Mae was on a makeshift stage out of a container truck addressing tens of thousands of people along the enormously wide lanes of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on the day of the 5th State of the Nation Address of the country’s President she once supported. She wore a rather elegant brown terno gown carelessly flowing on the pavement in stark contrast to the atmosphere of the environment she is in – battle-ready protesters, rain-soaked people, furious groups, and revolting poor. But everyone listened to her.
Mae graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Psychology and furthered her studies at the Asian Institute of Management. She has a relatively well-off bourgeois life being a daughter of middle class parents. Ever since her youth, Mae, artist as she is, has appeared in several movies with a wide variety in the film spectrum like the Crying Ladies in 2003 with Sharon Cuneta, Hilda Koronel, Angel Aquino and Eric Quizon as lead stars. She also starred in a sexually themed film in 2008 along with Noni and Shamaine Buencamino, Irma Adlawan, and critically-acclaimed Director Peque Gallaga. She was also part in a drama film Sanglaan in 2009. One of her earliest movie appearances was on a film of the influential and internationally renowned Director, Lino Brocka where she played as a household maid.
Mae Paner changes to Juana Change
The name Juana Change came from a visioning project of artists, professionals, and activists who thought that beyond exposing and opposing the ills of a government, inspiring a participative Filipino populace is very much needed, especially at a time when the Presidential Elections is fast approaching and a change of person at the top post of government is embedded on the people’s clamor.
“Actually yung name product yan ng isang visioning exercise namin together with artists, mga professionals at ibang nakasama namin noon sa reform. Eh panahon yun nung start ng campaign ni Obama diba yung sa kanya Change din, may nagsabi na “Wanna‘ change” eh ako yung nagsusulat sa board nun yung sinulat ko “Juana Change” so ayun,” said Mae.
The first upload of the Juana Change videos on Youtube were on December 2008 during the Presidency of now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo which was hounded by cases of corruption involving billions of public coffer. Since the first upload of the Juana Change videos, Mae has become an instant Youtube celebrity hitting hundreds of thousands of viewers on the first few weeks since the creation of a Juana Change Youtube channel.
On social relevance
Yun ang napakalaking advantage ng advocacy ng Juana Change kasi nga creative ang kanyang approach sa pagbabago kumbaga kung galit ka tapos sasabihin mo lang na “galit ako” samantalang gagawin mong tula ang galit, gagawin mong sayaw ang galit, gagawin mong pelikula ang galit, mas maganda siyang pakinggan, panoorin dahil makasining yung approach sa pagpuna para sa laban sa tunay na pagbabago.
Bearing the popular name Juana Change, she admits there are so many things she wants to alter, and she believes it is for the common good. “Ang gusto naman talagang baguhin ng Juana Change ay ang kamalayan ng tao kasi ito ay hindi pa rin mapagpalaya, kailangan pa rin maging vigilant, mag promote ng critical thinking,” Mae laments. She also adds that every time the country change its leaders, the criticism, noise, struggles and protests would always occur because it is a system. And one of the foremost things Juana Change wants to change is such system. “Kung ang kamalayan ay mababago eh hopefully yung mismong mga leader natin eh sa bagong kamalayan hindi sila uupo para maghanap buhay, para kumita, para maging makasarili kundi para magsilbi,” added Mae.
She was all dressed up because she was really to go to the red carpet of the House of Representatives and listen to whatever the President will say in his periodic address to the country. Wearing exactly [quote_right]Ang gusto naman talagang baguhin ng Juana Change ay ang kamalayan ng tao kasi ito ay hindi pa rin mapagpalaya, kailangan pa rin maging vigilant, mag promote ng critical thinking [/quote_right]the gown she has been wearing in support of President Aquino during the campaign period in 2010 she walked on the red carpet like almost all Congressmen did but like her support to the President, she has effortlessly dropped the gown and flaunted a new one. It was a simple peach-colored dress that matched the outfit of those Congressmen backing the impeachment raps against President Aquino. Like Kris Aquino, Mae also figured herself in tears, but the difference would be on to whose tears were relevant to the people.