Friday, January 4, 2013

Manila Bulletin - Behind the Scenes: Xeng Zulueta

As the writer, my job is really just to write. Overseeing the photo shoot isn't necessary. But I like going to the photo shoot because I get to observe my subject and interact with her and see little quirks (like a laugh, a frown, a tone of voice, a habit ) that I can add to my profile of her. This is very important when you're writing about a person. You have to make her real to the reader. Just stringing along someone's quotes—so standard now with email interviews—doesn't make her come alive in the reader's imagination. That's why you have to love the little details.

photo of Noel from @xengzulueta's Twitter
Sometimes, though, I can't go to the photo shoot. Or, in the case of Xeng Zulueta's shoot, I suddenly had to leave before she even arrived at the venue. In that case, I asked the photographer, Noel Pabalate, to tell me about Xeng. For example, I asked him if she was easy to work with. ("Yes.") Things like that.

From @Heimastore's Instagram. Xeng's shoot looked fun!
However, if you compare this profile with my previous columns, there is definitely a difference. I described the warmth of Ana Antonio's home and her grace as a host. I described how Patty Laurel almost dances when she talks about her husband. Small details, one-liners but they breathe life to the subject. I wished I had been at Xeng's shoot!

It's still a good column, though! I got Xeng to talk about the biggest thing in beauty this 2013. I'm excited to try it out! Grab today's Manila Bulletin to find out what it is or read here.


  1. Just like being in a writing class! :)Looking forward to your next entries. - Roan Peña

    1. Yes! I'll be sharing writing tips =) This should be fun!