If a good photograph is one that evokes emotion, then Rozette Rago knows a thing or two about that. Originally born in Bulacan, Philippines, she now lives and works in Los Angeles as a photojournalist and 1/2 of Restless Cities, an independent and LA-based music and culture site that is updated daily with live show reviews, new music, videos, travel stories, as well as original features. Rago’s images of people and places will get you to pause and contemplate but it’s her music and festival photography that will transport you and make you feel like you’re there. When Rago’s not busy capturing the music world, you can find her documenting Filipina women in LA in her latest endeavor. We caught up with Rozette who share the best piece of advice she’s ever given, what London means to her as a city, and her go-to ritual after a stressful day.
What is your “urban island,” that oasis in the big city (read: life) that helps you find balance?
I have two spots that I love: Venice Beach and Echo Park Lake. I enjoyed having the water nearby when I lived in Venice because it helped me relax at the end of a busy work day. After moving to Echo Park, we were lucky to end up near the lake, which is now my go-to when I need to take a stroll and de-stress. My dog also like going on walks there.
What is your favorite adventure?
My favorite adventures are when I’m visiting a city or country I’ve never been to before. I love reading travel books and doing plenty of research beforehand. I love the anticipation. I also like low pressure trips where I have a couple of things planned here and there, but I also have enough free time where I can just do whatever that comes to mind at that moment.
If you were an island, which one would you be?
I think I would be Kauai – small, quiet, but still fun and full of surprises. It also reminds me of the Philippines.
If you were a city, which one would you be?
I think I would be London. I really enjoy the weather and the old world feel of it. There’s so much to take in!
What are your five island essentials?
My [photography] gear, my dog Kirby, my husband Tony, a fully loaded Kindle, and sunblock.
What work/life balance trait do you think is the most underrated?
The act of just sitting down on the couch and watching mindless TV after a stressful day is so important. My husband and I also make it a point to eat out from time to time and try new restaurants together. A great meal and some cocktails always bring us back to life.
What work/life balance trend do you think is the most overrated?
Yoga. It works for some, but not so much for others. I know someone who does this religiously and he is the most high-strung person I know. I don’t think he ever relaxes.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve every received?
Don’t work for free. You need to value yourself and your work in order for others to do the same.
What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
Be your own biggest fan, but don’t over do it!
We believe all jewelry tells a story. What is the story behind your favorite piece of jewelry?
My pearl earrings are my favorite because my mom gave them to me when I finished university. I’ve worn them everyday since. I also love a lot of my mom’s jewelry. She’s been collecting them from our travels since I was little and I’ve borrowed a few pieces over the years. I love the Nina Twist Cuff. It’s so simple and elegant, which is exactly how I like my jewelry.
What’s your urban island? Tag @kalakiriot on Instagram and use the hashtag #myurbanisland for a chance to be featured on our site.
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