|Angela "Ala" Paredes|
|Born||April 17, 1983|
|Education||Bachelor of Arts in Communication(2004)|
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University|
|Employer||ABS CBN Global|
|Known for||environmental activist, vocalist, tv personality, model|
|Home town||Quezon City, Philippines|
|Parents||Jim Paredes (Father) Lydia Paredes (Mother)|
|Relatives||Erica Paredes (Sister) Mio Paredes(Brother)|
Angela "Ala" Paredes is an Australia-based Filipino environmental activist, commercial model and writer, who at various times in her career was also a TV host, vj, advice columnist, and vocalist for Filipino alternative band Hiraya. Since moving to Australia, she has become one of the correspondents covering Australia for the Philippines' ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs.
Education and early career
Paredes graduated from high school in 2000 at the School of the Holy Spirit (SHSQC), a private, all-girls Roman Catholic school in Quezon City. She then moved on to the Ateneo de Manila University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2004.
She first ventured into modeling in her junior year in college, doing a commercial for a facial wash, and soon endorsing a clothing line. Initially Ala was perceived to have the advantage of a familiar family name: she is the second daughter of singer Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society. But she soon became popular in her own right, taking up social causes just as her father, well known for his advocacies, did before her.
In her first forays as a television personality, doing television ads, she quickly became a recognizable figure, distinguished by her morena (malay brown) complexion and curly hair, a sharp contrast to the traditional look of models at the time. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism took note of her unusual success and said:
- Model Ala Paredes has curly hair in a country where long, straight hair is considered the epitome of female beauty.... In an industry that prizes fair skin and straight hair, her morena skin color and loose, voluptuous curls are considered unconventional.
At around the same time, Paredes began blogging regularly, with her blog soon becoming popular and earning her a reputation as a celebrity blogger – a role she would later use to promote environmental issues.
Media work in the Philippines
Paredes' modeling career soon burgeoned into a television career. She continued modelling occasionally but became a regular VJ for ABS-CBN's music channel MYX, and then later the host of IslaMusik, a television show on ABC 5 featuring a musicians from all over the Philippines. She also often served as a presentor at numerous events. As a writer, she also became an advice columnist for Pink magazine.
In 2005, Paredes became the frontwoman of a Pinoy rock band Hiraya when the original vocalist left. Guitarist Mark Verzo, bassist Marco Cuneta on bass, and drummer Paulo Tomas recruited her to become the replacement vocalist. The band had already released an EP, with their previous vocalist, when Ala took over. She stayed with the band until a short time before she moved to Australia with her family in 2006.
Move to Australia
In 2006, the Paredes family decided to migrate to Australia – a decision which Jim Paredes explained was related to a desire for greater personal development. The move generated some controversy when a copyeditor for a prominent Philippine newspaper wrote a headline that said Mr. Paredes, known for his activism, was "giving up on the Philippines." Both Jim and Ala Paredes protested that this was a miscategorization of their family's motives for moving. The paper eventually apologized to the Paredes family for the original, inaccurate headline of the article. Mr Paredes later said that he "felt bad not so much that people misread me as a person (that's hurtful, yes) but more so that they may slip deeper into despair by such a false story. That's the last thing we need," and Ala expressed similar sentiments.
Media work and studies
Even after migrating to a new country, however, Ala Paredes continued to be deeply involved in things Filipino – this time, specifically the Filipino community in Australia. In the same year that the Paredeses moved to Australia, she was recruited by ABS-CBN Global, the international multi-platform media company of Filipino media giant ABS-CBN, to be a correspondent for Balitang Australia, a weekly news and feature program catering specifically to Filipino Australians.
Ampatuan trial sketch artist
Paredes had barely graduated three weeks when she was given the high-profile job as the official courtroom sketch artist at the trial of Andal Ampatuan, Jr., the prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre. Paredes had gone on vacation in the Philippines to spend the holidays with relatives, when a friend of hers who worked at the Supreme Court of the Philippines called about an open position for a courtroom sketch artist at the Ampatuan trial. Courtroom sketches were needed because media coverage at the trial was restricted.
Describing the moment, she said that she “immediately called my friend back 10 seconds after receiving her message and accepted the offer. We did not talk about the (pay).” Noting the importance of the case, she said that “At a time when the nation is still grieving, I feel like this is my way of getting involved,” and “I thought this is my own way of giving public service, especially when media can’t be there.”
- "The many faces of Ala Paredes". Manila Bulletin. September 22, 2005.
- Baclagon, Chuck (November 30, 2005). "Sailing the high seas, and dancing for clean energy: Ala Paredes writes blogumentary about life on the Rainbow Warrior". Greenpeace Southeast Asia: News. Greenpeace Southeast Asia. Retrieved September 27, 2008.[dead link]
- Chan, Cheryl (September 2005). "Focus on Filipino Youth: The Business of Beauty". IReport (Quezon City: Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism) (3). Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- "The Flight of Hiraya". Bembang.com. Bembang! Online Magazine. August 30, 2005. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- Lirio, Gerry (August 20, 2006). "Apo’s Jim Paredes on his move to Australia". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Paredes, Jim (August 20, 2008). "' Pick up the feathers, you jerk.'". Writing on Air. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
- Paredes, Ala (August 20, 2008). "this is immature, but i don't care". Ala-ism. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
- "The Filipino Channel: Programs" (aspx). ABS CBN Global: In The Service of the Filipino Worldwide (Official Website). ABS CBN Global. 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
- Ramos, Marlon (January 5, 2010). "Singer’s daughter sketches for Ampatuan trial". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Marueñas, Mark Dalan (January 13, 2010). "For the love of SC, Ala Paredes sketches massacre trial". GMANews.TV. GMA News and Public Affairs. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved January 20, 2010.