To SM Youth ambassadors Kaila Estrada and LA Aguinaldo, the impending crush of summer means busting out their lightest, most breathable clothing to feel more comfortable in the season’s heat— and to show off their literal body of work.
“I do fitness posts all year round, but summer is definitely the best time to show the bikini body you’ve been working on,” Kaila admits. A runner and frequent gym-goer, she relies on being active to keep fit; diets don’t really go well with her full schedule as both a graduating Arts Management student and a model. “With carbs, I’m more careful with when I consume them. They’re okay for lunch time but not so much at dinner.”
LA is also a believer on maintaining fitness all throughout the year, but he notices the pressure that the summer season puts on people to look and feel good. Of joining the beach-body-for-Instagram crowd, he reasons, “It’s about being goal-oriented.” Though he relies on boxing and weight-lifting to keep toned, fit, and camera-ready, he is also conscious about what he puts into his body. “I start the day with fruits and cereal. I use almond milk in smoothies or drink it on its own, and honestly, I’ve felt healthier since making the switch.”
The heat is on
Summer is a special season for the two. A whiff of a scent (coconut for Kaila, sunscreen for LA) and the hint of a flavor (watermelon for him, halo-halo for her) immediately transport them to memories of chilling by the beach and swimming during sunny seasons past. Despite the heat it brings, LA always looks forward to the more carefree vibe that summer imparts to most people. “It’s a great reminder for us to take a break from the usual business of life,” he says. “Celebrate nature. Being under the sun and feeling its heat on our skin is always a treat.”
For Kaila, the trimester schedule at school hasn’t really afforded her the usual summer break other students get to enjoy, so she treasures the small escapes she gets as much as she can.
If the two can’t quite get away from the city to escape its heat, they rely on the diversions—and the coolness of the AC— that SM malls have to offer. And it isn’t just because they’re SM Youth ambassadors: both Kaila and LA have standing traditions of making their favorite stops at the malls nearest to where they live. “I’m always at the SM Youth section because the options they offer there complement my style,” Kaila says. “I also spend a lot of time at the department store’s beauty section to browse through their selection of perfumes and makeup. As for food, Starbucks is like my home away from home! I also frequent Fireside and enjoy yogurt from BLK at SM Megamall.”
LA meanwhile, has spent many free afternoons at SM with friends, catching the latest blockbuster at the cinema then heading to the SM Food Court after to eat. As for shopping, he has a list of must-stops: H&M, Forever21, SM Youth, Bershka, and Commonwealth.
As a veteran SM Youth ambassador, LA has only great things to impart to Kaila. “She’s doing a great job being herself. That’s basically what this is about: a platform to be our real selves.” As they frequently travel all over the country with the other brand ambassadors, they’ve both witnessed the positive impact they can have with what they do. “One of my life goals is to be able to touch someone’s life, and I’m grateful to have been given that chance through this.”
“I’ve built meaningful relationships with new people, which is great,” Kaila adds. “It’s overwhelming to get recognized outside of school, but it definitely feels like an accomplishment when people tell us we’ve inspired them to be themselves just by being ourselves.”