The Dream Catcher: Belle Daza

Your favorite model tells you the 10 things you must do before turning 18.
photo by Pat Dy
  1. Bond with your family.
    “I’m pretty close to my family. I have two siblings, Raf and Ava. We went to Boracay on New Year’s 2008 and it was really fun. You can do a lot of water sports, such as banana boating and fly fishing. Everyone will love it!”
  2. Start building your makeup kit.
    “In high school, nobody really wears makeup. But by the time you’re 18 and in college, you should know the basics of putting on makeup.  Look for a shade of concealer that’s the same color as your skin, and use sunblock and moisturizer often, especially if you play sports, like I do!”
  3. Treasure your high school memories.
    “High school was the best! My friends and I did everything together. Go on road trips and beach trips, don’t waste time having petty fights, and take lots of pictures!”
  4. Cherish your best friends.
    “My high school friends are some of my best-est friends. We keep in touch by visiting each other or watching movies together. During Valentine’s Day, we exchange gifts. It’s a tradition we started in high school when not everyone had guys. We still do it up to now!”
  5. Get into sports.
    “Playing sports will keep you fit and healthy. I joined the soccer team in high school.
    It allows me to eat and not starve myself. I try to maintain a healthy diet, but I’m also allowed to eat pizza—which I love!”
  6. Explore your hobbies and interests.
    “Aside from sports, I like surfing the Net, reading, and shopping! I used to play the drums, and paint too. It’s important to have a hobby outside of school so you can relieve your stress and learn new things.”
  7. Take chances.
    “When I was in high school, I never thought I could model because I played sports and was tomboyish. Then, an opportunity came when Ben Chan suggested I be the new face of Human. At first, I had a lot of fears and misgivings. I’m not the type to look at myself in the mirror and practice my angles. It’s a good thing my mom (former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz) and cousin (model Georgina Wilson) went with me to my first shoot and gave me lots of tips. Now, I’m really enjoying it! I get a lot of perks, I meet people who are fun to work with, and I learn a lot about time management. I’m glad I took the risk!”
  8. Reach for your dreams.
    “A dream I had in high school was to get into a good school. To achieve it, I studied hard and made a lot of sacrifices. Teens should strive to achieve their dreams. If you focus, you can do it!”
  9. Travel.
    “I visited Paris and it was amazing. Everyone is so gorgeous and everyone dresses so well! It’s not true what people say that they’re snobbish towards tourists. They’re very accommodating and quite friendly.”
  10. Be independent.
    “One way is to learn how to value money and save up for something you really want. Doing chores is another way, like how my mom assigns me to go to the grocery. You should also learn to manage your time well—an important skill for college since you’ll be given a lot of freedom. If you want to be treated like an adult, you have to act like one.”
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About the author
Angel Constantino Aquino
Former Managing Editor, Candy

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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