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Philippine youth: Holly Albert Pascual who wears many hats

Holly Albert Pascual with Sprite award (Photo supplied)

Holly Albert Pascual wears many hats: she is a political speechwriter, a beauty queen and commercial model, and a businesswoman from the Philippines. 

She is also a host/presenter, a hyperrealist painter, and a saxophone performer. 

Recently, she graduated from Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing that specializes in Non-Fiction.

RVA News talked to her to find out more. Excerpts:  

Recently, you graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing with a non-fiction track. Why did you opt for creative writing?

I opted for Creative Writing because I loved writing in my diary. I had an eventful and challenging life when I was a teenager. My mental health suffered because of it. Despite all the suffering, the journey was also beautiful and sweet. I wanted to take that into account. 

In my thesis, I compiled a set of memoirs called Accounts of My Demonic Oppression/Hallucinations. I experienced a series of paranormal occurrences that were also called psychotic events, for which I had to consult a psychiatrist and a representative from the Archdiocese of Manila on Exorcism. 

You specialize in writing about religion, psychology, and politics. Why?

I am a deeply religious person. Also, I am obsessed with politics, power, and psychology. I love to scrutinize and analyze myself harshly under the lens of such subjects. It makes me understand myself, God, and the world more from a clear and unbiased perspective.  

How do you impact society and people through your creative writing?

The fact that I talk about mental health and my faith alone is already an act of boldness and courage. I hope that my sharing of my experiences can impact the ones who need it the most. Visibility and representation are very important. 

How do you see the importance of creative writing in the age of digital technology?

Writing is everywhere. The moment people open their phones and computers with the internet on, they get bombarded with news in the form of memes, articles, and advertisements everywhere. 

With so much noise going on online, we need writers who need to speak the Good News of God. 

Whether people believe in God or not, encouraging, and loving words should be spread.  

In what way has creative writing formed and transformed your life as a person and professional?

I took a long break from writing about my mental health journey since my battles with it are still ongoing. I am still fixing myself. Thus, I focused on writing other non-fiction pieces for others. I wrote content for a BPO (business process outsourcing) enterprise—discussing the benefits of nearshoring and offshoring in the Dominican Republic (a country in the West Indies) and the Philippines.  

What has been your journey as a Livestream host?

I used to be a full-time Livestream host/presenter for Shoppertainment Live, the pioneer of live stream shopping in the Philippines. 

I appeared on LazLive and Shopee Live presenting big brands such as Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Pedigree, DTI Food Fair, Condura, Stanley, Braun, and K-Onstyle. I was also trained by celebrity coaches from Star Magic and ABS-CBN in hosting, acting, personal branding, and voice training. 

My stay in Shoppertainment was short-lived. Instead, I wanted to focus on becoming a BIGO host since I could work on my own time, anywhere without traveling. 

I just filmed myself at home, live, with great lighting. I get big money from the app and my sponsors. Not to mention, I was able to get a big fan base simply by befriending anyone who came into my chat room. 

However, there was an unexpected catch: upon gaining more than 40,000 fans on the app in a short period, I started getting stalkers, enemies, and haters. Thus, I had to quit. I was just not ready for it. Maybe next time, once I am ready.

How did you get into commercial modeling and the road to beauty queen?

It all started when I wanted to simply push myself so I could go out of my comfort zone by modeling. I realized that I could. It made me proud of myself because I always had many insecurities about my body, especially about my weight. For once, not listening to the voices in my head made me realize that the mean beliefs I thought about myself were not true. My representation in the media was important. Many people believed in me and found inspiration in me.

You are a hyperrealist painter. Please tell us more about it.

Drawing and painting are my hobbies, honed ever since I was a young child.  

My parents supported me and sent me to art classes every summer. From there, I was often handed pictures of paintings and objects I could replicate on the canvas. Thus, as a child, I believed that the true mastery of such a skill was to copy anything that was given to me. I was not aware that it was already the beginning of finding my true style, which was hyperrealism. 

I realized that I was a hyperrealist artist when my award-winning teacher started painting clouds over my canvas. It did not look like the reference photo, despite being beautifully made. It was only then that 

I realized that I could finally separate from him.  Then, I tried to find another artist who could help me do hyperrealism. My mom found Rouvenn Granil, a talented artist who could masterfully copy any picture you showed him. He taught me to draw and paint faces—it was the most difficult lesson I had ever tried to master. 

You play the saxophone. How did you acquire this talent?

Once again, I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. One of the artist's goals in my life is to know how to play at least one instrument. If I could master at least one instrument in my life, it would be the saxophone. The songs Careless Whisper and The One You Love are sexy to hear. I told myself that if I knew how to play the two of them, I would be a complete person. I can serenade myself any time. 

To learn the fundamentals of saxophone fingering, I joined Ateneo Blue Babble, where I cheered and played during the big games at Ateneo. When I realized that I could play, I decided to join the Ateneo Blue Symphony Orchestra, where I could teach myself how to read music and play songs! It was a process I did not expect.

How do you put your many talents at the service of others or society?

Performing or showing my talents is already my service to society because it shows Filipinos that we are talented and capable of anything!

How did your Catholic faith influence your life and talents?

Under the lens of Catholic faith and education, sharing my stories and talents with others makes more sense. I get to help, inspire, and lift people. Being a man for others is already godly, itself.

Who are your role models for life, and why?

I have several role models in life. My main role model is God. The next ones are my family and the saints. I take in their wins and failures, failures, and strengths and weaknesses so that I can learn from their experiences. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.