How LEGO® building has helped Inez make friends from all over the world

How LEGO® building has helped Inez make friends from all over the world

Inez Vasquez is a working mom from the Philippines. She’s a real-estate lawyer for one of the country’s big property developers.

With two children, aged five and seven, life is always on the go for Inez – but one thing she always tries to make time for is LEGO® building.

She sees it as her own personal creative outlet to balance out the stressful nature of her job. For her, it brings a sense of calm to everyday life.

“Interestingly, I know quite a lot of lawyers who are into LEGO bricks.”

Inez didn’t own any LEGO sets as a child because they were expensive in the Philippines. It was her love for books that led her to purchase her first set when she was thirty years old: it was a LEGO The Hobbit Gandalf set.

Once she got a taste for LEGO building, she went on to buy more sets like LEGO Harry Potter™ and LEGO The Lord of the Rings™. Now, she’s lost track of how many sets she owns, and the best part is she’s even discovered some newfound friends.

Making connections and driving change

Whether she’s attending brick festivals, hanging out virtually or spending time with her LUG (LEGO User Group), she embraces the community that she’s found through her love for LEGO building.

What is a LUG?

A LEGO User Group (LUG) is a place for LEGO fans to connect with one another, whether you’re new or old to the hobby. You can meet physically or online and get involved with all kinds of LEGO activities such as sharing tips, displaying LEGO creations at exhibitions, socializing, discussing LEGO news and sharing/trading sets.

“I’m very shy... I was already thirty and I was quite settled, I had my friends – I didn’t think I could make any more friends...and now I have twice as many friends.”

She runs the PMS LUG, a subgroup of PhLUG, a LEGO User Group in the Philippines.

“Having a group of friends who are like you helps so much. It’s so nice to be able to talk about what you love and share it with a group of people, especially people who are close to you.”

They even go for breakfast, which they’ve aptly renamed ‘Brickfast’.

There are many different LUGs for AFOLs (Adult Fans Of LEGO) to choose from around the world.

“It has opened my world, it has broadened my perspective and introduced me to so many wonderful people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Shes also a member of the Women’s Brick Initiative (WBI), a community that works to empower, support and inspire women and girls around the world through LEGO building, as well as the Brick Alliance, a group of AFOLs who are working to represent diversity and inclusion in the LEGO world.

For Inez, she feels blessed to have found a close-knit social group who she can share her passion with every day and help to drive change.

Advice and her journey towards healing

Her advice to those who are thinking about getting into LEGO building is: “People will always have ideas about what an adult should do, but you have to do what makes you happy.”

Inez would rather spend money on LEGO sets than on something that will disappear.

“It’s a product that is very durable and very versatile. You can build so much with it, even just from a little box.”

Once she began to learn the techniques, she started to modify them and build her own creations. Now, her specialty is making impressive brick-built flowers that are native to the Philippines, something her biology degree comes in handy for.

Inez’ beautiful flower creations pay homage to her country
Inez’ beautiful flower creations pay homage to her country

LEGO sets are also a way for Inez to connect to her mother. In 2017, her mom gifted her a set for Christmas that she really wanted. She didn’t get around to opening it and sadly three months later, her mother passed away.

“I feel the loss greatly...but I... still have this box and I always tell myself I still have one last gift from my mom.”

“Some day when I’m better, I’ll be able to build it, but for now I’m still waiting for that day.”

Inez’ story goes to show that LEGO bricks aren’t just a toy...but so much more than that. A pastime, a craft, a comfort, a calmer...even a way to connect with others.

Looking for more?

Check out the Adults Welcome homepage to see our collection of adult-focused sets and articles!