LIFE BEGINS AT 40: HOW THE ORANGE LADY, JOBY LINSANGAN-MORENO SPREADS LOVE, ONE HAIRCUT AT A TIME

“The sky takes on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the color that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again.”    

Ram Charan

In a previous post, we shared a few tips on how you can keep calm and carry on during this enhanced community quarantine. This includes, taking a break from your gadgets, taking care of your body, finding ways to entertain yourself and reaching out to our friends and loved ones to make meaningful connections.

But the one tip, I think would make us feel better despite this ongoing pandemic is to read stories of hope and amplify positivity by sharing them. These include stories of people who have recovered or who have supported a loved one and are willing to share their experience, as well as stories of ordinary people who in their own way are honoring healthcare workers and supporting people affected with COVID-19.

So instead of wasting time on negative posts, I make it a point to look for inspiring stories instead on my social media feed. A few days ago, one post that caught my attention was a photo of an ORANGE facemask. Yes ORANGE! Now if that color doesn’t put a smile on your face and make you want to g it I don’t know what else will.

Without even looking at the name, I already had a pretty good guess of who posted it. And sure enough it was from a friend Ms. Joby Linsangan-Moreno, who we all know as The Orange Lady. 

HOW I MET MS JOBY

But first a short back story of how we met. 

It was four years ago (and three days before Christmas), and together with a group of media friends, we drove five hours from Manila all the way to Cabanatuan Nueva Ecija—to have a pampering session. To have our hair cut, dyed, treated get a manicure, pedicure and foot spa. 

And while it didn’t seem like a good idea specially with the holiday traffic and a lot of people doing their Christmas shopping, we just couldn’t pass on an invitation from Orange Blush Salon, which I had already featured several times on this website. Our friend Ms Almed who arranged the meetup, said Ms. Joby wanted to personally thank us and she wanted us to try the services of her salon.

Back then, all 20 plus branches of Orange Blush Salon were located in the province and their first branch in Manila was still in the planning stages. Looking back, what made the trip worth it, (besides getting a great hair color treatment,) was getting the chance to talk with Joby and becoming friends with such an inspiring individual. 

Originally a medical technologist by profession, Joby took a gamble when she put up the very first Orange Blush salon in 2003. Despite knowing very little about managing a business or running a salon, Joby said it was her love for salons and desire to make people look beautiful that convinced her to take the risk. 

I remember her telling me how she loved to go to salons and was fascinated by the science of making people look beautiful—“And when you look beautiful, it makes you feel good, she said.  

So using the P30,000 she saved up from her salary, she put up a small parlor/salon that would become the first of many Orange Blush Salons in Nueva Ecija. 

Of course I asked her, why Orange?

Besides being her favorite color, Joby said she believes the color orange represents happiness, positivity, and optimism. 

“The orange color makes me happy. It is not too aggressive like red or too relaxing like yellow. It imbues tranquility, energy, and youthfulness,” I remember her telling me.

Putting up Orange Blush Salon, however, wasn’t always a relaxing and tranquil experience as she faced a lot of difficulties in the beginning. As barely a few months after opening, three of her stylists were “pirated” by another salon. To save the situation, she had to run to the adjacent beauty salon for help offering to share 50-50 of the P60 peso haircut.

Despite the difficulties, Joby thrived under pressure and now 14 years later,  Orange Blush Salon put up 20 branches scattered in the different parts of Northern Luzon and Metro Manila. 10 branches are wholly owned while the other 10 are franchises. The flagship store is located in Sparks Place Cubao. 

She also embraced the title “The Orange Lady,” and we would meet again several times, during the opening of her first salon in Cubao, during several social events like Tito Boy Abunda’s Make Your Nanay Proud, and again when she joined a business expo to promote the salon which had now become available for franchise.

We also kept in touch via Facebook and she would even comment on my posts despite her busy schedule, since she was now also doing talks and hosting a TV show called Beauty and the Biz.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLUE 

When I saw the photo of the “Orange facemasks” I immediately sent her a message and asked her about it. 

I told her I’ve gotten so used to seeing the usual blue and white combination for facemasks so her orange masks really stood out.

Ms Joby said it was a part of their efforts to help the frontliners in Cabanatuan. Her Orange Salon had partnered with Aliaga Rice supply (the business of her husband, Lawrence) and together they distributed rice, orange masks and several orange salon hair products (leave on conditioners and hair serum sprays) as a way of showing their appreciation and to honor the frontliners–Hospital attendants- our doctors, nurses, bank employees, supermarket employees, even the barangay captains and councilors, military and police, pharmacists in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

I then greeted her an advance Happy Birthday, (today April 8) and asked her how she planned to celebrate her 40th birthday knowing that she wouldn’t be able to go out and spend it with her Orange Blush family because of the quarantine.

And our conversation immediately turned to PAK!

SPREAD LOVE, ONE HAIRCUT AT A TIME

Ms Joby told me she really had big plans for her 40th birthday and one of which was the launch of the Parlorista At Barbero Kami Foundation or PAK Foundation.

PAK she said is the first organization that unifies salon owners and workers, barbers and other 

related beauty and wellness institutions. “It seeks to prioritize, improve, and safeguard the lives and the welfare of our Parloristas (Hairdressers, Estheticians, Massage therapists, Nail Technicians, salon receptionists), Barbers and their families,” she replie.

PAK also aims to promote hairdressing as a serious profession and educational program that generates employment and uphold Hairdressing, Massage, Hair and Makeup and other beauty and wellness related courses to the highest standards.

For the launch they plan to provide FREE Haircut and other wellness services and hold free summer camps and short courses about Hairdressing and other beauty and wellness-related programs in cooperation with TESDA. 

 But the long term goal is to educate and encourage students to enroll in Hairdressing program as offered in K-12 curriculum by the Department of Education (Home Economics Thread), and provide scholarship programs to the children and families of PAK members.

In the future, Ms Joby adds PAK also plans to put up hair salons that will offer free haircut to the indigent and less fortunate and partner with government or private institutions to provide health and wellness services.

PAK is a natural transition for Orange Blush Salon as the salon chain has already been doing various CSR activities nationwide to promote hairdressing and support the families of its employees. 

BEAUTY, THE BIZ AND THE BOOK

Besides the PAK foundation, Ms Joby said they also planned to launch her first book, Beauty and the Biz. The book is a “stress-free” guide to building your beauty empire as it chronicles the stories of several self-made beauty entrepreneurs to guide you as you establish your own beauty brand.

The book will be published by ABS CBN Publishing and will be sold at National Bookstores nationwide soon.

As a bonus Joby likewise included the “10 commandments of the Orange Lady” her rules on how to live a joyful and balanced personal business life.

The first five are: 

1. Put God First In Everything You Do. 

2. Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated.

3. Spend Quality And Undivided Time With Your Loved Ones.

4. Love Your Family Unconditionally.

5. Dream Big. Start Small.

Now you have to get a copy of her book to complete the rest of her 10 rules!

STAYING POSITIVE 

Before ending our conversation, I asked Ms Joby how she remains positive despite the crisis. She said it’s because of her faith in God. “We are being confronted with challenging times, but we shall not be afraid, and we should all keep the faith, and know in our hearts that this too, shall pass. God is near, and that He is with us always, listening to our prayers, our cries. And that He will deliver us from all of our fears, from all of these challenges.”

“Hang in there everyone and let us all keep praying! Let us count our blessings and be grateful, and move onward. We may all be physically apart, but we are all emotionally together as one in this battle. And we shall win this! Looking forward to a fresh start, a wiser beginning and a stronger and more resilient Team Pilipinas as we go back to normalcy soon.”

If you want to know more visit the Orange Blush Official Facebook page or her official FB and IG accounts. You may also visit Orange Blush Salon at Sparks Place Cubao.

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