A STORY ABOUT ME

Aela, Dove Hair Self-Esteem Workshop, Los Angeles, California USA, February 2019.

Aela, Dove Hair Self-Esteem Workshop, Los Angeles, California USA, February 2019.


“TRAICIT ET FATI LITORA MAGNUS AMOR”

My life’s journey started with this Latin quote. Literally translated, it means “A great love can cross the bounds even of fate”. Funnily enough I first came across this line reading Harry Potter fan fiction stories; later unearthing that it was from a poem written by a Latin elegiac poet named Propertius.

Aela Abalos Dove Hair Self-Esteem Program LA CA USA. 2019

Born & raised in the Philippines, I grew up with a relatively close-knit family. My parents have always instilled with me the importance of education and to them, this was the greatest gift they could give me in life. They have always done their best to provide me with books, music, arts and whatever else could fuel my passion for learning.

This sparked my love for stories & tales in all shapes and forms. It fired my imagination and artistic tendencies to create - be it via written, visual or auditory manifestations. My first foray into the world of artistic expression was through music. Followed by paintings & illustrations; culminating into the written word via poetry. Highlight of which was in 2005 when one of my works was published in the book Sa Kabila ng Ritmo (Beyond Rhymes). I continued exploring my artistic tendencies on the side as personal passion projects while I finished my business degree.

In 2006, I explored my love for creating in a different way. Tapping my entrepreneurial side with a group of friends, we developed & launched a soy coffee business (Kapesoi) under Quade Inc. in the Philippines. 2008 was when I took a risk and went corporate (moving to Singapore) to continue exploring my love for crafting & creating brands. Initially working with Procter & Gamble in their Fabric & Home Care division for 2 years. Followed by a now almost decade-long career with Unilever in their Beauty & Personal Care division. First in helping build & establish Unilever’s foremost scalp care brand Clear. In 2011, while I continued my journey with Clear to fight dandruff, I explored a side-passion project as a fashion & beauty blogger. To say the least, it was an amazing learning experience that not only helped me grow personally & develop my own self-identity; but professionally as well as I learned first-hand about the world of digital. Which now leads me into my latest endeavor within Unilever, working on its premiere purpose-led brand Dove, specifically for its hair business, based out of New York.

Aela Abalos Dove Hair Self-Esteem Program LA, CA USA, 2019

The last decade of my current journey has been one of ups & downs - both personally & professionally - but filled with amazing & unforgettable life experiences and learning. In this journey, I have discovered & learned that having a purpose in life is crucial to survival. It is crucial for one’s happiness. Right now, I am embarking on a path to my own purpose - to be a life designer: a person that fashions things & experiences into life, into an identity, into being. Been doing it mostly for others - brands I work on, the people I work with, the close relations I have. Lately, I’m realizing I need to do it for myself as well. After all, ensuring my own path is designed & crafted will just help me help others too. As with everything, this journey is a learning process and things may or may not change.

I am still learning.

I am still relishing my successes and picking up the pieces on my various failures.

I am still evolving.

Throughout all of this, I try to keep in mind & heart this line I have read more than 15 years ago - “a great love can cross the bounds even of fate.” To say that it has become my life’s motto is an understatement. With enough love & passion, I know from firsthand experience that one can cross the bounds of whatever life throws at you. You just have to keep on trying. You can never stop fighting, no matter how many times you fall. As long as it is for something or someone YOU love, you just have to keep on going and giving. And trust that fate will let everything else fall into place.

This is my current story. This is Aela.

 

AELA’S LIFE IN A SNAP

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CREDITS: Writing by Aela Abalos. Photography by Lorran Lima.