I can’t remember exactly the very first time I took an interest in reading magazines. But as an introverted “tween” (at eleven years old), I always made my way inside bookstores and getting a copy of W.i.t.c.h. magazine. W.i.t.c.h. was my escape from school— I found myself inside the world of Kandrakar, relating to my favorite characters (Will for her leadership attitude and Cornelia for her love for earthly things).
Years later, I became one of those girls who spent their free time reading about YA novels, crushing on fictional guys, wishing that one day, I could write my own novel and people would fall in love with stories I wrote. At the same time, I was a growing teenager—I now picked up copies of Candy monthly at the bookstore or browse my cousin’s collection of back issues. I’d illustrate the models, create my own outfits, and wish that one day, I’d be able to contribute inside the pages of the magazine. (Plot twist: I got featured, I got to contribute, and I got to redesign their logo!)
From what I’ve shared, you could say that I’ve always dreamed of working for a magazine or a publishing house. I just knew it wasn’t an option when I took up an Advertising Management course in college, or decided to pursue a freelance career (well,I was wrong!). I remember fangirling the first time I saw Mimi, EIC of W.i.t.c.h. and also a Managing Editor of Candy then. I remember internally freaking out (in a good way!) the first time I met my publisher, Koko, when I first got my book deal two years ago. I also remember getting goosebumps the first time I stepped into the Summit Media office, telling myself, “OMG you’re actually here—and soon you’ll be an author.”
Two years and two best-selling books later (plot twist: I didn’t write fiction—in fact, I wrote non-fiction!), it still feels surreal to call myself an “author”. I knew I loved words the moment I knew how to read; I knew I loved them the very moment I started aceing my formal theme papers in high school. Little did I know this fascination for making art and weaving words together would lead me to the position I am in right now, as I slowly reveal the #abcreadsearch hashtag that everyone might be wondering about for the past months…
I’m now the Founder and Creative Director of ABC Magazine. 🙂
(And nope, it’s not a book, tv show, vlog, or art cafe. Wahaha. Gotcha!)
I’m out of words as I try to remember how I took in this role. Let’s just say I wanted to hide in a corner and tell myself “YOU CAN’T DO IT” over and over…because I felt that I didn’t know the ropes of how magazine publishing worked. I was wrong. The more I worked on it, the more I realized that all the things I needed to know were already inside of me. I just didn’t know how to use them (at first).
Well, of course, there was the occasional “readsearch”—spending nights reading and dissecting magazines and books like my life depended on it (correction, work. Haha!).
Related Post: Inside my #ABCReadSearch Library
And of course, the fact that I got to work with a powerhouse of a team (we call ourselves “A Team” because…no, not because Ed Sheeran, lol. The initial mag name was supposed to be A Magazine!) really made all of the difference. 🙂
Every time I look back at the working process of this magazine, I laugh a little. It’s not every day you get to do flatlay on a cover, no less (I’ve always been terrified of doing covers since my first book hahaha true fact), and getting to draw and paint and write every day still feels like a surreal part of my job.
The best part, though, was seeing all the submissions from our contributors—while I supervised the creative vision for this magazine (and wrote some articles: mostly life hacks and productivity-related things, as per usual, lol), it was the contributing artists, photographers and writers that really shaped this magazine’s first issue. 🙂
A peek at our cover shoot BTS! (Thanks Macy for being our favorite hand model, lol)
The final thing! EEP. I was totally smiling from ear to ear when I got my copy because look. at. that. teal. IT’S THE PERFECT SHADE.
ABOUT THE FIRST ISSUE
The first issue is about being a Student of Life: learning outside the four walls of school, finding inspiration in the little things, and being open to discovering more about yourself. As for me, making this magazine in itself was definitely a learning experience that’s one for the books (pun intended, haha!).
In this issue, we’ve rounded up an amazing roster of artists and designers to share their insights, showcase their work, as well as stories on starting a creative journey, finding your own voice, and being the best version of yourself. We’ve also included (of course!) snippets from travels and adventures of fellow creatives, places to get your art fix and lots of DIY projects for you to try.
Also, a side note: I’ve always been an advocate to showcase people’s works as I used to be one of those aspiring artists who only dreamt to have their work published (y’all I know that kilig feeling!). So hopefully, this will serve as a platform for me to be able to feature up and coming talents and of course, the people I fangirl over. Haha!
Please brace yourselves for a really long thank you portion. I always, always never leave this out because I won’t be able to have done this without the help of these people:
The Summit Books team, for giving me this opportunity, and believing in my vision;
To my editorial team: The A Team! Thanks for sticking it out with me: from the deadlines, Toby’s coffee runs, proofs checking, shoots, brainstorm sessions, random brain farts, and for ALL the help. ALL of it. This magazine would not have been possible without each of your inputs.
Editor-in-Chief: Mimi Tiu (Can you feel my fangirling as I type this?!?!)
Art Director: Katsu Modomo
Managing Editor: Macy Alcaraz
Editorial Assistant: Jean Kelly
Some of the key people who inspired and motivated me to work on this magazine…
Koko, my publisher: who called to tell me last year that I’m tasked to create a magazine of my own. (I cried after.) Thanks for never giving up on me. And for trusting that I can deliver to the standards set, even if I was terrified at the beginning;
Tricie, my manager: my sounding board since day one, my favorite person to bug, to the second voice that always tells me that I can do it, and that it will all go well;
Kaila, one of my big sisters (LDF from Japan lololol): my constant source of positive energy, my sister from another mother, for ALWAYS supporting me from my h.e.a.r.t. days up to Abbey Sy and up to all the babies (thanks for being a ninang to the ABC Fam!);
My best friends and family who have kept me sane throughout the creation of this project, to the people I’ve spent nights talking to as I simultaneously beat my deadlines (haha, you know who you are);
To the people who believed in me, to the people who didn’t, and to that magazine who rejected my artworks, thanks, because it gave me more reason to do my best as I made my own. 🙂 To every person I’ve worked with and met over the past couple of years, thank you.
And of course, to YOU. For sticking it out with me. For being a part of the ABC family. Thank you for the support, for constantly giving me motivation to create and curate and connect.
ABC Magazine will be available starting next week at major bookstores and newsstands for P250. Each issue comes with free inserts: wall art, postcards, and stickers. Published by Summit Books.
I’m so excited to share this new venture with you all. Always be creating, and never stop learning!
PS: See you this June 17 for my magazine launch + signing! Details on the next post coming tomorrow. 🙂
Photos of me by Shutter Panda
ABC Magazine photos by Aira Dizon