Juana Change

It’s difficult to find role models these days. The internet is deceptive most of the time what with all this power to change everyone’s personality so that couch potatoes like me all of a sudden become adventurers. Real people on the other hand, who presumably give life to their avatars, would rather be online, anonymous, than be caught living out there on the edge where all great things ought to happen.

And what about out there? Well, there are still amazing ones!

Juana Change

This is Juana Change. I first read about her in a spread for Rogue. She wore a dress patterned after the Philippine flag and in my mind I saw Ambeth Ocampo moving his head from one side to the other in some dismay over the use of the flag. I thought then that she might be your typical activist, ready to say everything but do nothing. Well, I’m happy to be wrong.

She appears in public wearing some crazy costume in the style of the Sea Princess and just when you might say she’s nuts for doing it, she switches all notions of socializing around to mean something else, something closer to the core of what it really is — making this country a better place to live in. Juana brings out the dirt and thus manages to push us to think and act conscientiously.

But it’s her recent campaign that really moves me. Everyone is entitled to their say and some of us really don’t stop yapping but few actually take the battle home with them and fight on a personal level. Here’s where Juana changes me completely. Imagine this woman going all out and making herself vulnerable in every possible way just to prove a point. She strips, literally and figuratively, and makes a commitment to change for the better. –I Argued with a friend recently about this and he said it was no big feat considering how in the first place, people who are obese just shouldn’t be obese to begin with. I couldn’t say much for awhile because he did have a valid point. People shouldn’t choose this kind of life. But, what Juana teaches me has more to do with our capacity for change. She preaches through actions a powerful message that goes, “You can change if you want to and you will if only you tried.”

Tita Gilda & Juana
This is Tita Gilda looking at a photo of Juana that my dad took. She is another woman I admire and soon, I will tell you about her.

Please visit this show. It’s currently ongoing at the Vargas museum in UP. My dad has two photos here along with several other artists like Boy Yniguez, Winner Jumalon, Kiri Dalena, Jim Paredes, Elmer Borlongan etc. Sorry, I’m only going by who I remember seeing on the invite. If I missed anyone, that should be enough reason to go visit the exhibit and see it for yourself. 🙂


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