True-Blue Talent: The Renaissance Woman

Text by: Eimor Santos

Ashley Gosiengfiao is no stranger to stares. She turns heads with her soft blue hair, pointed nose and Snow White skin. While not an easy face to forget, Ashley has an even more memorable electric personality and charm.

A quick Google search and the first thing you’ll learn is that she is the younger sister of cosplay queen and celebrity Alodia Gosiengfiao. But, Ashley has slowly been stepping out of her sister’s shadow and making a name for herself in arenas where her heart truly lies: music and photography.

Her passion

A patron of many passions, Ashley is a true Renaissance woman with the looks and spirit of someone with her eyes on the future.

She was a ballet dancer in grade school, a varsity volleyball player in high school, a music lover at age 7, an award-winning cosplayer at 13, and a professional photographer at 19.Now at 24, she is a singer and musician, blogger, model, product endorser and business woman.

But, in Ashley’s unending well of zeal, nothing echoes more than her ardent love for music. She is the lead vocalist and guitarist for Midnight Meetings, a neo-soul band which she joined shortly after her college graduation in 2011. Before this, Ashley was part of the bands The Bestidas and Yes Ma’am, which both won various college band battle sin the country. The younger Ashley took voice lessons and piano lessons and learned to play the guitar on her own.

Ashley spends most of her time now with her band doing gigs in various hubs in the metro or out of town, and in the social media. “My goal is to be able to release our album and spread our music in the Philippine,” she said in Tagalog. But her greater goal is to revive OPM (Original Pilipino Music) – our local music genre which she thinks has been a dying art in the past few years. “We are all working towards promoting OPM again,” she said.

Before deciding to pursue a career in music, Ashley tried her hand at a good number of other interests. As a cosplayer, she tied with her sister Alodia at third place at the 2003 C3 Convention, portraying Magic Gunner Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2.

The Gosiengfiaos also won the People’s Choice Awards, leading them to get featured on the cover of a manga magazine. They then graced other cosplay events, which eventually led to a heap of endorsements, hosting projects and fame.

Eventually, the sisters then decided to focus on their individual passions, with Alodia pursuing a career in show business, while Ashley concentrated on her music – and a host of other activities.

Asked if she minds people comparing her to celebrity sister Alodia, Ashley explained, “Actually many people say ‘Your sister has already left you behind.’ But I chose music because this is what I want.” Though she loves acting in independent films, Ashley said she leaves the limelight in showbiz to her ate.

Despite being focused on her music right now, Ashley does not fail to make time for her other passions. She still does photography, though not professionally, unlike last year when she used to accept assignments for magazines, weddings, parties and model portfolios. She takes photos now mostly for her Facebook page and blog ashlili.com.

“It all started because my sister is a cosplayer, and she needed photos of her costumes so I took them for her. Then eventually I was taking photos of others, not only cosplayers but models too,” Ashley said.

She also takes photos of her handcrafted accessories. During the most recent Toy Con or the Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention, she sold all her uniqueSteampunk Chameleon Necklaces, accessories she made through sculpting, baking and designing polymer clay. She is one charming “alahera,” as the bubbly Ashley likes calling herself.

She plans to reopen her online shop soon to sell necklaces, key chains and pendants.

Right now, Ashley is also preparing to venture into a totally different business capitalizing on her love for coffee. “It has really been my dream to have my own coffee shop and now I am trying to pursue it,” she said, adding she is now enrolled in coffee making and coffee business classes.

“I am trying to do everything, all my passions. So by the time I have a family, I am already established. I think I want to have a family at age 30, so I have a few years more,” Ashley shared.

Her effortless beauty

So with all these that’s going on in Ashley’s world – she has to stay up for late night gigs and spend the rest of her days doing whatever needs to get done – how does she manage to stay as beautiful,healthy and fit? Ashley said she values the importance of sleep. Despite livingher lifeconsistently on thegraveyard shift, she secures at least seven hours of sleep.

And when it comes to her diet, Ashley admits that she’s very rarely strict on what she eats. “I work out so that I can eat,” Ashley said laughing. She runs on the treadmill, lifts weights and does sit-ups and push-ups at home at least every other day. She also walks her dogs as part of keeping herself fit! Her seven dogs also are her best stress-relievers – Miniature Schnauzers Oscar, Olivia, and their daughter Pepper, Siberian Huskies Logan and Sanza and Schanu-Tzu Dumbo, a mixed breed of Mini Schnauzer and Shih Tzu.

While some health buffs tend to go vegan, this is definitely not for Ashley. For people like her who hates the taste of vegetables, Ashley encourages them to try the alternative – wheatgrass. “One can of wheatgrass is equivalent to 10 pounds of vegetables… It is more delicious (tastes like iced tea or sago gulaman) and you just drink it,” Ashley said, adding that it makes the skin and hair healthier too, and boosts one’s energy.

Her dark skin secret and her solutions

Despite how perfect she might look on-camera and behind the camera, Ashley has always been tormented by usual skin problems. “I would like to admit that my skin always looked hideous,” she wrote at the start of one blog post. “I never showed myself to anyone or went out of the house without any concealer on. Having bumps on my face of all sizes was totally normal for me because I’d been experiencing constant breakouts since I was around 10 years old. No kidding,” Ashley recalled.

In the blog entry, she shared her beauty regimen, the nightly ritual she tries her best to “never ever skip”. It contained a skin purifier, foaming gel, deep pore scrub and collagen soap. She also uses a toner, oil control pads, and the collagen cream, a product she said is “a gift from God” as it makes her skin smooth and supple overnight.

The key is discipline. Sometimes she goes home from gigs and just wants to take a good (morning’s) sleep, but she has to resist and carry on her ritual. She shares it in the hopes of helping other blemish-prone people like her. Ashley also undergoes regular facial and hair removal treatments.

“Take care of your skin,” she summed up her advice to young girls. This, coupled with a cheery personality and positive mindset can definitely make anyone’s skin fairer and healthier, just like it did Ashley’s.

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