RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan is on a mission to prove that Filipino food can not only be vegan, but also healthy and delicious!
She has playfully updated traditional Filipino dishes by giving it a vegan twist, without losing the integrity of the dish. People from all walks of life have heard her rallying cry, "Kain na! (Let's eat!)" and have followed her movement through her YouTube channel and Instagram.
I had the pleasure of chatting with RG to share a bit about herself, who she is, and what beauty means to her.
What is your true idea of beauty?
My true idea of beauty is when someone lives based on what genuinely brings her or him happiness.
Based on your culture, where you are from and how you were raised, what does beauty meant to you?
I was born and raised in the Philippines. Growing up, beauty meant that women were supposed to look “simple” and modest. But eventually, I learned that beauty means staying true to what makes you happy. Aesthetically, if dyeing your hair purple makes you happy, then that will make you feel beautiful, if keeping your hair natural and untreated makes you happy, then that will make you feel beautiful as well.
What is your inspiration to be this positive self-acceptance brand that you are today?
I’m already 35 and no longer hung up on what other people think about my looks! Haha! Seriously, with my line of work veganizing Filipino food, I was worried about the negative comments I might get from meat eaters. But these worries go away when I would find out about other people who are vegan Filipino or plant-based like me and that I have helped them somehow. I focus on what matters to me the most. If I am of value to someone else, I feel inspired to continue to just be me.
Do you believe that happiness is correlated to beauty and why?
Yes. Going back to my answer to the first question, the meaning of beauty to me is pursuing one's happiness.
What is your favorite go-to activity when you are feeling not-your-best?
Going to the farmers market cheers me up. I also love to go for a run, listen to jazz, or have a good meal with my fiance.
How do you think we can change as a society to be more beautiful?
We should take some time to breathe, perhaps meditate, and find out what really, genuinely makes us hap, then do it. Nowadays, we have so many distractions especially with technology. I suggest to take a break from these distractions and look inward and reflect to get to know ourselves better.
What is the most beautiful thing you love about yourself?
I love being vegan Filipino and that I could express kindness, compassion, and respect through my veganism.
If you had 2 minutes to get ready, what would be your go-to product for your face?
Facial lotion and eye brow pencil.
If you love what you see, you can check out RG's page and try out her recipes here!
As a Filipino myself, I too grew up loving certain Filipino dishes at family parties. Being in my 30's now, I'm definitely more conscious of what I eat and prefer a vegan diet. The recipes that RG shares on her site definitely excite me and bring back a lot of childhood favorites that I can't wait to try! I look forward to diving more into RG's recipes and sharing it with my own family!