By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 10, 2022 6:30 pm

Our girl, Mimiyuuuh, is here.

Wearing a neon tank top and baggy pants, she drops her signature designer Dior Book Tote with her name brandished across. She greets her glam squad with hellos—some with random screams and tunes, even. She is tall, glowing, and dare I say, louder. She talks and moves with the fierce, playful air of someone who is used to getting attention, laughs, and love. 

“Hi, I’m the late Mimi! Sorry talaga. Gagalingan ko na lang,” she tells the PhilSTAR L!fe team, apologizing for arriving a little bit later than the call time. (Totally understandable, by the way. She lives in the South.) 

With millions of subscribers, Filipino YouTuber Mimiyuuuh is one of the most well-known vloggers, whose online presence and vocal personality are felt everywhere.

Dress (worn as skirt), Mark Bumgarner; pink organza dress (worn as top), Paolo Miguel

It’s been over three years since she stepped into the limelight. A one-minute dance video of the OPM song Kahit Ayaw Mo Na started it all back in February 2019. 

Her big break, however, came a month later through a short clip where she started striking “Dalagang Pilipina” poses. Netizens and celebrities alike joined in the fun and came up with their own versions of it. The viral video, which has reached over 5 million views as of this writing, has become her superbrand that continues to thrive to this day.

How does a career like that happen? Even she is still in awe. But my wild guess could be right, and it’s a very simple one. Mimiyuuuh, whose real name is Jeremy Sancebuche, has been letting her unapologetically authentic self shine—100% of the time.

Awakening and acceptance

“Five years old palang ako, alam ko na na bakla ako,” she says, recalling how she spent most of her childhood days in Batangas watching Sailor Moon—a Japanese series that revolves around a teenage girl who transforms into a legendary warrior that fights for love and justice. “Feeling ko, at that time, si Sailor Moon din ako. ‘Yun ang awakening ko talaga.”

Blazer and pants, both Sofia Cabaron

She lived her elementary school years in a state of denial, as a member of a typical conservative Filipino family who used to judge gays in the streets and parlors. 

“Syempre ako, nag-o-obey ako sa parents ko. Kapag tinatanong nila ako: ‘Uy, bakla ka ba?’ Sasabihin ko, ‘Uy, hindi ah. Crush ko nga si Naomi.’” That “girl crush” she was talking about? It was just a made-up name to put an end to the conversation and let them think she was straight.

In high school, she grew tired of the pretense. Mimiyuuuh got obsessed with gay icon and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Lady Gaga, who sparked her love for fashion and taught her to embrace who she really is. 

“Kahit naman anong pagpapa-straight ang gawin ko, parang hindi talaga siya 'tsaka mahirap siyang gawin kasi nga labag siya sa puso ko. So, tinanggap ko na lang rin talaga na nabuhay akong bakla,” she says. She stresses that this realization didn’t come in the blink of an eye. It was, rather, a long process.

Interestingly, there wasn’t an exact moment she came out as gay to her parents. It was something they knew and accepted as she continued to spread her wings in the fashion scene. 

In case you didn’t know, Mimiyuuuh earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising and even interned for renowned fashion designer Mark Bumgarner. While she’s become an Internet sensation, she still can’t give up fashion completely. When she has the time, she comes up with various sketches for her clothing brand FANGS that aims to empower women through clothes.

Red dress, Mark Bumgarner; pink organza dress, Paolo Miguel

Has she ever had “the talk” with her dad? Mimiyuuuh muses that the topic only comes up in their chit-chats every once in a while as her father is the quiet type. 

“Tinatanong ko siya, ‘Tatay, bakit kaya wala akong jowa?’ Syempre, gets na niya na lalaki ‘yun. Tapos sabi niya ‘Ayaw mo nun? Wala kang iniisip?’ So parang mas naging accepting na siya, and at the same time, open na siya sa mga conversations about sexuality,” she shares. 

“Minsan, nagpapacheck pa ako sa tatay ko ng susuotin ko. Ganung level. Tapos mga fitted ‘yun, sleeveless, crop top. ‘Okay ba ‘to?’ ‘Hindi, palit ka ng pants, anak,’” she continues, adding that it’s impressive to see how much her father has “evolved” over time.

For Mimiyuuuh, it helps that her older brother is also part of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. “Mas naging open na talaga si tatay about sa different sexualities. Alam na rin niya yung mga lesbian, mga bisexual. Diba dati, hindi uso yun? Because mga anak niya, part din ng community, so feeling niya, nagkaroon din siya ng responsibility to know more about the community.”

In 2021, Mimiyuuuh got real about dealing with homophobic relatives in a Q&A vlog. Guess what? They have changed for the better, too. “Pino-prove ko talaga sa kanila na kahit ganito yung gender ko, kaya ko talagang makuha yung mga pangarap ko sa buhay. And I think nagset na rin ako ng example sa kanila na kapag yung anak nila, medyo malambot, natutuwa na sila. Ganun sila.” At one point, previously homophobic folks who were playing with their little boy told the YouTube star: “Sana nga, maging katulad mo ito eh.”

Mimiyuuuh, while immensely thankful, still can’t help but feel sad that she had to prove herself to be completely loved and accepted. "’Yun nga, kailangan, mag-extra effort ka. Kapag beks ka, hindi sapat na maging mabait ka. Kailangan, matalino ka din, dapat magaling ka rin.”

Dreaming big

It has been quite a journey for the content creator. From her humble beginnings moving from one apartment to another because of unpaid rent and making the most of her minimum wage earnings to help her family get through life’s challenges, she is now a proud owner of a spacious house with a swimming pool and a garden, as well as a van that can fit her entire family. 

“Syempre, sobrang layo po talaga ng life namin sa dati, especially nung nakatira pa po kami sa Baclaran. I’ve come a long way and I’m super thankful po sa mga nangyayari sa akin and the people who continue to support me.”

Today, her monthly income is big enough so she can save money and give her family the happy, comfortable life that they deserve.

“’Yun talaga ang goal ko, lalong-lalo na nung naghirap kami. Sabi ko, ‘Darating ang panahon na ako naman ang makakapagprovide sa family namin.’ Tapos, ‘yun yung binigay ni Lord.”

There are times in our interview where she would pause mid-sentence and get emotional about it all.

“Ang family ko kasi, hindi sila expressive sa nararamdaman nila pero ‘yun, nakikita ko yung nanay ko, nagzu-Zumba sa sala. Parang chill na lang sila, nagagawa nila kung anong gusto nilang gawin. Feeling ko, ‘yun yung parang goal achieved.”

Dress, House of Enchante

It’s a given that she often comes home tired, but she still feels extremely fulfilled at the end of the day. “Parang kapag napapagod ako, parang pagkauwi ko ng bahay na nandoon yung family ko, okay sila, sabi ko, ‘Ahh, okay lang pala mapagod para lang mabigay sa family ko yung mga gusto nila.’”

Don’t get her wrong—Mimiyuuuh knows how to balance work and play. 

“Nung nabili ko na yung bahay ko at may kotse na kami, ako naman. So nagwaldas ako nun, nag-Singapore ako. Pero mindful pa rin ako about sa mga ginagastos ko,” she says with a laugh. 

We proceed to have an “adulting talk” about money, and how it could easily run out in just a snap of the fingers. 

“Ang pera, nauubos ‘yan. Kaya dapat maging matalino talaga sa paghawak ng pera,” she highlights, sharing that it’s probably a trait she got from her mama. 

What’s next for this social media icon, with all that she has done, accomplished, and realized? 

Vest, pants, gloves, all by Eliza Honrado

She hopes to travel the world, grow her clothing line, get a place and a car for herself—I sense she could go on and on about her dreams. But Mimiyuuuh, like almost every 25-year-old, confesses she’s still clueless about her next step. 

“Go with the flow lang ako as long as nag-eenjoy ako sa ginagawa ko, push lang nang push. Kapag may opportunity pa, go lang nang go,” she declares. Of not stopping anytime soon, at least, Mimiyuuuh is sure.

She takes a long pause, lets out a hilarious thinking noise, and laughs for the nth time. At this point, I suspect, whatever her next move may be, she’ll be okay.

Produced by Camille Santiago
Photos by Stephen Capuchino
Assisted by Mark Anthony Carlos
Production design by Jobo Nacpil
Layout by Mina Lampitoc
Makeup by Janell Capuchino
Hair by Jay Wee
Styling by Ica Villanueva
Style associates Carvey Samonte and Frances Torres
Special thanks to Che Gatan and Khloie Galgana of SparkIt