From featuring celebrities and famous personalities to being featured in OneMega.com, all eyes are on the writer herself: G3 San Diego.
The life of a celebrity is a star-studded and illustrious one. But beyond the glitz and glamor are the journalists and paparazzi who work behind the scenes—chronicling their lives for the world to see.
Instead of shining the spotlight on these celebrities, we turn our attention to the very masterful storyteller herself, G3 San Diego. A writer for 21 years, the first editor of MEGA Entertainment, and the genius behind some iconic teleseryes, her accomplishments in the entertainment scene are numerous.
Getting to know G3 San Diego is like looking at a diamond and its many brilliant facets. She is, after all, a shining example of a woman with many sides: a writer, a trans woman, and a patriotic Filipina. But to understand her story, we need to follow her journey—from self-discovery to self-love, acceptance, and success.
From Reader to Writer
Growing up, G3 calls herself shy—a far cry from the strong and confident woman that she is today. “I was very shy growing up,” she shares in an online interview. “I grew up in the province of Montalban, Rizal, but I went to school in the city. It was a daily hour drive to and from Ateneo, and I would just enjoy music during the commute.”
A voracious reader from her childhood days, G3 adds that she would spend her recess and lunch in the library. “All the money [that] I saved on allowance, I would use to buy books like ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ and ‘Sweet Valley High’. I also loved ‘Betty and Veronica’ comics.”
Her love for writing soon started when her homeroom teacher encouraged her to start writing. Eventually, she started writing for the school paper, and in college, began contributing to magazines like Preview and Cosmo. When asked about where her love for writing came from, she said that she “loved how lyrical the Filipino language is” and attributes her success to gaining full mastery of the English language from her many writing stints.
Eventually, it continued on until adulthood—until today, in fact. When she realized that she could earn a living from writing, she took on jobs as an advertising copywriter for Lucky Strike, Citibank, HSBC, and AIG. But it was when she was employed at ABS-CBN that her entertainment career would soon take off.
“I was invited for a brainstorming session at ABS-CBN and from then, I was employed with the Concept Development Group where we created concepts for shows,” she explains. From having her first show ASAP, followed by Star in a Million and U Can Dance, she soon became the brains behind films like Magkaribal, Bridges of Love, and Love Me Tomorrow—just to name a few.
Writing Amid the Pandemic
But with the ongoing pandemic, where many businesses have gone on a standstill, G3 still finds ways to stay relevant. “It’s only now in the pandemic that I really focused on entertainment journalism. With the extensive network [that] I was able to foster in my 18 years in show business, I thought [that] it was time to tap on the relationships I’ve built with the country’s best actors, performers, artists, industry leaders, even politicians,” she says.
“Aside from elevating entertainment journalism and using my platforms to write about celebrities’ stories, I love to write about travel and movie and TV show reviews. I also introduced ‘#RatedG3: Profiles,’ which is a celebration of Filipino talent globally.”
Currently, G3 keeps her love for writing alive as she regularly contributes to her OneMega.com column and works as the editor of Mega Entertainment. And when she isn’t writing, she doubles as a host for her own show #LiveWithG3.
Memories of a First Love
Her journey towards success, however, was not easy. Going back to her days as a high school student, G3 shares that not only did she discover a love for writing, but she too discovered who she really was.
“Growing up, I always knew that I didn’t identify as a boy, even if I grew up with boys, having a Jesuit education at the Ateneo,” she explains. “It’s really only until I was old enough that I knew who I was inside—a girl [who] has now transformed into a woman.”
In a separate piece—a heartwarming and intimate story penned by G3 herself—entitled “Seventeen Again: How My First Love Affirmed My Gender Identity”, she narrates a story on how her first love opened her eyes. “When Paolo said ‘I love you, G3’, that was the moment I knew who I was. I no longer felt different. In 17 years, it was the first time I felt like me. It’s like I finally came into existence,” she wrote.
“From there, I finally knew who I was. I wasn’t a boy. I was a girl and I was now someone’s girlfriend. Paolo, jersey #16’s girlfriend. [At] that moment, I wasn’t just in love for the first time. Suddenly, it made sense to me why I felt different all of my life. Why I didn’t belong. But now, I belonged to him.”
By sharing her story, G3 hopes that people can be more understanding and accepting of the many kinds of love. “Love was truly a defining moment in my life…it lives on in me as a testament that love sees you for who you really are. That in all things, love always wins.”
Loud and Proud: A Trans Woman
After transitioning during junior year and manifesting as a woman, she took comfort in that identity. However, the journey of self-awareness and love continued as G3 learned to embrace herself—not as a cisgender woman, but as a proud, trans woman.
“I never had to come out as gay because I was very effeminate as a kid. But when I transitioned in junior year and started to manifest as a woman, I was very comfortable in that identity that for many years. I didn’t reveal my true identity—that I was trans.”
“Vince Uy [then] invited me to do a layout called Transrevolution for Preview Magazine,” she continues. “That was my official coming out as a transwoman, through a fashion magazine. [And] from then on, I started identifying as trans.”
Coming out, both as a woman and eventually, as a trans woman, was still a scary experience for her. She adds that she too struggled with getting her family to accept her. They are, after all, in her words, “the ones who should love and accept you first.”
“I remember [that] I had to have some sort of achievement first before I could present myself as [a] female in front of my parents,” she shares. “I needed to be sure that they would still be proud of me even when I started wearing dresses and heels. In everything that I do, making my family proud is my first intention and main motivation.”
But why take that step despite the risks? G3 simply answers, “You come to a point in your life when you really need to live your best life and be your most authentic self. So I’m very comfortable with the woman I am today and I strive to set an example for all the younger trans kids, whom I hope will have easier experiences than us [trans people] who came before them.”
G3 San Diego on Pride, Self-love, and Acceptance
At present, the Pride Movement has changed a lot. With more support from influential celebrities, politicians, and fellow LGBTQ+ members, the world is starting to shift towards gender equality and acceptance. In G3’s words, even “companies and businesses that may or may not commercialize our fight” have joined in the cause.
However, the journey of acceptance in the Philippines may still take time. In a predominantly Christian society, many members of the LGBTQ+ community face stigma from peers and in worst cases, their family and friends. G3 touches on this in her coming-out story as well, saying that social constructs and institutions are the cause for fear and shame.
“Here in the Philippines, we still have to fight for something as basic as the right to use a bathroom that matches our gender identity,” she explains. “We are still fighting for anti-discrimination so equality is still farther away. That’s why Pride in the Philippines is still much more a protest than a celebration unlike in New York where the Pride March originated from.”
Despite this, she cautions against keeping silent. “Ultimately, being ashamed of your true self will cause more harm than good. So I really encourage members of the community to have the courage to speak and live their truth. Only when that happens can we change everything wrong that has been said and believed about us. We are braver than [what] anyone thinks.”
And when in doubt, she adds that anyone who is struggling with his or her identity can also seek counsel from older LGBTQ+ members. That way, they can guide them with their own experiences. “We’ve lived through most of it so we know more about it. Also as a Christian, I’ve always believed that God created me—created us and who are—in His [own] image and likeness.”
Leading with Pride and Good Governance
In the same vein on tackling matters of the country, G3 emphasizes the importance of leadership and good governance as a stepping stone for success. “A good leader is someone who really has the heart to serve. Someone who is selfless and believes in the greatness of this nation and its people. A good leader is well-educated, qualified, experienced, full of integrity, and most of all, honest.”
She adds that voting is a sovereign, constitutional right that she practices by heart and hopes that everyone else does, too. As a registered voter in her hometown in Montalban, Rizal, she has always used her voice to vote since she was 18. And for everyone, whether a first-timer or a veteran, she stresses the importance of voting—given that the elections are coming up in May next year, and registrations are until September this year.
When choosing our future leaders, she advises with conviction: “I think all of us [have] experienced both good and bad governance. And we know what we deserve. As intelligent voters, we must first know more and research about political candidates, [starting] with our local politicians [and] then to the national level.”
“We should realize that we are electing leaders, change-makers, and trailblazers—not people who are all but smoke and mirrors,” she adds. “There hasn’t been a more important time to vote than now. Everything in this current climate is political. Even entertainment has become political. So let us take back the power because this country belongs to the people.”
From Featuring to Featured
As someone who has spent her life writing about others, it can be unnerving for some to have all eyes on them. G3 San Diego, however, embraces this wholly. “It feels nice to be featured for a change. You become a writer because you have something important to say. And being [featured] makes me feel like my voice is being heard.”
“I have so many convictions that I believe in and this is an awesome opportunity to share them with our readers,” she adds. “It’s quite flattering and quite a change—from being painfully shy as a child to being on [the] digital cover of an established fashion entity.”
Although she regularly alludes to her childhood as someone shy, we think that she has now grown confident in her skin. And from the looks of it, G3 San Diego truly belongs in the limelight—as a writer, an inspiration, and as a model for success.
Words DIANE GO
Photography FLOYD JHOCSON
Styling JENNAH CORPUZ of APARICI STUDIO
Makeup ANGEL MANHILOT of NARS PH
Hairstyling DESIRE DESPI of COLORBAR PH
Shot on location at UNWND LUXURY HOSTEL
Special thanks to Carlo Dominguez, Yasmen Makki and Rafael Ladao
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