The earrings are named after women in my lineage. I come from a line of strong, individualistic women - my mother (whose nickname is Lita) gave birth to me 28 years after her mother, Mercedes, gave birth to her – also at the age of 28. My mom is the middle daughter and always loved playing pranks and getting into mischief; I heard stories about my lola after she passed about how she was a tomboy growing up, always tagging along with her brothers, riding horses, getting into fights. I always felt like a bit of an outcast in my family, and these stories made me realize that I'm a lot more interconnected with my matriarchal line than I thought. I feel like me having the freedom to live the way I choose is a beautiful gift they've passed on to me, and by fully being myself I also honor the stories and traits of the women who came before me.
I think words like salbahe and maldita are thrown at femmes as a put-down when we don't adhere to social norms, when maybe we just want to do what we want and have fun?? I'd like to reclaim these words as something to be proud of, and get over the idea that you have to be one certain way to be considered a 'good Filipina'For me, this collab explores the intersections of both the BRWNGRLZ & Hella Pinay brands. We're kind of given these binary ways of being (i.e. you're either "salbahe" or "mabait") but I think we all exist somewhere along the spectrum between these two dichotomies – and you can totally be both, and all at once.
This collection is our first venture into neckwear through a series of necklaces that celebrate the endless nature of love. Born out of grief, this collection reminds us that grief is really just love we weren't able to pour out, but still have so much of.