Photographer KENJI ONGLAO
Make Up Artist AMANDA PADILLA
Hairstylist JET BABAS
Videographer CHUCK ORETA
Stylist BC STYLE STUDIO
Special thanks to Rajo Laurel, Basic Movement,
Mark Bumgarner, Patty Ang, Stockton Row,
Pablo Cabahug, Banggo Niu.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat in traffic or cursed at flooded streets, wishing we could leave this way-too-congested city behind. We’ve all worked late hours, with non-stop meetings and skipped meals, fantasizing about the day we get to slow down. We’ve all gone just a little bit stir crazy in our claustrophobic, chaotic, polluted concrete jungle.
But even as we long for the simple things, this frantic life we live in can be, well, convenient — fast food delivered to your door in thirty minutes, giant malls that have pretty much everything you need, and all the other creature comforts we find difficult to part with.
Five years ago, Hindy Weber-Tantoco decided it was time for a change. She left her job as a retail fashion designer, got the hell out of dodge, and became a farmer.
It all started innocently enough. In 2007, Hindy took a sabbatical from her work at Rustan’s and started planting in her backyard. She attended farming workshops and devoured agricultural books. Soon enough, she found herself with more produce than her family could consume on their own. “Our harvests became more and more plentiful, so I started sharing them with friends and family, until eventually decided to turn it into a business,”she says. And so Holy Carabao (www.holycarabao.com) was born — the first door-to-door delivery of a la carte produce.
On their website it says that the business “began with a dream to bring home healthy, trustworthy food to our families,” but has taken on a bigger vision — being mindful of the environment and enriching the lives of everyone they work with, from farmers to drivers to retailers to their customers. Holy Carabao’s produce is grown naturally and chemical-free. Animals are treated humanely. The business operates with transparency, so that customers can know exactly where their food comes from, including how it was grown and handled.
When Hindy and her husband packed up the kids to live in Laguna, they weren’t met with much resistance. “They were still quite young, so they had no choice,” she quips. “But now that they’re older, I can see it made a difference in their childhood.”
Without the city’s endless distractions, their family grew closer. “Moving away from the city gave us an opportunity to have a more balanced life and be more in tune with Nature’s rhythms,”Hindy explains. “Our kids have the best of both worlds. We take a trip to the city when we feel like it and then we go back to our nest to reconnect and energize.”
That’s not the only positive change that has taken place since then. Getting away from Manila and working on her passion has given Hindy a new perspective on her design career. While she still accommodates a few clients a year, she wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post that she wanted something that gave her time with her family. Her new outlook has made her more selective about the women she collaborates with now — women who are aligned with her creative vision. “Gone is the mindset to get ahead of the game, to be rich and famous through this work,”says her post.
The work I do now is not a means to an end.
It’s part of my journey, and I relish every moment., every piece I work on.
Hindy’s own style has changed to reflect her new lifestyle too. “Less heels, less jewelry. More hats, more sunnies. Still fun, never stereotypical.” And while it’s certainly a less demanding schedule, she always tries to squeeze in a little time to recharge. “Exercise, self-care, beauty and wellness, meditation, spiritual practice are always intrinsic to my life,” she states. All that, plus lots of time with her children and dinner dates with her husband.
Holy Carabao is steadily flourishing, but Hindy feels that there’s always more to do.
I choose my work based on my principles and values, so everything is an opportunity for learning, for growth.
With a personality this grounded and deeply rooted in her own purpose, it seems almost poetic that Hindy has become one of nature’s caretakers. She may be designing less, but she is creating more than ever — with intention, with meaning.
It’s a good life, but Hindy remains open to what the future has to offer. “My dreams are big and constantly evolving. I try to always stay in tune with what the universe needs me to do, so everytime I think I’ve figured it out, the road leads me elsewhere,”she says. “My goal in life is no longer to be happy. Happiness is so last season. Happiness is a fleeting feeling, it ebbs and flows. It can never be possessed. You just have to welcome it when it’s there, and accept it when it’s not. But GRATITUDE? That you can keep.”
What’s your beauty routine?
I see my Derma, Dr Kaycee Reyes, regularly. For products, I use the ones from my Derma, Pond’s cold cream, eye cream and acne wash, together with all-natural products like Jurlique, Alba Botanica, and Andalou.
When do you feel the most beautiful?
At the beach with a bit of a sunburn, and a mojito in my belly.
What for you is a Calyxta Cover Girl?
Comfy in her own skin but enjoys playing with different looks, too.