Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PBB Teens Big 4 for Manila Bulletin

Article by Jaycon Yaneza
Photography JERICO MONTEMAYOR of Illuminati (assisted by NEIL EDGER RAMIREZ)
 Creative direction JASER A. MARASIGAN
 Styling JP DICHE and DICE SILVERIO (assisted by KAM UNTALAN)
Clothes from LEE and CANDIE'S
Shoes from CONVERSE and PARISIAN (from SM Department Store)
Accessories from WWW (What Women Want from SM Department Store)

Five is the new four, that is for the recent fourth season of the reality show Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition where five people made it to the big 4 - twins joj and jai Agpangan, Roy Requejo, Karen Reyes and big winner, Myrtle Sarrosa.

Students and Campuses Bulletin had a literal walk in the park with these kids recently and saw how simple, yet ambitious and career-driven they are.

Following are snippets from our interview with the PBB Teens top finisher, on how their lives were before PBB, their families, their struggles as teenagers as well as their dreams and aspirations, and why they believe in their hearts that they have a bright, bright future ahead of them
Roy Requejo
Big Dreamer
If there is one thing common among the PBB housemates who had been evicted earlier, it was the fact that they all thought Roy Requejo deserved to be the big winner.

Roy, 17, was born in Naga City, Camarines Sur to a driver father and a beautician mother. He is the eldest of four siblings and is a graduate of Tinago High School in CamSur.

Life was hard for Roy who had to work as a construction worker at one point. His mother left them and went to Manila to work and for nearly a year, Roy and his siblings did not hear from their mother. It was not until the PBB Big Night that Roy was able to talk to his mother again. “We’re okay now,” he quietly says.
Growing up hard-up though has not stopped Roy from going on little romantic pursuits. Tall, dark, and handsome, Roy claims he has already had three girlfriends. “My first love was the girl next door. The other two girls, I met in school,” Roy looks back with a laugh.

He first aspired to become a seaman but with PBB, his plans have begun to take new turns.
“I’m still open to the idea. PBB has actually guaranteed me a scholarship to Mariner’s Polytechnic College  in Bicol. But I have yet to enroll. I dream to finish school of course and make life better for me and my family. But I’m also open to other opportunities. If something better comes along, I’m open to it,” he says.
Roy likes to try new things, including learning how to play the guitar, and trying out acting. He idolizes John Lloyd Cruz (and dreams of working with him), Vhong Navarro, and Parokya Ni Edgar. But for now, he is doing the rounds of ABS-CBN live shows and looks back to that fateful big night that changed his life.
“I thank all those who voted for me, especially to the mayor of CamSur who announced his support for me. Thank you!” Roy says. Fans may follow him on Twitter at @requejoroy28

Joj and Jai Agpangan
Two peas in a pod

Joj and Jai Agpangan are the wacky, 16-year-old identical twins from Bacolod City. Born to a community developer/ farmer father and an accountant mother, the twins graduated from Bacolod City Tay Tung High School although they do not come from a Chinese family. “The school was near our place. We thank the school for accepting us. We had a great time studying there where we learned to speak and write some Fookien and Mandarin.” They were classmates in freshman high school and had a blast playing pranks,  oftentimes pretending to be the other twin.

Even with crushes, the Virgo siblings share a liking for the same person – young TV host and PBB Teen alumnus Robi Domingo! Joj and Jai both dream of working with him.

Both are inclined towards taking up Medicine. While Joj wants to be like famous dermatologist Dr. Vicki Belo, Jai wants to specialize in pediatrics. They want to enroll in Silliman University for college.
It is amazing how the twins can be the same not only in looks but also in attitude, in their likes and dislikes, and even in their attitude. Two peas in a pod, indeed!

“We’re like Disney Channel’s ‘Zack and Cody,’ always happy, wacky, and almost inseparable,” Joj exclaims.

Jai describes Joj as talkative but with a kind heart, probably the traits that housemate Roy liked in her. Joj says Jai is naughtier and a little bigger than her!

As early as now, the twins’ wackiness is earning for them some guesting spots, such as that in the noontime show ‘It’s Showtime!’ Fans may follow them on Twitter at @jojagpangan (for Joj) and @jyramay (for Jai).

Karen Reyes
Tough Teenager
She might have been the strongest, most noticeable personality inside the PBB Teen house but 15-year old Karen Reyes could also very well be the toughest.

Born to an OFW father who is now deceased, and a carinderia cook/ entrepreneur mother, Karen was originally from Makati City until she and her family moved to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. She was a junior high school student at Jose J. Leido, Jr. Memorial National High School in Calapan before she joined PBB Teens.

“It was tough growing up without a father. My mother did her best to support us. I have two elder siblings who finished college and they helped out until they had their own families. We look after each other. I’ve had a normal teen life,’’ says Karen, the youngest among four children.

Her pretty face, being likened to that of a young Lorna Tolentino, has given her a newfound fame. Yet Karen still dreams of finishing high school and pursuing a course in Tourism in college. She says she is still a simple girl with simple joys, someone who enjoys texting, playing computer games, eating, and sleeping.

Aside from dancing, Karen has also acquired the talent of “seducing’’ the camera when posing for pictures. She idolizes actress Angel Locsin and says that she is open to any acting job. In fact, she has already been included in the cast immediately in the afternoon teleserye “Angelito” (Book 2) on ABS-CBN 2. Fans may follow Karen on Twitter at @iamkarenreyes17

Myrtle Sarrosa
More than a cosplaying housemate

Myrtle Sarrosa, so unique among all housemates because of her passion for cosplay, is 17 years old and hails from Iloilo City.

An Accountancy sophomore at the University of the Philippines-Visayas before she decided to enter the PBB house, Myrtle is the youngest of two children of Iloilo City councilor Rodolfo Sarrosa and accountant Fatima Porlucas-Sarrosa of the Department of Finance. She is also a Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman in their district.

Myrtle emulates famous cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao as she herself has been into cosplaying for four years now.

“I had a simple life before PBB but it has been a happy, amazing and wonderful experience so far. Everything feels new to me after the show. I never had any idea that I would become the big winner because I had the highest save percentage at 45.01 percent but also the highest percentage to evict at 11.09 percent.

It’s crazy! When Kuya admitted me to the PBB house, he told me ‘This will be a summer you’ll never forget.’ I still have yet to get used to all the public attention. I’m hesitant to have a Twitter account because I’m still holding on to my privacy. I have my Facebook though where I have my cosplay photos which are valuable to me,” Myrtle gushes.

With looks oftentimes likened to young actress Erich Gonzales and supermodel Niki Taylor, Myrtle says she is still the ordinary teenager that she has always been.

“I’m a girl who gives her best, with passion and enthusiasm – 100 percent,” says Myrtle who also sings, dances, and plays the piano.

Two things she is setting her sights on are participating in cosplays abroad and opening her own fashion line. After all, being a cosplay artist has taught her how to do her own hair and make-up and style her own costumes.

She also plans on taking on an advocacy for the youth. After fulfilling her duties as a contract talent, Myrtle intends to go back to school and fulfill her ultimate dream to become a CPA-lawyer someday.
At present, Myrtle has started guesting on TV shows and is gearing up for the Pinoy Big Brother tour. Fans may follow Myrtle at and or


Congratulations to the Big Winner!!!


Special thanks to Kapamilya - ABSCBN (PBB)
Manila Bulletin- Students and Campuses Section
Visit and Like their Facebook Page Here
and Follow them on Twitter @mbsac


Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Do I Love Thee Photo Exhibit by The Love Yourself Project

Here's a little something for my community...

I salute these guys (from The Love Yourself Project) for continuing this great advocacy.

Let's continue to spread love....


The guys from The Love Yourself Project, an advocacy group aimed to raise awareness in order to stop/prevent/lessen the spread of HIV,
will be having a Fund Raising Photo Exhibit this July 8, 2012 6PM at The Love Yourself Hub
located at 1850 Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila (at the back of PWU).

The Exhibit entitled "How Do I Love Thee" will feature photos taken
by reknowned Artist-Photographer, Ian Felix Alquiros.

Check out some of Ian Felix Alquiros' works by visiting his website HERE

The exhibit will be open to the public from Monday to Sunday
starting July 9 - August 5, exhibit hours from 1-6PM.

For more information, you can visit
or you can follow them on Twitter @LoveYourself_VA


It's the simplest things we tend to ignore, when it's the simplest things that mean so much more.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thanks Anderson Cooper!

It is the best way to end Pride Month!

I woke up this morning, and as usual, the first thing I did was check my twitter for any relevant news. And to my surprise, Anderson Cooper was trending worldwide. I sort of had an idea but i still didnt jump into conclusion. When you trend in twitter, it's either you died, you said or did something really stupid or great, or you came out of that closet. True enough, as I read the blog where Anderson directly answered his thoughts and views about the visibility of gay people as one of the core means for our equality. It was a very honest and touching answer for a letter..

"Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I've thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.

But I've also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.
I've always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career,even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist.

Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media - and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.

Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.
I love, and I am loved.

In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy."

- Anderson Cooper


As I've said before, no one is requiring anyone to step out and say he/she is gay. And stepping out and saying that you are gay doesn't mean that you will become an activist of some sort. But that small act of being out and saying you are in fact gay means a lot especially if it could give positive impact to, not just you, but also to others like you.

It was very courageous for Mr. Cooper to step out and tell the whole world his sexual orientation and I salute him for that. And I extremely appreciate his reasons for coming out. In times like these where we thought wrong, that discrimination based on sexual orientation is still existing, it is good that people like Anderson Cooper (someone of that magnitude) would come out and say " I'm gay, always have been, always will be,...." is a big thing for the gay community, and for that, thank you Anderson Cooper.