Why Are You Here?


It all started during my last year of High School that led me to here. Ever since I was young, I aspired to be a Marine Biologist (I still have that wishful thinking) and study college in Hawaii. But things took a turn and I had to diverge from my childhood dream of studying the ocean life and I chose to go into the creative field. I studied two years of college in the Philippines and took up Interior Design as my major. I had this sense of desire to create and organize space which prompted me to pursue the field. Later down the road, I realized that my creativity didn't want to be subjected within the confines of space and the rigidity of Interior Design. This turned me to discover my passion for drawing and painting and I started to build my skills in these areas. This got me into Illustration and the idea of taking my studies abroad. At first, I applied to SCAD and was accepted at the Hong Kong Institute. However, things took another turn and I was forged down the path of not being able to pursue my dream in studying Illustration due to financial problems. But the possibility of going to the US and applying for college here became an opportunity for me to explore, since it would be easier for me to supported financially due to the different scholarships and government aids available.

For two years, I dropped out of college went into a deep dive in the creative industry in Manila where I built my network and focused on doing Freelance Illustration work. I was able to expand my skills, my knowledge in the field and surround myself with creative peers which was totally new territory for me. I was able to work on huge projects with different local companies and publications and became a social media influencer and ambassador for brands. After I built my resume that I felt confident and strongly about, I once again pursued the idea of applying for college abroad. My aunt, who has been living in Oakland for several years, mentioned CCA to me and that was how I got myself into applying for Illustration here. I had my eyes set on Academy of Arts and SCAD but when I found out that CCA was in the Bay Area which was closer to my brother, it became a solid option for me to pursue. I got accepted into the Illustration Department with scholarship grants and financial aid programs to help my studying here possible. 


Despite having my eyes and my heart set on studying Illustration, I started to have doubts after a year in CCA. It was during our Freshman Review, that I began to question if it was the right course for me. Around that time, I stumbled upon the Junior Review Exhibit of the IxD Major and I became interested in the idea of designing things with purpose, function and meaning. I came into a crisis and didn't know which path I wanted to take. Because time was such a constraint for me, considering my mom is planning on retiring soon, I didn't have the privilege of staying in college longer. I wanted to do a double degree but that wasn't an option for me due to time and I couldn't take either classes as electives because most of it had pre-requisites. After contemplating for a long time, consulting my friends and family, I decided to shift to Interaction Design. I told myself, "If it doesn't work out, then I can simply switch back to Illustration after a semester." Since I had zero knowledge on the field and had no idea what I was getting into, I had more curiosity and interest about Interaction Design. I believe that because of my burning curiosity, it made me more motivated to study. When I was still in Illustration, part of my doubts stemmed from the fact that I might not enjoy an entire lifetime of career doing Freelance Work or illustrating. I wanted something that went deeper than telling stories through my work. I wanted to create an impact on the society and the world we live in. This part of me is driven mostly by my childhood desires of wanting to be in the field and contributing to helping animals and the environment. To me, this was my calling and my purpose. Anything that was related to environmental or social work sparked my passion. 


That being said, what interests me with Interaction Design is the fact that we are able to think deeper into the system to design solutions that create an impact in our society.I wanted to create something functional and addressed solutions to problems in our society. A product, a service, a solution that's embedded with human meaning. 

So far, I'm highly interested in Systems, Design Research and Story. It helps me further understand what my responsibilities are as a designer and enlightens me on how to think conceptually and visually of the world around me.