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Pure Heroine |


Pure Heroine

Martin Yambao - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Angel Jacob plays the role of the modern muse.

Wearing many hats, Angel dresses up as a means to manage all her different roles. As a model, she sees fashion as a form of fantasy. As a TV presenter and host, she sees how the immediacy of clothing can make a good impression. As a woman and mother, with many different characters to play, she distills fashion into something that works, and clothing as something to enjoy.

Style is a means for expressing yourself. “It’s about zeroing in on what you like, what works for you; my taste, my lifestyle at this point,” says Angel, “but all that said, I don’t take fashion so seriously.”

In fresh-off-the-runway pieces from Joey Samson, Angel Jacob adds another feather to one of her many fashion-forward caps as she plays host for Leading Women — a headlining lifestyle show for CNN Philippines and the first local franchise of a CNN International show. In this YStyle editorial, Angel Jacob wears a pussybow top with a shorn velvet suit, among other couture picks, and sits down to talk about her new show.

YSTYLE: Who is the modern “leading woman”?

ANGEL JACOB: The leading woman in 2015 is very much in control of her life, but she is also the first to admit that, at times, she is not. She takes control of her work, her family, herself, her peers— but at the same time she admits she can’t do everything on her own.

CNN’s Leading Women deals with different women, the women we look up to. We admire them because we think they are able to do everything, and I always find myself leading with the question “How do you do it? How do you do it all?” And in the course of my interviews, the answer usually ends in some form of “I don’t, I just try my best.”

In managing to do their best in all aspects of their lives, that for me is the essence of a “Leading Woman.” She will be the first to be sentimental about family, she will be very passionate about career, and you see the same brand of fiery passion in everything that she does.

Tell us briefly about the show.

Leading Women is a show that tells inspiring stories about women — of different struggles, from different starts, to the experiences they’ve had, to the experiences they continue to have, from where they started to where they are now — it’s the story of the unsung Filipina woman, the successful and the accomplished.

We meet these women every episode, they’re at the head of their respective fields, they lead companies, they’re forensic pathologists, they’re activists, they’re doctors turned gallery owners, they’re ballerinas, they’re chefs — these are women on top of their game, but you’ll come to see they’re not made of stone. At the heart of the show, we talk about their individual struggles, their different journeys, on what they’ve learned and what they want to teach, this is the story Leading Women is looking to tell.

What can you tell us about the things we’ll see on the show?

One thing I can say about the women of 2015 is that, definitely, they know what they want, and they know what they don’t want. Leading Women is about that aspiration, it’s to show young women that even though it’s hardly ever an easy climb, you can get what you want.

It’s aspirational at its heart, and we have women from different walks of life. Different ages, different stages of wisdom — 30s, 40s, 50s, and even a 60-year-old. I am very proud and humbled to have been a part of this process, and having been able to interview these women.

Who are the women we’ll meet on the show?





We have Dr. Raquel Rosario-Fortun, a forensic pathologist, the only female forensic pathologist in the country. We have Nikki Luna, an artist and feminist. We have Merlee Jayme, the chairman and chief creative officer of DM9. Bea Valdes, internationally-stocked designer published in the pages of Vogue. Liz Uy, a top stylist and brand all her own. Margarita Fores, a renowned chef. Businesswoman Anne Arcenas-Gonzalez, CEO Loida Nicolas-Lewis, and director Antoinette Jadaone, among them.

What is one thing you related to, personally speaking, through the journey of retelling the different stories of these women?

Being a mom. Handling everything to the best of your ability. There are times that you may not be able to handle it, but you do your best. I felt this the most when I saw these women, on top of all of their responsibilities, and they still make time to give back to their different advocacies.

Even though they appear to be experts at everything they do, their stories deal with their frustrations as well. Without fear, these women show you who they are: “I am who I am, I am confident about who I am, take me as I am.”

It’s not about being able to do everything, or being very good at what they do. The lesson I related to lies in being able to admit that sometimes, you can’t. Or at times, admitting to yourself, and others, that you actually can.

Being humble, being confident, being assertive, being aggressive when you need to be. Different facets of a woman, different stages of a woman’s life, different mindsets. Being a mom is just one of the many roles.

Which of them surprised you?

Wow. All of them. Everyone did, in different aspects. From being open about sickness and battling cancer, to dealing with disaster and relief in Tacloban, to the unglamorous climb of applying masking tape to a model’s shoe and her slow journey to becoming one of the country’s top stylists — each one of these women had their truth to share.

On a final note, what is the foremost thing we can expect from watching Leading Women?

You get a sense of empowerment from watching. The show deals with the raw and emphatic. It’s about different journeys and the frustration that comes with it, but it’s never about asking for sympathy. It’s just about sharing their truth.

Ultimately, you feel good about yourself, you feel inspired. You feel good about being a woman.

* * *

Leading Women airs Sundays, 7 p.m. on CNN Philippines (free TV channel 9). Reruns air Friday 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m.


Fashion by JOEY SAMSON


Hair and makeup by EMER BUENAVENTURA

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