We may be living in a modern era, but there are still different kinds of love that the society has yet to accept and embrace. This has, unfortunately, put up overwhelming barriers to love such as self-doubt and fear of judgment, creating undue pressure in others to keep their relationship a secret and even put an end to it for some.
That’s exactly what CloseUp Philippines is trying to break with their campaigns that have stood for love, no matter their culture, race, sexuality, and age. “What we recognize as a brand is that there are still many barriers that keep people from getting close and we want to empower everyone to break down these barriers so that we can pursue whoever we love,” its brand manager Carmela Guño said at the launch of the #LoveRules exhibit.
The affair showcased murals that shed light on the factors that create gaps in one’s journey to true love. Made by graffiti artist Jappy Agoncillo, the brand hopes these artworks will inspire everyone to get past such hindrances, let go of self-doubt, and just love freely.
We all know that girls who make the first move easily get judged by others, and at the event, host Kat Salao stressed there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. "I grew up very friendly and people always misconstrue being friendly as being flirty a lot. Hindi mabait, malandi, right?" she said. "But if I feel that I want to get to know you, then I will find a way to go up to you and get to know you, whether that’s in person or sliding into your DMs. Super okay with all of those. That's me as a person."
#FreeToLove advocates Issa Pressman and EG Bautista, who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, also talked about how coming out brought so much love and happiness into their lives. "It was a critical point for me because it was merely deciding whether to let go of love or to say yes to something really important for me," recalls EG, who grew up in a very conservative family." It was very hard, actually, but coming out was very liberating and the reaction I got from every single one of them was nothing but love."
As for Issa, her relationship with her sister Yassi has only gotten stronger after coming out to the latter on the phone. "I had a girl friend when I was in college and I felt like I was falling in love. When I was sixteen or fifteen, my sister and I weren't close, and this was actually the first time we got to talk for two hours," she shared. "Then after that one phone call, that was the time na our bond grew so much and now I don't think we fought na. Our closeness really got better."
For the first time, actress Andi Eigenmann opened up about her relationship with champion surfer Philmar Alipayo that made the rounds online for their different backgrounds. “We came from polar opposite places in the world but we’re happily in love,” she began, adding that while it seemed normal to the ones in her circle, netizens saw it differently. “As I posted it on social media, it was inevitable for us to get negative criticism because ‘we’re not bagay’ because ‘I’m maganda’ and ‘I come from a high profile family’ and ‘he’s just a person from the island.’”
The romantic bond that they have, however, made her realize its worth. “We should all fight to be free to love because for me, it was a search for happiness, it was trying to figure out where and what I should do to be happy, and it was because of me being brave and me fighting for love to love that I found the happiness that I have now,” she said. “So if you don’t do that, you’ll never know.”
It was truly a memorable night for everyone who attended the launch of the #LoveRules exhibit and we hope that, with campaigns like this, more and more people will get inspired to love whoever they want with no holds barred.
To know more about the #LoveRules exhibit, follow CloseUp Philippines on Twitter at @closeupph.
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