You always see her hanging out with Preview girls Georgina Wilson and Isabelle Daza, and that's because they're cousins. Yes, there's another girl to watch out for and her name is Martine Cajucom. Raised in California and now back in Manila for good, this 20-something fiesty lady bears the same Wilson vibe—fun, sassy, with a lot of spunk. Now on board as the Creative Director for Sunnies by Charlie, a contemporary eyewear brand that she co-owns with Georgina and Bea Soriano, Martine is busy juggling her time with the business and exploring the Philippines in between. Get to know her more as she shares her favorite things, her plans for the holidays, and her not-so-secret obsessions.
Tell us about your childhood. How was it like growing up in the states?
Actually, I was born here. I lived in Hong Kong for a few years and then in New Delhi for about a year. I moved to the states finally when I was about seven years old. I grew up in Orange County. I really enjoyed the States, it’s very progressive. I grew up in a very liberal community, very open-minded. I took up Journalism and Photography in college and then I moved to L.A. right after.
What companies did you work for in L.A.?
Right out of college, I had the decision to either work in the creative office of American Apparel or to work for Flaunt Magazine. So it was a big decision—do I wanna work for fashion and clothing or do I wanna work more in the magazine industry? I did end up going for the clothing line because I wanted to be involved in the design and photography process more as opposed to just writing and editing.
Is that why you put up a blog?
Well, I had a blog back in college, so that sort of gained traction, surprisingly. I don’t know how people stumbled upon it but they did and it was sort of the time before blogs really blew up. That’s actually how I landed my job in American Apparel. They stumbled upon it, they found it interesting, so they contacted me and they wanted to hire me. They wanted somebody young, in their 20s who had a real working knowledge of how to use the internet and navigate through it. I don’t really update the current one I have, though. It’s more of a place to store photos for me at this point. Sort of like a curated Facebook feed, I guess.
What made you decide to move to Manila?
I’ve always loved being here. Manila is just as home to me as California ever was. This is very much a happy place to be.
What is it like being cousins with It girls Georgina Wilson and Isabelle Daza?
Well, there’s a lot of perks. Overall, we’re just supportive of each other and we love each other as family.
What are the things that you learned from them, especially now that you just moved here?
They told me to never compromise my creative vision just because maybe people here may not fully understand it yet.
Let's now move on to fashion. Who are your style stars?
I guess Kate Moss, any decade, would be a pretty easy answer for me. She’s really effortless, really fearless with different styles. She’s not trendy but she always does set the trend and I like that about her. I also like the playfulness of how Alexa Chung dresses and I have mentioned before that after much thought I think my ultimate style icon would be Veronica Lodge.
Is there a fashion item that you collect? Do you have a specific fashion obsession?
Yes, it would be sunglasses. I think they do have a nice transformative power. If you’re feeling kind of fumpy and you put sunglasses on, it automatically changes how you feel, especially if you have a good hair day. Good hair day + sunglasses + perfect liptick = my dream day.
Is that why you put up Sunnies by Charlie?
It is! I love to work with a product that I, myself, love and proud to endorse. I really love this product and buying sunglasses is a fun purchase. It’s an exciting thing, it’s an easy thing to buy.
Where do you usually shop?
Online shopping is the best. I like The Outnet. Net-a-Porter is up there for when I want to dream. But honestly, eBay is the best.
What are your Top 5 favorite beauty products?
I love Ole Henriksen Walnut Scrub, Josie Maran Argan Oil, dry shampoo, Nars Dragon Girl matte red lipstick, and white nail polish.
Share a beauty secret that you swear by.
Honestly, eating eggs makes your hair grow like nothing I’ve never seen before. And everyone I’ve told this to and tried it can attest to that. They’ll tell you that the new hair that grows after eating eggs is just insane. It doesn’t matter how you want it, just have two eggs for breakfast a day and you’ll see a change in your hair. I guarantee it.
What’s one item you can’t leave home without?
I guess it would be my phone. We live in an age where when my phone isn’t charged I’m gonna have like a minor freak out.
Are you a morning or a night person?
Definitely a morning person. I’m most chipper and energetic in the morning. Usually in the morning I have like five ideas that I just jot down really quickly. I have my cup of tea, I’m on my laptop answering emails. It’s a very therapeutic and nice alone time that I just like to have.
What time do you normally sleep?
So I sleep maybe around 1:00am. I usually fall asleep to a really good documentary that’s just boring enough to put me to sleep but interesting enough that I can retain some facts for the next day.
What’s your fitness routine?
I honestly don’t work out. I don’t have a fitness schedule, but I like a quick fix. What I like to do is these really dorky ‘80s videos on YouTube. They’re called 8 Minute Abs and 8 Minute Buns. And if I can make my workout less than 20 minutes in the morning, I’m good to go. I do 8 Minute Buns while checking my emails in the morning; it’s really a good way to multi-task. And then I follow it up with 8 Minute Abs. I do my crunches while on Instagram. (laughs)
Do you follow a specific diet?
I try to eat healthy. I’ve read a lot of books about how your body metabolizes and I try to not eat so much sugar, not too many carbs. Carbs are essential but maybe not too much at night.
Do you do any sports?
I was a cheerleader in 5th grade but that doesn’t count! I don’t do cheerleading but I like the pleated skirts. I do like the outfits of tennis. I can say that I’m not very athletic but I do appreciate the uniforms.
Name your top 5 favorite movies of all time.
Clueless, Heathers, Cruel Intentions, Interview with the Vampire, Mean Girls.
Name 5 songs currently on loop in your in iPod.
Anything by Radiohead really. I think Everything in it’s Right Place is like my favorite song ever. I also like Dancing by Erin Smith, ADHD by Kendrick Lamar, Hot Chip by Flutes, and Everything is Embarrassing by Sky Ferreira.
Do you love to travel?
Oh yeah. I think there’s maybe one quote on Instagram that I really resonated with, and it something along the lines of traveling is the only thing that you can buy that would make you richer. And I truly believe that philosophy. Everywhere that you go and every city that you see for the first time, it really enriches you. And I love that feeling of seeing a new city skyline and being able to take photos in cities that I’ve never been to. Also, I like ethnic shopping, like any outdoor bazaar. I love bringing home a little trinket from every city I’ve been to so traveling is a very big part of my life.
What’s your favorite destination here in the Philippines?
I would say Cebu is up there because the food—the lechon—is mind blowing. But I also just recently came from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan which I also fell in love with. It’s really, really beautiful. I’m so happy that that exists here.
What are the top 3 places in your travel bucket list?
I definitely wanna see the Northern Lights in Iceland. I would love to plan a trip to Petra in Jordan and I’d love to see the Pamukkale in Turkey.
What makes 2013 special for you? Can you share with us your most memorable moments of this year?
Coachella is always up there. I love going to Coachella. I normally go every year. It’s a really, really fun festival. I also went to the Grammys this year. That was really exciting. And oh, the Sunnies by Charlie MOA opening. That was huge. That was a really important moment for me and for our partners, too.
What are your plans for the holidays?
I’m going to spend the holidays here. I love Christmas in the Philippines. Everyone here is so festive. My whole family is here. For New Year’s, we’re going to Koh Phangan to the Full Moon Festival.
What’s on your Christmas wishlist?
With regards to everything that’s happening in our country, I haven’t really thought about it. But I wouldn’t mind a Canon D Mark 3, if that’s gonna happen for me.
What’s your ultimate goal for 2014?
To open up a lot more Sunnies by Charlie shops and to see the places that I want to see.
Can't get enough of Martine? Click on the gallery to see her list of favorite things!
Shot on location at Mr. Jones, Greenbelt 5. For reservations, call (02) 501 3111.
Photography by Miguel Miranda
Hair and Makeup by Ren Bautista