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To be young is…

Four young people at the top of their game share their philosophy on how to enjoy the luxury of youth.


By Terence Repelente and Sara Grace Fojas


…To Be Dazzled by Life’s Magnificence

“To be alive is already, in itself, a luxury,” says Tootsy Echauz-Angara. For her, keeping to her core values of being in service of Filipinos, through her job, brings joy and ultimately keeps her young.

Tootsy is a happy young mother to three beautiful children. She has been working for ABS-CBN as a sales cluster head for entertainment, sports, and integrated cable. “My number one priority in life is my family. I try as much as possible to have a good work and life balance,” she says. “Working, just like parenting, teaches grit, passion, and resilience.”

But what Tootsy loves most about what she does is overcoming all the challenges, disappointments, failures, as well as celebrating triumphs and successes, creating milestones.

She said working gives her purpose. It fuels her youthful spirit and maintains her intensity to live and experience life.


…To Have the Passion to Style Your Life

For Izzy Tuason, being able to curate your little world out of your creative vision—from the things you wear and the things that make up your home to the things you do for fun—is what it means to be young and luxurious.  “I’ve been starting a collection of mid-century and Art Deco furniture and art objects, and though it’s a slow and involved process, the feeling of being surrounded by style and beauty when I come home at the end of the day really does feel luxurious,” he says.

The New York-based marketing consultant works with smaller independent fashion brands and helps their business grow. He gives do-it-yourself tips for various people, makes it his mission to look for up-and-coming designers, while maintaining his fashion and style blog: The Dandy Project. This guy does have the eye for style. He’s also in photography and product development.

“I get to meet a lot of different people doing what I do, and I live off their creative energies,” he says. “I get inspired by other peoples’ work, especially in other adjacent creative fields such as art and interiors, and find myself weaving elements of those into my work. I love to throw parties and, in the mix of people that I meet, I pay close attention to what the new batch of creatives can bring to the table.”


…To Champion Quality and Authenticity

“I design clothes for a living, and I love my profession because it gives me freedom to create beautiful things, and turn dreams into reality,” says designer-of-the-moment Mark Bumgarner.

What comes first to his mind when designing his pieces is luxury, which for him is all about championing authenticity and quality. “It is not about monograms and trends,” he says. “It is about the craftsmanship and attention to detail. That’s what I use to create such pieces.”  This design philosophy has become the Mark Bumgarner brand that has catapulted this young designer to the top. He is also one of the most driven designers of his time, crafting streamlined silhouettes and elegant wedding gowns, with major celebrities and personalities among his clients. “My job has given me opportunities to see the world and meet new people and make the most of my youth. I started early in the industry, and now, at 26, I am very happy where I am.”


…To Be Hungry for More

 “I am pumped to learn more,” says Philippine Tatler digital and special projects associate Isabel Francisco. She says her work helps her to enjoy her 20s because of the new experiences as well as the lessons she is learning. This for her is the luxury of youth. “Luxury to me is being able to live life on your terms, treating yourself to what you like to do.”

Isabel does a lot of work in a digital, fast-paced platform. According to her, she likes it that way. “Meeting and collaborating with a variety of people lead to many learning opportunities and experiences, all of which I welcome in one way or another,” she says. “I like that my job pushes me to be creative, logical, and decisive at the same time.”

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