I was just an ordinary girl like everybody else. I went to school, hung out with friends, and did homework. I also happen to enjoy performing, which I didn’t see as a career option at first. I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my mom; she heard me singing “Rolling in the Deep” when I was nine, and she told me that I had talent and encouraged me to pursue a singing career.
And the rest is history! I’m now the Ylona Garcia you all know, but I wouldn’t have gotten here if it weren’t for all of my experiences, good or bad. I had to leave so much behind when I moved to Manila from Australia, but I was also able to create a new life that I never thought possible—one where I’m a singer-slash-dancer-slash-actress. To all the Candy Girls who want to chase their dreams but don’t think they have what it takes, here’s my advice so you can be #TheBest in everything you do, too:
It’s okay to be scared.
Whether it’s of taking the next big step or making a mistake, know that it will be a learning experience. I still get nervous before a performance—sometimes, I forget lyrics, stutter, and choke to the point that my body shakes—but I just tell myself that these mistakes will help me become a better singer.
Keep yourself motivated.
If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be harder for everyone else, too. I always tell myself, “Every day you work hard, show ‘em you’re meant to be here.” It also helps to look your best because it boosts your confidence and makes you feel like you can conquer anything.
For me, a good face powder and mabangong shampoo (like Sunsilk's Smooth And Manageable Shampoo!) help me be in my best mode. Whenever I get nervous, I have a habit of running my fingers through my hair. Having good hair makes me confident, because it makes me feel like I can take on any challenges. Having smooth and bangong nakakagigil locks is like my security blanket—when my hair is in order, I'm ready to do anything and everything.
Go at it every day.
Practice won’t immediately make you perfect, but a little bit of it every day will make you better. Try to learn as much as you can. If you want to be a writer, you should try to widen your vocabulary and learn new words. If you want to start an online business, try to see how other online stores do it and take notes. If you want to be a singer, learn new techniques and try different genres.
Have a support system.
Your family, friends, and mentors will always be there for you, remember that. Whenever I’m going through something, I immediately call my family even if they’re back in Australia. I also hang out with my friends and go live to talk to my fans because they make me feel like I’m not alone.
My last tip? It’s okay to have a lot of goals! It just gives life more meaning and gives you more to strive for. Check this video out to see some of mine:
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