Read How These 9 Confident Creatives Are Using Their Art To Empower
More than just entertaining others through their work, these inspiring women are inspiring women with their art.
We seek genuine connection in life. And we are able to do that through the stories, gifts, talents, and ideas that we share. In a special collaboration by Metro and SM Woman, , we take a look at an amazing group of women – who through their craft are telling our different stories, and empowering other women across the country to make their own creative stamp in the world.
This is #MetroXSMWoman #WearYourStory
Director Antoinette Jadaone has made audiences laugh, cry, and fall in love ever since her breakout film, That Thing Called Tadhana, was released in 2014. A string of blockbuster movies after, the filmmaker has cemented her reputation as one of the country’s top romantic comedy directors. With hits such as the teleserye, On the Wings of Love, in 2015, and the 2017 flick, Love You to the Stars and Back, starring Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia, Jadaone is certainly making waves in the local industry with her refreshing take on romance.
“I had a creative breakdown about two years ago, which really happens when you’re a creator and kailangan mo mag-release ng material every time. Dadating ka sa point na wala ka na talaga malabas.
So you begin to question your ability, your talent. Am I a fluke? Parang hype ka lang ba talaga as what they say? May growth ba ako as an artist or as a storyteller? That was my major turnaround, I had to stop working and directing, and process my journey as a filmmaker. It took many years and many movies to realize that I should trust my voice.”
Freelance graphic designer Maine Manalansan has a deep passion for producing content. As creative director of Young STAR and design director for The Sandbox Collective, she wishes to help people find their passion in the arts, because it was through the help of mentors that she found hers as well.
“The biggest challenge for any creative is to keep up with the times, because things are moving so fast. For you to affect change through your messages, you have to know first what's happening around you and learn to say it in the most efficient and concise manner.”
As a fashion and beauty illustrator, Soleil Ignacio deals with all things beautiful. A look at her Instagram feed is an everyday dose of tastefully curated art. Yet the artist proves that there’s more than one kind of beauty as she seeks to represent the timeless Filipina look in her art.
“I’ve wanted to empower women in my recent works, that’s why I highlight my skin tone in my works and celebrate the morena beauty. Hopefully, this inspires women to be not ashamed of their skin color.”
Whether she’s doing ad campaigns or creating shampoo bars, Isai Martinez has always been passionate about creating. Fresh from a recent stint as a creative director in Indonesia, Isai is unafraid to live a meaningful life, and live it to the fullest. Today, she gets down and busy with her hands, finding ways to further make an impact on the world through her own brand of creativity.
“People think that advertising is all about selling, but I wish to think that what we do is more important than that. Developing campaigns – especially those that tackle real issues like gender equality in the workplace and empowerment – is meaningful. We make an impact by crafting good messages and making sure that those are spread. Through our work, we can help raise awareness on topics that are otherwise overlooked and forgotten.”
It makes perfect sense that filmmaker Ice Idanan has a case of the travel bug — even in life, the Sakaling Hindi Makarating director, writer, and cinematographer has always wandered but was never lost, hopping between four courses before finally finding her calling in film. Like many of her beloved characters, Ice is free-spirited and strong-willed, but not afraid to be vulnerable. Beautiful landscapes, honest storytelling, and a compelling voice mark much of her work, as she weaves and represents the stories of this generation.
“Videos are so powerful; people look at their phones now more than they talk to each other. If you want to get through to someone, you show them something — a place, a photo, or a moving picture."
Being half-Bangladeshi and half-Cebuana, director Ara Chadwhury has always felt out of place, between identities and worlds. This personal predicament is captured cheekily in films like Miss Bulalacao, wherein she infuses elements of the absurd and impossible. Much like her unique upbringing, Ara seeks to represent diversity in her work and offers a fresh perspective on regional cinema.
“The biggest hurdle in my life, I think is, trying to come into myself. It seems that especially because I’m a woman, every time I try to understand who I am and what I want to project to the world, there’s always someone telling me what I should do. It took me a long time to realize that I just needed to be completely honest with myself."
Award-winning writer Sasha Martinez is not only a talented wordsmith, but also a budding artist. In the same way she weaves words to tell compelling stories, she pieces together images to convey beautiful messages and emotions.
“There are two reasons why I’m drawn to art. The first is a selfish one: it’s an ego boost. There’s no greater power or feeling than that of creating something out of nothing. On the other hand, it also centers me. It may seem contradictory – art filling you with pride yet also humbling you – but that’s how it is. It allows you to exist and be fully present in the moment.”
Even though Isabel Santos hails from a family of artists, starting with her late grandfather Mauro ‘Malang’ Santos, that hasn’t stopped her from coming into her own. Inspired by American artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, this European Studies graduate paints abstract, realism and still-life, and also dabbles in comics.
“We’re always worried about what other people might think. Feeling ko, it's better to take risks than live in regret. The pain of being embarrassed at that moment hurts less than the pain of lifelong regret.”
Author and inspirational speaker
Cherry Depano, as an author and inspirational speaker, goes beyond the book to help the younger generation find direction in their life. In addition to her talks which she hosts regularly across the metro, Depano reaches out to others through her funny yet meaningful books, #Hugot sa Tamang Panahon: Kalma Ka Lang While U Wait and #Hugot: Understanding the Misunderstood.
“You don’t just wake up realizing what your purpose in life is. You must discern and pray for it. I believe that you have to cooperate with the Grace of God; eventually you will find happiness in His plans for you.”
Produced by Ide8 team and Lorenz Namalata
Interviews by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza, Sam Beltran, Grace Diez, Ronna Capili, and Maielle Montayre
Photography by Emerson Leonor
Styled by Myrrh Lao To and team
Makeup by MAC Cosmetics PH
Hairstyling by Muriel Vega Perez and team
Production Design Princess Baretto and team
Shot on Location at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
Interns Roline Red Ricafort and Jan Adriel Salvatierra