Tell us about your field of study. How’s school going for you?
I’m in my first year at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, doing my diploma in Arts Management.
School has been great so far! I love my course and I think I’ve found something that I really want to pursue, to be the bridge between artists and audiences.
You’ve had quite a number of jobs before starting your diploma. Can you tell us about them?
I was in and out of school for a long time trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. I’ve been a waitress, retail assistant, barista, and even a camp instructor.
I’m still a part-time barista at Starbucks and I love working there. Right now between school and work, I feel like I’m in a place where I’m meant to be.
What is success to you?
Being able to give back to the people of my home country in the Philippines.
I moved to Singapore from the Pangasinan province when I was six months old, and I’d say that I was one of the more fortunate ones as the poverty rate there is really high and a lot of kids have to stop schooling to help support their families. This is why I want to help young artists realise their dreams and potential.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of school?
I like being outdoors. My friends and I sometimes set up a tent at East Coast Park to hang out and watch the sunrise. We’re hoping to try camping at Pulau Ubin soon.
Share with us the stories behind your tattoos.
I have a total of seven tattoos, three of which are hidden, and they all have a special meaning behind them.
The first tattoo I got on my arm is the word ‘Breathe’. It’s a reminder for me to step back from the cloud of negative emotions and see things a little clearer whenever I go through tough times.
Also on my arm are a pair of eyes that depict a very low point in my life, and it serves as a reminder to myself that it’s okay to not be okay.
The leaves and vines that wrap around my forearm are a symbol of growth to me. I’m still growing and learning to accept myself and to be content. My plan is to slowly add on to the design once I finally feel like I’m enough.
This one on my waist is my name written in an extinct language called Baybayin, it spells ‘Sopiya’. We used to have our own characters but now we just use the English alphabet.