Meet Candy's new romantics, Candy Girls.
Inspired by Taylor Swift's song of the same title, Eljohn Yee, Louis Faure, Mikael Soriano, and Santino Rosales have all encountered roadblocks (
Take inspiration from our conversations with each of them on a rainy August afternoon at the newly-opened Rizal Park Hotel. Take notes and remember their words, because you'll surely need them when you're working on your own dreams.
Name: Eljohn C. Yee
Birthday: January 3, 1991 (26)
Schools: Ateneo De Manila University, University of the Philippines - Manila
Hobbies: cooking, swimming, writing, advocacy work
Cute (future) doctor alert! If you're looking for a smart and handsome gentleman, then he's the one for you. For starters, Eljohn graduated summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2012, went on to pursue medicine at UP Manila, and attended clinical electives at Oxford University in England.
When asked why he pursued medicine despite knowing it takes a long time to finish it, he says he was looking for something in which he could do a lot of things. He found later on that being a doctor wasn't just about the clinical stuff. Eljohn says the journey was long and hard but the sense of fulfillment when you're able to help people was what motivated him to keep going.
Eljohn graduated with Latin honors in college and in med school. How'd he do that while still having a social life? "I won't say that I'm the best in managing schedules; I've wasted a lot of time with a lot of nonsensical things. But when you have fun doing something, just innately put time into it," he says.
"When you have fun doing something, just innately put time into it."
Eljohn adds that little sacrifices gave him more time to do more productive things like studying and modeling. He says balance is hard but it still depends on how you manage your time, "at least find something to waste your time on productively, like going to the gym or exercising, or like Candy photo shoots [laughs]!" When he's not in front of the camera, you'll probably see him cooking or doing advocacy work. *swoons*
Eljohn studied in UP Manila which grants free tuition to undergraduate students but not med students; what does he have to say about that? He hopes that it'd be totally free in the future but that "as of now, since kulang—if ever
Lastly, we asked him what advice he could give to aspiring doctors because medicine can really be exhausting at times. Eljohn says that great group mates will help ease the pressure and always seek help from your seniors because they're there to guide you. He adds that you just have to remind yourself of that one reason to keep you going despite not eating breakfast and lunch or being on a 36-hour shift without any sleep.
"If masagot mo sa sarili mo bakit gusto mong maging doctor, whether dahil gusto mong mag-opera, gusto mong tumingin ng tao, or gusto mo ng never-ending science, never-ending culture of learning, then it's really for you."
Name: Louis Faure
Birthday: November 22, 1992 (24)
School: HEC Paris
Louis may not have been born Filipino, but he might as well be. Aside from being able to speak Tagalog fluently (surprise!), talking to him and following his work of raising organic free-range chickens with Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm will remind you of how much potential our country has.
"My job here may be, eventually, to convince Filipinos how much they need to realize their own uniqueness. Not because I'm altruistic, but because I badly need my fellow French to learn from them," Louis explains. "I [want] Filipinos to discover their own beauty. My love for Filipinos is half because of my desire for my countrymen to learn from them; my country has deep problems as well. The keys are not to be found in my country; they're to be found here, just like we have the things that you also need."
Although he studied in one of France and Europe's top business schools and has made a name for himself as a social entrepreneur, Louis remains humble and acknowledges the fact that what he's done so far was possible because he was surrounded by people who have good hearts. He says that jumping on a plane to work in the Philippines on something he had no idea about (yup, he didn't know until he got here that he'll be raising chickens) was easier because GK's farmers were selfless about what they knew.
"I am lucky to be in an environment where relationships are very authentic. I'm in an environment where I was welcomed as a son and as a brother. It's an amazing opportunity that I left a home and had another home," he tells us. "I left my family and had another family. Being in an environment like this taught me so much about how Filipinos extended their definition of family to actually include me."
"I left my family and had another family. Being in an environment like this taught me so much about how Filipinos extended their definition of family to actually include me."
Although it may seem like he's got everything figured out already, this 24-year-old Parisian admits that he still doesn't know what his purpose in life is; all he knows is that he has to keep on taking opportunities that come his way and learning something new.
"I still can't tell you that I already found my purpose in life, because I need to understand my leadership and my role. I believe that we can all play different roles in our lives. You can also be passionate about many things," Louis explains. "Anna Meloto (Human Nature's co-founder and president) would tell me passion is the fuel but you don't wake up in the morning out of passion because otherwise, you would have stopped a long time ago; I wake up because of my purpose. And I draw my passion from my purpose."
So his advice to Candy Girls who are still trying to figure out which road they'll be taking to reach for their dreams?
"I suggest that instead of working on the things that are already here, get out of your comfort zone. Try hard on something that you don't really like, not even something you know you'll eventually like."
"When you look for your passion, I suggest that instead of working on the things that are already here, get out of your comfort zone. Try hard on something that you don't really like, not even something you know you'll eventually like. By doing this, you'll discover many things about yourself that you didn't really expect. That's how you'll see what your true passions are." —ADeLaPena
Name: Mikael C. Soriano
Birthday: July 31, 1995 (22)
School: Ateneo De Manila University
Hobbies: playing football, yoga, photography, traveling
Aside from a handsome face, Miel also has the brains and mad skills on the football field. He's a Management graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, who also attended Toulouse Business School in France.
For a business minor, he and his classmates created a web app called TRDNT (read as Trident), which provides more secure and convenient transactions online. "Right now, we buy things from Facebook groups or Instagram and then when you want something, you still have to do the manual processing," he explains.
"I was like 'I have to fix this problem' because I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been victimized by these scammers."
Aside from being a class project, what made him decide to create the web app, Miel says, was his own experience. He explains that he was once scammed while trying to buy a pair of sneakers online because the seller asked him to deposit the payment first. "I was like 'I have to fix this problem' because I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been victimized by these scammers," he adds. TRDNT was originally just for sneakers but with the help of their business mentors, they are already able to cater to other things.
For most people, it's a dream to go to France, let alone live and study there and that's exactly what Miel has done. He studied at Toulouse Business School and although it may not look like it in his social media posts, he admits that it wasn't easy. It took him a month to adjust because he didn't know much French, so asking for directions and getting food was difficult at first. But with the help of different apps, he was able to adapt. There were also times when Miel felt homesickness.
"I did feel it, actually, towards my third and fourth month. And what I did was, because I'm a huge FRIENDS fan, I was lucky that France's Netflix had the entire 10 seasons! So FRIENDS usually reminded me of home and helped me cope with the homesickness."
He looks back on his time in France with fondness, though, because he learned a lot of new things. There, he says, it's more liberal in a sense that you can wear anything you want and you're free to do anything you please. Group activities are also work-centered, which according to him is good practice for the future because you can't choose the people you work with.
But business isn't all that takes up Miel's time. This 22-year-old also has the heart for football—he was part of Ateneo's football team. Brotherhood, he says, is one reason that made him love the sport.
"Ever since I entered the team, I felt like I didn't enter it alone. It felt like I was part of a wolf pack."
"Ever since I entered the team, I felt like I didn't enter it alone. It felt like I was part of a wolf pack," he explains. Even though he's now an alumnus, he still spends time on playing football, making it a point to play twice a week in open plays. However, he says that he doesn't plan on pursuing a professional football career. He's planning to focus on his career in business instead. We'll totally support you in that, Miel! —KTRojas
Name: Santino Gabriel Palomares Rosales
Birthday: December 11, 2000 (16)
School: Colegio de San Agustin
Hobbies: working out, eating, sleeping
Sad news for Saint's fans: he has absolutely no plans of joining show business—now or in the future. But when we got to talk to him, he said that modeling is keeping him busy these days, especially after he joined the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP). This means we can still see him in print ads and commercials. Woohoo!
But aside from modeling, this 16-year-old is also busy with his studies and on working on his dream of becoming a professional football player. He's currently training with Kaya Futbol Club, a professional football club based in Makati.
"I always liked football but in 2013, my mom came up to me and asked me if I wanted to join the
While it may seem like Saint has his whole life handed to him on a silver platter, he reveals that it's not always easy. In modeling, he had to wait and join PMAP to get more opportunities. In football, he didn't get in his school's football team even after trying out for them constantly.
"I got rejected multiple times! After I joined the academy, that's when I improved a lot and finally got in the team," he shares. "What drove me to work harder was the failure. I'm the kind of person who looks at failures as opportunities to grow and to realize my mistakes. That's when I correct them. Failure to me is important in succeeding."
"I'm the kind of person who looks at failures as opportunities to grow and to realize my mistakes. That's when I correct them. Failure to me is important in succeeding."
At present, Saint says that he's only busy with three things: school, football, and modeling. It's not easy to juggle these things and he knows that. This is why it means the world to him to have the support of his family and loved ones, especially because he's still young.
"It is very important to me that my family has my back, if not it's the most important thing in my life. Without them, I wouldn't have the mental strength to deal with my life right now," Saint says. "They play a really big part in my life."
He understands, though, that not everyone is lucky to have that kind of support, that's why his advice to people is this:
"Love everyone and make every single person feel accepted. That way, each one of us progresses."
At 16, Saint is wise beyond his years. While he knows he's achieved something already, he also knows the value of the people around him. Throughout this interview, he never fails to mention how much his loved ones play a big part in everything that he's achieved so far and for that, he's truly grateful.
When asked what he thinks of the recognition and attention he's been getting, Saint answers and tells us they're blessings. He says, "It's always a nice surprise when people recognize me for the nice things. There are people who actually appreciate what I do; I can never get used to that. It's really a blessing to have what I have. I am just grateful for everything."
With his attitude and his talents, we're certain he'll reach the stars soon. —ADeLaPena
SHOT ON LOCATION Rizal Park Hotel South Road Drive, TM Kalaw Extension, Ermita, Manila