After 5 years in the beauty industry growing the global powerhouse brand MAC, Vanessa Vergara is chasing after her childhood dream.
Meet Vani, our badass Rory & Sloan Gal this month who is currently traveling the world and pursuing her enormous love for marine life by getting a dive instructor certificate, doing NGO work as an ocean conservation volunteer and being an ambassador for a scuba diving retail brand. After working 5 years as a PR manager for one of the biggest beauty brands in the world, she is now chasing after her childhood dreams one manta ray and shark encounter at a time. Her underwater adventures with a renowned Nat Geo photographer will give you wild ocean envy.
Name: Vanessa Vergara
PR Consultant (PR Manager for Sunnies Studios)
Ocean Conservation Volunteer (Reef Check Philippines)
Business Owner (bringing in Paulina Katarina (@paulinakatarina.ph) to the Philippines – a fashion brand from Bali)
Education: Marketing Management from De La Salle University
Badly explain your profession/job.
I teach people how to go deep, most people are nervous for their first time but after, they say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done.
How do you start your day?
I usually start my day with Electric Studio when I’m in Manila or coffee with a view of the ocean before my first dive.
How do you usually end your day?
NETFLIX!! Currently with Narcos – haha.
What is a strategy you use to keep focused? You know, especially with the trap of social media feeds.
For me, just add coffee and I turn into a work obsessed machine.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Marine Biologist since I was 5 years old.
Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach work?
My bio professor on my first year and first term in college (Dr. Al Licuanan) . He showed me that I didn’t need to be a scientist to save the ocean.
What is a trip that has changed your mind and why?
My visit to Morocco completely blew me away. It was my first time in Africa and to know the culture of an Arab country, I felt so small and realized there is still a huge part of the world I need to see.
You worked with one of the biggest global beauty brands, MAC. How was the experience?
It was an amazing experience to work for MAC. My favorite part was the people. I met all sorts of people and I really discovered a lot about myself during that 5 years.
What did your job entail?
I was running the brand’s PR and after 5 years, I decided to follow my passion and pursue scuba diving. Right now, I took a little break and its been 2 months and I’ve been going to the places I’ve always wanted to scuba dive and volunteering with NGOs and it’s been amazing.
Have you always wanted to be in the beauty industry?
Actually, No. It was a nice surprise. I did my internship there and all of a sudden I found myself with MAC. It was the number 1 makeup brand in the Philippines, so it was an amazing opportunity.
What is the best advice you have ever received from a boss?
Work smarter not harder. This means that you can spend hours and hours overtime doing the same
task but if you strategize properly, you can actually have the job done in a few hours and maximize the
time that you have everyday.
What’s your favorite MAC event?
Ooh, my favorite MAC event is when we launched the Archie’s Girls collection because it’s close to my heart. It’s the comic book that I grew up with and to see it come to life in a collaboration and bring it all over the Philippines – to different islands, even – and have a big launch here in Manila was really amazing.
What accomplishment/simple victory are you most proud of in the past year?
I handled the Miss Universe 2017 competition here in the Philippines. It took me about 2 months of sleeping for 2 hours everyday but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
What’s a regular day like for you now?
It depends. Recently, I haven’t been in the same place for the past months but if I’m in Manila – I wake up, go visit electric studio and have lunch with my friends, whoever I wanna catch up with that day. Then I do some errands, have dinner with my family and pack for the next trip. During the weekends though, I wake up really early at 5am and get ready for the dive. We dive before breakfast, have breakfast, dive again, eat then dive again. Merienda a bit. Then dive again! After a long day, we go and grab some drinks after dinner.
What got you into diving?
Since I was in grade school I’ve always wanted to be a marine biologist but for some reason my life took me to the business track but I never gave up that dream and in between my job, I got my certification and little by little I became an instructor just so that I made sure that even if I have a career I’m still chasing my dream.
When’s the best time to dive?
Well, I suggest during the summer but during the time of the day, it’s better when in the morning when all the animals are having their breakfast and right before sunset when all the big fish and sharks come out for dinner.
What is your favorite marine animal?
Dolphins. I’m obsessed with dolphins. I think all my friends know that. Hee.
What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen while you were diving?
So it was my first time to go to Tubbataha over the summer and on the first day I believe it was after lunch. We dropped into the water and then I turn around and this big whale shark just appears. And I couldn’t believe it! Of course we went and followed it the entire dive. It was amazing.
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and why
Sylvia Earle, one of the most revolutionary oceanographers of our time. She was one of the first to make the world realize that saving the ocean is important.
Favorite skincare brand.
La Mer. It’s also a brand that takes care of the ocean.
I wish I knew how to…
I wish I knew how to dance. =P
If I could have one superpower, it would be..
I wish I could stop time. Oh, the things I could do and the many hours I could spend sleeping.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Oh my. Maybe still diving but probably with a family and with them in the beach. Yeah, in a nice
beach together on vacation somewhere..