Phoebe Kaye’s peachier Christmas and 2020 vision
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - December 22, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —   As an event and TV host, Phoebe Kaye Fernandez would know all about the whirlwind that is modern-day Christmas – a season that births a bounty of events not only in the household but in the world of business as well.

Running not one but two branches of beauty haven Colors and Peach Studio Salon to top off hosting commitments, to say that Phoebe is a busier bee than ever would be an understatement. But that doesn’t mean enjoying the holiday season is at the bottom of her list.

“For me, it’s the merriest season in the household,” Phoebe tells The FREEMAN with a glint in her eyes, a tell-tale sign of her love for the season. She steps out of the counter of her salon and leads me to a chair while the staff continue their hair and makeup magic in the sidelines.

“Among family, we really long for Christmas, especially when my brother was here. He’s working in Dubai now. We really plan the decorations and we stack the tree with gifts. We buy gifts together, hinay hinayon namo og puno. That’s our tradition,” the “Maayong Buntag Kapamilya” mainstay and “TV Patrol Central Visayas” star patroller says.

Apart from going Christmas shopping, partaking of noche buena, and attending the dawn masses, Phoebe and her family would prepare packed lunches, cooked by the woman of the house. They would drive around the city on Chirstmas day and hand out the meals to people in need.

Another tradition is to spend time with a foundation for children with special needs. Phoebe hopes to be able to celebrate with them once more since it’s a meaningful gesture especially for her sister with Down Syndrome.

Phoebe figured out the secret to enjoying the holidays a long time ago, but it was a lesson she learned the hard way.

“I think I was 22 or 23 at the time. Hosting is my job and so I really had to accept hosting work. I was blessed with many events that I had forgotten about the Christmas spirit. I had events until the 23rd. What happened was nihabol nalang ko sa Christmas on the 24th, so to speak,” Phoebe recalled.

“At the mall, they were playing Christmas songs and I realized, ‘Oh my God, I missed out on Christmas this year and I only have a few hours left to cherish it. That’s when I realized that it’s not really worth it to replace Christmas with work. It was at that moment when I made a point to work only until the 20th.”

The Fernandez household has never tried to celebrate Christmas away from home, preferring to keep the house bright and alive at this time of the year. And following the opening of Colors and Peach’s second branch this month at the newly minted Ayala Malls Central Bloc within IT Park, Phoebe says that their Christmas plans will all unfold within the Queen City of the South.

“Actually 2020 and beyond is me focusing more on the business and the growth of the brand itself. Growing it, eyeing branches, and the development of my staff. It’s more of Phoebe 2.0. I’m not saying goodbye to hosting, but this is my priority,” says Phoebe, referring to the salon she built just last year with two other business partners, blogger and corporate officer Mika Caram, and sales executive Chad Paolo Varquez.

“This will be a different journey and experience. I’m having a lot of fun and I’m growing together with it. I’m no longer thinking of myself.”

Despite the pains of being a business owner, which is a lot, Phoebe says the accountability and presence that’s needed from her when it comes to suppliers, construction, operations, systems, products, staff and customers have shaped her into the woman she is today. From a start-up brand, Colors and Peach is among Cebu’s distinctly recognizable beauty hubs, and is now the only salon in the Visayas to carry the premiere product line Global Milbon, a Japanese brand, after much training and studying from their staff and management.

Phoebe has spent a lot of time studying and learning the ropes of the industry. She and her staff learn from each other, from the technicalities of hair dressing and styling to how they communicate with their regulars.

“I have more problems these days,” Phoebe chuckles. “That’s the challenge but you just have to grow with it. The fulfillment is, you’re really having a lot of fun, and of course I get to spend more time with my family now – lahi ra gyud,” she observes. “Now that I’m in my early 30s, I want to spend my life building something that I love doing and taking care of my relationship with my family.”

Speaking of 2020 vision, while Phoebe admits she’s not big on resolutions, she does point out that committing to changes and development shouldn’t be limited over the holidays.

“Okay man na. Wala man koy problema ana. I’m not the type to make resolutions. But I reassess myself every now and then. It’s a whole year thing. I look at how much I’ve grown as a person and how I’m able to cope with the changes in my life,” she says.

“I look at where I was five years ago and where I am now if I have development or growth. It’s important to constantly check yourself. More than just getting the goal, you should assess yourself if you’re still okay, are things still in line with your needs, if your attitude and personality is okay. At the end of the day it’s not the money or the dreams you achieve but your relationship with people and yourself.”

As she embraces change and transformation, Phoebe – who has grown from pageantry, to acting, hosting, and now in business – acknowledges that the process can be uncomfortable. Opening up about experiencing bouts of self doubt and depression this year, Phoebe, who questioned her capabilities and decisions, tells others who might be going through the same situation that it’s going to be okay.

“But then I guess it’s natural. There isn’t a perfect person who only goes through smoothness in life. Everyone is going through something, so reach out. Especially with social media, when you feel like everyone’s lives are so much better than yours. In pursuit of your goals, reassess if you are still okay.”

“Take it easy. Pray,” she advises. “Hold on to the Lord, make Him your strength. Second, support system is very important, your friends and family. Third, love yourself.”

During our short time together, Phoebe remains alert and observant of the whole salon even while we do the interview. Despite the load waiting for her afterwards, she looks forward to putting her feet up and spending down time with family throughout Christmas break.

When asked how she keeps the enthusiasm burning for the holidays despite being swamped with work and adulthood, Phoebe says it’s a condition of the heart.

“It’s how you look at the holidays. It’s really your perspective and the way you look at the season. Whether you’re busy but see it happily…it’s your point of view. You may be doing nothing, but the tradition and celebration is nothing for you…it’s you eh. It’s how you view the season that matters.”

PHOEBE KAYE
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