From being the young adult we met in the reality show Pinoy Big Brother, Kapamilya star Lou Yanong has transformed into an empowered woman full of self-love, creativity, and sheer brilliance. These qualities shined bright, without Lou making an effort to, as she talked about her new project “PILIkula: Ivy Lives,” her profound paintings, and how she keeps her body strong and mind at peace.
At a time of a pandemic and with all the noise around her, Lou found the perfect antidote to anxieties. And they’re simple. It might sound ‘very Tita’ to some but Lou swears by the calming effect of arts and crafts, meditation (much better with the sound of nature playing in the background), and essential oils.
She loves her yoga time as well. It’s an all-in-one exercise. It helps you sweat it out, calm the mind, and for someone with joint problems like Lou, you would feel relaxed than beaten up.
Lou suffers from a lower back problem which she probably got from a wrong stretching move in the past. This limits her ability to lift heavy equipment. She tried to do hardcore gym workouts (including weight-lifting) before and it only worsened the pain. Thus, she found yoga as her perfect match.
Yoga also improves flexibility, balance, and posture, which is perfect since Lou aims to learn how to do a split, and head stunts. For now, she’s still in the beginner level. Lou tries to be extra careful with her movements first to avoid hurting the back. She focuses on strengthening her core and flexibility until she progresses to doing intense poses.
Lou is still looking for the best digital app or a friend who can train her. For now, she’s taking advantage of free online classes. The ex-PBB housemate does her routine before bed. She does back-friendly exercises first, then, she proceeds to yoga, shower, and sleeping time.
PILIkula: Ivy Lives
For someone who works in the modelling scene, it might be surprising to know that Lou used to have little confidence. She’s no stranger to self-doubt and anxieties. That’s why she can relate with Ivy, her character in the newest digital series PILIkula: “Ivy Lives.”
Ivy is a smart, quiet girl with zero confidence. She would always have qualms about her abilities. The trailer shows different versions of Ivy in one frame. According to Lou, the other Ivy represents doubts and conscience, the past and future. There are times when we are our own worst critics. Doubts run in our minds and we become too hard on ourselves.
“We are all once an Ivy,” said Lou. There will be times of second-guessing, of seeking everyone’s approval and opinion when, in fact, we can decide on our own.
This project holds a special place in Lou’s heart. Everything about it is fulfilling. She learned a lot from the series. Just like Ivy, Lou also doubted her ability to pull it off. She was scared to fail in her biggest acing gig thus far.
Thankfully, everyone around her was very encouraging. Her handler, April, told her that she’s in her position for a reason and that everything will pay off once the series is ready to be served. She held on that inspiring thought.
The new normal setup was also a challenge. Lou became a one-woman team, with constant guidance from the production, of course. She had to mount the camera positions, props, lighting, wardrobe, and the overall setup. This raised her respect for the people working behind the scenes. She’s likewise thankful for the production team’s patience in giving out instructions. She felt everyone’s support. It was moving to know that there are people willing to help her.
She’s also happy to have her friends as co-actors. Fellow PBB housemates Kiara Takahashi and Sky Quizon are in the cast, as well as their Tabing Ilog The Musical co-star Jojit Lorenzo. Although they were filming virtually, having them made her feel more at ease. She also did her research on Bianca Ui’s past appearances to know her style of acting, so she would know how to blend in.
Lou realized that this project is a big opportunity she can’t say no to. Apart from being the lead actress or having a job in these crucial times, Lou wanted to leave a mark. She likes empowering people and making them feel worthy. Through PILIkula: “Ivy Lives” she found the perfect platform. Lou would like to give the viewers someone who they can relate with.
Lou advocates self-love and she wants to boost other people’s courage. “When you learn na ‘I’m pleasing people and it’s really not pleasing me,’ you will arrive at that point na, ‘Wait, I deserve so much better.’”
Lou said that when you learn to embrace yourself – flaws and all – others’ opinion of you won’t really matter anymore. Although, it’s important to have someone you trust helping you for self-improvement. In Lou’s case, she depends on her sister’s judgment on matters about her attitude. “Sabi ko sa ate ko, kapag nagtataray na ako, you have to pull me back down.” Lou underscored that need for balance. You have to look back, at the same time, be open to changes. But make sure you are changing for the better and not to please other people.
A true woman of substance, Lou expresses her viewpoints through profound artworks. And for the first time, she opened up about her paintings in this interview. Lou said that she considers her paintings as very personal, so call yourself lucky for this opportunity to take a glimpse of Lou’s artistry, and inner thoughts.
Lou first showed a busy painting reminiscent of her days of “loss” and “depression.” It was made after she moved out at a young age. It can be recalled that she was introduced in the reality show Pinoy Big Brother as an independent young adult. The most dominant elements in the painting are faces of women, with senses plastered with colors. It represents being lost and groping around her new, unfamiliar place.
One of her favorites is a self-portrait, an image of a female face in the middle surrounded by other intriguing elements like an eye and a smaller face. Lou loves women as subjects. She thinks a female body represents strength. She loves how girls look feminine yet strong enough to handle emotions. Lou is an advocate of women empowerment. Another element she likes best is the use of warm colors.
The next one would have to be one of her most difficult artworks. Coincidentally, it’s reminiscent of a scene from her digital series “PILIkula: Ivy Lives.” It shows a mirror selfie of a naked woman in the bathroom. She had a difficult time polishing the details. This one’s more free-flowing, minimalistic, and clean.
Lastly, Lou showed an artwork that represents her home network and its current battle. She painted, again, a woman’s face. She used the color black to put a gag on the subject’s mouth. The colors red (halo above the female’s head), green (hair color), and blue (skin color) are reminiscent of ABS-CBN logo. She added a grainy effect on the background. Lou plans to have it auctioned and donate the money to a charity.
Catch Lou in the digital series “PILIkula: Ivy Lives.” You may decide on the story’s ending by casting in your vote every weekdays, 10-12 NN, 2-3 PM and 8-9 PM on app.kumu.ph/starhunt!
WATCH: PILIKULA: Ivy Lives Trailer