Cris Bilbao has been making magic behind the scenes since she was young. She may not be physically visible in front of the camera herself, but her ideas have been dancing in front of people’s eyes for years through strategically-conceptualized commercials, such as her projects with BonChon (BonChon Chicken), Knorr (Knorr Liquid Seasoning), and Wyeth (Bonakid Preschool 3+).
She calls herself “the girl behind the camera.” At a young age, Cris started taking videos and photographs of her friends, even creating short films with them. Cris says that she’s still the same girl but now in a more professional setup and with a team of ten to a hundred to lead in executing her visions.
Cris wants to unleash the magic in others by inspiring women to step up in the field of directing and pave their way to success as she did. She didn’t have another female to look up to when she was just starting her career. “There were very few (female) directors. And until now, in the advertising industry, there is only a handful of us directing commercials… I hope that when other girls see me…they know that it’s possible to become a female director also.” In addition to this, if she had a magic wand, Cris would like to give people an equal chance to enjoy what they do best and love the most all the time.
As someone who used to apprentice herself when she was younger, this is her advice for the next generation: “Anything that comes your way that is a hurdle, use it as fuel to your self, to try to get to where you want to go… Always work hard; don’t take any shortcuts. If it means having to try to study more or do things for free to be able to master something, do it.” Because of her own experience, Cris takes interns to train so that she can strengthen their passion and skills further. After a number of male trainees, she’s now patiently waiting for a woman to step up and learn with her.