It was in the eve of Valentine’s 2012 when I thought of how miserable my lovelife was. I was almost 4 years single that time, and I was asking myself – maybe I have already forgotten what love means?
People were telling me that he might just be there, stuck in a traffic jam or got off on the wrong stop, but surely – he is on his way to me.
Then, I had this bright idea – if he can’t find me, then why don’t I go and search for him? The question is how? I opened my tumblr account and there it was, an inspiration – the Humans of New York blog. If this guy goes around photographing people, then maybe, I can meet strangers in the same manner? And then, at the time, fansigns are a big thing on Twitter – people asking for greetings from celebrities with their names written on paper or whatever.
I knew what to do then. I created the Love Mission – I asked friends to write anything that has the word “Love” on it, and then pose in front of my camera.
It can be anything – A love note, A love song, a love quote – as long as the word Love is in there.
The first person I asked said yes, but when I was about to upload the album on Valentine’s, she backed out (citing privacy reasons and disapproval of her then boyfriend). So I had to look for another – and luckily, I was very friendly. Hahah.
So in honor of the very first person who said yes to me and have me use her photo for the blog, here she is:
This is Nina, a friend from my previous job. My initial goal is just to reach 100 people in a year.
The concept is not new; as I said I was inspired by the HONY blog, and if I’m not mistaken Esprit (the clothing company) had a campaign that featured models holding pieces of paper a la fansign.
So anyway, the first few people whom I have “coerced” into doing this for me are obviously my friends, but eventually, I decided that I could ask strangers too.
If I remember it correctly, he was the first stranger I asked to pose for me.
How did it work? I don’t know. I guess, you can say I’m a little charming? Or maybe confidence. Haha. I just approach them
and tell them I’m working on a blog, bla bla bla..
Everyday, I carried pieces of paper with the words “For Abel’s Love Mission”printed on it – given that the idea is common, I had to “personalize” it and I also used the hashtag #ForAbelsLoveMission upon Posting the photos.
If I find someone interesting, regardless of nationality, i ask them to be part of the blog.
Of course, it did not stop with the people I could have a face to face interaction with. The power of the Internet gave me access to friends who are based on other parts of the world.
This is Claude, based on the US. I asked him via Twitter. And I also tried my luck with some celebrities (ANTM people, since you know I talked about how much I loved the show)..
Fortunately, I got favorable responses..
Lisa D’amato, winner of ANTM ALL STARS
Isis King, First Transgender contestant of ANTM
Natalia Moon, then an Australian resident, now a visible performer in Philippine TV.
After a while, I knew 100 was too easy. And this is also something that I don’t want to stop doing. I changed the goal – it now simply is:
To share what love means for different types of people
Math Genius Transgender and Big Brother housemate
Couples @misisjoey @marcupal86
Dayre EP’s @supermavic
Or group of friends
And friends of friends…
If you have an #Instagram account, please do check it out. I used to be active on Tumblr, but I had a hard time managing it so I shifted to IG – also because this is accessible to more people (and I can tag them there). The original photos are on a Facebook album, but I prefer if people check out the IG (since there’s just too many personal details on FB and I have no plans yet of creating a separate FB page for this).
As of now, I have 280+ photos of people, friends, strangers, etcetera… I no longer carry pieces of paper for people to write in. Instead, I bought sketch pads and sharpies. I try to find time to look for people who are interested and persuade friends who are yet to be part of Abel’s Love Mission.
This is my baby, and I’m hell bent on taking care of this as long as I live 🤗
Because, really, what would the world be without Love?