“I want to change the world,” this was my answer when my grandfather asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up. I remembered him laughing, so I asked what’s so funny about it, and he said: “You’re nine. I had that dream when I was 30.”
The name is Kyla Estoya, and I am the founder of The Love Club. But before I tell you what this club is, let me tell you a few things about myself. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and I’m still in the Philippines. I haven’t been outside the country, but I have been island hopping since I was six (with my family, of course), migrating from one province to another. This made me love collecting memories, and the best way I was able to do this is with writing. For the most parts of my life, I was always writing in journals, always making scrapbooks, or creating art that would someday unravel a beautiful moment from the past, or unearth lessons I learned (and unlearned). At the same time, I was exposed to diverse music and full-blast-out-of-the-speakers-kind-of-songs—which by the way is one of my favorite ways of preserving memories. Finally, the internet happened, and the existence of a kylaestoya.com needed to happen.
So I made I blog, which until now prevails. It’s a diary, meant for the world to see, and honestly, in the early days, I really didn’t care who read it. I’d share it with a few of my friends, and they would say mediocre things about it, and that was that. The act of writing and knowing someone will read it already gave me excitement. I called it Love Kyla, because every post was written like a letter, hoping that maybe after they’d read it, they’d know someone out there feels and experiences the same things I do. And then, without warning, someone told me what I wrote helped them go through a tough time. And after finding that out, I remembered little Kyla’s dream of changing the world and how that needs to happen.
Currently, I am in the island of Cebu, the Queen City of the South, as they call it. This is where I superbloomed and created The Love Club, where for some reason I’ve earned the nickname ‘Kindness Queen’. The Love Club is a mature and more vibrant form of Love Kyla. The essence of who I am is still there: writing stories, creating art stuff, sharing playlists, etc. The only difference is I’m not the only one keeping it alive. Moving from one place to another, I’m sure you can imagine a montage of how my life look liked: laughing and crying with different people, forced to comprehend (and speak) different languages, or looking at life from another person’s point of view that unlocks a different level of compassion and empathy.
With The Love Club, I get to embed parts of me into the world.
The Love Club (TLC) is a campaign in cultivating kindness and simultaneously supporting local businesses and artists. We aim to build a community that share the same values we nurture and at the same time, produce creative things! I even created five mascots for TLC, and they’ve won people’s hearts. They’re called the Thingamabobs, and they are precious to me. Together, we ventured out to the world and started spreading kindness! After a year, the community kept growing, and here I am now—with my own team, Team Love Club.
One of the projects we’re working on now is called The Local Creatives. It’s a platform where we get to publish fiction, opinion articles, and profiles about artists or other creative human beans. The main reason why I started this is because I’ve worked in so many media companies and met a lot of talented people. To me, writing about them is an honor and it’s nice to know that I’m giving them a spotlight, even just for a little while. We dream that someday, we’ll have the means to finally publish our own paper magazine, but for now, you’ll find us in our internet space and social media pages.
Speaking of social media, we took part in #BeKind21 this year. Initially, we wanted to create illustrations about kindness and share them online. But I gave birth to an even better idea: stickers. I collected all the extra stickers I had and doodled kindness reminders (featuring the Thingamabobs, of course), and placed them all over the city. To make it even more exciting, I did it on my birthday, and I had so much fun. That way, I get to cultivate kindness online and make strangers smile.
I guess it’s safe to say that maybe this is how I will change the world.