By SYRAH VIVIEN J. INOCENCIO
THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters honed the imaginative and talented Janna Pablo. Her stay within the walls of the St. Raymund de Peñafort Building as a behavioral science major helped shape the many things she has become: an artist, a teacher, and a businesswoman.
The young Pabys, as she is fondly referred to by many, is not a stranger to the limelight. In 2006, she played a fashionista teenager in “Let’s Go,” an ABS-CBN television series. However, she eventually needed to give up show business to finish her studies.
“I only lasted [in] showbiz for a year or two because I was 20. [M]y main priority was finishing school […] I really wanted to graduate in four years. In my fourth year, I was taking up 49 to 52 units,” she shares.
Quitting showbiz did not stop Pabys from shining bright. Despite having a short-lived celebrity life, she continued to showcase her artistry through university-wide organizations and other extra-curricular activities.
“Being in [the Faculty of] Arts and Letters is amazing because it allows you to experience different things […] it gives you huge opportunities to experience [and] feel the outside world. Nag-staff ako, nag-PA (personal assistant). I wasn’t sheltered kumbaga,” she says.
A high-spirited youngster
Pabys has been familiar with arts and crafts since she was a child. Although a frustrated artist, she makes sure that every creative outlet of hers serves a purpose.
“To be honest, I was so frustrated when I was younger kasi I really couldn’t draw,” she reminisces. “I think whenever I do my way of creating, [it] always represents something, or it always has a story behind it. [T]here’s always a purpose or an objective behind it.”
As a child, she was also exposed to life outside academics. She was an outgoing and active student; she became a gymnast, a cheerleader, and a volleyball and basketball varsity player. Little did she know that her college years would bring out from her an aspiration to become a teacher.
“Back then, I really wanted to become a teacher because mahilig talaga ako sa bata. […] I had dyslexia [but] it didn’t stop me naman. [I] wanted to become a special education teacher because I wanted to give back,” she shares.
Growing through teaching
A kid at heart, Pabys always felt a strong connection to children. Her personality as a teacher was shaped by her love for kids. However, her teaching career did not turn out the way she expected it to.
“They asked me what subject I wanted to teach. My only answer was ‘I don’t want to teach math.’ Tinakasan ko na nga [‘yung math] nung college. Naitagumpay ko na. Naitakas ko na,” she recalls with a laugh.
She eventually ended up teaching the very subject she so despised—and learned to love it in the process.
“[I]t was good that I took on that challenge. I think it was a good training ground for me because with math, you can be creative. I was an effective math teacher only because I knew how it is to be the weakest link in class,” she says.
Although she loved being surrounded by kids, Pabys took a break from teaching. She went out of her comfort zone and tried working in the corporate world, where she honed her skills in events planning and business.
“I joined McDonald’s as an officer, so totally, [there was] no art. I really did not enjoy it. But even if I didn’t last there, I was thankful for that job because I learned how to do business,” she explains.
Finding her calling
Even after all the unexpected twists and turns in her life, Pabys’ creative side still continues to unfold. During her teaching stint and her stay in the corporate world, she was always asked to organize parties and events.
These experiences and her innate creativity pushed her to finally start her own event planning business called “Pabys Creates Events” in April 2017.
For Pabys, starting her own business was the biggest challenge of her life.
“I was scared. I didn’t have the confidence to do it on my own even if everyone was telling me, ‘Kaya mo na ‘yan!’ I was doubting myself, [but] I think I am lucky na opportunities are coming my way, projects are coming in. I just kept on doing and doing it,” she says.
Since then, Pabys’ life has been about managing huge crowds for celebrities like Georgina Wilson and her former co-actor Toni Gonzaga.
“My biggest fulfilment has always been seeing the celebrant, the guests, and my client happy. I want to give happiness to others,” she says.
Happiness makes up a large chunk of who Janna Pablo is. Wherever her feet take her, she always makes sure that she is happy with where she is. Her journey might have been a series of twists and turns, but she still sees it as colorful.
“You’ll never know what life can bring you. It can bring you the brightest colors, but it can also give you the darkest. But what’s amazing about it is that you can use those colors to color life,” she says. F with reports from CRISTINA ELOISA A. BACLIG