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Hannah Pangilinan and Janina Vela: Vlogger Besties

Shooting our vlogger besties, Janina Vela and Hannah Pangilinan, as this month’s #CalyxtaGirls felt like I had a front-row, VIP access to an exclusive #HANINA vlog episode. But even without their vlogging cameras on, we met and saw the same girls who genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and talked about the most random of things in between hair and makeup, looking like they were just having one of their best friend bonding and pampering sessions. True enough, working together actually gives them a chance to see each other despite their loaded schedules. “That’s why we appreciate shoots like these because we don’t really have to make time for each other. We have to be here,” Hannah shares.

This week’s cover talks about their friendship, as Janina and Hannah took a quick trip down memory lane to share with us how they first met, how #HANINA all started, what they love and appreciate the most about each other, as well as how they manage their differences.

P.S. They may or may not have revealed some exclusive stories they’ve never talked about on their vlogs before. Keep reading!

How did #HANINA all start? And how did you guys meet?                                               

Hannah: #HANINA started with Janina humbling herself…

Janina: Wooooow. Okay, no.

Hannah: (laughs) No, because we were in an event and I was with my mom, and I just accompanied her at the event. I was kind of left out because she was networking and I was just tagging along, standing alone…

Janina: And like what I said in my YouTube channel, I was also alone. I was a one-woman show, so I was there all alone with my vlogging camera, and I was this shy girl. And then I saw this other awkward, shy girl, and I’m like, “You know what? Why not?!” I decided to approach her, and then we had a lot of things in common—like our love for theater and music, and then her mom came, and she was like, “Oh, you met Janina!” and I’m like, “How do you know meee, Tita?” So apparently, our family are family friends. Like they’ve been friends for a couple of years. And then, we actually didn’t see each other after that.

Hannah: I was actually approached by a brand to start a campaign and I declined it. But when I found out that Janina was doing it, I accepted it. (laughs) I don’t know if you know that. Do you know that?

Janina: No! I didn’t know that! (laughs)

Hannah: I accepted it because I found out that you were doing it, and I was like, “Oh, cool. Then I have to do it, too.” Because before, I looked at Janina as a threat.

Janina: Nice! (laughs)

Hannah: I’m being honest here! Yeah, because I also wanted to be like the 1st Filipina young YouTuber and suddenly there’s this other girl who’s coming up, and I was like, “If she’s going to do the campaign, I’m going to do the campaign, too!”

Janina: So, you went in there to like, compete with me?! (laughs)

Hannah: No! Just so that we could get in the same level, you know—and we did. Just kidding. (laughs) No, she still has more subscribers than me. BUT! We created something better! We got something better out of it than subscribers—we got a friendship!

Janina: Yeah. You know, she freaking lied to me! When we met, she was like, “Oh wow, you do YouTube? That’s so interesting!” But she already knew who I was!

Hannah: I’ve watched a video of hers, but then she only had 5,000 subscribers then. So, I wasn’t sure also if that was her! But yeah, that’s how we met.

What is it about your friendship that you love and appreciate the most?

Hannah: I’ll start.

Janina: Okay. Don’t make me cry!

Hannah: I’m not going to make you cry. (laughs) What I love so much about our friendship is that we really draw from each other. For example, we have lots of things similar between the two of us, which makes us very relatable to each other. She’s somebody who’s my age, she’s a girl…

Janina: …I’m what?! I’m a giiiirl?! (laughs)

Hannah: (laughs) But yeah, we’re in the same industry also, and we have the same faith. So it’s really easy for me to approach her with any subject. Anything that’s going on in my life, she probably went through it as well or will go through it in the future. So her advice is something that I keep really close to my heart, because I know that she is very experienced in the industry and as a Christian, too. Yeah, that’s what I appreciate so much. She’s always there to listen, and when she does give advice, it’s something I can really trust.

Janina: I think we’ve said a lot last Sunday at HANINA Live. But for me, I think it’s the fact that I can be unfiltered when I’m with her because…

Hannah: No A7 VSCO.

Janina: So specific! A7. (laughs) I think it’s because we’re similar, and our stories are pretty similar, but there are not a lot of people like us who do the things that we do and have the convictions that we do as well. So I know that when I come to her, there’s no judgment or she’s not saying, “Grabe naman, ang yabang naman this girl.” or “Why is she so weird?” But she actually really accepts me for who I am and like every part of me—not just YouTube Janina or singer Janina, but also the burping Janina, I’m-in-my pambahay-and-I-have-a-breakout-Janina. And that’s something I really appreciate and that I don’t get from a lot of people.

What are your biggest differences and how do you settle and manage these differences?

Hannah: Well, Janina said a while ago that she is a hyper-introvert and I’m an ambivert—an extroverted introvert. Basically, we go up and down with our energy spikes, so we have to recognize when the other person is really tired, or if the other person isn’t really feeling the situation—then you need to be sensitive to them. I had to recognize early on in our friendship that Janina really keeps quiet sometimes when she’s really tired—and so, I shouldn’t take it against myself when she’s not being very hyper and stuff. I used to think like, “Oh my gosh, Janina’s being so masungit right now. Why is she like that?!” But it’s really just because when she loses energy, she just keeps quiet and she recharges by herself. So you have to recognize those things with each other. What do you think, Janina?

Janina: I think for me—we’re both very optimistic, but Hannah just dreams big in a sense that she just spits out so many ideas without thinking about…

Hannah: the logistics.

Janina: Yeah, without thinking of the logistics. (laughs) We both dream but then I’m like, “Wait Hannah, we can’t do that because this and that.” In a sense, we balance each other out because it pushes me to dream just as big as well, but I also get to balance her out like, “Yo, we don’t have budget for that.” (laughs) So I think it’s good because we push each other to be better, but we also push each other to stay realistic.

With the presence of social media, it’s very easy to just communicate online instead of real face-to-face interactions. What’s your perspective on this?

Janina: We don’t talk online. (laughs) We are honestly the most suck-ish texters in the world. We just don’t. We have to see each other in person.

Hannah: We always make time for each other even if we’re very busy. That’s why we appreciate shoots like these because we don’t really have to make time for each other. We have to be here. (laughs)

Janina: Plus, I mean we’re both very busy. I think our schedules now, it’s not like school where you know what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s very unpredictable. Our schedules don’t really match at all, but we always say that you make time for the things you deem are worth it. So when we ask each other, “Do you have any free time?” Of course, we won’t have free time—but we decide to make time for each other, you know. I mean if all else fails, then, Facetime works! (laughs)

Hannah: But no one’s ever too busy for anyone. That’s something I believe. No one’s ever too busy to be with somebody they truly love, so that’s why it’s so easy for us to see each other. So I think like, okay, yeah, social media is great to communicate with each other, to plan and everything, but I think the most important is being face-to-face with somebody.

Janina: It’s a different connection.

Hannah: It’s really different! There’s no such thing as a virtual hug. Just saying.

Janina: Oh yeah, wait! Especially because my love language is touch.

Hannah: And mine is quality time! So if you don’t make time for me, or you cancel plans, that’s really when I get hurt. That’s really the way that I show my love for someone, really making time for them. You know, undivided attention.

Do you have any dream collaborations in mind that you’d love to do with each other?

Hannah: I want to do a makeup thingy with you.

Janina: Like a line?

Hannah: Yeah, that would be so cool. Like a HANINA line, so there’s like one palette for a Janina and one palette for a Hannah.

Janina: That’d be so cute. Don’t you want to do a clothing line though?

Hannah: We want to do a clothing line, and we want to do more shows together because we just had one show and it was really fun!

Cover Story By: Maan Fernandez
Makeup: Anton Patdu on Hannah and Theresa Padin on Janina
Hair: Mong Amado on Hannah and Rebecca Brizuela on Janina
Styling: Jill de Leon

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