In All Angles
Many artists have taken the helm of designing the Society’s image, but not one of them has a life as immersed in artful nonconformity as Sam Gonzales
Ask any current ecosocer who Sam Gonzales is, and with 99.9% certainty you will get an answer associated to these: graphic designing, video editing, poster-making—in short, Pub. From her acquaintances and friends, you may even get, “Sam Gonzales? Ah, Vivrò!”
But what do we really know about Sam? Echoes decided it was time we dare climb the wall to find out.
Margarita Samantha Gonzales was born on May 11, 1993 to Dra. Celerina Gonzales. Though her family originally resided in Bulacan, she was born here in Quezon City. Dra. Celerina, in relation to her career, would have to take frequent trips to the city. Her father, however, is a different story. “I’ve actually never met my dad, my biological dad.” She mentions that she doesn’t really know (yet) the exact story behind the mystery of the dad she never met; that the topic remains a sensitive issue. Nevertheless, here’s what we know:
Dra. Celerina was first married to the dad of her older sister. Some time afterwards, her mom met her (Sam’s) dad. Shortly after, baby Sam was born, but she never had the chance to meet her father. Nine years ago, Dra. Celerina met her now stepdad, Dr. John Reganion, who is a pediatric cardiologist. Dr. Reganion was previously widowed; his former wife passed away giving birth to their third child. Having stepsisters from her stepdad’s first marriage, Sam now belongs to an extended family of eight: her mom, her stepdad, two older sisters, and three younger sisters, the youngest of which is John and Celerina’s only biological daughter.
One might think a family with this setup of interweaving backgrounds is rife with angsty, dramatic encounters. But surprisingly, such is not the case. Sam says that although they do face troubles every now and then, they’re holding up quite well. We can probably even say that the Sam we now know is a product and is shaped by that distinctly entangled history.
Upon the insistence of her mom for an education based in the city, she spent her grade school and high school years in St. Therese’s College. Ever since, Sam has expressed interest and active participation in both academics and extra-curricular activities. During her grade school years, she joined several advanced classes collectively known as Sinag and signed up for Arts, Math, Writing, and—most exciting of all—the Drum and Lyre band. And as if juggling all these weren’t challenging enough, she also took on student leadership. “Early on, I wasn’t really the leader, but then I started being the president of my class from Grade 3 onwards.” However, student council didn’t appeal so much to her. “I prefer a more micro-setting; I like to get to know people and be in direct communication with them,” she tells us.
As a student, despite her handful extra-curricular undertakings, she never neglected her academic duties. According to Sam, her family stands by a strong principle on valuing education. “In my family, if you were to choose between friends and school, you throw your friends away.” Strict as it may be, it worked for the best.
It may not be so evident in an initial interaction, but don’t be fooled by the minimal words and the emotionless expressions—Sam is actually quite the social one. “My main friends were like the dorks (and we’re proud it). But I also had friends who were all lesbians, I had friends who were the maarte’s, and I had friends who liked art, et cetera.” In short, she blended well with everyone.
Sam’s only clear college choices were UP Diliman or an international school (preferably NUS), and thanks to the persistence, once again, of her mom, she is now with us in this premier university as a student in BS Economics. As active as she was during her grade school and high school years, so she still is now, in college. In Ecosoc, she mainly works in graphic design assignments. “Although there are times that I feel a bit type-casted in Pub,” she admits. “I mean, I can do other things. I can organize. But well, I understand that Pub needs people.”
If you want a taste of her passion, look no further than Vivrò. “It is my baby!” Sam zealously exclaims. Vivrò is an online fashion magazine she conceptualized one ordinary January afternoon, drawing inspiration from a high school Physics project.
After putting together a team of selected friends who share the same interests, they worked on their first issue and made it accessible for public viewing. Vivrò is now working on its fourth issue—going strong and even expanding.
Her most recent undertaking is Ecosoc’s 53rd anniversary month-long celebration. Based on positive feedbacks, excellent reviews, and the overall success of previous events, we can confidently say that Ecosoc Ad Hoc really owned it this semester, and it wouldn’t have been attained if not for the excellent Publicity team, with Horace as the Director and Sam as the visionary behind it all.
“I really think it’s a great factor that Horace and I see eye to eye. We’re on the same wavelength, so when we design, it’s coherent. Plus, the theme is very different, which is funny because I think it was our weirdness that gave rise to it. We put our weirdness together and there you have it!”
Perhaps it’s weirdness, or perhaps it’s something else. Though we know her a little more now, her creative mind will always remain as mysterious as her father. But what else do you expect?
“I have this love and hate relationship with the world. Sometimes I hate it and sometimes I see all the beautiful. I like beautiful things, but it’s not a requirement for me to like them. You know how some people only want what’s physically beautiful and they shun everything that’s ugly. Well, I like the ugly as well. I like the dark, the non-typical. So I guess all I can say is this: do not be afraid to love the ugly because sometimes, that’s the beauty in it.”
Photos by Arsenio Lukban. View the complete set of pictures here. You might also want to check Vivrò on Tumblr and on Facebook