“My mom loves furniture and talking about furniture,” Kim Baranda shares of that one thing that she and mom Phoemela Baranda both obsess over. Kim would join Phoem in her visits to design stores, then realizing it's what she wanted to pursue for college. “We check out a lot of furniture. My mom knows more, more than me,” Kim, now in her third year as an Industrial Design student, adds.
Next to their modelesque looks, this is just one of the many similarities that make their bond so sisterly that it's palpable. Kim and Phoem open up more on their relationship below!
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What’s a typical day for you?
Phoem: I have a social media company that me and three of my friends started four years ago, called Active Social PH. I also host a showbiz talk show. So, usual day for me is I wake up for work, then usually attend events at night. But I try to spend time with Kim for dinner pa rin.
Kim: Everyday for me is different because I like being spontaneous. So sometimes I just stay home then go to the living room and watch Netflix or YouTube. Some days, my friends would call me out of nowhere and ask me to go out. Or my mom and I would randomly go to Clark and go Karting. Sometimes I paint because I’m an arts student. Also, I take photos.
Kim, what’s the most challenging and rewarding part of taking up an art course?
K: Rewarding for me is being able to express myself through it and other people appreciating the aesthetic, meaning, and craftmanship of it. What’s challenging is actually creating it.
How has your upbringing helped you in choosing which career path to take?
K: It was very sudden, actually. When I was younger, I wanted to be in Information Technology because I was very techie. But in high school, I just went into art, and my mom started to bring me to furniture shops all the time.
Phoem, how do balance your roles as a career woman and as a mother?
P: The balance that I need right now is all about the time with work and with Kim. Kim is my only family so it’s hard. She goes to school and I’m working because I need to provide for us. I just try to choose the events that I go to, sometimes I have to say no so I can spend time with Kim, and also for myself.
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How did motherhood help you in your career?
P: I give the credit to my hard work. Being a mom made me stronger, so maybe they can see that. I was surprised that my followers are mostly women, and maybe they see my effort and strength in being a single mom. It always makes me strive harder and harder, to be a good mom to Kim.
What are new stuff that you’d like to try together?
P: I wanna learn how to swim! I know how to swim but I’m scared of the water, and Kim knows how so maybe she could teach me. For me naman, I wanna teach her how to drive. It’s more of sharing what we know and what we’re good at.
K: I think we’ve done everything together. But I think wakeboarding would be okay.
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What’s the biggest lesson you got from your mom?
K: She gives me advice randomly, but she usually just lets me do my own thing. She lets me learn on my own through experience. She doesn’t really tell me what to do in life. She taught me how to be independent. Most of the time, I can depend on her, but she would let me choose my own path.
What have you learned in raising Kim?
P: It’s still a continuous learning experience. As a mom, we are also human. I think it’s gonna be forever because it’s a relationship.
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Produced and directed by Mels Timan | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Styling by Red Dimaandal | Makeup by Hannah Patriarca and Patricia Isis Ang | Hair by Diverly Echiava and Jericho Valenzuela of Culture Salon | Shot on location at Okada Manila