Kiana Valenciano and KC Del Rosario were all smiles and laughs in between layouts of their recent digital cover shoot for Lifestyle Asia, shot in one of Solaire Resort & Casino’s sprawling Presidential Suites. The two friends kept it silly as they danced and lip-synched to songs, while touching up their hair and make-up inside the bathroom. In true millennial fashion, an impromptu editorial for their Instagram accounts was also happening, with the help of their trusted glam team who have come to know them so well. When photographer Yukie Sarto was ready for them, they walked onto the set with so much confidence and poise that a few clicks of the camera was all it took to get the perfect photograph.
When the shoot wrapped, the two girls sat on the bed for some catch-up time. Kiana was in no rush. She was to appear at another event in Solaire later that evening, and decided she would use the suite to freshen up. Her friend, KC, a social butterfly, asked her if she was going to a certain friend’s party that night. Kiana laughed and said she would go if her schedule that day permitted her to. The two eventually said their goodbyes, and life continued. A cover shoot for a luxury magazine was just another day in the lives of Kiana Valenciano and KC Del Rosario.
The glitz and glamour of parties, magazine shoots, designer clothing, famous families, and a tight knit circle of society friends have very much so contributed to the public images of our two digital cover girls. However, beyond their Instagram personas, Kiana and KC have so much more to offer. Their views on their respective careers, fashion, and art, show how truly cultured they are as modern young women. You can call them social media influencers if you want, but the truth is, their power comes from the influence of who they are as people. A sizable Instagram following is just a bonus.
Kiana Valenciano has grown up around show business. Her father is entertainment legend Gary Valenciano and her mother is famous talent manager Angeli Pangilinan. It was only fitting that Kiana would eventually be in the biz. But unlike many children of big stars, Kiana has a voice of her own. She writes her own music, and her vocal stylings are strong and unique. She shares that the greatest lesson she learned from her parents is perseverance. “Things don’t happen overnight and everyone has a different journey. Focus on yours,” she shares.
The young woman continues to work day in and day out to improve her craft, stating that whenever she’s home, she makes an effort to write before going to bed. Her upcoming album (which has a target release date of January 2019) is stacked with original compositions that she hopes will be a reflection of who she is as a person. “I’ve been working on it all of this year and I’m really excited to share it with everyone. I think it’s pretty different from what I’ve released so far and there’s definitely a colorful variety of sounds that I just felt like experimenting with.” Kiana continued to say that her favorite track on the album is the first one, entitled See Me. “When you hear it, you’ll understand why!”
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The “Chill-est” Girl in Manila
Currently, Kiana has a whooping 277k followers (as of print) on her Instagram account, watching her every move. When asked whether she considers herself a “social media influencer”, the young singer was a little reserved with her answer. “Hmmm maybe a little bit,” she says. When scrolling through her feed, it’s easy to be taken with her lifestyle. She’s seen attending many parties, posting different magazine covers in which she has appeared, and hanging out with her famous family and friends. But to Kiana, it’s just a visual album to document her life. “I hope they’re interested in my music! But I think some people are interested in my lifestyle and the company I keep,” she says about her sizeable following.
The superstar on the brink admits that she used to curate her feed, but now, she doesn’t really try so hard to do so, stating “I used to be really OC about it, but now my feed changes with my mood. I try not to take it too seriously.” Kiana shares that one misconception people have about her based on her social media accounts is that she’s “mataray” and high-maintenance. “I’m actually really chill!” she laughs. The young woman discloses that despite what people think, she’s not very brand conscious and actually hardly shops either. When she actually does shop, she opts to do it online, where she has a preference for the apparel selection of Urban Outfitters, ASOS and Nasty Gal.
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A Swim a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away
Despite leading a very public life, it’s the quiet moments alone and at home that are worth more to her then being seen out and about. Each morning, Kiana finds herself waking up at 9AM and going for a swim. “I love to swim. Not even just as a workout, but I enjoy floating and just relaxing in the water,” she says about her daily routine. After that (she also shuffles between boxing and cycling as workouts), she gets ready for the day ahead. This is where the Kiana we all know comes in—attending events, being seen at exclusive get togethers, and posting her most stylish #OOTDs. When she gets home, it’s all about writing music and relaxing before heading to bed promptly at 11PM. Her main goal: to live a life that will result into a fruitful career.
“The way I balance work and pleasure is I just make sure I have my priorities straight,” she mentions. When asked whether she considers herself a social butterfly, Kiana laughed. “I’m a social butterfly!? I try to limit the events I attend because I really appreciate my me-time.” It’s this type of hardwork and humble attitude that helps Kiana Valenciano forge a bright path for herself in the music industry. Luckily, people have taken notice because of her previous musical efforts. Most famously, her single Does She Know (ft. Curtismith) was a smash hit amongst music loving millennials. Countless clubs and radio stations played the song consistently when it was released. She shares a landmark in her career, “I never thought I’d have a crowd sing back my lyrics to me, so every time they do, it’s a milestone.”
Modern Day Princess
KC Del Rosario is the very definition of a modern day princess. A future fashion icon in the making, her 131k followers (as of print) look forward to her every post—taking style inspiration from the Brunei royal who has an affinity for such brands like Alexander McQueen, Versace, Chanel, Off-White, Balenciaga, Rodarte, Margiela, Christopher Kane and Dior. Her favorite local designer is good friend Boom Sason, who she says knows her measurements by heart. “I went to the MEGA Ball in a red gown she rushed to make in three days because I was indecisive on going (Sorry Boom!), but I loved it and everyone else did too. All my favorite custom dresses are by her, which takes up half my closet,” she shares.
Despite her royal lineage (her father is Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah), KC remains to be a humble young woman. She has a light and fun aura, and never shows any hint of an entitlement no matter who she is with. “I just like to have a good time with people when I first meet them, and I’m never the one to mention anything,” she candidly says. “When they eventually find out [that I’m a princess] they’re like, Oh. Oh wow. Wait, what.”
Although many people put KC in a box based on whatever they see on Instagram, the young woman mentions that life is not all it seems when it comes to social media. Many people consider her a social butterfly, and although it may be true, KC appreciates staying at home most of the time. “I feel like I stay at home more than people assume. I’m an introvert but I love being around interesting people. My friends are artists, into fashion and/or music, and I like being around people I can learn from. I’ll stay in bed all day if I have nothing going on. I love my bed. It’s a magical place.”
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What KC Loves
Although a citizen of the world, KC has found herself a home in Manila. She likes the city because of its easy access to the Philippines’ beautiful islands. She also stresses that her family and friends make her love the country. Every two or three months, she makes her way home to Brunei. “It’s always good to see my dad and the rest of the family. I usually go there for the polo tournaments and to meet up with Mateen and our friends. I can’t explain it but I love our little Brunei bubble.”
Away from the limelight of her public life, KC has a strong love for filmmaking and fashion. She is equipped with degrees from Raffles Design Institute and Central Saint Martins, where she honed her eye on all things beautiful. “As of now I’d like to focus on filmmaking. I want to direct conceptual art films, fashion films [and short films]. I love fashion but I don’t think I’d launch my own label. I’ll leave that to my sister, Sam. Maybe in my 30s. I’m a very visual person. I want to combine film, fashion and art, in a way, like that quote by Elsie de Wolfe, ‘I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.’”
KC’s love for fashion is the things dreams are made of. Countless articles have been written about her personal style and legendary closet, which include labels from international and local designers alike. KC is so into beautiful garments, that every time she posts a photo on her Instagram account, it’s like looking at an editorial for a hip magazine. She also loves beauty, citing La Mer serums, her fridge full of face masks, a jade roller, Laura Mercier primer and tinted moisturizer, and Sunnies lipstick as some of her go to products.
It-Girls for the Digital Age
When looking at KC’s Instagram, you can tell that she has a strong visual eye. She says that her account is merely her visual dairy and she hardly curates it like many young people do. “I guess I semi-curate it to look like a mess, but a beautiful mess. I don’t take it too seriously. I post more on my story than I do on my feed.” The young princess makes sure that her online voice does more than show pretty photos of herself and her glamourous lifestyle. She is a promoter of all things beautiful, showcasing the work of local designers (in particular, Boom Sason) and hoping to inspire young girls to be the very best version of themselves. She hopes that other social media influencers are genuine and use their online accounts responsibly. “[Instagram needs to be a] platform to raise awareness about things that matter. You need to keep the balance.”
Together with Kiana, the two are defining what it means to be an “It-Girl” for the modern age. They never get caught up in the “fakeness” of social media, and yet, they use it as an active tool to live their best lives. They share things responsibly, showcasing their careers and passions to an audience interested in their every move. They may be the new faces of young power and influence, but they never abuse it. Kiana Valenciano and KC Del Rosario remain to be humble, which is the reason why many flock to be their friend, or to have them at their events, or to wear their latest collections. It’s a new type of Power People that our generation has invented. Lucky for us, the people in influence are worthy of being there.
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Photography by Yukie Sarto
Shot on location at Solaire Resort & Casino
Special thanks to the digital marketing and marketing team of Solaire Resort & Casino
Styling by Roko Arceo
Makeup by Jigs Mayuga
Hair by Mycke Arcano
KC DEL ROSARIO
Styling by Earl Dignos
Makeup by KC Del Rosario
Hair by Sophia Curia