I was 15 when I found out who BJ Pascual was.
I was in high school spending lunch breaks inside the library with ragged, old books and some days, my (Nylon, Dazed and Confused, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and Girlfriend) magazines. I bought them with my allowance at the neighborhood Book Sale. I had very few friends. I honestly did not know I was an introvert; I thought I was just different thus isolating myself from other people.
I turned to the Internet for comfort. The World Wide Web was a burgeoning platform filled with endless inspiration. It was then that I discovered my interest turned lifelong passion for photography.
BJ was a college student who co-created their college’s merchandise store ‘Animoism.’ I remember fondly scrolling through Multiply and being fueled by him and his inspiring group of friends.
That was eight years ago.
Today, he is one of the country’s most sought after fashion photographers bagging both local and international fame and success. He also just published his very first book entitled ‘PUSH: Muses, Mischief, & How to Make it in Manila.’ This book is changing my life.
As someone who has been a faithful follower of his for years, having his journey laid out right before my eyes for me to ingest and revel in is such a gift. I have discovered parts of myself I thought I lost growing up. My passion for portrait photography is reawakened, and I have to thank him for that.
I could not be more joyful for a man who truly deserves all the goodness and success this world can possibly offer. I am certain that after a few years, I will still be here (silently) cheering for him from afar.
Thank you for continuing to inspire the youth with your passion, your love, and your utmost kindness. Thank you for the gift of your photographs and your words, BJ. Thank you.
I met him four years ago for our then online magazine (Stache). He was the subject, my good friends and I were the photographers. I remember letting him sign my personal copy of his very first cover for Preview (with Kylie Padilla, Lauren Young, Sam Pinto, Kathryn Bernardo, etc) and I was shaking. I was so speechless. He wrote “I love you!” and I’ve treasured it since that fateful day. That may have been one of the happiest days of my life.