“I think one of the most inspiring stories of genius children growing up to be successful adults is that of this girl from my country, the Philippines.
She’s Shaira Luna, circa 1995. That photo was a taken from her widely popular genius kids or “gifted children” advertisement. Basically, it was for a milk product that the brand claims to be vital in helping smart kids reach their true potential.
Shaira’s famous line from the advertisement was, “The cardiovascular system is the system that circulates blood around the body and transports nutrients and oxygen to the tissues .” She was only eight yrs. old back then, but she knew topics from 4th or 5th grade Science.
At 13 years old, she graduated from high school and got admitted to one of the top universities in the country. Taking up BS Human Biology, she was expected to become the youngest doctor in the Philippines.
But she became depressed when the unexpected happened to her — she failed a subject. Studying Science was supposed to be easy for her because of her high IQ, but no matter how hard she tried, she just seemed to fail. She shifted to various courses and after six years in college, she decided to drop out.
After dropping out, she struggled on finding her passion in life. As a kid, aside from being a Science whiz, she also excelled in singing, playing the guitar and sports. Basically, whatever she was taught to do, she excelled at it.
Shaira also happened to love watching bands and would go to her favourites’ gigs as a way of escaping the stress of school. This was where she found her true passion. She would take photos of the band. And eventually, she enjoyed photography and used it as her source of income.
But still, the road was not easy for her. Since she was just a budding photographer, there were limited projects for her. She would take photos of children’s birthday parties, small-time basketball leagues and christenings, among others. If you’re a photographer in the Philippines, the money you make out of these types of projects would not be enough to sustain your basic needs.
Even then, she continued taking photos of bands and also portraits. The bands would then post her photos in online forums and give credits to her. Eventually, people in the fashion industry started to notice her works and hired her for spreads.
So after ten years in limbo, she finally found her true passion and made a name for herself. Now, if anyone would make a list of the top fashion photographers in the Philippines, Shaira Luna will surely be included in it.
Here are some of her works.
Lucky Blue Smith
So, the moral of Shaira’s story is… You don’t have to have it all figured out right away. Even kids with skyrocketing IQ can get lost. Find your true passion and pursue it with all your heart. Eventually, everything will fall into place.
You can view more of her works here
By the way, here are the ads she was featured in, as a “gifted child.”
This was from 1995:
And this is the updated ad, 20 years after:”