MAOSI: A LIFE OF COMPLEX ADVENTURE

ME, DESCRIBED IN BRIEF:

One of the most challenging articles to write is probably about myself… Maybe because I am a bit of everything, like most people would say, I am a jack of all trades but a master of none. Not sure if it is positive or negative -but that’s just me… 🙂

When someone asks me how I describe myself, only one word comes to my mind… Complexity – in a positive way… Before I continue, let me introduce myself. My name is Benlito Hobayan… My friends call me Maosi.. I am bit of everything, I love writing, interested in street photography and politics.

WHO I WAS GROWING UP:

Ever since I was young, though I grew up in the remote countryside in the Philippines, my interests as a child was different from my peers. Most kids in the community dreams of being a soldier, policeman or a teacher. Being isolated from the outside world back in the 80’s with no media reaching our place, and with the current political status during that time wherein the Philippines was in the middle of civil unrest, being in the military or a teacher was the only profession that kids knew.

But for me, it was rather different… I learned how to read even before I went to the kindergarten with the help of my Mother. I was pretty much inquisitive, I read all kinds of books, magazines and anything printed paper at home. I still remember on our first day of school, our teacher asked us what our dreams was. I proudly stood in front of the class and said… “I want to be an astronaut like Neil Armstrong” – my teacher was surprised and asked me if I understand what an astronaut is… Then I started explaining that I want to go to the moon just like Neil Armstrong… Then my classmates started laughing out loud, they thought that no one can go to the moon…

I was too ashamed that I cried in front of the class… I was 5 years old then and the youngest in the class, but the trauma for being ridiculed at that moment made me remember every detail until now. What happened that day made me develop a fighter kind of personality, like when I know I am right I make sure that I prove to them and make them understand my point of view.

As I grew up, I become more curious. That’s when I started writing. I write about anything, stories about my emotions, fictional stories about monsters from grandma’s tales of monsters and fairies, etc… During my primary to secondary school days my mother would always get upset with me coz my notebooks were almost consumed halfway thru the semester. I used to have manuscripts of fictional stories that I wrote but was lost when I came to Saudi Arabia.

CHASING MY DREAMS:

I was 14 when I finished high school, I was young ambitious and driven. Realizing that my dreams were bigger than what the universities in my hometown can offer; I decided to leave for Manila and chase my dreams even without the consent of my father. I went to the big city with nothing but my dreams.

I can still remember the last conversation with my father before I left. He was insisting that I stay in Samar and tend to the family’s property and be a farmer, since I was the youngest son –(both my brothers were already in Manila with their own family). The words that I told him was… “My body is too weak to carry a sack of rice on my back, but my brain is far stronger than a hundred bulls. I know I can plow 100 acres of riceland with just a pen in my hand, but to do that I need to get a good education…”

The mid of 90’s was the start of Information Technology to flourish in the Philippines. At that time, I was a 14-year-old kid, not yet allowed to work so I must rethink my strategy. With the help of my eldest brother who was working as a welder with salary that can barely sustain his needs, I enrolled at STI College -took up Computer Programming Course. That was the quickest way to land a job by then. Then worked my way to finish my course by haggling with my classmates, selling to them term papers, research and program designs. At 16 I finished college and started working. During this time my focus was completely diverted to making ends meet, set aside my dreams and worked like a horse in developing my career.

Two years into my working career, at 18 years old I become the youngest Station Head of CALTEX Philippines. Unfortunately, young as I was back then. I was easily swayed by new opportunities. My boss in Caltex ventured into the food business. She tugged me along with her and we started a 160-seater restaurant with catering services. In return, she gave me scholarship, so I went back to college and took up Information Technology Management specializing in Web Development and Design in Informatics Colleges.

At the break of the millennium, the exodus of Filipinos looking for opportunities outside of the Philippines became the norm. I was lured to the idea of earning more bucks and new opportunity to see the world. So I decided to take the plunge.

LIFE IN SAUDI ARABIA:

In 2004, I travelled to Saudi Arabia with another set of dreams on my pocket. I left behind the privileges I had in the Philippines, wherein I have the liberty to wake up anytime I want and report to work as I please.

When I arrived in KSA, it was a total contrast of what I have left behind in the Philippines. On my first day in Riyadh, I had to sleep in a room with eight people stuck together like prisoners in one place. The sound of snoring of my room mates was my music during the night, a far cry from jazz music that play on the radio in my room back in Philippines and the smell of food and cheap Jovan perfumes filled the air in the early morning rush.

A week later, I was instructed to travel to Dammam. In the morning, I woke up to a knee-deep flood on the floor an overflow from the sewage nearby. Then I was sent to Jubail for a job interview. My first night in Jubail was again a little bit traumatic. After the job interview, I was made to wait in worker’s camp, outside on a bench with my luggage in tow like a refugee in the middle of the desert without a clue on what’s going to happen next.

Looking back at my experiences when I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I could have easily given up and packed my things and head back to the Philippines. But, I am a very determined person, if the world throws lemons on me, I don’t cry.. Instead I make lemonade…

Eventually, after six months of trials in Saudi, I found a way to make the situation work to my advantage and the rest is history.

HUMANITARIAN WORK, PUBLIC SERVICE, PUBLISHING& SPORTS:

In 2004, I managed to have my career in Saudi Arabia stabilized. This was the time that I was able to put a little more focus on my writing.

Sometime in 2004 to 2007, I used to be contribute lifestyle articles to Arab News featuring Filipino Community Events, also at the same period I used to contribute articles to ABANTE Tonite – Middle East Edition.

In the same period, I was greatly involved in public service, mostly focusing on Filipino Community Services. Together with my friends we founded Filipino Community Jubail and at the same time I was also a member of the Board of Directors for SANGKAY Saudi Arabia -an organization of Filipinos coming from the Easter Visayas Region of the Philippines. I used to be a volunteer worker for the Philippines Embassy, I was awarded three consecutive years with outstanding service awards from 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In Fashion, I used to write feature articles for an online Beauty Pageant Site, doing pageant reviews. Beauty Queen critiques, and other opinion articles.

Sometime in 2008, my interest shifted to sports. In August, I joined my first tournament and emerged as the Champion for Jubail Bowling Club’s monthly tournament, this achievement was followed with numerous awards in the local bowling community. To date, I have won Singles 5 championship trophies, 2 doubles champions, 1 trio champion, 3 Team Championship crowns and multiple Runner-up finishes both in team and singles competition.

2011 was the best turning point in my life. This was the year that I got introduced to Humanitarian and Charity Works. I started doing volunteer works for Project Pearls in Manila, which eventually to led to the formation of Kalinga ng Kabataan saNayon Foundation (Youth Care of the Country Foundation). Aside from my work, my focus is in the foundation. Our activities include educational support for poor kids in the Philippines, Information Literacy, Calamity Victims assistance, etc.

At present, my writing focuses more on Opinion writing mostly on politics and some are feature articles being published in Magazines with the help of my friend Barbie Felix and Uno Singco.

A GLANCE AT THE FUTURE:

At the moment, I really don’t look forward too far into the future. I am already a middle-aged man, basically I have lived a life full of adventure. Every part of my adventure had been full of colors, had some regrets along the way but have more reasons to celebrate my adventure.

Given the chance to start over in life… I think I will choose to live the same adventure… Because I believe that the beauty of life does not depend on the roads which you traveled, but what footprints you left behind on your journey….

Eunice Castaños Domingo: Baby Steps Towards Big Goals

by: Roberto M. Felix Jr.

Coffee or tea? a phrase that rings a bell whenever we meet a flight attendant. They are charming, cheery and always full of life humans –and this is how I got to know one of Cool Arabia’s contributing writer, Eunice Domingo. She is a self-made woman in her chosen career in hospitality rolling over from being a receptionist, cabin crew, hotelier, lounge host and restaurant supervisor. But what is even more amusing is how she juggles her life from work while staying as a dedicated mother to their 2 year old princess Portia (my pretty goddaughter). She is a working mom who is starting a beautiful life in Perth, Australia with her family just about two years ago.

I cannot believe how time flew by, I just wish to catch up on her again as we use to when she was still living in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, our Fridays then are endless. In fact, I groomed her to join the fashion industry in the Eastern Province back in 2016. It was only all for fun, just because… *laughs 

This lass has a tough body, stiff legs and worst of all a very good appetite -not your model material. But she is willing to be trained and well disciplined. Eunice joined the Fashion Runway Eastern Region and rock up different photoshoots as far as Al Khobar, Dammam and Riyadh and pulled up a part- time career in endorsing Arabic Dresses. It was an excellent move for an amateur. 

In 2018 she left Saudi Arabia for good to build a family. We then thought that her career in this industry has come to its end but voila! Cool Arabia has opened a new and exciting opportunity for her through writing. This may not be the way this model used to things like dolling up and posing infront of the camera or striding in the runway but she is instead inspiring those aspiring models, photographers, fashion designers, make-up artists and fashionistas in articles.

Every write-up Eunice does isn’t only a pastime but a labour of love. As to her; putting your heart in everything you do is the only way to make a person successful. I bid her a more thriving life ahead as high as the sky, beyond Down Under and as happy as a lark.   

 Here it goes, our chatty writer, a career woman and a loving mum & wifey. 

Contributor: Andy Anoche Cauyan (Writer)

Event’s Host Andy also known as Masterhostman is a Filipino writer, OFW advocate, social media influencer and executive assistant based in Jubail City, Saudi Arabia. He was an Outstanding Alumnus of MNHS ’19, Outstanding OFW Men 2018, and a Hall of Famer awardee as Outstanding OFWMale Host 2017 (2016-2015). His work has been published in Cool Arabia since 2019. He has a passion for writing since he was graduated as Broadcast Communication at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila.

He began his career as Production Assistant and Writer in a Comedy Gag Show program of ABS-CBN TV Production, and later, as Segment Producer of MTV Asia’s program MTV@embassy. He had hosted several Filipino community events in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia which has a huge crowd of over 15,000 audiences with Filipino celebrity artists of ABS-CBN TFC & GMA artist; like Coco Martin, Enchong Dee, Chokoleit, RnB JayR, Gerald Anderson, Daryl Ong, Christian Bautista, Ate Gay and many more. He is currently working as Executive Assistant of the Operations General Manager in an Industrial and Maintenance Industry in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

STUDIO 12 – Fashion House – Defying the Odds for the love of Art & Fashion

by: Benlito Hobayan

A couple of years back I used to hear the names of Armand “Uno Singco” Simpliciano and Faygar “Fay” Reyes thru a common friend Roberto “Barbie” Felix Jr. – a freelance stylist and make-up artist. Being a person who grew up in a family whose primary source of income is tailoring, having a mother as a Seamstress who single handedly supported us when my dad got sick, and being an avid fan of photography and hobbyist photographer at some sort. The interest to meet these young enthusiastic individuals has always been like a natural allure for me.

Personally, I am not a really big fan of Fashion Runways, so even if I have always known Jelmar “Angel” Orig and Barbie for some years, and with Barbie’s constant invitations to attend their shows; I was hardly convinced to join them, hence it took a little longer until I meet them personally.

Our first meeting was rather odd and unplanned. I was with my friends in Khobar Corniche for a weekend night walk, when we bumped into Faywho at that moment happened to be waiting for Uno Singco to come as they planned for a coffee night. It was then a random occasion that brought us together and jumpstarted a friendship of people with unique characters and different facets of professional disciplines but bound with common interests and that is art and fashion.

Fast forward – a year later. This unique clique of Fashion Enthusiasts had morphed into formidable team of fashion personalities in the Middle East, specifically in Saudi Arabia.

Getting to sit with these interesting personalities for my first article is quite an honor. Being neophyte writer, and a part of the clique is what makes it more exciting as I get to know them more on the professional side.

The Birth of STUDIO12:

Like most people, I was pretty much curious of how Studio12 started, specially that we are in a country where Vanity Culture is not much appreciated let alone tolerated.

Uno Singco, Fay, Barbie and Angel had proven that sometimes it takes a bit of courage on the side, creativity and love for the art on the other, sprinkled it with a dash of decency & respect for the people around you to be able to step out and defy the norm without offending customs and tradition. It was a regular weekend morning grind for the clique, having breakfast and making jokes of their “adventures” the day prior, when the idea of putting up the studio came.

Uno Singco being a seasoned photographer; Fay a renowned fashion designer -having dressed famous celebrities in the Philippines and armed with experience in the Middle East Fashion circuit, including Dubai, Saudi, Bahrain and other parts of the gulf; Angel the most sought after make-up artist in the local fashion scene and Robert being an equally talented stylist who have done several runway shows -were the exact components to form a formidable team. With the right talents and unique personalities, their collaboration made STUDIO12 Fashion House came into fruition.

The Motivation:

Motivation of STUDIO12 founders stems from their love of the craft; Uno Singco, Angel and Barbie had always loved the glamour in fashion; but fate brought them to a slightly different path. Seeing the opportunity to finally get back to the craft they love most is their draw of inspiration. Fay on the other had always been fortunate to the things she loves most, sharing her talent with her closest friends is just an icing on the cake as attention she gets from her creations have always been a show to behold from her loyal audience.

The ArtisticInfluence:

In a group of unique personalities and different artistic impressions, clashes of ideas are often inevitable; but, STUDIO12 had withered them by having their common understanding and acceptance of each individual talent and appreciating every input to make their project as an expression of their unique artistry. The unparalleled teamwork is what sets them apart from other groups, bringing them usual success in every endeavor.

Life Balance and Cultural Boundaries

Maintaining balance in all facets of our lives is always a challenge. STUDIO12 is not immune to such predicament. Uno Singco, Angel &Barbie are all having regular day jobs that requires them to be focused for the whole week, which gives them only two day each week the opportunity to express their artistry in the studio. In addition to that, Fay being in the Fashion Business has a more flexibility in her time, but her fitting schedules and special requests from her clients sometimes get’s in the way.

But, this does not deter the group from producing quality work of art. Scheduling photoshoots and projects during the weekend becomes their weekend bonding activity. Doing the things that they are most passionate of, and being with the people they love in a place where family is what you choose to be with not who you are born with, becomes a stress reliever rather than an additional money generating job to add into their responsibilities.

Artistic impression can sometimes be challenging specially when Culture gets in the line. Middle East is a relatively young culture in terms of Appreciation of Vanity and artistic impression due to it’s strict culture. Although in some way we can consider the Middle East being advanced in Fashion, for their exposure to famous brands like Dior, Valentino, Galliano and other big names in fashion world; Vanity is still frowned upon in the general populace. STUDIO12 takes into serious consideration this aspect by always being in-touched with the “artistic reality” of the region, ensuring that concepts do not cross the cultural boundaries. Making the models understand their rights and at the same time opening to them the beauty of art thru photography and fashion is an enormous challenge that they often face.

Success, Advice:

Since it’s inception in December 2019, STUDIO12 had successfully published 2 Magazine Covers and 9 magazine features internationally. For a relatively young organization, such a fate is a monumental success considering the challenges the studio faces.

Asked what advice they can give to aspiring artists faced with several adversities; the answer was simple, keep the flame of your passion burning; love what you do and do what you love. Know your limits, respect traditions. And most importantly don’t be afraid to be different, because being different makes you stand out.

Mohammad Saud – The Burgeoning Riyahd Designer

By: Eunice Castaños Domingo

High-quality, elegant and attractive three key words that define fashion according to this 37 year old burgeoning designer from the Capital City of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Saud.

At a young age he dreams of becoming a TV anchor something that might have been far from what he is right now but still close enough to the limelight as he currently brags off his fashion pieces in the country.

It all started in 2011 when he came across his A-ha moment –I am a designer. But as Saud recons even years before that he was already creating outfits for himself that obviously makes others say “You are promising”. 

He said: I believe in self-instruction where I keep myself updated on the latest fashion trend, I go out shopping for what is new in store, I read on world-class designers and then think out of the box of what could possibly be my “Mohammad Saud’s creation” given the inspirations that I have gathered.

“I am self-motivated –I like to look closely on different fabrics and materials as well as pay attention to the method and execution. These things greatly affects the ideal final look that I am after.  

Saud maybe laser focus on his career but in between his busy days he also enjoys other activities like playing video games, watching movies and listening to good music. Something to actually refresh his mind and carry on.

Hurdles though are always part of the journey of which are the lack of resources such as materials and man power as well as the venue to display the masterpiece of the local designer. Saud says “I have overcome the challenges through my effort in dealing with foreign suppliers and signing contracts from huge importers only to find the quality material that I am up to. As for my creation I was fortunate to found boutiques who believe in the ability of local Saudi designers”

He continues: Designing is my hobby -I enjoy it so much. I like to keep myself in style –in trend. My personal favorites are John Galliano and Vivien Westwood. Their designs are out of ordinary both modern and bold yet changing from season-to-season. I wish I can work with them and be able to learn a lot from them in this field.

Goal set “I want to be known internationally and build my own empire” 

Though I am satisfied as to where I am right now I feel like I haven’t achieved a major milestone yet in my career. Thus I still keep my formula for success “keep it different and be passionate”. With the aid of social media of course I feel like it is a lot easier these days to be popular, vis-à-vis this opportunity that COOL Arabia gave me to introduce myself better.    

As Saud put it:  To be a fashion designer it takes a lot of time, brain storming, execution and pursuit to be the best. I learned that I have to be accurate in everything. Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous, keep the margin for errors very small.       

      

 Cool Arabia would like to acknowledge Mr. Mohammad Saud’s time and effort for this interview. We are excited to hear from you again as we watch you soar-higher in the fashion industry. 

When your Passion Meets your Profession

by: Andy Anoche Cauyan

Started his career back in 2011 in the field of Journalism and carried through his passion the following year in Radio, and started working as presenter in TV and a Model of print ads in 2015. Adnan is a professional model in advertising and commercial and Presenter in major events and festivals in Turkey.

Currently, he is working as a TV News Anchor, Talk Show Presenter, and a Lifestyle Blogger on Social Media in Istanbul, Turkey.

This bright, passionate, and curious man loves what he does, and his enthusiasm for his work is just as evident off-screen as it is on.

Adnan Alderwesh, in his towering presence as TV Host, finds presenting as a useful tool for advocacy dialogue. Adnan talks to Cool Arabia Team and shares his knowledge as a Model and the impact of storytelling and presenting in all segments. Here is the excerpt for Cool Arabia readers.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career story? 

I’m 29 years old from Libya currently living in Istanbul, Turkey where I work as a TV News Anchor and Talk Show presenter, along with events presenting. I am also a model and lifestyle blogger on social media.

What inspired you to start? What is your childhood and teenage memories about your dream to become?

In my childhood, I used to pose in the front of the cameras in many occasions, I was asking friends and family to take photos for me. And it is the reason I used dream of becoming a TV Presenter and to work in the TV networks and definitely in the modeling field.

Also I loved TV because presenters have a high level of knowledge in all subjects and they always have to be in perfect shape and at their best. These two features being in one job made it be my dream job.

What are the challenges you encountered while doing this activity and how you overcome with it?

Working in TV and modelling in commercials is not easy. Although you gain thousands of followers and fans, which make you always want to work harder for them, but you also have many critics waiting for any mistake you do, especially in our region due to many cultural beliefs and being a conservative society. It is more acceptable in our society to see women than men in advertisements and commercials.

I manage to overcome this issue by presenting the News and Talk shows professionally in my own way, and always working to look at my best in the advertisements I shoot and film.

Can you describe your diet regimen?

Definitely, the daily diet routine comes first then training and physical exercises. I am on a high-protein diet, low in fat and minimal sugars and sweets. Nevertheless, I do not deprive myself from fast food and sweets from time to time. I believe that continuity in a diet routine is more important, it is a lifestyle and not a short period diet.

Do you have your own success formula?

There is no formula or mantra for success. It is a long process and journey where you learn every day. However, to be successful, one can develop certain habits that might help achieve life goals.  Always Be Thirsty for Knowledge. Find more about Yourself, Stay Self Driven. Motivate your Surroundings, Share Knowledge. Follow your Passion that keeps you up at night and figure out life goals break them down into small milestones. Achieve self-awareness have 0 expectations & dependency. Last, but not the least have a Never Give Up attitude.

Always paying attention to your appearance and having your own lifestyle, unique outfits, and a great social life these are all taken into consideration to be a successful model.

How this lifestyle changed you as a person?

It made me appreciate the value of time, the value of being highly educated and always in continuous search for knowledge and improving yourself. I became more responsible, more organized, more pressure-bearing and always looking forward for better future.

What advice you can give to those aspiring models who are planning to do and take the same path as a model?

Look for the opportunities, break into the field you love, work on yourself, always stay in shape, and acquire new skills every day. This will set you apart from others.

What is your advice to an aspiring TV presenter?


Simply be yourself! Think about it, you will have the same camera, microphone, studio and equipment like anyone else. But the only unique factor will be YOU.

 What is your future-plan as a model? Do you have any upcoming activities please tell us.

I completed filming a TV commercial for an international hotel chain, one of the most famous luxurious hotels in Istanbul and it will be released soon.

Furthermore, I am working on creating new content for my social media platforms, and a number of new projects to be published on my social media accounts in the coming months and currently working on filming several advertisements.

What message you can give to Cool Arabia Magazine?

I am so happy for the release of the Arabic version of Cool Magazine, and glad to be part of this. I wish you more success and continuity to showcase the Arab youth at their best. Thank you Cool Arabia and thanks to all readers.

Getting Up Close with Ghassan

By: Roberto M. Felix Jr

“Sometimes I am still surprised that I’m a model and how people think about it by seeing my photos and activities. I’ve gone through a lot of different phases on what I do and why I do it — morally and ethically. I just had to learn to look at it as my passion, as opposed to identifying myself as a model and thinking of myself as a part of this industry. I just thought, Okay, this is an opportunity to learn and see and meet people… If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it as best I can. I’m going to give it everything”.

Ghassan is a freelance model from Syria and been living in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai since 2011. Since he was a child, he loves music and had his own radio when he was 9 years old. As he grew up, he remember that he has a lot of dreams he wanted to become such as a doctor an engineer or a profession that proves the people that he is good to become. It also came the he found his interest to fashion and fame and curious about all things related to it.

He loves photography also, during his younger years, he recalled about seeing some physically fit celebrity posters through different shop on his way to school and he told to his self that “it takes a lot to do that”.

He wasn’t sure that he is capable to do such things until he started working out and achieved some results that motivated him to try a modelling. For him, “Like any other activity once you first step in, you face a lot of difficulties, especially in my case I didn’t study modeling nor did any dedicated courses. Knowing which poses to make and how to be comfortable in front of the camera, finding the right photographer and agency, having not much connections, it was all challenging, and things didn’t seem to kick off right away, I kept trying and pushing for it and every time I failed I was learning something for the next try”.

Having a fast paced life and his career path is more challenging also how he manage to have a physically fit body he tried to spend 5-6 hours at the gym weekly, and he avoid the fast food as much as he can, although it is hard sometimes he ensure that he will eat healthy and on time. It is actually motivating me and bringing the best out of me, and I wish that my style and the way I work could inspire people. It means a lot. He added.

Ghassan once invited to join Mr. Dubai 2019 competition but unfortunately he can’t make it to participate due to his busy schedule. He’s having a fashion luxury retail items which is also connected in modeling.

For him, being a model, first and foremost he need to set a goal and not giving up on it. In the business, being a friendly and humble yet confident is very much important. Finding and working with a good agency that managing his modelling career is so precious to him. Since he doesn’t have any background and formal training in modelling, he gained a lot through experience. Self-studying, practicing and being happy in all his doingkeeps him motivated. He told “You don’t have to do what other models do; you have to be unique and audacious”.You need to believe in yourself first before anyone else will… taking risk and being fearless is hard but you can do it.

Modeling is a number’s game. No matter how good you look and how impressive your portfolio is, you will get rejected. Rejection is awful, but a lot of time isn’t personal. Every client has different parameters for what they are looking for and the toughest thing mentally is dealing with the rejection for unknown reasons. Just be yourself and keep trying, this is not an easy domain. You could be rejected or evaluated in a way you don’t like. If you got what it takes don’t give up.

Looking back and seeing himself before, right now he is happy and satisfied in all what he’s done. Knowing that his work and style inspire others. He learned a lot, to be patient, to appreciate the work of others and not to judge.

Every job or career will teach you certain lessons. And being in this industry that is creative, fun and ever changing but a lot of downside that taught over the years. One thing should know is how to deal with it, regardless of the industry we’re in. Whatever the issue or challenge, know that you are innately valuable, worthwhile and capable.

Edward Xue: Captivating Sensuality with Elegance

by: Roberto M. Felix

Edward Xue is aFashion photographer based in UAE, Dubai. His work is well-known for its sensuality, the esthetics, elegance and the special use of light and emotional expression. The large community of fans around the world captivate by his depth of knowledge, creativity, artistry and incredibly fascinating photographic world. We are extremely excited to have a close talk to one of the most talented photographer around the world.

Please tell us to our readers about yourself, what is your background and how did you start with fashion photography, do you have a formal training?

I am a person who love fashion, design, travelling (exploring the world and to meet different people, trying different food, experience different things) hanging out with friends and cooking.

I started photography using a digital camera and always with me when I went to school, at the age of 19, I begged my dad for my first DSLR as my birthday gift.

No formal training, all are self-taught. I truly believe that self-teaching is the best way to learn. Photography is an art; it is how you interpret your thought, your passion and your ideas.

What has been your career path? How did you get being an aspiring photographer?

As I started, photography is just a hobby, I could photograph in a way that was attractive to people, something that my photograph spoke to anyone who can view. I was looking for my lens with eyes of a fly fisher, not a photographer.

Many photographers and fashion designers inspire me and seeing all those shared opinions and good feedbackthrough social media keep me inspired all the time.

Tell us about the challenging part in Fashion photography in particular.

In earlier part, I cannot afford the ideal camera or lens (I think that is the biggest challenges for most of the people who love photography)

However, that is not the real issue! Finding your own way of expressing your works with your present camera is what matters.

As a freelancer, the challenging part is when you have an idea of specific shoot and it’s hard to find a suitable model who is willing to do it. Just like, lack of sources.

Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your current style?

Well, to be honest, I never think about what kind of style my photography belongs to, as I can tell, its more about the feeling because at first I discuss to different models in different ways of presenting their self.  I would say something like a modern male photography. It could be portraits, fitness and fashion related.

Whose work has influenced you most? (Are there artists that have you inspired you and your work?)

I always come up with different ideas when I see people in social media. Their photos inspire me and I really want to have a chance to work with. I hope that one day we could make it happen.

What is your best photography tips for a good fashion shoot?

You need to understand fashion by looking at fashion magazines and fashion label campaigns. Fashion is the emotion of what you pick up from the image and it is a very broad statement. It’s a culture, art and feeling.

What do you feel the moment you are pressing the shutter release? What do you want to show to the world about being you?

I am trying to capture something for people to look at and get the same power. Behind that in my point of view while doing the shoot, no one is born as a model just like I’m not only do shoot for a models. In addition, photography is for everyone, to show your very own characteristic and beauty.

Being an experienced and professional on the field of photography, what you can share to those people planning to be in the same field. 

As I enjoyed this passion, I want to impart to them that be humble, be supportive to others, be consistent, and focus on the shoot. Always gained experiences and learnings from your previous shoot and most importantly be yourself and create your own style. Every day is a learning opportunity, keep practicing and do what makes you happy.

What motivates you in photography?

Photography is my passion and wholeheartedly embracing it. I loved what I am doing and I keep on discovering new things.

Cool Arabia is thankful and happy for the exciting interview with Edward, you can see some of his creations through his social media account.

Nemanja Bubanja: Behind the Lens

by: Roberto M. Felix

There is a lot more to having a career as a professional photographer than taking great photos. The way your day looks will vary depending on whether you are a studio photographer, a portrait photographer, a landscape photographer, or an events photographer, and whether you work alone or as part of a team.

Every shoot is unique, and there is a lot of work involved before and after the photography session. To thrive as a professional photographer you will need to be motivated, disciplined and flexible about your work.

Nemanja Bubanja, 27 from Montenegro. He currently based in Dubai as a freelance photographer and graduated as Electrotechnical Engineer of Computer Science.

Besides being a photographer, Nemanja is a model and artist, and like to workout to maintain his body become fit and healthy. He love to spend his spare time with his love one and discover both new things in photography and science. 

His passion in photography started at the age of 21, by that time he cannot afford to buy a good camera until he worked professionally and continue to do his heart’s desire in photography.

Enriching his passion, it was important to him to discover different types of photography. Collecting the ideas, dissect each artist’s work and takes bits and pieces that later on crafted his own style. Started being connected with the subject and how he drew up raw, unguarded emotion from them. He looked up to his ability and willingness to be creative and create memorable photograph that made him a unique masterpiece.

Reaching his own potentials, challenging roles for him is very much welcome he is always ready to face and overcome them. As he observed, he don’t need the most expensive or modern gear to capture captivating portraits, all he need is  camera, his passion and his desire to bring out the beauty in every person he photograph. The eye and the subject in front of the lens matters.

His goal is to always push limits and make a better photograph each day. If you feel you can do it, just do it. Believing yourself is much important.

“There is no such things as overnight success. To be great you just have to put it in the damn work and do it consistently”.

He believed that Photography changes something inside you personally and it feels great, it motivate you to do more and to focus on it.

Currently, Nemanja look forward and pursue his passion to do more shoot into a fashion, portrait, beauty, art and lifestyle photography. For him, in his craft it is important to be a perfectionist also and do what he love. 

In photography if you want to succeed in this industry, you must stay true to who you are. Being unique and true to yourself is the one determining factor that will set your work stand out from the rest. The only competition you have is yourself and being the best you could be. There is no one that can do it better than yourself. 

Photography is more than just taking pictures; it is a never-ending process of self-discovery, accomplishments, and failures. Photography means never giving up on dreams, having the persistence to keep shooting, and a vision to create lasting memories with passion and enthusiasm.

Mundang Mucagay: Turning Passion into Action…

by: Roberto M. Felix Jr.

Being a makeup artist requires a substantial amount of dedication, but it absolutely pays off in the end. You’ll get to see new things, meet new people, and embark on new experiences, all while impacting the world around you.

Mundang Mucagay is a Hair and  Make-Up artist from Isabela, Philippines. In his young age, he set already his goal to be a doctor and he pursued his Pre-Medical course in Far Eastern University in Manila Philippines.

He is an active member of their church and love to do charitable works. He also engaging his passion to teach the young artist in nurturing their talents and uplifting their self-confidence. During his spare time, he is enjoying his precious time with his family and loves in planting flowery plants as his stress reliever.

His aunt Ms. Rosalina Soriano, a celebrity make-up artist is his inspiration. At 20’s, being a young, ambitious and full of enthusiasm he realized that he can make a difference. He begun to had his interest in watching fashion and bridal shows and pageantry. His parents, Tatang Mundo and Inang Cresing, are the source of his inspiration and strength. Someone who pushed him to fly widely beyond his limits guided by their love and advices.

His first client as make-up artist was his cousin. He started to invest the amazing make up brand to be use. During that event, he felt the happiness and he learned to be passionate on this career as he received compliments from them.

Walking on his goal, the road was not smoothly. Mundang received a numerous criticism and judgement from others. He take it positively, propelled his passion, and overcome all of the trials and be the best in his chosen endeavor. Leaving an impact on people is very essential. It is true that you will get criticism sometimes; some people will object to the way you have done something just because it does not fit their personal tastes, and that can be difficult. However, for many makeup artists, the best part of the job is seeing someone’s face light up when seeing the finished makeup for the first time. No matter what your specialty is, how famous your client is, or what you are styling for, seeing the smile on your client’s face will make all the work worth it.

Upon on his journey, he learned that a 100% dedication, blazing passion, right attitude and discipline are the qualities that most of a make-up artist should have. Be friendly and approachable. When on your job, it is essential to remain professional and that includes being both pleasant and accessible.

Mundang did not stop on what he already had, he keep himself abreast of the latest beauty trends by keeping up with the technologies and innovations when it comes to make up artistry. Attending seminars and make up trainings are also his way in gaining new knowledge and learnings.

He keep on updating to the new make-up trends and openly utilizing brand new make-up application techniques that are currently being used and/or tested. MAC, Make Up Forever, NARS LAURA MERCIER and TEMPTU AIRBRUSH are his favorite brands and considered as his babies.

His ultimate dream is to work someday with the Filipino actor Ms. Kris Aquino and Super Model Naomi Campbell.

For him, no definite formula to be a successful in this field. Just passion, dedication, character and most importantly discipline. Never be afraid to go out of the box, remain kind and humble, it bring out the goodness in your heart. He added.

Mundang learned lot of lesson in life as he continue to walk in his chosen path. From being a partygoers to a goal driven person. He want to convey a message to the younger generation who would like to have their career as same as him that never to stop their dreams. Dreams do come true as long as they own the courage, determination, passion and dedication.

Follow him on

FB :https://www.facebook.com/mundang.macugay

IG : @mundangmacugay