Myra Aquino and Her Pursuit for Her Passion

Written by: Alliah Importante | 10 months ago

Myra Aquino, a filmmaker, was born in Guam, grew up in the Philippines, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Myra is the prime example of someone following her calling and pursuing what you love. She is the doctor turned filmmaker who won the "Best Film" award in the Cinemalaya 2021 with her short film "Beauty Queen." She graduated from the UCLA MFA directing program in 2020. Aquino received an MD and her Master's in Public Health from the University of Miami. She also obtained accolades and recognitions, including the Streisand Sony Fellowship, the Motion Picture Association of America Award, and the Norris Foundation Fellowship. Her other films include "The Gray," which was selected for the 2021 Etheria Film Festival. The said festival features films that are directed by women, especially in the genres of horror, fantasy, action, thriller, and science fiction. Aquino is also passionate about exploring the impacts of globalization and multiculturalism in communities like Southeast Asia, Pacific Islanders, etc. Currently, she is writing a coming-of-age set in 1990s Guam alongside a high school set in post 9/11 Philippines. 

Growing up, she was taught that she was a person who thought she needed to achieve certain things academically and do really well. However, she always loved writing stories, and ideas just kept coming randomly to her head. She kept her creative side hidden from everyone, but she never stopped writing and kept nurturing that hidden side of her. In her teenage years, she thought she would be a doctor and still write novels on the side. She was confident that she could balance both. Still, during college, Aquino started to explore more documentary filmmaking with her organization, and she made a documentary about films revolving around children's literacy. She ended up getting addicted and loved making films more. Myra eventually had to decide if she really wanted to pursue filmmaking. It also brought her to a point where the medicine and the film side started clashing, and she had to eventually choose between them. What made Aquino choose film is that at the end of the day, she is a very visual person and likes to keep imagining things in her head, like how a scene would unfold and what things would look like once performed. Aquino didn't realize right away that those things just come naturally to her. 

For Myra, if you want to be a writer or even filmmaker, the easiest thing for you is to just go for it. You really don't write because you have to. You can just open your phone and type and write as much as possible. Write when it strikes you because you can never be too inspired to write. Myra Aquino is indeed a talented filmmaker who chased her dreams despite all expectations and conflicts that came to her. Ultimately, your true passion will make you realize what you really want and who you aspire to be. It will come naturally, so keep nurturing what you're good at even if you want to pursue other things because you'll never know when it's going to grow in you, and you'll choose that path.