At a young age, my father gave me the film camera he once used as a professional photographer in the Philippines—and since then, I began exploring all things creative.

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Starting with photography and video, I began to explore other disciplines where I taught myself the skills required to work professionally in the realms of graphic design, brand management, business development, marketing, and visual communications.

All of these experiences eventually led to my current endeavour of going back to school to pursue my (Double) master's architecture + Urban Planning at Columbia University.

By bringing my previous skills to these two fields, I bring an ability to think critically and work fluidly across various scales.

 
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Growing up, I was privileged to live and be part of a community in Vancouver that was rich in visible minorities, tough in the face of adversity, and culturally, environmentally and economically diverse.

But despite having traveled and lived in over 40+ cities around the world, I have learned: who I am is very much rooted and attributed to home.

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Side story:

I only found out this year that though my mom attended a bit of college, she actually never graduated because she got the chance to move to Canada partway through. So, I guess I'm the first in my family to graduate and get a University degree. 

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You see—My parents are health care aides, so I grew up welcoming children, adults and seniors who had physical and developmental disabilities into our home for most of my life.

Beyond knowing how to keep my playmate from harm during her fourth seizure of the day, learning how to adjust our home to suit physical and emotional needs of those in our care, to being attuned to the varying degrees of autism, this in-home respite work (via my parents) taught me things that I believe make one not just a better person but when embraced, a better student and designer.

 

In short,

Accidents can happen;
Patience is key;
Don’t get caught up in the little things—
and being different is an opportunity,

just like any design challenge.