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Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s Journey To Awareness

This multi-awarded actress talks about being purposeful and more mindful and aware in her decisions—from the clothes she wears, the products she buys, even to the roles that she chooses. For this sustainability special of Metro, we featured Jasmine in eco-conscious clothing from COS S/S ’22

In today’s hyper-aware, multi-screen, and meta-verse environment, there is a new movement towards going back to purpose, of leading a life that is conscious of the connections between everything. Jasmine Curtis-Smith is one of those who is embracing this fully—she is keenly aware of herself and what’s happening around her.  


This is something we’ve always noticed about Jasmine. Wise beyond her years, she matured fairly early because of the roles that she has to play as an actress. She was Nika in the psychological thriller Puti (2012), Yael, an Israel-Filipino child who faced deportation in Israel for Transit (2013), and Alex, a lesbian who falls for her best friend in Baka Bukas (2016). All these happened even before Jasmine was 23.


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Having recently celebrated her 28th birthday this month, she’s taken a new perspective in knowing what’s important.  


“I went to Davao with my family—my mom, my boyfriend, my ate, my niece Dahlia—we spent a few days at the beach,” she shares. “We had a sunset cruise, and even if it was raining a bit, we still decided we would enjoy it,” she said.


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“I think that was my birthday gift. I spent for myself, by having a trip for everyone.” It was a rare moment to have her entire family there. In fact, she had not seen her mom for two years prior to March, and the two would just spend time on video calls, but clearly, it’s not the same.


This year marks something different for Jasmine, who is also celebrating her 10th year in cinema. While she has been seen on television much longer, the body of work that speaks to her most, and is more connected to who she is as a person, is really her films.


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Being purposeful with her films

“I used to think my acting awards were my greatest achievements, but I now think it’s choosing the right projects and the right scripts, scripts with a purpose. Projects with a purpose,” she says.  


“I’ve always been vocal about choosing the right films,” she adds. “Because we have the liberty (to choose) for film, I really choose the message that I send out for the films that I do. When you’re able to cater to a market that needs to be heard, or an audience that needs to be heard, I feel like I’ve achieved what that medium is made for,” she explains.  


“It’s not made for me to live and act and fulfill my dreams,” she explains, putting aside the notion of the personal self for cinema.


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Instead, she is steadfast in what her medium is for: “Film and television are made for conveying a message to a large audience that may need to hear it,” she says. “If we want to spark change, I think that’s the greatest achievement—choosing something to be part of,” she says.  


“I want to be known as an intentional actress. One who chooses purpose all the time. Someone who is very involved in the community, and among other actors, too.”  


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Indeed, she has been very discerning in her roles for cinema. Even in the genre of rom-com, in 2017’s I’m Drunk, I Love You (2017), she goes against stereotype to be the film’s romantic antagonist, as a foil to co-actors Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino.


In that same year, she made waves as Abi in Paul Soriano’s Siargao, even becoming some sort of town hero for the surfers and community in Siargao even after the film finished its theater run. Here, she also won Best Supporting Actress at the Metro Manila Film Festival, a feat, considering she was against theater heavyweights and more senior actresses that year.


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This year will be even more special for Jasmine, having finished filming several projects, one with Piolo Pascual titled Real Life Fiction, and she’s poised to do another film starting next month with John Lloyd Cruz. There’s also another independent film in the wings, which she can’t disclose names yet.  


“It’s pretty exciting—I’m working with the biggest names in the industry, the most sought-after leading men of my generation. These are names that people in my generation would wish to work with,” she says.


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Making a change

The pandemic might have slowed down things for many, but for Jasmine, it enabled her to be on her feet and focus on her other endeavors—her businesses, and her future projects.  


Her boutique hotel in La Union is doing well, even throughout the pandemic. “We were able to cope and remodel the business a bit,” she shares, maximizing her kitchen for food delivery services instead. Now, things have gone back to normal, and her resort is back on the grind, she has her eyes set on other projects.


“For this year, my goal or plan for myself would probably be focused on investing more,” she says. Working out her finances is something that she wants to do for herself. “So that I could find ways to relax when things are not so busy with my work as an actress,” she shares.  


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So much has changed for her as well—but the process relates to digging deep inside herself.


“I would say, as a personal achievement, it’s finding peace within myself and in work. I’ve made very big changes and I’ve actually changed the circles around me recently,” she shares. Perhaps part of those changes is her move to another talent management group. “I have exposed myself to other people, trying out new things, in terms of partnerships and work, so I’m trying to be more fearless,” she says.


“It’s easy to say that I’ll be braver this year, I’ll take on more challenges, but when the challenges are there, it’s difficult, you’ll find yourself saying—maybe next year,” she says with determination. This won’t be the case again this year.  


“I definitely think that my achievement is allowing myself to experience the change and make it already.”


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Everything is connected

Perhaps that realization stems from the very values that Jasmine holds dear: she has a firm sense of connectedness. 


“Everything is connected with the clothes you wear, the products you buy, the food you consume, also, so I’ve definitely been more aware about how to purchase my clothes, my shoes, where to buy it form also. Just do a bit more research, how they also produce these things. Because it shouldn’t just start and stop when you’re in the shop, you should know what’s happening behind the scenes,” she shares.  


“Because you, as a person, you want to have a good working environment that’s healthy, beneficial to the environment, to the community. We can make demands from people around us—from our bosses. The same goes for everything: The clothes we wear, the things we consume, the products we buy,” she adds.


Which is why this special sustainability campaign with Metro is so close to her heart. For this cover, Jasmine wears clothes from COS Spring/Summer 2022. COS is known for its dedication to sustainability and a circular economy, as 92% of the collection is sustainably sourced.


For Jasmine, more than being part of an organization for sustainability, she believes it’s more important for the individual to make a difference.   


And it actually starts with little things. Closest to her heart is beach clean-up—something she has actually done in Siargao in 2019. She was there to promote the different projects of the locals that they’ve been implementing—simple things like trash bin segregation, or taking care of sea creatures, knowing where it’s okay to swim, and where to do beach clean-ups regularly.  


“You should also be doing it on your own. You should be thinking of finding ways to support the environment,” she says. It’s important to find ways to become sustainable, and transform the way we live, the way we approach our systems and the laws we have in place, she adds.


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Living with awareness and letting go

One of the most important things that she has learned in showbiz is actually from her sister, Anne Curtis-Smith.


“It’s the art of dedma,” she says, referring to the the art of only caring about the essential things. Her sister has always reminded her of this.  


“Whatever they say—good, bad, you should still know who you are. You shouldn’t base who you are on the praises that you receive. You don’t base who you are on the criticism that you receive. You can just keep improving, you can just keep getting better,” she says.  


Otherwise, it will get to your head.


“You can lead yourself to a world where you believe: I’m the best, and I’ve figured it out, because I keep hearing how awesome I am at work, and how accomplished I am. But once you go home, it’s just you. You don’t have those people there, and you don’t hear those anymore. Sometimes, you look for [their validation] and it messes up with your self-love, self-care, confidence, everything you need to take care of yourself without all the noise that comes with your work. That has been the most important thing,” she shares.  


And finally, the one lesson that she still keeps to this day, is also from her sister, Anne.  


“Do everything with your heart. Because that’s when people will really know that you’re enjoying it, you’re doing what you love, and you won’t be bothered with anything. You’ll have struggles but you won’t let that get in the way if you put your heart into what you’re doing.”


Sittings editor: Geolette Esguerra

Photography by Rxandy Capinpin

Creative direction by Randz Manucom

Styling by Cath Sobrevega with Riri Verano and Jem Arboleda

Makeup by Gela Laurel

Hairstyling by Brent Sales

Shoot assistant: Carla Buyo

Videography by Pat Buenaobra

Shot on location at City of Dreams Manila

Special thanks to: Peachy Bautista (CRWN Management), Faith Fernandez-Mondejar and Heather Vecta (Buensalido), Romina Gervacio and Charisse Chiudan (City of Dreams)