What does dalaga mean?
In Filipino a dalaga is a young, unmarried (and, by definition, virginal) woman. The closest English equivalent would be “maiden”.
As early as the age of ten, girls start hearing admiring exclamations of “Dalagang-dalaga na!” (“[She’s] become a young woman!”). It begins when the world takes notice of the fact that she is no longer a child. When the baby face whittles down (or it doesn’t), the boobs come in (or they don’t), and head and heart and body work in overdrive to help her make sense of a grown-up world.
Why The Dalaga Project?
I started this blog to distract me from an imminent quarter life crisis (right on time; I turned 25 in November). In early February I moved back to the Philippines for good, after twenty years abroad, because I felt like something was here for me. I’m not quite sure what exactly that is yet, though everyone and their mother (literally) has a suggestion. 🙂
To me, the idea of dalaga is a promise. It is that moment in your life when the future stretches out longer than the past, and opportunity is ripe. But it can also be a time for confusion and fear, when all you want to do is hide in your room and look at pretty things. No?
Essentially, even though I’m supposed to, I don’t feel like I’ve grown up.
Can you just say, without all this yakkity-yak, what this blog is about?
Sure. The Dalaga Project is a Manila-based blog run by a fledgling-but-proud Filipina who finally has a purpose for all that makeup she impulsively purchased when she used to get paychecks. It will feature beauty looks, occasional outfits, and come what may. It may also feature essays and other forms of writing, since that is what she loves to do and she needs a lot of practice.