Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Luscious Lensman BJ Pascual captures the light (and our hearts) for Cherry Poppin' - The 3rd Party

By Joma Ragragio

So few artists of the millennial generation have had the white-hot shot to fame and success that BJ Pascual has achieved to date as arguably Manila’s most talented and most recognizable young photographer. Over just a few years, BJ has built a staggering oeuvre punctuated with the most vital names and institutions in the fashion and media industries.

With such a prestigious claim to his name and a truly sexy dedication to his craft, BJ makes for one of the hottest dates at LoveYourself’s Cherry Poppin' - The Third Party this February 25 at One Canvas Events Place in Makati (get tickets here: go.loveyourself.ph/cherrytickets).


While most professionals his age worked at becoming multi-hyphenates, BJ started from college, studying in art institutions abroad and building a weighty portfolio around the one thing he knew he could be amazing at: photography. Soon enough, his hard work and perseverance paid off as BJ got big covers, editorials, campaigns, and subjects to shoot for magazines and labels, all the while gaining his own legion of fans inspired by his work. Now “BJ Pascual” is an industry name—really, mention any important publication or fashion figure in the Philippines, and his stunning photos will be among their pages and lookbooks.

It is no wonder BJ himself gets to be in front of the lens and spotlight as well. He’s been an ambassador and spokesperson for brands such as Human, the SM Store, and Uniqlo, and even starred as a guest photographer and guest judge on the hit international television series, Asia’s Next Top Model. So it is a thrill for LoveYourself to have this photographer’s dashing good looks (and dazzling talent, of course) for the exciting third edition of its date auction party.

And it’s not BJ’s first time helping the advocacy either. The fashionable artist always finds time to give back, and when he produced his “first exhibit of new work” in a show and auction of provocative imagery called “Come Close” in April of 2016, BJ chose to donate the proceeds to LoveYourself in support of the cause.

“It’s going to be my first time, so I honestly don’t know what to expect!” mentioned BJ, but surely partiers at Cherry Poppin’ can look forward to an unexpected sort of charm and interest from the wunderkind. From what anyone can tell, photography, music, fashion, and art reside in BJ’s heart of hearts, but he never misses out on the finer pleasures in life: binge-watching the Netflix series Forensic Files and shopping online, two of his guilty pleasures. And what matters to BJ is faithfulness—cheating is a deal breaker in his book. What else can we tease from the mind of this brilliant artist?


What's the sweetest thing you ever did for someone you really liked?
As a birthday gift to someone abroad, I made a website containing a playlist of songs that reminded me of him. I ordered flowers online, and the only thing written on the card was the link to the website.

In what ways can people help raise awareness and understanding of HIV?
We live in a very conservative country, and from what I notice, people are generally afraid to talk about HIV—save for the occasional “ang chismis he has AIDS daw!” There's a stigma attached to it, so people are afraid to get tested, or if positive, seek treatment. So I think just by simply discussing HIV-related topics matter-of-factly instead of pure gossip, even among friends, would help in raising awareness and understanding, thus helping destigmatize HIV.

What's your biggest dream in life?
Secret! I don’t want to jinx it! Haha!


Maybe we can find out BJ Pascual’s biggest dream (and aim for a date with this “Luscious Lensman” and many other suave bachelors while we’re at it) and join LoveYourself in Cherry Poppin' 3 - The 3rd Party on February 25, Saturday, at the One Canvas Events Place, 2235 Don Chino Roces Ave., Brgy. San Lorenzo, Makati City. Party starts at 8 p.m.

For tickets, log on to go.loveyourself.ph/cherrytickets. For reservations and queries, you may contact 0917-860-8244. Proceeds from the event will fund the opening of a new community center by LoveYourself this year.