CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Sinulog hype is not yet over.
Hueben Kang, a 22-year-old makeup artist from Surigao City and a student of the University of the Philippines Cebu, continued to make a mark when she posted her Sinulog makeup transformation on TikTok on Jan. 18, 2023.
Kang is known for making herself a canvass of her makeup transformation with various themes, and among her trademarks is her festival look transformation.
Sinulog Festival Queen look
In a 40-second video, Kang featured three transformations: a ‘Sinulog Festival Queen’ look and two versions of a ‘festival dancer’ look. As of writing, the video garnered over 900,000 views on the social media app.
Kang told CDN that she was happy and grateful that the netizens appreciated what she made.
She said that she would often receive comments like ‘I miss Sinulog,’ ‘Sana makabalik na ako ng Cebu’ (I hope I can go back to Cebu), ‘Sana maka experience ako ng Sinulog’ (I hope I can experience the Sinulog), driving her to continue doing transformations like this in the future.
“It’s that thought that fuels you na ‘Hala, what’s more to that?’ Di ba murag like it’s letting the people experience what they can’t. At least man lamang in the sense nga naa sa TikTok,” Kang said.
(It’s that thought that fuels you that ‘Oh, what’s more to that?’ Is it not like it’s letting the people experience what they can’t. At least, in a sense it is is TikTok.)
Kang said that a comment that left a mark on her was a netizen saying, ‘Grabe yung video na ‘to. It’s like na experience ko na rin yung Sinulog’ (This video is great. It’s like I also experienced the Sinulog.)
“Very heartwarming siya in a sense na bisag wala siya sa Cebu, na experience niya [ang Sinulog] through sa akong video,” she expressed.
(It was very heartwarming in a sense that even if the person was not in Cebu. The person experienced it [the Sinulog] through my video.)
CDN and ‘Choose Philippines’
It was 2020, during the peak of the pandemic, when Kang started doing makeup transformation featuring Philippine festivals like Sinulog, MassKara, Ati-Atihan, Pintados, Panagbenga, and Bonok-Bonok.
Subsequently, it was also in 2020 that her growth as a content creator boomed after CDN featured her Choose Philippines-themed transformation.
“Actually CDN jud ang pinakafirst pud nga nagrecognize ato nako, nya sa CDN pud ko pinaka-first nagviral, akong ‘Choose Philippines’ nga video,” she shared.
(Actually, CDN was the first to recognize me, and it was also in CDN that my ‘Choose Philippines’ video went viral.)
She said that after CDN featured her story, local and national media outlets contacted her for interviews, and eventually she got recognized by Former Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, for promoting the tourism industry amidst the pandemic.
Kang started doing simple makeup in 2017 but not for content, and started doing makeovers in 2018 using subtle looks.
When 2020 came, she felt the need to step up her game.
“Hala oy, magstep up pod ta’ so mao to nagtry ko outside of the box kay ang purpose man gud why I started doing makeup was I was very insecure sa face nako kay I had a lot of acne so I really wanted to cover that,” said Kang.
(I stepped up so I tried something out of the box because my purpose why I started doing makeup was I was very insecure of my face because I had a lot of acne so I really wanted to cover that.)
“So, nagevolve siya into creative and then karon, super creative na jud bisag sometimes machallenge ko,” said Kang.
(So, it evolved into something creative and then now, it is really super creative even if sometimes I am challenged.)
The Cebu-based student also created a Sinulog makeup transformation in January 2022 but with less highlights on the costumes since it served as her ‘Bangon Cebu’ tribute, after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in December 2021.
Consequently, she curated ideas last December 2022 for her January 2023 entry. When she finalized the concept, she thought of focusing Sinulog as a melting pot of culture.
Kang said that she was looking forward to creating another Sinulog makeup transformation next year after some netizens told her to make it a yearly thing.
“This is very rewarding in my part nga (para sa) every effort, every sleepless night. Bisag yearly lang siya, rewarding jud siya, and nitatak na sa ilaha nga ako na ni. Ka Hueben Kang naning Sinulog,” she said.
(This is very rewarding in my part for every effort, every sleepless night. Even if this is done yearly, it is really rewarding, and it has been branded in their brain that this is me. The Sinulog is by Hueben Kang.)
Person behind festive costumes
With the success of her production, Kang extends her gratefulness to Harold Antallan, the person behind her festive costumes.
“Thank you very much kay you were the instrument jud nga mahuman ni nga video. If it weren’t for the headdresses nga iyang ge lend sa akoa, the video wouldn’t be that successful,” said Kang.
(Thank you very much because you were the instrument that I finished the video. If it weren’t for the headdresses that he lent me, the video wouldn’t be successful.)
She said that if it weren’t for the headdresses, the Sinulog video will not be given justice.
“Kung wala siya actually kay wala jud ni kay ang props iya man jud as in iya jud ni tanan. Kung wala siya, wala jud,” Kang remarked.
(if he was not there, actually nothing will come of it because the props were his as in all of it were his props. If he was not there, then nothing will happen.) | Niña Mae Oliverio