Kaila Estrada crept up from being the child of showbiz parents to a model and now, as the people term it, social media influencer.
Gaining more traction as time goes by, she’s turning into a celebrity in her own right with a stylish eye to boot. “I love Korean fashion of late, it’s so cool.” We asked her to style herself in this shoot and she showed us her love for athleisure. “It’s easy to move around and it works best when traveling.” She needs the mobility given how quickly the turnover of fame goes.
She also is a natural and a professional. A little sick when she came to our shoot, she didn’t complain nor make note of it until I caught her dissolving a citrus tablet in her water. Our photographer noted how easy it was to work with her as Kaila suggested her own poses.
I could go on about and say Kaila’s a wonderful person. I won’t, however, because if there’s one thing this woman wants is to tell her own story, away from what you’ve might have thought about her. Isn’t that the goal of every woman? To tell a narrative in their own words. Here then is Kaila, in a spotlight where we let her do what she wanted to.
How did you start?
My first ever professional modeling job was a fashion show with Randy Ortiz. It was his 25th anniversary show. It was a big show, everyone was dressed up. The models were wearing gowns and suits. That was a lot of pressure on me. You wouldn’t think that a big show like that would be done by newbies. Especially when I looked around backstage, there were a lot of top models there. It was an honor for me to do but also nerve-wracking. That’s how I started. Only a year after that, I signed on with Mercator.
Did that give you the first idea that you can be a model?
That was when I realized I wanted to model. I am super shy, especially before. Even when I joined Mercator, I wasn’t confident about myself so it was hard for me to book a job. But that was the first time in the show and I got to experience what really happened, I realized that I want to do this more often.
Why don’t you want to be a beauty queen?
I never imagined myself to be. My personality isn’t there yet. I’m pretty young and chill. There’s a lot of pressure that goes into being a beauty queen and it’s a job too. It’s not just what people perceive from the outside. Meeting and getting to talk to them, [I learned that] there’s a lot to it. Not that I am saying I will never be one. There’s a possibility for everything. You never know but I am still learning the ropes and figuring out what I want to do.
Before modeling, what did you want to do?
I had so many different aspirations before as a [typical] kid. I used to paint. It was one the of hobbies I paid attention to. That’s how I choose Arts Management in college.
I really wanted to go to CSB. And Fine Arts is the same but with Arts Management, there’s a business side. You want to be practical. I wanted to know how to sustain yourself in the art world.
One thing you miss about being a kid
Not caring about what you eat. People didn’t care what you would eat as a kid.
Favorite TV shows? How to Get Away with Murder and Riverdale.
When did you realize that your parents were famous?
As far as I can remember. When I was four, we would go out and daming mag pa-picture (a lot of people would want a photo with them) and you’d see them on TV or people would be excited to see them on TV.
What was fame to you at four years old?
To me at that time, given the situation, fame was toxic. I didn’t see it in a good light. That was the time my parents were on the brink of separation. Strangers would pry and when I was four, I didn’t really get it yet. But strangers would ask what was happening. I didn’t know how to explain. People invading your personal space at four feels weird.
What is fame to you now?
I realize it doesn’t and shouldn’t define a person. Before, I thought famous people were a [certain way]. Now, I realize just because you’re famous you don’t have to be like that. You can still be yourself, you can be whoever you want to be. You can be authentic as you want to be without falling into a stereotype.
What will you tell someone who wants to be social media famous?
It’s not everything. If that’s what you want, go ahead. But don’t let it be the sole purpose of your life because you want to be happy. I am very blessed to be where I am because of social media. But I’m here not just because I want to be famous. I’m here because, sadly, some people in our generation don’t have a strong voice and I want to have a voice to tell people that you can get to where you want to be without being somebody else.
What’s the best thing about your life right now?
The work that I do, I really enjoy. It’s not the type of job na mabigat sa puso. (It’s not a job that feels like a burden.)
What’s one question you’re tired of hearing? Bakit di ka mag-aartista? (Why don’t you want to become an actress?)
Aren’t you a celebrity in your own light?
They don’t see that. I think because my parents were famous before I existed. It’s a shadow I will never come out of. [Though] I am grateful because it helped me get here. It does get frustrating when you’re trying to make a name for yourself. But it’s also accepting that I will also be their child. I then have to work harder to be known as someone more than that.
Rihanna wanted to be successful because she wanted to help kids in Africa. Would you try something similar?
For me, I want to be able help kids who have troubled pasts or broken homes. There are foundations for that already but I wish we could fund them better. You build a better nation by building better children. It’s close to me because of my own childhood and how I was scarred a little by it.
Which movie character are you?
Holly Golightly. Only because [Breakfast at Tiffany’s] is my favorite movie. People might see her as selfish but when you watch the movie over and over again, you’ll see that she’s just protecting herself.
What’s your beauty regimen?
I tend to use organic products now. My skin is very sensitive. I tried to use a particular brand of skincare that was expensive, it dried up my skin. When I went under sun, my skin became so itchy and I didn’t understand because it got good reviews online. I then had to go to for organic products.
Which celebrity wardrobe do you want to have?
Kylie Jenner’s. All her stuff is designer and she’s into streetstyle.
Who influenced your style?
First one was Rihanna. Everyone else followed after that.
One thing your parents told you about life you can’t forget?
You can’t please everybody. It is quite ironic since you’re a celebrity. But the irony of it was why I made it stick. I was at dinner with my mom. There was this girl who wanted a photo with my mom and she said, “Oh, you’re not as fat as you are on TV.” My mom [just accepted it] and I was like, “WHAT?” She saw my face and how I wanted to go ham on the girl. She then told me that’s how it is. She explained how you can’t please everyone.
What’s the meanest comment you’ve received?
I went to Macau with Tommy Esguerra and we had a photo together. The trolls went crazy. If it were just about my physical appearance, I would be fine but someone said to me, “You’re just like Vanessa.” Vanessa was the girl my dad cheated with. It hurts to come from someone who doesn’t know me and just saw my photo. What’s frustrating is how people think that being the better person is to not say anything. But sometimes, you have to put people in their place.
Most embarrassing outfit you’ve worn?
Oh my gosh! When I started going to clubs before, I thought looking super slutty was a thing. I wore a short corset and a tight skirt and it didn’t look good. Never again! I didn’t even do my eyebrows, but I did everything else. Photos from that I hope to never see again.
Photos by Andrea Beldua Makeup by Diane Cupon Hair by Jerlan Macunat for Bench FIX Salon Produced by Olivia Estrada