Saab Magalona-Bacarro has been up to a lot these days.
Aside from balancing her time blogging, she’s also performing with 8-piece indie outfit Cheats, helping run Cup Fiction with her husband Jim Bacarro, and carrying twins. At some point past 20 years of age we all go through our own trials of adulting but this is like… advanced adulting.
And yet despite being in the thick of all this change, Saab is crushing it. You’d expect nothing less from one of the OG bloggers of the early aughts. By the time you read this, Cheats will have released their sophomore album Before the Babies. And on a lower key note, Saab’s also been one of the few online personalities on Twitter who’s consistently spoken out against the Duterte administration. Yo, influencer-types, get with it.
We caught up with Saab a few days before the Cheats album launch to talk about change, growth, and how to handle what you can’t control.
YOUNG STAR: It seems it’s important for you to draw a line between your life before and the life you’ll have when the twins come in. Can you tell me about that?
SAAB MAGALONA: I have to clarify that the album name had nothing to do with our twins, I swear. It’s pure coincidence. It was last year pa that we talked about [the album title] with the whole band.
Anyway. [My mom] would always talk about how it’s such a huge responsibility, how it’s at least eighteen years of your life that’s not yours anymore, because you have to take care of that human being. So I’ve always been trying to get stuff out of the way before I have babies. So I guess you’re right when you say I try to make it two different things talaga. Before the babies and after the babies. Kasi I know my life will significantly change. For the better, I think.
It’s fair to say that this is a new chapter in your life, but I’m sure that perspective is different for someone who’s made a living of writing about their life.
Actually, I thought I would have a lot to write, now that I’m going through this pregnancy. But I guess I just been busy with real life that I haven’t. It’s my fault, it’s not an excuse. [laughs] I know I should make time to write ‘cause I know a lot of my readers are waiting for me to update them! It just so happens that there are so many things going on. I’m halfway through my pregnancy. I guess I can write about some of the things I’ve learned. And I do have a lot to say. I guess I just don’t know where to start, ‘cause there’s just so many feelings and experiences that are just so new to me. Also I have pregnancy brain, okay!
As someone who seems to be doing the work of adulting better than most people, how are you handling all that?
I think I have to thank my mom, especially for kicking us out of the house. For everyone in the family, once you get to college, she wants you to get out of the house. It’s a very Western concept, but I think it really worked for us. It was good training. We had no one to help us wash dishes and clean our rooms. We have to manage our own finances and try to pay for our own stuff. I haven’t asked my parents for any money since… ever. [laughs] So I guess I’ve just been training myself to become an adult, even before I turned 18. I think it’s really just the experience. There’s no crash course to adulting.
You still manage to make room for a creatively fulfilling life. How do you make room for that?
I think I just have to or else I’m gonna lose my mind. And I’m also lucky enough that I have the ability to make time for it. Especially because I work freelance so if there’s hosting jobs or events I have to go to, it’s not a nine-to-five job. Which is not to say that nine-to-five-ers can’t have a creative side. It’s just easier for me. I don’t feel like I deserve when people praise me about like, ‘Oh you’re so ganyan,’ whatever. It’s kind of easy for me to do that.
You have this unique position of being an online personality who’s spoken out consistently against Duterte, which is something I’ve noticed other online personalities shy away from. Why do you think that is?
One of the factors is my upbringing. I think the older generation knows that my father is very patriotic, and a lot of them know that my whole family, my grandmother and my mother, they love this country so much. And that’s what I get it from. There’s a love-hate relationship of course? Na parang, ugh, you’re so frustrated with the government, but you know that I’m not gonna leave, because this is my home. So I feel like we should all speak up.
I wanna give the benefit of the doubt to other online personalities. Maybe they just haven’t had the time or put the time into getting to know more about the situation, that’s why they don’t wanna speak up. I think it’s better that you don’t say something about something you don’t know about diba? Maybe we can send them links. [laughs]
Do you have a mantra or motto in life that you follow?
I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and it’s all about just thinking of the now, and what can I do right now to fix the situation. If something’s bothering me, if just complaining about it will not do anything to solve it, I’ll just let it go. If there’s something you can do right now, then do it. But if not, find out what you can do about it.