too. Make it your own,” Co recommends.
She herself wants followers to know her for who she really is and feel that she is truly genuine when it comes to her content. This is reflected in her fashion philosophy.
“Being authentic is as simple as staying true to yourself, so as long as your style is true to you,” Co says, “then there shouldn’t be a need to compromise one for the other. They go hand in hand.”
Her personal style has evolved since her younger years, as she loves experimenting with different looks and inspiration. As she grew older, she learned what fit her body type as well as what made the most sense and joy for her.
Co strikes a balance between chic and playful, much like V!, the chic and playful modern jewelry brand for every day. The similarities run further with their common desire to exhibit local fashion that is sustainable yet wearable—exceptionally beautiful like the South Sea pearls of Palawan.
“But it doesn’t end here. I think style never really ceases to change. It’s so personal to us that it continues to evolve as we evolve. I mean, this is what fashion is, right? It’s ever changing and never stagnant,” Co ruminates.
Uy’s practical advice is to find sources of inspiration everywhere, including one’s surroundings and others’ posts.
Gosingtian likewise said that there is no single formula to make it in the industry: “If anything, carving out a path for yourself that’s not just a copy of what has already been done will ensure that you will have a space to call your own no matter what happens.”
Photos SHAIRA LUNA, assisted by LANCE VON LUNA
Art Director MARC YELLOW
Sittings Editor DONG RONQUILLO
Hair CATS DEL ROSARION, assisted by MORIEL FLORES
Makeup (Laureen Uy) SLO
Makeup (Tricia Gosingtian) THEA DONISIO, assisted by AMOS NUNEZ
Makeup (Camille Co) MEMAY FRANCISCO, assisted by SARAH MONTEZA
Styling ROKO ARCEO
Shoot Coordination SARA SIGUION-REYNA and MAE TALAID
Shot on location at SUMMER PALACE, EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL
Special thanks to PAM CORREA and ANNIE GATCHALIAN
Everyday pieces by V! Jewelry, with shops in Rockwell, SM North, and Glorietta 4