Whenever I come across the word (or, okay, in millennial-speak, hashtag) #squadgoals, four of my besties immediately come to mind: Christiana Collings, Ria Atayde, Janina Manipol, Lizzie Lecaroz, and Lyn Martinez.
I’ve known Christiana since we were teens. We met when we were commercial models, since the industry was such a small world. I’ve always admired how vocal she was when it came to her faith. I look up to her as a modern mom and wife. She’s the perfect partner to share Mrs. Sea Swimwear with, because she already has experience in the industry—that, and we’re both like-minded when it comes to this project. It’s just all the more serendipitous that we are also both Mrs. C’s (her full name’s Christiana Collings-Canlas and mine’s Coleen Garcia-Crawford)!
Ria’s my cousin, but when I was younger, I was actually closer to Arjo. I used to hang around boys a lot because my immediate family is made up mostly of men. We talked more by the time I was in my late teens (that’s when I learned to be a girl!). But it was when we both went through tough breakups at the same time that we really connected. We’ve been solid ever since. Now we always have each other’s backs. We have our own ups and downs, our own quirks…but our love and friendship outweighs the petty things that bother us. Even if we don’t get to talk or see each other I’m so happy I have someone in the industry who I can turn to on days when I need someone to understand where I’m coming from.
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I met Janina during a rehearsal for our first Star Magic Cotillion, which was not a very good experience for me at the time. I needed a ride home and it was literally the first time I ever met her, but she offered me a lift since we lived near each other at the time. I guess we just clicked ever since. I hang out with her a lot because she is and has always been fun and peaceful to be with. I really admire her video and photography work. And I love how she is living the life, traveling and exploring!
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Lizzie and I went to the same school. We carpooled together when I was 13. We were always so different from each other on the surface, yet deep down we were able to connect and understand each other—that’s what really matters in friendship. She’s always been one of my most loyal friends. And most fashionable! She’s on her way to becoming a lawyer and I couldn’t be more proud.
Lyn is really the sweetheart of the group. She’s just so nice, cheerful, and pleasant! She is also a missionary, which I deeply admire. I’ve always loved her energy and she can be so innocently funny, too! Like all my other friends that we just talked about, I’ve also known her since during my early teenage years. She’s just so level-headed too, so she’s the perfect person to sit down and talk to when I need it.
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Photographs from Ria Atayde’s, Coleen Garcia-Crawford’s, Lizzie Lecaroz’s, Janina Manipol’s, and Lyn Martinez’s Official Instagram Accounts