Celebrities on freedom in the digital age

Peter Imbong
As the country celebrated its 115th year of independence, we asked some of your favorite celebrities on what they think freedom is in today's connected world

CELEBRITIES, SOCIAL MEDIA, FREEDOM. Vanessa Matsunaga, Phoemela Baranda and Venus Raj at the MEGA Pinoy Pride ball on June 12 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel

MANILA, Philippines – On June 12 Independence Day, the MEGA Pinoy Pride ball was held at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

The event brought together the country’s biggest names in fashion together with aspiring local designers looking to make their mark in the fashion scene. 

With the theme of “Pinoy Pride” ringing all throughout the venue, celebrities, models and performers were decked out in the best evening wear created by the Philippines’ most talented designers.

As they all Instagrammed their way through the red carpet, Rappler asked them one question:

In the age of social media and the Internet, what, for you, is freedom?

Sari Yap

'Freedom is having the information that enables you to choose a course of action'

Giselle Tongi

'Freedom online is really about using social media in a positive way as opposed to using it to rant about concerns that may be hurtful to others. It’s the Wild West out there, and we should always take into account the sentiments of the Filipinos who read or follow you.'

Regine Velasquez

'It’s nice to be able to experience freedom online, but it’s also nice to use our heads once in a while. Words are very powerful. Once it’s out there, it can affect other people. It can inspire or destroy somebody’s life so it’s good to be responsible.'

Jenni Epperson

'Freedom is being able to live the live the life you’ve always imagined and to be happy. Freedom is also fashion, being able to express yourself.'

Tim Yap

'Freedom is knowing that you can do something not just for yourself but for other people as well. It’s knowing when to celebrate, knowing when to hold back, and having a conscience.'

Jed Madela

'Freedom in this new digital age, for me, is being able to do what you want, say what you want and taking full responsibility for it.'

Venus Raj

'Freedom online is about speaking and saying whatever you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone. And in all the things you say or do, you should know that you should help build someone, uplift someone’s spirit and not bring other people down.'

Phoemela Baranda

'Freedom is about expressing yourself. And we’re very lucky that we’re in that period in history where we can enjoy the most freedom to do and say the things we want.'

Bianca Gonzalez

'Cheesy as it may sound, being free is being responsible. Freedom doesn’t really mean that you can do or say anything you want. For me, it means doing everything with a conscience.'

Janine Tugonon

'Freedom, for me, is having a good relationship with your Creator, where you feel that you are not being judged.'

Vina Morales

'Freedom is saying and doing whatever you want, expressing whatever you feel.'

Maxene Magalona

'Freedom is being able to express what you want to say, but at the same time, doing it responsibly, and accepting the consequences of whatever may happen because of it.'

Rhian Ramos

'Freedom online is being able to say whatever you want but knowing that there may be consequences.'

Julia Barretto

'Freedom is when you’re able to be yourself with nothing holding you back, and having that urge to do whatever makes you feel happy.'

Pops Fernandez

'Now that we have social media, there’s so much freedom — sometimes too much of it. It’s good, it’s bad. But at the same time, it benefits us because we’re allowed to reach out to others globally.'

Karylle Tatlonghari

'I used to be super inhibited. But with the freedom we experience online, I’ve learned to laugh out loud. Sometimes, it’s too many people shouting, so we should just lighten up and live.' Rappler.com


Photography by Rene Gaviola

Peter Imbong

Peter Imbong is a fulltime freelance writer, sometimes a stylist; and on some strange nights, a host. After starting his career in a business magazine, he now writes about lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, and profiles of different personalities. Check out his blog, Peter Tries to Write.


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