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Inspirasyon sa Tagsibol

posted Apr 5, 2014, 11:12 PM by Daloy Kayumanggi

ni: Pido Tatlonghari

Panahon na naman ng tagsibol. At para sa karamihan sa atin sa Japan, isa sa mga pinakainaabangan natin ay ang pamumukadkad ng cherry blossom. Kahit na saglit lamang ang kanilang pamamalagi, hindi pa rin matatawaran ang gandang kanilang ipinamamalas sa atin. At para sa karamihan, ito ay simbolo ng panibagong simula.

    Ang buhay ng sakura ay maihahantulad natin sa ating pagtira sa bansang ito. Maganda, masaya at siguradong may hangganan din.  Subalit habang nandirito tayo, habang tayo ay yumayabong, namumukadkad, pagsumikapan nating maipamamalas nang lubos ang ating mga talento, prinsipyo at paniniwala, at higit sa lahat, pagsikapan natin ang pagtupad ng ating mga pangarap sa buhay at magtuloy-tuloy ito kahit na tayo ay wala na sa bansang ito.

    Isa sa mga ninanais ng Buhay Gaijin ay magsilbi ito bilang isang plataporma kung saan maipakita natin ang mga pagsisikap nating mga Pinoy dito sa Japan, magbigay inspirasyon sa mga kababayan natin dito na kung nakaya ng isa, kakayanin din ng iba na tuparin ang kanilang mga pangarap.

    Dahil dito, nais kong ipakilala sa inyo ang isang kaibigang kapwa Pilipino na hindi tinalikuran ang kanyang mga pangarap habang siya ay naninirahan at nagtatrabaho dito. Siya ay si Ms. Cathy Ogasawara, CEO at founder ng Mazacs,, isang fashion blog na nagnanais ipagsama ang “street fashion” at “work styles” ng pananamit. Ang layunin ng Mazacs ay makapagbigay ng inspirasyon sa iba pang mga fashionista na nasa corporate world na huwag lang basta umayon sa dikta ng nakararami kundi ipakita ang kanilang sariling istilo.

    Sa kasalukuyan, si Ms. Ogasawara ay napili bilang image model sa Asia ng dalawang kilalang South American fashion brands, ang Mario Hernandez at Touche. Ang kanyang Mazacs blog ay kabilang din sa ilang piling blogger ng PopSugar, ang pinakamalaking online media network na nakabase sa Los Angeles (PopSugar: Si Ms. Ogasawara ay nagsusulat din sa "Bulacan's WEEKLY BLUEPRINT" upang magbigay ng tips sa sa fashion.

    Nabigyan tayo ng pagkakataong makapanayam si Ms. Ogasawara. At sa aking pakikipag-usap sa kanya, tumatak sa akin ang kanyang determinasyong abutin ang kanyang mga pangarap. Maraming mga pagsubok kang haharapin at kasama na dito ang pangamba sa ating kakayahan, subalit kung hindi natin susubukan at sasamahan ng pananalig sa Diyos, walang ibang magpupunyaging tuparin ang ating mga pangarap. Kung kaya’t kahit may agam-agam, magsimula sa mga maliit na hakbang at mamamalayan na lamang natin na isa-isang magbubukas ang mga pinto ng oportunidad para sa atin.

    Narito ang kabuuang panayam natin kay Ms. Ogasawara. Nawa ay kapulutan ninyo ng inspirasyon.

Buhay Gaijin (BG): What does Fashion mean to you?

Ms. Ogasawara (Mazacs): Honestly, Fashion to me is everything, literally everything!!! Aside from my deep faith and my Family, Fashion is one of the things that genuinely gives me happiness and a sense of fulfillment in life.

For me, Fashion isn't just about styles, clothes and trends. It's about who I am.

    At the age of 9, I can still clearly remember while my mom was cooking in our kitchen in Manila, I bravely told her outright that I wanted to be in the Fashion world. I mean, at that age, who would dare think about their future already? Kids should be playing, they should be thinking about dolls and toys. For me though, I guess I've always known what I wanted to do in life.

    Fashion is Freedom and Acceptance of oneself, be it any form, color, style, race, etc. It's limitless.

BG: How did you come up with the concept of your blog?

Mazacs: Like a lot of women out there, I work for a company and have to abide by a dress code while at work. Living in Tokyo, it can be very challenging to wear outfits with bright colors and "busy" patterns, especially when you find yourself working in a traditional, old fashioned business district. Here, everybody looks totally the same. As they said in one of my favorite movies, The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, “The nail that sticks out is hammered down!"

    So, it got me thinking, why don't I try to be different, why don't I try to be ME? Why don't I incorporate Street and Work Styles? After all, Street Styles are everywhere nowadays and I'm completely fascinated by them!

    I hope to reach out and inspire those Fashionistas in the corporate world to not blend in, to not just be and dress like everybody else, but rather, to stay true to yourselves.

BG: Where did you find your inspiration?

Mazacs: From my mother. She has always taught us (my other sisters and I) to always dress fashionably. She's very into fashion herself. She has always had a collection of clothes, bags, shoes, even accessories. Believe me, all of them were well thought of before she bought them. I was her shopping buddy and witnessed everything, how she chose every single item she bought.

    I also adore Ayrton Senna even though I know he had nothing to do with Fashion. It's his endless pursuit for success that attracted me the most about him. I  think I've watched “Senna,” a documentary about his life over 10 times. Every time I watch it I wish for a different ending, one in which he doesn't die. I've learned a lot from him, his philosophy in life and his drive for success. One of his many unforgettable lines that I always keep in mind is this: "When you want something you have to work hard for it...we are competing to win, and the main motivation to all of us is to compete for victory; it's not to come 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th.” I also respect his extreme humility and deep faith in God. To quote him once again, “...if you have God on your side, everything becomes clear.” He has truly moved me and influenced me to become a better person.

    I also look up to Jillian Michaels. Her toughness is what keeps me going during my workouts. As a fashion blogger, it's very important that we stay fit and healthy and so, every time I work out and feel like I'm about to die, I close my eyes and imagine her literally yelling at me just so that I can keep going and remind myself of the reasons why I'm doing it. This is because I believe there should be marriage between fashion and health. Being fashionable is never enough and will never be unless you're healthy both inside and out.


BG: Did it require a lot of resources when you started with this venture?

Mazacs: With regards to financial resources, we didn't need to spend a lot of money.

    That's the best thing about online businesses. The only thing we needed was pure hard work, dedication, and knowledge about computers and technology.

    It was actually my youngest sister who introduced fashion Blogging to me. Honestly, I was totally clueless about it until she suggested it to me. Apparently, I talk too much about my ideas on Fashion (according to my sisters) so they told me to start writing about it. One of my colleagues even suggested to write a book about Fashion but I just didn't know how and when to begin.

    My husband had to work like crazy. He never studied Computer Engineering and had to learn everything from scratch. I'm actually proud to say he did the website all by himself when everybody at that time thought it was impossible to do so because he didn't know anything about Web Design either...but he did it.

    I believe that people learn as they go and that nothing is impossible with hard work and dedication. It's still not perfect though but that's what makes it exciting. We discover and learn new things each day.

    I also had to read a lot about Fashion Blogging. The hardest part was when I had to prepare myself mentally and emotionally, as this is basically exposing and putting myself out there. I didn't know then what I was going to go through until we started it.

    Like any other venture, we've also had our ups and downs. The important thing though is to keep going, to keep moving forward.


BG: Are there any challenges as a Filipino pursuing your interests in the field of fashion in Japan?

Mazacs: Sad to say, yes. I guess racism will always exist in the fashion industry. I'll never forget a Fashion Event I once went to where a designer asked me, "If we feature you, could you not say where you're from? You don't look Filipina anyway."

    I honestly felt hurt but tried to handle it gracefully. I think I was already expecting it. I'm truly proud of where I'm from and would never deny that I'm from the Philippines.

    That being said, I decided to take it as motivation to continue proving to people, to continue showing to them what we Filipinos are capable of. It actually encouraged me to showcase even more our skills and creativity to the whole world.


BG: What advice do you have for Filipinos aspiring to pursue their interest in fashion in another culture?

Mazacs: Never let anyone tell you you can't! Anything in life requires mental, emotional, and physical strength. Never doubt yourself, even for just a second. Trust your gut and believe that God always has better plans for you.

    It's impossible to please everybody, so, as long as you know you're not hurting anyone and doing anything wrong, stay in your truth. Be open to constructive criticism but be wise enough to know what to take in and what to disregard.


BG: Who are your Fashion Icons?

Mazacs: I adore Rachel Zoe. I have the utmost respect for her and her endless pursuit for success. I honestly see myself in her. Just like she and her husband, my husband and I work really really hard to make it in this industry. It is through her that I was able to realize my great passion for fashion.

    I also admire Miranda Kerr's chic and effortless style. I adore her minimalist approach to fashion. However, she knows very well how to make every outfit look edgy and fashion forward.


BG: What else would you like to accomplish in the coming years?

Mazacs: We are currently revising our website. We are including an Online Store in which our readers will be able to buy some of their favorite items featured on our blog. Recently, we've been getting a lot of private messages, people asking if they can buy some of the outfits we feature on our website. This why we decided to do it.

    We have also started representing brands as well as the collections of Fashion Designers all over the world We are truly excited about this!

    Our very first You Tube Video also did very well. That being said, I would like to take this oppurtunity to sincerely thank everybody for all your kind words and encouraging comments. We really didn't expect it would go so well.

    Singing has always been another passion of mine. I've always been drawn to motivational, inspirational songs. I don't want our blog to just be about Fashion and Styles. It is through music that I would like to encourage people to chase their dreams, to continue to face whatever battles they're going through in life head on.

One of our goals is to create a fusion between Fashion and Music.


BG: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Mazacs: People can always visit our website: and our Social Media Accounts:

Facebook Page:

Twitter Account:

Instagram Account:

Lookbook Account:

YouTube Channel:

Finally, we would like to sincerely thank everyone for this wonderful feature. It's truly an honor to be part of this publication. We really hope to inspire everyone through our story.