Apology Not Included: Jun Salarzon's Fun-Filled Journey of Self-Acceptance

Jun 30, 2023 0 comments

She has absolutely stunned her way–being known for capturing the hearts of fans through her astonishing blend of comedy and creativity, Jun Salarzon, also known as Barbielat has really marked her name!

With random comedic content, infectious laughter, and “maasim” cosplays, Junjun has now amassed a massive following of 1.9 million on Tiktok, 215,000 followers on Facebook, and almost 64,000 followers on Instagram as of this writing. Junjun has proven that she is indeed an icon and a total internet sensation.

Junjun’s charm and wit made her an instant hit among the masses. But what truly sets her apart is her ability to break down barriers and defy odds. Let us get to know how Junjun, from being a “probinsyana”, now became a very famous influencer, unapologetically carved her way to the top!

The Glimpse of Her Childhood

Since her rise in January 2021 when she started making and uploading videos online, this influencer has made everyone rolling in the aisles. We can still remember her iconic content which was the video of her telling her mom “Mah, may aaminin ako sayo… ampon ka mah” that managed to strike a chord with thousands of viewers, who found it incredibly funny and relatable.

It probably runs through her veins: At a very young age, it is no doubt that Junjun or Barbie has already exuded a fearless and "slaying attitude" that makes her shine from the crowd. She is simply defiant and annihilates every single opportunity she has to display how remarkable she is. But these amazing gifts were once shivered, since not everyone appreciated her and she in fact faced unfavorable treatment from others. Nonetheless, that did not stop her from being authentic and blow people away through her undeniable personality.

In an exclusive interview with Metro Scene Mag, Junjun shared some of her stories, and how it made her the best person that she is now. She lived the early years of her life in their beautiful province. “ …Yung mga trauma ko nung childhood ko, parang humalo na sa personality ko. Parang naging humor ko na rin siya kaya ganito ako ka-funny ngayon. Ang dami kong thoughts kasi ang dami kong pinagdaanan.”. Let's sit back, and rewind the entertaining conversation that she has with us!

From Probinsyana to Queer Mother 

As Junjun Salarzon sat down for a chat with us, her vibrant energy was palpable. With a mischievous glint in her eye, she started off the conversation with a playful quip of a trending Tiktok song, "I am feeling lonely… Charot. I am feeling great.". Her words were a perfect reflection of her lively and quick-witted personality, instantly putting everyone at ease.

Junjun reminisced about her experiences in her province, where she primarily discovered her queerness. She described herself as "baklang bagra" that time, and she queerly thinks, up until now. In the face of being around a male-dominated environment, she knew from the beginning that she was not comfortable with being masculine. “Parang since child talaga ako, hindi ako comfortable pagiging masculine. Talagang kapag make-up bongga, go ako diyan, pero kapag iba, kayo na diyan.”, she said. She also used to spend more time with her aunts who were like sisters to her, than her male cousins going back. One of her memorable experiences was being dressed like a beautiful girl by her aunt multiple times. Also, although it may controversially surface, she shared with giggles this one instance where her "muji" or mother clothed her the dress of Sto. Niño.

However, discovering her identity was never a walk in the park for Junjun, and perhaps her more highlighted struggle. She acknowledges that her experience of living in the province was similar to that of others in the community who face challenges in expressing themselves. Despite her desire and efforts to do so, she found it difficult to fully express herself. She said that she was looked down upon and judged by people around her. The atmosphere of the discourse becomes sad, but in spite of that, she boldly expressed with poise, “Waley naman ako pake sa kanila.”, amidst dealing with those negative attitudes and discrimination. 

Acceptance is the seemingly achievable yet unachievable thing that the society fails to fulfill from the very start for someone like her. Junjun had this experience too during her elementary school where she was made fun of and felt the pressure of coming out while still in the closet. "...Talagang parang pinaparampa ako queen...Pinagrampa ako na parang…”’Di mo kukunin tong test paper mo kapag ‘di ka rumapa diyan sa harap.” Ehh humiliating ‘yun para sa akin. Grade 2 ako, tapos nasa closet pa ako ‘non ate, anong expect mo!". There were also times that she had to deal with the recurring gender stereotypes that persistently demanded her to conform to what they deem as "acceptable gay." “Bakla ka pero, bakit may pero?”, she exclaimed to us. Be that as it may, she conquered, and fiercely challenges these forms of gender stereotypes and discrimination, and worthy of saying, sticks to show who she really is. 

Junjun, as we can see, is now more free and prouder than ever. Thanks to her gay friends in the city too, ("kung saan siya mas makakapagbarda, she called it"). She conveyed that while being around them makes her feel safe and understood. Cheers to all of them!

Mother or Influencer, name it all!

The jovial time has just got risen. What makes her unique from the rest? She said jokingly, "Naging iba...Ako po, mahirap po ako, charot. Wala po akong asenso, charot.". But do not worry Junjun, more than that, you are still a well-known influencer, and you have entered into a new stage of your life that you now embrace. However, just like every influencer that we all know, she has never been safe from online scrutiny which is another uphill battle for her. Good thing is, she handles it like a true queen. When we asked, "How do you deal with criticisms, or negative feedback from audiences or others online?", she replied, “Baka nga nasanay na ko kasi parang mas marami yung palaging dogshow kesa yung compliment. Minsan na nga lang magcompliment pag nagseryoso na lang ako ng bongga, pero ayun hindi ko nalang sya tinetake seriously, parang iniisip ko din na ‘hmm social media lang ‘to, di naman to makakaapekto sa totoong buhay.”

Then, she wrapped up this already bold statement by emphasizing the value of being "unbothered" as long as you are just carrying out the appropriate course of action in all of your endeavors, which is what she has been doing all the time. “Basta ‘pag parang tama ka naman, wala ka namang ka bother bother ganun, parang ano ‘wag kang ma bother tsaka don’t take things too seriously, na lahat-lahat, alam mo yun. ‘Wag mong i-overthink lahat.". These answers, upon hearing it from her just proved how sorry not sorry she is, and that she means business in whatever she takes.


Over and above that, being unapologetic as she is since then, profoundly results in being different and unique, of course in a best possible way. When we asked Junjun about the quality that sets her apart from all the other influencers online, she quickly pointed out her being spontaneous. She explained, “Ano po, yung akin, parang yung contents ko kasi super random, wala syang sinusunod talaga na parang script o plano. Mag upload ka nalang, yun nalang, parang ‘huh, ang random naman ng baklang ‘to, ano kayang naiisip nito.” It is still refreshing to know, even if it seems to appear obvious in her contents that she does not limit herself or adhere to a specific formula. Instead, she follows her instincts and plays it natural and posts whatever comes to mind, resulting in a delightful mix of randomness and hilarity, which is a delight to watch. She also believes that she got more interesting because of it."'Di ba? Yun nga, kaya ano parang may sipa ako sa ulo, natural lang talaga. Kaya di ko na kailangan isipin yung content ko kinabukasan, kung may gagawin ako, ivi-video mo nalang, keri na yun kasi baliw ka na eh, ancha ka na ‘di ba.".

After the interview, the only clear thing is that with all these things she went through, she precisely perseveres to be able to finally demonstrate who Junjun or Barbie really is, and she only proves time by time what she can bring to the table. We could not be any prouder, and we are just more excited to see more of her in the coming years, which we expect to be nothing but special.

Being Yourself is the First Step to Being a Queen Mother

Let us hear from the courageous queen herself! In the interview, Junjun gave her most significant advice to those who are aspiring to be an influencer just like her, who are to build a following online. She uttered, "Wag niyo haggardin ang sarili niyo kakagawa ng content na pilet.". “Kapag starting, be yourself. At tsaka wala namang starting na bongga na agad, ‘di ba? Step by step. Nung una nakikicringe ako sa sarili ko sa camera. Hindi ko alam magtalk sa camera pero ngayon dire-diretso lang, parang ano. Ako yung mga boses ko sa hatinggabi, nirarant ko na lang po sa Tiktok, di ko alam, nagugustuhan naman nila. Basta be natural.". In a world filled with apprehension, she reminded us of the power of being authentic with yourself, taking things slowly, and doing what you want with courage and tenacity, which we can all agree are queenly ideals.

Finally, as a concluding question of the fun-filled talk, we challenged her to go back and congest her journey in a snap. We asked what has changed from being a 'probinsyana", now a breakthrough internet sensation. The highlight from her overall answer is just this one word: Confidence. She said with conviction that she became very confident and ready to conquer the pending goals she has to slay. Hear it...

"Mas naging comfortable ako na maging confident. Kasi noon, parang pag nagiging confident ako sa sarili kong balat parang may mga ilangan pa, na parang may ‘ick’ ‘oops’ ‘ano ba gagawin ko ba ‘to? baka di magustuhan ng ibang tao. Parang ngayon, lahat naman ng gagawin ko keri naman na. Kaya ayun, mas pinili ko nalang na maging ‘be yourself’. Mas naging comfortable ako na maging sarili ko kasi noon parang naghesitate pa ko kung gagawin ko ba ‘to o ‘yan pero nung hindi na ko naghesitate, ay bongga pala. Mas naging free na ko, mas naging sikat ka pa, na feed pa yung soul ko na pagiging clout chaser, bongga sya.".

Now, this is Junjun Salarzon, a 19-year old stunner she labeled herself who remains to be an icon for everyone. Looking back at her short but sweet telling of life journey, she remains brave and confident and just unstoppable. Rising from a humble province, she now creates ripples of waves in the online world and that she deserves the recognition she has today. She is indeed mothering!

Junjun reaped all the magic of her steps towards the top, by standing beside herself without minding what other people might misconstrue to convey. Or should I say, she showed herself, by owing herself first and foremost, ACCEPTANCE! Accepting who you are, your own beauty, just because the wonders of possibilities are treasured from within, and she has definitely let the world see them shining. Just keep it in your mind whenever you feel scared or just remember Junjun or Barbie, who have shown us that achieving your dreams is possible against all qualms and quandaries that life may bring.


Photography by Miggy Broño (@miggybrono_)
Art Direction by Mark Elwyn Baccay (@markelwyn)
Fashion Direction and Styling by Dave Arden (@Ardenstyleph)
Styling Assistant by Angela Correa (@itsangela_c)
Makeup by Mycke Arcano (@mycke.arcano)
Hairstyling by Lars Cabanacan (@larscabanacan)
Production Coordination by Chardy Baldoza (@Baldyosa)
Words by Mark Elwyn Baccay (@markelwyn)

Special thanks to our designers

ḢA.MÜ (@_ha.mu_)
LE NGOK (@le_ngok)
MONTECALVO CREATIONS (@montecalvo_creations)

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