Over the weekend, MUNI invited me to speak in a panel entitled Sustainability + Social Media to discuss ~conscious communication. The guide questions prompted me to think about where I was when I began using social media and where I am now. Wuw, bigla akong napa-soul search.
Photo by Patch (Most Supportive Neighbor Award)
Here are some of the reeflections I shared:
🧜🏽♀️ It took years for me to understand who I am independent of Save Philippine Seas (SPS). It required several existential crises and soulbaticals and growing pains. While it is obviously a huge part of my life, I learned to remember, accept, and celebrate that I am many other things besides being the Chief Mermaid. I used to overthink about what to post so that it's consistent with "my brand," but now IDGAF. I'm most candid on Instagram Stories, where I show the different aspects of my personality (e.g., my love for skincare and red lipsticks, workouts, culinary misadventures, plant parenthood).
🎤 Our goal in SPS is not to preach to the choir, but to build the choir. If we continue speaking in an echo chamber, we're not going to reach our conservation goals to be inclusive. We work (very) hard to create content that is relevant and relatable, and a platform that sparks action. To do that, we draw a lot of inspiration from online trends and pop culture to show that it's cool to care, and that the pursuit of environmentalism doesn't have to be intimidating. I'm #blessedt to have found teammates who also resonate with that. (Our Creative Director, Gab, is the genius behind most of our content ⚡)
✊🏽 It's a constant struggle to choose our battles. Hindi nauubusan ng issue ang Philippine Seas: mining, illegal fishing, wildlife trade, marine protected areas, apathy, climate change, etc. Pag patulan namin, we need to see it through. Campaigning isn't easy -- it takes courage and commitment.
During one campaign that unexpectedly went viral, I got overwhelmed and told Chely that I wanted to quit because [the issue] wasn't about me and I was tired of people wanting to talk to me. She said, "Exactly -- it's NOT about you. Keep the big picture in mind, and ride this wave while you can."
Ah. Pro tip: find your tribe and love them hard. They will ensure that you get your shit together when it matters most, and drink a bottle (or three) with you when shit hits the fan.
💁🏽♀️ We are always told to "live your truth" and "be yourself." But this assumes that we know ourselves already, when in fact we don't always have a straightforward answer to what our truth is. And our truth evolves. Mine definitely has. Let it.