Turning 18, especially for girls, is a huge deal. From dressing up in the gown of their dreams to throwing a party as a rite of passage, it's every teenager's night of nights. For Juliana Gomez, however, she's bound to celebrate her upcoming debut a little differently. "I don't want anything too traditional because I don’t like to have all the attention on me. I’m too shy for that," she confides. "I can’t really do the 18 candles and the 18 roses thing!"
On September 8th, her exact birthdate, Juliana will be hosting a disco-themed night ("I really like the '70s and '80s era.") for her loved ones and closest friends. "I feel like I’m not even on track," she tells us roughly two months before her party. "I feel like I’m late na because we are only starting to plan things now!"
As she stands at the edge of her adolescent years, we ask Juliana how she feels differently about crossing over to young adulthood, and she admits that it's not as huge of a deal as she expected it would be. "I thought that there would be so many changes physically, psychologically, and emotionally. I thought that I was going to be taller, skinnier, and my skin would look clearer. I thought I would be more mature and so much wiser," she shares. "But really I am the same person that I was when I was 12. Maybe I can say that I have experienced more, but there are instances that it is not big enough of a change."
Perhaps, turning 18 per se could be just another day in Juliana's life. But the growing up that comes with it is inevitable. She doesn't feel much pressure, though, saying that it's the very thing that makes her excited about coming of age. "I am going to be older. Therefore, I have to do more with my life. This is the year where I will be making decisions for myself to help me get to where I want to go," she muses.
These days, we see Juliana gracing magazine features, starring in billboards, and hanging out with her circle of peers in the hippest events around Manila. But as a daughter of a showbiz couple (in the form of Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres,) we can't help but wonder what career path she envisions herself taking. Juliana reveals, "I’ve been thinking about show business, but that is not a priority right now because I have school to focus on." Aside from her academic life, she's also a student athlete who's part of her school's volleyball varsity team.
But being brought up in the world of arts ("At a young age, I met photographers and writers, and it was just nice seeing these people and realizing, 'Oh, you can be other things pala. You don’t have to be a doctor or an astronaut when you grow up.'") Juliana shares that she's leaning towards fashion or anything in the creative field.
And as she aspires to be as hardworking and accomplished as her parents, there's no doubt that Juliana will go places. At this point in her life, one thing that anchors her passions is the kind of dedication that she must have acquired by blood. "I am capable of so many things if I just focus and put my heart and soul into it," she claims. "I know that when I do things the right way and give it my all, it's always going to turn out well."
With a thrilling road ahead of her, Juliana is ready to take the reins and move forward with nothing but a fresh and positive disposition. "I can't wait to see where life will take me because, right now, I am sure about college. But where I’ll end up after that, I don’t know, and that is what I am so excited about," she concludes with a soft spark in her eyes. "Maybe I’ll get closer to the answers to that when I turn 18."
ALSO READ: #ChalkGen18: Edward Barber On Being A Role Model And Thinking Ahead Of His Age
Photographed by Cenon Norial III
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Ryuji Shiomitsu
Makeup by Jelly Eugenio
Hair by John Valle